Reader, Thinker, Writer, Lover.

Let’s go back.

Before you left us. Before you thought that was the only way.

Read more…

July 2, 2016

Happy Birthday, Sissy!

Written by Posted in Uncategorized Comments 1

How do you know Jennifer Woodmansee?

I met her at Crossfit and decided on the day I met her that she was going to be my friend. It took some convincing and stalking, but she finally agreed to give me a trial run. That was 4 years ago. As long as I don’t violate the restraining order, we can remain friends.


What are her best qualities?

Her warmth,

Her eye color,

Her stubborn insistence on showing up on one’s doorstep when they’re sad and have told they don’t want her there,

Her ability to be in the moment,

Her laughter that sounds kind of like drunk bubbles,

Her hugs,

Her science…ness…ity,

Her ability to forgive,

and of course we can all agree, her butt, which is fantastic.


What are her biggest accomplishments?

Easy. Caden and Blaine.


What is your fondest memory of her?

Spending a few days together on a road trip to Minnesota in which Dr. Ackerman (<3) was finally going to cure her of her annoying habit of dying. My favorite parts were sitting around in comfortable, companionable silence and the side road trips in which we ate ungodly amounts of candy corn.


If Jen were an animal, what would it be?

A cat. Snuggly one minute, swishing her tail and scratching your eyes out the next. Hard to catch and even harder to get rid of once you feed it.


If she were a mythical creature?



If she were an Olympic sport?

Curling. Cool, in an awkward, awkward way.


If she were a superhero?



Team role in a zombie apocalypse?

Food supplies coordinator and bossing everyone around.


What’s her secret superpower?

Mind reading; it’s actually creepy. She also makes a mean elk boti-saag.


Favorite funny quote that reminds you of Jen?

“I love you like I love the smell of horse sweat. Just the thought calms me and makes me happy. Which most people find weird and repulsive but I think it’s the greatest thing on Earth.” – jaydubb


Favorite sappy quote that reminds you of Jen?

“So everyday I was surrounded by the beautiful calling forth the ideas of God, one of which was you.” – Mary Oliver




Hey Deb, here’s a beautiful sunrise!
ugh…its snowy and icy again?

Here’s a funny text from a friend!
..I haven’t been a very good friend to them, lately…

You look so pretty today!
…lies…I’m at a terrible weight..he must be saying that to make me feel better.

Life has been trying to hand me unexpected moments of grace, lately. And I’ve been trying very hard to ignore them. I’ve found reasons to deny them, convinced myself they’re not good enough, and most importantly, decided I did not deserve them. It was like I had an anti-joy shield up; and I was in a death match, determined to ward off happiness. And the more I denied the graceful moments, the more I became convinced that I didn’t deserve them. But the grace kept coming at me. Read more…


I’ve had the absolute pleasure of time- travel this week. I’m caring for my sister and sister-in-love’s two young children while they have a little getaway to NYC. These two mommies do a bang-up job of parenting and deserve a well-needed rest! I get to go back in time some 10-18 years and be in full time charge of babies again.

I didn’t realize how much I missed that baby smell and softness and squishyness. I write this as a love letter to my 5 month old nephew, who has reminded me of all that is wonderful and important and gorgeous on this earth.

If I had it to do all over again:

1. I would memorize the smell of a baby’s neck and hair. Just, YUM.

2. I would blow more raspberries on their bare tummies and make them laugh till they got the hiccups.

3. I would take them out of their cribs while they were still talking to themselves, and rock them in the nursery at the start of the day.

4.  I would let them nap on my chest, soaking in the heat they generate. All the chores can wait.

5.  I would giggle when they’re crying hysterically, because they’re actually adorable when purple with rage.

6. I would be excited when they wake early from a nap.

7. I would change their clothes 4 times in a single day because I couldn’t stand how cute they were. I would realize those clothes don’t fit for long.

8. I would pay attention in the grocery store to the way they squeal and wave their arms wildly in the produce section.

9. I would take a few more moments at bedtime to rock them and listen to them gurgle and chat. I would close my mind to the stack of dishes in the sink and open it to the sheer deliciousness of their cheek against my lips.

10. I would enjoy every little random noise and spastic movement and whine and squeak and squall, because soon enough, it will be gone and I won’t remember what it sounds or feels like.

I love my big, gorgeous, grown up daughters. I love how we can discuss politics and relationships and joke about inappropriate things. But, I miss their baby-ness. It seems like yesterday, and I HATE cliches. Enjoy those babies, mamas. You only get them once.

