Humor | Satire

Our Family’s Amazing Year Is Coming to an End (and Mom Hasn’t Pooped Since October!)

“…no matter what this year has brought, I have definitely been blessed with deranged hope.”

Liz Lydic
Published in
4 min readDec 11, 2023


Photo by Tony Mucci on Unsplash

Dear Friends and Family,

It has been an INCREDIBLE year for the Simonson tribe! From soccer championships to starring roles in ‘Frozen Junior,’ our family has NOT STOPPED ONCE. And I’ve been steering the proverbial ship, hanging on for dear life, and hoping to god I would have a bowel movement by the end of the year!

2023 started off great for Jim, who got a promotion. He’s now VP of Marketing for Stryker Advertising! That means I’m busier than ever with domestic tasks, and when he started working longer hours, I began pooping only once a week.

In late January, Jonny made Varsity soccer, and Jade started drama class! That meant more driving for practices and rehearsals, which was not a problem since by then I was only relieving myself every ten days. All that time waiting in a car, I never had to worry about getting to a toilet. So lucky!

Valentine’s Day was AMAZING. This year, Jade was required to bring in homemade cards for her peers, teachers, room moms, classified staff, lunch supervisors, sister school peers in Venezuela, music teacher, PE teacher, STEM teacher, and school administrators. I had so much fun making all those cards on behalf of Jade that I barely noticed how heavy my stomach had gotten. Jim was out of town at a conference for the romantic day, which was just as well, as I wasn’t exactly in the best shape to have a lot of fun ‘down there.’ (Hello, distention!).

Around Spring Break, we were scheduled to go on a cruise to Cancun, but I had to stay home due to my blockage. The rest of the gang went, though, and reported back a full-on blast!

I decided to discuss my concerns with Dr. Pharnam at my annual physical exam, but since I was bringing up a new issue, the insurance required a separate appointment. I had to wait a week before going back, and could only see the nurse practitioner. It turns out I don’t have any food allergies, my colon is fine, and I don’t have an infection. I guess I stumped the medical office! The nurse told me to make sure I scheduled some ‘me time’ and be careful of stress. Which is why I started training for a marathon while taking care of my household and working full-time. #fulfillyourdreams!

Marathon training luckily coincided with my new goal of spending the summer losing weight, because maybe it wasn’t chronic, painful bloating I was experiencing, but just me getting really fat and unattractive by aging, or because of karma. I started intermittent fasting since Jim was on the board of a national advertising organization, so I had less time to eat anyway.

In the Fall of 2023, we adopted two rescue puppies — one of which has no working pelvis, and the other which is very untrainable — and I was blessed enough to care primarily for them as everyone else became disinterested after a week.

Around this time, I started having very, very, very small bowel movements every three days, and the only word I could think of was ‘cute.’ I never felt fully released from any of those toilet parties, but I did make sure to verbally acknowledge that I had been gifted with minor, adorable evacuations. Unfortunately, they didn’t last.

Mid-November, I got off the waitlist for a gastro specialist who didn’t take our insurance but agreed to let me pay in $10 weekly increments for the next three years. Our five-minute appointment was amazing, and Dr. Ashbaum had great insight into my issues. He prescribed a six-month diet of whole, raw, vegetarian foods to help my gut. Wow! The answer was finally in front of me! Thanksgiving was a fun challenge: I cooked the traditional dinner for everyone else, while I had raw beet juice and the uncooked tips of celery used for the stuffing.

It feels like I just looked up and it’s Christmas! I’m a month into the food program, and I understand why Dr. Ashbaum wanted me to give it time: right now, I must be in the first stages of a total digestion shakeup, because other than upper body quivering, nausea, and five sinus infections, there have been no changes ‘below deck.’ But I believe in Christmas miracles, and I know relief lies ahead.

Today, I’m typing this letter from under the covers in bed. I gave my kids my credit card and told them to leave me the fuck alone. Jim is God-knows-where and the Christmas tree is on the living room floor on its side until I summon the strength from a small handful of unsalted almonds to go down there and start decorating it. I have a roll of toilet paper on my nightstand next to me, just in case Jesus and some wise men show up early and leave me with the ability to egress a year’s worth of pent-up fecal gratitude. Writing this, I see that no matter what this year has brought, I have definitely been blessed with deranged hope.

Soon, 2024 will be here, and I cannot wait to ring in the new year with optimism, coconut chips, and shaved cabbage.

Truly Blessed,

Stephanie Simonson (and Family)

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Liz Lydic

Liz Lydic is a mom, writer, and local government employee in the Los Angeles area. She also does theatre stuff.