the smell of my desperation has become a stench

dooce Fourteen Hundred and Ninety Point Two

Don’t be alarmed. Actually, scratch that. Be very alarmed. You see, I did something the right way for the first time in my life and I guess that means I’m now an adult. Or, I’m the adult I always wanted to be when I was that insufferable 17-yr-old Mormon who called up her bishop and repented of her first kiss.

INSERT TANGENT: I recently told the story about this sinful act of intimacy to a packed room here in the city, and when I got to the part about really enjoying that kiss and trying to reconcile the tingling feeling in my parts with the sudden realization that I would lose my planet, they all howled. And nodded. And groaned in empathy. They had once worried about losing their planets, too! Sometimes Utah feels like an unpleasant, alien planet (SEE: ONLINE DATING), and other times I feel as if I am in the arms of my people.

Did you lose your planet? You’re my people.

Insufferable 17-year-old Mormon Heather is very proud of herself at 41 for hiring experts to redesign the look and feel and identity of the space containing the writing she has done about her life and her children and her pets for the past 16 years. That’s right. My blog is old enough to drive a car. And just like every other kid its age, it is choosing not to because getting a ride from Mom is so much easier.

GET OFF MY LAWN, Y’all and y’all’s lazy asses.

These experts overhauled the backend as well, and in doing so have made it much easier for me to publish words on this page. Taking a break from blogging had as much to do with gaining a little perspective as it did with hating the existing WordPress installation and becoming violently ill when logging into my website and realizing, aw hell no. I am not not about to fill out sixteen separate fields of useless information just so that I can tell all of you that I desperately want to talk about my butt.

Nuh uh.

Welcome to the new space, and pardon me if I get a little sentimental. But this is a visual representation of a new, hard-earned chapter in my life. The girls and I moved across town a month ago and left behind not only that lonely neighborhood where no one knew each other’s names or cared to lend a hand in the snow or when the car wouldn’t start—a home we loved but contained a host of echoing, painful memories—we also survived the hardest and worst year of my life, by far, and came out of the other side as a closer, more intimate, more hopeful family of three.


Many thanks to Angie Monson for the family photos and to the the team at CooperHouse who took very good care of me throughout the process of this redesign. I trusted them to give me back a space where I could write again. Plain and simple.

I need to write again.

I look back at the darkness that consumed me last year—beginning with the weekly long runs in my marathon training schedule and made worse by the thousands of miles I traveled while trying to build a specific part of my business—and realize that either by necessity or fatigue or lack of self-care, I abandon the practice of words. And then things got really, really bad.

For a decade and a half, words have been my medicine. Thank you, CooperHouse, for helping me refill my prescription.

That’s the plan here, to write more, to share all the stories that unfold in a house of women—young, adolescent, and smack dab in the wake of a colossal mid-life crisis.

A few points of order:

  1. I have moved the dooce community to a slack channel. You can read more about why and how to join here.
  2. I had the development team add a SHOP area to the site to house items that I currently use and have collected over the years of running this space. Everything in the shop is either something I own and recommend or something very similar to something I own because I can’t find the exact object online. A few of the books are on preorder. I get asked for recommendations all the time for things related to being vegan, related to unruly hair, related to interior design, related to getting the matted knots off of the back of a herding dog’s legs. I’ll be adding to this part of the site all the time.
  3. There’s a prominent link to my PODCAST in the nav and at the top of the homepage, and you can also find all the episodes here. My cohost John Bray and I celebrated the first anniversary of it on St. Patrick’s Day, and I would have made more commotion about that milestone if I hadn’t been consumed with this redesign and…

… and I apologize for being vague in advance—being involved in another endeavor that ended up altering the structure of my entire life. I have been through something that is nothing short of miraculous. That is a story I want to share, one that I need to share, one that I think many people need to hear not just for themselves but for the people who are close to them.

Writing that story is the door to this new chapter.

I also need to give a huge shout out to CANIDAE® who reached out to me and asked if we could work together again after they sponsored the launch of my podcast. They’ve got a new recipe of food called CANIDAE® Under The Sun® Grain Free that I’ve been feeding Coco for the last couple of months—yes, both my dog and my kids eat meat—and you’ll hear more about in the next few weeks. They’ve helped make this redesign possible and are offering dooce readers a $10 coupon off any CANIDAE® Under The Sun® recipe.

