Amid being buried in finals (14 page final-paper due tomorrow), juggling the kids (Bean proclaimed proudly that he was bad in church Sunday), and being excited for that book I may have mentioned coming out later this month (still no exact date or linkage yet, alas) I’m also pondering a little housekeeping here at Dandelion (rapidly bearing down on a million visitors- CRAZY!).
This blog has been a godsend to me in countless ways over the five and a half years I’ve been writing- ways I never could have foreseen or imagined. Friends and loved ones have come into my life through this thoroughly modern medium, opportunities and projects and chances to share have opened up, and surely my sanity was quite literally saved by the support given to me during the immolation of the life I thought was mine. Who knew that was gonna happen?
Much to my constant amazement, this little project just keeps growing. There are periods of rich output with substantial blossoms of words, and weeks where the fields lie fallow and I struggle to dig up simple sentences. But maybe naming it Dandelion was more than happenstance, because even during the neglect brought on by crazy life and school and all the crap the universe can throw at me, it just keeps flowering.
Today, I find myself wanting to know about you- who you are, why you find time in your own busy lives to read about the insanity that is mine. Part of me thinks it might be like watching a trainwreck- one can’t look away and simply has to see the next spectacular car go off the rails. And yet, there are thousands of you who evidently find something of value in what I contribute to the collective universe- and this astonishes me.
So…tell me about yourself. Tell me about your life, and why you take a few minutes to come and read about mine. Dish, mamas. I wanna know.
85 thoughts on “Come Tell Mama”
Hi! I am Kermit, and my (neglected) blog has had maybe 7,000 visits in 5.5 years.
I am friends IRL with HSF; she moved in next door as a newlywed while we were all in our student housing years. She and I luuuuurve you.
I think I read you here before reading you on MMW but the reverse could be true. You were still happily married when I found you, and Abby was not here yet. In fact, you may remember me if I say “birth ball, bounce bounce bounce.” I will be bouncing my fifth and last into the world next month.
I kept reading you because you write simply, have lovely turns of phrase, and manage to draw in your audience. You are adept at showing, not telling, and I feel enriched by your writing.
As a convert of 13 years myself, I also feel connected to you that way.
I admire the way you are handling the fire that is refining you, but I also find you are still approachable and real, and not someone to put on a pedestal.
I found you from MMW and I cried the first time I read a post you wrote about Bean and all that he is and does and loves. It was so affirming to have someone write about what life is like with a child on the spectrum. I have two boys on the spectrum one about Bean’s age and a 3 year old. I struggle because nobody in my Ward, neighborhood, school seems to understand or get it. But you do! And you are so honestly real in sharing your journey, struggles, faith…that’s why I read you…..
I found you through mormonmommywars, which I’ve been reading for several years now. I’m 25, have 3 boys (4 and under) and am LDS.
I do nothing but preschoolers right now, and being a wife and mom. My husband is working on a PhD, and he has a potentially life-ending illness that causes chronic pain and other difficulties.
I think I feel a connection to you because my oldest sister is is a single-mom, divorced from a man who is absolutely certifiably crazy. And a number of unmentionable words. I’ve seen the struggles, and I like to think I can root for you, in keeping your family safe and giving life and your kids what you’ve got. I admire your courage.
I also admire your creativity. I’m about as “creative” or “artsy” as a blank piece of paper.
I think you’re cool. Just so you know.
I come becasue I love how honest you are in your struggles and becasue I too am a Mormon Mother of three going through a divorce (which should be final any moment now).
I’m a month shy of 40, mother of 2 boys (4 & 1). I’m Canadian but met my kiwi DH while living in England. We moved to New Zealand and lived there for 4 years (both boys were born there). Just over a year ago the boys and I moved back to Canada to get support from my parents while DH worked hard setting up a business with his brother in England. He would come and visit for a week every 7 weeks but we’ve been fortunate to have him staying with us for the past 4 months. However, in about a month he’ll be flying out to the Philippines to step up the business so we won’t see him for quite a few months 😦 That was a hard decision to make and neither of us want the separation but we know it’s the right thing to do.
I’ve been reading you for quite a few years, found you through MMW. You never cease to amaze and inspire me, not to mention making me giggle every now and then. I wish I could express myself like you. You are a tremendously strong woman who gives me hope.
I have been reading you for a long time…it started sometime when you were still pregnant with Abby. I remember being aghast at how much puking you did while pregnant!! When I found you (perhaps through a link on a feminist blog of some sort, as I was really dedicated to reading those at the time), I was single, living in the US, working and really had nothing in common with you. I moved back to Canada (home), found a new job, got married and still have no kids. I am now 32. I am not Mormon. I wouldn’t say I have a strong faith and rarely attend church, although am a bit jealous of the community your church/faith seems to encourage and expect. Our lives are very different, but somehow you still resonate with me. I’ve cried reading your blog, and I’ve laughed. I’ve lurked for a long time (only delurking once in the past). I think you remind me of my good friend Beth. Somehow grounded and present in the everyday, even though there have been a lot of struggles for you. You are still, in general, positive about what has occurred in your life and what is to come. You can make something out of nothing (your artwork is beautiful), and you are doing this at whatever time it seems to strike you. You write more beautifully than I could ever, and I like to listen to your point of view.
I will continue to lurk/visit. I can’t wait to hear about your future successes!
I’m neither a mother nor a mormon nor an American, but I stumbled on your blog, and have been following you since pre-Abby (while I was still in high school) and you feel like a long-lost aunt to me. Hugs!
I came once because you said something engaging on MMW about pregnancy, and I was newly pregnant for the first time. That was 2006. I kept coming because I loved (and love) your voice and the way you interact with your vivacious kiddos. My husband has red hair, and I was having a boy. I figured I needed some coping mechanisms for red heads. 🙂 I’ve since found my faith strengthened by the divine mercy and human kindnesses you describe. Now I’m a mom of 2 red headed boys, 1 and 4. I’m in grad school. It’s harder than my last round of grad school, when I was single and not a mom. It’s tough, but I love the mental challenges. Love and prayers from Boston.
I found you when I started blogging a little over 5 years ago. I was still brand new and followed some links on Kermit’s ^ blog. Somehow through a web of linking I came across your blog which was still new-ish and have been hooked ever since. Part of it may have been because we were both miserably pregnant at the time. I love how real you are and I appreciate how well you write. Your awesome recipes don’t hurt either.
