blog posts

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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CS Lewis Doodles

For those of you embarking on a spiritual journey for Lent, I want to suggest a delightful YouTube channel you ...
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Signs of Life Day Twenty-Eight

In January I took a hike. It was a required hike on account of a freelance assignment, but I welcomed ...
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Signs of Life Day Twenty-Seven

It was a crap-tastic day, the Mondayist Monday ever. I could be a real live Superwoman, what with all my ...
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Signs of Life Days Twenty-Four through Twenty-Six

We've gotten hawkish with our weekends. Protective, limiting, careful. We've skipped church more often than ever because we need sleep, ...
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Signs of Life Day Twenty-Three

It's that time - that glorious not-too-hot, not-to-cold time of year when I am happy to sit on the front ...
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Signs of Life Day Twenty-Two

In October 2000, a 14-year-old girl who'd concealed her pregnancy secretly gave birth and placed the newborn in a shed ...
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Signs of Life Day Twenty-One

I love the comfort and calm of our routine. It grounds me, rejuvenates me, and reminds me that the life ...
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Signs of Life Days Seventeen through Twenty

When Friday morning rolled around and I'd finished a laundry list of things to do, including laundry, I hibernated in ...
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Signs of Life Day Sixteen

The day was lovely. Classes went well, and Chuck and I enjoyed a lunch date. Please look at these donuts ...
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Signs of Life Day Fifteen

When the day is as ordinary as today was, finding goodness can be challenging. I had little interaction with the outside ...
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Signs of Life Day Fourteen

For the last four years my boys have participated in a volunteer program at our church that provides a hot meal ...
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Signs of Life Day Thirteen

When social media went downhill last year and finally tanked the day after the election, I took a break (like ...
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Book Review: Hidden Bodies

First, an English lesson: Deus ex Machina ("god from the machine") is a literary device often used when the writer has ...
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Signs of Life Days Eleven and Twelve

The weekend was exactly what I hoped for. Sleeping in, lots of reading, plenty of time for exercise... The weird ...
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Signs of Life Day Ten

I'm currently working on class descriptions for next year, which means I'm knee-deep in book selections for middle schoolers. Such ...
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Signs of Life Day Nine

Today was a good day. My classes went smoothly, I had coffee with a sweet friend, and Chuck and I ...
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Signs of Life Day Eight

Hello, beauties! Today I stumbled upon something inspiring and I want to share it with you. I'd never heard of Verily Magazine before, ...
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Book Review: Birdman

After reading The Devil of Nanking last year, I sought out Mo Hayder's entire collection because I knew she was ...
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Setting up shop on Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I've never been a big promoter of this blog outside of friends and family members, ...
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Signs of Life Day Seven

I had final interviews this afternoon for the piece I'm writing about death according to five major religions. I know ...
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Signs of Life Day Six

I'm nearly finished with my freelance piece about death according to five major religions, and this morning I spent about ...
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Signs of Life Days Four and Five

One of the first things I did after setting up my dorm room in the fall of 1996 is go ...
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Signs of Life Day Three

When I was 15 years old, I was easily 70 lbs. heavier than I am right now. I was unhealthy ...
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Signs of Life Day Two

Teaching children (other than my own) has been a bigger blessing than I ever imagined it would be, and it ...
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Signs of Life Day One

My first thought upon hearing the alarm song at 7 a.m. ("Across the Great Divide" by Nanci Griffith) was - Absolutely ...
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An escape to the mountains and a new blog series

Part of my freelance work involves contributing to an online outdoor magazine. I get do to what I already love, snap ...
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