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October FUN with PopPop and Gg!

December 6th, 2011

My parents came to see us in October.  It’s now December.  I’m just now blogging about this.  What can I say?  It’s been a busy two months! :)  It’s the holidays – I’m pretty sure it’s been busy for EVERYONE!

In the meantime, my super sweet, techie-husband redesigned my blog!  Welcome to my new home in blog-land!  Isn’t it cute?!  He’s so talented.  Makes it feel more like a home here to me and just looking at the bird and bike makes me smile!  THANK YOU, Prince Charming!  (Muah!)

So – (you better go get your coffee…this is a long one!) – my parents came to visit in October.  We had such a fun time with them and I’ve been eager to get on here and share some photos with you!  All 1,300 of them!  Well, maybe not… I kid not when I say we took 1,300 photos.  YES, we had that much fun!  But I surely won’t subject you to all of them!  This is a LONG post, but you simply have to make it down to the part about riding the purple body pillow to “Cowboy Sweetheart”!  (a teaser for ya!)

Here is a sampling of photos from some of the great memories we made…

An umbrella hat and stickers on his ear and nose…Boo seems pretty thrilled with her PopPop!  This was their first night in town and the next day we headed to Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead where they treated Boo to her first, real pony ride!  She was thrilled to ride “Cowboy” the horse – and is still talking about it!


PopPop even let Boo do his hair and happily joined in on a tea party…











Mom and Dad (“PopPop” and “Gg”) offered to take Boo out on a date with them so Prince Charming and I could have a date of our own.  (Umm, YES please!)  We gladly agreed and Boo loved picking out a fancy dress for her “date”.  They headed to Chick-Fil-A, the “Bob and Larry” store (Family Christian where they have a great Veggie Tales kids section), and to the mall for a ride on the Carousel! (The “pretty neighs”, as Boo calls them.)  I’m thinking the ice cream photo really says it all…


Usually, you take your kids to their first pumpkin patch experience, right?  Well, this time the kid (me) took her parents.  It was Mom and Dad’s first ever pumpkin patch on a perfectly warm, Fall day in KC!   We all had a great time picking out different varieties of pumpkins together!

They had great activities like the barrel train and yet another pony ride – all compliments of her adoring grandparents, of course!  (Can we say SPOILED?!)  Boo loved the real fire truck – she looks like a natural, eh?  :)


I just had to share the photo of Dad cleaning up the pumpkins…he always was a trendsetter…

After church the next day (Sunday), we headed back out to Shawnee Mission Park (a favorite for us!) and had a picnic and did a little kite flying again.  Another sweet memory…


Yet another park and another picnic was in store for their last day here.  Antioch Park is a favorite for Boo and me and they have a darling mini-town set up with buildings to play in and a pond where we fed the ducks.  Such a treat to have another gorgeous Fall day!


I think my favorite memory was one that was repeated EVERY night that PopPop and Gg were here visiting…the evening ritual of riding Boo’s purple body pillow to Suzy Bogguss’ “Cowboy’s Sweetheart” song!  I don’t know many grandparents that would do this every night for their grandkid – including, allowing her to dress them up and then lead them around on their horse!  (the pillow, of course!)  Just enduring Boo’s new favorite song (how did this happen?!!) is a gift  in and of itself!  These photos are quite possibly my main catalyst for getting this post published!  HILARIOUS!


Try not to hold these photos against me, Mom and Dad!!    Ha!  You two are troopers!  (I don’t remember you doing all of this for ME when I was a kid!)

The rest of the visit was filled with many storytimes, walks, bike rides, silliness, kisses and snuggles!  I’m so grateful for the love they have for Boo and also the love she obviously has for them too!


Thank you for the great visit, Mom and Dad!  We look forward to many more cherished memories with you!


