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Friday, March 31, 2017

5 Friday Favorites: 3-31-17



Well, first let's just say that it is raining and cold and miserable and I'M OVER IT. Spring. Let's go. Come on. On the hop. Pull the lead out.

On second thought, it is raining and cold and miserable and I thankfully don't need to be anywhere so I'm going to look at that as big blessing.

It's all about perspective which brings me to my first favorite on Friday Favorites today. Here we go.

1. Kate Merrick on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey


I know I can't seem to stop mentioning Jamie Ivey's weekly podcasts, but I am hooked. The women she interviews have so much to offer which makes me realize that we all have something to offer to each other. This interview with Kate Merrick from last week continues to stick with me. I listened to it on the treadmill, but I intend to listen again and take notes. I also plan to buy her book, And Still She Laughs: Defiant Joy in the Depths of Suffering. The discussion about the tension between perspective and comparison was a huge light bulb moment for me. I have a lot of grieving friends. It can be incredibly annoying and even hurtful when those of us who have not walked the journey of grief offer counsel and suggestions for what might be comforting to those for whom comfort is so far out of reach. I don't know if this will help any of my friends, but I think it's worth a shot for those who grieve and for those who will grieve. That'd be every last one of us. 


2. Funny Stuff on Social Media (Hey! There's an idea!)

For most of the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, I think we all noticed a huge spike in angry, fearful, insulting posts on social media. That's why I am overjoyed when someone posts something delightfully ridiculous. Because again, PERSPECTIVE, people. 

I saw this recently and I'm not sure if it will make you giggle as much as it did me, but I thought it was hilarious. Sometimes it's the littlest thing that can make your day start off right and this did it for me. Only one of my kids understood it.

I sent this to more than one girlfriend.



This little girl mistook a broken water heater for a robot. A friend of mine shared this on Twitter and tweeted "we should approach more things like this". Amen. If this doesn't make you smile, I don't know what can.

3. Spring Dresses

Spring is being very flaky about showing up here in Northern Virginia. One day we think its staying and we're pulling out the flip flops and the next day this is how you'll find my girls and me as we watch our boys play baseball:



Still we know Spring's gotta make up its mind to stick around soon. Besides Easter, there are many occasions in the Spring that might require a fun dress. A graduation party? Mother's Day? A bridal shower? (just in case you hypothetically have a niece for whom you sure would be excited to get some news. Again, hypothetically) Here are a few ideas for your real or hypothetical events.


Apparently, Victoria Beckham is starting a line at Target. I know, the world is weird sometimes. Her line doesn't launch until April 9th, so I don't know what the quality is like, but I thought this was cute online. It's a pretty spring color and looks promising.


This is clearly a skirt from JCrew, not a dress, but when I saw it on a model paired with the matching top, I thought it was a dress. It's adorable. It would also look great with a tshirt of denim button down.



This cute thing is from Loft and they are having a crazy sale as usual. Let's just say you should never buy anything full price from Loft.

4. Lovely Day by Bill Withers

In keeping with the "it's all about perspective" theme today, I will tell you that this is what our lovely day will look like in my neck of the woods.


That means I'm going to crank up this song which I downloaded within about 5 minutes of Justin Timberlake singing it on the Oscars. Again, if this doesn't make you smile, I can't help ya.




5. Quotes to Change Your Perspective on an Ugly, Rainy, Lovely Day


Author of Bird by Bird 

I've been doing a lot more reading of inspiring authors and listening to writers on podcasts this year which is giving me all manner of go-to perspective changing quotes to write down in my journal. Here are some good thoughts for your day.


"But here's the thing about worse case scenarios. They are powerless against an all-powerful God."
- Heather Avis 

"The obedient soul redefines who she is through God's eyes and any hesitation to do what He asks fades away."
-Lysa TerKeurst

"When we get to heaven Jesus is going to say to us, "I entrusted these little human beings into your hands whose lives will have an impact for eternity. How were you the hands of my love for them? How were you the words of my love for them?
- Sally Clarkson
Author of Different: The Story of an Outside-the-Box Kid and the Mom Who Loved Him

"Go and find what it is that inspires you, go and find what it is that you love, and go do that until it hurts. Don't quit, and don't give up. The reward is just around the corner. And in times of doubt and times of joy, listen for that still, small voice. Know that God has been there from the beginning-and he will be there until the end.
- Chip and Joanna Gaines
Authors of The Magnolia Story

Happy Friday, Friends!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What's Up Wednesday 3-29-17


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:

I'm all about roasting vegetables lately - everything from broccoli to cauliflower to carrots to asparagus to brussels sprouts. Listen, it's a thrill a minute in my kitchen these days. ;-) I sprinkle them with little bit of olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Then I throw them in a bowl immediately and toss them with tiny bit of lemon juice and minced garlic. I don't know if everyone in all the world knew about this newfangled roasting of vegetables thing, but I learned it from Blue Apron. I realize now that I have spent 48 years having no idea that I could actually like eating broccoli and not just force it down my throat. As God is my witness, I will never use a steamer basket again.

What I'm Reminiscing About:



After twelve years, as we head toward our last first Little League game of the season on Saturday, I'm thinking about this guy who used to show up at the ballpark dressed up in his brothers' old duds and spend the whole game playing imaginary games in the dirt or standing behind home plate imitating the ump. Except when he would stop to make a new friend.

What I'm Loving:


I'm a little bit obsessed with a company called Greenheart Juice Shop and their organic juices and nut milks. Last week - the day after St. Patrick's Day - I was feeling like the consumption of green food and drink from the previous week had gone in a detrimental direction and it was time to make a u-turn to find a different shade of green, so I headed to the Leesburg Farm Market where the juices are sold. These juices are so good. Really good. Not "Just chug the whole thing real quick and you won't gag" good, but legitimately really delicious. Last week at the Leesburg Farmer's Market, I scooped up the Liquid Gold (carrot, pineapple, pear, tumeric and ginger) and the Glorious Greens (spinach, apple, cucumber, parsley, lemon and ginger). In a bold move, I also bought the Majik Milk which contains cashew milk, blue algae and something called tocos that the sweet girl explained to me, but that went over my head.

Just to show you that every healthy endeavor starts with small steps, here's what I chose to accompany my Majik Milk.


That, my friends, is what we call #balance.

What We've Been Up To:


Baseball season started in full force last week, although the weather couldn't decide if it was quite ready for baseball season yet. One day this weekend I watched Drew play in short sleeves and flip flops and the next day I wore a hat, gloves, two shirts, a coat and bummed some handwarmers off a sweet and much more prepared mama than me. Our home opener for the high school season was Monday night and when I walked into the game I was met with the giant official "senior banner" displayed on the fence. All the feelings for Mom. So many feelings.


What I'm Dreading:

I'm certain I'm dreading something, but if I can't think of anything off the top of my head, I'm not going to sit here and try to come up with something. That would seem a really bad idea. So, nothing. At the moment. Let's move on, shall we?

What I'm Working On:




Yesterday, I had officially been writing this blog for 5 years. I've loved it and I am so appreciative of the readers and especially those who comment or email or let me know they enjoy it. This blog has mostly been written in the margins of my life and at times I've been anxious and frustrated that I haven't had more time for more "significant" (whatever that means) writing pursuits. To that end, I've been spending as much time as possible in the library away from the distraction of the urge to do just one more load of laundry, clean one more drawer or have just one more handful of popcorn when I get writer's block. My margins are still fairly narrow, but I do have the ability to widen them.  As Jen Hatmaker says:
.
"Writers don’t wait for someone else to tell them they should or can. You should and you can. Next, I am devastated to tell you this, but writing requires work. Kind of hard, brutal, sanity-threatening work. All the writing dreams in your head have to transition to your ten fingers on a keyboard, and I’m afraid there is no other way. (I’m sorry. Take your time.) Work requires time, which of course, you have none of. This is the writer’s dilemma. You will not miraculously become a writer by carrying on exactly like you are. It’s a whole thing and you have to make room for it."

So. . . What I'm Working On? A whole thing. :-)

What I'm Excited About:



I just heard Katie Holmes interviewed about this series and I'm so excited. I'm not sure if it is because I grew up in Dallas and each year the newspaper had a huge spread on the assassination and on the Kennedy family, but I've always been intrigued by the Kennedys, especially Jackie. I can't wait to watch this. By the way, Mrs. Kennedy is one of the most fascinating books I've read.

What I'm Watching:




Still watching Big Little Lies and compared to the book, I'm not too impressed, but I've always found the book to be better than the movie. Also there's been a smidge of NCAA basketball on our tv even as brackets bust and shatter our dreams of the big money. *sigh*

What I'm Reading:



I'm almost finished with The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines. It is delightful and inspiring. Next up I'm going to read Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. I'm also reading What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst.

What I'm Listening To:


Podcasts, podcasts and more podcasts. They make all the boring tasks more enjoyable. I cleaned out three closets last week listening to Missing Richard Simmons. I know that seems so weird, but it was fascinating. When I'm listening while walking my dog I have infinitely more patience when he stops to sniff something every few steps. In the past few weeks I've listened to episodes of Making Oprah, The Popcast with Knox and Jamie, Off Camera with Sam Jones and of course, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. If you don't have any idea what a podcast is, look for the icon on your phone, press it and search. I highly, highly recommend Jamie Ivey's interview with Kate Merrick. So much to learn there.

What I'm Wearing:


An Old Navy blush colored sweater, jeans from Stitch Fix, boots and a Noon Day scarf.

What I'm Doing This Weekend:



I'll spend lots of time watching this little guy who is much bigger now on the basketball court with at least three games this weekend. We'll have a high school baseball game Friday night and our local Little League Season begins Saturday evening. I haven't looked at Sunday yet. A day of rest, I'm sure. ;-)

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:

Thanks to another baseball lovin' Jen, I get to go to Washington Nationals Opening Day. I'll be hanging a light fixture and laying out a rug which are the last two items on the list to officially declare the the kitchen renovation complete (Hallelujah!) which will be right in time for us to celebrate one year in our new home. I'll be working on finishing up the family room with some decisions on side tables and lamps. And thank you, Jesus, Spring Break and Easter are just around the corner. All of my people need some time off.

What Else is New


Let's see. Well, just yesterday I received this Rodan and Fields Multi Function Eye Cream that I ordered. Multi-Function sounds just about right as I think there are many functions to be performed around my eyes. The PR department at R&F is on fire so I'm looking forward to all the amazing things that will occur after I use this little jar of miracles. We'll see.

Bonus Question This Month:
What's your favorite thing to wear for spring?




A lightweight scarf. I love this one I got recently from Stitch Fix. This one from Stella and Dot is so cute.  And this one from Loft is on sale!

Have a great Wednesday!!


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 amazon.com

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Friday Favorites: Running the Race Marked Out For Us

Well, even though it was one of the coldest days of the year yesterday, it was also the first baseball game of the high school season, so I do believe we are moving ever closer to putting winter behind us. Saturday it is supposed to be be 70 degrees here. And you know what that means, right?

The party's over, folks.

You know that party where you eat all the things and drink all the things and decide that it's too cold to exercise and whatnot.

The return of spring, plus the fact that I actually braved the scale this week after avoiding it for months have made me realize that I need to get back to intentional healthy eating and step up the exercise routine.

Wah, wah, waaaahhhh.

