I Confess…

Happy Monday morning, friends!

Though the calendar may say March 18th, my lawn in the burbs of Chicago is blanketed with white.


Gotta say I’m ovvvveeeer winter.

Spring, come on!!!

Yesterday morning I got up early and actually went for a run. Outside. It was glorious, exhilarating, and slightly cold, but it gave me full-on spring fever.

I thought a few Monday confessions might be good for cheering up my soooooo-ready-for-spring heart. Feel free to add some of your own in the comments. :)

I’m sitting here in a running jacket and the thickest scarf I could find in the closet. (Snow makes me cold. Even if I’m not outside in it.) Oh, and guess where I bought the scarf? Indonesia. Not kidding. Not sure I ever actually wore it there, but I do love it here! :) (And I realize this is not a great pic…another confession: This is the real of Monday. Really thankful for makeup today.) :)


Lately I’ve been missing Bali.Β  I always have a little ache in my chest when I think of Indonesia, and that’s nothing new. But Bali…it must be the lack of spring around here. And the fact that I’m doing a last read-through of my rough draft before giving it to my first readers. How I miss the ocean and surfing and wiggling my toes in the sand of Kuta beach. (Here’s a pic to make you want the beach, too. Anyone wanna go on a little vacation?! ;))


I let Maelie wear my new (Goodwill) heels this morning. She put them on over her footie pajamas and tromped around our bedroom. And though a small piece of me thought those three inches might be a little dangerous, when she put on my headband, my heart just melted, and I sat back to enjoy the moment. Then I took a picture before I made her take them off. (Sorry, the lighting in our bedroom is not fabulous for an iPhone. And please forgive the pile of clothes…I’ll clean them up later today. ;))


We may, or may not, be slightly addicted to Tangled in our house. And not only is it a great movie, the music is so fun. For the last few weeks, I have been trying to get the first song down…besides having a ton of words, the note jumps are tricky. But I’ve got it and am, unashamedly, admitting that I walk around the house singing it all day long. (Do any other musicians out there think this is a hard song to sing?)

And…here it is! Rough draft. Printed off last night. 123 pages and 36, 223 words of heart and soul on paper. I’m (most likely tearfully) handing it over to three friends this week. I’m not sure if that part is the confession…more the intense mix of elation and nerves that are currently taking over my stomach. Nothing like a little fear of rejection to make a person sweat. πŸ˜‰ But mostly, I’m thrilled to be at this point. FRIENDS, I WROTE A BOOK!!!


And since my heart is pounding like crazy just from telling you that, I’ll just wish you, again, a happy Monday!

Blessings. :)



Been awhile since I’ve done this one. And it’s a good way to wind down on a Sunday night. :)

Current Reads: Just finished Unglued (Lysa Teurkeurst)…we read that one for Mom’s Bible Study. It was so, so good…I recommend it to just about anyone. Just about finished with A Year of Biblical Womanhood (Rachel Held Evans) which has been a fun and challenging read. Also almost finished with The Do-What-You-Can Plan (Holley Gerth) and so excited to dive into her new book, You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream! (Planning to start it tomorrow!)

Current Playlist: I actually just made a new favorites/running playlist a few days ago. Even splurged and bought a few new favorite songs on iTunes. This one is definitely toward the top of the list…I even hold my own little karaoke session in the car whenever it’s on. :)

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: These. Found on Pinterest, of course. πŸ˜‰ I decided that even if we didn’t have plans for the Super Bowl, we could still eat something yummy. Oh, my.

Current Colors: Gray and mustard yellow, green, cream, black. Lovin’ a lot of colors right now.

Current Fetish: Leg warmers and tall boots…two things I love about being cold and am desperately trying to wear as often as possible. :)

Current Food: See above. Though we went out for some pretty amazing buffalo chicken pizza here last night. Gotta be a winner when you combine two of my favorites.

Current Drink: Water. Though thinking about making some coffee. Yes, I’m boring. πŸ˜‰

Current Wishlist: Nothing, really. I’m boring? A new laptop, but that will have to wait. Still got a few miles left in this new-to-me one. πŸ˜‰

Current Needs: Peace…and more trust in my Father through some uncertainties that seem to be looming on the horizon. He is Good.

