The Tree and the Honeysuckle Vine

The Tree and the Honeysuckle Vine

“Hey, daddy! Look! There’s a turtle sitting by our front door,” one of my children announced excitedly on a hot afternoon in May.

Florida is wild. You can hardly set foot outside your front door without stepping on something squirmy or slithery. And while most people probably know about the alligators, the turtles, the humidity, and the Florida Man, if you don’t live here, you’re probably not as familiar with our vegetation.

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First Family Beach Day Means Summer is Here

First Family Beach Day Means Summer is Here

Around these parts, summer doesn’t officially start until our first family beach day.

I wrote last year about how we had to wait out a week of subtropical rain storms before we could kick off our summer. This year, there were no such weather delays.

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Sibling Bike Riding Rivalry

Sibling Bike Riding Rivalry

Learning to ride a bike is a big event in every child’s life but it’s an even bigger event when you just turned three a few days before and your five-year-old brother just learned to ride without training wheels a couple weeks before that.

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They Say You Should Meet Your Children Where They Are, I Think

They Say You Should Meet Your Children Where They Are, I Think

They say to meet your children where they are. Anyway, I think that’s what they say.

While I was playing with my kids recently, silently bemoaning my fate as I often do when they rope me into some confounding activity that I barely understand, this mantra popped into my head.

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The Upside of Sick Days

The Upside of Sick Days

Last week was quite the week around these parts. It started Wednesday when my first grader started running a fever and had to stay home from school. Even though my youngest child is still at home all the time, adding another child to the daytime mix is an adjustment.

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The Hardware Store and a Butterfly Experience: The Ultimate Suburban Florida Weekend

The Hardware Store and a Butterfly Experience: The Ultimate Suburban Florida Weekend

I’m not saying I’m getting desperate, but I decided it would be fun for us to take a family outing to Lowe’s over the weekend. This may sound crazy, but I can explain. We need some new carpet, and anything beats sitting around and watching YouTube. Or so I thought.

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Soccer. It’s in Our Blood.

Soccer. It’s in Our Blood.

I didn’t play youth soccer for long, but I made a huge impact. I played just one season when I was five or six, but my unique style and flair is still widely talked about. By my mom, mostly, but still, talked about.

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Let’s Keep Raising the Bar for Dads

Let’s Keep Raising the Bar for Dads

In my more than seven years as a stay-at-home father, I’ve experienced many unusual moments. I’ve pretended to pour milk back in the jug to remedy an egregious error in milk-pouring protocol more times than I can count. I’ve lied about McDonald’s being out of French fries and I may have given my children the impression that Dunkin Donuts does not make donuts on the weekend. However, perhaps my most head scratching parenting moment was the time I was walking down my short driveway to check the mail, with one of my young children in my arms, and a woman walking by said, “Look at Super Dad!”

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Can’t Miss Sights and Activities in London or Random Things We Did with Our Kids?

Can’t Miss Sights and Activities in London or Random Things We Did with Our Kids?

There is no shortage of lists of must-see sights in London on the internet. Different sources have different opinions on what you have to see, but I’m pretty certain all the lists have at least one item in common: The McDonald’s Across from King’s Cross and St. Pancras Train Stations. For that and more must-see destinations or random things we did with our kids in London, read on!

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And Still, We Rock On

And Still, We Rock On

Even now, he stills chooses the rocking chair some nights. I try not to take it for granted. He’s almost five and he seems to get a little bigger every day. He’ll be heading to kindergarten soon. When we lie in bed together, it’s not immediately quiet anymore. He tells me seemingly random facts that I finally realized he had learned at school that day.

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Q and A with Gary M. Almeter, Author of The Emperor of Ice Cream

Q and A with Gary M. Almeter, Author of The Emperor of Ice Cream

I love reading people’s stories and I was enamored by Almeter’s personal and deeply honest tale. I was also fortunate enough to interview the author via email about EOIC, farm life, fatherhood, ice cream, and his writing process. As you might expect, when you get two humorists together, things kind of went off the rails.

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Stepping Back in Time and Reflecting on Life’s Different Chapters

Stepping Back in Time and Reflecting on Life’s Different Chapters

I’ve been a parent for more than seven years and it has really messed with my sense of time and age. On one hand, my children change so rapidly from week to week and year to year that it’s impossible to go long without thinking about the passage of time. On the other hand, I feel almost ageless. Certainly not in a narcissistic or boastful way. Quite the opposite really. My body feels the years, but my sense of self sometimes feels stuck in the past.

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An England Adventure - Part I: Knott in a Rush

An England Adventure - Part I: Knott in a Rush

The line snaked around in front of us, chasing its tail slowly. It was like the queue for Disney ride but the reward for making it through was confusion about where to go next. We assured the kids it would move quickly but we were lying. It was slow. Slower than slow.

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My Daughter Threw Up in Walgreens and Now I’m a Drug Store Nomad

My Daughter Threw Up in Walgreens and Now I’m a Drug Store Nomad

I had just picked out my purchases when my daughter coughed once, hesitated for a moment, and emptied the contents of her stomach onto her tulle (maybe?) skirt and the linoleum floor

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How Writing Makes Me a Better Parent

How Writing Makes Me a Better Parent

Parenting is hard. It’s physically and emotionally draining. The days can feel endless, and perhaps even worse, the nights can feel even longer. Is there something longer than endless? Yes. Webster’s defines “longer than endless” as nights spent with children who don’t sleep and also the amount of time it takes for children under age seven to get dressed in the morning.

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Two Days and Nights in San Antonio

Two Days and Nights in San Antonio

I was walking towards the Alamo on a warm February night in San Antonio thinking about horses that pull carriages, as one does.

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Maybe Dirt Isn’t My Parenting Kryptonite Anymore

Maybe Dirt Isn’t My Parenting Kryptonite Anymore

Change is an inevitable part of life. Time makes you bolder. Children get older. The soreness you experience after playing a tennis tournament lingers for several extra days. On the other hand, things that used to bother you, suddenly don't seem so important anymore. Like dirt. In particular, your children's fascination with it.

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The Losing is Bad, but the Taunting is Worse

The Losing is Bad, but the Taunting is Worse

Sure, she looks cute and innocent, but when it comes to competition, she’s cold-blooded.

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