As a writer and editor, Marian Cowhig Owen made her living crafting – or at least striving for – perfect prose. But motherhood taught her quickly that there’s no such thing as a perfect parent. It’s a lesson she’s learning over and over every day. A Midwesterner by birth, Marian lived in North Carolina for 14 years before her husband’s job brought the family to Columbia in fall 2013. She and her preschooler have quickly found new favorite haunts in the Midlands, including Saluda Shoals Park, EdVenture and the Irmo branch library. In her spare time, this NPR junkie also sings, bakes and does needlework. She’s recently taken up running, with an eye toward her first 5K race in the fall. And as for that perfection she’s been seeking? Her Pinterest boards are very carefully curated.

Your Columbia To-Do List

I am a list maker. When I'm planning, I make lists. When I'm worried, I make lists. And when I have a project — like moving my family to a new city — hoo...

Nipple Shields :: Friend or Foe?

Walk down the breastfeeding aisle of any superstore, and you'll see products that you likely didn't know existed, at least before you entered BreastfeedingLand. Nursing covers, nursing stools, nursing shirts. Breast pads (disposable or...

Becoming Dad :: Why We Love Men Who Love Their Babies

"The moment a child is born, the father is also born. He never existed before. The man existed, but the father, never. A father is something absolutely new." -- Indian mystic Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh originally wrote this about...

Savoring Summer, AC and All

The trouble with being a writer is that all the stupid things you’ve ever said are out there in the ether, just waiting to embarrass you. Take a column I wrote in 2003, in which...

Smart Tips for Buying and Selling on VarageSale

Spring is in the air -- pollen and all. And spring means spring cleaning. If your spring cleaning has included the "40 bags in 40 days" decluttering challenge, you probably have a pile of items that need...

About That New Year’s Resolution … An Update on Our Progress

I read once that most people have completely given up on their New Year's resolutions by the end of February. Which means that Lori, Kristen, Barbara and I should be closing the door on...

7 Tips for Bringing a Meal to a Friend in Need

In the winter of my son's first year, my husband spent two weeks in the hospital after suffering a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in his lung). After a harrowing first few days in...

Love is a Verb :: Why Feelings Aren’t Enough on Valentine’s Day

My newborn son was finally asleep in my arms. I crept up the stairs, keeping my arms absolutely still so as not to wake him, and painstakingly lowered him into his crib. "Good night,...

Daytrip :: Train + Theater = A Terrific Time

When I was growing up in small-town Illinois, a trip to Chicago was one of our family's special treats. We ate lunch in a fancy (by our standards) restaurant, then took advantage of big-city...

One Final Task to Make Next Year’s Holidays Easier

The New Year's Eve champagne has gone flat. The holiday cards have come off the mantel. The Christmas tree is headed for the compost bin. And the kids are (finally) back in school. Mamas,...

New Year, New Start:: Our New Year’s resolutions

Happy new year, and welcome to my favorite day of the year. January 1 brings a new calendar year and a chance to start fresh. It's a new dayplanner with nothing crossed out yet,...

Gift-Giving for Less :: Get Crafty and Creative with VarageSale Finds

The countdown to holiday gift-giving has begun. Your list is long, but your wallet is slim. There's no way you're going to be able to give all the gifts you want ... or is...

Travel Essential :: 5 Apps to Entertain Your Preschooler

If you're headed out of town today for the Thanksgiving holiday, chances are your head is swimming with long lists of things to pack for your trip. Diapers, wipes, butt balm ... sippy cups,...

VarageSale :: The New Way to Shop for Bargains {Sponsored Post}

So you need a bed for your preschooler. Or maybe a new dining room table, or a swingset. And you'd prefer not to pay retail prices for a spanking-new one. You have a few...

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