Karen Flayhart

Karen Flayhart, past contributing blogger

Articles by this author
A few years ago, I took the greatest risk of my life. I packed up my apartment in D.C., said goodbye to my friends and a great job, and moved to Cincinnati to be with my boyfriend, a Rabbinical student at HUC. The gamble paid off: two weeks after my move, he popped the question. After having dated for a little over five years, the engagement came as less than a surprise and more as a relief to our friends and family. (The relief on the side of my friends who were afraid they would have to carry out their threats and wind up in jail.) Read More

Even though by the age of 13 I had stopped believing in Jesus, I still went all-out every year to celebrate Christmas. I searched endlessly for the perfect tree, decorated my condo until it looked like a red and green bomb had exploded, and baked for days. I conveniently ignored the guilty feeling that I was going to hell for dispensing the holiday’s religious significance and instead focusing solely on the commercial aspects. Read More

For years, my breasts had one great superpower: the ability to attract men faster than the speed of light in a singles bar. In a couple of weeks, my supersized breasts will have different superpowers: the ability to feed a crying infant faster than a speeding bullet, repelling men and women at the sight. Read More

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Having only been a Mom for four months, I hardly qualify as an expert on the topic of pregnancy or motherhood.  But a lack of expertise hasn’t ever stopped me from doling out unsolicited advice before, so why stop now?!  So, in no particular order, here are a few insights from my own experience.  Oy! Read More

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After living with stark white walls, slumlords slow to fix problems but quick to raise the rent, and hauling my groceries up 3 flights of stairs and down a long hallway, only for the bag to break right before I can get my door open, I’m ready for my own place.  (Ideally one where doing the laundry doesn’t rely on me having enough quarters.) Read More

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Annoyingly, the timing of my conversion coincided with Charlotte’s on Sex on the City, leaving my friends all wondering why the hell my conversion process was taking so long when Charlotte managed to convert in 3 episodes. (For the record: it generally takes one full calendar year.) Read More

A major international crisis was nearly averted yesterday by Lady Gaga when she, in a sweeping gesture of respect for her more conservative Israeli fans, covered her skimpy attire by donning a black leather jacket adorned with a Star of David made of silver spikes on the back. Read More

Dear Republican Party photo_th
Dear Republican Party: As painful as this is for me to say, I think we both know that it’s time for a trial separation. Read More

Remembering 9/11 flag_th
Many of us have a story about 9/11.  This is mine. Read More

Farewell Skinny Jeans photo_th
The scariest thing in a woman’s closet?  Her skinny jeans.  Boooooooo.  I bought my last pair of skinny jeans after I had a week-long bout of the stomach flu.  I was so excited to fit into them that I didn’t care about the ridiculous price tag, or that they belonged on a tween.   I was thin!  I was hot!  Wait- I was really hot… and... queasy… Read More

Like It? Put a ring on it. photo_th
After dating for five agonizingly frustrating years, I finally got my beshert down the aisle.  The news of our engagement came as a great relief to my friends and family—my father’s actual response was: “Well, it’s about time.” Read More

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Off the top of my head, here’s… The stuff they don’t tell you in any intro-to-Judaism class about being a Jew: 1. No matter how accepting your family is of your religious choice, you are now different. Read More

Shout out to other women photo_th
I love this photo of my baby Lindsay on her first swing ride, because if you look a little closely, you will see something amiss… look at the shoes… see it?  Mommy put her shoes on the wrong feet!  DOH! Read More

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As you know, traffic in our windy city really blows.  Yet thousands of commuters daily opt to sit stuck in traffic behind the wheel versus taking public transportation, exacerbating the problem and costing Metra and CTA millions in lost revenue.  And you want to know why? Read More

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I met “Jake” the summer between our freshman and sophomore years in college.  He was tall, blond, sweet, smart, Jewish, and endearingly nerdy.  He sent me flowers and made me mix tapes of cheesy love songs.  We dated for five years.  We talked about the future together. Read More

Top seven perks of being a working mommy photo_th
Sometimes, we working moms could use a little reminder of some of the less obvious perks for working “outside the home.”  Because no matter why we work (e.g., couldn’t pay the bills otherwise), how certain we are about our choices, or how happy we are with our lives, there are days when being a working mom can be rough. Read More

My Baby’s Daddy photo_th
Just last week, my slightly- vain 30-something husband came down the stairs wearing shorts, black socks, and yes, sandals.  Being the loving wife that I am, I gently pointed out his fashion faux-pas (ok, so maybe I was on the floor laughing) only to be shocked at his complete indifference, and worse, refusal to change—or at least take off—the socks. Read More

Leaving Las Vegas photo_th
Last month, I went on a much-needed vacation with my hubby—our first ‘adults only’ trip since our daughter was born.  It.  Was.  Awesome.  We slept for more than 14 HOURS straight the first night.  We traveled with carry-on luggage only.  And for three entire days all I needed to carry was a wallet—no diapers, wipes, snacks or toys. Read More

Sukkot photo_th
Well, here we are: six days into Sukkot, and my undecorated, we-haven’t-had-one-meal-in-its-blue-tarp-walls sukkah stands on my deck, waiting like a girl on prom night for her date to show. Read More

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The #1 killer of relationships?  In my opinion, the answer is holidays.  Let’s face it; bringing home your significant other can be very stressful.  Even in the most “normal” (and I use normal here loosely) families, there is always at least one family member who will bring up the most painfully embarrassing moments in your life in front of your s.o., or ask the most inappropriately personal questions. Read More

Meet Ari Engel photo_th
The first thing that struck me upon meeting Ari Engel was just how, well, normal he looks (and, I should add, is).  Standing there in jeans, t-shirt and wearing a kippah upstairs in the Venetian Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, I easily could have mistaken him for any guy in town for a bachelor party, who had probably just lost his last $100 on a badly played hand of Blackjack. Read More

My Cradle List photo_th
I have a cradle list—a list of things that I want to do before having another child, such as spending as much 1-1 time with my daughter while I can, and taking a couple of vacations while we only have to pay for one extra seat. Read More

My Stupid Valentine photo_th
The very first Valentine’s Day that I had a boyfriend to celebrate it with was a disaster—not because he failed to mark the day, but because I realized that I thought the candy and roses were silly and cheesy.  In short, I realized that I think like a guy. Read More

Sisters photo_th
In many ways my older sister and I are perfect opposites.  Almost seven years divide us, enough time between so that even our childhood cultural references differ.  She watched different shows, wore different fashions, and listened to different music. Read More

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When my husband called, I knew immediately from the tone of his voice that something was very wrong, and it would be very bad. And it was. Read More

Joplin Jews photo_thx
Look closely at the photo and you will see the only room left standing in Paul’s house, where he and his family survived the deadly twister that tore much of Joplin, Missouri apart, was just a closet. Read More

Please send tequila photo_th
Hi. My name is Karen Flayhart, I’m 37 years old, and I’m at camp. If hell exists, camp would be my version of it. My first Jewish camp experience began this Sunday when I arrived at camp with my husband—who is teaching at the camp the next two weeks—and our two and a half year old daughter. Unlike her mother, she loves camp. Read More

10 tips for working moms photo_th
Whether a mother stays at home with a child or works, motherhood is a tough job. As a full-time working mamma, I often feel very torn between my two jobs. And I know that I’m not alone—virtually every friend and working mom I’ve had this conversation shares this feeling. Read More

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