Life not going as planned– a GOOD thing!?

img_7543I have discovered that, more often than not, life doesn’t go as planned. You too?

When Brance and I were newly married we desired to have a home overflowing with children. We would gaze starry-eyed over coffee and books and discuss how theoretically we would raise all of these blessings. It was unknown and exciting to begin this journey together. We both were blessed with good, loving families and we so looked forward to building our own.

When the two pregnancies I experienced proved a huge trial to our young family (24/7 nausea and vomiting for 9 months–Brance basically having to move his office home to care for me), we dreamed of growing through adoption. And yet, our living and working situation over the last 5 years has prevented that from happening as well. Life doesn’t always go as planned.

I was fortunate to spend most of my growing up years in one location and in one home. Our roots went deep there and I have fond memories of every nook and cranny of the home my dad built for our family. I think that because of this, I imagined that I, too, would Continue reading

Leaves changing and Life-changing

img_7683Brance and I took the girls downtown today to enjoy some of the beautiful fall foliage that is making an appearance in Boston.

fall-colorsAlthough the foliage map says we are at peak in this part of the country, we have found that the city takes about 2 weeks longer than the surrounding area to reach the full glory of fall.

img_7686Brance recently came across an article that verified our little theory. Apparently, all the pavement and bricks and cement retain heat making fall come later than it would otherwise— not just to Boston but other major metropolitan areas as well. Like, obviously, NYC!!

img_7685Good to know as you plan your foliage trips, right? I can imagine it would be disappointing to plan and save, wanting to see the Boston Common or Central Park in all their fall splendor, only to arrive two weeks early and there be a spattering of color like today (even though it was still very pretty see).

But it’s coming. Fall’s coming! And if what we saw today is any indication Continue reading

To vote or not to vote

us_flag_backlitI realize that politics are a very personal, sensitive topic and that this pending presidential election is especially contested. Not everyone will agree with this short post. You are welcome to share your own thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear them. I am sure that most of us would agree that one thing that makes our nation so great is that its citizens are entitled to their own opinions and are free express them. For that, we are incredibly grateful, right?

This election cycle many of us have found ourselves in an interesting, if not disturbing, situation. For conscience’s sake we will not, can not, even, cast a vote for either major presidential candidate.

And we aren’t the typical undecided voter or those who vote sporadically or on a whim. We have faithfully voted in local and national elections since the privilege was granted to us at our passage into adulthood. We gratefully embraced our civic “duty”. Many of us are registered with a political party.

We have not always been thrilled or in complete agreement with every candidate we have entrusted with our vote over the years. Yet, we have seen the merit of gifting our vote to the most Continue reading

A quick update!


Oh my. I think I may be experiencing a bit of blogger heaven on earth. Brance and I just updated our phones and they have Pages on them. Pages!!! No more typing posts in a notes app only to accidentally delete them.

Some of you may have wondered where I disappeared to in the last couple weeks/months. I have been posting less frequently, as of late. This was both intentional and unintentional.

A couple of months ago I decided to reduce the number of posts I wrote. Blogging takes a good deal of time and energy, as you can imagine. There is far more involved than simply writing posts (which I love to do, btw). And since time is sparse and precious these days, I decided to aim to post something new about once a week.

Well, August came and brought the plague to our family (an early cold/flu) and then September I jumped into officially homeschooling 2 instead of just 1. And I found myself a little negligent of this space. But I have missed writing and all of Continue reading

An opportunity to love

yellow_flowerEvery single day we live, there is a great opportunity before us. It’s an opportunity to love. An opportunity to practice kindness and patience and humility. An opportunity to put the needs of others before our own. An opportunity to embrace what is good and true.

Moment by moment we decide how we will respond to the circumstances of our life. Will we respond in frustration and resentment– excusing our selfish, vindictive, or rude behavior? OR, will we respond in LOVE?

Negativity, unforgiveness, and selfishness ultimately destroy us and harm the people our life touches. Their poisonous effects can be long-reaching. And, oh boy, do I know this too well from past experience. It’s not a place I want to go back to.

But when we put love into practice in ALL of the circumstances of life, even the most mundane or hurtful, there is great potential for something beautiful to transpire. And regardless of how things turn out, we experience peace and joy in the process.

When we respond in love–loss, rejection, failure, sickness, and all the other little things that plague us daily no longer have the power to hold our emotions and well-being in their prison. Living a loving life is one of the most beautiful and freeing things that we can ever experience. People and circumstances no longer have the power to control us.

