Counting the Ways

Saoirse and her team finished up their novice basketball season this weekend. These girls exceeded all of our expectations (Saoirse: “I didn’t think we were going to win one game!” Her dad–her head coach–sheepishly agreed): they were undefeated this season save one loss, and I never thought a group of 3rd and 4th graders could grow so well together. It was amazing to watch–and reaffirming, quite honestly, to witness firsthand how steady hard work can make even the biggest doubters say, “Oh, okay. I wasn’t expecting that.” As I said good night to my oldest girl after the last game of her tournament, I told her how proud I was of her. She asked why–what was I most proud of?–and I had to sort through the reasons to get to my answer. (I’m a mom, you know. Ask me how I’m proud of one of my kids and I turn into a mushy pile of Elizabeth Barrett Browning poems.) Saoirse’s gotten faster this season. She’s more confident, more sure of herself, more in control…

Presidents’ Day, 2018

Since the beginning of the year, each Monday I’ve posted a recipe of a meal from our family table. Not today, though. I’ve been trying to continue on with life as usual since Wednesday. Have been trying to carry on while batting the thoughts and fears and tears to the side like they’re nothing but angry flies. The flies are too close, though. The flies are a plague. Today two things weigh on my mind, and they’re what have stopped me in my tracks: a) new knowledge of what, exactly, bullets from an AR-15 do to a human body and b) this poem, shared by writer Kathleen Donohoe, which was written in May 1974 after a firefighter pulled a dead child from the rubble of bombings in Dublin. Each, unfortunately, is not independent of the other. Read the poem a couple of times. Focus especially on the last stanza. Maybe next Monday some of us will be continue to pretend that life goes on as comfortably as always, and maybe I’ll be lucky enough to post another recipe that my kids may or may not like and that you…

Just Five Questions with Kathleen Barber

Let’s meet Kathleen Barber, author of the psychological thriller Are You Sleeping: she was raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law, and previously practiced bankruptcy law at large firms in Chicago and New York. When she’s not writing, Kathleen enjoys traveling the world with her husband. A bit about her debut novel, Are You Sleeping: Serial meets Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood in this inventive and twisty psychological thriller about a mega-hit podcast that reopens a murder case—and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim’s daughter. Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay. The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every…