I'm no expert. My philosophy is to try to eat less and move more. I can't get more complicated than that. For me and I think for many women, discussions about diet and  exercise do become more complicated than that. In my case, these can conjure up some pretty stressful memories of my teens and early twenties when what I ate and what size I wore consumed me so much so that I sometimes can't remember a whole lot more about those years except for angst and worry and sadness. So I'd rather just focus on the fact that exercising is far and away the best thing I can do for my mental state.  I don't have to be an expert to know that. I have ventured into yoga lately and I love it, but running is still my go-to for keeping my sanity and my health on the right track.

Recently. the Lovely and Talented Mrs. C. started running and she texted me for some music ideas because her playlist was starting to bore her. My sister has asked me repeatedly to have a place on my blog where I list all the songs that I've mentioned over the years, so today's the day. In addition to the music which is the most important of my running essentials, I thought I'd add some of my other favorite running accessories for your reading enjoyment.

Or maybe you'll think "Whatever, Sister. Running is boring and excruciating and I'd rather eat dirt."

If you don't want to eat dirt, here is a Friday Favorites: Running Edition.

1. The Right Music

This is not a comprehensive list because after 12 years of running I have to mix it up. But here are some great running songs that get me moving and are on constant shuffle on my ipod lately.

Feet Don't Fail Me Now by NeedtoBreathe (I start and end with this song because 99% of the time I hate the first and last mile with my entire being. It gets me out the door and back in it every time.)



NeedtoBreathe: Oh, Carolina, Girl From Tennessee, Keep Your Eyes Open, The Outsiders, Multiplied
All the Third Day: especially Soul on Fire, Take Me to the Other Side, Tunnel
Modest Mouse: Float On
Crowder: My Beloved
Gym Class Heroes: The Fighter
Nelly: The Champ
(All the BonJovi, all the Justin Timberlake and the Rocky Soundtrack because DUH)


2.  Running Gloves



We all know good and well that Spring takes it's own sweet time arriving so running outside might require gloves for awhile. These North Face Women's Etip Gloves are awesome because they aren't too thick and also have some science-y thing happening in the fingertip which allows you to be able to operate your touch pad on your phone. This is perfect for when you need to shuffle past that KidsBop version of some song that you downloaded for your kid in 2005.

3. Knee Straps


I've been wearing these knee straps since I first starting running twelve years ago. I started with one, but now have graduated to two. (Hello, Downward Spiral of my 40s). They look like they wouldn't do anything but they do really help with knee and tendon pain. If I forget them, I notice the next day. That's my brother and me before we went to run out at Lake Anna one day. We think we are awesome, but realized we were not as awesome as we were kinda dumb when we got out there in the 95 degree heat with the humidity of 1,000%.

4. Socks


Socks are really important and these Balega Hidden Comfort Athletic Running Socks are my very favorite. They never slip and never make my feet feel too hot. I can't run without them now. (And now you might be wondering if I would pull dirty ones out of the hamper before I would wear another pair to run and the answer to that would be, "Yes. Yes, I would and I have.")

5. Arch Support Insoles




I've also worn these Superfeet insoles in my shoes forever. I have a high arch, so these are crucial for me. I have even cut some down and shoved them into my other shoes and boots over the years. Running can be pretty brutal on your feet, but I've had no major problems in twelve years and I think these are the reason.

6. Running Shoes


The running shoes you choose are the most important, of course. When I started there were a million reasons I wanted to quit, but none of them were for aching feet, sore toes or blisters. For those reasons, you shouldn't just call your girlfriend and ask her what shoes she wears or pick out the cutest ones in the color you like.  I highly recommend going to a running store to have the sales person watch you run on a treadmill. They can analyze your gait and how much you overpronate to determine the best shoe for your foot shape and stride. To prove my point I will tell you that I am currently wearing these Mizuno Running Shoes in a god-awful blue/pink combination, but I can tell you that it could have been worse. Sometimes you're lucky to get a good color and sometimes you're not, but you must get the right shoes for your feet.

