Showing posts from October, 2013


I am going to snap if I hear one more person say how wonderful it is that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has lost some of its funding and is giving people less money, and therefore pushing them to do more to get more income instead of living off the government. Apparently these people don't know that perhaps many people they know receive SNAP benefits. Perhaps they don't have a concept of what this program, designed to assist with the purchase of food, not pay for all the food for the family, really is and does. Maybe they have their heads in the sand as to the reality of most of the families in need of help putting food on their tables. 

I've heard of people who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance or who visit food pantries referred to as "Those People." Scary Mommy's" post this morning really hit the nail on the head - I encourage you to read it.  No one should be referred to as Those People. I could be one of Those People. Your sis…


We often celebrate beginnings - pregnancies, births, new homes, new jobs - but there are times in life to celebrate endings as well. There was An Ending here not too long ago. To celebrate that ending, in true Alia fashion, we had a Hallo-Weaning party.

Great preparation went into this celebration, from a Haley-baked gluten-free graveyard cake, to creepy potion and internal-organ containing jars and bottles, to a graveyard in our own yard.

There were costumes, a pinata, a yankee swap, a rawther halloweenish movie, and a round of This is Halloween Dance Party on the Wii.

There was silliness and laughter. Lots of laughter. 

It was a wonderful Ending. As I sat back watching my most recent weanling and her sisterfriend enjoying their day together, my mind wandered back to the first moment in my life that I brought a baby to my breast, over fourteen years ago. 
My expectations were practically non-existent. My fears of negative feelings relating to my history of abuse outweighed any possible be…

Camp Waitwhatreally

With vacations come vacation photos. Our weekend at Camp Calumet seemed to produce an overabundance of odd and wacky photos. 

Zack tipping
In shorts and a t-shirt
In a lake in New Hampshire
In October ... hence the winter hat
Fire conjurer
Just monkeying around
Monopoly.  We own this game.  They never play it.  They played it several times at Camp.  I don't understand. 
Golfing? At Camp Calumet? You bet!
It's a brick ... heart.  It's mighty mighty. 
A hornet nest hat. Why not?
He (on right) has the right idea.  She (on left) has lost her mind.
Too Tall John (on left) Too Too Tall Alia (on right)
And last but not least, perhaps the scariest photo of the week. 
This creature was in the woods  making strange noises as we hiked.
It snuck up on the hike leader


It was like a reunion of the long-lost in a motion picture drama. She squealed his name and ran into his embrace. He scooped her into his arms, exclaiming how wonderful it was to see her again. I'm not sure whose face had the wider smile, whose face lit up more, Sammy's or Alia's. The pure joy they both radiated in that moment will stay with me forever. Love in its purest form - each heart celebrating the existence of the other, rejoicing in the ability to share a moment together. Hoping for many such moments. 

Her first question when we set out for Camp Calumet was if Sammy would be there. Uncertain of the answer, we made no promises that we'd see him. Her love for him perhaps multiplied during our absence from Camp. Her joyful reaction did not stop at their reunion - even after two days, it was as if she was reliving that moment each time she saw him, joyfully leaping into his arms at dinner and inviting him to share another meal with us. When asked, "what was th…

So It Seems

What an amazing, miserable, glorious, crazy week! 

I'm alive - so it seems. For a while there, I wasn't sure I was going to make it out in one piece.

Sunday found us at Camp Calumet, enjoying a spiritual day sharing meals with friends, at worship, in the middle of a calm lake on a kayak, and spending lots of quality time with my family, as well as old friends and new. It was the last full day of a wonderful weekend. 

Monday found us packing our van, saying teary goodbyes, leaving the people and place we love so much ... and battling hunger and traffic on the way home. We splurged on a dinner out, complete with a magnificent homeschooled waitperson, for whom we left a rather generous tip. After stopping at home to drop off the van, husband, and three kids, my two Confirmation students and I hopped in my husband's car and hightailed it to church for class. Haley, having complained about upper abdominal pain throughout the day, said it has worsened by bedtime. Opting for sleep, …

Why I Love These Women I've Never Met

A friend posted in our little, private facebook group that she's in the hospital, in the ICU, awaiting a procedure on her heart. In quick succession messages of shock and well-wishes and hope and prayers and lots and lots of love were posted. Every one of those sentiments from the heart. Every prayer a genuine plea for her health and safe recovery.

We all wanted to be there for her, do something for her, but we're scattered across the globe. Then with one little "should-we-get-together-and-send-her-something?", we were off and planning. Pay-pal was sent, a card was designed, a jewelry artist consulted, and before long a care package was in the works. As we eagerly awaited news of how her procedure went and how she was faring, we felt connected to her and each other through this act of love for our friend.

I have never met these women, but I love them and think about them every day. Bits and pieces of them are parts of my life, from the skirts lovingly sewn for me by a …

Behind on LIfe

It seems like every time I get to the point where I feel like I'm caught up on life, I take a day off and fall a month behind. I still haven't figured out the math on that yet, but I swear that's how it adds up. 

This week I'm trying to plan a homeschool co-op class, a breastfeeding support meeting, pack for a long weekend at Camp Calumet, take care of my kids, take care of other people's kids, get my regular daily stuff done, and participate in our regular activities. The problem is, I keep forgetting basic things like doing the dishes or making sure the kids are changing their clothing on a daily basis. 

You'd think this last one shouldn't be so much of a problem, but I have two kids with Aspergers who would very much prefer to stay in the clothes they have on and avoid water and soap, thank you very much. My non-Aspie teenager, when asked today whether or not he showered, had to look down at his clothing to determine if he was bathed or not, because appare…


robbed her of her innocence
with lessons of most intimate fear

sent her an earthly angel
with an expiration date

lived in terror
at the same time experiencing Love

learned love as pain
his past predicting his future

blessed one who wanted to end her young life
with one at the end of young life

grew stronger in love
stronger still in loss

showed love through violence
as he had been shown

wept with him at love defiled
tended her heart when all seemed lost

tried to die
while yearning to live

took his own life
and with it, a part of hers

gave her Love
asked of her the same

fell to pieces
then put them back together
with help
with Love
but only after
she filled that stolen place
with compassion
and forgiveness
and Love
for another broken human being
for love gone wrong
and for herself

only then could she
put him to rest
feel His continual presence
and love another

What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is Love. It's God. It's Grace. It's realizing we're all a little brok…

Beauty Feels Like

I just saw a commercial for a women's razor that asked "What does beauty feel like?" Apparently they think it feels like a smooth shave. Really?

It bothers me that my daughters might buy into any suggestion that true beauty means smooth legs or any particular way of presenting oneself. It bothers me more that my sons might get that idea. 

I think a bit differently.

Beauty feels like feeling comfortable in your skin; like knowing your strength; like confidence in your abilities.

Beauty feels like two bodies intertwined, lost in passion, connected completely by love, with no separation of self and other.

Beauty feels like that link to the closest of friends - that strong bond that cannot be broken and is only strengthened by adversity and truth. 

Beauty feels like a round pregnant belly, baby-within dancing and hiccuping.

Beauty feels like nurturing a babe at the breast; like holding your baby for the first time; like new life.

Beauty feels like unrestrained laughter, uninhibited …