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Dear Catie… (on your sophomore year of high school)

Dear Catie… It’s a little hard to believe you’re starting over again. We moved houses. You moved schools. Sophomore year and you’re having to deal with #freshmanproblems again. It’s a bit scary—for me, at least. There’s so much at risk here. The years of high school feel like stair steps to the grand goal of...
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Goodbye, Westlake…

This school has become our family and our home. And not it’s time to say goodbye. For the last decade, Westlake Prep has been the seventh member of our family.  To our kids—who started here just a few days after potty-training and who are leaving as tweens and teens—this place has been where they learned just...
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Mom & Dad Christmas Gift Guide

    I’ve got your Christmas gift ideas for moms and dads right here. What do you need–gifts under $10 from the kids? Got it. Something that will make mom swoon? Right here! Practical gifts as smart as your baby daddy? Keep reading… First, for the moms (or wives) on your list. Please try your...
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Family Project: Upcycle Old Jars

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,...
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Four Reasons to Send Your Kids to Camp This Summer

Our kids are back from a week of camp. Right before it was time to send them, I almost chickened out. But I kept thinking of this bit of wisdom,”Parenting is about preparing your child for the road, not about preparing the road for your child.” I’m good at road construction for my kids. I always believe they need...
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It’s Your Choice: Anxiety or Not?

Stress is not a choice. Just getting out of bed is stress. Getting out of your pajamas is definite stress and let’s not even talk about checking your email. Then there are the really epic stressors, like finding your life’s purpose. Or raising kids without being both aloof and clingy. Or trying to make it through the day without eating an entire tub...
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The Spot: A Place for Crying, Laughing, and Lessons about Stewardship

For days, the kids have been asking to go shopping, specifically to the Dollar Spot at Target. This is not because they need anything, but because this is their happy place. They are absolutely giddy about the idea of sifting through cheap clutter, looking for a treasure. I’m afraid I taught him this. When you’re...
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Kura Bed Hack FAQ

A few years ago we found ourselves with four kids and two bedrooms. We hacked Kura beds to give each kids a cool bed, with lots of space of their own. Buzzfeed and other sites have picked up the original hack and that blog post has had hundreds of thousands of visitors. IKEA lovers from all...
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Kura Bed Hack to Tween Daybed-40 Days of Posts

We rearranged our kids’ rooms last month with the goal of giving all of them more space. Sam and Elisabeth, our seven-year-old twins, still loved their Kura beds, and so did Nate, our four-year-old. But I wasn’t sure our ten-year-old, Catie, would want to keep hers. Part of the reason for the room redo was...
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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...
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