unexpected stories

10 Unexpected Things I've Discovered About Marriage

Alex and I are celebrating 15 years of marriage today.  We were tiny baby people when we started out and we’ve sort of mostly grown into real whole adults.  Adults who still regularly go to superhero movies and drink slushies until we’re sick. I’ve blogged about the 10 things I’ve learned about marriage, and a couple of years ago I wrote down 13 things I love about my husband, so this  (…) READ MORE

In Defense of the Smart Phone

Not a day goes by that I don’t see an article online about how smart phones are destroying our children, ruining civilization as we know it, and causing rampant toenail fungus and the spread of rotavirus throughout major metropolitan areas.  It’s dire, you guys.  Smart phones will destroy us. I know.  I read all the articles.  From my smart phone.  And I hear all the reasons and the research and we limit  (…) READ MORE

When Mother's Day Is the Worst Day of the Year

I am a mom.  I love moms (even the scary ones) and I love celebrating the crap out of ourselves come Mother’s Day.  But every year around this holiday, the old panic creeps up my legs into my sucky little ovaries and I look around wild-eyed at the waiting women, the hurting ones, my infertile sisters jacked up on hormone drugs praying fervent words of longing to a God they  (…) READ MORE

The Stuff About My Kids I Can't Tell You

Last week I met with a friend and picked her brain for ideas about one of my kids.  This morning I met with another friend whose kids are a little older and talked parenting strategies and how I can tweak up our routines.  I had a friend text me for advice about some doctors for some stuff about kids.  See how vague I’m being online? Lately I’ve noticed that the  (…) READ MORE

The Unbreakable Evie Dale

I’m not sure what all the cool kids are calling it these days, but you know that thing when one of your kids is extra strong-willed and wants to fight you on every little thing?  Like they wake up in the morning ready to take you down and you’re pretty sure they’re going to eat you for breakfast and have their way with you?  You catch yourself practicing scenarios in  (…) READ MORE

Anthem for the People-Pleasing Freakazoids

This morning I woke up with a line from Office Space repeating in my head. “Corporate-accounts-payable-Nina-speaking…JUST a mo-MENT!” I am Nina.  I do my darndest to stay perky and follow all the rules. But this week, I am de-perked and ready to flip a little tweety bird at life. How about you?  Are you de-perkied, too?  Are you sick of trying to please everybody in your life? I’m exhausted and realized I’ve  (…) READ MORE

What It's Like to Publish a Book

People keep asking me questions about having a book published, so in an effort to be helpful, I thought I’d just jot down here what it’s like to publish a book.  And I made you illustrations. Imagine stripping down naked in front of the whole entire world.  You get your clothes off, then you just stand there with your bits and pieces hanging out for everyone to see. Half the  (…) READ MORE