Isn’t it Ironic?


Isn’t it Ironic?

I, the worrier.

The girl who cried repeatedly in high school, worried that my (then) boyfriend would eventually move away, because we were going to get married of course, and I didn’t want to move away from my parents.

The girl who worried her brother would get sick.

Who worried about her parents dying.
(And not because they were ill, because thank God they weren’t.)

The girl who worried that her future, unborn, not yet conceived! children would grow up, find someone, then forget about her.

I worried, have worried, and I continue to worry about a lot of things.

But the one thing I’m not worried about. . .

The one thing I feel so sure of it brings me peace knowing I’ve made the right decision. . .
(And let me tell you, peace to a worrier is a big deal and hard to come by.)

That one thing. . .

Is what worries you.

And it tears us apart.

And now I have a new thing to be worried about.

How Bittersweet: A Heart Full of Love & Fear, Gratitude & Longing

I started writing this post on January 7, 2019 but didn’t finish it until now.

I was running an errand today with my four year old daughter, Lia. As I was driving she asked “Mami, why did you want to become a mami?” And before I could even answer, she says “Because you wanted to have a baaaaby? And have a family?” A smile came across my face. I reached back to touch her leg and she squealed with laughter. My heart was full. Thinking how blessed I am to have what I dreamed of – a family of my own, one son, one girl – I felt so deeply grateful it almost took my breath away…


But then came the unthinkable thought – will I one day be looking back at this moment with a deep, painful yearning because my daughter had died? I shudder at the possibility. But it’s something I think about…


Because isn’t that the crux of it? With deep, pure love comes fear of losing whom you love. And with deep, pure love comes immeasurable pain when you experience such a loss.  As Anna Whiston-Donaldson said after losing her son Jack:

grieving is the price we pay


You see, when I was a freshman in college, while my parents were away in Cancun, I received a phone call from my aunt in Costa Rica telling me the unthinkable had happened for my aunt and uncle – their four year old daughter Marisol had drowned in a pool. I had to call my parents at the hotel and tell them every parent’s worst nightmare. They immediately decided to catch the next flight back home so mom could then take a flight out to Costa Rica to be with the family.  I begged to go with her but they didn’t let me. Perhaps they were trying to shelter me from what we would have to encounter. I regret not going, even though the decision was out of my hands. The regret stems from the reality that as heartbreaking as it was, for me, staying home did shield me from the grief and suffering my family was experiencing and I felt really guilty about that. But even if I had gone, now that I’m a mother myself, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have registered or cut as deep as it does now. Because even though it’s been more than eighteen years since she’s gone, having kids really puts it in perspective because one can imagine one’s very own child being the one who passed.

I remember the day of my son’s fourth birthday party when it hit me the most – Marisol was four when she died. My son was four. It would be like him leaving now.


After the unthinkable thought, my mind stayed in a dark place, but not as grim. It went to how it was incredibly ironic and frustrating that what had made my dreams come true – being able to create life and bring new little humans into this world – is also what precipitated my biggest health struggle of my life – depression – something that drains the life right out of you. It’s the antithesis of feeling alive.

Obviously I wouldn’t give up my kids for anything. I’m still eternally grateful. And I’m well aware that there are much, much worse things that could happen. But we all have our struggles, right? And I don’t think keeping it in helps. So what has motherhood surprised you with? Good or bad?

When the Words Get Lost

I speak but you don’t hear me
You hear what I didn’t say
Or the words get lost because your heart is hardened
Walls surround you and my words don’t get through
Your words come at me on the attack,
defensive, ready to strike
They pierce through mine and my heart,
giving my words no chance to pierce yours
Your heart
Or perhaps my words get lost because they never leave my lips
Getting stuck in my throat and in my mind
They don’t let me sleep and yet you are unwavered,
ignorant to their existence

But one thing is true, one thing I know
God hears everything, sees everything
So my words may get lost in me,
to you
But God finds them
He hears me
He hears my plea and my cry
He holds them dear to His sacred heart
and they pierce Him, like the sword pierced His side
And now I must wait to hear His words
For they dare not get lost
His words are life
My salvation. My hope. My comfort.
Speak to me oh Lord, for your servant is desperately trying to listen

What I Wish My Kids Knew

I’m sitting here at the dinner table, looking around at all the dirty dishes I need to clean up, and I’m not moving. I’m drained. I looked at the clock earlier and saw 7:30pm. It had been three hours since I picked them up from school (I ran late because of a doctor appointment; they’re in first grade and PK-3). ONLY THREE HOURS. Are you kidding me? Surely it had been longer than that; I felt like I had just gotten beaten up I was so spent physically and emotionally. But no, time doesn’t lie. It’s my freakin’ enemy but it doesn’t lie.

