Making Baby Steps Every Day

Hopefully in the right direction!

My Eyes Are Fixed

Welcome, welcome! This is the beginning of yet another one of the blogs I’ve started – and I’m hoping this is here to stay.

Two and a half years and two kids later, we’re still in the D.C. area. Honestly, we really don’t have any kind of solid idea of what the future holds. Scary? A little. Exciting? Of course. When people ask us what our plans are, I tell them we are done making plans. We do, however, set goals. Maybe this is partially because we have been burned so many times, and are not doing anything we thought we’d be doing had you asked us three years ago. But, I think part of that is because we are typical 20 somethings.

I used to believe that you decided what you wanted to do for the rest of your life in college, and that you’d be set from your first big-kid job for your career. And that was just about as naive as believing that college life at Ohio State was going to be the same as it is at Grove City College. Boy, was I wrong, which I realized my first weekend in Stradley Hall when one of the girls down the hall got roofied her first night out.

It seems that that people my age are constantly searching for the answers to these questions:
What am I actually good at? How do I get paid to do it? And how do I change the world doing it?

Michael and I are definitely still working through this, both as professional individuals, and as a team leading our family. I’d like to think that we’re good at raising our kids, and obviously aren’t going to be paid to raise them. BUT, I wholeheartedly believe that raising beautiful, loving, honest, compassionate and intelligent children to be great contributors to society is in fact one of the best ways we can change the world. Who knows what great things are in store for them!

So welcome to my new space, learning about our journey as we navigate this crazy world. Our eyes are set forward, fixed on the horizon, making goals rather than plans. Perspective is everything, and I’m excited to share mine.

Featured post


There’s been a lot I’ve been wanting to write about the past few days… Summer softball at the foot of Washington Monument, going to a playdate where G’s behavior was less than ideal, picnics in the front yard because Daddy comes home for lunch, visits from Uncle Matt and Grammie, hot weather, and so on and so forth. But this week had an unexpected turn.

My cousin died on Tuesday. In Austria while hiking on a mountain I once hiked. It took them three days to find his body. He was 18 years old and just graduated from high school.

I feel for my aunt so deeply in a way I would have never imagined until Grier was born. That is her baby and suddenly he is gone.

We’ve had some great experiences the past few days, but my mind is full and my heart is aching constantly for Mikey’s family and the grief they must be feeling. At times, it seems to smile and have a good time is to forget. But there have been few minutes my mind hasn’t been in Austria with my family who are still waiting for DNA results to confirm their worst nightmare.

God’s plan is not always ours, and we never know what tomorrow brings. Hug your babies tight.



Spraygrounds are my jam in the summertime. They are less hectic to juggle two littles on my own than a pool and they are typically F-R-E-E. This was our first time at this particular spray ground, and it was perfect cool down for the almost 90* day. My only regret is not packing a picnic lunch like everyone else. Anyone else have some go-to spots in the summer for a cool down and sensory overload?

Stroller I’m Obsessing Over: Phil & Teds Dash

Baby Stroller I Actually Use: Baby Jogger City Mini Double

iPhone App I Can’t Live Without: Facebook

Bug Bites, Broken Toes and Sunscreen

In my rejoicing over winter passing and not having to bundle the kids up only to have to take their jackets back off to get in their car seat – repeating the process while running errands – I completely forgot about so many steps in the process to get going in the summer.

Sunscreen, bug bites, skinned knees – all things that had completely escaped me. P got eaten alive by some red ants yesterday, I’m constantly wrestling my kids to put on sunscreen every time they want to play outside, and someone has a freshly skinned knee almost daily.

To top it all off, I broke my toe at an indoor playground yesterday. Have you ever broken a toe? Literally the WORST and naturally happens at the most inconvenient times… like the first night of my honeymoon, or the beginning of summer. As I was painting my nails to make sure they didn’t look awful when complaining about my toe to others, P woke up just in time to want hers painted too. Aren’t those tiny feet the absolute sweetest with pink nail polish on them?

Anyways, I guess it’s time to step up my game on the bug spray… and I’m still trying to figure out where I stand with this whole sunscreen debate beyond knowing we use sunscreen like crazies and can’t afford $20 bottles. Though, some argue it’s a small price to pay. What sunscreen do you use?

Kids Show We Love Right Now: Peppa Pig

Take Out Food I’m Craving: Buffalo Wild Wings

Sunscreen We’re Currently Using: Banana Boat Kids SPF 50, DO Naturals SPF 32

Beginnings of Summer

This summer is going to be a challenging one! Grier has been going to preschool twice a week for the mornings this past year, and I’m realizing if we’re all to survive, there’s a call for intentionality in our activities. I see this as the summer to lock down a routine and really take even more advantage than we have already of living 10 minutes from the heart of Washington D.C.

So what better way to start than going to the library the first day we could to sign up for the summer reading program! As you can see, Grier has already started his reading endeavors today, and if you can’t see, one of the prizes is FREE CHIPOTLE. It doesn’t really get much better – and 60 books over the course of four months is going to be in a walk in the park. At this point, we typically read 3 stories at a time, because, well, Grier is 3, and he therefore must do everything accordingly.

What I’m Reading: Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan

Podcast I’m listening to: Serial Season 1

Show I’m binge watching: Downton Abbey

My first post on the Cloth Diaper Whisperer Blog – click here!

5 Steps to Avoid a Nap

Getting the 2 year-old to go down for his nap has been quite a task this past week. His nap avoidance skills have continued to amaze me, so I thought I’d share, because I’m sure your toddler might need some new tricks.

Step One: Tell mama you have to pee, then sit on the toilet for 15 minutes because you have to go “again.” This is particularly affective when mommy and daddy are quite eager for said toddler to be excited about using the big boy potty.

Step Two: Run around naked, refusing a diaper, after using the potty. Being chased while running around with a bare bum is especially thrilling.

Step Three: Continue bringing more books to read after mommy agreed to only one. When we still aren’t clearly talking and putting words together into phrases or sentences, we understand how much mommy and daddy hope that books will lead to better speech.

Step Four: Claim you’re hungry, and then slowly feed Cheerios to yourself, mommy, Mickey and Minnie. Nothing tugs at a mama’s heartstrings more than the idea of putting their baby to bed on an empty tummy.

Step Five: Scream and cry in hopes that mommy will change her mind (or let you FaceTime Grammie) and not make you go to sleep until you finally just lie down and zonk out.

There you have it my friends, five not-so-successful, yet clever ways to avoid taking a nap.

Newborn No More

It’s a bittersweet time as Little P is turning 4 months old, we’re starting to hear her belly laugh and watch her learn to sit up on her own… I’ve also finally put away the last of the newborn and 0-3 month clothing. 

The new clothes we had stored and waiting are still tiny and as cute as ever. But there’s a few favorites that will get tucked away until another Little Lady Lyons makes her way into the world (or maybe not at all). I love the white sparkly leggings and the gray penguin sweater that’s wearing a bow tie, the “little lady” sleeper and pink giraffe onesies. 

The frequent exchanging of clothes from one size to the next every few months is just a reminder that babies don’t keep. In a way, it’s quite exciting to think about the kind of personality your baby will grow into, and to learn what their likes and dislikes are. On the other hand, who could complain about having a little tiny newborn nugget curled up on you all the time. 

Time is moving faster than I’d like in this crazy tornado we are calling life these days. But the future is looking bright!

8 Tips for Flying With an Infant

A couple weekends ago I found myself flying to Rochester, NY for a family emergency with my 3 month old. Because most of our time spent was going to be in a hospital, taking at two year old and figuring out arrangements for our dogs did not seem in our best interest. So it was just me and P! I’ve flown a relatively good amount with a babe-in-tow, and these flights back and forth were going to be my 4th and 5th doing it solo. I have to say, I forgot how EASY it is to fly with an infant, after my past flights being with a very busy toddler. But I wanted to share some tips on how you can make flying with a baby even easier!

1. Wear Your Baby – Once I get out of the car and get checked in, luggage checked, I go back to the benches and strap my baby on with our Ergo Carrier. This is key for a few reasons: 1. Your baby can stay in the carrier while you go through the metal detector at security. 2. You have your hands free to shift stuff around. 3. You can use your stroller as a cart. 4. Your baby will likely feel more comfortable among the hustle and bustle if they are snuggled up. 5. It allows them to sleep if it’s nap time, rather than getting them in and out and moving them all around.

2. Prepare Your Liquids Ahead of Time – I don’t think I can get my diaper bag through security without at least a couple ziplock baggies full of various creams/bottles/sanitizers. Just put them in bags ahead of time and leave them at the top of your diaper bag. Make it as easy as possible to just pull them out (I actually get them pulled out and put them in the stroller after I strap the baby on, so they are just waiting). You can have bottles of pumped milk that are larger than the allotted ounce allowance, just be ready to get your hands swiped for their magical machine. It really isn’t a big deal. 

