The Stretch

I used to do a lot of yoga. I’m not a naturally flexible person so yoga was a particular challenge for me. Not only was it a challenge to reach for my toes in a forward bend, but it was also a challenge to avoid looking in the mirror to see just how far I […]

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Waste Not, Want Not

Nearly six years ago, my daughter watched intently as the woman I’d hired stood at my kitchen counter and washed, dehydrated, and encapsulated my placenta. Today I planted the remaining capsules under the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers in my garden. In retrospect, I’m not quite sure why I had my placenta encapsulated in the first place. I […]

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Love and Marriage

When the music started, I rose with the rest of the congregation, but I didn’t look towards the doors at the back of the church. I kept my eyes on my brother, my little brother, the man with the beard and the fancy suit, standing on his own with the icons and the altar. His face […]

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Dealing with Stress

Due to some discord in my community, I’ve been feeling a great deal of emotional stress lately. It kind of sucks, but it’s also provided me a chance to recognize some of the ways in which I manage stress. These are my instructions to myself, and I thought some of you might find them helpful, too. […]

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Learning to Ask Questions

“Mom, Laura Ingalls Wilder was wrong,” said my five-year-old one morning while I squeezed lemon wedges into hot water for the “lemon tea” he’d requested. “She said kids like drinking cambric tea because it makes them feel grown up, but I drank cambric tea and I didn’t feel grown up at all.” I felt unaccountably sad […]

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“Mommy! Look!”

“Mommy! Look! Leaf buds!” “Mommy! Look! There’s mud on my sneakers!” “Mommy! Look! Crocuses!” My daughter’s oversized reactions to subtle signs of spring draw me out of my daily doubts and stresses and into her enthusiasm. Together we exclaim over the sounds of meltwater running beneath mounds of snow, daydream seeds toward the sunlight, and poise our ears to catch […]

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For Your Listening Pleasure

I’ve listened to some great shows in the past couple of weeks, and here are two I wanted to share with you: Radiolab – Galapagos: My daughter loves conservation and advocating for endangered animals. Yesterday’s homeschool nature class had a guest botanist named Henry, who took the kids on a 1.5-hour-long walk identifying trees and […]

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On Not Seeing Doctors

When I was a kid, I liked going to the doctor. I didn’t like the tongue depressor (quick gag reflex and a near-phobia of vomiting) nor did I care for shots (for my booster shot at age five, four grown men had to hold me down so the nurse could give me one shot), but […]

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Better Left Unsaid

There are certain things that it’s okay to think but that we should never say out loud in front of our kids unless we’ve already decided on a course of action. Like if we’re thinking about possibly adding another baby to the family or about maybe taking a family trip to Disneyland. We shouldn’t say […]

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