The Sweetest Kind of Weekend

WYWN - Open Space

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.

WYWN - Skinny Wrap

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!).

WYWN - Lolo

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…

WYWN - Mother's Day

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.




I secretly love doing these Instagram posts because 1) it’s fun to look back on the month and 2) I start seeing little themes in our month that I might have otherwise missed.

Of course, Instagram doesn’t catch everything. For example, you won’t see any pics of me watching The Bachelor, although Lord knows I’ve spent way too many hours doing that this month. #ParadeOfCrazy

So here’s what we were up to this month. At least according to Instagram.

Jan_Insta_1I tried to be really intentional with kicking off 2015 on the right note. I spent some time planning and praying over the year and what I hope it will look like. I’ve been reading through the New Testament and here on January 3rd was the best gift for the new year of all: “Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Good news, amen?

Jan_Insta_4Awkward transition from the Gospel to selfies… London and I took more than our fair share of pics in the bathroom this month. That is not actually on my list of goals for 2015…


I was able to spend some very sweet, intentional time with some of my most favorite women. The mamas from our homegroup got together to share our testimonies and then our steering team from MOPS got together to plan, pray, and run away from an incoming storm. You’d think you’d be safe to plan a beach morning in the middle of a drought… (it was still my favorite. Seeing how people react to rain is a great way to figure out who is from California and who is not. #SeattleSunshine)


We’ve spent a lot of time outside in our neighborhood. I introduced myself to a dad at the playground the other day. “Oh yeah, I know who you are. You guys are here everyday.” True story.


This January Cruz turned 12. There’s really just no other explanation. (The picture in the middle says “The lost boy cried, “Waa waaa.” And then there’s a picture of him “brushing away his tears.” Lovely. The third picture is of an activity page Cruz made for me. I was to circle all of the hidden hearts. It also read, “Mommy and Cruz. I’m so Happy tat you came becuz I [heart] you.” #IHeartYouToo


I’m the luckiest. The mamas of those boys are the luckiest too. As they were taking their picture, they said, “This is going to be a family picture!” #IMightHaveCried #BrothersFromAnotherMother #OneOfThemEndedUpInADuckPond #TheseMomentsAreFleeting


Our January sunsets have been awesome! One evening as we were walking around our neighborhood (see above), we caught this beautiful sunset (on the left). And then I turned around and behind me where those clouds from the picture on the right. I couldn’t take a picture that would do it justice. It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.

And now we’re into February. I can feel spring creeping up on us: the hills are green and the days are longer. Let’s go!



What Works {in January}

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

Products and practices that make life simple and sweet

+ I had a gift certificate to Sephora to spend in December and I did a little crowdsourcing on Instagram to find out what I should try. Benefit was recommended almost universally, and I ended up taking home many, many of their products. My favorite is the Erase Paste under-eye concealer. I wear it religiously and have been told many times that I looked refreshed and well rested. I rarely feel that way, so Erase Paste must be the answer!

+ I watched this Dove video and it shot me straight through the heart. London’s curls are out of this world beautiful, and the idea that someday she might feel less beautiful because of her hair… not on my watch! So I’ve been wearing my hair curly more than ever and have been loving L’Oreal’s EverCurl line (I’m sure the Dove video is supposed to make me buy Dove products, but Target didn’t have any of their curly-haired line).

+ Now that both kids go to preschool/daycare, I pack two lunches, and was getting frustrated with the myriad containers and bags we had floating around. I could never find what I wanted or I would need two but only one was clean, nothing stacked… I will always take my friend Kelly’s advice, and she uses these Bento boxes for her kids. Here are my two big selling points: 1) they stack for easy storage and 2) the lid seals the individual containers so that nothing spills over.

+ Another product tip, courtesy of London… my sweet girl has got the world’s driest skin. I have tried everything to keep her skin comfortable and nothing has really seemed to work until we found the Honest Co’s Healing Balm. This stuff is magic for her skin! I usually use it at night.

+ If you read my post about thredUP, you got a pretty good idea that I love cleaning out my closet. Love it. To make it even easier to clean out and purge our belongings, I designated a box in our bedroom for all donations. I throw stuff in there constantly, and when it’s full, I just dump it all in a bag and take it to the thrift store. Easy peasy.

+ Here’s a shout out to Croc rain boots! (Me from four years ago is picking her jaw up off the ground) Easy to put on. Easy to clean. Our pair of Croc boots is onto the second child and they are as good as new. London’s yet to find an outfit that she can’t improve with rain boots.

Now it’s your turn! What’s working for you?

Want more things that work?

