Quiet Familiarity

I was born in the suburbs of Chicago, raised on the dynasty of the Chicago Bulls and the “curses” of the Chicago Cubs. I lived in the same town until I left for college at the age of 18. “Home” will always be that Chicagoland suburb, but it’s no longer the only place where I…

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Choosing Hope

Today, we made an offer on a house in the hopes that it will be our home. Surrounded by great towering trees, the house is a classic ranch-style home built in the 1960s. The prior owners started remodeling it so that it feels more contemporary. They tore down the original interior walls and opened up…

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The Tweens You Don’t Hear About

I was called a tween this week: the in-between years of parenting your own kids while taking care of your own parents. It sucks every bit as much as middle school. The night before, we received a phone call at 2am. It was not the first time. My mother-in-law woke disoriented, fearful of the man…

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A Voice Stolen

Dear Younger Self, I’m sitting in my living room with a deeply affectionate boy in my arms and another sweet boy growing safe inside my body. I can’t help but be curious about who you were so long ago. Were you anything like this stubborn, imaginative two-year old who is now leaping off the couch…

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Washed in Wisdom

Where had the summer gone? Faced with so many responsibilities, I walked to the edge of the shore and curled the sand back with my toes. On the surface of the water, I watched my reflection converge with my shadow on the sand. I’m sure I looked silly, standing there watching the kids play, attempting…

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Relative Age

Dusk was falling on another Saturday night in the Chicago suburbs. My siblings and I, all under the age of ten, had been entertaining ourselves during a long, lazy day at home. It was just before dinner and we’d pulled a gigantic floor pillow in front of the couch, jumping like acrobats from the couch…

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My Grandmother’s Hands

Twenty years ago, Chris and I moved our family back to Michigan, where we both grew up and where most of our family lived. I was glad we took the opportunity after getting married to leave and experience other places and people, and I was also glad to return when we did. By then, we…

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Maternal Line

“I wish I had more to tell of my grandmothers. It is terrible how much has been forgotten, which is why, I suppose, remembering seems a holy thing.” —The Red Tent, Anita Diamant As a lifelong Southerner and book lover, I am captivated by the works of Southern writers. My dream course in college was…

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A Bookend Journey

Above my desk hangs a framed black and white photo of two sets of feet. I took it on our first vacation as a family of three. My husband’s feet are covered in white sand and my one-year-old’s chubby toes sit atop. The vacation was paid for by parents and preceded our move overseas by…

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