A day in young motherhood.


It's a chorus. 

laughter swells until it breaks, cries fill the empty space. A five second pause. Then a hand over foot canter as my name is called and I am found. The pitch  of the cry decides its severity, the duration correlates to the number of band aids needed.

"What happened, love? Recount it for me. Can we make it right again?"

It's a science experiment. 

 Kleenexes all over the floor.  Lego piece explosions, unwanted chap stick art.  How quickly can ice melt? how much mess can we make while we wait? look how many pieces a goldfish cracker crumbles into! watch this mom! The twinkle in the eye informs us of its level of mischief.

It's a reminding.

Sitting amidst a stuffed-animal forum, a tiny body waits to hear the footsteps of mine or their fathers as we take on the role of pastor, of fellow sinner, of hopeful saint. We engage to remind them. Time out to remind them. Speak firm to remind them. Ask questions to reinvite them.

It's the garden of eden

 all over again in that four-walled, sticker-filled room. Their little hands have taken the symbolic fruit, their little hearts have experienced the ache of the effect; the teddy bear snatched, the shove of their neighbor, the spiteful word of distrust, the eye roll... They cannot see the lie they are believing until seconds after and now they taste the experience of it turning bitter. They want to hide, but we insist that they be found. We know how our souls act in the dark.

He and I remind because our story is the same. We've eaten too. Yet, this story has the cross and the nails and full reconciliation and it is theirs too, if they'll have it. We invite them back in again and again, through the door of repentance back into our community. Good news narrative on repeat for their souls and for mine. Our Jesus came for this very thing and now we all can be made right again.

"Do you understand, sweet boy?  Here is how we apologize, here is whom we were made for. Let me remind you who you really are."

It's a keeping. 

Brush the hair, yes I know you don't like it. Tidy the room or we don't need it. Pick up the pieces because we're good stewards. Be faithful with our little so when the time comes, you can manage much.

Look at how well God made you! Look at those eyes! what a gift to be so strong as you! Consider it kids, this body well made, for us to keep. Yes, you have to take a bath. Yes, you stink. No, you cannot wait till tomorrow. Yes the naked dance is funny, but lets keep your shimmies confined to the bathroom. Wow! you do run so fast!

It's a lesson 

The basics of math, the cleverness of words, the  phrase that can have two meanings, the patience of building, the disappointment of brothers smashing. The triumph of rising up again, the folly of apathy, the payday moment of a task finally accomplished, the horror of glitter gone wrong...

"What did you learn? What do you think? Was it okay for the swan to steal the trumpet? What story do you want to write? How does it make you feel?"

It's perceiving. 

The homeless man who smiles genuine as my little girl waves brings questions I struggle to answer. The stranger who spoke ugly for no apparent reason brings a struggle as well. The world on display for feasting, six little eyes gaze at it all in its beauty and its horror. I know the power of perceiving. So I frame and shape and tell their brains the story they need to know. We must shape our seeing, so we can understand the glory, and thus who made us. Otherwise, all we see is confusing, like the blind man, seeing men as trees walking. We need to have our sight restored, made clear.

"Everyone is His image bearer, some of us have not yet been reminded. It's our job to love wild the people we get to meet. Not all can hear the call of home quite yet, but we can tell them and see."

It's a humbling.

Tears swell up in their little faces as I show my own ugliness. The guttural noise my own throat just made in chastisement surprises my own ears as I hear it.  The oldest saint in the room, revealed as the most desperate and chief sinner. They see it plainly, this need I have for a savior.

Teaching how to apologize by voicing my own 'I'm so sorrys'  time and time again is a major marker of my motherhood. My children know full well the cracks of their mothers character, but my desperate hope is that they may know He who makes us well. He promises to finish what he began.

"It's okay mama, we forgive you."

It's inviting.

to be the main star in their tiny solar systems for a breath. to be the witness of their days for a few short years and I accept the invitation. As I am given more years to grow into their mother, through tears of frustration and failure and laughter in all of its blessed hilarity, I see how fortunate I am. This is a very short season, although intense. How fortunate to have been invited to listen for the second, the minute, the day, the years to the chorus of the laughter as it swells until it breaks...



It's been a particularily sweet autumn this year. Since it has been' warmer, we've been able to go out on more hikes spontaneously, and soak up the autumn changes.

I get the hype about New England autumn.

As the temperatures get cooler, I've dug up our garden beds and put them to rest, we're keeping on with the compost bins, and digging up dahlia tubers. We have a few hikes we're hoping to squeeze in but are turning towards dreams of sledding hills and seeing if we can locate some snow shoes.

One thing I love about having four distinct seasons is that each calls for a different pace. While living in Alabama, temerpatures were hot, and then hotter. While we did get a few days of chill, It didn't affect our month to month. Here however, it does. While I miss the sun (oh how I miss that forever alabama sun!) I do appreciate the gift of quieting down.

Eowyn has been waiting for winter for ages. We had our first snow sprinkle a few days ago and it happened again today. that girl is quite pleased.

I hope you have a beautiful season ahead of you, however cold it may be!

Six Months in New Hamsphire!


In a few short days we get to celebrate six whole months of living in New Hampshire! Those photos above are from our hotel stay. They're an effort in finding joy during the in between of not knowing where we'll live and going a wee bit crazy from living in a hotel! They're a sweet reminder. To see how God has provided for us is quite a sweet thing. We have a home! a garden! budding friendships! 

If you have talked with me in the flesh as of late, I will have undoubtedly said how absolutely lovely this state is. In a million ways, New Hampshire is a meshing of all the places we hold dear (they even have a store that sells Finnish Fazer chocolate! and a pub that sells Guinness Stew that tastes similar to the stew from our honeymoon!) The one thing it does lack, of course, is the people that made our hearts tethered to the places we've called home.

Quite some time ago, I read a book called Born to Wander. It was an excellent read. It gave permission to understand that this feeling, this ache, isn't one to remedy. We're not home yet and it's okay-no, it's good-that we know this.  We haven't arrived yet at home.

Over the past decade of moving to and fro, there are several things I've found worth the while to ponder on, to find comfort in. Here's three: 

1.) God's omnipresence includes this space here.

While its anecdotal, I have yet to find a place that God is absent. I, as many a fellow believer, have felt seasons of such absence (and what a heavy season those are to those who call Christ their all,)  I have yet to be abandoned.  

When we first move and we hit an inevitable moment of recognizing loss, it can be easy to panic and wonder if we made the wrong call. It's easy to say we 'felt lead,' in good Christian fashion. Yet, there is quite a bit of moving our own feet in front of the other, of volunteering to move; of choosing to say yes. While there is what we call God's leading, there's also the fact that we chose it. Sometimes, if I'm not careful, I can feel like we may have missed where we should have gone or said 'yes' too prematurely. But this isn't the case, and even if it was!  God's here too. Which leads to my next thing.

2) He has good work prepared for this place. 

When we first moved back stateside - I assume as part of the culture shock of the return - I had a bit of a distaste for Americans. Sorry friends. "Oh, they're so loud! Oh! They always have so many opinions!" (says the american having an opinion. ) Especially the "American Jesus" (I still have feelings about this....) caused such a deep struggle in me. It took me a bit to realize how wrong I was in my position.  All people are treasured, immortal souls worth the time of knowing and caring and loving on. Even if they in good southern fashion, 'bless my heart.' ;)

 Whenever we move to a place, and I begin to feel disappointed or discouraged, I remember Ephesians 2:10.  "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

While my work as a home school parent is largely unmeasurable, God's been kind in showing me just how much the role of caretaker is akin to the role he took. In some very small way, functioning like this-as a servant giving up my right to stay in one place or be seen- means I get to do what he did>  Namely serve, leave his home, lay his life down for his friends.

I've grown to see the random flat mate that becomes a dear friend, the grocery worker who I get the chance to make legitimate conversation with, the mama at the park, the cynic that gives me the time of day...  All precious reminders of a God who sees; of a God who asks his people to show up and love his image bearers. This here. This all matters in time and space. For me it's a perpetual nod to what C.S Lewis says: 

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously - no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”

It helps me frame my days in a new city and an old role. It assigns worth to what I normally, as a human prone to fear of man, productivity and performance, would assign little worth to. I treasure people in a way I don't know I would have had I not been a stranger so many times.

