Category Archives: Uncategorized

Shelter

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

Brené Brown

“Can we listen to ‘I see trees of green’?” Miles inquired at breakfast, singing the line as he requested the song. The boys were sitting at the table with their oatmeal, I was packing lunches, Harry was making the two of us some eggs, and Miles took a break from eating to sign along to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” At the end he made certain we knew that, “The sign for ‘world’ goes like this [hand gesture], because the world is round.”

As breakfast progressed, the best series of songs ever requested by a child in our household unfolded. We played James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)” once Miles elaborated enough for us to figure out that “I feel nice” includes “I feel nice! So nice! I got you!” That was followed up by “What the World Needs Now is Love” and “My Girl.” “Baa Baa Black Sheep” also entered the mix; it wasn’t all nursery-free. More signs, more singing, more moments that made me wish we had a hidden camera in our household so I could watch this on repeat when I’m sad, nostalgic or otherwise needing to smile.

My episodic memory is so horrible that writing is one of the only ways I’ll file this away with most of the details accurate. Even a few hours later and I was dependent on Harry’s recollection for all the songs. I would be a horrible witness. (OMG!. Finally listening to Serial. Late to the party, but so glad I showed up. DO NOT TELL ME ANYTHING.) But I do not want to forget this morning. I want its sweetness seared into the depths of my cortex.

These beautiful, not-to-be-missed moments seem brighter to me now than they have for months. A crucial part of this season of struggle for our family is how we let it refine us. Harry and I are acutely aware that our stress can be handled countless ways. We hurt each other at times, of course, but thankfully we also call out to each other for support in our dark moments. It could easily go the other way. Blame, shame, anger, and guilt could do us in if we didn’t bring our more upsetting thoughts into the light.

IMG_5324I am raw. I cry often. Much to my embarrassment, this seems to include every time I walk through one of Seattle’s beautiful parks filled with gigantic, blooming trees. I depend on spring’s flowers. I am also, on occasion, acting like a caffeinated dog stuck outside during a lightning storm. No shelter in sight, I chase my tail until I collapse. This is not a particularly helpful strategy.

After, oh, round seven or so of time between jobs, I am finally realizing that this is one of my coping patterns. In my unhealthiest moments, I detour around my productive strategies for dealing with anxiety to a manic search for something tangible and “stable.”

I spent a ridiculous number of hours looking at homes on Zillow this week. Questions about the Seattle market? I’m your gal! Want a home on San Juan Island? I can hook you up! I’ve been sick and weak from a lovely GI episode (FeBRUTALary!), laying in bed drooling over gorgeous homes with views of the waters the orcas visit. Even if we could buy a house right now, it would be an idiotic move. Yet I chase that dream like it would bring reprieve. How can you weigh the importance of a dad choosing work that doesn’t demand relentless hours or suck his soul dry just to receive a higher income? How do you know whether it’s better to choose home ownership and a more affordable town than the city and community you love?

Yesterday, I spent hours fighting way too many regretful feelings that staying at home for over five years was a poor choice for our family given the ups and downs of a contract-based business. I went to that extremely unhelpful Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda place. If I had worked, we would have more money. I should’ve trusted that the wee boys would be fine with someone else and we could’ve bought a house. If only, if only, if only. The standard privileged modern mom’s dilemma. I’ve faced it before, just not as deeply. Was not working worth it? How much do I value on staying home with kids? Would greater financial stability, nice vacations and a home of our own be better for our family? How do I weigh these factors?

My questions about those things remain, for sure. I wish someone could tell me with certainty all the ways my boys are better off, but ultimately it’s a moot point. Mostly, though, I think I’m deflecting fear that our next income might not allow us to live as we have in the past, as well as anger that returning to work as a Speech-Language Pathologist requires jumping ridiculous, expensive hurdles. I didn’t anticipate a cake walk, but thus far the Washington State Department of Health is giving the DMV a run for their money.

This season has been painful for me, but I am beginning to value the questioning process that is birthed from the anxiety. We are in a refinement period, redefining what is important to us, reminding ourselves of our core values, savoring the laughter, passions, and love we share as a family. We’re going to come out of this with a clearer vision. This is a tiny but important step in accepting that I can not fight the storm. Maybe someday I’ll figure out how to stop chasing my tail, too.

