Our Google Docs Family Packing List

31 May 2023

On the cusp of summer travel season, I thought we could talk a bit about packing! Specifically, I wanted to share our family’s Google Docs packing list. As a family of five who travels relatively frequently and wants it to be as simple as possible – as we pack, at our destination, and when we arrive back home – implementing a master packing list a few years ago was a game-changer.

In today’s post, I’m going to share a version of our family packing list you can make your own, as well as a bit more about why we love it and how we use it. And then at the end, we’re going to have a travel lightning round in the comments :)

Reasons why we love our Google Docs family packing list:

1. We can quickly and easily make a packing list for every destination. Our master packing list includes everything our family might reasonably need for most trips. When we’re ready to pack for a specific trip, we simply copy and paste the list into a new Doc, delete anything we won’t need on that particular trip (for example, winter hats in the summer), and add any specific items we will need (for example, a Fourth of July outfit). In just a few minutes, we have a custom packing list that ensures we won’t forget anything we need while we’re away. No reinventing the wheel with every trip!

2. We can share it. It’s easy for two (or more!) people to share Google Docs, so John and I can easily add things to the packing list in the days leading up to the trip and reference it as we pack alongside each other the night before we leave. Packing is a joint affair in our family, so it’s nice to have a system we can both access easily.

3. We can reference it on our computers and phones. Again, this is helpful both in the run-up to the trip as well as while we’re packing. Though I prefer to reference the list on my laptop while I’m actively gathering items, I like being able to add something from my phone if I think of it while out running errands.

Of course, it should be said that there are other options with similar functionality to Google Docs – the iPhone Notes app is one that springs to mind. Use whatever you’re comfortable with, but if you don’t already have a favorite, GDocs works great for us!

4. Our list includes pre-trip tasks around the house, too. In addition to sections for each family member, toiletry sections, and supply sections, our master list includes reminders of things we need to do before leaving the house for a few days: things like cleaning the litter box, stopping the mail, and turning off our vacuum. Again, it’s so nice to not start from scratch every time we travel – and our packing list is the perfect place to keep these reminders, since we’re checking them off at the same time as we pack!

How to use our Google Docs family packing list:

1. Download the master packing list. You can open our master family packing list right here. Once open, copy and paste it into a new Google Doc and retitle it. I recommend something along the lines of “Master Packing List” :)

2. Tweak it once for your family. Spend a few minutes combing through our list and edit it to fit your family. Do you have two kids? Three kids? Four kids? Make a section for each of them. Adjust the toiletries and supplies to fit your needs. Keep it as general as you’d like or make it as specific as is helpful – whatever you need to do to make it your own!

Tip: As you’ll see in the doc, each family member has a color (and there’s a color for the household, too). This makes it easy to keep track of what’s left at a glance.

3. Tweak it for each destination. Once your master list is set, you’ll simply copy it, paste it into a new Doc, and tweak it for each trip: deleting items you don’t need, adding unique items you do need, and adjusting the details as needed.

4. Delete as you go. As I’m gathering items from the closet and around the house, I delete each item as I add it to the to-be-packed pile. I never print the list out, but you certainly could!

5. Update the master packing list as your family grows. Because the master list is specific, you will need to update it as your family grows to keep it relevant. For example, on our list, “Shep diapers” changed to “Shep pull-ups” changed to “Annie diapers” over the years.

Ready for a travel lightning round? Please answer in the comments, if you’d like:

1. Unpack right away or let it linger?
2. Packing cubes: love them/hate them/no opinion?
3. Favorite road trip snack?
4. Travel you’re looking forward to this summer?

I’ll answer in the comments, too!

