Liz Johnson

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Liz is mom to second grader Jonah, preschooler Gwendolyn, and toddler Theo. She and Troy married and bought a Beaverdale home in 2010. A teacher on maternal hiatus, Liz prefers reading to housekeeping and uses West Wing reruns to settle her mind. She believes any problem can be solved with fiction but loves to explore her reality in Des Moines.
girl blowing out birthday candles. Turning 40

This is 40, Mom Edition

Turning 40 is a moment. It doesn’t have to be a big moment but it is one, nonetheless. I’m having that moment.  Thoughts on Turning 40 One thing I’ve learned in raising children is that you must...
family walking in field holding hands. Des Moines Mom

The Power of a Family Project: 6 Ideas for Togetherness

Memorial Day weekend hit and my husband was in major organization mode. Again. “Let’s organize all the Legos!” he said. “It’ll be so much fun!” he said. I sighed, rolled my eyes, and made a...
old soccer ball on bench. soccer mom. Des Moines Mom

I Am Not a Soccer Mom

I am not a soccer mom. At the moment. By that, I mean that my children (aged 3, 6, and 9) are not currently involved in a soccer league or camp. In fact, they are in...
woman wearing hat looking at phone. texting. Des Moines Mom

The 5 Text Threads Every Mom Needs

Yes, we all stare at our screens too much. That being said, sometimes you need to share, vent, celebrate, or record, immediately. And sometimes you need a response, immediately, perhaps paired with a timely and...
woman with backpack and school books. stay at home mom to grad school. Des Moines Mom

Life after Stay-at-Home Momming: Grad School

In my 40th year and as a mother of three, I applied to grad school. It was unexpectedly terrifying. Our children are growing, as children do, and though I was convinced we’d have nursing, diapered...
woman throwing scrabble tiles. Des Moines Mom

26+ Things to Do Outside in Des Moines

We look for the alphabet in many things: car rides, neighborhood walks, songs from Encanto. The kids and I challenged ourselves to come up with the Des Moines ABCs to highlight some of our...
kids jumping on bed. messy mom

A Defense of Messy Mom

Our kids were completing their chore list the other day, whining while they worked, and the 6-year-old called me out for my untidy side of the bedroom. How could I expect them to maintain...
woman running. exercise plan

The No-Plan Exercise Plan

I have two goals every day: Teach my kids something. Exercise. These are the only two goals I can handle right now.  Well, the exercise is, anyway. I fail in a million different ways every day. The...
cabin in the woods. Iowa travel. Des Moines Mom

Cheap and Easy Getaways in Iowa

Living in Des Moines offers some obvious family getaways: Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha. Just pick a direction. Then there are the many options for a family staycation.   But what our family has found infinitely satisfying, necessary,...
mom inspiration

Finding Momspiration in Books

There are times when Momming requires inspiration. Mom blogs are great for short bursts and immediacy but sometimes I need more. I need longer.   I need books. Nobody has time to read books. I ignore much...