Bonnie’s Book You Have to Read

August 19, 2019

I met Bonnie in 2014. My lil baby was on my chest (now he’s well, five). I was at the inaugural Edel Gathering that Jen Fulwiler and Hallie Lord put on because my mom really thought I should go meet all these bloggers I had been following. Bonnie was one of them. And when I met her, she was just as down to earth, friendly, and funny as she seems online. So as my awe turned to affection, our relationship went from “you’re so cool and I love your blog” to “you’re so cool and I love our sisterhood.” We both started collaborating with Blessed is She when Jenna Guizar founded it and slowly, over time, I really got to know Bonnie. She has come and spoken in Minnesota over the years and I’ve seen her in small settings and large ones, caring about each and every story that people brought before her. She’s somehow an empathic listener and an energetic speaker (seriously, invite her to speak for you). She made us all laugh and cry. We’ve laughed and cried, too. At the first few Blessed is She team retreats at our family lodge, on airport runs, when I got to MC her conference and meet Travis and the crew, when we’ve talked and texted and emailed. When we’ve surprised her with virtual baby showers on zoom calls and when she’s prayed with me for the gritty hard stuff in my life. HER BOOK IS AMAZING. The way she writes,…

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facing back to school & a new resolution

August 17, 2019

It’s back-to-school time and I reflect on a number of posts I’ve written about school. In 2012 when I parsed through options for schooling. In 2013, when I shared thoughts about discipline for prek kids and a few activities to do with them. In 2014, when I said what I don’t worry about for prek homeschool and feeling powerless as a parent. In 2015, when I shared my wannabe homeschool books. In 2016, when I confessed that we’re homeschool drop outs! In 2018, when I briefly touched on two kids in school. Now here we are in 2019, two kids going to school, a third doing kinder homeschooled a la his siblings with a little nature school a few mornings a week, and the fourth hanging along like a casual tornado. We re-evaluate every single spring, is school working for the kids? and truth be told, this past spring I wasn’t sure about our oldest. He was exhausted, crabby, and so cross with his siblings. While he excelled at school and loved his teachers and friends, completed homework without a fight, and was a sweetheart in the classroom, he was really dragging at home. We only had one extra curricular  (violin), spent lots to time playing outside and eating dinner together as a family, and I was at a loss. With lots of open conversations about what our expectations and and that homeschool was on the table unless things changed, we noticed a more concerted effort to be charitable. We also upped the…

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Postpartum Space & Better Beginnings

August 12, 2019

throw back nearly 3 years to this sweetie at a few weeks old! ((When I redid my site, this post got lost so sorry for the repeat!)) I rolled over and kinda closed my bathrobe around a breastmilk stained nightgown. I rolled again and gently slid off the bed so I wouldn’t awaken our snoozy sleepy new bundle of love. At four weeks old, he was smack dab in the middle of our king-sized bed with my husband on one side, and a wall of nursing pillows on the other so I could shuffle to the bathroom. We had missed the extended family brunch that morning. I texted an apology from the end of the bed and then dove back in. With our first two, each newborn had been on a parade-of-families. People in, people out, people visiting at the hospital, people popping by to just see the baby. Me somehow inexplicably finding jeans to stuff into while dutifully sharing the babies, our stories, our newborn fleeting hours, holding nursing off so I could continue listening to someone else’s birth tale. But with this baby, nestled as he was in my heart, we simply shut the world out. Maybe it was the complex second-degree tear, maybe it was the deep infection in my uterus that landed us back in the hospital at two weeks postpartum. Maybe it was realizing that postpartum space is sacred and filled with moments we were never get back. I stayed in my bathrobe and my bed…

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4 steps to keeping my kids screen-free

July 19, 2019

Oh, the irony! Is it ironic? Nell is super excited about her new blog design (thank you, Jamie!) and yet her own kids have zero access to screens.  Wellll they get to watch the occasional movie, but we don’t own a TV, gaming system, or devices. We have one battered old laptop, one newer one, and one very almost dead desktop I’m hoping to get data recovered from. And two iPhones. Everything is password protected and the kids don’t know those open sesames. Why? Why deprive our kids of what ostensibly seems to be cutting edge, skills they’ll need, and also, what everyone else is doing socially? Because increasingly science and researchers tell us what we kinda knew but hoped wasn’t true as a society of exhausted parents looking for something for their kiddo to do that’s enriching and not fighting us/each other. Screen time is damaging to their developing minds. Social media is damaging to their emotional development. We are performing an experiment on this generation of kids and we simply don’t have enough data to know it’s safe to allow developing brains tablet, gaming, online socializing, and passive consumption of screen time in the levels we’re letting in. SO soap box aside, maybe you’re here to shift your own strategies as a parent, and maybe you have great tips for the rest of us. Here’s how we live screen-free for the kids. (Had a great discussion on instagram right here.) REPLACE // when we’ve watched a Magic School…

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Join me tonight at 8 central for a free talk

January 9, 2019

Oh friends! I have so many new yearsie things to share. The lessons I learned when everyone was sick most of Christmas. The lessons I repeatedly learn about the gift of suffering and the past few months with health issues. The joys of a new brownie recipe (SMITTEN KITCHEN FOR THE EVERY WIN). But I’ll save all that til I can sit down and properly bang it out. Today at 8 central I’m hosting a free workshop online with my best boss, Jenna Guizar, for Blessed is She about a new course I’ve been making for you guys for the past YEAR. Yeah, I’m slow. So if you pop over tonight, you’ll hear about “Discovering the Gift of You” and what it means, why I want you to join me, etc. I even wrote an entire personality assessment test. Some of the questions are . . . ironic funny silly sooo real!!! Click here to sign up. It’s free. If you want to purchase the course afterwards, awesome, but just come and here about it first. I’ll post the link for the actual course offering later this week along with a more in-depth explanation of it all. LOVE LOVE LOVE, N

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Whole Family Parenting | About

looking ahead to Christmas and realizing I’m so behind on everything

December 1, 2018

I never shared these wonderful family photos our dear friend Emily Rumsey took over the summer. I mean, it’s only NOVEMBER 30! I also just ordered some Christmas cards so hopefully they’ll arrive before Christmas so I can get them mailed out before Valentines? Sheesh. With all the bustle and hustle of my sister’s Thanksgiving weekend wedding (YAY! SHE MARRIED THE BEST GUY and we are so HAPPY) and ensuing disease: all 10 little nieces and nephews threw up over the course of the week they were visiting, I actually had some quiet time to think. Maybe it’s because I was up a few nights changing sheets and rubbing backs while people threw up and that doesn’t lend to much talking which is my preferred way of processing. I’m so behind on everything. I didn’t get anything ready for a Small Biz Saturday or Cyber Monday sale for my shop. I haven’t blogged in a long time. I haven’t planned out anything for Christmas yet. I feel so BEHIND. And yet in those semi-still hours of realizing all my time and creative energy had gone toward the thing that really mattered: my sister’s wedding! prepping food for a few meals of 40 people for the festivities after it (freezer friendly meals)! rearranging my third floor and basement to accommodate the highly anticipated cousin crew! Blessed is She work that needed to be done before I took a week or so off! Paying attention to my children and their homework assignments and…

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