Splendid Spark Blog

Self care, sanity, and simple joys.

Surprise! An unexpected gift warms my heart.

My parents sent a mystery gift that arrived last night. A lamp shade gave away it's identity, but as I pulled it out of the box, I wondered if it would be a leg lamp, a la A Christmas Story. Nope! It’s still different though! It's made out of an airplane engine...

School: Are you doing the right thing?

I recently read an article about a 10 year old boy who was a sophomore in college, studying math and physics. In the article, they described how he developed early with words and numbers. His parents recounted him speaking in sentences just after his first birthday,...

‘Stick him in baseball!’ A different approach to sport.

I’m not against team sports, but our experience was excrutiatingly stressful for all involved: us, the coaches, and the kids. When the boys were young, we tried a few different team sports like soccer and hockey. It wasn’t great.   Our oldest is not, or at least...

Life lessons from an unlikely source.

In the last year, both of my boys have acquired cameras. One from a thrift store, and one for a birthday. Every once in awhile we go for a photo walk where all three of us take pictures.   Invariably, my kids take tons of pictures of weeds.   In their eyes,...

Leadership, love, and parenting.

Last week I had my first ride alone with my son. We’ve been mountain biking as a family for a long time, yet I’d never gone out on the trails with the kids without my husband. Maybe it was confidence or simple lack of opportunity since we’re always together, but it...

The best tool in your toolbox.

I organize a local writing group, and recently we were having a discussion about humor. How to weave humor into our writing to connect with an audience, tell a story, or develop characters. It got me thinking: How often do we think about humor in real life?  ...

What’s in Your Backpack? A Guide to Lightening the Load.

Do you carry a diaper bag, backpack, or Mary Poppin's purse with every essential?   My guess is yes. When my boys were younger, I remember doing the same thing. You’ve got your snacks, wipes, extra clothes, books, toys, lipgloss (maybe 3), an extra shoe. Some...

Books that make you think.

I love that we’re hearing more about the stories of everyday women these days. Not only the women who have accomplished something remarkable in the historic world of men, so to speak, but the strong women who run the world from behind the scenes. Check out The...

A Reminder for Worried Parents

It’s easy to assume others share our thoughts on a subject or experience of an event. Even if we value diversity and understand difference, as parents we assume our way of doing things is THE way. It takes some unlearning to get that other people respond differently,...

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