board games we love.

We love a good board game around here. Especially as we enter into the cold months where it gets harder and harder to spend much time outside, board games are our go-to boredom busters and good-vibes makers. And unlike playing dolls or trucks, board games don’t make me want to gauge my eyes out. Did I just say that out loud? Ahem. Anyway, these are some of our favorites. Continue reading

seven quick takes.

Dropping in for some super quick shares and updates before the weekend crazies hit!

  1. Homeschooling has been going great. Actually  better than I was even expecting.  But seeing as it’s only kindergarten for Joe, we’re keeping it SUPER light, and expectations pretty low, and it’s made for a pretty nice, chill start to a year. Like, guys, there has been only one crying jag since we started. About school, that is. I call that a success. See? Low expectations. Although I do think I need to find a more structured math program, because what we’ve been doing is fiiiiine, but not great. Suggestions? I’m all ears.
  2. I recently discovered this app/program thingy (Technology is the new math, guys. It’s hard.) called Honey. Saves so much money! I was skeptical, but it seriously works. One of my favorite parts is that a sidebar pops up when you’re shopping (like on Amazon) and shows you how much it costs other places, or tells you that you’re getting the best price. And when you go to check out after any online shopping, it automatically tries to apply any coupons that might apply.  It. Is. Awesome. Total no-brainer.
  3. Speaking of Amazon, have you heard of these dresses that look like miniBoden but are way cheaper?  I haven’t even ordered them yet, but I’m kind of excited to get a couple for the girls for the winter.                                            
  4. I’ve been on a streak of reading some great books lately.  Ordinary Grace was one of the better works of fiction I’ve read this year. I loved how it was sort of a mystery, but so well-written and poignant. I’d highly recommend it.  I’ve also been reading Life of the Beloved, which was just wonderful, Life is So Good, which I thought was really uplifting, and I’m finally reading the Anne of Green Gables series and wondering where it’s been all my life.  It’s been a great book month for me.  Don’t you love it when that happens?!
  5. I’ve been loving working on bread-baking so much lately, but am finding that it’s hard to practice and get any better only making a loaf or two a day. And even then, we can’t keep up with eating all that bread, despite our most valiant efforts. I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a little micro-bakery and taking subscriptions, but can’t commit to it.  I love the idea, but am totally overwhelmed by the idea of starting a business, however small.  Anyone with tips will be paid in hugs and loaves.
  6. It’s the first day of fall and is 90 degrees and humid as all get out.  I am displeased. So I’m hiding in the air conditioning and drinking tea and pretending that the air is nippy out there… while it’s decidedly NOT. How am I supposed to get my apple-picking game on when I can’t even take out the trash without breaking into a steady, dripping sweat?
  7. I think I need to gear up for another Buy Nothing month. Last year I did it in November and it was perfect, but October might be good, too.  Last year I miss out on Black Friday deals for Christmas, which was hard. But in hindsight, I can see that it was probably a good thing. Who’s joining me this year? You know you want to!

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not-so-random acts of kindness

As the mother of three small children, I often find myself mindlessly shrieking, “Be KIND to each other, PLEASE!” So much so that when I ask one of my kids to spend some time in their rooms to calm down and collect themselves (Ok, you caught me, it’s a time out), they often come down saying, “Ok, Mom, I’m ready to be kind now.” Kindness is one of our core family values; it’s something that we strive for and urge our kids towards, even when it’s hard.

But as my kids get older and begin to question why kindness is important, I find myself faced with a lot of my own questions- namely, what has kindness come to mean in our culture, and what does that mean for truly lasting and loving kindness?  Continue reading

24 hours in a day.

Is motherhood harder than it used to be? I don’t know. I don’t think so. But there is something about modern womanhood, and specifically motherhood, that is driving us all to breakdowns and tearful messes over things like burned roast and Pinterest activities that didn’t turn out quite right.

For so long, motherhood was not just part of a woman’s life when she had children- caring for her home and family became her WHOLE life. Of course there always have been exceptions, but overall, that was all that was expected of a woman after she married. Now, don’t get me wrong, I doubt very much that any of us would want to return to the days when options for women were so incredibly limited. We’re lucky to live in a moment in time when we can be mothers AND career women.  Mothers AND writers. Mothers AND {insert your particular passion here}. Continue reading

joy in the discovering.

Every time I get on my computer, I’m bombarded with all those “Things I Wish I Had Known” articles. Sometimes I find myself nodding. Sometimes I laugh. I can’t help but wonder…What do I wish I had known? What could I have known?

The more and more life I do, the more I come to the conclusion that there’s really nothing worth knowing that you can know before you’re ready to know it. Continue reading

nature walk bags

We’re pretty lucky to live in an area surrounded by lots of open space and well-maintained trails, so the kids and I take a lot of walks and do a lot of exploring. When I was researching homeschooling methods, one of the things that initially drew me to Charlotte Mason’s approach was the emphasis on outdoor time for kids and the practice of nature journaling.  Even though my kids are still little and we haven’t started formal schooling yet, we’ve started working on developing habits so that they’ll be well-prepared when we do start.  One of the things we’ve really enjoyed is being mindful of noticing things while we explore, and sometimes attempting to chronicle them in our “journals” or with some kind of art project. (God help us.) Continue reading

a little update… shall we?

So, turns out that I should have given up blogging for Lent, because guys?  I’m KILLIN’ that. Whoops.  I wish I could say we’ve just been super busy, but in reality, it’s just all the regular old life stuff that’s kept me distracted and not clacking away at my keyboard these days.  I know you’ve been positively aching to know what’s happening over here, so I’ll put you guys out of your misery immediately.  Here’s some updates. Continue reading

the myth of balance

I’ve found myself thinking about balance a lot lately.  What it is, how to achieve it, and why I should want to achieve it.  Among women, and mothers in particular, balance is a sort of holy grail.  Just read any interview of any successful woman, basically ever, and you’ll see the following question, “How do you do it all? How do you achieve (dun dun dun…) balance?” Normally, the answer will be some kind of vague murmuring about making the time for things that are important to you and letting go of the rest (as if laundry can be let go forever), or maybe something about self-care (which usually means going to get a pedicure once a month or something). But there’s a big problem, for me, when it comes to balance. Namely, that’s it unachievable.

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