Thanksday #92


As soon as church was over last night, Paxton turned to me suddenly and said, “I think I might frow up.” Which for him, usually means he’s exhausted and ready to go to bed, especially since it was literally 10 minutes from his bedtime. So I poo-poo’d his supposed “nausea” and headed out to say goodbye to Greg.

We walked down the hall and suddenly, right there in the hall outside the sanctuary, he lost his dinner. We raced home and he was fine until 10 pm when he kept saying he might throw up but didn’t; he just tossed and turned for four hours and finally fell asleep around 2 am after a pretty significant upchuck.

So I’m incredibly discombobulated today, due to lack of sleep and fear that every minor sensation in my stomach means I’ve caught his stomach bug.

Needless to say, I’m very thankful for:

1. Coffee. I cannot deal with just five hours of sleep. Can. Not. Deal.

2. Lysol. It’s so obviously a fumigation kind of day.

3. Paper Towels. I mentioned this briefly on Facebook the other day — I have a slight obsession with paper towels, and use an extraordinary amount of them every week. There is nothing like the feeling of being down to the end of your last roll…and then coming home from the store with a fresh 6-pack. There really isn’t. I know it’s probably not very eco-friendly and it’s not super cost-effective, but it grosses me out to no end to use cloth to clean countertops and stovetops and all things kitchen and bathroom. And since I’m not a super-duper cleaner in any other way, shape or form, I feel it’s important to at least clean these countertops with excellence. And with the quicker picker-upper.

4. Windex Multi-Surface Cleaner. I became slight addicted to this after staying with my sister-in-law at Thanksgiving, and I even sent her a text of gratitude. It smells divine and can be used on mirrors, counters, and (more!) since it’s also anti-bacterial. Cleaning counters with excellence. It’s our new family motto.

5. Normal Sleep Settings. I mentioned last week how my FitBit is showing very erratic sleeping patterns, which probably explains a general fatigue most days. Well after some investigation, I realized it was set to a “sensitive” sleep setting which pretty much tracks any movement (rolling over) as “restless.” After changing it to “normal” however, it now shows an 80-90% sleep efficiency, versus 50-60%. This doesn’t affect my sleep whatsoever, or make me feel more rested in the morning per se, but instead of stressing out every morning about ineffective sleep, I think, “not bad.”

6. Nitrous Oxide (aka Laughing Gas). I am a 40-year old ninny when it comes to the dentist. And this week I had to get a crown because I AM A QUEEN. (Why is it that just sitting in the waiting room of a dentist’s office makes my inside churn I resort to a fearful nine year-old girl?) When they called me back to the chair, I proudly stood and lifted my head high and looked down my nose like the Dowager Countess and said, “I’d like some nitrous today, please.” And the laughing gas, coupled with my Justin Timberlake album, brought me to a happy, happy place. (With an 85% sleep efficiency.)

7. Downton Abbey. Listen, I adore Downton for all the same reasons you do — the setting, the accents, the clothes, Maggie Smith, the DRAMA. But my most favorite thing about Downton is that IT IS COMMERCIAL-FREE. It’s so nice to watch something recorded and not have to fast-forward through five minutes of commercials every eight minutes. #firstworldproblems

8. New Blog Series. I’m starting a new blog series in a couple of weeks called A Beautiful Life. It’s based on Psalm 16:11 from The Voice, “You direct me on a path that leads to a beautiful life. As I walk with you, the pleasures are never-ending, and I know true joy and contentment.” The reason I’m so excited about it is that I’m going to have four or five of my most favorite bloggers as guests for the series AND YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THEM! I simply cannot wait to share their beautiful perspectives and watch how God weaves together this amazing kaleidoscope of beauty together. Make sure to tune in on Tuesday, January 25 as we kick off the series!


9. Beanitos Black Bean Chips. When your church corporately does a Daniel Fast, one finds it hard to let go of their tortilla chip and Cheez-It habit. (Or so I hear.) A friend introduced me to the Beanito Black Bean Chip last year during the fast, and I have to admit I am completely addicted. And I feel no guilt eating them during the Fast since they are literally just made of black beans, rice, safflower oil and sea salt. Know this about me, if there is a loophole to be found, I WILL FIND IT.

