Um, hi. Or, what I did this summer

Apparently, I used to write and illustrate a blog.

This one.

But I haven’t written anything here since May.

So, um…


I didn’t intend to take four months off. It just sort of happened. The sun would go down and the sun would rise and then the sun would go down and then you’ll never guess what happened next. The same thing! It just kept happening!

Let’s catch up, shall we?

This is how it all began…

We first said goodbye to Crappy Fish.


Here is the story of Crappy Fish. He was ugly, but a good fish. I’m not exactly sure what defines a good fish or a bad fish, but he was definitely a good one. In fact, I’d go so far as to say he was the best fish ever.

Then we said goodbye to Crappy Cat.


The bigger, friendlier one of the two Crappy Cats. The one who acted like a dog in cat’s clothing. When I wrote “Crappy Cat” he was the cat I was referring to. You can see him here and here and here and here and he even makes an appearance here. In fact, he’s in the background or mentioned in so, so many of my posts. And in my book. Because he was ALWAYS there. Right in the middle, just wanting to be a part of everything.  He was the best cat ever.

Then just a couple weeks later, I said goodbye to Wendy.


You can read about Wendy and our friendship here. She was mentioned many, many times in this space. Like here and here and here. Gosh, she’s even mentioned here and here and I could dig to find more but I don’t want to. (I’m not expecting anyone to click all those links, I’m just illustrating how prevalent her presence was in our lives.)  She was the best friend ever.

So those goodbyes are what happened at the start of our summer.

And what caused me to enter what I call time panic.

Because time. is. fleeting.

You can’t catch it. You can’t stop it.


But there must be a way to slow it down. There must be. I’ll find a way!

I know, I’ll FILL it! I’ll fill my time so spilling over with things that I want to do that it will seem like there is MORE of it!

So that is what I did. I filled my summer with this sort of stuff:




And it was fantastic.

But it didn’t really work to slow down time.  It was only a temporary illusion.

In fact, by filling my time, it actually felt like it went by faster. 

So then I decided to stop trying to FILL time and do the exact opposite. I’d cut back. I’d only do a few things. Really savor them. Really focus. Slow down. Unplug. Be mindful.

Things like:


That felt pretty fantastic too.

And while it also didn’t slow down time, it no longer mattered anymore.

Because what it did do, was give me the space to think. Which, really, was what I needed all along.

So I thought the thoughts and remembered the memories and sang the songs and cried the tears and read the writings and laughed the laughs. Probably grew a little bit too.

And now I’m ready to write the words and draw the pictures.

So let me repeat! Um…


Looking forward to spending some time here again.

This entry was posted in blogkeeping, life. Bookmark the permalink.

189 Responses to Um, hi. Or, what I did this summer

  1. Carla says:

    Lovely to see you again. So sorry for your loss, I am sure many of us have been thinking of Wendy and her friends and family this summer.

  2. Angie says:

    I’m happy you are blogging again and I understand your need to take time away while you processed everything. I too get stuck in the “time panic” sometimes when I start thinking about how quickly time seems to fly.

  3. jayla says:

    I had no idea, Amber. I remember when you first shared about Wendy and I’ve thought of her over the years and I’m so sad to hear this update.

  4. Kim B says:

    I’ve been thinking of Wendy and her family and friends ever since you updated on facebook a couple months ago. Thank you for your honesty and openness and letting us all in on the not so funny aspects of your life as well as the funny ones.

  5. Rach says:

    I can’t imagine losing my Wendy (whose name is Kate) as I’d be just lost without her. We lost our kitty last year and that was hard enough on our family, especially the kids. Hugs to you and so sorry for your losses.

  6. Lisa says:

    Welcome back! You have been missed and we are all sorry for your losses. I’m glad you took the time you needed!

  7. Michelle says:

    Yay! You’re back!

  8. Diptee says:

    Glad to see you back. 🙂

  9. Jen says:

    You were missed by us all! I am glad you took the time you needed for yourself and your family… welcome back!

  10. LJL says:

    Thinking of you and Wendy’s family. So sorry for your loss.

  11. Glad to see you back! I’ve missed the drawings and the words. 🙂

  12. So happy to see you again and also happy you didn’t feel obligated to write when you had so much else going on! Sorry for your losses. We kind of had a summer like that, too, and it’s hard.

  13. bossygirl says:

    Welcome back – you were missed!

  14. Courtney says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your losses. You are among friends and we missed you.

  15. So sorry for your losses. What a tough way to start the summer. I am so glad you filled the time with joyful and healing things.

  16. Leanna says:

    So sorry for your loss. I was just thinking a couple of days ago wonder what happened to “Crappy Pictures”. Looking forward to more chuckles and some “real” stuff too. Thanks for letting us know.

