Monday Talk

Hi friends…happy Monday!

The day of the week that I used to not love, but gotta be honest…it’s growing on me. But that could also be because coffee tends to make any day look a little better.

๐Ÿ˜‰

I am incredibly blessed.

For so many reasons, but in the past few days, it has been almost overwhelming (but the good kind of that) to see how God is speaking Truth into my life.

Amazing concept that if I will be still and listen, I might actually hear! ๐Ÿ˜‰

It humbles and amazes me that He knows this heart…the one that can beat with a hundred different emotions at once, and He can still decipher those and know exactly what I need.

…hurt=peace

...confusion=assurance

…doubt=Truth

…loneliness=enough

emptiness=encouragement

Just a few of the ways He has met me since Thursday. You know, that day when I truly vowed to find bloggy-balance. (Hee hee…do you think they would coin that term and give me credit?!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

And for those of you who read that post, I thought you might be interested to know that God brought up that verse Saturday AND Sunday, in separate contexts from different people.

He speaks. Loudly…and it’s amazing what happens when we turn off the noise.ย 

So on Friday’s I participate in Lisa-Jo‘s Five-Minute Friday. It’s become sort of a tradition for me in ending my week, one that I truly love. It’s also given me the chance to connect with some beautiful, amazing friends out there who heart-write, just like I do. :)

Last week, as I mentioned in my post, her topic scared the begeebies out of me. I may or may not have mentioned wanting to run away from the computer?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And then, this past Friday’s word did the same thing to me.

I wrestled with those topics on the days I wrote of them and the days following.

And then I realized that half of that was the fact that He’s stretching me…growing me. He tends to do that, I guess, when we grow tired of complacency and desire to, instead, be what He’s called us to be.

Thanks to my (mostly) non-TV Lent, too, I’ve been doing a lot more reading.

I’ve just started Angie Smith’s book, Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole. Angie speaks such truth in a way that anyone can relate to…and I am (intentionally) slowly soaking in each sentence. I have been somewhat guarded with the topic of this book, but within the first few sentences, I knew that God had brought a group of women (and the study they are doing on this particular book) into my life for a reason. Will you pray I will find the courage to connect with them this week? :)

My Bible study at church is also starting a new book. I’m looking forward to going through it in-real-life with some of the sweetest friends ever and praying that God will show me Truth…and with this particular topic, I’m expecting some of that Truth to be tough. I’m praying He’ll keep my heart open.

And I’ve been reading through Holley Gerth’s book, You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You.

Friends, just WOW…the good kind. So Holley has the gift of writing to begin with, but Truth and beauty just ooze from her grace-filled words. It’s a book that is hard to put down because I just can’t wait for what she’s going to say next, but once again, I am intentionally soaking in the words and praying God will use them in the journey to be more like His Son.

Oh, and guess what?!

Her book officially releases on Friday, and I’m giving away a copy. :)

So, a hint for y’all…stop back by here on Wednesday or Thursday to enter for a chance to win the book and some other fun stuff. Chocolate may or may not be included. And by may-or-may-not, I mean most definitely. Just in case you weren’t sure. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hope you all had a fantastic Monday. :)

Sig

Monday Scatter

Do you ever have those scatterbrained days?

I started off with a plan for this glorious day called Monday. I really did.

It is so against my personality type to make a to-do list, but I actually scribble one out every Monday (on crazy paper that’s about nine different colors ;)) and add to it as the week goes on. This morning I was actually pretty motivated, but I had such a hard time focusing.

While Maelie ate her breakfast, I was planning to send out an e-mail to my Bible study. (That didn’t happen until much later.)

