Sharing Gratitude

THE LOST ART OF THANK YOU

I can remember it fondly. My three sweet children used to skip through our house chanting “Please and thank you, they’re the magic words…please and thank you, ’cause they’re the magic words.”

Those words were indeed magical and fun. Now that I think about it, I owe a lot to a certain purple dinosaur for introducing that song in our family. Unfortunately, though, as the kids got older, we stopped singing – and sometimes saying – those words at all. Continue reading

Our Summer Manifesto

Summer Manifesto

No more pencils, no more books.

No more teacher’s dirty looks.

But if you ask my children, they will say they are prone to getting dirty looks from their mom. After all, our word for the summer is structure, need I say more?

Wait. what? A word for the summer that has absolutely nothing to do with fun or sleeping late or recording Snapchat videos in the middle of the night?  Continue reading

I Am Not a Jerk Whisperer

Really good advice on how to deal with jerks in your life.

Summer is here! I’m thrilled to be approaching the summer vacation that will allow me to spend a lot of time creating memories with my family. But let’s face it, I live with three teenagers, who are not always the kindest people in the world, and whose brains sometimes amass into a flurry of hormone-controlled impulses that can make for stressful times.

I spent most of my Memorial Day weekend on Pinterest gathering ideas for summer projects and challenges for our family to participate in, and I realized that none of our projects are going to be accomplished if we don’t have some basic ground rules. Actually, there’s one basic rule for summer survival in our family – all the others fall upon this one.

I am not a jerk whisperer.

Nor will I try to be. I can’t even remember where I first heard that sentence, but it is now my parenting and life mantra. While this is the absolute key to living with three teenagers, especially when we’re all creating wonderfully, happy memories together, I’m also employing this rule when dealing with adults as well.

Continue reading

Lifelong Lessons From Route 3

lessons learned from route 3

Route 3. A dirt road in rural Leake County, Mississippi that holds fond memories of visiting my grandparents’ farm making mud pies with my cousins, playing on the swing on the front porch, and returning to Chicago with tennis shoes covered in red clay dirt. I suppose if I wanted to get really sentimental, I could cue the violins and say something like, “Those were the good old days.” But currently, I am choosing not to refer to anything in my life as old.

It was on Route 3 that I learned the basics of life on a farm. My grandparents taught me that it was important to grow your own vegetables, work hard to prepare for the slow times, and that farm eating was healthy eating. Unfortunately, I didn’t really appreciate those lessons during my yearly visits like I should have. At the time, I just thought that that’s the way people in the south lived.  Continue reading