I’m so glad you’re here! (Survey + giveaway!)

28 February 2022

It’s my birthday! And what a gift you all are to me. As an introvert who prefers a small, close-knit group of friends to a large party any day, it might seem strange that I enjoy sharing with the wide world of the internet. A small, close-knit group is exactly what Em for Marvelous feels like, though, and I’m so grateful! I sincerely treasure each one of you who stops by, reads, and joins the conversation.

I’ve been struggling lately with what, exactly, I’d like to post on my public Instagram account. I have a clear “why” for my IG consumption, but I’m a bit stuck on what value I can provide there. This is a deeper question and one I’d love to dive into more, but I think my ambivalence stems in part from the delight and satisfaction I find in posting here. This is where I feel like I can provide value. This is where I feel I can give you my best. This is where I feel I can get to know you and you, me.

Friends, I know it can be harder to go to an individual platform versus scrolling through all your favorites in one feed. I am so grateful you make the extra effort. And every time I post, I strive to make it worth your while :)

To help me do that, I love to check in with you all every few years in a more formal way. So, if you have a moment, please consider taking my short survey. I’m so curious, and would love to hear from you!

Then – and this is very exciting – leave a comment below to be entered to win a pair of Maylis shoes – either the ballet flat or mule (!!!!!!). Some of you may know that my smart, beautiful, and very dear friend Lisa is launching her shoe line this spring. It’s been an honor to be in on the dream in the role of cheerleader since very early days, and I’ll take any chance to support her. She does not know I’m doing this and I will be buying the winning shoes with my own money (ha). I’ll work with you to choose your style and color once the beauts are available later this spring! I love you, Lisa!!!

Update: Cara is our winner and has been emailed! :)

Finally, to make the commenting more interesting (and so I can get to know YOU a little better!), here are four questions I’d love for you to answer after you’ve taken the survey, if you’re so inclined:

A baby name you absolutely adore:
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently:
A current favorite podcast:
Preferred road trip snack:

I will answer in the comments, too. Thank you in advance, friends! xo!

Giveaway will close on Monday, March 7!

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February 28, 2022 6:50 am

Mallory, my parents view from their lake house, Homefires Podcast, and any gummy snack! :)

February 28, 2022 6:55 am

Baby name: Annabeth, Annie for short
Beautiful sight: early morning falling snow
Favorite podcast: Annie F, Downs That Sounds Fun
Snack: Twizzlers

Hope the survey is helpful for you and gives you guidance. You’re doing a fabulous job writing on here!!

February 28, 2022 7:02 am
  1. I really really love the name Lucille, but I’m still convincing my husband :)
  2. A long storm passing over the lake; watching the clouds roll in to watching them fade away.
  3. I love listening to Smartless – just a silly podcast I can play in the background of stroller walks or while cooking dinner.
  4. Is there anything better for a road trip than pizza-pretzel combos and a Snapple iced tea?! I only have them on the road, but it makes it more fun!
Sarah Elizabeth
March 2, 2022 7:54 pm
Reply to  Marisa

Smartless is so fun! My husband and I enjoy that one on roadtrips!

February 28, 2022 7:10 am

A baby name you absolutely adore: Emilio
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: Sunrise this morning was pretty spectacular!
A current favorite podcast: A little bit culty
Preferred road trip snack: Whisps and Buncha Crunch!

February 28, 2022 7:19 am

A baby name you absolutely adore: Madison
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: seeing my two friends in person for the first time in 2 years!
A current favorite podcast: Huberman Lab podcast, I love learning new neuroscience things!
Preferred road trip snack: Pringles!

Ashley Morosky
February 28, 2022 7:45 am

1. I love the name Scarlett for a baby girl. I’m actually pregnant with one, but my husband isn’t a fan of the name, *sigh*
2. A beautiful sight I’ve seen recently, is my 3 year old son laughing with glee when he thinks he’s playing a trick on me :)
3. My favorite podcast is probably “courageous parenting”!
4. Road trip snack- hmm, maybe beef jerky?

Kelly Strawberry
February 28, 2022 7:47 am

my son sleeping
never listened to a podcast

February 28, 2022 8:07 am

I’m a little biased, but my children are Ginny, Arthur , and Oliver and I love the names.

Recently I’ve been loving the glow of the fireplace in my living room after the kids go to bed.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin


Sarah Elizabeth
March 2, 2022 7:54 pm
Reply to  Brianna

Your kids have great names! Arthur has always been a favorite of mine!

February 28, 2022 8:20 am

How fun! Happy birthday!!
A baby name you absolutely adore: Graham
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: The Smokey mountains on an overcast day, it was the day we got engaged, so biased. :)
A current favorite podcast: Simplified
Preferred road trip snack: peanut butter m&ms

February 28, 2022 8:24 am

A baby name you absolutely adore: There are so many fun names! Besides my kids, lately I am liking the names Briggs, Reed, and Cana
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: All if my babies sleeping together
A current favorite podcast: Crystal Paine
Preferred road trip snack: Fruit, gummy bears, trail mix

February 28, 2022 8:28 am
  1. I absolutely love the name Emerson (for a girl) or Sawyer (for a boy).
  2. I am enjoying seeing trees bud and plants begin to bloom as NC makes way for Spring.
  3. Live in Love by Lauren Akins
  4. Fruit
February 28, 2022 8:30 am

A baby name you absolutely adore: Everly
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: A Sunset
A current favorite podcast: Nancy Ray!
Preferred road trip snack: Twizzlers :)

February 28, 2022 8:33 am

A baby name you absolutely adore: Merritt (my husband’s mother’s maiden name)
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: the sunrise on an early drive to the airport just this morning
A current favorite podcast: The Lazy Genius
Preferred road trip snack: Sweetart Sour Cherry Ropes or Sour Patch Kids!

Survey complete! What a fun giveaway — I am SO excited for Maylis!

Sarah Elizabeth
March 2, 2022 7:55 pm
Reply to  Mollie

I LOVE the name Merritt – for boys & girls! I can’t get my husband on board though!

February 28, 2022 8:39 am

Happy, happy birthday, dear friend!! Wildly grateful for you today & every day!
Baby name I adore: As you know, I’ve been keeping my list since 6th grade and have had my favorite since then (so I can’t share it online since it’s so unique!)… though it’s very doubtful we’d actually use that name. I love Charlotte, too!
A beautiful sight: our nephews exploring the world… and the first pink buds bursting to life on the trees
Current favorite podcast: I rarely ever listen to podcasts and much prefer audio books from the library on a long walk
Road trip snack: Sour Patch Kids or gummy bears, for sure

February 28, 2022 8:51 am

Happy birthday Emily! I hope the year ahead is a great one. And I love that your giveaway is supporting your friend’s venture!
A baby name you absolutely adore: you mean other than the two I used for my kiddos? If there was a third, I adore Luke.
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: the sunrise while walking my kiddos to school
A current favorite podcast: Just listened to all seasons of This Land which was heartbreaking but so fascinating to hear some history and journeys of Indigenous Peoples.
Preferred road trip snack: peanut M&Ms

February 28, 2022 8:56 am
  1. Well, I named my babies Lenora and Molly and still love them!
  2. A still lake
  3. Enjoying Office Ladies and Knowing Faith podcasts
  4. Gummy bears

Happy birthday!!

February 28, 2022 9:15 am

A baby name you absolutely adore: Rhodes
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: Google images researching my Europe trip!
A current favorite podcast: The Dropout on Elizabeth Holmes
Preferred road trip snack: Cheeze Itz

Emily C.
February 28, 2022 9:21 am

A baby name you absolutely adore: Spencer (it’s a family name)
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: the cherry blossoms and Japanese magnolias have started blooming here!
A current favorite podcast: I’ll also echo Nancy Ray’s Work & Play!
Preferred road trip snack: Stopping at Buc-ee’s for something savory!

February 28, 2022 9:26 am

1. Natalie
2. High desert sunset over the mountains
3. Not a big listener, maybe Elise gets crafty?
4. Pretzel combos and diet Dr pepper

February 28, 2022 9:43 am

1. Caroline :)
2. A clean house!
3. Rosecast Podcast (a Bachelor recap podcast hehe)
4. Diet Coke and Cheez its!

February 28, 2022 9:50 am

Happy birthday to you, my friend!

  1. Baby name: My great-grandmother’s name was Statia (pronounced Stay-shuh — I think it’s more commonly spelled Stacia). I love it for a girl but have so far not been able to convince Tanner to also love it. :)
  2. Beautiful sight: The 17-mile drive between Carmel and Monterey, California … and, closer to home, the daffodils blooming in our yard!
  3. Podcast: The Popcast is my forever favorite. I also recently listened to and enjoyed several episodes of The Trojan Horse Affair (by the people who did Serial!).
  4. Road trip snack: Cheez-Its, peanut butter M&Ms and kombucha!
Carly Hale
February 28, 2022 9:54 am
  1. Love names that can work for a boy or girl. Some of my favorites: Ryann, Carter, Charlie
  2. Sunset while camping last weekend!
  3. Go and Tell Gals
  4. Dot’s Pretzels (Original) & Diet Coke
February 28, 2022 10:08 am

I love the name Mae
Beautiful sight – my husband feeding our senior dog down on the floor and encouraging him with every bite. Swoon.
Currently Reading – love books and now love book podcasts so much. They have amazing Patreon content – they are my only Patreon membership.
We always stop at Chik-Fil-A – we never go there in town but only on road trips. For really long trips, I love dried fruit, pretzels, and chocolate covered almonds. yum!

