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Dear Kate- (#Write31Days)

24/31

**Note- normally today would be a fun Five Minute Friday post– but since my laptop-less self is at Allume right now, and my chances of posting while there- are next to nothing–I decided to use my space to thank Kate Motaung– our fearless leader of Five Minute Fridays– so Kate, this one is for you!**

Dear Kate,

Several months ago Lisa Jo Baker lovingly handed you the baton for Five Minute Fridays, and you took it willingly.

You took us all, willingly into your heart and welcomed us into your bright little space on the internet, every week at the same time.

We come bearing our varied interpretations of the week’s prompt and you create a space for us all to write our hearts out and then encourage us all to visit one another and share the comment love.

What I love about this space is that you are not merely moderating it, but you join us in it– sharing the space with us, visiting our blogs, reading our posts and cheering us on. This community has meant the world to this writer this past year. The weeks that I feel I have nothing to say, nothing to write– those weeks I spend a few minutes with our super-fun #FMFparty crew and usually the words start flowing again.

So thank you for being here in this space and being our cheerleader and fellow writer-friend.

We are so grateful for you and your hospitality in carrying this on.

2-31DAYSMEDIUM

 


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Look Out! (#Write31Days)

23/31

2-31DAYSMEDIUM

I normally steer clear of any soapbox-y natured posts, but today I’m stepping up on the soapbox of looking out for yourself.

As wives, mothers, daughters, friends and just women in general– we often take care of everyone else before we consider ourselves. Though we should be more concerned with others and less concerned with self, (Phil. 2:4) we tend to take it to an unhealthy degree of self-neglect. As moms especially, or caregivers in general– it is more likely that our own health is the last thing we consider.

Personally, it’s not easy to schedule my own doctors appointments– and I do not enjoy going– but it NEEDS to be DONE.

The other day, I shared about my friend with cancer and it has been quite the wake up call, mainly because I’ma few months overdue on my annual physical. (Don’t worry, Mom. I scheduled it today.)

She is my age. She has three children. And with teaching Spin 5 times a week and working out on her own, she is the most active and healthy person I know.

But cancer doesn’t care.

And had she missed her yearly exam this last month, and waited 6 months or even longer– her prognosis might not be as good as it is today.

But Praise God she went and they caught this stuff when they did.

So what is it for you? Dentist? Need new glasses? YOUR yearly exam complete with a smashing paper gown and poking and prodding? DO IT.

If you have to, get a babysitter or take a personal day and pair it with lunch with a friend or a pedicure to make it fun.

But please, for the love of all those people who are looking up to you and who need you– your family needs a healthy you.

And whether it is physical or mental or spiritual or emotional– take some time to look out for your lovely self. 

It is definitely NOT selfish to be the healthiest version of you for yourself and your family.


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One Second. (#Write31Days)

2-31DAYSMEDIUM

Day 21/31 (only 10 days left in October!)

“Okay sweetie, just give me a second and I’ll be right there.”

I say that a lot.

Somedays it feels like it’s ALL I say. Or the many varied versions that put off the given request to a more convenient time.

Let’s be clear, I struggle in this area. 

Most days it is because I am outnumbered. And the requests pile up a little bit faster than I can fulfill them.

And it’s me– trying to be there when they need me and not be stretched in too many directions of my little taffy-pulling sweethearts.

Yes. I struggle to not say it all the time whenever asked “Mommy? Will you…?”

I also struggle with the struggling, because although I REALLY want my children to know I’m there for them, always there for them–

I do not want to raise self-absorbed, demanding little humans.

And there is a definite balance.

And some days I think I might have a hint of what the secret is–

and other days I absolutely do not have a clue.

But this I do know.

This time– this time of parenting very small ones who need some kind of help with just about every.thing. It won’t last.

It’s Oh so temporary.

It is the season of all seasons that will quickly morph into, “I got it mom.” “No, really Mom– I got it.. Can I have the keys and 20 bucks please?”

And to be truthful, that feeling is slightly encouraging some days–

But most days it just makes me want to do nothing but spend all my seconds coloring with them, while having tea parties and dressing up.

They won’t be these little sparkly- tu-tu’ed fairies forever.

And when they no longer need help every other second of the day– it is exactly these days right here, I’ll be reflecting on.

Sitting with my morning coffee– and remembering how sweet this time really was.

 


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On Fear and Cancer.

Your voice wavered on the other end of the line as you paused to collect yourself and a softball of dread dropped into my stomach. Bad news. The lump rose in my own throat.

Cancer. You said. And I cried right then and there in that parking lot. I listened as you told me what your Doctor’s plans were. Swift course of action and then two weeks of waiting to see if they got it all.

It feels as though I’ve been carrying around a backpack of bricks since then– and I don’t know if your burden feels any lighter, knowing so many who love you are carrying it with you. But I hope so. 

And friend, dear friend who has meant so much to me these last few months. Who makes me both love and hate my spin bike three times a week as you encourage us all to just keep going– It’s our turn to be your coach.

It’s our turn to cheer you on. It’s our turn to tell YOU you can do this. It’s our turn to be there. And we will be. We will be there to remind you that HE HAS THIS. Because He most certainly does. He has this. He has you– right in His healing hands.

You’re the one whose name is on that medical chart, but we are all a little bit scared.

When the outcome is uncertain, the future is a little scary.

