Don’t Ya Love It…

…when your awesome, thought provoking, blog post for the night completely messes up the formatting of the entire blog and you have to delete it

?

NO clue what I did wrong, but yeah. Good times.

Bummer, ’cause I was excited to tell you all

about everything I’m reading/planning to read… all that stuff.

(Yeah, that’s what I wrote about…but it had some fun Mel humor in there, too.) ūüėČ

Honestly, it’s been a cruddy week. I wish it was full of smiles and laughter, but I feel like the gray that chased the sun away this afternoon kinda matches the funk I’ve been in for a few days.

Looking for some JOY tonight… I think

I know what I need to do to find it.

We’ve been studying the Beth Moore book on the¬†fruits of the Spirit in Thursday morning Bible study, and honestly, they’re all thought provoking. But this past week, the one on the faithfulness of God really stuck out and made an impression. I don’t remember her exact words, but she basically eluded to the fact that when something in life is hard, God will often deliver us through it rather than from it.

He’s teaching me. I’m learning. I don’t know if I’m learning enough yet, but I know He’s doing things. Changing my heart. Making me a little more like Him.

It hasn’t been a great week, but it does encourage my heart to know that my Father, the Giver of all things good, loves me, cares for me, wants what’s best for me.

And is faithful to me.

Just a little thought tonight. Hey, tomorrow’s Wednesday. Halfway there.

Love you all.

Sig

Scattered Purpose

So, I couldn’t do it…I almost did.

I almost consciously let the day go by without writing.

And I couldn’t. I was watching the clock tick later and later, knowing that I had to make the decision soon.

Honestly, the first time is going

to be painful. I’ll probably cry.

And then I’ll find it easier to take a day off here or there.

I decided I couldn’t take the pain tonight. (Mostly ’cause my abs are killin’ me from last night’s workout, perhaps?!) No, really…I just couldn’t.

I spent the afternoon writing my next article for the Patch…I think it’s around 80% finished though I definitely need to work on some grammar issues I’ve got going. Does anyone else use the word really way. too. often.?

It’s like a disease. ūüėČ

And as I sat at the computer this afternoon writing about life and blogging and everything in between, there was a word that kept nagging me.

Purpose.

To be honest, I’m struggling with finding mine right now.

I know I’m supposed to be a wife.

A mommy. A friend. A sometimes-writer, always-blogger.

A follower of Him.

But I have this nagging feeling that there’s something more, something I’m missing.

I pray and ask Him for more direction, but I just feel so scattered. Some days I’m convinced I’ll write the next best-seller, others I think I’ll go a completely different direction and go back to teaching. And still some, I’m content with life as it is, convinced that it’s His purpose for me.

But today’s not one of those days.

I have to continually¬†remind myself that my Father’s purpose for me is far greater than I can imagine and that He simply asks me to trust.

I truly believe that this season for me is meant to be exactly what it is…being home with my family. Writing for free when I have time. ūüėČ Being a friend. Loving others…or trying to. Living a life for Him.

If it’s meant to be more, then I’ll know it. At least I trust that I will.

Reminding myself of that tonight…that there’s a time for everything, and each of those times are planned by Him.

He knows. He sees. He’s good.

And He’s enough…even when I feel scattered.

Sig

Just a Talk

I didn’t really write much yesterday…so it’s been almost two days since I’ve shared any deep thoughts.

Confession? I was dying to sit down and write tonight, even if it¬†IS closer to 11 pm than it is to 10. ūüėČ

I’m having my post workout bowl of oatmeal with chocolate chips, finishing off a diet coke…and dying for a chat with you all. I think it’s funny (and ironic?) that though last Tuesday is long past, I still want to write every day.

I think I could be certifiably nuts.

But, as a side note, you really should put chocolate chips in your oatmeal. It takes away the need to add sugar and makes the really, really healthy, grainy stuff I eat (’cause it has a ton of protein) taste¬†WAY better.

Now I’ll quit talking about oatmeal ’cause, chances are, you really don’t care. :)

Though you might care about the chocolate chips.

I do. ūüėČ

Andre is lying at my feet…and it’s moments like this that I soak up.

