Saturday, December 11, 2010

Because I'm 35 and, dang it, I can

I have pierced my nose.

So far I have been described as "emo proper" and "crazy." Eldest said, "nasty." Princess said, "I hope you decide you don't like that soon."  I think I have legitimately embarrassed my children. Neither Frodo, nor Charming have noticed it yet. I don't think any of my friends who were at dinner with me approved. I'm almost certain my parents will be mortified.

But I've wanted to do this for years and my husband, whose opinion I most value aside from Jesus, told me it was OK with him. He also used the word "sexy." I think he's lying to try to be supportive, but I treasure him for that.

Wendi went with me.

I love that girl.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Not Becaues I Should, But Because I Can

Chraming Strikes Again!

Mom: quit picking your nose!

Charming: But I'm HUNGRY!

(mom busts a gut)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


An old friend of mine finally put a word to how I'm feeling.


I can't exactly call it sad or depressed. Hurt. Angry. All are true to an extent, but my daily life hasn't changed by more than a blip on the screen. I haven't seen my beautiful friend for 15 years. Fifteen years since our last road trip. And though I was at her high school graduation, I was doing family stuff and she was doing family stuff and I'm sure I got little more than a hug in. I have no memory of it at all. There was always another day, right? All that aside, knowing that the world has lost a bright light, the only thing that changes in my world is an absence of facebook status updates.

But my thoughts are CONSUMED with the fact that I live in a world where my friends could off themselves at any moment. I dream about it. I go into a yoga pose and I'm focused, focused...focused, and then I burst into tears. And I remember. Not the girl with black hair and a wine glass, but the fourteen year old with braces and a perm, smiling and fitting right in with the group of seniors who weren't sure they really wanted her...until we were. We spent a year protecting her from our bad influence and her parents. She was my little sister. And I spent months trying to talk my future brother in law into going out with her so we could get her to prom (via myself and hubs). So when I see my now sister in law (whom I love dearly and am sure is a better choice for him), I have to make a quick exit and cry my eyes out. And it's insanity.


Not with grief, not even with loss. Just with the magnitude of the thing.


And I know it will lessen and I know it'll get easier and I look forward to the day when time will pass without my thought returning to the ugly and yet I hope I never forget how precious the present with my friends is.

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Christmas List: A Confession

My sister-in-law made this huge, leaping confession about Christmas in which I was painted as a self-sacrificing ideal of gift refusal, and I can no longer allow the misconception to continue. Thus, because it is forced upon me, here is my confession: I have expensive taste.

There it is.

I know I can't have what I want, so you may as well put your money to good use.

When people ask me what I want for Christmas, I have a price point in mind that I assume you are trying to stay within. As there is nothing in said price point that I can't buy for myself (whether I would actually buy it or not doesn't factor in, because we all know I am far too cheap to actually spend $30 on a shirt, but that's another story altogether).

See, I could go out and buy you a $30 sweater that you probably won't like because we have completely different taste. You can go out and buy me a $30 sweater that I may or may not like for the same reason. Neither one of us will admit that we might not wear the sweater. We may have excellent intentions of actually wearing the sweater. We may give it a token wear or two. But, all in all, the $60 has been wasted and on top of that, we have guilt. So why not put the money towards a well and we can have warm fuzzies?

The kink in this theory is that my sister in law actually has given me gifts that I've worn out. I don't know that she can say the same about me.

With all due respect to my parents, we didn't have a whole lot of money growing up and Christmas came with a budget. Christmas was, for the most part, responsible. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would never in my wildest dreams get video game systems. (And not just because of the money factor. My mom is very anti-digital entertainment.) But video game systems was what I wanted. What child of the 80s didn't want an Atari? (Hubs bought me one after we were married and still makes fun of me for wanting to play it.) I also knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'd never get a Cabbage Patch Doll and they surprised me. But I believed in Santa for years longer that a child should because Santa gave me gifts that my parents would NEVER EVER buy. (One of the many reasons we don't do Santa here. I like my credit.) I think Santa brought me the single player pac-man game. Go figure. My parents are more selfless than I am.

The first 13 years of my married life, we had no money. In order to survive, we asked people to not buy us gifts so that we wouldn't have to feel obligated to give back. We couldn't give and receiving is too hard without returning the favor. We bought gifts for people HOPING BEYOND HOPE that Grandma would come through with enough cash to cover what we'd purchased. People would lavish stuff on us and we went home feeling like crap because we weren't more generous, vowing that Next Year would be better. And it almost never was. At least if we asked people to give to charity, we could do the same. Give according to what we have and not have to feel like Scrooge when our homemade candy was stacked up against a pile of gifts.

And yes, I do like to give money to starving children in India and water to thirsty orphans in Africa. They wear on my heart and mind in ways I can't even begin to explain. Why, WHY am I given so much when these children have NOTHING, and how DARE I admit that I want something so frivolous as a new coffee maker when I have one that works adequately and there are children picking coffee beans for a subsistence income?


So, I could give you my list. It goes a little something like this:

I would like a watch. I really like the $700 ones at Helzberg Diamonds. $30 ones never last more than a month on my arm. I think I have a chemical on me that kills them. Dead.
I would like a Keurig and the cute single serve coffees that come with it.
Unless, of course I want a coffee roaster and green coffee beans.
And until I can decide if I want individual serving expensive coffee or want to roast my own, I'd rather not have both machines cluttering up my kitchen counter.
I want a $600 glass quilt display.
I don't have enough quilts to justify this request.
Which means I probably would like some more quilts.
I want a $700 language learning system so I can learn a romantic language that has no bearing on daily life and hopefully visit the country in which the language is still spoken.
There is a painting on a cruise ship floating somewhere near Cozumel that I want in an insane manner. At last docking it was $1800 and could very well now be sold.
I liked nearly everything I saw in Eddie Bauer last week. Except for the things I didn't like. There was a denim jacket that was awesome. There was also one that was decidedly not. Describe that one on your Christmas list.

So, Tam, there you have it. The reason I ask that you give money for clean water in Africa. It is so much easier than admitting that you can't afford the things I want.

At least you can admit you like gifts and seem content to receive $30 sweaters.

I appreciate that you humor me.

What I Learned This Week

As I struggle to find a new normal in a world where my friends could choose to end their lives, I learned something. Not anything I expected to learn, mind you, and nothing I wished to learn, not yet, but I have learned something.

Don't ask people "How was it?" I know what you mean is, I'm thinking about you. I can tell you are hurting. I love you. You might even be asking, did you get some closure? Did you learn more about why? You could even be asking, were people crying loudly and making spectacles of themselves or did they cry quietly like they do when older people pass after suffering for years with cancer? I know people mean well. There are people who read this blog that did ask and might still ask.

The answer is the following:

Awful. Simply awful. I stood by while they put my friend in the cold ground. My friend who put on a carefree, happy go lucky face no longer walks this earth by her own choosing.

So yes, the words spoken were Nice. Comforting. Even, dare I say it? Funny at times. But "It" was awful. Tragic. Lonely. I sat side by side with my friend in a room full of hurting people, and felt very alone. There was nothing to say to make it better. There were few people to whom I was close enough to offer or receive hugs. I recognized people that I couldn't put names to which made me feel like an idiot and I knew I shouldn't be thinking about myself at all so I felt like even more of a shmuck. I wondered if there was anything I could have done to prevent this tragedy and knew it was stupid of me to think that I was even a blip on the screen. I, who have only been a contact on Facebook in the last 15 years while we both grew up and moved on. And still....she was my friend. A figurative little sister, once. And I hurt and I cry and it's awful. And I know this will pass, but in the meantime...

the show must go on.

I'll miss you, KL.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


What she said.

So thankful for the memories and the laughter today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010












Yeah, Kubler-Ross would be proud.


I suppose if you live long enough, all those things you thought happened to Other People will eventually come round to you.

A friend will die in a drunk driving accident.
you'll miscarry
you'll lose grandparents
you'll see your friends' stillborn sons
a friend's child will die
you'll lose a friend suddenly to a heart attack
a person you love will take her life

Be grateful.

Life is a gift.

Hug your friends for me today, would ya?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Funny Thing

When we bought our house, it never crossed my mind that you enter into the "open kitchen." I aspired to an "open kitchen" which I thought was several thousands of dollars in renovations (most of which were denied me). I was just pleased that my kitchen faces the street as I am in it ALL DAY LONG and like being in the center of activity (i.e. near the front door, able to see my kids play out front without being out there, seeing my neighbors come and go, seeing the salesmen come (so I can hide), etc. Maybe that makes me nosy.....) We have a hole (window ledge) out of my kitchen right over the prep area that looks into the great room and out a picture window into the back yard. Again able to see the kids and their shenanigans out back.

Last summer we whacked out some ugly spindles in our entryway and decided to take the half walls with them because half walls "dated the house." I specifically remember asking if it looked too much like you were entering the dining room and was assured that NO ONE would EVER think so. See that recessed ceiling? That vault? The wedge of sheetrock between the two clearly demarcates the entry from the dining room.

Buyers don't look up, they look down. At the flooring that is continuous through the entry, dining and (eat in if you have a small family) kitchen. Buyers now see an "open plan" kitchen that you wierdly enter via the front door. Granted the "open plan" kitchen is HUGE when you count in the formal dining room and entryway. As opposed to the tiny eat in that I bought.

I still love that my kitchen is up front, but I'm starting to think I'm the only one.

I don't regret the half wall whacking, either. It's the only thing differentiating the only other house remotely close to ours that is still FOR SALE rather than SOLD. That, and their blue countertops.

I almost feel honored that they dropped their price again.

They'll be the only ones.

This time.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Two weeks since our last showing. Two. Weeks.

There are two scheduled for tomorrow. Two.

Two days before we were planning to cancel our listing altogether.

It is pouring and our yard looks like crap. Covered in leaves.

I am not raking 25 bags of wet leaves off my yard in rainy 50 degree weather.

This feels very much like one of those messages from God.

I'll paraphrase. "You have absolutely no control of your life. Do you believe me yet?"

someone do the paper sort

Help! I'm buried in paper! This might be the end of me....


Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm finding it supremely difficult to balance the importance of people with keeping my house in order.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You Know You're a Mom When...

You are rocking out in the kitchen, right up until you realize that you're "rocking out" to Backyardigans "Garbage Dump."

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A Couple Addendums

1) Super Target does still carry Godiva coffee. Not the plain ole coffee (that I've found yet) but they do have some of their exotic stuff on an end cap, NO WHERE near the coffee or coffee pots. Sadly, Chocolate Truffle, Pepermint Mocha and French Vanilla have no siren call for me. Where's the normal stuff?

2) I was correct. WalMart doesn't carry it.

3) The house two doors down that was priced 20K higher than mine, sold for MY asking price. I don't feel like such a moron. Competing head to head, I might buy the nicer deck also. Still don't know about the other one, but I have to think they moved at least a little bit. Hubs thinks we should go back and list ours for 20K more so that people can underbid us and feel like they are getting a good deal.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

For Sale

I find it interesting that the person who doesn't have to keep the house clean, nor cleans the house before showings is the same one who still wants to sell aforementioned house.


I think not.

Dear (Super)Target

I am gravely disappointed in you.

If you intend to introduce me to to a new product, say Godiva coffee, on a checkout end cap, no less, I would expect you to carry said product for more than three weeks. It is unfeeling of you to feed me a new addiction and then remove any capability for me to feast upon said addiction.

This is wrong on so many levels.

I can no longer enjoy Archer Farms coffee.
Starbucks coffee is a disappointment.
While I know in my head that I enjoy Mahogany Midnight from Caribou, I cannot bring myself to purchase it, fearful that it, too, will be a disappointment. And is $8.50 a pound.

I used to go to Target specifically to buy the Caribou Mahogany Midnight. To my knowledge, Target is the only store within a driving radius that carries this brand.

And then you brought forth the Godiva.

It was pure bliss in a cup. A simple decadent moment in my otherwise harried day. No fancy titles. No fancy flavors. Simple. Godiva. Or Godiva decaf. On sale on the checkout endcap of aisle 9 for $6.99 a pound. And I thought to myself, $6.99 is a fair deal, but what is the regular price? Oh! Sweet mercy! $7.99! That I can do.

Life is too short to drink cheap coffee. Unless you drink a gallon a day, at which point, I say "drink up."

I grabbed a bag to try, not knowing it would be my last opportunity. Had I known, I would have purchased the entire endcap and bought another deep freeze in which to store it.

Surely I can not be the only one, mister corporate buyer for Super Target. Surely not.

Bring it back. Feed my addiction. After all, you are the one who caused the addiction. (Aren't you a good little pusher?) Isn't that what dealers do? Create a need and fulfill that need? You are dropping the ball and it is a grave disappointment.

Unfortunately I cannot even threaten to move my buying power to the Walmart across the street because if Target doesn't carry Godiva, what on earth would make Walmart do so? But I may check. And while I'm there, I might just buy something else.

See how threatening I am, Mister Corporate Buyer for Target?

I have no leverage, but I would appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Otherwise, I may just have to buy the $15 a pound coffee from Kauai Coffee Company. Don't make me stoop to this snobbery. Just feed my addiction.

That's all I ask.

Thank you, and good day.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


In response to me when I said, "You are so indescribably cute," Charming said, "Yeah, that's right."

And, of course, on Saturday, when I was irritably driving through road construction and calling some very rude drivers Jerk....Charming piped up from the backseat "IDIOT!"

Now he thinks it's a joke. I don't know how to put a stop to it. It's hard when I'm laughing so hard.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My House

My house is lovely when it's clean.

My house is only ever clean if I've spent a minimum of six hours cleaning it so that strangers can walk through it and reject it.

I'm thinking about just keeping it.

Not that it would ever be this clean if I did.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gentle and Quiet

My amazing friend Beckie opened her gentle and quiet mouth and spewed wisdom, as she so often does and I felt the need to share.

I expressed no small measure of exasperation, again, regarding the gentle and quiet spirit expected of Christian women, indicating myself and "all this--the antithesis of gentle and quiet" when she asked, with a sweet, puzzled look on her face, "Does the Bible say gentle and quiet countenance? No? It says gentle and quiet spirit."

I'm not sure I qualify, yet, but it gives me something that could be feasible...someday.


Mommy! Why is it waining weaves?!

Wook! It's Daddy's favorite movie....feetball!

