Rambling on gratitude

heart-2323961_640For the past several Sundays (like since early November) when I ask the kids what they learned in church school, the answer has been “something about gratitude I think?” For weeks. Like, either they are pushing the Thanksgiving theme HARD or the lesson plans for the end of the year were all “just make it work, survival is key.” Not sure. Either way, I love hearing this big word come out of my little boys’ mouths. Gratitude. Roll it around.

According to the all knowing and powerful internet, gratitude became a word sometime in the 1400s, a time when explorers set sail for new worlds not knowing what they’d find but setting us on a course we have yet to correct. The dictionary links “gratitude” to medieval english meaning “thankfulness” and as a distant cousin of “grace.” What a slight of hand: gratitude talked about in a season of thanks on a holiday that “celebrates” a narrative of peaceful exchange of wisdom and skills, when really the history is brutal and the land bears the scars that prove it. Gratitude. English is the language of double meanings and undercurrents.

The word gratitude is on my mind this morning as I sit in a home with heat, blankets piled on and the coffee hot. Animals and kids splayed around various surfaces, snuggled for body warmth. Younger boy whining for “eggies” (I still can’t correct this baby term cause it’s one of our last remaining sweet baby-isms and he might go to college saying it, but I’m ok with this) and knowing that I was able to get to the store last night and buy supplies for a freezing day in. I am thinking of my neighbors in this state that is Christian to the core but bottom on the list in basic human rights. I am thinking of my neighbors for whom food, heat, gas in the car and warm coats are choices to make, options to weigh when cashing in a paycheck. I am thinking of warming centers and hoping people can get to them.

I am also excited that my little southern children, who were born in NYC but raised squarely in this corridor of palm trees, warm breezes and surf, will see snow flakes on their own front yard. That their sweet little boy wonder will ring across the cul-de-sac today as we celebrate this most rare occasion and possibly play in actual snow without having to travel to it.

Gratitude, like so many gifts, is not free. There are absolutely strings attached because in my gratitude I know that there is the chance of being without; if I am grateful, it’s because I know there’s the possibility that this could not be. There but for the grace (gratitude’s distant cousin) go I. I cannot know warm without also knowing cold, light without also knowing dark, love without also knowing loss.

In a just world, “gratitude” would go away or shape shift; we’d need a new meaning because we’ve all reached a place where heat on a cold day is not a consideration.

I believe that church teaches our babies about gratitude over and over, early and often so that they too start to know this lesson, this great dichotomy. It’s a hard fall from the garden of eden of childhood where the ego rules and mommy’s too slow to make “eggies” is today’s great hardship, and while I’d like to bubble wrap them in blankets and hot cocoa, my knowing gratitude/grace does not allow it.

Try to find gratitude in what life brings you today, be it screaming children cooped up too long indoors, a peaceful snowfall backlit by Netflix, answering work email from your couch or a warming center with open doors.

Note: I am writing this very early in the day and so please remind me of this morning wisdom when the witching hour hits this PM and I am gnashing my teeth at the heavens wishing it was late enough for bedtime for children who are too old to merely “tuck in.”

May the force be with you, friends. Grace and peace. And blankets. ❤



Welcome, 2018.


It’s New Year’s Day 2018 and I have been successfully, almost professionally, ignoring this little page for just about a year. I don’t have any explanation other than that 2017 was kind of a crazy year, but not just for me, for the world. It was one of those years when it all felt upside down and writing for myself felt a bit frivolous. It was hard to ignore the noise, the collective trauma; to turn down social media and find the sun.

It was also a year in which I learned a whole lot, and mostly by accident.

I didn’t write my book. But I did write two book outlines by taking part in an AMAZING writing mentorship where I made friends and heard their stories and watched us all wrangle with the wild notion of writerly life being a *thing*. As for me, my protagonist lives just outside the margins of my conscious thought and I know one day she’ll come crashing through and I won’t be able to ignore her any longer. She’ll happen, she’s just waiting for the right time.

I started a new job and figured out that it’s really, really important to me that my personal beliefs and my professional pursuits align. It was a risk, and it’s been a rollercoaster, but I regret nothing and know that even in small ways my work has been meaningful to my community and vice versa (actually probably mostly the latter).

