Five things the special lady in your life just might want for Mother’s Day


1. It's Mother's Day, which means the mom in your life is probably going to cook you a big dinner. Or is she? Maybe you're actually making her waffles.Waffles are delicious, and something she always sort of craves but never enough to make them for herself. Waffles! 2. One thing your mother might secretly want but will not tell you, is a Pajama gram.Perhaps the The Super Mom Hoodie-Footie is a little over-the-top, but Pajama Gram has lots of more reasonable offerings as  well. If th … [Read more...]

Making Friends, Loving Enemies

*It was thirty degrees at the soccer fields on Saturday morning, and after a couple of hours in the wind, I retreated to the car to wait out the end of the games. I was parked next to an extended passenger van, with three or four kids in it, who had removed their shoes and were doing flips over the seats. They were presided over by a short, freckled fifth grader, whom I've seen around town, occasionally with his mother or father and several siblings. I've often thought I should make friends … [Read more...]

The Best of Both Mothers


With my parents out of town, I went to the farm to feed the animals. I brought my homeschooler's supplies and my laptop so that we could all get some work done while the four-year-old played outside. There are a hundred acres of woods and fields, a little creek, and some trails. My oldest fed the chicks, let the dogs out to run and threw some hay to the cows and horses, then sat down to do school. I too sat down to discern my next move. Pray? Write? Do a quick little check of what's going on in … [Read more...]

Reclaiming Shame

Massacio, Expulsion from Eden, 1427, fresco.preview

Around second or third grade, I wore one of my mother’s tweed blazers to school: leather buttons, suede patches on the elbows. It was a perfect Annie Hall blazer, though I didn’t realize it at the time. All I knew is that when I arrived after school at my friend Marcy’s house, her mother said, “That’s a spiffy jacket you’ve got on.” She said the word “spiffy” in that I’m a Midwesterner speaking to children accent—a tiny bit of a lisp, a very short emphasis on the “-y.”Marcy’s mom was a depart … [Read more...]

Perhaps she’d have preferred the lager?


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Overcoming Insecurity in Marriage


A reader asks: You wrote in chapter 4 of the book Style Sex and Substance: "I hung my life on my husband's fidelity, but I knew he would go to work and see prettier, more outgoing women than I."  This is exactly my case!  I stay at home with my two young children while my husband travels for work.On top of that, my husband told me he is attracted to a woman he works with.  I was very glad that he felt he could share that with me.  But at the same time, it made my fear take hold of me, and I … [Read more...]

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An interview with novelist, Ron Hanson, at Dappled Things … [Read more...]