25 January 2012
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My friends and I turn 40 this year. I’m ok with this. We have lost some exuberance of youth, but we have also shed the anxiety of beginners. Volatile years finding our way with careers, relationships and new parenthood have given way to a more relaxed confidence. We’ve learned who we are. We’ve become real […]

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Why I let my kids eat all the Halloween candy they want

31 October 2011
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Am I crazy? Or crazy like a fox? Here’s why I let my kids eat all the Halloween candy they want: Kids get way too much Halloween candy, and this is my way of getting rid of it early. If I doled out one or two pieces at a time, they’d still be hoarding a […]

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My friend Faith

13 October 2011
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It’s been a strange, volatile week, starting high, plunging low and ending with the realization that most everything is a high compared to the lows that could be. The week began last Thursday with a rare and exciting treat: lunch with a new friend, the lovely, curious Faith Durand, Managing Editor extraordinaire of my favorite […]

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Apologies to Connecticut

5 October 2011
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I owe Conecticut an apology. For six long months in my mid-20s I reverse-commuted from New York City to the suburbs of Connecticut for a job, and every day I wondered at the strangeness of such a nearby but utterly alien land. At lunchtime I struggled to feign interest in foreign conversation topics. “I installed […]

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The perils of marrying too well

16 September 2011
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When I married the perfect man a dozen years ago, I felt pretty smart for not messing up the biggest decision of my life. He was and is intelligent, interesting, kind and funny. What I didn’t foresee was one small drawback: he kind of makes me look bad.

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Mom’s barbecue chicken

31 August 2011
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To many immigrant families, fusion cuisine is not a restaurant trend, it’s what’s served at home. Immigrants bring food tastes and memories from their old home country and combine them with available ingredients in their new home country. Sometimes they create faithful reproductions of traditional cuisine, but sometimes – as in the case of my […]

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Pioneer day

8 June 2011
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From my elementary school days in California, I remember panning for gold-painted pebbles and taking a field trip to a local Spanish mission, where we learned about making adobe bricks from clay and marveled at how small the Spanish padres must have been to fit into such tiny beds. But for my school kids in […]

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David Brooks: It’s not about you

2 June 2011
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My oldest niece is graduating from high school. She thinks it’s a big deal, but the adults in the family know how much bigger it is than she thinks. Wonderful times are in store for her, and tough times; eye-opening discoveries and hard lessons. I remember how confident I was at her age and marvel […]

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Sentimental value

9 May 2011
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Pangs of guilt go into my paper recycling bin. I look fondly at the doodles on school worksheets, the evolving handwriting and kid-logical spellings, but after four children I know I can’t save it all. Knowing that even the most special items I hold onto get faded and tired as the years pass, I’ve learned […]

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Celebrating springtime: Easter tree and gifts

15 April 2011
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It’s finally spring in Ohio. Grass is green, leaves are budding, and the sunlight is blessedly warm. Winter’s brittle ice tree is now a jauntily swaying festivity of rainbow eggs. My clever friend Jenny conjured up this surprise for the kids. It’s like a Christmas tree but better – easy, fun, inexpensive – and best […]

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