I Love Me a Good Underdog

Eddie-the-Eagle-Movie-Poster (1)

When I traded in my high heels and laptop case for three kids and an extensive Crockpot repertoire, I was scared. As a social, artsy lady, I knew I would need a creative outlet, and I feared teaching a baby to wave bye-bye wouldn’t live up to be the cathartic experience I craved. What if […]

Why You Should Always Do Your Laundry Before Going to the Doctor’s

sexy underwear

I hadn’t seen my family practitioner since before I got pregnant with my son in 2009. My gynecologist was on speed dial, but my family doc and I had grown apart because I’m a user and didn’t need her. All of a sudden, I found myself two babies deep and halfway through 2011. Fearing my PCP felt jilted, I […]

Facing My Greatest Fear in Writing

A dystopian novel unit: independent research, active reading, and self-evaluation:

So many people reach a certain age and decide they are done. I see these people in my family tree, draped in cloaks of nonchalance, content in their oblivion. Done learning, done trying, done caring. I joke with my husband that he should smother me in my sleep if I ever turn the corner to Meh Town. I would […]

The Ultimate Online Baby Shower! #UOBS

RSVP

If you know anything about me, it’s that I. LOVE. BABIES. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t ache for the swell of my pregnant belly; I’m the lady in the grocery store staring longingly at your baby bump with grateful tears in her eyes. I understand if you want to move over a lane. […]

What’s the Secret?

English class wasn't my students' priority.

When a sophomore boy came crashing backpack first through my classroom window, I was standing inches from the rainstorm of glass. Completely unscathed, the student and his friends ran snickering from the scene. Shattered debris had destroyed the reading nook I’d created with my own money and high hopes of engaging at-risk readers. Jagged shards […]

What Has Life Taught Me That Nobody Else Has Learned

A dystopian novel unit: independent research, active reading, and self-evaluation:

The last time I took a creative writing class, I was at an uncomfortable metal desk as a sophomore in high school. After that, everything became very processed and less about the craft and more about proper punctuation and dangling participles. To make up for what I lost creatively, I kept journaling and writing poetry. My […]

Light In the Window

In her final breath, my Grandma helped restore my faith.

My paternal Grandmother and I weren’t particularly close. Situation and proximity saw to that; she enjoyed a much more fulfilling relationship with my cousins. As a child, that was hard to swallow. She rarely spelled my name correctly on birthday cards, and the one time a broken heart let my guard down, forcing me to cry in front of […]

I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!

Go on, #Loveyourself

Women waste too much time scrutinizing the crow’s feet at the corners of our eyes. We’re also quite good at making ourselves feel guilty when we don’t measure up to the one-size-fits-all expectations that other people have set for us. Other people who, by the way, we’ve never even met. Can we just make a rule right now: if we […]

So You Want a Gun

No guns for me

Some say that death and taxes are the only absolutes in life, but my pelvic floor wants to weigh in on this. I never have to pee as badly as when I’m balancing milk on one hip, a toddler on the other, and repeatedly trying to open the front door with my car key. The new […]

Listen To Your Mother: 2016 Pittsburgh Auditions

Lecture Hall

Some people look at the New Year as a blank slate, ready to write their own story. I am one of those people. I love the symbolic vat of opportunity that a new beginning brings, and this year, that vat has a name: Listen To Your Mother Pittsburgh. And speaking of symbolic, no one thing or […]

H&R Block Budget Challenge = $$ for your classroom

The H&R Block Budget Challenge is back! Register your classroom for a chance to win MILLIONS!

During my senior year of high school, I took a course called Independent Living. The class taught us things like how to balance a checkbook, a task I still struggle with (shut up), and how to manage money so we understood the steps in the Financial Order of Importance: Step 1: Earn paycheck Step 2: Pay bills Step […]

The Perfect Holiday Gift For Baseball & Softball Coaches

Clinic 2016

You know how when you marry a person, you also marry that person’s quirks and passions and annoying habits? Like I’m completely incapable of having a conversation before 7am, yet my husband put a ring on it. Bless his heart. And I willingly said “I do” to a baseball nut. In the dramatic throes of […]

A Cookie

Jankowski (3)

If you’ve been reading me for the last year or so, you know my almost 20-month-old daughter has had her fair share of issues. A short stint at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh where she staved off dehydration led to a plethora of testing and worry, including concerns that those holes in her heart hadn’t closed, and an […]

Winter: My Nemesis

CHPA_3037-OTC-Dry-Skin-Infographic_KYOTC_VER-1

One of my favorite winter activities is enjoying the untouched beauty of the first fallen snow…from within a warm house while wearing fuzzy slippers and sipping hot cocoa. Winter is not my friend. If she weren’t so cold or last so dang long, maybe I’d reconsider, but seeing as how she sticks around for what feels like half the year, winter […]

Things I’ve Learned Thanks to My First Colonoscopy

Do's & Don'ts of Prepping

Stomach troubles have plagued me for as long as I can recall. When I think of all the things they’ve ruined for me, one particular example comes to mind… My boyfriend had taken me to a romantic seafood restaurant then to see the Pittsburgh Symphony. But before the first note reverberated off of the crushed velvet walls, I was […]

If You Take My Mom To Target

If you take my mom to Target...

My Mom is not a shopper, which makes me wonder if I was accidentally given to the wrong woman upon my birth. You can imagine the teenage agony I experienced growing up that was my Mother’s refusal to shop with me. Ask your friend’s mom; she loves the mall! But she would hand over her Visa, and all […]

Countdown to Christmas: 25 Fun Ways to Ring in the Season

ChristmasCountdown

Christmas seems to fly by faster and faster, and this year, I’m putting my foot down. I called the Farmer’s Almanac and insisted they add days to the month of December, and they were all, “Lady, that’s not what we do.” Whatever. Since I can’t extend the season, I will make the most of every […]

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

ACORN

It was about 2am, and I was in the middle of one of those dreams so vivid you swear it’s real life. Surround sound, bright colors, and voices so clear and articulate you wake up looking for the people who were just in your brain. The best part of that kind of dreaming is suspending reality […]

Here We Go Again!

Giving motherhood in a microphone in Pittsburgh, PA. Audition and performance date information now available! Write an original piece on Motherhood and share your story with us!

I earned my superhero cape when I became a mom. So did you. Anything that requires so little sleep and so much wiping of another’s stinky butt with a smile automatically drapes a gal in silky Super Girlness. If Motherhood gives us the cape, Listen To Your Mother gives us the powers. Bringing Listen To Your Mother to Pittsburgh allowed local men and […]

Don’t Monday Morning Quarterback Me

Don't judge

There are days that feel like the big game is resting squarely on my sore shoulders. I’m the quarterback, the clock is running out, and gigantic dudes who get paid to lay me out are snarling threats inches from my face. Yet the job requires a cool head and clear thought process if I’m going to be anything that resembles successful. […]