5 Tips for Kids on Writing Apology Notes

We’ve weathered our fair share of apology note writing at our house. Just off the top of my head, our topics have included hitting, head butting, face flicking, and nut punching. Not to make you jealous, but we’re very, very experienced apologizers. It’s important as a parent, I think, to lead the charge by screwing up at least once a day — more if you can manage it — and then apologizing so your kid can see by example how it’s done. ...  read more

A Moment of Mamaraderie

I’m going to a meeting tonight.  Just double checked with a friend to see if she’s coming, too.

Her response:

I may not be mentally there . . . this parenting thing is killing me lately. But my body will be present.

YES. This. Exactly. Empty shell. Wrung dry. Kaput. Finé. I’d hug her for this message of mamaraderie except that would take energy. Instead, we agreed we’d just prop each other up and drool. That propping and drooling are, in fact, our most recently mastered areas of expertise. ...  read more

Sleeping. In Surround Sound.

I made you something the other night while I was busy not sleeping. I not-sleep a lot because my children regularly and expertly outmaneuver my Ambien prescription and my 50 pairs of earplugs. Frankly, I think Ambien and Earplugs should just admit defeat and quit embarrassing themselves, but they went to a Tony Robbins workshop one time and they insist they can achieve their personal dreams. I don’t have the heart to destroy them so we bumble along together, trying. ...  read more

Weekend Plans, Insider Trading, and Making a Cleanliness Gesture

I’m spending the weekend in Portland with my oldest baby at a dance convention. This is why:

Abby flies

I forgot to watch Dance Moms for inspiration before we left, though, so I’m afraid my behavior won’t be up to nagging and bullying par. This makes me feel sad. Like I’m destined to fail from the get-go. At least I’m failing in good company, though, ’cause none of the other moms I’m staying with meet the bar, either. Maybe I can hope one of us SNAPS this weekend! Is that too much to ask? That just one of us totally loses her poo and goes all DANCE MOM all ovah the place? Pray with me, OK? ...  read more

UPDATED: On Accidentally Having 5 Kids and an Open Call for Joy

Sometimes I get letters from readers. On Tuesday, I got one from Evan. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It moved me, Bob. And so I’m sharing it here with his permission because I like laughing and crying better when we do it together. And because Evan asks an important question at the end, one I thought our community can answer way, way better than I can answer alone. ...  read more

How to Prepare a Winter Driving Survival Kit

It’s winter here in Oregon, and it’s cold. Like, unusually cold for our region. Like, instead of our typical grim, gray rain, it’s more sub-freezing, Dementors-are-coming-to-suck-your-soul kind of cold. All of which got me thinking about how well we’re prepared in case we find ourselves stranded while we’re out.

What if the car breaks down? ...  read more

On Finding the Gym and a New Comfort Zone

I bought a trial membership at the gym this week which was harder than you might think and not just because it’s a gym and also, Oh Sweet Baby Jesus Smiling Sweetly in His Manger, a GYM.

No. It was harder than you might think because I forgot how to get there.

That’s right.

I’ve been to the gym before, folks, but it’s been so long I couldn’t remember how to find it. Also, I forgot that my fancy phone can hold my hand, whisper assurances, and take me there if I but ask. I often forget this about God, though, too, so at least my phone’s in good company, eh? ...  read more