30 August 2011


also, i whisper pee, arr, enn, dee when i shift my car into drive. i hum and chair dance when i eat candy, haven't ever used a screwdriver without uttering the words leftie loosie rightie tightie, and when the man yesterday was explaining how to use my brand new water heater, my eyes glazed over and i waved my hand and asked "uhh. can i google this?"

he shook his head like he was trying to shake me out of it and repeated "there's nothing to google, ma'am. i just said to wait about thirty minutes before you use it or else maybe the water won't be as warm as you'd like it to be."

hmph. he made it sound way less technical the second time.

i think i'm not getting proper sleep. do you ever have bad dreams? i have them all. the. time. practically every night. always about not being able to save one of my babies in the water. like, tsunami water.

i wonder if it would help if i took swimming lessons? maybe a lifesaving course? i'm a little desperate.

if you have tips about how to not have nightmares, share them with me? i think i may also need a dream translator.

perhaps i shall google one.

cute text found here.

29 August 2011


first morning of school for the girlies three, all. my pancakes seemed to be perfect for once.

golden and light and a little underdone in the middle.

and i felt, for the first time in a very very very long forever, pleased. like, content. equal parts proud and excited and looking forward to...forward.

you know i've struggled being back here in the states. i've tried and tried to climb my way out of it. i have. albeit with large portions of whining, but i've tried.

but then it gets cold again. and then there's something else to clean. but mostly it gets cold again. and just when i find my footing, i lose a little ground. it happens this way every time.

this morning, it's not about the pancakes. it's about a summer when i stopped and enjoyed my time here. i didn't work as much, i didn't clean as much, and i didn't schedule anything at all.

and do you know what's so funny? the girlies never once asked for a play-date this summer. not one. they were happy being...happy. together.

i can't find words to really tell you how i feel this morning. but there's one word that's everything i'm not feeling.


let me enjoy this until lill's dean calls me to tell me that, yes, lillie's shorts are a little too short for school. either that, or her legs are a little too long. don't even get me started on grae's hot pink lipgloss. i always feel a bit braggy when i tell you how well things are going. however. just in case any of you are feeling lost or cold, i thought it might be nice to know it takes about two and a half years to warm up again and find yourself. maybe less, but certainly no more. and truthfully, the pancakes weren't all that great. photo from here-ish.

25 August 2011

still shaken, still stirred...

the girlies three haven't let me out of their sight since our little earthquake. this is so strange; they're normally so resistant.

i have to be honest. i'm a bit disappointed in them.

doesn't that sound awful?! i know. i feel like the worst mother right now.

it's just...

these are girls who tried to sneak up behind our armed guards every morning before school and every afternoon when they came home. always an edgy prank when they pulled it in the pitch black of night. these are girls who walk into new schools leaning forward. they translate different as beautiful. they are ready for everything.

they love change. they were built for adventure. they are naughty and thuggish and irreverent and hella polite and comfortable in their own skin and braver on a daily basis than most adults i've met.

and now they are scared of the earth rumbling again.

i don't understand it. i don't. so all i can do is let them follow me around, i guess, and hope this memory fades.

the good news is that my sister-in-law told them there are lots of earthquakes happening where we're set to move next summer. so that's awesome.

to distract their horror, i told them about the active volcano.

in my attempt to try to figure out how to end this post, the only thing i figured out is that this is probably only the beginning. ugh. have a sweet day, you little sweethearts. if you need me, i'll be with my lillie, my grae, and this little wildebeest that's magnetized to my side. this tattoo reminds me of why i scrawled patrick's name on the top of my foot in the first place. thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. kind of the same meaning. kind of.

24 August 2011

the shakes...

as mémé would say, we're sleepy as daisies around here.

she also uses the state of daisies to describe how clean something is, how easy something is, how decidedly yummy something is, how fast of a runner her grae-girl is...somehow, it works.

yesterday was just a day. we all have them, yes? the earthquake shook our souls, and news of lill and grae's former teacher's sudden and devastating loss broke our hearts. in between that, i forgot to not be an impatient and irritable arse.

everything shattered around bedtime. it's funny how you can see all the cracks at night, isn't it?

lillie started it with an odd apology to grae that sounded something like if we have another earthquake and my bunk collapses on you...i'm sorry.

which is how grae ended up in our bed and how i ended up in her bottom bunk. at midnight.

before this midnight happening, though, i overheard esmé in the bathroom. brushing her teeth and sobbing, a mess of tears and toothpaste.

