Friday, December 21, 2012

Harsh, Intimidating, Brutally Honest

Once again, I find myself in a situation today where I spoke before I thought.  My lack of thinking has caused someone else pain.  And now I am distraught over hurting someone I love deeply.

Unfortunately, this isn't my first time in this situation.  I am here too often.  I have been told by people that I am harsh, intimidating, brutally honest.  All of those things are horrible. 

And yet at the same time, I am incredibly sensitive.  It pains me so much when I hurt other people. 

I spent my entire teenage years like a wallflower, just trying to fit in.  When I went to college, I vowed to be more true to myself.  I told myself that I was just a strong personality and people could just deal with it.  And somehow that grew into this strong personality without a lot of sensitivity towards others.

And now that I am older, I find myself looking for a balance between wall flower and strength.  Somewhere there exists a place where I can be the strong woman that God created me to be and yet people in my path don't have to be hurt by that strength (or in this case, just a complete lack of thought and utter selfishness)

At the end of this day, after asking forgiveness from the one whom I have hurt, I can only come back to the cross and ask forgiveness from the One who paid for it all. 

Lord help me to be more like you.  Help me to love with my mouth, not hurt.  Help me to show mercy and grace instead of selfish sin.  - Amen

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Spirit

I love Christmas.  I don't always love getting the house ready for Christmas.  It usually feels like such a chore.  But this year, I am so very into Christmas. 

For the first time ever, I turned Christmas music on before Thanksgiving.  I put up outside lights for the first time.  All of my nativities are out and my tree is up.  I am even liking the looks of my decorations more than ever before. All this before November 25th. 

I keep asking myself why am I so happy it's Christmas this year over any other year.  Is it the excitement of the 4 year old.  Is it the happy squeals of the baby every time he sees the Christmas tree?

That's all part of it.  But I realized something else.  Last year I was very pregnant.  I was exhausted.  My mother in law decorated my house for me.  I "survived" the Christmas season more than I "lived" it.

This year is kind of like a redemptive Christmas for me.  And that excitement from the 4 year old...and those baby squeals....they are the best!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fighting Alone

As part of our business, we often talk to cancer patients.  Ryan really does most of that.  I do more of the sales and processing.  Ok, I really just pack boxes.  Ryan does all the consultations.  This is partly because he knows more about all the products than I do, but it's also because when the phone rings when I'm here by myself with the kids, it would be unprofessional to have children making children type noises in the background.

Today I was in the kitchen making a pumpkin cheesecake with Ainsley when the phone rang.  Most of the time, I pick up the phone to look at the number.  I check if it's someone I know or if it's a customer.  I went to do that today but I hit the talk button while I fumbled with the phone.

It was a cancer patient.  And it was sobering for me to talk with her.  She is doing the Gerson therapy.  We fully support and believe in this therapy and have since we started our business in 1998.  But it's tough to do on your own.  It requires a lot of work including a lot of juicing. 

Most people that do this therapy have a care taker.  This woman did not.  She called looking for a water distiller.  I could tell quickly it was going to be out of her price range.  But I knew she needed to talk.  She broke down on more than one occasion during our brief conversation.

As I hung up the phone, Grace Like Rain was playing on my radio.  It struck me all at once how truly blessed we are.  Here I was making cheesecake for our family and this woman, like countless others, was alone in the fight for her life. 

It was all I could do not to lose it myself.  I hugged my daughter and prayed for this woman.  I prayed that she would find help in her quest for healing.  More importantly, I prayed for Grace to find her so she wouldn't be alone anymore. 

Monday, November 19, 2012


Every year at Thanksgiving my mother in law passes around a small bowl of popcorn kernels.  Everyone takes one and passes it along.  When it comes back to you, you have to say what you are thankful for as you put your kernel back in the bowl.

For the past 2 years, we have been having Thanksgiving at my father in law's house instead.  Even though everyone always has a good laugh over my mother in law's goofy tradition, I have to say that I really have missed it. 

