Cotton and Lorraine

I spent two days last week with my mother and her sister, Vicki, visiting my great aunt Lorraine in Los Osos, California. It’s been fifteen years (that’s half my life) since I’ve hugged her. She’s now 92 and stunning, thinner and frailer but still absolutely beautiful with fantastic style and fire red hair (she’s had [Read More...]

Mama Monk Interview!

I know many of you dear readers have come by my blog because you love my brother Jason and trust his advice. He’s smart and funny and deep and you hope I’ll be too. And I appreciate that. I don’t mind the pressure…as long as you’re not expecting me to have snark oozing out of [Read More...]

Hey there, St. Patrick

I’m not Irish. My step mother-in-law is and that could possibly count for something. Otherwise, St. Patrick’s Day has never meant a ton to me, besides my memories of how hard it was to go to gymnastics class on St. Patrick’s Day never having any leotards with green in them. An entire leotard wardrobe with [Read More...]

I’m so tired of the word “nice.”

Why is “nice” the preferred morality term for all toddlers everywhere? I keep thinking that if some Martians walked onto any playground in America, they would gather that our greatest cultural value is niceness. Why else would we speak of it as our gold standard of behavior? Is nice really all we want our kids [Read More...]

Why Hopkins is the man.

I sat awkwardly bent forward in a thick oak chair, bulky in a sweater and snow boots, pages of poems spread on my lap. Every time I entered my professor’s office that first year of grad school, I couldn’t help but be intimidated by Mary’s wit, her loud opinions, and her short pencil skirt with [Read More...]

Passing the faith

A few weeks ago, I sat around with some fellow mothers discussing the great dilemma of modern Christian parenthood: Family devotions or no family devotions? Even just the phrase rings warning bells in my ears.  Can’t we think of a better term that doesn’t make teenagers automatically want to throw up in their mouths? As [Read More...]


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