Friday, January 31, 2014

Nine things I learned in January 2014


It’s already the end of January.  The kids have been out of school more than in school, it’s been so out of the norm COLD here in the south, we’re getting cooped up yet this month still seems to has gone by quickly.

It’s also the end of the month which means (when I can), I share the list of things I’ve leaned each month. So here goes it for January 2014.

1)  Now that its Super Bowl time: A few weeks ago I took my daughter to lunch – just the two of us – to good ‘ole Chick-fil-a (which really is the best fast food place with In and Out a close 2nd but unfortunately that’s on the other side of the country.)  Instead of taking home the “prize” in the kid’s meal bag that will just get thrown in the toy box and forgotten, she took it to the counter to exchange it for ice cream.  While she was gone, I started reading the bag her meal came in and I learned this tid-bit of information:  The biggest football stadium in the world holds 109,901 fans.  If each fan squeezed one lemon, it would be enough to make 2,555 pitchers of Chick-fi-la lemonade.  Now you know.



2)  I don’t know if I’d call it a new hobby, interest or adventure.  My husband and I were able to get away for a couple of days just the two of us.  We went somewhere we had never been – New Bern, NC.  I fell in love with my husband even more while we were there and fell a little in love with that place too.  We stayed in the historic district at the Aeire Bed and Breakfast.  I thought,  “How much I’d enjoy traveling to different places and stay at different B and B’s.”  I don’t know; maybe we can.  But we so enjoyed the one we stayed at, that if other B and B’s are just as lovely, I surely would like to do that again.  It was such a good get away for the two of us and was overdue.





3) It’s still fun to tell our honeymoon story.  We got to share it while we were at the inn in New Bern.  The others staying there were so surprised to hear the disaster that it was.  How fun it is to see the mouths drop open and expressions on people’s faces.  The inn keeper even emailed a week later and said how she’s still thinking about it!

4)  While on our trip we learned some NC history from the Civil War at Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach, NC.  Some may think it’s boring, but this really is interesting.  I wasn’t taught this in history class at high school – or maybe I wasn’t paying attention because I was concentrating on passing a note I quietly tore out of a spiral notebook to give a friend.  But back during the Revolutionary and Civil wars, when a battle was about to take place, the enemy would wait to charge and start the battle until all the women and children had left the fort or battle ground area to protect their lives.  Wow - what respect that’s now disappeared.  At least that’s what the tour guide told us.  We learned several other real, eye-opening stories that day.



5)  We also learned some more history when the inn keeper took us for a ride in an old Model A Ford around historic New Bern.  He said the corner lots were a hot commodity. If someone wealthier than the family who lived in a house on the street corner lot, he would arrange the house to be physically moved to a different lot so he could build his house on the corner.  A corner was a top dollar back then.  Have things changed much?



6)  I’m beginning to figure out how to use WordPress.  That’s right, figure out.  (with a little bit of help from an expert!)  It’s a lot of clicking buttons and really having no idea what it’ll do.  But when you figure out how to use a feature that you like, that “ah-ha” moment is pretty enjoyable.

7)  And speaking of WordPress, the reason is because I’ve been part of a team with a super-cool friend for a super-cool church to launch a new blog that wants to focus on women’s stories and how God has something to do with them.  It’s a brand new experience and excitement to have an idea (or dream) really start to happen.  And then when it does, it kinda scares me.  I was so nervous clicking “publish” for the first time. After I clicked that button though, I offer it all to the One who really is who made it happen.  It was not me.

8)  I learned that finding out about the first meeting for high school registration and orientation brings a parent a big wave of crazy emotions.  Our oldest child is already preparing for high school!?  High school.  Only 4 more years until graduation.  It kind of blows my mind.  Wow.  Where has the time gone?

9)  Sometimes when you’re wrestling with questions in your mind and heart, and you tell someone that you’re trying to figure it out - all of a sudden in your trying explanation, the words will just unexpectedly pour out of your mouth that actually answers your own question


That’s what I’ve learned this month…this first month of 2014 that seemed to speed by.  Being grateful for the opportunities to learn them. 


What’s something you’ve learned this month? 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Want to hear a story?


Everyone has a story.

