Motherhood · My daughter's playlists

My daughter’s playlist

My daughter is two. She has very eclectic musical tastes.

You may think I am exaggerating.

The other day while scrolling through Spotify, she points to an album and demands, “Hey, Mom. Let’s listen to Sam Cooke.

The next day. “What’s your favorite song, M?”

“Dreams. by Brandi Carlile”

Today. “Hey Mom. Can we listen to that Gloria song?” What Gloria song? Oh that obscure one by Laura Branigan that I sing around the house sometimes. SURE.

She also just finished a two month Mama Cass phase. (with a little John Denver, remember to vote, bonus)

What song brings you back to a treasured childhood memory?

Mine is Saturday’s Child by The Monkees.

This brings me back to watching old Monkees tapes in my aunt and uncles house. Playing my dads old records in the basement. My first concert, a monkees reunion, tickets my dad and I won off the radio.

I absolutely love music. Growing up, it was one of the ways we connected best as a family. And I’m so excited that M will have that connection to all of us as well. She seems to bring music wherever she goes.




Blogs · Books · insomnia · Podcasts · You caught my eye...

Heart Full. Brain Chill.

It’s been a good weekend. My heart is full and my brain is chill. After some much needed acupuncture Saturday to address some recurring anxiety and insomnia, I had a delicious night sleep and an excellent mothers day to boot. Lots of time in nature, lots of good food, and sweet times spent with and without my family.

I’ve also been reading a lot this weekend.

In my quest to stop filling so much of my time with mindless scrolling through social media, I’ve stumbled upon several new blogs, a few podcasts and am finishing up a few books.

Blogs + Podcasts

These two seem to go hand in hand. Most authors these days are double or triple whammy-ing with their prolific blog+podcast+new book (wow guys). And I am not complaining, because when I discover someone new, it’s a triple bonus.

Shauna Niequist – Has a new podcast out this week, interviewing Tsh Oxenreider (who I had never heard of). Lovely first podcast, am definitely looking forward to future installations. Tsh talks a lot about an amazing trip that she went on with her family – a year long, around the world adventure. Which leads me to –

Tsh Oxenreider – Discovered she also has a podcast! Downloaded a few old episodes and spent some time on her site and amazon, trying to figure out which of her books I wanted to order first. Easy to listen to, interesting interviews with lots of familiar names. I listened to one of her old podcasts with Gretchen Rubin (one of the current books on my nightstand – Happier at Home). Which lead me to:

Gretchen Rubin – WOW. Her website is just a treasure trove of delights. Blogposts, quizzes, community. Very cool, Gretchen. I took her Four Tendencies quiz and I am a “questioner”. I just downloaded the informational guide to go with this discovery and I am excited to learn more (and find out what my partner is too!). Want to get to know yourself a little better so that you can form better habits? Check it out here. (PS. Gretchen also has a podcast. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet. There are only so many hours in the weekend :)) I’m looking forward to finishing up Happier at Home. It’s been an enjoyable slow read as I process all of the amazing offerings on life and happiness that Gretchen discusses. More on that soon!

Pod Save America – I have had so many friends recommend this podcast. I am not the biggest fan of podcasts, believe it or not. This weekend was the first time I listened to a complete podcast all the way through, and the lucky first was Pod Save America’s podcast this week re: James Comey. I laughed out loud and felt a little less crazy about the world by the time I finished listening (and appropriately cynical). These guys are fantastic. One of the reasons I dislike podcasts is that they lack a certain professionalism and finesse, and often times are just painful to soldier through. Not these guys. Hilarious and relevant, easy to listen to. Give them a listen if you enjoy politics (and are cynical about the current state of affairs in Washington).

A Cup of Jo – This is one of the only blogs that I religiously check. And I LOVE her Friday posts. This blog covers everything from travel to food to fashion to motherhood. Friday posts just hold so many rabbit trails ready to be discovered. My favorite trail this weekend was actually an earlier post that I had missed about aging where she mentions having a club that meets to discuss articles instead of books. I read most of the articles that she posted but my two favorites were:

How to be polite

Those Aren’t Fighting Words, My Dear

Finally, the last book on my nightstand.

Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

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I love this author. She is my go-to when I get hit with insomnia. Not because her reading puts me to sleep – not at all. Her books are like a comforting old friend. I reread her Sevenwaters series at least twice a year and absolutely love the strong women that dominate her books. If you love Irish folklore and YA fiction. Read these. And read all of her other series too. ❤

Happy Sunday, friends. Peace be with you.