And lastly, when the ache of losing out on what could have been feels suffocating, I remember this:

3.) God has created a specific beauty reserved for this space.

 And I get the privilege of seeing it.

I have never seen the bio-diversity in such short distance like I have here in New Hampshire. I have mountains and oceans, Goldfinches and foxes and bears! and whales and big cities all within an hour.  In Alabama, the wonders of the insect population (seriously some of the coolest bugs I've ever seen.) and those magnolias....the gift of a good southern woman checking in on someone who's she's decided is one of her babies. There is no beauty quite like it. In Finland, goodness paragraphs have already been assigned, and the Midwest holds us as it's our treasured origin story. Colorado is just a whole separate world of wonder.... I could go on and on about each place we've had the chance to breath in and call home. There are wonders God has specifically reserved for each of his places. A note in the melody. And I've gotten to hear a few. I'm working hard to not take that for granted.

Rather than mourning the fact that I often do not get to hear the notes as long as I like, I try to relish the reality that I get a greater glimpse at the symphony.


This six month mark is always a very bitter sweet mark for me and Ben. It typically is a heavy month of realizing that friendships take time, that real life is still here with its sorrows, that we're not on vacation (ha!) and that we have work to do here. Right now it means overtime and homeschooling and feeling a little weary and lonely.

But I saw a goldfinch yesterday eating my sunflower seeds. My tomatoes are ripening. I swear the Trader Joes cashiers are straight up certified counselors and we've grown. a lot.

Ben and I-with having to build and rebuild and build and rebuild a life have formed into creatures I don't know we'd recognize from the onset. It's been hard. I sometimes hate it. But it reminds me a lot of Eustace (ya'll know C.S. Lewis is my celebrity dinner guest forever.)

“Then the lion said—but I don’t know if it spoke—’You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.
“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off….
“Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off—just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt—and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me—I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on—and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again.

We're both a bit of Eustace, and Aslan is continuing his work.

Before we moved anywhere - in our first year of marriage- we had a rocky time of things. A lot of hurts and poor communication. For whatever reason, Eustace continued to come to mind and so I hung this quote from the Voyage of the Dawn Treader on our old fridge:

“It would be nice and fairly nearly true, to say that 'from that time forth, Eustace was a different boy.' To be strictly accurate, he began to be a different boy. He had relapses. There were still many days when he could be very tiresome. But most of those I shall not notice. The cure had begun.”

The cure had begun.

It became a mantra of sorts when I wanted to give up on us (I'm sure I've written it on this blog a million times over.) And it still comes into my mind time to time.

The cure has begun.

I now know that as with every cup we're called to drink, there's God doing good work in us. Despite its changing taste, he continues to complete what he began. And I see it. The first six months feel like a painful pruning every. single. time. It hurts emotionally sometimes to a point there's a physical ache. Yet, it isn't void of growth. The cure has begun.

What a gift to have a regular reminder that God is at work and that he sustains; That we can't do the work, but He can; That he doesn't just send, but walks with us into where he calls us.

I hope that after all these years of going who knows where, I can rest in knowing that I've seen a few places and in each of them, we found Him there. So far, that has been the one truth I am convinced of. I remember telling Ben that. As a Christian who is prone to skepticism, I remember telling Ben how much I hope when I get close to dying that I would feel more confident that God is who He said He is. At the time, I wasn't sure.

Ten years later, and a million desperate prayers in between, I'm seeing that God's answering that hope bit by bit. I've grown confident like David  " I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."

I'm seeing it.

Cheers to six months! For however many more 'six months' we get, I'm grateful to call this place home.

The Flume Gorge :: New England Adventures


When my dear friend from Montgomery came for a visit, I took advantage of her kind heart and adventurous spirit to check out some local places before Ben's family came. One of the places that has been on my list since before we moved was The Flume Gorge up in Fraconia area. It did not disappoint. 

