the word I want to use more with our girls


I always pictured myself as a boy mom.

The very first IF:Gathering happened to be the year I carried Ry around in my belly. I invited friends from across the country over to our Santa Barbara home to watch the conference together. They threw me a surprise baby shower and I cried about how scared I felt to become a mom. They reassured me- like only close-knit sisters can do.

The day they left Austin and I found the gender of our baby. Every last one of my friends told me I was going to have a girl. I smiled but didn’t believe them- as if God and I knew something they didn’t know. I’m going to be a boy mom. I thought. Or at the very least, have a boy first.

But on the wall at Butterfly beach, feet dangling, hearts racing- Austin and I read together the truth that changed everything. It’s. A. Girl.

My sister, Katie, shot the most amazing video to capture that moment. I still cry, watching myself cry.

The tears looked like sweet, soon-to-be-mama happy tears. Some were.

But the rest were terrified tears. Maybe moms feel this when they find out the gender. It’s so final. In one moment you rejoice and mourn at the same time. Rejoice for what is and mourn for what will not be.

After we found out about our little girl we ordered food at The Habit on Milpas. I got a chocolate shake and cried more in the bathroom. I knew what it was like to be a girl and already wanted to protect our girl from all the hard things I knew would come her way.

But here I am, almost five years later, a full-blown girl mom to two blondie, snuggly, girly girls.

And I love it.

My favorite story in the Bible popped up in my reading this week. The woman who bled for twelve years, visited every doctor, spent all her money in an effort to ‘fix herself.’ And yet, right when the rest of us (me at least) would have thrown out all hope in endless discouragement, she sees The Savior walk by. Like a boss- a hope-filled, last resort, faith-pumping boss, she reaches out among the pushes and shoves of the crowd and touches the very end of Jesus’ robe.

Instantly the bleeding stops.

But that’s not all. Jesus stops too.

He stops among the constant touch and pull of people because he felt power go out from him. He asks who touched him, his disciples look at him like he’s crazy. “Um, everyone? Everyone is touching you, Lord.”

And home girl. Like a boss again. Shows herself. Explains herself. Worships. Thanks.

And Jesus drops a word he uses once and only once… Daughter.

To this blood-covered, healed, brave and faith-filled woman he says, I identify with you. You resemble me. I’ve loved you since before you were born. You are special to me. I know you unlike anyone else does. I’ve watched you grow. I’ve felt your pain with you. I’d give my life for you… all the things such a word as daughter implies.

I’ve been challenged since reading this story to use the word daughter more. To describe the identity of our girls and to describe my own. God’s given us daughters. Girly, feely, amazing daughters. And it makes me more than a girl mom. I’m a daughter mom.

Talk soon,

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this space, this pace


September has the tendency to make some people giddy. Our summer selves shuffle and scurry back into routine. Ah, routine: usually a guest we invite to put up her feet and stay awhile.

But this time I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready for pick ups and drop offs, for labeling water cups and people telling me when to be where. The three Stockfisch ladies had a good thing going- waking up early (or late), eating right away (or in a bit), going for a walk after breakfast (or playing around the house), getting dressed for the day (or lounging in PJ’s), going to the park (or foregoing and heading straight to the library). It was the most mindless season that made me a more mindful mom.

It turns out having no plans, no friends, no real commitments can do wonders for your heart if you let it.

It was the pace.

That’s where the magic was. The no-plan pace watered the seeds of my human soul this summer. We took our time. And time seemed to go at JUST the right pace. It didn’t drag causing boredom and it didn’t fly causing anxiousness. It just clicked away- the way it should- imperfect moments met by consistent minutes.

That pace is something I’m quietly, inconspicuously fighting for. Acknowledging hurry when it comes up- not surprised (but kind of annoyed) by its presence- and silently remembering truths that ground me back in the no-plans pace. The simple truths.

I am exactly where I need to be.

I am loved by the one who authored love, and

much less is up to me than I think.

So on busy, routine-filled mornings, sometimes Rem and I slip outside in the backyard. Her tiny hands discover little treasures and I take pictures to remember her creases and curls. A worthy fight: for this space and this pace.

Talk soon,

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Since we moved God has somehow given me a taste for temporary; bites of just how quickly our minutes stack up and our lives are lived out. I have had more moments of awe and contented peace in these days as a mother than almost any other season. Maybe miscarriage does that to you. Maybe little-to-no plans does that to you. Maybe being at home more does that to you. Whatever it is, I am thankful- so very thankful- for this season. 

