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Friday, February 10, 2017

5 Things on a Friday: Saving the Best for Last 2-10-17

Well, we made it to Friday after a really weird weather week around here. On Tuesday and Wednesday it was close to 70 degrees and then the temperature took a nose dive and there was a call for snow in the wee hours of Thursday morning. Since we haven't had a snow day all year, one of my kids got his hopes for missing school up incredibly high. No matter how much I told him not to count on it, he did not listen.

Honestly, he didn't listen to me. I know this is shocking to all the moms of twelve year olds in all the land.

Well, Thursday morning there was not a drop of snow or ice to be found, so when I woke him up at the normal time for school, there was a palpable sense of tragedy in Skinner World. In true 2017 fashion he launched a protest to the tune of a hunger strike and refusal to speak. This did not bother me in the least as I didn't have to figure out what to make for breakfast and it was blessedly quiet. The dog did put a smile on his face for a minute, but the despair continued all the way to the bus stop. I fully expected him to change out of his Under Armour Sweatshirt and into a sackcloth, pour ashes on his head and commence wailing at the city gates.

Life is terribly difficulty for middle schoolers who actually have to attend school, y'all.

In contrast, I could live a long happy life without one more flake of snow so let's talk about some favorite things of the week which included two blissful days when I didn't have to wear a coat.


1. Yoga

I know it's shocking, but I went back to yoga again even though I had a near death experience the first time I went this year. I will say that when I started to put on my clothes to get myself ready for yoga class this time, my body and my mind were all


But I did go back and it wasn't bad. I'm thinking it's time for some new yoga essentials to keep me motivated. The best part of yoga is, of course, the lying still on the mat/relaxation part of the class. Many moons ago, when I practiced yoga I had a lavender scented eye pillow that our instructor gave me. I loved it with all my heart. These eye pillows are also great when you have a headache or to block out the light from the Celtics game that is still on your tv at 11:00 pm when you're trying to sleep. I just ordered this one.


I also love this cute braided head band from Carrie Underwood's collection at Dick's Sporting Goods.



2. This Story



I wrote earlier this week about Modern Mrs. Darcy's Reading Challenge. As I've been really focused on reading in 2017, I loved this article about a rookie on the New England Patriots who joined a book club full of women aged 40-60 when he was in college at the University of Georgia. This story delightful. Read it here.

3. President and Mrs. George Herbert Walker Bush

Yes, it was a ridiculously good Super Bowl. Yes, the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. Yes, the only time the Super Bowl has gone into overtime. Lady Gaga, Tom Brady, that catch made by Julian Edelman, the Melissa McCarthy Commercial, Giselle's bouncing and behaving hair.  All spectacular. But for me, the best part of the Super Bowl by far was seeing the dignity and grace of President and Mrs. Bush when they came out for the coin toss. It was the only moment when I really put down the chips, sat down, and paid very close attention. These people. Their maturity, their humility, their class. Oh, how I love them. And, oh how I surely do miss them in our nation's capital.




4. Happy Spring Colors
(For People Who Have the Opposite Coloring of Me)

I can't even count how many cute spring tops and dresses in that bright marigold/yellow/gold color I've seen lately. Unfortunately, that color looks terrible on me, but if you have darker skin and hair I think this color is beautiful. And it's so bright and happy for the middle of a cold, grey February. Here are some cute options for looking all sunshiny bright.
Recently, I saw someone wearing this Lace Ruffle Tank and it was so pretty on her. I was surprised to hear it is from Target and only $19.99 right now!



This from Old Navy is so bright and feminine. I love it.



This Raella Tunic Dress from Anthropologie is adorable. It's not on sale, but . . .



How about these cute sunglasses??? On sale at Anthro for $29.95.

Ok, the 5th Thing on a Friday is the best of all.  Get ready because this is what I heard about this week:

5. THERE IS GOING TO BE A BRITNEY BIOPIC ON LIFETIME!!!



Well, y'all.

