goals

Recently, Chris and I kicked off a day date in our favorite way: with a coffee + budgeting session. It was a particularly fun one because we were incorporating Chris's new salary as a full professor and projecting out a few years to include some possible big goals. After diving into our budget I wanted to share a few places where we are trying to manage spending, and a few budgeting wins lately. If you'd like to see more about our budget, last year I wrote an overview post about how we manage our finances and a post about our... Read more →


I'm ready to shift into a summer mindset. And good thing because summer weather is knocking at our door and the kids are done with school next Thursday! In my previous post I shared how we're designing our summer with activities for the kids, daily routines, and family fun. Today I'd like to share how we're designing our summer in terms of my mindset, summer eating + drinking, and everyday joys. If you'd like more ideas, I wrote about designing my summer last year as well. Summer mindset: be where you are During the summer we don't have as many... Read more →


I can't believe it's time for my "designing our summer" blog posts again, which I really enjoyed writing last year (kid summer, my summer). But here we are with a week and a half of school left!! Today I'll share what we're thinking in terms of summer kid activities, daily routines, and family fun. Later this week I'll share a post with ideas for how I'm designing summer for myself as well. Summer big picture Here's a fun little realization I've had this year: as much as I dislike the extreme heat of summer, I kind of love planning for... Read more →


Hello, friends! Our palo verde is in peak bloom and as I glance up from writing this I'm met with a view out the window of golden yellow blooms drifting down from branches of bright green. I love this time of year when our front yard becomes blanketed in gold as the blooms fall and keep their yellow color even as they dry out. The Phoenix Valley cities really should advertise our palo verde blossom season along the lines of D.C.'s cherry blossom season. It's truly so beautiful to see trees bursting in bright gold blooms this time of year.... 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 →


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 →


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 →


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 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 →


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 →