Then, while she was painting or doing puzzles, I was going to have some quiet(er) time…catching up on a study I’m doing and reading some Psalms. Instead, I felt guilty that I hadn’t shoveled yet and the poor mailman (or woman) would have to tromp through four-ish inches of fluffy snow…and so I took Maelie outside to “play” at 8:30 a.m. :) She had fun in the snow and “helped” me shovel, which only made everything take longer, but it’s about the memories, right? And those were most definitely made. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This afternoon was more of the same. I went to clean the kitchen and got sidetracked by a basket of laundry that needed folding. I pulled out the vacuum, and it sat in the living room for two hours before I actually used it.

Just call me incredibly scattered today. Oy…

Even tonight…I sat down to finally write after my usual, Monday night workout, and I got distracted by this site. Oh, don’t misunderstand me…I think it’s fantastic to use your smarts to donate rice to help feed the hungry. And…it was a good reason to brush up on my world geography. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But, still…did I actually do what I intended? Um, nope…well, not til at least 10:30 p.m.

I guess some days are just like that…all over the place.

I’ve been doing a bit of reflecting on Friday’s post.

I couldn’t believe how hard it was to publish that.

Ever the non-rule-follower, I actually do follow the rules for Five-Minute Friday, and after my five minutes of writing were done, I saved the draft, plopped on the couch next to my hubby…and cried. I could have not pushed the publish button, I guess…I was caught in this strange place of wanting to know how honest I should/could/wanted to be.

Not everything needs to be shared, ya know? And I wasn’t sure I wanted to share all of that. I don’t feel I owe any of my readers an explanation for my obvious openness…it’s certainly not the first time I’ve bared my soul. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But it was a hard post to put out into the blogosphere.

The funny thing? Was that I felt free after I published it. Almost as if God said, Ok, Mel…you know what you need to do, so just do it. Trust Me. Actually, pretty sure He did…and has been saying it for awhile. :)

And that makes me smile. It’s a good place to land after a scattered day. Here’s hoping for a little more focus tomorrow. :)

Sig

Pieces of Monday

I had a super random day.

And Mondays tend to be a bit scattered for me anyway…so there’s no better thing to do tonight than tell you about the pieces that made it all up. :)

So it’s Monday night (though I think I’ve established that one!) and there was no workout.

That pretty much translates to, I-have-no-good-excuse-for-eating-espresso-bark-this-late-at-night.

Yeah.

Oh, espresso bark? Yeah…it’s this amazing, super-easy creation. I made it for the cookie exchange last week. And accidentally made too much…rats, now I have to eat the leftovers! ๐Ÿ˜‰ You can find the recipe here. (And I am ever-so-slightly embarrassed at just how easy it really is.)

If you like coffee and chocolate, you’ll dive in headfirst and eat the entire batch.

And then be really, really happy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But the purpose of me blogging tonight was not to make you crave chocolate and coffee…especially since it’s after 10 p.m.

Tobin was home for part of the day, which doesn’t usually happen, and it was a nice break in my routine. I took a good chunk of the day and worked on getting things ready for my Etsy store…

LaLA! (That was me trying to do a little cheer on the blog…it’s really not so easy to do that and sound intelligent at the same time.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hopefully it will be up and going tomorrow. Then you can buy one of my really cute hats. I mean, if you want. :)

I also went grocery shopping at 5:30ish…which is really not normal for me. I usually go at 9 p.m. but I wanted to get it out of the way. Not my favorite to-do item, but it wasn’t terrible, other than the fact that they were out of my favorite coffee creamer.

Tragic. (Thanks for shedding a tear for me.)

Take it from someone who really HAS tried every flavor..it’s the best one out there. Clearly the rest of the world has already figured that out as there was NOT A SINGLE BOTTLE left on the shelf.

Ok, I’ll move on. Sorry about that.

๐Ÿ˜€

So the weather was crazy warm today…I left the door open in DECEMBER. I think someone said it got up to 68…Wowza! I went for a run early this morning, and it was weird that it was so warm. I think my body had finally gotten used to being cold! Crazy crazy.

