school’s out

One. Chris finished finals and we did our 2018 inaugural beach trip! Grandma got the girls super cute suits. We found a playground and had a chill time. Evangeline had fun running in and out of the very cold water until she fell over and got soaked and that was the end of that. Zelie was content climbing on Chris and eating sticks and being just way too stinking cute.

Two. Chris’s roommate and best man from Stanford has been staying with us for the last week and a half. For Chris, it’s meant a buddy to watch the playoffs with. For me, it’s been a taste of living in community and I’m reminded that I like it. It’s nice having someone else with us for dinner and to play with the girls (and Kevin does the dishes while we do bedtime – praise!) We’re planning to rent a room to one of Chris’s fellow M.Div’s next year and I’m looking forward to that more now.


Three. Kevin got us tickets to Hamilton! I think as a thank you for letting him stay? Setting the bar high for future guests! JK, JK. JOKES. But it was awesome. Even the phenomenon that is Hamilton aside, I was struck by how amazing live performances are. We were asked (ushers yelled at people during the first song) to put our phones away and just sit and enjoy being present to these men and women who are brilliant at their craft. Refreshing. And a treat for me to be away from the girls and in Chicago for a day. I’m super grateful to my friends who watched them – when Kevin first told us he wanted to buy tix I thought, there’s no way we can go, but I asked anyway and ROSE AND KATHERINE ARE THE BOMB. #FRIENDSHIP

Four. I’m reading this and I see a lot of my own conversion story in his, and he reminds me of a lot of my friends. It got me working on a post on my conversion, which is fun to write, but still in my drafts.

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Five. My friend Julia requested that our local library buy this new book that we both want to read (didn’t know you could do that!) and I’m next in line when she’s done. I spent some time journaling through a free ebook of Jennifer Fulwiler’s called A Guide to Your Gifts and it was so great. Her new book is about pursuing your passions while having a family and I was like, hm, I love the sound of that, but … what are my passions again? (Classic Enneagram 9, lol). So, this ebook was great for that and it got me all fired up. I have passions to pursue! I want to write a book! I want to get better at handlettering! I want to change the world! And then I felt like I kind of hit a wall. (I want to learn how to edit photos of my handlettering, but Photoshop/Illustrator/Whatever is so expensive! If you know how to do this for free, can you tell me how?) But I took a small step and committed to write each day for one week, not blogging, but seeing what came out (it was mostly poems). I missed some days and don’t know if I even made it a whole week, but it was something! Finding community with writing is something I would really love … waiting for that.

Six. One of the questions in that ebook was, “who are you jealous of?” Because we’re often jealous of people we see fully living out their gifts. And it got me thinking, man, IG often feeds my jealously/envy. And envy is the least fun sin. If you have any tips on combatting that, please share. I usually want to throw my phone away until I have a cute pic to post, which is terrible.


Seven. Inspired by Sarah and also Julia telling me that they can survive the winter here, I think I’m thinking about backyard chickens?? Part of me is like, ugh, chickens are gross. And the other part is like, we have this giant backyard, why not jump on that homesteading bandwagon and learn a lot and get some eggs out of it?  #LAURAINGALLSWILDER4EVA #livingthedream

But, we shall see. Maybe I’ll wait til next spring. Oh and the seeds in our garden are growing!! So cool.

Happy Weekend!

Linking up with This Ain’t The Lyceum.

april in quick takes

1. Right after I wrote about potty training, Evangeline started regressing (eye roll emoji) and it just got worse and worse until suddenly there was a slow upward trend and fingers crossed we are back to normal again. (And I still don’t know why. The move, I guess?) But the worst two weeks of it corresponded with the last two weeks of freezing weather and I just about lost my mind completely. It’s just soul crushing to handle that much poop when you have taught this little human how to take care of her own business. I was so frustrated and grumpy, and the weather compounded it so much that I just kept thinking, when (if) spring ever finally comes, it will literally solve all my problems. And, it kinda has.

2. On one of those really bad poop days, I impulse bought new spring clothes. And I half expected them to not fit and not be cute because of how guiltily I indulged in purchasing them, but guess what, CUTE AND COMFY. Even the culottes. We have a wedding coming up in June and I’m eyeing some maxi dresses … or maybe a jumpsuit?? Except how to nurse and go to the bathroom … but Grace seems to be able to pull them off and she has six kids.


3. I’ve been obsessing over our backyard garden because I want to get it perfect (have things actually grow) but feel like I have no idea what I’m doing and I have this lurking fear that nothing will grow and I’ll be so disappointed. But, seeds are planted! So it’s a very boring looking plot of dirt right now, but brimming with potential. I texted my friend Sarah many times because she’s all about this – her garden is awesome and she’s got lots of helpful tips. She told me to check if our city has free compost, and lo and behold, it does. Then I still overestimated the size of our garden bed and bought way too many seeds. But oh well! Next year! Or plant more mid summer? I’m winging it!


4. But as I was planting the seeds, I was thinking about how tiny and vulnerable they were and how I was hoping so much for them to grow and thrive, and it felt sacred, almost. And then I remembered and yelled, Chris, get the Book of Blessings! 


Chris asked for this book for his birthday. It has blessings for almost everything home and family related, including, wait for it, The Blessing of Seeds at Planting Time. So while the girls played together over in a corner of the yard, Chris and I blessed the seeds. It was so wonderful. (So those blessed seeds better grow!) Here’s the prayer if you want to use it for your seeds or plants.

5. The Book of Blessings also has a Blessing of a Mother Before Childbirth and I had the privilege of hosting a blessingway for my friend in our new home. I got the idea from Geena’s blog, and followed her how-to and it’s just a simple, special time to love on a mom-to- be. If you have any pregnant friends in your life, I highly recommend!

6. Speaking of childbirth, a recent episode of a podcast I like focused on birth and I was like, oh yeah, birth is so amazing! It made me think about writing up my birth stories. So, watch out. Also finished listening to this mini-series on social self-care and my take aways were: read Laudato Si, read Harry Potter, persevere with my garden, try to throw away less scraps of toddler food remains, be on social media less and be more intentional with friendships I want to invest in. Book-wise, I finished this and this and am still v slowing working my way through this. Listening to Harry Potter #1 in the car (because summer is coming and HP is my good friend) and fitting in a little nonfiction with this when I clean up the kitchen in the evening.



7. The Village threw one big final hurrah and it was freezing cold, very fun, and also sad. I’m so glad we decided to live there. It was an amazing, international community and it made my transition to South Bend waaaay better than I expected. It really was like a freshman dorm, but families. Instant friends. It’s so weird and sad that it will be gone by the end of the summer. But, cool that there do seem to actually be plans now to build a new Village, though it will be different, in 2019. Aaaaand it was a stretch to make it to 7, that’s all! So happy we’ve made it to May.



Linking up with Kelly.