Books To Read During This Coronavirus Lockdown – Or Anytime Really

It’s March 19th and, according to my Goodreads account, I’ve read 18 books so far this year.

Of course, a couple of those books are reads that I started at the end of 2019, but that still counts as a 2020 read if I finished it this year.

I’ve really stepped up my reading since giving up social media for Lent. It’s amazing how much time I’ve found to read actual books when I’m not reading long-winded Instagram captions all day. And with so many things being shut down in Ohio to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading, I am home on my couch more than ever. Perfect reading time! I still love a good audiobook, but I’ve sat down to read some actual books and digital books too!

Here’s the list so far:

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It’s A Great Nursery, Charlie Brown

Amanda Estep Photography

One of the rooms, I was excited to decorate was my son’s nursery. I loved the idea of having a cute little space just for him. What I quickly realized is that the space is for my husband and I too. We do a lot of diaper changes, feeding, reading, and rocking him to sleep in that room.

After much debate, we chose the Charlie Brown/Snoopy/Peanuts Gang theme because both of us love the characters and we thought it was refreshingly baby-appropriate. One of our favorite holiday activities includes watching Charlie Brown holiday movies. We can’t wait until our son is big enough to recognize the characters on TV.

When we embarked on this project, to our surprise, Charlie Brown stuff is hard to find! I’m guessing it would’ve been easier around the time The Peanuts Movie was in theaters. Right now, procuring decor for the nursery has become somewhat of a game to us and whenever we DO find something, we buy it because we feel it’s a rare occurrence.

Between things we’ve found and gifts others have purchased for us, I think we’ve got almost everything we need for the nursery.

Check it out!   Continue reading “It’s A Great Nursery, Charlie Brown”


Bedside Baptist: Worship Songs To Get Me Through The COVID-19 Crazy

“This is not isolation. It’s consecration.”

– Pastor Steven Furtick, When God Says Stop

I am a church girl. I was raised in church. I graduated from a high school that was part of my church. I went to a Bible college that was a part of my church. I met my husband at church. I am raising my son in church. If you’re looking for me on a Sunday morning, more than likely, I am at church. Even when I’m home washing dishes, I am probably listening to a church sermon.

So, even though, all of these “Coronavirus shutdowns” include church, nothing is stopping me from having church in my living room. (In fact, isn’t it ah-MAZE-ing that we can have church in our living rooms? Nearly any worship leader and any pastor in America can be streamed LIVE right to you sitting on your couch in your sweats, one hand holding your phone with the Bible app open and the other hand deep in a box of Teddy Grahams. What a time to be alive!)

I feel as though I have rediscovered YouTube in the past few weeks while being “stuck” at home. There are countless, fantastic, uplifting, worship songs on Youtube. Here are just a few of my favorites that I’ve been listening to on repeat.

Let’s have church!

Continue reading “Bedside Baptist: Worship Songs To Get Me Through The COVID-19 Crazy”

Five Ways To Get Into A Running Habit in 2020

Photo by Rosemary Ketchum on Pexels.com

Last year, after years of procrastination, I decided to get into a running habit in 2019.

I started on December 28, 2018 unable to run a half mile, but by the time of this writing in November 2019, I’ve run two four milers, a 10K, a 15K, a half-marathon, and my first-ever full marathon.

Here’s how I did it and how you can too!

Continue reading “Five Ways To Get Into A Running Habit in 2020”

Moms And Tots Pickerington

As Alexander is getting older, I’ve been looking for activities in a more organized setting such as storytime or Tinkergarten as opposed to just running around a trampoline park or the playground (although I do appreciate those energy-draining activities as well).

With this in mind, I was really excited to check out “Moms & Tots in Pickerington” – a free playgroup for moms and their pre-schoolers! One of the women in my running group started “Moms & Tots” at Pickerington Baptist Church. We went to our first meetup last week and will definitely be back.

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Game Plan: Taking Your Toddler to an Ohio State Football Game

Photo of Joe, Alissa and Alexander at an OSU football game.
Joe & Alexander’s first OSU football game Labor Day Weekend 2019!

