Introducing: the RISING*SHINING audioblog!

Currently: March

Currently March | RISING*SHINING Currently March | RISING*SHININGInspired by...

Coronavirus numbers going down and vaccination numbers going up, especially in Arizona. I'm also feeling inspired by a new project that I've been working on and will share with you this week!


Flowers and new growth popping up all over. I let out a small excited squeal to see our ocotillo plant with tiny green leaves. In previous years leaves have appeared but then turned brown and fell off. This year I'm going to try watering it more consistently (previously I was told not to give it much water). I've also been rewatching Ted Lasso. I think it's earned a place as a comfort show.


In March I continued to read a lot, mostly audiobooks, and liked almost everything I read. I finished: Writers & Lovers, The Chicken Sisters, Things You Save in a Fire, Open Book (Jessica Simpson's memoir), Long Bright River, Bad Blood (a reread for me), One to Watch, A Good Neighborhood, and Missing, Presumed. The only one I wouldn't recommend is A Good Neighborhood which I found frustrating for many reasons. I recently abandoned The Book of Madness and Cures two-thirds into the book when it just wasn't holding my interest. You can't always read great books! I'm currently reading Infinite Country in hardback and listening to Sweet Little Lies.

Thinking about...

Orange Theory. If you live with me (hi, Chris!) or I keep up with you regularly, thank you for listening to me talk about Orange Theory. I've mentioned it here often as well. It's my thing and I love it and I can't wait to go back. But when is that?? I want someone to tell me when it's safe to go and I want that to be soon. Tentatively I am considering going back later in April or in early May. I'm sure you'll hear more about it (LOL).

Also, period products. My 21 month vacation from my period is over. It was a good run! A good friend raved about using Flex discs and I bought some to try. I really liked them! They're disposable but each one can be used for 12 hours so there's less waste by volume compared to tampons and less to remember. I think I'd like to transition to a no waste solution like a reusable silicone cup. If you have one you love please share.

Currently March | RISING*SHINING Currently March | RISING*SHINING Currently March | RISING*SHINING Currently March | RISING*SHINING


A long visit from my parents and a short visit from my aunt and uncle – their first time to visit us in Arizona! Maeve warmed up to my Aunt Peta right away which was so sweet. I loved getting to spend a day with my mom and Aunt Peta. They gifted me watching Maeve while I ran errands and took out my compost – it's the little things that matter so much right now! Then they came with me to pick up the boys after school. It was so fun to have their company during my everyday life.

My Billie razor! My cousin and several podcast listeners recommended Billie razors. I was ready to try something different after using a safety razor for a while. I found that I didn't love shaving my legs with a safety razor as I'd often cut myself. Plus the safety razor can't be left in the shower (it rusts) and I'd often forget to bring it into the shower when I wanted to shave. It did not feel like an ideal situation. Enter the Billie razor. It stores smartly on a small magnetic triangle on the shower wall and gives a smooth shave with no nicks. 

The cutest plant pot with personality. Now she just needs a plant.

Several grey, chilly days; a couple even had rain. The heat and sun is right on its heels so I have been savoring every minute.

Easter tote bags. I am obsessed! Easter baskets are hard to store and not always great at holding eggs as little ones run through the yard. Enter the Easter tote! They can be hung up in a closet or folded away. Easter eggs will be secure when little hunters are running. I ordered the small bags from Modern Vintage Market on Etsy.

Dream life...

I dreamed about going to my first Orange  Theory class. Hahahaha. I love it when dreams are so transparent.


Easter, birthday, and summer gifts. Early April will bring our wedding anniversary, Easter, Maeve's first birthday, and Dashiell's eighth birthday. Lots of celebrations and gifts to plan for! Plus I love to put together some summer gifts for a summer basket after school is out. I spent some time last weekend ordering gifts and making sure I have all occasions covered.

Currently March | RISING*SHINING Currently March | RISING*SHINING

Our medicine, to much satisfaction. I've also been working on photo books. I finished one for Cedric's art work through preschool. Next up is our 2020 family book and then a photo book of Maeve's first year. (Here's how I organize our family photos.) I also cleaned out our arts supply and craft cabinet. That felt good! Ahead of the summer I want to restock it with easy activities.

