…and a puppy licking that cherry

“I want to jump into the book,” she says, “and tell the White Witch ‘Pretty please with a cherry on top and a puppy licking that cherry, tell Aslan you’re sorry and apologize. Then he won’t have to kill you.’ ”

I pause in that moment, struck by so many things at once that I can barely speak. I’m paralyzed by her incredible kindness first, the generosity of spirit that only children have, the ability to think of something other than killing. Unlike me, who watches the news and thinks about people who do horrible things like molest many, many children while in a position of power and how maybe, just maybe, I do believe in the death penalty after all. Then I’m wondering where on earth she heard the part about the puppy licking the cherry, because I know I’ve said “pretty please with a cherry on top” to her, but the puppy is all her.

But then I’m struck with the biggest realization of all.

“Well,” I say, “I do believe that Aslan would, indeed, spare the Witch’s life if she really, and truly meant it when she apologized. I do believe he would forgive her.”

Hardcore spiritual lesson from a five-year old, right there.


I’ve started working with a new client. Yeah, I know. Crazy, right?

My job at SEER was reduced to ten hours a week for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was because as I’ve gotten busier with traveling and speaking I’ve been finding it harder to meet their needs and my own. I’ve known for a bit, too, that in some ways what they need me to do isn’t exactly what I want to be doing, although it’s close. I’m more of a marketer than an SEO person, ultimately.

Luckily this new job is much more aligned to my goals and wants me to do what I love doing the best. Plus my traveling for speaking, etc, is better suited for this job too. I’ve been talking with them for a few months about working together, so it was serendipity that they needed me when I had some time free.

If you’re curious, the company is AboutOne, an online family management system. If you are interested in the beta version of the new product, feel free to sign up here and we’ll let you know when it’s released.

And that ends today’s commercial.

So now I have three main clients; I write two posts a day for MomCrunch, I give SEER ten hours a week, and AboutOne gets twenty hours a week. Plus I have a handful of other as-needed clients, some additional freelance writing gigs, and my own blog, etc.

This is good though. I’m happy, overall. Busy, but happy.


Tori is growing and changing so quickly I’m terrified I’m going to miss something, lose a moment with her. I need to start writing letters to her again because my GOD she’s amazing. Her behavior has improved dramatically, not counting her incessant need to dawdle in the morning as we’re trying to get her to school – the number of times I say “BRUSH YOUR TEETH” on an average morning is astronomical – but generally she listens, she cleans up her room when I ask, and she charms the pants off anyone that’s around her for more than an hour or two.

I love getting to read to her. We’ve now started Prince Caspian of the Narnia series (I tried to read her My Friend Flicka but she was both not very interested and I was cringing at the sexism), and Tori is in love with Narnia. She plays Narnia games, and managed to convince a buddy here for a playdate on Sunday that her tiny, itsy bitsy corner closet would lead to Narnia, so they spent much of their play time crouched in the closet trying to find Aslan.

Talk about a spiritual lesson. How much of my life have I sat in a small space I’ve boxed myself into, complaining that I couldn’t find God?

Too much. Far too much.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how beliefs circle around? As a child, Narnia gave me my first concrete sense of God, and now reading it to my daughter is giving it back to me again.

Life is good, people. Busy, but good.


Comments Closed


  1. Leta says

    Reminds me of another a child, who said, when given just the bare minimum explanation of who Hitler was, that the worst punishment for someone like that was for God to turn him into a good person, because then he would see how awful his actions had been and “would just spend all his time wishing for a do-over.”

    Best of luck with your new endeavors.

  2. says

    Best of luck! Life is good :)

    I love the word serendipity. I even named one of my cats Serendipity. It’s just such a cool word. I smile every time I see it. So thanks for making me smile today. And I lovey love the puppy licking the cherry. How totally adorable is that?

  3. says

    Perfect, all of it. The puppy and your daughter and how she’s a baby and so good and innocent and RIGHT. I totally agree with you that Aslan would have forgiven the White Witch if she had been sorry. You and your baby, you two are beautiful.

  4. says

    This was beautiful. I loved every word and so happy for you that you are happy and doing something you like. I haven’t read you in quite a long time (I’m sorry!) and you’ve done like a 180 with your tone and the feeling behind your words and I’m so very happy for you. :)

  5. Erin says

    Ok, ok, I’ll admit it – that post brought tears to my eyes (being pregnant with my first might have aided in that). The connection between parent and child is something so pure and beautiful. I just can’t wait to have moments with my child like you share with yours. You’re such an inspiration!!! :)

  6. says

    Love the puppy licking the cherry. Sooo sweet. And I really enjoyed this post. Been doing some spiritual contemplating myself lately. It was nice to hear this perspective. Thanks.

  7. says

    Fricken sweetie pie kids and their wiser than jaded take on things. My son teaches me something every day. I try to remember that when he refuses to nap or wants to poke the baby in the eyeball…

  8. Phyllis says

    Aren’t do overs wonderful. Sharing everything with your children is better than the first time, because you are seeing everything with new eyes.

  9. says

    Hi Cecily!

    My first comment here on your personal blog. I read you often over at MomCrunch and I enjoy all of your work there, thank you!

    What a lovely post here. I especially loved the image of your sweet Tori pretending to ‘find Narnia in her itsy bitsy corner closet.’ How imaginative! So sweet… Also, it was serendipitous indeed that your new venture has allowed you to do what you love. I find it inspirational when the important aspects of our lives start falling right into place. Congrats! Well, I’m hoping to read you more here and I will surely be continuing to enjoy your posts over at Babble.

    Nice to meet you… :)
    Vanessa Jubis

  10. says

    I am curious to know what you perceive as sexism in My Friend Flicka? I live right where Mary Sture-Vasa lived when she wrote the Flicka trilogy, and I find it to be a perfect capture of ranch life in Wyoming in 1941. You should really read a copy of “Wyoming Summer” which was Sture-Vasa’s journal she kept while contemplating writing Flicka. You will see that she was ahead of her time: an accomplished screenwriter, composer and author. Flicka is somewhat auto-biographical, she portrays Nell, the mother, as a strong woman, not afraid to speak her mind, who contributes enormously to the family life on the ranch.

    • says

      We only got through the first chapter, and Tori couldn’t understand why the little sister couldn’t go to wrangle up the ponies. So, of course, the sexism is simply a “how things were at the time” rather than intentional. But it made for an interesting discussion. I LOVE the Flicka books (I’ve read everything she wrote) so I will try the book again when Tori’s a bit older.

    • Cecily Kellogg says

      In the opening chapter when the boy sees the Phantom for the first time, he’s with a little girl that I was assuming was his sister! That’s where Tori’s questions came in.

      • says

        Hey Cecily — that is Misty of Chincoteague, not My Friend Flicka (sorry, totally horse crazy growing up and still am today . . .) (and a little obsessive about Wyoming history and literature . . .)

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