Sunday, December 23, 2012


And if I can be indulged, the tone of this blog for the foreseeable future will be that of thoughts I'd like to share with my daughter.  As such I'm throwing some blogging basics out the window.  For example, I will write long, sometimes windy posts that you may or may not read to the end and that's ok.  

First Thought:
A friend said something very profound to me a couple of weeks ago.
You can be happy about the new life that will join your family without being happy about being pregnant.  I think that's something important for women who have tough pregnancies to understand.

No biological male will ever know what its like to be pregnant, how a baby the size of an apple seed can drain all your energy, induce what seems like endless bouts of nausea and/or vommitting, and generally make it difficult for you to live your life as you had been before pregnancy.  I don't think it can be adequately explained, especially since working, and being busy, industrious, productive is what's valued above most other things in our current society.  Being pregnant and incapacitated by early pregnancy symptoms made me feel isolated and completely unproductive.  All of the things I should have been doing, had been doing, wished I could be doing clogged my mind, all while I was doing one of the most important tasks I'll ever do, adding to our family by donating my energy, my vitamins and nutrients, the very oxygen I breathe to our next child.  Sometimes I think, "my baby watched too much tv, our family hasn't eaten a home cooked meal in what feels like fifty years, I haven't volunteered enough, been to church enough, called my friends enough, been enough", but the truth is, right now I only have two central imperatives: first, keep the greatest person I know safe and looked after, second, gestate.  My current motto is I'm going to do what I can do and keep it moving.  Living right in the now.

Friday, September 14, 2012


And I hope I'm right.
I hope I made the right decision.
I hope I won't regret this.
I hope it turns out alright.
I hope this makes sense.
I hope it's not a mistake.
I hope I find out, whether my hope was misplaced.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Ten Minute Post

I suppose my aim is to bear witness to my thoughts in hopes that others will hear, connect, know what I experience... that we each might live in such a way that people suffer less (including ourselves and others).  Gave up facebook and feeling much less heard as a result.

I edited this post in about a minute and a half the following day, so the title should probably be 11.5 minute post:-P

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lost in me

And it's hard to see sometimes.
mind, body, soul clouded by impurities.
Frustration mounted upon expectations,
reasonable and unreasonable.

And I expect myself to do better, 
to not fall into the trap of thinking of my privileges as burdens,
yet here I stand, disappointed and saddened.

And still I find myself grappling with thoughts, 
ideas not smoothed by the relentless pressure of time.
You'd think, knowing better would mean not only doing better,
but thinking better too.
It doesn't, in my experience.

When I was young I would sometimes lay on the ground outside of my school.
Slowly let the cold concrete draw away the warmth of my body.
The coolness felt soothing, and upon standing up my brain was no longer as clouded.

I experienced that loss of warmth as something special.
And I miss it, along with other wonders of girlhood.
There are new wonders though,
and I attempt to accept, respect, and cherish these,
but some days it's hard.

Some days I just wonder about,
lost in me.
Hoping that the luxurious confusion and angst,
I sometimes find myself suspended in isn't as terrible
as it seems (especially in a world filled with
war, violence, hatred, and human suffering, 
the likes of which I haven't seen).

Saturday, August 18, 2012

And if he

And if he did a poor job,
Then imagine how that shapes her understanding of Him.
Deep wounds of disappointment and despair,
salved its "supposed" to be?
No, why not instead fashion a The.
...lover and creator of all,
bound not by the limitations of him or
all that imaginations (personal and collective)
would have us believe they (he or she) should be.
Instead leaving her and him to meditate, study, pray
their way to love,
unencumbered by the weight of he or him.
Open to seeking the way,
the truth,
and the light.

Friday, August 10, 2012

We're the people this earth was created for

And when I lay my head down at night,
I often think, tomorrow I'll be fearless.
Tomorrow, I'll keep out those things that depress,
and embrace those things things that fill up,
Those things that fill me up with confidence,
those things that inspire ACTION.
Then tomorrow comes and it's just another day,
and I think to myself where did my ferocity go?
I was once fierce and sure,
But now I feel shaky, haunted by a few mistakes etched permanently in my mind,
Knowing there are countless more that I can't remember.

