Jonas is 5!

On September 16th, Jonas turned 5! A whole hand! He is the sweetest, smartest, funniest 5 year old ever. He didn’t even mind sharing his birthday party with his sister even though it was on his actual birthday.

Jonas has big feelings because he has such a big heart. He is so sensitive and cuddly and thoughtful and kind and I’m so proud of him every day. He loves figuring out how things work and learning new things. He is so curious!

The night before his birthday he cried because he had liked being four so much and because it was the last night I could call him “my four year old.” Jonas, my five year old, I love you so much and I know you will love being five too!

On the morning of his birthday, he said, “I’m glad you wanted to have a baby because I’m having a good life.” Jonas, I’m so glad I wanted to have a baby too and I’m so glad that baby is you!

Josie is 2!

And what a fun birthday we had! There were meals all selected by the birthday girl– oatmeal for breakfast, mac & cheese for lunch, yogurt for a snack, hot dogs and broccoli for dinner, and raspberry cupcakes for dessert. There was painting outside (even though it was SO hot), book reading, and lots of singing. You asked, “Sing Happy Birthday Me!” all day. You got the “soft Buddha” you’ve been asking for for weeks and you love him. You carried him around and said, “I love my Buddha,” “This nice Buddha.” You asked if your birthday was outside and in the living room. You were glad that it was your birthday everywhere.

We also had a good amount of classic two-year-old screaming, but it was overshadowed by all the fun and seeing you love being the birthday girl. You are a lesson in contradictions! Somehow you have a big temper and are still the sweetest toddler! You go back and forth between thinking your brother is the coolest person in the world– repeating everything he says, and being totally annoyed by him. One minute you are so clingy and the next you’re super independent and daring. There’s no “story” that can sum you up and I hope you always stay that way– don’t get pegged into one version of yourself. You contain so much and it’s all wonderful because it’s you. You are so incredibly smart and funny. I love you so, so, so, so much, Josie Rocket. Happy birthday, my two year old!

Holidays 2017

We had a fun time for the holidays even though Jonas had a fever for Christmas.

Josie loved Hannukah and even started saying the word when she saw the menorah!

Aunt Sadie came for Christmas Eve and we had fun. We made cookies for Santa, chocolate chip and frosted sugar cookies as Jonas requested. Daddy read the traditional book.

Christmas morning was so fun! The kids both loved their presents from Santa and the family! I love seeing them so excited about the magic of it all!!

Josie and I got fevers after Christmas and it was definitely not fun. I was glad I got to wait til after Christmas though, unlike Jonas. We’re all feeling much better now and the living room is actually cleaned up. I remember as a kid leaving the gifts out for so long to play with and it was super fun but I was going a little nuts since the gifts were getting scattered everywhere every five minutes and I barely had the energy to get off the couch.

Tonight we’re going to put on some fancy clothes and eat pizza for New Year’s Eve!

Holidays with my sweet family are always fun even when it’s just us and some of us have colds!


I’ve been holding on to $50 in my wallet since June. Daddy died in September of 1999. This year, my mom discovered he had some unclaimed property, and his cousin Nick helped her obtain it. It was eighty something dollars and after going through a whole ordeal to claim it, Nick rounded up, giving my sister and I each $50.

For my birthday on July 30, I thought about using the cash to pay for a pedicure, tearing up, thinking it would be like my dad was giving me a birthday present. No, I thought, I wanted it to be something I could keep.

So I kept the cash in my wallet, waiting for the perfect gift from my dad, 18 years after his death.

A beer, maybe. My dad never got to buy me a beer. I could put it toward an ISBN for the book I want to publish, or toward paying a friend to do some editing. Maybe a mala or singing bowl. A meal. A comic book.

There are so many things he never got to give me.

Maybe I should buy something for my children, I thought.

There are so many things I never got to give him.

Daddy wanted a son. He loved me and my sister but I know now he ached for a son the way I ached for my own daughter. Jonas would have been worth the wait.

He would have loved my children so much. I can almost picture them walking through the woods together. Jonas would have loved a bebe gun and I would have sounded like the mom from A Christmas Story. I bet Jonas would have cried over a squirrel the same way Daddy did. We would have marveled over how much Jonas looks like Daddy as a kid, glasses and all. We would have said it happily, instead of in hushed tones, shaking our heads.

He would be proud of me too. That I write. That I meditate. That I play music. He gave me those.

And he gave me West Virginia, going back there, building our house. He gave me a childhood in the woods, climbing trees, freedom. Adventures by myself and with my friends. A sense of belonging and place that I feel wherever I am. That I feel in my blood, in my bones when I listen to old bluegrass songs. A place I will never stop writing about, that even when I’m not writing about, is the part of me that I write from.

So I spent the $50. I’ll learn to play mountain music. I’ll keep writing about the magic in those hills that you can only find as a child, alone, but that stays with you forever if someone gave you the gift of freedom there to find it.

I can’t give West Virginia to my own children. And there are so many things Daddy never got to give me. But he gave me music. He gave me meditation. He gave me writing. He gave me West Virginia. He gave me parts of my children– blonde hair, astigmatism, occasionally broody moods, sentimental tendencies. So I’ll make sure to give them, the great joys of my life, what I can. We’ll meditate. When we go outside I’ll do my best to remember the importance of giving them freedom to explore. Maybe one day they’ll read my stories. And maybe they’ll feel mountain music in their bones.

And then there rose in me,
like the earth’s empowering brew rising
in root and branch, the words of a dream of you
I did not know I had dreamed. I was a wanderer
who feels the solace of his native land
under his feet again and moving in his blood.
I went on, blind and faithful. Where I stepped
my track was there to steady me. It was no abyss
that lay before me, but only the level ground.
-Wendell Berry, from The Country of Marriage



Jonas is 4!

