On Sleeping Through the Night (of which I know nothing)

I got up with Leila about 5:30 am this morning leaving Olivia in our bed.

I swore I would never do that. I am a space person, a separate-ness person.  I love phrases like “close the door” and ” my own room”.  How did I get here?

I had kids.

So Leila proved herself to be a really dreamy sleeper at first but then she woke up and thought “Wait a minute. What family am I in? This is obviously not how things work around HERE.” And so she goes to bed really early for a long stretch (about 6:30 -midnight usually) but then she wakes up, yes, when I have usually just gone to bed, and the games begin.

Olivia has been sick which always stirs things up, but prior to that we went through a fascinating stage where she would wake up to use the bathroom about 1 am and stay up, for two hours, clearly in need of deep conversation and a banana or two. So I would try laying in her bed with her, but, and those good with details have put this together, I needed to be with the baby.

I’m prone to leave Olivia howling in her room (never too old to sleep train) but she now shares a room with Sophia, who amazingly sleeps through most of this, only to occasionally rise to let me know she is going to the bathroom. Which is no problem. Because I’m up

I know two things: this will not last, and

I am not the only one currently living this way

So for my fellow Warriors of the Night, Baby Monitor First Responders, and, my new “let’s look at this positively” term: People Living Twice the Life, I have compiled the following list of advice.

1. Dress the Part. 

It’s the night shift, let your clothing work for you. A friend gave me a pair of fleece pajamas at a shower that are so so soft when I put them on I feel like I’m getting a hug. This helps in the middle of the night. Sometimes. Sometimes I want everyone to leave me alone. Including my pajamas. Be intentional with your footwear. I walk from wood to tile to carpet and back again. Cold feet help nothing.

2. Prepare Morning  Rituals 

At some point, I have to say, we’re done. We’re done with it being night. We’re done trying. We’re done lying to ourselves. Hopefully this is after 6. Sometimes it’s before. Regardless, when I make the announcement to leave the night and meet the day (remember this is more of an emotional surrender so the hour is relative) I need an incentive. Enter: Trader Joes Spicy Chai Latte. I am a Chai person. You may have coffee, hot tea. You may pour your first Diet Coke of the day. Go for it. Reward yourself. You made it. You are still here. (though you may not want to be…)

3. Know what you need. 

I need 3.5 hours uninterrupted to function, the rest can be interrupted on either end. I prefer my uninterrupted hours to be between two and five am. Just a preference. But that’s what I pray for. What I hope for. Because friends, when it come to putting our heads to the pillow each night, it’s not the exhaustion that will kill us. It’s the hope.

4. Know that it will not last. 

(That’s what everyone says. They also say that though the children may sleep through the night, your worries about them increase causing, you to stay awake. NOO!)

5. Remember, Really Brilliant People Require Very Little Sleep

Now, I don’t remember who any of them are because my brain is so foggy. But there you have it.

Carry on Friends. Carry on.



Mystery, Revelation, Application

I’m teaching at the Bible Study at church this week. After having a baby, I take maternity leave from what I term B.O.T.D.A. (Being On Time, Dressed Appropriately.) But we hit three months and as if I possess an internal FMLA time-clock, I am excited to be done with hibernating.

Except I’m nauseous  and feeling all sorts of unworthy.

Honestly, the Bible both terrifies and  captivates me. When I am researching I go big. Thus the terror.

I reach for every hard back, exhaustive reference book in sight  and jump in.

 Then I put them away. 

Because here’s what I’ve learned in years of a complicated relationship with the Bible and the study of it: mystery, revelation, application. I get into all sorts of trouble in reading and living out this book because of emphasis of one and the absence of the others.

I’m in over my head in the book of Hosea for the next few days (yes, GOMER, with the highly unfortunate and memorable name.) There’s a lot to know. There’s a lot to not know. There’s some really radical verbiage and a tears-down- my face description of God. 

mystery, revelation, application.

“…For I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst.” Hosea 10:13




Four Laps

I walked four laps around William and Mary’s Sunken Gardens last night.

By lap one I was thinking clearly, by lap three I felt much better and by the end of lap four I gave thanks for the moment, and  that in my fleece and boots I wasn’t one of the girls in a skirt and heels walking by on a February night. The majority of my college memories involve being cold. 

I’ve learned in living across the street from campus that the sacred spaces from that time still feel sacred. Years ago, certain nights would find me  there walking out anxieties and sadnesses. Sometimes it took only four laps. Sometimes I was out there a whole lot longer. 

And now, when I have to flee the house, and sick children and the endless list of undone things, putting one foot in front of the other across those uneven bricks reminds me that I’m not who I was then, and this person with these stresses right now, is not who I will always be. 

Sometimes that ‘s all the encouragement I need.

That and being warm. 


photo credit

She gets the crazy hair from her mama…

…and it produces identical whispy fly-aways! AWWW….

I realized this girl’s 3-month birthday passed without picture or pause…so a moment please, to say,

Sweet sweet third sister you are loved beyond belief (and your admittedly slim documentation.)

In the words of your Big-er sister, O.Simone, “I’m SO glad we have a baby.”

When I met Rachel Held Evans,

I asked to get a picture with her. With my camera. Which I had to remove from its case.  Making what could have been a smooth, subtle, iphone shot …an event a  bit larger and more, eh pronounced. 

She was gracious.

I found her blog a few years ago and discovered a space in the strange blog world featuring her strong voice but always going beyond her story. She has run some great series on Women of Valor and Ask a ….[fill in the blank with people from every religous background). Her Sunday Superlatives posts are totally my cheat sheet for finding great stuff online throughout the week. Most of all, the dialogues are consistently interesting and thought provoking, while always allowing for the freedom to disagree. I learn. All the time. From the Internet.

The best part of the night? Travis gushing to Rachel about my blog and then writing down the site for her. 🙂 True Love. Hey…what is that they say? 20% content 80% promotion…proven correct if you, Rachel, are reading this right now.