30 December 2006

freshman 15

Oh, and speaking of addictions...

(You'll have to forgive, but I'm on a roll. I can't stop now! Let's see how many more posts I can write between now and tomorrow night... Besides, no matter how great the show is, I just can't end the year on Grey's Anatomy... although I (unlike you, sorry) know where this is going, and I DEFINITELY can't end here either... how trite! I digress.)

So, what I was going to say is that I have another addiction: an addiction to food (especially sweet food) that has spiraled out of control.
It was easier to ignore when I was pudgy and pregnant and even while I was bountiful and breastfeeding. But now... it's just not becoming. For whatever reason (perhaps because it is the 30th of December) my mirrors have started working properly again. What a mess!

I can just hear some of you now, "NO, not YOU, Abi!!"

Rrrrrriiiiiiiggggghhhhtttttt... fibbers!

I don't have to be thunderous and thick just because I'm thirty. I can be thin... Oh who am I kidding, no I can't!!! Scratch that... I can be... I can be... (I'm trying to think of another "t-h" adjective, but the perfect one eludes me... ah well). You know what I mean.

Just because I'm a mom in my thirties doesn't mean I have to let myself go, hack off my hair, hike up my jeans over my paunch belly, trade in the keys of my truck for those of a minivan and throw a denim potato sack over my swollen self for those "special" occasions. I can still be cute. I can be toned. I can be chiseled.
Heck, I can be svelte.

(Oh dear, I feel a Bridget Jones style, early midlife, pathetically banal resolution coming on...)

Sadly, my reflection reveals that I found the freshman 15 I once lost (except that it's 20, not 15, and I'm 30, not 18). There is NO excuse. The simple law of gravity indicate that it is no longer appropriate to eat three bowls (troughs) of ice cream just because the carton says "cookies and cream" and "light." There are plenty of women with more kids, more responsibilities and far less time than me, who have it together and have found the balance.

I hesitate to continue writing, because the next time you see me with a triple cheeseburger in one hand and a double chocolate milkshake in the other (OK, I'm being dramatic), you'll have my number. But you know what, that's probably a good thing.

I'm unnecessarily chubby, and I'm tired of carrying around the weight of an extra toddler. I only signed up for two kids!
I need to grow a dose of will-power, and I need some accountability! Not sure what it is going to look like, but enough is enough. Suggestions? I'd love to hear them.

Alright. I'm going to find something to eat (kidding!).

a new addiction... great

Grey's Anatomy. Do you watch this show? I didn't. In fact, in spite of the hype, the reviews, the recommendations... the craze, I remember saying to a friend a while back, "Who has time to watch television for a whole hour - on a Sunday night,
no less - about a bunch of characters that aren't even real?"

"How good could it be, anyway?!?" I wondered.

through the genius of Netflix and TV on DVD, I sat for not one, but three uninterrupted hours last night (until 2 a.m.) glued to my television to find out how the first season ended. Yeah, it's that good.

I LOVE THIS SHOW. I'm totally, thoroughly, crazily and completely hooked! I love the characters, love the cast, love the story lines and the scrubs, love the medical jargon and the operating tables, love the guy top row, far right... LOVE IT.

When I went to bed last night, I was horrified. Not that it was after two and I was just getting in bed, but that Dr. McDreamy is married?!?!?!? And, it will be at least Tuesday before I get the next disc in the series (like I'm going to have time to sit and watch for another three hours on Tuesday!!!).

This is not good. I'm seriously considering sacrificing more sleep to forge through Season Two, so I can jump on the Thursday night bandwagon. Even worse, I've dedicated an entire post - potentially the last of the year - to a TV show.

Yeah, it's THAT good.

28 December 2006

the list

Oprah has hers. Dave has one too. Barbara... yep, she's got one along with People and Time magazines, YouTube, MarketWatch, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, MTV, VH-1 and a whole host of other folks out there. You know what I'm talking about... the lists. The best of... The year end... The most fascinating... The lists.

OF COURSE I have to have one too! A wee bit self-indulgent? Aye. Fun to think about and definitely worth proceeding? Aye.

So, without further ado, it's the moment you've waited for all year long... I give you, "My Favorite, Most Interesting, Most Important, Top 10 Posts of 2006."

10. its fun. its free. Yes, this about sums it up for Paul and me.

