Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose."

~ Tom Krause ~

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Would Too

Full disclosure: This is a commercial. But don't hate. Because it's awesome. Thanks to Sarah at Live in Imagination for posting this. So the question is: Would you take the stairs?

Lonely... I am so lonely

Do you ever just feel that you could sing the song by heart?

Lonely, I'm Mr (Ms) Lonely,
I have nobody to call my own

I've been feeling like that all day. It's amazing how one incident can make you feel like everybody in your life is simply tolerating you. Not even patronizing. Just... tolerating. Just waiting for you to go away.

Do you ever feel like that?

This is not the way I'd planned to get back into the swing of free-form blogging, but dangit I just can't be happy right now.

My facebook status right now says I "hate being alone." And God bless them, two people came right out and said they're here for me. Of course the problem is they aren't actually physically here, with me. And one friend played the one-up card, because he's in a place that is super crazy lonely for him too. I feel for him, I really do.

And then someone did say that I can always remember that while I may be feeling lonely, I am never truly alone.

It's just that Jesus doesn't hold your hand or wrap his arms around you. Not in a way you can easily feel, anyway.

So what do you do? When you realize at the end of the day that every single person you talked with, worked with, laughed with, and maybe even thought you were friends with, is home with their own families and friends, leading their own lives, and you're just home... lonely.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Two Normal Moms

Hello and welcome again to Be My Guest Monday. If you haven't yet signed up to be my guest, please click on the link and let me know you're interested!

Today's guest bloggers are two of my favorite people who I don't really know in person: Ally and Lela at Two Normal Moms. They gave me my first blog award, and I won my first blog giveaway for their 100th post. They have been uber-supportive and I sooo wish I could go visit them sometime because they just seem so awesome. Well with no further ado, here is their extraordinary story:

Two Normal Moms
We are honored and excited to be guest bloggers here today! Thank you for inviting us!

Here is a little tale. A tale about two normal, ordinary girls, getting ready to start kindergarten. Absorbed in their own little-girl worlds, surrounded by their families, oblivious to the great big world out there.

One little girl was born with a love of animals in her heart, and was (mis)fortunate enough to live on a corner where for some unknown reason, the bad animal people of the world felt it was okay to dump their pets. There were always strays and dumps showing up. So the little girl, with lost kitty in hand, and mom with her, went door to door looking for the kitty’s home. And that’s when she met the other little girl.

They started kindergarten and ended up in the same class. They were both already too big for the tiny kindergarten chairs and they couldn’t figure out why other kids were crying that first day.

They became fast friends, politely calling each others houses asking their parents if they could play. They spent summers roaming the overgrown fields and woods behind each others houses. Pouring shampoo under the drainage pipe that fed the creek to watch it bubble. Lighting a small hill on fire with an errant firework. (It was a small fire, really.) Catching snakes and caterpillars.

They shared secrets. They had sleepovers in the basement. They made other friends. They did other activities. But they always had each other. It was never awkward, in fact, it was always easy.

They graduated from high school, and went on to the same college. One girl went off to become a flight attendant. The other girl moved to Hawaii to find herself. They met the men who stole their hearts. They were in each others’ weddings. They each had a little boy of their own. The boys grew up to be teenagers.

Through it all, they’ve always had friendship. Solid and unfaltering.

Two ordinary little girls, absorbed in their own small worlds, cross paths, leading to extraordinary friendship. Life's a little less ordinary.

Ally & Lela

Two Normal Moms

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fictionary Friday - Preboard

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Preboard v. to put or allow to go aboard in advance of the usual time or before others: "Handicapped passengers will be preboarded."

Fictionary Definition:
Preboard v. the procedures you wish an airline would do before making their passengers squish themselves into their seats for 3 hours: "Ladies and gentlemen, it's now time for the preboarding conga line!"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Curvy Thursday

Reason number 57 why curvy woman will rule the world:

When we fall on our rear, we don't break our tailbones.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sant there except those that sang best."

~ Henry Van Dyke ~

Monday, March 22, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Look, Listen and Attend

Hi everyone and welcome to another episode of Be My Guest Monday! Today's guest is Jennee from Cheap Therapy. She's got one of the most vibrant blog designs I've seen in a while, I just love it! And I suddenly realized that I had told her that she'd be my guest on March 15th, except I have her on my schedule for March 22nd. So here's a public apology to Jennee (and anyone else whose schedule I may have messed up). But this post is well worth the wait, ladies and gentlemen. Enjoy.

