06 February 2010

It's So Hard To Say Goodbye

How do I break the news?

I guess I'll just say it.

I'm moving.


I'm not leaving South Carolina. (Notwithstanding the town of Walterboro, it's a pretty great place to reside.)

I am just relocating this blog.

Re-everythinging this blog, actually.

And I am pretty excited about it.

I can't wait to hear what you think.

Here's a hint . . . remember how I once wrote that I wish I had named this blog "So Every Day"?

Well - now I have!

Please follow me on over - http://www.soeveryday.com/.

05 February 2010

Letter Three (3)

Dearest Sir Will,

You are indeed Good, my friend.

Today my son is dressed in a dashing ensemble, constructed entirely by items purchased at your low cost store.

Yes. I always launder my purchases before allowing them to adorn my precious offspring's bodies. But I am okay with that.

Why would I pay $42 for a pair of size 6 Gap Chinos at the mall when I can acquire the exact same pair for a mere pittance of $3.00 at your casual storefront?

I do wish your clothing was sorted more effectively but if it takes me thirty minutes to unearth five pairs of size 5 pants, I'll spend that thirty minutes. I will. Because in the end those five pairs of pants will cost me less than one pair of pants at fill-in-the-blank-fancy-pants-store.

Many thanks Good Will, for your same-quality, much lower-cost apparel. My family thanks you as well.

Yours truly,


04 February 2010

Piper Finnian Willow Lacey Keigley: The Interview

Why do you think Mommy and Daddy chose your name?: Because you like nice babies.

What do you dream about at night?: I dream lions and elephants and monkeys and they carry me away. I was floating away and they say, "Hello Baby."

Tell me about your brothers and sisters: I hit my brothers and sisters. Hitting is a different word.

Oh. That's not kind. What should you do instead?: Say sorry to them. Be kind to them.

What do you like to eat?: Bubblegum. Uh ... food. Food is different word.

How can we fix the current economic crisis?: Uh. My marbles. With marbles.

What is your favorite toy?: Uh. This guy. (Holding a donkey-shaped Pez dispenser.) No. A baby. See. (Grabbing a baby doll from the floor.)

What do you like to play?: Uhhh. Weebles. Uhhh. Those. (Pointing to Sequence game spread out on living room floor.)

Why do you love Daddy?: Because he is strong.

What makes a rainbow?: A rainbow is at our house. Um. The sun. And the rain.

Who is your favorite friend?: Barack Obama is. Uhh. Nate.

Anyone else?: One, two, three, four five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

Are you for real?: No. I'm not for real. (Breaks out singing) For real, for real. I not for real.

How does your new underwear feel?: Good. My underwear has flowers on them. (Looking) No, they are snowflakes.

What job would you like to do as a grown up?: Grown up is a different girl. Give a grown up girl a treat.

Did you love Disney?: Disneyworld. Uh-huh. It has Mickey Mouse in it. And it has Donald in it. And surprises. (Singing again) Surprise, surprise, surprise!

What do you love about Magnus?: Getting him out.

How do you do that?: First he does roll on me. And then get him outside. I open the door.

How old are you?: One. Two actually.

What is your favorite name? Piper.

What does Daddy call you?: Piper? Lacey Keigley? He calls me (begins singing) Little Munch, you're the cutest Little Munch.

Tell me about Eagle: He get messy in Grandpa's potty. He fell.

Anything else you would like to say?: Uh. Happy birthday.

Next Up

And then it was my turn.

To be sick, that is.

I will spare you the gory details. But let me just throw a few adjectives your way.

Early. Violent. Aggressive. Wretched. Debilitating.

02 February 2010

Rainy Day, Inside and Out

What a gray day.

Sleep-deprived from the instant I heard the alarm. (Derek Webb's "Mockingbird" is a lot less lovely at 6:30 a.m.)

Kevin wasn't feeling well. The rain was steady and the clouds blocked the sun from showing even a hint of itself.

I should have stayed in bed.

Or at least stayed home.

But the fridge was empty. And had been for two days. No, I don't just mean that we were out of milk - which we were. I mean - we needed groceries. As in, I saw Riley packing her lunch last night and she was cutting open some old MREs from my brother the Marine and she was stashing odd combinations into her lunch bag. (I fear for her health.) I think for breakfast she ate her own fingertips, but I'm not sure about that.

I fed Wilder and put him back down for his morning nap (all the while being uncontrollably jealous of the life of an eight month old). He and Kevin could stay home together. And then I gathered the other four and added shoes or hats or jackets where they were lacking. We sloshed through the wet, slushy snow remains through the pelting rain. I strongly dislike (hate is such a heavy word) loading kids into the Suburban when it's raining. They have to climb over one another and multiple car seats to reach the back row, which means that several kids end up with wet and/or muddy bums from their siblings' feet.

