23 December 2011

don't forget...

you're the biggest gift you can give to someone else.

i know i'm grateful as heck for you. merry days, you little sweethearts. xoxo.

21 December 2011


there are people out there who you might not know that well and you might not see them so often and you probably don't even know their circumstances yet - which is kind of my new word because i feel like we all need circumstances to carry along with us so we can explain ourselves away a little better straight-away, like those people who wear the goofy tees like i'm with stupid or like the girl in lillie's pe class who wears thongs with questions on them, which leads me to worry incessantly about her circumstances, but that's not a story for today. - but it all melts down in your heart to one thought: i like that person.

here's the thing about melissa. i like that person. and when she asked if i'd write a little something for her, i said yes. and then i did a crap job with the writing part.

but here's the thing about melissa. she told me it was perfect. that it made her heart flutter. and i believed her.

i like that person very much.

my gimme bar is so much fun. you can look at all of my gimmes if you click on that hot pink positive on my sidebar.

17 December 2011


did you have to read that twice? i did, too. but all of a sudden, it makes all the sense in the world.

although i think i'd replace success with happiness.

xoxo from me to you.

13 December 2011

last night...

mondays are tough, yes? i've never been able to fall in love with a monday.

until last night. when i treated her like friday.

we hit pause on homework and writing and studying bahasa indonesian. meandered through shops and didn't listen to the radio in the car and laughed lazily, as if we had all the time in the world together.

we all need unexpected nights like that. they're, like, rare birds that make you gasp when they fly by. finding twenty dollars at the bottom of your bag. the same feeling as a snow day, but better...because you chose it.

we strolled by santa and there was absolutely no line. esmé looked at me and asked if she could go talk to him.

do you think he's the real one? she whispered.

if you feel it, you'll know. i reminded her.

i've always told them to trust their instincts. that believing is so much more wonderful than the alternative. and that santa can't be everywhere at once, so he pops in to malls every so often, serendipitously and luckily for us. and so if we see him and our heart starts to race a little, swell a lot, maybe our eyes water a little? that's him.

anyway. she met santa last night.

later, i was holding her before she fell asleep. someday, i'll be able to do this myself, she told me, kind of in apology.

no rush. no rush at all.

12 December 2011


my mom called late last week. we talked about when she'd get here for the holidays and i tried to convince her to come even earlier and leave way later. like, the day after never. and then she mentioned her mammogram...and...well...how she has to go back.

i just filled up two paragraphs with panic. but there's no need stating the obvious, is there? delete that. instead, i'll tell you something else.

when the girlies three came home from school, i asked them to be extra nice to each other. kindness brings good luck, i think. and then i told them about their grammy and how she needs a little bit of it.

grae - and before i tell you her diagnosis, please remember that she has watched every gross emergency room-ish show on telly, so she clearly is coming at this with a massive yet surprisingly worthless degree of knowledge - is convinced that this little blip has been caused by stress, and promptly vowed to slit the throats of anyone responsible for said stress thrown at her grammy.

i knew she'd make a great physician, but this violent streak makes me wonder if she wouldn't be better off in the mafia.

esmé followed me around for at least ten minutes after she heard the news. oh, great, she said. now you're not going to have a mom. you already don't have a dad or a lin...and with your mom gone, too...you won't have anyone.

i tried listing all the people i do have left and - let's not get ahead of ourselves, esmé! - reminding her that they just want my mom to come back and re-check something that didn't look quite right. that certainly doesn't mean the end, esmé!

but she just looked at me like what are we gonna do, mom? this is life. we're all dying.

note to self: never ever do not ever allow that kid to be a hostage negotiator.

but lillie. that one breaks my heart. as soon as she heard, it was like all her lights went out. just like that.

will she be okay? she asked two days later, with a serious absence of chandelier.

yes, grae answered, definitively.

and she should know. this is nothing compared to the guy with the golf club stuck through his head. even though it feels like everything.

