jen groeber: mama art

4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.

On Acrobats, Motherhood and Friendship

I am a circus performer. I am the tightrope walker, the fire breather (although usually only in the morning before brushing my teeth), the clown in the striped shirt doing jazz … Continue reading

September 18, 2014 · 4 Comments

Hand-Me-Downs, What We Choose to Keep

The day before school started I dug through the kids’ closet where I’ve been (haphazardly) stocking shoes and clothing to fit my children for the next ten years of their lives. … Continue reading

September 11, 2014 · 7 Comments

Found in the Fog

Last weekend was our last in Maine, or at least the last real day of summer for us. I awoke early, crept to the window and was despondent. There was nothing, … Continue reading

September 9, 2014 · 16 Comments

Kindergarten Times Two, Twins

It’s raining teeth around here. Teeth and fingernails and hair. Little pieces of my children’s bodies are paring off, peeling away, to be swept off the porch, swallowed whole or … Continue reading

September 1, 2014 · 18 Comments

Pompeii, I Was There

The craziest thing happened tonight. Actually, I should probably begin with a Trigger Warning: for poop and putting your hands into toilets filled with poop. In case you’re eating an egg … Continue reading

August 23, 2014 · 22 Comments

One Season Following Another…

The marsh grass along the path to the beach is just beginning to turn orange at the edges. It’s a subtle thing, like a gray hair at your temple, but … Continue reading

August 21, 2014 · 12 Comments

I Am For An Art: An Old Manifesto I’d Almost Forgotten I Believed In

A hundred years ago, when I was an artist and an art student and a lover and a free spirit, I wrote a manifesto on art based on Claes Oldenburg’s … Continue reading

August 12, 2014 · 59 Comments

Ocean Stones and Memories

Summer is the time for visiting with family. The summer months are just brimming with relatives. And it’s so necessary, this grounding, these reminders of where you came from. But … Continue reading

August 7, 2014 · 18 Comments

Motherhood, Sisyphus and the Fitbit

I am Sisyphus. At least that’s what I tell myself most days as I walk through the house matching shoes and placing them in rows, hanging jackets on hooks, replacing … Continue reading

August 7, 2014 · 18 Comments

On Writing (A Blog Hop)

I did something crazy. I agreed to join a blog hop with a posse of amazingly cool bloggers. I literally thought to myself, “This is awe-some! The kids go to … Continue reading

July 29, 2014 · 22 Comments

Head Stands, a Walk in the Sky

In my teens and twenties, over half a lifetime ago,  there was no end to the possibilities for positive personal discoveries. Who me? Play field hockey? Well, I’m not very … Continue reading

July 22, 2014 · 24 Comments

Between Sunset and Moonrise

It was that kind of ride north, Tim in the driver’s seat, a crew of children glued to a National Geographic documentary on volcanoes or polar bears in the back, … Continue reading

July 19, 2014 · 13 Comments

Twelve Years Married, the River of No Return

I wanted to write about our anniversary last week. Twelve years married feels like both an infinitesimal blip and a humongous undertaking. Twelve years! Four kids! Three moves! Woot, woot! … Continue reading

July 13, 2014 · 25 Comments

The Things We Give Away (The Things We Save)

My sister just texted me asking if I wanted the “birth vases.” There’s one of mine and one of Butchie’s and the jury’s still out as to whether my other … Continue reading

July 9, 2014 · 22 Comments

I Don’t Like 7-Year-Old Boys and Other Zen Thoughts

  I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I don’t like 7 year-old boys. As a 43-year-old adult female, this is neither a shocker nor a tragedy. I mean, it’s … Continue reading

July 2, 2014 · 30 Comments

In the Beginning There Was Jersey Girl

What was the first CD you bought? It was 1990 and I was torn between Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Box Set Live 1975-1985 and U2’s Joshua Tree (and … Continue reading

June 26, 2014 · 16 Comments

Who Doesn’t Love Dessert (Happy Birthday, Baby Girl)

