Monday, July 13, 2015

Hot Dog Rule

I used to abide by the rule of only eating one hot dog a year. And then this happened:

Now, I abide by the rule of one hotdog a day. Yup. Life is too short and being a momma is too hard to only have one hotdog each year. What kind of crazy deprivation is that??? Torin loves hotdogs for lunch (easy protein!) and I often have one with him. But two hotdogs a day seems like too much sodium (and other questionable ingredients), right? Hence, the new rule for both momma and baby. Only one hotdog a day...any maybe not every single day. That seems about right. 

What silly personal rules do you have for yourself? And did they change once you became a momma?

P.S. I love THESE hotdogs. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015


To all my roommates past and present: I know that I can be terrible. I fold laundry but don't put it away. (That is until I wear everything in the stack and just have to do the laundry again.) I leave dishes in the sink way longer than appropriate. I only getting the urge to really clean when guests are imminent.

Many of the former roomies. They know stuff about me. Good thing we all love each other.  
The new roomies! Aren't they cute??? They are really stuck with me.  

I'm so very sorry.
But this book is opening my eyes! How I wish that I could have read it sooner:

The best part (so far!) is a theory on how people are wired in terms of motivation. Rubin uses two factors: internal motivation (personal goals and expectations that you set for yourself) and external motivation (goals, deadlines, expectations set upon you by others, such as your boss or your mom). Either we conform to these expectations, whether internal or external, or we resist them. The combinations of conforming and rebelling reveal four personality tendencies:

I recognize myself immediately. (Do you recognize yourself???) I am a CLASSIC obliger. To a T.

Rubin writes:

“Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations. They’re motivated by external accountability; they wake up and think, “What must I do today?” Because Obligers excel at meeting external demands and deadlines, and go to great lengths to meet their responsibilities, they make terrific colleagues, family members, and friends...

(Aww, shucks. Thanks, Gretch.)

“Because Obligers resist inner expectations, it’s difficult for them to self-motivate—to work on a PhD thesis, to attend networking events, to get their car serviced. Obligers depend on external accountability, with consequences such as deadlines, late fees, or the fear of letting other people down. One Obliger wrote on my blog, “I don’t feel a sense of accountability to my calendar, just to the people associated with the appointments. If the entry is just ‘go for a jog’ I’m not likely to do it.” Another Obliger summarized: “Promises made to yourself can be broken. It’s the promises made to others that should never be broken.” Obligers need external accountability even for activities that they want to do. An Obliger told me, “I never made time to read, so I joined a book group where you’re really expected to read the book.”

(Excerpt From: Gretchen Rubin. “Better Than Before.” iBooks.

AHA! This is the insight that I needed: As an obliger, one way to stick to my personal expectations and goals is to create a structure with external accountability.

I have been doing this naturally for sometime now. For instance I have often asked Matt to get me a prize for sticking to my workout plan. (See here.) Or if I am inspired to do something to care for a friend, such as cook a meal after a baby is born, I take the leap and commit to my friend OUT LOUD way before I take other steps. With my commitment already spoken I am much more likely to follow through with my good intentions. (Or face lots of guilt. Sheesh.)

Hence, I am truly motivated to clean when guests are coming. They unknowingly become my external accountability system. So...standing dinner party at my house, guys? What do you stay???

Rubin has given me language for what I have already done instinctually. And a pretty, little tool for accomplishing my personal goals. Now I need to learn how to really use it to transform bad habits that continue to vex me.

I'm looking at you, laundry.

I would totally put the laundry away if Sarah Richardson designed my laundry room, right? Right??? (Image here) 
Want more about habits? Here's a in-depth review of Better Than Before.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Weddings

Can attending weddings be my hobby???

The view at Mike & Jen's wedding. First wedding of the season! (My own image)
It's not that I just love a good dinner party. (Which I do!) And it's not just that it's like seeing Pinterest come to life. (But seriously, check out my Pinterest board here. It's fantastic, if I do say so myself.)

It's that weddings call to something deeper for me.

Umm, I'm crying a little bit that I was not invited to this one.
For one, it's impossible not to reminisce about my own wedding and just be flooded with romance and nostalgia. I have a moment that I always look for when I'm attending a wedding now that I might not have noticed before I got married. I try to catch a glimpse of the bride and groom right after the exit the ceremony--the couple is experiencing a rush of joy and relief and the Holy Spirit that is rare and truly beautiful. Oh, if I could only bottle the feeling of that moment and take a sip each day!

This is the EXACT moment. I know you can't see much in the photo, but try to feel it. (My own image.)

Another rush of that feeling right here. (My image via the amazingly talented Tyler Jones.)
And the dancing! I declare that we should have many more events and moments where public dancing is an acceptable activity. Being able to celebrate the love of your friends by shaking it just feels so dang good! And then getting a chance to press close to your own love and sway under the twinkly lights is even better. (Listen up DJs. We all love "All the Single Ladies," and "Uptown Funk," but please make some room for some old-fashioned slow dances. Replace the chicken dance with a classic like "At Last," and we will all be very grateful.)

