2024 Goals


It always feels so cliche and, admittedly, silly to honestly think a new year can mean a new me. The clock striking midnight on December 31 doesn't turn me into a pumpkin any more than it makes me suddenly a more thoughtful wife or a more patient mom or someone who loves black olives (literally the only food I legitimately hate). Still, there's something about the new year that feels fresh... a blank paper where I can (at least try to) write something new for myself.

I'm not always one to make a ton of big new year's resolutions. I'm currently in a stage of life where I feel like just making it through the day was a huge success, so making a goal for an entire year seems extreme. I do, however, have a few things I'd like to do this year. Here they are in no particular order.

Invite three people/families to our house for a meal
I really admire people who are great at hospitality, and it's always been something I've wanted to be better at. This year I would like to invite three families to our house for a meal. It will be something casual like a crockpot dinner or pizza--I'm not trying to go crazy. But I am excited to start practicing more hospitality in the form of in-person gatherings this year.

Read five physical books
I'm pretty sure I only read one, yes ONE, actual book last year all the way through. Reading did not make it on my radar very much. When I did have free time, I was usually either doing dishes or scrapbooking. Although I did listen to a lot a lot of podcasts. SIDE NOTE: I will die on the hill of there being a difference in listening to a book vs. reading a book (physical or e-book). People are all "I read 780 books last year" and 777 of them were audio books. NOT THE SAME. You can @ me all day. I have thoughts and I'm right.

Listen to the Bible in a year
I purchased the Dwell app and listened to the Bible chronologically in 365 days last year. I feel like I really got into a good habit of daily Scripture, and I have restarted a plan to listen again for 2024. I also want to spend more time physically reading the Bible, but in this stage of life, I appreciate the resources I can use to have the Bible being read to me throughout the year. I really enjoyed it last year.

Scrapbook 2022 and 2023 Christmases
I have an album for scrapbooking our Christmas memories, and I didn't have a chance to start 2022 or 2023 yet, so I'm a little behind. I would love to be caught up with that album by the time 2024 Christmas rolls around.

Run three races
This is hopefully going to be a softball goal, since I am already signed up for two half marathons in 2024. Both are in the first half of the year, so I am hoping to find a good fall race to sign up for. J has mentioned wanting to run a kid's race, so it would be really fun to find a 1-mile run to do with him. I would not be against doing another half marathon either.
_ _ _

This last year was one of the hardest of our parenting and our marriage, and I really hope 2024 is a little kinder to us. It felt like pure survival for most of 2023, and I would love to do a little more thriving than surviving. It was hard, but I am thankful for so much. Our health, our family, and our church are three things that I'm so incredibly thankful for. 

One of my favorite lines from a worship song says, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace." That verse comes to mind sometimes when I am feeling stressed or anxious, and I wanted to share that in case it encourages you as it has me.

Wishing you a wonderful start to the new year!

Watching, Listening, Eating...


Two weekends ago, I took G on her first trip! We flew to Illinois and spent a long weekend with my mom and grandma. That's a picture of her thankfully falling asleep for the last half hour of our flight after she screamed her face off for 45 minutes.

Thank you for all the support on my last post. I appreciate the comments, messages, and texts so much. It has been a hard season for us, but there is also a lot to love and a lot to be thankful for-- number one being our peace in Christ and the hope we have that this world is not our home.

Okay, now for something random. I wanted to throw it back to old-school blogging days and share a few of the things we've been eating, listening to, and watching lately.


Daily Harvest smoothies and harvest bowls. No, this is not sponsored. However, I do have a referral code I've been wanting to share with someone, because it's up to $65 off your first box ($65 off for 24 items, $40 off for 14 items), and I'm honestly considering signing Jordan up and getting a box delivered to my in-laws.

I mostly order the smoothies, although I also really like the sweet potato bowl. I've tried the flatbreads and wasn't that big of a fan. I get a box every 3-4 months, and they are nice to have on hand when I want a healthy snack. It's super easy to skip a box, add to your box, or cancel altogether. My tip for the smoothies: add a half a banana to the blender and also make sure to add liquid until it reaches your desired smoothie consistency. I've been getting Daily Harvest for years now and love it.

