An Answer to Prayer

I was just thinking today about life two years ago…

…about how Mae was so teeny-tiny.

…about how we were packing up our lives to move here and begin a new chapter.

…about how Illinois felt more foreign than Indonesia.

…about how scared I was that I’d never find friends.Β 

One of my sweet friends from Minnesota told me that she was praying extra hard for God to send me one or two close friends. I’m sure I prayed that off and on, too…in between diaper changes and feedings and naps and coffee and episodes of Little House on the Prairie. πŸ˜‰

But I knowΒ she prayed it…often.

And God answered that prayer…beyond what I could have ever imagined. And these two beautiful women, Kris and Alison, are a big part of that answer.

Friendship is such a gift…and I am so blessed.

This pic was taken at my surprise birthday party the other night. Will tell you all about it tomorrow. :)


Don’t Eat All the Mac ‘N Cheese…You’ll Be Sorry!

Hey, friends.

So it’s amazing how time slips away on Monday nights. Really.

And even IΒ am saying it’s too late for coffee. So this is a water and protein bar date.


Or, not really.

Long story short, I learned the hard way last week that I should definitely not eat before I work out at night. So tonight, I didn’t. I really, really, REALLY didn’t want a repeat of last week.

And then I stayed after workout to do some 5k planning with a couple friends, and by the time I walked in the door, it was 10:15 pm, and I still hadn’t eaten dinner. And by then, it was too late to make anything, and I was totally kicking myself for pulling the mac n’ cheese card on Tobin and Mae ’cause there’s never enough left over. (Or any at all if you happen to have two golden retrievers.) At the time, I never care…it’s always at that unreasonable hour that I suddenly wish there was some left for me. (Side note…really, would it KILL those people who sell mac n’ cheese to make the boxes just a little BIGGER?!)


So, when it comes down to it, it’s Kraft’s fault that I had to eat a protein bar for dinner. Yeah.

I seriously love how I came to that conclusion…I’m really quite proud of it. :)Β 

Though if I am being fair, I did have a handful of Cheez-It’s, too. You know, to balance out all that protein.

I think maybe I need sleep…soon. Because that story just took way. too. long. to tell you all.

And, it was kinda dorky.

I had these grand plans tonight to tell you about weddings and surprise birthday parties and some pretty amazing people, and, well…maybe my words would be better used afterΒ I sleep. Being serious here…the words are starting to swim right in front of me. And, I’m misspelling things, which I hardly ever do, and putting commas in the wrong places and spacing twice after a period.

Horrors. πŸ˜‰

Time to crash.

Thanks for letting me tell you all why mac ‘n cheese deserves a bigger box. :)



Love Never Fails


Little Blessings (Pt. 43)

:) My daughter, the unofficial, West Dundee Target greeter. Today we were picking out a birthday card near the front entrance, and as a family walked in, she looked at them and said, “Hi, people!”. With a wave. Golly, I love her. :)

:) Wedding tomorrow and plans to see friends we haven’t in a long time.

:) Coffee and a good chat on the back patio with my dear friend.

:) Family walks up and down the street.

:) My Mac is still going…granted, I haven’t used it much, but I’ll take it! (It’s honestly weird to have my own laptop again. Really.)

:) Cute, $7 white skirts. (Did I just use the words “cute” and “skirt” in the same sentence? As a blessing? WOW, Mel…) πŸ˜‰

:) Surprise e-mails that make me smile.

:) Early morning running when it’s NOT already 90.

:) Painting…I love my latest one. It’s a gift that I’m really excited to give, but I not-so-secretly want to keep it for myself. Thinkin’ I might try to do another for me. :)

:) The Psalms…I’ve spent some time reading several of them this week. So thankful for the encouragement found there.


Sometimes there are just those days.

No words.

Definitely emotions but no way to adequately express them.

Gwen died this morning.

My heart aches for her family. Her boyfriend. Her friends. Everyone who loved her.

It was so quick…the evil of cancer took her faster than any of us could have imagined. And for that reason alone it feels surreal.

She’s at peace, though…with her Father and Savior. I wonder what it’s like…I’m sure her smile is even bigger in heaven than it was here. I can still hear her laugh…and it must just be music there. I know one thing…she’s incredibly happy.

That thought alone will comfort a heart tonight.

