For her curls

As I gear up to go back to work full-time this fall, transitioning from an adjunct instructor to a full-time English instructor, I find myself fluctuating between excitement and eager anticipation and anxiety and grief as I let go of this period of my life--the stay-at-home mom phase. No longer will Maggie's cute babbling on... Continue Reading →

Three lessons from my mother

Today's post is written by one of my students, Jesse Shoemaker. Jesse wrote this essay in response to the prompt: Write about your mother or someone who has acted as a mother figure in your life. Describe this person and share at least three lessons you’ve learned from her. My mother is a great influence in my life.... Continue Reading →

The gift of family

Today's post is by one of my students, Derek Chandler, who wrote this essay in response to the question, "What are three gifts you have received in 2013, and why are they significant to you?" I will really miss having Derek on campus! This year has been a very hard year to just be thankful... Continue Reading →

Day 25: Dear Need

Day 25 in the Dear Gratitude project is submitted by yours truly :). Dear Need, I first remember meeting you, Need, when my father fell from his heroic platform in my mind. Grappling with drug addiction, he stood in our living room in Augusta, Kansas, in 1984, and admitted that he had fallen for Caroline.... Continue Reading →

Day 18: Dear Perfect Baby

*Day 18 of the Dear Gratitude project is really special; my former boss and friend, Jenny Cannon, shares her reflections on her decision to forgo having an amniocentesis procedure prior to delivering her daughter, Claire, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth.* It has been six months.  Six months since I anxiously timed contractions... Continue Reading →

Day 16: Dear Mom

*Thanks to my friend Latresha Woodruff for serving as the guest writer for Day 16 of the Dear Gratitude project. This is a  letter Latresha wrote to her mom on Valentine's Day.* Mom, I thought this Valentine’s Day I wouldn’t use a card to tell you how I feel about you.  It hasn’t always been easy... Continue Reading →

Day 10: Dear Caroline

*Day 10's post comes from my college friend Kelly Williams Barnett, who has become a great mom of a beautiful little girl.* Dear Caroline, Thank you for making most days crazy socks day. Thank you for helping me avoid stepping on hot lava. Thank you for placing the bookmark in my book before closing it... Continue Reading →

Day 7: Dear women

*Thanks to my friend Kenton Adler (AKA Ken Doll) for utilizing his wit while writing this heartfelt post for Day 7 of the Dear Gratitude project this November.* Dear Women, Thank you.  Thank you VERY much.  I am not kidding.  I am so thankful for women; it’s kind of ridiculous. Obviously, my mother was a... Continue Reading →

Things never change

Gratitude rarely actually changes things. Not in my life, anyway. Things stay the same. Circumstances come and go, as all circumstances do. My family members who irk me continue to irk me. The one who never says "I love you" may never say "I love you." My sisters will probably never agree with my lifestyle... Continue Reading →

Mama DID

My mom had a rough go of it growing up. I won't share details, because they are my mom's to share, but trust me. Despite the circumstances of her childhood, my mom chose to have four daughters, all of us about two years apart. When she found herself a single mom with four children under... Continue Reading →

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