• Wells Family Favorites inside
    Am Reading,  Best Thing Ever,  Family Fun,  Food,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Reflections on Parenting,  Tradition

    My GoodReads Reading Challenge Goal was Thwarted by…a Book.

    Last year I decided to spend more time doing something I had let fall by the wayside since I was a kid: read books. I got active on GoodReads and made a fairly ambitious (for me) reading challenge goal for 2018: 26 books. I fell short, reading “only” 22 books but was proud just the same. I probably hadn’t read 22 books in the ten years before that, all put together. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading; I just used my free time for other creative pursuits. I decided to keep the same goal for 2019 and was projecting to achieve it easily when I took at look at…

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    Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Family Fun,  Reflections on Parenting

    Photographic Evidence

    If you know me even just a little bit you are aware that when I take on a project I truly put everything into it (“go big or go home” and all that jazz). While I can annoy myself along the way, I’m rarely disappointed at the end. In fact, Jim reminded me of that just last week. I’m making a Blurb book (just for me) out of all the letters I wrote ahead of my fiftieth birthday last year and decided to add photos. The problem was going to be finding what I needed: like needles in a house-sized haystack. I was talking to Jim about stopping my hunt…

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    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…

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    Reflections on Parenting

    Mama Bear, Baby Bear

    Recently we drove the boys up to Great Smoky Mountain National Park to see the fall colors. Experiencing seasonal color changes in leaves anywhere is a wondrous thing, but going to an area where there are literally hundreds of thousands of trees en masse is magical, especially when you catch it at the right time. Jim and I never seem to hit the short “Peak Color” range of days each year we try, but the good thing about driving up into the mountains is that the change in elevation provides a pretty good shot at seeing something spectacular along the way, even if it isn’t Peak. In fact, on this…

  • Random Thoughts,  Reflections on Parenting

    For the Children

    I was at Target the other day, and for some reason my ears honed in on all the kids that were there. I heard so many statements, questions, and stories straight from the mouths of babes that I wondered if I were in some kind of Twilight Zone. It’s unusual for me to pay attention, for sure: after all, my own “kids” are 21 and 24 and the days of taking care of every single need they have are long gone. These days I’m terribly good at ignoring children (not to be mean, mind you: I just tune them out because I focus on other things). On the occasions when…

  • Family Fun,  Reflections on Parenting

    The Plan

    Being an empty nester is weird. Full disclosure: while our 23-year-old is currently living with us while he works and saves up some money for his next move, I still consider us empty nesters. Maybe THAT’S weird. Anyway, being an empty nester is weird. It’s weird because once the kids grow up and move out, it’s awesome because you’re thrilled that they are starting a new chapter in their lives and you can start a new chapter in your life, but it’s also sad because they are starting a new chapter in their lives that doesn’t include you on a constant basis, and you’re starting a new chapter in your…

  • Family Fun,  Reflections on Parenting

    To Infinity and Beyond

    I cannot think of a movie franchise that has meant more to our family over the years than Disney’s “Toy Story”. The adventures of Andy’s toys (Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and friends) were on repeat in our VCR (and later, DVD player) for years and years. In fact, here’s something that might make you feel old like I do: on this day twenty years ago, the first “Toy Story” installment, starring Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, premiered in Hollywood at the El Capitan Theatre, with nationwide release three days later. When I learned that, I had another bittersweet moment of “Wow, time really does fly, doesn’t it?” When the movie premiered,…

  • Confessions,  My Kids Have Mad Skillz,  Proud Moments,  Reflections on Parenting

    Always A Mummy.

    Disclaimer: This post is probably going to come out like one of those bittersweet ones and some of you will probably say that I should have given an advance Kleenex warning. On the contrary; this is just an observation. I don’t intend for it to be sad. I’m not sitting here crying. I’m smiling. See? *This is where I would have inserted a picture of me smiling but I’m too lazy so you’ll have to imagine it, and trust me.* Being the mom of grown kids is weird. At twenty-three and twenty, D and J are old enough to have all kinds of information stored away in their brains about…

  • Blessings,  Confessions,  Family Fun,  My Kids Have Mad Skillz,  Reflections on Parenting

    They Come Back.

    Jim and I spent today driving up to Madison, Wisconsin, grabbing a moving truck, and moving our older son back home. Nothing bad happened; it’s just that the six-month internship he took on ended (as did his lease) and he hasn’t found a new place of employment yet. Most parents probably don’t think, when they send their kids off to college (or a non-college alternative), that they’ll be back. If they did, I know there would be far fewer tears and less anxiety about the process. In an ideal world, the kids leave home, get their traditional (or non-traditional) education, find great jobs, support themselves without a problem and then…