habits & routines

It's time to say goodbye to 2022. I'm in an end-of-year contemplative mood and am enjoying listening to podcast episodes and reading blog posts reflecting on the year. There are so many highlights and changes to celebrate from this past year. Some of the good changes brought challenges too, like relocating to a new city for a month and being out of our routines, living through a whole-home renovation, and keeping up with an ever-changing toddler and our big boys. Reflecting on the past year helps me to see and celebrate growth and accomplishments, big and small. This practice also... Read more →


Recently I've been thinking about the joy that hobbies bring me and asking myself how I can lean into that joy even more. In particular I'm thinking about my hobbies of reading and exercising. I suppose someone might wonder why I didn't include writing and podcasting as hobbies and it's because I don't think of them as hobbies but instead as my work. My writing and podcasting have expectations tied to them, both from myself and from readers and listeners. Reading, exercising, and other hobbies are things I do purely for myself. What I've realized is that when a hobby... Read more →


Despite loving to cook and being a very organized person, feeding my family day in and day out continues to feel just short of running as smoothly as I'd like. It's not terrible. We do have some systems in place that work pretty well. And every night we feed everyone, usually with a homemade dinner that is not cereal. So there's a lot to celebrate! But I keep feeling like the whole thing, from meal planning to making a grocery list to shopping and the actual cooking of dinner, could be optimized. As one of my goals for the year,... Read more →


It's August, the boys have already been in school for a week, and my productive Mondays have returned. Ahhhh. I am welcoming back my calm energy for rhythm and creating that seems to vacation elsewhere every summer. I love the back-to-school season, as you can tell, and consider this the start of my "creative year." There's so little thinking time, let alone work time, during summers with young kids. Whether it's buying new clothes for the kids, outlining a podcast, or picking a paint color. Over the summer my to-do list gets longer and my mind gets more crowded with... Read more →


A new school year is on the horizon for us already since the boys go back in late July! Our school calendar will now be a modified year-round calendar with school starting in late July, a two-week fall break in October, two-week holiday break, two-week spring break in March, and school letting out just before Memorial Day. I think it'll be a good rhythm for us. Plus it gives the boys more time off during the times of the year when we can be outside. I always look forward to the start of a new school year. I love the... Read more →


Keeping my hands looking lovely is important to me because I use and look at them all day long. However, I have some challenges such as living in a super dry climate, frequent hand- and dish-washing which dries my skin, and my enduring (but improving!) habit of picking at my cuticles. For years I've been working to calm my hands and not pick at my cuticles. I'm happy to say that I've made a lot of progress! What's helped me to have calm, non-picking hands is being fanatical about preventing dry skin and hangnails, keeping my nails cut short, and... 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! In two years I will turn 40. (Wait, what?) Our culture has imbued that birthday with such significance and not necessarily a positive one, especially for women. So I will admit that sometimes when I think about turning 40 I feel some reluctance and kind of what to whine, "But do I have to?" Then I stop to think and interrogate the cultural messages we've been given about turning 40. I think about what an absolute... Read more →


As a parent with young kids, finding time to recharge can feel impossible. But it is so essential, at least for me. I think about the phrase "put on your oxygen mask first" when it comes to my own self-care which includes quiet alone time. As an introvert this kind of time is the difference between feeling like myself and being overwhelmed. Personally I love having time to journal or to work on enjoyable projects like family photobooks or planning Christmas at a leisurely pace. I can tell that I am a more calm and present parent when I have... Read more →


Chris attended a neighborhood protest. After I took this picture he added the "[forward]" at the bottom. Being anti-racist isn't something to check off a list. It's a lifelong practice of learning, examining my own privilege and bias, doing better, showing up, and modeling and teaching anti-racism to my kids. Repeat, repeat, repeat. In thinking about how to continue practicing anti-racism I thought about what I can do at different effort levels. Because even at this time while I have little bandwidth and am at home I can still be actively anti-racist. What I've come up with for now is... Read more →


Lately I've been loving my evening routine. I haven't always had such a structured evening routine or intentionally spent so much time on myself before getting into bed, but now that my routine has evolved I find myself looking forward to it every night. The parts that include getting the boys ready for bed are pretty easy and enjoyable but I especially enjoy my evening habits that are just to help me wind down and relax. I know our evening routine will change so much once our baby arrives so I wanted to capture what my evenings look like right... Read more →