The Girl Who Got a Tree

Many of you read my post A Treeless Christmas. This is an update.

My husband is really the sweetest man in the world. He claims he is a hopeless romantic, but by his definition this is "someone who is romantic, but hopelessly bad at it." This week, Dear Husband scored some points for the home team.

I went to work on Tuesday. It was a normal day. I got up, looked around my treeless house, sighed s small sigh (reminding myself that Christmas is indeed not about a tree or lights or presents, but about the Incarnation), and left for work.

Matt had several tasks for the day - one was to go by Toys'R'Us to find small nerf-type balls for the homemade slings we made our nephews. The traffic is horrible out there...so, I was pretty proud of my husband for "taking one for the team" and sparing me the hassle and possible downfall.

I ended up getting some fun news that day (my business is now officially an L.L.C) and I wanted to share it - I called Hubby on his cell phone. He was really short with me, stated that he hadn't made it out to the toy store and pretty much gave me the "I'm shopping for you excuse" - which immediately serves as a question blocker as all of my gifts must be shrouded in secrecy. I was a little hurt - but, new he was busy, traffic was bad, and I would have been the same way.

When I got home, I walked in the front door and behold - crammed in between our sofa and our love seat was a huge, lit Christmas tree. Husband had spent his day driving 3 hours round trip to his parents house so that he could retrieve the tree and surprise his wife. Good man.

So, I aptly named this story: The Girl Who Got a Tree.....from the most romantic man in the world.


A Postable Christmas Project

This year I am taking part in a cookie swap. Tonight I made 96-100 Big and soft ginger cookies. It was a new recipe and it ended up being sooooo tasty. Gingery, sweet, and soft. Perfect with a cup of hit apple cider or coffee.


A Treeless Christmas

Christmas is my favorite holiday by far. I have memories of sleeping under the Christmas tree trying to catch a glimpse of Santa, big family breakfasts, waking up to my parents singing carols, and yes, even 24-hour drives across the country in order to surprise family (at my parents' whim). It has always been a time of excitement, childhood fantasy, miracles...and a little magic.

The last two years, Christmas has lost it's magic.....please, don't misunderstand me here. I still believe in Santa and I still see the miracle of Christ and marvel in wonder at its beauty.

My husband and I have spent 3 Christmas seasons married, sadly, each becoming more and more drained of it's Christmas wonder. Traveling here and there, sprinting across the state.... we spend so much time away from our home that Christmas has become a chore, lonely, and unfamiliar. Combine this with law school and the demands and strain that it puts on life and you can picture our current state.

This year, as I write, I look around my house. No garland, no wreath, no lights, no tree, no nativity...a pretty magic-less Christmas. A big part of me wants to cry and scream and fight and be angry about my loss of Christmas - how it is continually being stolen from our little family. But, I recollect and realize that I still have my family - I still have my husband - our marriage has not splintered (as it easily could have) under the law school strain and we are still very much in love.

So, I'll sacrifice a tree and some garland this year....and revel in a magic-less Christmas with a wonderful husband.


Homemade Holiday Update: Part II

So, as I have previously posted, I am painfully behind on my Christmas projects....painfully. So, last night a dear friend asked me if I would like to come over and wrap gifts. Since I had no gifts finished and ready to wrap, I thought I would take the opportunity to get out of the house and finish hubby's super secret surprise gift. I've been trying to practice my ninja crafting skills by keeping an eye on the door and using hubby's time out of the house wisely, but to no avail. He is now done with his exams and will be en casa for the duration of the break. Hence, my journey to a friend's house last night in order to have some hot cocoa and much needed work time.

It was a really sweet time. I don't get to hang out with those wonderful ladies much and I must say sitting on a couch, watching "Christmas in Washington" and sharing our little Christmas memories was just what I needed. Might I add that I have a lot to learn when it comes to wrapping gifts...Melissa, Katie, and Missy, you guys are pros.

Another reason for my mid-week activity: I also was able to give a wonderful friend of mine some of my bibs to show to a local shop owner....I hope she likes them. That would be AMAZING. Just what my little business needs to get off the ground. The Purple Martin is on hold right now, waiting for our L.L.C. paperwork to go through. I'm so ready for this - once that hurdle is cleared we can set up shop (so to speak). The Christmas hiatus will be good for the creative juices, however.

All in all, I feel like I'm ready, but not ready. Confusing, I know.

Anyhow, I am almost finished with 3 of our big gifts for family and I now have one of hubby's homemade surprises finished. I really wish people I knew didn't read this blog so that I could post pictures of my pretty works...but, I have a feeling that curiosity would get the better of most of my family and Christmas surprises would be ruined.

I'll just have to post all the pictures after gifts have been received.

I still have a lot left to do...like put up our tree.

I am not a teacher!

Sorry, I just had to tell myself that once or twice. Not in an effort to deny that I do in fact teach, but in an effort to remind myself that although teaching is my profession, it is not my identity. While I love intricacies of grammar and imagination - my self worth is not wrapped up in how my students perform or if they like me that day.

I am simply me - and I'm pretty stinkin' awesome.


Abandoned Cars

This morning on my drive into work, I passed an abandoned car. Not an entirely unusual occurrence whilst driving along the highway. This particular car had a red shirt stuffed in a ball, hanging halfway out the window - which caught my eye.

Was this a signal? A cry for help? A "Leave me be, I'm sleeping" amongst an underground community of shoulder dwellers? A seedy sign of a black market transaction.

My mind was racing.

Most certainly, it was simply a red shirt, shoved into a cracked window, but it provided a wonderful playground for my imagination this morning.


A Homemade Holiday: Update

So, we have about 15 days until Christmas! Unfortunately, I still have a lot of gifts to be completed. I've finished 4 gifts...almost. I still have about 20 to go. Some will go quick and some will go slow....but, I'm a little nervous. I can see why buying something is preferable to so many folks. Next year, I'll have to get started before December 1st. LOL.

I'll check in later.


Homemade Christmas

This year I have really wanted to have a homemade Christmas. Meaning that our gifts and ornaments and other specialties around the house would be homemade or crafted.

