we're home!

When I posted about our kitchen renovation, I didn't mention that we weren't staying in our home while it was underway. This was an amazing relief and we are so grateful that Todd's parents have a nearby lake house that is only used seasonally so they were willing to share it with us so we didn't have to live in a construction zone. We moved there a few days after Christmas and finally moved back home today.

It is so good to be back.

As you can see below, the kitchen is not finished yet but it's getting close. We are without a stove, dishwasher, garbage disposal, cabinet doors and drawers, the walls and trim are desperate for a paint job, our fridge is in the living room, and the rest of the house is a dusty cluttered mess. Despite that, we are ready to get back to normal after nearly a month away from home, for our sake and the kids'.


a day off

Wow - I really started 2016 off with a bang in terms of number of blog posts. After that initial flurry, I took all of last week off, largely because we were back into our routine and that routine can feel busy, busy, busy.

Today I got a break from the busy as our offices were closed in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Let me tell you, this was such a welcome time out.

(For suggestions of meaningful ways to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, click here.)

I took my time this morning, getting ready, organizing some things around the house, and spent a little time reflecting on some ideas I've been toying with lately over lunch. It has been so long since I've had a genuinely free day and it was so lovely to be able to have the space to think some things through without my lunch break ending or a child waking up.


a holiday recap

With my mind on all of the possibilities of a new year, I never took the time to reflect on our holiday season on the blog. We ran into a lot of snags the week of Christmas to the point that it was starting to feel comical but despite that we still had a lovely holiday season.

We enjoyed Wells' first Christmas and we think he did too.


winter walk

Today we went on a snowshoeing hiking adventure. Due to warmer than average conditions, our planned snowshoeing and sledding adventure turned into a lovely winter hike. No one seemed to mind.


reading list + book club reboot?

I fancy myself a reader but the truth is, I don't take as much time to read as I used to. I have a dear friend who read hundreds of books every year, she's amazing and I aspire to join her in the hundreds club one day but until then, I'm hoping to fit in at least 10-15 books this year.

I'm currently reading China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan, a very light read, which is the follow up to Crazy Rich Asians, an equally light and playful read that I finished a few weeks ago.

After I finish that up, here are some ideas for my next read:

I'd love to hear if you've read any of these books or if you have any can't-miss suggestions. I especially adore historical fiction but also have a soft spot for contemporary fiction such as anything by Liane Moriarty.

A group of girls and I once started up a book club, it lasted for a few months but just became an excuse to get together, which is great too. It waned with time but I keep thinking that it would be fun
to start up again, maybe a virtual edition since everyone is so busy these days? If anyone has tried that, I'd love to hear thoughts on how it's worked for you and if you'd be interested in joining.

Happy reading, please share what books you're looking forward to reading this year in the comments.


kitchen renovation

If you follow me on my private Instagram account, you may have seen this picture:

That's right, we are in the midst of a major kitchen renovation (squeal!) and I am so excited to see the end result.

When we moved in, our kitchen looked like this:

Cute enough but it had some real quirks. Most notably, the peninsula made it impossible to open our refrigerator door fully. That's right, I haven't opened my fridge door the whole way in four years.


wells: month seven

Wells is now seven months old, wow. We were away from home on his seven month birthday so I didn't get a chance to take his official monthly photo but I still snapped a few pictures to commemorate the day.

My baby boy is growing up so quickly. He hasn't hit any major milestones in the last month but he is becoming more agile and he's hinting at crawling soon. What an adventure it will be when we have two mobile children at home!


focus 2016: enough

Over the past few days I've covered my focuses of family, faith, and wellness for 2016. Today, we'll dive into my final focus: enough.

This one is fairly straightforward. Simply, I am enough, I do enough, I have enough.

It's easy to feel like you you aren't enough - not productive enough, not fun enough, not thin enough, not (whatever it is) enough. Living that way, like you are never enough, is exhausting.

I know in my heart that not enough is a lie, but in this world of edited everything, it is easy to feel like everyone else has it figured out - their hair always looks great, their outfits are on point, their kids look adorable in their coordinated outfits as they play together happily, their marriage looks easy breezy, and they seem to always be out doing so many fun things. We all fall victim to the comparison game at some point. We tell ourselves that we should do more, accomplish more, that our to-do list should have more things checked off at the end of the day. We try to keep up.

This year, I want to let go of keeping up because I am enough, I do enough.


focus 2016: wellness

This year I am focusing on: family, faith, wellness, and enough. I've shared how I plan to approach family and faith intentionally in 2016 so that bring us to wellness.

For me, wellness means feeling good and treating myself well. Here's how:

1. Moving my body.
After having two babies in the last two and a half years, my body has changed significantly with my weight and shape fluctuating during my pregnancies, nursing, and postpartum recovery. I've found that since becoming pregnant for the first time, I feel more confident in my own skin. Having carried and delivered two babies makes me feel like my body is capable of amazing things and the bumps and extra bits don't bother me like they would have before babies. 

That said, my body does not feel like my body once did. It is aging along with me. I don't have the same kind of time and energy to devote to yoga or running that I did before motherhood, when all of my free time was my own, when free time existed. And I miss that. I miss feeling as strong as I once did.


focus 2016: faith

In 2016, I've decided to pick four areas to focus on: family, faith, wellness, and enough. Yesterday, I shared how I plan to be intentional with my family and today I want to talk about faith.

My faith isn't something that I talk about a lot but it's one of the things that's been most important to me throughout my life. There are times when I'm more and less intentional with my relationship with God but it's foundational and I want to be purposeful about that relationship this year in a way that I haven't been recently.

I have always had a hard time with discernment. What is God trying to tell me? How is He trying to work in my life? How do I know if it's God telling me something or if I just hope that it is? This past fall I started feeling little tugs, little moments when I felt God's presence or saw little reminders of His will. Over and over this was happening, just very small things in the midst of the bustle of returning to work, managing two kids, and trying to keep my sanity. This was the first time where I really felt that all of these small things were definitely God trying to remind me that He is there and that He needs to be at the core of everything I do. 

At the same time, we have been teaching Elia about God, Jesus, and the Bible and teaching her to pray. Praying aloud has always been uncomfortable for me but as we've been teaching her to pray, I've become more comfortable and consistent with my prayers. It's humbling to see what God can teach us through our children.

This year, I'm really looking forward to continuing this journey of spiritual growth and am planning to use the following resources to help me:


focus 2016: family

In 2016, I've decided to pick four areas to focus on: family, faith, wellness, and enough. Today, I want to talk about how I'll be focusing on family this year.

I hope and believe that this will be the simplest thing for me to prioritize this year. Already my family is the most important thing to me, the most prominent thing in my life. With such young children, it has to be. This year, I want to be more intentional about how our family spends its time and interacts and hope to do that in the following ways:


happy new year!

Happy New Year! We had a great time ringing in 2016 with friends and celebrating Todd's birthday last night. For those who don't know, my husband is a NYE baby, doubling our reason to celebrate every December 31. (Happy birthday, Love!)

With the new year comes the anticipation and excitement of the chance to start fresh. I'm not big on resolutions but since turning 30 in October, I have found myself in a reflective mindset, thinking about things I can work on, areas where I can grow. Based on those reflections, I've decided to define intentional focuses for the coming year and specific ways by which to approach them throughout the year.

My focuses for 2016 are:


In the coming week, I'll share what I mean by each focus and how I plan to prioritize them throughout the year, including some concrete actions I'll be taking in the coming weeks.

Until then, I'd love to hear what your focus or resolutions for 2016 will be, please feel free to share in the comments below. Here's to a wonderful 2016!