• Personal

    Finding My Way Home to Catholicism – My Spiritual Journey

    This weekend was a major milestone in my life, as I was officially confirmed and received my First Communion in the Catholic Church. This has been a long, complicated journey for me, and I am eternally thankful to the love and support of everyone who has helped me along that path.  I have felt so lost in this world without either of my parents and did not know where to turn. There is something so empty and lonely about no longer having the people who made me and raised me in this world. I felt untethered and desperately needed grounding and connection that I have not been able to find until…

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    Welcome to the new Plaid Polka Dots

    This blog started as a lighthearted creative outlet. The idea was to have a place where I could post about the area I lived in, share projects that I worked on with my family, and write some prose. For awhile I was great about posting. I had an editorial calendar and a running list of different ideas to write about at any given time. This blog was something that I shared with my family, friends, and the larger internet community. Over time, life got in the way. Balancing the needs of three children, getting through a global pandemic and lockdowns, starting homeschooling, and dealing with some of the harsh realities…

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    Pulling Myself Above Water

    It has been one year now since we lost my mom, four months since we lost my dad. For awhile. It has felt like I was drowning, buried under the waves of grief and sadness, unable to pull myself out. Trying to keep my ahead above water, going about my daily life and trying to accomplish anything more than the bare minimum that was necessary, felt impossible. My grief swallowed me whole. I realized that I felt capable of doing anything beyond caring for my kids, there was nothing bringing me joy, and I felt like I wasn’t really living. Since that realization, I have been trying to pull myself…

  • Personal

    Making Changes

    Since the last time I posted on this page, my dad died. I had been slowly climbing out of my pit of grief from my mom’s death. Writing was something that I had just found my way back to doing, and I hoped that it would help me cope and process my feelings. When my dad died, every bit of progress that I might have made was crushed, and I found myself feeling lower than ever before. I have never before experienced grief like this and it’s hard. Grief changes you. I feel so far from the person who I was when I started this blog. I’m not sure if…

  • Personal

    I Miss My Mom

    I miss my mom every day. Every day there is some reminder that she is gone. There is always something I want to share with her, but I can’t. My mom was my best friend, a great mom, and an even more amazing grandmother to my kids. I used to call her daily, sometimes multiple times a day. She was the person that I wanted to tell everything to. She was my go-to person who I would call for advice, even if I didn’t really need advice, i wanted to hear what she thought. Cara had her two month checkup yesterday, and I wanted more than anything to call my…

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    Finishing up February break

    Whe Fiona was in school, I made sure that Connor’s homeschool schedule followed the regular school schedule. It was easier for him to focus and get one on one support when she was at school for the day, so following that schedule just made sense. Now that I am homeschooling both of them, we don’t have that set time that it is just the two of us working at home (although that had mostly ended with the baby anyway). It is an adjustment to our daily routine, but it also means we no longer need to follow the regular school schedule in any way. Previously, I had carefully mapped out…

  • Personal

    Homeschooling Everyone – One Week In

    We are only one week into adding Fiona to our homeschool routine, and already it feels like a massive weight has been lifted. Homeschooling isn’t some perfect, magical solution, but it is amazing how much happier Fiona seems already. It has been a great relief for me as well. Last night, I realized that I didn’t feel the normal sense of dread that I usually felt on Sunday nights. Our weekly routine generally involved at least two hours of struggling to get Fiona to school in the morning while trying to also help her work on being calm and happy. The entire process wore me out, and by the time…

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    Squeegee Beckenheim Loved Books

    Yesterday, a magazine came in the mail addressed to Squeegee Beckenheim and for a moment I felt this warm, radiating happiness. Then, I cried. I remember the first time I received a magazine in the mail addressed to Squeegee Beckenheim or Tooky Clothespin. Calvin was so confused, but I immediately saw the Gilmore Girls reference and knew that my mom was behind it. Watching Gilmore Girls together was a staple of my high school years. My mom had many commonalities with Lorelei, and I saw myself in Rory. Squeegee Beckenheim and Tooky Clothespin are from an episode when Lorelei is trying to unsubscribe from a mountain of catalogs and mail…

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  • Personal

    Making the jump to homeschooling – again!

    This is my third year homeschooling Connor. For whatever reason, I had never really considered homeschooling as a serious option for my family before 2020. Then, the school shutdowns and remote learning that Spring opened my eyes to a whole world of possibilities. Connor was in fifth grade and becoming more stressed out everyday. He was doing well in school – so we’ll that he no longer qualified for the IEP supports that had helped him when he was younger. But what the grades and submitted work didn’t show was the amount of pressure that he put himself under to complete those assignments. He wanted everything to be perfect all…

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  • Personal

    Someone Missing, Someone New

    We welcomed Cara Colleen into the world on a beautiful afternoon in December. It was bittersweet welcoming a new baby without my mom here to share in the joy. When I had Connor, I was young and scared, but my mom was there for me through it all holding my hand. When I had Fiona, I was living in New Hampshire and Calvin, Connor and I had settled into me re stable family life. I was no longer living at home and needing my mom to drive me to the hospital and hold my hand. Calvin was the one holding my hand, but my mom was the person whose phone…