My middle child Eli, is the theatrical one in the family. You know the type - always telling jokes, crafting dramatic stories, reacting passionately to everything. He cracks me up and has quite the reputation among our friends as being a real ham.
What comes to mind when you think of a beach vacation? Miles of white sand, a sparkling blue sea, a warm breeze ruffling your hair?
When I was pregnant with my first child, Zach, I made a statement that came back to haunt me. It was in response to the outpouring of unsolicited advice I received from experienced parents.
I know this probably sounds strange, but one of the most profound moments of my entire Christmas season happened while I was in the kitchen, making candy.
Every morning in December, I enjoy a laugh as I look out my front window and see our eight-foot-tall inflatable Santa flattened on the ground. It's just so funny to see the jolly old man face-planted in the dirt, quite realistically reflecting the way I feel at the end of every December day - totally, utterly deflated.
Through the month of November, many of my friends have kept track of things they're grateful for through daily Facebook posts. It's been rather amusing to see how the deep gratitude for spouses, children and siblings mentioned at the first of the month trickled down into meager appreciation for things like coffee and rainbows last week.
The lighting was dim and the air filled with the fragrance of carnations and roses last Friday night. The tiny baby lay there quietly, with perfectly round cheeks and a little button nose, like on all newborn faces. A knit cap covered his hair, a monogrammed blanket was tucked beneath his chin, and as I heard others remarking, that precious baby looked just like a porcelain doll displayed in a box.
Editor's note: This column originally ran in 2006.
November might just be this tired mom's favorite month of the year. I used to think it was October, what with the arrival of autumn and all the fun family events surrounding Halloween. And my October was truly delightful - I finally made good on a two-year promise to my kids that we'd host a Halloween party, and we all had an awesome time enjoying friends, food and fellowship.
Halloween is still five days away, but it's already been a pretty scary October around here. I'm talking rusty pitchforks and trails of blood, towers of toppling trash and assault by a grizzled old geezer. The actual holiday is going to feel like a vacation compared to how October's been so far.
I felt rather apprehensive when I walked into the doctor's office last week. It was a return visit to discuss the results of recent blood work. I didn't fear news of anything truly terrible, like cancer, but I wondered if my poor lifestyle choices had caught up with me yet.
When I was pregnant with my first son Zach, some 14 years ago, I could've easily rattled off a list of adjectives describing what I expected motherhood to be like.
I'm sure that every American is aware that this Sunday is September 11th, the tenth anniversary of the tragic day that we learned exactly how brutally our enemies wish to destroy us. There will be a memorial ceremony at Ground Zero, smaller remembrances around the nation and dozens of documentaries on TV this week to remind us of what happened.
They say that every family tree has a few nuts on it. Well, you wouldn't have to look hard to see that the branches on my tree have just about as many nuts as leaves.
When I wrote last week's column venting about the fruits of irresponsible parenting, I didn't plan to write a second installment. Even after getting more emails and feedback than any other column I've written-all in agreement with what I said - I didn't think of adding to my tirade.