A Series of Unexpected Events

What rhymes with ‘long-anticipated boat ride up the coast on a beautiful weekend’? If you guessed ‘two sick boys and a missed adventure’, then you can pat yourself on the back in consolation and know that you’re just as bad at rhyming as I am. But I can try to tell you a story with an unfortunate beginning, a harrowing middle, and ice cream at the end. 

For weeks the plan had been to take a one-night family trip on the boat up to Camden, ME. It was to be our first true test of whether we had what it took for ocean voyages. We got tested alright, but not in the way we had hoped or considered. 

The evening before our departure, James and Caleb developed high fevers. It quickly became evident that they wouldn’t want me to go on the boat without them, so I had to do what all mothers everywhere have to do at least a few hundred times during their mothering career: eat chocolate and drink specialty coffee. Not quite a fair trade for not being able to realize my full potential as a sun catcher on the boat, but it was the caffeine lift needed to help me through my double overtime shift as stay-at-home nurse. 

After not getting any sleep that night, Danny decided to brave the open ocean anyway, and I’m not going to say that he ran out of the house right after Caleb threw up, but I am going to say that he quickly descended the stairs, opened the front door, and left. To be fair, it would have been a shame if nobody took the trip, and the girls deserved a reward for being awake by 7am, packed and ready to go. 

My day was then spent running up and down the stairs, burning off the coffee and treats, in my efforts to minister to the sick ones, monitoring their temperature and keeping them comfortable, hydrated, and medicated. While the medicine seemed to aid in the alleviation of James’s feverish symptoms, it didn’t seem to have any effect on Caleb’s ailments. For frustratingly unknown reasons, Caleb’s head pain worsens intensely when he is sick. It is so hard not having answers or a working treatment!

And if that isn’t distressing enough, here is the harrowing middle, brought to you by Ellie. 

As Anna and I were reclining against the comfortable cushions of Runtime’s salon, roughly an hour and 25 nautical miles away from our final destination, Dad pulled back sharply on the throttle causing the boat to lurch to a slower pace. Navigating the open ocean is easy… if you have a working GPS. Mid cruise, the CZone Touch 5 cord had disconnected, disrupting the signal to Dad’s screens. And if you can’t read the depth of the seafloor or detect other sailing vessels out on the open ocean, you could be in trouble. 

Thinking quickly, Dad placed me at the helm to continue our now very slow pace across the water and went to search Runtime for the source of the disruption. While trying to locate the mysterious and elusive beeping, Dad brought out his phone to text a technician from the boat company to ask for assistance. Mark F., who is usually on-call for incidents of any kind, supplied Dad with option after option, eventually finding a solution to bypass the system failure, allowing him to gain back the GPS.

Though the malfunction could have potentially made their trip a huge disaster, it was but a blip on their adventure radar. A large pod of dolphins encircled the boat during part of their cruise and basking sharks and a whale were spotted and that’s no fish tale! Touring the tiny town of Camden as t(w)eenage tourists was a unique and exciting experience for the girls. Shopping, eating out, each getting to sleep on a top bunk, soaking up the sun and salt spray, and hanging out with Danny surely made them miss their mother immensely. I mean, they were quite happy when they returned home. 😉

By the time the spunky sailors arrived home, the little boys were nearly back to full health. Knowing that our homeschool friends were hosting an Ice Cream Social that evening was key to their overall improvement, I’m sure. Despite the unexpected turn of events to our weekend, our mettle was proved, our iron was (hopefully) refined, and the ice cream was delicious.


I had an idea for a post I was going to share which would have been a tribute to being married for 21 years, as well as recount our wonderful time away in Portland and Camden, Maine. I was going to mention how amazing it was to be blessed with better weather than anticipated and how we got to choose when we woke up and where we would eat and what activity we wanted and none of it was dictated by parental duties. I wanted to wax poetic about revisiting our wedding locale, still finding it beautiful and special, and wandering coastal towns with the smell of salt on the breeze and boats of all shapes and sizes coloring the marina in nautical uniqueness. I thought of telling of the hundreds of thousands of steps we walked, up and down uneven brick walkways, in and out of brick buildings, within which were gorgeous paintings, homemade gifts, and one-of-a-kind antiques, purchasing commemorative trinkets from one store and refreshing ice cream from another. I had wanted to describe eating delicious food from hole-in-the-wall restaurants’ patios and chatting about everything and nothing without interruption. I was going to chronicle the growth in our marriage, expressing the ways in which Danny is the better half in this duo and what I’ve learned over the last two decades and a bit. 

