Posts by Annie Reed

Spray Paint, Baklava, and the Bumpy Road from Annunciation to Magnificat

I have a charming, beautiful toddler. She makes us all laugh, she’s mischievous, she’s lots of fun. She is also very, very boring. The TV shows she watches are made for her age group, so there are a lot of bright colors and life lessons about sharing and caring. The books we read to her are a bit better, but even the best books for little kids, like “George and Martha” and “Frog and Toad”, have a soporific effect on…

Inhaling Joy

I went to my friend Amy’s for dinner last week. I walked in her front door, exhaling the stress of the day and inhaling the warmth of the risotto cooking on her stove, the fire in her fireplace, and the smile of her beautiful son who looked up from his game to say, “Hi, Miss Annie!” Amy’s house is where it’s at if you are looking for relaxation, for welcome, and for, well, food. I walked to the kitchen and…

A Counselor’s Couch and a Coffee Table

We sat on a counselor’s couch, trying to figure out why so many of our conversations devolved into battles. Everything from how long the baby should be allowed to have a pacifier (I usually win the baby battles) to what the best route would be to any given destination (my husband always wins the battles related to maps) is fair game for us for a tense game of verbal tug of war, with the winner pulling the rope a little…

Shining Faces

When my husband and I were dating, we only saw each other on the weekends. We met at a summer job, but aside from the one month we overlapped there, we never actually lived in the same place until we got married. We started dating a few months after the summer job ended, me finishing up college and him starting a teaching job. Because we couldn’t spend a lot of time together, the time we got was particularly special. Each…

Throwups and Wakeups and Dinner, Oh My!

Things are not always what they seem. Knowing how important a good night’s rest is for health and well-being, people often ask me how much sleep I get—and for good reason. As a mother of five kids, I’ve spent many nights awake, feeding and soothing babies, cleaning up vomit from sick kids, and tending children having an asthma attack at 2 a.m. The assumption is that being up with kids at night is torturous and completely exhausting. And while the…

The Nose

A few years into our marriage, my husband started calling me “The Nose.” There was some irony in this because it is my husband’s side of the family that is known for their large noses. But the reason Phil gave me this nickname had nothing to do with the size of my nose. In fact, it is pretty small. Rather, by the time our fifth anniversary rolled around, I had smelled four different gas leaks in the various apartments and…

Such a Birth

When I was pregnant with my first child, my husband and I took a childbirth class at the local hospital where I would be giving birth. It was not a class that favored natural childbirth per se—it was more of an overview of the different ways that women give birth, whether that be with many interventions like epidurals and Caesarean sections, or with few. I loved the vibe of the class—the happy expectant parents, the supportive dads who wanted what…

No Mere Mortals

A dear friend of mine works for an organization that helps resettle immigrants and refugees in Buffalo. I’ve heard from her for years about her work—this Burmese family who hopes to start a restaurant, that Congolese man who was recently reunited with his large family, this Iraqi woman whose name could not be disclosed for fear of violent repercussions. And while I have always admired my friend’s work, I am ashamed to say that I did not pay a lot…

Twice As Nice

A few years ago, I got a cantaloupe at my local Aldi grocery store. While I’ve always been something of an Aldi evangelist, I’ve also always been suspect of their produce. As an inhabitant of a northern state, my rule with Aldi produce is this, particularly in the winter months: the hotter the climate the item was grown in, the less likely it is to be good by the time it gets to Aldi’s northerly shelves. Of course this is…

Grandfathered In, Grandfathered Out

I have always been fascinated by the idea of “the grandfather clause”. The phrase dates back to England’s King Henry II, who declared when he became king in 1154, “Let it be as it was on the day of my grandfather’s death.” His cousin Stephen had been king after a series of family conflicts and deaths, and Henry was glad to have the throne restored to his direct family line. Henry wanted several of Stephen’s decrees undone, which led to…