So here is what we do know:

Cancer stinks. The FEAR is big and it’s real and it can choke the truth out of what we know sometimes. We cannot let that happen. We need that truth  to guide us through these next few days. So if you forget, let us remind you.

Because even when our fear is awfully big, OUR GOD IS BIGGER.

And not for one moment on that operating table or any moment after will ever HE leave your side. 

We are praying for the Doctors, we are praying that they are swift and merciless with that awful stuff that threatens your health. But we know that at the end of the day, “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124:8

So go bravely tomorrow. And today and every day after, we will remember–

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3,4

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No-Bake Granola Bites (#Write31Days)

Day 18/31

The word is Taste and Ya’ll. You have to taste these. They make a fantastic snack, a perfect choice to take to a new mom who needs quick calories, a delicious and sneakily healthy dessert for little ones, or the perfect thing with your afternoon coffee. Ask me how I know.

This recipe is one I have tweaked from pulling several other recipes together. Some called for things we didn’t care for, so we just substituted ingredients we do like– and you can totally do that with these– make them your own!

Granola Bites

No-Bake Granola Bites

  • 1 cup of regular dry rolled oats
  • heaping 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup of honey (you can sub maple syrup– both are great.)
  • 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup of toasted wheat germ (you can double the flax if you want to avoid the wheat germ)
  • 2/3 cup of coconut
  • 1 tbs. chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup of roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (heaping)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tiny pinch of salt

**Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and place in refrigerator for 1 hour. Then roll into balls, I used a tbs. size disher– and keep refrigerated. Sometimes they are messy to roll, wet your hands and it will be a bit easier.

2-31DAYSMEDIUM

Don’t forget to enter the Away We Go Co. Giveaway over here— only a few more days to win a set of their beautiful prints for your home! 


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The Good Kind of Long Days (#Write31Days)

Day 17/31

Our family has been needing a little rest and refreshing together, so we found a little cabin in the Georgia Mountains and jumped on it. We packed our cozy socks, fleeces all around, no-bake granola bites, and the ingredients for chili and hit the road last friday afternoon.
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We picked big beautiful apples, which turned into a pretty unforgettable memory of standing in a torrential downpour while our girls wailed at the top of their lungs, but standing out there in that huge apple orchard with absolutely no outside noise and only the smell of all that fresh fruit was surreal.
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We rode the railway into TN and ate Ice Cream Cones on the bank of the river in perfect 70 degree weather. We spent three full days just enjoying together, with very little distraction.

One afternoon the girls rested and Lance and I sat on the back deck and drank piping hot lattes (because you should never leave home without an espresso pot and a milk frother,) and read real books in total silence. And it was in that moment that it hit me– how much more DAY is left when you slow down long enough to watch the minutes pass.
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The quiet was so thick, you could almost hear it– and as the wind whistled through the rapidly falling leaves, I am pretty sure I heard the sound of my own stress and striving melting away with the deep exhale of remembering how to breathe.

The days felt so much longer because there was so much less in them. However, they were far from empty– but rather felt more full than all those days that burst at the seams with hurry and a 3 foot long to-do list. I need more of that in my life. Every day cannot be spent at a cabin with no internet and barely enough square feet to keep everyone from being on top of everyone else– but still. Quiet is so healing. 

It was good for the younger members of our party too– instead of a slightly over-full playroom, there was a small stack of coloring books gracing a sunny spot on the floor by the back door. They laid there on a blanket and colored and giggled and had plenty of silly moments– and it was more than enough. For all of us, it was more than enough and all that we needed. 
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HEY!!! Don’t forget to enter the Away We Go Co. Giveaway over here!!! Only a few more days!


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Adjust and a Fun Bloggi-versiary! (#Write31Days)

Day 16/31

Today is my 400th Blog Post!!!!! I know– how fun?!?!?!? However, a small disclaimer– I’ve been blogging in some capacity for 7 years. So when you think of it that way– it’s not really all that great!!! HA! BUT, most of those posts have been in the last 18 months. Before that I was all, slap a photo up every three weeks and call it a wordless wednesday, or wordless monday or whatever. (please don’t go back to my earlier archives. It won’t be pretty. Actually, it might be very pretty because it will mainly be pictures of the children.. with very little constructive thought. :)

But around the summer of 2013, I began to write more frequently with a renewed purpose and defined passion. It quickly became something I couldn’t not do. This last month of the #Write31Days challenge has been tough, I can not lie. From being on a 2-3 times per week consistency to publishing every single day– whew! It’s been quite the adjustment.

I have gotten up earlier, stayed up later ( a few times,) missed out on things I wanted to do, conversations I wanted to have, places I wanted to go– but the trade off has really been worth the sacrifice.

Just the exercise of writing something every day has been freeing. After October is finished, I cannot imagine I will continue posting more than my usual schedule of 2-3 times per week– but I have learned that I need to be doing some type of writing every day. In a journal, on a document, on a post-it, even. Just something.

Emily Freeman said,Sometimes I write because I have something to say.. and sometimes I write because I need to remember how to see.” 

So true. The principal of paying attention is something I need more in my life and this month, just knowing I needed to write every day has given me a renewed sense of opening my eyes to all around me. To paying better attention. 

And though I feel as though I have had to simply adjust many things in my day to allow for the time to write daily, it has really been so much more than that– as the exercise and the discipline of it has adjusted my vision. 

I hope I keep my eyes wide open long after October is over. Thank you for coming back every day and sticking with me!

2-31DAYSMEDIUM

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