We have taken our time in this transition. We still are. We have given extra hugs and extra grace. We have spent extra time together. We have eaten better, slept more and spent less. All of it feels needed, like medicine to busy souls. 

I started meal planning for the first time. I'm not a planner by nature and the weeks Austin travels the meal plan looks a lot like frozen pizza while watching Fixer Upper reruns. But most weeks we buy the food we need, prepare it and enjoy it around our rectangle table. Together. 

We have spent hours and hours at the library and Barnes & Noble- sifting through book after book, wandering, losing track of time, praising God for air conditioning. We have visited nearly every pool and splash pad; mostly soaked if we're outside- preferably with water over our own sweat. 

I've escaped to some coffee shops downtown (sometimes joined by my sis) to write, to chat, to catch up on email or clean out some space on over-stored electronics. 

And I've watched the girls play. Play for Ry these days consists of make-believe, princesses in hand and princess embodied. She dresses-up and re-dresses-up, sings, prances, and assigns us all to be characters in her story. Play for Remi consists of flipping through Peppa Pig books or puzzles. She has a thing for puzzles. She's fast and she never gets frustrated.

It's amazing to see these girls step into a new, normal weekday and mysteriously become so miraculously themselves. 

If you have prayed for me or our family in this transition- thank you. All I can say is that after Jesus- we owe all this sweetness to you.

Talk soon,

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The move to Austin has been about sisters. The ones I gave birth to and the one I've known as my own her whole life. 

It seems we landed in Austin and the girls decided they had come of age to enjoy each other. Even if temporarily- it is as if they knew- until friends were made in a new city- the best friend they could muster up shared her daddy and last name.

Remi turned twenty months yesterday and it seems she's reached the amount of months one can 'hang' with a four year old. They build together, dance together, laugh incessantly. 

The third week we went to church, Ry's class made a friendship bracelet craft out of paper. Her sweet teacher seemed touched that Ry made her bracelet for her sister. I smiled at her and said, "We're new. Remi is kind of her only friend right now!"

I will remember this season as three things: the season I learned how to truly love being a mother, the season we were so unbelievably hot, and the season I saw our girls bond and build a foundation of friendship I pray will last a lifetime.

So in a season I've gotten to see my sister more than ever (we still can't believe it and pinch ourselves) it has been a gift to see this other blondie pair of sisters begin to figure each other out and love anyway.

Talk soon, 

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austin (the city)

So here we are in Austin, friends. The air is sticky and so are the homemade popsicles running down Remi's chin. I told a new friend at church this morning that Texas is the fourth state in our marriage. It seems the cross-country move is what we do. The third time around, I seem to anticipate moving will be hard and it will take time. I know this. But it doesn't make the longing for easy and fast go away. To dress up the transition a bit and make our lives a little lovlier, I've adopted some new rhythms. And logged minutes with some tried-and-true day-boosters. 


New Rhythms: 

1. Go to places that feel familiar. There's a Coffee Bean a mile away from our house. This is a gift from the hand of God. I am a devoted TEA person. I might've shed a tear when I saw it. We went to In-N-Out Burger after church today- just like we did every Sunday in California. It felt right and somehow tasted saltier and better than I remembered. And whenever I can- I head to the water. Lake, river- WHATEVER- just get me there so my soul can smile.

2. Workouts A couple months ago, I stumbled upon The Balanced Life with Robin Long. A Santa Barbara gal and a friend of several of my friends. She sends me workouts. She sends me recipes. Sometimes all I have is ten minutes and I get to move and breathe and take care of my mom bod a bit. 

3. Calling it a bust when it's a bust. Learning a new city means trial and error. I have loaded kids in carseats with high hopes of sweet experiences, fun pools, and good food to instead get lost, notice the pool is not open, and the food isn't served until later. So we get back in the car, call it a bust and go home and have ice cream. 

Day Boosters:

1. Voxer I have a secret goal to get worse at texting. I'm already bad. But I want to be on my phone even less. But Voxer. Love. When the girls are down or I'm driving by myself I talk and talk and talk to "no one" while picturing a conversation with a friend. There's something about hearing the voice of my people. If you need to get ahold of me- use Voxer. 

