Playful + Peaceful

Today, this little home-away-from-home of mine got a fresh new name:

I just love it.

But I loved the old name, too, and I wanted to explain a little about why I made this change.

The previous name for the blog was – heartsoulmindbody, for short. It was a little bit of a mouthful, but the name stemmed from my original theme for the blog. I wanted to start a blog because I wanted to get comfortable with publicizing my writing, and because I wanted a creative outlet for all my adoption stress. Right around the time I decided to start it, I read a short children’s story with one of my group therapy classes. The story came from The Seven Habits Of Happy Kids by Sean Covey, and it was all about balance – about nourishing the four quadrants of yourself, heart, soul, mind, and body. I love talking about and writing about balance. I started writing blog posts and adding hashtags to the title indicating which quadrant I was writing about that day.

I really loved it – but I never felt like heartsoulmindbody rolled off the tongue very smoothly. And then, I decided that I wanted to purchase the domain name for my blog. It might seem silly, but I decided that it was important to me, and that it was a step that would help me to take the blog and my writing more seriously.  And was not available – so that got me thinking about finding a new name for the blogcropped-14680701_10154635252274837_3446540224843695047_n.jpg, and revamping the way I blog. I’d still write about balance, but I’d move away from the hashtag bit, and I wanted to come up with a name that was a little broader. Because really – I write about EVERYTHING on this blog.

I tossed around a lot of different words and ideas before I came to playful + peaceful, and I mostly chose this title because I LOVE LOOKING AT THOSE WORDS. When I think about what I want from life, how I want to feel, this is it: playful and peaceful.

I’ve recently abandoned using the hashtags, too. I sort of liked them, but I think my blog posts look more professional and polished without them.

I’ve been strategizing about other ways to improve the blog. I want to take more original photos to use with my posts. (The photo I used with this post is a shot of the NCR Trail, which cuts right through our property.) I want the blog to be a blend of all the things I love – my family, my writing, books + reading, the farm, parenting, and so much more.

This blog kept me sane during the intense years of the adoption wait. The blog has been a way for me to slow down and take perspective of my circumstances, which is something I’m not great at in my day-to-day life. I have big writing goals, but even if I didn’t, I’d want to continue to cultivate this space. It’s an outlet for me to express myself. And it’s a playful and peaceful place to be.




blogging · family · parenting

May: Thoughts On Parenting

Yes! This May is the Month of Mommying on the blog.

I’ve started using an editorial calendar for the blog a few weeks ago, and I’m finding it a really helpful tool. Whenever I think of an idea for a post, I think about when it would be best to write and share on that topic, and I tentatively schedule a date for that post. What I’ve discovered is that thinking this way helps me to generate more ideas, and often a theme develops.

That’s what happened with May. I had a few ideas for posts that were related to parenting, and I figured that the month of Mothers’ Day would be a good time for that kind of content. Then, the more I thought about topics related to parenting, the more ideas came to me.


I hope you enjoy this month of thoughts on parenting (with other subjects blended in there as well).  Happy May!

Image result for may

Reconfiguring #mind

This is how blogging works for me:




Currently, I’m in the middle of a creative BURST, and I love it. I feel productive and prolific. And I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about ways to rework the blog, to maintain productivity, and to create more and better.

On my current favorite podcast, The Girl Next Door, the hosts (Kelsey and Erica) mentioned using an editorial calendar, and I am finding that to be a GENIUS idea. I don’t even know if I’m doing it right. I basically set aside a section at the back of my bullet journal for my official editorial calendar. Each month gets a couple of pages, and I’ve been jotting down topics that I plan to blog about for each month.

I LOVE IT. I never plan anything for the blog. I come to the blog whenever it feels right, and I publish a post whenever it feels ready to post. I think this is a completely fine way to do things. But, I think that planning ahead a little may help me to post more often and more intentionally.

I’m planning to do a short reflection once every month, just kind of a brief post about what I’m reading, what I’m listening to, and what I’m recommending to others for the month.

I’m also daydreaming about how to use more images and photography on the blog, but that might just be a pipe dream.  “Take more photos” has been a repeat resolution for me in the past, and it hasn’t happened, which makes me think it maybe just isn’t my thing.

