So… What’s In Your Bag?

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London is getting into a major purse stage. She likes to carry the bike helmet hanging upside down from her arm. “Isss my baaaag,” she tells me. She is also in that major two-year-old collector stage, so purses just make practical sense. She’s got stuff to carry and needs something to carry it all in.

But she also likes my purses and is constantly dumping my stuff out of my bags. I suppose I could put them away, but moving on. She dumped everything out the other day and all the seemingly random stuff in there was cracking me up. It’s so random, but so so necessary! And because I’m nosy, I’m hoping that if I show you what’s in my bag, you’ll tell me what’s in yours. It’s good to share like that!

Here’s what I’m carrying around these days…

+ Simplified Planner by Emily Ley. We have a shared family Google calendar as well, but this paper planner helps me actually feel organized and coordinated. Yes, it’s large, but I take it everywhere I go so that I can work from anywhere!

+ OptiFlow Pens. Did you buy some yet? I gave a student evaluation at my old job the other day and brought my own pen along. That’s normal… yes?

+ Greens. I know I’ve talked about Greens before, and this isn’t the last time you’ll hear about them. Some real talk about greens and health… ever since London was born, every month, about a week before my period started, I turned into a mess. I was prickly; my hackles were up all the time. I would rage (mostly inwardly), I would cry, I would get offended by the slightest thing. This would last for days and it was exhausting knowing that I wasn’t acting or feeling like myself, but also not really knowing how to fix it. I started drinking Greens to help with some of those hormonal imbalances (antioxidants, probiotics, magnesium), and I feel.the.difference. Greens help me to feel healthy and happy and like myself. They come with me everywhere!

+ Plastic Grapes. Can’t leave home without ’em (apparently).

+ Phone. Phone case from Paper Source.

+ Harmonica. Small BMW. Like you do.

+ Honest Travel Wipes

+ Mini van keys. How I wish I could gift one to each of you! The fact that I can open the van doors from inside our house? Bliss!

+ Wallet from my twice-a-year pilgrimage to Target. #sbprobz

+ Cruz’s preschool art project. I’ve accomplished things in my life, but there’s nothing that makes me more proud that walking out of preschool with a Cruz-project in my hands.


Because he’s a great husband, when Tovi started noticing that my health had really suffered this spring and that hormonally I wasn’t feeling like myself, he encouraged me to do some research and to make my health a priority. I’ve been eating better, doing pilates most morning, and I am so glad that I found these greens and would love to help you get your hands on them too! You can check out my distributor page here and I would absolutely love to chat about plant-based wellness! This is not about being salesly (so so out of my comfort zone). I am just thrilled to find a product that makes me feel this good (and equally thrilled to add an additional way to our family while staying home with our kids). Let’s talk!


The Sweetest Kind of Weekend

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It’s been just about the sweetest weekend you could ever dream up. The kind where all the little things just worked together and the kids played nicely outside and we saw friends and family and ate burritos more than once. I didn’t take a lot of pictures this weekend because it wasn’t until I sat down on Sunday night and thought, oh yeah, that was all the good stuff. All the little moments piling up until it just blows you over in one breath.

So what makes a great weekend?

MOPS. Forever and ever I am so glad that we meet on Fridays because kicking off the weekend with brunch and friends and truth and tears is the way to go (even if it did end in a meltdown. Let’s not worry about the meltdown).

Having a good friend over for dinner. I made one of my favorite dishes and the whole evening was fun and low-key.

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Kids who nap. Forever and ever amen bless you children for being A+ nappers. While they napped I treated myself to some Pilates and a skinny wrap (I will feel so confident at the pool this year! I’m making it happen!).

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Cul de sac playtime all the time. Bikes, baby strollers, Cozy Coupes, everything! It’s basically planes, train, and automobiles around here. If you want to hear the cutest thing ever, listen my almost two-year-old say “cul de sac.”