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To examine

I reflect on 2014 with such contrasting emotions. Changes and choices in my life brought freedom, adventure and greater happiness, yet at the same time many of my dearest friends have plowed through their crappiest year yet. My life has become easier in many ways, yet more people are struggling for food, safety, and shelter. I anticipate returning to work next year having choices about where I’ll resume my career, not whether or not I’ll be able to find work. Many concerns for my boys have lessened, as there are fewer head bonks on doorknobs and falls off of furniture, yet I’m intensely aware that fears other parents face only grow as their children age.

It’s never simple, is it?

Sometimes I wish I was one of those people that could gloss over everything and focus solely on the beauty of the world, but I’m not. So, here we are again.IMG_5526

I have an amazingly easy, beautiful life right now. There is pain, loneliness, anger, longing and grief, of course. But, man, I really have it so good. (This is not because “I’m blessed” or did something right. I hate that complete disregard for privilege. My life is what it is because of a wide variety of factors, many of which I have no control over.) Yet, instead of reveling in the glory of this, I often get sucked into lies. Nearly forty years into life and I still must actively fight against believing that circumstances out of my control can determine how I judge the “success” of my life. Somehow I still have moments that I believe I will find relief from internal struggles if only we lived a more sparkly life.

When I buy into the lure of the shiny, I only find disappointment. I feel sad that we don’t own a house and may never be able to afford one in the city unless we sacrifice certain values. I want a Not So Big House with a permaculture garden. I also wouldn’t say no to a Tesla. I could wear a different pair of Bombsheller leggings every day. I want a red helmet to match my red bags on my bike. I could go on and on and on, even though I know deep in my core that happiness from stuff is fleeting.

When I’m still, listening to the voice of truth instead of fear, I can settle into contentment. Therefore, in an act that will probably be necessary for my entire life, I take the end of the year to reflect on how I grew. For me, this growth usually comes by rejecting lies and fears. I don’t come by it naturally. In addition to gratitude, this is my antidote to the shiny.

I leave 2014 thankful for the support that helped me take the risk of biking with the boys, rejecting the idea that it’s too dangerous, slow or inconvenient. Biking has been a hard-won highlight of the year. Each new step up in the riding progression was incredibly scary for me so I procrastinated like crazy. I have managed my anxiety by taking baby steps, along with ample cheerleading from my husband and inspiration from Seattle’s family biking community. There are plenty more fears to conquer, but I am finally far enough up the mountain to know it’s an adventure I will gladly continue.

I leave 2014 appreciative of renewed discipline, loosening a tightly held notion that I no longer had the resolve to consistently take care of myself as well as I’d like. Years of sleep deprivation and the incessant demands of parenting young children made me wonder if I’d lost my ability to be very disciplined. The first time I dragged my booty out of bed for a 6am weight-lifting class last spring felt like summiting Mt. Everest. I rejected months of serious doubt-training by finally showing up one morning. And the next. And the next. Now it’s a precious part of my weekly routine that elevates my mood, makes me feel better in my body, and gives me strength for biking the hills with the precious, heavy cargo.

I leave 2014 grateful for a husband who thinks deeply and questions conventions. Between the two of us, he is the one most frequent to question our motives. His constant call to reject fear is not always been easy for me, but listening to him and questioning with him has undoubtedly led us to better choices. Because of him I am excited about and energized by more risks we’re going to take in 2015. I am really lucky to have him.

I leave 2014 aching for several friends in crisis. They are unbelievably resilient, having to call on reserves I don’t know. One has demonstrated to me first hand that in our pain we need to call on our trusted loved ones to support us in specific ways. “Text me tomorrow and check in. It’s going to be a hard day for me.” This has aided me tremendously in knowing how to walk alongside her, and others, in agonizing challenges. It’s also a lesson for myself. I sometimes believe that others should know what I need when I’m struggling, and that if they don’t, they don’t really love me. I no longer want to fall for that lie. I want to let people know specific ways they can support me.

I leave 2014 thankful for freedom from false loyalties, rejecting the idea that I need to stay in relationships or communities that have not always honored my values nor shown care for me. This may sound a little crazy at first, but I am an intensely loyal person. I’ve only realized this year how that aspect of my personality has brought imprisonment along with it’s benefits. By listening to that quiet voice, and asking myself what I really want, I am finding desperately needed liberation.

