{2015 Resolutions}


January 17, 2015

Happy New Year.

I’ll count today as my new year. Resolutions just didn’t happen this year before New Year’s Day… And ya know what? That’s OK. A lot didn’t happen this year… {I was going to post a link here to our 2014 resolutions… turns out, they never even made it to the blog} Blogging most certainly fell by the wayside. Weight loss post baby? Ha! Potty training? Forget it! But so much did {Annual Recap HERE}

This year I thought I’d try to just choose a word.  A word to live by, that encompassed most of my resolutions. In my brainstorming, I kept coming back to this verse: {John 14:27} “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  I recognized an emotion/state that I so deeply desire and settled on the word PEACE. I’m resolving to choose the calm, avoid the chaos. Slow down, appreciate, enjoy, live in the moment. I’m going to be at peace with myself – mind, body and spirit. I’m going to practice acceptance with less judgement. I’m going to try to see only the positive and complain less.  In the past I’ve made resolutions of weight loss, healthier eating habits… Not texting while driving. Not to say these aren’t still things I’d love to focus on… But not setting myself up to fail or forget such specific goals.

With Dan – prioritize each other above kids. Make more time for one another – date each other. Take a sincere interest in each other’s daily lives. Make time for intimacy. Speak each other’s love languages fluently. Support each other in goals and passions. Be intentional in how we are shaping our family – spend quality time together bonding, with fewer distractions – hiking, adventure, vacation. Pay more attention to each other than we do our smart phones.

With kids – parent with LOVE and patience. Remember to always lead by example. Set a vibe in our family we want emulated. Make daily life less of a race. Slow down and appreciate experiencing the world through younger eyes. Be less rigid with a routine and schedule – “feed them, love them, spoil them”. Let them be little. Make sure that they know undoubtedly how much we love them. Cook more together. Grow a garden – develop a healthy relationship with food. Be more intentional with kid entertainment – less screen time, more brain building/ learning activities for Olivia, sensory fun for Townes. Eliminate toys that don’t foster learning and creative play.

With myself – respect and love myself. Make time for myself – exercise, healthy eating, reflection and prayer, hobbies and interests. Love the person I see in the mirror. Make changes to BE that person. Be myself with new friends – only spend time on relationships worth fostering. Speak only words that build others up instead of tearing them down. Show acts of kindness. Be genuine. Keep in touch with Dallas friends – make concrete plans to visit and schedule (at least!) monthly phone dates. Give myself grace with weight loss and body image – remember that I’m nourishing another and set a positive example for Olivia. Drink less alcohol, consume less sugar and processed foods. Repair, Sustain, Rekindle, and Grow various relationships with friends and family.

With finances – Sell our house. Buy a house. Exercise patience with making home improvements and furnishings.  Pay off credit card debt – don’t add to credit card debt. Create savings for Olivia and Townes.







Reflections: Prego Mego

Lately, Daniel loves to remind me that Olivia has been outside my belly as long as I carried her. It’s so incredibly hard to believe how fast the past 9 months has flown by. I guess it’s time to start planning a first birthday party huh?

They say that you forget the way you felt when you were pregnant so that you’ll still want to do it again. Well… I felt pretty awesome for 90% of my pregnancy (I should probably re-read my own documentation {via Prego Mego} to make sure I haven’t fallen victim to pregnancy amnesia) – I often find myself missing the amazing feeling of baby kicks and constant warmth. Daniel + I agree that we’ll probably wait a bit before growing our little family any more but I just felt the need to admit… I really miss being pregnant.

35 Weeks Pregnant

Maternity Portraits by Shannon Markham Photography

Just in case you were wondering… The only thing I would do differently? NOT gain 62 pounds.

Reflections: Success

Having made lots of sacrifices in the last year to be able to afford to stay home with Olivia, I sometimes struggle with being content with what I (We) have. Even though it makes me feel horribly guilty to admit it… Occasionally, I wish we HAD more, when the reality is, we HAVE plenty. In fact, we HAVE such bountiful blessings that it makes me sick to admit that I sometimes take them for granted.

