An Awfully Big Adventure


“Wow,” I can’t believe he’s 18,” she said.  Her text message a reply to one I’d sent earlier in the day telling her about a surprise party for Chase.  Angela’s boys know him from youth group.  They’d been out of town when we were getting invitations out and I wanted to make sure they knew about it. All the middle and high school kids at church had been invited.  One of the perks of being involved as a leader is that you can influence the schedule a little.  When I’d […]

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You Got This

I have a theory as a parent that when one child is thriving the other is just surviving.  I can’t prove this scientifically but anecdotally I know it to be true. Without realizing it I prepared for this before I brought baby number two home from the hospital.  Remember I kept telling myself—when one is smiling one will be crying.  Growth is always uneven. I knew it then and I know it now, but after all these years it’s still hard to deal with. When I ran into a friend […]

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Individual Exponential Progress


Stepping out of the car a wave of memories greeted me with the cold air.  I reached for my bag and tightened the scarf around my neck. I-E-P—three letters that have dominated my life now for over fifteen years. I knew what they stood for long before I had children.  “Individual Education Plan”, the contract parents make with the school on behalf of their children who qualify for special education services.  Growing up I remember watching my Mom the Special Ed teacher draft plans for all of her students.  I […]

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I was headed downstairs to put the dime I’d found in my penny bowl when I noticed that the woodpecker whose been visiting my grape arbor was back.  He likes the fruit that’s accumulated through the fall.  It’s not fit for human consumption so I haven’t minded. Several of my friends have told me I should.  Woodpeckers are nuisance birds they say.  Don’t let him hang around.  The bird store said the same thing and warned me he’d destroy our stucco.  I laughed thinking he’d prefer logs to masonry.  Then […]

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Turtle Soup

I sat down winded.  I’d rushed to get to youth group Wednesday and needed to catch my breath.  The kids were lining up to get their dinner so I had a minute to collect myself before I had to be sociable.  The dinner I’d inhaled at home felt like dead weight in my stomach. It must have shown because the minute she sat down, Chloe the group’s most inquisitive member said, “Does your stomach hurt Kären?” Chloe would never lean over and ask me anything quietly so now all eyes […]

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Better In the Morning


It was a gray day.  The weather suited my mood.  I felt blah.  Exhausted after Christmas week and fighting a cold I wasn’t in the New Year’s Eve spirit at all.  Normally a productive day, which I’d had, will snap me out of it but that wasn’t the case.  The pennies that met me everywhere I went were greeted with only a faint smile. I had one last stop to make at the grocery store.  Chase needed something to finish one of his creations.  I couldn’t help but think about […]

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Black Friday

Yesterday bringing in the newspaper took two hands—one to carry the news portion and the other the bundle of ads.  In our town that means the news weighed less than a pound and the advertisements a good five pounds.  It was a lopsided workout to be sure.  The ads went straight to the recycle bin.  I try not to go shopping on Black Friday.  Not because of any ethical considerations but because I don’t like crowds of people.  On a day when I’m tired from having cooked and cleaned for […]

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Eye Contact

L&C 1

They know what I’m going to say.  It’s not very original but when you’re face is obscured by the camera you can’t just smile and hope to solicit one back.  So, off my tongue it rolls, “Look at me and say MOMMY!” over and over until we get a decent shot. Last Saturday was the day for this familiar refrain.  It was time for the annual Christmas photo shoot.  Every year the boys dread it but this year I threw them for a loop when I said, “We’re not going […]

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Home Ec

In 7th grade I failed Home Economics.  People don’t believe me when I say this but it’s true.  Why I thought of that today when I was checking the air pressure on my tires I don’t know.  Maybe because it was cold and my mind was on soup?  Or maybe because I was handling a car-related job with ease and never took auto shop? Once inflated my tires held the road a little better and I felt pretty smug.  I came home and threw the penny I’d found at the […]

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“Do you use Avon?” she asked. “No.” “Why not?” Her question caught me off guard so I didn’t have an answered prepared.  However, I knew that my teenage friend Chloe wasn’t going to settle for half an answer.  Her sister sells Avon so this was too important. “I have really sensitive skin,” I said. “So?” “So, I don’t want to change from what I’m using that works for me.” I could see where this was heading and tried unsuccessfully to change the subject.  Chloe wasn’t going to let that happen […]

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