I also leave 2014 angry. Rejecting lies and seeking truth comes with anger. In hindsight, yelling “fucker” at the driver who nearly hit me on my bike wasn’t my best possible choice, but FINALLY, I am speaking my anger, and this is very, very good. It’s probably not too surprising to those older than me. I’m in my late-30s, finally discovering who I really am and fighting hard to take off the masks I’ve unknowingly worn for years. I’m pissed about those masks. Mad at myself for putting them on; mad at those who encouraged me to wear them. I’m also angry at the systems that are failing our most vulnerable and maintaining people in oppression and poverty. I still don’t know what to do with the piles of rage. Word on the street is the antidote is love. And prayer. But many questions and doubts remain for me. I suppose that’s good. It’ll give 2015 something to do.

Happy New Year, friends. May 2015 bring us eyes to see what binds us, the courage to leave it, and a greater ability to love. Ourselves and each other. Out with old lies, in with newly found freedom!

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Celebrating in both spaces

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Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

 

 

Like all holidays past, and all holidays future, there are other thoughts racing around in the back of our heads beyond whether or not the turkey will taste good and the pies will turn out. We miss loved ones. We ache for relationships to be healed. We want the children to stop pestering each other. We long for patience and wisdom.

Sunday morning brought news of my parents’ decades long neighbor passing away. Though her death was expected, I am never ready for the wave of grief that inevitably crashes into me as the words are spoken, and this time was no different. I sobbed, first to my mom on the phone and later in my bedroom while the boys played. It’s an odd experience to cry loudly while your kids are laughing and tearing apart the house. They were completely oblivious to my sounds. This isn’t too surprising since I could probably walk past them naked wearing a Frankenstein mask and they also wouldn’t notice if they were fully engrossed in their play, but it’s still strange to experience.

Once I calmed, all I wanted was to recount the stories. There are many, starting with my birth. Louise’s oldest daughter and I share the same birthday, a decade apart. My brother, nearly nine years older than me, spent the night with a swarm of ten-year-old girls at a birthday party while Mom labored and delivered. (I don’t know whether or not he enjoyed the party scene, but I like that it happened on account of me. My earliest successful attempt to mess with a sibling.) Several years later Louise baked me my favorite birthday cake- heart’s desire of every little girl of the 80s: the kind with the doll awkwardly sticking out of the middle of the cake while wearing a giant, impossible-to-walk-in dress, of course!

Louise lived across the street from me during my entire childhood, and she loved to garden. These two things ensured that our paths crossed frequently. Nearly every morning and afternoon of elementary school, as I hopped on and off the school bus, I’d look for her cats. Talkative, snuggly Cookie would cross the street, waiting with me in the morning and walking me partway home in the afternoon. Sugar or Pepper (I can’t remember which- they owned a lot of cats over the years and their food names always confused me) would wait in their yard, knowing I’d eventually come scratch behind her ears. If the cats weren’t outside, I’d inevitably ask my mom if I could go visit. I was always welcomed inside.

Routine, everyday encounters were the norm, but there were exceptional moments, too. One winter evening, a friend’s mom dropped me off at home after a dance recital. My mom and sister stayed for performances later that evening, but I was only six years old, exhausted and ready for bed. The woman didn’t wait to see if I got in, driving away before I even reached my front door. I stood knocking and ringing the bell, increasingly scared and lonely. The house was dark. The porch light wasn’t even on. The bushes grew big enough for people to be hiding behind. The night grew colder and darker. The wind hissed. My dad and brother were supposed to be home.

I was so young that I’m not sure if I’d even crossed the street by myself yet. I clearly remember being terrified to do it,  especially in the dark, but I knew where I wanted to go. Their porch light was on. The cats would be inside, too. I was even happy knowing that I could peek at the little world inside their enormous terrarium, which I found both odd and amazing. I remember my run across the street vividly, though more like I recently dreamt it than that it really happened. My heart pounded as I rang their doorbell. (I vaguely remember also feeling nervous about bothering them late at night or waking them up. It was probably 8pm.) A warm blanket of comfort covered me as the door opened and my neighbor took me in.