10. ALL CAPS. Obviously I am a fan of the all caps option today. I have no explanations.

Alright folks, my little sickie is off for his nap to make up for the fact he only got five of his required 12 hours of sleep last night. And that means I’m off to take mine since I only got five of my required seven-and-a-half to eight. Here’s to hoping my nap gives me a solid 90% sleep efficiency.

What are you thankful for this week?

Thanksday #87

I’m really homesick, y’all.

Homesick for where I’m from/home, the Pacific Northwest. (Which is a tad ironic considering I just used “y’all” in the opening line.) I don’t know what it is, but I’m having waves of homesickness crashing over me at the most random times lately. In all the 17 years since I’ve left and moved to the South, I think this is the worst.

I miss my people. I miss my parents and my brother and his wife. I miss my aunts and uncle and cousin. I miss my Grandpa, who’s not doing well right now. I miss my friends — my high school friends and my college friends — and their kids, some of whom I haven’t even met yet.

I miss them all.

I know there’s always visits, but it’s not quite the same, you know? A quick visit when it’s jam-packed with drive-everywhere-and-see-everyone-ness is wonderful, but it’s not the same as doing life with your people. And I really miss doing life with my people.

I’m not at all saying I want to leave here (because I adore it here and there no plans to), I’m just saying I want to go there.

Does that make any sense?

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m complaining, because I am way not complaining. Just sharing that I’m feeling a bit homesick right now. I know many of you transplants completely get it. (Please tell me you get it.)

Anyway, the quickest way to pull myself up by the bootstraps is to be thankful. So here we go!

Thankfuls for this week:

1. Texting, Facetime and Skype. Because seriously, how did people stay in touch through varying time zones without it in the olden days?

2. New Routines. Hands down, the best part of this summer is having new routines. Which translated into Monica-ese means no routines at all. There are no set times to wake up, or leave the house, or pick up from school, or go to t-ball, or anythingIt’s the most peaceful and perfectly blissful place to be. (Until around August 1, when I’ll be blogging about my desperate need for the structure of a school week, and good grief we have 18 more days to go!)

3. Iced Coffee. Yes, still an addiction. But I got smart and brewed my own to keep in a cute little hot pink pitcher in the fridge, so I can have iced coffee anytime I want without melting the ice with hot coffee. Anytime I want!

4. Sweet, Sweet Sleep. I have no idea what the difference is, but since we’ve been back from vacation (um, ding ding?) I’ve been sleeping a-m-a-z-i-n-g-l-y. Like, deep and hard and wake up almost feeling fully rested. It’s phenomenal.

5. The DVR. Y’all. There is nothing like coming back from being gone awhile and seeing all your favorite shows waiting in little blue folders for you on your TV. I hunkered in one afternoon to catch two episodes of something delightfully awful, and am hoping this weekend will lend itself to a few more.

6. Cheap Reads. I’m in one of my read-everything-I-can-get-my-hands-on phases. So I’ve found a bunch of books on Amazon ranging from $1-3. They’re no Shakespeare, but they’re entertaining enough for $1.99. I’m on my fifth book in two weeks. I figure I’ve got about two more books in me before I push Kindle aside and take a several-month break, and go back to my old-lady Woman’s World and First magazine obsessions.

7. Trusting God Equips. The only way I am able to face an enormous fear I have is that I know God is calling me to it and will equip me for it. I can’t go into detail now, but will later. But if you think of me and picture me knocking my knees and shaking, you wouldn’t waste a prayer throwing one up for me.

8. Movie Theater Popcorn. Y’all know we don’t live near a movie theater, let alone a big multi-plex (do they still call them that?). But I took the kids to The Big City this week to see Monsters University at the big multi-plex. And they have the best popcorn. So I ate a lot of it. And I paid for it the next day (am I the only one who gets a stomach ache after eating popcorn?), but all that salty, buttery goodness was worth it. (And no, I don’t want to hear all about how bad it is for me, but thanks!)

9. Knowing it Was a Good Beach Trip. This will be the last I speak of the beach, I promise. But you know what distinguishes a good, long vacation from a shorter one? Coming home and being pleasantly surprised at your countertops. I absolutely didn’t recognize my kitchen countertops when we got back. And I ooh’d and ahh’d all over again when we got home at how much I liked them. Yep. Exactly.

