Three weeks ago, a man drove into my neighborhood, stormed into a synagogue, murdered eleven people, and shot and wounded several others. Well, that's old news. Why I am I still talking about it now, after there's already been a mass shooting of twelve people elsewhere in America? Because NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL, none … Continue reading The Tree of Life in the City of Steel
I wrote a short review of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, but I have more to say about this book. The author is a marriage counselor whose experience with clients led him to identify 5 distinct ways of expressing love and to recognize that the acts that convey to you that someone really … Continue reading more about The 5 Love Languages
Here's a sprightly introduction to my reviews of the books I read in the past month. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty There are multiple husbands with multiple secrets in this twisty story, which is sort of a mystery but also an excellent "modern realistic fiction" novel with lots of complex characters. Cecilia finds a … Continue reading Princess X and The Husband’s Secret Love Languages [book reviews]
In photographs of last Saturday's women's marches in Washington, D.C., and around the United States, many pink hats are visible, most of them with ears, indicating solidarity with the Pussyhat Project that was so popular it caused shortages of pink yarn in some parts of the country. It's obvious that many thousands of pink pussyhats … Continue reading Is Your Pussyhat Keeping Someone Warm?
When I was born, my mother quit her paying job so she could be home with me. When my kids were born, I took 12 weeks off and then returned to my job. It's my father, not my mother, who has been my role model for balancing parenthood with employment.
Barb Curlee was my friend. She died last year, of cancer, after fewer years than she deserved. Barb and I met at church, where we eventually served on the vestry together during three difficult years when the vestry had a lot to do! Barb was wise and strong and mostly cheerful through it all. Barb … Continue reading The Barb Curlee Memorial Bookmark
I'm not very romantic. A lot of the gooey sentiments expressed around Valentine's Day send me into fits of critical thinking. I'm kind of like this. But I am in love with Daniel, and have been for almost 20 years, and sometimes get kind of sentimental about it. In particular, I can get all choked … Continue reading My Favorite Love Song
Welcome to the December 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: The More Things Change . . . This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about life changes. *** As a teenager, I went … Continue reading Planning, Parenting, and Perfection
I feel kind of silly posting a tip for religious fulfillment as if it were just another tip for better living, but I did learn this from a bishop (so it's sort of official!) and it really has made a big difference in the way I experience Communion and maybe even in the way God … Continue reading How to get more out of Communion
Although I am discussing my work here, the point of view is my own, and this is not an official statement of the Pittsburgh Youth Study. As the data manager of a long-term research study, I recently helped to write this academic paper: Bullying Perpetration and Victimization as Predictors of Delinquency and Depression in the … Continue reading Bullying: an article I wrote, and three I don’t have to write
Today is my son's last day of kindergarten! This has been his first year in public school, and we are very pleased with our neighborhood public school, Pittsburgh Colfax. It's a great example of how an urban school can thrive when faculty encourage parent involvement. On "Take Your Special Person to School Day" last month, … Continue reading Our Neighborhood Public School Works for Us!
One reason I'm glad I did so much writing about my early motherhood experiences is that, just a few years later, I've forgotten some of the stages my child passed through, the stages that seemed to be lasting forever yet vanished very quickly. Here's something I posted on a discussion board when he had just … Continue reading Mama, you happy?
Three years ago, Daniel and I were interviewed by Redbook magazine for an article called "The Changing Shape of the American Family" which profiled several different family structures. The Alternatives to Marriage Project referred the reporter to us as an example of a stable couple raising a child without being married. The final article [which, … Continue reading Why aren’t we married?
God is Love. God is Good. Love is Good. Love is Love. If that's too succinct for you, here is another writer who says the same thing, so beautifully, in many more words!
Little girls are cute and small only to adults. To one another, they are not cute. They are life-sized. --Margaret Atwood Last spring, when Nicholas was 3 years 5 months old, I found a picture of myself at 3 years 5 months old. Not only did I see a strong resemblance between us, but I found … Continue reading Life-sized
This is just a little story from my life. I can't think of a good reason to post it, except that it keeps tugging on the corner of my mind and wanting to be told. I hope that somehow, it makes a difference to somebody. Pregnancy made me very sick. The nausea hit suddenly on the … Continue reading My Secret Journey
This article is part of my Tastes Like Somebody Loves You! series. My son was 12 days old the first time he received a package with his name computer-printed on the shipping label. "What did you order?" I asked him jokingly. "Did you go online without permission?" Of course he hadn't--the package contained a gift. … Continue reading When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best
Each photograph showed a smiling child, alone in the foreground of an after-school activity: ballet lesson, soccer practice, etc. The slogan said, "Tastes Like Somebody Loves You!" It was an ad campaign for individual pudding snacks. Well, it may taste like it, but that snack doesn't mean anyone loves you, kid. In fact, nobody loves … Continue reading Tastes Like Somebody Loves You!
I had some trouble deciding what to do for Lent this year. We gave up meat in 2002, but since then we've eaten so much less meat that giving it up completely wouldn't make a noticeable daily difference. I toyed with several ideas and started into Lent by reading selections from the Gospel aloud to … Continue reading Slaying the Snooze-button Sloth
As of last August, I've lived in Pittsburgh longer than in any other town. Sixteen years, and I still love it! Pittsburgh is the #1 most livable city in America. I grew up in Oklahoma, so that's my basis for comparison, and Pittsburgh wins in many ways: I like walkable neighborhoods, not spread-out ranch houses and strip … Continue reading Pittsburgh: A Love Letter