Apr 10

Planting Words

by Hannah Holt »


A few weeks ago I stood amidst piles of books, boxes and packing tape when my son walked up and asked, “Mom, can we plant our garden now?”

I looked at him. I looked at the stacks of items to be sorted and packed. I thought of my long to do list, but said, “Sure. Let’s do it.”

We gathered the seedlings we had carefully nourished in the days before our move became final. My son collected his shovels and the watering can. In the middle of our hurry, we took an entire afternoon to garden.

It was my favorite thing all week.

That was Colorado. We now live in Oregon. We will never see the fruit of our garden, but planting it felt right.

Along a different vein, I recently entered a piece I wrote into two grant competitions. In the large national competition, it did very well. In the smaller local competition, it didn’t even place.

There are a variety of reasons for this, and I won’t go into them other than to say: I can’t decided how other people should received my work. I can do my best, but some will always dislike the offering.

Earlier in my career, I received a series of emails from a woman we’ll call Kate. Kate hated my work. I’m not sure why she kept returning to my site. Perhaps she enjoyed finding new ways to disparage my work.

Her emails used to make me mad. What is her problem? I thought. I write about graham crackers and pipe cleaners for crying out loud! I never replied to Kate and eventually she went away. (Trolls usually disappear if you don’t feed them.)

But it made me wonder: Maybe I’m not any good. Maybe I shouldn’t spend my time on these meaningless creative pursuits. At the time I didn’t have many followers, and no one would have noticed if I’d simply given up.

However, that’s when I realized, I don’t write for other people. Well, alright I DO, but that’s not WHY I write. I write because it brings me joy. It’s my garden of contentment.

In Colorado, I didn’t plant a garden because I expected tomatoes. Yes, I hope someone, someday will eat tomatoes from my garden, but planting it was enough.

We left our home in Colorado a little more beautiful than before. I can’t control how the world will receive that beauty, but I can create it all the same. And that is a beautiful feeling.

(Garden of the Gods National Monument, from our trip to Colorado Springs last December)

Jan 10

The Results are In!

by Hannah Holt »

Comments Off on The Results are In!

My article is up on the Momsicle blog:

Baby-Friendly isn’t always Mom-Friendly

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Jan 05

Mom’s Choice

by Hannah Holt »


This is a little different from my usual topics. However, I’m working on an article about postpartum care in hospitals, and I’d like to include feedback from moms.

If you deliver in a hospital, where would you like your baby at night:

(Those of you viewing in Google Reader will need to click the link to take the poll.)

Dec 21

Joy in the World

by Hannah Holt »


The day-to-day demands of mothering can be wearying. And this year was a doozy.

One night last spring I sat at my computer searching in frustration for “how long before you don’t need to burp babies anymore” when I came across a mother’s chat board. There were some helpful tips. However, one commenter (happymother214) posted:

Don’t worry about how long you need to burp your baby? Just enjoy this time with your little one. It goes so fast.

Enjoy the moment? Six hours of sleep and showering were the miracles I prayed for daily. I shook my fist at the computer screen.

Yet strangely enough, this year has passed quickly. My babies no longer need me to burp them (although I feel no nostalgia about that). Any day now they will start walking. Soon they’ll pass the threshold from baby to toddler.

So now that I can breath again. Now that I CAN take time to enjoy moments with my children, I put together a short video diary of some of the simple things we do each day:

This Christmas I’m grateful for many things: sleep, showers, the occasional date with my husband… But most importantly I’m grateful for joy: having it, sharing it, and feeling God work in my life.

Dec 20

The Future of Printed Books

by Hannah Holt »

Comments Off on The Future of Printed Books

Last week for my birthday, I received a secondhand cookbook. Inside this cookbook, I discovered handwritten notes from my late grandmother.

Now I love cooking, and I loved my grandmother. So this gift was double bonus.

This exchange reminded me of why printed books will never completely go the way of the eight-track.

Now I am sure the market for digital books will continue to grow, and younger and younger children will become comfortable with computers and e-readers. However, there is something irreplaceable about tangible books. The smell. The feel. The marginalia.

Also, as long as the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting screen time for children, some parents will continue to prefer books to computers, games, TV shows, and movies.

Of course, the most influential reason printed books will or will not continue to sell depends on the behavior of parents. As long as children see their parents curling up with printed books, I have no doubt the following will continue to be seen in houses across America: