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Diane Stark

In the Meantime

By Diane Stark

In the Meantime

“Mom, can we get a box of mini muffins?” My daughter, Julia, asked during a recent shopping trip. “Jules, that box is over three dollars and there aren’t enough packages for everyone in our family.” She sighed. “I wish we had fewer kids in our family. My friend’s mom buys these muffins for her breakfast […]

Making Peace with 40

By Diane Stark

Making Peace with 40

“Are you super excited about your birthday, Mommy?” My five-year-old son, Nathan, asked with his usual bouncy enthusiasm. But I wasn’t feeling the same level of excitement. “No, Honey, I’m not all that excited.” His eyebrows shot up. “Really? But birthdays are the best day ever. There’s presents, and cake, and parties. And presents.” “When […]

A Party of One

By Diane Stark

A Party of One

I’ve always thought of myself as an extrovert. I am a born story teller and I love making people laugh. If you asked my friends and family, every one of them would label me as a chatty people person. But recently, I heard something that made me reevaluate my entire personality. At a writer’s conference […]

A Silver Lining Day

By Diane Stark

A Silver Lining Day

It hadn’t been a great day. I’d woken up that morning with a plan, but nothing had worked out the way it was supposed to. I’d made plans to meet a friend for coffee, but I’d had to cancel when the school nurse called and asked me to pick up my son from school. I’d […]

A Fire in My Heart

By Diane Stark

A Fire in My Heart

For most little girls, growing up in the ’80s meant Cabbage Patch dolls, slumber parties, and Molly Ringwald movies on Beta tapes. But for me, all of those things were set aside in 1984. That year, something else took center stage in my life. Mary Lou Retton had won the Olympic gold medal for gymnastics. […]

Max, Lucy, and a Mouse Named Mouse

“Mommy be careful!” My three-year-old son, Nathan, exclaimed. “You almost sat on Mouse!” My mouth dropped open. “There’s a mouse in here?” He nodded. “Of course. He’s sitting right there.” He pointed at the chair I’d been about to sit in just moments before. I turned around and looked at the empty chair. “There was […]

Expecting Decadence

By Diane Stark

Expecting Decadence

I grew up in a large family where family vacations were a big deal. We went somewhere every single summer, but because there were six of us, we drove everywhere we went: In our green station wagon with the wood paneling on the sides. One summer, we drove from Indiana to New Mexico to visit […]

A Better Version of Myself

“I can’t believe the summer is almost over already,” my kids and I lament every August. “And we didn’t do anything we wanted to do,” we say. Somehow, year after year, the summer months just seem to slip through our fingers, and we’re left feeling like we should have had done more, seen more and […]

Comfy in the Country

By Diane Stark

Comfy in the Country

“Are you sure about this?” My friend Erin asked me when I flashed my new engagement ring and announced that I would be moving from the Chicago suburbs to a rural community in southern Indiana. “You’re really going to move to a teeny tiny town nobody’s ever heard of?” “Why not?” I said with a […]

A Good (Enough) Moment

By Diane Stark

A Good (Enough) Moment

“Nathan, be careful when you open that,” I cautioned my five-year-old son – three seconds too late. “Uh oh,” Nathan said, holding an empty chicken nugget box and pointing to his lunch, which was now on the floor. He grimaced. “Sorry, Mommy.” I sighed and bit my tongue. I’d just picked Nathan up from preschool […]

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