willa is two!

We celebrated Willa’s second (!!!!!!) birthday a couple of weekends ago.  I won’t get into the can-you-believe-it-ness that she’s two because I feel like every parent says that same thing on every birthday of their kids.  It’s such a cliché thing but we all do it.  It’s written in the parent code.  Right before the clause about stepping on legos and right after the subsection about wiping your kid’s snot on your sleeve when you don’t have a tissue.

Speaking of snot!  JK there’s no cute way to transition back to Willa’s birthday.  She turned 2!  We had a party!  It was super duper fun!

We invited some family over for a little brunch celebration.  The kids painted bear masks and we stuffed our faces with food (including the everything bagel breakfast bake from Chrissy Teigen’s new cookbook which is so good but I’m pretty sure I’m still digesting it because it’s so extra).  Willa was so sweet the whole day and I just kept imagining her with a thought bubble over her head that said “I’m so excited but I have no idea why!!”

Which is another thing that’s in the parent code… throwing parties for your kids before the age when they’ll actually understand or remember it.  Listen, before I had kids, I was always like… why would anyone throw a party for a baby or take a toddler to Disneyland or a nice dinner that they’re not even going to remember TAKE ME INSTEAD.  But once I had kids, I got it.  It’s not necessarily about if they completely understand or will remember it or not, it’s more about them feeling joy in a moment.  And then as a parent, being able to witness that joy.  To see their faces light up and you can almost physically feel their excitement…. I basically black out with happiness.  It’s the freaking best.

That said…. Crosby + Willa, don’t expect a birthday party EVERY year.  Everything in moderation.  Is what the parent code says. I don’t make the rules.

I realize now that the strawberry sauce on the cake is a bit…. creepy.  Werps.
I feel this on a deep level.

Uncle Ben won the day with this unbelievably sweet dollhouse that he made with his own two man hands.  UB, any other gift you give Willa for the rest of her life is gonna suck.  Unless it’s a life-size version of this house. You did this to yourself.
Also, thank you for the greatest gift ever you da best spergy an merbles.
Happy Birthday, sweet Bill.  I will always love you, and leave you wild.

what’s your sleep marble number?

First of all, I just want to say thank you to everyone who commented on my revival post.  I swear on everything I own, Madewell purchases included, that one of my favorite parts of doing this is the feedback and conversations that come from it. So thank you. Kindness is real neat.

Ok, so! This is a topic that has come up a lot lately and I wanted some more people’s perspective on….

As a parent, what time do you go to bed?

Because I want to burgle you while you sleep.

Nah just kidding I’m too lazy for that.  But seriously, I’m curious about parent’s bedtime.  Because I’ve had a few conversations lately with Casey and friends… and the answers seem to lean heavily one way or the other.  What it seems is that parents typically fall into one of two camps; team sleep and team night owl.  Team sleep might not be the best name because let’s be honest we all WANT more sleep but some are more motivated to get it than others.  Team sleep goes to bed shortly after their kids.  Team night owl, not so much.

I fall pretty firmly into team night owl status.  Which means that most nights I stay up way later than I probably should. I’d say a typical night for me is going to bed around 11pm.  Sometimes much earlier, sometimes later.  But 11 is about the av.  (That’s average, for lazy people.  Who then end up spelling out average anyway. Twice.)

Sometimes people are shocked when I say that.  Other people are like, girl yes, same.  But it does seem to be a pretty divided sitch.  (That’s situation, for lazy people.  Who then end up spelling out situation anyway. Twice. Is this getting old yet?)

As I said, I’ve been talking to people about this a bit lately.  And the best way I can explain my stance is this… when my kids go to bed, I finally have a minute to myself.  That minute starts so late in the evening (Willa goes to bed at 7 and Crosby at 8, but he usually manages to snack/bathroom/iseeashadow/tuckmein/onemorestory/whydowehavebutts his way until at least 8:30.  At that point, as much as I love my kids, I am just like OK BIIIIIIIIYEEEEEEEE.  So when they are finally both down, I all of a sudden have time to myself and/or time with Casey.  And because that time doesn’t start until so late in the evening, I end up staying up later to just exist in the quiet of not having anything to do other than what I WANT (or sometimes need: I’m looking at you, laundry.) to do.  One netflix show turns into three, one hour of putzing around on my phone turns into blurry vision, one podcast about murder turns into needing to watch an episode of Friends to calm my nerves.  You know?

In addition to that, I also typically want to be physically left alone for a bit once both kids are finally down.  Sometimes, after Casey and I have finally succeeded the bedtime hustle, I’ll plop down on the couch and he’ll squish up next to me and put his hand on my leg or go in for a kiss and I’m all YOU BETTER DON’T.  I need at least 2 feet of personal space for at least the next 30 minutes.  Like I physically need to NOT be touched after being treated like human superglue all.day.long. by small humans and dogs and sometimes Casey if he’s lucky. (Heyo!) (Sorry to all the prudes.)

It’s like this.  It’s like I start the day with a certain level of emotional and physical… marbles.  (I don’t know? Let’s just go with it.)  And all day long I’m handing out these marbles.  You need a hug?  That’s one marble.  You’re having a tantrum and I’m trying to keep my cool?  That’s 15 marbles.  We’re taking family photos?  ALL THE MARBLES.  And in return, my people will often give me their marbles too (this is a terrible analogy and I’m just going to keep going).  But let’s be honest, as a parent of small children, we’re in more of a give/give situation than a give/take with our marbles.  So anyways, I’m giving and taking the marbles all day and by the end, I’m left with a pretty low marble count.  And sometimes I just don’t have much left to give and I what I really want to do is…. nothing.  I want to keep the few marbles I have left for myself.  And doing nothing feels real nice.  So I stay up later than I should to enjoy the nothingness.

This is sounding really dark, and it’s not supposed to!  Marbles!

But the thing of it is.  Even though I’m a team night owl, I still needs to get up at the crack of dawn with my little marble-grabbers.  (seriously, shawnna. think of a different object already.)  And sometimes yes, I’m tired.  Which is when team sleep (cough:casey:cough) is like, well then go to bed earlier ya dummy.  And I hear you, I really really do.  But for me, at this phase of my life, at this phase of my kids lives, staying up late is apparently more important to me than sleep is.  Does that make sense?  I feel like in order to recharge the batts, or re-fill my marble tank! I need a certain amount of nothing time during the day.  And sometimes the only time I can get it is between the hours of 9 and midnight.

All that said.  Am I crazy person?  Please don’t answer that.  Or answer it, but kindly.  And then bring me a cookie.

I’m honestly curious if other parents out there are team night owl?  Orrrr am I the only one sitting on the couch at 10:30 with half a sack of marbles?  Which then opens up the bigger question, is the sack of marbles half-empty or half-full?  UGH SORRY BYE.  #stoptryingtomakemarbleshappenitsnotgonnahappen

Thanks for reading! x


hi? hi. hello.

Oh, hey buddies!  Remember me?  Yes that’s right, me, in the middle.

Bad jokes, always.

It’s been a minute since I’ve blogged and I want to take some time to explain why.  I shared an extremely personal story almost a year ago on this here bloggo.  You know the one.  Or maybe you don’t.  Regardless, it was hard to move on from, blog-wise.  Real hard.  It shook me a bit, realizing that the words I share here are accessible to anyone.  And therefore, anyone is able to comment, or gossip, or make judgements on it.  Of course I knew that prior to that post, but it was pretty tough to deal with the emotional craziness of that particular post.  I love talking about my life, my kids, my thoughts.  But for the most part, what i talked about was kinda fluff.  When it comes to the issues that matter, I take them so very seriously.  Which is why I needed to take a knee after that post.  I tried to put out a few generic posts following that whole situation but it turned out that I wanted, or maybe needed, was to take some time to just…. be.  I also wanted to take some time to figure out what this blog would be, moving forward.  It was so light-hearted for the most part and then one story took it to a deeper level that I didn’t really intend for… but also don’t at all regret.

