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It’s Friday, I’m in love…

In many of the ways imaginable, THIS has been a rough week. My heart is truly at it’s breaking point, and yet the sun rises and a new day dawns. It is so hard while we are within the seasons which are heavy, but trying to grow how we can and remember this is only a season… This is where I am at this morning. I’ve brewed some fragrantly inviting cinnamon cardamom coffee and I’m sitting down to gather my day and scatter myself as needed, across its blank canvas.

When that may not work then I will simply remind myself that I am thirteen days away from vacation.

Totally off the point and random, I am dating the idea of buying one of those instamax cameras. They aren’t super expensive but the film is. Will the nostalgic idea of it wear off, leaving me disappointed? Will I wake up one day, brightly colored piece of plastic magic in hand and realize I am not sixteen and would have been better off spending my money on an anti-wrinkle cream? These are the questions which plague me. I had the opportunity to borrow one for a while, but that didn’t work out, and so I am left debating… If anyone reading this little post has one and cares to weigh in, I’d LOVE your feedback.

This week… This week was a hard week. This week was a growth week. This week was so heavy in so many ways. That being said, it’s time… And after all, it is friday-

  • My job comes with many cool opportunities and very little monetary compensation. As one who really is in favor of the barter system, this is cool. While it doesn’t necessarily put food on the table or pay the electric bill, I am pretty grateful for what it does do. While I am typically directed towards more conservative projects, where work is concerned, this past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a screening for a sweet little film called Love, Simon. (While it is my heart to respect everyone, in this space, I also realize we can’t always please everyone. If it’s not your thing, don’t go see it. Don’t engage in conversation about it. Just show grace and move on…) For anyone else- this movie is lovely. It was hilarious and so heartwarming and a pretty vital tale, for such a time as these…
  • With the mere mention of keto, your brains may be turning to jelly and your gaze growing catatonic. I promise, there is only one (well, maybe two) things. But one of them, (this one) isn’t really a keto thing… It’s just an awesome thing. Did you know that, at Five Guys, you can order this???? It is brilliant, AND tasty, and on a Keto note- really nice because sometimes life is just in need of grabbing food which you neither have to prepare or clean up from.

Regarding that last statement. Here has been our biggest annoyance regarding this little Keto adventure… THE DISHES. Seriously SO MANY dishes, all of the time. I mean, it doesn’t help that I make our dog food too, but still…

Moving on…

  • I received these awesome socks as a gift, and have had them for a few months now. They’ve been worn (a lot), washed, dried, stolen by the puppy, retrieved by the puppy, etc… and I can honestly say they are THE BEST socks I have ever had. They are comfortable, warm, cute, cozy and make me happy every time I wear them.
  • This tea, from Panera, is pretty delicious (And carb free- good news for me, should I be in a situation where an overpriced beverage is called for, it absolutely does the trick! I enjoyed it twice this week.
  • The Bacon & Butter cookbook is amazing. That’s all I can say… (here it is, the second Keto-ish point)

Lastly though, the things which I truly loved this week were my amazing husband, the miraculous fact that he was in town and my sweet friends… I HATE, HATE, HATE that my nearest and dearest kindred spirits are no where near where I am, but they are pretty lovely people and I’m super grateful for them.

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It’s Friday, I’m in love… {plus a little something…}

Happy Friday!

It is STILL my birthday month, and darn it if I’m not going to milk it, at least a little! I also officially received my first birthday gift, from my very sweet friend! (Thanks, friend!) I am so touched by generosity and love…

Anyway, This Week! (am I right? I’ve heard the murmurs and I just want to say- me too, you guys… ME TOO.)

This (never-ending) winter has been brutal in all the weather and a non-weathery ways. Maybe if we all join hands, squint our eyes, jump up at the same time while shouting “SPRING!” we can jump-start things! (get it? Jump start… Yeah, like I said, it’s been a week.)

Let’s get to it, shall we?

