Karen Mares

40-something mom of two - a boy and a girl. Writing, tweeting, day dream believing. I write a personal blog, and also create blog content for small businesses for a web solutions provider. My daughter, age 11, is hard of hearing due to a birth defect, so her journey features heavily in my personal writing. My son, age seven, is where most of the comedy in our house comes from. We live in the Pacific Northwest, and we love our life.

The Day I Got a Retweet From Prince

I've had some pretty amazing fangirl moments in my life.  In 6th grade, I met Selena after what would be her final Alamodome performance.  When I was a cop in the Air Force, I was chosen to work Avenged Sevenfold's security detail during their appearance at our base exchange. They later gave my entire shift tickets to their show and backstage passes to hang with them.   ...more
Mandy Patinkin responded to a tweet of mine. And then my little theatre-geek heart exploded.more

(POLL) How Do You Feel About Community School Supplies?

Over the next month, kids across the country will be headed back to school (and some are even there already, including my fourth-grader). With back-to-school comes back-to-school shopping: for clothes, for shoes and for school supplies. Unlike your kids' sneakers or shirts, crayons are sometimes put into a pile and shared -- a practice known as "community school supplies" -- and this practice has some parents really mad. ...more
My kids go to a public school with a fair amount of resource insecurity among it's population of ...more

Poll: Do You Have Friends of a Different Race?

A recent poll conducted by Reuters reports that many Americans have no friends of a race other than their own. It’s not that surprising, given the dramatically different ways people have reacted to recent events such as the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting, or even last week’s Twitter trend #solidarityisforwhitewomen. ...more
My best friend from childhood (still my very close friend) is Chinese-American, I have friends ...more

What We Can Learn From Coverage of A Mother Thing's Walmart Post

There was a girl at camp who told us stories that didn't quite add up. They may have been true, or they may have been outright lies; as kids, we had no way to know. My friends and I sometimes privately joked about the stories, which always ended with someone pulling the girl back from the brink of death, but we never confronted the girl, or publicly humiliated her, or called her mother to corroborate the story. Mostly because ... what if? ...more
This was a really well-done piece, Melissa. There is a human being behind every word that gets ...more

You Know You're Aging When: Catalog Edition

Whenever I go to my parents' house, I love to look through their catalogs. They have the usual Land's End and Harry and David, but they also have a kitschy wonderland of "someone should invent that" products for seniors. (And I know they are for seniors because the catalog copy for a wrap rack says, "Remember when it was just waxed or foil? Now we have so many different wraps, and here's how to store them compactly." Also, their homepage has a drop-down just for dickies.) I am now getting the Miles Kimball catalog at my house because I made the mistake of ordering an outdoor food tent. I've recently discovered -- to my horror -- that the things I laughed about when I was eighteen now seem not so ridiculous, and I know the things I'm laughing at while 39 will probably seem like a darn tootin' good idea in thirty more years. What do you think of these products?...more
My mom is a Miles Kimball fan. I have the benefit of having anything I'm too embarrassed to ...more

Do You Exercise with Your Kids?

Do you exercise with your kids? I'm finding that the older Lil Man gets, the more he participates in my fitness program. I admit that I usually have to keep the hand weights away. He lifts them (yes, even the 10lb ones). And I'm afraid he's going to drop them on himself....more
I've been able to get my kids (almost 11 and 6 yrs old) to run with me. My older child ran in a ...more

17 Untruths Parents Believe About Non-Parents

1. Non-parents get to go to bed late and sleep in like parents used to before they had children.I do wish this were true, but it's not. Age, stress, and ill health are sleep-stealers, too, and I am lucky if I get four or five uninterrupted hours of sleep on any given night. In fact, I can't remember when I last did that. ...more
Bravo. (And I'm a parent.) There are a myriad of reasons why some families choose to *not* add ...more

Do We Ever Really Leave High School?

Lissy Ryder, the main character in Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, never really left high school. She hit her peak during those four years and stopped growing and reaching. When she discovered there is life after high school it was a complete and total shock. While we may not all be like Lissy, I still see references every week online to things being just like high school....more
Funny I'm involved in these discussions, because my 25th high school reunion just got scheduled ...more

Who Do You Want To Be?

When we first met Lissy Ryder in Jen Lancaster's novel Here I Go Again, she didn't know who she wanted to be. She was still focused on who she had been. Her high school days has been her glory days, so why should she want to be any different than she was in her teens? During the course of the novel she learns that if you stay who you were, you'll never become who you are supposed to be....more
In high school I wanted to be an English teacher. Once I got to college I realized that I really ...more

Would You Like To Go Back In Time?

In Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, Lissy Ryder is given a potion that can help her right all her wrongs. Being the person she is, Lissy doesn't approach it cautiously. No, she throws it back like it's an espresso shot. When she wakes up and realizes she's back in the past -- back in high school -- she's elated. That would not be my reaction. ...more
I just can't help but think I wouldn't want to. All the stuff that came before taught me. I'm in ...more