Hypocrite and okay with it

November 10, 2015

I feel accomplished and good at my job if I successfully cook an actual meal for dinner. I also take pride in the fact that we are not one of those families that demands a homecooked meal every evening and we’re happy with it. I defend my choice to order Chinese carry out just as fiercely as I do the time I dedicated to time to the chicken and sausage gumbo that I planned and shopped for and started cooking at 1:05pm and didn’t finish until 6:42pm.

I like to cook. But only sometimes. And only if I haven’t recently cooked. And only if I’m not expected to, and if I want to. And only if my kids aren’t pulling on my pant legs or asking for yogurt for the 17th time.

So, I like to cook. Cooking is good. And important! Healthy food and saving money and domesticity for the win.

But ordering dinner from someone else’s kitchen is also good. And also important! And eating grilled cheese sandwiches is also good. And important! Laziness and acceptance and balance and less dishes for the win.

I read an interview recently about compartmentalizing ourselves and how we are wired to fit ourselves and others into neat little boxes. (I’m so sorry, brilliant woman whose interview I read, that my mommy brain ate the knowledge of who you were or how to get in touch with you.)

Our instinct is to see black or white. I’m pretty sure grey is greatest.

It’s beautiful, all of these roles we play. All of these interests we have.

We proclaim one thing but know within our hearts that we are that thing plus it’s opposite, often in the same day, and we love that about ourselves.

I care about the environment. I worry about the health of our planet, especially in relation to my children’s future. I recycle everything I possibly can. We use chemicals on our lawn. I go through a ridiculous number of baggies on any given weekday.

I use my fuel saver card at the grocery store, and will drive out of my way to fill up for a few cents cheaper. I buy expensive jeans, and books at an actual bookstore that cost 20% more than they would online.

I hate Walmart. I shop there anyway. I loathe Hobby Lobby corporate. I shop there anyway. I really love supporting local coffee merchants. I order a Starbucks cappucino at least once a week.

It’s easier to identify someone else if we can fit them into neat comparments. And easier on ourselves, too. But who really fits into compartments? Robots, that’s who. Not humans. Not working loving cooking driving laughing playing hiring writing happy anxious mothers.

I like to cook. But only sometimes.

I kinda like grey. I kinda like being okay with liking grey.



A Boy Named Love, my first children’s book, the first published book accredited to me, is now available.


It’s listed on Amazon. Just like John Grisham’s books and Jen Hatmaker’s books and Liane Moriarty’s books. Amazon!

A Boy Named Love, available in paperback and hardcover on Amazon.com

I’m excited and relieved, but mostly just grateful for all of the support. I can’t wait to share with you every detail about the entire process, from the outline I recorded in my iPhone more than two years ago after stepping out of the shower, through the crazy ride that is self-publishing, and all the way to the shiny book now available at the world’s largest retailer.

If you are connected to a blog or a show or a magazine or anyone in the media, I would be honored to discuss sharing Love with your audience. I may be reached here. Or, find me on Instagram or Facebook.

Here’s to many more books to come! So much love to all of you.


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We are making progress, you guys. Slowly but surely my first children’s book, A Boy Named Love, is becoming a reality.

I sent a detailed update to all of the Kickstarter backers last week with all the nitty gritty, including a couple illustration sneak peeks and a look into the process of working with a professional illustrator. You can check it out right here.

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Next step: arranging the entire thing!

Where to place each illustration on the page? Should this word be bigger font than that word? Should this part of the sentence flow to the next page for emphasis? Arrangement with children’s books is so important. I’m nervous about this step, but ready to tackle it.

Dare I say, finished books in hand by August 1st? July 15th? Oh my oh my oh my.

Have a fabulous week, everyone! Talk later. I have a couple fabulous book reviews I can’t wait to share with you sometime soon.

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Yes Please by Amy Poehler

You know how sometimes you just keep passing on a specific book, even though it’s on your list and you definitely do want to read it eventually? You finish one book and then, when deciding what’s next, you look at it and just say ehh maybe later?

Yeah. Well. Why I did that with Yes please for 6+ months I have no idea. I MEAN HONESTLY.

This book is lovely, you guys.

It’s funny. Obviously. But in the smart dry humor kind of way that you almost miss if you’re not paying attention. And dude this is one smart chica. Holy buckets can she write.

Funny, check. Smart, check. Well written, check.

Also: inspiring. YUP.

Amy drops these ridiculous little nuggets of wisdom about career and life and love and parenthood amongst her short and snappy lines. I would have underlined something on every page if I hadn’t read this on loan from my e-library.