  17. Jill says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your friend Wendy. I feel so sad for her children. Lots of love.

  18. Welcome back! I missed you. I’m so sorry for your losses.

  19. Brenda says:

    I’m glad you’re back healed and whole from your losses. (Well, as good as it gets.) You were missed.

  20. julie says:

    I am so sorry for your losses. Hugs.

  21. Gena Marshall says:

    Cancer really sucks. Not flippant, meant in the deepest way. Sorry for you, and for Wendy’s family.

    So glad to have you back to the blog, and love the crappy montage of summer. Take off whatever time you need so long as we get a good montage out of it!

    Hope the fall’s off to a better start.

  22. JFC2001 says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Wendy’s passing.

  23. Tori says:

    I’m glad you are back, I love your writing and drawing. I am so very sorry about your friend, I hoped she could ride the stage IV cycle for a long time. I’m a stage IV too, so I know that landscape. Take care. I’m glad you took some time to process.

  24. Sarah says:

    “And while it also didn’t slow down time, it no longer mattered anymore.”

    Love that!!

    Selfishly… I’m glad your back… humor is the wind in my sails!!

  25. Delia says:

    I’ve been checking for a new post nearly every day and just yesterday did an internet search to see if you moved…so glad to see you back sharing your life with us! Thanks also for sharing your Wonderful Wendy with us – I’m sorry to hear she’s no longer with you in the flesh but sharing her story with all of us internets has helped me put my friendships into a clearer perspective.

  26. Andrea Rivera says:

    I love your blog, So sorry about Wendy and SO very sorry for those poor kids, I can’t even imagine, I have 2 little ones myself, 10months and 2 (is hell crazy as you might know so well).
    I work in a hospital in the communications department, I am working right now on updating our breast cancer information, we need to work harder on getting woman to check themselves, to be on the defensive all the time against this horrible cancer who leaves so many motherless, friendless, daughterless. I’ll remember Wendy today as I work and I will remember how important is for mom to be on top of our health, Thank you for all you do! You are amazing.

  27. Kate R. says:

    You were missed! Welcome back 🙂

  28. Raina says:

    So happy to see you back! We missed you 🙂

  29. Kristen says:

    So sorry to hear about Wendy. I am so sorry for the other losses you had this summer. I am glad you took the time to yourself that you needed and I am glad to see you are back.

  30. Kirsty Wright says:

    Ive never commented before despite reading every single blog. I just wanted to say that your presence has been missed in my life and a huge hug to you for the hard times and the ‘making it better’ times that youve gone through recently. Much love from Ireland, you are a seriously cool lady xx

  31. GayleCochrane says:

    Glad to see you again, and I had been wondering if I was just missing your posts. Hugs.

  32. Polishmom says:

    Sending love and light to all.

  33. Oh, honey. I missed you and am so happy to see your face here again. Your crappy little face.

  34. Michelle says:

    Lovely to see you back. So sorry to hear of your losses over the summer.

  35. valerie thompson says:

    So so sorry to hear about wendy! Such a heart breaking story, my thoughts are with you, and her family. And sorry about the cat and fish too. Glad to see u are bavk and working through everything.

  36. Anna Pye says:

    I missed you. Never posted before but wanted to say thank you and welcome back! ☺

  37. Heidi says:

    Hooray, your back!

  38. Margret B says:

    Oh Amber, you & your hilarious child-cat-friend-love-fun-filled blog have given me hours of giggles! I am too sad that what we call ‘the shit bus’ has made several & terrible stops at your house. I feel you, sister. Sending you love & grace!

  39. Carin says:

    Welcome back, richer, more experienced, sadder, happier, all those things and more. Hope reading you soon.

  40. Dannielle says:

    So glad you are back. Life gets crappy sometimes. I am really glad you took the time to find the things that you needed to find. You are a welcome addition to my life.

  41. June says:

    Ah, so good to have you posting again and yet so sorry that you have had so many losses since May. I poked my head in here a few weeks ago, was worried about you and was afraid you’d gotten burned out. Many hugs to you from another Internet stalker.

  42. That is too many forever goodbyes in too short a time, and I’m so sorry for your losses. What a crappy time. I’m glad you’re back and that you got to do fun things and do no things and do some thinking things.


  43. Jessica says:

    It is funny, I just had the same epiphany today, although it came on the cushions of a therapy appointment. The time we take to do all the things you mentioned, introspection, connection and being present is what really makes time matter.

    I definitely missed your blogs!

  44. Heather M says:

    I’m so glad to see you back. It’s always hard to see someone drop off the face of the Internet earth, and it is good to “see” that you are doing well. I’m glad that you filled your summer with such wonderful activities, and am so very sorry you experienced so much loss at the beginning of your summer.