And someone once told me I'll be great when I let go.
If only time could stand still as someone whispers in my ear: now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


And when imagining who I'd marry, I thought to myself,
Someone I can struggle with.
In new love the sun always shines on the right side of the street.
You never have to worry about droughts.
But in more mature love, togetherness takes on a slightly different luster.
Hard to notice at first, but in time exposing a person in a deeper, more complicated hue.
More complicated to understand, more complicated to describe.
I've learned in marriage to put on my big girl pants,
To consistently, daily strive to be a better human being, even if I fail sometimes.
When you spend as much time around your loved ones as I do you learn.

Learn that its easy to die by 1000 paper cuts.
As already said by many before me, slight slights have power,
The potential (if left unattended) to transform what was once a beautiful tasty morsel of love
into a disgusting, smelly unrecognizable distortion of what used to be savored.

Learn to accept as a precious gift the nagging voice that says RECONCILE,
even in the fury of an argument.
After all you LOVE this person, and they you.
(Even midst being hurt, even amidst hurting.)

Learn to trust, trust him to live up to his vows,
trust yourself to be the friend, confidant, supporter, lover, partner
you looked into his eyes and agreed to be.

There is disappointment and disagreement in all relationships, and yes, struggles too, but there is also indescribable joy, and laughter, and happiness that makes it worth every bit of personal growth that marriage sometimes wrings out of you.

 I love you and am profoundly happy to be your wife, Happy 3rd Anniversary dear!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


And I love nap time.
I admit I look forward to it.
I hope silently that it will last for at least an hour.
I debate about how to make the best use of that time, a nap of my own perhaps.
I struggle with feeling overworked and like I don't do enough at the same time.  The hubby was with her all morning, she cried when he left for work.  I slept in until 10.  There's no end to this job, every nap induces guilt.  At the same time with all of my education I feel like I still fail to do enough teaching, the children in daycare have the benefit of people who have studied early childhood development extensively and regularly put into place activities that spur growth.

I feel resentful of not being able to work, and not knowing when I'll go back, and angry at myself for not more fully enjoying the privilege that I have to take care of my child without having to work.

I'm nervous she'll wake up before I finish putting away toys, sorting clothes to be washed, packing a snack to for the trip to the playground, and washing the dishes.  But then again, I'm blogging at this moment, seconds and minutes that I could be using to do those tasks (or sleeping) silently passing away.

Unsure whether I should share these words, nothing profound or lyrical today, just my truth.  It's entirely possible, this is more appropriate for a personal diary entry.  But what can I say yall, I'm a cracked plate, set me down gently.  I enjoy blogging, so in that way I guess this is my revolt against a fear of inadequacy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Sometimes the mirror I search for reassurance seems broken.
I try to piece together a clear image of myself from shards of reassembled glass,
but see only my faults, highlighted by the cracks that existed before I even entered the frame.
Other times it seems perfectly clear, reflecting only those wavelengths of light that 
affirm an inner greatness I aspire for.
Most days though the mirror is actually moving, alive with giggles and screams.
More often than not my shadow, Tina Jr. reminds me of my successes and my failures.
Imitations of tone, expression, attitude.
If only for her I will remember and affirm in myself each day that my humanity is enough.
Perfection is an illusion.
Despite having to learn certain lessons over and over again,
the truth is, being successful, being happy varies by person.
The challenge is figuring out my ever-evolving sense of each.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fresh Air

And sometimes my voice is only lyrical,
Thoughts so jumbled, they only fall out in rhythm.
Thought one, two, three.
One, two, three,
The end.

Ok, that little exercise actually opened me up a bit.  Today was tough, but I made it through.  There's no epiphany waiting at the end of it, just the satisfaction that I have continued to meet the goal of making sure my sweet baby girl gets a good amount of fresh air everyday, even when its tough for me to get out of the apartment.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ask and you shall receive

My husband isn't a big fan of vegetables, but he has said on a couple of occasions that one vegetable he does like (and would eat) are greens.


In our garden, I grew some greens.  Click here for a before view of our garden.

