Spring is really and truly here and I couldn’t be happier about it! Bluebonnets and other wildflowers are in full bloom, the grass and trees are green, and my moods have thankfully taken a turn for the better. (Still not perfect, but improving!) I’m also deep into my second trimester and feeling good—even now that I’m officially “over the hill,” having celebrated my fortieth birthday at the start of the month. Our March was filled with other excitement as well; let’s take a look!


I read a whopping eighteen books this month (I had a string of eight days in which I finished eight books!), and there was a handful of interesting trends in my reading: not surprising (given my obsession with the trope) were four books involving time travel (with this sweet story being my favorite and this being the most memorable). A little more surprising were the FIVE books about marriages in their earliest stages (this Regency romance was a sleeper five-star read for me, while this strange novel and this popular thriller did not live up to the hype). Reward for most propulsive book of the month goes to this mixed-media mystery that left me in a major book hangover.

Every one of our four read-alouds this month was a hit (this was my favorite, and Charleston loved this one best). In nonfiction, this was a quick but informative read, this had some very important things to say about our current technology obsession, this was a whole bunch of fun, and this was wonderful on every level. I’ll be sharing reviews of all of these titles in a (super-sized) Quick Lit post next week.


Here’s a look at some podcasts that inspired and informed this month (with a heavy emphasis on parenting-related shows).

The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast—636 | Jennie Allen on Recovering From Feeling Numb in Life and Leadership, Untangling Your EMotions, Gen Z Revival, Why There Are No Fake Christians Left, and the Value of Being Raw & Transparent

Foundation Worldview Podcast—Addressing Guilt and Shame in Young Children

Focus on the Family Broadcast—Putting Children First in Education

Alisa Childres Podcast—#237 Is a Hyper-focus on Trauma Actually Hurting Us? with Maria Baer

Don’t Mom Alone—Three Faith Pillars for Parenting Teens :: Melissa Kruger [Ep 457]

That Sounds Fun—Humility and the Unknown with Dr. Joel Muddamalle – Episode 872

Honestly with Bari Weiss—Jonathan Haidt: Smartphones Rewired Childhood. Here’s How to Fix It.

Best of RAR How to Make Time for Your Own Reading


Luke has been making biweekly batches of red sauerkraut that we both love. It takes some effort at the front end, and plenty of patience, but the payoff is totally worth it. I could eat it by the bowlful, but restrain myself to a few scoops on top of my nightly salad so that a batch lasts more than a couple of days. I love the extra flavor, crunch, and dash of health this adds to my meals, and I really love that it’s a homemade food item I’m not making myself! (Luke specializes in pancakes and sauerkraut; what more do you need?!) The kids aren’t the biggest fans of the sauerkraut, but they will devour the raw red cabbage (which they call “purple candy”), so we’re sure to save plenty of the raw stuff for them before fermenting.

I always love hot sauce, and when I’m pregnant I REALLY love it—as in, I literally drink the stuff and slather it on everything. My hands-down favorite hot sauce comes from Flame Broiler which, sadly, we do not have here in Texas. But I have finally discovered a pretty close match in Frank’s Red Hot Wings Buffalo sauce! I don’t enjoy wings, which is probably why I’d never given this hot sauce a try, but after seeing a food blogger share about this sauce in a non-wings context recently, I decided to add a bottle to my next HEB order. What a great decision that was! It’s pretty spicy but not burn-your-mouth hot, and it has excellent flavor and a decent ingredient list. I’m now adding multiple bottles to my weekly grocery order; when this baby is born with a hankering for spicy foods, we will know why.


My favorite BB cream was discontinued and in searching for a reasonably-priced replacement I’ve discovered this cream from L’Oreal that I like almost as much (and at a fraction of the cost). The cream goes on smooth and offers great coverage without feeling heavy or caking. The purple tint had me skeptical initially, but I have been pleased with how well it blends with my skin tone.

A quirk about me is that I strongly dislike using gift bags and almost always wrap presents in paper. But quality wrapping paper at a decent price can be hard to find, which is why I was so pleased to discover this paper from American Greetings. I ordered two three-packs (one feminine and one that leans masculine) and love the adorable patterns that are neutral enough for nearly any occasion, and suitable for either kids or adults. And because the paper is reversible, I get twelve pattern options from just six rolls! The paper is durable but not so thick as to make wrapping difficult. These are good-sized rolls that will last me a while—but not years like my Costco-sized rolls (which are a bargain but I admit to getting tired of using the same paper for so long).



+ A good joke he came up with this month: “What do you call a leisurely thorn? A slow poke!”

+ Overheard talking to Kali and Sully: “The world is not the best place which means people aren’t making the best decisions. Which means we have to pay attention so we don’t get caught in their bad decisions.”

+ When he found some of his old drawings and artwork and began feeling nostalgic. “Sometimes I think back to those times, when I sinned less than I do now, and I just miss the good ol’ days.”

+ Not a Charlie-ism, but a fun Charlie moment: his enrichment program invited kids to dress as their favorite book characters one Tuesday. Harry Potter characters were not permitted and he was having trouble settling on another favorite character, so he went with the out-of-the-box solution of writing a comic strip “book” about our family and dressing as himself. (Pictured below.) He was meticulous about his outfit, asking me the night before school to remind him not to wear his watch or belt since he wasn’t wearing those in the drawing! He even had our family all sign consent forms, giving him permission to use our names and images in his book—he really thought of everything! He made copies of his comic strip to pass out at school, and I think the costume went over well.


+ Looking at a Dairy Queen Coupon, when I told him one of the pictures was called a sundae. “What are the days of the other foods?”

+ “Why do we hold hands when we cross the parking lot? If there’s a car coming, we’ll still die!”

