Pardon our dust! (And, yay for changes!)

We’re doing a little spring cleaning here at The Happiest Home! Sarah’s been working hard behind the scenes to switch us to a new theme that will make it easier for you to navigate content and discover gems that have gotten buried over the years. We appreciate your patience while we roll out the new changes, and – whoops! – apologize if some older content somehow winds up in your inbox along the way. Want to stay up to date on what’s happening here amid all the changes? Fill out the box below and we’ll get in touch with you via email


Looking for inspiration and real-life connection? Join me at the BEYOND Retreat next fall.

You know one of the biggest benefits of slowing down and doing less? When you step off of the merry-go-round of doing, doing, doing just because it seems like, well, the thing to do, you suddenly have all this “new” time and energy and brain space to pursue things that mean a lot to you. For years I’ve been dreaming of putting together an event bringing together awesome women in one place to dream, plan, recharge and get inspired. And now it’s time to make it happen. In October of 2015 I’ll be hosting a small but mighty group of women (is

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“Fun Parent” vs. “Boring Parent” – It’s Not Fair! But Is It True?

My husband made this lunch for my daughter last week. I know. I should have known it was coming when I caught him poring over Bento box tutorials on YouTube, watching a woman meticulously arrange smiley faces onto tiny rice-ball heads, then cap them off with pita-pocket hats. The very next day, Jon made a special trip to the grocery store for supplies. And that evening, he and Clara hovered over the kitchen island for a good half-hour creating The Lunch To End All Lunches.  Heart-shaped salami framed by heart-shaped cheese slices, people. A tiny little star cutout peanut-butter sandwich with honey and sprinkles


Delegate Like Downton: A Strategy For Managing Home Helpers

Imagine this: it’s a Sunday afternoon. One child just got done shoveling the walk, and another is unloading the dishwasher. You, on the other hand, are reading a magazine, sipping a cup of tea and enjoying the calm of a neat (enough) kitchen…that you didn’t even have to tidy up yourself. Sound like a fantasy? It’s not! It’s actually how my Sunday afternoon played out…and it’s a pretty common scenario around here. It hasn’t always been this way. Earlier in marriage and motherhood, I was surrounded by mess and chaos, and bogged down by resentment. Why didn’t other family members recognize

At Home with Meagan

5 Must-Have Kitchen Tools

I’ve been wanting to do a regular video series, like, forEVER. But when I had kids home with me during the day, I found it was just too difficult to find quiet pockets of time to shoot and edit regularly. A five-minute video may not seem like it takes much time to do, but there’s a lot of set-up and production involved, even in the most “candid” vids.  Now that my days are my own, though, I’m finding that I’ve got the space and quiet to take on some of those things I’ve been wanting to do! So, here it

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Whimsical Girl’s Bedroom Ideas

We’re moving! In less than two weeks my family is relocating to Southern California and we couldn’t be more excited. Our new house is ready and waiting for us and I’m itching to get into it and start settling in. One of the biggest differences between our current house and the one we’re moving into is the flooring. We have carpet now – lots of it – and we’re moving into a house with all hardwood floors. And while the new floors are beautiful, it’s going to be awfully echo-y in there until we get some area rugs down. One problem:


Gardening with Kids, The (Really) Easy Way

I’ve always wanted to think of myself as the kind of mom who grows herbs indoors using a DIY seed-starting kit, turning toilet-paper rolls or egg cartons into frugal mini-gardens which nurture her child’s green thumb, creativity and resourcefulness. In reality, I’m the kind of mom who intends, every year, to start seeds indoors eight weeks before the ground is warm, or start a windowsill herb garden, but always forgets to gather the supplies or set aside an afternoon for putting together a system. So this year, I decided to skip all the usual “Oh man, I can’t believe I

Talking About The Kids On Date Night, And Other Marriage Rules I Break

date night

There’s a lot of marriage advice out there, yes?

Most of it’s well-intentioned and based in pragmatism. Plan regular date nights so you don’t forget why you became a couple in the first place. Put sex on the calendar. Try to talk about something besides the kids while you’re out to dinner. 

But in our marriage, I’ve broken all these “rules.” Because while I think sometimes tips like these can be a helpful starting point if you are really disconnected, or can’t seem to agree on the right time for romance, or never speak to one another unless you’re discussing the kids’ school schedules, they have always seemed, to me, to miss the big picture.

Date nights are a lovely thing, but they won’t save a marriage that’s crumbling at the foundation. And if your foundation is strong, talking about the kids over dinner can actually be a satisfying date. After all, who else besides your co-parent loves your kids as much as you do – and loves making fun of their foibles as much, too? 

Like I mentioned in my post about real married-with-kids romance:

 “If I’ve learned anything about marriage, it’s that the “special” days, the dressed-up dates, the anniversaries, the dinner-and-a-movie nights are nice…but they aren’t what really matters, what really makes a marriage.”

At the same time, the dinner plans, the planned hanky-panky, and the connecting over current events or literature or the Real Housewives can be a big part of the joy of a healthy marriage – when combined with trust, consideration, shared goals, friendship, forgiveness, and being willing to put the other person’s desires before your own.

So how do we make room for all of it in our lives, and build those strong foundations while also embracing the fun stuff? Last week Danielle Smith and I shared our thoughts about love, romance and keeping the marriage strong as part of The New Having It All show on Google+. You can watch it here, and then please let me know your thoughts in the comments: do you “do” date nights? Do you talk about the kids over dinner with your spouse? How do you keep the foundations strong while also making room for fun in your marriage?  


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