With a little bit of sausage from the farmer's market, an onion and a half, a couple cloves of garlic, and a bit of olive oil, voila:

Tonight's dinner:

Collard greens with garlic sausage, creamed cauliflower (also from our garden) with a little milk, butter, garlic, and parsley, and a slice of homemade bread.  Delicious!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Starting to harvest

And we have been blessed. Our first harvest, more details, recipes, and photos to come:

Friday, July 13, 2012

In it's place

And sometimes my thoughts flow yearning for a place to rest (or hide).
And other times they circulate in my mind like air in a room without circulation,
Sometimes growing stale, while other times seeming fresher than the polluted mess on the outside.
When I'm angry they race, tugging at my emotions seeking to validate, temper, and check,
When I'm focused the questions and answers come before actions and words:
Is this just, merciful, a humble walk with my God?
Sometimes I feel the need to hide in open spaces, and I hope that isn't strange, silent reflections at once available to and ignored by millions

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Master of her universe

With a smile and a strut
A squeal and a twirl
A stomp and a clap,
She is girl,
Master of her universe.

In honor of my sweet baby girl and all the greatness that is within her, she reminds me daily through every new development and giggle that there is joy, ingenuity, growth, and love in the world and in me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Long Time No See

So, it's been a while since I've posted.  We were on vacation and have finally made it back home.  I don't like broadcasting that we are going to be away from home for a month and since this is the last summer our baby travels for free, it probably won't happen for a while, but here's a quick recap in photos.

Good fun:

Good friends:

Good family fun:


Just Plain Old Goodness!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

And sometimes...

Sometimes I'm afraid to be honest with myself.
(Why? because I'm afraid the next step 
will require more than I have to give).
Sometimes I make decisions that aren't the best 
for myself, 
for my family, 
for my life in general.
(It's frustrating, but at some point I'm going to have to form
new, better habits).  
Sometimes I pause when I should keep momentum going, 
and other times I race ahead too fast.
(I love planning, but sometimes fail to plan).
Sometimes writing, knitting, crocheting
is all that keeps me sane.
Sometimes I not only know, but believe my faults don't define all of who I am.
Too often I'm discouraged by narratives that seem on an endless loop.
Tomorrow I'm going to try something new.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Duty to our daughters

And at 17 we imagine ourselves as women,
fluttering about the world, 
held aloft by wings of potential
and the first taste of being desired.

Sweet and ambitious, we good girls,
weep over our inadequacies, 
and laugh triumphantly among friends 
about our successes.

We save away ourselves from foolish suitors,
whilst longingly pursuing those considered worthy
by newborn eyes.

Eventually we learn,
learn that our mothers, grandmothers,
teachers, and mentors are right.
Being a woman comes with rights
and responsibilities.

It's the miracle of our own humanity
that truly shocks us into womanhood.
Whispers quietly in our ear that
we aren't the first and won't be the last 
to walk barefoot through a field.

Reassures us that to be human
is to lose and find,
and that to be woman
is a gift, full still of potential
and awe.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Our family and another family (very good friends of ours here in Halifax) are officially farmers:-)  Or we have a plot at a local community garden, and hopefully by the fall we'll have a beautiful crop to harvest.  Aminata loves the earth by the way, I'm hoping she didn't eat any of the dirt while we were out :-P


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fantasy VS Reality

The dishes will always be done.

I hate the dishes, they will go undone many a night, BUT they do have to and will eventually get done.

I will always have time/be in the position to exercise exactly how and when it suits me.

I can and should get it in, where it fits in.  Choose to be more active, as opposed to less active.

I will love being a stay-at-home mother and wife 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I love my family, and enjoy the privilege of not having to rush back to full-time employment, HOWEVER like any job, this one has its frustrations, disappointments, and drawbacks (not the least of which is not feeling valued for my intellect in the larger community - I miss working outside of the home, desperately).

We are going to win the lottery/never have to "worry" about money.

I won't pretend I'll never again in my life, waste a buck on a fantasy, but I know through good stewardship we'll buy a house, save for our sweet girl's education, and retirement without having to give up MOST of the amenities we've come to enjoy.

