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Help Pick My Next Book Cover!

I'm in the final stages of finishing my third e-book that will be titled something like 101 Text Messages Your Teenager Does NOT Want You to Know. The inspiration for the book came from the popularity and overwhelming feedback I received on a series of blog posts I've written for The Daily ReTORt regarding various texting phrases that parents need to know. During that series for this blog, I've shared 40 troubling text phrases. I've since found another 61 that I'll share in the book, … [Read more...]

Another 10 Troubling Texting Phrases Parents Must Know…

Most kids are back to school this week. That means they're getting a healthy dose of reading, writing and arithmetic. It also means that they're probably getting exposed to an unhealthy amount of texting and/or sex texting (a.k.a. sexting). As I've written before, one of the biggest gaps in my knowledge as a parent happens to be texting phrases and instant messaging (IM) shortcuts that teens and preteens are using these days. While neither of our school-age daughters (10 and eight … [Read more...]

Six Years Later – The Eulogy I Gave For My Dad

Today, August 28th 2012, is the sixth anniversary of my dad's death. He was sitting in his garden, with his newish puppy nearby and a pocketful of dog snacks near one of the Finger Lakes in western New York where he lived. At the time, my siblings and I all lived within 30 minutes of him. That day, I was in New York City attending some focus group sessions for work - when I received a frantic cell phone call from my brother. He was driving to dad's house to take him out to dinner. Matt … [Read more...]

When Your Child has Cancer…

Our sweet Sarah was just six when she was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma.  Our family's world was shaken.  Our foundations were rocked.  Our grief was incalculable. Life and Death in a Song One day shortly after Sarah's diagnosis, I was running some errands and listening to the radio when a song called Untitled Hymn started playing. It beautifully described all the different chapters we go through in life and finished up with a verse about the end of life. It closed with the … [Read more...]

Theology is no Substitute for Waiting Under an Oak

I have an eight-year-old son now. He’s skinny, like I was. He’s (mostly) gentle, a rule follower, and he prefers playing with Legos by himself in his bedroom and please stay out unless you are offering food. Check, check and check – just like I used to be. Practicing the Ritual of Waiting I remember late on Saturday afternoons, when I was his age, I would hear my dad shouting out of the farmhouse. His voice moved like a ripple. I scrambled toward the house as fast as I could, … [Read more...]

No More Mr. Nice Guy

One of the reasons I love being married is that I don't have to play the dating game anymore. I won. However, there was a time when I thought I would die alone and wrinkly. As a rehabilitated "nice guy" I'm here to offer some hope for anyone stuck in the dating morass. Nice Guy Syndrome First, some quick background. I grew up with military parents, strict discipline, attended church and was raised to be chivalrous. You know, holding doors, pulling out chairs and all that - a modern … [Read more...]

Nothing Makes Me Feel More Like an Idiot than Parenting

My kids are weird.  Having my husband and I for parents really leaves them with no other option. Odd is hard-wired in their DNA. If you follow me on Twitter you've seen some of the stuff they say because I can't keep it to myself.  The world has to know.  Like: Daughter: "What's a catheter?" I explain... "OH NO!  I am never asking you anything again!" or Me: "Son, you're putting your pants on backwards." Him: "Don't judge me." Matter-of-Fact Belligerence Probably my … [Read more...]

10 Tips to Dating over 30

I’ve been at this a few years. I’ve tried online dating and dating friends of friends. I’ve tried dating people I’ve known for years and people I’ve just met. I’ve learned a lot from the experience, including that just because he says he’ll call doesn’t mean he will (Yes, I realize perhaps that should have been obvious). So here are some of my insights in case they help any of you who find yourselves dating during the years when some cultures relegate you permanently to … [Read more...]

Loving Your Loved Ones Correctly

Sometimes, I find it hard it to love loved ones. Not because I don’t actually love them, but because I do not love them correctly. I say “I love you”, but I do not display it in my actions! Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always … [Read more...]

Parenting Tips From a Friend – Guest Post

Tor, I know you've done this before. You have two beautiful young girls. You're a great dad. You've raised them well. But you're rusty. It's been a while since you've had a brand new young'n. I thought I'd give you some tips on what's changed since you've been out of practice. Poop No change. Still stinky and manages to get places you'd rather it didn't. Food It's not just Gerber jars of greenish goo anymore. The cool new trend is to make it yourself from purely hippie, er, … [Read more...]