The gift of encouragement

Our tree still stands in our living room releasing a dusting of dried needles for me to sweep up ever day. But the extra work doesn’t bother me because of the joy that our tree, lit and decorated with meaningful ornaments, brings to our family. (Although come next Tuesday I think it will be time to send our tree on to a “better place”!)

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.

I love the smells, and the sounds, and the tastes that are associated with the Christmas season. And not least of all, I love how the world-over many of us exchanged presents in celebration of the greatest gift ever given–the gift of God’s son. It’s such a beautiful reminder of His sacrifice for us.

As Christmas ends and we lean into a New Year and all that it holds for us, I want to share a little something with you. A gift, of sorts, you might say. It’s something that Continue reading

An anniversary and what’s working

This picture was taken in the woods behind my parents’ home right before our 2nd anniversary.

I sit at our table with a steaming cup of tea watching the snow fall over our city.

It’s our first real snow in Boston this winter. We’ve had a dusting or two. But there is something almost magical when snow falls thickly and softly from the sky, burying the ground in a downy blanket of whiteness.

The ground was covered in a similar blanket 11 years ago today when Brance and I Continue reading

Peanut butter cookie (no egg or refined sugar)


I avoid egg because of a food sensitivity and we try and stay away from most refined sugar for obvious reasons. But, I believe you’ll be hard-pressed to miss either one in this cookie.

If you too have similar food sensitivities or are simply looking for a healthier version of the peanut butter cookie, I am sure this version will please!


1 stick butter (or ghee)

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt



1. Stir peanut butter and honey into softened butter.

2. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients—stirring until well mixed.

3. Chill dough in the refrigerator (about 1 hour). Preheat oven 375 degrees.  Roll dough into balls and press with fork to create a criss-cross pattern.

4. Bake 7-10 minutes, depending on the size of cookie. (They will be slightly golden when done. Be careful. Over-baking will scorch the bottoms.)


Vitamin D Cured Anxiety (my story)

shadowBefore Vitamin D…

I was someone who unfortunately spent years of my life in a state of worry and angst. During those anxiety-riddled years, I was a shadow of a person. Anxiety paralyzed me and controlled every aspect of my life.

Back in the day, it was so bad, there were times I would leave college classes and go home early because of irrational fears.

In the past, every single decision I made was controlled by fear—fear of what people thought or fear of what might go wrong. Fear of fear! It was insane. Just ask my poor husband who patiently listened to a lot of it.

I would spend weeks, at times months, fretting and ruminating over decisions or about a relationship or conversation or anything, really! There was ALWAYS something or someone I was tied up in emotional knots about.

And let’s not even talk about social anxiety. I’ll just say that it was all-consuming and off the charts.

As you can imagine, this was a terrible way to exist.

BUT, thank goodness, I am also someone who has experienced a major transformation and has left anxiety almost entirely behind!!! Sometimes I still can’t believe it. It truly feels like a miracle has transpired and I am grateful beyond words!! To tears even. (Those who have wrestled with anxiety in the least will understand why.)

I am sorry if I talk about this too much. But the transformation that I experienced is one of the major reasons I began this blog two years ago. It’s been so amazing, I want to share this with everyone I can—to shout it from the rooftop (or blogosphere:)!  Because if even one person is helped, then my vulnerability and humble blogging efforts will be worth it.

I know what it is like to feel terribly controlled by anxiety and the circumstances of life. It was slowly, but surely, sucking every bit of joy right out of living. And I know what it is like to feel free of anxiety’s pernicious grip. I want other people to know that freedom as well!

Oh man. There are few things in life that are better!!

Mom with Child in Backpack by the PierVitamin D helped!

So, what did I do? We’ll, there are a couple of things that have turned the anxiety ship around for me. But the number one thing I did was Continue reading