Day in the Life: Summer Edition

Hello again!

Thanks so much for your enthusiasm about my last blog post. ¬†I loved all your nice texts and comments, and I really enjoyed sitting down and writing, so here I go again! ūüôā

I used to write “day in the life” posts every three months when Zoe was little. ¬†I stopped writing them when Riley came along, because I couldn’t figure out how to take pictures without someone dying. ¬†Now that Zoe is no longer attempting to murder her sister every 20 minutes,¬†I thought it would be fun to capture a “day in the life” in our new context.

So without further ado, here’s a Thursday, 8 days into summer break (but who’s counting?! #me), with an almost-4-year old and a 5.5 year old, in a semi-rural suburb in North Carolina!

PS…I never got a chance to do my Bible study on this day, but I certainly reflected on scripture throughout the day, which I have included.

5:36: “Her children arise and call her blessed.” (Proverbs 31:28). Actually, they arise and immediately demand things, but some day…some day…

I make Zoe a bowl of oatmeal and myself a cup of tea, and begin reading the latest Kylie Jean book out loud.

Within 15 minutes, Riley is awake. ¬†We go through our daily ritual: she tells me that she peed in her Pullup, she asks to watch a show (denied every time, but points for persistence), and she reminds me that she doesn’t want milk in her cereal.

6:30: We have finished two chapters of Kylie Jean. ¬†Zoe and Riley have “finished” “eating” and scampered off to the playroom with their BFF, Daddy, for some Anna and Elsa play. ¬†I seize my moment and plate two hardboiled eggs, a piece of toast,¬†and some strawberries, reading a few pages of my book¬†as I eat. Then I clean up everyone’s food and sweep the kitchen.

7:15:¬†‚ÄúMeaningless! Meaningless…Utterly meaningless!¬†Everything is meaningless.¬†What do people gain from all their labors¬†at which they toil under the sun?¬†All things are wearisome,¬†more than one can say.” (from Ecclesiastes 1). It’s laundry time!

7:20: David begins running on the treadmill in the garage. I’m folding laundry. “Mom! You want to hear us play.” MORE THAN ANYTHING.

IMG_4068Zoe also insisted that I take a video of her performance, but mercifully I do not know how to insert it into this blog post.

I fold and put away laundry for about 25 minutes, strip the beds, make them with new sheets, put MORE laundry in the washer/dryer, then help Zoe and Riley clean their rooms.

8:30: I’m trying to preserve my sanity throughout the summer by exercising for some length of time most days. Today, I have time for a 30 minute, 2.6 mile walk through our neighborhood (which is hilly, beautiful, and safe. ¬†I LOVE walking here)!

IMG_4071.JPGI listen to a podcast on being multi passionate and enjoy BREATHING. (David has the kids.)

When I get back, Zoe wants to go for a bike ride. David is heading into the office later than usual today, so I take her for a ride.  Halfway through, she finds snails that she wants to take home as pets, so I end up walking a few blocks pushing two bicycles, while she skips ahead with three snails.

IMG_4072.JPGI take a lightning fast shower. When I get out of the shower, Zoe, Riley, and the snails are all in my bathroom. ¬†Everyone watches me get ready (David has left). Privacy at its finest.¬†While I get ready, I group text with some local friends about one of their bad haircuts and a possible playdate. I’m so thankful to HAVE local friends!

10:00: I’m taking¬†the kids into the city for the first time by myself today. ¬†I have really been missing the energy and diversity of a city, and want to get there every week this summer. This week, we’re going to a puppet show…and then we’ll see what else we find! I pack lunches (grocery day is tomorrow, so the content of the lunches is fairly questionable), shove an energy bite in my mouth, and get the kids ready to go. They insist on packing their own backpacks. Totally necessary.

10:25: OFF WE GO! The kids request Taylor Swift in the car, so we rock out for the next 30 minutes. Zoe eats a cheese stick and Riley eats peanut butter crackers from their backpacks.

11:00: We made it! The kids are pumped.

IMG_4075We meander over to the theater, climbing on benches and statues and making a bathroom stop along the way.  The theater has display cases full of props from past shows, so we enjoy looking at them and talking about the plots of those shows.

11:30: The mane event. (You’re welcome.)IMG_4078The puppet show is incredibly cute and interactive. The puppeteers act out three stories, and lead the kids in movement songs in between. Afterwards, the kids have a chance to play with puppets in the puppet theater. ¬†It’s a huge hit with both kids.

12:15: “Again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat!'” (Numbers 11:4b). The kids are hungry, so we find a lovely picnic spot across the street. One of my favorite parts of being in a city is meandering and stumbling upon awesome places to hang out. I’m so thankful to be here!

IMG_4079We actually didn’t have enough bread for me to make myself a sandwich, so I brought peanut butter crackers along for myself and figured I’d eat the kids’ leftovers. The jokes’s on me because they both drop half of their sandwich and have no leftovers. Oh well!

The park has a large splash pad, and I happen to have extra clothes along, so I let Zoe go in the water after lunch. She quickly makes a friend and has a blast scampering all over the multi-level park.

IMG_4080Riley prefers to cuddle.¬†IMG_4081After almost an hour in the park (which has no shade), I’m beginning to feel sunburned and Riley is telling me she is “sweaty.” ¬†I tell Zoe it’s time to wrap it up and change her into the spare set of clothes.

We are having so much fun that I don’t want to leave the city, so I ask the girls if they want to walk to a coffee shop. ¬†I plug Starbucks into my phone and we take off on a 5 block walk.

1:35:¬†The Starbucks is located almost exactly in the “center” of downtown, which means prime people watching! We are across from a HUGE skyscraper, and there are people on scooters and bicycles, golf carts, and police cars. There are people of all kinds, doing all sorts of things. The girls have a grand time staring out the window and asking tons of questions while eating cake pops. ¬†(I have an iced soy latte.)

IMG_4083.JPGI love this time. ¬†I want the girls to be comfortable around all kinds of diversity–people of different ages, sex, ethnicity, races, professions, abilities, languages, and subcultures. ¬†I want them to feel comfortable in an urban setting, to understand city safety, and to be curious.

We have enjoyed about 25 minutes of people watching when¬†Riley suddenly screams out at top volume, “I have something in my private area.” ¬†I pretend not to notice the business people trying not to stare at us as we head to the bathroom, where Riley learns the word “wedgie,” Zoe screams in abject terror about the automatic dryer, and a construction worker tries to hit on me as I leave the bathroom with my two children. ¬†Maybe that’s enough of city life…

2:05:¬†Zoe loves photography, so I give her my phone to take some photos as we walk back. ¬†She asks Riley and I to pose on a bench…

IMG_4085.JPGand in front of a wall with “neat texture” (Instagram husband, anyone?) Here are a few of her photos from our walk back.




IMG_4126I love her eye.

On our way back, I take the girls into a neat historic church. ¬†They are very concerned that we will be arrested because it isn’t Sunday.

Riley’s legs also stop working, which I had expected, and I wind up carrying her the five blocks back.

2:45:¬†I drive to the gas station to fuel up for our trip back to the ‘burbs. Zoe is writing a story and Riley is drawing. I can tell they’re going to fall asleep, so I turn on a podcast on branding.¬†IMG_4130.JPG3:30: We arrive back at our house. ¬†Traffic wasn’t bad until I began following a school bus for the last two miles of our trek. The girls each enjoyed a 20 minute nap in the car. ¬†They are very cranky and hungry when I wake them up.

We usually do an afternoon quiet time followed by 1 hour of TV, but I can tell they just need to zone out, and I have a work phone call I need to make, so I make the kids a snack of strawberries, chips, and cheese and summon my favorite babysitter, Sofia the First.

3:40: I throw some laundry in AGAIN and chat with my Florida friend and colleague for about 20 minutes about her new branding and a project we are working on together.  She confesses that she is one week into summer and forgot how little she can get done with her children around, so can we push our timeline back? YES WE CAN.

It’s the last day of the month, so I do my monthly client reports and invoicing. ¬†I’m also hungry since I never ate lunch, so I make some tuna salad and have a few crackers. Here’s a glimpse into my office…IMG_4134I planned to take the kids outside and do the water table around 4:30, but it begins thundering, so I just let Sofia continue to work her magic, switch some laundry, start the spaghetti, and keep working on a foundation research project for a client. ¬†Sofia is the most reliable babysitter I have found in our new town, so¬†I’m not teaching this semester (just continuing with ongoing client work). ¬†I’m really glad I didn’t take on more.

I also briefly text with a friend to a) plan tomorrow night’s happy hour and b) congratulate her for showing up in¬†Joan Garry’s weekly email!

5:20: I serve the kids spaghetti, which Zoe complains is “too pasta-y.” ¬†I make myself a salad with craisins, feta cheese, and almonds because I ate so recently. ¬†During dinner, we FaceTime a family member who has had a rough week, and enjoy catching up.

6:10: Bath time! 15 minutes of water play and 5 minutes of cowashing/hair detangling!

IMG_41406:45: David walks in the door carrying a hummingbird feeder and homemade muffins from a congregation member (totally normal) and helps me read, sing, find transitional objects, and coax girls to sleep.

7:00-7:20: I run¬†upstairs several times to fix various emergencies like “my blanket fell off,” “you forgot to say my words” (I said them), “I’m not tired,” and “I’m scared.” ¬†I finally issue the trump card: “if I have to come up here again, you won’t get a muffin in the morning.”

7:30¬†“…She found the child lying on the bed, the demon having left” (Mark 7:20). The girls are asleep.

