Launch Day Love…a guest post by AP of I Love You More than Carrots!

Congratulations, Peekawhoo! I’m so ridiculously excited for the launch of Kelley and Heather’s brand new site. I mean, I’m as excited as one can be for the journey and success that has befallen two of my favorite people on the Internet that I have yet to meet in real life. In fact, I’m totally popping a bottle of champagne for you as I type so I apologize in advance for any misspellings that may follow. 
That said, Kelley and Heather have been so much more than just the minds, hearts and hands behind Peekawhoo these last 3 and a half years- they’ve been an integral part of so many of the special moments in not only the lives of my three children but also the lives of many of my girlfriends who found themselves unwrapping a little bit of Peekawhoo to celebrate both the big and little moments in the lives of their children. 

And I know I don’t speak only for myself when I say that! Thanks to the wonders of social media, I’ve been privy to the hundreds of thousands of moments just like the ones described above- moments from all over the world- that have welcomed a little bit of Peekawhoo into their hearts and homes. 
Of all my favorite Peekawhoo moments, and trust me when I say there are many, I’d have to say there’s a tie for ultimate favorite. It’s difficult to top bringing our brand new freshie babe, our third and last little baby, home from the hospital in a sweet and timeless monogrammed gown but what runs a close second is the fever caused by ZOMG, MONOGRAMMED JELLYCAT BUNNIES!!!
You thought the hubub over Amazon Prime Day was crazy? You should have seen the frenzy that first befell Peekawhoo when they unveiled the uber popular monogrammed Jellycat Bunny. I have never seen the Internet in such a tizzy over a stuffed bunny but as soon as we got our hands on one, I understood the attraction, almost enough to warrant ordering one for myself. I settled, however, on being only marginally less crazy and now each of my three boys has one. Plus one extra, just in case. That may or may not sleep in my bed.

One of the new and improved functions of the brand spankin’ new Peekawhoo website is the addition of the Jellycat Bunny button, simplifying the way in which bunnies find their ways into homes all over the world. From baby shower gifts to Easter basket fillers, these bunnies make the perfect gift and have been one of my absolute favorites to give year after year after year. Just look at the expression on my littlest boy’s face: 

What’s more, Peekawhoo is beginning to offer more and more products tailored to the wants and needs of all the special moms in your life so be sure to check back often to see what’s in store. No, really. Do it or else you may have to suffer the wrath of Collins (above). Just look at that face! 


Kelley and Heather, thank you for sharing your gifts, time and talents with us. You are appreciated much more than you know, I’m sure much more than you give yourselves credit for. From homecomings, first birthdays, to beach outings, Easter baskets and beyond, you continually bring smiles to the faces of all who Peekawhoo. Even though this baby bodega is closed for good, you can count on me to spread the Peekawhoo love far and wide for years to come. 


After all, I sleep with a monogrammed bunny. 



Fourth of July *Monogrammed* Fun!

You may have noticed that we’re getting all patriotic-and nautical!-up in here at Peekawhoo lately…monogrammed coolermonogrammed coolermonogrammed tote

You really can’t go wrong with this classic color combination, as is evidenced by these adorable monogrammed anchor coolers, our  fun monogrammed anchor tote, and our super-pragmatic and simultaneously stylish navy chevron department store tote, pictured below.

Monogrammed tote

flap happy sun hat

monogrammed flap happy hat

AND SERIOUSLY…does it get any cuter than these Flap Happy Sun Hats?  We love the red with white polka dots and a blue and white striped ruffle, and especially love Libby’s hat in red with white polka dots!

Wherever you are this Fourth of July week, we hope you’re celebrating (possibly with monogrammed totes and coolers?!) in style, with hot dogs and hamburgers and corn on the cob and apple pie and fireworks and sparklers and picnics and whatever it is about America and americana that you love!

Thanks, as always, for checking in, and have a great week!


It’s Monogrammed Jellycat Bunny Time, People.

Have you ever watched Flight of the Conchords?  Yes?  Then you’ll know…It’s Bunny Time.  If you haven’t watched, then you need to check in on Jemaine and Bret, the clever duo from New Zealand that star in this hilarious show.  You should only watch it, however, after you buy a few bunnies.

If you need a reason to buy a few bunnies, please see below.

One of #3′s chief complaints is that he has to sleep alone…”you get to sleep with daddy, The Eldest gets to sleep with LP, and Elvis(the dog) gets to sleep with Lucy(the other dog)” .  Occasionally when he’s feeling really salty, he’ll mention that all the fish in the fish tank have each other when it’s time for bed.  I’ve noticed recently that he has a congress of stuffed animals around him at night, and we can often hear him in his room chatting away after we’ve tucked him in, most likely complaining that he has no “actual real-life humans” in his room, which is what he said when I reminded him that Lucy often sleeps on his floor.  I started to photo-document the various loveys and stuffed animals that seem to rotate through his embrace at night, and noticed that his monogrammed jellycat bunny is one of the top performers, one of the loveys he must chat with the most.

They’re just so darn cute and fluffy, and now we have the large monogrammed jellycat bunnies in stock, too!Easter baskets, birthday parties, sip-n-sees, baby gifts…these bunnies fit the bill for just about any occasion.  We love them, we have them, and we’re fairly certain you need them!!

Have a great Friday, friends, and thanks as always for checking in!


Lucy Darling Stickers and a Birthday.

It occurs to me as I am adding these adorable Lucy Darling Stickers to our website…lucy darling stickers

…that today is my nephew’s 15th birthday.


As in this little chunky nugget is turning FIFTEEN today. How did it happen, you wonder?  I wonder, too, when this little lump of love went from that, to this.

It’s one of those strange wonders of life and aging when you watch someone transform right in front of your very eyes, when the shift is simultaneously so gradual and yet SOFAST that you look around and wonder now who is that man walking among boys?  Who is that guy that is suddenly taller than all of us that’s walking into my house right now because surely there’s no way that’s my nephew??  Swagger, style, kindness, gentleness, humor…it’s all there, emerging from this kid, in his eyes, his walk, his easy-going manner.  He’s a thinker, a talker, an athlete.  He likes pizza and doritos and Dr. Pepper much more than he likes french and french homework.  He’s the oldest of 4, a big brother, a big cousin.

Because he’s the first-born grandchild and the first nephew, and he has my middle name as his first, he’s perhaps just the tiniest bit loved.  Maybe you all can relate to that, to what it’s like when that first baby comes along and you are all 100% head over heals gaga crazy about him, all fighting for a chance to hold him and rock him and play with him, all angling to be the one to bathe him, change his clothes, tuck him in.  Jay and I were in Italy when he was born, and we bought him a big bottle of grappa, housed in a big, beautiful hand-blown glass container.  We schlepped it all across Europe, ensconced safely in our backpacks amongst wool socks and sweaters, sneaking it through customs on the way back into the States.  Because when you’re 22, a massive bottle of grappa seems to be a perfectly appropriate gift for your first-born nephew.

15 years ago-pre-Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.  Heck most of us were just setting up email accounts then, getting our Yahoo on, finding our way out of the DOS system.  So for that reason, I have hundreds of actual photos of my nephew-in albums(because I went through a brief phase of being organized), in frames, in boxes.  Now, of course, that’s all changed.  I may have a million photos of #3, but nary a one has been printed.  I wish that these Lucy Darling stickers had been around when mine were all little, because even though I could have made my own signs, I didn’t.  And though I could have taken my own milestone photos, I didn’t.  Things were just too blurry and sleep-deprived, and I needed the kind of accountability that would come from actually investing in something to make me do it, which is why these Lucy Darling Stickers are so genius. And cute, too.

I did, however, used to have photo shoots with my nephew when he was a baby, because I was his first nanny and we were home together all day.  What else to do, then, but change his clothes 5 times a day, prop him up in the corner of the sofa, and take his photo with my 35mm camera?  If only I’d had these milestone stickers then, goodness only knows how many albums my sister-in-law would have now…First Tooth!  First Smile!  First Wave!

I don’t have the stickers(but you can, later today when I finish loading them!), but I do have loads of photos and fond memories and stories and lot of love-and grappa, too, when he’s 21.

Have a great day, friends, and thanks for checking in!


New Year, New You! (Or at the very least…NEW FUN FONTS!!)

So back in October when I updated our Name Fonts, I mentioned that “next week I’ll be updating our Monogram Fonts!”

Next week obviously turned into NEXT YEAR, so…here we are.


It’s safe to say that November and December went by in a blur of Angel Dear Lovies and Jellycat Bunnies and Zutano gowns, mimosas and holiday cookies and fruitcake.  We hope that the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014 has been all that you want it to be, and that your resolutions(if you make such things) are ones you can and will keep.  Or not.  After my New Year’s Day brunch, I resolved to eat less cheese, figuring that after January 1 and its egg casseroles and ham and cheese biscuits, I really couldn’t lose.

As for us at Peekawhoo, we resolve to keep bringing you new, high-quality products while still keeping your tried-and-true favorites in stock, and we promise to continue to be here for you for all of your custom adorable monogramming needs.  We also resolve to talk about Justin Timberlake less(maybe?) and discuss high-quality monogramming more.  And speaking of high-quality monograms, we will be rolling out our new Peekawhoo Gift Packages in the next few weeks, and these buying options will no doubt make your gift purchasing faster, funner(has this finally become a word since all 5 year-olds in all of history have used it?), and easy!

One way we’re resolving to stay current and fresh for y’all…NEW MONOGRAM FONTS!!

Without further ado, and as promised back in, ahem, October…

Monogrammed Baby Gifts


Monogrammed Baby GiftsMonogrammed Baby GiftsMonogrammed Baby GiftsMonogrammed Baby GiftsMonogrammed baby clothesJust as with the name fonts, we have added the “Let Peekawhoo Pick Font” option to all of the monogram drop-downs as well, so if you’re feeling indecisive or not in the mood to think about fonts, we will think about fonts for you, especially as it’s part and parcel of our 2014 resolution!

And while I have your ear…we are currently having a huge sale, featuring some of our favorite items…Magnolia Baby gowns and converters, Mint Snack Squares, and Jellycat Dogs, just to name a few!  Head over there and have a look, and stock up gifts for your gift closet!

Happy New Year friends, and thanks for checking in, as always!


Jack Black on Fonts.

Do ya’ll remember that scene in High Fidelity where Barry, played by Jack Black, basically shuts down a customer because he wholesale thinks the customer’s taste in music is unacceptable?


Barry’s Customer: Hi, Do you have the song “I Just Called to Say I Love You?” It’s for my daughter’s birthday.

Barry: Yea we have it.

Barry’s Customer: Great, great.  Can I have it?

Barry: No, no, you can’t.

Barry’s Customer: Why not?

Barry: Well, it’s sentimental tacky crap.  Do we look like the kind of store that sells “I Just Called to Say I Love You?”  Go to the mall.


We just added new Name Fonts to our font page (YAY! HOORAH!) and you may notice that on some of our items, not all fonts are available.  That’s not because we think you choose tacky crap, or that we’re overly-bossy, but rather because for whatever reason(fabric, size of garment, etc.), that font isn’t a great choice for that item.  There are of course exceptions, and y’all email us and ask and usually, we say yes, because unlike Barry, we do care about you and we want you to be happy with your purchase and your font!  We’ve also added an option to the drop-down menu that says “Let Peekawhoo Pick-For a Girl!” and “Let Peekawhoo Pick-For a Boy!”  We have this in place already for your color choice, and then we figured well what if you’re unsure what font you’d like, or which one would look best, or you’re feeling lazy, or you’re all “font schmont”…we will pick one for you!  As always, we promise it will be cute and appropriate.  Not tacky or overly-sentimental.

Speaking of fonts, you want to know the new fonts?  Yes?  Great!We love Penpal!  It’s a great alternative to Caroline(though we still love Caroline, too), as it’s a scripty/printy font that’s clean and readable.aden and anaisTechie looks just right on this sweet monogrammed aden + anais swaddle blanket!
Stella is in sassy and Mary Louise is in candy, and these two fun fonts are my new favorites!  Our new Zebi Baby bibs  would make just about any font look cute!Camp is the perfect font for a shorter name, and we love it here on our Angel Dear Napping Blanket!

For a full listing of all of our name fonts, click here.

Next week I’ll be updating our monogram fonts, so stay tuned for even more fabulous ways to embellish and bedazzle your Peekawhoo baby gifts!

Thanks for stopping by, friends, and Happy Halloween to you!

Introducing the newest member of our team, Laura Cox!

Friends, we are SO EXCITED to introduce the newest member of the Peekawhoo team, Laura Cox!

Laura knows how to get her monogram on, and she’ll be assisting with both our custom and web orders, and we couldn’t be happier that she’s going to be joining us in the studio.

I could wax poetic all day long about how awesome Laura is, but I’ll let her awesomeness speak for itself in the very fancy, very formal interview we recently conducted.

1.  Tell us about yourself, Laura.  Where were you born and raised?  How did you get to Greenville?

I am a daughter, sister, sister-in-law, wife and mother which means I am very blessed!! I grew up in Anderson, South Carolina but was  actually born in New Braunfels, Texas.