However, I feel 1000% confident that you all will find what I am going to share with you instead far more exciting and worthwhile to read. Below is a text exchange I had with Jake while Danny and I were away for a couple of days this past week.

Jake: Umm, another update, there is a snake loose in the house

          Anna put one in her cage thing and it escaped earlier

          So yeah, there’s that

Me:    I’m not coming home until it’s found.

The next day….

Me:    Is there still a snake in my house?

After a phone call with Jake, who said he thought the kids found the snake…

Jake: Nvm, it’s still loose

Me:   Can they see the snake behind the desk? They know for certain that’s where

          it is?

Jake:  That’s where it was yesterday. But it had all night to get….anywhere

         Even…. upstairs…under a bed

You guys. There’s a snake. In my house. I’m not sure how much longer I can live here. I used to be just like you, not ever being able to correlate a memory of an anniversary with a snake. I miss those days. You can be sure this one won’t be forgotten any time soon! 🐍


“When the cat’s away, the mice will play,” as the saying goes and we sure did ‘play’ while the teens were gone last weekend! I’m sure they thought they were the ones having fun and enjoying a get-away, but joke’s on them because we thoroughly loved the quieter conditions in which we found ourselves. Having just the three youngest at home made certain adventures more doable than if our whole crew was around. It should go without saying that, as a mother, I will always love having all of my offspring under the same roof as much as possible, but only when I also have duct tape and zip ties on hand. Just wishing, I mean, kidding! Just KIDDING.

It all started with a BBQ supper Danny cooked up for us, the first of the season as there was finally a break in the rainy weather. Thanks to a Dairy Queen gift card Caleb received, we had the perfect excuse to go out for dessert. While the three kids worked off the sugar rush running up and down the hill behind the restaurant, Danny and I were able to talk uninterrupted for at least fifteen minutes and forty-five seconds, which was especially wonderful because he’s had to travel so much recently that getting in quality conversation has been pretty tough. 

The next evening the kids convinced (read: begged) us that a round of mini-golf and Go-Karting would be the best way to spend many of our dollars. The weather behaved, the kids mostly behaved, but the golf balls and courses most certainly did not! Whoever engineered the course needs a course in engineering. Those of us with even a small bit of talent saw our balls roll into corners crowded with everyone else’s balls and skip over the edges of the holes when we all knew they’d ordinarily have gone in, but fun was definitely had. Surprisingly, I won, but Danny got to hold the winning hand. 🙂 👫

Go-karting was short but definitely sweet. While Anna has enjoyed this activity in the past and remembers it, this was the first time she was tall enough to drive a car alone. James had also been a passenger before but did not remember the ride, and Caleb had never had the privilege in any capacity. Since James did not come in first, or second, or third, or second to last in mini-golf, we decided he should ride with Danny, considerably upping his chances of winning the race. Caleb would go with me, and Anna would experience a solo initiation to the world of driving. 

The light turned green and we were off—to a crawl. Caleb’s nerves got the best of him as he shouted for me to “slow down, slow down!” We were left in the proverbial dust as all the other cars whizzed around us, then lapped us. Like all good drivers should, I gave Caleb my phone so he could take photos or videos as we looped around the course at a staggering speed of five miles an hour. And I’m so glad I did. Because it’s the law, you guys. But also because the pictures in my phone are now some of my most treasured photos. I hope you enjoy the following photos taken by my seven year old as much as I do:

Since we’ve had more rainy days than not recently, entertaining the idea of going outside for an excursion on July 4 was more laboriously discussed this year, but I’m so glad we decided to go ahead and spend the day out. It was a warm, if not muggy, day and the sun played hide-and-seek for most of it. 