I plate David’s dinner, clean up the girls’ ¬†plates and places, do the dishes, switch the laundry once again, pour a glass of wine for each of us, and talk briefly with David. Then I work for 45 more minutes. ¬†I also get an email from a friend who is running for the Florida House of Representatives, and marvel at how awesome and accomplished my friends are!

8:40: Connect and hang with David.  Keeping it real, we get into an argument slash relationship growth opportunity.  I also eat a muffin.

10:00:¬†“I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Psalm 3:5 Bedtime! I think I fell asleep in less than 5 minutes.

I’m realizing that this summer, I will really need to pray for “daily bread” in the form of energy and patience to keep up with my kids’ energy level. ¬†I am also remembering that last summer I began a “two shots of espresso at 1 pm” habit…

But still…I know that I am very blessed to be able to direct the fun and coach the girls through their daily emotions and experiences. ¬†I’m excited for the rest of summer!


Day in the Life: 15 Months

If you‚Äôre just joining us, I‚Äôve been trying to write a ‚Äúday in the life‚ÄĚ post every 3 months so that I can keep track of how Zoe is growing and developing over time. ¬†And now…15 months!

MARCH 31, 2014

6:00 Zoe wakes David up.  I unwittingly stay asleep.

6:05 am I awake with a start thinking,¬†“it’s already 6:05? David and Zoe have probably been up for an hour! How did I sleep through this?!¬†I have to get out there and relieve him! Poor guy!”

I rush out of bed apologizing and David says “babe,¬†I was trying to let you sleep in!I realize that I’ve thwarted his plan AND the possibility of extra sleep. ¬†Dang.

6:15 I give Zoe a bottle with one hand while typing an email with my other hand to my friend¬†Jaima about the color of Zoe’s snot—things you never thought you’d be writing, much less doing. ¬† [Explanation: we have a play date scheduled for the afternoon with Jaima and her son Jackson. ¬†Zoe has had a runny nose since Saturday, but still has clear snot. ¬†General mom etiquette means that you disclose potential sickness as well as snot color, which could indicate a cold (green) vs. allergies or a non-contagious stage of a cold (clear.) ¬†The more you know, right?]

6:30-7:00 I play on the floor with Zoe while drinking my coffee out of one of my favorite mugs, enlarged here for your reading pleasure:


I bought this mug when I had a job full of “MBS.” ¬†It used to¬†make me¬†smile before I headed to my cube for the day. ¬†I like drinking out of it even more now because what¬†I do is NOT mundane (and it¬†makes me feel edgy. ¬†Don’t box ME in.)

David sits down to eat some eggs and toast.  Zoe suddenly develops an interest in being on his lap.  I wonder why?

Zoe eats daddy's eggs7:00 I make Zoe her own breakfast¬†so she can stop mooching off of daddy. ¬†Toast with PB&J for both of us. ¬†David hangs out with us and talks. ¬†Zoe says “no no no” to yogurt and throws her bananas¬†off her tray.

7:20 David goes to our bedroom to get¬†dressed for the gym. ¬†Zoe trails him. ¬†I pack¬†our bag, water bottles, and snacks for our stroller fitness class and begin cleaning up our breakfast dishes. Meanwhile, back in our bedroom, David tells Zoe where she and I are going. ¬†No joke—she finds my exercise pants, gets¬†David to help her put them on, and comes out to get her stroller.

Just like mommy! Oh wait, I actually strap my child into the stroller correctly…


…and thankfully have not had this type of wardrobe malfunction during class.


We are dying laughing.

7:30 David leaves for the gym.  I toss a load of dirty laundry into the wash and begin getting Zoe dressed.  Today, this involves a tantrum about shoe choice.

Zoe's shoe tantrum

“But mom, I don’t want to wear my brown shoes. ¬†I want to wear my red shoes.
I mean, my silver shoes.  I mean one red one and one
 silver one.  I mean no shoes.
Oh, the tragedy of my LIFE!!!!!”

8:00 Zoe is dressed.  Finally.  I throw contacts in my eyes, my hair in a messy bun, and some exercise clothes on.  We sing a few songs and take a quick selfie before we begin heading out the door.

Photo on 3-31-14 at 8.11 AM8:10 I realize Zoe is leaving¬†the house without shoes on. ¬†WHAT?!! I thought we had already been over this…

8:20 We are off. ¬†Usually, we listen to upbeat and peppy worship music. ¬†Today, we’re listening to our Christian radio hosts¬†share¬†some profound truth about grief and faith. ¬†I find myself sobbing.

8:45 We arrive and meet up our friends Heather and Quinn.  We also meet a new friend, Caitlin, and her little son as we all unload our strollers and workout gear.

9:00-10:00 A great workout.  Zoe happily sits in her stroller enjoying the songs, movement, and an organic cereal bar.  I had asked Heather to take a photo during the workout, but she (and I) are too distracted by the burpees to remember.  (Fun fact: Zoe LOVES recreating all of our moves at home and burpees are her favorite.)

10:10 Heather, Caitlin, and I have taken the babies to the “family bathroom” to change their¬†diapers. ¬†I don’t usually talk about diaper changes when I do these posts, but this one was notable because all three kids were hysterically wailing as we changed them. ¬†House of pain, party of 3.

10:20 Play time at the mall play area. ¬†I love¬†this place¬†because everything is sized well for a toddler, there are no hard edges, and it’s carpeted and climate controlled. ¬†I eat a Greek yogurt as I chase Zoe around, and as usual, she wants some.¬† Heather DOES capture this moment.


During our playtime, Zoe makes friends with a two year old. ¬†They chase one another around giving “high fives” for a while. ¬†Then¬†the two year old teaches her how to fist bump.¬† Classic.

11:15 Quinn has his one year photo shoot this weekend, so Heather asks for help finding him an outfit.  She has made an inspiration board for his photo shoot on Pinterest, which impresses me.  We find an outfit right away.

11:25 Zoe is looking sleepy, so we head towards the car, pack up, and hit the road.  She falls asleep about 10 minutes into our drive.

11:45 We run into a minor¬†car accident outside our neighborhood. ¬†We sit there for a few minutes waiting for the traffic to clear. ¬†I can see one of the drivers—a teenage girl. ¬†She is hysterically crying, but is being comforted by a bystander. ¬†The woman is holding her, rubbing her back, offering her a phone, and generally reassuring her. ¬†I am too far away to do anything helpful, but I pray for the girl and thank¬†God for¬†sending this woman to help her and for letting me see this glimpse of humanity outside my door.

11:55 Home. I wake Zoe up and head inside.

12:00-12:15  I take a few minutes to clean up our toys from the morning and switch some laundry while Zoe plays.

12:15 I put Zoe in her high chair and begin her lunch courses: green beans, cheese, multigrain¬†crackers, and cherries. ¬†David comes home and I tell him about our morning. ¬†He says, “you had some deep car rides today.” ¬†Oh, my poor husband.

12:20 My friend/mentor Jennifer from Rochester calls during the green bean course.  I talk with her as I make and eat my own lunch (spring mix with goat cheese, almonds, apple, and poppyseed dressing and some multigrain crackers) and bring Zoe her courses one at a time.


“Stop talking on the phone. ¬†I should be your sole focus.”

12:50 Zoe drinks her bottle while I check emails.

1:10 Zoe throws down her bottle and begins running around energetically. ¬†The car nap has invigorated her. ¬†We play, then I read her some books in an attempt to wind her down. ¬†I tell her to pick the “last time” book. ¬†She chooses a 150 page Curious George treasury. ¬†Nicely played, Zoe.

1:35 I put her in bed and leave the room. ¬†She shouts “NO NO NO” for a while, then says “Dada? Dada?” hopefully. ¬†I giggle and hop in the shower.

1:45 I get dressed, and begin to clean the bathrooms so that I can meet my goal of cleaning them 3 times in March. ¬†It’s the last day of the month and I have no excuse not to meet this goal beyond “I hate cleaning the bathroom with every part of my being.”

2:15 Zoe is still chatting in bed, which is super unusual for her.  I decide to give her 5 more minutes before giving up on the nap and going to get her.

2:20-3:45 Zoe is asleep. I finish cleaning the bathroom, unload the clean dishes and load our dirty dishes from breakfast and lunch (the pants incident distracted me earlier,) clean the kitchen, send our friend Cailin some soy, dairy, nut, beef, and wheat free recipes (her baby has developed allergies and she is nursing, so she has had to dramatically change her diet,) check Facebook and a few blogs, write back to some emails, order some stuff on Amazon, and do my quiet time.  Around 3, I eat half of a Larabar ALT bar and drink some green juice.  Ahh.  This is nice.


3:45 Jaima¬†is not scared of the snot. ¬†We had planned to meet at 4 at a park, but Zoe is still sleeping. ¬†Jaima graciously agrees to drive over with her son who is awake so that we can still catch up (I mean, so the BABIES can socialize. ¬†Right.) ¬†In preparation, I go outside and clean Zoe’s water table.

4:05 Zoe wakes up.  She is not happy.

4:10 Our buddies arrive. ¬†Zoe is so excit—oh wait. ¬†She’s throwing a tantrum.

IMG_2233Eventually, Zoe calms down (although she remains prickly towards me and our visitors and refuses to eat her snack of craisins and kamut puffs.) ¬†Jackson remains unphased and plays with his favorite toy at our house—Zoe’s wooden work bench.


We play inside for a few minutes before heading outside. ¬†Zoe and Jackson love our backyard. ¬†As we play, Jaima and I discuss her latest reading—Happiest Toddler on the Block and Leaning In.

