Oh, What A Year

The whole country (& world) shut down around K’s birthday last year. March 12th was our last meal in a restaurant. Sunday night suppers at my grandparents’ house stopped, mindless Target wandering was no longer ok, and spending time at home with our 3 month old became our only entertainment for a while.

Running a company is always a stressful thing, but watching K sort out how to keep everyone safe, employed, healthy, and just OK in general has been exhausting and painful. (I can’t begin to imagine how he feels about it.) It’s been a soul-crushing year.

(Our primary customers are schools- specifically the extracurricular music programs in schools. The programs that have been cancelled, delayed, reduced due to COVID.)

It’s been an atrocious year to say the absolute very least. I don’t know if we’ve (Kyle’s) ever been this stressed out, 24/7, without relief. It has most certainly shaved years off his life. The rebound/rebuild isn’t a walk in the park either.

And while he’s walking into a new year with a shorter fuse, more grey hair, and a much bigger chip (gash?) on his shoulder, he’s also grown into an even more wonderful human, partner, and dad.

We’re raising a smart and snarky little girl that loves to play with and laugh with her daddy. We have two dogs that get excited every. single. time. he enters the room. K has started cooking his way around the kitchen and- spoiler alert- he’s really good at it. We’ve bought a camper and started down that literal and figurative road. He’s paying better attention to his physical and mental health. He listens to me and encourages me and calls me out on my b.s. when I need it.

Despite all the things that I know weigh him down, he’s such an accomplished, fulfilled, incredible (almost) 34 year old. My life is good because he’s a part of it. We’re in a pretty tough, stressful season of life right now, but seasons change.

Happy Birthday, love. It’s going to get better and then maybe worse again but then better.

Goodbye 2020!

I know we’re supposed to hate 2020, but if I’m being honest it was a relatively ok (dare I say good?) year for me… Compared to 2019, I would do 2020 again in a heartbeat. 2019 chewed us up and spit us out. Then stepped on us and lit us on fire.

I know that 2020 was an awful year for many many people, though. I don’t discredit that and if you’re someone who suffered terribly these past 12 months please know I’m thinking about you and praying for you. I, too, am looking forward to hopefully never having another year like that again.

But as I said, 2020 wasn’t the worst year I’ve had. We got to spend SO much time with Moo. We got to hog her for holidays and witness so many milestones. We had a forced slow down with work (through which we tried so hard to maintain and take care of employees) and we didn’t travel one single place after March. After years of professional go-go-going, it was weird. And it was eye opening. And it’s helped us to prioritize a little more going forward.

We are lucky that our family has been mostly healthy and safe. A few of us have had COVID, but we haven’t had any loss in our family and I am so grateful for this. My heart breaks for those who’ve had a year marked by death.

I still haven’t convinced K to get me a kitten. We bought a camper. We cancelled countless trips. We fought over whose mask was whose. We survived sleep regressions and teething. We had groceries delivered and quiet holidays. We had a slow year that I very ironically wished for at the end of 2019.

So here’s the normal pic recap…

New Years! | Finished nursery | Baby Moo | Fender Bender | Fly to TX | Moo at the Alamo | K drumming | Swiss relative visit | Pandemic yoga w/ best friends
Lots of family walks | Baby Moo | Easter | First taste of cereal | Green beans fail | Hike w/ Bristol | Anniversary pic | Kayla’s Matron of Honor! | Off to buy a new truck
Aub engaged! | Cousin graduates | Family cookout | First Moo swim | M actually likes food | K takes up cooking | Moo 6 months! | Lots of front porch time | K’s 1st Father’s Day
Bike trailer for M | Zoo | 4th of July | 1st camping trip | Bought a camper | Family front porch time | 1st time in our camper | Family fun | F&C buy a house
Purple hair | Fall | Kayla’s dress!| Social Distance get-together | Baby Cooper | Bday hike | Halloween | COVID | Corvette pics
Big girl! | Friday’s with AJ | Outdoor hangs | Thanksgiving | 12 month pics | Moo’s 1st Bday! | Xmas tree | Merry Christmas! | Christmas morning

It was a weird year, but looking back it seems we made the most of it. Here’s to 2021 being better than its predecessor. Honestly… it shouldn’t be tough.

Hopefully you find some bright spots when looking back on your year, too!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Does anyone read blogs on the holidays? In my experience, no. LOL

But here I am anyway. I believe this was created by Leslie at Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After but both Rebecca Jo & Tanya have posted it, too.

Will you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Football? Movies?

We’ll probably watch the parade- or at least have it on. I think M will enjoy the colors and music if she even notices the TV is on. And then the dog show; all three children will like that.

