My children are gone.

They filed out of the door one by one this morning…back to school after a jam-packed spring break in snowy Utah.

They left a tornado in their wake (it takes a day or two to get back on track with jobs). Piano books are strewn across the living room, remnants of french toast cover the counter. Piles of laundry surround me and the house is quiet except for the first load swishing away behind me.

Although I am thankful for my little window of time to fill the empty refrigerator, open the mail, answer messages, finish up a chapter of a book I am turning in to editors, catch up on Young Women, blah blah blah, I’m empty without those five children at my side. None of us are quite ready for school to start…for schedules to squelch out our family time. I’d rather reminisce about watching my kids follow Dave like little ducks down the slopes, and getting to soak in cousins and friends.But I better pull up my boot straps and get to work. I’m inspired by Amy Chua in the “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother to be a little tougher on my kids (yes, a little tougher, not crazy tough…but she does have some really good points). I’m cramming in the end of the book before I host book club about it tomorrow night…wow, lots of thoughts on that one. I’ll leave you with a little food for thought from her:

“Sometimes I wake up in the morning dreading what I have to do and thinking how easy it would be to say, ‘Sure Lulu, we can skip a day of violin practice.’ Unlike my Western friends, I can never say, ‘As much as it kills me, I just have to let my kids make their choices and follow their hearts. It’s the hardest thing in the world, but I’m doing my best to hold back.’ Then they get to have a glass of wine and go to a yoga class, whereas I have to stay home and scream and have my kids hate me.”

Whoa! Like I said, lots to discuss.

Ok, I’m off to Costco.


  1. Hello!! I absolutely LOVE your blog!! I am so inspired by your decorating — I would hire you as my personal interior decorator. Too bad I live all the way in Ontario, Canada! 🙁 I always refer to your "before and after" pictures for inspiration and actually have a few questions as to where you got some things. The pendant light in your dining nook, where did you get that? And what is the name of the main beige paint colour you use?
    Thanks so much for such inspirational ideas and pictures! I always enjoy reading your blog!

  2. I was reading your book last night. "You are the expert" was one chapter I read, among others. Then tonight I was reading an entry from a blog I enjoy reading once in a while (much like yours) and wondered if you have read it yourself. If not… you might really appreciate it. The post I read today titled 3.21 made me think of you. The blog is titled Enjoying the Small Things, by Kelly Hampton. The URL…

  3. I should definitey read that book for some inspiration to be more tough and scheduled with my children. Usually I go to your blog or one of your mothers books for that. I still don't understand how you have the energy to do all you do.

    I really appreciated you answering a question I had not too long ago on my blog. It was so exciting, like being recognized by a famous person. I truthfully didn't expect you to answer because I now crazy busy you are. So I really hate to ask you another question, but I was wondering if I heard right that you and your mom are coming to Oklahoma in a couple of months to speak at a time out for women. I would love to know if that is true, because I would figure out when and where to sign up in a heart beat. You guys are my idols(:

  4. Hi Shawni ~

    I, too, am reading Amy Chua's book. Fascinating. Thanks for the tip back when you first mentioned it. I'm loving how it makes me think and rethink some of our parenting around here. {The least of which is making my kids practice their violins TWENTY minutes per day now vs. … less *gasp!!* ;)}


  5. I have to say that I loved reading Amy Chua's book! I looked forward to any chunk of time I could squeeze in a chapter or two. Of course there was plenty I disagreed with, but like you, I felt she had a lot of good points. It was fascinating, though certainly exaggerated at times. Much food for thought! I wish I lived in your corner of the world and could sit in on your book club to hear the discussion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *