Posts from the “Love” Category

Bench Seats and Marriage

Posted on November 21, 2014

I was driving into work, the defroster melting the last bits of frost from the windshield, and the sun shining from the east as if to further the process along. I rode in silence, the air so cold my eyes watered. My mind was blank, deliciously so. I watched the blur through the window, happy to be awake. Quietly I began to think about setting an intention for the day. I felt sheepish, what good could setting an intention do anyway. I make lists all the time, the writing of the items doesn’t make them get done any quicker, if anything it just feels as if it puts my failure to finish in bold. An intention, Amanda. What is my intention? I licked my lips and…

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On Losing a Pet & Loving Again

Posted on November 12, 2014

I didn’t know when, or how, but I knew the day would come when the need to fill the hole left by Mae, our amazing kitten. The girls are sensitive and intelligent, often comprehending things in ways that I almost wish that they wouldn’t at their age. Along with the dolls and karate classes, I wish that I could offer some measure of oblivion to pad their all too brief childhoods. Mae’s death blew the doors off the idea of having anything more than a suggestion in the grand scheme of how life goes. I tried to do things in the days and weeks that followed her  abrupt passing to carve out special time to try new things with the girls. As we passed the year mark of when we…

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A Photographer is Coming

Posted on August 2, 2014

We flew to Washington to in July.

My mom said, “You don’t have to do anything. Seriously, totally going to be about pool time and relaxing.”

“Great, that’s all we want.” I said.

Then she said, “And just one thing, there is photographer coming Thursday night to take pictures.”

It became a bit of a running joke. My sister and I are easy going and willing to do just about anything mom asks, but neither of us are what you’d call at ease in front of a camera. Luckily the photographer that my mom had come over was a genius when it came to making us all but forget she was snapping away. Her name is Jen, if you are ever in WA state call her.

This is us looking happy and just delighted with life. We were and that it’s preserved here almost makes me cry.

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“I just want my children and family in one place,” she always says. We were and she beamed.

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“Now with Sean, Sean should be in here.” He joined and brought shenanigans.

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She said, “Get the girls in the pool.” Done

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Papa said, “Ok, girls, come with me. I have an idea.” He blew their minds.

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“Amanda and Sean, get Amanda and Sean.”

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She took a few different shots of us & said, “Great, got it!” We started to walk toward the deck, he pulled me close. “I love you.”

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“Are you? You are aren’t you? Fine, you’re coming too,” I warned as he pulled me toward the pool. He shrieked & started to fall.

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We went in.

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The girls joined us.

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It was the perfect thing! Thanks Jen, mom, Papa, and Ab.

Autumn Beckons Again

Posted on July 29, 2014

Funny how year after year, autumn laps at my toes long before it seems it should arrive. This morning it came with the first sip of my coffee. Memories of bringing Briar home washed over me and I was back at our first house, the light through the window and the smells around me all from 2004. Reposting this from three years ago.    I’m five and heading off to Harris Elementary School to meet Miss. Thompson. I’m eleven and figuring out what separation and divorce really mean. I’m thirteen and poring over Seventeen Magazine, devouring how Jennifer Connelly, fresh off Labyrinth, is mixing plaid and tweed. I’m fifteen with butterflies thinking this is the year I’ll stop being awkward. I’m eighteen and leaving…

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Loving the Minutes

Posted on June 10, 2014

This weekend we worked hard. Our garage had been a disaster from the long winter, into kitchen renovation, into spring, into lacrosse etc. Every day we’d come home through the garage and feel defeat at its state. Saturday we attacked it as a family, carting everything out (Thanks, Houzz), sweeping, dusting, and then reorganizing before loading some of it back in the garage.

We earned a Sunday of whatever we wanted; we chose a trip to the lake as a family. It was perfect, not too hot, not too buggy. Briar discovered bits of charcoal and proceeded to leave the island a message.

Thank you


We watched turtles sunning on the rocks until the mama turtle said it was time to go. Finley and Briar sat together long after the turtles were gone. I inhaled the harmony and whispered a soft thank you to the lake.


Avery carved out some time alone, balancing a rock on her head and chanting. Every so often she’d pop one eye open and chuckle in my direction. We laughed together as she campily fluttered her fingers into her idea of a meditative pose. If there is a happy baby yoga pose, on Sunday there was a content mama pose too.



Sean dove into the lake as the girls watched and squealed. He swam beneath the water and I watched the stripes of his suit grow fainter and fainter. I thought how lucky I was that life managed to lead me to this lake-loving guy and then to this family.


I followed the girls laughter as they turned from the jumping rock to meet Sean at the water’s edge. They placed a hand on one another’s back and murmured with each step, “Don’t run. Do the buddy system. Careful.” They looked like popsicles.


Later I tried my hand at paddling on the mini-kayak we bought the girls. I’m nearly 30 pounds over the recommended weight, it teetered ominously and quickly took on water. Trying to balance with the threat/promise of a cold dip was exhilarating. The girls called out, “Go, Mom!”


I laughed as I rounded the point of the island and was hit with a rush of waves. The girls and Sean whooped and hollered at my shaky progress. I balanced the paddle in my lap and then tipped as I tried to scoop the water out.


I came up laughing without losing my Fountain Square Outfitters hat. The water felt every bit as good as I imagined. Treading water I closed my eyes and bobbed in the channel. I heard the waves tap dancing on the rock and the trees rustling in the breeze. I let out a happy shout.



They all cheered and then the girls swam to my rescue. “Mom, mom! We’re coming. We’ll save you. We. Will. Save. You!!”


Later, after we made a campfire and roasted marshmallows for s’mores we packed up the boat to make it home early enough to not push Sunday-play too far into Monday-prep. No one complained or asked for more time, we were sated one and all. Finley helped Sean as we headed into dock.


Avery snapped a few pictures, all of which I cherish, but this one encapsulates the sentiment of the day—arms wrapped in love and a laugh on the tip of my tongue.



Our life is not uncomplicated and it isn’t often that there isn’t something that I could find to complain about, but I’m working on finding the thread of happy through the sticky. I feel so very lucky to have these moments.