I think there is always something very special about crafting a gift for someone - I often think about that person or pray for them while I'm working on a project...so handcrafted to me has a beautiful and significant meaning...now that I am an adult.

Unfortunately, I don't think I held to this belief when I was younger. I remember getting handmade gifts when I was younger...and always wishing that I has gotten the latest "it" toy. I even remember my mom making me beautiful dresses and costumes -while I would longed for the cheaply made store bought items.

It speaks to our culture, huh? When something made with love and care and joy and attention to detail can be seen as "less" than a cheap piece of plastic that can possibly be harmful....(i.e. toys from China).

This year, I'm doing my best to get gifts completed. I'm making homemade gifts for just about everyone in our family - and for some friends as well.

Hopefully, our family will have a better attitude than I did.


Life got nuts.

Well, since my last post, life has exploded. Holidays and business have taken over and I haven't really taken the time to write until today.

So, I shall speak on Holidays.

Thanksgiving and Christmas used to be my favorite Holidays. Obviously, because I have everything to be thankful for and one of those is Christ being born.

Well, I'm through with the "Holidays" or at least with how people are telling me I have to spend them. I'm quite tired of rushing and shushing about to everyone's houses. I'm sick of
having to tally up how much time I have spend with respective sets of friends and family - I just want to rest. Isn't that what the holidays are about...staying home and resting and rejoicing.

My husband and I have a big decision before us and that is - how are all these family obligations going to work out during Christmas....my honest opinion is that we spend Thanksgiving with his folks - my folks should get Christmas and then we'll swap....but, I know that won't fly.

Don't get me wrong....I love my family and my husband's family....I just wish we had some time for our family - just ours, but as it is - I'm looking at my calendar and December and January are looking far from inviting.

Pray that I have a better attitude.


It's a Good Day

"Don't bring me bad news, no bad news, I don't need none of your bad news today.
You're a sad little boy - anyone can see, you're just a sad little boy - that's why your carrying on that way. Why don't you burn it all down, burn your own house down, burn your own house down, try to cure your own disease. And leave the rest of us, there's a lot of us, leave the rest of us who want to live in peace, to live in peace."

These past few weeks, a very good friend of mine had entered a photography contest. The prize being an ipod nano. She took a really cute picture of herself "longing for an ipod nano." I was in the picture and was very proud of my friends beautiful shot. I was thrilled when it made the final three and came down to a vote-off.

We had so much fun with the contest...we were telling to people to go to the blog and vote....I even got all my students to vote. It was exciting.

Until last night.

Last night was the last night of voting...and people got really ugly. One person stated that My friend's picture was nothing but "3 fat girls and was not appealing to look at." Then folks went kind of crazy...including me. People say things on a comment board that they would never say in person. Case in point, me - last night.

I'm recovering from an eating disorder. I have good days and bad days. Yesterday was a good day. And I got angry...and I mean, ANGRY...almost a kind of righteous indignation...because in my head I knew I was a normal weight...some would say thin. But, when I read that comment, I looked back at the picture and heard, "You do look kind of chubby...you'll never be thin enough...but, you could come back to me and show them all how thin you can get...show them how disciplined you are...come back to me...I will make you beautiful and no one will ever hurt you again."

Maybe no one realizes how hard I have fought for my current mindset. Maybe no one will ever understand the battle I have fought, the battle I continue to fight daily....but I will be damned before I let anyone come in and steal my victory. Last night...for the first time in a long time, I stood up for myself and I told some folks exactly what they could do with their ipod nano.

The above quote is what I have to say (more eloquently) to anyone who comes against me....It's by Patty Griffin and it always makes me feel better (I've been singing it in my head).

To my enemy: God has brought me from the depths - you and your words have no power over me. So stop wasting your time and get behind me - I have a battle to win.


Congratulations are in Order!

Well, we have had quite a few goings-on in our house as of late.

1) My husband's grandfather turned 92 on Sunday - HOLY COW!

2) My husband, the law student, was offered a summer internship in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine. He will be spending 12 weeks there during this summer. We are pretty excited, as now we can say that "We summer in Maine" - which makes us sound more important than we are.

3) My sister, an amazing writer, recently won the Mt.Hermon Christian Writer's Retreat Scholarship. Congratualtions, Sis! You deserve it. I'm very proud. She was also recently named Featured Blogger of the Week at homeschoolblogger.com. This is what they wrote about her:

"MotherJoy of Thoughtful Motherhood

At each blog you visit you’ll meet a either a blogger who is careful with their words or one who feels free to say anything they are thinking. Both kinds of blogs can be honest, both can share what is going on in their lives and thoughts.

I like the blog title Thoughtful Motherhood. Not only does MotherJoy share her thoughts on being a mother, she posts her honest thoughts on life as well. Mothers have to think in order to train their children. It’s not just a matter of throwing food down for them to eat and patting them on the head. If we want to train our children to follow the Lord then we have to consciously think about how we will live our lives. If we want to train our children to be kind to others then we have to think about how we will teach them to be kind.

Go visit MotherJoy, she’s thinking."


Life as I know it

Life for the past 3 years has been....weird? I don't really know how else to explain it. I went back to school to get my M.Ed., I was engaged and married, I started my first "real" job, we purchased a house, We purchased 2 ferrets, we adopted 2 dogs, I got my degree, the husband started law school, we finally found a church, and we are currently up-to-date (I think).

So, maybe the past 3 years haven't been weird, but they have been hard and full of change. I usually flatter myself and say that I am quite adaptable and flexible due to the fact that I was an army brat; however, the simple truth is my spirit bucked the constant change throughout my childhood. I would throw fits and down right tantrums. I just wanted everything to be stable. I wanted everything to be consistent, on track, and normal.

God's really been showing me over the past few months just how wrong I've had it. I constantly fought moving and change as an older child - never thinking that God might have exactly that for me - that He was indeed preparing me. I've tried to follow the "normal" order of things: school, graduate school, job, marriage, etc. I wanted life to make sense. BUT as a child...before all these control issues started - I was really free. I've been fighting who God has made me to be my entire adult life.