I so rarely have cuddle time with him withOUT Sammy. He is still the sweetest, happiest dog in the world…and I find myself wondering where the last 8 1/2 years went. I know it’s the inevitable when you get a pet, but¬†at the same time, I think every pet owner always wishes they could be the one exception. He’s wonderful. And healthy…and while there are no signs of him even slowing down, it still makes me sad to think that he’s getting older.

Ok, enough of that. I do NOT need to cry at 11 pm.

So I’ve unofficially committed myself to a 10-mile race in May.

YIKES.

That’ s a loooooooot of running.

So far I’ve talked two friends into joining me, and I think it will be good. (aka: I won’t die.) I’m planning to do a half in June, so really, it’s perfect timing.

And the fun part? I get to write about it after!

Yeah, I¬†know I’m dork.

I’ll just admit that yes, I find JOY in running and writing.

Could I get any dorkier

?

Don’t answer that. ūüėČ

Unfortunately my training needs to start for that race sooner rather than later. I should probably make a plan, oh, tomorrow. I am a teeny bit excited. :)

We leave for Spain five weeks from Tuesday. I haven’t booked hotels. I still tear up when I think of leaving Mae. I have no shorts that fit. (Very true.) We don’t have rides to the airport yet. (Anyone? Anyone? ;)) It feels surreal.

But at the same time, it feels good. Tobin and I have needed to do this for awhile. Not necessarily go to EUROPE…but take some time to invest in us. In all honesty, we’ve spent most of our anniversaries traveling¬†between here and Indo¬†or moving…I think six out of nine.

We always said we’d do something big for our 10th…and here it is!

So as uncertain as I am about a few details, I have to remind myself that some of the crazy trips we’ve taken in the past have left us with some of the best memories we have as a couple. No marriage is perfect, and we’ll be the first to tell you we’ve had our challenges. And nine day trips to Europe don’t fix things.

But they do give intentional time to focus on the relationship. And the good stuff.

There’s SO MUCH good. And I’m really thankful for that.

And now that I’ve spilled my heart about pretty much everything…

Go have some oatmeal.

And don’t forget the chocolate chips. ūüėČ

G’nite, friends.

Sig

Grin… :)

Tobin spent some time the last few days organizing our photos on our new desktop.

And, lo and behold, there are pictures I had no clue we had in digital format.

This one?

Just made me grin…

Gosh, we’re cute. Hard to believe it’s been almost ten years.

Love this guy.

Sig

Little Blessings (Pt. 20)

:) Cuddle time with my favorite little girl. And giggles…lots of giggles.

:) Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips.

Oh. My. Goodness. They need to sell them in smaller bags.

:) A ten-mile race in May to train for.

Choosing to see this one as a blessing.

ūüėČ

:) Reminders this week that God is faithful.

:) Prayer and what a blessing it can be to pray for people I love.

:) Watching my daughter’s vocabulary continue to explode… new words this week

? Cello (I know!), pinecone, puzzle. (All while pointing¬†to pictures of¬†them. It’s so fun to watch!)

:) Missing Indonesia a lot today and thinking of so many reasons why I loved it.

:) Good coffee, good chats, good friends.

:) Eight hours of sleep…straight.

:) American Idol auditions…fun to watch and bring back some amazing memories.

Sig

Being Held

So yesterday’s mail¬†brought a new ch

apter in Maelie’s life…or at least, the beginning of a new chapter.

The POTTY CHAIR!

(Goodness…I don’t know when I’ll ever be ready for this thing we call potty training!)

Right now, it just sits in the downstairs bathroom, and she’ll sit on it, play with it, haul it into the living room. You know, the things 19 month-olds are supposed to do with a potty chair. ūüėČ

Tonight she was sitting on it and saying, “Potty, potty!” So we did what any intelligent, sure-their-daughter-is-a-potty-training-prodigy, parents do…we removed the diaper and plopped her, cute little naked butt and all, on the chair.

She thought it w as gre

at and giggled and squealed for a couple minutes.

(But, alas, no actual potty.) As we were trying to pick her up to put her diaper back on, she fought us and ended up pinching her finger on something.

Oh, she cried. Squealed. Howled.

She. Could. Not. Be. Comforted.

I finally managed to get the diaper back¬†on, her pants pulled up…and I held her close as she cried. The tears flo wed for several minutes, and

we ended up in the front room on the couch snuggling under a blanket as we shared a pillow.

It’s where she felt safe.

