we had a birthday celebration yesterday. can you tell which one of us was excited about it? jump

i really wish that pic had turned out clearer bc it was pretty great. darla was leaping over mike’s legs when we told her we’d do a backwards dinner: dessert first, dinner second. somehow, this worked. she ate more dinner than normal. but, i don’t think we’ll make it a regular thing.

a la mode

we had brownie rocky road a la mode.

darla and i gifted mike a custom, handmade leather belt fashioned by our friend, lance. it’s super sweet. so if anyone needs any leather work done…well, i know a guy.


happy birthday to all the december babies young and old :)


vinyl frontier


do you know what that is a picture of? that’s a man living his dream. well, sort of. more like a step towards his dream. anyways, that’s a man working in a record shop and that man is my husband.

darla and i visited mike at his new job at vinyl frontier this past week. i gotta say i really like the space. it has lots of unique touches. and it has tons of records. TONS. husband gets paid to listen to music, talk about music and file music all day. i’m very happy for him that he is getting his hands into something he loves.

darla’s take on vinyl frontier

handstand gargoyle


i think it’s safe to say she felt like she fit right in.


columbus friends, stop by and talk tunes with mike at vinyl frontier – 51 E Gay St.

he is home

this may have been our best homecoming yet.


i never get a good shot of their first moments together. too much is happening and that’s ok.


welcome home to the 986


i ran out to do an errand and when i came back darla and mike were making this cake. ok, cake for dinner. woo woo!


tandem candle blow-out

it’s going to be a good 10 weeks. i can tell.


exciting news: this was our last week without our salty sailor. he’s coming home in days. DAYZ!

we had a picnic and books on the front porch


had lots of citrus-centric foods and made use of our citrus stash


made good use of the arcade games in the laundromat. is that a kill screen, darla? look out billy mitchell.

(yes, laundromat. i’m not going into the basement until further notice)


spent the wash cycle playing scrabble at Luck Bros.


this is it, the last of just-us-gals weekends for a while. there might be some extra co-sleeping this week until papa comes home. troof.


dear salty sailor,


sometimes i get so sad that you are missing moments like these. darla was helping me put away laundry. she was doing a good job. since most of the laundry was hers she was capable of putting it all away and took great pleasure in helping me. she came across one of my shirts, stripped down and put it on declaring “i want to wear this and be just like you.” then she made up a little help mommy song as she went about her chore. i love her and i love these moments. i love those pigtails that are crooked from boisterous play. this kind of lifestyle is very challenging at times but i’m so lucky for these bits. and i’m overcome with sadness that you are not here for it. i’m sorry if i haven’t caught enough of them for you.

here’s just a few things that have tumbled out of the girl’s mouth lately:  she looked over her shoulder the other day at her bum and said “mommy, don’t i have such a big booty?” I was explaining how something works and she said “i really catch your drift mom.”  the last one that i remember was right before we went over for dinner with the neighbors. Darla wanted to bring her blanket so I was making sure she understood that if she took it over she couldn’t be territorial and had to be willing to share. I said “i’m afraid you will get upset and cry if one of the girls wants to play with your blanket. how do you feel about that?” and she looked me dead in the eye and replied “no, i wouldn’t do that. i would feel very proud if someone played with it.” true to her word, she took it over and it wasn’t an issue.

we miss you so much. thank you for the life you provide us.

love love lovesick love,


dear salty sailor,

i don’t really know where to begin. so i guess we’ll start with the basics:

you are gone. i am here. i am lonely. i’m missing you. darla is here. she makes me happy. she also makes me want to stick my head under water. she misses you. she doesn’t miss you. she’s fickle. she’s three.

that about covers it.


i kid. i kid.

i’m sitting here next to a little girl who fell asleep watching The Triplets of Belleville. I’m happy to say she adores the movie and it’s gotten me a’thaynkin’: we should keep The Illusionist in mind as a present for some occasion. i’d love to have it in the library for her since it was the first movie she saw in the theater. we’re still pretending we didn’t take her to see Bruno, right?

life threw me some curveballs this week but i’m happy to say things are all working out. all is continuing to be very steady and even keel. i know this should be a good thing but you know me; i’m getting antsy.

luckily i have all our summer travel planning to keep me busy. it is going to be great. this summer just ain’t gonna stop. i have high hopes for some memory making with Darla. it’s amazing to me some of the stuff she pulls out of her memory now that she can convey it to me. i’m afraid the girl remembers more than we counted on. you’re going to have to re-hide your candyland stash of money.

we received our valentine’s from you yesterday in the mail and it made my heartache. i think one of the really good things about you being gone is we get to connect through our writing again. i think it’s one of the reasons we fell in love. i certainly was floored by your way with words and still am. i’m very thankful you are able to email this work tour. i’m hoping it will keep us close this time around.

also, i’m sorry about that michael landon thing. you’re right. he did have big ears.

you have perfect ears and i love you,


dear salty sailor,

ohhh man we did some STUFF this week. check it.

we zoo-ed it.

she likes to wear you clothes just as much as i do.

new artings at the library. she said she was inspired to draw so she did.

discovered some gnarly, antique doors in our hood. i told her they were secret doors.

she noticed this root system at the schiller park playground grown in a circle. decided this is where gnomes and faeries have dinner together.

