Our Stories

Ready for Kindergarten?

One of my favorite parts about buying a house was the open house listing that would come out every Sunday ...
Read More

Gothschild

During a perfectly pleasant conversation, my daughter abruptly turned serious. "Mom, I need to tell you something." I can't tell ...
Read More

Once a Quitter Always a Quitter?

Being a good parent means teaching our kids the fundamentals of how to succeed in the world, be a good ...
Read More

5-Minute Get-Moving Activities

Story and I recently learned about sitting disease. Apparently sitting is the new smoking. (I won't get into the list ...
Read More

At a Loss for Words

I had a lot of uncertainty when Riley was born. How would I know what she needed? How would I ...
Read More

Locks of Love

If you know Story, you know that her hair is part of her identity -- fine, curly, wild, combed only ...
Read More

Age-Appropriate Chores – A New Start to the New Year

The year 2016 has now come and gone, and we are well into the new year. The past year certainly ...
Read More

7 Steps to a Less Stressful To-Do List

This holiday season, as with all holiday seasons before it, Santa was fast at work making his list and checking ...
Read More

What Moms Really Want for Christmas

We are moms, so we are so proud of our children's artworks, glittered cards, construction-paper ornaments, decorated letters, and exuberant ...
Read More

Top DIY Toy Ideas for Kids

By Nancy Shaw Your baby is actually taking off now, and as you chase the small one down the road, ...
Read More

The Great Purge

I found myself this fall in need of a change. It wasn’t a need spurred by my volition but one ...
Read More

Epiphany in a Clothing Store

I take pride in being comfortable in my own skin. The unfortunate neighbor who glances at my house when I ...
Read More

Six Important Potty Training Lessons

I find potty training to be very similar to the lies that are spread about sleep training. When “teaching” your ...
Read More

Food for Thought on Thanksgiving

As we enter this holiday week, our thoughts are mostly on food, traveling, the logistics of traveling with kids, family, ...
Read More

You Are Valuable

When we become mothers, there is a switch in our brains that is triggered and can never be shut off ...
Read More

Disney Jazz

This is a sponsored post from Disney Music and One2One Network, but the opinions are entirely my own. I grew ...
Read More

Thankful for Weeds

Owen, a neighborhood kid and genius with plants, rang my doorbell. Cracking the door just a bit and holding the ...
Read More

Six Things That Strike Fear in a Mother’s Heart

Moms are fearless. We brave the most terrifying diapers, navigate emotional ups and downs, and tackle napless days. Yes, it ...
Read More

A Service Station Start to Family Fun

If you haven’t gone to a pumpkin patch this year, there’s still time. Do it! It’s great family fun. Ali ...
Read More

The No Good, Very Bad, Terrible Week

When Riley was three, she was enthralled with the Bubble Guppies. It wasn’t the worst show out there. In fact, ...
Read More

Year 6

My Story turned seven this weekend. We had a lovely get-together with family and friends who are considered family. No ...
Read More

A Big Step Towards Independence

This week Riley took a big step. Just two weeks past her fifth birthday, she took a step into a ...
Read More

It Takes a Village

This past weekend was spent in a cabin with my sisters, mother, and daughter. We had no Internet, no cell ...
Read More

A World of Pure Imagination

We can’t give our children everything. It’s a hard pill to swallow since we as moms so desperately want to ...
Read More

An Extraordinary Ordinary Life

As I sat down to write this, I realized I didn't have anything to say. Especially on this fifteenth anniversary ...
Read More

You Want Your Birthday Party Where?

The experience begins with a human chute fashioned just like a chute would be on a cattle ranch. In fact, ...
Read More

The Biggest Trouble Comes in the Smallest Packages

I'm terribly sorry for having missed yesterday's post. I have the biggest excuse though: my daughter's brand-new-to-the-family, three-month-old, Chihuahua-mix puppy, ...
Read More

This Will All Be Over Someday

Bad weeks have a funny way of creeping up on you. Sometimes you can see the culprit of the bad ...
Read More

Nightmares and Night Terrors: Do You Know the Difference?

