clear sense of direction

I still remember thumbing through my parents’ atlas as a young traveler. When we would make the long hike to Florida, I would study it for hours (because what else are you going to do in a van for 20 hours (or more) besides fight with your sister or play foot races on the ceiling with one of your bffs? true stories.) always knowing what state we were in, what town we might hit next and where I’d like to travel when I grew up.  Continue reading

freedom isn’t free

One more celebration of our nation’s independence is in the books. I blogged about oohing and aahing over several fireworks displays and enjoying a small-town parade. But, it was a conversation I had with an old friend today that reminded me again about why freedom is worth celebrating.  Continue reading

use your words

Guess what?! Spring finally arrived this weekend. It felt like as soon as the sun was up Saturday morning, we were out enjoying it. We played soccer and then, after a few errands, some ball practice and a visit to a playground not far down the road.

Connor found one slide that he reeeeaaaly liked. He would grasp the top and repeatedly ask me, “Mom, can you see my shoe?” Sometimes I couldn’t, sometimes I didn’t really want to bend down to look and other times it was in plain sight. “Yes, Connor, I can see your shoe. What is this game again?”

After getting nice and dizzy on the tire swing, he was back in the tube. When I half-expected to crane my neck again to see his shoe, I heard him ask, “Mom, what does a-s-s spell? Does that spell ass?” Yes, yes it does, Connor. And please, don’t use that word.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love this age where Connor is reading and sounding out everything. I’m not even mad at him for asking me what it was he was trying to piece together.

Nope. I’m mad that someone felt it necessary to etch on the inside of a slide a word that my seven-year-old shouldn’t see at.the.playground. It’s sort of like the time that he went into the restroom at a restaurant and came out asking me what f … (you know what I’m getting at, right?) spelled.

Even then, I wasn’t mad at him for asking. I was upset that someone chose to put that language on a counter in a bathroom. And it wasn’t like they etched it into the surface at a level where an adult might see it. Nope, it was at perfect eye height for an almost six-year-old.

I am all for freedom of speech, expression .. all of that. But, really? Really? I don’t know … maybe it’s healthy and good for Connor to be exposed to things like that so he can ask the question, and thankfully I was there to answer. But, then I also have to think that it might not be all that helpful because 1.) he’s seeing how common and apparently cool it is to destroy someone else’s property and 2.) words are just words that apparently should be read by everyone, especially CHILDREN. On a SLIDE.

I think we all know how I feel about words. They aren’t just that. At all. Sadly, I saw a few other words drawn into the wood and other features of the playground that I’m really happy Connor did not see to ask me about. I wouldn’t have known how to explain some to him.

Point is … I won’t be there all the time to explain it to him and as much as I’d love to keep whining about someone else’s choice to infiltrate his brain with nonsense, I might as well just do my best to make sure he knows that activity, in and of itself, is not okay with this mama and if he ever feels the need to send a message to someone else, I hope it’s a positive one.

showing the slide a little love.

showing the slide a little love.


death on a tree

It’s just after the end of a Good Friday. More than some in the past, I feel like the timing was perfect. Many of us needed it; the reminder of who Jesus was, all that He stood for and what he did … for ALL of us. I think today’s message is very simple. And very clear.


21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”  – 1 Peter 2:21-24


#twoweekchallenge recap

Time flies, right? Well, that is until you are purposely avoiding something for any period of time. For the past two weeks, I avoided all beverages aside from water in support of the mission of ActiveWater.

Now, I will say I cheated. I did not drink all of my water straight from the tap. While I was at work, water was available from a Gordon cooler and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t someone with access to water choose that which is cleanest? I think they would.’ Don’t judge me. I also had water that had limes that had already been cut in it. I actually sat and debated for a second, but one of the women at the church told me that she only did that because the water was so bad there. Again, it was available and “cleaner” so I decided to take her up on it.

The past two weeks proved how much I appreciate coffee. It wasn’t so much that I neeeed it to survive, but that I like it. It’s part of my routine and honestly, one of my sources of comfort. When my Uncle Harry passed, i wanted to get a cup of joe so badly but I saw my friend Scott (another challenge participant) mention hot water as an alternative and I tried that. Surprisingly, I really liked it and it fit the bill for the time being.

I also found several opportunities to talk about what I was doing. Most people responded that they could never finish such a challenge, but it really wasn’t that hard and I also realized that yes, we are truly spoiled rotten; just like Ricky Schroder.

The good news is the only drinks I had to avoid were coffee and coconut water as I quit soda at the end of 2012 and I haven’t been drinking milk. The bad is that I found my coffee intake is pretty substantial. Remember how I mentioned part of my routine? In some ways I am very much a creature of habit.

Anyway, I kept track and you’ll find below my completed tally sheet. I crossed out the coffee costs as mine doesn’t run that low (oops). I also added my coconut water to round out my list. I’m embarrassed that I typically spend that much on coffee. That’s ridiculous. But, I’m happy that for the past two weeks that savings I racked up will go to a cause I can truly rally around.

I also want to call out my friend, Scott Swope, who introduced me to the idea of the challenge and for all of those that supported me throughout. To my friends at Water Street, I missed you and I was so very happy to see you this morning. And to ActiveWater, thank you for the work you do to provide such a basic necessity to those who would never think to take it for granted.



becoming aware

Not long ago, I wrote about one of many causes of importance observed in the month of October.You might also know that October is the month in which Breast Cancer Awareness is observed as well as Down Syndrome Awareness. I became (more) aware of another cause of importance this month. I mean, I’ve been aware of it for quite some time but it didn’t become something that was deeply personal to me until now.

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