Twinsie Pics: How I Duplicated My Daughter’s Instagram Feed, Part Deux

or, alternatively titled,
How I Ended Up Topless in Hawaii…
on Not-a-Topless Beach

I’m really not to blame here. 

Hawaii’s to blame.

After all, I have terrible ideas and am historically irresponsible. A quick search of the internet by Hawaii would have revealed this and more. So the fact that Hawaii failed to avail itself of a simple online background check before allowing me on her beaches demonstrates negligence on her part, and everyone knows negligence = culpability. ...  read more

5 Real Ways I Eased My Depression This Year

SERIOUS ACCOMPLISHMENT TODAY, friends.

I called the pharmacy. On the TELEPHONE.

Like, I was out of medicine, so I casually picked up the phone, all la-dee-da as though I do this every day, dialed, talked to another human, and ordered more meds.

TRUE STORY.

It took less than two minutes, as opposed to the usual two weeks of crippling inertia and dread.

It took no brain space and carried no anxiety, as opposed to a full mental shut-down, clammy skin, and racing heart. ...  read more

I Tried Revenge Chores So You Don’t Have To

Got in a fight with Greg yesterday about a Tiny Thing. For the record, it was categorically his fault and zero percent mine, and we shall ignore the fact that I’m the only one telling this story without giving him a shot at sharing His Side. Yes? Yes. Excellent. I’m glad we’re on the same page.

Don’t worry, though; I got back at him by Revenge Weeding, Revenge Dish Washing, and Revenge Dinner Cooking. That’s when you do all those things, but with anger in your heart instead of love. Well, I suppose with love, too, but only technically speaking. Revenge Chores are like when the love is definitely there, but it’s buried deep, deep down under the Muttering and the One Sided Conversations in Your Brain Where Everything YOU Have to Say Is Brilliant and Wise So That He Acquiesces, Admits Fault, and Begs for Forgiveness. That’s very satisfying if you, like me, are interested in maintaining the fantasy of Righteous Anger and stoking the flame of simultaneous Self Pity and Superiority, but it’s not very satisfying if you want to, you know, do anything actually productive in the relationship.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Sometimes you gotta make hard choices. ...  read more

Why It’s OK To Cry at Writing Retreats (or, At Least Ours): A Guest Post by Melanie Springer Mock

Dear Friends,

Today I’m delighted to share this space with my friend, Melanie, who is one of my major writing inspirations.

Although I was initially intimidated by her — she’s a real writer, after all, has authored several books, and is an award-winning professor of writing at a university —  I soon learned that Melanie is also an encourager, a kindness monger, a humble advocate and mentor, and a loyal friend. Now Melanie has released her latest book, my favorite so far, and I think you’ll see immediately why I’m sharing it (and her) with you. It’s titled Worthy: Finding Yourself in a World Expecting Someone Else. For those of us who grew up in conservative Evangelical Christian culture and have felt enormous pressure to conform in order to fit in — for those of us who have desperately longed to be wildly and truly ourselves with all our magic and mess, as though that is who we were created to be all along — this book is a life-giver and a game changer. Vulnerable, funny, heart-wrenching, and deeply true, Melanie shows us the way to discover that we’re already worthy of love exactly as we are. Which is what I hope we do here every day. ...  read more

I’m My Kids’ Friend AND Their Parent (Psst… You Don’t Have to Pick)

I spent much of my early parenting life afraid.

True truth.

And although some of my fears made sense — as in, I’m pretty sure it’s a biological imperative and plain good sense to want to keep your child from harm — many of my fears were based simply on the Great Unknown of Parenting. I was afraid I’d do it wrong. Afraid of being too lenient. Afraid of failing my kids and somehow Ruining Them Forever. ...  read more

On Moving to Belize

Exciting news, friends! Greg and I, along with our kids, are moving to Belize! We don’t have a timeline yet, as we’re just in the initial phases of looking for riverfront property in the Cayo district — probably on the Macal River — but stay tuned for more info.

Also — IMPORTANT — don’t tell Greg yet, please.

I haven’t technically mentioned it to him yet because I’ve learned it takes a while to break news like this to him. ...  read more

Help Settle an Argument…

OK — help me resolve a tiny family squabble…

My parents’ 47th wedding anniversary was yesterday, and I shared my congratulations on Facebook along with the observation that that’s a LOT of years not to smother each other with a pillow.

My dad says I’m recycling that line because I’ve used it before.

*I* say, YES, I’ve said it before, but it’s a UNIVERSAL TRUTH, and universal truths ought not be categorized as “recycling.”  ...  read more