Recent Blog Posts

A Tale of Two Dishwashers

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3 I’ve heard horror stories about how some spouses constantly butt heads with their in-laws. And I’m lucky because I don’t have those war stories. I love my husband’s family and he loves mine, and we’re blessed to get along the way we do. But there’s one tiny bone of contention between my husband and my mother, and I land squarely in the middle of the debate. Perhaps you can be the...

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How did I become my kids’ secretary?

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3 For years, mothers have been expected to wear several hats to get the child-raising job done – cook, nurse, teacher, chauffeur, psychologist, housekeeper, event coordinator and detective. But I had no idea that “administrative assistant” would become such a big part of what I do each week. It turns out that my kids – ages 12, 9 and 7 – need a full-time secretary to handle the reams of...

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My sweet addiction: How sugar sabotaged my quest to lose weight

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3 If you’d asked me a few months ago if I’m the kind of person who loves sweets, I’d have said no. And even though I didn’t know it at the time, that response would have been a big ol’ lie. I would’ve answered “no” because I’ve always been able to walk right past a bowl of candy without hesitating. Even a plate of cookies won’t break my will. Chocolate fudge? Nope, I can do...

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Top 3 things I’ve learned about stage fright

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3 Tomorrow I’m going to attend a luncheon and speak for 20 to 30 minutes to a room full of people. I’m headed to bed early tonight in hopes I’ll be rested and on my “A game” tomorrow. But we all know the night before a speech is often a restless one. I’ve wasted so many hours lying in bed the night before an event thinking about how much I need to go to sleep, unable to stop...

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Recipe for raising kids

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3 Yesterday, as I was standing over the stove stirring boiling macaroni noodles, I asked a question my family hears a lot around our house. “Wonder what I should write about this week. You guys have any ideas?” When you have a weekly writing deadline, you often pick the brains of those around you, hoping to find a seed of an idea that might grow into something bigger once you give it a little...

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41 Facts about Turning 41

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3 In a few days, I’ll turn 41 – which is a year past the black balloons and the “Oh Lordy, she’s 40” jokes. And it’s two years past 39, which I always felt was a desperate-sounding age, like it’s clinging to its last shred of youth by brittle fingernails. Forty-one seems like a mixed bag of good and annoying, so I’ve noted a few key observations about it here – 41 to be...

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Do you have “a life that’s good?”

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3 I like music but I’m not as into it as many people are. I’ve written before about how I treasure those times when I’m in the car alone and it’s absolutely quiet – nothing but the sound of the road. It gives my mind a chance to relax, and my writing is better when I have more opportunities to “hear myself think.” So the fact that I’m writing today about a song is ironic because I...

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Love Brands: Don’t mess with my toilet paper

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3 Tom did something shocking the other day. He came home from the store with a few things I’d asked him to pick up before the next snowstorm hit. As I unloaded the shopping bags, I stopped short. I picked up one of the packages, turned it around in my hands in disbelief and then held it up to Tom, as if he’d accidentally brought home toxic waste. “What is THIS?” I asked. “It’s toilet...

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Married with cold feet

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3 When you’ve been married for a while, gifts aren’t as big a deal as they once were. There have been several times in our 15-year marriage when, instead of rushing around to find an anniversary or Valentine’s Day gift, Tom and I just say, “Hey, want to skip the presents this year and just go out to eat and see a movie?” As long as both people are fine with that low-maintenance...

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What’s that supposed to mean?

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3 As a self-admitted “word nerd,” I love it when my kids want to know what something means. The English language is such a wonderfully complicated thing, and it’s fun to watch a kid’s comprehension grow along with her shoe size. But even word nerds are sometimes at a loss to explain why we say things the way we do. We have a very literal 7-year-old in the house who is often mystified by...

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