How far would our family go to save Christmas for Grandma?

Grandma holding her great-grandson on a scooter

As a former cast member of “Christmases With Grandma,” I’m delighted to offer this behind-the-scenes commentary on my all-time-favorite episode, “The One With the Spiral Ham.”

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the show, “Christmases With Grandma” was a long-running dramedy with an ensemble cast that explored the…

My grandma’s life was an epic struggle between joy and tragedy. Her stories have shaped our family’s identity for generations.

She entered this world larger than life, at 11 pounds, 8 ounces. Grieving the loss of her two older brothers, who died before she was born, her parents nearly named her “Dolores,” for sadness. Instead, they chose “Phyllis,” which sounded to them like feliz — happiness — arming her for…

Homeschooling during the pandemic was no walk in the park, but at least we managed to keep ourselves entertained

Great horned owl specimen in a museum

In retrospect, renting a taxidermied great horned owl for my kids was an obvious attempt to compensate for something.

Actually, it was an attempt to compensate for many things. First among them, of course, was Covid. By that point, October 2020, the kids had been cooped up with only their…

Women are consistently perceived as less creative than men. They also get less credit for their ideas. What can we do to change this?

Hand holding a glowing lightbulb

Like many people in academic or academic-adjacent careers, I eagerly binged this fall’s Netflix series “The Chair,” which follows the trials and tribulations of the first woman of color serving as chair of the English department at a prestigious private university. Despite an outstanding performance by Sandra Oh, as the…

On the verge of becoming parents, we lost our beloved cat. The love of our new community and the advice of a cat whisperer brought him home.

Brown tabby cat resting in a tree

Twelve years ago this month, in anticipation of the imminent arrival of our first child, I had become fixated on taking our two cats to the vet for their annual checkup. Call it nesting, call it controlling what I could, call it what you will, but it had to be…

Brianna Conrey

Writer, pianist, and education nonprofit leader based in California. Weekly social commentary and stories about family with a twist of humor.

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