Thanksday #89

Dear August,

I have big plans for you.

I have dreams of hot, sunny weather without rain where I can swim with the kids and not have Paxton’s lips turn blue.

I have dreams of getting my tan back that I had in June.

(Pausing in remembrance.)

I have dreams of not wanting to pull out my fall boots and sweaters — and desires of getting bright-colored pedicures once again.

Yes August, I have big plans.

Because the weather for the past month has been awesome…if it were September. But considering it’s still technically summer, a few consecutive sunny days and temps over 70-degrees would be FAB.


The Pale Blonde in the Mountains

(p.s. Yes, Mom…I do wear sunscreen!)

In other news, I have still not broken my 745 score on my Solitaire app. So, I did what any other solitaire-junkie would do.

I downloaded another app.

And this one has Easy, Medium and Hard levels and I’m proud to say I made a #1 rank in the first day. #1 rank in what though, is to be determined.

#1 in Seasonal-Affective Disorder?

#1 in Jergen’s Sunless Tanning Lotion Buying?

#1 in Online Boot Shopping?

Yes to all of the above.

Moving on!

Thankfuls this week:

1. SOZO. My husband and a handful of friends went on a 10-day mission trip to Serbia to help work the Sozo Music & Arts Festival. This is a trip I’ve done three times before (when it was in Hungary, not Serbia). And while God kept me home this time (how rude!) — I am beyond thankful that people I love dearly were able to experience what Sozo is all about. They kept me abreast of everything via Facebook, and praying for them was an enormous honor for me. But next year, I’m in. Because you know what they say about a woman scorned? Nothing compared to a woman who missed out on an overseas trip.

2. Coconut Oil. It’s awesome on hair. Did you know that? And sometimes, just to tame some frizziness, I put a small amount in my hands and smooth it over my hair. And it makes my hair so shiny and Christy Brinkley-ish (without any of her beauty) and it makes me want to whip it back and forth. (My herrrrrrr, that is.)

3. Cheez-Its. I know. Repeat! But holy cow, they are my kryptonite. And I love every bit of their cheesy-salty-goodness.

4. Flying. If you regularly visit this place, you know I just finished a blog series on Metamorphosis: Embracing a Life of Becoming. And as I just wrote the final wrap-up, I realized that (as most things do in God’s economy), the wrap-up perfectly mirrors real life. Because as I talk about being willing to take a chance and trying to fly — trusting these new, bizarre wings won’t fail you and trusting God to carry you — I’m having to live that out. How? Just look:


Yeah. So that. I’m guest speaking. At an event. In person.

Me — the introvert, hermit, hide-behind-the-screen graphic-designer-writer-lover is trusting God’s direction and going to stand in front of people and open my mouth wide, trusting God will fill it (Psalm 81:10). If you would have told me a year ago I’d be doing this, I would have looked you dead in the eye and told you, “Get behind me, Satan!” (And I actually did that last summer at She Speaks — sorry Heidi!) And yet, here we are.

Because God loves to have the last laugh.

So if you’re going to be in the area and can stop by, please do. I’d love to hug your neck in person and force you to awkwardly tell me it wasn’t as bad as I thought. (I kid.) (Or do I?)

5. En Français. I made a funny little graphic on the sidebar of my site — the one that starts with “bonjour!” and “it’s important to note I’m not French.”


Shortly after I posted it, I got an email from my mother outlining our family tree. And it turns out, I am, in fact, a small part French. Who knew? (I mean, qui a su?)

I haven’t had time to change the graphic yet, and my mom’s emailed me almost daily to gently remind me that graphic is false…but I’ll get around to it soon. I’m still working on wording to adequately express “a little bit French and pompous enough about it to be annoying.”

So it could take awhile.

Until then, enchanté mon amis.

(And I’d like to add, this explains just so much about me.)

6. Grandparents. While Greg was out of the country, I decided to get outta dodge and call in reinforcements. So I dragged everyone to The Big City to spend a couple several days with Gamma & Papa. And the kids were spoiled and loved it, and Mama got to work out and get her hair done and have dinner. With a friend! Until the street lights came on! And loved it! And we all had a nice distraction from missing Greg. For awhile. (Thanks Gams & Pops!)

7. Girl Time. While in The Big City, Jaana  and I spent a day at the American Girl store. And when I say a day, I’m not joking. We got there at 11 am for the “make a hot air balloon like Saige’s” craft, and stayed until about 2:45 when we finished with lunch with her doll in her own seat at the bar with a tea-cup. And the in-between was filled with a visit to the hair salon for Caroline (the doll), a Saige Creativity Scavenger Hunt, and analyzing every possible outfit and how it would look on Caroline. (After all, Jaana had $10 to spend and regardless of the fact it barely covered the gratuity for lunch, we’re all good.) We made wonderful memories, and she literally had The Best Day. I didn’t rush her or push her and just let her take the lead on everything. It was a long overdue Mommy-Daughter day where she didn’t have to share the spotlight with her little brother. Worth every moment of dodging large shopping bags, loud birthday parties and frizzy doll hair. (I guess the American Girls don’t know about coconut oil — but us French Girls do.)

8. Brie and Baguettes. I could make a dinner from a french bread baguette and some brie with chutney of some kind. (And this was before I found out I’m part French. Now, I just say, “duh.”)

