The Wednesday Afternoon Post Vol. 2


The first edition of “The Wednesday Afternoon Post” was such lovely mid-week surprise for me! A real burst of energy, if I’m honest. I had so many people write me and let me know that they found it to be a simple and joyful break from their day – something that sparked a smile.

That’s exactly why I did it!

So, here we are. Volume 2. Grab your hot tea and let’s get to it!

  • My husband and I finally bit the bullet and purchased a family plan for Spotify. We both could sit for hourssssss and build custom playlists, so this is perfect for our home. We just started, so we haven’t done much yet, but give us time. Soon we will have a perfectly curated list for every moment, season, and event in your life. THIS was the first list I created, obviously. My love for 1960s music knows no bounds.
  • Speaking of music, THIS is my favorite soundtrack of all time. Ironically, I’ve never seen the actual movie.
  •  Are there any “Little Women” fans visiting? Well, if you haven’t heard already, the BBC debuted a remake of the classic novel and it’s already aired across the pond. Us Yankees must wait until May. Can I share my excitement about this? My daughters and I read the book two years ago and even as a 5 and 8 year olds, they were absolutely delighted by Alcott’s poetic and captivating writing. What a gift this book (and hopefully miniseries) is! Visit HERE for a trailer, HERE for my favorite recent edition of Alcott’s masterpiece, and HERE for one of my favorite quotes from the book….on a mug! For coffee (another of my favorite things!)


  • My favorite viral video of last year was, hands down, THIS one. I mean, if that doesn’t perfectly sum up the life of a parent, I’m not sure what does. The mom sliding into the room and trying to close the door on the down-low is just icing on the cake. The following video is popping up everywhere and while it’s only adorable because she isn’t my child…I feel she accurately depicts how I feel about the following items: 1.) sleep, 2.) coffee, 3.) Diet Coke and 4.) date nights. I understand her anguish.
  • This post about the last farmhouse in Manhattan is tops! It makes me history-loving heart go pitter-patter. This destination will be at the top of my itinerary, whenever I make it back to the Big Apple. The website this post is found on is pretty lovely as well – full of curiosities and obscure goodness!
  • Can I make one recommendation to anyone who is in desperate need of a hearty laugh session? Like LAUGH OUT LOUD?! Buy either THIS or THIS, grab some popcorn, and settle in for a night of sheer happiness. Sean and I watched one and were falling off the couch in tears. He’s so good. And sometimes I think us adults forget to laugh. Here’s a preview (incidentally, also my parenting method:)


I hope this post finds you enjoying your Wednesday and I look forward to sharing more next week. I’m off to brew my afternoon coffee and stare out the window at the gloom that’s settled over Southern California.

this is parenting // this is life now


Edited to add:

Within 12 hours of writing this post, I found out that a dear friend lost her father and a friend of the family had passed. Within the last few months, Sean and I have watched people we know lose their battle to cancer, be diagnosed with debilitating disease, or walk through dark trials of losing children, coming up short with finances or facing fears. Within the last few years, Sean and I have walked through some really difficult life circumstances alongside many of our best of friends, managing to deal with their own hardships. Why do I share this? Because it adds an additional layer of deep richness to the following post. While we are parenting, we are still living life. The good, the bad and the incredibly painful. And the only way to walk through it, plainly stated, is to walk right through it.

Hand in hand with your children. Your spouse. And know the Lord is doing something. Something much larger than we could imagine.


I’m laying in bed, at 4:45pm, with my three year old. She has bilateral ear and throat infections and is generally miserable. She only wants mommy. The other two are downstairs watching television, which I hate because I often feel guilty about their “screen time” (thanks, 2010-2018 parenting blog posts+case studies) and there is laundry/dishes/homeschool prep that needs getting to. So much laundry.

But here I lay, watching Bubble Guppies (her choice, not mine) because it’s all that keeps her from grabbing her ear and shrieking (not an exaggeration) in pain. She’s irritated that I’m typing and not watching, but I haven’t sat once today and had, once upon a time in 2017, told myself I would write more frequently, in 2018. Which has been going just as I expected.

This is motherhood.