5:05 Zoe cries because David is home (THE HORROR!) and cries again when J&J are leaving. Transitions¬†are a little hard for her right now. After warming up to David and getting over the tragedy of our friends leaving, she¬†runs to grab the dog’s leash and walks to the back door calling “DOG!” with the leash. ¬†I guess she understands our routine. ¬†We call David’s best friend/Zoe’s honorary uncle Kenny to see if he wants to join us for a walk (he does.) ¬†We take the dog for a 1 mile walk.

5:40 We’re back home. ¬†Apparently, it’s “help yourself to a snack” time around here.

helping herself

Since Zoe skipped her afternoon snack, I let her eat her second organic cereal bar of the day. ¬†I also put the box up higher in the cabinet ūüôā I pour a glass of wine for David and me, put out some hummus & carrots, and¬†snuggle with David for a few minutes enjoying our happy hour.


5:50 I begin cooking.

6:10 Zoe eats some dinner—quesadilla, carrots, grapes, and avocado—while David supervises her and I cook.

6:30 David and I scarf down dinner—a pasta and roasted chickpea recipe¬†from Real Simple served with some asparagus. ¬†It’s pretty good, unlike my last Real Simple creation which literally tasted worse than my own vomit during my recent stomach bug (I should be a food critic, I know.) ¬† ¬†

IMG_2246While we eat, we give Zoe some “discovery jars” we made for her yesterday during nap time. ¬†These are a Montessori/Reggio Emilia idea that I got from our church preschool and Heather, who used to teach there. ¬†Basically, they are bottles filled with interesting things to explore. ¬†I try to plan a few new sensory learning activities each week. ¬†This one is a hit.

Zoe exploring

6:50 We eat a dark chocolate square for dessert.  David gives Zoe a bath while I do the dishes.

6:55 I realize that Java is suspiciously quiet and find out why.


“Oh, hi! Nothing to see here. Just chewing on some¬†very appropriate dog toys—
one of Zoe’s farm animals¬†and one of her hair bows. ¬†Carry on‚Ķ”

7:10¬†David has wrestled Zoe into her PJs. ¬†She comes to see me, then runs into her closet to hide. ¬†We play “where is Zoe?” for a few minutes.


7:15 David and Zoe enjoy their nighttime ritual: sports and a bottle.


7:30 Zoe, David, and I sit on her bedroom floor and read three books together.  Then we put her in bed, hold her hands and say a prayer, and leave her room.

7:50 I switch the laundry and begin writing a quick summary of our day.  David makes some popcorn.

8:10 I show David some research I did for a project we are working on.

8:30 We watch last night’s episode of¬†“The Good Wife” on the couch, then spend some time chatting about where the writers of the show can go from here. I still can’t believe Will is dead. ¬†I put the last load of laundry into the dryer.

9:50 Bed time!

Glutton for punishment? Feel free to read our 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, and 12 month posts, too!

Day in the Life: 12 Months

If you‚Äôre just joining us, I‚Äôve been trying to post a ‚Äúday in the life‚ÄĚ post every 3 months so that I can keep track of how Zoe is growing and developing over time! Feel free to read our¬†3 month,¬†6 month, and 9 month¬†posts. ¬†And now‚Ķ12 months!

DECEMBER 19, 2013

5:30 Zoe begins crying. ¬†She has been asleep since ~7:45 the night before. ¬†I get up and make her a 6 oz bottle of whole milk. ¬†She lays on my lap and I give her the bottle (Zoe has never shown an interest in holding her own bottle–diva) while I catch up on emails and Facebook posts. ¬†Then I make a pot of coffee.

5:50 PLAY TIME! We play with balls, a new “cookie jar” sorting tool that a friend gave us the day before, stacking cups, and Zoe’s activity table. ¬†Zoe has recently learned about our iPod docking station, so at one point she crawls over, points to it and says “dat” (that.) I oblige and we rock out to Jamie Grace together. ¬†As we play and dance, I get through a few passages of scripture and my cup of coffee. ¬†This is my favorite part of the day. ¬†When David gets up with her and lets me sleep in, I am genuinely sad to miss it!

6:30 David wakes up and comes out to join us.  We play for a few more minutes and then everyone eats breakfast: a yogurt, berry, and cereal bowl for David; an oatmeal pancake with yogurt and berries for me; and bite-sized pieces of a whole wheat pancake, banana, pear, avocado, and yogurt for Zoe.  I finish my Bible study as we eat.

7:15 I shower and get dressed while David plays with Zoe.

7:30 It’s David’s gym day, so he heads out to get his workout on. ¬†I give Zoe a bath and wrangle her into fresh clothing.

8:10-8:55 MORE PLAYTIME! Zoe and I do some physical play in her room with her pop-up tunnel and her favorite toy—plastic clothing hangers. ¬†At one point, she decides (without warning) to fall onto her pop-up tunnel hoping it will hold her weight. ¬†No such luck. ¬†Tears.

8:55 I prep us for our morning activity—a trip to the zoo—and we get in the car. I also realize I haven’t taken any pictures yet this morning, so I run back inside to get my camera. ¬†Oops…

9:25 We arrive at the zoo. ¬†Zoe has fallen asleep in the car, which I expected. ¬†She typically takes two naps a day, and this outing is actually during her normal nap time. ¬†I find it almost impossible to go out and do fun things with her if we are strict with the nap schedule every day, so I compromise: I am strict with her afternoon nap schedule every day of the week and have her flex her morning nap around 1-3 days/week so that we can go out and do some mid-morning activities. ¬†Today is one of those “flex” days. ¬†I let her take a 25 minute car nap before we head in to the zoo with our buddies. ¬†As she naps, I listen to the radio and text with my friend Jess.

Nap time

9:40 We stroll into the zoo with our friends Heather and Quinn.  Quinn is adorable, and hence deserves a photograph.


9:40-10:50 Total fun.  The kiddos love the animals, especially the penguins!

Zoe penguins10:50 Snack time.  Quinn has a bottle and Zoe and I each have a quarter of the PB&J sandwich I packed.  Heather and I chat about life and how fast our little ones are growing.

Happy mamas

After this, we visit other animal exhibits (manatees, fish, turtles, bald eagle, snakes, monkeys) and discuss Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf at-home activities before heading out.

11:40 Ready to head out. ¬†When I put Zoe in her carseat, she immediately cries (which is her response now whenever we leave somewhere “fun”)¬†so I’d call our outing a success! Zoe falls asleep on the way home.

12:15 We arrive home and say hi to David, who is home eating lunch too. ¬†I wake Zoe up, which takes a few minutes of concentrated effort. ¬†We each eat lunch–bite-sized pieces of a whole-wheat quesadilla, avocado, mixed veggies, and banana for her and a melty avocado/goat cheese/tomato wrap with a side salad for me. ¬†Zoe is NOT happy to be awake and eating lunch. ¬†THE HORROR!


It’s amazing what a little food can do to your mood.


1:00 After lunch, I feed Zoe a 6 oz bottle of whole milk while catching up on blogs and emails.  Then…dog time!

Zoe and dog

It’s hard to keep these two from French kissing.

1:10 Play time! I used to do “reading time” after lunch, but now Zoe wants “crazy physical time” after lunch. ¬†First, she crawls around the kitchen opening the cabinets that aren’t childproofed and finding the surprises I hide for her in them. Then we go back to her room. ¬†General mayhem ensues.

busy girl

Finally, we wind up on my bed for 10 minutes of her favorite game—“1, 2, 3” (she falls backward on 3.) ¬†Massive giggle fits from both of us.

2:00 I try to help Zoe calm down with a few books on the couch.  She looks exhausted.

2:10 I put Zoe in her crib with her sound machine on, say “goodnight,” and walk away. ¬†Instantaneous sobs. ¬†I try to ignore them as I collect the trash.

2:15 Still sobbing. ¬†This week, she has needed me to rock her to sleep for her afternoon naps because she has a little cold. ¬†It’s SO sweet, but I am really on the fence about whether I want this to become a habit. ¬†Regardless, I go in and rock her until she is almost asleep. ¬†Then my nose starts bleeding (random!) I ignore it for a few minutes but the situation is becoming dire, so I stop rocking her and put her in bed. ¬†Her sobs die in 2 minutes as she settles into sleep.

2:30 I finish emptying our trash cans and indoor recycling bins into our outdoor bins and clean up the kitchen and living room. ¬†Then I light a candle and listen to worship music while I write some thank-you notes, respond to a work email, write a few emails related to a project I’m working on and start working on the winter¬†newsletter for the club I am president of. ¬†I also have some yogurt and pear slices. ¬†It’s a great 40 minutes of peace and stillness in my day.

IMG_03523:20 One of my favorite high schoolers shows up.


We are headed to her house this afternoon for a Christmas party. ¬†We catch up for a few minutes before I wake Zoe up (I know–I am being awful about respecting her naps today but I usually am REALLY good about it!)¬†

3:45 Head to the Christmas party, which is geared towards the three 10 month–13 month attendees and a 3 year old. ¬†There are presents, jingle bells to shake, stuffed animals to hug, a nativity scene to play with, and cookies to decorate! SO MUCH FUN.

Christmas party

While there, Zoe eats almost an entire sugar cookie. ¬†It’s a party, after all. ¬†(I eat a cookie, too.) ¬†I also get a phone call related to my project.

5:05 I put Zoe in the car. ¬†More tears. ¬†We head home and I start chatting with my mom on the phone. ¬†David gets home around 5:20. ¬†I finish chatting with my mom and we take the dog for a walk. ¬†Zoe loves our neighborhood right now with the Christmas lights and inflatables. ¬†Who am I kidding—I do too.

6:00 I start prepping dinner—calzones. ¬†I had a lasagna fail earlier this week (apparently the noodles were “pre-boil” noodles, which I don’t usually buy) so I scraped out the totally functional sauce, pesto, cheeses, and saut√©ed veggies from around the burnt noodles to re-use in calzones. ¬†Making lemonade out of lemons is so 2012—the cool kids of 2013 make calzone out of burnt lasagna.

6:20-6:50 Dinner time. ¬†Zoe eats bite-sized pictures of calzone, mixed veggies, and finishes her yogurt from earlier today. ¬†David and I eat calzones and salad and make plans for the next day (which is his day off‚ĶI am working until 2:00.) ¬†I begin prepping for the high school girls Bible study that I lead. ¬†Tonight, our theme is “holiday party” so prepping involves cleaning up from dinner, getting hot chocolate and mugs out, and preparing our cookie-baking supplies.

7:10 David and I are getting Zoe in her PJs when the first student shows up, 20 minutes early.  We catch up as I finish prepping for the party.  Zoe is slowly melting down.

7:30 The sound of high school girls (and a few girls who are back from college and wanted to come too!) fills the house as David puts Zoe to bed with her last bottle of the day (8 oz.) ¬†She is tired, probably because I didn’t respect ANY of her naps today, so she falls asleep in spite of the noise.

7:30-9:15 PAR–TAY. ¬†Cookie-making and eating, Christmas music, YouTube video watching, stories, and laughter occurs.


I eat another cookie and wash it down with some soy milk.  Yum.


9:25 The last student heads out. ¬†I look at my dirty kitchen and decide to clean it in a few minutes. ¬†I sit down. ¬†I’m an introvert, so I always need a few minutes after events to recharge. ¬†This time, I write an email to my prayer group. ¬†David comes out and starts cleaning the kitchen, which is very nice of him. ¬†I eventually get up to help him.

9:50 David and I cuddle on the couch for a few minutes and watch Tuesday’s episode of “The Daily Show.”

10:15 We get ready for bed and hit the hay.

What a fun day!

Day in the Life: 9 Months*

(*Yes, Zoe is actually 10 months now but I am just now getting around to posting this “Day in the Life” that I wrote when she was 9 months old. Putting in the photos was my hang-up! ¬†Forgive us–I’ve been just a bit busy over here!)

If you’re just joining us, I’ve been trying to post a “day in the life” post every 3 months so that I can keep track of how Zoe is growing and developing over time! Feel free to read our 3 month and 6 month posts.

The 3 month post has all my “disclaimers” about this project, but to review: I am not Martha Stewart and do not kill myself to keep our house clean or make elaborate meals, I work part time, Zoe is bottle fed, my husband works down the street and stops by a lot, and I do not detail diaper changes in these posts because that’s boring. ¬†And without further ado, here’s our day!

SEPTEMBER 17, 2013:

6:00 am Zoe screeches to wake me up.  She has been sleeping through the night most nights recently and tonight was no different.  SCORE!! I get up and make her a bottle and let David keep sleeping.

6:10 Zoe enjoys a bottle while I start my quiet time: an online study on Daniel.

6:30 Zoe and I sit on our living room rug. ¬†She plays while I drink my coffee and try to finish my quiet time. I say “try” because I don’t think you can truly call it a “quiet time” if a toy is screaming “ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT, GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM” on a loop as your baby presses the button over and over again. ¬†We roll a ball back and forth and Zoe gets really excited about it, so I get all of her balls out for optimal ball play.


6:50 Daddy comes out. ¬†The following adorable scene takes place (click it to enlarge if you want and imagine a baby voice saying “dada!!!” for full effect)

David and Zoe 2

6:50 David and Zoe throw a toy to “dog” a few times before he leaves at 7:00. ¬†After he leaves,¬†Zoe and I continue her “dog” theme by playing with the dog bed and reading a book about dogs.

Zoe and dogsZoe’s latest “leap” is supposed to be categories. ¬†Can you tell?

7:15 Breakfast for both of us! Zoe eats Cheerios, banana, yogurt, & corn (hand feeding herself everything except the yogurt!)  I eat an oatmeal pancake with yogurt and blueberries.  While we eat, we listen to a morning worship playlist I recently made on my new obsession, Grooveshark.

8:00 I clean Zoe, her tray, and the floor up and we both get dressed. ¬†If you haven’t heard, getting dressed is a HILARIOUS game also known as “keep away!”

Zoe clothes

Needless to say, it takes a while to get clothes on her body.

8:30 I put Zoe in the stroller and we take “dog” on a walk through the neighborhood. ¬†Zoe eagerly looks for cats, pointing and shouting “CAT!!!!!” whenever we see one. ¬†I come up with a joke: what diagnostic test does Zoe perform on our walks? A CAT SCAN. ¬†I tell Zoe and Java and neither of them laugh. ¬†May need a little work…

9:00 We’re back home! Zoe has a bottle while I read blogs.

9:15 Zoe falls asleep.   I catch up with personal and work emails, type up our day so far, and do some dishes.

9:45 I have a business call for a nonprofit board that I’m a part of (I’m actually the president, which I thought would be “fun.” ¬†We haven’t gotten there quite yet.) I fold laundry in between referencing documents.

10:25 Off the phone. ¬†In a very rare moment of stay-at-home-momdom, I don’t know what to do with myself next. ¬†This particular work week I am working 14 hours total facilitating workshops, but I’m working with a team that’s doing all the prep work so I don’t need to do anything ahead of time. ¬†Since I’ve been working more hours than usual for the last two weeks, I’ve been a freak about time management and I’m caught up with my chores. ¬†There’s…nothing to work on. ¬†Weird!¬†Wracking my brain, I decide to clean the bathroom, then realize that David’s best friend has all of our bathroom cleaning products at his house. ¬†I text him and ask him for it back, wishing it could teleport to our house. ¬†Then I putter around anxiously. ¬†I hate unstructured time so much. ¬†AHHH!!

10:45 Zoe wakes up and I pounce on something to do.  This is her face when I go in her room:


I talk to her in an animated voice and she slowly wakes up. ¬†She’s SO CUTE!


As soon as she seems ready, we head to playgroup.

11:05-12:15 Tuesday playgroup! I love these women and babies so much. ¬†I’ve noticed lately that if Zoe is not sitting on my lap while she plays, she wants me to be right next to her. ¬†She frequently checks to make sure I’m still there by reaching her hand back to feel me. ¬†If she can touch me, she’s okay. ¬†If she can’t, she turns around, holds her arms up, and cries until I pick her up. ¬†It’s sweet. ¬†I stay right next to her as she excitedly plays with new toys.

12:25 Home from playgroup and time for some lunch. ¬†David is finishing up his lunch and Zoe enjoys greeting him before he heads back to work. ¬†For lunch, Zoe eats peas, yogurt, peaches, and bread with pesto (my little foodie!) ¬†I top a whole wheat pita with pizza sauce, goat cheese, & mushrooms and bake for a little “pizza” lunch for myself. ¬†A few bites in, I begin to feel sick. ¬†I have a hard time finishing the meal.¬† (Postscript: I realized a few days later that the pizza sauce had gone bad!! Eww, and no wonder…)


While we eat, we listen to Zoe’s “Nursery Rhymes” station on Pandora. ¬†I try to pay attention to her reactions to songs and “like” or “dislike” the songs so that it’s truly Zoe’s station. ¬†Her station has slowly merged into Motown with the occasional Barney. ¬†That’s my girl.

Zoe begins dancing and waving her hands to the music, so I hand her a spoon that she can beat to the rhythm.  She loves rhythm.

IMG_1516After a while, I take the spoon away so that I can clean her up.  THE INHUMANITY!


1:15 Bottle time! I catch up on news on while Zoe drinks her bottle.

1:30-2:15 One of the rhythms I’ve tried to set in our day is an after-lunch “reading time.” ¬†We cuddle on the couch and I pick out books based on what Zoe has been around lately (if she’s shown an interest in cars, I get out our car book…if we’ve been around animals lately, I get out animal books…if we have been around other babies, I get out books with photos of babies…if she’s been making a lot of sounds with her mouth, I get out books that let me make funny sounds…why am I still typing? You get the gist.) ¬†At first, Zoe just tried to eat the books and/or hit me with them, but now she actually sits on my lap, listens, and turns the pages. ¬†She is also really into “lift the flap” books.

David happens to stop by to make a cup of coffee and takes our picture.  Aww.


2:15-2:30 Zoe has been teething for the last 2 days, so in a “teething only” act she lies down on me and just relaxes. ¬†I point out shapes in the ceiling (in related news, we are getting our roof redone soon…)

2:35 I lay Zoe in her bed. ¬†No protest whatsoever. ¬†Then, I Facebook a little, catch up on our day on this blog post, and read a book. ¬† As mentioned, I don’t have much to do today. ¬†My stomach is still hurting and I don’t feel good, so taking it easy actually appeals to me on a physical level, if not a mental one.

3:15 Although I don’t feel better, I decide to get up and accomplish something. ¬†I dust the house.

3:45 Zoe wakes up. ¬†I want to take her to the park today so I get us changed into “park appropriate clothing” (for her, a swimsuit, sunscreen, and sun hat) and put her in the car.

