Things That Are Life Changing

IMG_2878About a month ago I posted about my friend who had given birth to a baby girl in need of a new heart. Zoe was born on July 2nd, and has been on the transplant list to receive a new heart since shortly after she was born. The family learned of Zoe’s heart condition at Zoe’s 20-week ultrasound in February, and in the months that followed it was determined a heart transplant was the only option for Zoe.

This evening they recieved the call they had been waiting for – a heart for Zoe has become available.

PLEASE, dear Internet, stand with me. If you pray, please pray. If you meditate, or think positive thoughts, or light a candle to remember, please do so with me as Zoe goes into surgery tonight to receive a new heart. In your thoughts and prayers, please consider these things:

– Peace for the Faultner family as they rush to prepare for this life changing event.

– Strength for little Zoe to endure the very lengthy surgery.

– Strength and wisdom for the doctors and the other medical staff, as they perform this complicated surgery.

– The donor’s family, as they are experiencing a tremendous loss at this time.

Beyond these facts, I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment to write any more. I am truly amazed at how such a thing is even possible, that two forms of life can be fused together to support each other. I will keep you posted.

Welcome to the House of Barbeque.


This weekend we had another BBQ and Marshmallow roast with friends. In attendance were six adults and seven children under the age of six.

You may see that as chaos, but I had a blast.

One of the gals who came is my doctor/workout partner/friend. Her little boy, who is the same age as Ruthie, apparently named our home the House of Barbeque after this spectacular event.

Hey, it works for me.

God bless my doctor/workout partner/friend, though, because she reminded me how blessed my life is, with a husband who provides for me to stay home, who builds me fires and grills me a steak, who writes poetry, and who makes me laugh.

Lately I’ve been complaining about stupid things like my laptop because it’s too heavy, and I want a new one, and blah blah blah. But after spending the evening with her, and being reminded about the important things, I realized I was being a prima donna biatch about the laptop.

I love perspective, even when it kicks me in the ass.

So I heretofore declare this residence officially as The House of Barbeque, and herein we shall love God, love one another, and have ass loads of fun.

Anyone care to join us?

Summer Fun

Last Spring we bought a new patio set and fire pit for our deck. We opted to go with the ‘converstation’ style set, rather than a typical dining table and chairs because we wanted an outdoor living room feel. I have never regretting our decision, and the more we use the deck space, the more in love with it I become.

Again this evening we talked about walking to the park, but in the end decided to stay in our own yard. The kids played in the sandbox, Bryan read a book, and I did a little theraputic weeding, and it was divine.

More and more our yard is feeling like an oasis, and my vision for the space continues to grow. Just last Sunday I read an article in the Seattle Times’ Pacific Northwest Magazine about a garden makeover for small spaces, which happened to also be for a family with small children. I fell in love with the idea of a small brick path meandering through my yard for the kids to ride their bikes, and a playhouse built on stilts over our current play area, and a beautiful mosaic at the base of our front steps to welcome friends and strangers. Fun ideas to plan for and save money for.

Last year was such a bust for entertaining because Thomas was new and I was a mess of depressed hormones. It killed me to not be entertaining, as throwing parties is one of my most favorite things to do. But I kept reminding myself it was just a season, and soon our doors would be open again, and they are. Yipee! Here is a collage of photos from some of our fun times so far this summer. If you’re not in these photos yet, I hope you can join us soon!

Coming in for a Landing

Zoe was born on Sunday, a day earlier than expected. This brought the drama of a little panic and rushing, but in some ways I think this was better than the anxiety of waiting. She came into this world as healthy and as strong as our wishes and prayers had hoped for, needing no assistance to breathe or keep her heart beating.

I spent most of the day, and all night Sunday in the hospital with Jen as she recovered from her C-Section, because her husband went to a different hospital with the baby, and her mom took her older son home.

Spending the night on the post-partum floor of a hospital without a baby in the room was very surreal. It felt very cruel, in fact. Grief is a giant shadow looming over you in the wee hours of the night when babies in other rooms are crying.

My neighbors probably think I’m a little wacko with the eclectic musical selections I play. Our houses are close together and my windows are always open and I usually blare my music at top volume. So when they hear anything from Michael Jackson, to Beck, to Gnarls Barkley, to Vinyard Worship music they probably don’t know what to think of me.

