Filtering by Tag: Kids

Happy New Year!

Last year I was a little tipsy by this point in the evening.

Those boots! That date! That… glazed look in my eye… Never again.

Those boots! That date! That… glazed look in my eye… Never again.

Ok, more than a little. But I hadn’t started stumbling around in my shoes yet, so at least I still looked good.

HOWEVER: my drunken ass failed to get a New Year’s post up for you all. This year I’m writing this as my one-month-old baby daughter sleeps angelically, growing bigger by the minute. I don’t think there’s any risk of my being too schwastey faced to share my musings with you all, so here it is! My top 10 favorite moments from 2018.

10. Recital 2018

Never before have I been as proud of my students (and myself) as I was this year. They dug deep, rose to challenges, and surpassed so many hurdles. AND they did it all while their darling teacher was pregnant and trying not to barf in front of them. If anyone ever challenges my right to call myself a badass, I’ll pull up the video of me pregnant, and dancing in heels.

9. I performed my final show with This is Water

It’s been a beautiful 5 years, growing and dreaming with this company, but our time is done. The friends I made, and the lessons I’ve learned will stay with me for the rest of my journey on this earth. I finished the way I began: pregnant with a very wanted, very unexpected blessing of a human growing inside my uterus.

I miss you people something fierce. Thank you for turning me into the artist I am today.

I miss you people something fierce. Thank you for turning me into the artist I am today.

8. The Hippie’s father survived a major heart attack.

“But Jess!”, I hear you saying. “Aren’t these sorts of lists supposed to be cheerful?”. Yes, dear reader. They are. And this is. We didn’t know that he would make it. There was a period of about a week where we were constantly at the ready to bolt to his bedside, but despite a less than stellar triple bypass procedure (infections are terrifying), we still have Grandpa here. And we have learned a new depth of gratitude.

7. You people keep giving me unicorns.

No, but really. You should all see my home. My office, my daughter’s room, EVERYWHERE there is a reminder that in a world of darkness, more than one person has decided that I’m their unicorn. And has chosen to remind me of it.

6. Eli learning to help in the kitchen.

I’m sure it’s a normal kid rite of passage, but in our home, the art of making food is sacred. It’s something that we take seriously, and my oldest mop-top took it upon himself to begin learning the way of the kitchen from his father this year. Watching them cook together is one of my greatest joys.

5. My parents moved closer to us.

Granted, they just moved from one side of College Station to the other, but still! If we need to make a pit stop to deal with a blowout diaper in the mornings, they’re there. If I just need to have another mamma with whom I can be vulnerable tell me that ‘this too shall pass’ and that my baby will be fine, they’re there. If I just need to let someone else be the adultiest adult in the room for 10 minutes, they’re there.

4. I got a new job.

I love teaching dance. A lot. I don’t know who I am when I’m not teaching! But… working for Students of Strength has opened doors for me professionally that allow me to do another thing I love: writing. I also get to stay at home with my kiddos while doing my part to help pay our bills. I will forever be glad that I decided to make a friend that day in the cafe when I met my boss.

3. I became an aunt.

My younger brother Tyler and his wife Asia welcomed their first child into the world this April, and she’s perfect. Ellie, Auntie Jess loves you so very much. If you ever want to craft with glitter, come over here so we don’t get yelled at. I will always have gum (or candy, or dollars) to give to you, my darling. You have us all wrapped around your chubby little fingers, and I can’t believe that something so precious and beautiful came from my smelly younger brother (love you, Ty!).

2. We moved next door to our best friends.

“Jess. The house next door is up for lease.” <— best text message of 2018. We live next to Jake, Maria, and Darwin, and life for all of us has gotten exponentially better. I don’t know if she can just smell it in the air or what, but Maria always manages to come knock on the door to steal Eli RIGHT when I need a break. Jake has caught Sheila upon her escape from the yard more than once, and the girl is always happier after spending time with Darwin dog. I love the hell out of these people, and being close to them has been one of the biggest blessings of my life.

1. Zelda Marjorie Hodgson.

At 12:06AM on November 20th, I became the mother of a little girl. Zelda, you have been the polar opposite of myself and your older brother, and everything that your daddy was desperately hoping that you would be. Our little warrior princess is a force to be reckoned with, and we are helplessly in love with her.

I mean… can you blame us for being obsessed with that face???

I mean… can you blame us for being obsessed with that face???

My own kind of list.

