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11 Reasons Why I Write (And Plan to Continue)

writer excited about garage door purchase

Why do I write? This is something I had never answered . . . until Cyber Monday. That’s when I splurged on Michael Hyatt’s “Get Published” course. (Yes, I’m already a published author, but that doesn’t mean my wheels haven’t been spinning in the mud for a while now.) 

In Michael’s first session, he asks, “Why do you want to write?” Here are eleven reasons why I write (and plan to continue), in no particular order:

Why I Write: First for Me . . .

  • Because doing so makes me dig deep into God’s Word like nothing else (and I profit more than anyone!). 
  • To be a healthy me. (If I haven’t journaled in days, it’s a sure red-light-indicator that things aren’t great in my soul.) 
  • To think thoughtfully about life and to discover what I actually believe. 
  • As an outlet for my much more challenging 24/7 job as mom of two sweet-but-needy little boys. 
  • Not just to be a “faith writer,” but to be a “faith-filled writer.” (Thanks for sharing this truth, Lore Wilburt.) I write to combat the negative voices in my head that tell me I don’t have what it takes. I write to be faithful with the gifts God has given me—even when they’re not as bright and shiny as the next writer over who’s stringing words together in a most beautiful way. 
  • To open more doors to speak (that’s just how it works in our world, folks). I “feel God’s pleasure” (Eric Liddell reference) when I teach like I do in no other way. I want to keep honing my skills and blessing others in that way. 
  • To keep up—and actually improve—my skills so I can be prepared to re-enter the full-time workforce should I ever need to. 

Why I Write: Then for Others . . .

  • In order to obey Scripture’s command to use my gifts of teaching and exhortation to serve the people of God (Romans 12:6). Thanks for continually beating this drum, Erin Davis!
  • With the hopes of helping my talented husband, Trevor, with the financial burden he shoulders as the sole provider for our family. My most recent contracting project for Revive Our Hearts enabled me to replace the impenetrable fortress of our broken garage door (which is pictured here behind me). 
  • Because I’ve found I’m bolder to speak truth with a pen or a mic in hand, and God seems to bless that boldness. 
  • To leave a legacy. I am aware my days on earth are limited. If my words (which point to God’s enduring Word) stick around longer than me, that’s a win (1 Peter 1:24-25).

Why do you write, or do that thing you do? And if you’re only dreaming of doing it, then why do you want to write, or carve, or start that business? As Michael Hyatt shares, you need to know your “why” if you’re going to succeed. 

PS: If my writing, editing, speaking, or interviewing skills can be of use to you or your church or your organization, please let me know. Now that our garage door slides open quicker than your tush can land on black ice, I’m ready for my next assignment. 

Four Gifts from My Desk to You

Four Gifts from My Desk to You

Dear blog reader, Today I want to share four gifts from my desk to you. I haven’t posted here for a couple months now—not ‘cause I’ve had my feet up—but ‘cause I’ve had my bum in my chair and my fingers on my keys focusing on several projects for Revive Our Hearts. I want to share them with you now, in the hopes that something here will bless you today.

Gift 1: Living with the Difficult People in Your Life

From July 31 to September 11, I had the privilege of leading a seven-week Facebook Live study for our newly released Bible study, “Abigail: Living with the Difficult People In Your Life.” I taught two nights—once on God’s providence and the other night on the sticky Imprecatory Psalms. The other evenings I interviewed guests. I found Vaneetha Risner’s story on forgiveness especially powerful. Enjoy! (And thanks to my hubby for taking care of Iren while I recorded these live segments!)

Gift 2: Ten Truths to Set Leaders Free

I then contributed a chapter to this new ebook, which you can download for free. My chapter  addresses the lie, “My ministry is insignificant compared to leaders with larger platforms.” Plus, read other lies and truths for leaders from nine other writers.

Gift 3: I Choose Truth

Three coworkers and I wrote this 30-day “I Choose Truth” email devotional. Here are the six weighty truths I covered:

  • “There is no one I cannot love.”
  • “There is no one I cannot forgive.”
  • “It’s not about me; It’s all about Him.”
  • “I can keep God’s commands.”
  • “The cross of Christ is sufficient to conquer my sinful flesh.”
  • “It is impossible to be godly without suffering.”

You can sign up here if this interests you.

