Search Chandra's Blog
Blog Tags
"Apparition" "Art of Spiritual Warfare" "Best in Show" "Body of a Girl" "Exposure" "Gone with the Wind" "Half a Life" "Husband and Wife" "My Foreign Cities" "Myth of You and Me" "Open Your Heart with Gardens" "Stiltsville" "Substitute Me" "Temptation by Water" "The Bird Sisters" "The Book Thief" "The Guardian Angel Diary" "The Heroine's Bookshelf" "The King's Speech" "The Language of Light" "The Love Goddess' Cooking School" "The Mobuis Striptease" "The Peach Keeper" "The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted" "The Wednesday Sitsters" "This House" "Unintended" 50th Book Club Prize Pack act 'as if' Adam Levine adoption adventure advice Alpha Male Ann Hood Anna Cole Atlanta attachment parenting authors autism babies babywearing bad reviews bats beach house believer Ben Bethany Hamilton Betty Smith Big Nate birderd birthdays biting Blizzards blog hopping blog tour blogging blogswap blurb body image book book clubs book tour Books and Books Boudreaux boys breastfeeding Bridget Asher brothers Buffalo News Caeli Widger cake California cancer caramel oat bars Caribbean Carol Shields Carolyn Haley cats Cayman Cayman Compass Ceausescu chameleon Charles Bukwosi Cherry Cheryl Chick Lit Plus Chickens childhood CHOP CHOSEN Christina Shideler Christmas Christmas cards chuffy Cinderella clothes coconut water color Colorado comedy community connected contests cooking co-sleeping cow milking craft criticism Crown Publishers cry it out Dakota Darin Strauss David Lipsky dawn Dawn Chorus Daybreak 27 Destined to Fail Diana Abu Jaber Diane Lockward DOG BLOG Dog Whisperer dogs domestic ritual Dr. Anna Leahy Dr. Karen Monroy Dr. Oz Due Uve editing editor education eggs Elizabeth Scarboro Emily Kennedy Erin Blakemore evening walk expeditionary learning Exposure Facebook fake it til your make it Falcor family family bed fan mail fans farm life favorite books feminism Fon Wang Forrest Free stuff friends friendship gardening geography gluten-free goats God Grand Family Grant Schnarr grey hoodie grief guest blog Gyllian Davis Hannah Shelton Harper HarperCollins Hayden HHarperCollins hockey Hoffman's Natural home homeschooling homework Hondiuras Honduras horses hospitals Huffington Post Huffington Post divorce editor ice hockey Ilie Ruby inspiration International Women's Day iPhone island living 'It Takes a Village' Ivan Jungé J Jane Austen jasmine tea Jeffrey Eugenides Jenna Blum Jessica Keenan Smith Jessie Jonah journals Judy Blume Julianna Baggott Kelly Simmons Kid History kids Kristin Kimball Labrador Laos Leah Stewart least favorite word letting go Lincoln Pierce Linda Davis Linden Lisa Belkin Lisa McKay literary agent live in the now living with less Lois Alter Mark Lori Odhner Lori Tharps loss Lost Boy love language love story Lucky jeans Maggie Nelson magic Maria Massie marriage Martha Beck Max Maya Ziv meat Meg Waite Clayton Melissa McNallan Melissa Senate memoir menagerie mentor Michelle McGee micro fiction mindfulness miracle Miranda July modern living mojitos momstinct money mothering MoxieMomma nachos NAIBA New Year Newfoundland Newfoundlands Nichole Bernier NRA Nutella NYTimes NYTimes Motherlode ocean Opening Heavens Doors optimistic orphanage paint Paleo Comfort Foods parenting patience Pay it forward persistence Perthes Disease Peter Pan phobia Piper pizza plot poetry ponies Portland Psychology Today publication publishing puppy puppy breath puppydom Pushcart Prize Q&A quilts Quinn readers reading Rebecca Gyllenhaal Rebecca Rasmussen Remy resolutions retreat review reviews revision ritual rockclimbing romance writer Romania running Sally Kim Samantha March Samoyed Sampson sangria school SCUBA secret confessions security senior project Sept 11 serendipity sewing sexting sexy SheKnows Book Club PIck of the Year SheWrites shopping short fiction SImon&Schuster simple life sister sister-cousin sisters slings smells snow snow day songs Sophie space exploration Spain Spanish spiders sshort fiction Starbucks stuttering style Summer reading sunset Susanna Daniels Swedenborg swimming teens Thanksgiving the climbing tree The Four Ms. Bradwells" The Grain Exchange The Name Game Thelma Zirkelbach Therese Fowler THUMOS TIME magazine tingarita Tourettes tradition travel Twitter two lives ugly dolls unschooling Utila wedding whale sharks white wine William Faulkner winter Wisconsin worry write your life writing writing and parenthood YA Fiction yoga Zulu

