1st Person

Al Jazeera: From the US to Afghanistan Rediscovering The Mother Who Left Me

Sharon, my mother, abandoned me when I was born, pursuing a career from which she never returned.

Associated Press: Inheriting the fine china? Many younger folks say no thanks

I cleaned out the house where my Grandma lived for 60 years. Every nook and cranny was filled with something. What should I do with boxes of fine China?

The Washington Post: What happened when my son's interests collided with my values 

“Can you sign me up for Boy Scouts?” he asked. I recount how I approached my son when my interest collided with his.


Associated Press: To Whom it May Concern? Advice on addressing holiday cards

Every holiday season, I receive a handful of cards addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Mark Peacock” — my husband’s name. And every year I’m flummoxed that some in our circle haven’t noticed that Mark and I have never shared a last name.


The Washington Post: Learning to appreciate the grandmother who raised me, almost too late

Understanding the immense sacrifice my Grandpa made in spending her retirement years raising a third child — her daughter’s child, the result of an affair with a married man two decades older.


The Week: How a DNA Test Revealed My Family's Dark Secrets

I found my absent and secret father with the help of an Ancestry DNA test. Millions of people take these at-home test kits every year. To be sure, they'll make lying about family secrets much harder.


The Washington Post: My Mother Abandoned Me as a Child. It Took Having Kids to Forgive Her

I reflect on the 25 years that has elapsed since my mother's death in Afghanistan. What's changed? Me.


The Washington Post: Attack on AP Journalists Rekindles a Daughter's Pain

This was the first of a series of essays I wrote examining my mother, Sharon Herbaugh and her role in my life.


Associated Press: This Cat is Torturing a Family. Can a Cat Whisperer help?

Asking the tough cat-related questions for AP.



Associated Press: Grab Your Bonnet, It's an 19th-Century Getaway

I stayed the night at Sturbridge Village, living like the Bixby family in 1820. It was no joke.



Associated Press: Traveling Abroad With Young Kids? Tips for an Easier Trip

Some ruminations on that time I took my kids to Europe, all alone.