Fabulous Fall

October 10th, 2011

I used to say summer was my favorite season.  Then we moved to Kansas City.  Between the heat, humidity, and bugs, well…I’ve changed my mind.  Spring and Fall are my favorites!  And – WOW – Kansas City truly has a beautiful Fall!  Prince Charming assures me it’s nothing quite like New Hampshire (he attended college there.)  However, until I’ve seen a New Hampshire Autumn, I think I’ll continue to relish in my Kansas City one.

I wish every weekend was for playing.  It’s kind of nice not owning your own home.  We are currently renting which releases us from “homeowner obligations” – no lawns to mow or things to fix!   We don’t see this as a permanent state, but for now, we are enjoying it!  This weekend was the perfect Fall weekend – even with summery temperatures in the 80s!  Quite unseasonable – and perfectly wonderful!

Just as a forewarning, this post is picture-heavy.  I couldn’t help myself and I’m not about to cut out one of these priceless photos.  I only wish we had a third day in the weekend to find more Fall Fun memories to make!

Picking Apples at Wagon Wheel Orchard on Saturday:



I need to have a caption contest for this next photo!  What a crack-up!!  How on earth did we click the camera right as he was sticking his tongue out?!  Anyone have any great caption ideas?

We’ll be eating apples for awhile…think I’ll make a pie!

Playing in the backyard after a fun day at the Orchard:

Wow, I love her.  Wish she wasn’t growing up so fast on me.  She brings such incredible JOY to our lives!

Sunday was probably my very favorite day.  After a great morning at church, we grabbed a couple of sub sandwiches and headed to the beautiful Shawnee Mission Park for a picnic.  Gorgeous!!  We threw Boo’s kite in the car before we left the house and it made for the perfect Sunday afternoon.

Boo really loves to fly her kite – especially when she can do it “by self”!  :o)  And she’s pretty good at it too!  Love that smile…

I’m not sure what we were thinking, but we gave Boo the camera and let her try to take a picture of us.  Had us so cracked up!

First attempt, not so good.  I didn’t love my hair anyway.  But, she got it the next time!  Not bad for a two and a half year old!  She is hooked now and after we wrangled the camera away from her, we had to delete about 200 photos of the grass and our feet!  :o)

The Fall leaves were beyond gorgeous!  I love this photo Prince Charming captured:

Nothing tops off a perfect Fall weekend like a pumpkin spice or caramel latte!  Yum!  (Masterfully crafted by Prince Charming!)

                      What are your favorite things to do in the Fall?



September 12th, 2011

My baby is growing up and I don’t like it.  It’s not that I’m not proud of her – I am.  She’s so smart, and beautiful, and talented – and really, am I not voicing what every mother thinks of their child??  I’m just not ready for my tiny girl to be my big girl – not yet.  She’s been sick with a cold this weekend and I have relished in the snuggle times that she is allowing, since she is under-the-weather.  Snuggle times are fewer and farther between when you are two and a half and busy, busy, busy.  She is so eager to learn and while I’m not sure she’s ready for full-on preschool, I do think she is ready for some “Mommy’s School”.  I remember my own mom and I doing “Mommy’s School” when I was a preschooler.  I loved those times and was always excited to sit down with my mom and learn new things.  (This would be a good time to insert a big THANK YOU to my wonderful mom here – she had me exceptionally prepared for Kindergarten/school and I remember those times with such fondness!)  How weird to think that Boo will remember these times too.  Wasn’t it just yesterday I was rocking my tiny baby and doing the happy dance when she learned to roll over?  Now she knows her ABC’s and counting.  How time flies.

So, we started school last week.  I’m aiming for an hour or so – two days a week.  Not a big deal and we’re throwing in way more playtime than we are sit-down, learning time.  She is only two and half, afterall.

We knew I would be homeschooling Boo for preschool someday and knew we would eventually need a desk for her.  She also needed a workspace all her own, other than our coffee table!, for coloring, crafts, etc.  I found this great, little antique desk on Craigslist last October for ten dollars.  I didn’t take very good “before” photos of it, but here’s Boo playing on it as soon as we brought it home:













How she has grown in almost a year!  Look at those tiny little pigtails!  *sniff!*  Anyway – the desk needed a lot of TLC.  It was covered in cobwebs, had deep markings in the desktop, had rusty screws and bolts, and was bright red, blue, and yellow.  Prince Charming and I were soooo slooooow in completing this project.  The weather turned pretty snowy, which didn’t help, but we kept joking that we hoped to have the desk completed before Boo graduated college!  Ha!