An everyday example of this would be our house. My husband and I are both "messy" people - He's a genius and I'm creative; you do the math. Yet, I still feel some wicked compulsion to keep my house "perfect" - if it's not like a Martha Stewart cover, then I am not happy. This has ,unfortunately, led to many a fit of rage and tears - and it's just a house. Any time I feel like the time line I "should" be following is in jeopardy, I get very angry and fearful. My anger and fear feed off each other until I am nothing but a crying, aching, wretched body - stress personified.

Well, recently, I have taken a little bit of a step out onto the water, away from anything I might have planned. I started my own business: The Purple Martin. It's exciting and for the first time in months, I've smiled. I still get caught up in how the little and big things "should" evolve in my life, but I'm hoping that (God willing) the Lord will continue to show me how to live the life He has chosen, instead of that which the world has prescribed.

Pray for me through this growing season. Pray that anger and fear will no longer be footholds in my heart and please, feel free to post a comment about the footholds in your life that you are learning about, I will pray for you too.



Not much inspires me lately, save anger. I have found that anger is an emotion that I connect with most willingly and on a regular basis. Sadly, I've recognized this fact for sometime...and knowing that if I have committed anger in my heart, I have then committed murder - It's a constant struggle with huge ramifications.

For sometime I have been looking into why I am constantly angry. No, seriously people, it's a lifestyle. I wake up angry at the world, I go to bed angry at the world - and on days when I actually try to be normal and joyful, I soon become disheartened by the overwhelming guilt of how angry I have allowed myself to be in the past. If that's my rep. - why try changing?

I have decided the following:

1. I am unsatisfied with my life and this would most certainly cause one to be angry.

Let's explore this further.

I recently took a job inventory which informed me that I am on the verge of "burn-out."
I'm married to a second year law student (not his fault), but I'm lonely.
I often will find myself watching television or movies or aimlessly searching the internet in the hopes of getting lost in other peoples stories - which are more fulfilling or entertaining than mine. I feel unfulfilled and robot-like. Yes, I'm using my 8 years of education - but in no way does my day to day life involve me actually being me or using original thought or imagination (unless it is me dreaming a way out of this life).

How do you fix it?


I think that I have done a lot of things in my past....things I chose - God, would have had better for me. I think I'm currently suffering the consequences of those decisions. Never reject God's best...or follow the "logical" plan. I'm just now finally getting to the point of looking at my desires and how those are God given and I need to pay heed and not follow man's way. I can't imagine how happy I would be if I had not taken this huge detour.


When did kids stop thinking

Look at your script. Find a sentence that is not grammatically correct and then, go write that sentence on the board.

These are fairly straight forward instructions, right? So, why am I barraged with questions immediately after the words have left my mouth. When did children stop learning how to think or worse yet, understand.

Daily, I am amazed at the lack of understanding a child shows. They continually have to be hand-held and led through the simplest instructions - like, "Get out a sheet of paper" or "Please, use a pencil." It's become rather ridiculous.

I can't remember myself being like this as a child and I find myself wondering what or why I was so different when I was their age.

And then I realize it. These children have been lead through everything. They have never been given the opportunity to work something out for themselves. They have had everything handed to them...and that includes thinking. This is how you think. Here are the step by step instructions. And unfortunately, this had led to a generation of children who cannot think or fathom the creation of their own journey, but can be easily led along someone else's.


Fat Land

Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser is a pretty eye-opening book. I picked it up from the local library after reading a friend's review and have already been fairly pleased.

I'm only85 pages into it, but I must say that I'm impressed with its full (no pun intended) account of how America came to be the most obese nation in the world. It has already addressed how politics, economy, big business, education, and even (organized) religion have collectively fed the problem.

As a Christian - I was convicted. Dead serious. Convicted.


....it feels good to be a gangsta

It's Friday, people and I must admit, I am super psyched. Understand, the week has been hard. But, there have been shining moments in my days that have been like photo captures on a hallmark card.

While reading the previous post, I realized it is super negative- so here are five bright moments from my week:

1) I had my children run to objects in our classroom as I said their Spanish equivalent. At one moment 15 students piled onto an old, beat-up sofa. They were giggling and smiling and it was perfect.

2) One of my Cross Country girls won her race - meaning she was the first girl to finish. She has been working hard all season...and it was about time. She was glowing and I was so proud. You know it's one of those moments that is helping to give her confidence and a piece of her identity.

3) I ate a pasta dinner and a chocolate dessert and I didn't feel guilty about it. Granted, I had thoughts like: I'm eating a lot of carbs - but, I ate them, I appreciated my meal, and I moved on.

4) I shared sweet moments with good friends at our house fellowship. Thanks James, Lyndie, and Lewis.

5) I shared a meal with folks I work with and walked away feeling like I had a better understanding of who they were and where they were coming from. I hope they did the same.


Nothing but a J - O - B.

When does a vocation stop being a vocation and start being a j - o - b. You know, you started your job bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to make a difference. So what if you are the only one in your particular office that makes less than 30K a year - that's not important. Yeah sure, your colleagues are going to act like their all your bosses - you're new aren't you? Yeah, the kids seem kind of snobby - they just need a little reality and love.

Then, something happens. Your surroundings quickly fade to gray and you realize that you're an outsider. You notice the children, parents, and coworkers all judging you for how much you make, where you live, and yes...what you wear. Everything about your life is on trial - your beliefs, your education, your typos, your church. You start realizing that the children are beyond reality and love and what they need is a kick and the pants and possibly a cutting remark.

I'm so ready for the weekend.



I've spent the majority of my life thinking to myself, "I love these shoes. They are so cute, but I would never wear them enough to justify them. I mean, who walks in these all day."

Well, let me tell you about a little experiment I am conducting in my life right now - among others.

It's called: Operation Wear Everything in My Closet as Least Once this Year.

Laugh, if you will. But I have a lot of stuff that I paid (or my mom paid) good money for which simply isn't worn. This is true because (1) I am extremely guilty of being adventurous in my buying an outfit, but am not so adventurous in the actual wearing of said outfit and (2) I like comfort...a lot.

So, this school year I bought pants that were too long for me...on purpose. This way, I have to wear my cute little high heels that improve my posture and make me look stunning (kind of - when I'm not tripping or ripping them off my feet). I've also worn several outfits (to you mom) that yes, after a year or more of owning them have never had the tags removed (Eeeek).