Though it means a lot of work for Danny, going on the boat is quickly becoming one of my most favorite pastimes. And though it’s not really meant to function as a family boat, we revel in being together on it. This day was no exception. I’m not sure I can properly describe the way the sky and water matched each other in their striations of shady blues and tarnished silver or how the straight line of the horizon was the only solid shape amidst the blurriness of the air above us and the smooth, dark carpet of liquid beneath us, but suffice it to say, it was so calm, so beautiful, and so invigorating.

(Pictures DO NOT do justice to the beauty.) 

The kids relished every seal sighting and I savored every squeal of delight, the wind in my hair, the peacefulness of cruising on open ocean without another vessel in sight, and my husband’s patience and selflessness in facilitating this opportunity for us. Something about being out on the water makes one happily exhausted and we were all in bed before the fireworks could light up the darkening sky. 

As another saying goes, “All good things must come to an end” and with the arrival of our teens, it did. It was back to the daily grind, but after such a refreshing weekend, my spirit was buoyed and these precious moments are now cherished memories. 

A Lot of Nothing

One might think there haven’t been any updates in awhile because I’ve been so busy, but one would be wrong. During this last month, I’ve been doing a lot of avoiding actually. Avoiding cleaning out the playroom, avoiding switching the kids’ clothes over from winter to summer (though with weather like this, sometimes sweatshirts and pants have been warranted), avoiding going anywhere I absolutely don’t have to go, avoiding any number of other chores, errands, excursions that probably should be accomplished, and avoiding updating a certain site. Through all the hard work of doing nothing, I’ve now become quite a pro.

While I’ve been busy with nothing, the kids have continued to ask me every single day, without fail, what’s for supper. They are keeping up their end of the family bargain of needing me as soon as I sit down, yelling into a room when I’m on the phone, and leaving as many reminders of their presence in every nook and cranny of the house as possible. They practice music before 8:00 AM, raucously conduct rollerblading hockey games for all the neighbors to hear, request rides for pool playdates, decide anytime after 10pm is the right time for a deep discussion, and some even have the audacity to say they need to be driven to work. 

If you think all of that sounds bad, here’s a short story that’s worse:

There had been a very emotionally and mentally disastrous occasion one evening with one of our children. This unexpected situation was so out of the ordinary and my heart was crying out to the Lord for grace and help. Going to bed with the situation not quite resolved was definitely one of the harder things I’ve had to do lately. 

The morning didn’t seem to bring any new mercies that I could see with my clouded vision. Not only was there no repentance, but now some of my other children were acting out and I was standing in my kitchen wishing for a tropical vacation for one.  Or a redo on parenting–about five year’s worth! Sometime mid-morning, there was a loud crash and then a sprinkling sound coming from the pantry door. Not wanting to immediately rush over to the scene of the crime, both for the sake of the guilty child and myself, I called out, “What spilled?”  

“This thing,” my littlest one replied, holding up my 12” cake pan, “fell over and now there are eyeballs all over the floor.” Naturally. If you don’t have candy eyeballs in the closet that can easily be spilled all over the floor, can you even see the Lord’s mercy in your life? All I could do was laugh and recognize that it was the Providential comic relief I needed in that moment. 

I’m happy to report an apology was issued by the child with the attitude and forgiveness given in return, but I’m leaving some candy eyes on the floor of the pantry. I’m bound to need the sweet reminder of God’s love and care to His own all too soon.

Now that I’ve updated this, I can go back to doing nothing. 

Caleb has been Updated

You hear the admonition, “get a second opinion”, a lot when it comes to medical prognoses. Since we listened to Dr. Google first, we figured it was wise to get advice from a real, practicing neurosurgeon before we put all our faith in search result #4. Which turned out to be a good idea because her perspective over the information, symptoms, and scan results was calm, conservative, and competent. 

While Caleb certainly has Chiari Malformation and while there is a bit of fluid around the tip of the spinal column, she isn’t convinced the headaches are caused by these issues. Certain positions of his head didn’t trigger on-the-spot aches in a way that they typically would if you were getting headaches from pressure caused by build-up of cerebrospinal fluid and the crowding of the area by the cerebellar tonsils. 