4:10 We arrive at the park! It’s a beautiful waterfront park with a splash pad and playground. ¬†I take Zoe through the splash pad, push her on the baby swing, and help her “climb” and pull up on the toddler playground. ¬†We meet a 3 year old girl who wants to talk and sing to Zoe, so we hang with her and her grandmother for a little bit. ¬†Zoe loves big kids and is very happy to be around one. ¬†It’s so cute ūüôā

4:50 We leave the park.

5:05 Home! Time for a picture…


…and our usual family evening dog walking session. ¬†We spy lots of cats!

5:30 David gives Zoe a bath and changes her into her PJs.  Meanwhile, I make an easy dinner: vegetarian burritos and salad for David and me, and carrots, pears, peas, and pieces of whole wheat tortilla with almond butter for Zoe.

5:45 We eat dinner. ¬†Note to self: don’t eat burritos when you have already been feeling sick to your stomach. ¬†I feel worse.

6:15 Dinner’s over. ¬†We play with Zoe in the living room. ¬†She is REALLY into standing these days and shows off her tricks!


She also gets interested in my camera and takes a selfie.


6:50 Zoe starts rubbing her eyes and looking sleepy, so I begin her wind-down ritual for bed and give her a bottle.

7:20 Zoe is really cranky but won’t go to sleep. ¬†I bring her back out to the living room and try to show her some toys and books. ¬†She is very disinterested and keeps rubbing her teeth and crying. ¬† I think her teeth hurt.

7:30 I don’t know what to do with her, so I decide to try something new. ¬†I give her a cold teether from the fridge and let her lay on David and me for four songs worth of a “Praise Baby” DVD someone gave us. ¬†She has only watched TV once before (when I was sick and David was out of town…such a bad combo) and she seems soothed and intrigued by the novelty.


7:45 I don’t want her to watch any more TV. ¬†She is obviously tired but disinterested in playing, so we take her for another loop around the neighborhood in her stroller. ¬†It’s almost dark outside. ¬†This finally seems to calm her and let her know it’s bedtime.

8:05 David gives her another few ounces of her bottle and lays her in bed.

8:20 Bedtime sticks…for now! I’m working most of the day tomorrow, so I prep Zoe’s food for the day for her sitter and pack my lunch. ¬†My stomach STILL hurts, so I sit through yesterday’s episode of “The Colbert Show” and call it a day.¬†I’m in bed by 9:00. ¬†David stays up because he is not 85 years old.

I can’t believe that next time I write one of these “day in the life” posts, my baby will be ONE YEAR OLD. ¬†I am indescribably grateful for every moment with this beautiful and perfect gift from God and I am trying to savor every day!


Day in the Life: Six Months

I did this when Zoe was three months old and thought it would be fun to do an update!

June 4, 2012

5:30 Zoe wakes up and starts chattering happily.  She had been asleep since about 8:00 pm the night before.  Thank you, Zoe!  I get out of bed; David keeps sleeping.  I make a bottle and go in to her room to get her.  She gives me a HUGE smile, an excited shriek, and a hug.  My heart melts.  I change her and begin feeding her.  I sometimes pray during her morning bottle; today, we watch an episode of Sex and the City.  Pretty much the same thing, right?

5:50 We play while David gets up, showers, and gets ready for the day. ¬†He’s commuting back and forth to seminary this week (it’s about 1.5 hour away) and he’s not feeling well so he decides to stay up there tonight instead of coming back home. ¬†He packs his clothes while I pack him some snacks and medicine, and Zoe plays happily on a blanket on the floor.

6:25 David leaves. ¬†Zoe and I play for the next hour, rotating through tummy time, Bumbo time, singing, and pretty much every toy she owns while I drink a cup of coffee. ¬†At some point, I eat a bowl of cereal with blueberries. ¬†This photo isn’t from today (I hadn’t had enough coffee yet to realize I should be taking photos,) but it shows her cute playful side. ¬†Could I be any luckier?!


7:05  Bath time! As soon as I get a clean Zoe out of the bathtub and onto her changing table, she projectile vomits all over me and herself.  I clean her again (plus her changing table and myself!)

7:25 I fold some laundry while Zoe “helps.” ¬†She LOVES it when I fling laundry on her and let her shake it. ¬†We also play peek-a-boo with her clean PJs. ¬†So cute. ¬†At one point, I have to go put some laundry away into the hall closet. ¬†As soon as I leave her room, she starts screaming. ¬†This is probably a good place to note that she is developing separation anxiety!

7:40 Zoe goes down for a nap. ¬†I change into some gym clothes because I’m hoping to go to the gym when she wakes up, make our bed, do some dishes, respond to some work emails, and give some feedback to my mom and her friend on the rough draft of their nonprofit’s newsletter. ¬†I’m just about to start folding some laundry when…

8:25 Zoe begins squealing. ¬†Bottle time! However, once I make her bottle and go into her room…she is asleep. ¬†WEIRD. ¬†I back out slowly and fold laundry while listening to Andy Stanley’s “Breathing Room: Choosing to Cheat” sermon. ¬†After hearing it, I send it to my parents and some close friends. ¬†It’s a doozy. ¬†Then I put laundry away.

9:15 Zoe’s up again! Bottle time for real.

9:35 We’ve missed our window to go to the gym this morning and the childcare hours won’t allow us to go this afternoon. ¬†Bummer. ¬†I shower while Zoe kicks on her playmat. ¬†Once I’m out of the shower, she watches me get dressed while she lays on the bed playing with my towel.


Selfie time!


10:05 We head out the door to our Tuesday morning playgroup.  This week, playgroup is a few blocks away, so we walk! Zoe has a blast playing with new toys and staring at her friends.  Usually, I love playgroup too, but I feel like my brain is moving slowly today.  I drink a few sips of coffee and still feel dead.  I try to talk as little as possible to the other moms (and just listen) because forming sentences feels really challenging.

11:20 Zoe is having a meltdown, so we begin our 8 minute walk home.  She falls asleep on the way home, so I transfer her to her bed while I make some lunch: a spring mix salad with almonds, goat cheese, craisins, and poppy seed dressing and a multigrain roll.

11:45 I sit down to eat with “The Week.” ¬†Zoe is screaming. ¬†Maybe she’ll drift back to sleep?


11:50 Nope. ¬†She is distraught. ¬†I get her out of bed, hold her for a few minutes, and let her cries of desperation die down. ¬†I put her in her chair while I finish eating. ¬†She really wants attention, so I read her sections of “The Week” out loud in between bites. ¬†Zoe is now well versed in last week’s world events.

12:25 Bottle time.

12:40 Zoe falls asleep with 0.5 oz left. ¬†I seize my moment to check a few blogs, finish filling out some pre-employment paperwork (I’m going to sub some Friday mornings next year at our church preschool,) write a letter to my friend Erin because we’re both trying to write more snail mail, get “caught up” on our morning on this blog post, and research a few purchases for starting solid foods. ¬†I tentatively put three things in our Amazon cart.

1:15 Zoe wakes up.

1:20-1:40 I finish my research while holding Zoe and singing all of her “standards.” ¬†Multitasking! ¬†I pull out all of our baby utensils/serving dishes to see what we already have, and decide to go to Whole Foods and Target to price and buy a few supplies to get us ready for The Great Solid Food Experiment of 2013 (happening Saturday!)

2:00 At Target, ¬†I return something, open a Target Red Card, buy 4 containers of pureed prunes and pears, and price a Fisher Price booster seat (cheaper on Amazon, so I don’t buy it.) ¬†I also get a tall soy latte at the in-house Starbucks. At¬†Whole Foods, I buy frozen organic peas and butternut squash to puree for Zoe. ¬†For the adults, I buy some on-sale wine and blueberry scone mix. ¬†I finish my latte and marvel at the clarity I feel. ¬†Hurray!¬†

3:15 Home.  I unload everything in the rain and make a bottle.

3:40 I listen to music on my computer.  Zoe falls asleep eating her bottle.

Photo on 6-4-13 at 3.43 PM

I enjoy the preciousness for a second, then put her in bed and buy the booster seat and my other items on Amazon, email David, clean two bathrooms, dust a few rooms, and wash all of her utensils/serving dishes while listening to this playlist of worship music.¬† My solids stuff, including today’s store purchases, so far:¬†(the cookbooks are on loan from the library…I’m planning to do a mix of making my own food + purchasing some food)¬†


4:15 Zoe is up! I leave her in bed for a few extra minutes I finish getting Clorox out of my sinks.  Sorry, Zo.

4:30 A handyman is here to fix our broken bedroom fan. ¬†Zoe and I play and stay out of his way. ¬†She slowly melts down. ¬†I wind up just holding her and singing to her. ¬†Hope the handyman liked his soundtrack…

5:00 I make a snack plate—a few carrots, a few cherry tomatoes, and some hummus. ¬†Zoe screams.

5:15 I put her in her PJs.

5:20 The fan is fixed! The handyman leaves and we call David and talk to him for 20 minutes about his day until Zoe starts screaming.

5:45 Someone is EXHAUSTED.  I feed her and she falls asleep 3 oz in.  Uh oh.

6:00 I make a tuna wrap from The Organic Family Cookbook¬†by Anni Daulter (that cookbook is my new obsession—every recipe I’ve tried has been great!) I eat it with some of the potato salad I made last night and some raspberries.

6:30 I log in remotely and begin working. ¬†I respond to emails and then work on compiling a report on our spring programming for our Board of Directors. ¬†I’m interrupted at 6:50 when Zoe wakes up wanting the rest of her bottle. ¬†Luckily, she gulps it down in 5 minutes and falls back asleep. ¬†I work for 1.5 hours.

