Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


What Has Brought You Joy? {Repost from June 2011}

The Girls

My girls are my pride and joy.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the boy too.  I mean, he is my son and all but there’s something about hanging out with my girls that brings me so much joy.  I can say that because I know the boy doesn’t read my blog but the girls do and if they try to tease him with this post, it’ll backfire because I’ve already texted him and told him that he’s my favoriteHe knows the deal

On this particular day, the girls and I had decided to go walking along the Back Mountain Trail, a nice little path that winds through the mountains where we live.  During most of our walk, the girls were waaaay ahead of me, as I kept stopping to take pictures of every.  little.  thing.  that caught my eye.  At one point, I managed to pass them and as I turned around, I caught my daughter jumping off a rock ~ her mouth wide open, arms and legs flailing, it has been years since I’ve seen such unabashed joy on my daughter’s face.

As our children grow up, it can be hard to capture those precious moments when everything is right with the world ~ there are no bills to worry over, no tests to study for, no sickness yet to be diagnosed.  For this moment, forever captured on film, everything is perfect and this brings me joy.

What has brought you joy today?
Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}



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Words of Wisdom for the Graduates

Words of Wisdom for the Graduates {Living Outside the Stacks}

My babies are graduating from high school today. So this is gonna be a rough one for me. I’ve already shared my words of wisdom with them here and here, but now I’m asking you to help me celebrate my twins’ graduation…

Please share your words of wisdom with the graduates in the comments below!
Daenel T


A Letter to Mr. 18 on Your Graduation

Congratulations Mr Eighteen {Living Outside the Stacks}

My dear sweet boy young man, you were our surprise. As in nine days before you were born, we found out you’d been in there just chillin’ — synching your heartbeat to your sister’s, matching her breath for breath and kick for kick. Never letting on that you were there.

As I sat in the NICU staring at your little face, I was filled with so many things: love, hope, insecurity, amazement, gratitude, but, mostly, fear. We hadn’t had much time to prepare for two babies, much less a little boy. But I knew we’d make it.

And make it we did, through chipped teeth, black eyes, emptied fish tanks, “spots”, and countless boxes of macaroni and cheese. We’ve survived first steps really, dude, hands behind your back and night time driving did you know it’s possible to live with your heart in your throat.

It hasn’t always been easy. Seriously, what is it about the ages twelve to thirteen? But we came through it so much stronger. The tears have turned to laughter, the sighs have turned to, well, deeper sighs, mostly on your part - I know the gas gauge is there for a reason but why should I have to pump gas in the rain when I have you.

You’ve grown into a young man whom I’m proud to call my son. We’ve done our best to raise you to be a strong and independent young man who thinks for himself. But I’m your mom, so I do have a few words of wisdom for you:

  • Walk with God always
  • Dad and I will always be here to support you
  • Your sisters are your biggest fans
  • Honor above all
  • Treat women the way you’d want your sisters to be treated

Now, go put gas in my truck!

I love you,


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