ALERT: The Most Important Election This Fall Is, Surprisingly, in Newberg, Oregon

Here’s a true truth for you, friends: I’ve never put a political sign in my yard.


Not once in the 26 years I’ve been eligible to vote.

Not a yard sign. Not a bumper sticker on my car. Not a pin on my person. 

It wasn’t like I had a problem with people who did. They’re passionate, I thought. Outspoken. And good for them!  

But me? No. Certainly not. Those outward declarations of political support weren’t for me. I, after all, have friends and family on both sides of the political aisle. The need to be polite and ruffle no feathers exempted me. Right? That was the rule in my tiny, white, evangelical world, anyway. Politeness first, which folks around here call “civility.” I’m not sure when civility was redefined as silence, but it was definitely before my time. I inherited the system. I’m not to blame. (Says the white, suburban girl with systemically granted power. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) ...  read more

GRAB THOSE BALLS: How to Cheer for Goalies at Soccer Games

Know what the internets need? MORE HOW TO ARTICLES. Because knowing how to do stuff is always better than not knowing. Yes? Yes. Correct. Always.

So here’s a quick tip for y’all. 

This is my kid, Abby:

Abby goes to university in Hawaii because Abby is the smartest person I know.

This is my kid’s human:

Chandler also goes to university in Hawaii ‘cause he’s no dummy, either. ...  read more

We Have to Stop Saying These Things to Our Kids

OK, friends. QUICK PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT because we have to stop saying these things to our kids: 

“There are going to be bullies his whole life, so he needs to start learning how to deal with that now.”

“She’s going to have to learn to work with people who make her feel uncomfortable.”

“Welp, life is unfair. Welcome to reality, child.” ...  read more

When Bullying Is Real

{Content Warning: Use of a homophobic slur.}

Alright. Middle school began last week for my two sixth graders, which always makes a mama’s heart flutter, and here’s how it’s going: MOSTLY WONDERFUL.

My kids are feeling confident.

They’re finding their groove.

They appear to have other sixth grade humans to sit with at lunch, so the Very Worst, Most Awful Part of the Day seems handled. ...  read more

Brief Update: Your Response Requested

Quick updates, friends, on this, the first day of school 2018:


2. Fell back asleep. 

3. Slept through my alarm.

4. Woke to the face of a child asking if I would, because this is the First Day and therefore a Special Circumstance, “do that thing where you at least look like you tried.” ...  read more

School’s Starting (In Case You’re Not Ready, Either)

Summer raged and reveled through our house. The couch is covered in dog fur and dirt. So are the kids. So is everything else. Dog Fur and Dirt are our decor theme, really. We should market them as paint colors. Like Martha Stewart, except different.

The sun is etched in our skin, and all semblance of discipline — which was mostly self-deception, anyway — eroded weeks ago. The chore chart was effective the first 25 minutes of summer. Now it’s bulletin board litter. I’ve decided to rename Fortnite and Minecraft “chores” and “reading” so when people ask us what we did all summer, I have an answer that makes me look like a diligent parent.  ...  read more

John McCain and the Paper Girl: The Story of a Man Who Saw People

Helen Howard is a legend in her own right. At age 55, she retired from her 23-year career as an insurance claim adjuster to follow her passion, building Desert River Outfitters, a premier canoe and kayak guiding outfit in northwestern Arizona. Now age 70, in addition to the thousands of hours she’s racked up on myriad U.S. rivers, Helen is gearing up for her twelfth trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon; the third in the Susie Too, a dory boat she built herself.  ...  read more