That brings me to a funny/sad story about the current shoes I'm wearing and it seems an appropriate story for the end of this post on this particular day.

The day after our friend Tom passed away suddenly, I didn't know what to do with myself, but I needed new running shoes and since Tom and I frequently talked about running I decided to go to Potomac River Running and get some shoes. I was on the edge of tears for most of the day, but I figured I could handle this one small outing to the running store. I ran on the treadmill so the young sales guy could watch my gait and he brought out a few different pairs of shoes for me to try.

Anyway, the sweet, unsuspecting sales guy brings out the Mizuno shoes in the brightest, most awful purple color I had ever seen.  I have an irrational dislike for the color purple which makes no sense, but it is what it is. I tried on the other brands of shoes, hoping that one of them would work out. Finally, I tried on the purple Mizunos and went out to run up and down the sidewalk to test them out. And lo and behold, out of all the crappy things that could happen in one 24 hour period. Tom was gone AND those horribly ugly purple shoes were probably the most comfortable running shoes I had ever worn.

Hot, angry tears started streaming down my cheeks and I went back into the store all red faced and sniffling and said, "Sir, I'm sorry. I really hate purple. I really hate it so much. Like, so much that it doesn't make any sense, but of course these shoes which are obviously purple, feel the best. And I just can't buy these purple shoes. You have to tell me they come in another color. Please, tell me you have another color."

I don't have to tell you that this guy was quite alarmed at my reaction to the purple shoes. He hightailed it to the back of the store and came back with these slightly less horribly ugly electric blue and pink shoes. I looked to the heavens and gave Tom a shrug as if to say, "Are you kidding me with these, dude?"

That was that and now most of the days that I lace up these shoes, I think of Tom. Today is Tom's birthday. I can picture him running by my house and waving with his daughter, Grace, trailing behind on her bike and I still can't believe that I might not run into him at the baseball park or the basketball gym or at Glory Days Grill. Tom ran his race well. He finished strong.

So even though my heart is heavy for his family today, I will remember what his sudden death taught me. We do not know how long or how far our own race will be and we don't need to know. We simply need to lace up our horribly ugly, but not purple shoes, and run with perseverance the race marked out before us.

Ready, Set, Go.

One more song from NeedtoBreathe that made me think of those friends of Tom who are left here to do our best to finish our races strong like he did.








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 amazon.com. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March Stitch Fix Summary


It's that time again! I got my March Stitch Fix box and yet again, my stylist did a pretty good job at picking pieces I really like. If you've read here before you know I'm a big fan of Stitch Fix for lots of reasons. At the top of the list, would be the fact that I seem to forget that package is coming every other month and since mail is so 1990s, it feels like Christmas every time it shows up on my doorstep. Also, the pieces they have sent me are unique, but not too trendy. There has not been a single time that I've not wanted to keep at least one of the items.

Having said that, the most I've ever kept was three of the five items sent. In general, for me, if I don't keep a piece it's because I already have something similar in my closet. Sometimes it's due to a color issue because I have some irrational aversions to certain colors. I have to say though that in those cases, I take the blame. Stitch Fix is constantly prompting customers to make comments and send notes to stylists. There is always the opportunity to update your style profile which includes details about sizing, style, price points and preferences.

So, if you want to try Stitch Fix, you can sign up by clicking on the Stitch Fix icon on the right side of the blog. You pay a $20 styling fee and receive a box of 5 items. The fee is deducted from the price of items you keep and you send the rest back in a prepaid envelope. If you keep all five you get a 25% off. 


Ok, here's the loot from this month.

Collective Concepts
Sofia Dress


This dress is adorable and perfectly my style. Even though I didn't say anything to my stylist, with Easter, Mother's Day, and Joe's graduation coming up there will be loads of chances to wear this dress. I love the color, the cute tie around the waist and the cap sleeves. It is lined which is awesome and the fabric is a great quality. It could be dressed up with these nude heels or worn more casual with sandals. If spring doesn't come quick enough I could wear it with boots and a jacket. This dress was a keeper.

