Finding Words Before November is Over…

winter2015 final

Wow. I need to write some words before y’all just pack up and leave me for good. πŸ˜‰

It’s been quiet around here, but not quiet in real life. We’ve kept busy, and life has been good, and I’m honestly not sure how we’re staring at December. Tomorrow.


And writing…well, it feels a little foreign but still-a-little like home at the same time. So I feel like giving it a go…it might be kinda nice to actually not go an entire month without writing, too. πŸ˜‰

There’s a weird sort of frozen-but-not-slippery-yet rainish substance falling from the sky right now, and I’m honestly wishing that it looked a little more like the gorgeous, winter wonderland we had a week ago. So pretty. :)

I feel like there’s a lot of good in life right now…lots of little happy parts that make up a really blessed life. Sure, there are the sad parts, too, but I’m trying not to think about those too much. Especially coming off Thanksgiving, I’ve been trying to focus on the sweet blessings. There are a lot.

And none of them are sweeter than this. These people. My people. (This one is just a sneak peek. My favorite, favorite photo is making its debut on our Christmas card.) πŸ˜‰

family2015 finalphoto credit: Epic Image Photography

So I also went to the East Coast this month. (Actually, the end of last month. Close enough.) πŸ˜‰ The last time I wrote, I was literally running out of the house to catch a plane to New Jersey/New York. (Some of you found that entertaining. Thanks.) :)

That feels like ages ago, but then, it’s been ages since I actually wrote, so I feel like I owe you at least a little.

I went, first of all, to see some precious friends. That was so, so fun.

We also went to the Hillsong Conference. (That was fun, too. And loud.) πŸ˜‰

And I got to spend a memorable day in the city with my sweet friend and her husband, and I crossed something off my bucket list. The Met. (I SO sound like I belong in the city, don’t I?!) πŸ˜‰

I loved it and wished we’d had more time there, but I also loved that I got to just see it. (And take a few selfies.) :)

I love New York, but no matter how much I beg, T will just not even entertain the idea of actually living there. Yep. So I will continue dreaming my big-city dreams and visiting as often as he’ll let me. πŸ˜‰

And the other big thing I did in November was run. I ran a 15k. 9.3 miles.

Y’all, that’s a lot of miles.

It kind of happened without a lot of fanfare and photos, but I did it. And I got this sweet (no pun intended) medal when I finished. Even though it’s cheesy, and I took a selfie cause I didn’t have any other pics, I’m pretty proud that I did it.

race selfie final

And now…back to 5k’s. Those feel like a vacation after 9+ miles!

So it’s Christmas now, and this is my favorite time of year. I’m not kidding when I tell you I could just sit by the tree for hours and stare at the Christmas lights with music in the background. I love it. And I hope there will be more words to go along with it all, too. :)

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving, friends. Thanks for sticking around here, even when I don’t write.

And I’m also over at Circles of Faith tomorrow, so make sure you check it out. :)



September Friday Favorites (+ a GIVEAWAY)

onecrunchyleaf final

Hi, friends. And, happy fall! (I love that I can officially say that.) :)

So I’m sliding in late this Friday…and I’ve also written this post once already, and then I decided to delete the 1,000+ words and start over. I guess some days are like that.

I want to give y’all a glimpse into life…and also to share the joy when I talk about my month and my faves. I was in just a little too snarky of a mood when I wrote the first round…so we’ll see if the snark reduces a little this time. πŸ˜‰

When I realized it was time to write this post, I decided that there are a lot of other things I could have (and probably should have) called it. Like…

That Post Where Mel Admits She Basically Hasn’t Written Anything in a Month


All About Making Friends With Other Moms in Target


The Day Mel Got an Extra T-shirt in the Mail and Decided to Ask if She Could Give it Away on Her Blog

So, let’s just roll with all of them, ok? πŸ˜‰

Here we go…it feels good to end the 3+ weeks of not-so-many (translation: N.O.) words. (Don’t fall off your seat or anything, but I also already have a post written for next week. I. KNOW. I like Riesling, should you feel led to send me a bottle of wine to celebrate.)



We’re being totally honest here, right?

I haven’t read much at all this month. Sadly, not even my Bible has been opened every day. I think it’s a season…and I seem to go all or nothing, meaning I read twelve books at once or none at all. There are so many good ones out there, especially by women I know and love, but I just haven’t been able to…to focus long enough and actually keep a book open long enough to finish it.

And herein, I give myself some grace…and vow to do better tomorrow.

But I do have to share a blog post, written my GSD friend, Kayse. Honestly, the whole thing kinda breaks my heart, and I hate that this happened to her (you’ll just have to read it) BUT I love how she processed it and responded. So you should definitely hop over and read about the time a woman tried to parent her child in Target.

And as a side note, I’ve been feeling convicted about going out of my way to encourage other moms, especially after reading her post. Sometimes my to-do lists and shopping lists and general moods just get in the way of taking the time to encourage. Yesterday, I found out that being intentional can sometimes make my day…and someone else’s, too. I got to play a game of “soccer” with a sweet, two year-old boy and chat with his mama while we waited in line at Target.

And can I just say that it felt insanely awesome to trade confessions of the cereals we sometimes feed our kids? :) (No All-Bran in this house. Think Cookie Crisp. Which is delicious, by the way.)


I’m beyond excited that there’s a new season of The Voice happening. Whoop, whoop! Other than that, I’m a TV failure. I know nothing about any of the current shows, other than an occasional flipping to HGTV in order to dream myself some big, home-renovating dreams. πŸ˜‰


This is always my favorite one. :)

So I have this dress that I’ve been waiting to wear. I saved it for a getaway my hubby and I were planning to have this past Wednesday-Thursday in a cute little town about an hour north of us. Sadly, our girl came down with strep throat (at least we think so…still waiting on results), and we had to cancel. (And are hopefully rescheduling for this coming week.)

So this beauty may get to see the light of day at least once this year. (Here’s a sneak peek…golly, I love a cute dress.) :)

dresspeek final

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were talking about how much we love a particular saying and how we both wanted it on a t-shirt. So, of course, I went to my beloved Etsy and found the perfect one and ordered two. They came, we both loved them…YAY! And then a few days later, I got two more in the mail.

coffee&Jesus finalPhoto Credit: SavChicBoutique (Etsy)

And I sorta felt like it was my super lucky day since I now had enough of this particular shirt to rock it for the rest of my life, but I knew I should tell the sweet girl who runs her Etsy shop about the mistake. And so I emailed Ashley at Savannah Chic Boutique and told her, and she was SO KIND and told me to give one of the shirts away on my blog and send the other one back. She’s just starting her store, and goodness…her stuff is so cute, and she’s such a sweetheart. (Hop over there or to her Facebook page and check it all out?) :)

And of course I said thank you…and now I’m so excited to pass on the love to one of you! Y’all…I love this t-shirt. And one of you will love it, too! (See the end of this post for how you can win it!) :)

coffee+jesus selfie final


So…my feet have been going a lot lately. I signed up for a horrendously long (to me) race, which means I. HAVE. TO. RUN. SO. I. DON’T. DIE. ON. THE. DOWNTOWN. CHICAGO. PAVEMENT. (9.3 miles feels like a lot. Just sayin’.)

It’s this race, and maybe the only thing that will keep me going is the chocolate at the end, but a confession? There’s a part of me that really, really wants to reach my goal of actually running the whole thing. I’m shooting for 1 hour 30…just under a 10:00 pace. We shall see. Sometimes I have really lofty goals…but sometimes I surprise myself, too. πŸ˜‰

So I’ve been pricing trips to Indonesia lately, and I knew it was gonna happen. Two months ago, tickets were hovering around $900 each. (I know. I know. I shoulda bit the bullet and just bought them.) Yesterday? $1700. And so goes goodbye to any chance of an Indo trip Maelie and I may have had in 2016. (In reality, prices could go down again…you’d better believe I’ll be watching them like a hawk.)

BUT. On the flip side I’m headed out to New Jersey/NYC to visit my dear friend in a few weeks. That’s exciting, and I’ve been looking forward to it since April. :)

And, a random blessing today that doesn’t involve travel but that’s ok…my sweet girl is feeling so much better, and we even took a little walk today. I love her so much…and I’m so glad she’s (mostly) back to her spunky, silly, full-of-love, self. :)

Mae+Mel selfie final

So that’s September and what life is looking like around here. :)

I’d love for you to enter to win the t-shirt I talked about. Click on the Rafflecopter link and follow the directions.

For reference, the t-shirt is a women’s size large that I think fits like a slouchy medium. I’m a size 6-8, and it’s a little big on me. (Trust me, you want this shirt. And if it’s not in your size, you can always pass on the coffee/Jesus love to a friend.) :)

Happy Friday, friends! Now click this link and enter. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


On August: Smiles, Messes, and One Really Big Shark

changing leaves final

Somehow the calendar page turned today and I found myself staring at the month of September.

