The Nester
About the Author

Myquillyn Smith, The Nester, is a home stager, redesigner and design school drop-out. Her last home (a rental) was featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Cottages & Bungalows, Ladies' Home Journal and in her upcoming design philosphy book, The Nesting Place: It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful....

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for this post!
    I am mom of three boys (5, 9 and 11). Two weeks ago I was able to finish my master program. It took “only” 11 years to get the bacchelor and master.
    Now I have no idea what to do. Maybe I should focus on doing nothing but to relax.

  2. […] Funny thing what I’m writing about at (in)courage today.  I’m getting ready to launch three new blogs~hopefully within the next week and suddenly, I hear a Whisper reminding me to remember to do the opposite of launch three blogs.  And then I also talk about President Obama.  And then I also give away thousand dollar bills.  Oh wait, I used that one yesterday.  But I really did mention The President. See you there? […]

  3. yes oh my goodness yes i THINK about it all the time….every day. i work full-time outside of the home and have two sweet little ones and an awesome hubs at home that i spend my waking hours with. then there’s that who bigcartel shop and the photography bus. i’m crazy busy all the time. it’s hard to nurture friendships and make new ones and it is especially difficult to find time for myself. this is a great reminder to MAKE THE TIME. make time to dial in. make time to rest. make time to relax.
    thank you!!

  4. great post lady!
    my way of “dialing in” was last weekend – a trip to the beach with my boogie board and a few friends. despite getting sunburned and being sore for boogie boarding, it was my way of “dialing in” and getting ready for a busy summer with the kiddos and a husband’s crazy schedule. get ready – i’m taking you on the next one! you can borrow my boogie board at first, but i’m pretty sure you’ll want you own!!

  5. I’m with you. 2007 is my go to year. Maybe it’s because my daughter graduated from high school that year? My youngest turned five? The year I started blogging? Who knows? I’ve found it’s not too hard to change 07 to 11. 😉 I’ve been tossing around the idea of a media break this summer. Might be just what I need.

  6. A love that – “go to” years imprinted on our minds. Savoring them.

    I’m thinking of returning to something I implemented in my life a few years ago…a real no-brainer… I’m thinking of setting the iPhone off when I get in my driveway from a day at work and not looking at e-mail again until when I tuck my little guy in bed, and then only to check the important messages and respond accordingly. Then, set it down again…for good…until the next morning when I’m at work, or maybe once just before I leave to make sure my office is still standing and I actually DO have an office to go to [chuckle].

    And then, when I’m on vacation – even if it’s just for a day – no e-mail checking during that day (until maybe once in the evening, I’m not sure yet).

    And most especially – creating that space for VACATION and doing it. Fully immersing myself in that vacation and every bit about it.

    Oh, and really truly taking a day of rest. Saturday’s are my Sabbath and I’m *unplugging* on those days. Maybe doing a little writing but that won’t mean checking email and corresponding through the keyboard. I’m not cooking. I’m not cleaning. I’m just resting…playing…and listening to my Father, and reflecting on His goodness…

    Mmmm…is it my Sabbath yet?

  7. I love sittng on my front porch, taking a walk, or even just singing hyms while folding laundry. Why does it seem like the only way to “dial in” be present is to acknowledge God. It always works for me.

  8. Excellent post…you really did tie it all in! One of my goals this summer is to be much more intentional about really scheduling blogging time so that it does not overtake my days. I just can’t devote the time to returning every single comment…it was stressing me out and taking away time from my girls. I want to enjoy this summer–not spend it in front of the computer. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  9. If this is the case, I’m stuck in 2009 for sure (new–3rd–baby, new blog, new business, new house. . . you get the picture). God used your post to speak to me this morning; this is something I’ve been fighting against for a while. Thank you 🙂

  10. 2007. The year I gave birth to twins. The year my hubs decided to start his own business. The year he began his battle with chronic pain. And you are so right~my mental gear seems stuck there when I can’t remember the current year.
    The hubs and I are going to plan a weekend away sometime in the coming weeks, just the two of us. With his work and my masters classes, we’re both pretty burned out and in need of a refresher.
    Thanks for the encouragement today. I won’t feel so guilty tapping out our sitters and spending the money on our sanity and our marriage. 🙂

  11. For our summer, I’m making every weekend a 3-day-one. Change of pace, slowing down, more time for playing, less work… rest!

  12. What a wonderful thought and so needed! My intentional downtime will be spending any time I can with my 3 boys home from college….they haven’t completely left the nest yet and I’m savoring every minute they are still here. I know the time will soon come when they will call a different place home and despite all the mess, I wish to only express gratitude for their presence. Time is such a gift!

  13. I never connected that!! When I write the date on my board in the morning at school, I still often start to write 2008 or 2009, the years I started dating and got married to my late husband. Interesting connection – thanks for sharing!!

  14. Hubby and I are finally going to do a little “dailing in” starting next week. We’re headed on vacation for the first time in two years. I’m already breathing a little easier just thinking about it. And we’ve talked about taking a few long weekends here and there to spend time relaxing, recovering from his busy season and just enjoying each other’s company. I think it’s shaping up to be a good summer.

  15. I read a quote by James Dobson the other day, “God only gives you so many opportunities to go fishing with your kids. Don’t miss a one of ’em.”
    In the midst of all of the projects, work, and friends, we’re going to have some fishing dates with our kids this summer (grown ones included)!

  16. i totally felt the need to do that this year! i noticed it not by thinking it was the wrong year, but by thinking i was about 4 years younger than i was! i was thinking, i’m 20… no 21! wait… am i 23? ummm… no. i am 24. scary. so this year my husband let me stay at home and just be his wife and do things i love. start a blog, decorate, hang out with my family.. now i’ve had about a year of resting and i’m ready to crazy things up a little bit again!

  17. As a homeschool mom, I’m intentional about my summer down time. I make sure that recharge is my matra for at least a month. When ever I hit the ground running, I inevitably end up flat on my face pretty quick. My year is 1998…had a baby, 4 days later lost my dad, just moved and started our business. Most joyful and painful year of my life…not to mention within that year lost 3 other family members. Crazy. Those moments are thumbprint moments, unique to you, but others have them. We all have them, how we respond is the key and for me, scheduling down time, keeps me charged for the really great moments. Ever notice those really great moments happen alot right in the middle of those horrible moments? Be still and know. It’s all good. Thanks for reminding me/us that it’s good and ok and important, to breath and take a bit of time to regroup for what’s really important.

  18. Great post! I don’t write the date much (so not sure what I’d put if I had to) but I never know what day of the month it is. Ever. It’s bad. I need to be more intentional with my time because the days just keep flying by and my boys keep getting bigger and bigger. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  19. Down time for me = Sunday!

    This is why it works for me:
    I love church, have gone all my life, and it is a real treat to worship with others, connect with others on Sunday. Yes, mad rush to get three little ones and me out the door on time gets crazy, but it is actually ‘sleeping in’ compared to our regularly scheduled weekdays.

    I’m a single mother and the kiddos visit their daddy on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes I feel lonely for them, but I’m learning to guard this alone time to continue my personal worship, pray and think about the bigger picture issues. Most of the time life is harried and hectic, I’m just trying to get through the day – so these hours of less responsibility are savored. I walk, work around the house, grocery shop, journal, etc. But mostly I try to allow my mind space to think, dream, be grateful.

    Also, on Sundays I endorse a ‘media fast.’ No television or computer time till after sunset. Again the space to think and not to numb out is intentional and provides much needed downtime.

    I love it!

  20. Love this! For one thing, I thought I was the only one who sometimes spaced the year (it’s May of 2011 and I’m still stuck in 2010 some days), so that makes me feel better. Maybe I’m presidential material! Ha.

    And secondly, I’m so exhausted from a busy week that I took the day off blogging, but I was sitting here feeling guilty about it. Then I read this and was like, Amen! I just need to take a minute to breathe. Breathing is good. Thanks for the reminder, Nester! Now I’m going to take my dog for a walk and remind myself that today is May 26, 2011. 🙂

  21. 15 years ago, my life fell to pieces. Divorce followed. I took my maiden name back. Then, when I married for the second time, I took my new husband’s name. Although it has been 15 years since I left that first married name behind, I have occasionally signed my name using the wrong last name. The first time, I was horrified. The second time, I realized I was under a lot of stress. When I catch myself doing that now, I try to step back and take a quick inventory. Without fail…I’m working under too much strain. I’m happy to say I haven’t done that in quite some time.

  22. Thank you for this! My husband and I are in the midst of crazy busyness for the next month, but dear friends had invited us to go camping with them. We’ve been hating the idea of it. What the heck are we doing leaving on a camping trip during the week before he preaches at all the weekend services, and we have a VBS to start?! It might be bad timing, but in a way won’t it always be bad timing?:)

  23. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple weeks (wait, months maybe?) but this is the first one I’ve commented. This is by far my favorite post of yours and so pertinent for so many people. Thanks for helping me remember to dial in (so important, and increasingly difficult in today’s world of continuous bombardment of the senses!!)

  24. I totally relate to this. The last few months have been really stressful, and I’m finally taking a vacation next week. Let’s just say I need it. I’ve been feeling burnt out and ready for a change. I’m hoping next week will be just what I need to re-charge my batteries!

    Great post!

  25. Absolutely! I, along with my whole family MAKE time to relax and regroup.
    I don’t know how families do EVERYTHING! As busy as we are…we still stop and just chill!

