To The People I Learned to Be a Mom Alongside…

You are the people I learned to be a mom alongside. Some of you already had some experience at the gig, but most of you were fumbling through the on-the-job training right there with me. We have talked, cried, vented, laughed, hugged, texted, meme-d, and queso & margarita-ed our way through every stage of growing limbs and developing brains and roller-coaster emotions. We were the ever-reliable barometers for each other: affirming the normality of normal things that didn’t always feel normal and nudging the gut concerns when they needed to be. We have each faced challenges we could have never expected and at different times have had to fight for our kids harder than we should have had to…because they endured something they shouldn’t have had to. But here we are. And here they are. These kids who aren’t really kids anymore. 

In a very, very short time, these not-so-kid kids will be off doing exactly what we have been building them to do for the past 18 years. Doing exactly what was the end goal of every big and little thing we’ve talked, cried, vented, laughed, hugged, texted, meme-d, and queso & margarita-ed our way though with each other. They are going to leave. 

Continue reading “To The People I Learned to Be a Mom Alongside…”

Baselines: The Last Few Weeks Through the Lens of Our Children

It has been a big couple of weeks for history. As a kid in school, I often wondered what it was like to live through the revolutionary and evolutionary times that happened before my existence, the moments that became parts of our collective story destined to be taught for generations. Now I know. And it has been both terrible and awe-inspiring.

In all of these circumstances of witnessing events that will undoubtedly make their marks on history books, my first concern has been the lens through which my children will interpret them. Four years ago, they were blissfully unaware of the election process, of the differences between political parties, or how government works. But now, they are fifteen and twelve. 

Continue reading “Baselines: The Last Few Weeks Through the Lens of Our Children”

The Unwanted Superpower

You do not see me.

We share pieces of each other.

But you do not see me.

I peek my head through your door multiple times a day.

But you do not see me.

I ask you questions like How are classes going? Can you please set the table? Do you need anything from the store? Would you like to go on a walk with me? Is everything okay?

But you do not see me.

We walk the same floors, wash our hands in the same sink, and both smell the same funk that signals the trash can needs to be emptied. Continue reading “The Unwanted Superpower”

What’s In a Name? Only Your Daughter’s Future Chastity.

Today is my daughter’s fifteenth birthday. I thought it a fitting occasion to post this piece I wrote for the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition in 2016. It didn’t win, but it was a Final Round Qualifier in the Global Humor category and received a very nice comment from one of the judges: “Excellent story in the Bombeck tradition. Light and funny with great structure and writing.” Quite flattering, especially considering the panel of judges was made up of several accomplished writers, along with Nancy Cartwright, the award-winning actress better known as the voice of Bart Simpson. I can’t be sure she is the one who made that comment about my piece, but let’s just say it was her. I was pretty over the moon about it at the time, so it’s kind of weird that I never celebrated it publicly. Chalk one up to humility for a change. And I never shared the piece elsewhere; I had almost forgotten about it entirely. But I came across it the other day as I was taking advantage of my COVID-19 “social distancing” by doing some Spring cleaning on my neglected little blog here. And since my daughter is the topic of the piece, I figured her birthday is the perfect time to share it. So here it is (and preemptive apologies to anyone named Brandy)…
Continue reading “What’s In a Name? Only Your Daughter’s Future Chastity.”

Imperfect Prayers: When You Don’t Know What To Pray For

I believe there is power in prayer. Deep in my bones, down into the tips of the roots of what I feel to be true, I believe it has power. But too often I find myself at a loss for how to use that power. It’s a daunting task to know what to request when God is there with what is always an open-ended question.

This past year in particular has tested me. I haven’t always known what to ask of God.

In that time, we lost our dog, searched for guidance over my daughter’s scoliosis progression, helped her through two knee surgeries, watched my dad continue his battle against Parkinson’s disease, witnessed my grandma’s health and mental decline, and were heartbroken by the sudden passing of my father-in-law in November. For some of these, it has been easier to know my prayer. For others, I’ve been at a loss. Continue reading “Imperfect Prayers: When You Don’t Know What To Pray For”

The Existential Haircut: You Say Therefore I Am

It was supposed to be just a quick haircut.

A few weeks ago, I spontaneously swung into Great Clips to get a trim because I 1) was passing by, 2) only ever remember to get haircuts when I’m either passing a Great Clips or I see someone on television with a cute short hairdo, and 3) am cheap.

