the beautiful monotony of motherhood.

My morning wake-up call came at 6:45 this morning. The baby.

And when I walked in his “room” (I can’t be the only mom who has to use this word loosely for all children to come after the first), there he was, beaming his two-toothed grin at me.

We walked downstairs and pushed play on the unchanging morning routine.

Lily was next. Usually she lays in her bed hollering for me to come in and get her, but this morning she snuck into the kitchen while I was cutting a banana. She went straight to Sawyer and said happily, “I haven’t said, ‘Hi,’ to you yet!”

She left behind an unusually quiet room, and when I went in, I found Norah standing silently in her bed waiting for me.

“I didn’t scream and wake Lily up today!” she said proudly.

I swooped her up and let her jog into the kitchen with the other two. I heard, “Hi, Soy-ler! Are you a happy boy?” as I turned the fan off.

The rest of the morning went pretty much as it always does.

Cereal. Vitamins. Negotiations for more food.


Clothes. Pigtails. A showing of Peppa Pig to ease into the morning.


Books. Babies. A real baby who just wants to eat paper and spit up all over the carpet.



We move through these rhythms together each day. They are mostly unchanging regardless of the day of the week or the schedule of the day.

Monotony gets a bad rap in parenting, and I get it. Life can start to feel a little bit like that movie Groundhog Day except instead of waking up to Sonny & Cher, it’s a chorus of yelling and/or happy screaming (it’s weird over here sometimes).

But monotony is also my friend.

I realized it this morning while I was slow sipping my coffee.

As we have worked hard to build routines for our kids, we also have inadvertently (and more importantly, I suppose) worked to build trust. My kids are never surprised to see me in the morning. They wake up and they do whatever they need to in order to get my attention, but (at least I don’t think), they’re never worried that I won’t come. They just innately trust that I (or Jake) will.

I’ve been overthinking motherhood all week (this, of course, shouldn’t surprise anyone). I spent a lot of brain energy looking for deep metaphors in things like can openers and making long, uninventive lists about all the things being a mom has taught me.

I tried to organize my thoughts a few times, but the words just wouldn’t come, so I put them back in the drawer with the philosophical can opener and moved on.

And then this morning, as my kids moved all around me doing their various morning things, I felt a small twinge of gratitude. An odd feeling, really, for a day much the same as all the others.

But that was it. It was the monotony of my morning which revealed the more beautiful things that have grown from its soil: Trust. Togetherness. The sense of being known.

These days we’re building so many foundations. Laying the groundwork for future expectations and experiences. And today that tiny twinge of gratitude reminded me that the work we’re doing is important and lasting.

Our kids are known. They are loved. They are learning to trust us.

And those are the words I want to remember today.

i’m in love with summer.

Summer, you are exactly what we needed. It feels a little hypocritical, really, because a few weeks ago, I wrote about a life of long hours and time spent apart. Now, here we are nearing the end of a month in which Jake has been home with us far more than he has been away.

This is something I will not take for granted.

It’s funny though. Seasons of relative ease always leave me feeling a little anxious (to which Jake would surely reply, “Well, that’s not hard to do.”). We are becoming pros at readjusting our routines and rhythms every four weeks, but that still doesn’t make it any easier to go from what we’ve got going now back into the real world demands of shift work and long days.

To put it plainly, I think summer is spoiling me.water.jpg

When I start to get all angsty and tightly wound about it (again, not hard to do), I try to remind myself that each season has something good to offer even if some seasons you have to dig deeper to unearth that good.

But here we are, living presently in a four week season in which the good stuff is staring us square in the face.

For instance, Jake and I took the girls to a castle the other day (yes, a CASTLE). While we were there, I sent my mom a picture of Jake and the girls, and she reminded me of how good this life is that we’re building together.castle2.jpg

She re-centered me without realizing it and reminded me that I bear a great responsibility to try my best to live all our days well. To create experiences for our girls in which they feel well-loved and important. In this season and the next and in all the ones that follow.

So with that in mind, here’s to now. To a summer filled with family and friends and unexpected visitors who show up on our doorstep here in Cleveland. To watermelon stained sun-dresses and bags of fresh cherries that I ‘forget’ to share with the girls. To plastic pools, sprinklers, and splash pads. To homegrown tomatoes and functioning air-conditioning on days like today.

We try to live all our days well around here, but today I am just especially thankful for the ones in which that comes a bit more easily.