Category Archives: Mama Susie

A Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Love you,mom

Though Mom is often on our mind, finding a special something to honor her might leave you scrambling. Gifts don’t have to be too costly to feel meaningful, thoughtful, and genuinely useful. I like my friend Melissa Schmallenberger’s advice for gifts: Get something consumable or go with an experience. I’ve got several suggestions for you. For…

Kids in the Kitchen: Common Ground for a Delicious Life 

A few weeks ago, I got to participate in an evening cooking event sponsored by CommonGround North Dakota. The ND women farmers who volunteer for CommonGround are focused on starting a conversation between growers and consumers. They talk about science, research and establishing trust in our food supply. And, once you grow it, how does…

On Mothers and Mothering

Daughter sitting in her mother's lap in a field.

Many women celebrate and are celebrated on Mother’s Day. But since I am an older than average mother, and spent many years fearing that I would never have a child, I have a tender spot about this holiday. Some women are childless by choice, others by chance or circumstance. I try to be sensitive to…


Funny Caterpillar

I went on a weekend trip with my 4 year old son Grant, and was reminded about the power of laughter, since we did so much of it! We had lots to laugh about at the children’s museum, restaurant outings with family, and the swimming pool. Even the safety cards in the plane were amusing…

My Summer Manifesto


I love the days of early summer, full of promise and possibility. Yet I often lament late August back to school days, looking back on 3 months of too much work and not enough fun. It’s not that I don’t enjoy my work, but I need build in a more time for my son Grant…

Maybe They’ll Listen?

Little Girl

So much has been written about talking with and teaching our kids. We have a fire hose of information, perhaps to blast them into submission with facts and instructions about how to behave. The first time I asked my 4-year old son, Grant, to behave, he said “Who is Have?” in a very serious voice….

In Search of the Ideal Day

Grant, Fall 2011

Hello friends! Today was a great day, the kind that I’d like to have more of. I got a lot of work done at my office yesterday, so my nurse will be very happy. The pressure was off, and we went to visit Grandma and Grandpa, trying to make it to church with them. Alas,…

The Fruits of Our Labor: Great Work

Toilet Paper

Dear Friends, Happy Labor Day! I hope most of you are enjoying an extra day off. This day got me thinking about work and rest…both are important. It also got me thinking about how much we define ourselves through work. Grant and I were in the bathroom yesterday, and the toilet paper roll needed replacement….

Back to School: Great Expectations or Crabs

Grant Going to School

Dear friends, The school year begins for our kids! It is always exciting, yet a little frightening at the same time. I remember agonizing about what to wear on the first day, even though we had UNIFORMS! My Grant starts full day pre-school, and I worry that my little night owl will be very tired…

Getting Lucky at the Fair

Good morning friends! Another busy week at the Mathison-Johnson-Catalyst household! We had busy clinic, interesting surgeries, Dakota Medical Foundation meeting, trips to the farm, Cully’s Kids Silent Auction and Picnic, face painting at Grant’s school, Children’s Montessori Center, and the highlight, the Red River Valley Fair! Grant and I wandered through the petting zoo and…