Lifehacks for the Rest of Us

What I learned from painting a wall

room-before-after

I’m back! My summer break was great. I did a lot of good stuff during my offline time, but the most interesting — and unexpected — endeavor was that I painted a room. It all started with reading The Nester‘s book, The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful, which I picked up just before the break. I expected it to be a coffee table book with some decorating tips I might enjoy looking at over my morning cup of coffee. To my surprise, it turned out to be a more of a kick-in-the-pants manifesto about... Read More

Here it is! The free ebook!

family-first-creative-offer

AAAAH! I AM SO EXCITED! For those of you who pre-order my memoir, step right up and get your free ebook! –> Once you have pre-ordered Something Other than God, click here to get your free copy of The Family-First Creative instantly! <– You can see a 10-page preview of The Family-First Creative here. Three important notes: 1. The form you’ll fill out to get the ebook will subscribe you to receive my blog posts by email. I tried to make that part optional, but after spending an obscene amount of time on it and almost throwing... Read More

The Family-First Creative: A little thank-you gift from me, to you

The Family-First Creative

Guys! You are NEVER going to believe what I did. Actually, you’re totally going to believe it. Easily. Okay, it might be the least surprising thing you have heard in weeks. But I’m still delighted to tell you: I wrote an ebook for you! It’s going to be my gift to anyone who pre-orders my memoir. It’s called The Family-First Creative: 42 Tips for Following Your Dreams While Putting Your Family First, and I am ridiculously excited for you to check it out. CLICK HERE FOR A 10-PAGE PREVIEW I knew I wanted to offer a free ebook... Read More

The secret to not being overwhelmed

Shaun the Sheep overdose.

One of the turning points in my life was an email I received from Fr. Joseph Langford, MC back in 2009. He was close friends with Mother Teresa, and she worked with him to found her order of priests. I had the privilege of getting to know Fr. Langford because I was working with him on a website project, and one day when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed, I decided to seek his advice. I note that this was taken while we were re-organizing the house. (If you interpret that to mean that the living room looks much better at the end of a typical... Read More

The lazy nerd’s guide to weight loss

These ARE the running pants that come in "long".

The bad thing about committing yourself to writing a post a day is that it inspires you to write about subjects that you might normally have the good sense to avoid, like weight loss. I know that this topic isn’t everyone’s thing. Joe, for example, stares at the nearest exit like someone trapped in a room filled with skunks (and spiders…and menacing clowns…that is also on fire) every time I bring up what he refers to as “weight loss chat.” However, I have poured a tremendous amount of time and thought and energy... Read More

The courage to rest

Praying the ancient Vespers prayers at sunset. That's the life.

A few years ago, I found myself in a state of being perpetually overwhelmed. I mean, I still feel that way a lot of the time now, but back then it was worse. There was more of a sense of hopelessness, a feeling that I was sinking and couldn’t figure out how to pull myself up. Nothing I did seemed to get us any closer to having a peaceful routine or a house that didn’t look like it was b-roll footage fromĀ Hoarders. I pondered and prayed and whined about the issue for months, then, finally, something clicked. I had an epiphany that would... Read More

22 things I learned in my first ten years of parenthood

Doll face-down in urine on the couch, 2010

As I was sitting here thinking of all the awesomeness that this wonderful, new, non-2013 year will hold, it occurred to me that my oldest child will turn ten this fall. Ten! I have officially been a parent for a decade now, and I’ve had six kids during that time. When I took a step back and considered that I’ve been living in Baby Central for the better part of my adult life, it occurred to me that I must have accumulated some knowledge during that time. I mean, surely I’ve learned at least one or two things about this whole “keeping... Read More

We interrupt this blog to bring you the ultimate Pinterest carpet-cleaning challenge

pinterest-carpet-before

Let me begin by saying that I know that nobody comes to this blog for cleaning advice. Like, not one single person in the history of the internet has ever had the thought, I need to get my house sparkling clean. Let’s see when Jen Fulwiler has to say about that! But I made a huge cleaning discovery this week, and it’s so cool that I would have my blogging license revoked if I didn’t tell you about it. I’ve mentioned before that our carpet is a disaster. The previous owner of our house installed gleaming, ivory-white carpet... Read More

Organizational hacks for the rest of us

When I was pregnant with my first child, I spent too much time reading Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple. Friends of mine had used the suggestions from those pages to bring order to their homes, and I came to the very unfortunate conclusion that those tips were just what I needed too. About a year later, I found myself staring at the color-coded toy bins I’d so carefully set up in my son’s room, realizing that they were filled with ALL THIS STUFF that was NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THERE, yet finding that the prospect of sorting it all out... Read More