Look, Listen and Attend
I recently did some traveling, and I have to tell you, that I love to travel. Everything about it! Well, with the exception of jet lag and the expenses. Growing up, I would often would day dream about exotic places with sunshine and sand, palm trees and soft breezes. I did a little bit of traveling in my youth, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I really found the pleasure and excitement in traveling.

I’d like to thank Donald Miller for refreshing the desire for travel and life experiences. In Through Painted Deserts, Don challenges, “We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it? It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out. I want to repeat one word for you.: Leave. Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.”

These words have inspired me so much that I did leave. I packed up my bags and moved from Wooster, Ohio then to Nashville, Tennessee and finally off to Miami, Florida. It was the greatest life experience, full of adventure and fears. And I did change. I changed into the woman that I am now. Since moving back to Ohio, my day dreams of travel have become more frequent, and so I packed my bags and took a quick trip across the country to California. Once again, Don sums up how I was feeling. “We are shaped by our experiences. Our perception of joy, fear, pain and beauty are sharpened or dulled by the way we rub against time. My senses have become dull and this trip is an effort to sharpen them.”

Do you look out the window when you are in flight? Have you noticed the texture of the land down below? The dimensions of the earth rise and fall along the ride, the views of mountains and oceans take away your breath when you take in the beauty of the earth. From above, all you see is the natural splendor, and for a moment everything looks harmless and peaceful. There is no crime, no destruction, and no cruelty. There is only beauty.

In that instant, you take a minute to look, listen and attend. It’s what echoes in my ears and mind in moments of silence, whether in a beautiful scenery or in a new experience.

I am starting to think this is what life is all about. We have to look for what life has to offer. We have to listen closely so we won’t be deceived, and most importantly, we have to be willing to attend to life and it’s experiences. The good ones, along with the bad ones.

Life is full of hard work and we don’t always want to see or hear that. We want life to be a pleasure cruise where everything comes easily. But, it is the hard work and the challenges that fill our life with color and textures. “It is difficult to recall, much less recapture, the excitement of an adventure’s beginning when you find yourself in the boring middle of it.” Don says.

Look, listen and attend, to the beauty that you are daily a part of.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fictionary Friday - Mandate

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Mandate n. an authoritative order or command.

Fictionary Definition:
Mandate n. when two straight adult males go to dinner or the movies together. Call it male bonding all you want--it's a date.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"An optimist is the human personification of spring."

~ Susan J. Bissonette ~

Monday, March 15, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Beyond "Life is Not Fair"

Hello and welcome again to Be My Guest Monday! If you don't know about my goal or if you'd like to be a guest in 2010, please click on that link and check it out.

Today's guest blogger is Amber from Making the Moments Count. Amber has two beautiful children, and she blogs about what life is like as a woman and as a mommy. Her guest post is quite heartwarming. Thanks for sharing, Amber!

Beyond "Life Is Not Fair"

It was a hard day. Crying, errands, crying, diapers, crying, dishes, crying, dinner, and more crying. My arms were tired. My heart was heavy. I was ready for bedtime. Unfortunately, Andrew had another idea. I sat in our rocking chair, watching a movie, and silently bemoaning my situation. It seemed so unfair.

My mind returned to a few months previous. I was very pregnant with Andrew. I had experienced nightly contractions for 7 weeks straight. I was not ready for this child to be born, but he seemed to have other ideas. After 2 days of non-stop contractions, I finally called my doctor in tears. Since I was 36 1/2 weeks along, he informed me they would not induce labor. He encouraged me to head to the hospital to see if the contractions were doing anything. I agreed and phoned my husband.

When we arrived at the hospital I was sure I had not progressed. I was ready to ask them for medicine to stop the uterine contractions. I was tired. I was pleasantly surprised that I had progressed to a 3. We decided to wait an hour and see if I would progress anymore. Nope. We went home.

There, I returned to my depression. It just was not fair.

It was here that I hit pause.

What does it mean to not be fair? How does my cousin feel who recently lost her baby? How does my friend feel who has struggled through infertility issues for years? How about my friends who struggle to keep a pregnancy?

At the end of these questions, I realized Andrew had stopped crying. I looked down and he smiles at me. His smile ripped that murky cloud open and I saw the sun clearer than I had in a long time.

I think it was then that I stopped wallowing in self-pity and I started to thank God for my two blessings from Heaven. My life hasn't gotten any easier, but the burdens have become lighter.