I’m a mom still stuck in the trenches of toddlerdom. I’m still discovering things I like to do and wishing I had funds to learn more about them and time to really work on and develop them. Reading you inspires me to be better while accepting myself. Love you, Tracy.
I was referred to your blog through contact with another blogger- who I reached out to in hopes of finding some hope or distraction. Last year my life took many rapid unexpected turns that were quite shocking. I don’t struggle with the same issues or pains that you do exactly- but I’m left being the single LDS mom to 2 great kids and find that I must be “it”- financial, spiritual, emotional. Their father is still very involved in their life, we are on good terms- but he has chosen another way that does not include his family, that is what I consider a very alternative path and it has left much destruction and devastation in a very short period of time. I never saw it coming. I enjoy your words. I am also a SLP- so I enjoy hearing about your life with your kids, but especially your struggle with having someone you love have Autism. I have watched you grow through your own pain and it has been a tremendous support for me. I’m not quite in the same place- Ug, at this point, I just wish my life wasn’t the hot topic of conversation- I’m sure you can relate. That is the new hurdle I’m dealing with- sooner than I wanted.
I found your blog from a friend who read a post you wrote about your divorce and thought of me. My own marriage was in peril at that point and it was eye-opening to read about your experience, compare it to my own and wonder what lay ahead for me.
More than a year later, I am now officially a divorced, single mom of two. I appreciate your honesty in sharing what your daily life is like–both your challenges and your triumphs. I read with interest your post a few days ago where you mentioned your forays into dating as these are issues that are now starting to appear in my own life. These are the things that keep me coming back here.
I read your blog, which I found by reading MMW, because your writing is terrific. I am drawn to writing that pulls me in. Also, I have a son with Asperger’s Syndrome – mild, but still, it impacts every part of my life, really. So, it’s nice to read some of your stories about Bean, which have made me both laugh and cry. Thanks.
About me: I am a convert who was raised by a an-ex Southern Baptist socialist hippie in Davis. Then I married a life-long bircher. (Yes, I do really hate politics now.) I’ve got six kids (one of whom is PDD-NOS, we think). I love honesty and loyalty. Hate bullies. Like to garden. Like to read. Like to teach. I write. I like to bake, but not to cook. I’ve been known to attend friend’s labors as a doula. Four of my monkeys were born at home. I homeschool the kids, most of the time. Organization is not my thing.
About you: I think I remember you first telling someone to put a sock in it over at By Common Consent, then I wandered over to MMW and got to know you there. Then I migrated to here and Mo’s place. I just like you guys. Honest, real, good-hearted, talented. What’s not to like?
I’m Pepper of Absolutely Plum. I’m a avid reader and a sometimes writer the wife of an artist and mother to a son 4 years and a daughter 2 years. I started following you years ago when you were pregnant with Abby. I was instantly so worried about you in that difficult pregnancy I couldn’t stop following, I actually cried a little when you had her and could eat again. I live in San Francisco and I struggle a lot financially and live in a tiny tiny space so I relate to your downsize and money posts. And I love your craziness of motherhood posts, very easy to relate. I dream of returning to school one day for my masters and am so impressed with you schooling it on your own with three babies. Your life is inspiring and you have such a talent for connecting to the world and to all of us through your writing. I’ve cried and laughed multiple times over the years reading your blog. I find it so amazing and miraculous that strangers can feel like (and actually become) friends through the blog world. I just think you are fantastic. Also I love the recipes.
This is so very exciting for me to be reading all of these!! Some of you I know already (and read!) and some of you are new faces and voices to me. Thank you! Keep them coming- I’m loving reading about each of you.
I think I came here via MMW or the bloggernacle somehow–while you were pregnant with Abby. I stayed because you write so beautifully and so honestly that I feel like I know you. (Which is a slightly stalker-ish thing to say.)
When a newly-single mom with three kids (two boys, one girl) moved into our ward, I turned to your blog and experiences to find ways to support her the way your amazing ward has supported you.
My little brother and my little sister both have sons with autism–your posts about Bean help me understand a little of what they deal with, and help me interact with their boys.
You make me laugh.
I am a stay-at-home momma with five kids in just under seven years, no multiples. It’s nice to have friends inside the computer, because sometimes there’s just no leaving the house.
I think I first found your blog through By Common Consent, but I also felt like I really ‘met’ you through an article in Sunstone a while back. I think we also actually met in person one time at Sunstone in Seattle. I have three kids and I work part-time teaching English at a local college. I’ve been blogging for almost six years now (that feels like a long time). I just love your writing and love reading your posts. My life lately has also taken some turns that make your blog much more important to me (can’t say a lot about that publicly yet).
I found you on some contraband google search while I should have been working shortly after I found out I was pregnant with Sir O (I think). Well over 5 years ago.
It didn’t take very long for me to consider you my friend. And once I decide someone is my friend, I’m pretty tenacious about it.
HSF and I have yet to meet you in person, but we met each other in person thanks to you and your beautiful blog!
I’m currently a SAHM of two tiny humans. In a past life (aka before getting pregnant with my first)I worked with mentally ill people who struggled with violence.
You and I have little in common. But, I just love to read your blog. I admire the fact that nothing keeps you down for long. You get knocked down and then you get right back up and fight harder. I love it.
There is intense beauty in resilience. You have it in spades.
I came to you through MMW. I often read you in awe, how you carry on despite such difficulties. Your way with words is simply beautiful and inspiring.
I am LDS, mother of 6, BYU grad, Primary President, returned missionary (Ecuador), blog stalker extraordinaire. I’m tall, flat chested (haha) and rapidly losing my brown hair to grey. Boo.
I don’t like cheese that much, can I still read your blog? 🙂
Can’t really recall how I came upon your blog – it has been 3 or 4 years ago probably. Sounds like I’m older than your readers that have responded thus far – my 4 kids are all grown and on their own. I’ve enjoyed your writing and loved to see your talents – painting, sewing, cooking. I’ve been sad to read of your trials and happy to read of your triumphs. I check in every couple of days to see what’s new in your world.
I feel like I’ve known you for ages, Tracy M. I don’t remember how I found you (possibly MMW), but I do remember rejoicing when you were pregnant with Abby, and marveling that you survived all the puking. I’ve definitely learned that you are a survivor! I’m in my upper 30s, I’m a mom (3 kids) and violin teacher, and my husband is just finishing grad school. We were in SoCal for 8 years and just moved to Texas, where we LOVE living in a house with a yard.