2.  What are your favorite products that you’ve used with your kids?

Well I have a super soft spot for anything Aden+Anais. It is just so sweet and cuddly and of course is even sweeter with a monogram!

3.  What was your first concert?

I am ashamed to admit that I had to think back to figure out if New Kids on The Block was first or Nelson (OMG!!), pretty sure NKOTB  was first. And yes, I did go see them when they came to the BiLo Center a few years back!! Ha!

4.  How did you get into sewing?

After I had my daughter in 2008 I realized the importance of having something personalized!! I wanted her initials on EVERYTHING!! I  bought my first sewing machine only because it had an embroidery attachment and I wanted to know how to monogram her things.  I watched a lot of You Tube videos and online tutorials and taught myself to embroider! So many people assume that I am a seamstress as well but that is the farthest things from the truth!! I can barely hem pants!

5.  What’s your favorite font?

That is a very hard question!!! I love a lot of the fun curly fonts but I think the classic vine(interlock) monogram is hard to beat. It is just so timeless and everyone’s initials work well with it!

6.  What’s the best part about Peekawhoo(shameless!)?

I love Peekawhoo because it is such a fun working atmosphere and really beats the heck out of me cranking out monograms in my closet by myself!! (It also doesn’t hurt that we all share the same love of good embroidery and mimosas!)

 7.  What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
I am just going to be safe here and say The Bible. (Which means, I can’t remember the last book I read, it was probably before I had kids)
8.  Do you play Candy Crush?
No!  Am I fired?
9.  Have you watched Friday Night Lights?  What’s our favorite TV show?
I have not watched Friday Night Lights!!! I have a tie for favorite TV show!! I am equally addicted to Nashville and Downton Abbey.
10.  What’s your favorite color/fabric combination for appliques?
For girls it’s hard to mess with a good pink and green combo! Especially when you are using some fun, funky fabrics!!!
11.  What’s the best race you’ve ever run?
The Nashville Rock n Roll Half Marathon. It was my first half so it was quite an accomplishment for me! I would love to do another one at some point but going to look into a course a little less hilly!!
12.  Who would play you in the movie of your life?
Not because I look like her in anyway but Im going to go with Rachel McAdams. I love her. And I wouldn’t be disappointed if my husband was played by Ryan Gosling….. I’m just sayin.
13.  Are you into this sort of interview?
Lovin this interview.
14.  Any closing thoughts?
I couldn’t be more excited about my new venture at Peekawhoo! I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next!!
Given her love of Ryan Gosling, Downton Abbey, and the Interlock font, not to mention her graphic design and sewing skills and her creativity, it’s obvious that Laura is a great fit for Peekawhoo.  We’re so excited she’s joining us and we look forward to continued growth, jam-up service, and even more fun, creative Peekawhoo products getting out the door and all over the country to all of you.  Thanks to Laura, we can continue to meet the growing demand for Peekawhoo love!
Thanks for checking in, friends, and have a great weekend!
Locals, don’t forget about the drop-in today from 9-12.  Come see us!

Angel Dear Lovies…a pair and a spare!

I remember once, when I was around 4 or 5 or so,  my family went to  Tweetsie Railroad, a Wild West Theme Park(!) in the North Carolina mountains.  I may have actually been older, but since I’m telling a story about how I wanted to bring my blanket along with me, we’ll stick with the notion that I was 4.  Or 5.

So I had a seriously serious attachment to my blanket, a wonderfully soft and stinky(because I never let Mom wash it) hand-knit  blanket that my mom made for me when I was born.  Along with my stuffed cow, originally and affectionately named “Cowy”, I took it everywhere.  Possibly until I was married.

On this particular day at Tweetsie, I didn’t want to bring my actual blanket because, well, to lose it would have been one of those unimaginable horrors.  My blanket was not replaceable, and the idea of losing it struck fear in my heart.  I’m not really exaggerating here.

Instead, I brought a paper towel, which in hindsight seems kind of an odd substitute for my knit blanket, but it was 1980 and Angel Dear Loveys and aden and anais blankets were not quite as readily available then.

After getting off of the chairlift that takes you to the top half of Tweetsie Railroad, we wandered over to the petting zoo, intent on seeing some chicks and goats and pigs and ponies.  It was a small petting zoo, kind of close quarters if I remember correctly, but I had my paper towel blanket by my side, and I was grounded and secure and ready for fun.  I leaned forward to pet a goat or pony or something, focusing my attention on that cute little fella.  At the same time, a sneaky goat came up behind me and started munching on my paper towel blanket, eating the majority of it before I could dislodge it from his greedy, undiscerning jowls.

I remember being mildly traumatized by the incident, likely due to the mere possibility that had I brought my actual blanket, it would have wound up in some random goat’s belly in the Tweetsie Railroad petting zoo.  I’ve recovered, obviously, but I’d like to suggest that all you parents out there avoid this same fate with your own children by buying them a multitude of lovies.  A pair and a spare, if you will, like Jordyn and Anna’s clever moms have bought.

angel dear loveyWe have new blue owl Angel Dear lovies and Angel Dear Blankets, too, and they’d make a perfect lovey for your little one.  Buy one, or three.  You’ll be happy you did.Angel Dear loveyThanks for checking in, friends, and have a great Tuesday!

Another Band-Aid Comes Off: Running.

Yesterday, my sister-in-law sent me a text that read “Thinking about Intense Fit at 9 at Y…interested? I’m not feeling Intensely Fit, but there wasn’t a Marginally Fit class on schedule”

How can you say no to that?

She summed it up, really, the way I feel here at the end of the summer.  For a variety of reasons, I’ve been on running hiatus-life, kids, beach, beer, laziness?-but it’s time to reconnect with my Mizunos, time to make the leap from marginally to intensely fit.  If my calves and quads are any indication after yesterday, then I’m moving in the right direction.

So on Tuesday I ran 5 miles, and yesterday we went to Intense Fit, and gradually I’m getting my act back together. Soon I’ll sign up for a fall half-marathon to keep myself accountable, if any of you are interested in joining me.  On that note, I have a spot in the Portland, Oregon, marathon that is up for grabs(October 6th, great race!) if you’d like to have it.  That one will have to remain on my to-do list for a little bit longer.It may be a while before I share this guy’s sentiment, but five miles is a start.

And speaking of running…we hope to have the machines back up and running on Monday(or Tuesday, but we’re really, really shooting for Monday).  Thank you for your continued patience as we get the studio back in order after the move!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Ripping off the Band-aid: Wrapping up Summer, Packing Lunches, and Moving.

Heeeeeeeeellllllllooooooo readers!

