Your Instrument



We arrived at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference this past Sunday.

Y’all know how much I despise breathtaking views, fresh mountain air, books, and writing.

I was obviously “taking one for the team” when I offered to accompany my daughter to this conference. Purely unselfish motives, folks.

To help Maddie discover how best to pursue a writing career, I was forced to endure countless writing classes, workshops, and prepared meals.  Brutal.

The super-friendly people and mandatory afternoon lattes, honestly threatened my last straw of patience.

This was clearly all for my kid.

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Saying Goodbye to Pop

Pop and Baby Kin

I wrote this tribute to my dad last June, on Father’s Day.

I wanted him to know what he meant to me,

to us,

before it was too late.


My dad thanked me profusely after reading this, for all of the kind words, but didn’t feel he really deserved them all, he said.


My dad knew he wasn’t perfect.

It’s part of what made him Pop.

He could laugh at himself and he could laugh at Mimi.

Nobody could tell a better Mimi story than my father, by the way, although my sister Kath has definitely inherited the gift and is gaining ground.


Mimi, Maddie, and Kath

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Why DO I Homeschool?

NC Zoo Geyser


When I was first introduced to the idea of homeschooling,  I truly thought it was the most ridiculous concept in the world.

It was so countercultural that I found myself struggling to wrap my head around it.

It was laughable, really.

Because how could I, a single individual, be an expert in all things and teach every grade level?

How could I possibly replicate the school environment and its many offerings at home?

I would be depriving my child of a proper education.

My children would miss out on all the fun group activities and events.

Homeschooling went against everything I knew and understood to be true about education and future success. [Read more...]

My Dad


Pop and Gabby

You watched countless soccer games.

You organized backyard baseball.

You attended recitals.

You let me pretend to shave with you in the wee hours of morning.

You took me ice skating.

You let me pick out my favorite ice cream flavor at the Friendly’s take-out window.

You took me to father-daughter square dances.

You looked forward to family vacations.

You sang ‘Barbara Ann’ at the top of your deep voice.

We went fishing and actually caught fish.

We rode bikes in Cape Cod to pick up the morning paper.

We body-surfed the waves and leisurely walked along the shore.

We collected golf balls and used the driving range after-hours.

You took us for nighttime swims. [Read more...]

Rising to the Call

My Crew

People often tell me…

You’re an amazing mom. 

I don’t know how you do it. 

You must have the patience of a saint.

Bless your heart.

And if you know anything about that last one (a notoriously southern phrase) it can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. ;)

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Hands and Feet

Hands and Feet

Have you ever noticed that emotional arousal creates incredibly vivid memories?

When your body’s stress hormone is released, memory making is kicked up a serious notch.

That’s why when something really amazing, terrifying, or shocking happens, you often remember what you were wearing, where you were standing, the music that was playing, and the smells that surrounded you.

I have many intense, detailed memories from the years when my Gabby was her sickest. [Read more...]

Do You Know What’s Sexy?


Young ladies, you can chase anything in a pair of snug-fitting blue jeans.

You can find a set of diamond-cut, blue-green eyes that pierce right through you.

You can seek out a hard body at the gym that ripples with muscle.

But let me tell you what’s really sexy.

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How Do You Measure Happiness?

The World

I have been struggling here lately with how I measure happiness. I look around through the eyes of the world and very quickly see everything that’s lacking.

I want the spacious, immaculate house with eye-catching colors and designs, gorgeous furniture, built-ins, and perfectly organized closets.

I want yummy, healthy meals that effortlessly appear on the table at dinner time.

I want orderly days without chaos, when everything falls neatly into place and my check-list is completed without fail.

I want always obedient children who are never mischievous, difficult, or defiant.

The world says I need less cellulite, cuter outfits, and more accessories.

The world says my hubby deserves a newer car, a handsome wardrobe, and a neatly landscaped yard.

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Dripping Faucet

It was a school day.

I was behind.

I slept through my morning routine and threw clean clothes onto my unshowered self.

I doused my hair with dry shampoo, ran a brush through my flat bed-head, and applied some make-up.

This is how you fool the world into thinking you have your act together.

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My Oxygen




I set my alarm for 5:15AM.


It sounds so early.


I allow myself one snooze before I have to get out of bed.


Okay, I confess…on really bad mornings, I sneak in two.


I pull my hair into a messy ponytail.  Grabbing socks and sneakers, I sleepwalk my way downstairs into the kitchen.

I boldly grind freshly roasted beans at 5:30AM.  (It’s what my life looks like being married to a recently, self-professed coffee snob.)

The aroma immediately jumpstarts my brain.

I pour half-and-half into a large mug, turning strong-black-liquid perfectly golden with the stirring of a spoon.

I indulge in my first sip. [Read more...]