Made me think of you...

I stumbled across this blog a while ago and recently she did some posts that made me think of the two of you. Lately I've been wondering what it's really like to be an aunt. Since it will probably be a while before I know first hand (AHEM), I thought this was a nice way to explain the emotions surrounding it.

You'll have to let me know if she's spot on or just blowing smoke...

Party in Cinci

Since Em had so much interest, I thought I'd show you what has become my favorite gift to give for high school graduation. I was trying to think of ways I could adapt it for guys but until I see the need, I'm just not going to worry about it!

I love the spa-like colors. It almost makes me want to wear my flip flops in the shower. :) And that book is none other than the everlasting, Captivating. Funny enough, I have yet to read it all the way through.

Wish you two could have been there. You were missed.

Skype without hype.

I’m sitting in the library with Nathan – and I’m bored. I’m bored because I want to talk to one of you – but you're both living your lives.

I’m checking Skype every 30 seconds…compulsively hoping – willing one of you to log on.

Kate is probably packing up her kitchen – maybe on her way to the new place.
Sara is probably recovering from the day’s travels to Cinci.  Hopefully not in any back pain.

I am sitting in an over air-conditioned classroom eating popcorn and pretending to find things to read online.

Come on – sisters! Skype.

Okay, I’m going to check again if you’ve logged on…


First sister to visit gets some fried plantains…


Yesterday, Addie and I baked cookies together for the first time. She loved being a part of the process... helping me measure, pouring in the ingredients and tasting some of the dough at different stages along the way. I think that the creamed butter and sugar stage was her favorite--good girl! Although I couldn't grow an extra arm to take pictures of all the fun, I did capture the joy of savoring the results...

I hate it when he's right.

I have discovered that while I live the vast majority of my life with what I have come to label as a "terminal optimistism", there are a few stand-out situations in which I swing to the opposite end of the spectrum... and it's not pretty.

We just found out over the weekend that our landlord sold the house we're currently living in. Hooray for him! He's been an awesome landlord and we are really happy for him that the house sold so quickly. Unfortunately, the contract requires the buyer to get possesion of the house on May 28th. That's next Friday. That gives us 8 days to finish moving. An 8-day stretch that includes Seth's graduation in St. Louis on Friday (and driving back to IA on Sat.) and a slew of committments on Sunday which pretty much renders our only remaining weekend useless. We have managed to make some promising arrangments for my oh-so-fabulous-and-far-more-helpful-than-I-deserve-in-laws to come down and assist us on Wednesday and I am going to be able to take a couple of days off from work next week as well.

None of that mattered to me last night around 8pm when I was packing up boxes of books and binders in the office and thinking about how much more we had left to pack and move. I dove headlong into a downward spiral of thinking that we were in over our heads and there was no possible way that we were going to be able to get out of the rental house in time. My heart started to race and I started to lose cognitive capacity.

Then Seth came home. I told him about how worried I was and allowed my panic to take over as I vented my concerns. He assured me that we would get it done and told me that I needn't freak out. After a few rounds of my "But what about?"'s and his "It will be fine."'s I managed to at least keep my mouth shut even though my nerves had not calmed a bit.

We began to load the pick-up with the things I had packed while he was gone and then moved on to whatever furniture pieces were ready (and easy) to throw in with the boxes. After filling the truck, we started loading up the trailblazer with closet contents and random stuff that was easy to throw in. By the time we finished loading it was 9:30pm. By the time we got over to the new house and got it all unloaded it was almost 11:00. I was exausted.

But when I walked through the door of our rental house and took a look around at all that we had accomplished in those few hours, I took a deep breath (and a few pictures) and realized that my wonderful husband was right.

We will get it done. I don't need to freak out. It will be fine. least until I remember that we haven't even started the kitchen :-/

My Monday Night

my workspace for the evening:


no longer will our sole source of food come from guavas.  we have our barell :)


woke up this morning to see...

How we do it

Me, knitting and watching Nathan's "White Coat Ceremony" streaming live from Ross University in Dominica.

The sky today

This is what I see when I look out my back door,
this Wednesday afternoon in Kentucky.

Where to begin...

Technically, it all began in Wisconsin. In a city called LaCrosse, where we were all born and first became sisters.

Then came Lexington, Kentucky... St. Louis, Missouri... Henderson, Kentucky... and the first goodbye when Sara left for college back in Lexington. I remember feeling so caught off guard when the time finally came for her to leave. It was as if I suddenly realized how much I loved her and felt like I had wasted so much time that could have been spent with her, but now it was too late. In a small way, it was a wake-up call for Emily and I... it must have been a very small way, because we still managed to drive each other pretty crazy until three years later when Mom, Dad, and Emily left for Indianapolis, Indiana and I went of to college in Chicago.

