Thanksday #69

I stayed up until 12:30 last night with my mother-in-law.

On purpose.

And that’s not even a late night for us…we’ve been up as late as 1:30 am before. I have what you’d call an abnormal relationship with my mother-in-law. Meaning…I adore her. I know most people have the awkward, tense, get-this-over-with kind of relationship, but y’all — I hit the jackpot in in-laws. I really did. So we stay up gabbing at least once on any visit to The Big City. Usually it’s the first night, and then we’re running on empty the next day and vowing not to do that again.

Yet, here I am. Up at 11:02 and not close to ready for bed.

So I write.

Thankfuls for this week:

1. Disney Pixar’s Brave. Anytime we even mention the movie Brave, Paxton says, “No Mommy, it’s ‘Disney Pixar’s Brave’.” Which is a sad, sad commentary on the amount of Disney Junior in his life. Regardless, I took Jaana and her cousin to see it tonight, and it was such a sweet movie. Very much a mother-daughter film…so much so that Jaana said, “It should have come out on Mother’s Day.” Which is really a very astute marketing observation that I think Disney Pixar overlooked. And so much so that during it, Jaana cuddled close to me and said, “I’ll never get mad at you like that.” And I replied, “And I’ll never make you marry someone you don’t love.” Because that is very, very true.

2. Pools. And having gone swimming three times in the past four days. (Don’t hate me because I’m tan.) And Paxton will now “paddle, kick, paddle, kick” instead of latching onto me like a lemur. And the cousins have just finished the pool at their new house and how awesome is it to have your own pool? I’ll be back A LOT this summer.

3. Air-Conditioning. Because y’all, it was 98-degrees in The Big City. And I always think of Ma Ingalls cooking over a hot stove and how did she do that without some central AC? Lord have mercy, I was born in the right millennia.

4. Publix. We don’t have a Publix where I live, and I miss it immensely. So in the past 24 hours I’ve eaten my weight in Savory Tarragon Chicken Salad and drank about 50 litres of Mango Iced Tea. Strange occurrence today though…as I was placing my order for a pound of chicken tenders in the deli (they are the most amazing chicken tenders), a woman approached and said, “Now there looks like someone who could use a rose.” ??? And she gave me a single red rose. ??? And the lady serving me the chicken tenders had one too, as well as a lady working produce. ??? So there’s that.

5. Target. I went there today and bought things. It was good.

6. Greg. He preached a mighty fine sermon on Sunday while our Senior Pastor was away. MIGHTY FINE. I’m always love hearing him preach, I really do. It’s like he amazes me with the ease in which he can do it. He’s such a natural. It’s truly a gift. (And if you want to watch it, you can view it here. It’s called “Epic Encounter” from June 24.)

5. Survey Results. I posted a poll on Monday and had such great response and feedback to it. Thanks to everyone who took a few minutes to participate. It really, really helped a lot and will be great information as I write my book. (And it’s not too late to take the survey if you want to click here and do it.)

6. Advil PM. I had the most killer headache in my entire life this week. All day. To point where nothing was helping it go away, and when I crawled (literally) into bed that night, I curled up in a fetal position and wanted to cry and vomit it was so bad. I’m telling the truth when I say I had thoughts about my head bursting in the night and coming to in heaven and what would go through Greg’s mind finding me that way? Morbid, I know. But right before I literally crawled into bed, I took a few Advil PM. And when I woke up the next morning, wouldn’t ya know? The headache was gone. And then I figured God wasn’t ready for me to depart quite then. So it’s all good.

7. Organix Macadamia Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. I’ve been using Jaana’s conditioner for weeks since I’ve been too cheap to buy anything else. And it’s not that hers is bad. It just has cartoon-type characters on it. And I’m pushing 40. So I went to a drug store and bought big girl shampoo and conditioner. And while I’ve only used it once, I have to admit my hair looks extra hydrated and shiny and healthy. Score! And aloooooooooha.

