His Mother’s Name Was: Reflections from a Family Vacation

A few weeks ago we took a family vacation to Washington, D.C. It’s a trip we promised our youngest daughter for her ninth birthday, and because my old college roommate works as a Legislative Director in Congress, we surprised her with a private tour of the United States Capitol. “Dear Federal Government,” I joked on Facebook the day before we left, the day the recent government shutdown ended, “Thank you for reopening just in time […]

Running Against the Wind

We’ve been running together a lot lately. She’s on the middle school cross country team this fall, and she always asks me to join her on her weekend runs. I try to contain my enthusiasm. She’s at a precarious age. Show too much encouragement, and she’ll completely give up. Not enough, and it’s all my fault and the world’s definitely going to end. The guy who walked across the Grand Canyon on a two-inch tight rope […]

Happy Fall, Y’All!

Fall is my favorite season. The leaves changing. The cooler temperatures. The Halloween candy that I may or may not swipe from my kids’ stash while they’re sleeping. This year we picked the most picturesque day to visit a local pumpkin patch. I think the sky and leaves and pumpkins got together and collectively decided to show off, big time. Somehow they even roped my kids into the act. And so I started snapping photos. I […]

My Middle Child

She’s the child with fewer photographs, fewer remembered milestones, more hand-me-downs. The child I feel like I’ve shortchanged ever since those brutal early months when I could barely get out of bed and bond with her. She doesn’t even have a cool domain name like her older sister. Sometimes it stinks being the middle child. She seems to be taking it all in stride, though, my second-born with her mellow personality. But I don’t think everything is lost on her. It might […]

Rhode Trip

Sometimes you just need to get out of town. So that’s what the kids and I did this week; we blew off school and hit the road, landing on my brother’s doorstep in Rhode Island. We spent five days touring the Newport area – the beaches, the mansions, the farms – and terrorizing the neighborhood.(Thanks, Joe and Tiffany, for letting complete strangers jump on your trampoline!) It was just what we needed.

The Land of Enchantment

Some girls like bad boys. I like bad lands. That probably explains why New Mexico wooed me last week, with its desert cactus and dormant volcanoes and ghost towns off Old Route 66. These are the things that make me weak in the knees. I share this love affair of open, unforgiving landscapes with my husband, too. It’s what drew us together so many years ago, and it’s when we’re traveling these empty, rugged roads side by side that […]

Look Who’s Walking, Too

The Little Dude started walking this week, and it made me think of this and how the greatest gift I can give my kids — in a world of relentless ranking — is grace. That alone will inspire them toward true greatness.