jen groeber: mama art

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

A Bird in the Hand Comes Back

My son’s teacher is crazy about birds. I know he told me this on the first day of school two weeks ago but it was lost amidst reports of new … Continue reading

September 22, 2016 · 7 Comments

Labor Day Weekend, Where Did it Go?

  Today was the last day of summer, Labor Day weekend, two days away from the start of school. In the morning I headed out alone to the beach with … Continue reading

September 6, 2016 · 5 Comments

Read This: Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Just now I was crying. I finished reading a book. It was one of those books that makes you cry not just a chokey voice cry, but a real, honest … Continue reading

September 2, 2016 · 3 Comments

The In-Between

I stepped outside today and it was what we call nether weather. It was neither cool nor warm, windy or calm. It felt like there was no temperature, no sun, the … Continue reading

August 21, 2016 · 4 Comments

The Weightlessness of Water

I could sit underwater and watch my children swim for hours. Well, not hours. I’m no David Blaine. I can only hold my breath for about four times as long … Continue reading

August 5, 2016 · 9 Comments

Still Water, Fourteen Years Married

I woke up to the sound of children this morning*. In fact, we have been waking up to the sound of children for the last week. But the children this … Continue reading

July 15, 2016 · 7 Comments

Last Week of School

  It is their last week of school. And when I’m not feeling overwhelmed at the thought of a recent birthday just passed, or one looming ahead in two weeks, … Continue reading

June 21, 2016 · 7 Comments

Turning Six, Not To Be Missed

My baby is turning six. I know I always say this. My baby is turning four. My baby is turning five. But this time I mean it. My baby is … Continue reading

June 17, 2016 · 15 Comments

Turning Nine and the Football Cake

My son turned nine this weekend and I have absolutely nothing to say about it. I should. I want to say something. But I am in turns fake-preoccupied with something … Continue reading

May 16, 2016 · 18 Comments

We Went to the Ocean

We went to the ocean this weekend. I was resistant. “But we’ll miss three lacrosse games and two birthday parties and a lacrosse practice and an invitation to go to … Continue reading

April 20, 2016 · 20 Comments

My Baby’s First Date

My daughter went on her first date last weekend. They went to the movies. He wore a jacket and a dress shirt. She wore a San Francisco t-shirt from Old … Continue reading

April 12, 2016 · 10 Comments

Let My Love Open the Door

I pulled up in the drop off-line today, and threw the backpacks out the driver’s side window to the waiting teacher. I’ve been working up to this moment for days. … Continue reading

March 31, 2016 · 9 Comments

100 Rejections (and a Few New Posts to Tempt Your Tummy)

Do you remember how I planned to get 100 rejections? Like, by writing more and then sending that writing out into the world, heedless of the likely rejection (and all … Continue reading

March 19, 2016 · 5 Comments

The Birthday Shoes

It’s been a big week. I volunteered to coach U9 girls lacrosse for our town, and I’ve been helping out with the class art projects for the kids’ school auction. … Continue reading

March 8, 2016 · 23 Comments

Happy Jazz Handsy Valentine’s Day

My kids were talking about Valentine’s Day in the back row of the minivan. My five-year-old was beyond excited about the day. They had all been told to wear red, … Continue reading

February 16, 2016 · 14 Comments

What I Remember, There You Are

It begins like this. My alarm goes off and I get out of bed. My husband is already awake, because he is an early bird.  I get out of bed, … Continue reading

January 26, 2016 · 30 Comments

Farewell Minivan: Ch-ch-ch-changes

My first car was a dusty yellow 69 VW Bug, but it should’ve been a brilliant yellow 73 Super Beetle we’d named Herbie. That’s the car my parents bought for … Continue reading

January 13, 2016 · 16 Comments

New Year’s Eve and a Child’s Soft Foot

New Year’s Eve is supposed to be a time for big picture things, for the meta, the thoughts about the resolutions about thinking, if you follow me. Except I woke … Continue reading

December 31, 2015 · 23 Comments

Elf on the Shelf Gets the Last Word

Something you might not know about me is that I’m not so into magical creatures. I mean, the Tooth Fairy forgot my kid last year (what a jerk, right?) and … Continue reading

December 27, 2015 · 7 Comments

50 Happy Things for 2015: Bloggers Unite in Flood of Gratitude

My family is in town, my sister and her husband, my brother, my mother. Right now my children are running around outside playing with my sister’s dog (because I plan … Continue reading

December 21, 2015 · 18 Comments

The Big, Stupid Stuffed Panda

My seven-year-old daughter wants a stupid, stuffed panda for Christmas. Not just a stupid, stuffed panda, but a big, stupid stuffed panda, big enough to be bigger than her, for … Continue reading

December 17, 2015 · 19 Comments

Getting My NaNoWriMo On, One Bird At a Time

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, … Continue reading

November 30, 2015 · 28 Comments

A Dream About the Ocean

I had a dream about my brother, Butchie, on Friday night. We’d driven to the beach in my minivan. It was a place we’d never been before, the sort of … Continue reading

November 17, 2015 · 16 Comments

Just Five Things

Lately I’ve been remembering the words of a woman I used to work with. She’d been diagnosed with one of those illnesses that takes away your ability to do what … Continue reading

October 27, 2015 · 27 Comments

Twin Posts: Mirror in the Sky

I spent the morning at my daughter’s school celebrating her seventh birthday. We had planned for me to make crafts with her class, a collaged ocean seascape and some hot … Continue reading

October 10, 2015 · 15 Comments

Twin Posts: Transitioning to Seven

We’ve been talking a lot about transitions lately. My son is horrible at them. Like, he sucks at transitions. Let me clarify. He sucks my soul out and leaves it … Continue reading

October 9, 2015 · 12 Comments

I Have Conceived a Love

I have conceived such a love for my children that I love whoever loves them well, and most importantly, I love them no matter who they grow to be. There is no wavering on this. There must be no wavering on this.

September 29, 2015 · 15 Comments

Swooping Like Birds

Sunday morning started slowly. We were in recovery. Recovery from the first full week of school and a Saturday where the kids played four different soccer games on four different fields … Continue reading

September 23, 2015 · 10 Comments

Learning to Go It Alone

I just realized that I hate to be alone. I was standing and wiping the counter, putting dishes in the dishwasher, mindlessly eating granola off the kids’ plates, and I … Continue reading

September 16, 2015 · 26 Comments

Last First Day of School

I began to see my day and the things I would do. Then my week and the things I hoped to accomplish, then my month, and so on. As I told my son, I guess you need new beginnings for sentimental endings and sentimental endings for new beginnings. And now it’s time for the next new beginning.

September 10, 2015 · 9 Comments

The Last Last Time

I was wringing out wet bathing suits and hanging them over the deck railing. Our front porch is about fifteen feet from the road with a lively view of the … Continue reading

September 8, 2015 · 12 Comments

The Summer of Enough

Last week my email account resent a bunch of emails with photo attachments, emails I’d sent a year ago. And my sister replied to a very back-to-school looking picture as … Continue reading

September 2, 2015 · 21 Comments

August is the Cruelest Month

This morning, as my husband walked out the front door, he reminded me that the painters were coming tomorrow and that we needed to vacate the house. They would come … Continue reading

August 30, 2015 · 15 Comments

I Don’t Like Eight-Year-Old Boys, the Never Ending Sequel

I don’t like eight-year-old boys.You might remember that I didn’t like seven-year-old boys much either. It’s hard to describe what the actual thing is that he does that drives me … Continue reading

August 28, 2015 · 6 Comments

Recreating My Childhood, One Board Game At a Time

I’ve been recreating my childhood one board game at a time. Or actually, not my whole entire childhood. Were I to try to recreate my whole entire childhood I’d need … Continue reading

August 17, 2015 · 26 Comments

How You Measure Half a Life

It happened. The kind people at Mamalode published my essay on their August theme Optimism, How You Measure Half a Life. And ironically, it’s a meditation on whether there is … Continue reading

August 8, 2015 · 26 Comments

100 Rejections

My sister had a brilliant idea for my nieces’ thirteenth birthdays. What do you give young women who have pretty much everything they need? Words of wisdom. My sister asked … Continue reading

August 4, 2015 · 30 Comments

Summer Camp, All Alone

This week is camp week. You know the kind I mean. You slather four children in sunscreen, pack four bags with yesterday’s damp swimsuits and towels, and then send them … Continue reading

July 30, 2015 · 14 Comments

U2 Can Have Your Cake and Eat It… Too

In six degrees of separation how would we get from U2 to a Doc McStuffins cake? Doc McStuffins cake, inspired by the Doc McStuffins cartoon, for which China Anne McClain … Continue reading

July 23, 2015 · 18 Comments

The Fin Fell Off My Paddleboard and Other Metaphors For Our Thirteenth Anniversary

My fin fell off my paddleboard. There was a gentle breeze, an overcast sky, and right next to the rock where the cormorants pose, I dug my paddle in the … Continue reading

July 9, 2015 · 17 Comments

The Couple at Sunset

Tonight my two girls and I saw our neighbors walking down the road in front of our house. We hadn’t seen them for awhile, not since they found us trying … Continue reading

June 25, 2015 · 16 Comments

Father’s Day and the White Undershirt

I woke yesterday morning to the mystical, warm smell of my husband ‘s white undershirt. I was half-asleep and he was half-asleep, and I curled up against him, my head … Continue reading

June 22, 2015 · 14 Comments

Tomorrow She is Never Again Four Years Old (Not Even One Dot)

I look at the clock and it’s 11:34 pm. I picture my newly minted five-year-old, asleep in her bed, covered with the Hello Kitty blanket I stayed up until past … Continue reading

June 18, 2015 · 378 Comments

Leaving the Nest, an Ode to Pre-School

My youngest child is finishing her time at the most amazing school ever. She is graduating from pre-school. I know everyone thinks that their kids go to the most amazing schools. … Continue reading

June 13, 2015 · 15 Comments

The Tooth Fairy Forgot to Come Last Night

The tooth fairy forgot to come last night. Mica walked into my bedroom this morning, waking me with his sad, sweet little face and shuffling footy pajama’ed feet. He said with the … Continue reading

May 20, 2015 · 27 Comments

Little League, It Ain’t No Big Thing

I admit it. I was equipment-shamed by the guy at Modell’s. And Modell’s by the way? It sort of sucks. I’d much rather go to Dick’s. Especially with my mother … Continue reading

May 6, 2015 · 15 Comments

Two-Wheelers, Piano Recitals and Lost Teeth

I went for a run today. Just a week ago on my run there was still snow on the ground deep in the woods, tucked in the valleys, with a gray fog … Continue reading

April 30, 2015 · 13 Comments

Silent All These Years/ Fireworks Mash-Up (For My Daughter)

The other day I heard that Tori Amos song on the radio. I was driving in the minivan, picking the kids up from school. I was loaded… with carseats and … Continue reading

April 23, 2015 · 6 Comments

Going Back to Church on an Island (Easter 2015)

We went to church this weekend. On the one hand, it’s no shocker. It was Easter, and I get after it when it comes to Christian holidays. I was raised … Continue reading

April 9, 2015 · 28 Comments

Learning to Swim

I started swimming again, and it’s been a revelation. I grew up with a pool in the backyard. I have memories of swimming with my sisters at night while my … Continue reading

March 30, 2015 · 23 Comments

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