Story has been sick this past week, and when she is sick, she usually has nightmares. Perhaps it is her ...
Read More

You’re Speaking My Language

Maddie is going through a phase. I’ve been referring to it by its’ very scientific name – “The Tough Dropoff ...
Read More

Do the Clothes Make the Girl?

It’s about time for school to start again, and that means back-to-school shopping. I absolutely LOVE school supply shopping. The ...
Read More

The Sounds of Silence

Loud silence. A contradiction of words that somehow seem to be the only accurate way to describe certain experiences of ...
Read More

Every Kid Should Have a Backseat Childhood

As I sit here writing this, Story and Riley are best friends, eating noodles in the common room and watching ...
Read More

Wanted: Child Care That Isn’t Terrifying

My house has been filled with the laughter (and tantrums) of a child under two for the past four years ...
Read More

Is Feral a Phase?

I love my daughter. I really do. With all my heart and soul. But sometimes . . . sometimes I ...
Read More

Inevitably We All Become Our Parents

In life there are things that people tell us are going to happen. They tell us that when we’re older ...
Read More

A Girl and Her Grandma

When Story was born, my mom and grandma came up to help me. I knew how lucky I was to ...
Read More

Summer: The Certain Cure for Mom Funk

As much as I hate to admit it, I have found myself in a funk. This Monday, I woke up ...
Read More

Open Letter to the Creator of Bunk Beds

Dear Ms. Bunk Bed Creator, I must admit that I had my doubts. When Ali got a bunk bed for ...
Read More

Everyone Needs A Little Vacation Time

There are some distinct perks to being a single mom. Vacation planning is one of those. I don’t have much ...
Read More

“You Don’t Have What It Takes”

In church this morning, the congregation celebrated the graduation of our seniors. Our caring and compassionate pastor stood up in ...
Read More

The Tale of a Two-Year-Old and Her Grandpa

They say that a special thing happens when a man has a daughter. My dad had two. He would likely ...
Read More

Two Minutes of Morning Mom

Following is a piece I submitted to Inkblot Editing's Two-Minute Challenge. Try it! It's great fun! Eyes roam the kitchen ...
Read More

Childhood Summers

When Story started kindergarten, I did a happy dance -- primarily because I could say goodbye to the exorbitant daycare ...
Read More

The Art of the Fight

I’ve written a lot about the girls and their exploration of the meaning of sisterhood. Their ups and downs are ...
Read More

Story’s Stories

For those of you who know how I've suffered with Story's blatant lack of interest in learning to read, please ...
Read More

Why My Tax Refund Will Go Directly to My HSA

It's that time of year again! The time to gather up your life's financials from the last year and hope ...
Read More

I Would Walk 500 Miles

I'm 500 miles and two days away from my daughter. When I first traveled for work, leaving Story behind, I ...
Read More

Did I Have a Second Child to Be a Companion for My First?

Recently, I found myself in conversation with a coworker about second children. Her sister is deciding whether or not to ...
Read More

Let’s Talk About Tics

No, not those creepy little bloodsuckers that give you the shivers -- rather, let's talk about those shivers! Or twitches ...
Read More

Let Them Do the Right Thing

You can’t teach your kids everything. It is one of those strange mom thoughts that you have to sometimes sit ...
Read More

A Vocabulary Lesson

If you’ve read any of my posts about Story, you know she’s a talker. Luckily for me, she has a ...
Read More

A Mother’s Battle With Beauty

Beauty. A lighthearted word that should evoke feelings of peacefulness, harmony, and pleasing. Though well intentioned, the word misses its ...
Read More

Your House on Your Time

Once upon a time, I was a woman who had it all together. I was queen of my life, and ...
Read More

A Working Mom’s Fairy Tale

Do you remember the days of getting out of bed at 8 am and thinking it was early? Sleeping in ...
Read More

On or Off: It’s Sister Love Either Way

By Kathy Cummins My granddaughters fight. They make each other cry. Still learning social skills at ages four and nearly ...
Read More