September is one of my favorite months. It’s that strange one that flips between summer and the promise of sweater weather, the one when the pool is still up and used even if there are acorn shells and crunchy leaves covering the ground. (It’s also the only time of year that I feel like I can reasonably pull off wearing shorts with long sleeves. That’s just weird and probably not very trendy, but I’m not sure I care too much.) πŸ˜‰

I could lament forever that I can’t believe August is over, but now that we’re staring at this month…I guess I’m good with it. We survived transition, we made it through some hard days–the kind when we cry while we remember, and now life is falling into a bit of a routine. A bit…we’re still finding normal somewhat, but it feels more settled.

I haven’t been very good at keeping track of my favorites the last few months…but I still felt the bloggy urge to write about August somehow. So here we go.

Random, to be sure…but here’s the good, the bad, and what just was. Is. I love my life and the blessings God has given us.

I’ve been working my way slowly through Wild in the Hollow. Everyone I know who’s read it has devoured it in mere hours. I’ve been wanting to devour it, but Amber’s words hit so close to home that there are times I need to close the pages and find a quiet corner for soul processing. It’s such a unique read, unlike anything I’ve ever opened. I recommend it so much. (And actually, one of you is going to get a copy of it if you make it to the end of my ramblings.) πŸ˜‰

Wild in the Hollow final

I think my daughter is completely adorable in her school uniform. Who knew that khaki, blue, white, and red (and the shades that fall into those categories) could create such cuteness? She’s just growing up and stealing my heart a little more each day. She also started soccer last week, had her cheerleading debut with some of her BFF’s on Friday night, AND there’s a LOOSE TOOTH in there, too. Hold me. T’was a full week and such a turning point in her life. I feel like she’s really a growing-up girl now…full of wonder and change. It’s fun watching her become.

1st day cute final

We saw War Room on Sunday night. I have to be honest and tell you that the weekend in our house was not full of peace and oozing with kindness. Hubby and I…well, we just had a few of those days. We didn’t so much like each other those days, and I know Satan was just dancing all over our hearts. It was horrible. How ironic that we’d made plans to see the movie with friends…and even up until the moment we walked into the theater, I could feel my marriage being attacked.

But we stayed and we watched (and I cried–more than once) and the movie was SO. GOOD. And I’m praying the truths from it will seep into our beings as we walk this road. Marriage…it’s no fairy tale. But it’s still beautiful, and I love him and I love my Father. We belong together forever, even on the messy, ugly days.

It’s been almost a year since we lost our sweet Andre. Sometimes I feel out of place and wrong for still grieving a dog. He was my sweet boy, and we still miss him so much. If you think of us on the 19th, will you whisper up a prayer? I think we’ll probably need to go away that day because I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to handle being in the house where he spent his last hours. Golly, I miss my boy.


I’m a mess. It’s just been a messy month. Do you ever have those? I’ve had ugly cries in the church balcony, angry words with my Father, and too many moments of bitterness. I’ve beaten myself up over it all…but then I come back to the promise that He can turn this mess into something beautiful. I’m waiting for the beauty He’s promised.

Oh, and I got a tattoo. Yeah, you read that right. I’ve actually had it for a month, but it wasn’t something that I knew how to write about, so I just didn’t. Instead, I just kind of let it be seen sometimes and if people wanted to ask I told them the short version: I wanted a tangible reminder that my Father makes everything beautiful. Someday I’ll tell you more of the story. :)

tattoo final

I signed up to run a 15k. I have exactly 68 days to train for it, which is only slightly scary. My current distance sits at about a whopping 3 1/2 miles. Oh, boy…good thing I just bought a new pair of running shoes. πŸ˜‰

For about a month I have been telling my husband I need the beach. I just love it…I miss my surfing days and the sand between my toes and the sound of the crashing waves and the soul peace that comes from breathing deep and feeling small in the vast. We’ve been teetering back and forth on possibly taking a long weekend this fall and going, but we honestly haven’t been able to make a decision. So, wishing for the beach…I am. Completely. Not sure it will happen this year, but a girl can dream, right?

And you would think that a video like this might change my mind. Alas, no. I still heart the saltwater sea. I swear it calls my name. (Though I can’t get enough of the following 42 seconds. Seriously…cracking up.) πŸ˜€ AND potentially praying that I don’t get eaten by one of those ever…

And that…well, that’s life for us now. It’s good and full of blessings…and writing like this reminds me of just how blessed I am.