I grew up less than 15 minutes away from Ohio Stadium, yet before this Fall, I had only been to ONE Ohio State football game. As a kid, my dad took me to plenty of Spring games. Those are always in April around my birthday, but an actual game? Nope.

Continue reading “Game Plan: Taking Your Toddler to an Ohio State Football Game”

Alexander’s Birthday Breakfast

When Alexander’s first birthday party ended, I said I wasn’t having anymore birthday parties!

It’s not that we didn’t have fun, it’s that planning your child’s birthday party can be SOOOOOO much work!

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How To Make Mom Friends

Photo by Adrienn on Pexels.com

As a new mom, it can seem tough to make friends with other moms. This is especially true if none of your friends have kids or if you’ve recently moved to a new city. You may go to story times or to the park or to other places where moms gather and and feel like everyone knows everyone except you. (If you’re not going to these places, and you desire to have friends, these are good places to start!)

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Our Squats and Tots Experience

Recently, I finished a six-week “Squats and Tots” class and, frankly, the concept is genius and I’m floored there aren’t a million other classes just like it.

Squats and Tots is a 30-minute group, play-based fitness class for parents/caregivers AND their kids. It’s the brainchild of FindWhereYouFit.com founder Lindsay Goodman.

The class takes place at Picadilly playcafe in Bexley or Jewish Community Center.

What makes it so great is that I’m able to get in a good workout *with* my kid as opposed to *in spite of* my kid.

Continue reading “Our Squats and Tots Experience”

Five Creative Must-Have Products for Babies

IMG_2254The other day, one of my friends posted on facebook asking for product recommendations for new moms. I posted several items there and it gave me a great idea for this blogpost.

Motherhood is a funny thing in that when you’re pregnant and go to the store to check out baby stuff (R.I.P. Babies R Us), you feel overwhelmed and feel like you don’t know WHAT to get. Then, as time goes on, after you buy too much of one thing and not enough of another thing, one day, you realize that it wasn’t as hard as you thought.

Of course there are the essentials: diapers, wipes, bottles, pacifiers and a Boppy pillow. But there are also the non-essentials that in hindsight, I couldn’t live without! Continue reading “Five Creative Must-Have Products for Babies”


Does Running Late Count As Exercise?


I used to workout ALL. THE. TIME. Recently, I was reading some of my old blog posts about running and I can hardly believe it was me! If I did it then, I can certainly do it again.

Unfortunately, if I thought finding time to workout was hard before having a baby, well, finding that time (and desire) has reached a new level of difficulty that I didn’t even realize existed. It’s even more important for me to workout now because a) I need the energy and b) I want to be in great shape to be able to keep up with my toddler (who is now officially toddling).

When I left my full-time job, I thought I would morph into that mom who works out all the time, is “super in-shape” and just generally has it together. (I have no idea why I thought this considering I haven’t consistently worked out in years and my plans to be that “super in-shape” pregnant lady then to be that “super in-shape” working mom both crashed and burned spectacularly.) Still, I know that the first step to reaching that goal is to actually put in some effort.

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AHA! A Hands On Adventure Children’s Museum

When I was a feature reporter for a local news station, I used to spend hours perusing websites and newspapers and magazines for people, places and events to feature. On one of my regular “story idea hunts” I came across news of AHA! A Hands On Adventure Children’s Museum grand re-opening.
The museum, geared toward kids under 8 years old, had just relocated from one location in Lancaster, OH to another.

I’d never been to the first museum, but their new one – located near River Valley Mall – is fantastic.

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How I Find Time To Read

51648200-FDA3-447D-A7DC-156896472B8AEvery year, I say I’m going to “read more books”….and this year I’M DOING IT!

Yes, after not losing weight, not being nicer, not being more organized, not staying on top of laundry, not blogging more (ironic), I am actually doing something I set out to do at the beginning of this year. I wanted to read 12 books in 2018. It’s August and I’ve already blown past that goal.

How did I do it? Me, with a baby, husband, job(s), pages of excuses, and an addiction to social media?

It’s simple: I made it a priority.

Continue reading “How I Find Time To Read”