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Friday, June 2, 2017

Walk Off

(Warning, Dear Reader. This post is utterly indulgent and dramatic and sappy and full of emotional mommy moments. You might roll your eyes or shake your head or want to never read here again because GET A GRIP, LADY. IT'S JUST BASEBALL. I'm having a moment. A few moments from now, you can rest assured, that I will be yelling at this kid to hang up his towel, stop leaving his nasty shoes every where and get off the couch and walk the darn dog, for the love.)

As a volunteer in the pediatric cancer community, I understand to a very, very small degree what is a true, final ending for a parent. Although as much as I can try to empathize, can sit in a pew at a child's funeral, can pray and listen and hug a grieving mama, I will not ever really understand that ending unless it happens to me. I know that. And through all the feelings I've had as these milestones for my oldest come and go - the random tears while I'm at Subway about to order him the same sandwich he's always wanted or as I watch elementary school children cross the street or stumble on an old photo - I am consistently reminding myself that these feelings of loss and yearning for the past are temporary, not in any way truly tragic.

But feelings are feelings and moms have lots of them. I read once that you don't have to feel guilt about your sadness just because someone else has it worse anymore than you should shrug off feeling happy just because someone out there has circumstances that might warrant greater happiness. So I let the feelings come and then pep talk myself right out of them.

You can imagine the big bowl of crazy it has been to live with me lately.

So the ending showed up in heartbreaking fashion for my first boy's final high school baseball season. We blessedly were able to extend the season by a few games, take some road trips, cheer some amazing plays and hits, cross our fingers and toes, pray some prayers, high five and hug and marvel at how we held a team - one that very few outside of our players and coaches and fans thought we had a chance to beat - scoreless into extra innings. So when the end came with our opponent's victorious walk off hit and a final score of 1-0, I braced myself to watch my player's own walk off.

I stood near the fence, peering out over the dugout and I am astonished at how vividly I can remember certain moments and how hazy are others. I remember all the jerseys over all of the years. We had Braves and Rockies and Dodgers and Pirates and Red Sox and Loudoun South All-Stars. Eagles and Bulldogs and Eagles again. I remember a diving catch he made playing 1st when he was maybe eleven when he came up looking shocked that the ball was in his glove. I remember him tagging that crazy fast guy trying to steal 2nd in an All-Star game at a crucial moment when he was twelve.  I remember him botching more than a few catches and striking out more times that we can count as well. I remember the golden year he and his little brother played on the same team when Kyle was pitching and he whispered encouragement in his ear, patted him on the butt and trotted back to his position. I remember the fact that he desperately needed a haircut his sophomore year but refused because surely that would break his hitting streak. I remember the dirt stains that wouldn't come out and the smelly cleats and the falling asleep in the car on the way home from tournaments. I remember sending him out the door to climb in the truck with his dad for practice only to have him return seconds later to grab the oft forgotten water bottle off the kitchen counter. I remember how easy it was to pick out his voice among a chorus of boys shouting encouragement and silliness to their teammates from the dugout.

I could sit here for days remembering, but ain't nobody got time for that. There's a bigger game to be played now. Over countless baseball seasons, we saw him succeed and we saw him fail. There are well more failures than successes in baseball. This is why I'm grateful for the influence of this game in my boys' lives because this is what they will face in all of their future days.

As there were in baseball, in life there will be those who are better than him. There will be those who are not. But if his first eighteen years are an indication, he will stay humble in success and hungry in the face of disappointment. He will keep swinging. He will pull himself up off the field, wipe the dirt off and hustle back to the dugout to await his next at bat.

As he came off the field he indulged his mommy and walked straight into her arms. He is not my pudgy faced tee baller any more. As shaving was not an option while the team was still winning, my little boy's whiskers scratched my cheek and he sighed and sniffed. Then he walked straight to his dad and did the same. And I knew.

The walk off of the field is not the ending. It is the beginning. It is time now.  It is time to walk on. The path is wide open.

I love you with my entire heart, #8. From home plate to the centerfield wall. I have loved watching you play and I am grateful every moment for the chance to continue to be your biggest fan. Walk on.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What's Up Wednesday 5-31-17

I'm linking up with Sheaffer Told Me To The Larson Lingo and Mix and Match Mama for What's Up Wednesday today.

