Yoga, hot cocoa and Travis…aka Some Randomness..

I love bullet points, don’t y’all? Too bad. Live with it.

:: There is only one thing that is really bothering me about the impending anniversary of my birth. The need to have a pair of reading glasses tucked into my shirt collar, in every room, in every purse or bag I might be carrying (or might possible THINK I’ll be carrying), in the car and in the office. Other than that, the prospect of turning fortyeightfunlovinyears old in a few days hasn’t really entered my mind. Other than I’ve already got my birthday money spent. In my mind anyway.

:: More important on the birthday horizon is the fact that my sweet baby boy turns 13 the day before I turn a decidedly unmatronly 48. Thirteen years old and he is already six feet tall. To say that he stands out in the hallways at his middle school is an understatement.

:: I have been having a major woe-is-me-super-duper-pity-party lately. Not because of my birthday. But because…well, I don’t really know why. I do know that I am DERN sick of it.

:: Today: no more pity party.

:: The plumber who showed up to FINALLY install our new gas logs without the correct copper piping, however, almost needed his own pity party. I was a bit irked. Especially since I had the tea kettle going, Mame’s chair was strategically placed just close enough to warm my tootsies and my bible study materials were stacked up ready to be, um, studied. Looks like another delay of a few days. Gr.

:: So I pulled out my yoga mat, my Christian yoga DVD (still in it’s original wrapping) and hit the floor. A year of not working out, not taking care of oneself, and gaining a few pounds really makes a difference at the age one has found herself. Downward Dog was more like Shaky Whimpering Fallen Over Puppy. I pushed through and followed the for-those-of-you-who-are-whimps-wanting-a-light-workout leader.

:: I was quite irritated so I pulled out my weights and did some upper body reps. Not many, but it’s a start.

:: I pretty much had the house to myself today so I did some office work (church office, that is) while listening to Travis on my iPhone. That boy can Bring. It. I always feel the hand of God on me when I’m worshipping with Travis.

:: We had three inches of snow today. I got a measuring stick out and stuck it in the snow on the back deck table. Wished I had photographed it, but I didn’t.

:: While our youngest child was ignoring his cell phone orders to come home immediately to shovel, I decided to get out and shovel a path up the driveway. Two driveways and sidewalks later, I was done. Thanks to the spousal unit who showed up and Flo, our wonderful 69 year old neighbor who is in better shape than me OR you.

:: Last, but not least, I made some hot cocoa. With real cocoa, sugar, 2% milk (dern…shouldn’t have used all the whipping cream) and little white floating mallows. Yum. Mers.

:: That’s my day in a nutshell. My husband, when he asked me what I did all day, got a big laugh out of my description to him: blogged, facebooked and twittered. All. Day. Long.

:: That’s what he would have believed anyway.

Love you guys.


Y’all here me talk alot about stress.

I have always allowed stress to creep in and take control of my life. My health. My thoughts. My eating.

I have been feeling so crummy lately. After my quiet time this morning I had to get down on the floor, face down…we have a lovely rug in the living room where I happened to do my bible study this morning. It is thick and comfy and pretty. The sun was streaming in through the back door and I chose a warm, bright spot to place my hands and my face. If it wasn’t for the dog hair, cat hair and cookie crumbs…it would have been perfect!

Thankfully, He knew my heart was there (even if my vacuuming skills weren’t).

Again…again…AGAIN…he reminded me that basically…this is all my own doing. The crumminess I have felt, the fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, yadda yadda is because I don’t listen to Him. I don’t obey Him. I totally freak out about everything and worry, fret, stew, search for answers on the internet when He Has All The Answers. He Has Given Me The Antidote For Healing. I refuse to take it. I refuse to take Him.

When am I going to learn? When am I going to obey? When am I going to be disciplined? When am I going to focus on Him and not wallow in my own…SELF. Susan Entertaining Lunatic Focus. Okay, I threw that one together in a nano-second…but I’ll work on a better one.

Anyway…this is one of the major things I miss about meeting with The Girls every week. They kept me in check. I would get the nurturing, mothering and warm hugs from Jill; Velora would get my food, vitamins and exercise program in line; Jen would quote me wonderful scriptures and add her own wise counsel; Lori would just give me a kick in the ass. It is what I need people and I miss it! I cannot be held accountable for myself. I just can’t do it. I’ve proved it for the last 48 years!

So…I am asking Him to take the place of my wonderful girls and get me back on track. And if a few girls just happen to toss some butt-kicking, huggin’, food ideas, scripture reading my way…I would be most grateful!

