As a child, Samantha journaled, composed songs on the piano, and dreamed of someday becoming a travel writer like the character in The Accidental Tourist. Today, she writes grants for an international non-profit, teaches her kids to play piano, and relishes long walks alone so she can think. Born and raised in Salem, Oregon, Sam now lives in a 1950s ranch in Lake Oswego with her husband, three school age kids, and lots of extended family a stone’s throw away. Her kids enjoy a Spanish Immersion program in the public schools, and as a family they look forward to the day they can go overseas to a Spanish-speaking country.

Back Pain, Heartache and Letting Go of the Littlest

Sometimes it's hard letting the littlest grow up. On a rainy Saturday morning, I’m sipping hot ginger tea at our large granite kitchen island. The littlest stumbles out of his room, rubbing his eyes and looking for me....

9 Portland Valentine’s Activities For Kids

Remember when Valentine’s Day simply meant a dozen roses from your sweetheart and fighting for a table at a crowded restaurant? Those were the good old days! Now you have kids, so we’ve rounded up...

4 Ways to Raise Grateful Kids This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving break comes along just at the right time, in the midst of hectic fall with holidays looming. Why not press pause this season and practice gratitude with your kids? Did you know giving...
mom in the fall rain clark county

18 Signs You’re a Portland Mom in the Fall

This season in Portland brings shorter rainy days, soccer games, and pumpkin everything. Here are 18 signs you might be a Portland mom in the fall: 1. The first soccer game fell on a glorious 85-degree-day in August. You worked on...
Family Meetings

Family Meetings: How to Connect During Busy Seasons

It's almost back-to-school, an exciting time because kids are growing, seasons are changing, and I’m about to have three kids in school all day for the first time. Huzzah! Each fall, the dramatic return to...
screen time

Redeem the Screen: How to Make Technology Work For Your Family

Frequently there are articles in my newsfeed regarding children and screen time. How much is too much? What effects does it have? Are we all turning into technological zombies? If our kids look at...

It’s Enough to Not Be Enough

Recently, a friend contacted me when an exchange student (scheduled to arrive in one week) suddenly had no Oregon host family. The student’s photo attached to the email smiled back at me, and after seeing...
gift ideas

Mother’s Day: Three Last-Minute Gift Ideas

What did you get your mom for Mother's Day? (Gulp) If you haven't bought your mom (or your favorite mom-friend, or yourself!) anything for Mother's Day yet, you might be stressing out because Mother's Day...

Common Core Math, Uncommon Thinking

While Common Core math has helped my eight-year-old in school, it has exceeded my 40-year-old addition skills. I was in the car with the kids one day, attempting to add double-digit numbers. I vocalized the problem...
local libraries

Library Love: 5 Reasons to Visit

Ahhh, the library! Where we can talk (quietly!) and our kids can learn stuff. After all, readers are leaders. I saw that on a sign at the library... While our family lives in Lake Oswego, we...