I don't know if I'm suddenly getting a wee bit more "girly," nay i say "fashionable" or if I'm really just so thrifty that I will put all physical and mental comfort aside in order to get my use out of something.

It hasn't gone unnoticed either. Here are a few comments I have received:

Question: Teacher, do those shoes you wear hurt? ~Little Girl Student
Answer I gave her: No.
Real Answer: Yes, little girl, they hurt. Every bone in my body is jarred and out of place right now - but dangit, I look two inches taller and my new pants aren't dragging on the ground!)

Question: Is that a new shirt? ~Dear husband
Answer I gave him: No, I've had it for a while.
Real Anwer: No, I've had it for a while....but, is this the first time you are seeing it on my person - yes, yes it is.

Question: Teacher, I've never seen this outfit before! Did you go shopping this summer? ~Little girl student #2
Answer I gave her: I've had it for awhile - but, I don't think you've seen me wear it.
Real Answer: Yes, I know I look good and much better than I did last year - but this is honestly this first year of teaching where I'm getting a full 8 hours of sleep each night and not waking up envying the garbage man. So, yes, I probably look a little different...and no, I didn't go shopping.

Hope you have enjoyed.


What I Wouldn't Give

Life is full of regrets. Here are some of mine.

What I wouldn't give...

to run hand in hand with my sister again - down Rattlesnake Hill to our imaginary circus, Paradise, or Lake Little - on a quest to experience life to the fullest.

to play Barbies with my mom again, but this time knowing just how much it meant to her.

to sit at my father's side while he was building anything. Not thinking of it as work - but looking at it as an opportunity to gain knowledge from his wisdom - to learn his trade.

to actually spend time with my grandparents - to have my grandmother teach me how to crochet, to have my grandfather quote scripture to me, to learn mamaw's secret to making chocolate gravy.

to apologize to those I've hurt and those I have blamed for my bad decisions.

to be held in my dad's arms again - flying.

to have my mom curl my hair and dress me like a doll.

to sock skate with my sister and my cousins to old 8-tracks.

to take back every mean thing I've said to my mom, my dad, my sister, and my husband....I am so sorry.


Book Me!

First things First...apologies all around for the belated post. Yes, yes, I know you were all on the edge of your seats. I too have suffered the severest of disappointments at the absence of a daily post from my most beloved blog authors. My sincerest regrets - as I have been chiefly occupied with a crazy schedule consisting mainly of teaching, running, eating, and brief bouts of sleep.

I recently, however, found time for a few things I love: books mainly.I've been reading a few good ones.

First, I took interest in an etiquette book written for young adults in 1937, Behave Yourself!, after reading one of my friends favorite quotes that she had shared on facebook. Now, I have no idea if the quoted she chose was shared in jest or as a serious recommendation of the book, but my curiosity took the better of me. It was an easy read, full of helpful information and I must say that I am shocked to know (a) how uncouth I am and (b) how so much in the realm of etiquette has changed in the last 70+ years.

I personally, have decided to somehow find and purchase a copy in the interest of my children, who I one day hope will exemplify (among many other things) correct grammar and old-fashioned good social graces.

On recommendation of my new endocrinologist, I have also taken to reading French Women Don't Get Fat. What I thought to be another fad dieting book, is actually more of a how-to-live life enjoying life - savoring all that God has to offer. Disclaimer: I added the spiritual reference to God. However, the book speaks to the heart of things: eating quality and not focusing so much on quantity; staying away from foods whose names resemble those of chemical weaponry; indulging, but realizing that the nature of an indulgence means that it does not happen regularly.

I'm still working on Emma by Jane Austen. It's far from my first read of this book - but this particular read through has been slow-going. But, I am pressing on.

Lastly, I'm reading a book about starting your own home-based craft business - as it is an opportunity I am looking into. Exciting times.



Thanks all for the wonderful comments/compliments in response to my self-confidence inventory.

I know that some may look at this "inventory" and think that I'm putting stock in what others think about me...instead of my finding my identity in God. I just want to reassure you that this is not the case. In Him, I find myself. Through the world, my vision of my "self" has been skewed. Through wise counsel and edification, I can begin to see myself more clearly - as God intended.

That being said...now what?

I must say, that nothing said was "news" to me. Your words were used as a confirmation of long lost callings and an identity that I rejected long ago.

When I was a child, I was wild. Not in a chronically misbehaving sense (note: chronically), but in the sense of being untamed, uncensored, raw, and feeling. As I grew up in the world - that self became more hidden, subdued, oppressed. I found ways to being mediocre, blending into the scenery. There are two pictures that come to mind that seem to make this "Lydia" tangible and real.

The first was taken while on a family trip to CA. We had spent hours in the car, my sister and I were bored, and my mother had purchased these amazing straw sun hats for herself. We played dress up. My mom (or maybe my sister) captured a moment that so very clearly captured me in all my young glory. Hat cocked to the side, model pose, confident in who I was, in my place in my family, and yes, in God's love for me.

The second was taken in the sixth grade. It was my school picture. Most people who see this picture think it was taken in the second or third grade. I have my hair pulled back (very tidily) and on my face sit these huge glasses. I have a very sweet smile - but my vivacity had obviously faded. I was a wallflower and I had worked my butt off to become one.

In my life I have ridden this pendulum of identity - sometimes being ridiculous and sometimes being painfully introverted. Swinging between two extremes, I long forgot the more "balanced" self I was as a child. I was introverted and thoughtful - but completely vibrant all together - like a nice work of art.

This being said, I'm taking back my identity - the one whose essence most of you have managed to capture in a few words. I'm reclaiming it - and with God's bringing it into balance.


Self-Confidence...an inventory and overhaul

Perhaps some of you have heard of New Zealand's 4th most popular folk parody duo, The Flight of the Conchords. If you haven't, no worries - they are not terribly relevant in this upcoming post, but beware, you are missing out.

