The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions
I Brake for Moms
February 22  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
Help your local Girl Scout, even if you order online Have you bought Girl Scout cookies yet? I'm a Daisy troop leader and my girls are super excited. Their uniforms are pressed with badges in place, and they've worked hard to master multiples of four, because with the exception of the gluten-free Toffee-tastic, cookies sell for $4 a box.

This is the first year Girl Scouts have offered online ordering through Digital Cookie and they're taking a lot of flak. A famous blogger named Jenny Lawson, aka "The Bloggess,"...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
February 15  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
Fed up with the squirrel show out my back window There's a 24/7 squirrel orgy going on in my backyard. Every time I look out the window squirrels are copulating on my picnic table. And on the fence. And in the trees. And in the bamboo. It's like a really twisted show on cable.

We're one of the few families on our cul-de-sac who don't own a dog or cat. Our pet fish, Princess Rip-jaws, is pretty fierce, but she's not very good at chasing squirrels away. So all of the squirrels in the neighborhood party at our house. It's...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
February 8  |  By Jenny Bardsley
My husband and I recently celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary, which is a relief because Year 13 was very unlucky — for our wedding presents.

Our pots and pans developed deep grooves, making me wonder if I had inadvertently fed my family nonstick coating. Entertaining was difficult because I accidentally ground up one too many forks in the garbage disposal. Our sheets were threadbare. At least our china was in mint condition — because we hardly ever used...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
February 1  |  By Jenny Bardsley
Some of us aren't football crazy; please don't hold it against us I have a shocking confession to make: I don't like football.

I hesitate to admit that in public, especially on today of all days. But although I am in the extreme minority, I know I am not alone. So for all you people who feel like 12th Man Club rejects, this one's for you.

We football widows, or football orphans, don't understand what the fuss is about. To us, football looks like violence and a lot of commercial breaks.

Fifteen minute quarters go...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
January 25  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
Did you know that when the great American philosopher Henry David Thoreau was living the self-reliant life on Walden Pond his mother, Cynthia Dunbar, did his laundry? I think about her every time I toss a load of my kids' clothes in the dryer. If I don't have a plan, I might fold socks forever.

I'm not ready to entrust my children with detergent yet, but this past year I commissioned my 9-year-old with the task of putting fresh sheets on his bed every week. Teaching him...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
January 18  |  By Jenny Bardsley
Every winter, croup hits my daughter with a force so hard that it knocks out our whole family. If you've dealt with croup, then you immediately understand. It's evil. But if you haven't, let's name my daughter's croup by its creator: Human Parainfluenza Virus (HPIV). Now doesn't that sound nasty?

When my daughter was a baby, croup meant she couldn't breathe. We'd be up all night whisking her into a steamy bathroom or out onto the icy front porch. My husband and I took...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
January 11  |  By Jenny Bardsley
Last week Herald reporter Diana Hefley wrote an article about the former treasurer of the Martha Lake Elementary School PTA allegedly stealing almost $40,000 from the nonprofit's funds. This story caught my attention because I am the treasurer of a school organization. I won't name what specific group, because I try to protect my children's privacy whenever possible, but it's very similar to a PTA.


»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
January 4  |  By Jennifer Bardsley Special to The Herald
2015 is only four days old and I am already thinking about 2016. That's because I have some happy news to share: "Publishers Marketplace" has announced my two-book deal with Month9Books, the Young Adult speculative fiction imprint of the Georgia McBride Media Group.

My first book comes out in 2016 and is about an 18-year-old girl who has never been on the Internet. Her lack of a virtual footprint makes her so valuable that she is auctioned off to the highest...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
December 28  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
When 2015 dawns bright and shiny, lots of people will begin new exercise regimes. Running, walking, biking, or the gym — there are lots of options out there. Personally, I'm an exercise video junkie. If you open up my media cabinet, "Buns of Steel" might hit you on the head.

Unfortunately for our storage space, I am not joking. We still own a VHS so I can watch old Kathy Smith videos. If you root around hard enough, you'll find Jane Fonda sitting next to...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
December 21  |  By Jenny Bardsley
If Disneyland is "The Happiest Place on Earth" what is Walt Disney World? I've wondered that ever since my family got back from our trip to Orlando. I think "euphoria" and "exhaustion" should both be in the motto.

I feel a bit guilty, but pulling my kids out of school the first week of December to visit Walt Disney World was totally worth it. That's when the crowds are supposed to be the smallest. I grew up going to Disneyland where you...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
December 14  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
Can you hear the stamp of felt feet? There is an army of elves mobilizing in Puget Sound, like they do every year without fail. Christmas House, Holly House, Matthew House, Toys for Tots; volunteers from every city work hard to bring a merry holiday to thousands of children whose families are on hard times.

Administrative elves work all year. They attend meetings, plan calendars and predict needs. Tinkering elves scout garage sales for bikes that can be fixed up and...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
December 7  |  By Jenny Bardsley
Have you ever endured six hours of snuggly hell? It's called flying home for Christmas with an infant.

When you show up at the boarding gate with Junior, airline passengers look at you with disgust — except for the first class people who assume you won't be seated next to them.

There you are with your diaper bag, breast pump, car seat and stroller. Hopefully your luggage doesn't get lost because your only outfit has spit up on it.

Nobody wants...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
November 30  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
In June of 2000 our family room couch first entered our lives. When my husband and I brought it home from Macy's, we were as nervous as any first time couch owners could be. Would the leather always be so soft? Would we be able to protect this furniture from harm?

