July in Review

Almost done and 10x better.

We might get some sunflowers yet…

I can’t wait to see these Morning Glories take off next year.

Carrots for Michaelmas?
Peas and Broccoli for Labor Day?
Fresh Coat of paint on the front steps…. an the hostas…

Small, but potent
I’ll have this blanket done for a high school graduation gift….
He won’t sit down and make art, but he will pretend he’s at art class.

Where has July gone?  And where have I been?

I’ve been:

  • trying to get a handle on this keeping house thing.
  • taking it easy as we transition to a new care arrangement for H.
  • not going to the swimming pool, not even once!  But we did go to the beach at the reservoir once and to a splash pad, so not a total loss.
  • amazed when my son started singing church songs out of the blue
  • amazed when my son suddenly started to request praying for people
  • trying hard not to loose any of the flowers I’ve planted this summer
  • giving up on a lot of what I planted this spring.
  • planting things haphazardly for the fall – peas, bush beans, spinach, and still hoping for brocolli
  • sewing nerdy pajamas for my boy
  • finishing my star dress (pictures to come)
  • working on a kimono top
  • starting to plan the holidays (yes, I’m crazy – but I like to get good deals)
  • starting to plan the holiday crafting (this isn’t crazy, I’ve come to realize August is a good time to get started on this stuff)
  • playing music – getting my grove back with the piano and slowly starting to learn the mandolin
  • doing a lot of home repair work – painting, repairing steps, making new screen for our windows
  • taking the boy to art class and nature classes
  • finishing two summer reading programs with him
… no wonder the month has flown by.

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby….

…. let’s talk about you and me

let’s talk about all the good things 
and the bad things that may be….
(Salt n’ Pepa)
Guess what folks?  We need to talk.  We need to talk about something serious, something that’s not going away.  We need to talk about fertility and sex and natural family planning and periods and cycles and gestation and everything.  We need to talk about it because we’re really, really good about ignoring the whole subject.
Oh, we’re plenty good at talking about some parts of it.  We’re good at talking about what’s “sexy” and we’re good at casting judgement on clothing and behavior.  We’re good planning parties and offering way too much advice, but we’re not very good at talking about the important sides of things.
We’re not very good about talking about fertility in a big picture – the good and the bad.  We’re not very good about sharing the fact that some times your body or your planning method works too well and sometimes it doesn’t work at all.  We’re kind of good at sharing the joys, but we haven’t learned how to talk about the ups and downs of fertility and family planning without it being a taboo or insulting subject.
I know some people aren’t comfortable hearing about sex and fertility and family planning.  I know not everyone is comfortable talking about sex and fertility and family planning, but somewhere out there there are people who want to listen and have no one to talk to and people who have stories to tell and no audience.
We have women who think that maybe having a few more kids won’t be awful who need women with more than two children to share their journey.
We have women who feel that there must be a better way to take control of their bodies than with pills, injections and implants who need women to who are comfortable talking about temperatures, charts and mucus.
We have women who are overwhelmed who need mothers of many to speak up.
We have women who scared and disappointed with their bodies who want people to know their stories and their struggles.
I know there are some people who think that our fertility and our bodies should be private, that it shouldn’t be small talk and that we should be able to keep ourselves safe from whatever the opposite side of the scale we’re at, but I don’t think that’s going to get us anywhere if we all adopt that mentality.  Sure, we all have different comfort levels and testimony, and we should always be ready to change a subject when notice someone is uncomfortable, but there is so much to be shared and you never quite know how you can change or challenge someones life by sharing your story.
So it’s NFP awareness week and I want you raise awareness where you’re at:  
If it’s easy for you I want you to share – it might convince someone to try.
If it’s not easy for you I want you to share – someone out there thinks they’re the only one.
If you have prudent reasons for postponing I want you to share – someone else might be waiting for a sign.
If you’re in a period of openness I want you to share – show us that it’s not the end of the world.
If you struggle with infertility or loss or hyper-fertility I want you to share – we need you to be visible.

