My father, Gregory John Entwistle, was diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer in September 2013. Five months later, on February 12, 2014, he was gone.

Today is the one year anniversary of his passing and I have waited for this day with such dread. I asked friends for support and prayers. I anxiously tried to write a post that would honor him and the past year we’ve spent without him. I drank a little too much wine. I cried a little (or a lot). And then this morning, I woke up.

And it was just another day.

I’m not sure what I expected. I guess I thought I would wake up to a giant wave of grief, a new and sudden avalanche of feelings because ONE YEAR. ONE. It feels like such a big milestone, but if you get down to the heart of the matter, things are still the same now as they were right after he passed. Six months after he passed. Yesterday. I still miss him. I still feel like something so big is missing from our lives. I still think about him every day. I still teeter on the edge of anger. Still look for reason or meaning behind the early passing of such a good, kind man. I still wish that things were different.

But they are not. They are not different and he is not here.

One year hasn’t changed anything. It’s just another day.

Another day that I miss you, Daddy. So, so much.



Dear Sir;

Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation, effective immediately. While I have enjoyed this position at times, I have come to the conclusion that your children are completely, and without a doubt, un-parentable.

The many, many books I have read skimmed have prepared me with classic and time-tested approaches to address nearly ALL the challenges of raising children. YOUR children, however, are a troublesome case.

Today I took a privilege away from the children. And while all the books assured me that this would set them on the path to righteousness and correct their wayward behavior, it was hardly the response. Instead of coloring and playing demurely during my evening meeting, the children revolted. Instead of focusing on the goal of good behavior to win back their iPads and screen time, they prepared an assault on my meeting in a direct tactical response to the consequence I had sanctioned.

Doors were opened and slammed. Crayons and markers were thrown. Shouting, running and LOUD WHISPERING — SUCH LOUD WHISPERING were executed with lethal precision. Tantrums were thrown. Friends were pulled onto the battlefield and used as emotional hostages. Chairs were dragged, loudly, through a quiet auditorium in front of an audience of other, more successful parenting figures.

Sir. To put it in the most direct and honest way I can: Tonight was a shit show.

And so, it is with a heavy heart that I must admit that I am unable to parent the children any longer. Tonight they won. In an epic and unforgettable way. They won.

I will never forget my time with the children. Mainly because of the gray hair and drinking problem I have acquired during my time with them. But still. They look sweet when they are sleeping and I will miss that. Sometimes.

If you need me, please look no further than the closest adult-only resort. I’m taking a break from children (all children) for the foreseeable future.

Kind regards,



Throwback Thursday: It’s a Kate, Kate World: Second Edition

Happy Throwback Thursday friends! Todays #tbt is from October 2012 when Kate was a wee three year old. Y’all, I love reading these because it reminds me that Beckett isn’t some crazy alien threenager from Mars. No, he is just regular old three. Kate was there once. And for Beckett, this too will pass.


When you have a three-year-old, it is nearly guaranteed that whatever comes out of their mouth will make you swoon, sigh, swear or cringe. With Kate, sometimes I do all four. At the same time. Here is a little second edition of things my daughter has said recently that makes me realize, once again, it’s a Kate, Kate world — we are all just living in it.

Kate (shouting from somewhere in the house): MOM!
Me: Yes honey?
Kate: I love you!!
Me: Aww. I love you too sweetie. Where are you?

Kate: Going potty.
Me: Hm. I guess we all think about different things in there…
Me: Hey sweetie, you got an invitation to a classmate’s birthday party! Is Benjamin nice, do you play with him?
Kate: Ew, no! Benjamin is a boy. WE don’t like boys.
Me: Who, may I ask, is WE?
Kate: You know. Us.
*head slap*
Me: So, all the girls in your class have decided you don’t like boys?
Kate: Right.
Me: What about your brother? Don’t you like him? HE is a boy.
Kate: I like Beckett. I like one boy.
Me: What about Daddy? Do you like him? HE is a boy.
Kate (sounding exasperated): I like Daddy. I like TWO boys.
Me: What about Pops? Do you like him? HE is a boy.
Me: Kate?
Kate: *SIGH* WHAT?
Me: *SIGH* Nevermind
Kate: Look! Look Mom, I did it! I wrote my name!
*showing me some scribbles on a piece of paper at the sign-in counter at the gym*
Me: Very nice Kate.
Kate: You know Mom, I don’t know about about it, but I’m pretty sure I’m terrific at writing.
As I pick Kate up from school:
Me: Here Kate, I brought you strawberries.
Kate: STRAWBERRIES?!?!?! MOM, you are the BEST MOM!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!
Me: Soooo. Strawberries every day after school?
Kate: Or you could bring chocolate milk. That would be pretty cool too Mom.

