Tuesday, February 7, 2012

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Things to do

See you soon!
 As I write this, Viola squirms in my left arm and Margaret is brushing my hair. OH MOMMY! IT IS BEAUTIFUL! (It isn't.) There are dishes to be done, laundry needs folding and I think one of my girls needs her diaper changed. Umm. Scratch that. I know one of my girls needs her diaper changed.  Riley won't be home until nearly nine tonight. I miss him.


Life is good. We will do our chores to music. Dancing and dish doing. I will change that diaper and probably ten more. The laundry. Well, let's be honest. That may not be getting done. Isn't wrinkle-chic a thing yet? Can we make it one?

This is also the last time I will be posting on this blog for about two weeks. I have decided to take this whole writing thing a little bit more seriously. We are designing a new blog, brand new name, fresh look, same me. So. My next few weeks will be spent writing content, finalizing design and missing emsiepilove.

And you.

Not going to lie. I hope all of you lovelies follow me to my new adventure. It won't be the same without you.

In the meantime, blessings to your home. I hope the next two weeks (and all the ones after) are filled with living room dance parties, red lipstick kisses and a few long drives all by your lonesome (we all need 20 minute adventures once in a while.)

See you around January 30th.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a diaper to change.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The One with the Lights

I had a hard time bidding last year a tear free adieu. And by hard time, I mean I blubbered like a baby. Let's face it. Little Miss 2011 was overwhelmingly good to me. My Zuzu girl turned a bright eyed, suddenly her opinion matters, two years old. We met Miss Viola Honey. And after some trial and oh so much error, the four of us have figured out how to live rather prettily together. I am a little* (*overwhelming, to the point that it is no longer cute, quirky or desirable in any setting or circumstance) superstitious. It is hard to imagine that 365 days of so much light and warmth and general fuzziwuzziness can be followed by more of the same. Surely, this year will be, has to be, comprised of all the rain clouds that didn't darken last years bright sky. (The Clouds versus Sun cliche? You should read the descriptions that didn't make the cut...)

Last night we were on our way home from my parents house and I was thoughtful. Full of a little girl that is almost not two, with the things that we hoped this time last year, the ones we made happen, the ones I let slip. I could hear my little Viola breathing her no longer newborn breaths. Riley and I a little older. And I knew that the year, while abundant and lovely, had taken nearly as much as it had given.  Riley must have sensed the mood. (Me, crying while staring out the window may have been the first clue.) He got off the freeway at our exit and turned right back around.

Where are you going?

To the house. The one with the lights.

There is a house off the freeway that just sings magic at Christmas. The trees around it are absolutely frosted with lights. Every year I see it from the freeway and every year we are going to go see it. And then we just...don't. Always driving home too late, or too early. Or the kids are crying. Or the next night just seems like a better time. And the lights stay on all season and we never get closer than a glance while going 65 on the freeway.

We pulled up next to it and heavens, it was nearly as magical as I thought it would be. (High praise from this girl.) Margaret's breath caught and she shouted OH MOMMY, DADDY! LOOK! OH IT'S BEAUTIFUL. OH MY GOODNESS! OH MY GOODNESS!

Oh my goodness. It was beautiful.

Riley drove by oh so slowly and then pulled away. Margaret started to cry.


I wanted to tell her I understood. It would be lovely to stand under those lights. It would be perfect to stop and touch and hold close everything pretty and shining and bright. Only going down the road again, if and when, we wanted to. I wanted to tell her about every moment with her and Viola and her daddy that I have loved. That there are some I wish I could hold in my hand, carry in my pocket. That they float away as quickly as you can catch them.

Instead, I reached over and squeezed her leg.

I know, honey. They were beautiful. We will see them again next year.

I promise.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Just a moment

It is the end of the holiday weekend. The Christmas presents are put away. Bacon is frying for the BLT's. (We are always frying bacon for something.) Margaret dances around my feet, first to Mary Poppins and then to Sleeping Beauty and then to COWGIRL MUSIC, MOMMY! Her twirls are all long and slow and her eyes are always closed.  I dance with her. Viola is swinging and cooing and reminding me that love is an ever expanding, star shined, sort of thing. Riley goes back to work tomorrow.

We will miss him.

For just a moment they are all here and all mine.

Years from now when the babies are gone and life is more complicated, I hope they think of this. Of our little kitchen and our big love. Of princess dressed dances and a Daddy that would rather be here than anywhere else. I hope they know that I was born to love them and that it was enough for me. I hope the smell of frying bacon always brings them home.

Even if it is just for a moment.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

We Do Exist!

Riley and I aren't great parents. The evidence of this is abundant. Margaret's hair is rarely (read never) brushed. She has also started watching the music video for Grace Potter's, Paris (Oh la la) song obsessively. (Hello two year old. Want to shake it to some rock music along with girls in fishnets? Be.My.Guest.) Sometimes we take Viola outside without socks on. Ice cream for breakfast is a regular occurence.

