Happy Birthday, Henry

Dear Henry, If you were here, you’d be churning out papers and studying for exams. I’d be making you whatever cake you wanted. You would have picked out your birthday meal – you’d have spent a lot of time on that decision because we Ollers take our food seriously – and your siblings would come … More Happy Birthday, Henry

Your Powerful Story

  The  suburban backyard was unusually quiet for a Saturday night. No lawnmowers, no neighbors calling, not even traffic disturbed the group of women sitting on the deck. Or perhaps we were so captured by what we were hearing that we didn’t notice. My friend was telling us her life story. Her story is raw and … More Your Powerful Story

Loving Willow

Our Willow, our feisty gray mouse hunter, left us last week for kitty heaven. Despite the fact that she was a member of our family for 15 years, I don’t know how much I loved her, not really. I certainly didn’t pay her much attention; she was a fixture in our garage, like the cars … More Loving Willow

The Boomerang Nest

So the kids came back. Sort of. You might recall my story about our empty nest, how our young adults left home to pursue next steps. They’re now in between adventures, and home is the place they’ve temporarily landed. The Boomerang Nest, I call it. First, two kids came back from college. Then our world … More The Boomerang Nest

Our Beautiful Mess

We celebrated our 25th anniversary on year 26. It’s not a given that you have to take a cruise or renew your vows or do something amazing when you’ve been married 25 years. But 25 years is worth celebrating, so lots of people do. Last year, all of this got lost in the crush of … More Our Beautiful Mess

The Power of Us

Last week the girls and I finished up our Bible study over a potluck meal. If you have to say goodbye, do it with pasta and dessert; this combo definitely helps the parting go down easier. You know you have a good community when you don’t want to say goodbye to it. We started out … More The Power of Us

The Lonely Nest

I miss my kids. This is awkward because they’re probably reading this, but it must be said because the longing is strong today. Lately I’ve been enjoying the quiet around here, so I thought maybe I was starting to get over missing my kids. But this week their loss came like cold wind seeping through … More The Lonely Nest

All My Streams

So with Valentine’s Day 2016 having come and gone, I’ve been doing a little thinking about relationships. And how expectations affect relationships for better, or worse. I’ve experienced a lot of Valentine’s Days in my life, more than 25 of them with the same guy. He’s responsible for the best one – the time he … More All My Streams