Have I mentioned it was crazy?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

But should God decide that we should have a winter full of days in the 60’s…well, I suppose I could handle that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Somehow, I’m thinkin’ He’s not going with that plan, though. I’m not that lucky. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I had a really great run this morning. (Maybe the weather had something to do with it? Haha :)) I just love my mornings when I can pop the headphones in, crank up the music, and worship my little heart out as I trot around the park…um, multiple times. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s such good time spent…time to praise and pray and just be with my Father before the crazy of the day starts. As much as I don’t love to leap out of bed when my alarm goes off, it really only takes me a few steps before I’m loving my time before the busy of life.

And, speaking of, I should probably head to bed so I can get up for that in the morning.

Believe it or not, there were a couple more really fun random pieces of my day, but those are worthy of their very own blog posts, I think. So those will have to wait.

It’s time I found my pillow anyway.

Hope you had a fantastic day! :) G’nite!

Sig

So fun!!!

May I please do this in my lifetime? Pretty please?

Fantastic. That is all. :)

Sig

Christmastime is (Almost) Here…

So now that Thanksgiving weekend is officially over, I don’t feel so guilty blogging about my love for all-things-Christmas every day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well, not every day. I typically take Wednesdays off…and sometimes Sundays. Anyway, irrelevant. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I would be lying to you if I told you that I waited until after Thanksgiving to watch Christmas movies, though. I. Seriously. Love. Them. I have a few favorites that actually make up quite a strange combination…and I tend to rotate through them as the need arises for me to get myself into the Christmas spirit.

In keeping with my dorkiness, most of these tend to be older and geared more toward children. (No comments, please. ;))

A few of my favorites…in no particular order.

Prancer is one that I can watch on repeat…literally. I think it’s probably my favorite-favorite. My daddy took me to the movie when I was eleven, and I loved it. Clearly that love is still there. And I do own it on DVD should you need some Prancer magic this Christmas season. :)


I think It’s a Wonderful Life is mandatory for the list. Tobin and I watch it every year, and it just gets better every time. Love it. (And I own it, too, if you need to borrow it.)

Home Alone (and Home Alone 2) totally crack me up. I can watch them over and over and just about wet my pants every single time. Sadly, I don’t own these. (Honey??? You were asking me what I want this year?! :)) Definitely classics.

Oh, and there are more on my list…actually thinkin’ this list needs a part two…but these are at the top. And now I seriously want to sit down and watch Home Alone and laugh hysterically with no one, but I should really go to sleep instead…you know, do the responsible thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What are some of your favorites?

Sig

Saturday Chatter

Laughing to myself already.

๐Ÿ˜€

‘Cause I’m pretty sure the word chatter can be defined in more than one way today.

For instance, I woke up in Minnesota this morning, and it was eight degrees outside.

Yes, you read that right.

Goodness, it was C.O.L.D. And my teeth were definitely chattering.

We kinda half-looked at the weather forecast before we left on Wednesday, but it said nothing about snow or eight degrees. I guess we should have known, especially since we lived there for several years, that weather in that great state is far from predictable. Hence, we froze.

But I could use the word chatter and go on and on about the past few days, too. They were good.

Family, memories, laughs, lotsa food…it was a memorable Thanksgiving. Potentially the most memorable for me was Black Friday shopping. I’ve gone before, but I’ve never made a special effort to go right when a store opens for a certain deal. My sis-in-law was all about that, and so I tagged along.

AND got to watch.

Hee hee hee. ๐Ÿ˜€

While hundreds of customers at Walmart dove into piles of stuff, I stood back and watched a real-life commercial. Stuff really did fly everywhere. It was quite entertaining. After the chaos died down a little, I trotted over to the pajama section and scored myself a super-comfy pair of slippers for $6, found a couple of fun things for Mae, checked out in five minutes, and left as happy as a clam. (Are clams happy? Why do people use that expression?!?!)