This year I have to say that I am most thankful for the fact that God's plan is not my plan.  There are so many areas in my life this year that God has changed my direction and now that I am on the other side of that change, I am so thankful that I don't make the plan.

Let's start in January.  Pretty obvious here...David was born.  But my plan was that he would be a girl.  That wasn't God's plan.  By this gift of a little boy, my heart has expanded so much.  I no longer feel sorry for parents of little boys.  I actually get excited about it.  How's that for a 180!

The next place God's plan overruled mine was working.  I often had said that I could never be a stay at home mom.  Never say never.  I am one.  And I love it.  I honestly have thought about my job and my career only 2 or 3 times since I left it.  And it's a look back with a thankfulness of what I had and where God has brought me to now.  I don't regret my time there and I don't regret my decision to leave it.

Finally, my plan never included running a home business.  Ryan's plan included it.  But not me.  I did it because I had to.  And now I look forward to waking up and checking to see how many orders we received while we were sleeping.  And God has blessed us so much this year with a growing business in a down economy.  Without it, I wouldn't be able to stay home.  By the way, if you are interested, our website is

So as I put my virtual popcorn kernel in the tiny bowl, I am again overwhelmed like I have been so many times before.  Overwhelmed with a thankful heart.  Thank you Lord for your plan.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

End of an Era

Today is hard.  Harder than I ever would have imagined.  We knew it was coming.  But reality is different. 

Today we said goodbye to our first "child", Tucker the Pug. 

We got him when we were still so young - Fall of 2001.  He was a pound dog.  We had no idea about pugs but just thought he was too cute to pass up on.

He made it into every early family photo.

He survived 4 moves with us

He brightened our day with his cuteness

He loved to go on hikes

He has made countless trips to the Lake with us.  Or as we used to call it for him, "Camp"

He loved laying on the beach in the sun

Early on he liked dashing through the snow.  Not so much as he got older.  I think he was wise there.

He lived through the addition and loss of Libby.

He has lived through the addition of not just one child

But two.

And today his little body just gave out.  He has lived a good life and will be dearly missed. 

It truly is the end of an era.

Goodbye my friend.  Tell Libby we said hello.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Today's Lesson

Ainsley has been giving money to God every week for some time.  A few months back when she asked for her money for God she decided she wanted to keep it for herself instead.  Ryan and I decided that this would be a good time to start giving her allowance and begin teaching her about financial responsibility.

Ryan set her up with 3 banks.  One is for savings and is a special piggy bank.  One is for God and is a clear mason jar she can empty out each week and bring the money to church.  And the last is for spending any way she wants.

She gets 3 quarters every week and is fantastic about putting the money in each jar.  I looked at the jars this week and noticed that the spending jar was starting to get pretty full.  Grampy gave her an additional $5 recently and so she actually had enough money to buy something.

We counted the money and put it in a baggy.  She had $9.67
We got in the car for a special trip to Target.  We went right to the toy section and right to the My Little Pony's.  There were some there that she liked but were over the amount of money she had.  She got to learn quickly that we can only buy what we can afford.  There were a couple also that were less expensive and not as cool.  And there were a few that would deplete her money completely.  She debated over which one to pick.  But then she settled in on the one that would take almost all her money.
We went to the cash register and she checked out all by herself.  I helped her count the money out and hand it to the cashier.  She was so proud of herself.  She was even excited about getting her own receipt.  She even had some money left to take home and put back in the jar for her next purchase.
My baby is growing up more and more every day.  We couldn't be more proud.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I've been lonely lately. 

When I quit my job, I wasn't coming home to be the mom of a firstborn newborn baby.  I was coming home to a 4 year old and a 6 month old.  My days look like preschool drop offs and running errands between morning and afternoon naps.  And boxes.  Tons of boxes.  Insert shameless plug for  Wink wink.

I have been trying hard not to over commit myself during this transitional phase of my life.  In doing so, I have committed to BSF and that's it.  Now don't get me wrong, I love BSF.  But there isn't a lot of space for making friends.  It's pretty down to business bible studying.

