Saturday smiles: Words and heroes edition

A book sale with 40,000 used books. Sounds delightful, right? And, oh, it was. For the most part. Somewhat overwhelming, but we walked away with a box of books for $15. If we go back today, it’s $10 a box, but that might be excessive. (As if buying a box of books when you haven’t fully unpacked the boxes of books in your new house isn’t already excessive. Don’t judge us. We’re book nerds.)

Also, this.


I got copies of the Thriving Family edition in which my first of three articles appears. Name in print=giddiness. (If you get the magazine, I’m on page 27.)

Tomorrow, Phil and I are heading to Philly to catch a Phillies game so he can cross another stadium off his list and buy a shirt to add to his collection. Last night he informed me that the new interim manager of the Phillies is Ryne Sandburg. (SHRIEK!) Because the only thing that could make sitting in a stadium watching a baseball game between two teams you care nothing about is sitting in the same stadium as one of your childhood baseball heroes. I mean, he won’t know I’m there or anything, but that might be enough reason to wear a Cubs shirt and shout obnoxiously. (Of course, if you know me at all, you’ll know that either of those things would bring WAY too much attention to me so it won’t happen.)

And in the last two days, I’ve seen 6 hot air balloons in the sky. I love hot air balloons.

We’re headed to a missions aviation fair today at a local airport. Looking forward to seeing the kids’ reactions to planes up close.


Saturday smiles: Rise and shine edition

A morning in our house. All times are approximate.

5:35 a.m.: Boy child walks into bedroom. “Mommy, I need breakast.” (He leaves off the “f.”)

5:37 a.m.: Mom staggers to the kitchen, blindly grabs a box of Life cereal and a bowl, pours cereal and milk, offers a spoon to boy child, who evenly distributes his cereal into the milk. Mom smiles at his preciseness then staggers back to bed.

5:45 a.m.: Boy child wanders back in to bedroom. “Mommy, I need more.”

5:46 a.m.: Mom shuffles back out to the kitchen, refills the cereal bowl with Life and milk. Back to bed.

5:50 a.m.: Boy child returns with whine in his tone. “Mommy, you gave me too much!” Dad intervenes and asks if boy child would like to crawl into bed with Mommy while Dad gets ready for work. Boy child crawls into bed. “On Dad’s side!”

6:10 a.m.: Mom sneaks a peek at boy child, who has gotten quiet. His eyes are closing and opening slowly. Mom wonders if maybe a few more minutes of sleep are in the cards.

6:12 a.m.: Boy child rolls over, points a finger at Mommy’s nose and says sweetly, “Hi, Mommy.” He repeats this three times, each time getting closer to sticking his finger up Mommy’s nose.

6:15 a.m.: Boy child is fully awake and begins rolling around on his side of the bed. “Stinky feet for breakfast!” he giggles as he puts his feet in Mom’s face. Mom pretends to sleep, to no avail.

Sometime between 6:15 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.: The girl child has awakened, used the potty and is changing the toilet paper roll. She brings it to the bedroom as an offering, having told her Dad, “It’s never been this hard for me.”

By 6:30 a.m. we are all out of bed, gathering in the kitchen. The girl child is slathering cream cheese on her mini-bagels. The boy child insists he’s still hungry. Dad is eating breakfast. Mom is in desperate need of a shower.

6:50 a.m.: The coffee’s on. The kids are fed. Dad is almost out the door. Now it’s only 12 hours till bedtime. And you wonder why I drink coffee?

keep calm and drink coffee


Saturday smiles: I’ve got the joy edition

There’s a little something bubbling up inside of me right now, and it’s got nothing to do with indigestion.

Call it hope. Joy. A little happy, happy, happy for the Duck Dynasty crowd. 🙂

I can’t pinpoint a reason and maybe I don’t need to.

But here’s what happy looks like in our house.


The only good thing about drinking hot chocolate because you’re cold after a walk in the last week of May is this amazing chocolate moustache.


Sadly, though, when you “drink” your hot chocolate with a spoon, you don’t get a moustache. But you’re still awesome. (Mom: Do you think we’ll fly away because it’s so windy? Izzy: No! We have bones, so we won’t fly away! Note: She must be learning this from PBS because I never really liked science.)


I love flowers, though my thumb is definitely black more than green. These beautiful roses greeted us on our way to the library, a lovely reminder that even though it was a gray and dreary day, colder than we expected, the weather early in the week made these pretties pop.


And this kid wanted to carry his books home from the library. There are moments, as a parent, when your kids seem older than they are and you get a vision of how they might be as older children, teenagers, maybe even adults. This was one of those moments. Big Man on Campus, anyone?

What’s got you happy this week?

Saturday smiles: little things edition

It’s Mother’s Day weekend, and I didn’t send any cards, and I’m not sure it will be a special day in our house because my husband has worked a grueling schedule this week and has an early start to next week. On the days when I’m tired of being mom and really just want to sit down for 5 minutes without anyone asking for something, I have to try harder to be thankful. Here’s my thanks for the week in pictures. Mother's Day-izzy“Dear Jesus, thank you for our food. And I hope we can get my training wheels on my bike. Amen.” (She looks at me with hope in her eyes. And I have to disappoint her and defer to her father’s expertise.) Mother's Day-corban scooterHe has his own scooter now. And this kid in shorts, a jacket and a helmet while riding a scooter cracks me up every time. Mother's Day-kids holding handsAnd those “aw” moments which sometimes I’m smart enough to capture on the phone while we’re walking. On this day, we were headed to the library. Izzy insists on carrying her own bag now.

Saturday smiles: birthday reflections edition

So, it’s my birthday.

I ran Week 1, Day 3 of Couch to 5K this morning. (My dad: “You’re 35 and can still run?” Har-dee-har-har)

I perused the local treasures at a garage sale down the street and sampled the coffee at my favorite neighborhood roaster.

The kids played outside while I sat on the porch and finished the novel I’m currently reading.

A friend stopped by with a gift and the smell of the lilacs she clipped from the bush at her house is filling my house with my favorite springy scent.


We ate lunch on the porch and the boy fell asleep watching “Toy Story.”

I finished the novel.

I washed some dishes because if I took my birthday as a vacation, we’d be eating off the table and with our hands for the next two days.

We’re back outside.

The sun is shining.

Our bills are paid.

My husband doesn’t know it yet, but I think we’re going out to eat tonight.

Not all is right with the world but today I believe it will be.

Today, I am 35.

And in some ways, I feel life is just beginning.

Saturday smiles: thankful edition


Photo courtesy of Stock Exchange |

I’m away this weekend, attending a writers conference and presenting a workshop as part of the one-day event. So, today, I focus on what I’m thankful for.

  • That my husband’s job is flexible with his time off so we didn’t have to hire a sitter or a beg a friend to watch the kids while he worked and I went away.
  • That my husband enjoys spending time with the kids and has a day full of fun planned with them.
  • That my kids look forward to having a Daddy-Kid weekend so much they don’t even seem to realize I won’t be there.
  • That my husband supports my writing and speaking dreams and encourages me to do things I think are unthinkable.
  • That my friend Carol would let me tag along on her speaking gig and participate in it as well. (She’s as cool as her name would suggest.)
  • That at the end of a rough and eventful week I can still be thankful for family and friends and praise God for His goodness.

What are you thankful for this week?