• Family

    The Pre-Baby Dress: Body Image, Raising Daughters and Being Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

    Last week I wore a dress that had been languishing in the back of my closet. This particular dress had made the cut after my closet purge. I’m not sure why I kept it, besides the fact that it’s a pretty dress. Perhaps because it represents my pre-baby body. Probably because I have been hoping it would someday fit me like the first time I put it on. And while it didn’t look horrible when I wore it, I had to go around uncomfortably sucking in my stomach all day. And even though I have managed to lose most of my post-baby weight, my body has changed. My hips are…

  • Family

    Solo Parenting When Your Spouse Travels for Work: 5 Tips to Survive

    It’s no secret that Jeff travels quite a bit for work. It was one of the requirements for his job position. From day one, we always knew that work travel would be part of our lives.  When asked in his interview if he would be willing to travel for work, the answer was an emphatic “YES!” Let it be known that there is a difference between the decisions made when you’re twenty-three and starting out and when you’re thirty and you’re parenting two kids. At twenty-three, the idea of work travel across the world sounded adventurous, exciting, even glamorous. Fast forward seven years and this momma and her two kiddos…

  • Faith,  Simple Living

    Finding Rest in Hospitality

    It looked like a tornado had ravaged its way through our house. Toys were strewn from bedrooms, to living room, to bathroom, to playroom and back again. Dishes were piled and overflowing in the sink. We could feed one of our girls for a week with the amount of crumbs underneath the table. Somebody’s kid had pulled the toilet paper roll across the bathroom floor. Every organized, clean freak nerve in my being was pulled taut. And yet, there was something so beautiful about the chaos all around us. While my mind was frantic with all that needed to be cleaned up, put back in order, my soul felt so…

  • Family

    To My Baby, Who Isn’t

    To my darling Baby, who isn’t, Today you needed me for the first time in a long time. Yes, I know. You’re only two so you still need me for lots of things. Like food and diaper changes and snacks. But today you actually needed me. You have been stretching to grow up from the moment you breathed air. You devour life with the fiercest of independence. But amongst all that determination and mountain moving, you often don’t have time for the quiet, the snuggles, the soft landing of Momma on baby. I love your energy, your insatiable curiosity, your indisputable confidence, yet there are moments I long for you to…

  • Simple Living

    How to Eat for $500 a Month: Our Take on a Cash Only Grocery Budget

    Phew. We made it. Today was my last grocery run for February. Five hundred dollars in a Hallmark card envelope to feed us for the past twenty-eight days.* A challenge, yes. Especially considering a month ago, our average grocery costs were hovering around $1000/month. This month, we halved it. And then some. In fact, at this moment, there is $8.45 remaining in that crinkled, well worn envelope. So really, we only spent $491.55 this month. Yay us! Truly, it’s you guys who are deserving of the praise. So many of you have messaged me with different techniques and advice you use to minimize your monthly grocery bill. You guys have…

  • Family

    How Mom-Hood Changed My Relationship with Food: 3 Steps to Somewhat Effective Meal Planning

    I was born hungry. Hang out with me for any length of time and you will know that I’m not one of those girls who “forgets to eat.” I wake up every morning and my first thought is “what’s for breakfast?” Those people that have a hard time eating in front of other people? Nope. Not this chick. A love of food was ingrained in every fibre of my being from a young age. As kids we would read recipe books around the lunch table (we were homeschooled…this obviously would not be socially acceptable if I would have been in public school). It was a beautiful thing. Somehow, drooling over…

  • Simple Living

    February’s Challenge: Living with Less

    First off – thanks to all of my readers who commented/messaged me with their feedback on my last post. You guys have given me some really great food for thought (pardon to pun!) with paring down our grocery bill each month. I’ve also received quite a few questions about our bi-weekly meal rotation. Let it be known, I’ve heard you guys and I’ll be writing a post in the next couple of weeks with more of a “how to” in regards to meal planning. All of your feedback and insight, though, has sparked some interesting conversation between Jeff and me. The premise behind our $500/month grocery limit has been to…

  • Faith,  Simple Living

    Learning from a Difficult Year

    I feel like I can’t continue writing posts until I’ve written a bit about something that has become extremely near and dear to our hearts as a family. The year 2017 was a hard year for us: a year full of travel for Jeff, weeks of single-parenting for me, health issues, a difficult toddler, a child struggling with night terrors, school transitions, and so on. Yes, there were beautiful moments throughout this past year, but if given the option to relive 2017, the answer would be a hard “no.” Towards the end of the year, Jeff and I listened to a podcast by Dr. Josh and Christi Straub about establishing…

  • Family

    “If At First You Don’t Succeed…”

    We have entered the stage in life where Zoe gets invited to school kids’ birthday parties. Last night, one of her friends was celebrating turning 5 and all of the girl classmates were invited to go rock-climbing. (A side note – now a crazy high bar has been set for what Zoe is expecting for her 5th birthday. I guess gone are the days of pizza and cupcakes at someone’s house?) I will be honest, I was little more than skeptical about a group of ten five-year old girls going rock-climbing. Especially Zoe. I kept thinking, “She’s so cautious! She’s scared of heights! She’s so timid! This is totally not…

  • Family

    How to Celebrate(and Somewhat Survive) a Strong-Willed Child

    I was a perfect parent before kids. My theoretical kids were cherubs. I had all the answers. It was going to be all natural, no epidurals, organic baby food, cloth diapers, only breastmilk, never raising my voice, thru-the-night sleepers, dot, dot, dot. I was the living definition of the perfect mom. In theory. And then, four years ago Zoe happened. And you know what, no…I didn’t do everything the way that I had envisioned in my “perfect”fantasy, but I did manage to meet the majority of my expectations. Yes, she changed our world. Drastically. But she was easy. So easy. I remember being so scornful of moms who had picky…