Joie d’Eve

A Baker’s Dozen

  Every year when the calendar page turns over to December, I have the same initial thought that most Americans have – the only significance December held for me for 26 years: “Oh, hey, it’s almost Christmas!” This means buying…

Easy as Pie

It’s almost Thanksgiving, so this is a story about a pie. Well, not just a pie. A pie and a long friendship. Jordan and I, we sometimes joke, met three last names ago (or two marriages each ago) – in…

So Lame

  My almost-teen daughter, Ruby, stepped in front of the TV while I was simultaneously pedaling frantically to nowhere on my exercise bike and trying to watch Ina Garten make something obscenely rich and fattening for the holidays. (“My mom…

Getting Schooled

  I never really wondered where I’d go to high school. If I got in, I was going to Franklin. If I didn’t, we’d worry about it then. I got in, so that was that – and I had four…

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Tom Robbins famously said: “There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better.” I’m not really in my Tom…

Candy Counting

  In most things, Ruby is nothing like me. A natural extrovert, she loves parties, people, team sports, cheesy inspirational messages, sleep-away camp, and group hugs – all things that range from making me vaguely uneasy to making my skin…

A Game of Telephone

  The internet is fond of telling me that I, born in 1980, am part of a micro-generation known variously as Generation Catalano (for the dreamy Jordan Catalano of "My So-Called Life"), the Oregon Trail Generation (for the ubiquitous video…

Watered Down

  Another day, another boil order. As the kids say, “I can’t even.” Two things happened Saturday related to the Sewerage & Water Board. First, I got a bill for $286 for a single month. The typical U.S. family spends…

Autumnal Yearning

  My older daughter is very into the word “aesthetic” these days. I’m sure it’s something she picked up from Instagram, but suddenly, everything is an aesthetic. VSCO is an aesthetic. She wants a certain aesthetic for her birthday party…

Middle School Chic

“Oh, yessss!” my daughter squealed a couple of weeks ago, flinging down her phone. “Izzy A. just texted that tomorrow we’re all dressing up as VSCO girls! Love it! Gonna pass it on! Sksksksk!” I stared at her with my…

Bundle of Nerves

  Our family is an anxious family. It can’t be denied. I personally like to think that it’s linked to our collective high IQs (Ruby once told me, “I hate being smart because it makes me able to realize just…

Birthday Bummer

  I’m not normally prone to bouts of self-pity. Yes, I have bad days like everyone else. Sure, I get frustrated and overwhelmed and lose my temper from time to time. (OK, a lot of the time.) But I don’t…

Going Too Fast

  “I can’t wait till I have my own room,” Ruby said wistfully the other day. Her stepbrother, Elliot, is a senior this year and will be going to college next year. Since she was maybe 8, she has been…

The Very Long Weekend

  I can’t be the only one – please tell me I’m not the only one – who starts a holiday weekend with such joy on Friday night only to find myself praying for the normalcy of the school-work routine…

Asking the Crowd

Sometimes the internet tells me about things it thinks I will like that I do not, in fact, go on to like. The Popeyes chicken sandwich…

Brace Face

  As Ruby starts her first full week seventh grade this week, I have been going back in time to my own middle school experience. I remember the excitement of getting a locker and the (much more short-lived) thrill of…

Bittersweet Back to School

  I’m always melancholy at the end of summer, an old habit that never left me even though I am no longer the one who has to go back to school (if only because now I never leave). I’ve bought…

Listen to the Kids

  Do you ever have those days where you’re scheduled for a full day of pre-start-of-school professional development and you have to still do your full-time job and you’re somehow president of the PTA at yet another school and your…

Friends Come First

  For someone who has been the maid/matron of honor in at least three weddings, calls everyone “my best friend,” and has been putting off writing this for at least 45 minutes while texting about seven different people, I had…

Summer Loving

  All at once, I am eager for summer to end and I never want it to end. I love the pace of summer. I love the extra daylight. I love not having to worry about homework and quizzes and…

Hurricane Hysteria

Well. That was fun. At the beginning of the week, my biggest worry was whether my older daughter would get her preferred art elective and if I had saved enough calories for a glass of wine with dinner. By Wednesday,…

A Healthy Diet

  For all of my childhood and adolescence, I was tiny. Not just short – although I’m 5-foot-nothin’ – but tiny, like size 0, make-jokes-about-how-I-skinny-I-am, count-my-ribs tiny. I gained weight in my early 20s at my first sedentary desk job,…

Fireworks Fiasco

  Three years ago, I had a total bummer Fourth of July. You know how they say if you fail to plan, you plan to fail? I guess I failed pretty solidly. I had no plans to watch the fireworks,…

Dog Tired

  Before I had kids, I would talk about my dog when my co-workers complained about their kids. “Jordan slept like crap last night,” my officemate Cathy would say by way of explanation while refilling her coffee mug for the…

Manageable Summer Goals

  Three years ago, I made a summer “bucket list” for myself and my kids. It included going to the beach, having a picnic, making this cake, and going to White Linen Night. I went to the beach with my mom…

Book Club

  When people find out I work at a school, the first question they invariably ask is, “Do you get summers off?” The answer is no, but that’s OK with me. With the students and most of the teachers gone,…

Camping It Up

  Ruby leaves for camp on Sunday, which means I am deep in the weeds w/re: packing. Just like last year, I have a sense of what she needs (thin towels, three bathing suits, 10 pairs of shorts, a sweatshirt,…

Introducing… MILO

I held out as long as I could. I didn’t want another dog. I didn’t think my heart could take it after losing my first baby, Loki, twice (once in the divorce and then for good when he died of old…

They Say It’s Your Birthday

  When I found out my first daughter, Ruby, was due at Christmastime, the logistics of her birthday were the last thing on my mind. I learned I was pregnant with her about a month-and-a-half after a 14-week loss, and…

Flooded, Again

  It’s a well-known fact that this city loves its traditions: Red beans on Monday. King Cakes on Jan. 6. Bonfires on the levees. There are blogs I could write again and again: Must-eat Jazz Fest foods. Mardi Gras survival…