• jesus,  kids,  marriage,  mom blogs

    The hap-hap-happiest Christmas!!!! (or not)

    There are times I love my kids so much I think that my heart is going to explode. Kissing their round little cheeks, hearing Reuben tell corny knock-knock jokes, having Ozzy wildly cackle when he wins Candy Land. I marvel at the gifts they are to me and how full my life is with them. There are other times where I think my heart is going to explode with the frustration, drudgery and battle of wills with my kids. Seeing the sassy look on Ozzy’s face when he refuses to pick up the toys I’ve told him to pick up 8 times, the moody slump of Reuben when he overreacts…

  • social media,  writing

    Blog Break

    I would really love to give you heartfelt, thought provoking and funny content on a daily, or at least weekly basis. But I’m giving all that goodness to something else right now- my book Beautiful Feet: Unleashing Women into Everyday Witness. I’ve been feeling the pressure to be “a real” writer by blogging, submitting articles for publication and working on my book but I’ve begun to realize that just isn’t feasible right now. My manuscript revisions are due at the end of December so I’m hoping in January to start the new year with some kind of blogging consistency. I have a ton of ideas and things I want to…

  • books,  Uncategorized

    Getting “Beyond Awkward” + Giveaway!

    It can feel really awkward talking about Jesus. We don’t want to sound forced, come off as one of “those Christians” or break trust with people we care about. So how do we get beyond awkward and get to the point where sharing Jesus feels comfortable, even normal? My buddy Beau has a few ideas of how to do this. Beau and I both serve on staff with InterVarsity Christian fellowship and did an M.A. in Evangelism and Leadership a couple years ago at Wheaton College. Beau is one of those guys you love to hate- because he’s got so much going for him; he’s talented, self-assured (some might say…

  • Uncategorized

    Hold- five minute friday

    That moment in a workout where you’ve been doing squats or plank for what seems like forever and then the instructor tells you- “great! now hold it for a minute!” is excruciating. Waiting is difficult- no matter if you’re holding a squat and your quads are burning, your mind spins with worry waiting to hear back about a job, or your stomach knots up when you take a risk and send the text to the person you’re interested in. Being on hold is difficult because you have moved past the beginning but haven’t yet reached closure. There are a lot of things in my life that feel on hold right…

  • fashion,  femininity,  inner world,  jesus,  self-awareness,  Uncategorized

    Afraid of Pink

    For a long time I didn’t wear pink, red or any other color that seemed distinctly feminine. Pink seemed too girly. I didn’t want to be lumped in with Barbie or women that liked devotional books with flowers and hearts on them or sappy love songs that made women cry. Red seemed too tempting. What color is the devil always portrayed as? Red. What color do temptresses wear? According to Nathaniel Hawthorne in sophomore year english class, she wears a scarlet ‘A’. Red is supposed to signify desire, love, passion. If I wore red myself was I making a target out of my body which people already noticed? How was…

  • inner world,  money

    Conflicted- or Money Makes People Funny

    I have a weird relationship with stuff. For the past 4 years I’ve been adamantly denying myself of things I want rather than things I need. In part it was out of necessity- when we moved to Cleveland we weren’t able to sell our house in Michigan and were some of the millions of Americans who ended up having to foreclose on our home. I was pregnant with Oswald in 2010/2011, the same year we had to declare bankruptcy which is essentially what you do when you foreclose on a home. The only picture I had ever had of bankruptcy was of the Nationwide ad with M.C. Hammer sitting on…

  • inner world,  kids,  mom blogs,  parenting,  Uncategorized

    Five Minute Friday: Whisper

    In a hushed voice he says “moooom, I got a secret to tell you!” With his little face pressed against my ear he whispers the piece of information that he wants to share with me- sometimes about marbles, his favorite toy, sometimes it’s a nonsensical knock-knock joke which has become increasingly a favorite in our house. Other times he forgets what he wants to tell me and says….”ummm, I forgot.” It doesn’t really matter what he has to tell me because I love hearing that raspy little whisper. The feel of Ozzy’s soft cheeks, the urgency of the thing he wants to share with me, just me, simply because I’m…

  • fashion,  inner world,  jesus,  simplicity,  spirituality,  thrift store shopping,  Uncategorized