Kate walks into the kitchen with a dinosaur stuffed up her shirt.
Kate: “Daddy, do you like boobies?”
*Ben studiously ignores her while looking in the fridge*
Kate: Daddy? Do you like my BIG BOOBIES??
*Ben still looking in fridge and refusing to make eye contact with the three-year-old who is making him EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE*
Kate (parading around the kitchen): Daaaaaaaaaaddddddddyyyyyy.
Ben: KATE. Those are not boobies. That is a dinosaur. Take it out of your shirt.
Kate (pouting): When I grow up, I’m going to have boobies.
*awkward silence*
Kate: BIG boobies.
*Kate stomps out of kitchen. Ben rolls into the fetal position on the floor. I laugh so hard I nearly pee myself*

Outed by dinosaurs

toy_story_3_rex_poster-p2282518722292700628phc_500A few days ago I was driving around with Beckett, only half listening to his chatter. Which you can’t judge me for, because he is a talker and talks about EVERYTHING and so help me, if I listened to every single word he spoke, I would have to be committed. He once sang a song he made up about poop for 33 straight minutes. THIRTY THREE MINUTES. I mean. YOU GUYS. Of course I don’t pay attention to everything out of his mouth. It’s for my own mental protection.

So I wasn’t completely sure what we were talking about when he started asking me questions but normally I can just fly by the seat of my pants when that happens. Because let me be honest, we aren’t talking about politics or the economy here. We are typically covering such riveting topics as how a bird goes to the bathroom when flying and why clouds are sometimes different colors and if an animal would be able to break in the window of his bedroom and eat him.

But flying by the seat of my pants didn’t work out so well for me this time. Our conversation in the car when like this:

Beckett: MOM. I asked you a question. I asked what you know about Dinosaur layers.

Me: Layers? Like, layers on a cake?

Beckett: What?

Me: Honey, I don’t know anything about dinosaur layers. Are you sure that is the word you want to use? Do you know what layers are? They are like if you are stacking things, you get layers. Are you maybe talking about when you dig for dinosaurs, there are different layers of the Earth?


Me: Okay, so like, stacking dinosaurs on top of each other? Like that? You want to stack dinosaurs?

Beckett (now shrieking): MOM!! NO!!! Layers are not STACKING. I am not talking about STACKING DINOSAURS. I am talking about the secret hideouts that dinosaurs live in! DINOSAUR LAYERS!!!

Me (totally dumbfounded): Oh.


Me: OHHH. YOU MEAN LAIRS NOT LAYERS. Lairs. Dinosaur Lairs. ‘Cause, see, I was just thinking you were talking about layers.

Beckett (sigh. Like, BIG sigh): MOM.

Me: Wow, sorry. I get it now buddy. Lairs. Secret Hideouts. Got it.

Beckett: So? What do you know about dinosaur lairs?

Me: Not a thing.

Beckett (mumbles under his breath): You don’t know ANYTHING Mom.

Well crap. Y’all, he just figured me out.


It is past his bedtime. He is snuggled on his tummy, tucked in tight under his baby blanket that just barely covers his tippy toes. I lay next to him on my stomach, facing him so that we are nearly nose to nose. I slowly and gently stroke his hair as I sing “You are my sunshine” quietly. All is still and we slowly come down from the day together, relaxing into the darkness of the evening. Slowly, so slowly I hear a sound start to rise from him. It is a soft keening, building in his throat and before I know what has happened there are giant tears slipping down his cheeks. And the keening rises to a wail of anguish and suddenly he is sobbing and choking out the words,

“I don’t want you to die.”

“I love you so much.”

“Please mommy, please don’t die.”

I press closer to him so that his tears spill onto my face and I rub his back and murmur to him that I am not going to die, that I am going to be with him for a long, long time. And he clings to me and sobs and his hot breath warms my face and my heart aches with all the love I have for him.