Both of the neighborhood women that nurtured me in special ways are now gone. There were countless simple, beautiful acts that only thoughtful neighbors can do: daily greetings, inviting me in for tea or kitty-cat petting, running little treats outside because I was spotted passing by. These women were present for my family during our most challenging and celebratory moments, too. They threw parties, brought food, gave hugs and ran errands. Their presence made our surrounding neighborhood pretty close to the elusive village “it takes” to raise kids.

The holidays have always felt hard to face when grief is fresh, but I’m realizing part of that is because I bought into a lie. For too long, I equated thankfulness with smiling and good cheer and felt like I’d somehow ruin a holiday if I was sad. So, I wore my emotions tightly, holding myself in a protective stance that didn’t allow for either extreme to be expressed. Finally, I begin to make room at the table for tears. What could be a more pure reflection of love shared and missed? And, of course, I set a place for joy. We would experience a different sort of grief without the warm memories of playing, dancing, laughing and telling stories. Without those elements, our grief might actually be regret. This year, I’m beginning to see how I can hold both joy and sorrow in my heart during the holidays. It starts with making space at the table.

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Celebrating her

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The airport was still within sight, landing planes roaring above us as we headed home after dropping off my mom. Miles asked, “Mama, when is grandma coming back?” Simultaneously warming my heart and turning me into a puddle, my boy missed my mom. He fell in love with his grandma during her visit.

They held hands a lot. He touched her warm, soft winter coat and complimented it (prior to asking if he could have it). He told her how much he liked her smooth, leather gloves.

They read piles of books together, too. Sometimes side by side, but usually snuggled up.

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He told her everything. From the minute we picked her up to the minute she left, he did not miss a chance to chat. “Grandma, guess what? Um-uh, I have 36 Pokemon cards! And uh, guess what? Pokemon starts with “P”!  Puh, puh, Pokemon!”

Charlie, equally pleased to see her but less of a chatterbox these days, spent hours playing Monopoly and making Spirograph flowers with her. (Remember those?) He can read his own books these days, but he never missed a chance to sit by her side.

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When my counselor asked me what I hoped for with my mom’s visit, I shared my desire to play and laugh a lot together. I didn’t want to squander our time. From the simplicity of working together in the kitchen to prepare food for our weekend, to the marvel of soaking in stunning views from beaches and the Needle, to the joyous yells of surprise while watching chum salmon jump waterfalls in Piper’s Creek. My hopes were met, even exceeded.

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Lately I’ve felt a profound gratitude for my Mom that I can feel in my core. WIth many friends in crisis, I am acutely aware of how fleeting life is, how quickly circumstances shift, how preciously we should hold the beautiful moments. My mom is a great treasure in my life. With each passing year it is more evident how beloved she is by my boys, too. She knows how to connect. She plays games with them for hours, listens patiently to their (often painfully) long stories, delights in their journeys, and encourages them in their struggles. It’s her birthday, but we got the gift.

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Mountains

Bright eyes twinkling, an engineer and a schoolteacher who met at Purdue tied the knot fifty years ago. If one could hitch a ride with Doc Brown in the DeLorean and fill them in, I’m certain their young selves could not fathom what their lives would encounter. The beauty and joy they would relish. The tragedies and loss they would grieve. All they knew at that moment was that they were choosing to walk hand in hand. I bet they envisioned something simple and beautiful. While their journey hasn’t been straightforward, they intentionally surrounded themselves with beauty, and I believe that has made all the difference. Fifty years later, they remain side by side.

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As you enter Rocky Mountain National Park, you’ll see my parents faces on the Visitor Center wall because a few years ago some park rangers decided they might as well be permanent fixtures. Sometimes they drive up the canyon roads to the park just to view the peaks and wildlife from the car. More commonly he fishes while she reads by a river or hikes. He ties flies on his line and reels in a rainbow, she admires columbine, talks to the chipmunks and scans for deer.

At Yellowstone, there’s an entire wall of the Old Faithful Inn highlighting my parent’s patronage. They’re the honorary second and third Old Faithfuls. My dad also earned an official Bison Disappointer medal, responsible for saving countless naive tourists from certain mauling. “This isn’t a zoo, folks. Don’t try to feed the buffalo. Get back in your car.” The frustrated bison always direct a deep snort Dad’s way.

