happy thanksgiving…

November 22, 2012

Feeling particularly full and happy this Thanksgiving morning…and so very grateful. It’s the kind of quiet, deep thanks where all is well in your heart.  Hope you have all you hold dear around you today and if not, that kindness finds you when you need it most.

Much love to you all…

what gratitude can hold…

November 21, 2012

It’s starting….the gratitude lists, the thankfulness trees, the season of giving. The time when we take stock of all that we have. When we weigh and score it, and go back to recognizing that our most basic needs are met.

We remind ourselves that we have food (even if it’s ramen noodles), and shelter (even if we always pay the rent late) and are healthy (or mostly healthy, except for that annoying eczema) and it’s true, it’s all so very true and good and important…

…but why is it that this time of year also reminds you of everything you don’t have and shows the craters in your heart that need filling more than you want to know.  Your awkward conversations with your family drive you to liquor up for the 48 hours ahead… or that you shopped at the thrift store of food, the grocery salvage….or that it feels like everyone is in love around you and ridiculously happy…or you want to have your old family together and wish you didn’t have to travel between parents and be with your annoying stepmom…or you just wish that you had a baby to pass around or sit on your hip as you make the green bean supreme and 100 other side dishes.

It feels as though Gratitude asks us to stuff that shit or put it down completely, be GRATEFUL, damn it…and you do, you are, because we want to grateful. …but I wonder if Gratitude never asked us to choose in the first place.

I wonder if she can hold both, because she is that deep, she is that strong, because she knows all of our heart….

I wonder if she is strong enough to hold:

your sadness that your mom isn’t here to cook with you

your clarity of all that matters to you even if it’s sort of messed up

your confusion over why your family is so hard to be with or not together at all

that one prayer your dad still makes everyone pray that means so much to him

your anger for that really old thing that is still wounding you

your souffle triumph

your longing for something more, something whole, a love you haven’t experienced yet

your crazy aunt with all the cats

your frustration that the effin’ turkey is dry every year and no one wants to dress up to come to the table

your deep wish to be in another place in your heart all together

your small moment of happiness when everyone is full and happy after the meal

your kids that can’t sit still and want to bring the DS to the dinner table

your exhaustion from trying to make things special, and will maybe never been seen or acknowledged

your hope that maybe some day, you will be okay on a holiday

your grief, your messy love, your trying


I wonder if we let her hold it, it will make space for all the good things we do not see or think we are supposed to see and feel…and maybe just maybe, they can rise and sit together. Side by side, our everything hard and good…and  maybe that will be okay.

…because sometimes, just okay is okay.

maybe then, we can breathe…and let her hold us too.

happy easter eve…

April 7, 2012

Happy Easter Eve friends (if you celebrate)…we had a glow-in-the dark Easter egg hunt tonight thanks to a  lovely idea off of Pinterest, because we know all roads lead to Pinterest.  The trick is just putting glow bracelets along with your treats in regular ole’ plastic eggs.

And just like that, the magic of the Secret Garden is back. There is nothing more magical than a garden at night with a little glow, the moon glow is the best but we’ll take this substitute this go around.

(very excited kids pre-hunt)

…more Easter goodness tomorrow, hope you all have a wonderful night.



I love to sing…I have just an okay singing voice but I don’t even care. When I was a little girl, I sang for hours with my my grandfather, mostly from old hymnals. I have spent days, maybe even years singing the Sound of Music, pretending to be Julie Andrews. If you invite me to a sing-a-long, I will just melt.

When I hear other ordinary voices of those who love to sing like me, I feel this sort of kinship…like we must be soul siblings. I felt this with my best friend, Jennifer Lemons, (a.k.a. The Checkout Girl) from the moment we met, even before our many shared obsessions were discovered.

And then she played the ukulele at her show…the everyman instrument…and all I could think about was what that did to my soul, the strumming, hearing her voice. I thought the whole thing was magic. I thought about it every day for a week.

at the end of the week, I got a text from Jen- I think we should go caroling, with the ukulele.

And that was it- it was all I have wanted to do, all Christmas season long.

Because Christmas is so hard for so many, (jen and I included)… it’s hard because everything, your whole life gets compared to something during this time, our memories are on the big screen, or you are stressed figuring out how it will all get done, or because you want to be close to someone, or hold tight to something during this time, you miss your family, or the idea of family, or your family is broken, because all the holes feel bigger, because you wish you had something to give the people you love, or you are aware just how broke you are, or you feel sort of desperate, or you are just trying to keep it all together, or trying to awkwardly love people by not being all of yourself, doing the family dysfunction dance, or are sort of lost or holding loss… and we do our damnedest to shake it…and I wish this wasn’t all true or I was just being dramatic, but I am not.

And we find our way through this season, we do. We see all the beauty we have, we try not to think about our pain and hardships, we give, find a way out of ourselves…we press on. But there is something real and true in simple things, and simple invitations of love, of old songs being sung to you.

So here is our offering of holiday love to you, especially to those who need some soul care right about now:  Jen and I, along with our ordinary voices and her magical ukulele would love to come to you, on your doorstep and sing to you.

(or maybe there is nothing heavy at all and you just love a good round of jingle bells- we’ll take that too!)

We will carol to the  first 8 friends from Richmond, Virginia that e-mail me at patience@kindnessgirl.com at an undisclosed time in the next 24 hours. I will let you know when our quota is filled! Don’t worry if you don’t live in RVA, there will be something for you too in the next few days!

Much love to you from Jen and I…all of you!