  45. Kate says:

    I’m so glad you’re back. I’ve been praying for your’s and Wendy’s families.

  46. Sarah says:

    So sorry. So so so so sorry. What a craptastic way to start off the summer. I’m glad you’re back.

  47. Amanda says:

    So good to have you back! Glad you took some well deserved time off from social media. We all need that sometimes no matter what we are going through. So very sorry for all of your losses. I am, however, looking forward to more laughs as I sit and read your blog in future posts. 🙂

  48. Elias says:

    Your humanity is exactly why people enjoy reading your blog and drawings. Sorry for your recent losses. I too lost someone special this summer. Welcome back and look forward to more posts!

  49. Jo says:

    I’m so sorry you’ve lost your friend. I really am. So hard. And your cat too, a good cat is a special thing. I’m so sorry. I hope you’re ok. It’s lovely to see you back again.

  50. Martina says:

    I missed you this summer. Glad you are back 🙂

  51. Mandy says:

    I have tears in my eyes, both for all the sadness your summer saw, and for joy at seeing you write again. I’m glad you “took the time.” I’m glad you’re back.

    Also, when I first wrote this, I typoed, “I have teats in my eyes,”
    which for some reason struck me as inordinately funny, and caused guilty chuckling. As I nurse my 3rd baby, it seems teats are a constant.

  52. Briana S says:

    Glad you’re back. I was just wondering the other day why you haven’t been around. Sorry for all those loses.

  53. Ingrid says:

    Huzzah! You were missed, but sounds like time well spent…

  54. eve says:

    Really sorry about your loss. Missed you.

  55. Gina says:

    Giant hugs! It’s ok that you spent your summer doing what was important to you. Family comes first, always! I love your blog, and it’s worth the wait. More hugs go here!

  56. Charlotte says:

    I was just saying to my husband last night how I missed your blog. And he chimed in that he loves your blog too. We’re glad you’re back. And sorry for your losses.

  57. Jlynn says:

    Yesterday I was looking through Facebook and I just randomly though “I have not read Crappypictures in a long time, why am I missing their updates?” So I went to your Facebook and saw that there was not much there and came here and realized I had not missed anything. Then today you post!

  58. Melissa says:

    Sounds like living. I’m sorry about all of your hard losses…I just can’t imagine. Looking forward to more!

  59. Anja says:

    ((HUGS)) for all your losses! Sorry to hear about them! But I’m glad you’re back, I missed you, Amber!

  60. amwstevenson says:

    It’s been a long summer without you! I hope your time off was healing, fun, and energizing. Wishing you continued strength to endure the losses. Welcome back.

  61. katydid211 says:

    Sending hugs and lots of love. I missed your crappiness….because it always made me smile. Today I’m smiling because you are back, but I have tears in my eyes…so sorry for your losses.

    Thank you for sharing your life…..we love you.

  62. Shannon says:

    So sorry for your family’s many losses. Missed reading your posts! Glad you are back to writing, definitely understandable to ‘hibernate’ after losses. Praying for your family to heal…..

  63. Theresa says:

    I honestly checked back a few times thinking maybe facebook didn’t show your posts on my feed and was sad to see there just weren’t any new posts. Then I would think to myself, “she’s probably actually vacationing with her boys, no worry.”… since you took a mini-hiatus I had a baby, so it’s been busy in a whole different way here! Glad you’re back Amber! We’ll take posts when we can get ’em! 🙂

  64. Melanie says:

    Best post on the grieving process I’ve ever read. Welcome back. I’ve missed you.

  65. Janel says:

    Have checked your blog a lot all summer and thought of Wendy every time. Still sending prayers to all of you. Very glad you’re back, and so sorry for all you have endured this summer.

  66. marissa says:

    so glad you took the time to care for yourself. Not so easy and not often done. looking forward to reading about all things crappy. xo

  67. Diana Hoobler says:

    So glad you are back, but said with tears in my eyes for you.

  68. Mary says:

    So, so sorry to hear about Wendy (and the cat.. and the fish.) Rough summer is probably the understatement of the year. Thinking about you, and hoping the new season will bring only good things for you and yours.

  69. kellyp says:

    So sorry for all your losses this summer. My heart goes out to you and your family, but selfishly I am happy you are back!

  70. Carrie says:

    I was just thinking about you the other day!! So glad you’re back. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. What a tragic loss for her friends and family.

  71. Lisa says:

    Oh, Amber! This post made me cry. I’m so sorry for your losses, but so happy you’re back. You fit a lot of emotion into a very short post here…thank you. This is coming back explosively!

  72. April says:

    Sorry for all your losses, Amber. Glad you took time for yourself and your family. Glad you found ways to laugh and enjoy in the midst of grief. Look forward to more posts.