Parenting has so many shapes, sub-divisions, and emotions. I don’t even have time to feel like I’ve figured something out, before I start to feel confused again. It’s not always a bad confusion – it’s more like being a mathematician, and being handed a complicated algorithm, and asked to trace its origin {can you tell I am extremely inept with math, by that example?} You enjoy the process because you’re a mathematician, after all. But, it’s challenging, and the second you’ve solved something, another “something” arises.

From decoding the range of emotions that pre-adolescent females are discovering, to explaining why some relationships flourish while others wither, to navigating anxiety, anger, compulsions or sin….parenting is overwhelming.

Those descriptions could, at first glance, seem like they merit complaint or that I’m only characterizing the negative parts of parenting, but it’s not meant to be that way. To raise children is a gift that I couldn’t possibly take for granted. I’m glad to walk through confusion, life-altering happiness, and deep grief with my husband and children. I would have it no other way, although I’m sure if someone explained to me the in’s and out’s of parenthood, prior to giving birth….I might have declined, initially.

There’s no way of understanding until you’re inside the vortex and that’s a very good thing. We are selfish by nature and parenthood is about giving, in large part, and I’m convinced we wouldn’t choose it on most days – if you didn’t understand the amazing give-back and refining it pushes you towards. God has used parenting to expose me, leave me floundering and bring me unparalleled purpose. Being a parent has also elevated my affection for my husband – marrying him and being linked to him, for the rest of my life, is the greatest joy I will have this side of heaven. I never have enough words to describe my deep pleasure with the covenant of marriage. Being allowed to raise children is often something I am amazed by – why on earth would I be permitted to guide, raise and educated small souls?! It’s quite a gift.

With all these things said (and many others, in posts from the past), I wish to express the beautiful and generally exhausting task of being a parent, being a faithful family member, and being a generous wife.

But man, it’s hard.

I’m constantly questioning if I’m “doing it right”. I wonder if I’m going to screw my kids up by homeschooling, if I’m too strict, if I’m too loose, if I don’t teach them enough about God, if I preach too much at them, if I do too many Bible lessons and not enough STEM projects. I think about how much their reading vs. playing outdoors, or maybe the food I’m feeding them is going to eventually eat their insides and leave them with a disease since it’s not all organic. I yell too much! I don’t yell enough. I’m not their friend enough. I spend too much time with them! I go on too many date nights with my husband. I’m raising entitled kids in SoCal and they aren’t exposed to the real world! They are too exposed, aren’t they?! I’m too protective! I’m not protective enough! I don’t let them express themselves enough, oh my gosh I let them express themselves way too much STOP IT KIDS. And the worst fear of all. The one that keeps me up at night, often.

What if my children never really know the Lord? What if…..

It’s a hamster wheel of revolving emotions. And I’m convinced it never, ever stops. Parents just get better at not freaking out quite as much, the older their children get. They’re still grappling with it because you never stop being a parent.

Your kids may leave you, hate you, love you, respect you, or never want your opinion.

But that will never change the fact that you’re still the human that bathed them, changed them, reassured them and gave them the tools for adulthood.

That is why it’s so exhausting.

I can deal with ear infections alllll day long because it’s temporary. But the rest of being a mother – the realizing that the Lord instructs me how to act virtuously towards my children, yet one day they will leave and may never understand anything Sean and I did – that’s my stumbling block. Because I am not perfect and I fail (often) and have to ask forgiveness, from my children. I only have a few years and man…..I hope I’m doing enough. I hate the vulnerability of it, but there isn’t another way to be. In the end, I’m simply an instrument to be used in their formation. An instrument to draw them closer to Him, His truth and His virtue. That’s it.

God is teaching me. He’s humbling me. He’s breaking me, and He is lifting my head.

This is parenting. This is motherhood. This is the most beautiful season of life. Right now.

reading now // next to my armchair


As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Christmas is a time of peace, quiet and lingering, for our family. Surprisingly to most people, our December calendar is generally pretty empty. Towards the end of the month, we really hibernate, spend time with friends, and hunker down together (hopefully this year, in the mountains.)

As we spend our days together, we are surrounded by several things – good food, good people and good books. This Friday announces the beginning of December, but I’ve already kicked off our Christmas reading (we already have our tree up, so why not?!)

Below I share the books we currently have our noses in – some holiday related. I hope you’ll find one that sounds just perfect to accompany a warm cup of tea, and a comfortable blanket. I have a turquoise armchair that I like to curl up in (with an electric blanket that my family teases me about, relentlessly) and these are some of the books you’ll find on the table, next to my cuppa.


