Steven K. Smith

Author, Dad, Husband, Coach, Frustrated Napper

The Virginia Mysteries

Adventures with a Twist of History

A Dad's Blog

Capturing some of life’s daily adventures raising three young boys

Father’s Day Commercials to Make You Cry

Well Sunday is Father’s Day and rather than take a lot of time to write something profound, I’m going the easy route and adding a few videos that I think you’ll find enjoyable. Try to get past the fact that they are all for stores or products –...
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Lights Not Aglow, Oh No!

The boys love to drive around and look at all the Christmas decorations. Our neighborhood, like most I assume, is filled with an assortment of white and colored lights and what my boys wistfully refer to as inflatables – those big blow up decorations of Santa waving,...
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You Might Be One of My Boys if You…(Part 2)

Last year, I started making a list of crazy things I found my boys doing around our house. You can read that post here. The list keeps growing – here are some more from these days… You might be one of my boys if you… Always want the things that your...
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Country Roads, Take Me Home (to New Jersey)

As the stones spun underneath the tires of our minivan, I willed a renewed sense of trust in my GPS to safely navigate our way back to the interstate and traces of civilization. The gravel path twisted for about half a mile until it came to a section with three...
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Phone Fishing

Today was day 3 of being a family-less dad and husband. A reality greatly magnified when I work from home as I did today. While in some ways it is a relief to have a quiet house and not worry about the din of  kids hallway squabbles bleeding into my mid-day conference...
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Spirals of Death

The really tough parts of being a dad often catch you by surprise. Seemingly innocent things can turn terribly wrong. Take visiting a lighthouse for example…

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Happy Blogoversary

Two years ago today, MyBoys3 was born. Thank you to everyone who has taken a few moments to read my musings. I appreciate all the feedback and hope that the posts have brought a few smiles, one or two insightful moments and perhaps a laugh. It’s certainly proven to be...
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Spirals of Death (Revisited)

Last weekend we went to the Outer Banks for a few days. While we didn’t visit any lighthouses this time, it reminded me of one of the earliest posts (#2) on MB3 nearly two years ago. I think I’ve learned my lesson and haven’t tried lighthouses since!...
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(Still) Not Being Derek Jeter

In honor of today’s big achievement by Derek Jeter to become the first Yankee to reach 3,000 hits, I thought I’d repost this piece from 2009. ***** There is a line in one of my favorite movies, The Family Man, where Don Cheadle (playing a modern-day It’s a...
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The Light from the Shadows (Revisited)

Sometimes I read an old post from nearly two years ago, and it says exactly what I’m feeling tonight. This is one of them. Hope you enjoy as much as I did… I love, at night, to sometimes linger in a dark room, after everyone else has gone up to bed....
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6 Years Old

It’s hard to believe but my firstborn turns 6 today. Happy Birthday Matthew! When you joined us, we had no idea what we were doing, but you’ve hung in there despite us! What a blessing you have been. Here are a few of the steps along the way…  ...
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15 Favorite Movies About Dads and Boys

The other day I stumbled across the trailer to a new movie that I’d never heard of before called The Boys are Back. Here’s a link if you want to take a peek. It is opening today in limited release from Miramax. The movie is about a man living in Australia (Clive...
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Christmas Wishes 2009

I had high hopes that with some time off from work and the arrival of Christmas, I’d have plenty of motivation and material to get some writing done over the holidays. Time has proven elusive, however, with an assortment of activities and family outings, so it...
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Playground Police

When I was in college, many moons ago, my roommates and I had a lot of fun listening to some phone scam CDs from New York’s WPLJ Radio. I dug up one of the old CDs from a box in my basement this week and found one that hit home with an even better perspective...
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The Moment

There is a moment, a few moments actually, when my computer does something magical. It’s while my laptop boots up, after I type my password in. Right about the time when I start to get annoyed at how long it’s taking, wondering if anything is really going on inside...
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The Glimpse

I’ve written before that one of my favorite movies is The Family Man. There are a dozen great scenes and quotes from that movie, but one of them is when Don Cheadle (who’s an angel in a sports car) zooms into Nicholas Cage’s life and gives him...
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Loaded for the Beach

Last weekend we went to the beach. Just for a couple of days. Virginia Beach. Because we live in Virginia now of course. Stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn on points that had accumulated from one too many full tanks of nearly four-dollar-a-gallon gas, weekly grocery...
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Don’t Fear the Teacher

I picked up Josh from preschool this week and his teacher pulled me aside. She had a look in her eye that said there was an incident that she needed to explain to me. As a parent, your mind suddenly runs wild, speculating on what calamity may have occurred. I knew he...
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Get Your Phineas Away from My Ferb

“Matthew……Matthew……Mathew, Matthew, Matthew, Matthew!” my 4½-year-old called his older brother’s name in a louder, faster and increasingly desperate tone. “It is my tuwn to pick a show! You pick in the aftuwnoon and I pick in the mownin! Matthew!!!” Food, water,...
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The Heat is On

As cold weather approaches (actually it’s here, what am I talking about), I’m thinking a lot about the strange ways that my boys deal with being warm, staying warm and dressing warm. A bit of a random topic I know, but as is often the case, it helps illustrate...
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Hurry Home

