Yard work | NNoTW October 20, 2021

My ten-year-old and his buddy spent thirty minutes raking leaves a few weeks ago and henceforth decided to turn their newfound skill into a leaf-raking business.  This was the conversation we had on the ride to school the next morning:

Pumpkin spice and everything nice | NNoTW September 30, 2021

Fall has officially…fallen; and with it millions of pumpkin spiced Pinterest boards have sprung up featuring porches and front doors and lawns covered in physical celebrations of autumn.  Obviously, I, too am all aboard the trainful of haybales.  This meme (which I did not make) pretty accurately represents my feelings on the matter:

Ghost Tour | NNoTW September 16, 2021

Kyle and I are tour people.  We love tours.  We will attend basically any tour that is offered to us.  You could say, “Hey, listen, I’m giving a tour of my living room.  To participate, you’ll need this painter’s tape and this roller and this can of ‘Marshmallow Heaven’ and the tour will consist of you painting my walls,” and so long as you also give us a storyguide headset and one of those little metal buttons with the folding flap, we’re in.

Anyways, today I’m going to tell you about my all-time favorite tour.

Sofa, So Good | NNoTW September 2, 2021

We just passed the one-month mark of living in our new house.  At least, I *think* it’s our new house.  Considering there are stacks of stuff everywhere, we may be living in a box fort.

This is the exact text conversation I had with a friend right after we moved in:

Friend: How’s the unpacking going?

Me: Slow.  But my parents are taking the boys this week so we’ll have it all done by Saturday.

Friend: Ha ha!

Me: Ha ha!

Good Advice | NNoTW August 26, 2021

A huge part of my job is understanding social behaviors; and if I had to use one word to describe all grownups right now, that word would be TIRED.  It’s like being at a party where you were ready to leave 45 minutes ago but your ride is debating whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich with a large group of people, and so you sit there with your empty wine glass, avoiding a refill or a trip to the bathroom or anything, really, that would delay your exit, responding to all attempted conversations with, “Oh, yeah?  Oh, okay.”

Camp Bubbe Zayde | NNoTW August 12, 2021

My children are currently nursing a grandparent hangover after spending a week at my parents’ house at the second-annual “Camp Bubbe Zayde” (Bubbe and Zayde are the Yiddish words for Grandma and Grandpa, respectively).  As you might expect, Camp Bubbe Zayde was a happypalooza – fishing, baseball, Valley Fair, the zoo and the waterpark, and casual texts from my mother that read, “The kids wanted a snack, so we got them two ice cream bars a piece.  They must be growing!”  Of course, there was also teethbrushing and vegetable eating, but even following the rules – such as picking up toys and being kind to your brother – was turned into a game, with the prize being a trip to Dave & Busters.

Moving Day | NNoTW July 29, 2021

I wasn’t planning on writing anything else about our move because, honestly, who wants to read that – but the whole thing was such a wild ride that Kyle basically insisted I record it here for posterity.  So, here we go:

Squeegee | NNoTW July 22, 2021

We are moving; and between packing up and saying goodbye to our current house, renovating and unpacking our new house, working at my job, and doing the bare minimum at parenting, I have reached my complete maximum mental bandwidth. Read on.

The politics of cake | NNoTW July 1, 2021

Our friends hosted a family birthday party for their ten-year-old last weekend.  The jury is still out between my sons as to the second-best part of the soiree (right now it’s a tie between the slip-and-slide covered in dish soap and “playing” in general), but they both have agreed that the number-one spot goes to the cake.

Good Ranch | NNoTW May 20, 2021

This week’s story is about ranch dressing, and this week’s news is about pen pals, teen suicide prevention, and a food pantry vegetable garden.  Read on.

The write stuff | NNoTW April 15, 2021

This week’s story is about writing, and this week’s news is about a big deal of a small town, a leftover lunch program, and a glamorous prom. Read on.

No bother | NNoTW April 8, 2021

This week’s story is about staying out of trouble, and this week’s news is about healthy families, a new kidney, and a garden of healing. Read on.

Box Set | NNoTW April 1, 2021

This week’s story is a tale of two infomercials, and this week’s news has friendly fire departments, a Fueled Force, and a four-time award-winning artist.  Read on.

Hockey Tournaments | NNoTW March 25, 2021

This week’s story is about Hockey Moms, and this week’s news has free food, free braces, and and a shipping-container-turned-cabin built with free materials.  Read on.

The Lawn Ranger | NNoTW March 11, 2021

This week’s story is about the first time I mowed our lawn, and this week’s news is about a new definition of a “LOAN,” a black-footed ferret, and a bunch of North Dakotans competing on a national scale.  Read on.

Crab | NNoTW February 11, 2021

This week’s story is about a Crabby Valentine’s Day, and this week’s news is about a 40-year volunteer, a room full of prom dresses, and Hygge.  Read on.