The joy this brings me is irrational and weird and also has no end. UNENDING JOY. I am certain that The Lovely and Talented Mrs. C. and I will have our phones at the ready to text all the delightful and insightful commentary we are going to have about this very special Lifetime event. On second thought, I might need to have a viewing party. The questions I have about this are endless:

How much time will we spend on Britney and Justin? Will the actors wear the original denim outfits that they wore together which is at least in the top ten of the most amazing fashion moments of our lifetime? Will the actress actually shave her head? Will we get to see the re-enactment of the time she danced with the snake? Can we leave the Madonna kiss out, please? Will we see her actually walk into the port-a-potty at that gas station without her shoes? Has K-Fed endorsed this? Has Jamie Lynn endorsed this? Have Sean P. and Jayden endorsed this? Has anyone watched as many episodes of Zoey 101 as I have? Doesn't everyone dance around to Toxic when they're in a bad mood?

Bonus: It's called Britney Ever After. 

"No way," you say.

WAY.

This is one of my favorite photos from the movie. Just look at Fake Baby Sean Preston.



World Premiere on Lifetime on February 18th.

You're welcome.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Stitch Fix Summary: 3 out of 5 ain't bad!



My January Stitch Fix box came last week and it was a winner! I kept three of the five items this time. If you're not aware of what Stitch Fix is yet, here's the gist:

It is an online subscription personal shopping service. You can schedule a fix up to once a month. (I am scheduled for every other month). You fill out a style profile which includes your tastes and also how much you normally spend on tops, pants, accessories, shoes, etc. Your online stylist chooses 5 items to send you based on the profile. The service is $20 per month with the $20 going toward any items you purchase if you do so. You are sent a prepaid envelope to return items you don't want to keep within three days. If you purchase all five items you get a 25% discount. 

Although I have heard mixed reviews from friends, I love receiving my fix and have bought some really cute pieces. I received a gift card two years ago from my sister-in-law for Christmas and have never looked back. And guess what? Just in time for Valentine's Day, Stitch Fix is offering Stitch Fix for Men! 

STITCH FIX FOR YOUR MAN!!!

To grab your guy a gift card go HERE. Later, have him fill out a style profile. This is where I point out that my husband would rather stick forks in his eyes than think about his style (there was one?) long enough to answer even one question. So, just fill it out yourself.

Ok, back to us, ladies. Here's a review of the items I received.

Daniel Rainn Cassiel Pleated Detail Blouse


When I saw this top it was love at first sight. The very first day it arrived I grabbed it along with the Liverpool Mira Skinny Jeans (which were in the box this time as well) and wore them with my boots and new Stella & Dot gold earrings (which I love because they are so lightweight and perfect to wear everyday.) The top is also long enough to wear with leggings which I have done numerous times due to things like ALL THE SUPER BOWL FOOD.

(Sidenote: I recently saw this top from Joie online. It costs $298. I think it's incredibly similar to my new favorite Stitch Fix top which was significantly less than $298. #winning) 

Olive & Oak Laney Pocket Tee Knit Top


Stripes are my love language so this cute pocket tee with three-quarter length sleeves was perfect for me. It isn't a color I normally wear but it was so soft I couldn't pass it up. It is perfect with cuffed jeans and Converse. (It is also perfect with pajama bottoms, a bowl of Smart Food Spicy Jalapeno Ranch Popcorn and This is Us as you can probably tell by how wrinkled it is in this photo.)

Octavia Brooks Crossbody Bag



Stitch Fix urges its clients to contact their stylist with any ideas for helping them ensure that the pieces will meet your tastes. I had requested a cross body bag in my previous note and they listened! The only problem with keeping this bag was that Steve listened first and clicked on the link I sent him before Christmas to get me this similar bag.



Since this bag is already filled with my seven lip glosses, four Dick's Sporting Goods Coupons, gum that has fallen out of the package, and all the trash that Drew is too lazy to throw in the trash can at the high school basketball games, I sent the Stitch Fix one back. I did, however, appreciate that the stylist clearly read my comments.

Coin 1804 Coby Button Down Cardigan


This grey cardigan was fine. That's all. There was nothing at all wrong with it. It's just that I don't wear a lot of cardigans, but if I did I'm sure I would have kept it.

Liverpool Mira Skinny Jean


These jeans were great. I am hesitant to tell you that the stylist referred to them as "jeggings" which gave me the creeps. Despite the fact that I made a declaration that I would never wear anything called jeggings, I bought them. I also said I would never wear a jumpsuit, but I purchased one recently to wear to Kyle's Kamp's Casino Night. (Get your tickets HERE.) Lest you think I'm not a woman of my word, I still have never watched Star Wars, have never had a French pedicure and have never put stick figure family stickers on my car. so I'm thinking I still have made some ironclad declarations that you can count on. As for the jeggings, I've worn them a ton both with tops I already owned and with the two I kept from this fix.