Yesterday was Jonas’s fourth birthday and we celebrated with a Darth Vader party at Grandma and Papa’s house!

What a year it has been, sweetheart! You’ve absolutely flourished in school and become even smarter and sweeter than I could have imagined! We’ve challenged each other this year. I’ve been learning to be a mommy to two and you’ve been more been patient with me than I probably deserve. When I got impatient with you for being too loud or too wild or making me ask you ten times to put on your socks, you’ve pouted and then hugged me seconds later. You’ve watched too much TV this year so I could take some naps but we may be back to a good amount. We went a week and half without it last week!

I’m so proud of how kind you are. Last week a friend at school was sad because his mommy was leaving. You crouched down next to him and asked him to play, then pointed out that he could probably feel his mommy’s love through his heart necklace.

You genuinely delight in being a big brother and having a baby sister. You think everything Josie does is hilarious and you love to help her.

You are cuddly! You love hugs and kisses and being held and sitting on my lap!

You love to learn, especially about sea creatures and science. You love to share what you learn with the people around you. You love books and are almost always up for reading together.

You are very literal and you like the truth. You like to play the way YOU decide. You get frustrated when something is hard for you. You are a perfectionist and you hold yourself to high standards already.

You like time alone to play in your room and look at books and you also like to be silly with our family. You can be super goofy and giggly!

Since the day you were born you’ve been such a BIG presence! You fill a room and make everyone smile!

I love you so much, Jonas, and I’m so thankful every day that I’m your Mommy!

Josie is One!

On August 13 Josie turned one!

I love this little girl so much! She will always be my baby! She has been the easiest baby in the world. When she was a few weeks old and she woke up in her Rock n Play, she literally smiled herself back to sleep. She laughs and nods and gets excited about things. She wants to do whatever her big brother is doing. She loves giving kisses and cuddles. She’s so brave and silly and curious and I’m still amazed, a year later, every day that she’s really here and she’s really my daughter! I have imagined her since I was a little girl and every day, as she becomes more and more herself, I feel like I’m meeting her and I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love.

Happy birthday Josie Bear! I love you SO MUCH!

We had such a fun unicorn themed birthday party for her! There were lots of friends with kids so it was loud and wild! Thankfully Josie took a nap right before everyone arrived  so she was happy and  had fun playing with all the kids. She enjoyed her cake and she and Jonas have been loving her new toys and books. It was a great day to celebrate our wonderful Josie!


Two Weeks in West Virginia

We just got back from an awesome two weeks in West Virginia! It was so nice to spend so much time there and not feel like our visit was rushed at all. We did so many fun things! Sadie got to come, too, which was so nice. I love spending time with her and traveling with a nanny is great!

The first week, we stayed at my cousins’ place and Jonas and Josie had so much fun with their cousins Jackson and Alice, who are just a little older than each of them.

We went to the river, the park that I loved when I was a kid, and the wildlife center.

The second week we were at my mom’s. We explored caverns, walked on a river trail, played in the kiddie pool and at the splash pad, ate outside at the beautiful land where my stepdad lives, caught fireflies, and more! I even got to go to a meditation meetup with my mom and Jared and I went on a date! We also got to see my mom perform a ukelele show!

Jonas got to sleep on a cot in my mom’s walk in closet with a star lamp projecting on the ceiling and he loved it.

I love seeing Jonas and my mom together.

On the 29th, a BUNCH of family from New York drove down– cousins, their kid, two sets of aunts and uncles, and my Grandpa. We all went to the Greenbrier to look at the grounds and Josie and her cousin Malcolm had a baby date at a pretend diner in the toy store.

Jonas had a little bit of a hard time with the routine change and having to share toys so much so he had some moments of acting out, but overall, he was still a great traveler. Josie was a dream traveler– she barely complained about anything except a few times in the car when we’d been traveling all day and she was really tired. Even in the Denver airport when we’d been traveling for over 12 hours, it was midnight, and our flight was delayed by two hours, they were both great!

It was so nice spending so much time with so much family and going on a long trip together!

End of the School Year

There are all these moments as a parent that no one tells you will be emotional. Everyone talks about the first day of school, but I was surprised that I was way more emotional about the end of the school year. I love Jonas’s school and his teachers are so wonderful. I know they love him and are so good with him and I have loved having him spend time with them.

Last Thursday his class did a spring sing and sang some of their favorite songs from the year and then we had a potluck.

Jonas seemed a little nervous and didn’t sing much but he waved and put his hands in his lap. It was very funny and cute.

Today was his last day and I kept tearing up thinking about what a great school year he’s had! He has learned and grown so much!


We will miss his amazing teachers! I told Jonas I was a little sad that he was done with the turquoise room and his teachers for the year and he said “It’s ok Mommy. I think the next room will be good too. And I can always visit them!”


Jonas got glasses a couple weeks ago and he looks so great in them!

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He really couldn’t be any cuter! He’s doing such a great job with them too. He was so excited when he first tried them on and said they make everything look “gooder” and “bigger.”

I also had my parent teacher conference with his preschool teacher last week. She told me how special Jonas is (obviously!) and how much he has learned this year. He’s gotten so much better at working out conflicts with friends and he is so good at expressing himself. He’s also doing great with counting and art and everything else! I’m so proud of him!

Happy Spring!



Aunts, Uncles, and CousinsIMG_20170416_133659




Playing outside

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Yay!IMG_20170417_163813 IMG_20170418_085334

Smelling flowers


Playing togetherIMG_20170419_190512

Reallllly cuteIMG_20170416_083636

I got chocolateIMG_20170416_083058

New clothes


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Happy Spring!