Christmas dress photo shoot.

Yesterday I wanted to play dress up make sure that Annistyn’s Christmas outfit fit. A modeling session just seemed like the right thing to do. “Mom, you do realize that it’s not Christmas yet, right?” “Excuse me. I need to call daddy. Maybe he’ll save me from this photo shoot.” “Seriously, mom. I was just…

Eleven joy-filled months.

Silly. Charming. Jolly. Determined. Fun. That’s my girl. At just one month shy of a year old, she babbles, crawls, dances, high-fives, patty-cakes, points, moans (yes, moans) over real food and puts a smile on our faces every day. This morning she found it hilarious to tug the shower curtain out from the bathtub, soaking…

Call me “mama.”

Tonight, as I laid my nearly 10-month-old down in her crib, she looked up at me with those icy blue eyes and said the word I’ve been longing to hear: mama. Sweet. Playful. Clear as a bell. She then raised her soft baby arms as if to say, “Pick me up, mama. Let’s cuddle.” And…

A walk in the park.

After a weekend of solo parenting, I’m ready to crawl into bed. Since I don’t have the energy to string words together tonight, my latest Instagram photos paint a pretty good picture of my weekend. It’s definitely fall in North Dakota. We’re loving this weather. And, I’m having way too much fun dressing Annistyn in…

My girly girl.

Like almost every other baby, Annistyn has always been fascinated with jewelry. As a result, I usually just wear simple diamond studs and skip the necklace altogether. Today, as I was changing out of my work clothes, Annistyn was getting fussy. I grabbed the first thing I saw—an old, cheap strand of fake pearls. She was…

Overwhelmed.

This morning, I was washing dishes while mentally running through my weekend to-do list. It’s a curse, really, this to-do list mentality. As I jotted down the tasks–heaping piles of laundry, grimy floors, coffee-stained car cup holders, finding time to rest to get over a lingering cough–I started to wonder: why must I always feel…

Eight months.

Today is my parents’ 31st wedding anniversary. It’s my baptism. And Annistyn turned eight months old. Happy day all around!

Three things.

I’m just getting over a nasty virus so it’s soon bedtime, but first, I wanted to share three thoughts: 1. I just cleared all the 6-9 month clothes out of Annistyn’s closet. When did my tiny baby get so big?! 2. I never knew the bond between father and daughter could be so powerful at…

Almost wordless, almost Wednesday.

My voice disappeared. Over the past few days, I’ve been unable to talk, and while I’ve always considered myself more of a writer than a talker, boy has it been weird. I’m unable to say “hi” to strangers in passing. I just smile and sort of mouth the word. Awkward! I can’t soothe a screaming…

So much to do, so much to enjoy.

Honestly, I hardly even remember what weekending was like before baby. (Oh, that’s right, I used to make pasta from scratch.) I did all the same homemaker-y things I do now. Back then, it felt leisurely and almost–dare I say it?–fun. Nowadays, as a mama and full-time professional, my weekends often feel like never-ending to-do lists. Simply…