Tag: Nablopomo

staycation day

I don’t know if it really counts as a “staycation.” But we took today “off” from everything…well, as much as adults can when they stay home. We slept in a little, had breakfast, ran a few errands (so not vacation-y), got some Christmas decorations(!), went to the BEACH, and met Josh & Kirsten for dinner.

All in all, a relaxing day.

Except for the fact that my sweet husband, who has two road trips and a performance this week, has been hanging my new curtain rods for the last hour and a half. Which leads me to tonight’s thankful list:

1. Curtains
They’re not really my thing. I don’t have a vision for them. I had them hanging at our house in Illinois purely out of necessity. When we moved last year, I never hung any. And when we moved this summer, I knew I needed some, as we have a huge open window facing, well, the trees and the swamp. But I just now got around to hanging some. Thanks to my friend Vicki for her bags o’ curtains (including a few that matched my kitchen & living room perfectly), my level-using husband, and Old Time Pottery {Barn} for their cheapy curtain rods. Now when Rod is out of town, I won’t worry that the clown from It is going to have his face pressed against the window…

2. The Beach.
Again. I know. I just can’t get over its beauty, its peace, and its free-ness. It is without a doubt my favorite place in the world to go. And I love that my girls are growing up loving it. In fact, they are following the 3 rules we have naturally come to grasp when we get there:

1. Reach walkway
2. Remove shoes
3. Yell, “BEEEEEEEACH!”

3. Thankful Lists
I seriously love reading what everyone else is thankful for this month. The range runs from families and good health to music to Aldi (oh, South Carolina friends, I so wish we had Aldi here!) It inspires me to read them. They make me think of other things to be grateful for.

4. Our pediatrician in Chicago
We haven’t seen Dr. C in almost 2 years now, but I still adore him. Having 2 babies in a row meant a lot of visits for a few years straight, and we got to know him pretty well. Anyway, when he knew our health insurance was going away, he stocked us up on Albuterol, which is still good through next year. KK had had to have a few breathing treatments this weekend. She is fine, and I am thankful Dr. C. helped us learn how to read her signs as well. Even though we have insurance now (SO THANKFUL!), it’s comforting to know we can take care of KK when she just needs a li’l somethin’.

5. Cinnamon Streusel French Toast at Crackerbarrel
‘nough said.

 

Today, we all give thanks for the soldiers who serve our country. Without them, we wouldn’t even have the freedom to say thanks for the things nearest to our own hearts.

Saturdays

For the longest time, we were either travelling or working on Saturdays.

It taught us to really, really love Saturdays at home.


Today Miranda had “the coolest birthday party ever,” at Build-a-Bear (and she got to BUILD a reindeer!), so since we had to drive all the way up to Broadway at the Beach, KK got to pick what she wanted to do. And she picked the “rides.” That kid. So for 12.50, she rode 4 lame little carnival rides…and smiled big the whole time.


KK & I half-crashed the party by catching up with it at Ben & Jerry’s. We didn’t sit with the group or eat the cake, but we did get ice cream. The first time I ever had Ben & Jerry’s was at my friend Shelly’s house in junior high. It was chocolate chip cookie dough. I always love to try new things, but today I went back to basics. That was one good cone.


When we got home, Rod had accomplished a bunch of little things around the house… diagnosing the Noise in the Van (new brakes Tuesday…), changing filters, throwing out the rotten pumpkin, and training Max to bark and poop ONLY in the neighbor’s yard. Just kidding. But I sort of want to (that’s another story). (and the neighbors on the other side are awesome).

We decided to cook out, and for this, I needed to go to the store for More Pork Chops. Then I decided I needed to take advantage of some sales. So I asked for 30 minutes to “coupon” (Yes. The verb. Who am I?) Mostly, I wanted to take advantage of a sale on Butterball turkey, ’cause the day is coming! Anyway, I felt so good about my planning and purchases that I decided to take my first Couponing Picture. I am nowhere near the extreme or champion money-savers, but I saved about as much as I spent, and I feel pretty good about that. Everything in the photo above (including 14 pound turkey) = 41.55. Rod’s thumbs-up was free.


Turns out we ran out of gas, and nothing stops a cookout quicker than that. All this meant was I had to fry the pork chops instead. Allow me to pause and say:
1) My husband is one lucky man.
2) These baked potatoes were perfect.
3) The rub I use for grilled pork chops is also good when mixed with flour to fry them:

Pork Rub
1 teaspoon each:
Salt
Sugar
Chili powder
Garlic powder

– Mix together, rub. Or mix together with 2 cups flour for batter. Should be enough for 2 pounds. Hardly counts as a recipe, but we all love it.

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Sigh. Is there anything more civilized after dinner than a nice cup of coffee? I allowed myself to buy fake creamer because I had a coupon, and because, well, salted caramel….

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My traveling man had a long, hard week and is facing another. This was nap #2 today.

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He will wake up in time to take me to see this. Craig. Daniel Craig. I mean, um, the new Bond movie.

~happy weekend!

enough for today

In the Bible, as God led the former Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, as they searched for the Promised Land of Israel, they were provided with food every day. It was unleavened bread, referred to as “manna,” and the people could only eat enough for that day. If they tried to store any excess for the next day, it would rot.

