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I write this in the moment. As a blogger in this day this is not the way this should be written. Perhaps I have had a drink too many. Perhaps I should have paused before hitting the keys. Perhaps I should have even taken a moment to consider where I was.

My Husband is sad. My children are sad. I am sad. why? Because Papa is dying. Because Mama is sad her babies are returning to where they are in this world that is not here. And one just brought in “cheese bites” that are so disgusting I might have to cleanse my palate with another vodka.

Moments are opportunities and I blew a big one today, HOORAY for marriage as Mike made the recovery and we made our family of 7 moments. Not because we had to but because I wanted them. I adore my Husband for making it happen and my family for taking the cues. #hugskissesluvyamenatit




I bought my first InkWell Press planner from Office Depot in 2017 when the At-A-Glance I had used for many years in the format I preferred was no longer available. Well, that was a shift…

I appreciate that InkWell Press is woman-owned and owned by a woman in my own state – Asheville! I could get my planning fix and support a fellow femme and my state. Bonuses all day! Thank you, Tonya Dalton, for making that possible.

As a natural planner, I need these pieces of paper. They make me happy. And more productive. And mostly on time and in the correct place. Mostly, they make me happy.

When I bought my 2019 InkWell planner directly from the InkWell site, I also bought a few extras like the Daily Docket similar to what I had been downloading from online for years and even using with students!

Then Tonya announced her upcoming book The Joy of Missing Out (JOMO). The book title alone signs to me. I am confident there is not a single other human on the planet that enjoys deleting commitments from her calendar more than me. Not making-excuses enjoyment, I mean legit-isn’t-happening enjoyment. Like today when my second child announced she was coming home from college for the evening. I had a dinner date with a girlfriend but canceled because I was not missing my daughter’s rare appearance. Sure. I did miss not seeing my friend but I did not mind deleting the commitment from my calendar. Staying home makes me happy. Happy. Happy. HAPPY!


So I pre-ordered JOMO on August 18 set for an October 1 release. The excitement! The anticipation! Tonya’s classes, challenges, videos – all of which I had already enjoyed and enjoyed during my wait made me almost salivate with excitement. Not. Even. Joking. Ask Kelly and Tara.

Then JOMO arrived late on October 1. Ironically the same day I was speaking to our local city council and preparing to leave for a wedding and about thirty other priorities. So I decided to wait and read JOMO at the coast the week before the wedding.

The vehicle was packed, the kids in the back, and I made sure JOMO was on the front passenger’s seat beside me ready for me to soak it up with the sun and waves.

Then I JOMO-ed JOMO.

I did not know how desperately my brain and body and soul needed to stop. I did nothing but the basic cooking and housekeeping and then some fiction reading and knitting for five straight days. I needed to enJOY MISSING OUT. And so I did. I decompressed, not even opening my datebook until the end of the week to mark down a lunch made with JSi.

And so I returned to the chaos of a home turned upside down and dusty and cold from a renovation but oh-so-grateful it is safe and secure while friends in Hopetown and Ocracoke are still making sense of Hurricane Dorian. I made the most of the first two re-entry days getting things cleaned and in order the best I can all while listening to the unpleasant sounds of progress.

In order to enJOY MISSING OUT on the banging and smacking of the renovation, I moved by displaced living room chair into my bedroom and set a space where I could shut the doors and play music and drown out the noise. The kids know the door is “open” even though it is closed and they are happy for my new space.


And that’s the story of how I JOMO-ed JOMO. I enJOYED MISSING OUT by not feeling like I *had* to read this book immediately. I took time to get well so I could give the book and its message the time and consideration it deserved.

And now it is time… Time to begin The Joy of Missing Out. Grateful.


PS – there are no “affiliate links” here. Just alotta links.

My first FabFitFun unboxing with Rebekah Anne and Laura Lea and shout outs to Leslie and Kelly and inspiration from That’s Inappropriate and Juggling The Jenkins.

Just a hoot!

Being sick sucks hairy monkey balls.

Six Word Saturday

Traveling to Detroit for the weekend.

Six Word Saturday

There are a lot of Kellys in my life. Each of them is so very unique in her own way but also contributes uniquely to my life. One of the Kellys taught me the term “re-entry.” It describes the hours, days, weeks of returning to a regular rhythm after days without the usual. Maybe it was traveling or a break from lessons or weather or illness that broke apart the daily rhythm. No less, there is always re-entry. The times where no one really wants to be doing the usual but doing the usual actually feels better than anyone is willing to admit.