How is it that when you are around the kids all the time, you yearn for a break and to get away. Yet when you are away, you miss them. I think it’s a paradox. Or an enigma. One or the other. I can never remember which is which. Kind of like that Alanis...
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Stop Human Trafficking

Creating modern-day abolitionists. That’s one of the taglines of the Richmond Justice Initiative (RJI). While a much deeper topic than what I usually write about here,  I watched a film clip about their work in our church service today and it was really...
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Kids in the Arena: Safety in Youth Sports

My six-year-old is playing flag football this fall, and despite the misleading “flag” designation, the four nights a week two hour practices for the entire month of August have been pretty intense. Intense for both of us, since, as I tend to do, I’ve signed up to help...
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I’m Never Ever Going to Sleep

Sometimes it seems as if our two and a half year old is growing older by the minute. Well I guess he actually is, but you know what I mean. He still takes a decent nap in the afternoons and on many days when I’m working from home, Mommy uses the time to get out to the...
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Merry Christmas 2012!

Stationery card View the entire collection of...
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Snowboarding Kicked My Butt

The sun was out, the slope white with snow. I surveyed the vista below me – a mountain to be conquered. I could picture it now, the air whipping past, the powder spraying my face, the boys staring in awe at their dad shredding the hill. “Come on, Dad, why don’t you...
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Sock It to Me

I don’t know how the fashion trends are moving in your neck of the woods, but in this suburb of Richmond, Virginia, right now Nike Elites are IT with the boys in my oldest son’s grade. Yes, socks. Which is sometimes an issue because in order to see these ultra-cool...
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Tales Between the Pages Interview

All week the book blog, Tales Between the Pages, has been featuring my books for the launch of Ghosts of Belle Isle. Today, Jessica has an interview we did together. She asked fantastic questions, so you’ll definitely want to check it out...
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The Rainbow Loom Boom

I’m not sure when it happened. I suppose since the start of school which is not even a month old. But somewhere in those few days, a new sensation has swept the ranks of our elementary school. In what I can only describe as the offspring of Silly Bandz, the Rainbow...
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Poopy in the Dark

My wife and I have an understanding about my business trips – she toughs it out with the kids by herself while I’m gone, but upon my return, I’m on major kid duty the following weekend. To paraphrase Dylan, she has to find some way out – she needs some...
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Reptiles and Pillow Fights

As I start out with this new blog about raising boys, I scouted around the net and quickly found a host of interesting articles and perspectives. Never one to turn down an easy imitation, here are few excerpts: Boys to Men by Tony Woodlief Father’s Day, in our...
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7 Years Old

Happy Birthday today to my biggest boy. Seven years old – where has the time...
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The Radio Must Go

We knew it was time to take the radio out of our 8 year old’s room when…. He said, “You’re going to the Train concert? Cool! Are you sitting in the Miller Light Gold Star Seating Area?” We heard him walking down the hall singing “I got passion...
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Maybe

Ah, the joy of negotiating with a kindergartner… “Daddy, when we get home, can I play some Wii?” “Maybe.” “No Daddy, there is no maybe, tell me only yes or no.” “Alright then, no.” pause “OK...
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High and Dry

If there was a place we could run and hide Way up in the trees where it was safe and dry I’d gather up my boys and there we all would stay Living out our lives in a state of constant play Time would stand still as we bounced out on the limbs Our own secret world with...
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Dangerous With Letters

We were in the car, driving to Pennsylvania to see my grandma and other family after Christmas this week. Our two oldest boys, 4 ½ and six, were in the back of the van challenging each other about how to spell. The oldest just started to learn enough at kindergarten...
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Homework Confusion

Thankfully my wife handles most of the homework duties with the boys. It’s usually a mad scramble to squeeze it into the small window of time when they get off the bus at 4:10 and leave for baseball or some other activity soon thereafter. It’s probably for...
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One Year Old

One year ago today, our family got just a little bit busier. And we met and fell in love with our newest little baby boy, Aaron Richard. Here are some pics from those 12 months and a few posts from along the way. If You Need Me I’ll Be Feeding the Baby Crib...
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Biting the Big Apple – Our NYC Travels

My wife and I recently drove back up I-95 North for a several day expedition with our two oldest boys to the Big Apple. Here are a few things that the boys learned on our trip: 1.) Be careful when you go over to see the Naked Cowboy in Times Square because you just...
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Leaf It To Me

When we moved to Virginia nearly three years ago, one of my top priorities was to buy a house that had enough property for our three boys to roam and play outside. We have two acres, one of which is wooded, and our yard is surrounded by a lot of trees. And not just...
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The Light from the Shadows

I love, at night, to sometimes linger in a dark room, after everyone else has gone up to bed. Standing in a doorway, amongst the shadows in the quiet of our house, and look all around me.

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If it Rhymes with Booger…

My oldest boy turned seven this week, and in lieu of a full blown birthday party (chalk one up in the victory column for Daddy with that one), we let him take a few friends to the movies and have a sleepover. Of course, I had a last minute client meeting to attend in...
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Hotel for Alligators?

  I did some last-minute fact checking this past weekend as I get closer to the launch of my new book, Secret of the Staircase (The Virginia Mysteries Book 4). The story takes place at Richmond’s historic downtown hotel, The Jefferson. The new book is...
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CHAT – Helping Kids in Richmond’s East End

A Yankee like me has a long way to go in learning about the past and present of a city as immersed in history as Richmond. In just over two years since moving from New Jersey to the Richmond suburbs, it’s been exciting to slowly explore and learn about the amazing...
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Daddy in Charge?

I’m not sure what happened. I used to be a good dad – really great with the children. I actually used to get compliments. I used to know their routine, even be able to make breakfast once in a while to everyone’s satisfaction. Used to know what this one would eat and...
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Shut Your Mouth

I woke up this morning with the song “Pumped Up Kicks” playing in my head. It’s very catchy and a year ago or so I really liked it, until I realized it was talking about a school shooting or something dark. That made me feel bad for listening to it and certainly...
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Camping Trip Gone Wrong (Revisited)

As the weather warms up but is still a bit cool at night, it has me thinking about camping in the great outdoors. Looking forward to making a few trips with the boys this summer (if the dreaded Richmond heat that my neighbors keep telling me about don’t kills us...
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Life in the Fast(ball) Lane

  Fri, 6:45PM – head out to coach my oldest son’s Little League game Sat, 8:20AM – leave to manage younger son’s tball game Sat, 1:30PM – finish lunch, back to the ball field to umpire a different game that my sons aren’t even playing in Sat, 4:30PM – same...
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The 35 Step Commute

I trudged slowly through the snow, along the trail that leads from my yard to the creek through the woods. The ground sparkled white as the sinking sun reflected off the ice crystals. I followed the tracks to the water’s edge and stared into the smooth brown rocks...
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Treading Dawn in Narnia

“Daddy, I made it through without closing my eyes the whole time. Even the scary part with the sea serpent!” “Nice job buddy.” I answered. “That was pretty scary, even for Daddy.” “I wasn’t sure if I was going to, but I did!” “He’s just being nauseous,” his older...
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Rockin the Basement (Our Music Video)

One of my favorite things to do with the boys some evenings while Mommy is finishing dinner is to head down to the basement, plug my iPod into my old college speakers and rock out. Yesterday, at the end of a long holiday weekend, we decided to have some fun and made...
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Lending A Helping Hand in New Orleans

My taxi sped along Interstate 10 past what could have been the outskirts of any small city in America. Lights and signs and passersby all moving at their normal pace. You couldn’t really tell that anything had gone wrong with a quick look at things. As we approached...
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Goodnight, Whoever You Are

“Goodnight Basement.” “Goodnight Attic.” “Goodnight Mailbox.” “Goodnight boys,” I answered as I walked out of their room last night. Sometimes we’re silly and have fun giving everyone different names. My oldest is Attic because he’s on the top bunk. My second...
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Failure to Hop and Skip

“His progress report is on the kitchen counter if you want to look at it,” my wife reminded me as she headed upstairs to get ready for bed the other night. She’d just had our first parent/teacher phone conference and assessment review from my 4 ½ – year-old’s...
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15 Things My Boys Assume Have Always Been:

I was thinking the other day about how many things that my boys just assume have always been around. A lot of technology, some current events. In fact, there are quite a few on this list that are now common for my 20-month old that didn’t even exist for his...
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On A Cold Winter Night

Outside the wind curls around the trees like a scarf on my neck The cold creeps across the fields and burrows into the ground I peer into the dark room, lit only by a few dying embers in the fireplace A flickering glow rises and falls in the coals shadows dance across...
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Had a Bad Day…

You know it’s a bad day when your kid poops on the floor and it doesn’t make their self-described list of worst things that happened that...
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Kindergarteners with Cleats

I learned quickly that goal number one of coaching young boys is to simply control the chaos. Playing in the dirt, throwing grass and lying down in the middle of the field are inevitable parts of the game at this stage.

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City of Blinding Lights

I flipped up the video screen in our SUV just in time for my two oldest boys to catch the New York skyline. They immediately began to argue about which building was the Empire State versus World Trade versus Dad’s office. As Mom held the EZ-Pass against the windshield...
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In the Presence of Greatness

When I was a kid, nearly every summer my dad and I would drive from my home in northwestern New Jersey, across the George Washington Bridge and into the Bronx to see to Yankee games. Back when tickets were fairly cheap, there were always plenty of seats and you could...
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Charlie & Me

You’ve probably seen the movie Marley & Me or read the book by John Grogan. My wife and I watched the movie a couple years ago. We laughed, we cried. I went to bed that night dreaming about how wonderful it would be to have such a beautiful pooch as part of our...
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Saturday Morning Galactic Escape

The dark shadow of our pursuer bore down on us faster and faster. No one knew how he could have found us again, but there he was. Our outlook was bleak. “Go faster, he’s gaining on us!” I pushed our turbo thrusters forward and we blasted through the intersection,...
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5 Years Old

It’s hard to believe that the one who used to be the baby is now five years old today. Happy Birthday to by second biggest boy! Here’s a quick look back over the last five years in pictures:...
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Don’t Fear the Teacher (Still)

One of the challenges in moving to a new state in late March is that it means the kids have to change schools in the middle of the year. We were on the fence about the best way to handle this, but in the end, we decided that giving them a couple months to get used to...
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Balls of Fire

I woke up this morning and my left arm was killing me. It still hurts. I suppose it’s a result of my getting old, or having three boys, or both. Last night before bedtime, I was down in the basement with all three of them, which I’ve found usually leaves me sore...
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Help! Two Inches of Snow!