P.S. Screen-free road trip tips with preschoolers and my North Carolina bucket list

Step inside our main room

26 May 2023

Welcome back to our home! Today I thought we could take a tour of our main room. As you may have seen in this video, our downstairs is pretty much one big room (aside from our master bedroom, which is also on the first floor). In the ten years we’ve lived in this house we’ve never fully settled on a name for this space – it alternatively goes by family room, living room, main room, and sometimes just “out there” if we’re in the bedroom – but main room will do for today’s purposes :)

The last time I shared a full look at this space was in 2015, two years after moving into our home and before we had any kids. Since then, I’ve shared details here and there, like our upgraded toy storage, my desk/family command center, and our dining room chairs. My style has evolved over the years, too, shifting from more colorful and cute to warm and classic. With craftsmen in our home for our kitchen refresh, we took the opportunity to make a few final updates (for now! ;)) to this space, too. I love how it’s looking these days, so come on in!

Dining Area

Paint: Simply White, Benjamin Moore. Table: antique. Dining chairs: Willa chairs from Crate & Barrel (similar). Silhouettes: Erik Johnson. Stools: a gift (similar). Chandelier: Wayfair. Bookshelf: Ikea.

The centerpiece of our dining area is our table. I found it in an antiques shop in Connecticut many years ago; my parents generously gave it to me as a college graduation gift (it was about $300). It is a heavy sucker, and has beautifully carried us through life from a party of two in an apartment to a family of five who regularly hosts Articles Club. (At its smallest, it is a four-top, and with several leaves, easily expands to seat 12!)

We replaced the chandelier last year with our kitchen refresh and… it is not my favorite. We went with the inexpensive choice (it was $120), and I think it shows – the finish looks cheap next to the rest of the kitchen hardware, and it hangs a little wonky. I’m considering eventually replacing it with this or this – feel free to let me know which one you prefer, or if you have another suggestion for me! – but am okay with it as-is for now.

Our colorful bookshelf is still going strong! I re-sorted it a few years ago so that it no longer goes in rainbow order from top to bottom, but instead has the lightest books on the top and then descends in a sort of colorful gradient (and, of course, our beloved ice cream station reigns on the bottom shelf). My Irish dancing crown, CWM conversation cards, and my childhood piggy bank are dotted in there, too. Sometimes I get the urge to shuffle all the colors together, but that feels like a lot of work :)

Seating Area

And here’s the rest of the space! It’s come a long way from the early days, and I’m pleased with it – it works hard for our family and feels like a cozy hug.

Chairs: Lee Industries. Cane side table: Target (old). Wooden trunk: hand-me-down from my family’s cottage. Tan sofa: Macy’s (real old). Black floor lamp: Wayfair (old). Round mirror: Ballard Designs. Little rocking chair: family heirloom. Sideboard/toy storage: HomeGoods. Cream rope baskets: Target. Rug: “Carmel” by Safavieh. Blanket basket: Target. Lumbar pillows: Brooke & Lou. Ceiling fan: Home Depot.

Chairs: Lee Industries. Cane side table: Target (old). Wooden trunk: hand-me-down from my family’s cottage. Black floor lamp: Wayfair (old). Round mirror: Ballard Designs. Little rocking chair: family heirloom. Rug: “Carmel” by Safavieh. Lumbar pillows: Brooke & Lou. Cream tufted ottoman: Target (old). Ceiling fan: Home Depot. Fireplace tile: Bejmat Zellige tile in Weathered White.

The most recent upgrade to this space was the fireplace surround. Before, it had a thin, dated mantel and tile that matched our old kitchen backsplash. I gave our handyman an inspiration photo and asked him to build a classic and more substantial mantel, and he did a fantastic job. He also replaced the tile with the same kind we used in the kitchen backsplash. So, so pleased with this update!

These chairs were a splurge several years ago. They’re comfy, such a classic style, and I love that they’re made in North Carolina. I did waffle over whether cream was the right choice with little kids, but I made a decision and have made it the right one :) I do keep my favorite spray close at hand and assume we’ll need to reupholster them at some point down the line (a soft green or maybe navy could be lovely!) and so try not to be too precious about them in the moment.

Sideboard/toy storage: HomeGoods. Cream rope baskets: Target. Blanket basket: Target. Lamp: Target (old). Wedding invitation framing: Framed and Matted.

Our TV is somewhat laughably small, mostly because we bought it a long ago, but it kind of tracks for our family :) I like that it’s visually almost tucked into the gallery wall.