Our family’s re-entry from 2018 into 2019 was today. Sure, we had a few things going on last week, but not much really. Today, though, we needed to get to it. We actually needed to get to it for our minds, bodies, spirits. So we did. We woke at sane times, ate sane things at sane times, got a little movement into our day, and met the one obligation we had. Not bad. No less, it was indeed re-entry. A moment of anxiety, a moment of whining, a moment of trying to stay awake…

Sweet spot of the day was at the barn where I may have lingered longer than usual and certainly longer than necessary to just watch the animals from inside one of the chicken houses. I’ll probably find myself lingering a little more as re-entry continues.


It’s a “holiday” weekend here. We have extra kids in and out, overnight, and just popping in. It is really fun and awesome.

I have made bacon, pancakes, and egg for breakfast. It’s cleaned up minus the few extra pancakes I will vacuum seal for when I am feeling lazy and the kids can pop them in the toaster. The dogs have been in and out a dozen times and I have asked the first round to return home to pack things up. My two morning texts have been sent.

As I filled my coffee cup for the third time already I listened to a sweet conversation.

My Daughter: Sawyer [her brother], want to play a game with witches and gremlins and trolls and wizards?

Friend: There is even a wizard hat.

Sawyer: There’s a wizard hat?

I chuckled to myself. There is even a wizard hat. Did he not realize we have had a wizard hat for years?  Was he surprised his sister and his friend would let him wear the wizard hat? Assuming they were actually going to let him… Whatever it was, I laughed.

Then it hit me.

My youngest child, the one who offered the invitation, is 8 years old and a few months.

When I was 8 years old and only a month more than her, I was welcoming my youngest sister who I affectionately called “whatchamacallit.” She was the first child from my mother’s second marriage. I did not like my new dad and I did not like this creature who came along, too. I also did not like that I was warming formula and fixing bottles and changing cloth diapers and as my mom returned to work I was also waking at night to feed the baby and change her. I was 8 years old. I did not even turn 9 until the end of the year. I was mad as hell. I should not have to be a mom to 3 other kids, much less a baby at age 8. And I knew it. I was mad mad mad mad.

Honestly, I don’t even care about all that now. I know now that the care I learned for whatchamacallit and later LD (I promise it is not as horrible as it sounds), was only preparation for the full house I have today. I know that and I am fine with that.

And I am very, very, sincerely with all of my being grateful that my 8 year olds did not have that responsibility to own. They only need to be concerned about who will wear the wizard hat. And Sawyer did.


PS: I love my sister Michelle. I love who she is and who she has become. And I love my brother, Little David. He is kind and loving, too. I also love my Dad. He was 30 and married a woman with 3 kids and one on the way. And lots of issues. There was no way he could have known what was coming. I love Momma, too. And so no one feels slighted…my other siblings are loved as well.

My brain is officially over capacity. There is no more RAM, no more GBs or whatever it is a computer runs out of. I only know there is not more room for another app nor another email not even another song. I am maxed out.

I am not maxed out by life. Fortunately, we have made wise choices and even our fullest days are not full, they are well-paced. We just pack “busy bags,” water bottles, snacks and carry on. It is my heart filling up my brain.

There was a post by blogger “Beautiful Life of a Traveling Wife” that struck me once. I think it was titled “I am a cutter.” not a cutter like we think of with people who harm themselves. But a cutter of people from her life. When she gets fed up, she just cuts them off. I am all for that. But that is not what my heart is full about nor my brain trying to manage. Fortunately, I like all the people in our world right now.

I am a fixer. I want to fix things. When people whine or I whine or people complain or I complain, I don’t want to listen to the whining or complaining, I want to fix it. And when people are sad, or I am sad, I want to fix it. I am a fixer.

There has been too much death this past holiday season. Well, honestly, it was probably the same amount of death as in any holiday season. But too much death close to me. See how selfish I am? And I cannot fix death. I cannot bring back to life in full and good health my friend’s husband who is a father to two beautiful children who need a father. I cannot bring back to life our sweet friend who took her own life. I cannot make her family full again with two daughters and a mother and father. I cannot fix the memories of caring for to the absolute greatest degree my friend and her 15yo son have. I cannot fix the memories my friend has of being with his daughter as she died. I cannot fix those things.

My brain has gone into the “beachball of death” as I call the spinning circle on the Mac when it is not responding. I can’t fix those things and my heart aches. No amount of texts, soup, prayer will fix those things. My heart has sent my brain into unresponsive mode. I have to reset it to safemode so I can care for my family. Thankfully, my family is mostly peaceful right now and so in it I find solace. There is nothing to fix here right now. Tweak, yes, but not fix.

I feel better already having downloaded this from my hard drive. Or since my brain is mush, is it a soft drive? I really should not attempt all these computer terms given my technotard status. Life is what it is. And even in this moment, I am grateful.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Share your moment here and look for others at SouleMama.