  • As I shared, last week, I have embarked on a Keto adventure. So far, (one whole week in… Call me an expert! Ha!) I am really liking it, for a multitude of reasons I won’t really bore you with. (unless you ask… then I won’t stop.) So far my biggest disappointments have been the amount of carbs in my beloved coffee creamer, how absolutely sick the Keto flag-fat Bulletproof coffee makes me, and that putting even five strawberries in my daily smoothie will throw my entire day’s carbs off. (can we take a moment of silence for daily smoothies, because guess who isn’t doing them anymore? This girl…) So yeah, that’s a lot of whining about the down sides, (which are the only ones, actually, for me) but there have been a lot more things I’ve discovered that i LOVE! (like, LOVE LOVE LOVE!) I’ve made my favorite 5 minutes food ever (sans recipe) and I want to eat it EVERY SINGLE DAY… I also discovered this amazing little snack. You guys… I can’t even tell you how amazing this is! (The mozzarella is my FAVORITE, which is so weird because I’m not a big mozzarella fan.)
  • Also, while I have shared products from this company before, (#foreverfan) I recently discovered their Peanut Butter Cups and… But when they are Keto friendly too, and so freaking delicious… I CAN NOT FAIL!

At this point you’re probably thinking to yourself this chick better not share another Keto related thing, or I am done. Well, sorry to sound like the annoying new girlfriend of the high school quarterback, but sit tight for one more thing? Because, while the first two things are totally delicious, healthy and for EVERYONE (#hailketo), this can be too. It’s super helpful…

  • The Carb Manager App has been a life saver. I was STRESSING out before I dove in. I mean, how would I manage all of the math and percentages??? Anyone who knows me knows my brain has limits, and most beyond third grade* math exceeds them. When I received my diploma, my brain retired from such nonsense. (*I mean the math I did in the third grade, not the intermediate college level stuff expected of children in elementary school now.)
  • Did you guys watch the Oscars? They were pretty fun, this year, which is a relief. Also, it helped that I actually liked many of the movies, for a change… Francis McDormand won for best actress and was so happy she won! Not only was her performance stunning, (Three Billboards is an incredible film!) but I absolutely adore her! While the public, at home behind their phones and computers, love to criticize her for being weird, I think she is doing a remarkably fantastic job of showing what her priorities are, while delivering beautiful performances that just might teach us something if we pay attention. Plus, her speech… COME ON!!!!! She’s a Gem, and we need to look to the gems like her if we want to admire Hollywood, and not the airbrushed, polished fake narcissists… (and once again, Guillermo Del Toro’s speech moved me incredibly! Can he come be my motivational life coach now, please?)
  • This one… This one might be my favorite of all of the things… I LOVE movies. (I know, I’ll allow you a minute to compose yourself over the shock you surely must be feeling regarding this most recent confession… *cough*) I love books, (notice the non-cap letters… This was intentional.) As a little girl, I loved books. I often surrounded myself, in a lump on the floor, with them. The first “big” book that I remember falling in love with was James and the Giant Peach. When they made the movie, well into my grown years, I was beside myself with excitement. I still, to this day, love the book SO much… While I didn’t love the movie nearly as much, I still hold the book among my most sacred of first loves…

TODAY, March 9, A Wrinkle In Time is finally here! (FINALLY!!!!!) I love this book too, (though it’s not my J & t G P!) and have been so excited, for the better part of forever, for this movie to be out. Every time I have gone to the theater, one of the several trailers have played, only building my anticipation more…

Just in case you aren’t familiar with the book or film- From visionary director Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic that takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light, good versus evil and, ultimately, the triumph of love.  The film stars Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, and Storm Reid as “Meg Murry.”

Storm Reid is Meg Murry and Levi Miller is Calvin O’Keefe in Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME, an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timless classic directed by Ava DuVernay.

One of the things I really love about the story of A Wrinkle in Time is the timelessness and relevance.

In honor of what looks like an extraordinary adaptation, and of course my birthday month (!!!) I would like to give a $25 Fandango gift card away! For a chance to win, simply leave a comment with your favorite children’s book!

Good Luck!!! (and don’t forget to enter my other giveaway, for a Lifeway gift card!)

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It’s Friday, I’m in love…

I can’t believe that it is already March!

I  am equally as disappointed as you must be, that I am sounding like every other over-forty year old whose first remarks of the day are always weather or calendar related. I know, I’m sorry. I get it. I post here once a week and I resort to beginning this week’s hello with boring (to the under-forty) nonsense like that. Please love me, despite my flaws…

My birthday is in twenty-six days. This seems like such an awesome and exciting thing, doesn’t it? It’s not. I have a very much wish-to-love/but-hate relationship with my birthday. It’s pretty sad, and despite my already established geriatric age, I never grow up enough to stop internally wishing this year will be the one that changes everything. It’s ok.

