I’m about to leave on vacation. A LONG vacation. The longest vacation of my life, I think; at least since I was a child and had summers off and thought they were boring. This one’s a TWO WEEK vacation, friends. And just let me clarify here — I’m talking about TWO WEEKS IN A ROW — which is UNTOLD RICHES as far as I’m concerned and like WINNING THE LOTTERY and is entirely thanks to my mother who’s unreasonably generous and my father who’s also unreasonably generous but likes to be gruff and grim and mutter under his breath, “She wastes all the money on the children.”  ...  read more

48 Hours Into Summer Break: A Report

It’s 48 hours into summer break now. The toilet is clogged and the toilet paper dispenser has finally, after dangling by a thread for years, been ripped completely off the wall.

It’s 48 hours into summer break, and my kids have watched at least 36 cumulative hours of screens, played outside for 12, fussed for 8, been bored for 16 and also, nothing is fair. Nothing.  ...  read more

On Honoring Our Inconvenient Passions: A Parenting and Imperfection Post by Mary Beth Danielson


I’m leaving this morning to go on a 3-day paddling trip with my husband, my dad, and friends, several of whom I haven’t met yet. At some point in the last 6 months, Greg and I thought this would be a GREAT way to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary, despite the fact that we’ll have to erect a tent together THREE TIMES without harming ourselves or others. Our track record so far on that front is somewhere between Pathetic and Abysmal. ...  read more

It’s the Part of Winter Break When…

I caught my kid’s puke last night inside the puke bag – all of it except for the chunks that landed on my left hand before they slid with a shake of my wrist into the bag with their buddies.

I don’t know when I started considering puke shots that make it in off the rim worthy of full points, but it was a 2-pointer in my book, for sure. I marked up the stats, credited myself with the assist, and moved quickly down the court to help the rest of my team, because the game doesn’t stop when someone makes or misses a shot. It just keeps going and going and going until someone calls timeout or the buzzer sounds Game Over, except without timeouts and no game ender in sight, ’cause this is Life, not basketball. ...  read more

Merry Christmas Eve and Happy Mother’s Day (and Day 9 of 7+ Giveaways)

I gave my dad homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas because I’m a kind and loving daughter. 

And because I’m amazing and can do All of the Things at Christmas time!

And maybe a teeny tiny bit because I let my kids eat the cinnamon rolls I gave my dad for Father’s Day.

All of them.

As in, I let my kids eat every single cinnamon roll I gave my dad for Father’s Day, and my dad didn’t get any. ...  read more

3 (Actually) Fun Family Activities (and Day 7 of 7+ Giveaways)

My parents always called it Fun Family Time Together, or, abbreviated, F2T2. And there was a LOT of F2Tduring my childhood years.

To be clear, anytime my mom pulled out the F2TPhrase in a voice pitched with forced enthusiasm, we knew we were about to enter FAMILY HELL.

Long trip on a rickety train with a questionable safety record through the Indonesian mountains, our mouths raging infernos from cripplingly spicy fried rice we didn’t know how to order “mild,” on our way to our new home where we weren’t at all sure we wanted to live?  ...  read more