I decided to take a leap in closing the chapter of the last decade of my life; this house is going on the market and I am constructing an entirely new one. No one has lived in it, it’s the freshest of fresh starts. Truth be told, ground hasn’t even broken yet so my home is a little patch of cold grass as I type. But I can see it in my mind’s eye and it will be lovingly built with good intention and will be a place where life happens, OUR life happens.

I fell in love again. In two weeks we’ll celebrate a year together and I’ve felt us/me grow in ways I didn’t know I could. I don’t have a crystal ball to tell you where this story goes, but I have a heart that learned to open up again and that’s something. The heart, after all, is a muscle and muscles grow by breaking down a little; by stretching, by being pushed and then getting stronger. It’s amazing the heart’s capacity to rebuild.

I don’t really believe in resolutions anymore, but I do believe in setting good intentions and imagining the future I wish to see for myself, my people, my community, and my nation.

I commit to more writing than last year, to showing up with my time, talent and/or treasure for the things I believe in (2018 election cycle, we are coming for you), to forgiving myself when I stumble and to loving my people the very best way I can.

Happy New Year friends. ❤

Missing, please call if found: My Words

screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-2-41-58-pmThere are literally 80,000 other words I am supposed to be writing right now. I am sitting on Jeff’s back patio, silently perched in the sun on a gorgeous Charleston day; no kids, no noise, just the breeze and passing neighbors. And I am stuck. I have words, I have thoughts, about 60 gajillion of them but none the outline or prose I am supposed to be writing. Is this how it’s going to be until this book is finally birthed? It takes 40 weeks to create a human (41.5 if you are a child of mine, but who’s counting and no worries, I’ll only hold it over your head for the next 40 years or so til we’re cool on that one) and that is painful and slow and uncomfortable and so I get it. I am spinning an entire world that I hope matters to other people; a world that currently only exists between the folds of my overactive brain.

But dammit writing, why are you such a fickle lover? When I want you, you are NO WHERE and when you want ME, I have to drop ALL THE OTHER things and just be with you.

I don’t have an answer to this question but I have solid hunches.

First, it’s hard to write your story when the world is rudely, loudly falling to pieces. I am trying so hard to lean in to doing my part, small things on a daily basis, to chip away at the chaos that has befallen our country. I call representatives. I donate. I show up in love in my local community. I share articles, I follow Twitter feeds, I do the one small thing a day that’s texted to my phone. I cheer when my neighbor takes down his Trump flag (k, that one was just for me, but I’m all “HEY BOO, YOUR BUYER’S REMORSE IS SHOWING”). Does writing a book even MATTER right now? I think probably actually the answer is YES, because art is at stake. Freedom of speech is at stake. The very words I believe to be so precious are at stake.

Second, life is so hard with all of its logistics and needs and people who consistently want to be fed and clothed. I mean what IS that? Like, make your own mac cheese dammit. What’s that? You’re only 5? Right, cool. Noted. I constantly feel like I am pulled in a thousand directions with work and kids and a new relationship and bills to be paid, and a car that had to be replaced and a mysterious dripping water cover on the sidewalk in front of the house and soccer to be registered for and and and… and time to just BE. I have to make choices at every single turn about how I am going to use my time and energy. Every single actual moment. And sometimes writing is the thing and sometimes sitting on my ass on the couch and watching Dirty Dancing with Jeff while I recite the lines and he marvels at my ridiculousness is the thing. (Btw true story and sidenote: friends, that is a sign of a keeper if I ever saw one. Do not give up until you find someone willing to do this on a Saturday night with you.) I am not sure if that’s balance, but that’s life.

Third, I am scared. I don’t know if I know how to write a damn book. I am a good writer, I know that. I do. I can string word babies together and make people feel something. But I have no fucking clue about the CRAFT of writing. Which I guess I knew going in. And also, I pretty much blindly jump into the deep end of any actual pool that is put in front of me right? So why would writing be different? And this time I have fucking rad mentors who are NOT so impressed with me that they won’t tell me the truth but who are like, girlfriend you have something raw and talented here so press on. But what if I can’t? Flip side: what if I fucking CAN and this shit actually happens? I won’t know unless I try, but I am also supposed to be revising an outline right now and I keep staring at it like, “ok, do something, you! Rearrange thyself! Get to it!” It’s almost rude how I need to be the one to press the fucking keys.

