blog posts

Book Review: Pretty Girls

Occasionally I'm drawn to historical fiction, high brow literary works, and out-of-the-box fantasy, but my mainstay is a true crime ...
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A Midday Escape

Yesterday was a bad day of school. Those days happen. Sometimes it's on account of bad moods, other times it's ...
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Medal No. 19

Are you ready for the longest race report ever? There are a dozen reasons why I shouldn't have run this ...
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Jackson goes to Disney World

After our day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (and subsequent day of rest by the pool) it was ...
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Diagon Alley

Previous post: Hogsmeade Village After lunch we walked through Universal to reach the discreet entrance to Diagon Alley, which was ...
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Hogsmeade Village

We had one full day at Universal, and that limitation required careful planning in regard to arrival time, meal time, ...
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A second spring break

As homeschoolers, we do what we want. It's glorious. It's magnificent. Our first spring break was spent at home, and ...
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Book Review: The Story of Reality

I began my Lenten reading with The Story of Reality, which was a throwback to the narrative of my early ...
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Book Review: The French Girl

I listened to The French Girl on Audible since I've settled in to audiobooks during long runs. (It's wonderful how ...
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My Least Favorite Question: “How is the writing going?”

Five years ago I was accosted by a girl in my head. She showed up uninvited, as if she'd been ...
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Book Review: Homegoing

(This review was originally published on The Same, an online literary journal for women, by women.) Every once in a ...
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That time I was questioned by the police

A couple of days ago I was on a six-mile run while listening to West Cork, an Audible True Crime ...
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Part Three: Don’t Waste Time

You can start here if you like. You can also start with Part One where I talk about the importance ...
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Part Two: Caring for Others

Read Part One first. The reason to take care of yourself first can be summed up with a simple analogy: ...
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Part One: On the Importance of Self-Care

I've been sitting on this post for a while. Sometimes it's hard for me to know when to share something ...
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Book Review: The Trespasser

In her sixth book from the Dublin Murder Squad, Tana French hits it out of the park again. I think ...
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Skincare staples at almost 40

This post probably feels random for most of you, but bear with me. One of the things I decided to ...
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Book Review: Parable of the Sower

Before The Hunger Games, the Divergent Series, and The Maze Runner, there was the Parable of the Sower. Unlike today's ...
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Book Review: Armada

I've been adamant about my love for Ready Player One, not only listing it as one of my favorite books ...
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Adios Tonsils and Adenoids

Last week Jeremy got his tonsils and adenoids taken out after we realized that more than 50 percent of his ...
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Book Review: Artemis

It's been a long time since I didn't finish a book, but look at me now, not finishing this book ...
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Book Review: The Dinner

Every time you pick up a new book, you're taking a tiny risk. Have you wasted your $3 at the ...
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Book Review: Killman Creek

Killman Creek picks up where Stillhouse Lake ends. Resolved, but not. However, this time Gwen Proctor isn't on the run ...
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The Killers Concert, Atlanta 2018

It all began with "Mr. Brightside" and Hot Fuss in 2004. It was a new sound, something I hadn't heard ...
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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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