Boring (Or Not)

I’m boring tonight.

Or, more accurately, having a boring night.

I wasted my brain on tonight’s episode of The Bachelorette (why?!?!?!) after Mae went to bed. Tobin was gone for the night, and I’m not used to it being “just me”. (Still scratching my head over why I waste my time on that show…it is not good.)


It’s been one of those I-need-all-forms-of-chocolate days. Seriously. I had to intentionally go find something to distract myself more than once today just so I wouldn’t dive into the bag of Ghiradelli Dark Sea Salt Caramel squares (they’re the best!) without coming up for air.

I am convinced that candy manufacturers put something in chocolate that forces females to eat large quantities of it. Yeah, that’s my excuse. πŸ˜‰

It was actually a good day. We had a quick visit from one of our favorite friends this morning, went for a walk with another friend, went shopping and scored some good deals, and then I took Maelie for a lunch date to Culver’s because she was so good while we were out. (Translation: I ordered a kid’s meal and ate what she didn’t. It was actually a good plan and one I will remember for the future!) It was cute…she sat in a “big girl chair” and didn’t once try to climb down and run around the restaurant. She even “chatted” with the little girl at the table next to us. So cute. :)

Then we came home and played for a bit before she went down for her nap. She is lovin’ her new garage-sale-finds from the weekend…a “new” picnic table and dollhouse, which will eventually end up in her nursery. All of that morning running around and playtime made her tired, and she fell asleep right away…a welcome change. :)

I mentioned this briefly last night, but Maelie hurt her leg yesterday while playing in the nursery at church. Tobin didn’t see what happened…he had turned his back for a second when she fell somehow and was lying on the floor, crying.

:( Big sad face. I tear up thinking about it.

What’s scary is that she is still limping, so something’s wrong. I’m calling in the morning to hopefully get her in to see her doctor…I’d just feel better knowing that she’s not hurt badly. I have to be honest with you all, though…it cracks my momma-heart in half to see her like that. She doesn’t seem to be in much pain, but when I asked her tonight where it hurts…she pointed to her leg. Twice. She gets it.

So, prayers are appreciated.

I’m thinkin’ it’s funny that I titled this blog post “boring”…the last two days have been far more exciting than our lives usually are! For mostly good reasons. :)

I have to remind myself that kids are kids and that part of being a kid is getting those owies and boo-boos and scrapes and scratches. It’ll be ok. For now, we’re enjoying the extra snuggles and cuddles she so willingly gives since she’d rather be held than run around.

But since I told you all I was boring, I’m going to be just that and go find my pillow. I have grand plans to go running in about eight hours…and it will be a lot easier if I get that much sleep first!

G’nite, friends. Thanks for praying. :)


His Love

I love every ounce of her.

(Well, I love every ounce of the coffee I’m drinking now, too, but I love her even more.) πŸ˜‰

Sometimes it’s just astounds me…the love that can fill up my heart to the point of feeling like it’s going to burst all over the place from utter JOY.

Oh, I love her.

The way she snuggles and cuddles and rests her head on the beat of my heart. If she only understood how long we dreamed…someday she will. And she will know how valued and loved and wonderful she is…not just to us but to her Creator.

Oh, He loves her!

And in the midst of a hard day with some uncertainty, I was reminded over and over that He knit her together in my womb…knowing every single, tiny detail about her that would ever be. Things that I…her own mama…don’t know. That amazes my heart and fills me with peace even when I don’t have answers. I don’t know how she fell today or why she’s limping or if she’s hurt badly…but He does.

Because He loves her.

I can be having a terrible day, and one look at her precious smile or a second of that completely-full-of-JOY giggle, and it’s all good. She delights in the simple things…walks to the park, playing kitchen with me, exploring the yard, chasing the dogs. She reminds me each day that life is beautiful and a gift and that each moment can be a priceless memory if we choose to make it one.

I love her so much.

And maybe what amazes me more than anything is that I know how much I love her…and He loves her even more. I can’t fathom it, I can’t understand it…but I can believe it because He’s promised it.

Resting in His Love today.


Lovin’ This

I can’t listen to this song enough right now. I love it.

Here ya go…and hope you’re havin’ a happy weekend!


Little Blessings (Pt. 36)

:) Sunshine.

:) A way-early morning run.

:) Finished paintings.

:) Inspiration.

