Thursday, February 28, 2013


So, it seems I am in this weirdy crossroads of discovering what is it that I want to next do in this world. While I am not pushing myself out of this whole life with littles (Lucy's still not two!), the reality is that I feel like I am rapidly approaching the next chapter and can't for the life of me even begin to see what that might look like.

I'm okay with this unforeseeable change.

When the doctor told us this morning after Gabe's well visit that we was officially, "Kindergarten ready", I didn't have that familiar stab of panic I had with Molly. Perhaps just the spin-off of a seasoned mom now but even more, I think it is because he is ready. I am ready. Honestly, I'm just really excited for him.

What it does mean however, is that for the first time in this life as a Mom, I will have only one child home with me three days a week. So naturally, I'm holding true to myself and trying to cram that empty with new plans, lofty goals and crazy projects. Nice to know somethings don't change.

Professionally, to grow in this career I love, I really need to pursue my masters. Additionally, I am feeling the pull of play therapy and the excitement that adventure could lead me to as well. Coupled with buying an Austin home this summer, preparing for big kid school (mom and kids) and all that summer fun to boot, I think the bigger goal will be trying to find some downtime to just be where I am... and play.

It's a great area to put effort in to. After all, "you can discover more about a person an hour of play, then a year of conversation". Plato gets it. So does Kelly.

 Perhaps my solution for more play is just to find more opportunities to hang with my lovely leprechaun during workdays.

Anyone else still trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gabriel's Five

I'm looking at the pictures we took the week you turned four and it doesn't even seem like I am looking at the same kid. As I am entering into veteran mom mode, I have come to learn that some years are just really big growing years. Son, I think it was undoubtedly your biggest growing year yet.

In size, you are perhaps a little heavier but you've stretched out in ways that improve your ability to run faster, bike further and diminish the classic Gabriel Buddha belly. Honestly, I'm a little sad for that to go. But more than physical changes, in this year... your optimistic personality, uncompromising wit and charismatic charm flourished.

To stand in the sunlight of you might have been my best gift received this year.

 I have always believed that if the world could love like you do, we would all be in a better place. You are the ideal middle to our family with a love that centers us all.

As we inch closer to six and seven, I know that things will start to change. You may not always want to cuddle in movies, pick me flowers in every field or think that "31 is best how old you can be of all" just because it's my number. I'm okay with that. Because unlike Molly and Lucy, you and I will cover uncharted territories of interests not reflected in my own childhood. I'm excited for them. Yet another opportunity for you to show me something new and wonderful in this world.

For now though, I'm going to proudly stay right where we are and keep it close. All your endless questions, insightful views and neurotic routines, I'll treasure it daily.

I love you so much, Gabriel. You're officially a whole hand old. That deserves one awesome high five at breakfast.


Gabe's 5th Birthday from Julie May on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mays hike.

This morning didn't start out too promising. 

I was coming off my second nightshift and dang, I was feeling it. I looked over at Kelly and was met with a graggly, "I think I have a sinus infection". I'm fairly confident he had more to say about sinus woes and all, but he wasn't able to finish as we were immediately interrupted by a giggling Gabe and Molly in costumes. 

Hello, 7:15 am. Can you just come back in a hour or so?

We cancelled our morning plans which was sad for about 15 minutes. I love cheering on runners and to do it the company of great friends was even more enticing. And yet, 15 minutes later when I once again closed my eyes to gifted extra sleep, I think that I heard baby angels laughing. Seriously... it was that wonderful.

By the afternoon, we claimed the day. I love it when that happens.

We have decided that we are going to be hikers. 

And while we may not be climbing impressive peaks and camping with limited supplies, we make our version of hiking look good.

A couple key things were learned during the hike today:

1. My husband looks good. Even with weirdy lighting and a sinus infection. I am both in awe and angered by this. 

*Note: you will not find a picture of me in this photo run and it wasn't by accident. You see, I opted out of a shower and I think only managed to deodorize one armpit today. It is important to understand that claiming the afternoon doesn't necessarily include claiming cleanliness too.

2. If you hike around an almost-spring sunset, prepared to be wowed. The clouds had magic in them today.

3. My kids are pretty amazing tree climbers. As a fellow tree climber, I am so proud of this. Seriously, not one child was afraid of the heights.

4. Hiking trails are where you might find love. Well, if your names are Rosie George and Sunny. She loved him even in-spite of his boring name. They just might have been soul mates. But he is a Southey and she doesn't do long distance relationships. Sorry, Sunny.

5. My kids need a beach. No seriously. Summer can't get here fast enough. Thank goodness for volleyball courts and great imaginations.

Who knew hiking could be so enlightening?