Well, that's it! If you'd like to try Stitch Fix, I'd love it if you used my referral link!


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Making America (or Maybe Just Me) Read Again



As a blog reader as well as writer, I have seen Anne Bogel's Modern Mrs. Darcy mentioned numerous times by bloggers I read, but had not often visited her site. A few weeks ago, I heard her interviewed on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey and decided to spend some time on her blog.

If you are a reader, Modern Mrs. Darcy is heaven on the internet. It's a reader's dream come true, plus it is set up beautifully. There is so much to see there that I could never adequately explain it, so just go. Each year Anne creates a Reading Challenge. This year one is for fun and one is for growth. Since I've been in a reading rut lately, I thought I'd choose the fun one first.

Also, a sidenote: For some reason, I have always told myself that listening to audiobooks was cheating. I've decided this is a really dumb theory and I'm looking to listen to the audio version of a few of the titles on my list. I am constantly in my car or running around my house or literally running in the neighborhood. Why shouldn't we listen to beautiful words and inspiring stories while we're folding laundry, doing the dishes or getting in that last mile?

So, I need help. What app, what service, what whatever you want to call it do you use to listen to audiobooks? Is there more than one? I've heard of Audible. Is that it? Does it cost something? Are you thinking, "Hey, there's this new thing called Google. Go find out for yourself."? If you can help a girl out, please comment below this post.

Okay. Here are my picks for this challenge. If you're doing the challenge as well or want to join in, please tell me what you're reading!

#makeamericareadagain #booksnotmeansocialmediamadness #letsdothis


  • A book you chose for the cover

 Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

I read Where Did You Go, Bernadette? by Semple a couple of years ago and it had a fabulous cover. The story was quirky and fun, so I suppose I might have looked for this book anyway, but how great is this cover?

  • A book with a reputation of being un-put-down-able

All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

This book has been suggested to me by so many people I've lost count. I have had both a kindle copy and a hard cover copy for a long time and I think I might be the only person on Earth who hasn't read it yet. I started it last night, so this will be the first one to cross off my list.

  • A book set somewhere you've never been but have always wanted to visit


Olive Kitteridge 
by Elizabeth Strout

I was having trouble thinking of some where I was dying to visit which it occurs to me makes me sound really boring. There are loads of places I'd like to visit, but I'm not sure there is one that is constantly on my mind. My parents visited Maine in September a couple of years ago and it sounded beautiful, so I typed "Books set in Maine" in to that trusty Amazon search box and this book came up. It's a Pulitzer Prize winner and also an Emmy winning mini-series so I'm thinking it might be okay.

  • A book you've already read


What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era by Peggy Noonan

As a teenager, although I was very much into 80s hair bands, my Guess overalls and Dial A Lash mascara, I was also a bit of a female Alex P. Keaton. I had a commemorative plate depicting all of the presidents on my dresser sitting next to a plastic tray with President Reagan's face on it where I kept my Add-A-Bead necklace. I also had a keepsake box with a photo of the United States Capitol Building on it. (This is where you are wondering if I ever had a date in high school.) Peggy Noonan wrote some of the most famous and eloquent of Reagan's speeches. I devoured this account of her experience as a Republican woman in the White House when my parents gave it to me for Christmas over twenty years ago when I moved to DC. I can't wait to read it again and see if I am as enthralled as I was then.

  • A juicy memoir

The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love and Loss 
by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt


The Magnolia Story
by Chip and Joanna Gaines



The Hiding Place
by Corrie Ten Boom

I'd say this is the genre I've read the most often in the last few years, so I picked a few.

  • A book about books or reading

My Reading Life by Pat Conroy


Beach Music, The Water is Wide and The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy are some of the best books I've ever read. When I was getting my masters in Education one of my professors must have said a gazillion times, "Good writers read and good readers write." As soon as I saw this book when searching for "books about books and reading" I was sold. Conroy is such an amazing story teller, it is no surprise that he would be a voracious reader. What a gift that he would write this book. I'm so looking forward to it.

