Feeding the Troops

This is a continuation of the e-mail I sent my mother-in-law in preparation for our whirlwind tour of Ohio last week. By the way. Note the absence of a photo in yesterday’s post. I forgot the camera.

Spring Break Shuffle II (Feeding the Troops)

Foods-my-kids-may-eat-depending-upon-the-alignment-of-the-stars. (This is a list to give you ideas – not a comprehensive collection of things I think you should buy for a very short visit!)

Caroline has been eating salads if we let her dump on tons of dressing, cheese, and bacon bits. (She likes it even better if it’s a steak salad.) But by “eating” I mean, “stabbing with a fork while looking skeptical, then chewing several dainty bites to be polite”.… Read the rest

Spring Break Shuffle

Scott and the kids never have overlapping spring breaks. Thus, the only way we can travel is if we yank the kids out of school for a couple of days of Scott’s break and make a mad dash somewhere. Mostly, we go home to Ohio. This year was no different. Though the kids aren’t off until the end of March, we picked them up at the end of the day Wednesday, then headed North for a long weekend.

The best way to start updating you on the state of our union is to give you the e-mail I sent my mother-in-law before the trip to answer her perfectly reasonable questions about our schedule and what my kids eat.… Read the rest

Best Christmas Ever

For the first time in the fifteen years I’ve been with Scott, the Merriman family Christmas went to hell in a handbag. Best. Christmas. Ever. No, wait! Don’t go away.  It was awful for some! But it slowed things down a bit for the rest of us and created some unique opportunities.

Every year is a winter family reunion. We see all of Scott’s sisters, even though they are scattered around the country. (The few years Susan didn’t come, she was living in a boat in the Bahamas. It would be very hard to hold that against her.)

We’ve grown to a crowd of twenty, and we descend upon go to his oldest sister’s house for a gigantically long weekend.… Read the rest

Blueberry Haven

20140622_104612Fat raindrops smacked the windshield, and Scott turned on the wipers.  Ahead, a church billboard warned us that the only true wisdom came from God. “We timed that perfectly.”

“And it was the most fun we’ve had as a family in ages.” I peeled my ball cap back and wiped the sweat off my face.

Caroline stopped playing Subway Surfers long enough to disagree. “Ugh. No it wasn’t. We nearly got hit by lightning.” Sam was entrenched in Frozen, or he would have seconded her opinion.

Scott and I exchanged a look. Pick your battles. We had measured that storm impeccably, even leaving ourselves time to pay for our blueberries and transfer them from the U-Pick buckets into gallon bags before the sky opened.… Read the rest


Caroline, Devon, Mike, and Scott

Caroline, Devon, Mike, and Scott

The first day I met Scott’s cousin Mike and his wife Michelle, I had no idea how much we would develop in common. How we would each name our youngest sons Sam. How we would laugh about this every Thanksgiving at Michelle’s parents’ dinners. Who spends the holidays with her husband’s cousin’s wife’s family? Me. That’s who.

Ketchup With Us
About damned time! I’m FINALLY Ketching Up! You can, too. It only takes fifty seven words about a first day.




Scott and sisters

Back row, Judy and Scott
Front row, Susan and Holly

A little backstory. Wednesday’s entry was complete fiction, but it was something of a tribute to my sister-in-law, Holly. (Don’t worry – again, this was fiction. My father-in-law’s health is fine.) Holly just spent the last long weekend hosting between fourteen and fifteen people, most of them actually sleeping at her house every night, and only four of them actually belonging to her on a regular basis. She somehow pulls together this amazing three-day-long family gathering every Christmas. Every. Single. Year.

I remember the first year, watching the adult siblings, the three sisters and their brother interact.… Read the rest

Featured Submission

Last year, I followed Carrie Goldman’s monthlong series about adoption avidly. Carrie’s daughter is Star Wars Katie who is, I’m not lying, one of the superheros in my life. It’s because I was bullied as a kid. I cheer for what that little girl and her family have done not just to stand up to bullies but to bring real change for other kids in similar situations. I follow Portrait of an Adoption closely and cheer for every post Carrie puts out there.

But still, I’m not adopted. Neither are my kids, so it took a little soul searching for me to realize why I cared as much about the adoption posts as I do about the bully posts.… Read the rest