What We're Eating This Week:

We're shuffling carpools and practices and hitting the road this week for high school baseball playoffs, so I'm afraid the nutrition game in Skinner World is not looking good. There will likely be lots of drive thru happening around here. 'Tis the season.

What I'm Reminiscing About:

Well, with the incessant graduation talk and thought around here, there has been so much reminiscing lately that it's getting ridiculous, but I can't help it. I'm in a constant state of reminiscing about this kid.

What I'm Loving:

For the first time I can remember in many, many years we didn't have any baseball for the Memorial Day Weekend until Monday. I loved grilling out with friends and hanging on the deck, napping, reading, watching an entire season of Parks and Rec, going for a couple of long runs and watching the boys play basketball in the pool with their buddies. And even more, I loved watching Drew and his teammates who physically cannot go the whole weekend without playing baseball. You can take them off the baseball diamond, but they'll just create their own.

What We've Been Up To:
I'm staring at this screen trying to think about how I can come up with something besides baseball. But, it's what I've got. How 'bout this: baseball and praying. I can't stop thinking of this verse for our Eagles today as we head to the Regional Semi-Final.

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:30-31

What I'm Dreading:

I'm trying to make it a habit not to dread anything. Trying to focus on hope, not dread.

What I'm Working On:

Lots of thank you notes to coaches and coordinators of our Kyle's Kamp Dreams Games which are high school sports games that raise money for pediatric cancer and host local cancer patients as honored guests. This year our teams in Northern Virginia raised over $20,000 for Children's Hospital Foundation. I'm so proud of these teams I could bust. The money is great, but the smile on these little kids faces when they're hanging out with the big kids is the best ever.

What I'm Excited About:

Family coming from Georgia, Texas and California to Virginia to celebrate my graduate.

What I'm Watching:

We started watching Sons of Liberty on Sunday night and I have a mad crush on Sam Adams. I'm not saying I feel great about it, I'm just saying, that I have some feelings. He's the one in the middle if you're wondering. Kind of the Tim Riggins of the Revolution, I'd say. ;-)

What I'm Reading:

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Daniel James Brown

Steve has been singing the praises of this book for years and I have finally started it. So far, so good. I think the characters are fascinating. If I can get through the technical parts about rowing, I think I'll enjoy it.

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers 
Anne Lamott

I have never read an Anne Lamott book even though I've read eleventy million of her quotes and have found that most of them really resonate with me. Like this:

"In prayer, I see the suffering bathed in light. In God, there is no darkness. I see God's light permeate them, soak into them, guide their feet. I want to tell God what to do: 'Look, Pal, this is a catastrophe. You have got to shape up.' But it wouldn't work. So I pray for people who are hurting, that they be filled with air and light. Air and light heal; they somehow get into those dark, musty places, like spiritual antibiotics."

What I'm Listening To:

All the songs with "Freedom" in the title or lyrics. As I mentioned, we traveled four hours to watch Joe and his Freedom High School baseball teammates play in the Regional Semi-finals on Monday so to pass the time The Lovely and Talented Mrs. C. put together a "Freedom" play list. We felt it was pretty good mojo to be wearing the name "Freedom"on our jerseys while we played on Memorial Day of all days. The fact that Mrs. C. discovered that Beyonce sang a song called Freedom as did George Michael, Jimi Hendrix and Aretha Franklin made us feel like all the good things were coming our way. After that long trip we were a bit stir crazy, so we rolled into the baseball park blaring our Freedom music certain we would intimidate our opponents, Alas, the only ones who heard our battle cry were a couple of bus drivers. That won't stop us from doing the same today.

What I'm Wearing:

My baseball mom uniform: black and gold Eagles tee shirt, jeans, and Converse. Also, now that we've determined that the sunglasses that we got for $9.97 at a gas station on the way to the last game when I realized I'd forgotten mine are obviously good luck, I'll be sporting those again. 

What I'm Doing This Weekend:
Depending on today's game there could be more high school baseball (fingers and toes crossed) or Joe could be turning in his uniform There will be some Little League baseball, a basketball tournament and preparation for family to come in for Joe's graduation next week.

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month:
Not packing lunches after June 9th because I am dangerously close to resorting to the dreaded Lunchables. Ick.
What Else Is New:

Um, things aren't necessarily "new" around here. Life is the same - routine and normal, just like I like it. So it took me awhile to come up with this. How 'bout I got new running shoes after a year of running in the old ones? Here's a tip. My runs have been slow and kinda painful lately so I just started getting all depressed about being old and thinking that my running days were coming to an end. I put on my new shoes and felt like I could run forever. It makes a difference and it's worth it. Also these  are like magic. They are the best things that have ever happened to my feet.

Happy Wednesday, Y'all! I'm off to watch some boys play ball. 

Disclosure: The View From Behind Home Plate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn small fees by linking to

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Favorites May 26, 2017

Happy Friday, Friends! I've got 5 Favorite Things on a Friday (plus a bonus today). Here we go!

1. Give Me All the Cauliflower Recipes

If you would have told me a year ago that I would have bought as much cauliflower as I have in the past few months I would have thought you were crazy. I shared this recipe a few weeks ago and now I have another one I want to try. I saw Katie Couric make this on The Today Show and I think it looks promising. Also, I saw this about the "use cauliflower as a substitute for all the things" craze and it cracked me right up.

I haven't tried this "risotto", but I'm hoping to this week.

Cauliflower "Risotto" with Wild Mushrooms

1 large head of cauliflower, stem removed, broken into florets
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
8 oz. wild mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
10 basil leaves, cut into ribbons
aged balsamic vinegar for drizzling

1. Grate the cauliflower florets with a box grater using the large holes or with a food processor with a grating attachment.
2. Blend beans with 1 cup of water until smooth and creamy; set aside.
3. In a large saucepan, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant about 1 minute. Add the cauliflower "rice" and saute for about 5 minutes or until tender.
4. Deglaze the pan with wine and cook, stirring until the wine is almost dry, about 2 minutes. Stir in the bean mixture until well combined. Cook the mixture until the risotto is thick and creamy, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
5. To serve, spoon risotto into a warmed serving bowl and garnish with Parmesean cheese and basil ribbons and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.

2.. Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Sticks

I've mentioned these lipsticks before and here I go again. I bought a third color this week. My lips have been really chapped lately and these go on really smooth and aren't gummy or chalky. I have the Warm Caramel, the Rich Raisin and as of yesterday, the Berry Brown.

3. Memorial Day Sales!!!

I have not participated in the cold shoulder trend yet, but this dress might be the one to try. It's 40% off at Loft with the code VACAY.

There are a million reasons I can't wear this romper, but if you're up for it, this is adorable and 40% off at Nordstrom.

JCrew is offering 30% with the code SWEET. They have a ton of cute swimsuit coverups including this one.

This cropped sweatshirt is so cute and comes in three colors at Anthropologie on sale.

4. This Song by Ed Sheeran

Has this guy recorded a bad song ever? As we move toward Joe's graduation, I find myself crying at random times on random days. (As if that is different for me on any other season in my life.) As I was driving up to help decorate for the Senior Night baseball game, this song was playing just as I passed the elementary school kids being dismissed. By the time I had watched those little bitty kids with their giant backpacks holding hands with their mamas as they walked home from school, I was a blubbering mess.

I know it's kinda weird because he talks about smoking hand-rolled cigarettes and running from the law and all that stuff. Look, I don't know what to tell you, it just made me cry. I recently read a quote by Brene Brown about her daughter graduating that said, "There's a combination of joy and grief that can take your breath away."

Some days I'm totally fine and some days I just want him to come home already. And he hasn't even left yet.

5. This Song by Third Day

Sometimes we let the wrong words come into our heads and conjure up all kinds of doubt and fear and bad feelings. Sometimes it's words we tell ourselves that are long held lies about who we are. Sometimes we worry too much about what other people think of or say about us - even when they're people who don't even really know us. Sometimes we create a narrative about the future born out of fear even when we know we don't hold the future. I had a whole lot of those "sometimes" this week and then I heard this song while I ran this morning. Sometimes we just need to remember that there are words that are true and real and right.
"Let me hear Your words above all other voices, above all the distractions in this world.
Everything else will fade away, but what will remain are your words."

6. Bonus Baseball

I usually only list 5 Things on a Friday, but I'm throwing in a Bonus #6 since we are blessed enough to get some Bonus Baseball as Joe's team moves into the Regional Playoffs. We travel 4 and a half hours away on Monday to see if we can get another game. Either way, I've loved to watch him play. And I'm so grateful to get one more chance.

