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Diane Stark

When No One Else Will Do

“Mom, can I have some money for the Santa Shop at school?” My seven-year-old son, Jordan, asked. I sighed. As a single mom, money for non-essentials was pretty much non-existent. “Please, Mom? The Santa Shop is where all the kids go to buy Christmas presents for their families,” Jordan added hopefully. “And there’s something I […]

An Attitude of Gratitude

“Nathan did something today that neither one of my kids ever did,” my sister-in-law, Lori, said when I picked up my two-year-old son from her care. I sighed. “Oh, no, what did he do?” Lori chuckled. “It’s nothing bad, just the opposite actually. Nathan thanked me for changing his diaper.” I smiled. “Yes, he does […]

Crazy on the Inside

By Diane Stark

Crazy on the Inside

It hadn’t been a good day, and there was no sign of it getting better any time soon. As a first-year kindergarten teacher, I was scheduled to have my performance evaluation that day. Some time that day, but I didn’t know when. The principal was simply going to walk in, sit down and watch me […]

Why I Write

By Diane Stark

“Mom, I’m hungry,” says a child who got up from the dinner table precisely 16 minutes ago. “You can’t be hungry. You just ate,” mutters the overworked, overtired mother of five. “But I am hungry,” the aforementioned child insists. “New rule,” says Mom of Five. “You are not allowed to be hungry again until I’ve […]

Wanna Be Friends?

By Diane Stark

Wanna Be Friends

My To Do List and I have a love-hate relationship. Without it, I forget things. Phone calls don’t get made, and birthday cards don’t get sent. Things – sometimes important things – fall through the cracks. So I write the List because I don’t function well without it. But the truth is that I really […]

Times Have Changed – and So Have I

Is it weird to tell people – even strangers – how much your outfit costs? I hope not because I’ve never been able to refrain from doing it. Something inside me keeps me from simply accepting a compliment. When I was a teen, I saw the need to explain that the compliment was, in fact, […]

Real-Life Romance

By Diane Stark

Real-Life Romance

“Diane, why haven’t you brought the kids over yet?” My mother-in-law said into the phone. “I’m waiting to watch them so you and Eric can go out.” “Eric isn’t home from work yet,” I said, fighting tears “He’s late on your anniversary?” I tried to respond, but my tears took over. “All right, I’m calling […]

The Best Blessings

By Diane Stark

The Best Blessings

“OK, Diane, you’re doing well,” my obstetrician said, snapping off her rubber gloves. “You’re dilated to eight centimeters, so it shouldn’t be much longer.” As a first-time mom, I didn’t know that “not much longer” meant another seven hours. But on that day, I was clueless about more than just the birth process. My husband […]

I was a huge fan of the show Friends. My favorite friend was always Chandler…and Phoebe…and Joey too. Oh, I loved them all. But I think my real favorite was Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston. She was so interesting, both on the show, and especially in real life – interesting and seemingly perfect. She was […]

A Work in Progress

By Diane Stark

Finally lose that baby weight. Keep my house neater. Be a more patient, loving mom to my kids. Do a better job at work. All of the usual suspects when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions. Most people have made one or two of these at one time or another. But not me. I make […]

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