personal care.

I feel like I need to be light-hearted.  I went back and read the last few posts, and it appears that I have lost my funny bone!  (This is totally not the case.  I make ME laugh daily, and either my coworkers are just kind, or they're laughing along with me too.)

But I'm sitting here trying to think of something that is funny, and I can think about is what happened yesterday.

I am intrigued, on a regular basis, at things we do as women, to "maintain".  Regular visits, shaving, tweezing, straightening, bleaching, frosting, texturizing, shadowing, layering, coordinating, and accessorizing – all in an effort to impress somebody else, or the collective somebody's.  And sometimes, we do it because it's just the thing we're supposed to do.

(Warning – this may be TMI – you've been advised.)

Yesterday was a Girlie Doctor Visit day.  I would honestly rather be SHOT AT than endure that visit even though it only takes like 3 minutes.  Yes, I realize that most of it is preventative, but still.  BLECH.  I put it off as long as I can.  

I feel like a woman's body (especially her intimate parts) is a roadmap of sorts.  Some girls are the Indy 500 track.  A few are the Autobahn.  Some of us are drying up like a pathway through the Sahara. Some of us are surrounded by terrible landscaping.  And some of us need to be repaved.

 And maybe I'm a weirdo, but I don't like everybody seeing my roadmap, you know?

Plus, I always get tickled when I have to visit this Dr.  I mean, where else (besides a family holiday gathering) can all your failures in life be condensed into one room?  Oh you're single? (As you're being started at the by the young guy across the room.)  Oh you're childless? (As the very pregnant lady across the aisle eyes you like a holiday turkey.)  (In her defense, sometimes it's hard to tell if her expression is pity or envy.  Totally depends on the size of the ankles and her levels of morning sickness.)  Oh, you're really childless? (Silently says the pregnant mother while her three kids under 4 run around the waiting room like banshees.)  THEN… when you walk into the actual room, the nurse will ask you a litany of questions that are a balance between "Are you a whore ?" or "I've never met a 30-year old virgin ".

And to think… most of us do this under the guise of preventative care.  I don't want any type of cancer and so I know it's good, and should be necessary.  But I can't help but laugh hysterically at the set up of it all.

That is until the nice doctor accidentally pokes my cervix so hard that I fly off the table.  Dear Really Nice Dr that I will visit again, my cervix should not be mistaken for a dart board at a pool hall.  Thanks.

Good times I tell ya'… good times.



What an interesting month October has been!!!  Because my blogging has been so inconsistent, I have not captured all the things that started this year, and strangely changed in October.

In July, I got so overwhelmed that my body freaked out on me.  Stress manifested itself in a new way, and I got thrown a curve ball.  I spent the month of August trying to reign things in.

Some of those things are things I've been transparent about.  I don't even want to be one of those people that writes, but writes from a hypocritical perspective.  I have started to write, and promptly deleted posts after getting in, and realizing that I was preaching to the choir.

I've had issues with money as far back as I can remember.  Some people are gifted savers.  I am not.  I struggle with finances on such a ridiculous level.  I've had some amazing seasons of my life where I get out of credit card debt, but only after I become deliberate daily about staying on top of things.  This summer has not been one of those seasons!  But I am determined to get things back on track.

Lately, my friends have been nicknaming months -- Janky July, Snatchy September, Oh-no-You-Didn't October.  It's funny only because it's been indicative of the month.

But I?  I am taking November as New November. 

One of my favorite scriptures, and one commonly referred to at the beginning of the year is: 

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19

So, I'm taking November as new.  I'm going to do some NEW things... like be extra aware of my finances and my relationships and my weight.  I'm reminding myself daily to reNew my mind, but focusing on good things, God's word, and prayer.  

And I challenge you to do the same.

In three weeks, many of us will sit down at our collective tables and reminisce about what we're thankful for...   while I have so many things to be thankful for, I want more.  I want New.  I don't want to waste any time anticipating the new year, I want to blast through the remainder of this year with a renewed energy and zest for life.  :)

Out with the old October... in with the New November.



had a run-in with my past a few weeks ago.

I do not mean that I sat down and reflected on my past.  I mean, I actually had to be in the same room with him for the first time in years.  It was very strange.

For a fleeting moment, I thought about how well I knew that person.  And then I occurred to me that I know so little about who that man is today, and how little he knows about me.

It took me a long time to stop thinking about him.  As women (in this type of circumstance), one of the hardest things to get over is thinking that we are forgettable.  Especially when it comes to people we love, either platonically or romantically -- as though the impression (I've made) was a complete waste of time.  

When my world fell apart five years ago, I (mostly) opted for silence, except to those closest to me.  I did blog a little but never in a way that I felt gave me any kind of closure.  (For the record, closure – and the wanting thereof – is dumb.)  I was broken and hurt, but in a different way.  I was angry.  A few months later, he emailed me and I had a chance to speak my mind if for nothing else, but to take away the fear and the shame. I no longer had to be afraid of this person.  They'd made a choice that I didn't want, but had to live with anyway.