:) Being challenged.

:) Unexpected friendships.

:) His Word.

:) Unfailing, unconditional Love.

:) Choosing JOY.

:) Random chats.


To Run or Not to Run…

To run or not to run…

That’s the question I’m pondering at the moment. My hubby has to leave way early tomorrow. I still want to squeeze in my three miles before he goes.

Am I crazy to go at 5:45 just so I can get my miles in for the week?

Don’t answer that. Plus, I’m sure I’ll tell you whether I went or not tomorrow. And then, you’re opinion will be irrelevant anyway. πŸ˜‰

So tonight I saw that we had a case of Diet Coke with Lime. I forgot we bought it. So that’s what I’m drinking tonight…and it’s really good…while I chat it up about life and what’s going on in my brain. Nothing too deep, though…with (at least) three major heart-spills in the last two weeks, I’m not sure I’ve got that many words left!

Can you believe summer is just around the corner? Not like the concept of summer “vacation” means much to me and Maelie, but I do welcome the months when the sun shines and the sweat drips and trips to the park abound and the pool is (hopefully) warm enough for swimming. Now to actually put up the thing…

Does anyone need a large pile of rocks? That’s what we have to remove from our backyard…long story…before we can put the pool in it’s designated place. (aka: without killing the grass) I think it’s fair to say that I am far more excited about it than Maelie is. :) And if you’re a friend and you live in the area, then we fully expect you to come swim with us. Because we like friends. And swimming. But we like our friends more.


I got to be a sub for handbells at church tonight. I think, potentially, my college handbell director would have been insanely embarrassed had he been watching me. Golly, I was bad. To be fair, I’ve picked up handbells once before tonight in the last decade plus. I’m so thankful for laughter and the ability to have a good time despite my ability to actually play music. Oy.

Yesterday I made granola bars. Oh, the epic-ness that occurs in the kitchen of Mel. I. Just. Should. Not. Bake. But I do all the time anyway. They were not good. I figure it’s because I used French Vanilla granola mixed with peanut butter and honey and melted chocolate.

A collision of too many flavors.

Oh, well. I threw a coffee cake together at 7 a.m. this morning for Bible study instead. Since I’m having a thankful day, I’m thankful for Bisquick and recipes where I can totally cheat. πŸ˜‰

I’m kind of getting into painting again. Once upon a time I used to enjoy it. (Note: I did not say I was good at it. Just clarifying. ;)) I did a canvas for Mae’s room a couple months ago that turned out really cute. I’ve done a couple more since then and am working on one now, too. I have a feeling it’s going to be my new, while-Maelie-naps-I-will-do-this-to-relax hobby. It’s fun.

Truthfully, I have a whole, too-long list of craft-y stuff I want to do more of. Like jewelry stamping and purse-making. (Hey…if I can’t afford them, I might as well make them, huh? ;)) We shall see where summer afternoons take me and my creative juices.

As a side note, I think I’m going to love the painting I’m in the middle of…sadly, it’s a gift. But maybe that’s a good thing. More than half the fun of painting is giving it to someone when it’s done.

But my next project?

We’re keeping.


I want to do Maelie’s name in something like this. I’ve kind of figured out what I want it to look like so once it’s done, I’ll definitely show you all. I think it’s so cute. :)

I think I’ve jabbered on and on tonight about some of the most random things ever. I guess that’s a sign that I should go to bed early.

You know, so I can get up to run. :)

G’nite, friends…thanks for stopping by!


Love. Really. Really. Love.

Wouldn’t this be an amazing picture to share at their wedding someday? πŸ˜‰

Oh, I love them!


The Skinny(er)

So I’m sitting here with a too-late cup of coffee, deciding how to do this.

But I promised you all, after the pics yesterday, and so here’s the skinny…or at least the skinny(er). πŸ˜‰

So, I’m sure most moms can relate to the extra poundage that hangs on after having a baby.

For some reason, I had it in my mind that the 44 pounds I gained with Maelie would just magically disappear once I started breastfeeding. What I hadn’t anticipated were difficulties with latching, making it necessary for me to pump around the clock for months. (Ugh…there I go reminding myself.) And for whatever reason, the weight, which was supposed to come off…didn’t.

