Choosing Gratefulness

Choosing to live a life of gratitude sure is harder than it sounds. Everywhere we go, everywhere we look, we are bombarded by our need more and need it now culture. Patience seems to be a rarity. Compassion is hard to come by. Gratefulness is a bit of a mystery. It’s so easy to be sucked into what society says about deserving more and better and it’s hard to step back and say “No. I already have all I need.”...more

The Larsen Christmas Letter

I sat down last Sunday afternoon to write our yearly Christmas letter. That is actually late in the year for me as I am normally the first annoying friend that you receive a Christmas card from. Literally, I order my Christmas cards in October, write my letter by Thanksgiving and mail the cards out by the 1st weekend in December! I know!! I am that annoying Christmas perfectionist! But…not this year. I just haven’t had it in me…the Christmas spirit that is. It hasn’t been the best of years for our family and I know that is a part of why it has been so hard to write the letter....more

Trick or Treat?

Trick or Treat?...more

Show Me a Family Bed and I'll Show You a Tired Family

You don’t realize how poorly you sleep until you are given the chance to sleep alone. In theory, a king-sized bed should be large enough to accommodate a 6-foot-4 man, a 5-foot-5 woman, and a 12-pound dog. In reality, it’s not. Particularly when the man has legs that resemble stilts, the woman doesn’t like skin-to-skin contact while sleeping, and the dog likes to snuggle. ...more

How to Better Manage the Family Schedule For a Happier 2016

I’ve set some goals for this year, and I’m already worried that I won’t achieve them. (That seems a bit neurotic for this early in the year, doesn’t it?) Part of the problem is that I’m not a natural goal setter, so setting and achieving goals in an organized, intentional way is not my strength. But an even bigger part of the problem is this -- I feel like I’m just too busy to do the things I need to do in order to meet those goals. ...more

How to Survive a Sick Baby With Your Sanity Intact

Back in July, my son Ryan had his first real illness. High fever, very cranky, super clingy. Basically not like him whatsoever. Turned out he had a double ear infection AND he was cutting his first molar. Poor kid....more

My Sister Was a Gift to Me

My sister was always presented as a gift that was created just for me - and not because I needed a bone marrow transplant or anything. I was just a typical six-year-old, newly immigrated to Queens from Russia, and I was lonely. I was also supposedly incredibly cerebral and persuasive (go figure), because while other girls convinced their parents to buy them a Barbie’s Dream house, I was able to persuade mine to conceive AND birth me a real, live, human sister.  ...more

I Want a Do Over on Winter Break

I loved when they were pliable and open-minded. When the promise of a chance to feed the goats was enough to send my kids flying to the open car door. We had fun back then. Armed with my activity “bible”, Favorite Places to Go with Kids in St. Louis, I felt like Sacagawea guiding Lewis and Clark only my minions were Jimbo and Mabel and they had pigtails and pacifiers instead of pigskin and pelts. And, indeed, we traversed the same hallowed ground on which those famous explorers made their mark so it was doubly exciting....more

Christmas 2015

 Now, that the holidays are over and everyone is settling back into reality I finally got to upload our wonderful holiday pictures....more