sarah's motherhood tips


Mothering advice: 

 ~ Once, when my girls were 5 months and 18 months old (and, needless to say, I was barely keeping my head above water) my mom told me simply: “Raising a child is like digging the Grand Canyon.” Those words sank deep that day, and they’ve echoed in my heart ever since. The Grand Canyon— so vast and such a wonder— felt like a very apt analogy indeed. One shovelful at a time. One push on the swing, story told, dinner served, worry calmed at a time. (Keeping the Grand Canyon in mind helps when both overwhelm and/or monotony set in.)

~ Kids aren’t programmed to hurry; developmentally speaking, they have limited understanding/capacity for rushing. Honoring this reality helps quell my frustration when they don’t keep up with me. I remind myself “My kid isn’t dawdling, they’re just taking things at a kid’s pace.” (This can feel painfully slow compared to our adult rhythms, but it’s not their fault). For people always running late (ahem, yours truly) it’s helpful to reframe and instead of trying to change my child’s behavior — “hurry up!” — I try to change my own (ie start getting ready 15 minutes sooner than I think I need to). 

~ Wash hands a ton. Every time you come home from an outing: School, the park, church, the grocery store; plus after going to the bathroom. It’s tedious to hoist a little one to the sink, but if you start young they will develop the habit and do it themselves from a young age. 

~ My sister changed my life when she said in a casual conversation, “well, raising your kids is your number one job.” She was saying it to help me not worry about dropping the ball on one of my other responsibilities, but it struck me as a fundamental truth and it has shaped my priorities, attitude, and behavior ever since. I worry less about how much we’re getting done and more about how well I am mothering them through the task at hand. Getting the dishwasher emptied isn’t the priority, helping my child develop work ethic (and maintaining a peaceful relationship with her in the process) is. Again, I think about this quote every. single. day. and it shapes my parenting in a major way. 

~Read!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read read read read read to your kids. Don't worry about getting them to learn how to read, just focus on cultivating their love of reading with stories of all kinds. There are books and blogs and podcasts bursting with reasons why reading is so massively valuable and nourishing, so I won't get into it here. Just do it! (Also, the public library system is one of America's top 10 best features, don't sleep on it!) 

~One of THE BEST, most succinct pieces of parenting advice that I apply literally every day is, again, from my mom. “Parenting is the art of distraction.” So much of dealing with tough emotions (fear, disappointment, anger, physical pain, etc) can be handled swiftly and effectively by redirecting their attention to something that makes the happy, curious, excited, and/ or soothed. (Tip: Preemptively distracting away from things that will lead to meltdowns is just as good if not better than distraction as a remedy!)

Newsletter advice

This post first appeared as an email to fellow newsletter nerds. Comment your email below if you'd like to join these monthly advice emails. 

May 23, 2024

I stole these ideas and so should you!

If you'd prefer not to get these monthly emails anymore, reply to this email with the word "unsubscribe." 
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It's Alex the Newsletter Helper (new title I just gave myself) with newsletter advice for May. 

If this is your first one, here are the past two editions:
What you'll find in this email:
  • How a recent clarity call went
  • Ideas you can steal to improve your newsletter
  • I'd like your advice
[More below:]

After the Roundtable: thoughts for April

This post first appeared as an email to the Alt Summit 2024 attendees who came to my roundtable talk on Demystifying Newsletters. 

April 12, 2024

Hi everyone!

Hope it's okay if I email you again. I've been thinking about you! 

Finding a place for all that wonderful creative energy after Alt Summit is kinda tricky! Don't feel bad if you're still trying to incorporate your takeaways – I think we're all in the same boat. Maybe you don't even remember me and my Roundtable talk, haha. Here I am if you forgot! 

Since Alt Summit, I've seen some real newsletter progress from you guys.
- Katie from Brie and Banquet and I chatted on the phone (thanks Katie!)
- I subscribed to Jen's good-for-the-planet newsletter Stepping Stones, it's so great.
- Lots of positive email conversations about naming newsletters, affiliate links, and different email service providers. 

If you'd like to chat on the phone about getting clarity on anything newsletter-related, reply directly to this email to set up a 30-minute call with me. :-)

A few things I've been saving for you guys...

[More below:]

Thank you, Roundtable attendees!

This post first appeared as an email to the Alt Summit 2024 attendees who came to my roundtable talk on Demystifying Newsletters. 

March 21, 2024

Hi Alt Summit ladies,

Thank you so much for coming to my Roundtable talk on newsletters! I LOVED chatting with you! Admittedly I'm kind of shocked and amazed that anyone wrote down their email address at all, so my heartfelt thanks to all 39 of you.

Here's what you'll find in this email:
1. Resource Sheet
2. How to work with me
3. Final thoughts

[More below:]

witness testimony


The kids ask me to tell them stories all the time but I can’t remember any. Why? Yesterday going through rolls of film from 2019 made my skin crawl. Why? Why do I get dizzy and sad and afraid when I look back? Why can’t I remember? Will I remember this? Is it irresponsible of me not to journal every night? Will their childhoods just disappear into the ether? What good am I as a witness if I cannot recall? 

alex's chocolate chip cookie recipe

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

½ c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
16 tbsp (2 sticks) salted butter, browned
8 tbsp salted butter (1 stick), solid, cut in chunks
1 c white sugar
1½ c brown sugar
5 tsp vanilla
2 tsp salt
2 eggs + 2 yolks
1½ c chocolate chips

Lily & Cameron's Wedding // Newport Beach, CA

Can you believe how cute these two are? Lily's heirloom Tiffany jewelry! Blended families joyfully blending anew! The smiliest nephew you've ever seen! This mini wedding is a real treat. Fun fact: I got married in this same temple one million years ago. 

More [100% Kodak film] photos from Lily and Cameron's mini wedding right this way: