Who Needs Backup Sensors Anyway?

I’ve never been known as an awesome driver. As a matter of fact, I’ve been teased relentlessly over the years for developing ADD tendencies while behind the wheel.

This propensity to ADD while driving has its drawbacks. But sometimes I get into trouble even when I’m clearly 100% focused. like. when…backing up.

“Protective” Barriers

Most recently, I had a day job driving a forklift. I loaded freight onto a pallet and moved said freight to a staging area. On one fateful day, I had a “big and bulky” load of only 2 items. I was “looking alertly in the direction of movement with my body appropriately having 4 points of contact with the lift and using a wide-legged supported stance” as I maneuvered my pallet into the lane. Unfortunately, the load of boxes was blocking my ability to see the barrier rod that prevented people from entering a conveyor area. Continue reading

Soup Forever

soup forever

The camp cook relaxing with Eli (2005).

We were camping. It was the summer of 2005. We hadn’t yet adopted our boys. I don’t remember any men during the week. Who  WAS there? Michelle just had knee surgery and was on crutches and down for the count most of the time. Grandma Doris, but was struggling with COPD and was using a power scooter. Mom was in charge of Chelle’s three kids.

I was in charge of all the cooking and beggers can’t be choosers. So I got to decide what was on the menu for the week. I chose soup. (I have a philosophy about soup that you can check out here.)   So I got to decide what was on the menu for the week! Plus, everyone loves my soup and knows that I am the best soup cooker out there…you see, I have a secret ingredient that I add to my chicken soup that few people know about… Continue reading

Letting Go

Letting Go

March 20006

It’s been over a month since I’ve talked to my oldest son. Texts, messages, and chats go unanswered. His dad’s birthday has come and gone. Crickets.

Life has rarely been easy parenting Luka. We adopted him from an orphanage in Russia when he was 32 months old. The only thing we knew about his birth mother was that she was a registered alcoholic. He was a loving and sweet boy.

One of his elementary teachers noted about him, that although school was hard for him, he was the most determined and hard-working kid in her class. She was sure that that tenacity would pay off for him in the future. Continue reading

Tween Makeover

tween makeover

me, 7th Grade, 1977

I’ve written before about how I had many worries and thoughts about the future when I was young. But I was also a planner. One of the biggest “plans” I had was for my transition from elementary school to Jr. High.

In elementary school, I was a pretty typical kid. Braces, headgear, and rubber bands worked to fix my smile. I took tap dance lessons. In the band, I played the flute.

But I wanted to be different. So I came up with a plan. I was going to have a life makeover! But, of course, “makeover” wasn’t yet a concept. Continue reading

Not Yet a Grown-Up

This is the worst topic. Why? Because it exposes how scary this time is in anyone’s life. And right now, my daughter Aubrey is in the middle of her thirteenth year. There are six more years of her teenagehood ahead of us. I remember the struggle of that age and how confused I was about my place in the world. For me, it was a time of questioning, trying out different personas, and worrying about the future. Continue reading

Nature or Nurture?

As an adoptive parent, I only occasionally think about how my kids are like and unlike me. I do see stories frequently about adoptees getting together with birth parents. They recognize all kinds of connections that they’ve never had before. Now they see someone else who loves golf as they do. Or they see where they got their long legs with knobby knees. Or they finally found someone else in the world who pukes at the taste of dark chocolate. Continue reading

If Your Dad Knew About This…

When my kids get into trouble, I am so glad that I’m not a single parent, Craig and I both are involved in the ups and downs of parenting.

if your dad knew about this

When I was a child and got into trouble, my mom was the primary caregiver, the default parent,  and the dealer of discipline. But the secret of her power was found in one little phrase…”If your father found out/knew about this, he would be so disappointed.”

That little phrase had the power to shape me because she was right. AND his disappointment was like a sledgehammer. Here is one example… Continue reading

All the Feels

What makes you feel a connection with another person? Some people make you feel cared for and seen. Others, not so much.

Let me give you a couple of examples of what I mean. 

A while ago, Michelle and I were talking about our parents and we found out that we have completely different takes on a common occurrence. Continue reading

The Kindness of Strangers

the kindness of strangers

This is a random friendly Irish cow that said “Hello” and made us feel welcome while traveling the beautiful country roads.

What is a common fear when traveling?

Getting lost. Yup. Been there done that…

But it wasn’t as big of a problem as I had feared.

It was on our trip to Ireland. Mom and Melanie flew in first and rented a car. They got to our rental house first. Michelle and I rented our own car. We were told to rent a larger car with automatic transmission. The thinking was, if you have to think about driving on the left side of the road, shifting gears would be one more thing to think about. Continue reading

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

I’m gonna be an artist when I grow up.

what do you wanna be when you grow up This is the answer I would have given to that age-old question that adults always ask children. I loved to make things out of paper and paint and wood and clay. I didn’t necessarily like coloring books, but I loved art materials. My first memory of Kindergarten is of making a scribble picture on construction paper and then coloring in the created spaces with crayons. Continue reading