An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Charlie foxtrot

This is beginning to sound like a broken record, I know, but the last several days of our lives have been nothing but a tidal wave of heartbreaking chaos. Jon’s sister-in-law died on the morning of his birthday, this following a night that had ended in a pretty ugly display of ineptitude in parenthood on my part, one that I’m not sure I can forgive myself for.

Marlo isn’t sleeping, and yesterday we had a bit of a medical emergency with Leta, only to get a flat tire on the way home. This morning I woke up at 2 AM to the smell of poop, couldn’t get back to sleep, and then when Marlo woke up at 5 we discovered another pool of canine diarrhea, this time all over the inside of Coco’s crate.

The next few days are going to be consumed with family obligations, and sadly this will be the fourth funeral of a close family member we’ve attended in the last nine months.

I can’t really find anything profound or funny to say right now, only that as Jon was changing the flat tire I had to arch my back so that my face was facing the sky directly. And then I shouted, PLEASE, LIFE. LET US CATCH OUR BREATH.

  • muttlery

    Remember your vow to stop and slow down? Maybe life is reminding you that you must. You will get through this (and don’t waste any time not forgiving yourself for a bad parent moment…life is tough enough without being hard on yourself) Much love from down under.

  • Miss Bits


  • Daddy Scratches

    Sorry you guys are having such a shitty time, Heather. Hang in there.

  • doobrah

    Took me a minute to decipher Charlie Foxtrot. How appropriate. Sounds like Coco has a date with the vet soon. Condolences on y’all’s most recent loss.

  • Leobenlover

    From one human being to another all I can think to say is I love you guys. I don’t know you and you don’t know me what you need all the white healing light you can get.

    P.S. Try to send a little back when you catch your breath.

  • britney

    So very sorry. I will be keeping your family in my thoughts.

  • Sneeka

    So sorry for your losses – my prayers are with you & your family. There’s a saying: “Keep Calm and Carry On” I think this applies here. God bless

  • mrs.notouching

    Just take care of yourself and for once – take some time off. Just do it. Love to you and your family.

  • LisWee

    My deepest condolences to Jon and your family for the loss of your sister-in-law.

    I hope everything is okay with Leta and Marlo is probably is just adjusting to her new home. Like they always say “when is rains it pours”. Hang in there! You’ve got tons of us internet people pulling for ya!

  • Schmutzie

    I hope this is the end of this for a while. Hugs to all of you, especially Jon.

  • Mrs.Koehnke_ it is pronouced kinky. Like S and M

    Poor Jon. I am so sorry for yet another loss in your family. Sometimes, when it rains, it pours.

    You know… you can take a break. The Internet won’t crumble around you, and your haters will still be here, as well as those who love you, when you return. You don’t need a guest to post for you, just say, I need a breather, be back {fill in the date}. It doesn’t have to be long because I know that this website is your bread and butter, but everyone needs a vacation now and then and I think LIFE is trying to tell you something right now.

    Also, my brother fell off the bleachers when we were kids because my mother looked away for a SECOND. Not the low ones either- the ones that are like, 15 steps high. She thought he had died and some lady called 911 said the same to the dispatcher. Not only did he live, he didn’t even have to go to the hospital. Marlo will live too, you are not inept as a mother; you are human and Marlo is mischievous. Forgive yourself.

  • jan001

    Heather, for what it’s worth, I heard something today that made me think of you and your family, and smile: Viva la Vida, by Coldplay. Ir reminded me of your video of Leta in her PJs dancing with Jon.

    The good times will be back. Pinky swear.

  • Irish Fluffy

    Been there, felt that, screamed at the universe!! What keeps me going are the little ones. Look at Marlo and Leta, whereas death never makes sense, the otherside of it has brought you two beautiful and special little girls. In order to celebrate those who have to leave us, remember the good memories and take time to make new ones with those bundles of life that have been given to you.

  • ejhargraves

    My love to you both. I saw that Jon posted something about feeling stuck, which made me think of this column I read last week. It’s shatteringly beautiful and something that I think would resonate with anyone going through a tough time.

    Be kind to yourself, Heather. We all screw up. There isn’t a single person here who read what you said and didn’t flash back to something “unforgivable” we did once upon a time.

  • ohilyssa

    Oh Heather, I truly hope everything turns for the better. Keeping you in my thoughts.

    By the way, I’ve been reading “Manual” from Josh Allen, and I LOVE/ am saddened by Jon’s section “How to Yearn”. What an excellent writer he is. Of course, I loved your section as well. I was laughing out loud about your pile of socks 🙂

  • korakel

    Hope things will calm down for you and your family soon.

  • pattyhans

    Oh, you all have my deepest sympathy – prayers going your way. And do forgive yourself for not being a terrific parent all the time – you love them, they’re in a great family – they’ll be okay!

  • Nina Amelia

    My condolences.

  • Nina Amelia

    My condolences.

  • mjreinsel

    My thoughts are with you guys. You will make it through this.

  • tcaachi

    Heather and Family-

    So sorry to hear about your recent stretch of tough times. I’m not religious, but I will send secular positive thoughts your way… since that’s all I’ve got. In the meantime, take some time to do what you need to do. Your readers aren’t going anywhere.

  • americanmom8

    Sorry to hear of your loss. Hope Leta is well. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • sgigs

    It will; I promise.

  • TXinUK

    Hope things settle soon . . . sending hugs and positive energy to you, Jon, those gorgeous girls of yours, and even to the canine poop machines. I think your dogs have out-pooped my own this year!

  • kayemgi

    Hang in there. In the past 18 months, I’ve had three unexpected family deaths, parents divorcing because of a cheating mother, and my sister’s fiance breaking their engagement EIGHT days before their wedding. And I can tell you from all this experience, it does get better. I make it a point to evaluate (in a light-hearted way) what I’m happy and grateful for each week, and it helps tremendously. Even though you’re still in the thick of it, try to focus on the little joys instead of the big burdens and the future will seem so much brighter! Thinking of you and your family.

  • pixiegolightly

    I’m so sorry. Take care of yourselves. xx

  • WindyLou

    When it rains it pours, doesn’t it? My thoughts are with y’all.

    (I JUST NOW got the title of the post; ugh.)

  • Couture Coco

    Sincere condolences to you, Jon and your families.

  • melanie

    Heather – I never comment here, but wanted to come and say how sorry I am that things have been so hard lately, especially in your loss of loved ones, and you really are on my mind.

    Also, please find a way to forgive yourself for whatever parenting mistake you think you’ve made. Maybe you did screw up. However, I haven’t been a parent quite as long as you, and I’ve often felt like I’ve made the worst mistakes already. And it’s by reading blogs like yours – and especially yours – that literally keep me sane and laughing about it all. Yes, literally. Thank you.

    Take care, and take your time.

  • CataclysmicStar

    You four are going through way too much right now. I’m sorry for the losses you’ve experienced, and I hope that you all still find light and happiness even in this dark time.
    I had a rather bad parenting moment too, recently, that resulted in my oldest having a broken leg. Please don’t feel as if you’ve done something wrong or bad. Accidents are tough to come to terms with, but they’re just that, and kids are surprisingly resilient. Much love and many hugs to all of you.

  • Ray1987

    I am so sorry for your loss. ;o(

    A happy belated birthday to Jon, despite the circumstances. <3

  • aliciag

    One day I remember crying in my kitchen because I was such a bad parent. Not enough sleep, too much going on. Life just wouldn’t stop. I read your site and it made me laugh and feel “I am not alone, someone gets it.” I hope you feel this sort of support a hundred times over during this time in your life. You deserve it. Hang in there.

  • simone

    iam so sorry for your loss and i hope the sky lightens up on your family and only good things to come.

  • Laura Jones

    I hope your lives improve soon and I am sorry for your and Jon’s loss. I would say *hugs* but Sarah might come through my computer screen and choke me. Therefore tell Sarah to give you extra real hugs from the cranky internet that can only send virtual ones.

    I’ve learned that if you care about your child they forgive the mistakes you make…and one day you will have to forgive the mistakes they make.

  • Ezza

    Keep breathing, the storm will pass. You will catch your breath and there will be calm again in your life.

    Sometimes, everything in life feels like it is colliding. Forgive yourself. Hold your babies, hold your husband… and it sounds like Coco needs a cuddle too.

    You will weather it together, that’s what families do. I hope you can all start healing soon, in every way.

  • imaynotremember

    Hi Heather Sorry to hear of the loss of Jon’s sister-in-law.

    I enjoy reading your posts, and I love the pictures you post too.

  • DesignGirl

    You guys are in my prayers.

    Remember, God doesn’t put anything on our shoulders that he doesn’t think we can carry.