When Ben's family arrived, the first adventure we went on was to the Flume. it's such a beautiful space and is significantly cooler due to the waterfall and walking between two rock faces. If you ever find yourself in NH and are looking for something to do, this is well worth your time. It's very kid friendly, although it isn't stroller friendly (stairs and waterfalls don't mix well with strollers.) but our kids loved the adventure of it.  (Ages: 2,4,6)

 Plants are very well identified as you walk along, and if you go the Flume website, they have a scavenger hunt that you can print out and later take to the information desk where they give stamps and stickers for completion (much to the delight of our little people!) There's a sweet gift shop and cafe of sorts. For tired little legs there's a bus that will take you up to the beginning of the flume gorge trail. Our kids quickly learned this and liked the adventure of the bus.

I think the Flume is one of our favorite places to date. We'll definitely take you this way if you come stay at the Sprague Bnb!

Garden Updates: Year TWO!


When we first moved back to the north country, I was excited to return back to Zone 5. While the Midwest and the northeast are a decent ways a part, sharing the same zone has brought a familiarity and a boldness to my gardening endeavors. Last year we had about a 30% success rate growing all the things we set out to grow in Alabama (we learned a thing or two about hot weather loving plants!) This year we've taken what we learned and tried our hand at gardening in zone 5! Here are a few snippets of our garden updates:

To give a bit of a preface, Ben made four raised garden beds for me this spring. They're 4 X 8 and we filled them with plant based compost. We hoped to just use our acre of land, but since it was literally encompassed with knotweed, the soil is terribly acidic, so we'll be working on removing it and the like for years to come. (fun, we know.) The benefit to raised bed is that everything is growing incredibly well. We found a local farmer (and a local lumberjack) and actually had it all delivered with the exception of a few things needed from Home Depot.

The struggle we've faced is just how well things are growing! weeds included. I'm not quite sure if the compost truly sat long enough for the weed seeds  to die out (?) so when it came to things like the zinnias, bells of Ireland, and celosia I planted, I wasn't really able to distinguish what was weed and what was flower. So the cut garden I had hoped for isn't going to really be a reality, as I've either a)pulled out the seedlings while pulling out the weeds, or b) the garden I left alone to just see how it would fare has done what you would expect a bed filled with weeds to do. Grow more weeds. Plans for next year are to tarp the beds and kill of any remaining seeds (and put a bit more compost over the beds next year that we're making ourselves.)

In the first bed we have a herb garden, bok choi (which we've left too long and then in flowered. womp) Onions, bunching onions, two pumpkins the kids secretly snuck in, and carrots. We have a lot in that 8 foot bed, so we'll see how we can trellis some things and harvest others.

The second bed has some sweet potatoes, about 9 pepper plants, and 8 tomato plants. all are thriving.

The third bed has watermelon, some beans on a trellis, and two varieties of dinner plate dahlias.

and lastly the final bed has sunflowers and what was supposed to be all sorts of little rows of zinnias and bells of Ireland. A few amaranthus and a few straw flowers are thriving.

We planted other things here and there and they've brought smiles all around. If we thought we were inexperienced before, this year, with having a good growth year , we are learning just how much the flip side of it also offers a good dose of humility. (I now get the joke about locking your front door during zucchini season! its everywhere!) and am learning a thing or two about companion planting.

That being said, its been a real joy getting familiar with each leaf and each flower, seeing things grow and figuring out their harvest date. It's fun seeing the bees pollinate and the beetles all over (some are not so fun, but even still, it at least provides a homeschool opportunity!) To fail and to succeed, to troubleshoot and to leave alone. It's given quite a gift to me, going out in the cool of the day to check on everything. I'm thinking this garden thing might follow me well into the future.

In the front of our house I threw some lupine and poppies half hazardly with the kids. It isn't a very pretty garden bed (the lupines I hoped for never did flower-but it may be because we have neighborhood groundhog) and yet those poppies that did bloom are perhaps the thing giving me the most joy at the moment.

I greatly look forward to the day when all of this is second nature. Our kids are loving trying things from the garden and Eli is getting quite good at identifying different leafs and such.