8:00 Done with work!

8:10 Zoe wakes up screaming. I soothe her back to sleep.

8:35 Zoe is asleep again. ¬†I’m pretty beat, so I decide to write this blog post, wash some bottles, put a check in the mail, and look for some plane tickets for an upcoming trip to my parents’ house. ¬†Wild night!

9:00 I decide to have a glass of wine.  This happens.


9:20 After Googling the situation and trying a few suggestions, I still haven’t been able to get into that bottle. ¬†I give up, talk with my mom for about 30 minutes on the phone, buy my plane ticket, eat some cherries and a square of dark chocolate, and get ready for bed.

10:10 Go to bed.

A Day in the Life: Staying at Home With a 3 Month Old

When I was trying to decide whether to return to work or not after Zoe, I read a lot of “day in the life” blog posts of stay-at-home moms, trying to get a feel for what my typical day might look like if I stayed at home. ¬†I thought it was VERY helpful to read about other mom’s days. ¬†I also¬†felt like a lot of the posts were aimed at impressing the reader with the volume of tasks that the mom accomplished and the selflessness and hard work involved.

This post will not be about my martyrdom. ¬†To be honest, staying at home is a lot easier than my old job so far. ¬†The “ease factor” is not WHY I decided to stay home—everyone who knows me knows that I work hard and like a challenge—so I don’t feel like I have to preserve my reputation or something by acting like this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. ¬†It’s not. ¬†Zoe is a really easygoing baby. ¬†When she’s happy, which is most of the time, it’s really fun and easy. When she’s unhappy…it’s not fun and easy, but it’s still not impossible.

But I also know that everything could change as Zoe grows. ¬†In a month, I may be saying “this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done” and long for the “easy” days of working.

So this is JUST a day in MY life—today, Wednesday, March 6, to be exact. ¬†A few disclaimers:

1) I am a stay-at-home MOM…not a stay-at-home housecleaner/entertainer/Pinterest craft maker/from scratch baker. ¬†I give mad props to women that enjoy all that other stuff, but it’s not my thing, so I save my energy for the mom part and side projects that ARE meaningful to me. ¬†I clean our house, do the laundry, and cook, but Martha Stewart would be a little horrified. ¬†Also,¬†I work 5-8 hours/week, mostly from home.

2) My husband has fairly flexible work hours and works close to our home, so he pops in a lot.  He always works later 2 nights/week, sometimes 3, but he is home for dinner all of the other nights.

3) I’m pretty sure I have the world’s easiest baby and I don’t breastfeed, so my life may look very different than the life of another moms with a 3 month old.

4) Diaper changes…can we just assume they’re happening every 30 minutes to 1.5 hour? I don’t really want to detail all of them. ¬†I WILL detail my snacks/meals because I always like to hear suggestions of quick, easy-to-throw together mom meal ideas.


3:30 Zoe wakes up for her night feeding. ¬†Yes, I said night feeding as in a singular feeding. Don’t kill me, but Zoe has been sleeping really well at night with only one wake up for a few weeks now. ¬†David and I take turns doing the night feeding and tonight it was David’s turn. ¬†I hear him leave and come back, but luckily go back to sleep pretty easily (sometimes I’m up for an hour or so after the feedings.)

7:00 David’s alarm goes off. ¬†Our dog jumps on me for her morning cuddle. ¬†Too cute.

7:03¬†I’m making the bed when I hear an excited screech from Zoe’s room. ¬†Someone is up and ready to start her day! David offers to do the feeding since he won’t be here for any other feedings today. ¬†While feeding Zoe, he watches an episode of Survivor¬†and winds up getting into it…this means that I get to enjoy some quiet time while he plays with Zoe. ¬†I make the coffee, let the dog out, and¬†read my Bible and journal for 40 minutes or so while sipping my coffee.

7:50 My quiet time is nearing its end. ¬†Savoring the last of my “relaxation” time, I make some oatmeal with peanut butter and blueberries,¬†then write my friend Jessica an email sharing what I read today because I think it will encourage her.

8:20 David has to get ready for work. ¬†I take over Zoe duty. ¬†She’s happy, so I sneak this opportunity to wash some bottles and clean the kitchen while she sits in her chair (kind of like a Babysitter Balance.)

8:45 I give Zoe a bath and get her dressed for the day—one of my favorite jobs!

9:05 Zoe begins fussing—someone’s getting sleepy! ¬†I try to help her relax and drift off to sleep. It takes about 15 minutes to get her settled and then she naps for 25 minutes. ¬†During her nap, I get dressed (my mom rule of thumb: no yoga pants unless I’m actually working out!), brush my hair, put my contacts in, get the diaper bag packed for our morning outings, and write another email.

9:55 Zoe is up and at ’em! I change her, make her bottle and feed her while listening and singing along to Kari Jobe.

10:30¬†I throw a handful of almonds in my mouth and we get in the car to head to our adoption agency. ¬†We’re a few weeks away from finalization and there are tons of last minute details to iron out. ¬†Emails are flying. ¬†It’s my second of three outings this week related to the finalization—this time, to drop off some notarized forms that are due today. ¬†Luckily, my friend is a notary and came over to the house yesterday morning to eliminate one errand! While we drive, Zoe “sings” to the radio and screeches happily.

11:20 We’ve completed our agency errand and are now arriving at the library for baby music time. ¬†It’s our second week going to the class and we spot a friend from last week. ¬†Zoe seems a little overwhelmed, but smiles when we sing songs that we regularly sing at home. ¬†Can babies recognize familiar songs at 3 months? Zoe starts to look sleepy towards the end of class, so we leave early.

12:05 Home.  Zoe fell asleep in the car so I quickly throw a salad together: spring mix, half an avocado, some hummus, balsalmic dressing, cherry tomatoes, a little goat cheese.  I eat as fast as possible while checking work emails and personal emails.

12:20 Zoe wakes up while I’m on my last few bites. ¬†She is NOT happy. ¬†David walks in the door for lunch and we chit chat over the screams.

12:40¬†I’ve tried everything and she’s still really unhappy, so I decide to feed her early. ¬†During her feeding, I call a friend who David heard is injured to check on her. ¬†As I chat, Zoe falls asleep. ¬†David goes back to work. ¬†I realize that this blog post will be really boring without a few photos, so I ask him to take our picture before he leaves.


After he leaves, I put Zoe down in her napping spot and grab the rest of my lunch: vanilla Greek yogurt topped with a little bit of my homemade applesauce.

1:00–3:00¬† Zoe naps and I work on two consulting projects. ¬†Usually, David is here to watch Zoe during my work time but I didn’t know that I HAD work for today until lunch time due to some late emails. ¬†Luckily, Zoe cooperates and snoozes. ¬†Good girl! Zoe’s usual afternoon napping position:


3:00¬†Zoe wakes up right as David’s best friend calls me, needing a break from his work day (he works down the street and loves seeing Zoe.) ¬†He comes over to hang out for a few minutes. ¬†A few minutes turns into 45 minutes. ¬†His girlfriend and David (who randomly happened to be meeting) come over for a few minutes too and we all hang out. ¬†Zoe is really fussy, so I feed her, then make them hold her while ¬†I eat a banana with some peanut butter.

3:45¬†¬†After Zoe projectile vomits, the party winds down. ¬†They head back to their respective jobs and I get ready to go to the gym. ¬†I’ve been going regularly again for two weeks in an attempt to get my appetite and a bit of myself back. ¬†So far, success on both accounts.

Before we head out, I try to take a self portrait. ¬†It’s a bit of a bust.

GymMy “see how adorable my daughter is” photo turns out better. ¬†Should have known.


4:10 We arrive at the gym. ¬†¬†Since David is at work, Zoe will go to our gym’s childcare. ¬†She’s been three times so far (I cried the first time I left her and felt like a total mom cliche!) ¬†She even has her own “gym card” complete with a blurry photo, which is adorable. ¬†I don’t think that they actually do anything stimulating with her when she’s there and I’m still kind of scared of the germs, so I try to keep my workout short and sweet: 30 minutes on the elliptical with the Rachel Zoe Project and a little stretching. ¬†When I pick Zoe up, they tell me she’s been napping for 20 minutes. ¬†She wakes up as soon as they hand her to me.

5:00 We leave the gym and head home. ¬†When we get home, we’re pleasantly surprised to see that David has stopped in for a few minutes before heading back for a few hours. ¬†I make a small smoothie (soy milk, strawberries, blackberries, and frozen blueberries—SUPER easy to sip while on mom duty!) and hand Zoe to David so I can wash some bottles before he heads back to work.


Bottle washing haunts me…but it doesn’t take THAT long once you start.

Before David leaves, he takes a cute picture of us. ¬†(I’m so blessed to have a husband who gets into my projects, even if they’re a little dumb.)


5:30 I feed the Zoester a few ounces of donated breastmilk. ¬†She is NOT happy with the taste of this particular bottle of breast milk so I end up mixing a formula bottle instead, which she eats while we watch a Ted talk on vulnerability. ¬†I find out that the original meaning of the word “courage” was “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”

6:00 We go for our usual evening walk. ¬†Zoe’s starting to get tired and fussy, but I need her to wait to go to sleep until she eats one more bottle. ¬†She’s a little miffed:


Thankfully, the crisp air and the neighborhood scenery calms her down.  We walk a mile and head home.

6:20¬†I change Zoe into her PJs and we play for a little bit. ¬†She’s enthralled by her reflection. Very understandable!