Between the two of us, we:

—- sanded …and sanded… and sanded some more (even burned out our palm-sander in the process!),

—- spray-painted several coats of paint on the metal pieces and then sealed them,

—- conditioned, stained, and sealed the wood parts…sanded down the bubbles that formed after we didn’t wait for it to dry long enough before adding more sealer, then sealed it again,

… and put it all back together again.  Voila!  We have a great little desk for our girl – just her size!









The whole project (including purchasing the desk) cost us a total of $40 and we were pretty thrilled.  The pencil cup seemed to be calling out to me that it needed daisies.  A quick Wal-mart trip, and yep – daisies finished it off just right!  This was the completed project last March:













Look at that precious little face.  Want. To. Kiss.  Seriously, I have to stop looking at old pictures of Boo – so tiny, so sweet.  She really has to stop growing.  Guess that’s probably not going to happen.

I’ll write more about our school “process” in another post.  While we don’t spend a ton of time sitting in it (we are two and a half, afterall, and sitting is not something we do very much), she did spend some time coloring there today.  Let the schooling begin!

























Fresh Fruit & Yogurt Pops!

August 31st, 2011

Today is the last day of August.  Which means summer is coming to an end.  (*sniff!*)

Admittedly, it’s taken me an eternity awhile to get used to a humid Kansas City summer versus a dry Colorado one.  I don’t ever think I’ll adjust to the 115 heat index days coupled with off-the-charts humidity levels.  Some things are just plain miserable and that would be one of them.   I can definitely say I’m tolerating them better, though!  So, with the end of summer, I actually will welcome the cooler temperatures and drier air.

Still, I will miss summer.  I love summer.  Looooove summer.  Summer means longer days, picnic lunches and dinners, gardening, hiking (in Colorado at least!), biking, swimming, evening walks, green leaves and flowers, berry-picking, and all things outdoors!   It also means ice-cold lemonade, fresh summer fruits, and POPSICLES!


As I type this, we have a heat index of 105 degrees today in KC.  Doesn’t exactly feel like Fall is on the way!  Seemed like a perfect day to share our favorite summer recipe with you – for Fresh Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles!  We like to eat these for breakfast paired with a slice of peanut butter toast or a bowl of oatmeal.   Boo requests them daily!

Popsicle Chef!

I found popsicle molds at my local Wal-mart this past Spring on clearance  for $.75 and snatched them up!  I’m always looking for fun and new things to do with Boo and this sounded like something she would enjoy.  When I started looking for recipes, however, all I found were popsicle recipes loaded with sugar.  Now, we are not all things healthy and green.  Wish that we were, but we do indulge in Oreos and chips and other snacks on occasion.  However, we are *trying* to do things healthier around here and slowly learning how to adjust our cooking likewise.  For over a year now, I’ve been mixing up our own yogurt instead of buying the flavored yogurt from the store.  We really enjoy mixing PLAIN yogurt, fresh or frozen berries, and 1-2 Tablespoons of honey together for own yummy flavored yogurt – without the corn syrup, aspartame, or processed sugars that the store-bought yogurts have.  Yes, honey is still sugar.  But, from what I’ve read, honey is a better sugar alternative for you.

Here’s what Lance Armstrong’s web site has to say about honey versus sugar:

“Consumption of any carbohydrate source, including refined sugar and honey, causes a rise in glucose levels in the blood.  

