Archives for children

Step 1 To Having It All

When I was 10 I decided that I was going to be an interior designer when I grew up. I have no idea how I came to that conclusion and/or how I even knew what an interior designer was growing up in my itty town in the middle of nowhere Iowa WAY before HGTV was a thing. So as part of these plans, I set my sights on New York City…as a 10 year old from a town of 1,700. I declared to all of my friends that I was going to live in Brooklyn and adopt a daughter and name

A Frayed Knot

The Durranis are serial road trippers (as most of you probably already know) and as we plot, prepare and pack, everyone has the same response, “How can you be in the car that much? What do you do that whole time? Don’t you want to kill each other?” Our longest trip (of three) this summer included just over 3,500 miles and 64.5 hours of driving time. That doesn’t include all of the family time spent outside of the car those 10 days. That’s just the amount of time we were all four sitting within feet of each other cruising across

I Love Back to School

I have developed temporary carpal tunnel in my right pointer finger this week clicking “like” on so many first day of school photos that have been posted online.  I love them all!  I love seeing all of my friends’ children from across the world…how they have grown, how excited (or not) that they are to be going back to school, and am continually amazed at how much their children look just like them!  Their mini me’s make me smile! I’ve always loved the first day of school.  Don’t get me wrong, I hold a soft spot for summer vacations in

4 Survival Tips for Summer

As a kid there is nothing better than summer vacation–late nights, late mornings, no homework, more junk food, more TV and endless play time.  At least that is how I remember it in the 70s when I was growing up.  And while I never sensed that my mom was going out of her mind at the time, she had to have had her moments.  As I “work” through another summer with my boys, here are my four survival tips for summer that I learned from my mom! #1. Great Summer Care is Not Easy to Find My mom opened a

Tis the Season

Each time we transition from one season to the next, we feel the change in the weather and we adjust accordingly…stocking up hats and gloves, or shedding down to our swim suits.  Activities and interests change and availability to friends differs.  This is not unlike the seasons that we experience in our lives, albeit not ones that last only three months and are quite as predictable. As I look back on my life, I’ve had many “seasons”. My first being my toddler years (what I can remember of them) and into elementary school where I forged my first friendships and

My Big Ugly Cry

My mom used to cry every time that I left to go back to college, or later whenever we parted ways after a visit, and I would get so exasperated, almost embarrassed.  She was also a sucker for Kleenex and Hallmark commercials.  In my mind, she was a complete mush!  Of course, now she’s gone, and like most things that drove me crazy about her, I get it.  And dare say that I’ve become her.  I’m a complete empathetic crier.  I see someone else cry…I absolutely feel their pain, joy, hurt and I join right in.  I cry every time my

Bring Back May Day

I moved to Boston in 1994 (yikers!) fresh out of Iowa State and I was an anomaly within my firm.  I worked within an interior architectural firm where nearly everyone was from New England.  They for the life of them could not remember where I was from.  At one point I photocopied a map of the United States and x-ed through Idaho, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana with a big circle around Iowa with arrows pointing to it and I posted it over the photocopier.  Not only was I strange for being from anywhere but the Northeast, I also brought with me

My Best Marriage Decision

When two people come together and marry there are many decisions to be made.  Kids or no kids?  City life or suburbia?  Work or stay home?  And then there are about a bjillion more decisions that you make that are completely unconscious.  I have to say that the best decision that we ever made, or didn’t as it were as it’s just the way we’ve always done it, is to have separate bank accounts. While this makes complete sense to me, I definitely think that we are in the minority. When Zain was little and we did endless play dates

2016 Monthly Challenges

Have you made your resolutions yet? Have you already stumbled?  I have! Every January a bjillion people (rough numbers) sit down and make all sorts of resolutions to get more organized, be healthier, lose weight, take better care of themselves, etc.  All are so admirable and great in concept, but where folks fall down (me included) is that we try to change the world at once–going from 0-60 in three days. As my Grandma Schuler says, “too much of a good thing, isn’t so good.”  So we need to make incremental changes and pace ourselves.  We also need to be

Just Jennessa Junior

Recently I posted this photo on Instagram after asking the boys to collect their library books.  While they did in fact do just that, it looks more like library book Jenga and only lasted as a stack for a few minutes.  A day later a friend of mine posted a similar picture of her son’s bookshelf after asking him to put his books away and some were upside down, some were in backwards, etc. and again–he had done what she asked, but not “correctly”.  It was that week that the idea of Just Jennessa Jr. was born!  Our regular monthly challenge videos