About Us

About Grown and Flown

Who are you and why should we read you?

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan, co-founders of Grown and Flown, are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. In past incarnations we have worked in television and media, on Wall Street and in politics. Although we live in New York, Mary Dell is from Texas and Lisa is from California. We have kids in college and young adults.

Lisa Heffernan and Mary Dell Harrington

You can find our writing on The New York Times, The Washington Post On ParentingThe Atlantic, Forbes, and Vox.com.  Or a bit more about us in People where we were named 2 of 25 women changing the world. You can find Lisa’s Amazon page here.

Grown and Flown Book

We published a book,  Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) on Sept 3, 2019.

This book is filled with the very best parenting writers, bestselling authors, and national experts in healthcare and education. We cover family life, happiness and mental health, academics, college admissions, college life, love and sex – all relevant to parents whose teens are in middle school, high school, or college.

Grown and Flown book

Why We Started Grown and Flown

For two years we worked on alternate Tuesday mornings at our children’s school. After Mary Dell made the coffee and Lisa poured it, we largely ignored our responsibilities and talked incessantly about the changes happening in our lives as our eldest sons were on the threshold of walking out of our thresholds. It is a big life-changing moment for every parent and we hope Grown and Flown can become a spot where parents can meet and discuss and even advise. Sorry coffee not included.

But we would love to send you our weekly emails (subscribe here)  and invite you to join our insanely-engaged Facebook group here. Warning, the Facebook group is highly-addictive, we are told by many of the nearly 140,000 current members.

Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter  or Pinterest.

Or, send us an email at [email protected] We LOVE hearing from you.

What do you write about?

We try to cover the range of issues relating to raising kids ages 15-25.  We write about High School, College Admissions, College,  Good Parenting, Bad Parenting, and Lessons Learned from Other Parents and Grandparents. 

But Grown and Flown is not about our two families.

We have had over 500 writers who have graced our pages with their personal stories or expert advice.  We have writers who are doctors, psychologists, teachers, college counselors, college professors, and even a college president. Nearly all of these professionals are also parents, too, which means they have their own family life to draw from as they write for other parents who are in the grown and flown years.

Is this just a “mommy blog” for older moms?

Hmmm, maybe. But if we steer the conversation away from diapers and sleep deprivation and instead ponder the teen years, college admissions and when to cut your kids off the family payroll, will you join in the discussion? Also, we welcome all parents into our community of writers and readers, not just mothers.

I am not sure that I am your audience as my oldest has just entered high school and I have younger ones, too.

If you are thinking, worrying, or just fretting about what it will be like when some or all of your kids call another place home (even if it is just their grimy dorm room) then this conversation is for you.

If parents are still so important in kids’ lives after they leave home, why do they never call?

They just don’t always know how important we are to them, still. So, calling – not much; texting – more; video-chatting – if they want to see the family dog – frequently!

Do you really care what readers have to say or are you just going to talk about your lives and kids?

In two words, yes and no. We care deeply about what our readers have to say and what they think.  If we didn’t care we could just send all of this back in forth between the two of us in an endless series of emails. No, we are not just going to talk about our kids; those stories we will send back and forth between the two of us in emails.

If I write something for Grown and Flown will you publish it?

If we like it, yes!  We would love to hear your thoughts on your teens, when they leave home, come back, kids and leave again and what this means to us as parents, spouses and friends. Tell us what makes you laugh or cry. If we think other readers will be interested in your piece we will post you front and center. If you want your name attached, great, if not, that’s fine too.  We PAY our writers so SUBMIT HERE.

Do your kids know that you are writing about them?  Do you worry they will retaliate with their own blog?

Shhhhh. We are waiting until they call us to break the news.

Checking Grown and Flown every day might take too much time, would you just email me things I might be interested in?

Give us your email, we will do the rest.

“Grown and Flown” and “Grown & Flown” are the exclusive property of Grown and Flown LLC and no use may be made without the express written consent of Grown and Flown LLC.

Meet The Grown and Flown Team

Helene Wingens
Managing Editor

Helene Wingens has always been passionate about painting pictures with words. She has been writing and editing since the beginning of time. She graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in psychology and three years later from Boston University School of Law with a Juris Doctor. In a year long clerkship for an appellate judge Helene honed her writing skills by drafting weekly appellate memoranda. She practiced law until she practically perfected it and after taking a brief twenty year hiatus to raise her three children she began writing a personal blog Her essays have been published in: Scary Mommy, BonBonBreak, Kveller, Better After 50, The Forward, and Grown and Flown where she is a Contributing Editor. You can visit Helene’s website here

Lauren Lodder
Social Media Manager, Contributing Writer

Lauren Lodder earned her BA from UC Berkeley and her MA from CSUF. She teaches Writing and Victorian Literature at the college level. Her writing has appeared on HuffPost Parents, Scary Mommy, BuzzFeed, and Grown and Flown. You can connect with her on Facebook.

Allison Lancaster
Social Media Manager, Contributing Writer

Allison Lancaster is a wife, mom to two, blogger, and online business manager. She left her corporate career in 2016 to pursue her passion: writing. Since then, her writing has been featured in multiple publications and she has built a business that now supports her family. Her passion project is helping other parents achieve their dreams of working from home. Allison resides in East TN with her family. She loves spending time outdoors, shopping and watching the clouds with her two toddlers in her spare time.

Theresa Beach Kilman
Contributing Photographer

Theresa Beach Kilman loves to take pictures, especially those depicting the love all parents feel for their children. Her four young adults and one son-in-law ­­­– her favorite models – calls these photos “Grown and Flown shots.” When she isn’t taking pictures, Theresa works with local nonprofits to try to make her corner of the world a bit better for everyone. She also enjoys family outings, traveling with her husband, yoga and reading.

Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group Moderators 

Dee Dee Becker

Dee Dee Becker offers a wealth of marketing, communications and PR experience which began in nonprofit healthcare more than thirty years ago. Her background includes planning and managing corporate communications and PR initiatives for health care organizations, ranging from mergers and acquisitions to program and service line publicity and crisis management.

This University of Mary Washington graduate wears myriad other hats: Virginia Tech Hokie mom. Happy wife. Eldest of six girls. Administrator for the Virginia Tech Parents Facebook group and moderator of the internationally celebrated Grown and Flown Parents Group.

Carolyn Keeler Brown

Carolyn Keeler Brown is a full-time SAHM with 3 kids. She and her family live outside of Chicago. She is an LPC, CADC by trade and utilizes these skills as a volunteer family coach for Safe Families for Children, a nonprofit that helps at-risk families. In her spare time she enjoys vegetable gardening, loves to cook, read, visiting her semi-flown child and is often trying to come up with interesting things to keep her physically active.

Lisa Bolton Singelyn

Lisa is a wife and the proud mom of two Grown & Flown sons and a college-aged daughter. She’s a native Californian and graduate of USC who says her greatest accomplishment is raising kids who turned out to be good people. As the Vice President of Social Media and Influencer Operations at The Marketing Arm in Dallas, she says she “gets paid to be on Facebook.” She’s a recovering PTA President and new empty nester who enjoys gardening, crafting, boating and knowing that she’ll never again have to wash stinky football and cheer uniforms.

Maureen Cooney Stiles
Grown and Flown Contributing Writer

Maureen Stiles writes at her blog, Magnificence in the Mundane, where she chronicles the beauty within the chaos of raising three boys and a dog with her husband, given that the dog is the only one that really understands her. You can also find Maureen on Grown and Flown and follow Maureen on Facebook and Twitter.