Thoughts Like Raindrops


Picture it — Western North Carolina, 2012. It’s a Monday and it’s rainy and you feel like you live in a clichéd Carpenters song. And then you wonder why it couldn’t be Top of the World? Because how fun would that be?

The rain falls outside like a leaky faucet you can’t fix.




The gray clouds hang so low you could reach out and grab a handful and put it in your pocket. Although why you would do that, I don’t know.

The air is slightly cool; not nearly cold enough for mid-January in the mountains…and that makes you so mad you could cuss if you were a cussin’ woman. But you’re not, because your husband is a pastor and that would be in poor taste. That, and cussing is such an uncreative way to express yourself. So for the sake of goodness and brain-boosting power, you try to find other ways to express your disdain for the rain because it’s winter and it should snow already.

And you chuckle out loud to yourself for a second, because you realized you rhymed that last sentence.




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So for me, it’s been a great start to the new year already. Our church started a 21-day Daniel Fast on January 1, and so there’s just six days left. (Not that I’m counting.) I always look forward to the Daniel Fast each year — yes, it’s hard to get off the sugar and all the other foods that are amazing and delicious and make the world go ‘round — but the rewards that come with it are phenomenal.

  • Spiritual life: big leap
  • Overall health & wellbeing: much more energy and clarity
  • Cravings: starting to disappear

But perhaps the main thing that keeps me going for the 21 days and then beyond? Sleep. When I’m doing the Daniel Fast (or any other eating plan where you cut out processed foods and sugar), my sleep is BEYOND AMAZING. It’s deep sleep. Hard sleep. Waking-the-dead sleep. Total-and-complete-shutdown sleep.

One day last week my alarm went off and I pushed snooze. No because it was an “Oh I don’t want to get out of bed, I’m too comfortable” reaction, it was more of a “There’s no possible way whatsoever my body will move at all. Just pushing snooze was more energy than my body had to give, and therefore I need more sleep” reaction.

It’s almost as if my body is making up for the months of insomnia I experienced last summer, and soaking in all the nutrients from food and fresh air from running and just hibernating.

It’s the greatest feeling in the whole entire world.

It’s common knowledge that there are often times I’m so happy to be in bed that I laugh myself to sleep. And it’s also common knowledge that when I make the bed in the morning, I longingly look at it and whisper, “I’ll be back soon” to it. But the past two weeks, there is no moment of opportunity to laugh. My head hits the pillow and I’m out. And the longing looks in the morning are deeper and more heartfelt. I’m literally counting down hours from 3 o’clock on.

Yes, I just wrote about five paragraphs about how much I love sleep.

Sort of a low in my blog life right now.

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So eating well and sleeping well have been fab so far in 2013. And to raise the stakes a little, I’m also exercising regularly. Because yep…I signed up for a race. A 15k (9.something miles). My first (and last) race was almost two years ago and was a half marathon. (I always say, if you’re gonna go — go big. ‘Cuz why not?)

After that kicked my tail and then I just stopped running for a good long while, I realized that I need a significant goal to get me out of the warm bed and away from the DVR and get out there. Because once I’m out there, I am in love with it. I love being totally alone, no distractions, running and hearing my shallow panting and turtle pace and a few birds and just the other day I saw an owl! It flew right in front of me across my path. It was awesome.

The 15k is mid-May, which gives me plenty of time for my body to get into the rhythm again and find my groove.

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I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t really have a point to this post.

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How about you? How is 2013 treating you so far? What are your goals for this year?

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UPDATE: This just brought all sorts of sunshine to my day. You must read.

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Love y’all.


Lysol, Take Me Away (A Thought Collective)

Thoughts for today, in no particular order of unimportance:

1. I’m sick of the sick. Jaana had a stomach bug and then Paxton got a cold and cough. Then he caught the stomach bug and I thought it was over, then he threw up again 36 hours afterwards. Now Greg has a chest cold and if I were you, I’d buy up a bunch of Lysol stock because their sales have tripled over the last week, at least at my local grocery store.

