• Faith,  Motherhood

    Advent + Christmas Children’s Books

    One of my favorite traditions in December is celebrating St. Nicholas Day on December 6. There is a great post by Wellness Mama on the tradition of St. Nicholas Day around the world if you don’t know the history behind it, as well as a fantastic post about St. Nicholas Day traditions to incorporate in your family by Ascetic Life of Motherhood. We grew up putting our shoes outside our bedroom door, hoping to find them filled with goodies from St. Nicholas the next morning. It was so much fun! I love continuing the tradition with my own children (and keeping it simple). My favorite St. Nicholas gift to the…

  • uncategorized

    Small Shop Favorites!

    I love supporting small businesses, not only because you know your money is going directly to someone’s livelihood but also because it’s usually at those small shops that I find the best, most unique gifts. Here’s a list of our favorites (I have affiliate links at a couple that I’ve supported for years, and others are just shops that I love and want to share)! I’d love to hear what you’d add. Letters and Laurels is the sweetest little shop full of unique canvas’, banners, pennants, and flags. I purchased the C.S. Lewis quote canvas and the “Read Me A Story” pennant for the playroom a few months ago and…

  • Home Design,  Product Reviews

    Parachute Home

    Maybe it’s the fact that I’m 7 months pregnant or maybe it’s just that the long winter months are around the corner (in which I fully embrace my enneagram 9-ness), but cozy, quality bedding is my greatest joy these days. I’ve never been one to spend much on bedding, but now that I’ve tried Parachute I’m never, ever going back. Creating a clean, simple, cozy atmosphere in a home–and especially a bedroom–is always top priority. If it’s not warm and inviting, it’s not worth it. And when you can combine coziness and beauty, you’ve got a real winner. Every Parachute product I’ve tried so far has totally exceeded my expectations.…

  • Photography,  Product Reviews

    Christmas Cards with Artifact Uprising

    I had the awesome opportunity again this year to work with Artifact Uprising on our Christmas cards, and once more I’m blown away by the quality and beauty of their products. Every card feels like a little mini piece of art with the beautiful gold foil, high quality photos, and artistic design. And it does feel especially important this year to spread some love and foster real connection with our friends and family who we might not be seeing on Christmas. We actually just walked outside our backyard and had my little sister snap some quick pictures for us, which was pretty great considering Jack and Peter are nearly impossible…

  • Writing

    Friday Favorites

    I just discovered Guadalupe Roastery coffee last week and ordered the Nicaragua blend. It’s SO. GOOD. And it’s a Catholic-owned, fair trade online coffee shop…win win win. Really, really into this painting. It would look so pretty above a bed. Been re-reading Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry again this year, and I’ve decided I need to read him every November. There’s no one better at reminding you of the beauty and need for a simple life, especially as the holidays approach. I’m not even close to being in the Christmas decorating mode yet, but I’m definitely thinking about Advent and how we can celebrate the season of waiting as a…

  • Writing

    Friday Favorites

    I’ve been wanting to start a weekly post on some my current favorite things, partly to keep inventory of my own list of needs/wants in one place and partly because I’ve always liked reading through others’ recommendations. I’m all for someone else doing research for me, especially when it comes to books, children’s toys, home decor, etc. One beauty or danger of the internet, I suppose, depending on if you ask me or my husband. I can’t promise this will end up being a weekly thing, but for now I’m into it! First up, candles. Give me all the candles. The next few months are going to be long and…

  • Motherhood

    On Grief

    “We live in the broken place, in an earth bruised and blackened with grief, yet still pulsing with the beauty that began it. Brightness is all about us, light and love, music and friendship, an air that fills the lungs of our souls with life even as our feet are mired in death. We breathe it, dying into life as our God draws us to himself. Grief is the music to which we are born, yet joy is the rhythm by which we walk our long way to all that God intends us to be.” I bookmarked that excerpt from Sarah Clarkson, whose writing I love dearly, at at a…

  • Motherhood

    Children’s Books: Autumn

    One of my absolute favorite things about having kids is celebrating the changing seasons with them. With all of the noise and mess and daily duties, small things like sitting next to them with a new book from the library as their eyes grow big with excitement means so, so much. Jack has been loving these books lately, and they’re getting us excited for apple picking, pumpkin carving, leaf-pile jumping, bonfires and hayrides at Marmee and Pops’ house. The Ox Cart Man by Donald Hall Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor Autumn by Gerda Muller The Autumn Visitors by Karel Hayes

  • Writing

    Not Your Typical First Date

    In honor of Valentine’s Day (and Stephanie Weinert’s #fridayintroductionsourlovestory), I thought I’d resurrect a very old post I wrote for the Love and Fidelity Network a few years ago. Here’s the original post. Ours wasn’t your typical first date. Unless, of course, I was the female protagonist in a Jane Austen novel, adhering to the social and marital protocol of allowing others to select my suitor. It was a rainy day in July, and I was walking downtown for a luncheon with my Dad, my twin brother, my Dad’s friend from high school, and his mysterious, entirely unknown son, Sean. A couple weeks prior, my brother, Michael, had mentioned running…

  • Faith,  Home Design,  Motherhood,  Writing

    What makes a house a home?

    I wanted to share an article I wrote for Everyday Mamas about the meaning of home. You can find the original post here: https://everydaymamas.com/what-makes-a-house-a-home/ “Hitherto the Herb of Grace had been to them a summer home; they had known it only permeated with sun and light, flower-scented, windows and doors open wide. But now doors were shut, curtains drawn to hide the sad, grey dusk. Instead of the lap of the water against the river wall they heard the whisper of the flames, and instead of the flowers in the garden they smelt the roasting chestnuts, burning apple logs, the oil lamps, polish – all the home smells.  This intimacy…

  • Home Design

    Christmas Home Tour

    Welcome to our home! There is usually much more clutter on the counters and toys all over the floors, but we (I) cleaned up a bit to give you a little virtual Christmasy tour. Hope you’ll stay a while! This is our first Christmas in our new kitchen, and I’m falling in love with it all over again. I added a few garlands here and there and it’s amazing how festive it makes everything look. The lights add an extra twinkle, too! And since we don’t take our decorations down till mid January, I’ll be enjoying these views for many many weeks to come. Now into the living room..I just…