in which she discovers a spider’s web, touches it then freaks out b/c it’s on her hand

nom nom at the north market + our treats for being good. she had the little girl and i had the dog dressed as a pig. japan, you so crazy!

you just go ahead and run it out, you crazy lunatic

these last two are at highbanks metropark in the natural play area. this is the best sycamore tree i’ve ever seen, said sycamore featured on the right. i asked darla to pose in front of it and she laid down on the ground and rolled around like a dog. she’s special.

a word on highbanks metropark: they have these little shelter houses that have fireplaces in them. i don’t care how cold it gets, when you get home you will take me there and darla too. you will build me a fire in one and you will like it. you will woo me with your manly survival skills and we will sit in front of that fire whilst darla goes buck wild at the nearby playground. i will probably have some yarn and a darning needle in my hand but i won’t be using them. they are just props b/c that is what a lady is supposed to hold in front of a fire.

that is all.

i can’t even keep track of all the funny stuff she says anymore and i’m getting lazy b/c you’re almost here so i don’t wanna. i feel that way about chores around the house. it’s like i think you’re already here so i don’t want to do it on my own but ‘taint the case.

i do remember that she has figured out how to be three people at one time instead of just two: toddler approaches. tugs on my shirt to signal that my attention is needed. says “mom, i’m mai pretending to be gumby” and then bounds off. i am very frightened for the future at this point.

you missed a pretty magical first for darla’s life – her first viewing of the wizard of oz. i would give anything to have captured the look on her face when dorothy opened the front door to reveal oz and all its vivid splendor. darla’s eyes grew saucerlike and she gasped. she then sat enraptured. if i had known it was going to be that spectacular i would have waited for you to be home before we watched it. also, I FREAKING LOVE JUDY GARLAND.

well i better sign off so i can write you a honey-do email so you know what you’re going to do when you get home.

i love you more than cheese.

wife former fwife

Dear Salty Sailor,

i’d like to start off this post by thanking you for the sacrifice you make so that we can lead the fortunate life we do. it doesn’t seem fair that you spend half your year away from darla so that i can spend all my days with her. i love you so much for giving me that gift. have you noticed how much you are missed, loved, and appreciated when you are not home? i will try to make it more of the same when the waves push you ashore again.

now I’ll start you on updates of our life this week. a lonely three months without you is quickly filling up with plans of travels and visits and new life experiences. sept and oct will put us in la, dc and indiana for sure and we’re getting a lovely cosmic cousin visit in early oct, too. fun abounding. Wednesday was our first day back with the burkeybuns household and my heart was bursting with joy the entire time, well all except for 5 minutes when i foolishly let adam lock darla and i out of the house with him and little joni inside. then my heart was bursting with fear. i managed to talk him into unlocking the door by promising copious amounts of m&ms and pleading that a wild animal might get us if he left us out. It served as a reminder that momma needs to stay on her toes. The kids, they learn new tricks. That’s about it, other than the ususal routine of activities, outings with friends and lots of snuggles and laughs and even some productive down time for me. It’s been a good week.

all right, sea dog, here’s your bone. I know it’s what you really want… quips then pics.

-after riding silently in the backseat for some time she asked “mom, does a cat know it’s a cat? does a cat know it says meow?” our child is an existentialist genius. – when i asked her what she is gonna do when she got older she said “get weeds out of my garden.” how ambitious. she has acquired a babydoll from my parents house which she started calling “baby darla” she then started saying that she is “elaine.” when i asked her who i was she looked at me and said “um, you are nobody.” so much material there i’m just gonna let it ride itself. – at the zoo she saw another kids stroller that had a play steering wheel for the child while he/she rides. she pointed at it and said “mom i wish i had one of those wheels for driving but…” BIG DRAMATIC SIGH complete with sidewards glance and arm flip “i don’t.” she has moved on from existentialist theory to mastering the art of subtle manipulation. lastly, she put on a pair of black dress up wings at firefly and said “look, mom! i’m a pegasus!” fairies are so overdone.

enjoy your pics. we miss you a trilllions!

love your former fwife, now wife.

Dear Salty Sailor,

We miss you like whoa over here. I thought you might appreciate a catsup on our little bambino. Here are some pics and quips of her hilariousness this week.

-She had a conversation with a deceased house fly in which she said “Oh hey little guy! You’re dead. But, that’s ok. It’s just part of life.” – She talks about Zeus at least once a day, especially when we’re out on the bike. She likes to state that both Zeus and Daddy are in Greece and Zeus sleeps in the clouds. – We watched PeeWee’s Big Adventure for the first time this week. She sat enraptured through the whole schlangdang thang. Not one peep until the credits started rolling. Then she simply turned to me with a huge grin, threw her hands up in excitement and proclaimed “He found his bike!” Glad to know the basic concepts are getting through. Also, I’m sorry you weren’t here for the unveiling of P. Dubbya’s Big Adventure to her brain but I thought it was appropriate given our two-wheel lifestyle as of late. Lastly, she asked if she could do some “crayoning” this morning.

That’s about it for now. We’re enjoying a weekend at Papaw and CeeCee’s house in which Darla wants nothing to do with me. Sigh.

Sending you lots of love. Your former fwife,