Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Goals

I'm a big fan of goals. Not resolutions, but goals. I try to take some time every year and write down things I want to accomplish.

Here's the list I came up with for 2016, broken down by category...with my commentary.
Because I always have something to say. 


  • Follow a daily scripture writing plan for 365 days. I happened upon some friends who were following a December scripture writing plan and I joined them and LOVED it. Loved it so much that I want to do it for all of 2016. I found monthly plans by doing a quick Pinterest search (you can follow my scripture writing board here) and bought a cute notebook at Target and am all ready to go tomorrow. It's been a surprising way for me to really focus on what I'm reading. Reading + writing = win win!


  • Hike at least two 14ers. This is my goal every year. Happy to have completed it the past four years! 
  • Climb The Incline ten times this year. I finished 2015 with 8 climbs up. Proud of that.
  • Log 750 outdoor/trail miles. My goal used to be 1000. That was before I started back to school. 750 will challenge me plenty.

  • Take three classes in 2016 towards my nutrition therapy certification and keep a 4.0 GPA First up in 2016, BioChem. I start Monday and am slightly freaked out about the intensity of this class. 
  • Read 12 books that are not school-related. Ideally, this would be one per month but I'm not as much about the "how" as the "why". The "why" for me is that my brain needs a break from intense information plus I want to remember that I enjoy reading. I almost forgot that little fact after a semester of Anatomy & Physiology. Smile.

  • Pay cash for everything, including college. Gulp. We've been on a cash-only journey for 7-8 years. I'm beyond grateful for God's provision for us, but I'm not gonna lie--this goal stresses me out. In 2016, three-fifths of my family will be enrolled in an institution of higher learning. Ch-ching. Trusting God to see this one to fruition.
  • Increase passive income. I love brainstorming about creative ways to increase our earning potential. I have tons of ideas; I just need some implementation skills. 

  • Forgive readily. I'm slow to come around to forgiveness. I hold grudges. I keep the other person on the hook for awhile before I can let things go. Really, really asking the Lord to change my heart here. I know I can't do this on my own.
  • Engage. Be "all in" with my husband and children. The years are flying by. With our oldest in college and his sister following on his heels, I realize that the time I have with them at home is dwindling. If that means putting down my phone, turning off the television, listening and paying attention and asking questions and lingering around the table, then yes, that's what I'm after.

  • Keep it together when TWO children leave for college in the fall. I'm sorta kidding here. Sorta, but I'm going to need a lot of grace for myself next fall. Sending our first-born 1000+ miles away did a number on me this year. I'm already dreading sending two away at once. Definitely going to feel the impact of that.
  • Reserve one day each week for self-care and/or leisure. And use this time to do something I enjoy. Most of the time that is hiking, but other times it might be shopping, or meeting friends for lunch or just sitting in my pajamas and watching television. I tend to focus so much on the always-looming to-do list that leisure or fun gets nixed. My goal is to make it priority! 

That's all I've got but it's a good list! Here's to 2016. Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

December Currents

Current Read: Still plugging away at A&P textbooks but I am almost finished with the semester--hallelujah! I started reading The Martian while traveling over Thanksgiving break so I want to finish that as soon as my semester is over. It's very good.

Current Playlist: Kari Jobe Where I Find You: Christmas Edition is on repeat these days. The whole album is beautiful. Lots of other Christmas music is on my list as well.

Current Color(s): Gray. It's my favorite.

Current Food: I've had some pretty amazing Honeycrisp apples lately--that is my favorite variety and they've been extra-delicious the past few weeks. I'm also loving coconut milk--the kind in a can, not carton. I'd never bought it before my Whole30 but I love it. I've been putting some in my coffee every morning. I started drinking coffee again after a 6+ month break. Cold mornings + coffee are just too perfect together.

Current Favorite Favorite: Candy Cane Chapstick + tights with boots + peppermint tea + plaid shirts and puffer vests + LaCroix grapefruit water + the IF: Equip Advent study + trading clothes with my sister while in Arkansas last week.

Current Addiction: Can't think of anything right now. I guess that's a good thing?

Current Wish List: Love & Toast Sugared Grapefruit hand creme + some 5lb hand weights. I have 8lbs which are too heavy and 3lbs which are too light. #firstworldproblems

Current Need: I could use a day spent completely at home. I'm behind on pretty much everything in my life right now. I'm not usually this far off my game and it's kinda stressing me out.

Current Randomness: I took this photo on my hike yesterday. My week was busier than normal, but I wasn't about to cancel my Friday hiking plans. Nature is so calming for me.

Current Triumph: I finished my Whole30. It was such a great experience. I need to post about it in detail but I feel much lighter, clear-headed, have more energy, am sleeping well and just generally feel better. Sometimes you don't realize how "off" you've been until you feel really, really good.

Current Annoyance: Our garage door sensors aren't working properly and 9/10 times our garage door goes back up while trying to close it. Such a pain, and particularly annoying when I'm in a hurry to leave the house and it won't stay closed. Again, #firstworldproblems

Current Blessing: My church. I was at a meeting on Wednesday night followed by our Advent service and I was looking around the room, feeling incredible love and respect for so many of the people in the room with me. It's a community of imperfect people but they sincerely love the Lord and their lives bless mine in some pretty unique ways. I feel very grateful.

Current Mood: My family would probably not say I'm in a good mood. I'm trying but stress makes me crabby!

Current Excitement: Will comes home in less than 2 weeks and he'll be here for a month!

Current Project: Get our Christmas tree up and decorations out! I refuse to put our tree up before Thanksgiving--one holiday at a time, people--and we haven't had a free evening this week to get it put up. It will happen sometime this weekend, but honestly, it makes me a little bit sad since Will won't be here to help us decorate it. It's always been a family affair for us. #newterritory

Current Plans For The Day: It's a full day...but I'll survive.
Peace out, people.