And that might be the moral of the story right there, the crux of why I don’t wanna and why I must actually: I have to be the one to press the fucking keys. In all things. I could (un)happily sit on my ass and take no stands, write no words, fall for no one and create a little ordered world of simplicity for myself. But, we know that’s just not me. We know this girl must live in the deep end. I don’t half do anything and if I say I am going to write a damn book, I am going to #writethedamnbook.

I came over to the blog to bitch and moan a bit about how I have no words. But look there, I just threw down about 900 words that were just sitting at the tip of my tongue. So, no excuses. I know. I fucking know. Stop looking at me like that.

Write the damn book, Kate.


Things I know today.

screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-8-06-30-pmIt’s only been a week since we swore in a new President and I literally feel like we now live in the upside down. If you’ve watched “Stranger Things,” you know. I mean, Winona Ryder doesn’t look so crazy anymore. I kinda feel like you might find me with a Christmas light alphabet strung up on the wall soon.

Everything I’ve known to be true, or assumed to be true, for 37 years has somehow come completely undone in several swift executive orders. Every time I think, “wait they couldn’t POSSIBLY…?” He does. And they do. People agree with him and do the thing. Like, they stand next to him and do not scream, or blink 3 times so we know to rescue them. How are they so fine?

I have a whole lotta CANNOT right now. Writing feels hard. Enjoying simple things feels hard. Patience feels hard. The world turned on its axis last Friday and I just feel like I can’t upright it. I feel so confused and entirely perplexed by humans at the moment.

I’ve sought out action in the form of calls to Senators, sharing scripts on FB. I’ve watched cute baby animal videos. I ordered a new pair of shoes. I ate perfect pasta at a beachside restaurant Tuesday.

That’s pretty much what I’ve got. Anyone else feeling me here?

So, while I sort of just want to sit here and eat chocolate and give no fucks, I am forcing myself into an exercise of identifying what I do know to prove to myself that I am not ready to curl into a ball like the possum/rolly polly hybrid creature I sort of feel like right now. When I’ve got my truth, I’m still standing.

Therefore, my list, in no particular order:

I love my children more than I ever thought it was humanly possible to love other living beings.

If you ask me out and I say no, I might come back a year later and say yes. And what follows will be kind of sweet and wonderful and all butterfly-ish.

I have a tribe of people who love me fiercely.

I am a complex human and so are you. We are going to make big mistakes with each other. And then learn. And then do more good. And more bad. And more good. For always.

My son would like me to marry a Kratt brother.

I cannot control anything, and probably that’s fine.

Even my best intentions turn out wrong sometimes and I have to understand and accept the consequences.

And try again. Always try again.

Sometimes I cannot find my creativity, so I need to walk away until it comes back.

So many people deeply care about equal rights, inclusion, safety, love. I am not alone.

Many well meaning people also get it wrong sometimes and even when they think they’re doing totally the right thing, it still alienates someone else.

We try again.

Christianity is being used as a weapon.

There’s a difference between saying “I am Christian” and “I am a Christian;” I prefer the former. I prefer to read it as a verb.

On marching: white women in pink hats garner selfies; people with darker skin garner riot gear.

I am so proud of all of my friends who marched.

I completely understand the many women who have told me they purposefully abstained.

I invite open conversation when I make myself vulnerable.

I have a story to write. I have words to share. I will bring them to life.

Art will not die.

Park rangers turn out to be the rogue heroes when the zombie apocalypse arrives.

That’s what I know, folks. 

How about you? Leave me a comment with what YOU know to be true today. Onward.



Sometimes the divine (energy, God, healing, light, insert your word) shows up when you need to see it most. I just stopped in to say that I believe in guardian angels today. We’re all just one footstep away from heartbreak of the worst kind and I am grateful we avoided that today. Stuff is just that- STUFF that can be replaced. I am looking for active, irreplaceable connection and am so thankful for my tribe, my children, an open heart and new beginnings.