Posted on October 11, 2014

Dear Reader,

I’m not the only one who constantly sees Huffington Post lists on “The Top 10 Habits of People Who Are Successful/Efficient/Flawless/Better Than You” am I? These little things pop up in my newsfeed all the time, and it’s almost like Facebook/Pinterest/the entirety of the interwebz is intentionally taunting me with how little I am able to consistently accomplish these days. In response to this, I have decided to compose a list of my own. My college roommates, and fellow new moms contributed to this list. I hope you enjoy.

The Top Ten Habits of People Who Are Hanging in There (new moms, specifically).

1. We don’t shower. Not regularly anyway. Who needs hygiene when you know that 10 minutes after you get out, you are GOING to have baby poop in your hair? It’s easier, and more efficient to just not care, grab a hat, and embrace your greasy hair.

2. We don’t clean in general. We don’t stress about it, either. The dust gives us something to draw with, thusly allowing us to explore our creative side a little while the baby that pooped in our hair earlier sleeps on top of us. We don’t want to wake up the baby, so dust bunny decoupage it is!

3. We plan ahead for the next day by falling asleep in our clothes. 6:00AM is awfully early, especially after being woken up 3+ times in the night by a hungry infant. We maximize our personal sleeping time by consistently falling asleep in the previous day’s work clothes, and simply changing our shirt 10 minutes before having to walk out the door. We think we look great. You should too.

4. We drink coffee like it’s water. Not to maximize productivity, but to keep our eyes open long enough to change one more diaper, get through one more feeding, and read “The Napping House” one more time. Why we torture ourselves with a book about everyone getting to sleep but us is beyond me.

5. We avoid mirrors. It’s much easier to to be ok with your lack of shower, and yesterday’s applesauce covered pants if you can’t see yourself. If you can’t see yourself, you can pretend that you are ready for your “Vogue” cover shoot.

6. We don’t eat. Well, we do, but frantically. If we have the luxury of having time for a hot meal, we tend to wolf it down so quickly out of habit, that we burn parts of our mouth.

7. We don’t wear makeup. Not unless we fell asleep in it the night before, that is. Again, it’s an excellent timesaver.

8. We frequently take naps in the driveway. Sometimes, the baby who pooped in your hair (nope. Never letting him live that down) falls asleep while we are driving around, trying to eat a couple of cold french fries. We take advantage of this opportunity by pulling into the driveway, NOT turning off the car, and trying to catch a couple of zzz’s ourselves while our little one snoozes happily in their car seat.

9. We stop caring about wasting gas. It bites us in the ass sometimes, but that driveway nap… Sacrifices must be made. If paying a little extra every month insures that I get to freak out my own parents by taking a bi-weekly snooze in their driveway, then so be it.

10. We have learned to stop sweating the small stuff. Things happen. Hair gets pooped in. Showers become a rare treat. Chick-fil-A has become our idea of a gourmet meal. But you know what? We’re doing ok. We’re hanging in there. And we kick ASS at this whole “mommy” thing. The rest? It’s just icing on the cake.

Well, I’m officially a mom.

Posted on September 22, 2014 


Dear Reader,

Why am I just now “officially” a mom? I have clearly been a parent for over 8 months now, so why is it just now official?

Orange puke.

Gross? Yes. But I would relive that moment a million times if I had to.

Here’s what happened. My sweet boy has been in the throes of teething for several months now. He still has no teeth, but he DOES have the drippy nose, constant drooling, and the need to gnaw on EVERYTHING that tends to accompany teething. Another lovely side effect?

Nausea. Poor buddy.

One day this past week, he seemed to be having a pretty good day. Ate with abandon. Was playing happily. Insisted that he have some of mommy’s hummus, in the way that only a baby who has a tendency to grab all the things can do. I wasn’t worried. He’s had hummus before, and loves it. But on this day he apparently had more of a nasal drainage problem than I noticed initially. That + garlicky hummus = orange puke. All over his doting mother’s new white skirt.

Why does this incident make me a mom “officially”? Because I didn’t even notice.

I was standing there, holding my poor, puking child, and I didn’t notice. He was throwing up all over me, and I didn’t even notice until after he was done being afraid, and decided to be impressed with himself (really. He was quite proud of the sheer volume of what was coming out of him. Giggling, even).