  73. Erin says:

    So nice to see you writing again. It’s important to take time for ourselves and not feel obligated or guilty for doing so. You’re a strong mama! I remember when you first posted about Wendy and I cried. I’m happy you took time for yourself! <3

  74. The Mommy says:

    Glad you’re back. You were missed.

  75. Monica says:

    Welcome back 🙂

  76. Kaz says:

    I clicked all the links. All of them! I’ve missed your posts a lot. Also, it’s 4am and I’m nursing a baby so re-reading some awesomeness kept me from nodding off. Welcome back 🙂 xx

  77. Sarah J says:

    Your post made me tear up. It’s so glad to hear your voice again, although I know I’m a stranger, I really enjoy your book, and way of approaching life. I figured you needed some time with Wendy’s loss. It is unbelievably hard to imagine what you all and her family continue to go through. Grief is real. Anyhow, I’m so glad to see you writing here again. I’ll buy your next book too. 😉 Take care of those littles, and sorry about the cat/fish losses too… Why is it ALWAYS in threes? 🙁

  78. tigalilee says:

    I’m sorry for your losses. Happy for your growth. Thankful for your blog and all the laughs it gives.

  79. Kami Tilby says:

    Glad to hear you’ve taken the time you needed to deal, to grieve, to heal, to think and to simply be. It’s sure not an easy process. My best friend died in January this year and I’m still occasionally, unexpectedly pulling in the sails and weathering rough seas. My heart hurts for you and your losses. Glad you’re back to blogging and hoping it contributes to your healing. God bless.

  80. Emily says:

    Glad you’re back! Can’t wait to hear all about your “chickening” as we also started raising chickens this spring.

  81. Melissa says:

    Oh, Amber – I am so glad you took some time to take care of yourself after all that, but even happier to have you and your adventures (and misadventures) back in my online life. I’ve thought about you and hoped you would come back when you were ready.

  82. Amy says:

    I’m glad you felt the losses and didn’t rush through those. I’m also happy you are back. A little more grown up or not.

  83. Meredith says:

    Welcome back! You’ve been missed. I’m so sorry for your losses this summer. Glad, though, that you had time with your kids and for yourself. 🙂

  84. Mary Clare says:


    So glad that you are back! I was worried that you might not write here anymore. Very sorry for your losses. It’s understandable that you needed time away.

  85. Sarah Bradley says:

    Yay!!!! I’m so excited you’re back!

  86. Ally says:

    So sorry to hear about all of these losses…..
    And glad you spent a lot of quality time with the people you love and time for yourself!

    Very glad to see you back!

  87. Wendy T says:

    I am so sorry to see that you’ve been having such a hard time 🙁 I lost my Daddy (who was my rock, my everything) summer 2013 after he struggled to live for six weeks after a bad accident so can I ever relate to the time thing.

    My thoughts are with you and please remember there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to mourn. (((hugs)))

  88. Kate Lucnik says:

    Welcome back to your crappy blog from your crappy readers on this truly crappy day, which is my “reflection day” on life….so sorry for your losses, especially Wendy – I lost a best friend on this day 5 years ago. So glad to see your posts again, I thought I had somehow had been unsubscribed. Hearts and hugs to you! <3 <3

  89. Charity says:

    I clicked all the links because it’s been too long since I read that stuff and because I missed you. Also it’s the only way I have to mourn your friend whom I did not know but feel in some small way that we were connected. Aaaaand now I’m crying.

    Welcome back.

  90. Lucy says:

    It’s really lovely to read your blog again (you’re one of the few I actually take pleasure in reading!) and I am so sorry to hear about your loss – I can imagine that was incredibly hard on you, don’t blame you for taking a break from blogging!

    Great to see you back!

  91. Steph says:

    I’m so sorry for all your losses. I’m glad you took the time to escape, embrace and experience time. Welcome back. You were missed.

  92. Phyllis Browne says:

    My heart goes out to you. Know you are not alone. You and your family have had a difficult summer. Losses like these tear at your heart. You are doing the right thing…take care of yourself and your family. Know that you are loved. Glad to see you back.

  93. Amanda says:

    I’m sorry for all the loss you experienced this summer.lots of love to you and yours.

  94. Kamron says:

    Glad to have you back and so sorry to hear of all the losses this summer.

  95. Liz says:

    I’m so sorry Amber :'(

  96. Angela says:

    I love your post today and missed reading your posts. However I am glad you took that time off, you more than deserved it. I am very sorry to hear about Wendy and I know that hole in your heart can never be filled, there are no words… xxxxxx sending hugs your way.

  97. Zoe Kunstenaar says:

    We love you. And I’m leaking tears for your loss and the beauty of you life.

  98. Tammy Soong says:

    Glad you’re back. And I’m sorry for your loss. I understand wanting to take time off to just “be.” I don’t think we do that enough.

