Liz Johnson

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Liz is mom to second grader Jonah, preschooler Gwendolyn, and toddler Theo. She and Troy married and bought a Beaverdale home in 2010. A teacher on maternal hiatus, Liz prefers reading to housekeeping and uses West Wing reruns to settle her mind. She believes any problem can be solved with fiction but loves to explore her reality in Des Moines.
Loess Hills Iowa

Weekend Trip: Loess Hills

It was time for a new family state-cation. We were already planning a visit to Omaha to watch a cousin’s baseball tournament, but everything in the city was booked. Instead, we found an Airbnb an...
Mom wearing a shirt that says "Right to be Wrong"

What if You’re Wrong?

Our 4-year-old son is currently obsessed with the book series Who Would Win. If you aren’t familiar with the series, each book features two animals the author pits against one another in an epic...
stay at home dads need love too. Des Moines Mom

Stay-at-Home Dads Need Love Too

People have plenty of thoughts about stay-at-home parenting. We love it, we hate it, we judge it, we misunderstand it. We also tend to assign the label to only one parent: mom. But as research...
Female teacher reading to a young boy in a library.

5 Ways to Show Teacher Appreciation All Year

It’s that time of the year again - Teacher Appreciation Week. If you’re looking for a list of gifts for your child’s favorite teacher, this isn’t it. If that’s what you need, check out this...
woman laying on bed with hair over face. bad day

Mom’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

There are days in parenting that are beautiful: memories are made, major milestones are celebrated, and everything unfolds as planned. Then there are other days. The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. (They’re not...
black history month activities in Des Moines

Black History Month in Des Moines

Black History Month started as “Negro History Week” in 1926. Historian Carter G. Woodson wanted to recognize the often overlooked contributions of Black Americans to our nation’s history. He chose a week in February...
A comfy pink recliner on a picturesque beach. nursing chair

Ode to My Nursing Chair

As we watched our 4-year-old vomit onto my beloved nursing chair last month, a thought occurred to me: This chair has seen some stuff. That was the non-expletive thought, anyway. There were other inappropriate thoughts...
Girl Wrapping Gift

Tired of Stuff? Try Experience Gifts Instead!

We received a holiday toy catalog in the mail in mid-September. I quickly took it straight from the mailbox to my super secret hiding space so the kids wouldn’t find it. I should’ve known...
Sharing a bedroom

Do Your Kids Share a Room?

Our family of five lives in a three-bedroom Beaverdale ranch. My husband and I bought the house as newlyweds and were delighted by all the space. We’ve since been blessed with three kids. There is...
reading book in bed. Des Moines Mom

What Should I Read Next? Book Recommendations for Fall

As the kids return to school and cooler air makes for cozy couch nests, you might be looking for a new book to help you relax, teach you a little something, or just distract...