Coffee For Your Heart: SO. Loved.

I’m the momma to a sweet little girl. (I think most of you know that by now.) πŸ˜‰

I spend my days laughing with and loving this wonderful, energetic, burst of sunshine…one that my Father knew our family needed.

And most of the days we spend together are truly wonderful…there are games and playing puzzles and laughing and usually singing. Listening to the Frozen soundtrack over and over. Dress-up and dancing. Furniture leaping when I turn my back.


spunkyMaeAnd, yes, she’s wearing a Halloween shirt.
After Christmas.
Because, you know, she’s THREE. πŸ˜‰

But then there ARE those days, too.

The kind when age three takes over and the stubbornness (from both sides!) comes in, and we struggle.

Yesterday afternoon was one of those times.

I had things I had to get done in-between the fun of our day…and one of those things was our Tuesday, God-Sized Dream, prayer meeting over Google Hangout.

The routine is usually the same…Mae gets to pick out a longer show or movie, something that will keep her occupied while I’m doing that. And most of the time…most…it’s a good plan, and it works.

But yesterday, there must have been something in her apple juice. Seriously.

In the background of the phone call, she was howling.

I’m not talking the laughter kind of howling…I’m talking the wolf kind.

Ow…OOOOOOOHHHHHH! (That sound is really hard to put into actual letters.) πŸ˜‰

I tried to gently hush her, and for the most part, she listened and went back to watching My Little Ponies.

And then…and not kidding here…just as I’ve uttered about TWO words of a prayer, she comes up to me. Yanks on my arm.

I gave her hand a little squeeze and tried to keep going.

But she keeps pulling, and I pause to look over.

She’s rubbing her belly…this annoying thing she’s started to do when she wants a snack. Which is like All. Day. Long. I’m convinced that toddlers want snacks all the live long day.

I shake my head no, but she’ll have none of it.

And as I try to go back to prayer, she hits my arm.

At this point, I have to excuse myself from the prayer and step AWAY from the camera.

After scolding her for hitting me, I take her into the kitchen to try to find something to get her through the last minutes of prayer time. Thinking she wants an apple or grapes, I go for the fruit.

No, mommy. I’m hungry!!! Can I have a Hershey’s kiss?

Really, child? You pulled me away from prayer time FOR. A. HERSHEY’S. KISS.

Those words may-or-may-not-have escaped my lips.

But at that point, I was more concerned with getting back to prayer time and keeping her happy (not necessarily my finest parenting here…) and so I obliged.

Miraculously, it worked for awhile.

Later when we’d finished prayer, and I’d hung up, she came over to me.

Mommy, I love you. I just want to be close to you. And she wrapped her arms around me.

And as we grabbed hands and went back to playing together, I thought of how blessed I am to be loved by such a wonderful little girl.

Yes, there are belly-rubbing, Hershey’s-kiss-begging, just-plain-bad, parenting moments…but there’s still love. Forgiveness.

And the deep desire to just be close.

Yesterday my sweet girl reminded me how much she loves me, even on the days I mess up big time.

And that was such a sweet reminder to me of how much my Father loves me, too, in spite of me being me, in spite of the times I mess up, even on those days when I don’t show the love I should to Him.

Friend, you are loved.

SO. Loved.

Remember that today. :)


I love my sweet friend, Holley‘s, new link-up! Her Coffee For Your Heart: 2014 Encouragement Challenge is just what it sounds like. Think of Wednesdays as that day where I just share some encouragement…and you can pretend that we’re sitting at a table over coffee, just sharing life. Sounds like a great way to spend Wednesdays in this space. :) I hope you’ll hop over and join us!



Couch Rebels: Buy the Book, Change Lives

So unless you’re a new reader to my blog, you know that I’m involved in a project right now.

At least, hoping to be part of the book project that will Change. A. Lot. Of. Lives.


Cause Pub is an organization that is putting a book together called Couch Rebels: Because Stories Like These Aren’t Told By Potatoes. It’s a book of short stories submitted by people all over the world who have dared to get off the couch and make a difference.

The book comes out August 14th.

I know, that’s practically tomorrow! :)

And I want to help spread the word, not only because it’s going to be an incredible book, but because this incredible book is also going to influence the lives of so many people. For each book sold, THREE people will be provided with clean water for an entire year through Blood:Water Mission in Africa.

Honestly, friends?

