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Category Archives: Friends

A terrible beauty

I remember her towels.  For some reason, I keep coming back to the image of her soft, perfectly folded white towels.  They were so incredibly neat and tidy.  And pure.

I wasn’t supposed to be her doula.  My partner had called me at the last minute and I entered her space for the first time when she was in labor.  She was stunning.  Brilliant red hair and a quiet strength.  This was their first baby and they wanted to stay home for most of their labor.

I remember some funny things.  Some things that will remain unsaid.  I remember in active labor, I looked over and saw a shotgun (rifle?) by the bed.  I wondered if it was wise to have a gun so close to a woman in active labor.  I remember the ways I flubbed up.  One incident made my blooper page.  I remember laughter.

We arrived at the birth center.  She was fully dilated and quickly pushed her baby into her husband’s hands.  A son.

During her postpartum, when she needed extra help with breastfeeding, I brought lactation help.  We spent hours in her home.  It was the intimate time of women with the new mother.  We three cried when her milk came.

Her mothering was fierce and deliberate.  She is the kind of mother we need more of.

Last week, she died from an aggressive cancer.  She leaves behind her precious husband, her toddler, and her born-too-soon baby girl.  And it is awful.  It is wrong.  And not meant to be like this.

Yet, there is beauty–certainly in her life–but also in her passing.  I heard her name from so many places during her illness.  People who didn’t even know her.  She breathed grace and confidence and HOPE.  This is the mystery of redemption.  That God, who does not  want suffering, can redeem it.  Beauty from ashes.  If we let him.

When I remember Jessica, it will always be a vision of those white towels.  And I’ll hope that my life will be as well-lived.

Faster than a tormado

We had an extra four year old in the house today.  I thought it would distract me from the fantastic explosion of toys if I took notes on some of the conversations I overheard.


I have the hardest job in my house.  I fold napkins.

Well, my job is harder.  I catch all the lizards outside my house.

I fold more napkins. 

I catch a million lizards.

We’re like twins cause we have the same thing to eat!

I can run faster than a horse.

I can run faster than a rocketship

I can run faster than a “tormado”

I can run faster than God.

Mom, who can run the fastest?

My cousin is going to marry Justin Bieber

Who is that?

I think he’s a boy at her school.

That is NOT what a kangaroo sounds like when it gives birth.  It says “Boing Boing Boing.”

My [stuffed] puppy tore a little when her baby was born. [did I mention this was a midwife’s 4 year old?]

This will be your dog “collard” to wear.

We also had marshmallow roasting and sprinkler running.  And the girls built elaborate play scenes.

Attention Locals!

You’ve heard me sing her praises.  You’ve seen her amazing photos on my blog.  You witnessed how she made this frizzed out frazzled postpartum mama look gorgeous. 

Want to win a photo session AND the full image CD of said session for yourself?

Go here to find out more!


Adoring:  Alba Kukui Nut Cream

Still Listening To:  Midlake

Proud of:  my husband’s latest woodturning art

Never Leaving Home Without:  Jason’s Mineral Sunbrella

Appreciating:  Dr. Polo Shirt

Nostalgic:  my dad cooking breakfast for me–the same breakfast he always made on Saturday mornings when I was a kid

Re-reading:  The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta (don’t let the title fool ya–it is not joyful)

Buying:  Baby legwarmers

Drinking:  Zhena’s Gypsy Earl Green Tea

Working on:  prenatals, classes, and a new birth project soon to be revealed

Wishing:  that I could make a salad as yummy as my mom’s

Giddy About:  my sister’s growing belly

Feeling:  nervous about the grace-based discipline study group I’m facilitating (what was I thinking??)

Missing Terribly:  dear friends who have returned to the north lands

Tie-Dye for Bonaire

I’m terrible at tie-dye.  My friend, Hippie, is fantastic at tie-dye.  A real live professional tie-dyest (?).  And he is currently dyeing for a cause.  Yeah, I know, that sentence is awkward.  I’m sorry, it is late and I’m so very tired. 

Let me put it this way. 

Buy his stuff.  Money will go to people who need stuff. 

Here is Cedar sporting Hippie’s threads (why yes, she is enjoying her first taste of Barley’s pizza):

Spring Fever

The amazing Tracie Birch is doing Spring Mini-Sessions at the Clemson Botanical Gardens.  Have I mentioned how much I love her photography?  And her way with children?  And altogether how much I love Tracie?  Here are the details.  I bet the slots will fill extraordinarily quickly…

Whatcha waiting for?

Auntie Harriet

Did you know that the first American city to celebrate Mardi Gras was Mobile Alabama?  Who would have thought?  And it continues to be the place to celebrate family-friendly Mardi Gras.  Is this a well known fact and am I simply out of the loop?   

My husband’s sweet Alabaman, Alabamian, er,  friend from Alabama is named Harriet.  And she sent some of Mobile’s Mardi Gras joy to us this week. 

Norah, Cedar, and I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Auntie Harriet but we’ve made her an honorary member of the family.  I’ve heard she’s the grandest outfitter in all of Alabama.  If you’re in the area, stop in at Fairhope Boat Company and say hello to Harriet.  I don’t know this for certain but my gut feeling is that Harriet gives good hugs and fantastic hospitality.  I sure hope I’m in the area one day.

Oh, and the gift I got?  A hand-made reversible bag.  I love it!!  Thanks Auntie Harriet!