9. beautiful. What an amazing evening. Although so much has changed and we have each traveled so far from that night, it was monumental in my life. I will love these women until I die. I will never forget that night.

8. His response. I asked. He answered.

7. ambition. OK, I was mad and turned the drama on. Forgive. Nevertheless, the emotions were real and the feedback was too. I allowed myself to feel and speak the fire inside without squelching it. That was huge.

6. marathon... and it was! This post was the culmination of a six-month, life-changing journey. I had to deal with the next day, with the disappointment of finishing short of my goal, with the exhilaration of the finish line...

5. british virgin islands '06. Paul and I chose to put the family on hold for six days to invest in our marriage. It was probably the best decision we made in 2006.

4. indignant. I was blown away by the response I received from my 20 minutes of lamenting. Shocked, acutally. To witness and hear about the conversations sparked, the questions asked, the behaviors altered, the lives impacted by something I wrote... wow.

3. secrets revealed. This was just fun. I can't remember laughing so hard - out loud - literally to the point of tears... at myself. Truth-be-told, I struggled at first to so flippantly admit and expose the naked truth that I'M NOT PERFECT (don't tell anyone). In the end, this post was liberating, constructive... and funny! (oh yeah, and I'm still working on the basement - wink, wink - I'll keep you posted).

2. water. I was pretty insecure about publishing this story once it was written. This was me - the vulnerable writer - putting my stuff out there for anyone and everyone to see. Surprisingly, it felt good. I loved this story. I was so pleased to have found words to capture the thrill of that morning in my life. I grew as writer and person with the challenge of sharing an experience that was so precious...

... and finally the pinnacle of the 70+ posts I wrote on my blogs this year...

1. the middle. This is the post that started this ever-important journey for me. I actually began something - even though the foundation had not been laid, the circumstances were not ideal and I had no idea where I was going. This "middle" was the beginning of something that has already blessed me a thousand times. This is one of the most important things I have ever written - by far the most important thing I wrote this year.

And that's it. Thank you for joining me on this wonderful ride. As this year closes, I hope that you will also take the plunge - do that thing you have been waiting to do. I have learned a most valuable lesson this year - that "the perfect" time or opportunity is... isn't. Too many times we let life pass us by while we're waiting for that magical something - only to find out that it was nothing after all. Why wait? Just Start.

I wish you all the best for the last few moments of 2006 and even more for 2007. Happy New Year!!

part deux

Our local weatherpersons have died and gone to Weatherpersons' Heaven. It's snowing... AGAIN. As my husband would put it, "We've got some accumulation, people!!"

A handful of flight have been canceled, a few roads have been temporarily closed, and perpetual "Winter Storm" breaking news stories continue to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming. For the second time in less than two weeks, we're up to our knees in powder... whoopie!

24 December 2006


Although snowflakes are falling, the soul-warming smell of Christmas is in the air, lights twinkle up and down my snow-packed street, burning behind me is the perfectly cozy fire and dozens of colorful boxes are piled high beneath our tree... although the shopping is done, the cards have been sent, the presents are wrapped and the kiddos are nestled all snug in their beds... somewhere down deep, I feel sad.

"Look at the people to your right and your left. Think about the people in your life for whom you are most thankful," Michael encouraged earlier today.

The glaring reality for me in that moment was that there was an empty chair to my left and an empty chair to my right. As my children colored and played in the nursery down the hall and my husband chauffeured last-minute travelers around town, I sat in service alone.

"He has no boundaries... he works too much... I'm trying to understand, but frankly, I'm pissed..." my anger erupted inside, spilled down my face and landed beneath me in a pool of disappointment.
Arise, O God, plead Your own cause...

Paula, Niki, Kristi, Wendy... Paul, Maya, Cole... Mom, Dad, Tolu, Folayo... quickly I scribbled the first names that came to mind as more names flooded my heart and overflowed onto the little piece of paper in my lap... Karen, Dick, Liz, David, Jason, Ava... Lauren, Leah, Juli, Sara, Lib, Vic... on and on and on.

We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near...

Indeed. In that moment and this one, I am bummed. Yet, somewhere even deeper, I feel full. It's not the season or the presents. It's not the cozy fire,
the crisp air or the warm home. It's really isn't even the the family or the friends. It is You.

