Sweet Saturday

Ok, so this should be titled something like

The Post Where I Admit I’m Eating Taco Bell at 10:15 p.m.

Haha. πŸ˜‰ Just so you know, confessions are good for the soul.

Here’s another.

It’s my first meal of the day. YIKES.

Part of that wasn’t my fault. After a wonderful, calorie-filled dinner out last night to celebrate my hubby’s birthday, I paid for it big time. I’m not sure what’s up with the digestive track these days or what I ate that my body completely hated, but my stomach was NOT happy with me and decided to let me pay the price from about 2-5 a.m.


Can we say that again?

Why, yes we can! UGH.

I’ll spare you the details only to say that I missed my Saturday morning run with my group and was pretty wiped out for most of the morning. (Though a caramel macchiato did help. Gee, I wonder why?!?!) πŸ˜‰

It was a rough one.

But things got better around 11:00. I forced myself to get up and going for the day, and Maelie and I went to the mall with Tobin. He had an eye exam, and I needed body spray from Bath & Body. Hey, I really did need it…I ran out this morning. :) I was super excited that I managed to hit the huge sale they have every summer, too, without even trying. 75% off? Yes, please. Bottles of my two favorite scents for $6 total? Even more yes, please!

Mae and I browsed a bit after that. I need something to wear to a wedding in a couple weeks, but we struck out. Oh, well.

We came home, and two out of the three of us ate lunch. :) Then Mae and I went swimming. Or, more accurately, I walked around in the pool and tried to coax her to join me, but she wasn’t interested today. So we played in the backyard instead.

Around two, we headed downtown to meet a friend at Navy Pier. Our Indo-friend, Lindsey, is in town for a few days visiting her brother, and she took a few hours to spend with us. We LOVED catching up with her, sharing some laughs, hearing what God has been doing. She’s about to make a pretty huge move to the other side of the world, and it was such a blessing to hear all He’s done to bring her to that point.

Plus, we just loved seeing her.

Our too-short few hours together reminded me yet again of the bittersweet wonderful that is friendship. That, often, the joy-filled hellos lead to much-too-soon, teary see ya laters. But the truth is that when friends are that treasured, we’d drive twelve hours for five minutes. Really.

So we took what time we had and filled it with laughter and stories and Truth and watching a certain two-year old little girl charm everyone around her. We reminisced about beach trips, coffee shops and motorbikes and dreamed of the future and all it might hold.

Oh, I wish the best for her…and I can’t wait until the next time I can give her a hug.

God is so Good to give us the gift of friends.



Fun on the Farm!

Maelie and I visited the farm this week with our friend, Kris.

It was actually the dairy farm she grew up on, which made it even more cool…love seeing pieces of a friend’s life. :)

And for a kid, there’s nothing that’s not to love about the farm…yes, I’m talking about Maelie. πŸ˜‰ Exploring, discovering, getting licked by a cow, chasing kitties, running around, driving a go-cart (ok, ok so that one was more me!)…oh, we had so much fun!

“Grandpa” and “Grandma” R were awesome hosts…we were very, very spoiled and loved. We were fed some of the most yummy food I’ve eaten in a long time, we stayed in the coolest farm themed room ever, and they even took time to love Mae…lots of stories and playtime and some coloring and exploring everywhere.

She had the best time, and She. Loved. It.

WE loved it. :)

I had a hard time choosing our favorite pics, so you get a lot of them. :)

Our first stop was to visit the baby calves. She was a little hesitant at first but was definitely curious.

Up close and personal. She loved it, though…you can tell.

Mae loved the cats, even if most of them didn’t want to be caught. Grandpa caught this one for her. She is still talking about “chasing kitties”. :)

I was surprised this one just sat and let her pet it!

Time for a story with Grandma! This was the first time Mae had ever heard the story of Chicken Little, and she was very, very worried throughout the entire book. It was cute. :)

This was too sweet of a moment not to share. Kris sat down to play the Veggie Tales song on the piano, and Maelie sat right by her, “playing” and “singing” along.

I loved driving the go-cart…it gave me a moment of Indonesia again. And as a bonus, no one died. Always a good thing. :)

I didn’t get too many mommy-Maelie pics on this trip. I like this one, though, even if she is much more interested in the kitty.