This is getting depressing…

Let’s take a moment to redirect our focus by looking at this vibrantly pink photo of fruit, that I can’t eat because Chw and I have decided to embark on a little spring Keto adventure… (errr, happy birthday to me????) What this means for the tradition of birthday cake, the jury is still out. Many factors considered, the birthday prospects are a little gloomy. (Not to mention that the biggest gift I get to give myself, this birthday, is new bi-focals because, well, I’m old.)

Also, I am not going to take any offense to the fact that a song I love just came on and as I began singing, my dog (who was lying content at my feet) immediately stood and left the room. Maybe I should just get to the actual heart of this post…

  • First and foremost… Did you guys watch the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics? I LOVE LOVE LOVE EXO (and K-pop is my go to genre to listen to, if you didn’t already know that) I would absolutely love to link their performance for you, except that after scouring the videos available on YouTube, I couldn’t find one I liked. Oh well. If you didn’t see it, you really missed something grand! The very highlight of this first bullet point is foremost that videos are FINALLY Available from the Olympics! (and since I shared before about this performance, I had to share the link with you.)
  • Ha! This… This video is amazing. (I adore Kalen!) While definitely NEITHER Keto or Birthday celebration friendly, it is hilarious. Seriously, Why ya’ll got to mess with stuff… this will have you on the toilet
  • This White Peach Rose’ & Peony Hempz lotion is my absolute favorite scent EVER! I am not usually attracted to florally scents, but this is perfection! (and I’m sure I’ve already shared that Hempz is my favorite body lotion! (Their Triple Moisture is my winter BFF.)
  • We were able to catch a couple of movies, over the weekend, which was great. Surprisingly we enjoyed them both, but we absolutely LOVED Game Night! It seems like it has been a long time since we’ve had such a great time at a movie! (seriously laughed til we cried!)
  • I love music. We all know this. And while I’ve known (and enjoyed) a few tracks by these guys, it wasn’t until this week that I really took the opportunity to dive deep into their stuff. Lyrically, musically, personally… I have fallen head over heels with Judah and the Lion!


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It’s Friday, I’m in love…

Minimal sunlight is streaming through the drawn blinds and my Wonder Woman mug is full, (refilled, mind you) and steaming with the caffeine loaded nectar of the PNW gods, in easy reach. I am curled up on my couch, laptop on lap (isn’t that where it is supposed to be, anyway?) and I am flat-out exhausted.

I’m a little under the weather. (I have been blaming my beautiful daughter in law for sharing her bug, over the holiday, but let’s be honest- I have a chronic illness and am coming down from the craziest month of travel/busyness that I have had in a really long time. It isn’t her fault, but even if it were- it’s a cold… I’ll live.) Yesterday was the first day, since Sunday, that I believed I could actually be a functioning member of the human race. To commemorate the very special occasion I decided to pour my heart and soul into a huge project, and not crawl into bed until nearly five in the morning. Those of you under the ripe old age of 40 are probably thinking yeah, so? But I haven’t been able to successfully pull of such great feats in a very long time. Also, I woke up around 7:45, and crawled out of bed around 8:15… I’m dragging. (There is not enough coffee in all of Michigan to help, I fear.)

At any rate, it’s a good thing I work on my list throughout the week, because otherwise there would simply be five bullet points stating SLEEP, and that’s no fun… (also, this post is covering two weeks, as I was away on Holiday last week)

1.) Scrunchies. The truth is, I have really naturally curly hair. Depending on the weather, temperature, humidity index and whatever mood my fickle hair is in, at any given moment, my hair can look really beautiful. These rare and glorious moments are the ones I dream about. In reality though, unless I’ve had a blowout (which I try to get semi-regularly, just for sanity purposes) my hair is usually a tangled mess of indescribably proportions. My solution to this natural disaster, as anyone who sees me regularly can tell you, is a messy bun. (Lazy hair and I truly don’t care who sees it or how terrible it may look due to the evil baby hairs which frame my face with absolute defiance.) Anyway, (I’m tired and clearly cannot stay on point) over the weekend my daughter acquired a packet of 90’s style hair scrunchies. I thought they were pretty funny and nostalgic. At one point, that evening, a scrunchy was used and the user (I don’t remember who) exclaimed WOW! These are awesome! This gave me pause. Really? Awesome? So, my Friday late night messy bun met a 90’s scrunchy and I think it may be safe to say there is no going back. Ever wondered why I had less tension headaches when I was in high school and under extreme stress and duress, in comparison to adult years? Scrunchies. Every wonder why I still can’t wrap my mind around the amount of hairs which tangle themselves around a hair tie? Scrunchies. In a time when we are surrounded by problems and we simply need solutions, I’m beginning to wonder if a scrunchy may not be the answer. (also, I’m tired. But still, my bun is scrunchied and I have no headache or tension pull, so there ya go.)

2.) Intentional Gifts. I know this probably seems stupid, but hear me out. Anyone who knows me even 3% knows that gift giving/receiving is my primary love language. I am a big fan of The Minimalists. Recently they have challenged that this is not a real love language and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I get their point (consumerism, materialism, etc.) but also, I live with my brain/body/soul and know how I feel giving gifts and receiving them. The thing their point did do, however, was challenge me to really introspectively lean in to those thoughts/feelings during the processes. I realized there IS a difference and it has changed the very way I function within the realm of gifts…

Someone VERY special to Chw and I just celebrated her 30th birthday. It was a milestone birthday and we wanted to do something really thoughtful for her. We purchased a couple of small, yet sentimental gifts, but honestly it just did not feel like enough. What do you give someone so vital to you, to celebrate a pretty huge birthday, on a nominal budget? (because without the lack of independent wealth, we would have spent the year traveling with her, and rolling in stacks of money, obviously) We talked, and talked, and talked about this for the better part of a month. Then, a few days before her birthday, we got an idea. We’d make her a playlist of songs from the year she was born… (1987, which we learned was the year we both really blossomed into our love of music and movies, which is pretty cool.) The playlist morphed into one of those 1987 fact sheets to share with our family, in honor of her birthday. This eventually became a game. A 30 part trivia game complete with 1987 inspired commercial breaks, music videos, movie trailers, historical facts and a big bag of 1987 inspired prized. (i.e. SCRUNCHIES) I’ll admit it, we got carried away. (By we, I mean me, though Chw was VERY enthusiastic.) I spent every waking second, for several days, working on this game. And naturally, doubt set in… They would hate it. It’s OLD stuff and they won’t get any of the references (they being a bunch of awesome people, under the age of 30) so when a friend offered to be a test subject, I jumped at it. Halfway through the performance of the Game (it was NOT a smooth run through, you guys) it occurred to me that these friends were our age so this messy run through was very possibly as good as it was going to get. It wasn’t. It was really fun, and it went much smoother, and it was REALLY fun. And she felt loved, and felt special, and it was a memory. This is when I realized that is the whole point of giving a gift. It cost some time, and a few bucks in prizes. In the end it was a chunk of quality time centered around someone very worthy of the effort and we all enjoyed it. Much more meaningful than a “big” dollar purchase, and my gift love bank was full.

3.) Our family Thanksgiving tradition is going to the movies. It’s a little tricky at this phase of familyhood because we’ve got grand-babies and babies don’t love movies, (and most movie goers share the same sentiment regarding babies in movies) but tradition is tradition so some of us went. We chose Coco. Chw felt it might be a little easier on the boys (6, 7 and 11) than Wonder, and I was pretty fine either way. A few times, during the movie, I questioned if maybe this was the WORST choice to see with them. By the end however, I was a sob-filled-blubbering mess absolutely moved and in love with Coco.

4.) Whipped Cream Maker. We’ve actually had it for years. It isn’t anything new to us, but it does sit unused for large amounts of time. And then, Thanksgiving rolls around (PIE!) and melts into the Christmas season (hot chocolate!) and we pull it out and fall in love with the miracle of it, over again. Incidentally, last week my poor husband made a not so tasty batch of whipped cream. This inspired me to get creative with flavors and types. It’s a whole new world up in here… (impromptu hot chocolate and game night, anyone???)

5.) Listening to Christmas music on Vinyl. I love it. I had HIGH hopes of adding this little record to my growing collection (because this album is kind of one of the best), but alas, it is sold out. Sad days… So, I’ll listen to it on Spotify, and my other Christmas records when I’m not.

What about you and your week? What are you loving?

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17/14 vision…

Seventeen years ago, three very fragile and amazingly resilient children asked me to be their mother. Being a lover of birthdays, I remember this clearly, in that mildew scented cafeteria, because it was my grandmother’s birthday. I am also, I’ll admit, a sucker for symbolism. After seven miscarriages and a failed adoption, wasn’t the very fact that it was ON my grandmother’s birthday exact proof that this was a good sign?

I know, I know. At 24, I should have been much wiser than that. The thing was, however, I loved those kids incredibly. I had not taken the job in that group home in an effort to shop for children. (A phrase my older daughter, at least, will find bitter twinged amusement in.) I had accepted the position because I needed to stand on my own and because I loved kids and was really great at my job.

I had developed various sorts of close relationships with various kids who were growing up there. Some souls simply click, but with these three it was different. The first confirmation, of the miraculous element, for me had been when I developed special relationships and felt drawn to each of them before I was really aware that they were actual siblings. The three were not particularly close to each other, and in settings like that you often have kids refer to other kids as siblings, when they aren’t. When I learned, a couple of weeks in to my tenure, that they were biological siblings I realized that pull had made divine sense.

I had not been expecting the request, when they came together to ask it of me. I was, at 24, far too immature to understand the gravity of how difficult that must have been for them, considering their journey thus far, in life. My co-worker was sitting with me and she squealed a little and remarked “this is perfect! You and those three are a beautiful combination and seeing you all together makes life make sense!”

That journey towards them was not an easy one. There was much standing in the way and honestly, at 24, if I had known exactly what the heart fight would look like, I might have run away screaming. Thank God, I didn’t. I was witness to very abusive manipulations, over the years, and a control battle over those precious spirits, that still (in recollection) makes my skin crawl. Though our journey as a family has not been at all how I would have designed it, the outcome is a familial connection that I would not trade for the world. The journey was long, and eventually one of the three found parents who were closer and a better fit. I always understood, and grieved, and in the end came to peace with the fact that I love her just the same, no matter what…


Fourteen years ago, I was approached to be the mother of a broken little four-year old girl. It was a decision that we made within a few hours, even though I found myself weather worn from my other mother-journal-struggle. (which at this point, was still going strong) My fear was that we would grow to love this tender little child and then lose her, down the road. The once-again-symbolism of my grandmother’s birthday being near, and what the journey with those three beautiful kids had been like, were not lost on me.

You see, the feared possibility was not completely unfounded. We had been the soon-to-be adoptive parents of twin girls, once upon a time. Our ten months with them were that sort of chapter where every day felt a little like this is what my soul has been waiting for, finally I am complete. Then, due to a technicality regarding a gun, an arrest method and a court loophole, they were returned to the stranger that was their mother, leaving my arms empty and my heart officially shattered…

Two days after being asked, we drove out to pick up our daughter. It was a sunny September Sunday afternoon, and I had made sure to call my grandmother, on the way over, to wish her a happy birthday. The sunshine easily acted like a promise that this time, this time motherhood might not hurt as bad, and may not end with empty arms. This little girl was a gift, but she was also a daily reminder that there were no guarantees. For a very long time I walked the tightrope of guarding my heart and that same heart diving headfirst into the sea of her child-spirit. Tens upon tens of thousands of dollars later, (and sadly a nine-year court battle which always seemed to play out more uphill than down, until we one day found it over) she was legally ours. Throughout this time, there were sadly moments when this growing girl would be used, as a pawn, to hurt our older kids. It was a sick and a meant-for-tragedy thing, and miraculously it never worked. Seeds meant to sow resentment, simply sowed love.


My beautiful, (now in heaven) grandmother’s birthday has born to me, motherhood. She was such a strong woman who held a family together in ways which I could never replicate, all the while her birthday knit together another branch of her own. My motherhood journey has been anything but traditional. Just the same, I am the mom to some of the most extraordinary humans I have ever known.

For the first time since that timid little seventeen year old request for my motherhood was asked, I am spending this day alone. In the past I have either been with my husband, visiting my kids, becoming a mom again, just with one kid, two kids, or the best of times- all three. One year we were recovering from the wedding, the day before, of my older daughter. One year we went to the Lion King on Broadway, on other we sat around eating chocolate fondue and making silly home movies for my husband because he couldn’t be with us. Somehow the day has always been special, playing out as its own sort of character within our family and lives. (fun bonus fact, my son married a beautiful girl, whom I adore, whose birthday is the day AFTER this little anniversary of ours. Attraction truly is a spiritual thing.)

This year my husband is 8,000 miles and 16 hours away. My son is in the far corners of the country doing his part to keep our nation safe. My older daughter on her own motherhood journey, waking from ringing in her own anniversary- marriage. My younger daughter, the sweet little four-year old of fourteen years ago, is on a dark and prodigal journey that this mmama heart of mine hopes will not last forever, but worries about the consequential scarring that may happen along the way. My family is a lesson to me that fighting for those whom your soul loves, is primal at best and always vital. The journey will never be scripted the way that your heart hopes, but the outcome of love will always be worth it- even when things don’t go your way.

Happy birthday, Grandma…