So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

16 December 2006

most wonderful

There is that day near the end of November when the shift occurs. Seemingly in an instant, the air turns crisp and smells delicious. Days last a moment, then are quickly covered by the thick blanket of night. The pace of life quickens to an eventual dash for the season's end.

I love this time of year because I can't help but to pause... often. I remember and think about the people in my life - the people that I love and even those that I don't. Invariably I assume a somber, contemplative posture and reflect on the past - about the good, the bad, about the life lessons I can leave behind and those I can take into the future.

I remember my Father and his Son... I think about that night, that life. The woman and her husband. Without fail I am thankful.

04 December 2006


Yesteday, I marveled at the beauty of birth.
I watched a child breathe her first breath.
Tonight, I have been leveled to my knees as I wonder at the brevity and uncertainty of life.
I feel sad and small and broken.

Today, an american soldier fell. The son of my sister in Christ died in Iraq. As he shed blood thousands of miles away, a mother down the street and near my heart lost her son. Two children lost their brother and a young bride lost her bridegroom.

Today, as one daughter's life began, a son's life ended.

Tonight my heart leaps for one family and bleeds for another. Each life so precious, so signficant, yet small. I feel happy and sad. So, so sad.

03 December 2006

a breath of heaven

Today, at 2:05 p.m., Morgan Elizabeth was born in Lafayette, Colorado. I was blessed with the honor of supporting and walking beside her parents through 14 of the 19 hours they labored. This afternoon, I received a grand reward for my part in their journey - I watched her life begin.

Oh, I am overwhelmed. I am humbled and in complete awe. Never, have I witnessed anything more beautiful than the miracle of childbirth. I am convinced that there is nothing more breathtaking that one can behold on this side of heaven. Tonight, I am touched. I am full. I am SO sleepy.

Thank you, Lord.

01 December 2006

chinny chin-chin

Motherhood has blessed and changed me in so many ways. I've learned more of what it means to love, to give, to sacrifice. I've mastered the art of multi-tasking, I've really come to appreciate the simple pleasure of animal crackers and I can almost carry on three (or more) simultaneous conversations.

I'm warming to the idea of "company" in the bathroom, and I'm learning contentment and even joy when drowning in laundry, diapers, spit-up and all sorts of other unimaginable things. I've grown... literally. My bottom has spread, my belly is "fuller" and my feet are nearly two sizes larger post-babies.

Changes. They are to be expected... of course. Nevertheless, nothing prepared me for this. I thought it was a fluke.

Maybe about 6 months ago, I noticed something I'd NEVER noticed before. I spied this curly little something at the bottom of my chin. Naively, I tried to brush it away, but it wouldn't come off. After further examination, I realized: that's a hair... AND IT'S GROWING OUT OF MY CHIN!?!?!?

Please keep in mind that I was the girl who innocently wondered every time I was in a hair or nail salon, "Why in the world would any woman need to wax her lip or her chin?"

Well, now I know.

I stretched the hair to its length in horror. "How long has it been there???? Why didn't anyone tell me??" I wondered. With tweezers, I tugged on the little nuisance.

"Gone... Oh, wait...."

To my dismay, I found another. Then another. Then another. FOUR CURLY HAIRS?! That's a beard!!! Somehow, in my naivitee, I thought that once I plucked, my nightmare would be over. Sadly, I was wrong.

In front of the mirror this morning, as I transitioned from asleep to awake, I noticed a pimple. Just as I was set to operate, I discovered that my new little companion had not stopped by on his own. He brought four curly-haired friends along with him.

I'll never be alone again! Yet another unexpected blessing of motherhood.

PLEASE NOTE: I promise that I will try to keep my facial hair under control if you promise not to stare at my chin every time you talk to me in the future.

21 November 2006

officially unofficial

I completed AND PASSED my academic requirement to teach childbirth education classes... YAHOO!!! That means I'm officially a not-quite-official Bradley instructor! Next Monday, I will teach my first provisional class, and the following weekend, I will begin my birth doula certfication. I haven't written about this yet, because I don't really know where to begin on this topic. There is SO much inside just waiting to be shared. Far too much to unpack right now.

It's after one.