    Thrifty Thursday: On the outside and the Inside

    Warning- this is about to get a little philosophical up in my wardrobe on this Thrifty Thursday. I was thinking recently about reasons why I love thrift store shopping which include: 1. saving money. 2. caring for the planet by reducing my demand for new items. 3. finding the needle in the haystack in the form of fabulous clothes. 4. The unexpected delight of finding something I’m looking for. 5. Enjoying the secret that most of my wardrobe comes from thrift or consignment stores yet I look fab-ooo! Though, I guess it’s not so secret since I’m blogging about it. But it also goes deeper than that- for me thrifting…

  • art,  books,  inner world,  Uncategorized,  writing

    I Hit Send

    Two years ago I sat on a grassy hill listening to the roar of jets above me.  Dave and I had taken our boys to the Cleveland air show and along with other frugal Clevelanders, we had parked ourselves on a grassy slope across from there all the other fools were paying admission to listen to the same jets. Oswald would cry when one would suddenly zoom overhead, the noise too much for my baby. Watching Reuben roll down the hill with other kids who were enjoying a day off from school on Labor day, I sat feeling anxious, pent up and like I needed to let go of whatever…

  • Uncategorized

    Thrifty Thursday: Revamp your sandals

    I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest.  I get sucked into believing I will actually create those made-from plants dyes for Easter Eggs instead of watching Paas tablets dissolve in vinegar like I have my whole life.  Ain’t nobody got time for dat. When I do love Pinterest is when I want to look great on a budget but need some creative inspiration to figure out how to emulate the look I want. I’ve been searching for a pair of cute, everyday sandals online all spring. I wanted something different than Birkenstocks because I grew up in the 1990’s and I’ve been there and done that kids (though there are some…

  • fashion,  inner world,  jesus,  justice,  thrift store shopping

    Thrifty Thursday: Eww, that smell and other reasons NOT to thrift shop

    People believe that shopping at thrift stores is some sort of super-natural gift- that God himself has bestowed special vision to certain lucky shoppers to find the diamond in the rough that makes them look fabulous and save a ton of money. This is not true. ANYONE can find great deals at thrift stores but it isn’t just about finding great clothing or household items- it’s about overcoming the mental barriers associated with thrift store shopping. Picture yourself walking into Macy’s- you see shoppers trying on the latest styles of shoes, holding armfuls of new clothing on hangers, artfully arranged displays of jewlery.  Now imagine what you smell when you…

  • fashion,  Uncategorized

    Thrifty Thursday: look for the labels

    We all have our favorite stores and brands- ones that we love the design, color and cut of items.  The awesome thing is that so do tons of other people. And when those people lose or gain weight and their clothes don’t fit them anymore or they decide the  color or cut of a shirt doesn’t flatter them guess where it ends up: that’s right friends- the thrift store. Think of how many times you’ve bought something that looks good on you in the dressing room only to get home and realize that it isn’t that great. You were in a rush or your friend convinced you that it really…

  • fashion,  inner world,  self-awareness,  sheer vanity,  Uncategorized,  women

    Thrifty Thursday: Determine your style icons

    Shopping can be overwhelming. Thrift store shopping even more so. You have to wade through a lot of junk. But if you have an idea of your own personal style it can make shopping at thrift stores or anywhere else a lot easier.  Below are three questions to help you figure out who your style icons are. An icon is a symbol or thing regarded as a representative of  something.  In the Christian faith people often have icons of certain saints to remind them of qualities they want to emulate. One of my friends has an icon of the Holy Trinity sitting at a table that reminds him that he is always invited…

  • fashion,  inner world,  Uncategorized

    Thrifty Thursday- shop the trends for less

    This week’s Thrifty Thursday is all about finding the current trends for a fraction of the price. A lot of people think that if they shop at thrift stores they’ll end up looking like this:   But you can actually shop the latest trends at thrift stores for a heck of a lot less.  Think about how often you buy a shirt and then decide it just doesn’t fit you right, the color isn’t flattering to you or you should have bought a different size. What do people do with those items? That’s right. They send them to the thrift store, often times with the tags still on. And that’s…

  • fashion,  justice,  women

    Thrifty Thursday- a new series!

