Wood Tile Flooring: Renovation Diary, Part 1

We bought our 1980s split-level house “as is.” It was 2010, the bottom of the real estate crash, and we got a great deal. But with it also came a great deal of work: a 30-year-old air conditioner, bad sewer line, unfinished landscaping, plumbing problems… It’s taken a lot of time and savings just to make the house function well. Almost six years later, we’re getting to the fun part: ushering the house out of the 80s! ...more

Oh, hello there, 2016

I’m not sure how we got here, to mid January, without passing Christmas along the way. I vaguely remember a Christmas tree that fell over. And cookies and eggnog ....more

How I created an “American Boy” doll for my son

My 6-year-old, Miles, had just two items on his birthday wish list: Legos American Boy doll I wasn’t surprised to see a doll on his list. He has an older sister, and they play together every day. She loves playing superheroes and various sports with him, and he loves playing My Little Pony and American Girl with her ....more

Ollie Impossible 2003 – 2015

I’ve known no better office assistant, friend, running partner, or fur-child than this guy right here. Thanks for 12+ amazing years, buddy. You are so missed ....more

Saving the world, one sandwich at a time…

My kids’ school is a plastic-free zone. Students bring their lunches in glass or metal containers, and they try to avoid excess packaging and waste. I love the eco-friendly policy, but sometimes miss the convenience of grabbing a Ziplock baggie ....more

Update: Changing the conversation about women

Several months ago, I told you about PRI’s initiative, Across Women’s Lives. I was asked along with a select group of women writers to partner with PRI and SheKnows Media to share news stories about women worldwide. The goal: To change the sobering statistic pictured above ....more


I stared at the turquoise blue water and wondered: How will I feel tomorrow if I don’t jump? We were several miles into a hike across the Root Glacier in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park ....more

summer is for creativity

I panic a little as the last day of school approaches. Gone is my predictable work schedule. Instead, I cobble together hours while the kids are at swim practice or while they’re doing their summer reading ....more

How to be a successful writer

About twice a week someone asks me a variation of the same question: “How do you find the discipline to write?” Sometimes it’s more like, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to be a writer! How do you do it?” The short answer is that this is my career. How does a teacher stay disciplined to teach? ...more

in search of spring

Spring for me has been a flurry of deadlines, punctuated with moments of beauty and peace. Like a five-hour-long play date with dear friends, so easy and comfortable and fun that none of us realized that five hours had passed until the kids’ cheeks turned a little too pink (time to reapply sunscreen) and the breakfast (and then lunch) dishes were cleared and we finally glanced at our watches because, though we had nowhere else to be, it felt like a perfect time to nap. But before leaving, the youngest of our hosts scooped up a few fresh eggs from her backyard chicken coop and placed them gingerly in Bronwynn’s upturned skirt — a taste of spring and friendship and nurturing to take home ....more