A Pause of Thanks

I’m taking a pause this week so celebrate the gift of family. This means opening my computer as minimally as possible, laughing as often as I can, eating more than I probably should, and choosing to embrace the craziness of the holidays.

We spent two nights in the great outdoors camping with friends – or, well…Lee and the big kids spent two nights sleeping outdoors. I came home the second evening to stay with the baby. It was a mighty sacrifice I made for her, choosing to sleep in my warm, comfortable bed instead of on the cold, hard ground.

Motherhood is sacrifice, man.

Today, family will sweep down upon us, and tomorrow we eat TURKEY!

I love Thanksgiving. It’s such a non-fuss holiday, isn’t it? That’s probably why it gets so easily overlooked. But what a great day! We sit around, eat, and enjoy family. No place to go, no errands to run. Just family and food.

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will be taking the rest of the week off. But I’ve written several posts lately that I’d love for you to check out if you’re in need of a little light reading. *wink*

1.) Merry and Bright: Tips for Enjoying the Holidays

The holiday season can be hectic and overwhelming. I’m over at Extraordinary Mommy sharing a few tips to help you enjoy the upcoming weeks.



2.) Baba Yaga: Part I

Have you heard of Baba Yaga – the witch who lives in the forest in a magical house? She’s truly terrifying, and I’m enjoying stretching my fiction chops over at Short Fiction Break with this short story series.


3.) Dear Son

There is so much out there bombarding our children these days. It sometimes makes my head spin. And now that I have a boy in middle school, I find myself increasingly aware of the dangers. This was my love letter to him over at Extraordinary Mommy.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Eat Turkey! Play flag football! Enjoy family!

Yay Thanksgiving!

Body After Baby: A Guest Post

I’m over at Extraordinary Mommy today. Join me there?

“Mom, are you having another baby?”

I get asked this question by my nine and seven year olds at least twice a week. Three times if I’m lucky. Our fourth born arrived four months ago, and the children are certain that something is terribly wrong with me since my body hasn’t immediately bounced back.

Tact. We’re working on it in our home. Clearly we need some practice.

Dressing your postpartum body can be quite the chore, particularly in those in-between months when you’ve finally (blissfully) gotten to the place where your regular clothes fit again, but they don’t fit…well. What to do when you want to wear something besides yoga pants, but you don’t want to purchase a whole new wardrobe? I have one word for you:


The modern day girdle, Spanx are a gift for those living in that transition between almost there and finally made it back to pre-baby weight!

It’s true that Spanx make you feel like you might die a slow death of midsection claustrophobia. Just pulling the body-shaping undergarments on is a workout in and of itself, so basically when you wear Spanx you’re killing two birds with one stone: Workout, and completely eradicate the flesh over your abs.

I am now at the point that, with the help of my trusty Spanx, I can fit into almost all of my regular jeans. No, I don’t think I get the full amount of oxygen that I need to fully function while wearing Spanx and jeans, but I do get my kids off my back about having another baby. So I consider it a win.

So for you moms who are trying to get your body back after baby, here are a few tricks (to go along with the Spanx, of course).



Read the rest at Extraordinary Mommy.com.

Join me there

The stomach flu, that most unwelcome of visitors, has made a pit stop at our house. I shouldn’t complain. We haven’t met up with the the stomach bug in years. He was bound to stop by at some point.

Landon is down for the count, though I’m hoping the worst of it is behind him. And I’m going to be busy disinfecting, and praying that somehow the rest of us are miraculously spared.

Really, is there anything worse than waiting for the stomach bug to make it’s rounds?

So no new words from me today. But I am over at Extraordinary Mommy this week talking resolutions, and giving a few tips on how to get your kids on board with your goal setting as you plan out your year.

So why don’t you join me over there. It’s for the better, really. You probably don’t want to linger here in germville anyway.

Happy weekending, everyone! May your days be puke-free!



It’s that time of year again.

The time of year when we write down a list of ambiguous, unrealistic resolutions for ourselves – goals that we more than likely won’t accomplish because what does “Eat Healthier” really mean, amiright? Does it mean one spoonful of Nutella instead of two, or should I start Pinning fancy recipes for Kale and Brussel Sprouts now?

In recent years, the idea of making New Year’s Resolutions has become less popular. I think we’ve all come to realize that we set ourselves up for failure using the traditional resolution model of the past.

There is something invigorating about the first of the year, though. It teems with possibility and in many ways it feels very much like a fresh start. Setting plans for the coming year doesn’t have to be stressful, as long as we do it the right way.

In recent years, I’ve enjoyed bringing my kids in on this little goal setting tradition. It’s fun to sit down together as a family and discuss where we’d like to be as a unit in a year.

Kids love to set goals. It makes them feel safe when life is predictable.

How children set their goals, though, will depend almost entirely on their personalities and, to a lesser degree, their birth order. Most (not all, of course) Type A first borns will want to set very high, lofty goals (get all A’s on my report card), while feisty second borns will set the bar much lower (eat ice cream every day).

Setting goals as a family is a fun way to tap into your children as unique individuals, and it gives you shared direction as a unit heading into the New Year. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Read the rest at Extraordinary Mommy.com.

Links to inspire

Once upon a time, I made sure to blog every day. Even through the summer, I somehow managed to blog a minimum of 4 days/week.

I don’t know how I did this!

