Laura Mills

Soup and Then Some


By Laura Mills      Something that says fall to me, nearly as much as leaves, pumpkins and Halloween, is soup. In my youngest days I loved good old canned tomato and chicken noodle. But my mom created countless amazing concoctions, too, the ingredients of which varied from pot to pot, and the older I got the more I grew to love what I now think of as “real” soup. Other than opening a can or reheating Mom’s care-packages, though, I have yet to make soup at home. In the past the process—the finding, chopping and otherwise preparing of ingredients, as [...]

Soup and Then Some2018-10-10T15:11:45-05:00

Best Costume Ever, Part 2


  By Laura Mills     Just after Halloween 2012 I posted a blog that asked why, as human beings, we love disguises so much. With Halloween 2013 just around the corner, I thought at least part of that blog worth posting again….   “[And we disguise ourselves not] only on Halloween—after all, a disguise doesn’t require a mask, whiskers and a tail, or even unfamiliar clothes. However we go about it, we find comfort in fooling others about our identity, in others’ not knowing whom we really are. Think about it…as children, who among us didn’t at one time or another [...]

Best Costume Ever, Part 22018-10-10T15:11:46-05:00

Many Maybe’s


  By Laura Mills     I love calendars. Something about putting up a pristine, empty calendar at the beginning of a new year—I guess it overwhelms me with possibility. It reminds me that, regardless of my intentions or plans for the time ahead, the future remains unwritten (and, truly, what a relief THAT is!). An empty calendar at the beginning of a new year, far more than being a collection of days or months at-a-glance, is a visual representation of one of my all-time favorite words: maybe.     Maybe…. Maybe my family, friends, and self will stay healthy in 2014? [...]

Many Maybe’s2018-10-10T15:11:47-05:00

Never Too Old….


  By Laura Mills     Me: “I have to clean the table.”     H (my daughter, age 3): “Why?”     Me: “Because there’s applesauce smeared all over it.”     H: “Why?”     Me: “Because you were finger painting with your snack.”     H: “Why?”     Me: “Because you like to make pictures.”     H: “Why?”     Me (still scrubbing): “Because that’s one of the things that’s special about you.”     H: “Why?”     Me: “Because that’s how God made you.”     H: “Why?”     Me (pause): “Because that’s what the universe needed.”     H (pause): “I go play now.”     [...]

Never Too Old….2018-10-10T15:11:48-05:00

Still Winter?


By Laura Mills      A tree stands just outside my bedroom window—it’s so close that when it has leaves, they actually press against the glass. One morning last week, while having a particularly difficult time getting out of bed, I happened to glance out the window and see tiny buds. With the weather having yet to consistently approach anything spring-ish, the sight surprised me; my first reaction was to think to the tree, “Put those away! The cold will kill them!”     Weather each season can vary tremendously year to year, of course, but still nature always adheres to its [...]

Still Winter?2018-10-10T15:11:49-05:00

Still Winter? (Part 2)


  By Laura Mills     Last week—nearly one month after my blog about first noticing the buds on the tree outside my window—I noticed a few green grass blades poking through the ground. And each day since, I’ve seen more and more. The bare spots in my yard are filling in, and slowly the flat brown patches are giving way to a much-more-lively green spread. This year, as are most of us, I’m sure, after the record-breaking winter, I’m more excited than ever to observe these changes.     But also, I confess: I couldn’t have wished for a more appropriate [...]

Still Winter? (Part 2)2018-10-10T15:11:49-05:00



  By Laura Mills       At this midpoint of 2014, consider: how many times this year so far have you asked yourself “What next?” It’s a question that reflects our awareness of life’s constant flow…and whether we ask it with enthusiasm or exasperation reflects whether we feel we’re flowing with life or struggling against it.     Lately, when I’ve thought “What next?” it’s been in the context of life’s flow feeling too fast and too strong. Time has passed, things have happened….  In posing the question again and again with a heavy sigh, I’ve admitted that that time and those [...]


All Talk?


  By Laura Mills     This summer I’ve done all kinds of neat things—like attend a yoga retreat, spend a weekend downtown as a Chicago “tourist,” install granite countertops in my kitchen, reorganize my basement, master Mandarin Chinese, learn to play the banjo, and drive across the country—in my mind. That is to say I’ve daydreamed over and over that I made these things happen. Some of these things I’ve even wistfully discussed with friends, making them all the more delicious. Yet as of this moment each remains, well…unfinished. Some even remain un-attempted.     Yep, I dream big. I make lists [...]

All Talk?2018-10-10T15:11:51-05:00

“You Make Me Feel So Young”


  By Laura Mills     Last week I attended a parent meeting at my daughter’s preschool, where I discovered that learning is based on play. I love this philosophy, that children don’t require anything elaborate or high-tech to learn new skills and make solid connections in their minds. Plain and simple: children succeed by doing what they do best, by doing what they do naturally.     Since then I’ve reflected on how often I ignore the “plain and simple” in my own life. I over-think, over-plan, over-do, over-analyze….  It’s common among human beings, I think, as we rush around to check [...]

“You Make Me Feel So Young”2018-10-10T15:11:52-05:00

“Undo,” Not “To Do”


By Laura Mills       It’s easy to put myself last when gift giving. What I give myself is often hardly a gift anyway; stress, that unwelcome yet persistent part of the holidays, sneaks in and gets cozy as I list, decorate, shop, wrap, rush and socialize. Unfortunately, over the years I’ve realized I harbor a certain over-confidence in my ability to manage stress (“Stress? Never! I teach yoga, for goodness’ sake!”); at the end of the most hectic days, I consistently find that the hardest part of stress management is remembering to do it.     Undoubtedly, I keep [...]

“Undo,” Not “To Do”2018-10-10T15:11:53-05:00