Current Triumph: A pretty fantastic week (minus a few isolated incidents) with my daughter. Less and less temper tantrums, less and less mama-frustration…lots more happy memories and bonding moments. She is my sunshine. :)

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Rude drivers who don’t obey merge signs. (Not that I’ve had a recent experience with that or anything. ;))

Current Celebrity Crush: Well, there’s this pretty cool guy. And he’s married to a girl who could maybe be a published author in the near future. And that would make him a celebrity, right? Yeah, I’ve got a crush on him. πŸ˜‰

Current Indulgence: Too much coffee. I blame it on the creamer…always the creamer. And that sinful, buttery dessert I may have mentioned a few times already.

Current Mood: Subdued with a bit of guilt. I should be trying to add a chapter or two to the rough draft tonight. (Though there is definitely still time since I don’t really care about the game. ;))

Current #1 Blessing: One? Really? My little family. My sweet friends. My Father and His love for me.

Current Slang or Saying: Oy; Oh, goodness; Really?!

Current Outfit: Hoodie, jeans, and my favorite slipper boots.

Current Link: I always hate this one. I’ve got a bunch of new faves on the sidebar of my blog…feel free to check ’em out! :)

Current Photo: Tonight you get me and my sweet boy, Andre. Love him. :)

Happy almost-Monday, friends! Hope your weekend was a good one.


Just a Diet Pepsi Chat…

Hi there, friends.

Just a sit-down-with-a-Diet-Pepsi and chat-with-you-all kind of night. :)

First off, I want to say thank you to all of you.

Your encouragement and comments in the past weeks (especially Tuesday) since I’ve started sharing more about my God-Sized Dream have knocked my socks off. Well, figuratively. It’s far too cold for even me to be running around barefoot. πŸ˜‰

I have to admit that as I continue to write and share my heart, this whole book-writing thing gets scarier and scarier. There’s so much that needs to happen…and so much that I’m admittedly uneasy and nervous about. Extra reasons for me to grasp more tightly to my Father’s hand, huh? He’s got it. :)

But I want to keep most of my dream-sharing for Tuesdays…so I’ll save my most recent thoughts until then. :)

It has been quite the week in the Schroeder house.

Hubby is wrapping up his job tomorrow…the one he’s been working since we moved here in July 2010.

It’s very surreal for both of us…sad, yes, but there is so much hope for the future, and we’re extremely grateful for that. With his new job, I’ll be able to stay home with Mae and write…with the non-pressure to make some money if I would like. I’ll just get to be with my girl, work on my writing, spend time with friends and at at my church…that makes me really, really happy. :)


And I’m happy for him, too…this job is a blessing in so many ways, and we’re excited for this new step. :)

It’s also been a hard week.

I’ve hesitated sharing this…and I’m going to leave most of the details out here. Really…if you want to find out more, I’m sure it won’t be that difficult, but I want to respect the people involved.

There’s been so much heartache and sadness for friends from the church we left behind in Minnesota, who I’ve known for several years and Tobin has known most of his life. They are going through something incredibly heart-wrenching and devastating…their son was charged yesterday with killing his wife on Sunday.

It’s the kind of situation that makes me sick…both physically and in my heart.

Sick for the family and friends of this beautiful woman and mother.

Sick for the little boy she left behind.

Sick for his family and friends…not only are they left with so many unanswered questions and wonderings, but they’ve also lost a daughter-in-law, sister, and friend whom they loved, too.

I just ache for them…to the point where I’m not sure I can even put it into words.

Will you pray for this family? I know they need and would appreciate your prayers so much. I’ve been asking God to just hold them tightly and reaffirm His unconditional love for them in amazing ways. I just cry for them…they must be hurting so much.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23

What a beautiful thing that, as children of God, we can claim this promise.

So thankful for that tonight…thank you for praying. Love to you all.

P.S. This song has been playing over and over in my head over the past two days. I love it and the Truth found in it. Have a listen. :)


Hanging on to a Memory

I apologize for the quality of this…phone camera + two dogs = dark and extra noise.

Don’t worry, you’ll still love it! :)

This moment is something that has just recently started happening in our house, and I don’t know how long it will last! Gotta get it on video while we can. :)

Oh, I love her.

And despite the years passing and the no-longer-baby-but toddler we now have, I wouldn’t change a single thing.

I love you, my Maelie girl!


So fun!!!