And I feel like giving away a copy of Wild in the Hollow because it’s just so beautiful. (And it’s going to find a spot on my bookshelf forever, I think.) To enter, leave me a comment…either here or on facebook…and share a blessing. That’s it. :) I’ll pick a winner on Friday and shoot you an email/Facebook message to let you know you’ve won.

Happy Tuesday, friends. Make it a beautiful one. :)


May Friday Favorites (+ a Giveaway!)

meandmygirl final

Oh, goodness…is it really that time?

I mean, I love writing this post, but I’m also feeling slightly guilty that I’ve barely written anything in the last two months. Tell me to quit feeling all the guilt, k? And also, I’m sure I’ll make up for it with the word count.


So we’re getting into summer around here, and it’s good. Parks, playing outside, ice cream, friends, making a summer bucket list. I love spending my days with this girl…the one who said tonight,Β Mommy, let’s take a selfie and make our glamorous faces! (At least one of us has it…) πŸ˜‰

I love her so much. Pinch me because I don’t know how I’m blessed enough to be her mama. But I am…and it’s a gift.

And with that little, cute tangent…here are the faves. A bit random this month and not quite as exciting, but keep reading. I feel like giving away one of my favorites today, so make sure you enter!

But read first. πŸ˜‰ So, let’s get to it.


Well, I made up for my lack of reading in the past few months with this month.

I *think* I read five books and am reading two more right now, which might be a record for me. (As in, five GROWN-UP books. I may or may not read a lot of children’s books too.) πŸ˜‰

A few favorites:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Though it’s a classic, I’d read mixed reviews on it. There’s no real plot twist, and in a book of that length, that can start to feel mundane. I found myself caught up in Francie’s story, though, and the more I read, the more I wanted the story to just keep going. And when it ended, I was sad.

Miracle on Voodoo Mountain. I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy at Allume last fall, and I sat down to read it this week. Friends, I burned through this book in less than a day. I couldn’t believe how gripping Megan’s story (and, really, God’s story) is…and once I opened it, I couldn’t put it down. I recommend this one. It reminded me a lot of Kisses From Katie, which is another of my all-time favorites.

Northanger Abbey. I decided to work on my brain power and read some Jane Austen. πŸ˜‰ It’s been a Long. Time. since I’ve read anything like it…and I feel like this story took a bit to get going, but I’m liking it. Enough that I might actually read another of her books in the near future. :) (If you’re a Jane fan, please leave me your recommendations in the comments?)


Hands down, When Calls the Heart has been the winner this month. Jessica Turner recommended it on her blog one day about a month ago, and she didn’t have to twist my arm too much. I love dramas that take place in that time period, and as usual, this one sucked me in immediately. I’m slightly embarrassed at just how quickly I managed to get through the first season. (Psst…it’s available on Netflix streaming. For some of you, I think this might be the best news of your day.) πŸ˜‰ Golly, I love this show.

And that’s about it in the watching department, at least this month. Obviously, when I read more, I watch less.

Novel idea, huh? (Pun totally intended.) πŸ˜‰


Well, I finally jumped on the Fitbit bandwagon. I’m not necessarily the girl who wants the latest and greatest with everything, and I thought it over for a good, long, four months before ordering this one. I like that it makes me intentional about things like Getting. Off. My. Bum. and walking around more. It’s also very motivating for me to get up early, go for a run, and see my step total skyrocket.Β What can I say? I’m a slight dork.

Also, I tend to drink more water when I get the satisfaction of logging it. I don’t so much enjoy admitting to my dashboard that I ate too much cake when I have to log those calories, too, but hey. Baby steps, right? πŸ˜‰

Also, I’m pretty much addicted to all-things-maxi-dresses-and-skirts. I found this one, super-clearanced, at Maurices, and it’s one of my new favorites. I wore it on Mother’s Day, and aaahhh…it just makes me happy. :)

Also, still loving the earrings, but no new pairs to share that I can think of. I’m just having fun wearing the same ones over and over. Though I did let hubby know that I’m in love with these, and if he wants to buy them for my birthday, I’ll totally let him. πŸ˜‰


This whole album. Seriously. I’ve had it downloaded for several months and have even listened to it here and there, but just recently, it’s found its way to repeat on my playlist.


Especially the song, You Make Me Brave. I could listen to it and sing it all day long. (Ahem. Sometimes I do?)

Anyway, I’m giving away a free download of the album.Β :)

To enter, just leave me a comment. Share some sunshine from your week or a current favorite. Or, really, just say hello. I’m not picky. :) (I’ll choose a winner on Monday morning and send an email with the details.)

