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on making time to write.

I am currently drinking coffee and (accidentally) eating a couple pieces of the candy I bought yesterday for the Trick-or-Treaters tomorrow. Muffled light seeps into the kitchen from the laundry room - every other light is off downstairs. And even though I feel like I would rather be in bed snoozing during this (usually small) window of time when both of my children are asleep for nap time, I am writing.

It's so easy to scroll Instagram in these moments, isn't it? To escape out of our own lives for a bit, to see what others are up to, to see what leggings and boots and coats our favorite "influencers" are pushing. To watch story after story after story.

I get it, I really do. But I have to make a change.

I used to have a lot of time to devote to reading and writing. It was one of the main things I did each day, and looking back on it now, I know that is because reading and writing bring me a joy that is life-enhancing. Give me a well-worn library book, give me the la…
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from the floor of a bedroom, part two.

Good morning from Lake Norman. 
Yesterday, Justin, the boys, & I went out for Saturday morning coffee. When it was time to return home, we decided to just keep driving, & this is where we ended up. It has afforded us an impromptu visit with family, as well as a respite from daily life in our own little bubble. 
Life lately has consisted of adhering to nap times, drinking inordinate amounts of coffee, having hummus & crackers with my two-and-a-half-year-old, & trying to squeeze in some sleep here & there. We are currently making our way through the four month sleep regression. I phrase it in that way because I truly believe that this particular developmental milestone demands that you simply survive. Sure, I've read the books, I follow the sleep experts on Instagram (and watch their stories religiously)... but somehow, we are still met with a bit of a challenge in this department right now. 
I won't sugar coat it - it's hard. And unfortunately, I am one…

travel diary: SHV to ATL.

I've always been an emotional person. As a nine year old, I recall watching The Secret Garden on repeat, crying at the end every time. I remember feeling overcome with emotion as I reflected on how far all of the characters had come, how much they all had grown. My parents always asked me, "Why do you watch that movie, if you know it makes you cry?" 
Excellent question. But I didn't know the answer then, and I still don't really know the answer now. 
Now, I am an overly-emotional pregnant person. Things like seeing my favorite Christmas decoration on display the day after Thanksgiving in my parents' home made me cry. So did multiple commercials that we viewed in between football games over the last few days. 
It's always been a part of who I am, and I am guessing that it always will be. The one thing that makes it hard? I get embarrassed. Our society isn't one that really accepts emotional outbursts of any kind, especially in public. So, what am I su…

thankful.

Of course this week lends itself to the making of mental lists of things for which we are thankful. My list this year contains all of the usual suspects, including family, health, and safe travels down to Louisiana to celebrate. 
But this year, there's another item on my list. Something I have taken for granted in the past, though I always should have known better. It's something that has largely evaded me in recent months... well, years. It's something I've felt intermittently, sometimes unexpectedly, but haven't acted upon in quite a while. 
What is it? 
Inspiration. Simple, blessed, inspiration. 
I feel it most often when I return to Shreveport, to the Ontario House. Something about this house leads me right into the arms of waiting words. Maybe it's the proximity to so many loved ones. Maybe it's all the work and labors of love that have gone into making this house our family home of so many years. Maybe it's the memories of sitting at the dining r…

on consistency & self discipline.

hastily tapped out in my phone notes while en route from Denver to Raleigh last week - 

I'll never understand why I stop doing things that I like.

Working out. Eating healthfully. Writing on this blog. 
Human nature seems to dictate this weird need to depart from routines and activities and tasks, even if those things are beloved to us. Do we need a break from the monotony? Do we secretly need to rebel? Are we all just that wishy washy? 
Maybe it's just me. But really, drawing from conversations with friends, I'm quite sure that it is not just me. Many of us seem to have to struggle inwardly against ourselves to make sure we are doing - consistently - the things that we love. 
I know people who don't seem to struggle in this way. And a character trait that I observe in them, alongside this faithful, relentless, and unfailing consistency? Self discipline. 
A long time ago, in what was probably 2006 or 2007, there was this feature you were able to install on Facebook tha…

the sunday currently, volume 124.

beautiful flowers all around vail
readingFierce, by Aly Raisman. A couple of weeks ago, I finally finished Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty, which I really enjoyed.
writing a lot in my bullet journal, including adding photos and keepsakes. It's been a while since I've done this kind of journaling, and it really is my favorite.
listening to the Office while typing out this blog post. Nothing makes me feel better like this show does.
thinking that I am really glad that Justin and I built in some trip recovery time on the back end of our trek to Colorado. It really does take some time to get re-acclimated to the time zone you've returned to. We've both been feeling so tired since we got back.
smelling coffee and donuts. The breakfast of champions.
wishing for some tortilla soup today. I had some at a place called Hacienda Colorado in Denver. It was so good, and I've been craving it ever since.
hoping for a productive and joyful week ahead.
wearing pajamas, just like I have …

small kindnesses.

Last night, Luke and I met Justin for dinner at a little Italian restaurant around the corner from our house. We had only been there once before, but I had really loved it and had anticipated going back. 
When we walked in, I was struck again with the little joys of this place: green and white penny tile flooring, the glow of tea lights, and these white and pink roses, dotted with cranberries. 
As we sat down and got settled, I took my phone out and snapped a quick photo, as you see above. As I was doing so, the waitress swept over and greeted us, began asking what we would like to drink. Slightly embarrassed at being caught doing something so vaguely rude and touristy as photographing flowers in a restaurant, I quickly slipped my phone away and stammered an awkward hello (it's true - and I have the "live photo" evidence to prove it). 
Rather than be annoyed at yet another person tinkering with their phone at the dinner table, the waitress smiled and asked, "Are yo…