Market & Spruce 
Colibri Polka Dot Print Top


I loved this tunic blouse. It fit perfectly and navy and white are a sure fire indicator that spring is coming. (And all the people said, "Amen!") I thought it looked so cute with white jeans, these wooden heeled wedge sandals and gold jewelry. Unfortunately, I couldn't justify keeping this one because I have too many similar tops already. I had to kiss this one goodbye.

Fantasia Accessories
Lindsey Crochet Detail Oblong Scarf


I think the best part of having a lightweight spring scarf is that you don't need to think much about the rest of your outfit. All you need is a tshirt and you're all set. This marigold/orangey color is beautiful. I was *this* close to sending this back only because even though I adore the color, I'm not quite sure it is the best for my complexion and coloring. I had pretty much decided to return it, but then I started having anxiety and regret about putting it in the envelope when I think the Lord intended for us to be together. I mean, I could dye my hair. This scarf might be worth it. So this was close, but it was a keeper.

Nine Britton 
Tenna Embroidered Knit Hoodie
Liverpool
Adele Skinny Jean


I put these two items together because DUH. Look how cute they would be. So happy and springy and fun! Who wouldn't keep these two things? 

I'll tell you who. 

Me.

But now, after looking at this cheery, happy outfit in this photo I'm becoming concerned. I think I might have personal issues. Point in fact, I am sitting here right now in our hip, cool, colorful library in my favorite writing spot wearing black leggings, a black cami, and a black tunic. Come to think of it, this is a very long table and I'm the only one here. Are the patrons of our fine public library scared of me? Do they think my heart is as black as my clothing? If I was wearing this outfit would there be people lined up to share an electrical outlet with the shiny, happy girl with the rose on her shoulder?

Hey, Happy Knit Hoodie and Bright Colored Denim: It's not you. It's me.

Let's start with the hoodie. While I am a diagnosed stripe addict, I just can't even with the floral applique on the shoulder. My friend, Nancy, came over to see my Fix this time and she thought it was really cute. She said that the flower patches are all over the place this spring.

Hey, Hoodie, what do I know? You need to be with someone who appreciates your jaunty little pop of color. Someday I'll be sorry. I'll probably beg you to come back, but you'll be whistling dixie in the closet of Patty Positivity. You're better off, Hoodie.

As for the jeans, I must say the fit was PERFECT. The best part was the length. It is a rare day when a girl who is barely 5'2" can find jeans that don't need to be hemmed. Still, again, perhaps my heart is as black as my shirt, but I can't with the coral/rose color. On other people, I think colored denim is adorable. I just can't do it.

Dear Colored Denim: You are all the rage, friend. You know it and I know it. Carry on. You'll find someone. I promise.

So that's my Stitch Fix for this month. Remember that Mother's Day is coming up and also Stitch Fix has now created Stitch Fix for Men. I think a Gift Card is a fabulous idea for your mom or your man and if you want to sign up for yourself, I'd be so appreciative if you use my referral link.

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/4559584?sod=w&som=c


Have a great day, Friends!

*Disclosure: If you sign up for Stitch Fix and copy and paste my referral link when you sign up or if you click the "Stitch Fix" icon on the right side of the blog under the "About Me" section and sign up, I'll get a $25 credit on my next box. I also will get a small compensation for any gift card purchased.*

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Favorites: All The Green Things (And A Little Madness)



Hey, Gang!

It's Friday and it's St. Patrick's Day! And it's the first full day of school here since Monday! So many reasons for all the !!!! Here are my 5 Friday Favorites for this week.

