Liz Johnson

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.
epic road trip

Are You Ready for an Epic Family Road Trip?

My husband and I are slow decision-makers. I’ve used euphemisms like “careful” and “deliberate” but we’re just slow.  The challenges of this particular year have managed to slow us down even further and our indecision...

Our Homeschool Adventure Ends

I never thought I’d homeschool my kids.  However, this year homeschooling was the best option for our specific situation. I stand by this decision. Now that the school year is over and we look ahead to...

Mom’s Pandemic Hobbies

So many people have used this past year to attempt and master various hobbies. The truly clever ones have even managed to monetize them. I am not one of these people.  When I reflect on how...

The Anticipation of Parenting

Our daughter is a planner. She likes occasions. In her five years of life, she’s planned an untold number of events - real and imagined - to celebrate. The pandemic has only enhanced her planning....
Farewell Nursing breastfeeding

My Farewell to Breastfeeding

I’m done breastfeeding. After 27 months of not having any reason to stop breastfeeding, I decided I didn’t need a reason. I just wanted to.   This marks the first time in eight and a half years...
romance novels

7 Romance Novels to Escape Stress of Life

Feeling stressed? Need an endorphin rush? You could go for a run. Or out for a great dinner (super likely, right now). Maybe you could wipe out Target’s chocolate stash. Or you could try my...
pandemic toddler

Life with a Toddler, in a Pandemic

Life with a toddler is...memorable. Few experiences can equally entertain and enrage moms and dads as the battles - I mean blessings - of toddlerhood.  However, the pandemic has changed these battles a bit. One...
bingo card

2020 Bingo Card: Mom Edition

Every time yet another crazy headline lands, some jokey pundit on social media makes the comment, “Well, I didn’t have this on my 2020 bingo card!” Every time, I laugh. Not many people have the time...
Pandemic Journal

5 Easy Ways to Keep a Pandemic Journal

It’s hard to imagine ever forgetting what life is like right now: the stresses, the challenges, a new normal that evolves daily, the fleeting joys, the endlessness of it all. But, and I say this...
homeschool ideas

35 Homeschool Activities Others Can Do With Your Kids

Like many parents this fall, I find myself unexpectedly homeschooling three children. Gulp.  I have concerns.  One of these many concerns is my kids’ lack of exposure to other adults. I understand different kids connect to different...