Hi, I’m Danica.

I guess I’m a lot of things: a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a crafter, a cook, a reader, a writer, a homemaker, a pianist, and probably a lot more too. But at the end of the day, I’m just a Christian trying to find and obey God’s will.

family time Nov 5

And right on the heels of a long-anticipated weekend away, we ended up with a week of family time! Since neither Ryan nor I are actually good at being home and vacationing (he’d be on the phone solving problems, I’d be deep-cleaning the freezer — but I have hope! One day!), we loaded ourselves and a week’s worth of books and games and groceries into the van and headed to another nearby lake.

There wasn’t much to do (the whole point!), and the five days slipped by to the tune of slow mornings together, little hikes and boat excursions, two birthday celebrations (William and Ryan), movies and books and puzzles, and just kind of being near Dad. No matter what he was doing.

We had rented this same cottage three summers ago, when Beattie wasn’t walking and William and Jameson were decidedly little boys. Arriving there again was nostalgic. This season of young children just changes so quickly. So quickly. Jameson is 9! William turned 7! It whirls and flies faster and faster, leaving me sometimes just gasping for a breath — and maybe crying, too. To know for certain that I will never, ever again be on a boat watching 3-year-old William experience the thrill of full throttle, arms in the air, eyes sparkling in the unique way they do… And I know again that my days with them are such a gift. I get to watch them, help them, introduce them to the world and its wonders, their growing gifts and personalities, truth and goodness and hope. I get to witness their moments and hours and days. It doesn’t always seem significant. Sometimes it’s a lot of moments of potty-helping and chore-reminding and conflict-resolving and super-hero-story-listening. But those moments are their lives, and I’m a part of these building-block moments that are adding up to men and women.

And truthfully, honestly, there aren’t many moments I wouldn’t gladly do once again. Even just for a minute, to build a train track with my baby Jameson, to sing a song to the happy baby William playing at my feet, to watch my doll-baby Beatrice smile at her brothers, to slip Fiona into the Ergo for a tromp in the snow… Those are moments no one else saw, no one else witnessed, no one else was a part. But I was. God picked me. Isn’t that amazing?

Yes, I’m very pregnant, but oh my! I am in tears, marveling at the way God uses me — ungifted as I often feel in every area pertaining to home management and school organization and even just babies! — to shape people.

I think I had some pictures to post, if I can just find them through my tear-blurred vision…

october’s get-away Nov 4

Hands down, the highlight of October for me — maybe the highlight of the last few years? — was a weekend away with just Ryan. Our 10th anniversary had come and gone without celebration, as have our birthdays and several other anniversaries before, and after a very demanding couple of years for Ryan and our little family, I decided it was time for a break.

It wasn’t extravagant or fancy. In fact, it was as simple as a meticulous little house on a nearby lake. We left our kids with my wonderful parents, put pj’s and wool socks into a suitcase, bought fancy cheese and favorite vegetables and splurge-y steaks, and it was just perfect. The last of autumn’s leaves fell gently to the blue water, and I watched, mesmerized, from the couch. The first snow blew in the next morning, granting permission to just sit some more, warm and calm under heavy blankets. We slept. We talked. We shared new favorite ice cream. We read. We did it all together, and at our own pace. We rested.

I may have cried a bit when we left. It was just so wonderful and needed. It was such a gift to be able to get away. And it is such a gift to share the work of life with someone who you love so deeply.

September Nov 2

It’s November.

This blog-turned-family-journal is woefully behind. I thought once a month was bad. This once a quarter thing is really bad! Before a new baby comes and life takes turns that I can’t fully predict, some catching up:

September was warm and beautiful.

It was peaches and apples.

It was babies really starting to grow.

It was school! Rediscovering the magic of books, loving new math programs, discovering a whole new world called Ancient Egypt.

And it was Jameson turning nine. Nine.