Hard Things · Life · Motherhood · Sewing


Lately I’ve taken to sleeping with a quilt under my striped comforter. It’s the quilt that Grandma made for me and my husband for our wedding. I’m not sure when I started doing it, it’s been at least a month.
It may have been around the time when my parents went crazy. Or when they came down to visit and mom cried about Grandma and my aunt dying.
She told this sad story about how she was going through her things in her kitchen, as she packed everything up before they sold the house. And she found her ceramic spoon rest, hand painted white and brown, labeled:
Martha’s Kitchen
Painted while my Mom worked in my Grandma and Aunt’s ceramic shop 25 years ago. And she found it there, hidden among old pots and pans and it hit her. Like a ton of bricks. My Mom and sister are dead. And she cried then. And she burst into tears as she told us at my kitchen table.
“Did you keep it?” I asked
I really don’t understand my mom these days.
And I know she’s never been as sentimental as I have when it comes to objects or memorabilia or pictures. And maybe she just didn’t want the reminder of them being gone.
So I have this quilt over top of me right now. And it’s comfort. And sadness. Hard work. Love. Everything that we live and breath every day. And even though Grandma is gone, she still hugs me at night and a piece of her is in this blanket. She tied the ties that keep it together and stitched and pieced the squares. She made it blue because I love blue. With all the chaos that is my family and is my brain this year, there are some things that are constant and comfort. Something magically transforming and grounding like a quilt. Basic yet complex, beautiful, thoughtful, patterned and planned. Lately I’ve just soaked it in. It is constant. In my sea of inconsistency.
The other day I had folded it and left it on top of the comforter. My daughter and I were laying on the bed, reading or listening to music or something. And m climbs into the folded rectangle and she says “I’m on a boat”.
Yes, you are. You are on a boat. Way to use your imagination. I said.
And I laid back and watched her play boat on my quilt. Then she opened it and climbed in. “I’m sleeping. Tuck me in.”
Yes sweet girl.
It feels fitting that I made Grandma a quilt before she died. That I got to bring it to her and put it over her lap. Kiss her cheek and stroke her hair. Something comforting in a quilt being shared, made for someone you love. To communicate something that you can’t always say or always be around to repeat.
I love you.
I’m not sure where my quilt ended up after she died. Maybe Grandpa has it. Maybe one of the aunts.
But I have the one she made for me and here it will stay, on my bed, for a while. Until it is time to display it, or hang it, or pack it up for a season. And then one day I will pull it out again and remember.
You caught my eye...

Picks of the Week

A few of my go to’s for the week. Happy Hump Day.

Song of the Week – White Flag by Joseph

Movie to make you smile and cry – The Intern

Old teen movie to make you laugh and shake your head – Easy A

Delicious Crockpot Recipe – Balsamic Beef

Current Fall Read – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Next Fall Read – A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Current Favorite Blog – A Cup of Jo

New App on my Phone – Headspace (this app has been super helpful for my insomnia and my mental health <3)

Current Netflix Binge – Frasier

Favorite google search – Brené Brown – So lately when I need a piece of truth or encouragement I will google video search Brené Brown and have discovered so many wonderful researched talks on vulnerability, shame, setting boundaries… SO good for the soul, encouraging and thought provoking.

❤ Two more days til Friday…




Books Books Books

January Book List

I have always loved reading. My mom would send my sister and me outside during the summer to play and we would grab books and sit under trees and read for hours. The library was our jam, as well as garage sales and used book sales, where we would load up on Nancy Drew, the Boxcar Children, Babysitters Club, Animorphs, you name it. Such good memories.

This month I have started and even finished a bunch of amazing books. (side note: some of these were audio books, books I have read a 1000 times, actually finished in December while my child was occupied with my extended family and children’s books, or I have just started – so I’m not insane, I promise 😉 )

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Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari – A comical sociological look at dating and love in the modern age. I listened to this on audible and Aziz was hilarious.

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Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier – I reread this series every year. Strong female characters, romance, Irish folklore – beautiful.

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Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans – Lifegiving. I just ordered two more copies, as I passed on my bookmarked, dogeared copy to a dear friend who is taking a break from church. If you are a millenial or work with millenials or just feel like the church has beaten you down – please read this book. I will probably have a few posts in the future just about topics in this book, but suffice to say – made me laugh and cry and read passages aloud to my husband, and cry some more, and feel more positive about God and the church than I have felt in a really long time.

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For the Love by Jen Hatmaker – Encouragement as a mom. If you need someone to speak some grace into your life, pick up this book. This book helped me realize that I could take a little pressure off myself and enjoy the day to day a little more.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – A fun addition to your Harry Potter world 🙂 Just started this one, neat little notes from Harry, Ron & Hermione in the margins of this cute textbook style book.

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First 100 Words Board Book – My daughter loves this book. Who knew you could read a picture book million of times and never get tired of it *she never gets tired of it – I have started creating narratives instead of repeating the word ball 80 times… But trust me – your kid will love it 😉

What have you been reading lately?

You caught my eye...

You caught my eye…

Some articles, blogposts and videos I stumbled on this week that made me think (or laugh, or cry or say heck yes)

Maybe leisure time is a feminist issue? – Do women work so that men can have leisure time?

Motherhood Boredom – a typical toddlerish day.

Rachel Held Evans friday feature: Megan DeFranza – Megan discusses intersex persons and the Gospel. Very thought provoking and refreshing thoughts.

Physical vs. Cognitive Stages of Motherhood – two perspectives – Fascinating. I think I’m somewhere in the middle… But I’m really excited about the cognitive stage!

