The BEST dating advice I received


Thank you Anabell Jimenez for taking this photo!

The last couple of days I have been walking down memory lane.

My parents sold their house, so I have been going through boxes and boxes of stuff that I had stored in their basement—seeing what I want to keep and what I should give away or toss.

There were cards from every birthday, my old flute and childhood keyboard, beautiful hand-sewn dolls I received every year from a neighbor, a little coin collection, and even a container with all of my old baby teeth (eeks).

There were notes galore from childhood friends. Some of the notes folded and passed in school and others received by mail. I even found a couple I had written and evidently never sent! And a couple from a person I can’t recall for the life of me. Continue reading

Your thoughts affect your happiness

imageThoughts precede emotions. In other words, thoughts shape how you feel.

Positive psychology has found: happiness, anger, anxiety, and sadness ALWAYS follow thoughts connected to each particular emotion.

So, that makes your thoughts very powerful things. And  that means your thoughts affect your happiness.

What this looks like for me

I have found in my own life that the things I think, the things I allow myself to meditate on, are hugely important. Hugely important for my marriage and work. Hugely important for all areas of life.

That what I think Continue reading

Vitamin D3 keeps you well

So, the last week or so, a cold traveled through my little family. First it was Abigail and then Haddie. Finally, Brance came down with it, worse than the kids–a runny nose that has lasted for days and days. (He’s still carrying tissues with him on our anniversary getaway.)

And I waited, expecting it hit me any day.

It seemed unavoidable. I had been planted with slobbery, sweet kisses from my sick niece (the cute source of the cold :). Then, I accidentally ate a bite of the girls’ food in the midst of high fevers. AND received a sniffly, loving kiss Continue reading

Thoughts on Paris & Syria, please

Beautiful RoseA lot has happened in the last couple of days (weeks and months, really). A lot of hard, heavy things.

These days I stay busy. Mostly, I am busy taking care of my little family – homeschooling, folding clothes, holding and comforting, washing dishes, cooking, listening to little voices with big hearts tell me their thoughts and dreams and hopes. And I snatch a moment here and there for this blog.

I occasionally check news. But I must admit, news can feel overwhelming. Even the headlines. And so, sometimes, I choose not to look.

But when things as large as Paris and Syria happen, there is Continue reading

10 Sensory ideas to rekindle the romantic flame

Couple HuggingOur senses are powerful. Use them to tap into some of the fire you felt early on in your relationship. Here are 10 ways to do just that!

1. Light candles and listen to music you played together when you first fell in love.

2. Wear the fragrances, perfume and cologne, from your dating days. Snuggle up close.

3. Visit your old dating haunts. Sit at the same tables, order similar food and drink, hike the same trails etc.

4. Watch a movie from your first year together and make out.

5. Dance to your wedding music, especially your first dance.

6. Hold hands, hug, and kiss in public like the “olden” days, unaware of who is watching.

7. Cook or order out a meal you ate when dating and eat it picnic-style in your living room.

8. Send a Continue reading

The person I am behind closed doors

Several years ago I realized something about myself–something that shook me to my core.

I realized that I didn’t extend the same level of kindness and grace and self-control with my dear little family as I did with friends, and acquaintances, and sadly, even, strangers.

It wasn’t that I was a monster (or anything remotely like that) with my family. It’s just that I was really nice to these other people–really gracious and accommodating. If I was hungry, and grumpy, and exhausted, I always, always hid how I felt. I “went the extra mile”.

With these “other people”, if someone said something rude or hurtful or careless, I did my best to ignore the offense–to forgive when necessary. But when my husband Continue reading

Life is good: radical transformation IS possible

A Life Enjoyed
Thank you Anabell Jimenez!

Life is good.

This was my thought tonight as I meandered through the historic row home-lined streets of our Boston neighborhood, my sweetie by my side. (Although, I am a quick walker and need reminding every couple of blocks that we were meandering and that, no, this wasn’t race.)

It was a perfect kind of night. We were alone. And the cool November air caused me to snuggle further into my down coat and borrow Brance’s gloves. But I love that.

I love this time of year that causes us to dig out our winter coats and look for cozy nooks to warm up with tea or coffee – and preferably a good book.

Brance and I don’t get many date nights, but this was one and I was cherishing every moment we had together – just the two of us. Hanging on every word we were sharing in conversation and laughing and having fun. I was enjoying the adventure of finding the perfect spot to end up for dessert and coffee.

And I was also thinking about Continue reading

Thankful Thursdays: family

I really should be tackling some housework right now.

The dishes are piled up, toys are spread around the house, and things are in general disorder. BUT I have so missed this little practice on the blog and wanted to take time out of my hectic day to breathe and write something I am grateful for.

Because there is always something to give thanks for, it is a good practice to be in, and hectic/crazy days are the days we need it the most. Right?!

Today I am so incredibly grateful for family.

And we are blessed to have a great one – on both sides. I remember being blown away by how wonderful and welcoming Brance’s dad and brothers and extended family were when I first met them. I am still blown away.


You guys, I have the best parents. This is probably the hardest thing about living in Boston – being so far away from them. This may be one of my favorite pictures of the two of them. We took it while they were visiting us a couple of years ago.

I just love it when my brother Bryan and I chat on the phone. We could talk for the longest time about all of our projects and business plans and hopes and dreams. He is a designer/photographer. Isn’t it funny, how a little brother can grow up and become a wise confidant and sounding board? I love it.

IMG_1030And I LOVE it when family comes to see us! Here is a picture I took of my sister Holly and her husband Matthew during a recent visit. Aren’t they the sweetest?! Recently I talked about Brance and my sort of “arranged marriage”. Well, these two have a similar story (involving several years of my mom praying they would end up together). Maybe I can get them to tell you their story someday ;).

PaPa posing for a photo

This is a picture of Brance’s father Rodger who will always remain in our hearts. I am so thankful that I was blessed to know this kind, loving man. He was a great father, grandfather, and father-in-law. We couldn’t have had better.

What are you thankful for today?


Pumpkin pie in a cup

Pumpkin Pie SmoothieI am always on the lookout for dairy-free, low-calorie dessert replacements. And I feel like it is a huge win when I find ones that my family loves too. While my kids and hubby are not on a strict diet like me, I do try to limit sugar and wasted calories in their diet as well


I was super excited to be introduced to this delicious smoothie when hanging with a new friend. We have made it several times since she shared it with us last week. Yum. Our friend is one of those awesome cooks who doesn’t need to measure, so here is a recipe I developed from her delicious pumpkin pie flavored smoothie that my family now calls “pumpkin pie in a cup”.

This recipe makes two servings.


Continue reading