The sideboard was a very lucky find at HomeGoods a few years ago, and does a bang-up job at storing board games (there are more in the chest), puzzles, drawing paper, a bin full of cars, and our collection of Magna Tiles. Train tracks and LEGOs are in the two rope bins.

Our gallery wall is due for a little updating, but it makes me happy: it includes everything from a painting I inherited from my grandmother, of the view out her window, to an old dinner plate from our Maine cottage. The painting of my bouquet by my sister-in-law and our framed wedding invitation (still obsessed ten years later) are two of my other favorites. The disco ball came home with me on our last day in the NC Cultivate offices – a reminder of the good times we had together in our lovely space :)

Wooden trunk: hand-me-down from my family’s cottage. Tan sofa: Macy’s (real old). Rug: “Carmel” by Safavieh. Throw pillows: Target. 25×25″ white frames: Pottery Barn.

Say hello again to none other than the tan sofa I waxed poetic about in this post. She’s an old gal (we’ve had 12 years together!), but still going strong. This purchase represented one of my and John’s first big leaps into adulthood; we saved for months to afford the $700 price tag. It is incredibly comfortable, the velvet fabric is impervious to stains, and the practical color hides the dust of daily life effectively. It’s wonderful to have a piece of furniture the kids can go nuts on, especially when I’m a little more precious about our cream armchairs.

The big frames are a fun conversation piece: they hold four photos we took on our travels, including snaps from Michigan, Yosemite, Nevis, and France.


Finally, we purchased three of these bulletin boards a year ago to hold artwork for our three kids. They’re a cheerful addition to the back hallway and the kids love curating their personal galleries.

If I’ve missed something you’re curious about, happy to share – just drop a note in the comments. And thank you again to Honeysuckle Collective for a few of these photos!

Friends, it’s one thing to invite you into my thoughts, and another into our home – even if virtually! I hope you enjoyed this peek at our space. It’s always fun to be able to picture the backdrop to a story, isn’t it? :)

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Marvelous Money: The Financial Implications of Having a Third Child

23 May 2023

Editor’s note: I wrote most of this post when I was still pregnant with Annie (!). It’s sat in my drafts folder for more than two years, waiting for me to come back and finish it up. Today is the day! I decided the best thing to do would be to publish my original speculative thoughts and then add a little two-years-in update with how things have actually turned out (so far). I hope it’s helpful!

There were a number of topics I knew I wanted to discuss once the news was out about baby number three. There was deciding to have a third baby at all, of course, as well as the pros and cons of another boy or girl. But one I was really looking forward to? The financial implications of having a third child. We’ve discussed the intersection of money and kids a few times (here and here most specifically!), and I find it an endlessly fascinating and severely under-discussed topic. So, consider this post one part sharing our personal experience, one part encouragement, and one part practical strategizing. As always, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Let’s dig in!

Though each additional kiddo in a family introduces a new element to the financial picture, I think a third child is unique in a way a second or even a fourth is not. I thought I’d walk through a few common kid budget categories to share how we thought through them, and a few things you might want to think about if you’re considering having a third. I hope this post offers some hope, helpful perspective, and fodder for conversation with your spouse! :)


Let’s tackle a big one first! People have been curious from the beginning as to where baby sister will sleep. Our home has four bedrooms, so theoretically we have a room for each kiddo and one for John and me. However, it’s important for us to maintain a guest room, considering that we have frequently-visiting family who lives far away, so as I explained here, we’re planning to keep our guest room intact and add a crib to it. This should hold us for at least two years, at which time we can decide if we want to house two of the kids together, officially designate the guest room as baby sister’s room (but keep the big bed for guest visits), or consider a move to a larger home. I shared a room at times growing up and would have no problem with that scenario.

Bottom line: For us, baby number three won’t add any additional cost to the housing line in our budget. Regardless of whether we had a third child, we likely would have considered moving in a few years, anyway, so I’d consider this category a wash.

Update two years in: Annie is still going strong in the room previously known as the guest room! We’re hoping she’ll last another year in her crib before transitioning to the queen bed. June is also keen for the two of them to share a room, so we may consider bunk beds in the future. No immediate plans to move :)


Another big one! Many people find a third child pushes them over the edge to a larger car, either to get a third row of seating in an SUV or to switch to a minivan. Obviously, this can be a huge expense.

