3 things I learned from Running in 2021

I began running March 25, 2021. My first “run” took 21 minutes, and included only 6 minutes of active running. And it was brutal. Lungs burning, couldn’t catch my breath. Muscles hurting I didn’t even know I had.

I had thought it couldn’t be that bad, I had walked a mile or two every day for the last couple years. How hard could it be to learn to run?

It was hard. Getting myself and both kids out the door, appropriately dressed, slathered in sunscreen was hard. Making time for a run/shower on busy days was hard. Talking myself into getting out there even though I was tired and sore was hard.

But I did it. That’s the first thing I learned:

1. I can do hard things.

And after a while, it isn’t quite as hard. It’s still a challange making time some days, and talking myself into going out in the rain and cold. But I’ve realized that the hard is 100% worth it.

2. My body feels better when I exercise regularly.

It isn’t a new concept, but after being committed to this for the last 10 months, I have seen how much better I feel (physically and mentally.) when I am getting out to exercise regularly.

3. My mental health is effected by exercising.

While I started running because I was feeling really off postpartum and wanting to lose some weight, one of the more surprising results was seeing a difference in how I was doing mentally. It’s been a great tool when I am dealing with anxiety, and has been a big stress reliever this year. Getting out to do something physically hard that engages a my mind at the same time, (I like to listen to podcasts while I run.) has become one of my favorite things!

I am looking forward to continue running in 2022, and working towards some new goals!

What is your favorite way to get out to exercise? Is there anything you’ve learned through it over the last year or two?

With love,


5 Ways to Use a 5 Year Journal

I love to journal and I have been journaling since I was about 14. Over the past couple years my journaling has shifted into more of a morning routine, brain dumping a to-do list and a gratitude practice. And I have loved it, but as 2021 was coming to a close, I was ready to revisit my journaling routine, and change it up. On a whim, I ordered a 5 year journal, (this one) and started it on January 1st. Obviously, I have only been writing in it for 11 days, so I can’t speak to going through it multiple times yet, but I am really looking forward to that! But I have been thinking about how easy it is to jot down just a sentence or two, and different ways people could use this style of journal. So this is 5 different ways to use a 5 year journal, and honestly, all of these ways sound amazing!

1. A condensed journal of just a scentence or two describing your day or something significant that happened.

2. A gratitude journal (mine has room for 3 items, which is perfect for a daily gratitude practice.)

3. A companion to daily bible reading, jotting down a verse or quick thought that stuck out to you particularly

4. A prayer request and answer log. It would be pretty cool to be able to see what you were praying about, and how/when it was answered throughout the months and years.

5. Something you learned that day. This would be incredible to look back on. It could be anything, something you read, saw, watched, hacks you learn from friends, etc. The possibilities are endless.

There are a ton of different options for 5 year journals out there to chose from! This one is classy and simple. This one is pretty and colorful!

You could even choose a different way to use the journal every year, and it would still be an amazing book to have and look back on!

I think it’s a easy idea for someone who is interested in starting an analog journal or some sort of record of their life, and I hope these ideas were inspiring or helpful!

I’d love to chat in the comments about your journaling habits, or what hinders you from starting one yourself!

With love,


Country Potato Chowder

This is the perfect soup for a cold winter evening! Pair it with a warm loaf of sourdough bread, or biscuits fresh from the oven and it’s the perfect comfort food!

Country potato chowder:

12 small potatos

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

1/2 onion

2-4 garlic bulbs

1 cup heavy cream

3-4 tbs flour

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp black pepper.

Dice carrots, celery, and onions. Sauté for 8-10 minutes, until they are translucent. Add chopped garlic in the last couple minutes of sautéing to avoid burning. Chop potatos, and add potatos, broth, salt, pepper and garlic powder to large pot. Bring to a boil. Once veggies are sautéed, (this adds lots of flavor) combine with potatos and broth. Once potatos are tender, after about 45 minutes, use a potato masher to break them up a little. Combine cream and flour, and stir into soup carefully to avoid lumps. Allow to thicken, stirring often to avoid sticking.

Top with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon and enjoy!