And he cries himself dry. And exhausted, he sleeps.

I pray that when I look back at this time of Beckett’s life, I remember. More than just wild and silly and terrible threes, I pray I remember his heart. His giant capacity to love. I want to remember that when Kate is sad he tries to make her laugh. That when I am frustrated he always, with wide blue eyes worried, asks if I’m mad at him. That he wants me to smell his breath after he eats. That he loves dinosaurs.That his favorite color is blue. That he cries if I walk up the stairs too fast for him to keep up. That any time I put on a dress, or make-up, he tells me I am beautiful. That he still asks me if I’m sad that Pops is gone. That he gives the best hugs. That his hair curls when he gets sweaty. That he is the most animated child in his class during chapel, and that he sings with his whole body. That he, in all honesty, wants to live with me forever. That he cried this morning because Kate will move away some day when she “grows up.” That he loves apples so much he eats two or three a day. More if I would let him. I want to remember the way his hair smells after a bath. The sound of his giggle. How much he loves babies. And that the thing he fears most in the dark of night is that I would someday go away and not come back.

Please, God.

Help me remember.

Good parenting

Man y’all. Parenting is hard. And I was having one of those days. You know, the days where you question if you are doing right by your kids. If your best is enough. And you fret and worry and spend hours with an aching heart because you just want to know that you are raising your kids right, that they are happy and healthy and going to grow up to be awesome, productive adults and not jerk faces.

And then your kid’s Daisy troop leader sends you a picture she took at the last meeting and you are all…

Parenting. Nailed it.


This is Kate using oranges to give herself boobies. Clearly she is pleased with herself. Thanks to Tracy Lyle for the photo. And for confirming that I’m killing it in the parenting department.

Conversations with a lunatic

Beckett CamelBeckett: What are the green things in this bread?

Me: Zucchini. Its zucchini bread.

Beckett: I want banana bread.

Me: We don’t have any banana bread.



Beckett: I want banana bread.

Me: We don’t have any banana bread. We only have zucchini bread.

Beckett: I don’t like zucchini bread.

Me: You liked it when you ate it this morning for breakfast.

Beckett: That was banana bread.

Me: Nope.

Beckett: YES!

Me: Guess again.

Beckett (now in near hysterics): YES IT WAS AND I WANT BANANA BREAD!!!

(I take the plate of offending zucchini bread, walk into the kitchen. Walk back to the table with exact same slice of zucchini bread)

Me: Here is your banana bread.

Beckett (Takes a giant bite): YUM! Told you Mommy (proceeds to finish slice of zucchini bread)

Me (muttering to myself and shaking my head as I walk away): It is NOT banana bread you lunatic.

The cat’s pajamas

HappyNewYear2015VectorGraphicI saw an article yesterday about New Year’s Resolutions, and why you shouldn’t make them. I figured it would talk about the high fail rate of resolutions (I am STILL not a published author, a size 6 or a guitarist) but instead the focus of the article was that we are such wonderful, marvelous people, we shouldn’t worry about how we can be BETTER, we should focus on how good we already are. Be happy! Be positive! Be you!

What a bunch of hooey. THAT feel good mumbo jumbo is what is wrong with our country. Excuse me while I climb up on this here soap box, but if we, as a society, refuse to think about how we can improve and instead just sit around patting our backs and picking our noses, we are doomed. Yes, Yes, you are awesome. It’s okay to think you are awesome. I think you are awesome too. I think you are the cat’s pajamas. But, come on. You could ALWAYS be a little bit better. Like, SILK pajamas better. Meeeeeeow.

And so WHAT if I never actually reach my goals? At least I’m trying. And there is a good chance I’m learning/doing/making something positive in the process. I should be PROUD of my failures. I’m not a published author, but because of my resolutions I’ve spent more time focused on writing. That is a GOOD STEP. That time was not wasted. And nope, I’m not a size 6. But I’ve been more active in the past year than I have been since Ben and I got married (fat and happy and all that you know). And THAT is not time wasted.

So go ahead! Make resolutions! Make wild and crazy ones that you have no chance of achieving! Know that you will PROBABLY FAIL. YAY! So fun! Enjoy your failures!! And then make a few that you can totally do, because as much fun as failing is, winning is fun some times too. YAY WINNING!