If you die, you're out, OK Mommy? That's the word.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's a Mean, Mean, Mean, Mean World

I recently heard a woman speaking about how very mean the world has gotten and I'm right there with her.

Driving through a parking lot and see someone walking stop abruptly because you're coming, you slam on the brakes, smile and wave, mouth sorry? No return smile, just a dirty look.

I had someone throw a ham sandwich at my car at a four way stop once. I still have no idea why. I let him go first.

If you live in a city larger than 5000 and someone is making eye contact and smiling at the library, what is your first thought? Creepy, right? I have to force myself to not break eye contact. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they were raised in a small town.

Don't make conversation with the cashier. She doesn't want to be there and won't pretend for your sake.

What happened to customer service, in general?

Totally OFF topic, but still kinda on. Last night on the news I heard someone interviewed at the grocery store where the guy was shot and he said, "It's a nice, neighborhood store. Never any problems." I've been shopping there for more than ten years. The managers are nice. I think they recognize me. And, in general, I would use the same words to describe the store IN COMPARISON to other city stores. But, no. I've shopped at nice neighborhood stores. This is a pleasant city grocery where people rarely give you trouble, but are pretty much going to ignore the fact that you are present. On that stream, engage someone over the age of 80 in conversation and you might get a response.

But today....TODAY I was insulted by someone I'd never seen before, had made no judgments about, would frankly had no thoughts regarding her AT ALL had her bumper sticker not screamed at me "I may be fat, but you're UGLY and I can DIET."

I found my blood pressure actually rising. She's judging me. She's assuming that I'm judging her without giving me the chance to perform above her expectations. And she's going to skip right to rudeness rather than give me that chance.

And before you get all "it was supposed to be a joke" on me, since when is it funny to insult a perfect stranger? Is that how we are supposed to treat our fellow man? I mean, I'm not perfect. I have no illusions. I catch eyes and drop them as much as the next guy, but I do try to practice common courtesy. I "please" and "thank you" and "so sorry" and "excuse me." But my patience is wearing thin with people who act like I'm invisible and their story they are telling another person in the Walmart aisle about their daughter's cousin's boyfriends next door neighbor's arthritic cat is more important than my kid's triaminic. Hello! I'm here! And I really, really, REALLY need something just behind your butt! AND I'VE HAD NO SLEEP LADY! THUS THE NEED FOR THE COUGH MEDICINE!

And no, I don't think the lady in the Triaminic aisle affected my response to the bumper sticker at all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Twisted Day

The good news: we had a showing and even though my beloved was indisposed and couldn't help me clean, I got the house ready with nine minutes to spare.

Thoughts: If we had a showing every three to four days, I don't think it would ever get incredibly messy. On the flip side of that thought is the fact that I walk trough the house like a crazy woman on a rampage scooping up plates before people are done with them and end up doing twice the dishes. That and I screech a lot when I walk into a room that has been put into disarray. I don't like this.

The bad news: A guy was shot four blocks away DURING the showing. (In the leg and drove himself to the hospital. I take it that means he's fine.)

Thoughts: here's hoping the gun had a silencer and the people who looked don't watch the news.

And that is all, for my brain is fried with cleaning product fumes and adrenaline.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Get Together

What to do when you have promised to have a game day get together the day you return from vacation?

Well, first, you have to get together with some low key people so you don't stress.

Doesn't hurt if you leave your home "show ready" so you come home only to the mess you bring through the door with you.

It certainly helps if you find someone else willing to provide the site--that has a TV much larger than yours. (This was a complete and unexpected turn of events that MADE MY DAY.)

And Chex Mix is a must.

The daddies and a few boys camped in front of the giant screen.

The mommies never quite made it out of the kitchen--NOT because we were cooking, but just because that seems to be where mommies gather.

The kiddos ran the place over and since it was lovely out, they were outside as well.

We all snarfed the the Chex Mix.

The mommies picked out our favorite (Turtle). One mommy picked the gluten free items out of the bag (she isn't celiac, she's just watching it, otherwise I'm not sure she would have gone for it. I'd have had to make Rice Chex Mix if she had been).

The kids dumped Original, Turtle, and Sweet and Salty together and ate it all at once.

The daddies came through and cleaned out what was left.

This, my friends, is the way to have a party.

(Note: I"m still not certain whether the invitation to watch the game at their house was a true one, but they were gracious hosts.)

All I had to do was show up and bring the Chex Mix, plates, napkins, party bowl and disclaimers with coupons (All provided by General Mills).

Every one was happy.

It was a great Game Day Get Together.

Sorry, no photos. Don't know what I was thinking.

And Chex wants you to know this:

"We also would love if you shared information about the The Ultimate Chex Mix Game Day Sweeps! For a chance to win $10,000 in cash and prizes to make your place the ultimate Game Day spot, visit the Game Day Sweeps tab on the Chex Mix Facebook page to enter!"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway

Suzanne Woods Fisher is thrilled to announce the release of The Waiting, book two in The Lancaster Secrets Collection. In The Waiting Jorie finds herself caught be two loves and two lives in this compelling page turner about complex people living the simple life.

The Waiting is the next stand alone story in The Lancaster Secrets Collection and follows in the footsteps of the best-selling, The Choice. The Waiting is in stores now and to celebrate Suzanne is hosting The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle preloaded with Suzanne Woods Fisher titles and a gift certificate! The Prize Pack (valued at over $185.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, Free 3G, 6", Latest Generation

* The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* A $15 dollar Gift Certificate

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on October 28th at Suzanne's Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party.

Join Suzanne for the Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party on October 28th! She’ll be announcing the winner of the The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway, hosting a book club discussion of The Waiting and The Choice, and giving away copies of both books and HEAPs of readerly prizes! Be sure to join us on Thursday, October 28th at 5:00 PM PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST & 8 EST) at Suzanne’s Author Page. 

The Movies and Memories Giveaway from Sarah Sundin!

Sarah Sundin presents The Movies and Memories Giveaway in honor of book 2 in the Wings of Glory series. A Memory Between Us is available for purchase wherever fine books are sold. From the English countryside to the perilous skies over France, A Memory Between Us takes you on a journey through love, forgiveness, and sacrifice.


To celebrate Sarah is giving one lucky winner A Movie and Memory Prize Package! One grand prize winner will receive:

* Make-your-own-photo book from (Capture your own Memories)

* Netflix Subscription (New or Nostalgic Movies delivered right to your house)

* Starbucks gift card (To keep your engine revvin’)

*Gourmet chocolate (A favorite in the 1940’s and now)

* British specialty teas in carved wooden box (Timeless tradition)

* Miniature model of a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber & C-47 cargo plane (Everyone needs a few toy planes)

*Big Band music CD (Break out your dancing shoes)

* WWII authentic poster playing cards (Cards – a perfect game for two)

* Keep Calm and Carry On (Uplifting sayings WWII, a boost for troubled times)

To enter simple click on the icons below (contest runs 9/27 - 10/17!)

One of the worst feelings a Christian person can have is the one that accompanies seeing an ambulance pull up in front of her agnostic neighbor's house.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Inane Car Games (and the subject that won't go away)

One of the great joys of having pre-teens is re-living those awkward years all over again. This time more indignant and hopefully wise, but unfortunately, meanwhile, being the recipient of the eye roll and the you-don't-understands.

