• Serious Issues,  Writer

    On Super Bowl Ads and Children Dying

    By 7 this morning (morning after Super Bowl 49), I have already had 6 inquiries into what I thought about the Nationwide “Make Safe Happen” ad. The ad features a beautiful young boy who can’t grow up to get cooties, learn to ride a bike, or learn to fly because he died. He couldn’t grow up because he died from an accident. As much of a football fan as I am, oddly I didn’t see the game. My cable went out 5 minutes into the game and I was stuck watching BrandBowl on Twitter. I saw the initial shock, the subsequent disgust and anger, and then watched it turn into a “my snarky…

  • Life as an Anthoine,  Writer

    I Wouldn’t Change A Thing

    Today, Jason and I mark our 16th wedding anniversary. I know what you’re thinking… “She must’ve been 10 when she got married.” No, actually, I was 22 and three weeks out of college. A baby, yes. A child bride, not quite. I look at Pinterest and see photo shoots my friends do of some amazing weddings, weddings I wish were mine. Oh, if I had it all to do over, I would do this, that and the other thing.  No. Actually I wouldn’t change a thing. It was a at the beach, a week after a tropical storm blew through. A destination wedding before destination weddings were cool. It was…

  • Henryisms,  Life as an Anthoine,  My Family,  Writer

    Tales of a Fourth Grade Tween

    I look at him, stomping around the house, being angry about whatever there is to be angry about today. Three minutes later, I watch him slip over to the sofa and sit as close to me as humanly possible without getting back in my womb. He nuzzles his head under my arm and I can feel him relax. Things are changing. Fourth grade is hard. Being almost ten is hard. He’s not a teen, but he’s certainly not a baby anymore. It’s a purgatory area, those tween years, of being immaturely mature and learning to move through life in a bigger way. In the mornings, we fuss. He’d rather lay…

  • My Family,  Sad Stuff,  Writer

    Her Last First Day of Football Season

    Football season is here. The countdown has been on since January 6 when Auburn and Florida State faced off in an amazing final BCS National Championship Game before the new Playoff system goes into play. As the clock ticks down and the very first college kickoff is within reach, or even on the same calendar page, plans start being made. Tailgates are planned. Trips to games are scheduled. The excitement builds! Both of my grandmothers were big football fans. My Mimi (my Dad’s mom) was an NFL gal. Of course, she watched Auburn play, but her Sunday afternoons after my grandfather died were spent watching the NFL. I remember her…

  • Just Jana,  Writer

    A Collector of People

    “She was a collector of people.” This phrase has come up more than once in the last few weeks, strangely. The first and most moving time was at my friend Julia’s mom’s memorial service. In her eulogy, Julia mentioned her mother was a people collector and quickly it was clear she was  one of the most loved and admired women I’ve ever (once) come in contact with. She held her collection close to her and they very obviously lifted her up as she lifted them up. I’ve known people like this. For example, my Grannie was like this. She liked to have people around. Family, friends new and old, children of her friends, grandchildren of her friends, nieces,…

  • Fun Memories,  Henryisms,  Life as an Anthoine,  Writer


    This year, Henry’s week at camp is a big one. It’s his first year on the Mainside. At Camp Winnataska, that translates to “the big kid side of the camp.” The last two years, he’s been on the Chico side with all the 6-8 year old campers, so last year he was one of the big guys on the Chico campus. For the last few months, we’ve been talking about and getting excited for camp. He’s had his calendar filled out for the whole summer, counting down the number of weeks until he left. To say he loves it is an understatement! On the way over to Alabama on Sunday,…

  • Fun Memories,  Writer

    Just Write: The Wave

    This past weekend, I realized there’s a little thing I truly miss about living in a small town. I miss The Wave. You know the one. You’re driving down the road, get close to a car coming the other way, and see the driver’s hand pop up from the wheel giving a little wave. It’s a quick lift of the hand, a small gesture, but one that doesn’t exist in the big city. People don’t do The Wave here in Atlanta. In fact, just this morning, it hit me that people don’t even do the Thank You Wave here. You know, the one that’s flashed when you let somebody out in…

  • Henryisms,  Life as an Anthoine,  Writer

    With Privilege Comes Responsibility

    All my life I heard that phrase: With privilege comes responsibility.  I learned early to roll my eyes, mostly because I was a smart ass and did that kind of thing. But also because normally when that was said, it meant I was about to have to do something. Like, work. I’ve never really thought about it much, but in my mind, I think I’ve NOT said that to Henry over and over again because I don’t want him to roll his eyes at me. But now that he rolls his eyes for all kinds of reasons, mostly because he’s a 9 year old boy who acts like a 13 year…

  • Charlie,  Group B Strep,  Sad Stuff,  Writer

    Dreams of a Tiny Casket

    Originally published at Still Standing Magazine, July 5, 2013 Yes, you read the title right. When I was pregnant with Charlie, I dreamed of a tiny casket. I dreamed about  weeping over a flower-covered, mahogany casket that was the size of a baby. I have nightmares even ten years later about foreseeing the death of my son. I must’ve been about 7 months pregnant when it happened the first time. I remember waking up in a cold sweat with a wet face, probably from crying in my sleep. At the time, I didn’t think much about it. And I didn’t tell a soul about it. And then I dreamed it…

  • Charlie,  Sad Stuff,  Writer

    Eleven. 11. XI. Part 2.

    I have seen death. I have held it in my arms.  I have seen the beauty that comes after the darkness. I have seen the light that shines brightly on those who remember.  I have witnessed the transition from a perfect child to a perfect angel.  I have seen death. I have held it in my arms.  I have experienced the most perfect love. I continue to hold it in my heart. Happy 11th Angel Day, Charlie.