Love your people well, know WHO your people are and be fierce in your commitment to them.

And so, we begin: write your damn book.

Ann signing my (her) book. No big deal. I’m fine. It’s fine.

So, we know I am a proponent of “do the thing.” And I’ve done many such things in the last few years like become a runner, get a major role in a musical, speak my truth in very public forums, file for divorce and bear the brunt of that pain…

And in years prior to be honest. I traveled to far flung places, got malaria, traveled some more, dated wonderful and horrible men, quit my job and moved to Guatemala (cause why not), got married and started on the whirlwind adventure that brings us to today.

We know this gal’s got no regrets. 99 probs (eleventy million actually) and regret most definitely ain’t one.

If it’s in your heart, you have to go for it. Like, we do actually only get this one shot on this go-round, so what the fuck are you waiting for? Sometimes we forget that we have options.

This summer, while I was on my grown-up time out and literally doing NOTHING except taking care of myself, having long lunches, languid afternoons and dating someone I really shouldn’t have been (but OH it was fun… until it wasn’t)… I read a book (I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around) by an author I had Twitter stalked and sort of started crushing on from afar, Ann Garvin.

She tweeted weird shit like I do, seemed hilarious and scattered in the right ways, loves her dog more than humans, is a single mama, and also did Listen to Your Mother. Clearly meant to be; she just didn’t know it yet.

She has this writing class thing and I was all, huh, her book was fabulous and people keep telling ME to write a book and I typically average one crazy bucket list item a year, so why not. Why the actual fuck not.

K, it was maybe more deliberate than all that and I did check like my budget and travel schedule and really do some soul searching on said book and my ability and commitment to it … but like, kind of also? Why the actual fuck not.

So last weekend I went to the Northern Tundra Many Miles Away Where Layers are Required for Survival. Also known as: Chicago. First, yes it was really fucking cold. 6 degrees is so very few degrees, really. But I bravely bundled up and did the thing.

I had NO IDEA what to expect when I walked into what is actually the most gorgeous loft I’ve ever seen. Complete with exposed brick, a hidden spiral staircase lit with fairy lights, a giant disco ball in the main space, comfy couches, nooks and crannies to write in and a long, serious table beneath a twinkly, perfect chandelier. In short: writer’s paradise. Also, copious amounts of coffee all day and wine appeared regularly at 5 o’clock. I mean, really, what is this place and can I live here for all the days?

And I sort of thought I’d be like “hi nice to meet you weird writer types” and then peace out to my own corner or dinner plans or SOMEthing, but we never left because we were all just so THERE. Ann and her Fifth Semester partner Erin Celello are literally the dreamiest, funniest, friendliest, and smartest people– and they created a space so safe that when people read their word babies out loud for the very first time, you could feel them softly landing in front of each of us. We received them with care– but we also pulled those suckers apart and helped each other be BETTER in doing so.

Friends, I do not know what this journey will bring (probably my damn book cause Ann is also a little terrifying and I wouldn’t dare miss a deadline of hers), but I can say that the sun rose and fell and rose and fell for 3 days and I never even noticed the passage of time because I was so IN. I wasn’t bored, I wasn’t over it, I wasn’t trapped; I was in the zone. In a zone that made sense to me. Finally.

Of course, I was all “I’m not a writer, no YOU’RE a writer, no YOU are” cause I couldn’t possibly accept a comment or a proud title gracefully… but I’m learning and when I shakily read my first scene, people were like GIRL YES YOU ARE A WRITER. So I am trying to believe them.

Just like running, which is one foot in front of the other, writing is one word, one decision, one vision, one idea in front of the other. So, we begin.


No ragrets.


Have you seen pics of tattoos that absolutely suck? Where you are just like DUDE what the fuck were you thinking and also, they make you sign that paper that says you haven’t done any drugs in the last few hours and like… were you sure? Cause that seems like a fairly radical and awful choice. Except also, who is the asshat who you PAID to do that to your body? I mean, we spell check tweets for fuck’s sake, likely you should check permanent ink being seared into your flesh.

