My Litany of Shortcomings and Why It Can Suck It

“Hey, Mom?” asked the 7 year old.

“Yes, Cai?” asked I.

“Remember when you said all the swear words today?” 

“No, Cai,” said I.

“ALL the swear words in the world, Mom?”

“No, Cai,” said I.

“And the very BADDEST swear word, Mom?” 

“No, Cai,” said I.

“The one you said we should never, ever, ever tell Grandma we know? ...  read more

My Family: Crap Givers, Every One

Whenever she drops her off, my friend Katrina tells her daughter Elsie (16) to make good choices.

“Make good choices,” Katrina says from the car or the porch or at the camp bus. “Make good choices!”

And Elsie rolls her eyes and says a dry, “OK, Mom; got it,” as well she should since the most questionable choice Elsie ever made was getting too close to my kid when they were toddlers, coming away with some nice, deep, Abby-shaped teeth marks embossed on her lily white, pudgy arm for her friend-making efforts.  ...  read more

50 Binge-Worthy Shows to Watch This Summer

On Wednesday, my 16-year-old had her second foot surgery of the summer and began the subsequent 6-8 week recovery phase.

photo 3 (52)In addition to the tasteless selfies I’ll take with her latest Frankenstein foot, an activity so obvious it practically goes without saying, this means a whole lot of “Mom” and “MOM” and “MOM!” and “HEY, BETH!” from Abby when I don’t jump quickly enough to get her pillow, her blanket, her socks, her shower started, her snacks, her meds, her hairbrush, her phone, her make-up, and, and, and, and, and, and, and. ...  read more

On Messing Up and Finding Grace

We’re on Day 2 of 5 Days of Day Camp which obviously means we barely made it to the buses this morning.

And, by barely, I mean the buses were rolling, friends – engines sputtering and PULLING AWAY from the curb – while four of my kids ran at the front of them, following the directions I’d barked in the car on the way there.

“If the buses haven’t left yet, lady and gentlemen,” I said, “we run for them as soon as we park. We RUN. WHAT DO WE DO, kids?” ...  read more

Mostly Drivel, Plus One Good Tip for Writing (and Life)

I love my family. I loved being on vacation with them. I love that our kids are consistent (that questionable hallmark of good parenting), which they exhibit by dependably peeing on and around toilets no matter where we reside and reliably making messes in mere hours that would take others weeks and weeks to achieve. And I will undoubtedly tell you more about vacation eventually, because it was as awesome as I’d hoped and not as awful as it could have been, but right at this moment I must say I love being on Not Vacation with my family. ...  read more

Do You Like Your Family? Yes, No or Maybe

I just sent a note to my sister-in-law. It was about dinner and what we’re having for it, so it was important. She’s in a condo next to ours on vacation so I had to choose between walking upstairs to get my phone to text her or keeping my butt on the couch, demanding my minions get me paper and a pen, and then sending them to deliver the note and await a response. Minions, obviously.  ...  read more

Best iPhone Photo Apps (I’ll Show You Mine, You Show Me Yours)

Psst… I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

Painted in Waterlogue

Come on. You know you want to. I’ll even go first.

Here are my favorite iPhone photo apps for summer. I’m using them a TON on our vacation. And I’d love to know what your favorites are, too.

1. AVIARY. It’s FREE, and it makes adjusting light and color a snap so the pictures look sharper and more like real life. Although it has a lot of bells and whistles, I primarily use their cropping tool and the adjust tool, which lets me tinker with brightness, contrast, warmth and saturation. Here are some examples of my pictures before and after using Aviary: ...  read more