One Year Gone, Holding On

Hey, remember that time last year when I had two nephews born two weeks apart?

Yes, that. They were due two MONTHS apart, with baby Myles coming first on February 24th – right on time. My little sister, Marisa, didn’t want a leap year baby! Baby Parker came two weeks later on March 10th (today!), even though his due date was in May. They’re cousins – identical cousins. Let’s go back in time, shall we, and then we can flash forward to the present.

The present is rather fun.

Last year in mid-March, I introduced you all to two new main characters in my life with this writing:


I didn’t put on a cape to attend Scarlet’s spring concert, but sometimes it comes close. I DID put on a cape last week to visit the NICU, for the first time since Des spent time in one. It was nothing and everything like that one time. Did I tell you that my nephew Parker was born a week ago last Thursday? 4 pounds 7 ounces, 18 inches long, and a heck of a lot of hair. He decided to come early, because really, why miss all the goodness from the outside? There’s a lot of goodness on the outside.

Just like that, my sister has become a NICU mom. Like I was. Like Wonder Woman.

And Parker Steven, middle name for my late great father – Steven Klein – seems to wear a cape too. In just a week, he has changed into a super hero. He can breathe on his own. He can suck a pacifier. He is learning to breastfeed. He is successfully winning the fight against jaundice. He sleeps and grows and his hair seems to grow too. He gets milk through his nose!

His oxygen saturation, or whatever you call it, is even better than his NICU cousin’s was at full term!

For more info from Lindsay and Parker, you can check out her blog HERE, and subscribe to her Caring Journal HERE.

It’s not about me but it is about me because I’m about me and this blog is (mostly) about me. So I got the news that she was in labor and I cried and took to the dog trails with Athena. After burning 3,000 angry, sad calories, I waited by the phone. I got the news that he was born and ok and I cried of relief. I tossed and turned and waited for more news. I cried that my sister had become a NICU mom too. I wrung my hands and went to Target and the co-op, and stocked up on whatever I thought they’d need. My older sister and Parker, and my little sister and baby Myles James – born two weeks before Parker!

Talk about identical cousins.

Then I put on my cape. I left the kids at home with a sick Cassidy and I drove alone to the hospital, took a deep breath, hugged my brother-in-law in the hospital, washed my hands, walked into baby Parker’s hospital room, and then fell in love.

Then I got to meet baby Myles all over again, but without two cranky kids in tow!


2017 Tamara back now. Did you like how I used those little stars to show a snippet of time? I liked it. Ok, so last weekend we traveled to NJ for my nephews’ joint first birthday party. It was a whirlwind 24 hours, but oh so worth it! Both nephews have such big families that it was mostly a family-only party. And the relatives I saw that I hadn’t seen in YEARS! Boy, that was nice. Especially the ones exclaiming over how tall and thin I am, after all this time. I wasn’t even wearing heels! What a great stroke of the ego. Also, the party had M&Ms and cake, sweet cake. So much cake. All in all, I was in a place in which I belong.

Within my family, and crossing family lines, until it all blends together and meets in the middle.

The lighting was terrible and I was distracted. I had no idea photos would happen at all, but something took over me, and I compensated where things (light) were lacking. It’s all about the moments, though. One year gone. So many not yet begun.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “The places I belong are…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.

We Are Teaching Peace

Yesterday was Scarlet’s 100th day of school, give or take.

I'm linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week's topic is

I say “give or take” because there were some sick days, some snow days, and certainly some days we were at Disney World instead! You get the point, though. Look at how far we’ve come! Scarlet had to collect 100 pieces of something to bring to school. Two years ago it was stickers. Last year it was LEGO pieces. This year? She counted out 100 Shopkins. Naturally.

Two years ago on the 100th day of school, the kindergarten classes marched around the school like a parade. Unlike with second grade, in kindergarten we were often invited to partake in the celebrations and festivities in the school.