  99. Maia says:

    Thank you!

  100. jess says:

    Woohoo you’re back! We missed you!

  101. Alayne says:

    It’s funny how so many of us are strangers to you but you feel like family to us. We feel you in so much more than an “oh that’s too bad” sort of way. We feel you in a heart aching sort of way. I’m glad to see you’re back. Having been through my own hell this summer, your candid addressing of issues, both humerous ones and hard ones, has been missed. That said, I am glad you didn’t write. Thinking, feeling, grieving, and living to the fullest are all much important than drawing crappy pictures. 😉 Welcome back, and much love.

  102. Eileen says:

    Welcome back! I missed you, as am sure so many of your readers did.

  103. Welcome back, Amber!!!!! Sorry for all your losses, but also happy for all you’ve gained this summer…the life/death/life cycle continues to march onward….sending love. xx Andrea

  104. Renee W says:


  105. Kat says:

    Hugs and high fives to YOU for getting through it all and being able to grow and learn throughout. I love your blog and wish you peace and happiness. Sorry for your losses. I can’t wait to see what else you have to write/draw. Again, hugs and high fives for being AWESOME!

  106. Tara says:

    What a summer! Sorry for your losses and happy for the fun times you squeezed in to your summer!

    I was very excited to see your Crappy Illustrated come into my email box today! You made me smile! 😀


  107. Buffy Quinn says:

    Ummmm, I’ve missed you. I’m glad you’re back!

  108. Laura says:

    So nice to see you back in my inbox today!

    I’d almost forgotten too, shockingly, but now I remember and am happy to think of seeing more of you and your family. 🙂

    Take care!

  109. Betsy says:

    Welcome back, Amber. I’m so glad to see you again. I really missed you. I wish you comfort in your losses, I’m so sorry for all of them, from the wee to the mighty. Lots of hugs to you and your Crappy Family. I will continue waiting patiently for more Crap from you. I do like the Crappy Chicken. I think that was an egg and not a giant poo.

  110. Jennifer says:

    I subscribe to several blogs. Some of them I read because I think they’ll be good for me, like how to eat healthier. Some I read because they’re about parenting and are supposed to make me a better parent. Others ares supposed to inspire my decorating/art projects, etc. Needless to say, I get blog updates/latest post emails in my email in box every day. Yours is the one that ALWAYS, without fail, brings a smile to my face. Maybe because I feel no obligation to read it at all. There’s no agenda here to make me a better person. The drawings and posts just make me happy. I’ve missed seeing these updates in my inbox. I’m glad you’re back.

  111. Kerry says:

    You were missed

  112. jolene says:

    It was only two days ago I realised I hadn’t seen any of your posts for a while and that I must check that I hadn’t deleted your site by accident! So sorry for all your loses, can not begin to imagine the pain your going through. Very glad to have you back xxx

  113. Amy says:

    It sounds like you went to some difficult places, and we’re glad you’re back.

  114. Carmen says:

    I haven’t commented here before (I don’t think) but I have been reading for a while now. I just wanted to say that I’m sorry for your loss and I understand why you were not here and just took some time to be on your own. I’m sure I speak for many people when I say that I was very excited to see your blog pop up in my RSS reader yesterday. Welcome back!

  115. Toya says:

    Welcome back! We missed you! Glad you had a fun summer

  116. Erin says:

    Welcome back! I am so sorry to hear about Wendy’s passing. Good friends like that are 1 in a million.

  117. Wendy W. says:

    I’m sorry for your losses.

  118. g says:

    I am so sorry for you, your family and Wendy’s family and friends.

  119. Kristen says:

    I am so glad you are back. It was just last week I went through reading old posts and at the end crying my eyes out about your loss (remembering my own). Glad you took time for YOU!

  120. Christine says:

    Well you know, good friends just pick up right where they left off. Glad to see you again, and sorry for the loss of your friend.

  121. You have been missed. I’m sorry for your losses and happy to “see” you. Hi!

  122. Catherine says:

    My heart went into my throat and tears started to well in my eyes as I read about you losing your friend.
    I’m glad you took the time for yourself to dance all the dances, connect all the connecting, and play all the playing, and introspect all the introspecting.. Life is so full of joy and and sorrow.. Thank you for all the laughs you have shared with me and countless others.
    One thing I’ve come to realize, is that no matter how much time we have, we always want more.. we just have to try to live in the present and appreciate the days we have, and the special people in our lives, as they come and go..
    So thank you, for bringing this fact to my attention again, as we all need a reminder sometimes…
    Screw the washed and unstuffed cloth diapers taunting me from the drying rack, the toddler toys on the floor, and the emails that need to be sent!! I’m going to relax and have a glass of wine. I will think of you and your Wendy, and arrange plans to actually see some girlfriends that I haven’t gotten together with in far too long!! Cheers to great friends. Past. Present. Future.
    I’m glad you’re back, as you always put a big smile on my face, and happy tears in my eyes ^_^

  123. Lynn says:

    So happy to have you back! I bought 2 shirts for my lo from you Crappy Shop and she is the star of daycare in them, especially the running baby with no diaper 🙂

  124. mindy says:

    Thanks for your post…it touched me. It’s a real treat to get your update. Sounds like life has been rich in many ways. <3

  125. paddy says:

    Hi Luv,

    So sorry for your loss. You were busy dealing with life.