With all this said, I want to be clear that I have not been consumed with this.  I came to peace with the response to that post pretty quickly after it happened.  And honestly this past year has been one of the best.  But given that experience, I unintentionally needed to allow myself the time to just exist without sharing my thoughts with the world.  And by world, I mean the 12 people that read my blog.  (Winky face!  Waving emoji!  Wurt urp.)  I have sat down to blog probably 100 times over the past few months but have been at a loss for words.  (Who, me?)  I actually felt forced to do it every single time.  It didn’t feel natural or good.  I guess I just really needed some time to myself?

That said.  I’m sitting here now, and I am loving typing into my crappy laptop. (Until about 7 years ago I thought it was labtop, I swear I’m a smart person!)

This feels good!  I love this space.  I love sharing my stories and my opinions and thoughts with you all.  And getting the same from you in return!  Honestly, that’s my favorite part.  Feedback and interaction is the fricken best.  I feel like I’ve grown six extra skins of protectiveness and strength in the last year.  I credit my hiatus with providing me the ability to really figure out who I really am.  And you know what?  I’m pretty cool with me. I’m pretty cool with you all too. (Heart emoji! Fist bump emoji! Wurt urp.)

So.  What I’m trying to say is that I’m back.  I’m back?  I think?  I feel like I’m finally ready to get back on the train of sharing some crap.  If you’re reading, and interested, thank you for your patience and I’m so happy you’re still here with me!  I promise to provide more BS and more shitty dad jokes and musings on junk that really doesn’t matter but makes you feel things.  If you’re into that sorta stuff. But I’m also not going to shy away from the big issues.  Because this past year has taught me that I have many dimensions, interests, and opinions and I want to share ALL of that here.  I also want to share skincare recommendations and dinner recipes because GURLS (and my dad, stepdad, and casey. are there any other dudes here?) I have some good ones.

Thanks for being here, thanks for being a buddy, and thanks for your KINDNESS! xx (Poop emoji! Wine emoji! I love you all emoji!  WURT. URP.)


bundle.

Oh hi! Guys. It me. Casually strolling into here after a few months of rechargin the batts. Not like, the computer batts… my batts, like my internal battery, not actually batteries, not like double A’s, like…. oh never mind.

Honestly, it was nice to take a little break from spewing my words onto the interwebs. As much as I love writing and sharing, sometimes a girl just needs a minute. Ya feel?

So, what have I been up to, you ask? Well, the past few months have been spent bundling my children. Yes, bundling. *The act of putting shitloads of layers on before going outside.* Bundling up, then bundling down, then back up, then sideways, then upside down, then again, and more, and two more times, in that order, but backwards. If you have no idea what bundling is, then I hate you. (JK I love you and can I come visit?)

Ok ok, so I also watched this past season of the Bachelor, but other than that my winter has been spent bundling. Of course I might be exaggerating just a bit (who me?) but I seriously do feel like a large part of my life these days consists of getting my kids prepared to literally open the door and brave the elements. This is something we haven’t ever really had to deal with until this winter since Portland never got this cold and the few months that we lived here last winter we pretty much stuck to the skyways. If you have no idea what skyways are, then I hate you.  (JK I love you and can I come visit?) Our kids never had thick winter coats until this past year… and sweet baby jeezus they are a pain in my ass to deal with. (The coats, not my kids. Maybe.) Anyways, Crosby’s preschool is a half mile from our house and in the fall we’d walk 10 minutes to get there, easy-peasy. But since basically mid-October we’ve been driving because it’s just too cold. And it literally takes us 17 hours to bundle halfway, drive, get both kids out of the car, re-bundle, bring Crosby and Willa inside, drop Crosby off at his room, then take Willa back to the car, de-bundle, drive home, and throw all of our winter clothes into a pile and light them on fire and then go to Target to buy more winter clothes. What I’m trying to say, if it isn’t blatantly obvious is: wine me.

THAT SAID. It’s finally attempting to warm up around here and I find myself finally feeling slightly at home here? ::she says as breathes into a paper bag:: This winter has been a tough re-adjustment but it’s also made me appreciate my home and my sweet little family so very much. Our house….I’m still at the point in the relationship where it gives me the warm fuzzies. It just feels like a hug. And although the cabin fever is strong within it, this winter has meant lots of fun times with my family in our new home.

You’re like, what is this, a Lifetime movie?

So I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. So hi! To the 3 of you who are reading! How have you been?? What should we talk about??

PS my winter hands look like Voldemorts face.

PPS if you want to know what it looks like to be a Minnesotan… this is it. Chilling Coors Lite required.


now back to your regularly scheduled program.

It’s taken me a while to get my writing mojo back after the emotional hangover of my last few posts. But I do want to say thank you so very much to all of you who took the time to read my words and reach out… in both support and empathy.  I’m in awe of the beauty that comes from vulnerability.  Thank you thank you thank you for joining this important conversation.

But for the sake of my sanity, let’s switch gears for the moment. Because we have many other (less) important things to talk about.

1. First things first. I need this shirt in my life.

2. You guys. I’m stating the obvious here but whyyyy does it have to get dark so early? Every day I’m like, welp time to start making dinner. Oh wait… it’s 3:15.  I still have 5 hours of mom-ing left before winebedtime.

3. Along the same lines… the early darkness has me putting on sweatpants earlier and earlier these days. I’m lucky if I make it to 5pm without changing out of my “normal clothes” (hahahahaaaa) and into my comfies. I mean, jeans are basically formal wear at this point in life.

4. Does anyone have a recipe that calls for garlic stuffed olives, leftover white rice and hardened tortillas? Cuz that’s pretty much all that’s in my refrigerator right now.

5. Casey and I are planning a trip to Mexico in February. (It was one of my stipulations in agreeing to move back to this ice cube.) I’m leaning heavily towards Tulum but it’s rather pricey so we haven’t committed yet. Anyone been? Hotel recommendations? Excursion recommendations? Guacamole recommendations?

6. I shared this on instastories a while back, but in case you missed it, Crosby filled out a little questionnaire thing at preschool shortly after he started… and when asked what his favorite subject in school was, he said “hanging up my bag.” Obviously. I asked him the same question today after school and you’ll be happy to hear that he’s now moved on to “I really like snack time and when I raise my hand to get more snacks.” Watch out, Ivy League!

7. PSA of the day… I recently got a sample of Biossance face oil and I swear to you, it is pure magic. I’m kind of obsessed with skincare and have tried a LOT of products in my day (sorry bank account! and Casey.) and this one is in my top 5 of ever. So, you just go right on ahead and add it to your Christmas list. But only if you want your face to feel like a baby’s ass.

8. This is going to make me sound coconuts but what else is new. I do not know what color eyes my children have. I’m serious. They’re like… technicolor. I keep referring to them as “mutt eyes” and I probably should stop that? Anyways, I really don’t know how to figure it out. Is there an app for that?

9. We’re having our first Home Alone Christmas party this weekend! Our friends (Hi Laurie and Joe!) hosted one every year in Portland and now we’re carrying on/stealing the tradition. We’re serving lovely cheese pizza and Pepsi cocktails and I may or may not have recreated Kevin’s battle plan poster while the kids were napping yesterday. There’s literally no shame in my Home Alone game. I’ll take some photos and maybe post em here next week, if you’d care to see? …..Hello?

10. Embarrassing thing I’ve googled recently: is there a plural of Ivy League?


the aftermath.

Guys, this week has been tough. I’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions. I’ve had moments where I’ve been so very proud of myself for sharing my story and I’ve had moments where I wished I would have kept my mouth shut. It’s been hard, but not necessarily in the way that I thought it’d be. What I didn’t know going into this whole thing was that telling my story was actually going to be the easy part. The real courage, the real bravery, would come after.

For me, sharing my story was not about outing him. It was about me standing up for myself in a way that I wasn’t even capable of doing back then. It was about me sharing something so personal in hopes that it might resonate with someone else going through something similar. It was about showing people how truly rampant this behavior is in our culture. It was about showing my support to the women that have been brave enough to speak up and the ones who are still suffering in silence.