The Suburban was making most concerning sounds and as I sloshed out of the driveway I was pretty sure that it was not shifting properly. I called Kevin, you know - like two minutes after I had just left him.

"Uh. The Suburban isn't shifting properly," I said. (That was my professional opinion.)

"Is it still in four wheel drive?" he calmly inquired.

I looked down. Yes. "Yes, it is."

I had to make a stop at our bank so I decided to include Whole Foods in my plans, if I was already driving that far.

At the bank I waited for the check to be deposited and the cashier asked me for my debit card. And as I reached for my red bag, my stomach sank a bit. Suddenly I was pretty positive that my wallet was in my green bag. Oh Stink.

No debit card. No ID.

I quickly asked for cash so I could still redeem this trip and go to the grocery store anyway.

The cashier politely refused to give me any cash without my ID.

Plan B, I figure. I'll just write a check at the store. But wait - who will accept a check without an ID? Oh yeah - no one.

Okay. Okay. I'll just run by the ATM and get cash to buy the groceries. Guess what you need to get your cash? A debit card. Of course. What in the world was I thinking?

And so I did what I do sometimes.

I cried.

Sitting in the suburban. In the rain. In the bank parking lot. I cried.

Because sometimes I cry over seemingly unimportant things. Like spilled milk. And Magnus eating my pizza dough. And forgotten wallets.

And then I turned around and drove all the way back home. Through the rain. Windshield wipers flip flapping.

I unpacked the kids. Sloshed back into the house. Told Kevin my sad story. Received sympathy. We fed kids some half peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the heels. (If you turn the heel inside, the kids never know it's the end. Shhh. That's just between us, okay?)

After lunch I put Piper and Fox down for naps and London and Mosely stayed home for their math tutoring with Laura (a bright spot in their day twice a week) and Bergen and I headed back to the wet Suburban - wallet in hand.

By the time we finally arrived back home it was past time to eat and Kevin was heading out the door to his art class (like two ships passing in the night). I strongly dislike (hate is such a heavy word) that moment when you arrive home from a store, crushed under the weight of your plastic bags (or reusable ones, that's what I meant), to realize that you have nothing in mind for dinner.

Really. This day seems mostly a drag. (In fact, I apologize to you for recording it all. What was I thinking?)

Maybe TV can redeem it. I have high hopes for you Lost, high hopes.

01 February 2010

Last Night

It was late.

As in, kids all tucked in, kitchen cleared, computers powered down, sitting on the sofa kind of late.

I was writing a letter to my friend (sorry Sara - I may never get to finish that epistle at this rate) and Kevin was watching (with his eyes closed) some M. Night ShimmyWhoWho movie on television.

And that's when we heard the cry.

"Mommyyyyyyyyyyy." (Hmmm. Now they call my name. Interesting.)

We discovered Mosely in the bathroom, over the toilet, taking care of her little sick self.

We wondered if Mosely had managed to make it to the bathroom before the sickness began. But evidence to the contrary was all over her face. And arms. And shirt. And hair. And, upon further investigation . . . the blankets, the wall, the floor. Oh and yes, the bed she was sharing with Bergen and London.

And so our night began in earnest. At about 1 a.m.

We shifted sleeping, non-sick children to alternate locations. We divided and conquered. Kevin cleaned up the bedroom, I cleaned up the six year old. And mid-process we heard a familiar sound. Behind the closed door of one little Willow.

Sure enough. Sick kid number two. And there was no time for a trip to the bathroom. It was already too late before we even opened the door.

And so we started the process over again. Stripped sheets. Piled up pillows, eagle and anything else unfortunate enough to happen to be in Piper's path.

The night was long. Two baths after 1 a.m. Two beds stripped of sheets. Two beds remade. Two buckets located for any more incidents. Two girls outfitted in new cozy pajamas.

Somewhere along the way, Piper sat up and said, "I am having fun with Mosely in my bedroom." Some fun, Sweet Little Munch. But I like that attitude.

We had at least three more incidents throughout the late evening - maybe more. I might have lost count.

But the day did dawn brighter, no one has been ill all day.

And on the positive side, for the first time in maybe a year or more - every Keigley kid took a nap this afternoon - even London Eli.

So there's your silver lining, I guess.

31 January 2010

Saints and Sinners

On a ride in the Suburban recently, the kids and I had a pretty heavy theological discussion.

"How do we know who goes to heaven and who goes to hell?" one of my deep thinkers asked.

"Well," I started. Like I usually do. A stalling method I think I have perfected but which I know will have a short shelf life.

And Bergen jumps in - "I know that. Good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell."

"Well," I paused again. "That is not exactly true son. Are you a good person?"

He nodded his head yes.

"Do you ever do bad things?" I probed.

Bergen said, "Sometimes."

And we all started a conversation about how good people do bad things. And how bad people do good things.

We talked about how everyone has the capacity to be both bad and good, mean and kind - saint and sinner. Each one of us. Sometimes on the same day, even within the same minute. I have seen it with my own two eyes in a toddler and I have witnessed it in my very own actions.

Saints and sinners.

"So people who will go to heaven just believe that Jesus died for them - right Mommy?" Mosely asked.

"Yes. I believe so."

"I love God," Bergen said softly from his booster seat.

I smiled in the rear view mirror at my boy.

But he had one more question.

"Did God just hear that?"

"Yes, buddy. He did."

30 January 2010

One Snowy Day

A snow day in South Carolina.

From my experience thus far, that's a pretty rare treat.

And something worth celebrating.

It started as a small group - our family and Chris.

A little rolling in the snow. A little throwing of balls crafted from snow. A little sad snowman building. A little trekking through the snowy woods. A little grilled cheese and soup eating.

And then Walter sent a text warning us that a group of adventurers would be arriving shortly. And nearly immediately we looked out the window and saw a gang of pals approaching via foot on the driveway.

Our small group quickly leaped into a gathering.

A little game playing. A little caramel popcorn baking. A little hot cocoa drinking. A little snow sledding.

And then along the snowy driveway appeared a mini camp vehicle with good neighbors and friends.

Our gathering instantly morphed into a happening.

A little more game playing. A little pipe smoking. A lot more caramel popcorn eating. A little more sledding.

And finally the Demings showed up.

Our happening turned into a full-fledged shindig.

A lot more loud game playing. (Pit is an unreasonably loud game.) A lot of pizza eating. A little basketball watching.

You could call it Community.

And that would be true.

Or you could call it Life.

And that would be even better.

28 January 2010

Big Week

This might just be London's week.

Chocked full of Big Deal Moments.

This week London discovered that she has another loose tooth. (She has plans for how to extract this one - use that special numbing creme Daddy found. And she has plans for how to spend that tooth fairy fortune - buy Mosely an American Girl doll. How do I break it to her that one of those two things is an absolute impossibility?)

London also gained a new Big Deal Skill. It was time to leave the house and she could not find her favorite slip-on shoes. Slouching and making a most unpleasant face she trudged off to obey my directive to put on her Chuck Taylors. She avoids these shoes because of two long, skinny points of frustration - shoelaces. But in just a matter of minutes a defeated little girl transformed into a proud big kid. She marched into the room where I was and pointed at her feet. And I saw the little miracle. Two shoes. Tied.

But wait, there's more.

This kid regularly challenges herself to try to climb up the door jam. Her goal since we have moved to this house has been to climb up the door frame without any assistance and bump her head on the ceiling. She practices every day. Really. And this week was her week. Because, there she was, with us as her audience, climbing and climbing when suddenly . . . bump . . . her head reached the ceiling. And she did this not once, but three times!

Ahh London. I guess it really is the little things.

The Next Thing

Today I woke up feeling . . . defeated.

Like the battle was over and I had already lost.

I read this quote once that Elisabeth Elliot (our Mosely Elliot's namesake) had once said to her daughter. I read it probably ten years ago. Maybe more.

But I still think about it nearly every day of my life.

Especially on days when I just need to manage. To make it to the next day. Or the next afternoon. Or the next hour. Or whenever.

She said, "Don't think about everything you need to do. Just do the next thing."

27 January 2010


After reading a story in the Bible about Lot and his infamous salty spouse, London tried to retell Piper the story.

"And Lot's wife turned into a pile of salt!" London informed her younger sister.

But Piper misunderstood.

"Oh," she replied. "Lot's wife turned into Bible sauce?"

26 January 2010

Sounds Logical

I am simply going to record a real conversation that took place earlier today in the confines of our Suburban.

London: Who will I marry, Mommy?

Me: Oh. I don't know. I guess you will have to wait and see who God has planned for you.

L-: How will I know who that is?

Me: Well. In a lot of ways I guess. The young man will be pursuing God. Your daddy and I will like him. Uh . . .

L-: So why can't I just marry Bergen? We're all Christians.

Me: Brothers and sisters just do not get married to one another.

Mosely: I plan to marry Otto.

L-: I think I'll still just marry Bergen.

Bergen (with a shrug of his shoulders and a resigned voice): Ohhh-kayyy.

L-: I guess I could be kind and marry a poor man. Then I could help him.

Me: Yeah, you could. Or you could marry a rich man and he could help you.

L- (weighing the pros and cons and displaying her classic London smirk): Yeah. If I marry a rich man I will just say right away, "Let's get some mac & cheese".

Piper: I am marry Mose-weee.

B-: Girls don't marry girls. And I am marrying London.

L-: Wait. Can I marry Colton?

Me: Um. Maybe.

L-: Listen Bergen. Just marry Raven. She's fun and then we can all be friends and the girls can hang out and the boys can hang out - okay?

B- (with another shrug of his shoulders and another resigned sigh): Ohhhh-kayyyyyy.

I guess that's all in order then.