how to connect with your kids – one tip to change your relationship

I have three kids.

Before I had three kids, three didn’t seem like very many.  Grandma had four.  My other grandma had ten.  My GREAT-grandma had 14.  I was really shooting for five, but ironic life and stupid divorce cut my plan short.

I topped out at three.

Three still doesn’t seem like that many, but it’s getting harder all the time.  They’re getting bigger and busier, and the sacrifices required by me as a parent to raise good kids are getting… harder.  DEEPER.  Different.  Whereas before the biggest sacrifice was colicky lack of sleep and throw up on my shirt, it’s now worry lack of sleep, and a schedule so full I am never, ever caught up.

Old Me:  “Bitch please, I can do three and still get sleep.  Hold my coffee, WATCH THIS.”

Me Right Now (while eye-popping, white-knuckle gripping my fourth coffee of the day):  “HAHAHAHAHAHA… wait, remember when they were babies and you didn’t have a job, and you thought you were busy?!  THAT WAS HILIARIOUS.  HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!”

It was with glorious, beautiful, brutal, gut-wrenching agonizing joy that I finally realized life is never going to slow down, and this job is only going to get harder.  The understanding was painful but so, so important.

Only when you realize that you’re running out of time can you begin grasp the gravity of being a parent.

Me to Other Me:  “You get one shot at this, so make it good.  Make it count.

…no pressure or anything.

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How to Find Your Talents – Suffering and Worth

When God was handing out talent and good looks, I’m pretty sure I got skipped.

…well, wait. Saying I got skipped makes me sound like a victim. In all honesty, I probably snuck back to the kitchen to get snacks.

Me (whispering to the guy next to me): “Dude. This is taking forever. BRB, I need a cookie.”

Being passed over is the most straightforward explanation I can think of for my ordinary, sub-standard existence.  I’m sure I have zero talent and meager looks because both were given from what was left, scraped out of the bottom of the pot.

I can see it in my head.

God (to the last dude in line, the one who held my place as I snuck to the kitchen): “And for you, the last of your batch, I bestow upon you the final bit of TALENT and BEAUTY for this round of blessings.”

*steps back*
*does double take*
*notices me standing where I wasn’t before, chewing with bulging cheeks and a cookie crumb face*

God (blankly): “Oh. Ummm….. I missed one.”

*looks into empty pot*
*looks at used blessing spatula*

Gabriel: “Father, it won’t take long to mak-“

*scrape scrape*
*slaps spatula onto my forehead with a long, downward drag*

God: “That’ll do.”

*grips empty pot and spatula with clenched fists*
*thundery air punch*
*turns to angel recording notes*


Short changed, and probably my fault. Like a cosmic “…meh,” I exist as a talentless and ugly person. I have felt that way almost my whole life.

I also know I’m not the only one that feels that way.  You’ve probably felt that way, too, at least once in your life.

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How to Save Your Marriage – Five Ways to Show Respect

respect others, respect yourself

Hi. My name is Erin, and I am divorced.

Divorce isn’t all that surprising these days (sad), but the frequency with which it happens does not diminish it of drama.

When I hear people say “I’m divorced, we’re getting divorced,” my gut reaction is to ask (with all the drama of a girly, middle-school-tragedy-queen from Orange County), “Gaassssp…. OMG WHY?  What happened?  Did he cheat?  Did you cheat?  Give me the deets!”

We love drama, especially drama that isn’t ours, so today I’ll give you some of mine.  (grab some popcorn!)

In the beginning, our relationship was pretty great.  We got along.  We laughed and enjoyed one another’s company.  We liked the same kind of things, spent time with the same kind of people, had the same kind of dreams.

About a year and a half into our marriage, things changed.Read More


How to Love Yourself – Five Selfcare Tips for the Busy Mom

Self-Care and the “No Time for Bullshit” Mom – How to Love Yourself, Practically

A couple of years ago, I was invited to attend an “Entrepreneurial Women in Leadership” luncheon.

If I can help it, I avoid gender specific events.  I prefer to attend functions based on the content, not the attendees, and I have zero effs to give as to the male-female mix of a room.

Because the invitation to the luncheon triggered an eye roll, I accepted it.  Usually the stuff that makes me irritated, angry, or upset is the stuff I should be focusing on.  I want to be better, so I decided to put in the effort.

I adjusted my attitude, signed up, and a few weeks later I attended.Read More


How To Be a Lady – 21 Lost Ladylike Behaviors That We Really Need Today

Last week I read an article titled “21 Gentleman Traditions That Still Apply Today.”

Being self-appointed Internet Accuracy Police (especially on the days that start with p-week), I thought “Huh. We’ll just see about that.”

