On Growing Faith

Hey, would you mind calling my phone? I can't find it. 

Herm had just returned from running a few errands in town and visiting a job site, Carson and Brooklyn in tow. I find his number in my favorites list--the only one listed there, because he is essentially the only one I call--and hit dial. The phone rings once, promptly going to voicemail.

Either the phone is turned off, or someone has found it and would like to keep it off.

Losing a phone is an awful feeling. I lost mine once in Chicago, a few years back. I set it down on a park bench as I stooped to fix Carson's shoe. We walked nearly two miles before I discovered my mistake. Herm called my phone multiple times as we back-tracked the Magnificent Mile, praying we would find it, but knowing we surely wouldn't. In a city of nearly three million, what are the odds a brand new iPhone would still be nestled on the park bench? It was maybe the fourth or seventh or eleven call, I don't remember exactly, when someone answered. Hello?

You have my wife's phone, Herm told the stranger. 

I saw it on a park bench, and was going to just leave it there, but then I realized that someone will be looking for this phone. I couldn't access the contacts because of the lock, but I knew someone would call. I'm in town to see The Grateful Dead. 

The kind stranger gave us his location. After a few more miles of walking, as we neared the area, a grungy man and his girlfriend, both dressed in black, his tee shirt boasting their love of The Grateful Dead, came over. This has got to be yours, he said, pointing at the phone, its screen displayed a photo of Herm, Carson and I.

I tried to press a crisp $20 bill into his hand, it wasn't nearly enough to show my gratitude. He wouldn't take the cash. Pay it forward, he told me.

Two weeks later, I was driving to the mall when I noticed what looked like a phone, laying on the road. I couldn't keep going, pretending I didn't see. I pulled off to the side, and ran back to the intersection. Sure enough, the screen was locked and badly broken. But still, it worked! I tucked the phone into my pocket, knowing this was my chance to pay it forward. A few hours later, after I got the rich privilege of reading a very colorful, one-sided conversation, the owner of the phone called. I answered, and though I wanted to tell him that maybe it would be better not picking up the phone, with its mounting drama, we agreed that I would take it to the service desk of Target. He could pick it up there.

If I were to lose my phone, I am not sure how I would get through folding laundry and washing floors. Podcasts help lessen the repetitiveness of house-work. I would survive however, and life would go on. But for Herm, his phone is a tool he uses for work. Being without one isn't an option.

He made a few phone calls to the businesses he had been to, then went back to physically retrace his steps.

Meanwhile I gathered Carson and Brooklyn, explaining that we were going to pray that Herm would find his phone.

Mom, but will Jesus actually help? asked Carson, my inquisitive child. Lately he's been asking me a lot of questions on matters of faith. How a five year old make me feel so inadequate and uneducated, I don't know. But his questions often stump me.

Well, I stuttered for a reply, if He feels like it, I suppose....

Oh ye of little faith.

Was that the Spirit I heard whisper in my ear? Okay then, I retort back, I will change my answer under one condition: You don't turn me into a liar!

Yes Carson, Jesus will make sure that your dad finds his phone. I wanted to cross my fingers behind my back, like I did when I was seven and didn't want my conscious seared for telling a little white lie. But, like a grown-up with faith the size of a mustard seed, I left them uncrossed, hands in front of me.

An hour later Herm returned.

Did you find your phone? I ask.

He begins to tell me the story, of how he stopped at every business he had visited earlier. No one had seen it. He goes back to the job site, its not there. In a last ditch-effort, he begins to shovel snow around the spot where he had parked his truck to unload some supplies. He threw each shovel full of snow up into the air, figuring that if the phone had dropped into the snow, he would notice it flying through the air. (And break it, I want to smartly state. But silence is a virtue, right?)
He threw one last shovel-full of snow into the blue sky, and began to walk away when he realize that he had heard something had hit the ground. What was that sound? There, buried back in the snow after a joy-ride on a shovel, a glint of silver caught his eye. His phone, dead from the cold, and not broken from the jostling, was found.

You better tell you kids, I laugh. They prayed over this phone.

It built my faith, if not theirs. And now, every night since, Carson has something he needs prayer for: a scraped elbow, a runny nose, a broken toe-nail.

Raising kids is building my faith. Yes, I can confidently state, Jesus will answer our prayers.
No fingers crossed.


On Trantrums and Travel, On Meals and Marriage

Hey Babe, Herm said, peeking his head in through the cracked door, I am heading to Canandaigua for a bit, and I'd like to take the kids along. Is that okay?