This morning as I decompress from the last few emotional days I’m sobbing and singing as I listen to worship music, hoping the words I’m singing will make some sense to my broken heart and confused mind. I need to be reminded that none of this is about me, and it’s not even really about Zoe, but it’s about acknowledging the sovereignty of God when life doesn’t seem fair. For me, fear sets in when I forget that God is in control. This morning, music has been the healing salve that calms my heart.

That, and a little rum and a hot bath.

My Mug Gets Around


She’s cool, she’s funny, and she has pink hair – which I guess draws many “my husband would freak” comments from people, but I’m actaully wondering where she GOT the pink dye and would she be willing to do my hair because Bryan has been bugging me for years to go pink.

No joke.

But he also thinks it’s sexy that I used to smoke.

Danelle wielded her camera at a birthday party I attended a couple weeks ago and I FINALLY got face time on her blog. Danelle and I don’t cross paths much, but if we did I think we’d be fast friends (or maybe not. maybe she’ll leave mean comments on this post, but I can still dream, dammit).

In the meantime we stalk each others’ blogs.

Reading: Season of Waiting

The church I attend encourages congregational participation in the worship experience by providing opportunities for our congregants to share original poetry, responsive readings, essays, and personal stories during the course of the service.

You’ve seen some of my projects, but I wanted to share another. This past Sunday a friend shared her story of faith through difficult circumstances: on Monday she will give birth to a baby girl whose heart is broken, and she will need a heart transplant as soon as possible after she is born. Aside from knowing her and being close to the situation, I felt moved by what she has been learning about herself and God. She writes, “I have to give up the idea God exists to fix this for me; that if I just believe the ‘right way’ He’ll be forced to help me; but He’s not my voodoo jukebox and ultimately Job never knew ‘why.'”

I once had a boyfriend who thought Christians blamed everything bad on Satan and gave God credit for all the good things. But sometimes things just Are. I learned this when Gordy had cancer and ultimately died. I was angry, because he was a good person, and I had a short list of people who I felt deserved cancer more than he did. I begged God to take anyone but him.

But the fact that he died doesn’t change who God is, and I had to come to peace with that.

You can find a copy of my friend’s story on our church’s website. There is no permalink to the specific article, but click here, then scroll down to the essay titled, “Season of Waiting.”

Living Generously


Bryan has a cousin named Darryl.

Darryl is one of the most hospitable people I know (well, I actually know a LOT of hospitable people, but bear with me for the story’s sake). When you walk in to Darryl’s home you are greeted with boisterous enthusiasm and he wants to know all about who you are and what you’ve been up to. When you’re around Darryl you get the sense that if you asked for his shirt he would give it to you with great joy.

Bryan always says we should strive to be a little more like Darryl.

I have a friend name Meche (prounounced Meeshee).

Meche is one of the most generous people I know (again, one of many). When Meche hears that you have a need, she is quick to make something happen to fill that need. She will either personally give you what you need, or she will track it down for you. Case in point: she overheard me talking about vacuum cleaners, and the fact that I need a new one, and the fact that top of the line models cost as much as a dishwasher. Before I realized what was happening, she checked Consumer Reports Online for the best rated vacuum, then trekked up to Seattle to check Sears’ scratch and dent section, and found me a top of the line vacuum, brand new in the box, for half the price.

I love knowing people like Darryl and Meche, because they challenge me to be aware of my generosity. They remind me that maybe I hold on to my time and my stuff a little too tightly. They give me perspective.

O Happy Day!

Last week a package was delivered to my home. When I looked at the address I realized it was from a Seattle friend who is currently living in Connecticut, and my heart sang.

My day had been horrible – I had a cold and woke up at 3:30 am because I couldn’t breathe, and was a little short with the kids because of it. When I received a gracious and generous gift from a friend it completely diffused my bad attitude.

In the package was an adorable softy that she had made, a couple books that I assume she loves and felt I would enjoy reading, and a project pack for Ruthie to create all sorts of things.

I will have fun reading, and Ruthie will have fun creating.

Thank you Dacia!

p.s you should read her blog!

Dacia's gift

Kite Festival

Zugs and Rygels at the McBee

This morning we woke to a beautiful blue sky and warmer temperatures than yesterday. The population in Cannon Beach swelled with the coming of Saturday, and all the little ice cream shops and saltwater taffy shops were finally open.