Gift 4: My Favorite Conference Yet

Finally, today I’m over at TrueWoman.com writing about My Favorite True Woman Conference Yet. Trevor and I just got back late Monday. Usually, I’m holed up transcribing messages or writing blog posts, but this year, I co-hosted the livestream. Because I knew I’d need stories to share on the stream, I was “forced” to interact with women and not simply type on my computer. What a gift!

I wrote this post to share some of these women’s stories with you. Thank you for praying for them as many of them have just returned to difficult life situations.

I hope these four gifts from my desk to you encourage your heart today. I’m grateful for you!

A Shakespearean Sonnet and A Dog-Doo Shooing Strategy

A Shakespearean Sonnet and A Dog-Doo Shooing Strategy

I’ve enjoyed letting you peek over my hubby’s shoulder to see that I’m not the only writer in the family. You’ve read his Romans 5 hymn as well as his mock Chick-fil-A hymn. Today, I promised you one final installment of poems by my accountant hubby, just for fun.

A Shakespearean Sonnet

First, the Shakespearean sonnet he wrote over three years ago while flying west to propose to me. (If you knew the ins and outs of our dating relationship, you’d see that this is replete with symbolism and meaning!)

An unexpected blessing came to me,

A treasure from the realm of heaven sent.

‘Twas flown on wings across a digital sea,

The seed that grew into love’s bless’d event.

 

A bloom of life and love was found within

An unexpected place. A prairie flower

Grown in good soil she neither toils nor spins,

But drinks the rain, enjoys the Sun’s great pow’r.

 

I journeyed far to gain this precious rose,

By land and air, through darkness deep inside.

I’ll carry her through thorns and fears below

Held by his Hand in raging storms and tides.

 

The rising Day will banish soon the night.

Sojourn with me till then, and be my wife.

 

(How could a girl say no to that?!)

 

A Dog-Doo Shooing Strategy

So we wed and moved into the yellow house on the corner. No sooner had Trevor rid the house of fleas than we started finding dog poo in our yard. So naturally, Trevor wrote a poem. He placed it in a weather-proof sleeve, and attached it to our fence with some plastic baggies:  

I thought to take a walk one day

All through the eastern wood of ’Cuse

But wait, my dog, he longs to play

I bring him too, I’ve no excuse

 

I walk down road and street and lane

And see my neighbors on the way

Oh no I have forgot again

My dog he has to poop today

 

I have no bag, nor sack, nor can

But wait, I think this lawn will do

He’s just a dog, and not a man

He leaves a number one and two

 

But wait, I see this baggie here

It’s free for all to clean the poo

Now I remember, oh so clear

My neighbor’s lawn is not his loo

DOG HAD TO GO? TAKE A BAG! 🙂

(I’ll leave it up to you to determine whether that solved or exacerbated the problem.)

I hope you enjoyed catching a glimpse into my hubby’s writing. Unfortunately he doesn’t have an up-to-date blog, but you can follow my hubby’s tweets at @gottheology.

Chick-fil-A, You’ve Been Good To Us

Chick-fil-A, You’ve Been Good To Us

Once there was a young man who was such a rabid Chick-fil-A fan he reworked an old hymn about it:

Trevor’s Chick-fil-A Hymn

Guide me O thou cows of Cathy

Pilgrim through this chikin-less land

I am weak, and very hungry

Hold me with thy powerful hand

Buttered bread, so lightly toasted

Feed me till I want no more

Feed me till I want no more

 

Open now the crystal fountain

Whence the sweetest tea doth flow

Let the fiery chikin sandwich

Lead me all my journey through

Tastiest fast-food, kindest service

Be thou still my flavorsome fill

Be thou still my flavorsome fill

 

When I tread the lands without thee

Bid my hungry fears subside

Death of thirst, and hunger’s destruction

Land me safe in thy drive-thru’s line

Many thank you’s I will ever give to thee

“It’s my pleasure” I will ever hear from thee

Sparks Fly at Chick-fil-A

Alas, this young man lived in New York, far from “the Promised Land” (as he lovingly referred to his beloved Chick-fil-A).

But as luck would have it, he bumped into a girl over Twitter who lived near a Chick-fil-A. After they’d talked online for about four months, he asked what she’d think of him visiting her for a long weekend.

Knowing how much he loved Chick-fil-A, she arranged for them to meet for the first time in person in “the land flowing with sweet tea and lemonade.”

