days that build me

{by John Blase, the beautiful due}

Vintage bathing suits

I went with them yesterday, ‘them’ being the three females in my life. Two of them, my daughters, needed swimsuits because, well, it’s summer. The third of ‘them’, also known as their mother, had warned me: you know they want buhkeeknees, right? I said I had heard that word several times of late but had always tried to change the subject. For example -

Daughter: Dad, I really really want a buhkeeknee.

Me: Sweet-girl, have you finished reading Rob Bell’s book yet?

Anyway, I went along yesterday, I felt it needed to be a father’s day on some level. So I stood in a store called Justice and leaned against a waiting-wall while three video screens assaulted my senses with some little tweener-boy trying to sing ‘Broken Hallelujah.’ I kid you not. As the poor kid butchered a classic I eyed my girls’ feet below the 3/4 dressing room door, feet I know well, toes I’ve counted, this little piggy and stuff like that. Their not-so-little-anymore feet skittered around accompanied by growing-girl giggles…

broken hallelujahs to my heart.

Our Lady of the Nighttime Park

{Original posted at Alphabet Junkie}

I am flying down the highway that Ralph and I used to travel, groggy with humidity and third-shift obligations, on our early ay emm returns from work.

The sunroof is open, my window down, and my elbow is propped up on the door. My hand, fingers slightly splayed, is upright and barely cupped into the streaming wind. The air is moist and near-cold. I imagine it splintering through my palms and wrists, crucifying me. Crucifying me to this mountain.

Sometimes I think the red clay taste of this place, the sting of fire ants on naked toes, will never leave me.


Photo Credit

Double lines, broad expanse of fields to my left, chicken houses and horse trailers and apologetic farms to my right.

A caution light, a sign with a large, stark black + and I swing into a right turn, slowing significantly. A pebbly road paved with what I’ve always referred to as ‘gravelcrete’ is seated between trees that could masquerade as rows of the blackest of monoliths if only their bumpy tops did not give them away. The sky above is still impossibly blue, even though the sun took its’ leave of the horizon two hours ago. It is strewn with bruised indigo clouds that don’t even pretend to be fluffy. They are as flat and as stretched as the road before me.


{by Ann Imig}

I just came from breakfast with my Fodder Father at his regular haunt—The Pancake House. We meet there often and each episode follows a similar script:

I drive in the parking lot to see his car already stowed in one of his three usual spaces, park my VW station wagon alongside his Ford sedan (he’s a labor arbitrator, he buys American).

Even when the waiting area is full, the proprietors wave me back “Your Dad’s waiting for you,” and I see him sitting with a cup of coffee, maybe working on the crossword with his reading glasses on, wearing a plaid flannel shirt or short-sleeved button down depending on the temperature. Regardless, he has his check book and a pen in the chest pocket.

After greeting me with a smile and a hug, he marvels over LTYM and this whole internet business. He inquires after my kids, my husband, or my girlfriends he’s known since we were actually girls, and then updates me with the latest casualties from The Saddies.

We often order the same thing; a half order of pecan pancakes and black coffee.

He peppers the rest of our conversation with not-so-quiet observations about other restaurant patrons:

“Is that baby Hindu or do you think that’s just a scab on its forehead.”

“I don’t want to ruin your breakfast, but I have one word for the toddler behind you: Drool.”

He relays moments from his recent work travels:

“These two guys behind me on the plane start singing—well, chanting–and so I ask them why are they chanting? Is it for fun? For religious purposes? What? And they say we just like to chant and I say great. Just what Madison needs! More chanting.”

Why having a toddler is like being at a frat party**

{by Brenna at Suburban Snapshots}

10. There are half-full, brightly-colored plastic cups on the floor in every room. Three are in the bathtub.

9. There’s always that one girl, bawling her eyes out in a corner.

8. It’s best not to assume that the person closest to you has any control over their digestive function.

7. You sneak off to the bathroom knowing that as soon as you sit down, someone’s going to start banging on the door.

6. Probably 80% of the stains on the furniture contain DNA.

5. You’ve got someone in your face at 3 a.m. looking for a drink.

4. There’s definitely going to be a fight.

3. You’re not sure whether anything you’re doing is right, you just hope it won’t get you arrested.

2. There are crumpled-up underpants everywhere.

Romeo and Juliet Live, Have Children, And Bicker About Laundry

{Originally posted on Goody Bastos}

Juliet: I thought you were going to take out the trash.