Let kids make mistakes when they help around the house (let them help around the house 🙂 I love this article. I know that the book/movie Matilda does not show the most ideal parents for a little girl *in fact quite the opposite* but I always love when she makes herself pancakes and takes care of herself. I also loved reading the book Bringing up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman for this very reason – one aspect of French parenting/the crèche is teaching children important skills and they are very high functioning members of the family by age 5-6!

Bob Dylan (Jimmy Fallon) sings Hotline Bling – need I say more?

I don’t know if you’re a Spotify user, but one of the cool things they do is create a playlist for you every week called Discover Weekly based on what you listen to throughout the week. This week was spot on for me. I’m a sucker for new and old music, but this is one by the Wings that I had never heard before! Check out Let ‘Em In for a chill weekend jam.

Peace –





Insomnia and Insanity

Let me tell you how I feel about sleep.

I love it. It makes me a nicer person. Please give me 8 hours + a night and I will be a better person for it. I think I have pulled two all nighters (not including labor – lets be honest – those are different kind of all nighters) my entire life, and I felt wretched for days as I recovered from the lack of sleep. Naps are also a glorious thing. Period. Sleep is wonderful.

In year two of my daughter’s life, I was anticipating more and better sleep than I had the previous two years. Although pregnancy lends itself to exhaustion (creating a small human and all) – feeling good, not peeing every two hours and finding a comfortable position to sleep in, can be a challenge. Everyone knows that year one is a haze, even if you have a miracle baby that sleeps through the night at month 2. So yes, I was excited as baby girl got older and began sleeping in larger chunks.

Tangent: Year 1 for baby girl was actually pretty good for sleep (please don’t hate me). We breastfed and did the every two hour feed thing for a while. We did a stint with a co-sleeper side car. And then at month four sleep regression, we moved her out to her own room, discovered a fantastic contraption called a zipadeezip and my partner and I eventually slept in the same bed together at month 6. I think that all of this didn’t seem so bad because we went 6 days or so without sleep while laboring and in the hospital after a c-section. So when I finally got in our own bed, not pregnant, sans IV, without wonderful (though persistent, and if we can be honest, a little annoying) nurses checking in on me – any sleep seemed glorious. My partner was also amazing – after paternity leave, he still insisted on changing her diaper multiple times at night and handing her over to be nursed.

All this being said – I love to sleep. It is a glorious and very important thing.

Tangent 2: I recently saw a friend (who just had a baby) post this article from – We are torturing new mothers and then wondering why they get mentally ill. – a fascinating read on how sleep deprivation is used as a torturing tool and we need to find better ways as a culture to support new moms. YES. I have lots of thoughts on getting lost in year 1 and how we need community and support and change for mums. To be continued.

So a month or two ago, baby girl decided she was done and weaned completely. I knew it was coming. I was ok with it. For the most part… But now we’ve entered back into “the cycle” and the hormones are unlevel again, and its all weird and mixed up in there. Pregnancy, birth, nursing and mothering – its a wild ride y’all. This, coupled with the anxiety and nerves of traveling with an infant and Christmas, and the night before our trip – I just laid there. I thought – SLEEP. SLEEP. I counted. I tried to relax all parts of my body starting with my small toe. I took a shower. At 4:30, I got up and watched old Doctor Who episodes because I thought I was going to lose my mind. At 6, I woke up my daughter and tried to mentally prepare myself to travel across the country without any sleep.

I did it. And I was a fairly decent person. I was also not alone – my partner was there and he had slept and he was great. We get there. That night I lay down. And I think – SLEEP. SLEEP. At 4:00 I go downstairs at my MIL’s house and fall asleep (THANK GOD) on the couch for 4 hours.

And since then it has been touch and go with this sleep thing. It’s a strange beast. I have never struggled with sleep – I’ve always been one of those – lay in bed, think about my day, go make sure the door’s locked, lay back down and pass out kind of people (15 minutes tops). And now, every couple of days I have these bouts of insomnia and I feel a little off kilter for a few days as I pull myself out of the hole that is exhaustion (+anxiety +depression +hormones). Side note: feeling great today. Two nights of actual decent night sleep and I feel like a new person.

So I’m not pushing it, y’all. I’m asking for help, I’m giving myself grace, and I fortunately have an encouraging partner, a few good friends and time to take a nap here and there and grab a coffee to tie me over.

All this to say 3 or 4 things.

  • Being a parent is hard.
  • Go reach out to a new or not so new mom. They could use a coffee. Or a pizza. Or a hug.
  • I’m so sorry if you suffer from chronic insomnia. Yowza. Ask for help, loves.
  • Give yourself some grace.

I think thats a big part of where I’m at right now. Learning what to let slide and what to focus in on. Giving myself grace on accomplishing all of the “things” and learning how to take care of myself so that I can take care of others. Not a common mantra for women unfortunately. And it feels a little weird saying it out loud. It reminds me of this mural I pass every week –

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So on this beautiful Saturday, I encourage you – Take care of yourself, then help others.

Peace –