2022: The Good, The Bad, and The Other

Happy New Year! I guess it’s time for my annual (and apparently singular) blog post?

Originally, the purpose of these yearly posts was to recap the year in an honest way. I didn’t want to write a highlight reel. Yes, I (of course) want the highlights. But I want everything else too. A clear list of all the good things and the bad things and the other things. 

This year feels different somehow. Nothing about this year has been uncomplicated. No moment was clearly good or bad or anything else. Life has been full and mundane and exhausting and lovely all at the same time.

I don’t know whether I heard it somewhere or if it’s something I thought up on my own, but I’ve had a phrase on repeat in my mind for the last month or so. When things feel impossible or wonderful or just boring, I remind myself: This is the stuff of living.  When I am tired or delighted or overstimulated: This is the stuff of living. It’s helped me remember that a life is made up of all of these things and even when it feels unpleasant, it is a privilege just to be alive.

So, here it is folks. The stuff of living, 2022.

(You should know this by now, but… buckle up, we’re getting wordy. We’re packing a year’s worth of blog posts into one here!)

Our darling Hannah Jane was born! I’m jumping out of order here, but this obviously deserves the first spot on the list. Hannah is sweet, silly, curious, opinionated, and the new center of our little universe. Like most babies, she really feels her feelings, holding nothing back. It’s cliche, but I love this tiny human more than I can really explain.

I have so many thoughts about having a baby and being a mom, too many to really capture here. It’s all much harder than I imagined. My body is wrecked and I am never not exhausted. Basic self-care often feels impossible (I had to add “Shower” as an event on my google calendar three times a week…so that’s where I’m at these days). I miss who I was and who we were before she was born. I often wonder how the heck humans have spent milenia doing this… but then she smiles or giggles or lays her head on my chest or kicks her little feet in delight, and I begin to understand or at least I think I do. What an honor it is to be her mom, to help her find her way in this world.

• On an obviously related note, I survived growing and birthing a tiny human into this world! (Ha, told you I was going out of order – timey-wimey, I guess?). I spent the first four months of 2022 really quite terrified of dying in some pregnancy or childbirth-related complication, even though for most of that time, my pregnancy was pretty healthy. My diabetes management was actually the most perfect it has ever been (you couldn’t even tell I was diabetic from my labs… the high-risk pregnancy doctors were eventually like “hey, you’re good, you don’t need to be here”). Still, I was existentially scared. For months.

My blood pressure started creeping up at the end of pregnancy and during the last few weeks, we were sent to triage L&D four times for extra monitoring. I was so fortunate to have an incredible OB who I trusted and who made all the right calls to make sure we stayed healthy. 

I was induced at 37 weeks exactly and, well, nothing happened like I thought it would. Hannah wasn’t tolerating contractions, so we were sent for an emergency C-Section. So many people talk about their birth experience like it is incredibly empowering but I was just panicking. My body was shaking uncontrollably, I was vomiting, my blood sugar was low, and I kept feeling like the epidural/anesthesia wasn’t working well. We took several birth preparation classes and had a doula, but nothing really prepared me for what a C-section would feel like. In the end, they gave me sedatives (they were necessary, I was basically having a panic attack). As a result, I don’t remember much of the first hour or so of Hannah’s life. 

It’s taken me a long time to make sense of my experience giving birth. I never cared much about having a vaginal birth (An aside: I hate the term “natural birth”. It implies that anything else is unnatural) but I wished for a long time I could have had a more empowering birth experience. In the end, Hannah’s birth made me grateful to live when and where I do. Not so long ago, it’s not unlikely that one of us would have died that night. We are still here, alive and healthy, because of modern medicine and science and a whole bunch of people that care about people giving birth and babies enough to become doctors and nurses and anesthesiologists. And even though I didn’t get to feel powerful in my body in that moment, the fact still remains that I grew and birthed a whole human and that is pretty powerful, regardless of how it happens.

My siblings both got married this year! Both weddings were so special and fun. It’s so cool to have two new siblings-in-law. Traveling for both weddings was a learning experience (flying with an infant is different! and challenging! babies need so much stuff!).

• We had a whole bunch of family visits after Hannah was born. All five grandparents visited in the first 6 weeks or so of Hannah’s life and it was so special to watch them meet and (of course) instantly love Hannah. 

Our friends Jocelyn and Steven have been life-savers in about a million ways. From coming over daily to walk Finn when Hannah was a newborn to taking us to the airport to house and dog sitting to helping us laugh and remember that we are still humans even though we’re parents now…we’ve really (REALLY) appreciated them. I can’t say enough about what their friendship has meant to me.

My parents (plus dogs!) and Walker’s mom visited us for Thanksgiving. We rented an Airbnb 30 minutes away and Jocelyn and Steven joined us too. Finn came too! There was a hot tub! And outdoor fireplace! We made stew and sweet potato pie and had charcuterie! It was so much fun.

•We flew to Oklahoma City for Christmas. It was so wonderful to introduce Hannah to Walker’s extended family. Even though we all ended up sick by the time we got home, it was still wonderful to see everyone’s delight at meeting Hannah.

• We had (too many) home improvement projects (#homeownership, I guess?) For a few weeks in early 2023, the entire house was topsy-turvy when we had the interior of the house painted (note to self: do this before moving in next time!), we had a built-in closet installed in our bedroom to make room for a bassinet/rocking chair (and later my office space), we replaced our balcony since it was falling apart with rotten wood (that construction was SO LOUD, I really almost lost it), we had all the doors in the house repainted, since they messed up the first time (so were without interior doors for almost a month lol), and of course we converted our guest bedroom to a nursery. We are so (SO) glad we were able to afford to make all of these repairs… but both Walker and I decided we’d really, really like to be done with home improvement projects

We joined a local PEPS group (Program for Early Parent Support) that has been an incredible source of camaraderie and support since Hannah was born. It is an incredible relief to be amongst people who intimately understand everything going on in your life (and who are as excited/anxious to talk about their babies’ sleep as you are).