February 28, 2022 10:10 am

1- can’t share them baby name since #3 is due soon and the gender is a surprise!
2-hiking by blue ridge parkway with my kids after school!
3- sigh…never got into podcasts! So I always like it if someone includea a transcript I can read :)
4- I now just toss the snacks to the kids but how does anyone stop at a few goldfish?!

Kristen M
February 28, 2022 10:15 am

A baby name you absolutely adore: Abigail (which is my oldest’s name!) We call her Abby but when she started Kindergarten she decided to go by Abigail at school and I really love that!
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: my new niece!
A current favorite podcast: https://www.thewayoutisbackthrough.org/ which looks at the history of segregation and integration in NC schools
Preferred road trip snack: gummi bears and pb m&ms

February 28, 2022 10:18 am

A baby name you absolutely adore: Currently pregnant with my first son and I adore his name: William. After my grandfather and I can’t think of a better man for him to emulate.
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: Snowy trees! #newenglandlife
A current favorite podcast: Everything Happens with Kate Bowler (not even current, always favorite podcast)
Preferred road trip snack: Goldfish or Cadbury mini eggs, if in season :)
Happy birthday Em! Always love your blog :)

Last edited 2 years ago by Megan
Lindsey F
February 28, 2022 10:26 am

Happy Birthday! I came across your blog because of Lisa’s Something Pretty Blog, and now you two are my favorites to check in on! I don’t have Instagram or any social media, so I really, really appreciate your blog posts.
A baby name you absolutely adore: Clement Joseph
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: 160+ people coming to our Ukrainian Catholic Church on Sunday with flowers and prayers to show support and solidarity.
A current favorite podcast: Laughs and Littles
Preferred road trip snack: Chex Mix

February 28, 2022 10:30 am

Happy birthday! Thank you for keeping up your blog over the years. I truly look forward to reading!
A baby name you absolutely adore: Noelle
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: Snow falling outside my window (I love snow, but I hope this is the last snowfall of the season!)
A current favorite podcast: I really enjoyed (and needed) the Proverbs 31 Ministries Therapy and Theology podcast series over the past year.
Preferred road trip snack: Twizzlers!

February 28, 2022 10:33 am
  1. I love the name August and he could go by Gus for a boy or the name Felicity for a girl
  2. My calendar having fewer meetings on it this week
  3. Food News by the Ringer. It’s just two friends talking about food, and it’s a delight.
  4. Cracker Barrel, not really a snack, but truly the best road trip option
Sarah Elizabeth
March 2, 2022 7:57 pm
Reply to  Sara

August & Felicity ????????????

Felicity is on my list if we ever have a daughter!

February 28, 2022 10:41 am

Happy Birthday! And thanks for showing up in this corner of the internet year after year.

  1. Lucy
  2. Our toddler eating a donut for the first time.
  3. Stuff you missed in history class
  4. Sour Patch Kids
February 28, 2022 10:47 am

A baby name you absolutely adore: Coincidentally, I have always loved the name Annie! I always say if we have a girl I want to use Annie. Such a sweet and classic name. We have a boy named Davis Ray which I love!
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: Our 5 month old starting to laugh is my absolute favorite!
A current favorite podcast: Emily Ley’s podcast.
Preferred road trip snack: Potato chips

February 28, 2022 10:52 am

Baby name: June Marie
A beautiful sight: Sunset over Atlanta the other night
Favorite podcast: You’re Wrong About
Preferred Road Trip Snack: Green grapes and peanut butter filled pretzels

Rebekah Murphy
February 28, 2022 10:54 am

Caroline, positano for our honeymoon!, need some good podcast recommendations!, trail mix

February 28, 2022 11:00 am

Happy Happy Birthday! Your blog is one of my favorite corners of the internet. :)

1. My favorite baby names have family history – Clarke and Mae.
2. A beautiful sight I’ve seen recently is my baby boy looking fresh and proud in footie pajamas after a bath. He is learning how to kick his feet in the water and it is too cute! Runner up: the watercolor sunsets that are common this time of year in the Triangle.
3. My favorite podcast is The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman.
4. Preferred road trip snack is sliced apples! I strongly dislike arriving to a travel destination feeling awful from eating junk on the road. The delayed gratification always makes treats taste better when I do indulge!

