Frenzy, Grace, Repeat

Last week really whooped me.

It was probably more than this pregnant lady should have attempted, for each day was taken at a frenetic pace and each involved enough steps to make me regret no longer wearing my Fitbit. (Do you have any idea how much more accomplished I would feel to have had a device beeping surpassed goals at me all week?)

Fitbit or no, I’m confident that I burned enough calories to more than justify my three heaping bowlfuls of ice cream doused with crumbled-up Butterfinger.

Between rushing around the house to fit in all the cooking/baking/cleaning/laundering that had to be done before the deadlines of we need to leave and they’re almost here, and lugging my boys to and through four (count ‘em: FOUR) fall events o’ fun, I was nearly reduced to tears on Friday night. I drove home through a beautiful fall landscape, yet could barely keep it together.

I am so tired. My feet and hips ache. I think this is my breaking point. Brennan is working late, I’m on my own with three filthy, dirty little boys who still need to be fed, bathed, and put to bed – and I still need to change their sheets. How in the world am I supposed to manage it all?

I was thisclose to tears. Big ones. Great, heaving sobs of exhaustion and surrender. But then something occurred to me:

“Who do you think is the most tired, Boys?” (Waving my hand in the air) “Me! Me! Me! I win!”

“No you don’t! I’m more tired! I am! I win!”

“Nope! I’m the most tired! I think you boys had better carry me inside the house, feed me dinner, and put me to bed!”

“We can’t do that! You’re too big!”

“Sure you could! Two of you take my arms and one of you take my legs. We’ll be all set!”

Laughter, laughter, laughter.

Thank you, Lord, for that moment of grace.

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Thank you, too, for the grace-filled moments that filled our weekend.

Saturday morning, without guilt or hesitation (though I knew he had plans for a home repair project), I told Brennan that I needed some time – just a little time – to myself. He didn’t hesitate either.

I eased myself into the day, then I went out. I hit the library and the town museum. I walked around downtown. On my own, I enjoyed the blustery weather about a hundred times more than I would have if I’d been carrying a 30-pound toddler in one arm and shepherding two small boys with the other.

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That afternoon, instead of putting a stop to the toddler-climbing-on-top-of-me-and-my-reading-material behavior that usually drives me nuts, I caught my little guy smiling mischievously and I smiled back. We touched our foreheads together and rocked them back and forth – our little signal of love. He cooed and growled and we laughed. I pressed my face against his and held him tight.

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I heard my four-year-old say, “I wuv you, Mommy. I wuv you more den you wuv me!”

“That’s not possible!” I said as I snuggled and tickled him.

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I prepared dinner in the (rare) quiet. Brennan was busily, happily working outside, perched on scaffolding just beyond the kitchen window. He’d grinned at me through the glass when he got the first level up.

The bigger boys were watching a movie and (after I’d fed him a second lunch/first dinner) their little brother was happily toddling in and out of the kitchen. I stopped and stood and felt my gratitude for my family and our home and our ability to put a good meal on the table.

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Sunday morning, two little boys ended up in bed with us. They wiggled and whispered and one bonked his daddy on the face. But when I came out of the bathroom, Brennan held one captive in his lap, tickling him. The other was settled in his baby brother’s room, perched on a chair just beyond the crib, “reading” aloud to the no-longer-crying little one.

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We went downstairs and they played so nicely. They played something having to do with animals and serving food – I’m not sure, but I think I heard mention of a Lion Café. “I’m so glad they have each other,” I said to Brennan.

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We went to Mass and the toddler was pretty difficult – he screeched and threw his bottle into the aisle (twice) and had to be removed. But the four-year-old stuck his head out of the pew so he could watch the consecration.

Without the toddler grabbing for it, I could hold my hymnal and sing in peace. Afterwards, the five-year-old regaled us with the Alleluia he’d learned in the Children’s Liturgy.

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That afternoon and evening, Brennan took charge of the boys so I could work my way through stacks of paperwork and reminders. I did some of that, then I wrote the bulk of this post. The tasks were mundane, but somehow more refreshing than just about anything else I could have done with that time.

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Honestly, I’m astounded when I look back on the weekend to count just how many small graces I received after a week that, while it looked good on the surface, really, thoroughly wore me down. “I can’t remember when I have ever been so tired,” I might have said to my mother-in-law Friday night, wearing an exceptionally pathetic look on my face.