Next to my armchair:

The Common Book of Prayer (my copy was found at an estate sale, but they sale them on Amazon and they are red, too)

Come Let Us Adore Him (this is a new way to celebrate advent and the anticipation of the birth of the Christ child. I’m very excited to begin this)

Mere Motherhood (i love this real, raw account of a veteran homeschooling mother)

Pleasing People (a convicting, must-read for us recovering, type-A people pleasers)

Respectable Sins (an even more convicting book)

The LifeGiving Table (a beautiful call to intentional “being” with our family and loved ones)

For Advent:

A Simple Advent Guide by Tsh Oxenreider (new this year, it’s simple and lovely)

We Light the Candles (we’ve used this in years past and love it’s simplicity and focus on Christ)

Slow + Sacred (created by my dear friend, it’s simply beautiful)

For the children:

An Orange For Frankie (just heartwarming – in tears by the end)

Seek and Find Christmas Carol (adorable for the kids to do together – whimsical illustrations)

Little House Christmas (if you love the Ingalls family, you’ll love these short excerpts – we read one a week, by the fire)

Little Woman Christmas (Alcott makes Christmas so darn charming)

Happy Reading!

Christmas came early // breaking tradition


Breaking tradition felt good and needed.

I didn’t apologize or care that I wasn’t supposed to.

After the year I’ve had, I looked at my husband last weekend and said, “Do we HAVE to wait until people leave on Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas?” To which he wisely answered, “Of course not! Let’s go get a tree right now. Who cares if it’s fake. Who cares?”

So we bucked 15 years of marital traditions. 37 years of resolute Christmas choices on my end. Real trees only. Christmas music in December only. NO talk of anything Christmas before Thanksgiving! No!

We bucked tradition and we decorated, listened to Christmas carols and sipped hot toddies on November 13th. A cardinal sin in my house.


It felt good. It felt sooo good.

And maybe no one would have cared if I did this a decade ago. Maybe I created these so-called Christmas fundamentalist people in my mind, because I myself was one (although people get really heated about the Christmas carol discussion, which is hilarious.)

I was a Christmas fundie for no good reason. It’s exhausting caring so much about non-salvation issues.

It’s good to grow up and realize. And celebrate joy when needed. And break tradition, once in awhile.

the rich life // abundance + sanctuary


Without question, my very favorite days are those spent at home. The days where we have no commitments or errands to run. We spend the entire day reading and solving math problems, washing dishes, loading the laundry and refilling the coffee mug over and over. We have these days often and I wake up very peaceful and grateful, looking forward to what the day will hold.

This post serves no purpose at all except to share how very grateful I am for the current stage of life we are in with our children. Our home is a place of learning, refuge, gladness and sanctuary. It seems each day I hear of another national or international tragedy and I am jolted back in line – realizing I am so very blessed to have a minivan in the driveway, and my three girls sitting next to me. Some wish they had those comforts. It makes me cling to my family and prayerfully rejoice in our small life. Live in utmost gratefulness and give to others. It’s small but it’s so significant. In a year of personal upheaval, our home has been a place of joy and abundance. A year of good books, togetherness, bonding and expanding minds.

I am certain I will always look back on this particular time in our life with fondness. The light within these four walls is a sweet respite from a dark world.


forgotten history // our new muse.


Recently, I claimed a concentration. I’ve entered back into the world of academia (wait, I never really left – homeschooling/teaching/always learning!) I’m doing my darnedest to gradate with my MA in American History. It was a back-and-forth debate on whether I should focus on my native country, or Military History, but eventually I came to peace with my choice – when I first started discovering my passion for history, it centered on my homeland and that has always remained of the most interest to me. This is not to say I am not thoroughly intrigued with European, Public or Ancient history – I most certainly am! However, the American experiment has my heart.

Within my first three terms, I’ve had the opportunity to research/write about The Great Depression, FDR and the game-changing photojournalism featuring Dust-Bowl migrants, destitute farmers, and urban squalor. It’s been enlightening and all-together wonderful.

I absolutely love history.