    You were missed. I kept reloading the page again and again and again some days thinking my computer was blocking you (the Work Only-haha) computer I use at work. Thanks for being back..yay

  126. Julie says:

    Glad you are back! You were missed!

  127. Natalie says:

    Welcome back, you’ve been missed…

  128. Meri says:

    Welcome back! We missed you! So sorry for your losses.

  129. Susie McAllister says:

    I am so sorry for your losses. I lost my best friend to ovarian cancer, so I do know how you feel. It was one of the hardest times of my life. She left 7 young children behind and was only 39. We used to joke that we never wanted to be 40. Later, oh how I prayed she would be 40. It takes a long time to process grief. Take all the time you need. Don’t stuff your feelings and end up with an ulcer like I did. You will be in my prayers, as will Wendy’s family. God Bless.

  130. Josie says:

    That truly sucks big donkey balls. I am so sorry for all of your loss. Thank you for coming back.

  131. Nat says:

    Got a little something in my eye here. Missed you. Welcome back.

  132. Julie says:

    Beautiful post. Sorry for your loses, but happy for your growth. Welcome back. We missed you.

  133. Sanj says:

    There you are, Amber! Glad you’re alive and well.
    I’m sorry for your losses and suffering, yet happy that life is friending you and trusting you to develop deep wisdom from poignant moments.
    This summer was powerful. My best friend (nearly-19yo dog who saved my life ten years ago) passed away naturally in my arms, and there’s a big hole where her gentle life energy used to be. Nature dislikes a vacuum, so probably someone or something will be drawn to fill that space.
    I think your empty spaces will fill in, too. And I’m pretty sure they’ll be made of love.
    Welcome back.

  134. Shannon says:

    HUGS mama! I obviously never knew Wendy but you did such an amazing job of talking about your friendship and all your adventures…my heart just sank when I read about your saying goodbye to her. I’m glad you took some well deserved time…and if you need more, please don’t ever apologize for it! Peace be with you! Glad to “see” you again 🙂

  135. Cancer really is a c*** isn’t it.. I have no words for the loss of your dear friend it is just so incredibly sad. I have read about Wendy in your blog in the past and she sounds like a wonderful woman and very special friend. So pleased to see you have been able to take some time out to think and enjoy life. I’m also so pleased to see you blogging again, your wonderful honest posts never fail to make me smile. Much love to your and Wendy’s family x

  136. maria says:

    Missed you lovely lady….

  137. Casey says:

    Glad to have some crap back in my life, but sorry you’ve had so much in yours. Good for you for taking that much needed time for yourself.

  138. Tanya says:

    Hi. Welcome back. We’ve missed you.

  139. Angie says:

    I laughed and then was sad for my little black cat died. However mine WAS the best cat ever–sorry!! I thought it was b great to journal and take pictures on my iPhone with our kids as we did fun stuff all summer. No one but me has looked at the journal since July!

  140. Sara says:

    I missed you. <3

  141. Ami says:

    You’re such a good writer! One of my favorites so far! Can’t wait to start reading your stories again!! (I’m actually glad you took the summer off because I had my second baby in May and have been caring for him the past 4 months and did not have much time to do anything. So I’m glad I didn’t miss out on anything!!)

  142. Dian Gill says:

    Hi Amber. Smiled when I saw you’ve posted. So sorry for your losses. These past months must have been extremely hard for you. Happy you’ve checked in. HUGS!

  143. Summer In Vegas says:

    I’m glad you are back to writing. I’m even more glad to hear what you have been doing with your summer. I am sure most comments above me have said something similar, but I didn’t bother to read them. I’m just really pleased to know you are healing and finding your happy place. Love and good thoughts to you.

  144. Marna says:

    Welcome back! And I am so sorry about your friend and pets. Cancer sucks! I had it last year. (I hope it doesn’t come back.)