Attention Virginia! This may come as some surprise, but it’s the end of January. It’s winter. It has a tendency to get cold. Sometimes there’s snow. How is this new information? The schools just announced Day #4 of school closings due to the fact that we had 2 inches...
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By Your Side

Yesterday was one of those days that made me smile seeing my two oldest boys playing together nicely 90% of the time. There’s something in their peacefulness to each other (in those moments) that warms my heart. Part of it is my hope that they will have each other as...
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I’ll Buy That For A Dollar

It all started innocently enough. “What’s that orange sign Daddy?” “That’s a yard sale sign son.” “I wanna go! Can we go? Please!” “Yeah, I wanna go too!” And so began my sons’ and my habit / mild adiction of driving around on Saturday mornings to peruse the...
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Death by Disney – Part 3: Jedi, Jones and Jungles

While we’re now a couple months returned from our historic trip to Disney, have since moved to Virginia and are somewhat settled into our new home, I didn’t want to end the reports on our Florida sagas without touching on some of the cool things we did. While...
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The SportsCenter Dilemma

It’s morning in our house, before breakfast, and my three boys alternate a lazy stagger down the stairs and into the kitchen or family room. Some days He with the Iron Man Pajamas wins out and the familiar tunes of Tasha, Tyrone, and company sing out from the...
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Bono and the Boys

The older boys and I were driving in my car yesterday. The “cool” car as they call it, or as their younger brother says, the “silly” car. I think it’s gotten those names because I occasionally take the corners faster than in the minivan and because I can reach...
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Oh Captain My Captain

I just heard that Robin Williams died, and I had to leave the room. It hit me surprisingly hard. It was the summer of 1989, I had just turned 15 years old, and I saw Dead Poets Society at the movie theater. I came away with so much from that film which followed a...
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Peeing Standing Up

I gazed out the kitchen window this afternoon to check on the boys as they played in the backyard. I was startled to see my nearly five-year old standing in the edge of the woods with his coat open and attempting to pee in the snow. He’d encountered an unexpected...
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The Goal

  Our kindergarten soccer team doesn’t have a name. I don’t know why. Officially, we’re Team No. 7, but that isn’t very inspiring. Our uniform t-shirts are just as ambiguous – a maroon or burgundy color, neither of which rolls off the tongue when yelled from the...
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Moving Time (Escape from New Jersey)

Although I haven’t had a chance to write about it, things are crazy here in our house right now. Why, you might ask? Well, because we’re moving to Virginia. Yes, that’s right, leaving the good old Garden State behind and heading to the land of Lovers. Hopefully there...
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It’s (Not?) A Wonderful Life

One of my favorite movies is It’s a Wonderful Life. Even though I have it on DVD somewhere in a box, if I see it on the channel listings each year at Christmas time, I’ll usually stop and watch at least for a little while. Although there are many great scenes in the...
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Stripping on New Years

Sometimes having too much time is too much. At least that’s how it’s been for me and writing these past two weeks. But here I am, hammering out a post nonetheless in an attempt to keep it going. This is the first I’ve felt a prolonged void when...
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Four and Six

Four years ago around this time, we moved from New Jersey to Richmond. It was a crazy time, as any move is, but looking back, several things stick in my mind. First, the movers severely underestimated the space that our items would take up in their truck, causing the...
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A Howling Good Time at Great Wolf Lodge

I picked up my 5 year old from preschool last week and passed the administrator walking down the hall. “Have a great time on your trip!” she called to me. I arrived at his classroom door and his teacher gave me a wide-eyed look and exclaimed, “So, we all understand...
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Back to School (Night)

Last night was our first real school experience (or at least mine) with Matthew starting Kindergarten this year. Sure we’ve been at programs in preschool before, and his riding the bus for the first time was a big deal, but Back to School Night sealed the deal for me....
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Time Travel to Now

Today my middle son turns nine. Yesterday he and I ran a 5K together. I’m not sure if his sticking with me stride for stride had more to do with his prowess or my decline, but either way I was proud of him (that was the second time he’s done that!). He is surely the...
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The SportsCenter Solution

I’ve written previously about the double-edged sword that is SportsCenter in my house. I love, as a dad, to see my boys glued to the screen before breakfast to catch the latest scores and highlights. But at the same time, we have concerns over them watching too many...
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Attack of the Baby

Our little guy is 8 1/2 months old now and motors around the house like a little freight train. We’ve gated the downstairs doorways, much to the frustration of his older brothers who now have to look for alternate routes to get around. No small or breakable...
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Don’t Miss the Guacamole Daddy!