“Scarlet’s school celebrated their 100th day of school earlier today with a parade. Scarlet celebrated her 100th day of kindergarten with a snazzy vest decorated with 100 stickers at home, and with a snazzy crown she made at school.”

The then and now contrast actually astounds me! It makes me grateful that Des is still a full year younger than that little glowing nugget I love so much in the above photos. If you really want to squeal? Her grandmother took this video two years ago. It’s been on my mind because I remembered it being around this time of year, and sure enough, it was exactly that.

I know it’s not the best quality, but LOOK AT HER FACE AT THE END.

I showed the video to Cassidy last night, after digging it up because it was on my mind, and we both knew I wasn’t going to rest until I found it. We were both stunned into silence and he rested his chin (or his hand?) on my head. We were gripped.

Yesterday she asked me, “Why don’t the other kids say thank you to the lunch ladies?” I had no immediate answer because I wanted to blame the parents, but sometimes we can all (definitely me included) be oblivious. There are so many things to juggle at once. She said she always does and it makes them so happy. I, of course, wanted to credit my own awesomeness, but she said it was her kindergarten teacher Mrs. L., who said to the kids, “They work SO HARD. Always thank them. Always.”

We are teaching peace by what we do and what we say.

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And boy, do I need reminders as much as anyone!

I feel peace from her pitch and her tone, from Des’ infectious smile, from Cassidy’s strong hands, from Juniper’s steady purr, and from following a confident Athena onto every path and into every forest. It’s all the places I’ve gone, and all the places I’ll go. It’s a voice on the phone, a finished batch of edited photos, a published blog post, my words forever entombed in a book, and photographs on the walls. It’s a milky bath, in between the pages of a book, a panic button, or just knowing you have the option to use one. Rarely, do you actually push the button. It’s nice to know it’s always there should you need it.

I'm linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week's topic is

I find peace when I truly let go – the difference between holding on too tightly, trying to control every twist and turn, and hating the whole thing until it’s over, or giving in to the almost-dizzying, almost-sickening, head-spinning, stomach-flipping MADNESS that is the roller coaster itself, and also the roller coaster metaphor for life. And then maybe going for round 2?

SPOILER. I did it! For real, and for metaphor. And yes, we are going to actually pay for these photos..


I actually wrote this next bit for yet another FTSF prompt, at another time, but it rings true:

The thing is, if I could teach the world one thing, I’d be teaching it to myself too. Even more. Teachers aren’t just teaching – they’re learning as they go. We all teach each other, and we all learn. It never actually stops. Shouldn’t stop.

It gets both closer, and further away.


teaching peace


What I’d like to teach the world is hope. Finding your way out, up, safe. Sometimes things seem so murky but your brain and heart are always trying to find their way out, up, safe. We’re self-healing machines, inside and out. Remember that.

finish the sentence friday

The weather will get better. Winter ends, unless that’s your thing, in which case I’ll tell you that summer ends too. We are all pushing through the murky messes of personal, national, and global politics, traumas, and confusion. It’s overwhelming.


If I could teach the world one more thing, it would be peace. Inner and outer. I would teach it to myself, to be able to teach it to others. I have in no way broken the mold on this. I can feel restlessness and irritation settling into my bones sometimes. And this is me. Mostly hopeful, sunshiney, cookies-eating, me. What’s it like for people being dealt harder blows, or with less mental equipment to find their ways out, up, safe? Maybe that where hope comes in. Hope for peace. Peace for hope.

peace on earth

I’d like to teach the world to let yourself get overcome. Don’t push it down, only to have it explode back up. Push it back, push it down, whatever you need to do in a world in which we’re sometimes screaming from the inside out, or outside in, and you can’t be as hungry, in love, roaring sad, sexual, strong, or whatever else it is that your true, wild, dream self is. Take it out and put it in your hands. Hold it in your arms. Honor it. Keep it alive, and send it spinning through our world. We need it.

What will you do and say?


This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “I feel peace from…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.