What Do You Want MORE?

We are summering SO HARD over here. My kids have forgotten they ever attended school. When they see pictures of their class Christmas party, they claim they weren’t even there. They have amnesia about how homework even works. We are now summer people. The kids are not taking long baths, they are jumping in the pool, and we’re calling it good. They have traded the red polos and khaki shorts of … [Read more...]

Mama Bears, We Do Not Need Your Help

Mama Bear: a well-meaning mother who scolds teachers, shames coaches, and "helps" other parents by delivering never-ending advice about how to protect her kids. Dear Mama Bear..... You are 2018's Helicopter Mom. I know. You desperately want to save the next generation from the evils of volunteer coaches, minimum-wage lifeguards, and teachers who yell. Please stop. You are teaching your kids to … [Read more...]

Because What’s Cooler than Kids Playing in a Mansion Basement?

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A couple years ago, our kids toured the Moody Mansion, one of the historical homes on Galveston's Broadway. Everyone at the museum was talking about the children's museum they were building in the basement. At the time, I felt a little worried for the employees because it just seemed like it wouldn't work. I imagined a poor recreation of the big-city versions (i.e. a bin of used toys, some play … [Read more...]

No One Cares if You Write…

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A few months ago I joined a gym for one reason: accountability. I was tired of falling asleep—my day's step count at a dismal low—and vowing to myself that I WOULD work out the next day. Only to discover that the next day was like the one before it—filled with good intentions, but not much of me pulling on my running shoes and hitting the trails. I needed more than just guilt and flabby … [Read more...]

Fred Tonn Taught Us to Ask Three Questions

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Fred Tonn (who we called "Uncle Fred") has been a big part of my whole life. For all the really big moments in our family--and the millions of tiny moments--Uncle Fred has been there. He has sat with us, laughing, singing, telling stories and jokes, and always (always) praying for us. I can't find words to say how important Uncle Fred has been in my life, or in the lives of my kids and husband. … [Read more...]

Family Gift Guide for Christmas

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Here are some gifts that our family loves. My hope is that these gifts might help fill in the gaps for your Christmas list.  Fuji Instax camera… This seems to be the gift all the cool kids want. I can’t even wrap my head around wanting to print out pictures. I remember when we were so amazed that we could keep ALL OUR PICTURES on our phone. “Wow!” we marveled. “Never again would we have to … [Read more...]

When God Does That One Thing…

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"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the … [Read more...]

What I’ve Learned from Book Birthdays…Celebrate!

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A few years ago, Anne Lamott wrote a funny essay about book releases. In it, she describes looking forward to her Release Day with the anticipation most of us have for a birthday or New Years Eve. Another author friend had a book coming out on the same day, and they talked endlessly about how the actual day would feel. On her big Pub Date, Anne Lamott wakes up so hopeful for what this glorious day … [Read more...]

The Book That Almost Wasn’t….

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This week our family went to dinner to celebrate my new book, Family Trees and Olive Branches. Holding this book—one that had been such a struggle to write—felt like an actual miracle. The idea for Family Trees & Olive Branches came from hearing about so many painful family stories: parents who are heartbroken because of terrible fights with their kids, siblings who had completely lost … [Read more...]

How did YOUR Family Celebrate the World Series?

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When the Astros WON THE WORLD SERIES, our city went crazy with joy and relief. Thanks to Hurricane Harvey, the past two months had been about loss in our city. After so many days of only soggy carpet and demolished homes, Houston now had trophies and homeruns. We were ready to party. So, we did what people always do when the monumental, the emotional, the historical happens. We sought out our … [Read more...]