Hi, friends! How was your February? Lately I'm sipping coffee that's half-caf (which I mix up myself) although I always make my coffee strong, decaf or not. I use one very full tablespoon of coffee per carafe cup of water to make my coffee. I'm curious, what ratio of coffee to water do you brew? My personal opinion is that there's no excuse for weak coffee. ;) February was wonderfully rainy, our rainiest month in my recent memory, and I reveled in the coziness. I leaned all the way into the coziness with a weekend trip to the mountains with... Read more →


This is our house – we think it's so cute! Sadly we had to have the backyard tree removed last year though. Last Friday was the two year anniversary of having our offer accepted on our second home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin – even before we had ever been to Eau Claire! Here's the full story about why we purchased a second home including how we afforded to buy a second home. The short story is climate change and by using a big chunk of savings and additional funds from a well-timed cash-out refinance of our Arizona home. Now that... Read more →


This year, as part of my 2024 goals, I'm planning to take three days completely off: February 29, June 22 (my half birthday), and December 22 (my birthday). Every year I take my birthday off and love the feeling of being completely "off-duty." I realized I should not limit myself to feeling that way only once per year! As I've been looking ahead to February 29 I found myself trying to figure out how to take a day off. What a funny conundrum to be in! But I wonder if others can relate to it as well. Even though I... Read more →


In September I shared 10 things adding shine to my life. Today I'm back with a similar list of everyday joys, so named because I sign off every episode of my audioblog podcast with "wishing you everyday joys and small wins." I was going to do a list of 10 but at the end of the list I thought of one more, and I thought, "What's the harm in 11 joys instead of 10?!" So here are 11 everyday joys I'm noticing lately in no particular order... 11. Rain. Here in central Arizona we get a whopping annual rainfall of... Read more →


Great sunset and daily tea time. Two of many things I love about February. We turned the corner from January and are already well into February; life is full and busy lately! Before pressing ahead, I want to reflect on how January started and where we are now. January started off with some rough seas but the waters feel much more manageable. With a lot of intention and effort we made parenting changes across screen time, chores, and behavior which has made a difference. Even if these things still take effort, I feel confident in our approach and what the... Read more →


It's been so helpful for me to reflect on the family routines that we are working to get more shipshape: screen time, chores, and, today I'm chatting about behavior. Your comments and suggestions have been so helpful and encouraging – thank you! For each of these aspects of family life I caught myself thinking, "How did we get here?" as the new year started. It seemed that all of a sudden I didn't love things that were happening in screen time, chores, and behavior in our family. So Chris and I had good conversations about how to address each of... Read more →


Let's keep talking about family routines! Over three posts I'm sharing details about three categories of family routines that we are working to get more ship-shape: screen time, chores, and behavior. As the new year started I was noticing habits and behavior in each of those areas that made me think, "Wait, how did we get here?" We chatted about screen time earlier this week and I so appreciate the suggestions, commiseration, and hearing from parents who are a few years ahead of me. Next up in family routines we are revisiting: chores. So let's get into it... Our philosophy... Read more →


Collaborative Minecraft game: a screen time use I feel pretty good about! Lately a parenting theme in our house has been “getting things ship shape.” The three areas we're working on, and what I'll share here over three posts, are screen time, chores, and behavior. For all three of these categories of parenting / kiddo management I had a realization of, "Wait a minute. How did we get here?" Because our day to day reality was not matching up to our parenting values nor to the routines that we have tried to instill. I was a bit down on myself... Read more →


More than halfway through January and I think I'm finally feeling the rhythm of the new year. We seem to be making progress on the parenting hard stuff I mentioned and will keep at it. Chris and I have been revisiting and tweaking some family routines like screen time, manners at the dinner table, and chores which has me feeling like we're righting a listing ship. And I'm finding everyday routines again for my work as well as laundry, dinner, and tidying which all felt quite out of sorts over the holidays. It feels like a good tidying of sorts... Read more →


Our very lived-in kitchen, with the reminder "the best is yet to come," felt fitting for this new year. Happy 2024, friends! The new year started on a Monday, which I love. On Wednesday the kids returned to school so in a way it felt like the first "real" day of the new year. Routine seems to be a very good thing for my family so I'm glad to be getting back to it. So far January is already feeling much more relaxed than the holidays. We had a really busy and full holiday break. There was a lot of... Read more →