Music has always been a medium through which Eli and I connect. We don't always have the same taste in music (Slayer? Really, Eli? Really?), but we do share a passion for it, and an ability and willingness to be moved by it. Throughout our long relationship we've spoken in lyrics to one another often and made each other mixed tapes (and CDs), usually during some of the more turbulent times.

This is definitely a turbulent time. I made Eli a CD last week, and most of it is angry. It's basically a "how dare you hurt me, how stupid was I to allow you to hurt me, okay I still love you but I'm angry, okay I just still love you. but I'm ANGRY" CD. And he responded with a CD for me, one that I've been listening to for the last few days in my car. I've spent hours in the car lately!

But it seems like every song that comes on the radio is being played exclusively for me and him lately. All these sappy tweeny-bopper pop songs about hurting and getting hurt, about loving and being loved. *sigh*

And I can practically feel Seth rolling his eyes at me right about now. ;)

Anyway, I wanted to go public with this one dedication. Yes, I'm a dork. But we all already knew that, yeah?

This is for you, Eli.
You'll have to click on it to get there.

Friends and family keep asking me what's going on with me and Eli. This is what's going on. He is my husband. I am his wife. We're working on it.


Breakfast of champions.

More often than not, breakfast at our house involves lying on the floor in front of the television, watching Boog with a poptart in hand. This well-played scenario is not one I'm particularly proud of, but there it is. I'm not a morning person. (Hell. Come to think of it, I'm not an evening person, either.)

Despite my lack of skillz when it comes to proper nutrition, breakfast is a time I enjoy with Eliot. There's not much better than lying there, cozied up next to a warm little boy, trying to capture the few blissful remaining moments of rest before the day begins in earnest.

And I do love the moments when I am able to observe our son without his awareness of my watching. When he's glued to the television screen, attuned only to the movements and words of the cartoon characters, I breathe him in, trying to memorize him as he is now. I know that these lazy days together will be encroached upon all too soon--by the arrival of a new school year, by the shift in routine back to a more frenzied pace.

The years will pass in a blur. Mornings will soon come when HE is also getting ready for school, when his life will begin to dictate its own schedule rather than conforming to mine. (Then, will I even get a kiss on the cheek before he breezes out the door and into his own day?)

And so I watch him, intently, determined to soak in all his precious little boyness while I can.

What amazes me is that he is such a person. A person! Though he is OF me, he is not me. He has his own quirks, mannerisms, small peculiarities. For instance, he always gets poptart goo all over his right wrist, from using that part of his arm to shove bites into his mouth. His gaze never wavers from the screen as he feels the poptart crumbling and reaches up to propel the resulting debris past his lips. Never his fingers, always his wrist goes up to meet the escaping food and thrust it back into that gaping maw. (He has a big mouth, "generous," his grandmother calls it, a mouth shaped curiously more like Uncle Ethan's than Daddy's.) Inevitably, some crumbs fall on the carpet, and I groan. Inevitably, I will forget to clean that part of his arm and only notice it as I'm loading him in the car to go to daycare. A fruity paste with carpet fuzz and random dirt stuck to it.

Some days those grimy bits stuck to his wrist feel like a badge of my failure as a parent, my inattentiveness. And other days I am able to simply smile at them, taking them as a quintessential sign of toddler-dom (which is all-too quickly giving way to little boy-dom).

For Eliot often talks like a child much older than his 2 years. I love how he requests his breakfast, telling me, "Mom, I want a tart." Never "poptart," always only just "tart." Then he will make sure his pillow is propped up behind him before patting the floor beside him and cocking his head to the side. "You wanna watch too, Momma? You wanna watch too? Cover up?" He searches my face for an answer.

Of course I do, Eliot. Of course I wanna watch too.

I hit "play" on the DVD and snuggle in, both of us under my great-grandmother's quilt, where our day begins.


This is me @ 30.

The journaling card for this one is tucked behind the picture. (You pull on the tab with the date to get to it). Too private to share this time.

"What?" you gasp, "There exists something that Rachel will not broadcast to the Internet?"

Well. Yes.

And it has nothing to do with yeast infections, if that's what you were thinking.

(I have to do some crediting here. The tags and postcard used in this layout are from Jess Gonacha, an artistic genius with whom I am absolutely in love. Check out her etsy shop here, if you're so inclined. And trust me, you should be. And the page underneath everything--it spells out "June," but you probably can't tell from this picture--is the cover of the latest Anthropologie catalog.)


Say what?

I found this post in my "drafts" folder recently. Apparently I had written it and never hit "publish" for whatever reason. I think it fitting that I share it with you today, in completely random fashion.

This piece was originally written in April 2008. I think it offers a telling glimpse into the life of an instructor of English composition.

Without further ado...

The following is a sample of unintelligible sentences, brought to you by my students. (I only wish I were kidding.)

