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 →

Earlier this week, I wrote about the first half of our spring break trip to Joshua Tree National Park. I'd love to share a recap of the second part of our trip in San Juan Capistrano, California. Let's go! San Juan Capistrano After the remote desert of Joshua Tree National Park, we were excited to get to the beach. Our trip to San Juan Capistrano came about through Home Exchange when a woman reached out to me with interest in staying in our home. Otherwise San Juan Capistrano would not have been on my radar for a trip. But I'm... Read more →

Hello, friends! We arrived back home after a nine day family trip that included two nights at Joshua Tree National Park and six nights in San Juan Capistrano, both in California. I'll give you a recap today of our trip to Joshua Tree National Park and later this week our trip to San Juan Capistrano. Maeve doing the "cool" hand signs like her brothers! Remote desert beauty To drive to Joshua Tree National Park from Arizona you first drive through hours of open desert. There are long stretches without even a gas station in sight. At one point we could... Read more →

Every year around the new year, Chris and I have an annual summit. We reflect on life currently, deep dive into our budget, project finances for the year ahead, and set couple and personal goals. To us, this ritual is emblematic of what makes our marriage strong and happy. During and after these conversations we feel solidly on the same team and excited for the adventure of our everyday life ahead. It's a wonderful feeling and a new year doesn't feel official until we've had our summit. A reader asked me to give more details about our annual summits and... Read more →

While I was running on the treadmill one day, I realized that I have certain phrases that I say to myself while I exercise and memories that motivate me. I've been exercising for so long – I started running with my dad when I was 12 – that my inner monologue while I workout is second nature to me. But it made me curious about what's going on in everyone else's heads next to me on the treadmill. So I thought I'd share what's going on in my mind during a workout and I'd love to hear from you as... Read more →

Two weekends ago I filled the trunk of our car with bags of soil and plants. At home in the backyard I worked all morning digging up the compacted soil, pulling out weeds of long-gone plants, and creating soft, ready beds. It's been so long since I worked in the yard like that with my hands. I kept thinking how good it felt to get my hands dirty and to fill two corners of our yard, plus a couple of pots, with plants. Maeve helped me "tuck in" the plants nice and cozy and even sang them a bedtime song... Read more →