7 a.m.

It’s 6:55, and Sophia, Jonathan, Ollie, and I walk out the door like clockwork to meet the bus at the top of our cul-de-sac. We usually get up there, Ollie sniffs around the stop sign and fire hydrant, marks his territory, and the kids and I have about 10 minutes to chat and wish each other good days and hug and kiss.

Today, the bus was already waiting and so we ran–me with my sloshing coffee, gimpy ankle, and the dog, who stopped midway and started pooping, so the kids went without me and I didn’t get to hug or kiss them, which pretty much put a pall on the rest of the day.

Kate, who gets on the second bus run, texted that a power line was down south of our neighborhood so the bus driver was only able to get to ours and our kids were the only ones on because she was so crazy early. I’ve already asked the district to get the app all the other districts have that geolocates the bus so these things don’t happen, but so far they’re saying it’s too expensive. And I miss my hugs and kisses.

8 a.m.

My alarm goes off to remind me that I have a dentist appointment in 30 minutes. The dentist messed up my filling and he’s “fixing it free of charge.” I thought about sending him a bill for my time but decided that graciousness is the way to go.

10 a.m.

Jeni made us promise not to blog any pictures of a coffee with a book. Is tea with two computer monitors ok? I’m back at my desk writing copy for our new company website and trying to drink my morning tea with the left side of my mouth still numb, which means the tea is dribbling everywhere and there will be no selfie of my swollen left jaw and tea-spotted shirt.

Meanwhile, Ollie is splayed out in the kitchen, happy to be back to his routine of sleeping all morning while I work.


I eat lunch at my desk while participating in a WebEx reviewing a presentation I wrote for robotic process automation. It’s actually a cool story for a PowerPoint.

Ollie has moved his nap from the tile to the bed, which is way too small for him now. When we bought the bed, I had no inkling he’d be falling out of it two months later. I’m going to sound just like I sound talking about my kids, but HOW DID HE GET SO BIG SO FAST? Sniff.

1 p.m.

Ollie and I slip out for a quick walk between meetings. There’s this golden retriever in our neighborhood that Ollie REALLY wants to be friends with. The Golden REALLY does not want to be friends with Ollie. “But we’re related! I’m 1/4 golden retriever!” I can hear Ollie barking.

2 p.m.

I’m about to gouge my own eyeballs out from writing website product pages, so I do a quick check on Kate’s and my Amazon Merch account and find to my delight that we’ve been “tiered up” from being able to sell 10 designs to 25. I got this account after months of waiting and am partnering with Kate for her summer entrepreneurial project to design and upload T-shirt designs for sale. We started with four designs for our church, at cost, and did 6 more with commercial intent, and then ran out of slots. Now we can upload another 15, and once we sell 25 total we’ll go up to 100. It’s a lot of work but so much fun.

Ollie’s not so excited about Merch. He was having a bad dream. I videoed him whimpering and played it back to him, but he just barked at my phone.

3:16 p.m.

Ollie senses the Arrival of the Bus and positions himself by the door. Sophia comes in first.

Full-on cuddles ensue.

I’m also very glad to have them back in the house after our bus fiasco this morning and smother both of them with the missed hugs and kisses.

4 p.m.

Ollie senses Kate’s bus and positions himself by the door. When she doesn’t show, he goes to the window. I have to break the news that Kate has gone to a friend’s house to work on an algebra project. He doesn’t understand. (I’ve had a textathon with Derek and Kate about where Chelsea lives, who’s picking her up, what time, etc. We eventually decide Derek will swing by on his way home from the church to give me time to work longer thanks to the dentist appointment and to get dinner on while he takes Jonathan to Karate.)

5 p.m.

Jonathan is getting ready for karate. The house is in full chaos mode. Wet uniforms, biting puppy, work stress, broken fidget spinners, clocks ticking, and finally D&J get out the door, Kate holes up downstairs, Sophia hunkers down in the office, and I start dinner with a hopeful Ollie waiting around for dropped food.

6 p.m.

The boys are home from karate and I’ve made jackfruit bbq with avocado slaw. Derek brought jackfruit home from Trader Joes and–believe it or not–it makes a pretty good barbecue. I used this recipe.

8 p.m.

The little ones are in bed. I’m soooo behind on my Amazon Merch duties–I need to do a bunch of keyword research and write copy and upload our new designs–and I’m just absolutely fried from work today and thinking that curling into a fetal position for a few hours is a better option. But I force myself to write copy for and upload five designs and look to the finish line of my book, Garden of Lamentations, and the perfection of reading it while curled in bed in my jammies with Ollie next to me on the floor. Derek is next to me reading the new CPH biography of C.S. Lewis.

(In case you’re wondering, Ollie is Not Allowed on the bed. He knows what kind of trouble he’d be in if Derek ever caught him on there. I’ve mentioned that if it were just me, he’d be right there with me, but Derek just makes a mad growly face and we drop it, because after all, he let us get Ollie and Ollie has wormed his way into Derek’s puppy-neutral heart, so overall it’s all good.)

10 p.m. (not pictured)

I let Ollie out for the last time. We listen to the frogs in the biohazard-that-is-the-pool and I thank God we’re getting it opened in two days so I’ll never have to hear them again. I’m pretty sure I have Frog Rage. It’s like Road Rage, except you’re mad at the frogs living in your pool instead of other drivers.

11 p.m. (not pictured)

The frogs are in full-on mating mode.

Midnight (not pictured)

Sometime in the last hour, the electricity has gone off, resetting Sophia’s alarm to midnight. The alarm buzzes, the dog howls, the frogs chorus, and my sweet husband gets up and takes care of it all. Even the frogs finally quiet down.