Our take: Currently, we have a Kia Sorento. We love it! It’s a small three-row SUV, but it does not have captain’s chairs, so there’s no easy way to get to the third row of seats with two car seats installed in the middle row (i.e. they can’t slide forward with the car seats installed).

To accommodate a three-child family at our kids’ ages, we have a few options. We could invest in skinnier car seats that would fit three across. This is what Nancy did to fit three kids in their Highlander, using the Diono car seats. They’re pricy, but less than buying a different car.

Or, we could have June climb in through the back lift gate or clamber over the second row of seats. She does not mind these options – in fact, she kind of loves them – but they’re not the most practical for things like carpool pick-up lines or when we’re traveling and have the trunk packed full.

Bottom line: We will almost certainly upgrade to a larger SUV with captain’s chairs at some point in the not-so-distant future. We have our eye on the Kia Telluride. This will be a big expense that we may not have incurred if we had stayed at two kiddos, but we’re thankful to have socked away money for this expense over the last few years and plan to pay cash. Also, it’s nice to know we could do just fine with our current ride and can make this change on our own time table.

Update two years in: We placed an order for a Telluride two months before Annie was born and received it four months after she was born! Big, big Telly fans over here.


The final biggest immediate expense! Anecdotally, I feel like the change from two to three children is when many couples feel that it no longer financially makes sense for both parents to work outside the home and pay for three kids to go to full-time childcare. Of course, this depends greatly on the age gaps between your kids and what option you choose when they enter elementary-school age.

Our take: The spacing of our children makes this not as burdensome as it could be. June will move on to public school kindergarten shortly after Annie is born, but we’ll replace the cost of her preschool with a higher rate to send an infant to daycare (in our area, this ranges from about $1,300-$1,600 per month, which is about twice what we pay for June’s preschool as a five-year-old).

Bottom line: Our childcare costs will go up slightly in 2022, but we will never need to pay three childcare costs at the same time. That would require a much bigger adjustment to the budget.

Update two years in: We made it through the most expensive year! Annie has now joined Shep at their Montessori preschool, where her tuition is less than we paid at daycare. Yes, we will be paying childcare for more years than we would have if we had stopped at two, but our budget is used to it at this point and so it doesn’t really require any additional rejiggering.


Some good news! By the time most people get to their third child, they have all of the basics covered: cribs, car seats, toys, high chairs, etc. Of course, some items may be a bit worn at this point and need replacing, but for the most part, for most people, this category should not need to add much to the budget.

Our take: This jives with our experience! We will be reusing our crib, crib mattress, car seats, stroller, travel bassinet, and more. The bigger items on our list: a stroller fan (our first one died and it’s a must for a summer baby!), a few more silicone bibs (many of ours have ripped or cracked at this point), Kiinde pouches (they’re one-time use), another hooded towel, another sound machine, and a new trike. (Our two older kids used and loved the same one that was handed down from a neighbor, but the wheel constantly comes off its track and considering how much we’ve used our first one, it would be well worth the purchase!) We’ll also buy new sheets, a muslin lovey, a few stuffed animals, and a nap quilt – sweet things chosen just for this baby girl.

Bottom line: We expect our expenses to be minimal in this category, especially because I’ll look to buy whatever possible secondhand if we don’t receive it as a gift. (I’m planning a gear redux post sometime soon, going into more detail over what we plan to reuse or try new this time around, so stay tuned for that.)

Update two years in: We had to replace our infant car seat because our original had expired, but otherwise this tracks! We were grateful to receive several of the items I listed above as gifts, so the only significant cost was the Kiinde pouches for a year of breastfeeding and pumping. Also, I did manage to write part one of that gear redux post – part two coming soon :)


Though this is a category in which it’s easy to get carried away, the good news is that between hand-me-downs, Buy Nothing groups, and consignment sales/stores, it’s also easy to keep your costs relatively low! Of course, if your third child is the same gender as one of your first two kids, this becomes even easier (though clothes do wear out, and more frequently as kids get older – I’ve retired hardly any of June’s leggings this year, as it seems they all have massive holes in the knees!)

