Crossing Mason Dixon

My Favorite Things of 2017

Do you love a new year? Because I love a new year. I also love an old year, 2017 was a good one. In no particular order here are my favorites from twenty seventeen.

1. book // People of the Second Chance
Lots of truth about Jesus and real life. I can’t get enough of this book. Mike Foster is the man.  My sweet friend let me borrow it. I thing need to buy her another one because I’m never giving this one back.

2. fashion // the dad hat
Gosh I love the dad hat. And Walmart sell them for $2.97. You also don’t have to wash your hair if you wear them, not that I would know.

3. kid’s things // munchkin cup
Hey mama of littles, this is a munchkin miracle cup. If you are raising babies without it, you’re doing it wrong.

4. beauty // cervae facial wash
Cervae face wash is so good at washing your face. Like buttery soft good. I used to not pay attention to face wash stuff but I’m about to be 30 and it best be about time. $10.97 at Walmart, you’ll love it.

5. bullet journal // Leuchtturm 1917
In 2017 the Leuchtturm 1917 A5 dotted journal is my journal of life. I wish I could by like 15 of these but I think I can only handle one at a time. Let me know if you are a bullet journal too.

6. tech // google home mini
How did/do anyone of us live without the google home mini? It can have it call my phone on full volume– even if it; on silent. Tom can ask it how to say “make me a sandwich, woman” in german. A win, win.  So I know there’s the whole ‘big brother’ thing but I’ve been on team google since day one. The only problem is now I’m yelling Hey, Google! at all my devices. Like the microwave and the alarm clock.

7. cleaning product // Norwex microfiber clothes
I was the skeptic of all skeptics about this whole microcloth thing. BUT the envirocloth from Norwex is my new rag of life. Y’all will love this stuff if you are trying to go paper towel free (or chemical free but not me– I still love my chemicals). I like the envirocloth, kitchen cloth, and bottle brush.

8. clothes // llama everything + graphic tees
Somehow I only bought one shirt with a llama on it in 2017 but it could have been a ton more. How and when did everyone love llamas as much as me? Also, I’m never going to stop wearing graphic tees but how can I get away with wearing them to work? I don’t think a save the drama for your llama shirt is going to go over well in my office. Or maybe it would..

9. the real mvp // the McDonalds chicken nugget
drum roll please– the real MVP of 2017 is the McDonalds chicken nugget. I couldn’t have done it without you. Love, working moms everywhere.

10. netflix // The Crown
The Crown. Best show of 2017. It is so good. Like sit down and watch it all in two days good which I did, during which time I may have started talking to my dogs in a brittish accent. #teamcorgi. Just found out my parents love it too so you know it’s good.

11. software // Adobe Creative Suite
I did a grown up thing in 2017 and purchased the entire adobe creative suite for $50/month. That is a a lot of money for us but it’s the best thing I bought in 2017 for my future goals.

12. goal // decluttering
I started the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up last year and while it took an entire year to complete it, our home (and our lives) are so much better for it. So so much better. My plan is to make some videos about it in 2018 so stay tuned for those. Let me know if you have done it and were able to stick to it.

13. life hack // brown sugar in your coffee
I have no idea who taught me this, but I need to thank them. Just a teaspoon. ( I do 1/2 tsp)

14. trend // cactus everything
I’ve loved cactuses (yes I know it’s cacti) before they were cool. (Does everyone say that?) Is this a millennial thing 

15. habit // The focused 15
Focused fifteen is where you dedicate fifteen minutes to the Lord every morning no matter what. It has changed my life and I’m very serious.

17. podcast // How I Built This
2017 was the year of the podcast for me. Oh how I have listened to podcasts and oh how I love them so. NPR, How I Built This is my favorite podcast for 2017– my favorite episode is the one where Sara Blakely tells how she built Spanx. If you have no idea what a podcast is or how to listen to one– I must to teach you. No seriously, I must.

17. invention // the play center
Just when I thought there was no way my little guys energy out I remembered– play centers! How lucky we are to live in a world with play centers? It’s like the most thoughtful idea ever, kind of like giving a mom a hug. Thank you Chick-Fil-A. And McDonalds. And our church.

 Ta da- a few of my favorite things. Here’s hoping you found 2017 to be full of a few of your favorite things and let’s look forward to all the great things 2018 has in store.



Christmas Gift Ideas For $10

Here are ten Christmas gift ides for ten dollars or less. Ten days before Christmas.
Are you still out there pulling all your shopping together? Don’t leave me hanging.
I’m really good at picking things out, not so good at buying it.

1. Stainless Steel Tumbler from Walmart
These are the bomb dot com.

2. Taco Socks from Amazon
Because, taco socks.

3. House Plant from Ikea
It’s like giving someone a pet. But not really.

4. Letter Board from Walmart
I found one of these in the back aisle at Walmart and fought the urge to buy one for myself because they are pretty cool.

5. Farmhouse Art from Hobby Lobby
Have you guys been to Hobby Lobby. All. the. art. It’s all great, and a lot of it is around $10.
Also who knew farmhouse decor was so popular. Or am I just that out of it.

6. Cat Oven Mitt from Amazon
May or may not have bought this.

7. Wireless charger from Ikea (this one is $11.99) but there are lots on amazon for $10 like this one.
Super useful.

8. Avocado Huggers from Amazon
Who doesn;t want to hug an avocado.

9. Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds from Target
If you want to give a food gift, I would go with these.

10. Home Sweet Home Doormat from Target
Everyone would want this right? Because I do.

You are welcome.


What is new.

This blog! Oh man.

So what is new is, this whole time I’ve been juggling life and motherhood, I’ve been saying, “but I have a baby”, but the truth is I have a toddler now. He’s not a baby. He’s not a baby! Ok he is totally still a baby. Always will be. Sorry not sorry, Tommy man. You are stuck with me, and you’re always going to be my baby. #becauseIsaysSo

But what is new y’all. Besides everything. Ummmmm.

Just going to jump into it.

Tommy was a chicken for halloween. It was fantastic. Except I had a moment of chasing- chasing! him through the parking lot during Light the Night at our church when I realized I chase chickens all day at work, just to dress my kid up as a chicken and chase him for Halloween. What’s up with that?

It must mean something. It DOES mean I immediately went home to see where to buy one of those leashes for kids. For real. I’m that parent and it’s a good thing.

Speaking of chickens. Did you know ‘backyard chickens’ is like the number 5th thing searched for on google? That must mean something. What does it all mean?

That’s what’s really new, me asking myself ‘what does it all mean’ at least five to six times a day.
What I do know, is that motherhood is a stinking blast. Like who signed me up for this because I am having a blast. No joke.

Also new, did you know that you can now order McDonalds from a machine, just like at Sheets? Whhhhattttt.

What is this? And did you know you can get diapers delivered to your door? From amazon?

What is this America that we live in? God is good!

So good.

Speaking of, you guys God has shown up for me BIG time lately. I have gotten back into seeking Him every day by setting apart time for prayer, and listening to what He wants to tell and show me.  I also realized how much NEGATIVE talk I’ve had in my life and just a shift to speaking POSITIVE things over myself and situations, wow you guys. WHAT. A. DIFFERENCE.

Just can’t even. Explain. But try it.

Hope all is well with my loyal blog readers. Are there any of you? Y’all are the



What up home slices.

What up home slices?

So this would be where I say: hey! long time no blog but…I have a 16 month old child. So there’s that. Are there women who raise babies and blog at the same time? Because I want to be one of those women.

This raising babies thing is a hoot. Like how do people do this? Tom thinks I’m dramatic but I just speak the truth. The truth is I never want to forget this. Ever. There was a story with this picture- I think Tommy was in a bad mood and I felt like I fought him all day then he just sat on the chair like an old man to watch a tv show and it was the cutest thing. But I don’t know because I didn’t write it down in my blog. See y’all? Blogging is that important.

So yeah, just wanted to say hi!

Can you comment what you think I should blog about?  Because I’m dying to know. Like 115 posts about what my toddler ate for breakfast is that exciting? Recipes? (I can’t do that so don’t even ask) Life stuff? But for real, let me know.

K? Thanks!


Here’s the Thing: Why I Blog (even when I don’t blog)

Oh hi there! Long time no blog.

Do you know the number one rule of blogging?
#1 rule of blogging: never blog about how you never blog anymore.
Actually that must be #2, the #1 rule of blogging is: be consistent.

 Good thing my word for 2017 is consistency. Holler. 

But here’s the thing. On my list of things to be consistent about (and it’s a long one) blogging is last. Straight up last. And it has to be. Or I would get nothing done.


Awkward right? Why have this blog if I feel like I never blog?

This has been heavy on my heart lately because the other day I was taking a picture of something, I believe it was pancakes or I might have been recording a video for youtube (I know, right?) either way when Tom asked why I was taking so many pictures and I said “for the blog”,  he said:

“I don’t have time for your ego right now.”

As in my husband’s interpretation of why I document every thing in our lives is that it’s all about me. I’m so cool, look at me, me, me me.

It made me want to shut down this blog, quit my YouTube channel, cancel snapchat and become a Mennonite wife (more on the later). Because what if Tom is right? What if this whole thing is just selfish pride? Documenting life? Very egotistical right?


I had to think about it. And here’s the thing. The first time I hit publish on a ‘blog post’, wayy back in 2007, I didn’t do it because I was full of myself. I was TERRIFIED of writing on the internet. MORTIFIED at the thought that someone ccould read what I wrote and- they could comment?!

But I kept writing and not (dear husband) because I am egotistical. But because life is too funny and sweet not to write about it all. All of it. I have asked God to search me of selfish pride about blogging/documenting our life and oh boy, there was some. I was full of pride when I taught myself to code the backend of this blog. I was full of pride when this blog got 10,000 views. And I do a thing where I re-read posts that were especially satisfying to write- as confirmation, that yeah that was a good one. But I don’t write, I don’t blog because I am full of myself.

Here’s the thing:
I blog because….
I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” -Flannery O’Connor

Even though this chapter of motherhood/working/blogging/living ends up being lot less about blogging- that is why I blog, to sort out all of the things. All of the precious, sweet, funny things. Like pancakes and a husband who has no idea why you blog.

Let me know if you get it. Or don’t but I just felt like I had to, you know, blog about it.
I do want to promise to blog more but I’m not going to because you know, life BUT I hope to blog more especially since I just blogged about why I blog (even when I don’t blog).




Pumpkin patch

So this is worth blogging about, we took Tommy to a pumpkin patch.
#doitfortheblog. True story, I was scrolling through instagram like I do and there was blogger holding her baby in a sea of pumpkins with a bright blue sky. I was like that. I want that.

I told Tom we had to go to a pumpkin patch ASAP. We debated all morning if $6/a person was worth it for a picture of us holding the baby in a sea of pumpkins and decided heck yeah it is. I’m glad for it.

But Tommy fell asleep right as we got to the pumpkin picking part. The little stinker. This is him trying to stay awake next to the pumpkin I picked for him. Babies just can not hang sometimes.

I’d like to say that I’m not the person who would keep her tired baby awake for a picture at a pumpkin patch. Except I am. I’m also the person who takes way too many selfies with her baby.

And I am a person whose baby accidentally slid off an especially large pumpkin and almost face planted while taking pictures at a pumpkin patch. It kind of made me question everything. Like why do I take pictures of my baby on pumpkins?

The truth is I don’t know. I know my photo taking game is too strong sometimes. Tom would say all of the time. But moments are where it’s at and sometimes moments don’t happen unless we make them. The fresh air, bright sky, pretty pumpkins and my baby fast asleep in his dad’s arm- that’s where it’s at. All the pictures are just so I can remember it better.