My friend, I’m so glad this isn’t the end, that this is a see ya later and not a goodbye. Someday there will be another hug, a chat, and probably another bagel with LOTS of cream cheese. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for the blessing and privilege of knowing you, loving you, and calling you a friend.


A Tale of Two Friends

Once upon a time there were two girls, M & G.

They went to the same college, and, though they knew each other somewhat, they weren’t really friends during their first year.

But then…

Sophomore. Speech. Class.


M was deathly afraid of it, G not so much.

And so it was that the one who didn’t mind so much helped the girl who could possibly have fainted on the spot…survive.

And a friendship happened.

It was a good one…the kind that brought on deep conversations because they were both thinkers and writers. A few times there were trips to the laundromat when they were both desperate for clean clothes and didn’t want to wait at the end of the long list of girls who thought ahead and actually signed up for a time slot.

And, usually, those trips to do laundry also resulted in a stop at a local bagel shop, the place where they’d have a bagel to go with their cream cheese. They’d talk, laugh, and just enjoy the friendship.

At the end of the year, G graduated and moved on to what was next for her; M stayed to finish her degree for a few more years.

They lost touch until several years later when Facebook swept the world and reunited them, at least online. Though they wouldn’t see each other again in person, there was the occasion birthday wish, note, status-or-photo like. A small connection still.

Last month G found out she had cancer, and treatment options were being explored and discussed.

However, things were far worse than imagined, and the doctors soon told her treatment was not an option…her condition was terminal…and she began to deteriorate very quickly.Β  The best thing they could do was keep her comfortable in her last days.

Tonight my sweet friend, G, is in her last days…possibly hours. She is surrounded by her family, her boyfriend, and many who love her. From an earthly standpoint there is nothing that can be done, but G has a Hope…and she knows Who is waiting to welcome her Home. I ask you to pray for aching hearts being forced to say goodbye to their dear daughter, girlfriend, friend…far too soon. I’m sad that I will never hug my friend again on earth, but I, too, have that Hope…and it makes heaven seem just a little sweeter tonight.

In your own words, G, Toodles, my beautiful friend. I will miss you.


Grass that Crunches While I Sing Veggie Tales

No, not really.

I’m just in one of those moods…you’ve been warned.


This barefoot chica experienced a summer-first today. I would rather wear flip flops than go barefoot. Yes, indeed-y, the grass is sooooo very un-rained-upon that running over it barefoot can be compared (almost) to running over needles. OUCH.

So much for barefoot frisbee.

In my mind there are only three…count ’em…ways that raisins are EVER acceptable. 1) Chocolate covered…preferrably dark, but any will do; 2) In trail mix, but only if salty peanuts are also included because the salt coats the raisins, thus making them far more appealing; and 3) in Raisin Bran.

And if you put them in cookies? Shame on you. πŸ˜‰

Certain items in the Target Dollar Section should be outlawed. Like, packs of Sesame Street Matching cards. How many times have I picked them up in the last two hours?

We won’t go there. Tonight, anyway.

Veggie Tales songs have an unwelcome tendency to stick in my head for, I don’t know, EVER. However, I did sing (perfectly, I think!) the songs, “It’s Laura’s Fault” AND “It’s Lenny’s Fault” from Larry Boy and the Fib from Outer Space.

In Maelie’s mind, I think that made me cool. :) (Should you want to watch a clip, both of the songs are found here.)

Weird, but true, I always have a backup pair of sunglasses. That’s because I break at least one pair a year. I usually buy them on clearance at the end of the season for the next year…just in case. You know, so I have a pass if I actually sit on my currently-being-used pair. Which almost always happens.

My daughter climbs. Like, really climbs. She tries to climb on top of her play kitchen and a few days ago tried to scale the side of the swimming pool. She also jumps. Everywhere she goes. Perhaps my favorite? She hangs from the little kitchen island-counter we have. Yep…can we all shout, Little Future Gymnast, together now? 1, 2, 3…


One of my favorite things ever is spending the day with a friend and my girl. Got to do that today…I seriously love friends, coffee, chatting, and all things Maelie. T’was wonderful. :)

I love the random of a day.



Love This :)


Little Blessings (Pt. 42)

:) Fireworks with our sweet friends and a certain little girl who loved them. (Well, until she decided she was tired.)

:) Sunshine. (But can’t say the temps that came with it were that much of a blessing! ;))

:) Heart to heart chats.

