Tag Archives: encouragement

A conundrum of sorts…

Holy cow, y’all it’s almost February!!!  Where in the HECK did January go???  This month, for us, has had our dance card filled EVERY weekend this month and while it certainly keeps us busy, I am a person who needs some downtime.  After a month of go-go-go, we are happy January is almost gone-gone-gone.

Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time:  All-state concert, Savannah visit with my mom and her Hubby, All-county concert #1 (followed by #2 concert AND LAST this weekend).  All good stuff.  I just need to decompress on the weekends at some point and there’s been very little of that.  The other problem all this busy-ness brings is the whole “physical health” resolutions has taken a back seat with the extra running around.

The interesting thing, and here is the conundrum, is that while I haven’t been wholly UNHEALTHY, I’ve not focused ONE BIT on exercise (got it in when I could or managed to get out of bed in the morning chilliness), nor have I focused on my food (although I’ve stuck to my mostly normal eating habits).  Yesterday, I wanted to brace myself for moving back into regular and scheduled exercise AND food-journaling with our 16 year-old and guess what?  Down 4 pounds.  You’ve got to be kidding me.

No worries though, now that I’ve typed it and am moving back into focus on health, I’ll be right back up….but hopefully not.

Isn’t life crazy like that?

Dear, Biebs

Dear Biebs~(can I call you Biebs?  well, I did….I am older than you)


Listen, it’s about time we had a little chat.  See, I have an almost teenster here in the house that absolutely adores you.  Beliebster to the max.  She has 3 other siblings that mock and ridicule her puppy-love for you in an unending fashion.  She can take it though, her love is strong.  Today, she was embarrassed for you.  Really embarrassed.  She is going as far as taking her iPod case cover of you off and going back to her polka dot number.  That’s a big deal, dude.  She is still mulling over removing the posters, mainly because there is such a large selection of your younger, more well-behaved days.  Concert?  Out of the question.  Movie?  Nope.  Lately, your 19 year-old shenanigans are fodder for many teaching moments of “What NOT to do” and “How NOT to behave”.  Our boys are SO over hearing it.

You had a pretty good run there and I’ll admit, I was smitten with your adorable-ness.  However, now.  Now.  Shake my head.  You are in luck, though.  This country we live in has an immeasurable ability to forgive our celebrities for their poor decisions (especially our younger celebrities).  We’ve all made mistakes; the question is what do we do with the knowledge we gain from those mistakes?  So, I offer you up a few little tidbits of “elderly” advice:

1)  Don’t smile for your mug shot.  Let’s try to look a little repentant, K?  Presentation is everything.

2)  Time to pick some new friends.  Change the playground.  Your homies…they’re steering you WRONG.  All.  Over.  The.  Place.  Fo’ realzie.  Go low under the radar.  Friends or hangers on?  There IS a difference.

3)  Eggs are for hardboiling or scrambling.  Bake with them.  Put them in a smoothie.  Juggling perhaps, but tossing.  Vandalizing.  Boo hiss.  Not their function.

4)  We don’t always get along with our neighbors;  practice civility and kill ’em with kindness.  Spitting is just gross.  Love thy neighbor.  Goes a long, long way and sometimes, if you have the flu or have a major crisis in your life they are there with chicken soup or a grocery bag of food to help you through it.  Your neighbors probably just want to help you pack.  And move on out.

5)  “That” is NOT where you are going to find a nice girl.  You know what I am talking about here. You may find a nice case of something requiring some antibiotics, but a nice girl?  no.  Move on.  Eww.  Just eww.

6)  Call your mom.  I think you need some time with Mama, a nice little old fashioned what-for.  If she’s not available, come on over.  I’m happy to yank your ear over some hot chocolate and a “family meeting”.

7)  You’ve got a lot of years ahead of you and a lot of talent.  Take this time off and use it wisely.  Recreate your image to a lesser thug-life image.  Let’s pull it together.  Maybe you could get together with Justin Timberlake for some pointers since he’s managed to be wildly successful without crashing and burning.  Just a thought.  Haven’t we had enough Lindsay Lohans and Amy Winehouses?

Until then my friend, my daughter is off-limits.  (Probably forever, but at least until you show a decent track record of behaving a little/lot better).  Her heart will mend, but she’s learned a good few lessons on what kind of man she doesn’t want to be with (I sure hope so, anyway).

Blessings and best of luck on your recovery time in rehab.  (that’s generally the next step after something like this, right?)


