April 2014

{Disclosure: I am being compensated for sharing my thoughts on this book, but the thoughts remain all mine and true.} I suppose I’m biased, but there’s something extra magical about books written by Midwestern women. Susan Gloss, a Madisonite, is no exception to this. She tells a beautiful story of the connections between women, our connections to history and how it comes alive through vintage items, and redemption. Stories of redemption make me feel alive, and I love that this book held surprises after the pain and angst, with an ongoing theme of what it means  to trust another person, even when trust seems too hard. This story takes place in Madison, Wisconsin and is rich with the imagery of that beautiful and folksy yet eclectic city. The main character, Violet’s, business is built on a passion for the stories behind every item in her vintage shop and a love for connecting with […]

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Just Write 133

April 29, 2014

She said, Yeah…you get to just be human now… and I closed my eyes and saw the sun shining all aglow around her brown curls. But she was on the phone, so this was just me, thinking of her. A friend who came to me perfectly and has stayed and we’ve walked these things that can’t be predicted. It hit me so hard. I get to just be human now. Well, that’s obvious, a person would think. We’re people, humans. Yup, be one. But some of us are just so opposed to this, sailing around so sure of sainthood, of rightness with all things, of overcoming and pressing on and keeping straight. I’m so tired. And then sometimes you walk into something so foreign and terrifying that there is absolutely no way to deny your humanity. You can only be absolutely sure you are going to make a whole lot of mistakes while […]

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{This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cardstore.} There are so many things I never would have guessed I would do as a mother. My days are never dull and always extraordinarily ordinary. Had I known that every day would mean staying on my feet most of the time and always answering questions while also wiping noses and bottoms, I would have rolled my eyes.  Oh what an exaggeration, I would have said. But I quickly slowly learned to expect the unexpected after I became a mom, and the unexpected does so often include standing up and wiping all the things. And somehow, amidst all the chaos and the change, the surprises and the mundane, I can honestly say that I continue to experience joy, every day. You guys have seen the #WorldsToughestJob video, right? If not, you totally MUST watch it. I couldn’t stop laughing, and then I got […]

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Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and I’m realizing once again that the gift for my mom should be special, but I don’t know what to get. Whenever this happens, I can honestly say that I love to turn to Uncommon Goods. I always find something unique that can’t be found at the mall, something personal or funny, different and meaningful. (So even though this is a sponsored post, all the words are mine. Full disclosure.) As a way to help you overcome the What Do I Get for Mom (or Grandmom) Conundrum, I wanted to share some unique gift ideas for Mother’s Day (and beyond!) from UncommonGoods!  — From the Uncommon Goods section, Gifts for Mom:     From the UncommonGoods section, Gifts for Women:   From the Uncommon Goods section, Mother’s Day Gifts       These are just a few examples, my friends. You can find so many more options on the Uncommon Goods website. […]

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we are all misfits here

April 24, 2014

se·ren·i·ty səˈrenitē/ noun 1. the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. “We are all just walking each other home.” – Ram Dass A lofty goal, to stay there, holding hands with serenity, not over here, in the anxious unknowns, the fear. So prone to wander, to want something Other, to never stop the ruminating and trying to step on the gas while the emergency brake is on. I was flipping through the racks in a thrift store, treasure hunting. I saw so many t-shirts with today’s popular inspirational quotes. Live, Laugh, Love. I Am Enough. I Love Myself. Peace, Love, Joy. I am simply not a word-wearing kind of girl. Unless the shirt says something like “This is my jam!” next to a boom box. I’m totally cool with that. But something in me steers clear of the more common sayings, like I’m adverse to looking too ordinary or something. Obviously, I […]

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Just Write {132}

April 22, 2014

Just Write, revisited. Just Write {1} We are driving along, just the two of us. I channel surf for tunes as Elsie Jane kicks and coos from her backwards position behind me. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is where I land and I sing it at the top of my lungs, windows down. Somehow she loves it when I sing. The working day is never done, but girls, they wanna have fuhunn. I pass by a house with much recycling out front. Cans and cans and bottles and bottles and cardboard boxes. All from alcohol. I think about how that used to be my end of the driveway and how it didn’t take long to add up and so I’d try to hide parts of it under cola types of things. I think about how, with the boys, I had to pump and dump a lot and worry because it is very simple: I was […]