So what are your resolutions for 2015? How are you going to make your awesome self even better? My resolutions fall into four main buckets. 1. Writing (Do more. Get better. Get focused. Get a draft finished. Of something. ANYTHING. Get published) 2. Health (Be more active. Be a gym rat, or at least a gym mouse. Quit eating out so much. Make health a priority for the whole family. Cook more. Quit drinking so much damn wine. *See? One certain to fail. But I can dream) 3. Mental Health (Maintain sanity. Learn something new. Take a class. Get a new hobby. Ask for help when its needed. Take “me” time without feeling guilty. Drink more wine. *Oops) 4. Family (Less yelling. More loving. Less screen time. More games. Quit parenting by gut reactions and emotions. Focus on Love and Logic. Be the boss. But a kind and loving boss. Play. A lot)

So that’s it. That’s how I plan on working on myself in 2015. And I won’t do it all. I’ll fail a little. Or maybe a lot.And I can’t wait. 

A reminder

I’m pretty sure God does some kind of sorcery on parents that makes us forget the worst parts of having kiddos so that we are dumb enough to do it again. And for some, again and again and again. He is a tricky one, that God. Making us focus on all the LOVE and the JOY and the FULFILLMENT and the blah, blah, blah WHY HAVEN’T I HAD A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP IN FIVE YEARS AGAIN!?!?!?! Oh, yeah. I have kids.

Most recently I am being reminded that three-year olds are total jerk faces. And I’m allowed to say that, because I love my jerk face beyond all reason, but sweet mother when I tell Beckett not to jump off the back of the couch and he proceeds to do JUST THAT while maintaining eye contact to ensure I do not miss one second of his defiance I want to wrap him in a red gift bow and leave him on some other family’s porch. MERRY FREAKING CHRISTMAS NEIGHBORS.

There is just something magical about the age of three. Like, black magic. Seriously, half the time it is like they are the babies you know and love, snuggling and kissing you and the next minute their heads are spinning in circles and they are screaming so incoherently you think a priest might be in order. In a mere five seconds, a three-year old can go from pure happiness to utter despair, usually for reasons beyond a sane person’s understanding, like because the word “blue” sounds weird or you didn’t tap your nose three times before you asked them to wash their hands.

And God help the sibling of a three-year old. Because those poor kids are up against an unreasonable enemy. I mean, Beckett loves his sister. Like, LOOOOOOVES his sister. But he is three. So instead of being kind or just playing nicely with the one he loves, he torments her. His snuggles are aggressive. He makes annoying noises or, his new favorite, interrupts her repeatedly when she is talking. If he gets her squealing, either out of pain or irritation, he lights up like a Christmas tree. I don’t think there is anything more important in his whole, three-year-old world than getting a reaction from his sister. Nothing. Except maybe snacks.

The good news is that I’ve had a three-year old before. So while my memory of how terrible it was when she was three is foggy thanks to divine intervention, I very distinctly remember how lovely she was when she STOPPED being three.

Eight months people. Eight. More. Months.


A craft for the totally un-crafty: Personalized Mickey and Minnie Magnets

For anyone who has been following this blog for awhile, you know that crafts are not my thing. As in, the one and only time I did an entire craft from beginning to end, I posted about it. I checked the archives. It was October of 2010. FOUR YEARS AGO PEOPLE. Check it out, “A craft for the totally un-crafty: blackboard pumpkins.” Compelling stuff. Last fall I got all motivated and started a wreath. This is it’s current state:


Twelve months have passed and I haven’t been able to work up enough give a darn to go to the store, by burlap and FINISH THE DAMN WREATH. You know what is hanging on my front door? NOTHING. That wreath would sure look nice. Maybe next year.

But this month? This is a month to go down in the annals of Edelbrock family history. Because I have started and completed a craft (pausing for dramatic effect and possibly some applause).

