Category: Family life

Ten Years of Marriage

It is the eve of my wedding anniversary. Three 85-inch wood tables stand foot-to-foot along the pavement of our backyard, forming a line from mulberry tree to mulberry tree. The rich tones of the wood play in my mind as I mentally, meticulously, lay pomegranate blossoms, English ivy, and boxwood

The Essential Challenge of New Things

  Previously published in the Hughson Chronicle & Denair Dispatch   This week I found myself reflect on the importance of challenging ourselves with new things. When we only offer our children that which is familiar or comfortable, they do not grow. As a parent (speaking of my own parenting

The Power of the Positive Press

I sat down on the rattan sofa with its blue and white stripe upholstered cushions in my backyard, two years ago, the long-awaited funeral of my daughter Celeste then behind me. For months, my days were absorbed with the emotional preparation, the material preparation, the familial preparation of a life-limited

Stations for Kids – Free ebook

New season, new strengths.   Every year, our family improves a little in our Lenten devotions. It’s been ages since I could pray the Stations of the Cross in the church. Between mealtimes, bedtimes, meltdown times, it just didn’t work. Dissatisfied with the offerings of geometic art, self-centered meditations, and

Facing Monsters Under the Bed

Previously published in the Hughson Chronicle-Denair Dispatch   I have a friend who is afraid. Trauma in her life likely primed her to view the world with caution, assessing the danger. When a man tried to break to into her house, she huddled with her family in the hallway, calling

Generations

Time and again she glanced to her side, lifting her eyes up, a broad smile pouring into her expression. This new bride, 24 years old, with a mass of curls pinned to the side, holding a fingertip veil in place. Her skirts floated along with as she walked, trustingly locking

Happy New Year!

I do not want to look back. I do not want to count my blessings from the past year because it means 2017 is even further away, that the time in my life when Celeste was alive is even further away. One year ago, my husband and I looked back

A Key Ingredient for a Phenomenal Advent

Advent begins tomorrow. Are you ready? “I can see that we as a society are hungry for community and shared experiences,” the author writes. And what do you know? Catholics have hundreds of possibilities throughout the year for just such celebrations. But we are confused. After having looked so long

Five Essential Books for When Your Baby is in the Hospital

When your baby is ill, the world seems to stop. Sitting one that hospital couch, as he lay sleeping in the hospital crib, I stared out the hospital window at other hospital parents in the hospital yard, eating their meal because we were not supposed to eat in the Pediatric

The Golden Age of Friendship

When was your golden age? For me, it was college. After completing a year of missionary work, I attended two years at CSU Stanislaus, lived at home and worked. I missed the community of the missionary team. “Live with Saint Paul’s Outreach,” Elissa said, a ministry that focuses on college

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