I Love You More Than Coffee: A Guided Journal for Moms
by Melissa Face
Like many, you’ve probably encountered a tale about being a mom and thought to yourself, “Hey, I could write that!” Well, now is your chance! An inspired companion piece to Melissa Face’s previously published collection of essays about mothering, this isn’t for your children—it’s all for you, for the here and now. You’ll be able to journal while considering and pondering a wide range of themes, from fussy eaters to carving out time for you to decompress. So go ahead and fill your cup to the brim with a yummy brew, find your best writing pen, and spill it all!
Motherscope Magazine is one of my favorite platforms for sharing stories and experiences about motherhood. I have been fortunate to have my essays appear in two of Motherscope’s print publications: Choose Your Own Motherhood and Generations (pictured below).
Last year, Motherscope’s publisher posted a call out for regular contributors to the magazine’s online platform. I applied, but I wasn’t accepted. So, guess what? I applied again this year, and I was selected as one of Motherscope’s 31 contributors for 2022! I am proud to be among these incredibly talented writers, and I am proud that I tried again when it didn’t work out the first time.
Look for my writing and the work of these incredible people on Motherscope’s weekly online journal!
“Whose birthday is it?” the woman at the bakeshop asked.
“Buddy Holly’s,” I said, as I handed her my credit card.
“Oh. Okay.” She smiled and passed back my card and receipt.
During the pandemic, my family and I held several interesting celebrations. We hosted a Hollywood dinner party where we dressed as celebrities. We threw our own carnival that included a homemade popcorn stand, games, and many, many prizes. I even gave my daughter a unicorn party when she completed kindergarten and read her first book independently. And in September, we had a party to celebrate Buddy Holly’s birthday.
“What’s your connection to Buddy Holly?” my friend Libby asked me. She had seen the Facebook pictures of the singer’s face on a round cake and wondered what and who we were celebrating. It was a fair question, but at the time I wasn’t sure how to answer it.
When I was fourteen, I was infatuated with Buddy Holly. I stood in front of my dual cassette player, waiting for the oldies countdown on 96.5. I pressed the record button just in time to get the first few notes of “That’ll Be the Day”, thus completing my homemade greatest hits tape. No one spoke to me in those years the way Buddy Holly did. His sweet, hiccupy sound drew me in, and I longed to know him and wished I could date him. I tried to make sense of how someone could be so quickly snuffed out of the world at such a young age. I didn’t understand it.
It became an obsession for a while. I watched La Bamba each time it ran on tv and always cried at the end. I memorized the lyrics to Don McLean’s song, “The Day the Music Died” and though I felt sad for all three singers, Buddy’s death affected me the most. I scrolled through websites in search of more information about Buddy’s life: his wife, his inspiration, and an explanation for the plane crash. I was fixated on a tragedy from 1959 until one hit much closer to home.
In 2003, my younger sister was killed in a car accident during an afternoon thunderstorm. She hydroplaned, veered into oncoming traffic, was hit from the side, and died instantly. For years, I have struggled with questions like “why her?” and “why did this happen to my family?”. They are normal questions to ask, but there are no answers for them.
What I have learned, though, in an attempt to answer the hard questions and make sense of tragedy is that there really isn’t a wrong way to grieve. It’s so personal and the loss of a loved one affects every family member in a different way. It is okay to find consolation and connections in unusual places.
Music offered me a coping mechanism that religion could not. Buddy’s music, in particular, bridged the chasm between life and death. Talking about what happened to him was easier than talking about my sister, but it still helped me sort those same feelings of unfairness, uncertainty, and disbelief.
My family and I are planning a road trip next summer. We want to take our children to Asheville, North Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, and eventually over to Lubbock, Texas – Buddy Holly’s hometown. I’m looking forward to seeing his statue, taking a photo with his giant horn-rimmed glasses, and driving past some of his favorite hangouts. It will be a trip with a couple of different purposes – a way to honor someone whose life deserves to be remembered, as well as another step on my own road toward healing.
***A portion of proceeds will be donated to Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.
I Love You More Than Coffee
by Melissa Face
Are you trying to balance raising a family with maintaining your own identity?
Have you ever been so exhausted that you showed up to a meeting carrying your baby’s diaper bag instead of your briefcase?
In her debut collection, I Love You More Than Coffee, Melissa Face writes about the emotions we all experience as parents: anticipation, joy, fear, guilt, and worry. Whether you are a new or seasoned parent, you will find common ground in Melissa’s heartfelt, humorous, and authentic stories of her life with two young children.
If you love coffee a lot and your kids (a little) more, this book is for you. Fill your mug with your favorite brew and settle in with I Love You More Than Coffee.
Craig and I have been married for seventeen years, so I should probably be able to recognize his voice at this point in our relationship, right?
My husband has three siblings, and he and his younger brother, Bryan, have always been told that they look a lot alike. And they do.
Years ago, when we were all living in Myrtle Beach, Craig interviewed for a position as a cook at Ultimate California Pizza. It went really well, and he was offered a job on the spot.
A few hours later, Bryan went in for his scheduled interview. “Didn’t I just hire you?” the manager asked Bryan. “I swear you were just here. Are you messing with me?” Bryan explained that he and his brother, who are actually four years apart, are often mistaken for one another. They really do look that much alike.
On the day of our rehearsal dinner, my cousin, Leslie, who had not seen us in a while, was so excited to see Craig that she ran over and hugged him when he got out of the car. She actually hugged Bryan, though. They really do look that much alike.
Craig and Bryan have similar sounding voices, too. When we first started dating, I hated calling the apartment they shared. If I asked to speak to Craig, he was the one who had picked up the phone. The times I felt more confident and said, “Hey, Babe! How’s it going?” The response was, “Uh, this is Bryan. Hold on, and I’ll get Craig.”
They really do sound that much alike. Plus, Craig and I hadn’t known each other for more than a couple of months.
What’s my excuse now, though? Now that Craig and I have been married for seventeen years? Now that I’ve known him and Bryan for more than two decades? I mean I obviously know my husband’s voice. I could pick it out of a crowd – or at least discern it from his brother’s.
Last weekend, Craig, the kids, and I went to Wilmington to stay in Bryan’s house while he made a few improvements and prepped for a new renter. The first night we were there, we stayed up past midnight, laughing and watching movies until we fell asleep on the couch. At some point in the early morning hours, I got up and moved to one of the bedrooms. I fell back asleep quickly but woke up again when someone stood in the doorway and said, “Oh. You’re in here.”
“Yeah. Want to snuggle?” I asked. “I patted the spot on the bed next to me.”
“Uh. That’s okay. I’m good,” Bryan laughed.
The next morning (and pretty much every day since then), we’ve had a good laugh about my mistake.
I swear – they really do look and sound that much alike.
Melissa Face is the author of I Love You More Than Coffee: Essays on Parenthood and a 25-time contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She writes regularly for Tidewater Family Magazine and Richmond Family Magazine and teaches English at the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology. Follow Melissa on Facebook and Instagram @melissafacewrites.