Unfortunately, vulnerability comes at a cost. Because what’s happened since I’ve shared has not been easy to deal with. I’ve willingly put myself in a position to be judged in the most personal way. There has been a lot of support yet a lot of silence. And within that silence lives gossip. I’ve made myself a target for rumors and assumptions and inaccuracies, and I’ve been hurt all over again.

What’s so ironic about this is that the guy from my original story, my “friend”, read my blog post and actually apologized to me. Sincerely apologized. He gave me what I needed from him now, because I spoke up. He took accountability for himself and his actions and commended me for my courage to tell my story. While I definitely don’t forgive his actions, I am choosing to believe that people can change. And yet, even after I got what I rightfully deserved from him, I’m still hurting. Not because of him but because of all the collateral damage that comes from sharing something so personal publicly.

I’d just like to say that if you’re reading this post, if you read my last two posts, and your first reaction was “omg gossip!! do you know who she’s talking about?? i have to find out!! who can i talk to who might know?!”…… INSTEAD of “wow, that is awful. i can’t believe this happens so often. we need this to stop. how can i show my support?”, then maybe you need to take a look in the mirror and take some accountability for your role in this culture. Because this is EXACTLY why women are afraid to speak up. For fear of judgement and gossip. Behind her back. To her face. To her family or her friends. And this is EXACTLY what needs to change. Our first response to hearing something like this should not be whispers behind the scenes, it should be conversations full of support, compassion and respect.

I am capable now of dealing with the aftermath. But I wasn’t back then. Just like so many other women.

I am not sorry that I told my story. I am at peace knowing that I’m a better person for what I did say rather than what I didn’t. I know that I have the empathy and freaking common sense to know how to react appropriately and compassionately to someone sharing something so intensely personal. And I know how to be a supportive human being. After everything, I feel like I am now able to accept that while the memory of my story still is one of violation and shame… I can move forward knowing that it is also a story of empowerment. I am stronger and smarter and more considerate because of this. I hope you are too.


#hertoo #himtoo

My last post was by far the most stressful and vulnerable thing I’ve ever written. Harder than any other post, paper, exam, college or job application I’ve ever completed. Never in my life have I second guessed myself as much as I did that day. I was literally shaking and sweating as I clicked the publish button. But the response that I received both online and behind the scenes has made me so very aware that I did the right thing.

It is absolutely crazy how many of us have such deeply disturbing stories to tell. Men and women of all ages are affected by this. Today a few friends have decided it’s their time to share. And I’m so very very proud of them. Solidarity, sisters and brothers.

There were also quite a few people who reached out to me but declined to have their stories posted publicly. And I deeply respect that. Because as important as it is to tell our stories, it’s just as important to remember that we don’t owe them to anyone.

#metoo #hertoo #himtoo

“In the summer before my senior year of college, I got a job working at the company where my dad worked at the time. It was a small medical device company and I was hired to assist the sales team. Sexual harassment was a huge part of the culture. Example- if the owner of the company liked my outfit one day he would ask me to stand up and spin around. And I would. But the worst offender, for me, was this guy Shad. I say “this guy”, but really he was a 30 something, recently divorced man with 3 daughters under the age of 6. He asked me inappropriate questions and made weird comments all the time. But the worst time was when I walked into the office that he shared with another guy and he said “Sometimes I just look at that little ass of yours and just think about what I could do with it.” And I just froze. The other guy in the office kind of made a comment about that not being ok to say and I mumbled something about feeling weird about turning around and walking out, to which Shad said “That’s ok, I like the front too.” I walked out and told my direct supervisor what had just happened. Nothing ever came of it, I don’t even think he ever even talked to Shad about it. My direct supervisor at the time was my dad. I also later told the owner of the company and our “HR” representative and they laughed and said he just liked me. I worked at that company for 5 years and I could tell you dozens (hundreds?) of other stories like this one.” – Katie

“A guy in my high school was mad at me for turning him down so he told everyone that we had sex at a party. We obviously didn’t, it was a lie. I spent a lot of time defending myself to other people but to him, I said nothing. And to this day people still believe him.” – Megan