One of my favorite mantras “BE, DO, HAVE” presents the idea that if we focus on BEing happy and true to ourselves, DOing what we love, then we will HAVE everything we need. Catching up with one of my best friends on the phone yesterday, I caught myself about to complain about the major adjustments we’ve made financially. When I looked in the rearview mirror to check on my precious baby girl, who was sound asleep totally konked out – I was caught dead in my tracks. I couldn’t bring myself to complain. How could I? My life is JUST as I’d  imagined it. For the first time, I feel like I am EXACTLY where God wants me to be. It’s the most successful I’ve ever felt. On most days, I like who I am. I love what I do. Being a mom has made me feel more successful than any career could have. I don’t get a paycheck. Heck. I very rarely get positive affirmation from my tiny boss… but I love my job.

Featured Image Here

Reflections: Tea & Gratitude

Last week, for whatever reason, was REALLY long. I don’t know if it was the few nights that Daniel worked late or the 100+ degree heat 7 days in a row, or what , but I was ready for the weekend! Friday night, Daniel was working late and I had ambitious plans to get some packing and cleaning done after the baby went down. Sitting in the cool, dark nursery, rocking and singing to the baby is the surest way to kill any plans I have to be productive. Naturally, I was in no mood to clean or pack but nowhere close to being ready for bed at 7:15. Instead, I put the tea kettle on to make a cup of “Mother’s Milk Tea” (I’ve been drinking obsessively for the past few months to promote healthy lactation) and kinda zoned in front of the TV for a bit. (Something I NEVER  RARELY do!) As I finished my last sip of tea (more like… gulp. Mother’s Milk Tea –  is not delicious sipping tea) I noticed that the tag (tab?) had the following quote printed on it: 

“An attitude of gratitude brings opportunities.”

This quote reminded me of how thankful I am that we can afford for me to stay home and care for our sweet baby girl. I’ve mentioned before that it’s been an adjustment financially; requiring us to change our spending habits and reorganize our priorities. If I’m totally 100% honest, I don’t miss much at all about that pre-baby life at all. Especially when I consider what those changes mean. Sometimes it’s easy to loose track of the things we are thankful for; we take for granted some of the most important gifts. I joke about being “young and broke” but shouldn’t because we are rich in so many ways. Happiness is not found in having or doing, but in being. I need to remember to give thanks, in all seasons.

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you – Thessalonians 5:18 

Tonight… I am most thankful for:

  • Our healthy and happy daughter whom I cannot imagine life without
  • My dear husband who makes the coffee every morning and loves me even when I’m cranky.
  • Our amazing families who love and support us in every way imaginable.
  • The “vintage” roof over our heads, A/C that works in 108 degree heat, and  our loyal guard Dog Durch
  • Being able to stay home with Olivia – watching her grow and learn every day.


Just in case you nursing mommas were wondering… Yogi makes an alternative to the popular “Organic Mother’s Milk Tea” that’s a little bit cheaper! At the recommended 3-5 cups a day, that stuff gets expensive!

Yogi Woman’s Nursing Support Tea

On Sale (right now) at Whole Foods $2.99!

Reflections: Have, Do, Be

The “Have, Do, Be” Paradigm Shift

People tend to think that if they HAVE all the things that they desire, that they’ll be able to DO everything they want to do and that they’ll BE happy.


As a society we focus on making enough money to HAVE the lifestyle we desire (DO) thinking that this will make us happy (BE). Yet we all know that things don’t make us happy, and neither does a lifestyle that we think we’re supposed to have. The road to happiness requires shifting this paradigm. By focusing on BEing happy, letting our actions come from a place of happiness (DO) and the things that matter end up giving us what we truly desire (HAVE). 


