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Latest from Daryn Kagan

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New puppy brings surprising lessons

4:00 AM Wednesday, Apr. 19, 2017

Puppy School. The 24-hour academy launched the moment we brought home our Bluetick Coonhound-Beagle-dachshund rescue pup. We call her “Butter.” The first thing we’ve learned is that the learning never stops. Ever. Let me be clear, though. It’s Mama, not the puppy, getting schooled. I’m getting schooled on things...
Chasing someone else’s version of ‘Amazing’

4:00 AM Wednesday, Apr. 12, 2017

I got naked this week. I get naked every week. Every day, for that matter. This week, I did it for you and for this column. I did it to test a trap I’ve fallen into since high school: the “I’m missing out,” trap. It started with that friend. Perhaps you know her, too, Dear Reader. The one who always described every...
The tools you need to get through tough times

4:00 AM Wednesday, Apr. 05, 2017

Well, that was the easiest birthday gift ever. It’s not easy to find a gift for the woman who has, well, a lot. And, at the same time, not the life she planned. She planned on spending the rest of her life with her college sweetheart. They had been married for 30 years. She planned on setting off on a new adventure with him and creating...
What do you do with a dream that takes forever to come true?
 I stood in the back of a bookstore this week and cried. “Something got in my eye,” I would’ve said if anyone asked. I grabbed one of the paper napkins from the table with a plate of cookies to wipe a nose drip away. Classy, I know. I don’t know why I bothered. I love those tears. What prompted them. Besides, no one...

4:00 AM Wednesday, Mar. 15, 2017

I stood in the back of a bookstore this week and cried. “Something got in my eye,” I would’ve said if anyone asked. I grabbed one of the paper napkins from the table with a plate of cookies to wipe a nose drip away. Classy, I know. I don’t know why I bothered. I love those tears. What prompted them. Besides, no one...
What I wish I would have said to my mother

5:00 AM Wednesday, Mar. 08, 2017

My mother has cancer. It has metastasized to her forehead. Her eyebrow, actually. She’s in pain and she’s angry. This is all horrifying and sad. And, interesting. Interesting, because my mother passed away last August. I’m living what you might know, Dear Reader. You, who has said goodbye to someone you love. Someone who...
Daughter’s secret causes moral dilemma

5:00 AM Wednesday, Mar. 01, 2017

They are words that inspire panic in any well-meaning parent. “I’m going to tell you something,” my daughter announced this week, “but you have to promise me you won’t tell any other member of this family.” Talk about the ultimate morals test. On one hand, I was thrilled and relieved that Daughter trusted...
The final test to validate our marriage

5:00 AM Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017

It’s possible our marriage wasn’t even legal. It’s not like my husband and I were in a crazy hurry. We dated for two years. Carefully read and answered a book with 247 pre-marital questions. And yet, somehow we got hitched without what Husband said he would never do. “We can’t get married without going on a canoe...
The crazy stuff you do when you lose love

5:00 AM Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017

I’ve become that lady. You know, the crazy one. You probably figured this was coming, Dear Reader. I’m officially that crazy lady who misses her dog. I don’t just miss my dog. Most days, I ache. It’s been about two months since DarlaDog passed. I still swear I can hear her collar jingling in the other room. I still...
Terrorism attack changes survivor’s heart forever

5:00 AM Wednesday, Feb. 08, 2017

A sweet boy from high school taught me something about love this week. Of course, he is no longer a boy. He is now a man, a husband and a father. An incredibly happy one last July as he walked along Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France. Do you remember the evil that happened that night as the French celebrated Bastille Day, their independence...
The question that might change your next step

5:00 AM Wednesday, Feb. 01, 2017

Oh, it’s bad. I knew it was bad. I just didn’t realize how bad until that phone call this week. It was my friend, the pastor, in distress. She’s not actually my pastor — rather, my lifelong friend who grew up to become a pastor. She’s the one I call when my emotions have me twisted like a pretzel inside an old...
The best birthday present I’ve ever received

