I Love


A partial list of things I love, inspired by several different posts I saw on Instagram last year.

I love snuggling deeper under my covers listening to the rain fall outside and knowing I don't have to get up any time soon. I love Saturday mornings. I love Sunday nights when I have Monday off work.

I love editing.

I love scrapbooking. I love looking back at old memory books and remembering stories and places and things I'd forgotten. I love making a place for my photos to live outside of my phone. I love taking pictures. I love editing pictures. I love when I accidentally get the lighting just right.

I love running. I love the feeling after I finish a run. I love when the kids ask me, "Are you going for a run?" and knowing they are seeing their mom do something good for herself.

I love when I let a car merge in front of me and the driver waves. I love when someone lets me merge in front of them. I love when I can get to daycare and back in the mornings without hitting any traffic.

I love Chick-fil-A chocolate chip cookies. I love McDonald's double cheeseburgers. I love that I don't feel guilty eating at McDonald's.

I love wearing hoodies with shorts (when the weather is just right). I love my Birkenstocks. I love taking the kids to the park. I love that F is sturdy enough now to run around on his own without needing to be carried.

I love the way F gives kisses. I love when J comes into our room in the morning and asks to snuggle. I love watching R dance. I love that J had so much fun playing soccer this past fall, and how excited he is to play in the spring. I love that he requests a muffin as a snack after practice.

I love that F refuses to wear footie sleepers with a zipper. I love that J is obsessed with hoodies and pockets. I love that R still wears a dress almost every day to school (her choice). I love that leggings are still considered pants. I love messy buns.

I love when Jordan talks about electrical stuff. I love that he can grow facial hair. I love that he's weirdly obsessed with England.

I love real-life stories about people helping each other. I love that we pull over for ambulances and police cars and firetrucks. I always think that things can't be quite so bad as long as we still do that.

I love crackers and cheese. I love ice cream. I love a late-night snack. I love cozy socks and well-worn hoodies. I love the feeling of taking out my contacts at the end of a long day.

I love a clean sink and an empty laundry basket. I love finding better ways to organize our house. I love our house.

I love the Marco Polo app.

I love the quiet at night after the kids are (finally) in bed. I love getting into a good book. I love that I can't quite ever turn my editor brain off. I love when an author includes swearing in a novel in a way that fits the characters and not just because they feel like a book is better if there's some cursing (it isn't). I love happily ever after.

I love rereading my favorite books and knowing exactly what's going to happen but enjoying the heck out of the story anyway.

I love when my kids share with each other before I ask them to. I love when they stand up for each other. I love when they point out something they know the other person would like to see or know. I love watching them get excited. I love when they ask to pray.

I love that when I started this list, I had a hard time thinking of anything, but now that I'm going to stop, I still have a hundred things coming to mind that I love about, well, everything.

2021: 10 Photos that Shaped My Year


I don't know about you, but 2021 absolutely flew by for me. It felt like as soon as one month came, the next was starting. It felt super hard in a lot of different ways, and as I think about 2021 compared to 2020, I definitely feel like I'm ending this year feeling much more exhausted. The year 2020 was completely insane; it caught us all off guard, and the whole thing felt very new and overwhelming and uncertain. 

Now, it's still overwhelming at times, but it's way past being new, and I'm just kind of over all of it (it being life), specifically lately, people taking to social media with rants and outrage about this or that. Opinions aren't bad things, but just because you have an opinion and a phone doesn't mean you should immediately shared said opinion online. I digress.

Perhaps it's extremely cliche, but I decided to take at least January completely off of social media: no Facebook, no Instagram (those are really my only 2 social apps that I use since I deleted Twitter back in 2016, and I've never gotten on Snapchat or TikTok). So far 2022 has been so busy that I honestly haven't even had time to miss it. We are only six days in to the year, but hopefully we can find a groove soon. It's been crazy so far in our house!