• This year, I read 28 books. Obviously my reading slowed down a lot after Hannah was born, but I think I still managed to read at least one book a month. My favorites included The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, Monk and Robot books by Becky Chambers, and Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin.

[Still] no shame:  We watched a lot of tv this year, especially when Hannah was a newborn and we were just trying to survive. Highlights include a lot of Critical Role (I finished Vox Machina and Mighty Nein and now I honestly don’t know what to do with my spare time), Strange New Worlds (the best Star Trek and maybe the best show of all time?), Andor, Moon Night, Ms. Marvel, A Court of Fey and Flowers (heyo Dimension 20!) and Rings of Power. It was a great year to be a nerd.

All the small (but not unimportant!) things: Learned to read tarot cards, crocheted a hippo for Hannah, (not enough) long walks with Finn, coffee (+ stroller!) walks with friends, so many freezer cookies, well-loved/hand-me-down toys and clothes, bath time (my favorite), book club, tree blossoms, baby-wearing, (too much) time on social media, (not enough) exercise, a real struggle with breastfeeding and pumping, meals cooked by friends and family, trips to the bookstore, dancing, zoo lanterns, baby giggles, baby books, my brother and sister meeting their niece for the first time, (way too little) sleep, lots of self-doubt, and, you know, just an entire restructuring of the way we live our life.

2021: The Good, The Bad, and The Other

When I started writing this blog post on New Year’s Eve, I was not at all excited to remember most of 2021. 

Last year, it was easy (and helpful) to believe that most of the clusterfuckery of 2020 would pass at some point during 2021. I ended the year with some small hope that things would change in the near future. That the world would return to some small semblance of normal even if that was a little different than what we now wistfully call the “before-times”. But now, thinking about the past year, for the most part, just makes me sad. Maybe I’m just cynical or negative or bitter… but it’s been really hard not to feel that way. 

But that, I suppose, is the whole point of these annual posts. To remember that it hasn’t all been bad. There were many good things and a whole lot of other things in 2021, too. Our lives are made up of all of these things and it is important to honor the entirety of our experience as living, breathing, thinking, feeling human beings.

We recently started a ritual of listening to John Green’s Anthropocene Reviewed essay, Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s Eve. The overall mood of his essay is somewhat melancholy, but this year managed to bring me hope and a sense of perspective. After listening again to his words, I started to think differently about last year. 

“We’re here because we’re here because we’re here…” Being here, together, alive is no small miracle. As John Green says, “We are part of a vast and interconnected US. And we are HERE, if only for a little while.” If nothing else, I am so (SO) incredibly glad to be alive on this planet. I can celebrate having spent the last year with Walker, with Finn, on this strange and beautiful planet full of strangers and friends and family and awe and wonder. 

On that note, here is my pile of good things, bad things, and other things from 2021! 

(Buckle up! It seems I’m feeling very wordy this year since I haven’t written on my blog in a year… )

  • We are pregnant!  This deserves the first spot on the list because it is so life-changingly huge… baby is due to join us in May 2022! We started trying to get pregnant at the beginning of 2019, and started fertility treatments in June 2021, so this has been a long time coming. Pregnancy has been exciting, (sometimes) nauseating, and (often) existentially scary. It’s hard to imagine what life will be like after this, but I’m looking forward to finding out.
  • At some point in 2021, I reread all of my journals. I have 16 in total, starting in the year 2000. when I was in 6th grade! It was an interesting, enlightening, and sometimes painful experience. All I can really say is that I’m so grateful to all the people I’ve been to become who I am today.
  • I quit my job in June! When I reread my journals from the past five years, I realized I have disliked my job as a school psychologist almost from the very beginning. I tried changing schools, changing districts, and changing roles… and none of those things made much difference. So I decided it was time to quit. I still don’t have a plan for where my career will go next (which is scary). I was about to start looking for jobs (or at least potential next steps) in September…. buuut then we found out I was pregnant. We are fortunate enough to not need my salary and it turns out that being a pregnant Type 1 Diabetic is a lot of work, so I’m putting off career decisions for a while.
  • I can’t (honestly) write about 2021, without writing about COVID. The experience of living during a pandemic over the past two years has really damaged my faith in humanity. This could have been a moment for the world to really come together. To make decisions based on mutual respect and love and care for one another. Instead we’re drowning in greed and misinformation and general exhaustion.

    Two years ago, I wrote about “my childhood friend and your relative and that one guy from my college classes and your neighbor down the street (and… and… and… and… ) disregarding science and perpetuating conspiracies and misinformation in order to prioritize their “freedom” over the survival of their friends and families and neighbors.” It is exhausting to know that this hasn’t changed after witnessing two years of suffering and death. The biggest difference now is that I have seen many of those same people refusing vaccines and dying. Or spreading the virus to their own vulnerable loved ones and then watching them die. It’s heartbreaking.

    I am just so (SO) tired of COVID. I wish more than anything that I could just carry on with my life, you know? But I can’t ignore reality and I refuse to be irresponsible. The longer we’re in it, the harder it is for me to feel hopeful. It’s painful to live in the world as it is today.

