Open Hearted Holidays: Boundary Work for Better Family Gatherings

Before our move from Texas to Germany, I had never really come home for the holidays before. Now that I have had the experience to, even briefly, leave my home community and return for a visit, I feel like I’m gaining a better understanding of the intention behind so many little behaviors in my family…

The Best Boxed Book Sets for Children

Here we are at such a special time of year, when the weather is just right to think about the joy of reading at home and gift giving season is starting to trickle in. I love discovering new books with my daughter. I’ve found also, for big birthdays or school milestones, the fun of sharing…

Living the American Dream (in Germany)

I don’t want to speak for everyone, but there seems to be a collective existential thing going on. There’s just a lot to consider with how much is both possible and falling apart.  For some, it feels like angst, maybe depression or bouts of panic. For some it’s their new era to be excited, empowered…

How to Make a German School Cone

I know and I cannot believe that we are thinking about Back to School again. I am never the one to start these conversations, as you can usually find me at the pool feeding my family sandwiches until 9:00 p.m. the day before The Big Day. As much as it pains me, I think our…

A Summer Garden Party

Our flat has access to a private garden for tenants. It has a keyed entry and is a pet-free area, which keeps it quiet and the perfect spot for picnics. Ironically, a family of foxes now lives in the garden, but they don’t seem to be as comfortable taking over a picnic. We were so…

How to Make Reading Fun for 8 Year Olds

Sharing stories with my daughter has been something I’ve looked forward to since before she was born and enjoyed all of her life. Now that we’re really growing into independent reading as well, it has been a good challenge on how to make reading fun for 8 year olds. These years began my feeling of…

Five Benefits of Performing Arts for Children

My name is Lilly and I owe every part of who I am to theater camp. It’s true for so many of us, whether we went on to ever find ourselves back on center stage in life or just in a happy adult life using our voice, carrying ourselves with confidence and knowing how to…

Tips for Moving with Kids from a Children’s Therapist

This weekend is three months since we moved to Freiburg, Germany as an American family. The number one question I’m asked is how our little one is handling the change. To which I’m always tempted to respond with, “What change do you mean?” The truth is, our second grader hasn’t had much of a normal…

Learning How to Self-Parent

For a couple years in my mid thirties, I thought I had it all – everything that I understood to mean success, accomplishment, and external happiness. Lots of things looked good on the outside: I was a junior partner at a growing engineering firm and we had a nice house in a great neighborhood. I…