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I’m a Much Better Parent to Other People’s Children

I’m trudging through the aisle, an overloaded cart of food in front of me and one million and one notes on my to-do list running through my head. Will two oranges be enough? Do we have an extra bag of flour or did I buy the brand that’s been recalled? How many Oreos does it […]

The Single Worst Place You Can Ask for a Discount

It never fails. You’re manning the ticket table at a fundraiser, and up walks someone looking to make a deal. “So,” they’ll usually start, “how about a discount?” Or, “Hey, is there a discount for seniors/students/people buying a whole bunch?” Typically the answer when rebuffed is, “oh, I was just kidding,” but there’s always something […]

The Time My Daughter Will Have for As Long As She Wants It

It’s 10 at night, and all I want to do is pull a comforter up around my shoulders and head into dreamland. I haven’t needed the counter on the weather report to tell me the pollen count is through the roof. The drum beat in my head is enough. But the bedside light is still […]

Inside Out

5 Rules of Internet Commenters

Over the years, I’ve been asked more than a few times why the Democrat doesn’t allow comments on its website. My standard answer, of course, is that that answer is above my pay grade. It’s one of the beautiful things about being freelance these days; I get to pass the buck. But if you press […]

It’s OK to Say Puppies Are Like Babies … Yes, Really

When it comes to people and puppies, there are three camps. First there are the “eh, puppies are not babies” people. They tend not to be that loud, but you will recognize them by the fact that they smell just like your average human. Next, and wildly vocal, are the “my puppy is my baby” […]

Why Personal Essays Have Taken Over the Internet

Every week for more than a decade, I’ve sat down in front of a computer and spilled out a column to appear on the pages of the newspaper. Often they’re personal in nature, an essay sparked by something that has occurred or a part of me I’ve decided to share with the world. In the […]

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Motherhood

We’re Jealous of Adam LaRoche, and It’s OK to Say It

When White Sox player Adam LaRoche walked away from $13 million a few weeks ago, rather than cut the amount of time his son was spending at the ballpark, there was a lot of eye rolling from the general public. After all, how many American workers get to take their kids to work? Who exactly […]

Why I’ll Never Ask a Kid ‘What Did You Do?’ Again

I knew it was coming when he stepped onto the elevator. He took one look at my daughter and asked, “What happened to you?” She reached up to move the tan flap on her forehead, revealing a wide mouthed scar beneath. “I got bit by a dog,” she said with a sigh. She knew too […]

If Only I’d Known it Would be the Last Time I’d Carry Her

I wish I’d taken my time. I wish I’d leaned in and taken a deep breath, pulling in that musky scent made of a long day of play. I didn’t. I huffed and puffed and moaned and groaned. I stopped just inside the doorway, pushing her bottom onto the counter, heaving a sigh of heavy […]

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Photography

They’re Same Sex Wedding Photos; Get Over It

I started Sunday morning with 1,849 fans on the Facebook page for my blog, Inside Out Motherhood. Nothing compared to many of the “big” blogs, but nothing to sneeze at either. Then the number began to dip. One thousand eight hundred forty eight. One thousand eight hundred forty seven. One thousand eight hundred forty six… […]

Why This Photographer Would Rather Take Photos of Your Kids Than Her Own

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it … well, you know how the saying goes. “Your daughter must just love having her photo taken!” or “Oh, your daughter must be so much better at having her photo taken than [insert self-deprecating comment about comment maker’s own children].” Considering she’s had a lens stuck thisclose […]

Brittney & Josh: An Engagement Session

  A lot of photographers have a lot of props in their arsenal. I confess I have a few favorites myself. But when I’m going out on a shoot, I always want to focus on the subject … and that means looking to their lives for the “props” that will really reflect their story. In […]

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Entertainment

4 Best Christmas Movies to Stream on Netflix (That You Probably Don’t Know About)

Let’s face it, Christmas time is about family. And what better thing to do with your family than put down your iPhones and iPads and gather round a TV to watch a Christmas classic? How about watching a Christmas flick you probably ignored? It’s a Wonderful Life is a wonderful thing, but the glory of […]

‘Inside Out’ Could Save Countless Kids From Suffering in Silence

Like pretty much every parent in America, I sobbed my way through Inside Out. It’s what I’ve come to expect from Pixar movies since becoming a mother: Moments that will leave me in tears as I contemplate the fragility of childhood. What I didn’t expect was that upon re-watching Inside Out (it hit DVD and […]

9 ‘Aladdin’ Facts you Probably Never Knew

If you can call something that hasn’t even hit the quarter century mark a classic, Aladdin fits the bill. Introduced in theaters at Thanksgiving in 1992, the Robin Williams movie was Disney’s 31st feature length animated flick, and one that rode a magic carpet into the history books, between Academy Awards, Golden Globes and a […]

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Country Life

Health Insurance Companies Are Playing a Trick on Americans — Have You Fallen for It?

For weeks now, I’ve been telling myself that we’re the lucky ones. Yes, our health insurance company is refusing to pay a claim that sits in the thousands of dollars. And yes, this is a considerable financial blow. But compared to thousands upon thousands of others, we’re lucky, right? Our child will recover from her […]

Sometimes Getting Out of Jury Duty Is Better for the Jury

It’s not often that you find yourself standing in front of nearly 100 people and a judge is staring you in the face, asking if you can be unbiased. I began to stutter. I think I said something like, “Uh. Yeah. I mean, I guess I can,” before collapsing into the pew beside another woman […]

Small Town Healthcare Is a Big Time Problem

Two hours feels like 20 when you have a child in pain, when your arms are wrapped around her whispering, “It will be OK. We’re going to a hospital. The doctors will take care of you. I’m here.” We had to drive two hours to find a hospital with a plastic surgeon on call on […]

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