A few weeks ago, I was trying to explain to my son that I try to give all of my children what they need, even though they don't get everything the same, so what I view as "fair" might not look fair to them. There are even times when things are totally "unfair" because I need other kids to sacrifice in order to provide a special situation for one child at one time, but that it will all even out eventually, hopefully. This was a hard conversation, so I went into metaphor mode. I told him that … [Read more...]

This Olympic Moment Made Me Cry

We have seen the Proctor and Gamble "Thanks Mom!" commercials, as well as several mom-tribute copycats, and I do always appreciate that tribute to the hard work that an entire family does to get someone to the Olympics, but as someone whose life often revolves around getting young people to various (non-Olympic caliber) sports activities, I have to say that I was most incredibly moved and inspired by Noelle Pikus-Pace, the US skeleton racer who came out of retirement for one more shot at an … [Read more...]

I love it when a good plan comes together

On Tuesday afternoon my kind mother in law was at my house, planning to stay through the evening while my husband and I went out to eat with an anniversary gift certificate.  I was out picking up one and dropping off another, as I often am from 3-5 pm these days, when I got a gentle text:  Alice, is there a plan for dinner?Sheepishly I called her back.  Um, no, there is no plan for dinner.  I'm pretty sure there is enough pasta left in the pantry and a jar of sauce, and half a head of let … [Read more...]

The Downton Patch

Confession:  it turns out that I was more "addicted" to Downton Abbey than I thought.  It doesn't help that my husband still wants to watch, and so in addition to leaving the show, I am also leaving our date nights!  Just like with smoking, drinking or any more sinister addiction, giving something up takes levels of self control, but you can change the situation to help yourself.First, I told my husband very firmly that not only was I not going to watch, he could not watch it in the house.  I … [Read more...]

Resolutions, big and small

My New Year's resolution has two dimensions. The first, very specific part of my resolution, is to floss daily. The second is to do the right thing all the time.The second part is ridiculous, unattainable perhaps, but shouldn't it be all of our resolution, always? The means to get there, for me right now, is flossing. Flossing is attainable. It is unambiguous and clearly defined. You can't fool yourself about flossing, because either you did it today or you didn't. It is a pretty low … [Read more...]

Teaching your child how to handle a bully?

I know a child who has been picked on within a small group of boys, and I don't have much experience with adolescent boy interactions. The boy tells me that his instinct is to hit the other kid, but he knows that is not right and that he will probably get in trouble. Someone else suggested that he not actually hit, but use his size to threaten. We joked about having younger siblings go over, including a 5 year old, and tell the kid to lay off. In the end, we helped him to identify a friend … [Read more...]

My Favorite Moment of Christmas

Each year, my children choose a name from a hat and buy a gift for one sibling. We choose the name on the first Sunday of Advent and they plan the gifts, whispering and scheming and wrapping. Opening Secret Santa gifts is their favorite part of Christmas morning, no matter what else is under the tree, bikes or skis or huge marble run sets, somehow the package of markers from your big sister is the best gift you get. I think that the children know each other so well and they choose really … [Read more...]

GK Chersterton on Santa Claus

“The Other Stocking” by G.K. ChestertonThis is taken from the facebook page of the American Chesterton Society, and was originally published in a paper in London in 1903.What has happened to me has been the very reverse of what appears to be the experience of most of my friends. Instead of dwindling to a point, Santa Claus has grown larger and larger in my life until he fills almost the whole of it. It happened in this way.As a child I was faced with a phenomenon requiring exp … [Read more...]

Light in the Darkness

I have been thinking a lot lately about keeping the presence of God this Advent and Christmas. Amidst all the busyness and the short dark days, how can I remember that we are preparing to celebrate the Light of Love which pierced the darkness so many years ago? How can I take consolation in that when I am worried or grieving, especially when others around me seem happier or more fulfilled?St. Josemaria Escriva taught his friends to greet Our Lord and Our Lady when they saw statues and … [Read more...]

Pray to End Hunger on December 10

We don't usually post on weekends, but I just read about the Pope's request that we pray to end world hunger. I thought I should help spread the word. Read more here: … [Read more...]