Saturday, October 18, 2014

Six on Saturday

1. Good morning! It's Saturday--possibly my favorite day of the week--and I'm still in my pjs in my big, comfy bed drinking my coffee and surfing the world wide web. I don't have many mornings that are slow and leisurely which makes that one of the things I love most about Saturdays.

2. I just realized I didn't post Sarah's Homecoming pictures from last weekend. She went with a big group of friends and had a fun time!
3. John and I went to a poetry gathering last night. I will confess that those kind of things are completely intimidating to me. I'm not the artsy or intellectual type and I find that most people who like poetry are. It was fun though--very Dead Poets Society-ish. Everyone took turns reading poetry in the dark with a flashlight. My husband was pretty much in his element and I was just there for the cultural opportunity and of course for the hors d'ouevres and dessert, which were delicious by the way. And please be impressed that I can spell hors d'ouevres.

4. I found a navy/white gingham shirt, y'all--at GAP and on clearance! It goes with everything and is my new favorite article of clothing. Abbey took this selfie of us the other day and I had it on with a green cardigan--so fun! (I'm a lame selfie taker--don't ever know where the lens is or where to look!)
5. Our kids had yesterday off from school for conferences and Abbey actually had Thursday off as well. She and I took advantage of a rare day together and ran to the Springs and bought materials for her Halloween costume and then grabbed some lunch and ran to the grocery store. She talked my head off and asked some excellent twelve-year-old-girl questions and we had a really sweet day together. I really do love these tween/teen years with my kids. I had no idea I would love this season as much as I do.

6. I probably need to wrap this up. I need to go pick Abbey up from a sleepover and run a few errands and then I have big plans to come home and do laundry and clean out my closet while watching football and making something delicious for dinner then catching up on my DVRd television shows. I haven't had a Saturday like this in such a long while and I am beyond excited about my blissfully boring day ahead. Peace out, peeps!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What diffuses your strength?

A week or so ago we learned that one of two power lines to our house wasn't functioning correctly and was only delivering 30% of its maximum energy to our home. The power box in our yard showed 100% power at the source but the line was faulty and the power was diffusing into the ground.

Interesting, isn't it?

I was sitting in church the day following this discovery and my mind started wandering (sorry, Pastor Tyg) about all the ways that my power, or strength, is diffused. I start every day with full potential but how is that potential diffused? Because if I'm honest, I don't always feel like I function at 100%. Do you?

I started making a list of all the things that diffuse my strength but basically it boils down to one category: DISTRACTION. I'm working so hard right now on a priority statement for my life--a statement of the things that I'm 100% committed to. Anything beyond those few things (and it's really only a few) is non-priority and likely a distraction that is diffusing my strength.

Here are some examples:

iPhone/computer. I could expand on this ad nauseum but I'm not sure I need to because you guys know what a time-suck and distraction our phones and computers are. I do NOT want to be attached to my phone OR my computer and have actually been trying really hard to take one day a week and just stay offline. It's hard--nearly impossible to stay completely offline--but geez Louise, I need a break from the constant state of connectedness.

Drama. How many little situations do we blow totally out of proportion and let consume our time, energy, and thoughts? RUN away from drama and the people who create it. It's a time-suck that diffuses your strength! I'm so not perfect in this area, and have realized that sometimes I'm the one who creates it but I'm trying to be better about realizing it and amending my behavior because any time or attention I give to that stuff takes times and attention away from my priorities!

Runaway thoughts and worry. As with drama, overthinking and worrying about things beyond our control zaps our time and our strength. I love the quote below. Again, I'm not perfect. I worry. I obsess. I overthink and create wild scenarios in my head that aren't even true. My goal is to get to a place that when I find myself consumed by runaway thoughts and worry I will quickly "take my thoughts captive." (2 Corinthians 10:5) I do this, but it's not always quickly; I seem to take the longer, more scenic route before I'm able to reign those thoughts in.
People. It almost feels wrong to say that people are a distraction but sometimes they can be. I'm slowly coming to a place of realizing that I can't be friends with everyone. I WANT to be, but I just can't. For me, I need to invest myself in a few close friends. I know what it feels like to be "over-relationshipped" (is that even a word?) and it's not a place of strength. It's a place where my strength feels diffused because I'm only able to offer a tiny piece of myself and my priorities feel out of whack because I'm making time for other people instead of the people who matter most.