Anyway, a few more stops with the definite non-highlight being standing in line at Target for 45 minutes. Thankfully the people in front of us were friendly and like to talk as much as I do. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We got home at 2 a.m., and my incredibly cool hubby got up and ate pie with me at 2:30. Isnโ€™t he great?! :)ย  Then, being the awesome wife I am, I went with him to Menards the next morning. (Read: laterโ€ฆno way was I getting up at five!) We actually enjoyed ourselves. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, that was my Black Friday, and it wasโ€ฆwell, it was.

It was a good few days, but it’s always nice to be home.

We headed back today, making stops in St. Paul and Janesville to see friends and pulled into the driveway at 7 p.m…tired. I mean, Mae protested going to bedโ€ฆfor the whole sixty seconds it took her to fall asleep. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I made myself do laundry and unpack tonight, but bedtime? Is coming soon. :)

I hope you all had a great Thanksgivingโ€ฆblessings, friends!

Sig

Scattered Musings

Ever have an extremely contemplative, yet scattered, day?

That’s me tonight.

I’m currently munching on a really bad protein bar. I told myself I had to eat all the ones in the house before I bought more. This current one I, unfortunately, purchased a large box of without considering the possibility that they might be bad.

Shudder.

It’s kind of funny how certain things start to clutter the pantry after awhile…for me, it’s protein bars and random boxes of crackers. I have no less than five different brands and probably ten flavors scattered throughout the kitchen. Oh, weird me.

So I put Mae to bed tonight and was all excited to run on the treadmill. Having one in our basement is a perk on evenings when Tobin is gone and I want to get a few miles in. So I resurrected the thing from it’s 8ish-month storage, hopped on, started running at the highest level it will go…and golly, this thing is shakin’! Feels like an earthquake!

After a couple attempts to stop/start it again, I realized an important little piece that holds the base together had popped out and was g.o.n.e.

No running for me.

I did some strength/cardio stuff instead. Not nearly as fun or as sweaty as running. (Did I really just say that?!)

At any rate, I’m sending hubby to the basement to hopefully fix the thing for me. Some days it’s just easier to run on the treadmill than run in the cold.

Though I have unofficially promised no one…ok, ok, myself…that I’ll do one day a week outside.

Ask me how I’m doing with that in the middle of January. :)

Tomorrow is a pretty crazy day for us. Gymnastics, a meeting, family pictures. Plus, my Bible study is SO lucky…I’m baking them my favorite cake. :) That, too, needs to be done tomorrow.

Yikes.

It occurred to me a few days ago that last year, I spent the entire month of November writing about the things I was (am) thankful for…and I (obviously) haven’t been doing that this year. It was almost a convicting realization.

It’s not that I’m NOT thankful…I guess I’ve just chosen to express that thanks in different ways this year…though I’m sure I will officially post something at some point.

I was talking to God about that, trying to explain that I really AM so thankful for all He’s given and blessed us with. In the middle of that explanation, it hit me…

Duh, Mel…He knows.

Perhaps because true gratitude is a reflection of the heart. Though that can be shown on the outside, and should be, the fact that I haven’t been talking doesn’t make me ungrateful.

It gave me something to think about for sure. :)

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is nine days away. We’re heading to Minnesota to see Tobin’s family and a few friends, too. It should be an eventful trip with an ever-wiggly, active toddler and two rambunctious golden retrievers. Yay for family bonding at it’s finest? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thankfully, I thought ahead this time. I got a steal of a deal on this, and while it has the potential to ensure that Tobin and I are singing Veggie Tales songs for the entire weekend, it will keep a certain little girl entertained during the 12-14 hours we will spend in the van. :)

Between that and her A-B-C Turtle, which is a favorite toy on long trips, and coloring, I’m hoping it’s an enjoyable trip.

And, hey, if it’s not, at least we’ll have grandma and grandpa to provide us with the sanity we lost on the way there. :)

P.S. If you have any tips for long road trips with two year-olds, I’m all ears. Please. Talk.

