Finne-gan Be-gin A-gain


In the fall of 2015 A and M's older brothers moved in with us. We put up curtains and bunk beds in the laundry room (carpet, bookshelf, dresser). We enrolled them in school. We whispered requests to heaven that this decision would not destroy the precious grasp we had on parenting on our own four children.

Here is what we thought: we will do this for a few months. J will come out with the girls before Christmas. We will figure out housing for them. She will enroll in school. I will find a job to help pay their rent. We will get the girls in school. Tru and Lola will share a room. We have The Village. It will be hard but all of this is hard and why should we take the easy road.

Scratch that. We had not marked the easy road. And then we had lost the map.

Here is what happened: We put our house on the market after pinning our hopes and dreams on a larger fixer upper down the street. Paul got a new job working from home. We sold our house and made an offer on the house that had previously been inhabited by an order of nuns. This required an enormous and near comical staging of our own home (after 3 weeks of solid remodeling, repainting and repairing that required many, MANY hands) and then a near miraculous negotiation and sale of both our blue-barn-house and the Sister's. We moved in to the new house 5 days before Christmas, two days after J and the girls arrived in Portland for the holiday, and without a functional kitchen. My family arrived in waves to celebrate the house and J and our strange new life. We had a visit from friends. We opened gifts, spoke in code, and cooked food at the neighbor's house. J and I struggled to sort of who was The Mom and our kids struggled to sort out all their deep, deep grief and longing. In the process we lost our whatever was left on our tenuous grasp of parental control. We scraped across the threshold of exhaustion, angst, and deep, deep gratitude for the way in which our people continued to show up and come to our rescue. J returned to Miami with the girls.

We gasped into 2016. 


  1. I’m a stranger. One that loved reading your blog for both the crafty and family inspiration. I continued to check in periodically when you stopped writing with the hopes that there would be a new post up. I don’t know what made me click over here right now, but I’m so happy I did.
    I’m so sorry for the struggle that that time must have been, but wow it sounds like your family took such a brave an amazing leap, and that’s something. I hope your 2016 is ending on a higher note. xo


  2. I’m also a stranger, but have loved reading and being inspired by your journey. I hope you are managing and that you continue to post.


  3. I have your blog in my bookmarks. I am a long-time reader. I often wondered what was going on with you for the last two years, seeing the same entry from dec 2014. I’m so happy you have posted again! There are people out there who are following along 🙂


  4. One more long time stranger who has never brought herself to remove your blog from my roll. I am so delighted to hear your voice again and send all the love and strength I have to spare to you and your wonderful family (all definitions welcome).


  5. And yet another stranger here! I feel all the things my fellow strangers have said. Here’s to you and yours!
    Glad to “hear” your voice again.


  6. Like many others I read your blog for quilts for many years but also got drawn into your life and your thought-provoking posts, then after silence for so long, today I suddenly felt there was something new to read so I checked again and was so pleased to see you had posted! I read it slowly and read it again, but it sounds like there is so much more of the story to tell, I hope you will choose to share some it with us.


  7. I used to read your blog, years ago, before we moved to another house and another life….. then, checked my old *favorite blog* list in my bookmarks, just now, and was thrilled to see this update!!! I’ve checked a few times over time, and was always sad to not find an update, so this kind of thrills me! Blessings to you and yours.


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