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Stage of Life® is a writing community designed for parents to share their stories about raising a family.  Get involved with our educational mission:  Enter our monthly writing contests or share your parenting experiences and explore our parenting resources such as statistics about families, quotes about raising a family, family etiquette, funny family videos, and more.  Save money with our coupons for families too. Whether you're a single parent, traditional family, or multi-generational family, we look forward to reading your parenting essays.  Your stories may just help inspire other people raising a family.  Get started now...

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Recent Writing Contest Winners

Winning Essay WritersWinning Writing Contest EssaysBefore you scroll down to read the essays, stories, and blogs being submitted to StageofLife.com, let's celebrate the recent writing contest winners.  We select one essay each month from across all of the non-student life stages to win our monthly blogging contests

Basically...these winning essays are selected from all of you "grown-ups" out there writing on Stage of Life...

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Parent Stories

When I think the male’s role in raising a family, my mind is flooded with the actions of my father, a time in which men let their actions speak louder than their words (yes, I’m a 60’s baby). My father has always been a quiet man, yet his actions always let me know that no matter what, he would always be there for our family. He found his position in life, after being in the Army for years, coming home to New York, finding his soul mate there, then settling down to take care...
That morning I left my coffee on the counter as I rushed to drop off my daughter at school and to get to work. Thinking intently about the coffee I left at home, I drove past my exit. I wasn't upset or frustrated about it. I just decided that I might as well stop and get another. I didn’t really want to waste any more time but I felt I had to stop. Some force was pulling at me and this was not about a caffeine fix. I was supposed to be somewhere besides work that day.As I g...
I received the best advice in regards to parenthood the other day while attending a friend’s housewarming. It was suggested that I surround my daughter with all the things that I wanted her to have in her life as an adult. His point was that if I wanted her to learn a language I should play CDs overnight of that language mainly to give her a foundation to learn. Now, I have already begun to apply it to the game of chess, which I hope she learns at a young age. And I have appl...
The best memories are inspired by the making, the baking, and the stewing of good food. I grew up in the kitchen, in my aunt's kitchen to be exact. She showed me her cooking secrets without really knowing that she had. I caught the “cooking bug” from Aunt Carol. I loved to mix, bake, and taste with my fingers. One time, I peeked in one of her large pots and saw fragments of the pig, tail to nostrils. You would think we were from the country the way my aunt cooked. But I kno...
My family has many traditions when it comes to food especially since I am a Jew. Each Saturday, which is our sabbath, we have three big meals with a lot of food. We usually have cholent, chicken, corned beef, and other foods. Jews also have many holidays in which we have a lot of food as well. Some holidays last for three days, so we have over six huge meals. However, I am not complaining because I love food, but each holiday I probably gain over three pounds give or take. M...
About a week ago, during a bout of insomnia, I decided to go downtown and grab some coffee (I know, a bit counterproductive). After about twenty minutes of watching hipsters, schizophrenic homeless people and plastic girls walking in and out of the club, I decided to go on a quick walk. While walking down an alley, I happened to look over and saw the back entrance of a new restaurant. I swear to god, the logo for this restaurant was, “A Fork to Mouth Restaurant.” I don’t...
You have to love the irony of hypocrisy. Listed above is a picture of a bench with the beautiful Oregon state capital in the background. On this bench, you will notice a 2 x 4. This is no armrest mind you; it is purposely placed there and throughout the surrounding capital grounds to prevent one thing - allowing our outrageously large homeless population a place to rest. For the last 20 years, Oregon has been ruled - I mean governed, by the esteemed Dr. John Kitzhaber. Kitz...
I have wonderful memories of holidays with my family when I was a child, but Easter was always extra-special. That was the holiday when we prepared and ate traditional Ukrainian foods, and the entire extended family came together to celebrate. My mother and grandmother spent days in the kitchen cooking and baking in preparation for the holiday, and we all ate the delicious foods of our ancestors until we felt as though we might burst. This was part of the heritage left by my...
