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I am not the only one who misses my sweet cat, Tad

I am not the only one who misses my sweet cat, Tad

Editor May 11, 2014 Comments Off on I am not the only one who misses my sweet cat, Tad

It’s been five months since my cat died. At 15, I suppose he was old, my Tad Smith. It shouldn’t have taken me by surprise. But it did. For so long, he was here,

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Sending my oldest to special camp was one of best decisions

Sending my oldest to special camp was one of best decisions

Editor April 19, 2014 Comments Off on Sending my oldest to special camp was one of best decisions

Faithful readers of this column (hi, Mom) may recall that last summer, we sent our oldest child to sleep away camp for the first time. Our son Scott, who was 7 at the time,

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Being together is far more important than a guest bedroom

Being together is far more important than a guest bedroom

Editor April 11, 2014 Comments Off on Being together is far more important than a guest bedroom

This weekend saw four adults and seven children, ages 10 and under, all crashing in my 3-bedroom, 1500-square-foot house. The word “chaotic” might come to mind. Our house guests were my best friend, her

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Amazing, easy recipe to help with life

Amazing, easy recipe to help with life

Editor April 4, 2014 Comments Off on Amazing, easy recipe to help with life

I am sharing a recipe with y’all today, so listen up. Or put on your glasses. Whatever you need to do, but pay attention, because you’re going to be glad you did. We’re talking

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We pay more attention to ourselves than anyone else

We pay more attention to ourselves than anyone else

Editor March 29, 2014 Comments Off on We pay more attention to ourselves than anyone else

My husband and I attended a charitable social event recently. Allow me to now regale you with the tale of my public humiliation at said event. Now you’re wondering, aren’t you? You want to

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One day I will become better at remembering names

One day I will become better at remembering names

Editor March 21, 2014 Comments Off on One day I will become better at remembering names

I was out with my husband recently, and I ran into a group of women I know from a class I’m taking. They’re lovely women, all friends with one another, and I would have

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Time flies: My youngest is already one year old

Time flies: My youngest is already one year old

Editor March 15, 2014 Comments Off on Time flies: My youngest is already one year old

My baby turned a year old Monday. The youngest of four, he will be my baby forever and ever and ever. Studies confirm this, that mothers view their youngest children as smaller than they

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Time with my young daughter is flying by too fast

Time with my young daughter is flying by too fast

Editor March 5, 2014 Comments Off on Time with my young daughter is flying by too fast

The group of girls outside the bookstore appeared to be junior high-aged. There were four of them at the table, each girl with a latte in her hand, very grown up and sophisticated. They

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Trying to declutter my house is thankless task with kids

Trying to declutter my house is thankless task with kids

Editor March 5, 2014 Comments Off on Trying to declutter my house is thankless task with kids

I’ve been on a decluttering binge lately. The new year, it always gives me the organization bug. I find myself buying baskets and bins, a bookshelf, cubbies–all in the hopes that this time I

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The day my life almost changed forever leaves me thankful

The day my life almost changed forever leaves me thankful

Editor February 21, 2014 Comments Off on The day my life almost changed forever leaves me thankful

It started like most any other Sunday here at my house. The baby woke up laughing, like he always does, at the crack of dawn. In a fog of fatigue, I brewed a pot

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Slidell woman relives Olympic torch carry

Slidell woman relives Olympic torch carry

Editor February 14, 2014 Comments Off on Slidell woman relives Olympic torch carry

By CHRISSY SMITH Slidell news bureau SLIDELL – Although the XXII Olympic Winter games will be taking place in Sochi, Russia this month, Slidell’s JoAnn Chelchowski has her own connection to the Olympics. In

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My procrastination is going to get the best of me

My procrastination is going to get the best of me

Editor February 8, 2014 Comments Off on My procrastination is going to get the best of me

I am a terrible procrastinator. Always have been. Here’s the thing, though. I write for a newspaper. Deadlines! For me, and procrastinators like me, deadlines are both a blessing and a curse. A blessing,

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Knowing the right things to say as a parent is tough

Knowing the right things to say as a parent is tough

Editor January 31, 2014 Comments Off on Knowing the right things to say as a parent is tough

It was bedtime. I was tucking in my 6-year-old daughter Juliet. The second born of four, she is my only girl. It was an exciting night. The weather forecast mentioned the possibility of snow

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Chiri-Brumit wed

Chiri-Brumit wed

Editor January 24, 2014 Comments Off on Chiri-Brumit wed

Kevin Michael Chiri Jr. and Lauren Elizabeth Brumit were married on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Okla., with a small ceremony involving family and close friends, held in front of the lighthouse

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Parents with preferences are completely normal

Parents with preferences are completely normal

Editor January 10, 2014 Comments Off on Parents with preferences are completely normal

I have this friend; she’s the mother of three boys. From the very first time she found out she was expecting, she has longed for a daughter. Annoying disclaimer: she is devoted to, and

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Other family messes make mine feel better

Other family messes make mine feel better

Editor January 10, 2014 Comments Off on Other family messes make mine feel better

I’m sitting in my house on a rainy morning, cup of coffee in my hand, and a pile of laundry, Everest in size, beckoning me. It’s huge. Mammoth in proportion. I’m not sure I’ve

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One Christmas tradition will last a lifetime for my family

One Christmas tradition will last a lifetime for my family

Editor December 19, 2013 Comments Off on One Christmas tradition will last a lifetime for my family

The holidays are great fun when one has small children, but there’s a lot of pressure, I’m finding. I’m creating traditions for these little people, things they will look back on fondly when they

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Being thankful all year is no easy task

Being thankful all year is no easy task

Editor November 27, 2013 Comments Off on Being thankful all year is no easy task

Today is Thanksgiving, and I have a confession to make. I am not always so good at giving thanks. In fact, at times in my life, I’ve been pretty ungrateful. It can be easy

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Still not sure how to handle every situation with special son

Still not sure how to handle every situation with special son

Editor November 15, 2013 Comments Off on Still not sure how to handle every situation with special son

I was nearly five months pregnant when we found out our first child would be born with a rare chromosome disorder that would lead to developmental disability. I was terrified. And heartbroken. I knew

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30, End of Story

30, End of Story

Editor October 9, 2013 Comments Off on 30, End of Story

By Pat Chiri The time has come to say 30, which is the journalism term, for end of story. And so after 40-plus years as a news reporter, photographer and animal advocate/activist, I am

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