I don’t know why I find it so surprising – it’s not like I forget that paces change. It’s just that the difference seemed so stark to me: One day I was suffering under the abundance of good things in my family’s life, the next they were building me up.

The key difference was… me.

Yes, physical exhaustion had a great deal to do with it. A good night’s sleep, when you can get it, does wonders. But I was still tired over the weekend. I still had (most of) my usual responsibilities. Yet somehow I also had the graces of perspective, of taking my time, of stopping to notice the little joys bound up in and between my responsibilities.

I’m so thankful.

This week is another busy one. I’m sure I’ll find myself again running at a frenzied pace, again exhausted, again stretched thin. C’est la vie. But I’m sure more graces will follow – and indeed be found within the frenzy, if I take the time to notice them.

These Walls - Frenzy, Grace, Repeat

Today, The Walsh Household Included:

Six family members suffering exhaustion bordering on hangover from one busy and stressful baptism weekend.

One water line leak requiring one water shut-off and at least one backhoe.

Two baby wardrobe changes before 10am.

One three-year-old reporting the sighting of one big, black snake with three words you’ve just got to take seriously: “I’m not wyin’.”

One mommy, one grandma, and two boys’ witness of said snake slithering out of a basket of toys and into a pile of same.

Memories of similar snakes seen just outside the house on three separate occasions recently.

Yesterday’s specimen.

Three doors shut tight all day in the interest of keeping said snake out of the rest of the house.

At least one prayer of thanksgiving for not having an open floor plan.

One sink and one counter full of dirty dishes which could not be properly cleaned due to water issues and I-just-don’t-want-to-deal issues.

One mama who gave up around 11am.

One desperate trip to a McDonald’s drive-through and a car wash, to nourish (gag) and entertain little boys and to facilitate Mommy’s escape from snake and brown tap water.

One long detour home in the hope of car seat naps for all.

Two minutes of success in that department before baby woke up.

Two books read to three-year-old before Mommy fell asleep sitting up, prompting illiterate boy to say, “Don’t worry. I’ll just wead it myself.”

Approximately 128 nursing sessions and 13 bottles.

Precisely zero naps lasting longer than 30 minutes for the two-month-old.

One big brother whispering sweet nothings to his baby.


Too many hours of mommy staring numbly at the computer screen, aimless and uninspired.

Two slices of key lime pie consumed with loving attention.

Two meals served in front of the television to facilitate said numb internet surfing and pie eating.

One stellar husband prodding pile after pile of stuff with a broom handle in search of the snake.

Zero snakes uncovered.

One sigh of relief – no, wait! – one shudder of horror that the snake could not be located.

Two thrilled/frightened little boys gotten ready for bed with assurances that “No, snakes do not hide in toilets.”

One hard cider sipped over the course of three hours.

Two parents… who can… hardly… keep their… eyes… open…

And yet will still diligently search their bedroom for snakes before going to sleep.

Our First Days With Him: 7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 27)

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!



Today, I feel every inch the mother of a newborn. Whooo-eee, am I tired. It’s a good thing I was blessed with some good sleepers (thank you, Lord!), because I am simply not equipped to handle a severe and consistent lack of sleep. After my solid three hours last night, I just about shed tears as I heaved myself out of bed this morning.

And I’ve been fighting them off the rest of the day.


So why in the world am I finally posting something to the blog today, rather than on any of the handful of lovelier, more happy and perky days I’ve had in the three weeks since the baby was born? Because today I’m tired enough that I just don’t care anymore.

You see, I’ve got a bit of an OCD/perfectionist problem. After posting the birth announcement, I reasonably and rightfully took a little break from thinking about anything but baby, boys, husband, and home. No blogging, not much reading of blogs, not much Facebooking or emailing. Fine. Makes sense.

Soon enough, though, I started to want to share some pictures and thoughts on the new baby and our new little family of five. (Six? I should say six now that my mother-in-law is living with us, shouldn’t I?) But I’d already built up a back-log of photos and ideas and I didn’t know which would be the perfect ones to post. So I didn’t post anything at all. It’s a very Julie thing to have done.

But today? I just don’t care anymore! I’m too tired to care! So I’ll just throw something up here, re-break the ice, and get back to blogging. It’s good to have your inhibitions broken down every now and then.


I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit it, but do you know what was majorly contributing to my perfectionist reluctance to post anything on the blog? (Anything less than perfect, that is.) This here post is my 100th.