Looking back, looking ahead and looking around


January.  Ordinary time.  Fresh off the heels of an awesome (although shorter) Christmas and Advent season.  A season that we decorate our house to the brim in celebration of a sweet baby who came to save us from ourselves.  He came to an unwed couple, on a long and dusty journey in a stinky animal shelter.  Yep, he nailed our lives right on the head.  Imperfect people on a journey surrounded by a world of stinky temptations.  He tops it off with the most magnificent light, guiding us straight to HIM, accompanied by wisdom, preparation and love.  What a way to start the year!


From Thanksgiving to Epiphany, it’s a month+ long party and celebration!

And so, this morning, as I drink my coffee and enjoy my quiet time, I plan the day and week ahead and pause to look back on last year’s “Resolutions” and to ponder the year ahead.  I’m joining in a link up of 2014 with a lovely group of ladies and see that we ALL want a fresh outlook for 2014, each trying to be a  better person one day at a time.   I’ve joined in at In Honor of Design, however, they are all linked and you can get to a multitude of fantastic sites from there!

Looking back:

  • Losing weight.  Wellllllll, I’ve stayed pretty steady in the actual numbers department, however, I have definitely made a much more focused and consistent effort in actually working out this past year AND healthier dishes, snacks, etc.  I’m certain it comes down to portion size and/or stress eating, so always room for improvement.  I feel good though, so I’ll just keep on keepin’ on!
  • More Joy-filled and focused.  Hmmm.  I’m going to say that I  am honestly so task-oriented that the JOY gets lost in the day-to-day.  The fact that I am working on it is a good one, the fact that I am less that consistent is yet another area to just keep plugging along, one day at a time.
  • Use and learn my real camera more often.  Fail.  Flat out.  Although…..I have recently started pinning photo tutorials and joined a photo website (free) with a bajillion tutorials and areas to join in and have work evaluated in a constructive criticism manner.  This might just be the year…..

It would seem 2013 was a big fat failure in the resolutions department OR it would seem that it is what it is….life…not always perfect and just taking each day as it comes and try to do a little better the next time.  It’s precious time wasted to moan and complain about all the imperfect moments that I wish I woulda/coulda/shoulda done differently.  It’s taken me 43 years to figure THAT out and a daily work in progress.

Looking ahead:

My word for this year will be “Be Present”.  Okay, that’s two words, but it’s my blog and that’s what I am picking.  Rather than changing all these individual things and ideas and re-working the wheel and all, I just want to be present in whatever I am doing.  Chilling the Eff out on multi-tasking when I am with my family and friends.  If I’m making dinner, I’ll make dinner—not make dinner, start laundry, change clothes and pack lunch for the next day.  If I’m talking to my kids or husband, to stay put and talk, not talk and and half-listen while I putter around taking care of a million small details at the same time.  It’s going to be hard.  No joke.  Honestly, I’m going to have to take a couple of days to really think about what I can do to re-train my brain to just SLOW. DOWN.

Looking around:

There it is, though.  Now that I am done blogging this out, I can get dinner going…THEN get ready for work.  Because TONIGHT we have a game to watch, folks.  It’s going to be a great one!


For more inspiration on 2014, go check out IHOD and the multitudes and get ready 2014….here I am!




The marathon that is sobriety

I had the blessing of attending a gratitude dinner with my Hubs this weekend for AA.  It was an area-wide event and easily attended by 200+ people.  Tables of 8, dinner of Thanksgiving foods (appropriately themed) and a desert table groaning under the redonkulous amounts of sugar and butter.  It was a pleasure to put faces to names of the Hubs friends, just fantastic people.  A few observances of  mine throughout the evening:

  • Coffee.  Water.  Lots and lots of coffee and water.
  • Laughter.  Smiles.  Tons.  No grumpy, long faces.  Joy.
  • Introductions everywhere (thank God for nametags!)
  • Rekindled friendships.

There was a speaker who gave his story of 30+ years of sobriety.  A lovely, 70-something man with at times an emotionally shaky voice as he recalled his life, peppered with witty comments and hindsight observances.   There was no “massive event” in his life that is present in many alcoholic stories (and drug stories); mainly a life of alcohol-centered living, obnoxious behavior and a wife (and family) that had enough.  His message:  there doesn’t need to be a “massive event” to stop drinking, but if you have repeated comments, suggestions, pleas from family and friends to “do something about your drinking”, it’s a red flag.  Sadly, not everyone sees it until it is too late.

At the end of the evening there was a sobriety countdown.  Starting with the most years sober (52) and counting down to the shortest span of sobriety (2 days).  It was humbling, impressive and hopeful and I found myself tearing up and that marathon that those with the least sobriety had ahead of them and yet with the amazing support in that room……hopeful in that they had every tool available to them to take each day….one day at a time.

