Goodbye, 2020



Whatever hard or sad things 2020 might have brought us, I can never be too mad at this year, because we spent most of it with baby F. He was born at the end of February, just a few weeks before everything shut down, and his little life has been such a sweet blessing. I'm absolutely astonished that he will be one year old in less then 2 months.

He's sitting up, crawling, rolling, and wanting so badly to be a big kid and play with his brother and sister. He is so agreeable, silly, and a joy to have around.

It's been a really hard year, to put it simply. But it's also been a year so full of blessings. I realized how many things I took for granted, how much I like my normal life and my normal routine. I'm thankful for our home and our jobs and our family.

I've unofficially made Romans 8:1 my motto for this year. The Risen Motherhood podcast had an episode back in April featuring John Piper talking about Romans 8 (here). He read the full chapter and offered a short sermon on why it's his favorite in the Bible. I saved it and have listened to it several times since, along with memorizing the beginning of the chapter.

"There is therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1

Maybe one day I'll sit down and write out all that this verse has come to mean to me this year. The truth is that I've tried my best to be a good mom, a good wife, a good employee, a good sister, daughter, friend, and citizen. I try, and generally speaking I am all those things, but I'm just so thankful that because I know Jesus, I don't have to be all of that on my own. And when I fail, because I do fail every day, there is no condemnation, no shame or guilt. Just grace. Hope. Peace. A new mercy every morning, as it says in Lamentations. I can't tell you how much that's encouraged me this year, especially as a mom.

I hope you have a great start to 2021. I'm holding the year loosely, but I'm hopeful. I don't normally make a long list of resolutions, but I do have a few things I'm looking forward to. Pandemic or not, I had a baby this year and didn't plan on doing much else anyway, but I'm as sad as I feel that F is going to be turning 1 in a few weeks, I will also say that I'm a bit eager to leave the newborn stage behind (for now, at least).

This blog took a major hit this year, obviously, but I'm not ready to call it quits completely. I might pop back on and share some goals for the year and our 2020 in Numbers. Until then, a friendly "hello" to anyone reading. Very happy new year to you!

Mini Vacation


We are trying to keep our spirits up and embrace the challenges that 2020 have brought us, but around the end of September both Jordan and I started to feel the weight of this year on our marriage. Nothing drastic, but we just really needed some time away from the kids and time to get out of our house and find space to breathe.

I mentioned to a friend of mine that once F turned one, I really wanted to take a weekend away with Jordan, and she said, "Why do you need to wait until he's one? Do it now!" She mentioned something that she and her husband do on occasion, which is that they surprise each other with a trip. 

She told me how she planned a weekend away with her husband and didn't tell him anything about it until it was a week or so away. Her baby had not turned one yet, but she brought her pump and said it was a minor inconvenience but really not a big deal. It was just the encouragement I needed, and I started planning a mini vacation to surprise Jordan with.

My parents watched all three kids, and we spent Friday night through Monday morning in Dallas, Texas. I booked our hotel, got aquarium tickets, made a list of restaurants to go to, and I even contacted his boss and secretly took off work for him. I told him the Friday before our trip, and he was super confused at first and didn't understand what I was talking about. But as the weekend got closer we were more and more excited. 

We had a great time and enjoyed exploring some fun spots around the Dallas area. It felt like the perfect getaway where we felt very comfortable being able to socially distance and not super far away from the kids if they needed anything. 

I brought my Spectra pump for use at the hotel, and I did wake up in the night to pump just like I feed F, and a friend let me borrow a portable pump to use during the day we were away from the hotel all day. I brought ice packs, and the milk actually stayed cold and I was able to save everything during the weekend. I had no idea when I booked it, but our hotel room ended up having a full fridge/freezer!

On Saturday we went to the Dallas farmer's market, lunch at a BBQ place called Pecan Lodge, then the Dallas aquarium, and we met my brother and sister-in-law for dinner. On Sunday we ate lunch at a place called The Londoner, which is set up to look like a British pub. They server British food, and they even had one of Jordan's favorite English beers on tap. Then we went to a town called Grapevine and walked up their main street with cute shops and the farmer's market. We ate at a local seafood restaurant for dinner and then played card games and watched The Hobbit on TV. It was super relaxing and FUN. I'm grateful it worked out, and I loved surprising Jordan with a trip and getting a few extra days off work.

My point of sharing this is mostly that you don't have to go far or go big on a little vacation. Even somewhere just a few hours away can be new and fun and low key. It was just the reset we needed in this crazy, stressful year. Now, who is amazed that it's already November?

Fall Family Outing



Hello, it's October! F turned 7 months old a few weeks ago, and no, I'm not okay, thank you for asking. He's still working on sitting up, and he really wants to crawl, but so far just gets up on his knees and rocks back and forth a few times before falling back down. He currently has RSV, which I would feel more stressed about, perhaps, but at this point I'm just glad it's not The Virus.

For a couple of days in September, Oklahoma decided to act like fall, but now we are back to 90 degrees, and Panera still isn't carrying my favorite seasonal treat: cranberry orange muffins. As if I needed another reason to be mad at 2020. I need my muffins, people!

Despite the heat and the lack of leaves turning brown (aka colorful death), last weekend (pre-F having any cold-like symptoms, please note) I leapt into the fall spirit with open arms. I decorated my mantle and bookshelves, and we loaded up the minivan and headed to a local farm. 

I've been wanting to check this place out for several years but never made a point to go, and I'm so glad we did! The weather was perfect, and it wasn't super crowded, so there was ample space to enjoy the activities while not getting super close to anyone. We rode a train, got some pumpkins (each kid got a tiny pumpkin for free!), pet some animals, and greatly enjoyed one of the few outings we've taken as a family of five.
The kids did awesome and seemed to have a lot of fun. They are both going to daycare, but other than that we don't get out much, so I'm really thankful we were able to at least do one fall activity this year in case we don't end up doing anything else.

I hope you are having a nice start to fall, wherever you are. Stay safe and well!

Oh, and PS. If you read my last post, MY NOSE STILL HURTS. That's all. Good day.