But living this kind of life where we choose to love is something we have to commit to daily, sometimes moment by moment. Thankfully it does get easier over time with practice!

We often have no control over what happens to us–how others treat us and how the circumstances of our life unfold. But we ALWAYS have control over how we respond to those people and circumstances. And responding in love is always the best way for everyone involved.

Today we have an opportunity– an opportunity to love.

With love for each of you,


p.s. I should add, that as a Christian, the biggest motivator and “empowerer” for me to choose love in all the circumstances of my life is the love I experience and see modeled from God through Jesus Christ.


10 Questions to ask yourself to feel your best

IMG_0677 (1)I have felt a little off the last couple of weeks.

Sickness invaded our four walls and we each took our turn with a summer flu/cold– I rarely get sick, so this took me by surprise. Especially since it was summer.

Even after recovering, I still didn’t feel 100% or my normal, cheerful self. I was less than content and noticed some of those old feelings of worry and despair had crept back in.

And then I realized that I had let some important things slip. I was not getting my walks as often as I normally do. There were days where I wasn’t venturing out of our four walls at all! And that wasn’t all I had neglected.

It dawned on me that I needed a “tune-up”. I needed to get back to the basics. I am only a couple of days into it and I have already noticed a huge difference in how I feel!

If you are in need of a happiness “tune-up” as well, here are several things you should consider. These little scientifically backed practices have proven successful in my life again and again. As long as I to stick with them ;). Continue reading

Modesty Matters


I was browsing the athletic section of our local Marshalls recently. I needed new athletic clothes because mine were looking a little worse for the wear.

Standing in a sea of spandex, shorts with the tiniest inseams, and back-baring or nearly see-through tops, I was quickly reminded of why I disdain this task of shopping for athletic-ware.

It’s almost impossible to find something that isn’t seductive to the umpteenth degree.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to me. I often see more than I would prefer of other people’s bodies as I try to get in my daily walk in our waterfront Boston neighborhood.

I am not sure where as a society we go from here. Take our run or walk in a bikini or speedo? (Unfortunately, I have seen that once, too. Yikes!)

I realize I am stepping out on a ledge here and many people won’t agree with me (even those who are religious). And I am ok with that.

Modesty is a tricky and somewhat subjective topic. But I strongly believe that Continue reading

On choosing a spouse–the MOST IMPORTANT thing

First DanceWe had been dating for several months and he was a great guy. We were sitting in his living room together talking. And then it happened. He told me that he loved me.

I burst into tears. And they were not tears of joy. You see, I had planned to break up with him.

I grew up in a small town and attended college close to home. I was getting ready to graduate and wanted to move away and experience another part of the world. I had contemplated living in another country, even, as an English teacher. And, well, this man was tethered to the small town I grew up in by his business.

That night, I ended up not saying anything in return and awkwardly excused myself to go home. I didn’t break off the relationship because of the circumstances. But the situation left me feeling very confused.

I realized that things were getting serious and if I wasn’t planning on Continue reading

JOY in all circumstances

IMG_0386Recently we took a little trip to the Cape with our family. We’ve come to love our mini getaways to the beautiful coasts of New England (even though we live a couple of blocks from the ocean in our Boston neighborhood, ha :).

In the past, we’ve gotten really lucky and have chosen some pretty awesome places to stay. We’ve mostly gone out of season and have been able to stay in luxurious hotels and locations for far less than luxury prices. People can’t believe it when I tell them!

Like the time last spring when we ended up staying in this GORGEOUS hotel overlooking the ocean and the most beautiful lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard!!! (my favorite we’ve seen in all of New England. And we’ve seen a lot!!).  It also didn’t hurt that the hotel’s restaurant served the BEST hamburger on Vineyard ;). And not just in our opinion.

The last time we escaped to the Cape we ended up renting the cutest little suite–perfect for our family of four for dirt-cheap.

So, you can imagine my disappointment when our Continue reading

I’m inspired…

floral card

I recently received something in the mail that was such a boost to my spirit. It made my day—month, really.

It was a card from a childhood friend I have reconnected with.

This friend and I attended the same church during a period of time in our youth. We sat under the loving teaching of dear Fran Sprano (who illustrated her lessons with stories of building planes during WWII! and from her childhood on a farm), shared starry-eyed young girl dreams for the present and future, and enjoyed/”suffered” our way through church camp during the summer.

She was a kind and thoughtful friend, even in our youth. And as an adult, I now know, one of those Continue reading