So THIS is what I mean, people. (Image found here.)
Finally, attending a wedding has the ability to call up that longing without a name. That longing  for the home we haven't yet found, for all that is wrong in the world to be made right. I believe that one day we will be done with the brokenness, pain, tragedy, and hate of this era and all arrive at the full realization of the Kingdom of God. (Maybe we will be greeted with craft cocktails in mason jars. Or goblets. I don't know.)

I imagine that day will have all of the anticipation of attending the most incredibly gorgeous wedding (of all time) as well as all of the relief and comfort of finally coming home after a really long trip.

Yeah, it will be goblets.
And we will then see Jesus face to face. (1 Cor 13)
I can hardly wait.

Found via Pinterest,  original source lost. Bummer.
That longing for the Kingdom is intoxicating to me. I too often disconnect from that feeling in my day-to-day life, but at a wedding it is as present to me as all the pretty details. It reminds the soul that love is on the way.

A pretty detail from Mike & Jen's wedding. (My own image.)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Create something beautiful

I stood before this installation in New Orleans stunned. People from all over this neighborhood and all over the world have come to fill in this sentence. "Before I die I want to..." And then they wash the chalk off the wall and it gets filled up again and again.

I stood there stunned. I couldn't put words to my own dreams.

And then it came. Before I die I want to CREATE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL. I think that is my deepest desire.

And yet. Yet. Yet. I struggle.

I spend hours consuming. Pinterest. Shopping. Reading. Watching. Absorbing. Escaping. Anything but creating. Why do I do this???

I don't know what the beautiful thing is yet. Maybe it is this space, my offering to the community of creators and writers and thinkers. Or maybe it is one of the many little seedlings of ideas that sprout in me and haven't yet been birthed into reality. I keep dreaming of my little ambition to make pillows. Maybe like these, but somehow different and my own.

Or maybe my beautiful creation is something even yet to come. I hear a little voice that says my beautiful something is a life well lived. Or a marriage nurtured over time. Or every day in my classroom. The moments and conversations and prayers and rites of passage that I journey with my students. Or a baby and a family that one day might be.

Is that it?...Yes! And...I still think there is MORE. The something beautiful that I create hasn't sprouted yet. Or hasn't found me yet. But I wait and I yearn. It's in me yet.

(Credits: Artist of the "Before I Die" project is Candy Chang. Pillows made by The Print Society and sold at Follow, in Sydney, Australia.)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hello Again & Pics of 2012

After a little 12 month break, I am back. Hello, internet!

I read a little piece on choosing a one-word theme for the year and was inspired to do the same. After tumbling a bunch of words around in my mind (create, grace, hope???), the one that stuck is...


I love that it is a verb that demands some attention on my part. It's not about perfection. It's not necessarily about artistic endeavors. It's about ideas and action. The rest of the word's significance I hope will unfold over the course of the year.

The first endeavor of MAKE 2013, is to share a bit of a picture review of 2012. These pics represent some of the best photos and memories of the year.

Here's to 2012. Onward.

Ahhh, friendship. Kellen's birthday. Was that a dark chocolate, salted caramel cake???  

Our 3rd anniversary in Feburary. In a crazy snowstorm. At the Melting Pot. (Thanks, TK!) 

Just the best. This little dog has totally made a home in my heart. 

 Most EPIC day ever...and this is the only real photo I have. Twenty-seven inches of fresh powder (yes, I said 27!!!) in Steamboat Springs. Snowboarding heaven.

 Two beauties. Es, Ellen, Kellen, and Matt make March birthday month!

A neighborhood parade to honor Sam, our local boy home from deployment.

 Beer and crawfish in New Orleans. First time food for me. Just a little bit scary!

 Matt and Judah making each other laugh. 

 The year of the photo booth. At Sev's first birthday.

 Good morning, Pepper!

 A bowling alley, sparklers, and 100's of photos later, my senior videos were done. Thanks to my long-enduring photographer, Matt.

Congrats, Wes! You did it! 

 Senior video detail.

 Oh, the class of 2012! The best. I already miss these ones.

The honest one, our pastor Steve. 

To be continued...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

NYE...Photo Bombed!

Here are my lovelies from the New Year's Eve party at E & J's house. (I am on the far right.) As you can see we had a bit of trouble getting focused -- both in terms of our own ability to focus as well as the camera's!

And then this happened. For about 6 shots. And the funniest part? We had no idea!

Despite my critique of NYE in general, I had a most excellent time dancing out 2011 and dancing in 2012.
Happy New Year!

Sparkly Eyelids

Hi, y'all! I went to the mall today to collect my prize for keeping to my eating/workout goals this week. You might call it bribery. I call it prizes!

I treated myself to some new make-up from the big mama of make-up brands, MAC. While there, one of the lovely make-up artists, Beca, gave my eyes a new look. Check it out:

She used: Bone Study Paint Pot, Soft Brown (shadow), In the Sun (mineral shadow), Embark (shadow), Teddy (shadow), plus a very black mascara and a coppery brown eye liner.

I love how the make-up artists can use so many different colors...and it doesn't look like a giant muddy mess. I don't think that I have that skill! And I don't have that kind of prize budget. It was just a week one prize, after all! So, I only purchased the paint pot and one of the shadows. Maybe some of the other shades will be prizes in the weeks to come!

Oh, and I couldn't help but stop at pretty much every mirror in the mall and stare at my sparkly eyelids!