College: Then & Now

Our daughter is a senior in high school, so we’re swimming in a sea of admissions brochures and ACTs. Of 529s and budgeting spreadsheets. Of unpredictable emotions and fear of the unknown—ours and hers. And yes, of college visits. It’s overwhelming, a little like buying a car. We’re kicking tires at campuses around the country, trying to help her narrow

Cruisin’ the Midwest

Life’s been a bit of a whirlwind here since Out to Sea set sail. During the past two weeks, I’ve had the privilege of spending time in Des Moines, Brainerd, Fargo, Grand Forks and St. Cloud for book events, speaking engagements and marketing. It’s still a little surreal. And very exciting. I’m not the best at posting my activities and

Bon Voyage!

Out to Sea: A Parents’ Survival Guide to the Freshman Voyage officially set sail with a launch party last night. Oh, what a night! A great big thanks to those who worked behind the scenes to make it possible. And heartfelt thanks to those of you who came out to celebrate. Your support is both overwhelming and humbling. I am

School Supplies: Then and Now

As I walk through Target, I find myself drawn to the corner of the store. I wheel up to the big bins of Elmer’s Glue, number two pencils and fat, pink erasers. With more than a decade under my belt of participating in the ritual most moms know as school supply shopping day—the one where kids beg for Trapper Keepers

College Life: Packing for the Dorm

The Three BEs of Moving to College It’s that time of year. Students are loading up their futons and dreams and heading off to college. Parents, beware: This can be an emotional time that requires an extra dose of patience on your part. Here are some practical tips from folks who’ve gone before you—parents who’ve already played packing Tetris in

Studying Abroad: A Mom’s Perspective–On Grown & Flown

I’m delighted to be a contributor to Grown & Flown, an informative website about parenting older kids. Last week they featured an essay I wrote called From Clingy Kid to World Traveler, How Did That Happen?  In it, I share how our daughter’s experiences while studying abroad have changed her and shaped the woman she is—and the woman she will be. If you’re interested in reading the full

Meet the Parents! (College Orientation)

Marty and I had the pleasure of sitting on the “expert” panel at the Drake University parent orientation session last weekend. It was nice to be on the other side of those first-year jitters. We answered all kinds of questions, from “Where’s the nearest DQ?” and “Did you let your child bring a car?” to the emotional ones like, “I’m

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Here’s to Moms Everywhere!

It’s Throwback Thursday! In honor of Mother’s Day, here’s a column I wrote for the St. Cloud Times back in 2008. While I may have a few more gray hairs since this was originally published and those little girls in the photo are now young women, the sentiment still remains the same. Wishing all moms, especially my mom and mom-in-law a very