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...]

My Favorite Christian Coloring Pages

My children love coloring pages. I also find that an appropriately themed coloring page can help me communicate something effectively to my children.  This is especially the case when I am trying to teach, emphasize or celebrate something having to do with our faith.  However, I have wasted my fair share of time searching the web at the last minute for coloring pages of a particular type or genre, often coming up empty-handed in the end. Right now, two of my favorite sites for C … [Read more...]

Disney Done Right


Take the most magical place on earth, add dear friends, spring-like weather, precious family memories, two of the greatest (most tolerant) grandparents in the world, and we've had a vacation close to perfection so far. Okay, minus bouts of whiny children, the potty accident(s) today at Epcot, 3yo implosion moments, tired kids, the 1yo who won't go to sleep as I type this…  You know how that goes. We expected these hiccups and are fighting to remain optimistic!  Thankfully the older kids are hav … [Read more...]

Thankful for Uncertainty

My son made his first penance on Saturday and I was blessed enough to also grab a few moments in the confessional.  Our family is going through a pretty intense time of transition, and so, among other sins, I confessed a serious lack of trust in God.  Trust is a real struggle for me.  Most especially, and perhaps not surprisingly, I struggle during times of change or uncertainty.  It is very hard for me to let go of control.  So I explained all this to the priest, and said that I really want to b … [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...]

The younger brother at basketball

This winter, we have dipped our toe into organized sports.  It is basketball season, and the recreation center at our neighborhood school hosts youth basketball every Tuesday night.  My five and six year olds are both old enough to participate this year, so we decided to give it a try.   Basketball lasts just forty-five minutes and ostensibly includes a brief practice/instructional time followed by a scrimmage against the (only) other team.  It is generous to call this an organized sport, which i … [Read more...]

The Art of Presence

The Art of Presence is a fantastic piece by David Brooks.  Brooks compiles the collective wisdom of a family that has suffered great trauma.  He summarizes their thoughts on how those of us outside the zone of a traumatic situation can reach those within.  In summary, he writes-- I’d say that what these experiences call for is a sort of passive activism. We have a tendency, especially in an achievement-oriented culture, to want to solve problems and repair brokenness — to propose, plan, fix, int … [Read more...]

Photography Tips for Moms


Over the years, I have posted some fantastic pictures of my family and my children.  Under each one, you see a credit to Sweet Pea Photography.  The photographer there happens to be my little sister Elizabeth.  This arrangement has worked out quite nicely for me.  I experience an important life event, like a vacation or having a baby, and I don’t have to bring my camera or worry about snapping a single photo.  My sister follows me around like the paparazzi, works her tail off, and snaps amazing s … [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...]