blog posts

First Snow of 2018

Parts of Tennessee got its first snow of the year last week, but we weren't that lucky. Yesterday, however, we ...
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Book Review: Fates and Furies

I am late to this book, but it's been on my radar since coming out in 2015. The title was ...
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Book Review: Stillhouse Lake

How good it feels to have a book in your hands that you can't put down! Stillhouse Lake is a ...
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Book Review: There Will Be Stars

I hung in there for 395 pages because I was sure there was going to be a big reveal. I ...
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Book Review: The Man Who Smiled

Since I enjoyed Faceless Killers so much, reading a second Henning Mankell book was an easy choice. The Kurt Wallander ...
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SensaCalm Weighted Blankets

When I was approached by my friend, Donna, to consider reviewing the weighted blankets she sells, I readily agreed. I'm ...
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Christmas in Wisconsin 2017

Since our experience in Hilton Head two Christmases ago was so positive, we decided to do it again. However, instead ...
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Favorite Moments of 2017

There are three primary reasons why I have kept this blog active for more than 12 years. First, I created ...
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Five Favorite Books I Read in 2017

I chose poorly in 2017, which is perhaps why I was unable to reach my 40-book goal this year. (I’m ...
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Video of our trip to Iceland

It took the bulk of my day to finish this video, but that's only because iMovie is trial and error ...
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Book Review: Faceless Killers

A few years ago I caught a show on Netflix called Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh as the Swedish detective. It ...
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Book Review: Island of Lost Girls

After reading Winter People and The Night Sister last year, I resolved to read all of Jennifer McMahon's work. Both ...
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Adventure in Iceland – Going home

We were all sad on Friday morning. Though we'd done and seen so much in three full days, we were ...
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Adventure in Iceland – Day Three

One of the best pieces of advice we got from our AirBNB hosts was to avoid the Blue Lagoon, a ...
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Adventure in Iceland – Day Two

When we got back in town Tuesday night, after our excursion to Reynisfjara Beach, we went to a local grocery ...
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Adventure in Iceland – Part Two of Day One

Continued from previous post: Adventure in Iceland - Day One The goal of Tuesday was to get to Reynisfjara Beach ...
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Adventure in Iceland – First Part of Day One

So it went something a little like this: Him: What are your thoughts on Iceland? Me: I have no thoughts ...
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Photos of late

It has been a busy season for all the hats I wear. Teaching, writing, photography - these things come in ...
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Medal No. 18 and it’s finally fall in Tennessee

I ran a beautiful, dry half marathon Saturday afternoon and earned my 18th medal. My time was totally average, and ...
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Medal No. 17, Stranger Things 2, Halloween, NaNoWriMo

In the interest of time and space, here's a recap of how I ran 13.1 miles in the pouring rain ...
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Follow me on the Knoxville Moms Blog

I recently started contributing to the Knoxville Moms Blog, the local sister site of the nationwide network called City Moms Blog. While ...
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Nonfiction Piece Published

When my first byline was published, it was in the Chattanooga Times prior to its merging with the Chattanooga Free Press, and ...
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Book Review: A Column of Fire

In 2007, I was the young mother of a one and four-year-old. I wrote a column for our city paper, ...
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Anniversary week and fall break

Our anniversary fell on a Saturday this year, and while last year's anniversary celebration was bigger and better, this year ...
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That time Jackson got a high five from Peyton Manning

It was a beautiful day for college football. Jackson and I were on campus to volunteer at the UKirk house ...
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Book review: The Child Finder

Private investigator Naomi is in a specialized field: she finds lost children. Sometimes they are still alive, and occasionally they ...
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Book review: Ready Player One

The year isn't close to being over, but I already know Ready Player One will be on my Top Five ...
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Jeremy turns 14

Welp, I have a 14-year-old. Not sure how that happened, yet here we are. For his birthday, Jeremy wanted to ...
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Newborn sessions are my favorite

I adore taking photos of newborns. They're squishy, sleepy, easy to move around and put in cozy positions. I love ...
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BrickUniverse LEGO Convention

When word got out that a LEGO convention was coming to Knoxville, Jeremy insisted we attend. As if there was ...
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Answering your [very personal] questions about homeschooling

When we made the decision to homeschool during the summer of 2011, it came at the tail end of a ...
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Book Review: All the Missing Girls

When Nicolette (Nic) returns to the small North Carolina town where she was raised to help manage the sale of ...
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In the path of totality