I have a ton of other plans for this site and so many things I want to tell you, and I’ll announce them and roll them out in the next few weeks. To learn about things in advance, sign up for my newsletter. In the meantime, have a look around, check things out, and know that I’ve missed you like crazy.

One last thing… a huge red heart goes out to my mother and stepfather who together saved my life. Those two people are responsible for the fact that I am sitting here talking to you right now. They’re probably a little afraid of how I’ll portray them in this story, but they have nothing to worry about.

Because of them I believe in angels.

  • ChickWhitt

    2017/04/06 at 10:21 am

    Welcome back, my friend. I hope the light of these photos is a reflection of your heart.

  • Jill Ferguson

    2017/04/06 at 10:22 am

    Yay. You are back. Missed you.

  • happygolucky7

    2017/04/06 at 10:24 am

    I missed you. Welcome back.

  • Jenny

    2017/04/06 at 10:25 am

    Just have to tell you the new website looks fantastic. I’m a web designer, and I think you guys nailed it. Looking forward to new content!

  • Kristen M

    2017/04/06 at 10:29 am

    Yay! Welcome back! SO great. <3

  • Jennifer Cafferty-Davis

    2017/04/06 at 10:32 am

    Welcome back – you were dearly missed. Can’t wait to read your words again.

  • kmpinkel

    2017/04/06 at 10:32 am

    Yay! I literally went to your site 3 days ago hoping for some new content. Guess we all need a little refill on our RX! Looking forward to hearing from you again!!!!

  • isabel

    2017/04/06 at 10:38 am

    so glad you’re back.

  • hereslucy

    2017/04/06 at 10:41 am

    Wow. It’s been a long time and I’m so glad to see your words fill my page. We’ve been here…living our lives, falling down, looking for the way up again too. I have one request…one stupid, nitpicky request that may go totally unnoticed because do you read these? And that request is: please change the font of your blog to sans serif. Like this comment box…it’s a nice sans serif…easier on the eye, easier to read. K…more LOVE, less HATE. More Marijuana, less FAKE. xo

  • Becky

    2017/04/06 at 10:42 am

    Welcome back!

  • Barbara Wells Thurgood

    2017/04/06 at 10:42 am

    Glad to have you back. All the best in this new adventure.

  • klatte

    2017/04/06 at 10:43 am

    So happy to see you back. I missed the writing.

  • Deb Young

    2017/04/06 at 10:44 am

    I am so glad you are back!!!!!!!

  • Susan

    2017/04/06 at 10:44 am

    Imagine my surprise to find this email. I’ve missed my other family very much and can’t wait to start giggling again.

  • Josey

    2017/04/06 at 10:46 am

    Every time I see words from you in this space, my heart leaps in joy. It’s good to have you back.

  • MissCaron

    2017/04/06 at 10:49 am

    Awesome! (and lovely pictures of you and yours)

  • Andrea Chait

    2017/04/06 at 10:49 am

    OMG – I missed you. And your sense of humor. Thank you for coming back. I look forward to hearing more.

  • Amy G

    2017/04/06 at 10:51 am

    Best news I’ve had all day! Well, except for the part about the free doughnuts. It wouldn’t be fair to leave that out.

  • Amy Norris

    2017/04/06 at 10:55 am

    So glad you’re back! Missed you, and your sense of humor, and your lovely girls, and your crazy dog. And post of all, your perspective on this crazy world.

  • Megan

    2017/04/06 at 10:57 am

    Welcome back! The new site is lovely. I missed this very much, it turns out.

  • Miss lee

    2017/04/06 at 10:57 am

    Missed you. The new format is nice.

  • Sue

    2017/04/06 at 10:58 am

    The new design is lovely! So glad to hear your voice.

  • acm

    2017/04/06 at 11:05 am

    yay! welcome back! looks great, and so glad to see your voice again.

  • sarah

    2017/04/06 at 11:09 am

    So happy to see you write in this space, so very excited to explore the new site, and on the edge of my seat to read what comes next. You’ve been missed.

  • JillyL

    2017/04/06 at 11:12 am

    Welcome back- it looks great 🙂

  • Katie H.

