January 29, 2016
Winter Fashion: Marc Has Concerns

Marc and I have been married seventeen years. I married a good man, which is fortunate for me since I was completely clueless and about ten years old. One thing we know after all these years together is that Marc knows best what clothes look good on me. Please don’t send me letters and try … Continue reading “Winter Fashion: Marc Has Concerns”

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January 22, 2016
Five Ways To Survive A Midwest Winter

Oh, baby, is it ever cold outside.  If you are reading this from a warm locale, please do not speak. I can’t bear it. You are dead to me, along with every living thing in my backyard.  If, however, you are among the hearty and seasonally depressed in the Midwest, this post is for you. … Continue reading “Five Ways To Survive A Midwest Winter”

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January 17, 2016
Giving Guide

Hello and happy freezing cold day from the tundra! Here’s what I look like this morning: Not exactly true. This woman is European. So I looked less stylish. Listen, I want you to know I’m not going to start being THAT GIRL. You know, that girl who blogs every forty-five minutes and annoys you by … Continue reading “Giving Guide”

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January 15, 2016
Inside Scoop: Operation Bonnet

Oh, Nellie. Operation Bonnet is Nellie’s story, and it’s a doozy. Nellie, an academic smarty pants with rough social skills, desperately wants to become a private investigator. Her small town in Ohio, however, is too sleepy for any case worth its salt. So when her first break comes from an ex-Amish guy who needs some … Continue reading “Inside Scoop: Operation Bonnet”

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January 14, 2016
Inside Scoop: Stretch Marks

The title of this book has made many a man squirm in my presence over the years. I’m not sure why. I think of stretch marks as completely benign, a part of life. Like freckles. Or hangnails. Or a dilated cervix. OK, maybe not the cervix. Stretch Marks is a modern love story about a … Continue reading “Inside Scoop: Stretch Marks”

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January 13, 2016
Inside Scoop: Act Two

Act Two is the story of a diva. I’ve known some divas in my day. I hope to Jesus that I never was one, but I did go through junior high, so odds aren’t in my favor. During my first couple years of college, I majored in music, and let me assure you, music divas … Continue reading “Inside Scoop: Act Two”

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January 12, 2016
Inside Scoop: Bottom Line

Let’s be honest: when you write a novel about a Christian lingerie pyramid scheme, you should expect some pushback. After all, those poor publishers! They’d just found out Christians had sex, and now this! Cute clothes to wear and that even ENCOURAGE the having of the sex! Do you see why it’s always been touch-and-go between … Continue reading “Inside Scoop: Bottom Line”

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January 11, 2016
Inside Scoop: Balancing Act

Hi, all. And by “all,” I mean Mom. Thanks for sticking with me, Mom. And for the lovely scented candle for Christmas. You’re the best. I’ve been away, doing all sorts of things, like laundry, and never-ending dishwashing, and parenting, and spousing, and writing a novel that I buried under a tree in the backyard, … Continue reading “Inside Scoop: Balancing Act”

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December 23, 2013
Happy Christmas 2013!

Hello, dear people. Despite all those Internet rumors, I didn’t die. Wait–that rumor was about Johnny Depp. He isn’t dead either, though he is against showing his teeth in photographs. I, however, am not! Listen, I’ve missed you people. I’m sorry for my long absence, but I have found I cannot multi-task. That’s not true: … Continue reading “Happy Christmas 2013!”

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September 12, 2013
Hungry for More

A week ago, the five of us joined up with a great group of folks and packed meals for hungry people. Have you heard of Meals from the Heartland? We Iowans grow a lot of food. Not to brag or anything, but we pretty much crush the Growing Food category. We’re really good at it. … Continue reading “Hungry for More”

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September 5, 2013
Swimming Upstream With Diana Nyad

Have you people heard about this woman? Her name is Diana Nyad. I first knew of her after I read a fascinating article about her in The New York Times a couple years back. Miss Diana is now 64 years old, and this week, after 35 years of pursuit, she swam from Havana, Cuba, to … Continue reading “Swimming Upstream With Diana Nyad”

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August 29, 2013
Can’t We All Just Get Along?

A few weeks ago, Judith Warner wrote this fascinating article for the New York Times magazine.  The gist: Moms who, a decade or so ago, jumped off the corporate ladder to stay home with their children now want back into the work force. The piece was interesting and provocative and well worth a read. Warner’s … Continue reading “Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

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August 22, 2013
Fast-Forward Family

Will the big invisible finger pushing the fast-forward button of our lives please step off? I’m serious. I’m getting irritable. When did this happen? Is anyone else hearing me on this? Four days ago, we brought Ana home from the hospital and Marc stood in her nursery in the wee hours, listening to her weep … Continue reading “Fast-Forward Family”

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August 15, 2013
Prancercise It

School starts in a matter of days. This means a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me, it means my children are all in need of pants. These children of mine all display the Tall Man Gene so dominant in my husband. I am well on my way to being the … Continue reading “Prancercise It”

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August 8, 2013
Drop Down and Give Me Twenty

We’re careening around the bend to summer’s finale and I really don’t want to think about that. So I’m going to write about something even more alarming: Working Out. If you have been following this blog for any length of time or if you have run into me EVER, you know I am aging. I … Continue reading “Drop Down and Give Me Twenty”

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August 1, 2013
Sick in July, and Other Questions for God

We are recovering from a bit of nasty over here. All three kids came down with some version of, as Thea calls it, “the pukes.” As in (to her terrified VBS volunteer): “I wish I would have been here yesterday when you had popcorn for a snack. But I couldn’t because I had THE PUKES.” … Continue reading “Sick in July, and Other Questions for God”

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July 25, 2013
Three Cheers for the Cambridge Mama!

Can we get an amen and huzzah and nice-bloody-work for this woman? Photo Credits Not only did Kate Middleton-come-Duchess-of-Cambridge become pregnant while the whole world speculated on her ovarian activity, and then carry that pregnancy past her due date while the whole world stalked her, she then birthed the child and had to appear on … Continue reading “Three Cheers for the Cambridge Mama!”

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July 18, 2013
Rocking Out

Remember pop music? Yeah, neither do I. But I did watch the Grammy Awards show this year, which made me FEEL like I know pop music. I didn’t exactly recognize 98% of the artists sitting in the crowd in their astonishing fashion choices. I looked for some fashion highlights to post here, but most of … Continue reading “Rocking Out”

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July 11, 2013
Listening Up in the Minivan

Anybody else putting on the miles in the minivan this summer?  Listen, I didn’t ASPIRE to own a minivan. I didn’t exactly aspire to own any particular vehicle, as cars are not at the top of my Most Interesting Things List. I very much appreciate a car that runs well, has a functioning radio, cools … Continue reading “Listening Up in the Minivan”

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July 4, 2013
Oh, Say, Can You See?!? No, Really! Right Over There!

Happy Fourth! What a great holiday. No need to shop, unless you include going to the store for brats and the fixings for a root beer float. No pressure on making the best dessert or the loveliest centerpiece. Heck, you don’t even need to shower if you don’t want to. Just jump in a pool, … Continue reading “Oh, Say, Can You See?!? No, Really! Right Over There!”

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June 28, 2013
Hannah Mae The Courageous

Last weekend we traveled north to attend the best birthday party ever. It was for Hannah. I, for one, am so glad I get to write this story instead of speak it as I can’t seem to talk about Hannah without going into the snort-cry. We are long-time friends of Hannah’s parents, Sandi and Dave. … Continue reading “Hannah Mae The Courageous”

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June 20, 2013
Pool Time and Other Dangers

I really do love me some pool time. Am I wrong to say such a thing, in this day of skin cancer awareness and limited sun hours? Well, I do. I’m not saying I bake out there until my epidermis flakes off and  my hair catches on fire, but I do love to feel the … Continue reading “Pool Time and Other Dangers”

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June 13, 2013
8 Things I Need to Say To Single Moms

1. I don’t know how you do it. Really. I suspect you rely heavily on caffeine, liquor, and/or steroids, but perhaps I’m projecting here with what kind of medicinal support _I_ would need. Photo credits 2. Your kids might not say it every day or even once a year, but you’re doing right by loving … Continue reading “8 Things I Need to Say To Single Moms”

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June 6, 2013
Summer Book List

And so it begins! Summer va-cay, people! Lemonade, sunshine, sunburns, aloe treatments, sibling bickering, heatstroke…whoops. Sorry. Nobody likes a realist. So let’s pretend instead, shall we? Let’s pretend that you are actually going to have hours and hours to devote to your favorite hobbies. Basket weaving, macrame, gnome whittling. Photo credits And, for those of … Continue reading “Summer Book List”

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May 30, 2013
Summer, in Theory

Oh, summer. I am so happy it’s here. Just when I thought I would lose my ever-lovin’ mind, summer arrived. And I am grateful. But let’s just be honest this year, Kim. (Danger! Danger! when I start speaking in the third person!) Summer is full of false promises in the area of fashion. I love … Continue reading “Summer, in Theory”

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May 23, 2013
Much love to you, Moore, Oklahoma.

Tornadoes hold no glamour for me.  Photo credit I hated the movie Twister (and only partly because the lame-o script made me whimper). I’ve had to talk each of my children down from the ledge during tornado warnings. And yellow skies and temperature drops will always make me nervous. I come by this aversion genetically. When … Continue reading “Much love to you, Moore, Oklahoma.”

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May 16, 2013
Read. Repeat.

We went to the library today, the kids and I. Do one’s library habits reveal deep and dangerous things about one’s personality? Say no. Because if my library patronage says anything about me, it’s that I love paying late fees, particularly if there is a DVD involved. I live less than a mile from our … Continue reading “Read. Repeat.”

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May 9, 2013
Thanks, Mama!

A Happy Mother’s Day shout-out to the venerable Patti. I love you, Mom! And many, many blessings on all you mamas out there. Thank you for loving those under your care.

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May 2, 2013
Winner…and Scary Woman

And the winner of the very cute 31 Bits bracelet that I have been tempted to steal is….. Joanne Schneider Ripple!  Congrats to Miss Joanne, and may she wear her new bracelet with joy and only a little bit of guilt that she didn’t just let me keep it. I am happy for Joanne. It’s … Continue reading “Winner…and Scary Woman”

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April 25, 2013
Girls in the Know: 31 Bits

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Firefighter? Mail girl? Astrophysicist? I wanted to be a singer, but I couldn’t say the word very well, so I would say I wanted to be a “seener.” And I would wear pink turtlenecks and sing along to records, … Continue reading “Girls in the Know: 31 Bits”

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