I never know what to expect from our weekends. They tend to be hectic and fleeting. Last night, however, it all seemed to come together and provided one of those memorable evenings that I can think back to when I’m sitting in my hotel room on Sunday night, back in...
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Crib Notes from the Dark Side

My wife walked our oldest to the bus stop at the end of the neighbor’s driveway the other day while I was working in my home office. The baby was napping in his crib and I agreed to keep an eye on Josh. He brought some superhero action figures into the room and played...
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Barack Obama Did It

Sometimes your kids just start saying things and you can’t explain why…a video says it all… (click here if embedded video above is not working on your...
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Bahamas is Better Than New Jersey

6:30 AM – New Jersey. Hear the baby wake up, hungry and smelly. Try to decide whether to get up and tend to him or nudge wife to do it. 6:30 AM – Bahamas. Sleeping. 7:30 AM – New Jersey. Boys clamor down hallway and stairs to watch their morning show. Head down to...
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Snowflakes of Christmas

Christmas break is only a few days old and I’ve already come to appreciate the line in the song, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, that says “and Mom and Dad can’t wait for school to begin again!” Despite the knowledge that...
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If You Need Me, I’ll Be Feeding The Baby

Soon after Aaron was born in March, my wife was getting up several times a night for feedings. As she’d often go to bed early, I fell into the routine of staying up until around 11 and giving him a bottle before I went to bed. (This is kid #3 – I stopped staying...
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Cover Your Ears Son, it’s the President!

Here’s a link to a 4 minute segment on today’s Meet the Press about the firestorm around the President’s plan to send school children a message on Tuesday. This is one of the few reasonable exchanges on this topic that I’ve heard in recent...
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10 Things We Learned at That’s Gross Camp

My two oldest boys recently went to morning day camp called That’s Gross Camp, and was part of the Discovery Camp program at Maymont Park in Richmond. With a name like that, I was expecting half the boys in the city to show up. Much to the surprise of my boys,...
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My Six Year Old Boy

Happy Birthday to my big boy #2! Enjoy your special day today at...
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Why Can’t Wii Get Along?

Yesterday, as I tried to take a short nap on the living room couch during the football game, my two oldest boys were in the basement playing Wii. I was awoken by the younger’s voice pleading to his older brother to play the particular level on Indiana Jones Lego...
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When You Really Need A Toy…

Somehow I expected to see my kids climbing out of this plane as much as they want to get to Toys R Us sometimes! The reason this story caught my eye is that it is in the parking lot of the Rockaway Townsquare Mall, which is where I always went as a kid.
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Sneak Attack Illustrated

OK, Here’s the plan: This is Josh, coming downstairs to play Then, we go down the stairs, very quietly…  Then, we jump out and surprise Josh! And then, we take over the...
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The Breakup

I arrived home from my lunch meeting last week in time to walk out to the end of the neighbor’s driveway to pick up my oldest off the bus. He bounded down the steps and started rattling off to me all the things that were going on in his busy three hours of afternoon...
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The Plumber’s Assistant

I remember this from before. When my first two boys were younger. They still thought it was fun to pal around with Dad while he tried to fix things around the house. Somewhere around age six or seven, they began to get more interested in their own projects and helping...
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Death by Disney – Part 2: The Yeti and the ER

As the cars parted to the side of the roadway in front of us and the sirens wailed overhead, I wondered how our vacation had veered so far off course in only two days. I nervously glanced through the window into the back of the ambulance where my son lay with the...
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Helpless at the Hilton

It’s a helpless feeling to know that you are 3,000 miles away from your family when mini-emergencies happen. There is very little you can do to directly help things. I’m in San Diego this week for a conference and Mommy is left behind caring for the three boys. A...
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The Dreaded Family Car Trip (Revisited)

As the holidays approach for 2011, my thoughts head to the inevitable car trip that our family will soon be making southward. It got me thinking back to one of my first posts when I began MB3 last year and which remains the most commented on entry that I’ve had...
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The Approach

I close my eyes and I’m sitting next to my dad in the four-seater Cessna prop plane he used to fly. Cessna 8562-Uniform, making final approach. Each gust of wind and air pocket jostles the tiny craft along its flight plan. I never had the flying bug like he did. I was...
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Alien Invasion at Breakfast

The other morning, my kindergartener and I were in the kitchen making breakfast and the coffee maker beeped.  “What was that sound Daddy?”  “Oh no!” I answered in a panic. “What’s wrong?” he asked, eyes wide. “I knew...
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Fly Away Home

I feel like there’s a recurring theme to my posts lately. Airplanes. The fall is an especially busy time for me with travel for work, and that means time away from home and the family. It’s tough under normal circumstances, but is magnified when I call...
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Flushing College Down the Drain

$1.2 Million. That’s my rough estimate of how much it will cost my three boys to get through four years of college. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. According to a recent New York Times article, some of today’s private colleges now cost in excess of $50,000 per...
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Nice Pants

After finishing a long day on my to do list around the house and yard, I sat with the boys in their room tonight reading them a bedtime story. My younger son looked at the old jeans I was wearing and asked why there was such a big hole in the knee.   I answered that...
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Innocent Wonder

“Dad, I want to watch Star Wars Episode VI – I think that’s the one where Princess Leia is wearing a...
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When the Handles Fall Off

I knew something was wrong when I reached the top of the stairs and saw the bathtub faucet handle lying on the floor.