It also means your kids learn inane car games from their friends. It started with "Bingo" (which means "yellow car"). Which, of course, becomes "red car," "blue car," "white car." And is, at that point, rendered pointless.

So I taught my kids "beetle bop" also known as "slug bug" in some areas of the country. But with all the PT Cruisers and Mini Coopers floating around these days, also is confusing. At least to start. Now it's just three car games in one. Or four when you throw in Bingo on top of it. (Beetle Bop Bingo, being the ultimate in winning calls.)

Our average car ride conversation sounds something like this: Mom? Yeah? Mom, I want a....BINGO!...I want a.....CRUISER RED!....a new....BEETLE BOP GREEN!.....a new folder for my....MINI COOPER STRIPED!...for my....FUNKY CAR!(I forgot this one....any car with a paint job or body worthy of mention)...BEETLE BOP....NO...CRUISER SILVER! Uh, Mom? Yes? I forgot. BINGO!

All while Charming is screaming "beetwal bop gween" whether or not there is, in fact, a green beetle bop. There may be a green CAR. And there may not. And if he calls it, you must respond "stinker" because Eldest will call anyone who calls a car before him "stinker." And if you now call a beetle bop with Charming in the car, he will, in fact, holler, "Stinker! I was cawing that!" So, in the midst of the aforementioned conversation, insert Charming's speech. Because if I wrote that all in, you're mind would overload.

And, because it has become so insane that Hubs and I can't even talk in the car anymore, I started a new game called SILVER VAN!


Hubs is not amused.

Actual Conversation That Took Place in our Silver Minivan a Moment Ago

Me: Boy, if those B12 I'm taking are supposed to give me more energy, I'd hate to think about how I'd be feeling without them.

Hubs: Feeling pretty drained, huh?

Me: I just can't make myself care.

Hubs: Pretty sure the bottle doesn't say, "Cure for the common apathy."

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Proud Mama (a.k.a. The Healer's Apprentice)

Five years ago, September, in a hotel lobby in Nashville, I met a lovely young lady by the name of Melanie Dickerson whose soft southern drawl appealed to me almost as much as her humility. She was there to promote her semi-autobiographical "missionary story" at the same time I was trying to promote my semi-autobiographical "infertility story." Neither one sold, mind you. I don't know what our first clues were: the agents panel saying they don't do missionary/issues books, or the authors saying anything semi-autobiographical won't sell. (Though we both met just enough published authors who were the exception to the rule to give us hope everlasting.)

We both went home from conference, continued to work on our doomed books, subbing them out and getting rejections, critiquing each other, subbing, getting rejections, crying, sympathizing (bored! she actually used the word BORED! sniff.  Bored? What book was she reading?) And then one day, Melanie shot me something totally new and fresh and alive. A loose retelling of Sleeping Beauty that she called The Woodcutter's Daughter. Something that hadn't had the life critiqued out of it. Something that had kept her up, her mind wild with ideas, and I said, (in case you wondered) "Melanie, this one will see print!" Chapter one was that good.

That beginning, however exciting it was, bit the dust at some point. But that's beside the point.

I'd go through my day, thinking about "this great book I'm reading" and then remember I couldn't just go pick it up at will, and I'd harass Melanie for another chapter. She started feeding us (our motley crit group) a few hundred words at a time.

I was glued to my computer.

Well, the other day I got my bound copy in the mail retitled to be called The Healer's Apprentice which, incidentally, is an even better title. I found my name in the acknowledgments. I cried. And I sat down to read the final version of a labor of love by my sweet, humble, friend. And I confess, I didn't read it in one sitting (kinda knew where it was going), and I could put it down (again, kinda knew where it was going), and I spent most of my read playing find-something-in-here-I-haven't-seen-before and oooooo-that-added-a-lot! But mostly, my friends, it is the same book I couldn't peel my eyeballs from when I was reading it on screen. I was actually quite surprised at how very little changed in the intervening re-writes, and critiques, and edits.

And, let me tell ya, she has one that is just as stinkin' good on her harddrive that is a better version of Beauty and the Beast, so nag her and her publisher about it, K? Of course, not until you've read The Healer's Apprentice.

A bit about the book (from the back cover):

Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportinity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen fr her--a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.

When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders is he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Today I was thinking about how I want to get my nosed pierced and what's holding me back.

I've got this inner rebellious streak that just keeps rising up within me and when it does, I feel like this life that I lead is absolutely suffocating me. (Not my man and kids....the rest of it. The prim and proper church-goer that tries to not make inflammatory remarks...and fails....repeatedly....daily...hourly. Part of the problem being that I don't mean for the remarks to be inflammatory and only figure out that they are when I see the other proper church-goer's reactions.) And I thought, Shoot. I'm gonna do it.What difference could it possibly make?

I really think I would have done it had I been at a mall.

Twice in the last two days I've heard people described as "gentle." NO ONE would EVER describe me as gentle. Not in a million years. What is prized in Christian women? Gentle and quiet spirits.

Never gentle. Never quiet. If I am quiet, you know that I am absolutely STEAMING and just wait and watch for the top to pop. It will happen. (Crap, I just let you in on a secret that would be better left concealed.)

Every now and then my spirit is quiet. I remember once, approximately 13 years ago, driving home alone from Minnesota and being completely at peace. I had a moment last Thursday when I suddenly remembered that I had four children and a house on the market. I suspect the moment immediately preceding that moment I was completely at peace. Those peaceful, quiet, and possibly gentle moments are rare. I am currently suffering, however, from tightness in my neck so severe that I'm sure I should take something for it and go to bed.

I just have to believe, though, that God made me this way. I'm not using it as an excuse to be rude and high-strung. I really don't MEAN to be rude. I'm just very blunt. And not gentle in my bluntness. You don't, however, have to wonder very long at what I'm thinking. Surely that can be a good thing....sometimes?

So anyway, yesterday I was feeling a bit low, one because I have an inner ear issue that doesn't want to resolve and more importantly because I'll never, in a million years, be described as "gentle." Brash, maybe. Harsh, possibly. Rebellious, likely. Loud, absolutely. And I was thinking about striving to be gentle so that someone would describe ME someday as gentle. And I started to feel like I couldn't get air.

And I decided it might be time to pierce my nose.

Hopefully someone will find a good adjective for me when it comes time to give me flowers on my retirement.

From what, I do not know.

But I have a hunch what they'll come up with is "Gets things done, not necessarily right, but she shows up and even if she has a bad attitude about it, laughs a lot. LOUDLY."


Now where is THAT in Proverbs 31?

In the continuing saga that is Princess and reproduction VI

In church on Sunday, they were doing a recognition of our secretaries that both quit/retired/whatever at the same time. During this time, one was described as "having a baby" with our youth pastor (the reason she was quitting), at which point the youth pastor interjected "GOT MARRIED....HAD BABY" while emphatically gesturing. (It didn't help that she had just been introduced by her maiden name.) The church burst into fits of laughter.

At which point in time Princess stage whispers to me, "Why is everybody laughing?"



My stupid cat caught a baby bird and brought her "gift" in the house to me before I caught on to what she was doing.

The bad news is that her "gift" wasn't yet dead.

The good news is that I originally thought it was a mouse. Live birds are preferable to live mice in my house. Don't ask why.

The bad news is I let her into my bedroom.

When I figured out she was carrying gifts, I screeched and grabbed at her at which point she let go her prey who fled under my bed and which point I screeched louder and which point the kids came running and which point the cat flew under the bed after the prey.

We still thought it was a mouse at this point.

The kids chased the prey back and forth under the bed, under the dresser, under the chest, under the bed, under the dresser, under the side table, with cat trailing.

They finally cornered the bird (we knew what it was by now) in the corner and were calling the cat over to have a feast.

I screeched, "WHY? Chase it out!"

(I was sitting on the back porch to avoid beaning by broom handle.)

All the bird needed was encouragement towards the door. They moved the blockade and it flew out.

Directly at my head. 

Stupid cat has become quite a mouser. Or chipmunker. Or birder. And REALLY likes to give her captives to me.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Men and Football

I like football. I do. There is no better place to be on a cool September Friday evening, than watching a football game. Unless, of course, you have a three year old that just won't stay off the field, or quit running off into the crowds, or a seven year old that insists he is old enough to prowl around unescorted, or a pre-adolescent nine year old girl who "just doesn't understand football" and would rather be at a sleepover. You know, except for those small factors. And lightning. And rain. And freezing temperatures. But I'm talking crisp, cool, evening. The kinds that were made for football.

But I realized that my appreciation for football is lacking in one major area.

I don't know what a "gun" on a ten year old is.

My Eldest played quarterback on Friday night. This is new. The little boy I've known for ten years didn't want people to look at him. He is not OK with making mistakes and who makes more obvious mistakes than a quarterback? At least as a runningback he only had to be the center of attention when had the ball. Which was less than he wanted it.

But Friday night, he was lobbing the ball all over the field. Many, many passes went uncaught. Many had no hope of being caught by anyone but the opposing team. But once he calmed down and quit playing hot potato with the football, he and his receiver got a little rhythm going and made some plays. A touchdown even. And yes, I was a proud mama and an excited one. Football is more interesting when your kid has the ball sometimes. Or is making plays (he plays pretty decent D, too). But it DID NOT occur to me that his passing was anything remarkable.

Until, that is, the men on the sidelines started patting his daddy on the back and talking about those guns and rifles he was throwing.

Really? Guns and rifles?

Hubs was talking about the pretty passes. The clean spirals. The length of the passes.

I've been watching pro and college and even high school football too long. I was not aware that a five yard pass was impressive. Then again, once he finally started throwing the football at his teammates, he dropped them right into their waiting hands. And apparently men know that passes like that on a ten year old are pretty good.(?) So when Hubs started asking Eldest on Saturday morning if his arm was sore from lobbing that ball "all over that field" and they continued to talk about it for another 30 minutes, I clued in.

Apparently my kid can throw.
A football, anyway.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Hubs and I watch a TV show called "Parenthood" which, though is about parenthood, it's also about being married, being a sibling, being an adult child, relationships, parenting adult children, parenting preschoolers, parenting special needs, parenting.....thus the name. But there's this character who is far too like me for my comfort.

My poor children.

She catastrophizes. In every situation, her mind goes forward in time until she finds the catastrophe.

That's me.

Five-thirty this morning I Can. Not. Sleep. Why? Because my house is on the market. We have two showings today. How am I going to get the house ready? What if someone wants it? What if we have to MOVE? What if I don't want to move? Oh CRAP! We have showings starting at 11:15, but what if the phone rings and someone wants to see the house before that???! We're going on a mini vacation with friends soon. What will I wear? When will I pack? How are my parents going to handle the kids? What if someone wants to see my house while I'm packing? What if something happens to us? What if something happens to the kids? What if the world ends? If the world ends, where do I want to be living? We should move. What if no one ever wants our house? What if we have to give the house away in order to move? Crap! What if we can't get a loan?

It is now 5:31.

Guess I'll get up and make some coffee.

Welcome to my inner world.

Friday, September 17, 2010


As I do most mornings, I woke up this morning and immediately thought, Don't think! Don't think! Don't think! Because if I can just not think a rational thought, I can go back to sleep, but once that first thought crosses my mind, it's all over. I lay there and stew and worry and plan and think and pray.

That NEVER used to happen. When did I become an easy early riser? I can't think of the last time the kids beat me out of bed.

Anyway....I just knew I could go back to sleep and then the thought crossed my mind, It's my birthday. That was it. Over.

Thirty-five years old and my birthday still excites me enough I can't go back to sleep.

How messed up is that?

Coffee Shop Conversations

A 2008 study released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life notes that the number of people creating their own interpretations of faith and culture is growing. Seems like there are as many different styles of faith as ways to order your latte. How does a Christian have normal conversations about Jesus without accidentally sounding offensive, bigoted or intolerant?

In Coffee Shop Conversations (April 2010) by Dale Fincher and Jonalyn Fincher, readers will find the tools they need to speak plainly and honestly about their faith, avoid speaking “christianese” and have meaningful, tolerant and respectful conversations with friends who don’t share their views. Coffee Shop Conversations is written to an audience of 18-35 year olds interested in articulating their faith throughout their everyday activities.

Chaos sez: You know, this book does seem to be a great resource. We all have "one of those" friends, neighbors, relatives, grocery store checkers, that seem to live to ask us the "hard" questions about our faith. The ones where they get to back us into a corner with circular reasoning and feel like they've won because they came up with some obscure argument using our own words as ammo.

(My neighbor actually used John 3:16 against me because I couldn't think fast enough. He made me say it to gave his only son and then stopped me and said, "would you do any less?" And he walked off before I could argue that the Son was given, not gifted something. When I'm thinking, Is he really asking if I'd give my son for others, and WOULD I? he's really asking wouldn't I give my son things, too? Grrr. Anyway...)

This book serves to provide info to have those difficult discussions without insulting the listener. But be prepared Christians to be insulted a few times yourself. I'm still not sure how calling your own faith "repressive" serves a greater purpose. But I DO think that Christians sometimes focus too much on the Message and not enough on the person with whom the message is being shared. And since that seems to be the point of the book, I can get over the lines that make me raise my eyebrows. Not every example has to be followed. :)

You can see what other people had to say here.

And, as an aside, LOVED Jonalyn's book Ruby Slippers.

1) Leave a comment on the tour post* to be entered into a drawing for a $25 Starbucks Gift Certificate.
2) For up to two additional entries, follow the Finchers on Twitter ( AND/OR tweet about this contest using the hashtag #soulation. Let us know you did in the comments of the tour post*.
3) For another entry, "like" the Finchers on Facebook ( and tell us in the comments in the tour post*.

*Please note the tour post is NOT this blog, but through the link provided.

Dale Fincher and Jonalyn Fincher speak and write nationally as a husband-wife team through Soulation, a non-profit dedicated to helping others be appropriately human. They are energetic and experienced public speakers, and their previous books include Living with Questions and Ruby Slippers. They make their home in Steamboat, Colorado, with corgis, snowshoes and a colorful library of books.
Learn more about Jonalyn and Dale at

This book was provided for review.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

GenX Radio

I have contended for quite some time now that there should be an 80s radio station. How many years of the 90s did I have to listen to 60s stations while searching around for "something worth listening to?" (To my notice, there was one station, maybe two, that played current music, there were a couple country stations, some easy listening stations and several that played "oldies" which spread all the way up into the 70s....which was SO OUT in my teen brain. 50s, yes, tolerable and possibly fun, 70s, decidedly not.)