Romeo: It’s your turn for the trash, my week to bag the recyclables. Look at the chore wheel on the fridge, for Chrissakes.

Little Tybalt (looking up from his Legos): Mommy, Daddy swore!

Romeo: A greater power than we can contradict hath thwarted our intents to be the best husband and father, I’m sorry, Little Tybalt. It’s just that Mommy and Daddy have been through a lot.

Juliet: I’ll say. There was a plague on both our houses.

Little Tybalt: Hunh? What’s Mom talking about?

Juliet: Never mind. Why don’t you go play Wii?
(Little Tybalt takes his Legos and sulks off)

Juliet (reminiscing while drying the Ikea china): Remember how in love we were?

Romeo: Do I! It seemed to me you were a rich jewel upon the cheek of night.

Juliet: It seemed to me that parting was such sweet sorrow, and now I can’t wait for girl’s night out.

Romeo (slapping his palm to his forehead): O woe!

Juliet: What is it, honey?

Romeo: I forgot to take out the clothes from the washer. They’ll be all mildewy.

Juliet: Again? Didn’t I tell you not to forget to take them out of the washer? Little Tybalt’s gym clothes were in there and he needs them for gymnastics tomorrow. O woeful, woeful, woeful day! Most lamentable day. Most woeful day that ever, ever I did yet behold O day, O day, O day! O hateful day! Never was seen so black a day as this. O woeful day! O woeful day!

Carrie if you are reading this? I’m sorry. And also, your husband sounds totally hot.

{by Brittany from Barefoot Foodie}

I’ve been places, people.

I’ve seen things.

24 hours ago…I could not describe to you the inside of the room someone would need to go into to produce a sample to test to see if their vasectomy worked or not.

Now I can.

I didn’t start out there. I started out in the car. With three kids. Eating donuts and waiting for daddy to come out.

But, he was taking forever. The natives were restless.

So we went inside.

All of us.

And, after I out-mean faced the lady at the desk (yeah lady, I do have all three kids with me, here, in the hallway of jack-off rooms, I’ve had a morning, get off my shit) she gave me his room number, and we crept down to Collection Room B.

It was quiet. I don’t know what I expected. Moans maybe? Lots of shifting around?


tap. tap. tap.

Me: Hunny, listen, are you done yet because we still have to go to the party store?


Me: Right, no rush, but the boys are getting super restless. Oh, and we went through Tim Horton’s and got donuts, we saved you some, they are in the car. I had a bagel, though. I think the cream cheese was bad, it smelled like vagina. *baby giggle, baby giggle* Oh listen hun, the baby is saying hi! Hi papa. Hi daddy. Hurry up papa, mama’s got a super busy day planned today, and she has to go to the party store to find some Jesus-y stuff for the Baptism.

Me: She is just adorable. I could eat her up. Yeah, so anyways, as soon as we are done here, I have to zoom over to order the cake and get some decorations. Do you think a crucifix pinata would be weird? I mean, I think the boys would have a good time with it, but is it tacky to beat Jesus on a Cross with an old broom stick handle? I feel super awkward about it.

How to deal with trolls

Social Media and Blogging Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally published on The Bloggess}
first appeared on Blog Nosh Magazine on September 28, 2008

Yesterday someone asked me how to deal with trolls and haters. I have no damn idea.

Trolls are just like you and me. Only shittier. Or more honest. Or likely to murder gypsies. Fuck, I don’t know. I’m not a mind reader. I don’t know the motivation of everyone reading your blog but what I do know is that in real life you come across assholes and weirdos and someone out there is selling computers to these people. People like the guy who left me this comment:

“I was right, you aren’t that hot. Damn.”

I didn’t mind that some stranger thought I was un-hot but what was disconcerting was that in the photo the guy was referring to? I was seven. And totally hot.

Or that comment I got on my I-invented-a-scooter/flame-thrower/cookie-warmer post which simply said:

“Your retarded.”

The Very Strange Day of Miranda P. Stick

Birth and Adoption Blog Nosh MagazineOriginally published on Anne Nahm
first appeared on Blog Nosh Magazine on July 18, 2008

Dear Diary,

I could tell the moment I woke up: Today was going to be a day like no other. The sun was shining and birds were chirping. I knew because guess what? My wrapping was open! I don’t think that’s ever happened before.

pregnancy test puppet annenahm

Free of my plastic restraints, I decided to call my BFF, Carmen. We went to the pool. It was pretty awesome. You can tell I totally need a tan. Give me a break – I’ve been sitting in a bathroom drawer for six months.

at the pool pregnancy test

Around noon, Carmen said we should order some drinks. So we did.

‘Til Death Do I Part

Personal_channel_button {Originally published at Mommy Pie.}
first appeared on Blog Nosh Magazine on June 26, 2008

I own three bridesmaid dresses. I’ve been to countless wedding ceremonies. I’ve happily purchased hundreds of dollars worth of gifts for my friends’ celebratory passages into traditional family life.

Most of those unions have lasted. Some have not.

With my 40th coming up in just a few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about about time, and fate, and the very different, and sometimes unexpected, paths our lives all take.

However I got here, this is my life. I embrace it wholeheartedly. And I wonder, where’s the ceremony for singles who have found in themselves the one they’ve been looking for all along? What about the ones who, for better or worse, never do marry another?

I’d like to think that someday I will find someone to have and to hold. I do hope so. (Especially after getting to know so many of you married mamas through your blogs.) But, what if I don’t? It doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Because I’m happy. I actually want what I have. And although occasionally, I do pine for little things here and there, in reality, I know all I need is family. No matter what shape it takes.

Hell, I may just wind up marrying myself.

I’d certainly never be accused of marrying for money. And there’s no one who’d love MP more. I’d never cheat on myself, and I’d never have to worry about divorce. I wouldn’t have a choice but to work through the hard times.

Not only would it symbolically celebrate my love affair with my daughter, it would serve as a reminder of my commitment to giving myself what I would give to a spouse. Love, time and respect.

I’ve got it all worked out.

Executed flawlessly. Because I’m a mind reader, I’d know exactly how I’d always imagined it. Definitely a story worth telling over and over.

And over.

Can you change a flat tire?

Religion and Philosophy Blog Nosh Magazine

{Originally published by Andrea at Lil-Kid-Things}

There are a few things that I think every woman should know how to do. Changing a flat tire is high on that list. I know how and thank God, because I have had to call upon this knowledge many times. I am certain that I have changed a tire on my own vehicle a minimum of 5 times and for a friend at least once. Is this normal? How do I keep getting flat tires? For the record, I haven’t had a flat in over a year, and the last one wasn’t really flat. The tire split somehow and therefore couldn’t hold air. Thankfully I was .01 second from a Jiffy Lube so they did the dirty work.

The reason I bring all of this up is because I was just sitting here drinking my coffee, enjoying the quiet nap period and thinking about how life forces you to learn things you never expected to learn and how that knowledge can follow you to many different places. In my case, I learned how to change a tire on the side of I-95 one Sunny (read:HOT) Sunday afternoon in August. It was 1997. In fact, I remember it vividly because it was the day Princess Diana died. I however, didn’t find that out until much later that night because I was in Drama-Land, USA.

It might be helpful to give you a bit of back-story. That summer I was separated from my then husband, Micah and living in Florida. It was Labor Day weekend and I needed to get the H out of dodge so I decided to head north for a visit with family. I stopped in to see my Grammy in North Florida and she gave me $100 for my trip. This in itself was really amazing and wonderful because I really didn’t have the money for a jaunt up the coast. But I think we all knew that I needed it. I am the type of person that needs to clear my head by driving. I don’t know why but it has always helped me to put my life in perspective and return with a plan. So, off I went.