Thursday, December 03, 2015


I love the description of Advent as a season of "expectant waiting". As believers in Jesus, we expectantly await Christ's second coming, while remembering his first coming--as an infant in a manger. Our waiting and remembering give purpose to the days and weeks leading up to Christmas. I love celebrating Advent because it is a way to keep my heart and mind engaged during this season that has become so commercialized.

I came home from a beautiful Advent service at our church last night and turned on the television to catch up on the latest news from the San Bernardino shooting. My heart is so heavy over this. It's so close on the heels of the the Colorado Springs shooting. And Paris. It's so hard to make sense of all of it isn't it? Things just feel so heightened to me right now--all of the bad in the world is just so overwhelming.

I woke up this morning with the words "expectant waiting" on my heart. Just as so many Jewish believers were waiting for a Messiah two thousand years ago to come and rescue and restore, I find myself waiting for Jesus to return for those very reasons. I do not understand all that is going on in the world today, but I am grateful for a Redeemer and for the hope that comes from knowing He will return and set all things right. And so I pray...and grieve...and listen...and love...and hope...and wait. Expectantly.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Currently ::: November

Current Read: My Anatomy & Physiology textbooks are primarily what I read these days, but I did buy Rising Strong last month and try to sneak in a few pages here and there. I'm a huge fan of Brene Brown.

Current Playlist: I mostly listen to podcasts, but I've got a Justin Timberlake playlist that's back in rotation after his amazing performance at the CMAs (which I only watched to try to get a glimpse of Jen Hatmaker) I also really like Adele's new song and throw that one in there too.

Current Color(s): Gray, orange, green. Not together necessarily, but those have been some of my favorites this fall.

Current Food: Jalapeno-stuffed olives and roasted veggies, especially roasted broccoli. Y-U-M and Whole30 approved.
Current Favorite Favorite: Feeling like I have a new wardrobe now that I've pulled out my sweaters and scarves and winter clothes.

Current Addiction: Sleep. Can't seem to ever get enough.

Current Wish List: An immersion blender. I borrowed one from my neighbor to make a few things last week and what a timesaver! I'm keeping an eye out for a good Black Friday sale.

Current Need: A 2016 planner. Need to cross that off my list because I just ordered one on Amazon.

Current Randomness: Last Saturday I drove up to Denver for a cadaver lab. It was an optional lab we could take for Anatomy and Physiology. I was a little nervous going into it but ended up loving it. I'm a visual learner and it was great for me to be able to actually see things I've been learning about like the sciatic nerve, the brain, the small intestine, ovaries, etc. I was completely fascinated. I loved telling the girls that I got to hold an eyeball and a brain. It was definitely an experience I will never forget. I was VERY glad that I packed a salad for lunch though. Not sure I could have eaten meat after that lab--saw a little too much "meat" that day. Ha!

Completely unrelated, we saw this deer on our hike yesterday. He was so close to us and so pretty! As you can see, we still have a good bit of snow leftover from our mid-week storm.

Current Triumph: I'm 2/3 of the way through my class. I turned in my Module II assignments this week and got my grades back yesterday. So far I have an A and I'm pretty happy about that.

Current Annoyance: Excuses. Lying. Just own up to things and be honest!

Current Blessing: Today, I'm feeling thankful for a warm house, a fridge/pantry/freezer full of food, and money to pay our bills. Those are not small things.

Current Mood: I'm happy it's Saturday! But yesterday's terrorist attacks in France bring a certain somberness to today. It's so troubling and sad.

Current Excitement: We get to see Will for Thanksgiving!!! Gosh, I miss that boy. He's doing great and enjoying his first semester of college but we are SO ready to see him.

Current Project: I want to work on a blog post (or two) about my Whole30 experience. I'm trying to write down a bit along the way about why I'm doing this, what I'm learning, and how it's changing me. I just need to find time to put it in post format. I also need to put together a Christmas shopping list. I have a couple of things purchased but that's about it. Christmas is coming fast, y'all!

Current Plans For The Day: Study, gather a few things from the grocery store and watch a bit of football in between. If I can convince John to go to the grocery store for me, I may just stay in my pjs all day.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How I Spent My Snow Day

We had our first measurable snowfall last night. I think we probably got between 4-6 inches but the wind made things a mess this morning so our district upgraded our two-hour delay to a closure. My girls squealed when they heard the news. I might have cried tears of joy.

Things have been cuh-RAZY here lately and I was behind on a lot of things. Today was a gift.

Here's some of what I did today:

- completed a huge school project and got that baby turned in
- cleaned my bathroom (you have NO idea how gross it was)
- cleaned my oven (it's self-cleaning but I was waiting for a cold day to do it)
- made 3 quarts of chicken stock from carcass of last night's roasted chicken
- made chili for dinner
- took a nap!
- made a dent in my never-ending pile of laundry

I can't even tell you how much I needed a slow, domestic day at home. I loved puttering around in the kitchen. I love cleaning. I don't love laundry but I love it when my pile gets smaller! My girls were pretty much sloths all day but they needed that too. I wish every Wednesday was a snow day!

Friday, November 06, 2015

Popping In

Thought I'd pop in here for a bit this morning since I have a little bit of time before heading out to hike. I've blocked off time on Fridays to hike with friends. Hiking is my sanity! Life is a little nutty these days and I really need that time and space to get outside, move, connect with my people, and laugh. I say this all the time but I am grateful to live in Colorado!

We've had some mild and lovely weather this fall but the cold has begun to make an appearance. It's currently 27 degrees and I'm hoping it warms up a bit before we hike. Yesterday was the first snowfall of the season. It didn't stick and it didn't last long but there were some big, fat flakes flying for a few hours yesterday morning. I don't mind snow this time of year. I actually like it.

Snow and cold weather make me want to make soup and stew and other warm, hearty meals. Yesterday I made the Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pot Roast. It's so delicious--true to it's name, it turns out perfect every time I make it.