Oh, and in case you're wondering about the ending to my reflection, my little guy came the following morning.


Join me on my journey to cherish the moments.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fictionary Friday - Retool

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Retool v. to reorganize or rearrange, usually for the purpose of updating.

Fictionary Definition:
Retool v. to pull the electric screwdriver set you gave your dad out of his closet and wrap it up again for next year. Hey, he loved it the first time, he just never used it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn."

~ Hal Borland ~

Monday, March 8, 2010

Be My Guest Monday!

Hi there, welcome to Be My Guest Monday! Today's guest is very special, because it's a bit of a different reason we're posting. Julie from By Julie Anne and I have teamed up on a super-awesome project that we hope you will become a part of, and so we decided to guest post on each others' blogs! So please read below, and then pop on over to her place where yes, you will find my post about the exact same thing. You see, we think it's just that important. Plus, Julie has a super blog over there and she could use a few new followers, just like... you!



Janet has graciously invited me to post this week and I am honored to be here. My name is Julie Guthrie and my blog is By Julie Anne. I am a wife with a great hubby, a Mom to three wonderful children and a mixed media artist. I have to admit on my blog I am sort of infrequent, but there is always room for improvement. Now that you know a little about me, let me tell you how I have come to know Janet.

We both became fans of a Facebook fanpage called "Cards for Cancer". I became a fan when another FB friend recommended it to me. I was instantly taken and through there is how I connected with Janet.

Cards for Cancer is a day (April 10, 2010) presented by an organization called Spirit Jump. The main goal is to collect at least 100,000 cards to distribute to cancer centers around the world, to let those who are fighting cancer know that we are supporting their battle.

Janet had already began the team Faith.Hope.Love with the intention to bring cards to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. When I first became a fan Childrens Memorial Hospital was the first place that came to mind for me. (These are both in Chicago). Janet let me jump on board her team and here we are!!!

I do not believe I know one single person that cancer has not touched their lives. Not one single one. My Grandma Tomlin was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1979. Back then, at least in my house, the word "cancer" was whispered. It was just something awful that you did not say out loud. And the word breast...well we would say that Grandma had chest cancer.

Through the years it became more and more commonplace. Grandma Kacprzak, a friend's mom, the man who bagged my groceries on Thursdays, the darling baby girl of our closet friends, four other friends of varying ages and my Dad. When he was diagnosed in October of 2003 with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma he was told that he would have a long relationship with his oncologist, as this was the type of cancer that you survive. I guess that was not meant to be as my Dad passed away in May of 2004, just 7 months after diagnosis. Cancer has become the word we say with a sigh now, not a whisper.

Every person that I have mentioned, every person stricken that you know, every person stricken that you don't, they all fight this battle, this valiant battle not to let this disease get the best of them. Some are more successful in the battle and others like my Dad fight until they have nothing left and the go on to the other side.

But what if every person engaged for the battle of their life knew that we supported them? What if they knew that even in spirit, a person that they did not existed, supported them in their fight? That is why I joined Cards for Cancer, to touch lives, to support others that I may not know or even meet, but to let them know we care...we All care!

So join us please! Janet has created a fanpage for the team. The details are simple. Buy some cards, make some cards, get your friends to make cards. Support their battle. Touch lives. When you have completed your cards, just post to us, email us and let us know. we will coordinate how to get your cards and on April 10th we will joyfully deliver these messages of encouragement to ones that need it the most!

Please join us!

Thank you Janet for letting me play in your sandbox for a little bit!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Are You Going Through The Motions?

I've been doing a lot of soul-searching lately. I know, I know, that's such a cliché term. But it's true. Am I on the right path? Am I doing what I was created to do? What if I don't have tomorrow, have I made the most of today? Or am I just going through the motions of life, doing just enough to get by?

I'm not really sure.

But I watched this video tonight, and it made me realize that we none of us know what we will have beyond right now, this moment, right here. And that really touched my heart. Because no matter what I do, I must do it knowing that I have prayerfully discussed it with God and done my absolute best to make sure that I'm doing what He wants me to be doing. Because the greatest joy of life is in walking in God's good and perfect will. It's just that sometimes we get sidetracked, or stop walking because we somehow think we've "made it." Or perhaps there's a bump or a bend in the road, or maybe even a gap that must be jumped over, and we're just standing there, waiting for someone to come in, smooth out the road, and make everything easy again. But there's only one person who can get you over that bump or around the bend: YOU. With God's guidance and mercy, you are the only person who can change your life around, if you suddenly find you're not living out who you were meant to be.