The doctor would like him to have another scan in six months to catalog any changes, this time with more detail of the spinal canal. Meanwhile, we are to get an appointment with an ophthalmologist to rule out sight issues and continue treating the symptoms on an as-needed basis.  I know I should be happy that Caleb doesn’t need surgery at the moment, but the waiting game is so hard for me. 

Generally, I’m not a go-getter, mission-oriented kind of person like my husband is (how did we end up together?), but now that I know there is a medical issue and my child is suffering, I’m ready to storm the hospital and lay him on the MRI table myself tomorrow. I need answers now and I need Caleb to feel better! I would like to stop asking him his ‘number’ (on the pain scale) every time he asks for medicine. I would like for him to get better sleep and not fall down all the time. I’d like to know definitively if he needs glasses or surgery. I would like to not go through tribulation to gain patience! Please pray that I can rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and continue in prayer and that Caleb will have a measure of relief from his maladies.


Kids. They keep you busy. They keep you guessing. They keep you humble. They keep you on your knees. And boy have we been on our knees this year.

The road to life and health has been bumpy, to say the least. Jake’s departure for university definitely put a kink in my emotional health, as I learned to navigate life without the lively firstborn around. I had difficulty calling any outing a “family” event since we were minus one. Wherever we were that required me keeping a count and close eye on where all the children were, my tracking would feel off because I couldn’t ever start from the top down: Jake, Isaac, Ellie, Anna,… My prayer life changed as I had to relearn to rest in the knowledge that Jake was (and always has been) in the Lord’s hands, not mine. Jake going off to college seems to be the beginning of a new stage of life for us that involves relinquishing our former role as “law and order” parents and becoming close advisors instead. How thankful we are that he still comes home to eat our food and use Danny’s car.

Following Jake’s exodus to Florida, Anna decided she needed some attention, so she broke her arm. In two places. We did not need to wait in the ER very long as they realized a person with an extra joint in their forearm probably needs immediate medical attention. A long evening was spent in the hospital while x-rays were taken, IVs were inserted, pain medication delivered, sedation administered, a radial bone set in place, and a splint created. The orthopedic surgeon said this type of reduction has a 75% success rate and to wait ten days when another set of x-rays would tell us whether Anna’s procedure fell into the successful category or not. Because Anna likes to be uniquely difficult, the alignment came in at a frustrating 26%.  At the surgeon’s suggestion, we agreed that surgery to insert a pin would give Anna’s bone the best chance of healing straight.

From a full-arm splint, to surgery, to a second splint, to a full-arm cast, to a short arm cast, to an extraction surgery to a brace, Anna spent the entire autumn with her arm protected and useless. Well, not quite. Though she couldn’t bend her arm at the elbow for many weeks, Anna was undeterred in her efforts to learn violin. The full-arm cast served as a prop on which to set the violin, and when her arm was in the short cast, she could just get her fingers to rest on the fingerboard, allowing her to bow several notes and tunes.

If Anna’s ER reduction, surgery to insert a pin, and then a second surgery to remove the pin seems like a lot to you, just wait, because there’s more. During the medical ordeal that was Anna’s broken radius and ulna, James made a very bold statement, “Come on, Anna, it can’t hurt that badly,” to which Anna responded by telling him broken bones were contagious. Modern words were never so prophetic because a month after Anna broke her left arm, James broke his left arm. Though it was his humerus, it wasn’t funny. Would you go out in public with two kids in casts?? James made sure to leave his imprint on our health insurance bill by taking his sweet time to heal. Instead of the quoted “three weeks in a cast”, his arm took a full five weeks to mend. In that time-frame, he had three different casts and I was earning frequent, yet unwanted, flier miles in the orthopedic office with our weekly visits.

When you have multiple children, you run the risk of having multiple gray hairs. Though we are so thankful for the complete healing of those three broken bones, a new concern has arisen. Caleb has been suffering from constant, chronic headaches since September ‘22. His journey began at the pediatrician’s office, moved along to a neurologist, and now he’s being referred to a pediatric neurosurgeon after the results of an MRI he had this past week. It seems his cerebellum extends into his spinal canal, where it clearly does not belong, dipping roughly 5 mm below the base of his skull. This condition is called Chiari Malformation.

