Five Kids: A Year in Review

I’m starting off the New Year by leaving my husband and four kids and taking off for Central America. Or, as I like to call it, living the dream.

The only problem is I’m a disappointment to myself and Mamas-In-Need-Of-A-Break everywhere because I’m already a teeny, tiny emotional mess, anticipating the longing I’ll feel for the ones left behind. Or, maybe not longing, exactly, for the Large One who’s hollering in his room right this minute; I might not be completely sure I’ll miss arguing with him and wondering how many ways I’m messing him up. But the littles? They’re harder to leave at this age. ...  read more

Day 3 of 3 Giveaways for the Heart and Soul

by Melanie Weidner

Oh, I’m so excited about this final giveaway in the Heart and Soul series. I can’t imagine a better way to end 2012 than by introducing you to my friend, Melanie Weidner, the artist behind Listen for Joy.

Friends, sometimes I am lost. And sometimes I am found. Sometimes I’m both at the exact same moment, which Anne Lamott calls grace. I don’t know any other way to live this life, except to wonder and to wander and to seek and to fall short and to eventally find, but only bits and pieces at a time, and not necessarily in that order. It’s a wild dance, living as a human with the spark of the divine inside me; it’s a loud laugh and an ugly cry and a huge mess and salvation, all rolled up, gory and glory mixed together. ...  read more

Day 2 of 3 Giveaways for the Heart and Soul

Giveaway #2:
The Journal of Best Practices
by David Finch

“Don’t change the radio station when she’s singing along.”
David Finch

There are a lot of reasons David Finch’s memoir, Journal of Best Practices, landed on the New York Times bestseller list. It’s heartwarming. It’s honest. It has pita-bread-posing-as-talking-vagina sandwiches. And even though the book is written against the backdrop of an autism diagnosis and David does stunning work to normalize the Asperger experience, its real power lies in normalizing the marriage experience and championing the transformative work of learning to love each other well. ...  read more

Day 1 of 3 Giveaways for the Heart and Soul

No one started crying ’til after 8:30 on Christmas morning. Since crying usually starts around 7:10, we called that a Christmas win, baby!

By 9:00, an inferno of neon blue Lik-a-Stix Fun Dip raged under the kitchen table. Fortunately, one quick-thinking kiddo knocked over his can of breakfast soda which dripped through the slats of the table and effectively tamped down the cloud of sugar dust, gluing it in place for clean-up. ...  read more

Musings on the Magi (and Jesus in the Mess)

This is a Jesusy post. For those of you who don’t identify with Christianity and who’ve been reading here for a long time anyway, can I just say? Thank you for sticking around. Thank you for trusting me to be kind. Thank you for being my friend and believing the best of me. That’s not an easy thing to do when the news is often full of Christians who say cruel things, and I just want you to know how much I appreciate you. ...  read more

Santa the Aviator: a Guest Post for the Huffington Post

Although we welcome Santa into our homes and hearts this time of year, carefully choosing his favorite cookies (chocolate chip, despite the ongoing snickerdoodle rumors) and waxing eloquent on the magic he uses to shove his girth into the chimney, we know very little about Santa in his role as aviator.

Sure, Santa’s been flying for years. He’s one of the original aviation pioneers, after all. But specific information about how he coordinates his flights and manages his crew has been in short supply. Despite NORAD’s very cool Santa Tracker, scientifically-minded kids want to know more. ...  read more

What’s in plants?

What’s in plants, Mom? 

It wasn’t an unusual question coming from the science-minded six-year-old. He wants to know how everything works right now. Ever-y-thing. And all the episodes of Myth Busters feed the fire, friends.

Just yesterday, for example, my kid couldn’t move on with life until he received an acceptable explanation for Pluto’s declassification as a planet. Since it was a snow day and Greg was working from home, I sent Boy Wonder to the parent who, well, cares...  read more