WHY am I awake right now??? In less than five hours, Maya's face will meet mine - hers, vertical. Mine, horizontal. "Momma, what are you doing?" she'll inquire. "I'm sleeping," I'll yawn my response, then struggle to get out of bed, wondering once again... WHY WAS I AWAKE AND BLOGGING AT ONE A.M.???"

I digress.

Although I have collected bits and pieces of this puzzle for over ten years, it is just in the last few months that I've begun to put them together. His promises have met my desire in a most breathtaking dance. The emerging picture is so beautiful. So exciting. So overwhelming. So perfect.

Eden's Birth.

There is much to tell. There is even more to learn and still much work to be done.

Yet only 4 1/2 hours remain until the morning staredown... I'm going to bed.

20 November 2006

suddenly i see

Her face is a map of the world
Is a map of the world
You can see she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
And everything around her is a silver pool of light
The people who surround her feel the benefit of it
It make you calm
She holds you captivated in her palm...

Suddenly I see
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see
Why the hell it means so much to me.

I feel like walking the world
Like walking the world
You can hear she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
She fills up every corner like she's born in back and white
Makes you feel warmer when you're trying to remember what you heard
She likes to leave you hanging on a word...

Suddenly I see
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see
Why the hell it means so much to me.

And she's taller than most
And she's looking at me
I can see her eyes looking from a page in a magazine
Oh she makes me feel like I could be a tower
A big strong tower...

She got the power to be
The power to give
The power to see
Suddenly I see...

Suddenly I see
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see
Why the hell it means so much to me.

~KT Tunstall

16 November 2006


I had a big birthday last weekend.
My sister, Folayo said it best, "Holy crap, Abi! You're 30?!?!?!?"


03 November 2006


I had an exceptional day yesterday. I was far more patient than normal, and my genuine delight in my children abounded. For a change, I decided not to worry about everything that had to be done. Then, I strapped on my backpack, got out my binoculars and joined the hunt for imaginary dinosaurs.

19 October 2006


I have reached the bittersweet end of my road to 26.2. It' s been four days since I crossed the finish line, and it is only today that I have been able to feel... really feel and the intense emotion of the 517.4 miles I traveled to get here.

Honestly, I don't really know how or where to begin this post. I'm crying. I'm not sure why. I suppose it's because I understand somewhere down deep that I have experienced something monumental. Unfortunately, I don't have the words to tell this story.

I'm not sure that words could even suffice.

This thing was so much bigger than a race. It was everything and nothing I expected. It was a milestone that will forever shape the course of my life. It was a lesson in grace, love, friendship, pain, perseverance, sacrifice, pride, humility, integrity, disappointment, hunger, achievement... and on and on and on. It was hard. REALLY hard, yet exhilirating. It was one of the most important things I have experienced.

Just after 8 a.m. on Sunday October 15, 2006, I crossed the starting line of the inaugural Denver Marathon and began my race...

...5 hours and 21 minutes later I finished.

As I crossed the finish line, I was overwhelmed. I was accutely aware of the significance of that moment. Yes, I finished the race, but much more importantly, I was surrounded and uplifted.
So many of you ran with me and carried me. I am profoundly grateful.

To each and every person who emailed, called, sent cards and even chocolate... thank you. To those who fought traffic and road blocks to come support me... thank you. To the community that paused and took a moment to remember me... thank you. To the mama whose fight touched and inspired me... thank you. To my two dear friends - one in velour and the other without shoes - who came alongside me in a moment's notice... thank you. To my captivating sister who prayed with me at the starting line and cheered for me at the finish line... thank you. To my sugar family whose smiling faces broke me to tears and lifted me higher in one moment than I knew was possible... thank you. To the three who have supported, encouraged and believe in me every step of this journey... thank you. To the One who sustains and continues to fill me... thank you.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

This race is over. Many more lie ahead...

...Together, we press on.

09 October 2006


I'm still not sure how exactly we ended up together. I am certain, however, that this is a product - a blessing - of divine appointment.

This is my small group - Kristi, Niki, Paula, Wendy and me.
Here, I sit beside four of the most vibrant, encouraging and utterly captivating women I know.
Though we don't share a long history of common experience, we have already walked in freedom, struggle and vulnerability together. We are diverse in background, experience, passion, purpose, strength and weakness... yet, we are uniquely and profoundly connected. I am sharpened, inspired, challenged, empowered and intrigued by each of these women.
EVERY time we are together, I feel safe - I am home.
I am honored to call them sisters and friends.