    For years I’ve had people comment that they would love to either invade my closet, learn to thrift store shop with me, have me be their personal shopper. So I thought I’d try and start a weekly post to help you learn all the ins and outs of being a frugal fashionista and navigate the adventuresome abyss of thrift stores.  Each week I’ll share one tip on how to look great for less and find styles that are current while poppin’ tags.  Lots of people are into thrifting currently to save money. But for me it goes deeper than that. Thrifting flows out of a desire to live simply yet…

  • inner world,  jesus,  justice,  prayer,  spirituality,  Uncategorized

    This is How We Fight

    This is How We Fight  We dance because we believe in the one who makes all things new We sing because our voices cannot be silenced amidst the screams of terror around the world We bake bread to nourish our bodies because just like Elijah- the angels around remind us; “get up and eat. the journey is far too much for you.” We go to sleep because the one who made the day and night holds us in his powerful hands. We love. And keep loving. And then love some more. To the porn-addicted man in his clean oxford shirt at church on a Sunday morning. To the gay teenager…

  • books,  Uncategorized,  writing

    Bird by Bird? More like Turd by Turd

    As I’ve been getting up early to work on my book Beautiful Feet, I was reflecting on Anne Lamott’s book- Bird by Bird, which, if you’re a writer or an aspiring writer, it’s a great place to get some practical and inspiring tips.  The title of the book comes from a project her brother was working on about birds while he was in middle school. He had waited until the night before to write a report about various kinds and birds and was freaking out that he wouldn’t be able to get it done in time.  Their dad, encouraged him-” just take it bird by bird, buddy.” A little bit at…

  • Uncategorized

    Where there’s a Crowd…

    …There’s usually a party. At least that’s my opinionation. In college my friends and I would roam the student housing streets (Beal, Gunson) at Michigan State University looking for one thing primarily: a crowd. Loud students sitting on sagging porches with red cups in their hands, the door thrown wide open.  It was only logical that a keg of crappy icehouse beer and some dude DJing would also be present so we could get our groove on. Though I am far from my student days of showing up at random people’s homes to consume their beer for free and possibly throw up in their bushes from said crappy beer, I…

  • art,  exercise,  inner world,  parenting,  pop culture

    Surprised by Small

    “Less is more” architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe once stated when he described his minimalist yet profoundly beautiful design style.  His Barcelona chair remains an icon in the world of design though it debuted in 1929.  And a coveted item amongst those of us who wish we had the thousands of dollars to plunk down for of those chairs. Design Within Reach my ass. I am often surprised by small. Small things that end up being profoundly huge in my life- teaching me about myself, my kids, God, my body, friendship and life.   Often I’m so distracted (more self-imposed than not) that I miss the small.  In find myself…

  • fashion,  friendship,  inner world,  kids,  leadership,  mom blogs,  parenting,  women,  working moms

    This is My Life

    A couple years ago someone made the comment about a fashion blogger they read regularly- “why does she post about her kids? If I wanted to know about toddlers I’d read mom blogs, which I’m totally not interested in. I just want to know how to tie a scarf 27 ways or what flats are in style for the spring. Who cares that her toddler says the f-word when he asks for his truck! ”  As a blogger who writes about lots of different things this struck fear into my heart and raised all kinds of questions like: “Am I seen as dorky or out of touch if I post…

  • books,  friendship,  inner world,  jesus,  parenting,  self-awareness,  writing

    Coming off a bender

    Let me give you a glimpse into my life recently. I have eaten a total of: Three big Macs, two bars of chocolate, 5 scones, one bag of doritos (the big size) Drank a total of: 1 milkshake, two bottles of wine (shared with friends…mostly) and 57 cups of coffee. This has been washed down with gallons of water because it’s so cold and dry in Cleveland right now that I need to stay hydrated so I don’t shrivel up. Obsessed about: How the stretch marks on my thighs look like tributaries of the Mississippi delta That my six year old seems to be “discovering” his private parts and the girls at…

  • friendship,  jesus,  marriage

    Visit

    Whether it is planned or unexpected I love to host people in my home, particularly if people need a place to stay for the night or a couple of days. Dave and I decided early on that we wanted to have the kind of home where we would always have a bed for someone if they needed it.  Over the years we have enjoyed friends crashing for the night, family staying for a couple days, students who lived with us for a few months and strangers we’ve never met.  Yes, I said we let strangers stay in our home. Working for InterVarsity is like being connected to a big global family-…