around the table

the thankful table

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve time around the dining room table at my grandparents’ house. We were there almost every Sunday after church, as well as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. We often spent Saturday evenings there, celebrating a family member’s birthday with a meal and a cake.

The table itself is not special. But what happened each time we gathered around it was.
(more…)

leaving a legacy

To Be Told team chapters

Things have been a bit quiet at the To Be Told site the last couple of weeks. But the To Be Told team has been quite busy. Last week was a half-work-half-holiday travel week for us. And as we were winding down our time in Iceland, I learned that my grandmother had passed away. So I returned home long enough to pack a bag and sleep about 4 hours, then headed back to the airport to travel to the states.

To Be Told is all about telling people’s stories. But sometimes a person can’t fully tell their own story without sharing a bit of the stories of the people who made them who they are. And that is definitely true for me. For example, to tell my story would involve a good bit about my mom’s parents, who’ve played a big role in my life.

So I’m borrowing from our other blog (www.notesfromnorge.com) and sharing here what I shared there earlier this week.  (more…)

you complete me. (and all those other cheesy movie lines…)

To Be Told team chapters

dove-family-2015-148When Zack (my husband) and I were probably around 25 years old, we began asking people around us, “when did you finally feel like you were an adult?”The answers varied. Sometimes it was a certain age. Sometimes it was connected to a specific life even like a job or a death in the family. I recall one friend saying “when I had my second child.” (more…)

Mother’s Day: not always easy

To Be Told team chapters

Several years back, I worked for Examiner as the Atlanta Adoptive Families writer. In one article, I shared my thoughts and feelings about Mother’s Day, particularly as a woman who spent years waiting and wishing to become a mom. And since American Mother’s Day is this Sunday, I thought I would share the [slightly edited] text of the article below. You can read the original post HERE.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(more…)

life lessons from a twin-pack of Pop Tarts

To Be Told team chapters

Cross-cultural living can be exciting. Boring. Confusing. Eye-opening. Here’s a story I shared on another website about a year ago, talking about one of those eye-opening moments.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Somewhere in the skies between our sleepy little town of Sandefjord and the bustling capital of the Netherlands, we sat side by side. Trays down, awaiting whatever culinary masterpiece the Dutch airline had carefully selected as the snack for coach class.

(more…)

homesick

To Be Told team chapters

As we go down this To Be Told road, I want to share more about the To Be Told team. To understand what we do and why, it is probably good to hear a few of our stories as well.

Today, let me tell you a bit about who we are. Well, from a geographic point of view, for now…

feb292Our family is a bit cross-cultural. Zack and I were born in America. Our two sons were born in Ukraine. We lived for a short time in Canada. And since February 2013, the four of us have called Norway home.

This past December, we went back to the states for two months. Upon returning home to Norway, I was feeling a lot of different emotions. And I suddenly came to the point where I realized that for a number of years now, I’ve been living with one constant: (more…)

Bear-ly Alive

To Be Told team chapters

To hear our younger son tell it, we were once almost eaten by a bear. And while it wasn’t quite that dramatic, I do remember being awfully scared.

bear2It was October 2012. With just a few weeks left before we moved away from the states, we decided to squeeze in an overnight family camping trip in the North Georgia mountains. So we packed up and made our way to one of our favorite camping spots.

(more…)

i hate cancer

To Be Told team chapters

Have you seen the shirts? The bumper stickers? The social media posts? Three little words. But a strong statement against a dreadful disease:

I HATE CANCER.

BillHowardPhotography

©Billy Howard Photography (1994) A rare glimpse of me during chemo, from the art show & book Angels & Monsters: A Child’s Eye View of Cancer (find it HERE on Amazon)

Okay, some actually use a two-word statement quite a bit stronger. But we’ll attempt to keep this story family-friendly.

I have to admit, I’m not much of a fan myself. I’ve seen it throw people into a tailspin. I’ve seen dreams shattered. I’ve seen what it does to seemingly strong bodies. I’ve seen the tears, uncertainty, anger, fear, questioning: the gamut of emotions which pour out.

(more…)