This weekend we and our families shared an afternoon together. Five women, Five men and FOURTEEN of our sixteen children (ages 1 to 15) were present. Our time together was rich - filled with life, love, stories, laughter, tears and utter chaos... It was a blast.

Sarah and Hannah



Holly and Stephen


Paula and Jerry

Wendy and Alex


Kristi and Niki




Maya and me

I love these women. I adore their families. I treasure our time together.

07 October 2006

this morning

I had a great run.

I watched the sun give birth to another day.

Black, then blue. Deep purples and violets.

A glowing full moon illuminated the range of mountains at my back. Fresh, crisp air quenched the heat radiating from my core.

Lavendar. More Blue. Fiery whisps of cloud stretched across the expanse of the sky.


The sun shone on me the entire way home.

It was exceptional.

it's fun. it's free.

Wild horses couldn't have dragged me out of bed promptly at quarter to five this morning for my last long run before the marathon.
Or so I thought.

But then, my alarm clock broke out in song.

"OOOooooOOOOOOOO, oowoo, oowooooooo..... DO IT!"

"OOOooooOOOOOOOO, oowoo, oowooooooo..... DO IT!"

"NO WAY!!!" I thought as I sprang out of bed, beaming.

Believe me, I made every effort to keep my clock from waking up my husband. I did. But it was too late...

Paul started whistling.

There we were, by nightlight in the black of my bedroom at 4:46 a.m...


Shakin' our thangs.


06 October 2006

for life

Ten days from now, it will all be over.

Months and months of training. Miles and more miles logged. One pair of running shoes retired. Another quickly initiated...

26.2 is just around the corner, and in all honesty, the last few weeks have been brutal - surprisingly, the most difficult thus far. I'm spent. I'm done. Getting out of bed has become nothing short of impossible. For weeks I have stuggled with insatiable hunger, perpetual exhaustion and looming discouragement.

My ipod crashed at the end of June and since then, I have run in silence. No music, just thoughts. Mostly His voice and mine. But recently another voice, a cancerous voice, has tormented.

It prods. It pushes. It patronizes.

"Why are you doing this?" The quiet whisper has brushed my ears and lingered in my thoughts with every pounding step.

"WHY are you doing this?" it asks again.

louder. Louder. LOUDER. Was that its voice or mine?



After weeks of frustration, I've had enough. This morning, I finally made the choice. This morning, I pressed into the silence and rolled out of bed. This morning, the music returned.

A familiar song. A familiar route... Up my street and onto the trail. I powered on. I pressed in. With tears and triumph I steadily... confidently pounded my way up the hill I'd once called "big killer," then "adversary," now... "friend."

"I run for hope. I run to feel. I run for the truth, for all that is real..."

louder. Louder. LOUDER.

"I run for your mother, your sister, your daughter, your wife...

I run for you and me, my friend, I run for life."

Fist in the air once again... praising. REJOICING... I reached the summit and found my answer.

For Christi. For Taylor. For Mrs. White. For Maya. For my Mom. For my Grandma. For me.

for Pat. For Pat. FOR PAT.

I run for life.

21 September 2006

blacklists, babies and bathwater

Recently, I was blacklisted (again) from sending email to my friends and family with Comcast email accounts (To my friends and family with Comcast email accounts: if you don't hear from me for a while, this is why). I have gone back and forth with Comcast trying to rectify the situation and explain the misunderstanding.

Have I gotten a little too carried away sharing my thoughts and photos with people I love? Does anyone really even care?
AM I sending spam???

To indiscriminately send unsolicited, unwanted, irrelevant, or inappropriate messages, especially commercial advertising in mass quantities. Noun: electronic "junk mail."

As I've pondered this questions, my answer has been a resounding, NO.

I have never sent JUNK to anyone. I am a human being with human thoughts and interests, human cares and concerns - making intentional attempts to stay in touch with people I care about. I am inviting a discriminate group of human beings to share in my relevant and highly appropriate messages.

