The Best Princess of Them All

Sleeping Beauty hit the big screen in 1959. Ariel swam along in 1989.

In between, there was only one princess in the world and she had cinnamon buns on the sides of her head.

I was 5 when Star Wars premiered. You know what I wanted for Christmas? A blaster. I was 12 for Return of the Jedi. It wasn’t until years later that I realized the bikini was a thing. All I knew was that she climbed up on that big bastard Jabba and sent him to hell.

Bad. Ass.

I wanted to be her with every fiber of my being. And it had not one thing to do with Han Solo. I wanted to lead a resistance, fly an X-wing fighter, rip a blaster out of my holster and defend my droids.

I SUPER wanted to ride those cool speeders through the forests of Endor, wiping troopers off on giant redwood trees while wearing a camo cape.

A camo cape. Think of all the things a camo cape can mean on the back of a bad ass princess.

I know that Carrie Fisher wasn’t Princess Leia. And I think that playing Leia cost Carrie something.

But I also think there was a lot of Carrie Fisher in Princess Leia and that if she hadn’t been such a brave young woman, my generation would have spent more time asking ourselves “Am I pretty??” instead of “How can I be an Imperial Senator when I turn 18?”

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”

Carrie Fisher



Life, Interrupted



How many times could that be the title that best describes our lives?


We’ve been interrupted. Not by anything particularly significant but by a series of things–the start of the school year, the change in weather (or not, in So Cal), a glitchy computer. We work hard to keep so many balls in the air that it’s hard to stop them all when one drops.

My writing dropped. But there were kids to pick up and events to volunteer for and a football season that isn’t quite going the way we expected, plus two-fifths of my family was in physical therapy twice a week at the same place, but of course not the same time.

So I didn’t have the balance to lean over and pick my writing up.

One day I was on the school’s website putting money in the kids’ lunch accounts and I saw the Jobs tab. I clicked it, for fun. There they were, a list of jobs I could do without having to plan a lesson or grade a paper. Hourly. Minimum wage. None of the responsibility but all the fun.

And I thought…Is it time?

This stay at home mom gig was never meant to be forever. Just a season. I had no idea how long the season would last, but in the last six months, I have felt a restlessness. Annie goes to full day Kindergarten next year. I know that I can keep the house and run the finely tuned engine that is our family schedule and still work at least part-time.

This was the question that interrupted me the most. It’s age-old, isn’t?

What am I doing?

I gave it my full attention. The Holy Spirit helped me out by crashing my laptop spectacularly last week. She didn’t send the Blue Screen of Death. No, no. My screen went RED. I don’t even know.

I couldn’t write, even if I wanted to. I had no idea how much noise my computer inserted into my daily life until there was only silence.

Into the silence came a decision to attend a conference and an invitation to a retreat. There was a friendship issue with Kate where the other mom and I have been able to have really good, supportive and thoughtful conversations about how to help our girls navigate their feelings. Shea and I talked about my going back to work and decided not yet, not until Annie is in full day school.

Something is happening though, swirling around my head and heart. The tide is turning, the season is changing. Something wonderful and inspiring this way comes.


In the meantime, I am still Here, rooted and growing.







The True Curse of Eve


Peri-menopause is when you haven’t had your period in so long that your Natural Family Planning app thinks you’re pregnant.

I’m not. My body temperature chart looks like a heart rate monitor: up, down, up, down. 44 days and counting. That’s nothing for me the last few years. I had a stretch from Thanksgiving to Easter with no visit from my good friend Lu. I finally went to the doctor because I was terrified to end up on a segment of “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant!”

And no period doesn’t mean no hormones. It doesn’t mean no cravings, no weepiness and no PMS. In fact, it means MORE cravings, weepiness and PMS.

Don’t ask for whom the bell tolls in my home right now—it tolls for you until further notice. The best bet is to stand still.

There are headaches. I refuse to call them migraines because I know some chronic migraine sufferers and this is nothing like that. More like a hangover without the wild night to show for it, or even one alcoholic drink.

And nausea, reminiscent of morning sickness. I have peed on pregnancy tests when my rational mind knows I am not pregnant but my first trimester PTSD is screaming “Holy Mother of God! Here we go again!!!”

It’s also hot flashes in the middle of the night in January. Last week it was 28 degrees outside and I was sleeping with the windows open and no covers. Sometimes I think I’m going to burn up into a tiny ball and frrrp! disappear.

It’s itchy skin. Mad, itchy skin. CRAZY ITCHY SKIN.

It’s repeat mammograms, which will take a few years off your life.

It’s gray hairs in the oddest places and less hair on the top of your head. Well, my head anyway. This is probably exacerbated by my thyroid issues, but hair loss is a symptom of menopause so I can’t offer any real hope on this one.

It’s brain fog so thick that reasonable conversations are almost impossible. I used to wonder about women who talked with their hands. But now I know that talking with your hands is a menopause coping skill. It invites others to supply the missing words in your sentence, like a giant social game of $100,000 Pyramid–everyone ends up red-faced and screaming, but all you have to show for it is a lousy finished sentence.

When my mom made this journey, I was a late teenager. Made for some interesting moments in our home.

My girls are young still and my fervent prayer is that I complete my trip on the hormonal rollercoaster before they get on.

Otherwise, to paraphrase Betty Davis: buckle up—it’s going to be a bumpy ride.