    2017/04/06 at 11:13 am

    I AM SO EXCITED!!!! I kept logging back into the site hoping things had picked up, but I realized there must be a LOT going on to keep you from spewing them out. I can’t wait to hear the stories and what has been going on. Thank you for always being brave, ridiculous, funny and so open. WELCOME BACK GIRL!!!!!

  • Lori F

    2017/04/06 at 11:16 am

    Yesss! So happy you’re back and I cannot effing wait to read your words again! 🙂

  • Marie McDowell

    2017/04/06 at 11:17 am

    Yippee! Welcome back. You have been missed!

  • Nancy B.

    2017/04/06 at 11:24 am

    Happy to see you again!

  • Bonnie Bradley

    2017/04/06 at 11:26 am

    *drags my blanket and pillow over towards your chair and settles in on the floor* Tell me a story, Heather. Please…

  • anneb821

    2017/04/06 at 11:27 am

    I have been waiting patiently for your return, and look forward to reading your words again. You have been missed. Welcome home.

  • Sharon Barrett

    2017/04/06 at 11:42 am

    After a long shitty week, I get my dooce back! Excitement and dancing have commenced. Welcome back, Heather. We missed you.

  • Heidi

    2017/04/06 at 11:43 am

    I’ve missed you! Like, casually making dinner and wondering about my dear friend Heather and why she hasn’t called in so long-type of missed you. I’m so glad you’re back.

  • Peg White

    2017/04/06 at 11:46 am

    You would not believe how happy this 70 year old broad is to have you back! You’ve been missed! Can’t wait to catch up. Hugs to all!

  • Melissa Davis

    2017/04/06 at 11:48 am

    I am so glad that you’re back.

  • Rachael

    2017/04/06 at 11:50 am

    YAY! As a long time reader (2004? Ish?) I am always overjoyed when you are writing and sharing with us. Bonus points for happiness returning and a new chapter.

  • Breanne

    2017/04/06 at 11:56 am

    Welcome back! The new design is FANTASTIC – congrats! I look forward to reading again and am glad to hear that (from the sounds of it), the worst year is over. <3

  • Leann

    2017/04/06 at 12:02 pm

    SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU BACK. Your writing inspires me.

  • Ashley

    2017/04/06 at 12:09 pm

    So happy to see this! I really loved and miss your music posts and hope you bring some of those back too.

  • BarefootCajun

    2017/04/06 at 12:11 pm


  • Heather

    2017/04/06 at 12:12 pm

    This makes me so happy! I have waited a few years to say this (and debated saying anythig at all), but now seems as good a time as any: your writing saved MY life and I am very grateful. Thank you.

  • mosprott

    2017/04/06 at 12:25 pm

    NO WAY is Coco 9 years old. (So glad you’re writing!)

  • Jen Wysokowski

    2017/04/06 at 12:39 pm

    So happy you’ll be blogging again! Dedicated podcast listener, but I miss the written stories. Hooray!

  • theresa

    2017/04/06 at 1:02 pm

    I haven’t even read this post yet, just had to comment immediately to say THANK GOD YOU’RE BACK, HEATHER!!!!!!!!!! I really, really, really need a wonderful blog in my life right now and I’m so glad you’re back to fill the void. Also, Leta looks about 17 years old!!!! Even Coco looks more mature!! Of course you and Marlo are also looking fantastic. Sending you guys so much love.

  • Andrea Shipman

    2017/04/06 at 1:20 pm

    Oh I am so so so happy that you’re here and you’re back and you’re ready to write! Welcome back friend; we’re ready to listen.

  • KathyB

    2017/04/06 at 1:25 pm

    Welcome back, Heather. You have been sorely missed – butt jokes and all. I know podcasts are big, but I have a need for the written word. Yours are some of the best. The girls are growing like beautiful weeds.

  • christine morris

    2017/04/06 at 2:06 pm

    welcome back to the written word, missed reading you.

  • Julie Dee Morton Shannon

    2017/04/06 at 2:14 pm

    Yea ! You’re back 🙂

  • Stardust

    2017/04/06 at 2:26 pm

    Welcome back! Good to hear from you. I’ve missed your writing. Your girls looks beautiful. I believe in angels too.

  • A Nice Tea

    2017/04/06 at 2:34 pm

    Hooray for more writing!

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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