In an attempt to deliver us all from Doctor Pharmaceutical, Newton Garza, Reg Herman and every other imaginary cyber-person out there trying to improve our sex-lives and to help us fight obesity, Comcast has cut off the real people too. They have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

We all do this in our own ways, don't we? One bad experience... one bad apple... our minds, our paradigms, our prejudices and even our inboxes are forever shaped.

I'm just thinking out loud...

a five

I have a lot on my mind today. You'll have to bear with me...

I just listened to my son scream for no reason and every reason in particular... for an hour. Yes, ONE FULL HOUR. I'm not exaggerating. He was mad an he wanted me to know about it. He's teething, he's hungry, he's tired, he wants to be held, he doesn't want to be held, he wants to go outside. It's raining... My daughter is in a lovely stage of bossing and even better, talking back. I actually caught her muttering something under her breath and rolling her eyes at me the other day... SHE'S TWO?!?!?

"I'm hungry... I don't want this... I don't like that..."

A little over an hour later, they are chatting it up with each other over lunch - all fed and full and sweet - without a care in the world. There is no care or concern over the fact that while they've now had breakfast and lunch, I haven't yet eaten a thing (I'm STARVING after a wet 6-mile run earlier today). There is no care or concern over the fact that there are children in our city and all over the world who are sitting outside in the rain this afternoon with no food in their bellies, no beds in which to nap, no stories to read and no one to care for them.

Hold on... more screaming.

When my kiddos go down for their naps in a bit, I will use my "free time" to wash their dishes, fold their laundry and maybe just maybe scarf down a little something and enjoy a few moments of silence before the noise begins again.

I am blessed. I know it. I have a family. I love my kids and I know they love me too. I have friends. I have a home. I got to run on two healthy legs this morning. I get to eat this afternoon.
I get to write. I have clothes to wash. I have a washer and a dryer... I could go on and on and on. My blessings abound.

Even still.

At Judi's House (much more on this to follow someday soon), we check in at the beginning of each group. Where are you on a scale of 1 to 10? Yesterday, I was a 9. Today, it's somewhere a little closer to a 5.

This is one day in my life. This is the life of a mom.

I know there are dads and kids and all kinds of people out there with their "days" and their "stuff," but for five minutes, this is not about them. This is about me. This is about you.

I'd like to send a shout-out to all the moms out there. I love you. I appreciate you. Whether I know you or I don't... Whether you are at a 5 or a 10 or a 2 today, I just wanted to say that I see you and I hear you. THANK YOU for doing what you do and being who you are. You are amazing. You are inspiring.

Enjoy your silence. Enjoy your lunch!

16 September 2006

progress report

A month has passed since I spilled my soul and uncovered the secrets deep in my basement. My decision to come clean has been cathartic, and we've actually made progress, people... some real progress!

Step One: The Piles... CHECK.

We toiled and trudged through every square inch of our basement. We combed through boxes and boxes and more boxes. Each item required a destination. Anything and EVERYTHING had to fit into one of four categories: keep, sell, donate or toss. After just one weekend, we were able to scale down the disaster from this...

... to this (aka the keep pile).

Step Two: The Garage Sale... CHECK.

I borrowed tables, racks, hangers and shopping bags. I bought signs, placed ads, made posters and flyers... I was committed. There was NO TURNING BACK. As expected, I got in WAY over my head in an effort to host Westminster's most organized garage sale. I spent hours and hours cleaning, sorting, categorizing and pricing the items deemed "worthy to be sold." Although I unloaded many of our large items on Craigslist the week preceding the sale, this was my garage at 2 a.m. last Thursday (with just 6 hours to go).

Remarkably, at 7:58 a.m. (after my first all-nighter since college), we were ready with muffins, orange juice and big smiles on our faces.

With Paul on childcare duty, Jill was invaluable!

A slow and steady stream of people scoured through our stuff Thursday and Friday. Over the two days, we contended with rain, displaced signs and other garage sales. Nonetheless, our efforts were fruitful. We were able to donate truckfuls of our posessions to the Cancer Federation and the Parenting Place,we made more than enough money to purchase the shelves and bins we were hoping for, I left the experience distinctly aware of how much we have been blessed with and far more appreciative of our "stuff," and I can now say that we successfully completed our first (and LAST) garage sale!

Step Three: The Shelves, The Storage Bins... CHECK.

...now we just have to unpack, assemble and use them!

