The Writing’s on the Wall

We moved in June. When we told someone we were moving and how much we loved our home and the memories that it held, they suggested leaving our mark. I knew the perfect place. When we had lived in our 50s ranch home for 3 months, I was folding clothes in the laundry room. Many homeowners remodel their laundry space to achieve what we had going on here—tons of cabinet space and storage,...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


First Grade Musical.

We are sitting in plastic folding chairs in your typical elementary school gym. We are 6 rows back from the front, where silver concert bleachers are lined up below a projection screen. Before the classes of first graders even appear, I can tell that we are in for a round of suffering—like a headache, or maybe even a migraine you can feel in your teeth. I’m not sure what has given this...


Enjoy it while it lasts: Some thoughts on motherhood.

We have 12 women in our book club, and eight of them have had babies since we started two years ago. It seems like every time we meet, someone new is announcing they are pregnant and someone else is absent because they are home with their new little ball of joy. The four of us who have not had a baby are now looking at each other with shifty eyes wondering which sorry one of us will be the next...