Their friendship was forged even deeper over that long weekend. So much so that at their parting breakfast—over his spicy chicken biscuit—the young man let this girl know that he was interested in more than a friendship. And right there in the Mishawaka Chick-fil-A, they became boyfriend and girlfriend.

The boy and this girl dated, got engaged, and then wed on October 3, 2015. Three weeks later they traveled all the way back to Michigan to celebrate with their friends over . . . yes, Chick-fil-A sandwiches. ​

Every chance they got they stopped at Chick-fil-A on their travels until one day . . . they learned that Chick-fil-A was coming to a town near them!

In Line for Free Chick-fil-A

The young man knew exactly what he would do. He would rise early and wait in line in hopes of being one of the first one-hundred customers. If he was successful in his mission—assuming he spent that day doing community service—he would win a free Chick-fil-A meal each week for a year!

Suffice it to say, you can now spot that young man and his wife through the Chick-fil-A window as they save money many Friday nights by taking advantage of this free meal on their weekly date night.  

Chick-fil-A: You’ve been good to us.

  • Karen Wilson, we don’t know if you’re still serving as the Marketing Director at the Chick-fil-A in Mishawaka, IN, but thank you so much for donating part of our reception meal back in 2015!
  • And Dan Cathy, my hubby loved meeting you when you flew in for the Chick-fil-A opening in Syracuse. You have created a beautiful business, and it has blessed us personally in significant ways.  

To my readers: Thanks for your patience. A couple months ago I shared some of my hubby’s writing with you and promised this Chick-fil-A hymn plus two more poems. Watch for the final installment of his writing next Monday.

 

We Survived a Home Renovation . . . Almost!

We Survived a Home Renovation . . . Almost!

Four months ago our little family moved into my in-laws’ house, and our home renovation began.

As home renovations go, this one has taken longer and cost more than we expected. Our contractor told us he has seen couples divorce over home renovations. I get it. The stress is high. The decisions are unending.

It’s not just the home renovation. We feel like we’ve been in a pressure cooker for months now.

When Life Doesn’t Give You a Break

Sometimes life just doesn’t give you a break. It’s the need to finally bite the bullet and buy a new car, even as you’re dishing out money right and left for your home renovation.

It’s the trip to the emergency room in the wee hours of the morning . . . and a subsequent hospital admission. (Iren was wheezing and struggling to breathe.)

It’s urging people in our lives to turn from sin and pursue Christ. It’s that ridiculous relational squabble. And on and on and on.

My husband and I are weary. I’ve had a meltdown or two. It usually goes like this, [Sob . . . sniffle . . . “I have no friends!”] Trevor assures me I do, but I have yet to figure out how to find time to hang out with any of them in the midst of all the other demands and responsibilities.

But in the midst of all the pressure, I continue to catch glimpses of just how much God cares for me. For example, here’s how I saw it yesterday.

I was taking Iren on a walk when I looked up and saw an acquaintance. I fell into step with her and told her I need to prepare three messages for a mother-daughter retreat next week. One message is for moms, and I’ve never been a mom of a daughter. So I asked this pastors’ wife of four children what she would say to these women.

Her thoughts sparked several ideas, so I pulled out my phone and took notes as we walked. It was a reminder that God sees my overflowing to-do list, that blank Google document, the impending deadline . . . and He cares.

Would You Pray for Us?

I share all this with you to ask you to pray for us. Pray:

  • God would send us help as we move back home. Our house is far from move-in ready, but we are ready to be home, even if it means dust and disorganization for a season.
  • for refreshment for our weary hearts.
  • that this renovation will allow us to continue to grow in our capacity to extend hospitality to others.
  • I’d figure out how to prioritize and pursue friendships in the midst of all there is to do.
  • the Holy Spirit would guide my thoughts as I prepare these talks–and that I’d find the time to do so.
  • I would love and bless the moms, teens, and tweens I’ll speak to on March 16.
  • Trevor and I will continue to grow in affection and teamwork and kingdom impact. (In spite of the stress of the last few months, I love him more every day. He’s my favorite!)

Thank you, friend. Even the one I haven’t met in person yet. Thanks for reading and caring.

And know that in your own weariness and stress, God cares for you. Cling to these truths in 1 Peter 5:6-7, as I am: 

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

PS: A hearty thank you to Dale and Patti Marsteller for putting up with us for the last four months! Also, to all our friends who have pitched in at our house . . . thank you.