I'll get 8-10 hours of guilt-free uninterrupted sleep EVERY night:-)

Until we have no small children, a dishwasher, AND a roomba (that picks up and stores toys), that's NOT GOING TO HAPPEN....

I'll be perfect and live up to every expectation I ever had for myself in life.

I'm a human being, I make mistakes, I grow, and hopefully I learn.

The greatest expression of my worth is how well I do a particular job.  (side note: not feeling like the greatest mother or wife these days)

There is no one indicator of worth, but opportunities to live by systems of beliefs that make our lives (as short or long as they may be) meaningful.  God has shown us what is good, and asks that we do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God - Micah 6:8.

(sort of building off of the last thought) That I, the me that I am, will take the English Translation of the Protestant Bible as the one and only "true" word of God.

God speaks to me through the Bible.  It's sometimes hard to read it (I don't read Hebrew or Greek, and I certainly have no idea what the conferences were like --where men (with various biases, traditions, and understandings of God) decided the contents of the Biblical canon.  But I take on faith that God has a word for me in the Bible, that God is challenging me to acknowledge, love, and respect people (not just the ones I know and love).  Maybe I see and interpret what I want to see and interpret.  But just as Jesus helped many of my ancestors survive lives much harder than my own, I believe Jesus helps me.  Now I've already written about one aspect of Christian faith, maybe even the most important for some: here.  Shorter (somwhat less complicated) version, a universalist minister expressed it well once: Jesus did his job.  He died for all people, now its time for us to do ours.  Acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with your God may not look the same for everyone, but faith in the love (and sacrifice) of Jesus is important to me, despite my questions and concerns about the sacred texts.

I'll end here I suppose.  I'm sure there are many other fantasies I need to disassemble for myself, and maybe I'll do this again some day, it was actually quite helpful.  It's also possible, that maybe I should consider such things in private, but I like blogging, so hopefully when I'm campaigning to be the Prime Minister of Canada, it won't come back to bite me;-P  Just Kidding!:-)  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Blessing of mine

And each day I reflect how great a gift is she, my sweet baby.

I imagine a future for her not burdened by racism, sexism, hate of any kind.

I hope...

Hope she feels loved and cherished by her family and friends.

Hope she meets God, not in the midst of dogma, patriarchy, or fear, but in the fullness of love, justice, mercy, and goodness that God is.

I hope that she never loses the joy with which she masters her universe, greets each day, and fulfills her purpose as the brilliant and beautiful human being she is..

Sunday, May 13, 2012


It's mother's day, so I thought today a good time to finally post my sweet baby girl's birth story.  Warning: this post is way too long, so make it through what you can and you can always come back if you don't finish:-).

I wish I had done this right after I gave birth (or sooner at least).  Should I have the privilege of bringing another life into this world I'll try to do so (although I obviously make no promises since there are more important things to do when a new baby has arrived).

Throughout my pregnancy I worried about the impact of being overweight/obese/whatever else I'm classified as.  I worried about the increased risk of having a cesarean section and a harder labor as a result.  I worried needlessly and if I could go back I'd worry less.  I'd also encourage women who are above average in weight to devote the energy wasted on worrying about the statistics and refocus it on loving yourself and your baby.  For most people that includes eating good food, being active regularly, and appreciating the body we are in.  I'm not a doctor and I can't speak from anyone's experience but my own, but I feel like I take the best care of myself when I let go of the guilt and shame and focus on loving and trusting the only body I have.  The number on the scale is only one indicator of health.  I've digressed though, so I'm going to get back on topic and maybe do another post about this topic in the future.

The day after my due date I went to see the doctor and she performed a procedure meant to kick start labor.  It was unexpectedly painful hours after the procedure and extremely effective.  At about 3am I woke up uncomfortable, then went to rocking back and forth on my exercise ball, at about 3:30am my water broke and we called the doctor, the doula, and were on our way.  The hospital was 10 min walk away, but we took a cab.