Currently March | RISING*SHINING Currently March | RISING*SHINING

Cooking + eating + drinking...

I have been feeling so burned out by dinner but flipping through The High Protein Vegetarian Cookbook has given me some inspiration. We're going to try to barbecue seitan pizza recipe this week. We had great takeout from favorite Uprooted Kitchen on a recent Friday night when the special was coconut crusted cauliflower fried rice.

During the first weekend of the boys' spring break Chris took them on a trip to Flagstaff. While they were gone I made the best chocolate chip cookies and added toasted pecans which is my preference but no one else's. They were delicious and I ate them all.

Grateful for...

Gorgeous spring weather with cool mornings and warm days. I love going on long walks with Maeve and listening to an audiobook. Recently I've enjoyed the walking destinations of our neighborhood bakery and Starbucks. I love walking for walking's sake but having a delicious destination is also fun.

I'm remembering this time last year when I was so pregnant and waiting for Maeve to be born any day. I'm so grateful for my healthy, growing baby girl.

I'm also so grateful that more and more aspects of normal life are feeling like they will be possible soon. We're feeling like we can most likely send the boys to summer day camps and that we'll be able to go to the public pool. We're even starting to plan summer travel.

Currently March | RISING*SHINING Currently March | RISING*SHINING 210329_coloring Currently March | RISING*SHINING
What the boys are into...

Lately the boys have been coloring rocks with friends, playing with friends at the park after school, and jumping with friends on their trampoline most evenings after dinner. (They always wear masks when with friends.) Cedric has been passionate about his art work lately and every night before bed draws or colors as he listens to an audiobook. Dash has been enjoying reading short chapter books especially if I bring home a new haul from the library. Both boys are in good routines with school and are excited to go each morning. They were especially excited to eat breakfast at school last Friday when cinnamon rolls where on the menu.

Oh and Cedric lost his first tooth! He pulled it out himself, brave boy.

I had so much fun taking the boys out for a dinner date. We got their favorite pretzels and cheese fondue from Culinary Dropout plus a salad for me then found a grassy park next to a neighborhood lake. Afterwards we got frozen yogurt. I had so much fun with them and realized how much less management is required . We haven't been out and about with them in a year and I was surprised to find them older and better behaved – imagine that!

Since being back at school I have seen the boys bloom, each in different ways. I can tell Cedric is proud to officially be a big kid at a school where he's been in preschool for the past two years. Dash is more agreeable and usually does his school work unprompted, which is the opposite of our virtual learning experience. They are so much happier, cooperative, and honestly more enjoyable to be around now compared to when they were only at home. On behalf of them and us I'm so grateful.

Currently March | RISING*SHINING Currently March | RISING*SHINING
What Maeve is doing...

Maeve loves to look at books and at the mention of books her face lights up. She doesn't have much attention span for any individual book, however. She wants to help you turn a few pages and then she's reaching for the next book. This month Maeve started signing a little bit! She first signed "more" for my mom and Aunt Peta. She will sometimes sign "milk" when I sign it to her as we're nursing. Signing babies are endlessly adorable to me and it's incredible how much they can communicate months before they start talking. Maeve is also enjoying playing with her first birthday presents which I saw no reason to hold back for her actual birthday. She was ready for some new toys and loves her What's Inside? box, stacking cups, chunky puzzle, and colorful wooden stacker. This month Maeve also went in a baby swing for the first time and loves it.

I'm also so happy to share that Maeve's sleep continues on a trajectory of improvement. The majority of the time she sleeps through the night, hallelujah! This past week her naps were longer and more consistent as well. I think she might have recently emerged from a growth spurt. Her good sleep translates directly to my good sleep. After more than a year of subpar sleep from pregnancy discomfort and being up with Maeve sleeping through the night feels damn good.


Friends and family. So many faces that I haven't seen in person in more than a year. Hopefully that will be changing in the coming weeks and months!

Looking forward to...

Launching a new creative project this week, getting my second COVID-19 shot on Friday, lots of family celebrations coming up in early April, and life continuing to move towards normal.


I hope you had a good March, friends!