Since our appointment with the surgeon hasn’t yet occurred, we do not have many more details about what will happen next, but we have asked Dr. Google all the pertinent questions, which is absolutely always the best idea. Oddly, its bedside manner is fairly poor and the information is confusing at best and scary at worst. In all of my reading on the topic, Caleb’s case is slightly unique given that this defect is more commonly found in women than men, typically discovered while a patient is being seen for other issues, is usually discovered in adolescence or adulthood, and a majority of people with CM are asymptomatic. Caleb clearly doesn’t fit the profile. As we wait for the next doctor’s visit, we value your prayers for clarity on treatment moving forward and for Caleb’s sustained health and comfort in the meantime.

There is encouragement in the fact that our Lord knit Caleb in the womb this way and being “fearfully and wonderfully made” is just as true for him as it is for everyone else. Our family is not the first to experience trials and tribulations, nor will we be the last, but boy do I ever feel like we have some unique children! Truly, these Limited Edition Allans keep us simultaneously on our toes and our knees. 


I’ve been contemplating the phrase “rejoice in the Lord alway” lately. I’m not sure why it’s taken me until my first 39th year anniversary to understand that I am to do this in both the good and the hard times. We jauntily sing the children’s Sunday school song when all are happy and willing to praise the Lord and believe, not incorrectly, that we are rejoicing right at that moment because we are singing. 

But what about the times when we’re not singing? What about the moments when we aren’t even happy? What about during the hard times? Do we rejoice in the Lord then? It’s not a wonder why the apostle Paul repeated the imperative: again I say, rejoice. Why would he need to reiterate the command? I’ll tell you why. Because of me. 

Because I needed to ruminate on rejoicing, even when I didn’t feel like rejoicing. I  admonish and encourage my children to do all to the glory of God but often don’t equate that I should be rejoicing in all that I do, as well. All too often I adopt what I think is a self-righteous attitude, “I’m the mom, I’m right”, but never are you more wrong than when you think you are right! Raising children certainly has difficult moments, but it’s my responsibility to model the outcome we, as parents, are striving for and the apostle knew that rejoicing in all things would not only bring glory to God but also change the mindset. The thing about rejoicing is that it takes your inward-focused thoughts and turns them into outward-focused praise. 

There definitely have been reasons to praise the Lord recently, not the least of which was the safe return of Jake (and Isaac) from Florida. No one told me a mother’s heart beats for her children long after they are grown and gone and stupidly I was surprised by how Jake’s absence affected me. With him back for the summer, we no longer fit around our kitchen table and if the whole family goes out, we have to take the Monster and the chatter has gone up tenfold and the laundry is backed up by one more kid jumping the line and I wouldn’t have it any other way. When I need to account for all my children and their whereabouts, it’s easier to keep track of the NH Jake than the FL Jake, even if NH Jake is out with friends more than he is hangin’ at home. 

The girls participated in a fiddle workshop last week and were allowed to join the artists in their evening concert. Though this was an amazing opportunity for them, and though Danny and I got to sit in the audience during the concert and watch our girls fiddle, my favorite part of the entire evening was the ride home.

No, not because it was 10:30 p.m. and we were finally returning, but because of the way the girls’ enthusiasm and love for their craft caused them to bubble over with exclamations about the evening and the giggles were plentiful. It was infectious, joyous, and so wonderful to hear them gush about their performance, discussing how nervous they were backstage or when they thought they made a mistake or arguing over whether or not they were supposed to bow (only the principal is supposed to bow on behalf of the whole orchestra) and how badly they felt for the girl who dropped her cello bow partway through and now a love of fiddle music is burgeoning in their hearts. Listening to the girls bond over a shared love of music during the ride home on a dazzling moonlit night was especially precious and I’m holding on to that memory with both halves of my brain for as long as possible. 

