Julie Rhodes

Julie Rhodes on noob mothering, rookie faith, and life in a ponytail.

The Chrysalis Effect

(Chatter Editor Letter, October 2013) You might have heard of the butterfly effect, but I’ve been enamored recently with something I can only dub the “chrysalis effect.” Chrysalis: just a fancy term for a butterfly’s cocoon, the gold pupa that breaks apart to deliver the fluttering wings and buzzing legs and fuzzy body we love…   read more

She’s Three. Help. Me.

Tonight Madeline snuggled with me on the couch 45 minutes after dinner. Still wearing her princess dress and fresh off a crying jag caused by a run-in with Drew, she was done with the day. So was I. After a 12-hour drive home the day before from Colorado, I was still feeling fuzzy, disembodied and…   read more

The Rock Eternal

(Chatter Letter from the Editor, August) “Why did Jesus die on the cross, Maddie?” I asked my two-year-old. We were in the car heading out of the church parking lot. My five-year-old son interrupted: “He died because the Roman guards were mean.” Maddie disagreed. “No! He died because he fell and skinned his knee!” Skinning…   read more

Whirlwind Italy

(Guest post for ShawnSmallStories.com) Last summer my husband Gordon and I took a whirlwind trip of Italy with my entire family. When most people use phrases like “entire family,” they mean their parents and maybe their sister. When I say it, I mean my parents, my sister Liz who lives in California, my sister Bonnie…   read more

Celebrating 100 Issues of Chatter

(Chatter Letter From the Editor, July 2013) Except for the few months I was busy bringing a human baby into the world, I have been Chatter’s editor since March of 2009 when someone saw my blog and thought I might be odd enough to fill such a position. The years since have accounted for 53…   read more

Quacking Up

(Chatter Editor Letter, June) In an effort to “Diaz-inate” myself — a term I developed in college for “working out” a la Cameron Diaz — I have been expanding my small horizons. I started by upping the intensity level on the Stair Master. (What a mistake!) Still believing myself capable of more, I signed up…   read more

Princess and the Potty

Yesterday I received news you dream of hearing. It wasn’t that I had won the lottery, or that I had become fully hydrated without having to drink water, or that John Krasinski had become my fan on Facebook. It was that Madeline had gone pee-pee in the potty at preschool. It’s a first. For weeks,…   read more

Waiting on the Couch (Chatter Letter from the Editor, May)

There are few things in life more sobering than waiting with a child who is about to vomit. I have been to funerals, ill-advised weddings, under-rehearsed school productions, and awkward Sunday brunches, but all of those pale in comparison to the dread-filled silence before your baby “yawns in technicolor.” I held vigil for four days…   read more

Review: Casa’s “Seussical jr.”

You’ll give a loud, spontaneous YOPP after the last note of Casa’s joyful production of “Seussical jr.,” playing now through May 12. A fantastical conglomeration of the best-loved Seuss storylines and characters, “Seussical jr.” hones down the full-length Broadway production into a fast-paced, neon ClifNotes extravaganza. What Kids Will Like Kudos and blessings should be…   read more

Review: Casa’s “Disney’s Winnie The Pooh, Kids”

If you and your kids have a hankering for the simple pleasure of Winnie the Pooh, then follow the rumble in your tummies to Casa Manana’s sweet-as-honey production. The whole gang is here — Christopher Robin, Eeyore, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, and of course Tigger (a fabulous Scott Zenreich) — and they’re facing existential…   read more