A few years ago I realized that I don't like making new year resolutions. I think it's great that other people make them, but for me, thinking about setting a goal or resolving to do something over the course of a year is too long a timeframe. I prefer to set more immediate goals or think more specifically about realistic improvements. I've taken short breaks from Facebook and Instagram before, but never at the same time, and never for a full month, so I'm excited to start off the year and see where that takes me.

For the past few years I've shared 10 photos that shaped my year--a prompt that a print shop I follow emailed out one time. My list for 2020 ended up not getting on the blog (not surprised given my lack of blogging last year), but here is my post about 2019 if you are interested. 

I'm including the full list below, mostly to make it easier for me to grab this time next year. As always, I had a hard time narrowing these down. There are so many photos I could choose for any of these, and I went back and forth about several, but in the end, these photos are a pretty good summary of the things that stand out to me from 2021. Feel free to use this list to make a summary of your own!

1. A photo from the year's greatest adventure, big or small
2. A photo of a significant moment
3. A photo of something you are thankful for
4. A favorite photo of you and the people you love
5. A photo of a morning you want to remember
6. A photo that represents joy
7. A photo of the people who shaped your year
8. A photo of you trying something new
9. A photo of something you are proud of
10. A photo you will want to pass down for generations to come

2021: 10 Photos that Shaped My Year

1. A photo from the year's greatest adventure, big or small

There were a lot of adventures to choose from--small ones, generally speaking--but the girl started kindergarten this year, which was a huge transition for all of us. It's been really great, and she is loving school, so I'm very thankful! (I wrote about this a little here.) This is a photo from school supply shopping, which felt so weird to me to be doing since I can remember doing that with my mom!

2. A photo of a significant moment

My grandpa Bernie passed away in September, and all of my cousins came from around the country to be there. It was a lovely reminder that no matter where life takes you or what happens, family always comes together. I'm very thankful for mine. We had a great time reminiscing and celebrating the life of my grandma and grandpa. I wrote about it here.

3. A photo of something you are thankful for

Jordan and I celebrated 10 years of marriage in May!

4. A favorite photo of you and the people you love

It's impossible to choose one favorite photo, but this one makes me smile because it was taken on our family trip to Tulsa in April. (I shared more pictures here.) It was our first trip as a family of five, and we had so much fun! Especially after the craziness of 2020, it was nice to get away and take some time to explore. It was also fun to revisit the place we went on our 1-year anniversary and think about all that has changed in the last 9 years.

5. A photo of a morning you want to remember

I think this morning gets a spot in this list every year. Strawberry picking at a local farm is one of our family highlights. The kids have fun, and so do we. This year they took appointments, so we had the greenhouse to ourselves for a half hour and got two bins of juicy, delicious strawberries that we ate on all week!

6. A photo that represents joy

This photo of J is a favorite of Jordan's and mine.

7. A photo of the people who shaped your year

Obviously the people who most shaped my year were these clowns. This year we did the same thing we did last year for new year's and it was so much fun. We streamed the London NYE countdown on YouTube, listened to Big Ben chime, watched the fireworks, and rang in the new year six hours early so we could all get to bed at the usual time. It's perfect because I get that new year feeling without the hangover of staying up until midnight.

8. A photo of you trying something new

2021 was the year of cookies! I made my very first sugar cookies/royal icing in December 2020, and I spent 2021 trying out new cookie cutters, icing colors, and decorations. These are the sets I made for R's and J's birthdays, and I'm proud of how they turned out. It's fun to try new things, and the cookies taste yummy too!

9. A photo of something you are proud of

I'm proud of my commitment to my marathon training over the summer, finishing the race, and I'm proud of the way I worked through some of my feelings post-race to ultimately end up in a good place about the entire experience. I'm still disappointed that race day wasn't "my day" in terms of feeling really good and having a spectacular race, but the real reason I wanted to run this had nothing to do with time or even having an amazing race. It had to do with setting a big goal, completing a huge bucket list item, and working really hard toward something that was just for me.