Busy-ness. We all define "busy" differently. For me, busy-ness means extracurricular activities and getting everyone in my family where they need to be while working part-time and keeping a home running smoothly (laundry, meals, housekeeping). ALL those things are good and necessary, and they keep me BUSY but you what? They're all related to my family which is my #1 priority. I think the distraction of busy-ness is more about the extra things I say YES to that take time and attention from my priorities. I used to be the volunteer queen but now I do a lot less of that and choose the things that feel realistic and enjoyable. I dropped out of my Bunco group because I decided I wanted to spend Friday nights with my family. I limit the things I say yes to that require me to be gone in the evenings and we guard our weekends fiercely.

These are just a few examples and I'm certain there are many more. I'm NOT perfect and I don't have all this figured out and my strength still feels diffused in lots of areas but I want to choose well and I want to live a less distracted life so that I can offer my full strength and potential to the things that really matter!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

SMP 10.11.14

SMP = Seven Minute Post

I can't even tell you how happy I am it's Saturday. I'm not a fan of over-activity and busy-ness and John and I fight pretty hard against that for our family but the past couple of weeks have been completely nuts. I think we've had something to do or somewhere to be every single night for the past ten days. This is SO not our lifestyle and I've been more than a bit grumpy about it. We've got a few more big things to push through before we see light at the end of the tunnel but I am ready for a nice, quiet night at home!

It's just John and "his girls" at home this weekend. Will is in Winter Park at Crooked Creek Young Life Camp doing a weekend work crew assignment. Sarah has so much going on with Homecoming that it's really feeling more like a Mer, John, and Abbey weekend. I kind of think Abbey likes it. I kind of do too.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

SMP 10.8.14

SMP = Seven Minute Post

Good morning! Guess what? Our whole house has electricity again! No more headlamps--hooray! I'm not quite as excited about having a working washer and dryer as I am about having a working television but it's amazing how much laundry piles up in three days with a family of five, so I suppose I need to muster up some enthusiasm and tackle that pile today.

I set my alarm for 4:30AM to wake up and watch the lunar eclipse. My alarm normally goes off at 5AM so it wasn't too much of a stretch and it was totally worth it. It was pretty amazing!

I'm keeping one of my kiddos (the senior) home from school today. He's been fighting a bad cold and I think he just needs a day to rest. Here's a picture from his Homecoming dance last weekend. He had a great time.
Sarah's Homecoming "Event" is this weekend. I'm calling it an event because it spans multiple days and it's completely different with girls--ha! This week is Spirit Week at her high school and yesterday was a Wizard of Oz theme. She put her costume together herself and I though she looked pretty cute. 

Happy Hump Day folks!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Currently ::: October

Current Read: I am sad to say that I'm not reading anything right now. I haven't been making time to read and that's just wrong. I miss it.

Current Playlist: Bethel Music, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, David Crowder Band. Ecclectic, as usual.

Current Color(s): Gray, orange, red. Not together.

Current Food: I kind of threw some ingredients together for lunch the other day and it was so good that it's now become my favorite go-to lunch.
It's artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers (from a jar), kalamata olives, cucumbers, and feta over a bowl of quinoa. I don't even add any seasoning because it's flavorful enough without it.

Current Favorite Favorite: Fall candles, our DVR, NFL Sunday Ticket (got it free for the season when we switched to DirectTV last spring), and a super amazing beauty product that deserves a post of it's very own. Stay tuned for that last one...

Current Addiction: SPellegrino sparkling water. And season one of The Black List on Netflix.
Current Wish List: I really want a black/white or navy/white gingham shirt. Anyone know where I should look? I saw some online for $88 and that's a whole lot more than I will spend.

Current Need: I really need to buy a new planner. Mine ends in December and I already have 2015 dates I need to get on the calendar.

Current Triumph: I feel like I'm finally finding a good rhythm in regard to my priorities and my time management and that feels like a triumph!

Current Annoyance: We woke up on Saturday to electricity in only half of our house. Turns out that one of two wires from the power box to our house has deteriorated to the point that it's only functioning at about 30%. An electrician came out Saturday and moved some of our circuits onto the one fully-functioning line until the other could be replaced. My oven, washer, dryer, bedroom/bathroom lights were unable to be re-circuited due to their voltage size so we've been doing what I call "suburban camping". Cooking in a crock-pot. Doing laundry at the laundromat. Wearing a headlamp to the bathroom. Yeah, seriously. And showering in the dark. Fun times. They came and mapped out all the power lines yesterday so they could dig up/replace the old line today. Hopefully this suburban camping life ends soon, which is good because I'm running out of crock-pot ideas and clean underwear.