Now let me break it down for a minute…..
If someone’s story is not what you need – if you can’t stand large family talk or NFP success or failure stories or miscarriage – I want you to pick and choose what you read and what you share.  Find what you need and leave the rest for it’s intended audience.

There’s no need to guilt a writer for sharing a story just because it’s not what YOU need right now.

We’re all grown ups and, as my Transformer obsessed child can tell you, “you’ve got the power” to pick and choose what you’re reading.  You don’t need to click that birth story when you’ve just had a loss – even when it’s the biggest blogger in Christendom.  You don’t need to click on that loss story when you just discovered another surprise pregnancy.  You don’t need to follow that blogger whose life is entirely different from you if it’s not making you a better person.

The point of NFP Awareness Week shouldn’t be to make someone feel bad for their success or failure with the method or their success or failure in family size.  We should have NFP Awareness Week because we need to hear the stories, we need to hear the sides and there are so many people out there who can benefit by getting a little more relaxed, a little more understanding and a little bit more confident when we talk about sex…. baby.

Summer of Psalms

I am so honored to have been chosen to select my favorite Psalm to share with you and be a part of Kirstin’s Summer of Psalms Project.

I think it comes as no surprise which Psalm I claimed for my own, I’ve quoted it often and it’s been such a great comfort to me.

As a gardener it’s become very clear how nature often works contrary to our plans.  You water, you feed and the plant can still wilt and never take root.  Bugs and creatures can move in or nature just does it’s worth.

I love this psalm because it reminds me that God’s plans aren’t as whimsical as my actual garden.  Things, the right things – the things he intends for us, will always take root and blossom.  He promises that our tears will never be in vain.

Below is the wonderful print Kristin has made to share with us!  Follow this links below to find the download for this print and more.  And don’t forget to keep following along with the Summer of Psalms.

The Summer of Psalms Project is an effort to spread selected Psalms through inspired art. Follow along at Vine of Plenty (www.vineofplenty.com) for more free and encouraging artwork. Frame your favorite Psalm print and share your own pictures using the hashtags #summerofpsalmsproject and #vineofplenty to stay connected.

Vine of Plenty | The Summer of Psalms Project

Territory Folks Should Stick Together.

Bare with me this week -apparently I’m thinking in song lyrics.

This song pops into my head ever time someone suggestions that I’m at odds with my more fertile friends.




Y’all…. territory folks should stick together.  Plain and simple.  This is not a race and this is not a competition.

Oh sure everyone has run into someone who’s made the other side look bad, really bad.  We all know that woman with 13 perfectly spaced children (boy, girl, boy, girl of course) who clearly thinks your small family is a sign of a compact with the devil.  We all know that woman who thinks that strollers in public and the baby section at Target should be punishable by hard time in prison (she may have even tried to push a bill into law saying as much) because they make her sad.

As T.Swift would say…

Now I’ve already addressed the fact that yep, as an infertile woman or a woman going through pregnancy loss sometimes it’s hard to be around “the other side”.  So let me sum that one up… it’s not you, it’s me.  It’s my personal reaction (often totally justified) to my own, personal lot in life.

But I want to let you in on a little secret.

The women I run to when I’ve had another loss or am struggle with this next round of infertility are my fertile friends.  The ones I run to have three kids in four years or six kids in eight years or foster parents or women who’s lives in one way or another revolve around kids.

Why do I put myself through the agony?

Because they get it.

These are the people I know really understand that what I’m going through is horrible.  They’re the ones who don’t see my broken body as free birth control.  They’re the ones who understand the desire to see a little pink line or a blur on an ultrasound.  They’re the ones, overwhelmed as they often are, who understand that the teenager driving them crazy or the three year old currently using them as a human Kleenex are a blessing.  They celebrate and mourn with me the best because they get it.

I’ve run into this line of thinking that our church doesn’t honor or respect women who struggle with infertility or pregnancy loss.  That we only raise those on pedestals who produce regularly and quickly; the visible martyrs of openness.  A lot of women feel our church doesn’t have a place for the infertile, but I say there’s no better place for an infertile women to carry her cross than surrounded by people who understand that life is a gift and with it comes great responsibility (thanks, Spidey) and often, great disappointment.