So I have been looking around to the people I already know.  It seems like everyone is already established in their friendships and their routines.  I look to this group and I feel like an outsider.  That group too.  Where is my group of people?  Who is like me?  Where can I find the friends that I so desperately need?

And so I'm drifting. 

In BSF, we have been studying Genesis.  We just finished Noah.  There have been a few things that have been fresh with this new look at Noah.  First, God provided everything Noah needed, not just food, but sacrificial animals as well so that he could continue to worship.  Second, God shut the door to the ark.  In his mercy, God didn't make Noah the responsible one to pick the time that the door should be shut and the world condemned.  Third, Noah was alone for much of his life.  It took him 120 years to build the ark.  And once the flood came, they were on the boat for over a year. 

I think about Noah drifting after the rains had stopped.  Every day drifting, alone in a world of water.  It must have been achingly lonely.  And yet Genesis 8:1 gives me hope.

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
In the midst of my own drifting, I have to remember that God provides.  He has great mercy and love for me.  I couldn't ask for anything better to hold on to while the waves of loneliness surround me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Just Not Today

I haven't left the house for more than preschool drop off since Saturday when I spent an hour at Target.  Other than that, I have been somewhat of a hermit.

It's not by choice.  David has been sick for going on 3 weeks with a 1 week break in the middle.  Sunday was his worst day.  He had a fever that got up to 103.7.  Since then he has been getting fevers at night and is a snotty and coughing mess. 

And apparently he shares well.  I have had a runny nose and a cough since Sunday night. 

I have missed church 3 weeks in a row.  At this rate, I don't expect I'll be able to go this week as well. 

I have been going to BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) on Wednesday mornings.  It's one of the highlights of my week.  I'm missing it today.  I've only made 1 of the past 3. 

And Ryan has a work function tonight that will keep him out later than normal.

Since David has been sick, he hasn't been nursing well.  Which means that I am slowly clearing a clogged duct.  I just put him down for a nap in which he completely refused to nurse.  I've never struggled with nursing before but having him cry hysterically and refuse me made me just about lose it. 

I've been a stay at home mom for 3 months now.  I can honestly say that I am happier than I have ever been in my life.  I feel more grounded.  Life is good.

Just not today.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Public Service Announcement

This afternoon was going well.  Ainsley was cute, albeit a little tired from her long day at school.  David was cute after a late afternoon nap.  We were having fun.

And just like that the switch flipped and both of them entered into cranky pants.  David was cranky and fussy.  It might have been a mixture of tiredness and hunger.  Ainsley threw an epic screaming fit over whether I wanted a red or pink topper on my pretend cake in the sandbox.  I swear the whole neighborhood heard her scream.

This was followed by me trying to get a dinner on the table in time for my husband to come home late from work.  We sat down at dinner, to which my husband informed me was cold.  Ainsley was eating at her oh so leisurely pace as usual frustrating both of us. 

We have gone a different route with feeding David.  We don't feed him baby food.  I actually just feed him off my plate.  There is an official name for it, Baby Led Weaning.  They talk all about gagging and choking.  99% of the time they are just gagging and can get whatever it is up by themselves given time.

Tonight I was not paying close attention to the amount of food I was putting on David's plate.  I was just trying to get through my dinner fast enough so that I could get him to bed.  Before I realized it, David had way too much in his mouth and began what I thought was gagging.  It quickly escalated to what both Ryan and I knew as choking.  We both looked at each other hoping that the other remembered that Infant CPR class we took when I was pregnant with Ainsley over 4 years ago.  Nope.  But we had to do something. 

Ryan's instincts were pretty good.  He threw him on his knee and started hitting his back.  Out came piece after piece of food.  Finally he was crying.  The obstruction was clear.

This is by no means going to dissuade me from continuing on with Baby Led Weaning or even encouraging other people to do the same.  What it made me do is look on You Tube for Infant CPR videos. 

I strongly urge you to watch this, even if you don't have an infant in your life.  You never know when you might need it.

