Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Uneven Places

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

I met him half-way to walk him the rest of the way home from school.

Our hands met for a while, then fell, like all of the sudden he remembered that he was nine, and goodness, someone might see him.

We pressed on into the sunshine, carried along by the crisp autumn air–leaves rustling, the sound of acorns crunching under our feet.

Leaves in Grass


He told me about Indian Dance, the piano piece he’s practicing for his keyboarding recital at school. He looked up at me while he talked.  I looked down at his face as I listened, sometimes noticing our feet stepping together on the hard sidewalk that goes home.


He said, “Mom, you know that game: Step on a crack, break your mom’s back?”

“Yes, I do.”

He said, “Well, when I was younger, I never stepped on the cracks because I didn’t want it to be true.”

<Gasp.> “Wow, Stephen. Thank you. That is very sweet.”

He said, with a shrug: “Yeah.”




I’m not sure what we talked about next. My mind was quiet after that, my heart full. Sometimes, it’s the tiniest moments that renew your resolve to parent well.

Over the next few days, I thought about how much I’m in the car, dropping off here and picking up there. I’ve thought about how the older kids go to school a whole 2 hours before the younger two. I’ve lamented over my choppy schedule and daydreamed about a more streamlined one.  Of  course, it’s okay to rearrange and fix and plan to smooth out the rough spots, but on THAT day, the day that we walked home from school together without anyone else, I realized that the uneven places in my day were a gift.



I don’t have to leave  to pick up another child YET AGAIN, I get to.

I get to walk in the sunshine, mind finally quiet for a few minutes, to pick up another child.

Sometimes we run home to see who can get there the fastest. Sometimes I carry his book bag for him. Sometimes he complains about walking home.

And sometimes, he even tells me that he walks over the cracks.




Return, O my soul, to your rest;
    for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

Psalm 116:7

Who Are Those Kids Parents?

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

This week was Spring Break at my house. Despite the stomach-bug-that-won’t-die-in-Asheville that struck two of my children, it’s been rather pleasant. Catching a glimpse of my boys through the garage window sunbathing, shirtless, on top of our minivan wins the award for the standout moment of the week. Who needs Disney World when you can sunbathe on top of a car?

I did what any mom would do as soon as I saw them. I giggled, then I whipped my phone out of my back pocket and captured the moment on Instagram.


Spring Break: Davis style. #whoarethosekidsparents

A photo posted by Julie Davis (@onneutralgrnd) on

My first thought was: That’s hilarious. My second thought was: Someone’s going to drive by and wonder, “Who are those kids parents?

I take ALL the blame.

Duane, shall I say, does not like when they climb on top of the minivan. So, I should have told them to get down, BUT he wasn’t home. And, it was just too darn cute.

When Duane got home, I promptly showed him the photo and remarked: “Aren’t you glad you weren’t home?!”

Duane: {Silence, followed by a  friendly smirk and half an eye roll}

The next morning, I had a Jen Hatmaker moment–which means something really funny happened in my mind, and I took it and ran with it.  I decided to start an Instagram account (of course) named @whoarethosekidsparents with the intent of featuring the silly, cute, and/or zany photos parents take of their children. It’s a little like an ode to childhood.



If you’re on Instagram, I’d love to see your wacky, silly, cute, zany, children on Instagram. Simply tag your photos with #whoarethosekidsparents for a chance to be featured! I can’t wait.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

If you want to find me, I’ll be basking in the sun. Not in the Caribbean, however…on top of the minivan.


Friday Favorites: November 14th

Friday, November 14th, 2014

friday, favorites


Well, hello.

It’s Friday, and so much good stuff is happening right now.

My little brother and his wife had their first baby girl last night. That’s pretty significant by itself, but we’re excited in the Davis fam because it’s the first girl cousin. Abby is surrounded by boys–3 brothers and 2 boy cousins. We love them and all, but it’s a nice win for the gals in the family. Plus, I get to buy cute, girl clothes again.

I already got her this:



I’m pretty sure she’s going to wear it everyday.


My brother and his wife are 6’4″ and 6’5″, respectively, which means, YES, she’s taller.  If you want to laugh (really hard), watch the two of us walk around together. It’s like Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger from the movie Twins.

We joke with them that they are going to birth an entire NBA team, so it’s pretty funny that the initials of their first little one are M.V.P.

Can’t wait to meet this girl.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I’m in planning mode for Thanksgiving. What about you?

I picked up the turkey today, and now I’m dreaming about the sides.

While I was on Pinterest today, I saw these printable Thanksgiving MadLibsI’m pretty sure they’re going to be a hit at the table, especially between my dad and the kids. 

I’m also not much of a fall decorator, but I like to do something simple for the table on Thanksgiving. Saw this centerpiece this week and was sold. Easy, simple, and elegant.

* * * * * * * * * * *

What I read (am reading) this week…

I’m finally taking up Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead.


I’ve been wanting to read it for several years, but just kept forgetting. But she’s gotten some press recently for her newest book in this series, Lila, which is supposed to be the best.

The New York Times did a great, reflective piece on her recently called The Revelations of Marilynne Robinson. In it, she talks about our culture’s default culture of fear, and how we use it as an excuse for inactivity or worse. Good weekend reading.


Finally, I’m a little late to the party on this one, as usual, but if you haven’t read Glennon Melton’s parenting article Don’t Carpe Diem in the Huffington Post, stop whatever you’re doing now and READ it. It’s one of the best parenting articles I’ve ever read.


Happy Friday to all.