PPS: Photo credit goes to our friend Ryan Krahmer, who captured this photo of our dining room months ago as we were preparing to rip out the wall between our kitchen and dining room.

Meet the Real Writer in This Family

Meet the Real Writer in This Family

I’m the writer who married the accountant, or so they say. But I’ll let you in on a secret: Trevor is the real writer in this family.

Words are as familiar to him as numbers are. (Numbers and I, on the other hand, just don’t jive. In a recent game of Wits and Wagers, I guessed that the longest highway in the U.S. was 800,000 miles long–or was it 800,000,000 miles long? I have a habit of liberally throwing in zeros as if they’re chocolate chips going into cookie batter–the more the merrier.)

This man, though . . . he can not only crunch numbers, he can whip up poems and hymns lickety-split.

Trevor often texts me a short poem to start our day. Here’s a stanza he wrote recently based on this sermon we’d listened to the night before:

Lord we confess that deep within
Desires blur and mix with sin
Wholly incline our hearts today
To seek your kingdom this we pray

And then there’s this hymn he wrote based on Romans 5 that needs to published and sung, in my humble-but-proud-wifey opinion:

 

In the beginning, God made man,

Adam lived with God in peace.

But through that man came sin and death;

Adam died and so shall we.

 

The seed of death, the stain of guilt,

Deep in Adam’s progeny,

But Second Adam surely brings

Death to sin, how can this be?

 

The Second Adam came to us,

Grace to end sin’s tyranny,

He to conquer death by death,

As You died, Lord, so shall we.

 

United to the risen Lord,

Bound to Him eternally,

The king of old is now dethroned.

As You live, Lord, so shall we.

 

Now Lord we give ourselves to You,

Christ, our Life, who set us free.

To sin we died, for You we live;

Slaves of God now shall we be.

 

There’s more though. He doesn’t just write hymns to express spiritual truth. This month I’ll share three poems he wrote and used to get:

  1. A wife (yup, that’s me)
  2. Chick-fil-A for his wedding reception free-of-charge.
  3. People to stop leaving dog poo in our yard.

Until then,

That Writer Living in His Shadow

My 2017 Writing Goals in Review

My 2017 Writing Goals in Review

One year ago, I actually wrote out my writing goals for the year ahead. (Progress!) I mostly failed to meet them, but I learned an important lesson in the process. 

The Writing Goal I Did Meet

Of the six writing goals I set, I accomplished just one of them:

  • Get published on DesiringGod.org.

(Here are the three posts DG published if you’re interested.)

The Writing Goals I Didn’t Meet

Here are the five writing goals I didn’t meet . . . and why:

  1. Get published on TheGospelCoalition.com. I didn’t get far with this goal, as I never even submitted a potential post to them. I should have set a deadline, determined what to write about, and researched what person and email address to contact them at.
  2. Publish 48 posts. Here’s what I did do right: I calculated that I needed to post four times a month to reach this goal. I started strong (five posts in January and five posts in February), but then I began to fizzle out. After giving birth to my son, Iren, in May, I didn’t post at all in June, July, or September. My total post count for the year was a mere twenty-one.
  3. Have Tim Challies mention me in his 12/17 Top Bloggers post. Hah! I would have had to post quality content way more often to even make me a contender. (Here’s who made Tim’s 2016 list; I’m still watching for his 2017 list.)
  4. Complete content audit on PaulaWrites.com. I first heard about the concept and importance of a content audit in this podcast. It’s a pretty overwhelming project. I chipped away at it throughout the year . . . but barely. Again, I should have set weekly goals in order to hit this goal.
  5. Double email subscribers and social media subscribers. I feel like a broken record. I needed a plan for this to move from being a dream to an actual goal.

What I Learned from My Unmet Writing Goals

Some people might quit after such a dismal performance, but I’m not discouraged. If I hadn’t set any writing goals, I wouldn’t have written as much as I did.

More importantly, I learned from the experience: I won’t reach my goals without a plan.

So this year, I’m freshly motivated to do things different. This year I’m setting quarterly writing goals rather than annual goals. This should keep my writing goals front-of-mind throughout the year—not just in January and then in December.

I’ve already scheduled quarterly goal reviews on March 24, June 23, September 22, and December 17. I will use those times to review my progress and finalize the next quarter’s writing goals. 

