Rage Against the Minivan with Kristen Howerton Episode #75

Aaron McHugh


I had this nutty idea of asking Kristen Howerton if she would be willing to do a podcast interview while riding in a Surrey with the Fringe on Top (picture a four-wheeled carriage with each person peddling) on the Newport Beach, CA boardwalk. She said, YES. Boom. Game On.  In this episode, we got real…I mean really real. We covered a big range of topics as we bounced through conversations about…

The pressure of perfectionism, the pretty veneer of social media, social justice, realistic expectations about life and parenting, vulnerability, the political election, LGBT community and religion, white privilege, Multi-racial families, adoption and being a big-deal blogger.

Holden McHugh and Kristen Howerton
Holden McHugh and Kristen Howerton

A powerful moment occurred when we were talking about people coming out gay in the Christian church. My son Holden came out gay in ninth grade and I didn’t handle it well. Since he was helping drive the Surrey, I asked if he would be willing to comment about what that was like for him and what effect that had on his identity, relationships with us, with God and himself.

It’s really good.

Kristen and I figured out that we grew up about thirty miles from each other in Missouri. My wife Leith has followed Kristen’s blog for years and would read me articles in the kitchen. Turns out Kristen wrote about our family I’ve become a fan myself and love her lovingly heretical non-conformist go-for-it style.

My wife reminded me that Kristen first posted about our family in 1998-99 early in our journey with our daughter’s special needs and the loss of hope and heart we were wrestling through. She posted again about our family in 2011 after the loss of our daughter Hadley.

Click to Listen to interview with Kristen Howerton

I curated 6 of Kristen’s blogs you’ll love:

  1. sometimes I ignore my children, and that’s ok.
  2. faking it.
  3. the time I referred to “the black guy” and other tales of racial awkwardness.
  4. Forever 21 why do you hate me?
  5. parents, please educate your kids on adoption so mine don’t have to.
  6. the 15 steps of packing for a family vacation.

Check out Beers and Hymns Orange County. We went last summer and had a great time.

Kristen Howerton
Kristen Howerton

Kristen is the mom of four children within four years via birth and adoption, and has been blogging at Rage Against the Minivan as a coping skill since 2006. If you are looking for a blog with great ideas for kids, amazing craft inspiration, scrapbooking help, and stunning photography, then AWESOME. There are a lot of those blogs out there. You should go find them. Here, you might find musings about the impact of the skinny jean on Kristen’s self-esteem, her tendency to spill food on her laptop, and her inappropriate crush on Jon Stewart. She also indulges in sleep-deprived rants about parenting, poop, adoption, politics, race, religion, social justice, and various other subjects that her mother warned her not to discuss in public.

Kristen is a Marriage and Family Therapist, a freelance writer, and a musical theater geek. In addition to her own blog, Kristen is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and Quiet Revolution. Kristen is also the founder of Pinterest You Are Drunk and the popular instagram accounts @assholeparents and @whenchildrendressthemselves.

Kristen likes to waste time on Twitter at @kristenhowerton.

In the spring of 2010, Kristen lost her long and passionate battle against the minivan. It now sits in her driveway covered in crushed cheerios and remnants of her self-esteem.

2 thoughts on “Rage Against the Minivan with Kristen Howerton Episode #75

  1. Thank you for the mention, Aaron! Such a great interview.

    Kristen’s kind of my spirit animal. She says everything I think so I just walk around telling people to read her. It’s a totally safe way for me to have my voice and let her be the one who has to deal with backlash from the Comments Section. 😉 Love you, K.

    And much love to Leith and Holden.

    1. BJ now that is a really good strategy. Let Kristen take the lumps 🙂 Michael Scott on the Office says, “I want all of the credit and none of the blame”. Thank you for your words of encouragement. So glad we had that nice dinner together at the Fortunado’s. Grateful.

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