There is a phenomenon happening in my home right this minute and it is called MY PRE-TEEN. If ever I thought the season of bonding, secret telling, and laughter at the dinner table would last forever, my firstborn has set me straight. It was temporary and it is over. For now at least. My pre-teen comes home every afternoon, lugging her 40 lb backpack full of all the middle school things, grabs a bag of chips from the pantry and jaunts upstairs to her room. Any hope of conversation is met with a . . .
As a former military family, November 11th is a special day in our home. Honoring the armistice signed by Germany and Allied troops on November 11, 1918—100 years ago today—Veterans Day is a time to esteem those past and present who have defended the nation we love. In our house, the kids ask Graham to pull out his Army uniform and tell them about his badges and crests. Often, he shares stories of the fellow soldiers he served alongside in the Philippines and Afghanistan in 2007, 2008, 2010, and . . .
Not quite sure why, but I've always made a big to-do over my babes' second birthdays. I think it's because the first birthday is always a hallmark of survival more than anything else. We made it through the three-hours-of-sleep nights. We changed no less than 2400 diapers. The baby didn't choke to death during the "I put everything in my mouth" stage. Survival. But the SECOND birthday feels a bit more celebratory. Winnie is talking a mile a minute now, and has been singing Happy Birthday to . . .
Y'all, we sorta, kinda, really on accident rented our house with Airbnb three times this month. It all happened so fast. Earlier this year, I blocked the twins' birthday weekend on the Airbnb calendar but left all other October weekends open with the intention to book our home once, maybe twice, but that was pushing it. Then in a 24-hour whirlwind of activity—and before I had the sense of urgency to block the weekends—it rented three times for the first, third, and fourth weekend of October. . . .
Over the weekend, I camped out for several hours in Panera working on a project I'd been contracted to write. It was a busy afternoon, and the tables were almost full, but luckily, I snagged one right by the window. I'm not a people watcher by nature, but I did see two women around my age sitting across from me having lunch together and enjoying a conversation. As they finished their meal, I heard one woman say to another, "I could stay here all day and talk with you, but I know you have a busy . . .