It’s only been, what, 3 months?? since I last wrote?  Here’s a quick photographic recap of what at least a portion of the Peekawhoo family has been up to since then…

Mine have been back in school since August 8th, believe it or not, and we’re all getting back into the routine of waking up early and hustling out the door in order to get to school on time.  We’re doing ok, really, with the exception of packing lunches.

It’s like I’m reinventing the wheel every time.  Seriously.  Like it’s the most difficult task I’m faced with on a day to day basis.  I started dreading it late July, around two weeks before school started back.  I see photos of these Bento Boxes on Facebook and Pinterest, all the sprouts and sushi and fresh raw foods that everyone’s child eats but mine.  I consider waking them all up and having them make their own lunches.  I think about making everything the night before.

But then, true to form, I just wait until the absolute last minute and throw some food into an insulated box, jam it in their backpack, and send them all on their way.

I did manage to monogram them each a new lunchbox for school this year, hoping that a new receptacle would inspire me to put fun, fresh, healthy foods in there.  And truthfully, the older two don’t have anything monogrammed.  You know, it’s the whole cobbler’s kid having no shoes situation. You can find the camo lunchbox I monogrammed for them here, as well as some other cute back to school stuff, too.

You can find our adorable new monogrammed backpacks and lunchboxes for big girls hereAnd in other news, Peekawhoo has moved to a new studio!  We’re in the process of getting things back up and running…unpacking boxes, getting the machines threaded, getting all of our new Angel Dear and 3 Marthas and Mint and Aden and Anais situated…so if you’ve ordered in the past week and your order hasn’t arrived yet, take heart!  We are getting lunches packed, boxes UNpacked, machines up and running, kids back to school, and getting organized, so we’ll get it to you as soon as possible!

We hope that wherever you are, the end of summer is proving to be a time of fun and reflection and sunny skies(we’ve had somuchrain!!).  We’ll try not to be away from the blog for so long…

Thanks for checking in, friends, and have a great week!


Photos courtesy of Jay and yours truly!

Angel Dear Lovies…Because Monogrammed Jellycat Bunnies are sooooo February 2013.

Lately, we’ve seen a surge in sales in our Angel Dear Lovies and Angel Dear Blankets.   angel dear loveyangel dear loveyangel dear loveyAngel Dear loveyangel dear blanketAfter the Great Bunny Rush of 2013, we were wondering if ya’ll would remember about these tried and true lovies, and we’re happy to see that you have. Of course there’s no surprise these are popular-Angel Dear has been on our radar for years, as all of our children had a host of Angel Dear lovies when they were younger(and we still find them in their beds now!).  We knew when we launched Peekawhoo that we wanted to carry this line of lovies and blankets as they monogram well and are perfectly soft and sweet, and Angel Dear is well-known for their high-quality products.  We’ve come a long way since snuggling with these when I was a kid…to loving on these…and these!
jellycatOne of our customers sent us this photograph of her daughter with her monogrammed Jellycat bunny and Dream Blanket from aden + anais, and we fell in love.  She did too, from the looks of things!

Thanks for checking in, friends, and have a great Thursday!

#TBT, on the Eights.

Recently I’ve been dipping into the closet in the guest bedroom, the one where more often than not I’ll find Lucy snoozing on the bed, pretending she can’t see me since she knows she’s not supposed to be on there and if she’s not looking at me, then I can’t see her, obviously.

This closet houses old longalls and jon jons of the kids that I can’t get rid of, the shiny purple strapless pantsuit type situation I wore to our rehearsal dinner(black feather boa included), a dress of my mom’s from a luau in Hawaii before I was born, a Saks Fifth Avenue dress I got in 1995 yet can’t seem to part with, a Magnolia Baby monogrammed converter that belonged to #3, my prom dresses…you get the picture.  We’ve established previously that I have trouble getting rid of stuff(romper, anyone?), and though I’ve improved since we moved back into our house, there are still a few pockets here and there where I’ve squirreled away stuff I can’t part with just yet.

Case in point: the pig and corn wrap skirt below.  I saw this gem hanging in the closet the other day and thought-it’s Friday.  Why not!  It was also almost Mother’s Day, and this skirt was my mom’s from 1978, so I decided to wrap it on up, bring it back, and pay homage to my mom’s awesome style.

I was a little surprised to find this old hoodie hidden amongst the dresses and the longalls, but once I spotted it, I put it on immediately and was more than a little shocked to discover that it still fit.  Given the year was 1988 and it likely draped over me like a giant mumu then, I shouldn’t be surprised that it fits well now.  If you’ll remember this post, you’ll know that a significant part of the 80s were spent watching my brother on the wrestling mat, and I used to wear this hoodie and my wrestling shoes while I was handing out towels to the wrestlers after their matches.  I was, obviously, an integral part of the team.   I have the sweatshirt to prove it.
In 2008, Jay and I left the kids for a week-the longest we’d been away-and went to Portland, Oregon for a friend’s wedding where I picked up this flowered frock at a little boutique in the Alberta Arts District.  Liked it then, like it now.

In case you’re new to this blog and are reading here for the first time, let me assure you that this is in no way a fashion blog.  I’m laughing at the notion that it would ever be a fashion blog, excepting the possibility of Heather taking the reigns, as she’s ridiculously fashionable and stylish and bejeweled and in the know about whether you should wear a wedge or a flat with this jean or that, about whether you should use chevron or seersucker or twill for your applique.  Not sure what pink goes on that adorable aden+anais Dream Blanket?  No worries.  She knows which pink.   Can’t decide between apple or turquoise on your new monogrammed Mixed Bag Tote?  She’ll steer you right and make it look good.  She can also wear white pants and tunics.  I’ve never been able to wear white pants and tunics.

I have white pants.  And a tunic-like thing.  They’re both in my actual closet, the one with the clothes hanging in them that I’m a little tired of looking at, that I stare at every morning, divining some inspiration, hoping something new will appear.  And that’s when I find myself moseying up the hall to the front bedroom, perusing the closet with all the leftovers.

The thing about the leftovers is this-just about every one has a story, a history that registers somewhere in the back of my mind when I run my fingers along the edge of the fabrics.  The crazy patterned wrap pants that I wore to one of my Mom’s art openings a few years ago?  They’re hers from when she and my Dad and brothers lived in San Francisco, before I came along.  The long cotton elephant-and-flower patterned (you know what I’m talking about, right?) sleeveless hippie dress?  From the days in high school and beyond when I wanted to follow the Dead.  The Mad Men-esque deep pink tweed suit with the offset fur collar from Bergdorf’s that belonged to Jay’s grandmother, the wildly impractical short-sleeved smocked bubble with the peter pan collar from the Eldest’s first Christmas, the delicate knee-length white knit sleeveless dress with knit picot trim that belonged to my grandmother, the too-short navy sleeveless dress I wore to my my brother and sister-in-law’s rehearsal dinner where I gave a 19 year-old’s version of a heart-felt toast and then drank too much and danced the night away…these clothes are, in the words of Jerry Garcia, “built to last while clouds roll past like cloudscapes in the sky.”  They matter to me and my story,  and even if their quality isn’t built to last, the tales that accompany them are.