8. Soapboxes. This is my Official Facebook Soapbox: 1) Political ramblings are a waste of time and energy. I’m certain no one will change an opinion or vote differently based on a status update. (However, simplifying or explaining something without snarky commentary is okay.) 2) Teens liking photos with captions that say, “I just want to know you’re thinking of me” from pages called “He Doesn’t Text and I Don’t Know Why” makes me sad. 3) Profanity is not only unclassy, it’s uncreative.

It’s my blog and I’ll preach if I want to.

7. Moves Like Jagger. Paxton will sing this and even get all the up-and-down “ooo ooo ooo’s” just like Adam. He just won’t do it on video, so I can’t exploit share it.

8. Fourth of July. I’m excited about celebrating our country’s independence. I just don’t have any specific plans or traditions. Or Old Navy t-shirts. Or really anything red, white and blue. But it’ll be fun, that you can count on.

9. Flexibility. I’m so grateful to be in a position where I can take the kids away for a day or two on a whim. Or swim with them at the pool for a few hours a few days a week. Or take a nap somedays, hello?? It’s been a long time a-comin’ for me to have this kind of don’t-have-to-be-married-to-my-phone-or-computer summer, and I’m lapping it up like a shake from Chick-Fil-A with whipped cream and a cherry. Or something like that, I just don’t know.

10. You. I’m so grateful to my faithful readers who provide such great feedback and encouragement. Y’all are pretty awesome, and even though I haven’t met some of you in person, I like to call you friends. And I’m pretty proud to say the three of you have grown to about ten. So well done, my friends, well done.

Your turn! Let me know what you’re thankful for this week and share the love. Leave a comment by clicking the bubble at the top. It’ll be as fun as burning the midnight oil with your mother-in-law. Or not. Whichev.

What I Love About Summer

Summer is…


  1. Splashes and giggles at the pool
  2. Not caring whose sunglasses you grabbed out of the pool bag
  3. Hide-n-seek outside after dinner when the sun shines low through the trees
  4. The kids singing at the top of their lungs
  5. Their sun-kissed cheeks smiling ear-to-ear
  6. The permanent smell of sunscreen as I kiss little heads goodnight
  7. Sleeping in and nowhere to rush off to
  8. Ice cream breaks
  9. Bare little piggies wiggling in the sand
  10. Coppertone-tan backsides in the bathtub
  11. Front-porch picnic lunches
  12. New freckles popping out to say hello
  13. Spontaneous trips to The Big City to visit cousins and swim in their new pool
  14. Diet Cherry Lime-ades at Sonic
  15. Windows open and fans on
  16. Trips to the grocery store for poolside snacks
  17. Giant yawns only a full summers day can bring
  18. Time: to think • dream • pray • write
  19. Temporary tattoos
  20. People you love, loving all these things with you

What do you love about summer?

Random Thoughts from the Beach

1. My daughter is already blonder after just one day.

2. Running Jogging at sea level is much easier than running jogging at 3600′ elevation.

3. Hilton Head is one of my most favorite places in the world.

4. I’m a lot hungrier on vacation than in normal life.

5. Coffee sure tastes good again.

6. My inner 8 year-old emerges when I’m in a swimming pool.

7. Sunsets on the beach are breathtaking.

Like son, like father.

8. Beachside people-watching is among the best in the world.

9. I could totally dig a life of leisure. With two shovels.

10. Bringing someone we love to hang out with us and spend time with the kids was a brilliant idea.

How high?

11. Grocery shopping while on vacation is so much more fun.

12. It’s amazing what listening to live guitar while strolling next to a body of water will do for ones mood.

13. People will buy anything with a Salty Dog Cafe logo on it.

14. I totally overpacked. Again.

15. It’s embarrassing what you’ll overshare with complete strangers while you’re both watching your toddlers play in the baby pool.


What things do you notice about vacationing at the beach?

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.