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Some people are always new to Doctor Who but this episode is 4 years old so I will spoil with wild discretion.

The Doctor and Donna.

Donna is drawn in by a Chinese (ish) fortune teller and has an invisible, giant beetle crawl onto her back. The beetle begins a process where a parallel universe wraps around Donna – revealing a horrible, post apocalyptic dystopia where first world problems don’t exist anymore because there is no more first world. Even in England.

Rose, the Doctor’s great affection trapped in another universe forever, appears and convinces Donna that she is important and must go back and there is one moment in her (regular) life where she must turn left instead of right. If Donna does that single action the world, the universe is saved.

She returns and briefly there are two Donnas. Dystopian Donna realizes that she must sacrifice herself, and with a giant deep breath she does. The universe rights itself. In talking it over with the Doctor she remembers the message she was given by Rose. Bad Wolf.

The Doctor and Donna are one of my favorite pairings in Doctor Who. (For the 11th I like when Rory is the Last Centurion, or when Amy & Rory are just mature). Of course River is my favorite companion of all time because … the flirting. ANYHOW. I wander away from my point.

I like Doctor Who.
I have stress which makes me like Doctor Who even more.
I wanted to talk about something other than almost being 40 – so Doctor Who it is.

Now. Do I turn left?

He trusts me that that McD’s is traveling food. When grandma suggests that they eat McDs IN Athens – he wants to call me and check to see if grandma traveling is enough to qualify him for McDs in Athens.

There was the scheduled c-section at 38 weeks (something my hospital would likely no longer do). Apparently, like everybody else does, I said something stupid to a tech or RN while I was waking up from the anesthesia. My mom took an amazing picture of Dave talking to Jeff for the first time.

But Jeff.


My son. Our son.

I am no longer allowed to ask him if he needs to go to the bathroom before we leave. I was supposed to stop this when he was four … but I still sometimes do. Dude knows when he needs to take a piss – MOOOOM.

This was the first birthday party where he cried – and it was for two reasons (1) he caught a bouncy ball in the eye and (2) his piñata was being shredded and we have save those!

He can keep a secret better than any child I have ever heard of. I got the game Pandemic for my birthday and he knew about it for nearly a month and never let on. Also, he did this at 4 with my sonic screwdriver. As a teenager I am only going to know what he wants me to.

He will call me out when he is not treated fairly. He knows that fair and ideal are not the same. He knows the difference between want and need (at least when it comes to gum).

He can put together legos following the instructions and he can freewheel it (sort of).

I am almost always in his list of Six Beautiful things and so is his dad.

He gets a voice, not a vote. Unless it is his week for takeout and Top Shot and then he totally picks where we eat from.

He has always been a great traveler – up for adventure, willing to spin a tall tale on the road, and enjoys dancing in the car. He flies pretty well too.

Eighteen hours after he was born my mom looked at me and said, “You’re really ok now, aren’t you?” and I was.

The night before my son’s fifth birthday.

Tonight is for me, tomorrow for him.

If you knew me five years ago, I was not a radiant expectant mother who lovingly spoke of The Baby.

I was deeply, darkly depressed from just before I found out until about 18 HOURS after Jeff was born. I threw the most embarrassing fit on Christmas Eve (when I didn’t yet know). Later I would state this in tandem with, “… and I have a dead husband under my belt.” because my pregnancy was so much darker than John’s illness or death even came close to.

I suppose that saying “I have a dead husband under my belt” is only slightly less gross than “I have a dead husband in my trunk” (not true) or “I have a dead husband on my bookshelf” (still true after almost 12 years).

I found out years later that my mom & husband had spoken in hushed tones about plans in case it got any worse when Jeff was born.

He was Jeff as soon as we knew it was a boy. Jeff, while kicking me in the right rib cage, should not be allowed to listen to the olympics because he thought he was a gymnast. Jeff had heard the conversation with the doctor about his planned birthday and so was wreaking havoc on my right rib cage. Jeff. The person who was not me but was living in me.

