Embracing Our Children Through the Tween and Teenage Seasons

Today is my younger boy’s birthday. He’s turning eleven and I am so excited about the man he’s becoming. Parents talk often about cringing and bracing themselves for the middle school and high school years with their kids, and I get that. But several years ago, I read a post by Jen Hatmaker on parenting…

Read More

#12: Solving the Summertime Boredom Dilemma

Dear Ellie, My children are out of school for the summer and it’s only been a week, but I am ready to scream. What are some practical ways that I can save my sanity while also helping my kids enjoy their summer break? We are a one-income family, so I don’t have a lot of…

Read More

On Love and Belonging

This past week, I had the honor and true privilege to train at the Ron Clark Academy (RCA) in Atlanta, Georgia. For you non-educators out there, RCA is a non-profit private school that mostly serves students from low-income households. Co-founded by Ron Clark and Kim Bearden, the school also actively trains educators from all over…

Read More

Resurfacing

The past several months have been a whirlwind at our home. From trudging through the assessment season in March and April at school to preparing our home for the real estate market, life has been hectic to say the least. Today marks my first Monday of summer break, and I kicked it off by gleaning…

Read More

Berry Coconut Smoothie

I don’t know about you, but between helping my kids get ready and trying to leave on time every morning during the week (6:45am), it’s darn near impossible to find time for a healthy breakfast that isn’t in the form of a snack bar or pastry. Enter the Berry Coconut Smoothie. This deliciousness is ready in…

Read More

Aunt Karen’s Lasagna

This recipe was passed down to me by my Aunt Karen, a woman who is really more like a sister and best friend and aunt and motherly figure all rolled into one. Read on for the impact she’s made in my life and to get this inside scoop on this yummy, family-friendly meal that’s ready in less than 40 minutes!

Read More

3 Spring Break Secrets for Parents

Bracing yourself for a break with your children over the next few days? Check out three secrets from a teacher and mama that just might help you get through the next several days unscathed.

Read More

On Running

Last night, I scrolled through the few thousand Instagram posts on my account looking for pictures of my sweet boy Luke with his first kitty, Tico. Tico was a gift for Luke’s third birthday, and he was with us for about six years. One day, he asked to go outside like he always did but…

Read More

#bbchat Update

Happy Sunday mornin’, y’all! I’m sitting here with a big ole cup of coffee in hand and Polly snuggled up at my feet. It has been a crazy past couple of weeks as I’ve taken on a few writing projects in addition to teaching and mama-ing and wife-ing and all the other -ings in my…

Read More

#bbchat | Self-Care Essentials

Teachers tend to put themselves at the end of their priority list. During this week’s #bbchat, we’ll be talking about self-care and its role in the life of an educator. Find us on Twitter at 7pm CST to join in on the conversation!

Read More

Dear Lilly Mae, On Daughter’s Day

I lost my first child, Lilly Mae, to miscarriage at thirteen weeks gestation on February 13, 2005. This letter was originally written to her on Saturday, May 14, 2016. It has been thirteen years since I lost my girl, and while the pain eases with time, it never leaves. Not a day goes by that…

Read More

The Sunday Night Struggle Bus

I don’t know about you, but around 4pm on Sundays, I start a brief period of mourning. I can feel the weekend coming to a close, and I’m bracing myself for the week ahead… teaching lessons that take every bit of my energy, wading through difficult situations with students and their parents, balancing work and…

Read More

On Listening

This week, I did a brave thing. I gave my students a survey on our classroom culture and asked for their honest, confidential feedback. Scared out of my mind, I braced myself for the results. And while some of my students’ responses made me cringe – I mean, who wants to hear “I ABSOLUTELY HATE…

Read More

On Empathy and Consent

Teaching our kids about consent requires us to first teach them empathy, the ability to see life from someone else’s perspective and show compassion.

Read More

#11: The Storm

“While the path you’re on might not be clear right now, there is so much more life and love in front of you. One step in front of the other, I’m sure you’ll find your way. And women like me who have walked this same road are standing on the sidelines cheering you on.”

