Why we’re all Luisa from Encanto’s “Under the Surface” right now

Why we’re all Luisa from Encanto’s “Under the Surface” right now

I’m not sure how much more can be said about the amount of seismic stress crushing parents right now. A month or two ago, I was feeling pretty optimistic about the way things were going, with lower case numbers and vaccines for kids under 5 (both of mine are in this age group) on the [...]

How to watch Love Actually without the nude scenes

How to watch Love Actually without the nude scenes

Love Actually is ... actually ... one of my favorite Christmas movies. At some point my husband and I realized this is a film we watch every year, and all of a sudden it became tradition. But as our kids have grown into teens and stay up later at night, our margin for watching movies [...]

Thomas McKenzie was our Dumbledore and our Gandalf. The quest goes on without him.

Thomas McKenzie was our Dumbledore and our Gandalf. The quest goes on without him.

In epic tales, the spiritual mentor dies just when the quest is at its most precarious. As a member of Church of the Redeemer in Nashville, I felt this way when we lost our beloved priest, Thomas McKenzie, to a car wreck this week.    In Lord of the Rings, the fellowship is already weary and [...]

Why I’ll keep masking . . . for a little while, at least

Why I’ll keep masking . . . for a little while, at least

The CDC announced this week that vaccinated people no longer need to mask or social distance, and that's really exciting news. But last night, as I took my two teenagers to get their vaccines and left my disappointed on-the-cusp 11-year-old at home, it struck me that this new phase of the pandemic might be scientifically [...]

Choose your Christmas traditions using the “Make, Read, Give, See” method

Choose your Christmas traditions using the “Make, Read, Give, See” method

In A Bad Moms Christmas, Mila Kunis plays a mother who nearly ruins her kids' joy when she gets into a screaming match with her over-the-top mom, who has taken Christmas too far. Her mother's traditions are forced on the family. They will be made to enjoy the holiday, whether they like it or not. Kunis cracks. [...]

The small joy of writing to your favorite author | The Childhood Magic series

The small joy of writing to your favorite author | The Childhood Magic series

Several months ago, I received a press kit with an advance copy of Toni DiTerlizzi's Kenny and the Dragon book in it. Boxes of review copies are nothing new at our house, and like so many other books that have come across our kitchen table, this book was passed on to one of my kids. [...]