08 December 2011


a good reminder for fighty, peeved little old me.

this shall include but is not limited to moods, eff words, and combative parenting skills. of which i have an abundance.

teasing. i just liked the image. and you. xoxo. also, this is the question, isn't it?

07 December 2011

i'll probably regret this one...

so. last night, lillie's science teacher sends out a class mail. something about people talking too much and not listening to her and could the parents please reinforce zipping it in her class and she'd greatly appreciate it.

i asked lillie about it, and she looked a little confused. the only person i talk to is my teacher...and...maybe the kids around me. but we were taking a test today and i used up all the time in class and i didn't really get a chance to talk to anyone.

i see. so i wrote a little note in return, saying that i was sure lillie was one of the chatters. and, for that, my apologies. that lillie will do her best to zip it. but that what really was important to me is how lill's been studying like a fiend and how self-motivated she's grown and how interested she is. heavy emphasis on interested. and that i hope she's enjoying lillie as much as we do.

lillie read the note over my shoulder. i swear, her chandelier smile would've lit a path from my house to yours. swear.

really? she asked. thank you, mom.

i told her not to let anyone else write her about section. ever. i don't think she understood that at all, but you will, yes?

so the teacher wrote back this morning. said that lillie was, indeed, a too-much talker. that, while lill is a joy to have in class and while she is proud of lill's efforts and interest, she's not a fan of lillie's love for the side conversation.

agreed, i wrote back. a million times over. that we'll work on the chatting, but that i'm quite sure her love of interacting with everyone is a brilliant skill that will come in handy someday. it seems i only need to be concerned with getting her past seventh grade science.

i'm not having it. i couldn't help but push back a little.

all these kids...they're all the same. they're either little hoochie-mamas with low-cut shirts and even lower values, or else they're - as lillie and grae call them - chihuahuas. the kinds of girls who start shaking when anyone even looks at them. the kinds of girls who would never dare talk in class, not to mention stand up for themselves or anyone else. it's painful to me, these girls growing up too, too fast and these chihuahuas.

sometimes i cringe that i have great danes. grae, sometimes, is more pitbull. but that is another story.

which took place the other night at swimming. the team was stretching out by the side of the pool, and one of the girls asked my two why their fins were shorter than everyone else's. before they could answer that they're training fins and much more difficult to use than the longer ones, another little girl piped up and answered for them.

because their parents can't afford the real fins.

as soon as grae told me...well...to make a long story short, i fuh-reaked. so mad i can't even explain it. and then i made it quite clear to her gross and useless father that his child was completely inappropriate and crude. he replied with those fated words - that doesn't sound like my daughter - but that he'd talk to her.

i may have replied be sure you do before i give gracie permission to respond.

and then i flamed uncle sugar. there were a lot of effs involved in that text. and that charmer of mine replied why would you ever care about people like that? that's so unlike you. and if grae can't handle this, she needs to turn in her man card.

i love that guy.

i've come to the realization that i'm a pretty chill person. until it comes to my girlies three. i am beyond disinterested in making people who blend in. who follow. who listen to how others define them and change their definition accordingly. who don't enjoy life, but are scared to death of it. who can't enjoy like heck the person sitting next to them, no matter where in the world they may be sitting. and it seems that i will fight like a dog to make sure that all doesn't happen.

this is probably a problem, but asking me to change is like...asking lill to keep quiet in science. which, i hate to tell you, is probably not going to happen.

images i loved on b for bonnie. and there. i feel better now. thanks for listening.