Read More

Classroom Culture and Why It Matters

When educators talk about culture in their classrooms, what exactly does that mean? How does culture impact the learning environment? Has “classroom culture” become another buzz-phrase in the teacher world, just another thing to put on a teacher’s to-do list? Over the past eight years, I’ve taught in classrooms filled with students who had at…

Read More

Finding Their Voice

To teach our children consent, we must first start with one of the most basic human elements – one’s emotions. Developing emotional intelligence in your child empowers them to find and use their voice. This is no small thing. It is life saving.

Read More

A Case for Teaching Consent to our Children

“Time is up for ignoring the fact that our children are going to have sex one day. Time is up for believing that ‘boys will be boys.’ Time is up for crossing our fingers and hoping our kids make the right decisions in their relationships instead of walking through those relationships with them intentionally. Time is up for teaching behavior modification and ignoring the state of our children’s hearts.”

Read More

A New Day Is On the Horizon

Several years ago at one of my former schools, a man in a position of authority over me reached under my skirt and touched me inappropriately between my legs over my tights as he walked by me in the hallway. By the time it was over, only a millisecond had passed. I will never forget…

Read More

#10: Love, Free and Clear

This week’s letter is from a parent struggling with her child’s transition from childhood to adulthood. Raising kids is hard, holy work. Lots of parents love their kids, but love is not enough. In order to be a great parent, you must be willing to do difficult things to help your children grow. Read on for more!

Read More

3 Self-Care Tips for Teachers

While teachers are known for their devotion and grit, it can come at a cost. Boundaries are important for everyone, teachers included.

Read More

2018: Generous

“Every time I see the beautifully-wrapped square package with their names written on the gift tag, I am reminded of what it means to live in a spirit of generosity. It means giving when you don’t feel like it. It means choosing to see someone’s actions from a perspective different than your own. It means giving of your resources not necessarily because you want to because you know it’s the loving thing to do.”

Read More

On Trust & Giving Your Whole Heart

Years ago, I started writing letters to my sons. There were so many things I wanted to tell them but either the timing wasn’t right or they weren’t in the mood to talk or I felt like what I wanted to share was a bit advanced for their age. I didn’t want those thoughts to…

Read More

Christmas Simmering Pot

Want the smell of Christmas without all the chemicals? Give this simmering pot recipe a try!

Read More

#9: Between Lost and Found

This week, we hear from a brave reader who, without asking any questions in black and white, is asking the biggest question of them all: is my life worth living?

Read More

#8: Self-Care and Survival

Holidays and boundaries usually don’t mix (without a good deal of effort). This week, we hear from a mama who wants to make the holidays less about stress and more about peace and belonging.

Read More

Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup

Here’s my recipe for a delicious, homecooked meal that requires essentially no prep and no active cooking time. Perfect for fall-fading-to-winter evenings.

Read More

#7: Shame is a Liar

How do we make peace with our past mistakes? What does the process of self-forgiveness look like? This week’s revelation tackles these questions and more.

Read More

Going Public

A local church in my town started a practice years ago called “Going Public” where people share their stories of brokenness and failure and rescue before they are baptized. No matter how you feel about religion or religious traditions, I think we can all get on board with the idea that owning our experiences and sharing them with others is a helpful practice.

Read More

#5: The Place Where Healing Begins

Should I stay or should I go?

Read More

#4: On Keeping a Friendship Alive

How do friendships last? What can we do to nurture and grow them while also being true to ourselves? This week, Birdie responds to a reader looking for advice about friendship.

Read More

#3: Making Meaning Out of Suffering

This week, we hear from a reader whose friend is being abused. She asks, “Is there anything I can do to help her get away from this terrible man while also protecting myself?”

Read More

#2: The Truth Will Set Itself Free

Co-parenting is tough. This week, we hear from a reader whose ex-spouse disparages her to their children. Speaking from her own experience, Birdie advises this heart-broken and fed up mama.

Read More

#1: Tired Mama is Tired

Let these experiences break you wide open. I know that it feels like death at times. And it is. It’s the death of who you were as your newer, wiser, braver self emerges.

Read More

Word of the Year 2017 | Assured

“When I start to wring my hands in fear of the unknown, I want to learn even more how to lean into that fear and wrestle with it instead of shutting it out or trying to sweep it under the rug. And I want to be able to pour into others who are feeling fearful or anxious about the future, too. This life is a gift. I don’t want to miss out on the beauty because I’m so focused on the what-ifs and the trials I know are sure to come. “

Read More