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Help Your Kids Not Vape

“How can someone so smart be so damn stupid?”   My mother hugged me tightly and didn’t let go. When the hug lingered longer than usual, I knew she had picked up the smell of cigarettes in my hair.  I had…

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Taste of Christmas

It was my first cookie swap, and I was ready to wow friends and co-workers with my culinary skills and creativity. Of course, I would bake my mother’s semi-famous, wholly delicious pineapple cookies. Of course, this would be a fantastic…

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8 Things I’m Grateful for and Why

It’s that time of year again, the season of giving thanks. You might be making a mental inventory of blessings, jotting down ideas for Facebook statuses, or lining up pictures for Instagram posts that proclaim unceasing gratitude in the most…

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Homebody Summers

With five minutes left before the big switch from the art room to the music room, my fellow Vacation Bible School volunteer had a circle of adorable 5-year-olds to entertain, mine included.  “Let’s tell everyone where we’re going on vacation…

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Some Thoughts on Childcare

“The funniest thing happened today!” She said it with a nervous giggle. I had just started using full-time childcare for my firstborn, who I was picking up after a day at the office. A lovely and enthusiastic twenty-ish woman plucked…

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Riding the Potty Train

There we sat – crisscross applesauce on a cold kitchen floor – surrounded by a sea of Duplo LEGO blocks. One of us didn’t have pants on. The look on her face was a combination of shock and delight. My…

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12 Ways to Give Fun, Not Stuff

Ten years ago this month, our Christmas budget officially blew up. Perhaps your family was hit by the same destructive force: The Great Recession.  If I close my eyes, I can still feel the throbbing that overtook my frontal lobe…

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Raising Voters

When my youngest daughter turned eighteen last month, my mother asked me if I was going to “drag her to the polls” in November. She remembers when I turned eighteen a long time ago and voting was not exactly top of…

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