Motherhood

The power of a meal, shared with friends

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At the beginning of this year, my friend Rachael had the simple but brilliant idea to start having regular dinner parties. She called it the Dinner Club for Underachievers, and she set the rules to be simple enough that even families in crazy seasons of life could participate. The rules are: Couples take turn hosting the dinner club The hosts do not have to provide any food — they just provide drinks and paper plates and utensils Each guest brings a dish (appetizer, main course, or dessert) The guests don’t bring kids (but the host’s... Read More

The Shoe Song: A gift to every parent who’s having a tough day

YOU GUYS!!!!! I have been waiting not-so-patiently to share something with you: Last week, musician Marie Miller was a guest on my radio show on SiriusXM. I’ve been a fan of hers for a while, so I was thrilled that she came down to Austin just to do the show with me. I wanted to do something special to commemorate the occasion, so I gave Marie a challenge: I asked her to write a song using nothing but texts between my husband and me as the lyrics. When I heard the song right before last Thursday’s show, I actually jumped up and down... Read More

Four amazing talks from the Edel Gathering

haley-stewart

I survived the flights out here to North Carolina, and am now at my aunt and uncle’s mountain cabin! I have to say, for all my prophesying of doom, the flights ended up being…EXACTLY AS DIFFICULT AS I THOUGHT THEY’D BE. But we’ll talk about that more on Friday. 2.5 seconds after this photo was taken, I had to run grab the baby before he hurled himself down the deck stairs. Meanwhile, one of the things I’ve been able to do here in my mountain hideaway is to clean up the audio files from the Edel Gathering! I know that... Read More

What I learned from painting a wall

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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

The saint of the NICU

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Today is my youngest child’s first birthday! Those of you who were reading a year ago might recall that that wasn’t the best day. It was a rough pregnancy, involving bilateral pulmonary embolisms, hospitalization, and getting stabbed in the neck by doctors (UNNECESSARILY). The birth was not a ton of fun either — without going into detail, let’s just say that getting 12 blood draws in the same arm in one day was one of the better parts of the experience. Then, only minutes after the baby arrived, he was taken away due to... Read More

5 big ideas that changed my life

Combat peer orientation by raising shut-ins!

Every now and then I like to take a step back and examine my worldview. I ask: What core beliefs define my outlook? What are the characteristics of the lens through which I see the world? I was pondering the subject while putting away laundry yesterday, and I came up with a list of key ideas that fundamentally shape the way I evaluate life. (Yes, this is really what I think about while I’m putting away laundry. It’s sad.) I thought it would be fun to post a list of these concepts, then have you tell me which ideas have been most transformative... 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

A day in the “life”

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Skating in riiiiiight under the wire, here’s today’s post! It’s a glimpse into my day yesterday — which is the perfect post for me because it counts as an update and also answers the question about why I’m flailing in my own blogging challenge. BACKSTORY FOR NEW READERS: It will help you understand the chaos below to know the following: I have six kids ages 9, 7, 6, 4, 2, and 10 months. My husband is a lawyer/CPA. It is tax season. I have a book coming out in April, published by Ignatius Press. And now for more details... Read More

Raise your hand if you need a BREAK

Look at all that SILENCE!

Do you want to hear about my morning? About the moment when the kids woke up the baby just after I finally got him to go to sleep? About how I think my eyes might have actually popped out of my head while steam exploded from my ears like a cartoon character when my attempts to outsource lunch duty ended up with a Rice Crispy apocalypse on my table? Would you like to hear about the “I hate my life!!!!!” voicemail I left Joe that was, as usual, followed by another voicemail five minutes later where I explained that I don’t actually... Read More

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