Dear Elisabeth… on your first day of Fifth Grade


Dear Elisabeth… Fifth Grade will be like none of your other school years. You, my dear Elisabeth, have changed. Your self-confidence has grown and you are shining.  This inner sparkle comes from your security that Jesus loves you. It also comes from your love to imagine and create. God’s love for you will never change; the creativity will be trickier. There will be times that your gigantic … [Read more...]

Dear Sam (on your first day of Fifth Grade)


Dear Sam…. Yesterday, when I was worrying about some detail about your school year, a friend said to me, “I think this will be Sam’s best year yet.” Just like that, I knew what she said could be true for you, Sam. So, what do you say we just claim this as a promise for this year? Let's just believe that Fifth Grade was made for you. This year will be filled with funny friends, interesting … [Read more...]

Dear Sam… (on your first day of school)


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...]

What Would a Good Mom Do?


We were ten minutes into the twins' first basketball game when the mom next to me told me Elisabeth's shoes were on the wrong feet. This woman was sitting with her toddler daughter, whose shoes were not only on the right feet, but the exact shade of pink as her Ralph Lauren dress. Her daughter could have been an actual Ralph Lauren model. I explained that Elisabeth's shoes were on the wrong … [Read more...]

7 Facts about 7 year-old Twins


1. Seven-year-old twins are just starting to assign identities. "You're the tall one." "He's the older twin." "She's good at reading and I'm good at math." They only see themselves as a twosome so they have to even it out. They can't both be the funny one. 2. They're still proud of their twinniness. They make their siblings jealous by claiming to remember their time together in utero. They love … [Read more...]

This is What Makes a House a Home-40 Days of Posts


When we bought this house, I called it our forever home. This was six years ago, when Catie was 3 and the twins were 1. We said this house would hold all the kids' childhood memories. Teen years and first boyfriends and girlfriends and hundreds of sleep-overs would happen between these walls. When we were empty-nesters, Mike and I would decide to move or we live here forever so the kids could come … [Read more...]

Procrastinating + School Projects- 40 Days of Posts


I'm not sure how this happened, but we've become the last-minute project family. I'm not proud to admit we are the people who do science fair projects in one weekend, book reports the night before they're due, and decorate family turkeys an hour before bedtime. These are not good habits to start so early in our kids' academic career. They are all still in elementary school and they already … [Read more...]

Writing is Noticing & Noticing is Life-40 Days of Posts


Notice anything? I mean besides cutie-pie Lanie Ward reading Elisabeth a book. Maybe you also notice Nate photo-bombing in the background. And the snazzy-dressed City Centre crowd strolling past to their fancy lunch. Maybe if you looked longer and harder, you'd also see the Ward and Hergenrader girls are really sitting on AstroTurf, not actual grass. You might also see the adorable way … [Read more...]

Learning How to Not Cringe at Selfies: 40 Days of Posts


Dear Lord, Give me a heart so peaceful, I can look at this picture and not cringe. Help me not to see the wrinkles on my forehead, the fine lines around my eyes, the dark roots, desperate for some highlights. Let me look past the poor photography skills that make my kids' heads look like they're looming and bobbing around strangely. And since we're talking about strange angles, does my nose really … [Read more...]

But First, Forgive–40 Days of Posts


During the 40 days of Lent, I’m writing 40 blog posts. Instead of giving up chocolate or Facebook or corn syrup or whatever, I’m adding this habit back into my life. I miss documenting the seasons our kids are slipping in and out of; I miss remembering and anticipating and processing our lives here. But I’ve become too rigid about my posts. My internal editor says, “Don’t write about that. … [Read more...]