Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I'm back

Well hello there! It's been a while since I've visited this space. I've been sucking the marrow out of life and all it has to offer. I've been working, hard, alongside my family to make our future brighter. I've been disillusioned with the world and its governments and greed and wars and chemicals and judgments. I've been travelling a lot, with family and solo, to celebrate a year of my friends that have become family turning 30. I just haven't been inspired to write, to share, to celebrate.

 Over the past few months, something has been stirring. Friends and family have asked about this blog. I've taken to writing with pen and paper, but that is such an isolating affair. The point here is to share, to exponentially increase these joys by sharing them with others. What we share we keep. The point here, too, is to fight against the ever present dichotomy of parenting: roots and wings. You want them to grow, but you want to live forever in this moment with them because tomorrow it will be gone. Babies they will be no more. Lullabies turn into voicemails from afar. Diapers turn into boxers crumpled in the laundry pile.  The least I can do is leave something here, on the Internet that never forgets, for my children to see.  So they can share in this joy, too.


So I will rage against the dying of childhood.  I will hold onto this beautiful life harder.  And extend it.  Forever.  At least I'm going to try.....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

update on the boys (long overdue)

j. wyeth hunt iv
age: 2 years, 2 months

weight: 31 pounds
height: 35.5 inches
tricks:  much to our delight, wyeth's imagination is churning in full gear these days.  just yesterday, he put a blanket over his head and wandered around the backyard pretending to be invisible then scare us.  he also has full on conversations with himself and his brother, although only they know what's truly being spoken.  this kid is hilarious.  and dramatic.  he rarely has tantrums, but he does frequently slowly drop to the floor, roll over, spread his arms and legs out, open his mouth and eyes real wide, and sigh, exasperated from putting up with us, his lame-o parents.  it's insanely funny.  he's added more words, making him even more entertaining.  he looks more like a boy and less like a baby, he has become wildly attached to his brother, and he continues to be fiercely independent, exploring on the beach by himself or wandering up to a slide at the park all alone.  he has, though, developed a little bit of stranger anxiety.  he'll dip his chin down and snuggle up to my chest and get very quiet when new people talk to him.  he's also become possessive of objects, whereas before he could care less if a toy was taken from him.  we've been practicing sharing (I find myself saying "Good sharing, Daddy!" when John passes me the potatoes at dinner, ha!)  He continues to roar, day and night, and likes to point out all of the things he knows in books (just last night he showed me a kite. i didn't even know he KNEW what a kite was! sponges, toddler are.)

likes:  he is such a carnivore! he always eats the meat first and askes for "moooooore".  hot dogs, steaks, pork, chicken, sausage, anything meaty (sometimes i wonder if he's really my child).  he continues to love the outdoors, picking up sticks, feeding the chicken, playing in the dirt.  his favorite movie is the lion king, he carries around a toy tiger, and climbs to the top of the playground, squats down, and slowly rises up as he lets out his deep roar.  at night we read a book with safari animals in it and he always skips to the page with the lions.  (he also loves the blue horse in brown bear brown bear)  he LOVES his uncle aidan and our friends phila, lucy, and franco (whom wyeth calls Ganco).  they run laps around the living room and down the hallway and back, giggling the whole time. he also enjoys the company of his cousin Finn (whom he calls Ninley, and Finley calls Wyeth Wy-weth).  he got a cape for his second birthday (see below).  he is convinced he actually has magical powers while wearing it and most days refuses to take it off, even while sleeping.

alsos:  slowly but surely wyeth has resumed sleeping through the night.  it's still a crap shoot and i don't want to jinx anything, but we're getting back to sanity.  he has like a million teeth, likes to pour water on his head in the bathtub, and pats your back when he gives you a hug.

kenson joerger
8 months
weight: 20 pounds
height: ?? inches
tricks: this boy is moments away from crawling!  he rolls over onto his belly, lifts his butt up, pushes his arms up, and rocks.  at any moment he is just going to GO!  he holds his own bottle these days, quite convenient but also a little sad.  he sits up and gives the biggest, heartiest belly laughs at even a glance in his direction.  he says "dada", he squeals, he babbles, and i think i heard his say "mama" last night-- but it's not official, i only THINK i heard it (wishful thinking? haha)  KJ is particularly adept at making a huge mess of whatever food he is eating, especially avocado.

likes:  he loves sophie the giraffe.  he loves sleeping with these little bunny blanket things.  he loves putting everything in his mouth.  he loves to feed himself, especially avocados, blueberries, and quinoa.  he also really liked the orechiette pasta we had the other night.  he will sit for hours outside, watching the clouds roll over the sky and the wind blow through the trees.  his big, wide, blue eyes just soak it all in.  he also LOVES the boat.  i swear if he could talk, he would yell "faster, dad!"  a little daredevil on our hands, perhaps.  he loves holding hands with his brother and sometimes, he just wants to be held.  can't say i blame him.  he also loves splashing like a madman in the bath and the bay.  boy loves the water.

alsos:  with the addition of real food into his diet, kenson's reflux has been so much better!  he still fights it, but he only requires three or four outfits a day instead of a trillion.  he did send us to the ER again (2 times in 8 months is uncool.)  he had a fever for a few days but was eating, drinking, and the like normally.  i took him to the doctor the morning of the third day and i was warning about roseola, or german measles.  a relatively harmless problem that would result in a red rash after the fever broke.  sure enough, the rash appeared the following day.  and by the time i returned from work, it was all over.  but the fever didn't break, it wasn't where the doctor said, and kenson suddenly seemed incredibly unhappy.  so any call to the doctor's office at 5:00PM on a Friday is going to result in a visit to the ER.  away we went, and of course everything was perfectly fine.  better safe than sorry, but that's such a hard decision to make.  a baby's health isn't something you really want to risk.  but he has since recovered and is back to his normal happy self!

Wyeth and Ganco having ice cream

Favorite toy, $2 at Savers

Super W and Super Aidan

Avocado and quinoa

Cape on, Lion in hand

Mid-roar at his eggs

Ridiculously in love

W and KJ on the swings

KJ <3s Sophie

Best buds on the boat

Frozen pizza crust

Holding bottle / Holding tiger

I imagine I will be seeing this exact picture in about 20 years.

Dream big, kids.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

three years ago, we stood in front of everyone we knew and loved.  we faced each other and held hands.  deacon steve said:

Erin, take John's shaky hands.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.

These are the hands that will work along side yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.

These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until he too, feels his child stir within you.

These are the hands that look so large and strong, yet will be so gentle as he holds your baby for the first time.

These are the hands that will work long hours for you and your new family

These are that hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy

These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief wrack your mind.

These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.

John, now take Erin's hands.

These are the hands of your best friend, smooth, young and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life.

These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurt, supporting and encouraging them along the way, and knowing when it is time to let go

These are the hands that will massage tension from you neck and back in the evenings after you’ve both had a long hard day.

These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times

These are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick, or console you when you are grieving.

They are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will hold you in joy and excitement and hope, each time she tells you that you are to have another child, that together you have created a new life.

These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together as a team, everything you wish for can be realized.

God, bless these hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted in reaching for your perfection. May John and Erin see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide. We ask this in your name, Amen.

And now, three years later, there are four hands that hold each others, pledging to be best friends, to hold tight as they struggle through difficult times, to wipe tears and cause tears, to share joy, to continue building a relationship founded in God's grace, to be healer, protector, shelter, and guide.  there's no greater gift.

people have a lot of ideas about marriage.  what it should be.  what it's supposed to be like.  what they want it to be.  in the short time i've been married, i've come to realize that all marriage really is is a promise.  a promise that you will not leave. that no matter how shitty things get, you will stand by and be strong for that person.  a promise that you will hold that person's hand at the high school graduation of your baby because there's nobody else in the whole world that will care as much as you.  a promise to see each other with compassion and understanding, even when you're mad.  a promise to let go of the fairy tale and recognize that sometimes things aren't perfect, people aren't perfect, but you promised to do your best to be perfect for each other.  

my husband is a good, gentle man.  he loves me and our children.  he works incredibly hard for our family and does his best to do more, to do better.  he is determined to make a difference in the world through his work.  he always does what is right, even when it isn't easy.  he values his parents and our extended family more than most.  he's the type of person that strangers tell their life secrets to.  he will sit around a campfire and listen to and tell stories until the sunrises.  he's not perfect, but he does his best to be perfect for me.

and three years later, i will sit with my husband and remember our favorite moments from our wedding.  we will think about all of our friends and family that stood in that church and vowed to help us fulfill our promise.    we will thank God for all he has given us, especially the biggest lesson in knowing that the future is in God's hands, not ours.  and we will pray for His continued blessings, as we prayed together three years ago today.

happy anniversary to my love, to my family, to us.

PS- This is the first wedding anniversary of my life that I can actually have a glass of champagne because I'm not pregnant!  Woot! ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


today at 9:29, my best friend will be the mama to one little boy.  at 9:31, she will be the mama of a tiny baby girl, too.  it happens that fast.  life does.  just like that.

my grandfather was fine one day.  woke up in the hospital.  was gone a few days later.  it happens that fast.

you fall asleep, wake up three years later with two little boys and a husband that you danced barefoot in the grass with at your wedding.  weren't you just slow dancing to billie holiday amongst all of your friends and family?  didn't you just roll the window down in the model T, lift the peonies to your nose, close your eyes to remember that moment forever?

this morning i woke up with this giant child next to me.  he's turning two at the end of the month.  i swear i was just staring, shocked, at the two lines on the white stick.  they just placed him on my chest.  we just tucked his tiny arms under the straps of the carseat and drove home at a snails pace.

i walked across the hall in this house, a home that we own, our home, and checked on this other baby sleeping on his side in the exact position i sleep.  i still feel the weight of the walls against my palms as i pushed against them with all my might to bring baby boy earthside.

the speed of life these days is terrifying.  maybe it's because there's so much intensity packed into each moment.  so much change and growth and movement and happenings.  

wyeth and i stopped to smell the newly bloomed pansies in front of the library last night.  he scrunches up his little nose and squints his eyes and purses his lips and dramatically sniffs.  we stopped to smell the roses.  but it didn't work.  it didn't slow us down.  because then we played with dinosaurs and barked at clifford the big red dog and stopped at the grocery store for more avocados and played with the chicken and took a bath and put on pajamas and read 17 books and fell asleep and woke up and fell asleep again and and and and.....

sometimes in the morning i wake up so confused.  this is not my beautiful house.  this is not my beautiful car.  how did i get here?  and yes, the days go by.

and then when i rub the sleep off my eyes and out of my mind, i realize this is my beautiful house.  these are my babies and thank God that is my husband.  and i say a prayer of gratitude.  thank you.  

thank you thank you thank you thank you.  to infinite.  and beyond.

because it happens that fast.

Monday, May 21, 2012


john and i had the opportunity to go away, without our babies, for a weekend in philly with family and a celebration of love.  i came home on friday, john had already dropped off the boys, and i stomped around the house and cried.  full on temper tantrum.  i didn't want to go away.  i missed them already.  i was mad about a zillion little nothings.  but we had to go.

and about 20 minutes into the ride, john made a stupid joke and i giggled.
and then he took my hand.  and we held hands across the aisle of our minivan without our boys in the back.
and then we rolled down the windows and turned the music up.
then the sunset and we rolled the windows up. 
and we talked.  and laughed.  and held hands.

eventually i shook it off.

we had fun with family friday night.  
i woke up at 7am, remembered my babies weren't here, and rolled over.
i went for a run saturday morning without pushing 50 pounds of boy. 
i took a long shower without any babies knocking on the door.
i put on a pretty dress and drove to the church with my handsome husband.
we held hands as they exchanged vows.
we remembered our vows.
we prayed together in church, as husband and wife, as we had just about 3 years ago.
we went back to the hotel and i took a nap before the reception.
we went and had delicious food and drinks and danced and laughed.
we stayed up and slept late.
we rejuvenated my spirit.

because here's the thing...

it was lovely to be free. to go on a trip.  to sleep late and to wear a dress without having to worry about spit up.  it was fantastic to be with my husband, the man i love so much that God blessed us with babies.  but i missed my boys.  we could've taken them back to the zoo sunday morning.  and they would have loved to dance at the reception.  and they would have crawled into bed with us on saturday morning and forced us to make banana pancakes.  and our family would've fawned over them. and everything would have been that much more magical if they were there.

a few years ago, pre-kids, i remember a friend's husband offering to take them on a trip- just the two of them, leave their daughter home.  
and the mom said absolutely not, why would she want to go away without her daughter?  
and i thought it was so lame. get a grip! go away with your charming husband and have fun!
but now i realize: kids make things magic.  the spit up and the early mornings and the other sacrifices pale in comparison to how much more magnificent it is to see the world through their eyes.

so i'm happy i got to have a wonderful weekend with my husband.
and i'm so happy for my nephew and his new wife.
but i'm happiest to be home again with my boys.

note:  my nephew served as a marine in afghanistan.  he re-upped his contract with the marines to be sent overseas.  he is the definition of bravery.  his wife stood by, prayed, sent packages, and she, too, endured for our country.  on our way to the wedding, i cried when we saw the freedom tower staring down at the other nyc skyscrapers.  we live in a beautiful country full of beautiful, brave people.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

on wanting more

i haven't been writing much other than updates on the boys in a while.

mostly because i'm feeling so stagnant.

i want to lift up the rug, shake it out on the front porch, and stare at all the beautiful specs float in the sun.

maybe it's the undoing of the winter that never really was.  and the spring that has littered pollen and rain and not much sunshine.  and now suddenly summer is here and we have plans every weekend from now until infinity.  there is laundry in every corner of my house.  i didn't even notice how much hair kenson has on his bald head.  i wake i work i play i cuddle i struggle.  and do it all over again.  and all the while i carry major, bigtime guilt that i'm not brimming with joy and happiness and gratitude.  because i should be.  and normally i am. i'm so lucky.

