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I'm still writing; you just won't find me here any longer. If you want to keep reading my writing, head over to mollyflinkman.com. I'll keep a cup of coffee warm for you.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


word of the day: six \ˈsiks\ the sixth in a set or series

I've been thinking a lot lately about the vows Jake and I made 6 years ago.  You know...to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, in health, till death parts us...etc, etc. 

In all of the weddings I've been to recently, the bride and the groom exchange hand-written vows.  Words that are meaningful to them and promises that are unique to their relationship.  Each time I listen to them, I wonder why, given my love of writing, we didn't do that.  

Then I remember who I married and why we stuck to the plain and simple.  Not so much up Jake's alley.
I've been thinking about those vows lately because I've been wondering if I have inadvertently added to them.  Expected more of Jake than he promised me on that day 6 years ago and tried to be more than I promised him.  

I think somewhere along the way I gained this idea that Jake is meant to complete me; to be everything I am not.  That once I married him, all the gaps and holes of my personality would be filled and balanced.  
I was reminded this anniversary that Jake is not enough.  That he wasn't meant to be enough for me.  

(And there I go again with the heavy anniversary thoughts.  You'd think at least one year I could conjure up a lovey-dovey #sorrygirlsigotthebestone post.  Maybe next year.)

It's a freeing realization though, and one that I did not epiphanize (that's a word, wouldn't you know?) on my own.  Angie Smith talks about it in her book, What Women Fear:
When we depend on others to be our God, we strike out on a couple different levels.  We burden them with blame for their lack of ability and we forfeit what God could have done if we would have honored Him the way we should have.  
It all goes back to my daily identity crisis, really. Jake doesn't define me as my husband any more than that silly little tube of lipstick sitting in my purse does.  I didn't become a whole person 6 years ago when I married him.  I became better (and more sarcastic), certainly, but I still have voids of loneliness and inadequacy and fear that I see now I've been trying to get Jake to fill.  

But he can't.  And he's not supposed to.  He never promised that.  
And in doing so, I'm forfeiting what God should be and could be doing otherwise.

It's a good and timely realization for me especially on the cusp of what lies ahead for our relationship.  

So, here's to year 7.  For better. For worse. For richer. For poorer. In sickness. In health. 

In together.  In apart.  In joy.  In sadness.  In sincerity.  In sarcasm.  

To have and to hold and to recognize that neither one of us is enough for the other.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014


word of the day: self-righteous \self-ˈrī-chəs\ having or showing a strong belief that your own actions, opinions, etc., are right and other people's are wrong

I keep reading articles about all the things I shouldn't say to people.  There are 12 things you shouldn't say to pregnant woman and 15 things you shouldn't say to engaged couples.  There are things you shouldn't say to people with 1 kid, people with 8 kids, and people with no kids.  And, there are about 273 things you shouldn't say to new moms.

I read every article that I stumble across and am convinced that I do so for one of two reasons.  First, I want to see what I'm saying to people that is offensive (a thought that gives my heart minor palpitations).  Second (and most frequently), I read for validation.  It makes me feel better about myself to know I'm not the only one who is bothered by all the ridiculous things people have said to me.  

Here's one.  Right after Lily was born, I ran into a sweet man with grandchildren of his own.  He was talking to me about motherhood and asked me, "Have you already forgotten what it was like before she came along?" 
Don't let this smile fool you.  I was in shock, of course.
It's a ridiculous question to ask a new mom because of course I remembered what it was like 2 months ago when my life was far less complicated and far fuller of sleep and sanity.  I think I caught him off guard when I answered truthfully, but he went on to tell me how he could now never imagine what life would be like without kids and grand kids.

Or, yesterday, this random woman at the splash park blindsided me with this one: "Oh! Your two kids will be about as close as my two kids! Most days at the beginning I wanted to beat my head against the wall, but now that they're 5 and 7, it's totally worth it."  (It's a good thing she made an accurate assumption, or she could have fallen into multiple categories of the "Things you shouldn't say" group).  

My first instinct in both scenarios was to get a little self-righteous.  Like, how dare you tell me how hard it's going to be to have two kids only 18 months apart?  You don't even know me.  

But that's the thing I've learned about moms.  We're all just a little self-righteous in our own way.  We want to prove we are capable on our own which is absurd because we aren't.  

(Well maybe you are, but every time I think I've got a handle on it, the day usually ends with me crying and driving over to my mom's house.)