  145. LilyT says:

    Hello, Amber, so very sorry to hear about Wendy, and the cat and fish. Life really is fleeting and so very precious, glad that you made it out the other side of your grief feeling stronger. And having had a good family summer, too. (My kids, who are homeschooled and have responsibility for our chickens, were delighted to see there were Crappy Chickens, too.). Your blog has touched so many hearts over the years, I’m sure I speak for everyone that we are so happy to see that you are ok and to have you back. It is such a joy to read your work and see how you’re all doing. XOXO

  146. Gretchen says:

    Welcome back! I lost my bff nearly 11 years ago and while the hurt is still there, it has faded. I am glad that you were able to take the time to introspect and start the healing process.

  147. Teena says:

    Welcome back, Amber. I missed you. A lot. I quit my blog, too, with no real plans to return. I get it.

  148. TinaRose says:

    Such sad news, so sorry *hugs*

  149. Wilma says:

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. I’m sorry for your pain and many losses. I’ve been feeling like that too. I don’t know whether I want time to slow down or speed up or just fuck right off. But I do know that this feeling will pass and we will come through the other side changed people but better for the experience. More grateful, loving, caring, understanding

  150. Kylie Johnson says:

    Happy to see you back. And glad you had that well deserved break xxxx

  151. Carey says:

    Missed you, sweet lady! So sorry for your many losses. We are all here for you! <3

  152. Amie says:

    you could take 10 years off and I would be grateful that you popped up again in my inbox, I’m so sorry for your loss, and selfishly i’m so glad you’re back. xx

  153. Caitlyn says:

    So lovely that Crappy Cat and Fish thought it would be a good idea to keep Wendy company. They are all in your heart Amber, the best place they can be, when they can’t be with you. Although the fish is probably better off in a bowl. What a huge, life changing, emotional, introspective, extrospective (is that a word?.) summer you’ve had.

  154. Dorothy says:

    So sorry for your loss. I’ve read all your posts and yes Wendy featured in many. May she rest in peace. And welcome back.

  155. Shanan says:

    Wendy sounds like an amazing person, I’m so sorry that she has passed away. I hope that find strength in knowing that so many of us are sending love to you and to Wendy’s family.

  156. John says:

    Thanks for coming back. I hope writing and can help you with the tough times. I did have a good time going through your other stuff…many good laughs.

  157. Bricia says:

    I don’t know if you ever read this far down. But I have thought of you often. I lost a really good friend of mine and I kept trying to have a regular day, and a regular dinner and a regular bed time with the kids… I had told them my friend had died and that I was very very sad, they saw that and were very respectful all day. Then when they fell asleep the crazy longing for TIME came and rushed all over me as my husband was massaging my aching shoulders I cried and cried and couldn’t stop crying. HE just held me and didn’t say anything and I couldn’t ask for more then. I am so incredibly happy you’re back. I have missed YOU. I don’t “know” you, but I’ve missed you. But I knew you were doing what you needed to do so I was glad that you were not “here” Glad you’re saying hi. Hello back and hope you stick around a little <3 hugs

  158. Brittany says:

    Amber, I’m glad to see you back at it. I understand the blog break now. You spent the summer making memories and cherishing the ones you have around you, and remembering those who had gone. It sounds like the perfect way to spend a blog break. I’m going to miss reading about crappy fish, crappy cat, and especially Wendy. I’m so sorry for your loss. We’ve missed you but I can tell by reading the comments that we’re glad you did take this break and focus on those around you. Your readers are the most remarkably understanding and caring people, and we’re all just so thrilled to have some crap back into our lives.

  159. jo says:

    missed you.

    glad you are back.

  160. katrina says:

    So sorry about all your losses 🙁
    Life just sucks sometimes. Losing our loved ones and our sweet pets is part of the sucky section of life. Lucky for us there is an awesome section, too. I think we all live in the awesome section most of the time….and every now and then we visit the sucky section. And then we leave as quickly as we can because, well, it sucks.
    Anyway, so glad to have you back. You’ve truly been missed!

  161. Brenda in Tyler says:

    So glad you’re back! So sorry for your losses. I lost my best friend, unexpectedly, 9 years ago in June. Then this July, I lost my “baby” (Yorkie) to kidney disease. I am thinking of boycotting summer, or at least June and July. I will say, knowing that a death of a loved one is inevitable is much easier to handle than unexpected death.

  162. Elisa says:

    I thought about this blog (and you) the other day. I have two very small children and I had a moment of – woah, have I been so out of touch..? Then checked the blog and found you hadn’t posted all summer. It was.. reassuring, really. Looking forward to having you back.

  163. Lana says:

    Hi Amber, I’m so sorry that you have lost so many loved ones this past summer. That’s hard. My deepest sympathies to Wendy’s family also. Last year we lost a very dear friend and still feel sad often. I hope her life was full and she was happy in her last days. And glad that you took some times off to mourn, to live and to think.

