The Idiot Christian: How to be Inconvenient to Classify

For better or worse now, my children go before me into the world, and for the most part they have brought some very good people into our lives. They've chosen good friends for themselves, and their friends' parents' have been trustworthy faithful people.We're on a bigger playing field now at the middle school, a huge one, actually, and the easiest way to approach it is to divide everyone into their appropriate tribes and deal with the people we're likely to see most often.Some of these … [Read more...]

Life Hacks for Four-year-olds (Boys’ edition)


It's hard to be a little person in a big world. Here are five tips to make it easier to be you.  1.Congratulations! You received a plastic suit of armor for your birthday. But it only came with a helmet, a shield, and a plastic sword that your brothers broke within about five minutes. The thing is, you know what really needs protection. You've got to make the armor work for you, and not the other way around.And while you're at it, just use a stick for the sword. … [Read more...]

Back to School Quick Takes

I think I'll get a jump start on my quick takes, since I have a minute right now that I am not likely to have again soon. It's been a very busy couple of weeks. 1. The kids started school last week. Two of my kids are in middle school this year, sixth and seventh grade. This is a new experience for all of us, since I home schooled my now seventh grader last year for sixth grade. He didn't know the middle school ways, the middle school kids, how to dress--and frankly, neither did I, … [Read more...]

The Secret Life of Mr. and Mrs. Average

I had a dream that I was cleaning a sanctuary, and there was a beam that needed dusting high in the rafters. In order to clean it, I had to put on a special suit and scoot my whole body across the beam like a human swiffer sweeper.From my elevated perspective, I could see people down below in the Church, and I couldn't help thinking, "None of them would have bothered to clean this beam. They can't even see what's up here. But I see it, and I have to do it right, even if it means I die in the … [Read more...]

Destroying Your Marriage 101: How to do Everything Right and Still Get it Wrong

My husband and I went out to dinner recently, and as we were deciding where to go, it became clear that he had dined at nearly every restaurant in the city at some point in the past 14 years of entertaining clients and co-workers. In spite of my desire to believe that working full time to support a family is demanding and stressful, I started to feel concern that maybe his life really is more fun than mine.My husband and I spend a lot of time working side by side around the house, rearing … [Read more...]

The Gift of the Priesthood

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has just put out this wonderful new video: "The Gift of the Priesthood."What I love about this particular video as opposed to similar past efforts meant to drum up interest in the priesthood, is that it captures the dignity of the priestly vocation using the sounds and surrounds of an actual priest-- the music of the Church, images of the Church and its people-- rather than an heroic movie soundtrack with a stylized vision of the priesthood.There are … [Read more...]

The Old New Creation

You're still here, Mommy?

I had a dream last night that I was trying to get back in touch with an old friend. It's one of those goofy aspects of modern life that we technically ARE in touch in my real waking life, in that we're connected on facebook though we haven't seen each other in years and years, or had a real conversation in almost as long. But I kind of know what's going on with her, because, I "see" her.In my dream though, I was following her around trying to get her to talk to me while she went to work, and … [Read more...]