:)

Well, I’m about out of words (yeah, right, like that ever happens!) and morning is coming way too soon. Off to bed I go so I can (hopefully) run on my non-earthquak-ing treadmill bright and early.

Happy almost-Wednesday, friends!

Sig

Current ABC…

…in 5.

Go, Mel!

A=Aaaaahhhh. As in, sleep. Soon.
B=Baby doll. Maelie totally found her Christmas present today. And couldn’t seem to forget about it!
C=
Coffee. Always wonderful. Dunkin’s Gingerbread Latte is my current favorite.
D=
Dirty Girl Race next June. YaHOO!
E=
Elections. The bright side? At least the phone calls have subsided. Now when my phone rings, I have hope that it’s actually someone I WANT to talk to.
F=
Family pictures Wednesday. Good grief, it’s about time. ๐Ÿ˜‰
G=
Gingerbread cake. With lots of frosting.
H=
Happy news for a friend. :)
I=
iPod. As in, shopping for a new one. Old one died a sad death.
J=
Jellybeans. Actually, I still have part of a bag from Easter. But they just don’t sound good right now.
K=
Koala bear…courtesy of my husband. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have I mentioned that I regularly regret living so close to Australia and not actually visiting? Bummer.
L=
Leg warmers. Loving them with boots and leggings right now. SO cute.
M=
My Maelie-girl. Two years old. Time flying by but loving this little girl more every day.
N=
No idea?
O=
Oh, Indo…how I miss thee. Especially when the temperatures get colder and I just need to go to the beach.
P=
Potty training. Starts tomorrow. Going two days hard core to see what happens. (Is it wrong that I’m praying she’s a potty training prodigy?)
Q=
Quiet. Still thinking and reflecting on Friday.
R=
Running.
S=
Ssssshhhh…I ran today. Foot is ok. Not wonderful but we’re making progress.
T=
Thinking about my to-do list. Kinda long.
U=
Umbrella needed. It’s raining. Rumor of a potential snow-ish substance tonight, too.
V=
VERY ready for pie. Easily my favorite thing about the Thanksgiving meal.
W=
Waiting. Have I mentioned I don’t do that well? Yeah, waiting.
X=
Xtra pain from workout tonight. I am silently cursing those chair leg-lifts we did. I may not be able to move tomorrow.
Y=
Yawning Yellow Yak…Young Yolanda Yorgenson is yelling on his back. (You’ll never guess what book I’VE been reading!)
Z=
Zebras. African safari, anyone?

Ok, I’ll put an end to the dorkiness at least for tonight. Oh, and it took me 18 minutes, not 5. Oh, well. :)

Hope your weekend was fantastic. :)

Sig

Laughing at Myself and Chatting to Whoever Will Listen

Ok, I’m a funny girl.

Potentially the kind that doesn’t realize she’s funny until two days later.

Take, for instance, the post I wrote two days ago. Death by Dum-Dum?

Though it was election night (and, by the way, there was no dancing in our house :() I was not referring to my president when I titled it. Just wanted to clear that up there, though it did kinda make me smile when I thought about the irony of it all.

The fact is, Obama’s our president for the next four years and, like it or not, that’s the way it is. No amount of foot stomping and tantrum throwing from people old enough to vote is going to change things.

So I accept it and pray extra hard for our country because we really need it.

And I may, or may not, crack an extra-big smile when I think of the completely un-considered title of Tuesday’s post. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I laugh at myself for other reasons, too.

Like today when I was just belting out a song with the radio and realized the guy at the stoplight next to me was totally watching.

Yeah, yeah, dude…you just wish YOU could look half as cool while hosting an impromptu karaoke session in your vehicle.

Does anyone ELSE do this? Please tell me I’m not alone in the I-wanna-be-a-rock-star concerts that take place each time you get into your vehicle?

At any rate, I turned the corner and laughed a little. Didn’t bother my self-esteem at all!