So when the other day I saw a billboard advertising GenX Radio, I quickly shifted off my Christian station and reconnected with my past sinful self. :)

Yes, my kids were in the car. Yes, they rolled their eyes at me. And since then, they've asked for me to download "that you've gotta fight for your right to party song."

Now, I love me some KLOVE, I do. Christian music is, 99% of the time, where it's at for me. But some days when I'm feeling particularly low, long about the third song telling me the world is bigger than my needs, I want to rock out to Cindi Lauper.

That was all a prelude to the following:

So today I turned on GenX Radio to do my dishes (a time of day when I particularly don't want to hear about serving with purpose) and there is Dr. Phil giving a little talk about kids on the internet and internet seduction and sexting etc, etc. segueying into some hair band the likes of which I recognized, but can't remember now 30 minutes later...and I couldn't help but crack up. They so have us nailed.

Gen X: Parents first, in need of a moment to let our hair down, remember we are people, and  rock out.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Scream

 Have you ever been screaming inside your head so frantically and out-of-control that you are certain everyone in the room could hear it if they would just listen to your serene expression?

Monday, September 13, 2010


How did this happen?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Outlive Your Life

I had every intention of entitling this blog "Intentional Living," primarily because intentional living has been heavily on my mind and I EXPECTED that reviewing a book called Outlive Your Life would fit in nicely with that theme. And it does--to a point. But once I finished the book, intentional living--in the way I intended to use it--was too self-centered of a theme. So, back we are with the title of Max Lucado's latest book (which anyone who has had KLOVE on this month will already know).

Can I just say God is preparing to do something MAJOR? Never in my life (though only a short 34 years) have I heard so many messages lining up to the same theme. It was just a year and a half ago when I turned on the radio and heard The Motions in answer to a prayer...only to discover that I'd interpreted incorrectly (but that's another story, another day).


And everything since then has been one more confirmation that this life is a whole lot more than ME and MY desires. Culminating (at this point, anyway) with Do Hard Things for adults. Actually, that is an oversimplification, but I called it that this morning when talking with my sister, and it was a good opportunity to remind you of another world changer book out there.

We have one life to live. We can live it for ourselves. We can live it for others. We can live it for God. And if we live it for God, we will live it caring for others. And I'm pretty sure our overall satisfaction in our own lives will be better than it would in a hedonistic style of living.

Half of that was Max Lucado. Half of that was my interpretation of Mr. Lucado.

With the use of true life vignettes tied into first century church leaders and drawing from the whole of the Bible, Max Lucado gives you the desire and the tools to Outlive Your Life.

Certainly this book is heavy on evangelism, and frankly, life without Jesus is pointless, but he isn't just preaching door to door evangelism. He's really preaching intentional living. He tells us to find our passion, the thing that makes us weep, and buckle down and do something about it. Build an orphanage, start a soup kitchen, join a prison ministry, sponsor a child, but don't forget the "bread." Service without meaning is just service. Those hurting people need Jesus. Use your passion to lead those people to eternal things. Look at the hurting people, Pray about situations as a first resort, practice hospitality, remember Who is in charge (practice humility), serve, serve, serve, and believe no one is too far gone to love (or be saved)...among other things. 

Excellent, excellent book.

Of course, it's still only a book unless those of us who read it respond. For "None of us can help everyone. But all of us can help someone. And when we help them, we serve Jesus. Who would want to miss a chance to do that?"

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Would Someone Please Explain...

Why my three year old can pick out our van in a sea of beigey-silver minivans...and I can't?

Why coming home and finding that my husband picked up the house while I was out...makes me cry?

Why I waited until my fourth child is nearly on his way to try MOPS?

How I can (pink-puffy-heart) LOVE a woman I just met?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Sneakers @ Work

Stilettos and Integrity? How about Sneakers?
By Rosemary Flaaten
high heel sneakersBy the fifth block I was done. Although my four-inch stilettos made my legs look long and lanky, they also made my previously innocuous little toe scream with pulsating pain. Walking to and from my business luncheon in fancy high heels had been my biggest mistake of the day. Where were my sneakers when I really needed them?
The craze started over 20 years ago when women, following the lead of the Silver Screen, started donning their sneakers in place of stilettos. The wise woman prized comfort over fashion, elevating her “right” to wear sneakers from her front door to her desk without anyone giving a second glance. It didn’t matter how matronly she looked or how disjointed her business appearance, functionality was given prominence.
So why have my sneakers been collecting dust in my front closet while my stilettos need new heels?
As I pondered this question, I realized that my choice between stilettos or sneakers is indicative of a greater question regarding my integrity at my workplace. Sneakers are stable, no nonsense, functional and take-me-as-I-am footwear. Stilettos are representative of my desire to fit the business mold and improve my appearance. In essence, I hope to portray a version of myself that looks better than reality. Likewise, how often are the choices I make around telling the truth or shading the truth based on my desire to fit in, to make myself look better or to prop up my lagging competency? 
It has become socially acceptable to fudge the truth (even just ever so slightly) in order to increase our likeability.  Robert Feldman, in his book The Liar in Your Life, quoted a study indicating that the average person lies three times every ten minutes in a conversation. The intention of these lies is not to manipulate. Rather, people lie so that they come across more interesting, likable and desirable.  Sounds a little like stilettos.
Our propensity to shade or embellish the truth has strong ramifications in our workplace. When the boss calls to see if we’ve done the big project and we respond “Yep, just about” when we know that we’re only about 25% finished, we may find ourselves in a situation where we must continue to shade the truth in order to save our skin. One lie is seldom enough. When (not if) our untruthfulness is discovered, we will have a much more difficult task rebuilding the eroded trust.
If deception is telling and living a life of lies, then living honest is conveying truth no matter the consequences. Living honestly means we live authentically; but integrity takes this a step further. Unlike children who lie to get themselves out of sticky situations, integrity calls out greatness and gives evidence of maturity. In the workplace, we start with honesty, add authenticity, and then our character culminates with integrity.
sneakers at work logoIn defense of all stiletto-loving working women, please don’t interpret my use of this metaphor to suggest that stilettos are wrong and sneakers are better. Rather, on this “sneakers at work" day, may it be a reminder that being a person of integrity will always be better than trying to make yourself look better. In the long run, sneakers will take you further than stilettos. Not just my feet will attest to that truth!
Sneakers @ Work day is September 17th, which I find exceedingly appropriate as that is my birthday and I'm a sneakers kind of girl.--Chaos

author photo

ROSEMARY FLAATEN’S successful book, A Woman and Her Relationships won The Word Guild Award, which is Canada's top Christian literary honor. Now she writes A Woman and Her Workplace to help women process their  9-5 relationships. A dynamic speaker—Rosemary challenges women of all professions to view their work as a calling and their workplaces as opportunities to live out Christ’s love. Rosemary lives with her husband and three children in Calgary, Canada.
Visit the author's website at:

Monday, September 06, 2010


We've been in a lot of flux around here ever since we discovered that just because God said "go," it didn't mean our house would sell quickly. Which, of course, has led us to question whether God has said anything, or if we've just heard the echoes of our own desires.