Wendy KennarThe A to Z List of Meaningful Foods in My Life The alphabet played a large role in my daily activities during the years I worked in a public library and taught kindergarten. Consequently, I tend to look at the world and want to alphabetize it. Here I offer the A to Z List of Meaningful Foods in My Life.A Avocado. Pure delight - my favorite sandwich ingredient. Pure fear - I once cut the palm of my hand as I attempted to slice and de-pit an avocado. B Ba...
Food was a huge part of my fondest memories spent with my mom. She wasn’t known for her cooking, in fact my dad did most of it, but she made a few dishes that were my absolute favorite and we shared many special memories together that revolved around food. She passed away when I was nineteen and I’ve been missing her, those favorite dishes, and those special memories for twenty years. I really enjoy thinking back to those times, but of course, not without shedding some tears...
It was sometime during my tween years. I don’t know the exact year or the season, just that dinner time was moments away. In the kitchen, dusk had cast its shadows across the white Formica countertop, further blackening the silver dollar-sized scorch mark where the toaster had recently caught fire. The unfamiliar smell emanating from the oven piqued my interest. I peered through the grease-splattered glass window and wondered, “What is that?”It was pizza. Wonder Bread piz...
My mother did not like to skimp on food. If anything, she went overboard. On school days I would make my own peanut butter sandwich. Then mom would check it carefully. She never was satisfied with how much I took. Reopening the jar, she would say, " That's not enough. Take some more," while proceeding to add to my sandwich enough peanut butter to choke a horse. This technique applied to everything we ate. Nothing was thrown out. No matter how much I had eaten,...
When I think of food in connection with the holidays, I think of family. Naturally the holidays are a time for togetherness for most people, whether it be just small immediate family gatherings or larger extended family gatherings. For my family it’s somewhere in between. Our gathering includes my uncle, cousins with their families, my brother with his girlfriend, my mom, grandmother and me with my husband and our two daughters. We celebrate with a feast in which each indiv...
Do you want to have real fun while traveling with kids?Check our list of the best family attractions in Orlando!You definitely must see "The Theme Park Capital of the World" which is located in an unrivaled city of Orlando. More than 51,000,000 tourists per year choose this city to spend their holidays. Well, take your children and get a car to drive to the Florida Mall which is the largest mall in Orlando and one of the largest single-story malls in the USA! It contain...
I have a scar on each knee. I’m not embarrassed by them, though I feel a little stupid for how they came to be. I tell the story if anyone asks. But, at my age, most have scars and most don’t ask about yours. So I hadn’t given these nearly matching marks much thought for probably years. I’m helping some coworkers help some kids. We are in Honduras because the military sent us. We are at the orphanage because we want to help while we are here. I don’t speak Spanish but I care...
My scar is a deep half-moon, etched into my pinky finger, just below the nail bed. As scars go, it isn’t very dramatic. It doesn’t scream, “Knife fight!” Or, “Daring rescue!”Rather it says softly, “Made spaghetti Bolognese from scratch.” Even that description is a bit of a head scratcher when it comes to the story of a scar. Meat sauce=a scar? My children were twelve and five at the time, and I had been seized with the spirit of homemaking that overtakes me at the be...
When my son was two and a half years old, he had such perfectly smooth skin, free of scars. One ultrasound changed that forever. One ultrasound showed a tumor in his abdomen. He was diagnosed with high risk stage four neuroblastoma. His little body was cut open from one side to the other. And then it was cut open from one side to the other three more times after that during the next year. His little body had a central line in place for over a year. His little body went throug...
My son has a scar. Let me restate that, my son has a scar because of me. Writing this would have been difficult for me three months ago, but this moment in our lives has only furthermore proven that obstacles make you a stronger person. I thank God that it was nothing serious, nothing some Neosporin couldn’t help with. On July 23rd, my better half, my son, and I took a trip to the La Brea Tar Pits. I was excited to have this day out with my little family, but my passion fo...
When our first daughter was born she was proclaimed perfect. She did inherit her father’s large German head. But, not to worry. All the more room for what was sure to be her remarkably large brain. She had the characteristic notched earlobes that are a cherished paternal family quirk, but that made her even “more perfect”! She turned into a chatty two year old that welcomed her sister into the family with little disruption in her life. For me, not so much. I had start...