why did that baby have to die? she wailed. she was so brand new!

i don't have answers for questions like these. maybe no one really does. so i tried to explain that all the best people in the world? god wants them back. some way earlier than others.

that this little girl must've been so damn perfect that he decided her time here was enough. maybe she was promoted to head angel in charge of watching over and loving all the new babies in the world. maybe he thought she'd be perfect to whisper reassurances in the ears of nervous almost-moms. or maybe she could just be.

we sat there and thought of at least ten things she's probably doing right now. and none of them had anything to do with being sick. doctor's appointments. or her mom's crushed heart.

it almost sounds kind of nice, esmé whispered through wobbly, minted lips.

no. it really doesn't, i thought.

it's probably why russ frangella is still alive, she suggested. god doesn't want that guy around.

{for those of you who aren't familiar with russ frangella, he is an eighty-something pisser of a man from my hometown who was on one side of a construction project years and years ago. my dad was on the other side. which meant russ frangella's side was going nowhere. this was when my dad had cancer, and everyone but us knew he was at the end of his fight. so russ frangella all of a sudden backed off and told everyone "we just need to wait a month. he won't be around after that." i've never forgiven him for this. to the point that whenever the girlies and i go home, i drive by his house and honk the horn if he's outside so that he has to whip his old toothless head around, much to the glee of my naughty girlies three. i am vindictive, i guess. he also makes these wooden benches and paints them in cheery colors and then tries to sell them from his front lawn. i've not yet mustered up the courage to replace his FOR SALE signs with FREE FOR HAULING. yet.}

yes, well...i wasn't sure what to tell her about why russ frangella isn't yet in heaven.

that man is mean as a daisy.

some days, i just want to fly away. this is one of them. feathers found here.

23 August 2011


esmé: i don't want to grow up.

me: oh, no! why not?! growing up is the most fantastic thing ever!

esmé: because i don't know what i want to be.

me: oh, that. over-rated. what you're going to be matters so much less than who you're going to be. and, man, mémé...you're already one of the most wonderful little whos i've ever met.

esmé: ok, then. i'll grow up for you. but i still don't know what i want to be.

me: just promise me two things, mé. be happy. and do something that'll save the world.

long pause, during which i'm certain her heart and soul are overflowing with that mother-of-the-year advice. i mean, if this was a movie about esmé saving the world, this...this...would be the opening scene, yes?

esmé: what whale?


me: world.

esmé: you want me to save world the whale?

this conversation makes much more sense if you read it out loud and pronounce world and whale so similarly that you can't tell the difference between them.

if it helps, they both sound like whirl.

images found here and here.

22 August 2011

i like...

i asked grae what she does when she has writer's block. that cute thing had no idea writer's block even existed.

after i explained the condition brilliantly, she dead-faced me and recapped. so. writers sometimes lose their words? and find themselves...unable to...write?

well. when you put it like that.

does this ever happen to surgeons?

i could see her crossing off writer on her list of possible career paths. it does sound kind of lame.

lillie came to my rescue, because that is what she does.

i just write what makes me happy.

so while grae dead-faces us both, i guess i'll start there.

things that make me happy. by karey m.

these shoes.

i usually distrust this contrived pose and all her siblings, from the super-model can't-be-bothered-to-smile-no-matter-how-happy-i-am pout to the oh! am i taking my own picture again? head tilt, but i feel that these feet have...soul. forgiven.

i like rewriting something important for uncle sugar, and then having him shake his head and tell me kar...you should be doing this for people. i remind him that i am doing this for people. that, in fact, he is a people. but still, he shakes his head and tells me no. bigger than this.

i like it when there's mad faith in a room, don't you?

i like finding a beautiful drawing of a moon by my lillie kate. with you hung this in her awful handwriting.

i like how this picture makes me catch my breath.

do you ever wish you created something-anything that made someone else somewhere in the world gasp? i do, too. every day.

i like it that esmé wants to name her someday daughter canary. i like how she feels sorry for my mom that she doesn't have my dad anymore. i like how she tells pat he's her favorite and then winks at me. {remember this? her winks still crack me up.}

i like when one of my three favorite faraway sisters gets outstanding news about her oldest babe after a supremely frightening moment. i like it that her guardian angel was taking care of her. and his namesake.

i like beginning a monday with like. this was a good idea for me.

i am a big fan of like, you know. i've always believed liking someone is far more important than loving them. because love is once and forever, in my mind. once you've fallen deeply, it's pretty impossible to climb back out.

like, though, is a minute-to-minute act. i think it's much harder.

i was telling one of my faves the other day that marriage boils down to this: waking up every day and liking the person next to you. and then spending the rest of the day showing it.

off to do just that.

happy monday, you little sweethearts. all from here.

19 August 2011

send me...

esmé overheard me saying something about being unplugged, and gasped.

but how will you turn back on? she asked worriedly.

simple. i waved her worry away. inspiration never fails.

so...do you have any?

i've missed every post that would definitely make me drool. every sentence that would make me wish i'd written it. some wristful of lovelies i'll surely covet. something that's changed you. anything that's made you.

i'd love it all.

send 'em if you've got 'em, yes? either in the comments so we can all read what you're loving, or just shoot me a mail. you're so much less censored when you mail me, did you know this? it's quite cool. i'm a big fan of a less censored you.

let's all have a weekend just like that, shall we? i'm in. see you next week, you little sweethearts.

this is a start.

17 August 2011

another peek...

i'm still so unplugged. but it's so wonderful that i had to jump back in for a second to tell you.

{ahem.} i've unplugged. and it's wonderful.

there. it feels good to check in with you.

i know there are a million mails i've technically not answered...but...i've answered them in my head. in short, yes to all and maybe next week and i'd love it in a medium and sure! i'd love one of your bracelets! i've been trying to dip my wrist into gold, but it's been a lifetime since i switched to white gold so do not let the exclamation point trick you; my sure is a tentative one. and they're not all pirates, though.

also. if you ever want to know who loves you, don't post for a while. my inbox is like a fat hug from a friend who smells delicious. your words for me are far too nice. i don't deserve them, i think, but i'm stealing them nonetheless.

one note has been making me think too hard during this unplugging of mine. in part, it politely requested that i come back and write. sooner rather than later. because, as the sweetheart reader wrote, i never make her feel badly about herself or her life.

that made me proud for about a half-second, but then i felt a little awful. and not because of that moment where i giggled and said out loud to no one you are most welcome for my mediocrity, kind sir. even though she is a madam. i digress. awful because of how she was feeling as a result of...gulp...blogs.

to me, blogs are collections. grand piles of good words or stellar ideas or artful images. to me, they're meant to inspire. inform. entertain. and this one in particular is purely a page where i practice writing. nothing more, but probably much less. it's sorely lacking an ulterior motive or upward trajectory and, especially of late, this troubles me. so this unplugging of mine has been a welcome respite from obsessing over all i'm not doing with this space because of what i'm doing outside of this space.

does that make sense?

anyway. i understand it completely when i'm hard on myself. i get it when you're pushing yourself out of your comfort zone because of some internal motivation, too. but i can't say that i understand. it. at. all. when those feelings fly in as a result of what someone else is writing or doing or making or thinking.

never been a factor for me.

it's not for you, either, is it? and, on the god-awful chance that it is true, what do you do about it? stop reading the blogs that make you feel less? or stalk them and do what i do when another driver's being a total jerk in a parking lot?**
**i just mutter lazy cow. i wish i did something more renegade, but i really don't believe in being renegade out loud.

images found here and here. and found really quickly. since i'm unplugged and all...

10 August 2011

peeking in...

i've been spending some time with real paper and sharp pencils. my least favorite word in the world is scratch - why do bakers use such a rashy term to describe their cake and cookie recipes? baffling to me. every time. - but it's the only one that perfectly describes the sounds that real, old-school, down and dirty writing and reading make.

we're enjoying face-to-face conversations and long runs on the trails and playing cards the girlies three and i must manually shuffle, vegas-ish-style, and a whole lot of unplugging. i am digging the unplugging. you must try it.

but i am missing you.

if you're interested in a little light nonsense reading, i wrote some words for amy right here. i hope you enjoy them.

i met amy at alt design summit. i know i've told you this a million and a half times, but alt is genius and good for your soul. there's something about hanging with your peers, hearing their voices, sharing ideas and inspiration...or, heck...just a glass of wine in the lobby of the grand america.

so, amy. i met her in the first five of alt. she has the most direct gaze i've seen. if you're talking, her eyes are on you. if she's talking, yours should be on her. i liked her within the first five of alt.

do you know my favorite thing about her? she lives in new york. and i asked her all about it. my questions usually sound like "how much does it cost to live..." and then the endings of my questions usually sound like a city or a neighborhood. you know me. i like moving. new york will always be on my list.