Originally, I had decided that since this was our first year in the house, we wouldn't take on the task of the garden. But then I remembered the nature of our life, and how precious even a single season is. We don't know how long we'll get to be here, so use up those summers! I'm SO glad we did.

Keeping notes on what I'm doing wrong and how to better plan. Year by year I think we'll get the hang of it! Finding which seed companies I like best, and learning about soil types and harvest dates. It all is good fun.

This was the first year we grew everything from seed, with the exception of a few raspberries, blackberries (that didn't thrive in our knotweed area) and a peony plant. It's been really rewarding seeing it start from a little seedling in the dead of winter all the way to now.

What a hopeful way to begin each year-seed catalogues and planting seeds in dirt before the dirt outside is even workable. I'm excited to let each year be welcomed this way.

Year Two of the garden is going pretty well so far!

On appleseeds and other lovely hopeful things.


"I want an apple seed."

He says to me, the boy who's been avoiding food all day, who doesn't like apples. I take it as my opportunity to perhaps entice him to eat one of the fruits he's banned.

"Well, the only way to get an apple seed is to eat an apple."

It works! Sort of. He takes one bite, and then remembers. He spits it out and gives up his effort.  Fortunately for him, his shadow -otherwise known as brother- comes along and decides he wants a snack.

I return to the kitchen cleaning and hope I wont be picking up apple bits for the rest of the day. Ten seconds later (about) the baby has half the apple down and has eaten a seed or two for sure (arsenic threats unknown.) He's on his way to consuming more. I cause him to pause and pull the seeds out before handing it back to him.

My middle child lays hold of one of those shiny little shapes, and darts out of the room. We're in my bedroom now and I am not entirely sure what he's up to. Ten seconds later (about) I hear a door slam and I hear him tromp up the stairs, satisfied grin on his face. "I planted an apple seed, right over there mama. "

He's proud. and he whispers under his breath "now I have an apple tree."

I was about to remind him of reality. The improbabilities. The likelihood of apples. But I didn't. His hopeful sowing was enough to remind me that, I don't really know do I? He did plant it in a bed, not in the grass. Perhaps there's more hope than I realize.

Perhaps, now he has an apple tree.


We met the neighbors. And they're darling as any neighbors could be. Welcoming, kind. Offering wine. Plus with two kids right around my kids age. Complete with an  already pledged eternal friendship and schemes for a secret path through the woods. The past few days have been rather painful for my daughter, since the very day after she met her future eternal best friend, Eli got sick. Thus the lot of us were put under house arrest. Much moaning, many an agonizing glance out the window. Shakespearean pain, I tell you. 

In an effort to deflate the situation, to save us all from the melodrama, I'm again tempted. The probabilities. The realities of this young lady being older, of busy schedules, of not getting hopes up. If I kill the dream before it grows, I wont have to deal with the pain of watching her realize its doom (if it perhaps is doomed. However unlikely.)

Fortunately, I'm noticing that there are (atleast) two ways to kill a childhood, one is not having one at all, the other is introducing the 'shoe drop' phenomenon. Just wait for it. Disappointment will come.

I remember an older woman exclaiming praise that God doesn't show her all that's ahead of her in life. She commented that had she known God would have her walk through all the valleys, she'd despair. She was a hopeful woman, who was so brave in the face of grief the words falling from her mouth made little sense. She carried an optimism I was bewildered by (and a bit jealous of.) 

That optimism is often elusive for a brain such as mine, I've found. I can conjure it, but it is fought hard for. I often wish I could just.see.whats.coming. Just let me have it, Lord. Let me make a plan. I remember telling Ben that while living overseas, during the hardest season of our entire life in our marriage, my brain was quiet. I was taking the next step every morning, but I knew the proverbial 'shoe had fallen.' Our marriage was struggling, and I didn't really anticipate it getting much worse between us. There. Then. My brain was quiet and at work at repairing. 

While all this is true, I'm hopeful this doesn't pass on to my little ones. My daughter already has a keen sense of seeing the ends of her ways (mighty bits of wisdom for a little girl.) and she sadly anticipates the dreadful much like myself. 