What a FUN adventure…YAY for friends and the farm! :)


Where the He– is Matt? 2012

This is insanely beautiful.


I want to travel the world and dance with everyone I meet. Enjoy! :)

Oh, and come back tomorrow for a recap of our adventures on the farm!!!


Little Blessings (Pt. 41)

:) Time with friends, petting cows, chasing kitties, driving a go-cart, watching my girl soak up so many new experiences…YAY for a trip to the farm! So fun. :) (Will post more tomorrow!)

:) Heart to heart chats.

:) Ice cream with chocolate that was so amazing you should be jealous. Very.

:) Iced-americano sipping with a friend.

:) Shoe-trying-on and the willpower to avoid shoe-buying. πŸ˜‰

:) A little girl who says, I love you, Mommy. I’ll never get tired of it, and it will always melt my heart.

:) Conversations that challenge me to act instead of complain.

:) Tobin and the 34 years, 365 days (it’s leap year!) God has given him so far. Happy birthday tomorrow, honey! πŸ˜‰

:) A comfy couch, a pillow, a blanket, and episodes of Little House on the Prairie. (Am I a dork? Maybe…but a blessed one. ;))

:) Prayer. And a Father who hears.


Monday Morning Coffee

Hey, friends.

I’ve got a little time this morning, have a cup of coffee in my hands, (well, on the computer desk at the moment :)) and decided it was time to update the blog and coffee-date with you all.

I mean, it’s been a whole 48 hours since I’ve posted anything.


No, seriously, it’s good. Yesterday I intentionally stayed away from posting anything. I have to admit that it felt weird going to bed knowing I hadn’t written, and yet, I knew that if I could do it one day, it would be easier later. :)

It’s a strange freedom. And maybe now that I’ve forced myself to take that step, you’ll get a lot more thoughts worth reading and a lot less fluff. :)

Though this blog is about life, and sometimes life is fluffy. So I hope that on the days it is just that…well, that you’ll laugh with me and keep reading.

Maelie and I are off on an adventure to the farm this afternoon. Our sweet friend is taking us to her parents’ dairy farm a couple hours from here. We won’t be back until Wednesday, so we’ll look forward to sharing pictures of Maelie’s trip to the farm to visit the cows! :)

We’re excited. :)

Yesterday’s project (the magnetic paint/add-some-color-to-the-kitchen one)…is done. Ish.

Just, fyi…should you choose to use magnetic paint: a) stir it REALLY well; b)cover everything (and I do mean everything) you don’t want painted, including yourself…see: Mel’s hands. Hilarious; and c) plan it for a day when everyone else in the house can be outside because the fumes are NAS. TY. Golly, it was bad. (Mucho thanks to our friend who loaned us a fan to clear the place out a little.)

I like how it turned out, though the magnetic part isn’t as strong as we thought it would be, so we may end up adding two more coats and painting over it. Again.

Crazy crazy.

Why is it that home-improvement projects never quite turn out like we picture?

It makes me nervous to attack the front room, which is next on the list. OY…

Thursday is Tobin’s birthday. Sometimes it’s nice that our birthdays are all relatively close together, and other times I wish we could spread out the celebrating a little more. He doesn’t want anything, which doesn’t work so well for this girl who loves to gift-give, but I’ll figure something out. :)

And Saturday…well, I’ll talk more about this later, but we get to see a dear friend from Indonesia…we haven’t seen her for over four years. I have a feeling the tears will flow big time. Oh, Linds, I can’t wait to give you a HUGE hug! :)

Lotsa good stuff goin’ on, and that’s just June! I really love summer. :)

I should get going…some things need to get done before Mae and I head out to party it up on the farm. WOO HOO!


Back soon. Happy Monday to you all!


Our Little Future Gymnast


Diet Pepsi on the Patio

It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to blog from outside.

Insert sing-song voice…

Guess what?!?!

My. Mac. Is. BACK.

Stop sing-song voice, though I could sing my whole post to you. I just won’t. πŸ˜‰Β 

I honestly feel like I’m on borrowed time with it, but after being without it for almost a year, it sure is nice to have my old friend working. Well, at least for now… πŸ˜‰

So I’m chillin’ on the back patio, drinking my Diet Pepsi, watching Mae play with her new cozy coupe…and it’s a happy, late-Friday morning.

