britt fisk photography

Britt and I met two years ago–TWO years already!–and she’s been one of my favorite e-friends ever since. She and her husband and littles live & work on her ancestral ranch in New Mexico. Aren’t you already following her on instagram? And her blog? Her eye for photography is par none and I’ve so loved experiencing the joy that her work brings to those I’ve gifted it to–my dad for one and my daughter for the other. Then she sent this print and I about died.

Britt offers in life photography services for people in the lovely state of New Mexico, but the rest of us get to experience her lens through her shop! Shop with your 15% off discount “WHOLEPARENTING” through the end of July right here AND scroll down to comment and maybe win a 5×7 print of your choice.

Don’t we all feel nostalgic twangs with sunsets and horizons? Maybe just me. Her smaller prints come backed on sturdy foam board that make for perfect mounting or framing. I can’t decide where I want my sunset yet. I just know I want it to be in our bedroom (which was finished and tidy and then, well, life).


The mantle is a work in progress–and this little tin box holds all the love letters my sweet love wrote me while we were engaged and separated for a year–he wrote almost every day! And two special bottles of wine for us surrounded by two fav icons we found thrifting. And the horse shoe that means so much to both of us.

britt fisk photography

I love that Britt has a combination of her ranch life and religious photography. Basically, she’s got us covered. I’m a horse lover so this is a fav and of course who can resist a little calf nursing (perfect gift for the nursing woman in your life??)! And her packaging is stunning, of course, as she’s a woman of detail.

britt fisk photography


Please visit her etsy shop and comment with your fav photo title below. Random winner will be picked Friday afternoon!


Short answer: being a working mom is NOT a moral question and it makes me crazy crazy when people say it is.

Full disclosure: I’m not a working mom. I primarily take care of our three kids. I make their meals and clean them up. I drive them to activities. I read with them and help them nap (protest nap). I semi-tidy the house. I would consider myself a simple stay-at-home mom. I wrote a few years back on how I came to the decision to be at home, as a lawyer.

I do work in the cracks and creaks between their busy days. I write this blog and sometimes get paid to write elsewhere. I sew organic baby clothing and sell it (when I’m not on hiatus like right now). I serve as Managing and Content Editor for Blessed is She, Catholic women’s ministry. I co-author a series of scripture studies called Waiting in the Word. These are semi-paid activities. Like a billion moms out there, I volunteer lots too in spare moments. I get to MC galas like the Radiance Gala for the Guiding Star Project and conferences like Finding Your Fiat next week in Illinois! I get to talk occasionally on SiriusXM Catholic radio with Jen Fulwiler. I get to do lots of non-mom related activities. And some weeks I do nothing but violin practice and baseball in the backyard. There’s a balance.

But when a woman in casual conversation praises me for giving my daughter the great example of “not working as a lawyer to show her what’s best” aka: being an at-home mom, I get really really defensive of the working moms in my life.

Being a working mom, a mom who helps support her family’s income or completely supports her family’s income, is great, if that’s what works for you. It is NOT a moral question of whether or not moms should work outside the home. These are not questions of right and wrong. These are questions of what’s best for you and your family.

Then I hear this a lot: well, she *has* to work, so it’s okay that she’s away from her children (gasp) for so many hours a day.

Like the need for the income excuses the wrongfulness of the action.

Again, not a moral question. I have friends who work because they find it more fulfilling than staying at home. There. I said it. And I consider that to be a valid reason to work. I prefer staying at home to working! Does that make me lazy or a non-contributor to my family? Nope.

For my friends who have to work, for my friends who like to work, for my friends who wish they could do something else than they’re doing, please, please know that you have an ally in me. And anyone questioning your commitment to your children based on the hours you spend with them during the day is not only rude but completely incorrect in presuming there’s a moral way to parent in this regard.

So to the lady who spoke so brazenly to me about my purported example given to my daughter, I can only say (now that I’ve recovered my breath) that I’m glad to teach my sons and daughter that making sacrifices for your family and making choices for your family depend on what’s best for you and your family. And that if she wants to be a working mother and an astronaut or a barista, more power to her. I’ll babysit her kids while she colonizes Mars or whips up hot cocoas (hopefully for me).


While I’m parenting at a sub-par level.

The mornings are long and seemingly without end but then lunch & naps start around 11 so it means my nap is nigh at hand too! During these mornings, my children have experienced a few of their new favorite things while I lay around with them, occasionally running after the toddler who*still* wants to throw things into the toilet.

1. Baseball cards.

SuperBoy will sit with a bundle for over an hours, carefully examining who he has, what positions they play, their stats, and then work out a paper-version of fantasy baseball, setting them all around the kitchen floor. We get the cheapies one and a time from Target for good behavior, but we have about 100,958 so really he’ll play with any of them.

2. Sticker books.

SweetPea really destroys these by ripping out all the stickers at once and then putting them anywhere but where they belong in the book but I’m all lalalalal looks like you’re having fun! about it. This Curious George one was a hit.

3. Dollhouses.

We have three. Yes. Three. One is this mansion one that my dearly deceased Godmother left to me. It’s gargantuan. The second is one my dad built in the 70’s for his (then) two little girls (and is the tot’s now). The third is one recently acquired because someone survived swim lessons for a year and was usually pretty cooperative (I bought myself a few boxes of these to celebrate my survival). This third one has been hours of joy while pilfering furniture from the other two houses.

4. Audio stories.

You know I’m always talking up Jim Weiss’ audio stories. This new favorite for her is a new favorite for the boys, too. The older kids listen to the Shakespeare one or the Sherlock Holmes one while I put the tot down for his nap. We’re fielding lots of why did everyone die questions but I figure it’s good literary formation. We start first thing in the morning and then they get to negotiate who picks which one next. I think we have about two dozen of his stories!!

5. Janod story box toys.

BabyLoves eats these up. Literally, he likes gnawing on the wood, but more importantly, we have these three sets FIRE, WILD WEST, and FARM. The sets have so many fun parts and people in them and horses to ride and zoomers to zoom–it’s a party for him and I’m all yes! tell me again!

6. Reading.

I’ve been reading so many fun books aloud lately, I should make a separate post! It’s mostly all I can do with the kids so we’re really getting into a whole slough of them.

SuperBoy is really into the Civil War and it’s prompting great questions about race and equality. I can’t find a link for the book we’ve loved, but this activity book looks really good. It goes well with the Jim Weiss story about women in the Civil War which we have most of memorized.

SweetPea loves Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories, and not just at bedtime (used version here for $0.40). They’re real moral stories from the 70’s left over from our childhood and yes, lots of kids cry and die in them, but everyone loves Jesus so I guess it works out?

Anything with yellow dig digs or black dog dogs (who doesn’t love Carl??) has captivated BabyLoves as my brother is building a house and he AND my sister purchased black dogs this spring.

7. Hide & go to seek.

Yes, they call it that instead of “hide and go seek” but it’s pretty cute so I’m not bursting their bubble yet. They hide for as long as they can before they can’t stand that I haven’t found them anymore (pro-tip: I’m also hiding, where I was, under the blanket, on the floor) and then they reveal themselves. It is great gang-up-on-mama-teamwork.

What’s saving your summer so far?

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