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On Beauty and Motherhood

I put on makeup every day for 30 days. I didn’t wear makeup every day before I had my daughter, so I surely didn’t prioritize it after she was born. One day in January, I realized that I liked how I felt when I wore makeup, so I thought I would conduct a little experiment. I wanted to see how it would make me feel to wear it every day for 30 days. Depending on the results, I may consider making a concerted effort to wear it daily.

My Top 10 Reads from 2023

I read some pretty phenomenal books in 2023— some of which will go on my list of all-time favorites. My top ten is dominated by nonfiction, yet funnily enough, novels hold the top two spots on my list. Five of the ten are memoirs, revealing a particular preference I have for that genre right now. In general, my reading ratios are 1 novel: 1 memoir: 1 additional nonfiction. I want to read more fiction this year.

Project Emily Advent: Day 25

My maternal grandfather, Papa, was a great and wild soul. He was particularly close with my sister, Bailey. He loved all of his grandchildren, and made a particular effort to show up in each of our lives. But Bailey was Papa's best girl. He was totally smitten with her. He was a friendly and warm person, but he could be bristly at times, and Bailey seemed to be the only person undeterred by his bad moods. She was every bit his equal in fortitude and stature of personhood.

Project Emily Advent: Day 24

Who makes you laugh more than anyone else?

Project Emily Advent: Day 23

My mom is a powerful person. Strong, smart, opinionated, resilient. She has mothered seven children, educated as many, and served in various ministry roles throughout the years. She is a creative, with an eye for design in a number of avenues. She’s a great speaker, a great listener, and an intuitive teacher. She is sensitive to the emotional climate of any room.

Project Emily Advent: Day 22

I hope my grandchildren describe me as kind. I hope they feel warmth and gentleness emanating from my person every time they’re around me. I hope they remember friendly greetings to grocery store clerks and gentle words to the person who accidentally knocks our cart. I hope they don’t remember a single harsh word or unkind joke. I hope they only feel deeply loved and wildly important when they are with me.

Project Emily Advent: Day 21

Write about your favorite season.

Project Emily Advent: Day 20

When I went into college from homeschool, the hardest thing for me was not the academic work, but learning how the classroom functioned generally and adapting to each professor’s particular teaching style. Each one had different rules, different expectations. For someone who considers herself pretty adaptable, this was still a lot for me to grasp. Some seemed to want a hearty back and forth discussion with their class, some seemed to only want to talk at their students for the entire class period.

Project Emily Advent: Day 19

When my daughter was around six months old, we went on a beach trip with my family. It was my first time traveling a real distance with a baby, and it was harder than I expected. The drive was long and she struggled to sleep in her carseat. I figured out how to lean over her carseat to nurse her while we drove to comfort her and reduce some of the screaming.

Project Emily Advent: Day 18

What does it mean to care for oneself?

Project Emily Advent: Day 17

When Peet and I had only been married for a couple of months, we drove to Missouri together to see a solar eclipse. It was our first road trip together. We spent one night in Arkansas on the way there, stopping at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, a popular rock climbing spot. We arrived at dusk. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, nothing short of breathtaking. Rolling green hills, vast and pure. I tried to capture a photo, but they never do it justice.

Project Emily Advent: Day 16

My mom’s mom, we call her Grandie, has been taking me to see live performances for as long as I can remember. One of my first memories of seeing a musical on stage was at the Point theatre in Ingram, a magical outdoor theatre near where my mom grew up. The Wizard of Oz. I was absolutely enchanted with the story, my ruby slippers a treasured wardrobe staple of my girlhood. I specifically remember wanting to meet none other than the wicked witch after the performance, so moved was I by her talent and power.

Project Emily Advent: Day 15

My dream home is a large, charming, white colonial. Black shutters, large front porch. The floors are original hardwood, the bathrooms are nothing original but the tile. There are built-in bookshelves in every room. My delight is in the details, the crown molding. The living room is big enough to accommodate large groups, small enough to feel cozy. There’s a television, though it remains hidden when it isn’t in use. There is an eclectic style, but it doesn't feel cluttered.

Project Emily Advent: Day 14

The place in the world I most want to visit is the Italian countryside. I know that Italy is high on many Americans’ bucket lists, especially for women. This makes me feel a little bit cliche, which is my least favorite thing to feel like, but I’d rather be truthful than special. A close second for the place I most want to visit is China, which probably sounds much cooler, but has political implications that make my stomach hurt. So for the sake of authenticity and avoiding anxiety, I’ll say that I most want to visit Italy.

Project Emily Advent: Day 13

There’s a documentary on Netflix called *Audrey*. It tells the life story of beloved actress Audrey Hepburn. Her rise to international fame is nothing short of dazzling. The documentary shows scenes from her films, her Oscar acceptance speech, and photograph after photograph of her on set, at home, and attending glamorous events in beautiful gowns.

Project Emily Advent: Day 12

What is an expectation that you could let go of?

Project Emily Advent: Day 11

Write a poem about grief.

Project Emily Advent: Day 10

I loved camping as a child. My parents took us camping regularly, sometimes with several other families, sometimes with only my grandparents. The days were structured with the perfect balance of scheduled activities and free time to do whatever I wished. We took hikes and did other activities as a group, but there was also plenty of time to get bored, wander off, look around, read a book, play a board game, take a nap, ride a bike. Camping felt so peaceful, so easy.

Project Emily Advent: Day 9

Today I attended a charming holiday party at my friend’s home. There was a beautiful hot chocolate bar, where I loaded up my mug with whipped cream, caramel sauce, and nutmeg. I sat with a few other guests around their dining table, where we colored pages of various Christmas symbols. I was quite dedicated to my image of a stained glass Christmas tree, and didn’t leave my chair for nearly two hours.

Project Emily Advent: Day 8

My favorite meal is a charcuterie board. Brie drizzled in honey, grapes and rosemary. Preserves and sliced pear, salami and cashews. Dried fruit and olives, small pickles and fresh berries. Delicate prosciutto, burrata, figs. I much prefer baked bread to crackers, a baguette being the best choice. I love the servingware that usually accompanies a board, (you guessed it) tiny spoons and spreading knives and bowls of preserves.

Disclosure (Let’s be honest)
This website contains posts with affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission if you purchase a book I’ve linked— at no extra cost to you. I’ll always be upfront with you when a post is sponsored or a book is gifted. All books I recommend are books I actually read and enjoyed.
No joke.