Eventually the pain (must have) lessened because she hopped down for a minute to go play in her kitchen…only to return, running to mommy’s arms, where she snuggled up again for several minutes.

This scenario repeated for probably half an hour…each time, she’d come running to me and want to be held.

What a beautiful picture. And reminder.

It’s been a couple months.

And there is far more meaning to those previous five words than most of you know.

To say it’s been hard, difficult, challenging…only scratches the surface.

Heart-wrenching, tear-stained…are far¬†more accurate.

But those snuggles tonight reminded me that just as Maelie found comfort in her mommy’s arms, I can also always, always find comfort in my Father’s arms.

Even if I leave them to go try something on my own, I know I can always return to be held.

Loved.

Comforted.

When I talk about the last two months, I also need to interject that¬†things are getting¬†better. There’s no such thing as a perfect day, but I have a Hope that is certain…and that? Is comfort. :)

My Father is so very Good, and He held me and loved me exactly as I needed during that time. And I know He always will whenever I need Him to.

That’s incredible.

What love.

Sig

Just Because…

Just because I can

?

No, truthfully…I sat down¬†at the blog tonight¬†because I want to. It felt strange for the entire day to go by¬†without feeling pressure to sit¬†down¬†and write my required daily post. Maelie went down for her nap, and I ran three miles on the treadmill. Showered. Folded laundry and put it¬†away.¬†Picked up the house. Sent a couple e-mails.¬†Got a lot done.¬†It’s amazing the feeling that comes with freedom.

:)

And, yet, somehow I missed something. Sharing my heart, maybe.

It’s been an encouraging week. A few little things here and t

here that are giving me glimpses of what the future might look like. Nothing big, nothing too exciting, but something to make me feel that I have a purpose outside of being a mommy.

It will be fun to tell you more about that…later. :)

But I have to admit to you that yesterday, I almost signed¬†on¬†for another year of blogging every day because I was so afraid to let it go. And I make no promises…who knows? Maybe I will blog another 365.

Oh, wait…366. It’s leap¬†year. ūüėČ

But for now,¬†I’ll just write¬†because I love it. And that’s enough. :)

My hubby bought me a present to celebrate blogging for a year. I’ve really wanted to see this movie since it was in the theatre, and he came home with it today. So…this is what we’re doing tonight. After we eat ice cream ’cause I saved my calories for it.¬†:)

It’ s a good night.

Back soon.

Sig

A Year

Ok, so I literally typed the title of this post, and that’s how long it took for the tears to start streaming down my cheeks.

I have no idea why I’m crying.

No…actually, I think I have a little one.

A year.

A YEAR.

Golly, that’s a long time.

A year ago, I sat down and stared at a blank text box wondering how to start this new adventure. I decided to tell you the basics…why I do what I do.

I really had no idea at the time what barefootmel.com might turn into. Possibly, a place to share my heart on those days when God was speaking loud and clear. Or a place to share pictures of the new things my sweet, then-baby, girl was doing. Or a place to tell my funny culture-reentry stories. Or a place to cry. Or laugh. Or be crazy, adventurous, often-emotional me.

Mel.

Just being me on any given day, in any given mood.

You, my friends, have been such a part of this journey. You make me smile when you comment…and sometimes you make me cry, too. You make my heart happy when you talk about something I wrote.

Well, most of the time…there are always those posts that make us all wonder (myself included) what exactly Mel was thinking.

And then we just laugh, and that’s good, too.

I don’t often talk about how scary it was to move “home” to the States, though I tell plenty of the funny stories.

A year ago, I was still in scared-and-shocked mode. I was still figuring out this how-to-function-in-America thing.

And when I sat down to write that first day, I didn’t know that this would be where I threw all of that out there.

For you to read, offer advice, sometimes laugh (or roll your eyes!), and just be there.

Just the fact that you were here for me this year…means so much.

I think the tears came today, partly¬†because I realized that I no longer have an obligation to my blog every day. I won’t be intentionally finding time every day to write, though I still plan on three times a week.

Or more.

It feels strange, almost sad…like a death. And I honestly don’t know how I’m going to tear myself away from the blog…because eventually there’s going to be a day when I don’t write.

But that’s a good thing…I think.

Words are such a gift…one for which I’m incredibly thankful. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t write…couldn’t share my heart. I can’t always do that when I’m speaking, but when I write, it just works. For me, it works.