I’ve heard during, and since, that I rarely looked pregnant. I know that the last time I told someone (who routinely saw me) that I was pregnant was at 7.5 months. They were VERY surprised. I gained 40lbs – ish. I will never be able to do anything but take anybody’s word for it because nearly no pictures of me exist. A vacation, with a few pictures – but mainly what I see in those is my eyes. When I told my first set of in-laws I sent the boxes of bow because of family tradition with a note that explained how depressed I was and begging them not to hope that I would be excited when they called. Everyone who called was gentle and wonderful with me. They are an amazing aspect of my family.

My husband, mom & dad, and my MIL & FIL were there the day he was born.

I loved my c-section and epidural, all births are amazing and I would never question any decision because I know so many would question mine – and they would be wrong to do it.

I loved that he got out of my body. Something that I will never be proud of – but will be true. He and I are a great team, but I am happy that we’ll never again share anything smaller than a Smart Car.

Tomorrow, I want to tell you about him.

(Tonight, I said good-bye to my mom & dad after a 72-hour visit, and I am sad, sad, sad to see them go).

When I am really present in a moment, I almost never really remember it. It is why I don’t aspire to be a Writer when talking about my life. If I remember it, I wasn’t living it. In my family that makes for a lot of story telling right after the event – mainly so we can cobble together a version of it that will go with us into the future.

I have gotten a lot better about parties in recent years, I realize it is about hanging with people who already like me instead of hoping that people will like me because of a party. It took me a long time to learn that. I also learned that when I throw a party I should not purchase anything I didn’t want to eat for a week if nobody else likes it.

When I was in high school I was a band geek. As such, in my town, your senior year you dreamed of being the drum major whose skirt basically sort-of fit (there were two of us and somebody was going to march parade routes on a safety pin and a prayer). I had a cute white skirt and a talent for walking backwards down the highway. I also could take a breath and be heard hollering out “Rockin’ Robin” in the middle of a basketball game full of screaming high school girls. I loved that time in my life.

So today. Jeff & I celebrated him turning 5 and me turning 40. There were a LOT of people there, happy and celebrating and playing games. I don’t remember much except a core relief and joy. But some of the blips I remember.

Taking a big breath before I started shouting “Parents find your kids and kids find your parents”.
Dancing while a LOT of people sang Happy Birthday (up tempo) to me.
Sadie said good-bye and her sister was a dream every step of the way.
Dave introducing my turn to be sung to (sort of).
That the ice cream sundaes were a hit.
That the party was a hit.
That Jane busted it helping me with the cheese tray (and we’re going to Branded Butcher!!!!!)
My mom and dad were there.
My friends were there
My MIL & FIL were there.
My neighbors were there.
That the neighbor kids let the visiting kids get sundaes first.
The parent faces when I hollered “kids only” to go outside.
The heartbroken kids faces when the piñata wasn’t just the first round of Fight Club – but how I still think that works better.
That I got a Doctor Who mug and Pandemic and a wall hanging that says I am a Lion Tamer … and I am grateful to be known so well.
That is was just … lovely.

I’m exhausted and happy and I want to write more down my soul is full and tired.

My son and I play a game at night called Six Beautiful Things, to focus on good things before it is time to go to sleep. It is a little early – but here is my run for the night.

1. Seeing the face of the Baddest Mother Ever at the end of the day. She had a great case of Extreme Reaction going on. It matched the tone of the conversation quite well.

2. That the help I got a few weeks ago is well settled when I need it. That I show up as who I am, honest – willing to stand my ground – polite. Certainly willing to listen, and to learn, and to look for good ideas – but fundamentally showing up as who I am.

3. That in missing the gym tonight – I DID get to have dinner with my husband and son who were eating totally yummy food.