God created us to share our story because every woman deep down desires to tell it to someone…

For most of my life, sharing my story has been difficult for me.  I love to hear and read other people's stories.  I actually have a job creating books for others about their stories.  But, when I'm asked to tell mine, that's a different story.  But the past couple of years I've been working at starting to tear down that wall…

To finish reading this, hop of on over to where I’m sharing my story today. 


It’s a joy to add this to my list of joys - helping to launch a new blog to reach out to women from young to wise and all in between.  As part of a team with other women, and as a church, we are passionate about sharing part of God’s Story with you.

“Our mission is to passionately reach out to women who have a story to tell.  We want to be a place where she can share, learn and relate to other women’s stories with a devotion to Christ.  Our stories are real and serve as reminders of God’s truth and relentless love for us.  Through this SMCW Mission Statement we seek a transformation of our lives and the lives of those around us with the goal to help make Jesus famous.”

The blog invites you to journey with us as we uphold, inspire and encourage each other.

“…when we come together something beautiful will happen as we are encouraged by each other’s faith.”  (Romans 1:12)

After several months of prayer, planning and learning, last week the SMC Women blog was launched and I’m excited to start on this journey and am inviting you to join with me!

So, come along!

Friday, January 24, 2014

An Overdue Get Away

{Joining in with Five Minute Friday today and the word is VISIT}

I don’t do this very often…or have I ever here in this space of mine? 

But I just feel like it this time.  Maybe it’s because I’m wishing we were back there in that quaint, get-away space.

There’s many “reviews” floating around out there.  Book reviews. Toy reviews. Product reviews. Travel reviews.

Well, I feel like reviewing…or remembering a Bed and Breakfast trip.

This past week, my husband and I were able to get away for a couple of days just the two of us. (Thanks mom and dad!) 

It had been way too long since we’ve done that

It was much needed and much enjoyed.

My husband is usually the one who plans our vacations and makes all the arrangements…it’s something he enjoys doing.  But this was a special birthday and I wanted to plan something special for him.  Thanks to Pintrest, I found a place that looked just. right. 

So, I took a risk and made reservations, hoping he’ll like it.  Hey!  I’m getting better with this risk-taking thing!

We’re so glad I did.

Rich with character and history, we drove into New Bern, NC on a sunny, brisk January afternoon, in search for a house that was built in 1882.

The Aeire Bed and Breakfast


What a lovely place to visit.  This house was filled with over 130 years of stories

Our “Hidden Room” really did make us feel we could hide away from the world just the two of us.

We were given a personal tour of the town in an old Model A Ford, we ate mouth-watering, gourmet breakfasts (delish!), fresh seafood and unique sandwiches from a local deli.  We went to the movies!  Don’t know the last time just the two of us has done that (Saving Mr. Banks). We learned history about Fort Macon, took a walk on the beach (Barefoot in January even though I nearly froze.  Hey - when I’m on the beach, I’m barefoot!)  We met some other people also staying at the inn and got to tell them our nightmare honeymoon story that we can laugh at now.



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The activities gave enjoyment, the atmosphere brought relaxation. But the part of the get away that was the best were the conversations we had.  Conversations where we weren’t interrupted by every typical day demands or you’re just too wiped out after the kids crawl in bed to have a good conversation.

We talked about each others words and dreams.  Our love expanded.  Strength grew. Bonding tightened.

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I highly recommend visiting New Bern, NC and staying at the Aeire Bed and Breakfast.  The owners cater to your needs, make you feel welcome…and even spoiled!  There’s so much to do yet not too much so it’ll make you relax.

What an uncommon and blessed treat for us.

Am thankful.

So thankful.




Today is Five Minute Friday where writers can join in and write for five minutes including the word that Lisa Jo Baker gives.  Today’s words is VISIT.  (I know mine went a little over 5 minutes but words and memories weren’t quite ready to stop…and how perfect for today’s word to be visit when we just got back from visiting a new to us town.)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Just Scratching the Surface: For my Husband


He loves movie popcorn.

He picks up the piles I allow to grow high in the laundry room.

He tells me I’m beautiful when I don’t feel like I am.

He plays basketball with our son when it’s 35* outside.


He’s our family’s financial planner…and good at it.

