Sarah Smiley

Life lesson: clean while no one watches

Last week, I couldn’t take it anymore. It was time to clean, purge and reclaim space.

Why we chose small town life

Prior to 2008, we had always lived in a metropolitan area. By “metropolitan area,” I mean somewhere with a Cheesecake Factory within driving distance.

Sarah Smiley: LaRoche reminds us why celebrities shouldn’t be parenting ‘examples’

There is so much wrong with the Adam LaRoche situation that I don’t even know where to begin.

Sarah Smiley: Meeting the Amish on their turf

This fall, I wrote about serendipitously meeting a group of Amish women at our local office supply store. The women, all teachers I presumed, were making photo copies of lesson plans for their students. I was also making photo copies for students – my college-level mass-communication students.

Question: Is mom always the anchor of the family?

While at a stop light the other day, I watched a young mother walk her toddler son to the other side of the street. Although the mother walked swiftly and purposefully, her son skipped and galloped beside her, sometimes in front, sometimes behind her, and all while holding her hand.

Why we still love snow

Until I moved to Maine in 2008, when I was 31-years old, I had never seen more than a few inches of snow, and then, only when on vacation. I had a lot to learn, like: Why would anyone rake anything off their roof (“It looks so pretty with snow on it!”), and why don’t people in the North use ice in their drinks (they just put the glass of soda in the snow for a few minutes)?

The Navy’s 2014 Spouse Survey misses some things

Any top brass who’s read my column knows I’m quite outspoken about these things

Sarah Smiley: What PG-13 movies teach us about comforting characters

Through some odd twist of circumstances, Ford, my oldest son, and I were the only ones home for the night. This almost never happens, and now that Ford is almost 15, I decided we should watch a movie – a PG-13 movie – that we normally could not when Ford’s younger brothers are around.

ID cards: Rite-of-passage for military brats

For the average kid, pre-adolescence and the teen years are marked with many rites-of-passage: facial hair, deodorant, pimples, crushes, and braces. There is the experience of wearing pants that fit yesterday but are too short today. There are awkward bus rides and annoying parents. And there is the moment you realize going to school without combing your hair only works for 5-year-olds. Military kids have all these things, plus one more: getting a military identification card.

Military wives cheated by Patraeus scandal | Sarah Smiley

Twelve years ago, Dustin arrived at a new squadron, and at the Hail and Farewell (the Navy’s efficient two-birds, one-stone approach to saying hello and goodbye to rotating personnel), a tall, attractive woman walked into the bar wearing a white tank top and fitted jeans.

Ebola response eroding military-civilian trust

In contrast with civilian measures, the Department of Defense is requiring that its men and women returning from West Africa be quarantined for 21 days before returning home.

Sarah Smiley: Basement as a time capsule of memories

We have never lived anywhere long enough to need to do a deep clean. And when I say “deep clean,” I’m talking about throw-out-broken-furniture-and-bags-of-old-clothes type of deep clean.

In life and death, Marines and fathers are always there

I wrote the following column in 2005 after my friend Marc Tace died of Muscular Dystrophy. This week marks 20 years since Marc’s dad, a Marine Colonel, died of a heart attack while serving overseas.

Dogs in purses among pop culture trends I’ve missed

I realize I'm getting older and that I've spent the last 14 years raising children — specifically, boys. I don't expect to fully understand the Kardashians, One Direction, or earrings that make large, open holes in people's ears. I'm aware that these things have become part of regular pop culture, and I know of their presence in the same tangential way that I know my neighbor is cooking hamburgers when I smell the charcoal. But I don't take much time to research beyond that.

Military healthcare has its own set of pros and cons

Long before the debate over the Affordable Care Act, the military’s own government-run healthcare system has been, for me, a mixed bag.

When a parent finally lets go of the bicycle

The second biggest secret parents keep from their children is this: training wheels in no way truly prepare you for riding a bike alone. They just don’t.

Abandon the phrase ‘all-volunteer military’ | Sarah Smiley

For most things, the military moves at a glacial pace. As recently as the 1970s, there was still a section on an officer’s fitness report reserved for evaluating how supportive his wife was. Did she host enough parties? Attend all the coffees?

As part of Lindell Smiley’s experiences on the farm he was able to help feed calves from a bottle. The Foglers’ Farm in Maine was one of the places he wanted to visit.

Dinner on the farm powered by cow manure

Lindell, 7, has always wanted to be a farmer, except for when he’s wanted to be an astronaut, a mailman and a dog. But Lindell doesn’t want to be just any farmer. He’s not that interested in growing plants or vegetables. He’s more into the animals and the manure.

As part of Lindell Smiley’s experiences on the farm he was able to help feed calves from a bottle. The Foglers’ Farm in Maine was one of the places he wanted to visit.

A missing ring. A missing bird. A man to reunite them all

Nothing restores our faith in humanity like a story about people helping people

Why we should all be the Baltimore mom in yellow

Last week, in the middle of the Baltimore riots that followed Freddie Gray's funeral, there was one glimmer of hope, and she came dressed in a yellow tunic and bolero. Like an actual ray of sunshine shouting expletives, Toya Graham pushed through the crowds to get to her son, who was on his way to join the mayhem, and she instantly became both Mom of the Year and an Internet sensation.