To Fresh Starts, Again!


Hello, friends! Sarah and I met up over the holidays when our paths happened to veer close enough to go to breakfast. We stayed hours (our poor, patient waiter: "are you sure there's not anything else I can get you?" = are you sure you're still going to sit here and talk endlessly?) and yet we just scratched the surface, catching up and making plans. And (once again, predictably) forgot to take a selfie to document it.

One thing that emerged from our chat: we are excited to revive Nest & Launch with regular posts, new features, and reconnecting with all of you. We have a lot of thoughts about nests and launches and what's next for those of us in the middle of both. 

I'll admit 2017 was a quiet year for me--was it for you, too? I think part of it was a lingering funk over current events and the bleak political/public/social landscape. I was also trying to find my feet beneath me and adjust to alllll the changes life brought this past year: a move, a new job, launching Sam on his mission, and an emptying nest (cue Fleetwood Mac's The Landslide). 

So it was a fallow season of turning inward, thinking more than talking, reading more than writing, homebody-ing more than adventuring.  And it's been good--a cocoon was exactly what I needed to process and adjust and gear up for this next chapter we're in. 

Happily, the arrival of 2018 has me feeling like I've finally emerged and found my equilibrium--maybe even my long-lost verve. I'm keen to get back to all the things I put on hold during my lovely hibernation.  Here's to us all looking ahead to a verve-filled year!

. . .
Making me happy lately:

  • do you follow The Home Edit on Instagram? Sure, they post glorious, inspiring posts of their work color-coding and organizing beautiful homes to their feed and that's great but the best part is their HILARIOUS Instastories documenting their adventures, phobias, and friendship in an Ab-Fab, Laverne and Shirley kind of way. Find Clea and Joanna on Instagram @thehomeedit. p.s. While you're at it, follow us @nestandlaunch for some additional windows into our days and hijinks.
  • G. You know how last year we worked in different cities during the week? I definitely do not take for granted how key he is to my happy life. I'm grateful for his sacrifices over the last year to help me move ahead with my dreams; we're tinkering with our arrangements to maximize our time together this year even as his travel schedule picks up. More about all that in an upcoming post but G is definitely someone who lights my world, still and always.
  • Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel seasoning. I've gone through FOUR bottles of this stuff since I started using it in July. Try it on cottage cheese, avocado toast, veggies. I (obviously, embarrassingly, truly, madly, deeply) can't get enough.
  • Just started listening to the Audible book format of Kelly Corrigan's Tell Me More, just released today. We have been outspoken Kelly Corrigan fans since day one and nothing beats listening to her read her own writing. Such a treat. I nominate her as the patron saint of Nesters & Launchers. (And, I just saw when I added that link, I already said that patron saint comment in another earlier post about her almost five years ago. Must be true, then!)

Nesting and launching 2.0

"The most exciting movement in nature is not progress, advance, but expansion and contraction, the opening and shutting of the eye, the hand, the heart, the mind. We throw our arms wide with a gesture of religion to the universe; we close them around a person. We explore and adventure for a while and then we draw in to consolidate our gains." - Robert Frost

photo by Charmi Pena via  The Moment Junkie

photo by Charmi Pena via The Moment Junkie

Bravo, Mr. Frost.

Yesterday Sarah and I had a good Skype catch-up session, chatting about life, good mail, kids' college aspirations, our own academic adventures, and bloggery. I think this Frost passage articulates what we're trying to capture here on ye olde blog--ideas for navigating that worn path between independence and connection, adventure and comfort that midstage families experience.

When Nest & Launch first launched we saw a gap in the existing blogs and wanted to address the particular joys and challenges of life with teens and big kids. Along the way we've realized that, for us anyway, it goes beyond that. At this point in life, parallel to the nest-and-launch process with our kids, we're each also going through our own nesting and launching process: thinking about how to throw our arms wide to the world as well as embracing our connections at home.

This is just to say that we're widening our definition of nest and launch here. You'll still see posts and ideas on midstage parenting but we're also keen to post about nesting and launching as a theme in our own individual lives--and yours. 

Cheers to you and yours! xx 

Nest & Launch turns one! A favorite things giveaway . . .