He’s a visionary.

He works hard no matter the circumstances.

His big, blue eyes.  Enough said.


He still holds me even when my feet and hands are ice cold.

He still loves me when I’m grumpy.

He really is a good cook and can make some mean mashed potatoes with his air-brushed flamed Kitchen Aid mixer.  He even creates new recipes and they’re good.


His corny lines make me laugh.

He’ll listen to the music our kids like to hear even though they’re not his favorite.

He can fix almost anything which includes toilets and he’ll go under the house with who-knows-what is under there. 

He sacrifices for his kids and wife.

He can make others laugh.

He’s not sloppy. He likes a clean and clutter-free home yet still loves us when we don’t keep it that way.

He knows the title and singer of almost every 80s song that comes on the radio in 10 seconds or less when the song starts playing.

He’ll get in the cold water at the pool to give our daughter a ride on his back.

He encourages me to write.

He’s a great editor. (for example when he read this before I posted it and found some corrections. <3 )

He tells our kids to respect their mama.


He supports my dreams.

He listens when I finally speak.

He knows what I’m trying to say when it comes out wrong.

He can finish my sentence for me because he knows me so well.

He love to open our home to others.


His heart loves to give to others in Jesus’ Name.

He’s so good at explaining Scripture to our kids at their best understanding.

He’s my knight in shining armor.

He’s my best friend.

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That just scratches the surface of the list of gifts he is to the people in his life, our family and to me.  These words only scratch the surface trying to describe how thankful I am for him and they only scratch the surface trying to tell or show him how much I love him. 

In the scratches on that surface his compassion, dedication and wisdom fill in the cracks which daily deepen.  And as they widen, so does love.

Love fills in the gaps and draws us closer together as our age grows.

That makes me happy.


Happy BIG birthday to the love of my life! 



Monday, January 13, 2014

A big order?


IMG_9838I’m still wondering how and why define is a defining word for me these days.

I’m still asking questions.

Just now, the Book literally fell open to these summons.  You know when you’re holding a book open to a page but when you set it down, it doesn’t stay on that page but gracefully falls open to another page of grace?

It fell open to Romans 12:8-13.  Here’s the instructions:

Encourage others often.

Love well and authentically.

Don’t hide behind a mask.

Pursue what’s good as if your life depended on it.

Love in true devotion to friends and family.

Honor others.

Don’t slack in your faith and hard work.

Let your spirit be on fire serving God.

Rejoice because hope is always around the corner.

Devote yourself to prayer.

Share what you have.

Take every opportunity to open your life and home to others.


Let me live by the Word…be defined by Your Word.

Encourage, love well, don’t hide, pursue good, honor others, be on fire for God, don’t slack, rejoice, devote to prayer, share, open your life.

Well, that’s a pretty long definition.  That’s a big order isn’t it? 

But somehow, I know it’s worth trying.


Joys to start 2014

#1855  we and joy Libby had at the Christmas Eve service


#1856  special, unexpected gifts


#1857  being unlike myself…in a good way…every now and then!

#1858  Frederick Buechner’s quote that dares me

#1859  Hearing Gary Chapman speak on Marriage and children love languages with hubby

#1860  First family ice skating experience


#1861  I didn’t fall down while skating!




#1862  snowing while we skated…

#1863  walking in the snow downtown Charlottesville, VA

#1864  Dancing in the middle of Cook Out restaurant to an 80s song

#1865  paw prints in the snow


#1866  kids bundling up to sled…even when it was 20 degrees outside




#1867  big hills to sled down


#1868  Seeing a snow owl…even if at a  long distance


#1869  shrimp for 3 Christmas dinners

#1870  new slippers

#1871  Word of year verse

#1872  joy of welcoming home navy friend who had been deployed

#1873  our son spending a couple of hours writing a script for a video he wanted to make with his friends to welcome friend back home.


#1874  smiles and joy on faces and the best…laughter!



#1875  piano music

#1876  IF:Gathering set on the calendar!

#1877  family getting rained on while we were on our walk…poured!  and just laughed

#1878  a beautiful sunset at the end of a day that was filled with rain




#1879  conversation with new friend about being real, the Holy Spirit and the desire to be a part of helping change the world!