“I was at a party with my friends and I started dancing with a cute guy when all of a sudden he aggressively stuck his hand down my pants. He just did it without saying anything. I pulled away and he started laughing and turned around and walked away. I didn’t even know his name but he still thought it was ok to do something like that. I found a friend and told him what happened and his response was that the guy was probably just drunk. So that was that.” – Anonymous

“Story #1: Senior in high school, New Year’s Eve. It’s me and my three high school besties. My friend had an older coworker at the restaurant she worked out who was throwing a party so we all went. His parents had a huge house, they were out of town, we could all crash there so nobody had to drive. We drank too much. I ended up crashing in a bed by myself. I woke up in the middle of the night, it was pitch black. I couldn’t see anything. But I could feel two strong arms holding me down against the bed, groping me, whispering to me to relax. I was afraid to scream, but somehow after a lot of effort I was able to get him off me. I never saw his face. I went out to the hall and ran down toward another bedroom door to find somebody I knew. I found my friend, shook her awake and told her we had to leave. We left the house, in the pitch black and drove back to my parents house. To this day I don’t even know what he looks like.

Story #2: It was 2008, one of my best friends from college was having a cocktail party. We all got dressed up and invited a handful of friends. This guy I knew from college showed up. I hadn’t seen him in years. I always felt uncomfortable around him, because he had asked me out a couple times in college and I just wasn’t into him, so I always felt like he held that against me. I said hi to him in passing when he arrived but mostly socialized with others at the party. It was late and many people had left the party by now but the few remaining people were having a drunken dance party in the living room, me included. Without even realizing he was near me, I felt someone firmly grab my hand and pull me into this room off the living room that had a futon in it. He closed the door and then threw me down on the bed and got on top of me. I yelled for him to get off me. He didn’t listen so I started yelling for my other friends at the party but the music was so loud nobody could hear me. Somehow adrenaline got me out of his hold and I ran out into the dance party and yelled to everyone “get him out.” I was crying. My girls knew something was up and within a minute he was out of the house. It was a long time before I saw him again. I feared I’d be out walking around Portland by myself and run into him. I had heard he lived in the pearl and I was sure I’d bump into him. I didn’t know what he would do or if he even thought what he did was wrong. But i remember it gave me comfort to think he was too drunk to remember what he did. I’ve told a handful of people this story, because we have a ton of mutual friends. About a year ago, he showed up at a mutual friend’s birthday at a bar. Instant adrenaline rush, eight years later. I promptly left. It pissed me off I was the one who had to leave while he got to stay and enjoy the celebration.” – Ashley

“My moms “favorite” story was being asked if she went down on a first date during a JOB interview.” – Anonymous

“I was visiting a college TA during his office hours and when I went to leave the room he blocked the door with his body and told me he could see up my skirt during class one time.  He asked me if I did that on purpose and then gave me the creepiest smile.  I tried to leave but he kept blocking the doorway until I told him I was going to scream.  I left his office and tried to never be alone with him again. But I never told anyone.” – Anonymous

“This middle aged man started watching me run in 6th grade and followed me everywhere and videotaped me all until I went to college. He would write me these crazy long letters. And come to my house. My parents were very involved but didn’t handle it like I wished. He told everyone he had a terminal illness (lie) so my mom felt sorry for him. He invited me to his house repeatedly and my dad went instead to try to reason with him. Didn’t work. My school got involved and he got banned from school property for a year but would show up at away meets, on my runs, at my house. Tell me he wanted to touch me. Lots of creepy stuff. He never touched me (thank god) but inflicted such emotional turmoil for me all throughout high school.” – Laura

“I was working at a bar and some drunk guys at one of my tables asked me to show them my boobs because they had a bet going on if they were real. I went and told my (male) manager who just laughed and asked me, ‘Well what did you tell them?’. I had to keep waiting on them all night and I’m embarrassed to say that I let them keep speaking to me that way. I needed the tips.” – Sarah

“When I was 9 years old, a known creep in my town cornered me and tried to get me to take my pants off. I was able to fight him off and get away. I’ve never told anyone.” – Anonymous

“I was 14 years old and out with a few friends. This guy that I thought was really cute was also there. As the night went on and everybody started to leave the guy I thought was cute asked if I wanted to go drive around, I said sure. Not long after that we parked somewhere and were just talking, when he leaned over to kiss me and start to go up my shirt. I told him I wasn’t ready. And he basically said that’s too bad. So I laid there and cried. When I got back to my friends house he look at me, laughed, and told me to have fun walking the next day. I was too embarrassed to tell anybody. I figured I had done something or said something to make him feel that’s what I wanted. I felt like it was my fault that this happened to me, so I kept quiet. ” – Anonymous

My heart goes out to you all.

And if you’re reading, I hope that these stories affect you in some way.  Whether it’s to tell your own story publicly or to someone you trust… or confront someone who has wronged you in the past or is still harassing you today… or to keep a dialogue open with your friends and family… But at the very least, I hope it opens people’s eyes to the fact that this is happening to women (and some men) daily.  There is something to be said for the silence that they keep.


#metoo

Like most women I know, I’ve experienced countless inappropriate situations with men. I’ve been groped, ogled, teased, ridiculed, and joked about.  I’ve been uncomfortable, embarrassed, judged and scared.  But nothing has been as disturbing as the times when my “friend” would take advantage of me.

Many many years ago, I was partying a lot with a big group of friends that included this guy.  We’d been close-ish for a couple of years… but I won’t go into further details about him here, as I don’t think this is the appropriate forum to call him out.  The parties were typically at someone’s house and we’d usually all stay up late drinking and then pass out wherever we could find a soft place to land.  Several times when this guy and I were at the same party, I’d go to bed and wake up at some point in the middle of the night to find him on top of me. Kissing, groping both under and over my clothes, asking for more… I’d have no real idea of how long he’d been there doing things to me.  I would tell him to stop.  He would eventually accept my refusal and stop his advances… at least as far as I know.  I guess unconsciousness was his thing.  And then we’d go to bed and wake up the next day and basically pretend nothing happened.

At least one or two other people witnessed this happening to me. And I know at least one other person who had a similar experience this guy.  But still, no real conversation ever happened to let him know that this was wrong.  In the years that have passed, my friends and I have talked about it and wondered why he was just… allowed… to do that.   What I’ve realized is that at the time, my instincts were absolutely telling me that what he was doing was wrong.  But I ignored them, because he was my “friend”.  And to make a big deal out of the situation might make me known as dramatic, or slutty, or worst of all… responsible.  Because that was the underlying thing, I felt more concerned about my role in the situation than his.  Like I should have done something different.  I shouldn’t have drank as much as I did or I shouldn’t have put myself in close enough proximity to him to allow that to happen.

I know better now.  I know that I didn’t ask for that to happen TO me.  And no matter how much I did or did not drink, it was certainly not an invitation for him to behave the way he did. One thing that I tell Crosby (and will eventually tell Willa when she’s older) all the time is “your body, your choice”.  Because I don’t want him to ever feel like he needs to do anything with or have anything done to his body without his consent.  AND I want him to understand that he has a responsibility to respect this right in others as well.  Nothing is owed to him because he’s a male.  In fact, nothing is owed to anyone, ever.  Consent needs to be given, not taken.  And that’s the biggest thing I think about when I replay those situations in my mind, there was absolutely no consent on my part.

Honestly, it’s taken me a while to build up the courage to write this.  I have thought about it for a while but wondered if my words would even matter, if they’d even be a drop in the bucket, especially given the gravity of some of the far-worse stories that women have shared.  But that’s the point of the #metoo movement, to take the power away from the people who have wronged us by speaking up, to tell our sisters that their stories matter, and to show them that they’re not alone.  There is power in numbers, and the magnitude of people who have come forward with their stories has proved that this number is a force to be reckoned with.


fulfilling my fall duties.

You’re like, oh great… more photos of leaves. And I know, I know. I feel like fall barfed all over my instagram feed lately. But I don’t even care because it’s just so pretty! And let’s be honest… if you don’t take a million pictures of the leaves changing, did it really happen?