  • A book in a genre you usually avoid

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Murder mysteries are not my favorite. I, did, however read Flynn's Gone Girl and although it was creepy, it was so compelling and smart. A friend lent me Sharp Objects well over a year ago and it's been sitting on my shelf. I think it fits well into this category.

  • A book you don't want to admit you're dying to read

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer's humor crosses so far over the line she might as well just erase the line before she starts talking. And yet her movie, Trainwreck, made me blush and cringe and also laugh hysterically and even cry at the end. I'd say that's some talent. I'm going to check this out. Don't tell my mom.

  • A book in the backlist of a new favorite author


Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty

I've read four books by Moriarty and they are all so smart and compelling. They always have some crazy twist that's waiting to be revealed so that you are pulling your hair out trying to figure it out. This is her first novel, so I'm in.

  • A book recommeded by someone with great taste

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

My husband has been suggesting this book to me and everyone else in the world for a couple of years now. When we went  to the Virgin Islands to celebrate our 20th anniversary he was reading it everyday by the pool and could not stop talking about it. I was reading Mindy Kaling's Why is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, so it was really getting on my nerves to be interrupted. (Can you say unequally yoked?)


  • A book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven't read yet

Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner

The list of books I want to read by Christian women is miles long. I bought this book on January 2nd because I had heard the author interviewed and it sounded like it might be a good theme for me for the year. It is such a pretty book that it looks great on my coffee table. After I finish All the Light We Cannot See, this will be next.

  • A book about a subject you love

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

I've seen this book recommended by writers so many times. I've heard enough amazing quotes from it that I feel like I've read it, but I never have. It's been on my list for years. Now's the time.

Let's fill our minds with good stuff this year. When I was teaching we called it DEAR time. (Drop Everything and Read).  Comment below and let me know what you're reading!

1 2 3 GO!

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. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Death by Yoga

Well, we made it through the first month of 2017 and everyone in the good ol' U S of A seems to have settled in nicely. Things seem to be so much calmer and kinder around these parts. Just a big bowl of love, joy, and peace, yes?

Ahem.

In my effort to make myself calmer and kinder (and also to fit into my jeans), I figured I needed to get my exercise routine back on track. And let's be clear. It's not as if it just veered off the track a little, maybe drifting into the next lane for a second. It's more like it derailed completely, rolled down a hill, landed in a ditch and has been face down in the mud with a broken clavicle for a couple of months.



Ahem. Again.

I'm a runner. For the past twelve years my exercise routine has been that and only that. I have run anywhere from 15-18 miles a week except for the four years when I was training for a 10 Miler and then it was more. I'm not a marathon athlete by any stretch. I'm not going to break any speed records, but I can handle a 5 mile run most days. I've had numerous friends tell me, "Running is soooo bad for you." or "It's terrible for your joints." or "My doctor said it's really too hard on your body." The thing is I've had no serious injuries from running and I think it's kept me sane for twelve years, so generally I listen to all that noise with this face.



Despite my face's opinion, my body does seem to have a harder time on my runs lately. So due to that fact and also because OHMYLORDTHEWINDISSOCOLD, I thought it might be time to mix it up a little. To that end, I decided to go to yoga at my gym last week. I did yoga for about six months about fifteen years ago, so I wasn't completely clueless and I assumed it would come back to me pretty easily.

You know what they say about assuming, right?

I chose a Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class off of the handy schedule I had picked up at the beginning of the month. I was super nervous so before I could talk myself out of it, I threw on a Texas tshirt and some very old yoga pants, pulled my dirty hair up in a ponytail and headed to the gym. I got there early and talked to the instructor, giving her all of my excuses and fears about it being a really long time since I had done yoga, blah, blah, blah. She was lovely and encouraging and did exactly what good yogis do by telling me that it was my own, individual "practice" and that I should do whatever poses I wanted, hang out in child pose whenever I felt the need and not push myself too hard.

People started to trickle in and I got myself situated on my mat telling myself not to look around and compare myself to anyone. This was all about me and I was starting to feel better reminding myself that I've always been a fairly athletic, coordinated person. I mean how bad could it be? I sat on my mat centering myself, thinking that maybe I would totally nail this whole thing.

