Sarah Smiley

Hard to move past this

These are the times when it’s difficult to write a column. After Theresa’s powerful message last week, I have nothing more to add. And yet I’ve thought of little else, except what she and her boys are going through. I don’t have any funny anecdotes about my own sons’ behavior, and I don’t have specific feelings about the shutdown. Every train of thought leads back to Theresa and Landon and their children.

Sarah Smiley: Week three of Lindell’s dramatic loose-tooth watch

There are two types of kids: those who eagerly rip out each loose tooth, even before its time, and those who let loose teeth live in their mouth until the skin attaching them to the gums mostly shrivels up. The crown is left spinning on its axis with each thrust of the tongue or even the slightest breath, and every father everywhere is compelled to ask, "Want me to tie a string around that thing?"

Depression doesn’t play favorites, but insurers do

When I wrote about depression three months ago, I was still, for the most part, in the throes of it.

Diary of a Snow Day: Crazy grocery shoppers and bored children

2 p.m. pre-storm: The school department cancels school 18 hours before the first bell would ring. This almost never happens. The kids haven’t even had a chance to go to bed with their pajamas on inside out. It’s like someone has spilled the beans about a surprise birthday party.

At 94, my grandmother Doris is still fighting

My favorite story Doris told me was about their new phone number in Boston. Big Jack was going to law school at Harvard, and neither of them had ever really lived outside of Alabama. Big Jack spent most of his days at the library reading, and when he came home to their small apartment, it was just to get something Doris could “throw between two pieces of bread” for dinner.

Sarah Smiley: No crying off the baseball field either

Crying is not allowed on the baseball field. You already knew that. But did you know that crying also isn't allowed off the field, in the concession stand, on the bleachers or in the score box either? I learned the hard way last weekend.

Do military spouses qualify as veterans, too?

Dustin told me not to write about military spouses forVeterans Day, but I’m going to do it anyway.

Sarah Smiley: Who loses a bag of frozen ravioli while making lunch?

Ask my oldest son, Ford, or my husband, Dustin, what they had for lunch the day we drove to Newport, Rhode Island, last year for April vacation, and they will probably remember. They’d also tell you what was playing on the radio and which movie the family had most recently seen together. Ford could probably tell you which shirt he had on.

Sarah Smiley: A surprising lack of home video footage of youngest sons

It was a not-so-dark and stormy night before Easter. A rash purchase, fueled by emotions and a day full of laundry (that will make sense later), had me lugging a box that was too big to be bagged out of Best Buy.

The Quiet Stories of 2013

There are so many wonderful, quiet stories in communities across the country that never “trend.”

Navy Wise: That old 1-2-3 punch of Old Man Winter returns

This time two weeks ago, Old Man Winter made an unexpected arrival and pummeled much of Maine with a foot of snow. In his wake: downed power lines, crippled trees and heaters that came to an abrupt stop.

Child’s stuffed animal is member of family

All of my children have had favorite stuffed animals during their childhoods

A letter to my future daughters-in-law

Columnist Sarah Smiley shares a letter to her future daughters-in-law.

Sarah Smiley: In Praise of Knitting

A year ago I was struggling with a major episode of anxiety and depression. I've dealt with both my whole my life, and I've used various things, some healthier than others, to cope. Last year, however, when my despair seemingly came out of nowhere, I felt like I had drained all my coping skills. What could I possibly do to help this time?

Sarah Smiley

As debate over women and the draft heats up, here’s your primer

The debate over whether women should also be required to register for Selective Service gained momentum last week. First, high-ranking military officers told Congress that it is the next logical step, and presidential candidates were forced to respond.

Sarah Smiley

How Dustin helped me get through the blues

A bout with depression was eased by help from husband, Dustin.

Grandma Doris

Sarah Smiley: Grandmother Doris’ lesson: ‘God is love’

To understand my grandmother, Doris, you had to know how Southern she was. Born in 1920, she spent her entire life, until she died last week at the age of 95, in Birmingham, Alabama. Doris didn’t love the South for its controversial past or the riots she lived through in the 1960s. She loved it because it was the only home she’d ever known.

Grandma Doris

Thirteen years later, meet husband Dustin

Maybe I don’t write about him enough. I mean, I write about what he does for work and how it impacts our lives, but I don’t write about who Dustin is as a person.

Sarah Smiley: The mistakes of motherhood are inevitable

Last month, Cherish Peterson, 27, left her 2-month-old son in a shopping cart outside an Arizona grocery store. According to Peterson, it was an accident. Her routine was off, and her three other children had distracted her. Also, you know, she just had a baby two months ago.

The Smiley children pose with Rep. Mike Michaud and Bo and Sunny.

The Smileys go to the State Dinner, Part 1

When the first invitation came via e-mail, I thought it was a joke. I mean, how often does one get an invitation to the White House? Then the formal invitation, printed on the finest paper I’ve ever held, arrived in the mail.

The Smiley children pose with Rep. Mike Michaud and Bo and Sunny.