I started this post in Nashville towards the end of a cozy and fun 5-day visit with my cousin. Off and on it was chilly and wet, ideal weather for sitting inside by the glowing Christmas tree and sipping a creamy, spicy Clevr chai latte. When I visit dear friends I love to experience their day-to-day routines: walking a regular route around the neighborhood, going to the grocery store, and visiting a favorite restaurant. I also love being in someone else's home for a few days, especially someone who is so thoughtful about decor and organization, as my cousin is.... Read more →

Appreciating how well Maeve is sleeping! Wow we have come a long, long, long way. Occasionally she'll protest her nap and skip it but usually she'll nap for an hour and a half at least. She usually still cries for a very short time at nap time and bedtime but sometimes not at all. She never wakes up at night and waits for her light-up clock to glow green before calling out to us to come her her. Excited by our very successful Patreon launch for The Girl Next Door Podcast. Over 160 listeners signed up to financially support the... Read more →

Today I have another “currently” post for you where I capture memories and feelings that I'm having or have had over the past month. I love the practice of writing these posts because they help me step out of the fast-moving current of life and really see what life is right now. I love to see what changes season to season and year to year. And what stays the same. I find comfort in noting what feels everyday right now that ultimately will be fleeting and what is an anchor that comes around every year. Like every August I start... Read more →

Holy moly, April was FULL! From our anniversary on the first all the way through Chris's weekend away with guy friends in Scottsdale towards the end of the month, every week was a lot. Plus Chris had extra work commitments and some late meetings, the boys had two days off of school, we hosted Easter brunch and a family happy hour, and I hosted a girls' movie night out. I'm ready to take a breath and have a little less on the calendar. Of course now we're staring at the last few weeks of school plus we're planning to be... Read more →

Savoring bike rides and stroller walks in the warm, breezy spring weather. Finding a lunch routine that is working well for me (a goal this year) by filling a plate with easy, delicious, healthy things like sliced cucumber and dip, delicious cheese, pecan pie energy bites, and seedy crackers. In my head I was calling this a farmer's lunch but perhaps I should call it a writer's lunch. Noticing how sweet and tidy Maeve's hair looks in back after getting her a trim. Toddler mullet no more! And, Celebrating Maeve wearing a joyful whale spout for a whole day and... Read more →

It's time to reflect on and wrap up February. I've been tweaking how I approach these "currently" posts and thought I would try doing a monthly goals recap at the beginning. I don't really like looking backwards in my monthly goals posts but I do like the accountability and transparency of sharing how I did on my goals. So let's try this! February goals review: + Create a Prius memorial in the garage. Photos have been ordered and delivered. I need to go pick out some frames and then hang the photos in the garage with the old Prius license... Read more →

Feeling energized and content after the coziest creative weekend away in Pine with Erica. Here's the perfect cabin where we stayed! We planned a year of content for The Girl Next Door, worked on our own creative projects (for me, this blog, for Erica, her Homeschoolhood podcast), laughed, and talked for hours in the company of a crackling fire. Settling into our spring semester routine this week. Our family had COVID in mid-January which disrupted the routine we were just starting to find. Thankfully we had very mild cases (the boys and I tested positive, Chris and Maeve consistently tested... Read more →

This post is also available in podcast format in which I read the post. Search for "rising shining" on most podcast platforms and subscribe! Loving... Decluttering and inviting in a clean slate. This time of year, as we open our doors to the chilly air, I always find myself inspired to declutter. The air feels fresh and clean and I want our home to feel that way too. I'm also loving our backyard movie setup. We're using the same projector/screen set up that we've had for a few years. We hang the screen on our backyard wall and hook up... Read more →

This post is also available in podcast format in which I read the post. Search for "rising shining" on most podcast platforms and subscribe! Feeling... like the weight of my summer and heat blahs has been lifted. As always I'm so, so happy the heat is behind us for the year. Loving... how full and boisterous the house is. A babbling toddler, two loud boys, so much activity in the kitchen, so much laundry. All the saying apply: The days are long but the years are short. Full hands, full heart. These are the days. Purchased... new workout leggings in... Read more →

Feeling... the light and air change just enough that my summer despair is starting to lift. Apparently it happens every year about mid-September! Loving... creating my delicious fall-inspired home-brew coffee each morning: for my small pot of coffee each morning I use two scoops of decaf coffee, two scoops of Trader Joe's pumpkin spice coffee, and one scoop of regular coffee. (I like my coffee strong!) In my brewed coffee I use two tablespoons of half and half and two tablespoons of pumpkin spice Silk almond creamer. It's so good I prefer it to getting coffee out anywhere. Recently I... Read more →