I have SO been in the mood for any-and-all-things gingerbread. Candles, lattes, my favorite cake. And, today, Mae and I were walking through the store, and I caved. I completely broke down and bought gingerbread cookie mix.

I don’t think I’ve ever bought a cookie MIX.

Cookies are just something you make from ingredients. Not everything thrown into a bag.

But, we shall see. Cookie baking is on the list for tomorrow, and I’ll let you know if they’re any good. I have a feeling, since they’re gingerbread, they’ll totally hit the spot. :)

So I’ve been on a running break this week…think I mentioned it once or twice. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hurt my foot. :( I’ve had two stress fractures before (one in my leg, one in my foot) so I knew what to look for and would bet a lot that’s what’s going on. It makes me sad because I’m itching to run…get out there, pound the pavement, and shatter my not-so-wonderful 5k time from Sunday’s race. Can I blame it on the chocolate? Never mind…that was AFTER the race. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, I posted a 29:01 on Sunday, which was frustrating. (And it has taken me that long to be able to talk about it.) I can run it in 27:30 when I really push myself, but for some reason, that particular morning I just couldn’t get through the pain. It was a bummer…a few tears even dripped. :(

One of my friends is going through the I-really-shouldn’t-run phase now, too, because of a different injury, and we chatted yesterday about how crabby it was making us that we just couldn’t run.

For me, it’s knowing when it’s ok to push it again. I’m thinking I may try intervals sometime next week, but until then…yay for Pilates?

WOO HOO!!! Ok, that was forced exuberance.

I’m trying to look for the good in it, and though I miss that time of cranking up the music, tuning out the world, and praising Him, I have enjoyed, just a teeny-bit, sleeping ’til seven. But I’ll be ready to go at 6 a.m. next week for sure!

Hope you all have had a good week, and guess what?!?!

Tomorrow’s Friday…gotta love that. :)

Sig

Death by Dum-Dum?

Ok, so I’m in kind of a quirky mood…potentially to curb some of the nerves these election results are bringing tonight?

Ugh.

Definitely a nail biter.

Anyway, so I was driving home from my hair appointment tonight, eating a dum-dum. (Thank you to my favorite hair stylist for letting me be a kid and take one. Or two. ;))

Then I suddenly had a really freaky thought. Something like, Man, it would be a bad time to get in an accident and have my airbag deploy. I’d choke on my dum-dum, and that would be the end.

Ok, ok, I admit that my brain can get extremely imaginative at times. :)

But it was enough for me to crunch the rest of my sucker in about half a second and get that stick out of my mouth. No more driving with dum-dums for me!

Now that you know for certain that I’m really quirky…

Tonight is that one night every four years that is such a strange paradox. I detest the way the news stations report election results and yet I’m glued to the tv…and feeling insanely sick to my stomach but eating some form of chocolate anyway.

But I promised not to talk politics, didn’t I?

So Mae and I spent the day at home today, and it was a long one. Darn time change…seriously, her eyes pop open with the sun…hellooo early mornings. For now, anyway. Thankfully I had a moment of genius when I remembered the “gift” my mom gave her several months ago. “Gift”=100+ piece plastic food set for her kitchen.

Gift for Maelie. I-will-injure-myself-by-stepping-on-all-these-tiny-pieces, non-gift for Mel.

I hid it in the garage…until today.

I can’t believe how many hours that kept her occupied.

She loved having new toys so much that I didn’t mind having to pick up that 100+ piece set a dozen times in an afternoon.

It was fun watching her “cook” all kinds of different food for me. She had fun, and for a moment, I felt guilty about not giving it to her for…ahem…about six months. Well, I felt guilty until I stepped on one of the plastic pieces and reminded myself exactly why I’d hidden the thing.

Oh, well. She’s not likely to forget about it anytime soon, so I’ll have to be extra careful about where I walk. :)

Well, it’s getting late…and I’m seriously thinking about turning off election results and watching a chick flick.

Sounds way more fun. :)

G’nite, friends.

Sig