You Don’t Scam Me, I Scam YOU!

I know a few people who have been taken by some of the most despicable trolls that exist to the tune of thousands of dollars: Craigslist Scammers. The thing about it is, they aren’t always Nigerian princes. Even smart people who feel like they are doing their due diligence with research can be taken by these nastiest of nasties. So when one tried scamming me recently, I decided to have my...

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What makes a house a home?

My husband and I shuffle our son and daughter into our favorite burger place, and a memory comes back that I haven’t ever counted as a memory. I didn’t know it was there, and suddenly, at this most appropriate moment it wades into my mind’s eye and is as fresh as the day it happened. I am thinking of the first time we visited this restaurant, when it was just a place we were trying on our...

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Let Me Take You on a Magical Vacation to Disney

We just spent 5 magical days in the most magical place on earth. I had last visited Disney in high school with my band. When I was there, Animal Kingdom was a brand new park, and my girlfriends and I got in massive trouble for taking 2 extra rides on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (the newest ride at Magic Kingdom at the time) instead of heading to the bus after the fireworks. (Whoops! Was...

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Ode from My Five-Year-Old: A Celebration of Love

My 5-year-old daughter, Vivvi, loves love. Everyone in the house, including Viv, tries to deny it. Wally, her older brother, lists as one of his favorite things about her: that she pretends to be dark. A few months ago, some minor drama had caused me to give her a life lesson teaching, telling her we all stand for something and all of her decisions have to be based on what she stands for. So what...

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The Life Changing Magic of Shut the H&## Up

I have said before that I’m a hanger on of things. I’ve been known to keep thrift store T-shirts I wore in high school simply because I cannot bring myself to part with the memories. What memories?, I wonder, as I write the previous. Why in the name of everything holy and good am I hanging on to this boys sized Medium Coca-Cola shirt that I wore 3,000 times in my high school years? The reason...

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Video: A Very Merry Ott Christmas Dubsmash 2017

Your tree lights are twinkling, chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, and you hear bells jingling in the distance. Could it be the big jolly man himself? Oh, no, not yet. Just those Otts and their Christmas antics… We Dubsmash you a merry Christmas 2017! Wishing you joy! We Dubsmash You A Merry Christmas 2017 from Meet The Otts on Vimeo. *This video was brought to you with blood, sweat,...

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Stage Fright. On the importance of lightening up

I had to give a short announcement at my church the other morning. And I was terrified. I have been going on stages since I was 3. My mom was the choir director at the church I grew up in, and she had the genius idea to start a Cherub Choir. There were tens of little ones in our small Methodist church at the time, and, it being the 80s, I’m sure families with young ones had nothing to do but...

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The sweetness of the past: On nostalgia, and the 90s, and hanging on and letting go.

I am feeling nostalgic lately. I’m not sure what it is, but I suspect it has something to do with Halloween. I remember that my dad would go all in with some costumes. One of us would want to be something, and he’d get a spark in his eye, and the next thing you knew he’d be cutting boxes and paper mache-ing and duct taping and, voilá, two days and 10 hours later we’d be a headless...

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When “It Has Lasted.” On kids getting big.

I am at the beach sitting with my book that I’ve been tearing through for hours. My 5-year-old daughter is in the sandbox with five other kids—cousins and second cousins and all the kinds of cousins, so many varieties that they are all just cousins to us here, on this vacation we take every year. Wally, my 7-year-old, is playing baseball with his cousin buddies nearby. And I am sitting with my...

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Do You Sense Me?: On going to Italy, and coming home.

I am sitting on the hardwood floor in my daughter’s room and we are doing one of the things I am least likely to say “yes” to most of the time: playing pretend. We are holding 3-inch high figures of animals in wild colors that wear hats. I am the cat, running the restaurant and she is bringing various customers in. It takes me a while to realize that she is recreating the same story we...

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