I'm doing a Whole30 right now. Maybe not the smartest month of the year to be doing this because of Thanksgiving, but I'm fiercely committed. I started Monday and have four great days under my belt and am feeling great! I have a few challenges to work around this weekend but I have a plan to succeed.

Speaking of the weekend--ours is very, very full. We've been really great at keeping our weekends uncluttered (it's my primary study time) but everything in the world seems to fall on November 6-7-8 this year. It's all great stuff and worthy of our time which definitely helps my attitude.

That's all for now. Going to make some breakfast and fuel myself for hiking! Have a great weekend, friends.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


I know, I know. It's been AGES since I've blogged.
I really needed to take a step back and just enjoy my family and my downtime. Will left for college in August and I wanted to savor every moment of the time he was with us at home.

Here's a super-quick family update:
Will's first semester is going great--we are so happy that he is having a wonderful time AND making good grades.

Sarah is a senior this year and crazy busy with school and extra-curricular activities. She handles all of the stress with grace. I think I need to take lessons from her!

Abbey started her last year of middle school. Crazy! This time next year she will be the only child at home with us. That's going to be an adjustment for all of us.

John is doing great and is finishing up some big editing projects and ready to enjoy a bit of downtime. I started back to school in September. I'm working towards certification in Nutrition Therapy (it's holistic nutrition) and it's challenging but I'm enjoying it because it really is my passion.

My "Currents" posts seem to be the easiest way to jump back into this blogging thing so here we go...

Current Read: My two Anatomy & Physiology textbooks. I'm learning so much but I miss having free time on weekends. Sigh.

Current Playlist: I have a worship playlist I listen to but mainly, I'm a podcast girl these days.

Current Color(s): Navy. Brown. Deep red. Those are the things I find myself wearing the most.

Current Food: Hello Fresh and Door to Door Organics have been bringing delicious food to my door lately. I'm hooked. I've had coupons for both--otherwise it's quite the investment--but it's so nice to not have to spend time shopping. I have coupon codes for both services so if you'd like to try one of them (or both) leave me a comment and include your email address so I can send you the promo code.

Current Favorite Favorite: This facial scrub + the Leaves candle from Bath & Body Works + Facetime (for chatting with Will-who-is-far-far-away) + this Dallas Cowboys cap I bought a few weeks ago at the DFW airport.

Current Addiction: Football--when I can justify watching it! My weekends are often filled with studying so it's definitely a guilty pleasure these days.

Current Wish List: This bag. My aunt has one and it is so cute! Plus there are just times that you need a small bag instead of a giant purse, ya know?

Current Need: To make a grocery store list and a Costco list and then go buy groceries. Actually I made a deal with John. I'll make the lists and he will shop for me. Shhhh, don't tell him he got the short end of the stick.

Current Randomness: I haven't had a single piece candy corn this fall. Nor have I had a pumpkin spice latte. I love both of those things I just haven't had the chance (or the desire) to buy either.

Current Triumph: I have been able to balance my work + school + family schedule pretty well. I block my Fridays off for hiking because I NEED that time so much. I'm six weeks in and have really been able to keep things feeling sane. Triumph!

Current Annoyance: 

Current Blessing: My huddle--a small group of ladies from my church that I meet with regularly. I was hesitant to add "one more thing" to my schedule this fall but honestly, I felt like I was supposed to join this group and it's already proving to be a huge blessing.

Current Mood: A little bit grumpy. I'm fighting allergies/cold and I do not have time to succumb to this. I'm drinking Emergen-C and fluids and trying to give my body every advantage in fighting it.

Current Excitement: John and I are getting away alone for a couple of nights soon--SO excited.

Current Project: I want to put together a 5-Day "Clean" Soup Menu plan. When I say "clean" I mean no artificial/processed ingredients and made mostly lean meats and veggies. If you want to be on the list for this, let me know in the comments!

Current Plans For The Day: Church, study, clean house, catch up on laundry, hopefully watch some football and sneak in a nap. Oh, and get my front porch ready for fall. I've got a lot to squeeze in today so adios, friends!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Well, hello!

I woke up at 4:30AM and as I was lying there trying to decide if I wanted to get up or go back to sleep I realized I haven't blogged in awhile. I was pretty wide-awake by then so I got up, knocked out some of my morning rituals, and here I am with some extra time to blog.

You know my love for the list, so I'm going with that...

1. I am weaning myself off of coffee. I've tapered down to a couple of sips and I think tomorrow is the day I will start my day without it. Honestly, it feels really great. I have more energy and my quality of sleep has been so much better lately!

2. I have an eye appointment today. I've needed to go for awhile. My eyesight has declined in the past year (it's pretty bad) and I need a new prescription. I am SO excited to pick out new frames and get new bifocal lenses (ha!) Honestly, I'm just thrilled to be able to see clearly again. 

3. I took Sarah last night to round up the last of her accessories for prom this weekend. It's fun having a girl--they're SO different than boys. This is her first year to go and she's excited. 

4. Will's prom was supposed to be last weekend but was postponed because of snow! Much to my disappointment, he wasn't planning to go. He decided yesterday after school that he now wants to go and I'm so crazy-happy that he changed his mind that I don't even mind all the last minute scrambling we need to do to get a tux, etc. 

5. Our countdown is on to graduation. I know I keep talking about this on the blog but it's a huge reality and time isn't slowing down. I was having coffee (tea for me!) last week with a friend and another friend with a graduating senior stopped by our table to chat for a few minutes. We were talking about our emotional state being rather unstable and she said: "Two words for you, Meredith: waterproof mascara." Brilliant. Why have I not thought of that before now. I went straight to Ulta after that coffee date and wouldn't you know it, I forgot to buy some. It's on my to-buy list next time I'm out.

6. I'm dreading today just a tiny bit. I've packed it a little too fully for my liking. I think I was just trying to get a bunch of appointments out of the way but all of my turns today are tight and I had a "look-at-the-calendar-and-want-to-cry" moment last night. I've been so good about keeping my days/weeks reasonable, but today I could use a cloned version of myself. The good news? It's only today! It's smooth sailing the rest of the week. 