1. The Chick Fil A "In a Rut" Commercial


I would guess I've been in a rut for about three months now which is not unusual for me in the winter, but the funny thing is that I think the snowstorm got me out of it. After lamenting for the 75th day in a row about my rut, my husband tipped me off to this commercial from Chick-Fil-A. 
I've watched it about ten times because it cracked me right up. I also sent it to numerous friends because being in a rut seems to be epidemic right now. Maybe all we need is a perspective change? Maybe we're not in a rut, but we're actually in a groove? Maybe we just need some chicken minis from Chick-Fil-A?

2. Warm Spinach and Basil Salad



Well, it's officially St. Patrick's Day and since we had two and a 1/2 days off from school for snow, I went on a baking frenzy and have already eaten all the green mint chocolate things I could get my hands on. This morning I made these St. Patrick's Day green pancakes. I think the rest of the day and maybe the next few weeks calls for a detox of sorts so I'm turning to other green things like this spinach salad. My mother-in-law told me about it many years ago. This is so easy and so good.

6 cups spinach
2 cups basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
4 oz. prosciutto, diced
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup grated parmesean cheese

Toss spinach and basil together in a large salad bowl. Heat oil in medium size skilled over medium heat. Add garlic and pine nuts and saute until nuts begin to brown slightly. Stir in prosciutto and cook one minute more. Season with salt and pepper. Toss spinach and basil with warm dressing and sprinkle with parmesean.

3. March Madness



Well, it's all about Bracketology and Basketball and March Madness in SkinnerWorld right now. Not to say that we haven't been watching basketball on tv for what seems like 124 months, but even I'm focused now. I'm feeling good about my bracket this year because the Texas Longhorns did not even make the tournament. I know that sounds like sacrilege, but the point is that this eliminates my need to push them all the way to Final Four as I do every blasted year while my boys roll their eyes and utter phrases under their breath which basically boil down to  "Are you high, Mom?"



Last year, I was the "Biggest Loser" in my Chicks Only pool with my college girlfriends so I got my $20 back. This year I intend to win the big money. I did use my far reaching basketball knowledge to pick Northwestern to win last night because I found out that Julia Louis-Dreyfus's son is on the team. They did win, so you're welcome because now we will see Elaine Benes again in the next round and I think America needs some Elaine about now. Also, Go Louisville. I've no idea why I picked them to win the thing. I just did. 

4. All the Green Plaid Things

As I've mentioned a time or six, I love me some green St. Paddy's Day cheer and I can't seem to get enough plaid in my life lately.  There are so many cute green plaid button down shirts around, so even if you don't get one in time for today, they are still fun for spring time which I think will show up any minute now. Fingers crossed.


I've been eyeing this JCrew Plaid Popover for awhile now and it's on sale for 30% off right now with the code BYEWINTER.


This is also a cute Plaid Tie Front Shirt from Nordstrom.


I zipped into Target yesterday for a couple of things and somehow this Merona Women's Favorite Plaid Shirt jumped into my cart. It's only something like $22.00 though. I practically saved money, right?

5. High School Musicals or (THE High School Musical at Freedom High)


Last night we went to see our high school's production of High School Musical and it was delightful. I so regret that I haven't been to see previous productions at our local schools. Our students did an amazing job and I know they've been working so hard. I sent this photo to my sister because I was giddy with excitement and we loved the movies so much. She happened to be at her high school's production of Legally Blonde this week in California. I highly recommend going out to your high schools and supporting their musicals, plays and concerts. And if you're in my area you can see High School Musical and some really talented kids tonight at 7:00 pm, Saturday at 7:00 pm or Sunday at 3:00 pm at Freedom High School. And then you can get back to me and let me know if it was as hard for you as it was for me to not sing all the songs at the top of your lungs and dance in your seat. #troyandgabriellaforever

Have a very happy St. Patrick's Day, Friends!

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
and the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Spring Snow Daybook 3-14-17

For Today


Looking out my window


For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. Good morning, Snow-shine.