I have to say that this is the first time in 9 months that I’ve thought Minnesota beats Portland. (My parents are probably cheering.) It is just so mother effing beautiful around here lately. I mean, yes the leaves changed in Portland and it was gorg, but it was also rainy and soggy at the same time. You can hardly build a cannonball-worthy leaf pile with sloppy leaves. Ya feel?

So yes… the fall status here is bananas beautiful right now. And I’m very aware of the fact that it will be over in about 7 seconds so I’ve been really enjoying the heck out of it. I’m taking any opportunity I can to shove my kids into patches of brightly lit leaves and force them to take pictures. As any good mother would do.

We have a giant tree (don’t ask me what kind, I’m no horticulturist.) in our front yard that’s weeping the most beautiful orange and red leaves. So yesterday I did my kiddos a solid and raked them into a pretty epic leaf pile. Crosby had it to himself for a bit while Willa finished her nap. He brought a few of his favorite Daniel Tiger stuffed animals into the pile with him and alternated between shouting “this is so fun!” and screaming “mama, where’s margaret and daniel!?!?!? they’re lost in the leafs!!!” Once Willa woke up, I put her in some snowpants (naturally) and plopped her in the pile too. She wasn’t quite as sold on the fun though, especially when Crosby would pummel her with handfuls of leaves. She’s seriously such a trooper, he can be such a dweeb to her sometimes.

Also worth mentioning? While the kids were playing in this gorgy pile of deceased foliage, my dog Gus was in the house getting into our food cupboard. Again. The first thing I saw when we walked into the house was a container of cocoa powder spilled all over the floor… which is obviously a real big no no for dogs. Even though it looked like he didn’t really eat much of it at all, he did have cocoa dust on his nose, so I knew that he had probably eaten at least a little bit. We’ve had to get Gus’s stomach pumped before and it’s not fun (or cheap) so I did a quick google search and found a DIY vomit inducing tutorial for dogs. (WHAT IS MY LIFE.) Anyways! Cutting to the chase, it worked. He hurled. He’s good. The cocoa powder is now up on the highest shelf in the universe.

And on that note! MOAR PIKCHURS OF LEAFS.

And here we have Willa’s progression into eff fall, in 3…2….1….

The rest of these pictures are from sweet Bill’s bday… in which we went to the park and she was like, meh.

Ok, now I’ll leaf you alone.

It’s just that the trees are so pretty, I could yellow bout it.

Orange you glad you’re still reading this?

Sorry.  Bye.


happy first birthday, baby lady.


My sweet Billy Molasses,

Today you are 1!  I know every parent says this… but how did this happen??  I truly cannot believe it.

This first year with you seems to have flown by. But at the same time, when I look back on all that’s happened over this last year, it seems like a whole dusty decade has passed. We’ve gone through a lot of stuff as a family in the last 365 days. A WHOLE lot. But absolutely nothing compares to the excitement and joy we’ve had in watching you grow into the amazing little 1-year-old you are today.

A few things about you right now… you are a mama’s girl.  !!!!! And for better or for worse, you would prefer it if I would hold you all.day.long.  That said, you do absolutely adore your papa and give him the sweetest smiles.  And you are obsessed with your big brother.  (Though he’s pretty tough on you sometimes. We’re working on it.)  Seriously, nobody makes you laugh harder than Crosby.  You love to be outside, you love to swing at the park, dance, clap and play peek-a-boo.  You love bath time, and splashing in the dogs water bowls, and climbing stairs.

You are so silly… and sensitive… and curious… and loving. But most of all (and I’m going to sound like a broken record here) you have the sweetest little soul. There’s no way I can explain your sweetness. You just bring such a warmth to our family. There are so many times a day that I stop and look at you and just think, “gah! you’re mine?! how did i get so lucky!!?” Seriously kid, you make me so happy.

If there is anything this past year has shown us, it’s that you are resilient and your life is destined to be full of adventure. There’s no doubt in my mind that you will do amazing things with your life.  I am just so proud to call you mine, and am so very excited to watch you grow. (But seriously, take your time because I’m scared of your teen years.)

I adore you, my sweet Willa. Thank you for being here with us, and for being your joyful and beautiful self.  Love you so much!