One-hundred posts! It’s a piddly number, I’m sure, to anyone who has been blogging for a while. But it feels like a big milestone to me and I wanted to find a great way to mark it. And… um… I couldn’t. So, this:

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(They look thrilled, don’t they? Woo-hoo! One-hundred posts! Here’s to the next hundred excuses for Mommy to be chained to her laptop!)


Now for the baby photos. I’m sure that’s what you really care about anyway, right?







He’s sweet, isn’t he?


Of course he is! He’s wonderful. He spent his first couple of weeks as a deliciously sleepy baby, sliding straight from one feeding session (we’re having to supplement with formula again, just like with the other two – ugh) into sleep, then awake for a few peaceful minutes before beginning the cycle all over again. Pretty easy, really.

So easy that we were actually able to go out for a nice lunch on my birthday. Sleeping baby? Sleeping two-year-old? Check, check!

So easy that we were actually able to go out for a nice lunch on my birthday. Sleeping baby? Sleeping two-year-old? Check, check!

It’s getting a little harder now. He’s awake for longer periods of time and he wants to be held more. (Imagine that!) He’s also hitting that three-week growth spurt, so he’s hungrier. (HUNGRIER, I tell you!)

But he’s also starting to smile in his sleep. Which is one of God’s little gifts, I think, to get hormonal, sleep-deprived new mothers through these difficult first days and nights.



His big brothers have also been wonderful. They love their baby and have been trying hard to help take care of him. Sometimes they love him a little too much and he needs to be rescued, but that’s not such a bad problem to have.



By and large they’ve been cooperative, even giving me a stress-free first trip back to the grocery store and a couple of three-way naps.



They’ve also been saying some really funny things in the past few weeks:

My two-year-old, pointing at the baby, keeps saying: “I wike him widdle nose! I wike him widdle ears! I wike him widdle head!” Then, pointing at me, he says: “I wike your big nose! I wike your big ears! I wike your big head!”

He also comes out with, “Dat Baby Isaat! He my budder” over and over and over… All the time. To everyone. Including Brennan and me. (As if we didn’t know who the baby was.)


The three-year-old constantly says, “I sink Baby Isaac wikes me!” Or, “I sink he wuvs me.” Or, “I wuv da baby.” Or, “He’s so cuuute!” Or, “We have a funny baby!”

Also, one day when I ran into the kitchen, responding to the screams of the two-year-old, biggest brother assured me, “Don’t worry, Mommy! He’s not bweeding!”

After we got home from our Easter celebration at my grandparents’ house, the big guy sighed and smiled and said, “Dat was a gweat party.”


Of course, it was far less charming when, upon spotting a revealed bit of my midsection, he asked me, “Do you have a baby in your bewwy again?”


It’s going to be quite a while before I don’t look like I have a baby in my “bewwy” again.

That said, yesterday I glanced in the mirror while I was holding the baby and I thought, “Hm. You’re looking unusually photogenic at the moment. Take a picture, why don’t you?”

Sorry, I know: that sounds ridiculous. Arrogant, maybe. It’s just that I always feel so gross in all of my post-partum pictures that I figured if I could get one that I actually feel good about, I should go for it.

And, I figured may as well share the pic while I’m at it. (Please, though, ignore the detritus of random junk and dirty laundry on the periphery of the photo. Every single mirror in my house is currently sporting a similar view. If I waited until I had cleaned it up, I would have never taken the picture.)


I can’t go out on that one, though. How about… Happy Easter from the Walsh boys!

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Okay, that’s enough low-quality ice-breaking for today. Head on over to Jen’s for lots of Quick Takes that weren’t inspired by “I just don’t care anymore!” And have a great weekend!


In the interest of not completely neglecting my blog during this busy season of preparing our home for two new additions (not twins – just one baby and one mother-in-law), plus the actual welcoming of the mother-in-law and the ongoing prep for the new baby, I thought I should at least do a little catch-up post. But all I can muster is a list, so that’s what you get – a random collection of 23 goings-on, thoughts, and questions from the past week or so:

1)  We’ve been working very hard here – harder than we’ve worked since we moved into this house a year-and-a-half ago. May this (please) be our last push of purging and organizing and moving furniture for some time. (For years. Plural.)

2)  Everyone is very, very tired.