In one of their numbers entitled, "The Hiphopopotamus vs. The Rhymenoceros," the two musicians play off one another in a well orchestrated and hilarious gangster rap battle. A line from this memorable musical snack is , "Sometimes when I freestyle, I lose confidence." This too true observation of human behavior made me think.

My life is pretty much me - freestyling. Seriously, I know of no real plan. I have goals, beliefs, and ideas of what I think my life should look like - but I'm really just doing and saying whatever comes into my head...and hoping that I am somehow getting it right.

I must confess, that sometimes when I freestyle - I lose confidence.

Many of you have read another blog authored by myself - Everyday Eating Disorder. It chronicles my journey as I confront my inner struggles with health, food, and destructive mindsets. Well, recent happenings have begun to make me question how confident and self-assured I really am. I think to a lot of people I might appear "confident" or "self-assured" or even "comfortable." At times, I totally am - at other times - it's a war that rages within my mind - and too many times I have lost.

I want to improve my self-confidence. But, how does one really go about doing this? Well, I googled it. Yep. I know. But, hey, I needed practical steps. One of the steps suggested was to have friends and family, etc. write lists of things they loved about you - or things they thought you did well.

So, here's your challenge.

I humbly ask you to leave a comment if you are reading this. Tell me 1 thing or 10 things or however many things you think I do well.

I'll try to keep you all posted as I prayerfully enter into this journey. It's definitely one that is humbling and long over due.

Thank you for reading.


I heart parasites

Have you ever had lice?

Most of you would say "yes" to this question, I think.

Lice is a common "sickness" that one will find at most elementary schools. These little vermin hang out in hair and on clothing and are transferred via contact. Also, Little kid hair smells like Johnson & Johnson's - so, one can see the reason behind a louse being so enthralled with the hair of the innocent. These little suckers are usually attracted to clean, straight hair - and in no way serve as a reflection on one's hygiene or lack there of.

So, why am I so interested in lice, as of late? Well, my school released a letter yesterday and we officially have a case of lice at our MIDDLE SCHOOL. We apparently heard this information second hand, but took the proper precautions. Why a parent wouldn't inform us is beyond me, but to each his own.

I read up on offensive and defensive plays that can oft be used to defeat the louse.

1. Listerine - that's right, the acid you gargle with that makes every inch of your mouth wish it were dead...it kills lice...it would probably kill an adult gorilla if left to soak for 2 hours.

2. Vineger - apparently a vinegar rinse helps to release the louses grip on the hair shaft - making for easy removal. Ummm...don't get me wrong, but if someone decided to pour vinegar on me - I would let go too.

3. Hair spray - apparently, the hair spray "dirties" the hair shaft and the louse has nowhere to grip.

4. A good blow-out: Blow drying your hair can help eliminate a louse - in that it burns the little guy alive. (DUH)

I'm sure there are more "remedies" out there - but I must confess that in any of these situations, I (like the louse) would get the heck out of Dodge.


First Day of School

Every year...no matter what age I am...I'm always excited about the first day of school. Ahh, the smell of new plastic binders and freshly sharpened pencils. A new year of opportunities and possibilities - another year to see my students grow and mature -another year to see myself do so likewise. Pretty exciting times.

I love teaching middle school because so much can change in 1 year. Ummm...to be completely honest, so much can change in one class period. But, it's a time in life where kids are all awkward and unsure of themselves and are in need of genuine love and guidance (Let's face it, we're all "middle schoolers" with a couple more years under our belts).

So, wherever you are today and whatever you might be doing. Remember that it's a new year - full of new possibilities and new opportunities - even if you're not a technical student.


Homemade wares and the like

So, this summer I have finally been able to do some of the more creative things that in the last few years I have been (a) too busy or (b) to lazy to accomplish or even attempt.

Here are just a few:

The Coin Purse:

You might recognize the target logo. It's not a wacky new material that is meant as off-beat advertising. No, it's a recycled target bag. I read up on fusing plastic bags together in order to make a usable "fabric" which is water proof. It's a great, inexpensive, eco-friendly way to create all sorts of goodies. I added a nice purple polka dot fabric lining and a black zipper...and there you have it: a coin purse. (The side not pictured had the words" "10 ways to reuse your target bag" still visible....quite fun)

The Slipcover:

I made this slipcover over a period of 3 days, with no pattern. You can read about it on a previous post. It turned out better than expected and was a great learning experience.

The shower Gift

I made these 3 bibs as a shower gift for a girl at church. They have basic cotton on the front and have a purple flannel backing -soft since that will close to baby's skin. They also feature a faux-mother of pearl snap (these are tough little boogers). I really enjoyed these and am constantly improving on the pattern and construction.



Yesterday I awoke, grabbed my morning cup of coffee and quickly started about completing my daily to-do list.

1) Grocery Shopping
2) Laundry
3) Pick up prescription
4) Make slipcovers
5) Finish sewing shower presents
6) Cupboards, Drawers, and Closets
7) Cleaning
8) Run

So, here's how I fared in accomplishing all my tasks. Hub-unit and I went to morning prayer and came home. Hub-unit went back to sleep (as he has not been sleeping well as of late) and I took our pup on a morning run. Pupster did not behave very well, so our run was cut short. Hub-unit has 2 interview today - and I, being a good wife, acted as chauffeur. Afterwards, I went grocery shopping with the hub-unit (nothing like accountability), picked up my prescription....and then spent the entirety of the remaining daylight and some twilight working on a slipcover. A singular slipcover.

It's a slipcover for one of our chairs....which is known as the dog chair. This is the chair's proper title as it is the only chair the dogs are allowed to occupy. As some of you may have read, I am hosting a tea in my home this Saturday for the ladies of our Church and having somewhat limited seating, I wanted to make the dog chair a bit more "inviting."

No, I didn't have a pattern. Who needs a pattern.? Patterns are for sane, efficient people...who desire a well made product and shy away from overwhelming challenges. I laugh at you, patterns! Ha!

Well, as gung-ho as my attitude, I must say the slipcovers are quite a beastly undertaking. I first had to deconstruct a slipcover we had purchased for a couch we no longer own. I was planning on reusing the material...as it is comfy and soft. I then had to look at the chair for about 5 hours straight and figure our where exactly one begins.