I’m just praying, praying I don’t catch anything because if Mama goes down, everyone goes down. I’ll have to summons up Gamma to these mountains for reinforcement.

2. Why is it that every single afternoon around 12, I find myself desperately wanting a cup of coffee, but never actually stop to make one? And then next thing I  know it’s after 4 and now it’s too late to have coffee because I don’t want to be up all night long because I love to sleep? Why don’t I just make the stinking coffee??

3. I spent all day yesterday being entirely too productive for a Monday. I washed all the bedding in the house, plus an additional couple of loads. I cleaned out the kids rooms and playroom, which equaled a large bag of trash, PLUS an entire carload of toys to donate. The clean should last approximately 47.3 minutes.

4. I’m going to the SEC championship game on Saturday night, and am therefore trying to find an outfit that is red and black, and also equal parts comfortable and cute. Which is a lot more difficult than you might imagine.

5. I want to do a Bible Study, a personal one, but just can’t figure out where to start. Ideas??

6. Guess what I just did? Right this second? Made myself a cup of coffee. 

7. We spent Thanksgiving in The Big City and if I spend more than two days there I really miss the laid-back-chillness of the mountains. But what I did love was driving over 40 mph and on straight roads. 

8. I made mashed potatoes and a gluten-free pecan pies for the Thanksgiving Extravaganza of 2012. But my mother-in-law doesn’t have a rolling pin or a potato peeler. So I had to go all old-school-like and peel potatoes with a knife and roll out the pie crust with a water bottle. (Guess what Gamma’s getting in her stocking this year?)

9. Can we revisit #8 for a second and just meditate on the fact that I actually made something that required rolling of the crust?


10. “Throw the words ‘Salted Caramel’ onto anything and I’ll take it,” she sighs as she sips her freshly-made coffee sweetened with Salted Caramel Mocha creamer.

What’s new with you?

October Randomness

I’ve succumbed to the sickness. I fought the good fight and tried to power through it, but the sore throat has now moved into a chest cough and I now sound like I smoke a pack of menthols every few hours. So sexy. Maybe I should change my voice mail greeting? Or maybe I’ll have that gritty-soulful sound at choir tomorrow night. That would be fun.

Random thoughts:

1. Flatbread. This stuff rocks. And my new go-to breakfast is a fried egg sandwich with provolone and turkey on toasted flatbread. Deeee-lish.

2. Boots. I got some really good news last week and was able to talk Greg into celebrating with a new pair of boots for me. Finally! They’re no Fryes, but I love them nonetheless. Now I can stop obsessing. (Until next fall, natch.)

3. Up All Night. I love, love, love, love this show. Love. Did I say love? ‘Cuz I love it.

4. Come out, come out wherever you areWhat ever happened to the Real Housewives of Washington, D.C.? And I really would love to see a Real Housewives of Dallas. And Fargo, ‘cuz I’d love to see the Prada version of ski masks and to-your-ankles down coats.

5. Boohaha. Have you seen these pictures of people freaking out in a haunted house? If you’re experiencing a lull today, or feeling a little down, just check it out. A guaranteed laugh.

6. Curl up and die. We had our annual fall family photos this weekend, which meant it was also the annual “why can’t I stay consistent with working out” self-flagellation. I loved my nail polish and my new boots, so at least there’s that.

I thought it would be fun to do something new with my stick-straight hair, so I decided to curl it. So I hair sprayed, then curled, then hair sprayed again. After 10 minutes the curl fell out, so I started over. Spray a section, curl it, spray the section while on the curling iron, repeat around my whole head. After another 10 minutes, the curl fell out again, and I repeated this process no less than four times. And by the time we arrived to the photos, it was pretty stick-straight again. The five actual minutes that the curl held, my hair totally rocked and made me consider for a brief second getting a spiral perm. But I couldn’t find anyone willing to do it.

7. You know you’re sick whenyou pick up a bottle of Dr. Pepper from the grocery and you never, ever drink Dr. Pepper.

8. All write. Jaana’s class is doing pen-pals with other kids in another state, and she found out yesterday hers is a boy named Lloyd. (?!?)

9. If you like it then you’d better put a coat on it. I’ve been working on painting Jaana’s headboard and footboard for about two weeks. And I’m only done with one side of each. I am an awesome procrastinator.

10.  Midas touch. My nails are gold right now. Greg hates it but I think it’s fun. But I’ll probably take it all off and redo it a deep wine color tomorrow. ’Cuz I’m crazy like that.

Gotta run, time for a menthol break. Peace!

Tuesday Randomocity

I kinda sorta had a lot of fun with last Tuesday’s random list of a post — so I think I’m going to do it again.

How exciting for you!

1. A softer edgeWordPress has changed their favicons (the image that shows up with the URL in the address bar). Instead of being just squares, they now have rounded corners. Interesting…but what does it mean?

2. Quack. Greg turned on Duck Dynasty for the first time the other night, and proceeded to watch back-to-back episodes, and then even recorded one. I caught a few minutes of it in between my busy workings on my laptop, and actually chuckled quite a bit. And by a bit, I mean a lot. Who are we??

3. Rainy Days and Mondays. It has rained the last three Mondays in a row. Considering Monday is one of my run-outside-alone days, this has (literally) put a damper on my progress. Looks like I’ll be heading to our clubhouse with Paxton and attempt an elliptical workout that will be interrupted every 5 minutes. “Mommy! Have you seen my Gravedigger monster truck?” “Sure…buddy…be…right…there,” she huffs and puffs while pausing the machine yet. again. Maybe this can be considered interval training?

4. Hilarity. We had good friends in town this weekend, and I highly recommend laughing until you cry. It’s good for the soul. What I don’t recommend is both you and your husband getting sick while said friends are in town. That’s bad for the football-watching party.

5. Boots. It’s a disease. Can’t. stop. looking.

6. Bleach. I accidentally got a red shirt mixed in with a load of whites and guess who has pink t-shirts? Greg. I doused them all in bleach and re-washed them, but I won’t know for another hour how that turned out. Even one of mine got pink’d, so it honestly wasn’t malicious. Just a rookie mistake. (See? I really need hired help around here.)

7. Nails. I bought new nail polish yesterday — one is a black and gun-metal sparkle mix. I really like it in the bottle but haven’t used it yet, because at second glance, I’m beginning to think maybe it looks more like a dirty ashtray.

8. Put a lid on it. Day three of sporting some sort of a cap. I heart you fall.

9. Confession. I sort of snapped at Jaana this morning at the exact moment she was exiting the car to walk into school. It wasn’t a huge thing, but I drove away feeling horrible. I detest starting mornings like that, yet it just always seems to happen. It was this feeling that finally forced me to sign up for Lysa TerKeurst’s No More Unglued Mama Mornings 5-Day Challenge. (Big sigh.)

10. Wetting my palate. Have you ever noticed the more water you drink, the thirstier you are?

Enough of the random. Time for me to wake up the little man and go pick up Jaana for school and do something fun to make up for my unglued morning.

Share some of your randomness with me — it’s only fair!

Feeling a Bit Listy (And, Just Maybe, A Little Listless)

So a dear friend of mine emailed me last week and so graciously and gently said she loved the new format of my Thanksdays but really misses the lists. And you know, I kinda miss them too. So just for Schtefanya, today’s post is going to be a random collection of thoughts in list format.

You are soooooo welcome.