When you are 2:2 in relationships, you have to determine that You are the common denominator.  Admitting that to myself did not come easily, but it did come.  I made decisions in the moment to step back and analyze, re-evaluate things, and not do anything drastic.  I was known for constantly changing my hair.  In the heat of my life changing, I made myself a 90-day promise – to not change my hair.  I needed something to be constant, something I could control, and that became my thing.  If in that 90 days any situation changed, then my 90 days started over.  I wound up not cutting my hair for over two years.  When I finally did cut my hair, it was cathartic.  It was finally letting go.

So much has happened in the last five years.  I cannot ever imagine [him] being a part of any of it.  To think that I ever held on to [his] opinion (and held on for so long) is silly and small. When I tell people that I know what God's grace looks like, it's  realizing what my life is NOT, and how blessed I am that God spared me (or closed the door in front of me) from that.

"This is what I know: we're all a volume on the shelf at the library, a story unto ourselves, never possibly described with one word or even very accurately with thousands…we are thickly layered, page lying upon page, behind simple covers. And love – it is not the book itself, but the binding. It can rip us apart or hold us together. A book is worthy of a strong embrace, but, too, you must be gentle with one. Careful in whose hands you put it. Layers, by their nature, are fragile things." – Deb Caletti

Why yes, I have missed you too....

I really have lost my ability to write.  It's so sad. I used to write early in the morning.  I seem to have clarity at that time each morning.  Also, I'd like to think I'm the funniest.  Unfortunately, I am not able to write at that time each day (SADNESS) and I haven't invested energy in finding another time that works for me consistently. 


With that said, I feel like 4,287,301 have happened in my life that I really have not updated you on.  Right now, I have no idea what literary continuity would look like, so short paragraphs will have to cut the proverbial mustard for today.  :)

·        At the end of July, my church had a family VBS. SO MUCH FUN.  Three long days of hard work, but it gave me chance to see a different side of my church peeps (I love that they are multifaceted) as well as get to work directly for our super fun Children's Pastor.

·        I have a 16-year old at church that hits on me.  It's the funniest thing.  I point out (frequently) that I am old enough to be his Teen Mom.  I'm claiming that his sweet words are preparing me for how God wants my husband to treat me.  After FX (Family VBS), this guy left a comment on my facebook wall that said:

"The Word says, "Give drink to those who are thirst, and feed the hungry", how 'bout dinner?"  

I kid you not, I STILL laugh about that.  BEST. PICK-UP. LINE. EVER.

·        My friend Danielle got married on August 21.  Her wedding, (in spite of some feelings that crept up in me that I still can't rationalize), restored my faith in weddings.  In spite of the fact that I've been to 100+ weddings in the last decade, I'd gotten to the place where I felt like I didn't deserve one.  That sounds dumb, because it is.  Danielle was GORGEOUS, and I got my make-up done professionally, including false eyelashes.  I wish I could wear them everyday.  They're so fun!!

·        My fabulous college friends and I had our FOURTH reunion in as many years.  My dear friend Mike got engaged to his sweetheart Kristin and I am so stinkin' excited for them!  We had so much fun that weekend.  It never ceases to amaze me that even though we see each other once a year, we never miss a beat.  I love those people with my whole heart.  It's precious to see my friend Mike so happy and in love!  He's dated some interesting girls, but Kristin is the best!!!  So glad to welcome her and her son into the family!!

·        I'm officially leading high school Sunday School/Discipleship.  These teenagers crack me up.  We had 19 this past Sunday morning.  I can't wait to see what all God is going to do with them!!!

·        I got my second (and probably final) tattoo this past weekend.  It says "My Beloved" in Arabic, and it's directly below my first one.  I'm not going to lie… this thing HURT like a mug!!  It's still hilarious to me that I pulled my pants down and let some guy draw on my lower hip, and paid him!  Also, the running joke is that I have a UN Peace Treaty on my butt.  The friend I went to visit in Jordan was stateside for a few weeks and checked the language for me.  I love it, honestly.  I'm a teensy-weensy bit sad that my inks aren't in places that people can see regularly, but there's still such a stigma to tattoos.  

·        I've been think about Jordan a LOT these past few weeks.  As corny as this seems, I still can't believe I went.  I still can't believe I experienced it.  If it weren't for the pictures, I don't know if I'd believe it's real.  But with that said, there is something about it that I ache for deeply.  I miss Jordan.  

I know I have some funny stories, but they aren't coming to mind right now.  But this is what's been happening.  My life is full and fun and busy.  I don't get to see the babies as often as I'd like, but it's a season and I just have to be thankful for this season, instead of wishing it away.  It's also college football season (ROLL TIDE!). I'm moderating my addiction to Pinterest by devoting 5 minutes when I can, so that I don't feel guilty for missing something.  I'm trying (for the umpteenth time) to stick to a plan.  I envy people who can!  

