Scenes from Saturday + Music & Movies

Being your own family’s best friend is reinforcing the centuries old wisdom in the Stoic quote ‘moderation in all things.’ The best of intentions can turn sour when the volume is turned up too high. Even love, generosity, and affection. We are trying our best to give both kids the space they need to continue to grow. This might mean (often) biting our tongue over their study habits. Or missing an assignment. Or misinterpreting the answer Alexa is clearly feeding them.

It’s one of parenting’s more difficult tasks to willingly let your kids struggle especially if you have the answer or experience to correct them. Always giving them everything in the moment is a recipe for a long term disaster.

Always make sure they know you love them, of course, but no need to be in their hip pocket all the time. You don’t need to learn the facts about ancient Sumeria with them. They know you care about them.

Care about he kids, not the ancient city of Ur. They had their own family problems.

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The Simple & Easy Way to Test Your Oven

There are a lot of tips, tricks, and hacks out there to help you become a better, more confident baker. Always measure. Buy quality ingredients. Read the recipe first.

All of them will likely improve your baking game. But one part of the baking experience, a big part, is largely out of your control: your oven. Unless you are lucky enough to have professional-level home equipment, it’s likely that your oven has some unique… eccentricities. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Singing & Citric Acid

A new year and, if you work in a corporate job, you’ve likely recently been through the annual performance evaluation dance. I still remember one of my first reviews after college, while I was still a management consultant. I like working with you, Mike, because when I assign you something I know I don’t have it worry about it. It will be handled. I smiled. A nice, if banal enough, compliment, I thought at the time. The manager would go on to cut-and-paste that line into my next six reviews up until I left the company.

I took it for granted at the time that most working adults were self-sufficient and could solve problems. How naive and silly that appears now. Over the next fifteen years, I encountered so many people, many much smarter than me, that left me wondering how they were able to negotiate password requirements or log-in to Webex on their own.

Dealing with home schooling and the emerging social dynamics of middle schooling, sometimes (ok, many times) leaves Michelle and I stressed out over if the girls are making progress, hitting standards, and achieving goals. My performance evaluation reminded me there are other goals, arguably more important ones, to stress over as a parent because if they can’t solve problems, if they can’t overcome the child-safety lock on life, and take care of business on their own, than achieving the grade-level standard won’t mean a thing. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Muffins and M&Ms

Around New Year’s it’s impossible not to think about time. Time missed. Time passing. The last year brought an avalanche of missed trips, missed moments, and missed milestones but sitting on the couch New Year’s Eve trying to fit in one last glass of champagne before a dry January, it was easy to remember that if you are only looking for the big events, you’re missing a heck of a lot.

My parenting resolution for 2021 is to not forget that feeling, to not to constantly look for an Instagram result and just try to enjoy the daily parenting… struggle and take some reward from that. It’s easy to have this thought bleary-eyed with a glass of champagne, probably harder on Tuesday afternoon juggling Zoom log-ins and sixth grade science slides talking about thermodynamics.

But better to go for the obvious, big parenting belly flop than something completely unrealistic like getting the girls to actually shut off lights when they leave a room. Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + Attack & Recovery

Halfway through Christmas Day’s Zoom extravaganza, I had a (fleeting) moment of empathy for our outgoing president. He appears to constantly inflict self-harm on himself by believing there is something lacking despite being given everything. This insecurity, beyond being exhausting, must be far worse than any actual deprivation. The worry is always worse than the reality.

It seemed like an important lesson to try to teach them while they were young. Help them understand that they are good enough without a day filled with gifts. What they have is enough. What they are is enough.

What actually matters is what they do with it all. Continue Reading