5:00 AM Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017

Welcome to my birthday week. I share this not to encourage you to send a gift. Rather, the exact opposite. Don’t bother. There’s no need, as I long ago received my best gift ever. All others have always paled in comparison. This one showed up 2 1/2 weeks before my seventh birthday. A gift I knew was on the way. My parents gave...
The moment I realized I failed at parenting

5:00 AM Wednesday, Jan. 04, 2017

My daughter will tell you I’m crazy. She doesn’t understand at all. Somewhere between two days before Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I simply had a revelation. I messed up. It wasn’t my mother-in-law’s chocolate pie. It wasn’t my first novel. Although, I certainly did a fine job of making a disaster of both...
Lies my dog and I told each other
 What can I say? I lied to my dog. Each day for almost 17 years I declared, “You are the smartest! The prettiest! The most clever! Best dog ever.” Well, the day she ate the stuffing out of my neighbor’s antique chair, I might’ve had a few other choice words. Still, I bet that day, any day, really, she heard me. Smartest...

5:00 AM Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016

What can I say? I lied to my dog. Each day for almost 17 years I declared, “You are the smartest! The prettiest! The most clever! Best dog ever.” Well, the day she ate the stuffing out of my neighbor’s antique chair, I might’ve had a few other choice words. Still, I bet that day, any day, really, she heard me. Smartest...
A missing recipe helps a grieving heart

5:00 AM Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016

What to do with the hole in my heart? You’ve been busy, Dear Reader — filling it up with recipes. For carrot ring. I shared in a recent column how this is my first round the holidays without my mom. My mom, who passed in August. My mom, who left much behind. But not her recipe for carrot ring. How my sister and I were freaking...
The joy of catching my husband in a love affair

5:00 AM Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016

I never expected to catch my husband doing this. Not this husband. Not during what should be a season of gift giving. Oh, sure, every wife is shocked and says her man would be the last to love another girl. I can say it with fortitude. Not my husband. Not this girl. But it has happened. I’ve caught him. It appears husband has fallen...
Fever proves it: Marriage has another degree of difference

5:00 AM Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2016

It’s not that I’m blaming anyone. After all, the terms were right there in bold print in the Mommy Contract. Maybe you signed the same one, Dear Reader? The one where you swear you don’t believe in germs — not when it comes to taking care of your ailing family. You convince yourself you’re invincible, have a...
Mom figures out how to have it all
 My friend, Lori, is nuts. Some would say. Who walks away from a job she worked more than 20 years to get? A job she loves. A job with perks. Who does that? A certain kind of woman. Also known as, A mom. “My kids are now 9 and 5, precious ages I don’t want to miss,” she shared this week on Facebook. Trading in 9-5 for her...

5:00 AM Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016

My friend, Lori, is nuts. Some would say. Who walks away from a job she worked more than 20 years to get? A job she loves. A job with perks. Who does that? A certain kind of woman. Also known as, A mom. “My kids are now 9 and 5, precious ages I don’t want to miss,” she shared this week on Facebook. Trading in 9-5 for her...
When your holiday family gathering is hard to swallow

5:00 AM Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

This would appear to be some incredibly poor planning. Thanksgiving. There is no holiday I love more. The spirit of gratitude. The food. You, too, Dear Reader? You are days away from going to great effort to gather around an abundant table of food with your family. You might even spend a lot of money and time to get there. A lovely thought...
When your brilliant idea doesn’t go according to plan

5:00 AM Wednesday, Nov. 09, 2016

I take you into a romantic and intimate moment of my marriage this week. A chance to show my husband how well I know him. How much I love him. A few days ago, I was walking back from the grocery store. Along this path between the store and our house. A path where Husband likes to go running. As I carried the groceries, I looked down the way...
Finding happiness in a can of soup

4:00 AM Wednesday, Nov. 02, 2016

I am not alone in this. I realized the other day. Thoughts of what it means to be alone. What it means to be happy. A seemingly spontaneous conversation with one of my teens brought this back. The memory splashing so fresh as we stood in the kitchen. The same kitchen I stood in when I was always the one to call. Single. No kids. I could always...
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