Stay At Home Check In #5
New (old) school routines and the ache of the familiar

36 favorites

For the past few years around my birthday (December 22) I've put together a list of favorites from the past year. I drafted this post on my birthday but it's taken me until now to finish it. Better late than never!

In honor of being 36, here were my 36 favorite things this year:

1. Long evening walks around our neighborhood during the last weeks of my pregnancy. I listened to audiobooks, felt my baby girl kick, and luxuriated in wondering when she would arrive and what she would be like.

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2. Maeve's nursery which is cheery and functional.

36 favorites | RISING*SHINING

3. All the time I got to spend with my mom during her two trips out her (the second time with my dad, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew). And my mom being able to meet Maeve on the day she was born. I will keep with me fond memories of sitting in my backyard talking with my mom while waiting (and waiting) for Maeve to be born and trying to make sense of the global pandemic that was thrust upon us.

4. Peloton app. I have really missed my Orange Theory routine and was thankful to discover Peloton Digital. I have been so impressed with the deep content library and how well-designed the app and interface are.

5. The New York Times app. My news consumption went way up since the start of the pandemic and I enjoyed staying up to date through the Times, usually catching up in the middle of the night. Besides breaking news I loved the thoughtful pieces on culture and other topics. And the free daily mini crossword!

6. All the overnight sleepovers the boys got to do at my sister-in-law’s, parents’ (when they were in town), and at my in-laws. Leading up to Maeve’s birth it was a gift to have the extra, peaceful time with Chris. After Maeve arrived I loved having extra time doting on our baby together and enjoying the quiet of the house. Thank you, thank you to everyone who made that possible!

36 favorites | RISING*SHINING

7. Meeting my daughter for the first time after an amazing water birth experience. Of my three births Maeve’s was the quickest (about 3 hours) but I also felt the most present and it was the most peaceful. (I'm planning to finish writing Maeve's birth story and share it around her first birthday.)

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8. Our first day at home with Maeve. We had just met her at 9 am that morning but we were home by 1 p.m. That afternoon my mom brought the boys over and they all met Maeve. It was so special to have my mom in town. Later she took them back to her Arizona house for another sleep over. Chris and I ordered pizza (the meal I had been looking forward to all through pregnancy heartburn) and ate in our bed while I held Maeve and watched reruns of The Office.

9. Invisibobble hair ties. They don't crease or break your hair plus "invisibobble" is really fun to say.

10. Hot coffee in the morning. A hot cup of coffee is a simple daily joy that I look forward to while up in the middle of the night with Maeve. Sometimes as Chris and I are getting into bed to go to sleep I say, "I'm already so excited for coffee tomorrow morning."

11. Flannel sheets. Something I've been wanting for years and they are as wonderful as I dreamed of.

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12. Inspired by being at home allll the time and the low interest rates, deciding to do a cash-out refinance of our house and put money toward a backyard studio, a kitchen renovation, and new floors.

13. November 7, 2020

14. October book club. This outdoor, socially-distanced driveway gathering was the first time I had been to book club since March. Seeing those women, laughing, and connecting to a favorite part of my life was a balm for my soul.

15. Nursing nightgowns. I have one from Kindred Bravely (but no longer see mine on their website) and this one (with pockets!). I wear them with my soft lounge joggers.

16. Heel Genius. This amazing lotion transformed my non-pedicured dinosaur feet back into soft human feet.

17. The Babysitter's Club. I loved this remake of the classic book series (which I LOVED during late elementary school). I watching it during the middle of the night while nursing Maeve and pictured watching it with her one day.

18. Enola Holmes and Lovebirds. Two fantastic movies that made for delightful at-home date nights with Chris. We laughed out loud at Lovebirds.

19. Blogs that made me feel connected to other women during a year that felt lonely at times. I especially loved regular posts from The Shu Box, Anne in Residence, Lag Liv, and Cup of Jo (always).

20. Writing in my 5-year One Line A Day journal which I finished at the end of 2020. I especially loved reading entries where I wondered if we should have another baby. Yes we should as it turns out!

21. Perfect Bars. A favorite quick, filling, and delicious snack. My favorites flavors are dark chocolate peanut butter and peanut butter. Around the holidays the candy cane flavor was so good.

22. Podcasts that kept me company and let me feel connected to something outside my house. This year I especially loved The Office Ladies and the A Beautiful Mess podcast.

23. Gap face masks. Cute, comfortable, helps prevent COVID-19 and coffee breath!

24. Books that offered an escape especially Maybe You Should Talk To Someone and Troubled Blood.

36 favorites | RISING*SHINING

25. Our backyard fire pit. Every time we turn it on I say to Chris, “I love having this fire pit so much!”

26. My huge Yeti water cup. The dry desert air plus breastfeeding means I have to drink a ton of water and this workhorse keeps me hydrated. I love the drinking straw (purchased separately from the cup). I love that it holds a lot. I love that it keeps my ice water icy for hours and hours.

27. Going on a golf cart ride with my sister. This particular memory stands out from my family’s visit. Growing up, my parents had a golf cart that we would drive on our property and up and down our street. My parents bought a golf cart to have at their Arizona house so we were able to relive a childhood memory in a way and it was so fun.

36 favorites | RISING*SHINING

28. Takeout from Uprooted Kitchen. A frequent Friday night treat that was something to look forward to at the end of long weeks. Plus it felt good to support our friends, Erin and Chad, through this hard season for restaurants.

36 favorites | RISING*SHINING

29. One on one dates with the boys to get drive-thru bagels and chocolate milk. I marvel at how big the boys are getting and watching their unique personalities take shape. Dashiell is thoughtful, nurturing, and determined. Cedric is creative, hilarious, and so sweet.

30. Facetiming with family. I hardly ever used Facetime before the pandemic but this year discovered how much I enjoy it and how much more connected I feel compared to a voice-only call.

31. AirPods. I love this genius technology so much. They let me listen to podcasts, books, movies, and shows gloriously cord-free while nursing and walking a baby.

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32. Chris. Always my favorite but he deserves a dedicated entry this year. This year especially he was steady, supportive, and flexible. He kept the house clean, said “yes” to playing with the boys whenever he possibly could, and had a super productive work year despite chaos and noise at the office door if not barreling through. He took Zoom calls with Maeve on his lap to give me a break, improved his violin playing through Zoom lessons and recitals, built several things including our backyard studio and a beautiful backyard couch, let me vent when I was overwhelmed, and was always my safe place to land during this crazy, hard year.

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33. Spending Labor Day weekend at a Phoenix rental house with a pool for ­ our first “trip” as a family of five. (Also, Maeve's rainbow polka dot bathing suit!)

34. The quiet creative time my parents’ Arizona house when I was able to steal away for a few hours (including on my birthday when I started this post). Connecting to my creativity and  feeling new ideas bubble up: Life-giving.

35. The first time I went to Trader Joe’s after a long pandemic break. I had tears in my eyes to see all the new items I had missed and to glimpse familiar faces of employees, or at least the upper half of them.

36. Being mama to three, two boys and a girl, marveling at how right it feels, and knowing that we have so many family adventures ahead of us. The best is yet to come.


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