Then I heard someone rolling out a mat next to me, so I thought I'd go ahead and greet my neighbor. I mean, really, it's a new year and I was sure there would be plenty of first timers joining in the class. So, I just took a quick peek and pretty much saw this.



LISTEN. IT WAS NOT INTIMIDATING AT ALL. IT WAS FINE. MY TEN YEAR OLD TEXAS LONGHORN TSHIRT WAS OLD, BUT IT WAS CLEAN. EVERYONE HAS HER OWN JOURNEY, 'KAY?

For the first thirty minutes I was hanging just fine and my memory of the poses was coming back. It was 90 degrees in there which I initially thought was great because I really needed to sweat out the December/January food hangover I'd been having. The instructor talked about awareness and keeping our minds centered on that specific moment in time.

Well, things went down hill fast. My head was spinning, my muscles were aching and my heart was beating out of my chest. My hands were so sweaty I kept thinking I was going to do a face plant during downward dog. I was trying desperately not to look at the clock because I knew that if there were more than five minutes left I might start bawling right there which would be sort of antithetical to the whole Warrior pose I was trying to fake. I tried to pull my mind back to the moment, but it kept flailing about with thoughts of how I should have written down the songs I want sung at my funeral because sweet Lord, the end was near.

At about the time I thought that my organs were beginning to shut down, I thankfully had a lucid moment when I heard the instructor urge us to listen to what our body was trying to tell us.

Well. Turns out my body had a whole lot to say to me and it wasn't very nice.



In an effort to affirm my body's wishes I rocked the child's pose for about the last fifteen minutes of the class because I figured that was slightly less embarrassing than passing out or throwing up on Beyonce. At the end, we stayed on our mats for awhile and I was terrified that my body was so mad at me that it would refuse to ever get up. Finally there was the "Namaste" signaling the end to the torture practice and I can't even tell you for sure if I was completely coherent until I got to the parking lot.

At that point, I realized that I was winning first prize in the awareness portion of the day. I was as "in the moment" as anyone could possibly be because my mind was singularly focused on remembering how to walk in a straight line and get to the car where I wasn't fully sure I was not going to recline my seat and wait for Jesus to take the wheel.


I drove myself home with all the windows down. IN JANUARY. I tiptoed into the house, avoiding my dog's gaze because walking him would have meant my sure demise and I went upstairs to my room.

I peeled off all of my soaking wet with sweat clothes and fell into my bed. In an effort to say my last goodbyes, I sent my husband a text alerting him that if he came home that evening to find me in the bed with no clothes on, it would not be for all the exciting reasons he might hope. This was not his lucky day.

Because Jesus must still be in the business of performing miracles, I did wake up two hours later feeling like I hadn't eaten in a month. I thought about going to the grocery store. Then I changed my mind because



Due to the starvation and a will to survive for my children, I was able to get into the shower and put on real clothes. I determined that the Chick-Fil-A drive thru was really the only reasonable option because I figured I could throw in a prayer request for my ultimate healing to the gal at the window after I ordered the #6 with a large diet Coke. And also my mind's awareness had shifted from trying to simply stay with the living to this


So, I guess the moral of this little story is that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (even while wondering if we will meet Him sooner than we thought while on a yoga mat next to Beyonce), Rome wasn't built in a day (because I went back to yoga again this week and didn't start thinking of puking until at least forty-five minutes in), listen to your body (even if it uses profane language at you) and also a 6 piece meal with waffle fries saves lives.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Wednesday Afternoon Daybook: 2/1/17

For Today

Looking out my window
It really looks like it's going to snow, but much to the boys' dismay and grumbling (and to my utter happiness and delight), I see no flakes in the immediate forecast. On Monday the view out my window looked like this, but only for about an hour or two.


