Composing gift list before Christmas
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The Christmas Letter

I orginally wrote this piece three years ago and it was published on the Huffington Post. I’ve updated it here and continue to practice this holiday tradition to this day with my children. I hope you will adopt it as well. It’s a priceless gift you can give them that will someday mean the world. Michelle    The Christmas Letters  …

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Uncluttering our Christmas

Let’s chat about parenting guilt for a few minutes. Who has ever experienced the soul-crushing guilt of not giving your children the childhood or life you expected? Sure, it’s often out of our control, and it’s not realistic to provide them with perfection, but that does not stop the guilt from coming! There are so many reasons us parents carry …

10 Ways You Can Help A Grieving Solo Parent This Holiday Season

I became a solo parent in the blink of an eye on a cool October morning. I woke up as a family of four and went to bed that night, a mother of two, very young children who had a dead Dad.   The shift in personal reality is beyond startling; it’s life-altering, dark, all consuming, and throws your body into …

Finding Magic and Becoming Your Own Superhero

The darkness will come, and it will envelop all that you are and take what feels like your very last breath to survive. It is all but guaranteed. Not one person escapes this life without personal pain and difficult days. We all know loss, we all learn grief. It may look different for each person but loss is loss and …

Building Resiliency in Kids After Loss

The single hardest thing for me to accept on that fateful night after being told of his plane crash, where the many thoughts and fears that surrounded the lives of our small children. How would they survive without him?How would they ever be whole and happy again?How badly would they hurt for the rest of their life?Would they still be …

Not Picture Perfect

What’s in a photo??? If you glimpse at this picture, you probably see four happy, beautiful children, and two comfortable and loving parents. In part, you are correct. The children, they are overall, pretty happy. The parents are in love, and the picture isn’t misleading as much as it just doesn’t tell the entire story. The entire story is complicated …

BROWN EYED BOY

BROWN EYED BOY My kids go to school about a mile from where my husband’s plane went down. It’s an excellent school with a fantastic reputation, but for a few moments after Addy got a spot on the waiting list I had reservations about going there simply due to proximity. The airport is a busy one with 2 flight schools …

I CAN’T FIX THIS

I CAN’T FIX THIS My son was 13 months when he lost his father. He holds no memories of his daddy and never asks questions or brings him up. He is a happy, well-adjusted, smart, and lovable five years old. He just also happens to be a kid who’s dad died way too young. Truth be told, I don’t worry …

FIVE THINGS EVERY WIDOWED PARENT WISH YOU KNEW ABOUT BACK TO SCHOOL

Tomorrow I send my babies back to school….again. It’s an exciting night for homes across the country, as kids prepare for a new year and parents trust their chosen school and teachers to help guide their children for a few hours each day. Outfits are laid out by the bed; school supplies purchased, and anticipation looms for both kids and …

SENDING THEM TO SCHOOL, AFRAID

SENDING THEM TO SCHOOL, AFRAID It is that time of the year again. The time when we send our children off to school to learn, to grow, to socialize, to develop mentally, physically, and emotionally. School is not a replacement for the personal growth happening at home, but we would be short-sided if we didn’t believe that eight hours of …