We have two sayings, between her and I. One is stolen from wise old Hagrid, "What's coming will come, and we'll meet it when it does." We say it every time we're tempted to fret. It helps. and the second "Every day has disappointments love,  but it has even more good bits. We get to find the good bits." 

Getting to meet the neighbors? the potential of an epic friendship? That was a really, really good bit.


I have often had moments when I get to view myself in the 'fight or flight' scenario. And, I'm quite surprised and proud of myself for the way I get to work when the hard bits happen. I'm in the fight category. Which has its pros and cons. 

Kid breaks their face, I jump up and move towards. Blood gushing everywhere, I'll put a stop to it.  Ben and I tease each other. While I'm the fretful one in calm, I'm also the first responder. If the zombie apocalypse were to happen (don't talk to me about zombies, I hate scary conversations.) I'd like to think I'd just let myself die, but we all know better. I'd be protecting all the babies.  Perhaps all the probabilities allow me to already see how to respond in those situations, so I don't have to formulate. Consider me for your team. I'm learning how to homestead.

I guess what I'm saying is, I'm coming to terms more and more with who this nearly thirty year old self is. In her best and in her heaviest. In the coming of terms, it's also allowed me to view the 'terms and conditions' of my life and to see the characters I get to share air with.

Of those, my children are profoundly shaping who I am as their own unique shapes form. I see in them a hopeful narrative that makes room for an even more hopeful narrative in me. Even if my tendency is worse-case-scenario. The apple seed that may be a tree, the neighbor who may be the bosom friend. The fort built for the play date. The making room for what we hope.


There was a study done  in which students were able to interact with aged-virtual-realities of themselves. The study aimed to see if those who interacted with older versions of themselves would later make choices that were more long-term minded, particularly in financial realms. The study found a seriously positive correlation.  Those that could see themselves as older, made choices with their older self in mind. . 

I found out about this study on instagram and the writer prompted the readers to consider their own selves (I think I've written on this before), in an older form. I recommend the practice to anyone. 

There are skill sets I definitely hope to have acquired in my old age (being well-read, having a garden, for starters.) but what stuck with me more was the hope of how I'd feel interacting in the world at large. I have a version of myself that I can see, and I really like that lady. I was a bit surprised however, because she wasn't quite as in shape as I perhaps would like to convince myself she could be. Nor was she quite so accomplished as I spent the last two decades deciding she would be, but she was calm. Unafraid. Closer to Home.

Moving some place new always causes a bit of turbulence in my brain, and my husband-praise God for that man-isn't really alarmed by my anxieties or my tendencies to try to create structure in unknown spaces. I remember asking him once if he thought I'd always be this way-referring to some heavy few weeks of OCD tendencies and fretting-and he said as honest as one does, "it's possible." 

It was of great encouragement to me that he wasn't alarmed by the possibility.  Such a gift, to be so fully known and loved, as Pope Keller says. It was an even greater encouragement when that same week I read in Galatians about how Peter-the same follower who had the fear of man so thoroughly in him he denied his beloved savior, then saw him resurrected-is rebuked again by Paul due to that same fear of man. He was rebuked for changing his behavior (and in a way denying the fullness of the gospel again) by eating only with Jewish people instead of the gentiles. 

You might ask, how can this be of encouragement? If a man who walked with Jesus, who struggled with ugly bits of his humanity pre and post Jesus' Resurrection, is still struggling even after facing the Jesus crucified and resurrected, What hope is this for us?  Such a great deal of hope! It gives me a glimpse at who's qualified to be hope bringers. Jesus told him that his very church would be built on Peter! Furthermore, I need to remind myself that struggling in ways I have chronically does not cause God pause in his working to make me new. Peter was still beloved and called, even in his stumbling. So am I. All the more, it makes heaven and the Christ I hope in all the sweeter.  

I know all these little paragraphs seem to be bouncing around in fragmented ways, but perhaps a few of you see the connecting points. 

My aim is this, I'm discovering more and more just how much hope there really is laced in the cloudy overcast days of apple seed planting and aching glances out windows.