I’ve been trying out a couple of new widgets, so we’ll see how that goes. I really don’t know much about designing websites. It sounds fun to try to rework the blog and make it look like something I’m really proud of. (I’m proud of it already, but it would be cool to take it to the next level.)

AND, maybe most importantly – I’m considering being more intentional and thorough with my posts.

That may sound kind of funny.  But when I started blogging, it was incredible uncomfortable for me to put my words out into the universe at all. Just pressing publish felt brave. Sharing a post on social media made me an absolute daredevil.

So, to keep myself from chickening out, I’ve often scribbled blogs real fast, quickly pressed publish, and then shared them on Facebook. All really fast. No processing. No proofreading.

It’s been three years since I started blogging, and I feel more comfortable having my words out in the universe. But it’s STILL nerve-wracking! However, I’m considering taking a little more time to think about IF MY WORDS ARE SAYING WHAT I WANT THEM TO SAY.

We shall see. Happy writing anyway!


blogging · books + reading · snapshots · writing

SNAPSHOT #mind #soul #spirit

The pretext of my blogging is that I write about balance – about ways that I nourish my heart, my soul, my mind, my body, and my spirit.

Every once in a while, I find myself with a scattering of thoughts I want to share, and I include a snapshot – just a little list of ways that I’m nourishing each aspect of self.  These lists help me to feel grounded and less scattered.  They’re also a good reminder of what I am nourishing and what I’m neglecting.

Here’s today’s snapshot:

-I am on a crazy Book Binge right now!  It started with Glennon Doyle’s two books, followed by Roxane Gay’s Hunger (incredible), and then Before The Fall by Noah Hawley (so good).  I just finished one of my Book Of The Month Club books, The Love Interest, and have moved on to No One Knows by J. T. Ellison.  #mind

-In early June, I spent several days my commute listening to Brene Brown’s latest CD, Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice.  She is amazing.  The CD is amazing.  My number one takeaway was this: you have to recognize when something – a conflict, a resentment – has you hooked.  You have to make a note when something has gotten under your skin, and get curious about it.  #mind #soul

-I am trying something new: posting a quote-slash-picture on my heartsoulmindbody Facebook page every day.  I really don’t know why I decided to do this, but I’m enjoying it.  It’s almost like a little daily check-in or prayer; the quote reveals itself when the time is right, and I put it out in the universe.  I have maybe three followers on the heartsoulmindbody Facebook page (you can follow here if you want), so it’s not really about connecting or publicizing.  It’s just a little message from me to the universe, or from the universe to me.  #soul

-I wrote a story!  It’s been a really long time since I finished a short story, and I have felt wonderful ever since the idea for their story popped into my head.  It is flawed and needs editing, and it will never be perfect.  But I wrote it, and I’m so, so grateful.  #mind #soul

balance · blogging · writing

200 Blog Posts – Say Whaaaaat?!?! #mind #soul

I always feel the urge to do something significant when I reach a blogging milestone, but the milestone post is rarely anything extra-special. 200

And now – 200 posts!

This post probably won’t be anything crazy, either.  BUT I do want to take a snapshot of where I am right now as a blogger/writer.

1. How’s my blogging?

Get ready for a humble brag.

I am AMAZED that I have been able to keep up with this blog.  I’ve started blogs at least three times previously and have abandoned them within months.

This time, it’s been over a year – almost fifteen months – and I’m still going strong.

I think this can be attributed to two things.

a) I have given myself absolutely no rules about when to blog and how often to blog.  I’ve been true to my Rebel tendency (thanks to Gretchen Rubin and Better Than Before for helping me to know myself better!) and I have not given myself any obligations or accountability.  I write when I feel like writing, and I post when I feel like posting.  #noplanskerriann

b) I have harbored no expectations for this endeavor except to have fun.  This writing is my playtime – it’s my chance to be silly and to express my creativity.

Good job, KEM!

gold star

2. What has blogging done for me lately?

I’ve written a lot about how much this blog has helped me – with the adoption wait, definitely, and with my efforts to keep myself balanced.

I’ve also written a lot about mindfulness.

And I’ve learned this: writing on heartsoulmindbody helps me to be mindful.brain-balance-06

It helps me to take moments to pause and to reflect on how I’m spending my months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes, which is not necessarily something I do naturally.

It helps me to notice what’s going on with me, and then to make adjustments when I find that I’m not being balanced.

That’s pretty cool.

3. What’s next?

So I’ve been exploring a couple of things.

One is making a Facebook page for the blog.  I’ve actually already made it, but I’m significantly challenged when it comes to doing new things on the internet, so whenever we’re not busy (hahaha) Tee is going to show me what it means when you have a Facebook page.  (If I were a firstborn child, I’d probably figure it out for myself.  But I’m a youngest child; we need mentoring.)

The second thing is moving the blog over to Squarespace.  I’m pretty sure all the podcasts I listen to have contributed to a kind of brainwashing, because I really don’t know why I am considering this.  But the more I hear Ann Friedman talk about it, THE MORE BRAINWASHED I BECOME.

The third thing is changing the name of the blog.  But I don’t know if I can let go of heartsoulmindbody!  The problem is – it’s a little simple, basic.  The next time I’m up all night with insomnia – which hopefully won’t be in the near future thanks to my brilliant switch from coffee to tea – I will scribble names all over my journal like a crazy madwoman and see what I come up with.  More to come.

And to close out, a Shel Silverstein poem.  Just because.  Happy 200 Posts!




blogging · writing

Flexing My Blogging Muscles

I haven’t been blogging consistently over the past few weeks, which is understandable given how chaotic life has been lately.

When I don’t blog consistently, I sit down to write and instantly become overwhelmed by how much there is to put down on paper.

That’s what happened to me today.


It’s been almost a month since I posted on heartsoulmindbody, and there’s been a whole lotta things going on since then – Christmas, my birthday, New Year’s, starting my new job.  I have a ton of things to talk about, and also absolutely nothing to talk about.  Like you do when you haven’t flexed your blogging muscles in a while.

The thing about writing is that you can always come back to it.  You may have stretch a little – you may have to work on your form and restart your habits – but you can always come home to your writing.  You can always find your voice again.  You just have to listen.

blogging · books + reading

150 Posts, 53 Books, 2016 Blessings #heart #soul #mind #nonstop

This is my 150th blog post!  Yay!

This blog continues to be helpful for me – it’s a therapeutic outlet and a confidence booster.  And it’s really  satisfying when I reach milestone numbers.

Like this milestone number – 53 books read this year. In January, I set a Goodreads goal of reading 52 books during the year 2015.  As of today, I’ve read 53 books- go KEM! (You can link to the list of books I read here.)  I’m not that big on setting goals like that, but I did find it really satisfying to track my progress toward the 52 books on Goodreads.  I’m not usually one who looks for compliments or gold stars, but I do like checking things off of lists and clicking the “I’ve finished this book!” button on the Goodreads app.

So, I’ve counted to 150 blog posts, and I’ve counted to 53 books.  But what I really want to count today are my blessings.  And I can’t count high enough.

-Being with Tee, at Christmas and every day of my life.

-Having the best sister in the universe.

-Loving and being loved by family, who’ve dropped everything to help Tee and me this last week.

-My oldest friend, who texted me random FRIENDS quotes periodically on a stressful day.

-Our moving helpers, including our two-year-old niece, who picked up tiny pieces of bark one at a time over and over for at least thirty minutes, tossing them into the pile of firewood in the back of Tee’s truck.

-Offers and favors from friends and family – to help us move, to bring us food, checking in on us every day of the past week.counting

-An exciting new job opportunity.

-Our upcoming move.  Stressful as it is, I’m so excited to get set up in our new farmhouse and start Marie Kondo-ing the heck out of my life.  (I’d explain, but I have a feeling this blog is going to be insufferable with references to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in January.)

-A new year – 2016.  I’m not a huge celebrator of New Year’s Eve, but I have always loved New Year’s Day – the first day of a brand-new year.  A fresh start.  A chance to take stock and to look ahead.

I’ve had the Bing Crosby song “Count Your Blessings” from the movie White Christmas in my head ever since last Friday.  I can’t stop counting my blessings, and it’s making me really happy.