Now my memory starts to get a little fuzzy.  What I remember for sure...the doula arrived at the perfect time and helped me breath through some hard contractions in the tub.  I wanted a break (spoiler: I didn't get one).  We watched a video that talked about how labor gradually begins, well I must have slept through the gradual part because my contractions started coming every 90 seconds and didn't stop.  My husband gives the best impressions, but I slipped into long trains of "I can't I can't I can't I can't" do this is the presumed ending although I didn't get that far.  Also included "I don't I don't I don't I don't" know if I can do this the presumed ending there.  I'll spare you the gritty details just know almost six hours later I had delivered my sweetness with no pain meds or need of stitches.

Over a year later I'm still in awe of the fact that I grew a human being inside of me, then expelled her from my body, and that was just the beginning.  Mothers do so much for their children from the moment they are conceived that children will never, can never remember.  Being a mother makes me increasingly more appreciative for every sacrifice, every late night, every hug and kiss, and all of the energy my mother invested in her children.  I wouldn't be who I am without her.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!

Friday, May 11, 2012

On Same-sex Marriage

It's hard for me to understand objections to legalizing same-sex marriage.

For those who object because of the Bible, I think we pick and choose what to believe is right and wrong all of the time.  The Bible instructs slaves to obey their masters.  Jesus condemns all divorce (with no mention of remedies for those physically or sexually abused by their spouses).  Women are told to be silent in the church.  In several places the Bible contradicts what is now commonly perceived as just.  God is.  God is timeless.  God is love.  God is every good thing that happens in the world.  God is inside of all of us.  I don't think God is a celestial bureaucrat beholden to archaic understandings of righteousness, loving order above all else (including human beings, as chaotic and volatile as we can be).  The Bible is supposed to be a tool to help us understand and connect to God, a help as we try to make sense of the world, not a source of perpetual condemnation.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

And I think to myself....

what a

In the midst of struggle,
in the midst of awakening,
in the midst of living,
I think to myself, what a fortunate life.

Grateful for my freedom,
my husband,
my child.

Wrestling with notions of self.
Defining and re-defining

Realizing that no one is going to save me from this life.
The dishes will pile,
the floor go unswept,
weight physical, emotional, and intellectual
not getting lighter, only heavier without

God is though.
Regardless of my belief or unbelief. 
Love is.
In the way my daughter rests her head on my shoulder and pats my arm,
in the enveloping satisfaction of having a husband, a partner
who is best friend, closest confidant, lover, support system,
and so much more.

I say again I think to myself...
be grateful for the opportunity and freedom to consider
what a wonderful life.

I shall not forget the unbreakable bond of sisterhood,
the driving force of a mother's sacrifice,
the layers of love and strife hand painted by each member of my family
on the canvas that is me.

Through self-expression I attempt to engage my own humanity.
While not always meeting my goals,
I am satisfied to record and reflect on me....

and the smile that my startlingly fantastic life inspires in me.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Amid a pile of dishes I lost my voice.  Silent, stunned, overwhelmed by duties that have somehow come to define me.  I wonder in my head, and sometimes aloud to my husband, whether its possible to lose smartness, without practice you lose things right?  Without other people to exchange ideas with (about the things you are most passionate about) you miss out on something....something I'm having a hard time defining right now, but something. 

Amid thoughts of inadequacy I try to remember that my failures and fears aren't all that matter.  The skipping record does not have to stay stuck on fat and awkward.  Sometimes what I write is very guarded, there is a part of me that fears my thoughts will one day be used against me, evidence that as a flawed, vulnerable woman I not worthy to lead (....lead what, or who I'm not entirely sure, but being a leader is something I'm interested in).  I am often encouraged through other people's blogs, their trials and triumphs, admiring their honesty.  I suppose it takes courage to share.  Courage I'd like to cultivate.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Living the Life

I was at a party a couple of weeks ago and a mother who cloth diapers her daughter talked about her decision to do so, how it's not always easy, but she took stock of her life and made the decision to live more in line with her values, that got me to thinking.

I began thinking, and thinking, and very soon was overwhelmed by the amount of waste in my life.  Material waste (trash), food waste, water waste, waste of time, waste of ability, waste waste waste.  It was a lot to think about and resulted in a bunch of attempts at doing things differently and a TON OF GUILT.