Like so many commenters above me, I found you through Mormom Mommy Wars. I’m pretty sure I’ve never commented on here before. “Blog stalker” is such an ugly title.
I love your writing and your thought. I am drawn to women who don’t check their brains at the door the day they become mothers… every conversation turning to the mundane of feeding schedules and weekly deals at Safeway. You have a lovely way of crafting words, and I enjoy reading your thoughts on life.
I come because you’re inspiring. I love you outlook. I’ve been reading for a few years now.
I’m a mother (of 3) and I live in the NW too.
I can not even remember how I found you. But I do remember that I immediatley felt coneected to you and wished I wasn’t several time zones away in a tiny town in the Allegheny National Forest. I would love to be your neighbor.
I too have 3 children 2 boys and 1 girl. My middle child has an autism diagnosis and I can totally relate to the meltdown nadness and cheered when progress has been made. My son is now 13 1/2 and while we stillhave a long way to go he has come so far I am a very proud Mama.
My oldest is 16 and and nothing can quite prepare us for the teenaage years except perphaps large doses of valium or xanax or …In seeing the pictures of your Abby I wonder if somewhere we are are not distant cousins my girl is blessed with the same adorable cheeks that need a good kissing every now and again. I am LDS but am struggling with my faith I converted 20 years ago as a newlywed and find that now in my forties and after experienceing a serious health crisis last fall I am just not finding the peace I once did in my faith.
And last but not least you inspire me with your dedication to finsihing your education that is next on my list I currently work to support families of children with special needs and disabilities but find that I want to work with these wonderful children. So Thank you for sharing the good, bad and the sometimes craziness of your life.
wishing you and your family all the best
I found you through MMW.
I came about a year before your divorce. Your writing style speaks to me. You state things as you see them and I can tell that you are who you are no matter where you are. I am much the same. I have to say that it’s difficult to find folks who are the same person no matter who they are around. I think that might be why I’ve kept up with your blog. Because you are a real person struggling to make it all work out just like everyone else and you don’t seek to show only the pretty/ perfect/ sanitized parts. That said, you are such a positive and mindful person that I envy the folks in your ward. Our ward is falling apart. It is cold and gossiping. And dwindling as people leave to find friendlier places to be in other wards. My husband and I do our best to heal the gaping wounds in our friends and ourselves that our ward has caused, and spread acceptance and genuine friendship. We’re fighting a loosing battle. I guess it’s just nice to see that somewhere out there there are Saints that are like us. Just doing their best. Trying hard to make it all work even though the ground keeps shifting under us.
I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a jerk but you’re one of the few Mormon-esque blogs I can stomach. Please take this as a compliment. I’m (happily) out of Mormonism now but I still enjoy hearing about your life and your triumphs, despite the challenges.
I’m a 40 year old mom/school teacher, living in Utah, trying to live as authentically as possible.
I think I found you first through Segullah. I always say that a story well told is a story well told. With a simple power to engage and lift and teach regardless of our connection to the characters. My life is very different from yours, but that does not keep your story, which is very well told, from touching my heart often. Thank you for that.
I don’t know how I originally found your blog. I have only commented a couple of times. I do remember that one of the first things that I was impressed by was your artistic capabilities. I recall a couple of your paintings that I wished I could have in my home. I have read your blog for few years. Your writing is inspiring. I am a SAHM living in Idaho and have 4 kids.
I am a red-head mother of two, married for four years, BA in English from BYU, love reading, want to love cheese with your passion (but am scared to try new ones… what if I hate it?!), enjoy cooking and baking but hate to clean up. My boys are full of energy and someday I’ll get enough sleep to keep up with them (I am praying hard for this one). My parents are going through a messy divorce. And to keep me on my toes, I just got called to serve in the RS presidency. I love art, particularly Rothko and Manet and Monet, and I think you should start up your little store again because I would love a new diaperbag.
Well I have absolutely no idea how I found your blog. Segullah link? I don’t know. But I just love to read it. It helps me see a little of what my mom is going through, as well as some dear friends, and allows me to receive insight on what to say and how to be helpful. Words are a delight to consume when you piece them together. Thank you for that. It is through you and a couple of other people that I have learned that I too can do hard things. That if I don’t get it right today, I can tomorrow. And that it’s ok to be really sad when a friend moves away – I don’t have to hide my feelings about it.
I can’t remember if it was through Segullah or MMW that I found you. It was a lot of years ago. Your ability to be creative while being a stay at home mom (and Mormon) attracted me to you. Being a stay at home mom is a rare thing where I live, it gets lonely. You’re like a playgroup friend – religion and kids enable us to connect but really what I’m interested in is who you are.
I like to read novels that are epic, showing the development of characters over a long period of time and through great struggles. It seems like reading your blog has turned into that type of fascination for me. Don’t get me wrong, I know you are real, that makes it all the more engrossing. You are strong and soft, creative and independent. You aren’t a caricature, you aren’t pretending to be something you’re not, and you aren’t unloading your crap everyday – you find a balance. Part of what amazes me about your writing is the reality of it while still keeping my interest. No dumb cliffhangers or giveaways either, love that.
What I want to know is how do you draw the line between private and blogworthy in your life?
I’m Bek’s little sister and I found your blog through hers way back when. I read because I admire your honesty, strength and mama-style. I love how you write about the good and the bad.
I’m a new SAHM with three kids (I was just laid off a month ago and I’m hoping the transition will be permanent IF my student-husband can find a job in the next month). I enjoy your perspective because it feels “real”- you obviously love your children and being a mom, but you aren’t afraid to show that you don’t have all the answers and that it is a hard job dangit!
I am a Mormon mom of five kids 1-8. On good days I like cooking, reading, gardens, sunshine, sewing, learning, and math. On bad days, I wish I knew how to have more good days.
My husband found Times and Seasons in grad school and showed me MMW. I know I had found you by Abby’s pregnancy. I was so glad when she was born and you could stop being so sick. You and Heather O have been links to the outside world through four moves, at least three babies, and too many ups and downs to count. I appreciate your honesty, your faith, and your example. Watching you pick yourself up helps me find the strength to do the same. Hearing your honest pain helps me acknowledge my own. Seeing the beauty that is coming from the ashes gives me hope that my own ashes might not be for nothing.
I like your recipes, your kids’ antics, your thoughts and experiences, and the window you give me into a life that is not mine. You teach me to be more compassionate, more kind, and to take control of my life. Thank you.
Long time reader, first time commenter! I discovered Tracy M on MMW. I became particularly interested in your story when your then-husband lost his job. My family was going through our own economic problems at the time and I was fascinated by how your handled that trial with faith, dignity and honesty. I am a 33 yr old married mom of three. Arizona Mormon. The things I love about your blog: your honesty, your writing style, your story. Whenever you are down you always end your posts with a reaffirming mantra, like “I can do hard things,” or something that shows you aren’t going down without a fight. I like that you aren’t afraid to speak of your successes, at the gym or in school. You aren’t a braggart, just sure of yourself and who you are. I’ve always wanted to write in a cheesy comment telling you how much I admire you and here’s my big chance: You are great Tracy M! Thanks for writing and telling.
Thanks for the opportunity to tell Mama how much I appreciate her and why I read DM.
I first read you because of Ray. He shared multiple posts from BCC and MMW with me, and I followed you here to Dandelion Mama. This post about fears – http://bycommonconsent.com/2007/10/19/fears/ – is one of your articles I read early on when I started blogging myself, and it was so simple yet profound that I linked it on my own blog.
I continue to read because you are real. You are courageous enough to share the gut-wrenching pain of your life, but also objective enough to see the transcending beauty that is your life. I envy (in a good way) your way with words, and your ability to garner nuggets of wisdom from your experiences. You are elegant, in writing and in character. You help me appreciate my life. You have helped me learn how to share my pain and my joy with others, and not to fear vulnerability and challenges.
I am LDS, married to the man of my dreams, have 6 kids ages 22-8, work part-time, and struggle to balance and find energy to do what is expected of me. I am also continuing to emerge from 5.5 years of my own version of hell – multiple job losses, guardianship of a family friend, other “foster” type situations, moving away from our beloved Home (not near family, incidently), depression, among many other situations.
Tracy, you have helped me learn how to ask for help when needed, how to stand on my own feet when necessary, and how to face my own trials with grace and faith. You have unknowingly been an additional support system when I desperately needed all the emotional help I could get.
If I have a day with limited computer time, I go to my blog, Ray’s blog, and yours – and consider my day complete. I admire you, Tracy, and meeting you in person is on my bucket list… 🙂
I have been reading your blog since you were pukingly pregnant with Abby.(while I was nursing my last new baby) I have continued to read ever since. I admire you. You keep plugging away, even when it is so hard. You make me laugh. You make me cry.
I am the mother of 8 who has been home with them for twenty four years. Among my eight I have a child on a mission, a child in the armed services overseas, and a daughter who has Down syndrome. My youngest starts school in the fall and I have been spending time wondering about my future, what do I want to do? So many possiblities before me! I have read about your return to school with great interest. It is something I have wanted to do for so long and I wonder if I can do it as well as you have.
Thanks for sharing your life.
I think I found you through BCC, but I really don’t remember. I admire your strength and your determination. When my life gets crazy hard with school work and kids and house work I always think of you and realize that I can get through it. I even caught myself giggling the other day when I overheard my son saying “crap” instead of getting after him. 🙂 Thank you for that. Oh, and we all love your buttermilk syrup recipe. My kids were bragging to their cousins last week that I make the best pancakes in the wide world. All because of that syrup.
I live in Olympia and have three grown children. Two of which live far away. My daughter lives in Wisconsin and my oldest son lives in New York. My second son lives in Olympia. I am soon to be grandma, my son and daughter in law in New York are having a baby next month! (making a baby quilt for her) I have been reading your blog for about two years. I love the way you write. Even though we don’t have much of anything in common I enjoy reading what you have written. I admire your strong faith and character! I love reading different “Mom blogs”, wish they would have been around when I was a young mother!
I have been lurking here since Abby was Maybe and I had 2 little boys and a baby girl of my own. A couple years ago, my free time took a serious hit and I decided to delete all blogs on my reader that weren’t family. But I just couldn’t delete yours! I so enjoy your writing. You are funny and smart and amazingly talented. You write about your challenges, and while my trials are different, I find myself thinking, “If Tracey can get through her day, I can get through mine.” So thank you. Please keep writing. It helps me and obviously so many other women!
no idea how i found your blog. i come back because it reminds me somewhat of my own upbringing…except that my mom wasn’t fun. she did go back to school after a nasty breakup from my dad but she brought it on herself….long story, not important.
i really enjoy your writing. i love hearing about your kids and admire your determination to better yourself.
i’m a 46 year old mother of two daughters; one just about flunking out of college and the other a 10th grader. i work in research finance (boring but pays well), married (happily!!!) for nearly 20 years. we live in southern california. i’m LDS, my husband is not. we have an annoying old man cat. we like to ride ATVs and dirt bikes. i ride my bike to work almost every day. i don’t cook but i do make jams and applesauce.
Started reading here because of your posts on MMW. I like reading your blog because you are an artist: with words, paint, fabric, food, and the extremities of life, you create beauty. I’ve been reading for a while, a couple of years, perhaps.
I’m a married Mormon mom of two little boys with twins on the way, which is both exciting and terrifying. I’m still in the first trimester and am struggling with exhaustion and queasiness and kids who need a lot of love and caring for still. I am looking forward to the eventual day when I will have no more diapers to change and my kids are all capable of running to the bathroom to puke when they’re sick. I live in AZ, where I live the lack of winter and dislike the extreme heat of the summer. Someday I hope to dive back in to learning to paint, along with all the other creative pursuits I’m interested in trying. I love to crochet and am trying to learn to knit. My brain reacts poorly to the hormones of pregnancy and nursing and life gets fairly foggy and lazy and I don’t do much of anything other than growing little people currently. But you’ve got me convinced that once I’m past the stage of tiny tiny people, I will once again be able to return to being me, in addition to being Mommy.
I started reading you on Mormon Mommy Wars, which I actually haven’t read in quite some time, but I continue to follow you.
I think I follow you because you’re such a beautiful person. Your family is beautiful, and your faith is beautiful, and in reading about your strength, I find a little in myself, even when you feel like you have none left.
I am amazed by your strength, and galvanized by your honesty. How much you manage even though it might feel impossible. I am constantly thinking things are impossible, and you help me think… maybe they might not be.
