I posted yesterday to Instagram that I got this milk frother for Christmas and it's been a game changer.

It's similar to Nespresso but less expensive with better reviews, it's an Amazon best seller and unlike the cheaper handheld ones, it warms the milk too. Love that it's one touch (hello, mornings with a baby) and even froths almond milk which I didn't think possible. Got a few requests for the brand so wanted to share here. (Not sponsored, just sharing!)



Alessandra Arendt Photography

The year you have your first baby it's kind of tough to think of anything major happening that year other than the baby, but 2016 surprised me with all that I was capable of, in more ways than one.

We took a surprising amount of flights which I didn’t expect (44 totaled between the three of us) with Trey clocking in 10 of those. Challenging but doable, growing for sure.

Other key stats: the amount of books I checked out from the library (56!), mostly pregnancy, birth, or baby related, and the rest design focused or cookbooks.

We went on fewer dates but I remember them more, mostly for the uninterrupted conversation and less about the restaurant, and how sweet it is to get time together at this stage of life. We’re shooting for quality over quantity here.

My word for 2016 was grow. It was a tough year for me; growing pains I guess. I had a long and difficult pregnancy, and then unrelated to the baby, we got difficult news more than once. But, I do feel like I grew in huge ways; the obvious one (I gained and lost nearly half my body weight, I became a mom, etc) and the not as obvious ones: the ones not shared on social media and harder to pinpoint, the quieter, subtler, but life changing ones. (Our baby also participated in grow by tripling his birth weight in 6 months instead of the standard 12. #bigbabyclub)

We won the lottery in the baby department with Trey, and although having a baby always involves work, it’s the kind of work that you want to work for, because it’s so beyond rewarding. He’s a complete delight; he’s happy and giggly and cuddly and chunky and all the best things about babies. The amount of happiness he brings us daily is almost absurd. When I think back on this year, what I mostly feel is just so very thankful.

What I learned this fall is that while wonderful, post-baby life left me with a fraction of the time I had available for work. I took on way too much. This left me stressed out, resentful, and disappointed. I was living into the extremely high and unrealistic expectations I placed on myself in the name of wanting to DO IT ALL which proved to be unhealthy and so detrimental to me.

I said no last year more than ever before, and I will continue turning down many, many good opportunities, because I have one important thing on my plate right now: taking care of Trey. My inbox also requires attention and is important, but less so. I remind myself that someday, I will have more time. What will remain decades after this busy time of life is not the emails I could get back to or the income I made but the memories I have of the time I spent with my child.

I scaled way back, and at first it felt foreign and hard, but I’m leaning into it more. I’m realizing that my capacity is not defined by anyone else’s capacity. Just because someone else is doing XYZ + ABC does not mean I have to. I want to find my limits, and live in that space, of taking on just enough to feel productive in my work but also at being a present mom. I want to succeed at both, and to do that I need to guard my time fiercely and confidently.

The two books that had the most profound impact on me this year were: Present Over Perfect by Shanua Niequist and Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner. Both carried the message that we’re doing too much and it’s ok to do less and maybe take a breath once in a while. I devoured these books and hope that they steer a new course for me next year.

My word for 2016 is PLAY. I need this reminder that it’s just as important as work. Playing with Trey, yes, but also play for me. Getting outside more, working exercise back into my life more, less time in front of screens, more time on the floor. This is my small reminder to not take myself so seriously and to remember to have fun while I’m creating a life.

In 2017 I will be turning away from the crazy hustling that left me stressed out and overbooked, and instead creating space for playing, simplicity, and lightheartedness. I want a calmer, happier, slower life. Play is the word I’m choosing to help me do just that.


Photo: Meredith Bacon

I stumbled on this blog post recently, written while I was Very Pregnant. I never published it at the time, and then I had a baby, and then 6 months later here we are, but I loved the words and the message and wanted to share it.


I didn't start showing until very late in my pregnancy (thank you, first baby) and no one even mentioned or commented on my pregnancy publicly until I was about 28 weeks along.

At first it was pretty innocent, mostly "Congratulations! How are you feeling?" Or, "When are you due? Do you know what you're having?" followed by mostly sweet stories of their own pregnancies, or if I was really lucky, their horrible/dramatic/awful birth stories, and other pleasant, encouraging things to tell an expectant mother.

Around 30 weeks, the comments started to shift from people sharing their own stories to their thoughts on how I was doing as a pregnant person.

All in the same week I heard: "Oh my gosh you're so BIG!" and two separate instances of "How far along are you?" And when I'd answer, they'd follow up with a "Oh wow, you look so much farther along than that!"

Oh wow is right.

My sister in law told me the only appropriate response in that situation is, "Thanks! You too!"

I was shocked, and truthfully, very unsure of how to respond.

Do I agree? Disagree? Blame it on a big lunch/lots of water/pregnancy bloat/etc etc, or share that actually, I feel even bigger than I look (which is obviously whale-status and maybe not even possible considering the level of commentary I was receiving)? Or do I simply confirm the small detail that I was, in fact, pregnant?

I was dumbfounded.

I developed a strategy for whenever I heard strange comments (and there were many). I'd immediately smile and/or laugh, graciously deflect and say "I knowwww!" (why was I trying to make them feel better?) and attempt to shift the conversation as quickly as I could. A part of me just really wanted to respond with, "I'm actually not 29 weeks like I just said, I'm 42 weeks! I'm like, totally overdue and am actually on my way to the hospital right now to deliver triplets!"

I felt like I needed a statement that extreme because it was the only way I could rationalize how BIG I was - surely I wasn't just carrying one child, surely I wasn't that few weeks along.

But yes, it was only one child.

And yes, I was that "few" weeks along.

It was so strange to me that suddenly, it was acceptable for anyone - friends/strangers/family/my grocery store clerk to comment on the size of my body, of all things, and not just a neutral comment, but on how large I was. This is still totally bizarre to me and I can't think of any other situation in life when people feel that it is ok to comment on how alarming your body size is, to your face, publicly.

After looking back and chatting with friends, I realize this is just kind of what comes with the territory of being pregnant. By some stroke of luck, I ended up with a fast metabolism and come from a thin framed family, which I realize is like winning the lottery for some women who would give anything for my jean size. I remember the feeling of being "too big" though, and the comments that came with it. During that time it was hard for me to remember the purpose of being so large: that my body was growing me a healthy baby. The shocking and off-handed comments were a glimpse into the shame-land that so many women live in daily, and a sad distraction from all the good my body was doing for me.

The appropriate response to someone who is Very Pregnant is this: "You look beautiful. Congratulations." Anything else is unhelpful at best and scarring at worst. Our words are powerful; let's make sure we choose them wisely.