    I know there are so many good people doing so much good in the world. I know healthcare workers who have been traumatized over and over again who still show up and still care. I know so many who have made sacrifices in order to help limit the spread. I know there are scientists who have done incredible things to create vaccines and treatments to make this pandemic more survivable. I take some small hope in knowing the world is not without really (REALLY) good people. 
  • In February, we got snowed in on a weekend getaway to a cabin on the Olympic Peninsula. Finn absolutely loved frolicking in the snow and I loved being in a cozy cabin. It felt super idyllic (even though I was stressed the whole time about whether or not our car would be able to handle the snow when it was time to leave… thanks, anxiety!)
  • I experimented more with writing poetry and wrote a handful of poems. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of my poems end up being melancholy (a throwback to my teenage poetry, maybe???) I really enjoy writing haikus – it’s fun to see what you can conjure with only a few words.
  • In 2021, I set a goal to walk an average of two miles every day. I kept track of how far I walk every day on a spreadsheet and at the end of the year clocked in at an average of 1.77 miles/day and 645 miles total this year. Even though I didn’t quite reach my goal, I’m really proud of myself for adding more movement into my day. Bonus: I got to spend LOTS of quality time with Finn!
  • At the end of May, we were able to visit my entire family in Utah for the first time since December 2018. It surprised me how emotional it felt to hug my parents. We got to meet my brother’s fiancee (she’s lovely!) and had lots of fun outings. I somehow always forget just how beautiful Utah is. I’m so grateful that all of us were able to get vaccinated and navigate that trip safely and with confidence. Yay science!
  • On a related note, my brother and my sister got engaged this year! I’m so excited to welcome new siblings-in-law to our family. They will both be getting married in Fall 2022, just a few months after our baby is born. 2022 will be a busy year for the Snow Family!
  • In July, we went on a trip to the Oregon Coast with three of our close friends. Our Airbnb rental overlooked a bay, had a luxurious hot tub, and an incredible view of the stars at night. We played lots of board games, took turns cooking delicious food, and generally lazed about and enjoyed the view. It was absolutely lovely and so nice to spend time with friends who really have brought us through the last few years.
  • I started acting as Game Master for a group of friends playing the Kids on Brooms RPG! I haven’t been in any RPG groups since last year and I really missed it, so I decided to give it a try! Kids on Brooms is set in sort of an off-brand Harry Potter world, but we really have made it our own world. It has been exceedingly silly and fun.
Finn usually made a guest appearance at our Kids on Brooms RPG!
  • Inspired by Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, Walker and I started watching Star Trek TNG on date nights and discussing the episode using sacred practices to see what we can get out of it. We’ve been recording our conversations with the thought of maybe making something out of it someday. Even though it feels like we are playing pretend at podcasting, I’ve really enjoyed our Sacred TNG conversations and it’s made me love TNG even more. We’ll probably never do much with the recordings, but I like the idea of having them around. 🖖
  • At the end of October, Walker’s stepfather, Perry passed away. Though his death was not unexpected (he had been in a memory care facility for a little over a year with dementia), it was still a huge loss. Perry was diagnosed with early-onset dementia not long before Walker and I met, so I never really got to know him before his memory loss. At his funeral in Oklahoma so many people told stories about his life and what an incredible man he was. I wish I could have known him before dementia. My heart breaks for Walker’s mom. Losing someone is never easy and it’s never fair. 
  • We returned a second time to Oklahoma to celebrate Thanksgiving with Walker’s family. It had been almost two years since we had seen many of them in person, so it felt quite lovely to be together again. Highlights included  a trip to Walker’s granddad’s home and farm in Altus, early morning walks with Walker’s dad (who very generously loaned me several warm layers since I foolishly didn’t bring my coat!), Walker and his nephew sword fighting and wrestling, and playing board games with everyone.
  • We had to cancel our New Year’s trip to Utah because of the surge in COVID cases. Since I’m both pregnant and Type 1, my doctor recommended we postpone our travel. We were so excited to see my family all in one place again and were so disappointed to have to cancel. I’ll say it again… this pandemic sucks.
  • This year, I read 47 books! Not quite the feat of last year, but still pretty good! My favorites?  The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green, The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, and Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I’ve already started reading the Anthropocene Reviewed a second time. 🤓
  • [Still] no shame:  We watched a lot more tv this year. Highlights include a lot of Critical Role (yes, I’m a fully qualified nerd), She-Ra, Clone Wars, Rebels, Ted Lasso, Steven Universe (again), alllll the Marvel shows, and (the best show of the year, imho) Only Murders in the Building. 
  • All the small (but not unimportant!) things: Chopped off my hair and dyed it red, new plants, Walker’s new dice-making hobby, several organization projects, braved the movie theater twice for Marvel movies, learned how to play the ukulele, learned to crochet, baking projects, coffee walks with friends, refinished backyard, virtual Harry Potter and the Sacred Text classes, better exercise habits, and lots of board game nights with friends.

2020: The Good, The Bad, & The Other

Y’all. 2020. Was. A. Clusterfuck. 

When I sat down to write about this, I was reminded of the original inspiration for these annual posts: 

Yeah… 2020 was a collective pile of like… really bad things. I can’t even begin to write this post without mentioning them.

COVID and mismanagement of the COVID response has killed hundreds of thousands of people in America and millions of people worldwide. COVID exacerbated social injustices everywhere and forced us to see things in a brutally clear light. The scale of the loss of life, of livelihood, and of stability as a result of COVID and its fallout are unfathomable.

We witnessed the police murders of innocent black men and women: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Brionna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Daniel Prude, Casey Goodson, and so many more. In response to this horrific and ongoing police brutality, protestors demanded justice and change (yet again) and were met with more brutal state-sanctioned police violence. The pain (and the resilience and the vision) of BIPOC cannot be ignored, nor should it ever have been. 

The collective pain and grief and loss and fear and anxiety of 2020 is incalculable. We must not forget it. We must learn from it, find our strength, and carry one another forward. 