February 28, 2022 11:40 am

A baby name you absolutely adore: William ????
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: the sunrise in the mountains on a beautiful hike
A current favorite podcast: Risenmotherhood
Preferred road trip snack: twizzlers

February 28, 2022 11:42 am

sullivan, last night’s sunset, the lazy genius podcast, and peanut butter pretzels

February 28, 2022 11:42 am

Happy Birthday!! My husband and I both have February birthdays, so it feels like I’ve been celebrating all month!
A baby name you absolutely adore: I love the nickname Win for a boy
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: a snowfall at my parent’s house, and some “Jesus clouds” on the road trip there
A current favorite podcast: Risen Motherhood, Elisabeth Elliot
Preferred road trip snack: Candy, most recently Kinder Bueno minis

February 28, 2022 4:47 pm
Reply to  Annie

I assume by “Jesus clouds” you mean the shafts of light that look like God is iluminating something for my attention?!? I LOVE that name and going to start using it!

March 1, 2022 1:13 pm
Reply to  Kristin

Exactly! When the sunbeams are coming through the clouds in a way that looks like God shining down his light, or at least that’s the way I see it!

February 28, 2022 11:50 am

A baby name you absolutely adore: Rhodes, Mabel
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: Our 16 year old son stopping his car to get out and check on an animal he thought was injured, on the side of the road. My heart burst!
A current favorite podcast: Terrible, Thanks For Asking
Preferred road trip snack: Diet Coke and CheezIts

Happy birthday!

February 28, 2022 12:26 pm

A baby name you absolutely adore: Nathaniel for a boy, Madeline for a girl
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: daffodil bulbs poking out of the ground – spring is coming! :) 
A current favorite podcast: Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Preferred road trip snack: goldfish crackers

February 28, 2022 12:28 pm

Our girls are Hazel & Finley. But I love the name Nell and Samson (but our last name is Nelson, so Nell Nelson didn’t work! Ha.)
The sun peeking out just before it starts setting after a few days of heavy rain.
Work & Play with Nancy Ray
Twizzlers are a classic, but as an adult I’ve realized I don’t love them as much as I love their nostalgia! Lol now I love the bold Chex mix.

February 28, 2022 1:02 pm

A baby name you absolutely adore: I generally prefer timeless names, like Elizabeth, Mary, Alice, Joseph, Matthew, etc.
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: my parents’ new puppy running around and playing in their backyard
A current favorite podcast: I don’t really listen to podcasts – I would rather listen to music or the radio
Preferred road trip snack: Cheez-its and SweetTarts

February 28, 2022 1:14 pm

Completed the survey!
I really like the name Magnolia!
The sunsets over the water in my neighborhood are captivating.
I enjoy the Let’s Talk podcast.
I like to eat gummy worms on road trips!.

February 28, 2022 1:18 pm

1. Maeve
2. Snowy trees near a favorite lake
3. The lazy genius
4. Fun yuns lol. I loved them as a kid and only have them on longer road trips!

February 28, 2022 1:27 pm

Baby name: Eloise ❤️
Beautiful sight: Our son learning to walk!
Favorite podcast: Nancy Ray, DabbleCo, Risen Motherhood
Road-trip snack: Peanut butter filled pretzels!

Sarah Stauter
February 28, 2022 1:36 pm

A baby name you absolutely adore: Elizabeth, it is my middle name, in honor of my maternal grandmother.
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: the snowy hills of upstate NY.
A current favorite podcast: Office Ladies Podcast
Preferred road trip snack: sour patch watermelons

February 28, 2022 1:46 pm

A baby name you absolutely adore: Elizabeth. It is so timeless and beautiful.
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: Cheesy answer alert, but seeing my bebe on ultrasound beats any view I could ever visit these days
A current favorite podcast: Bad on Paper
Preferred road trip snack: Pizza combos and gummy worms!

February 28, 2022 1:58 pm

A baby name you absolutely adore: Georgia
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: A gorgeous sunset
A current favorite podcast: Watch What Crappens (if you love Bravo reality tv, this podcast will make you cry laughing)
Preferred road trip snack: Sprees or Dot’s Pretzels… with a fountain drink too!
Happy birthday Em – mine was yesterday so delighted to continue the celebration today to honor you!

Emily B.
February 28, 2022 2:23 pm

A baby name you absolutely adore: Maeve for a girl and Soren for a boy
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: The colors of the Sunrises and Sunsets recently. So many shades of pinks, purples, and oranges.
A current favorite podcast: Stuff You Should Know
Preferred road trip snack: Bugles or popcorn

February 28, 2022 2:24 pm

A baby name you absolutely adore: Jane
A beautiful sight you’ve seen recently: my newborns smile
A current favorite podcast: I really like silence ????
Preferred road trip snack: peanut butter filled pretzels

February 28, 2022 3:06 pm

I love the name Nell (Nellie is a family name but I could see Nell being a great name for a little girl).
Downtown Chicago at Christmas! It’s the last place I’ve traveled and it’s one of my fav places to go at Christmas
Hanna Seymour has a wonderful podcast called No Matter What. I have especially loved some Christian artists she has interviewed like hope darst and Jillian edwards.
Pringles! Plain for me and pizza pringles for my boyfriend :)