Transitioning to working at home full time, plus the lower social interaction in general due to the pandemic, has been a challenge for me. Marathon training gave me a reason to get out of the house, move my body, and keep my mental state in check when I started to freak out about the state of the world. I ended up running in total 525 miles in 2021!

Marathon training recap here

Race recap here

10. A photo you will want to pass down for generations to come

We were lucky enough to see my grandparents several times this year. This is my mom's dad, not my grandpa who passed in September (my dad's dad). My grandparents stopped in OKC on their way to Texas for Thanksgiving and spent a day and a half with us. F and my grandpa really bonded and had such a sweet time together.

December Currently


I'm feeling like I want to write but have no ideas, so I'm borrowing these currently prompts from Michelle for a December edition of my current mood.

reading: Paul Tripp's daily advent devotional, but other than that nothing. A few months ago I thought I was going to make a reading comeback. R had the day off school, and I took us to our local library to get a library card and check out some books. I got three and read them all in 2 weeks! It was amazing! But I can only handle one hobby at a time, and I have too many hobbies and not enough time left over at the end of the day between when I finally crawl out of F's room and when I crawl into my bed.

drinking: I'm trying to focus on increasing my water intake. When I was training for the marathon, I felt like I was constantly thirsty and could never get enough. Now I have to remind myself to drink water and often forget until lunchtime.

rejoicing: that the USPS found my lost package! I ordered some scrapbooking stamps from a company that was going out of business and having a sale. The package was scanned as delivered but wasn't, and I was super sad because it's not like I could get my stamps. They were sold out forever. I put in a request through the USPS website, and they found and delivered my missing items within two days! Oh the things you find exciting as an adult.

annoyed: that F is in a phase where he pretty much cries unless I am holding him. He's attached to me and only me, and it's cute but also annoying because I can't live my best life carrying 28 pounds on one hip every second of the day.

thankful: speaking of carrying babies, I'm thankful that the chiropractor helped my back pain. I'm not one of those people who thinks going to the chiropractor will solve all problems, but the three times I've gone in my life, he certainly has solved my back problem. Last Thursday I got down on the floor to crawl out of F's room (he cries if he sees me leave, so I crawl out every single night), and when I stretched my arms out, I felt my back twinge and then blinding pain so bad I had to lie down on the floor for a minute before I could get the rest of the way out. I went to the chiropractor on Tuesday, and there was so. much. popping. Truthfully I find seeing a chiropractor mildly terrifying, but he popped back whatever it was, and I'm feeling much better.

watching: last week I watched While You Were Sleeping twice. It's my favorite movie of all time, and the best Christmas movie, and I love everything about it.

buying: my love of gift giving haunts me every holiday. I truly enjoy finding the perfect gift, but that also means I'm very picky, and it causes stress when I can't find anything that feels right. Yes, a gift card is easiest and everyone likes money, but I don't like buying people gift cards. Though I never mind getting them!

checking: for at least a week I was checking the tracking on that lost USPS package, but now it's here and I can move on to my next thing to be bothered about.

listening: to Christmas music or Toddler radio. The kids, specifically F, love having songs on while they are home, so we usually have Pandora playing something throughout the day.

thankful: for three healthy, creative, fun children. The kids are a lot right now. They are loud and kind of aggressive with each other, and we have our fair share of emotions, but I am honestly loving this stage too. They are so fun and always saying something that makes me laugh.

loving: our Home Chef meal delivery boxes. We get one box a month, and they are so fun. We haven't had a meal yet that we don't like, and the estimated time is almost exactly how long it takes to make. The last time I looked at my account it said I have 3 free boxes I can send to a new member. Let me know if you want one, and I will email you the link. Not sponsored, but loving was the prompt, and we just ate our Home Chef meal tonight and it was so yummy!

surprised: that it's almost the end of the year. I know it's cliche and everyone says it, but I honestly do not remember a year that has gone so fast. It felt like every time a new month started, it was just a few days before it was time for the next month. 2020 was super hard and weird and felt long to me, but I blinked and 2021 is almost over. I don't understand.