1978, 1988, (we’ll skip 1998 since I was wearing XXL cotton sorority tees and purple Patagonia shorts that I finally, finally got rid of last year), and 2008.   I’m curious, naturally, what’s in store for 2018, what pieces of my current wardrobe and those of my kids will be moved to the front closet, what kinds of stories they’ll tell, what I’ll look back at and think I can’t believe I ever wore that or, more likely, if history is any indication… I think it’s time to bring that back!

What do you think that will be? What stories do you have in your closet?

Thanks for checking in, friends, and have a great weekend!

*Also, this post was ideally supposed to be published yesterday, on Thursday, but like usual, I’m behind…





HeArt and Soul

On Thursday after the Boston Marathon, the kids’ school hosted its annual art show, where all the students proudly display the work they’ve created under the tutelage of Jill, the school’s amazingly talented and energetic art teacher.  It’s always such a lovely event, with art displayed all over the campus in the classrooms, in the office, on the walkways.  Jill, an artist herself, is one of those remarkable teachers who is able to convey fact, technique, and fun, instilling a love and appreciation for the process and study of art.

Jill teaches the kids about the great artists, the great works-Degas, Monet, Van Gogh this year, Picasso and Leonardo da Vinci in years past.  They listen, they learn, they emulate, they experiment, they create.  They learn the rules so that one day, they can break them, they can move beyond and outside the lines and make their own magic.

These are good things, these paintings.  The kids were proud to see their work displayed, to see their investments admired.  Though kids may not feel the anxiety as acutely as adults, it’s often difficult to release something you’ve made out into the world for fear of its critique or misunderstanding or that people just flat out won’t like it.  You’re putting a piece of yourself out there-writing, painting, drawing, dancing, singing-these forms of creativity allow us to express ourselves in ways different from our typical greetings and correspondences; they bring beauty and perspective and form to emotion, to feeling.

In our home, we have lots of art.  It’s not necessarily fine or expensive, but it covers our walls.  As a former Art History minor, the daughter of an artist, and someone often billed as “creative”, I enjoy the study and history of art, its relationship to and critical foundation in the formation of culture.

And what I’ve also learned through the years about art is that I like art because you made it.  Because it came from you.  Because you went out on a limb and put some of yourself into it, because you shared with the rest of the world.  

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” is evidence that not all art is joyful, that what we sometimes need to share is darker, deeper, more reflective of ugliness rather than beauty.   But it’s all there within us-the light and the dark, the beautiful and the twisty.  The key, I think, is getting the light to shine brighter than the dark, in seeing the shared value of creating something, in putting ourselves out there so that we become a part of the collective good, of the energy that moves us forward.

It’s part of what we love so much at Peekawhoo that I’ve mentioned before-seeing your styles and your choices, recognizing the kind of joy that comes from putting together a color, fabric, and texture.  We monogram, yes.  And applique.  But we’re also working together with you to put some goodness out into the world, to bring a little love and light to your babies and your mamas and your kids.

The way I see it, the world could use a little more of that love and light now, and always.

Thanks for checking in, friends, and have a creative Thursday!



aden + anais Blankets…and an Interview with our Lucky aden + anais Dream Blanket Winner, Jaclyn!

Good afternoon, friends!
As you know, we recently held a giveaway for our new aden+anais Dream Blankets!  If you missed it, it may be because you’re not following us on Facebook.  (Now would be a good time to do that so you don’t miss another giveaway opportunity!)aden and anais dream blanket
aden and anaisWe’re also carrying the aden+anais swaddle blankets, too, in case you hadn’t heard.  aden and anais swaddle blanketaden and anaisaden and anais
We are in love with these aden+anais blankets, especially when you personalize them!
Our lucky winner, Jaclyn, will be receiving the Pink Medallion aden +anais Dream Blanket, and we’ll be shipping it to her in Michigan.
We love hearing from every single one of you, and in the interest of learning more about our valued customers, I caught up with Jaclyn yesterday to find out a little bit more about her.  She is awesome-a mom of six, a homeschooler…I could go on and on, but her answers below speak for themselves.  Read on to find out more about this super-cool Peekawhoo fan!
1.  Tell us a little about yourself-where you’re from, where you live, family, etc.

Well, my name is Jaclyn and I’m from Michigan – born, raised and still here.  We (my husband Ryan (of almost 14 yrs) and our six children (2 boys ages 13 yrs and almost 4 yrs and 4 girls ages 10, 9, 5 1/2 and 17 months)) live in the Upper Peninsula, near Lake Superior.  I’m a homeschooling stay at home mom, I love to get my craft on, so it’s a good thing that my children love to craft as well!  I also love to be in my kitchen baking and cooking!  

2.  What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
My favorite thing? Hmm…. The cuddles, no wait… It would be the sweet notes I get from them.  No, I think it’s being able to see them learn and grow, each day is an adventure!  Of course then there are the giggles – I love to hear them laughing!  They are all such a blessing!  Even on the days when they drive me batty! ;) I guess there is no ONE thing that is my favorite, there are many things!

3.  How’d you hear about Peekawhoo?  And what’s your favorite thing about Peekawhoo?
A few weeks before Easter I was browsing through my news feed on Facebook.  I happened upon a post by Lil Blue Boo about the Jellycat bunnies with a 10% off code for them as well!  I had been looking for something for our youngest and instantly fell in love with them and right away ordered one.  We could NOT be happier.  This bunny is soft, cuddly and adorable!  She takes it every where with her.  I had the ear monogrammed and every where we go, we get compliments on it!  I love how soft the light pink thread is against the beige bunny!  You are now my go-to place if I am in need of a gift, the quality of your items, the great customer service and communication are fantastic, so thank you for that!

4.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would that be and with whom?
Wow, this one is tough, but first pick would be Australia and with Ryan and ALL of the kids – what a great learning experience it would be for them!!!

5.  What was your first thought when you learned that you’d won the aden + anais Dream Blanket?
OH MY GOSH! NO WAY!  After having a really bad birthday, this certainly brightened my night to read that I had won!  I had to show my husband the post just to make sure I wasn’t reading it wrong!
Jaclyn, we’re so glad you found us and that we found you!  Thanks for being a loyal supporter and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
And thanks to all of you, too.  We wouldn’t be us without you!
Have a great day, friends, and thanks for checking in!

