Faith Story



Some of you may know I’ve been cheating on my progressive church with the capital “C” Catholic Church. Most of you are probably a little confounded by this. Or a lot. I’d like to dip my toes in the water of Explaining This. I’m nervous about it. I think I’ll do a bad job. But. I’m going to take it slow. If you have questions, I will be super happy to attempt to answer them as I tell this story. Any question is cool, as long as it’s a real question. So “How can you believe such stupid bullshit?” isn’t a real question because it’s secretly a statement. However, “That whole being against contraception thing seems like stupid bullshit to me; what’s your take on that?” works for me.


The story kind of starts with Andrew. Although I don’t know if he really wants the blame for it! When I met him, I was kind of religiously nothing. I was always interested in religion. I had spent the last decade or so reading – Judaism, a little paganism, and finally back around to Christianity – but I kept it pretty intellectually removed from life. (Actually, I’m still good at that.) So while I was coming around to the idea that Christianity wasn’t complete made-up bullshit after all and actually had some amazing, insightful, philosophically sound qualities, I started showing up for Sunday morning services at Ye Olde Progressive Dogma-Free Church about once every six months. I’d feel the tug, go, and then be done for half a year.

My moral compass was a bit damaged, especially relationship-wise, but before I met Andy I had finally decided that marriage and family were also not a big bullshit con that I didn’t deserve anyway, but rather something of value, something I wanted. I learned that love was not the warm fuzzies I felt (all about me) but an action toward another (all about them). (Don’t get me wrong: I’m still really selfish. But at least I know better.) When I met Andy, the complete opposite of my past choices, I immediately recognized a Good Man.

(Also a cute one. And there were still warm fuzzies. But that’s not what this post is about. Ahem.)

I once saw this interview on The Daily Show. I swear it happened, though I can’t find the video. Jon Stewart was interviewing Gene Simmons. Gene was talking about his wife, but also his many other women, and giving Jon crap for being married monogamously. Jon, utterly unfazed, smiled and said, “It’s the difference between pleasure and joy, my friend.”


Yeah. I was starting to get that distinction. Eventually, I would be able to see it in more categories of my life. I mean, that’s kind of what Christianity is selling: it seems like a rulebook to kill all pleasure, but it’s actually in order to replace it with joy.

Somewhere at about a year of dating Andy, I knew we’d be getting engaged before long, and I started going to church regularly. And Bible study. I know, it’s hard to explain. Funny thing is, before that, I could have given you plenty of historical or scientific or philosophical reasons to take Christianity seriously, but that’s not what got me through the door. There was something in me, that when I thought about having a family – family – made me seek a place to mark those milestones. What I told Andy after we were engaged, when trying to decide what kind of wedding we’d have, was that I didn’t know what I believed about God, but I knew this was sacred.

And that’s how it started. Family turned me to God. Family is where I saw God. Family is where a lot of abstract theological concepts started to make gritty, real-life sense to me. Sacrificial love? Got it. The interplay between justice and mercy? Totally, we’ve got kids. Good and Evil and Love and Free Will as very real things and not meaningless terms we attach to biological impulses or whatever? Uh, hell yeah. All that is grand and cosmic is also right here in my house.

So. That’s the beginning.


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Audrey Contemplates the Nature of Family


“Does everyone have a Mom and Dad?

She asks this a lot. Short answer, yes. Biologically. Long answer…whew…baby steps on that one. I heard her talking about dead parents while she was playing yesterday. Dammit, Frozen. Also, we have covered adoption. Well, we continue to cover it, as I’m sure it’s not easy to grasp.

“Are there two kinds of Mommies?”

Okay, I think she’s asking about adoption, so I’m going to talk about adoption again. There’s a Mommy who grows a baby in her belly and a Mommy who takes care of that baby forever.

“Do I have two kinds of Mommies?”

Nope. Just one. Just me. I did both those things.