Lots of questions.

Lots of searching.

Some answers.

I have to be continually reminded, as the Israelites were, of what God has done for us.

Yesterday's sermon was a good one. In it, he said something along the lines of "You need to be careful to not follow your own plans and THEN asking God to bless them." This has been one of our concerns. What if all this waiting has been God saving us from our own foolishness. But then I have to remind myself of what I DO know. And what I KNOW is that God told me we are going "home" at the time he has set for us to go. (not a second sooner)

Man, it would be nice to know what that time was so that we could pull up the sign if it isn't for a while.

And it would be nice to know for sure that home is home and that we haven't just gone through all this in order to be willing to GO elsewhere.

Lots of stress.

And THAT wasn't even the point of this post.

So, while Hubs and I were on the back deck enjoying the weather yesterday we were discussing my preoccupation with moving to Hawaii. Or somewhere else. But mostly Hawaii.

I always hunger for the last vacation I went on. Doesn't matter where.

So we were discussing my craving for the simple. And how impossible it is to live simply. Unless you are ministering in Africa. And we determined yesterday that I'm probably far too selfish to minister in Africa. Which leaves Hawaii.

 You see how completely ALIKE the two are. And how obvious the answer is.

Of course if we went to Hawaii, I'd take most of our crap with us. Defeating the purpose.

After a LONG conversation regarding this, my husband informed me that I have no self-fulfilling hobbies.

Can you imagine?

Besides reading, which he thinks is a fallback hobby, because it's easy and that I don't really get much out of it.

Can you imagine?

Drat, if he isn't right.

And I don't even know what to do about it.

What mom has time for hobbies?

And if you have time, space?

And space, interest?


My hobby is vacation. On the beach.

Hawaii, it is.

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Internal Debate

There's a really great sale going on today.
I need nothing.
But everything's half off today!
No one needs anything.
But I ALWAYS find something at this sale.
I need nothing.
Their girl clothes are always so cuuuute.
Princess needs nothing.
Maybe I could find some shoes for the kids.
They don't need shoes.
Oh, and the toys! I forgot the toys!
You confiscated all the kids' toys when you put the house on the market.
Maybe THIS time there will be a really great stroller.
Really? Charming doesn't ride in strollers. Never really has.
Eldest needs clothes.
They never have anything for him.
Maybe I could find something for me. They have those teen clothes now.
You don't need anything either. And let's remember you are no longer a teen.
If Charming gives even a hint of distress at going home, I'll go to the sale.
Well, maybe he'll want to go out later.

Guess I'll clean house.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Water for My Birthday

Birthdays lose their luster some time after your 21st.
Maybe this will make it better.
Check it out.


I used to tell people I wanted boys. All boys. My speech went a little something like this:

"I've been a teen girl. I know the drama that girls give their moms. I want boys. You feed them and they love you."

I did NOT take into account that if they aren't eating, they are thinking about eating. They have opinions about what they should eat and when. There is no break. If they've just eaten, they will ask you to make something else. If they are awake,they root through the cabinets for food. You have to go to the grocery store every other day and you will fill your cart to overflowing every time.

I am forever peeling apples, washing grapes, opening bananas, offering yogurt, cheese sticks and tortillas. Saying no to single serve chips, agreeing to opening a new box of cheez-its. All while preparing a spectacular rendition of the cheeseburger, pizza, grilled cheese, lasagna and/or tater-tot casserole...all which will be demolished in less than thirty minutes. They will likely disappear for approximately 30 seconds while I look around me in confusion wondering where all that food I bought and prepared went, where all these dirty dishes came from, and then they'll reappear and declare, "I'm hungry. What can I eat?"

Why did I ever think this would be easier than drama?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What I Hate About Yoga

I can do this. It is called Bird of Paradise. I completed and held the pose for the first time yesterday morning. I've managed to hold it a time or two with a bent top leg. I have even kicked my leg up when I got good and stable with the bent leg. But I HELD it Saturday.

FYI, this isn't me, as you will soon see. It's this lady.

I was dang excited, let me tell you. It takes some serious core and leg strength to hold your leg in the air like that. I didn't expect to be able to do so for months yet.

But here's the thing about Yoga. At least at the level where I am. They get you all warm and limber, strengthened, focused, (fatigued--sssh, did I say that?) and then put you in balance poses. First the legs, and then the arms. And then they cool you down with a little core work, some inversions, a shoulder stand and savasana. And you limp out of the room all relaxed and cool and relieved to have survived another day.

And go home and can't prove to ANYONE what you know you did just minutes prior.

Can't be replicated.

This is why I must go to school to become and instructor so that I can work myself into a sweaty, limber, focused, tizzy and show off.

(NOT show off at class. To my Beloved. And maybe my parents. I know Yoga is about inner balance and all that jazz and isn't about showing off. I know this. I do. I DO!)

By the way, I did this too:

Again, not me. Her. And not half so well, I'm sure.

Not that I'd be able to show you.

Besides, I have inner peace. I don't need to show you. Or brag. At ALL.


Friday, August 27, 2010

To Clarify

Because people seem to be confused, probably because I am typically confusing, what I meant was this:

If I killed myself at the gym one day and burned 1000 calories, but was sore for a week, was it really worth it when I can burn 800 calories just staying home and doing what I do?

You have to drop the other burned calories that happened in the same day at the gym because my argument is more about not going versus going. Not doing both. Besides, when I go and kill myself, NOTHING gets done at home. I just collapse on the couch. Yoga being the singular exception. And Yoga being what my Personal Trainer scoffs at as being any form of exercise At All.

He's a Yoga bigot.

I'm a doing push-ups until you barf bigot.

random calorie talk

I woke this morning with a "really great" idea for a blog post just as soon as I got the kids off to school.

We all know where this is going.

It probably wasn't that great, anyway.

But let me tell you this, because it's interesting. To me, at least.

Last Saturday, I went to Flashback Aerobics Jam and killed myself for two hours while systematically making it so that I couldn't climb stairs without pain for a week. According to my heart monitor, I burned 1048 calories. I was pretty excited to crack into the 1000s as I haven't done that since I dropped out of stinking Cardio Kickboxing. (I prefer to be able to lift my arms, can you believe?)

Excited, that is, until Tuesday when we had a house showing (the first one in five weeks). Since I'd just come home from the gym (where I burned a WHOPPING 350), I was still wearing my heart monitor so, out of curiosity, I turned it on and cleaned like a maniac.

Two hours and twenty-three minutes later, I'd burned 853 calories. Cleaning my house.

OK, really? Is the extra 200 calories really worth it?

Sure, housework has done nothing to reduce this extra layer of padding I've added in the last ten years. If anything, it's grown. Possibly the close proximity of Pepsi and general pantry type things WHILE I clean house. And the fact that once you've killed yourself in Flashback Aerobics Jam, and Cardio Kickboxing, and Step, and Yoga (not all at once, mind you, I'm not suicidal), you question whether that bag of chips is really calling your name or calling you stupid. While making a bed and vacuuming the floor MIGHT, possibly, make me think I DESERVE a treat.

So, by killing myself, essentially, I'm buying a conscience.  

