Portrait One

22 August 2017

(One of the things on my 32 Things Before 32 list is to take a self-portrait once per month. Here's August.) 


I see a lot of things when I look at this photograph. I hate to admit how many pictures I took before I landed on one that was decent, at least in my mind.  I'm usually the girl behind the camera not the one in front of the camera. I feel a lot of things looking at this photograph. I had a baby a mere seven weeks ago and I can see the extra weight on my frame and in my face. My pants are a few sizes larger than I would like them to be. I wear a lot of tunics right now. In the past, I have always shied away from being in photographs when I don't feel the best in my own skin. I don't feel the best in my own skin lately. Postpartum skin is always an adventure and a process.  Healing from a c-section has been something I would like to not have to experience ever again. I'm ravenously hungry pretty much all of the time when I am breastfeeding and never feel fully satisfied. 

Sure, I have some weight to lose. Sure, my eyes look tired because I have a seven week old and a toddler to care for. Sure, there are some things I would change. 

But, you know what else I see? I see a woman that carried two children for 9 months each in this body. I have fed and nurtured two children with this body. I see a woman that is trying her best to parent two children well and to give them the very best life that we can in our home. I see a woman that is strong and capable. I see of woman that has dreams and aspirations, goals and hopes. I see a woman that is in a season that has never before been experienced. A new challenge, a new hope. 

"From the very beginning, we grow and mature because problems propel us towards solutions. Hunger drives us to attain what we do not have; discomforts push us through frustrations. So our babies grow strong, creative, and smart-- because they persevere. In the same way, our adult minds and bodies do not thrive through comfort, but challenge. Life throws a million curveballs demanding brave responses. By walking though the darkness, taking every despairing step until we reach the land of dawn-- this is how we learn to love goodness, to sacrifice for beauty, and to cultivate enough hope for the next time. Even if next time the valley is darker and longer than before."  

Catherine McNiel   Long Days of Small Things

Baby Sullivan | Week Seven

21 August 2017



Week seven is here. Every week I say it and I will say it again...time is moving quickly. This week feels fresh and new. We are slowly getting into the swing of things and my heart has been so full the past few days. I look at my life and cannot believe I get to be a part of it, honestly. I guess I've just been feeling extra blessed lately, like everything is falling into place and life is pretty darn good lately. Do I still feel a bit of new baby fog? Of course, but overall I feel like we are landing on a good schedule and many good things are coming in the near future.





Sullivan has given us the awesome gift of sleeping through the night for the past few nights. We had one rough night last week and that was it. Other than that, we are getting much longer stretches of time. We feed him one last time around 9pm and he's been sleeping until 4:30 or 5am. How did we get so lucky? I shouldn't say that because I don't want to jinx it. Seriously though, it's crazy. I wake up feeling far more rested than before. I've just been getting up after I feed him in the mornings and I feel like I'm slowly gaining some sanity and clarity for this season. Being able to have quiet time for even just a little while is life giving.



Another milestone this week is that we had to trim the baby fingernails. Every parent knows how utterly terrifying that can be. Luckily, Ryan always seems to do it for me. He's awesome like that. We will keep him around. We are also seeing lots of smiles lately from Sullivan and I still can't seem to capture one in a photograph. He has been awake a lot more during the day and it's been fun to see his little personality start to shine through. 



I've been making it a point to not just aimlessly look at my phone while nursing him and that seems to be working out well for me. Instead, I've been reading. It's refreshing to not have my eyes glued to a phone screen constantly. Half of the stuff on Facebook nowadays stinks and I'd rather fill my mind and heart with something better. I just finished The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You. I just started Mom Enough: The Fearless Mother's Heart and Hope



I returned to work part time last week and it feels good to be back and having some conversations with adults. I hit the ground running and quickly dove into scheduling, finance stuff, payroll, etc. Most of my anxiety has fallen away and I am excited for the season ahead. Also, fall is coming, my very favorite time of the year. 


Week Seven. 


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Baby Sullivan | Week Six

14 August 2017



I almost missed posting this on a Monday as planned, but we have hit six weeks with this little man. He slept through the night again last night and I always feel like I've hit the sleep lottery. An uninterrupted seven hours of sleep is the best gift anyone can give me at this season of my life. 

On Sunday, we finally made it back to church. Since I work for a church, I've been avoiding it the last few weeks just because I knew that I needed to just spend time with my family and not worry about work. Honestly, I've had a lot of anxiety lately about returning to work. I spent a lot of time stupidly wondering if I would be needed upon my return. Going to church on Sunday was a breath of fresh air and I'm thankful that my anxiety has decreased majorly. As of Sunday, I am back to work part time, mostly from home for a few more weeks. It feels good to work my brain again and not just be a milk factory for a cute little dude. It felt good to have adult conversations and make my little lists. 

I turned in the paperwork for Marin to go preschool this evening. We are barreling towards the beginning of the school year at warp speed. I think it will be very good to have her around more kids twice a week. Our involvement as parents is pretty intense because it's a preschool co-op and I'm trying not to become overwhelmed by that. Lots of committees and teach days but Marin will be with a bunch of her friends and the preschool is practically across the street from us. 
I'm looking forward to fall. Sullivan is seriously such an easy baby so far. He eats well, sleeps decently well.  I've been trying to capture a picture of his cute little smile but have yet to get a good photo. He is growing so much every day. As of today, he is 44 days old. Marin is adapting to life with a sibling. I've been using Clicklist through King Soopers and not having to go into a grocery store with two kids has been wonderful. I'm heading back to work and my favorite season of all will soon be upon us. 



Lots of change around here, but I feel like I'm slowly gaining clarity for the season that is upon us. 

Week Six. 



32 Things Before 32

08 August 2017



Every year for the past few years, I've written a list around my birthday. This list consists of many things that I want to accomplish in the new year in front of me. Last year, I didn't do very well on checking items off of my list. I found out I was pregnant in October and many items on the list ended up never being completed. I was a little preoccupied with growing a human. But, now I have begun my 32nd year, Sullivan was born in July and I have created a new, fresh list, just waiting to completed.

Here is my list from last year.....

1. Read 31 books. (I read 20)
3. Get pregnant with #2.
4. Paint the outside of our house.
5. Embrace a side hustle.
6. Play a show.
7. See the ocean.
8. Make a big purchase with cash.  (We roofed our house and paid cash for it!) 
9. Get another tattoo. (Can't get inked when you are pregnant) 
12. Get a deep tissue massage.
13. Redo our basement: paint everything, new flooring, doors, etc. 
14. Finish a song. 
15. Go to a drive-in movie. 
16. Start writing a book. 
17. Thrift more. 
18. Increase our curb appeal.
19. Travel somewhere new. 
20. Build up an emergency fund. (About half way there...) 
21. Meal plan and decrease our grocery budget. 
22. Purge the entire house, every room!
23. Develop a product or new venture.  
24. Get family pictures taken. 
27. Read the Dark Tower Series, Harry Potter Series, and Anne of Green Gables Series. (I made it about half way through two of these series) 
28. Take a class. 
29. Seasonal Fun: pumpkin patch, picking strawberries, the zoo, parades, the fair, etc. 
30. See a show at Red Rocks
31. Splurge on the perfect pair of jeans. 

Here is my list for this new year....

1. Read 32 books. 
2. Learn how to use my pressure cooker & air fryer. 
3. Re-do our basement. 
4. Paint the outside of our home. 
5. Landscape our yard and rebuild back porch. 
6. Replace all interior doors. 
7. Create a plan to become debt free by 2020 (including student loans....) 
8. Rejoin Weight Watchers meetings
9. Get another tattoo
10. Get family photos taken & print some photo books. 
11. Finish writing a song. 
12. Go to the dentist and the doctor for exams. 
13. Get a massage. 
14. Family walks. 
15. Take a family vacation. 
16. Have time away with my hubby. 
17. Embrace a side hustle. 
18. Breastfeed Sullivan for one year. 
19. Reset up the practice space and actually play our music gear. 
20. Design a product. 
21. Go to the drive-in. 
22. Blog consistently and revamp blog layout. 
23. Finish reading the Bible In a Year. 
24. Go to a concert. 
25. 12 date nights. 
26. Take a Barre Method Class
27. Finish the Dark Tower/Harry Potter Series. 
28. Get a facial. 
29. Take one self-portrait a month. 
30. Grow something. 
31. Start a new family tradition. 
32. Start saving money for our 10 year anniversary trip. 

I am ready to dive head first into this new year. I feel like I'm just beginning the journey once more of re-learning how to be myself after having a baby. I'm excited for what this year holds. Hello thirty two. 

Baby Sullivan | Week Five

07 August 2017


Week Five, here we are. We made it through the first month of a newborn and a toddler. We made it through the first month of nights with lots of wake up calls, feeling like I'm just simply a milk machine, and learning how to live our lives with two children. 


Little Sullivan is growing like a weed. He eats like a champ, usually every 3 hours or so at the moment. Some nights we only wake once, some nights we wake twice. We gave him his second bath and he just chills while in the tub. He naps decently well and I have no idea how I'm going to function in reality once he doesn't just eat and sleep all of the time. 


Marin is still adjusting but loves her little brother. She always asks to hold him and kisses his little fuzzy head when I'm nursing. We've had our share of tantrums lately but overall she is adjusting well to being a big sister. As long as I rope her in to help, we seem to be doing well. As I said in the past few weeks, having family take her for extended periods of time to get her out of the house has been a life saver. She has started mimicking me when I nurse with her bunny Bernie and a little nursing pillow. Our kids are always watching us. It's adorable. 


I go back to work from home, part time next week. This is my last week of total freedom and hardly any responsiblities. Part of me is ready to transition back into something that will get my brain working again but the other part of me doesn't want this season to end. Just being able to hang out with our kiddos all day is pretty dang awesome. I don't think I could ever be fully a stay at home mom, but these last few weeks have been very needed for my sanity and to heal from his birth. 


Week Five.