and yet i want more.  i have dreams.  i see myself on a blanket in a field of lavender with a stone cottage behind me, babe in the lap, man and boy gathering wildflowers, roasting a chicken and drinking wine and having a fire.  and then i wake up to the alarm and the best part of my day will be reuniting with my babies after a long day of work.

it's that yearning to do more, to be more than enough, to live exquisitely.  i've been sending links to john of houses in the french countryside or apartments in astoria.  let's shake it up.  let's have another baby.  let's live on a boat.  let's do something totally crazy, totally fun, totally different. but instead, we just have to get it done until tomorrow.  do the work. make the dinner. wash the dishes. change the diapers. put the kids to bed. try to get some sleep.

this feeling usually overtakes me in february.  that's the worst month for me.  but i was too busy being in love.  my new baby. the doting big brother. the incredibly giving husband.  and then grieving the loss of a great man.  and watching family members leave this earth so suddenly, so unexpectedly.  i keep talking to john about how fragile life is.  how it could all be gone tomorrow.  and knowing that, seeing that, terrifies me.  if i leave this earth tomorrow, i will not be satisfied.  i want more.  i want to swim in the phosphorescence with my boys and take them on safari and ride a bike so fast and take my feet off the petals and hike a mountain and lay in the grass and perfect my rhubarb pie.  i want to walk my boys down the aisle and live in a world where they can walk down the aisle regardless of who is waiting for them at the other side.  i want to take beautiful pictures and hang them in my house.  i want to dance until the sun comes up.  i want to watch the fireflies flicker in the smokey mountains.  i want to pack our bags, strap the boys in, and drive down the coast.  you only live once.  you only live once.  you only live once.  and yet i feel that i'm on a treadmill, running and running and never moving.

i'm still in love, but i want more for us.  i want an adventure.  instead, i have obligations.

i've felt this way a thousand times, before kids, before a mortgage.  it's the pull to break out of the mundane. to live a life that's more than ordinary.  and sometimes that so hard.

whenever i feel this way, i instinctively stop writing.  it's much easier for me to put down the words when they come from a place of bliss.  but there's a devil on my back and i need to shake him off.  the devil of comparision and complacency.  the devil of ingratitude.

shake it off, erin.  look closer.  we are living an extraordinary life.  each day we witness little miracles- wyeth learns a new word, kenson sits up on his own, both boys grow leaps and bounds.  we have babies we were told we couldn't have.  they themselves are miracles.   we live in a beautiful house surrounded by a loving family.  our friends come over our house so we can put the boys to bed before a campfire.  we have jobs, challenging jobs, flexible jobs, paying jobs.  we eat good food and drink cheap wine.  we laugh, a lot.  we love each other.

sometimes i need to remind myself that the rug can be dirty, but if you shake it out in the sunlight, you can see the most beautiful of displays.  you just need to look a little closer.

Monday, May 7, 2012

letters to kenson

dear kenson,

it seems like you grow in inches and pounds each time i look away.  your feet are already hanging over the edge of your swing.  i spent the weekend putting away your 3 month clothes and folding the 6 month clothes.  you push up on your feet as if you want to skip the rolling, the crawling, and head straight to walking.  you're starting to interact with the world around you more and more each day.  you watch your brother, you laugh at your parents, you put everything in your mouth.  just the other day i found your brother's arm in your tiny mouth; he was giggling and you were chewing on his arm.  you give us a throaty laugh with a huge gummy smile whenever we make eye contact.  you will sit in the yard for long stretches, staring up into the trees, listening to the birds, grabbing chunks of fur from the dog.

when your brother was born, i was mostly in a state of shock and awe.  but with you it's different: i feel like i've always known you, you've always been here lingering quietly in the background, piping up with a cry or a laugh now and again.  and there are big moments that overtake me; when i whisper words into your ear before i put you into your crib, and you hold onto my face and look deep into my eyes.  the love i have for your tiny being hits me, hard, in the heart and i want to live in that moment forever and ever and ever.  stop time, stand still, and just hold you there.

watching you grow is so bittersweet.  i watch your brother walk down the stairs without needing my hand and i see you sitting up on your own without my support and i know that these moments will pass and one day, i'll be sitting in the yard with the sun shining on my face and tears in my eyes as you walk towards me with my grandchildren.  and while i'll thank God for all of the magic and beauty and joy, i'll be so sad too that those moments are gone.  the transience of life, especially a life lived alongside little people, is what makes it so beautiful and so gut wrenching and hard.

i love you. and i will love you every step of the way.  and when you walk across my yard with your kids in tow, know the tears in my eyes are mostly because i am so thankful to have had the opportunity to know you and that i'd give anything to make it last just a little bit longer.