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Fine Tune Talk Time (with help from TiffinTalk)

By now you may understand how TiffinTalk‘s cards have become a trusted piece of my parenting toolkit. Why? Because every morning my Boy and I have a few new questions to think about, and at the end of the day, we have something besides “what did you do at school today” to chat about. Conversations that aren’t related to TV shows or the coolest apps.

Mother of Serendipity

We live in a fast-paced, sensory-bombarding world. Raising two kids in New York City, the days and weeks whiz by as quickly as an express subway through a local station. Finding ways to slow things down and connect with my kiddos one on one is crucial.

If you’re nodding your head, maybe you’ll recognize a question I find myself asking daily: Where did my precocious six year old stumble on that random factoid, wild idea, shockingly new vocabulary? I bet you also know the trick of trying to use such random comments as an opportunity to tease out some enlightening and/or meaningful conversation.

That’s the dream. How it works with my Boy who has ADHD? Just as the light of some real talk seems to be peeking out, Life happens (or a shiny object skips across his mind’s eye), and the moment is put on hold. Once you circle back to the topic your kid has forgotten what they wanted to say. It…

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The killing game.



My face emerged from the water, breathless, and I squinted at the summer moon.

eeeee- zzzzzzz-pssszzzzzz-eeee

Blue light spilled over all the trees surrounding the pool, and my dad stood with his hands on his hips and his chest pushed out, self satisfied in the glow.

“Hear that, Gel? That’s the sound of mosquitoes getting zapped. I think that machine there will finally take care of all these bugs.”

I smiled and dove under the surface again, avoiding a kamikaze horsefly.

That summer, and all the summers I can remember of my childhood, clouds of mosquitoes swarmed through every play date, every cook out, every diving contest, every back yard race, every breath. My sister and I, pox-speckled by the Fourth of July, grew up falling asleep to the unique symphony of Wisconsin crickets and our own relentless skin-scratching.

I tried to tune out the voices downstairs.

I held my breath and…

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Sexual Assault: A Hidden Double Standard

Food for thought? Nope. No need to think it over, Papa is preaching to the choir on this one, at least as far as I’m concerned.

Papa Does Preach

I want to paint a picture for you, if you would allow me. First, while I am not a huge fan of the overused term Trigger Warning, some may find topics discussed here triggering because of events that have happened to them.

So, the picture: Imagine if you will a person, for the sake of popularity; mainly in the form of “likes” or “shares” or “views” given out during this age of social media, going around and filming themselves touching people of the opposite sex, and filming their reactions to post on the internet. “But Mike, what do you mean by touching?” Well, I’m glad you (I) asked.

How about touching like, grabbing their hand without their permission, or putting their arm around them, or stroking their face without that same permission? What about just outright kissing them?? Like, not even giving them a chance to say anything; just…

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Now What? Be Fierce, Be Kind, Be Positive

Mother of Serendipity

Last night, frightened and anxiously seeking security, I wrapped myself in my fuzzy blanket, snuggled up to my husband,  and struggled through a night of fitful sleep. 

This morning, I woke in the quiet of a new day, perhaps a new moment in history. As I so often do, I snapped a photo of the sunrise. The buildings, the sky, the air, it all looked blue as dawn broke somewhere in the distant grey horizon. 

But there was a little light, just some streaks of pink and peach, peeking from the underside of the clouds. 
Not exactly a silver lining, but I’ll take it. 
As much as I’d like to stay wrapped in my blanket weeping for an uncertain tomorrow,  I have dried my tears. I will not concede to the dark madness. This is a new day; there is too much work to be done. 

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Women I Admire Day 29: My Mom, The One That Never Was #WomensHistoryMonth

Papa Does Preach

I bet you didn’t expect this curve ball coming, did you? If you’ve been here for any amount of time, you’ve read about my abusive past with my mother, and if not, you might want to hit up the archives.

I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching and evaluating of my life recently. I don’t know, maybe it’s because every day it feels like 40 is getting closer and closer (because it literally is dummy, that’s how days work. Ugh, this guy).  One of the major things I’ve landed on, even though I’m still trying to reconcile it in my mind, is that two things that are opposite of each other can still coexist in the world of truth. And this is causing havoc as I try to relate it to my past. Did that make any sense? Ok, here’s an example: you can love someone but…

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Nine Tidbits From Nine Years Of Marriage: My Advice To Newlyweds

The Angrivated Mom


Just a couple of weeks away is my ninth wedding anniversary. 9th! My mind is totally blown over that. It’s gotten me thinking in all different ways about how it was then and how it is now, how I thought it would be and how it really turned out. I’ve been thinking about the little girl dream I had of marriage and the reality of the marriage I am in now. It’s a mysterious wonderment as to how we’ve made it this far. Especially with some of the seriously intense trials and tribulations that we’ve endured as a couple, the kind where many others can barely find the strength to rebuild their own life after facing, yet we’ve managed to rebuild ourselves and our marriage. With all of this reflection, I thought I’d share some of the tidbits of advice I’ve realized that have kept the hubs and I going…

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