How about you? Are you setting any goals for yourself this new year? (Any you feel free to share?) More importantly . . . have you put a plan in place to execute your goals?  

Learn from my failure: You won’t reach your goals without a plan.

“How Would You Feel About Having Ten Kids?”

“How Would You Feel About Having Ten Kids?”

I told you I ached to write. I promised you more personal blog posts. That was two months ago. You deserve an explanation.

Where in the World Is Paula?

The good news is . . . I have been writing. I’m sorry I haven’t posted here much. But let me fill you in on what I have been working on.

A friend has started watching Iren Mondays so I can explore the possibility of writing another book. (Yesterday that included soaking in a bubble bath while reviewing journal entries I’ve written since meeting Trevor. Not bad huh?)

I’m currently outlining four potential manuscripts. I don’t know for sure that any of them will materialize, but it’s worth exploring. Especially because I imagine our family will continue to grow, and carving out time to write will only become more challenging.

I’m also still writing for Revive Our Hearts ten hours a week. I try to put in two hours each weekday, preferably while Iren is napping.

“How Would You Feel About Having Ten Kids?”

The last project I completed for ROH was watching the Revive ’17 messages and writing descriptions for them. Iren helped.

His favorite part of the conference was singing along with the band. I was especially challenged by Robyn McKelvy’s message on counting children an asset and a blessing. When I finished watching it, I interrupted Trevor’s workday with a phone call, asking “How would you like to have ten kids?”

He said something like, “Let’s see if you still feel the same way in a week.” He knows me well.

More than the number of children we have, Robyn’s message challenged the way I think about children. She also encouraged me to really enjoy them. (Thankfully that’s getting easier and easier. Five-month-old Iren is a delight.) It was fun to hear some of Robyn’s practical examples of what she does as a mom as well.

One more message worth noting: Susan Hunt’s description of aging brought tears to my eyes–specifically the last sentence of her conclusion. Apparently I wasn’t the only one . . . she got a standing ovation. You can watch those messages–and more–here.

Back In the Saddle

I actually did write a post for this site, but at the last minute I sent it to Desiring God. You can read it there.

All that to say, thank you for your patience with me. I still plan on posting here!

If you haven’t yet subscribed to my blog, type your email in the box to the right under “Don’t Miss a Post!” and you’ll receive future updates in your inbox. (If you’re reading this on your phone, click on the menu button at the top and choose “Subscribe by Email.”) You can unsubscribe at any time.

Two Travel Sagas with a Layover in a Neurology Hospital

Twice now Kimberly Wagner and I have traveled to exotic locations to speak at an event together. We met in Brazil in 2015, and a month ago at the Gospel Coalition Conference in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Prince Edward Island . . . Or Bust

This past speaking engagement in Canada has been on our calendars since 2015. Our host kindly offered to let us stay a couple extra days with our spouses to be refreshed. It didn’t take more than a few seconds for Trevor and I to agree, “Prince Edward Island? Um . . . yeah!” Kimberly and her husband, LeRoy, also planned to take our host up on his kind offer.

That was before I was pregnant and gave birth to our son. And before we learned that Trevor wouldn’t be able to travel with us, as it fell during his busiest season at work.

It was also just before LeRoy began experiencing strange symptoms. These undiagnosed symptoms persisted for the next two years—right up until the conference. In spite of his declining health, LeRoy insisted that they keep their commitment. He and Kimberly set out from Arkansas the day after my mom, my son, Iren, and I left New York.

An Exhausting Day of Travel

woman and baby sleeping on plane

 

In spite of the fact that Iren is a peaceful baby, our travel was exhausting. After several delays, we arrived in Prince Edward Island twenty-two and a half hours later. Our luggage, however, did not.

Thank the Lord for the kind man at the front desk of our hotel. He fetched robes, toothbrushes, and deodorant for us, and we stumbled into our beds—and Pack ’n Play—at 4 a.m. Thankfully, I didn’t have to speak the next day.

Kimberly, however, was not so fortunate. She also arrived at 4 a.m., but she had to speak at 9:00 that same morning.

And while I got to see my protector-husband at his finest (Trevor went to bat for us, tweeting at and calling Air CANADA in search of our bags), Kimberly had to support her husband. Literally. Within forty-eight hours of their arrival, he couldn’t walk without her help.

