Last week, Karis decided to cut her own bangs. Fortunately it wasn’t so short that it stuck straight up, and with a little creative cutting I managed to even it out into a cute Betty Page ‘do. But it was hard not to smile as I scolded her because she was just so proud of herself.

Tuesdays (and Thursdays) with Karis . . . it’s a lot of tea parties and me being her playmate. Two years in, and she still hasn’t gotten the hang of playing by herself when her siblings are gone. I think it’s a lost cause. Anyone have a 4-year-old they want to drop off with me on those days so I can get back to doing things not involving voicing princesses or ponies?

The kids got a new guitar teacher this week (we’re taking lessons through Dexter Music Academy.)  They were very excited . . . so India made this sign to tell the teacher where to go. In case he got lost in our massive house.

The kids are slowly but surely finding their footing with guitar lessons.


India is proud of those hard-earned callouses. I love seeing them get excited about it.

The kids spent the night at grandma’s last weekend – always a treat – and grandma sent me this photo. Ah, the ipod. The great unifier.
I had to take a short trip last weekend, to Camp Mighty, and Mark and the kids decided to join me for the first night.  As I was packing, Karis was wheeling a suitcase around the house, pretending to be me going on a work trip. I asked her what one does on a “work trip”, and she said, “You go in the hot tub and then you sleep a lot.” I am so glad she understands.

This is the face Karis makes when Mark and I sign Jesus Christ Superstar at the top of our lungs on the way to Palm Springs.


Camp Mighty was at the Ace Hotel, and while I’ve been there before it was the first time with the kids. They loved the campy vibe.

We had a little slumber party with my friend Maggie’s adorable son, and upon his arrival it was discovered that he and India brought matching teddy bears. This was THE MOST EXCITING THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO THEM and the point of conversation for a good 30 minutes

Piper Kerman and Larry Smith were two of the keynotes at this year’s Camp Mighty. Piper penned the memoir Orange is the New Black, which the popular Netflix series was based on.  I got the chance to have dinner with them on Friday night and they were really smart, fun, relatable, and passionate people. Piper and I have a lot in common (introversion, theater undergrad majors, a fear of the PTA), but I was really struck by her commitment to social justice issues, especially around prison reform. I’m not sure why the criminal justice system has not been more on my radar in terms of social justice, but I learned a lot from her. You can learn more here. (Oh, and unlike the series, the “real life” Larry is not a struggling writer but a quite accomplished writer, editor, and entrepreneur.)

I stole this photo from Laura Mayes. People went all out for the Space Party. I was a scrooge in a black dress because my costume didn’t arrive in time.

There was a photo booth at the space party. These random snapshots may be my favorite family photos ever. family photo booth 2013 edited family photo booth 2013 silly edited The second day, the kids hung by the pool while I was in session. This is Karis, by a pool, holding a brownie in one hand and a cookie in the other. A.K.A. her Happy Place. Mark and the kids went home and then Sarah joined me for the rest of the weekend. We ordered dessert from room service that arrived just as that “What’s Your Excuse?” mom was being highlighted on the news. I don’t think she approves of us. And I don’t care because cheesecake.

It was a relaxing and inspiring weekend . . . I worked on honing some goals for this year that I’m excited about. More on that later . . .

Obligatory “leaving Palm Springs windmill shot.”  You have to do it.

It was “crazy hair day” at the kids school this week, and I have to say, I’m quite proud of this creation. Kembe begs for a mohawk constantly and he was absolutely thrilled with the height. He asked to keep it like that forever, but not all dreams can come true.Oh, did I mention Kembe got hit in the head with a rock at school and had to get stitches? After all the daredevil, trying-to-skateboard-off-the-roof type stunts this kid pulls on the regular, I can’t believe it was a rock that actually landed him in the ER.

The kids are taking weekly soccer lessons at Lil Kickers (I highly recommend this program, and not just because there are no Saturday games involved, although that is a BIG BONUS.) Gotta love a coach who dresses as a Dodger Dog in a full blue unitard.

And that was our week.