3 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Parent

I have a theory about the popularity of the hit show This is Us. For me, it is a television show that dives deep into the complexities of parenting. Even with the best of intentions, and a whole lotta love, Jack and Rebecca still got a few things wrong. Yes, even the perfect dad, Jack, madeContinue reading “3 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Parent”

Encourage the Heart

“You are my sunshine, My only sunshine. You make me happy When skies are gray. You’ll never know dear How much I love you. Please don’t take My sunshine away.” This song was a staple in our home. I must have sung it a million (okay, maybe a thousand) times when my kids were growingContinue reading “Encourage the Heart”

Love Unconditionally

Children are like mirrors. They reflect their parents’ every strength and flaw in ways that test everything a parent believes to be true about themselves. As parents, sometimes we like what we see, admiring our skills and beautifully executed strategies. Other times, however, we bump into a version of ourselves that we don’t like andContinue reading “Love Unconditionally”

Consider the Message

“Thank you, God, for the damparents.” ~ Jacob Harris, age 3-4 When our kids were little we had a nightly prayer ritual. Each night we would thank God for various blessings including friends and family members. For a couple of years, Jacob replaced the word “grandparents” with “damparents.” We’ve laughed throughout the years over theContinue reading “Consider the Message”

Challenge the Norm: How My Grandma Lived Her Way

He was a little guy, perhaps around 8 years old with sandy blonde hair that reached his shoulders. His dad was twice his size. Tears fell down the little guy’s cheeks as his dad spanked him hard and yelled something to him about manners. My grandma and I were right outside of Disneyland’s crowed entrance,Continue reading “Challenge the Norm: How My Grandma Lived Her Way”

The Secret to Raising Independent Children

All that friendly advice starts the minute folks discover you’re expecting a baby. I’m more than two decades into this journey, and people still share opinions about how I should parent. “When you’re pregnant, people feel like they can come up and give you unsolicited advice. When I was nine months pregnant, this one womanContinue reading “The Secret to Raising Independent Children”

Live With Integrity

Living with integrity means consistently operating within one’s own value system. Simple, eh? Not so much. The big things are obvious. Keep your promises, hold to your vows, and set priorities accordingly. But then, life and all its pesky annoyances start to wear us down. Eventually, all parents hear something like this: “But, mom youContinue reading “Live With Integrity”

Honor Failure

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill When we see success we admire its perfection. We applaud the magic of actors, athletes, writers, musicians, and others who make it all look so easy. But, here’s the deal. Very rarely does anyone succeed without boatloads of failure alongContinue reading “Honor Failure”