My Family Is Just Right

I do believe I have the perfect number of children--four.Four is the perfect balance between large families and small. Four seems just large enough that those moms with fewer children (especially just one or two) make much over my brood and my seemingly supermom abilities (ha!). And four is just enough to give me an ounce of street cred with the moms of the real large families. Four masquerades carefully between.In truth, four is really no harder than one or two (especially since they … [Read more...]

Control Freak? Moi?

January! Time for hibernating: warm soups on the stove, scented candles flickering on the counter, movie watching, book reading, and calendar plotting.Calendar plotting?I am a self-admitted calendar nut. I love to buy new calendars, to choose the perfect desk calendar (I have to scribble all over my calendar--and I now have an annual steady!). And of course, I love a fun wall calendar for my office, a.k.a., the kitchen.In the quiet interval between the holidays and the onslaught of … [Read more...]

Let There Be Peace on Earth!

‘Tis the season!Once a year our physical mailboxes get more attention than our email inboxes. Here come the Christmas cards!Oh, the dilemmas! Do we send a picture? Should it include us or just the kids? (Really, does everyone need to know about those extra 10 pounds?) Do we look happy enough? Do we look too happy? How much do we say? What about our struggles? Our accomplishments? How do we sum a year in a card?We sent my favorite card ever ten years ago—before the digital era (and the … [Read more...]

Happy . . . Pearl Harbor Day!

Once I had a dear friend whose birthday fell, unfortunately, on December 7.  Every year her favorite cousin would call to congratulate her with the words “Happy . . .  Pearl Harbor Day!”She loved to tell me about his teasing, but in truth, I could not comprehend the darkness of December 7, 1941, her twentieth birthday. As with most other difficulties in her life, she handled her birthday with grace and wry humor.Her difficulties prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor were not incon … [Read more...]

Do the “I wannas” and the “Gimmes” live at your house?

It's December! Time for the "I wannas" and the "gimmes" to start! To bring a more giving spirit to your home this Advent, consider Courtney DeFeo's fabulous "Light 'Em Up: Families Light Up the Community with Kindness!" idea on her blog, Lil Light O' Mine. This looks like a great way to encourage those little hearts in your home to love others more . . .  while having lots of Christmas fun! … [Read more...]

Domestic Endeavors

Sometimes we call it serendipity. Sometimes fate. Sometimes coincidence.But the irony of my reading Rebecca Cusey’s post on hipster homemakers while the UPS man was at the door delivering my latest Amazon splurge--Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day—was hard to miss.Of course, this bread-making idea came from a certain level of competiveness. A mom at school had strolled into the recent teacher appreciation lunch with piping hot rye bread straight from her oven.“Oh, this?” she said, a … [Read more...]

Falling Grace

In the fall, despite ourselves, we flirt with tree worshipping. Our main idol, a glorious, mature ginkgo, lives in our side yard. Her arms stretch upward, fifty feet, and her trunk bends at the base, leaving us in fear of a strong north wind.Come October, everyone watches her progress.The call, “The ginkgo leaves are starting to turn!” brings us all outside to inspect. Sure enough, the lime green leaf has a gilt edge now. Through the weeks, the edge turns to a full fan of blazing colo … [Read more...]

I Can Read with My Eyes Shut

My youngest brother swears that he did not discover the joys of reading until college—all because I supposedly marched him legalistically through a series of boring early readers when he turned five (and I was the ripe old age of 12).  The experience must have scarred us both, because once the magic of putting sounds together to make words passes and my children are left painstakingly plodding through See Dick Run, I run for the hills.You can imagine my delight when my serious ten-year-old de … [Read more...]