Beyond Parenting

Featured Author

Sandy Hoban


Sandy Hoban is an Evergreen freelance writer and teacher who spends much of her time outside absorbing nature, reading, and walking her three pups. She raised her two young adult children in these mountains and lives to write about it. As she embarks on the empty nest chapter, Sandy’s essays candidly discuss the growing pains and discoveries she encounters along the way. She also writes the Art Scene column and you can read more of her work at


Pee Breaks & Enlightenment

The age of an empty-nester seems to align with turning 50, a birthday worthy of festive jubilee! Over the past two years, I have attended several 50th birthday “events,” including my own, and I’ve come to the conclusion that turning 50 is very similar to turning 21....

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Luna’s Love Language: A Pup’s Perspective

She used to walk with us into the woods daily. I’d sit at the sliding glass door and wait as patiently as I could, but body wiggles always gave away my excitement. My brothers and I would clamor on top of one another to be the first to exit after she slid the door...

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It’s Mama’s Turn

Every now and again, reminders of all she has given come streaming back. The clouds clear and small reels of life are revealed. Late nights waking with a sick child—all the worry and fretting. Hours searching grocery aisles for healthy lunchbox options, dinners and...

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Bird Mice

I used to bust out paints and crafts for my daughter when she was younger. Our kitchen table covered in newspaper was a creative frenzy of happiness. Paint bottles strewn about alongside used brushes, markers, paper and scissors. Prior to a creative session, we’d...

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They’re Baaaack!

I thought I was prepared for this past holiday season. Presents were purchased, holiday parties calendared, and Christmas Eve and New Year plans all in place. Then my two college-aged children arrived home and I was sent on an unexpected journey. For approximately one...

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!!! Surprise !!!

There are few surprises in life anymore. Access to the world gives answers in a snap. We can track family members via location apps, view vacations or gatherings from a Facebook or Instagram post—moments we aren’t involved in, which can leave the heart heavy. So much...

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Pooling Around

Without having to watch water for possibly drowning children, vacation pools have taken on a whole new definition for me. While visiting my daughter at college in Hawaii, I had several peaceful days to lounge by a pool, undisturbed. Due to my curious nature, I am...

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Bird Launching

I collapsed in a sobbing heap on a bench outside his dorm building. Not because I would miss my youngest as he set out into the world. Not because he’d be living 1700 miles away for the next nine months. Not because my nest is officially empty. The visceral reaction I...

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Empty Silence

Oh, tenacious moth. Why do you torment me so? Flitting about with no destination. An exhausting holding pattern. Repetitive smacking Into my blank laptop Blinking cursor  of which I curse. What are you searching for? An exit. A portal. Your purpose? Stop the...

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Unplanned Canal Chaos

The real secret to a fabulous life is to live imperfectly with great delight. —Anonymous Should you ever need to understand organization and planning, talk to a parent. Parents plan. If a parent doesn’t plan, their universe becomes off kilter sending ripples of unease...

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In the corner of my preschool classroom, inside a small terrarium, under a log with a warming light, lives Webby, our pet tarantula. Webby was my co-teacher’s class pet idea. “They are so low maintenance and are really cool!” she claimed. And she’s correct, but I...

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Taking a Swing

Once upon a time, I wrote for the parents in the same trenches as I. The moms who smiled often but felt lost inside. The dads who planned the perfect family vacation that had gone awry. The life transitions that catapult a family into change without warning. I wrote...

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