I started with the bottom cushion. It had the most complicated shape and was where one actually sat...to therefor, it must be the most foundational element of a slipcover. I ten focused on the armrests and the back cushion. Might I add, that cutting material is much more simple, than sewing it together (with no pattern). Now, I'm working on the back piece and will then be adding the area which I have named "floor trim."

I must say, it has ended up looking better than I thought it would. And hub-unit is pretty impressed with my "making" skills.

Now, off to the laundry.


Thank You

Mom & Dad,

Thank you.

You are an endless source of wisdom, laughter, inspiration, and love. You work tirelessly to give your children and grandchildren joy - always with a willing heart and smile. You wipe away tears and give high fives. You are real, authentic, showing us truth. Encouragement is always on your lips.

Mom and Dad. Thank you for all you give. Thank you for the lives you lead. Thank you.

Happy Anniversary

Oh so exciting

So, in order to foster sisterhood and fellowship, the ladies of my church are having a tea. I know what you're thinking..."That is so uber girly." But I love it. It's been giving me a reason to improve my house, as well as a much needed deadline.

So, I'm trying to do this all on our budget. I...
(a) want my house to look smashing. Well, it might no look "smashing," but it looks pretty darn good. A few missing touches here and there - but I'm pretty pleased.

(b) would like to dress the part. So, gloves and a hat are needed...on a budget...with a deadline.

So, I first started looking at how available these things were on the internet. If you're willing to cut of your arm and sell it to science - you're in luck. For the rest of us, we must scurry about, visiting the local thrift shops and ladies stores. Well, I did that. Couldn't find anything that I liked enough to spend money on...you know how it is.

I made up my mind to make my own summer tea hat for next to nothing. Here's how it went.

Hubby's mom gave me a bright orange sun hat to wear to my beach themed bridesmaids luncheon. I like it, but haven't had much use for it. It's been in my closet for 2 years. So, I dug it out and decided it would have to do for the party.

It obviously needed some embellishment. I went to a local fabric store and rummaged through their remnant pile. I found a gorgeous black satin...and although orange and black are a little "homage to Halloween," I purchased it.

I came home and started my efforts in making a fabric flower using some online help. It turned out beautifully, but I needed more. So, I broke out the sewing machine and made a fabric band to lay wear the brim meets the cap. I used a four lock hem stitch in white thread to add contrast to the black. I tacked the band and the flower to the straw hat using clear quilting thread.

To dress it up even more, I found an aged costume bracelet and used one of the larger beads as a centerpiece to the flower. It adds a nice shimmer.

Now, I must see if I can whip up a matching pair of gloves.




Done & Done

Summer is almost over and it looks like my self-inflicted projects are each coming to their own glorious completions.

1. I have been able to completely de-stuff my house and am preparing for a yard sale in the Fall.

2. I have now painted every single room in our house (save Hubby's office) since we moved in a year ago.

3. I've tamed our beastly yard (with help from my husband & my precious parents).

4. I've managed to read a few books and finally knit.

5. I've explored the roots and triggers of my eating disorder.

6. I've rediscovered a love of all things creative.

7. I've started running again...and found joy in it.

8. I've spent time with my family...my love.

This summer has been filled with goals, both seen and unseen. I'm pleased to report that while I probably could have done more, I've done enough (for now). All in all, a very successful summer.



I think the generations of today have gotten caught up in stuff. "Stuff?" you ask. Yes, stuff.

You know exactly what I speak of: the bread machine you have never used, the shoes you bought because they were a "good deal," the thousands upon thousands of _____________(fill in the blank) that ooze out from under your bed. You know, stuff.

I can understand why. The greatest generation of our time lived through the depression and a war that called for rationing, recycling, and making do. The Baby Boomers were raised by these people, but were also faced with great success...capitalism + hoarding = pack rats. We were then raised by the Baby Boomers and have never really been faced with a real trial, we've never been in a time of want (excepting, of course the fact that we were inundated with loads of advertments tauting the next big thing resulting in us "really wanting" it)...capitalism + hoarding + materialism = us and the current culture of American Society.

In an effort to go against the grain, the hub unit and I are trying to simplify everything in our life. What does that look like? We're going to sell the things we don't use (barring sentimental attachment), things we don't need, and things we feel get in the way of just living a life of simplicity. Of course, this means, I'm getting rid of some clothing that I no longer wear, the jewelry I don't really need or like, trinkets that were given to us that just take up space and collect dust. I know, BIG life changes.

Well, wait for it...we've decided to sell one of our cars, husband's motorcycle and gear, husband's kayak and gear, etc. Those of you who know us know that these are things we like...we even love. However, we've decided we just can't justify owning them, because we don't make use of them enough. They get in the way, they crowd the home, clutter the mind, and distract the heart at times.

I'm inspired by a story that I heard once about John Wesley (thanks, Bob). He knew exactly how much he needed to live off of and even as his income increased, he maintained his same standard of living, giving everything else away. What an excellent idea...more is just that, more. Why do we need more if what we have is enough?


Sans Sleep

My internal clock is whacked out. Seriously. One small change in my diet, my sleeping patterns, etc. and my body decides that it won't obey the natural order of things. I'm sleeping during the days and awake during the night. Argh.

Sure, it allows me to get lots of silly things done: alphabetizing the dvds and writing blog entries; but I'm not able to do what I need to do in the AM. Blah.



What is the most romantic gesture your spouse has every ventured to make on your behalf?

I could name several. See, my husband is a "hopeless romantic" - He wants to be romantic, but it's pretty much hopeless (his words, not mine).

Before we were married "romance" consisted of flowers, dinner, gifts, and dancing. Believe it or not, one Valentine's day, I awoke from a nap with brownie ala mode and the most handsome man in the world awaiting me. He might be "hopeless," but he knows what I like.

The night he planned on proposing, he took me to a nearby city and we walked around a park, went ice-skating, ate a fabulous dinner, and then went back to my apartment to watch my favorite Christmas movie. I fell asleep. He stole the key to my apartment, locked me in, and woke me up at 4AM with a ring. (Note: he likes to wake me up).