 There's hope for the likes of us somewhat anxious ones. There's hope for the apple seed sowers, and there's a undeniable dose of hope that God is working to make things new regardless if we see it.  Even in this season of new normal, budding friendships-truthfully still a lonely season, and building a new life, I'm  forever reminded that as David says "I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."

What a gift to get to be part of the sowing.

Boston Children's Museum :: New England Adventures


Boston is a straight shot down from Concord. In about an hour, we can be at pretty much any part of downtown. We're slowly taking opportunities to explore it as our friends come through or we have something come up (like a few weeks ago when we got to meet the Finnish Honorary Consulate and make a trip to IKEA) This week, some dear friends from Alabama were here for a convention, so we asked if we could grab a quick breakfast with them before they had to be back at it.

We decided to check out the Flour Bakery, as per a friends suggestion, and it did not disappoint! Breakfast was awesome. We also spotted an owl just hanging out in one of the trees, which was pretty epic for three little ones. (It did freak me out a little when he kept watching Rowan walk to and fro-I think he was trying to see if he was a small enough snack.)  We definitely plan to go back to grab a snack of our own. It's located super close to the museum as well (walking distance) so we were pretty grateful to get to see our friends, then hope over for a few hours to visit the Children's Museum.

While pretty expensive (even those under two pay full admission price.) It was packed with activities that were gross and minor motor skill oriented.  Our kids had something to do in every single room, which I was impressed by. Hardly anything was nailed down (which can be a common trait of some 'childrens' museums.)  It's super stroller friendly and has bathrooms everywhere. Once you leave the museum, there were several places to eat as well as decent parking options when you arrive(we found a spot right away on a Saturday morning.) If you come to Boston with kids, I think this might be worth checking out.

Glad to have had a chance to visit.

Ice Castles :: Adventures in New Hampshire


When I first googled things to do here in NH, I discovered the Ice Castle attraction. Unfortunately, their last weekend here was the weekend we moved, so I chalked it up to something to visit next year. In an absolutely awesome turn of events, the cold weather lasted long enough that they extended the opening weekend until we could go. We were able to visit the very last weekend much to my delight!

They had Disney Princesses. And horses. And slides. and epic icicles.

When we first walked out the wind was pretty forceful, so I was a bit worried it wouldn't be a good visit, but as soon as we entered, we were shielded. We all absolutely loved it.

Rumor has it that in the evening, they light up the place with different colored lights. Since our littles were still a bit too young to push too hard around 'dark' we hope to make it out in the evening next year.

If you go, I'd highly recommend wearing boots and leaving the stroller. They say as much on their website and it makes a great deal of sense. They have locations through out the U.S. and I definitely think if there is one near you, it's worth checking out.

Hotel Living.

When we were on the house hunt, we got to stay in a hotel for a few weeks before moving to an airbnb and then moving into our home.  One thing that always surprises me is just how small a space feels, and then how it quickly grows large enough.

I have so many thoughts I'm still processing over this entire move to New Hampshire. We felt it coming back in October, but I assumed a move wouldn't be for another year or so. I remember being pretty pumped that 2019 would be a 'chill year' especially since I had found so many incredible women to journey through life with there in Alabama.

So to then, come February, be on an airplane moving to a place we've never been (which has been our track record at this point) was a bit of a ride. I was basically just holding on to the hope that at the very least, the autumns would be pretty.

When we moved to New Hampshire, we immediately looked at homes the next day. The market here is so different from the south, homes we loved last week were already gone.  So to find the house we hoped for and put an offer on it over the weekend, and had it accepted...well, it all felt a bit crazy but totally the norm here (praise God he accepted the offer, as there were two other offers on the table as well.)

A month later, we moved in. A few days after that we slowly began the process of unpacking all our belongings and finding a new home for them. We keep reminding ourselves. "bit by bit."

Now that we're six weeks in, two weeks in our new home, looking back at the photos of our time in our hotel feels like ages ago. I think that is the nature of things when we feel like we're mostly underwater.