29 November 2011


i'm so quiet these days, but writing so much more than usual, which is a lot, and none of it's on mackin ink. that feels both funny and as it should be. i seriously need to reinvent this space...i'm thinking that will happen once i move, yes? say yes.

from seriously legal docs to influencing missives to did i really just write that responses to a little mail sent two floors down to my patrick...everything i'm writing these days seems pretty important. like, making little dents in my world important.

i like being a writer. i like being able to write. because on days like this after a few days like that, i see it so clearly: life is all about language, isn't it?

and here i was just telling someone this weekend that i'd love to be a nurse.

grae-rose, however, will someday be a trauma surgeon. that kid is cold as ice. it cracks us up when she offers her medical opinion at the oddest moments. pat fake-earnestly comments "yes. because gracie is a doctor. she's seen every episode of trauma in the ER, you know. plus, 800 pounds and having a baby." as lillie would say, "good lord, gracie" complete with her eye roll. in other news, lillie is charming the pants off me and pat. her english project was one of the most beautiful things i've ever seen...a three-d map of the world with stories about all the places she's seen and lived. it was heart-stopping for me and reinforced why we move around. i always go back to what uncle sugar said when he proposed: "...and we'll have babies and live all over the world so that they understand america's place in it and love her all the more for it." yes to that. and esmé. oh esmé. the other day, i was particularly nice and she looked at me particularly nicely and said "you remind me of your dad." i gasped and said "you never knew my dad." and she smiled with this wisdom and like i knew nothing at all and answered "oh yes i did." these girlies of mine...good lord, right? i want this.

23 November 2011


i was writing last night while the girlies were watching x-factor, and i kept reminding them not to fall asleep until josh krajcik performed.

tell me when he's on, i must've yelled ten times.

i could feel esmé rolling her eyes. you're just gonna cry, she warned.

i did. he sang wild horses, which is one of my favorite favorites ever. and explaining it to esmé what it meant in words she could understand...well. if you want meaningful things to mean even more, explain them in simple terms.

couldn't drag me away...damn if i don't feel that way every time i look at this little family of mine.

spending the week with friends and lovely traditions and there might even be a day or two when i lounge at the kitchen island and watch uncle sugar make magic. kidding about the might part. also about the day or two part. it's a four-day weekend, after all, and our fridge is stocked with some pretty brilliant ingredients! xoxo.

17 November 2011


esmé would wholeheartedly agree with this. i would, too, but not remotely in the same way.

potato, potato.


15 November 2011

a test...

at some point last night, lillie stopped studying with me for her science exam. which is exactly when grae took over.

it must've been when i ran downstairs to chat with uncle sugar, who was writing a practice essay in bahasa indonesian about...hold me, friends...housemaids. specifically, the hiring of them.

ok. daydream done.

we heard them laughing their heads off for over an hour, and kind of smiled at each other. our lillie and grae and their little sidekick, too, who honestly knows next-to-nothing about diffusion and meiosis and cytokinesis. trust me.

there's a bit of a problem in that all of grae's study prompts begin with a fat kid trying to stuff himself through the door. or cell membrane, as it were. also, the fat kid has an indistinguishable accent; a startlingly gross mix of uneducated, dull, and cockney, if you can imagine. so when lillie gets ready to write out a definition or process, she clears her throat first. kind of like a bad muppet.

lillie may not get an A today, but i guess pat and i are fine with that.

actually, we're more than fine with that.

14 November 2011


do you know how long it takes to tell someone you love them?

whisper that you're sure they hung the moon and stuck on all the stars in perfect pattern? that the sight of them, the sound of them, the sweet smell of them...causes your heart to stop whatever it's doing - no matter how important that doing may be - dropping beats like mad and completely forgetting about everything else except one thing.

zero time. so little time that you can't even find it on a clock. you've got to find it in your heart.

last night, esmé and i were reading. her, this. me, this.

by the way. i write down genius lines from genius books to see what it feels like to write genius lines in genius books. do you ever do that? in this case, i wrote: he forgets that he was someone's dream once, himself.

we shouldn't forget that, should we. it would probably make us a lot nicer to the people who've chosen to be around us. and who keep on choosing us, yes?

so out of the blue, i hear esmé say i love you.

and i smiled so hard. she fills silence with love. check.

i love you, too, mémé, i answered back.

and here's where i know she's going to skate through life with a smile. ooh, she grinned. i was actually talking to wemberly.

and then we both laughed while i stumbled to pick up all my fallen beats. because we both knew she wasn't.