Well, this morning I awoke to the sound of a lawn mower. That's right, my hubby was mowing our ridiculously sized yard. And there you have it, ladies - Romance.

Now that we're married and living on a budget, I'm not often risen from my bed to find chocolate or diamonds. Dinner and dancing don't usually find their way into our schedules. Romance right now is found in a look, a conversation, a touch. It shows its face in the dishes, the chores, and yes, even the lawn. It might not seem all that romantic to other folks - but romance is in the eye of the beholder. And I hate to brag, but this morning, my husband was the romance king.


Good Times

Have you ever gone on a road trip unprepared? Unknowingly, I did exactly that earlier in the week. I started driving towards my destination with directions - good directions. I had also been to this destination before - so I didn't really have the whole fear of the unknown. I was ready. I felt good.

About 30 minutes into my trip, I realized I had taken a wrong turn...out of habit. You know the story: you're heading to the grocery store on Saturday and you just happen to take the off ramp that leads to your office. That's where I found myself...thirty minutes into my wrong turn. I was meeting someone, so I called to inform them I might start running behind. As I began telling them the situation, I realized my phone was dying. I had failed to charge my phone. Awesome. An entire day on the road, out of town, with no phone.

So I get back on course,turn my phone off to conserve its power, and try not to speed (I heart cruise control). Then, I realize I'm low on gas...no gas stations for a ways...holy bananas, batman!

To calm your anxieties over my fate (I know your wrought with worry) - everything turned out just fine. I got there, had a wonderful time, and got home without any further disaster; but God once again talked to me through a road trip (this being the summer of road trips).

How many times in our lives do we hear a direction, receive a word or vision, and just run with it - no preparation of forethought whatsoever. "God wants me there - I gotta go!" No offense, but God had planned Jesus' coming, ministry, and resurrection since the beginning of time. He is the Son of the Living God. If anyone has ever had the right to use the "I've been called, I need to go now" excuse - it's Jesus. But folks, Jesus still spent 40 days in the wilderness in preparation for what was to come...and no offense, but are you really above doing what Jesus had to do? I think not.

God has given us all a calling. He's given us all a destination. However, as people (especially American people), we get so focused on the end results that we try to get right to the happy ending where everyone lives happily ever after - ignoring the preparation, ignoring the journey, and biding our time until one day we happen to be where God wants us. So, yes, you might have taken that leap of faith and immediately jumped into the mission field or the ministry - but can you do all God intended if you show up unprepared? No food for the hungry, no hope for the hopeless, no love for the broken...nothing?

I hate to break it to anyone (especially myself), but God is the God of process. He calls us to great things and He requires much of us - that includes a little foresight and well, responsibility. So, when you get your directions...pay attention and break out of autopilot, charge your phone, and fill your tank - while it could be a smooth ride, it will most likely be bumpy - and preparation will get you there in the manner God intended.



Over the last few days, I have spent an extraordinary percentage of my waking moments in traffic. Now, I'm not here to embark upon a lengthy tirade against the vehicular powers that be; I am, however, not a huge fan of gathering with 12,000 of my "closest buddies" and their cars a la bumper-to-bumper togetherness.

In fact, I usually get very agitated any time I am in a car and behind the wheel (any time I'm in a car and not behind the wheel, I'm sleeping...or about to be sleeping...or thinking of sleeping). The past few days have been a different story all together and it got me thinking about how I use my time.

Now, I'm not going to get preachy on you. Lord knows, that I have come milliseconds away from losing my religion several times whilst in a moving vehicle. Most of the time I completely fail at maintaining a Christ-like attitude and tumble quickly and most willingly headlong into a slur of curse words and finger gestures.

But today it hit me...why am I in a hurry? Why is everybody around me in a hurry? Not everyone can possibly have a dying relative or an impending birth on which to blame their impatience and anxiety. I'm not saying this as an attempt to make a theologically flimsy, overarching "broad generality," but to more appropriately state that God used the traffic to stop me dead in my tracks, get my attention, and make me think.

What's really important: my time and the fact that I want to get home quickly or God's time, his kingdom, and the fact that he used the D.O.T. today to get my attention?

That being said, what has God used to get your attention lately? He is using something whether you realize it or not. It might not be something you enjoy or even something you would consider - like traffic. But, rest assured - God's not afraid of pissing you off and he's definitely not above using traffic to speak a timely word.


Growing Up?

I think I could possibly be growing up. Really. Schocked? Me too. I mean, I'm not surprised - I don't think. I knew this day would come; I just didn't know I'd be so happy it did.

I suppose one's reaction to growing up hangs upon their definition of "grown up." I should clarify that my definition by no means is in any way associated with getting older, having a mortgage, having a "real" job, not trying to accomplish more daring stupid human tricks with your husband on your days off - you know, the basics.

For me, it was a realization that came suddenly. Sure the process took ages...and will continue until I'm dead and gone, but this was one of those sweet moments that gives you just a glimpse of heaven.

I knew me, I liked me and I accepted myself fully in the presence of others. Amazing.


Livin' in the 395

I have my summers off. That's one of the awesome things about being a teacher. You pour yourself out for 10 months out of the year (closer to 9) and then you get a nice break (several breaks throughout the year, in fact). My job is a pretty sweet gig.

However, I am of the unfortunate disposition of goal-neediness. I gotta have them. If I don't, I do nothing. A.K.A, I sit on the chair all day researching homemade shampoos online while my dogs look at me. Tangent: Surprisingly, there are some great shampoo recipes out there - I haven't tried them, but they look good and possibly edible, I mean effective.

Back to the point. New goals are a necessity. The hub unit has finals this week and I must stay out of his way. I figure, what better way to be neither seen nor heard than to undertake some home improvement projects.

Here are the home re-vamps scheduled for this week...possibly to commence today if my homemade house cleaners venture turns bust:

1. Paint guest room. ("Rafia Rain" something or another...it's one of those nice neutral guest roomy colors).

2. Get bonus room together. The bonus room is my "office" if you will. However, it is more commonly know as the room in which all of my hobbies collectively vomited. Must be tackled.

