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It’s Hard to Be Tim
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This morning I wandered around in a sleepy state looking for my cell phone. After five minutes, I gave up, made a cup of coffee, and opened up my computer instead. A facebook message awaited me from Tim, reminding me I have nursery duty and informing me that my phone was on his car this morning when he drove to church. When he stopped...

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How Being a Teacher Has Made Me a Better Mom
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  I recently learned of some heavy heartache a student of mine is carrying quietly upon his shoulders along with his backpack and homework. I felt utterly hopeless to help with his burden. I can’t control the variables of my students’ lives, but I can write the story of my own family. When I returned to teaching after eight years as a stay-at-home mom,...

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For All Those Who Don’t Have it All Together
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Dear Friend, I got your message. I hate what happened to you this past week. You were judged as a parent by a bystander. An old man watched you chase your toddler into the street and chastise him. He called out to you and warned you not to be so hard on your little guy, lest you break him. It hurt, this flash judgment....

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Seasons of Change
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  I cried all the way to work. The harder I tried to suppress the tears, the more stubbornly they forged salty rivers down my cheeks. I missed my kids. Also, I missed the comfort zone of my old life. I was one week into my return to the work force after eight years at home birthing, nursing, cuddling, and raising babies. The transition...

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Calling on Writers and Poets
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Hello friends. I’m happily buried under lesson plans right now, busily trying to get ready for the start of school and the task of teaching 10th, 11th, and 12th graders various kinds of historical literature.  But before we dive into Colonial life and historical documents, we are getting to know one another. Ergo, the Where I’m From poem.  I believe I have done this one before...

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Loving the Difficult Child
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For the 50th time that day, he put his hands on his cousins. Not wrestling exactly, not unkindly, but definitely handling them about the head, shoulders, and face. At six years old for a high-energy boy, it doesn’t get much better than visiting Disney World with your six and seven year old boy cousins and he was riding high on life. The decibels of his...

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Transition
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Transition

Jul 10, 2015 by

I am a woman in transition. Stay at home mom to working mom.  I find that when I’m in seasons of transition, I need lots of alone time. Alone time is my newborn-sleep; it’s when nourish my growth, recover from all the input and change.  I’m very existential, for better or worse; a lot goes on in my head. When I am with people,...

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Sick House
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Sick House

Jul 8, 2015 by

The sadness in the air was as heavy as the humidity in the Women’s cancer hospital in Managua, Nicaragua. It felt as though the weariness of long illness was contagious and epidemic throughout the patients who barely had the energy to smile.  Laying on beds with loved ones nearby, their mouths formed a welcome that didn’t quite reach their eyes. As we entered the room...

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Lean In
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Lean In

Jul 1, 2015 by

His body was bent and contorted in ways no body should be; every joint turned the wrong way, like a broken deer on the highway. Impossible even to sit in a chair, he was draped over a beanbag chair on his tummy to accommodate the spine that curved like an “S.”  Although he was technically in his teens, he wore a diaper, and inarticulate...

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How We Manage
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How We Manage

Jun 16, 2015 by

So, Tim and I had kids early. I was at a routine (I thought) gynecologist appointment when the sweet nurse opened the door and broke the news. Bless my heart. So, we started early and once we started, we figured we’d get through the baby years while we still remembered what to do with the wee little ones and then we’d dump all the...

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Llama Llama, Break for Mama
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I adore my four kids. Each one of them, truly. And I adore when someone else takes them away for a few days. I used to feel guilty about that, but it’s true and I’m all about embracing what is true at this point in my life. Sometimes truth comes with a pesky little guilt-leech attached to it.  Ergo, I must examine it, pluck...

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Surviving Summer
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Surviving Summer

May 30, 2015 by

I love them all the time. But I love them a little more when they are all gathered around our low white coffee table, each working on their own summer homework. And by summer homework, I just mean some printed pages of math, maybe a journal entry.  Isaac “works” on writing his name. Susanna scribbles on anything she can find, including the coffee table,...

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The Wasp
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The Wasp

May 27, 2015 by

Who knows how long the wasp rode on the back of the white car in front of us as we zipped along the road singing along to Katie Perry’s Dark Horse, Benjamin and I, belting out the lyrics with abandon, neither of us knowing the meaning. The wasp hopped on right around Hwy CC and maybe he was hitching a ride to Braum’s, or perhaps...

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Dazed and Confused
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Isaac: I pooped! I pooped! From the bathroom. I pooped… Does anybody even hear me? I pooped! Tim: Yes, we hear you. Clean yourself up. Isaac: Ok, Captain Crunch! Me: Captain Crunch? From a sibling: He did poop! Two big long snakes. Me: Uh, thanks for that. Isaac, come here so I can make sure you cleaned up. Examination. Sigh I can tell you...

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Blue Ribbon
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Blue Ribbon

May 15, 2015 by

Abby wrote this poem during indoor recess. Not an assignment, no guidelines. Her teacher happened upon it and entered it in a contest, where it won first prize for free verse poetry. Yesterday, her teacher told me she takes no credit in teaching Abby to write like this; the gift is there inside the girl. Yes, me too.  Tim and I were babies having...

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The Power of Poetry
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I love poetry. It’s art. It doesn’t pay the bills, it doesn’t serve any practical purpose, but it feeds our souls. And because it’s language distilled down to the most potent parts, it’s quick, piercing nourishment. I think it’s the protein bars of the English language. It’s also very vulnerable. To share a poem is like standing before people in your underwear. You can’t...

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