Use referral code RE-Y4V6AMT

We are also still eating cheeseburger macaroni. Those of you who have been around for a while may remember this recipe. It's a staple and kid favorite and one of the only things everyone will actually eat and ask for seconds. We are in such a difficult picky stage right now with everyone and it drives me absolutely bonkers.

I'm about to make Jordan his annual batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Usually I make a double batch and freeze them for his breakfast.

Listening to...

So many podcasts. I listen to podcasts all the time... while on a run, while working at home, while doing dishes in the evening. Here are a few of my favorites.

Risen Motherhood - I am loving their new series on Abundance. 
Heaven in Your Home - this is a new addition after I heard the host on a different podcast I listen to. It's all about s*x and marriage from a biblical perspective. Super interesting and definitely recommend. If you listen to it, I'd love to know what you think.

Scamanda - This series was wild.
Sympathy Pains - People on Reddit suggested this if you liked Scamanda, so I went from one crazy story to this one. People are WEIRD. Neither of these are scary, gory, or anything like that.

Currently listening to The Retrievals, also suggested from Reddit. Again, wild. Trigger warning for infertility and pregnancy loss (the latter is only mentioned and is not an actual part of the story)

Out of the Pods. I'll get to this when I talk about what I'm watching, but Love is Blind is basically my one trashy TV show binge. It's good background noise for when I'm working on my scrapbooks, and this podcast from LIB alums Deepti and Natalie gives a lot of great behind-the-scenes info about filming a reality TV show. I don't love Deepti as a host, to be honest, but Natalie is pretty funny. They did two episodes interviewing people who went on the show but their stories weren't filmed, which was interesting. Note that they do curse some.

I'm still going strong listening to the Bible chronologically using the Dwell app. You can get a few things for free, but you do have to pay to use the full app, and I highly recommend it. You can customize so many options for sound, voice, music, and also they have a ton of playlists. It's also super easy to look up books of the Bible to either read or listen to. I started January 1 listening to the Bible in a year, and I'm only about 30 days behind, which is pretty good. I've listened to the Bible most days this year and am trying to catch up so I can finish by the end of December.

I got Jordan listening to this too... we are fans of the Mo News podcast. It's a daily podcast that gives a 30-minute overview of top news stories. It's unbiased for the most part-- "just the facts," is their tagline. Both Jill and Mo live on the East Coast, and you can tell their political leaning from some of their commentary, but overall it really is a great source for unbiased news.


Right now the only thing I'm actively reading is A Popular Survey of the Old Testament by Norman Geisler, which is what we are going through in my discipleship group. It's actually been pretty interesting, talking about archeological discoveries and historians support what is written in the Bible, themes of the Old Testament, and how the entire Bible tells the story of Christ from the very beginning.

Jordan just finished reading a book our pediatrician recommended for J related to anxiety.

I have a list going of books people recommend so that when I get to the library at some point I can get a few. The last few years have been a struggle in the reading department.


Well, I've been watching the new season of Love is Blind. It's fine if you judge me.

Bravo shows showed up on Peacock this year, and so I've been going through Top Chef seasons and loving it, especially the seasons where they bring back contestants from previous years.

Jordan and I have tried to spend more time together in the evenings, and so we've gone through a few shows that we both chose together.

Special Forces just started its second season. We loved season 1 and are excited it's back, although several of the celebrities for season 2 are reality TV people, so we don't know any of them. I feel like I knew everyone from season 1, and I don't know quite as many this time. What I love about the show is that there isn't a prize and it's not about love, so there isn't all that drama to deal with (I am getting enough of that with Love is Blind ha!)

We watched the Chernobyl series on HBO. Wow. I didn't really know anything about Chernobyl, and this was very well done and super interesting (and sad).

Earlier this year we watched Jury Duty. We both enjoyed it and through it was unique and funny.

When we don't want to watch anything else, we turn on Seinfeld since it's on Netflix now. I have only seen random episodes here and there, so watching it straight through has been entertaining.