In the fall after Maelie was born, I started running again. It took me a long time to build back up the endurance I’d had before I got pregnant. I set a goal to run a 5k that November, and I did run it…but there’s no way I’m sharing my time with you all! :) During that time of running and training, I continued to eat whatever I wanted.

I think, in some ways, food became that stability. It wasn’t like I was gaining a lot…I just wasn’t losing anything. But at a time when everything was new…city and neighborhood (COUNTRY, for that matter), friends, church…at least there was always chocolate and Chicago deep-dish and pretzels. (And a lot of other things.)

Last summer, I finally got serious (or, at least thought I did) and joined a Biggest Loser competition with some friends. I worked out religiously…5-6 times a week. However, I didn’t?

Stop eating whatever I wanted.

At the end ofΒ  the summer, after losing only a few pounds, I knew I had pinpointed a problem.

Food had started overtaking me.

Gosh, that’s hard to admit. I’m really, really struggling with hashing this out for you all…just being honest.

Tobin, Maelie, and I went to Mississippi for a week in September to see some good friends. While we were there, I found some inspiration in the form of my friend, Sarah. She had worked really, really hard and looked fantastic…after having three kids in less than four years, no less. She told me a few things that had worked for her, and I decided I needed to do something.

I came home, joined another round of the Biggest Loser, got rid of the bad food in our house, and got serious.

I counted calories…1,000-1,200 a day.

Plus a workout or two each day. (I let myself take a day off every week.)

It worked…in nine weeks, I was down 22 pounds and just 14 shy of my goal weight.

I survived the holidays, only gaining a couple pounds back, and joined yet another round of the BL.

Ten weeks later, I was one pound from my goal. (Which I did eventually reach.)

Yeah, so I totally realize that if I stop here and post this as it currently is, I do sound like a brat.

So, bear with me, ok?

This journey was a good one for me. I needed to get myself into better shape. I needed to be healthy. I needed to stop squeezing my size 14 into a size 12. πŸ˜‰

I needed to feel better about myself.

Yes, it was a good journey. (And it’s not over! My goal now? To stay here!)

But, it was also a hard one.

I battled through a lot…I learned a lot. I was humbled a lot.

And maybe sharing this will help someone.

I learned…

First and foremost, that no amount of weight loss and skinny can make a person truly beautiful. One day, after an especially frustrating morning in which I was NOT a good mommy, I caught myself staring at my reflection in the mirror and thinking about how good I looked. But the truth is? I. Felt. Ugly. I’d said things, done things that day that didn’t honor my Father and didn’t show Maelie that I loved her. I was reminded that morning (and am being continually reminded) that having a beautiful heart is so much more important than having a beautiful body.

Also? That any obsession apart from my Father is wrong. There were days when I was SO focused. I HAD to get that second workout in before I went to bed. I HAD to burn this-many calories before I could end the day. And those things? Got in the way of time I could have spent in His Word, in prayer…growing in Grace. There is nothing wrong with having a goal, but when that goal takes away from what’s really important, then it needs to re-evaluated.

I have to admit to you that I continually work on that one. Sometimes it’s hard to miss that workout or run because of something more important.

God also taught me something that I never thought I’d share here…but I feel like I should.

He gave me a glimpse of what it was like for someone who struggles with anorexia. Because I think, at one point, I was headed down that road. Every waking thought was about food. I obsessed to the point of not eating enough and working out too much. All I could think about was clothing sizes and being “skinny”…and it began to overtake my mind.

Thankfully, I recognized it…and that was totally from God. I had a pretty tough conversation with a friend, who was really gentle with me but also pretty honest. After talking with her, I knew I had to recognize the fact that this obsession could potentially be dangerous.

I don’t think I ever reached the point of anorexia, but I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that I asked two friends to keep me accountable. To ask me if I’d eaten enough…and to check in on me. I needed that.

Since that time last November, God has been really good. He’s teaching me to find balance and ways to stay healthy without overly obsessing if I miss a run or eat a cupcake. (Or twelve!) πŸ˜‰ He’s working on my heart in ways that are painful but necessary. He’s teaching me so much about loving what He’s created and being satisfied in who I am.

That doesn’t mean I’m there at all…but He’s working on me.

I never understood people who struggled with eating disorders before this journey, and perhaps He gave me this glimpse to help me to be more empathetic. I get it…or at least a small part of it…now.