4. That my parents, my brother and his family, and my family are healthy or at least try to be.

5. I am safe. I am loved. I love others.

6. The internet. Because really. It is just lovely to have the internet.

My goals this summer –

1. Water of some sort (even a sprinkler) every weekend – nope.
2. Not to turn on the air conditioner and then leave it on without thinking – nope.
3. Spend time outside in the evenings when feasible – nope.
4. Get Take Out and watch Top Shot on Friday (or move if plans dictate) – YEP!

Not my goals for this summer –

1. Learn first hand about anxiety – erhmmm.
2. Wear my work clothing well into the evening instead of changing into summer clothing – ummmmm.
3. Eat the same old boring crap we always eat – hey! I did two new meals this summer – once each.
4. Ever go downtown while the students were somewhere else….. yeah – did it a couple of times – but never like we meant it.

Still. This is totally going to go down in history as a great summer – do you want to know why?
1. Multiple CK evenings with wine and beer and laughter and my friends slinking across the floor saying sexy math things.
2. Getting to chill with Penny the wonder pup.
3. Me, my man, and my boy together doing that thing we do.
4. This is super important —- it has been cool enough (in GA speak) that walking outside NEVER ONCE made me think “Well. I’m adequately prepared for hell.” NOT ONCE.

As summer winds down, I hope that you and yours don’t give up on it too soon – get outside, throw a ball, hit the beach, and remember that you only live once.

I seem to be experimenting with anxiety.

Although certainly from time to time there are anxious moments for everyone. The buzzing adrenaline feeling can have all sorts of connotations from excitement to fear to love or repulsion. Still, I am pretty sure that email should not send me into a fit of fight or flight. Also, needing to rotate laundry is something I have handled with ease since I was 12.

Last week I spent 5 days in variations of shaking and crying always filled with crystal clear, pure fear. Of email. Laundry. So yeah, that ain’t right.

I’m on the way to better already, I’m asking for appropriate help. On Friday there was a bit of mental clearing and it was nice to catch up on things for a little.

Yesterday, my husband and I worked hard to get all of the weekend stuff out of the way so that Sunday we could just BE and DO whatever the day offered.

At 10a this morning I had a plan, and my husband was … let’s say “curious” about how it would turn out. He was kind of right, I wasn’t totally sure. But now I am.


I wanted to remind adrenaline where it belongs. At the top of a fucking wall, while I take one hand off to ring the bell. I don’t expect that it will take care of the anxiety – but adrenaline isn’t FEAR all the time, it is RUSH and POWER.

Also, kiddo had enough fun stuff to do that he wasn’t too interested in doing a lot of photography of me. Hence, I look VERY close to the floor here – but honest. I rang the bell.


I wanted to remind myself.


Of a life full of amazing.

Also. Rope burns.


A tremendous friend of mine is leaving the country … now.

I wonder if we are setting a trend of LLV (long, long vacation), or just simply living grand adventures that are coincidentally close together.

My family experienced such tremendous grace, generosity, and kindness as we got ready for LLV. When my friend started planning for her own LLV, it was so easy to see the role the my family could play. A young, strong dog needed some place to chill for a few months. We are dog folks who are sans-dog. It was simple. We’d hang with Penny for a few months.

So far (it has been a week) my arms and back have gotten a lot stronger. I’m getting in the habit of waking up early and walking a quick half-mile. I’ve seen my husband and son smiling all over the place when they have a chance to give her a scritch.

I know that she had been fostered before my friend got her, but she has adapted amazingly well to being in yet another home. She’s cool with our rules (although she still thinks that the bed would be a greeeeaaaaaaaat place if only we would let her). She is just charming in every possible way.

I have seen my son stand in the dog toy isle for 15 minutes –
“she has a pull toy already”
“she can’t do chase quite yet”
“that looks too much like my toys – I don’t want her to get confused”

I wish my friend and her family the best. I’m enjoying this tremendously.

Hopefully, the last moments weren’t like this…