• Family

    Adventures at the DMV

    The one thing I really dread about moving is not the hard work. It’s not the mess. It’s not the purging. It’s not the cost. It’s not the mountain of cardboard boxes. It’s GETTING A NEW DRIVER’S LICENSE or really anything associated with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). My recent adventure at the DMV was quite a doozy. I’ll spoil the ending of the story by saying I got my new driver’s license! WOOHOO!! Imagine when I typed that sentence I was saying it in my most EXCITED voice and there was confetti sprinkling down!!! The one time I don’t mind confetti is in my imagination. This story has…

  • Family

    Back-to-Back Kid Birthdays

    What’s it like for all you people out there whose kids’ birthdays are nice and evenly spaced out? Is it amazing and stress-free? It is, isn’t it? I KNEW IT!! I have to say, it was really smart of you to plan the births of your children that way. And if it wasn’t exactly planned, I don’t want to know the details take that luck and enjoy the heck out of it! My children’s birthdays are ONE. DAY. APART. Let that sink in… Whatever you are thinking about this life-long situation, yes, it’s probably like that. My inner efficiency expert would prefer one small joint birthday celebration. She’s a party…

  • Family

    When Life Gives You a Dose of Perspective

    I had a million things on my mind and a hot latte in my hand when I recently plopped down into the chair at my hair salon to discuss the all-important topic of my unruly hair. My stylist, John, only asks me how my hair has behaved since my last haircut as a matter of politeness. We both know he’s going to take my feedback with a grain of salt and cut my hair the way he see fit. We both also know that no matter what he does, at some point in-between haircuts I’m going to get the scissors out and trim any hairs that are misbehaving. It’s our…

  • Family

    Teaching Kids Life Skills Takes ALL The Patience

    Here’s the thing about parenting. You have to teach your kids stuff. WHAT?!?!  And not just the basics like walking, talking and avoiding yellow snow. Practical, fend-for-yourself things too. If you don’t, they’ll never have the life skills to live on their own. Let THAT sink in. But here’s the thing people don’t want to say – especially online where we all have a tendency to put our best foot forward. My life is super-duper perfect, by the way. Patiently waiting three lifetimes EVERY SINGLE MORNING while your kid ties his or her shoes (or insert any other thing here) is excruciatingly painful. Especially since you know that shoelace is…

  • education,  Family

    Books My Kids Are Reading Part 7

    I’m back with another update (the 7th!) of what books my kids and I have been reading together. The books I share here are the ones my kids, 2nd and 5th graders, enjoyed and gave their stamp of approval. My feelings are sometimes more complicated. I’m a mom. I overthink all. the. things! First, I wanted to show you a different kind of book. This is my son’s Irish reading homework from a few months ago. Suffice it to say, I have to trust him when he says it’s a story about a monkey drinking milk. Now, onto the book list! The World’s Worst Children by David Walliams We’ve read…

  • Family,  holidays

    Merry Christmas

    From our family to yours, we wish you a merry Christmas! Many thanks to my friend Meg for lugging her camera 7 miles and up a mountain to get this family photo – one of the few we took this year – and to my children for cooperating so well. We hope your Christmas is filled with love, good food and many happy moments. Share this:

  • Family,  holidays

    Board Games Even I Enjoy

    I’m not sure what you guys lie in bed at night watching. Game of Thrones? Friends reruns? Stranger Things? The 10 O’Clock News? This Is Us? Do you want to know what I fall asleep listening to Handy Husband watches? YouTube videos of people playing board games. Try not to be jealous of my life. This is akin to my kids watching YouTube videos of people playing Minecraft instead of just playing Minecraft themselves. I’m giving you this window into my very glamorous life to illustrate an important point. When Handy Husband takes on a hobby, you can be guaranteed that he will take that hobby on 110%. There’s no…

  • Family

    What I’m Thankful For Ain’t On No List

    First of all, apologies to my Grandma Olsson for using the word ain’t in the title of this post. I’m fairly certain if she could reprimand me from heaven she would! That was NOT a word we were allowed to use as grandchildren of a teacher. I think it was right up there with naughty words or ‘barnyard talk’ as she called it. Maybe worse! Since she was the sweetest grandma to walk the planet (I’m not biased or anything), I think she would forgive me just this once because I’m merely quoting a song written by Trisha Yearwood. Yes, I’m trying to get off on a technicality. The first…

  • Family,  learning

    Books My Kids Are Reading Part 6

    Books, books and more books! Welcome back to what has become an on-going series sharing the children’s books my kids and I are reading. Before I get to the list of books we’ve enjoyed recently, I want to show you a neat booklet our local Irish library system publishes. It is a reading guide for different age groups from toddlers up to young adults. It includes both fiction and non-fiction recommendations. The library must have a fairly robust budget to produce this booklet and I have no complaints about that! The reading guide is compiled by a group of ‘book doctors’ who are all children’s book specialists. They have backgrounds…

  • Family,  learning

    Kid Wisdom: Everyday Superpowers

    Picture it. The kids and I are on a packed commuter train at 8:27 a.m. We’re standing, of course, because it’s a Monday morning and everyone has to get to work on time on a Monday. By Friday they won’t care as much and the train will be less crowded. I’m wearing my son’s backpack because 2nd grade homework is HEAVY and holding my own backpack with my left hand. With my right hand I’m holding onto one of the vertical bars to keep my balance as the train stops and starts. The kids are clustered next to me attempting whatever movement they can get away with in a packed…