It’s easy to rejoice in the Lord for giving these talents to our children and providing safe passage to brothers making a long journey home and for the health and well-being of our family and the warm weather that has finally arrived (for good, I hope) and a multitude of other small and big things.  However, when times are rougher, that shouldn’t stop me from continuing in my praise to Jesus, “Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.” (Psalm 63:7) 

“…rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Roman 5: 2-5

Ten Things about the #5 Allans

I’m borrowing Kristi’s idea from several years back, hoping you won’t notice that it’s a cover for the fact that I haven’t really had anything worthy to share lately. I figure some bullet points of our lives should suffice. And like the last time I did this for the email chain, I can promise you it will all be pretty mundane.

  1. By the end of this, I won’t know how to get out of the “numbered list” format. That is because I despise technology and it returns the sentiment. Danny and Isaac can never leave me. If they do, you’ll find me turning real pages, using a typewriter, and stuffing my money under the mattress.
  2. Juggling six kids is an act you’d be amazed to see in a circus. Good thing most of my children are too heavy to toss into the air, but it sure gets complicated, exhausting, and at times, fascinating keeping up with their schedules and emotional health.
  3. Ellie will begin her career at Chick-fil-A this week. It’s not quite the Allan McDonald’s dynasty, but we’re doing our part to give the chicken empire kids who’d rather do chores for money at work than at home. 
  4. The season for guests has possibly begun with back-to-back weekends of company. Unfortunately, neither weekend saw beautiful spring weather and we were forced to watch baseball. I mean, we were forced to watch it in the gray, dank NH April. Thankfully each set of guests were quite agreeable to walk beside us in our busyness and visiting happened more on-the-go than on the sofa. Hopefully our next guests will experience enough May sunshine to bring some with them on their return to Newfoundland.
  5. We will be back to a full house come this Friday as Jake returns from his first year away. Isaac is flying down to FL on Wednesday to participate in the challenge of “Will the Brothers Come Back Bonded or Bruised?” while they make the long drive homeward. Prayers would be appreciated.
  6. After putting in two more weeks of travel, Danny gets to sleep in his own bed for three weeks before another trip. Since he’ll be gone over his birthday, you can send me whatever presents you would have given to him. Just kidding. Unless….🤷
  7. “Anna, where are the snickerdoodle cookies you made?” I asked her, very sarcastically, knowing she hadn’t actually baked them last week like she said she would. Without missing a beat, she replied, “Oh, well, I separated out all their ingredients and put them back.” 
  8. Raise your hand if you loathe living in a tech world while you have children. I know this seems an awful lot like my first point, but that one was about my incompetence. This one is about the difficulties technology brings to our family, so stay with me. Now raise your hand if you are reading this from a device right now. See my conundrum? It’s good– until it isn’t. The kids need it, but so often it is misused or abused and the challenge lies in striking the perfect balance of using technology appropriately while leaving time for some fun stuff without the latter use overtaking the first. Who’s got the answers and why haven’t they shared them with me yet?  
  9. There’s nothing here because seven eight nine. Can you believe that the number of times my kids roll their eyes at my humor is exponentially more than the sum of times they laugh? My sadness is infinite.
  10. This last one is a fact we’re all learning together, since I didn’t even know about it until right now: James hates small spaces while Caleb seems to love them. That’s what Caleb just told me when I asked him what I should write about the two of them. I’m afraid to ask them how they’ve come to know this about themselves. Everyone deserves a little mystery in their lives, right?

And that’s a wrap.

Ups and Downs

Did you miss me? They say ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’, but my motto is usually ‘absence makes the procrastination longer’. A non sequitur and one sentence later, I’ve been feeling a little bit like an ostrich lately. Heavy, flightless, and not good at making decisions. Due to the six circumstances that have given me the title ‘mom’, I’ve preferred to keep my head stuck in the sand this week.

Remember my advice from last time? ‘Don’t have kids’? Yeah, I should have specified by saying,  “Don’t have the female kind. Also, don’t have the male kind.” It’s not like I didn’t listen to those parents in whose footsteps I am happy to follow; I listened, I gleaned, I questioned, I prepared. But you really don’t have any idea until you’re actually in it for yourself, do you?

