Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Emily Moreland says:

    Merry Christmas from all the way over on the East coast! This advent season I have very much enjoyed that Christian parenting tabletop flip advent family devotional. Have been doing it with my young boys over lunch… most of the days ๐Ÿ™ƒ. I’m even more excited to have it for coming years as they get older and it can lead to good discussions. Christmas this year is low key and at home and it’s been wonderfulโ™ฅ๏ธ
    Emily M

    1. Thank you, Emily! SO glad you enjoyed the CP advent… We loved it too! Sending hugs for a happy 2022!!

  2. shara Livingston says:

    We have had a busy fall! One of my nieces got married at the end of October. My step daughter married on November 12th, we had a baby GIRL(surprise-after 22 years of boys!) on November 19th, and my daughter graduated from college December 11th! Shew- we are tired!! Merry Christmas!
    Shara Livingston

    1. Wow, Shara! You should be tired! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you’re enjoying a holiday rest! Big hugs to you and your family.

  3. Merry Christmas Monica! I love all the encouragement I received from your podcasts & emails weekly! Wishing you a blessed Christmas & New Year! ๐ŸŽ„โ™ฅ๏ธ
    P.S. heading to Kuaia tomorrow, 1st Christmas in HI ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

    1. Thank you so much, Evelyn! Blessings to you and hope you had the most wonderful Mele Kalikimaka!!

  4. Karla Santana says:

    This year we choose not to travel (in the process of getting our first home) and just be present with our 3 kiddos. This is also the first year they are crazy about Santa (thank you public schools! Lol) so we will be home drinking hot chocolate while watching Christmas movies. Nice and simple.

    1. Sounds like a great holiday!! Hope you enjoyed some quiet, cozy rest! xo

  5. Charlotte says:

    We just got a big dump of snow and Iโ€™m excited for a quiet and white Christmas with my boys ( 3 and 1.5) and my husband.Iโ€™m also looking forward to Cooking Turkey dinner for the second time.
    Merry Christmas Everyone

    1. So fun!! Thank you for commenting Charlotte! hope you had a great Christmas!

  6. We are done with the busyness for the holidays (Christmas parties, wedding, etc) now we are relaxing with family. Everyone is home. โ™ฅ๏ธMy heart is full.

    1. ohhh that sounded heavenly. Hope you enjoyed your holidays!! big hugs

  7. Love the look of your wonderful new space! I recently made a tv console/containment area for all our homeschool chaos and love it. I find I am a bit to perfectionist for carpentry work though. As for Christmasโ€ฆneed to kick myself out of the bah-humbug feeling I have had the last few days.
    May you have a very Merry Christmas with your kids back and family there!

    1. Rachel, Wow– well done making your own zone for homeschooling! Hope you made it through the bah-humbug and had a great Christmas! Sending love-

  8. Monica, A very merry Christmas to you and your family. This fall was hard. Not sure why 2 years after my mom went to Jesus it feels harder. Missing mom and dad just had some mini strokes Monday. Otherwise we have so much to be thankful for and are excited to be with family for Christmas. Enjoy you family and keep those sunny beach photos coming. Beautiful dinning room.

    1. Thank you, Kristin! So sorry for the hard stuff (hope you caught my podcast episode 2 weeks ago about grief during the holidays?) Sending much love to you!

  9. Daniella Chesnut says:

    Merry Christmas!! I am about to begin reading Donโ€™t Mom Alone and we are actually staying home for Christmas! Sometimes we travel for Christmas but our hearts always long for simple at home with our kids. We are able to do that this year and I am excited. Thanks for all you do Monica! You are an inspiration.

    1. Thank you so much, Daniella! Love this and hope you thoroughly enjoyed your holiday!! xo

  10. Laura Pappas says:

    Can’t wait to decorate Christmas Cookies with my boys (5 and 7) and see how creative they will be this year.