“Is Grandma your mom?”

Asked with a bit of humor, because she knows Grammy is my mom. But she also knows Grams is Daddy’s mom, so…Okay. Here we go. Grandma is Daddy’s Stepmother. See, Grandpa is Daddy’s Daddy. And Grandma is married to Grandpa. That’s how she’s a Grandma. Does that make sense?

“It doesn’t make sense, but it’s kind of sense-y!”


I’m sure the questions will never get harder than this…

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Facebook, You Suck


I undertook a Facebook fast over a month ago. I was making myself miserable with that thing: obsessively reading everyone’s opinion on every damn thing; not having the strength of character to avoid engaging people on their awful different points of view; ignoring my family, the natural world and God because I had so many worthless articles queued up to read, unable to be alone with myself. There’s more but I’m getting stressed listing it all.

You guys, I’ve been so happy. It’s been so peaceful. When I read about all those Supreme Court rulings, it was so not anxiety-producing. I could just read the news! That was it! I’ve been spending so much time getting offended at people’s offendedness and this whole time I didn’t have to live that way!

I read books. Actual books! Even made of paper! Suddenly the physical world has more appeal. It’s like that’s where existence is or something.

I was a hardcore FB ascetic for a while but I’ve cheated a little bit. I’ve checked in on a couple of friends, I’ve sold some diapers and bought some math books, I’ve gone a few inches down my feed and “liked” whatever good stuff I found at the top. I posted about my baby’s birthday and that was lovely.

I know you normal people can do moderation and maybe I can to, I don’t know. But I found myself commenting on someone’s post today, then going back ten minutes later and deleting it because of the anxiety it left in the pit of my stomach. I’m always fighting that compulsion to comment on controversy, and then waiting scared for someone to get mad at me. It’s messed up. I don’t have the constitution for this.

So. For now, I guess I’ll keep doing little drive-by lurks. Make sure I don’t miss any new babies, that kind of thing. But I’ve got to be careful.

I’ve really liked being happy.

Zachary’s First Birthday


My little bitty baby that I just had…

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…is one year old.


He drives cars now.


We made him a cake. This is Andrew hammering some hard candy for my sugar sculpture (I’m making that sound fancier than it is.)


We made jokes about playing Candy Crush. Mostly me. Andrew mostly didn’t laugh. Cause I’m not funny.

This was the cake. (All the pics from here on out are my dad’s. He’s awesome.)


It’s a campfire! Cause it was a cowboy birthday. (This is totally what cowboys do, right?)


Sure they do.

This is me awkwardly reading a blessing (off my phone) for my beautiful child. I wasn’t so much awkward in real life as awkward in my head cause I feel like I’ll never get used to acting like a religious person out loud. If that makes sense.


But these babies made the sacred all obvious in my life, so that’s what I do now.


I’m all full of sloppy emotion over this boy. My sister-in-law was all, “It was hard when my last baby turned one too,” and I said, “Last?!?!? Oh, no, if I thought about it that way, I’d be much worse. I haven’t given up hope yet!!!!






Love you, baby boy. May you enjoy many, many more happy trips around the sun.





It’s Pictures Again


Since we last talked…

Fourth of July.






Zachary had his first Zoo train ride that he could really appreciate.


Audrey learned how to do this.


Zachary learned how to do this.




And tomorrow he’s one year old.

I have a lot to say but have lost the urge to talk quite so much. Well, type so much. I still talk a lot. Maybe soon. Got to go watch The Jim Gaffigan Show. I’m very excited about that.

posted under Audrey, husband, TV, Zachary | Comments Off on It’s Pictures Again

Adorable Pictures, Part 428


Continuing the long on pictures/short on content blog series (apparently), here: we splashed in the kiddie pool this week.







Admit it, that’s more interesting than my thoughts on the Supreme Court, right?

posted under Audrey, Zachary | Comments Off on Adorable Pictures, Part 428