Today on the beach I was having a moment with my newly 4 year-old daughter, Cabot. She was calling me Binky and saying, “I love you, Binky,”and then kissing me. Then I … Continue reading

June 22, 2014 · 24 Comments

A Bat in the House is Worth More Than Two in the Bush

This has been a growing weekend, the most bat-tastic  weekend ever, in fact. There’s so much that I want to share. But early symptoms of rabies include cerebral dysfunction and … Continue reading

June 17, 2014 · 16 Comments

My Father (This One May Contain S#!T)

[Jasper told me that the other day one of his kindergarten classmates told him that I haven’t posted lately. Which was true. And which means that somewhere in Massachusetts there’s … Continue reading

June 14, 2014 · 18 Comments

Graduation-ing (It’s Not Gradual)

This week is graduation week and there is nothing gradual about it. It comes in like a lion and goes out like a lion, all roaring emotion and event after … Continue reading

June 11, 2014 · 17 Comments

Letting the Days Go By (Same As It Ever Was)

Do you remember the movie Big? Or maybe 13 Going on 30? 17 Again? Any of these sugar-coated yummy morsels ringing a bell? The premise is you get covered in glitter … Continue reading

June 1, 2014 · 20 Comments

I Am Afraid

Mica lost his first tooth today. It’s been wiggling in his mouth, nestled in his tiny deep-ocean gums like a pearl, since mid-winter. Today, in honor of Roald Dahl, it … Continue reading

May 27, 2014 · 44 Comments

(Not So) Superlative Jen, Baby Steps

I called the doctor last week to inquire,  “So about this shingles thing, if I can’t just rest and I just keep pushing even though my leg hurts and I’m … Continue reading

May 24, 2014 · 7 Comments

It’s the Little Things

All the big stuff is mostly done: the auction auctioned, the art show hung, the birthday party partied, even school is almost finished. This Sunday was a day of rest. … Continue reading

May 20, 2014 · 15 Comments

Circle Time, My Baby Boy Turns 7

Today is Jasper’s seventh birthday. I actually forgot it was today. It turns out that with planning the big party for a million kids and apparently hundreds and hundreds of … Continue reading

May 17, 2014 · 19 Comments

Motherhood is… (A Toenail in Your Eye)

I should have something to say about Mother’s Day. When Tim asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day I initially said I wanted two hours to go use the … Continue reading

May 11, 2014 · 18 Comments

The Family Road Trip

There’s a radio station on the web called Pandora. And like it’s namesake, you type in your favorite artist and WHOOSH, that artist plus hundreds of similar artists fly out … Continue reading

May 6, 2014 · 12 Comments

Punting Motherhood

I want to write about this week, but I have nothing much to say, or at least nothing orderly, entertaining or lyrical. (How’s that for a first line? This can … Continue reading

May 4, 2014 · 12 Comments

1/4 Inch Short

I ran into a friend at the kindergarten art show late last week. “How’ve you been?” she asked. “Ugh. I have shingles.” She started to laugh a little. “You know, … Continue reading

April 29, 2014 · 59 Comments

A Blanket of Children

These days seem to be more and more filled with distancing moments. Moments when I try to manage my five-year-old daughter’s Mean Girl moments and she rolls her eyes and … Continue reading

April 23, 2014 · 17 Comments

Memento Mori, the Baby’s Dress

I’ve been busy. You know, busy with that other thing I do besides being a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, blogger (that still feels so weird to type), runner, and … Continue reading

April 20, 2014 · 15 Comments

Forgetting to Remember

I thought of this thing today, but then it left my mind. It left my mind amidst the tumble of things I’m supposed to be doing, the school auction, the … Continue reading

April 15, 2014 · 16 Comments

Date Night and the Wind Turbines

I’ve been thinking about marriage lately. It may be the spring weather (finally), the birds looking for love in all the wrong places, mating for life and so on. I … Continue reading

April 12, 2014 · 94 Comments

You go to the funeral.