7. Exercise keeps me sane and my PiYo DVD is calling my name right now! I'm trying to do a mix of strength (PiYo) and cardio (walking/hiking) each week and I've finally found a good rhythm. The snow goofed me up last week with my hiking plans but that's okay. Sometimes a string of days off is a nice gift.
8. Peace out, people! Make it a good day. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Current Read: I finished The Girl On The Train and just started this book about resetting your hormones which has me completely fascinated.

Current Playlist: I've found myself listening to more and more podcasts in place of music these days. I really like using my drive-time or my get-ready-each-morning-time to listen to something that makes me smarter (that's debatable) or that stretches my mind. Some of my newly discovered favorite podcasts are: Happier with Gretchen Rubin, The Model Health Show (nutrition), and Being Boss. Good stuff right there, y'all.

Current Color(s): I'm up to my eyeballs in orange and black. Those are Will's school colors and are directly related to graduation party prep.

Current Food: We are planning to grill this flank steak for dinner tonight. It's my favorite. I'm going to take red meat out of my diet for a few weeks so before that happens, I'm going to feast!

Current Favorite Favorite: This mask from Sephora is $6 and makes your face feel AMAZING. There's lots to choose from but it's so dry here that this one is my go-to. Plus you can completely freak your kids out when you're wearing it.
Current Addiction: I can't think of anything! Maybe Instagram?

Current Wish List: I sort-of-kind-of want a FitBit.

Current Need: Need. More. Sleep. I aim for eight hours per night but I'm averaging closer to seven. I feel like eight is my perfect and elusive number.

Current Randomness: The subject of hot dogs came up in a conversation I had this week (see? random) and I told my friend that I haven't eaten a hot dog in at least 10 years. It's true. I hate hot dogs. I haven't eaten a donut in probably 15 years either. Just don't care for them.

Current Triumph: I went for my annual mammogram last week and I DID NOT FAINT THIS TIME plus my results came back normal. Win-win!!!

Current Annoyance: Excuses.

Current Blessing: This isn't exactly current but I got to spend a day with my cousin over Spring Break. She was in Boulder so I drove up and we spent the day hiking in Chatauqua Park and walking around Pearl Street. Such a blessing to spend time with her! And Boulder is such a fun place.
Current Mood: I'm happy--I've had a great week and my weekend isn't feeling too full.

Current Excitement: Ooooh, I have a list!
1. The last season of Mad Men began last week which now makes my Sunday evenings a little less blue.
2. I made some summer hiking plans with a friend last week that chip away at our fitness goals.
3. I've taken some steps towards pursuing some education/training in an area that I'm very passionate about. It excites me and terrifies me at the same time but I feel like the timing is right so I'm rolling with it.

Current Project: Graduation stuff is taking up space on my project list these days. I have one big event I'm in charge of for Will's school and then some smaller things I'm coordinating with friends. It's mostly fun stuff though so there's not too much stress involved, thank goodness.

Current Plans For The Day: Catch up on my bible study homework. Make a veggie lasagna for something at church tomorrow. Sort through ninety-bajillion photos for a graduation project (really should have been doing this for the past nine months). Make a yummy dinner. Go to bed early. Those are the big things. In between all of that I really need to catch up on laundry!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

SMP 4.8.15

SMP = Seven Minute Post

Good morning, blog friends.
It's been awhile since I've checked in here. I've been enjoying life. I'll have to do a "ketchup" (aka catch-up) post soon because we've had a lot of life to enjoy lately.

I realized the other evening that Will's graduation is about seven weeks away. Gulp. This is getting real. I'm both happy and sad but mostly I'm just so proud of him and excited to celebrate this milestone in his life.

Graduation means that summer is getting close also. I am SO ready for summer! I've been hiking a lot lately and am excited to get out and do more this summer. I'm also excited about some family plans and probably looking forward to the laid-back pace of summer days more than anything. Summer is my favorite!

Here's a photo from my hike last Friday. That is April snow and it's beautiful. Sunshine and warm temps have been more prevalent than snow this spring and I'm grateful for that.
Happy Wednesday, friends. Hope your day is a beautiful one.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Six

1. You know what's even better than a normal Saturday? The first Saturday of Spring Break! We are staying close to home this week with a few outings planned but that's it. I'm excited about a laid-back week at home with my people. I'm so grateful for a break from homework and driving and activities for one whole week.

2. Yesterday was the first day of spring and the arrival of some gorgeous weather. My friend and I hiked the Incline and it was the perfect day for it. I was so happy to be outside. This was one photo from our descent down Barr Trail. The sky was so blue and the fresh snow on the mountains was such a perfect contrast.
 And this was the view of Pikes Peak while we were driving to Manitou Springs. I never ever tire of this view.
3. Earlier this week, John and I snuck away for a dinner date. I stopped by the restroom before leaving and was mesmerized by this Make A Wish board on the wall by the sink. I stood there and read some of the wishes people had written and placed on the board and my tears fell. There are such deep hurts and needs in this world.
4. Our friend, Kara, is very much on my heart and mind these days. A few days ago I was grumbling about a task I had to do this week that was mundane and irksome.  As my thoughts/prayers turned to Kara, my attitude shifted. Just thinking about her life and the way she loves her family despite the hardship of cancer made me realize what a privilege it is to be healthy and able to serve my own family even in those mundane ways. I think the gift that Kara gives to all of us is simply the reminder to stop and take in the beauty of this life we've been given and to be fully present with gratitude. Her life is a blessing to all of us. I feel so very honored to know her. 

5. We have two birthdays to celebrate this weekend--John and Abbey! I took some giggly girls out last evening for some birthday fun and loved every minute of it. We have more celebrating to do today and tomorrow and I wouldn't be one bit surprised if Abbey finds a way to extend the fun beyond the weekend. Smile.

