The Hard Lessons of Rainy Days

Yesterday’s historic flooding in Houston showed a lot about our city—that we have too much concrete and not enough ditches, that Houstonians are the most fantastic helpers, and that weather can still paralyze our beehive highway system. For our family, the day off revealed something about us. It took until the afternoon, but we finally realized that we can live without the dopamine dings we … Continue...


Writers and Loneliness

This week I talked to elementary school kids about my job as an author. They were sweet and silly and asked great questions (“How much money did you make last year?”) After my talk, a few Fifth … Continue...


Brace Yourself

Back when I worked as a waitress, the hostess would sometimes seat four tables, one right after another.  When this happened, you would have to flag down another server and say, "My hair is on fire" … Continue...


Real Faces are Better than Emoticons

Old friends are like the bread machine hidden in the laundry room cabinet. Over the years, our family has enjoyed loaves of cinnamon raisin, sticky pecan, and plain old white from that machine. Now … Continue...


Ten Birthday Reasons to Celebrate Forty-one

Forty-one doesn’t actually feel as old as it sounded when at 21. After 40 you start to realize every person does not have the capacity to become who you hoped they would. They are probably doing … Continue...



Dear Catie (on your first day of middle school)…

Dear Catie (on your first day of middle school)… Suddenly, here you are, at the tipping point between childhood and adolescence, right at the center of growing up. The teenager-you is slowly emerging. You're suddenly taller than some grown-ups, your wide brown eyes are pretty, in the way that … [Read More...]


Dear Elisabeth (on the first day of second grade)….

Dear Elisabeth…. Wow! You have been so READY for today. You packed your backpack days ago. You set out the perfect first-day-of-school outfit last night. As we’ve talked and prayed about this year, you’ve said over and over: I want to do everything right. Elisabeth, you are outstanding at … [Read More...]


Dear Nate…(on your first day of kindergarten)

Dear Nate... You are so ready for Kindergarten. You have heard the stories about how ridiculously fun Mrs. Miesner is. You have watched the Kindergarten classes as they played big-kid instruments at chapel. You have heard unbelievable tales of Kindergarteners reading whole books--on their own. … [Read More...]


A Mom’s Serenity Prayer for the Start of School

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Help me accept our schedule is about to be nuts. Summer is family interdependence, melting into each other, and learning life together. Next up: jarring tardy bells, horrible flash cards, afternoon practices, and late nights of … [Read More...]

Older Posts: