Marta

When I was in sixth grade, I got a demonstrable case of acne. And back in the day, the prescribed treatment was to avoid chocolate and to apply an alcohol-based stringent to my face twice a day. Always the over-achiever, I applied at least four or five times a day resulting in a permanent tomato-hued face. I was teased relentlessly. I was teased quite cruelly. From 6th grade until 8th grade – this group of girls tormented me. If you have read my blog entry entitled Cheer, you have read about […]

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The Greatest of These

We move into our new home on Sunday. This move has been a source of panic attacks and sadness for me and I have had trouble understanding why. I mean, this should be a source of joy and gratitude, right? What is wrong with me that I have felt anxiety and dread? One of the most frustrating things about trauma is that often one’s body and repressed memory responds before the present mind and body catches up. The last time Martin and I bought a home, we were pregnant with […]

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Draw Near

I ran out of peppermint cocoa this morning. Just like that. Not a single ounce to add to my morning coffee, nor console me that the fifth day of Pacific Northwest rain is not so terrible.   My medically fragile daughter, recently diagnosed with anemia, is home today. It is “that time of the month” and it is absolutely wreaking havoc on her already worn out body. Today was also the day we were supposed to receive the keys to our new home. We have a lousy appraiser who wrote […]

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Swim.

I started swimming when I was four years old. I joined my first swim team competitively at age 5 and for the next 8 years – I never took home a ribbon that was not 1st or 2nd place in any event. My swim coach, Dave, was the type of coach every kid should experience. He saw the potential in every kid he coached and received no greater reward than to push until that potential was fully achieved. He loved to celebrate milestones and he did so with fanfare. Around […]

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12.

“Carrie – do not hold on too tight.” I scoffed at our beloved neonatologist when he said this. We were standing over the examining table, inspecting Bella’s double lumen port that lead to her vena cava. She had just had this life giving mechanism inserted the week before and really this appointment was to scrutinize me and my ability to care for her and keep infection at bay. For the past twelve years I have held on too tight. I admit that. And, to be quite honest, I am just now […]

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When Your Child's "Love Language" is Acts of Service.

She is seven and I am only allowed to kiss her once a day on the top of her head. Hugs are only given, never received. Snuggling is only when there is a subsequent fever. At first – I thought perhaps my daughter was merely attempting to emulate her tween sister. I waited until she and I were alone, with hope and a prayer, that snuggles would be imminent. But they weren’t. I began doing what all good mothers do – research and reading every article on parenting my friends […]

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Let Me Tell You About Owen

Admittedly, I never knew there was a difference. How could I? Like so many things in life, we do not become knowledgeable until it becomes relevant. I have seen service dogs around the community, and I knew that these dogs are working and not to be acknowledged or approached without consent. I knew about therapy dogs, having enjoyed their company on countless occasions while my daughter inhabited a bed at the Children’s Hospital. Had you asked me the difference among therapy, service, and comfort dogs – I would have been […]

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Keep Your Mouth Shut! Silencing the Voice of Default.

Tomorrow, I am missing out on an event I had been looking forward to attending for MONTHS. My mom’s non-profit, Wellspring, is hosting an intimate one day retreat led by Eugene Peterson. Eugene Peterson is a favorite author – one whose writing has resonated with me and has been an integral part of various stages of my spiritual journey. I no longer live in the area of this event, so it would require an air flight and a caregiver to hang out with my kiddos while I am gone and […]

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When Your Shoes Do Not Fit Me.

We say “if you could only walk a mile in another’s shoes” but frankly – most likely those shoes will not fit. Right? I am a sucker for metaphors, symbolism, idioms, even a hyperbole or two. No question. As a mother, I find this phrase to be a beautiful springboard for conversations that lead to a better understanding of our neighbors and the nurturing of empathy, which I believe to be one of the most important responsibilities for me as a parent. The heart of a child is open and receptive to […]

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10th Anniversary

I cannot believe it. Honestly. On Saturday, June 20th, we completely missed the 10th Anniversary of Bella’s Kidney Transplant. Missed it. Woosh. Is that a good thing? I guess it is in the sense that life has moved on. And we are living it. And Bella is doing well. My body knew, however. I felt like crap on Saturday and could not figure out why. Now I know. Ten years ago. Ten years ago, early in the morning, I watched as the two people on earth I loved the most […]

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