Behind the Smile

thought bubble

I’m so righteous when I drive. I listen to Christian radio and sing along. Sometimes I even become emotionally moved by the words. I mean, I need a halo or wings or something in recognition of my superior spirituality. Until someone cuts me off or goes too slow. Then the halo goes flying off and the unholy words go flying out. Can you relate? Sometimes I think if I listen to or read spiritual words somehow I’ll absorb holiness. If only it worked that way – I’d be Mother Teresa. It’s time for … [Read more...]

“Dear God: We Don’t Eat Our Friends”

Aubrey baby pigtails

9 years ago today, Aubrey Elizabeth June came into the world screaming, her tiny red face clearly unhappy about her current circumstances. Her unhappiness was still evident 4 hours later. Nothing I did could make her stop crying. I contemplated sending her back, but it was not allowed, so I rocked her and prayed for hearing loss. It wasn’t until her siblings came in, all adorable in their “I’m a big sister/brother” t-shirts, and crowded around her bassinet that she stopped crying. They poked her … [Read more...]

Anatomy 101


When I was growing up, I got one speech about periods. I don't even remember what it was except that it was exceedingly uncomfortable and obviously awkward for my mom. The same went with the sex talk. And, Lord help me, I vaguely remember her mentioning something about condoms, but I'm sure I've tucked that convo in the deep recesses of my brain, forever buried with no intention to excavate. Moms are smart, too. These embarrassing discussions always seem to happen in cars. I suppose because the … [Read more...]

Stop Eating My Cottonballs

dog cartoon

I just downloaded a Pinterest app. I thought it would be a nice reminder of how woefully inadequate I am; this website is the epitome of “If I was a different person, I could totally do that”. There are some brilliant ideas that sometimes work out for other people, so it’s useful on some level I’m sure. In an effort to try to save money, I entertained the idea of making Aubrey’s unicorn birthday cake, hence Pinterest, but alas, if you know me, you know I am simply not wired to be a cake … [Read more...]

The Collapsible Mother


I'm hiding. I can't do this anymore. No more kids. No more dinners. No more cleaning. No more sock-eating dog. If I'm lucky, I can finish this blog before they find me. But I just ate a bowl of frosted flakes with half and half because they drank all the milk, so I'm pretty sure I'll have to either poop or vomit in a few minutes. (It's a lactose thing.) It's okay. Everybody poops. Do you ever feel like if you're needed for one more thing, you might run, naked into the woods? Or in my case, … [Read more...]

Joy, Incomparable


When I was a child, my mother dressed me like Bert and/or Ernie. I had the haircut in the shape of a cereal bowl and she drove around in a brown Volvo (outdated even then) station wagon that would, every so often, lose its muffler at any given time or place. For the first 6 or 7 years of my life, I could say we were poor. Well, the American definition of poor. We had food, shelter and what we needed. Eventually, my mom (Amy) started working and my dad (Don) became self-employed doing … [Read more...]

For You, Teacher……


Dear Teachers, In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to tell you what you mean to the world. One day, you will be the topic of conversation at a dinner table. Maybe next week. Maybe 20 years from now. Your name will be remembered in fondness or in displeasure. The choice is yours. But you will be remembered. You may impact a child that has never known love in a way that engraves hope into his heart. You pour your soul into your work, weaving a tapestry of legacies within your … [Read more...]

Angels in Disguise

Teacher appreciation

Oh to be a fly on the wall of an elementary school…yesterday on our way home from school Aubrey told me she and her best friend had to see their mentor to discuss a problem. I naturally assumed they had a fight. When I asked her what they fought about this time she replied, quite indignantly, “Mama, we don’t fight anymore”. Apparently one of her classmates accused another of her classmates of murder. I wanted to laugh. Instead I bit my cheeks and asked how the suspect supposedly committed this … [Read more...]

Side o’ Turds – Extra Hot Sauce.

Ryan and Roopa

Puppies are obnoxious, simple-minded furballs. My puppy, while extraordinarily cute, is probably the dumbest creature alive. She adds a layer of insanity to my life I didn’t need, or want. Truth be told, I kind of regret getting her. Is that awful? If it is, I apologize. To redeem myself, I really don’t want anything bad to happen to her, despite the death threats I hiss to her when she does less-than-adorable puppy things, like eat my shoes, or her latest annoying habit – eating cat … [Read more...]

Hanging By a Thread


“Dead Like Me” is a TV series I’ve been watching lately. While I certainly don’t subscribe to its “theology”, watching makes me particularly introspective about our time here on this planet. The Bible is clear about not being promised any certain amount of time on the earth. There are times, like Paul, I sincerely want to be with Jesus and just forget all this ridiculous earth drama. And then I realize I’m here for a reason, and so I do my best to be whatever it is I’m supposed to be though I’m … [Read more...]