So often, we focus on becoming what society has termed acceptable. We have it in our head that a number on a scale is what’s most important. And it’s not. Because I’ll tell you that that number goes up and down a little. And if it goes up by two? I can’t let it ruin my day. Or my week. I just have to keep going.

I can’t think of a way to end this.

Maybe by having a good cry? (Because I could sure go for one about now!) πŸ˜‰

Maybe just to encourage you…to keep your focus where it needs to be. And if part of it is on losing weight…that’s OK. As long as you don’t forget about the other things that are important, too.

I’m really thankful for the last eight months…and for me, the hardest part is yet to come. Because, as with any goal, sometimes when you “arrive” is when you start to slack. I’m working hard to not do that. I’m also really thankful that, on this earth, we never “arrive” spiritually…He continues to mold and shape our hearts if we’ll let Him.

God is GOOD, isn’t He? Find some time today to thank Him for what He’s done. :)


Before and After

Monday night…


Up late…

Trying NOT to feel guilty about the…ahem…DOZEN mini red-velvet cupcakes I ate over the weekend…

Darn you, Mother’s Day, and the way you let me think I can dismiss any and all calories I consume because you are a holiday.


Of course I’m kidding…it was a wonderful day and worth every extra calorie, even if it means I’m going to be working it all off for a few days!

Anyway, here are a couple pics. It’s a good night to post them.

Story/thoughts coming tomorrow, mostly ’cause I’m still thinking.And trying desperately not to brag and sound like a completely self-centered brat while talking about weight loss. (Is that possible?) I hope so…’cause I really don’t want to be like that.

Ok, I’ll quit. :) The pics.

So, this is me before…Tob said it was the best picture of all the ones we had. Ok, then. I honestly have a hard time looking at this photo…and I really dislike my hair color, too, but that is irrelevant. πŸ˜‰

And, this is me last Saturday. I’ll tell you more about how I actually got here tomorrow. :) (Sorry, I just don’t have the words tonight.) And, as a bonus, you also get the sweetest dog in the universe…my Andre boy, who just wouldn’t get out of the picture!


A Mother’s Day Letter

My sweet Mae-Mae…

I love this picture of you and me…even if we’re far from looking our best. :) It was the end of the day and we were both tired, you’re still getting over a cold and not feeling great, and we played pretty hard today, too. But when I look at you here I see the most wonderful little girl in the world.

How I love making memories with you. Even this weekend, we explored new wonders like sand in the sandbox (which you did NOT like!) and airplane flying (which you definitely liked!). I love your quick smiles and easy giggles…they never fail to make my heart smile. I love hearing you talk, and your conversation skills are taking off at lightning speed. Your brain is soaking up everything, and it’s so fun for this mommy to watch.

I love the things you teach me and remind me of…perseverance, determination, grace, gentleness, love…I could list things for quite awhile. Though you are still small, you already demonstrate such a tender heart, and it’s beautiful.

Today was Mother’s Day, and it was nice. We had some good time with you…church, playing outside, taking walks, visiting friends, eating pizza. Over an over, I would look at you and feel so very blessed to have you in my life. You make each day an adventure full of surprises and love, and there’s no one I’d rather spend my days with.

In a year I’ll be writing this again, amazed that you are almost ready for Preschool and wondering, again, where time went. Let’s not rush too much, my girl…let’s just enjoy the days we have and soak them up completely.

I tell you this all the time, but it’s true and worth repeating today.

Being your mommy is my very favorite thing.

I love you to the moon and back…plus infinity. πŸ˜‰



Little Blessings (Pt. 35)

:) Real sand in the sandbox. (Which Mae did not like…hopefully soon! But Tobin and I had fun trying out all of her cool sand toys!)

:) Breaking 30 for the first time on my 5k this morning. A couple seconds shy of breaking 29. Shooting for 28 by August. :)

:) Catching up with friends I haven’t talked to in a long time.

:) A lunch date for me and Mae with a sweet friend.

:) Family walks up and down the street and stopping to chat with neighbors.

:) Sliding in the living room. (I’m a cool mom. ;))

:) Praying for a friend who needs encouragement.

:) Nursery rhymes with my girl.(Has anyone else noticed how utterly bizarre Mother Goose rhymes are?!)

:) Before and after pictures…to come tomorrow. :)

:) Being a mommy…it’s more wonderful than I ever could have dreamed. So thankful to God for my sweet girl!