(Examples here, cause I am nice. #22 actually made me shed a tear.)

Note: Sometimes I get ranty. Bear with me, there’s a point. Very often reached by tangential muttering followed by whimsical musing and made up words like “feelings-y”– but usually, I get there. 

So, also today, I checked my horoscope for the year 2017 (cause at this point, a gal needs something to hang on to). It’s SUPER awesome and basically everything’s gonna rock. Except. It said something about love and a past lover or a past life’s lover (which, btw, I can’t even really go there), coming BACK and I was like FUCK NO WHICH ONE.

No ragrets.


I just don’t want to go backwards.

I am doing my very best cleansing, yogic breathing in my most valiant attempts to just move on. To move away from the patterns and people and loves and losses of the past several years. I am open and ready and willing… except please actually none of you come back.

Unless Kit Harrington and I were star-crossed lovers during the Revolutionary War and he died in my arms in battle, leaning into my corseted bosom, my tear streaked face the last earthly sight he gazed upon… I digress.

When I think about it, I have spent the last 15 years or so MOVING ON. Falling for people, loving them, breaking up with them, getting over them, recycling them one or two times, then onto the next. It’s a pattern and I have very, very seldom been alone. I am a serial monogamer through and through.

My friend at works says “Kate, you don’t do casual.” And I of course scoff and guffaw and pffffff in her face; but she’s not wrong.

I am a strictly “better to have loved and lost” kinda girl. I love falling in love. I love the drama. The angst. The butterflies. Even the break up a bit. It’s fun to hang on to the pure hatred for a while. The plots to avenge my honor. Imagining the public ways you will suffer your comeuppance.

Also, I love humans. I love getting to know what makes you tick. Imagining the possibilities of us. Trying you on for size. I’ve been with artists, teachers, mechanics, philosophers, dreamers, business-types, a DJ; I just love finding out who I am next to you. It’s like being freaking Margaret Meade and I just want to observe you and absorb you and sit around your campfire for a bit while I take notes on your eating habits.

I never said I was normal.

So as I reflect on a somewhat lonely New Years weekend, while gleefully hanging on to shreds of hatred toward my most recent ex, whose charming smile and stupid witty sense of humor sucked me right in and then SPIT ME OUT (if you are reading this I am STILL SO MAD AT YOU)–but hear me on this:  I have NO RAGRETS. I would not trade a moment of any of it.

Allow me to explain.

At the deepest, most primal level, my sweet boys are the exact children I was meant to mother. I mean, like a mother lion who swats away feisty little cubs with her strong mama-lion paws, I cannot EVEN at times, but they are perfectly mine. Their father continues to be an asshat, but he gave me these two utterly incredible human beings. And if I had never fallen in love with and married that asshat, I would not have the two greatest loves of my life.

So if I regret him? By proxy, I regret them. And that is not possible. Not even the tiniest bit.

No ragrets.

Sidenote: as an aspiring novelist, you better believe your sweet cheeks EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOOLS is gonna be in my book. You’re gonna be able to say you knew me when, but also that you’re Dick from page 67 who got snuffed by the killer clown.

I said I didn’t have REGRETS, not that I didn’t enjoy REVENGE served ice cold with a twist of lime.

Peace loves.





To everything there is a season. 

Be the change.

In the event of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first before helping those around you.

Sometimes, we need to change it up folks. My beautiful blog, documenting years of early mommy-hood, a small brush with cancer, the end of a marriage and the beginning of a ME seems like a distant place I need to gently tuck in for a long winter’s nap.

I love that blog. I stand by every word I wrote on that blog. But today? Today mama needs a new pair of shoes.

Fucking stilettos y’all.

Today, I am becoming new.

Today, we are facing down a new year with a new administration and a new (terrifying) world order.

Today, I am shutting my damn mouth and learning to listen.

Today, I am a mommy, but I am also a ME.

Today, I am a writer.

Today, I am a runner.

Today, I am a single woman learning how to date again.

Today, I honor you for just being you.

Today, I will strip down my white privilege and freaking listen.

Today, I am a feminist.

Today, I will check myself for condescension.

Today, I will be wrong.

Today, I will be right.

Today, I will WRITE.