I don’t think a year of my childhood passed without a trip to Yellowstone. If one did, they probably made up for it the next year by visiting twice! I easily averaged once a month to Rocky Mountain National Park. My brother, sister and I can spot wildlife like a doctor spots measles. Mom’s persistent, “Keep your eyes peeled, kids!” embedded deep urges to look for animals wherever we went. It’s now buried in our subconscious, with us forever.

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When I reflect on what my parents have experienced during their shared five decades (the parts I’m aware of, at least), I am struck by their resilience. While their foundation of steady employment and stable finances rarely cracked, the winds certainly blew hard at their home. Sometimes at hurricane force. There have been tragic losses, and the gut-wrenching pain of watching parents get ill and pass. The loss of siblings, friends, friends’ children, children’s friends. Such forces either take a house down or the residents keep nailing up plywood, protecting themselves in the basement, storing up food. My parents are bad-ASS*. Their house might as well be a bomb shelter.  (*My mom really loves that I wrote that even though she may not admit it.)

Thankfully, there have been countless celebratory, playful moments, too. Two times they received the amazing phone call that they were going to be adoptive parents and finally got to bring home the babies they’d desired for years. I remember a house filled with (what now I imagine was drunken) laughter and goofy lobster hats on my mom’s 40th birthday, especially as the lobsters were placed into the pot. I’m pretty certain there was head-banging at their 25th anniversary party from a certain Member-of-the-Pair-Who-Refuses-to-Dance. There were decades of holidays filled with uninhibited merriment coming from the mysterious Adult Table beyond the wall, while the kids sat at the Kids’ Table hanging spoons off their noses and shooting peas out of their noses (well, that part didn’t last decades). There were birthday dinners overflowing with The Broker shrimp, orders of fill-ette mig-non, fettucini alfredo and cherries jubilee.

Ultimately, though, my parents aren’t lavish. They are quite content with simplicity. They live quietly, with integrity, and are quick to lend a hand. Dad loves to woodwork, building beautiful furniture. Mom loves to garden, creating gorgeous flower beds. They take walks together to visit the owls that live in a nearby park. They hike. They vacation at national parks, eating sandwiches from their cooler along the way. The rhythm of their life lends to a different kind of celebration, one that I fully respect. Today they are together in the mountains and I think it’s a perfect fit.

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My mom’s caption here cracks me up. Look at my face. Clearly I’m “enjoying the beauty” about as much as I would like to have that haircut right now. (In retrospect I remember delicious meals and hot firefighters there, so maybe I was upset that no cute boys had yet to show up.)

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Some build marriages around roses and chocolates. My parents built theirs around wildflowers and rivers. In so many ways, the mountains hold them together. They wander and admire together. They know the secluded paths of the parks, the most stunning waterfalls, the favorite animal hangouts, the prime fishing holes, the wildflowers by name. I am thankful they have Rocky Mountain refuges, places that have allowed them both to escape the winds and to nourish their friendship.

Happy 50th Anniversary, Mom and Dad! May your remaining years together continue to be filled with browns, rainbows, elephants ears, lupine, elk, moose and bison. And a hearty dose of silly rabbits ears, too.

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One hundred

My wonderful Grandma Randolph would’ve turned 100 today. We would’ve had a paaar-taa-ay. It would’ve been at a nursing home, but hey, that wouldn’t have stopped us from celebrating the lady with gusto. Maybe a (vodka?) grapefruit juice cocktail, some salted watermelon with cottage cheese (the lady salted everything), a hefty amount of chocolate cake, some wild break dancing on the linoleum, latex glove chicken balloons. The works.

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My grandma holding my mom.

My grandma fit the quintessential grandma mold perfectly. She was a little squishy around the edges, decorated with cute little trinkets that we loved to rearrange, filled bowls with Werther’s candies, kept After Eights “hidden” in a drawer, and took me (and sometimes my sister) to Furr’s cafeteria for the buffet line on our special overnight dates. There was usually a parade on television that we’d watch while she scrambled eggs, toasted bread and fried bacon for breakfast. I loved it all. She was a constant during my childhood and I treasured being with her.

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Grandma’s girls. How cute are they?!