11 November 2011

it's been said...

and i've been agreeing more and more. it's a nice way to live, i think. my girlies three agree.

i was going to post this bit of insight instead, but i wanted something more thoughtful and good for the world to sit here all weekend. not that...oh, never mind.

also, I MISS YOU! all caps means it's for real.

catch you next week, you little sweethearts. xoxo.

04 November 2011

backyard bill...

still killing it. family style.

for some reason, i've been using the words kickass and badass a lot lately. i think that's a sign that things are coming along quite nicely.

in other news, my sister wrote me a mail this morning that made my day. it read, in part, "if you ever killed someone, i'd go on dateline and say you didn't do it."

i hope you have someone who'd lie like that for you. i seriously do. xoxo and have a badass weekend, you little kickass sweethearts.

03 November 2011


don't you? say yes...

01 November 2011


esmé's teacher told the class that they could only eat one piece of candy last night. that she'd know whether they had more. you should've seen esmé's smile fade.

she had three. but she didn't enjoy the second and third pieces at all. and this morning, she asked me to look in her eyes and tell me if she looked cracky-crazy. tell the truth, mom. she ordered. super worried.

i'm so tempted to tell her she's allergic to reese's peanut butter cups so that they can all belong to me.

{it very much reminds me of my mom telling me i was allergic to cigarettes, pot, cocaine, any other drug that could possibly come my way in college, and beer and wine and shots boys would someday want to buy me. also, probably premarital sex.}

my heart can't explain what a wonderful halloween we had, so i won't even try. all i will tell you is that i feel hungover-lucky today.

october is always a hard month. it's the month my sister died, and i feel her more as the season changes than any other time of the year. the trick or treating, the rainbow-colored trees, thanksgiving and christmas and new year's coming...it was all her.

the girlies laugh at me because my tears fall so easily this time of year. esmé says i feel sorry for everyone, but i think i just feel sorry for me. i am pretty selfish, you know.

or else maybe i just see what everyone else is enduring, too, and i can feel their feelings in my bones. i prefer that to the whole selfish thing. or maybe i don't.

my sister wrote me a note yesterday and said something about seeing lin in everything lately. she has so many stories that i don't know that i wish she'd start a blog just for me and the girlies three. she's a much better writer than i ever will be {and i am not just saying that. everyone who has read her words knows it like truth.}, but was also blessed with a big fat brain that eats numbers like candy, so she has a real job in chicago. i envy her. she probably envies me.

anyway. have i told you that she was the gracie to my sister lin's lillie? do you understand that? and i am clearly the esmé to them both.

so she wrote a line smack in the middle of a mail that is still killing me.

...when life was good and simple and lin used to ride no-handed down the hill and bite off chunks of green apple and hand them to me mid-bicycle ride so i wouldn't break my capped front teeth.

and wow. if there was ever a definition of love - wild and easy and thoughtless in the most incredibly thoughtful way - to me, that would be it.

p.s. i only wrote today because she asked me to write today. see my gimme bar for photos.

28 October 2011

say yes...

nine thirty last night and lillie and i are two hours into studying for her science exam and only halfway to an a. she wanted me smack next to her and i already hate the day when she no longer wants that so i say yes.

but then she wanted me to make her a coffee. and i say no.

and then? i read this. forwarded it to pat.

and made her a coffee.

try to say yes loads and loads this weekend and make an overflow of good memories. i think it'll matter when we look back on all this, don't you? xoxo.

