Author Archives: an unlikely fairytale

About an unlikely fairytale

a midwestern mom on an adventure with my family and friends to live the next half of my life with the concept that "life is too short" and take nothing for granted.

An Unlikely Fairy Tale


fairy tale castle

When someone thinks of a fairy tale, they envision singing birds, and sparkly castles, maybe some unicorns, a prince with his princess, magical moments full of enchantment .. and sparkles and rainbows and glitter and even more sparkles…

especially if you are a girl.

But not this girl.

I’m not sure at what point in my life I decided I would never have the fairy tale, nor really want it for that matter.

In high school, my fairy tale consisted of living in the Village in NYC, being all artsy fartsy with my artsy fartsy friends, staying out late, rubbing elbows with B list celebrities, painting when I wanted to paint in my giant loft with the giant windows, boyfriends went it felt right, and definitely no kids.

artists loft 2

And look at me now.

Two-failed marriages, four kids, a ratty vehicle, often living paycheck to paycheck, live-in boyfriend with two more kids, a dog, cat and a hamster, an 80 mile round-trip commute each day …

and THIS.

IS my fairy tale.

and I LOVE IT.

Anyone from the outside looking in would see a circus.


The chaos, the mess, the noise, loud-voices, laughter and tears, drawings and writings and various papers scattered everywhere, 12 different calendars to keep all eight of us in the right place at the right time (often late, but shoot, we made it, right?), mismatched socks, dancing in the kitchen, whose turn is it on the Xbox or who gets to pick the next song, sleepover forts that stay up for 3 months, the cat’s up a tree, the dog ate my pencil, i think the hamster might be dead (nope just MIA), unreturned library books, one gets the flu you all get the flu, what’s for dinner tonight, burps, farts and smelly arm-pits (except for Avery, our sweet and only little girl in a sea of teenage boys … yea right), who is picking up the kids and who is picking up the pizza making sure we don’t both end up at home with just the pizza and no kids …

And that’s just the good days.

But who doesn’t love a circus, right?!

(except for the freaky clowns of course)

Honestly …  I would take this circus over that fairy tale any day.

2012-07-03_20-19-11_16 2012-03-17_09-22-39_658 2012-09-02_11-02-55_181 2012-09-01_13-38-31_935 2012-08-24_21-27-50_459 2012-07-03_20-17-16_396 2012-05-26_19-30-31_83 2012-05-12_12-32-15_996 2012-12-30_15-46-30_576


Brad Pitt and Road Trips


road trip

I keep calling it an adventure.

My mother continues to refer to it as a dangerous mission.

Okay mom .. I get it .. I do ..

After all, the definition of adventure  “is an exciting or unusual experience; it may also be a bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome”.

{ EXACTLY!  That’s why we are going!!  geesh }

But let’s get some perspective ..

It’s not like we’re traveling into the Himalayans on the backs of llamas to rescue a dying tribe …

and the outcome is definitely not uncertain.

We have gladly accepted the task ( please, and thank you, Mel )  of driving my dear friend’s vehicle out to their new homestead/ranch in Montana.

From Iowa.

Through the mountains.

In the dead of winter.

wait!  … what? 

Bold? perhaps.

Risky? potentially.

Exciting?  Hell yes!

iowa city to bozeman

I am completely ecstatic at the mere idea of this road trip.

Ever since I saw Legends of the Fall with the mouth-watering, self-tortured Tristan (played so eloquently by Brad Pitt below), I have dreamed of seeing Montana,

(and Brad Pitt .. but that’s a completely separate adventure).

brad pitt legends of the fall


However, I fear the planning is making my travel mate/lover slightly annoyed …

which I can’t begin to understand why??

Who wouldn’t want to talk about all the wondrous things we will see & snap pictures of along the way, the strange yet awesome people we will meet at rest stops and roadside cafes ( such a romantic ), the multitude of stories we can share, the perfect play lists to keep us pumped and awake, the tasty, not-so-healthy road trip snacks and beverages we should pack, the outerwear we need to include, the emergency kit we better not forget, the best route to take and how in the hell will we not drive each other stark raving mad stuck in a car for twenty plus hours one-way together?

Let’s talk about that!

Every day until next Thursday.

That’s how excited I am.

Poor lover.



But let’s not feel too sorry for him yet. I’m sure there will be some kind of bonus in it for him …  along the way …

{ wink wink  … blush }





Be there soon, Mel!

Melody's yard in Bozeman Montana

Stay tuned for updates.


Moving is Such Sweet Sorrow


This home, in the heart of Iowa Amish country, has been a sanctuary for my family for nearly 5 years.

It has seen us through a divorce and helped us find our independence and identify our family values.

This home has witnessed many tears, loud voices, wrestling matches, breathtaking hugs, family gatherings, late night smore-making bonfires, livestock mishaps, accidental pumpkin patches, and hardy laughter.

This home has witnessed love lost, love found and love withstanding.

This home is one we will never forget.

But now it’s time to start a new chapter.

In this home.

Let the adventure begin!

Awaken My Soul


The first signs of spring.

This is one of my most favorite things in the world.

It gives me such inspiration. I can’t even begin to explain how the shift in the seasons impact me.

And although this occurs EVERY spring, I’m always surprised by the rush of thoughts and emotions.

( I guess it’s good that some things still surprise me these days )

Everything smells different.  Everything looks, feels, and sounds different.

I love the smell of the moisture lingering in the breezes … this makes me think of the light spring rains and the roof-rattling thunderstorms … which I eagerly welcome the opportunity to bear witness from my porch swing.

I love the smell the dirt being upturned by the surrounding Amish farmers … this makes me ready to start digging in my own gardens … and wondering if the gardening tools have wandered away from the shed by the hands of my curious boys that have busied themselves all winter with building contraptions and creations in the surrounding barns and woods.

The birds! I love waking to the singing of the birds in the morning and from the sound of it, every bird in the state of Iowa has perched on every limb in the 30 plus trees surrounding our home …  singing its glory to the sun each morning and sharing their winter migration stories with all their nesting neighbors and my family.

I welcome the lawn mowing, the weed pulling, the sunscreen, the sandy feet, the weber grill, the nightly bonfires.

I welcome the open windows, the warm breezes, the water fights, the bike rides, the hikes and even the bugs.

I welcome my new-found energy, my motivation to move, to clean, to do and to just be in the moment.

( i wish i could embrace winter this way )



Oh Where For Art Thou, Snail Mail


Do you remember the last time you went to the mail box and found something for you that wasn’t a bill?

Was it your birthday?  Or just because?

How did it feel?

I can’t remember the last time I actually rushed to the mailbox.

Sometimes I go for days without even checking it {sadly}.

Occasionally my kids will beg to check the mail …

and then they slowly saunter in with their little faces all scrunched up with disappointment because there weren’t any awesomeness addressed to them or to anyone else, for that matter.

What is it about getting a personal letter in the mail? Or a postcard?

I think it’s the fact that in a word of instant gratification and constant busy-ness,

when a person takes a minute, or ten, to actually sit down and put a few thoughts on paper FOR YOU …

and THEN takes the time {and the expense – hello… stamps} to actually stick it in the mail …

well … that’s just plain special.

I have a friend at work that has made an effort to find ” pen pals ” … some even in the same town.

I think that’s cool … beyond cool actually … incredibly thoughtful and selfless.

And I’m going to take a feather from her cap and start!  TODAY!

I will start with sending special notes to my kids … through the actual mail.

In a world of technology and text messaging and emails and instant messages and whatever else the kids use these days I have yet to become familiar with, I want them to experience the joy of getting mail.

In the mailbox.

AND I’m going to find me some other pen pals to exchange little bits of hand-written joy with.

Snail mail … here I come!

Hello world!


valentine’s day is the perfect day to launch my new blog.

why you ask?

is it because I am blissfully in love?


with myself.

{among others}

as cliche’ as it may be,

carrie bradshaw {sex & the city fame}

has been and always will be an inspiration …

“and if you find someone to love the YOU you love, well, that’s just fabulous”