Time After Time

Story and I are alike in a lot of ways, but we are at opposite extremes when it comes to ...
Read More

To Each Her Own Bed

Each night after the children are all tucked into their beds, I pause for a moment to look at them ...
Read More

Spotlight: Blooming on a Budget

In the land of motherhood, companions are hard to come by. Making friends is much more challenging than in previous ...
Read More

The Effects of a Six-Year-Old on Self-Esteem

I've taken a few hits in my days, and in my younger years, I cared way too much about what ...
Read More

I Want My Daughter to Be Barbie

Poor Barbie has a bad rap. Forever stuck in the gender inequality wars, she is never recognized for the good ...
Read More

Awesome Apps for Moms

I love lists. I love folders. I love planners. These things make me feel successful in life. Unfortunately, they don't ...
Read More

In Hopes of Alone Time

It's 5 am when the alarm clock rings. I grab my phone and stare at the alarm, hoping that the ...
Read More

Home for the Holidays

It is so easy and wonderful to get caught up in the chaos of Christmas. So many presents to give, ...
Read More

You’re Doing Okay, Mom

Each maternity leave, there was one commercial that would send me to tears instantly. The first time, it was a ...
Read More

6 Ways My 6-Year-Old Is Like a 16-Year-Old

When she started kindergarten, Story declared herself grown up. That’s where it all began. She embraced her words and is ...
Read More

I Was That Mom

Last year, I was that mom. You know, the one in a full panic because the toy of the season ...
Read More

The Year We Had an Elf

by Elizabeth Stasny These days almost everyone with young children knows about The Elf on the Shelf, but in 2008 ...
Read More

Tradition Versus Routine

I’m a routine kinda gal. Ask Ali. When I don’t have a good, solid routine in place, my world seems ...
Read More

A Thank You to Mom Truths

In the season of thanks, I cannot think of anything that I am more thankful for than simply being a ...
Read More

The Greatest Story Ever Told

When Story was eight months old, I began to write to her every night. It was my way of releasing ...
Read More

The 8 Ways I’m Ruining My Kids

My number-one goal as a parent is to raise successful, independent adults (see When Doing Your Job Breaks Your Heart) ...
Read More

Pixie Dust Knowledge for the Win!

Family, friends, colleagues, strangers stuck with me in the elevator—STORY IS INTERESTED IN LEARNING TO READ! You’ve no idea how ...
Read More

When Doing Your Job Breaks Your Heart

by Elizabeth Stasny Later this morning, I have to take Rebecca to move into her dorm room. The car is ...
Read More

Home Is Where Our Story Begins

This Thursday marks the second anniversary of our moving into our home. Our house-versary. Each year, I celebrate. Not a ...
Read More

5 Ways to Encourage Conversation at the Dinner Table

Story is a chatterbox. She talks before she's out of bed. She talks as she's getting ready for school. She ...
Read More

Let It Go?

A week or so ago we were experiencing a pretty great day. The weather let up from a cold spell, ...
Read More

Writer vs Subject: Mental Health vs Scarred for Life

By Kathy Cummins I write this on the birthday of Bob Newhart, who said, "Laughter gives us distance. It allows ...
Read More

Children at Funerals: Appropriate?

Should children attend visitations and funerals? I’m sure I asked this question at some point, especially considering there have been ...
Read More

A Mother’s Day Off

Monday began like any other day. I woke up early, took care of the dog, worked, cleaned just enough to ...
Read More

Mothering Multiples

By Sarah from Sarah in the Suburbs Being a mother of multiples has thrust me into a unique situation. I ...
Read More

Five Badges of BadAssery

Looking at me, badass isn’t a word that would immediately come to mind. Even knowing me, you still likely wouldn’t ...
Read More

The Dark Age

I wonder what it was like right before the Dark Ages. I wonder if the people knew what was coming, ...
Read More

Labor Day

Labor Day is a holiday that pays tribute to the American worker, and rightly so, for without the labor movement, ...
Read More

That’s a Bad Smell

The seasons are changing. I'm not ready to say goodbye to summer, but I can't help but enjoy the fall ...
Read More

Once Upon a Time a Book Was Born

Once upon a time, a little girl had a dream of being a writer—not just any writer, a children’s book ...
Read More

Dear Blanket, It’s not me. It’s you.

Dear Blanket, You first appeared in my life 8 months ago. I left town and you moved in. No notice ...
Read More

5 Ways We Should Be More Like Preschoolers

Sunday school began yesterday. I teach the preschoolers. I was eager but nervous to begin the year. I love the ...
Read More

A Day of Service

This year, our company gave each employee a day of service, which means that we can each use one work ...
Read More

One Week Left

One week. That’s all we have left. Story will be leaving preschool and I will be leaving my full-time job ...
Read More

The Best Gift I’ll Ever Give Them

During our family reunion this summer, the aunts asked me how Riley likes being a sister. I enthusiastically replied, “Great! ...
Read More

Get Off My Lawn!

Now that Story is five, she is expanding her social circles. On the day I stood in mute horror as ...
Read More

Parental Apologies

A couple of weeks ago, a co-worker invited me, or really Riley, to have a playdate with his daughter. He ...
Read More

Devil Dogs

Hi, folks. This week I’m going to tell you a heartbreaking tale of how two best friends will forever (for ...
Read More

We arrived.

We arrived. And as I suspected might happen, I did not arrive the same person I was when I left ...
Read More

5 Tips for Good Parenting

Following are a few tips that I’ve picked up along the way. You aren’t likely to find these in any ...
Read More

It’s Not About the Destination

I love my planner. With work and family, I have multiple things going on and need a place to get ...
Read More

I Can Fly!

I heard a story this week about a young man who makes unusual life choices, such as becoming a monk, ...
Read More

Play Hard, Work Less

It has happened. I knew that it would. My once stationary, sweet little baby has transitioned to a very mobile ...
Read More

Preschool Graduation

It’s been an emotional week for Ali and me. Maddie turned one, and we had to say goodbye to “baby.” ...
Read More

On Your First Birthday

You, my baby, are turning one this week. The cake is made, the decorations bought. Yes, the celebration is on ...
Read More

Sisters

Story is an only child and lucky to be so. All my extra energies (and income) go to her. Every ...
Read More

Two Tickets to the Train

I had two tickets to the train at the Indianapolis Zoo. The year prior, I took Riley to the zoo ...
Read More

All the World’s a Stage

Story has chips in her two front teeth. They were made by a coffin. (Ahem, before I get hate mail, ...
Read More

The Old, the New, and the Digital Native

Easter was busy as usual this year. As a child, I eagerly awaited the hunt for my hidden Easter basket ...
Read More

Safety and the Single Mom

I’m a bit of an anxious person by nature. After my mom left, and I was alone with a newborn, ...
Read More

Born to Swim

We had our first glimpses of spring this past week. Sixty degree weather and SUN! Each year, I am amazed ...
Read More

How to Train Your Dinosaur

For the past two years, Story has woken up as a different animal every day. Each morning, I must drape ...
Read More

Mom Brain

Having children is a strange and mysterious thing. The sheer number of parenting resources in print and on the Internet ...
Read More

Snow Days Can Be the Best Days

If you read my “Nurturing Your Space” article, you know that I had a bit of an episode of temporary ...
Read More

Thank Goodness for Online Shopping

There are certain places that mothers avoid. When you are outnumbered, a trip to the grocery store can be as ...
Read More

Mom Friends

“Mom, the baby likes it when I spit on her!” I could do little but inwardly sigh. We were on ...
Read More

Maddie

Being a Virgo, I have a tendency to be a tad stubborn. It's hard for me to redirect an ambition ...
Read More

Story

I get some pretty interesting looks when I introduce my daughter. “Dory?” they say, trying to force a name that ...
Read More

Riley

When I found out that I was having a girl, I had a very clear image in my mind of ...
Read More