I’ve done my fair share of meditation on this thought and am constantly reminding myself to make BE-DO-HAVE my mantra. In 2009, in Mark Maier’s “Leading As A Way of Serving” class I was first introduced to the idea. In that semester, I learned to appreciate WHO I was over what I was going to DO or HAVE in life. Among many others, this is a life lesson that I would never have imagined to learn in a college classroom. Maybe because Mark’s idea of a classroom was a Buddhist retreat in the San Bernardino Mountains, a local ropes course, or simply parked underneath a giant shade tree. There is plenty of material on the HAVE-DO-BE paradigm shift online if you’re interested in further reading… but the idea is simple. In fact, you don’t have to DO anything. Just Be.

Live your life true to your values and beliefs.

Let your behaviors follow.

Just Be. (HAPPY).

Featured Image Here

Reflections: Live the Life You’ve Imagined

We all have things we say we’re going to do but know we’ll never get around to. When I was pregnant, I had high hopes for having more time to “DO” once I was a full-time stay at home momma. I even dreamed up a list of “Post Peanut Projects” that I hoped to accomplish in the first year. Who knew it would be so difficult balancing fun + entertaining activities for the baby with productivity + projects. No longer can I clean the entire house in one day. Liv will not allow it. She’ll sit patiently or hang in the exersaucer while I clean one room… maybe two. Never the entire house. I’m slowly figuring out how to “stay on top of it” and wiggle in one project at a time. I’m reminded of a quote that I first came across when reading, Mark Albion’s “Making a Life, Making a Living” in college.

The first step is to stop doing what is making (you) unhappy. Next (you) have to act on (your) desire for change. – Mark Albion

In no way am I unhappy. In fact, mommy-hood is the most amazing and wonderful experience of my life. I can truthfully say; I enjoy it more and more each day, even on the bad ones (and there are bad ones). That being said, I need to make a better effort (<—See, that’s me taking responsibility) at planning less and doing more. 

Image From Here

I’ve mentioned before that I come from a long line of planners + calendar-a-holics. Most influentially, my mom. This past week left me with a whole new appreciation for her. Daniel was out of town for the better half of the week/weekend at a Microsoft conference in Seattle (Actually, Redmond, WA). To say I’m excited for him to be home this afternoon is an understatement. Just in case you don’t really know me or my family…. I’m the oldest of 4 – my brother Christopher (24) and sisters Bethany (21) Emily (19) and I are all between 18 mo. and 2 years apart. Growing up, I had NO idea what this meant for my mom. My dad is a top executive with a major retailer and has always traveled a lot (we’re talking 3 to 4 out of 5 nights a week) but still managed to coach little league on the weekends. My mom juggled 4 under 8 years old… multiple car seats… diapers…all of that laundry and grocery shopping. I just can’t fathom. And we were always doing fun + educational stuff (especially during the summer) – going to the beach, zoo, library, etc. She’s also one of the most creative do-ers I know. I could write an entire post about how amazing a mother my mom is but I’ll save that for Mother’s Day 2013 and just say “I don’t know how you did it mom – You’re my hero.”

Featured Image Here

Reflection: Be Still

A few nights ago, after nursing my sweet Olivia, I let her snuggle up and drift off in my arms. (I usually try to put her down semi-awake, but sleepy – trying my hand at some “sleep training.”) Something about that day… we didn’t do anything special, just normal life. And then it dawned on me…THIS was a new normal and it had changed so much. It was just a little over a year ago that we shared the news of our pregnancy with our families. It’s so incredibly unbelievable how much has changed in our normal day-in, day-out lives. The thought is simply overwhelming to me. I’m reminded of how important it is to slow down and savor these moments because in the blink of an eye another year will have past.

In this new season of life, I’m finding it no easier to RELAX. I remember thinking that becoming a full-time, stay-at-home momma would alleviate so much of the stress I was accustomed to in the working world. Turns out, there are no fewer stressors in this “job.” I’m wired like my mother. I thrive on productivity, stress, and planning. Despite being an engrained part of my temperament, I recognize that I need to slow down, be still, and know that everything will be OK.  That I have a great designer. A more perfect planner than even me. “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

I am unspeakably thankful, eternally grateful. Incredibly Blessed.