As gross as it all was, I can’t tell you how empowering that was. I wasn’t freaked out. I didn’t panic. I just held my sick boy, and let him get all the “yuck” out of his system until he felt better. And I didn’t bat an eye.


A “oh, and I had food poisoning this week too. It’s been a fun week at our house” me


This? This is a happy boy. I think we need a puppy.

‘sup, teach?

Posted on September 8, 2014 


Dear Reader,

I survived my first day of teaching voice lessons. What are my thoughts?

1. My kids are ADORABLE. Seriously, they show up ready to work, and actually listen to me.
2. Their parents are involved, but not in a bad way. They are supportive, want to know what their kiddo is learning, and aren’t just trying to fill the time between school and bedtime.
3. Thank GOD I’m hyperactive. Because my cartoon-esque personality catches their attention, and keeps it.

Overall… I’m in love. I forget how much I love working with young singers until I get to do it again.

More, and more, I can’t help noticing that I’m becoming my mother. Get out of college, and be “done with classical music”, only to eventually find my way back through the teaching of the littles. I’m ok with that.

I meet my second batch of students in a few hours, and I could not be more excited!

In theatre-y news, the break has been lovely. I may not be ready to head back to rehearsal just yet, but I am ready to start working. I need to read me some plays, dadgummit! I need a character to research. I need a concept to start chewing on. In short, it turns out that I need an acting fix. As much as I’m enjoying my downtime, it hasn’t even been a month, and I’m already getting twitchy without having material to work on. Apparently I love what I do. Crazy concept, right?

In domesticated type news, my boys are great! The hippie is still a cooking fiend, Eli has decided that crawling is a waste of time, and is trying to teach himself to stand without mommy’s help (noooooooo!), and I have finally vanquished the tiny assholes that were living in my pantry.

What was that you ask? What tiny assholes? I’ll tell you. Pantry moths. Disgusting, starch invading pantry moths. We had to get rid of all the food in the pantry (bye polenta), scrub the pantry down with vinegar (multiple times), and then chase tiny fluttering things yelling “die, you cruel winged, interloping, bastard” whilst swatting them with a fly swatter every time we saw one hiding in the pantry after the initial purge.

Ok, so the yelling was unnecessary, but it felt good at the time. Getting rid of that many organic groceries hit us where it hurt, and we needed to hit back.

Until next time, dear readers.

A “They were even stupid enough to try and pro-create in our Cayenne pepper. It was…gross” me

P. S. Alas, the media file uploady thingamabob isn’t functioning, so you’ll have to wait for a current pic of our standing, trying to toddle little man. Shorry.

Why do I do it?

Posted on July 15, 2014


Dear Reader,

Acting is HARD. Like, back breaking, emotionally weary, all encompassingly HARD. Making a living off of it? Even harder.

So…Why do I do it?

I have a son.

“Well, yes!” I can hear you saying. “Shouldn’t you be trying to do whatever you can to provide him with the best that the world has to offer?” You might say. “Acting doesn’t pay enough for you to do that. You should do something else.”.

I can’t do that.

I am an actor. That is what I am. I can try to be something else. Hell, I HAVE tried to be something else. It didn’t end well. Denying the part of myself that is an actor is the same as attempting to be someone who I am not. That never goes well for anyone.

There was a period during my pregnancy when I was convinced: that was it. My life as an artist was over. I hadn’t “made it” before having a baby, and it was time to set aside my dreams, drive, and my passion in order to find something mundane (to me) but stable in order to help provide for my family. I spent days trying to convince myself that it was what was best for my son. After all, it’s not about just my hippie and me anymore. It was about what was best for our son.

We thought we had already fallen in love with him every time he kicked his little feet, or got the hiccups. Every weekend when I came home a little larger than the one previous, the hippie was so thrilled to see proof that our tiny was thriving. We really thought we were prepared to meet that little person, and then he was here. Nothing, not hearing his heartbeat, feeling his kicks, watching him grow inside me, NOTHING prepared us for how desperately in love we fell with that little pink person.

And THAT’S why I do it. I love my son. More than I have loved anything.

This is who I am. It’s unconventional. It’s damned inconvenient around the holidays (I sing for church services), and it certainly doesn’t pay very well. But it’s who I am. I can’t hide from that, and trying to be someone else while raising a child to be unafraid of who they are? YOU try it sometime.

In the words of my hippie: “How can we teach him to be who he is, if we stop being who we are?”.

So, now you know.



My boys. My motivation. My loves. My life.