Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

Walking (and talking) the walk at the Illinois Marathon

Several years back, when my knees were younger, I ran the 5K in the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon.

It was a family affair, a challenge we undertook with a friend and her two kids. My son and I trained and ran together (yes, some of us have to build up to running 3 miles) and my younger daughter ran the 1K.

I put myself to the test

Choose the best way to finish this sentence:

Taking the SAT decades after your last algebra class is

a) innovative.
b) daring.
c) thoughtful.
d) really, really stupid.

I didn’t actually take the full SAT, for real; if I had, I would have prepared better.

'Love can overcome fear'

Amid a contentious national debate over immigration and travel bans, a Champaign-Urbana group has quietly taken up the religious mission to “welcome the stranger.”

C-U Friends and Allies of Immigrants and Refugees, a coalition of 27 religious congregations of all faiths and 13 other groups, has started taking in refugee families from Africa and the Middle East.

One person’s trash ...

Most people don’t get excited about an old rusty metal box.

But when an electrician replaced our circuit box a few years back, I was thrilled to get the old one.

I finally had a big hunk of metal to take to the recycling center along with the old binder rings, broken fixtures and other bits I’d accumulated.

Mixed emotions

This column originally appeared in The News-Gazette on Feb. 29, 2017.

You know that moment when you see a memory in the making, and you grab your phone or camera to capture it?

Things don’t always go well.

What to expect when you're expecting ... a new puppy

First things first: I am not turning this into a regular pet column.

However, much has transpired since I wrote last month about the new four-legged addition to our family.

Holes have been dug. Valentines have been shredded. Shoes have been chewed.

So much chewing.

'You can make it'

My daughter, who once had dreams of becoming a ballerina-princess/machine-maker, has a new career list.

After taking a “Career Cruising” survey at school, she was given 10 suggested occupations. They ranged from multimedia developer and website designer to elementary school teacher and corporate trainer.

Corporate trainer? And no science on the list?

The dog days ...

What are your best (or worst) dog-training moments? Email Julie Wurth at or tweet to her @jawurth.


When our first child was born, everyone warned us about the monumental lifestyle change ahead.

Home for Christmas

This column ran in the Dec. 20 News-Gazette.

I’m a Christmas purist. And I don’t much like change.