We were some of the lucky ones whose house was situated in the path of totality, so a handful of ...
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Sixth and Eighth Grade

Here we go - our seventh year of homeschooling, navigating this crazy path I never imagined. Again, I am shocked ...
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Friday in Nashville

Jeremy woke up with an unsettled stomach Friday morning, so despite the mound of food on his plate below, he ...
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Book Review: A Study in Charlotte

I'm not generally a fan of Young Adult fiction, which is why I barely made it through the first book ...
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Thursday in Nashville

We decided to take the boys on one last hurrah before school starts, so we went to Nashville for two ...
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Hibernating in the editing cave

In between freelance writing, class prep, and raising kids, I'm editing photos from the wedding last weekend. It was a ...
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Mid-Summer’s Hustle and a Podcast for Tudor fans

Long before the summer started, most of July was blissfully empty. June was packed, but July wasn't. Neither was early ...
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A Mother Daughter session in the Sunflowers

The sunflowers at Forks of the River are in bloom. I'd never been there before until last week, but wowza ...
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Last days with Jacob and Owen

Both Great Grandpa and my mother left on Friday, so it was just the six of us for two more ...
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Swimming at the Townsend Wye

Yesterday we took advantage of beautiful weather and went to the Townsend Wye, a popular swimming hole just inside the ...
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The Nascar Speedpark

On Monday we drove to the Nascar Speedpark in Pigeon Forge and paid an obscene amount of money for the ...
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Bouldering at the Miller Camp for Boys

My nephews are here for the week, and since they're city folk we wanted to make sure they're in nature ...
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Book Review: The Black Banners

I finished this book in late May and completely forgot to review it here. I know most of you who ...
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Miller Camp for Boys 2017

Last summer Jake came to stay with us, and this summer it only felt right to have him here again. Jake ...
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Jackson turns 11

Jackson has been counting down to his eleventh birthday since the calendar turned to 2017. It's fair to say he ...
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A baby, a birthday party, and three graduates

While writing is my deepest passion, I am grateful that photography can be a creative outlet. I am also grateful so many ...
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Book Review: Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal

If you know me, then you know I was #NotWithHer during the 2016 presidential election. I had the privilege of voting ...
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Book Review: Hillbilly Elegy

Though released in June 2016, it wasn't until after President Trump was elected in November that I started hearing about ...
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Medal No. 16

For the first time in my long-distance running experience, I thought the race would be cancelled. The weather forecast ranged ...
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Book Review: Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Reading this book was an act of magnetism because I've been drawn to the Lost Generation writers and their work since ...
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Parasailing and Fishing in the Gulf

After two full days on the beach we ventured into town so the boys could go parasailing. At first they acted ...
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First Romp in the Gulf at Miramar Beach, Destin

Our life feels crazy sometimes, but after nearly a decade into Chuck's job, I've learned to go with the flow. Our ...
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The flawless faces of beautiful children

I am a lucky girl. When "playing with my camera" takes me to a sprawling property, situated in front of these ...
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Crawling to summer

This is how the school day begins: Crawling from the bed to the floor in the school room. Lounging until the ...
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Sofia as Belle

When someone wants to do a themed photo session, you don't say no. Sofia is nearly three and I've been ...
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Jackson + ESPN Encyclopedias

If you know Jackson, then you know he's a ferocious reader. This fact alone is a sentence I wasn't sure ...
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Book Review: No Wonder They Call Him the Savior

I unearthed Max Lucado's 1986 book to read during Lent because I've been craving the story of the cross. In ...
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Five Things I Learned from S-Town

If you love the Serial Podcasts as much as I do, then you're probably going to give S-Town a try, even though ...
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Life and Death in Spring and Lent

As the bursts of color take over Tennessee and we enjoy the warmth of 70-degree afternoons, we are also in ...
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Two podcast suggestions for Lent

For the past few years my Lenten practice has been to give up fiction and read spiritual/religious/vexing nonfiction instead. It's ...
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Tying Heart Strings

A few weeks ago we had a dilemma to resolve as parents. It was unexpected, as most parenting dilemmas are, ...
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Book Review: The Great Divorce

After the cluster that was my Searching for Sunday reading experience, I craved a literary touchstone so spiritually challenging that I'd be knocked right ...
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On International Women’s Day, I say Thank You

To my mother, who shuffled us here and there, took us to church, taught in our schools, made us laugh, ...
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Book Review: Searching for Sunday

If this reads like a break-up letter, that's because it is. Rachel won't receive it, and that's fine. Her pool ...
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