Sophia wanted her turn.  We sat at the dinner table going through our days and she was anxious to share.   It was a 7th grade drama – a mild version of mean girls.  Sophia set the scene.  “We were playing a trick on Josie and hiding her book.  I don’t know why.  It’s just a…

My stomach and heart clenched up when I received my daughter’s message.  “Dad is going to drop us off at the mall while he runs an errand.”  My children were 6th and 4th graders at the time. “He what????”  I wanted to reply.  But I didn’t.  First I fumed for a full two minutes.  Then…

I thought it was a misprint.  14 children.  I reread it.  My logical mind struggled.  I convinced myself “that must include grandchildren.”  I was reading the obituary of a beloved Saint Cecilia Elementary teacher – Mrs. Margaret Swanson.  She taught both of my daughters in their first grade years. Mrs. Swanson perfectly struck the near…

My Christmas tree died a week before Christmas.  The branches were weighed down to the floor in a giant 8-foot droop. The star on top tilted to the left along with the sagging sapless branches. I should have known it was a sign.  I should have known it would contribute to the sadness that would…

I didn’t want to think about it.  Let alone talk about it.  Worse even to write about it.  All of those actions would make it more real.  Several weeks ago, I reluctantly agreed that my former spouse could take our daughters on a trip over the holiday.  The rub is that they will be gone…

I couldn’t wait.  It was likely going to be our own version of a Hallmark Christmas movie.  But this one would be about a mother and her teenage daughters having the most magical Christmas time ever.  No plot twists were allowed that would involve a hardship to overcome.  My daughters and I were off to…

I remember a year I had big expectations and along with them, a big discovery when they were decidedly dashed.  My daughters, my mom, and I, set off on what I declared to be a great family adventure.  We were going to romantically tromp through a tree farm and cut down our own magical Christmas…

  I stitched every inch of this holiday advent calendar.  I could spend an equivalent number of hours delighting in it as I did creating it.  However, if I had to pull from the pocket the felt toy from each of the days I would not have my daughters with me in December, the calendar…

My daughter is grumpy.  She keeps complaining that we are having our Thanksgiving in two days – on Saturday.  When I mentioned getting our Christmas tree earlier this year, due to a complicated holiday schedule and adjustments that were made, she nearly game unglued.  Tears, pouting, and teenage angst have been triggered by any discussion…

I excitedly combed through my hair and put on lipstick.  I double (maybe triple) checked the location and tried to temper the nervous feeling in my stomach.  I felt like my face was going to be sore the next day from smiling.  Sorry to disappoint Mom, but I was not about to leave for a…