Conscious Infant Choking
Unconscious Infant Choking

David got a few extra cuddles tonight. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Support

I was talking with my sister the other day and I told her how Monday is now my favorite day.  I purposely don't schedule anything on Monday and it's a time to just catch up on from busy weekends and just breath.

But for my husband, it's still filled with the same anxiety that used to plague me.  He heads off to work every Monday and does what he does so well.  He provides for this family so that I can enjoy my Mondays and live in this season of life.

It also has me thinking about how little I talk about him on here.  I usually post on his birthday or our anniversary.  But today is neither of those.  It's just a random Monday in September and I am feeling overwhelmed by the love and support he provides me. 

From the point that I got pregnant with Ainsley he has been 100% supportive of my decisions as a mom.  Through all the normal things like pregnancy, birthing, breastfeeding he had my back.  I remember saying that I never felt more in love with him than I did after he led me through Ainsley's epically long labor.

But he also supported every decision that I made in respect to my career.  When I decided I wanted to go back to work after Ainsley was born, he was all for it.  He and I researched childcare options and we found one that we were happy with.  He supported my desire for a career when we live in a culture of stay at home moms.  I was a rarity among our peers but yet he supported me.  He encouraged me through the hard times and rejoiced in my success with me.

After David was born and God started to call me in a different direction, I kept asking for his opinion.  And he told me that no matter what I decided he would support me.  I knew this was true but I was looking for him to tell me what to do.  But he knew that if he told me what to do, I would take it as his decision and he really wanted this decision to be mine.  And so he would let me bounce thoughts off of him and he would listen as I processed. 

When I finally came to the conclusion that I should leave my career, he didn't skip a beat.  He said ok, let's do this thing.  And just like that, he took on all the financial responsibility of the household and didn't say another word about it.  He doesn't complain about that responsibility.  He just does it.  And his job is hard too.   

I couldn't be in the position I am today without a very supportive husband.  I couldn't be the one who drives my daughter to preschool and hears all about her day when I pick her up.  I couldn't be the one who puts David down for naps and gets the last few snuggles before he drifts off to sleep.  I couldn't be the one who gets to go to a fantastic Bible study every Wednesday. 

Without the support of my husband, I couldn't say that I am happier now than I have ever been. 

And that is a gift worth talking about on a random Monday.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dear Me at 16 Years Old

Dear 16 year old Tracey,

A friend of mine just wrote a book addressed to teenage girls.  As part of her promotion she wrote a letter to herself at 16 and asked her friends to do the same. 

First things first, stop wearing so much flannel and grow out your bangs.

Seriously, I wanted to talk to you about a couple 3 things. School, Church, and Family.  But before I do, I want you to know that I am not asking you to change anything.  Every experience you have had and will have has shaped you into who you are today.  You are a better person now because of what you are going through now.  I just want to give you some encouragement and some insight into the future.

Right now, you really don't like school.  You spend your time there pretending like you are shy and quiet.  You are very aware of your complexion and your clumsiness.  Your complexion gets better.  Unfortunately you still walk into walls and tables all the time.  Sorry. 

You are going to school at a really good high school.  I mean it's a 10.  What this means for you is that you are not quite the smartest but you are above average.  It puts you in a very weird in between place and you can never really find where you fit.  Just know that there will be better days ahead.  You are going to go to college where you are one of the smartest people there.  They will reward all your hard work with lots of scholarships.  Your 34 year old self is really thankful for this and so is your future husband because it means you don't have college loans to pay back.  Nice work!  You and Matt can continue to joke about the "dumb corner" of the honors classes because deep down you know it's not true.  Trust your instincts and keep working hard.

You will go to a few dances and have one boyfriend who will break your heart.  You will go to college still broken hearted but don't worry.  It changes really quickly.  By October of your freshman year, you will have met and started dating the man you are going to marry.  You're welcome.

This is not the heart breaker.  But I had to post it because you are wearing a velour dress.  Lovely choice.