I read it. I agreed with all 21 points. I agreed so much, in fact, I may have swooned. The points of manliness discussed were accurate and absolute truth, and I wish the man I love (who is already great) would do a few more of them.

Not to be outdone, and as an advocate for the abolition of hypocrisy, I thought it would be best to create a complimentary list for us women. A list that teaches us to be more than what we are, by being everything we used to be. A list that encourages us to become a complimentary counterpart to the masculine companionship we desire, and challenges us to be better.

This is an article about being a lady, a woman who exhibits traits of self-respect, politeness, culture, decor, propriety, respect, manners, modesty, and elegance.


21 Lost Ladylike Behaviors That We Really Need Today

1. She accepts chivalry.
When a man (or anyone) opens the door for her, she accepts it as a gesture of kindness and says “Thank you.” She does not read into it, assume he’s trying to make her look bad, take it as an implication of stupidity, or believe he’s trying to prove that she’s weak. Men are created to fight for a treasure and then keep it safe. She wants to be a treasure, so she acts like one.Read More


Ten Rules for Making Change in your Home and Marriage – “How to Forge Depth”

When you walk into your home at the end of the day, how does it feel?  Are you happy to be there?  When you’re at work, do you feel excited to return home to your family, or do you wish you could stretch your day a little longer?

Not so long ago, I lived in some pretty crappy conditions.  The house I lived in was quite nice; it had a yard for the kids to play in, there was comfy furniture in the living area and the kitchen was well lit.  I’m a neatfreak, so the house was always clean, and there were plenty of shelves and closets to tuck away our belongings.  All in all, the physical state of our home was great.

Still, it was crappy.

Although the house itself and our living space was comfortable, my home was not.  There were some people living in my space that changed the culture of our home, and the culture was almost total crap.

I hated coming home.

“Home” is not the building you live in, or the space you occupy.  “Home” is made up of the people inside, and of the relationships between those people.  Collectively, the relationships in your home define your home’s culture.  The culture of your home can be good or bad, positive or negative, common or foreign, but it is as unique as the people that create it.
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Be Strong for your Break-Up – Finding Courage When the End is Near

Everything dies.


[I can hear you now.  “Wow, THAT’S depressing.  I don’t like to think about dying.”]

Yeah, me neither.  But it happens, and it happens to EVERYTHING.

TV shows.  My Space.  The last job you had, for you right now, is dead.  Our relationships.  People we love.  Friendships.  Lovers.  Homes, families.  Marriages.  Careers.  Fame, celebrity status, talents, skills, physical abilities.  Mental capacity.  All things have their seasons, and for any single thing under the sun there is a time for it to live, and a time for it to die.

[“Yeah, I’m officially depressed.  Thanks a lot.”]

ME TOO.  Sorry.  But keep reading.  It gets better.
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How To Keep Your Man – Being A 1950’s Wife

I wonder how many women will be pissed off before they even start reading this article.

A lot, I’d wager.  MOST.

How about I throw this picture in here too, just to get the GRRRR out all at once?

Don't say "NOPE" until you read the rest....

Don’t say “NOPE” until you read the rest….

[I can hear you now.  Go ahead, just yell.  It’s okay.  Get it out.]


I know how you feel.  Really, I do.
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To My Spectacular Norah D

To My Dearest Norah D,

Today you turn nine.

When I decided to write you this letter, I had intended on making a list of all the things I love about you.  I thought about what kind of girl you are, and what kind of woman you will become.  I thought about all the things that make you great:  your sense of humor, your sense of style, the way you make friends so easily, your kindness and compassion and fierce loyalty to the people you love.  There is no doubt that you are an amazing girl and a wonderful person, and if I DID make a list of your Greatness the list would be long.  I just love you so much, and I am so proud of you.

Once I started writing, though, telling you about your great qualities was not quite enough.
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The Choice of Suicide – How to Cope with the Stupid Choices of Others

Sometimes life gets heavy.

Sometimes life gets REALLY, REALLY heavy, and all you can do to keep going is to get pissed.  GET MAD.  It helps.  The adrenaline and fury are like rocket fuel inside your head, and they will carry you through and over a lot of obstacles.

Just like any tank of fuel, though, it does run out eventually.

Yeah, the last week or so has kind of been like that.

I used to be married.  For ten years I was married.  On the outside our relationship looked great.  We attended church.  We had good friends.  We WERE good friends.  I was a good wife.  I kept the house clean, cooked, did laundry.  I did not complain about my position or station in our relationship; he was the head of the family and I was second-in-command.  All major decisions were made by him, financial, religious, spiritual, family, work.  I followed the Christian Creed, “wives submit to your husbands.”

I am a forgiving person.  I am a trusting person.  I let things go easily, as long as we’re willing to talk about it.

I let MOST things go easily.

Some things I just have a hard time with.  Some things I can’t easily let go of.
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