Grandma was born just prior to WWI and birthed her FULL TERM, BIG twin girls during WWII. I really wish we had pictures of her pregnant. She completed a degree in Home Economics prior to having her girls, which I’m guessing was quite helpful as she entered motherhood married to a vanilla salesman. They weren’t wealthy, but they got by, and both of their girls went to college. Even more importantly, the twins adored their parents. I’ve only heard kind words spoken.

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Grandma holding me. The only time my grandpa saw me. But he’s looking away, so hopefully he didn’t miss it.

The end of grandma’s life wasn’t easy. Her husband died in 1977 after months living with very painful cancer. (He was really sick while my mom was pregnant with me and died shortly after my birth.) She eventually moved from Indianapolis to Colorado, living just ten minutes from my childhood home. As time passed, her cognition faded, as did her hearing. When I excitedly called her with fabulous news that we got a chocolate lab puppy, she said, “Oooh, I bet that will taste good.” She sure loved chocolate.

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This is how she made me feel.

In her late 70s or early 80s she started falling a lot and getting hurt. When I was in early adolescence she had a grand mal seizure at a restaurant with my mom, sister and me. My sister and I were shuttled away from the commotion, having just witnessed our first seizure without knowing anything about them, and we huddled in a bathroom. My sister prayed. It was the first time I ever remember someone praying like that- fearfully begging God. I remember that stall as vividly as I remember our restaurant booth and the look on my mom’s face.

Grandma’s frequent falls were from seizures, which were from a brain tumor, and she eventually needed surgery to remove it. After months living at our house she was moved to a nursing home near my aunt’s house in Nebraska. The altitude was hard on her heart. She got a lot of love from my aunt and cousins, but was often hospitalized with pneumonia. She was graceful and peaceful through it all. I don’t once remember her complaining. Ever. I do remember her incessantly ringing a little bell when she needed help at our house. She’d ring, I’d go see what she needed, and she’d often not know why she had called. But she was so sweet about it all, not at all demanding, that I’d just smile. Sometimes I’d snuggle in beside her. To see her and not smile was nearly impossible. I loved laying by her side in that bed, cozy and warm.

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Even though she was alive, she couldn’t make it to our wedding. I love that she met him, though. Bonus: He can do a perfect impression of her.

Most of my memories of her are post-brain surgery, and I know she was dramatically different as a result, but man, she was darling. Towards the end of her life, when her language comprehension wasn’t stellar but her sweetness was at it’s height, you could tell her just about anything and she’d say, “Mmmm, yesssss. That’s nice.” Sometimes I wanted to say something like “Grandma, I drank a lot of beer and danced on tables” just to see if she’d say that same thing.

Man. She was so cute. The woman just radiated sweetness.

Like me, my sister adored her. Older than me, she holds even more memories and treasures of her. Grandma passed away in 2001, right about the time my sister found out she was pregnant. My niece Kayla was born on grandma’s birthday. How’s that for amazing? Makes me cry every time I think about it.

Happy 100th birthday, Grandma. You are dearly, dearly missed. And always will be.

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Cuter than cute. In her late 80s, with a walker and her Halloween costume.

(And if you read this, miss Kayla Jane, happy birthday to you, dear girl. You are a light. I think you got a huge dose of grandma’s kindness in your heart. I am honored to share a little bit of Grandma Jane with you and be your fellow KJ. I love you.)

Taking Care of Business

A little business to get out of the way. I switched blog hosts, which meant changing the site layout and look, too. (Thank you to WordPress for making this easy and even somewhat fun. I am a fan!) If you’d like, you may now sign up to follow my posts via email. Of course, you can use an RSS feed, too. That’s my favorite way to follow blogs.

I also decided to get a little fancy and add a facebook page: kathleenbeanblog . In addition to my posts, I’ll share articles, recipes and blog posts that I found worthwhile but don’t want to write about in-depth. I promise I will not bombard your facebook newsfeed with post after post. I will post once or twice daily, max. Sometimes, I imagine, it will only be once or twice a month.  (January 2013 Revision: I removed the facebook page!)

Last, I have a youtube channel for all my songs and dances. (Seriously? You bought it? Well, not yet, folks. Not yet.)  But the dancing here does make me laugh a lot. And if you didn’t know about this yet, welcome to the party. Very, very late, but welcome.