    Today my father would have turned 80. He passed away 9 months ago and today was the first time I visited his grave since the funeral. As hard as I thought it was going to be, and as much as I dreaded it, it was way harder and way more emotional than I ever imagined it could be. And to make matters worse, I, too, had a veritable sea of disasters and conflicts to wade through today in the midst of my grief. I spent the two hour drive home looking up into the sky and talking to my dad.

    So thanks for your post — even though we’ve never met, and probably never will, I feel a special kinship with you, especially tonight.

  • momof8

    I’m so sorry to hear about Jon’s sister in law. I hope you get a breather soon. As always, love and prayers.

  • Becky Cochrane

    I’m very sorry.

  • minxlj

    So sorry to hear about Jon’s sister in law, and that all this shit seems to come at the same time 🙁 I’m at a similar rough place in that all the crap parts of life seem to be knocking on the door all at once, and just wanting a break from it! But I know you’ll get through it with your usual awesomeness, and seeing that will help me get through too. It will get better xx

    And whatever parenting mishap you speak of – give yourselves a break, it happens to everyone. You’re a great parent because you own up to and speak about these problems, you know? Take care, and lots of love to you all x

  • amymasson

    I moved to a new house on June 15th. Since then, we’ve had a black cloud of despair hanging over it. I had an 11-day horrible toothache which finally ended in a $1500 root canal. (Pain of the toothache was so bad I couldn’t work, eat, drink, or do anything but take massive amounts of Vicodin. Which didn’t really help anyway.) I dropped my iPhone and cracked the glass. My dog died. We got a storm with hurricane force bursts of wind (in Indiana) that broke several large branches off a large tree in our front yard and filled our pool with massive piles of leaves, which we couldn’t see at the bottom of the pool because somehow the pool turned green and cloudy overnight. So cloudy we couldn’t see the bottom. $350 in chemicals to clear THAT up. Then my kid caught pneumonia. And my other dog, the one that is 15, suddenly won’t stop crapping in the house.

    I’ve decided if it can go wrong, it will. I’m beginning to think this house is cursed.

    I guess that’s my lengthy way of saying, “I relate.” May our black clouds move away soon.

  • Ezza

    Well… aren’t we a happy bunch today? Dearie me, is there something in the astrology charts this week? If you look under every star sign in the newspaper, should it all just say ‘It will suck, then you will cry’? Can we change the tune to try and cheer up the Blurbodoocery a bit?

    Here goes.

    Today, my dog farted in her sleep then whipped around to growl at her own ass.

    There. Now you guys say some stuff.

  • lisaann

    You guys have had so much stress and pain recently. A lot of the stress, though is also joy.

    A new house, though bobcattish and crazy and a lot of work is also beautiful and a family building move. Imagine Leta walking down those stairs before her wedding day…

    you have an extended family that although you disagree on religion to politics agrees on the fact that they love you. Do ya know how rare that is?

    You have Leta! who is growing into an amazing kid.

    You have a baby (on steroids apparently) who gets into everything but makes you laugh and catch your breath in wonder!

    You have a Tyrant. not everyone has a tyrant they like…

    You have a job that although keeps you stressed and busy, pays the rent rather well and you LOVE it.

    You have a man to love who is arguably as eccentric as you are, and you have that man beside you every day and every night, because wonder of wonders.. he loves you back!

    So in this time of mourning, of stress, of great sadness, look as well with wonder and joy and amazement at all you have.

    Pax. (and lots of love!)

  • lovems

    Once again, I am sorry for your loss!

    Hang in there – at some point it all has to calm down and get better:)

  • ingabite1979

    Try five family member funerals in the span of one month. Three of those my husband and I were standing in the family receiving line for our grandparents. I know how you guys feel. Kind of in between living and just getting by. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. Hang in there.

  • mfm

    You and your family are in my thoughts.

  • alexandra…

    heart goes out to you. ♥

  • Anu

    So sorry for your loss. Just take a deep breath and know that this too shall pass and life will go on. As for whatever parenting mishap that happened, no point beating up yourself over it. It’s done and over and you can only move forward so please take it easy. Hope Jon and you find the strength to get by through these times.

  • Lizzy

    Good heavens!
    It seems trite to say this, but I’m truly sorry for all your losses. The fact that you are both handling all this without proper sleep is mind-blowing, and you have my utmost respect.
    Bash on, regardless. (And get a cork for Coco’s butt.)

  • shoe freak

    Armstrong Family – Take care and God bless! As my mother always says, “This, too, shall pass.” Although it often feels like it never will!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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