Sadly, we did not win the 50/50 drawing…shucks!!!  $350!!!  However, I sure came away richer than I arrived.

Hebrews 12:1  

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Step out of the box.

Originally sent as a private message, however, I felt led to share because we ALL need to remember the marvels the Lord has done.  Especially when we might not particularly be “feeling the love”  right this second.
From today’s readings:
Psalm 105: 16-17
When the LORD called down a famine on the land
and ruined the crop that sustained them,
He sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
Bottom line:  It seemed pretty crappy what Joseph had to endure and yet GOD USED IT.  He used the poor choices of his brothers driven by jealousy.  HE became THEIR saviour, in a sense.  God allowed it and yet had an even bigger plan in store for Joseph AND his brothers, even though, to our eyes, they were not worthy.  HE, GOD, made them worthy.  You are worthy.  I am worthy.  WE are worthy of these amazing gifts we receive on a daily basis.  Our jobs, health, kids, marriage, family.  Even beyond that.  We put our “plan” in a tidy little box, but God’s plan for us is so much bigger.  Squash those thoughts from haunting you.  Step out of the past.  Step back from the future.  Today is what matters.  There is NOTHING man can do to us that God will not allow and USE for HIS and OUR good.  We only need to look back and see we have always been firmly in the palm of HIs hand.
Remember the marvels the Lord has done.

Father’s day project homerun!

Have you ever read “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman?  It is a fantastic book and has made a huge impact in our marriage.  The basis is that we all “speak” love in various ways and often our languages get mixed up as we likely do not speak love in the same manner, especially in marriage.  There is a quiz you can take with your significant other and see where you both lie; honestly it really cleared up a lot in the communication department once we began to translate each other’s languages.  (There is a book relating the same idea to kids as well).

Anyhoooo, Hubby’s main love language happens to be words of encouragement (whereas mine is gifts).  My friend Mary recently posted on Facebook about a sweet Mother’s day gift her daughter made for her for Mother’s day:  a jar decorated and filled with sweet notes for her to savor.  And so, I am mistress of stealing ideas and made this one my own for Hubby for Father’s Day.  A gift that spoke his love language, he loved it!   Feel free to steal it for your own!

Pasta jar.  Cleaned.  Scrapbook paper cut and glued with fancy ribbon to tie around top

Pasta jar. Cleaned. Scrapbook paper cut and glued with fancy ribbon to tie around top


Printed and cut out a favorite photo, glued on top and filled jar with sweet notes from each kiddo!

Theme Thursday: Dad

What is the meaning of this, Tracy?  Two posts in one day?  What in the sam heck is going on with you?!??!  Clearly this time off with a rehabbing child who is limited in energy and prohibited from sun has us INDOORS and running short and brief errands which in turn leaves me plenty of “bon-bon time” as my Hubby calls it.  Shoot, I’ve got blogs in stand-by, you’ll be sick of me by next week.  Or hooked.  Either way.  When I actually blog, my stats go UP.  Who knew??

So today…..I join in with Cari and fellow Themers at:

Father’s day is coming.  I’ve got a super cutie thingamajig planned for the Hubs by the kids (totally His love language, but I can’t tell you about it b/c he actually reads my blog from time to time…so tell you later!).  And so perfect timing on the Father Theme.

Dads are crucial.  Period.  End.

Case in point:  When my Hubs was “away” I knew, KNEW, KNEW….his relationship with our kids and vice versa was the key to our future as a family.  We did everything we could to cultivate those relationships during this time apart, from frequent visits, phone calls, letters, date-visits, photos, etc, etc.  There came a time close to him coming home during a heated exchange with our oldest at his tweeniest that he said to me “You wait until I tell Dad about this”.  It was at that point, I knew all of our joint effort as husband and wife, mother and father that it was ALL.  WORTH.  IT.   Further affirmation came when Hubs was finally home with our dark chapter behind us and re-entry into our FULL family life was essentially smooth as buttah.  Life wasn’t and ISN’T perfect, however, our struggles are pretty much in line with any other family life with mucho kiddos.  We are imperfect people.  What can I say?  We acknowledge it and move on.

The fact that Abba, Father has been the cornerstone of our family life may have had a little somethin’ somethin’ to do with it also.  Just an observation.

Happy Father’s Day, Hubby!  And to all those dads out there….keep workin’ it….it’s worth every second!!!


Birthday. Poor guy never gets a straight shot at the candles!


Father’s Day ’11


Father’s Day with Popop, MY step-dad who is the BOMB-Diggety. This is 2 years old and he is now dwarfed by the boys…


The boys off to mow lawns, a job obtained due to Dad’s teaching, patience and diligence. My wallet is forever grateful!