Halloweenin’ It

We h ad

a really fun Halloween.

It’s a holiday that neither Tobin or I really celebrated growing up, but we always thought the dressing up part would be

fun, and we didn’t want Mae to miss out on that, especially since she’s at such

a cute



So… we dressed her up in her UH-dorable ladybug costume and took her to spread some sunshine to the neighbors.

She’s too young to appreciate the candy, but that didn’t stop her from taking it.


After trick-or-treating, we headed home so Tobin and I could put on the pig costumes some friends graciously loaned to us.

:) Then we met up with our good friends, Jonny and Kris (who totally rocked their cow costumes), and we all headed to Chipotle for $2 burrito night.

I had thought I would need to title this post something like…Friends don’t let friends wear farm animal costumes in public OR The things we’ll do for a $2 burrito…

But I don’t need to do that because it was a really fun night, and not nearly as embarr

assing as I thought it might be.

We just had a really good time.

Although next year, I’ll come up with something a little more creative.


Happy Halloween!


What Did YOU Do Before Church Today?!

So…we woke up today.

A little late, too, which was so nice.

I love the days when Mae sleeps ’til 8…it happens often on Sundays.

But that’s when our Sunday morning normality ended.

The short story is that we’ve been looking for a second car. Tobin found one that we were sure would get snatched up immediately, and the price was so good that we decided we needed to see it.

Before church.

Which starts at 10:45.

And the car was 25 minutes away.

Enter…let’s get ready at lightning speed. (Translation: I didn’t even look in a full length mirror ’til I got to church.)

We got to the guys’ house at 9:45.

Tobin looked at the car, drove it a bit, made an offer.

At 10:00, we drove to the bank which, thankfully, was literally around the corner.

At 10:15 we returned with cash to pay for the car.

At that point, I left in the van with Maelie in an attempt to get to church on time…no worries, friends, we made it w

ith five minutes to spare.


Tobin missed the opening praise but was there by 10:55.

It’s funny… that we woke up, bought a car, and went to church.

In that order.

What did YOU do before church today




Chitter Chatter Late on a Saturday Night

It’s been a weird day.

Weird in a not-so-good way, so I’m very thankful that today is almost over and I get

to start again tomorrow.

Thanks, God, for your new mercies. I will be intentionally soak

ing them all in tomorrow.

To be honest, I would love to have a virtual coffee date with you all right now. Unfortunately, I’ve reached my max for caffeine with an Americano and a Diet Coke, both since 2:00 today, and I need to sleep tonight. Enough said. :)

Instead, we can just talk while I finish up my late-night, day-off snack of tortilla chips and melted, buffalo flavored Velveeta. Seriously, it’s good, but I was also raised on processed cheese, so I think it always tastes good…I think certain friends I have who were raised on dairy farms would disagree with my thinking.

😉 I will tell ya, though, that over in Indonesia, I missed Velveeta so badly that I once had a friend bring me a huge two pound block of it when she came back after Christmas one year.

It was glorious. And I didn’t share…at all.

I’ve been trying to pull three mile runs in the mornings when I go out.

That’s almost double what I was running for so long that it feels like a lot. The good news is, I think I might actually be ready to run this 5k next weekend. I’m not looking forward to running in the cold…or being cold, in general, but I do like the whole chocolate everywhere thing. I WILL run for chocolate.


And as a bonus, since packet pick-up is only Thursday and Friday, and since I also have praise team Thursday night, Tobin took Friday off.

We’re gonna trek downtown, pick up my stuff, then go check out an Indonesian restaurant…possibly the only one in all of Chicago. Bring on the sate and rendang and pisang goreng…woohoo!

I could not be more excited about Indonesian food.

And I NEVER got excited about it when we lived there. Funny.

While I’ve tried to not obsess on the blog about weight loss, today was monumental.

I’m a pound UNDER my pre-baby weight.

I saw a number on the scale today that I thought I might never see again…and I loved it so much that I went for a three mile run…and then ate a bagel. (It was worth it, since I know you’re all wondering!) And tomorrow night at my weekly workout with friends, we’re gonna celebrate with these.

If you’ve never tried one, you should. For an energy bar, they’re pretty amazing. And I like that they’re not full of grainy stuff…I don’t feel like I’m eating cardboard.

So I love my daughter.

Really. But somewhere between Tuesday and today, she decided that one hour naps AND shorter nights are enough for her. She has been giving me about an hour nap each afternoon and sleeping about an hour less at night, too. I am not sure what to think of this… it kinda makes me grumpy if I think about

it too long. I always enjoyed my afternoons when she was napping because I could catch up on blogging and squeeze in some strength training and shower before she even woke up.

Life as we know it has changed.

Thankfully, she is generally JOYful just to run through the house and get into things. I love that about her, minus the getting into things part.

😉 And just look at what she built all by herself today…she truly amazes me. :)

Every year I spend $1 in the Target Dollar Section.

(Ok, ok, so I spend a LOT more than a dollar every year, but THIS dollar is for something specific…) I joke that it’s the best dollar I ever spend…but that might be true. I buy a little day planner that’s the perfect size…I write my life in it and take it everywhere I go. I actually bought one at Michael’s a couple weeks ago because Target didn’t have theirs out yet, but as I was wandering through the Dollar Section today, I saw this.

And I totally spent another dollar because it’s way too perfect.

Think God is trying to remind me of something


After a day like today, JOY is hard. My heart is not ok, and I’ve cried more than I want to admit. I feel broken, I feel lost…and the only thing remotely salvaging tonight is the fact that I know God is there…and that He’s able to fix broken and find lost.

And His mercies are new Every.

Single. Morning.

Praise Him for that.

I need to wind this up…long, emotional days require extra sleep, and you don’t need to ask me twice to sleep. 😉



Little Blessings (Pt. 13)

:) A night of praise music.

:) Percussion instruments.

:) A quick visit today with some dear friends from Indonesia.

:) Seeing my daughter spread the love around tonight

at church.

:) Learning discipline in some areas…and seeing the areas in which I still need it.

:) Funky earrings.

:) A day in the 50’s, giving me an excuse for flip flops tonight.

:) Seeing God’s purpose for something…after the fact.

:) A tired girl who will (hopefully!) sleep in a bit tomorrow morning!

:) Missing Indonesia…and remembering how wonderful it was.

Thanking God for blessings today.

What about you?



I was chatting with a friend today and remembered that we had this.

To be honest, it’s kind of embarrassing and yet, at the same time, a wonderful memory.

I am hugely pregnant,  SO not a beautiful pregnant woman at all, AND I talk about sweat running down my nose.

Trust me, if you had been there, you would have had sweat running down your nose, too. 😉

But I love it anyway.

So, ignore the weirdness that we are, and enjoy the beautiful beach and Maelie’s first “trip” to Bali. :)


The Power of a Story

I love stories…hearing them, sharing them, speaking them, wr iti

ng them.

What most of you probably don’t know about me is that up until college, I was deathly afraid of speaking…in public, in a group, in class.

Anything more than one

on one? Sent my pulse through the roof.

Thankfully, and only through God’s grace, I was able to overcome that fear in college, mostly because I was put in several situations where I had to get over it. Amazing what a person can do when they’re really faced with no choice but to just do it. 😉

The thing is…I’m SO glad I was put in those situations, because I learned something.

Like… talking to people is enjoyable, and sharing stories is even better.

I love to hear about people’s lives and the events that have brought them to where they are today.

To be fair, I also do my share of telling my own stories.


When someone chooses to share a part of their life with me, I feel like they’re saying, I trust you enough to be vulnerable and give you a tiny (or not-so-tiny) piece of my life.

No matter where I’ve been… those stories from

those friends are what make up memories.

And those memories are often all I have of people to whom I’ve said goodbye and probably won’t see again until heaven.

So…I think a story is pretty powerful.

I touched on that today in my new blog post for the Algonquin Patch. I hope you’ll hop over there and check it out.

Thanks for reading, my friends.


Look What I Made!

Ok, I’ m pretty excited that

my creative streak is coming back.


Awhile ago, a friend bought a necklace/belt (yeah it was both) that I was kinda jealous of. (Ok, ok…so I was really jealous of it.) But I also thought, hey, I can probably make that.

Today I finally did…and to be honest, it

took the longest to decide how I wanted it to look.

Putting it together was easy.

I love it!

And I’m pretty stinkin’ proud that I made it for about 1/6 of what I would have paid for it.

I love inspired moments.


P.S. Anyone want one

? I’m thinking about selling them…really.



I am not the most stellar book-reader.

But my daughter?

Is very,

very cute when she is being read to.


Enough said. :)


October Thunder

God gave me a little gift tonight.


Oh, I do love a good thunderstorm.

So I’m curling up on the couch under a blanket and having a little chat with you all before I hit the hay way too late.


God has been impressing on my heart the word obsession lately, and it’s challenged me to think through the things I obsess over and whether they are worthwhile. That will probably be a blog post for another day…but let’s just say that

it’s making me re-evaluate my idea of balancing things.

I made a small-world connection last week at Firefly with a guy who is shooting a movie, and he wanted to use the exterior of our house for a few scenes. He shot a couple of them today, and it was cool to kind of see what goes on with something like that.

In chatting with him after that, I found out that he graduated from college with one of my good friends that I taught in Indonesia with.

Small world just became microscopic.

Goodness, connections are funny things, huh?

Sundays just make me really happy.

I love going to our church…and while no service is perfect with a 16 month-old, I always leave feeling challenged and encouraged.

This Sunday made me even happier because after Mae was down for her afternoon nap, I wrote my Patch article and took a nap myself.

It was wonderful, and I fell into such a deep sleep that I had a very hard time waking up.

I had the sudden realization today that next month is November, and I’m not sure what to do with that.

I suppose I should look on the bright side and realize that I can decorate for Christmas…I really love putting up the tree and decorations.

And…ahem…eating the cookies.


The thunder is still going strong outside, and I’m tempted to keep writing, but I know I need to crash if I’ m going to get up for a run in the


I’m hoping it will continue for a bit longer because, in my opinion, there’s nothing better th an f

alling asleep during a thunderstorm.

I wish they could happen every day.



Little Blessings (Pt. 12)

:) I might actually be ready to RUN an entire 5k in two weeks!

Yay for motivation!

:) A sweet girl who continues to as

tound us.

Her newest wor

d? Strawberry, or as she says it, strawbaby. Too cute!

:) My creative juices are definitely flowing again! I finished the necklace I was working on today and even made myself a pair of funky earrings, which I was going to post a picture of… but I forgot.

Maybe tomorrow. I can’t wait to keep creating!

:) Facing a situation recently where I was able to choose JOY.

:) A chat with a friend today that encouraged my heart.

:) More friend time tonight…perfect night for a fire in the

fire pit.

:) God’s Word…and how He truly does give us an answer for everything we might be facing.

:) Sleeping in ’til 7 tomorrow…hopefully!

:) Three less loads of laundry to fold.

:) Answered prayer and new opportunities.

:) An idea for my Patch article.

:) Being loved.