On Littleness

Recently I was gently chastised at the dentist for not doing a better job with Pippin’s teeth. I always intend to do better, but he’s now the proud owner of three permanent teeth and I guess it’s time to get my act together, dentally speaking.Read More »

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Candlemas, Kinship and Firstborn Sons

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I’m not entirely sure when I met my sister-in-law(-in-law).* But I think it was at the Evensong nights that sprung up about ten years ago. I had no idea of her future importance in my life, of course. She was just a college friend to both my new husband and his little brother.

And now she is someone I will see, in all likelihood, every Christmas for the rest of my life. She is aunt to all my children, and godmother to one. And last month, she gave me my very first nephew.Read More »

What’s Saving Me This Winter

In vain I have struggled. It will not do.

After ten winters spent in either New England or the Mid-Atlantic, I’m ready to call it: I am just not a winter person. I don’t like the way my body gets all hunched up against a cold wind, or the way it gets dark so painfully early, or the mess of tracked-in snow, or the canceled plans and sick-day quarantine, or the ice that makes walking scary and driving scarier.Read More »

Building a Family Reading Culture, 4: Writing in Books

(A part of a very occasional series, and by occasional, I mean I wrote the rest of it many moons ago here, here and here.)

Most of my college education took place in the margins of novels. J once commented that reading my undergrad copies of Jane Austen is like following a complicated math problem as I work through the relationships in any white space (J+B = E + D in virtue? C + C =/= Bennets???). As an adult, this penchant has continued, despite me often having to restrain myself in library books, loaners, and ebooks (which you can of course digitally mark up, but which remain a sort of barrier to entry in browsing).Read More »

Shopping Secondhand as Spiritual Practice

A few weeks before Christmas, two of my party animal friends* and I met for a hot ladies’ night out: to the local Goodwill.

And let me say, we shut that joint down. (Seriously, though, we weren’t the last ones out: there was definitely a night owl Mennonite family in line behind us.)

The only rule was this: we could shop for clothes for ourselves BUT NOT FOR OUR KIDS. (Because everyone knows I love baby clothes.)Read More »