Family

Psalm to Mom

You’re not my own but you read me to bed, and tickles me to the bone love how my fat cheeks dimple up. And I’m barely two and my curls are brand new. And you don’t know what she’s doing,  trying to make my braids, Put your head down, hold your head down, hold it […]

Masturbation: Difficult Conversations that We Need to Have with Our Children

  The first week of seventh grade, our second son came home with a novel written by an unfamiliar author. Ever curious, I sat down to read it after he went to bed. About half way through, the narrator, an adolescent boy, began the chapter with this thought, “If God did not want boys to […]

When All Else Falls Away

I’m a sentimental person by nature. I love gifts that have a personal meaning, heirlooms, and reminders of the ones I love. Other than my wedding ring I don’t own any fancy jewelry but I do own pieces that are absolutely priceless to me like the small diamond necklace that belonged to my grandmother that […]

Housekeeping, Family, and the Homes that House Us

It was in a portable classroom building, a sort of mobile home, where I first learned words and names for the power of story. While my junior high classmates sighed when asked to diagram a sentence for its grammatical parts, I flew to the board to help (Yes, I was that student). I read Tom […]

The Birds and the Bees and Belonging as a Family

“Mama, where do babies come from?” I stared at my five-year old son: he wasn’t really asking me about the birds and the bees, now was he? He looked at me, eyes wide in expectation. “Well buddy,” I replied, taking a deep breath, “babies come from their mommies’ tummies.” I felt far from ready for […]

Living Monday after a Sunday Tragedy

A week ago, a terrorist let his machine gun loose on a crowd of people in our beloved city. Las Vegas was our home- the place where we started our married life, where we had our babies, where we rooted ourselves in the community we nurtured. But we weren’t there when the shooting happened. We […]

Empty and Full

This is not what I imagined my life would be. I wanted to fill my days with adventure. I wanted to tire out my boots and my backpack on mountains and in rivers and knee-deep in wild places. I wanted to travel and buy things I don’t need in colorful little shops in cities whose […]

Dear Portia: My Kids Are Slobs. Help!

Dear Portia, How do you get your kids to clean up after themselves? My kids are 12, 10 and 7 and I feel like I’ve tried everything over the years. Chore charts, reward systems, scolding, drawing attention to the mess, calling them back to do it again when it’s not cleaned up properly. IT NEVER […]

Wishing Pokemon Were Real: A Story of Autism

There’s no band aid for this, no kissing it away, no telling her it will feel better tomorrow. Because it may not. Tomorrow feels very far away when she is shrieking in frustration, when she is nearly inconsolable. I can’t comfort my baby girl. No matter how many truths I tell her, no matter the amount […]