1. Endless amounts of baby spit up. Spot cleaning her clothes, our clothes, the couch, and every pillow we own. Running laundry and then more laundry.
2. Taking delight in simple joys like small-batch jam and cordials.
3. Courtney Martin’s essay about contracting covid and reflecting on what the pandemic has done to the stories we tell ourselves about others.
4. Night sweats.
5. Watching local news at 7 am when taking the early morning shift with the baby. Claiming favorite meteorologists and trying to shake off the jingles from local commercials.
6. Taking anti-racist action by moving half of our savings from a big corporate bank to Hope Credit Union as transformational investors.
7. Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals.
8. Going to pelvic floor physical therapy sessions and learning more about the structure and function of one of the body’s most essential muscle groups. Sarah Stoller on reconnecting with her postpartum body through weight lifting. Working out with Ashley Nowe.
9. Feeling very confused about how to show up in public.
10. PCR tests and booster shots. Lots of first-year vaccines. Still masking and staying home as much of the world moved on from the pandemic.
11. Unlearning the many stealthy, relentless ways that diet culture has embedded itself in my beliefs and habits. Listening to Maintenance Phase, reading Virginia Sole-Smith, and embracing food as nourishment, comfort and fuel.
12. Making lists to attempt to order the chaos of life as a new mother.
13. Rethinking my image of work.
14. Finding solidarity and solace in Erin Gloria Ryan’s newsletter Just Enjoy It While You Can.
15. Good TV at all hours of the day and night. The Sex Lives of College Girls. The Letdown. The Bear. Better Things. Rap Sh!t. Ramy. The White Lotus. Reservation Dogs. Hacks. Never Have I Ever.
16. Reading while breastfeeding and fuming about this country’s systemic failures to provide care infrastructure.
17. Doubling down on my caffeine consumption.
18. Jessi Klein’s pitch-perfect essay on motherhood as the hero’s journey.
19. Getting a second wind after putting the baby to sleep. Watching a ton of TV. Talking it out. Making plans. Making out. Writing newsletters.
20. Quiet walks on the Oregon coast. Dipping Maeve’s pacifier in the ocean to give her a first taste of sea water. Introducing her to sea anemones. Letting her eat sand.
21. Learning to bake a cake and eat it, too.
22. Gobbling down a bunch of books about art, identity, and motherhood. The Gardener and the Carpenter. The School for Good Mothers. Essential Labor. Nightbitch. Learning in Public. Wildcat. Sally Mann’s memoir Hold Still.
23. Thinking about non-linear career growth and evolution, thanks to Jenni Gritters. Joining The Writers’ Co-op Patreon community to dig deeper into strategy for my own business. Embracing the idea of the career river.
24. Spending a long weekend with my college girlfriends, sharing our hobbies and secrets and fears and messy selves with each other, as we’ve done now for 13 years, leaving one another feeling better than when we came together.
25. Writing a monthly newsletter and realizing along the way that we were creating a sort of digital baby book to mark our daughter’s growth and emerging personality. Receiving sweet replies from friends and family near and far.
26. Spiraling out in my journal.
27. Embracing the bioregion in my backyard.
28. Eric Carle books.
29. Hikes with Maeve in the front pack. Parents greeting her at the arboretum and in Marshall Park. Stroller walks in the neighborhood. Holding her hands as she toddles down the block and drops to her knees to eat leaves and moss.
30. Identifying and indulging in vacation foods, as inspired by Kathryn Jezer-Morton. For us, it’s cherry Cokes and microwave popcorn.
31. Empanadas and people-watching at the Portland Mercado in late spring. The baby hanging out in the car seat, taking it all in.
32. Playing chase and peek-a-boo with Maeve. Teaching her how to clap, wave and gesture that she’s “so big!”
33. Taking more iPhone videos. Rachel Cusk on taking photos of our children.
34. Breastfeeding in the backseat, on park benches, in exam rooms at doctor’s offices, in bed, on the couch, on a blanket, on a log.
35. Hiking at Oxbow Regional Park and seeing deer, salmonberries, and fairy slipper orchards. Changing Maeve on a bench before realizing there was a changing table around the corner. Eating lunch on the picnic tables at Sugarpine.
36. Growing my freelance business from two to seven clients. Juggling work, business strategy, and the endless daily responsibilities of caring for an infant.
37. Postpartum hair loss. Wearing my hair in a bun more than ever before to try to get ahead of my baby’s grabby little fingers. Finding loose hairs all over the house.
38. Doing what I love in front of my daughter, even when it feels like she’s too young to take it all in. Baking for fun. Journaling in the mornings. Dancing to music. Playing the ukulele poorly. Reading for breadth and depth. Talking it out. Getting outside.
39. Feeling Very Adult when writing notes for the babysitter.
40. Sleep training. Putting on noise-canceling headphones when my nerves were frayed by the process. In the end, finding deep comfort and some wonder in the knowledge that our daughter is learning to care for herself.
41. Making a snowperson on the back deck after a mid-April snowstorm.
42. Playing with a Pentel brush pen.
43. Maeve’s rosy cheeks after a bath.
44. Falling asleep to the sound of a hard rain.
45. Making a regular habit of 8:00 Sunday mass, since we’re up already. Getting donuts after church on the first weekend of the month. Fr. Mike telling us that our daughter has “vacuum-cleaner eyes — they suck you right in.”
46. Maeve’s baptism in May by our dear friend Lucas. Celebrating with Missouri and Oregon family. Tacos and margaritas. Kid-friendly rosaries and toys that recite prayers.
