My Baby Girl


This is my baby girl, E. I had three sons, whom I love to the moon and back several times, before I had my daughter. I had 14 years of raising my boys before our lives were all upended in the best way possibly by E being brought into the world. After so many years of all-boys-all-the-time, there’s just something amazing about braiding her hair and picking out dresses and having an excuse to always play with dolls.

She’s six years old, and she’s brilliant and sassy and the perfect mix of glitter and dirt.

For the past few years, she’s suffered from night terrors. They don’t happen often, but they happen often enough that I have figured out how to help her through them.

They always start the same. She goes to bed in the same way as usual. Her bedroom is upstairs, down the hall from her big brother. My husband and I have our bedroom on the main floor of the house. E will walk quickly down the stairs and look for her father in the mud room, where he often smokes a cigar after the kids go to bed. I’m honestly not sure if she knows she’s looking for him…she’s asleep. Then she dashes around the kitchen in frantic circles until her father or I pick her up. She’s sweating and smells almost like her clothes are smoldering from how warm she is.

I bring her to my bedroom and speak quietly and incessantly to her. I ask her questions, which at first go unanswered. She clings to me in a death grip and shudders so hard that I used to worry it was a seizure, but it’s not. I stroke her hair, gently moving the sweat-soaked tendrils from off her neck, constantly whispering reassurances that Mommy is here and would never let anything bad happen to her. 

Every minute or so, I quietly ask her if she wants a drink of water. That has become key to getting her back from the terror. I keep repeating the whispers of love and safety, keep stroking her hair, keep holding her tightly on my lap. Eventually, I break through the bubble and she becomes alert enough to take a drink of water.

Immediately, her temperature drops to normal and the shuddering stops. She drinks as though she’s dying of thirst, and I hold her until she’s fully alert. Then, she will crawl over to Daddy’s pillow and we fall asleep next to each other, my arm around her, my other hand caressing her forehead.

I hope that even though she never remembers how she gets to my bed, I hope that a part of her is listening to me still, knowing that I’ll always do whatever is in my power to keep her safe. To always be her drink of cool water when things get too warm.

I love you, Baby Girl.

Weekend Festivities!


What a weekend full of activity! With the warmer Midwestern weather, that means I’ve been able to start walking again. Today marks 6 days in a row of walking at least 30 minutes per day. A lot of my walks take place on a trail by a local lake, and I often see some pretty things:

My nature-based soul has a very hard time with walking indoors. There’s something about being outside, breathing in the air, seeing the random animals, watching the changes in the flora and fauna…it calms my spirit. It makes things better. I can deal with anything as long as I can have my 30+ minutes of walking alone.

In other news, my sister (who has been in the Navy for the last bajillion years and has lived in California with her husband and baby daughter for HALF a bajillion years) finally moved home! The kids and I got to spend the whole day with her and my niece yesterday. For the sake of the blog, I’ll refer to my sister as “K”, my niece as “Lids”, my daughter as “E”, and MY youngest son as “D”.

Enjoy this collage of our weekend:

The kids had Friday off from school, so I took a vacation day. We spent a lot of time at the park. Really, we’ve spent the majority of our time outside this weekend. I loved it! Especially since I just checked this week’s forecast and noted that we are scheduled to get snow this Friday! Blech.

E also lost her other front tooth. At 2am. That seems to be her magic hour. She wakes up at that time a lot more than your normal 6 year old. Never for anything outrageous. She just tends to pop awake, use the facilities, then drift off to sleep again.

Okay, if I’m talking about midnight bathroom runs, I’ve officially run out of things to write about. Plus, the nachos we’ve decided to have for dinner are not going to make themselves.



Some of you might know me from my other long-ago blog As Pounds Go Bye. But probably not. I have started a new blog because, well…because I am a rather scattered person. APGB was weight-loss centered. But there’s so much more to me than that, and I felt like I was losing a lot of the fun by only focusing on that one aspect of me. So now, I’m doing this. I have no idea yet what I’ll write about.

I did make the spiffy graphic that you see here in this post for this blog (that’s me on one of my walks…I don’t look quite like that, but I will soon. And I have yoga pants that look just like that.) Let me break down this graphic of Tanjalin and maybe you’ll get to know me a bit better.


  1. I really do have orangey-red hair. I’m a natural ginger (hence the freckles), but I enhance it with dye to keep it vibrant. And my hair is about that length right now.
  2. In her ears, you will see my bluetooth earbuds. Best. Purchase. Ever. I will never be corded again. I have these earbuds either always around my neck or in my purse, ready to go around my neck. I started walking outdoors last October (when I got my Apple Watch…see #4.), and that’s when a new passion was discovered. I am a busy person. Figure in work, marriage, motherhood and chaos, and I really have very little time to myself. I also have an anxiety disorder, and I’d been taking Zoloft to control it for almost 2 years. When I started walking, I started experiencing strange side effects from the medicine. I had horrible restless legs at bedtime that would keep me awake for hours, among other things. I cut my dosage in half, hoping that it would help. Eventually, I weaned myself off of my medication completely and I’ve not had any issues with restless legs or anxiety attacks as long as I keep walking. And I plan to. It’s a lot cheaper than Zoloft, and I’m sure it’s a lot better for my body! Oh, and to come full circle, I listen to a lot of audiobooks via my perfect little earbuds while I walk.
  3. The little black dot on her ear is to represent my 2g piercings. I am 42, and I’m very proud of how hip I remain now that I’m so old. I have tattoos. I listen to rap and dubstep. I am an avid fangirl of Supernatural, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Sherlock and Game of Thrones. I work with college kids who keep me young. Mostly by laughing at me while I try to remain so hip.
  4. On her wrist is an orange band. That’s my beloved Apple Watch that seriously changed my life. I had a FitBit for years, and it didn’t motivate me to move nearly as much as my beautiful Apple Watch. It’s become part of me.
  5. Speaking of “part of me”, that’s an iPhone 6s Plus in her hand. Well, that’s the kind of phone I have, so she does, too, right? It’s always on my person, often found tucked into my bra strap because I wear a lot of skirts with leggings and none of those things have pockets.

And since 5 is my lucky number, I’ll stop the list there. You’ll probably see this graphic of Tanjalin on the site more often. There’s a teeny version on the actual page of my blog. You can also click the links to find me on Instagram, Goodreads and Pinterest, which is where I spend a lot of my online time.

I should probably come up with some sort of schedule for the blog, like “Recipe Monday!” or “Bullet Journal Weekend!”. It sounds like a good way to reign in the chaos a bit.

Right now, I just know that I have about an hour until I get to go for my walk tonight, and I cannot wait! Until then, I’ll nurse my afternoon cuppa and wrap up my projects for the day. Thanks for reading!