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

Fantastic. That is all. :)


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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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. :)


So I Will Dance With Cinderella…

Oh, she was beautiful.


She sat perfectly still while I did her Cinderella hair. Just for the record, that never happens, but she barely moved a muscle as I twisted her hair into a bun, doing what I could with her limited amount of hair. (Cinderella must have had a lot of hair…of course, it seems to work that way in fairy tales. No fair. At least she didn’t want to be Rapunzel!)

And she loved it anyway. :)

Tobin and I looked at each other, almost in disbelief at how fast she is growing up. Dressing like Cinderella. Old enough to know what it means to dance.

And perhaps the most heart-melting moment of the day was when she took her daddy’s hands and they twirled in a circle.


I seriously couldn’t resist it…I had to sing. So I sang through part of the chorus before a lump formed in my throat and I couldn’t continue.

You see, there’s this place of honesty in my heart that I haven’t let find its place on my blog just yet.

That place where I truly ask myself, as the days slip by, if this is the only time we’ll experience this. If this time of dancing is only going to be with her.

Don’t get me wrong…she’s enough. More than that.

God poured his blessings into our lives on that Monday morning in June 2010. And He continues to do so.

I have never forgotten how wonderful it was to hear her cry, see her face, hold her for the first time. I remember thinking how tiny she was and how I felt certain that those moments would last forever.

Though they didn’t, it was a nice dream.

And as each day happens and as we soak up the wonderful and the terrible and the happy and the sad and the joyous and the frustrating and the completely blessed…well, we just do our best to make memories out of what we’re given.

Like those memories made yesterday as my sweet little Cinderella twirled with her daddy.

I don’t want to spend my days wondering; I’d rather just live them.

Live them fully as I let my little girl be Cinderella for as long as she wants to be. I’ll watch her twirl and sing and dance and be the wonderful Mae that God has created her to be.

And soak up the blessings of now.

So I will dance with Cinderella, while she is here in my arms;
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew.
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella, I don’t wanna miss even one song;
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight…and she’ll be gone.


Five-Minute Friday: Voice

Today I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama for Five-Minute Friday.

Join me!

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, overthinking, or backtracking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Voice

I have always loved music.

When I was a little girl, I would sing all the time…make up songs, sing along to my little Fisher Price cassette player, pound out tunes on my mini keyboard and sing along.

My singing voice was very important to me.

I remember my first solo when I was eight years old. I sang some song about a silly camel in our community children’s choir concert.

For a split second I was nervous, but once I heard myself through the microphone, I was all there.

I loved that I was being heard.

Granted, I was eight and very self-centered. More than just my singing voice has matured since then. :)

But the idea of being heard…of having that voice that people listen to…is still a desire.

This blogging community is a unique one.

Each of us use our voices in a different way…and while we won’t always admit it audibly, we want to be heard, just as I did the first time I stood in front of a microphone.

We want those readers and those comments and those people to say, Yes! I get it! I’m totally there with you! This is great.

But for many, these things don’t happen. We can’t all be the writer whose voice is heard by thousands…and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Each time I, or any other blogger, sit down to splash our hearts out, we are using our voices. Someone…somewhere…will listen.

Which makes my voice (and yours!) worth something, even if it’s not always as loud as I would like it to be.

Five Minute Friday


Good Morning!

Yes, I’m fully aware that it’s late at night.


A friend mentioned this song by Mandisa last night at workout, and it’s been in my head all day long today. Therefore, completely worthy of sharing. Plus, it’s a good one. :)

Ironically, it’s not really an accurate description of our morning. Up past midnight, I woke late to one of the dogs barking his head off at I-don’t-know-what, my hubby already gone, and Maelie still (thankfully) crashed. (We were ALL up too late.)

On those kind of mornings, it’s just so hard to get up and going. I showered, made coffee, got Mae up around 8:30…and I can’t exactly tell you where our morning went or what we did. It just kind of passed and we chilled.

We really needed to get out, though, and since we had no plans, we took a jaunt to Dairy Queen. (This time I walked. ;)) It was a perfect, gorgeous, early-fall day, and though I walked almost three miles, I still wore flip flops.

Yes, I AM a die-hard flip-flop wearer, if you haven’t noticed. :)

It was good to get out, but it was just one of those tired days. Bedtime came early-ish for Mae, and I crossed a couple things off my to-do list. Always nice. :)

As I pushed Mae in the stroller during our walk, we just chatted with each other, and it was SO FUN. My daughter is TWO! We have conversations! We laugh together, even on the days that are more challenging.

