I recently finished reading “The Martian” by Andy Weir. I was skeptical I would enjoy a book heavy on science, space science at that, but I devoured it. The main character is compelling and funny, even in dire circumstances. There were science and math sections that didn’t hold my attention, but nothing that kept me from needing to continue with the story. I had to finish it. I was invested in Mark Watney. Those last 50 pages had me simultaneously... [Read More]Read more
I long for invites and unexpected text messages. My heart leaps to know someone has thought of me and asked me to a party, dinner or coffee. Even when I can’t accept an invite, which is more often than not, I like to feel included. I love people but fail to make those outside my day-to-day routine a priority. I work from home, so most days the number of people I see outside my family is close to zero.
This tug for connection is strongest around Thanksgiving and overflows into December. I want a house filled with people, stories, games and laughter. My Thanksgiving highlight reel is comprised of those years when friends and their families have asked us to join with them to celebrate our abundance of blessings. I appreciate being asked to someone’s table. My belly is fed along with my heart. My children have a glimpse into a home filled with aunts, uncles and cousins. We have no family in town. Those opportunities of making our own extended family are cherished.
Relationships require nurturing, some more than others. Time is a hot commodity. We have to pick and choose those things we feed with our attention. I’m budgeting my time differently in December. I’m running with the theory that if I like to be included, other people do as well. Our family is dusting off places at our table.
Life perpetually seems to not contain enough time. We’re taking back the power from our over-scheduled lives this holiday season. There are dance recitals, LEGO Robotics championships and Nordic ski meets that require attention, but there’s room for afternoon play dates, text messages sent just because, game nights with more than just our family, and baked goods shared with friends. We’re slowing down and taking time for each other.
I quietly listened to an acquaintance lament about life with a teenage son. I knew she expected me to jump in with my own complaints, but I wasn’t taking the bait. I spent years listening to people tell me to just wait until I had a teenager. It always sounded ominous. Our man/child first born is, at the worst, annoying, loud, selfish and stinky. I know the teenage waters have potential to become choppy and murky over the years, but... [Read More]Read more
Near the top of my list of things I was not prepared for when it came to motherhood was the degree of mommy guilt I would feel. That guilt settles in, and I struggle shaking it off. I irrationally feel I have to be at everything in order to validate that part of our children’s lives. It’s ridiculous. It’s fine if dad goes to a school party instead of me. Every assembly doesn’t require parental attention. The kids are allowed... [Read More]Read more
It’s a good thing I’m crafty. I’m not sure what my children would do for Halloween if their parents didn’t enjoy creating costumes. By enjoy, I mean I’m excited at the start of the costume fabricating process, but by week three, I’m ready to send kids off in whatever I have finished. Our kids are notorious for picking costumes you can’t simply go buy at Target. They have specific visions for Halloween, and I relent. This year was no different.... [Read More]Read more
*I have not been compensated in any way by Fitness Blender. The following are my opinions based on my personal experience. There are a couple of things I know for certain about myself. One of those is that paying for a gym membership is a waste of my money. I won’t use it consistently. I spent years feeling flabby, carrying extra weight, not sporting a lot of muscle tone and complaining about how impossible it was for a mom of... [Read More]Read more
Our middle son came into the world quietly. He spent the first few hours of his life wide-eyed staring at us, but the quiet didn’t last long. He struggled to gain weight those first few months and refused to sleep most of his first year of life. He cried a lot, and I shed my share of tears. Those first 13 months were riddled with worry for that boy, and I never really shook the extra concern for him. Fast... [Read More]Read more
When we started planning our epic road trip to Florida, I knew we had to visit Key West. I’m drawn to superlative places…the biggest, tallest, longest, farthest. Key West is the southernmost point in the United States. For that reason alone, I had to visit the quirky destination. I wasn’t prepared for how much I would enjoy the atmosphere in the Keys. Southernmost Point — I knew I would regret not trekking through the entire state of Florida to stand... [Read More]Read more
We’ve had children at the same elementary school for eight years. I’m comfortable with the staff. I have a good understanding of how things work, how I can be involved as a parent, and the best avenue to take when issues arise. We’re in year two of middle school. I was more nervous for that first day of middle school last year than our son. I was clueless on what to expect from parking to volunteering to knowing teachers. I... [Read More]Read more
I scan the football field at the end of every play checking to make sure my kid is on his feet. Nothing prepared me for the moment I realized my child was still laying on the field injured. My heart sunk. Our 13-year-old wasn’t laying for long before cautiously sitting up. A coach was out there quickly, and B walked off the field unassisted. But pain was plastered on his face. Every inch of my momness wanted to walk onto... [Read More]Read more
I rarely ask for help with the logistics of running a family. We have no grandparents to give us a hand, so all chauffeuring and encouragement at activities falls fully on Craig’s and my shoulders. It’s exhausting and rewarding and really exhausting to be the only ones who are there to watch the kids succeed and, sometimes, struggle in their various activities. Sharing the load makes for less stress and frees room for more enjoyment. I’m looking forward to having... [Read More]Read more
Football. It’s all-consuming in our house in the fall. The boys play it, talk about it and watch it. After school is scheduled around when, where and who needs to be at what field with two boys playing tackle football and one playing flag football. It’s our fault they’re passionate about the sport. We’re the ones who opened that door years ago. I was a newspaper sports reporter before I was a mom. Sports was what I watched, researched and... [Read More]Read more