Monday, August 23, 2010


Charming: Mommy! I have to show you why you can't sleep anymore!
*opens curtains*
Me: Is it a sunny day? Well, I guess I better get to it.
*rolls out of bed*
Charming: Yeah! I will play cars and you can make coffee

At least he has our priorities down.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Like A Little Child

As I stood in worship this morning, I was overcome with nostalgia for childhood.

I should start with more explanation.

We were singing a song, or better said the worship team was singing a song none of the rest of us know, which meant that we were paying attention to the words, or at least I was. Pretty sure the few adults around me were, too. I say adults, because my kids were 1) reading a novel 2) reading Genesis (oh, my word--that again) 3) staring at me quizzically and saying things like "I don't know this song." All while more than one grown-up was wiping away tears, myself included.

Granted, many of my tears were due to an overwhelming desperation regarding our move or lack thereof.

And I was struck with how simple faith is when you're a kid--but not exactly for the obvious reasons that many of us have been taught. Faith of a child, simplicity and uncomplicated belief. Or maybe for all that. But in that adults can understand those songs that say something like "here I am, again, a failure, I've screwed it up again and I don't know why You keep taking me back." Even when that isn't what the song says, it screams through my mind.

I have a friend who opens every prayer with something like "here I am again, addictive screw up, depending only upon your unfailing forgiveness for which I don't deserve."

That was free. And hers is better, but we haven't prayed together for over a year and her words have left me, even if her meaning hasn't.

Anyway, as I was puzzling over how unaffected the children and teen around me were by the words of this song it struck me that kids have so much less baggage. The older we get, the bigger the burdens, one sin heaped upon another.

Don't get me started on all the sins I've committed simply due to the fact that I have children. Children are not for the selfish. Though I have a feeling that the world would not have been populated if that stopped people.

I have a friend who once said you have no idea how selfish you are until you get married, and even then you have no idea how selfish you are until you have children.

That was free, too.

I know that all sin is sin in the eyes of God, but man it sure was easier to believe he forgave me when my sins were simple little things like whacking my sister for being annoying. Simple, clear cut. Action, consequence. And then we grow up and start reading the rest of the Bible and man, sin begins in the heart and whether you paste on a smiley face with that woman you CAN NOT STAND, God knows that in your fantasies you are telling her off and might strike out and hit her also and it makes your heart black and rigid and you can pretend it isn't there, but that doesn't make it so. And then you learn things like Don't Take Communion If A Brother Has Anything Against You and, geez, when you know that, WHY does ANYONE take it?

I'm paralyzed, man, paralyzed.

I'm just trying to function in this world. Sometimes I pretend I have it all together. Most of the time I don't pretend, but often even in those times people treat me like I do, or should, anyway.

(I just screamed at my kids who all decided that NOW they needed something from me after ignoring me for the last 15 minutes when I DARED to pick up my computer, so I'll wrap this up lest I never be able to take communion again.)

Anyway, faith like a child is more than blind belief like they blindly believe in everything including, but not limited to The Boogy Man, The Easter Bunny (even when Mom says there's no such thing), and Jesus, but trusting that He forgives not only children who whack their sisters, but children, masked as adults, who want to whack the people in their lives and instead smile while harboring evil against them in her heart.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Blog Fodder

OK, I said I was going to let this go, and I am--eventually--but this was just too good.

My Beloved took me to lunch today at the Pine and Bamboo for our belated, "Well, if the kids have to start school here, at least we can celebrate by eating Chinese for the first time since they got out of school" lunch of food way too "gross" and "spicy" and "full of disgusting things" for the kids to consume. When we walked out, we were faced with this:

(there should be an awesome photo here of four (count 'em, four) silvery beige minivans and two silvery beige cars in a row. Three were Honda Odysseys, broken apart only by the Ford version. Alas, I could not rustle up the camera that has been in my purse for over a month because I cleaned out said purse just yesterday.)

Did I mention that this is a very small parking lot and out ,maybe, 20 cars six in a ROW were beigey silver and even more not in that little row were?

"Oh, this is blog fodder for sure," said I.
My Beloved said, "You're never going to let this go, are you?"
And so, to prove his point, I pointed out every beigey silver minivan in the 15 blocks it took to get home. There were a LOT.

He has informed me that silvery beige doesn't count. I disagree. I say if you put silvery-beige and beigey-silver in a row with beige, silver, and white, they all look the same.

What say you?

And next time I WILL have the camera.

Marriage Meme from Tricia Boyer's Blog

From Tricia Goyer's blog (which means I'm not giving away anything, you have to link though to her)

"Copy this meme and paste it into a post on your blog. (With your own answers!)  Link back to this post, {} Then leave a comment here or use the Linky tool to link your blog to this post, so I know you're participating and I can pop over and read your meme. Don't forget to tag your friends with this also. And - if you're not a blogger, that's okay too - just answer the meme in the comment section and be sure to leave your email address.

On Thursday the 27th I'll choose 5 winners who will receive a copy of Generation NeXt Marriage and Generation NeXt Parenting. "

  • How did you meet your husband?Technically? Gym class, freshman year, August 1990. Not technically, Marion Count Fairgrounds, a few days before school started, August 1990. We played cat and mouse at the carnival most of an evening. He was there with his buddy who I had met earlier in the summer at the pool.
  • What did you first notice about him?Hmmmm, tall and handsome. I was 14 and pretty shallow. :)
  • How long have you been married?14.25 years
  • Share something you discovered about him after you were married that surprised you?He wants to play violin.
  • What do you argue about the most? priorities and expectations--the little daily ones, mostly, but sometimes we'll have a blowout over a big one and we wonder "where did THAT come from after all this time?".
  • What quality in him do you admire most? tenacity
  • What is the hardest part about being married? being nice and respectful full time
  • What’s the best part about being married?knowing that when I'm not nice and respectful, he'll still be there. Shoot, I get to spend every day with my best friend. Even when we're being bratty to each other, it's better than hanging out with some superficial friend talking about hair.
  • What has changed the most about you since you've been married? I don't fight after 11. 99.9% of the time, fights that begin after 11 aren't really issues in the morning. I just go to bed. Not angry, mind you. Irritated maybe. We have an agreement about this and it works for us. I plead "It's too late to argue. I'm just tired." and he generally agrees.
  • What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other wives about creating a happy marriage?Figure out the things most important to him and do you darndest to support those things. Whether it be chasing dreams or a vacuumed living room floor. If you take care of the biggies, the little things slide right by. (Believe it or not, the vacuumed living room floor CAN be a biggie.)
  • What's the one piece of advice you'd give to your children about creating a happy marriage? Pick the right spouse. Pick your best friend. Make sure they share your values and beliefs. If you hold the same core beliefs, the rest will work out--with a bit of work.
Have fun!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Here we are at the last day of summer. I'm depressed. The kids are excited. I wanted to make it a memorable last day. What fun things would they like to do today?

Watch Phineas and Ferb.



Guess I'll go take a long lukewarm shower and find a novel. Maybe some bon-bons.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oh My Word, Are People Really This Stupid?

Lookie what got through my spam filter today. From a yahoo account no less. I guess the FBI is scaling back. (eyeroll)










Agent John Edward
Regional Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Intelligence Field Unit
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C.
20535-0001, USA

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This communication and its attachments may contain non-public, confidential or legally privileged information. The unlawful interception, use or disclosure of such information is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, or have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply email and delete all copies of this communication and attachments without reading or saving them.