Social Icons


Saturday, August 24, 2013

The End of Vacation Blues

Tomorrow is the last day of summer vacation, and I've been off work since Tuesday at lunch time. I waited until this late in the summer to take some time off since I only started my new job in April.

So now it's Saturday afternoon and I find myself feeling conflicted. I'm wishing I had gotten more stuff done around the house; my office once again needs a good going-through, the fridge needs to be cleaned out, and I need to really think through what groceries we need for the week, especially since Monday means school lunches etc. On the other hand, I want to enjoy these last hours of down time before routine ratchets life up a few notches.

Don't get me wrong; I love the routine that school brings and the next few months are my favorite in all the year.

It's the classic conundrum of life, especially for me as a Mom who works outside the home full time. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a few more hours in the day? Or if a regular work-week was only 4 days?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Seven Quick Takes (or a desperate attempt to start writing again)

  1. My words for this year are: Read, write, move and pray. I am actually doing pretty well with all of those, except for write. I have been out of the habit for so long that I am finding it hard to regain any kind of momentum in this area. And let’s be real: working full-time, managing our home and family life, trying to eat well and exercise take up a lot of time!
  2. Read: I have been reading quite a bit more for the past few months, both for growth and for pleasure. I have developed a better morning routine in the past few weeks, including Bible reading every morning. My Dad recently gifted Troy and I with Kindles and I love mine! I use the YouVersion app on my Kindle, and love that it keeps track of what I read, has eleventy-billion versions, and reading plans. One of the key pieces in re-claiming this habit, for me, was not getting on my computer /the internet first thing in the morning. I would get sucked into a vortex and end up wasting all the time I had planned for other things. 
  3. I have been downloading free Kindle books from Amazon (there are always a bunch out there) as well as borrowing e-books from the library. This way I don’t have to pay for books, and if I don’t enjoy a book I just stop reading with no strings attached. Who has time to read books they don’t enjoy? Not me! 
  4. Move: I NEVER thought I would say this about myself, but I have been going to the gym five days a week. O_o I sometimes don’t recognize myself. What started early in the year with one step forward, two steps back has turned into a healthy routine. Not only do I do cardio every day, I use the weight machines, people. This is epic.
  5. I have been struggling with my weight without much success over the past few years. After finally getting my thyroid levels normalized, I am still overweight. At a recent visit with my doctor, she recommended that I join Weight Watchers. Thankfully there is a group that meets at my job. I’m excited about the progress I hope to see over the next year with Weight Watchers and the gym combined. 
  6. This is the most boring 7 Quick Takes ever. Sorry :)
  7. DoxaSoma: I have been interested in DoxaSoma for several years, but I am FINALLY working it into my morning routine. It’s usually only between 5-15 minutes, but I find it makes a huge difference for me. Not only is it good for my body, it allows me to move into prayer with my whole self, which is incredibly meaningful. I’m looking forward to attending a training later this fall.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lent, Day 6

  • The sound of the rain on the windows (now that I am cozy at home.)
  • Thin mints for dessert.
  • My gym buddy especially on a rainy Monday night when I would totally talk myself out of it if I had to go alone.
  • My daughter progressing yet another rank at school. She's now a Cadet Chief Petty Officer. So proud of that girl!
  • That our friend D is fully funded to go on her Spring Break trip to India.
  • Friends who are spending the week in happy they have some down-time.
  • A night in with the vicar.

Lent, Days 3, 4 & 5

I kept track of my daily gratitude but did not post over the weekend, so without further ado...

Friday gratitude...

  • For making it through another week!
  • My daughter having the chance to get away for retreat with her youth group.
  • The struggle of giving control of my tongue over to Jesus, and being forced to pray (LOTS) instead of complaining, criticizing or comparing.
  • Shamrock shakes :)
  • Our niece's wedding today!
  • A quiet day with my boyo; nothing on the schedule other than karate class.
  • An out-of-the-blue message about a potential job opening.
  • The vicar and girlie are both home...all together again.
  • The three of us surprising the vicar at the airport.
  • The waitress at Outback telling us that we were one of the nicest families she had served, ever, and complimenting the kids on their manners.(Not trying to brag, but glad we stand out in the world as being different)
  • The parking employee who went to bat for me at O'Hare when I misplaced my ticket (even though I still had to pay the penalty fee.)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lent, Day 2


Today, as I struggled not to complain, criticize or compare, I felt like almost every word that comes out of mouth must normally  fall into one of these three categories! Talk about having the flaws in your character brought to the surface! As I wrestled to keep my tongue, I grew more and more frustrated with myself. I was so aware that I cannot do this in my own strength. I think this Lenten season is going to be the most agonizingly, beautifully, amazingly difficult Lent season I have experienced. It’s going to be so good for my character!!!


grateful today for…
  • Home-made Valentine card from my boyo.
  • A sunny morning after many cloudy ones.
  • Getting everything on my to-do list done before it’s time to head to the gym.
  • Brakes on my car that are in perfect working order when I was convinced they needed replacing.
  • Phone calls at work from my traveling vicar.
  • Friendly faces at work that stop in to see me.
  • The realization how utterly incapable I am of “being good” on my own.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday 2013

It’s almost bed-time for me this Ash Wednesday, but as my habit has often been during Lent, I am going to be blogging daily gratitude. It’s one of the things I choose to “pick up” during Lent, rather than only concentrating on the things I hope to leave behind.

In addition to the daily gratitude, I am picking up this book with a group of people gathered (electronically) by my friend Doreen. I am really looking forward to reading this.