Too many episodes of a TV show that shall remain nameless (but is a total guilty pleasure and rhymes with Schmitty Bittle Flyers…)

And then throw Mother’s Day on top of all that goodness…

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With all my heart, I love my little people. I do not take for granted the gift of being a mother and the gift of having my own mom as such a shining, wonderful example of what it means to sacrifice for children and to run after your dreams. To have all those people in my home on Mother’s Day? Incredible! After a long snoozy, reading, breakfast-y morning, we went to the zoo, went shopping downtown (just me and my mom! yes!), and ate Mexican for the second time in one day. As we were getting ready for bed last night, Tovi asked me how I had liked my day. “Every part of it was perfect, ” I said. “But it was also a great reminder that I’m doing a good job as a mom. That being faithful in the small things is paying off in the big things.” Yup. There is nothing more I need. My cup overflows.


What Works {in April}




Life is short and precious. We should do stuff that works. Here’s what worked for our family in April!


+ I think I’ve tried every pen out there, and OptiFlow is BY FAR my favorite. My handwriting is always my favorite with these pens. They are a Staples brand pen and not available on Amazon (please, please Amazon), but worth getting your hands on. I’ve used OptiFlow for years and have never been let down.

+ It’s spring. All of our allergies suck. Quick fix! Rub some Breathe Easy Rub across the bridge of your nose. Feel super glamorous. Start breathing again.

+ I’ve set a new goal for myself to drink Greens every afternoon. In an effort to take better care of myself and to deal with my monthly hormonal fluctuations (*ahem* putting it nicely), I’ve been drinking Greens, which, in addition to being awesomely good for me, has replaced my regular probiotic and magnesium supplement. Look. Today I took the kids on two separate fun outings, substituted at my old job, came home to work my other job, played with the kids, blog, clean the kitchen… cheerfully. Greens, you guys.

+ When it comes to my house, I’m more of a Mary than a Martha. At the same time, I realize that when my home is clean and uncluttered, I feel less stressed and more comfortable.  I started following Clean Mama on Instagram, and it’s been a good solution for the last few months. Every day she posts a different 15 minute cleaning task (Mondays are bathrooms, Tuesdays are for dusting, etc) and when I’m done with it, I get to double-tap the picture. I just do what she tells me and there’s a little reward. Clean Mama, you are awesome.

+ In the space of one week, London broke two of my favorite necklaces by pulling hard on their chains. Not again, sister! The Jones Market to the rescue! (The exact necklace I recently ordered is sold out, but isn’t this one gorgeous and wouldn’t it make a great Mothers Day /Birthday/Anniversary present??

+ My morning hour is so sacred to me. I get up at 5:30, do pilates, read my Bible, journal, and whatever else I can get done before Cruz and London wake up. I’ve been going back through Robin’s 28 Days of Pilates series and am loving how fast I’m feeling results. She’s got another Pilates Summer Series that started yesterday! Even if I’m easy going about the rest of my day, I notice a huge difference when I can be disciplined about the morning.

That’s what’s working for me… what’s working for you?

Want more things that work?


While You Weren’t Napping

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While you (both of you!) weren’t napping…

I came in to give you extra snuggles because you said you hadn’t had enough.

I rewrapped your blanket because you like to be burrito-ed during your naptimes and I aim to please. Does anyone else wrap you as well as me?

I brought you “one skinny carrot” because you were hungry.

And then I brought you one sandwich, two graham crackers, and three strawberries because you are the very hungry caterpillar and are trying to turn into a butterfly.

I slid my ipad under your door and whisper-shouted, “Just play whatever you want!” because I am a really intentional parent.

I sent you back upstairs because you pranced downstairs naked as a jaybird and announced that you were ready for your bath. (Literally, this has never happened in your entire childhood, so as soon as your sister woke up, you both had a bath)

I brought up stamps, paper, and markers up to your room, and started crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t walk into a disaster later. (I did)

I brought you one yogurt-covered pretzel because for the love of all that is holy will you please go to sleep?

I ate my entire secret stash of dark chocolate for what I think are obvious reasons.

Go to sleep, you guys.

