What’s New This Week 6.1.15

Hi, again. Let’s just get one thing straight: I do not like being told what to do…especially when I’m the one doing the telling. I can want to do something, but this funny thing happens when I tell myself I need to or should do it. It kills it for me and I stick it to the man (in this story, I am “the man”…in the anarchistic sense, not the first-bumping sense). If I should eat an apple every day, I suddenly never want to see another apple ever again. Tracking with me? It’s weird. I’m a little weird. Hence, the no writing thing.

But, that’s okay. Because today, I made ghee. Coconut ghee.

I also listened to jazz. Jazz and Diana Ross.

And before that, I went on a date with our three-year-old “Rocket” daughter, which ended in her stripping off her flamingo patterned dress, grabbing my hand, and running into the ocean. A pretty decent way to kick off a new month.

Now for the ghee recipe: (This recipe will yield 1.5 cups total: 3/4 cup of ghee + 3/4 cup of coconut oil)
1. Melt 1 cup of unsalted, grass-fed butter in a saucepan over low-medium heat.
2. Once it comes to a gentle boil, the milk solids will start to come to the surface. Let it simmer for 8-10 minutes.
3. During the simmering process, a nice layer of foam will form on the surface and browned bits will fall to the bottom. (You can skim the foam off the top or just strain it out in the next step)
4. Cover the top of your jar or other small storage container with a few layers of cheesecloth OR a coffee filter. Pour the hot butter oil in and discard whatever brown bits are left over.
5. If you want to double the goodness of this ghee, add an equal amount of organic cold-pressed coconut oil and enjoy!
*No need to refrigerate, but if solid oil is your thing, then knock yourself out!
You can cook with it, use it as part of your nutritional plan to help heal cavities (what I am doing with our newly snaggletoothed five-year-old), or just eat it plain if you feel so moved.
I won’t mention anything else that I’m researching or hoping to do until I’ve actually done it or at least have a foot firmly in the door of said thing. Because, ya know, anarchy and stuff.

So This One Time, At Choir Practice…

It seems I’ve found myself in a hole that has taken me six months (I know, I gasped too) to find my way out of. I could blame our move (a whole five miles down the road) or my busy-bodied children, but it was mostly writer’s block and laziness. My fingers tickled the keyboard here and there, but nothing that followed really held my interest long enough to finish. Last month, though, I got to say something I’ve been waiting a whole year to repeat to someone! And now my keyboard and I would like to share it with you.

We were all dressed in our black or grey shirts, dark pants and non-reflective/no-noise-making shoes waiting to be called onto stage. Our voices warmed from scales and arpeggios rung out in the loading dock turned green room, we were shooting the breeze until we would walk out into a giant arena to go worship Jesus with a bunch of people we didn’t know. I was ready to go. I was also really hungry.

A new acquaintance-friend/massage therapist/nose ring rocker, “Ritz”, and I were talking about the legalization of marijuana (this is what choir practice looks like in Austin, TX) with another member of the crew, when my stomach reminded me that I would make a terrible Girl Scout because I had neither eaten lunch before or remembered to bring anything but a half a bottle of water to a four hour gig. Even more hungry. My stomach gave off an audible alert of its needs and Ritz, hippie Girl Scout that she was, pulled out her only organic granola bar, put it in my hand and went right back to talking about weed and the farming restrictions that would have to be imposed because of how invasive a plant it is. (You really do learn something new every day)

I didn’t want to steal the girl’s food, so I did the “Thanks, but you don’t have to do that/I can’t take that from you/insert polite refusal phrase here”. Her response was so very wonderful and beautiful and uncontrived. It was etched into my hangry little brain right then and there.

“Be a Christian and share with me”  <——-(this was the thing I got to say last month)

It was backwards. Kind of. Backwards in a world where sharing doesn’t come naturally. Backwards in a world where I want people to share with me, yet I guard my granola bars like a squirrel building a bomb bunker. She was reminding me that points don’t matter. She was reminding me to be a Christian. To share. To allow myself to be shared with–blessed–and to, thereby, be a blessing.

It wasn’t a thing. There was no big deal to be had. It was a flipping oatmeal stick in a room with Texas Longhorns orange carpet, but that should be my modus operandi! Ready to clean out my stash and give it all away at any moment. Not because I’m looking for status as a nice person or for anything in return, but just because it’s awesome. If you think that sounds dumb, go try it and get back to me. Let’s be nice to each other, shall we? Let’s share and allow ourselves to be shared with. It’s pretty nice.

sharing economy

…And, in the event that squirrels do become weaponized, we’ll have some happy Girl Scouts on our side.

I Am Not a Blogger

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Here’s a little bit of everything to catch you up, people.

2014 has been pretty great so far. We’ve been able to have some fun as a family in the unpredictable Florida weather, we’ve eaten a ghastly amount of cookies. I’ve learned-slash-admitted a few more things about myself. It’s been like having tiny lightbulbs flicker on while I do laundry or take a shower or talk to someone (I’m an external processor all.the.way.). It’s been a month of mini-epiphanies. Nothing huge or world-rocking, more just “hmmm, ya, I think that’s true/good/ok”.

Some of my gleanings:

-I am horrible at waking up.

-I am a professional guilt-carrier.

-The shared freedom in both of the above reminders is the realization that sleep is SUPER important to me (this is one of those “duh” kind of ideas, but my stubborn brain has tried to convince me that I can still run on four hours of sleep–a la college days–and happily take care of a family the next morning) aaaand that guilt sucks. It’s just stupid. And I tend to feel it most about things that truly don’t matter, like whether or not I woke up early in January. Fugget about it.

-Cookies made with oatmeal and applesauce–never mind what else is in them–are completely acceptable for breakfast. And your children will love you.

-People are walking miracles. Cue the sappy music, but c’mon! Good grief. Tons of miracles walking around. Seeing this truth is slowly growing a longer pause in my unthinking and graceless words.

-I complain. Even if it isn’t always out loud. It’s grody. The seeing miracles and living in and living out grace thing, though, gives me far fewer reasons to whine.

-I’ve been reading more and writing a little less. Not on purpose, it’s just worked out that way.

-I really love reading and I really love writing.

This podcast, listened to in three parts–while cooking dinner, cleaning up, and after kids were tucked in for the night–was so well timed that I goofy-grinned while shredding cheese that evening. I’m not a blogger. I love reading blogs and I love writing them, but I’m not a blogger. I am a writer. Even saying those words, thinking them, typing them out, makes me feel arrogant (or like I’m setting myself up for embarrassment), but I think it’s true. No matter what weird phases I’ve gone through, those two things, reading and writing, have been my constants.

-Blogs with tips, projects, and daily posts are amazing. I love visiting them and have learned some wonderful things from them, but I can’t do it. I’m far too flighty and forgetful to write something worth reading every day. Aaaand exhale…I did it. I admitted that I am not “good” at blogging. I don’t have a writing schedule or tons of helpful advice. And, when I have time to write in the evenings, all I really want to do is read, sleep, talk or watch The West Wing (we’re on Season 3 in case you’re wondering–pleated pants and shoulder pads for days).

-I don’t know what this blog will become or if it will fizzle out entirely. I never say never anymore. For now, I’ll keep reading, talking, and writing. I don’t know what about, but if I think it’s worth sharing, you’ll hear about it. Promise. Just as soon as I finish ooone more episode of West Wing.

Oh, and the “goal” for February is to be extra aware of and picky about what’s going on our calendar. Making space for that Philippians 4:8 stuff.

Captain’s Log: January–Sleep


My name means “guardian of the sea”, so a Captain’s Log entry seems appropriate. This is what I imagine I might look like if I were ever to trade life on the land for ocean…and a few other things for a few other things.

Sleep. It’s been about 50/50 so far. I blame the “Polar Vortex” and my wimpy Floridian blood for making anything but my bed and three blankets look like a meat freezer in the morning. Even so, I’ve been enjoying the mornings I have made it up before the wee ones and completely letting myself off the hook otherwise. Baby steps, folks.

Here’s to the rest of the month! May it hold a more impressive ratio by the end!


2014 A.D.

Happy January 4th, folks! We’re freezing our tails off here (by Florida standards, my numb nose should fall off any second now)

It’s a new year and I have these ideas. I also have, which has been over the last few years: adamantly denied, very reluctantly nodded to, and now finally embraced with relieved arms, a very small plate. I used to think I was the queen of multi-tasking, but it was a dirty lie. If I have more than two (literal) pots cooking on my (literal) stove, I will (literally) burn/scald/render inedible their contents.

