Tara is a mom to two kiddos, ages 5 and 9, and has been married to her best friend for twelve years. Raised in the Air Force, she’s from everywhere and nowhere. If asked today, she claims the Midwest, having lived in Illinois for eight years during graduate school and the birth of her first child. Five years ago, Tara and her husband took a trip to Portland and instantly fell in love. As they drove to the Oregon coast in the rain and saw the bright green moss and towering trees, it felt as if they were transported to another world. In that moment, Tara knew it was the place to raise their kids. They packed their belongings and made the cross-country move while Tara was eight months pregnant with their second. Tara homeschools her older kiddo, hosts a monthly mom’s book club, works as a freelance proofreader and a part-time bookseller, and co-leads her daughters’ Girl Scout troop. As an introvert, Tara is the first to admit she’s horrible at small talk, but if asked about the deep stuff, she’s all in. She’s a serious plant enthusiast, and she recently found that exercising and playing piano calm her soul.

“The Mess You Work So Hard To Hide”: Loving Yourself Right Here, Right Now

It was May when a gentle, warm breeze urged me to stop obsessing over my to-do list long enough to simply notice. My schedule had become busier than ever, and like a hamster on...

Wisdom from the Woods: Making Space for Creativity and Wonder

I sat in the forest on a fallen, moss-covered tree, watching my ten-year-old daughter and her friend dig in the mud of a creek bed. While shovels shaped the earth into new pathways, my...
Two friends sit in front of the sunset with their backs to the camera.

“A Big Heart Is Both a Clumsy and Delicate Thing”: Building Friendship and Community

My five-year-old and I went to her bestie’s house for a playdate a few weeks ago. As we gathered our things to say goodbye, her bestie waved her arms to get my attention and...
A person holds scissors and cuts up words like envy, hatred, and indifference.

What I Learned When Envy Became My Friend: Choosing Health With Chronic Illness

I sat on my front porch to soak in the sun when a mom jogged past on the sidewalk. She looked radiant pushing her stroller, with her perfect messy bun, cute ball cap, neatly-fitted...

January: The Reset of My Becoming

Exhausted, I stared at my computer with nothing to say. Taylor Swift’s song, "This Is Me Trying," played in the background, insisting, "I just wanted you to know that this is me trying, /...
red and white joy

Finding Joy in the Struggle

A well-loved red and white pillow rests on my couch, gifted to me years ago for Christmas. "JOY" is sewn on the front, and as I reposition the pillow to my liking, my mind...
Fallen autumn leaves float in a rainy puddle.

Let’s Embrace Outdoor Play: Yes, Even in the Rain!

My five-year-old’s face lit with excitement as we pulled into our driveway on the first rainy day of the season. The yellow leaves had started falling, and it finally felt like fall after a...
A collection of houseplants sitting on a table

Lessons Learned from Houseplants

Let's be real: I'm a plantaholic. My bestie recently gifted me a t-shirt that says, "I have enough plants…said no one ever," and it’s perfectly me. I love the warmth plants bring into a...
Girl sitting in a tree at forest school

5 Tips for a Great Homeschooling Year

It’s that time of year again! Kids have gone back to school, and we have “liked” their cute pictures on social media. As a homeschooling mom, I’ve happily “loved” their pictures and congratulated them...