29 November 2011


i'm so quiet these days, but writing so much more than usual, which is a lot, and none of it's on mackin ink. that feels both funny and as it should be. i seriously need to reinvent this space...i'm thinking that will happen once i move, yes? say yes.

from seriously legal docs to influencing missives to did i really just write that responses to a little mail sent two floors down to my patrick...everything i'm writing these days seems pretty important. like, making little dents in my world important.

i like being a writer. i like being able to write. because on days like this after a few days like that, i see it so clearly: life is all about language, isn't it?

and here i was just telling someone this weekend that i'd love to be a nurse.

grae-rose, however, will someday be a trauma surgeon. that kid is cold as ice. it cracks us up when she offers her medical opinion at the oddest moments. pat fake-earnestly comments "yes. because gracie is a doctor. she's seen every episode of trauma in the ER, you know. plus, 800 pounds and having a baby." as lillie would say, "good lord, gracie" complete with her eye roll. in other news, lillie is charming the pants off me and pat. her english project was one of the most beautiful things i've ever seen...a three-d map of the world with stories about all the places she's seen and lived. it was heart-stopping for me and reinforced why we move around. i always go back to what uncle sugar said when he proposed: "...and we'll have babies and live all over the world so that they understand america's place in it and love her all the more for it." yes to that. and esmé. oh esmé. the other day, i was particularly nice and she looked at me particularly nicely and said "you remind me of your dad." i gasped and said "you never knew my dad." and she smiled with this wisdom and like i knew nothing at all and answered "oh yes i did." these girlies of mine...good lord, right? i want this.

23 November 2011


i was writing last night while the girlies were watching x-factor, and i kept reminding them not to fall asleep until josh krajcik performed.

tell me when he's on, i must've yelled ten times.

i could feel esmé rolling her eyes. you're just gonna cry, she warned.

i did. he sang wild horses, which is one of my favorite favorites ever. and explaining it to esmé what it meant in words she could understand...well. if you want meaningful things to mean even more, explain them in simple terms.

couldn't drag me away...damn if i don't feel that way every time i look at this little family of mine.

spending the week with friends and lovely traditions and there might even be a day or two when i lounge at the kitchen island and watch uncle sugar make magic. kidding about the might part. also about the day or two part. it's a four-day weekend, after all, and our fridge is stocked with some pretty brilliant ingredients! xoxo.

17 November 2011


esmé would wholeheartedly agree with this. i would, too, but not remotely in the same way.

potato, potato.


15 November 2011

a test...

at some point last night, lillie stopped studying with me for her science exam. which is exactly when grae took over.

it must've been when i ran downstairs to chat with uncle sugar, who was writing a practice essay in bahasa indonesian about...hold me, friends...housemaids. specifically, the hiring of them.

ok. daydream done.

we heard them laughing their heads off for over an hour, and kind of smiled at each other. our lillie and grae and their little sidekick, too, who honestly knows next-to-nothing about diffusion and meiosis and cytokinesis. trust me.

there's a bit of a problem in that all of grae's study prompts begin with a fat kid trying to stuff himself through the door. or cell membrane, as it were. also, the fat kid has an indistinguishable accent; a startlingly gross mix of uneducated, dull, and cockney, if you can imagine. so when lillie gets ready to write out a definition or process, she clears her throat first. kind of like a bad muppet.

lillie may not get an A today, but i guess pat and i are fine with that.

actually, we're more than fine with that.

14 November 2011


do you know how long it takes to tell someone you love them?

whisper that you're sure they hung the moon and stuck on all the stars in perfect pattern? that the sight of them, the sound of them, the sweet smell of them...causes your heart to stop whatever it's doing - no matter how important that doing may be - dropping beats like mad and completely forgetting about everything else except one thing.

zero time. so little time that you can't even find it on a clock. you've got to find it in your heart.

last night, esmé and i were reading. her, this. me, this.

by the way. i write down genius lines from genius books to see what it feels like to write genius lines in genius books. do you ever do that? in this case, i wrote: he forgets that he was someone's dream once, himself.

we shouldn't forget that, should we. it would probably make us a lot nicer to the people who've chosen to be around us. and who keep on choosing us, yes?

so out of the blue, i hear esmé say i love you.

and i smiled so hard. she fills silence with love. check.

i love you, too, mémé, i answered back.

and here's where i know she's going to skate through life with a smile. ooh, she grinned. i was actually talking to wemberly.

and then we both laughed while i stumbled to pick up all my fallen beats. because we both knew she wasn't.

11 November 2011

it's been said...

and i've been agreeing more and more. it's a nice way to live, i think. my girlies three agree.

i was going to post this bit of insight instead, but i wanted something more thoughtful and good for the world to sit here all weekend. not that...oh, never mind.

also, I MISS YOU! all caps means it's for real.

catch you next week, you little sweethearts. xoxo.

04 November 2011

backyard bill...

still killing it. family style.

for some reason, i've been using the words kickass and badass a lot lately. i think that's a sign that things are coming along quite nicely.

in other news, my sister wrote me a mail this morning that made my day. it read, in part, "if you ever killed someone, i'd go on dateline and say you didn't do it."

i hope you have someone who'd lie like that for you. i seriously do. xoxo and have a badass weekend, you little kickass sweethearts.

03 November 2011


don't you? say yes...

01 November 2011


esmé's teacher told the class that they could only eat one piece of candy last night. that she'd know whether they had more. you should've seen esmé's smile fade.

she had three. but she didn't enjoy the second and third pieces at all. and this morning, she asked me to look in her eyes and tell me if she looked cracky-crazy. tell the truth, mom. she ordered. super worried.

i'm so tempted to tell her she's allergic to reese's peanut butter cups so that they can all belong to me.

{it very much reminds me of my mom telling me i was allergic to cigarettes, pot, cocaine, any other drug that could possibly come my way in college, and beer and wine and shots boys would someday want to buy me. also, probably premarital sex.}

my heart can't explain what a wonderful halloween we had, so i won't even try. all i will tell you is that i feel hungover-lucky today.

october is always a hard month. it's the month my sister died, and i feel her more as the season changes than any other time of the year. the trick or treating, the rainbow-colored trees, thanksgiving and christmas and new year's coming...it was all her.

the girlies laugh at me because my tears fall so easily this time of year. esmé says i feel sorry for everyone, but i think i just feel sorry for me. i am pretty selfish, you know.

or else maybe i just see what everyone else is enduring, too, and i can feel their feelings in my bones. i prefer that to the whole selfish thing. or maybe i don't.

my sister wrote me a note yesterday and said something about seeing lin in everything lately. she has so many stories that i don't know that i wish she'd start a blog just for me and the girlies three. she's a much better writer than i ever will be {and i am not just saying that. everyone who has read her words knows it like truth.}, but was also blessed with a big fat brain that eats numbers like candy, so she has a real job in chicago. i envy her. she probably envies me.

anyway. have i told you that she was the gracie to my sister lin's lillie? do you understand that? and i am clearly the esmé to them both.

so she wrote a line smack in the middle of a mail that is still killing me.

...when life was good and simple and lin used to ride no-handed down the hill and bite off chunks of green apple and hand them to me mid-bicycle ride so i wouldn't break my capped front teeth.

and wow. if there was ever a definition of love - wild and easy and thoughtless in the most incredibly thoughtful way - to me, that would be it.

p.s. i only wrote today because she asked me to write today. see my gimme bar for photos.