Family Uncaged

how to uncage your whole family

Sweet Sixteen, dear Julia

My dear, sweet, smart, empathetic girl is sixteen on the 16th, and I’m so wonderfully proud of the person she’s becoming. Some of you know our scare with her in the aftermath of my trip to Haiti a little over a year ago. I’m happy to report she’s doing amazing, just finished her sophomore year with flying colors.

She is one of the bravest people I know. After suffering much at the hands (and words) of her French teachers when we lived in France, she dared to go back there this last fall and face…

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Aidan’s senior prom!

Here’s a collection of pictures from my son’s senior prom. They did things differently and took the light rail to the prom (instead of a limo). There are a few pics thrown in with me, my hubby and our youngest daughter Julia.

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This is an amazing story, friends

I asked Laura Haines to tell her story here because it so beautifully represents redemption and how much Jesus can heal us. I pray it blesses you.

“God can’t use a redemptive story that you’re not willing to tell.” ~ Kaci Calvaresi

I happened upon these words recently. They struck me and have stuck with me. And, ever since, I’ve wondered,

“Do I have one?”

“Am I willing?”

And then the quiet withdrawal, “But my story is hard.”

My earliest memories are of abuse. I remember my mother being slammed against the wall just outside my bedroom door and tiny me…

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What I love about my Mom

When I dig my hands in the dirt and consider it pure therapeutic joy, I thank my mom in my mind, grateful for her love for the earth. She didn’t always garden, at least not until we had ten acres and horses and the free fertilizer they provided. And even then, she had a job to juggle, my emotions to handle (as a teen), and life to navigate.

We moved away from the farm to a suburban home, and that’s when the bug bit even more. But when she settled in her forever house, stately on…

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Happy Birthday, Aidan!

Today my son is eighteen years old. He’s six foot four, intelligent, thoughtful and amazing. (Yes, I’m a biased mom.) I can’t wait to see what God will do with his life in the coming years. Here are 18 things I love about Aidan.

  1. He has a heart for the less fortunate. When he was in sixth grade, he singlehandedly decided to raise money for a well in Africa, which ended up happening ($10,000!). We flew to Ghana together and experienced life change while there. Wow.
  2. He loves music. He’s awesome at trombone and euphonium. He gets…

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The Power of Staying

This post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! 

In a quirky corner of the house, in a box tucked away, I came across a strip of paper. Dot matrix printing. Penned in names. Folded in half. A printing of our marriage vows.

It reads “I, Mary, before our family and friends take you Patrick to be my wedded husband. And I promise and…

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My son’s senior pictures

Aidan and I had fun snapping these today. I can’t believe he’s a senior!!! Wow! Just a few more months before he graduates and moves on to college.

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23 Years of Marriage!


Patrick and I have been married 23 years today. What a beautiful, amazing, surprising, sweet relationship God has wrought between us. I’ll celebrate with poetry…

The Journey we’ve walked together—a sonnet for my husband


The years we’ve journeyed through joy’s wilderness

Have brought us to a place we dared not see

From evergreens and clouds that never rest

To flattened lands where sun beats down on tree


It’s odd to think that such a…

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Merry Christmas and a Blogging Break


I sincerely wish you an amazing Christmas and a joy-filled time with family, friends and food. May you experience peace in your heart, conviviality in your relationships, and hope for your future.

I’m taking a weeklong (much needed) blog break as I celebrate Christmas with my family and my 23rd wedding anniversary! Catch me back in this space January 1. It’s going to be a great year!

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Happy 21st Birthday, Sophie the Magnificent!


21 years ago you hollered your way into our world on Christmas Eve, and you’ve been an instrument of God’s grace ever since. Here are twenty-one things I love about you, Sophie dear!

  1. You absolutely, truly love Jesus.
  2. You value family, and you prioritize your time with us.
  3. You are so very, very funny (and you have your dad’s dry sense of humor. I love it!)
  4. Your face! You are a girl of one million crazy faces.
  5. You adore your brother and sister and seek to encourage them.
  6. You…

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