This, 2014 A.D., will be the year of embracing my teacup saucer of a plate, of listening to my husband’s advice and reading one book at a time (but there are SO MANY good ones!!!), of experimenting and sitting in one thing per one time. Plans like this are bound for hilarious failure in so many ways, but dang it I’m going for it.

For January, I’m trying to wake up before my kids more days than not. Today, I slept in until 9:59 AM because it felt good and my husband loves me. We’ll take tomorrow when tomorrow comes. From mornings past, though, things seem to go a little more smoothly when I have at least five minutes to wash the gunk out of my eyes, thank God for something and jot down those random thoughts I have in the first moments of the day.

I have ideas for each month. Some will be things to try, to finish, to remember. It’ll be fun :) I might keep some of them. I might incinerate some of them. Here goes.


7in7: Day Two (on Day Five)


I know this is the 7 in 7 challenge, but I’m 2 out of  7 ain’t bad…for this mother of two. Better luck next year :)

So I was reading that there Ecclesiastes a few weeks ago and it couldn’t have been more timely. I had (have) been feeling so blah about the day-to-day of laundry/dishes/insert sitcom housewife problems here/dreams feeling far away/worrying about braces for our kids in 10 years/praying that I don’t turn into a nagging wife/wondering if I’m crazy/blah/blah/blah. Blah. Alot of days have felt like I’m brushing my teeth while eating (botched homemade whole wheat) Oreos. It’s not like I was thinking of throwing in the towel, but all the motions and emotions were starting to seem a little pointless.

I’m going to wash these dishes, so that we can eat on them, so that they can get dirty again, so that we can do it all over in three hours. Perfect. I’m going to make a list of goals and work really hard, so that I can try to accomplish them and then die. Fantastic. Ya great, let’s do a bunch of meaningless stuff until we all turn to dust and then our kids can repeat it all until they turn to dust. **My inner cynic was eating. this. up.**

Back to Ecclesiastes. The Bible. I was bleary eyed at 5:30 in the morning, hoping to find some little feel-good boost to get me through my pointless Groundhog Day (classic Bill Murray…google it). There it was. I ended up reading the whole thing. I actually had to re-read parts of it because it was like reading my own thoughts (which keep in mind were pretty negative right about then).

I’ve been toiling. We all are.

Anything we do here is ultimately toil. And, if we’re doing those things “unto” ourselves or others (we, who cannot fill souls), they quickly become pointless exercises, producing discontentment, bitterness, anger, jealousy and frustrated disappointment. It’s “feeding on the wind” (this phrase is all over Ecclesiastes), something we can’t catch and that could never satisfy.
This isn’t news. I mean, how long have humans existed? But oh my word, how quickly do I forget this?! We’ll go with a generous figure of hourly. We are here for this time. Not just from this date to that date, but for this time. It’s a calendar versus a purpose! Of course history will repeat itself and the brokenness of the world will seem staggering. Dishes will need to be washed again and again. Kids will need to be taught the same thing over and over. We will disappoint ourselves and the people around us too many times to count. But that is not the end.
There is a purpose in this time we have. A chance to feel deeply. Opportunities to dwell and be. Moments to experience the entire range of human emotion and to see our Maker in it all. I pray to speak wisely about the time I’m given to dwell in, not romanticizing the past or the future, hoping for it or wishing to return to it. What a waste.
This is my toil. My very own.
This is the time. Here is the place. These are the people. These are the dreams, the passions, the problems and possibilities uniquely bent around this chunk of days. What will they hold? What will I do? Only God knows. It was purposed from the beginning.
Yes, life sometimes feels like a broken record, but it isn’t. “There is a time for everything [every purpose]” (Ecclesiastes 3: 2-8). I can, at times, feel like a carbon copy of every woman before me, doing tasks that seems entirely uninspiring, but it will accomplish something entirely unique…and it’s supposed to. It will spark something in me or another (for better or for worse).
It puts the wonder and sacred weight back into whatever our toil is. Yes, we’ll all end up buried in dirt or have our ashes scattered (or gathered if you want to sit on somebody’s mantle), but for now, we’re all here. Right now. For now. God is here and wants to speak and reveal and teach and heal. Make room for “the times for everything” in our toil. Feel the gravity and the pleasure of purpose. It’s all ours!