Friday, October 1, 2021

Choosing Grace


Let's face it.

The last 18 months have been tough on everyone. Doesn't matter how you have spent the pandemic, it's been tough.

I was toughest on myself. Didn't seem like I was "accomplishing" anything (I'm retired. Just what do I think I have to accomplish?) I just quit everything for a while. 

In January, I chose Grace as my One Little Word. It has given me permission to forgive myself for not getting things done. It gave me permission to not worry about writing (again). Once we got Sophie, it gave me permission to not have a spotless house (like it ever was!).


I started thinking about my writing and my blog last week. I kept wondering how I ever kept it going when Chloe was Sophie's age. So I went back and looked.  

I didn't.


I began my blog when Chloe was about 6 months old. Not 2 or 3 months. But Chloe did give me lots of stories to tell!


One of the things I struggled with after Chloe passed was what to do with the blog.  Archive it?  Nope. Start a new one? Nope.

Renaming seemed like the way to go.

So welcome to Stories With Sophie. She's got a few to tell.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021



After Chloe died, I saw her all the time out of the corner of my eye

  • laying on the love seat, staring out the window
  • on "her" corner of the couch
  • in the kennel
On walks, I'd smile at things I knew she'd have to stop and investigate. On really tough days, when I often cried while I walked, I'm pretty sure she sent my new friend Henry (a big, beautiful black doodle) to give me hugs. Those first few months were especially hard. Chloe was such an important part of our lives.

Gradually, things have gotten better.

We still have tears once in a while, but more often we laugh about the silly things she did. We talk about her naturally, share Chloe stories, and ...

Well, we knew it was time.

And I think Chloe knew it was time.

I haven't "seen" her in a while. 

And on Sunday, when we picked out Sophie, I'm pretty sure she was smiling down on us.

Monday, August 2, 2021

She Chose Us

 We knew when we lost Chloe last fall, that there would be another dog in our lives. As my husband tells everyone, "We're dog people". 

And we are.

And our home has been really empty. 

But in a couple of weeks, it will be full of puppy love.

Meet Sophie.

Everything just fell into place...
  • She came from our niece's cousin on the other side of her family
  • She was born on my husband's birthday
  • From pictures, this is the pup both of us "secretly" wanted
From the moment we stepped into Brian and Karen's house, Sophie (because she definitely is a Sophie), was not afraid. She came right to us, brought us toys to play with, let us hold her, and gave us puppy kisses. It was almost like she was saying, "Pick me! Pick me! I'm the one you want!"

She chose us.

And we couldn't be happier!

Sunday, August 1, 2021


Day 1 


Just start.

Put your fingers on the keys.

Let the words come. Let them choose themselves. 

You know they are there.

Waiting for you to release them.


Just start.


August has always been the beginning of a new year for me. Much more than January. When August 1st came around, it seemed like things were shiny and new again. New school clothes, new shoes, new school supplies, and a new calendar. Even now, having been retired for four years, it's the start of a new year. 

And today will also be the start of something new in our house.

Today we pick out our new puppy.

We know her name is Sophie. We just don't know which one it will be.

When we chose Jake and Chloe, they each crawled into my lap and cuddled. I guess, really, they chose us. So today when we go looking at puppies, we'll wait and see which little girl chooses us.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Pause Before Spring



I did that. 

I haven't written anything in a couple of weeks and I certainly haven't blogged (January 11 was my last post!). But, it's hard to visit Coffee With Chloe when Chloe isn't around. 

And COVID absolutely paused me.

  • no visiting 
  • no traveling
  • no grandkids
  • no holidays
Just Greg and I.

But now we have TWO shots! We can start making plans!  
  • Josh and Kara's wedding
  • vacations with Sue and Larry
  • visiting friends
  • and most importantly, family time
My OLW, Grace, allowed the pause this year. Grace gives me time to think. Grace gives me progress, not perfection. 

But now might be the time to SPRING action--or at least SPRING into my writing life again.  Time to get into those writing projects I've been dabbling with. Time to make some plans.  


Monday, January 11, 2021

#SOSMagic: The Pile


Here it is.

My TBR pile.

All the books Mom has given me in the last few months. She says they're great. I'll really enjoy them. 

And yet. 

They sit beside my bookshelf.


Waiting for me to dive in and devour them now that I have more time to read.

But, I don't.

Because --

Every. Single. One. is a World War II novel. Most are set in Germany. Some in camps. Some about strong women who fight. Some about survival.

But I just can't do it.

With all the crap going on in the world United States, I just can't read these. Right now I need books that are happy, fluffy, uplifting. A good mystery will do, so will a story of family. But WWII novels, dystopian novels. Nope.

So for now, these are going to stay piled beside my bookshelf.


Friday, January 1, 2021

GRACE found me

GRACE found me.

This quarantine has been more difficult than what we started at the beginning of March. Maybe because we were able to spend so much time at the lake with friends and family around. Maybe because the last one was an adventure in survival and this one seems more like real life. 

I don't know. But whatever the reason, it's tougher. I don't focus on anything. I spend too much time on mindless Facebook games. I start projects and abandon them (and leave the mess). Start a book and abandon it. Start a blog post and abandon it. 

And other people? I have horrible conversations with others, all in my head, of course. But still. I rail at them for not living up to some perfectionist standard I've created in my head.

I feel like an imposter at times.

Horrible wife, mom, grandma, and friend. Why didn't I create wonderful holiday get-togethers on Zoom? Why didn't I think to ship each Christmas gift in separate boxes instead of one big one? Why didn't I send more cards and letters? Why didn't I blog more? Why didn't I...

Well, you name it. But why didn't I...

Stupid perfectionist ideals.

And one day, a little voice in my head said, "Why don't you give yourself a little  GRACE?"

So I did.

I can't be perfect during this trying time--well, anytime, actually. But especially now. I don't have to learn a new language, repaint the entire house, organize all my pictures, and keep an immaculate house. Who the heck is that perfect? 

And then yesterday, I found this quote by Morgan Harper Nichols:

A year ago you did not know today.

You did not know how you'd make it here.

But, you made it here.


You made it here.

And so I start the year being kind to myself and others and living by grace, not perfection.

3/17 I'm So Lucky

  I'm so lucky to have a birthday on St. Patrick's Day☘️ Everyone likes to celebrate my birthday (even if they don't like green ...