    Oh and that doesn’t mean we never write the wrong date. That can happen to any of us. 😉

  26. My hubby and I are retired (live in KS) but we have a home in Sun City, AZ, where we take “short” vacations during the year to “Dial In!” LOVE THAT PHRASE! We have spent most of the month of May here in AZ and my “Dialing In” time has been each morning as I relax on our patio (in my jammies and enjoying my coffee)…listening only to the sounds of the birds, bunnies, families of quail as they skitter across our rock-landscaped yard, enjoying the view of assorted fruit trees once laden with fruit (now almost empty as we will be taking the fruit back with us tomorrow)!

    And now my thoughts are centered around “Where will my ‘Dialing In’ special place be in KS?” I haven’t quite decided, but I know there WILL be a time and place intentionally designated…thanks to you and your sharing today! 🙂

  27. I was trying for down time this summer until I got some random email and then a series more from a certain someone encouraging just one more project. Ahem.

  28. The date thing is so interesting. I am a stay at home, homeschooling mom with 5 kiddos. I NEVER know the date unless its a birthday or holiday. Im not even sure how I know that! I have a hard time remembering what year each child was born too. I have to ask my husband. That terrible! Tomorrow my husband and I are going on a retreat. It will be the first time in forever that we don’t have the kids with us for an extended amount of time. Life has been so overwhelming lately. I am really hoping I can calm down enough to relax and enjoy it before its all over and we head back home.

  29. Love that first photo.

    I don’t know about intentional downtime – but just intentional time which will hopefully slow things down a bit. I’m using Psalm 19 as my summer inspiration. Been writing about it all week if you want to check it out . . .

  30. Tomorrow I am embarking on a new journey: I’m leaving a job that I have loved and that has been such a huge part of my life for five years. I’m only 27 and this is my first “I-have-a-real-life-job” job so to say that this is a simple transition, would be quite far from the truth. I work at one of the biggest and best Christian summer camps in the nation and these people have become my home and family all by being my friends first. The Lord has met me here and as many times as I think and rethink this decision, I know it’s the right one. I DON’T have a job that I’m moving into. Which is the answer to everyone’s second question once they hear I’m moving on. I believe the Lord is calling me into a forced pause…a silent place…a quiet place…and I’m thinking He wants to show me something. To tell me something.

    So, yes. After 5 years of literal blood, sweat, and tears with the ministry I’ve been involved in, I am being called and ushered into downtime. I’m hoping that in this time 1 Peter 4:10 proves true: And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will HIMSELF RESTORE YOU & MAKE YOU STRONG, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

  31. I have definitely done this, this week. I’ve tried to rush around, and do so many things that sometimes I feel like I cannot breathe. I’ve had trouble trying to balance getting work, and having some family time which I am in desperate need of. I think I’ll sit down and work that out tonight.

    Great post Nester!

    Love always,

  32. My husband and I are cashing in our credit card miles to purchase bicycles… we’re looking forward to some days with our kids outside – away from distractions – biking to new places… discovering new things about each other.

  33. Yes, yes, yes!!! I so need to dial in! So much of what I am reading is saying… take a break… come to me and find rest. Just another reminder. Don’t know what exactly it will be but I am going to think on it!!!

  34. Did anyone notice that Pres. Obama at first appeared to sign the date as ‘2007″ and then wrote over it with the pen to say “2008” – I think if you enlarge the photo of the guest book signature you can see where he had the “7” there first. I think the years are just speeding by at an alarming rate these last few years.

  35. My husband and son are going on two separate trips together this summer, in back to back weeks. I will miss them but with my girls working at camp, that means I will have a lot of alone time at home. I love being able to have that much time with no agenda and time to pray, read, relax, and just recharge. I will spend much of my time scrapbooking, my favorite hobby that is hard to do with the hustle and bustle of everyday life!

  36. I feel like I rarely know the date or day of the week, let alone the year most days. It usually takes me a good 6-8 months after we ring in the new year, to start writing the correct year on a regular-ish basis, so I hear ya. Thanks for this post. I’m new to blogging and have been struggling with and thinking about balance a lot in the last few weeks. After taking my kids to the beach for the first time of the season the other day, I decided to make a point of getting the kids and I to the beach every Thursday from breakfast until lunch, unless we, or mother nature have other plans. It’s the kind of standing appointment that will help all of us enjoy something fleeting and simple. Thanks for giving me cause to reflect.

  37. So glad to hear not only does our President get his days mixed up, but also our inspiring Nester! I too am scheduling down time this summer, at least a week or two. I deem it necessary to recharge, reevaluate, breathe and grow. Mostly to make memories with my little ones who will be grown before I know it. Don’t want to miss it.