Is that okay? Oh blessed words.

I was in the midst of putting Jack down for a nap, and from the looks of things, would likely spend the rest of the afternoon contending with Brooklyn. She is pro-choice when it comes to nap time; I am not.

We had just gotten back from running errands, and Brooklyn, my feisty, spirited child was feeling every emotion. There were tears because I "turned the wrong way" and drove right on passed Aldi, there were tears at the drive-thru when I opened the little cylinder container and sent our checks into the bank before she had a chance to ask if she could do it. There were tears when she realized our favorite bank teller wasn't there to say hi to (or get a lollipop from), and there were even more tears when I told her that even if Ms. Christine was working, an attitude like her current one is never rewarded with sugar.

When we finally did make it into Aldi the tears kept coming because I put peanut butter in the cart when she wanted to do it... and so on. We still had to stop at the library, where, in that tranquil atmosphere, her lung capacity was sure to break all sound barriers. If we get kicked out of that place someday, it's her fault.

I absolutely love Brooklyn's strong and fiery personality. I hope she never loses that. But in a two year old, and when you're her mother, it's also utterly exasperating.

But here I am, home with a sleeping baby--the humming dishwasher and a whirling fan the only background noise I hear. It is lovely!

Recently Herm and I have been discussing marriage. What makes a marriage good? What makes a marriage great? Perhaps I'll share my two cents on this topics at a later point. One thing I know without a shadow of a doubt though, is that by looking for ways to serve the other person (in other words, make their life easier) the marriage will automatically benefit. So, brownie points for Herm!

Jumping back into this blogging world feels a bit like trying to walk after riding a horse for a few hours--I still know how but at the moment I'm a bit wobbly. In order to have a successful blog, so many people say that you need to find your niche. I don't have one.

I like to write about what I like, and I like a variety of things. Which means it's back to the usual again, where I share stories my kids and what we're up to, where I talk about books I am reading, and clothes I am loving, and travel, and how I hate that five o'clock hour when everyone is hungry and I am supposed to do something about it.

Since I already talked about a kid, let's chat about books: Have you read 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness, by Eric Metaxas? I borrowed it a couple of weeks ago, and am currently working my way through it. It focuses on the lives of seven men who made history. Talk about inspiring you to live a life of greatness! Metaxas also wrote a book called 7 Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness. I can't wait to dive into that one too.

As far as clothes go, I recently bought a pair of J. Crew High-rise Toothpick jeans on Poshmark. I got the curvy version, which has a more narrow waist band. (No more gaping or sagging! Hallelujah!) The curvy style is sold out in stores but the ones I am linking to are still available. I love the rip-and-repair edition because it has the playfulness of destroyed demin, but the sturdiness of regular jeans.

Travel. I am longing to travel again. Jack's passport came this week, which means, we can now go abroad as a family of five! What a fun thought.

And speaking of that five o'clock hour: Minor panic until I remembered tonight we are going to my parents for a meal. I don't have to think about it.

Okay, that's enough jabbering for one day. I'll sign off now. (And take out the trash, because that's what you do to strengthen a marriage. :-) )



New Year, New Post

These photos were taken by my friend Lyndsi of LYNDSI Photography. This is one of my favorite photo sessions to date. In spite of the rain and cold, Lyndsi managed, like she always does, to capture a beautiful story through the power of imagery. If you'd like to see more of her work, click here

It's been there for months now, this burning desire to spend time punching keys, arranging letters to form sentences. It's been there for months now, this longing to write.

So here I am, feeling a bit out-of-sorts, I've been away for so long.

One of my three goals for this new year, is to blog at least once per month. In order to jump back into this space, I think I need to update you on the biggest change in our lives!

So here it goes...

Since I last wrote, I gave birth to a wonderful little boy named Jack. He's almost seven months old now and is absolutely adored by his two older siblings. Jack attentively studies Carson, learning his tricks, eager to join in his escapades. He loves Brooklyn too, but she overwhelms him with her brisk and wild ways, and he prefers a bit of distance between them. 

Jack, though his personality is sweet and laid back, has been my hardest baby thus far. The first three months he was colicky, at times it seemed like the crying might never end. He eventually out-grew that, but still he isn't very content unless someone is holding him. This has caused the past seven months to feel like a blur in my memory, and has caused me to become extremely grateful for naps, no matter how long they last. 

