• Blessings,  Food

    Enjoying the Ritual

    One of the things I’m known for is the ability to be highly productive. I may procrastinate like nobody’s business, but typically I don’t let most people see me sweat. I’m excellent with deadlines and lists, and I like to think I multi-task fairly well, even though the truth is that nobody really multi-tasks well. It’s been about a year and a half since I worked full time (plus more, with the Listen To Your Mother show). I’m freelancing right now and contracted with a hospital in Ohio on a very part-time basis. Oddly enough, my productivity has suffered. Actually, it’s not odd to me: I have known the truth…

  • Blessings,  Confessions

    What I Know For Sure

    Four years ago today, the snowy scene pictured above was my reality in the western suburbs of Chicago. We moved to Knoxville a year and a half ago and no longer had the need for the snowblower we purchased the year that photo was taken. Although it snows occasionally in Knoxville—and yeah yeah yeah the area practically shuts down when it merely flurries and people, who don’t think about the fact that the South doesn’t have the infrastructure to deal with snow, let alone the fact that the hills and sharp curves around here make traveling in icy conditions very dangerous regardless of whether the roads have been salted properly,…

  • Blessings,  Confessions,  Favorite Things,  Food,  Fun in Chicago,  Travels

    Abundance

    One of the things I love about coming back up north is having the ability to stick up on things I can’t get in Knoxville. Being in Kenosha for this holiday meant a mandatory trip to my favorite grocery store. Woodman’s is a Wisconsin-based chain that is employee-owned and has the largest selection of products I have ever seen, as in four whole aisles of candy, one entire corner of the store devoted to soda pop and other beverages, and an aisle the length of the entire back of the store full of every kind of chip you could ever want, just to name a few. Unlike other stores which…

  • Blessings,  My Sister Has Mad Skillz,  Reflections on Parenting

    Shutterfly Kills Me on a Weekly Basis.

    Shutterfly’s masters of marketing send regular emails with subject lines that say “Your Memories from This Week *insert number here* Years Ago.” I love looking at the old pictures they send, but boy oh boy, do they ever remind me of how time flies. Take these pictures, for example. My sister snapped them thirteen years ago this week. It feels like a whole lifetime ago. I miss those little boys sometimes, but also I can hardly remember what life was like—other than BUSY—when they were that age. Additionally, I miss that dog so very much but also I can hardly remember what life was like when we had a dog…

  • Blessings,  Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  I'm Apparently Old.,  UGH.

    This Is (My) Fifty.

    Today is my 50th birthday. I won’t lie: I am having a little trouble with this. This past week I have been filled with a strange type of upset and a little bit of panic that crashed into me out of nowhere. This “mini crisis” isn’t about anything related to my life itself. I have nothing to complain about (to say the least); the source of all of this is literally the number, and I am mostly surprised that I feel this way…but in a way, I’m not. I was one of those kids who did the math to learn that I would be thirty-two years old in the year…

  • Blessings,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Tradition,  Writing

    Eleven.

    I completely missed my eleventh “blogoversary”, which happened last week, on October 28th. It’s funny how, in the early days of blogging, the annual anniversary of our first post was a huge deal. The community was different back then; each of us bloggers had our own little community of readers within the larger community as a whole. People actually commented on blog posts and we found new blogs to read by checking out the sites belonging to our commenters. Facebook was fairly new back then and word of mouth was how we grew our sites. The fact that I didn’t even think about my anniversary on the day it happened…

  • Blessings

    #Thankful

    It’s been a very full day so I’ll just say this: I’m thankful for many, many things but most of all for my family and friends. Have you hugged your loved ones today?

  • Blessings,  Confessions

    The Lazy Daze of Summer

    This summer is…different for me. Here’s the thing: I operate on “high speed” most of the time. I have for years and years. The first part of the summer had me burning the candle at all the ends–we’re obviously not talking about a regular taper candle here–for a few key reasons: 1. We’ve been settling into a new house in a new-to-us-again town. 2. Listen To Your Mother season came and went, and due to #BlogHer17 being moved up by six weeks I didn’t have my normal month-long cushion of part-time rest before conference season got crazy. 3. Conference season was REALLY crazy. It was actually the craziest ever, for…