Though good things in 2020 cannot soften or cancel out the bad things, we can still acknowledge and appreciate that they exist. There were many good things in 2020. And joyful things. And boring things. And nothing things. The bad things cannot spoil any of these. This year writing about and honoring all of the things seems more important than ever. We are complete beings and so we must tell complete stories. 

So without further adieu, I present:

2020: The Good, The Bad, and The Other:

  • We traveled to Iceland in February! I often reflect on how incredibly lucky we were to have taken this trip right before pandemic really set in. Iceland was stunning and  other-worldly. I can’t wait to go back.
  • COVID-19 turned my world topsy turvy in mid-March. When schools closed in Washington on March 13,  I started working from home. Being a school psychologist from home is… weird. I’ll be honest and say I still don’t really know how to do it well. It’s certainly been a year of stretching and trying (and failing… and failing…) and struggling. It’s been challenging to find any joy or fulfillment at work. 
  • I played more RPGs this year, with two new characters: Petranella Petrichor (an eccentric scientist on a space adventure) and Belba Tealeaf (a chaotic halfling tea merchant trying to save a town). 
  • Nearly every Friday since the pandemic started, we’ve had a video call with a small group of friends. We play online board games and share memes and laugh and rage about the state of the world. It’s been an absolute joy. I love these folks and am grateful they are part of my chosen family.
  • I have always wanted to be in a book club… and this year I started one with my friends from grad school! We’ve met every month since June! I have loved talking about books with friends and having a built-in excuse to hang out once a month.
  • I had a miscarriage in June. Walker and I have been trying to start our family for a couple of years now and thought we would need fertility treatments in order to get pregnant. We had put those treatments on hold due to the pandemic, then found out a couple of months later that we were expecting. We discovered the pregnancy was not viable at my first appointment and miscarried at home a few weeks later. It was physically and emotionally painful. I still grieve a little at the loss of that particular possible future for our family. The experience was an absolute rollercoaster – and I know it’s not an uncommon one. I mention my miscarriage not for pity, but because I know there are so many others who have experienced the same thing. You are not alone. It’s okay to talk about it.
  • In July, we replaced some of the flooring in our house. To avoid being indoors with the people working, we decided to rent an airbnb in West Seattle for a staycation. We played board games, ate takeout from new restaurants, walked along Alki Beach, and read books on the beach in the sunshine. It was absolutely lovely
  • At some point this year, we started having very physically distanced driveway happy hours with our neighbors. We live on a lot with four townhouses that share a large driveway in the middle and so we started setting up our lawn chairs in front of our garage doors about once a month. It’s been lovely to get to know them better and to build up our little community. It’s a tradition that I hope continues even after the pandemic is over.
  • In a joint effort with our neighbors, we hand-addressed and wrote a total of 633 postcards to voters. From July-October, we sent 373 postcards with Postcards to Voters and Reclaim Our Vote for the general election. From November-December, we sent 260 postcards to Georgia voters for the January Senate Run-Off election. 
  • I also volunteered for the Biden campaign with the Wisconsin Democrats. I phonebanked, textbanked, and served as a Virtual Staging Location Director for the WisDems Text Team. All together, I spent 160 hours volunteering.  I met so many remarkable and inspiring people. And Biden won Wisconsin by a field margin! Of everything I did in 2020, this was the thing I was by far the most proud of. 
  • JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS WON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION! (I am so, so, so relieved. The work is not finished, but this is absolutely a reason to celebrate).
Walker and I dropping off our ballots and voting that nightmare out of office.
  • I finished the year off volunteering with the Ossoff/Warnock campaigns and Fair Fight to help turn out Georgia voters for the runoff election. I wrote 120 letters to voters and spent a few dozen hours phonebanking and textbanking. 
  • I am growing to understand more about systemic racism, white supremacy, and my own complicity in the system. I am learning silence is violence and it is the responsibility of white people to fix these problems (we are the cause). I’ve been learning about systemic racism for several years, but learning is not enough. Awareness is not enough. Action is required. Reparations are required. I am committed to doing better. 
  • I cataloged our entire home library of books this summer. (All 289 of them, e-books and audiobooks included!) I believe that what we read shapes how we think, so I wanted to be sure I am making space for all voices, not just straight, white, cisgender voices. I learned that I have a lot of work to do! I’m committed to bringing more BIPOC and queer authors space on my bookshelf.
  • Speaking of books, I reached my reading goal again this year! I read (drumroll please…) 53 books! My favorite? The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. Her writing and world-building is STUNNING and I am honestly obsessed. Her books showed me the infinite and revolutionary possibilities with fantasy writing. Also, because I can’t help it, an honorary mention: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. This book gave me a lot to think about what it means to live a life.
  • I transferred to a new position in a different school in September and reduced my hours to part-time. I was really grateful to start fresh after three very challenging (and, honestly, sometimes soul-crushing) years in my previous school. I’m also very grateful to be able to work reduced hours in order to spend more time taking care of my mental and physical health. For the first time ever, I feel like my work/home life is balanced.
  • [Still] no shame:  We watched a lot of tv this year. It was 2020, after all. Highlights include Star Trek Voyager, Steven Universe, Avatar the Last Airbender, His Dark Materials, The Mandalorian, and Star Trek Discovery.
  • I dabbled in creative writing! I took a fanfiction writing course this fall from Harry Potter and the Sacred Text and attended a workshop about blackout poetry over the summer. Practicing creative writing really stretched my mind and imagination. I’m excited to continue this practice.
I have been melodious, fitful, fiery-eyed, menacing, and impulsive. I live so entirely that I really don’t know how to behave. I think I may look like danger.
  • I have attended a lot of Harry Potter Sacred Text online events, including a week-long summer camp. Y’all it was incredible. It was joyful. It was insightful. I learned so much about myself. I met so many cool people.
  • My friend Chris made this picture of Finn on a bicycle in photoshop and it is my favorite picture of all time.
  • I was (marginally) more successful at staying in touch with friends and family. We scheduled more video calls with both of our families. I caught up with a few friends I haven’t talked to in ages. I hope to do better in 2021; I’m (still) sorry for not staying more connected.
  • All of the small but notable things: house plants, backyard coffee, friluftsliv, spice cupboard organization, teal door, homemade masks, embroidery, herb garden, standing desk, feet-up yoga, at home pedicures, pupusas, pink hair, Gloomhaven, (too much) social media, (not enough) exercise, smoke season, online concerts for AJR and Jason Webley, so many walks, online cooking classes from The Pantry, frozen cookie dough, the friendly neighborhood robot, and Winter Solstice. 

Click here previous Good/Bad/Other posts: 2018 & 2019


I didn’t know it at first, but when the pandemic started in March, I started practicing the Scandinavian concept “friluftsliv” (free-loofts-leev). Directly translated, it means “free-air life,”  but it’s basically the concept of spending time outdoors in all seasons, having space from other people, and being able to wander freely outside. 

Since March, I’ve wandered the streets of my neighborhood frequently, usually without a destination in mind. I was surprised, at first, at the perspective this practice gave me. Even as 2020 took turn after devastating turn, there was still so much beauty. The world hadn’t, in fact, stopped. The trees still blossomed, right on time. Tiny green buds still sprang up out of the soil. The birds still went about their business as usual. (I grew particularly attached to a blue scrub jay that nested in the trees about a block from our house).

I thought, at first, that the novelty of walking around my neighborhood would wear off. That I would get bored when the stunning beauty of spring faded and summer arrived. But I was wrong – there was still much to appreciate. 2020 continued to be a perpetual and somehow worsening trainwreck… and nature just kept nature-ing. The sun continued to shine. The grass continued to grow. Flowers continued to bloom. The sky was as blue as ever.

Something about the natural world continuing on without a care-  in spite of everything – was incredibly steadying to me. I wasn’t disappointed when summer turned to autumn. The trees exploded with bright orange, glowing yellow, and fiery red foliage. The leaves carpeted everything, making a walk down the sidewalk more like a walk down the red carpet. I didn’t even need to leave my neighborhood to see it.

As all the leaves began to fall, I grew increasingly anxious about what a long, cold, dark, and lifeless winter might do to my spirit. Seattle winters can be tough. We don’t get much sun. The color is leached from everything and the world turns to a dull, muted grey for months. In an effort to prepare myself for the winter ahead, I started mentally cataloging things in nature that I thought might make the season bearable. To my surprise, I found incredible beauty in what I thought was emptiness:

It’s easier to see birds perched in the tree in my backyard when there are no leaves in the way. I’ve learned that song sparrows, house finches, black-eyed juncos, and hummingbirds like to socialize there. The frost on the grass in morning looks glitters like fairy dust. Red berries cling tightly to exposed branches, a burst of color against a darkening blue sky. A small tree I walk by daily has knotted, gnarled, and warty branches that curl around themselves in tight spirals. You can only see this chaotic beauty in the winter, when there are no leaves to obscure it. 

About a month ago, a dear friend told me that she loves the winter months because it’s only during winter that we get to look forward to an imminent spring. We get to see the world at rest, preparing for the burst of life that is to come. Sure, winter can be cold (so bitingly cold). It can be dark. The sun can hide behind curtains of rain and gloom for days and weeks and sometimes even months on end. But winter is also a season of anticipation, of hope, and of certainty that – yes – there is light and life and warmth just ahead.

With that in mind, I bid you all a Happy Winter Solstice! Here’s to the light and life and beauty that are just ahead. We’ll get through 2020. We’ll get through this winter. We’ll get through this pandemic. And as we do, the world will keep on doing what it does best; winter turning to spring, turning to summer, turning to fall, turning to winter…

(P.S. I learned about friluftsliv a few weeks ago from a daily Seattle podcast I listen to. You can listen to the episode here.)

We Belong To Each Other

Credit: Kimothy Joy

This week, when I read this quote, my heart felt a familiar but persistent insistence to speak. So I opened my computer and began to write. But the result was a lot of swear words and ALL CAPS sentences because I am mad. Like really mad. And also, so, so heartbreakingly sad. This is not a new feeling. It’s been bubbling, roiling, and building up for weeks, months, years. So, yeah, swearing and all caps seem appropriate.

Our world is broken. Incredibly, terribly, horribly broken. (This is not new). 

Our planet is suffocating, dying. People (I am guilty) are prioritizing comfort and convenience over the future of our entire world.

Credit: Giovana Medeiros

Racism is ever-insidiously-rampant. This week, we learned the name of Ahmaud Arbery, who was murdered in cold blood for jogging while black. Black and brown people have been suffering and dying by white hands and white systems for centuries. (I am complicit. So, my white friends, are you.)

Courtesy of Illinois People’s Action

Coronavirus is highlighting ugliness and inequity everywhere. On social media, I see my childhood friend and your relative and that one guy from my college classes and your neighbor down the street (and… and… and… and… ) prioritizing their “freedom” over the survival of their friends and families and neighbors. I see them disregard science, preferring to perpetuate conspiracy theories and blatant misinformation. (This, by the way,  is not new, either. We are seeing it under bright lights now and can quickly – so terrifyingly quickly – see the consequences of ignorance).

Credit: Artist Lacuna; Berlin, Germany

I see politicians (and thus, their followers) prioritize capitalism over human lives, often equating or conflating the two. (Again, this is not new. This country was essentially founded on the prioritization of capital over human lives. We were built on the backs and the bodies of black and brown people. This did not stop with the end of slavery and it did not stop with the end of Jim Crow laws and it has not stopped today).