Because of differences in carbohydrate sources, some foods are more easily digested by the body and cause a more rapid rise in blood sugar levels. Honey and sugar are mainly made of simple sugars and can raise blood sugar rapidly compared with complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables and fruit. Nonetheless, sugar has a greater impact on blood sugar than honey when the same amount is used, according to the “Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy.” This higher rise in blood sugar was apparent at a range of timepoints from immediately after consumption up to 240 minutes after consumption of sucrose or honey.

Another consideration when looking at the impact of honey or refined sugar on blood sugar levels is the relative sweetness of the two. Because honey is sweeter than refined table sugar, less is required to sweeten food or drinks to the same level. Ingesting less sweetener is another way to keep blood sugar levels under control, since the rise in blood glucose is higher when more carbohydrate is consumed.  

When choosing between honey and refined sugar, there are other considerations in addition to the impact on blood sugar control. Honey contains antioxidants and enzymes that aren’t present in refined sugar. According to research presented at the First International Symposium on Honey and Human Health in 2008, honey may be beneficial for immune function and might help reduce cortisol levels, a key indicator of stress in the body.”

So, I choose honey whenever I can as a sweetener.   And an Oreo in moments of weakness…but I digress…











Back to the popsicles:  I figured if I could mix those 3 simple ingredients together for a yummy yogurt, I could probably follow the same recipe for a fresh fruit and yogurt popsicle!    I am not a “create your own recipe”, “live for cooking” kind of person.  This was a fluke.  But, it’s been a good fluke!  :o)  Here’s the recipe:


Fresh Fruit & Yogurt Pops

2 Cups of Plain Yogurt

2 Cups of Fruit – Your choice! (we’ve tried many combinations:  Kiwi/Strawberry, just Strawberry, Blueberry, and hope to try Bananas soon!)

3-4 Tbsp. of Honey (It’s a popsicle, so I like it a little sweeter!)

Blend ingredients in a blender together until desired consistency (we like ours smooth, but some may like bigger fruit chunks in theirs).  Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

Voila!  Super easy – fairly healthy – and a great cooking project to do with your kids!

I’m off to savor the rest of the summer – think we’ll go for a long, summer evening walk and let Boo ride her trike!


Hiking in Kansas?

August 24th, 2011

Prince Charming and Me - Hiking in Colorado - 2007

I have a problem.  I keep trying to turn Kansas into Colorado.  This is never going to happen and I need to stop.

See, I love to hike.  LOVE. TO. HIKE.  Mountains, that is.  Big on views, low on bugs.  When you think of Kansas, do you think of mountains?  I didn’t think so.

I REALLY miss hiking, so I recently thought I would endeavor to find us *that* hiking trail – the one that would foster cherished family memories.  The one that we would hike every year together and take Boo’s picture by the same tree and watch her grow each year.  The one where we would take THE family photo for the Christmas cards.  You know – THAT hike.

When we moved here, I had to go through a whole new car registration process which included verifying my car’s VIN number.  While the VIN guy looked at my paperwork and inspected the car, we chatted about how I was from Colorado and I happened to mention that I miss hiking.  I remember his response so clearly:  ”Well, if it’s hiking you want, it’s not the Rocky Mountains, but I highly recommend hiking at Clinton Lake.   You’ll love it there.”    Could it be?  Hiking in Kansas?!  I suddenly had a glimmer of hope!

Most of last summer was spent unpacking boxes and having out-of-town guests.  We never made it to Clinton Lake.  I vowed this summer would be different.  Two weekends ago, we drove out to Clinton Lake with great anticipation!  This was it!  The day of the big hike!  I finally had a chance to pull out my beloved hiking shoes!

First stop:  The Visitor Center.  We chatted for awhile with the guide there and asked him for recommendations on a trail we could hike with our two-year-old.  He recommended one that was 4.5 miles long, but cautioned us to watch out for Rattlesnakes and Copperheads.  My mama fears went on the rise and we questioned him further.  He went on to say that Douglas County (where Clinton Lake is located) has the highest density of snakes in the entire United States.  Prince Charming joked, “Well, I know where we’re NOT moving someday!”  Truly.  The guide also cautioned us to wear our Deep Woods OFF because he personally was covered in several chigger bites, not to mention the number of ticks he’s had on him.

