Family Life

A Glorious Reunion: Why We Keep Coming Back

We first met in a Beijing hotel—every one of us jet-lagged, but thrilled nonetheless to be making this long-anticipated trip. I remember our first meeting as if it were yesterday. On that morning in March of 2012, Peter and I took our seats in a circle with a dozen-or-so other couples and a few of… Read More A Glorious Reunion: Why We Keep Coming Back

Family Life

Why I Roar: In Support of the Three Lions

Guest Post by Peter Worrall Last Saturday at 9:45 a.m., I was reeling in agony on Gary’s sofa.  My stomach seized, and I felt nausea grow. I grabbed a throw pillow and squeezed it to my chest. I still had an hour to go of watching England in the World Cup quarterfinals. England’s Maguire had… Read More Why I Roar: In Support of the Three Lions

Family Life

When We’re Torn Between Two Places

Guest post by Peter Worrall I am being pulled through green hedgerows backwards. I have a rear-facing seat on the 14:42 from Exeter St. David’s to Plymouth. The Devonshire hills, the trees, the shrubbery and the grass are well watered and verdant. Life flourishes here. I once flourished here. I’m a Devon boy come home for… Read More When We’re Torn Between Two Places

Family Life

How to Have a Happy Holiday

In America, we call it a “vacation”—those few weeks each year when we leave work and home behind. We “vacate” our regular routine and take up temporary residence in another locale. We sometimes escape to a peaceful place for rest and refreshment. We sometimes hurry off to an amusement park or a cruise ship, seeking… Read More How to Have a Happy Holiday

Family Life

Waiting on Island Time

“Time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.” –William Faulkner   Our official wait for our daughter Amelia began on an island—the island of Great Chebeague, off the coast of Maine. In the summer of 2006, we mailed our… Read More Waiting on Island Time

Family Life

Crepe Paper Streamers and Balloons: Our Anti-Pinterest Party

I admit it. I like Pinterest-worthy parties. I mean, I really like them. The beauty. The order. The creativity. The perfection. The sparkle. The shine. They speak to me. However, a Pinterest-worthy party has not been our reality this week here at This Odd House. Yesterday, my favorite little girl turned six years old. And… Read More Crepe Paper Streamers and Balloons: Our Anti-Pinterest Party

Family Life

5 Lessons that Traveling Can Teach

We had been trying for a long time to take our family to Peter’s homeland of England. Several years ago we started putting money aside every month specifically for that purpose. But then a car would need repairs or an appliance would need replacing, and—bang!—would go our travel fund. Eventually, for one of Peter’s birthdays,… Read More 5 Lessons that Traveling Can Teach

Family Life

From England, with Love

This trip has been years in the making. Ever since we became parents in 2009, we have dreamt of taking Daryl—and then Amelia as well—to England to meet Peter’s family and English friends, and to experience his homeland. A couple of years ago we thought we would be able to make the journey, but then… Read More From England, with Love

Family Life, Spiritual Formation

When Mother’s Day Is a Matter of Life and Death

On Mother’s Day 2004 I made the silly mistake of going to church. By that time my husband Peter and I had been floundering in the stormy sea of infertility for over two years, and I was tired. Depression was weighing me down—anger, too—as we rode wave after wave. The monthly swell of hope, then… Read More When Mother’s Day Is a Matter of Life and Death

Family Life, Spiritual Formation

20 Things We’d Tell Our Newly-Married Selves

  It often happens this way. Peter and I are asked to speak on the subject of marriage, and our own relationship comes under particular attack. Sometimes it comes in the form of a full frontal assault, a crisis beyond our control. But more often the enemy sends in stealth bombers—our own poor choices, rogue… Read More 20 Things We’d Tell Our Newly-Married Selves