Community Question: What Do You Do When You Feel Inferior to Other Parents?

Every once in a while, I get a letter from a friend of this blog that touches a tender place in my heart. Usually a place that’s been well worn or is still a little sore or takes me back to the desolation that was there before the consolation. This is one.

Hi Beth,

I am an avid reader of your blog and really enjoy your writing.

I have a weird question. I feel a sense of community on your blog because you talk about the insanity of parenting and about crazy kids who do crazy things. ...  read more

Pictures on My Phone: an And Then Story

This in an And Then story.


Here we go.

I was looking through the pictures on my phone because my friend Jody got married this weekend, so Facebook needed updating. Obviously. After all, everyone knows you weren’t really there until you’ve Facebooked it.

photo 2 (68)

Besides, I had some specific pictures I didn’t want to lose.

Jody let me coordinate her wedding, which is an activity I highly recommend to mamas everywhere. See, when you coordinate a wedding, people listen to you and do what you say. It’s like a miracle. During pictures, for example, you get to say things like, “Come here.” And they come. And, “Stand there for 2 minutes and don’t move.” And they stand still. And, my favorite, “Look at the camera and smile.” And get this — they look at the camera and smile at the same time. I’m still totally high from this experience. ...  read more

Cat Sick and the Power of Vulnerability: Fiona Merrick on Parenting and Imperfection


Welcome to our Monday guest post series on Parenting and Imperfection.

Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to my friend and penpal, Fiona Merrick, the smart and witty writer behind the delightful blog, Writing in the Sky. Like me, Fiona utterly fails at niche writing, dabbling in a little bit of everything, which always keeps me entertained and coming back for more. Also, I admit to a certain, extreme level of glee every time Fiona documents her sons’ mishaps with talcum powder or icing sugar; I just feel so understood when I see her home riddled with mess, though, you know? ...  read more

On Living Life in Spite of Fear When Fear Still Holds My Hand

My friend, Abigail Rine, wrote a piece today on her blog, Mama Unabridged. It’s titled The Mother Wound, and it’s beautiful and gut-wrenching. Like parenting. In it, she reflects on her reaction following the explosions at the Boston marathon. What it’s like to be a mama when you realize your super protection powers have limitations. What that means about God. What it means about love. I nodded in agreement through the entire post — oh, how I’ve been there, mama — but it was her question at the end that cut me to the core. ...  read more

5 Questions for Amber Dusick (about her BOOK!) and an Exclusive Crappy Illustration for YOU


Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures
Congratulations, Amber!


Once upon a time, Amber Dusick and I were in a blog contest together. I messaged her approximately two minutes after reading her blog and told her she had my vote. Then I wrote all of my closest friends and said, “Look, guys, I know this means I suck at competition and I’m doing it all wrong, but Amber Dusick is both funny and rad, and please vote for Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures.” True story. ...  read more

How Do You Feed Your Family?

I recently sat with Sarah and Bubba King at one of our local wine-country restaurants and, while Greg wrangled kids, homework and bedtimes all on his own, I drank local beer, ate coppa pizza from the wood-fired oven, and asked my friends some Serious Questions.

Now, those of you who’ve been reading here a while will remember Sarah and Bubba from my Run, vegetarians, RUN post titled This Little Piggy Means More Bacon for Me. It’s a good post if you like bacon. AND it included original two-word poetry by me, as well as a confession or two about our crunchy Oregon lifestyle. You can go read it first if you want some background. We’ll wait. ...  read more

Authenticity, Asshattery, Faith and Fear

I’m writing about Jesus today on another blog. And about authenticity and asshattery. And especially about the profound lesson I learned from an atheist that changed the way I talk about who I am. 

One of the things I love best about you, the people who hang out with me here, is the fact that you accept the Both/And life. Both the silly and the sacred. Both the magic and the mess. I love that you are people of all faiths and all backgrounds. I love that you are moms and dads and people-who-don’t-have-kids and that all of you — every last one — are very human and very divine. I love that you allow me the freedom to muddle my way through this life out loud. That you give me and each other unreasonable encouragement to live the best, most beautifully imperfect lives we can. ...  read more