  164. Jenn says:

    Hi Amber, this post brought me to tears for you. I have wondered how you’re doing and had a feeling some really hard things were going on. I’m so sorry for all your losses all at once. Losing your best friend is tragic and I’m so glad you have such treasured memories to hold on to. My thoughts go out to her young family too. Be well Amber, and take time to heal. Even though so many of your readers have never met you, know that you have people out there who care about you and yours. You’re in my thoughts today.

  165. Alicia says:

    I am so happy to see your email pop into my Navy email inbox. Time does heal all wounds. Keep living and dreaming and accomplishing your dreams. And know that we all feel for you…and love you. Glad you are back.

  166. Megan says:

    It’s wonderful to see you back. I’m truly sorry to hear about Wendy 🙁 But I hope your heart is feeling better and your life can soon find some “normalcy” (whatever that even is.)

  167. Meghann says:

    So glad to see you back again! You were missed!

  168. I was wondering if you were okay. It is good to know you’re able to write a blog entry, even if that doesn’t really mean everything is fine. No pressure; just hugs.

    Louise Curtis

  169. EmilyB says:

    Hugs and love. I’m sorry for your losses this summer. Ours was a summer of losses too and we are also trying to find ourselves and our bearings again. Be well and glad to have you back

  170. Ceri says:

    Amber, not sure if you will actually read this or not, but I am so sorry for your losses this summer. I found out this year a dear friend passed, and just last week we lost our crappy black cat who also acted like a dog in a cat costume. I so get it. The summer has flown by for us as well. I am glad you got to take some time to figure it all out, and that your back. We have missed you!

  171. Lauren says:

    Been thinking about you and Wendy….I’ll never forget the day I read of her diagnosis…I cried. I do that. Glad you’re back, totally get why you’ve been gone, and am continuing to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. For reals. Stay Crappy <3

  172. Kimberly says:

    It’s not fair. It’s not fair. It’s not fair. These words keep pouring through my mind after reading your post and visiting the link you shared with Wendy’s own words. I’m so angry I don’t know what to say, but I’ll hug and kiss my family and friends more and think of Wendy.

  173. Angela B. says:

    I know I speak for many when I say “We’re SO glad to have you back!” I’m beyond sorry to hear about the loss of Wendy (and the cat & fish too)…not exactly how I’m sure you envisioned your summer to begin. I’m glad you took some time off though…it was, no doubt, needed. But like I said, you were missed, and I cannot wait to laugh at your hilariously true, all too relatable posts!

  174. Joanna says:

    Hugs, Amber. I had a crappy winter, which has turned into a crappy year, and it appreciate your wisdom and perspective in dealing with tough stuff. Thanks for sharing that with us.

  175. Kalavista says:

    I am so very very sorry for your loss. Prayers for Wendy’s family and you and your family.

  176. Christine Brooks says:

    Welcome back, Amber. I’m glad you took the time you needed to mourn your losses (losing a pet can be just as difficult as losing a friend). You’ve been in my thoughts, and my summer was a bit less hilarious without you.

  177. Katie H says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend, Wendy. Please accept my condolences.

  178. Anne says:

    Sending good thoughts to you and your family about all these losses. What a lot to go through, and thank you for posting so thoughtfully about how you went through it. I think your whole audience has been keeping a comfy chair open for when it was the right time for you to be back, and now we’re glad it’s now (or several days ago–I’m a little late)!

  179. Kelsey says:

    I’m really not great at dealing with loss. I find it to be one of the hardest parts of life. I love the way you’ve dealt with it this summer, by trying to enjoy the beautiful parts of life right through the loss. I’m so impressed you’re ready for humor again already, and happy for the laughs you bring. Thanks, and lots of people out there are thinking about you and Wendy’s family, sending good vibes…

  180. mrsmouthy says:

    Glad you’re back, Amber. I, too, lost a dear, dear friend almost two years ago and I still miss her every single day. I don’t have any earth shaking words of comfort–just know that you are not alone in feeling your sadness. And thank you for helping the rest of the world share some laughs. 😉

  181. Sarah G says:

    So sorry to hear about your losses, especially Wendy. I’ve been following your blog for a few years now and have thought what an amazing friendship you guys have. Glad you took some time off to process.

  182. Patricia says:

    YAY! (on the being back part)

  183. Rose ASL says:

    Welcome back. And “Memory Eternal,” as they say at my church. I really like that saying.

  184. AoC says:

    You’re back! You’re BACK!!! *falls on neck* I missed you. I’m sorry for your losses, but it sounds like you’ve been doing some quality grieving. Well done you.

  185. Lynnae says:

    just finally had a chance to catch up on your blog myself… so sorry to hear of your loss. obviously i didn’t know her in real life, but the stories you shared about wendy were very inspiring, and the world is a little better because of her existence.

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