I just love her…and am so thankful for her, even if I forget the blessing that she is sometimes.

Here are a few random pics from today. :)

Love memories. Love her even more.

Mae woke up a few minutes before I went into get her this morning. This is what she had done with her stuffed animals…what a funny girl! (I especially love the fact that she has Grover hanging by his neck…haha.) πŸ˜‰Β 

SO love the cheesy smile!

Yay for mommy/daughter ice cream dates! And more cheese, too… πŸ˜‰

My sweetie!


Rainy Night Thoughts

I love a rainy night. :)

Especially the kind when hubby forgets to close our bedroom windows and the temperature is just perfect for making a cup of hot cocoa and climbing into bed under a fleece blanket to update the blog.

As close to perfection as it’s going to get for now. :)

All that’s missing is a fireplace, but I’m guessing that won’t be happening anytime soon around here. Though my neighbor has one…maybe I’ll crash her living room on the next rainy, I-need-to-blog-and-feel-cozy night. :)

I do have to tell you that I love my new, red fleece blanket, though. You know that 5k I ran last weekend? The goodie bag rocked. A cute t-shirt (5k t’s are rarely cute) AND a blanket. The kind that screams, You know you want to go to take a nap just so you can cover yourself up with me. Yep, that kind of blanket.

Be jealous. πŸ˜‰

It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve just written…you know, had a virtual coffee date with you all like I used to. Except tonight we’re havin’ hot cocoa. And it’s good despite the fact that I had to dig through the cupboard to find a packet of it, and I’m sure it’s been there for at least a year, but I think it might be closer to two. Hey, isn’t that what preservatives are for???

So, since we’re catching up, I guess I’ll just talk about…we’ll just see where it goes.

I finished Kisses From Katie yesterday.

I can honestly tell you that, besides the Bible, it’s not only the best book I’ve ever read; it’s also the most life-changing. Read it…testimonies of God’s abounding grace just leap off the pages. I saw pieces of myself in her, but mostly I saw the Father’s heart…which I think was the point.

You won’t be disappointed. I promise.

And as a complete side note…I feel like I understand myself and where I’ve been a little more after reading this piece of her story, too. Sometimes it’s hard to explain to people why we spent time overseas…it was cool too see her put into words some of the reasons. I could relate. :)

Ok, just read it. (And I’ll move on to something else.)

My sweet girl is all but done napping. It’s a blessing and a curse all rolled into one. Her non-nappingness (Golly, I looooooooove my word creations sometimes!) gives us more flexibility with our days, and that’s definitely a bonus. But it also makes the days long. It also means potentially super-crabby evenings, but also almost guarantees that she will crash the second her head hits her special pillow.

Yes, she has a special pillow. And tonight, she has special jammies, which I had to pull out and cut the tags off and get her really excited about because the worn-almost-every-night princess jammies are a) dirty; and b) too non-covering for a night like tonight. Thankfully she bought my made-up excitement about jammies covered with snowmen and reindeer that I bought for 70% off last January. :))

Someday she will read this and be embarrassed…thankfully that day is not today. πŸ˜‰

I love her. And I suppose the fact that she got excited about Christmas jammies in September is comparable to me and my new blanket. (Which is still super comfy, since I know you’re all wondering!) πŸ˜‰

It’s been kind of an up and down few weeks, but I’ve been thankful for what He’s doing despite the roller coaster moments. I’ve tried to be intentional about counting my blessings…it’s amazing to look around and see all the good that surrounds a day despite circumstances and emotions.

I almost skipped my run this morning, but I’m so glad I didn’t.

The weather was perfect, and I made a new running playlist a few days ago, and I was excited to hear more of it. I basically went through every song in my iTunes, picked my very favorites, and shuffled them.

Toward the middle of mile two, this one came on. I hadn’t heard it for months…and I didn’t even remember adding it to to the playlist. But sometimes God just surprises me…and this was a blessing. I hope you’ll take the time to listen to it. :)

And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abound?

And You answer, “My child, I love you. And as long as you’re seeking My face, you’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”

Powerful words from my Father…Wow.

Love you all…thanks for stopping by. :)