As couches go, this one was a beaut. It was the type of couch that women want to buy and men want to sleep on. Brown with clean lines and soft padded arms, our couch could be equally comfortable in a formal...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
November 23  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
Maps confound me. There, I said it. I know my way around Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace really well, but anywhere else I'm lost.

If you take me to Eastern Washington I get even more disoriented. Case in point, on my first ever trip to Lake Chelan we took a break for lunch. "We're stopping in Leavenworth?" I asked, surprised. "I had no idea we'd drive through Leavenworth."

My husband, who's a Washington native, couldn't believe I...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
November 16  |  
One of the great joys of driving is listening to the radio. But when you have young kids in the backseat, which station you choose can be tricky because of bad words, scary news stories and off-color DJ humor.KPLU 88.5 is the perfect example. I love NPR and listen to it whenever I can — but not when my 5-year-old is in the car. I don’t want her to hear about atrocities in Iraq or other horrors because she could get nightmares. Jazz is much easier on little ears.

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
November 9  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
When is it time to let your children walk to school? Here's a difficult question: How old should a child be before he walks home from school alone? Let's say we're talking about a short distance in a quiet neighborhood. Does that change your answer?

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
November 2  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
I'm on the verge of doing something terrifying. I might offer to host Thanksgiving.

Fourth of July is easy. Been there, done that. Easter? No sweat. Christmas is a lot harder, but I'm experienced. Last December I cooked for 20 people.

But Thanksgiving has so many strings attached I get flustered even thinking about it.

First I'd have to hunt for the right bird. I know how to coupon and get a gigantic free turkey. But would a factory farmed bird taste...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
October 26  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
I've got my wicked witch hat on. It's invisible, but my kids know it's there. Any second now I'll start to cackle-laugh. My plan is to not let one piece of candy enter the house until October 31. I'm using my imaginary broom to sweep cavities from the house.

Buy it on sale. Stock up. Don't wait or they'll run out of Snickers! There are so many sweet reasons to buy candy ahead of time. The problem is, at my house, it'll all be gone by Halloween.

"Just one...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
October 19  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
Like many parents in our state, I have been closely following the 591 vs. 594 initiatives debate. I believe that any discussion about gun safety and the importance of the second amendment is a good thing.

Did you shoot your first gun at 8-years-old? Did you go to sleep at night with a rifle above your bunk bed? Did you attend school with a fifth grader who accidentally killed herself when she discovered a handgun? Or did you grow up in a house with no guns at all?

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
October 12  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
I was never late before I had kids. I was always the person who was 10 minutes early. Or else I'd show up on a person's doorstep at the exact minute she said her party was starting. Surprise, surprise, I was usually the first person there.

Then I got pregnant. My son was born three days past his due date and my punctuality has never recovered.

This fall it seems worse than usual. Our house is freezing cold because I haven't had time to vacuum out the vents and...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
October 5  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
Have you ever heard the saying "Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere?" I thought of that recently on the way home from IKEA.

My sweet little 5-year-old had an unfortunate experience at Småland, the free play area for children. To be clear, it was not the IKEA workers' fault.

What I think happened is that my daughter misunderstood the rules. She thought she was only allowed in the ball pit. A consummate rule follower, my daughter...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
September 28  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
"Ugh! I don't like Cinderella anymore, Mom." My kindergartner stared at the buy-one-get-one underwear I picked up from Fred Meyer and wrinkled her nose.

"What do you mean you don't like Cinderella? When did that happen?"

Truly, I don't know.

For a while my daughter would acquiesce to anything with Cinderella slapped across it. Toothpaste, running shoes, workbooks; it really didn't matter. You could have tied up chopped liver...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
September 21  |  By Jenny Bardsley
This past year I've had several encounters with Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. I've seen multiple wings, different care units and been present for difficult conversations. "Do you have a DNR? If you are dying, do you want chest compressions or a ventilator to save you?"

For a while there, before I had ever set foot in Providence, I felt oversaturated by their advertising campaign. I must have heard about Dr. Gina Cadena-Forney's pregnancy a...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
September 17  |  By Jenny Bardsley
Help kids understand the present by learning about the past I have a life-long love affair with historical fiction, so anytime I find a book that takes place in a different era I’m usually interested. That’s why I was excited to read Darlene Beck-Jacobson's new book "Wheels of Change" written for a middle grade audience. Darlene is also the author of the popular blog Gold From the Dust: Bringing Stories to Life.



»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
September 14  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
I did something decisively out of character today. I got out the ironing board. It's been so long since I've ironed that I almost forgot how. What's the correct order for ironing shirts? Is it collar, sleeves, buttons and back? I couldn't remember.

You can forget about distilled water. My iron was lucky to get tap.

By the third or fourth shirt I began to get in the groove. Sure, I probably messed up the procedural steps, but the results were tangible. Shirts...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
September 7  |  By Jennifer Bardsley
I know a lot of people with really cool tattoos. Loved ones' names, inspirational poems, religious symbols, your Girl Scout camp counselor symbol etched on your ankle; these markings I totally appreciate.

Recently Andrea Brown wrote an article called "Tattoos showing up on older folks' skin" about how tattoos have increased in popularity to the point that retirees are sporting fresh...

»» Click to continue reading this blog post.
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...
» More life
 


HeraldNet highlights

Meet her 'Evil Twin'
Meet her 'Evil Twin': EvCC instructor brings her dark comedy to the stage
Return of the grizzly?
Return of the grizzly?: Bears could be brought back to North Cascades
Snackable smelt
Snackable smelt: For a Northwest treat, fry up a batch of these small fish
Cheap labor — too cheap
Cheap labor — too cheap: Herald editorial: Young athletes should be paid their due