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...]

The Problem with the World Series

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The World Series is high drama here in Houston. With the pressure of Game 7 comes a million different perspectives: Astros vs Dodgers, West Coast vs South, and Kershaw vs Keuchel. But in our house, here’s the battle raging: Late & Long Games vs Reasonable Bedtime for Kids. The struggle is real for moms this month. Our kids are in the sweet (rough?) spot of childhood where there’s not a … [Read more...]

Dear Sam… (on your first day of school)

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Dear Sam.... It's crazy I'm writing your first-day-of-school letter at almost the end of September. This has been such a chaotic start to this school year. Hurricane Harvey has made everything later and backwards and awkward and different. Actually, this might be the perfect way for you to start Fourth Grade. Because, Sam, you love the crazy and chaotic. You are fine with backwards or awkward … [Read more...]

Family Project: Upcycle Old Jars

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Over the past year, our family has collected two years of empty jars in our pantry. Blame it on our love of salsa, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, and pickles. Blame it on our German heritage and absolute inability to throw away something we could use again. Blame it on the kids' new understanding of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. This is the same reason I have over 200 toilet paper cores in our attic. … [Read more...]

Second Camp Counselor Care Package Giveaway!

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How To Enter the Giveaway: 1. Click here to enter your favorite camp counselor to win this week’s care package. 2. I’ll select  random WINNERS Monday, June 19. (Entries close at midnight) 3. If your counselor is selected, I’ll send them a care package stuffed with homemade cookies, notes, glow sticks, Bible verses, and SO MANY other goodies! (If your counselor doesn’t win this giveaway, don’t … [Read more...]

Why Writers Really Hate Book Releases

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If I could, I would skip book release day all together. It's like birthdays when you're young or New Years Eve in your twenties. Too many expectations. Too much fear of rejection. Plus, there's my control freak's worry about sharing my words with the world.  Have I done enough? Will the world be friendly? What did I get wrong? It reminds me of my oldest child’s first day of preschool, so many … [Read more...]