True Love (3-min. read)

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My hubby gets me.

On Valentine’s Day, he surprised me with a funny greeting card and a heart-shaped box of miniature Kit Kats.

No jewelry. No shopping spree. No flowers.

And I loved him for it.

Why? Because it was the icing on the cake after countless moments he’s helped my dad up and down stairs. Covered kiddie activities all day on a Saturday so I could meet work deadlines. Washed a lot of laundry. And so much more.

He knows my primary Love Language, and he loves me by honoring it as much as he can. And I love him all the more for that. Continue reading

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Got Your Lesson? (4-min. read)

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Each day after school I’d go home, grab a small snack and hop on my homework. I wanted to get my work done to maximize TV time after dinner. And later at the dinner table, Granny Sykes would ask, “Did you get your lesson?”

She was referring to my homework, of course. Granny wanted to be sure I was focused, learning what I was supposed to learn thoroughly – not just rushing through it to enjoy the perk of TV time.

Granny Sykes was both tough and loving. Quick to fuss at me and correct me, Granny also was one of my biggest cheerleaders. She believed in me and told me I could be whatever I wanted to be when I grew up. She’d worked incredibly hard cleaning homes of white families for many years, long before she came to live with us. She wanted the generations after her to have more options in life, and education was key.

So, she asked. And my homework got done, with neat handwriting and all.

Thirty years later, Granny’s question still lingers in my mind. A lot. But, it’s not about kiddie homework anymore. Continue reading

Adjusted Expectations (4-min. read)

baby-1107333__340I remember how uncomfortable and downright ornery I’d get at times as a new mother. Despite talking with actual parents of actual babies for guidance before our firstborn arrived, I expected a newborn who would sleep all night (nope, for both our kids). I expected to feel confident as a new mom – you know, that mothering would come naturally for me (yeah, right).

But, our sweet, little angel taught me that there’s the Theoretical Baby, and the Actual Baby. And they’re definitely not the same. Continue reading

Sugar Tongue (3.5-min. read)

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While I’m 99.9% positive I’ll never be the earth angel my mom was, I do carry a lot of her in me. For as long as I can recall, my dad has often said, “Karin is like her mother. She can lay you out and tell you about yourself, while making you feel good in the process.”  And it’s true: Of everything Mom gave me, I seemed to especially inherit her Sugar Tongue. Continue reading

How Are You? (4-min. read)

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I can be such a busybody.

Like so many women, I’m a multi-tasker who wears many life hats. Wife. Mom. Daughter-caregiver. Wage earner. Friend. My life is organized across 9 color-coded calendars, and to-do lists are my constant companions. Even as I check off items, I realize the lists aren’t actually going anywhere. They’re like squatters – perhaps shifting position and moving around a bit, but always there. Always hanging around. Continue reading

State of Emergency (3-min. read)

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This is not what I planned to write and post this month.

I write about stretching and growing our minds and spirits. And my latest post – that kind of blog post – is sitting in my Drafts folder in WordPress, waiting for me to hit the Publish button.

But that draft feels irrelevant today. North Carolina’s Governor has declared a State of Emergency in Charlotte, North Carolina, my home for almost 20 years. So, I must write this post instead.

Continue reading

A Happy Surprise (4.5-min. read)

Surprise Gift for August 2016

Ever notice how life has a funny way of repeating lessons we most need to learn? We think we’ve mastered an annoying habit that’s plagued us for years, that we’re waaaaay down the road on finally conquering it, once and for all. Then life jumps out and yells, “Surprise!” – and the same habit taunts us, telling us we still have miles to go. Continue reading