Category Archives: Rituals & Spirituality

The Ocean, Buddha and Nummies

I stand in the ocean. The water is warm, placid, and crystal clear. Little translucent fish swim around my legs. I hold my 22-month old son Taber in my arms. He rests his head on my shoulder. My husband puts … Continue reading



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Oranges for the Buddha

While living in our little semi-urban house here in Kumamoto, Japan, we are often visited by one of the neighbor ladies bearing gifts of whatever is in season in her well-tended garden. In spring, there are strawberries. In summer, eggplants … Continue reading



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The Value of “Tuck-Ins”

There’s a saying in the South that goes, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”  I was raised on this aphorism and felt it acutely around special occasions such as Christmas, Mom’s birthday, and, of course, Mother’s Day. Growing up, … Continue reading



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Any Day Can Be Mother’s Day

The teacups are set out over the lace tablecloth. One teacup is from Ireland, one from Germany, and one from the Czech Republic. These cups represent our heritage, as well as the ritual of having tea with mom. The teas … Continue reading



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Mother’s Day

Mine wasn’t a happy family. My angry, volatile father tyrannized us, and my mother was depressed most of the time. Yet Mother’s Day was important to us, a day in which we could honor my mother without sarcasm or cruelty, … Continue reading



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Toddler Time at the Nature Center

In 1916, the wild Cypress Creek wetlands of Coconut Creek, Florida were drained. This morning, I drive to Fern Forest Nature Center to visit the 247 acres of what remains. I want my 22-month-old son and to see our south … Continue reading



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Easter on Bikes

Unlike Christmas, I’ve yet to really formally lay claim to our family traditions for Easter. So far, they’ve changed every year. Some years we travel to my parents’ house — about 6 hours away by car. We still dye eggs … Continue reading



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Two Hands Mama

Boy screams “Two hands, Mama!” whenever I’m driving and both of my hands are not firmly fixed on the steering wheel at 10 and 2 o’clock. The first time this happened was about a year ago. Boy had just turned … Continue reading



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Working Hard to Stay at Home

I wish I had known how much I would love being a mother. How could I have anticipated the depth of this love? My heart opens with wonder when I watch my two-year-old son lift his arms, snap his fingers, … Continue reading



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The Power of One: Honoring Yourself

Last year, in my Huffington Post Valentine’s Day essay, “The Power of One Helps Make a Whole,” I wrote about how important Valentine’s Day is and how I start thinking about the upcoming holiday soon after the last holiday ends!  I … Continue reading



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