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tom_3

My 15 Minutes

Back in 1999, a young comedian burst onto the scene named Tom Green. He had some kind of talk show on MTV and was known for doing all kinds of outrageous things. He eventually married Drew Barrymore, survived testicular cancer, and was in a few movies. The other day I...
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If You Need Me, I’ll Be Feeding the Baby (Revisited)

As I sat working in my office today with my now 2 1/2 year old youngest son yelling to Mommy that he was done with his nap and for her to “come check on him”, I was reminded of this early post from two years ago when he was still a very little guy....
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Disconnected in West Virginia

Disconnected, unplugged, offline – there are many ways to describe our Labor Day weekend in West Virginia. The entire area is under the National Radio Quiet Zone, which means that there are no cell signals (it’s true, look it up.) It’s like the quiet car on the train,...
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Death by Disney – Part 1: Getting There Wasn’t Half the Fun

It all started down a bad road the day before we left for our trip. My wife and I were heading to Orlando for a seven-day fun filled vacation to Disney with our three boys, my wife’s parents and her sister. I was out at the store, making a few last minute purchases,...
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Going Home

I’m writing this on the plane at 30,000 feet, Friday afternoon returning from a week-long business trip to Fort Lauderdale. Four days of a beautiful hotel, 85 degree weather, three pools, right on the ocean. None of which I got to enjoy as I was in meetings all...
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Camping Trip Gone Wrong

                   Aug 20, 2009 7:10pm reach High Point State Park, Sussex, NJ 7:11 saw porcupine walking down the road 7:15 arrive at campsite no. 15 7:16 immediately swarmed by Mosquitoes, run for cover of van and bug spray 7:18 survey campsite – realize it is...
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The Reason I Write

I’ve enjoyed writing all my life, from simple stories and rhymes in grade school to creative short stories and poems in high school and college. There were often long stretches of time when I didn’t write anything, but it was always there, just below the surface. When...
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First Christmas

Wishing you and your family a very special Christmas. Here’s a reminder of why we’re celebrating in the first...
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So Help Me If You Wake That Baby

One of the daily battles in our house is finding a way for our two other rambunctious boys to coexist with their baby brother who naps several times a day. This is not an easy task. When they wake up, they yell to each other. They run down the hall and knock against...
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Happy Birthday MyBoys3!

Four years ago tomorrow, I published the first blog post on MyBoys3. I barely knew what a blog was, but up it went for the world (or at least a few friends and family) to see. It was a recap of a recent camping trip gone wrong – filled with monster mosquitoes,...
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The Thank You Part

One of the things about writing children’s books that I hadn’t thought a whole lot about was the response from the kids. It’s so much fun. Hearing from family, friends and other adult readers that hear about my book is great, don’t get me...
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Another Kind of Perfect Game

New York Yankees in the Postseason again……Awesome! 8th inning come from behind win against the Rangers last night…..Amazing! Not staying up till midnight and watching last three innings on TIVO with my boys…..Priceless! Let’s Go...
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New York Yankees – World Champions!

I was away in Florida while the Yankees won the championship, so I’d posted this picture in the meantime. What a nice feeling to see life back to normal with the Yankees on top again. 27th World Championship and 5th in my lifetime of being a fan. Missed the...
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The Rivalry Begins

It’s been a little crazy around here lately with moving and all, but with baseball season starting, and the Yankees / Red Sox about to start their first series today, I had to post this awesome video clip with Alec Baldwin and John...
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Thankful

  It’s the little things, sometimes. The ones that catch my breath. Make it hard to take my eyes off her. Show me a glimpse of what he’s going to be like in ten years. It hits me hard, like a punch to the gut sometimes. Usually when I’m not expecting it. Because...
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More Than A Feeling

“Now listen. Mommy is at the store. The baby is asleep. Daddy is going upstairs to watch the Giants game and take a nap. DO NOT make a lot of noise, do not come upstairs and do not wake me up unless you have an emergency. Fighting is not an emergency. Trying to get...
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Don’t Pee In My Garage!

Seems like a lot going on in our house the last week. Not enough time to write about it in-depth, but managed to jot down some of the funny things my kindergartener said along the way… Daddy, Do you think that it is very quiet in a house where people only use...
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In Remembrance

I started crying at the breakfast table Sunday morning. Talking to the boys about September 11th on the tenth year anniversary of the attacks seemed like the right thing to do. But I was surprised to find myself get so emotional when describing it to them. Until this...
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License to Blog

It’s official. We’re...
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The Great (Crib) Escape

Thud. That’s how it started. Followed by a quick pitter patter of little feet. I didn’t make too much of it at the time, not knowing that it marked the beginning of several days of misery for Mommy and me and our darling not quite two-year-old youngest boy. I’d been...
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“Death By” Disney Trip Remembered

With two years in the rear view mirror since our adventure to Walt Disney World, I thought it was a good time to revisit some of the excitement that was our vacation. I stand by my statement that I won’t return for ten years despite my wife’s opinions to the contrary....
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Flushing College Down the Drain (Revisited)

I had a sump pump installed in my basement the other week, which had me thinking about plumbers and one of the early posts on MB3 from September 2009 that you might want to check out if you missed it the first time around… ***** $1.2 Million. That’s my rough...
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When the Handles Fall Off (Revisited)

I was looking again at some of the first posts on MB3 from late 2009 and came across this one. It’s nice to remember sometimes that there were crazier days in the past that we somehow made it through and likely will again in the future. Enjoy. *** I knew...
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When it Rains it Pours

We all huddled near the door, nervous for what lay on the other side. We could barely hear the count from the din all around us but we tried to be brave. We could have been on a rescue mission, on a midnight ambush deep behind enemy lines. One, two, three – GO! The...
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Table Setting for Turkeys

It’s Thanksgiving, and with it comes the big meal, which this year we hosted at our house with my wife’s family visiting. This is good, since it means we don’t have to drive anywhere (although we did that last weekend anyway) and bad, since we have to get the house...
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Traveling to Paris – 12 Lessons Learned

I recently had the privilege to travel to Paris this June for a medical conference. My wife joined me and we stayed for a couple extra days to make a vacation of it. This was my first time in Europe, so I was excited but also not quite sure what to expect. We had a...
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The Best

Standing on the ladder and kissing my son goodnight in his top bunk and he whispers I love you before he drifts off to sleep Squeezing my son’s hand at the end of the driveway as the school bus approaches and he gives me a little wave from the window as it pulls away...
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A lot

When I was in seventh grade, my English teacher wanted to make a point. I’m not entirely sure why he picked the thing he did to make the point about, but it worked. He stood up on his desk in the middle of the classroom and bounced back and forth exclaiming that the...
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In Remembrance of 9/11

Here’s a post from the 10th anniversary of 9/11 I wrote two years ago. I started crying at the breakfast table Sunday morning. Talking to the boys about September 11th on the tenth year anniversary of the attacks seemed like the right thing to do. But I was...
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The End of Christmas (Cards)

It was bound to happen, I guess. One of those things that slowly starts to fade away like buying film and going to the record store. This is the year that we (mostly) killed Christmas cards. Which is somewhat shocking, since I used to really get into them. I think I...
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The Speed Trap

When we left home at 4:40PM on Friday, Memorial Day Weekend, I was excited. As recent Virginians, we were no longer separated by a long eight-hour car drive from New Jersey to get to Grandma and Grandpa’s house with the kids, and we were looking forward to a swift,...
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When Daddy Can’t Hear the Music

“What’s wrong with the CD player Daddy?” my two big boys asked in unison as they sat up in their bunk beds. Part of their bedtime routine is we let them listen to quiet music on the small CD player on their dresser as they go to sleep at night. Tonight my boys stayed...
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WytheGeorge

The Real George Wythe

Wandering through the cemetery in Richmond’s St. John’s Church, one can discover a lot of history amongst the faded old grave markers. The church itself dates back to 1741 and sits in the Church Hill section of Richmond, which makes up the original footprint of the...
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The Magnetic Towel

We’ve discovered the most amazing thing in our new house. The hand towels in the bathroom have a strange magnetic pull to the floor. Every time our boys wash their hands in the bathroom, the towel is inevitably wadded on the floor. Sometimes it is soaking wet,...
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You Might Be One of My Boys If You…

  You might be one of my boys if you do any of the following: Yell when someone looks at you too long from across the dinner table Can barely contain your excitement before opening the new flavor of toothpaste Push others out of the way to be the first one down the...
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The Case of the Missing Trophies

Thursday, 7:30 PM – It was a fairly calm night as things go for a household with three boys. Nothing substantial had yet been broken. No one was rushed to the ER. 9-1-1 had not been called on purpose or by accident. Only moderate fighting was observed and it...
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Love that Song…

My boys were recently on a kick to listen to music in their room on the small boom box/radio that sits on their dresser. For a few weeks, I’d come into the room and find my oldest sitting on the floor playing with Legos and singing along to some fast paced song...
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West Virginia High

When I snuck out of the townhouse at 6:30, I nearly tripped over my brother-in-law sleeping on the pullout in the living room. I vaguely remembered a middle of the night screaming episode, which seemed to have resulted in some bed shifting. This kind of thing had been...
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The Truth About Charlie

Today is our golden retriever Charlie’s second birthday. Normally I wouldn’t remember the actual birthday of our dog, but his is easy to remember, even for me. 12/12/12. Not bad. Enough to earn him a new doggy bed and an extra-large bone this morning. Of...
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The Dreaded Family Car Trip

6 hours and 37 minutes. That was how long my GPS was telling me our trip would take, but I knew it would more likely be 8 or 9 hours after stops and traffic and who knows what else. We were heading home last week, at the tail end of a weekend visit to my wife’s...
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Wide World of (Too Many) Sports

I was flying, staring up at the sky, sailing through the air. Well maybe not flying, more like falling. I landed flat on my back on the damp brown infield dirt with a thud. A dozen five-year-olds gathered around me, their mouths hung open in surprise. A dozen parents...
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Don’t Throw Rocks at the Bus Stop

My son started kindergarten today. He’s nearly six but as my wife has tried to explain to me several times, his November birthday just misses the cutoff. The cutoff has always proved something of a mystery to me, I’m not sure why. (I think it is a guy...
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Scared Like Me

“Daddy!” I awoke in a groggy state in my bed, the clock showed 4:00 AM, definitely too early for just about anything. I wearily pondered what might have woken me. “Dadddddyyyy!” There it was again – what is that sound? Ah, the blessed children. Somehow when non-baby...
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The $cary Birthday Party

It was a busy weekend at our house. My oldest son is turning six in a couple weeks so we had a combination birthday and Halloween party Saturday night. At our house. Which is really mostly my fault, since I have this issue where I find it morally unconscionable to...
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Back to School

I started writing about the adventures of Derek and Sam as a way to create an exciting story to read at bedtime to my boys. As it turned into a book, I learned a lot about the publishing process and have enjoyed getting it into the hands of young readers. It’s been an...
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Secret of the Staircase – Now Available!

