For about six to ten hours of each day Vivi is replaced by something that yells and screams too much, cries a lot, and demands everything.

We’re in 100% toddler survival mode here.

Today I had to carry her out of Home Depot under one arm as she screamed, kicked, and flailed to release herself. (I wouldn’t let her climb under the lawnmowers.)

Cody and I commiserate throughout the day via phone calls and texts if only to see the humor in our situation. “Why is she screaming?” Cody will ask while safely tucked away in his corner office several miles away.

“I told her not to pick up a wasp.”

If you’re into scare tactics to prevent teenage pregnancy, just give a teenager a toddler with the rage for a couple of days. Mind bending little critters, toddlers are.

Yesterday was one of those days. A lot of screaming. A lot of crying. A lot of falling bonelessly to the floor. Had you stuck a fork in me I would have been done. I even texted Cody my final goodbyes:

In the middle of Vivi’s rage, something happened.

I consider it a small blessing that I wasn’t able to be online yesterday thanks to anger baby.

Cody filled me in on the need to know facts, the ones I could handle. I tried to do Facebook, it didn’t work out so well.

For any of you unfamiliar, my brain cannot process violence. For this reason I avoid it whenever possible with Cody serving as my filter. He knows what I can and cannot handle.

People, including my own father, have become angry with me when I ask for the TV to be turned off, conversations to be changed or when I simply walk away from something I don’t want to see or hear. Perhaps they see it as sticking my fingers in my ears, shutting my eyes and pretending bad things don’t happen. I know bad things happen, but I also know it will eat me alive if I let it all in at once.

I know there are other people like me, people who need the good in this world to be as loud as the world allows the evil to be.

Perhaps even people who can handle the bad who need a little reminder that the good is still out there in tiny little pockets if we only just seek it out.

There is so much more good in this life than there is evil, it just isn’t as noisy.

While Vivi as of late may raise my blood pressure and test the very limits of my patience, I’m convinced that every time she giggles a fluffy kitten spontaneously poofs into existence.

On Instagram I’ve been tagging my photos #LookForTheLovely. A few people have even joined in. (I’m @mooshinindy.)

Daffodil mafia says watch out. (also the first bulbs I've ever planted.) #LookForTheLovely

No matter how terrible things get in the world, flowers will always bloom, fresh bread will always smell amazing, people will always laugh, kids will always play, people will always fall in love, and the sun is always somewhere, even if you can’t see it.

Constantly.  #LookForTheLovely

Explosions, both literal and figurative, are not an always. They are a sometimes. Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes terrible, unthinkable things happen. Sometimes awful things happen all at once. Sometimes it all feels like too much.

Sometimes is when we need the always.

Singing itsy bitsy to bunny before nap. #LookForTheLovely


  1. I couldn’t agree more….I too need news filtered by my husband. It’s to difficult to listen to, to see….it’s just to hard.

    I have to tell you, I found your blog about a year ago and have so enjoyed reading it and getting to know you and your wonderful family. Just telling my husband about your little vivi and how much she looks like our little “chipmunk” …..about the same age as well….very weird. LOL. But your day you had? Sounds like mine today. How dare you not let her play with the law mowers! LOL. Thank you….thank you for your blog, your honesty and your words.

    Prayers for Boston.

    Casey Reply:

    @C, Thank you! There’s solidarity in surrounding yourself with parents going through the same struggles, that’s for sure!

  2. I just found your blog and I love it. I love how honestly raw you are and have a lovely family.

    I, too, cannot handle violence. It scares the crap out of me and I will end it there because I can go on and it will only bring us both down. But I will say that I love the way that you’ve put it, sometimes really is when we need the always. Thanks for that!

    Hope you have a lovely week!

    Casey Reply:

    @Katie, Thank you! A lovely week to you as well!

  3. rebecca robbins says:

    Casey, I love you! What a fantastic remimder! Wish I could walk outside and meet you at the park like the good old days…

    Casey Reply:

    @rebecca robbins, There are rare moments when I miss those days. πŸ™‚

  4. yes. yes. yes.

    I do this. I turn off the ugly, I filter, I need time. I just can not process.. my heart can’t take it.

    You’re my sister <3 my soul, heart, my kindred.

    Love you.. thank you for spreading the lovely, the real, the wonderful, the inspiring.


    Casey Reply:

    @Rachel – A Southern Fairytale, When is Nathan sending you this way? HMMM?

  5. Beautifully stated.

    Casey Reply:

    @Melanie @MelanieMedia, Thank you.

  6. I work at a newspaper, so I can’t escape the bad things that happen. I deal with it differently – lately I’ve been watching cheesy disaster movies and started watching “Xena Warrior Princess” on Netflix to deal with the (expected due to dementia) death of my 74-year-old mom. But everybody deals in their own way. And your point about images coming back to you is absolutely true.

    As far as screaming mimi (Vivi) goes, here’s my advice: You MUST read this blog: It is simply brilliant.

    Also? My niece once said I should rent my kids out as birth control. And I don’t think they were particularly tantrumy. Whiny, maybe …

    Casey Reply:

    @CaySedai, Oof, I couldn’t work in any form of news outlet.
    So sorry about your mum, hopefully Xena has your back (or breastplate) on the rough nights.

  7. how do you get your phone to say Cody has a hot wife? I need to do this to my husbands πŸ™‚

    I immediately went to pictures of my daughter after the incident. I live just north of Boston, and needed some pics of baby chubs.

    Casey Reply:

    @Kristin, It’s his google talk/chat status! I changed it six years ago and he’s never changed it back. πŸ™‚

  8. I heard about what happened at work right after it happened. I thought of you actually…and how you were doing with it.

