A Case for Slower Living

Last week I learned that if I have a packed schedule and zero downtime for five straight days, I will have a meltdown by Thursday morning. I find this interesting because a week of back-to-back demands hasn’t always bothered me this much. Now that the general pace of my life is significantly slower, I wonder how I ever lived in a whirlwind of constant activity.  Always running. Never resting. Sometimes I remind myself of my brother. Our lifestyles look completely different, but our schedules have one thing in common. Neither of us knows when to quit. We don’t rest until […]

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How My House Stays Clean without Much Effort

I have always kept a clean house. Everything in it’s place. Yes, I’m one of those people. Contrary to what others might assume, I don’t keep a clean house to impress my guests. If I lived as a hermit in the mountains, I wouldn’t change my habits. If visitors show up when my house happens to be in disarray, I’m not the least bit embarrassed. You’ll never hear me say, “Sorry about the mess.” Instead, my tidiness is driven by my high need for order. I feel happier and more peaceful in a clutter-free environment. If I plan to do […]

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Why I Quit the Hustle

She wrote on my husband’s birthday card in perfect cursive, “I wish I had ten more years to live.” Sometimes she makes it easy to forget that she’s ninety-eight years old—still picking peaches in her own backyard and sending cards on all of our birthdays. She told Matt how she loved him, how proud she was of the man her grandson has become, and how she wished she had another ten years to live so she could watch more of his story unfold. She’s quite a lady, my girls’ great-grandma. A woman who makes pies from scratch and doesn’t miss […]

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This Little Bird Can Change the Way You See Yourself

kiwi bird

One year ago today, I flew to New Zealand to stand up in my brother’s wedding. Nearly three years earlier, I met my now sister-in-law through a mutual friend. She told me she was a Kiwi. I assumed she meant the fruit. She said, “No, the bird.” Apparently, the kiwi bird is a really big deal in New Zealand. These people LOVE their kiwis. So much that it became their international nickname. So, naturally, when we booked our flights for the wedding, the topic came up. “Hey, maybe you’ll get to see a real kiwi,” Moira said. I sure hoped […]

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Things You Can’t Tell by Looking at Us

Family holding hands

I missed my post last week because my family got hit with another firestorm. This time it’s not my story to share so I can’t divulge details. All I can say is that it involves a lot of uncertainty and things outside of our control. Right now I’m in anger management mode because we barely have one problem resolved and here we are with another one. I bet if you saw the list of everything we’ve been through in the last six years, you’d wonder how we’re both still standing. I know we look like we have it all together.  […]

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Why Life Overwhelms Some People and Not Others

woman on a dock

I often compare myself to my best friend. I don’t compare our appearance, our children, our incomes, or our homes. No, I compare our resilience, our response to stress, and our approach to life. I always knew she and I were different, but I couldn’t explain why. Years ago, I concluded that she just handles life much better than I do.  At the time, it made sense. I am high-strung and she is easy-going. I’m self-conscious and she is confident. I am easily rattled. She is unstoppable. We’ve been friends for over 20 years, but we still can’t relate to […]

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How a Health Crisis Changed My Life for the Better

silhouette of a woman running

First, my apologies for the long delay. A wise mentor once advised me never to (publicly) write my way through a crisis. At the time, I didn’t think to ask her what I ought to write about instead. Hence, the appearance that I fell off the planet. I wasn’t ready to share the details back then, so I decided to give my blog a rest. I thought time would make it easier. Instead it added more layers to the story until I no longer knew where to begin. The following details barely scratch the surface of a condition I believe […]

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One Small Action That Course-Corrected My Life

Dove wrapper, "#ignorehashtags"

I only intended to do it for the summer. My husband has six weeks off every year from mid-June to early-August. We use those weeks to make up for the family time we miss during his hectic school-year schedule. I usually take several weeks away from blogging, and I curb my social media use to honor his desire for a quiet, private summer. As a high school administrator who spends a portion of every day dealing with cyber-bullying and Snapchat drama, Matt is adamantly anti-social-media. He prefers real life connection and the small, selective sharing of special moments. He thinks the sacredness […]

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Why I’m Walking Away from Social Media Even if it Tanks My Blog

collage of words associated with social media

She says she wants to draw me a picture and I set her up with paper and crayons. Minutes later, I’m stirring dinner and I hear her breathing deep as she tries to keep her emotions in check. Then she makes one mistake too many and loses the fight. She slams her hand on the table and her crayon hits the wall. She lets out a shrill cry and crumples her paper. I come to her side, my spoon dripping with gravy. She lays like a starfish on the dining room floor. I ask her what’s wrong even though I […]

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One Thing We Can Do When The Whole World Is Yelling

silhouettes of two people shouting

I was sitting on our patio, sipping iced coffee and reading my new library book when the sound of barking and howling erupted down the street. Just moments before, I was breathing the warm summer air and thinking about how much I love living in such a quiet and peaceful place. The barking always starts out low and slow but quickly elevates to a distant roar, lasting several minutes before fading back into silence. This happens several times a day. The neighbors’ dogs. That’s right. Dogs. Plural. Our neighbors to the south run some kind of kennel operation. We didn’t know about this until […]

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