End of book result: She showed pieces of her real self. Dirty, messy, and lovely. And now I will support her work forever and ever amen.

Yay for books,

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

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Yesterday morning I snuck into my bathroom to get cleaned up and, as usually happens, both girls quickly followed me in there. They can destroy my bathroom in 47 seconds if allowed, but I usually do allow it because if I have to choose between keeping a neat and tidy bathroom and not looking like a disheveled mess all day, I’ll go with the latter every day of the week. I’d rather have mascara on my lashes AND mascara wands all over the floor than, well, mascara in neither place. Undoing the mess is usually number one on my list at nap time.


I am standing in my closet trying to distinguish between the clean clothes and the not-so-clean clothes, when I hear Addy say, “A sticker. Wow, what a neat sticker. MOM! I FOUND A STICKER! It’s so…it’s so…it’s so SOFT!” I peek around the corner of the door to take a look.

She has a small box in her lap. In one hand is a thin rectangular piece of paper. In the other hand, a panty liner.


Of course.

I leap back into the closet to conceal my laugh. I’m not even sure why I felt like I couldn’t laugh in front of her. I guess I found it so ridiculous and hilarious that I didn’t want her to stop doing whatever it was she was doing with it.

I stand in the closet for a moment not saying anything. “Mom it’s sooo sticky!” she finally says. “Mom. MOM. I think it’s stuck to me.”

There was a brief pause and then, “Oh. I got it. Now it’s stuck on Lela.”

Big sister stuck the “sticker” on little sister. There was now a panty liner on the bottom right side of the back of EJ’s shirt.

I left it there until I changed her into her jammies. I left it there for hours. It made me laugh all day long.

The end.

Motherhood is stupidly, ridiculously awesome,



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As I write this, it’s 3:34 on Monday afternoon and both kids are sleeping. This hasn’t happened in forever, as Addy has taken more of an interest lately in emptying the entire contents of her dresser and banging incessantly on her door than sleeping, and EJ dropped her afternoon nap ages ago, but refuses to push her morning nap up any later than 11am. Let me tell you how delightful that makes the late afternoon. For both girls. And for mama.


Anyway, due to weird schedules and teething sleep disruption and a guilt trip about the doctor telling her that sleeping will help her grow big and strong SO STRONG!, they are both out for the count. So I did what I always do when the stars align like this, I stood in the middle of the kitchen with my mouth open, phone in hand, wondering what the heck I should do. I finally settled on watching a DVR’d TLC show, then I ate some potato chips, and then had a good long talk with Hubs about my latest paint decisions for the office, dining room, and master bedroom. I’m a study in productivity, let me tell you.

I finally decided I should seize this Both Kids Sleeping opportunity and write something. So here we are.


– I had a fabulous Mother’s Day, complete with tons of unstructured and unplanned kiddo time, a Hubs who did all the dishes all day long, and a visit to the evening church service BY MYSELF followed up by a fancy schmancy dinner at Panera BY MYSELF. Best ending to Mother’s Day ever. I got to skip dinner and bedtime routines, plus, bonus: I tried out one of the new broth bowls Panera has been advertising. Verdict: tasted Japanese or something, loved it, very non-Panera-like, very messy to eat, super fresh flavors.

– The Royals won again last night, this time in the wee hours of the morning after a weather delay at the home stadium of their division rivals. We’re number one in our division! I look forward to evenings on the couch with Hubs talking and watching the games more than I ever thought I would. Icy cold Summer Shandy’s certainly aid that effort.

– Albeit a little slow, I’m thrilled with the progress on A Boy Named Love. After receiving and fully editing the rough draft of all the drawings, we are inching closer to having final, full-color versions of everything. I’ve reviewed and approved about three-fourths of them. Can’t wait to share this book with the world. We are so so so close and that simultaneously thrills me and scares me to death.

– I started I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings yesterday. I’m progressing through it slowly because of Maya’s writing style, but finding it fascinating so far. Also feeling a little embarrassed that I’ve never read it before.

– At this very moment, I want to be hugging my babies. I also want to be dressed up in a professional shift, wearing heels and sporting newly colored hair and newly manicured nails. I want to be reading in a quiet room with birds chirping outside and steaming coffee in my mug. I also want to be reading 101 Dalmations and listening to my children scream after pulling each other’s hair.
I’ve made a kind of shift lately in my thinking, and instead of flip flopping back and forth, back and forth between Annie Before Kids (ABK) and Annie Now (AN) , treating them like one or the other, either/or, continually comparing, I’ve found an awareness. A contentedness of some kind. It’s not an either/or. It’s a now. It’s not about looking back and comparing. It’s not about looking forward and planning. It’s about looking down right where we are and loving. Accepting. With open arms and open hearts. With grace. For myself and Hubs and my kids. And everyone.