And while you wait to see if you’ve won, have a listen. Love this song. :)

Happy weekend, friends!

(And I’m borrowing this idea from my sweet friend, Crystal. Make sure you hop over to her space to catch up on her favorites, too. She always has such a great list!) :)


Take a Friend

take a friend final

A few weeks ago, I pulled myself out of bed earlier than normal on a Saturday morning, fully intending to get a run in before I started my day.

It was a good morning for it…not too sunny, not too humid (yet), and I had the best intentions…but for whatever reason, 8:30 rolled around and I still hadn’t laced up my shoes.

I found myself lacking motivation for something that I typically do enjoy, at least once I get going.

In a last, desperate attempt to get myself moving and excited about pounding pavement, I looked at my daughter. Do you want to go running with me?

Yes, Mommy!

Well, there was my, you-can’t-get-out-of-this-now-Mel, answer. We were definitely going running.

It was well after nine before we were finally out the door with Mae chattering away a mile a minute as I strapped her into the jogger.

We took off…and, friends?

We seriously had the BEST time.

And as we pushed through those three-point-one miles, I couldn’t help but smile at the moments God was giving us…

He was using my daughter to teach me some important lessons about the journey.

Today I’m over at God-sized Dreams, sharing about the importance of sharing the dreaming journey with others…join me?



Sometimes We Wait…


It’s been a long time…in fact, the longest time I’ve gone without writing since I started the blog.

And probably at least twelve times in the last week…Twelve. That’s a lot. I’ve sat down and tried to write something. Anything.

You know, words.

Let’s be honest, I don’t always have something incredibly profound to share, but I usually have Words. Stories. A piece of the journey that has taught me something.

In all of the up and down that has been life during the last month, the one thing I never thought would disappear is the ability to write. And yet, for all of the writer’s block I had before, it’s a hundred times worse lately.

I hate that.

But I seem to always write better with coffee, so we’ll try. It’s always worth a try.

And? Well, no matter the season of life, coffee is one of those welcome constants…I always like coffee. :)

So, a few random things about life…lately…ish.

This girl…she is headed to PK4. And though she’s been four for Two. Whole. Months, I still can’t wrap my mind completely around the fact that she’ll be in school three mornings a week. Which means, pretty much, that I’m going to cry, and she’ll tell me to stop. πŸ˜‰

1stDaySelfie-finalHere we are, bad lighting and all, before her Hello/Goodbye Day at school yesterday.
She is cute. And I need more sleep. πŸ˜‰

I started running again. I took a necessary (but too long) hiatus, and can I just confess that even running three miles now feels a bit like torture? And not just physical, either. Honestly, I spent so many miles on the familiar, close-to-our-house, bike path…while I was pregnant. And during those miles, I talked to God, I praised Him, I sang along with my playlist, and I dreamed dreams for our new little one.

And so going out on that bike path now is just raw pain. I’m choosing to face the pain because I need to…I need to go there and move past it. Because there are certain realities…like the fact that our house is less than 100 yards from the path. Even if I never go back to the path, it’s still going to be there.

It’s my next step forward.

And people still ask…how are you?

And if I’m in a blunt mood, I’ll probably tell you how much I dislike that question before I say anything else because, the truth is, I don’t know how to answer it.

I always feel like people want to hear, I’m great! Or, even just good.

The truth? Is that I ache and cry far more than I want to. I’ve gone exactly one day without crying in a month. One. I don’t even remember what day that was…I just remember that it happened. And thought it sounds a bit crazy…that one day out of 31 gives me Hope.

I need Hope. Lots of it.

And maybe, right now, that Hope comes in different ways. Small ways. Through coffee with friends and heart chats, through park adventures with my girl and a late-night Google hangout with a sister.

God gave me a word last spring as we flew over oceans and crossed cultures, and even in a moment of uncertainty and even fear, I knew that He was telling me that my purpose was to share myΒ Journey.

I had no idea that this…loss…was supposed to be part of that journey. I didn’t want it to be.

But I think I forget sometimes that the journey twists and turns. We can’t always see what’s next.

And there are other times when the journey seems to stop. It doesn’t, really…but He does ask us to wait. Trust. Breathe…knowing that He has us where we’re supposed to be.

And that’s where life is right now.

There are blessings…and I’ve tried to be intentional about seeing them. Counting them. Giving thanks for each time a smile comes.

And there are hard moments, too…and rather than throwing them away, I try to remember His promises. We know JOY comes in the morning.

