Every Book Starts With a Story

Team CMMD Then

When I was in 4th grade, I got a D in math. I felt like a failure. To me, math knowledge equated with smarts. And, naturally smarts equated with success. At 9 years old, I was doomed to a life without success. Three years later my seventh grade English teacher read one of my essays to the class. She cried a little at one part. At 12 years old, I knew I was destined to write a book. I spent my life thinking about this yet unwritten book until three decades later when I figured something out; wanting to write a book is NOT the same as having a story to tell. My story began on New … [Read more...]

The Day I Almost Died

When I was fourteen, I sat in the back of a school bus frantically trying to hide the fact that I was wearing the same cotton pantsuit for the third time that week. I felt as though everyone on that bus was laughing at me. I know now that they weren't but my perspective was a hot mess. I felt like an outsider, a failure, a giant loser. I was not pretty or funny. I was not talented in any way. I was "just" smart. I didn't want to be smart. I wanted to be pretty. I wanted to be funny. I wanted to play varsity anything. I wanted to have a different outfit for every day of the week. That day … [Read more...]

Philadelphia Magazine: Health Hero Challenge

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Being nominated for Philadelphia Magazine's Health Hero is an honor of which I feel completely unworthy. Not only are my fears innumerable, they are at times pathologic and include an irrational fear of escalators (really.) So, I have decided to dedicate the 30 days leading up to #BWPhealthhero voting to TRUE heroes. Since we are in the midst of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I am asking you to nominate childhood cancer fighters. These kids are as bold and brave as they come. I will profile one child every day till voting opens. After discussing with our BOD, we have decided … [Read more...]

Don’t Throw Your Playlist Out With the Song: A Message for Life

My SLOWEST, yet Best Run in a Long Time.

I just got back from running four miles and I feel great. Don't roll your eyes. This is not another one of those annoying "look-how-awesome-I-am-because-I-run" posts. In fact, I had the absolute WORST run in recent memory. I was hot, hurting and so very painfully SLOW.a> So, how is it that I feel ON TOP OF THE WORLD right now? I made an important discovery in that agonizing four miles today and it has to do with my running songs. To really understand, I have to give you a back story. Two and a half years ago, my aunt was diagnosed with Stage III B Colon Cancer and was fighting for … [Read more...]

Open Letter to the Mom That “Ruined” Our Day

Dear Lady Whose Kid Crapped in the Pool: I have not laid eyes on you however I imagine you are young---maybe in your thirties? You are probably a bit tired and overwhelmed. I imagine you have planned for your vacation for several months--maybe even saved up to come here. You have little ones--perhaps two or three under three? You may even have one on the way. Pay attention. What I am about to say, I say with love and experience. No doubt, you saw the scowls on the faces of HUNDREDS of people as our community pool was shut down because your son or daughter left a "floatie." I am … [Read more...]

Birdsong or Noise? You Decide.

birds crap

This morning was literally perfect: sunny, breezy and quiet. Chris and I sat on the front porch of our little beach place. We sipped coffee and talked for the first time all week. There was just one problem. Freaking chirping birds.....lots of them...and they were LOUD. Hear them here. We have been watching this family all summer. They started building a nest around Memorial Day and two weeks ago the chicks hatched. Now our quiet porch is not so much. Chris looked up at the tiny chicks with their mouths gaping wide and at the mom and dad birds flitting in and out with … [Read more...]

13 Things (Wo)men Want: A Life List for My Son on His 13th Birthday

Today, I heard Sam on the phone with a girl. He sounded a little nervous and it was cute. This post came to me after that. He will turn thirteen tomorrow. Know that the "she" in this post can easily be a "he." It is applicable to girls, boys, hetero and homosexual relationships. It is not about sexual roles. It's about healthy, fulfilling relationships. 13 Things (Wo)men Want 1. Laughter: Make her laugh often and then laugh at yourself. Life can be serious enough. I guarantee you if you are laughing, you are not fighting. 2. Honesty: No, not when she asks you if she looks like a … [Read more...]

My Inner Lesbian and My Truest Friends

Get a little closer---closer....

Made you click. If you drop by my house tonight, you will see that there are two beautifully decorated, perfectly lit petite trees on the porch. Inside we have a tree decorated in musical themes by our baby grand piano. Our family room houses our fresh cut family tree covered in ornaments made of macaroni and glitter and toilet paper rolls. There are vacuum lines in the carpet and the granite is sparkling. There is even a pot of soup simmering on the stove. Those are the "truths" any unassuming observer would accept. Here is the reality of my home tonight. The lovely trees on my … [Read more...]

Dear Fellow Elf on the Shelf Parent

Will This Un-do the Damage? One Can Hope...

Look, let's start out with a full on psychobabble confessional. It is not you. It is me. The following is really a reflection of my poor holiday self-esteem and NOT your mind-bogglingly annoying behaviors. You see I am already sick of this season and it has only been in swing for about three days. My intentions were good on Thanksgiving morning. I signed up for a 5K knowing that those running endorphins would carry me through the merciless hours of gluttony to follow. It really was a lovely run and morning. I vowed THIS would be the year I became a LOVER of all things … [Read more...]

Jalapenos and Contacts: It Must Be Thursday

Sam's shriveled lens

I am really writing this post for sympathy because I am not sure I can continue to live in my family feeling that we are completely wacked while everyone around us lives normal, "cray-cray" free lives. Sadly, our crazy is not at all of the glamorous kind. Thursday: contacts and jalapenos. Here goes. Once the kids were all out the door, I made my way around the house picking up the carnage that remained in their bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchen. I did the typical MOM-ADD thing. I carried a basket of clean clothes up to Maisy's room intending to just put it down. I couldn't find a … [Read more...]