Monday, February 11, 2013


Winter settled in our home this past month, fierce and ugly. Packed with germs, no person was spared. Even our gato fabuloso was puking, granted less due to illness and more in part to his foolish love affair with monkey grass. For everyone else though, the germs were legit.

I am now on a first name basis with our local pharmacist, have visited far too many doctors ending in an ologist to count and can effortlessly map the fastest route to the pedi-office based on the hour of day. 

But now? 

With whispered hesitation, I finally feel ready to deem us completely out of the woods. Hear that stuffy-nosed, puny, pukey germs of this world? Mays have closed up shop, stepped up the immunity and are claiming spring.

We even planted flowers. We're that committed.

We're all about the hygiene and hand-washing over here. All those open windows sure have felt nice.

It's not without battle scars though that we welcome the gentle warming of a spring sunshine.

Especially for this one.

It turns out, that throwing up at school in front of your entire first grade class mixed with 8 weeks of belly pain just might have tilted the scale for Molly's love of school all the way down to the place where words like hate and loathing live.

She cried every day at school for about 4 straight weeks, visited the school nurse daily and had a couple chats with the school counselor. And while, I didn't mind all that extra missing mommy love, her complete distaste for school was heartbreaking.

So we stepped back and grew it small.

Less focus on blogging and more on added special together time

Amped up our humor at home

and infused our downtime with sunshine.

She had all the words... so we let her tell us about them.

For all her tiny traits... her thoughts on this world are not. This kid has so much to say.

Not going to lie, the tear-stained journal entries gently tucked under our pillow nightly for parental reading pleasure were really sad. For what felt like a really long time.

And then one day... there were little changes. She was no longer afraid of the cafeteria, came home from school and told us she was ready to buy lunch again. Sunday afternoons became less infused with anxiety and were gradually replaced with relaxation.

Tonight, right before I left for work I rounded the corner and was handed the ole' familiar hello kitty journal. Her nightly special way of telling us she needs to talk. But this time? She didn't write about hating school or feeling sad or missing mommy. She wrote about class valentines. And half birthdays. And school feeling *pretty much* better. There were smiley faces and hearts on the border of the page. I'm not kidding when I say I could hear Abba playing in my head. I looked across the room to Kelly and I swear he did a little twirl in his head---maybe even a jump split.

It was sunshine. Gentle and warming.

Sure felt like spring to me.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Eviction Day

So, this morning abundantly solidified the fact that I am not a morning person. As if I had any reason to believe I was one... um, hello. I work the night shift.

 But, Gabriel?

That guy can rock the mornings like it's nobody's business. It could be a superpower that us villainous night owls would loathe. At least he makes it look cute.

Gabriel and Little Bear showed up for surgery at 6am sharp today ready to party. He was all high comedy and winning smiles. No versed, completely independent, laughed his way to sleep... if I could have half this kid's personality... oh, the possibilities.

Sad thing about surgery though is that it never really feels like a party in the end. For our sweet Gabriel, it was no exception.

He woke up sad and loud. He would whine...cry...fall asleep mid sentence for a few minutes and then pick right back up where he was mid whine. It went a little something like this for a good 15 minute stint: "I miss my home sooooooo much.... I never ever ever *doze off for a few minutes* EVER want to come back here."



But then Daddy arrived. And so did the popsicles. If life is gonna knock you down a few rungs, then you most definitely want a daddy nearby and a popsicle in hand as you rally.

We made it home and the boys snuggled in, while I went to snag Lucy from a Tinkerbell dance party with her bestie. Madam bossypants likes to play! (Thanks Liliana and Bella for having her over!)

So, we made it through today and are now moving towards healing. I think we might be in for a bumpy couple days still but all in the right direction. We really felt the love today and couldn't be more thankful for it. I feel ready for tomorrow...(even though today alone feels like it could have been an entire week long.)

 More updates to come.

Thanks again for all the calls, texts and positive energy for our little man!

Soggy Day for Surgery

Austin has now enjoyed two much needed, glorious days of rain. Last night, was the slow trickle rain--- the perfect kid of rain for sleeping. However, with surgery day upon us, I was wide awake.

 It's a tiny bit comical to have anxiety about his surgery as it really is a very basic surgery (tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy), at the place I work and am familiar with, by the medical team I specifically researched and chose. And yet, all night I was up watching the clock.

 Because while I know that he is my big brave almost 5-yr-old...

In my heart, I still look at him and see this...

I doubt that will ever change and you know, I'm really okay with it. So if you have a lull in your day today, perhaps you could send some good love in the direction of Gabriel and Little bear. They have a surgery adventure this morning and their Mom is feeling a little nervous.

 Updates to come!


There have been times in the past few days that I have really tried so hard to sum up 2012. Quite frankly, I just can't. It was a year of so much transition, heightened anxiety paired with some of the most magical memories all squished into 12 teensy months. You had a little bit of it all, 2012. While at times bipolar, you were much happier than 2011 and for that... I am grateful and very excited to see what's ahead in this sparkly new year.