I can’t imagine a better way to spend $10. (Actually, $9.99.) πŸ˜‰

In exchange for two trips to Starbucks, you can change the lives of three people for a whole year.

I hope you’ll think about this amazing opportunity to make a difference and be a Couch Rebel yourself!

You can go here to buy the book.*


And a HUGE thank you to the many of you who have taken the time to read, encourage, and vote for my story, A Moment of Love.

I’ll find out on August 3rd if it will be published in the book. (That would be an awesome anniversary present! ;))

And you can go here to vote for my story.

Thank you so much for all of your love and support, friends…and for being part of this incredible, life-changing book!

*Affiliate link included in this post.


Five-Minute Friday: Imagine

Today I’m linking up withΒ Lisa-JoΒ for Five-Minute Friday.

Join me!

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

Today’s Topic: Imagine

Some days I wish I had the imagination she does.

Today, in a lucky moment, I snagged an almost-brand-new, Rapunzel, dress-up costume for her at a rummage sale for $1. (Told you it was a lucky moment.)

And when I brought it home and gave it to her, Oh. My. Goodness.

Her eyes lit up, she couldn’t WAIT to put it on, and

She. Became. Rapunzel.

She spun around, she danced, she talked to herself…she even sang songs with me from Tangled. Not that we spend our days singing “When Will My Life Begin?” or “At Last I See the Light”…

Did I just confess something here? πŸ˜‰

And probably my favorite moment was when she took my hand, asked me to dance, and we spent a few minutes spinning circles, one of us getting extremely dizzy, and laughing together.

And then she informed me I that I was Flynn Rider. Ok, then…

But my point? And the heart of our moment? Was her imagination.

It etched yet another memory into this momma heart that will be there forever.

She saw the world through magical eyes today, all because of a simple find at a rummage sale.

She became Rapunzel.

And I got to go along for the ride.


Five Minute Friday


Five-Minute Friday: After

Today I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five-Minute Friday.

Join me!

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

Today’s Topic: After

There’s this piece of me that has always had a hard time settling.

Maybe it’s because the longest we’ve been in one place, without some significant change, is three years.

My heart kind of lives in the what’s-coming-next-mode…

What’s coming after this?

It’s a hard place to be…especially when we’ve said the same thing over and over. This is where we want those roots to be…planted so deeply that it will not be so easy to pull them up again and run to whatever is coming after this.

Instead, we choose to settle and to be content in the here instead of wondering what might be next.

But, can I be honest? I do wonder.

And in the middle of that wondering, I am always amazed at the contentment my Father gives. He reminds me that He is good and that His plan is perfect, and that He has created now and it’s so, so beautiful, if I’ll just take the time to soak it in.

That’s my challenge for myself…to live in the present and to see each blessing He chooses to give.

I hope we’ll be here a long time.

Five Minute Friday


I Heart Community: A Guest Post

Hi, friends! Today I am thrilled to be the guest over at (in)courage!

Last year I wrote about my experience with (in)RL and how GREAT it was…you can go here to read it.

And, if you haven’t signed up for (in)RL 2013 yet, it’s definitely not too late! Think about joining this awesome community of women and (in)couragement…you will definitely be blessed! :)


Pieces of Monday

I had a super random day.

And Mondays tend to be a bit scattered for me anyway…so there’s no better thing to do tonight than tell you about the pieces that made it all up. :)

So it’s Monday night (though I think I’ve established that one!) and there was no workout.

That pretty much translates to, I-have-no-good-excuse-for-eating-espresso-bark-this-late-at-night.


Oh, espresso bark? Yeah…it’s this amazing, super-easy creation. I made it for the cookie exchange last week. And accidentally made too much…rats, now I have to eat the leftovers! πŸ˜‰ You can find the recipe here. (And I am ever-so-slightly embarrassed at just how easy it really is.)

If you like coffee and chocolate, you’ll dive in headfirst and eat the entire batch.

And then be really, really happy. πŸ˜‰

But the purpose of me blogging tonight was not to make you crave chocolate and coffee…especially since it’s after 10 p.m.

Tobin was home for part of the day, which doesn’t usually happen, and it was a nice break in my routine. I took a good chunk of the day and worked on getting things ready for my Etsy store…

LaLA! (That was me trying to do a little cheer on the blog…it’s really not so easy to do that and sound intelligent at the same time.) πŸ˜‰

Hopefully it will be up and going tomorrow. Then you can buy one of my really cute hats. I mean, if you want. :)

I also went grocery shopping at 5:30ish…which is really not normal for me. I usually go at 9 p.m. but I wanted to get it out of the way. Not my favorite to-do item, but it wasn’t terrible, other than the fact that they were out of my favorite coffee creamer.

