On April 1st Chris and I celebrated 12 years of marriage. This year on our anniversary I pulled out the same binder that Chris's brother read from as he officiated our ceremony. In it we still have the the vows that we wrote ourselves and I was curious to see how our vows had held up after more than a decade. Among our vows to each other: "Kelsey, I love you because you focus on the good in people that others might not see. I love you because you are thoughtful, organized, and you keep our lives in order." "Chris,... Read more →


March was early spring nostalgia and swapping the flannel bed sheets for percale. April will be family celebrations, Chris's busiest work season, and holding on tight on to spring before it slips, just like that, into hot summer days. I noticed another sign of spring recently in the absence of something: drinking hot tea. It's been weeks since I made myself a cup of hot tea which I love to do on winter mid-mornings and afternoons. I suppose I only crave it when there's still a chill in the air at 10 a.m. and those days are already past us... 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 March. The warm sun lingers longer day by day and the tree canopies in our neighborhood are getting dense with new bright green leaves. March is also full of memory and nostalgia for me. I find myself keeping company with the memory of waiting for Dashiell, belly round and full, not knowing what birth or parenthood would be like. Also with me is being so joyfully pregnant with Maeve, my daughter. It doesn't seem that long ago, and it does. And then layered on top of that are less joyful memories: bewilderment and fear as the world shut down... 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 →


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 →


Hey, 2022! Come on in. And please behave yourself; we've had some trouble with your predecessors. This blog started with a post about my goals for 2011 so writing this annual post always reminds me of sending my words out into the internet for the very first time. I'm so glad that I did. Keeping up the practice of reflecting, setting goals and intentions, and capturing my thoughts on life as it happens has helped me to live more intentionally, to find community with people who I would otherwise never be able to connect with, and has lead to other... Read more →


Well, here we are in February 2022 still talking about COVID. So it's time for another pandemic check in. In this update I'll share our family's experience with getting COVID and how returning to quarantine was. And I'll talk about what our current practices are for staying healthy and the ways that COVID does and does not still impact our everyday life. Our experience getting COVID The biggest news is that in mid-January the boys and I tested positive for COVID. Chris and Maeve were tested multiple times across several days and always tested negative. The boys were completely asymptomatic... Read more →


This year February 1st is my January 1st. I was just easing into 2022 and feeling energized when COVID hit our household. That pulled the rug right out from all the routine we were just settling into. Whew! But even COVID aside, I think collectively we could all use some rest, recharge, and reflection after the holidays. Especially so considering what we've experienced in 2020 and 2021. I'm here to gently remind you that a fresh start is a mindset and it can happen on January 1st or February 1st or July 23rd. This month I'm celebrating the routine and... 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 →