It’s a quick easy dinner, but packed with veggies, and flavor! Perfect for weeknights, and cold winter evenings. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

With love,


Reflections and Challanges

An early snow this Christmas

I love January. The way the calander offers a chance for newness. The opportunity to make some goals, and spend some time reflecting on the past year. Setting intentions, and creating a plan for the next year. Whether those goals are attained and go well, or unforeseen circumstances change them, I love taking the time to reflect on growing and learning in the new year.

From Christmas morning, 2021

As 2021 has been winding down, the word that keeps coming to mind when I am thinking about 2022 is Challange. I said it in the post I wrote on my birthday earlier in December, I am looking for a challange, goals to work towards and the drive to keep growing and learning. So this is my list of goals for 2022. They’re not huge or revolutionary. Some are health related, some are going to greatly reduce stress! (Dealing with the photo problem! I’m a huge picture taker, and the thousands of photos are becoming a bigger problem by the day!)

I’m really excited to start working on these, and the opportunity to grow and learn through them in 2022!

⁃ Read 22 intentional books

⁃ Run 12 minute miles. (Pushing double stroller.)

⁃ Learn and incorporate a strengthening workout into my routine.

⁃ Clean up our diet even more.

⁃ Dispose of the paper clutter in our home.

⁃ Organize our digital photos.

⁃ Run 15 miles a week. So at least 780 total in 2022.

⁃ Actively work on cultivating some friendships.

What are some goals you’re seeing in the new year?



22 reading challange // 2022

I’ve always been a very avid reader. I was the kid who got in trouble for reading long into the night. My poor eyesite is actually accredited to laying on one side while reading with my flashlight as a child. (That’s why one eye is doubly as bad as the other.)

I’ve done reading challenges (with Goodreads) since 2014, with anywhere from 150 to 35 books, depending on what stage of life I was in! All that to say, I love to read. This year I did pretty in number, around 45 books, and while I’m happy I read, and it was nice to keep my mind engaged, the quality and content was mostly “fluffy” type reads. Mindless stuff I could fit in while my kiddos napped.

In 2022, I’m looking for a challange, and I’d like learn some things. Focusing a little more on quality and content, over numbers for my list.

So this is my 2022 reading challange. I picked 22 because it is catchy, while also a nice number of challenging works, but leaving some wiggle room for recommendations and other books that catch my fancy.

A couple of these are rereads, but ones I thought were worth the extra time, and I’d like to spend more time getting into them.

2022 reading challange!

These are a mix of memoir, nonfiction, self help, and a couple fiction titles I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

1. The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin

2. Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday, by Valerie Woerner

3. Share your Stuff, I’ll go First, by Laura Tremaine

4. Declutter like a mother, by Allie Casazza

5. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

6. When Breath becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi

7. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

8. Lillian Boxfish takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney

9. Welcome Home, by Myquillyn Smith

10. Landslide, by Susan Conley

11. How to Talk so Little Kids will Listen, by Joanna Faber and Julie King

12. Mrs Mike by Benedict freedman and Nancy freedman

13. Hillbilly Elegy by J.d. Vance

14. Worthy by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Eric Schumacher

15. Uninvited by Luda TerKeurst

16. The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

17. Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

18. The Flirtation Experiment by Phylicia Masonheimer

19. The Next Right Thing, by Emily p. Freeman

20. Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagasaki

21. Cozy Minimalist home, by Myquillyn Smith

22. The Lazy Genius Kitchen by Kendra Adachi

I’d love to hear about your reading life, lists and any challenges your considering in 2022!



Family traditions around Christmas

Liams traditional photo with the stocking he was given from the hospital when he was born on Christmas Eve. I love taking this picture every year! I am excited for when he’s grown, and we have 20 of these photos to look back on! 😍


I am loving traditions more and more every year. Especially with kids that are growing older and more able to participate and create them with us! This year we are staying home for Christmas, and it’s ended up just being us. I’m a little sad about that, I love the family gathering aspect of Christmas, and have struggled this week with not having family close by. But we have so much to be grateful for this year, and we are making memories and traditions together, and I’m really thankful for that.