I cannot list all of the ways in which our world is broken. And I don’t think it would help to try. 


(Open your eyes).

(I believe this, I truly do).

We belong to each other.

“My humanity is bound up in yours for we can only be human together. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.” (Desmond Tutu)

We are not acting like a “we”. 

We have forgotten.

and so

we have no peace.

I do not have the answers to fix our broken world. 

And yet.

If we can imagine ourselves as “we” instead of “me” and “you” or “us” and “them”… 

If we remember to value one another as precious and wonderful…

If we can hold all lives as sacredly as we hold our own… 

If our actions can reflect this…

Then maybe there’s hope. 

Perhaps, since we have all been complicit in the world’s brokenness, we can also be part of the work of healing.

I have a lot of work to do. We all do. 

From the 2018 Seattle Women’s March. I may not be able to march right now, but I can still write. I cannot be silent anymore. 

Write hard and clear about what hurts.

I was doing mostly fine, honestly I was. I was just barely surviving at work after several discouraging and exhausting months. I was starting to feel pretty significant shame and uncertainty about whether my body was healthy enough to get pregnant. I was tired and burnt out from managing a chronic illness. But, really, I was fine. I was functional. I was okay. Ish.

I heard about coronavirus on the news every day, but it was difficult to understand the impact. The number of confirmed cases and deaths climbed daily. It sounded scary, sure. But it also sounded familiar. I still remember other epidemics like SARS and H1N1. The world survived that. How different could this be?

But then, a whisper. Of course, there was only one person here in Washington. And he was quarantined, so there was no need to worry. They caught it early. Everything was fine. Then there were a few more. But still, it was fine. Seemingly overnight, the panic began. 

I started operating under the assumption that everything I touched was contaminated. My mind began playing out worst-case-scenarios: Losing my husband. Getting sick and my blood sugar going crazy and being unable to get medical care. Over and over and over these scenarios played out in my mind. But I was still required to go to work. And be present and compassionate for those I work with. And function like an adult. 

I could do it. Sort of. But I was falling apart at the seams. 

As someone with Type 1 Diabetes, I am among those listed in the “high risk” group for COVID-19. Very suddenly, harmless things became possibly deadly. Doorknobs, high fives, grocery stores, card readers, gas pumps. All potential threats. All terrifying. I was perched on the edge of a kind of existential panic, and yet required to masquerade as functional. I knew I couldn’t manage for long.

I still feel guilty about the relief I experienced when school was cancelled for over a month. I know the implications for the students I work with. I understand that systemic inequities perpetuated within our society and our education system are being magnified a hundred fold. I know there are people who have no choice but to continue living “on the edge of existential panic”, day-in and day-out, because if they don’t, their families won’t eat. Or because people are relying on them for care. I get it. 

It is unfair that I get to feel some relief when others do not. We should all be able to stop and focus on keeping our communities well without fearing a loss of income, of food, of shelter. (Can I get a PSA for Universal Basic Income & Healthcare for All & Mandatory Paid Sick Leave? Do we understand that these are human rights and that we are better off as a community if all people are given basic human dignity? How can we possibly see this more clearly?)

We already have so much work to do to begin healing. Wounds that already ran deep in our communities are now festering. The path forward is unclear, but I believe we are resilient. I believe we will grow stronger as we lean on one another. We have to. It’s going to take all of us.

I’m doing my best to continue supporting local businesses, to donate to relief funds and food banks, to protect my community by staying home as much as possible, and to check in with friends and neighbors. I still feel helpless and afraid and a little like I’m falling apart. But we are in this together. Despite everything, I still believe in humanity.

Please let me know if you have more ideas about how to support our communities during this crisis. Because I am in a high risk group, I can’t go out and volunteer, but I can’t sit and do nothing while I watch this unfold.

Stay healthy. Stay connected. Stay compassionate for those who don’t have the same privileges you enjoy. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Wash your hands. Stay home if you can.

Deep breaths. I love you all.

A picture of Finn to make you smile

2019: The Good, The Bad, & The Other

Hi. Hello. How are you?

It’s been a while, but I haven’t forgotten you. I’ve just been distracted. And tired. But I’m back for the annual wrap-up. It’s going to be a long one since I haven’t posted much this year, so buckle up!

Like most years, 2019 has been wonderful. And exhausting. And gratifying. And ugly. And discouraging. And boring. And beautiful. And painful. (etc.)

On that note, it’s time for…

(cue theme music and live audience cheering)

2019: The Good, The Bad, & The Other:

  • We survived Seattle’s Snowpocalypse” in February. And by “surviving”, I mean we lounged around in our pajamas for a couple of weeks, watching Netflix, and cozing on the couch.
  • Immediately after Snowpocalypse, we left for a week-long vacation to visit my friend Emily in Maui. It was a-maz-ing… the warm rain, the sunsets, the sea turtles, the whales, the food. Everything was perfect. (…well, everything except for the part at the end where I got a migraine that lasted our entire flight home plus about 48 hours. That part I could’ve done without.)
  • I TURNED THIRTY (what?!?!) and discovered that this might be the age when you start to forget how to respond when people ask you how old you are. 
  • We said goodbye to Waldo, the dog who has been a part of my family since I was in middle school. He lived a good long life and we were lucky to be a part of it.
Waldo, circa 2013
  • In June I attended a retreat for people with Type 1 Diabetes. It was incredible to be in a room full of others who intimately understand the relentless daily struggle. Also, being in a room with other cyborgs whose device alarms sound exactly like yours is – to say the least – confusing. But also hilarious
  • Also in June, I finished  up a pretty challenging school-year. I stressed a lot and grew a lot and learned a lot about how much I still have to learn. (How does that saying go?  “The more I learn, the less I know.”)
  • In September, I started an even more challenging school-year. It’s been utterly exhausting. Full disclosure: I have struggled to maintain my mental and physical health. Self-care and boundary-setting have become (even more) essential to survival.
  • We’ve continued our obsession with cooking classes at The Pantry in Seattle. Favorites included The Spanish Table, The Icelandic Table, Chicago Pizza, Summer Farmer’s Market, and Salvadoran Pupusas. 
  • Some time over the summer, we started hosting our friend Chris for Monday night dinners. This has been a highlight of the year for many reasons… Chris has always been close with Walker, but sharing a weekly meal has really made me feel like he is part of our chosen family. Also, Chris is vegetarian, so I’ve really enjoyed eating more veggies and expanding my veggie cooking skills. We also used these dinners as an excuse to watch all the Star Wars movies in narrative order before the final movie was released last week. It was epic and felt equivalent to the nerd version of Monday night football leading up to the Superbowl. 
  • As is pretty obvious, the blog fell by the wayside at some point mid-year, which makes me feel sad. I think the truth is that I’ve been exhausted (I blame my job) and haven’t prioritized many of the hobbies that bring me joy. I hope this year is different.
  • I was finally fully initiated into Nerdom. I started playing Dungeons & Dragons over the summer with Walker and two of our good friends. My character is a forest gnome druid named Ydania (Edie) Cheeh Wazogloh who forgets everyone’s names, loves animals enough to become one (or two or three) on a daily basis, has a tendency towards impulsiveness, and hopes to avenge the deaths of her parents. 
  • In August, I visited my sister in Boise and met her darling dog Mia. It made me wish we lived closer. We would certainly have some shenanigans. 
  • In September, my parents and sister flew to Seattle and drove with us to Victoria, BC. Before this, I hadn’t really been on a vacation as an adult with my family as an adult, but this road trip was wonderful.  Highlights included Butchart Gardens, High Tea, and an outing on an eighty-year-old passenger sailboat.
  • In October, we attended the annual SHUX Board Game Convention in Vancouver, BC with two of our good friends. It was hands down the best convention I’ve ever attended. Just imagine a convention center full of thousands of introverted nerds (mostly) quietly playing board games for three days straight. It. Was. AMAZING. (Also we stayed on a FLOATING HOUSE. Which was maybe the coolest place I’ve ever slept. 10/10 would recommend.)
  • [Still] no shame: I watched a lot of TV this year, including (but not limited to) Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and dozens of episodes of the youtube show Binging with Babish.
  • This year for Thanksgiving, we went to Washington, D.C. for a week. We stayed with my brother (who will soon be moving abroad) and Walker’s good friend (who just adopted a son). It was wonderful to spend time with all of them and (unsurprisingly) made me wish we all lived closer to one another. (We also did a tiny bit of touristing, including walking down the National Mall, visiting the Library of Congress, seeing Obama’s portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, and catching a glance of the U.S. Constitution.)
  • 2019 was the year of many of our friends having their first babies. It was really lovely to watch them become parents… 
  • … it was also the year of us beginning to try to grow our own family. We aren’t there yet. The monthly cycle of trying, then being disappointed (12 times now) has been disheartening, but we are still hopeful and making a point not to stress about it. 
  • I’ve been riding the Type 1 Diabetes struggle bus for several months. I’ve found it pretty challenging to stay on top of blood sugar management during stressful months (and months and months) at work. Balance has been difficult to find, but I’m working on it.
  • I [still] failed to keep in good touch with many people I love. I’m [still] sorry everyone!
  • I also [still] struggled to maintain an exercise routine, despite several started and restarted attempts. 
  • In January, we stopped using Blue Apron meal kits and started meal planning better kitchen adventures. We had a lot of fun exploring new cookbooks (our favorites were Jerusalem and Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi and Tuesday Nights by Chris Kimball).
  • I achieved a personal goal of reading 36 BOOKS IN ONE YEAR! Here are the stats: 15 were audiobooks; 10 were e-books; 11 were physical books. 11 were non-fiction; 25 were fiction. Best book of the lot? Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

Click here for 2018: The Good, The Bad, and The Other.

2018: The Good, The Bad, and The Other

Every year around New Years, I write a “List of Good Things” in my journal. At first it’s difficult to think of anything noteworthy, but eventually, the list grows longer and I realize – Holy shit, my life is actually pretty okay. Pretty great, even.

But (obviously) life isn’t just a list of good things. There is always a list of “other” things. Boring things. Painful things. Tiring things. Nothing things. My guess is that the “other” list is at least as long as the list of good things. With that in mind, here is my [belated] list:

2018: The Good, The Bad, and The Other

  • I got married to my favorite human on the planet.
  • I saw Hamilton! (Twice! What kind of amazing world do I live in?) Also, the Hamilton soundtrack has been stuck in my head since February.
  • My first school year in a new district was HARD and EXHAUSTING and nearly did me in. I questioned everything: Do I even know how to do my job? Why is it so hard to make friends? Do all my coworkers hate me? Do I even want to be a school psychologist? Am I making any difference at all for any of these kids?
  • We discovered the glorious world of cooking classes at The Pantry. We made more delicious food than I had thought possible!
  • We bought a home that we love.
  • Two of my best friends moved out of the state in July. They’re both doing amazing things and having new adventures, but I miss them terribly.
  • I started this blog, for no one else but me. I needed to scratch the itch to write and it has been wonderfully freeing to be unapologetically me here.
  • In September, I set a goal to wear my Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) every day. For the most part, I’ve stuck with it, and it’s made a big difference in my diabetes management.
  • Also in September, I changed responsibilities at work to focus entirely on counseling. I know I’m qualified, but often feel like I am making it up as I go (which is terrifying). I am learning and growing and making mistakes and very slowly figuring it out.
  • I started trying to meditate. I don’t do it every day. I’m maybe only about 40% consistent, but it helps a lot with anxiety and stress and depression. It’s definitely something I want to do more of, because it makes a noticeable difference.
  • Walker and I went to Chicago for a weekend away. It was fun exploring a city I’ve never been to!
  • I found a therapist who specializes in helping people with chronic illness and who actually has Type 1 Diabetes. It has been game changing to talk with someone who understands.
  • I crossed an item off my bucket list and saw Broadway’s Lion King! It wasn’t on Broadway, but it still counts!
  • I failed at keeping in good touch with a lot of people I care about, family and friends included. In a perfect world I would talk to all of the people I love at least once per week. In reality, it’s closer to once per month, or even every other month. I’m sorry everyone!
  • I gained a bit of weight and have some complicated feelings about it. I feel frustrated and ashamed and embarrassed and a little confused.
  • I read (or listened to…) 25 books!
  • No shame: I watched a lot of TV. Including (but not limited to) the entire series of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I loved it.

This quote from Doctor Who partially inspired this blog post. Doctor Who is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. If you don’t watch it, I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. Because it’s brilliant and has given me hope and happiness during some pretty difficult times. It’s fantastic

[High five for anyone who caught those not-so-subtle Doctor Who references.]


It’s no secret that I’ve been all over the map in terms of my religiosity and spirituality throughout my life. I was raised Catholic, considered myself atheist for a couple of years in high school, and joined the Mormon church during my freshman year of college. I was Mormon through all of my college years, even serving as missionary in Texas for 18 months between my junior and senior years. By the time I was 24, I found that the scale had tipped. The church was doing more harm than good in my life, so I did the only thing I could do. I left.


Where does that leave me now?

My first answer is that I don’t really know… and I’m okay with that.


But, my second answer is…

I believe there is not one “truth with a capital T”, but many. I believe there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. I believe that people should seek out what works for them.

I am learning that all things can be sacred, if you want them to be. To be clear, when I say sacred, I don’t mean god-like, or even something that should be worshipped. To me, if something is sacred, it is important enough to take seriously. Important enough to think deeply about. Important enough to seek out.

The more we hold things sacred, the more they give back to us. I think I’ve been surprised to learn that I don’t need religion for that learning and growth to occur.


To me, these things are sacred…


Time spent with my husband

quality time
Quality time with loved ones

Caring for my dog, Finn

The smell of rain… Can imagine it from this picture?


… especially Harry Potter


My collection of personal journals

My body




What do you hold sacred? What does it bring to your life?


Shout-out to the wonderful podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text for helping me stretch my thinking about what it means to hold something as sacred. 


I remember wanting to be an author from a very young age. My first book was called “Snow, snow everywhere.” It was winter in Utah and presumably I looked out the window, saw snow on the ground and just went for it. Inspired by the repetitive texts of Hooked on Phonics, I wrote something like this:

“Snow on the grass. Snow on the swings. Snow on the house. Snow, snow, everywhere!”

Apparently, it was lost on me that my last name was Snow and I could have done some clever word play with a book exclusively about snow. No wonder it was never published.

Next came the journals. I started and never finished several in elementary school, though most of those only have a few pages in the front with writing. I was never a consistent journal keeper until 8th grade when I started writing about all the shit that hits the fan during the years I refer to as the universally smelly armpit of childhood. Since then, I’ve probably fill up about a dozen journals.

I’ve also tried to blog before. One was called “The Epitome of Possibility” which was supposed to chronicle my “adventures” as a young adult. Since I generally feel like a boring human, I never had many adventures to document. It didn’t take long for the possibility to peter out. I also attempted to keep a “weight loss” blog in the name of personal accountability. Ha! That also lasted for about a month, only slightly shorter in duration than my diet.

So, when recently I started getting an itch to write and thought about a blog, my instinct was to doubt. I’ve been there, I’ve tried and failed at that. But I kept thinking about it.

What if I had a diabetes blog? A school psychology blog? A body positive blog? A personal blog? A baking blog? A blog about my dog?

I greeted each of these idea with a “No, nope, definitely not.” Mostly, I told myself I could not write about these things because I was not good enough at any of them. Blogs are for people who know what they’re talking about, I thought. Not you.

And then this idea came.

What if I had a blog about adulting?

Okay, this is not a novel idea. There is literally an entire BOOK titled Adulting. Yes, I’ve read it and I own it… wait, so maybe it is a “NOVEL” idea…? Get it?

Anyway, surely there are hundreds of internet blogs with this theme. But why not one more? Because adulting is all of those other ideas wrapped into one ambiguous catch phrase. Which gives me the freedom to write about anything I want.

Adulting is…

  • Dealing with chronic illness and confronting your mortality.
  • Having a job that you might love, but maybe also hate
  • Taking care of a lot of boring shit even when you don’t want to
  • Having a dog that you treat as your child.
  • Maybe someday also having a child…?
  • Trying to have hobbies, even though you feel too busy
  • Working on making peace with your body
  • Confronting mental illness head on.
  • Making room in your life for the people you love
  • Trying to be well.
  • Failing. Often.

The truth is, I don’t think there are enough words on the internet about how FUCKING HARD it is just to be a functioning person, but more than that, how often we fail at that goal.

And that’s the voice I want to bring to the world. That adulting is hard. And often I fail. And that’s okay.

Truthfully, on day 1 as I begin writing this blog, I don’t really care if anyone reads these words. I am here because I have something to say. I am here to find my voice. I am here to fulfill my childhood dream of being a writer. I don’t need others to read my words to accomplish any of that.