Also, I’m a beginning runner myself, my first half marathon is next month, eek! When I read that you were planning on running one too, I got ridiculously excited. Like that makes us even closer to being friends or something:)
I wish happiness and peace for you and your sweet family.
Hi, I’m Julie. I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’ve been reading your blog for about five and a half years now. I started reading your blog when you were pregnant with Abby and I was pregnant with my now-five-year-old, Justin. (He was born on March 14, the seventh of eight children.) I felt some connection with you because of that, and because I am also LDS. I kept reading because you are a fantastic writer! Your wording is engaging, often funny, and beautiful. I’ve always been interested in your artwork and things you create. You are amazingly talented. I dabble a bit in artwork myself when I have time. I admire your commitment to your family and to your faith, and to your education. It’s really cool that you’re working so hard at it, and doing so well. I always want to know how you’re doing. I want to hear about the kids. All in all, you write a great blog and I’m a fan. 🙂
I don’t remember when or how I started reading you, but it was around your separation (and mine). I’m probably your age, have a 3.5 yr-old boy, and live in Canada. I went back to school around the time you did, for art therapy, and I’m still working on that.
Your entries have made me laugh, cry or grow taller in myriad ways. Your bluntness and honesty, and the unapologetic joy you find in everyday things (inc. lipgloss) opened a window for me. Who knew it was OK to cry out your pain and your pleasure in equal measures? Reading about your life made it so I gave myself permission to feel angry, sad, lonely and also unspeakably joyous and blessed.
It’s bizarre that we’re all of us connected this way now. I can never calculate how much it’s helped, to learn about someone’s life this way. I’d guess immeasurably.
I have no idea how I stumbled across your blog, considering that I am not a mama, not a wife (ex or otherwise) and not a Mormon, but I’ve read you for years. I like your creativity, and love of cheese hahaha. I work with a lot of parents that don’t try much, and it’s a pleasure to read a blog of a mother who works very, very hard to ensure that her kids are good ones.
I found you through MMW. When I started reading we had just put our papers in for adoption and I was wondering what life would be like with kids. A few years later our sweet daughter arrived, but at only three months old, we had to begin chemo for her. Chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, heart attack, over 100 blood transfusions, cold agglutination, and a million other things later she’s doing very well and we are thrilled. It’s been a long road. I’ve kept reading your blog this whole time (even while in the PICU) because it drew me out of my pain. I ached and prayed for you, your raw, real language echoed my own hurt. Although our situations were so different, we both were clinging to our faith as best we could while the world around us shattered. Somehow that was more comforting than reading a blog of hearts and roses.
I have been reading you for a long time. I don’t even remember where I happened upon you. So thankful that I did. Your friendship, though we have never met, has been a life saver.
Let’s see…I was born and raised in Alaska. Met my husband at Utah State University. And since getting married we have lived all over the world. Right now he is overseas and I am in Alaska.
We have 3 rugrats who are exhausting me, and I would sell them to the gypsies for a day, but only a day. They just miss their Daddy, as do I. This single momminess is overrated. As you can attest.
And life is just a bit overwhelming for me currently, but I figure I will keep my head above water and keep floating along…
And I read you because I cherish your dear friendship, your resilience, and honesty. Your ability to write and express yourself I admire.
I come here because you write so well it hurts. There’s a lot of blogs I could read if I was simply interested in following a “train wreck” as you put it, but I keep coming back because no matter how hard you fall you always spring back up. You keep hope alive for other people by articulating your truth in words we can identify with but don’t know how to articulate ourselves, and above all else I keep checking in because you’re future is blindingly bright and I want to see where it takes you.
You are a gifted writer.
Sure, the facts of your life story are compelling, and yes, I do worry about you if there are no posts for a few days, and no, I don’t know you. Yes, a wee bit of stalkerishness going on here. Well, I feel like I know you and it would be quite nice if you knew me too. We would be fabulous friends.
But see, there are plenty of other people who blog their compelling life stories, and I might follow them for a few weeks, but bad writing is hard to stomach, no matter how interesting the subject matter.
Your blog? You can write about nothing and I’ll read it.
Me? I’m 38, married, and I have one fifteen-year-old daughter. Teaching piano consumes most of my time, but that will all change this fall when I heed the call to return to school. I’m also a mormon.
Carrie, 42, mom of 4 kids. The Love Magnet has Down syndrome and Thirdborn has dyslexia, dysgraphia, and Audio Processing Disorder so I can relate to some of your challenges with Bean and balancing his needs with your other kids. Many times have my older two been upset thinking I give more time/resources to the younger two. I’m graduating with my BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May. That education journey with kids has been exhausting and fulfilling at the same time. It has been good for the kids to see mama do something by herself. Wondering if I’ll make it into grad school this year or not. Hoping. Married to Mr. Wonderful. Lover of all things cheeeeeese (say it like Wallace).
I found you on either MMW or Segullah years ago and fell in love with your honesty. I feel like you are a kindred spirit, foodie and all.
I am the lady who wrote to you last year, telling you that I struggled mightily with my interest in the LDS church. I felt a (virtual) connection with you because like you, I am from Nor Cal and have lived a rather crunchy and, well, non-religious life.
I have finally come to a secure place with all that. I feel comfortable and happy outside of the church and my oddly intense interest has finally, and thankfully, died down to a place where I check in on my favorite LDS blogs from time to time (yours included), but life has moved on and I am happy.
Anyhow, I read your blog not as a voyeur, although technically that’s what a lot of us “lurkers” do (although I DO occasionally comment) but really, I just happen to appreciate the way you write. What ever it is, you have the “it” that keeps me coming back. I also enjoy your recipes and envy your sewing skills to a spectacular degree. It’s also quite inspiring and hope-inducing to watch you point out your blessings among the real-life challenges you face. You put a much-needed new and honest face on Mormon womanhood. In my years of looking into the religion and culture, I have found there to be much emphasis on “perfection” ~ always happy, always smiling, never complaining, no worries! And while I do think there is real value in trying to turn things around and be positive, I think it can also make some feel like if they feel any other way than blissful then they’re not a good Mormon/person/mother etc. That’s not to say that you’re not lovely, because you are, but you are refreshingly candid about your trials and thoughts and feelings and I really appreciate that.