6. It's going to be another gorgeous Colorado spring day today and you better believe I'm going to soak up some warmth and sunshine and celebrate my people. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

SMP 3.11.15

SMP = Seven Minute Post (About the Beagle)

Every weekday morning after my husband and kids leave for the day, our beagle goes absolutely nuts. It's like "Hey, wait!!! Why are you all leaving me? What am I supposed to do now? {Panic} Oh, I know! I'll try to pull any remaining food off the countertop or the table or find something in the trashcan that I can eat. And oh, while I'm at it, I'll run all over the house. Running is my favorite."

Seriously, y'all. He goes NUTS. First he runs to the front window and whines while watching them drive away. Then he races to the kitchen and tries like mad to get things off the counter (and sometimes succeeds) and then he races from room to room and turns the trash bins over and strews trash all over the place.

Every. Single. Weekday. Morning.

I do not understand. After five to ten minutes of this, he finally calms down and is like a slug the rest of the day. It's the strangest thing. And it drives me crazy.

That dog.

I'm really not a dog person. But my family adores the dog and the dog adores his people. He even adores me though I pay him the least attention of anyone. He's a loyal creature and I could probably learn a thing or two from him.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

March Currents

Current Read: I bought All The Light We Cannot See this week and am a few chapters in and already hooked. I've not had much time to read this week but I'm hoping to make some headway on that book this weekend! I'm also reading through Bread and Wine, my favorite Lenten devotional. John brought the other book home from work this week, I Tried Until I Almost Died, and am reading a bit of that here and there too. Since my last post, I've read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I tried to read Ruby but had to put it down. I wanted to like it but it just felt too dark and oppressive for me.

Current Playlist: I wasn't kidding when I told you guys that I'm addicted to podcasts. That's mostly what I listen to, but I do find myself listening to this playlist a lot...

Current Color(s): I think red is my current favorite.

Current Food: I ran in Trader Joe's last week to pick up my staple items and ran into a friend while there. She turned me on to their brown rice/quinoa gluten free pasta. It's been my lunch every single day this week. Once drained, I stir in a spoonful of pesto and a spoonful of sun-dried tomatoes and top with some feta or parmesan and a sprinkle of pine nuts. SO good and so filling.

Current Favorite Favorite: I can't choose one! I'm smitten with Amazon Prime and my heated blanket from Costco. I'm equally smitten with my BEM portable speaker that John gave me for Christmas.

Current Addiction: Sugar. Two straight weeks of snow and cold made me want to hibernate and BAKE. Once I start eating sugar I really can't stop. It makes me feel terrible but it's so addictive. I have two sugar-free days under my belt and am hoping I'm back on track soon. Once you know how good you feel when it's not in your system, it's hard to not want to feel that good again.

Current Wish List: I really want a new bible. I have really nice NIV and NASB leather bibles but dug out my hardcover NLT (New Living Translation) last week and was RE-amazed at how easy it is to read and understand. The hardcover isn't my favorite plus it's starting to show it's age and wear so a leather-one is now on my wish list.

Current Need: It's a blessing to be able to say that I really don't need a thing. Except maybe a laundry fairy? Or a grocery-shopping fairy? I could use one of those.

Current Randomness: My friend and I came upon this yesterday on our hike. It's a carcass of some sort. I'm guessing a fox or a dog or a coyote, something with a tail because that's what the long part is at the top of the photo that her dog is sniffing. There was a lot of snow on our hike yesterday (drifts up to my knee) so something drug those bones there recently bc it was sitting on top of a lot of snow. We didn't see any tracks but we didn't linger long. I'm never afraid when I hike but that was a good reminder that humans share space with predators!
Current Triumph: I consider it a triumph that I haven't had a diet soda in eight months. Even better news is that I don't crave it anymore.

Current Annoyance: Oh y'all. My list is long but not sure sharing it is life-giving for me or you.

Current Blessing: I say this often but I am grateful for a strong marriage. It's not that we don't have ups and downs or hard times. We do. In fact, John and I have felt pretty disconnected from each other for the past couple of weeks. We made some time this week to talk it out and get things back on track. I am grateful for that. I'm grateful that at the end of every day he is still my closest friend and the one I want to spend the rest of my days with.

Current Mood: Content. Grateful. Happy.

Current Excitement: "Springing forward" this weekend. I'm excited about it staying light longer!

Current Project: I'm repeating my Great Closet Experiment that I did last spring. Basically, I'm trying to wear something different every single day and eventually wear every single item in my closet. From there, I'll either keep things or pass them on. I've finished one week and I've already gotten rid of a pair of jeans. It's a fun and different way to clean out a closet and to make sure that I'm being a good steward of my resources when it comes to buying clothes. To help me remember if I've worn something I started taking pics of my outfits. Here is week one, which doesn't include today because I am still in my pjs in my bed. I'm so proud of myself for getting dressed every single day this week in REAL clothes. Ha ha ha.
Current Link: I made this dairy-free version of Zuppa Toscana the other night and it was AMAZING! So delicious! I love it when I find healthier versions of my favorite recipes. This will go into regular rotation at my house.

Current Plans For The Day: Well, a couple of my kiddos have several places to be today so I foresee a lot of time in the car. I also need to do some grocery shopping and some laundry and I'm going to try like crazy to squeeze a nap and some reading time in there too. Happy Weekend, y'all!

Friday, March 06, 2015

Friday Five

1. I think this goes withouts saying but I am thrilled that today is Friday. Lately I've been trying to front-load my work week (borrowed that idea from a friend) so that I can enjoy a longer stretch of down time around the weekend. Down-time is a beautiful thing. Especially when you guard it fiercely and use it for things that fill your "cup" with life and joy and peace and happiness.

2. I went to see The Drop Box film a few nights ago. It was a limited engagement and I'm not entirely sure it's still playing in theaters but if you have a chance to see it, GO! It was a beautiful portrayal of the value of human life. You'll need tissues for sure.