Having difficulties with teenagers is not new to anyone. It’s a tale as old as Cain and Abel. But how did we go from those sweet-faced, pudgy-fingered, elbow-dimpled toddlers we raised to these cantankerous, hormonal, teary-eyed parents they’ve turned us into? 

I have more questions than answers. I have more prayer requests than humorous stories. I have more roller coaster rides in a day than even a thrill-seeker would wish upon themselves. I have more kids that will someday become teenagers! 

Did you know that ostrich eggs are incredibly tough to crack? Any person weighing up to roughly 250 pounds wouldn’t even make a dent in the shell if they stood on top of it. A saw or some other hand tool is typically used to gain access to the prized yolk. I just think it’s so fitting that while it is hard for any of us to break open the shell, the chick inside has absolutely no difficulty whatsoever cracking the egg and hatching. It seems like there must be something here I can learn from this. If I can just pull my head out of the sand, maybe I can figure out what it is…

To pick up on the roller coaster analogy, there have been some ‘ups’ in the last little while. It’s a good thing, too. Normally I’m terrified of the ‘up’ on the roller coaster because it means that we have to come back down, and that’s the part I really don’t like! However, we don’t think like that with real life events, do we? If things are going well, we’re typically not walking on eggshells, waiting for life to fall apart (especially if that egg is an ostrich’s). Anyway, getting back on track here, Danny and I have been thankful for some successes and joys the kids have experienced recently. 

There have been very high marks on an important test and job applicant acceptances and first-time sports team players and dog-training developments and self-advocating-while-making-big-decisions moments. Yet despite all of these accomplishments and exciting events, none of these kids know how to change the toilet paper roll! Below is photographic evidence of a real scene I stumbled upon in my house, in which there are children, half of whom are teens who should know how to figure this out. 😑

If you need me, I’ll be the one with my head in the sand.

My Job Here is Done

Well, I’ve updated you on the mundane and the extraordinary, and you’ve gotten more posts in this one month segment than you have for the last eleven years so I think my work here is done. However the experiment is to see whether I can keep this blog from living up to its tagline or not and the only way to do that is to constantly update you on the daily shenanigans from the Allans #5, whether you like it or not. 

It’s scary, in a way, to put yourself “out there” on the internet. I can’t see your facial expressions, so I don’t know if you understand my sarcasm or lack of humor or if you are eagerly leaning in for more. There is no give and take in this relationship, not in a real and present way at least. I am giving you my words, but I don’t know if you care enough to “take” them, and I don’t want to bother you. Perhaps it’s the introvert in me that uses writing as a way to communicate, to be heard, without in-person interaction. In my head, I speak fluent English. When I talk out loud, I sound like a three year old for whom English is my second language. Thus the blog is a conduit to my boring brain and I can take all the time needed to poorly share the ongoings of our family.

But enough philosophy! You know what else is as elusive as theoretical thoughts on reality? Ninth grade science, and I’m in charge of teaching it at our co-op. Let me give you a free piece of advice: don’t have kids. Because if you do, they’ll grow up and eventually need to make their way through high school science and if you don’t speak up at your co-op planning meeting then you will have to teach the class no one wants and you will be totally out of your depth, but you know you can’t let the students see your fear or they will run right over you and you’ll develop an expensive habit of buying a drink from Starbucks before every co-op as a reward for dealing with the anxiety, so now you have an addiction on top of your incapabilities and it’s a good thing we only have five classes left. 

Meanwhile, Danny’s work continues to reward him with more airline points and time zone changes. He actually has a two week reprieve from the travel, which is good because he needs the time to detox his wife from pricey drinks. He is eager to begin his Best Buddies training again, racking up distances to make the 100 mile ride across Cape Cod in June seem like a breeze. 

You know what’s not a breeze? Spring in New England. Despite the date on the calendar, spring is the slowest season to fully arrive in New England and he’ll need to wait for warmer weather and the street sweeper before he can get in much outdoor cycling. There is a bright spot on Danny’s horizon though, and he may soon have another title to add to his name. Stay tuned for more on that later.

Also, the kids are fine. 🙂