Friends drove down for the day, as it was the annual kite festival in Cannon Beach – the reason we came here in the first place. The wind was so strong today that one of the lines on Bryan’s stunt kite broke, and sand was plastered to my son’s face via fresh sunscreen. It was just too windy to do anything, and the kids were miserable, so we moved the party to the grassy yard outside our motel door. We shared good conversation and dinner, then they were off into the night for the long drive back to Seattle.

I finished my book yesterday – after just a week! Amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t watch t.v. I will reserve any specific comments for our book club, but I will say that I appreciated how the author described the aimless wandering, the overwhelming nature of everyday things, and the depressive state of mind as she struggled through the grief of losing her brother. She was able to beautifully put words to nothings, to voids, to the numbness of experiencing loss. I think the next time someone asks me what it’s like to lose someone (not that anyone ever HAS asked me that) I will hand them a copy of this book.

The Post Wherein I Describe Everything I’ve Done This Week All At Once Because I Have No Time.


Ruthie now thinks all daddies take airplanes to work. She asked me that when her little friend left the other day and she asked if he was going home to see his daddy. I said his daddy was probably at work, but that he would see his daddy later. And she said, misusing her pronouns in the cutest way, “Her daddy take an airplane to work, too?”

On Wednesday the kids and I drove up to the Tulip Fields as I’ve done almost every year since I can remember, with only a few exceptions. We drove up in two car loads of four moms and six kids, ate a picnic lunch, and let the kids go wild in the dirt. You can see proof that boys will be boys here (pardon the sideways video, I haven’t had time to figure out how to rotate the image). This is the first time I’ve ever gone with other kids Ruthie’s age, and they were a fun little gang of toddlers to watch. Every time Nor said, “COME ON, ROOFIE!” I just wanted to pinch her, she was so cute. They are all such good friends when they’re not hitting each other or pulling hair. You can see all our Tulip Adventures here.

I rode up there with a good friend who has neither a computer nor access to the internet, so I can blab about her all I want on this blog and she’ll never be the wiser!

The guys finished most of the work downstairs, so I’ve been painting. Which is why I have not been writing. Can you even comprehend how difficult it is to paint WHITE primer on top of WHITE drywall mud and wall texture??? At any rate, the painting is slow going because on my shoulder is a muscle knot the size of a grapefruit. After about an hour my arm hurts so bad it radiates to my neck and head and I can’t move my arm or open my eyes. I’m beginning to wonder if we should have just paid the guys to paint as well. If you’re curious, here is what the room looked like before I started painting. We now have new windows around the entire basement!

I will now leave you with a Dora reference. Today at lunch Ruthie was muscling her way in to Bryan’s hummus, using her grimy fingers instead of anything like, say, a snow pea or a carrot. Finally Bryan says to her, “Hey Swiper, no swiping!”

Ruthie stopped and just looked at him. Blinking, I suppose, just like Dora might have in such a situation. Then she says to him, “No, I’m Ruthie.”

She’s a literalist to the end. That’s my girl!

Ladies Day Out (which means waaay more than you think).

Last year on my birthday I had dinner with girlfriends at a great steak house called Jimmy Mac’s where they play loud country music and throw peanut shells on the floor. The conversation eventually took the turn that all female conversations do when drinking is involved… a turn toward any subject that makes some people blush.

In particular, we landed on a discussion of bras.

I had never paid much attention to my bras, but thought of them more as the bastard step-child of my wardrobe. To me they are constricting and uncomfortable, and for the most part I hate them. My girls are… not large… and don’t require much support, so it never occurred to me that there would be a right or a wrong bra for me.

Somebody mentioned getting a bra fitting, and I was intrigued. I had never heard such a thing. Another friend explained the way a bra is SUPPOSED to fit, and I wondered, How did I get to be 34 years old and not know the fabric in your cleavage was supposed to lay flat against your chest?

I decided that evening that once I weaned Thomas and my voluptuous ladies returned to their former modest selves, I would celebrate by buying new bras that fit correctly (sadly, I wore my nursing bras long after weaning Ruthie, and in comparison to what I NOW am wearing, they are NOT flattering).

Yesterday was that day.

A friend and I went to Nordstrom’s by recommendation. I knew in part what to expect, based on Melissa’s description of her experience in this post at Suburban Bliss, but you’re never quite prepared for what actually happens.

I was fitted by a gal named Isabella, who had a fabulous accent. I think it might have been Russian. As she fondled my ladies she would say, “See how the bra cohvers all of the bress teeshu?” She measured my circumference, then declared I was a D cup.