One of our favorite traditions is watching “Its a wonderful life” together on Christmas Eve. We love Jimmy Stewart’s performance, and the reminder of what is important in life!

We’ve also started driving around a couple nights in December to look at everyone’s beautiful Christmas lights, and it’s really fun! The kids enjoy it, and it’s amazing to see everyone’s displays.

We started reading a family advent book this year, it was very much too old for our kids, and we’ve missed days here and there, but it was nice to be a little more grounded in the reason for Christmas, and to help our kiddos start learning that.

I’d love to hear about your families favorite holiday traditions! ❤️🎄



Birthday Thoughts 2021

Here’s to 25! 😍

The past couple years have been long, and so very busy. But they have also been amazing, beautiful, and life changing in the best ways! (Kids. 😉) I am feeling settled in our routines, and loving the stage we are in right now!

I’ve loved the idea of picking a word for new year, and the past couple weeks I’ve been mulling over what a new year means and looks like for me and the word I keep coming back to is challenge.

I’m wanting a challange, and some goals to work towards. The drive to keep learning, to grow.

I have some fitness and health goals I’d like to work towards over the next months. I love to read, so I’m working on a list of books to learn new things, and expand some of my interests. I want to work on pursuing and strengthening friendships, and relationships. To keep working towards on my roles as a mama and wife. Birthdays are a little weird, but they’re also a good time to set some goals and intentions for the next year, and I like putting things out there, (i.e. on Instagram or here.) it kind of feels like accountability for me. That’s been a big help with learning to run this year. 😊❤️

With love,


It’s okay to Ask for Help

Yesterday last year Tori was having surgery on her eye.

It was a really hard day for me. Handing my 7 week old baby off to a nurse, and walking out of the room was torture. I had a panic attack in the room, and the second nurse gave me a hug, even though she wasn’t supposed to.

It took a little over 3 hours. We sat 4 floors down, waiting for a phone call from the surgeon, and then for the nurses to let me come up. They won’t let you stay with your children as they wake up, and the nurse told me they waited too long to call me, so by the time I got up to her, she was hysterical, and it took over an hour to calm her down.

With her birthday last month, and coming up on the holidays, I’ve been thinking about where we where this time last year. It was such a joyful time, with a newborn, getting to watch Liam become and thrive as a big brother. We were so in love with our little family.

But it was also the hardest time. Looking back makes me so sad too. Between her eye surgery/appointments/care and the tongue tie issues/pumping/bottle feeding and just being postpartum in general, I feel like I completely missed her newborn stage. We were up every 2 hours every night for 4 months, trying to keep her weight and my supply up, and when you’re sleep deprived, everything melds together. It’s just a blur. There wasn’t enough time to just soak up the newborn snuggles, and it hurts that it is gone so fast and forever.

It’s strange that something can be both the most magical happy time, but also the hardest and darkest time too.

All this is to say 2 things:

1. Soak up the little moments with your kids. They grow and learn so fast. Slow down, when you’re able, hold them longer, they’re only little for a couple years, and then they’re independent little people.

2. The hard times don’t last forever. Things will get better. So if you’re struggling, it’s okay to slow down, and go into survival mode for a while. Ask for help, and then actually let them help!


Becca Weston

Toddler Activity Advent Calander

I have been thinking about Christmas for several months, and about different traditions surrounding that time of year. Now that Liam is a little older, able to be involved and understand a lot more, I was looking for some traditions to start. Something that would be both fun and meaningful. I decided an Advent calander sounded fun, but the more I looked, I just couldn’t find one to buy that fit what I was thinking. There are lots of candy Advent boxes, but I didn’t want him to come to expect candy every single day. And I didn’t love the toy Advent calander, as we live in a very small space, and we tend to be very minimal, and intentional about what we being into it. (Clutter builds up so fast! )

So after looking at a ton of ideas online, I decided to try to make my own, that fit my toddlers personality, and the mix of fun, and “the reason for the season” that I was wanting!