I am thinking
About writing. About this blog. About books and articles and and essays. I think about writing all the time - when I'm doing laundry, when I'm cooking, when I'm driving, when I'm exercising, when I'm drying my hair. I am thinking exactly this all.the.time:

"You think words are powerful and beautiful and devastating when used correctly. You have a story, ideas, a lot to say. These things rattle around in your brain and if you don’t get them on paper, YOU JUST MIGHT DIE. You’ve always been a good communicator; you prayed for an essay test over those devil-sanctioned multiple-choice scantrons. You stare at your laptop like a frenemy. If you could just sit down with it for an extended time and write your words, or maybe if you could just set it on fire and be free of it, or both, you would finally be happy." - Jen Hatmaker 

I am thankful
For lots of choices for college for Joe and for the still, small voice that whispers for us to be thoughtful and patient in decision making and mostly this:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make you paths straight." Proverbs 3:5

One of my favorite things
A Mack and Me Selfie


I am creating
a few changes to my blog including setting up some affiliate links, a list of most popular posts and hopefully easier ways to comment on the blog as opposed to on Facebook which seems to be causing a lot of hurt feelings and high anxiety of late. :-/ Thank you for your patience in the next few weeks as it might look kind of wonky. If you are a regular reader, I'd so appreciate it if you would subscribe by email by signing up in the box on the top right of the blog titled "Follow by Email". You will likely have to take one more step by clicking on an email in your inbox to confirm your subscription. This will be helpful to me in understanding my readership. And again, big bonus: if Facebook is making you tired and cranky, you won't have to go there to find my posts. Posts will come directly to your inbox! YAY! 

I am wearing
Only three games left this season for Kyle's basketball team so I'm all geared up and ready for tonight's hoops! GO EAGLES!

I am reading
I finished reading (and marking up and highlighting and sighing and yelling "AMEN!" about) Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted by Shannan Martin. 

I am watching
Parks and Recreation. I know I am so late to this party, but I feel as if I have found the tv version of the love of my life. I adored every single character in the first episode and was laughing out loud all by myself. Then I suddenly felt deep, irrational anger and regret for having missed the boat on this show. It's like Friday Night Lights was my drama soulmate and Parks and Rec is my comedy soulmate and in a tragic turn of events, WE ALMOST MISSED EACH OTHER. Joe and I are planning to binge watch it together. These are the meaningful activities I feel will seal our mother/son bond before he goes off to do frivolous things like pursuing higher education.

I'm listening to
I'm not sure NeedtoBreathe has ever released a song that I have not played the fire out of. I love this song.


I am hoping
That Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2017 Book Challenge will help me meet all my reading goals this year which are basically to . . . um . . . remember that I actually know how to read things with pages and not only off of a screen. Want to join? Here's the list. Comment and let me know your list!



I am learning
to wait upon the Lord and to remember that my children belong to Him first, that He will make their paths straight and that He knows the plans He has for them. Only Him.

In my kitchen
This week's Blue Apron recipes included Mexican-Spiced Beef & Rice Casserole which did not intimidate me in the least. I made it right away because if a gal is from Texas and spent many a Sunday after church at Grandmom's house for lunch, well, then she sure as heck can make her way around anything with the word "casserole" in it. (And the women of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Longview, Texas said, "AMEN.")

Next up: Hoison Chicken Steam Buns with broccoli and marinated carrots (And the women of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Longview, Texas said, "HUH?")

Post Script
"When you are the mother of a child who struggles-- to learn, to share, to be still, to speak up, to fit in--you quickly learn that the world of Christian women (and men) look upon such kids with disapproval. And they look upon their parents with smug superiority. Before you have a child like this, you know exactly how to raise a child like this. When you live with a different child, it feels like all you know is how much you don't know." - Elizabeth Foss


Read more of these very important words here at Elizabeth's blog. I think her thoughts and the book by Sally and Nathan Clarkson that she features will be a blessing to many. 


Shared Quote(s)
"The only thing I have to offer, in all the land, is Christ. Often, the best way to share that gift is by offering more of flailing, falling down me."

"Falling into the will of God takes guts and grit we don't have. Of course we're nervous. We can't handle this alone."

- Shannan Martin

A moment from my day



Closing Notes
Just some food for thought from my very favorite restaurant in Austin, Texas.




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What's Up Wednesday 1-25-17

I'm linking up with Shay at Mix and Match Mama for What's Up Wednesday today.


What We're Eating This Week
I've cooked a few Blue Apron meals. Last night I made Pork Chops and Garlic Picada with Brown Rice and Spinach. It wasn't our favorite. The most impressive to me was the Za'atar Chicken Souvlaki with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce and Roasted Potatoes which I made earlier this week. (I should point out that for me the "impressive factor" increases by the number of words in the recipe that I don't know how to spell on my own.)