As far as giving up; this year I am “giving up” three “c’s”. Criticism, complaining and comparing. As I asked God what He would have for me this season, and listened for the response, this is what came to mind. The first two will be especially challenging for me in my job. Already today I was forced to bite my tongue more than once. It could be a loooooooooooong 40 days! Winking smile The comparing part is both not demeaning others or my own self.

Pre-Lent gratitude that I have been keeping track of since the beginning of 2013…
  1. Having someone to go to the gym with.
  2. A gym that is close to the house and very reasonably (about $15 a month) priced.
  3. A little looseness in the schedule lately with a day off from work here and there.
  4. A toasty warm home when the weather is dreadful outside.
  5. Knowing I'll get to see my Daddy in May.
  6. A bright sunshiny boy who turns 13 this week.
  7. Sunday lunch with good friends and our next "date" already on the calendar.
  8. Knowing my limits.
  9. Reading 3 whole books in January!
    …and adding more…
  10. A teenaged boy who gets excited about sweet potato fries and turkey burgers for dinner.
  11. A big sister who volunteered to help her brother learn the world of email and Facebook on his long-awaited birthday.
  12. Consistency in going to the gym and feeling my body grow stronger.
  13. How sometimes strangers are “friends not met yet.”
  14. Valentines Day cards left on the dining room table by a traveling vicar.
  15. Forcing yourself to stop counting because you’re solo parenting for the next few days and it’s time for bed.

Friday, February 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes 2/1/13

  1. I haven't done a Quick Takes for quite some time, but I'm hoping it will help me get back into writing more. One of the things I want to do "more" of this year is write. It has been out of my routine for quite some time, and although I often write posts in my head, they very rarely make it onto the digital page.
  2. I now have 2 teenagers. How did I get this old? The 13-yeard old slept until 10:30 this morning, so I know it's real :) The other one starts driver's ed this month. Oy vey!
  3. Since the holiday season ended we have been trying to stick to a healthier and more balanced diet and aren't doing too bad. But we both still have moments when we'd like nothing better than to stuff our faces with all manner of unhealthy things.
  4. The exercise issue is taking a bit longer...I did really well getting up before work to get on the rower. For two days. I am not really a morning person (I like to say I'm a lunch-time person :) ) so getting up at 5:15 is not sustainable for me, as much as I'd like to think it is. However I rarely feel like exercising when I get home, either. Especially once I have sat my behind down in my chair. My friend Karissa and I just signed up at a gym near the house, so we're going together. We have gone twice this week and plan on going tomorrow as well. Hurray for progress!
  5. I AM making progress with my "read" goal. A couple of weeks ago on Monday I had the day off, and I finished reading An Altar in the World, and I read A Child Called It and The Lost Boy. The latter two were fairly quick reads, although heart-breaking. They tell the story of one of the worst child abuse cases in California. I just picked up the third book, A Man Named Dave.. It's been a long time since I read that much in a day and I loved it. I don't usually give myself that kind of luxury because it means I'm neglecting all kinds of other things :)
  6. I love being at home with my family. There are things about my job that get on my last nerve, and there is nothing better than backing into the garage on Friday afternoon, watching the door go down and enjoying the feeling of sanctuary coming over me.
  7. I'm actually so excited that Lent is coming up. Ever since we began observing it a few years ago, I find it such a beautiful time in my spiritual walk every year. Yeah, kind of weird, I know, but there you have it!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Another Day

Yesterday, the vicar and I went to see a movie and stop at a couple of stores after. It was our last holiday hurrah, one of the few times we were alone together during our whole Christmas break. I was not very chatty, mainly because the thought of going back to work was hanging over my head. But we had a good time anyway!

When January 1 hits, I try too hard to get everything in place at once. This year, I am giving myself until the end of the month to set some new things in place. Then, just maybe I won't give up in despair!

Last year I didn't end up doing much of Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare, because I was lazy and thought it too hard to find the things on her list. Now I think that it's kind of the point to search for things out of the ordinary...but I still might mix it up with straight up gratitude. I think that's better than not keeping track at all.

A grace I overhead today was my daughter helping her little brother with his homework, and two songs that remind that I am where I am for a reason.

I am thankful for quiet minutes in our living room chairs with the vicar. And that it's Friday tomorrow. I needed a slow transition back to reality. .

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New beginning

Towards the end of 2012, I decided to move my blog to a new home. I have been blogging (sporadically) at "Heather Between" since a few months before we left Spain and returned to the US. The end of 2012 seemed to be the end of a long period of transition. I don't feel so "between" anymore. 

The phrase "My joyful mess" came to me as we prepared to move into our very first home this past summer. It was all such a happy surprise, and the joy in the midst of chaos seemed like a good place to be.

It has been a growing trend for people to have a word for the year. Last year my words were encourage and community, both as separate words and as a phrase. This year I chose 4 words: Read, write, move and pray. In the past I have struggled with the idea that January 1st would allow me to magically reinvent myself and my life into something closer to what I think I/it should be. Surprise, surprise, there is no magic in the 1st day of January!

So although 4 words may seem like a lot, I don't have any lofty goals lined up with any of them. Yes, I'd like to say I'm going to lose 30 pounds, or read a certain number of books, or become a prayer warrior by the end of the week. Instead, I'm just going to do those things MORE. Maybe I should add that as a word :) 

Here's to reading, and writing, and moving and praying.

Sample text

Sample Text

Sample Text