    Part of me wished that I didn’t have to know, that I didn’t see the pictures that people were pulling up of the incident. I think I’m okay though. It is sad. And I actually found a poem online this morning that helped my heart express what really makes me sad about it. And that helped.

    I am proud of you though…for doing what you need to do. I think that is something admirable.

    Casey Reply:

    @Sarah, Oh, I will never have enough words to encompass the gratitude I feel towards Cody for watching out for me.

  9. Sometimes you can’t make sense of the senseless and you have to just let it be for your own sanity and peace. I avoid TV & certain media outlets too…I get to a bad place that I don’t want to be. Everyone on my FB was running around with a damn microscope trying to figure it all out and I’m over here posting my nature photos. Love you Casey!!

    Casey Reply:

    @T, Yes, I think part of what burns people out so quickly is trying to figure it all out, most of the time violence doesn’t make sense and in trying to figure it out we destroy ourselves in the process.

  10. I have ongoing “fights” with depression, and it was that Babble post you did (the one you linked to) that led me to also start turning off the radio/news when things like this happen and to stop watching sad or violent TV shows & movies. It’s better for my brain NOT to be bombarded with it. Thank you.

    Casey Reply:

    @Jen, Oh! I’m so glad it helped. I think there are many people who are sensitive to the media but can’t quite figure out why they feel the way they do. I’m glad it’s helped you.

  11. I am right there with you! I need the bad filtered and luckily I have a wonderful husband like yours who helps me and two “lovely” toddlers too. There are many movies I’ve skipped out on and I rarely turn on the news unfortunately. I can’t let it all in.

    Casey Reply:

    @Ashley, Toddlers. *flops*

  12. Yep, I have to turn it off and tune out myself. However, my husband doesn’t really understand all that yet (Really? Ater 13 years you don’t get it?) so I made the mistake of bringing it up in conversation with him after work Monday and he spent hours that night watching videos and news reports on his phone. Then he showed it to my 8 year old! Gah! I am still upset with him. She clearly processes it better than I do but still…

    I liked all your Instagram photos – save for the new one today with that bloody spider. Thanks for that!

    Signed – total arachnophobic Hoosier, aka, Rachel

    Casey Reply:

    @REK981, Had Cody gone out to that spider he would have quit his job and put our house on the market before I had ever even brushed my teeth.

  13. I live in Boston and I know first hand that good is out there in more than tiny pockets. Evil is small thing, it is just overwhelming. But the good is there, its every where. Its in the bravery, the selflessness, the love, the hardiness, the hashtags. We can feel it and see it everywhere. I promise the good is in more than tiny pockets.

    Casey Reply:

    @Rachel, It’s true, for someone starting out on seeing the good often times it’s easier to seek out the small bits before going big picture. It’s easier to appreciate tiny bits and build upon them.
    Glad you are well and safe in Boston.


    Required viewing for parents of toddlers.

    Casey Reply:

    @Joules, It’s so funny, I would just feel terrible taking that many crying photos of Vivi though.

  15. Hey, have you seen this? Reasons my kid is crying. It’s hilarious. Vivi picking up a wasp or playing under lawn mowers is right up this alley.

    Casey Reply:

    @Yolanda, Basically. I can’t believe I even had to use the phrase “Don’t crawl under the lawnmower” in a serious context.

  16. You are an amazing beautiful person and when I read things like this, I am so happy to have known you in this strange online way.

    Yes, let’s all look for the lovely.

  17. I love that line, “I know there are other people like me, people who need the good in this world to be as loud as the world allows the evil to be.”
    That says it all. Thank you.

  18. You are so right. I love how you put words to how I feel. Thank you.

  19. I don’t remember what comic was talking about toddlers and said as parents we are constantly preventing their suicide and then they are mad at us for it :). Good luck!!

  20. Holy crap, that’s awesome!

  21. I’m a couple days late. But I’ve been overwhelmed or scrolling through much of this week.

    I love, love, love #LookfortheLovely and am even going to create an for pictures that fit on Facebook.

    Little things make big differences. Thank you for sharing yourself, your story and your lovelies with us.

  22. Is seventeen months too early for toddler mode because I feel like we’re already there. I’m even considering getting her a (gasp!) baby leash. This is how God punishes us. Before I had her, I harshly judged parents who kept their kids on leash. Now, I have a toddler who doesn’t want to ride in the cart, doesn’t want to be carried, and refused to hold my hand. Yes, we have been blessed with a runner! At least she keeps my mind on the cute and not on the bad out there in the world.

  23. ok…love this. beyond words. and oh so perfect.

  24. I love that Cody protects you from the ugly. I’ve learned a lot from you with respect to turning it off.

    I lived in and around Boston for almost 18 years. I had a friend running the marathon for cancer research (she was fine) and I was dealing with the death of my mother and the planning of the memorial service. I was held together by scotch tape last week.

    I thought of you as it was unfolding and severely limited my exposure to the media. I checked in occasionally, but I never stayed long and I went purely for facts. I know this limited stream helped me keep it together.
    When the funeral director called Friday to say the service might have to be postponed (she was being buried in Boston). I just about came unglued. Thankfully, they lifted the shelter-in-place in time for us to hold the memorial on Saturday.
    Thank you for #lookingforthelovely, I’ve needed it. Baby toes ALWAYS make me smile.


  1. […] participating in Casey’s #LookForTheLovely. She’s doing it on Instagram, but I don’t do that so I’m posting mine on Twitter. […]

  2. […] seek out the lovely, and figure out how to make it […]