But maybe the tears also came today because I have a lot to be thankful for. Including you. Thanks to each of you…for being a friend. For reading. For laughing. For loving me.

It’s been a life-ch

anging year.

And, most likely, I’ll be back tomorrow.

:) Love you all.

Sig

Just Curling Up Under a Blanket with a Diet Coke…after 11 p.m.

Nothing new…

Really. This scenario is not all that uncommon as the amount of caffeine in a Diet Coke does not affect me. And I often consume it late at night, too.

But, note to self: Blogging must be done before the weekly Monday night workout.

Because once the post-workout socializing is complete, there is still the drive home, the obligatory long, hot shower, the inevitable snack to replace some of those calories burned…and by then it’s after 11.

Anyway.

True, I do work out on Monday nights.

(Actually, I work out a lot more than that, but this workout is different.) My cool, trainer-friend, Sarah, puts together a workout…one that could rival Jillian Michaels…for a bunch of us (there are usually around eight) that makes us sweat and hurt and limp around for two days after. Kidding, kidding…well, sorta. ūüėČ It’s one of my favorite parts of the week…I really look forward to it.

It was a good day, despite the fact that it started a little rocky.

For once, I got up early to run on the treadmill, headed downstairs…and five minutes into the run, I knew I couldn’t keep going. I’ve been battling runner’s knee, and it’s the strangest thing. It hurts at odd times…mostly when I’m walking down stairs, but if I try to run two days in a row…um, no. I’m almost not sure what to do with it, but I guess it’s to be expected since I’m a runner and I typically run more than the suggested 3-4 days a week. Ooops. Let’s just say ibuprofin has been a good friend the past couple of weeks. Really, I just need to rest, which I don’t do well.

But once I decided that the morning run was not happening, I went on with my day and played with my girl and then picked up the house while she was watching Elmo, the new fave.

(All I can say is THANK YOU to my sweet friend for the new stack of Elmo DVD’s…I could not sit through Elmo’s Potty Time one. more. time.!!!)

Then our friend came over, and we made lunch…which is becoming another Monday tradition. We both love to cook, so we’re getting a little creative and trying some new recipes on Mondays.

It gives us a chance to drink coffee and catch up, too. And makes a Monday a little more bearable because, let’s be honest, Mondays are still Mondays. Yep, they are.

(No matter how much caffeine we add to them. ;))

And now that I’ve shared all this glorious random with you…I think I’m going to hit the hay. I still have no clue how it got to be so late, but I need some sleep.

Tomorrow’s a big day. Well…it’s a new d

ay. And it marks a year of the blog…wowsers.

Hope your Monday was fabulous!

Sig

A Thankful Moment

I had a little moment tonight.

It was sweet, it was sad, it was tear-jerking…it made me thankful.

I had to run to my (insert sarcasm) favorite grocery store to pick up a few things. Thankfully my list was short, but still…not my favorite activity to do ever.

But that’s ok…I’ll suffer so we can eat. ūüėČ

I was trying to make it as quick of a trip as possible, and for the most part, it was.

But as I got to the checkout, I realized I’d forgotten coffee creamer…which is definitely not a good thing in our house.

So I reluctantly turned my cart around and headed back to get it.

It was then that I heard her

laugh…it was loud.

Joyful. That kind of laugh that makes you look because you want to see the child making such a happy sound just so he/she can brighten your day.

When I saw her, my heart skipped a beat. I smiled, but I had to fight back tears.

This little girl had some pretty severe burns/scars on her face.

It was sad for me to see…but I noticed something.

She was just oozing JOY.

Completely. Maybe it was because she was allowed to stay out past her bedtime to go to the grocery store

? :) As a kid, that would have made me happy!

It was one of those moments that made me smile and cry at the same time. And one that made me wish I had my sweet girl in my arms…just so I could love on her. Hold her close and be reminded that each moment is precious…

Part of me wondered this girl’s story, but I knew it wasn’t my place to ask. So I just smiled, moved on…

…and let that moment soak in while I silently gave thanks…over and over…as I finished my shopping and paid the cashier.

Sometimes I forget to say thank you for the things that seem so simple…a healthy daughter. The freedom to run and laugh. The ability to walk through the grocery store.

May I never forget to be thankful for those things.

Sig