What I'm Reminiscing About
We have been traveling in and around the county watching our middle man and his teammates play basketball at least three times a week for the high school team. I don't need to be at every single game and in fact, he tells me honestly that doesn't care if I miss one. Still, I do everything in my power not to miss a single second. I, in fact, wouldn't mind if we could start all over with the days when the jerseys swallowed him up and the ref had to stop the game numerous times to help kids tie their shoes. I am shamelessly in love with watching them play and no matter how many hours I spend on uncomfortable gym bleachers, I will never tire of watching #2.







What I'm Loving
I received this Sea Kelp Body Wash from Lather for my birthday and it is glorious. I also got a sample of this body creme and it is amazing as well. If you are a sucker for bath products and are in an area with a Lather shop, you should give it a visit. I think I could live there.



What We've Been Up To
Well, we watched a lot of playoff football in this house and in that regard I'd say we're up to a significant amount of dashed hopes and dreams. I have lured my two youngest into being Cowboys fans and despite the spectacular performance this season of our young hero, Dak Prescott, we are out. My husband's Steelers have more recently been booted out, so basically the Skinners are embracing this sentiment that my friend, Michelle, a 49ers fan, posted on Monday. #notmysuperbowl




What I'm Dreading
I spend much of the winter months dreading any possibility of snow. So far so good and it appears that I'm in the clear for at least the next 10 days. Last year at this time we were literally digging ourselves out of a mess of snow. #notmyideaoffun #notmywinter #nothankyou



What I'm Working On
My January Stitch Fix box arrived and I loved most of the items so I'm working on a post on that for next week. Here's a preview look at one of the cute tops I was sent.



What I'm Excited About
I am so excited that the Northern Virginia Travel Baseball League will be featuring my writing monthly on their new website. You can find it by clicking on the icon to the right of this post and looking under the "About" tab. For those of you who are baseball mamas the site has lots of great information and links for you.

What I'm Watching/Reading
I've not only been reading Falling Free: Rescued From the Life I Always Wanted by Shannan Martin but also marking it up - underlining, writing in the margins and dog ear-ing pages like mad. Shannan forces us to acknowledge that although we love to speak of how mysterious are the ways of the Lord, there are things He asks us to do that scripture makes very, very clear. I am smacked down, convicted and cringing at the truth I have found here. How 'bout this:

"God entrusted the poor to you and me, not to a ballot or a platform or a piece of whip-smart legislation." . . .'The poor need our intellectual and social capital. Not our used blue jeans and giant cans of Spaghettios.'. . . We send the poor our tired, worn out stuff while we stay home with our clean hands and closed eyes, judging the way our government addresses a problem that was meant to be ours."

OUCH.
What I'm Listening To/Watching
Podcasts have become my best exercising partner lately. Off Camera with Sam Jones is a podcast that features interviews with various celebrities. The hour long format allows the questions to surpass simply asking about what current project the actor might be promoting to go deeply into discussing their upbringing, their work ethic and in many cases how hardships informed their work. I really enjoyed the interviews of Dax Shepherd and also of Rob Lowe.


I finished all of Season One of The Crown which was really good and also has caused me to google all kinds of facts about the Royal Family. I am also so happy that This is Us is back!

What I'm Wearing
That Daniel Rainn top in the above picture from Stitch Fix, leggings, and boots.

What I'm Doing This Weekend
We have a teacher workday on Friday which will allow Kyle and me to do some volunteer work with our Young Men's Service League friends. We have a basketball game or two and on Sunday, I'm attending a Hub Dot event for the first time. I'll have no idea what I'm doing, but I'll be there.

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month
Kyle's Kamp's Casino Night is February 25th at Westwood Country Club in Vienna, Virginia. If you live in my area come out for a great night of fun, food and drinks and raising money to support pediatric cancer research. Early Bird Discounted tickets are on sale through January 31st. Here are my girls and me last year although we barely recognize ourselves since we aren't wearing baseball tshirts and flip flops. We cleaned up pretty good.


What Else Is New
We've been blessed to receive some college acceptances for Joe and are still waiting on a few more. Waiting is not easy for any of us. We're praying hard for his first choice to come through in the next few weeks and knowing that God will direct him wherever He wants him to be. We are feeling very blessed that he's got some great options.

Happy Wednesday!