I'm also rambling.  As you were…


as of late...

somehow I have managed to neglect my little blog here.  oops.

Currently, it's 9:19pm.  I've just gotten home from a driving lesson/life session with the girl that my friends and I are helping.  Although I ate dinner less than 2 hours ago, I feel hungry.

Or maybe empty.

I'm not sure.

Such appears to be the season I'm in.  A season of such drastic change in my life that every afternoon is FULL.  My weeks are scheduled far in advance.  It's not just one event, it's six.  It's babies that need a bath.  It's their mother that needs to be affirmed and told that she is valued and loved.  It's friends that want quality time.  It's work that calls.  It's civic duty that I want to do.  It's church.  It's youth that need my undivided attention just to tell me silly things.  It's a sixteen year old hitting on me. (Strangely enough, I'm not even joking about that.)  It's family events.  It's wedding planning.  It's couponing. It's a public speaking event.  It's new training on my job. It's a little bit of everything.

And a body that wants to be weak and give in, but a conscious that can't sleep at night if I don't give it my all.

And then it's the coming home to an apartment that needs some attention, but that is ultimately empty.


Today I had five minutes to re-read my Jordan journal.  I tried to process where I was at, somewhere in Petra, I think, when I realized how much I was begging God to change my life.

WOAH!! at the answered prayer.


I wish I had some deep blog, but I don't.  I'm just living the life in front of me.  I'm still making changes for the future (and trust me, the next 90 days hold some unexpected changes no doubt), but I'm also trying to be flexible. Not my strong suit!

I'll try harder... :)

I have wanted to write this post for a few weeks but I honestly have no idea how to start. Any and all grammatical and literary coherence may be completely lost, but that's okay. :)

Six months ago, a precious friend of mine started couponing. My friend J. encouraged and taught all of us to coupon. In my heart, I started couponing to 1) save money and 2) be able to "bless my family in a way that was financially smart and give back a smidgen of what they'd given me. Over the course of the first few months, we (all) discovered that one of the cashiers we interacted with had been a high school classmate of J.'s. They really didn't interact and the cashier had assumed (for quite a few years) that J. was snooty. (Very much not the case.) J. began talking to this cashier and inviting her to church. Cashier informed us all of her large family -- she is 25, with 3 kids -- ages 3, 2, and 4 months.

sidenote: it was at this point that we all realized this was not some chance meeting. It's so funny how God does things when you least expect it and in ways that you least expect. Such is God. and THANK GOD.

I would love to put more details of cashier's life on the Internet, but I just can't... Her story is her story and I'm not going to detract from it. She's a statistic of sorts. If God doesn't move in a mighty way, her children will probably be statistics too.

Again, I want to tell you SO much more, but that's not the story... at least not for me.

In a way that I never imagined, God put three of the sweetest, funniest, snuggliest kids in my life and the lives of my girlfriends.

I know this is a crazy, broken-up blog post. Such is the state of my heart.

I've never in my life considered adoption. Different people are called to amazing things, but adoption has never been on my radar. But these kids?? They make me want to adopt all the children of the world.

My heart has never been shattered into so many pieces. And for the life of me, I can't tell you how God is supposed to put them back together. Or what my heart will look like when he does.

I had told my friends many times over the last few weeks that these babies make my uterus hurt. Every maternal instinct I have is on full throttle.

All I can do is love on these sweet babies. Kiss their cheeks. Squeeze them, tickle them, love them.

And they have turned my world upside down.

This is what happens when you sincerely pray for God to break your heart for what breaks His.



I was looking at photos on my brother's computer tonight and found this.

Today, I stood in St. Paul's Church (Trinity Church) and looked at remnants left from 9/11.  I kind of felt unemotional about it all until I came to a display talking about cots that were set up in the church for emergency workers.  Something about seeing that empty cot stirred deep inside my heart.  

In the far corner of the church is a charred, empty fireman's uniform with an embroidered collar that says, "We will never forget".

Memorial Day weekend is always special to celebrate in New York City.  This is not my first.

But now, with Bin Laden dead, and the immenent 10th anniversary of the tragedy and heroism that occurred that fateful day, I can't help but find this weekend Extra Special.

Indeed, we will never forget.

It is for freedom, that we are free.



(please excuse the horrible photography...)

For over 11 years, I've wanted to get a tattoo.

For the last five years, I've occassionally (read: more often than I should) drawn/written the word Love on my arm.

But this past Saturday, I got it inked on my back.

After this trip to the middle east, I wanted something to commemorate the trip that changed my life and messed me up in an incredible beautiful and wonderful way.

And for me, that meant something permanent!