3. Make Friends with Security – For all the horror stories you may hear about TSA officers, I think I’ve only ever had one person stupidly ask me to open baby food pouches, and I said no, because they’re sealed, and they said okay. Other than that, they’ve been kind, helpful, and accommodating. Some have even made sure to tell me which rows are easier with strollers. Just smile and look for the line with officers who look like they could be moms or grandmas!

4. Go to the Bathroom Right Before You Board – You do not want to be dealing with a baby  in your hands on the airplane bathroom if you don’t have someone else traveling with you. While you’re at it, change your kid’s diaper right before you board, too.

5. Check-In, Again – At the gate counter. Get your tags to gate check your stroller (mine was in two pieces) ahead of time. One less thing when you are juggling everything to board. And while you’re there, you have nothing to lose by asking if there’s a row where you wouldn’t have someone sitting next to you available.

6. Talk to Your Flight Attendant – Once you’re on board there a couple safety things you may not have on your radar: 1. Where the infant life vests are (usually in the back, which is why I try and choose seats toward the back, plus it’s closer to the bathroom, and the engine noise is merciful to fussy kids). 2. Does your row have enough oxygen masks? This was new to me, but some regional jets that have a 1-2 seat arrangement don’t have rows equipped with enough oxygen masks for a child sitting in your lap.

7. Pack an Extra Shirt – I have been puked, pooped and spilled on during flights. Pack an extra shirt to save yourself the embarrassment of walking around with poop all over. You’ll thank me later. 

8. Take Your Sweet Time – Do not let a single soul rush you throughout this process. If you’re nervous about having enough time to get through everything babe-in-tow, then get to the airport a little early. I can’t tell you how many times I pause in the process to gather myself before I move on to the next step. I get to the airport, I rearrange myself, I check-in, I re-arrange myself, I go through security, I make sure everything is put back together before I keep moving, I get to the gate, check-in, and then get everything how I want it for the plane… You get the picture. And when I land, I do it all again in reverse. Nothing is worse than feeling like you don’t know where anything is when you’ve got a little dependent thing strapped to you.

Maybe you’ve heard some of these, maybe some are new. But with these few tips, I am a believer that flying with a child is 20 MILLION times easier than making them sit in a car seat for hours on end. Happy flying!

Molly and Me

Everyone, meet Molly!


My mom got Molly for me for Christmas this year. But it was my grandma who picked her out, with the assistance of my aunt. (Thanks, again, everyone!) You see, my grandma is quite the seamstress – she even made my prom dress senior year. And back in the 5th grade day when I was homeschooled, I spent one day a week with her learning to sew. It’s been a long long time since I sat down to a sewing machine, but there have been so many things I’ve been wanting to do for the babies that require one.

Enter my first project: a wet bag for cloth diapers. (More on my cloth diapering adventure later.) When I’ve been able to buy diapers for $5/piece used, I was having a really tough time justifying buying a $30 wet bag to hold them in, particularly when everyone said I should have two… So, I thought I would just make my own with Miss Molly.

I used to think that everyone had to sew like my grandma. She has a whole room dedicated to her craft, with cabinets of thread, tables to measure and cut perfectly straight lines, and a closet full of fabrics. But I realize that that’s probably not the case for most, and definitely wasn’t going to be for me. Instead I measure and cut imperfect lines on the floor, and push aside the salt and pepper shakers to make space on the dining room table.



From start to finish, it took me six long days to make this simple bag. Grier especially thought it was fun to play with all of the knobs and buttons on Molly… One time I sat down and couldn’t figure out what was taking so long, and then I realized he had turned my stitch length to the absolute shortest the machine would do.

I finally found my uninterrupted hour after everyone went to bed tonight to finish it, and I couldn’t help but just look at it and smile! That’s the best part about making something, be it food or craft. Pride. Always. Even after what felt like a hundred texts to my grandma, ripping out seams more than once, and sore finger tips from all the pin pricks, I did it.


This bag is so much more, though. As silly as it seems, it’s quite a symbol. Grandma texted me at one point that she just wished she could be here with me to help me get started on my new machine. But she was. Those hours upon patient hours sitting in a room with a ten year-old didn’t disappear. There wasn’t a moment I sat there trying to make this bag as perfect as possible without thinking of Grandma. This is what legacy is – passing along the tips and tricks that cannot be found in a how-to book. It’s the knowledge that comes from experience. It’s the love.

My bag isn’t perfect, but as Grandma said, my dirty cloth diapers won’t mind!


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