Love you guys.

David and Esther and cookies…oh my!

Jill and I were going through withdrawal so we start David, 90 Days with a Heart Like His. We finished up 90 Days with the One and Only a week or so ago. The Esther study has not been as homework intensive as past Bethie studies, so we both felt we could handle the extra David devotional.

Today is also Memory Monday, but I have not really felt led to any scripture I am supposed to memorize yet. Maybe I missed it? Possibly.

I know this probably sounds odd, but I am still not back in the groove following the unexpected trip to the emergency room with Brett last Thursday. I am not sure what the problem is. Could be something as simple as I have just been so dern busy that I haven’t had a moment to stop. That very well could be the case.

As a wife, mom, employee, friend, sister…I often feel overwhelmed by all of the pulling on my arm and time for attention. I haven’t even felt like my quiet time in the morning has really been, well, quiet.

When my husband and children mentioned possibly going skiing the last weekend in January. Without me. I jumped at the opportunity to push them all out the door and have Friday and Saturday to myself! It didn’t matter that Friday is Brett’s birthday and Saturday is mine. We’re talking QUIET. And FREEDOM. And did I mention QUIET? Some alone time…I need it. I can’t live without it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it all works out!

I totally overdid the cookies yesterday and I’m sure I’ve gained back the 4.4 pounds I lost the week before. I wish I could say it was worth it. Although they are the best cookies I’ve ever had. Here’s the recipe. I got it from my favorite cooking blog.

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies*
The Great Book of Chocolate

So, here’s my chocolate chip cookie thing. The nuts are always well-toasted and they’re always finely chopped–as in, some will be the size of petite peas but many will be more like powder. What this gets you is a cookie filled with all of the awesome flavor of nuts, as well as the extra crunch, without the nuts actually interrupting your chocolate chip experience. Nobody wants their chocolate experience interrupted. Half the people who try them will have no idea there are nuts at all in there–thus hushing the nut haters–but they will know that there is something undeniably better.

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt or 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (optional)
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (130 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped

Adjust the oven rack to the top third of the oven and preheat to 300F (150C). Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda.

Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Scoop the cookie dough into 2-tablespoon (5cm) balls and place 8 balls, spaced 4 inches (10cm) apart, on each of the baking sheets.

Bake for 18 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

I have to tell you that the DOUGH alone was incredible. Just keepin’ it real.

Love you guys!

It’s always nice to have an unexpected morning spent in the emergency room.

Thankfully, it was nothing serious. But it totally threw me and I have yet, at 5:12pm to get back on track!

I was up early this morning, quiet time with God, working on Esther has propelled me out of bed every morning this week. Well, that and the smell of my yummy Starbucks Guatemala Casi Cielo® beans brewing. (Seriously…I am a night-owl and love to sleep in on mornings, especially 20 degree mornings and the smell of my coffee, that I set up and put on the timer the night before, gets me out of bed much more quickly.)

So God, Esther and I met over a couple cups of a very yummy cup of coffee this morning while it was still very dark outside. I was showered and had wiped down all three bathrooms (something else…I just have not been able to stand the condition of my home lately and wiping down the bathrooms every morning has really helped me feel that I have a bit of control when in reality…I have none) and was doing some laundry before heading to Weight Watchers to be (ahem) weighed in…and then the phone rang and I saw it was Brett’s school.

No, please, I don’t have time, I have my entire day planned out I have things to do…

It was Brett and he had “done something to my ankle in PE”. I asked to speak to the nurse (admittedly hoping she would say he was fine and could go back to class) and she was useless. They just aren’t able to do anything but hand out band aids and take temperatures and call home.

So, I headed to the school.

The boy was in his glory. He was in a wheelchair. He was being pushed around the school by the 7th grade administrator whom ALL the kids adore/fear (depending on if you are a good kid or not so good kid). He pushed him back through the gym where his class was so they could all hover around him. We ran into his core teachers walking down the hall and they all stopped and hovered over him.

It was right up his ally.

Long story short…we ended up at the emergency room. X-rays were negative. Severe sprain and some a few days on crutches and he should be fine. We (hobbled) into IHOP for some brunch. I have to confess that I didn’t even look at any stinkin’ healthy menu/low fat crap. I ordered the pancake combo…two eggs, sausage links, hash browns and two buttermilk cakes and I ATE EVERY STINKIN’ BITE.

Clearly, I’m struggling with the entire WW thing.

So finally getting Brett home and settled (on the couch, pillow, comforter, cell, and remotes in hand) and I headed off to the office.

