Recent Posts

December 22, 2021

My first husband died eleven years ago, on the morning of December 23, 2010. In the days to follow, I released this personal account of his final hours, the story I must write. Please be advised, these paragraphs are graphic, detailed, personal, and mine. Read with caution, respect, and care. These words hold my very […]

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October 31, 2021
Halloweens Past: I'm the Cozy Sweatered Lady Now

I'm feeling the wonder of autumn tonight. (It's probably because peeling apples makes me feel like a domestic goddess. I should probably dial it down a bit. If I ever fold laundry and peel apples in one week, my pride may swell larger than anyone will be able to stand. That's why I have to […]

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November 15, 2020
The Great Denim Skirt Debate of 1993

Everybody who becomes an adult has to be fourteen once, and it’s a rough time of transition for everybody involved in that year of slamming bedroom doors. It’s a year of strong emotions, and manipulating heartstrings like one learning to play a violin: screeching and awkward until it becomes classy or even tolerable. Or maybe […]

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April 10, 2020
Cheezits Communion

Every night, we have ice cream at 8:00.  And some evenings, we have it at other times, because it's 8:00 somewhere.  We are living it up in our locked up condition. Last night, before our evening constitution, Peter brought us all together at the dining room table.  There were four cups of fruit punch and […]

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March 24, 2020
Sparkly, Shiny Promises

A few years ago, I kept things lively with a special treat for the boys each day of spring break. One day, we visited the arcade with a handful of quarters for their glorious spending pleasure. Tuck spent his coins on experiences: virtual motorcycle rides and shooting galleries. Tyler spent his coins and best efforts […]

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January 10, 2020
Grace Lives in the Inevitable

What advice would you give to the younger you? ⠀ ⠀ “Love Hard.  Especially because I now know what that would cost me... to love hard. And I would do it all again. I wouldn’t have spared myself any of the pain that I have gone through by loving hard, and by loving what death […]

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November 18, 2019
A Voice and A Choice

Tricia, this weekend we will be spending time with a ten-year-old boy whose mom died recently.  What cues do you have for me for interacting with a heartbroken boy?  Our time together is probably meant to be a fun distraction, NOT a heart-to-heart conversation moment, but I am just curious what sort of support was […]

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July 2, 2019
That's Some Serious Staying Power

When death comes at the end of a long life, we don’t wonder if it was time. We don’t wonder if God is good. But when death comes unexpectedly to a child or a teenager or a young parent, it is hard to believe that death can be a good thing. It is hard to […]

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May 10, 2019
To Say Their Names

"Let me find a picture that shows her hair," she said, scrolling through the pictures on her phone. We were standing at the book table in the back of the event center. She scrolled through dozens of photos until she found one with her daughter's curly mop of tendrils. She turned her phone to show […]

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April 15, 2019
Diesel, Cigarettes, and Perfume

I love the smell of gasoline, and I am somehow fond of fresh cigarette smoke.  I've always felt like I shouldn't like those, like they are guilty pleasures.  But I think both of those scents remind me of different grandparents for different reasons, and that makes me neither guilty nor sorry.  It makes me want […]

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December 23, 2018
Little Things, Big Things, Healed, and Whole

I love the Christkindl market. I love the rows of shops lined up like stalls in a wooden stable. I love the strudel and the streusel and the giant pretzels, salted or cinmamon'd. I love the handmade ornaments and the ribbon candy. I love the booths of woolen scarves with sequins and mittens that look […]

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June 28, 2018
Why I Won't Get the Award for Mother of the Year

Throwing it back to a post from 2008,when my babies were two and almost-one, I was sleepless and underfed, Robb and I were married and sweetly naive, and I was beginning my track record of forever disqualifying myself for Mother of the Year.   At least some things stay consistent.   * * * In the last […]

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January 26, 2017
Sacred Gratitude.

He's Peter's closest cousin. They are just a few years apart in a whole collection of people that span across generations. These two boys grew up spending their summers together, camping together, doing things that fall well under the category of "it seemed like a good idea at the time." They have war stories and […]

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December 12, 2016
Trauma, Triggers, and Marriage: Hello, December.

I’m going along, minding my own business, creating this new and beautiful life just the way I want it to be, and suddenly it’s December. There we are, singing Christmas songs in the car, and suddenly I need to change the station. There are holiday scents in the air, some variety of cinnamon, and suddenly […]

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August 29, 2016
The Bread and the Wine... and the Root Beer Float

Saturday was Robb’s birthday, so we went to Red Robin to celebrate and remember. Because Bottomless Root Beer Floats. “We’re here to celebrate,” I told the waiter. “Oh, is it a birthday?” “A very special one.” Peter was gone for the weekend at a men’s conference, so there were only three of us at the […]

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July 12, 2016
Hummingbirds, Pennies, and Verizon Texts

On the day that Robb died, my mom’s phone became Grief’s Grand Central Station. She spent the whole day on the phone, letting people know what had happened, updating people on what would happen next, and fielding travel arrangements from friends and family all over the country who were immediately routing their holiday flights unexpectedly […]

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May 21, 2016
Get Drunk on the Lovely of it All

It is Wedding Week. I am in the last seven days of one of the most sacred seasons of my life. I am ‘between beds’ like some people are ‘between jobs’ or ‘between relationships.’ We’ve moved the Single Girl’s Bed out, but the Married Couple’s Bed hasn’t arrived yet. So I’m sleeping on a mattress […]

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April 8, 2016
Thank You, Little Black Dress.

I am reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s a revolutionary approach to decluttering where instead of clearing one room or one space at a time, you choose a category to sort and purge. Like all of the shirts or jeans or boots or socks or beach towels. You bring them all to […]

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March 1, 2016
When A Codependent Gets Engaged

And so, with a sparkling ring on my left hand, I am faced with a second chance. A second chance at love. A second chance at marriage. A second chance at building a life together. A second chance to love well and completely. A second chance to give without losing myself. The thing is, there […]

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January 26, 2016
A Few Things I Know About Suffering

I hate it when people think they know everything.  Or even when someone has an inflated sense of what they know about any one thing.  But someone said to me recently, "I wish you would tell us more of what you know.  Because you do. You know." And so here they are, a few things I […]

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