I am in a JetBlue plane, somewhere between Massachusetts and Philadelphia, snapping gum, fighting for elbow room, staving off sleep. Every time I cough, the woman next to me flinches. … Continue reading

April 8, 2014 · 31 Comments

Homecoming

Chik, chuk, chik, chuk; the hazards beat a dull heart. We line the cars up along the sepia-tinted streets of my childhood. There are flags trembling, a light drizzle. I … Continue reading

April 8, 2014 · 26 Comments

Mama lost her brain… again.

Today, cleaning out my e-mail from weeks ago, I re-read an e-mail from one of my college roommates. We’d had a girl’s weekend in Washington, D.C. complete with walks to … Continue reading

April 4, 2014 · 17 Comments

Building a Neighborhood One Cup of Corn at a Time

I needed corn for the crockpot. The Chicken Taco Bowl crockpot to be exact. Canned? Frozen? Honestly, no one cares. At my house we call them the “filler calories”, because each … Continue reading

April 1, 2014 · 4 Comments

Littlewing, A Mother’s Anthem

Today it was cold, but with the promise of spring. At least that’s what we all told each other. One Mama grabbed me by the arm, literally grabbed me, and … Continue reading

March 28, 2014 · 12 Comments

The Librarian, the Library and the Words

Part I. My Mother It always begins here. My mother was a librarian. Let me clarify. My mother was a librarian for about as long as I bagged raw chicken … Continue reading

March 24, 2014 · 40 Comments

Typhoid Mary, A Poem

There was a girl named Mary Mallon one hundred years ago She lived in the city that never sleeps, moving from home to home An Irish cook, some would call … Continue reading

March 21, 2014 · 10 Comments

4 Thunder Road, Cape Cod, New Jersey (for my Dad)

This is us, creating a sense of time and place for our children. Last night at bedtime, after the teeth were flossed and brushed, the pajamas put on, the stories … Continue reading

March 18, 2014 · 12 Comments

On Aging, In Honor of the Seven Women Who Live Inside Me

It happened slowly… and all at once. Last week I was 29 with a rounded, peach-skinned face that I disliked for its pudginess, and BAM! It’s fifteen years later and … Continue reading

March 14, 2014 · 26 Comments

The Winter of Our Discontent

Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York; And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house In the deep bosom of the … Continue reading

March 11, 2014 · 10 Comments

The Big Girl Crib

My baby is still in a crib. I don’t mean like phat cribs on MTV with diamond bedazzles and an indoor treehouse. That would be Lindsey-Lo-tastic, but it’s not us. … Continue reading

March 7, 2014 · 9 Comments

The Best Worst Gift Ever

I got it. The absolute best worst gift one could ever hope for on her birthday. When I opened the box I immediately burst into tears, no pre-game chokey voice … Continue reading

March 4, 2014 · 10 Comments

Wonder Woman and the Lost Tooth

I want to remember this. Today I picked up Jasper at the end of school, and he had that face. It was the classic chokey-voice face, the quiver chin, patchy-cheek … Continue reading

March 1, 2014 · 20 Comments

On the Occasion of My 43rd Birthday: The Dave Matthews Prophecy

I was always a jinxie girl. It was rarely the typical signs of luck that got me;  black cats, ladders, the number thirteen, stepping on cracks (which may explain why … Continue reading

February 25, 2014 · 28 Comments

My Brother and the Silence

I remember it like this. It was the summer of 1980. I was nine. It was six months after the operation, and my father was so weak that my mother … Continue reading

February 20, 2014 · 41 Comments

If I Wrote a Food Blog, Dreams of a Stay-at-Home Mom

If I wrote a food blog, it’d only have one page, A single recipe that would take center stage. Single moms would use it, grannies on the go, nursing moms … Continue reading

February 18, 2014 · 11 Comments

Naked Self-Portraits, A Love Story

When I met my husband he had an 18” neck and a 36” waist, he had that kind of build. I had been unloading art supplies from my 84′ VW … Continue reading

February 14, 2014 · 25 Comments

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