Simon Says.

Last week before we were to leave town for spring break, we noticed that two out of three B boys were looking a little suspect and rashy.  The Eldest looked like he’d been slapped in the face a few times, and after karate, my mom noticed #3 had a little bumpy rash forming just below his ear.

Rather than head to the USC-Furman game at Fluor Field which would have been a lot more fun than hanging out with the whole family at the doctor’s office, we decided last minute to take them all to MD 360 on the off chance that what they had was catching.  Since we were  spending the remainder of the week with all the cousins, it seemed parentally wise to rule out something serious.

By the time we got in the room, it was 6:45, no one had eaten dinner, and they were all going ba-nanas.  Rather than hand one of them my phone so the other two could hover over the chosen one’s shoulder and fight about who gets to play what, I instead-in a fit of inspired old school fun- suggested that we all play Simon Says.

#3 immediately took the helm.

I was expecting a little hop-on-one-leg kind of business, or maybe  Simon Says turn around, touch the ground, tap your toes.  The usual kind of stuff.

(As an aside, you have to know that #3′s voice is unusually low and gravelly for a 4 year-old.  It sounds a little bit like he’s swallowed a few rocks and that they’re rolling around in his esophagus when he’s talking.  Though this isn’t an unlikely possibility, he’s always sounded this way, so his commands sound that much funnier barked out in a deep rasp.)

Instead, this is what #3 came up with.

Simon Says stick your finger in your eyeball even if your eyeball is open.

Simon Says kick your neighbor.

Simon Says fake burp.

Simon Says hit your brother.

Simon Says punch yourself in the face.

Simon Says stick your hand in your mouth.

Simon Says pick your nose.

Simon Says do this…

And so on and so on.

We all obliged, of course, and played perhaps the grossest, funniest, most visceral, most painful game of Simon Says ever.  Or at least that I’ve ever played.

It was loud and rambunctious and borderline obnoxious, and in hindsight I possibly should’ve just handed over my phone for the sake of the other patients and doctors and nurses in the office.  But it was funny and memorable, and made the strep and the Fifths Disease diagnosis a little more tolerable.

Hope everyone is having a great week!


Monogrammed Ruffle Butts Bikini…Stop the Press Because These Things Are CUTE.

Y’all.  It’s cold here.

We had a baseball game on Friday night, and both kids had on four layers of shirts.  I know my roommate, Missy, who’s lived in  Chicago for the past 8 years, is shaking her head in disbelief at us right now seeing as her kids go outside and play at school as long as it’s above 20 degrees.  20 degrees!  But here in the sunny south, 48 degrees and damp is straight-up miserable.

Many of you may already be on spring break, hopefully some place warm, and even though it’s currently 38 degrees here(feels like 29!)ours technically starts Friday.

If I had a daughter, or if Heather’s daughter was, say, 8 years younger than she is right now, we’d totally, 100% have them in these adorable Ruffle Butts rash guard bikinis for spring break!

ruffle butts monogrammed bikini
ruffle butts rash guard bikiniWe have limited quantities of these Ruffle Butts monogrammed suits in sizes 6-12M, 12-18M, and 2T, and we’re loving them with the monogram!!  Now is the time to stock up on cute swimsuits because if you’re anything like me, when I finally am thinking about swimwear-at least for myself- the time has come and gone and I’m left with the sale rack at TJMaxx, which typically hosts a large portion of suits in the size 2 section, maybe a scattering in the 4s.  Basically nothing that would ever fit me ever ever ever.

And can you stand that monogram? I kind of thought of the ecard below when we decided to monogram these……but the truth is, we’d love to see some of your cute girls in Dollar Bay, Michigan, or Spokane, Washington, or Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania sporting these cute suits this spring and summer!!  They are so fun and functional they need to be all over the country, not just in the south!!

For the record, neither of our husbands have the urge to kill anything with fur or feathers.  Not that we’re hanging out at VeganVille or anything, we’re just not big hunters.

I digress.

Go buy some cute bathing suits by Ruffle Butts for your little girl or your niece or your neighbor.  Their protected skin and their sense of style will thank you for it!!

Thanks for checking in, friends, and enjoy this chilly Tuesday!

Friday Funnies: I Can’t Make This Stuff Up.

Some of y’all have read about my carpool escapades, about the kinds of banter that gets batted around inside the automatic doors of the Hottessy.  Thanks to a very gracious co-carpooler who also happens to be a morning person, I only drive carpool one morning a week, but drive 4 of the 5 afternoons.  Though I do enjoy the afternoon shift, when the boys finally shove their way into the car, they’re all a little slap-happy, a little cranky, a little on the edge of their seat.  But in the mornings they are full-up with all kinds of optimism and genius, excited to see each other, ready for a new day.

Tuesday morning, AC/DC’s Back in Black was on the radio, playing in the background, when their conversation commenced.

C: Is Stonehenge real?

H: Yes.

C: How do you know?

H: I just know.

C: Is it in England?

H: Yes. But Bon Scott is from Scotland, even though you can’t hear his accent when he sings.  Hear that?  BACK IN BLACK?

C: What?

H: Bon Scott.  The lead singer of AC/DC.  When he talks, he sounds like “Sheeke the Fown-daaaay-shun” (he says this in a surprisingly good Scottish accent) but when he sings, he sounds like “SHAKE THE FOUNDATION!”

At this point we drive past a car with a dog in the back.

A: Oh look!  A lab!  Our neighbors have a lab.  She’s friends with Oscar and Rose.

H: Labs are blinding-eye dogs.

C: Labs make you blind?

H: No, they help you see.

A:  What?

H: They help blind people see.

C: What?

H: Did you know that LeBron James wears glasses when he’s not playing basketball?

A: Why?

H: I guess because he needs glasses.

A:  I bet his glasses are HUGE.

C: What if he doesn’t really need them?

H: Yeah!  What if his glasses are fake!

C: I’d like to see LeBron in a baseball uniform.  He’d be HUGE.  Dude.  One of the kids on my team, his dad is a pro baseball player.  He got drafted to play for the Braves when he was SIXTEEN.

H:  Did he play in the majors?

C: I think he played in the minors.

A: Or on a farm team?

C: Aren’t they the same thing?

H: No. It goes high school, farm team, minors, majors.

A:  Who does he play for now?

C: I don’t know.  But my neighbor is playing for the Mets.

A:  The Nets?

H: The Mets.  The Brooklyn Nets are a basketball team.

Somehow, and I’m not sure how I missed the segue, the conversation shifted to paralysis.

A: So if you’re paralyzed, you’re basically alive, you just can’t move?

H: You’re not basically alive.  You’re totally alive.  You just can’t move.

