Before I understood what’s important

The Christmas of 1991, Bob and I were living together in an oceanfront condo in Melbourne Beach which we couldn’t afford. But did you hear me say oceanfront? We weren’t yet married, and although I was 27 years old, I wasn’t yet an adult. We didn’t have much money, but we had more than we do now because KIDS. I was working for the Vero Beach Press-Journal, and scheduled to work Christmas Day. Bob had been a copy editor atRead more

Turtles and grief and a hard, hard world.

One afternoon not long ago, Nico called me from the bus stop. I was at the dentist with Scout. “MOM! YOU NEED TO COME HERE RIGHT NOW! I NEED HELP!” “Honey, I’m at the dentist with your sister. What’s wrong?” I tried to swallow the panic. Was he hurt? Being kidnapped? Had he cracked his phone? “No, Mom, you have to come right now! There’s this turtle….wait….I just need to….okay, I’m tucking some of its insides under the shell….MOM. IRead more

On being a Highly Sensitive Person. Also, mean people suck

I met a friend at the Ponte Vedra an anonymous library last month, and afterwards approached a librarian to talk about donating a copy of my book. No big deal – I just thought maybe there was a local author section. The woman behind the counter took my book and sighed very heavily. “I’ll have to see if it’s been catalogued,” she said. “This could take a really long time.” She picked up the book and started fanning through the pages, likeRead more

Clipping my own wings while Husband urges me to fly

Twenty-three years ago today, Hot Firefighter Husband married me under a gazebo on my parents’ country estate in Folsom, Louisiana. Dad had installed a ceiling fan because, in his words, “There’s nothing more unattractive than a sweating bride,” which is a fact I had not previously known. To celebrate, Husband is working a double-shift to help pay for our new car, and I am trying to convince our oldest daughter that it is earth-shatteringly important for her to know that tooRead more

The unfortunate chaos of busy-ness

The Russian spy ship Victor Leonov is not far off the coast of Florida right now, which means if I hop on a cruise this evening we could meet up by lunchtime tomorrow. I mean, not that I’d want to. I’m not a spy or anything OR AM I but apparently the Russians are our friends now, and with all their eavesdropping equipment I feel like somebody on board could help me get to the bottom of why Common Core math evenRead more

Immigrant status, and the deportation of an American adoptee

Every year around this date, I remember that National Adoption Month has nearly passed without me recognizing it, which makes me feel hugely deficient. So Happy National Adoption Month. Adoption is a beautiful, heartbreaking, complicated way to form a family, and the circumstances surrounding it are filled with joy and sadness and perpetual grief. Yay! My three little bugs, as you know, were adopted, the oldest from Vietnam and the younger two from Guatemala. They were adopted; it’s not a chronicRead more

Depression update, book update, and LOVE YOU PEEPS

When I last wrote, I was wallowing in a pit of despair. I’m happy to report that my proverbial glass is now at least 1/4 full, and I no longer anticipate locusts falling from the sky any minute. Thank you, Dr. K, for that little tweak. And big fat kudos to me, for refocusing my energy on clean eating, reading great books, and getting the kids back to school with pencils. But I must thank you, dear generous readers, for the outpouringRead more

Trying to calm myself amid the chaos, and Jesus not taking the wheel

I’ve lost my inner peace. It’s hiding, like maybe in my kidney or something. “You always see the glass as half empty,” says Hot Firefighter Husband. I thought about this a couple of weeks ago while I floated down the lazy river at Discovery Cove in Orlando. Discovery Cove is a magical fake tropical island where you can snorkel with sting-rays that don’t sting and swim with dolphins that act happy. It’s surrounded by a lazy river which meanders through organized tropicalRead more

Shark teeth and pimples, and the attachment disorder. We’ve got it all.

“Mom, what is this?” said the Pterodactyl, pointing to a spot below his bottom lip. “It hurts.” I looked. “It’s a pimple,” I said. “WHAT? WHY DO I HAVE A PIMPLE?” “Well, maybe because you’re growing up. Maybe you’re getting close to puberty,” I mused, although in hindsight, it probably resulted from not bathing. I offered to pop it for him, because that’s what I do, even it could lead to an infection and partial amputation of his entire chin. I’m a risk-taker.Read more

I WROTE A BOOK! I WROTE A BOOK! I WROTE A BOOK! Also….I WROTE A BOOK!

I have amazing news for the gazillions of people who’ve told me I should write a book. I HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK. And it’s going to be published. Coming in Spring 2017 to a bookstore near you: The Place of Peace and Crickets: how adoption, heartache, and love built a family Is that the best title ever or what? I could tell you what it means, but then I’d have to kill you. KIDDING. But really. I’m not going to tellRead more