Ben's work has been a bit of a change of pace from Montgomery. While not crazy amounts of overtime yet, the demand is much higher, meaning new norms for all of us. On the Homeschool front we've found a promising co-op, and an exciting group through wild+free. I've found quite a few more resources on the homeschool front, which has been a major beacon for me. It feels like a really good move on that front.

We've attended a church that we're really enjoying, but are often reminded we're not in the south anymore. People are slow to warm up, which while expected, reminded me of that long season of loneliness I experienced when we first moved to Finland.  I've cried my share over the realities of no longer being 'known.'

While it isn't nearly the same (friends are coming much easier this time around. Praise!) It still has been good to do some heart work on how much identity and function can be shaken in the unknown for me. I've learned it takes about a year for me to feel like I know which way is up, another six months to feel like a place is our own. After that, its a bit heartbreaking to leave a place. Knowing how long it takes, it really has just been a reminder of taking things day-by-day. Hoping to be surprised if the pace quickens, rather than being discouraged when it feels heavy.

While we're familiar with transience, goodness we are excited to feel a sense of rootedness.

When we moved (and much of the reason we chose to say yes to this move) it seemed promising that New Hampshire would be long(er) term for us. While we aren't sure whether we'll get to be here for the duration of the project + production support any longer (perhaps it was always wishful thinking? only time will tell.), we're still grateful for the time we have here and especially grateful to be out of the hotel space.

Fortunately I've learned, regardless of what space we inhabit, we know how to have a good time.

About a year ago, I began unpacking just how much 'fear of man' played a role in so many of my decisions. I think its been a trying, but seriously encouraging thing to see the way God has carried and called out some of that trust in moving us again. Remembering to present myself genuinely, and without pretense has often been absolutely terrifying (Type enneagram six, where ya'll at?) as I calculate worse case scenarios. Yet, the more I realize that 'for such a time as this' we get to be here, the more I realize there's work prepared in advance for us to do, the more I feel bold enough to just keep showing up.

a total "yay god" as our dear friends in MN used to say:  about three weeks ago Eowyn commented "mom, I still don't have any friends." at bedtime. I responded "me either, baby." and it was absolutely crushing to realize how long it takes to establish friendships. My prayers that night were pleading for God to allow us some connections.

This week, the girl can list three girls by name that are her age that she thinks will be future friends. In the process, this mama has met some pretty beautiful souls as well.

"bit by bit." God keeps showing me he's gone ahead and I'm resting in that.

We moved!!!


We received word when we returned from Christmas Holiday that Ben will be taking up a new position with his company in New Hampshire.

We felt the move coming for a few months, but predicted it would be a bit further out (we waited for a whole year before moving to Finland.) so for it be as sudden as it was was a bit of a whirlwind.

We've been here for about a month and a half and have since bought a house, found a church we hope to call home and most importantly, got a library card. :)

Our home is on about an acre of land, so all my garden dreams are running wild. We've got just a few more rooms to set up, a trip to IKEA and a enchilada date on the calendar.

Bit by bit, we're setting up shop.

I always forget just how long it takes to feel like things are home. This constant moving takes its toll and this mama. While we accepted the position hoping it was going to be more long term, it very may be for just a few years. Either way, we're going to enjoy the time we have here, I think.

It really is a lovely state.

We've already gone to see Ice castles! (More photos to come later.) As well and visited Maple Weekend where you can tour sugar houses.

We hope your spring is shaping up nicely, ours feels a bit like...well spring. The groaning of change, mixed with the hope of what is to come.

While this is the quietest the blog has been for quite some time, if you visit over on instagram (brittanysprague) I post there a bit more frequently. I'm finding as the kids get older, and we home school and delve into all our various hopefuls, I find myself less and less sitting down at the computer to edit photos and the like.

That being said, I'm not willing to let this old girl die yet. She started right when we got engaged (in the wave of all the millennials making blogs about their life!) and while most have moved over to instagram #instagramatemyblog, I still have a bit of a tender spot for blog posts.

So, thanks for visiting this mostly quiet corner over the course of all these years. Hoping to take more time photographing with my camera and less with my phone, which naturally means sitting down here to edit.

As always, thanks for reading.