The worst offence by far, however, the one that will land all of our kids in therapy, is that we never, ever, EVER take pictures. Our lives are lovely. There are smiles and tears and dancing in the kitchen. And absolutely no physical evidence that any of it ever happens.

Enter Justin Hackworth. A photographer that weilds his lens the way Monet rocked a paintbrush. High praise. Yeah. Deserved? Hell Heck, yeah.

Justin came to our house. Made Margaret fall in love with him. (I LOVE JUSTIN! CAN I HUG HIM??) Took our pictures. And left Riley and I feeling like the best parents in the world. Did you see all those photograph's we just had taken of our family? We are parents. Hear us roar.

Yesterday we met with Mr. Hackworth to go over the moments he had captured in our purple walled home. It was all just perfect.  I bawled like a big, snotty baby. After the presentation, we sat down to look over prices. (Side note: All of Justin's prices are beyond reasonable. It just so happens that Riley and I are in a point of our life where a visit to the dollar menu can wipe out our bank account. Oh, McNuggets, how I miss thee.) I sat there, looking at the numbers, trying to figure out how we could afford two 8 x 10's. (You know how it goes...Maybe if we eat only eggs for the next three weeks. And I only eat two meals a day. And I sell my hair.) When Riley looks at me, looks at Justin and says, We'll take that one. That one. The package I didn't even look at because it was several, several, SEVERAL weeks worth of dollar menu purchases. The one that allowed us to have every precious instant that Justin captured. The one that we would get someday, when we were richer, skinnier, healthier, and reading only russian literature.

I started crying again.

As we walked to our car, Riley held my hand.

Are you sure?

Yeah, Meggi. I am sure. Those are the kinds of things we should spend money on.

I married a smart guy.

( I will skip the part of the story where we canceled, reconsidered, canceled, and finally decided to still do it. It was like the worst game of telephone, ever. Justin was very patient.)

Much better than chicken nuggets.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It Will Have to Do

                                                                Oh. Tannenbaum.

Margaret is asleep. Little Miss Viola Honey is cooing next to me and the house is clean. Well. All the clutter is shoved in closets and under beds. So. The house is basically clean. Our little Christmas tree glows against our purple walls and I think about my girls. They have come to a crazy little woman. I never finish anything. My personality tends to the flighty. I mean everything I promise. And get around to about thirty percent of it. My tastes are well, eclectic. The last time I was really proud of an outfit my mom said I looked like,

"a homeless woman. But, you know, one that had happened upon a bin of really expensive mismatched clothes."

Thank you?

 I want to give these two darlings the whole world, but around here a successful morning is one where I have been able to find a pair of socks for each of us. (Much harder than you would think.)

Christmas, while joyful and colorful and magical, is also brimming with feelings of inadequacy. I so want to be that family. You know the one. From November 1st to December 31st their house would make the North Pole envious. Their homemade caramel never burns and the kids aren't crying in their Christmas card picture.  The family with carol singing and  traditions the children still love when they are eighty and their children's children are having babies. My house is usually too filled with diapers to stir up any feeling, except maybe a desire for a bigger trash can. I can't make rice without burning it black, so attempting homemade caramel might border on the insane. And Margaret cries everytime someone points a camera at her. We do sing carols. And I am inordinately proud of that. As for traditions? I want to give my children traditions. Little bits of stability and safety they can retreat to when they are adults and the world is a little less friendly. There have been attempts. Most of which involve me losing, breaking or forgetting the most important part. Head in my hands, I know. The woman who cannot keep her children in socks is unlikely to be a woman that keeps traditions.

Yesterday, my lovely husband reminded me of a couple of verses in Matthew,

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

Sweet relief. The first and great commandment from our Heavenly Father, the creator of the universe, of stars and space and light and me, is about love. And honey, I know how to love. That is something I can give these little souls He sent my way. And give in abundance. The caramel making they will have to learn from someone else.

Traditions? Maybe next year. This Christmas, love and a viewing of It's a Wonderful Life will just have to be enough.

I think it is.

Postscript. I burned two grilled cheese sandwiches while writing this post. Typical.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Riley and Margaret play this game. He sits on the floor of our bedroom. She stands in the middle of our bed. Jumping. Jumping. Jumping. Running leap and YEAH, DADDY CAUGHT ME!

It is a great game, rarely ends in tears and tires her out beautifully for bed. Last night I went in and sat with them while she flew through the air. Viola was cuddled in my arms, smiling like she knew she should. Margaret loved it. OH, MOMMY, LOOK AT HER. SHE LOVES IT! SHE LOVES ME! SHE LOVES YOU!

Jumping. Jumping. Jumping. Running leap and....I noticed something. When Margaret jumps into the air, she never looks down. The darling girl looks at me, at herself in the mirror or up at the ceiling. But she never once looked at Riley, at the floor, at the places she could fall.

Riley and I have been discussing some big things. It is one of the reasons I married him. There are some dreams so big it takes two people to dream them. Cheesy? Sure. True and lovely? Absolutely. Also...a little scary.

I think I will learn from Margaret. Time to leap without looking down. Time to forget about the places I can fall.

Jumping. Jumping. Jumping. Running leap and....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Stay Awake...or don't.

Viola slept through the night. For the third night out of the last four. Darling, remind me of this when you are sixteen and I will buy you a car. Any.Car.You.Want.


Margaret is sick. For the tenth day out of the last fourteen. She was up all night last night. Crying, not breathing, crying some more. At some point she started pointing at her face while yelling...MY EYES! MY EYES! I am not going to lie, it was a a little creepy. The little girl fell asleep around 4:30am. And woke up at 5:41am. Honey, I would suggest that you never remind me of this. Even then...you still may not be getting a car. Sleep tonight and perhaps we can figure something out.

Margaret's favorite sleepy song is Stay Awake from Mary Poppins. It has been playing on loop for the past two hours and the girl is still wide eyed. She might be taking it a little literally.

Me? I am ready for a nap.

Just in case you need a little soothing yourself

Monday, December 5, 2011

Just a tear or two (or three or four or....)

Weekends can be hectic. Poor Riley. I often try to squeeze a weeks worth of activities into two days. Some sort of grand tour off all the things he missed while he was at work during the week. It can seem like a punishment. Naps are skipped. Tears. Snacks forgotten. Tears. Primetime football games missed. Tears. (I will leave it up to the reader to decide which tears belong to little Margaret and which belong to Riley.)

Saturday we went to a church Christmas breakfast, a friends birthday party, and the Utah Festival of Trees. The Christmas breakfast was a good excuse to eat my years' quota of hashbrowns and cheese. The birthday party was a six year olds dream, pizza making and balloon popping. (Margaret was devastated during the balloon popping portion...MOMMY! BALLOONS ARE BEAUTIFUL! WHY? WHY? Viola just seemed mildly annoyed.) We stopped for a bit at the grandparents house where Margaret napped and then had a psychotic break due to low blood sugar. Epic, record breaking crying. Riley thought perhaps that should signal the end of our day...I knew better. On to the next adventure! The Festival of Trees is a lovely, heart breaking, necessary kind of thing. Each year hundreds of people from across the state decorate trees that are auctioned off to benefit Primary Children's Hospital. Most of the trees are done as a memorial to people who have died, many of them children. Dozens of Thomas the Train, ballerina, and princess trees, each one next to a picture of the child they remembered.  Margaret couldn't figure out why the GORGEOUS (her new word) christmas trees made mommy sad. There were just too many of them. We will go every year.

Yesterday was church and a family gathering. BLT's and deviled eggs and butternut squash cream soup spiked with green chile. (My Dad the chef...no two bit burgers for him.) Lot's of kids. Some tears. More laughter. Both from Margaret. We got home just in time to see the last ten minutes of Natalie Cole and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform on PBS. Pajama's. Margaret and I on the couch. Viola cuddled up with Riley on the rocking chair. Ms. Cole sang with her eyes closed, the choir's voices soared and Riley looked at me.

I love you.

I love you, too.

This time the tears were mine.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You are what you...


Someone once said that you know who you are by the things that you want.

Okay. I just made that up. It just seems like something somebody would say, a phrase heard in a freshman survey course. Corny, but probably true. As I have changed, so have the things I want. When I was seven, I needed to be Nancy Drew (Okay, that one never went away). By twelve, I wanted clear skin and even bigger bangs. Charlie's Angels came out my freshman year of high school and Ray Ban celebrated with Angels branded sunglasses. They were blue and covered in crystals. I could not live without them. By college, my wants had expanded with my horizons. They included a graduate degree in Russian fairy tales, the contents of every Anthropologie catalogue, and a blue eyed man in a house with a wrap around porch. I have gotten many of the things my little heart desired. My bangs reached epic proportions with the help of a round brush and steel determination. I wore those Charlie's Angels sunglasses faithfully...until I broke them. And that blue eyed man? He is sitting next to me holding our blue eyed little girl.

Today was a long day. Margaret has a chest rattling cough. Viola's acid reflux is an unwanted visitor. Riley came home from work just long enough to eat dinner and then left to do volunteer work at church. Days like today I put the kids to bed, turn on the computer and disappear in a few minutes of wishful thinking. In the past I have planned fantasy vacations, compiled Vogue worthy wardrobes, and researched the most expensive first editions of works by my favorite authors.

Today. Today, I looked at every food oriented gift basket on Costco.com. Cheeses, cured meats, chocolate covered macadamia nuts, the occasional dried fruit, all of it encased in the finest leather covered wood crates a warehouse store can offer. I took a half hour and scrolled through six pages of faux gourmet foods in tins. Each one more coveted than the next.

Someone once said that you know who you are by the things that you want. And I want a basket full of cheese, sausage and cookies.