We can’t have it all. But we can be content with what we have. And we can love it. We can love the heck out of it.

There are aspects of ABK that I sincerely miss (coffee shop afternoons, I’m looking at you. Also: the ease of rescheduling an appointment. Oh my god.), but I’m fine without them. I have stopped comparing AN to ABK in a way that focuses only on the negative. It was a different chapter, and instead of thinking about how someday I’ll get that chapter back, I want to instead look forward to the writing of new ones.

I can’t wait to turn those pages.

For now, this chapter, this one kind of near the beginning, is pretty darn great.


Book analogies for the win,


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Happy Monday, friendlies. Good weekend?

For real though. #weekendlove #liveyourstyle

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Ours was good; laid back and borderline lazy. Hubs was in the southeast corner of Missouri with friends, doing country bumpkin type things, so the girls and I brunched and declared big bowls of popcorn as acceptable dinners and spent hours lounging in the backyard. I stayed up way too late watching terrible television I would never admit to enjoying (I’m looking at you, TLC), but I did start a new book, a novel, finally – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. It’s flip flopping between two main characters and two time periods telling the story in first person. I’m kind of enthralled with it so far.

I’ll report back about The Girl. In the mean time, here are a few titles I’ve read recently and my thoughts on each:

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (RG is a pen name for JK Rowling.) You know how you can sometimes think you don’t like a book while you’re reading it, but change your mind once it’s over? Yeah. That. Also, I was completely overwhelmed by the number of characters, perhaps why I didn’t love actually reading it. Super creative and, overall, a solid mystery. The style of writing felt unique to me.

Paper Towns by John Green, Looking for Alaska by John Green  Ugh. Green is so talented. He must have journals from his teenage years, as I see no other way he so accurately writes to the thoughts and lives and nuances of teens. I enjoyed Alaska more than Towns. Green’s books are thought-provoking and say so much more than just the words on the page spell out, but Paper Towns went so far that I just didn’t get it. Womp womp. I was happy when closing the cover on the last page of Alaska. I was frustrated when I did the same with Towns.

The Most of Nora Ephron  I’m picking my way through the pieces of this Ephron collection. Some of her political essays from the 80’s and 90’s, couldn’t care less. The experiences she shares regarding the development of the When Harry Met Sally script and the production of the movie, fascinating. Nora was such a beloved writer, I’m happy to be finally experiencing what all the fuss was about. Heartburn, arguably her most famous novel, is the last big piece of the collection I have left.

Fly a Little Higher by Laura Sobiech  I read this on my computer after downloading a free copy from Jen Hatmaker‘s blog on a whim. Completely fascinated by this story, and overwhelmed with the emotion behind it. It was awww. It was wow. It was (sniff)(sniffle)(sniff). It was WOW. HOLY WOW.

A Little Sweet to Cut the Salty by Sophie Hudson I downloaded this on my Kindle, as I wanted to read it before I read what I really wanted to read (huh?), which was Sophie’s newest book, Home is Where My People Are. I was introduced to Sophie via another blogger and author I’ve recently started following, Melanie Shankle. A Little Sweet was entertaining, but didn’t have much substance. Several of the essays did make me shrug my shoulders and laugh about how culture in the south of the SAME COUNTRY I live in can be crazy and different and hilarious. Still planning to read Home.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty I waited ages to jump on the Moriarty bandwagon. Secret didn’t disappoint. Crazy fast read, but that might have been because I read it while on vacay in Scottsdale sans kids and had little else to do but read and sit by the pool, read and sit in the spa, read and stare up at the mountains. Fantastic character development. The plot moved along quickly. Looking forward to picking up another Moriarty title.

Seeing Grey in a World of Black and White by Adam Hamilton My pastor has written ~20 books, and I’m slowly working my way through them. Seeing Grey is organized into neat and short chapters, which was a good thing as this book’s not necessarily a fast read. Pastor Adam’s intellectual approach to faith and religion is fascinating to me. Right up my alley. Love this book for braving so many of the controversial and dividing aspects of the Christian faith and offering thoughtful questions, evidence to support both sides, and encouragement to form your own opinions.


So. What have you been reading lately? Anything recommendable? Have you read anything by Moriarty? Have you read Girl on the Train? Or anything by Nora?

In book geekery,