Now, I should mention that those three hours included a trip to Whole Foods…and yes, I’m willing to argue it’s as bad as a trip to Target. Those damn little kid sized shopping carts. Who’s brilliant idea was that?!?!?! Now I not only have to wrangle my children as usual but I have to deal with their arguing over what item goes in which cart, having them race across the floor cringing that they might run into someone (or me, and man does it hurt when they do!), and overall acting as if they were raised in the wild by wolves.

I get the rambunctiousness. I get their energy (it dumbfounds me and I obviously can’t relate but I understand that kids have more energy). I get their excitement. I do NOT get, however, their disobedience. I just don’t.

I. Was. Not. Like. That. I’m not trying to brag. It’s just true. I wasn’t. I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t understand why others don’t just do what their parents tell them to.” Yep. No joke. It was so matter of fact to me. You do as you’re told. Period. And I wanted to. I wanted to please my parents. I wanted them to be happy. To be proud of me. I didn’t want them to be upset because of me. So yes, I was an easy kid. I really was. So I don’t get my kids. Not right now. I can’t relate.

Why can’t they see when they’re draining the sheer life out of me and making me really, really sad? Do they not care?!

Is an “okay mami”, “yes mami” too much to ask?! Are they some kind of sadistic little creatures that enjoy watching me slowly intensify in anger until I’m losing it? Is it some type of competition to see who can get me to scream first?

Don’t get me wrong; my kids are wonderful. Really. I’ve had strangers walk over and tell me how well behaved they are (sometimes). It happens. But here’s the catch: they don’t live with them. Or go to Target with them. Or Whole Foods. They’re not their mother.

A wise teacher once told me, when we were discussing why children behave one way in school (great) and another way at home (awful), that you raise children to behave well for others. Great. I get crapped on but they’re little angels for the rest of the world. Ah, the joys of motherhood.

I just want to shake them and say, don’t you see mami getting upset?! Going crazy?! Losing her mind?! It’s because of YOU! You want that?! Why can’t you just be obedient dammit?! Aren’t they teaching you that at (catholic) school?!

I kid you not, this past Sunday the second reading spoke of how Jesus was obedient to God to the point of death, and when I put Lucas to bed tonight I pulled out my handy dandy app and re-read it to him and talked to him about how we’re supposed to be obedient to 1. God and 2. our parents. I’m desperate man. But what better teacher (i.e. fear instiller) than the Bible? I mean c’mon, I’m not asking them to die for me. I’m just asking them to listen when I say “No, you can’t have cereal for dinner”, or “Don’t run off, this is not a playground, stay be me”…basic stuff people!

But he’s not going to get it, is he? Probably not tonight. Hell, I’ll be lucky if he gets it before he ever has kids because isn’t that how it usually works? You don’t “get it” until you’re in those same exact shoes? Well, somehow, even though I didn’t truly “get it” when I was a child, I did manage to see it from my parent’s point of view for the most part. That, coupled with the fact that I was eager to please them I guess was a good combo (lucky for me they are awesome parents so not like they ever led me astray). And I guess that’s a character trait I’m proud of – I can empathize and am good at seeing others’ points of view (well, apparently except my children’s like in this instance, go figure; and I’m still opinionated as hell, but that’s a whole other topic LOL).

Sigh. Lord, grant me patience, perseverance, and any other “p” word (or any word for that matter) I need. Because man, this mama is done.

Until I do it all over tomorrow.

Thank God for wine.

To the Mom in the Carpool Line

I see you walking your child to school in your perfectly pressed blouse, perfectly fitted pencil skirt and fashionable high heels. Man you look good. So put together. You probably work out every day. Here I am sitting in the car wearing my bathroom flip flops, yoga pants, braless in a ratty tshirt hidden by a zip up hoodie and sunglasses hiding the smudged eyeliner and mascara from the day before. You and me, we’re on two opposite ends of the spectrum.

Or are we?

Today (and most days, let’s be real), I may rush out the door in my pjs but there are days when I’m dressed nice (or just not in pjs, hey, it’s still a step up), and feeling “put together”. My makeup is done, my shoes aren’t flats, and I feel like a woman who happens to be a mom, not a woman who has “let herself go”.

And on those days another mom may look at me and think badly about herself and highly of me.

But if she only knew…

Yesterday I was the mom in pjs
I got dressed but didn’t shower
I have the same makeup on from yesterday, just touched up
Tomorrow I’ll probably be the mom in pjs (again)

Obviously that’s not the case every time. But it is true some of the time.

Turns out, we’re not so different you and I.

So carry on ladies. Carry on mamas. Don’t be disheartened by this phase of your life. It’s the best and hardest thing you’ll ever do. Cut yourself some slack. Give yourself grace.

We’re in the trenches. Together.
Pencil skirts and yoga pants welcome.





Faith in Grief

So here I am writing my first post, and I never thought it’d be about this. I’ve been thinking about writing a blog for years now, but with two littles (one that only until recently started taking naps), I’m just not that person who has been able to sit down to write, no matter how many ideas I had.

But recently, my friend’s father died unexpectedly, tragically, and shockingly, when he got hit by a car while on his way home from work (he was driving a motorcycle). And that event has challenged my faith, and my idea of what having faith is…

I don’t know about you, but for me, it seems like faith is always described as “believing in something even when you can’t see it”. A frequent story told to depict this is that of “Doubting Thomas”, the apostle Thomas who refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he could see Jesus himself and put his hands in Jesus’ wounds. The call to action then is to believe not as Thomas did, who needed physical proof, but to believe without seeing.

I feel like I’ve been on this path of spiritual growth the past few years, but I still have a long way to go. I think too much. I’ve never doubted the fundamentals (I have my parents to thank for that), but it’s the nitty gritty that gets me. Things you probably don’t ever think about until you’re older (if you’re lucky) and you hear of stories and circumstances, are faced with personal challenges, etc.

So at my friend’s father’s funeral, my friend, his sister, his brother-in-law, and mother all gave their eulogies. The mother was last. It was all hard to hear of course because this was a special man. A genuinely good man with a heart of gold who married his high school sweetheart, put his family first, was adored by his grandkids, and respected and liked by his peers. A sports fan who wasn’t shy of yelling at the tv. So many beautiful qualities in a man who was taken away far too soon. And I’ll admit, though it may seem selfish, what made it even harder was that it all sounded like my dad.

So I’m sitting there trying to process it all… why did God let this happen? How do I not live in fear of something like this happening to my family? How would I deal with such a thing if it happened to me? Would I survive it?… and the daughter finishes her eulogy and proceeds to read her mother’s on her behalf. And at the very end, her mother had written that though this is an extremely difficult time, with her faith and her family, she will get through it.

That struck me.

To specifically mention that she will get through this, as if to say, don’t worry about me, I’ll be okay, took me by surprise. I mean, in essence, she was trying to comfort us by saying that.  Imagine, HER comforting us?! And then saying that it is her FAITH and family that will allow her to do so… it all really resonated with me. First, I admire her beyond words. Second, I wondered if I’d be able to face such a loss the same way. Would my faith be enough? The same faith where we pray to God to ask for His protection, the one in which we are supposed to trust in Him and not live in fear. That faith. And yet, even in light of what happened, she wasn’t reproaching God. How could she get there?

And then it got me going down this rabbit hole of thinking of others who have had such difficult losses. Specifically, of Anna Whiston-Donaldson, a wife and mother who lost her son at the young age of 12 in 2011 when he drowned in the neighborhood creek in a freak storm. I found her blog some years ago and have had her on my mind ever since. She’s doing really well now actually, she just had a baby believe it or not! (Please check out her blog, An Inch of Gray. she’s an amazing writer and her story is truly inspiring and filled with hope. She also wrote a New York Times bestseller about the loss of her son called Rare Bird). 

And in all my thoughts, questions, and doubts, I realized something. Faith isn’t just believing in something you can’t see. It’s more than that. Harder than that. It’s believing in God’s promises to us even when bad things happen. And that’s where I struggle. I won’t ever doubt the existence of God, or that He is good, or that He loves us. But somehow, I can’t get the idea of not being afraid/trusting in Him to mesh with the fact that shit happens. And to good people.

Something I have learned from others who have faced such tragic loss but have done it with faith, is that Jesus is with us every step of the way. He’s there in the suffering, in the darkness right by our side. And if we take His hand, He is the one who will lead us into the light. But we have to take it. And though this is comforting, I’m not quite there with relinquishing all fear and truly trusting in Him.

I’m trying though.

Image that appeared on Anna's phone when she plugged it in to charge two weeks after the accident. (Copied from her blog post.)

Image that appeared on Anna’s phone when she plugged it in to charge two weeks after the accident. (Copied from her blog post.)