Parenting

Why I Wouldn’t Be Where I Am Without Reality TV

I just had to manually input the word “vlogger” into my spell check. I’m using that word a lot lately. After three years of writing words, on screens, and posting them on blogs, I’ve started monologuing to the camera. For most of my life I would never have dreamed that I would sit in front […]

Fear Not

I sat there, sipping my mocha, while our daughter rolled a ball across the floor, back and forth, and periodically tried to escape from the little corner we had planted ourselves in, waiting for them to call the flight. I took a picture or two of father and daughter, grinning, holding each other close. And […]

I Know Why They Chose to Sink

I came across a journal the other day with one of the only poems I’ve written in more than a decade. My college years were spent between literary criticism, philosophy papers, and procrastinating by writing poetry. But after life got increasingly full and more complicated, I let verse fall to the wayside. That fullness quite […]

This Little Light of Mine . . .

This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine. As a girl I sang these words, in a children’s’ choir with our fingers pointed to the sky. Our hands circling. We were the light of the world. And we were to let our lights shine brightly, and constantly for all to see. This little […]

Heartbreak and Shipwreck

“What are your worst fears?” Tammy asked me. My first reaction was, well, this is a no-brainer. I’ve lived most of my life with anxiety and dread. I should be able to rattle off my fears like a grocery list. And yet my hands lingered over the keyboard. I hesitated. I realized, I don’t know. […]

Fire and Smoke

I was alone, at my off grid in-process homestead, when I looked up and noticed the haze collecting in the sky. By alone I mean alone with my small posse of dependents—three kids ages 1 and 4 and 6, plus at the time, a puppy. There wasn’t so much smoke that it made me worried, […]

Simon Says . . . Obey Your Parents

Simon says . . . put your hands up in the air. Simon says . . . hop up and down. Now spin in a circle. Wait! I didn’t say Simon Says! It’s a classic childhood game. Kids invent things to do and compete to see who follows the instructions best. But the players get […]

Just Like Riding a Bike

Four years ago a teen-aged boy pointed a gun at me while demanding I give him my money. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in Oakland, California. I was standing at the flagpole in front of the elementary school where I’d recently been assigned to teach. My husband Chris and I had ridden our bikes […]

Mothering with Lingering Leftovers

The little lines appeared on the stick in January. I think hers did too, just twenty years prior. :: She, my first daughter, was born in September. A week to the day before my twenty-first birthday. A week to the day before the twenty-one year anniversary of the day I met the woman who birthed […]

I Had a Secret and Now You Know

Our home was too small for the six of us. My brother had his own closet-size bedroom, but we three girls were crunched into one bedroom. There were three twin-size Sealy Posturepedic mattresses on box-springs, a couple of old walnut bureaus, and enough room to hop in and out of bed. A matching desk was […]

When You Think You’re Too Good for Hope

I used to think of hope as wishes, as little bubbles that floated away from you and popped on the way up to some genie in the sky. Hope seemed ephemeral, insubstantial, the sort of thing you rely on when you’re at your wit’s end. And I made it a point to never be at […]

The Untangling

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) […]

Mom, I’m Pregnant

On my way to a doctor’s appointment this morning, I grabbed Starbucks and then delivered a frappuccino to my daughter. As soon as my hands were empty, I picked up my grandson and smothered him with snuggles. We smiled at each other and laughed. I talked gibberish to him and I am pretty sure he […]

Authentic Living is Hard

You know I am from the Midwest because when you ask me how I am, I answer you. This is, as my children’s minister pointed out to me, a trait I have passed on to my girls. Lucky for the Norman girls, she finds us charming. Don’t ask us how we are if you don’t […]

When Loss Messes With Your Faith

We were going to wait seven years before having children. I thought we agreed on five. “No, seven,” my husband insists.Three years into marriage I suddenly developed a ferocious longing for a baby. It took a year to convince my husband and another 12 months to conceive. But the little white pill worked the first […]

Losing Us and Finding Us as Lovers

There is a loss that presses hard on my chest some days, the days when I look out over hills, or a certain slant of light catches me just so, or the way a musty book opened now smells just like the PR and PS books in that old Scottish library and I’m right back […]