Let me know if your picture game is like mine and if a baby ever fell off of a pumpkin because of it. Part of me knows I need to work on being more present and less focused on taking pictures ALL OF THE TIME. Another part of me wonders if we would miss out if I did not insist on making memories to capture them. Like picking pumpkins which is pretty important.

Happy pumpkin picking and picture taking, guys. If you took yourself or your babies to a pumpkin patch just for the pictures just know you’re not the only one.


I had a baby and I want a cookie.

It’s true, I had a baby and I want a cookie.

Or twelve. I could eat twelve cookies. That is a whole other story.

So yeah.
I do this thing where I bring up that I just had a baby all of the time. Awkwardly.

“Can I use your bathroom? I just had a baby.”
“I used to be fast at catching chickens but I just had a baby.”
“Is that cow in heat? I just had a baby.”

I couldn’t pin point why I do this until the other day when I was extra complaining about how hard everything is because I ‘just’ had a baby and Tom says:
“So do you like want a cookie? Is that it? You had a baby and now you want a cookie?”

You guys I want ALL of the cookies. That was exactly it but if I had had a cookie right then, I would have thrown it at my husband’s face.

Lord help me.  I yelled “YES I HAD A BABY AND I YES I WANT A COOKIE.”

Wow. As soon as I said that, I felt so much better.
So there it is. Just putting it out there. True life: I had a baby and I want a cookie [or twelve.]

Any other moms feel this way? I can’t be the only one right? I have some thoughts on why I feel this way and if I should feel this way and if it’s okay to feel this way and for how long I should feel this way but I’ll save all of that for another time because right now I need to go bake a couple dozen cookies.

Kidding but not at all,

Week of Jul17: Date night & sleeping baby

What’s up party people?

Two things are new this week:
1) we went on a real live date. I know.
2) Tommy slept through the night twice. I know! In the same week. What are the chances?

I can hardly believe it myself. It was our first date since having Tommy so of course I documented it with a selfie (or six). Best of all, Tom planned the whole thing. One night he was like hey let’s do date night and go see Secret Life of Pets. So that’s what we did. Snuck out of the house away from our four month old for the first time to go see a kids movie. It was glorious. I highly recommend it.

Treat yo self,

Three Months With Baby

They say if you can make it through the first three months with a baby, you can make it. Do they say that? Or did I just make that up? Either way we made it because our baby was three and is now four months old. Phew.

Don’t ask why there is an alligator on the bed but- perks of having a three month old- you get to play pranks on him. No seriously, Tommy’s face pretty much sums up our first three months with baby…
For the last three months, one re-occurring thought I had was this feels like war. The only opponent, lack of sleep. The only mission: keep baby alive. Make sure he is breathing, make sure he eats, make sure doesn’t pee all over the wall, make sure he has clean clothes….
You know the drill. I told my mom “it feels like war” and she just laughed. I told my sister and she said she didn’t remember it being THAT bad. I was starting to think I was crazy until a friend/coworker of mine (shout out Vivek!) who had a baby one month before us (well he didn’t but his wife did, shout out Gina!) messaged us to see how it was going. I said was “This feels like going to war!” His response? “It is war.” 
Phew. All that to say we made it and Tommy is three (well actually four) months old and the first three months with baby? Well we wouldn’t trade it for anything. 
Ps. I totally forgot that we had that alligator and I so wish I had it in his other two monthly pictures except we don’t live in Louisiana so maybe not. 
Love from baby, Tom, Ally Gator and me! 

Conversations w/My Husband: Shark Week


Me: wait, sharks have live young?
Tom: yeah
Me: but they aren’t mammals
Tom: no
Me: but they have live young?
Tom: think about what being a mammal means
Me: right so…are they mammals?
Tom: seriously? You majored in dairy science and you don’t know if a shark is a mammal?
Me: dairy science, not shark science

You guys it is totally blowing my mind that sharks have live young so I’m telling everyone I know. Did you know that sharks have live young? Thank goodness for shark week I had no idea.

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