Friends & Family

Is it Thanksgiving Yet?

Hello, Sensitive, Bookish Type readers. You might notice that I am not your usual host, Laura. Although we do share some similarities (curly hair, same degrees, mama of some cute kids, avid readers), we are different people, living in different lands. BUT, recently Laura asked if I would contribute to her blog on the semi-regular. I said, “Would I ever!?” I feel so honored to be included! So, here’s a little introduction.

My name is Kate and I am an illustrator, comic-maker, mama, wife. I just recently quit a full-time gig as a development director to spend a little more time with my kids before they want nothing to do with me, and also to pursue my illustration career more whole-heartedly through my moniker, Party Krill. I’ll be popping in here to share little illustrations, charts and lists on parenthood, and comics. Through those, I think you’ll get to know me pretty well. Maybe better than you wanted to. We’ll see. I’ll leave it at that for now and give you your first comic, which, like most of my comics, is based on a real conversation between me and my sweet, wild, impatient, hilarious son.

Is it Thanksgiving Yet 1 Party Krill

Friends & Family

How to Be the Greatest Holiday House Guest*

Are you traveling this holiday season? Staying with family? Using strange towels that smell of strange fabric softener? Sleeping in someone else’s bed?

You’re not alone. Over twenty million Americans** will be staying with family members for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year, and at least half of them will feel displaced, displeased, and generally disgruntled–especially if those family members are in-laws.

Here’s hoping, if you’re part of this group of intrepid travelers, you’re one of the happy ones–basking in familial love and the comfort of home. If not, don’t worry! We’ve got five happy hints to make your holiday away from home completely holly jolly.*** For you, anyway.

Continue reading “How to Be the Greatest Holiday House Guest*”
Friends & Family

10 Cheap (or Free!) Places to Take Your Kids

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My kids like to get out of the house. Every day. They always want to be going somewhere, doing something. Boundless energy.

I envy them, really. They have not yet developed a sense of existential angst.

Anyhow, all this energy and optimism means that Mommy has to put down her Camus and chamomile and actually DO stuff.

But what to do? Continue reading “10 Cheap (or Free!) Places to Take Your Kids”

Cooking & Eating, Friends & Family

My Thanksgiving Binder (and How to Make Your Own!)

I love to cook. I love to chop and peel and knead and whisk–if there’s a menial kitchen task that most people delegate to an appliance or the processed food companies, I probably enjoy doing it by hand.

Not every day, of course. I have a food processor and a blender and a garlic press for everyday use. I use my KitchenAid mixer so much I’ve worn out several paddle attachments and one dough hook. I am no stranger to frozen pizzas and canned chili. These things help me (and my family) survive.

But every once in a while, an occasion calls for some serious cooking–and I actually have the time to do it. These are my favorite days.

That’s why I love Thanksgiving.

Continue reading “My Thanksgiving Binder (and How to Make Your Own!)”
Friends & Family

Kids Say the Most Incisive Things

The other day, my son and I took a walk. He wasn’t his usual chatty self–it turned out he was coming down with a cold–in fact, he was a bit of a grump. I kept trying to start conversations but he’d shut them down. I kept trying to hold his hand but he’d yank it away. After a while, he started walking on people’s yards instead of the sidewalk.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“We’re sliced apart,” he said. “We’re sliced apart and we’re never going to heal.”

I have to say, I got a little misty.

Continue reading “Kids Say the Most Incisive Things”
Friends & Family, Ugly & Beautiful

Tricks and Treats: On Fear, Bravery, and Halloween

When I was a kid, we lived down the street from our local pastor. Despite some of his congregation’s hesitations about the holiday, he absolutely loved Halloween.

I don’t remember how he decorated his house or if he ever wore costumes. I don’t remember what kind of candy he passed out. I remember two things about Pastor John’s house on Halloween night: he always looked delighted to see us, and he always made us do a trick before we could get a treat.

Apparently, this is a custom in certain areas but it wasn’t a custom in ours. As far as we knew, it was just Pastor John.

At first, the idea of performing on his front doorstep was terrifying. Should I tell a joke or sing a song? What if I wasn’t good enough? What if he gave me a rock instead of candy like those horrible adults in It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown?

But I did it. I was brave.

To me, bravery is what Halloween is all about.

Continue reading “Tricks and Treats: On Fear, Bravery, and Halloween”
Friends & Family

Happy Birthday to Me…?

My birthday’s on Saturday and I still don’t know how I feel about it. My mom is probably most frustrated about that fact–she’s been trying to plan a celebration and I’ve been giving her nothing.

Well, not NOTHING. A lot of sighs. Some “I don’t know”s. A whole lot of shrugging.

And now, a video–with several cameos by her grandkids.

How do you feel about birthdays? Has it changed over the years? Does everything change as you get older and WILL ANYTHING EVER BE SIMPLE AGAIN?!?!?!?

Friends & Family, Ugly & Beautiful

More Forty Than Thirty: A Treatise on Self Care and [Finally] Growing Up

I have often been told (mostly by people who don’t believe in such things) that I am an old soul. I was an intelligent and obedient child, quick to finish my homework and patient about standing in line. I was not, for the most part, a problem–and so, for the most part, I was ignored.

Continue reading “More Forty Than Thirty: A Treatise on Self Care and [Finally] Growing Up”