IMG_0745Look at her GRIP! I was so excited when she started doing this two weeks ago—I literally watched her learn how to grip in front of my eyes. ¬†It was so cool!!

IMG_0741Around 7:00, Zoe begins to show me that she is REALLY tired.

IMG_07497:15 I swaddle her and make her a bottle (we cluster feed for her last feeding.)  She falls asleep 4 oz in and I put her in bed with her sound machine going.

7:55¬†David is home. ¬†He’s already eaten, so I make some pizza toast (as lame as it sounds—sandwich bread with marinara sauce, a spoonful of pesto, goat cheese, and a sprinkle of red pepper baked at 375 for 4 minutes.) ¬†We chat for a while, and then decide to have “couch time” and do our own thing tonight. ¬†I begin writing this blog post while he plays a game on his iPad.

Anyway, there you have it! A day in the life of a precious 13 week baby and this stay at home mama. ¬†Zoe was a little fussier than usual, David stopped in more during the day than usual, and we played a little less at home than usual, but otherwise, this is a pretty typical day and activity level for us. ¬† I hope it was interesting to read about ūüôā

Saturday Morning Miracles

About a month ago, I took the girls to a birthday party on a Saturday morning.

When we got home, I texted my mom the exciting news about what had happened at the party and what had happened afterwards.


For one of the few times in the last year…we were in a large, unstructured social setting and my daughter¬†could identify and communicate what she needed. ¬†She didn’t lash out, didn’t scream, didn’t get overwhelmed, didn’t get physically aggressive. ¬†She didn’t cry on the way home. ¬†She didn’t¬†collapse or melt down¬†when we walked back in the door at home. ¬†Instead, she sat down and played with her party favors.

And me?

I didn’t have any¬†new scratch marks. I wasn’t on the verge of tears. ¬†I wasn’t discouraged or frustrated or¬†confused. ¬†Instead, I was bursting with pride and amazement.

It was mid-June of last year when I determined that my daughter was not developing the way that I expected to see and began to make appointments for her.  I have spent this year trying to understand who my daughter is, what she needs, and how I can help her be comfortable and successful.

It hasn’t been a continuous process—there have been starts and stops and “wait and see”s and “try this” and “keep trying this.”

For months, I saw limited-to-no improvement, which was tough, because I was WORKING. ¬†I have never questioned whether I would keep going—because she is my daughter and so there isn’t a question—but¬†I have wondered whether I COULD.

It has been intense.  It has taken more than I ever thought I could give.  The hardest part for me has not been the work, or the way that her behavior makes me feel, or the way that I sometimes worry that it reflects on me and my parenting.

The hardest part has been that her behavior, and her feelings that drive it, are distressing to her.    

Seeing my child in distress—and feeling powerless to understand and protect her from it, even though I am trying—and fighting to keep my joy in parenting intact instead of letting circumstances slowly mute it—these have been my particular burdens and challenges in the last year. ¬†I know that many people carry much heavier burdens, and I am not complaining as I share this. ¬†I didn’t expect that parenting—and¬†particularly parenting a child who wasn’t given the best environment in utero—would be easy. ¬†I just imagined that with lots of effort, you’d get¬†answers or progress or incremental change or insight or acceptance or¬†something. ¬†Hitting a wall—but not knowing how to get over it—was maddening.

This spring,¬†a failed hearing screening led us to our pediatrician’s office, which led us to an audiology appointment, which led us to an occupational therapist’s office, which led us—finally—to something.

It has led us to an¬†explanation¬†that, regardless of its loose fit, has helped me understand and help her.¬†¬†To therapy that has built her skills.¬† To charts on my wall. ¬†To a visual calendar. ¬†To an arsenal of physical coping instruments. ¬†And to birthday parties in which¬†my child—who wants¬†to attend, and wants¬†to have fun—is able to make a plan ahead of time for success, communicate her needs,¬†ask for a break, and rejoin the party.

There are still skills to be built on her end and on mine. ¬†But my almost-daily “8 pm: cry tears of frustration” appointment has been moved to a less regular time slot.

One of my favorite writers wrote something a while ago that has challenged me:

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 9.38.08 PM

I’m still learning those last sentences. ¬†For so long in this process, I think I labored under the lie that if I could just do something different, it would make all the difference for her. ¬†I’m learning that the thing I can do to make all the difference for her is to accept and unconditionally love the child that I have been given, and to accept the parenting journey that I am on with her.

The lie was tricky to identify, because it¬†didn’t come from a selfish place. ¬†I didn’t want her to be different¬†for my benefit; I wanted her to be different¬†so her life will be easier. ¬†But no amount of work on my end can take who she is and turn her into something that she isn’t, and no amount of work on my end can take away the struggles that she has been assigned. In my attempts to¬†help her change, I was¬†accidentally standing in her way.

A week or two before we got the diagnosis, David told me (during my 8 pm cry): “the reason that you don’t have any hobbies is because your hobby is¬†trying to solve Zoe’s¬†problems.” ¬†I cringed, because he was right and because I knew it wasn’t healthy. ¬†A diagnosis has helped me so much, not just in understanding¬†her, but in accepting that she needs some help outside of me.

When I see strange behaviors now, I still feel sad or frustrated on¬†her behalf, but I’m learning to observe her behavior without feeling like I have to solve it. ¬†Instead, I make a mental note to share with her therapist, or decide I can just¬†observe it and add it to my internal files without necessarily needing to process it and respond.

I’m learning to remind myself of “the village:” the amazing OTs¬†who love her. ¬†The preschool that has met¬†with us to prepare to welcome her. ¬†Our¬†family that has tried to learn along with us, and who communicate love and support to her every time they talk with her. ¬†The buddies who love her and who she feels safe with, and whose parents keep inviting her over even if we have to leave a play date early sometimes. ¬†Her sister, who surrenders the parental attention when needed¬†without being sad about it, and who goes to the other room to get¬†her sister’s teether and blanket for her without being asked. We are so blessed.

I recently made a photo book of her adoption story. ¬†She has enjoyed looking at the photos and listening to me read the simple text. ¬†Interestingly, her¬†main questions haven’t been about her birth mom or why people she doesn’t know visited¬†her in the hospital.¬†¬†Her repeated question is some variation of the following:¬†“were you happy I was born? Were you happy I was your¬†daughter?”

Our faces in the photo book answer her question; we are quite literally glowing with delight.  My hope is that she still feels that delight every day.  I am SO happy she was born and I am SO happy she is my daughter.

Our world needs this gem of a human being. And I do too.

IMG_5232(This is Zoe after a birthday party where she chose to bravely face her fears of unstructured settings, loud noises, an unfamiliar environment, and—the shocker to me—getting her face painted¬†by the artist at the party. ¬†

I could tell that she thought that the other kids’ face painting was cool, but she was nervous about it due to her sensory sensitivities. ¬†I wound up sitting down in “the chair” and letting her pick a design for my hand so she could¬†observe what¬†body painting was and maybe feel more comfortable getting something done next time. ¬†At the end of my hand painting session, she decided that she wanted to get her hand painted.¬† I could tell she was anxious, but she¬†used her coping skills and was thrilled with our matching mermaid hands. After about 30 minutes of staring at her hand, she asked to return to the chair to get her whole face painted. She was glowing with pride and accomplishment afterwards, so naturally, we had to take some photos when we got home…and leave the face paint on for church the next morning! Nothing says “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” like some Elsa face paint!!)

Mother’s Day Thoughts

Every Mother’s Day weekend, I get a little weepy about the amazing blessing of being¬†a mom. I’m beginning to realize that the hard work might not ever go away and that there might always be parts of my day as a mom that are mundane and duty-driven instead of fun,¬†but still, my overwhelming feeling is that¬†being a mom is a¬†a get-to, not a have-to—and that being a mother is one of the most amazing journeys I’ve ever been on.

Here’s one example.

A few nights ago,¬†Riley began wailing¬†around 1 am. ¬†I rolled over, looked at the time, and foggily¬†prayed, “Holy Spirit, comfort her and help her go to sleep.” ¬†Immediately, I felt a rush of energy¬†and heard inside myself, get up. ¬†She needs your comfort to fall asleep. ¬†The voice reminded me that she had rejected her 6 pm bottle after eating a minimal dinner, and instructed me,¬†She’s hungry. ¬†Go feed her. ¬†Then she’ll fall asleep.¬†

I made a bottle, walked into her room, and was greeted with delighted baby sounds as I picked her up, changed her diaper, and sat down to rock and feed her.  She guzzled the bottle, then lay in my arms as she cooed her baby words of thanks and gratitude.

I couldn’t put her right back to bed. ¬†The moment was too sweet.

And as I sat there rocking her,¬†I was struck with this realization:¬†I had asked the Holy Spirit to put her to sleep, meaning¬†do it for me so I can keep lying here. ¬†I’m so tired. ¬†

But the Holy Spirit wants something better for me then a good night’s sleep.

The Holy Spirit hears every prayer I pray.

The prayers for my daughters to have a secure bond with us and for them to know how much they are loved.

The prayers for the ability to lay myself down and serve my children with humility, sacrificial love, and willingness.

The prayers for parenting wisdom.

For me to know how to meet and serve my husband’s needs.

For insight into my children’s needs.

For growth and maturity in my faith.

For the ability to find joy and purpose in even the mundane moments of life.

To help me submit to God’s plans for my moments, days, and life.

