Recently, Chris and I kicked off a day date in our favorite way: with a coffee + budgeting session. It was a particularly fun one because we were incorporating Chris's new salary as a full professor and projecting out a few years to include some possible big goals. After diving into our budget I wanted to share a few places where we are trying to manage spending, and a few budgeting wins lately. If you'd like to see more about our budget, last year I wrote an overview post about how we manage our finances and a post about our... Read more →


I'm ready to shift into a summer mindset. And good thing because summer weather is knocking at our door and the kids are done with school next Thursday! In my previous post I shared how we're designing our summer with activities for the kids, daily routines, and family fun. Today I'd like to share how we're designing our summer in terms of my mindset, summer eating + drinking, and everyday joys. If you'd like more ideas, I wrote about designing my summer last year as well. Summer mindset: be where you are During the summer we don't have as many... Read more →


I can't believe it's time for my "designing our summer" blog posts again, which I really enjoyed writing last year (kid summer, my summer). But here we are with a week and a half of school left!! Today I'll share what we're thinking in terms of summer kid activities, daily routines, and family fun. Later this week I'll share a post with ideas for how I'm designing summer for myself as well. Summer big picture Here's a fun little realization I've had this year: as much as I dislike the extreme heat of summer, I kind of love planning for... Read more →


Hello, friends! Our palo verde is in peak bloom and as I glance up from writing this I'm met with a view out the window of golden yellow blooms drifting down from branches of bright green. I love this time of year when our front yard becomes blanketed in gold as the blooms fall and keep their yellow color even as they dry out. The Phoenix Valley cities really should advertise our palo verde blossom season along the lines of D.C.'s cherry blossom season. It's truly so beautiful to see trees bursting in bright gold blooms this time of year.... Read more →


Hi, friends! This is an early morning coffee date for me, written in an unusually quiet house because I had the house all to myself on Saturday night through Sunday morning. I'm sipping my usual home brewed hot half-caf coffee with a combo of cinnamon churro Nutpods (I found this locally at Sprouts) and 2% Fairlife milk. With my coffee I'm having a homemade chocolate chip cookie made the proper way which is with pecans. One of my favorite things in life is eating a leftover dessert with my morning coffee so together with a quiet house, Sunday morning was... Read more →


Recently we drove for two long days to arrive in Austin in time to see the total solar eclipse on April 8. Originally I thought I'd do a recap post just about our experience traveling to and seeing the eclipse. But on the way home we drove along the border wall at the U.S.-Mexico border for many miles and I can't separate the two experiences, solar eclipse and border wall, and so I had to write about them both. On the road again We were all road trip pros after our recent trip to California and overall the kids did... Read more →


When I was growing up in the 90s, and reading the teen magazines of the times, I had a narrow definition of beauty for women: very thin, trendy clothes, clear, wrinkle-free skin, and perfectly styled clothes. All of it was very visual and one dimensional. What I've found is that as I get older, and live more life, my understanding of beauty keeps expanding. Now I see beauty in every woman, and see it in myself too. I see how each woman is beautiful in her own way and in how they are different from other women, not because of... Read more →


Lately I've been thinking about small changes I've made that have made a big difference. I came up with seven and would love to share... 1. Carrying my AirPod case in my pocket when I'm using them. It's not a hyperbole to say that AirPods have changed my life. Being able to listen unwired to an audiobook or podcast while I go about my day brings me so much joy. And I credit AirPods with bringing audiobooks back into my life. What does not bring me joy, however, is the panic I feel when I can't find one of my... Read more →


Maeve was born four years ago today. Just as the world around us felt like it was crashing down amid a global pandemic. And yet her birth happened in a halo of safety and peace and she brought us overwhelming joy, she still does. For Maeve's fourth birthday I've finally finished writing her birth story. Birth stories, at least my three birth stories, are so much more than recounting a day. This one especially so. Each has been a culmination of anticipating, dreaming, and planning for so much longer than my pregnancies. When I think of the births of each... Read more →


Happy April, friends! And happy spring! I hope that spring is finding you in your corner of the world (or fall if you are south of the equator). It's also our 14th wedding anniversary today, no foolin' (as our wedding invitations said). Although our spring is perhaps not as dramatic as areas that emerge from snow and ice to find blooming flowers, the desert does have its own spectacular spring if you look for it. In our own little desert yard we eagerly await the first yellow blooms of our palo verde tree to pop, usually in time for our... Read more →