I’ve also found a renewed interest in forgotten history. I’ve long had a thing for historical “leftovers”. The subjects and materials that no one writes books about (well, except this one.) The articles of the past that are left at estate sales (that I capture and give new life to) and the stories that are rarely recounted or heard. I could pour over historical trivia, ephemera, and little-known accounts for my entire life, and never tire.

We recently renovated our home and it offered us a clean slate. Our walls have never been more bare, and with this golden opportunity, I decided to begin a new collection that I’ve always desired to start. Vintage portraits of unknown people. I took down our “flower wall” (any of you remember it?) and Sean and I have taken a new direction. Slow and steady is the key – finding the portraits that peak our curiosity the most.

I recently stumbled upon an ETSY seller that I was instantly captured by. She had a portrait that spoke to me (the fabulously dressed muse at seen at the top of this post), and after some time and deliberation, we purchased it. Come to find out, the portrait has a little American history of its own, which made it more than just a striking piece! It turns out that the artist is C.L. MacNelly. MacNelly was the publisher of the Saturday Evening Post from 1961-1964. This was after he served in the Navy in WW2. Later in life he turned toward portrait painting, and painted many politicians and famous figures, including Barry Goldwater, Hugh Downs, and Billy Graham (you can learn more about him here). Our lovely lady is said to have been the wife of a Portuguese Ambassador, visiting the United States, in the late 60s. I do wish I knew more of her story. I’ll settle for this beautiful rendering, however. It’s colorful and soothing and has vibrant life. This is the first piece of art we’ve had in our home which came with appraisal papers & a back story, which makes it somewhat traceable. Most of our past wall-hangings have been cast-offs, found in dusty attics and back-alleys. It’s an exciting change and one that has me searching for my next portrait.

Until I find another of the same stature, I must find a name for this lovely woman. Have any suggestions? I’d love to hear them!


If you’re anything like I am, you can easily be distracted by a post/article/book that reveals lost history. Here are a few online suggestions for your viewing pleasure, that I’ve recently enjoyed. There’s more where these came from – I could fill post after post with intriguing historical curiosities. For now, have fun discovering!

I’ve been searching, buying and recovering vintage/antique photos for years and have seen my fair share of forsaken photo collections, but never like this: Rescued Film Project

Personal tales of Civil War families.

What a lovely Restoration story, full of rich American history.

Abandoned America is a fun website that will turn into a rabbit hole adventure. It’s eerie and somewhat sad.

I almost fell over learning about this failed 1930s town. You can also grab a book on it here!

The changing landscape of heirlooms and passed-down family treasures.

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.”

Winston Churchill

day to day // ritual


Phillipians 4:4

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”


Being a stay-at-home mother and a homeschooling educator, I spend most of my time in our home. I also spend most of my time awake. Running up and down stairs, preparing food (SO MUCH FOOD ALL THE TIME), checking homework, diagramming sentences and breaking up quarrels. Reading books out loud, buying books on Audible (the best app in all the world), ordering them from Amazon, reviewing them and reading some more. Reminding children to use manners, say their prayers and stop sassin’.

It’s a good life. A really good life.

In fact, I can’t imagine living any other way. Well, actually I dream daily about owning a huge lot of land with hills and trees and twirling around all over it, similar to Maria in Sound of Music. But where I am right now is where God has me, and I do love it for many reasons, even without a wrap-around porch. I’ve been growing and learning much about contentment lately. It’s a choice and I’m choosing it. My friend and I have been mulling over the concept together and it’s been beneficial for me.

I find that each day is even more enjoyable with a few small daily traditions. Perhaps rituals is a better choice to describe what I mean. These are things that I can do to put a small spark in each day, even though each day has plenty of its own. I’m growing in contentment while also observing lovely things and allowing each day to move slowly and organically, as the Lord leads.

When my days include the following, everything is a bit more lovely.


I’m a vintage-collector, so I frequent estate sales. At one particularly large home, I found a treasure trove of books. I’m not sure I can explain just how elated I was. Underneath the stacks and stacks, I found this small devotional. It has become a cornerstone of my days and brings me such simple assurance. If you’re anything like Susanna Wesley, and only have a few moments to spare each day, throw that apron over your head and give those minutes to the Lord. Now go and try to find this book online. It’s worth the price and was certainly worth climbing around in a dusty attic.