Tragic. (Thanks for shedding a tear for me.)

Take it from someone who really HAS tried every’s the best one out there. Clearly the rest of the world has already figured that out as there was NOT A SINGLE BOTTLE left on the shelf.

Ok, I’ll move on. Sorry about that.


So the weather was crazy warm today…I left the door open in DECEMBER. I think someone said it got up to 68…Wowza! I went for a run early this morning, and it was weird that it was so warm. I think my body had finally gotten used to being cold! Crazy crazy.

Have I mentioned it was crazy?! πŸ˜‰

But should God decide that we should have a winter full of days in the 60’s…well, I suppose I could handle that. πŸ˜‰ Somehow, I’m thinkin’ He’s not going with that plan, though. I’m not that lucky. πŸ˜‰

I had a really great run this morning. (Maybe the weather had something to do with it? Haha :)) I just love my mornings when I can pop the headphones in, crank up the music, and worship my little heart out as I trot around the park…um, multiple times. πŸ˜‰ It’s such good time spent…time to praise and pray and just be with my Father before the crazy of the day starts. As much as I don’t love to leap out of bed when my alarm goes off, it really only takes me a few steps before I’m loving my time before the busy of life.

And, speaking of, I should probably head to bed so I can get up for that in the morning.

Believe it or not, there were a couple more really fun random pieces of my day, but those are worthy of their very own blog posts, I think. So those will have to wait.

It’s time I found my pillow anyway.

Hope you had a fantastic day! :) G’nite!


Confession Time

They say it’s good for the soul, right?

In my case, my confessions are probably just more good for entertainment than anything. :)

I totally opened a box of Maelie’s fruit snacks. There was already another box opened, but I wanted a different flavor. As a bonus? This citrus lovin’ girl got a packet of 7 orange, 2 lemon, and just 1 grape! (I know. I’m a dork. For multiple reasons, but mostly because I count my fruit snacks. ;))

Hang on, because I could potentially get dorkier as this post goes on…

I crocheted a hat. Last week my awesome friend, Becky, taught me to do a double stitch, and the rest is history. I was hooked. BAHAHAHAHA! πŸ˜€

Please tell me you at least cracked a smile?!?!

A big thank you goes out to youtube and the b-gillion tutorials they have for crocheting everything from a sweater to gloves to a sleeping bag. Ok, ok, I didn’t really find that on youtube. But I’m sure it is out there…somewhere.

Ok, so back to crocheting. I’ve literally been lusting over those uber-cute hats with flowers. Kinda like this one.

Are you ready for my big news?

I MADE ONE! And it’s super, super cute…like, I kind of can’t believe that Mel+a crochet hook+yarn made something that awesome. (But I can’t show you a picture yet ’cause I need to figure out how to attach the flower…come back tomorrow.)

Thinkin’ I love this crocheting thing. Yeah. :)

I’m really, really tired. It’s barely 10 p.m. and my eyelids are droopy. I crashed early last night, too…and realized I’ve kind of been go-go-going a lot in the last week. Thankful for a Monday and a chance to just hang out with my girl without having to be anywhere. Though I think some coffee is definitely on our morning agenda. Should you be in the area, hop over. As long as you don’t mind if my house is kind of a mess.

I wore sandals to church this morning. So I put them on when I was running around the house getting ready, mostly as a way to keep the bottom of my pants from getting all dog-hairy. Hey, it happens with two goldens in the house. πŸ˜‰ Fully intended on putting real shoes on before I left…and fully forgot. It was in the 30’s/40’s. My toes were ice by then end of church. Lesson learned, I guess.

It is exactly 10:03 p.m. and I’m crashing.

I’ll be back tomorrow, though. Hope your weekend was a good one!


Currently… (aka: the I’m-Tired-So-I-Need-a-Blog-Prompt Post)

One of my favorites…I don’t even know the original source. :)

Current Reads: Just finished Kisses From Katie, which really is worth a few separate blog posts in itself. Such a fantastic read. Still working (and haven’t gotten far) on Water For Elephants. (Have any of you read it? Is it worth it?) Also, in a very unlike-Mel move, I read this the other night. It was hilarious, it was political, it was everything I don’t typically enjoy. But it was short, which was why I was able to make it through the whole thing…in about an hour, I think. But since I don’t talk politics in this space, I won’t tell you about it. πŸ˜‰ It’s free for Kindle right now, though, if you’re dying to read it.

