Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I Don’t Know Where to Begin

April 28, 2017

Again.  But I feel the urge to use this space again.  Soon.



October 22, 2015


Motherhood has consumed me for the past ten years.  Two years of infertility, then finally-babies!, cloth diapers, breastfeeding, attachment parenting, healthy food for them, knitting for them, lather, rinse, repeat.  

I love my children so much.  So much.  But where am I?  I have been that baby mother for so long, but my last baby is growing up.  He’s two.  No longer a baby and into toddler and boyhood.  I must emerge from that baby den, too.  I love being a mother.  I love my family, but I want to grow, too.   

Where have I been hiding?  There wasn’t room to breathe outside of that mother-space when the babies were small.  When there was always another, either within my womb or just born, needing me constantly.  I decided to take a deep breath and make space for me.

But first, let’s go way back.  I didn’t take a lot of risks growing up. I didn’t make decisions. I wasn’t a leader. I was sheltered, overprotected. I lacked confidence. I didn’t believe I could do things. Didn’t experiment, didn’t take chances. I always worried about being wrong and making mistakes, about not knowing the answer.  If someone else could do things, I let them.  What was the point in my learning how?  I could just pretend.  I didn’t trust myself to figure it out.  Gave up before I even began.   

When I first started dating Jason, fifteen years ago, he took me camping for the first time.  I loved it.  We’ve been car campers ever since.  We have visited and camped in numerous national parks and Michigan State Parks, both just us together and then with our children.   I love getting away, into the woods.  

But the past few years I’ve been obsessed with trail memoirs.  Wild, Into the Wild, Grandma Gatewood, A Thru-Hiker’s Heart, Barefoot Sisters.  I started reading forums and blogs about backpacking and thru-hiking.  I started taking the kids on more hikes.  We worked ourselves up to 4 and 5 miles hikes, even Adelaide, my four year old.  We started keeping track of our miles on a family hike poster- they love keeping track of our progress!  Seeing deer, sandhill cranes and even snapping turtles cross our path, having chickadees eat out of our hand on the trail.  It’s so wonderful seeing them fall in love with nature.   To be mesmerized by the changing leaves or by the sunlight shining through the pine branches.  

We visited and camped at The Smoky Mountains this past June and hiked a very tiny portion of the Appalachian Trail on the bypass trail to Clingman’s Dome.  The AT, with its white blazes I had only read about in my trail books.  


 I wanted more.  I want to hike the AT.  The trail has been calling to me ever since.
I have no hiking friends, all my friends are mothers like me, whose free time is spent grocery shopping or showering alone, not hiking and sweating in the woods, so I randomly made a post on a Michigan hiking Facebook group and someone recommended SOLAR- an outdoor club that’s nearby, with a beginner backpacking course and a practical with a short local weekend trip at a state park, and a true backpacking trip to Picture Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula.  I was initially excited, but then inwardly scoffed and scolded myself for selfishly considering it.  How could I, a mother of three young kids, take a “night off” every week for a class, and then two weekends to backpack without my family?  Me, who had never even spent one night away from her kids except to birth siblings?  Me, who didn’t take risks?

I did it.  Jason pushed me out of the nest, assured me he would work out the childcare details, and I did it.  I carried everything I needed on my back and camped in the woods.  


I’m technically middle-aged, but I feel like parts of my life are just beginning.  There is so much to learn, so much to explore.  I am strong.  I want to prove it to myself.  I still hear the AT calling my name.  


Feeling the Pull

October 7, 2015

Feeling the pull to write again.  Something.  Here feels like a good spot.  Watch this space.

Babies don’t wait

August 23, 2014

The blog has been silent, but I’m feeling pulled to post this week. I am remembering where I was a year ago. A year ago, I was large, my belly rolling to one side as I crawled out of bed. Feeling heavy, hips aching, but loving my round, stretched belly.
At this very moment, I was surrounded by other mamas, being celebrated at my mother blessing. Hearing encouraging words, being given beads that were strung into a necklace to hold during labor, eating cucumbers and Mexican food, having my belly painted with henna. Thinking of the little one, moving in my womb.

A year ago tomorrow, I was harvesting the hops from our vine. Squeezing the blossoms in my fingers to make sure they were ready to be picked. Inhaling that delicious, prickly aroma.
This year, I have been checking on the hops these past few weeks, and they are ready to be plucked from the vines.

I am resistant to harvest them. Summer is ending. So is Hudson’s babyhood.

My last baby. A year ago, I didn’t realize I was mere days from his birth. I didn’t realize he was even a he.

I may have not been ready for his birth, but he certainly was. Two hours from contraction to final push and my last birth was over.