Let’s pause the story at this point.  Now, let’s say you’re the parent of a two-year-old and someone tells you to watch out for poisonous snakes, chiggers, and ticks that are in abundance on the trail you’re about to hike.  Would you still continue on the hike?  I’m guessing not.  To our credit, Prince Charming and I did at least talk about whether or not we should still go.  We reasoned we had driven over an hour to get here, we were pretty excited about this big hike – so, SURE!  Let’s go!  Maybe not our most brilliant move as parents.  I am so grateful that God had his guardian angels looking out for Boo, since her parents were apparently not on the job that day!!













We drove to the trailhead and initially the hike was fairly nice.  It was in a heavily wooded area – such that you couldn’t see the sky above you, just tree tops. Boo and I had hats to wear and we had all  doused ourselves in Deep Woods OFF.  I held Boo’s hand and was pretty happy to be out there enjoying our first Kansas hike.  We kept scanning the trail, keeping an eye out for snakes.  We hadn’t gone very far when we noticed the trail narrowing and vegetation getting taller and hairier.  The next thing we knew, we were hiking on a very poorly maintained trail, climbing over or under fallen trees, trying to stay off the plant-life, and dodging enormous spider webs housing 2 inch spiders (I kid not when I say the webs were 6 feet tall!)










Boo was a trooper through it all and loved every minute of her hiking experience!  She has the hiking gene for sure!   She didn’t even know there was anything to be worried about!  Prince Charming and I were a bit stressed at this point.  I had a strangle-hold on Boo’s hand and was trying to guide her in front of me on this extremely narrow trail, all while we were desperately scanning for snakes and trying hard to not bump into these massive webs.  We made it to the part of the trail where you can see the lake, but you actually had to climb through the trees and over huge rocks and boulders to even get a glimpse of the lake.  We climbed down the embankment to take our token “happy family”, “we made it to the lake” photos and then promptly headed back to the car about as fast as we could.













I do believe Prince Charming was on the verge of a psychotic breakdown by the time we got out of there.  See, he’s an arachnophobe.  He will kill a spider in the house if he has to, but really can’t stand even coming near spiders.  So, here we are in spider, snake, tick, and chigger infested woods with some of the biggest webs and spiders ya ever did see.  It was a bit much for the poor guy.  We kept walking into the webs even – you couldn’t avoid them entirely.  I took pictures of him looking at me all crazy-like and swatting at random things in the air.  I told Boo that Daddy was scared of the spiders, so we had to stop about six times for her to give him hugs – “to make him feel better.”  What a precious, sensitive girl.  Warmed Mama’s heart, even if the hugs didn’t help Daddy entirely!  :o)










We did make it back to the car and ended up only hiking 1.35 miles of the 4.5 mile trail.  We drove to Lawrence, KS and salvaged the day by having great pizza at Papa Keno’s Pizzeria (they advertised “a slice as big as your face” and that was true!) and two cups of strong coffee.  Prince Charming felt a lot better after his shower that night.  I think we ALL felt better after our showers!  We didn’t end up seeing even one snake and we didn’t have a single tick or chigger bite on us.  Thank you, Lord, for protecting our litte family despite our ignorance!  Stupid VIN guy.  I am SO not listening to the locals anymore.








I am glad to say, I am officially cured of my Kansas hiking efforts and am aiming for a Colorado hike the next time we are out there to visit family.   Prince Charming informed me that he will be selecting our next family outing.  I think he is aiming for something indoors.





August 12th, 2011

Boo and her new friend from the library last summer...

