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. 

one year later

Zelie’s first birthday party was so fun. My dad was in town and we had about 30 people over to celebrate. It was such a contrast to Evangeline’s first birthday that it got me reflecting on all the changes and transitions that I’ve gone through in the past year or so.

We had Evange’s party at the beach in Santa Cruz with friends and family, and it was really just an excuse to hang out at the beach with our friends. No party decor or games, no presents. I was still working, and the thought of preparing enough food for everyone and trying to bake anything was just so overwhelming that I outsourced. I asked my amazing foodie friend to bake cupcakes and I went the Whole Foods catering route for some fancy sandwiches. Oh, and I was seven weeks pregnant with Zelie. So … no energy.

Zelie’s party was our first big shin dig in the new house we just bought. Sometimes I still can’t believe we own a house (in Indiana) but that’s another post forthcoming. I’ll do a little house tour when we’re more settled in, ie have some furniture. But it felt like a big deal to be able to really host something in our own space for the first time. I used serving platters from our wedding registry that had never seen the light of day. And in some ways, it kind of marked for me a one year anniversary of being a SAHM. I was able to come up with a menu for 30 people, shop for it, and cook it all without crying. I was even excited about it. I went the pulled pork route and borrowed crock pots and made 7 pounds worth of this and about 7 pounds worth of this. (And discovered in the process that my crock pot is an ancient piece of junk).

I baked a cake for the first time (and while the icing humbled me, I’m still v proud. Thanks for the rec, Seisha!). For Evange and her friends (because, really, what does a one year old do at a party) we played Pin the Tail on the Donkey, and it was so cute.

I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so we can host parties in the backyard! I envision lots of Spikeball, S’more, Sangria parties this summer. Come visit us!! 🙂