Yes, I also surround myself with women who have or who are walking in my shoes – they’re not without necessity in my life.

Yes, it is hard to be infertile and show up every week at church where someone else is sporting a new bump…. again.

Yes, it is hard to see the number of other peoples births that have happened during our infertility struggles creep close to the triple digits.

Yes, it is hard to be happy for them.

Yes, sometimes I need a break from them.

But, they’ve also become my safe place to fall. They’ve become my little monastery of solitude and refuge where it’s easy to find someone who will sit with me, pray with me and offer no advice or probing questions.

It’s not Farmers vs. Cowboys folks.  It’s not a war between the Fertiles and the Infertiles.  We’re all in this together and gosh darn it, if I see another fight brewing between women on the opposite sides of the fence one more time I’m going to do my best Aunt Eller, {proverbial} shot gun and all.

Sing it, Andrew!

Let’s Talk – The Right Heart Podcast

So, funny story – if you’re expecting a phone call to have a podcast interview you might want to set a reminder or you’ll risk answer the phone from an unknown number at dinner time in your best “I don’t want what you’re selling” telemarketer-beware voice.

Luckily, Erin is a sweetheart.

I’m honored to share more of our jouney through miscarriage with you on her podcast, The Right Heart today.

In Erin’s words:

“This is an episode that says it like it is. Miscarriage and the journey of healing and grief that surrounds it can be messy, lonely, and misunderstood. Molly does a wonderful job speaking to the issues that surround miscarriage, as well as sharing how her Catholic faith has helped her carry her crosses. Her testimony reminds us that just because it’s hard, and just because there are (many) tears, and just because we may struggle deeply with our loss longer than we or others think we should, it doesn’t mean God isn’t carrying us through it.”
To hear more click the link below:


First off let me just say I’m so happy to see all the love and joy and celebration coming from #edel15 this year.  I know that the cost, the time, and everything needed to take a weekend off from your family and life is a big deal and every single lady that could make it, deserves it and every single lady to whom it wasn’t in the cards this year is just as special, deserving and wonderful.

I couldn’t make it this year.  I laid out my priorities and it wasn’t at the top; as much as I wanted to see some really dear friends and a city I’ve never seen before (I have wanderlust to the nth degree) I wanted to stay home this year, save my vacation time and dollars for some fun family events.

I hadn’t even had the conference on my radar this year though some friends were speaking and helping and going to the event; I had other things in my life and I honestly didn’t even realizing it was this weekend until gals started posting airport selfies on instagram.  So I started off by taking my own pretend airport selfie just as a bit of fun (I was having breakfast in a lobby at my job) and then decided to roll with it.


//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsHonestly, I had the best weekend I’ve had in a while all while staying at home just because the Edel Conference I couldn’t attended still reminded me that I’m doing good work and deserve a little rest, relaxation and enjoyment to my days.

I’m really hoping I can come to the next Edel in 2017 (honestly I’m starting a savings account), though I’m excited about a couple potential conferences to fill the void in 2016 that I can’t say anything about yet; but I’m so glad I decided to have fun this weekend no matter what and I hope you did too.

You can see more of the fun on my Instagram or Twitter.  And don’t forget to search the hashtags #edel15, #kellyknows, #insteadofedel and #edelwidowers for all the fun!

Summer-y Reads

Summer, the perfect time to do nothing at all.  Some of my best summer memories are a curled up in a cabin or on a porch just reading…. Black Beauty, scary stories, passing Nancy Drews back and forth with my cousin, going over stargazing and tree field guides for no real reason.

Here are a few picture books we’re enjoying this summer, along with a few favorite longer reads for read aloud or older kids.  Plus some of my favorite field guides for kids and adults.  I really can’t recommend the writings of John Muir enough – he was the founder of the Sierra Club and did so much to build the Nation Parks system we know and love today, his writings make you eager for the next sunny day and to see what adventures are around you – whether it’s his stories as picture books or his writings for adults, they’re really amazing.