Real truth, with real friends. And wine.

A college friend of mine had a brilliant idea recently. She invited our friend group over for wine from 8-10 p.m. on a weeknight — super informal, yoga pants preferred. No elaborate RSVPs, she’d just be there drinking wine and eating some light snacks with whoever wanted to stop by. It was a genius way to pull together our group, which no longer had the time for the regular happy hours, craft clubs, and broomball games that populated our 20s.

During this week’s gathering it was such a relief to sit around and share the tough stuff — that things that happen that you don’t share on Facebook. The real life trials, like a husband’s job struggles, trying- for-a-baby woes, and the work/money/being home with kids mix that we all strive to make a little bit easier.

real truth

Real life trials, like when mom hands you a spoon for your soup and you wanted a fork. 

I’ve tried to write about not-so-great things on Borealis before and failed. I wrote up a whole post on why it took me so long to realize my December was hard, and all I could think when I read it was how worse it could be. I had friends who had car accidents, lost parents, were diagnosed with diseases in December, so who was I to complain about health scares that turned out fine, burglar scares that turned out fine, being sick with pneumonia, an ailing but alive family member, and some stressful but age appropriate kid issues?

Sometimes it’s hard to keep recovering from (what feels like) the punching-bag blows of life, and it’s often the little stuff — not the serious, behind-the-scenes stresses — that can break you. When our cat, Cadbury, was dying, he kept peeing on me at night. The sadness and drudgery of waking up covered in pee, having to change my PJs and find a new place to sleep, and hustling to wash and dry all the bed linens so they’d be ready by that night really wore me down. Or as a friend shared at wine night: a lice outbreak at their house meant combing through a fidgety kid’s hair night after night, family trips for professional checks to make sure it’s gone, and washing everything in the house. Ugh.

when things pile up

Sometimes things stack up and it all falls down.

So in case it wasn’t obvious from our sunny posts, I wanted to let you know: Jen and I have our share of setbacks and troubles. We both have the “stuff of life” going on in the background, just like everyone else. It just doesn’t work for us — usually — to write about it.

I am sharing this with you because I was so comforted hearing my friend’s stories, to feel that camaraderie of sharing our troubles together, offering support and sympathy, and if appropriate, solutions.

Here’s to real truth, with real friends. And wine.

hang in there

Hang in there.

P.S. It comforts me to have a stash of potential good things on the horizon that may or may not come to fruition, like, say, a potential windfall from somewhere, or something good job-wise. I even find myself entering contests just to increase the potential for random great news to appear in my inbox.

A fun way to figure out what’s unique about your child


four year old race running

When Beatrice was little, people said to us all of the time, “She’ll sleep well tonight!” And we always laughed, but inside we thought, “Nope, she’s going to sleep the same as she does every night, because she’s always this active.”

Since then I love to ask other parents what comment they hear most about their children, because it’s a fun way to distill what’s unique about your child.

bike riding two year old

For our two-year-old, Blythe, we were often asked, “Is she always this happy?” I loved that people asked us that because I wouldn’t have noticed (and appreciated!) that about her without people helping me realize it. Now that she is getting older, that’s changing into a comment about how fearless she is. Blythe thinks nothing of sledding down big kid hills or scaling big kid playgrounds.

What about you? What feature of your child is most commented on?

And remember when you had a newborn and commentary was limited to observations about their alertness, length of fingers, or strength of neck? It’s more fun now.

Clickery for March 27, 2015

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Welcome to Clickery, a regular feature where we share things we like because maybe you’ll like them too. Breanne’s Links I love this idea: “Forget reducing stress, just add more joy.” Speaking of added joy, I made this Irish soda bread with the girls this week and it was delicious. It’s such an easy recipe that they […]

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To do: Get yourself a real swimsuit

bahamas with a one year old

When my oldest was 13 months, we took her on a family vacation to the Bahamas. Upon arrival we headed out to the zero-entry pool. While another tot sat calmly and splashed in the shallows, Beatrice ran in full force until she was over her head and couldn’t breathe. We yanked her up so her […]

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Clickery for February 6, 2015


Welcome to Clickery, a weekly feature where we share things we like because maybe you’ll like them too. Breanne’s Links Penguin Classics selected 26 books – one for each letter of the alphabet — and designed them in a rainbow of colors as part of a special Drop Caps series. SO PRETTY. Also fun to see […]

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Vitamin Mama

Snuggle with girls after MW

Some days I am amazed by the huge, intense, real, deep NEED my girls have for me. I can love them up so hard, snuggle them so tightly they feel like part of my body again, and they come back the next day, ready for more. Sometimes I check to make sure it’s not just […]

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Winter hike-in cabin camping with children at Tettegouche State Park

Granite Gear pulk sled

Every winter some friends of ours hike into a cabin at Tettegouche State Park, and I’ve always wanted to try it. Their trips sounded so magical — sipping coffee while big snowflakes fall outside, taking long snowshoe or ski outings on the vast network of trails, reading in front of the wood stove. Our seven […]

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Top 14 posts of 2014

top 14 featured image

Today is the end of our third full year of blogging, and as is tradition, we end the year with our most-read posts of 2014. We chose 14 (seven each), plus one bonus guest post that was the most-read post of any we published in 2014. The top post of 2014 The gift of Hannah: […]

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