Hudson is our last baby. For the past eight years, we have been working on growing our family. Uncertain in the beginning if we could grow beyond the two of us, now, six years past the birth of our oldest, we know our family is complete with five. It’s hard to comprehend moving past the baby stage, but whether I acknowledge it or not, time moves on. Hudson is almost one. Quickly becoming a toddler. Laughing, playing with his sisters, cruising around on his chubby toes, vrooming cars across our hardwood floors. His gummy smile is being replaced with teeth.

It’s almost overwhelming. Where do I focus? Too soon, the cloth diapers will forever be replaced with underwear. One day in the too-near future, I will no longer nourish a child with milk my body has made.

Reveling in these last few days. Trying to take in the smell of his sweaty, baby head. Squeezing his chubby toes. He’s not one yet. Still a baby. Not quite ready to harvest those hops. Soon. Babies don’t wait.


Taking a Blog Break

January 1, 2013

So much to blog about. Our wonderful trip to Florida, Adelaide’s second birthday, all of our holiday and advent crafts, Christmas, New Years and more, but I’m taking a blog break. Not sure when or if I’ll be back.

All of the things to blog about hanging over my head stresses me out. I feel as though I won’t ever catch up, and I don’t like it. Going to spend my January living my life, connecting with my family and pouring myself back into our rhythm, which gets off beat when there is so much chaos over the holidays. Hope you have a wonderful time finding your rhythm again, as well. Perhaps I’ll miss the blog immensely, and feel it’s gentle pressure to do fun activities and give our days more structure, but perhaps I’ll not miss it at all. Only time will tell.

Xlear Review

December 4, 2012

With Christmas almost upon us, it’s the time for holiday goodies. Can we say sugar overload? We like homemade sweets as much as the next family, but sometimes a healthier option is in order.


When I was offered the chance to sample and review Xlear SparX candy with xylitol, a natural sweetener that’s actually good for your teeth, I jumped at it. Eleanore and I were surprised they were so fruity, sweet tasting and good! It is a true healthy indulgence I would not feel guilty about giving my children. They almost remind me of a healthier nerd-like candy– a childhood favorite of mine. Best of all, they contain no artificial color, which is something we’re avoiding in our family.

I’ve known about the company for a while, as both Eleanore and Adelaide love their bubble gum flavor children’s toothpaste, and now we all love their candy, too.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet SM (
program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Yogurt Starter Coupon Code from Cultures for Health!

January 18, 2012

My yogurt starter is still culturing on the counter, but I was just emailed this coupon code if anyone is in need of a culture to get started (and had failures trying to do it the “old school” way with store bought yogurt like I did). Use coupon code YOGURT through January 30 to get 20% off all yogurt starters at Cultures for Health! They have lots of different kinds ~ from thick yogurt, to thin and drinkable consistency, and many of them are serial-cultured, which means you won’t ever have to buy a starter again ~ you can use a little from your previous batch to start your next. They even have a vegan yogurt starter to use with non-dairy milks.

30 Days of Thankfulness Days 20-30

November 30, 2011

I’m bummed that I wasn’t able to keep up with my posts on a daily basis, but at least I’m ending the month with a post, I suppose.


20. I’m thankful for Eleanore, who is hilarious, just like her daddy.  It is so amazing watching her learn how things work and to witness that light bulb going off when she gets it, is inspiring.

21.  I’m thankful for our new homeschool co-op group that came over to have circle time and play today.

22..  I’m thankful for the library.  What a wonderful resource that we are blessed to be able to use.  Free books to check out, plus library story time, which Eleanore and now Adelaide both love.

23.  I’m thankful for Adelaide.  We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to have two children, but we are so lucky to have her in our family.  She just learned to clap and is so much fun. She absolutely loves to turn the pages in books, play with puzzles and her toys. Most of all, though, she loves her big sister. No one can get her to laugh like Eleanore can.

24.  I’m thankful for turkey, fresh from the farm and delicious oyster stuffing that reminds me of my Grandma, who always made oyster stuffing for Thanksgiving (which I never wanted to eat).

25.  I’m thankful for online shopping so I don’t have to deal with the crowds today and can stay home with my family.

26.  I’m thankful that Jason is home this weekend and we can all just bum around and hang out.

27.  I’m thankful that even though we’re all sick, that it’s nothing serious.

28.  I’m thankful for knitting and its ability to keep me sane.

29.  I’m thankful that Eleanore loves to craft.  She cut out and glued all the strips for our paper chain today and made her very first paper snowflake for our window in anticipation of the snow that’s coming!

30.  I’m thankful for our first snowfall!  Eleanore was beyond excited to see the snow all over the trees and the ground this morning.


30 things to be Thankful for in the month of November.  Sometimes we have to step outside of our worries and thoughts and find those things to be thankful for, but they’re always there to be appreciated.