A special shopping trip for taco fixings and ice cream cake ingredients and even lemonade. Lobbying to invite three friends instead of the customary two, and why not? Waking up with so much thankfulness for a day of forecasted sunshine. And finally, a yard full of running and laughing and ambushing and nerf-dart-shooting, light-saber-wielding boys and little sisters. Kind, happy, thoughtful young men.

We celebrated this boy who sits politely and listens intently as we share things we appreciate most about him. A boy who can think of nothing better than to share his candy with each birthday guest, even Mama and Daddy. Who bursts when he opens a sling shot and brand new fleece. Who stays up late poring over new books about Most Famous War Campaigns and How to Tie Knots and Severn Wonders and Famous Explorers.

He sings and hums his way through life. He cheerfully does any job asked of him and is growing to be not just a contributor, but a reliable and needed piece of this family puzzle. His eyes show love and concern for me, and the deepest of admiration for his daddy. He just likes to be with us and finding out he can go to work with Dad is the best news ever.

He’s playing piano and banging away on a new-to-us drum set (can you imagine how exciting it was to open those boxes??), reading the books I borrow from the library faster than I can pay the late fees to get more. He loves his soft and worn sweats and chamois shirt at home, and a tie and sports coat every chance he gets. His favorite outdoor activity is football, of course, because it’s football season and that’s how he rolls. Hands-on projects are his favorite, and sewing buttons is his newest skill set. He’s inquisitive, he’s sensitive, he’s loving and loves life.

More and more I truly mean that sharing life with him is a treat. I can’t believe I get to live all these years under the same roof with someone so great. Maybe the next 9 years will slow down a bit? Somehow I don’t think that’s at all how it works. So, fleeting as they may be, I will invest in these days together, by the grace of God.

I love this boy of mine.

Fiona’s 2nd birthday Sep 7

Second birthdays are just so much fun. They are finally old enough to get it, but more than just getting it, these little people revel in being celebrated! Fiona doesn’t have a lot of words to say yet, but when I would say, “It’s almost your birthday!”, she would respond very clearly and excitedly with, “CAKE!”

So when she woke up on August 25 and I was pouring chocolate batter into cake pans, I’m pretty sure she couldn’t have gotten any happier if she’d tried!

We were in the middle of painting the kitchen floor, so I brought our cake and our pjs over to my parents’ house for a quick birthday party.

Pardon the number of similar photos. Her expressions are, to me, absolutely priceless!

Beatrice turned 4! Sep 7

She did! I can’t believe it. I can. But I can’t. She’s getting tall. Her thoughts are so precious. I just love everything about her more, if that’s possible. Our celebration was simple, but so special. And she is just still so thrilled to be four!

(I laughed that they insisted on me posing with a salad they found beautiful but none of them wanted to touch with a ten-foot pole!)


(I love this picture!)

(Fiona’s exuberant hands, Beatrice’s overflowing-heart smile… What precious memories!)

august Sep 7

August blew in fast and furious as Ryan and I worked with our friends to open the newest shop. This new life of business-owning-and-expanding is both exhausting and wonderful. We all roll up our sleeves together — even the kids, whose daily routines change constantly as the seasons of our family ebb and flow.

Along with that, August was also:

Trying very hard to get dinner on the table once in awhile!

The excitement of new curriculum trickling in via big brown boxes.

Little girls in Mama-made pjs that they just loved wearing. (Already too cold at night, for the most part, to wear such summer frippery!)

Celebrating my mom’s 60th birthday with a lovely outdoor evening.

Quick errands and getting to catch a glimpse of him training.

Backyard picnics!! Finally!

One serious garden day. Oh, it was wonderful!

A few crazy house projects, finished quickly, thanks to my trusty sidekicks Jameson and William, and dear friends Liz and Carol.


Exhausted little girls who would nap anywhere (since I was oiling our hallway floor and we couldn’t use the bedrooms!)

A paint-spattered, growing belly.

26 weeks and growing an Olympic gymnast, I think.

This guy.

And so flew August.