Remembering

Her name was Louise. Ms. Louise. I never even learned her last name. She was a friend of my grandmother’s and during my week-long summer visits, we would visit all of her older woman friends. Friends with amazing names like Cleo, Myrtle and Ida Mae Stacy.  Louise was very old (to me, as an eight […]

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Hit the road, Jack

I am not an expert at many tasks. My desk is in constant clutter, my fashion sense leaves much to be desired, and my ability to decorate cakes is on par with a 7-year-old. But traveling with children? Solo? For thousands of miles? For a month? I’ve got you covered, baby. Just call me the […]

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Five tips for working with special needs parents (plus a bonus!)

I was asked a few years ago by one of my daughter’s previous teachers for some tips for those who teach and work with our special needs children. Since then, many have shared this with other educators, therapists and administrators. Though this isn’t a typical post at TPIL, I thought it was worth sharing. I’d […]

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Magical, shmagical

I don’t know what it is about the last two decades in American parenthood but someone needs to raise the white flag and it might as well be me. Part of the problem might be the prominence of social media or the persistent need to document every single thing a child does but man it’s […]

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Ode to music teachers everywhere

I would make a terrible motivational speaker for the simple fact that they often inspire others with words like “The sky is the limit!” or “No dream is too big!” and I find myself rolling my eyes and muttering “Good luck with that.” Not that my life is perceptibly awful or I feel like a […]

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Life hacks for new grads.

I met Teresa my junior year of high school while waiting in the cafeteria. She invited me to sit with her and since I had no friends who had lunch that period, I accepted. She had blond hair, a mischievous smile and was one of the friendliest people I had ever met. So, for the […]

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Middle school: basically Dante’s 7th circle…

Recently, I overheard three teenage girls talking and their entire conversation was comprised of steadily putting down other girls in their peer group. One after another, I heard the negative comments: Her hair is too frizzy. Why doesn’t she stop blow drying it? I can’t stand being around her. She wears the weirdest clothes. I […]

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Five friends every mom needs

When I was less than four feet tall, I collected stickers and dolls that I would line up on a bookshelf and kiss every night–the dolls, not the stickers. Now that I am an impressive 5’ 4”, I collect friends that come to sit at my kitchen table.  In the last seventeen years while living in […]

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Skiing vs. Marriage

My husband’s dream ever since we started popping out babies was to have our entire family on the slopes. “A family that skis together stays together” was his burning mantra. Up until this year I had ample excuses to send him and our oldest up the hill together for some father-daughter bonding time: “I can’t […]

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Trailer parks and tears

For much of my adolescent years I resided in a trailer park with a “Dallas” theme—the soap opera, not the state. We lived on J.R. Drive and the streets surrounding ours were: Knot’s Landing, Ewing Drive and Cattleman’s Circle. The south embraces themes, y’all. Seriously though, I would give anything to have been at the […]

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