I am beginning to find my footing as a mom to three... I think. I say this with hesitation, though, because as soon as I find a new rhythm things seem to change. Being a mom is hard and wonderful, equally. It's a paradox of feeling and fact, of smooth sailing and a boat sinking.

There are days though, when things are going well, and it does feel like I can start to dream audacious dreams again. Sometime in 2018, when I wasn't writing at all, and all of my goals seems at a stand-still, one of my very wise friends said that perhaps what I am learning in the season of raising little kids will be what I am able to later write about. I clung to those words, grateful for that hope. So, here I am, back to writing. I plan to check in at least once a month, because those audacious dreams of mine--dreams of becoming a paid writer!--require mundane faithfulness if they are ever to happen. 

If you're still around, thank you for being here!


Staving Artist, a Favorite Local Business + a giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to the generosity of Staving Artist, a local, family owned business that specializes in woodworking with reclaimed products. Photos are by LYNDSI Photography.

Our love of the Staving Artist started with a wedding gift. Formed from the metal that once wrapped around a wine barrel, were the letters Esh, our last name. It was thoughtful and unique, a piece that quickly became a favorite decor item of mine. I asked the giver about the gift; she said a friend of hers custom made it.

About a year later at a local arts festival, as Herm and I were strolling along, we saw a booth with items all made from the wood of old wine barrels, and similar to our sign, there were other things made from metal wine barrel hoops as well. One that stood out to me was the distinctive 'Y' shape of Keuka Lake, the lake we can see from our deck. 

We stopped to chat with the man running the stand, and found out, yes, he was the one who made our sign. The 'Y' made its way home with us -- it's a shape locals know well, and one out-of-town-ers think is simply my take on abstract art. 

Herm found out Dan, the man who is the artist behind the pieces we have, had a Facebook page. He followed along there, and for several years, around Christmastime, would contact Dan in order to purchase a few gifts, mostly small tables made from reclaimed barrels, for people he'd done business with during the year. One of those tables, though, managed to escape the gifting process, and now resides with us. Always a conversation piece because of how unique it is.

Dan, and his fiance, Rachel, opened a storefront along Main Street in Penn Yan. While they no longer make custom names from the metal hoops like the one we were gifted on our wedding day, their product line has exploded, ranging from bottle openers and serving trays to bar stools (I wouldn't hate to have two of these for our deck. Herm, are you reading this?) and wine racks.

If you'd like something customized, the staves are a great option. We've got one that reads 'Esh Estate'. Our place was pretty much a dump when we purchased it, but Herm always referred to it as our estate, making it sound more regal than it is. Slowly, with a lot of love and a bit of hard work (or maybe a lot of hard work and a bit of love?) our place is turning into that estate we've been dreaming about.

With an Anthropologie vibe to it, every time I go in their small shop, I leave feeling inspired. (And wishing for more.) 

Recently I've gotten to know Rachel as a friend. So when she approached me about possibly collaborating on a project, immediately I knew my answer was 100%, YES! I love Staving Artist, the ten plus items I have from their shop is proof. And I'm guessing that you might like them too.

Rachel brought a whole bunch of their products over to my house, and for the better part of a day, she and I, along with our friend Lyndsi of LYNDSI Photography, styled the products to photograph for their website. It was such fun, not to mention creatively invigorating as well.

As part of the collaboration, Staving Artist generously offered one of their 1/2 Barrel Head Demi Lune Tables for a giveaway on my Instagram account. I don't want you to miss out on a chance to win! So make sure you take a few minutes to enter. The steps are simple, and everything you need to know, you'll find here

In the mean time, you can learn more about Staving Artist and see what they have to offer on their website. Also, be sure to follow along on Instagram and Facebook! If you're ever in the Finger Lakes region, visit the shop at 109 Main Street, Penn Yan, NY. You won't regret it!


Running Naked

Photo obviously NOT from today.

I was stepping out of the shower this afternoon, hair dripping wet, and the house entirely too quiet, when I heard my son yell, "Mom, I got the mail for you!" before slamming the front door and heading back, full tilt, into the afternoon drizzle.

In a year or two, words like that, I suspect, will fill me with gratitude and pride. Today it wasn't pride that I felt; it was sudden panic and dread.

I am twenty-seven weeks pregnant. In my current state, energy seems to come and go. When I feel high from it, I seize the opportunity, bulling my way through to-do lists. Because more often than not, I don't feel that high, and simply keeping everyone fed and clothed is a feat worthy of reward. 

Clean bedrooms
Sweep + mop floors
Wash windows

My to-do list was fairly simple and straightforward. Once I got started though, I caught a gust of fortitude, determined to spring clean both bedrooms before the mornings end. I washed down the walls and trim, scrubbed window panes, mopped underneath the beds, shook out rugs.  Snowballing my way through that list, crossing off even more than I had originally added. By lunchtime I had only to sweep and mop the floors in our main living area, then I was going to call it a day -- fully planning to prop my feet after putting both kids down for naps. They'd sleep for hours, I just knew it.

You would think I would know by now that sleeping for hours, especially when I really want them to, is never the case. 

Minutes before Brooklyn finally settled, Carson made his escape. He has learned that if he is neither seen nor heard during Brooklyn's nap time, he isn't forced into a quiet time. He had donned boots and a coat and was out in the rainy weather, tousling his dogs.

In the midst of mopping the last section of floor, he came in, eager to help. Though I wasn't so eager for help, I begrudgingly handed him the mop. How will I ever get him to help with things later on in life, if I don't let him help out now? 

Once the floor was dry, I put all the furniture back in place and decided to run the vacuum over the living room rug one final time. That was my first mistake. Blurry eyed and hair a mess, Brooklyn traipsed out of her room, obviously not ready to be awake, though awake nonetheless. It was entirely my fault.

Sighing, I carried Brooklyn over to the dining room table, where I hoped she'd readily join Carson and his array of play-dough, colors muddled from being mixed. So much for my quiet, peaceful, prop-your-feet sort of afternoon.

The water in the kettle was near boiling. Even if my feet weren't going to be propped, I was still fully intending to enjoy an iced coffee, the reward of my labor. It wasn't going to be just any iced coffee. It was going to have Kahlua in it. (The alcohol content was hardly noticeable, I promise. But please, don't go telling my midwife.) This was maybe my second mistake. My mom had given this Kahlua to me well before Christmas. I'm not sure if I used it more than a time or two since. I poured a small amount into my cup, before placing the bottle back into the fridge. I don't know exactly what happened next. All I know is the bottle broke, sticky liquid pouring from the fridge door, down onto the freshly mopped floor. I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. While I was cleaning up that mess, one of my two kids dumped a glass of milk, simultaneously spilling off the bar stool himself. Nobody was hurt, though by now I was beginning to feel ruffled. 

I slurped my coffee while, yet again, mopping the floor. Nothing savored. Exhausted, this weary mom headed for the shower. By now both kids were playing together back in their bedroom, so obviously I sneaked away, unannounced.  

This was my third and most drastic mistake.

Now it's back to where this story began. I turned off the shower water, and heard my four year old yelling that he brought in the mail. 

We live in the country, and our driveway is, I'm guessing, 600 feet long. This meant that he went all the way out to the road to retrieve the mail, and where ever he goes, his sister is sure to follow.

So it was, like I said, with sudden panic and dread, that I hurriedly wrapped my wet body in a towel, its length hardly covering my swollen middle, and rushed toward the door. On the entryway bench sat a few pieces of mail, and with it, a snail. 

I shoved open the front door, and looked left... there, six hundred feet, though it might as well have been six hundred miles, away was my little Brooklyn. On the side of the road. By herself. 

I screamed. It was all I could do, before taking off in a record breaking sprint, toward that child who, unbeknownst to her, was facing sudden death. I did have the wherewithal to grab a winter coat before racing out the door. If I lost my towel along the way, at least the upper half of my naked body would be somewhat covered. 

Brooklyn heard the scream and took my panic for play. A game of tag? She bolted for the middle of the road, laughing as she ran. 

Barefoot, nearly naked and heaving for breath, I grabbed her arm and, not so gently, drug her to safety. Moments later an SUV went by.

Carson had caught up to me now, and as we headed back in the lane -- that walk of naked shame where I realized what a sight I must be -- I painted the worst possible scenarios in their young minds. Bloody mental images of child-pancakes, smashed onto the road by a speeding car. And I told them of the horrors that would befall their young rear-ends should they ever wander to the road alone again and make it back alive.

I didn't go alone, Carson said, Brooklyn was with me. And besides, why are you barefoot? 


(If you enjoyed this story which is, unfortunately, completely true, perhaps you'd like this one as well.)


Three Reasons We Choose to Make Vacation a Priority

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Cascais, Portugal

San Francisco, California

Sintra, Portugal

Paris, France

Rome, Italy

Our love story began the very weekend I met Herm for the first time. It wasn't love at first sight, but I remember in the midst of conversation, as we sat near one another at the wedding reception of a mutual friend, a thought popped in my head, seemingly out of no where.