September 2, 2015


Written by Posted in Uncategorized Comments 0

I cannot ignore her.

I wander outside at dawn, on a cool September morning,

and she is shimmering…undeniable in her presence,

rising above the

first orange and pink layers of sunrise,


She floats between

what is done,

and what is yet to be.

A half moon

lazily moves to her west,

wrapping up it’s work,

cool and plump and orbital;

but she is all sharpness and edges.

The heat and pressure

that make her uninhabitable

also make her the most beautiful,

blazing in intensity.

She is copper,

the mirror of the goddess:

both alluring and dangerous,

ravishing and perilous.

Look away, or worship her –

there is no way

to feel ambivalent.

She is celestial.

Unearthly, divinely feminine, heart-stopping.

She beautifies,


Portends and challenges…

and then she dissolves

and merges with the

power of the sun

until I need her again.

I look at her and I awaken –

I have an instinct to burn

and radiate

and love.


A good horse. A good dog. A good pick up truck. Yep, that about sums up my contendedness today. Is happiness really that simple? Or is it elusive? Is happiness a trick question? An equation to be solved?

Because I’m really gifted at overthinking, some days l tend to complicate it. I treat it like a formula, something like:

(6Fa + 3Fr + 1N)2Fu /t Read more…


It can be uncomfortable, the turning over of the heart’s hard soil… painful, even. After all, transformation almost always comes at some cost.

Consider the field; its soil resting, but also fallow all winter. It must be mechanically tilled to allow the nutrients to penetrate its depths and prepare for seed. Read more…

July 2, 2015

Written by Posted in Uncategorized Comments 1

What do you say 

when you have that one friend

who regularly dies

and then rises again?

Who smiles when it rains,

And rains when there’s sun,

And her work of being sparkly

is never quite done?

Who’s annoyingly competent

At everything she tries, 

And who’s laughter can brighten

the darkest of skies?

I look at her often

and think, “Sheesh! What a gal!”

Is it really real-life

that SHE’S my best pal?

She’s a Corporate Cowgirl,

A Zombie Superhero,

And I’m pretty sure, lately,

she wears a size zero.

She’s gorgeous, she’s bossy,

But I bet now you’ve guessed it,

I’m super darn happy

That Jaydubb’s my Bestest.



I lean over, hands on my thighs trying to catch my breath and not freak out.

Try again.

Eyes forward, deep breath, quick hands, relax.


Try again.

I glance up at the ceiling, close my eyes and release a stream of words that are highly undignified.

Try again.


Compose myself. Try not to throw the jump rope across the room.

Try again.


Read more…

March 3, 2015

The Wisp of Time

Written by Posted in Uncategorized Comments 2

Life is a flurry of motion and activity with 1 preteen and 3 teenage girls: volleyball practice, musical theatre, doctor’s appointments, school, dance, dinners, homework, making lunches, stories about boyfriends, stories about mean girls, barking dogs chasing cats, singing, dance parties, sleepovers… and then, just last night, all was quiet. Crypt-quiet. A few kids were off at their evening activities, others in their rooms studying.

I stood in the kitchen, stunned and alone. I realized that this flurry of motion is reaching its critical mass, soon to be gone forever.

When they were all tiny (and I happened to be homeschooling), the days wore on and the months seemed never-ending and the years seemed endless. I didn’t mind it; in fact, I loved being surrounded by the love and chaos that I naively assumed would last to my dying days.

Then, just this month, shit began to get real. I ordered graduation announcements for one. College recruiters are constantly after another, and she just created her senior schedule. Yet another is planning to be gone this summer at theatre camp in Nebraska…and doesn’t need my help arranging it. The “baby” is whispering on her cell phone and giggling about boys.

I watched some young moms today at the gym rushing around after their toddlers; some of these toddlers had managed to strip down to their underwear, others  were trailing 85 crackers behind them. I remember, viscerally, the frustration and never-ending neediness of having babies. I thought it would never end.

Then, I blinked. And it’s ending.

I’m going to put away all that is not necessary, for now. The wisp of time that these girls are with me is going to be gone in an instant. I grieve this. I rejoice in this. I can’t wait to see what the future holds, but I’m not going to let it rob me of the present.

This moment, with them arguing with each other around the dinner table, is mine…and I will store it like treasure in my heart.