And so we wait for it.

And we find reasons to smile along the way, too. :)

Photo Credit: Motiqua


Just Keep Running

Several days a week, my view during my morning run looks like this. You would think that would be enough to get me excited about actually running…but, um.

I confess.

I confess that running is maybe not my most favorite thing in the world on a lot of the days. A LOT.

There are times when I do really, really like it.

And then there are a lot of times I don’t, but I do it anyway. I drag myself out of bed, force the socks and shoes on my feet, and push my own bum out the door just so I can M.O.V.E.

I don’t look like a runner…I’m just telling y’all that now. My running clothes aren’t bright, fun colors and expensive brands. Nope. I run in Target shorts and tank tops and my running shoes are the Nikes that were on sale, big time, at Kohl’s last fall. (And a lot of times? I just sleep in my running clothes…minus the shoes… πŸ˜‰ so I don’t have to change in the morning.)

I don’t have a perfect stride or even-close-to perfect breathing when I run my miles. Also, I’m pretty sure my arms flop around like Phoebe’s do in that episode of Friends.

There are a few days when I basically make it my goal to survive…And, to keep running.

And so I get out there and I do just that. Some days are better and faster, and some mornings I’ve gotten a whole lot more sleep than others, but I go. I do it.

And all of those things? Well, they make me a runner…at least, in my mind.

You see, when I plan to go running, I set my goal before the first steps. And, barring a major injury, I have a rule that I don’t shortchange myself. If I’m going out for six miles, I’m going to do six miles.

Three miles of sprints? No cheating. Just do them. (Ugh. And I realllllly don’t like sprints.)

Last weekend, I wanted to quit halfway through my four mile run. (The problem with that was that it was at the turnaround, so quitting…yeah…) I’d run about a 19:50 split on the two-plus-a-bit-more, and I was happy with that. I’d just turned around and passed the little section of the path that almost meets the road, and cars (with onlookers) zoom by.

It was then that two guys on bicycles passed me going the other way. All I heard them say? She’s a runner? That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen!

Plus laughter.

Ok, ok so I know. I KNOW. They could have been talking about anyone.

But it was a bit of a tough pill to swallow for the girl who already doesn’t feel like a runner or really look like one, either…and I felt the defeat creep in as I forced my feet to keep moving. Boy, was the finish line…in the form of my front sidewalk…a welcome sight.

But then I thought about that comment…and whether it was actually meant for me or not wasn’t the issue. You see, there are always going to people who choose to use their words for discouragement.

There are also going to be people who look at a person at judge them just by what they see. They don’t know the story, and they don’t know the hundreds upon hundreds of miles you’ve run or thousands of steps you’ve taken or millions of words you’ve written.

I have a choice…WE have a choice.Β We can let them squash us or we can just keep running. Or writing. Or doing. Or being.

I’m thankful that last week, I chose to keep running. Was it my fastest time? No.

Was I dying just a wee-bit when I finished? Maybe, yeah. πŸ˜‰

But their words didn’t stop me, and they shouldn’t stop you today, either.

It’s been a weird season for me, to be honest. I’m not exactly sure what God is doing with my words or with my family or, even, with my life. But I’ve got to believe and trust that He’s got a plan.

He does. And it’s a good one, because He promises us just that.

And so, some days I pull myself out of bed and go for that run, the one that is replacing another glorious hour of sleep that I could have. πŸ˜‰

Other days, I sit down and write words…words that might end up published or words that might just stay hidden in the pages of a journal.

And yet, others…well, I don’t know on those days. And so I open His Word and pray…pray that He’ll give what I need for the day. He always does.

And, somehow, my feet find a way to move forward…to keep running.

I don’t know where you are today, my friend…but keep running. Whether you are pounding words or pounding pavement, He’s got this.

And I’ll cheer for you, too. :)


Less Words…

This might be the kind of day when I heart-spill a little too much.

So if I do, forgive me. :)

It’s 5:45 in the morning, and I’m up early because…well, because I’m trying to get into a good routine, and as much as I’d love to sleep much, much longer, this is my time to get things done.

I have to admit to you that I wish I were drinking coffee right now. We’ve got a big ‘ol container of Bailey’s Mudslide Coffee Creamer in our fridge right now (it was the only size they had) and OH. Yes, it DOES make me want to drink coffee all day. (As if it takes creamer to do that…) πŸ˜‰ But, alas, I am not drinking coffee.