I have heard that story many times of the years, but this morning, I learned for the first time that the word “manna” derives from the Hebrew word meaning “What is it?”

What a jokester God is! And how apropos is that?! So often, His provision is just enough for the moment, and so often, it is nothing like what we expected, and sometimes, we cannot even tell what it is or where it is coming from or what exactly we are supposed to do with it.

I am learning not to question it. I am learning to accept it. I am learning that even if it looks small, tasteless, or less-than-desirable, what God has for me is perfect every single time.

~

On the fun side of things, here are some things provided to me over the past few weeks:

1. A visit from a sister

It was no small thing for Deanna to leave her husband and kids and work for 4 days and nights to visit me, but I hope it was as worth it to her as it was a blessing to me. We ate like oinksters, we watched fun movies, we shopped for cute stuff, we caught up on tons, she loved on my kids, and we cast some dreams together. This was our Official Planning Meeting, taken on the beach Sunday before we were caught in a big rain storm.

2. A box from a sister

;

Anyone else out there believe we have more than one soul mate? Maureen is one of my sister-friends who just gets me in an almost scary way (and if you have ever heard the two of us having a conversation, you might be scratching your head. I usually have to repeat myself 16 times before she understands me. It’s the subtleties of the soul I’m referring to here :) Her little package included books for my girls – how could she know that Pinkalicious is one of Miranda’s favorites? It included wet wipes, which KK just finished this week. It included a sweet Dunkin Donuts travel mug; my favorite travel mug (IRON MAN) was broken earlier this year and I still hadn’t replaced it. It included DD K-cups… I am almost out. It’s like she knew it all! And meanwhile, it included a book that she and some of our other friends are currently reading and want me to read “with them,” a Disney calendar marked with my special days, and an ornament that is meaningful on several levels. I loved opening this. It was almost like being with her. I can’t wait until I am.

3. Perfect jackets & thoughtful grandparents

;

There is a whole story behind this check. My parents gave it to us for our anniversary. I carried it around without cashing it, as I had it earmarked for something. Then when my parents were in town, my mom bought me a much-desired slipcover for our couch, so I told her I would just tear up the check. Then I couldn’t find the check. Then my dad wanted to buy jackets for the girls (their fall/spring jackets were getting small, and it takes awhile before it’s cold enough for the winter coats here). Then I found the check, and we decided I would use it for jackets. Then I couldn’t find anything I liked and we just made do with what we had. Then, De and I went to the Disney store on Sunday, and boom: perfect. They are quilted, cute, and the girls’ respective, favorite colors. Thanks Gramma and Papa! (And thanks to Mamaw & Larry and all my girls’ surrogate grandparents for constantly making my kids smile!)

4. Photos from afar

I still haven’t met my baby nephew. (December, hurry!) And even though I am mostly settled into life in Carolina, much of my heart resides in Chicago. So I am ever grateful for our digital age, especially when it yields pictures of little moments we would otherwise miss. We sent baby Danny this little costume/sleeper, and I love having the image to treasure until I can cuddle this precious life that shares my blood!

~

Someday, I will, in fact, write a book about the things I have learned in just the past year, and perhaps in particular, what I have learned about provision, and even more specifically, delayed provision. It always has a purpose beyond meeting our physical need. We need to grow enough to see that purpose, and then we will be in a place to use and enjoy that provision to its fullest.

don’t fit in

Someone shared this quote yesterday on Facebook – not to me specifically, but it sure felt for me specifically:

You CANNOT lead what you fit in with! Leaders always stand out from the crowd!
– T.D. Jakes

I have spent much of life trying to do the opposite. Whether by begging my parents for Velcro shoes in 2nd grade, or an I.O.U. sweatshirt in junior high, or to drive to school my senior year, or to live with my boyfriend when I was just 19, I was always attempting to do things that were 1) Not important, 2) Not accessible to me, 3) Not in line with the values/priorities I was being taught to keep.

I’d like to say that adulthood automatically made this tendency melt away, but it did not. Instead, I all-too-often find myself battling the need to “fit in,” to “feel comfortable,” to feel accepted or acceptable… when really, the call on my life – and on any life which follows Christ – isnot to go with the flow… but to stand out, be uncomfortable, and if so called, to blaze a new trail.

I am once again finding myself at a transition point… nothing dramatic, but a shift nonetheless. I can chose to make myself comfortable, to follow what the status quo looks like for a person my age, my gender, my family status, my skills (if such a status quo even exists!)… or I can go with my own “stick out like a sore thumb” flow.

I’ve chosen the latter. I don’t know what it all looks like yet, but I am excited.

He put his mark on us to show that we are his, and he put his Spirit in our hearts to be a guarantee for all he has promised. 2 Corinthians 1:22

It’s time to embrace the weird – which I have done before – but to do so without looking back.

~

In the spirit of thankfulness, I am thankful, so thankful, for some mentors in my life who reiterate the good words and the Word to me when I forget them. Where would we be without people who see the best in us and remind us it’s there, while at the same time see where we need growth and are able to honestly communicate with us? I know where I would be… cowering in a corner somewhere. But thank God! – He has blessed me with sister and brothers, some my peers, some older, some younger – who serve this purpose in my life. Because of them, I know how to do the same for others as well.