• Writing About Women + Friendship in Little Milestones

    For the past several years, I’ve watched a PBS show called Call the Midwife. It’s a series based on the memoirs entitled Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End by Jennifer Worth, a district nurse and midwife who was living in the East End of London during the 1950s. The show intermingles birth and birth issues experienced by a group of midwives consisting of nurses/midwives and nuns, with the theme of women friendships at the core of all these characters who live together in Nonnatus House. When I first came across this show, I was mesmerized. In my own life, I’d experienced some ill-fitting friendships and was…

  • Travel, Interrupted

      Lesson learned in 2018: Perhaps avoid planning travel excursions during the holiday season when people are getting sick and germs are running rampant. Last week, the day after Christmas, for the second year in a row, we had planned a trip to Asheville, North Carolina, with two days in Williamsburg to follow at Christmas. We’ve been trying to do a little more travel and less material gifts with our kids now that they are older teenagers. And so, last year, the trip was put off because my son, as a then senior in high school, had a ton of homework and presentations to put together for both school and…

  • Merry Christmas From Our Family To Yours

        * Wishing all of you the happiest of holidays, the merriest of Christmases, and blessings for the year to come. May the season bless you with family, friends, and lots of good storytelling. Thank you so much for connecting with me, supporting me, and reading all my craziness here on Steph’s Scribe—especially those of you who have been with me since 2011 when this blog began. Love you all.  

  • The Ache That Happens As Your Kids Grow Up

    In August, we dropped my oldest off at college. He is living on campus at a university that is almost two hours from our house. It’s not that far, but far enough to feel the distance. As we moved him into his room and helped him set up his dorm, even running to Target at the last minute for some things, we were in the heat of the moment. Our kid was going away for the first time, and my husband and I were coping with it okay (and I’m a college professor, so you would think this would be easy as I’ve been around it as my occupation). My…

  • When Are You The Happiest? Part One

    * I think that we can all confirm the obvious—we work a lot. Here, in the United States, we work many, many hours, whether those hours are at work, outside work, in the classroom, outside the classroom, attending meetings and conferences, or attending other notable business-related practices as needed, when needed. I never realized how much we worked—truly—until I sat on the edge of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy, on the River Arno with my husband. We had purchased fresh Prosciutto, mozzarella, olives, roasted red peppers, and bread, and made ourselves a little picnic as we watched people close up shops for the afternoon siesta. I believe the words…

  • Your Earliest Memories: What Do You Remember?

    *** I remember dearly my great grandparents. In fact, my great grandfather outlived my own grandfather, who died of Leukemia at the young age of 63. I bring this up because we were having a conversation the other day about our earliest memories—things we remember from being a kid. I have some distinct early memories as a child growing up in New Jersey before we moved to Maryland when I was five years old. Several of my early memories involve my mom’s parents’ house on Myrtle Avenue in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. They lived in a Cape Cod style house—an adorable little thing with a back yard full of gardens,…

  • In Summer, The Song Sings Itself

    In a little over a week, I’ll be back on campus teaching my fall college courses. Some people may dread the thought of work, but not me. I always look forward to the fall and going back to school, to using my brain, to being in the classroom, and to seeing young, eager minds ready to work. BUT I’VE HAD A WONDERFUL SUMMER. Yes. I have had one of the best summers of my life. I have enjoyed every tick-toc moment of it. Even as I’m writing this, I am sitting on my new back porch working from home, and taking a quick break from researching and writing a textbook…

  • Wrapped Up in Love

    Wrapped Up in Love—I used this particular phrase recently when I told my friend Sarah, whose father-in-law was visiting her over the holidays for a month (or more), that he must feel “all wrapped up in love” as he spends some quality time with her family. He lives far from them, and moved in for the weeks leading up to and through the Christmas holiday and New Year’s. This particular photograph that’s posted filled with words on a page is one that is going viral—I’ve seen it on all sorts of social media sights, and I’m not sure what the originating source is. I’m seeing lots of my friends post…

  • Caution: I Pause For Happiness

    * * * I actually heeded this advice for the past four days. There were several times when I paused this Thanksgiving weekend and looked around me, as if my eyes were a camera recording the moment. I didn’t want to forget this particular holiday weekend. I wanted to keep it for all times in that wonderful place called my memory. I took in sights, sounds, and smells. Some might say our Thanksgiving table had few people sitting around it. I hosted the dinner, and there were only eight of us: my immediate family, my parents, and my husband’s parents. I would say that it’s not the number of people…

  • The Truth About MOM FASHION

    Let’s get right to it. It’s time for a little truth. Today’s topic is MOM FASHION. This is no joking matter. It’s imperative that if you are a mom, or know a mom, you pay close attention to the instructions I’m about to lay out for you. Free advice, coming to you right on this blog. It’s time we had a little chat about fashion. I’ve held off for long enough, but I’m afraid the fashionista in me has been silent for too long. I need to roar. (Part of that could be because I’m a Leo, and we like to be heard). Moms out there, listen up. Here are…

  • The Reviews Are Rolling In & An Excerpt From The Book. What People Are Saying About “Beneath the Mimosa Tree.”

    Dear Readers, Well, it’s been two weeks today since I let it go out into the world. So now what are people saying about my debut novel entitled “Beneath the Mimosa Tree?” I thought I’d let these lovely comments do all the talking, but before I do, I wanted to share an excerpt from the novel just to stir your interest if it hasn’t already been stirred. Then, enjoy reading what people are saying. We independent authors can use all the support we can get to spread the word about our work. For those of you who have liked the book, thanks for your kind recommendations to others. I can’t…