3)  Pregnancy insomnia is one of the stupidest, most nonsensical things ever.

4)  On Saturday, a few of my lovely girlfriends took me to a lovely lunch to celebrate the impending arrival of baby boy #3. I felt just about giddy to be getting out of the house on a beautiful, spring-like day to hang out with my friends and eat delicious, wood-fire pizza. Mmmm… Thank you, ladies!

5)  There was absolutely nothing spring-like about yesterday, however. It snowed for something like ten hours straight. On March 25th. Will this winter never end?

6)  Change is hard. Or, at least it is for me. Every first day of school, every move, every new job, every new phase of life, every new child – every big change, no matter how wonderful – has been difficult for me to process. I know this about myself and yet I’m always somewhat taken aback when a round of change triggers its inevitable, big, emotional, revelatory moment (which necessarily involves tears). This round’s moment came to me on Sunday afternoon in that most glamorous of places: the driver’s seat of my minivan in the middle of the Safeway parking lot. Boo-hoo.

7)  In the scramble to get preparations wrapped up before Brennan’s mother’s arrival on Sunday evening – and the stress, and the exhaustion, and the pregnancy-related discomfort, I didn’t get to mass this weekend. I hate that. There’s no feeling of Catholic guilt quite like that of missing mass. Beyond the guilt-driven regret, though, I feel like I suffer a loss each time I miss Sunday mass. (Fortunately, it’s a rare occurrence.) Missing mass makes me realize how much I depend on it. Whether or not the little ones (or my own distracted brain) have let me pay attention to the readings, whether or not I’ve been wrestling a jumble of little arms and legs, whether or not I’ve been stressed out or agitated, the mass feeds me. Without it, I feel like I go into my week empty-handed. Missing this Sunday’s mass certainly wasn’t the way I wanted to go into this week of welcoming-the-mother-in-law and maybe-giving-birth.

8)  All that said, Hilde’s move into our home went just about as smoothly as it could have. She’s got quite a way to go to get things unpacked, but she’s safely here and we’re all getting acquainted with one another.

9)  Just about overnight, I have gone from feeling good-but-tired to feeling very uncomfortable and full-of-baby. I feel like this baby is coming soon – like, really soon. But what do I know?

10)  I had my weekly ob appointment (and sono) this morning and all went well. My doctor offered to go ahead and schedule my induction for 39 weeks on the dot, which is… next Friday! As long as the hospital’s got room for me, it looks like I should be having this baby by the 4th!

11)  I still think I’ll go before then, though. My discomfort level has been prompting many a game of “Is Julie in labor?” The answer so far has, of course, been “no” – but I’m making good progress on the dilation front, so… it could happen!

12)  Last week I bought the boys a copy of Frozen to occupy them after the baby is born. Yesterday afternoon I totally cracked and popped that sucker into the DVD player. I may regret it later, but at the moment I was glad to have bought myself precisely 108 minutes of quiet time in which to (finally) pack my hospital bag and (too soon) fret about whether I’m going into labor.

13)  Instead, I started writing this post. Priorities.

14)  Note: when you’re 8.5 months pregnant and threatening to go into labor at any minute, you should probably give your husband a little warning before venturing out at 6pm to give your mother-in-law a tour of her new town. Because when he arrives home from work to find no minivan, wife, boys, or mother on the premises, he’s likely to panic. Just a little.

15)  Another note: eating dinner at 5pm is waaayyy nicer than eating dinner at 9pm. I mean, it gives you actual free time in the evenings that doesn’t involve falling asleep on the sofa.

16)  I’ve got a little poll for the mamas out there: While in the hospital after having a baby, do you (a) change into your own clothes or (b) wear the hospital gown provided to you? My best friend and I were having a conversation about this yesterday. On the one hand, we’ve seen pictures of ladies in real clothes in hospital beds and all the cool mommy bloggers seem to dish out great advice on the comfiest clothes to pack in your overnight bag. But we, ahem, don’t understand the logistics of such a move. Real clothes seem awfully inconvenient for all the checking and prodding and poking everybody seems to want to do to you, like, every 20 minutes. And then there’s the not-wanting-to-ruin-our-clothes thing. Are we alone in going the practical, dowdy route or are there more mamas in our camp?

17)  One more important question: Is gorging oneself on delicious, home-made (but not by me) bar cookies a sign of imminent labor?