So, thank you. I appreciate your willingness to be a voice in a culture that needs some re-vamping in certain aspects of the human condition.
I read because I appreciate your brutal honesty about being a LDS single mom. I am in a 16 year marriage that has crumbled and I read your blog to honestly help me be strong, whether the marriage gets better or ends. Because of you, I’ve realized I can be strong for my 3 kids, go back to school and be happy again. That the world will not come to an end if my marriage does. Thank you.
I read because you are the kind of woman that I want to be.
I’m only seventeen (which is the main reason I’ve never commented before), and I actually started reading your blog a few months before you announced your divorce.
My parents divorced when I was about 5 years old, but their marriage had fallen apart long before. Like your ex-husband, my father made some decisions that made it impossible for his children to see him, and like you, my mother went back to school to pull us through the whole situation.
I read your blog because so much of what your kids went through is exactly what I had to deal with when I was their age. I completely understand what it’s like to hear that your dad isn’t going to show up (again), and to miss him but still know he’s messed up at the same time.
My main motivation for reading, though, is that you give me an understanding of what it was like for my mother to go through a divorce like yours. I was too young to understand my mother’s heartbreak then, or to sympathize with how hard it is to go to school while you still have young kids. When I read your blog, I get a glimpse of what her side of the story might have really been like.
I also know the good things that can come from such a situation. I have incredible relationships with my siblings, and especially with my older brother, who has always acted as a father to me. My ties with the gospel are extremely strong, mostly because I have watched my mother cling to her faith through all of my family’s struggles. I also have an incredible support network, mostly composed of old bishops and loving uncles, who do a lot to try to compensate for my lack of a father.
So please keep doing what you’re doing. In the end, it will all be worth it.
A few words to describe me? 37, female, attorney (hates it), Mormon, not married, no kids, doesn’t like being defined by this silly list of words :). I do not read Mormon Mommy Blogs but read a few other Mormon-themed blogs and made my way here from BCC. I have a blog and love to write but don’t find much time to do it (and struggle with it, which is probably why I don’t find much time to do it – very time consuming to get something decent written). I check in here every week because I love your writing, your perspective, and find you (and your story) pretty darn inspirational. Entertaining, yes, but mostly inspirational :).
I live in Southern CA, and go to a non-LDS church. I have a 10 year old son, and a husband who was laid off from his job several years ago. I have a close family, but not a lot of really close friends because of my workaholic tendencies. I began reading your blog shortly before your divorce. It was so good that I went back and read every single posting since the beginning. As others have said, I read your blog because I love your writing. I love that you are real, and that you are so open to share both the joy and hardships of life. I have laughed and openly cried over some of your postings. I have cheered for you, cried with you, prayed for you. I have learned a lot about the LDS church and autism through your blog. I am inspired by your weight loss, your return to school, and I am so proud of your new book deal. I believe I was one of the first to buy the last book you contributed to, and I can’t wait to place my order for your new book. I am not really a crafty person, but I know I will enjoy reading through it and looking at your amazing designs.
Thank you for continuing to write your blog. Reading it is one of my favorite things to do each day. Your blog is the only one I have ever de-lurked and actually posted a comment to. I feel like I know you, and I am thankful that you have provided a safe opportunity for your loyal readers to tell you who we are too.
I am happily married with one child (who doesn’t have autism), but for some reason I feel very connected to your life story. I check in with you often to see how an amazing mother deals with adversity and triumph. You write well, and you have made me realize that challenges don’t need to be hidden.
I found you years ago on MMW before Abby was even a Maybe. I liked your writing style and your little family…Jeffery is the same age as my boy and I liked to compare behaviors. 🙂 And watching your struggles with Bean has been inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. So I have followed you ever since. I even comment on rare occasions and try out some of your recipes once in a while (hello, cinnamon rolls!!).
As for me? I’m 30. I’ve been married for 10 1/2 years. I’ve got a boy and a girl and another baby due in 5 weeks. I work full time and I like it that way. I blog, read, play the piano, and cross stitch to keep myself sane.
I found your blog through MMW. I loved how honestly and openly you wrote about your life there, so decided to check out your blog. It has been very inspirational. I have an 8 yr old with many sensory issues, like Bean has. My boy is not on the autism spectrum, but suffers only with the sensory things. I get lots of ideas on how to deal with my son by how you treat yours. Also, when you started going to the gym regularly…it was at the same time I was trying to force myself to go too. And lastly, going back to school with 3 small children is no small thing! My kids are getting older and I’d like to go back, but I’m just not sure I could pull it off nearly as well as you are right now! Wow! So, thank you for the regular inspiration you give me from your example!
I am a SAHM of four kids and I started reading through MMW. I love your writing- it is beautiful. Also, I love your attitude. When you have a rough patch, I love how you talk about it, but then move on. You help me be more positive about my own challenges.
I am a SAHM to four impossibly adorable yet infuriating kidlets ages 2-9. I love to cook, bake, read, create, run and be outside when it is warm. I live in Canada so that is not often. I am LDS, a convert of 13 years and am married to my absolute best friend. I am surprised daily by how much I enjoy being a housewife. My life is mundane and simple, but I have come to realize that I like it that way.
I found you through MMW a little over 4 years ago. I looked for posts from you and starting reading other blogs you contributed to. I loved your writing style and was struck by how “real” you were, which was so refreshing. I came over to DM and have been reading ever since. I know that our actual lives do not have much in common but I have been so affected by your life. The way you tell your story is so compelling and so honest and it has made me feel like a friend to whom you are sharing your woes and triumphs. It has buoyed me up when things have been tough and it has given me inspiration and hope. I have laughed out loud, cried, been furious and overjoyed while reading various posts and love that you can make things like mascara and homework so relatable.
Thanks for the past 4 years – please keep writing!
I’ve been reading your blog for several years now. I found you through mormonmommywars. I’m a 31-year old Mormon mom of two, part-time physician with a husband in grad school. I became “hooked” on your blog when you announced your divorce. Your story is similar to my sister’s, although her husband’s issues eventually led to his death. I keep reading because I love your writing. I sometimes feel guilty for just reading and never commenting, though I also feel strange commenting when you have no idea who I am. I made your cinnamon rolls recipe for Christmas and it ROCKED.
I’m so thrilled to learn so much about so many of you. This is a real treat for me, I hope you know. You have a window into who I am, and now I feel as though I have a small window into some of you as well. Thank you! And keep them coming, anyone else who wants to share!