Who does the cooking? Fix anything ahead of time?

In years past we’ve had lunch at my grandparents (it’s ordered in from a family style restaurant) and dinner at K’s grandparents (made by his grandma and his uncle).
This year we’re dining with my mom and dad (food ordered in + a pie from me) and then with K’s mom and dad (food made by his mom + mashed potatoes from me).

What time do you eat the big meal?

We have two. (Yes, it’s as filling as it sounds.) One at noon, another around 4 or 5p. OOF.

Do you set a formal table or keep things casual? Place cards? Kids table?

Very casual. Sometimes my grandma puts the younger folks in the dining room but the youngest kid is 13 so… there’s no true kid’s table.
Place cards were attempted at K’s grandparents house once and it did NOT go over well. Lol

Is the food place on the table or served buffet style?

Buffet style all around.

Ham or turkey? What’s for dessert?

Ham is ew. Turkey (skin) 4ever. Dessert is the norm- pumpkin pie & pecan pie. This year there will be coconut creme pie and a cookie dough tart (made by me).

Does your family have a thanksgiving tradition?

Hmm. Not really. Some years my dad and I go to breakfast. Not this year 😔

Yay or nay to leftovers? Favorite leftover recipe?

No one EVER sends us home with leftovers! I’d take ’em!

What will everyone wear? Dress up or comfy?

I prefer to look nice on the holidays. Most people wear jeans and a nice sweater or something a little more casual.

For what are you most thankful this year?

Moo, K, & the pups. Family. Our health and safety. The ample togetherness we’ve experienced this year. New leadership. Sustaining work. Privilege and luck in navigating the pandemic. God’s love & grace.


Have a Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! I hope you’re safe, healthy, and full of deliciousness.

Thirty Years Old

Hello, again. Saturday is my 30th birthday. Tomorrow is my last day “in my twenties.” I don’t think I’ll wake up feeling any differently on Saturday, but it’s a strange transition nonetheless.

I loved my twenties. I went to India, graduated college, moved out of my parents’ house, adopted several puppers, married K, had my little Moo, bought and sold a few houses, traveled, found my (fingers crossed) forever job… It was a decade of discovery and growth and freedom. I squeezed a lot into those ten years. K was with me for all of it, too ❤️

I momentarily freaked out when I hit 25 but I have no qualms about 30. I truly have everything I want and I’m excited to live my life in that mindset. We’re comfortable, we’re in love, we’re happy. Is 2020 a weird sh*t show? For sure. But personally I’m entering my 30s with confidence.

As such, I thought I’d share 30 thoughts/tips/pieces of advice that I live by…

  1. Look up.
  2. People, animals, and experiences will make you rich. Things will not.
  3. Speak clearly and learn to communicate well. It will alleviate so much heartache.
  4. Spending money to get your dog(s) groomed is worth it.
  5. When you can help someone, help them. When you need help, ask for it.
  6. Pay attention to what and who bring you joy- then invest your time & energy there.
  7. Find your people and show up for them. Quality over quantity.
  8. Know how to calm your mind: pray, read, meditate, write. I prefer sitting in the dark.
  9. Clean your dishwasher & washing machines. I guarantee they’re gross.
  10. Same with fan blades.
  11. The miracle of aging is a gift. Accept your mortality & appreciate your longevity.
  12. “No” is a complete sentence.
  13. Eating chocolate before bed makes for some really weird dreams.
  14. You’re not for everyone. Everyone’s not for you. See #23.
  15. The most rewarding things are often the hardest things.
  16. You can do hard things.
  17. Less really is more.
  18. Order a side of gravy for dipping when you get fries at Dairy Queen. Trust me.
  19. Eat your veggies. And if you don’t like veggies, change how you cook them. They’re delish.
  20. Honesty is the best policy but sometimes silence is the best option.
  21. Respect your sig. other & give him or her the benefit of the doubt. They are on your side.
  22. Drink more water.
  23. It takes all kinds of kinds.
  24. Wild animals are meant to be wild.
  25. The grass is greener where you water it. (K says this a lot actually.)
  26. Adopt don’t shop.
  27. Always try to be kind. You don’t always need to be nice, though.
  28. Absolutely positively NOTHING is guaranteed. And no one owes you a damn thing.
  29. It’s not a good deal if you can’t afford it.
  30. Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours brighter.

Just call me the Audi Lama. I kid, I kid. Sometimes (often) I fail to take my own advice, but over the past three decades these are the things I’ve learned bring me the most joy and serenity.

What am I doing for my birthday, you ask? Getting a professional manicure (FINALLY! I’ll be masked up, obvi), going on a family hike, and playing a board game at home. Coming into my 30s like a mad woman! 😉