Maybe it’s because my kids were younger, and I could tie them up in their rooms for hours at a time without fear of them ratting me out. 

I’m kidding!

They did take naps, though. Is that when I wrote? Or perhaps it’s because they were younger, so a strict bedtime was important, which gave me more evening hours, and made getting up early easier.

Or maybe I just neglected them altogether?

Whatever the case may be, for some reason this summer it has been nearly impossible for me to find time to write. I tried waking up early so I could savor the quiet hours of darkness, but I have a child who also likes the quiet hours of darkness. The only way to beat him up would be to get up in the middle of the night.

I like blogging, but I like sleeping more.

We’ve had late nights and busy days, and blogging has been firmly placed on the back burner until next week when school starts.

SCHOOL STARTS NEXT WEEK! You can’t see it, but I just started dancing – a comical sight when one is 15 months pregnant.


Since I haven’t had time to come up with decent bloggy words, I’m going to leave you with a few links of posts that have impacted me this week. These were all probably written by people who still lock their kids in their bedrooms all day long.

I’m kidding! Actually, one of these links was written by me, so…

Goodness. End of summer makes me punchy.

Links to Inspire


“Phenomenal Cosmic Powers

Itty Bitty Living Space”

My friend Wendy wrote a beautiful tribute to Robin Williams and to creatives everywhere. 


Looking for adorable lunch boxes to send to school with your children this year? I would suggest these gems from Rockey Paper & Design. Not only are they fun to look at on this outside, but inside is equipped with a small chalkboard on which you can write notes to your cherubs each morning.

In short, these lunch boxes will set you well on the path to that Mother of the Year nomination you’ve been working toward.


Photo Credit: www.shaungroves.com

Photo Credit: www.shaungroves.com

Shaun Groves offers some great tips to help curb choice paralysis at conferences. This post offers potential solutions that lead to a win-win-win for both conference attendees and sponsors.


I’m over at Extraordinary Mommy today offering some Florida travel tips, none of which involve the giant mouse. Bonus tip: If you come visit Florida, you can spend a few days with us.


Photo Credit www.preemptivelove.org

Photo Credit www.preemptivelove.org

If you, like me, have wondered why more Muslim leaders aren’t standing up against the atrocities happening in Iraq, then this is the post for you. I was relieved to see that Muslim leaders from around the world had taken a stand against the actions of ISIS, condemning it for the wickedness that it is.

I would also urge you to spend a little time on the Preemptive Love website to learn about the amazing work this organization is doing in Iraq. There is an opportunity to do more than watch in horror by giving to this organization as they work to aid the persecuted people of Iraq.


It’s been a hard week, hasn’t it? Worldwide news of destruction, the death of beloved celebrities, and the heaviness of this world were enough to darken the walls of our hearts. But take joy, my friends. There is still beauty in this world, and there’s hope for tomorrow.

I pray this weekend is restful, peaceful, and filled with enough laughter to chase away the pain.


Join Me There?

I’m writing at both Extraordinary Mommy and Mercy Found Ministries this week. I’d love to have you read along!



When my oldest was two years old, my husband and I planned a road trip to see family. I packed the car full of all measure of educational toys, books, crayons and paper, and other fun activities for the road. A friend had given me a portable DVD player, which I packed, but I scoffed at the idea of letting my child wile the hours away watching Elmo.

“I grew up reading and sitting quietly in a car!” I boldly proclaimed. “I didn’t need to be entertained by a mini-TV, and neither will my children!”

About five hours into our exciting family road trip, I was completely and totally exhausted. As our little angel kicked his legs and cried in frustration, my husband looked at me with raised eyebrows.

“You know,” he said. “You don’t have to be a matyr for motherhood. Technology isgood.

I sighed, popped Elmo into the DVD player, and watched in amazement as my son grew mesmerized by the sights and sounds, then fell asleep for the remainder of the trip.

We’ve since added two more children to our brood, which means that road trips are a necessity if we want to see our family who all live sixteen hours away. I’ve even made the long trek home on my own with the kids in tow, and I’ve picked up a few tricks and tips along the way.

Read the rest at Extraordinary Mommy.com.



Two years ago, I sat at a table in a hotel in Tanzania with a small group of bloggers. It was our final night before departing to head home, back to our homes, our country, our lives that would all now feel a little too comfortable.

We were there on behalf of Compassion International, a team of writers meant to help raise awareness of the great work that Compassion does worldwide for children and families living in extreme poverty.

Our leader, Shaun Groves, told us the story of Everett Swanson, founder of Compassion Interntaional. Upon seeing the desperate orphan crisis in Korea during the Korean war, a missionary friend of Swanson’s asked him the simple, but poignant question – “Now that you know about it, what will you do?”

Compassion International is the living, thriving testimony of a man who could not go on as he had before.

Adoption is a unique ministry. You will see statistics floating around from time to time informing us of the fact that if every family inside the church were to adopt one child, there would, effectively, be no more orphan crisis around the world.

While it’s a nice, utopian idea, the fact is this is a useless argument. There will always be an orphan crisis, because we live in a broken world, comprised of broken people. While adoption is a beautiful ministry, it is one that is birthed out of brokenness.

Add to that the very real fact that not every family is called to adopt and raise a child in their home. This does not, however, excuse us from the responsibility to care for the fatherless.

Read the rest at Mercy Found Ministries!

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