You go to a good church.  Your family is there all the time.  While your parents know that being at church is not being a christian, you somehow miss this.  You will spend the next 2 years making sure you are at every event and every service when the church is open.  You will quit track and basketball to make sure you don't miss any youth groups.  You will regret this, but it's ok.  Someday you will learn about how it's not about being at functions and doing things.  You will learn it's about grace and mercy.  Which reminds me, you should read Emily's book.  It would help you with all of this.

One really good thing that comes out of your church life is your friend Kate.  You have already known her for many many years and you are only 16.  You already recognize her importance.  Just know that she is still around in your life.  Actually she's the only one that you are close to from this point in your life.  You will have "Facebook" friends from this era but you won't really be friends with them. (Side note, Facebook is coming in the future and will be a huge time sucker.  It's ok though...I'll let you learn about that on your own when it comes)

Right now you don't really like being part of this family.  Your sisters are both at college and you are home by yourself.  You don't really have any relationship with them right now.  It's ok.  You will even though one lives 12 hours away and the other lives a continent away in Africa. 

Give GiGi as many hugs as you can.  She won't be around forever and you really will miss her.  When she dies, you will get a few random things from her apartment.  One of those things is her umbrella.  You will still have it many years later.  It sounds silly but you love that umbrella.

Your mom right now is pretty awesome.  You recognize that.  Be extra nice to her.  She is going through some rough times herself.  You really don't have a clue about any of it, but an extra hug or 2 from you might be really nice.

Which brings me to your dad.  If you hear nothing else I say to you, I want you to pay close attention here.  Right now things are rough.  Your dad and you don't get along.  You bicker and fight about little things.  It always escalates to screaming matches that end up with both of you with really hurt feelings.  Your mom will do her best to referee (again an extra hug for her would be helpful).  It's not going to get better for some time yet.  Don't worry though, it does.  And boy does it ever.  You need to think about this like you would Easter.  Easter is amazing.  It's the crux of the Christian faith.  It's about redemption and forgiveness.  But yet you can't get to Easter morning without first passing through Good Friday.  This is your Good Friday.  It's hard.  It sucks.  You both are miserable. 

But Sunday is coming.  You will reconcile.  You will learn how to love each other.  Your relationship will be one of your favorites down the road.  And I have a secret.  Someday you will have so much respect for your dad you will name your son after him.  Shocking, isn't it. 

Here's a little peak into how beautiful this becomes because you really need the encouragement right now.

I just want to finish up this letter with one last encouragement.  You are a really cool girl.  You will find yourself some day really soon.  And when you do, you are going to like who God made you to be. 

I love you and your bangs and your flannel.

Your 34 year old self

*This post is part of a promotion for Graceful by Emily P Freeman.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dead Plants and New Hope

It's Monday morning.  The house is quiet except for the sound of cloth diapers drying in the dryer.  The house smells like fresh bread coming from my bread maker.  I just poured myself a second cup of coffee. 

It's a rare moment of quiet these days. 

I just finished working in the garden.  Our garden has been nearly dead for a while.  We let it get overgrown with weeds.  It really looked more like a jungle than a garden.  Yesterday I was in there with Ainsley and she looked at me and said, "This is a mess."

No kidding my dear.

But today I put on my garden shoes and gloves and went to work.  I pulled out 2 huge garbage cans of dead and dying plants and weeds.  I only did enough to clean out half of the garden.  The other half will have to wait for another day.

And in its place, I planted some new crops.  I may be too late, but it's worth a shot.  I planted lettuce, broccoli, and kale.  All things that we use on a weekly and almost daily basis.

There is order among the chaos now. 

And while I was out there by myself in the quiet of just the work, I was able to do some reflecting on my life.  It's been 2 months since I have been home with my kids.  There hasn't been many days where I have had time to even pee by myself.  I hardly sit down.  The days are full and the evenings are full. 