+ “Did you know that girls are special-er than boys? Because they get to go first.”

+ “Straw is another word for grass. It’s how Spanish people say it.”

+ Watching the pre-movie features before a movie on DVD, when I explained that we always had to watch this when I watched movies growing up. “Aww! That’s frustrated! People just want to watch the movie and stuff, that should go at the end!”


+ Walking out of her room wearing some new shoes I’d left for her on her dresser, she said in an accusatory tone: “Raise your hand if you bought me these new shoes.” I raised my hand and Kali came to give me a huge hug. “I thought it was you. Thank you, Mom, I love them!”

+ Looking through a coloring book of Barbie in various career costumes: “What?! Why is she a fire fighter and NOT a princess??”


My 40th birthday came on a Saturday which meant that I had a lot of flexibility in how I could spend my day. I had told Luke that I wanted to sleep in and woke around 8 to three giggling voices running into my room, placing something on my nightstand, and dashing out whispering “we did it!” The kids had surprised me with cards and breakfast in bed—a cup of yogurt (my usual breakfast) in a ziplock of ice because they know I like to eat it frozen. They even remembered a spoon! It was a very adorable start to this new decade. The rest of the day included a pedicure, our gender reveal for the kids, birthday frozen yogurt with 40 candles, Saturday evening church as a family, and a takeout salad from MOD pizza (fun fact: because they have so many great pizza toppings, MOD can deliver an amazing salad!). I received so many lovely messages and calls from family and friends as well as what was my favorite gift from my friend Cara: she sent me a box with a collection of wrapped books, one for each month of the coming year. I’m loving the March book she sent and am so excited that this is a gift that will keep giving all year long!

The kids spent weeks brainstorming ideas for a St. Patrick’s Leprechaun trap and were excited to set it up the night of March 16th. They did not capture a leprechaun, but they DID snag some pretend gold and delicious golden chocolate AND they exercised some awesome creativity in the process. Wins all around!

Last weekend we took the kids to Bass Pro for pictures with the Easter Bunny. It made me a little sad when Sully said matter-of-factly, “But that’s just a costume. I think there’s a girl in there.” So it wasn’t the magical experience it’s been in the past, but it was still a fun time and they all looked awfully cute.

Last Friday was egg-dying day in our home. We’ve been saving up our eggs for confetti eggs and had almost sixty empty eggs to dye this year. The kids had so much fun, getting creative with drawing on the eggs, using different colors, and even painting on designs. This is one tradition that gets a little more fun each year.

On Saturday we went to a city-wide Easter Festival/Egg Hunt and had a great time! It was very well attended, yet we had no problem getting turns on the train and the bounce houses and of course the kids loved the egg hunts. It was fun to see each of their approaches to finding eggs: the boys rushed to get as many as they could (filling their baskets AND hats with eggs); Kali was more particular about which eggs would make it into her basket. But they all came home with plenty of candy and fun memories . . . and I came home with some cute bluebonnet pics, thanks to the lovely patches we found in the park!

Saturday afternoon was for church, both serving and attending. And we had a HUGE surprise when my parents showed up between services! We knew they were driving out from California for the funeral of a family member, but we didn’t think they would be in our area Saturday night. How fun to “run into” them at church. . . and the kids (who hadn’t known yet that they were coming at all) were floored! After church we came home for some Easter Bunny prep—setting out baskets of plastic eggs to be filled and hidden, alongside bunny snacks and adorable notes.

Easter morning brought plenty of fun! The kids were excited about their filled Easter baskets (lots of candy and things to play with) and loved the note they received from the Easter Bunny, complete with clues for finding a few special eggs (they’re getting too smart, they found these WAY too quickly). After our fun little family egg hunt, my parents came over bringing more Easter treats and confetti eggs that they hidden in our front yard. Mom and Dad were able to join us for breakfast and a little playtime before they needed to head out of town and we headed over to my in-laws’ house.

We had a wonderful Easter afternoon with Luke’s side of the family. The kids played, we ate barbecue, and then we had a huge confetti egg hunt. My mother-in-law had made 250 eggs, to which we added our own five dozen—in other words, the kids were hunting for eggs and smashing confetti on heads for a VERY long time and had a blast!

The cousins all looked so precious in the matching outfits Amanda bought them, and the bluebonnets in my in-laws yard were some of the best we’ve had at Easter (thanks to the holiday being so early this year). Lovely pictures for a beautiful day celebrating the most amazing event of all. He Is Risen!



Baby #4 Is a . . .

Searching for Enough (March Verse—Psalm 92:1-5) “Gratitude takes our focus off of our own discontent and resentment, and it allows us to feel contentment IN THE MIDST of our lack. It transforms what we have into enough because it turns our attention toward our Creator and our Provider, who Himself is our greatest gift and blessing, and the ultimate answer to the question of ‘what do I want and need?‘”

The Difference “Because of the resurrection, we have been forgiven. Because of the resurrection, we are redeemed. Because of the resurrection, death is defeated and we have the promise of eternal life. Because of the resurrection, we can have a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior who took the place of all our moralism to become our Way, Truth, and Life.


Quick Lit + March 2024

Bonus Book Review: Habits of the Household, by Justin Whitmel Earley

Best of the Backlist: Middle Grade Novels That Adults Will Love Too!


28 Fun Facts from the Year 1984 (That’s 40 Years Ago!)


“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” ~ C. S. Lewis

“Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” ~ William Butler Yeats

“We should be astonished at the goodness of God, stunned that He should bother to call us by name, our mouths wide open at His love, bewildered that at this very moment we are standing on holy ground.” ~ Brennan Manning

I hope that you had a wonderful March as well. What were some of your highlights? What are you looking forward to in April?

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