On St. Patrick’s Day

The first year Rob and I were married, his Irish relative flew across the pond to visit. She had connections in the States and arrived in Illinois just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. A gregarious woman, she determined that Rob and I needed a taste of a real Irish celebration, so we bundled intoContinue reading “On St. Patrick’s Day”

Why I’m Homebound For the Next Two Weeks

This fall when I brought my children in for their annual physicals, I did something I’ve never done before. I had them each get a flu shot. Now, I have nothing against vaccinations. I see their value. My children all followed a delayed vaccination protocol through their early childhood years approved by our pediatrician. ButContinue reading “Why I’m Homebound For the Next Two Weeks”

Poetry Friday: “Up-Hill”

All of my life I’ve loved poetry. I memorized it throughout my childhood and college years for competitions. For seven years I taught public speaking at a Christian college in the Midwest, and I coached intercollegiate competitive speech (forensics) there as well. The first gift Rob ever gave me was a book of Shakespeare’s sonnets.Continue reading “Poetry Friday: “Up-Hill””

Self-Care in Grief

Many years ago, when I was pregnant with my firstborn, I asked a friend how I would be different after my baby arrived. I’d heard foreboding rumors that becoming a mother irrevocably changed a woman, that she often had trouble maintaining who she was before. My friend wisely counseled me, “If it was important toContinue reading “Self-Care in Grief”

Bringing Up Boys

As a girl, I read Little Men and Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott and dreamed of living in a modern day Plumfield, rambunctious boys running hither and yon. A life full of mischief and hijinks and outdoor play. Through my school years, my closest friends were always boys; and I was thrilled when God’sContinue reading “Bringing Up Boys”

Communicating in Crisis

This past weekend, I assisted a local organization in creating their COVID-19 preparedness communications. Both Rob and I worked in public relations at one point or another, and crisis communications inevitably became part of our jobs. I remember when Rob once attended a seminar with Jim Lukaszewski, “America’s Crisis Guru.” He came home with aContinue reading “Communicating in Crisis”

Remembering Little Red

Eight years ago this weekend, Rob and I closed on our home in Seattle and moved in. I was seven months pregnant with our fourth child, a daughter, and we wanted to be settled before she arrived. That house in Seattle was, in L.M. Montgomery’s words, our “house of dreams.” A beautiful home in aContinue reading “Remembering Little Red”

11 Years Later

Yesterday marked 11 years since my grandfather, Hans Band, died. In the short weeks before he died, I flew to Massachusetts from Chicago to sit beside him in his hospital bed. The experience marked me indelibly. A child refugee during World War II, Hans lived the complex story that accompanies processing intense grief, fear andContinue reading “11 Years Later”