Lily Jade + Weekend Links

October 2, 2015


My very first adult lady bag arrived a few weeks ago right before we left for Maine, giving me nine whole hours to organize and smell the interior. I forgot it converted to a backpack until I actually went to use it and I haven’t used it any other way since.



One of my favorite things about adulthood is that when one of your friends buys something great, it’s totally sane and acceptable to go and buy the same thing. My friend Bethany got this bag last year (and could not stop talking about it for the love), prompting my friend Mo to get the same one, my friend Heather to get this buttery gem, and me to pick out this beauty. When we get together, it’s like Lily Jade threw a party and we just happened to stop by.



It’s not just a diaper bag either. If you don’t have kids or are past that stage in your life, it is a great bag for everyday life or to possibly look smart and mature on a plane.


Add it to your Christmas wishlist and thank me later.


PS: The Sanitized Stories We Tell + Rereading This + Growing Up Unvaccinated + Four Words + Why Time Is A Feminist Issue

Have a great weekend!


On Writing Books And Sending Your One-Year-Old To School

October 1, 2015


I’m sending my one-year-old to school today. She’ll be joining the 2’s class, where she will be the baby of the classroom–unable to sit still or stay quiet or resist ripping off her diaper “for fun.” Bless you, preschool teachers. You have a special place in heaven next to the cheese bar.


This plan was unexpected. The teachers came to us, and at first I said no until I realized a whole morning off to write would be gold if gold was financially worthless but emotionally thrilling.

I started drafting a few more paragraphs explaining myself and our reasons for sending her, but deleted them all because honey, I’m the mom and she’s going to love it.


In the meantime, I’ll be here plugging away. This blog is no longer my first priority as I’m in the middle of writing two books, but it is still a great place to post life events, the occasional essay, or fun things from the Internet. Those Friday links used to really bog me down, but now those kinds of light posts are a happy place where I don’t have to think about where the next sentence will come from. Who would have thought curating silly tweets or finding noteworthy links to read would become a relaxing pastime. Instagram and Snapchat (for the most part) are fun too. Feel free to block me.

As always, thanks for reading.


Curated Tweets [Volume 5]

September 30, 2015

LolKnow your car’s warning lights and save lives! [source]

How To Read Books And Neglect Your Family

September 28, 2015


Every week or so, someone asks me how I have time to read all those books while also being a wife and mother to two young children. It’s a valid question, considering most people have better things to do than speed read celebrity memoirs and young adult thrillers. My standard answer is usually pretty tongue-in-cheek. For example, “You should see my dishes!” or “I just don’t parent my children!”

It is not the whole story, but it’s not exactly a lie either. I absolutely neglect my dishes and ignore my kids for the sake of reading, but there’s more to it than that. But before I answer how I do it, let me tell you why.

Just like every other unathletic millennial girl, I’ve been reading under the covers until 2am since 1995 when Stacey McGill got diabetes in The Babysitter’s Club. For as long as I can remember, reading has been both an escape and joy. It’s also become a habit and discipline. Any writer knows that in order to write anything, you have to read everything. In an interview last year, the Portuguese Nobel prize winner Jose Saramago was asked about his daily writing routine. His answer was, “I write two pages. And then I read and read and read.”

So that’s why. Here’s how.

I just do it. Not every day, not every week, not when the kids are sick or I’m in the middle of projects–but most of the time I simply make the time to read. My house is rarely clean because I don’t consider being a housewife my job. Mothering, yes. Loving my children and helping them grow up, of course. But the laundry? The dishes? The piles of unopened mail and old magazines? That is not part of my job description. I help take care of those things because I live here, but I’m not putting it on my resume because most of the time everything is messy and I wait for Austin to be home so we can work on it together.

Mother first. Writer second. The rest is relationships and occasionally taking out the trash. Whenever I see friends and family who find joy in cooking or general housewifery (and househusbandry!), I think– Atta girl! Please invite me over for your casserole. I will never be that woman. I will always push aside housework and complicated recipes for reading or writing or lying on the floor while the kids try to scratch my eyes out.

Speaking of the kids, I will also always be the mom who says, “This is Mommy’s time!” or “I’m reading, please stop poking me with that fork” because 1) There are only so many minutes in a day I can play dinosaur tea party and 2) Monkey see, monkey do. And if my monkeys turn out to be readers who sometimes neglect their chores to finish the last few chapters, I will consider that a pretty big win.


Residency: Chapter One (We’re Fine)

September 23, 2015


Whenever someone asks how residency is going, I just throw my shoulders up in casual despondency because a) I don’t really know and b) it’s easier than maneuvering an adult conversation on student loans. The same goes for questions about potty training, book deals, baby weight, and monochromatic nail art. I’m an expert shrugger. Put that on my résumé.

This week Austin started two more weeks of night shift which would be fine if night shift didn’t turn me into a sea witch who texts, “I think I should go back to grad school” at 2am. I guess if we’ve learned anything over these past three months, it’s that we are still learning how to do this and that nights apart are the worst. Silver lining: Netflix! Take-out dinners! Manically ordering area rugs online!


There are good rotations, too. Ones where he’s home for dinner and I’m free to pursue my dream of eating a Panera sandwich alone. Mostly I live my life in tiny blocks of time; two good weeks here, four bad weeks there. Oh look, a whole weekend! Ask me on a good day and this is really no different than any other 9-5 job minus the hours of studying and crippling debt.

It’s really fine.

What surprises me the most is how easily we’ve fallen into a new rhythm. There I was, so afraid of changing our fragile little life, but as it turns out–we’re as flexible as Kim Kardashian’s vacation schedule. We can make it work.

Last night I took the kids to the library to blow off some steam despite rumors that libraries are for reading. Austin was working, and without him the evening hours stretch out longer than a bad episode of Gilmore Girls. As the kids read quietly/reenacted scenes from Gladiator, I made small talk with a dad in cargo shorts who said, “I just don’t know how you do it. I really don’t.”

I could only shrug.

We’re doing it, just like you and them and everyone else. One shrug at a time.