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What can you do when you’re bored and it is raining outside? If you have kiddos, you know that no one knows better than The Cat and the Hat, right? This is what he would say to do: You show up and use your imagination and make a mess and hurry to clean it up before Mom gets mad. Asher and I got to see this happen LIVE the Saturday before last at the Zach Theater in Austin at The Cat in the Hat play. You guys, it was so good, so funny, and so entertaining. It was just the right length for the little ones, at about 45 minutes. The characters came off the pages of the actual Dr Seuss story in the intimate Zach Theater space. We felt like we were part of the show and never took our eyes off the action. Asher laughed and sat enthralled the entire time, […]

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I can see inside of you

April 17, 2014

When Really Big Life things are going on, I find that even though these big things are so often stressful, I am more at ease about the little things. I mean, there isn’t any room for a long conversation about why a lot of sugar is bad for your body. They know this already and good grief, they don’t even have that much sugar to consume around here. So I get over it. I say yes. We move on. Later they eat broccoli with dinner and I don’t even have to make them. There’s give and there’s take. There’s push and then pull. There’s pain and then grace. There’s a marshmallow Peep at the beginning of the day and a whole pile of carrots at the end. Only one is actually even food, but so be it. Maybe one day I’ll tell the rest of the story here. Maybe I won’t. Is that […]

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{this post has been written as a part of my partnership with ebay. The things I admit in it are still totally my own.} Back when I received the Moto X smart phone, I had several people ask me if I wanted to sell them my iPhone because they assumed I would no longer need it. But, truth be told, I couldn’t sell it because I need it for an app that Moto X doesn’t have yet. Yeah, I kid you not. I’ve been keeping my old smart phone for just one app I cannot live without. It’s my white noise app, and I cannot sleep without just this particular one. (I see you there, rolling your eyes at me and all my smart phone dependency. Stop judging. It’s mean of you to wish for me to NEVER sleep again because of this conundrum.) At some point I’m either going to get over […]

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Just Write {131}

April 15, 2014

The dog is hiding under my desk because the thunder is pounding so loud. Asher is at school, but he’s probably thinking about how God must be bowling or moving furniture, because that’s what he says thunder is. I don’t mean to be vague or leave you with teasers, but life is so different right now than a few weeks ago. I can’t really talk about it right now, but I’m sitting here in awe of how God takes time from bowling and rearranging furniture to care for me so whole-heartedly despite my messes. Getting sober started a very slow honesty in my life. It’s really hard, to face really big things and it has taken me over four years to be truly free of lies I was living. And I’m sure I’ll discover more, but I don’t need to know right now. I just need to keep not running from them. I […]

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Just Write {130}

April 8, 2014

This post was originally freely written about 6 years ago. I edited it for the now that I live in, but very little. It seems my heart is still there:   I want a cottage style house built by my Dad somewhere near water and so many acres of nothing but grass and dirt and trees. I want salvaged barn doors in that cottage somewhere, to pull to the side, heavy and creaking. I want built-in book shelves filled with colorful stacks and rows of books.  I want vintage things all around, from years ago and grandparents. I want a really big garden full of fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers. I want a cozy space for guests to stay and kids to play above the garage. I want all of that, and yet I still want the house to be small, holding us close together so there’s nowhere we can go to end up feeling like […]

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Just Write {129}

April 1, 2014

I was walking along the main street of the town where I grew up. Everything is different and everything is the same. There are new shops and a place called Middle Fork–a quaint little restaurant owned by someone who used to babysit me. I walked in and called for her and she turned and peered through the window to the kitchen. Heather King! she said, and then she held up her left hand to show me her engagement ring. I’m getting married, she yelled. I know! My mom and dad told me! My friends and I, we had dessert. A brownie with a hazelnut cookie dough frosting piled high on top. All day I spent time with people I don’t get to see in Austin, Texas. We talked about everything and more and then I had a vulnerability hangover. Those are much better than a booze hangover, even though they hurt, too. When […]

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