As the stylist began snipping away, she started hitting all the typical small talk topics. The weather today. The weather for tomorrow. How effed up the weather has been and can’t we just have Spring already. Your hair feels kind of dry and we have this really great product I can sell you that won’t actually work and will sit in your cabinet for years because dammit you paid good money for it and maybe it will work better for you after you go through menopause or something. Continue reading “The Existential Haircut: You Say Therefore I Am”

Not Hiring: Outdated, Unmarketable, Unhirable 41 Year Olds

Creative Copywriter. Greater St. Louis Area. Two alumni from my university work there.

Normally when I get email notifications from LinkedIn, I hit delete without even opening them. But for whatever reason, as I sat in the school parking lot waiting for dismissal, I was curious to see what job picks were being suggested for me. My eyes immediately focused on the third listing for a creative copywriter.

I’m creative. I can write copy.

Fifteen minutes earlier, I had been at Home Depot purchasing supplies to make a New Orleans style lamp post for our school’s upcoming Mardi Gras themed auction. That’s pretty typical of where my head and my time have been for the last few years or so: firmly entrenched in things like PTO, school board, and squeezing every last bit of experiential juice out of our time in this elementary school community we love so much…time that seems to be moving more quickly each day. My writing, my book, my professional aspirations have been barely even percolating on the back burner, mostly by my own choice. And let’s be honest: I haven’t had what most would consider a REAL job in over thirteen years. But suddenly there I was, sitting in my minivan, still in my workout clothes from boot camp class that morning (because honestly, what do I need to dress up for?), feeling my heart balloon at the possibility of applying for a job. A real one.  Continue reading “Not Hiring: Outdated, Unmarketable, Unhirable 41 Year Olds”

Coupons from Heaven: A Eulogy

Almost every week for I don’t know how many years, an envelope would land in my mailbox, my typewritten address perfectly stamped out directly in the center. I never needed to look at the return address to know exactly who had sent it or what I would find inside. There was rarely a note…just a handful of meticulously clipped coupons from the current week’s mailer. And every time, it made me smile. I could hear my Grandpa’s voice saying, “Well, I don’t know if you can use any of these, but just throw them away if you can’t.” Continue reading “Coupons from Heaven: A Eulogy”

28 Days of Play: A Music Video About Playing with Our Kids

28 days of playI’m over on You Plus Two Parenting today, as part of 28 Days of Play, a movement that asks 28 bloggers to explore the idea of playing with our children: how we do it, why it can be so hard sometimes, why it is important. And I’m honored to have my post closing out the month-long series.

“I’ll be Sleeping Beauty. You be everybody else.”


I still tease my 10-year-old daughter with this quote, a frequent demand she often threw at me when she was four. Even at such a young age, she could recite most of the key scenes in Sleeping Beauty, and one of her favorite pastimes was acting out the story. She, of course, always got the lead role, leaving me to pick up the slack of the other ten or so characters.

Head over to You Plus Two Parenting to see the rest of the post, which culminates in a new music video I made called “Anna & Elsa” (a parody of Fall Out Boy’s “Uma Thurman”).

She wants to sing like Anna & Elsa / Bugs me until I say yes…

Go check out the post HERE!anna and elsa uma thurman parody


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This Mom Thought About Having a Third Kid. See What Changed Her Mind!

“Provided the test comes back fine, I’ll plan to see you back here in, let’s see…maybe June.” My OBGYN gave me a little smirk on his way towards the door.

“June? You mean next Feb– oh. You’re funny.”

It wouldn’t be an annual womanly checkup if Dr. H didn’t joke with me about trying for a third kid. I’d like to think it’s because I’m his favorite patient, and it’s just his way of saying he would like to hang out with me more often. (Is that a weird thing to say about your OBGYN? Because I feel like it might be weird. Even though I don’t mean it to be. It’s just that Dr. H is kind of the bomb – and a great conversationalist, considering the circumstances surrounding our interaction. Like, I’d totally go have a few beers with him…if he wasn’t checking up on the health and wellness of my lady bits.) However, as the father of seven or so children himself, I think his enthusiasm for me getting pregnant again simply comes from him being pro-baby…and pro-more income to pay for seven college tuitions. I also *may* have told him I would name the next kid after him. Continue reading “This Mom Thought About Having a Third Kid. See What Changed Her Mind!”