Generally speaking, I am not a good long-term planner -- I need specific and short-term goals. Which is probably why I found myself starting to exercise again just one week before Memorial Day Weekend. Of course, whipping a 44 year old body into bathing suit form is not a short-term task. I should have started exercising regularly in February. But in February, I was trying to get two teenagers through the drudgery of mid-school-year with

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For spring break this year, as other families posted Instagram pictures from sunny locations, my daughter and I packed the car and headed out on the road to look at colleges. Our itinerary would take us through Pennsylvania into Washington DC, then up through Baltimore and back home to New Jersey. The plan included five schools, four tours and two overnights with family and friends. The weather was spectacular. Just beautiful enough, I hoped, to

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The thing with having kids ten years apart is that you remember just enough of each phase to accept that almost all behaviors fall within a broad spectrum of normal, but forget the specifics in ways that surprise you when you are reminded of the gritty details of child-rearing. Like the heebie-jeebies you get when confronted with a wiggly tooth hanging on by a wisp of gum. I forgot about that feeling until last week.

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My Christmas tree is at the curb. My fridge is full of hearty greens and non-dairy milks. I’m eyeing the exercise bike with renewed interest and contempt, and I’ve started a bullet journal. In other words, it’s January. The excitement and anticipation that began in December has passed. The decorations we feverishly brought out -- greenery, Christmas lights, tree trimming -- are being stripped and put away, one by one, while the house is quiet.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about writing lately — which is to say, doing a lot more thinking than writing. I’ve started teaching again, mostly adults this time, a part-time job that I am loving. However, teaching writing and actually writing are two different things. Just as having 3 kids in school and actually managing three school schedules are two different things. Totally. Different. Terms bounce around in my head, devices to help me better

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My dog got sheared last week. A “summer cut” we call it, to explain away his white shag. The pointy merengue curls are gone, shaved close to his skin, leaving only the foamy wake of the buzzer. Truthfully, I hate his haircut. I prefer the scruffy whitecaps that loop over his eyes and soften his snout. As the weather heats up though, a chunky coat is unreasonable. So, we have him shaved. I think his

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On Monday night, when our internet, phone and television service went dark, I quickly ran through my arsenal of fix-it tricks. I turned off wi-fi and turned it back on. I unplugged the cable box, then plugged it in again. I ignored the problem. Nothing worked. “Well, I guess we’re Amish now,” I joked, but everyone was too busy feverishly attempting to refresh their internet to laugh. I realized from the panic on their faces

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This morning, I woke up with a tattoo on my finger and a massive headache -- which is either the beginning of a great story or an average day of motherhood. The tattoo is a Luche Libre style Spider-Man face that covers the pad of my thumb, temporary decals that were leftover from Valentine’s Day cards my son gave to his classmates a few weeks ago. Unlike years past, I actually remembered to buy valentines

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I am a hat person now. I say this not as an assessment of my fashion sense. Nor is it a claim to have the kind of well-shaped face with big eyes that looks good in hats. No, this is a statement of defeat. The furry little pom-pom that hangs off the back of my slouchy beanie waves like the white flag of surrender. I’m getting older. I don’t want to be cold. My mother

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The instructions for my kindergartener’s 100 day of school project were simple: the child should create a picture with 100 of something. There were examples of drawings for inspiration: one hundred stickers on a page, one hundred leaves on a tree, one hundred circles in a gumball machine.The student should be able to count to 100 themselves, which my son often does. Like at bedtime, when he should be brushing his teeth. Or in the

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