See, I’m also trying to be better about getting up to run early in the morning. I’ve been good during the last few months about doing lots of strength training and cardio/strength, but I need to get back to running more often. And my rule? No coffee til the run is over.

I know. Oh, I know. ‘Tis a bit brutal. πŸ˜‰

I’m pondering life and love and the fact that my sweet three, almost-four, year-old finishes PK3 today. It has been such a good year for her, and I’m finding myself thinking back to the times when I would finish a year of school; especially when I was younger, I would always be devastated to say goodbye to my teacher. Clearly that emotion has been passed, straight on, to my girlie.

She cried yesterday when she told me she had one more day. I don’t WANNA leave Mrs. H! Or Mrs. B!

And, oh, how there is that piece of me that would gladly let her remain there forever…but we go forward anyway.

And with a few tears because that’s how a lot of us roll, I think, whether we’ll admit it or not.

And along with the whole finishing PK3 thing comes other milestones to remind me that my little girl is growing up so fast. A ballet recital on Sunday in a sparkly costume with her hair all pretty and MAKEUP. So not ready for this one…

A real, kid birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate the BIG FOUR. Not ready for that one in a completely different way…

Swimming lessons to come. That one I’m excited for…she’s been asking, and I want it for her.

So many changes every day…the pants get shorter and the cute little shirts don’t cover her belly anymore. Her aqua toenails peek over the edge of he flip flops, and I realize it…

…I wasn’t looking, and she grew up.

So time marches on, and while the snuggles and kisses remain, the I-love-you’s are a daily thing, and we laugh and dance together because it’s just what we do, I know it’s going to change.

That’s the part I don’t want to come.

I think back to the things I’ve always wanted so much for her…

To know that she’s loved so much…

…accepted as she is…

…and beautiful. SO beautiful.

Those things…they start with me.

And God has been doing some things in my heart when it comes to my daughter.

I was in Houston a few weeks ago with some pretty awesome sisters, and during our time there, a friend and I took a little break outside for a bit to sit by the pool in the glorious, Texas sunshine. (You know, that thing we haven’t seen much of in FOREVER here? Yep.) πŸ˜‰ We were chatting up life…the two of us are in different parenting seasons…and I was soaking in all she had to say. The mama of four daughters, she gets this…

And I admitted to her that I felt like the blog was wearing me down and all I wanted to do was just be mommy. (But please, my readers, don’t run away.) πŸ˜‰

As we continued to talk, I confessed that I felt like the time and energy I’d spent trying to build and comment and connect had depleted me more than filled me. That was a hard confession because I love…LOVE…this community. I want to be here…writing, sharing, doing life together.

And God isn’t saying to give that up…but He IS saying to step back a little.

That’s why it’s been so quiet in this space. It’s been a word battle anyway lately, but I also haven’t spent as much time at the computer. The majority of my day is spent with my girl…how it should be anyway. And nights are a little different, too…I used to spend them commenting and answering comments and reading blogs…and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But you see, I have a husband, too. He and I are desperately trying to find our dance again. We’ve both kind of forgotten how that looks, but it definitely doesn’t involve computer screens.

It’s such a confusing place to be…knowing I’m meant to be a writer, but being aware that to everything there is a season. And I think it’s my season to write less. A lot less.

I miss connecting with my community as often. I miss the twitter parties and late nights…and while I may show up once in awhile, it’s no longer the commitment I sprint out of praise team for. It’s an added blessing when my day allows it.

And so, for this season, the rough draft still sits. The blog is a bit quieter. And the words flow through my heart more than they do through my fingertips.

But I’m good with that because it’s where I need to be.

And now I need to go…because four miles, a pot of coffee, and a sweet, three year-old princess await me.

Life is so incredibly beautiful…and I don’t want to miss any of it.




For When You Want to Sprint Toward That Dream

windingpathI’m a runner.

I first started really running several months after my daughter was born. That pesky baby weight was still hanging on, and I felt blah from all of the short nights and a basically brand-new life of this wonderfully exhausting thing called mommyhood.

However, I quickly found myself with almost a need to go running. Now I joke with people that I run for two reasons.

One, because it’s faster than walking.

And, two, so I can eat chocolate.

Take your pick…I think they’re both fantastic reasons, though one may tip the scales more than the other. πŸ˜‰

I just run…I like to get where I’m going, and I like to get there fast.

And the same thing happens with my dreams, too.

I dream big, I dream all-out, and I dream in fast forward.

Must. Happen. Now. Yes, God? I know You totally agree.