3. Paint bonus room in an effort to encourage me to keep it neat. Probably not going to work.

4. Paint hallway. I paint a lot, mainly because I can't do any other home improvements save yard work. M had banned all use of power tools. I can't even say the words "Home Depot" for fear of exile.

5. I should clean. I realize we have a "shallow sink," but our cupboards are nearly empty of all suitable eating instruments and one can only play the "What can I eat without getting anything dirty" game so long.

I better get going. The longer I sit here and blog the more I realize I have to do...and I've got a homemade drano to make.


Watermelon Bubblegum Frenzy

So, I'm pretty much sick of law school.
I'm over the excitement of something new and promising.
It's kind of like sampling something at Baskin Robbins.
You try out the "Watermelon Bubblegum Frenzy" - you don't commit.
Well, we committed.
Now it's just pure torture.
And "Watermelon Bubblegum Frenzy" is the hell we live in.
And I'm not even the law student.
My husband is.
I chose the "Mint Chocolate Chip" - the old standby.
But I encouraged the "Watermelon Bubblegum Frenzy"
And now by default my golden standard is tainted.
Tainted with red die and fake watermelon seeds made out of licorice.

I miss him.
I think I'm gonna go eat some ice cream.


I wait on a promise that was given years ago. Reaffirmed by prayers, scriptures, dreams, and words. It's not easy to wait or hope. The moments pass on into days, days morph into years, and the years become daunting obstacles that increase doubt and improbability. "27, 29...that would be 30." I calculate in my head, at times on my fingers - as though obsessing and obsessing and obsessing will bring it nearer...possible...secure.

While many understand - most don't. The terror, the fear - mostly the fear and an uncontrollable sadness. They well up - tears in my soul and spirit. My life, beautiful and promising, fulfilling?...lacking. Desires of others, opinions of outsiders, these take priority.

Silly girl, why are you worried? Silly girl, not yet. Not now. Not ever. Not until it's convenient.

I've never known dreams to come easily on the wings of convenience, nor miracles. I have only seen them come in their due time. But dreams and miracles, unwanted - obstructed - delayed, often times never come at all.



I see in you a wisdom, beauty, and grace
It brings into shadow the efforts and play-acting of lesser men.
You stand alone.

Strong, compassionate...a true man.
Feeling, thinking, never mocking - never the fool.
I see you with truthful eyes.

I know your faults and your failings -
Built your character
It awes all who know you.

In you I see hope
For the future -
In you a hope for leadership in a wicked and lost generation.

I do not know what you see.
I do not know why you see it.
I only know that what you see is dark and perverse.

A twisted image of your flaws.
A cloud which draws from joy only potent, bitter disappointment -
insatiable , it is all consuming - stealing from you a well fought victory

Turn and weep
You cannot see
The man you have become - the man you are

He waits alone
A realization unacknowledged, unaccepted
For your embrace.


Trying to regain a spiritual status that doesn't exist

Man's fall is inevitable. There was the first fall of Man ages ago and Man has continually tried to build himself up again and again. Trying in a rather futile effort to regain the intimate and important position they once had in the eyes of God. We've built ourselves into great civilizations, great cultures, and even "great" governments, but not necessarily great people. Man continues to fall.

As men, we have a narrow and limited view of "success" - success being us trying to regain that coveted position of importance and responsibility. Our shortsightedness leads to a lesser us: overworked, oversexed, overchurched, you name it and we've overdone it...save actually seeking.

Seeking is too hard. Sitting and waiting is too much to ask of us. Meditation is a bunch of fluff...God's Word? "Well, I know the commandments, the Beatitudes, and I've taken notes on every sermon my politicized and self-agenda-ing pastor has ever give." What have we become men - women.

I for one am stopping. I live to please no one else - their is no position I can regain. Jesus already gave me the title of daughter, lover, and Bride. So - like a daughter, lover, and Bride, I will sit at the feet of Him whom I love and listen to His voice and take in His sweetness and be still and now that nothing of me could ever make me more in His eyes - I'm enough.


New songs...feedback is good

Hey all,
Those of you who know me...know that it's a huge step for me to say that I am beginning to explore my music again. So....I'm beginning to explore my music again. I've written some songs in the past few weeks. Please browse through. I realize that you won't get the full effect without my amazing pipes backin' it up; nonetheless, give me some opinions. Thanks.


I might be mistaken, but I think
I just lost myself
Or perhaps I am just taken,
with you

Baby don't worry
I'm in no hurry

But, if you kiss me like that again
If you kiss me like that again
If you kiss me like that again

Baby I'm yours
Baby I'm yours
For keeps

I must confess, I ain't no
porcelain doll
Don't wear no dress, don't really
dress at all

But all that I am
I'm yours to have

If you kiss me like that again
If you kiss me like that again
If you kiss me like that again

Baby I'm yours
Baby I'm yours
For keeps

(It's a work in progress) - still want to add some stuff.....like a bridge

Darlin' Darlene

Scrawny lil' girl with her bare-toed feet
Worn out dress, she tried to keep neat
She was full of hurt inside, but nobody could see
Darlin' Darlene

Darlin' Darlene
Come & sit next to me
and tell me how you came to be
Darlin' Darlene

She grew up tall and beautiful
She got away from her daddy when she left for school
She met a boy and he loved her good
Loved his woman like a man should

Darlin' Darlene
Come & sit next to me
and tell me how you came to be
Darlin' Darlene

(That's all I got, but I'm working on more)


Aches & Pains

My body is aching. It trembles in protest to the simplest of movements.
Stubborn, it will not yield to my will. I cannot control my piece of flesh and bone and find myself more and more at its mercy. I stretch and contort - in an effort to trick my body into making me its master. In lay terms: I've thrown out my back.

But in this physical misery, which is in all honesty more frustratingly limiting than it is painful, I have observed a bit of the spiritual: the continual fight between the flesh and the spirit. Even at this moment in my life...I can see how my flesh is rejecting my spirit or even more aptly, my spirit rejecting my flesh.


Selling Out

My life has been nothing but one sell-out after another.
Settling. Being Cautious. Being Safe. Being Smart.
God never called me to be smart, cautious, safe...and he certainly never asked me to settle.
So why have I?

Just another sheep. Just another sheep for the slaughter.