10. Skywire. I am thankful that the walk across the Grand Canyon is OVER. I couldn’t take the stress, people. I was riveted but also couldn’t watch. And those camera shots from the helicopter made me nauseous. I don’t know how his wife survives these things, because the first time he took a knee (ON THE WIRE! OVER THE GRAND CANYON!) I lost my breath and threw up a little bit in my mouth. So I’m glad it’s over. My 40 year-old heart can’t take that kind of nonsense. And the stress wrinkle certainly doesn’t need any further assistance in looking like the Grand Canyon. He might be able to walk across that in about 10 years.

Well, y’all. I still miss my peeps, but I do feel better. Listing out some thanks sort of feels like a big ol’ hug from the West Coast. (Although, the West is a little too stiff for a big ol’ hug, so maybe it’s more like a “way to go, bro” fist bump.)

At any rate. It helps.

What are you thankful for this week?


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?

Thanksday #67

I dreamt about coffee last night. True story. And in my dream I said to heck with it and drank some. And it was silky and smooth and glorious and wonderful.

And then I woke up.

I’m still abstaining…but honestly, not sure how long I want to go. I love coffee too much. It’s a part of me. I’m from the Pacific Northwest, you know. Starbucks was in my baby bottle. It’s like denying my roots.

(Speaking of roots…I really need a trip to The Big City. My hair’s a-flummoxed.)

It’s been a crazy busy first week of summer, but it’s been fun. We’ve had a dance rehearsal, dance performance, sleepover, play date, and pizza party. The only issue has been the weather. Where is summer?! Fortunately, the beach beckons and we leave Saturday for a week-long trip. Yippee!

Thankfuls this week:

1. Dance. My gorgeous girl had her dance recital on Saturday and knocked it out of the park in her jazz and tap numbers. She smiled beautifully the entire time and knew exactly what she was supposed to do. So proud of her. The best part was each girl got a trophy with their name on it. Made her day.

2. Crossing Off To-Do’s. My lists are long, especially getting ready to get out of town. (And yes, I know we just had Greg’s graduation and then a cruise. I have no idea who this vacationing person is that looks like me, but I don’t want to let her go. I love her.) But removing each item from the list is sweeter and sweeter the shorter it gets. (And my inbox is down to five emails, which is an amazing bonus.)

3. This picture. Because it’s awesome.

4. Water. I’m drinking my weight in water each day. And that’s pretty much a literal statement. The good news is I can tell it’s helping my skin and helping me be healthy and all that. The bad news is that my toilet paper expenses have skyrocketed.

5. Quitting. I’ve quit stuff over the past few weeks. And it feels good…really good. And I feel like I now have room to add in new stuff that I’ve wanted to make a focus and a priority. I hesitated for so long to let go because I felt guilty about walking away from some things. But Psalm 81:10 says, “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” To me, that says you have to posture yourself to receive first, and then God will provide what you need. So I’m posturing. My mouth is open wide. Fill it, Lord!

6. Laziness. It’s 3:23 on Thursday and Jaana STILL has not changed out of her PJ’s. And since it’s not warm enough to go swimming, why not?

7. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. I’m reading this book right now, and it’s awesome. If you’re trying to build a brand or a business or a blog or yourself or whathaveyou, you need to read this.

8. Dallas. Did anyone watch this last night? It was so good. JR and Bobby and Sue Ellen and the gang were all there. I watched it an immediately felt like I was 12 years old again staying up late on a Friday night to watch with my parents and a large bowl of buttered homemade popcorn. Or something like that.

9. One Step at a Time. This whole journeying-with-God thing is equal parts exciting and scary. Sometimes it’s completely overwhelming to consider what is ahead of you. And other times it’s absolutely electrifying. The good news is all we have to do is just listen for the voice saying “this is the way, walk in it.” Because He says to walk in the way. Not to run. No need to get ahead of myself. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

10. No School Pick-Ups. Yes I love the change of pace. Yes I love having Jaana home with us. But perhaps the best part of summer is not having to watch the clock to leave the house at 3 pm daily to pick her up from school. Add on top of that being able to take off the carline number for a few months and I’m one happy Mama.

