Archive of ‘Editor’s Notes’ category

13 in 31 // A Birthday Bucket List

I turned thirty-one last Friday and as a gift to myself, I created a Birthday Bucket List. As a mom, I spend 99% of my time focusing on Harper and not enough time focusing on myself. I haven’t finished a book in months. I only get my hair and nails done when I’m looking so rough that I can’t even stand it anymore. And I can’t even talk about the lack of writing I’ve done lately. I have a list of things I want to write, and blog posts I want to share, but I can never find the time (or the brain power) to actually sit down and do it. So, my overall goal this year, especially with a new baby on the way, is to get back to doing things that I enjoy. Not that I don’t enjoy raising Harper or being Sam’s wife. Those are my two most important roles and I love them so much. But I deserve, and need, a little time for myself too.

When creating my bucket list, I decided to flip my birthday number around and choose 13 things I wanted to do this year.  Some of them are specific things I can check off the list and others are goals that I want to work on throughout the year. Some are things for me to do by myself and others are things for us to do as a family. I know my list is specific to me, but I wanted to share it anyway because it may inspire some of you to create your own Birthday Bucket Lists. So here it is! (I’ve included a description or reason behind each one if you’re interested as well.)

1 // Read my Bible every day. – I have always been terrible at making this a daily habit. Sam ordered me a new Bible for my birthday and my #1 goal is to dive into it

2 // Blog more and launch a coordinating YouTube channel. – I love this blog so much and I hate that it has taken such a backseat in the last couple of years. I’ve also been wanting to start a YouTube channel for a while now, but I’ve been so nervous about it! I’m a major YouTube junkie though and I know that I would have so much fun with it so I’m just going to jump into it and see what happens. (More on that soon!)

3 // Visit the Kennedy Museum in Boston. – I’ve had a fascination with the Kennedy family ever since I was a kid and discovered that Jackie Kennedy and I share a birthday. I’ve been wanting to visit this museum for years and I’m definitely going to do it this year.

4 // Bring scrapbooking back! – I am so guilty of never printing pictures. Nearly all of the photos I’ve taken of Harper are on my iPhone or computer. I know that everything is digital now and that’s great, but I still love going through old pictures at my parents’ house and I want that for my kids. My plan is to go all the way back to the beginning of our marriage and start scrapbooking our little family. I think it’ll be a great creative outlet for me.

5 // Get “ready” everyday. – This should be a no-brainer, but it’s very easy as a stay-at-home mom to stay in your pajamas or sweats all day long. I’ve actually been pretty good about this lately, but I know it’s going to be tough again once the baby is born so I’m adding it to the list.

6 // Meal plan and cook at least 5 nights per week. – I’m trying to be more budget-conscious when it comes to feeding our family so I’ve started meal planning and cooking at home most nights. It’s already going really well and I want to challenge myself to keep it up all year.

7 // Treat writing like it’s my job (even if no one ever reads it). – I love to write and I’ve always dreamed of making a career out of it. I’ve spent a lot of time letting fear and self-doubt stop me. This year, I want to change that by “faking it til I make it.” I have no idea if I’ll ever be published outside of this blog, but it definitely won’t happen if I never actually write anything!

8 // Launch a foundation benefitting NICU families. – After Harper was born, I had this idea to start a foundation that creates care packages for NICU families. When Harper was in the NICU, we were given so many items (Halo SleepSacks, a quilt, etc.) that made that time so much easier and I want to do the same for other families. I have no idea how to start a foundation, but I’m going to figure it out and make it happen this year.

9 // Exercise regularly. – This isn’t about weight loss or fixing my body. Losing a little weight would definitely be a bonus, but it’s not my priority right now. I just want to be healthier and have more energy. My goal is to walk daily with my girls, start doing yoga again, and get back into spinning.

10 // Read at least one new book every month. – I love love love to read and I miss it so much. Reading is such a simple thing that I can do for myself that will simultaneously relax me and keep my brain from turning into mush.

11 // Make some new mom friends. – There is only one thing that I miss about living in the small town of Harrisonburg, Virginia: my mom friends. We went on walks, we did park playdates, and they’re all still there raising their babies without me. I have my sister-in-law and cousins here, and they are all invaluable to me, but I really need to get outside of my comfort zone and meet some new moms.

12 // Pick a weekly date night (and stick to it!) – I can count the number of dates Sam and I have been on since Harper was born and that is just not right. It’s not even because we’re afraid of leaving her with someone. We’re just guilty of not making the time. It doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant, and we technically don’t even have to leave the house, but we need to make time, at least once a week, to remember that we are husband and wife first, parents second.

13 // Visit every museum in DC. – Sam is still new to the DC area and I love watching (forcing) him fall in love with my hometown. Showing him around also reintroduces me to all of the wonderful places I grew up visiting. I thought it would be fun to challenge ourselves as a family to visit every single museum in DC as a way to spend quality (and educational!) time together as a family.

And that’s my bucket list! I know it’s long, but these are all things that are important to me and I’m excited to take on this challenge. Someone remind me to check in with myself on my next birthday to see how many I accomplished. I hope it’s all 13! 

What would you put on your Birthday Bucket List?


Life Update // February 2017

Ruth 3:18

via She Reads Truth

Isn’t it amazing how the Bible always has a verse that perfectly sums up our situation? A lot happened in the 8 month (unplanned) break I took from blogging. My little family moved from Harrisonburg, Virginia to Ashburn, Virginia (my hometown) in August. We moved here with the plans that I would sit for the Virginia Bar Exam this month, my husband would start a new career and we would plant our roots near my family so that Harper could be closer to her cousins. There are five granddaughters on my side of the family plus one on the way (!) and we all live within 10 minutes of each other so Harper has so many little people to play with and grow up with.