In no order whatsoever or any semblance of logic, here is a list simply for lists’ sake:

1. I Heart October. I love you, October. You bring hopes and dreams of pumpkins and spices like clove and candles and boots and velour lounge pants that my husband calls “Canastas.” You make me want to change all my throw pillows to orange and yellow colors to pop off the shades of gray (but just three, not 50) and strangely I get the urge to bake which makes my family apprehensively happy. And by a stroke of heavenly intervention, all the UGA football games area way this month so we get to spend Saturdays with Greg. So thank you for all the joy you bring. You’re a good month, you.

2. My Girl. All y’all out there that see us face to face have no idea the wild and crazy and kooky side that Jaana has, but I assure you, her meek and mild and timid demeanor is just. an. act. Take this picture, for example. This weekend she proceeded to pose in this exact succession (with my sunglasses, no less) while saying, “Take another picture of me.” Meek? Timid? Mild? Um, NO. (And no, I have no idea what’s going on with the LL Cool Sleeve.)

3. The Season for Old Music. Listen, I could come up with a million rationalizations for this, but there is no real reason other than I love channeling my inner new-wave-punk girl. Because, admittedly, I always revert to my 80’s-new-wave-my-mom-didn’t-let-me-get-the-assymetrical-haircut-phase-of-life each fall. The first cloudy fall day and I’m suddenly a total sucker for Crowded House, Erasure, OMD, Depesche Mode, Yaz and The Cure. My kids die a little inside each time I play something that’s highly synthesized with men singing like sopranos…but to me, it’s just like heaven. (See how I did that?)

4. Fryes. I have really, really good taste (not counting my love of “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” natch). Because I have been devouring boots online since September 1 and have become obsessed with these.

Then I noticed the price tag. Man I’m good.

(And do not be fooled — the “Similar Items” are not similar in the least.)

5. Current Food Habit. My favorite snack/lunch right now is Ingles Rotisserie Chicken Salad with Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers, original flavor. (It would be Publix Savory Tarragon Chicken Salad, but it’s hours to the closest Publix.) Please don’t talk to me about the amount of mayonnaise in chicken salad, for ignorance is indeed bliss.

6. Simple Raises. Paxton is totally and completely potty-trained now, with maybe one accident every other week (compared to Jaana who wasn’t potty-trained until 3 1/2 years old). (#MomShame) So we just got a small monthly raise not having to buy diapers all the time. I’ll take what I can get to finance my coffee habits, peeps.

7. Revolution. I need to talk about this new show. Because just as Lost got a wee bit too cuckoo for me (talking to you, Dharma), I was completely turned off after just the pilot episode of Revolution. Why? Because after no power of any kind for FIFTEEN YEARS, you mean to tell me little miss young adult thang can have strappy Frye ankle boots, skinny jeans and midriff-baring tops?!! I think not. 

8. Umbrella Invention. You know what all cars need to have as a standard feature? A plastic tube-like umbrella holder next to the driver’s seat by the door. Because if you’re like me and live in a temperate rain forest without a carport or garage, you use the umbrella frequently. And I’d much rather have an umbrella tube by the door than having sections of the umbrella hanging out of the door while I drive. So Honda, Volvo and BMW — if you could get on that and give me credit in the form of a surprise royalty check, that’d be AWESOME.

9. Christmas is in 12 Weeks. Just thought I’d freak us all out a wee bit.

10. You Know What Feels Amazing? Putting on sneakers after 5 hours wearing 4” heels, that’s what. Literally my feet exhaled. Them dogs weren’t barkin’ — they was sighin’. Fo’ reals, yo.

And that, my friends, concludes the list. Schtefanya, I hope you enjoyed it. (Grin.)

Any random/happy/thankful thoughts y’all want to share?

p.s. (in)courage has launched some pretty amazing community groups today, as a way to connect women to each other in real life. This is the first time they’ve done this, and there are groups for any and every season of life you might be in. If you’re dying for some community and fellowship with women who get where you are, please check out the groups and plug in where God leads you. He is all over this and is going to do a mighty work through this effort! Check it out here.