So... are you giving your everything to this life that you were given, or are you just going through the motions?

And do you want to change?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Six Word Saturday

So, Have You Stopped Following Yet?

Really. Honestly. I am so very very (very) sorry. I have fallen behind in both my blogging and my responding to comments. And I love blogging, and I really really (really) love comments. Lo siento! Je suis desole! If I could say it in other languages without having to look it up I would. Because I am sorry.

I guess on the plus side, having regular features like Be My Guest Monday, Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, Fictionary Friday, and the few Six Word Saturdays that I've done, have helped me to keep my blog renewed about every other day, but I just feel so very disconnected when I'm not able to write those in-between posts and answer your questions and read your blogs.

And someone un-followed me today. I practically saw it happen. One minute my dashboard said 73 followers, and now it says 72. Is it really terribly pathetic that I keep track?

Oh well, since this is a blog about finding the extraordinary in all things, I want to do that here. Let's all share, shall we? When is the last time you've felt that blogging was just one thing too much, and what was it that brought you back? Let's have some happy blogging stories. Aaaaaand... go:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fictionary Friday - Triptych

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Triptych (trip-tik) n. A work consisting of three painted or carved panels that are hinged together or hung side-by-side

Fictionary Definition:
Triptych (trip-tik) n. A countdown timer that gets taken on vacation in order to keep track of how much time each person gets to do what they want. "Honey, I know you want to go on Splash Mountain again, but the Triptych only has 3 more minutes, so let's give Hannah her turn to pick some rides."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."

~ Jack London ~

Monday, March 1, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Life in Chaos

Happy Be My Guest Monday everyone!!! If you're new here, or you've come over from Lora's blog, welcome!! I'd love for you to consider being my guest... just click on this link here: Be My Guest!

Today Lora and I are doing a blog switch! So please check her out (and read my Monday Memories post about my BFF) at Take Me the Way I Am. She just updated her blog design, and it's absolutely fantastic. Makes me realize how badly I need to do mine!! Plus, when she gave me two options of guest posts, I had to choose this one simply because the other one is so beautiful that it must be on her own blog. So please be sure to follow her if you don't already! And now, here is today's fabulous guest post:

Life in Chaos

A few weeks ago, Nashville was covered with a beautiful snowfall. And by “covered” I mean there was approximately ¼ inch of snow on the ground. I wish I were kidding.

The thing about Nashville is that we don’t get much snow. What we get instead…is ice. Which every other place that gets snow acquires as well, but there’s usually a nice little snow cover so that it’s fairly safe to drive on. Not so in our fair city. And when you add in the fact that 90% of the people here have NO idea of what to do on the roads when they get slick…yeah, it makes for an interesting time!

So as much as I like driving in the snow (and truly I LOVE it) my mind is constantly active when I’m driving in Nashville winter weather.

“Remember, if you hit a patch of ice, steer with the skid”

“Brake before the slick spot so that you can clear it with no problem”

“Against all instincts, don’t hit your brakes on ice!”

“See that crazed driver beside you? Get distance from them. They clearly don’t know what they’re doing in this weather."

It hit me one day as I calmly navigated the slick ramp that curves around to the exit home.

I’m much better at driving in chaos than in ‘normal’ conditions.

In chaos, I don’t panic. I simply remember the things that have been drilled into my head since I was a young girl growing up in Indiana. I’ve never (knock on wood) had a winter weather related accident or even near accident.

In chaos, my mind is where it should be. I’m not tempted by the iPhone sitting on the passenger seat.

In chaos, I’m paying a LOT more attention to those around me.

I’m not really sure what all this means. Except that I wonder if it somehow is a parallel to my life.

The last year and a half has been rather chaotic in my life. Losing a full time job, dating a wonderful man, seeing so many of my friends deal with death and divorce. I still sometimes wonder if I’ll ever have a “real” job again, and while much of the chaos in my life is GOOD, it’s still somewhat overwhelming!

And truly, I can’t remember a time I’ve been more…calm.

I can’t claim any credit for this.

It’s God who calms me in the chaos of my everyday life.

It makes sense. In my many theology courses during college I learned about this particular aspect of God in more depth. He’s kind of a pro at this whole creating order out of chaos thing.

But somehow I’ve never made it personal until now.

The God who literally creates order out of the chaos of the world has created order out of MY chaos.

What an amazing God!