"They have put the thing that matters least about a person the most important aspect." ( I wholeheartedly agree.)

"Because body image is so important to our self-esteem, when confusion occurs, there can be many effects." (Indeed.)

"Today many women are considered to be lenient and therefore lead to many cases involving the harassment of women." (Whaaaaa?)

Keep in mind that these sentences were constructed by college students, all of whom are native speakers of English.

And now, I would like to bring you...greetings from the painfully obvious:

"Advertisements are little slogans or pictures that urge you to buy what they are selling." (Thank goodness someone has finally explained this to me. I always wondered what advertisements are!)

Holy batshit, Robin! If these children are our future, what is to become of this world?

It is time.

Thanks to my favorite bald man in the world, I have oodles of yummy pictures to scrapbook, so I've been gettin' on it lately. Not to be confused with gettin' it on. That's something different.


R + K.

"Figuring it out as we go."

Love, love, love this lady.

Also, don't I have the ugliest kitchen floor ever? It reminds me of the institutional tiling in grade school, which totally brings back the smell of kid vomit and that orange sawdust they used to dump on it. So, you know. Not much has changed for me. ;)


The mog of my dreams.

Dear Eliot,

I always dreamed that one day I'd have a son.
You are everything my heart wished for and more.



Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

This morning Mog and I headed to Wal-mart to pick up some pictures I'd had developed, and when he asked where we were going, as we were getting in the car, I replied, "To market, to market, to buy a fat pig."

He said, "Oh. That'll be fun!"

But instead of a fat pig, we came home with these guys:

Meet Crosby, Stills, and Nash. I love the way Nash's eyes are bugging out in this picture of Eliot feeding them. Or wait...is that Nash? It might be Crosby. I'm not sure.

Anyway, today seemed like a fish day. Unfortunately, before we even got home, Eliot started talking about getting out his fishing pole, and I had to explain to him that we don't play catch and release with goldfish. Clearly he's been hanging around Daddy lately. Then he asked, "Eat fish?" Um. No.

These fish are totally doomed. Poor little bastards.


Bittersweet, and the ghost of girlfriends past.

I've been busy organizing my crap today, but in the midst of it all, I stopped to make a quick page. It feels like ages since I've actually made a scrapbook page, so I'm pretty revved up about it. It's nice to return to something you love and discover that it still holds all the old joys.

This page is a short letter to Eliot. I hope that someday he will read it and be able to feel the depth of my love for him and for his father. I've hidden most of the journaling under the flap of the heart, both to symbolize what is in my own heart just now and to hide what is private. I don't know what lies ahead for our little family, but I do know that we will make it past this and we will emerge a stronger family because of it. The arrangement of that family remains to be seen, but I am determined that our son will have both his mother and father as constants in his life, regardless of whether Eli and I remain together as a couple.

I get nostalgic looking at older pictures of Eliot, like the one I used on this page. This is a photo his daycare provider took of him wayy back before we'd cut his curls off, when he was just starting to say "cheese!" every time he spied a camera pointed in his direction. :)

And this is our little man now:

Times passes so slowly and so quickly.
And how much does this boy look like his dadda? He's Eli with my hair. *swoon* It's no wonder I'm still broken-hearted when I have Eli's spitting image running around here, asking me heartbreaking questions like "Why you cryin', Momma?" He's an incredibly perceptive kid.

His new obsession (aside from trains, always trains) is stoplights and stop signs. He yells "Stop, Momma!" anytime we pull up to one. He can also tell (from recognizing landmarks outside the car, I guess?) the difference when we're going to the apartment versus when I'm taking him to the house. He says "Daddy's house" or "Mommy's house" depending on the situation.

I hate this. It is hard. And I am so torn.

It would be easy for me to say okay. It would be easy to move back in, and not ever worry about Eliot crying for Daddy at night.

But in some ways it would also be easy to stay here. To not have to think about her. If I stay here I never have to wonder whether she slept in my bed, sat at my dining room table (the stainless steel table that my mom bought us as a wedding gift, no less). Did she sit on my swing? MY cedar swing, hanging from the tree in the yard? The plank of cedar my dad fashioned for me when I was in the third grade? Did she browse the titles of the books on my shelves, the ones that are still there, patiently waiting for some sort of resolution?

I could cut loose, and leave all of that behind. Start fresh.

But if I do, if I give up on this...someday I'll have to answer to my son. My son with those big shining eyes, those determined brows of his daddy's. And I want to be able to tell him that I did everything possible to keep us all together.

So the question now is: when does the possible become the impossible? When does enough become too much? *sigh*


"Because it's Friday, you ain't got no job...and you ain't got shit to do!"

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

So eat all the cereal you want, wear your hot pink Chuck's, and don't be afraid to go a little crazy.

Have a splendid weekend, everyone! :)


I'm just a girl.