3. I had a lengthy text conversation with my forty-something friends last week about the best anti-aging skin care products. We all have our opinions but I swear the secret to anti-aging--or at least to fewer wrinkles--is HUMIDITY. All of my friends and family in the south look so young and unwrinkled. I may live in the "land of perfect hair" (ha ha ha) but lack of humidity wreaks havoc on your skin, ladies!

4. I'm several weeks into this bible study with some ladies from my church. This is the third time I've started this particular study yet I've never finished the entire thing. I intend to finally complete it this time around. It's SO good and it lines up perfectly with some of the things I took away from the IF Gathering.

5. I just realized that every sentence in this list begins with "I". Ugh. Honestly, I get sick of hearing myself talk sometimes and it's a big reason I avoid social media and even blogging. It's just too much. Super tempted to go back and change this whole post right now! Have a great weekend, friends!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

SMP 3.3.15

SMP = Seven Minute Post

I'm giving myself seven minutes to sit down and just write. I don't have anything earth-shattering to share or anything on my mind really. So prepare yourself for random rambling...

Can you believe it's already March? I still haven't flipped my wall calendar to this new month which was brought to my attention yesterday by my youngest child--the one who has birthday this month. I kinda think she likes seeing her name written in that little numbered square. Did I mention that this youngest child of mine will be a teenager in a few weeks? Crazy!

It has been so cold and snowy here lately, but the sun is shining this morning and that makes me happy. I need the sun! I also need laughter. I was out with friends last night and I laughed so much. I think I forget sometimes how vital that is for me. For all of us really.

On that note, may your day be filled with light and laughter! If I was really clever I'd throw a joke in here but I've got nothin'. Peace out, peeps.

Monday, February 23, 2015

SMP 2.23.15

SMP = Seven Minute Post

We've lived in Colorado for almost twelve years and you know what? Snow days NEVER get old. Our district called one for today and we've all loved the pace of this day. John and I worked from home today (he's still working, actually) and there's a lot to be said for working in your pajamas while sitting under your electric blanket.

I do feel a bit stir crazy though after three straight days of being indoors. Thankfully I have a hair appointment tomorrow that will get me out of the house...and out of my pajamas. If the roads are still icy tomorrow I will walk to my appointment. That is how desperate I am for a haircut. 

Sounds like lots of our Arkansas friends and family have snow (or ice) this week too. My sister sent me a video of her four-year old playing outside in the "blizzard". A couple of inches of snow is definitely blizzard-like weather when you're four.

Stay warm, everyone!

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Ketchup = Catch Up

Our area is expecting a winter storm to move through today and tomorrow. I can't even tell you how happy this makes me. John and I made a quick Costco and grocery store run yesterday morning for snow day essentials (like hot cocoa and baking supplies) and I think half of Colorado Springs had the same idea--it was nuts! We are all settled in for a snowy weekend and now all we need is for the snow to begin. Forecasters continue to downgrade our snow totals but I think we could end up with at least a foot. I'm a little bit giddy about a weekend spent completely at home.

I realized while looking back at some photos on my phone last week that I am due for a "ketchup" here on the blog which has become a sort of family scrapbook for me over the years.

Here's some of what we've been up to lately.

Remember when I said January kicked my tail? I wasn't kidding. This was a picture of one of my to-do lists. I'm very visual and rely on hand-written lists (no electronic to-do lists for me) and a thick black Sharpie to strike through completed tasks. I've had to faithfully push through some busy months but you know what? I've had more white space on my calendar the past two weeks than I've had since mid-October which I've happily filled with hiking, catch-up dates with friends, and a good dose of alone time. Self-care at it's finest!
Will surprised us while we were in Arkansas over Christmas break by announcing his desire to attend college in Arkansas. We were kind of surprised he wanted to go so far away but his excitement was contagious so once we arrived back in Colorado, we started looking into a couple of different schools and making plans to visit. He and I traveled to Arkansas the last weekend in January to check out the University of Arkansas and Ouachita Baptist University.

I can't even begin to put that trip into words. It was amazing and I could tell you story after story after story of amazing things that fell into place for us. I really had hoped that John would take him on these visits but John insisted that I go, his reasoning being that my "mama" heart needed to see these places that my first born could potentially call home. In hindsight it was exactly as it needed to be and I was so grateful for that time with Will. We got to see lots of family while we were there too--it was an exceptional trip in so many ways!
He's made his decision! I'm trying to be respectful of Will's desire not to blab it all over the internet so you'll just have to stay tuned until he grants me permission to share.

John and I are in complete agreement that what he has chosen is the best fit for Will and are excited about this next step for him. Our excitement has been countered with a few teary evenings around the dinner table just thinking how very different things will look for our family in the next six months.

I'm not sure whose bright idea it was to take a four-day trip just days before a big event I'd been planning but I returned home from Arkansas and jumped into the final countdown to our IF: Local event. Craziest week I've had in a long, long time!

Last year some friends and I got together for a weekend and streamed the IF: Gathering conference. It was such a catalyst for growth in each of our faith journeys that we wanted our church to host it for our community. I'm grateful for a lot of hard work from a team of people that made our event a reality. I'm still trying to put it all into words (it's a separate blog post for sure) but it was a really beautiful time. John's words are really the best I have to describe it: We simply set the table and invited women to join us. They came...and so did the Lord. 
The same weekend of IF, Sarah had her Snowball dance at school. She was co-chair of the dance so she was REALLY busy for the week leading up to it. She went with a group of friends--that's just the way I like it.
I hate I don't have a picture of her dress--we found it by chance at Nordstrom Rack and it was BEAUTIFUL! I was cleaning up after IF and didn't get to be there for pictures. Sadness.

On February 10, Will turned EIGHTEEN!!! We took him out to dinner the night before his birthday and let him open his gift from us when we got back home.
He had some friends come over for dinner on his actual birthday. Will has really good friends and I love them all. It's going to be sad to see them all scattered around the country at different schools next year. 

