Making Connections

A Perfect Christmas


I have this tendency to try and get everyone in my family everything they could possibly imagine for the holidays. While a reasonably noble cause, it is not always a responsible one. Believe me, I have gone well over the limit of both credit cards and checking accounts alike trying to find "the perfect" gift for Mom and to provide a veritable sea of new toys under the tree for my four children.

Independence and the Stay-At-Home Mother


Becoming a mother is a defining experience. In less than a year a woman's body is transformed by pregnancy, her limits are tested by labor and she is overwhelmed by the all-encompassing love she feels for her child.

In the midst of this turmoil, a woman must make a decision that will have a profound impact on her baby, her partner and her own sense of self: Should she return to work or stay home?

Housewife Drag


Flylady says "Get dressed to shoes--lace-up shoes." It's her way of getting you to psych up for the day, to be ready for whatever comes.

My way is a little different. I need my "housewife drag."

For me, that consists of an apron. I need an apron. I have to have an apron. I cannot FUNCTION without an apron.

Housekeepers for Homemakers


Ariel Gore says in one of her books, and I'm paraphrasing here, if you have to choose between spending money on a therapist or spending money on a housekeeper, choose the housekeeper.

Three Girl Scout Troops, Two Girls (Plus Mom)


Some Mondays, my weekly calendar, posted on the large white dry erase board, is covered with activity. Five different colors, one for each family member makes quite a rainbow. I've even got the dog's schedule written in light yellow. (I don't want to make his activities look too imposing.) It still seems like too much.

On Staying Home


For most of my life, well, at least since my turbulent teen years, I have been well aware of my desire to do things my way. This desire made its way into every imaginable situation: My relationships with family members, my friends, and especially my many bosses who over the years had to listen to my "expert" advice on running their businesses.

Littleton: After Some Reflection


Littleton's tragedy shook me to the core, as I'm sure it did you. I wanted to wait, and reflect on it, before I said anything here. And what I say, I'm going to keep brief; I think there's been enough said already.

Coincidentally, this summer is my 20-year high school class reunion, and so I was thinking about high school anyway before this happened. Those years are summed up for me in the word "miserable."

Good Boys, Great Works


News reports about teenage boys are usually gray, if not outright black, these days. I want to tell the brighter kind of story that does not get much attention from the media. It's about my 16-year-old son and several of his peers.

About 6 years ago, I traveled with a busload of ladies on a trip to Dallas, Texas. While on this trip, I complimented a woman on her lapel pin. It was a tiny set of infant feet. She immediately took it off and said, "Here, I want you to have it."

Gracias, Amigo


Thank you."

For many of us, it is an autonomic response, like breathing or blinking. "Thank you" is a reflex action--a phrase we spurt out at the end of a conversation, mostly to signal its end.

I thank people for calling, for writing, for bagging my groceries, for stopping me on the street to pet my dog. If you are like me, you catch yourself uttering the phrase at least a dozen times each day, but have you ever really stopped to think about what it means?

Communicate, Integrate and Celebrate


How well a couple weathers a crisis is usually a good indicator of whether they will survive and thrive, survive and live in blahs for quite some time, or not survive, winding up as another statistic in the divorce court. Thriving as a couple following the death of a parent or child, job loss, illness or major life change can be challenging, but it is definitely more likely when several factors are considered.


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