Since then I've gone from Chicago, back to St. Louis, and now to Glenwood, Iowa. Sara has stayed in Lexington, and Emily went from high school in Indy to college in Hanover, Indiana, back to Indianapolis, and now Dominica. Oh my.

Over the past 10 years I have had many conversations with mothers of daughters who are driving each other (and their mother) crazy as well as with young sisters who feel as though their sister was uniquely designed to make their life harder. I have told these mothers and daughters the same thing, "Don't worry. Things will change. My sisters and I drove each other crazy until we stopped living in the same house together, now we are best friends with each other and talk all the time, even though we all live in different states." The mothers would usually smile and say something like, "That's wonderful." or "I sure hope my daughters get to that point some day." The sisters usually say, "Yeah, right." and look at me like my sisters and I must be freaks or something to actually get along with each other.

I think that through it all, the part of our sisterhood that has meant the most to me is that while the three of us each have slightly different relationships with each other, as a threesome, we are so tightly knit. I love knowing that if I haven't talked to Emily for a while, Sara can probably fill me in on what's been going on with her, or vice-verse. No matter how busy life gets or how long it's been between phone calls, I know that my sisters are there - however many miles away - thinking of me, supporting me, encouraging me, and waiting patiently (for the most part) to catch up whenever the chance arrives.

And now, with the arrival of "Sisters Away", we have one more way to keep in touch and shorten the distance between us. Another new beginning... just what we do best. :-)

Just Another Place

Though we have been apart for many years, starting in 2001 when Kate went to college, Sara stayed in Kentucky, and I moved to Indiana, the reality of the separation between us has set in. Perhaps it is the presence of babies or the maturing of our sisterhood, but I believe we have only grown closer over these years.

And now we created a sweet homage to our separation. On the days we cannot call or skype, we have a space to say hello – I miss you – I love you – I’ve had a terrible day – I’m so proud of you – I made an amazing meal today – I burned the pancakes again – I thought of a new craft – I feel blessed today.

A space that says: “if I lived right next to you, I would tell you this at the end of my day”.

And what a shame we are only now starting this diary. If we could look back on all our trips, our gatherings, our events – we would find the most amazing story. A story that would kick Little Woman’s butt.

We’ve been blessed with such a full life together. From sharing rooms as children – moving to new cities, in which we were each others’ only ally – visiting each other in college – protecting each other from first boyfriends – standing next to each other in our weddings – cheering with each other as we conquer our careers, children, and craft.

I am so thankful we will now have a record of this journey. Between Glenwood, Lexington, and Dominica – we have 10,000 miles between us. I am determined to not feel a single one.

One week and counting

Well Ladies, it has officially been one week since Emily arrived in Dominica, solidifying that this is the farthest apart we have ever been from one another. After months of preparing for this stretch of time that would undoubtedly be difficult, here we are. How do you feel?

OK, I'll start. ;)

When I allow my emotions to take over, I feel devastated. How did we turn into the kind of family that lives so far away, that only gets to see each other on special occasions or holidays? I suppose somewhere deep down I always knew our kids wouldn't grow up down the street from each other. Before I had Addie I never thought that was something I would want. I will confess to you here, in the safety of this space that now, I can't think of anything I want more.

I want our kids to count their cousins among their closest friends. I want them to know their aunts and uncles and count you as their second mommies. My biggest fantasy is that any night of the week I could tuck my babies into bed, give Curt a big old kiss as he settles in to watch his favorite show, grab a bottle of wine, throw on my slippers and trot a few doors down to crash on one of your couches and chat the night away.

Alas, that is not our reality.

When I supress my hormone saturated emotions and allow my brain to logically sort through our situation, I am proud of us. We have followed the paths that God laid out for us. We refused to be frozen by the fear of independence and we branched out, reached out, soared into uncharted territory... We have grown up. Somehow, miraculously through the greatest grace of God, we grew up, but not apart.

Now we find ourselves with incredible husbands and fufilling lives in completely different places... Geographically and in many other ways as well. Still, even though we boast a variety of political convictions, artistic talents, hopes for our futures and present circumstances, we are undoubtedly each other's closest friends. Not many siblings out there can say that and truly mean it.

So no, I can't have impromptu wine-fests on your couches whenever I'd like and I can't send my girl over to play on afternoons when I really need a break, but I have something that in so many ways is so much better. I have the endless comfort of knowing that even farther out there I have sister soulmates. Women who love, support, respect and know me for who I really am. Women whose love for my daughter rivals all but my own. Women I have spent my life with who will always be there no matter what--no matter how we are separated.

At least for now, we have to schedule conversations and share laughs and stories over webcams. I still hold onto my fantasy and pray that God has that in mind for us someday as well. Until then, here we are. Let's make the most of it and create a space that's just for us... Who knows where it will lead.