52 Weeks of Brotherhood, Week 8

52 Weeks of Brotherhood, Week 8

52 Weeks of Brotherhood

52 Weeks of Brotherhood

I was not intentional with the camera.

52 Weeks of Brotherhood, Week 8

52 Weeks of Brotherhood

And yet…

It was seemingly an intentional week of brotherhood. Not only did they specifically and intentionally rush through dinner in order to be able to go outside and play with their Nerf guns together, but they built pillow forts… together.

Pillow forts on the couch. I think this speed on a Sunday is just right.

And watched Toy Story 3together.


Two boys and their dog, watching Toy Story 3. Notice Buzz and Woody behind them. Love this.

And read the Sunday Comics… together.

52 Weeks of Brotherhood

52 Weeks of Brotherhood

I didn’t snap a picture of Sunday morning — before I could force myself out of bed after a night of many wake ups — as LittleBrother sat and read Fly Guy books to BigBrother, the older occasionally helping with a trickier word. I simply lounged in bed and smiled at the sound of it.

I am noticing through this project, eight weeks into 52, that for all of the fighting and arguing and pestering and tattling and whining and poking and prodding and general woe of being a sibling, that these two little boys cherish one another. I am reminded of how my husband has always said that you take the good with the bad. Yes, brothers will argue. Ask my dad and his two brothers; get the three of them together in a kitchen and the roof will raise from the volume over a heated discussion on Brett Favre.

These two of ours will also argue.

But it is my hope that they will also love just as deeply and as passionately as they argue.

I am thankful for the little glimpse I have forced myself to take this year beyond the up front and in your face frustration of refereeing a pair of brothers. I feel quite blessed to watch the beginnings of their relationship as brothers begin to take a shape of its own.


Shop Chloe + Isabel

A Look at Then, a Look at Now

The date: Halloween in the year 2000. (Obviously you say that line like Conan.)

I was 19 years young. I started out the evening with butterfly wings on, but those got misplaced as wings are wont to do. Never one to be without a costume, I improvised.

I became Rolling Rock Box Head Woman.

Halloween Costume
Pre-digital camera days, taken with film, yo.

Please note I’m also reading Maxim magazine. In a fraternity house. Painted bright yellow.

— __ — __ — __ — __ — __ — __ —

Flash-forward to the year 2013 during the cold, indoors month of February.


I am 31 years young. It’s a Sunday night. I’m organizing and sorting through things to get ready for the week. I notice the gigantic box of cereal that we bought at Sam’s Club and I am struck with the vague memory of yellow walls and missing wings. I run for the nearest magazine in the living room, which happens to be Working Mother — because I am a working mother.

With a Honey Nut Cheerios Box on my head.

The college version of this photo involved a beer bottle and a Maxim magazine. The adult version involves the Sam's Club sized Honey Nut Cheerios and Working Mother Magazine. @merklitl

And strangely, some bright yellow as well, but not in the form of a fraternity boy’s room. On the curtains I had custom made for the second house my husband and I have purchased together.

It’s all so very grown up. Custom curtains, home ownership, magazines about work and motherhoodcereal boxes.

The sober silliness of it all makes me giggle, makes my husband raise an eyebrow. He wasn’t there, though he has seen the pictures. He shakes his head, used to goofiness and laughter as we go about our evenings together. Rarely big productions, we just enjoy being us — silly and serious and tired and awake and happy and sad and in between — together.

I look at the young me and at the present me. I see shadows of that young, excited-to-live-life little girl who thought she was so old and so important evidenced even still, years later. I see the hope, the belief that everything will work out in the end. I see some misguided angst, but, well, what 19-year-old doesn’t have misguided angst? I note that there’s some knowledge — and some hurt — missing in the eyes of the younger version of me. Still I see peace and joy and me — albeit with a cereal box on my head — when I look at the picture from last week. I am me more now than I was then, and I didn’t even know that I wasn’t me then. Mind blowing.

I am thankful for both pictures, for who I have become in the years since college, in the years since motherhood. I look forward to taking another photo in thirteen years (…which, holy moly) and seeing how I have changed, seeing which ways the light is still there; I look forward to being me.