A Favor

Greg left home for a few days, so, as is our time-honored tradition, I had to decide which trouble to get into first. Options included a) using the three gallons of paint I bought to try to cover up the goo and grime somewhere (ANYWHERE) in my house, b) moving all the furniture in all the house and creating general havoc and upheaval from which it will take weeks to recover, c) getting the torso tattoo I’ve been plotting for years, and/or d) bringing home an English Springer Spaniel puppy. ...  read more

The Pictures You Don’t See on Facebook: PTSD and My Son’s Service Dog Hero

We went on vacation last week, and it’s not lost on me that we’re now part of a narrowing group of American families who can afford ridiculous luxuries like paid time off and time together in the sun and water. Never mind that this holiday was paid for by Nana and Papa, and not us; we won’t pretend generous grandparents involved in their grandkids’ lives and with the means to gift us family time isn’t its own elite past time. We’re beyond lucky. We know it, and we walk a line that’s littered with guilt and gratitude in equal measure. ...  read more

Christmas Came Early: Introducing Someone Very Special…

The tentative whispers and the cautious what ifs — the quiet perhapses and the hesitant maybes — can change your life. 

I know they’ve changed mine.

Again and again, the what ifs and maybes changed mine.

Like, maybe I love him. And, what if I marry him? And, perhaps I should follow my heart.

Changed my life. 

They were toes in the water and the slow first steps, those perhapses of wondering which were born out of longing and transformed into hope.  ...  read more

Parenting for the Win

I’ve been parenting for the win a lot lately, and I just thought I’d share a couple things I’m doing exceptionally well so you can follow my example and better your parenting, too.

First, I accused my teenager of acting like a 5-year-old because she didn’t want to come out of her room for, you know, the whole weekend, so I was feeling rejected, hurt and powerless, and also the tiniest bit premenstrually enraged, and that’s always the best time to accuse others. That’s when she told me she was staying in her room because she was in a bad mood and didn’t want to take it out on others “since that’s what you say to do, Mom; if you can’t be kind, take some time alone until you can.”   ...  read more

Last-Last-Minute Halloween Costume

Hey, thanks to all of you who came to my Halloween Eve rescue with great, find-stuff-at-home, last-minute costume ideas.

Ian, the only one of my kiddos who attends a school that allows costumes, decided this morning to be a troll.

You may be confused, as I was, about what exactly the difference is between a troll, a zombie and a vampire.

A troll, it turns out, has horns (thank you, gel and hairspray!) and clean but ragged clothes. Minus the horns, we seem to be a family of trolls. Who knew? ...  read more

Reflections on Back-to-School from a Both/And Mom

It’s back-to-school Tuesday, and I’m just not sure. I’m a little lost. A touch uncertain. I’m not so much confused as I am, well, complicated. So I wonder…

Is today an OK day to be a Both/And mom?

Is it?

Because, you know, I read articles and blogs and Facebook posts and they’re kind of Either/Or about this whole back-to-school thing, and I admit, I’m a wallflower at the party, trying to stand quietly in the corner and not say too much, ’cause I’m not sure exactly where I fit, and I don’t know how to pick a side. ...  read more

On Silence and Cacophony and Things That Soothe the Soul

I woke up yesterday morning to silence which happens to me exactly never and made me think that there was a strange and awesome aligning of the planets… or that kind, gentle faeries came in the night to cast magical, sleeping mommy spells… or that I suddenly went blessedly deaf… or that the Rapture happened and I didn’t make the cut and the apocalypse has been terribly misunderstood and only ever wanted to come in peace, after all. ...  read more