Giving myself grace

I used to not extend myself an ounce of grace.

A messy house,
Behind on the laundry,
Homeschooling needing some adjustments,
Forgetting to respond to someone,
A conflict,
Exhaustion, or anxiety, or winter blues:

Well, what was the matter with me? I needed to get it together. I needed to pull myself up by my bootstraps and just try harder. Because, obviously it was all my fault.

If only I had a better schedule, or worked harder, or had a different personality, then I wouldn’t be in this situation. Sad, right? But how many of us do this!

We bend over backward to help and encourage others when they are struggling, but don’t Continue reading

Freedom in becoming debt free

Rewind about 12 years and Brance I were happily dating and learning ALL about one another–everything from Brance’s preference for frosty mugs for milk-drinking and my obsession with British lit. and television to what our hopes and dreams were for the future.

I remember distinctly during that time a conversation we had. I can’t remember it word-for-word, but it is one of those conversations that really stuck out and got me thinking.

Somehow it came to light in that conversation that I had a credit card. Not one that could do a lot of damage (I think it had a $500 limit and I always paid it off), but one that I used occasionally none-the-less. More than anything, though, as a single gal, that little rectangle of plastic was something I viewed as a safety-net.

I was surprised to learn that Brance didn’t have a credit card, not a single one. And other than a car payment and some money he owed his father (which he regretted and was working hard to pay off quickly), he didn’t have any other debt hanging over him either–not even student loans. It was something that stuck with me, even though I didn’t immediately go home and cut up my little piece of “security”.

As the months passed and we became more serious and discussed the possibility of marriage and shared finances, the conversation of debt came up again. Brance really desired to continue on this path toward living debt-free and was hoping that I would be willing to do so as well.

I would love to say that I was ALL about the debt-free lifestyle from the beginning–that I had already been moving in that direction on my own after our initial conversation. But the truth was I hadn’t. It honestly seemed difficult to me at the time and I wasn’t sure it was worth pursuing. Continue reading

Climbing out of my pit


For anyone who is struggling or knows someone who is. I wrote this post for you. Climbing out of my pit has FINALLY allowed me to enjoy life. 

As someone who had spent many years struggling with anxiety and depression and now Ulcerative Colitis, I feel your pain. I really do. I know what it is like to wake up and wonder how you are going to make it through the day. I remember a time I dreaded fall because it meant winter was around the corner and that invariably meant more struggle. And frankly I just didn’t know how much fight I had left in me. I was soooo exhausted.

I used to live waiting for the rainbow around the corner. I was convinced that perfect circumstances (or perfect health or really perfect anything) were the key to being happy and content. Although it was probably Continue reading

A question I started asking myself

I want the share a little system I have adopted that has helped our home stay healthier and more positive.

We know gossip isn’t a good thing, and many of us try and avoid speaking poorly of others to strangers or coworkers and even our friends. But how easy is it to become lax when we are in the privacy of our own home surrounded by family?! Or with our boyfriend or best friend? Especially when we know what we say won’t be repeated back to the person!

But gossip is gossip regardless of where it is spoken. And it can be just as poisonous in the sanctuary of our own homes as it can be outside our four walls. Maybe even more so.

So I started asking myself this question Continue reading

Snow day in Boston! (lots of pics)

We had our first “real” snow of the winter here in Boston today. We are supposed to get somewhere between 8-12 inches when it is all said and done. The girls and I talked Brance into going out after dark (which comes by 4:30 here!!) to play a little in the snow.

We played in the snow and had a couple of snowball fights while wandering down to the beach to make snow angels. It was beautiful wandering through our lamp-lit neighborhood in the falling, sparkling snow. What is it about falling snow that is so, so peaceful!?

Here we are starting out on our snow adventure. It’s adorable. Anytime we leave the house to walk somewhere (which you do an awful lot in the city) the girls say that we’re going Continue reading

Dairy-free chicken and dumplings

This version of dumplings consists of a “brothy” soup with chicken, vegetables, and large “bready” dumplings.

Ingredients:

Soup:

  • Boneless chicken breasts (2 large or 3 medium)
  • 1 small bag of frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, & green beans)
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Water
  • Rice milk

Dumplings:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup rice milk
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Continue reading