I’m still totally unfocused. Really just wanting to sit on the couch myself and veg. It’s not like it was traumatic or anything.

What is wrong with me?

Memory Monday and it’s actually Monday!

It’s Monday and I am already running late this week. Not a good way to start the week, but I had no sleep last night. I stayed in bed this morning and listened to the (two) darlings getting up, showering, talking to our animals (and hearing the animals talk back, lol), getting dressed, feeding themselves and animals. Up and down the stairs. Humming, singing, texting. Really, it is my favorite way to start the morning. They are so self-sufficient now. Sad, but also nice. So, I’m running behind because I didn’t get up and get my quiet time in before the monkeys got up. They are both off to school now. I’m listening to some Travis on iTunes, filling out forms for My Girl to play in a low-key volleyball club this season, thinking about the week, missing my oldest child, missing my bff, Jill.

Since I couldn’t even call to mind the scripture I was supposed to have memorized last week, I am keeping the same scripture this week to actually memorize this week.

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

It is funny…even though I didn’t actually memorize this scripture last week, I guess I glanced at it enough for some of it to sink in. I felt much more patient and kind and humble last week and certainly feel that way this morning. I love that His word is never wasted. Even when I am distracted.

I cannot believe the Christmas Season has come and gone so quickly. The Boy has been home and gone. I don’t even know his class schedule or if his books have been shipped to him yet. It was a crazy month! He has misplaced his iTouch. Our house is still upside down from painting (trim still not done) and Christmas. It will turn up, but meanwhile, I know he is missing it.

Esther begins tonight and I can’t wait! I’m facilitating. But I don’t really do anything. Bethie does it all. I plan to share with y’all some of my own insights from this study. I know that JillEllen is doing it too and we want to stay connected now that our 90 Days with the One and Only study is over. After Esther, we are going to do the 90 Days with a Heart Like His (David).

Okay, gotta get moving here. Quiet time, journalling, and another look at Esther is calling me!

Love you guys.

It’s Tuesday so it must be time for Memory Monday!

Oops. Totally forgot to post this yesterday.

I seriously clung to last week’s memory verse:

Psalm 56:3,4

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God whose Word I praise. In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

When I was so stressed out over the weekend, I said this over and over again. While walking yesterday and this morning, I said it over and over again. While shopping in the grocery store, I said it (aloud) over and over again. Warning: folks give you strange looks when you are repeating scripture over and over while in the produce department.

This week’s started out as a long one. But I think I’m only supposed to memorize verse 12, so that is what I’ve been working on:

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

I do have verses 12-14 written in my index card spiral so we’ll see how it all goes.

Love you bunches.

Signs and Wonders.


That’s pretty much my description for the past few days.

It all started two weeks ago. Due to my age and certain fluctuations in hormones, I would say I probably have one good week a month. This has been true for awhile now. That one good week I’m usually pretty even-keel emotionally, spiritually and physically. The other three weeks…not so much. My emotions are all over the place; my mood swings totally unpredictable, even to me; I’m anxious and easily stressed. Physically I’m fatigued, achy, stiff, head achy, distracted, foggy and struggling with tummy issues. Spiritually…well I either question, rebel, cling, or did I mention question?

The last few days have been the worst. This morning, I just got down right angry about it. Ready to throw in the towel (not sure what that would involve, but you know what I mean). Thinking, “fine…so this pit isn’t the nicest I’ve been in but with a little paint and a few window treatments…I could stay awhile”.

Grumpy and complaining, I opened my journal and my devotional. Which happened to be Day 85 of Jesus, 90 Days with the One and Only. I have to say that I sorta got a little grin on my face when I realized what this day’s reading and discussion would be about as I read the title…The Cost of the Cross.

“So,” I thought. “You are bringing out the big guns. Going straight to the heart. Not messing around with me anymore.”

I did not sacrifice my Son on the cross for you to be in this much pain

95% of the stuff you are experiencing you are bringing on yourself with your thought patterns and “just go for it” attitude about food and eating

When was the last time you felt well and healthy and focused? I’ll tell you when…four years ago when you were down 35 pounds, eating well and exercising every day. You had none of these physical and emotional things going on

You need to trust me and believe in me. And then you will not be experiencing this anxiety and stress as you do

This too shall pass. Knowing you as I do, I will tell you that when you decide to believe me and trust me and step out, picking up your cross as you go, leaving your self and selfish attitudes and self-absorbed thoughts behind, you will see, by my power, that you will immediately be strengthened. Physically, emotionally and especially spiritually

Pick up your mat and walk, Susan. Now.