It has occurred to me that feeling guilty about all of the waste, instead of acting (even if only in small, but sustainable ways) is a waste of an opportunity to live more like I want to live.

I've thus decided to take things more slowly.  My goal: to consume far less and find ways to use what I have to fulfill new needs that arise.  Consuming less means doing things like "not buying trash", one of the tips on a website I came across recently suggested.  Aminata loves yogurt, we used to buy the individual servings for no good reason, easy to transition away from especially since the small tupperware containers are the only ones we seem to keep around.  The second part of the goal means looking for those old college sheets that I no longer use (if I didn't already give them away) and borrowing someone's pinking shears to make homemade cloth napkins (instructions here: cloth napkin tutorial).

My hope is to waste less and less and less indefinitely.  I've been blessed with so much and in the spirit of not wasting the time I have to spend with my sweet baby girl, I'm gonna end this post, even if I could probably think of a few more things to say.

Monday, February 20, 2012


And if we see our lives taking place in the reflections of our parent's lives,
played out in actions projected against the still images of who we construct them to be,
then I wonder how our children will see us.

They say when you marry, you don't just marry an individual,
but instead you marry the person complete with all of the people who raised and shaped them.
If true, then maybe the still images contain not just our parents,
but a lineage of people stretching back as far as our family history can take us
(Pictures, within pictures, poses varied, but somehow still the same -
couples and families, at times faking a grin).

How is it that we make sense of the movement of our lives
taking place in an extra vivid dimension.
Moving pictures with sound bouncing off  the glass of frames containing black and white images?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Stream of Consciousness

Inspired by Shanna...a stream of consciousness post....I'm gonna limit it to two minutes...starting now....

Ok, I wrote starting now before the clock actually changed to the minute I wanted to starting writing at and then I felt the need to state that, even though no one would have cared or known that I didn't actually write for exactly two minutes.  I'm a bit distracted by my husband who is talking on the phone, and now I'm having a hard time not editing as I go.  I like punctuation, I think my keyboard instructor Sister Marie (I think) did a very good job of instilling the desire in us to type with our hands on the "right" keys and for some reason the two: typing with your hands on the "right" keys and using appropriate punctuation are tied together in my mind.  It's hard for me to write exactly as I speak.  I'm not sure what my voice sounds like, which is funny because I wanted to write a longer piece on voice, but felt like I didn't have the time.  Although I may include that aspect, wondering what my written voice sounds like on this blog.  If read by different actresses without knowledge of who I actually am, who might others imagine me to be?  Clearly a mother, but what else, who else, of what background, nationality, living where?  I have surpassed my two minutes by three minutes, and I'm not sure I did the exercise properly because I feel like there were one or two things that I thought, but didn't write, that I have now forgotten, but I think stream of consciousness is fun, and I'll certainly do it again.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


And I am Black and woman.
Daughter and Mother.
Friend and lover.

The fierce quip and the quiet consolation.
Life flowing into and pushing out of me.
I stand sometimes wondering what will become of...


I spend a lot of time thinking

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Starting Over

On my birthday I started a 365 day photo project.  On Feb. 5th (the very next day), I did not take a picture before midnight!  This was devastating to me.  I had been so frustrated with myself for not starting the project on the 1st of January.  Then I thought to capture a year in the life of my baby girl, so I planned to start on her birthday (that didn't work out either).  Finally I decided to start on my birthday.

In the days leading up to it, I anticipated the process, made sure the camera was ready, joyfully started the project on the forth.  Then sadly scrambled for an out when I awoke in the early morning hours of the 6th after a late nap having not taken a picture on the 5th.  This lapse caused me great inner turmoil.  I talked with my husband, theorized that since I hadn't gone to bed for the evening, then technically it was still the same day for me (does the time stamp on a photo really matter that much?).  He looked at me and said, "why don't you just start over?  Whenever you miss a day just start over and eventually you'll make it a whole year."

My mind was officially blown.  Why hadn't I even considered the possibility of starting over?  I had invested so much energy into planning a perfect project, that I forgot the real goal, to spend a year doing something that I enjoy doing everyday.

