Hire the Painter.

Young House Love and Chris Loves Julia make home DIY look so glam.



It was fun at first. We incorporated some solid toddler lessons in hard work, with Noah trying his hand at painting with a mini touch-up roller. Then three months in – there are still paintbrushes soaking in water and vinegar solution on the kitchen counter, my Lulus are now my paint clothes, and I’m still tripping over boxes that I can’t unpack because I can’t anchor any furniture on the walls that still need a second coat, and (deep breath) – it’s not so fun.

How do people do it with kids? We were dealing with a meltdown, every twenty minutes, from a toddler who needed attention (rightfully so), and I was nursing my other sweet boy, also every twenty minutes. And did I mention that we both have full-time jobs and our own company?

Maybe one day we won’t be scrounging up spare time like loose change, and when that day comes, it will be bittersweet.

It’s difficult let go of hard-earned money, but at this season in our lives, the opportunity cost of doing the job ourselves is too high.

I asked my friend, Is it even worth it to get a quote for a painter? Like how much does it cost to finish painting like ⅗ of our ceiling, half of our baseboards, two random doors?

Her response? It’s priceless. It’s your sanity. As the author of this spot-on article points out, “Happiness in the present, earning power in the future and familial bliss need not be in conflict.”

I've learned a whole lot of lessons in my twenties, but now that I'm 30, I'm learning another big lesson: outsource. Hire the painter. And the housekeeper. And while you’re at it, get the Plated subscription.

The painters are coming tomorrow, and I’m like (insert all the dancing lady, celebration confetti, big grin, and happy family emojis here).


Sidecar 82114

So, I’m 28 now.

When I wish someone happy birthday, I usually wish them the

happiest birthday yet



best year so far.

My birthday is usually my favorite day of my favorite week of my favorite month of the year. Usually.

On Sunday, I had my first birthday as a mom and also my first


 birthday. Moms, you know what I mean. Or at least, I hope you do, and that I’m not the only one. By


birthday, i mean that I had to make my own breakfast, and we capped the day off by going grocery shopping. Of course it was amazing in its own way in that every day with my precious baby boy feels special to me, but no outsider would mistake me for a birthday princess. Most tellingly, I did not get a sushi dinner at Nobu, which I’ve been telling Dave is the only thing I wanted, since I’ve been pregnant and sushi-less almost this entire year.

Then Dave flew out to Florida early Monday morning and came back late Thursday night bringing a suitcase of dirty laundry and stories of unlimited drinks and all-you-can-eat lobster. I missed my free Sprinkles cupcake and my Anthro birthday party, which, to be honest, I’ve kind of been looking forward to all year. I’m just thankful that my mom was around or it would have been a full-blown pity fest. I would have Solly-ed Noah all the way down the street to our village market to buy overpriced pints of Jeni’s ice cream, and then I would have eaten them all, in spoonfuls between diaper changes. Instead, I made salad.

Friday was no better. Overcome with disappointment, I held back tears at the Corner Bakery where we picked up my free birthday treat. I held back more tears at the Nordstrom cafe where I bought a mint steamer, trying to drown my sorrows in that milky creme de menthe goodness. And again, this morning, I held back tears after the Mermade Market as we sat at a diner, waiting an excruciatingly long time for a breakfast bowl made with warm, plain yogurt and bland melons.

I don’t want to seem ungrateful. I have a beautiful, healthy baby and a husband who loves me (

most of the time…

 I think). I live only a few miles from the ocean, and I have six saltwater pools at my disposal. I am grateful. These are no small blessings. But I’m also wondering when the longing ends, if I’ll ever get to the place where I feel settled.

I feel like I’m inching scarily close to the edge of

no where left to move

. That I’m teetering on the brink of


. That’s the scariest thing about twenty-eight. It’s not terribly old or terribly young. It’s just the age I thought I’d have it together. I’ve been through so many iterations of myself; I didn’t know, before twenty-eight, that it was possible to fail as many times as I have failed. I am so envious of people who have found their path, people who have a path at all, who know what the next step is and who know exactly, numerically, what targets to hit in order to get there.

I’m learning that the waiting, and the growing, and the becoming is excruciating. It feels like I’ll never get to the place where I’m supposed to be. That I’ll keep waking up at 4 am, unable to go back to sleep because that’s when the worry hits. That’s when I reach out for the tiny chubby perfect hand next to me, with fingers like miniature taper candles and a palm just big enough to cover my lips. That hand is everything.

Tomorrow is a new day and the beginning of a new week. It won’t be my birthday week anymore, and for the first time in my life, I’m relieved. Tomorrow, I’ll look for the beauty in that tiny, clammy hand. I’ll try to find my joy in the little things, like a latte that is extra hot and not too sweet, and a doughnut that that melts onto my tongue. I’ll find joy in twinkling Christmas tree lights and in advent readings. When I wake up again at 4 am, I’ll stay awake to watch the growing glow of the winter sunrise. I’ll keep being grateful for these things because that’s what 28-year olds do.