I was thinking about this mindset during a Saturday morning several months ago as I tackled my first 10k. In the running world, this is not a huge accomplishment, but it was on my bucket list and something I wanted to cross off with a big, fat, thick X.


And as I sprinted trotted through those miles of hills, (because why wouldn’t I choose a course full of hills for my first 10k???) I thought a little.

Or, a lot.

About how I treat so much in my life like a race.

Today I’m over at God-Sized Dreams, sharing some lessons He’s taught me along the path to a dream. Join me here? :)


Photo Credit: NCinDC


Behind the Scenes: Just Breathe

There are few moments…few…in the life of this extrovert when space is needed.

Yep, I’m mostly being serious.

I thrive from time spent with friends, my family…and it’s possible I thrive equally on caffeine, too. (Just keepin’ it real today, friends. ;))

That’s why I surprised myself last week.

Or, maybe it wasn’t really a surprise. That much, anyway. I’d seen it coming for awhile.

You see…this space has been going for almost three years. Yep, that’s a long time for Mel to stick to anything. I wrote a lot more during the first two years, but I’ve been posting at least twice, sometimes three times, a week since I started my blog.

And it’s slowly taken it’s toll.

Not always in a bad way, but I was exhausted. Emotional. Potentially starting to detest the idea of sitting down to splash out words from a tired heart that didn’t want the gift of words anymore.

But we can’t always throw away our gifts, can we? And, to be honest, I didn’t really want to.

And so I took a break. As in, I replied to the comments from last Tuesday, and I broke for a week.

That was not an easy thing for me to do.

My online community…where many of my sweet sisters and friends dwell…they were thriving and sharing life, and everything in me wanted to glue myself back together, take back my words, and rejoin them to tweet and pin and insta-whatever…just be a present part of their lives.

But I didn’t.

And instead, I embraced this.


This path.

This quiet.

It’s one I used to detest.

Going on and on with not a whole lot more than solitude and creepy woods, it used to bore me to tears. (Not really…noΒ actual tears involved. Just sweat running over my eyes, but that’s kind of the same thing, right?!) πŸ˜‰

Last week I pounded out over 22 miles on this path.

Part of that is because I somehow got myself signed up for a 10k that involves a lot of running and a lot of hills and, therefore, I need to train my body to go further than 3.1 miles.

But I don’t think that’s the only reason I ran it over and over.

Do you ever have those weeks, friends?

The kind when you question everything?

I’d like to say that I spent this time in prayer…in praising God for His amazing creation. In thanking Him for giving me the physical ability to actually run multiple miles without (mostly) feeling like I’m going to die. In lifting up friends and those I love who are hurting.

Sadly, I think I spent more of my time arguing with Him…telling Him how I thought things should be.

How this writing thing should be easier and the words should just be flowing…it shouldn’t be this hard.

How relationships should be a lot less complicated, too…why can’t we just get along all the time?

And telling Him that I think now (or, at least nine months from now) is the perfect time for us to have another baby…and why doesn’t He think so, too?!

There was a lot more than that, I’m sure. (And so you all aren’t disappointed, I did still sing along sometimes.) πŸ˜‰

But in the middle of it, even after unleashing that much frustration…I still heard Him.

Breathe. Just Breathe.

I’ve got this.

Friends, I struggle every day.

I struggle to accept the fact that He truly does have it all.

Because I have a plan in my head that seems *so perfect*and I forget that my plans should be His and surrendered and taken out of my fully-open palms and placed into His.

Oh, how hard that is to do.

This is the path where I told Him all of that as my feet pounded and the tears mixed with sweat and the words

Lord, I need You, Oh, I need You

played over and over.

That time for me and my heart and Him.

And now I’m back.

I’m not sure what’s different yet, but something is.

Because He’s Good and He hears the hearts of His children.


On Tuesdays, I link up with my friend, Crystal, at her space for Behind the Scenes.

Social media and online relationships can make us feel like everyone else has it all together. We’re edited, proof-read, Pinterest-perfect versions of ourselves (or so some might think!) when – in reality? There is an unfinished pile of laundry around the corner. That cute toddler smiling for the camera just had a massive meltdown seconds ago. That yummy breakfast-for-dinner you just showed us on Instagram? It’s because the cat licked the chicken that was supposed to be for dinner.

“Behind the Scenes” is a fun link up where we show those photos – but tell the real story behind them.Β The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it.

If you have some time, feel free to stop by for some great stories of the fun and funny, the sad, the joyful…all of those things that happen behind the camera lens. I hope you’ll join us! :)