Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Night Favorites: My Top 5 Favorite Blog Posts

Tonight I’m thinking about other writers and bloggers. Women that made me laugh, inspired, motivated, and downright humbled me. Maybe you’ve read all of this before because these women and their words are awesome and have been widely disseminated. But actually I don’t care because they are all so phenomenal that you should read them again anyway. And just in case you haven’t and even though you never asked, here are my top 5 favorite blog posts that if you’ve never read you better pull up some Ben & Jerry’s and do right now.

This was the very first blog post I ever read. I did not know what a blog was (I’m truly a late adapter and have only recently given up my walkman). I’d never heard of Glennon Melton or Momastery. And then I read this. It blew me away. This is the part I read over and over again: “I used to worry that not only was I failing to do a good enough job at parenting, but that I wasn’t enjoying it enough. Double failure.  I felt guilty because I wasn’t in parental ecstasy every hour of every day and I wasn’t MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY MOMENT…And because I knew that one day, I’d wake up and the kids would be gone, and I’d be the old lady in the grocery store with my hand over my heart. Would I be able to say I enjoyed every moment? No.”

She got it. I didn’t know her. She didn’t know me. But somehow she knew exactly how it felt to love my children so deeply and not love every minute with them. Do you know how this feels too? Glennon understands.
For every mother, every parent stuck in the Target line with three screaming kids, read this one.

Also, buy Glennon’s book Carry On Warrior. I laughed, I cried, I made my husband read it. I bought three more copies and gave them to my sisters and friends. I peed a little bit when I read the part about the dentist and smelling like a bar. Go and get it.
Worst End of School Year Mom Ever

This one is making the rounds again and it should because it is the greatest thing every written about the end of the school year. The part I keep reading and nodding and laughing again and again is this gem: “Then Ben tells me Tuesday that he needs a Ben Franklin costume for the Living History Museum today, and I’m like (what fresh hell is this??)… I cannot even handle signing a folder in late May; a colonial costume is cause for full, unrestrained despair.”
Right this very second, you are that parent. Put down the string cheese and cereal bar that you are trying to pretend counts as your kid’s lunch for tomorrow. Read this one TONIGHT.

I had never read Kelle Hampton’s blog before but after I read this, I was hooked. Her ability to describe the simple gifts of life through her exquisite words and photographs can truly break my heart open. I sobbed when I read this post for the first time, that loud, messy ugly kind of crying that is also super cathartic. Kelle’s blog is a love story about her entire family, but this post is specifically about the birth of her beautiful daughter Nella who was born with down’s syndrome. Kelle writes: “Life moves on. And there have been lots of tears since... But, there is us. Our Family. We will embrace this beauty and make something of it. We will hold our precious gift and know that we are lucky... there is a story so beautiful in store...and we get to live it.”

Read Kelle’s story. We are the richer for her sharing it with us. And then buy her book Bloom, and remind yourself that beauty can be everywhere, but especially in the unexpected.
This Is Thirty-Eight

Do you remember all those wonderful “This Is” pieces about the different stages in childhood? Lindsey Mead wrote the “This is Ten” piece, which later inspired her to pen this wonderful post on thirty-eight. I loved many parts of this piece, but it was this section in particular that I got stuck on a little bit: “Thirty eight was leaving my injured mother’s side before surgery a couple of years ago to run home to my daughter, who was crying that I wasn’t spending enough time with her.  Thirty eight is the middle place.” This place she described so resonated with me; this description of the middle. Often I feel sandwiched in between worrying/loving my father and worrying/loving my children.  I know I’m not quite there yet, but in this and so many other ways, 36 sure feels a whole hell of a lot like 38. Lindsey nails it.
By the way, Lindsey’s This Is Ten essay is also featured in Brain Child Magazine’s new book This Is Childhood, highlighting the nuances that make each age with our children so special. In my humble, all of 5 followers opinion, the contributors to this book are some of the most talented bloggers and writers out there right now. Read it.

I first came across Claire Bidwell Smith when she wrote a guest blog post for Kelle Hampton. Every once in a while you read something and find when you get to the end that you’ve been holding your breath while you were reading and you didn’t know it. I didn’t exhale until the very last word. For me, this was Finding My Mother. I write often about the loss of my mother, about being a motherless mother, and what that feels like. For the very first time, someone else’s words effectively captured what I felt. I knew immediately I had to write her and tell her that this one took my breath away and I thanked for her saying out loud some things I hadn’t yet managed to quite process myself.

This is the line where I knew Claire got what I felt when I mothered my children and missed my own mother: “It’s not even that I feel like she’s been given back to me, but that my mother has been given to me anew. I understand her in a way I never did before. I see her in a way I never did… I often find myself breathless with the realization of just how much my mother loved me.”
When you are done reading this, buy her book, Rules of Inheritance. It is a phenomenal story for anyone, but particularly for those who struggle between the tricky space of love and loss and parenthood. Also, it’s being turned into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence so you’ll want to read the book before you see it in the theaters. Obvs.

So that’s your Friday night favorites. Not that you asked, but I told you anyway. Now get reading!


  1. This is such an honor. I mean it. Thank you. xo

  2. Great links! Have read some but had not seen them all.