2. Plants One of the first trips we made in our new city was to Home Depot to stock up on plants. Now every room has a little life, a little green, a little beauty. Plants make my eyes happy and remind me things (and people) can survive and thrive when they're uprooted and planted somewhere else.

3. Painting The girls and I do this everyday. The color, the mess, the expression, the creativity- I love it all. We have painted every paper plate in our pantry and most of our old FCA stationary. Brush, water, paint, paper- repeat. Good for 19 month olds and 32 year olds.

Austin (the city): we are learning you and loving you. Keep showing off and we'll keep showing up.

Talk soon,

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sidewalk chalk-stained tights

I still daydream about Santa Barbara. Particularly when it's 100 degrees here or on Saturday mornings. We awoke to a cloudy Saturday this morning in Austin and we have a sweet little rhythm going the last couple weeks. More of that to come. But for now... SIGH. Santa Barbara Saturdays. This one is burned in my memory because of the warmth of the salty sunshine, the annual chalk drawings at the Mission, the bagels and the ballet. Always ballet on Saturdays. 

My memories of this day gain breathtaking technicolor because of the NEXT LEVEL photos my sister, Katie, took that day. What a priceless, pretty gift a still frame can be. 

Enjoy them with me. 

Talk soon,

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Easter Sunday


I sat around a table with college students this past week. It was windy and cool on campus as we shuffled into the room. I love this room adjacent to the dining commons because we sit at a circle table. I have a thing for circle tables. Everyone can make eye contact well with everyone else. We checked in with each other about our hearts, our bodies and our spirits. 

When it got to be my turn I told them my heart felt heavy. I locked eyes with a few of them as I explained some of the bad news, hard headlines, and unexpected prayer requests from the week prior.

 I just need some good news. I said. Everyone nodded and couple verbally agreed.

But hey, Easter is coming. What is better news than that?

 It felt a little flat, a little forced, a little churchy and ‘right-answer-ish’ coming out. But in my heart I believed myself. In that slight, sand-slipping moment, I believed that every broken piece of my burdened heart would eventually be okay. Because of Easter.


I took the girls to get smoothies this morning and as I used the entirety of my body weight to maneuver the Costco cart up and down aisles the bright, orangey-pink tulips smiled at me. I smiled back, took in their scent and placed all fourteen stems next to the berries. Spring and Easter work together to do things in my heart that winter and Christmas never could. Christmas makes us hold our breath in wonder, but Easter makes us exhale the greatest spiritual sigh of relief man can let out.

We see the brutality of Good Friday and think of the horror, confusion, heart-numbing and head-shaking status of our world today. We are scared. And want to pretend it’s not there.

We sit in the silence of Holy Saturday, unsure what to do, where to help, how to hope or who can actually be trusted to ever make things right. We are overwhelmed. So we end up doing nothing.

But then Sunday. Oh Sunday. Like a day of sun: radiant, warm and something that feels too good to last. We step into Sunday with the heartsickness of Friday, and the paralysis of Saturday and are shocked into life. Never has a plan for the saving of the world been so creative. So unexpected. So not about us.

 Yep. It’s Done. Jesus told us.

But wait, Lord. What do we do to make this world better?

It’s done.

Okay, I heard you say that, but things look pretty bad- are you sure you don’t need me to…

It. Is. Finished.

The finished work of Christ on Easter Sunday is about Him. It’s His day. His sacrifice. His power. His Plan. It has worked, is working and will continue to work.

So we get to go out and do in the name of what has been done.

Easter is so much more than jelly beans and pastels. It is our emancipation day. Freedom from sin. From death. And ultimately- freedom from ourselves.

And that makes me want to feast and sing.

Feeling Alive Can Be Scary


Today I stopped to do some work at Chick-Fil-A because free wifi, a chicken sandwich, and the instrumental version of hit worship songs always make sense. In the corner a couple booths away, a number of young men who were working construction and finishing their lunch break were laughing together. My ears perked up when the mentioned the Bible. I heard one of them (with his back toward me) say, “Who could believe this sh*t?” In that moment my heart started beating quickly and I ran through the imaginary, light-speed scenario in my head… what if I shouted out, “Hey, I do. Do you want to talk about it?”

 Another guy at his table answered before I could, “Have you read it? All it basically says is ‘be a good person’ and I can do that on my own.”