Step Four: The Recovery

Honestly, the remaining task ahead is by far the most daunting. Where do we begin??? Baby steps, right? I'll keep you posted.

15 September 2006


As long as I can remember, this has been the story of my existence.

Many times I have looked around and felt out of place. Many times I have felt misunderstood and alone. Am I sad about it? No. It is the world I was given. It is the world I have chosen. I have learned to live and love in this world. In many ways it has made me me.

Recently, we attended an event where we knew and were known by virtually no one. VERY quickly, I was aware of the differences between "us" and "them." I felt out of place. I felt uncomfortable. At first it wasn't that big of a deal, I've been there before. But then came The Look.

The Look. If you are "a person of color" in this society, you know the one I'm talking about. It has been directed toward me (and probably toward you) countless times. I've learned to let it pass (as I'm sure you have), and most times it does. Not this time.

This time, although several days have passed, it continues to burn in my mind. This time I am still disillusioned. I am still disappointed. I am still hurt. I am still angry. No, I'm pissed. This time it was different. This time I wasn't the initial recipient of The Look, I was the witness. This time The Look was directed toward my daughter... then my son... then me.

Today, as I think about it, I'm angry... for so many reasons. I'm angry that in 2006 this garbage still goes on. I'm angry that fear, hatred, judgement, prejudice, intolerance and ignorance continue to endure - that some people really won't change. I am angry that over 3000 Americans died in one day five years ago because of this crap. I'm angry that countless people around the world continue to die EVERY DAY because of this crap. I am angry that too many people refuse to see past themselves, speak without thinking and hate without realizing it. I'm angry about all of the socially, culturally, racially, socioeconomically, sexually and spiritually insensitive and ignorant comments I hear in casual conversation on a daily basis. I'm angry that I don't have a solution to any of this, and it doesn't seem that anyone else does either. I am angry that this woman presumes to know a damn thing about me or about my family based on what she thinks she sees.

I am angry because I am just as guilty as she is.

09 September 2006


This is my brother. He is one of the finest men I know. Thursday, he turned 27.

For two weeks I made mental notes - "Tolu's birthday is coming up... Abi, you have to remember to send a card to Tolu... Today is the day, make sure to call ..."
Yet September 7th came and went. No card. No call. Like an absolute heathen, I failed to even acknowledge the day - sadly, for the second year in a row (I know, I know).

There is no good excuse, really. Plain and simply,
I dropped the ball.

I'd like to make amends. Please join me in celebrating my baby brother. To Tolu... cheers!
I dedicate this post to you. Happy, happy birthday!!

31 August 2006


I don't know what it is - a virus of some sort, perhaps. Whatever it is, it strikes at the same time each year. Every August, I know it's coming. Invariably, the day arrives when I just don't feel like watering my flowers anymore... or worse, pulling weeds.

May, June, July - I am diligent. I am inspired. I water those flowers come rain or shine. I'm out there at least every other day. Then, seemingly overnight, this 15-minutes of regular daily maintenance becomes excruciating. The departure from my daily grind is suddenly too much to bear. My flowers pay the price.

Some flowers power through and still look pretty good after a week of 90 degree sun and no water, while others... well, they don't look so good.

I don't have a good excuse, really. Chalk this up to plain old negligence (I'm sensing a theme here).

And this...
This is the thorn in my side - the bane of my existence and potential as a domestic flower and garden specialist. I'm not sure WHAT this was or what it was supposed to be before we moved in, but today it is an eyesore - affectionately known in our home as "the heap." We have tried (to absolutely NO avail) to eradicate this mess and wipe the slate clean... to begin again.

Starvation. Dehydration. Poison. We've tried it all. Every few weeks we've fought the good fight trying to beat this thing down. Yet hours after pulling the last and most stubborn weeds, more green little monsters emerge from the heap to squash our dream (ok, my dream) of a colorful flower garden and a new beginning (not that I would water it anyway).

I'm discouraged. Will I end another summer with pots full of dead flowers overshadowed by a disastrous heap of dream-killing weeds? I certainly hope not.

I AM trying. Well, I was trying. OK... I'll give it another try. This needn't be the end. If given the chance, my flowers have the potential to keep their heads held high for at least another month or two before the air turns cool and the leaves begin to fall. I must give them that chance!

As for the heap... talk to me next spring.