Five Minute Friday

Why Vacation Makes Me Tired and How to Change That

Does Vacation Make You Tired? As I stuffed the last item in my Prius, I shook my head in wonder. My simple drive to Alaska had morphed into a road trip with a relative and a building project for our daughter. The pile of tools Pedro deemed necessary for the shed-building endeavor took up half the space in my car. “I won’t have room for hitchhikers,” I muttered under my breath. (I should mention that I don’t pick up hitchhikers,…

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How to Avoid Toddler Meltdowns When Flying

Pre-Flight Instructions for Traveling with Littles (aka Granny Geek’s Guide to Traveling with Toddlers) If you have children going along when you fly, your preparation should include more than packing your suitcases. This applies to long car trips as well. Little people often struggle with change—and I don’t blame them. Routines make them feel secure, and when they don’t feel secure, they will likely experience meltdowns. First of all, make sure they understand (at an age-appropriate level, of course), that…

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A Graduation or a Victory Dance?

Return for Graduation “Hey, Mom,” Sarah asked me, “did you get the email from the university telling you that graduation starts at 8:30 and not 8:00?” “Not yet,” I told her, “but I haven’t checked my email lately.” I thumbed through the schedule of graduation weekend events, marveling at the differences between my graduation and my daughter’s graduation. My class had the distinction of holding the first outdoor graduation. Her class will graduate on the Centennial Green—a special outdoor amphitheater…

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Share Your Secret and Save Someone’s Life

Keeping Family Problems a Secret Three years ago, when our youngest daughter agreed to co-write a series with me on her mental health journey, I felt trepidation. Would telling our family secret—that we suffered from a mental illness—change people’s opinions about us? Sure, blog readers and close family friends already know that our family had struggled—one daughter handled her teenage angst by cutting. The other by eating too healthfully (when it becomes an obsession and you lose weight they call…

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Do We Adapt to Injustice From Lack of Awareness?

May We Never Adapt to Injustice The name Trayvon Martin brings an instant image of a young man looking out from the hood of his sweatshirt with soulful eyes. We know the facts—a young black man walks through an ethnically diverse neighborhood when a vigilante half-Hispanic man shoots and kills him during an ‘altercation.’ Twenty years ago, the incident might not have garnered public attention. Due to social media and the Black Lives Matter movement, we have learned to adapt…

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When I’m Stuck at a Genius Bar Miles From Home

Stuck at the Bar I’m stuck at a Genius Bar waiting for my scheduled 6:15 Genius to show up and magically solve my problems. He shows up at 6:50. I struggle to remain patient and civil when he informs me that he can’t fix my computer tonight. They don’t have batteries for my computer in stock. Replacing it takes time. I did not have time. A visit to the Apple store requires a 3 1/2 hour drive, a personal day…

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How to Turn a Burden into Blessing

A Turn in the Trail The trail twists and makes another turn, I lift my eyes, hoping to see the narrow, wooden building perched on the edge of a cliff. Three-mile Resthouse seems further away than the sign had promised when I left Indian Garden. I leaned on my hiking poles, hoping to ease the load on my legs by doing some of the work with my arms. When the building came into view, I heaved a sigh of relief…

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How to Release Racism From Your Life

Release. Relinquish. Give up. A furor on the campus of a small Christian university has brought home, once again, the power of ignorance to hurt and shame others. The scenario? Five students with facial masks (apparently charcoal masks), had their photo snapped. The owner of the phone posted the photo on Snapchat and added the university’s logo filter and the hashtag #PrettyHurts as well as the word Wakanda. Racist or ignorant? Overt racism or an innocent moment wrongly interpreted by…

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What Happens When You Settle for a Theory Without Investigation?

Never Settle for a Lack of Knowledge The whole Flat Earth Theory started me thinking about how, throughout history, people have espoused theories without testing them for truth—and ended up hurting other people. Take the theory that North America only had a few people living on it in the 1400s and needed a new race to settle and tame the land. I learned that theory back in grade school, and nothing in my high school or college classes taught me…

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A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging

Note: Clicking on the picture of the book will take you to Amazon. I am an Amazon affiliate. NetGalley sends me advanced digital copies of these books in exchange for my honest opinion on their website. I only feature books that I really love on my blog. Meeting a Memoir Author We all long for belonging. When we read memoirs, intimate, personal stories that manage to feel universal, we often end up wishing to meet the author. I’ve often wished…

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