Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.~Theodore Roosevelt

You Ask a Lot of Questions


I lost count of how many times Zoe kicked her board during Saturday’s growth ceremony at Evolve All. At the end of the day, the number doesn’t matter.

Breaking the board is the final part of the test to graduate to the next belt. In this, Zoe was graduating from the yellow solid belt to the green solid belt, which requires you to break a much thicker board than all the previous belt levels. This is a big-time board.

To be fair, most of her yellow solid classmates found it challenging to break the board. Out of a dozen young martial artists, I think only one or two got it on the first kick, and most of them required several kicks. It was tough. And really breaking these boards is tough for many levels. The young woman who became a black belt during this ceremony, who is fierce and…

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I’m Giving Away a Book!

You Ask a Lot of Questions

Carry On, Warrior Later this month I am participating in Glennon Melton’s Messy, Beautiful Warriors project on Momastery. This means I will be writing a post that is linked to Momastery and maybe, if I’m lucky, it will be reposted there. I am a big fan of Glennon so I am excited about this opportunity.

What’s in it for you? A free book! Because I said I would write about being a messy, beautiful warrior, Glennon sent me a copy of her book to give away. I own it and I’ve read it and it’s great. Randy even read it, and he mostly reads tech blogs and news and books about programming, so that’s a testimonial right there.

Any reader who makes a thoughtful comment on my blog in April, and who says he or she would like to be entered in the drawing for the book, will be eligible.

Coming soon–reflections on…

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So We Have A Baby Now

I just enjoyed a long nap on the couch with the little guy. Few things better. Now the trick is to go back to sleep…

You Ask a Lot of Questions

Zeke is nine days old today. Four years of yearning have come to a fruitful and blessed conclusion with his birth. I can hardly express how much better it is in every possible way to be able to snuggle with him outside of my body instead of carrying him within. Our lives have changed so much in the past couple weeks that any words I can think of frankly seem inadequate to the task of describing what we’re feeling and have experienced, but–being a writer–I feel compelled to try to come up with those words anyway. So here are a few brief chapters.

I. The Birth Story (only for those who are truly interested)

We checked into the hospital on a Sunday night so I could be induced on the day before my due date because the doctors suspected Zeke was particularly big and might be too large to be…

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The Hunger Games

I just finished reading Suzanne Collins’ magnificent Hunger Games trilogy. In addition to being a gripping thriller, it is a searing look into the darkness of mankind and our predilection for destroying each other. Collins does not spare us from the sickening and horrifying details of warfare, and the moral ambiguity that inevitably creeps in whenever we begin killing in the name of something good. As Peeta–the hero Katniss Everdeen’s love interest–says of the fighting, “how do you think this will end? What will be left?” The Hunger Games trilogy is sci-fi, set hundreds of years in the future. But Peeta’s questions haunt our real world today.

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Cox Farms Fall Festival


We had a great time at the Cox Farms Fall Festival today. Zoe tried most of the slides, asked someone in a bunny suit if he/she wanted a carrot, and played with her friend Salome on the hay pile. Other highlights were the hay ride (with a very spirited driver) and a cow-milking show.

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Wow. Say what you want about Google, but this is just beautiful. (Saw this on the remarkable Mommy Beta blog.)

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Lemony Snicket Introduces 13 Words and the Orchestra

As Betsy has documented on her blog here and here, Zoe loves to read, talk, and play-act about mommies having babies. And when we go to the library, Zoe almost exclusively picks out books either for or about babies. We try to round out her library haul with books on other topics, if only to keep ourselves from going crazy reading about babies all the time.

Recently, I found two books by one of my favorite children’s author, Lemony Snicket13 Words (illustrated by the fabulous Maira Kalman), and The Composer is Dead. The first of these I read with Zoe; it is a pleasant affair in which nothing particularly bad happens. Kalman and Snicket introduce the book in a “trailer”:

The Composer is Dead is a witty and engaging introduction to the orchestra, written both for Classical music lovers like myself and for young people not yet acquainted with the joys of the symphony. The premise is that a foolhardy inspector investigates a composer’s death by interrogating each section of the orchestra, beginning with the violins, then the cellos and basses.

“Well, I guess that takes care of the strings,” the Inspector said. “Oh—the Violas! I forgot all about you.”

The book comes with a CD of the San Francisco Symphony performing the original music (by Nathaniel Stookey). Many of the jokes will be over the heads of young readers, but the tone is silly enough that they’ll enjoy it anyway.

You can get a preview of the book and music (which was not included in the library book) here:

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