Our take: I cannot WAIT to see baby sister in some of our favorite June hand-me-downs!! One of the best parts about having another girl, in my opinion! Between all the clothing I’ve saved from June’s wardrobe and my sister-in-law generously sending along bags of goodies from her two summer-birthday girls, there is nothing we need to buy for at least the first two years. Yahoo! Of course, I’m sure I’ll buy a few pieces here and there just for fun, and certainly more as she gets older and more aware/independent.

Bottom line: Negligible cost at first; will need to build more room into the budget as she gets older and we’re generally clothing three kids instead of two. But again, I cannot emphasize enough the power of buying secondhand!! It’s like magic.

Update two years in: Yep! I can probably count on two hands the number of (secondhand) clothing items I’ve bought for Annie so far, and though it’s hard to resist the cuteness, seeing her in my favorite June pieces helps to scratch the itch :)

Diapers and Wipes

As these are consumable items, you can expect to pay roughly what you paid for any other child – it doesn’t matter if it’s your first or fifth. (Cloth diapers, of course, would be a different story and certainly an opportunity for cost savings over multiple children!)

Bottom line: Yep, these will need to be factored into the budget. However, it’s nice that June is completely out of diapers and pull-ups and Shep is only wearing nighttime pull-ups at this point!

Update two years in: No surprises here! Again, I’m thankful the spacing of our kids allowed for more breathing room in this budget category.

Ongoing Activities

Looking a little farther down the road, a third child does mean we’ll need to increase our budget for the routine costs and “fun” expenses associated with kids – birthday and Christmas presents, sports equipment and class fees, summer camps, tickets to events, expanding family museum memberships, adding an extra person to meals out and vacations, etc.

Bottom line: Yep! For us, this feels like one of the bigger factors when considering the financial implications of a third child. Yes, daycare costs might loom large immediately, but over the long run, this category will likely add up to much more. However, the nice thing is that it’s gradual, and most of it is discretionary – and as I mentioned, I don’t mind the idea that our kids might feel a little deprived at times :)

Update two years in: We haven’t really felt the impact of this yet, as Annie doesn’t do any activities outside of school and doesn’t even always order her own meal when we eat out. But I know it’s coming!

Long-Term Expenses

Our final budget category brings us farther into the future: we’re talking large, long-term expenses like paying for private schooling, college, cars, and weddings. There’s no doubt about it: these can be BIG expenses, and it’s straight-up addition that you’ll shell out more the more children you have.

Our take: While this category will likely represent the largest portion of the budget when all is said and done, it did not loom largest for us when we considered the financial implications of having a third child. Yes, that’s in part because many of these costs seem far away when you’re still pregnant. But it’s also because they are far away, and we’re optimistic enough to believe that our track record of saving, investing, and living below our means will get us where we need to go when the time comes.

These costs also don’t spook us because we believe there’s lots of room to be judicious with spending (and creative!) within these categories. A new car for each child at 16? Not likely – but maybe we’ll agree to match whatever they save for a car purchase. College? Yes, we’d love to help send them if they choose to go, but also know that there are GREAT and less-expensive options than a four-year liberal arts degree at a private school. A wedding? Well, you know that one is my weakness :) But just as we were creative with our own wedding expenses, we’ll be ready to get creative with theirs – and expect them to contribute, just as we did once upon a time.

Bottom line: These costs are big – yes. But to us, they’d never be the deciding factor in whether or not to add a third child to the fam. Many of the costs are gradual, can be delayed, or are simply optional.

Update two years in: Here, here! Knowing the total joy our third child has brought us, I’m glad this was (and is) our perspective :) And here’s the photographic (almost) two-year update below!

I hope this was helpful, friends! I would really love to hear your thoughts and perspectives in the comments. And of course, though I’ve tried to consider many factors, it should be said that my conclusions here are drawn from our experience with our particular three children. There are many scenarios in which the financial implications for a third child (or any child) could be wildly different – I’m thinking specifically about those who have a child with a disability or extraordinary health needs.