The Holy Spirit¬†weaves all of these prayers together with the needs and prayers of others,¬†and then gives me opportunities¬†to live out what I asked for—to have that insight and wisdom, to sacrifice, to show love, to submit to God’s plan for my 1 am (and 5:40 am, and‚Ķ)IMG_4404
I can¬†choose to roll over and ignore the opportunity, making my prayers¬†meaningless and my growth non-existent.¬† Or I can choose to embrace the opportunity, and be given abilities and insight and wisdom beyond my own. ¬†(Not to mention that my actions can also be used in ways I don’t even understand by God!¬†Who knows what He does on a cosmic level with my daughters’ sense of self when they realize “I call and someone answers,” “I don’t understand my own emotions but my mommy can help me,” or “I can be forgiven even when I had a morning full of bad choices.”)¬†

Gloria Furman writes that motherhood is full of¬†“calls to worship,” adding¬†“if we have ears to hear these invitations, then we have opportunities to worship the Lord, who is nearer to us than we often realize.”

I would add that the “calls to worship” of motherhood have opened my eyes to the inadequacy of self-sufficiency‚Ķand my ears to the One who says,¬†“let me help you.”

Yes, motherhood is full of challenges.  But i do not want an easy life.

I want a meaningful life—a life of growth and adventure, passion and purpose, joy and peace, maturity and authenticity, love and humility. ¬†These do not spring up overnight¬†or through exclusive¬†pursuit of my¬†own self-interest; they are cultivated over time through joyful surrender to¬†the processes and paths that the¬†Lord desires¬†for me.IMG_4406

C.S. Lewis writes,¬†‚ÄúWe are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the ‘intolerable compliment.’ Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be.

But over the great picture of his life‚ÄĒthe work which he loves, though in a different fashion, as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child‚ÄĒhe will take endless trouble‚ÄĒand would doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient. One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scraped and re-commenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumb-nail sketch whose making was over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.‚ÄĚ ¬†(The Problem of Pain)

Admittedly,¬†as I was writing this post this afternoon, Riley woke up from her nap earlier than expected and I said in my nicest voice to her sweet nine-month-old face, “I guess you kids just don’t want me to have any hobbies or complete a thought ever again!!” As my embarrassing¬†sarcasm reveals, it is so¬†hard to surrender all the time (it’s even hard when¬†you’re writing a blog post about why surrendering is ultimately good!)

But I put the laptop away and tickled her and played with her anyway.

Because I choose to respond to the call to worship.

Because that is the kind of person God is making me to be.

Because every “interruption” is actually part of the best get-to of my life.

IMG_4324 IMG_4325 IMG_4327 IMG_4328

Life Lately

I’ve been writing a lot lately, but almost none of it has made its way¬†onto this blog because when I proofread it the next day, I sound¬†about as articulate as Chris Soules.

In related news, Riley’s in¬†sleep¬†boot camp. ¬†Mama cannot function like this any more. ¬†I mean,¬†I love¬†a good early morning party after not sleeping through the night as much as the next guy, but 6 months of it?!!

Photo on 1-12-15 at 6.18 AM

Not sure why ZOE is the tired looking one in this photo,
as she’s the only one who slept through the night.
Drink that coffee, girl.  

The¬†training needs to actually, you know, WORK before I can think (much less say)¬†something profound again, but since I have the itch to write, I’ll settle for sharing a few fun tidbits from our family life these days.


-Zoe: Hilarious

My sweet Zoe cracks me up every single day.  Some of her recent gems:

“I need a ponytail. ¬†I have a busy day.”

Scene: Me, trying to put R to sleep in her darkened, sound-machined-up room.
R, screaming hysterically.
Z bursts into the room and says to me,¬†as if to say come on, you’re missing an obvious cue here: “Riley no like dark.” ¬†To Riley: ¬†“Light, Riley?”
Duh‚Ķwhy didn’t I think of that?

photo 1-10

She has also started going¬†behind her kitchen set in the morning and¬†saying “soy latte please” while¬†passing me¬†a pretend cup (she says “medium mocha!” for David). ¬†She also likes to pay for “soy latte please” with her pretend credit card at her toy cash register. ¬†I have no idea where she picked that one up. ¬† No idea…

She got to meet Elmo at a recent toy store grand opening.  She was transfixed.  She now prays for Elmo at night.

photo-77¬† ¬†Don’t mind David’s wardrobe choice.
He looks like he just got back from a funeral because…he had.

At least once a day, she likes to pretend to be Mr. Frank, the oddly charismatic man who leads our local library’s story time. ¬†She switches into her Mr. Frank persona by putting glasses on, putting a ball under her shirt to simulate his “bump bump” (her word for belly), telling us “I’m Mista Frank,” and leading us in a series of songs.

I really hope Mr. Frank does not read this blog.


-Riley: She doesn’t sleep. ¬†But she does¬†other things well, like be cute.

Photo on 1-28-15 at 2.31 PM #3

I soak up every sweet cuddle and giggle from this precious little gift.

In addition to snuggling nonstop, she is also rolling everywhere, banging toys with determination, nearly toppling over with excitement when¬†I read her books, and eating purees (well, spitting them out‚Ķtongue thrust is a bit of a challenge for her. ¬†I had¬†an informal¬†consult at the playground¬†with a feeding therapist¬†and got some new ideas to try, and am ready to get more help if things don’t turn around in the next week or two). ¬†¬†


These girls make me the happiest mama around.


-Bestie time

My best friend/old roommate/basically sister Becky came to visit for 5 days this last week. She brought her husband and 1 year old daughter along for the ride and we had a blast watching our girls play together!

10959381_783643375825_4633402131181552879_nWe also had a blast leaving our children and getting pedicures.  Amen.


My life as a hermit

Becky arrived at the perfect time. ¬†Not only had I not had a pedicure since July 2012 (a disgusting realization I arrived at¬†mid-pedicure‚Ķdon’t worry, I left a large tip), but our 3 weeks of sleep training have made me a near-hermit in desperate need of social contact.

With our new schedule, R takes two naps and Z takes one. ¬†Typically, they aren’t at the same time, which means I have about 45-60 minutes during the “work day”¬†to go anywhere, if I’m lucky. ¬†Good times.

(And by “good times” I mean FREE ME FROM MY PRISON).

I have always said “I’m a stay at home mom who doesn’t like to stay at home.” ¬†But as the cruelties of fate¬†would have it, home is where you’ll find me¬†now, all day, every day (unless I decide I’d rather endure a ragefest/meltdown/car nap that negates an actual nap and results in psychotically cranky child/etc.¬†in favor of some contact with the outside world). ¬†¬†

I realized that my home detention was getting to me the other day when I was THRILLED when some JROTC kids who were collecting donations for their program came to the door.  I happily handed them dollar bills in exchange for conversation.

This is my life now…


-On the upside: 

I am loving the 1-on-1 time with each girl that their non-synchronized nap schedule provides. ¬†I’m a great mom of¬†two when one of them is sleeping.

Fun with the girls


-Learning vs. doing:

For a few months this fall, I had a¬†difficult time feeling engaged in my faith. ¬†Historically, I’ve felt most engaged in my faith¬†when I’m learning through reading, journaling, attending church, listening to sermons, etc., but with two kids, lots of distractions, and little brain power thanks to sleeplessness, I felt frustrated and¬†told my friend Jeanette, “I just feel like I’m not learning anything new.”

Her response was awesome and has helped me so much.  She said,

“I don’t think God’s always teaching us something new every moment of our faith walk. ¬†I think there are times¬†for learning, and times where He just wants us to put into practice what we’ve learned.”

This is definitely a time for me to take the three minutes, five minutes, whatever I wind up having and yes, try to learn about faith and God‚Ķbut it’s also the time for me to just practice DOING those foundational things that I already know He calls me to.

This morning, R and Z’s sleep schedule¬†meant I would miss all of our church services, so I made pancakes with the girls, danced to worship music with them, and cleaned the dishes and wiped the noses and sat on the floor and played with the dollhouse figurines, remembering we can do everything for¬†the glory of the Lord and that He can use anything¬†we give Him. ¬†And it was just as great and edifying as church.


Valentine’s Day:

Is this week.  I realized yesterday that I had V-Day plans with my toddler, but not my husband.  This situation has since been rectified (holllllla to my youth group babysitters).  

I really don’t write much about my biggest and first love—but I thought this post¬†summed up everything I would say. ¬†In the beginning stages of two under two, I wondered if we would lose something special in the insanity of our daily tasks…but as the storm settles and¬†the tasks and kids¬†get a bit easier, I realize how much we gained. ¬†I love him more than I ever did. ¬†I feel so blessed to have him as my best friend, love, and partner in all of this.

Now: important question! What are your V-Day plans?!! 

Happy Birthday, Dear Zoe

Two years ago today, I was meeting this sweet girl for the first time.




It’s funny, the¬†things you hear over and over again as an adoptive parent. ¬†Some of the most commonly repeated phrases¬†I hear are,¬†“what a blessing you are to this little girl!”

“She’s so lucky! She hit the jackpot!”

“You changed her life forever!”

Over and over I reply: she’s a blessing to US. ¬†WE hit the jackpot and it wasn’t luck; it was the purposeful design¬†of our gracious God. ¬†SHE changed OUR life, and we are so grateful.








photo 2







My favorite explanation¬†of adoption ever was something my friend’s almost-three-year-old said when she met Zoe for the first time. ¬†She said, “Miss Sarah wanted a baby, and¬†prayed for a baby, and the Spirit of God came and gave her a baby!”

Thank you, Spirit of God, for this beautiful baby—for all she has taught me, for all she will teach me, and for how she has changed my life forever.