I am a certified lurker, checking in on you every few days, and feel like I have lived the last few years with you: the loss of job, the marriage falling apart, the divorce, the fall out, the new adventure in school, and through it all, the kids and your recipes. Great stuff. I am on the East Coast, but if I were any closer, I’d probably risk it all (and by all I mean I’d risk you thinking that I am a crazy stalker, which I am not) to come find you so we could hang out one afternoon.
I am a happily married mom of three kids, 9, 5 and 1, and I blog about my everyday stuff, too, though not as eloquently as you do. I am very involved in my church- I am Lutheran- and enjoy reading and learning about LDS. I think I found your blog through a random search (if you are on blogspot, you can click “Next Blog” and you never know where you will end up) which lead me to Emily F’s blog and that lead me to yours. And I am so thankful.
Your blog is like a gorgeous story being written in front of us- I guess it’s that way with everyone, but you have such a gift that it is an escape and (your) reality all at the same time. Thank you for sharing with us and inspiring us to cook better, write better and live the best we can. Thanks!
I found you through MMW. I am LDS, divorced mom of two boys. I follow your blog because you are honest about your life and the various struggles of being a single mom. You articulate better than I some of the challenges I face and so even though I have never met you, I feel like you are a friend. 🙂
I clicked over from MMW one day about mid divorce. I’ve been reading ever since. I’m one of your many frequent readers but I’ve never commented before.
I’m a SAHM of 3. We live in Washington state too! We started out on the east side but have since moved to the west side of the state. I love to read about your family and the things you are doing. You have a very engaging way of writing that is easy and pleasant to read! Thanks!
I can’t even remember when I started reading your blog,it seems like forever (in a good way). When I first started blogging I went by Moddy, but after my divorce I felt like it was okay to be me again. I started reading your blog because you had such a way with words. I loved to read about all that you were doing with your kids and your life. I cried and laughed through your pregnancy with Abby. And then time went on and you were going through your divorce and I was going through mine. On days that it felt like I couldn’t even take a breath because it hurt so much I would read your blog and you would put words to my hurt. Your blog has meant the world to me, thank you for sharing so much of yourself with all of us.
LDS Kiwi living in Japan. I think I found you through MMW (which a friend introduced me to). I also love the way you write and that you are open with the problems you are going through/have been through. I am not good with words, but thank you so much for what you write – it is a real help on days when my less than perfect marriage is even less perfect than normal (ie most days!!)
ps convert of just over 10 years, married to a non-member from a different culture (no wonder things are difficult!! lol ), 3 adorable kids aged between 9 and 17.
I found you through MMW as well though I’m not LDS (was college roomies with one of the other writers). I live in Western WA with hubby and two dogs and can cook up a storm but that’s where my crafting talents end.
Why do I come here – you have a sense of strength that may not be evident to you but is to everyone who reads this. No matter how tough life gets (and man you’ve had your share) you seem to be able to pick yourself up and continue on even if for no other reason than you have no other choice. It reminds me that as we each go through our own tragedies in life, be they big or small (for me, it’s the inability to have kids which is pretty massive in my own little world), that sometimes the best you can do is just continue on and, amazingly enough, things will get better and we all find our way out of the darkness.
I am seventy two and have thirty four grandkids. I am a very successful businesswoman. I am devoted to the Church. I am interested in people’s lives. I found you through the bloggernacle. I read a post about your divorce and then went back and read all of your posts. At the beginning you were so happy and you were married to your best friend. I was anxious to see what had happened. I remember the shock when I read the words, “My husband has lost his job.” I was sick for you. I told my daughters your story was as interesting as a novel. I would not wish any of the hurt on you for our own interest and I hope to read of your total happiness in the future when these particular struggles have passed.
I was searching for something, I think it was for a chai recipe, and found yours, from Staff of Life. Even though we moved back East when I was very young, I still remember the cakes, frosted with piped whipped cream and decorated with flowers, which have become my subconscious ideal to this day. I stayed because something in your struggle resonated in my heart, and now, two months into my own totally unexpected divorce, I cling to your words even harder as evidence that it can be done, and done humanly, and, dare I say, well.
I cannot remember how I first found your blog, but have been reading for several years. You have an amazing way with words. I am in awe of your many talents and find enjoyment in reading about someone with like-minded interests (thrifting embroidered linens, for one). And a similar love affair with cheese. 🙂
I am a 34 year old LDS SAHM of five boys ages 10 to 1. I grew up in Washington, but find myself living in Texas (of all places!) with my husband of 13 years and our crew. I like to cook, camp, garden, take pictures, quilt, and sew.
From your blog, our family has a new Saturday morning tradition (pancakes with your homemade buttermilk syrup recipe) and I have encouragement on my weight loss journey (have lost 30 pounds since this time last year)! You have also inspired me to wear more makeup! Thanks!
I am a SAHM LDS mom of 3 boys, the oldest of which is diagnosed with high functioning autism. My mom reads your blog, and she sent me a link to it about 1 1/2 to 2 years ago. I was going through a really rough patch in my marriage at the time…
So I found I could relate to you in so many ways. Your faith, your love for your beautiful kids, your sense of humor, your courage to just keep moving on in spite of the struggle, your creativity.
I find myself silently cheering you on in your studies and all the good you’re doing.
Thanks for sharing your life here.
I started reading you on MMW many years ago. I’ve followed your story for a long time. I keep reading your blog because you are honest about your struggles, but in your honesty, I don’t find that you wallow in self-pity. I also feel that you have incredibly strength and tenacity. I hate all the crap that has happened to you. But I admire how you are rising above it, like a phoenix from the ashes, or even like those dandelions that spread out all over and keep coming back no matter what.
As for me, I’m a LDS SAHM to five kids. I lived in Sweden for several years and felt like the experience was very important in my life. We live in New York now. I like crafting, cooking, reading books and writing.
“Dish, mamas. I wanna know.”
Not a mama (at least, not the last time I checked), and haven’t read the other comments yet, but:
I am the introducer of Michelle AM to the Bloggernacle. I am the father of six wonderful kids.
I read your blog because you are an amazing writer, because I learn so much from you, because you are a light and strength and comfort to others who struggle to see – who mourn – who stand in need of comfort, because I have come to love you as a unique daughter of God and friend.