We’re heading to Janesville this afternoon/evening to see some dear Indo-friends. They’re “home” for a short six weeks, squeezing in the wedding of their daughter and sending the other daughter off to college, and then they’ll be moving to Peru. We’ll see them at the wedding, but were hoping to find another time to catch up, too…you know, when the rest of the world doesn’t want to catch up with them at the same time. Though it will be short, we’re really looking forward to it. :) Precious moments like this, no matter how long, are worth the drive.

This weekend I’m hoping to tackle the first of three summer projects I have planned. (There IS a fourth…if I have time.) The first is the smallest…painting a wall in the kitchen with magnetic paint to make up for the lack of magnetic appliances in our kitchen. :) Then I’m painting over it with green to add a little color, too.Β 

My July projects involve FINALLY painting the front living room…I decided on a blueish color…and organizing Maelie’s clothes and nursery. And if I get REALLY ambitious, de-cluttering the basement is on for August.

We’ll see.

We’re gonna start with buying all the paint we need at once so it will motivate me more to follow through. And I promised myself that once I do the kitchen, I can do a fun painting for it. (Truly, that DOES help motivate me. ;))

On Monday Mae and I are off for two or three days on an adventure I will tell you more about later. We’re really looking forward to it. :) Well, IΒ am. She will love it once we get there.

And…God has kind of been telling me something.

That kind of thing where I don’t necessarily want to listen, but He’s speaking loud and clear, and it’s time for me to obey.

So, insert deep breath…

It’s time for me to quit writing every day.

Golly, did I just say that?Β 

I have always been intentional about not letting it interfere with time that needs to be spent on other things. However, no matter when, it’s time.Β 

And that timeΒ is taking away from somethingΒ or someoneΒ no matter what I tell myself.

So, starting today, I’m gonna be a normal blogger.

Just fyi, we’re not discussing the word “normal” today. :)Β 

There might be weeks that I blog five days and weeks that I blog three.

But the honest truth is that I can’t keep this up forever, and while I love to write and share my heart, I don’t want my daughter to know me as a blogger…

I want her to know me as her mommy.Β 

While I know it won’t make sense to the vast majority of you, it feels like a death. This has been such a part of my daily life for a year and a half.

But it’s time…so here we go.

My Diet Pepsi is gone, and I’m gonna go spend time with my hubby and girl. :)

And…because we couldn’t get her to sit still for a picture, you get Mae in her cozy coupe. πŸ˜‰

Happy weekend, friends. I’ll be back soon. :)


Jesus, Friend of Sinners

This song has been especially powerful lately…thought I’d share the lyrics with you. (And you can listen if you want. ;))

So. Much. Truth.

Jesus, Friend of Sinners
Casting Crowns

Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours


Jesus, friend of sinners, the one who’s writing in the sand
Made the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy bring Your people to their knees
Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours

You love every lost cause; you reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame; they’re the reason that You came
Lord I was that lost cause and I was the outcast
But you died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet

‘Cause You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks Yours

And I was the lost cause and I was the outcast
You died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet

Wow…kinda speaks for itself. But have a listen if you’d like. :)


Tuesday 10 (A Day Late)

So, once in awhile I’ll participate in a link-up.

Haha…ok, so I’m a little late on this one. Everyone else? Was doin’ the Tuesday 10 on TUESDAY. Novel idea. I, however, was…I don’t know, eating cake, chatting it up with girlfriends, and completely soaking up the night of freedom that Mae gave us when she chose to fall asleep at 6 pm. (FYI, I watched old episodes of Jericho and ate…ahem…more cake. Just thought you should know.)


Yes, that’s what I was doing.

Hence the reason I am linking up on WEDNESDAY.

This one seemed interesting and didn’t require me to think too hard. All this sunshine and heat is drainin’ my brain! πŸ˜‰

I stumbled onto this blog through one of my regular reads…she’s got some fun stuff goin’ on, and this? Well…it’s me. It’s about me. It could be considered indulgent. And you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. πŸ˜‰

I bring you…Ten Reasons I Love Being Me.