:) A stay-home movie date and key lime pie with my hubby.

:) Bedtime stories and songs.

:) People who love my girl.

:) Free Kindle books…I’ve gotten several good ones lately. Really, really LOVE it when I don’t have to pay!

:) Two days and a few hours of just me and the girl…and friends who kept me company. Parade, fireworks, guitar lesson, shopping, long chats, a movie. I am so blessed.

:) Temps in the 80’s. Aaaaahhhh…

:) Trusting that He can see when we can’t.



I stumbled onto a blog of a friend of a friend of probably a friend (you get the idea…) awhile ago.

She’s such a good writer, and she does this thing that I’m gonna borrow tonight. :) I like it.

It makes me process, evaluate, think a little, and gives me permission to be a little silly.

Just a little. πŸ˜‰

So I’m borrowing her ideas, once again, tonight.

Current Reads: Have I mentioned before that my Kindle has turned me into an insane bookworm? I devour books and lose sleep. Like, a lot. Most of the time it’s worth it. In the Presence of My Enemies, by Gracia Burnham, is a book I’m reading for the second time. I’m taking it a lot slower this time around, and it’s still as good this time, too. Read it. Really. I’m also reading Ready or Not by Chautona Havig…it was a freebie borrow from the Kindle store and I have to admit that it’s good. A lot better than I was expecting. It’s my stay-up-late-even-though-I-should-be-sleeping read. Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen is also on my I-really-need-to-finally-read-this list. I am bound and determined to finish it by the end of the month.

Current Playlist: Honestly, whatever’s on KLove. True. I jam in my car…and I jam in the house, but those songs are pretty much the same ones. My running playlist is a little different…still mostly just praise and worship. It’s what I like. What lifts me up and brings me closer to Him. What I need. :)

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Tanning/lying in “Maelie’s” 12′ x 30″ pool. While she naps. (Not every day, though.) I say I’m unashamed that I do this…and most of the time it’s true, but there are always those self-conscious, my-thighs-look-too-big-in-these-tankini-bottoms thoughts. I need to get over it.

Current Colors: Kelly green. Dying…DYING…for a dress or skirt in this color but have yet to find one. Also really loving my usual brown and blue, the new color scheme for our front living room. JOY! (Now to actually paint it…)

Current Fetish: Clunky shoes. That one never really changes, but this summer, I’ve really loved the clunky flip-flop thing. Dear weather, will you please stay warm and ice-free forever so I can keep wearing ’em? πŸ˜‰

Current Food: Just finished a chicken wrap about ten minutes ago…does that count? Thinkin’ about the sea salt caramel dark chocolate I have hiding in my fridge at the moment, too. Yes, you should be jealous.

Current Drink: Diet Coke with Lime. Yeah.

Current Wishlist: This jean skirt at Maurices that I completely heart. Oh, my. Oh, NO. Not unless it goes on, like, major clearance! Some type of organizer for all of Maelie’s downstairs toys. I am tired of tripping over them. I have some ideas…now to finance them. An agent. To help me with this whole book thing. So jealous (really) of people who have literary agents. Sometimes a writer just needs someone to believe in them, ya know?

Current Needs: Sleep. To drink more water. Yeah.

Current Triumph: Um…

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Well, DUH. THE WEATHER!!!

Current Celebrity Crush: More um…

Current Indulgence: It’s pretty sad when I can’t think of an answer to this one, huh? Except for the fact that I eat too much chocolate, I really can’t come up with anything.

Current Mood: A strange mix of happy and pensive. The two, simultaneously, make for a strange Mel. One who probably just needs to crash for the night. πŸ˜‰

My Current #1 Blessing: This one never changes. I am blessed with the most wonderful hubby and daughter and some pretty great friends, who I consider family. I love them so much!

Current Slang or Saying: Seriously?! Oy…is still on the list. Come on, Mel…lately, I’ve had to talk myself through running long distances. Sure. Those. Nothing exciting, just me.

Current Outfit: denim shorts, white tank top with flowers, brown wedges…which, strangely, I am still wearing. Usually I kick off my shoes as soon as I’m through the door.

Current Link: Honestly, my brain is about fried for the night. I’ll get back to ya on that one. πŸ˜‰

Current Photo: Aren’t I cute? Don’t answer that. πŸ˜‰

G’nite, friends!