Today I got a pedicure. And...and...wait for it...I SHAVED MY LEGS. I'll give you a moment to recover.




Okay, are you conscious again? Good. Yes, I did indeed shave my legs--both of them, and not just from the knee down.

Behold, the pedicured feet:

(And to anyone looking at the above picture and going, "Ew. Look at those callouses! Those bunnions! Ew. Why would she post a picture of such ugly feet? To you, I say, "SUCK IT, SISTER! I said a got a PEDICURE, not a damn miracle!")

So why all of this sudden uncharacteristic girly-girlishness?

The practical reason: I'm going to a wedding reception tomorrow evening.

I've gone through all sorts of emotions leading up to this fete. It's hard for me right now to be happy for anyone, especially someone in love. Someone beginning a life with another person, taking vows to have and to hold, so forth and so on. Part of me wants to warn them, or worse, spit in their direction and snort, "Huh. We'll see how long THIS lasts." (So, I'm a nasty bitch. If you're reading this, chances are you know me and are not all that surprised.)

There is also a larger portion of me that fervently wishes them happiness. That hopes their hearts will never ache the way mine is aching. That they'll never find themselves in totally unfamiliar emotional terrain and wonder how the hell they got there and how the hell they'll make it out.

Despite all of the turmoil in me, I have decided to go to this thing, to wish the lovers well, and by god, to look fabulous doing so. Yesterday I went shopping. I shopped all day and didn't find a damn thing. Until, in a last ditch effort, I entered the Dress Barn.

Now let me just say, "Dress Barn" is a terrible name for a women's clothing store. This is why I almost didn't go in at all. Because I already feel like a cow, there's absolutely no reason on Earth I'd want to shop at a store with the word "barn" in its name. But I was desperate, and so I went in.

Instead of finding a suitable dress for the occasion, I found five. I couldn't decide. So I bought them all. FIVE DRESSES.

In order to appreciate the enormity of this expenditure, you have to realize that the last time I bought a dress, an actual, honest to goodness dress, was in 2000. This is a big step for me.

So tomorrow night, I will be wearing one of those dresses, HEELS (*insert another collective gasp from the peanut gallery*), legs and underarms freshly shorn of all hair, and toenails painted.

Which leads me to the other reason for the recent self makeover: the emotional reason.
There's something about careful grooming that just makes a person feel good.

What is that quote about looking good being the best revenge? Oh yeah, I think it goes, "Looking good is the best revenge." So anyway, it was either that or sell her panties on Ebay, so I'm going to stick with looking good. ;)

Ha ha. Kidding. Of course. The other quote I know about revenge is that the most complete revenge is forgiveness. And that's the one I'm really going for.

But it doesn't hurt to forgive in a new dress, heels, and pretty painted toenails, am I right?! ;)



Back at the beginning of the year, before my life went haywire, I decided to join in on Emily Falconbridge's crafty 52Q challenge. The deal is that each week she poses a question and members of the group make a tag or other small scrapbook-y, crafty response to the question.

I made it to week six before I crashed and burned and haven't made another thing since. But I have been following along (I use Google Reader to keep track of my favorite blogs), reading and thinking about the questions each week. And this week, with question 22, I happened to be in the right place, physically and mentally, to create a tiny something. That's one of the reasons I love this 52Q thing so much--it only requires tiny creations, doable creations.

So here is mine for this week:

Question: Which direction am I going?


It is made from a repurposed envelope (which is just a fancy way of saying it was something I'd have otherwise thrown in the trash), and there is an index card inside with journaling about how I don't necessarily know or care what direction I'm going, just as long as I'm moving forward. So how about that, eh? :)

Certainly not my favorite--I'm not thrilled with the way it turned out, but i did get to play with ink and glitter, so it's all good. See: it really is the journey that counts! :)

If you are just dying to see my answers to weeks 1-6, you can check out my Flickr account here. You can also browse other people's contributions--I think the group is up to over 400 members now, so there are quite a few lovely things captured there.

Also, just wanted to say thank you to Cathy & Steph and anyone else who has ever commented here. Your kind words mean the world to me. *big hug*



I didn't realize until yesterday, when I said it aloud, that I am grieving.
That is what is happening.

I also didn't realize that the grief process is a recursive one.

At first I was in denial; then I was angry. I bargained; I was depressed; I accepted. But it didn't stop there.

I got angry again. I bargained. I was in denial. I was depressed; I was angry; I accepted.
I bargained...

One small victory (if it can be called that) is that I have come to see that this is natural and right. I am in mourning, and that is okay. Death is not the only loss. I do not have to feel ashamed that I am hurting.

Almost a week ago I lamented that losing Eli was like losing Molly all over again, only worse, a million times worse. And it is. And it will be.

And I have to keep going, regardless.

As many times as I fall, I cannot allow myself to break.

I must bounce.

This one demands it:

And in catching him, I catch myself.