That mom at the splash park was just being honest, and I appreciate that.  She didn't sugar coat it, but she also let me know it'd be okay in the end.  The retired man?  Well, he literally can't remember a time without kids because that is now a small piece of his timeline.  He's had kids far longer than he hasn't, and I truly believe he has forgotten about the times before they came along.  

Self-righteousness is isolating--I know this first hand--and so, it has become my quest to assume the best intentions out of both friends and strangers alike.  

Even if the statement is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.  Like this one: "The fourth year of medical school must be such a nice change of pace for your family!"

1 I would like to clarify that there are certainly things you shouldn't say to people.  I’m not suggesting that we do away with tact, of course.  Rather that I've realized in the past few months that I’m just a little too sensitive to the good-natured things people say to me on any given day. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


word of the day: motion \ˈmō-shən\ an act, process, or instance of changing place: movement

Meet Lily, the travel champion of one-year-olds:
 In the past week, she traveled 2,000 miles in the car.  She slept in 3 different states, 5 different rooms, and 3 different beds.

Hardly a complaint.  

To say I was nervous was an understatement.  Lily is a bit of a loose cannon--she doesn't often exist in a gray area of discontent.  She's either happy or screaming mad, and I wasn't sure what hours of car-seat confinement would do to our independent mover.  She proved resilient, however, and I breathed a sigh of relief.  
(She'll only smile in pictures if she can actually see herself in the screen.)

I spent a lot of our travels staring out the window in between entertaining Lily, feeding her a reasonable amount of snacks (per your recommendation, Jake), and sleeping.  And, as I looked out my window, I watched a lot of cars go by from here to New York. 

I often think about cars as they pass by me on roads and wonder about the people inside them.  It fascinates me that for a moment, our lives intersect.  One single moment.  After they pass, I know I will never again see them, so I wonder sometimes where they are going.  What their car is moving towards. 

Traveling is a funny thing because it involves forward motion.  Point A to Point B.  However, long distance trips always make me feel a bit stuck. Because while I'm trapped (a hyperbolic choice of words, of course) in a car, the world continues to move around me.  People go about their daily lives whether or not I'm in them.  

It makes me think of this episode of Growing Pains where Mike Seaver gets sick and can't go to school.  At some point, he realizes that people still went to school and had a great time without him.  It was kind of a shocking epiphany if I remember the episode right.  

I guess I was reminded in my 2,000 miles that I'm not the center of the universe.  People continue in their own forward motion despite the changes to my own.  

Are you supposed to think that much on a road trip?  It's possible that the lack of air conditioning in our final two hour stretch made me a bit loopy.

In any case, Lily reigns the travel queen.

For now.  She is still a loose cannon, after all. 

And there's the smile.  She's so vain.

Monday, July 14, 2014


word of the day:capture \ˈkap-chər\ to emphasize, represent, or preserve (as a scene, mood, or quality) in a more or less permanent form

I got a new camera this week.  Nothing was wrong with my previous camera (other than the fact that we are not entirely certain where it is.  Our suspicions tell us it resides somewhere in Europe although it's anyone's guess at this point.  Needless to say, it didn't quite make it all the way to Africa with Jake a few months ago).  

But that's old news (and a rather good exercise in the "they-are-just-things" game).  The new news is that I have a new camera which is exactly the same as the old.  But if it's possible, I love it even more.  

One of Jake and Lily's favorite things is to play outside together, so last night, I sat on the porch and broke the new camera in.
 I cannot get enough of these curls.  
Or that face for that matter.
And then there was this one.
 In case you can't see the delight on her face, here's a zoomed version...
 I read in an NPR article recently ("Overexposed? Camera Phones Could Be Washing Out Our Memories") that while taking pictures makes us think we're preserving memories, it actually could have the adverse effect.  Instead of preserving the memory, it takes us out of it.  Apparently, when you're more concerned with capturing the perfect shot than being in the moment with the people around you, the memory is not as defined.
It's something I know I'm guilty of (flashback to Lily's first birthday) and also something I've been working to balance.                

I think what I love most about the pictures I captured last night though is that it wasn't really my moment in the first place.  It was Jake and Lily's, and I got to sit on the porch and soak it all in from behind the lens.  To capture it for them.

They're something, those two.
Maybe the balance comes from realizing which memories are mine to preserve.  Or maybe it's just putting the camera down from time to time (within eye-sight and away from potential thieves, preferably) and submerging myself in the moment.  The slide show is far greater in my mind than anything I could begin to capture on camera anyway.