Last Friday night we had a family Valentine dinner at home. John got each of the kids a little something and there was a little something for me as well (a necklace!) He is the most thoughtful husband and father. I am grateful for him every single day. 
I was with some friends last Friday and they asked what I was going to make for our family dinner that night. I laughed and said "SANDWICHES". My family requested paninis, which is really just a glorified sandwich, right? So yeah, I served sandwiches for our family Valentine dinner. And it was perfect.

John took me on a Valentine date the next night. We went to one of our favorite restaurants in Palmer Lake that was serving a four-course Valentine dinner. Deeeeeeeelicious. They even gave me a long-stemmed rose before the dessert course. We were home by 7pm which is just the way we like it.
 Last Sunday after church, I took this little cutie on a mommy-daughter date. Will and Sarah were off doing their own thing and she asked me to take her to Ulta and Bath and Body Works. She and two friends started an Instagram account where they review beauty products. I giggle a little bit because none of them wear much makeup so they mostly review lip balm and lotion and antibacterial gel and nail polish. Abbey had some money burning a hole in her pocket which she combined with coupons (cute AND smart, eh?) to stock up on goodies to review. Adorable. 
She got her braces put back on in January--round two! She'll get them on the bottom teeth in the next few weeks. She will also turn thirteen in about a month. I think I'm in denial...

I think that about covers what we've been up to lately. Life is good. Busy, chaotic, and full but GOOD. The snow has started falling here and it's beautiful. I see some cookie baking, hot tea, and some reading time in my immediate future. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February Currents

Current Read: I just started Daring Greatly (a re-read for me) and last month I read The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst. Well, truth be told I bought the audio book and listened to the book since I was traveling and had quite a bit of time on airplanes. I like audio books until I reach for a pen to underline something. Yeah, that's slightly awkward.

Current Playlist: Lord, I Need You has been on repeat for weeks now...

Current Color(s): Red and denim.

Current Food: I'm just not in a food mood lately. I'm not motivated to cook or plan menus. Thank goodness for a husband who helps me in the kitchen. It's pretty fair to say he's handled most of the cooking lately. He's a keeper.

Current Favorite Favorite: I'm officially obsessed with this nail polish. L-O-V-E. It looks beautiful and lasts for at least a week (if you use the topcoat) and comes off with regular remover. Win-win-win! It's pricier than regular polish but hey, it's cheaper than a salon manicure!

Current Addiction: Podcasts. I think I mentioned last month that I'd share some of my favorites so here ya go--Coffee With Chris (Christine Caine), Smart People, TEDTalks and The Chalene Show.

Current Wish List: I want a new purse. I've been looking since before Christmas but I cannot find one that I like. I've decided I might be too picky.

Current Need: Oh man, I broke my scarf hanger and really need a new one. I grabbed a scarf before church on Sunday and the part that hangs over the bar completely broke off. Ummm, it's possible I may have pulled a little too hard.

Current Triumph: We will be filing our taxes in February! We typically file an extension (or two) every single year so you have no idea how huge this is for us. We have some outside pressure to get them done early this year and that pressure is spelled F-A-F-S-A . If you don't know what that is, consider yourself lucky.

Current Annoyance: It annoys me that social media creates a false sense of relationship. Just because someone knows stuff about you does not mean they that know you.

Current Blessing(s): I have a handful of friends that I am very close to--my inner circle, if you will--and I am beyond grateful for their influence in my life. They know me, they love me, they support me, and they keep me accountable to the things I have made priority in my life.

Current Outfit: Grateful for a slow day at home that finds me in workout clothes, no make up, and my hair in a messy ponytail! I can't even tell you how happy that makes me. 

Current Excitement: We celebrated Will's 18th birthday yesterday! So excited about some future plans he's making...but they're not mine to share quite yet.
I'm also excited about Valentine's Day. A little blue box (you know the one) arrived in the mail yesterday for me...but my husband is making me wait until 2/14/15 to open it...and it's killin' me.

Current Project(s): Having just wrapped up two big projects, I've purposefully kept my plate free of projects for the next several months and have been uber selective about what I am saying yes to. Being project-free feels very, very good!

Current plans for the day: I've worked a little, rested a little and I suppose I should begin to think about what's for dinner and making my carpool rounds.

Adios, amigos.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Six

1. I'm really good at these Saturday Six posts, ya know? It's about all I can manage these days. At the risk of being annoyingly repetitive, the month of January is kicking my butt. I had a mini-meltdown yesterday about my inability to stay on top of things this month. 

I stopped measuring my self worth by my level of productivity a long time ago, but that temptation creeps back in from time to time, especially when I'm dropping balls left and right. This week I dropped a lot of balls, y'all. Yet God reminds me (reminds us all, really) that I am enough.

2. A friend invited me to hike yesterday. My to-do list was looming and I was behind on way too many things but self-care trumped all of it and I went. There's nothing quite like a 5.5 mile hike through deep snow on a crisp, winter day to clear your heart and mind. I needed that time outdoors and that conversation with good friends. Hiking is restorative for me on so many levels. And views like this aren't too bad either.
 3. John suggested we go out for mexican food last night and who am I to turn down an offer of a meal I don't have to cook? My kids were all sitting on one side of the booth and I asked them if I could take their picture. All I wanted was a serious picture. This is the best I got. They didn't believe my threat to post it to social media.
4. I tried two new recipes this week and both were amazing! John asked me to make this Bouef Bourguignon (don't even ask me how to pronounce that). He went to the store for me and got all the ingredients so how could I say no? It was delicious. So was this Barbacoa beef. We used it to make burritos and burrito bowls. It was sooooooo yummy. We're a family of carnivores...happy carnivores. 