 This year, began with the charge of shifting tides...

And when Kelly’s marketing job ended abruptly the following month, it may have taken some superhero strength… but we rallied as a family.


It turns out when you step away from a negative situation, the light really can flood in. 2012, thank you for reminding us.

Sometimes you just need to trust where you are. After all, a lot of incredible change can happen in just one year. We celebrated that.


Turns out celebrating often leads to newfound friendships.

Let's be honest. Is there anything more magical than friendship?


2012, you took us to new places…even if it was just a couple of streets away, it felt different… and at times scary.

So we threw one great party, and made it feel like home again.


And then it got busy. Joyfully busy. 2 very special weddings, the start of preschool and birthday week. We squished it all in.


2012, you had a lot to say about things…there were limits, visual reminders and loads of scotch tape. We had a good little giggle.


For all the heartache of the beginning, the knowledge at ending sure carried a punch of pizzaz...


For even on our darkest days and bleakest moments, it seems that the biggest blessings of the year---were with right with us all along.


Forget fireworks. They are the best light I needed to start my 2013. Happy New Year.


*Post written on Christmas Eve
It is hard to believe that Christmas is here. I feel as though I closed my eyes at Halloween and have reopened them only moments later to Christmas. This complete lost time is most definitely reflected in the absence of posts. And yet, here I am…just a mere day before Christmas. Fidgety, I awoke to the present in a panic, sorting through photos to make sure that we did in fact live all the Christmasy goodness I so look forward to. And you know what? We did. Our children had a fabulous holiday season. From caroling, tree farms, visiting family to late fesitval nights and even a great twirl under the Zilker tree. We really did it all.

And yet… throughout it all, this season just hasn’t felt as alive with the holiday spirit as those of the past.
While hesitant to openly discuss in a social media forum, I think I’m ready to now. The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary last week grabbed a raw place in my heart and settled in with marked and aching sadness. So much so, that in every free thinking moment, my mind would wander to that sad, dark place and I’d find myself reaching for tissues and stifling my tears. Perhaps it was the fact, that I too, am a parent of a 1st grader. Picturing my oldest having to process even a fraction of that terror not only scared the pants off me but left me googling the safest places in the world to live and various homeschooling options. It could be that my reaction is related to the fact that my professional work is in trauma. Maybe I took all my squished down feelings associated with previous traumas and smoorgasborded it all into this one isolated event of sadness. Or perhaps it is just because I am a human grieving one of the most inhumane moments in history. Who knows. But for whatever the reason, this Lockean, was no longer thinking that the world was inherently good… and that felt sad. and scary. and not very Christmasy at all.
So when our on-call physician informed me on Friday, that I needed to take Molly in to Dell ER for a rule-out appy, my heart sank.  Looking back now I can stop and see the bigger picture, at the time my inner Grinch was quite revved up and not loving life. I still had Christmas shopping to do. Hospitals are just so expensive. I felt like I had just left work and already was headed back in. I didn’t want something else to bring me down. Best case scenario, we would be walking out that evening with one lovely emergency room bill and the other scenarios pushed us closer to the hospital for Christmas. It all felt crunchy.
Funny how, often times in my prickliest moment, I am awakened to some balancing slant on living—the secret truths that make all the crunchy moments worth it. Sitting in that emergency room, amongst the machines, medicine and germs, all I could feel surrounding me was love. Overflowing, abundantly available, gallons of love. The people who support me professionally were now loving me personally…and my little. Grandparents were calling from Dallas for updates and friends were on-call for last-minute sibling support. This moment was one of the stark fears I had carried for these past few years of living in Austin. What if something happens here and we don’t have family around to support us? It’s silly now to even think that family is limited to just one space. Surrounding my room, were the other Moms and Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas all worrying about their specials and working to quiet the underbelly concerns related to finances, holiday hospitalization and the likes. I felt it everywhere… we had community. We did end up getting admitted for IV antibiotics overnight for random pneumonia and later discharged for Christmas Eve. Molly walked away from it all, “sad to leave such a great vacation.” My silly girl.
She must have felt all that love too.

That moment of light was just the Christmas warmth I was needing. There are so many good people of this world too. It seems in times of sadness, it is difficult to see those standing there beside you. Family is not limited to just one space or a specific group of people. It’s YOUR community and it is everywhere. In hospitals, in schools, even in Connecticut. It finds you in the dark and slowly lets in light… even if takes a while to feel it. I sure hope all those families in Newtown can feel it too.
So while a bit late and quite out of context…
I wish you warmth, light and abundant community. May your days truly be merry and bright in the year to come.