See the Snow

We’re in the midst of our first Seattle snow of the year. My five-year-old son’s near-constant prayer since before Christmas has been a request for snow. When the first flakes fell, he was pulling on his shoes “Just to lick it.” He had his dream come true: He bundled up, went out to our cul-de-sac and threw snow with the neighbor kids, made snow angels, rolled…

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Grace Note

This year has sparkled with good things--I don't say this flippantly. I truly sleep without interruption most nights. My children are 75% potty-trained, as a whole. Our house projects are minor and not choking us every weekend. Homeschooling is good--full of challenges, discoveries, walls and breakthroughs. James and I are close--we laugh together, plan our strategies, share our fears, encourage each other. My 2018 New Year's…

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Song of Belfair

I sing the song of Belfair Of village-towns with foreign names. Curve them on your tongue, hold them in your throat. Kfarhata, Beirut, Seattle   Belfair with its salty channels Crab pots, oyster shells that glisten Yellow-twine rope swing dangles from the balcony Grandaughter's Christmas tree stands in the basement Sturdy treehouse of round-branch walls Gazes on the wildflower bed You made them for me.  …

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The School Years

As I lay down my pen at the end of a new short story draft, I again have to acknowledge my strong affinity for mother-son themes. This makes me think of my own son, my eldest, who seems to hunger near-constantly for time one-on-one with me. He lost a great quantity of mommy-and-me time after his sister was born. Now they both fight for me. It's…

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Summer Churning

Elise, what have you been up to? Where shall I start? It's officially summer, so my garden and I have been racing each other to see who can weed/grow weeds the fastest. Ha. It's no contest. I lose. But the flowers are gorgeous and I keep picking these bouquets that knock my socks off! Seattle friends--I'll make you a pretty posy is you want to stop…

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Pushing On/Pushing Back

In my twenties, running as fast and hard as I could seemed like the best way to ensure I was climbing my ambition in the right direction. But now, more than ten years past my college graduation...I'm seriously assessing the cost of such behavior and asking myself, What do I pay for in mental fragility, depletion of emotional reserves, temper with my kids, and closeness with…

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Take Care

Having the second baby has made me slow down. A lot. My new normal has squeezed me toward ultra-focused sessions of writing and drafting in the afternoon and a running list of priorities that I update daily. My household chores have been broken down into a monthly and weekly rotation. I prep my dinners on one particular afternoon a week, and I plan-plan-plan so that the important…

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Wholehearted

Hey there. Sorry I haven't kept in touch. My excuse is seven weeks old and, in this mama's star-struck eyes, she's absolutely perfect. She arrived on a November morning a few weeks before Thanksgiving. I can't stop feeling thankful for her. She's all I wanted for Christmas this year. A friend mailed me a little box with a bracelet in it for me and a pair…

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Director’s Choice or My Worst Theater Experience

My mother always told me there’s a 90/10 rule to theater: 90% of it is unimpressive, mediocre, and even terrible. The other 10% is so breathtaking in its emotional depth and scope, it compels us to once again brave the tepid hodgepodge 90% in hopes of discovering the next precious gem. I’ve seen my fair share of stunning shows. Bright Star, currently new-to-Broadway, is fantastic. Brooklyn…

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Through the Valley

  One of my son's favorite places to visit is the cemetery. We walk there from our house (it's our nearest "park") and, once past the enclosure fence, my son crawls down from his stroller and pushes the stroller around like a life-size toy car. There's a fountain under a huge old fir that we call my son's fountain. Flat headstones make level ground which is…

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