Wow, these comments are incredible. I am touched and moved deeply by the sentiments you’ve shared with me, and by learning a little bit about each of you. Sometimes blogging feels like shouting into the abyss, and this glimpse into who you are, and how this anonymous mama has mattered to you is a profound testament to the new media and how we interact.
Thank you- each of you- for taking the time to share a little bit about yourselves. I’m very grateful.
Tracy, I am from the East Coast, LDS, 69 Years old and met you in 2008. You were helping my daughter with her wedding announcements. When I came home I started reading your blog. I miss it when you don’t have time to write. It is like reading a novel. I love the way you have fixed the little house and when you talk about the spring flowers blooming, they were a lot of work. I admire you for all that you have done and are doing with your life. I have a friend who has an autistic son and send her the directions for the blanket you made for Bean. Also love your receipes. Waiting for your book to come out. Be strong and know how proud you should be about you and your children.
I have read your blog for many years. I read your blog because you are the lady that I want to sit next to in R.S. I read your blog for many reasons. I love your writing style, how the stories unfold. I love that you are telling about life as it really is, not the surface stuff, but the real nitty, gritty emotions (both good and bad). I can’t tell you how many times I relate to your struggles with your kids. I love your kids, they aren’t perfect “Sunday School” kids, they are real, with struggles, unique perspectives and joy!!!! They have such spirit in them. I love your testimony, it’s not sugar coated—it’s the real every day testimony that so often doesn’t get shared in church. It’s the everyday living testimony of you doing your best despite hard circumstances. It encourages me. All I can say is thanks for sharing your life. It helps me more than R.S.
I found you through Segullah just before your divorce. Your writing is amazing and you are inspiring. I am a SAHM of 1 beautiful boy. I was going through a very difficult time with my own marriage and I felt I could relate to some of the things you were going through. My life has certainly not turned out the way I had imagined and hoped, and reading your blog has truly helped me to see that maybe I can not only make it through, but I can be happy too. There have been times while reading your blog that I would think “Yep, there it is. That is exactly how I’m feeling”, but was I was not able to articulate it so well. So I really want to thank you for writing and sharing your life.
I found your blog through MMW and stayed because I love your writing. You are honest and open about your successes and your struggles. I’m also a divorced (any day now) mom to 4 wonderful kids just trying to find my balance again.
Thank you for being honest in your journey from divorce to dating to school. I find it inspiring…maybe not the dating part..that part freaks me out since most LDS divorced guys sound like creeps. I’m hoping you meet a fabulous guy to prove me wrong!
I’m late posting this. I want to tell you that it’s because I’ve been pondering the perfect response, or that I’ve been too busy baking bread (which I actually did last week!), or reading with my kids, or sewing curtains for every room in our house (I am trying to sew a shower curtain… with mixed results), but it’s not. It’s because I can’t pinpoint exactly why I come here. I rather stumbled upon “The Bloggernacle” via FMH about 5 years ago. When FMH got a little too… uh… something (hostile?) for my taste, I moseyed on over to MMW, and straight over here. Where I’ve stayed.
In R.S. yesterday, the teacher read a passage she called “The Monument.” I don’t know the source (I’ll have to ask her), but it talked about how before we came to Earth, our Heavenly Father gave us each a package full of all the trials we would endure while here. We knew what they would be, and we knew that we would forget everything. But HF told us to build a monument from those trails, and to remember that they were a symbol of His love for us.
My current (and by current, I mean for the last four or five years) trial has been that of being married to a small-business-owner. I hate, hate, hate the inconsistency of it. I adore him like crazy, but I don’t deal so well with the ever-present cloud of worry — is client A going to pay us on time? Is so-and-so going to nickle and dime us out of everything? Which bill can wait until until client B coughs up a check? Are the kids going to be able to play soccer this year? And on, and on, and on. It grew old a few years ago, and yet here we are, still wondering why the answer to out prayers is always “Keep doing what you’re doing.” when nothing is changing and we feel like we’re barely holding on. Don’t get me wrong, there have been countless blessings along the way — the biggest of which being that in just over a year without health insurance, none of our (CRAZY) three children have needed any kind of medical care. No one will ever convince me that this is not miraculous! I’m trying to see the silver lining and be patient, but it’s hard some days.
Not sure why I just told you all of that (don’t I have a blog of my own!?!), but I guess that’s why I keep coming back here. We’re all struggling at times. We all have problems. Some may seem bigger than others, some may simply be more visible. But whatever they are, I am so glad that the days of pretending that we have it all together and heaven forbid one of us admits that we’re floundering are, for the most part over. No more comparing my worst to everyone else’s best. I think it grants us all a little breathing room, this honestly and kindness. And you, Tracy — have both of those in spades.
Have I mentioned how much I hate typos that aren’t grossly misspelled enough to get a red underscore?
I cannot for the life of me remember how I found you nearly 5 years ago when I first started blogging…. I only read MMW after I’d been reading you awhile.
I love your gift of storytelling, and your open and honest feelings about school, home, kids and day to day experiences. I find myself cheering, crying, smiling, and sending cyber hugs each time I catch up on your week. 🙂 And now more than ever I can identify with your struggles, as I have gone back to school, and coming to the end of my own marriage.
Thanks for sharing a part of your life.
I found you on MMW in January of 2006. I adored your writing (still do) and I loved how honest you were/are –it reminded me a little bit of me (not that I’m a great writer, but that I am very honest!). I continued to read you after I stopped reading MMW (I stopped reading it because of an embarrassing fallout) because I somehow feel connected to you. Not in a weird-stalker way, but in a I-wept-and-prayed-for-her-so-many-times way. I don’t know. You just inspire me. But not in a pity way. Does any of this even make sense? Sigh. I don’t even comment much , though (on any blog, actually) –and so it probably seems like I’m not reading your blog. But I am. And I look forward to each and every post.
I’m Cheryl. I’ve blogged for a while. My aunt started Tales From The Crib (you know Carrie quite well, I know), I have five kids, a husband about to graduate from graduate school, a cat (who drives me crazy), a house in Utah, and 25 extra pounds I don’t need. I have Depression, too many opinions, an aversion to laundry, and I’m tall –but not too tall. You awarded me with a writing blog award once a bazillion years ago and I’m still blown away you would have thought of me! And that’s all. I think.
Thanks for being who you are, Tracy. You’re a beautiful, beautiful person.
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