L’il E had a preschool lesson on caterpillars and butterflies this last year. When this little gal attached herself to the side of the house, I decided it had the potential to  be a lesson come to life.

2016 Caterpiller hanging

I documented it on my phone, and E and I checked her every day throughout the process. She created a chrysalis.

2016 Caterpiller chrysalis

It took about two weeks or so. And finally, this emerged.

Caterpiller butterfly 02

Yes, that appears to be blood below on the side of the house. That kinds of surprised me. Though I suppose most transformations can get a bit messy. When I think about all the transformations in my own life (student to young adult to professional to wife and mom), none of them came without some major emotional upheaval, if not tears and blood. So, you go girl.

After a little research, we determined that this is a Mourning Cloak Butterfly. It’s really quite pretty. Below are a couple of photos I found to show a better view of what the Mourning Cloak butterfly looks like in the wild.

mourningcloak Jerry A. Payne USDA Agricultural Research Service
Jerry A. Payne, USDA Agricultural Research Service,
mourningcloak 2 Whitney Cranshaw Colorado State University
Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,








Today I turn 37, and I hope I’m continually evolving and transforming. I want my boys to grow up to be strong and confident. But more importantly I want them to think about how they can impact the world. They need to know that words of encouragement mean something and can leave a lasting impression on others, that kindness is not weakness. In this world that seems to reward brash headlines and snarky tweets, I want the opposite. I want thoughtfulness. I want them to look at an argument from every angle and to appreciate everyone’s hard fought life experiences. Some transformations are more obvious than others, but the internal ones are just as crucial as those stunning external changes. It is so easy to judge and cut others down. I hope in this 37th year to be a positive force that builds you up. Yes, you. I’m talking to you. You are smart and talented and gorgeous. So go out and share your gifts with the world. We need you, and you can do this. Be honest. Be deliberate. Be funny. And be kind. That is my birthday wish.

10 thoughts on “Transformation

  1. Happy birthday, Lauren. What a beautiful post and message. Wishing you all of this and more in the coming year and hope to see you soon. With love to you and your family.

  2. Lauren

    …even more evidence of the insightful writer and first-rate human you have become. Keep up the good work.

    …only a phone call away,


  3. Lauren, what beautiful words and writing! We had caterpillars too (courtesy of Amazon) and it was so neat to watch the transformation take place. Happy birthday!

  4. Great story Lauren. I love that you take whatever is going on around you and make it into a lesson for the boys. And, yes, the stuff that looks like blood is normal. It’s actually meconium that’s waste made up of left over caterpillar body parts that the butterfly didn’t need. Fun fact for E: Butterfly blood is actually clear. Love you all!

    • Kari, how interesting! Thanks for those fun facts. I really was curious about that substance on the side of the house.

  5. I really love all your posts, and this one is especially sweet and poignant. Thanks so much for sharing, and I hope your birthday was the best!! Miss you and the crew and hope to see you soon! Much love, kirsten

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