18)  We really enjoyed the brief visit from Brennan’s sister and uncle, who drove Hilde here from Minnesota. The boys especially enjoyed their aunt and uncle and were beautifully, pathetically disappointed to learn yesterday morning that they’d left before dawn. It was so heart-breaking/cute.

19)  I had to carry my two-year-old (under my arm – just about the only way the belly will allow) out of his big brother’s preschool classroom yesterday, literally kicking and screaming, because he didn’t want to leave. It was also heart-breaking/cute.

20)  Last week my three-year-old said two particularly cute things before heading to school. One morning, as soon as he woke up, he said, “Today is my wucky day!” Me: “Why is today your lucky day?” Him: “Because I get to go to school today!” His teacher loved that one.

21)  Another morning, on the drive into school, he said, “I’m going to have so much fun at school today! I’m going to be happy and be nice and behave…” Then, to his little brother, he said, “I pwomise not to do bad sings to you anymore. I won’t kick you or hit you ever, ever, ever, ever again. Okay? Okay? Okay?” Finally, his brother gave the obligatory reply: “Otay.”

22)  Big brother’s “pwomise” didn’t last long.

23)  Fortunately, the little one’s tough. Fierce, we call him. He can take it.



An Honest Little Vignette of Home

I had a good but exhausting day today. We seem to have spent most of it running in and out of the car in frigid temperatures. (The boys actually, literally cried this morning when we left the house, they were so cold.)

We went to preschool, to home, to preschool, to pick up lunch, to drop the boys off at my grandparents’, to the hospital for a doctor’s appointment, to my old workplace, to my board meeting, back to my grandparents’ to pick up the boys (who were melting down for reasons like “I can’t believe you drained the water off my mandarin oranges!” and “I know I lost my mittens but you must make them materialize immediately! I am absolutely bereft without them!”), and then back to home.

By the time we came home at 9pm and I had lugged the 40-pound three-year-old inside, upstairs and into bed, I was DONE. I laid down on the sofa with the annoyingly-still-awake two-year-old and waited for Daddy to come home to put him to bed. My husband then woke me up at 10pm from my sofa-slumber for leftovers that he had lovingly heated up for us. Ah, this is the life…

Just now as I walked through the kitchen to put the leftovers back into the fridge, my eyes scanned my counters, completely covered with dirty dishes, empty cans, and boxes of food; my sink, full-to-the-brim with disgusting, days-dirty dishes; my floor, bearing piles of vomit-clothing, pee-clothing, toys, and stuff. And I thought of my family room, which is coated with a layer of toys and dust and dusty toys. And the rest of my house, which contains yet more piles of vomity laundry, not to mention a still-half-decorated, supremely crispy Christmas tree.

Why in the world am I telling you this?

Probably, in part, because I’m suffering some sort of exhaustion-induced delirium. Also because I thought tonight’s scene provided an honest little vignette of life in our home. I offer it up for any time I seem too preachy on self-help or something similarly nauseating.

Also – and this is probably the most sincere answer – because I want your opinion: A kitchen so covered in dishes that you can’t function in it means just one thing, right? One simply must take one’s children out for breakfast in the morning. The poor little dears shouldn’t suffer such a sight, should they? Rather, they should be strapped into their car seats as soon as they wake and whisked off to some fast-food establishment, where they can be stuffed with breakfast-appropriate fats and sugars. Right? RIGHT?

Please leave your answers in the comment section. But only if they’re in the affirmative.

P.S. Don’t worry, aunts and other worriers – I promise I’m nowhere near a breaking point. I’ve actually had some lovely little breaks lately, including the several child-less hours this afternoon. I’m just tired. Normal tired. Now, off to bed with me!

Monday Morning Miscellany (Vol. 2)

— 1 —

Well, good morning! I feel like I’ve just emerged from a tunnel, blinking at the bright light of the great outdoors. I’m worn out, bleary-eyed, and trying to get a handle on the long, long list of things I need to do so our family can function normally again. All because… we just got back from vacation. (A tad dramatic sometimes, Julie?)

It wasn’t even a very stressful vacation, it’s just that I’m coming off a few weeks’ worth of constant logistical planning, two flights with toddlers and all their associated gear, a week with my two rolling, wrestling lion cubs in a house filled with breakable things, and about four times the number of outings we’re used to having per week. Not to mention the fact that we had a houseguest with us for the two weeks prior to our own trip.

