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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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


word of the day: on \ˈn, ˈän\ used as a function word to indicate the subject of study, discussion, or consideration

on toddlers

I am newly convinced that toddlers are just larger versions of babies. That just at that moment when you think, "Hey, my kid is a kid now," you have to start stocking the diaper bag full of changes of clothes again in case of accidents. And, you have to re-sleep train. (Because apparently sleep training is a recurrent process and not something you only do once.) And, you will inevitably start your middle of the night obsessive Google searching again to determine normalcy from largely non credible sources.
on sleep

I have decided to become a morning person. Every morning when Lily wakes up at (or before) 6:00, I think, "Molly, you are a morning person. It is so fun to be awake this early; enjoy these extra hours added on to your day." I mean, I convinced myself to like cooking a few years back and baking even more recently. Is sleep really that much different?

(Yes, as it turns out, it is.)

on making excuses

I have decided not to make them anymore (major life changes up in here). Or at least give it my most valiant effort. In general, most things make me nervous or angsty, but I am newly resolved to say "Yes" to things unless I have a legitimate reason otherwise. To give you an idea, the other day, I loaded up the girls to go to a local mom's group, pulled in the parking lot, and realized I was an hour late to the two hour function. I turned around immediately and called Jake in what can only be described as an "excessive overreaction" at which point he convinced me to turn around and go anyway. I didn't have a good reason not to. 

And guess what? No one even cared. All worst case scenarios were squashed when everybody just smiled at me.

on Jake

Speaking of Jake, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, there aren't enough words. I am convinced that a first year resident (reference point: Grey's Anatomy, Season 1) is among the hardest jobs on the planet. (Jake told me once that if I had really wanted to be a doctor, I could have. But, I certainly couldn't have even if I had wanted to.) That guy though. He's all in. There's no transition buffer from work to home. He came home late the other day and immediately helped me pick up crayons from the basement floor. He's the Mauvelous to my Raw Sienna.
on first birthdays

I'm always glad when they're over. I know. It's terrible, but they are almost too much for me to bear. It's the exact moment when Before meets After and the junction of the two makes my head want to explode with nostalgia. I tried really hard this year to channel my inner Jake and be all, "It's just like any other day," but, alas, I still opened my computer and looked at every single picture since Norah has been born. 

I am thankful for first birthdays though because watching Norah swallow an entire mini cupcake whole was one of the greatest moments of her first year of life and, subsequently, my 29 to date. 
on books.

I finally read Interrupted by (obviously) Jen Hatmaker last week. If you haven't read it, I need you to read it, and I need you to discuss it with me because I've been doing everything wrong and now I want to do everything right, but you can't do everything right on your own (I mean, maybe I could try, but I don't think that would work). 

Trust me. That will all make sense after you read it.

Also, Lily and I are obsessed with the library (Norah will be too once she figures out that books are also fun to read once you pull them all off the shelves). Every week we bring new books home, and we recently discovered the author Marla Frazee whose book "Boot and Shoe" had me at this line:
"And then [the squirrel] got all up in Boot's business. And it got all up in Shoe's business too. Whoa. Something had to be done."
(It is possible, though, that I love those lines because I just finished watching all 9 seasons of The Office.)

on gratitude.

Right now, I am sitting at my kitchen table. And the sun is shining, and it is quiet. Quiet. There is stillness amidst my chaos. Sure, sometimes the girls both scream in sync and sometimes Lily wakes us up at 1 a.m. for no apparent reason, and sometimes I end the day feeling totally unqualified for this job. But, then those moments fade into still ones like this, and for that I am grateful. It's a good life.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


word of the day: release \ri-ˈlēs\ verb: to stop holding; noun: the state of being freed

So there was this leaf the other day.

That's the one. We passed it on a walk during our week of November summer. This was not a well-timed picture. I did not see it fall from the tree. It was a leaf suspended in mid-air. It was magic! Wingardium Leviosa!

(Okay, fine. It's caught on a spider web.)

I've been trying to think about it metaphorically since. I mean, you can't very well pass a levitating leaf and not look for the deep significance, right?

For awhile, I thought I was the leaf. I thought maybe it had to do with trust or perseverance or something, and then today it dawned on me: The leaf is dead. It's hanging on, but it has no hope of survival once it hits the ground. 

I think I am, in fact, the tree in this metaphor, and I realized it while looking out my window at the trees working to shed their leaves. Some trees take more time than others (our front tree has barely lost any leaves), but they all have the same goal: get rid of the dead, so that re-growth can happen in the seasons to come. 

The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go. 

So, I thought about the leaf and the spider web. And I thought about my life. And I wondered if there was something I was having trouble letting go of. And then, a little later, I had this conversation with Jake:

Jake: Why are you crying? (Ahem. A few inserts here: 1. His tone was one of compassion not annoyance 2. This is a moment in time that I'm sure anyone who has experienced the cries of multiple children for lengthy periods of time can understand. Just a good old fashioned breaking point.)

Me: I'm just frustrated. I kept looking forward to Norah's first birthday thinking everything with the girls would be easier by now. But this is even harder than what I thought was hard back then.1

It was in this exact moment that I was reminded of something I had read approximately four hours earlier (yes, obviously Jen Hatmaker wrote it): 
Let go of what you expected and embrace what you have. The tug of war between expected and actual is what kills the spirit. God does his best work in reality. That gap between expected and actual is where grace takes over.2
 Maybe the magic leaf was coincidental, but (more likely) I needed a reminder to let go of my expectations and embrace what I have. Let God fill the gap with His grace and sufficiency (the constant in every season). I'm a much better mom and wife and general person when I let God do His work in my reality rather than existing in the gray space of what I expect the future to look like. 

So, I'm back to reality, and let me tell you, there is freedom in the letting go. Release and you'll find release.  

This is the stuff of hope. I'll rest my wand on that tonight.

1 Perspective is key. My "hard" is relative (and not really all that hard). Which makes me think of what I said HERE.

I found these thoughts HERE on Hatmaker's blog admidst some notes she had taken at a MOPS conference. It was like a jewel hidden at the bottom of the page just for me to find.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


word of the day: perspective \pər-ˈspek-tiv\ the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance

November's got me all kinds of nostalgic. Combine nostalgic Molly with general, run-of-the-mill Molly and parent of a two-year old Molly and you've got a trifecta of discombobulation. I'm a perfect storm of jumbled thoughts. (that movie ended well, right?) 

Norah turns one in two weeks. I love the one year milestone; she then officially becomes a part of the "a year ago we were doing this" memories. But we're not there yet, so this week, I've been finding myself all caught up in those days before she graced us with her presence.

I feel a little wistful about those days, really. Norah was the first change in a season of many, many changes. My life a year ago is a life I don't recognize any longer; every single dynamic has since been disrupted. If I could, I think I would reach into the past, tug on my own shirt sleeve, and encourage myself to breathe in the simplicity of it all (even though I know, at the time, it didn't feel particularly simple).

I've been doing a lot of that lately: breathing. I mean, of course I've been breathing. But, in the recent days, I've had to become more intentional about it. The butt-against-the-floor-back-against-the-wall kind of breathing that I suspect (see: hope) other parents of toddlers might also know all too well.  

It's these moments in which future Molly (the version of myself who has grown children and a lifetime of perspective) reaches back in time, tugs on my shirt sleeves, and reminds me of my favorite piece of parenting advice: Don't get used to any one thing.

I have decided that parenting is a rotating reel of growth and regression. Just when they master one thing, they regress in another. Just when you think one thing has become easy, they decide not to do it the easy way anymore. Just when you get used to the way things are, they change. (am I even making sense? I'm a little low on sleep. See: Don't get used to any one thing.)

So Norah's almost one, and the wistful thinking about simpler times gives me hope for the future because a year ago today, I know my life felt overwhelming and impossible to manage. And, a year from now, when the dynamics are certain to be changed again, I'm sure I will look back to this time (the tantrums. oh, the tantrums!) with a wistful smile because, hindsight, things never seem as difficult as they were in the moment. 

Norah shook our dynamic a year ago. She made everything harder but also better and more wonderful.

It's a good thing, perspective. And, when I take a moment to breathe that in, I find that I tend to exhale things like love and grace. 

A little perspective and a few deep breaths make me a better version of myself. Present Molly. It works.

Now, you had better believe that Present Molly is not squandering our November summer. We're crunching leaves, tossing acorns, and breathing in deep breaths of warm air. It doesn't feel very fall-ish, but we're all happier because of it. Every walk, Lily stops at least once to lay her face against the sidewalk. It's like a silent plea for the warmth to stay. I'm with you, sister.
I wish the warm weather would stay indefinitely, but I guess perspective reminds me that there is good to be found in even the most barren of times. Winter doesn't hang around forever either. Don't get used to any one thing, you know?