Nest & Launch is officially one year old! She's not quite a toddler, but she's fiercely working her way towards climbing some big obstacles . . . like the coffee table and perhaps even that really high bookshelf that sits in the corner of the living room. Last week when we met in Austin for our first ever face-to-face Nest & Launch meeting, Annie and I felt the need to celebrate our one year milestone -- and by celebrate I mean go shopping. In a tireless effort to honor our faithful readers, Annie and I racked our brains for twelve of our favorite things -- one for each month of Nest & Launch posts. Once in the stores, we found that we have lots of favorite things -- some we'd never even seen before. But we restrained ourselves and compiled a collection of objects and words that bring us a sense of satisfaction and happiness. And we are giving them to you!! Well, technically just one of you. But symbolically? ALL OF YOU!

1. Moleskine notebook (with lines). Because we (mostly) love to write and Moleskine's the way to go. And you've got to have lines. Well, I do anyway.
2. Cute latte bowls from Anthropologie. Annie and I both have these. I have lots of different colors, and I amuse myself when unloading the dishwasher by stacking them in different color combinations. This is a list of my favorite things AND weird obsessions. Bonus!
3. A collection of Billy Collin's poetry. If you've been here all year, you've noticed we have kind of a thing for Billy. Please, if you win this, turn to The Lanyard and read it to yourself. It's Annie's favorite. And we dedicate it to you.
4. Theo dark chocolate with salted almonds. Because sweet + salty + nutty prompts a happy dance from the both of us.
5. Smith's Rosebud Salve. Annie swears by this one. It satisfies on multiple levels: the tin design is classic and cool, the stuff really works, and it smells like roses. All that goodness in one little tin.
6. Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride. It's difficult to choose a favorite novel. So I went at it this way: Margaret Atwood is my favorite contemporary writer. And my favorite Atwood novel is The Robber Bride. It's good. I promise.
7. The Family Flavor. Both Annie and I cook from this one. Lots of family favorites for sure.
8. Meyer's Clean Day dish soap. This really makes my kitchen sink more happy. You know you are an old lady when are obsessed with dish soap. So Yay! Yay?
9. Awesome wood camera tape dispenser. Both photography and washi tape are our favorites, so we couldn't resist the combo. 
10. Weekly list pad from Rifle Paper Co. We both love lists and nice paper, so this was a natural choice.
11. Anthro candle that smells like Anthro. (It's the Capri Blue Volcano.) I used to hoard this candle -- only lighting it occasionally. Then one day I decided to live free and light up that candle whenever and wherever. It was liberating.
12. The Union Jack frame. We'll happily admit it. We are anglophiles.  

Here's how to enter: Comment here and tell us either your favorite N&L post OR one of your favorite things. We'll leave the comments open until Thursday at 8:00 pm [comments now closed], and we'll post the winner on Friday. 

Mostly we just wanted a good excuse to pause and say THANK YOU for showing up here and being part of our first year.  (Cue the confetti!) So nice to know that we're all in this crazy, wonderful, nesty and launchy phase together. 


We are coming to you live today from Austin, Texas. The fact that we're in the same place at the same time--actually in person together--is kind of freaky. This is only the second time we've met, can you believe that?  When we realized that a flight stopover in Dallas could be extended a day or two to make this blog retreat/boondoggle possible, we were excited to try to make this happen. And throw in some Tex-Mex in Austin? Done deal.  It's a little surreal, since usually our dailyish interactions look something like this FB conversation from November when we were trying to remember how we first crossed paths:


We are waxing poetic because we are approaching our one year blog-iversary. We started this blog with the idea of reaching out to big-kid parents to solicit advice, offer insight, and celebrate this pivotal, joyful, and sometimes frustrating phase of our lives. We're just as enthusiastic today as we brainstorm our way through the weekend and look forward to the year ahead. Personally, we've enjoyed the reflection and the conversation and we've loved hearing from so many of you in the process. The bottom line is that we're looking forward to MORE of it--more chiming in from other moms and dads about their families, more test-driving of pragmatic suggestions for life with big kids, more wondering about the big questions and the nitty gritty, more discussion, more launching, more nesting, more you.

And if there's more Tex-Mex, too, in the process? All the better. Here's to the year ahead!