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cheerful expectancy

The Art of Cheerful Expectancy

Five days before Christmas, I sat in a booth with a marble table, swallowing a bite of mint-chip ice cream I’d barely tasted. “Okay,” I said. “Let’s schedule it.” Garth’s eyes danced. “We’re gonna have a baby tomorrow?” I smiled. “We’re gonna have a baby tomorrow.” We’d been huddled in our favorite ice cream parlour […]

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simple advent

A Simple Christmas Starts with a Simple Advent

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already observing Advent, even if you’re not sure what Advent is. In the 1960s, kids like me growing up near Pacific Grove, California had something major to anticipate in addition to Christmas Day. We didn’t have snow, but we had Candy Cane Lane. Every year, my parents chose […]

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jar

The One Thing We All Need to Can for Winter {Hope}

  Oh, October! So much to admire, to ponder, and only a wisp of time to do either. Here’s the season when creativity comes in gusts but awe strikes me dumb. Plus, I’m overly sentimental and half-crocked on chai tea lattes. I’m like the chunk of Parmesan swimming in a pot of Nana Tosello’s rich […]

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coming home_no text

If You Just Don’t Feel Quite At Home

We did it. We downsized. And if I just ignore the island of boxes where the coffee table ought to be, I like our charming new space. So why do I feel so profoundly sad? I took Marie Kondo’s advice and kept only the things that spark joy. Over there on the bookcase is the […]

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sacred (1)

Mindfulness for Dummies … and New Empty-Nesters

Recently I retired as a full-time mommy. In fact, I’m thinking of donating my crown to the Museum of Natural Hilarity. 😉 So now here I am, just me, alone, tapping on keys without interruption. And today the silence hangs heavy and my thoughts turn to what’s next. My future, as an empty-nester. As I […]

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Joys are always

The Untold Story: Yours and Mine

A glint of gold caught my eye, something shiny tucked down in the shag carpet of our guest room-slash-office. Aha! A thin necklace belonging to our oldest daughter (the married one), proof that for several days prior our house had twittered with the happy bedlam of an extended-family visit . . . Days sprinkled with […]

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time to build altar

When It’s Time to Build an Altar

It’s half past seven on her last morning of high school. Our raven-haired woman-girl, who the good Lord brought through fiery trial, will graduate with her peers after all. Today when she bolts across our front threshold, she’ll etch a tombstone for our enemies, Doubt and Fear, marking the spot where they died a complete […]

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gentle answer-blog

3 Tips for Softer Eggs and Unscrambled Children

Raising kids is as simple, or as hard, as cooking perfect eggs. When Sean was five he said he’d take a raincheck on my scrambled eggs until I could make them like Grandma Doris. Hers were soft. Moist. Fluffy. Mine, far less magical. I tried again and again to improve, only to meet with two […]

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