C: Being paralyzed is like being stuck in an iceberg.  Without the ice.

H:  Yeah.  But you could blink.  Because your eyes don’t have bones.

A: What if your hair was paralyzed?  Like the rest of your body wasn’t, but your hair was?

H: What if your hair was paralyzed in a mohawk!?!

There were more Q and A’s, more misunderstandings, more nuanced segues…but by the time we got to school and they opened the pressurized door of the cabin, exploded out into the gravel and then ran up the steps into the classroom, this was all I could remember.  I quickly scribbled down as much as I could when I got home, knowing that soon enough, my brain wouldn’t have any more space for this conversation, that it would be gone with the wind with the rest of the things I always think I’ll remember but never do.

What kinds of kid genius are you overhearing these days?

Thanks for checking in, friends, and have a great weekend!



What We’ve Been Up To: Jellycat Bunnies, Angel Dear Lovies, Zutano Gowns, Easter Baskets, and Justin Timberlake.

It’s been quiet on the blog, but not in the studio.  We’ve been getting our Jellycat Bunny on over here, shipping them to every corner of the country, from Redondo Beach, California, to North Little Rock, Arkansas, to Jersey to Key West.  These bunnies don’t care if it’s hot or cold or snowy or sunny where you live, and if you’ve ordered one and not yet received it, take heart.  They’ll be back in stock tomorrow and shipped at the beginning of next week, so will most certainly hop your way before Easter!
Monogrammed JellycatWe’ve also been filling cute monogrammed Easter baskets with bunnies…

Easter Basket Monogrammed

…and Petit Ami Gingham bubbles, too.  Petit Ami BubbleFolks have been excited that our Flap Happy Sun Hats are back in stock just in time for Spring Break and warmer weather, and this year we’ve added an adorable pink hat to the mix!Flap Happy Sun Hat MonogrammedWe always love seeing what combinations y’all come up with on Zutano, like the pink and turquoise monogrammed romper here…Monogrammed Zutano

…and the adorable Zutano striped gowns here!Monogrammed Zutano

Also, we may be a tiny bit obsessed with the fact that Justin Timberlake is hosting SNL this Saturday, and that he’s on tour this summer, and with his History of Rap with Jimmy Fallon that’s been circulating on Facebook. So somewhere between running the Jellycat bunnies and the 3 Marthas bibs and the Angel Dear Blankets, our conversations go something like this:

HP: I just liked JT’s Facebook page.  And I’m following him on Instagram.

KB: I’m following him on Twitter.

HP:  We need to go see him this summer!  On TOUR!  Where can we go see him?

KB: I love him.

HP: I love him! (subtext-I love him more!)

KB: How about Chicago?  We can stay with Missy.

Lull while I look up tickets…

KB: THERE AREN’T ANY SEATS LEFT TOGETHER!  How about Maryland?  Or Miami?

HP: Who do you think he’ll be dressed as on Saturday night for my favorite skit?

KB: How do you think Brittany feels about all this JT madness and hotness and dancing and bringing sexy back and what not?

HP: What goes around comes around.

KB: Maybe we should watch the History of Rap again.

HP: Maybe you should come look at this photo from his Instagram stream.  Again.

KB: Maybe he should have married me instead of Jessica Biel.

HP:  True.

And so on and so forth.  Until we find our way back to the machines to run more Angel Dear Blankets and more bunnies.
Monogrammed Angel DearHope wherever you are it’s sunny and nice, and that you’re as excited as we are about Jellycat bunnies and Justin Timberlake.

Thanks for checking in, friends, and have a great weekend!!


Photo of JT from-you guessed it-his Facebook page.

25 Things(Throw Back Friday) and Jellycat Bunnies.

First of all, I realize it’s supposed to be #TBT, but I’m behind.  So it’s #ThrowBackFriday here at Peekawhoo.

Remember about 4 years ago when that bit was circulating on Facebook, 25 Things?  Yes?  No?  Well I’m recycling it.  Partly because I’m lazy, and partly because we’re up to our (monogrammed) ears in Jellycat bunnies over here, which is awesome and fluffy and still 10% off with code BUNNYLOVE through today.

This little piece popped into my head the other day, and as it goes with most of the stuff I write, rereading it sometimes embarrasses me, sometimes makes me glad I wrote it down, sometimes makes me wish I’d never written it in the first place.  25 Things evoked a mix of all three.

Some of you may remember this list.  Some of you are mentioned on it.  Some of you  may want to write your own, and I’d love that.  I love those emails that people send that are all

First pet:

Color of Socks You’re Wearing Now:

First Love:

and so on.

They’re such an intriguing time-suck.  I haven’t gotten one in a while, so I’m basically forcing a form of an old one on you.  Enjoy!


I’ve been hesitant to do this for fear that my deep, deep reservoirs of interesting material will actually come up empty. A nod to Rich, Sally, and Abby for actually thinking I might have 25 interesting things to note.
1. I rode my bike across Iowa in RAGBRAI (Registrar’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) in 1997 with my cousins Jeanne and Tommy with mom and my Aunt Lynne as our sag wagon. I was 25 pounds overweight from being overserved gelato, bread, and wine while studying abroad in Italy, as was Jeanne…none of us trained a lick and we still made it all the way. Ahhh, youth.

2. When I got deferred from UNC I wrote them a letter all about how I wanted to be a teacher, how UNC was the place for me to hone my teaching skills, to become an educator. When I went to UNC, I majored in English and minored in Art History–didn’t even go near the School of Ed. It wasn’t until after college when I was working as a temp at SeaLand in what I affectionately deem the wasteland of my existence that I realized I really DID want to become a teacher. That’s when I went back to ASU and got my teaching license and Masters.

3. I love teaching. I miss it though right now I’m not sure I could do it and do it well. I would, however, still like to go back to school for my Phd, though I don’t know if academia is the world for me.

4. Yes, I want another child. Yes, I’d love to have a girl. Give me two years and we’ll see.

5. I voted for Bush in 2000. There. I said it. So all you folks out there who think I’m some crazy tree-hugging liberal feminist freak should know that I don’t just vote party. I vote person. Usually. Or you could say another one bites the dust. Or goes to the dark side.

6. I realized I was going to marry Jay after going to Suzy Gill’s rehearsal dinner and wedding with him before our senior year in college. I came home that night and was ticked off because I knew that was it, no NYC, no travel, just marrying young and having a mess of kids.

7. Speaking of that, I used to think I had to have everything on my short list done before I turned 30. Like 30 was going to see me as some decrepit old hag. Thankfully I now know better. And thankfully I got married and had that mess of kids.