_ _ _

Anyone else watching Love is Blind? This current season is a train wreck. Yikes.

A Work in Progress (Cheers to One Year)


Our baby girl is one.

All I can say is that we truly just kept putting one foot in front of the other, and somehow we've made it a whole year. More often than not it's felt like we are barely keeping our heads above water, and this particular birthday feels like a celebration of our entire family. WE MADE IT. Not to sound dramatic, but sometimes I wasn't sure.

Four kids is... a lot. I've said for eight years now that the first year after having R and going back to work was the hardest year of my life, but this past year might have passed it as the hardest. They are at least tied, I think.

I'm pretty sure I had (have?) postpartum depression. My hormones have been absolutely bananas this year, and then I started my period a few months ago and have been SO MUCH FUN. Like, just the most chill non-angry person ever for about a week every month. Be my friend.

This year we have also been going through some psychological testing with J for a behavioral issue we've suspected for several years now. That's all I will say about that--not because it's a secret, but because I don't want to share too much about him or his difficulties in an online space. But it's been incredibly challenging to have what feels essentially like a special needs child while trying our best to parent our other two "big kids" and keep a crawling baby from choking on Legos. And have full-time jobs and feed everyone and keep at least our kitchen semi-picked up and not stress too much about how expensive fruit is and and and...

We've struggled a lot this year with our marriage, partly because we don't always agree about how to handle the kids and partly because we are both crazy stubborn and polar opposites when it comes to how we communicate. A few months ago we realized that we really needed to actively try to get back on the same page, and so we decided to revisit something we'd done way back at the beginning of our marriage. 

The first year we got married, we read the book Love and Respect together. We read one chapter a week and spent an hour or so one evening each week discussing the chapter together. It took us 6 months to read it, and we found it so helpful. We are currently reading the book again, a chapter a week and discussion on Sunday evenings. It's been twelve years since we read it last, and I know because I'd written down the dates in the front of the book. It's a very practical, helpful book that I would definitely recommend. It does approach marriage from a traditional, Christian worldview, just FYI.

I'm so thankful for so many things, and I try not to take for granted that we have four healthy, wonderful children. But it's been so hard. Maybe it wouldn't be if Jordan and I were more chill, or our kids were more chill. Maybe if we had a house large enough where no one had to share rooms, or our backyard was big enough for J to be able to kick balls as high or as hard as he wanted and they would never go over the neighbor's fence. 

I've had a hard time this year not feeling like everyone else's life was easier than mine, and I've taken a lot of social media breaks because it was too much seeing pictures of other people's kids playing nicely together or smiling families on vacation or someone's "slow morning" enjoying a homemade foam thing they film themselves pouring into the shape of a flower before their kids wake up. I mean do I have the only children on the planet who don't nap, go full speed all day, take forever to go to sleep, and then wake up at 6am ready to do it all again???? Don't answer that.

We are still very much in the process of exploring a diagnosis for J and trying to better our marriage. We fish Legos and dried up old peas out of G's mouth multiple times a day. We can't figure out how to get F to go to bed and stay there. Yes, we've tried an "ok to wake clock." He cares about it zero percent. And I haven't mentioned R yet, but let's just say I didn't expect 8-year-olds to give me the kind of attitude I expect from a 13-year-old so that's a fun surprise.

Long story short, we are a work in progress. And this past year felt. like. work.

So happy one year, Jordan. We did it. I'm so proud of us.

And happy birthday to you, G. You're one! You're adorable and funny and kind of a superstar everywhere you go for your joyful attitude and sweet smile. You love love love to eat. You only use a paci for naps and bedtime. You go to sleep easily and sleep all night. We made it a whole year of breastfeeding! You crawl everywhere and get into everything. Your favorite room to go in is the hall bathroom. We think you are trying to say some words and will miss your adorable baby babble. You love baths, love your siblings and dad, and most of all love your mama.

I truly believe that you were the bright light we needed to get us through. Jesus picked you just for our family, and I've been thankful every day of the last 365.