27 October 2011

three reasons why...

i decided to list three reasons why it's a very good day. already. just to drown out why it's probably not.

i made pad thai for dinner last night, and i'm still smiling about that this morning. you guys! you know i'm completely disinterested in dinner and also that i specialize in two ingredients or less! and the best part is that both grae and uncle sugar - my two chopped champions - gobbled. it. up. and both of them talked about it again this morning!

happy chair dance.

also in last night news, we went on a halloween errand and smiled the entire time. in party city. that is a feat.

we were standing in a sea of crabbing kids and parents, and lillie and grae were just quietly picking out vampire teeth and bloody gauze and deciding that, yes, grae did need the hockey mask and, no, lillie did not need the false eyelashes. hers are long enough, grae determined. and lillie was pleased. and esmé held my hand the entire time.

our smiles carried us out to the parking lot, where we saw the. most. adorable. grandma. in. the. entire. universe. i seriously melted a little and made a wish on a foggy star that i'd turn out just like that.

mmmm, lill murmured wonderfully. she looks like iris apfel.

my girl.

for the past two days, i've seen my sister in every beautiful moment that's come my way. it's strange and it makes me cough and smile brighter than i should.

it's in the kiss that esmé gives to lillie's belly with the wish that she has a gweat day. it's how lillie stops. just stops. when she sees how soulfully esmé draws these days. it's in the middle of a brawl over shoelaces with lill out-of-the-blue telling grae take 'em. they're shoelaces. i'd rather have you.

pat always asks me what i want. i love that he's still curious. but wish lists always make me a little sad, don't they? i feel like, write down everything you've lost so far under the heading things i've lost so far. and then cross out that heading and write in its place, my wish list.

same list, yes?

i tell my girls all the time that i'd trade every damn thing in this house for one more christmas with my sister. they look around and see a lot of stuff. and understand, i think.

there. three reasons why it's a very good day already. see above. all of which could also be replaced with three very lovely girls.

same list.

two additional things that make me happy: she is back and she is where she is supposed to be. xoxo.

25 October 2011

you're your mom...

if you ask lillie a question like where did you get that? or what is that? or even what's up lill? she'll sweetly and devilishly answer your mom! with a delightful mike ditka-esque accent.

public school is such a charming breeding ground for sketchy linguistics.

last night, we were writing a paper for lillie - a group effort requiring frequent breaks to see who can leap on one foot the farthest or shred a piece of paper with one ninja hi-yah! - and trying to memorize all the words to this. she had a bit of leftover neon pink frosting on her tank from the giant cupcake cake we'd made after lacrosse, and esmé asked what's that?

and there comes the chandelier smile. your mom!

i'd had it. got all frowny and muttered that doesn't even look like me, lillie.

esmé is picking up every little thing her big sisters do and say. sort of.

this morning when i asked what she was eating for breakfast, she whirled around and tried to hide her forkful of cupcake cake, pointed to me and yelled you're mom!

yes. that's more like it.

20 October 2011

notes to self...

i do not personally subscribe to this theory.

i've always forever believed in kissing whenever you feel like kissing. thank god i was so homely in middle school and no one took me up on it.

lillie and grae came home the other day just crawling up our front steps, doubled over with laughter. MOM! they called, snorting with giggles. LISTEN TO THIS!

it took ages, but they finally spilled the stories of a girl who wrote her boyfriend a love letter that included the phrase "i'm gonna make ur life miserable." he broke up with her ten minutes later.

and another sweet young thing who wrote anonymously to a boy she likes, "hey, babe. you looked sexy last night from the bushes outside of your house."

ummm. i'm going to teach a class, i think. how to write love letters that don't make the recipients hate you. or call the police. something like this.

i told the girlies to never ever not ever write a note to someone they like {and this should only happen in college, by the way} without running it by me for creative edits. they have no idea the goldmine they hit with me as their mom. i can't do much, but i can write about love. they'll appreciate this someday, i bet.

also, don't get me started on college applications. can i write their essays?