Have a blessed Memorial Day Weekend, Everyone.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May Stitch Fix Review

It's time for my Stitch Fix Review and I'm sorry to say this one was a bust. For the first time I didn't keep a single item. As usual, the fit was good across the board and I liked a few of the items, but I didn't love any of them. Additionally, I felt the prices were a bit high.

Still, I remain loyal to Stitch Fix and must take some of the blame as I haven't updated my Style Profile in a long while. After I sent back all five pieces,  I took the time to do that to help the stylist out. I changed some of my preferences on cost and made sure to update my color choices because it seems that I continue to get peach/orange/coral colors even though for me those colors are no bueno.

I was sad because I really usually like at least a couple of items and I hate to lose that $20 styling fee. I think there were some cute things and this box could have been a winner for someone else, so I still want to share with you what I received. If you would like to try Stitch Fix, I'd be so grateful if you'd use my referral code HERE.

Ok, here's what I got:

Street Level 
Sela Striped Crossbody

This is a cute clutch that also has a chain so that it can be carried as a cross body bag. I continue to have a life that demands that I have a bag that can carry snacks, water bottles, diet cokes, a book and on occasion, someone's athletic supporter, so this wouldn't cut it for me, but it is awfully cute. Cute stripes, cute leather strap, cute for summer - just not cute for Jenn.

Kut from the Kloth
Dayna Skinny Jean

So that I just wouldn't have a photo of a pair of jeans up here and also because I was avoiding laundry and making dinner, I put together this early-springish outfit with the skinny jeans they sent. These jeans fit great. I liked them just fine. I might have kept them, but on the same day I received these Articles of Society jeans in the mail. The AOS pair is not identical, but they cost less than half of what the Stitch Fix ones would cost, they were crazy comfortable with a ton of stretch and have a fun frayed hem. So had I chosen the $88.00 jeans over the $37.00 jeans my wallet would have been all:

(The fringed wedges are a few years old which you can tell by how dirty they are - gross - but there are similar ones  HERE, the jacket is one I bought when visiting my sister at a boutique in Carmel, California so I'm no help with that, the ruffled white blouse is way old and from Target, Sunglasses are from Loft last year and are not available anymore and neither are the ones pictured, by the way, since they were recently broken when my kid accidentally swatted them off the table) )

Meryl Split Neck Blouse

Well, here we have this whimsical bicycle print blouse. So many bicycles. Such whimsy! I have to say that I was actually close to keeping this blouse because I really wanted to keep something and it fit well. However, I am not whimsical. I'm not even sure of the exact definition of whimsical, but I don't think it describes me. If you are whimsical, that's great. You do you, friend. To prove that I made the right decision, on the very day I sent this back, I saw THIS SKETCH on Saturday Night Live in which all the moms wear whimsical blouses printed with the animal they've chosen to represent their personality. I felt the bicycle print was dangerously close to the animal print, so thank you SNL for affirming in my choice here.

(Striped clutch from Stitch Fix, Denim Jacket is very old from Gap, but I love this one HERE, White Denim Jeans which I've already spilled red wine on are HERE and now 40% off with code FLASH, Sandals are from TJ Maxx and I couldn't find them online, Necklace is HERE)

Dear John
Helen Fray Hem Short

These white denim shorts fit well, had a cute frayed hem and were a pretty good length. Also, they cost $58.00. FIFTY-EIGHT AMERICAN DOLLARS.

I have a pair of frayed hem white denim shorts from Old Navy that have held up surprisingly well. I will admit that I have a pair of Dear John blue denim that I bought early on from Stitch Fix and they are great, but I still can't justify this when the Old Navy ones are just fine and you'll still be able to afford at least a couple of tacos and a diet Coke from the California Tortilla next door after you buy them.

(Plaid top is HERE, Sandals are HERE, Cross Body Bag is HERE, Sunglasses are from Loft last year, similar ones at 40% off with code FLASH are HERE, Shorts you can find a gazillion places for much less than $58)

Laila Jayde
Bowie 3/4 Sleeve Dolman Knit Top

This Dolman top fits great. I have a similar one that I got from Stitch Fix about a year ago in a grey and white stripe that I love. The problem here is all about the coral color. I can picture my dark haired, dark skinned, Italian friend, Maria, in this color and I think it would look beautiful on her. It does not, however, look beautiful on my blonde haired, pale skinned, Irish self.

(White denim jeans are HERE, Similar Fringe Sandals HERE, Necklace from Stella and Dot but does not appear to be available anymore, sunglasses from Loft last year.)

So that's that, folks. I made an effort to send specific notes to my Stitch Fix stylist including the reasons why I didn't keep anything this time, so we'll see how that works out next time.

Again, I'm still a big fan of Stitch Fix, so if you want to give it try, go for it.

Have a great Wednesday!


Monday, May 22, 2017

Rainy Monday Daybook: 5-22-27

For Today:

Looking out my window:

It's early and raining on and off. The sky has lightened since I work at 5:30 am, but I don't expect it to get much brighter. I'm so sad I missed snapping a photo of the family of deer who walked by earlier as my phone was upstairs. She and her babies don't seem to mind the grey day. I'm not a fan of rainy days, but today I think I'll take my cue from them.

I am thinking:
that nothing is going to get done around here if I don't pull myself away from poring through photo books and old computer files of my boys. I got an email that the senior moms need to send some early photos of their players to the parent who is creating a slideshow for the baseball banquet. That has led me down a rabbit trail of emotions and giggling and I don't know how to stop.  I found this one yesterday of the day we brought Drew home from the hospital. I feel like Kyle is looking at Joe with a "Dude, how do you think this whole thing is gonna work?" face. And as usual, Joe is just going to let both little brothers know exactly how things are gonna go down.

I am thankful:
for another chance or two to see our Varsity baseball team play. If you read this post on Friday, you know it was a "win or go home" game for them. The game was rained out on Friday, so we played on Saturday. One of the moms had to be away on Saturday, so she asked if I could text her updates, but to please not worry about it too much because she wanted me to enjoy the game. 

Well, as much as I intended to enjoy the game, I more or less endured it. It was a painfully close game. The Lovely and Talented Mrs. C. and I went to the restroom at one point and as we watched from the outfield on our way back to the our seats, our boys scored a run. So that was that. We never went back to our seats. No phones, no water, no snacks, no sitting. We stayed until the end. My sister-in-law took this shot of us, but you can't even see us because we were waaayyy out in right field. We are completely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

I am thankful for getting to watch boys on both teams playing their hearts out. I'm thankful for a chance to win or lose again and for a chance to hang out with my straight up weirdo baseball mom friends a couple of more times. From now on it's all gravy. I will enjoy the fire out of these post season games.

One of my favorite things:
All the plaid and all the gingham and all the checks for spring. I have had a long time addiction to stripes which has changed into an addiction to plaid. There are some adorable tops out there right now. Here are some of my favorites.

The tie front on this is so cute and it comes in three different color options.

I have this pop over shirt in white and a navy/white gingham, so I don't need this one in my life, but maybe you do.

This one ties in the back. So cute.
I will definitely buy this for Fake Daughter. I have to apologize if you have a Real Daughter and then click on this because it appears to be sold out in the real world. But if you have a Fake Daughter like me you can get this in whatever size you want and come to think of it in Fake World it's 100% off, too. Isn't it going to be so cute?

I am wearing:
black and white striped pjs from Old Navy and a longsleeve black tshirt that says "Make Things Happen" which is not really my current mood. Last week was a blur of activity and I'm hoping to slow down this week. I might make a thing happen here or there, but not a whole lot of things.
I am reading:

I am slowly, slowly getting near the end of My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry which has nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of the book and everything to do with the fact that May is trying to kill me. It is a quirky, unique, delightful book. I definitely recommend it.

I am watching:

I'm not sure if anyone else in the world is still watching Grey's, but I watched most of the most recent season in the past few weeks on my iPad because Celtics basketball is on my real tv all the darn time and with all due respect to the rabid fans in my house, I don't care one iota about the NBA. 

I hate ironing with a passion so I don't do it until I have a huge basket overflowing with wrinkled clothes. Last week, I tackled that huge basket and ironed for what seemed like an eternity while watching Parks and Rec. It's hilarious. I've always loved Amy Poehler, but Chris Pratt and Aziz Ansari are also geniuses in this show. I am way late to this party, and I was simply giddy when The Lovely and Talented Mrs. C. reminded me that Rob Lowe shows up soon.

