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Hello! My name is Shannon Taylor. I'm a long-time writer and editor from Minnesota surprised to find myself on an island in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, three younger children (the oldest is attending college in Chicago), and two dogs.


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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
+ Robert Fulghum

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Winter Fun

Archive for 'Parenting'

Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week Four

Day 22: Harry Potter Bookmarks (And a book!)
Since moving to the island two years ago, we needed to come up with new traditions of our own. One of the traditions we adopted is the Icelandic ritual of giving books and chocolate on Christmas Eve. But you could give out books a couple days early. Especially […]

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Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week Three

We’ve just finished the Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week Two, so now it’s on to Week Three.
Day 15: Levitating Lemon Drops
I bought a good-sized bag of lemon drops on Amazon and made simple “Levitating Lemon Drops” print-outs. And then I just filled four of the incredibly useful clear cellophane bags that I keep on hand, […]

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Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week Two

We’re picking up right from where we left off in the Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week One.
Day 8: Apparating Game
Ask your kids: “If you could apparate to anywhere in the world, where would it be?” You can use a map, books, or go online to find ideas or do some exploring. Or, if you have […]

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Harry Potter Christmas Countdown: Week One

Our Advent Box has been at the heart of our Christmas celebrations since the kids were small. They’d take turns opening the doors to reveal Hershey’s Kisses and a little slip of paper with anything from a joke to directions for a Christmas project or the announcement of a fun outing or party taking place […]

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Bainbridge Walk: South Beach

Isak Dinesen wrote that the cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea. I believe her. If I’m having a bad day or just feeling “bleh,” my favorite walk is the three-mile loop from our house down to South Beach Drive and back.

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Happy Weekend

Hello! Did you have a good week? We’re back from Andrew’s high school band trip to Walt Disney World and are settling into our regular routine. Funny how easy it is to slip into vacation mode and how hard it is to slip out of it!
I’m so happy we tagged along on the trip. The […]

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Dear Future Mom: World Down Syndrome Day—March 21

I’m expecting a baby. I discovered that he has Down Syndrome. I’m scared: what kind of life will my child have?
I think many of us are familiar with “Welcome to Holland,” an essay Emily Perl Kingsley wrote to offer encouragement to parents of children with special needs struggling with the lost dream of a “normal child.”
Well. […]

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Amy Poehler: No One Looks Stupid When They’re Having Fun

{ Bona Fide Amor }
Before I became a mom, I had no idea that my kids would teach me just as much as I teach them. More, actually.
Like this morning. Andrew came downstairs wearing a striped hat à la The Cat in the Hat.
“Why the hat?” I said.
“It’s hat day,” he said.
“Doesn’t that usually mean […]

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Pilgrimage to Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

It’s March 2004. We’re in Tomorrowland, seated at a table just outside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. Over the weekend we attended a cousin’s wedding in nearby Cocoa Beach and now we’re spending a few days at Disney World before heading home to the frozen tundra. Andrew is 5, Lexie is 3, William is 1. We’re enjoying […]

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Morning Star and Weekend Links

Your moment of winter zen: the waning crescent moon and Venus, the morning star. Thank you, Tim!
And thank you all so much for listening to me fuss about my cold yesterday. I talked to a friend last night and was glad to hear I’m not the only one who takes getting sick so personally. Strong […]

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