I always make my kids write thank you notes for the gifts they receive, usually for Christmas and birthdays. BE just had her 9th birthday, so we were working on thank you notes for her friends. For the first time ever, I got a thank you note. I was so happy that she was thoughtful enough to do this unprompted and that she really appreciated her gift. I’m working hard to hold onto the positive things; I spend too much time dwelling on the negative.

She needs a little work on her past tense

She needs a little work on her past tense

How to Give up Complaining


I recently committed to give up complaining. I was recently at a meeting of local women writers, and we were asked to share one thing that we could give up. Actually, we were asked to spend some time considering a list of 15 items, and then choose just one that we would commit to focus on. Many of us, including me, could easily have selected more than one, but “give up complaining” really stood out for me.

People who know me probably wouldn’t say that I have a big problem with this. But, that’s only because I rarely share my negative thoughts. Here’s how the list described “give up complaining:”

“Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.”

In my head, I often complain about my kids’ behavior. I often allow them to control my mood and my attitude. Unfortunately, this is just the opposite of what I tell them to do. If they’re upset about something, I remind them that they can’t control anyone else, only themselves.

So, as the year goes on, I’ll be putting a lot of energy in into improving my own attitude.

It Finally Happened


Yes, it finally happened, the moment every adoptive parent anticipates, but dreads. The moment your child says he or she wants to live his or her first parents.

I knew it would happen, and when BE was mad at me the other day, it did. I’m not even sure what she was mad about; sometimes the things that upset her seem trivial to me, but are obviously significant to her. So, she told me that she wanted to go live with her first mom and that she was going to look for her. I tried to be understanding and asked what she thought it would be like to live with her first mom. BE told me that it would be fun, because her first mom would give her chocolate and let her stay up late.

BE later apologized – she usually does once she calms down – and I found that I had survived this milestone in tact (although a little sad)!




I had been working at my current company nearly two years when we were first awarded custody of our kids. As a result, many of my coworkers know that the kids were adopted and heard about the adoption process as we were going through it.

The other day, one of my coworkers asked how our family is doing and I told her something that I’ve been forming in my mind for a while now. I shared that I feel like I now have ownership. Not that I “own” my kids, because I certainly don’t believe that. Instead, I feel that I own the title of “mother.” I’ve come to feel that I have claim to the name “mother” and all the authority and responsibilities that go with it.

Before this, I certainly understood that I was my children’s mother by law and I acted accordingly, but I really didn’t feel that I had earned the right. But lately, I realized, I’ve fully accepted my position not just as “mother,” but as their mother.

A mom’s guide to shoes


Over the last few months, we’ve been taking the kids to the park a lot more and they’ve been asking for “underdogs.” During many of these trips, I’ve made the unfortunate mistake of wearing heels. As a result, I’ve quickly learned there are really only two different kinds of shoes: