Team Wharton

A "welcome home from camp" chocolate pie which has become tradition Hi, friends! I'm sipping a cold, cold black cherry sparkling water because at this time of year I'm constantly just a little bit warm, even when I'm inside in the a/c. And happy Fourth of July to my fellow Americans! We're flying the stars and stripes today, and also thinking a lot about what we hope for the future of our country and our upcoming election in particular. An early morning hike with a view that paid off We're in the depths of summer weather here with temps above... Read more →


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 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 →


Recently we drove for two long days to arrive in Austin in time to see the total solar eclipse on April 8. Originally I thought I'd do a recap post just about our experience traveling to and seeing the eclipse. But on the way home we drove along the border wall at the U.S.-Mexico border for many miles and I can't separate the two experiences, solar eclipse and border wall, and so I had to write about them both. On the road again We were all road trip pros after our recent trip to California and overall the kids did... Read more →


Earlier this week, I wrote about the first half of our spring break trip to Joshua Tree National Park. I'd love to share a recap of the second part of our trip in San Juan Capistrano, California. Let's go! San Juan Capistrano After the remote desert of Joshua Tree National Park, we were excited to get to the beach. Our trip to San Juan Capistrano came about through Home Exchange when a woman reached out to me with interest in staying in our home. Otherwise San Juan Capistrano would not have been on my radar for a trip. But I'm... Read more →


Hello, friends! We arrived back home after a nine day family trip that included two nights at Joshua Tree National Park and six nights in San Juan Capistrano, both in California. I'll give you a recap today of our trip to Joshua Tree National Park and later this week our trip to San Juan Capistrano. Maeve doing the "cool" hand signs like her brothers! Remote desert beauty To drive to Joshua Tree National Park from Arizona you first drive through hours of open desert. There are long stretches without even a gas station in sight. At one point we could... Read more →


It's been so helpful for me to reflect on the family routines that we are working to get more shipshape: screen time, chores, and, today I'm chatting about behavior. Your comments and suggestions have been so helpful and encouraging – thank you! For each of these aspects of family life I caught myself thinking, "How did we get here?" as the new year started. It seemed that all of a sudden I didn't love things that were happening in screen time, chores, and behavior in our family. So Chris and I had good conversations about how to address each of... Read more →


Let's keep talking about family routines! Over three posts I'm sharing details about three categories of family routines that we are working to get more ship-shape: screen time, chores, and behavior. As the new year started I was noticing habits and behavior in each of those areas that made me think, "Wait, how did we get here?" We chatted about screen time earlier this week and I so appreciate the suggestions, commiseration, and hearing from parents who are a few years ahead of me. Next up in family routines we are revisiting: chores. So let's get into it... Our philosophy... Read more →


Collaborative Minecraft game: a screen time use I feel pretty good about! Lately a parenting theme in our house has been “getting things ship shape.” The three areas we're working on, and what I'll share here over three posts, are screen time, chores, and behavior. For all three of these categories of parenting / kiddo management I had a realization of, "Wait a minute. How did we get here?" Because our day to day reality was not matching up to our parenting values nor to the routines that we have tried to instill. I was a bit down on myself... Read more →


More than halfway through January and I think I'm finally feeling the rhythm of the new year. We seem to be making progress on the parenting hard stuff I mentioned and will keep at it. Chris and I have been revisiting and tweaking some family routines like screen time, manners at the dinner table, and chores which has me feeling like we're righting a listing ship. And I'm finding everyday routines again for my work as well as laundry, dinner, and tidying which all felt quite out of sorts over the holidays. It feels like a good tidying of sorts... Read more →