  11. Merry Christmas to you from Illinois! Thanks for your coffee post and sharing your heart! I am grateful to be able to do fun Christmas activities at a slower pace this year with my family and not feel overwhelmed/miss the meaning of the season. We started our school adventure with my firstborn boy in K this semester and now enjoying a holiday break. I have 2 younger boys (3 and 21 mo) and my 4th baby boy due in May! I greatly enjoy your passion and wisdom; I’ve been following you the past couple years but my first comment! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks again!

    1. Sooo glad you commented, Sarah! I love hearing from you. Also– your name was chosen as a giveaway winner so I’ll be emailing you now! ๐Ÿ™‚ XOXO

  12. Merry Christmas.
    Your new space looks great. I always love to hear and see from you and your boys. You are a wonderful mom.
    I have to remind myself every day to enjoy the things I have and specially this time with my young boys, and not to stress about what people think of me and my house and my decorations outside my home.
    I constantly remind myself to live in the present, cherish every moment I have. It is hard for me to just sit still and get my mind to calm down too.

    Peace on earth, sang the angels.
    Peace I wish for your home and soul.

    1. Andrea– so beautiful! Thank you thank you. And I truly hope you had a peace and joy filled Christmas! xo

  13. Stefanie Marriott says:

    Mele Kalikimaka Monica!
    I loved reading the update! The dining space is gorgeous and the table could not be more perfect! I still have younger kids (11, 9 and 4), but how sweet to look forward to โ€œwelcoming them homeโ€ for Christmas!
    I grew up near Catalina (could see the island from my home and visited often), then spent my teens and 20s in Washington (Priest Lake was a favorite spot) and then married my Air Force man and had the privilege of living on Oahu for 3 years (2015-2018). I miss it!! We loved our Norfolk pine each year! I mentioned it to a neighbor and she bought me a baby one. I love it.
    Have a very merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you so much, Stefanie! Love this comment AND…your name was just chosen as a giveaway winner! yay! I’ll be emailing you directly now! big hugs and Happy New year!

  14. Cindy Scofield says:

    Merry Christmas!

    Your new space looks amazing, and I absolutely love the table and benches.

    Our Christmas will be pretty quiet overall. This mama is having a hard time coming to terms with this being the last Christmas before her only baby is a legal adult. (He turns 17 tomorrow!) I can’t help but to feel that the coming year will be one of many changes. I am too stubborn and need to learn to have faith and trust that things will turn out exactly as they should.

  15. Merry Christmas, Monica! Always love the virtual coffee dates! A quiet holiday season is about to become crazy in the best way with all the Christmas gatherings that come with a big family! We have a freshman who just finished his first high school semester and made varsity swimming! Our seventh grader continues to be his sweet, smart baseball loving self and has recently gotten into volunteering. Looking forward to getting out of Illinois for a few post- Christmas days in The LA area. Thanks for your posts!

  16. Hi Monica,

    I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing. Your table is absolutely beautiful. I also love your Christmas tree.

    Well, my family and I just moved from Southern CA to Northern CA. Even though itโ€™s the same state itโ€™s definitely quite different in the suburbs of Sacramento. But, we are grateful to God for the blessings and new adventure. I have two little ones. My son is 2 years old and daughter is 8 months. Itโ€™s amazing to see them get so excited for the holidays. Nothing beats the holidays through your children’s eyes.

  17. LOVE your new dining room space! โค
    Christmas is my favorite season. All the good feels and great memories. Even though my mom is now in Heaven, I often think of all the awesomeness and great experiences she created around this time. It has become so special. โค
    Finished reading & participating in the 40 fay social media fast with Wendy Speake. ๐Ÿ™‚ Currently reading this book a friend blessed me with: Don’t Give The Enemy A Seat At Your Table, by Louie Giglio.
    Much Aloha & Mele Kalikimaka!

  18. Torie Grubb says:

    Just wonderingโ€ฆ.what is the paint color on your walls? It looks beautiful! We are trying to choose paint color in our new house, so Iโ€™m always looking inspiration!

  19. Sarah Walton says:

    Hi Monica! This has been a challenging year for me learning with my two little boys (4 and 1 1/2) God has been stretching me and growing me like crazy, it has not been fun all the time but everyday I feel my mental health getting better and better! I am very much looking forward to Christmas, we will be going to see my in laws in Vermont like we do every year and I cannot wait! Thank you for your boy mom book! It was a game changer when my first was little and I am about to read it again in this new phase of life! Every new phase I encourage everyone to read this book again! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿปโค๏ธ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป Praising God for sending His son and for His peace and love no matter what we are going through!

  20. The singing room looks so good! I hope to have a nice big entertaining/eating area some day!
    I am doing She reads Truthโ€™s Advent book this season and really am enjoying it!

  21. I love your new dining room and your shorter hair! Merry Christmas to you and yours!๐ŸŽ„

    1. Thank you and thank you and Merry Christmas to you!! xo ๐ŸŽ„ โ™ฅ๏ธ

  22. Dee McAuley says:

    Aw, yay for news and updates! Thanks for the coffee chat! My oldest son graduated college (Appalachian State, Boone NC) in May and my youngest son graduated last week (UNC Wilmington). Bittersweet times for this momma! We raise them to love God and others, then prayerfully send them into the world, but it’s still hard! Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours!!

  23. Emma Johnson says:

    Good evening Monica! I love reading your coffee posts! I have followed your blog for 4 years now, I really think of you like family!

    My own family is coming out of a mental health crisis, you see my mother had mental illness for years and in October her behavior was so intense that me and my sisters reached out for medical help. She is on medication and is finally getting treatment. It is a painful and emotional time for all of my siblings. I have received so much support and love during this season, my heart is full! I am starting my second term of community college in January, I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend. I have a passion for photography and was praying for a camera. Last week a dear friend gifted me her DSLR camera! God really answers prayers!

    I hope you have a blessed and joyful Christmas!

    Love, Emma

    1. Oh Emma– What a great update! I’m so sorry for what you’ve all gone through with your mom but so happy she is getting treatment and YOU are have such sweet support. Love that God provided you with a camera and so proud of you for all you are doing. Keep it up and yes to feeling like family. The feeling is mutual! ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs and merry Christmas!

  24. I love your updates, Monica! All is well in San Diego… My 18 yo daughter has loved her first semester at Scripps College in Claremont, CA. My 16 yo has loved her junior year so far in a homeschool charter near us, and I’ve homeschooled my youngest (6th grade). It’s all flown by so fast that I can hardly believe it. As I write this, I’m sitting in our living room next to the Christmas tree, reflecting on 2021, God’s grace, and praying for a peaceful and safe 2022. Thankful for you sharing glimpses of your life with us ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™. Merry Christmas ๐ŸŽ„

  25. Iโ€™m new to your podcast but have enjoyed it a lot! Also, I LOVE your Christmas tree! So fun!

  26. I am currently with my sisters, niece and mother. We take my Mom
    Somewhere every Christmas season to see something Christmasy. It is our time to show her how much we love her and give her our time and laughter. Some years we go big (New York) some years small (French lick, IN). Regardless itโ€™s a way we show her she is special. She is 80 this year. We have had health scares the last two years with her. We donโ€™t want to miss a special moment.

  27. Change. I’ve been thinking about change a lot lately. We are in a remodel stage – fully gutting a 1895 farmhouse and it’s a slow expensive process. My small ones are growing (oldest of 4 just turned 13)… And now I feel as if I need something for me that will benefit us all. But it’s hard to know what that is…. We live rural with little option for work so I am limited but am trying to get creative. โค๏ธ I’m not overly worried or concerned God always seems to provide in just the perfect timing but I just wonder…. Really appreciate all your blog posts. Thank you for your thoughts.

    1. Laura M. Lobaccaro says:

      I love your home – the dining room table is beautiful!! I love reading your blog and glad to see you had a wonderful year. Looking forward to your blog and podcasts in 2022!