18 October 2011

my sister just sent me...

straight back to a time when i wasn't online for one single second during the day. not one.

i sat next to these two little things and arranged dollhouse furniture, watched mulan at least ten million times, and made picket signs for their barbies. it was the only way i'd let them play with barbies...if they were conscious barbies.

we stayed in our pajamas all day until five minutes before the very moment uncle sugar walked through the door. and we gasped the minute we saw him.

and then this little smidge came along.

i'm sometimes afraid that i'm not as good of a mom anymore. like, i'm really no longer that mom-on-the-floor. i write a lot. a lot a lot. and if i'm not writing, i worry about writing and being a better writer for my clients. i'm over-scheduled and disorganized in the most organized way and i stink at bedtimes unless bedtimes are yelling contests. because then i would win. and i'm not sure i remember often enough to gasp when uncle sugar walks through the door.

i should gasp when that boy walks through the door. i should.

i say it all the time, but life gets so in the way of life, doesn't it?

thank you, jeje, for sending my babies back to me. xoxo

17 October 2011


there's too much to tell you, which always overwhelms me to the point that i don't tell you a single thing of import.

i just spent the morning reading mails from a new faraway friend who's been sending me pics of her faraway home which may be mine, soon. not the exact home, but probably the same architecture and batik and lush gardens. i like beginning the week with a healthy dose of wanderlust.

i bought these and these for the girlies, plus a set of six shades of brown in the most velvety-soft pencils i've ever felt...so that lillie could do a self-portrait accurately. they like to draw before bedtime, and i am all about a few quiet moments before bedtime. that is usually just prior to the moments when i am screaming brush your teeth! and shush it, lillie!

last night, lillie was making - what are they called? - an acrostic? where you write your name and then describe yourself with words beginning with all of the letters in your name? of course, she began with lovely. it's true. and then...well, then...

grae walked by and asked, "what's incedible?" {pronounced in-seed-able, fyi.}

lillie rolled her eyes and corrected with disdain, "incredible."

grae shook her head and suggested a dictionary. plus maybe an r. because as it stood, lill was incedible.

uncle sugar is learning a new language, and is just at the beginning stages of speaking. he has a little vocabulary app on his iPad, which pronounces the words in a woman's voice. i WISH WISH WISH i could let you hear a recording of his first few words. so high-pitched and adorable that i still crack up when i remember it. he has since ditched the lady voice and learned a much...manlier...way of speaking bahasa indonesian.

esmé, as you know by now, is pretty effusive. and she says things like "i very want to go there." and "i very like that girl." things like that.

the other day, pat corrected her speech, which he rarely does. fwee and teef were just fine for ages because we both kind of feel that language, among other developmental things, are organic. they'll come when they come. or, at least, one of us still feels that way.

but on this day, he edited her. "it's i really want to go there or i very much want to go there. not i very want to go there."

i looked at him like he was crazypants. "why are you correcting her?" i wondered.

and he kind of snapped back "because i currently speak like a three year old in bahasa indonesian. and it's driving me insane."

poor thing. he's not really used to being anything less than incedible.

happy monday, you little sweethearts. i feel like it's already started well. hope i didn't just jinx it for us. oh! one more thing that made me laugh really hard this weekend. whenever pat sees something i've bought, either for dinner or for the house, and i'm unusually excited about it, he nods like he's supremely interested and then asks "did you get it at a garage sale?" gets me every time with its unexpected {insert proper synonym for jackass} quality, doesn't it? all photos from my gimme bar.

12 October 2011


this broke my heart into a million...

and then i thought of at least three people for whom the reverse is true. haven't seen them in three years, but it seems like a day. and i do not believe that to be a compliment. whoops.

is pinterest as much fun as my gimme bar? it just seems so...crowded..over there. and every time someone new follows me on my fake pinterest account, i make an eep face and feel bad that i've never dipped a toe into those waters. sigh. i do swim upstream. and it's giving me a headache. do you love pinteresting? should i try it? tell me tell me, please.

11 October 2011

she's open for business...

i really, genuinely like this girl. she's smart, well-read, kind beyond belief, and her blog is one of the prettiest - while being the coolest - around.

years ago...YEARS!...i begged her to open a shoppe and sell me one of her monkey prints. they didn't exactly exist at all, but they were three monkeys hanging from a chandelier at the tippy top of her blog, and i wanted a massive copy for my girlies three.

{this was when esmé was going through her monkey stage. much less to do with her antics and way more to do with the shape of her mouth and the way she walked.}

these lucite stamps are my fave. i'm buying three. so my monkeys can be a little more civilized.

enjoy her shop. and buy something. you'll get it in a little wooden keepsake box and you'll gasp and say something like "oh, karey was right. she is cool." you probably won't say the karey part, but you will be pleased. promise. xoxo.

10 October 2011

i am missing you...

that is pretty much all true, and the only real content of this post. life is getting in the way of me and you.

the girlies and i pushed pause a few times this weekend and cuddled in front of some movies while uncle sugar opened up an italian restaurant in our kitchen. instead of insidious, we watched bill cunningham new york. they were dubious at best as we watched the first few seconds, but then? they fell in love.

his is a good story. i like how he's lived it.

and then a revisit with babies. old news, but worthwhile to the max. i love to see which babies and from what corner of the world are my girlies' faves. {hint: they are not fans of the san fran family!}

are you watching anything good? reading anything better? i am in need of some inspiration. xoxo and happy week.

04 October 2011


there are weeks when i just want to hang with my girlies and listen to their every story and tell them all of mine and run three miles a day and think harder about dinner far earlier than, say, six thirty and read lucky peach cover to cover and research indonesia like mad and make tennis dates and not write a single word.

this is one of those weeks.

little things are happening here and there and in between. esmé rearranged lillie and grae's bedroom last night like a shop. there's a jewelry display, a shoe section with uggs and chucks and vans and cleats, a clear mascara bar, bags and totes...it's pretty amazing.

of course, the girls have some edits. they're not pleased with their under-britches on display and organized by color of polka dots. minor change.

you know what's been on my mind? i asked them to name their all-time favorite places to live. only one of them answered here. i thought about that all night, and probably over-thought it as i usually do.

is it too simplistic to believe that where you are right now should be your favorite place? and is it sad if it isn't? you know how i worry...

there are also weeks when all i want to do is wear low cut dresses. those weeks are fun, too.

30 September 2011

it's happening...

when i tell my girlies to stop doing something they may not necessarily want to stop doing, they usually have distinctly different responses.

lillie's is a scowl, raised eyebrows, and a no. i wish you could hear the way she says it. i would very much like to see if the sound of her no makes your insides all boiled.

grae has a different tactic. she plays the martyr. why?! i do everything around here. everything! be sure to pronounce everything with a six-syllable wail.

esmé's a little different. say that i tell her to stop painting her nails on the persian. she turns and looks at me with wide blues and a little o of a mouth and answers it's happening. like she's on a coaster and can't possibly stop.

no more brown sugar in your oats.

mom? it's happening.

do not crack that egg!

mommy! it's happening!

she turned six yesterday. she was convinced it would be the most magical day of her short little life, and we tried our best to make it so.

the pile of six presents were perfect. she stopped for a second before she opened them and told us she was so happy that we were her family. that she had the best parents in the world and the best sisters in the world and she was just...happy. really really really really happy. just...

ok, sally field. you may open your presents now.

my mom says that mémé really knows how to work the system. i find that funny. true, but funny. i mean, it's not like she's in prison, charming the warden for more mashed potatoes.

a few days earlier, uncle sugar measured her. he marked the wall about two inches short of her actual height. we measured her again on her birthday after cake, and she felt like a giant.

exactly how a freshly-six should feel.

the night before, i'd begged her not to fall asleep. i was dead serious, and i can't believe i was. the way my heart was skipping beats surprised even me.

i guess i couldn't bear the thought of her going to bed five. waking up six. even now, it still makes my stomach clench. like i'm on a coaster and can't possibly stop.

don't go to sleep yet, mémé, i begged. one more five-year old kiss.

mom, she murmured. it's happening.

i know it is.

images here. and i can't BELIEVE how sweet you were with your comments about our photos. like, i feel pink and at a loss for words and super awkward. you're nice. i hope someone gives you really good compliments this weekend. i'll start. your legs look skinny in those jeans. there. xoxo.