I don’t care what anyone says, it’s not easy to make friends.  It’s not easy to make ONE friend.  It’s hard work.  It takes effort.  You have to put yourself out there.  Like this:

See new person.  Straighten your hair.  Do I have something in my teeth?  Sure hope not.  Swipe teeth with tongue.  Feels okay.  Walk across room to go meet person.  Okay, Terra, try not to be weird.  I’m not really sure what is considered weird, but just try not to do it.  Oh – they just spotted me coming across the room to them.  Here goes – no backing down now.  Ready…and SMILE…breathe…bummer, forgot a breath mint…too late now…extend your hand – “Hi, my name is Terra.”  PHEW.  The first step is over.  Now, ask them questions about them.  Shoot.  Didn’t think about that part.  Okay – how about, “Where are you from?”, “How many kids do you have?”, “Isn’t the weather great?” and …uh oh…I’m out…no more questions…shoot!  Think fast!  Um….uh….”Did you brush your teeth this morning?”  OH NO…I just did it and I told myself I wasn’t going to do that.  I was WEIRD!  DRAT!!

Does anybody out there relate to this?!  Is it just me?  There is something completely nerve-wracking to me about making a new friend – and I’m even an outgoing person!  It is so much easier to sit on the sidelines quietly, go about our own business, and not go through the uncomfortable scenario I just detailed above.  It’s no fun.  It’s scary.  And I hate to be vulnerable.  I REALLY do.

When we first moved to Kansas City from Colorado, I didn’t know but one person.  And she moved away shortly after we moved here.   I was depressed and missing our home, family, and friends back in Colorado.  We were financially stressed, balancing both a Colorado mortgage and a Kansas City rent payment, as our home had not yet sold.  We were living in a one bedroom apartment in a scary part of town, with our baby sleeping in a pack ‘n play in our closet.  And that apartment had cockroaches (that we eventually were able to kill off.)  Not to mention, it was winter, and we were mostly homebound due to snow and ice.  Not that I knew how to go anywhere.  I got lost all the time – and I even had a GPS!  (One time, I just wanted to find an ATM and our Garmin GPS actually directed me to the Garmin headquarters down the street from us.  Seriously?!  I wanted to go inside the building and ask if anyone there wanted to give me money!!)  :o)  That said – I was hurting and LONELY.  L. O. N. E. L. Y.  We were visiting churches, but hadn’t found one we loved yet.  I started taking Boo to a story time for babies at our local library.  A month later, I couldn’t stand it anymore – I HAD to have a FRIEND!  Did ANYBODY care?  I needed somebody to talk to!  Somebody that cared if I lived or breathed in this city!  And a little friend for Boo would be nice too!

Boo on a first playdate with one of her new friends from the library...

I sat in the library story time group and looked around the room.  Any number of these moms could potentially be my friend, but they all seem to know each other – to have somebody else to talk to in the room.  I spotted two other moms, however, that looked as if they were there on their own with their baby.  On two separate occasions I took up small talk with these moms and then finally mustered up the courage to blurt out (quite unglamorously, I might add) – “Wanna hang out sometime?”  I was sweating, clenching my baby, stopped blinking, and time froze for a minute, before each of them said yes, they would like to do that.  Sighhhhhh.  I’ve been so blessed to enjoy the friendship of these two different gals and touched that they would make time in their lives to be a friend to me.  They both had family here, other friends, churches they were connected with – they didn’t have to make room in their lives for me.  But – THEY DID.  I have admitted to both of them, now that we are established in our friendships and it won’t come off as WEIRD – that asking them for a play-date with our daughters felt like I was asking them on a DATE!  I completely empathize with guys worldwide now – I get it!!!  It’s SO not easy to ask a girl out!!

I believe God provided these two friends for me – and yes, I believe He even gave me the inkling of who to talk to.  He’s that kind of God.  He sees our hurting hearts, our intense loneliness.  He created us for RELATIONSHIP not only with HIM, but with each other.  He wants what’s best for us.  He blessed me with these two friends.  What I didn’t realize, was that just as He used these gals in my life, He was using me in theirs.  One of these gals recently told me, “When you introduced yourself at the library, I went home and told my husband, ‘I think I’ve met someone who is just as lonely as I am.’”  GOOSEBUMPS.  Really?  Here I thought *I* was the lonely one – never knowing that God, in His amazing, omniscient, all-knowing ways, was pairing two very lonely hearts together to enjoy the blessing of friendship.  Two birds, one stone.