In November, we enrolled Harper in a Montessori School and I started studying for the bar. It was going well until the holidays rolled around followed by Harper’s birthday. I was so distracted! On top of all of that, Harper has been sick pretty much every other week since the Fall. Needless to say, I wasn’t getting much studying done. After much deliberation, prayer and seeking counsel from Sam and my family, I decided to delay the bar exam until I can focus better. I’m hoping I can sit for the exam in July, but I don’t want to lock myself into it just yet. I spoke to a prominent DC lawyer and former law professor when I was trying to make the decision and he reminded me that the bar exam will always be there, but Harper won’t always be a baby. Since I don’t have a law firm job waiting for me, there’s really no need to rush to take it. (more…)




Today, Sam and I started a Bible in 90 Days reading challenge with our church. Yup, you read that right. We have pledged to read the entire bible, cover to cover, in 90 days. I love to read so I’m not really worried about the reading aspect of it. I’m mostly worried about the commitment part. I don’t think I’ve ever stuck with anything for 90 whole days and I’m ashamed to say that I have never maintained a bible reading schedule for 90 days straight. But more than anything, I’m excited about what God is going to do in me, in our marriage, and in our church during the next three months. I truly believe that God’s word, though written so long ago, is just as relevant today as it was then. I believe that once I finally dig into it, I will find direction and hope and peace and every other good thing I’ve been searching for in this life. It’s going to be awesome.

Why don’t you join us?! Download the YouVersion bible app, if you don’t have it already, and start the 90 day reading plan. You can also download this reading plan bookmark if you’d prefer to read from a bible you already have (this is what I’m doing). Or if you need a new bible, you can buy the actual Bible in 90 Days Bible. Try to get a few friends to join you. Accountability and community are crucial for a challenge like this! If you decide to join the challenge, let me know in the comments! I’ll be checking in here and on social media throughout the challenge and I hope you will too. Remember to start today so you don’t get behind! The challenge ends on Sunday, August 30th.

like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation…

1 Peter 2:2



On Doing It All


During my last few semesters of law school, I worked as a part-time nanny for a family of six: two parents, two girls, and two boys. When I started, the kids were all under the age of five. Right now, some of you are thinking “Whoa…those people are crazy! No wonder they needed a nanny!” but let me assure you, they didn’t really need me. They have an absolute rock-star mom. She’s that mom who bakes homemade bread for the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches she feeds her children. Her kids know what foods like lamb and asparagus are and they actually eat them. She homeschools her two oldest. She makes time for at least one date night with her husband each week, every week. She does all of this and still has time to take care of herself. And above all, she is one of the best people I have ever met in my life. She is warm and fun and gives so much and loves God with all of her heart. It is no coincidence that I met her just a few months before I got engaged. God wanted me to have a real-life example of the wife and mother I hoped to become. I could not be more thankful for the time I spent with that family.

After a year and a half of observing and practicing, I got married and was unpleasantly surprised to find that doing it “all” didn’t come naturally to me. I love to cook, but I have trouble motivating myself to do it more than twice a week. I love a clean house, but after I’ve finished the laundry and the dishes I have serious trouble talking myself into cleaning the bathrooms. It seems like I never have enough hours in a day to finish everything I want to accomplish while still making time for my husband. And when I have to admit to him that things didn’t get done, I feel like I’m failing as a wife. I start wondering (panicking about) how I’m going to manage when we expand our family. But it’s not Sam who is making me feel that way. It’s me. I’m mad at myself for not trying hard enough. For getting complacent. For resigning myself to the fact that I can’t do it all. But isn’t “all” relative?

I’ve lost count of the amount of women I’ve spoken to who have discouraged me from even trying. They give me tips on how to accomplish some things, but they remind me (rightfully so) not to compare myself to women like the one described above. She’s just a special case. “Real” women can’t be expected to do all of that (what does this even mean?). It’s 2015! Today’s women are too busy working to cook or clean. They’re too busy running the world. But what about our moms and aunts and grandmothers? They did everything. They raised more kids than most of us will. Some of them worked multiple jobs. They sang in their church choirs and sat on committees. And they fed what must have seemed like an army every single night. Of course, times have changed. But what would happen if we tried to emulate them just a little bit?

What would happen if we gave ourselves a healthy dose of grace and jumped right in? What if we made it our mission to only serve home-cooked meals during the week? What if we promised to deep clean at least one room in our homes each day? What if we scheduled a date night with our husbands and a game night with our families each week? What if we took up a new hobby that would benefit our families while also giving us some quiet time (like sewing or baking)? What if we hired a babysitter for a few hours each week so we could get our hair and nails done? I’m willing to bet that we would wake up at the end of the week feeling fulfilled, refreshed, more beautiful and maybe even a little proud of ourselves. Every week won’t be perfect, and some things will inevitably fall through the cracks, but we’ll sleep better at night knowing that we did everything we could do to make it all happen.

So instead of rolling our eyes when we see a woman who seems to have figured out how to balance 15 things at a time and make it look easy, we should seek her out. Ask questions, exchange recipes, share babysitters, hold each other accountable and, most importantly, celebrate each other. Because we’re all amazing and we really can do it all.

Just maybe not all at once.



Wise Words // Believe The Impossible

f57897992ed401d3cb03f2653fb448c5I love love love this quote and thought it was the perfect quote to share going into a brand new week. Although this quote is actually from Carroll’s book Through The Looking-Glass, I think it applies perfectly today. Whether it’s believing that you will finally launch your small business this year or something as simple as believing that you will finally be able to conquer your sugar addiction (I’m clearly talking to myself with that one), the first step is allowing yourself to believe that the things that seem impossible are possible. Release yourself to dream, to plan and to believe this week!




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