I am listening to:

I planted what seemed like 7,000 flowers in my front yard beds a couple of weeks ago, so I listened to the podcast, S-Town ,while I was digging and schlepping Miracle Gro around. It is wildly popular right now and I can see why. The story is compelling and the characters are fascinating. While you will definitely want to have in your ear buds (not suitable for little ears) and it's not a happy tale, I recommend it for a long road trip or getting through tasks which don't require your full attention. Great story telling here.

I am hoping:
For perspective this week. As I sat in the pew at church yesterday, after rushing in late from a basketball game, "perspective" was the word that the Lord laid on my heart. That along with "Watch it, Sister, because you are teetering mighty close to the edge of a gross amount of self-involvement." Ouch.

May is a crazy busy season for everyone and this May for my family is full of joy and excitement and chaos and a big ol' dose of "HOW IN THE WORLD IS HE ALREADY GRADUATING???" I am quite consumed with this senior year business, baseball season and my list of to-dos. I think the Lord gives us our own set of tasks each day and it's our job to follow our own path, but I also know He gives us the ability to avert our gaze to others and expects that we do so.

I am hoping to remember that there is a mom out there that isn't hoping for one more baseball game for her kid to play. She's hoping for just one friend for her kid to play with. There's a mom out there who isn't stressed over all the activities that go along with high school graduation because her son was lost to a terrible accident so he didn't make it to high school at all. There is a mom who isn't filling out medical forms and looking at housing options and paying bills for college because she can't afford to send her kid to school.

I'm hoping for joy in this season and a healthy dose of perspective. I heard Your message, Lord. I'm hoping to heed it.

I am learning:
that as much as I love to watch my boys play, I do have a limit. After the "this is so close that my heart is going to beat out of my chest" baseball game on Saturday, I went to two basketball games for Kyle. This is not what I needed in my life. A piano concert would have been a better choice. Basketball games are fast and physical and sweaty and chaotic. Most of the time I am able to recognize and deal with the climate that is quite different from baseball. I can abide some smack talking and some swagger because that's just part of the game once the players get to high school. But I'm learning that on certain days, it's all a little too much. And on certain days there is a kid or maybe there are two kids covering your kid and they're all up in his face and their lips are moving and you really want to think they're saying, "Well, hello, friend. Isn't this an enjoyable activity we've chosen this evening? Best of luck to you."  But they're not saying that. And sometimes there are fans on the other side egging that stuff on and you have to try really hard to keep your bottom in your seat and your mouth closed. I am learning how to do that from my son. Because from my view, for the most part, he keeps his eyes on his own teammates and his mouth shut. And as frustrating as it might become, the boy just plays. So I'm learning that although I may have a limit, the Lord equips our children for every challenge - even up in your face, defiant, threatening challenge. And we mamas must sit back and watch them meet those challenges. Play on, Son. You make me proud.

In my kitchen:

It might be dreary outside, but I got sunshine on a cloudy day because Nancy and I went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday and I stocked up on some juices including this Sassy Sunshine juice with orange, tumeric, ginger and cayenne from Greenheart Juice Shop. 

Post Script:
Have y'all seen these ladies discuss the ridiculousness of women's swimsuits? You must. Go. Now.

Shared Quote:
I've lots of friends who are grieving and I've learned from them how often they are judged on if they're "doing it right" . . .even by well meaning, loving, concerned people. So when I read this quote in the book I'm reading it stuck out to me. 

"People in the real world always say, when something terrible happens, that sadness and loss and aching pain of the heart will lessen as time passes, but it isn't true. Sorrow and loss are constant, but if we had to go through our whole lives carrying them the whole time, we wouldn't be able to stand it. The sadness would paralyze us. So in the end we just pack it into bags and find somewhere to leave it."
- Fredrick Backman, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

Those of us who are trying to help the grieving? Perhaps we might just be open and willing to be a safe place for someone to leave their bag of sadness? Not so that we can swoop in to analyze it or fix it or dump it out and flush it down the drain, but just to be the somewhere that they can leave it.

A moment from my day:

I'm so grateful to get to wash this smelly thing again so that it will live to see another game. So grateful.
Closing Notes:

I'm a sucker for a good smelling candle so if you are as well, I want to share what is making me ten kinds of happy this morning. This Orange Blossom and Driftwood Candle by White Barn is a game changer on a dreary day. It smells like sunshine and spring and all the good feelings.

Happy Monday, Friends!

Prompts from

(This post contains some affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on certain links.)