It's almost like God saw me in the midst of my own chaos and just started pulling.  He pulled and pulled and it hurt and felt like I was being ripped out from myself.  You see I liked those plants.  They weren't all weeds.  Some of them were the plants that fed us for so long.  They produced the fruit of yesterday.  There is even still fruit there. 

But God had different plans for me.  And in order to make room for the new plants, He had to pull some of the old ones.  The plants that had produced so much fruit in there season were now dead. 

And in the new space, there is hope.  Hope of days of sloppy faces, crayons, Candy Land, nursing my baby to sleep, trips to preschool, Bible Study Fellowship, cleaning schedules, homemade bread, delicious dinners, and so much more. 

Oh and shoes that don't fit into any dress code anywhere.

Thanks be to God for changing my life.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It Could Be So Much Worse

It seems like something always happens when you are on vacation.  A couple years ago Ainsley fell off the bed at my sister's house and couldn't walk for over a week afterwards.  Last year, Ryan was training for a 5K and ended up really hurting his knee and it wasn't right for over 2 months.

This year our story is way more crazy than any of that.  We are at my parents' house in the Adirondacks.  The first part of the week my sister and her kids were here.  Ainsley has been talking about jumping off the boat with her cousins for months. 

Sunday afternoon shaped up to be a great day and so we took my dad's pontoon boat out.  We found a small beach that wasn't inhabited on the other side of the lake.  The kids spent time jumping off the boat and swimming back and forth between the boat and the island.  About 10 minutes in, Ryan decided he would join Ainsley and jump off and swim with her. 

As soon as he got in the water and swimming with her, she whispered to him, "Daddy I need to go poop."  Being the fantastic dad he is, he set her up on the small beach and taught her how to poop outside.  He grabbed 3 leaves from a nearby shrub and wiped her down.  He then used leaves from the same bush to clean it off the beach.  He then cleaned her off a little better in the water with some sand.  We all cheered him on and didn't think another thing about it.

Tuesday morning Ryan woke up and his eye was kind of swollen.  I joked with him that he looked like Rocky.  I joked with him that I was Adrianne.  It got better over the day and we assumed it was a spider bite. 

About 2:00 in the morning on Wednesday, he woke me up.  He said both of his eyes were swelling shut and he needed some benadryl.  I woke my mom up and the man who takes no medicine took a double dose of benadryl. 

This morning he woke up and looked 1000 times worse.  We made an appointment for him at the doctor.  He went in and sure enough, it wasn't a spider bite or an allergic reaction.  It was some sort of dermatitis.  We kept thinking about when he was even in the woods.  We couldn't figure it out.

Then it hit me.  The leaves!!!  I google imaged the different poisonous plants.  What he wiped Ainsley's butt was poison sumac!  We don't have that where we live. 

So now he is on prednisone and zyrtec.  Both of his eyes are swollen shut.  His neck is covered.  His arms are covered.  His stomach is covered.  He looks horrible.  For his dignity, I will keep the Rocky pictures to myself.  Here's a picture of his neck though. 

As with everything, you have to look for the silver lining.  This time it's pretty huge.  Ainsley is free from rash and spots.  We think she is either not allergic or the sand wipe off cleaned it off enough.  Either way, we are counting our blessings that Ryan has all the reaction and she has none. 

Can you imagine her poor bum???!!??!!?!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


A couple years ago, I decided I wanted to start canning.  I had seen a show on PBS called Folkways and it sparked my interest.  This lady on there had a whole shed full of jars and jars of food preserved.  I got to thinking, I can do that. 

The first year I bought my tomatoes from a local store.  Since them I have been growing them.  My garden isn't pretty but man is it productive.  I can't even bring myself to show you a picture of it.  It's too embarrassing with all the weeds.  But here are 2 buckets of tomatoes that I picked out of it in just the past 2 days.

As I got more comfortable with the process, I started canning more and more.  I grew extra tomatoes and started doing more than just sauce.  I have done salsa, diced tomatoes, soup, and even black beans.

