Happy New Year!

Greetings! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been here, hasn’t it? When I sat down and looked at my website, I saw that the last post was from November 7th…oops. I spied the folders of photos yet to share here from my dad’s birthday (way back in August) and our trip to the beach (September). I also saw the most recent draft I’d been working on, which started as an apology for being so far behind with summer and fall updates and then described what the last few weeks of pregnancy were feeling like. (Hint: Not awesome.) And then, wouldn’t you know it, hosting my whole family for Thanksgiving at 9 months pregnant, birthing a human, and juggling everything Christmas with a newborn got in the way of updating The Usual Bliss… As I sit here typing now, I have a precious 8-week-old bundle of love strapped to my body. Friends, meet Morrison!

I look forward to sharing more about Baby Mo’s arrival, how Oden’s doing as a big brother, and what it’s like navigating life as a family of four (plus Cholula). We are making our way out of the the newborn fog right now, trying to live with constant sleep deprivation, trying to remember what to do with a helpless infant, and trying to figure out how to do it with a rambunctious toddler in the mix. It’s a wonderful combination of joy and chaos- admittedly, sometimes more chaos than joy.  We spent New Year’s Eve blowing noisemakers with Oden until his bedtime at 8, devoured chili someone else made for us and a couple of pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and absolutely did NOT make it to midnight (though between the fireworks outside and a hungry baby, I was up various times through the night). We are kind of being forced to take life one day at a time right now…but I think it’s just what we need.

Before we said good night and bid adieu to 2018, John and I talked about the year we’d had and our thoughts about the future. 2018 was challenging on SO many levels for us, as a couple, as parents, as individuals. As we chatted about what we wanted 2019 to feel like, I kept coming back to one word: SIMPLIFY. It applied to everything we discussed, every source of stress, from my overstuffed closet to how we parent our kiddos. It even applies to this website. If I feel stressed about not having the time to keep it updated, it’s no longer blissful for me. So, for those kind, faithful readers still out there, fear not: I’ll continue to share our life and our quest for smiles in the everyday moments. It just may come in spurts, and in the form of lots of photos (my favorite!).

John asked me, “Have you ever made a resolution that you actually kept?” Food for thought! Over the years, I’ve sort of changed my resolutions to general goals. I don’t want to set myself up for failure from the start. As the New Year really gains some speed and the glitz of the holidays gets stowed away for 12 months, I hope I’ll remember to keep it simple in every day life. I hope that goal will keep me present for my kids, help me focus on my family and our health, and continue to make memories as we go. Maybe it will allow me to give myself a bit of grace as I navigate this challenging yet utterly precious season of my life. I hope you’ll stay tuned to see where 2019 takes us!

Happy New Year, friends!

P.S. This morning, I received the loveliest message from a reader in New Zealand (Hi, Lisa!). It brought me such joy! I’d love to hear from you in the form of comments or email. 


  1. How fun to see a new post! We know you’ve been a teensy bit busy – glad you are doing what works best for you and your family! Hugs from Montana! ❤️

    1. Thanks, Marni! I’ve missed being able to write and share big moments here on this site, so I’m excited to get back to it- in a modified manner, most likely! Thanks for commenting- stay warm! ❤️

  2. First of all, congratulations on bringing beautiful Morrison into this world! Secondly, don’t be too hard on yourself for trying to be everything ‘bliss’! You’re raising two wonderful boys and all of a sudden you’ll someday wake up and wonder how they got to be adults. Enjoy each moment along with your husband and remember to breathe. I too love the word simplify! We live in a fast paced world and we all need to step back and slow down. Simplifying helps take some of that pressure off. Even though your posts aren’t as often, I get it! It’s not easy, but I will enjoy your posts even more when you find the time. Take care of ‘you’. Even though we’ve never met, I feel like I know you! Thank you for sharing your life…I keep you in my thoughts and prayers! May 2019 bring much happiness to you and yours!

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