I'm Pam, and I'm glad you're here. I hope my thoughts on family, faith, and the flux of life help you laugh, fire you up or just make you think.

Join the conversation: leave a comment, subscribe to posts (click the orange button in the top right corner), or drop me an email at pam(at)beyondjustmom(dot)com.
Thank you for visiting!

places i write



If you want to push my buttons, you can sass me, ignore me, or turn your back on me while I’m talking.  My kids have learned this well and respond accordingly (depending on whether they feel like pushing my buttons or not). 
Lately, one of my loving offspring has invoked a new move that completely unnerves [...]

mother/daughter journaling

We finally dug through that huge bag of end-of-school papers, trying to separate important memories from scrap. 

Quick detour:  No, we don’t keep every paper my kids bring home!  I ask my kids to make three piles:  1)  really important stuff that must be kept  2)  nice stuff to examine but pitch afterwards 3)  junk that can be [...]

21 things my dad taught me

Dear Daddy, thank you for teaching me:

that real men are strong, caring and sensitive too
that one can never say “I love you” too often
that little girls’ kisses come in two flavors:  strawberry shortcake or peaches and cream
that romance is dancing on your daddy’s boots
that life is a gamble, so it’s best to enjoy the good [...]

kids and courage

As he jumped in, I flashed back to five or six years ago.  I had almost forgotten the drama over this.
He’s my water boy.  He takes marathon shower/bath extravaganzas every evening, and as a preschooler he loved to play in the pool.  Suddenly though, he balked at swimming lessons:  too cold, too tired, or just too scary.  I [...]

the 27 thing fling

Housekeeping is not my passion or gift.  I need a little help from my friends (family).  How about you?
It gets especially onerous in the summer, when there are so many more interesting things to do outside, and there are many more bodies around my house making messes every five minutes.  
Enter the 27 thing fling.  I learned [...]

shifting seasons

Happy Summer!
I think we might have been the last school district in the union to finish school on June 12th.  Do you know anyone who finished later?  We’ve gone a bit underground, adjusting to a new rhythm after coming off a flurry of events: 

eldest son (AJ)’s church confirmation
middle son (NT)’s promotion to middle school
youngest daughter [...]

finding compassion in funny places

It stuck with me all week — the complexity, the nuances, and the strange ways I could relate to the story. 
We finally watched Rachel Getting Married on DVD.  It’s a strange, edgy, wobbly-camera style movie about a girl coming home from rehab for her sister’s wedding.  I found it painfully realistic and fantastically unrealistic at the [...]

stop the nagging, summer edition

As summer kicks in and routines change, I thought it might be helpful to re-post of one of my favorite parenting tips:
Check Yourself!

How’s your morning routine going? Do you hear some variation of this tape running every day:
“Get dressed. . . you’ve got to eat breakfast. . .brush your hair. . . do you have your [...]

a few of my favorites

I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting this moment, and it has finally arrived. 
Today we celebrate the 100th post on BeyondJustMom.  Thank you for coming to the party!  I wish I could offer you refreshments, but I’m not quite sure how that’s done.  I’ll have to figure that out for the next celebration — there are always new techy [...]

sex ed through the ages

 I knew the conversations were going to get interesting this spring. 
My two older boys — 7th and 5th grade – are both wrapping up the end of the school year with “health” units (code for sex education).  I’m a firm believer in age-appropriate sex ed, and we’ve had a variety of conversations over the years, but [...]