Still Here

My husband took this past Monday off from work because it's not every day that one's daughter turns ten. In fact, if you only have one daughter, there is only one day in your entire life that your daughter turns ten. And ten is a big deal. It's only one "e" away from a teenager, according to Hallmark. It's just the beginning of double digits, and chances are, double digits is as big a number as you'll get.

We went bowling for Avery's birthday. I was delighted, surprised and thrilled that she chose to spend the day with just us rather than inviting a friend, or many friends, along to celebrate her special day. As we were driving to the bowling alley, my husband, who's not very comfortable taking a day off from work and I suspect was feeling guilty going bowling instead of working, made the observation that, whether he was here or there, the world just kept chugging along. The car in front of us would still be heading south on the freeway whether or not he was driving behind it, the buildings we were passing would still be in the same location whether or not we were driving past them, the wind would still be blowing and the sun would still rise, etc. In other words, our actions, in the big scheme of things, are rather insignificant. He said, "I know this seems obvious, but it just really hit me."

"I know what you mean. We're not the center of the universe, are we?", I responded. We're not even the center of our own universe. When we change our orbit, our personal planets do not collide. I think this realization is just part of growing up, being ten times three or four. My husband's observation might explain why I haven't posted in a while. My life keeps happening whether or not I write about it or share pictures of it. The pumpkins still get big and turn orange, the construction crew next door still blasts 80's rock music, we still eat zucchini for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the chickens continue to not lay eggs, and the floor still needs mopping whether or not I blog. Obvious, yes, but observations tend to be.

I've observed something else the last few evenings. I've seen my husband sit down at the computer and open up my blog, looking for a new post. Does he miss my writing? Is he waiting for me to post pictures of the camping trip we took without him last week? Is he wondering when I'll muse about our daughter turning ten? Is he curious if I'll post some recipes of the zucchini dishes we've been eating lately? (He looked up my zucchini egg fu yung post while I was away.) Has my blog become a means of communication in our marriage? Is it easier for him to understand my thoughts when I publish them than when I try to share them out loud? Is our life together more beautiful when I share a close-up picture of a small part of it? Am I thinking too much about my blog and our marriage because I just listened to the book Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert?

Perhaps, but in the big scheme of things, does it really matter? After all, my blog is still here whether or not I post. My camera is still full of pictures whether or not I upload them. My daughter is still ten whether or not I wax nostalgic about her birthday. The wind still blows, the sun still rises, obladi, oblada, life goes on.

So for my husband, and also for those of you who have waded through the drivel above, and even for those of you who just skipped down to the pictures, here are some snapshots of my life over the past two weeks.


alter ego

what's so funny?


happy campers

camping cuisine




peach jam

ten years, ten pins

Eventually I'll return to regular programming, but for now, I'm going to eat my zucchini, listen to the worker next door sing "Love is a Battlefield", let the world spin, and take comfort in the fact that I'm not the center of it, but just a speck of dust on it's surface.


  1. Loved this post. At the mother of a 24 year old, I can attest that ten is a memorable age.

    It sometimes seemed like 10 was an intense cling before separating off to their own life. But it cycles...and continues to cycle still. Enjoy!

  2. timely post for me right now - very crazy how sometimes our thoughts seem to sneak themselves somewhat parallel

    oh my head is so full of thoughts and really it all will just go on...

  3. you are a good one. you know that.

    happy birth-day and come back to this space when you are ready (or don't).

    but be well no matter what...

  4. "We are not the center of our own universe." I might take this my new mantra.

    The second picture cracked me up! The look on her face is priceless. It seems to say "Go ahead, I dare you."

  5. I loved the picture of the Hops plant!

  6. love.
    you, this.
    and hb, miss a.


  7. Happy Birthday Avery! I miss your musings when you're gone, but they seem to be all the richer when you return. This was a favorite.

  8. my chickens are not laying either!! what the heck!

    great post by the way

  9. Love that wonky tomato!

  10. Not drivel at all. Very beautiful and moving. Great questions. I think blogs do make lives and little moments and spaces all appear to have more coherence, even in their randomness. It's the power of images. And writing about small moments and framing them in a blog post does elevate them, but it also reveals their beauty we may not all realize is there as we stand in the rush of so many moments constantly unfolding.

  11. I like the "happy campers" banner -- did you make that? Having one like that might remind me to BE a happy camper, which always requires a conscious attitude adjustment for me. And P.S. I would never go camping with the kids w/o my husband, so I salute you for your fortitude!

    BTW last night I made those quinoa croquettes from the recipe you sent me. Yum!

  12. A lovely post, giving food for thought. And lovely pictures too!

  13. Ah, yes, I've been feeling the same recently and I couldn't have expressed it better, nice post, I can relate well.

  14. Well said. My husband recently read something about the word "whatever"...that it doesn't have to be negative / sassy...it just means that things will work out one way or another, either way. The world keeps chugging along no matter what we decide. :)

  15. stopping by to say hello.
    I really enjoyed this post, honest and simple, photos of the everyday spotlighting your blessings.
    we took our little girl bowling for her birthday this year too , she is 9 going on 20. It was a blast and made me realize that it won't be long before the family birthday celebration will be less than ideal for her.

  16. I really enjoyed this post. I always find it cute when my husband pops in to read my blog. If I catch him, I look at his face for a reaction. After reading Committed, I thought a lot about my marriage and while I didn't think the book as a whole was very coherent, there were little nuggets that I found very refreshing. I like this one in particular, "people always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other's personalities, who wouldn't? anyboby can love the most wonderful parts of another person. but that's not the clever trick. the really clever trick is this: can you accept the flaws? can you look at your partners faults and honestly say, 'I can work around that. I can make something out of that.'?
    I think it took a lot of courage to put it all out there like that; I strive to be more honest in the blog space even though it’s easy to be 2D and only show the good stuff.

  17. happy birthday to avery! celebrating my first decade was such a lasting memory for me. one of my favorite birthdays.

    love this post, molly. might have to check out that book.

  18. I just love you. The "Love as a Battlefield" reference clinched that. (You can always count on me to be moved by the details. The right detail at the right place in a piece of writing makes my heart throb a little. I understand that this is not normal behavior, so the fact that you have an appreciation for details makes me love you that much more.)

    If that campsite was yours--and I have a pretty strong sense that it was--then I want to go camping with you.

    Give Avery a birthday hug for me. In my developmental psychology classes they always said that ten is a magical year...

  19. Oops, I do know that the song is called "Love *Is* A Battlefield". I also know every word of the song. It came out the year I graduated from high school. I'm such an old lady.


  20. I am a step behind you just reading "Eat, Pray, Love" but feeling a lot of the same kind of musings - maybe it's apt that I am that step behind, being at a very different (earlier!) point in my blogging journey too...Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I consider all of you who write my favourite blogs as my online gurus and you have given me plenty to think about today! Em :D

  21. What are you feeding your chickens? And are they getting at least 14 hours of light each day?

    A good laying mash, fresh left overs from your garden and some baked egg shells or oyster shell may help bring along the eggs. If possible, put a light in the coop and time to light to come on about 14 hours before sun set.

  22. what an interesting post. it does make one think! i love the photos from your week!

  23. I love the dish cloth "make do". I'm trying to do that every day. I don't need to get more I need to make do. I also am glad I'm not propelling the universe around I dn't have that much strenght. I'm along for a good ride.

  24. I liked this simple, truthy post so much. Thank you.

  25. oh avery. i thought you were already ten. hm. i haven't missed it, so that's good. we'll have to celebrate you when we return. xo, happy birthday! molly. i have stayed away from that book for some reason. but thinking of george opening up your page & looking for a bit more of you is such a delicious image. you're a beautiful writer, & i do miss you when you're gone, miss you more when you stop writing. but oh, how we both cringe at the blogger who gets nonstop good comments because they are just being too much. so let me just say...your chickens aren't laying eggs & that isn't cool. just saying. but that tomato picture? hot!

  26. you. are. awesome.

    i loved every bit of this.

    and the photos too.

  27. First of all Congrat's, that ur daughter reaches the 10th year of life. It's very good to see the childrens are growing very fast and the time moves faster-n-faster. I like the pictures you have posted here. Some very fine pics.
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  28. Such a true observation ... life just goes on. Beautiful pictures!

  29. La di da, la di da. One of my favourite expressions for all occasions - Diane Keaton I think in Annie Hall. Great post.

  30. Seems like yesterday. Happy birthday mom...and Avery!

  31. yes. yes. yes. i hear you on this one. life still goes on.

    and hbd to that 10 year old...

  32. The thing I took away from this post, and the reminder that we aren't the center of the universe, and life continues regardless of what we are doing, is that it totally lets us off the hook. In a good way, it strips us of all that weighty responsibility for "managing the universe". And I'm so good at trying to walk around with that load around my neck crushing my spine. Great post Molly!

    Happy 10th Avery!

  33. can i just absorb myself into this post??? sooo uterly meeeee right now. you have my voice so often. life is so subjective. it depends so much on what is happening on the outside, but we control it on the inside. hmmm. thanks for your insights, i love them/

  34. oh i can't believe i just did it. i added another blog to my reader...why did you have to have such a beautiful blog AND live in the foothills of CA??? why oh why?
    your site is gorgeous! found you through MADE.


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email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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