So, I’m tired. And a little loopy. Consider this fair warning, friends: Do not expect much of me for the next week or so. (Except for blogging – see number 5, below.) Talk about Recovery Mondays… I think I’m in for a good recovery week, at least.

— 2 —

Still, the stress of this year’s vacation was nothing compared to last year’s. Then, the trip itself (to Minnesota, like this year’s) was more complicated. The boys were a year younger and required, accordingly, more gear than they do now. The trip was longer, and it included a trip-within-a-trip: We started and ended the visit in the Twin Cities, but also fit in a visit to a lake “up north,” where Brennan’s family had a little mini-reunion.

But the real kicker is that, at the last-minute, we decided to put our house on the market the very day we left for our trip. So not only did we have to plan for our vacation and our vacation-within-a-vacation, but we had to clean our house from top-to-bottom, purge nearly half of our things from it, stage our furniture, etc. for photos and viewings, and conduct negotiations with our realtors and the people whose home we were trying to buy.  And we did all of this in about two weeks – possibly the most stressful weeks of my life. Only those leading up to our wedding came anywhere close. Quite literally, we had our first prospective buyer walk into the house as we were marshaling our luggage and boys out of it.


I can see the carpet! Evidence of some serious decluttering.


Do you see that glass-topped coffee table in the living room? Yeah, the glass was only for show. Normally we removed it for toddler safety and let the little ones use the table as a jungle gym. Same goes for the end tables. We had to stick those lovely lamps in the basement whenever the house wasn’t being shown or photographed.


See, Mom? No dirty clothes on the floor or anything!


If only our room always looked so restful…

— 3 —

But back to Minnesota Visit 2013. We had a very nice time, and for all my bleary-eyed exhaustion, it really was a low-key, relaxing kind of a vacation. We stayed with Brennan’s (very kind) aunt and uncle, whom our littlest guy dubbed “Mama” (Grandma) and “Dat-Dat.” We got to see Brennan’s mother and stepfather, every single one of Brennan’s eight siblings, many of their spouses, one of our boys’ cousins, a couple of Brennan’s cousins, and several of his aunts and uncles. We spent one afternoon at the Como Zoo and another at Minnehaha Falls – just a few hours at each: long enough to have a good time, short enough to avoid toddler/parent exhaustion. And we even took a break from it all in the middle of the week: I did laundry and unpacked/repacked our suitcases while the boys watched a couple of movies. I made a big ol’ mental note to repeat this little mid-week break in all future vacations. It was great to be able to relax the second half of our vacation, knowing that our stuff was under control and we’d all had a bit of rest.

— 4 —

I’ll probably write more about our trip later, but for now, here are a couple of my favorite photos:

Cool kids with their cool shades at Minnehaha Falls

Cool kids with their cool shades at Minnehaha Falls

Cute little passengers, aren't they?

Cute little passengers, aren’t they?

— 5 —

A week away from my computer left me with something of a traffic jam of ideas in my mind. Normally when I have an idea for something I’d like to write about, I type up a few thoughts on a Word document, to be revisited later. And I try to capitalize on the times when the words flow freely. Without my computer, this week was a little frustrating in that respect. As great as smartphones are for keeping up with Facebook and peeking in on my favorite blogs, they are not good outlets for the creative juices, as far as I’m concerned. So I picked up an old-fashioned pad of yellow legal paper and started to jot down some ideas. By the time we got home I had more than a dozen posts lined up. (Lined up – not written.) Which is great, except – When will I get the time to do all that writing?

Enter Jen Fulwiler’s7 Posts in 7 Days: An Epic Blogging Challenge.” There’s still the whole “When will I get the time to do all that writing?” thing, but hey, the gauntlet has been thrown down and (surprisingly enough) I’m feeling up for a challenge right now. Sooo… check back in tomorrow! And the next day! And so forth – until next Monday, when I’ll finally be released from the bonds of Jen’s challenge. Or rather, from my own stubborn personality.

— 6 —

As a post-script of sorts, here’s an explanation of my “Monday Morning Miscellany” idea. I missed a few weeks of it due to the aforementioned houseguest and out-of-town trip, but now that we’re past those things, I’m going to try to get back into it. So I suppose I should amend my ending to number 5, above. I’m committing myself to posting through next Monday. And each Monday morning thereafter. (Cringe.) Happy week to all of you!