He is the man I am going to marry. 

I had already decided, after being in several relationships that didn't work out, that I wouldn't be romantically involved with anyone again until I was emotionally mature enough to handle it -- say twenty-five perhaps. 

The thought caught me off guard. Herm seemed nice enough, and he did have blue-grey eyes that made it pretty hard to focus on anything else. But I was nineteen, and twenty-five wasn't exactly just around the bend.

We had a lot of things in common, a love to travel being one of them. We compared notes about countries we visited and placed we hoped to one day see. He told me that Venice, Italy, was a dream destination for him. I mentioned I want to go back to Dubai, UAE, again, because with how amazing the airport itself was, I know the city has to be even more showy. Highest on my bucket list, though, would be Istanbul, Turkey. 

A few short months after that conversation we began a relationship, and thirteen months after meeting, we were married. 

I still remember so vividly on my wedding day someone telling me that now I'd have to settle down. I was a married woman after all, and my days of regularly roaming the world would come to an end. Enjoy the honeymoon! It might be the last trip in quite a while.

What that person forgot to consider was that I was marrying a man who loved traveling as much, if not more, than I do. Our days of traveling alone were over, our chance to adventure together was just beginning.


In the five and a half years since our wedding, we've taken quite a few trips together, some fairly local, others across the country and half way around the world. 

Often friends and acquaintances ask about our trips. Not nearly everyone understands why we would prioritize vacationing, since it is quite costly.  And even more people seem aghast at the thought of traveling across the world with young kids. Wouldn't it make more sense to wait until they are old enough to remember this once-in-a-lifetime trip? Wouldn't it make traveling easier?

I guess the answer to both of those questions could be yes, depending on how you look at it.

I will admit, because of Herm's business and the amount of supplies and inventory purchased, we are able to quickly accumulate airline miles and hotel stays we earn from our credit card points. Those points toward airline tickets and hotel rooms have played a huge part in us being able to afford the luxury of taking our family on many vacations. But I know that even without those points we would still find a way to travel, to getaway and spend time together as a family. Even on a much smaller scale, that time together, doing something we love as a family, is essential.


So, to answer that question I've been asked quite often... We Choose to Make Vacation a Priority Because:

1. Making Memories Together Helps Create a Strong Bond
One of the things I have noticed about families that seem to have a close bond is that they've created memories together. That doesn't happen by accident. Life can so easily get in the way, each of us falling into our normal rhythms and routines, that we forget to be intentional about building relationships with the ones we love most. It doesn't have to happen through vacationing, but since traveling is something Herm and I absolutely love, and something our kids are quickly becoming fond of as well, it's where we have decided to be especially intentional about creating memories. 

2. It Broadens Your World View
In addition to creating memories and valuing time spent together as a family, I also believe that traveling (especially when visiting other countries and cultures) creates a broader world view. I want my children to be immersed in worlds much different than their own. I want them to appreciate the many ways people live across the globe. I want them to see the value and beauty in diversity and be able to celebrate that. I want them pushed outside of their comfort zones, immersed in cultures where it seems nearly impossible to communicate because of a lack of common language and have to figure it out. I want them to know what it feels like to be an "outsider". For me personally, living aboard and traveling to many countries where it was obvious that I was a foreigner, has taught me how to be more sensitive to those around me in my own community who might also feel like an outsider.

3. This World is a Masterpiece Waiting to be Explored
And finally (although, I probably could go on and on) this world is an absolutely amazing and breath-taking masterpiece created by the Master Artist. That, in and of itself, is reason enough to buy a ticket somewhere new and do a bit of exploring. Traveling has a way of making me realize how great and amazing yet small and connected this world and its people are.

I love visiting new places, meeting new people, and seeing how history can come alive, all from roaming the globe. As I wander, this world never loses its wonder. Traveling with kids, experiencing it from their perspective, has only made that feeling greater.

I feel it's worth the investment now to travel as a family, even when our kids might only remember the trips from photos. For us, we know it won't be a once-in-a-lifetime trip because we do plan to keep on exploring. It's a lot of extra work, but it's worth it. I promise. If you don't have the means to travel half way around the world, start where you can. Explore your neighborhood, your state, your country.

Creating memories and being intentional to build close relationships now, when my kids are young, is my way of sowing into what I want our relationships to look like when they leave home. Traveling together, I hope, will only increase that bond.