Next month our family is going on our first Disney Cruise. And while I am very excited, I made the mistake of joining a Facebook page that thrives on people posting about their personalized T-shirts, gifts, door hangers (called “Fish Extenders” for you fancy, in the know Disney Cruisers), and other things that I basically need a graphic design degree and 40 free hours to create. So we are skipping all that nonsense and taking the “no fuss cruise” approach. Except for door magnets. I can kind of get behind the idea of decorating our stateroom door so that when the kids (or, um, a slightly tipsy Mom or Dad. Don’t judge. It’s vacation.) are trying to find the right door in an aisle of 600 identical doors we don’t end up beating on a strangers door shouting, “LET ME IN. THE KEY IS NOT WORKING!!” So to Etsy I went. Oh Etsy. That magical place of craft items I should be able to do myself, but TIME and ENERGY and BLAH BLAH. After surfing the site for Disney Door Magnets, I came up with two conclusions:

1. Ben would kill me if I spent $30 on a paper magnet that would get a one time use (BUT HONEY, IT’S PERSONALIZED!)

2. I could totally make magnets myself. For a lot cheaper.

So here is my SECOND craft tutorial for the totally un-crafty: personalized Mickey and Minnie Magnets. YOU ARE WELCOME.

Step One: Get a grandiose idea that suddenly you are Martha Stewart and not, well, YOU. Go to the craft store. Buy a bunch of supplies. For this craft you will need: scissors, thin magnets with adhesive on the back, black foam sheets, bright colored foam sheets and foam letters. Check out. Realize you have spent nearly as much as you would have buying magnets on Etsy. Shrug and shred receipt so the evidence is hidden. You are committed now. Stop by the liquor store on the way home. You will need more wine.

Step Two: Google Mickey Mouse head outline, Minnie bow outline and bow-tie outline. Size the images to whatever size you want your magnets to be and print. Pat yourself on the back for getting so far. Open bottle of wine and pour a glass. Take a break, maybe make a cheese plate. You got this.

Step Three: Cut out your shapes, then trace them onto the foam. This may be self explanatory, but I’ve had two glasses of wine and if you have too, I’m going to make it easy. The MICKEY head shape goes on the black. The BOW TIE or BOW goes on brightly colored foam. You are welcome. Cheers!

Step Four: Start to cut out the foam shapes. Realize the scissors you grabbed from the junk drawer are actually, well, junk. Weigh the pros/cons of just using junky scissors or hauling yourself upstairs to the guest room where your “craft” stuff is (i.e. the unused sewing machine and all the stuff you have purchased… years ago… and just never gotten around to using) and getting out the good scissors. Mull this existential question over with some dark chocolate and the rest of the wine. Decide that a nap is in order.

Step Five: That nap was a good idea. Pat yourself on the back, get your good scissors and get to work cutting. Cut out all your shapes. Get really excited when you realize the foam you are using has adhesive on the back because you forgot to get glue and if this craft wasn’t finished soon it was going to end up with the wreath in the “good idea, lack of execution” pile in your closet. Stick bows and bow ties on the Mickey heads. Text your husband a picture to tell him you are kind of a big deal. Don’t expect a reply. You won’t get one so imagine him rolling his eyes, because this is likely what is happening when he reads your text.

Step Six: Dump the bucket of foam letters on your work surface. Dig through and try to find the letters for everyone’s names. Realize this is tedious and you need more wine. Thank goodness you thought ahead and picked more up. Plan to very carefully place all letters on your magnets. Realize that you don’t have the patience for this and just start slapping them on. Get slightly annoyed the names don’t look straight and then decide to pretend you did this on purpose. It’s art. It’s artsy. If anyone complains about their names, decide you will knee them in the groin.

Step Seven: Step back, look at your work and feel like a badass. Drink some more wine to celebrate. Text your Mom because you know she will respond. If you have a good mom (I do) she will tell you they are cute. You will then text them to your husband because now you are actually finished and HE HAS TO RESPOND. He won’t. Later he will claim he was in a meeting. But you know he was probably thinking about how his name wasn’t spaced correctly.

Step Eight: Kick back and feel accomplished. Then realize you haven’t stuck the magnets on the back, so they technically aren’t magnets and you technically aren’t done. Curse a few times. Pick good ones. Like the F-bomb. Use that one. Then get up and stick magnets on the back. It will literally take you two minutes. You will feel sheepish for overreacting, but it did feel kind of good to curse like a sailor.

Step Nine: Decide to write a blog post about your craft. Because if a tree falls in the woods, someone needs to read about it.