The Empty Plate

“All done!” Babesie shouts as she scoots away from the table and off on her own mission. Her little brother is quick to follow, leaving behind almost full plates of food. My kids never eat the balanced dinners I cook: choosing instead to go after the pantryful of snacks. It’s a battle I continually lose, […]

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Outside Relief: Terribly Small

“What is it about a grassy hill in the wind that both fills and empties our minds?” I’m not sure.  That’s why I’m asking you. My oldest daughter and I pulled into the gravel parking lot one Saturday afternoon.  It was one of my favorite open space preserves, as it was nothing but mountains.  After […]

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Worry: Do Turkeys Feel Happy?

I drove past them along a country road on my way back from dropping my kids off at school: a group of wild turkeys.  I ascertained most were young males, as I saw many tail feathers spread, strutting around like a bunch of young football players at a high school dance.  It was an overcast […]

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Emotional Tool: Contentment

This one sounds so zen.  This is the one, ladies.  This is the sneaker wave.  Contentment seems like it should require zero work, like it would come from floating in a pool with a lemonade.  I want my emotional homework to be, “Find yourself a flattering swim suit and a pool floatie.  It’s time to […]

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The Gospel of Motherhood

She sat rocking her tiny infant – her third child in four years – to sleep in the carrier with her foot.  She sat silently looking at her hands while the rest of us gabbed about ourselves.  Then, one of our group asked her, “How is life for you now as a mom of three?” […]

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Mothers: Isolated, Together

She leaned a hip against the kitchen counter while I pulled pieces of smoked turkey meat from the bone, dropping them into the simmering pot beside me. “I feel like I don’t have any time to stop and talk to anybody.” She confided.  “Between nursing school, work, and driving my daughter to school and to […]

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Emotional Tool: “I Feel” Statements

There was that day at the beach.  Sunny, windless, and clear.   In my brain, I had built up some ungodly expectations about the amazing adventures we were going to have.  I packed the kayak and everything.  But my hard-working husband told me he planned to do nothing but rest his weary bones on the sand.  […]

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DishPan Hands: A Love Story

One morning, years ago, my fiance and I were driving on our way to look at wedding bands. I looked down at my bumpy knuckles and calloused palms while sitting beside him in the car.  I grimaced. “You’re marrying a girl with kind-of burly hands,” I sighed.  He looked over at them and smiled. “I’ve got a […]

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Emotional Tool: Be Present

This year was supposed to be all different.  I blame a wonderful New Year’s tradition my friends and I have. Would you like to hear a story? For the past few years a group of mommy friends and I have held a tradition.  Each of us picks out a word as our focus for our […]

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