Had I been drinking coffee at that moment, I would have spewed it all over her in utter shock. Nevertheless, I humored Isabella and tried on several D cups, only to have this reaction. I may be the only woman on the planet who LIKES her small ladies – I was irritated that I might actually be bigger. I pushed her to try on a smaller size, and in the end she acquiesced that I was a C cup – albeit a BORDERLINE C cup.

I am now obsessed with my ladies. I want to fondle them all the time because they look so perky. I went from having embarrassingly few bras to now having a black one, a lacey red one, a seamless one, a few everyday whities, and a sports bra. I am in the midst of a BRA REVOLUTION!

Bryan is in full support. (Ha! Get it?)

A story to pass the time.

Our dead, brown, Christmas tree is still sitting in our driveway next to the shed. I guess I missed the city memo listing all the hoops we needed to jump through to have them take our tree away this year, because it sat out by our trash for three consecutive trash days and still no takers.

No worries, though. I’ll just get me a saw, hack it to pieces, and stuff it in the yard waste barrel. Sounds like a Stephen King novel, doesn’t it?

I mention this Christmas tree debacle because it reminds me of a story from the Glory Days. Years ago when the whole world was still single and I was living in NY, my friend Sarah loaded her post-Christmas tree into the back of her little pick-up and set off down the street to dump it at collection spot the city set up (the city I live in apparently has no such hospitality).

As her speed picked up the wind caught the tree and sent it flying out the back and into the street. Like a good citizen, she pulled over and dragged the tree to the curb and propped it up against a bus stop sign. Not really sure how to proceed since she didn’t want the tree to fly out of her truck again, possibly hurting someone or causing an accident, she left it there.

And there it sat.

And sat.

And sat.

It kept the good people waiting there for the bus on Dexter Avenue company.

And when I visited Seattle from NY in July, it was still sitting there next to the bus stop.

The end.

Hi, It’s Me. I’m Back!

And without warning I left town and bid you no farewell. I spent the weekend at a vacation home on the Straight of Juan de Fuca with seven friends, one tiny baby, and a fabulous view of Canada. There was wine, there was laughing, and a little tinkling in the panties. (oh my!)

Last week I had a revival of sorts in my relationship with Bryan, so on Friday night as we settled in with our jammies and wine I found myself missing him to the point of tears. That felt good, and it was an excellent warm-up to this coming weekend when I will be getting away with him alone.

Naked Conversations: the post containing obscene amounts of hyperlinks

Last night Bryan and I had the privilege of attending the launch party for Naked Conversations, the new book by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. Knowing I was the non-geek wife who was about to enter a Den of Geeks, I brushed up on the recommended Survivial Guide Maryam recently published on her site. But just to be safe, on the way to the event I instructed Bryan that he was NOT PERMITTED TO LEAVE ME ALONE at any point during the evening.

Ironically, ten minutes into the evening I ditched him and found a group of ladies out on the deck, never to see him again until it was over.

I found Julie Leung, whom I had met at previous functions, and we had a chance to catch up with each other ‘offline.’ She introduced me to Liz Lawley and Anita Rowland and we enjoyed warm conversation about our children, work, and finding time to blog. Nabila Lacey (wife of Steve), a lovely, lovely woman with two children the same age as mine, joined the conversation as well.

Anita Rowland organizes ‘meet-ups’ for Seattle area bloggers, so perhaps I will drop in on the next one with my children.

I also met the wife of Ben Connor, though I am ashamed to say that after nearly thirty minutes of conversation about children, geek husbands, and her fascinating educational path toward a career in Genetic Research, I cannot remember her name. I am so sorry your name slipped my mind, but know that it was fun talking to you.

It was nice to finally meet Maryam Scoble, whose blog I follow. She has such a warm and inviting presence about her, such a hospitable personality — the perfect complement to a man whose very public career requires many events, gatherings, and opportunities for networking. Her devotion to him makes him shine.

Here is a photo of Bryan and I at the event.

Here is an article about the beautiful home we were hosted in (thanks to the link by Steve). While Bryan geeked out with his tech friends, I ‘geeked’ out over beautiful woodwork, grand staircases, and ancient wisteria vines.

Thank you to the Scobles for inviting us to share in the celebration of your accomplishments. We hope to see you again soon.