I'm trying to carry that lesson forward.  There are so many areas in my life where permitting myself to just start anew, without judgement, without condemnation, in simple pursuit of a goal I set for myself may mean all the difference.  Since the 6th, I've had to restart once more, this time while disappointing, I was able to dust myself off and hop back on the horse much easier.  As I try to live a healthier life, exercise more regularly, progress with immigration related stuff, actually implement some of my community oriented goals I give myself permission to start over, start again when necessary without staying weighed down by regret, instead turning my attention toward a renewed commitment to achieve my goals.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I'm in a faith rut.  I'm finding it hard to understand and communicate with God.  Sometimes I feel so distant and the Bible seems like an imperfect manual at best.  How do I hold on to my relationship with God when I'm so often confronted by philosophies that compete with my understanding of justice (in the Bible).  My issue currently is not belief in God, I'm sure God loves me, because that's what God does, loves us beyond our comprehension, all of us, saints and sinners alike.  Although I struggle, I believe God is with me, but it's hard. I can't explain it adequately, I consider regularly the possibility that some things are God's prerogative and I'll never understand, but I hope to understand enough to never lose faith completely.  I hope to understand enough to raise my child to know God and seek a relationship with God for herself, whether more or less strong than my own.  I suppose I'm a bit envious of people I know who seem to have lots of faith, few questions (about the Bible or God), and much more peace about the direction they are heading in life.  As much as I believe.... I'll be honest and say that occasionally I wonder whether I am trying too hard to hang on to a cultural relic of my childhood/culture, rather than a firm object of my adulthood.  My hope is that I'm right that God won't abandon me for periods of a lack of faith, but I don't want to push myself over a cliff of unbelief that I can't find my way back up.


Friday, February 3, 2012

To do project #563: the Women's Writing Well

I'd like to start a writing group at the local high school called the Women's Writing Well.  In my imagination the students have  blogs and notebooks.  Personal and public writing spaces.  We would meet twice a week, one day would be a reading day (reading other people's and each other's blogs, reading portions of whatever book we are reading that month as a group), the second a writing day (each month focusing on a different skill or theme).  It'd theoretically be related to/connecting with the curriculum during the day.  The students would produce a quarterly WWW newsletter, maybe even a community blog.  They'd learn how to make clear concise arguments, get practice doing research, making outlines, writing in a judge free zone.  We'd have speakers: journalists, novelists, poets, professors, Communications managers, lots and lots of women who write.  We'd tackle issues of gender, race, class.  It'd be a place for women, especially those who lack confidence as writers to gain inspiration and nourishment from the well, and a space for them to learn to write well.

Much more thought to be given to it, but I think it may go on my upcoming list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30.  Today is my 29th birthday:-)

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Sometimes good enough just doesn't seem.....GOOD enough
Sometimes despite knowing better....I don't really DO better
Sometimes I'm so critical of myself that I get STUCK....
         stuck on my imperfections
         stuck in my movement forward
         stuck with old habits I'd like to change.

Happily there is self-reflection.
Gratefully there is forgiveness.
Shockingly there is yet another, and another, and another chance for me to do better.

I am thankful for grace given freely to all.

Monday, January 30, 2012


When I was a child I imagined I'd do something great.  I felt full of promise.  Junior high Tina thought she was one of the smartest in the class (nevermind there were only 14-16 kids in the class:-).  High school Tina knew she wasn't the smartest, but she was at least "above average".  College Tina, recognized her world was so small back home and being the smartest - 1) wasn't a personal reality and 2) wasn't all that mattered... yet she still wanted to be great.  Graduate school Tina had her moments when she was exceptional and moments when she was just getting by, but the scale tipped (even if ever so slightly) more to the exceptional side than the just getting by side.  Tina the first year counselor was a hot mess, Tina the first year mom, not a hot mess, but not mother of the year either.