Current Playlist. Oh, goodness, I just made a new running playlist that is enough to get me out of bed early. :) It’s amazing how changing up the tunes makes me want to run out of sheer curiosity at what’s coming next. That, and I had a really fantastic praise time with my Father the other morning…I’m pretty sure He shuffled the songs in the perfect order Himself. Love when He does that. :)

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Today? Chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick. (I did have a partner in crime if she wants to admit it. ;)) Golly, it was so good I’m gonna dream about it tonight. Really. (In my defense, I have not been to a state fair it what could be termed almost-eons. Therefore, I deserved whatever I wanted to eat on a stick. And it was a completely justified indulgence. :D)

Current Colors: Dark blue for the jeans that it’s finally cool enough to wear. Lots of gray and black. I need more color…I know, I know…as one of my faithful blog readers has been telling me.

Current Fetish: Lately I’ve loved going through my closet and finding things I’d forgotten I had. Yay for “new” outfits! I think I wore THREE things this past week I hadn’t touched in several months. :)

Current Food: I think I admitted it already. See: shame-inducing guilty pleasure. πŸ˜‰

Current Drink: Oh boy, oh boy! So very exciting. I am drinking…Airborne. To kick the cold I came down with yesterday. Thankfully, between that and DayQuil, I am somehow not feeling completely cruddy, which is usually not the case.

Current Wishlist: I need a new pair of jeans. The practical side says I should go with my favorites at Maurices because they go with everything. And because I love them. And because the price is about the best I’m going to find for a decent pair. The completely off-the-wall side of me…wants these. In the bright blue. Or green. :)

Current Needs: Prayer. But I don’t really want to go into details in this post, so I’ll just say jeans. ‘Cause I need them, too. But I’d appreciate your prayers, too. :)

Currient Triumph: Honestly, just doing life with my girl and my hubby. Striving to live fully and love well.

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: I don’t really have one today that I can think of. I’d love it if Maelie would still take her afternoon nap, but I’m not going to term her awake-ness as that. It balances out when she goes to bed at 7:30, anyway. :)

Current Celebrity Crush: I always leave this one blank. But if I have to choose…and my hubby already knows this…I’d have to say Dennis Quaid. Just because. That’s all.

Current Indulgence: Man, that cheesecake is coming back to haunt me…in the blogging world, anyway. πŸ˜‰

Current Mood: Anxious, a little. But mostly content. It was a really good day…I like those.

Current #1 Blessing: I’m a daughter of the King. I’m blessed with a wonderful hubby, an amazing daughter, and pretty awesome friends.

Current Slang or Saying: Aduh. (The Indonesian equivalent of ugh or stink.) Oh, goodness/good grief. (I need to find a few new phrases!)

Current Outfit: Black running shorts, a tank top, and a gray workout jacket. (Strangely, I did not…and have no plans to…work out today.)

Current Link: I linked enough things in this post. :)

Current Photo: Please excuse the messy hair and slightly streaky makeup…it was a good day. It was also a busy one. (And, yes, in case you’re wondering, that IS Elmo in the background in his underwear, sitting on his little plastic potty. You’ll NEVER guess what we’re working on at our house…) πŸ˜‰

Thanks for stopping by, friends!


Little Blessings (Pt. 47)

:) A run after being out for two weeks. It felt good. Really.

:) Taking the time to really clean the house (well, part of it ;)) and finding a pair of sandals for Maelie I’d forgotten we had. They’re on the big side now…hoping they’ll make it to next summer. We’ll see!

:) Free books. Since I write anyway, I figured I might as well read books (for free) and review them. First review coming soon!

:) Dark chocolate.

:) Watching my daughter learn to pray. Sometimes she prays for bizarre things…but I love watching her faith grow.

:) Sunshine and the fact that we still technically have over three weeks of “summer” left.

:) Jewelry making. Kind of on an earring kick these days…anyone need any? I make them…but I don’t really wear them. (I know I’m weird.)

:) Friend time with some Starbucks thrown in there, too.

:) Reading a really good post today that I’ll probably write about tomorrow.

:) Having a Father who can heal broken.



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!