I found all of the components for this at The Dollar store, and all together, it cost about $7 to make. Most of the activities on ours are free, and the couple that cost money are less than $10 each, making it exciting, but won’t break the bank, which is important to us!

What you need:

-tiny clothes pins

-pretty marker

-copy paper



-decorations (I made the trees out of yarn, and found the tiny ornaments there too.)

1. Write out your list of activity’s on slips of paper, and make tiny envelopes (you could probably buy some!).

2. Label the envelopes 1-24, stuff them with your activity’s.

3. Tack 4 or 5 strands of yarn to the wall, (you’ll do 4 strands of six envelops across, or 5 with 5 envelopes on 4 strands, and 4 on the last one, I ended up liking this look better.)

4. Attach envelopes using the tiny clothes pins.

5. Then add any decorations you want, and enjoy a fun, inexpensive advent calander! (Plus most of these activities are free, and feel free to add your own activities that work best for your family!

1. Read Christmas books

2. Watch Rudolph the red nose reindeer

3. Bake cookies to take to the neighbors

4. Make a Christmasy craft

5. Go look at Christmas Lights

6. Decorate a gingerbread house

7. Read the Christmas Story and talk about all the characters

8. Make Christmas cards for grandparents

9. Decorate a Christmas ornament

10. Go out for Hot Chocolate

11. Mail a Letter

12. Decorate sugar cookies

13. Color a Christmas picture

14. Go shopping for a gift for Sibling

15. Have lunch with Daddy at work!

16. Watch a Charlie Brown Christmas

17. Watch The Snowy Day (Amazon)

18. Watch a Merry Pooh Year

19. Go to the Library and read Christmas books

20. Homemade hot chocolate night

21. Decorate the tree

22. Make a Christmas garland

23. Take pictures in Christmas pajamas

24. Go Look at Christmas displays in stores (Costco etc.)

Let me know if you end up making one! I can’t wait to start this with my son! His birthday is at the end of December, so it’s also a countdown to that, which makes it double fun!

We are also also planning to go through the book Waiting for Jesus, from The Daily Grace Co, and do readings out the the Jesus Story Bible.


Becca Weston

5 ways to calm your mind

I struggle with being a very anxious person, Social situations can be hard. And occasionally the overwhelming awfulness going on in the world around us is incredibly anxiety inducing. Plus I have two toddlers, and I can get overwhelmed with the constant noise and craziness toddlers create! I’ve found a few things that help calm and recenter my anxiety and mind.

1. Listen to some music.

Often putting on some background music is super helpful, especially when I’m home alone with the kiddos. I love anything by Sleeping at Last for when I’m overwhelmed, or Alan Jackson’s Precious Memories album, that is just hymns.

2. Drink your favorite warm drink.

Start with 8 oz of water, and then make a warm beverage of choice. I love the calming ritual of coffee of tea. (I love a strong cup of coffee black or with a splash of cream, or a cup of Harney and Sons Paris tea.)

3. Listen to a podcast.

My favorites right now:

– , no The Lazy Genius, by Kendra Adachi. She’s amazing at helping you figure out how to calm the crazy in your day to day life. She has practical formulas and 13 magic questions to be a lazy genius about everything that matters.

-10 things to tell you, by Laura Tremaine. She is great at the more touchy feeling things, and asking questions that start conversations, whether you just write them out, or talk to people.

-what should I read next, by Ann Bogel. I just started listening to this one, and I love all the conversations about books, along with the book suggestions. I’m always looking for new book recommendations!

Sometimes just having something to occupy your mind helps when you’re struggling with anxious thoughts.

4. Read a actual book.

Reading is so relaxing for me! Some books I’ve enjoyed lately:

⁃ The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

⁃ The Missing Treasure of Amy Ashton by Eleanor Ray

⁃ There’s no Such Thing As Bad Weather by Linda McGurk

⁃ Broken by Jenny Lawson (major language and some content warning. Adult only.)

5. Get outside

Obviously out in the sun is the very best for anxiety or overwhelm, but even if it’s cold or rainy, get outside, walking, breathing fresh air. It’s so important for clearing your mind!

What are your favorite ways to help calm craziness in your life?