Hee hee. This could be fun. :)

1. Being Mel. Like, actually Mel. I love that when my dear friend in Indo gave me the nickname, it stuck. It became part of my identity. I’m definitely a Mel, and I like it that way. And it has dramatically reduced the number of times I get called Melissa and Melanie instead of my actual name. (Bonus points if you know it!) :)

2. I, unashamedly, use far too many smiley faces. :) :) :) :) :)

3. I’ve managed to thrive through a lot of change.

4. I’m a really good gift-giver.Β 

5. I’m sometimes-brave…like swinging on vines brave. Yeah.

6. I’m mommy to Mae and wife to Tobin. They’re pretty much the best.

7. I’m a loyal friend, probably to the point of annoying some of you. Sorry about that…thanks for lovin’ me anyway! πŸ˜‰Β 

8. I love haircuts, flip flops, purses, and coffee. (Like you didn’t know that last one.)

9. Though I definitely have a crazy side, my favorite TV shows are Little House on the Prairie and Road to Avonlea. Totally serious.

10. I heart adventures. I talk about things like wanting to go purse shopping in Turkey and do an overland safari in Kenya and no one looks at me weird ’cause they know it’s me.




I woke up insanely early this morning.

Like, before six a.m. early.

Usually I’m able to stuff my head under my pillow and get a few more zzzzzz’s. Sleeping in is not usually a problem for me if I want to. But for some reason, this morning my body was up.

And there was NO going back to sleep.

I showered, got the coffee going, and sat at the computer. I even had half a piece of Mae’s birthday cake in front of me for breakfast. πŸ˜‰ But instead of doing my usual blog reading and facebook checking and general, online-catching-up, I just sat there and thought…

…about how scattered I feel.

…about how I need a priority shift.

…about how, even more, I need a heart check.

…about how God is so close and, yet, it doesn’t feel that way.

…about how He probably has so much to tell me if I’ll just stop for a minute and listen.

I’ve taken time out lately to do a lot of things…help with VBS, sing on praise teams, play with my daughter, have play dates, go to parks, spend time with friends, drink coffee, blog, plan a birthday party…a lot of things that are necessary and important to life. Really. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the living we get to do. πŸ˜‰

But WHY, in all of that, have I not carved out the time to spend with my Father?

I went upstairs and dug out my favorite, red-cover Bible. Most often now, I use my Kindle version, but there’s something healing and filling for me when I sit down with a real, tangible Bible and a pen. I read. I marked. I made notes. I wrote myself little reminders in code. Added happy faces when I came across something that made me thankful or just smile. :) Those are my ways to document how God is speaking and what He’s saying.

And it had been far too long since I’d spent time with my Father in this way.

I don’t share this with you to make you be all, Oooooh, Mel…she’s so wonderful.

I’m not.

Because I know what my heart has been like the past few weeks. I know the thoughts I’ve had. I know the mean things I’ve said. I’m very, very painfully aware of feelings that I may have hurt by not thinking before I spoke.

I know how much I’ve reveled in a life surrounded by others…forgetting to surround myself with my Father.

Those things…friends, church, helping, serving, coffee, play dates…can only fill a person so much. Don’t get me wrong. They’re great. But if I’m relying on them for my complete satisfaction, I’ve completely missed the point.

I recently had Psalm 63:7 stitched onto a key fob. In the past year, I’ve considered it my verse…I have a lot of them :) but this one has really special meaning. I almost feel like God wrote it just for ME.

For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for JOY. (Psalm 63:7 ESV)

I hopped over to the chapter to re-read the context surrounding it, and I was amazed that it was exactly where I am right now. David is writing from the wilderness, and he just talks about how dry he feels and how he longs to be filled in only a way that God can fill. And, not only does he long for that, he trusts that God will give what he needs.

And while he’s doing the waiting and the trusting? He’s got his hands lifted up, giving all the praise to God.

WOW…what a poignant reminder for me this morning. I hate how I let myself get to the point of utter exhaustion and emptiness before I run to Him in desperation. I want to be the kind of person who will keep my hands lifted to Him on the good days and the bad, trusting that He will give because He’s promised He will.