I am thinking
How very, very welcome is this beautiful snow. I claim to hate cold weather and snow, but after zero snow days this year this is a much needed break for all of us.

I am thankful
For the teenagers in my house. I know it's weird. But they are funny and smart and quick-witted and every morning they make me laugh. What a wonder are the boys He gave me? How is it that they can get on my very last nerve one minute and crack me right up the next? The other day as they walked out the door to school ribbing each other and yelling their good-byes to me, I realized that I had a giant smile on my face for almost a full five minutes after they left. 
One of my favorite things
St. Patrick's Day!!!

I love St. Patrick's Day so since we potentially have a couple of days off this week, I figured we would celebrate early.  And by that I mean we will eat all the mint chocolate things we can find.

photo from mixandmatchmama.com


The blog Mix and Match Mama has some really fun recipes for just about any holiday. Actually, to be honest, I don't care if they're fun, I care if they're easy. And none of her recipes give me an eye twitch. She has lots of recipes for yummy St. Patrick's Day treats. Yesterday I made these Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies and they're almost gone. Last year I made these Creamy Mint Brownies. Depending on how long the snow days last we might end up making this Mint Chocolate Oreo Bundt Cake. And then we'll hope we can fit into Steve's truck, power through the snow-covered streets and waddle into the gym. :-/


These stemless wine glasses would be so cute for a St. Patrick's Day party if one didn't have a baseball game to attend. They're from Target.



Also, Fake Daughter and I made it to Target yesterday to be sure we had a full deck of Skip-Bo cards and all the fun board games for the snow days since Real Sons never play games with me. While we play, Fake Daughter will be wearing these leggings.

I am creating
A list so long of light fixtures that I like for above my kitchen table that I could light the entire world. I cannot make the simplest decisions about decor in my home without feeling like  my head is going to spin off. Time to call in the bigshot again. My designer is a genius and keeps my head on my body. ;-)

I am wearing




I pulled out the flannel Christmas pjs at about 6:00 pm last night in anticipation of the snowstorm and I imagine I'll stay in them all day today. They make me deliriously happy.

I am reading


I am almost finished reading Sharp Objects which is by the same author who wrote Gone Girl and is equally creepy.  I hope to finish it today and move on to The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines.

I am watching




By some miracle there were no basketball games on last night, so I was able to convince a couple of my guys to watch a movie with me. We watched Sully and it was really good. Can Tom Hanks make a bad movie? (Oh wait, yes he can. Joe Vs. the Volcano. I walked out of that one.) I also spent most of my weekend catching up on all the important current events of the day This is UsGrey's AnatomyBig Little Lies and Scandal.

I am listening to



I was listening to this song on the treadmill at the gym over the weekend and I ended up having to tightly grip the side rails so as not to raise my hands in the air like some kind of crazy church lady. I did end up with tears springing out of my eyes. This video is long and I think someone goes on to give a sermon after Kari Jobe sings, but it is worth a listen to hear her sing this, because oh my word, this voice. And even more, oh my word, this Jesus. Perfect song for Easter. Perfect song for running on the treadmill if you don't mind crying at the same time. 


I am hoping

As much as I am enjoying the snow today and might tomorrow, I am hoping that we could move swiftly from this to spring and baseball games where I won't worry about losing my toes to frostbite in the 6th inning. 

In my kitchen


photo from mixandmatchmama.com

Some kids are going to want some snow day pancakes soon. I might as well make these. We're on a roll.

Post Script
from studiomcgee on Instagram

I am loving the Instagram feed and website Studio McGee for home decor ideas. Such beautiful photos.
Shared Quote


"A holy God in the middle of life's mundane activities will change your life." 
-Lysa TerKeurst

A moment from my day
Lots of moments with these guys. And lots of moments when I don't have to take out the puppy in the snow because of these guys. :-)


Closing Notes
"Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in all the earth." Psalm 46:10

Prompts from http://thesimplewoman.blogspot.com/ 



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