Current Blessing(s): The (minor) inconveniences we've been living with the past few days make me realize these are first world problems and we are incredibly blessed to have things like heat and unspoiled food and a working coffee-maker and internet. And funds to pay for the repairs. And so so so much more.

Current Outfit: Well, currently I'm still wearing my workout clothes from this morning but I'm going to shower soon and get dressed for the day. I'm thinking jeans and a lightweight cardigan. I think our temps are 60s/70s today--perfect! 

Current Excitement: I am very excited about Trader Joe's opening on Friday in Colorado Springs! It's been a long wait for TJs to arrive in my neck of the woods. I have a list going...AND I have a balance on a TJs gift card. Pretty sure I've never been this excited about grocery shopping before.

Current Project(s): My plate is pretty free of projects right now and I am more than okay with that!

Current plans for the day: Shower. Errands. Lunch with my "church girls" to catch up and do some brainstorming. Carpool. Dinner. And hopefully some Black List before bed. That is if my bedroom has electricity by tonight. Fingers crossed! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Simply Stunning

John and I got up early yesterday and drove up to the "high country" to try to see some fall foliage at it's peak. Oh my goodness. Colorado is simply stunning in the fall. 
We drove up to Wilkerson Pass then made a quick loop through Divide on our way home.
At one point I told John: There is no "ugly" view on this drive. It's the truth. We live in such a beautiful place.

I took a selfie because John wasn't quite getting the shot I wanted. What can I say? I have control needs.

Aspens are my very favorite tree. The yellow leaves and the white bark are gorgeous--especially when groves of them are sprinkled amidst the evergreens. It literally makes the mountains look like they are aglow. GORGEOUS.
This grove below is one of our very favorite spots that we visit year after year after year in Divide.
I took this a photo of this marker because it explains why they are called "quaking aspen". It refers to the way the leaves move when the wind blows. I took a video too of one quaking but am having difficulty uploading it. I'll keep trying. So pretty!


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Six on Saturday

1. Caramel popcorn and coffee. That's what I'm having for breakfast this morning. Normally I avoid sugary breakfasts but today my thought process went something like this: Screw it. Life is short. Caramel popcorn is delicious. It's Saturday. I want it for breakfast. So I'm having it.
You wouldn't be wrong in wondering if there are some hormonal issues at play here. Duh.

2. I'll be honest--I didn't think the weekend would ever get here. This has been the strangest week I've had in ages. And by strange, I really mean sad, disappointing, frustrating, long, hard, and messy. Ugh. Mid-week I googled "where is the reset button on life". That was overly dramatic (insert hormonal issues) but it's honest.

3. Yesterday, in an attempt to get out of my funk I put my earbuds in and cleaned for two hours. I love starting the weekend with a clean house! Cleaning is therapeutic for me on so many levels. So is music. So are lunch dates with my husband. After I cleaned house, I cleaned myself up and went to lunch with John.

4. After all of the yuck of the week, I was trying to focus on the small, bright spots and the ways God seems to whisper "I see you, my dear". Yesterday evening I was getting ready to head out on a date with John when my phone rang. It was one of my dearest friends who moved away last year. She was calling me from my driveway. SERIOUSLY! How awesome is that? She and her husband were in Colorado for an anniversary trip and stopped by just to say hi for a few minutes. It was short and sweet but I'm one-thousand percent sure that God knew my heart needed that so much.

5. Our date last night was to the book launch for The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts. Kara is a beautiful, beautiful woman and her book is about God's unfailing love and mercy and grace in the midst of her journey through stage 4 cancer. She spoke so courageously last night and I pretty much bawled my way through it. It kind of put my hard week in perspective. She shared this song at the close of the evening and I immediately came home and downloaded it and have listened to it over and over since. It is SO SO SO good.
6. I haven't read Kara's book yet--it officially releases on Tuesday--but I'd love for you to buy it and read it and read her blog and pray for her and her family. She is walking an unimaginably hard path right now and I believe every. single. prayer lifted on her behalf is heard.