Being Your Mother, Right Now

WYWN - Being Your Mother

We meet some friends at the zoo on Monday. I’ve packed two identical, but separate, lunches, because you both insist on having your own. I have cut the sandwiches into your preferred shapes; triangles for London and squares for Cruz. You sit at the picnic table with your friends, you eat pretzels and fruit, but do not touch the sandwiches. The sandwiches that I cut into your shapes. That night, before dinner, we decide to walk to the pond to feed the ducks. I fill a bag with cubed, dried bread. Between the two of you, the bag is polished off long before we reach the ducks.

London is our little mama. You push your babies in the stroller. You snuggle them and give everyone you meet a hug and a pat. You are so loving and maternal and have never met a baby (real or doll) that didn’t need your attention. But you’re also a mama. “Cruz!” you order, pointing at the stairs. “No crying! Time out!”

WYWN - Being Your Mother

Cruz, you ask the best (and hardest) theological questions. “Why did God make a fruit that Adam and Eve weren’t allowed to eat?” “How will we know how to get to Heaven?” “If I tried to swallow Daddy like the whale swallowed Jonah, my bones would break!” I ask you to give London some grace for knocking over your blocks. You point your fingers at her. “I’m shooting her with grace from my heart!” Kiiiiiind of…

London, you are boy crazy. I won’t reveal names to protect the innocent, but as soon as you wake up in the morning you start asking about every boy you know. Slow your roll, girl, or Daddy is going to chaperone all of your future dates.

I am always prepared with paper and markers. You are both coloring so much these days! Cruz, I love all the lists you write. “Eat brecfist. Eat lnch. Eat dinner.” You’ve got your priorities in the right place. London, you draw big circles and alternate calling them hearts and snowmen.

Speaking of snowmen… I can set my watch by the amount of time it takes both of you to notice a closed door and then sing “it doesn’t have to be a snowman” with your lips smooshed up against the door. Like. Clockwork.


You may never remember this, but we had the best moment on the way home from school today. Like usual, we listened to Bethel Music’s “You Make Me Brave” and when we got out of the car you both kept singing. Cruz starts the chorus,”You make me…” “BAVE!” London shouts. “Champion of Heaven, you made a-” “WAY!” “-for all to enter-” “IN!”

And that’s it, the very best part of being your mother right now. To watch you both fall in love with Jesus is such a joy and honor. Is that worth a few uneaten shape sandwiches? Every single one.

The Pickle Tree

IMG_9882 IMG_9883 IMG_9884 IMG_9885To me, walking around Westmont College is like pressing on the back of the Wardrobe, wondering if my fingers will feel fur coats or the snow covered branches of Narnian trees. Every little step and corner feels like magic. You can’t go anywhere without running into your younger self; that place where you laughed until you cried, where you kissed your boyfriend who would turn into your husband. How you and your best friend made a plan to secretly spend the night in Kerrwood Hall.

We were on campus the other night for the annual Pickle Tree Lighting Ceremony (and right there, I think I’ve told you everything you need to know about Westmont. I mean, yes, an annual Pickle Tree Lighting). Tovi is on campus almost every day for practice and I bring the kids up pretty often, but last night was so special. As you can see, London was so excited to meet Santa! The campus was decorated, the students were wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, mountains of cookies and piles of poinsettias around every corner… and friends! Everywhere we turned were more friends and their kids, as if we had all planned for this to be our college (and MOPS) reunion.

The kids came home yelling “pickle! pickle!” up to their ears in the post-candy cane high. They had run with friends, held hands with their little loves, tackled my friends with hugs. Their memories of Westmont have started to overlap mine. It was all joy and light and fun. Narnia indeed.

November Forever

WYWN - November Forever

WYWN - November Forever

WYWN - November Forever

WYWN - November Forever

WYWN - November Forever

I know that December is hours away and I know that Christmas is wonderful. But November forever, you guys. There’s nothing manufactured about November. It’s the pause between the plastic ghosts and furry spiders of October and the twinkly lights of December. The sky goes from light to dark just in the span of our walk. The kids pick up sticks, point out birds. Abby trots along, nose to the ground, hoping to track down one of the bunnies that live under the bushes of the nature walk. Tovi and Cruz and Abby walk ahead while London squats down to pick up the exact stick she spies. She sees a bird and sprints off on her chubby legs, off the path and into the overgrowth of plants lining the slough. I catch her by the waist and swing her back onto the trail.

Four is a magical age and eighteen months is a magical age and somehow they hit both of these ages simultaneously. I tell you, we’ve hit the kid jackpot with these two. They are so different and they still want to hang out with each other constantly. Cruz was in timeout the other day — for sitting on London — and she went and sat next to him on the stairs because they just want to be together all the time. They race together. They climb on fences. Cruz declares himself the leader and London runs past him so that she can be first. The sky turns pink then orange then indigo and I’m about to burst from all the simple beauty rushing around me. November forever.