Shel is married to a handsome dare devil of a man, the mother of 3 beautiful & independent girls, a retired fire lieutenant, current disaster responder & international aid team leader. She spends her spare time coaching volleyball & teaching at the local UW and technical college on a variety of topics from pre-hospital medicine to surviving the zombie apocalypse. She is a prolific reader and seldom forgets a useless piece of information...only the important stuff.

We Don’t Really Care About Our Kids’ Grades

Grades aren't really important at our house. I know. It seems sacrilegious in the competitiveness of today's age, but I don't care. To me, a grade is a subjective measurement of what one person thinks...

A Letter to My Child in Your Heartbreak

To My Darling Child in Your Heartbreak: I see your sadness and the way you question your worth and there are so many things I wish you knew. I know it is hard to hear,...

How Christmas Changes Along with the Tree

I would like to say that is was some earth-shattering change such as discovering that artificial trees are better for the environment or that someone in the family was allergic to the Christmas tree...

These Lines Across My Face Tell the Story

Many years ago, Brandi Carlile wrote and sang a song called ‘The Story.’ The song is an internal monologue of a woman singing about who everyone thinks she is versus who she actually is....

Fire Prevention Week :: Tips from a Former Firefighter and Mom

Fire Prevention Week comes every October, this year falling on October 8 - 14. My kids are grown or in high school and coloring book reminders no longer come home with them in fall....

Walking the Tight Rope with my Teenager

This is my third teenager, so you would think I would have this down by now. I still feel like I am walking a tight rope every day. My first two daughters were like open...

The Last Time I Cleaned My Daughter’s Room

I am cleaning my daughter's room today. I know. So what else is new. We ask our kids to clean their rooms over and over again and how often do they do it the first...

I Just Blinked

Time seems to pass in the blink of an eye. I listened to an interview with Barry Gibb the other day — the handsome Gibb brother from the BeeGees. Yes, I know, some of...

A Parent’s Guide to Smartphone Apps

So, you got your kid a smartphone. Seemed like a good idea at the time. They're useful, increase social standing, AND OPEN YOUR KID'S LIFE UP TO ALL KINDS OF DANGERS. I don't mean to alarm parents who...

The Case for a Simple Holiday

It is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of holiday traditions. We all want to make memories that last a lifetime and instill a sense of holiday tradition in our kids. But,...