8. A marathon is on my short list, but after seeing what Jay had to do to successfully run one and run it well, I think I may be a bit crazy. Joy and Kelley in 2010!

9. There’s a guy at my gym who looks like Rick Flair. I wish Chris lived here so we could talk about it, but mainly I just wish he still lived here.

10. My parents moved to Greenville from Charlotte in November 2006. It was a bold move, to be sure, and I know they miss their friends, but I can’t imagine them not living here, can’t imagine my kids not getting to see them daily, to spend time with them. Dad says they like to come to Mimi and Bobo’s because there are fewer rules and more candy, but my parents are both such charismatic, funny, generous, interesting people, how could you not want to spend time with them?

11. As a 3rd child who’s just had my 3rd child, I’m beginning to understand why I was never all that interested in showering as a kid. Patrick, in his 4.5 months, has had maybe 8 baths? 9? Ironically, one of my roomates from college once told me I had a nice smell(we lived together for 3 years, our senior year in a house with 5 girls and one bathroom. We’re close) that was a good mix of detergent, shampoo, etc. What I didn’t tell her that the secret ingredient is a healthy dose of body odor. Birth order could also possibly explain my brother’s tendency to take up to 4 showers a day, depending on how much he sweats. He’s such a prima donna. Of course he would call me a dirty hippie…

12. Speaking of brothers, I want my kids to be best friends. It’s something I think about a lot. I never fought with my brother and consider him such a close friend; sibling rivalry is all new to me. I credit a lot of my self-confidence to the fact that Cameron let this buck-toothed crazy-haired awkward sister hang around him all the time and at least acted like he didn’t mind. Hat’s off to Joy, too, as she was there from when I was 10 on and also acted like she didn’t mind. I thought I was so cool. Then I became cool. Now I’m super cool.

13. Confidence has obviously never been a problem.

14. Though there are times when I’m with Missy or Katie Darby or other girls who have sisters that I think “ooohhh!!! I wish I could do makeup like that!” or “I wish I were that fabulous!” I think that about a lot of you girls! I get to feeling all frumpy and pasty. But I get over it pretty quickly.

15. I am a total snob about UNC. I like to think I’m not a snob about many things, but I know I am about UNC and I’m afraid it shows sometimes. I try to hide it. But I do think everyone should be a snob about their school.

16. I used to write poetry. Now I think most of it sucks. I do think I’m a decent writer, I’m just not sure what my genre is. Every now and then I’ll go back and read my Phillip Roth essay from comps just to remind myself that I can write more complex sentences than the ones I hear every day on Sesame Street.

17. Though I’m pretty good with words, I’m not all that great at Scrabble, word jumbles, etc. I can hold my own, I’m just not the Jedi that everyone thinks I should be. Jay and Joy, who can’t spell worth crap, are better. My mom is the best.

18. I once drove my blazer into the side of a QuickMart. For a split-second I contemplated driving away, and then my conscience got the best of me. When I went inside to tell them, they laughed and said “Well hell! We wondered what that big noise was back in the stock room!”

19. Julia Wood’s class, Comm 24, Gender and Communications, changed my life and the way that I view the world, as did meeting my mentor from ASU, Elaine O’Quinn. Womens’ Studies 54 was important too, as that’s where I met Matt.

20. I am a good knitter, a sub-par domestic, and a pretty good mom. Though I can’t lie–I wasn’t winning any awards at bedtime tonight. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. I just try to have it more often than I don’t.

21. My extended family has a tradition called the Naked Nine. I miss it.

22. I used to think I was a nerd. Then I read Mandy’s list.

23. I’ve considered many careers…paralegal, librarian, editor, local politician, lactation consultant(Katie G would be the best!) just to name a few. There are mornings when, to quote Caroline C, I think I “deserve a medal” for getting my kids dressed, fed, and out the door on time. And we’re talking 9 o’clock here. Other mornings I think, hey, I got this. What next?

24. I did NOLS and Outward Bound. I hope my kids will want to too.

25. I think my 2-year-old is smarter than me, a fact I find both terribly exciting and terribly frightening. He keeps me on my toes. They all do! They’ve redefined me in ways I never thought possible, made me realize that my mom was right in saying that i’d never understand the way she loves me until I have my own, made me realize what it’s all about.

You’re still reading???

Let me Count the Ways.

Every time I call my 98 year-old grandfather, I have a little contest to see how long I can keep him on the phone.  Historically laconic in phone conversations, he comes from an era when long-distance calls were expensive and only saved for the most urgent or necessary of situations.

I’d say my record is 3 minutes, give or take, with the average phone call lasting around 1:25.  There’s rarely a “goodbye”, just an “ok”, or maybe not, and then the sound of the TV fade, fade, fading in the background as the receiver lands in the cradle with a loud click.

These days, whenever we’ve caught up and are signing off, the urgency with which Pap tells me he loves me is overwhelming.  He’s not a particularly emotional man, nor is he poetic or flowery.  But once I say “we’ll see you soon…I love you” he responds with such sincerity, such emphasis, it’s like the words aren’t quite enough to get at the feeling he’s trying to express, like those three words aren’t nearly sufficient.

I get it.

I suppose it’s the reason we try to find so many different ways to express our love, to tell each other we love one another.  ee cummings did it without punctuation, Shakespeare did it with iambic pentameter, Elizabeth Barrett Browning counted the ways.  The Beatles assured us all we need is love, Stevie Wonder just called to say I love you, and Aretha crooned that her love made her feel like a natural woman.  We paint about it, watch movies about it, write in journals and cards and letters about it, obsess with our friends about it, spend hours poring over words said or unsaid, long for the day when we find true love, wonder if we ever will.  Over and over and over again.

When Jay and I were in middle school we were best friends;  then in 10th grade, we weren’t.  That’s a topsy turvy loosey goosey doozy of a story that I’ll spare you now.  My point is, however, that after our friendship ended after three years, I always regretted not telling him I loved him.  Because I did love him-something fierce.

I finally got around to telling him, obviously.  And I tell him every day that I love him, probably because I do love him so dang much but also because I’m making up for lost time for all those years I lamented not doing so.  And I tell my mom and dad.  And my kids.  And my nieces and nephews.  And my brother and sister-in-law.  And my friends from high school and college that I don’t see nearly enough.

Have I told you?  If I haven’t, and if you’re reading this, it’s likely that I love you.  I’m not saying I want to marry you or anything, more that I appreciate you for who you are, what you do, how you love.

And though my grandfather not only told me but showed me in so many ways that he loved me-he came to my games, he warmed my shoes up by the fire in the morning, sang silly songs to me, took me fishing- he knows the importance of telling me he loves me now, and wants to be sure that I know it, that I feel it.

I’m lucky in that way, because I do.