Oh look…Jaana finally got dressed.

Your turn! Let me know what you’re thankful for this week and share the love. Leave a comment below or link up with Candra. It’ll energize you like a good cup o’ joe and warm you like the sun.

Thanksday #66

Number One on the Thanksday list this week:


Oh my word, I thought this day would never come. Ever. We’re the only school in the Western hemisphere that had school after Memorial Day, I think. But finally, as of noon today, we are done. I’ve been ready for weeks to have Jaana home every day. And so has Paxton. Our summer plans consist of me not having to be in meetings all the time, me not having to work inside while the sun shines outside, and spontaneous fun.

I’m. So. Ready!

(Confession: I kept trying to convince my daughter to skip school today. After all, it’s the last day AND a half day. Let’s just get a jump-start on summer, you know what I’m saying? But even at eight years old, she’s too much of a rule-follower and goody-goody and said no. I know that’s a good thing. And I know I probably need lessons on how to not corrupt my children.)

The obligatory first day / last day of second grade pic:

Gosh I miss that short hair. Can y’all help me convince her to cut it again?

Before the summer fun can begin, there are a few things on the agenda: First is a dress rehearsal for her dance recital this afternoon. Then tomorrow is her dance recital. And last but not least, Monday is the Girls End-of-School Party that she likes to host each year. After that, we’ll be funning in the sun, getting water-logged, and otherwise enjoying ourselves together.

I’m. So. Ready!

Other big news…I haven’t had coffee or any caffeine since Monday. (Gasp! Shock! Awe!)

(Pause for dramatic effect here.)

It’s true, I’m cutting it out for awhile. I have what some might call an addiction to coffee, and my caffeine consumption has increased to levels that could caffeinate entire populations, I’m afraid. And from what I’ve read, that’s not entirely good for you. Supposedly, it can possibly contribute to such things as mood swings and hunger pains. And the last thing I need is help being moody or hungry. So I’m letting it go for awhile and sticking to only water. But you know what they say about things you love – if you set it free and it comes back to you, it’s yours forever.

Come back to me, my french roast love. I miss you so.

Other thankfuls this week:

2. Sunshine. Last weekend was seriously about the most beautiful weekend ever. It was crisp and clear and the perfect temperature for June in my book (approx 72-77 degrees). I was able to enjoy taking the kids to the playground, sitting outside reading a book, and the local music party at the town center. It was perfect.

3. Girls Rule and Boys Drool. Jaana and I had a date on Saturday. We went to Wal-Mart, ate at Sonic with the windows down, and then watched one of her friends in her dance performance. Love my girl time.

4. Rest Days. Jaana was sick on Sunday so we stayed home from church. She snuggled up on the couch and watched three movies and about three TV shows. She did absolutely nothing but lay on the couch. Nothing. The girl hasn’t had that much rest in months. And it was good for Mama, too.

5. Exercise. Supposedly, this helps with moodiness and hunger issues too. So I’m back on the workout train consistently — no more haphazard exercising. Got a plan, got an accountability buddy, and I’m channeling my inner runner and signing up for another race. Let’s do this thing!

6. Bonding over Twitter. Big Mama tweeted last night that Waiting for Guffman was on TV. So I tweeted back with a quote from the movie. Then Boo Mama jumped in with another quote and a video clip. And thus we exchanged tweets and bonded over Waiting for Guffman on Twitter. And it made my week. (So yes, I was late posting this because I was too busy watching Guffman and tweeting with people I’ve never met.) (Don’t judge me!)

7. Praise Report. A dear friend of mine recently moved to another state, and found a church that she loves. Nothing better than getting that email.

8. Prayer. And people that you know will pray when you ask for it.

9. New Doctor. I finally (finally) got a doctor up here. And he’s great. He listened to me without making me feel like I’m crazy. And didn’t rush me out. Feels good to have trust established from the get-go.

10. Big Sisters & Little Brothers. Look what I found the other morning. Be still my heart. She’s the best big sister ever, and he idolizes her.

Your turn! Let me know what you’re thankful for this week and share the love. Leave a comment below or link up with Candra. It’ll improve your mood and satisfy your hunger pains. Or make you want coffee. Whichev.