The Snots

Annie's first trip to Chicago...

Annie has the snots.

She will be six months old tomorrow and this is the first time she’s ever had anything rattling around in her head, so I think that is a good sign.

Considering I woke her up at 3:50 a.m. on Saturday (after an 11:00 p.m. bedtime) and had her at the airport by 5:00 a.m. and we’ve been going non-stop ever since then, I think she is holding up rather splendidly.

In 48 hours she went from Missouri to Kansas City, stayed briefly in Dallas, straight on to Mississippi, and finally ended up In Chicago, where…

We promptly put her, with the snots and all, into a loaded train so that we could go into the city. Is this bad parenting? Don’t answer, please.

She loved it. Every tunnel made her eyes grow ten times bigger than her actual eyeball sockets and she followed every single car on the highway with her little head bobbing back and forth. I figured she would throw up at some point or get dizzy and stop, but this never happened. She just smiled. I on the other hand… I felt like I had been blindfolded and spun around 10 times trying to keep up with her little bobbing head.

I don’t want to put too much pressure on her and create a perfectionist who feels like she is always slaving away only to realize that she is lacking (no, no, I’d much rather have a mediocre kid). But, she is perfect.

You can’t really take credit for a perfect baby. Just like you can’t take credit for pretty eyes or those amazing inherited family heirlooms known as thunder thighs or cleft chins or big ears. You don’t pick those things; they pick you.

So, take heart moms and dads of the world. From a mother who is royally failing by every book’s standard (my kid rubbed her hand on the subway seat rest and stuck it in her mouth before I could stop her and she has really only ever bathed in hotel bathrooms and she took her 40th flight without a face mask this weekend and sometimes I give her formula bottles that are more than an hour old, and she has had more than 30 different sitters, and sometimes I forget to change her diaper…etc, etc.) you can’t really mess your kids up. Not in the beginning anyways. They either come out happy and perfect; cranky and high maintenance; quiet and uninterested, or some other mixture in between.

That my child is still thriving is a miracle. That she can stay in her stroller for three hours of shopping and eating, with a diaper change in a dressing room, followed by a 45 minute train ride in 35 degree temperatures and never shed one tear… but rather smile, laugh, and watch the world fly by her with wide-eye wonder is a testament to the strength of babies and seriously debunks the theories of best-selling baby experts.

Rather than live in guilt, I have decided to embrace my insane life and bring her with me for the ride. My pastor Jackie always says, “Jenny, what do you think they did with babies on the prairie or in the rice fields or wherever else women had to work manually in history?” Of course the answer is they strapped their babies on their bodies and the baby’s schedule was the mom’s schedule, not vice versa. And while I do not wish to live the same life as a rice patty picker or prairie woman, I am learning to value the sentiment that life doesn’t end with a baby, it simply becomes a little more complicated as you bring them with you into your world.

It’s a perpetual “bring your baby to work” day in this family and I kind of like it.


You know how sometimes you forget to call someone back? Or you forget to write a thank you card? Or you feel some sort of guilt over something you should have done for someone else? And then, the more time that passes, the more guilty you feel, and the pressure weighs down on you about the call that you need to place. And then you think… after all this time??? I better have something incredibly kind or brilliant or witty or endearing or forgiving to say.

That’s how I’ve been feeling about my blog. After all this time and all I have for you is Annie has the snots...

Sure, I am out on the road and have not had many opportunities to write… but that is no excuse. I fell off the face of the earth. And the further I fell, the harder it was to crawl back out of the black hole of non-blogistence. What would I say? Why did I even write in the first place? Do I even have anything worth throwing out to the world? The more time that passed, the more I began relishing in the laziness of not having to think or speak or write… it was a vicious cycle.

But here I am missing you guys and missing the writing life and so I write to you from a cold Illinois evening to say hello and sorry for the almost three week break.

Nothing brilliant or deep or terribly funny… just a hello from your traveling friend.


(and yes, I will get an updated amount for Katie posted asap... thank you, thank you, thank you to those of you who have joined me in supporting our sweet friend and her ministry)