Thanks, as always, for chiming in!

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How to find a family video song

17 May 2023

I am deep in the editing process for the second Annie in April video, and thought it might be fun to dive into a bit of a niche topic today: how to find the right song for a family video! I’ve heard from several of you over the years who’ve been inspired to try your hand at a family video, or even a series of videos, after seeing ours, and that just tickles me. It’s really not hard, and the reward is so sweet.

I’ve shared my step-by-step process for editing a family video before – and have edited more than a dozen yearly videos of our kids so far myself – but there’s one key step that still always feels like a big hurdle: choosing the perfect song. It feels daunting because the song sets the video’s tone; also, whatever I choose will become a part of our family’s shared history. I need something that captures the feel of the footage and the personality of our child in that particular season, something that won’t feel dated and that I won’t regret using in two years. It’s a tall order!

I’ve compiled a few best practices over the years for finding great songs for family videos and am happy to share them with you here, plus a list of the songs we’ve used so far for our videos and a few that I’ve already marked as potential songs for future videos.

Tips for Finding the Right Family Video Song

1. Keep a running list

If all goes according to plan, I will have created 54 yearly videos for our kids by the time all three reach 18 (!). That is A LOT of just-right songs to find! Therefore, I am always on the hunt for our next movie’s soundtrack. I use a Spotify playlist to store any and every potential song I come across, and I add to it regularly (it currently contains 114 songs).

Where do I find songs to add? Everywhere! My best sources are often songs that have already been used in videos: I’ve found great songs used in Reels, TV shows, movies, wedding films, and other family videos I’ve come across. It makes sense: someone else already thought the song had the right dynamic, atmospheric, pleasant qualities to carry a video, so it makes sense that I would, too.

Another surprising place I’ve found songs: stores! Their playlists tend to be upbeat with good movement, which is often what I’m looking for in our video songs. If I don’t know the song, I just use the Shazam app on my phone to get its info.

Now that I’ve been making and sharing videos for years, friends and family have also become good sources of songs! My sister actually suggested a song a few months ago that I already have slotted for Annie’s two-year video :)

Finally, one of my best sources of potential songs is Spotify itself – it’s one place where I don’t mind the algorithm figuring me out at all. In addition to my list of potential songs, I also have a playlist where I add each song I actually use in a video. These songs obviously share some characteristics (something attracted me to them, after all), and so they’re a great jumping off point for Spotify to make recommendations of other similar songs – which they do, right beneath the playlists themselves (just scroll down past your last song!).

2. Get clear on your goals.

Okay – thanks to your sleuthing and saving, you’ve got a trove of songs to choose from for your next video. As you narrow your options down to the one perfect song for this video, hone in on the feeling you want to create.

What will match the tone of the footage you’ve captured? What might fit the age, mood, and season of life your child is in? (Do you have a sweet baby, a silly toddler, or an active elementary schooler?) What do you hope to convey, capture, and remember from this time, and how can the beat, feel, and instrumentation of your video song choice augment this?

It might take some searching, but you’ll know the perfect choice when you hear it.

3 Double-check the fit.

Once I’ve zeroed in on my ideal song choice, I run it through a few filters before downloading it for the editing process. (I always buy my songs from iTunes.) My filters include:

  • Is it a male or female vocalist? The answer will influence the feel, and depending on whether the video is for our son or one of our daughters, this might matter to me.
  • Is it the right length? I aim for our yearly videos to be between 2:30 and 3:30. If a song is significantly longer, it’s often possible to fade it out once you’ve reached your desired length, but it’s something to consider.
  • Do the lyrics check out? Since I’m not commissioning a custom song, I expect that the lyrics will not perfectly match my child’s biography. However, if the lyrics are clearly talking about a boy when the video is for a girl, it might not be the right fit. Same goes for lyrics that involve a romantic relationship, and of course anything that might not be appropriate for a child – but those usually don’t make it past the second step.
  • What is the profile of the song? Is it really well-known? It is currently popular? Is it obscure? Is it a very specific genre? Is it an oldie? None of these are dealbreakers for me, but they are things I consider. I have to listen to the song many times over in the editing process and for years afterward, and I want to love it for a long time!

Great Songs for Family Videos

To get you started, I’ve compiled a list of all the past songs I’ve used for family videos (along with a few stories about how they crossed my path!).

Songs We’ve Already Used in Family Videos:

  • “(Love is Like a) Heat Wave” by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas | Baby girl, as seen here
  • “Porcelain Doll” by Chatham County Line | Baby girl (I knew as soon as I heard this song, several years before I had kids, that I’d want to use it in a video someday! It’s the very sweetest – and played by NC hometown heroes :))
  • “Come Go With Me” by The Del-Vikings | One-year-old boy, as seen here
  • “Little Bitty Pretty One” by Thurston Harris and The Sharps | One-year-old girl, as seen here (To me, this is about as perfect as a family video song gets – so spirited and fun.)
  • “Sugar Dumpling” by Sam Cooke | One-year-old girl (Lisa used this one in a Story for her sweet baby and I knew it would be perfect for Annie’s latest video!)
  • “Life is Rosy” by Jess Penner | Two-year-old girl, as seen here
  • “Comeback Kid (That’s My Dog)” by Brett Dennen | Two-year-old boy, as seen here (I found this song in an episode of the TV show Royal Pains :))
  • “Sunny Day” by Joy Williams | Three-year-old girl, as seen here (This sounds crazy, but I found this song on a billboard while driving through Nashville!)
  • “The Sound of Sunshine” by Michael Franti & Spearhead | Three-year-old boy, as seen here (I remember it took me SO LONG to settle on this song – I find it generally harder to find boy songs – but now it seems like an obvious and perfect choice.)
  • “Whole Wide World” by Mindy Gledhill | Four-year-old girl, as seen here
  • “Love You So” by The King Khan & BBQ Show | Four-year-old boy
  • “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars | Five-year-old girl, as seen here (June’s class sang this at her preschool graduation the year we filmed this video, so it seemed like an appropriate choice. It turned out to be quite challenging to edit to!)
  • “Something That I Want” by Grace Potter | Six-year-old girl (This is the song in the closing credits of Tangled; June and I both fell in love with it when it came on at the end of the movie.)

A Few Songs I’ve Bookmarked for Future Family Videos:

I can’t give away all my secrets, but here are a few I’ve bookmarked…

  • “American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  • “Better Place” by Rachel Platten
  • “Dance With Me Tonight” by Olly Murs
  • “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” by Peter, Paul, and Mary
  • “Do You Believe in Magic?” by The Lovin’ Spoonful
  • “Easier and Harder” by William Prince
  • “5 Years Time” by Noah and the Whale
  • “Here Comes My Baby” by Cat Stevens
  • “How Long Will I Love You” by Jon Boden, Sam Sweeney, Ben Coleman
  • “I Make My Own Sunshine” by Alyssa Bonagura
  • “I’m Into Something Good” by The Bird and the Bee
  • “It’s a Lovely Day Today” by Ella Fitzgerald
  • “Just a Little While” by The 502s
  • “Let Her Dance” by The Bobby Fuller Four
  • “The Lotto” by Ingrid Michaelson and AJR
  • “Little Bit More” by Suriel Hess
  • “Little Bitta You” by Andrew & Polly
  • “Love You More” by Caspar Babypants
  • “Make Your Own Kind of Music” by Cass Elliot
  • “Mama’s Sunshine, Daddy’s Rain” by Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
  • “Morningbird” by Forest Sun
  • “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra
  • “Nobody But Me” by The Human Beinz
  • “She’s a Rainbow” by The Rolling Stones
  • “She Lit a Fire” by Lord Huron
  • “Summer Holiday” by Cliff Richard & The Shadows
  • “This Life” by Vampire Weekend
  • “Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)” by The Arcade Fire
  • “You Make Me Happy” by My Sun and Stars

As I said, I know this is a bit of a niche post, but I hope it might help a few of you with your future memory-keeping! :) Now back to iMovie editing…