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.

Never.

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

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:

1. Got up early this morning! BEFORE my alarm went off. I AM ON TOP OF ALL THE THINGS. THIS IS MY NEW ROUTINE. I SHALL BE UP EARLY EVERY DAY THIS SCHOOL YEAR. 

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

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

Bread and Body Fluids: I’d Come Up With a Less Gross Title, But I Have One Kid Crying, One Harfing, and One Bleeding… I’m Sure You Understand

Took my kid to the orthodontist this morning.

He had to have brace wires removed so I could take him to the dentist to get four teeth pulled.

Spilled my coffee.

All 20 ounces. All over the floor of the orthodontist’s office. I put it on the floor, then immediately kicked it over. I hadn’t had coffee yet, so I couldn’t clearly think through coffee placement. It’s a Catch 22, I tell you, this whole Had to Perform Coffee Tasks Before Having Coffee situation. It’s not right. We live in a broken world, friends. ...  read more

Milk and How to Use it… Yogurt, Cheese, and Labels: Oh, My!

I have a few “rules” this week as I try to eat no commercially preserved, packaged, or processed foods, the foremost of which is DO NOT BECOME A HANGRY JERK, BETH.

Greg and I learned through the joy of travel early in our relationship that there is no jackass jackassier than a hangry, exhausted jackass, and that, unless we wanted to go ahead and file for immediate divorce and save ourselves a world of hassle, we ought to travel with snacks. Snacks = Marital Harmony. Snacks = Marital Bliss. Snacks = the difference between being kind, flexible and accommodating of each other’s tiny flaws and foibles and I AM GOING TO RIP YOUR EFFING FACE OFF. We were precious, I tell you. Darling. ...  read more