28 September 2011

one afternoon...

it was time for her to take pictures of the girlies three again. this time, she convinced me to smile for a few, too.

all she had to say was "the girlies will want pictures of you when they grow up..."

gulp. you know what that means.

anyway. here are a few.

grae's one year younger than lillie-kate, but a whole lot taller. do not mention this to lillie, please.

you know how i always talk about lillie's chandelier smile? here it is.

we kind of lost it there at the end, yes?

if you've never had professional photos taken of your family, i'd hella recommend it. you know me. i hate hate hate having my picture taken. hate. plus an extra hate. but beyond the obvious - that there should be some sort of record of you sharing some moments with your babes - hiring someone to meet you at a park or a museum or a nursery in full bloom {as we did} is a really fun experience.

bonus points if you can get amie to be your photographer. after every few shots, she'd review the photos and gasp. like, gleefully. like, she'd gotten us. i think she totally did. even though i hate photos of myself. did i mention that already? xo

27 September 2011


smack in the middle of buying a million for our last birthday girlie of the month. phrew.

in two days, she'll be six. or, as she likes to say it, half of my gracie.

i showed this to the girlies last night, and they're considering it for next year. i'm considering it for a random day in october.

nothing else is new, i guess. except that i stayed up with lillie kate until eleven last night, working on her application for america's got talent. she's not exactly sure of what her act will be. she just knows she has talent.

the introvert in me is dying a little. a lot a little.

but someday, in some interview, someone's going to ask her if her parents were supportive of her art. her craft. her talent.

and i want her to be able to say yes.

someone someday is also going to ask esmé about one of the worst mornings of her life. and she may remember this one. the day she dumped electric blue nail polish in the guest bath toilet. i smell like equal parts polish remover and irate. this is not my usual scent. sweet tuesday to you, you little sweethearts. xoxo.

22 September 2011


here is why i love my lillie kate.

she made a rocket ship for her science class. it may or may not work. but. she spray-painted it a glittery gold that ombrés into hot pink at its cute base. currently, i am trying my best to remove the swarovski crystals she hot-glued all over the thing.

because grae told her that swarovski crystals tend to affect a rocket ship's speed as well as the distance it can travel. both of which affect lillie's grade.

currently, esmé wears her nerd glasses everywhere. even to her kindergarten class pictures. she told me she pretends she can read way better in them. when i suggested she focus her energy on reading better and dropping the pretending, she stared at me blankly.

but at least she looked smart while doing so.

a big weekend's coming up for us, and i fear we're over-scheduled for the next few weeks and well into november. currently, my heart is racing with calendar-based issues. there are two hummingbirds that come into view on our back deck every day while i'm writing, though, and they remind me that as much and as fast as i'm trying to get things done? those hummingbirds put it all into perspective. i don't know how, exactly, but they just do. xoxo, you sweet things. catch you next week. yes, i'm pretending today's friday. you weren't supposed to notice that.

20 September 2011

in case you're wondering...

billionaire is much easier to get out of a persian carpet than, say, chancer. in my experience.

but, as the dental hygienist mentioned to esmé yesterday, chancer is pretty easy to pick from her teeth. when asked if she bites her nails, my girl smiled, shook her head, and brightly chirped "my sister, gracie, bites her nails and she is my role model and i do everything she does. except i do not like justin beaver."

speaking of my grae-girl, she turns a dozen tomorrow. did you just hear me sigh?

funny thing about my gracie. she is the queen of goodbyes. she must kiss me ten times before bed. yell out that she loves me as many times as soon as she's under her covers. she kisses me goodbye in the drop-off lane at school. when i'm headed out for a run. when i'm going to the grocery. before and after lacrosse. she kisses me goodbye in front of no one and in front of everyone and in front of anyone.

in case you're wondering, grae-rose's shy pink lip stain is very hard to remove from my cheeks. but, then, i've never really tried.

here and here.