About Those Things I Said I'd Never Say or Do as a Parent ... Oh, Well

Marriage and parenting are two of the most idealized life experiences. There are so many elements of growing up -- and raising people to grown-ups -- that we don’t consider. And when we do consider them it's almost always with an air of "Oh, I’ll ...more

Autism's Past, Present, and Future: An Interview With 'NeuroTribes' Author Steve Silberman

Steve Silberman is not the first writer to invest a significant chunk of his life in a book about autism. But he's the first whose book NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, does right by autistic people, and those who ...more

An Open Letter to Typical Parents on the First Day of School

Dear Typical Parent, Hi there! I saw you this morning at the bus stop, taking pictures of your kids in their new clothes with shiny backpacks and haircuts. My son was the little guy with a hole in the back of his shirt where he ripped out the ...more

3 Helpful Tips For Navigating Target's New Genderless Toy Section (a.k.a. Our New Dystopia)

As you've surely heard by now, either via news reports or your homophobic aunt ranting on Facebook about how this is yet another sign of the end times, Target has announced they are no longer labeling their store toy aisles by gender. No more pink ...more

I Failed at My Summer To-Do List, and I Couldn't Be Happier

Summer vacation is gone. Like, seriously. Gone. I remember in May, before summer even started, I wrote out my daily schedule that I was planning to have throughout summer, along with what all I would accomplish both personally and with my ...more

A Message to the Moms Whose Kids Are Not Heading Off to College

I've seen so many beautiful photos on my timelines this week. Moms are sharing pictures of their children heading off to college. I've enjoyed seeing all the pics of packing, dorm rooms, and tearful farewells as you drop your babies off at the university of their choice. I'm so happy for all the Moms and young adults embarking on the next phase of their lives. But what about the Moms that aren't making that trip? I wonder how they're feeling right now? ...more

How I'm Helping My Kids Build Confidence

We're teaming up with the Representation Project (of which I have always been a fan) and their new #BuildConfidence initiative, to talk about how we, as parents, can celebrate, inform and empower mentors who model positive self-esteem and body image. This is my take. ...more

Should You Join the PTA? The Answer Might Surprise You

My first introduction to the PTA (or Parent Teacher Association) was through my mother's typewriter. Click, clack. Click, clack. My mother, co-president of the PTA, had volunteered to type up the recipe submissions for "Koala Kitchen," a cookbook put together and sold by the PTA as a fundraiser for my elementary school. ...more

Creating a Family Photo Wall: The Point of All That Clutter

The family photo wall at the lake is much more casual than the one at home. The one at home includes nails and picture frames and matting. The family photo wall at the lake uses twine, thumbtacks to string the line across the windows, and mini clothespins to hold the photos ....more

Summer sink baths

Seems that four years olds do not like sink baths, or at least this four year old! Luckily, round two with Poppy went a little smoother. Normally bath time is enjoyable around our household, although you never know with kids ....more

Complete + Happy Home

“A complete and happy home is so much more than a series of pretty rooms. Between these two covers, we’ve captured everything we’ve learned at Apartment Therapy about decorating, organizing, cleaning, and repairs, so you can make and maintain your own fabulous home.” —from the Introduction of Apartment Therapy; Complete + Happy Home by Maxwell Ryan & Janel LabanI love home decorating and organizing books. I love peeks into people's homes, peeks into their style, peeks into who they are (because you can tell a lot about a person by their home) ....more

Grilled Tofu Tacos

I've reached the denial stage of things, so I'm pretending summer isn't coming to an end. Nope. No way ....more

12 Easy Fall Wreaths

The air is definitely getting cooler, and ...more

Stress Zits?!

Dudes! I have been breaking out like caaaaaa-razy on my forehead lately. I've been feeling very bumpy and VERY "adolescent." One afternoon I found myself wondering whether or not I remembered my Trapper Keeper for Math class, or if I had mistakenly thrown my retainer away when I dumped my lunch tray ....more

Kindergarten Memories

He woke up and came running out of his room all dressed and ready to go. He chatted all the way through breakfast and was ready to head to school long before it was time to go. I watched with a pit in my stomach and smile on my face ....more

Fall: Week One

I have never been so excited for a week to begin in my entire life....more

Bode Turns Eight, Celebrates in Most Typical, Average Way Possible

Bode had his third basketball party in a row. I'm telling' ya, you've got to get yourself one of these little boys, it's the easiest thing ever. ...more


I arrive at the picnic that kicks off our semester of Penn State Christian Grads. I gather with many new Ph.D. students who have more enthusiasm and intelligence than you can imagine. I'm so thankful to live in a world where people devote their lives to understanding and then advancing various fields like autism and communication, applied linguistics, mechanical and environmental engineering, statistics, food science, math education, physiology, nursing, biobehavioral health, and too many other programs to mention.I listen to the way students live in complete fascination and utter curiosity about their disciplines and how, one day, their research can help so many others ....more