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Denise Ullem
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Denise Ullem is a writer, a wife, a mother and an ardent observer of the soaring joys and gritty underbelly of life. She toggles between car pool, her latest essay and unloading the dishwasher. She lives on the East Coast with her husband, daughter, son and an eclectic collection of dust bunnies. You can find more of her musings at her blog, Universal Grit.

Entries by Denise Ullem

My Mental Collection

(2) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 11:44 AM

I'll tell you something.

I collect a lot things:

T-shirts, in towering soft stacks in my closet.

Nature's hearts -- rocks, leaves, tiny sea shells-which I keep in a small bowl by my kitchen sink.

Quotes that stun me, stop me, inspire me-written on whatever I can record them on...

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Beginning Again

(6) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 2:42 PM

February embraced me with her gray folds. Hibernation-worthy fatigue walloped me after a harsh winter and, frankly, a long year. Looking back, I could see why I was exhausted. Surgery. Recovery. A cross-country move. A CROSS-COUNTRY MOVE. Heart-breaking goodbyes, soul-mending hellos. Cardboard boxes. F*cking boxes. Unknown quantities of pizza. Big...

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I Believe

(6) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 9:31 AM

I stood at the kitchen sink with the usual school morning mayhem unfolding around me. Washing, drying, packing, fielding, answering, signing Important Things, reminding. Oh, and, of course, mitigating the seemingly endless bickering. But that's a post for another time.

Henry sat down on the kitchen floor to put on...

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Letting Go

(2) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 3:01 PM

Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will wake to an alarm. I will stretch and flop back into my white, cotton, rumpled sheets. Somewhere, amid the heap of my body and brain and my heap of sheets and pillows, a jolt will start in my stomach and punch up through my...

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A Bird and a Lesson

(7) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 2:48 PM

"Mommy?! Mommy!"

"Yes, babe?"

"I need to show you something. Can you please come here?"

"Let me finish bringing in the groceries and I'll be right there."

I rounded up the last bags and dropped them in the kitchen. I walked through the house, looking for Abby.

"Abby?"

Her words...

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This Is Childhood: Nine

(56) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 10:58 AM

This post is the ninth in the series "This Is Childhood," which captures moments in our children's lives, from age 1 to 10.

Abby is 9.

Her experiences contain threads of both the universal as well as the unique, weaving a life that is distinctly hers. My mind...

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