The Do Over

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Almost every day we drive near Lake Los Carneros. We pass it on the way to preschool and back. On the way to Trader Joe’s. Really, any time we drive anywhere, we pass the lake. Despite being so close to us, the lake is not in our rotation of usual haunts, but in the spring it gets me. The meadows around the lake explode with fresh blooms. There’s practically a beacon of blooming yellow mustard calling me in. After days and days of driving by that gorgeousness, we had to go explore.

I was so excited about walking those dusty trails. The mustard was taller than London, bright yellow against springtime green. It really couldn’t have been more beautiful. I was thisclose to putting on a maxi dress, weaving us some flower crowns, and asking my kids to give me their best hipster child pouts.

I got one out of three. Any guesses?

How a child could throw a massive tantrum among the mustard is not something that I’ll ever understand, but it is something I’ve now seen. I can’t even remember what the drama was about, but it culminated in a beloved sand shovel being chucked into some bushes in anger.

Nope, that’s a lie. It didn’t culminate there. Our afternoon ended with me spending twenty minutes crawling through those bushes, trying to find this stupid plastic shovel, failing, and then carrying two crying children back to the van.

Blooming mustard, we need a do-over.

Fortunately, children bounce back quickly. About two weeks later, I had recovered and screwed up my courage again, so we took an afternoon ramble around the lake. We came with very low expectations and had the best adventure. As we passed The Bushes, Cruz pointed and announced somberly, “that’s where some animals stole my shovel.” Oh, is that what we’re calling it now?

There’s something I just love about a good afternoon ramble. Cruz and London took turns picking out which trail we took. We examined lizards lying on a bench. We stopped to watch hawks. London picked flowers and chatted to her cabbage patch doll while Cruz delightedly kicked up bigs clouds of dust. Give me those big Goodland skies and space for us to run and laugh and yell.

Sometimes Tovi asks me why I love the phrase “wild and free.” It’s for days like this. Days when I chose do-overs and mama bravery instead of “we’re never doing that again.” Because I don’t do do-overs very naturally and my tiny sidekicks keep teaching me to try. Because sometimes animals steal our shovels. Because picture perfect can’t hold a candle to real life. Because walking with my kids in God’s creation is a wild treasure and I never, ever want to forget it.

Far, Far Better Things

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It’s been a few hours since we learned of your passing. Suddenly. Out of the blue. I know that in the days to come a lot of great things will be said and written about you, far better than what I can write here. After all, you were a lifelong scholar, a professor emeritus, faithful husband, devoted father. But I have been craving every last detail of you, I can’t bear to forget anything. So rough words, scratchy throat, red eyes, and hands typing out my memories.

You taught me to read poetry and every time I read to my kids, I hear your voice. One of the first things I did after I got the phone call was pick up The Last Battle, because you taught me that there was comfort in words. You were one of the greatest men on earth, and also you wore a short-sleeved button-up shirt every day (you’d probably tell me that’s why you were great– less time spent on clothes, more time spent thinking). You loved milkshakes and fried mush and pie. You really loved pie. You taught me the importance of history. You grew out your beard so that you could play Abe Lincoln. You took me out for hotdogs after trips to the museum. You always kept a pen and a pad of paper in your shirt pocket, and I doubt that I’m the only grandchild that tried to steal it. Thank you for your ending patience and good humor with us. When I went with you and Grandma to church, she’d hand me a peppermint from deep in her purse. We’d stand and I’d hear Grandma singing. You never sang but I’d like to think that you’re singing now. (I also know the exact joke you’d make right here, because, you know, Grandpa Humor)

But as much as I miss you, Grandpa. As much as tears have leaked out of the corners of my eyes since I woke up this morning, I have my eyes on the prize. You have walked with Jesus every day that I have known you. You have given our family a rich legacy of faith. You are with Him this morning and you are rejoicing, maybe even dancing. My favorite quote from Aslan is true for you today:


You were a giant among men. You were the best. I can’t wait to see you again. I love you so much, Grandpa.