Today is the day, my new book, Secret of the Staircase, is officially available! Thanks to everyone for their support. You can find it online at Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions. It will be available on B&N.com shortly, and locally in Richmond at The...
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Hawkeye

An exciting thing about our new house in Virginia is that we have a family of red-tailed hawks living in one of the huge trees in the woods that make up our backyard. It seems to be a mother and two youngsters, who spend their days screeching and flying around our...
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Splashing in the Deep End

Tonight Mommy made us a fantastic pasta dinner and then headed off to the store, leaving Daddy to handle bed time with the three boys. We managed to get through dinner and we all headed upstairs so I could get the baby ready for bed and feed him a bottle. Just as I...
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Don’t Fall in the Fire

Fall is my favorite time of the year. There’s something about the air turning cool that gets me excited. School hasn’t even started yet in our town (aparently we’re the last ones on earth) but the weather has turned to the mid-seventies this past...
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Passion for the Pigskin

As this year’s football season officially closed out Sunday in joyous fashion with our New York Giants pulling out another thrilling victory over the Pats, it made me think about how much our house has recently become truly obsessed with football. Mommy and I are both...
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Mommy & Daddy Went Away

Mommy and Daddy went away today As the boys shuffled off to school Sunglasses, bright shoes, high black socks Everyone’s suddenly much too cool   Running, wrestling, strike a pose They’re in a world apart Cracking up to inside jokes Opinions jumping off the...
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Not Being Derek Jeter

If I could choose a glimpse – a peek into living as someone else – I would be Derek Jeter. It’s fairly easy for me because we’re the same age – he’s just 27 days younger than I am.

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Family Car Trip with Kids

With Memorial Day weekend tomorrow I’m reminded of a post from a few years ago when we were making regular trips to Virginia from New Jersey. (Now I can laugh about it!) Over the years, this post has proven to be one of my most popular, thanks in part to a link...
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Fireworks in the Fall

Ka-Boom! Sizzle, sizzle, buzzzz. The night sky burst into colors that fanned out like willow trees and puffs of grey smoke billowed in the aftermath. I watched the lights twinkle behind the silhouette of my two oldest boys who’d climbed the low branches of a...
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On Mother’s Day

I once forgot Mother’s Day. Well, I didn’t exactly forget it, I got my mother a card. Just not my wife. Who had birthed my children. Not a good move. It was one of the first years that we’d had kids and I just wasn’t used to thinking of that day on a wider basis....
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Not Being Don Draper

“And who are you supposed to be?” the man at the door asked the charming couple as they stood behind their two children on the porch waiting for Halloween candy. That is the central question that seems to haunt Don Draper, the protagonist on one of the most...
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Not A Suck Night

My five-year-old starts kindergarten in the fall. To his credit, he seems acutely aware that it’s time for him to start acting like a ‘big kid.’ Which includes less reliance on what used to be affectionately called his ‘baaboomaa’, then just ‘baaboom’, and more...
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Daddy, There’s Salsa in My Burrito

It was dark, it was very cold, and my legs were scrunched up too close to my body as I drove the car. My two oldest boys were bundled up in the back seat of my car. Normally we don’t attempt to squeeze two car seats into the back of Daddy’s car, but tonight I was...
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You Can’t Be My Big Brother

There was a time, many moons ago, when I was a year out of college and didn’t have a lot of commitments or responsibilities. The fact that I can’t quite imagine that now means that it must have been a really long time ago! I was young, single and carefree and...
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What Readers Are Saying!

My son loves your books (is currently on #3 and we just bought them a month ago – for him it’s a major step). He finished book #1 that night. He has never read a book in that short of time. The second book he finished right after we got back from vacation. Thanks for all you do and for these amazing stories that has my son loving to read now!

But the real surprise was the reaction of my 11 year old stepson…he doesn’t look forward to reading, ever…when I gave him the book, he started reading right in front of me. When I let him know it was time to go, he said, ‘not now, I’m reading!’ Summer of the Woods Fan

My 3rd grader just finished Mystery on Church Hill & loved it! He wants to go see St. John’s Church & head to Williamsburg to sight see there too!  I had planned on donating the books to our school library, but he didn’t want to – his reply was ‘I want to save these for my kids to read!’ Mystery on Church Hill Fan

Where Mr. Smith shines is when he involves us in actual historic events…the places and people and the skullduggery that beleaguered the famous and infamous of the 18th Century grounds the book…the book is a terrific portal to introduce history to young readers in a captivating way. Mystery on Church Hill Fan

My nine year old, reluctant reader fell in love with the story. The mystery and adventure drew her in right away…a perfect read aloud for my seven year olds. This fast paced, wholesome adventure story will leave you wanting to take a hike with your kids!  Summer of the Woods Fan