Websites I visit EVERY day and have for at least two years or more

My favorite news commentary:

My favorite mommy blog that I read before she was even a mommy: (and she doesn’t even post every day but I still go! every. day.)

My favorite fashion blogger:

My go-to giggle of the day:

Yep, this pretty much sums me up.  

I’d love to hear what sites my friends can’t live without?  Don’t just tell me your RSS feeds…what are the urls you type directly in or have bookmarked so you can go directly there every day?

What I read 2013 edition

Let’s be real.  I was too sleep deprived post Quincy’s arrival on March 4th to do much reading.  Those women who are able to read one-handed while breastfeeding?  That wasn’t me.  Most of the time I was nursing, I wanted something noisy and colorful to distract me from my discomfort during the 7 weeks it took me to finally get the hang of that ‘natural’ thing they call breastfeeding. I did binge-watch House of Cards, Vampire Diaries, all four seasons of Parenthood, Arrested Development, and Scandal.  But back to the edifying experience of reading…

Liberty is No War on Women by Carrie Lukas and Sabrina Schaeffer

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism by Carrie Lukas (this was a re-read since I started at IWF in January)

Happiest Baby on the Block

The Baby Whisperer

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

Baby Wise

Freedom Feminism by Christina Hoff Sommers

Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend

From Cupcakes to Chemicals by my gal Julie

And the scary thing is that I only read 3.5 fiction books this year!

#1 and #2: Game of Thrones Books III and IV

#3 Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe - hilarious (and somewhat depressing) insight into the mind of any privileged, conservative white male over the age of 60 - useful for my line of work.

#3.5 half of Under the Tuscan Sun until my mother stole my copy from me

What I read 2012 Edition.

What I read 2011 Edition.


My dear friend Amanda gifted me an email series for Christmas that I’ve really been enjoying.  It’s a free email subscription but very thoughtful.  Sometimes there’s a playlist, a recipe, or a simple but moving suggestion.  

My favorite was Day 14 which I’m just now getting around to…


Write down …
  • successes
  • failures
  • what you wish you did
  • what you loved
  • what made you truly happy
  • what made you deeply sad
  • something new you discovered about yourself
  • the things you thought were important but seem meaningless now
  • hellos
  • goodbyes

2013 Successes

Starting my new job at IWF in January!  Related —-> Starting a job working from home and being able to take a 20% paycut to only work 4 days a week after Q was born.  This kind of job flexibility post-baby is what I’ve prayed for my entire adult life!

Having a successful home birth.  5 or 10 years ago I would have said you were crazy that I could have had an unmedicated birth let alone a home birth, but it was a truly amazing thing.  I have so much more confidence in myself and my body and the gracious Lord who created me capable of delivering a healthy, ten pound Quincy!

Buying our first home.  

Wow 2013 really was a banner year.  I feel so so blessed. 2014 has its work cut out for it.

2013 Failures

Not sure if this applies technically but I do feel as though I fail my mother on nearly a daily basis.  She’s been sick for 11 years now and only this summer did I step up to the plate and fully take responsibility for the fact that she needed me there in person emotionally and to help advocate for her treatment.  Even though we moved her here to Virginia, my short temper with her is something I struggle with daily.  I don’t feel worthy for this task.

Weaning Quincy at 5 months when I had wanted to nurse for a year.  That’s a long story and I’m still unpacking the guilt and struggle I went through.

What I wish I did

Not sure I have any regrets this year - we definitely lived life to the fullest!

What I loved

So SO SO much to love this year!  My heart is bursting thinking about it.  From all the new ways I’ve fallen in love with John over and over again through this emotionally tumultuous year to our wonderful son Quincy.  I love seeing Quincy and my mother interact and am so glad she is close by for that to happen a couple times a week.  I love our house and oddly enough the land it sits upon.  I was standing in the backyard when John and I first visited the house and I said “I love this land.” So strange since I’m usually the person obsessed with the house, but I love how the house sits on the highest bit of land on our property and that there’s a pond, and three distinct pastures and a bit of woods I’ve yet to explore!  And finally I love all the mamas who gave me support in those early challenging weeks of new mamahood.  I couldn’t have gotten through it without you.  

What made me deeply sad

Seeing my mom really struggle this year. And finding out my Grandmother Lee has ovarian cancer.

Something new I discovered about myself

I CAN enjoy being a homebody and am learning to love being a creature of habit.  Infants aren’t the only ones who can be soothed by routine!


Charlottesville!  Trinity Presbyterian Church! Lots of new people down here who I hope turn into friends.


DC - kinda…I still go up so much I don’t feel like its goodbye!  We do miss Alexandria Presbyterian Church despite loving our new church and we really miss our small Covenant Fellowship Group.  

Oh and goodbye late nights and lazy days ever since Quincy!



omg omg omg



omg omg omg

When a donor makes an end of year gift…


The donor asks, “How much you need to make your end of year goal?”


You ask him to doubles his donation from last year which puts your over your goal amount, and he says:


And request a call in February to discuss the establishment of an endowed scholarship. And when you do, he says:


The kind of donor who never lapses:


Post by Mary @tagworth

Best Burn Yet:

I don’t have to put my name on my clothes for people to know how important I am.

Best Burn Yet:


I don’t have to put my name on my clothes for people to know how important I am.

For many attending concerts at the 9:30 Club, Burdette was an integral part of the experience. The man’s imposing figure and his many tattoos and piercings made him impossible to miss. But instead of being scary or weird, Burdette was simply nice.

We Love Music: R.I.P., That Guy at the 9:30 Club | We Love DC

Remembrances of Josh are coming in. He was beloved in this town, and if that is his legacy, then he’ll have done better than so, so many.

(via tbridge)

(via tbridge)

@boboroshi picked me flowers from one of our fields xo

@boboroshi picked me flowers from one of our fields xo

My office for the afternoon - it is way too nice outside

My office for the afternoon - it is way too nice outside

#ABeautifulMess new fave photo of Q

#ABeautifulMess new fave photo of Q

My newborn picture, John Quincy’s, and Johns.  I definitely think he takes after his father.

Thanks Obamacare!

So starting in 2013, any new mama can get a ‘free’ breast pump from their insurance company thanks to Obamacare.  yippee.  Here’s another lesson in unintended consequences for ya…

First, the rationale for the free pumps: Good breastpumps run at least $200 so this seemed like a great way to encourage women to breastfeed their children.  Once you get pas that initial cost, breastfeeding is way cheaper.  Considering that a year’s worth of formula can easily run you $1,000, helping poor women breastfeed is a great way to help ease their economic burden as well as to help them grow healthy munchkins thus cutting healthcare costs for the taxpayer.

Now the rub: I researched my options and selected a Medela breast pump from the choices my insurance company gave me.  Well due to Obamacare, it’s backordered until kingdom come and I was forced to rent a pump from my pediatricians office because the first six weeks are crucial for establishing milk supply.  Keep in mind not everyone can afford to rent the pump. I had to front the cost with the hope of my insurance company reimbursing me (it is not clear yet if they will).  NOW I found out from a nurse at Virginia Hospital Center that these ‘free’ pumps suck at sucking!  Basically the companies are getting a flat Obamacare mandated fee from the insurance companies so they created cheaper knockoffs of their consumer marketed pumps.

Yet another lovely example of a government mandate creating a shortage of crappy products.