Sometimes I wonder if the promise I saw, the promise I feel my family and friends saw and encouraged will ever be realized.  I wonder whether I'll survive the projected 5-7 years of stay at home motherhood where my greatness is largely a reflection of my existence as the professor's wife, and mother of the most brilliant and beautiful child(ren).  I'm sure I could use a perspective check, and I check myself often during the day, since I live a very privileged life, with opportunities to become more engaged in the community (which I pursue when I can), but I still wonder....I wonder whether any of the plans or ideas I have are really able to be accomplished from a non employed SAHM position.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A year of SAHM

When my daughter grows up, I want her to feel capable of achieving her goals.  I want her to sidestep the guilt and shame of imperfection, to be whatever she dreams of being.  I want to be an example of living a fulfilling life.  I want her to know me and the women who helped shape me, and to know without a doubt that she can have it all.

Once I was at a Council of One Hundred event at Northwestern.  They have a mentoring program for women and one of the council members was on a panel.  Someone asked about having it all, referring to being a professional and a mother (and wife) and the person said (and I paraphrase here) "sure you can have it all, just not at the same time".

Now I've repeated these words a couple of times and been looked at askance on more than one occasion.  I've repeated it, not because I think its 100% true, but because I think its an interesting perspective that deserves more exploration.  Few of the people I've said this to have indulged me thus far.

I'm willing to admit automatically there is something unsettling about the idea that women need to put their career on hold to become mothers, especially since practically no one would accept that supposition for men.  But there's hope in the statement for a young college educated stay at home mother like myself.  There's the suggestion that at some point it will again be socially acceptable to pour too many hours and too much energy into our chosen field/industry, as opposed to our children.....or something like that.

It's been about a year since I started my stay at home mother(hood) journey.  Sometimes I struggle, and sometimes its the best job in the world.  I've decided that while its important to me to have a presentable home that can be visited upon on surprise... while I enjoy walking out to a clean apartment in the morning... while I enjoy sharing a good meal I've prepared, I still yearn for something more.  I know its obvious, but worth stating out loud, I have thoughts, ideas, programs I'd like to develop and I aim to do so.

Change, progress, life happens one step at a time.  I'll keep you all updated along my way.  I know I may have had similar posts before, but I find myself energized for another push forward recently.

Blessed beyond measure to be her mom.

Monday, January 16, 2012

In the middle of the night

It's quiet at 2:30am
Sweet faces have already shut their eyes
Dishes and toys still wait, yearning for a return to their place

It's peaceful at 3:30am
The days damage, slowly peeling away
Worries and anxieties melting with greasy suds being washed down the drain

It's late at 4:30am
Courting sleep, fearing morning
Pledging to read, write, wash dishes, sweep/mop/vacuum, bathe, etc...BEFORE sweet faces fall asleep after 1 or 2am

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Lately its seemed as if blogging gets pushed to the back burner.  For the last several days I've gotten to the end of a day, only to have a choice before me.  SLEEP or blog....  It's a tough decision some nights because I really love having a space to share my thoughts, to put whatever is troubling me or whatever idea/theme is active in my imagination onto paper, but sleep is important.  Sleeping while my baby is sleeping of supreme importance.  

I'm not sure I have much to say tonight, I just wanted to say something before racing to bed.  Goodnight :-)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

On Hagar

So it's silent and I strain to hear God. I downloaded an app that breaks the Bible up into small chunks, to be read from beginning to end in one year. I'm not even a week in, but the task seems to be going ok, although I struggle. I struggle to hear God through a text that at times seems oppressive to me. Why would God favor Abram and Sarai, when they treat Hagar as less important, less fully human than themselves. What gives Sarai the right to "give" Hagar to her husband. How devestating it must have been to be forced into the slave owner's bed by his wife, forced to carry a child to further his legacy. It feels unjust and leaves me pondering the age old questions of why bad things happen, why are some people born in North America where their likelihood of living a decent life is dramatically higher than if they were born in poorer parts of the world. 

Why? Why slavery? Why the subjugation of women? Why covenants, savior for some people, but not all people? So many whys....

Because it's God's plan? Is God not the creator of all people? Are we not all his children? How is it right/fair that some are favored and some are not? Maybe I need to be clearer on how I define favored, because it's clearly not solely a material wealth thing, but still, its hard to imagine understanding God's favor from Hagar's position.