Do you vacation as a family? I'd love to hear your thoughts!




Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant.

Recently, while visiting my sister and her husband in their Lancaster City home, I was handed this book and told to borrow it. It took me almost an entire week before I cracked the spine and began to read, but once I started it was only a matter of days before I had finished the last paragraph and told my cousin, who was over for the evening, that she too, needed to borrow it.

After unexpectedly losing her husband, author, Sheryl Sandberg, was fearful that she and her children would never be able to find true joy again, but instead live with constant trauma and grief.  Sheryl's close community of family and friends surrounded her with support, and with time she did begin to experience joy again, along with a new and deeper appreciation for life. In the book, Sheryl shares journal entries which describe the intense grief and isolation she felt after her husband's death. But the book goes beyond Sheryl's loss to share a broad range of traumatic experiences --job losses, death of loved ones, sexual assault, abuse, illness, violence, war-- and the stories of how people have overcome, persevered, and rediscovered joy.

The book brought me to tears a time or two, as what Sheryl shared about walking through grief felt all too familiar and fresh. But it was excellent, and I highly, highly recommend that everyone read it, whether or not they've lost loved ones or have dealt with personal trauma of any kind. If for nothing else, read it to know better how to respond to others who are currently facing adversity.


The scalp massage brush I recently purchased (here is a similar one). Pregnancy is a weird and wonderful thing. It's weird in the sense that anything and everything can be a symptom of it. Almost immediately after finding out I was pregnant, my skin suddenly became extremely dry and breakouts popped up, scattering rampantly, as if my face was a canvas for a game of connect the dots. Along with the dry face, my scalp was itchy, my hair constantly carrying its own version of freshly fallen snow. I tried oiling my scalp and rinsing with vinegar. Neither option worked. So one evening I stopped at Sally Beauty and picked up a scalp brush. Within two days the dry, itching scalp was no longer a problem. My hair feels healthy and clean again... Now if only I could find a remedy that easy for my face!

I am also absolutely loving this necklace, which my sister gifted me for my birthday. It's from the brand Dear Mushka. Each piece of their jewelry is reflective of scripture and comes paired with a corresponding verse card. My necklace corresponds with Colossians 4:6, which states "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."


About our upcoming winter vacation. We are doing a repeat of our vacation last year. For those who might not know, every year in February we head NORTH for a few days. Yeah, everyone looks at us with that confused expression you are wearing right now. The whole point is to slow down and spend time together as a family before the spring rush with Herm's work happens. Being snowed in somewhere is a great way to force or encourage rest. We take a stack of books and movies along, as well as all our snow gear, because what is winter without sledding? 

The first year we did this we went to Lake Placid, but every year since we've ventured into Canada, first to Montreal, Quebec, and the next year to Quebec City, Quebec.

We loved Quebec City so much, we decided to go back. We are renting the same AirBnB again. In less than two weeks we will be heading north. I cannot wait!

Thinking About

How impractical it is to have carpet in vehicles and how ironic it is when people talk about the dangers of social media in an Instagram or Facebook post.

Listening To

So many things! Recently Herm did some renovations to his office. After the work was done, the whole room was coated in an extremely fine, but thick layer of dust. I spent several hours one Saturday cleaning it... It was the sort of dust that resettles once you think the place is clean, immediately looking like is needs cleaned again. Anyhow, eventually it looked presentable. That evening, aching and tired, I walk through the kitchen for a glass of water, and that's when I notice his gift setting on the counter -- an Altec Lansing bluetooth speaker, along with a note of appreciation for the time I spent cleaning. I married a man who notices and appreciates the little things. And needless to day, I am loving that speaker. It's podcasts and music and music and podcasts daily around here.


My children become the best of friends. A few weeks ago we dealt with an entire week of sickness. It was miserable. As soon as Carson was over the flu, Brooklyn got it, but hers came with a vengeance that left us all feeling a bit miserable and weary. We survived, and a I daresay, we are better for it, because the very next week Carson and Brooklyn started playing well together. No longer do I feel like I need to be a constant referee, intervening and making calls. Every day they surprise me, playing together for hours on end. I think maybe it took a week of sickness for Carson to realize how much he really does like spending time with his little sis. It feels like we are starting a new, fresh chapter, and I think it's absolutely wonderful.  

Now it's your turn to share if you'd like. I'd love to hear what you are currently reading, loving, dreaming, thinking about, listening to, or watching. Feel free to drop a comment!