Because Toads Don't Get Married

We were on our way to Anna's weekly dance class. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring up the conversation. It was a sweet time with just the two of us, just us girls. At seven years old she craves this one-on-one time with her mama, and I don’t take for granted that maybe one day it won’t be as special to her. It’s only a 15-minute trip so I knew I needed to pose the question as soon as I put the car into drive. 

“So, Anna,”

“Yes,” she said expectantly. My heart skipped a beat. I couldn't believe we were about to have this conversation. The Conversation. I took a deep breath, reminding myself not everything has to be laid out in the next 15 minutes. 


A Father and Son Go Fishing During covid-19: the next one hit wonder country song

Times are strange. I feel like I’m watching a movie. When I check the news feed before closing my eyes at night—which, let me just stress, that’s a bad idea—nothing feels real. With every article, every update, thousands more cases have been confirmed with hundreds more deaths right behind. Story after story, photo after photo reveals a world that seems so distant to me as I shelter with my family tucked away in the mountains. I don’t take for granted where we are amidst what feels like the world falling apart around us, things that seemed so permanent and stable are crashing to pieces. We decided the best thing for our family and to help stop the spread of the covid-19 virus during this time is to "shelter-in-place" in a secluded home that our extremely generous friends have offered to us. This house we’ve retreated to sits in a valley. It’s as if the rolling peaks are the walls of our fortress, protecting us from the disease that is slowly yet steadily infiltrating the rest of the world. 

We’ve been here for almost two weeks but it feels much longer. It's becoming our home away from home. We’ve gotten into a rhythm of school and play and family time that has been sweet and precious. We’ve hiked and explored, witnessed wildlife wake up after its winter sleep, found spring in the trees blooming the prettiest of flowers, I’ve drank way too much Coke and coffee and the kids have eaten way too much popcorn and ice cream (because apparently a global pandemic calls for over-caffeinating and sugar highs), and Travis and Theo went fishing one night.


Moving Memories

Travis’s phone rang. He looked down to check who was on the other end.

“It’s the apartment office,” he said and quickly answered it. After a few “uh-huh’s” and “ok’s” he hung up.

“We’re moving at the end of the month.”

A huge smile spread across his face. I was happy too. This was something we had wanted for our family for over two years. It meant a bigger place to call home, not feeling so cramped in our tiny two-bedroom townhouse. Even if the upgrade was only to a three-bedroom unit within the same complex, we just couldn’t wait.

But something fell in the pit of my stomach. This also meant we actually had to leave the apartment we came to love as our home.


We Went Camping and I Survived

This essay was previously published on Parent.co.

We went camping for the first time as a family this past weekend. I went camping for the first time this past weekend. Like at a campsite, in a tent, in sleeping bags, on the ground, camping. 

Travis had wanted to go camping for some time. He wanted it to be “our thing.” He wanted our family to be a camping family. He was putting a lot of stock into this dream with a wife who had never camped before and the unpredictable nature of the weather app. 
“I’m going to take Anna camping for her birthday,” he told me back in September. Secretly I was relieved he didn’t invite me on their father/daughter trip. I wasn’t so sure I was ready to be among the bugs and the dirt and sleeping on the hard ground just yet. 
He made reservations at a campsite at a nearby lake. Anna’s third birthday came, and with it, a storm that was to last all weekend. They moved their camping trip indoors and set up the tent in our tiny living room. She had a blast. She had no idea this wasn’t real camping. 
But Travis did. He was ready for the real thing. He longed to be sitting by the fire roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, falling asleep under the stars, and waking up to the birds chirping and the cool air filling his lungs. And he wanted to experience it all with his family.