Here are a couple reasons why I do it.
  • Practicality - We eat off these tomatoes for the whole year.  Pasta sauce, chili, soups, etc.  With all I can, I still never seem to have enough.
  • A sense of accomplishment - There is nothing like looking at what you have canned and know that your hard work produced that.
  • Quality of food - most cans these days have preservatives in them.  Some of the liners of the cans even have BPA in them.  When you can your own food, you control what goes into it. 
  • A connection to the past - I love feeling a connection with the women who have come before us.  They didn't do this as a hobby.  They did it as a way of life.  They didn't have a choice.  After you spend one afternoon canning and see how much work goes into it, the respect for your ancestors goes up.
Here are a few more pictures from the process.

Making the Sauce

My apron covered in seeds.  They seem to go everywhere and I finally remembered the apron today.

Loading the Jars

Watching it Go

Cooling down.  If you have never canned, you should hear them pop as they seal.  It's the best sound in the world.

Labeling.  I really think this is my favorite part!

Current Tally.  Sauce is in quarts.  Diced is in pints.  Salsa is in pints.  It may look like a lot but it's still not enough for the year.

Today's Bounty - 9 quarts of sauce.

There is so much sweat equity  and a few burns in this but I totally think it's worth it.  I just hope that all this effort gets me through this year.  Only time will tell that one.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I got my last paycheck in the mail today.  I wasn't sure how to feel about it at first.  It is totally weird that I won't be getting another one of these.

This afternoon I was in my kitchen.  I was just cleaning up from making another batch of pesto.  It smelled amazing and made me anxious for dinner tonight.  I was texting back and forth with my friend Katie about meeting for lunch.  My cloth diapers were hanging out to dry (they had to come in though because it started to rain).  My laundry was done.  Ainsley was just about to get out of room time.  David was snoozing away after having had a big day trying avocado for the first time (He's 6 months old and I think his mind was just blown!)

And it hit me.  I am joyful.  I serve the Lord Most High. I know my circumstances can change but I also know that without a shadow of a doubt that I am not supposed to be earning paychecks anymore.  I know that I am following His plan for my life.  And that is the reason to be joyful.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Growing up we always had people in the house.  My parents loved to have people over and it was such a great example.  Every Thanksgiving we always had at least 1 random person join us.  It never felt like a big deal.  It was just the way that it was. 

Now that I have my own home, I find that I gravitate to opening it up as well.  I love having people over.  I do my annual Christmas party and we have our small group over to our house every Sunday.  I have always wanted to have people over more often but it seemed so daunting trying to get the house ready and do everything else that I had to do.

Now that I am a stay at home mom, I am excited to start opening our home more.  This past weekend we had Ainsley's birthday party and an open house for some college friends.  Between the 2 parties, we had 29 adults and 28 children in the house.  My heart was full and it was honestly so much fun.

Of course I love to bake and cook as well so it fits into my interests.  Here are some shots from the 2 parties.

Rapunzel Tower Cupcakes

Caterpillar Grapes

Caprese Salad Bites
Whole Wheat Pretzels

All the food is fun and it is a necessary part of entertaining.  But the more fun part these days is just seeing people relax and enjoy themselves in my home.  Seeing conversations and fellowship happen is just so fun.

I recently had a friend of mine tell me that I have the gift of biblical hospitality.  There couldn't be a greater compliment.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Closed Chapter

It's official.  I'm unemployed.  I finished cleaning out my office today and distributing the last few things to coworkers.  I went into my boss's office and handed in my key card. 

And just like that, I walked out.  I didn't stop to say a lot of goodbyes.  I'm not good at that. 

And I'm also not good at closure.  I think I have a hard time coming to grips with reality.  Chapters close in life and when they do they bring unfamiliar territory ahead.  And when that happens we cling to what we know and where we have been. 

But I have to let go.  My boss said I could stop by any time.  I won't do that.  That part of my life is over.  At least for now.  I need to charge forward. 

And that means leaving an empty office for a house full of love.  And cupcakes to make for my 4 year old's birthday party on Saturday.  Way more fun!

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