I sat there. Helplessly. Their conversation quickly moved on to something else and told myself if he walks by my table, I’m going to tell him I am one of those people who not only ‘believes this sh*t,' but dedicates her entire life to it.

A few minutes later he walked right by my table.

And I said nothing.

NOTHING, you guys.

Last night I talked with a group of college students about when they last felt truly alive. Many of their answers shocked them: when her mom had cancer, when one was volunteering at a camp and had the prompt to talk to a very closed off girl, when challenged, when out of her comfort zones etc.

We concluded that we feel most alive at the very end of ourselves.

This is where God and his powerful Holy Spirit take over.

I am sitting here now, less than twenty-four hours later, regretting a chance to feel extra alive. I asked God for forgiveness and the courage, somehow to be bolder. Braver. That courage won’t come from me. It will only come where he begins and I end.

Obedience is a sticky thing. It often doesn’t make sense to us in the moment. If it did, we wouldn’t need God or his strength at all. I want to act when I feel God is asking me to. I want to risk for my God and his word. Maybe it starts with the construction crews eating chicken sandwiches for lunch.

Turns out feeling alive can feel really scary. 

What Does 32 Look Like To You?


On Wednesday I'll turn 32 years old. It seems a little bewildering. How? And also, it seems about right. I go back and forth on my feelings about it. 

One of my core character goals is to grow in humility as I grow older. Growing in humility means acknowledging I can learn something (something valuable even) from absolutely every human soul. 

So I ask you today, so I can learn from you:

What does 32 look like to you?

Maybe you haven't quite gotten there. Perhaps you hear 32 and think to yourself- good luck honey, but I'm not going to get there anytime soon. Sooner than you think, my dear. But also, you have time. What do you picture your life looking like at 32? How is that version of yourself different than the only you look at in the mirror? What will it take to get there?

Or maybe you're past 32. You look back and don't miss it. Or you look back fondly. What did 32 hold for you? A questioning crisis of self? The forgotten years? Or perhaps the decade you truly started to come alive? What would you have changed? What do you wish you would've known? 

Or maybe you're 32 yourself. What are you finding? What is getting unearthed in you? What is coming to pass? What is new? What needs to be let go of? 

32 for me looks more like honesty than pretending. 32 looks more like rest than pushing. 32 looks more like giving away than holding on tight. 32 looks humbling and empowering at the same time. It looks capable and somehow completely disqualified but increasingly comfortable with both.

I want to learn and grow and make 32 the best one yet. Not because I have false hopes but because I believe in a true and good God.

All in, Jesus. This year is yours. 

Happy January, Happy New Year, Happy 32 reflection. 





3 Books that Changed My Faith in College


Hey guys. It has been awhile since I've been with you. My soul has taken some deep breaths and this site has gotten a cute little makeover. It feels good and right to be typing on these keys once again.

It is a goal of mine to focus these blog posts to be quick, practical and helpful for your faith journey. Please write to me with specific subjects of faith you'd love practical insight on. I'd love to help and if I can't I'd love to point you to someone who can. 

I am a fan of books. More than I'm a fan of reading, actually. I collect books and stack them and have massive ambition to consume them ALL. 

Sadly, I don't often finish the books I start reading. But these three I read. Every last word. As a college student they held invaluable wisdom and met me exactly where I sat. I pray they do the same for you. Any of these would make a great Christmas gift for your college-aged friend/sibling/child (or self!)

1. The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee

College years are a hot mess. Purpose, career, relationships, and simple other questions like DO I EVEN MATTER? are common. This book breathed life into me. It will for you too. 

2. Forgotten God by Francis Chan

We hear a lot about his book, Crazy Love, but little about this one. This book describes and dissects the work and person of the Holy Spirit in a way that magnifies Him and yet makes Him make sense. I'm convinced the trajectory of a life changes dramatically when we know and understand the often 'forgotten' third part of the Trinity. 

3. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

You know how your mom told you, "Don't judge a book by it's cover?" Well, I judged this one by the cover. I'm not exactly the romance novel type and the cover will trick you into thinking you're reading a Nicholas Sparks novel. But no. Power through and open it up. This take on the Old Testament book of Hosea will leave you speechless. Keep going past the beginning. Endure. It will be worth it. Any book that has over 4000 comments on Amazon and still has five stars is an automatic read.

These books will help you in your journey to being all in with Jesus.. 

Today I'm all in. Hope you are too. 

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