Chandra's Blog


Entries in journals (1)


Ringing in the New Year with a hammer and nail

basement project

Last night I succumbed to the plague that has been circling our family and crawled into bed at eight pm.

Before that, I had made this amazing soup from my dear friend Amanda Gibson in Utila, and there was silliness and a handful of profound thoughts around the table as we attempted resolutions. 

(Max, age 8: I will not burp in my brother's face at the table, like THIIIIIIIISSSSSSSRAWWWPPP.)

(Piper, age 5: I will learn to read meaningful things.)

(Hayden, age 11: I will live a more eco-friendly life wherever I am.)



I fell asleep to the sounds of the new year ringing in with hammer and nail as J and the boys continued the basement framing of Hayden's future bedroom. It feels appropriate, like a continuation of our Utila commitment to circle the wagons, to shift the focus to home and family. That we end this year with a beginning. 

"What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."

-T.S. Eliot

I dreamed up two jars in my sleep--one where we could put ideas for fun things to do, and a (consequence) job jar. As much as I love alliteration, I renamed the second one the Teamwork jar, since we have been talking a lot as we traveled about our family as a team, and how we all need to work together for things to happen.


We'll see how excited the kids get about this. I can already detect some scoffing. Today, some of Hayden's pals dropped by while I was mopping where I had slopped some water moving the Christmas tree out and the orange tree back into a sunnier spot of distinction. I was mopping away, jamming out to some Usher and Hayden sort of cornered me and whispered fiercely, "Mom, why do you have to be so, so CLEAN all the time?"

In my defense, I haven't mopped in a month.

While I booting out Christmas and other vestiges of 2012, cleaning and scheming, I did some reflecting.

2012 has been a good year. Not the best. Not the worst. Good. If I were writing its report card, I'd give it a B. On the right track! Solid effort; room for improvement...

I also made a handful of resolutions, but the one I feel is most important is my commitment to write words every day. I first made this the year I turned seventeen. I was headed off to college, and it was the only year I fully kept this resolution. Freshman year was not an easy transition for me. I wasn't equipt to live away from home but I was more than ready to leave. I've never re-read the journal I kept that year; it would probably make me pretty sad. But I did it. I wrote every night and most nights in the following year. I even looked forward to it. Some nights it was the only the words, "sad. lonely. tired now, more later." 

In the years since then, things have gotten much, much better. I have needed that nightly paper and ink friend less, especially as writing also became my day job. I have continued to keep journals throughout my adult life, relying on it more at some times than others. J says he worries when he notices I am scribbling a lot.

But this year, it will be more of an experiment. A snapshot in stuttershot frames; a 365 project. Words that simply capture this time. As I lounged on the couch with my eleven-year-old this afternoon we were talking about how time in Utila had a different quality, and I realized I could not remember exactly what I had done on my birthday, only three months ago. I panicked. I don't want to forget this, these days, this lucky life. 

Journal writing is about recording moments in the moment, in their vivid reality, capturing them before hindsight has had a chance to tinge memory with color or sepia. It is about the raw format. The bare bones. I want to be able to remember the structure of this year, the frame, when it is exposed. So that I can look back and remember when it is done. 

Because here is the truth: I have high hopes for 2013. It will answer a lot of questions for me. Just like the basement, I have plans to lay flooring and hang figurative drywall, to dress it up with paint and decorate this year. Unlucky number be damned, I want to record it all. Highs and lows, brief memories and witticisms. Snapshots and watercolors. I promise only to subject readers to the highlights.


I'd love to hear what things you are committing to this year. Let's make it memorable!