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Simple (?) Marriage Advice



Posted by on Jul 3, 2012 |

Though my niche at Simple Mom is parenting teenagers, Tsh extended freedom to her contributors to deviate from our typical topics while she is on break this summer. I decided to take advantage of her offer, with one caveat:

This post isn't for all readers; it's written for those who are married.

Single moms, you are loved; this is no slight!  I know yours is a difficult, challenging road, having glimpsed single motherhood during a six-week work separation for me and my husband.

But this post is revised from a letter I wrote to encourage and advise young married moms, for the original Mother Letters Project.

It's direct and candid, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit I'm a little nervous to publish it here. But based on the previous response from women and men, it's a message that could benefit at least a few of you in this broader audience.

To you, my dear mama friends ~

Have I piqued your interest?  Please continue reading
Simple (?) Marriage Advice by clicking here.
 Based on comments not everyone agrees with my thoughts and I always enjoy the differences in perspective…. 🙂

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Simple mom ? simple parenting (especially when we’re talking about teens!)



Posted by on Apr 25, 2012 |

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day;
teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

~ Unattributed Chinese proverb

As is often the case, one of the best things a parent can give their teenager is hardly a thing at all: it's room.


  • to make their own decisions and to enjoy the sense of accomplishment associated with wise choices—or—to endure the consequences or poor choices;
  • to learn life lessons never taught in a class or between pages in a book; and
  • to grow.

Parenting is tricky; time doesn't play fair.

Days are long, years are short—before we know it, our pre-pubescent grade-schooler is learning to drive! There are no defining lines to mark seasons in development; they rarely occur overnight. Sometimes shift is so subtle you don't even realize it when you've left one stage and entered the next.

My point?


* * * * * *

Continue reading at Simple Mom by clicking this link; I'm eager and curious to hear your responses…!

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Words will never hurt me…?!



Posted by on Feb 16, 2012 | 2 comments

rolling coins with paper wrappers
I'm embarrassed to admit it, and its truth pains me, but I'm almost certain the people to whom I've spoken most hatefully are my own children and husband. I've wondered if I'm the only one who does this.

Why do the people I love most receive the worst treatment I have to offer? Thankfully, mean or impatient words are the exception, but with my upcoming extended separation from my children, I'm acutely aware of my propensity to speak in a less than loving manner; ironic, because I have such thin skin myself.

Two recent occurrences with my teen boys drove this point home–

• After my oldest son cleaned his room, I opened his closet door; it was no surprise his version of clean didn't match mine. Irritated, I began organizing and cleaning out the war zone, only to be discovered by him mid-way through. He braced for mama wrath, instead caught off guard by my calm (not typical) response. Before all was said and done, we were finishing the work together–happily. I hadn't even asked him to join me.

• My husband gave our youngest a jar of pennies he's been saving for years, along with a stack of coin wrappers. Sitting at the kitchen table while I was making my way through a mile-long To-Do List, my son struggled to wrap the pennies without them collapsing; it was the first time he's rolled coins. My initial response was frustration–why was he having difficulty with such a simple task?! "I knew how to roll coins since I was in grade school!" I thought, but thankfully stopped before those words made their way across my lips. Instead, I stopped what I was doing, sat beside him and showed him the best way to roll coins. I watched his frustration melt into understanding.

When children reach their teens, it's easy to think they're unaffected by harsh words. Don't be deceived—your words and tone can wound them deeply.  Consider the following:


Thump on the head to ME!  I forgot to link to my most recent Simple Mom post, most likely because I was airborne when it went live.  I hope you'll click through to continue reading; it's relevant to parenting teens/tweens whenever you have time to finish.

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Demystifying the College Search
~ Parenting Teens Column at Simple Mom ~



Posted by on Aug 11, 2011 |

My first-born will begin her college freshman year later this month.  With over 4,500 colleges and universities in our country, deciding where to attend followed a rigorous, months’ long odyssey that required investigation, perseverance, and sifting through a lot of noise.  Because we didn’t begin sooner, we also had the added pressure of short deadlines.

While information is readily available if you’re willing to invest the energy and time to find it, the college search can be daunting.  I’d like to share some of what we learned with the hope of helping those of you with college in your child(ren)’s future.  These tips are offered to:

  • simplify the process of searching for—and determining—the best college for your child
  • lessen confusion and frustration
  • encourage you to act earlier than we did
  • possibly even save you money

* * * * *

Regardless of the age of your children, I hope you'll continue reading "Demystifying the College Search" over at Simple Mom's; it's good seed for thought even if you aren't in this season of life yet.  Be sure to sift through comments where you'll see perspectives other than mine…. 

And………..did **someone** say she's writing a book???  Well, now…you'll have to click to find out

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