I got to connect briefly with LeRoy and Kimberly at the conference, and you would never have known they were going through so much. They were as kind and others-centered as ever.

Once the conference was over, we said our goodbyes (I wanted to get back to my hubby!), but LeRoy and Kimberly had planned to stay a couple extra days to relax.

More Delays . . . with A Layover in the Neurology Hospital

Our travel home wasn’t much easier than our travel there. I’ll take our delays over Kimberly’s any day, though. While we were delayed hours, she and LeRoy were delayed weeks.

LeRoy collapsed in the hotel lobby while they were still in PEI, and he couldn’t get back up. They arranged for an earlier flight home with a connecting flight in Texas, so they could visit a neurology hospital in Dallas. That layover and ER visit turned into an unplanned eighteen-day stay. LeRoy was finally discharged . . . with more questions than answers, and a whole lot of medical bills.

The Journey from Here

Leroy and Kimberly Wagner

This journey is far from over for them. Would you cry out to God on their behalf? Here’s the latest update so you can pray knowledgeably.  

Also, if you’ve been touched by Kimberly and LeRoy in person or through their writing, would you consider giving financially to help them pay their medical bills?

I texted Kimberly asking if they have insurance, and she told me they’re a part of Samaritan Ministries. She’s hoping that will cover a large portion of the hospital cost (which they have to pay up front), but it doesn’t pay for LeRoy’s medications. And these meds aren’t cheap. These dear friends are looking to God to provide, and you can help answer their prayers.

Thanks for taking the time to read our stories, when I know you have your own delays, illnesses, or other challenging circumstances. Big or small, may you walk intimately with God today, knowing that He is in control, and that He is good.

I leave you with this post Kimberly wrote about LeRoy while they were in the hospital. It’s one of the most touching posts I’ve read in awhile, as it shows the impact of walking with God intimately for years.

As the Wagners want more than anything else, may God be glorified through your own current saga—and theirs.

This post was originally featured on TrueWoman.com as “Unexpected Travel Delays and an Unexplained Illness.”

Back to Blogging Post-Baby

Hello there! It is so good to get back behind these keys post-baby. 

In the past three months I’ve pushed out a baby boy, survived the early days of insomnia and a new baby routine, prepped three new messages for a speaking engagement, and traveled out of the country with my son for said speaking engagement. Whew!  

The Baby Part

I don’t want to paint myself as some kind of wonder mom. Truth is, God blessed us with “Wonder Baby.” That’s what I call him. I do so quietly, though, so all the other new moms aren’t filled with envy.

Meet our son. Iren Daniel Marsteller joined our family on May 20. He was big. Over nine pounds. When the pediatrician first measured his head, he exclaimed, “How did you get him out?”

The answer to that would be “Trevor.” I never could have done what I did without his coaching; encouragement; and constant, strong pressure on my lower back.

I still can’t believe we did it. I don’t even want to look at the hospital when we drive by, and Trevor–with a twinkle in his eye–says he now understands how some people have PTSD. We’re not huge fans of the process.

But the result is so worth it.

We finally landed on our son’s name just before we were discharged from the hospital. (It’s a requirement, folks. The hospital turns into a prison until you land on a name for that little one.)  

Iren means “peace,” and Daniel means “God my judge”. We named him that so when people ask about his name, we can briefly share with them that our greatest need is to find peace with God the judge through Jesus.

Pray that Iren will find peace with God through Christ, and that he will cling to Jesus from an early age and point many to Him.

The Blogging Part

In the weeks to come I’ll share more about my struggles with learning I was pregnant, to life as a new mommy, to the three new messages I prepped and our travel to the latest speaking gig, and much more.

I haven’t been this excited to write in a long time. I ache to write, the way I ached for Iren when his grandparents took him for the first time for a few hours.

In addition to continuing to write for other blogs, I want to do more personal writing here. Trevor and I do a lot of hospitality, and I’d like to welcome you into our lives. Complete with baby pictures.

If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, type your email in the box to the right under “Don’t Miss a Post!” and you’ll receive future updates in your inbox. (If you’re reading this on your phone, click on the menu button at the top and choose “Subscribe by Email.”) You can unsubscribe at any time.

Now it’s your turn. What has occupied your summer? What are you getting back to, now that summer is drawing to a close? I’d love to hear.