Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome


I had legitimately forgotten about my birthday until about an hour ago, when someone posted about it on Facebook. I suppose that’s what happens as you get older – your brain starts to fail you. 😂 I calculated, thanks to Google, that I will be 33 this year. I haven’t been paying much attention.

This year has brought a lot of transitions – new baby, new job, different time commitments, different relationships, different routines… With all the upheaval, I have been really internally reflective lately, on the kind of life we are building and where we are headed as a family (John has been very patient with my half-baked endeavors thus far, but has also cut me off from any self-help books for the next six months or so). Tonight, as I sat on our patio and listened to the neighborhood in peace, I laughed a little as I thought about some of the things that bring me great joy now that I never batted an eye at in years past… things that are beyond the obvious (because duh my husband and kids and family and all that jazz count too!)

1. Ice cream (I mean, ice cream has always brought me joy, let’s be honest. But now that I can’t eat as much as I want, whenever I want, I sure savor it more.)

2. Pandora Frank Sinatra Radio

3. Quiet

4. Listening to new words tumble out of the mouths of my children

5. Walking through my neighborhood

6. Filling a box for donation and getting said box out of my house and into my trunk

7. Feeding my family

8. Quiet

9. A really comfortable pair of flats

10. Bedtime stories that are not 45 pages long with an 18-sentence paragraph on each page (Yeah, I’m giving you the look, Bernstein Bears. Too. much.)

11. Old ladies who compliment the names of my girls (why this brings me joy, I have no idea)

12. A bonfire in the back yard

13. Scary Mommy

14. The Costco $1.50 hot dog and drink special

15. The way that Tessa starts each day asking for “French toast, eggs, makin (bacon), chickinuggets, fries, hot dog, ketchup, and mustard? Nooooooo mustard!” Every day, in that order.

16. Ordering in for a crowd instead of cooking for them

17. Sitting outside and listening to the neighborhood

18. Did I mention quiet?

19. Writing down one nice memory from each and every day

20. YouTube videos that teach us how to fix the stuff in our house that breaks (how did anyone live without this?!!??!)

21. Our neighbor, who is a total busybody and knows everything about everyone – and is also incredibly kind and wonderful and more than willing to call the police when semi trucks drive on our street even though there is a CLEARLY posted sign that labels this as prohibited.

22. GIFs

23. Especially the one of Judge Judy rolling her eyes.

24. Jen Hatmaker (because no other person speaks the words in my heart as well as she does. And because she inspires me to do things like eat only seven foods for one week and give all my clothes away to those in need because no one needs 43 pairs of flats… and then also to forgive myself when I go and buy new ones because I felt I was lacking the right color for my new pants 🙄)

25. Road trips!!!!!!!!!

25. Meeting my step goal for the day

26. Remembering how bright a room is when I finally change a burnt out lightbulb after like 3 months.

27. I feel the need to include ice cream again.

28. A glass of cool white wine

29. Air conditioning

30. Fresh flowers in my living room

31. Falling asleep while reading

32. People watching

33. The kindness of strangers who hold open doors, give me their cart at Aldi, or find other small ways to help life feel just a little less chaotic.

I am grateful for life as it is now, in this moment. As messy and chaotic as I feel most days, there is so much beauty in standing firm in faith, in family, and in loving all the details of our life. Lord knows it is not perfect, but gosh, is it good.