to me, there are two types of people in the world: those who will answer money questions and those who will not. she answered. i like that about her tremendously. i think it's important to share as much information as you've got.

and when i sent her my million-word answers to her questions, she did not reply with "awesome! thanks!" and then hit publish. she. commented. on. every. single. one. of. my. words. like, lovingly. like, we're in this whole blogging thing together.

which we are, in my mind. but it's awfully nice to meet someone else who holds that true, too.

if you don't know amy, your head will be much better with her ideas and thoughts in it. promise.

between me and you, i was so tempted to answer her first question with the brilliance below...

did i ever tell you i have a saucy mouth? i do, i do...much to my dismay.

kidding. there's no dismay.

brill found here. and there's way more. go. if you'd like to visit my words on old sweet song, they're right here.

04 August 2011

a winner...

you're all winners to me.

seriously. if we were in a race together, i'd let you win even if i was way faster. which i am not. if we were having a hold-your-breath or don't-you-dare-blink-first contest, it wouldn't even be a contest. i'd laugh and blink and blow it all. geography or math? i'm sunk. my go-to answers are always myanmar and seventy-eleventy, and those are rarely the right answers.

so it pains me that only one of you can win these kick-smash {i'm trying to swear less. which means i'm making up more words.} business cards from UPrinting. they are a lovely company. i've printed with them before, and i swear she's going to be thrilled when she gets her new cards. she needs a little giftie.

i think i may be giving something else away next week. and i've just decided that someday i will hold a give-away where you all win something. promise.

cat found here. i'm allergic to cats, so this one is out for me. but i am very interested these days in getting another tattoo. like, the girlies' names on my wrist. now that would make a genius weekly wrist post, wouldn't it? have a sweet weekend, you little sweethearts. tell me if you get a tattoo, will you! i'll be jeally...

03 August 2011

my weekly wrist{ish}...

this little piggy reminds me to run my miles...

i prefer the little piggy who encourages me to eat jelly beans.

also, i've been raving about gel manicures for a while now. they are usually genius and last forever, unless you're in the pool every day. this past mani lasted about a week and a half before the polish started peeling off.

however, as is my motto for pretty much everything, when things go to hell in a hand-basket...just add shimmer.

i think maya angelou said that.

01 August 2011


i need some advice if you've got some extra...

so i was in this accident. and things are a supreme mess because of it. {i just backspaced out of four awfully whiny tragi-sentences that would've made a swell refrain if i were singing the blues and drinking jack, but were not-so-great for a monday morning blog post, yes? yes.}

short version of my story: my front left tooth died in the accident. which is way better than the alternative, for sure.

for. sure.

but now i've got a choice to make. do i get a root canal in that tooth - one of the first of two that you see whenever i smile...and did you know i smile all of the flipping time?! not a good coincidence. - and then have the dentist try his little heart out to match the whiteness of that tooth to the rest of my teeth and especially to the shade of white on the one to her right?

or. and here is where i start to lose my breath.

does he make sure the two front sister teeth match forever and ever and even when i drink coffee by giving me veneers? the way he delicately explained it, he would SHAVE DOWN MY CUTE FRONT TEETH TO LITTLE POINTS. and then attach something or other that look like teeth.


when i was in sixth grade, my last name was harvey. i didn't know that i didn't like my last name yet until i got to chemistry class right after lunch. the teacher was lovely and brilliant and kind of totally a geek. and when he reached my name, he smiled so big that i thought i'd won student of the year already.

karey harvey...hey! harvey the rabbit!

it didn't help that my two front teeth were the size of scrabble tiles. i hadn't had braces yet, so they maybe rested over my bottom lip. maybe. sigh. although not one of my classmates even knew who james stewart was until christmas eve, they were all super-familiar with harvey the rabbit from that day forward. and that is how my year went.

i got braces the day before sixth grade school pictures, and kept them on until the day after eighth grade pictures. forgiven. because for the rest of my life except for one night at prom where the boozy photographer asked me to tone it down with the teeth, sister! those two big front teeth have made nearly every picture i take better.

i honestly don't know what to do. i need some additional professional opinions, i think. and then i need yours...

if you have a second, what would you do? i think both options are going to hurt, aren't they?

don't forget to leave a comment to win 250 business cards, ok? they're going to be cute. i just know it. three teaspoons is my favorite today.