Artist Dave DeVries has plenty of experience painting monsters for Universal Studios and bringing comic book characters to life in realistic paintings. However, the sketches done by his four year old niece intrigued him more than grown up monsters and he began applying the same techniques to drawings by children. The result is an art installation and book called The Monster Engine, pairing the original drawings with interviews with the child and the final painting. I just love these. What… Read more

I was at a conference yesterday for women who are small business owners.  It was called Spark & Hustle, and it was fantastic.  One of my favorite things was that not a single moment was wasted having that annoying conversation about “work/life balance.” It was if each speaker & attendee made a silent agreement, acknowledging, “There is no such thing…so let’s not talk about it.” I’ve been to DOZENS of professional conferences.  In different career roles, I’ve attended gatherings for… Read more

Yesterday I got soap in my mouth. It’s been rough around here lately.  Between too many activities, squeezing my parents for 4 weeks into a house that already felt slightly too tight, and the general emotional chaos of raising a 15, 13 and 11 year old, the words that have been flying in our house are way too salty and way too rude. Of course, apples don’t fall far from the tree, so what should I expect? Sometime in my… Read more

  There are the “Yes, ma’am” moms, and then there are the rest of us. (Do you ever get the feeling I’m here to make you feel good about your parenting? I’m happy to provide this service for you.) My ears perk up when I hear a kid answer, “Yes, ma’am.” Their mom has it going on. Their dad is in this parenting marathon. This kid probably does chores, without grumbling. Probably adores his grandparents. Probably looks out for siblings…. Read more

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!” Read more

We kicked off the Christmas season last week with our first viewing of Elf, starring Will Ferrell.  I say our first viewing because, being one of our favorite Christmas movies, one viewing is never enough.  We love this movie, not only because it is side-splittingly funny, but because the main character, Buddy the elf, is about the best life coach out there.  Here are some of the things he taught me: 1.  Accept Reality Even when he falls 915 items behind… Read more

  When I told a friend about the passionate reaction to my post questioning the hipster homemakers who pointedly bake their own bread and grow their own food, as profiled by Emily Matchar in the Washington Post, he responded, “Of course. You’ve attacked their religion.” Maybe he’s right. I wonder if the whole thing isn’t a spiritual question after all. The average homemaking mother (and statistically less frequent but still important father) has a chorus of critics in her head… Read more

The Red Cross Holiday Mail For Heroes program is a simple idea: When you’re sending out your Christmas or holiday cards, include a few for our troops overseas. I’m sure cards drawn by your kids would be greatly appreciated as well. But time is running out for them to be processed and sent over. The deadline is postmarked no later than December 9, WTOP reports. That’s Friday. Send greetings to: Holiday Mail For Heroes P.O. Box 5456 Capitol Heights, MD… Read more

Vacations with children in tow can be downright exhausting. This mom proposes renaming the family vacation something else, until they become restful again! Read more

Rabbi Eliyahu Yaakov writes this about children: Their first-nature is based on us. This is one reason why the biblical verse says “be fruitful and multiply”—”be fruitful” means to have kids; “multiply” means that you are multiplying. By you having children, there are going to be more yous in the world—more people walking around with your values, your thoughts, your attitudes, your actions, and your reactions. You are making carbon copies of yourself. Therefore, being a parent isn’t about acquiring a… Read more

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