9. The Cooking Channel. I don’t like to cook. I don’t enjoy it, look forward to it, plan for it, anticipate it. It’s the last thing I ever think about it. Therefore, we lack awesome meals at this house. Yet lately, Jaana’s favorite thing to watch is anything on the Cooking Channel. And no, the irony is not lost on me. All I can hope is that she’ll pick up where this pot-holder left off and start whipping up fancy things on a whim. (Or at least whipping her herrrrrrr back and forth.)

10. Happy Happy Happy. Does anything warm a Mama’s heart more than seeing her kids blissfully joyful at the sight of their Daddy? Nope, not really. My kids are beyond ecstatic that Greg is back, and seeing them light up makes my heart ooze happy lava. It’s awesome.

So that’s my week in a nutshell. I could’ve saved 1,250 words and just wrote, “Need sun, love Greg” and called it a day, but whatevs. What’s the fun in that? I’m off to eat some brie and massage some coconut oil into my hair.

And perform my next sun dance.

You’ll let me know what you’re thankful for this week, bien sur?

What are you thankful for this week?


Thanksday #65

So I cruised for the first time. And you know what, it was GLORIOUS. Sure…the average age of my fellow cruisers was approximately 73, and sure, we ate dinner early and went to bed early. But it was still a blast. I got to rest, nap, be served, not have to cut up food or carry a sippy cup. I was able to have conversations with Greg that weren’t spoken in code. I didn’t check email but one time (which I immediately regretted and didn’t check again until well after we arrived home). I was off Facebook the entire week.

I repeat: it was GLORIOUS.

Our cruise was through New England and Canada, and we visited: Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Quebec City. I’m sure it’s no surprise that Quebec City was my absolute favorite. I got to mumble a few words  in French and pretend I was in Europe. We meandered through cobblestone streets, lounged at an outdoor cafe and strolled along the water eating la glace (ice cream). I could enjoy spending a few more days there, bien sur.

It was (all together now): GLORIOUS.

(I’d include some pictures, but haven’t transferred them to the computer from the camera yet. Because that would require locating the cord.)

As I anticipated, it cost entirely too much to connect to the internet while on board, so that’s my rationale for not posting last week. After all, why spend money on cruise ship internet when you can spend it on a manicure, scalp massage and jewelry souvenirs for yourself instead?

Thankful this week for:

1. Cruising. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to go on this cruise. The group we went with from church were awesome, and I loved spending time with them. We had so much fun. And as I mentioned, being a couple for a week instead of a family was much needed for this quality-time-love-languager.

2. Wellness. I boarded the ship fully prepared to deal with seasickness, but didn’t have a single instance of it. I did feel the ship moving along, but never got sick from it, and the pills and patches I brought sit unopened. Praise the Lord.

3. Coming Home. Seeing the kids when we pulled into the driveway was the best. Being greeted with shrieks of joy and bear hugs is the best. Having your toddler repeat over and over, “I so happy to see you” is the best. Hearing your daughter say on Monday at the pool “I love our family time” is the best.

4. Souvenir Mug. Greg bought himself t-shirts in most of the ports on the trip as a souvenir. I wanted to save for something extra special (like a manicure and scalp massage). But in one cute little store in Charlottetown, I saw this mug and knew my life would forever be incomplete without it. If you’re a graphic designer, you’ll understand. Drinking my coffee in this brings me endless joy each morning.

Geeky Love

5. Omelets. I had an omelet almost every morning on the cruise, and watched riveted each time as they made them. Because I’ve never been able to make an omelet to save my life. But the way they did it flawlessly. So I decided to try it this week the way they did it. And I totally crushed it. So I made another one the next day. And crushed it again. Watch out family — we might be having breakfast for dinner most nights of the week from now on. With maybe a side of bacon and hash browns. I just don’t know.

6. In-Ear Thermometers. Paxton developed a 24-hour virus this week and a really high fever. But the poor thing also had severe diaper rash at the same time, too, so I just couldn’t bring myself to take his temperature the usual way (if you catch my drift). I bought one of those in-ear thermometers that checks the temperature in about 2.3 seconds. He giggled and said it tickled. Praise the Lord.

7. The Pool. The pool is now open, and we spent a few hours there on Monday as a family. Paxton has turned into an absolute fish, wanting to do nothing but jump in from the side (holding our hands). So much so that breaking for lunch was an ordeal. I’m anticipating a ton of fun poolside this summer. Just have to get Jaana through one. more. week. of. school. UGH.

8. Manual Check. I have decided that in order to increase my productivity, I’ve got to get a handle on the email situation (don’t check email in the morning and all that jazz). Because I’ll be in the middle of a project (or time with my kids) and then email will come in and completely throw me off and distract me. (Not to mention make me grumpy.) So on both my phone and computer, I’ve changed to the settings to only check email manually. Which means I only get emails coming in when I’m ready to check for them, instead of having beeping and buzzing all the live-long day. And you know what? There’s a lot of freedom in that. Because, my friends, ignorance is bliss.

9. Church. Between being gone for Greg’s graduation, being on the cruise, and serving in the Children’s ministry, I hadn’t been in a church service in four weeks. Until last weekend. It felt so incredibly good to be back, like home.

10. Kindle. I’m repeatedly grateful for my Kindle, but especially this past week or two. I’ve read no less than five books, all with the insta-download available. It was an absolute gift to be able to have so much time to just sit back and read uninterrupted. A gift, I tell you.

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 melt you like a scalp massage and be as refreshing as an afternoon at the pool.