My experience has made me more aware of who might be sitting around me that might need a friend or someone to just care about them.  What’s the story of the person standing next to me in line at the grocery store?  Are they hurting?  Lonely?  That gal at the playground is here alone.  I wonder if she needs someone to talk to.  That couple at church looks new.  I wonder if anyone has made them feel welcome and needed here.  Oh – they have kids.  Maybe a playdate is in order or a meal at our house.

Boo at the pool!

On a very wet and rainy Thursday afternoon a couple weeks ago, I was sitting at our neighborhood pool with Boo.  I had promised we would go to the pool and the weather was just not cooperating.  So, we went in the rain.  :o)  We had the pool to ourselves (Really?  No one else wanted to swim in the rain?!) and were just about to pack up, when a lady came in with her two grandkids.  They didn’t come to swim.  They didn’t even have their swimsuits.  She told me she just suddenly got the idea in her head to take a walk and check out the neighborhood pool.  A walk to the pool – in the rain.  Boo and I – the only ones at the pool – swimming – in the rain.  I don’t know about you – but I don’t believe unlikely circumstances like that just happen.  I believe they are orchestrated by an all-powerful God.  We engaged in light conversation, but before she left, she asked me if we would want to get together with them sometime?  To be honest – the first thought to go through my head was “no.”   We come from shockingly different backgrounds, not to mention the age difference.   My life is settling in here now and I don’t know that I *need* a friend quite like I used to.  Yet, I felt a familiar pang in my heart for her.  She’s lonely.  She needs a friend.  Yes, Lord, I’ll be her friend.

Funny how I can go through the loneliness I have felt, and yet still have the initial response of sitting on the sidelines and not extending myself to someone else.  I hurry on through my life, consumed with my own ongoings, blind to the person standing next to me.  My challenge to myself and to all of us, is to reach out and care about someone else today, even if it’s just through a simple smile or light conversation while waiting in line at the grocery store or chatting with our neighbor.  Be the person that CARES if someone lives or breathes.  Make someone else MATTER today.

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” ~ C.S. Lewis

John 15:12 ~ “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

—  Is there someone in your life who makes YOU matter?  —



If The Shoe Fits…

August 8th, 2011


Do you have your cup of coffee?  I have mine.  No sugar please.  Just black.  Ready to chat?  I’ve soooo been looking forward to this!  Get comfy, Friend, and be sure to kick off your shoes.  You won’t need them here.  Well, maybe you will – just this ONCE!

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to introduce myself to you, since we’re new friends and all.  Not exactly sure how to sum ME up.   When I think about who I am and what interests me, I can’t help but think of my shoes.  Ahhh, SHOES.  Is there a girl out there that doesn’t love them?  Cute ones, sassy ones, comfy ones – oh, shoes!  How I love thee!

If you look in my closet, my shoes might confuse you as to who I am.  Let me highlight my favorites for you.

I love these shoes.  They are so comfortable, so ME.  I am the OUTDOOR girl!  I was raised in Colorado and these shoes have taken me all over the mountain tops of the Rocky Mountains.  They bring to mind so many treasured memories of hiking with my parents as a little girl, regularly admiring the colors of the aspen trees each Fall, finding a creek in a hidden forest, and discovering fields of wildflowers.  As I got older, I wore these very hiking shoes to ascend Grey’s Peak (a beautiful, 14,000 foot mountain in Colorado) with my parents and friends – and unbeknownst to me – my future husband.

Funny memory with these shoes…I drank all of my CamelBak water supply by the time I got to the top of the peak and had to run down the mountain for two hours to find a bathroom!  Thankfully, my new friend came with me to keep me company as I trekked down the mountain ahead of the group.  Two years later, I married him.  :o)  Good ‘ol shoes.