5. The quote above really captured my attention this week because I saw it play out right before my eyes. If God wants a thing to succeed, you can't mess it up.  We just have to get out of the way and trust that He is in the details and His plan will not be thwarted. This week, God completely reversed a decision that I had no hope of ever being reversed. That's vague, I know, but believe me when I say it was HUGE. I'm humbled, grateful, and still in awe. 

6. On tap today: I scheduled another meeting with myself this morning to knock out some big things on my to-do list. Later I need to run a few errands and return something to the mall. And I suppose I need to think about dinner for my people. I'd love to get in bed early and watch a movie or read. I adore Saturdays.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Six on Saturday

1. Good morning, blog friends. It's Saturday! That means I made it through another week--and thankfully this one was a lot easier than last. I'm still trying to find my rhythm this semester but things seem to be falling into place.

2. My friend and I hiked the Incline yesterday and I can sum it up in one word: treacherous. I'd heard reports that it was icy but I'm not a newbie. I've seen ice and snowpack on the Incline and I knew I could handle it. I was wrong. I've never seen ice like that. Thank goodness for Yaktrax. I'm not exaggerating when I say they saved my hiney yesterday. Regardless of trail conditions, it was a beautiful hike.

3. I love to hike. It keeps me sane. It keeps me balanced. And it keeps me active. Lately though, I've had some pretty significant knee pain when hiking. I was hoping it was just a matter of needing new shoes but I'm starting to believe it's a bit more involved than that. This getting older business is hard.

4. Remember in my Currents post when I shared that I'm trying to let annoyances go quickly? It seems that when I share that kind of stuff publicly, the challenge increases exponentially. (Hint: that's kind of why I do it--accountability). I've had SO SO SO many opportunities lately to let things go but I've also lost a few of those challenges. I love this quote. I'm happy with progress.
5. I discovered and have been listening to the Serial podcast this week. Oh my word. SO addicted. I love podcasts. I typically listen to one every afternoon while waiting in carpool line. I'll share some of my favorites soon!

6. On tap today: I scheduled a meeting with myself this morning to sit still and really focus on the details of our upcoming IF event that my church is hosting (local friends, it would thrill me if you joined us). Shopping for a dress for her Sarah's upcoming Snowball dance. My bi-monthly grocery shopping trip (ugh). I'm also hopeful I can squeeze a short nap or early bedtime in there.  

Friday, January 09, 2015

January Currents

Current Read: I'm finally reading Unbroken. I don't know why I haven't read it before now but it is SO good. I typically like to read the book before I see the movie so I'm hoping that the movie is still playing when I finish. That's extremely likely since I can't put it down.
(Please excuse my unmade bed)

Current Playlist: I'm loving Taylor Swift's new album. I tried so hard to get TS concert tickets for my girls for Christmas. Her Denver concert sold out in minutes. Sadness. Still holding on to hope I can find some before the September concert.

Current Color(s): Black and taupe-y brown.

Current Food: I've been craving cucumbers with hummus. And cookie dough. And pretzels. And other sugary-gluteny things that make me feel yuck-o. I'm going to start the 3 Day Refresh this weekend. I'm so ready to detox and get my eating back on track.

Current Favorite Favorite: I got this hat and a FlipBelt for Christmas and I am LOVING both! This hiker loves new hiking gear!

Current Addiction: Words With Friends. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.

Current Wish List: I can't think of anything. Feeling very content right now.

Current Need: I think I need a personal assistant. That's what I actually get paid to do but right now the assistant needs an assistant. January is kicking my tail.

Current Triumph: I won my fantasy football league's championship and get to keep this sweet trophy for another year. That's back-to-back wins for my team, Blase of Glory!
(This plastic trophy is so much more amazing than this photo reveals)

Current Annoyance: Every month when I do my currents post, I get to this topic and sigh. The list of things that annoy me on a daily basis is long and I fight a pull towards negativity and pessimism every single day. Some days I'm victorious. Some days I lose. Lately, I've been on a losing streak. I've decided this year to choose a small goal to work towards each month. My January goal is to let go of annoyances quickly and/or quickly release the offense and the offender. Some annoyances are easier to let go of than others but the bottom line is that I'm a happier, healthier person when I do.

Current Blessing(s): A slow morning at home in my pjs. We have a weather delay this morning because of freezing drizzle. The weather derailed my hiking plans for today (super bummed) but right now I'm in my warm bed under my heated blanket with time to blog and read so I'm making the best of it!

Current Outfit: Pajamas. See above. 

Current Excitement: The weekend. This week has been intense.

Current Prayer(s): Our friend, Kara, is constantly on my heart and mind. She entered hospice at the end of December and she is soldiering through these remaining days with incredible courage, vulnerability and beauty. Please, please pray for her family.

Current Project(s): My church is hosting the IF Gathering next month so that is a huge thing on my plate right now. If you're local I would LOVE for you to join us. Here is the info link with registration information!

Current plans for the day: Tie up some loose ends with work, read, finalize my 2015 goals, write some thank you notes, maybe take a nap (I wish), make something warm and delicious for dinner and watch last night's episode of Parenthood. How's that for a nice, winter Friday?

Thursday, January 08, 2015

SMP 1.8.15

Blogging has been on my to-do list for over a week. Maybe even longer than that. Being out of town for 12 days in December and being thrust into January upon my return has not been kind to my to-do list. It's been a one-step-forward-TEN-steps-back kind of week. Those are not my favorite kind of weeks!

We had a nice time in Arkansas over Christmas. We typically stay in Colorado for Christmas but this year we switched things up and spent time with both of our families in the "motherland", as my husband calls it. I was immensely grateful that we were able to fly instead of drive. I wasn't grateful for the 2.5 hour delay leaving Denver or the cancelled flight that delayed our return home by a day, but those are small things.

School started back a few days ago and we're all beginning to find our groove again. This is Will's last semester of high school--can't even find words for that--and I'm trying to savor these days with him at home knowing that change is right around the corner.

Happy 2015! I'm excited about what this year has in store!