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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An Invitation for Some Quiet Relief

path near a patch of flowers

Perhaps you’ve noticed that things look a little different over here? That’s because I recently completed a full re-design of my website and added some things that will make it more fun and user friendly for all of you (like easier email signup – which you’ll find at the bottom of the page. I may have happy danced over that one). If you’ve been around for a while, you won’t see a big change in content. Rather, I simply updated the look of my website to make my purpose as a blogger more obvious to new readers. This is my third […]

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Moms Need a Village Too

words on a purple background

I picked up the phone to tell my best friend that life has me in a choke hold again this week, and by the way, how was your vacation? She tells me how they missed their return flight and made it home two days later with a kid in the throes of a nasty ear infection. Then I tell her I’m parked outside Walgreens with two sets of infected ears asleep in my backseat. And I’m so tired I could lean my seat back and join them if that amoxicillin isn’t bottled in the next five minutes. “Oh, the joys […]

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The Story of My Child’s Recurring Fevers

teddy bear with a cold

They tell me one of the best things I can do is limit the stress level in our home, and I think surely the Lord gave her the wrong mama. Because Stress is my middle name, and I don’t know if I’ll ever master another way of life. Every time she comes to me with an aching head and a rising temp, I wonder if this is at least partly my doing. Have I been too impatient? Did I expect too much? Did I hurry her along too often? And although deep down I know this isn’t my fault, I […]

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Why We Shouldn’t Listen to Jimmy Kimmel on November 1st

pile of candy corn

Four years ago, Jimmy Kimmel issued a post-Halloween challenge to parents across the country. He urged them to tell their children that they (mom and dad) ate all of their trick-or-treat candy. Parents were told to film their children’s reactions and then share the videos on line, which Kimmel’s staff reviewed and compiled for a segment on his show. And people actually did it. Lots of people. The prank was wildly popular. So popular, in fact, that The Jimmy Kimmel Show has created a new composite every year since; and the number of videos submitted for inclusion continues to climb. I’m confused […]

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The Early Fruits of Emotionally Intelligent Parenting

We rolled ourselves out of bed just after 6:30 on Saturday morning. Matt went off to help his dad in the field and the girls asked me to make scrambled eggs. I situated Reese on the couch with her pillow, blanket, and juice (she had one of her fevers over the weekend. More about that next time). Allie followed me into the kitchen, spinning herself in circles and singing a made up song about “God’s yellow sun.” I cracked the eggs into a skillet, buttered three pieces of toast and washed some grapes. Then I pulled the skillet from the […]

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To the Stylist Who Butchered My Daughter’s Hair

It was my fault, really. I had no business setting foot in your salon with my over-tired Kindergartener and her unruly little sister. Not when I was this tired myself. Not when I had already endured one of the worst mornings ever. I should have known better. My mom tried to talk me out of it. “They don’t need haircuts,” she said. “Just trim their bangs and be done with it,” she said. I should have listened. But I didn’t. Because we had family pictures scheduled for 9:00am the next morning with my husband’s whole family. Remember? I told you […]

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For Moms Who Celebrated the First Day of School

apple resting on a stack of books

It happened overnight. I sent my daughter to Kindergarten and my life changed overnight. The night before the big day, we laid out her favorite dress and matching bow. We read through the school supply checklist one last time and packed everything in her Minnie Mouse backpack. We read stories about the first day of school and sprinkled “Ready Confetti” under her pillow. I climbed in bed with her and told her how much fun I’ve had staying home with her for these five years. We snuggled until she fell asleep and then I let my tears fall on her […]

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When Ten Years Seems Like a Long Time

pocket watch and flowers

Every year it’s the same. Everyone meets for breakfast–Matt’s parents, his sister’s family, and us. Then we take the same six-hour drive down the same roads through the same small towns. We park in the same spots in front of the same condominium complex in Osage Beach, Missouri; and we open the same door to the same condo. We unpack our bags, slather ourselves with sunscreen, and head down to the pool with a cooler full of drinks and nothing in front of us but the open water of the lake. At some point, usually within the first hour, Matt […]

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For Mamas of Graduates

child wearing a cap and gown

It’ll be over before you blink. The guests at my baby shower wrote advice cards for me, and nearly everyone wrote some version of the same nugget of wisdom. Take lots of pictures. Savor as many moments as possible. It’ll be over before you blink. In my heart I knew they were right. I just didn’t know it was so easy to blink. The next day I woke up and she was five – crossing the preschool stage in her cap and gown to collect her diploma and announce to the crowd, “I want to be a doctor.” The teacher dimmed the lights […]

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