So this is not verbatim and you know that I did not (although I wish I would) hear the audible voice of God, but this is basically what I gleaned from Him and from His Word to me today.

So I picked up my mat and walked. It wasn’t far and it was by no means as fast as I would like, but I did it. Second day in a row. And then I came in and picked up my weights. Still struggling with the shoulder issues, I’m still working with light weights cuz I haven’t been working with any weights at all. Had a good upper body workout, too.

I felt better. I have to admit it. A lot better. But the real clincher was when I was getting dressed after showering. My left arm and shoulder which has been so tight and stiff (due to this frozen shoulder issue) that I’ve not been able to reach around to my back at all…suddenly today, after walking and working out, I could. In a huge way. And it was comfortable, not excruciating pain.

Seriously…the sign that He knew I needed…was this! Something as simple as being able to reach around my back. So, being me…(clinging to several That Girl tendencies) I decided to test the other arm. Same thing. While it had always been more flexible and not as painful, it was majorly improved.

To say I wept tears of joy and hope and praise and thankfulness would be an understatement. In fact, it set me back about 30 minutes trying to regain my composure.

What kind of God is He that He continues to love me, show me mercy and grace? I cannot begin to fathom. But I want to. I want to so badly.

The Book Shelf Extravaganza…

I am feeling so much better now that I have this job done! There are still some books in the house that need to be gone through (kids’ rooms) but we have done that within the last year so I’m pretty confident not much will change.

Here are a couple of before pics:

Please note the orange chair and the avocado green carpet without judgment. This is our “dungeon”. Some day…it will be gutted and turned into a…downstairs. Still not sure what we are going to do with this area. Shawn’s room is down here. The laundry room and workbench is down here. One thing I do know is that I want sliding glass doors in place of the door so that it brings some light in. Another day…oh, and the orange swivel chairs are the official PS2 playing chairs.

And some after pictures:

Let’s all hear a collective sigh….

I should be painting. But I’m not.

My husband has decreed the next four days…painting the kitchen days. And also touching up what needs to be touched up since we last painted (you know…two years ago) and painting things that never got painted when last we painted like the trim and all the doors in the hallway upstairs.

I’m not complaining…oh, Lory Be, no. If it were up to me we would be giving the entire main level and upstairs another coat of paint. But my husband Hates To Paint. Painting to him (and apparently in his household growing up) was a Do-only-when-you’ve-washed-the-walls-so-many-times-there-is-no-more-paint-left-on-them kind of job. In MY house growing up, Number 1: we weren’t allowed to touch the walls (or anything else for that matter) so the walls never needed washing but that didn’t stop my mom from making my father paint the house Every Single Year. It’s funny how two children growing up in a home like that turn out so differently…I turned out to resent cleaning and all it stands for (authority, apparently) and my little sister turned out to be just like the authority I apparently resented: our mother.

But I’m getting the painting bug and I think once Mr. Smith pulls out all of the painting stuff I’m going to continue to push the envelope and paint a few other rooms. It may take me all Winter but I’m itching to get this stuff done. It’s not so much me (I keep telling my beloved spousal unit) it’s The Lord. He has really been speaking to me about getting our home in order and for it to be a lovely, comfy place free of clutter, stuff we don’t love and hand prints and dog slurps on the wall. Invoking the power and name of Jesus in order to get my house painted…I just never really thought it would come to this but apparently it has. In all seriousness…God really HAS been talking to me about the clutter in my life. The physical as well as emotional and spiritual. I am on it! I am determined to obey even if it means making The Husband Who Hates to Paint paint!

(To give you an idea of how much he dislikes to paint when I told him six months ago that really, I couldn’t stand it any longer and the kitchen has to be painted, he replied, “What? We just painted the kitchen!” We DID paint the kitchen. Once since we moved into this house 15 years ago. We painted it 14 years ago. See what I’m dealing with?)

I hear him, as I’m typing this upstairs in the office (another room that I am going to tackle soon) in the kitchen rustling around. He seems to forget that the stove is on; the cinnamon buns need to be cooked and we’re having a huge dinner tonight. And yet he thinks he’s going to paint. This will be one interesting day. I need to dash down and take BEFORE pics…hold on!

I was going to continue this posting with some things I want to do/plan to do in 2009. I think I’ll hold off on that, though. I just heard the manly yawn, sigh, stretch and now footsteps heading to the kitchen. Gotta go!

Happy New Year! Love you guys!