Thankfully I didn’t marry him in those shoes!  I chose something a bit more appropriate for the occasion – and for me.  My family nicknamed me “Cinderella” when my foot size grew three sizes one summer!  Gotta love junior high growth spurts.  My family would jest, “Squeeze your foot in there, Cinderella!” as I would try to jam on yet another shoe that fit just a few days before, but not today.   “Cinderella” stuck and I began dreaming of the Cinderella wedding I might have one day.  When I finally met Prince Charming, I picked out these beautiful glass slipper-esque  shoes:

I think Cinderella herself would have approved.   The day I wore these magical shoes, not only did I feel like a princess, but I also  became a “wife”.  This has changed the definition of ME in enormous ways – and I hope for the better.   I still pull out those shoes and admire them.  Thank you, Prince Charming, for “walking” these seven years with me!

Four years after donning the glass slippers, I put them up on the shelf and traded them out for these:

So frayed, so easy, so comfortable – complete with UN-pedicured feet!  These, my Friend, are my MOM shoes.  I think I’m more proud of these shoes than any other I’ve ever worn.  They have endured sleepless nights and spit-up, playgrounds and play-dates to cuddles and kisses, first words and wobbly steps.  Oh yessss…I’m SO proud of these shoes.  I wear them with pride.  A blonde-haired, blue-eyed cutie calls me “MAMA” and I have cherished each day of her two and half years.  I’ll call her “Boo” on this blog and there is no other name that sounds more melodic and wonderful to my ears.  Every day has been so easy and carefree and I truly have arrived at being the perfect mom.  NOT!  Hello REALITY!  Being mama has been full of challenges and growth opportunities, but I truly do love it and cherish the role and these fabulous shoes!

These shoes are pretty new to me, but I thought I would include them as a new aspect of me that has only recently developed.  We’re not overly acquainted, these shoes and I.  I hope to be eventually.  We’ve been working on our relationship.  Some days are better than others.  Some days, I stick them out on the curb and slam the door.  Other days, I bring them back inside and try to love them again.  Prince Charming and I have taken up running together as a means of fitness.  Yesterday was a good day, and I brought them inside.  Other days, not so much.  But, we’re committed and trying to work on the whole bonding thing with these shoes.  We stick Boo in her jogging stroller and off we go as a family!

I’m not a stranger to fitness, having grown up biking, hiking, and snowshoeing all over the state of Colorado – even biking 125 miles across the state of Wisconsin with my parents!   Since having a baby, however, my body has become quite comfortable with it’s new expanded hips and lack of ab muscles.  Nay nay, I say.  We’ve committed to this running thing, Body, so meet your new shoes!

Aren’t these shoes the cutest?  They are my prized souvenir from Italy.  I could hardly tell you about me without including a bit about Italy.  I’ve long been enamored with the country, but after a dream vacation there with Prince Charming in 2007, I am even more hooked!  Italy has influenced much of my decorating, cooking, and even the name of our little girl.  And especially my love for gelato…yummmm!

I HAD to include these shoes.  I love me some Chucks – especially ones with daisies and cherries on them!  These sum up the spirit of ME – I love to have fun, bring out my inner-child, plan a party, try new things, and make new friends!  These are the WOO-HOO side of ME!

These aren’t my shoes – but I am striving to have feet as beautiful as these.  These are the feet of Jesus, and if I’m ANYthing, I’m GOD’S GIRL.  I definitely don’t do it perfectly and I often stumble and  make  mistakes.  But, at the very core of who I am, I LONG to resemble the hands and feet of my amazing Lord.  I want to share Him with those around me – even if it’s just hanging out, a cup of coffee, or a word of encouragement.  Oh, Lord – please make my feet more like yours.

I don’t need the hiking shoes much these days, as God has moved us recently to Kansas City.  We’re walking this road with God and I am striving to willingly wear the shoes He has so graciously given me to wear.

So, I say, if the shoe fits…  WEAR IT!  ’Cuz ONE SHOE CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

               What shoes are you wearing today, Friend?