47. Accidentally buying Ryan a birthday card that was meant to be from (or about) a pet dog.
48. Velcro swaddles. Sleep sacks. White noise machines. Watching the video monitor. Taking shifts in the early weeks to get more consecutive sleep. Suffering through the four-month sleep regression. The time when Maeve was a couple of days old and Ryan swaddled her in a confusing blanket with snaps that we later realized was a car seat cover. Maeve napping in my grandma’s coat closet and my parents’ walk-in closet.
49. Breastfeeding in the middle of the night with a red lightbulb in the floor lamp.
50. Eating so much food. Bedtime snacks. Big meals. Getting up in the middle of the night for a string cheese or a protein bar when I was too hungry to sleep.
51. Moving during July, again. Sweating and fretting and putting my daughter in a moving box to entertain her. Learning that our dishwasher has a top utensil drawer.
52. Making terrible line drawings in an attempt to capture ordinary moments in our house.
53. Reflecting on the gifts that my Grandpa Walt gave me and everyone who knew him.
54. Baths with Maeve.
55. Getting away for a weekend and enjoying some time on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. Hiking in the rain. Taking Maeve to the lodge dining room in her car seat. Family naps on the big hotel bed. Having the pool all to ourselves. Splurging on room service breakfast.
56. Movies that made me think. Roadrunner. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. Everything Everywhere All At Once.
57. Being stuck under a sleeping baby and trying to savor the moment. Maeve turning to me or Ryan for comfort and sucking her thumb while laying her head on our closest body part. Her using our bodies as climbing towers.
58. Cooking with Julia Turshen for our third anniversary.
59. Near-daily texts from my retired writer and painter friend.
60. Practicing embodiment and thinking about repair as a form of self-care. Injuring my knee and my ankle and going back to PT. Relearning how to re-regulate.
61. Using the Libby app and reading ebooks from the library on my Kobo.
62. Planting annuals in three big planters on the deck. Stepping outside to visit the flowers.
63. Eating Jimmy John’s sandwiches in a parking lot on more than one road trip.
64. Thinking about the ancestors and mentors in my chosen family after reading Jonny Sun’s essay on his high school drama teacher.
65. Buttermilk biscuits and the tall, fluffy buttermilk pancakes from Smitten Kitchen.
66. Thinking about home décor as a “joyful jumble” of art and objects that reflect our lives, not Instagram ideals.
67. Celebrating Lucas’ ordination in Spokane. Invigorating conversations with smart friends and acquaintances. Pizza on picnic blankets in the park. Driving to Coeur d’Alene on the back roads. Indian takeout and kid chaos. Lucas’ mentor telling us that her students wrote a spoof of General Hospital in Lucas’ honor and they called it General Infirmary.
68. Poetry. Ada Limón’s “How to Triumph Like A Girl.” “Islands” by Muriel Rukeyser. Maggie Smith’s “Rain, New Year’s Eve.”
69. A summer babysitter.
70. Taking our daughter on her first flight to visit her family in Missouri. Remembering that the Midwest normal is different than life in the Pacific Northwest.
71. Angela Garbes’ description of her “pleasure-forward” approach to life and mothering.
72. Teaching Maeve to say “ahhh!” so that I could give her vitamin D3 drops. Her giggling when I floated a plastic bag in the air. The surprise of one of her first words being “CATTT.”
73. Finishing the expert-level ropes course at Tree to Tree Adventure Park to celebrate a local friend.
74. Ordering takeout on the first night back home from vacations.
75. Finally getting a custom nightguard to save my teeth and my jaw muscles from grinding while sleeping.
76. Laughing harder than Ryan while watching Jackass 4.5.
77. Celebrating three years of marriage while stuck in a Vancouver, B.C., hotel room with a feverish baby who couldn’t sleep.
78. Trying to live with limitations. Having no working kitchen range for a month. Being without reliable internet access for two weeks. Working with a child underfoot.
79. My first gray hairs.
80. Collecting as many guides as I can find to making art as a parent. Taking heart in the fact that babies aren’t babies for very long.
81. Making a Rubbermaid shoe storage container into a makeshift backyard pool.
82. Taking marriage inspiration from artists Bernd and Hilla Becher and volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft.
83. Giving and getting free items via the Freeya app.
84. Summer bike rides with Maeve in the trailer. Taking Ryan on his first Bridge Pedal. Sharing the bike so that he can commute to work.
85. Sinking into the comfort of a surprising time capsule in the early episodes of Home Cooking.
86. Taking ourselves out for treats after Maeve’s pediatrician appointments.
87. TheraTears eye drops.
88. Eating out as a family of three.
90. Getting going to feel good.
91. Cheering on Ryan in two cross country races this fall.
92. Going back to Dove antiperspirant after years of natural deodorants.
93. Watching the World Cup with my Ghanaian brother-in-law.
94. Taking an evening walk down Peacock Lane to see the Christmas lights and displays.
95. Maui with the whole Wilmes family. Cousin love in the mornings. Walks on the boardwalk. Fresh pineapple. Island humidity. Fish and grazing sea turtles and bright coral reefs. Playing in the surf at Baby Beach.
96. Not having a hot take.
97. Using my journal for cheerful retrospection.
98. Spotify notifying me that my top song of 2022 was José Gonzáles’ “Stay Alive.”
99. Embracing Dead Week.
100. Hearing the people I love laugh.