Most scars are accidental. Physical scars inflicted on others are derived from situations that had some hilarious, unforeseen, or wicked twist. There are intentional scars as well. My scar is a little bit of both. I have three wonderful, albeit challenging, children. The first scar I have ever received was because of my oldest son. I’m scarred for life.The entire pregnancy was typical. Everything was totally average. As I grew to house-sized proportions, I grew more excited...
I saw the car barreling towards our car and I remember screaming and hearing the loud metal crashing sound as it smashed into the passenger door where I sat. It seemed like slow motion but at the same time over within a second. My boyfriend, who was driving, noticed that my leg was bleeding. I stared confused because my leg didn’t have a cut on it. All of a sudden a searing pain started in the back right side of my head. I touched it and when I took my hands away they we...
I tore open the flesh of my dominant hand on the night I said goodbye to my childhood friend. It was the end of summer after high school. I was drunk. He, moving away. The first, great precipice of life, lay before us. I could feel the edge. Rough, uncertain. Dangling. The warmth of the day fled as late August in Montana will do. The night crept in coldly, a gasoline campfire going at Black Sands, by the river. Many came to see him off; in a tourist town, bordering nothing...
[size=6]My scar, my physical scar, sits solemnly as a reminder to the beginning of my childhood’s end. Slightly faded, and while small (less than an inch), it boasts broadly along my lower neck. The larger scar is unseen on my heart, on my soul, and in my mind. My surgery was 2012 for a partial thyroidectomy, left lobe, noncancerous tumor removed as my husband, daughters, daddy, and mom watch over and take care of me. They hold my hand, they hug and kiss me, and all is oka...
In Barbara Abercrombie’s Writing Out the Storm, I read a passage written by Laura: “I love my scar. Scars are tangible proof that we have healed.” I don’t love my scar. In my glass-is-half-empty moments, I see my scar as physical proof of my body’s betrayal, of my weakness, of my lack of control, of my fear. In my glass-is-half-full moments I see my scar as physical proof that I am strong, resilient, and brave. My scar, the result of a muscle biopsy, is on the back ...
We’ve all had those days. You know what I’m talking about. You feel cursed from the moment you wake up and no matter how you try to put a happy spin on the day or turn it all around, things keep getting worse. We had that kind of a day last Monday. The day drifted into “terrible” territory at my 5 year old, Story’s, allergist appointment. We waited in the hot examining room for the doctor to arrive for over 35 minutes. When she finally knocked on the door, Story blurt...
She was a sweet sixteen sitting there as innocent as could be. Thoughts went through her mind as the teacher mumbled away. Not focused on anything really; she was as smart as a whip. Then out flows the blood, a dark deep red. She knew from whence it came, but not sure why it did. Her hands trembling, she sought help. When the teacher asked how, she could not tell. One day in school was pig dissection day. She was dissecting and her mind and her heart began to race as she be...
Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister a friend, health care provider. I wear many hats but there's one that I'm most proud of-that of survivor. Twelve years ago, at the age of 35, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was young, I was scared and I felt alone. After a week of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to deal with this head on. At the time, I was a single mother with a six year old and I had to be strong for him. There was a mastectomy, radiatio...
MMOOOMMM! Yup, that’s me. I’m a mom. Not just a mom but a Mmooommm! It is the best job in the entire world. It encompasses every thing and all of my time. It is a job I never want to quit. Mmooommm is yelled in so many different ways. There is the “Mmooomm, I’m hungry” yell; the “Mmooommm, you’re so awkward;” the “Mmooommm, I’m in trouble;” the “Mmooommm, where are you?” Then we have the “Mmooommm, I need my shoes, my lunchbag, my sweatshirt, my karate gi, my jeans, my b...
I’m a wife, mother, office worker, avid reader, dog owner, etc. There are numerous ways to describe me at this stage in my life. However, I believe my identity is synonymous with my passion, my love of swimming. I consider it my passion because I feel total peace and pure joy when I’m swimming. I identify myself as a swimmer because of my innate love of water combined with key defining experiences that enhanced this passion. I feel it’s who I am no matter what else is ha...
I visited my sister Sasha 5 years ago when her first son Joshua was born. We have always had a tumultuous relationship and I wanted to show sisterly support. I traveled from South Africa to England and the ticket was expensive (800 pounds). I traveled with my 2 year old daughter Milly, our suitcase half-filled with gifts for my sister and her new baby. Before travelling I had asked previously if she would like me to come and she said that she would. I asked if it would be O...

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