Candles have been and will be my downfall. I have them lit, each and every day, and they warm my soul. This is a current favorite and while costly, absolutely ushers in the feeling of Fall. I’m able to be reminded of the beautiful seasons the Lord provides. There was a time I questioned our budget line-item for candles. But smell is and always has been so important to me. It’s a nostalgic trigger and almost always a pleasant one. It’s equally important my children have the chance at that too. Perhaps that’s weird but I’m sticking with it. I feel justified when we are out and smell something and my daughters share memories tied to their childhood, based on a scent. Both good and bad. Just think about your favorite smells and allow your mind to venture down memory lane (and take a gander at this interesting article, too.)


Music is a non-negotiable part of our homeschool day. It’s always on (music was my way of releasing the need for the news to constantly serve as background noise). If you have an Amazon Prime account (you simply must), head over to the music section and enjoy the abundant selection of free music, at your fingertips! Our favorite “Prime albums” are: “100 Must Have BACH Masterpieces”, “Classical For Learning”, Tiersen: Pour Amelie Piano Music” and “Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris”. There are loads more, but these are our favorites. Along with this, this and this soundtrack.


I listen to The World And Everything In It and The Briefing daily. They are my source for daily news, from a Biblical perspective. I also receive this monthly magazine. These are both invaluable, inspirational and continually resources which bring me back to the foundation – God is in control. I am not. This is a good thing. I check no other news sources in the morning until I have checked these.


I hope several of my “rituals” might bring you renewed joy and bring gladness.


ugly // magnificent


For every evil and ugly moment in this lifetime, there is a flash of magnificence. I believe these sparks to be much more potent, simply because they are in front of us, almost waiting to come alive. Waiting for when we desire goodness and mercy the most. We wish to be separated completely from the graveyard of heinous forces that surrounds us. Oh, the goodness and simplicity of each day, right in front of us, and so easily ignored. But in the midst of tragedy, chaos, everything sharpens into crystal-clear snapshots of beauty. Flash! We are asleep to the artistry at our fingertips and there it is, glowing and warm and it saves us, at times.

While mourning continues and tears are flowing. While our country bleeds and experiences the fracturing and breaking that has been happening for so so long. While fathers and mothers go home to quiet houses and find no voice on the other side of the phone call. While communities are wrecked with emptiness and loss and hunger. While children wait for parents and adults lay in streets, full of poison and pain and loneliness. While a young girl goes home, emptied from the inside, once again alone. While a small child runs to his room, scared. While a couple says goodbye.

While a nation loses its footing. Loses its sight.

While everything is being stripped away, day by day….

I see

A group of six grey-haired woman, sitting in a living room laughing.

Eight girls kicking a soccer ball, while the sun fades to pink.

A little toddler watching ants crawl into cracks and out of sandy holes.

An elderly couple take their morning walk, hand in hand.

The same gardener seen each morning, giving a wave to a child.

The waitress bringing an unmerited cookie to a young child, knowing the mother just needs a second of quiet.

Two kids sharing a lunch sack at the local park, laughing at what shapes the crackers make.

Local business owners come outside to fly their flag at half-staff.

Lights on at every church on the corner, bodies walking in for weekly communing.


The world around us is dying and at the same time so many moments are bursting to life.


dwelling // comfort

“God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.” – C.S. Lewis

I’m finding that I can fill our home with all of the comfort and light, warmth and softness that this world may offer, but if I am not dwelling on the Lord, our family dwelling will be quite dim.

May each square inch of our home be a balm from the outside world and a respite from its darkness.

May we rest here.

old school // new school

Take a trip with me.

We’re headed down memory lane….back, back, back to the old days of blogging. When people had blog rolls and commented. They lingered long enough (on one page) to actually read the entire post. We learned about one another and made cross-continent friends. We enjoyed checking in on the daily activities of others and attended blogging conferences to finally meet someone in real life. It sounds similar to modern-day Instagram or FaceBook, but it was so much different.

I’m not sure why it was, but it was. And I enjoyed that sort of sharing. I miss it. I miss reading the thoughts of others without all of the monetization and blinking ads. All those sponsored posts make it hard to know what someone is really thinking.

I’m waxing nostalgic, I know. There’s always an element of forgetfulness when we look backwards but I still maintain that the purity of that old school platform and I suppose I’m doing my part to usher it back.

Let’s bring back the golden age of blogging, shall we?