Recent Posts

June 3, 2021
Another Sleepy, Dusty Delta Day

"'It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day. I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was bailin' hay." That's how the song starts. With a haunting melody, it's story song about a boy's suicide when he jumps off the high bridge in their Missisippi County. The third of June is when […]

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May 9, 2021
Sears Portraits and Mother's Day, circa 1997

"All I want for Mother's Day is a picture of my kids," she told us. Well, that's simple enough. Plus, we had spent a good decade-and-a-half under closely guided training from my dad on how to honor my mom on the days that belonged to her. One of the top rules: if she makes a […]

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October 21, 2020
It's Not a Word - Yet.

“Tarbled.” adjective: wind-blown; lacking precision but compensating in charm; messy but cute. ~ ~ ~ "I am a lover of messy people; a tarbled mom of two teenage boys who are likely late to school and wearing mismatched socks; I have been known to absent-mindedly doodle in the margins of overdue library books; I have […]

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June 24, 2020
We Are Trying to Be Civilized.

Maybe you've seen this story that's circulating on social media: "Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.  But no. Mead said that the first sign […]

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May 1, 2020
So Much "Leisure Time"

Back when I was navigating the long days with little people, some researchers endeared themselves to me with a released study that indicated that stay-at-home parents have 30+ hours of leisure time each week. They implied there's no reason to complain about busyness or exhaustion, because really, most of it's leisure time. Back then, a […]

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April 23, 2020
Ranch Dressing and Orgasms

"Mom, did you know they make ranch dressing seasoning?" one son says. "I feel like she bought that already," says the other son. "No, not the dressing mix. It's in a shaker. Like parmesan cheese," says one son. "I had a bad experience with ranch dressing," says the other son. "What was it?" "Uncle Rob […]

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April 11, 2020
Our Loudest Easter Story

I wanted to send this story to you on Easter morning or the night before, but things got away from me, what with the glazed ham and the hashbrown potatoes and the early service and hosting all the family and dyeing of inappropriate eggs. (I distinctly recall saying nobody was allowed to draw penises on […]

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April 8, 2020
Locked in a Bedroom: A Good Friday Gone Wrong

It's been more than a decade since this Good Friday situation, the day Baby Tyler locked Toddler Tucker and me in a second story bedroom for an hour and a half, and our rescue involved three strangers, three firemen, a fire truck, three police officers, several calls to 9-1-1, and a very brave neighbor. An […]

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April 2, 2020
Jesus Didn't Parent Toddlers: A Love Letter to the Parents of Littles

Parents of Preschoolers and Toddlers, this season is the real deal, isn't it?  You are in the t-r-e-n-c-h-e-s. When my guys were preschoolers, I had to have them out the door by 9:00am, or the house would surely crumble around us.  I was sure of it, and my theory was fairly proven. And now, this […]

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March 30, 2020
The Very Definition

  Looking through some old journals tonight, I found this dialogue from four-year-old Tucker: "Mommy, let's make a train. Tyler will be the engine and I'll be the caboose. You be the track." I wrote: That feels like the very definition of motherhood. All my love to of you "train tracks" out there. I raise […]

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March 12, 2020
SpongeBob: An Unexpected Social Parody

Tyler and I went to see SpongeBob the Musical last night, since - surprise, surprise - it wasn't on the top of Peter's list of shows he longed to see. Tyler was next in line, and we called it our Self Quarantine Jailbreak. Listen.  I didn't expect to love it. SpongeBob was on our TV […]

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July 7, 2019
Family Devotions and Testicles

We gave the boys new Bibles for Easter, because it was time. They needed to graduate to a version that doesn’t say “Little Boy’s Bible” on the cover or entice them with animated drawings of someone who may or may not look like Jesus or Moses or Daniel or Joshua. The new editions are leather […]

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April 27, 2019
A White Wolf in the Living Room

So, let me set the stage. We had just finished a two-day baseball tournament, and we were - all of us - more than a little sun-speckled and exhausted from hours at the baseball park. Seven, to be exact, and I'm usually counting. Tuck was of course the most tired of all, given the constant […]

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September 29, 2018
Listen, If I Don't Get My Coffee...

I can't say I really wanted to see the top of a mountain during our anniversary trip to New Mexico. Winding roads and hairpin turns at exceeding altitude makes me nauseous. Plus, I know I should enjoy the view from the top. Believe me, I know. I've spent years feeling guilty, like maybe there's something […]

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July 4, 2018
Not Your Mama's Fireworks

A throwback to two years ago, when I embarrassed myself with inappropriate sounds of Independence Day delight. We went to see the fireworks last night, all of us decked out in neon-glow-in-the-dark jewelry because my mom brings the fun and we know how to have it. Peter's sister Jamie is an administrative powerhouse, and she's […]

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June 27, 2018
That Night When We Lost A Talent Show

I went to a retreat last weekend where they had a Talent Show, and it prompted me to recall the one and only Talent Show I’ve ever lost... admittedly because it was the one and only Talent Show I’ve ever participated in at all. Warning: Bitterness Contained in the Following Paragraphs. I was a camp […]

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June 25, 2018
Stalking and Not Stalking

"Tricia, I have to confess, I've been stalking you.  I read everything you write." No, see, the thing is, I wrote it with the hope that someone would read it.  So if you read what I put out into the world, the collection of words with the stamp of my name and my heart on […]

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January 15, 2018
The Bossiest, Sassiest in All the Land

My nail technician is the sassiest Vietnamese woman I've ever met. It took us a little while to figure each other out. The thing is, my fingernails are my greatest vanity. I'd say I'm not proud of it, but the truth is I kind of am, hence the word vanity. I've had my nails perpetually […]

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January 10, 2018
Testicles.

Well, this is awkward. And if you're in the throes of raising virtuous little girls who would never do this, then read with caution. Peter and I decided to tackle a family challenge this year: the four of us will work together to memorize a verse from every book of the Bible throughout 2018. We […]

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April 18, 2017
Family Devotions: The Recipe for Crazy Making

We gave the boys new Bibles for Easter, because it was time. They needed to graduate to a version that doesn't say "Little Boy's Bible" on the cover or entice them with animated drawings of someone who may or may not look like Jesus or Moses or Daniel or Joshua. They're leather bound, different from […]

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