Broken Glass {An Advent Lesson From the Wilderness}

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As we begin this year’s countdown to Christmas, my family and I started an Advent reading calendar to prepare our hearts and help keep our focus on the important parts of Christmas through the holiday mayhem. We’ve never done it before, as our kids have been too little to really understand, but as we sat down today with the lights twinkling and the fire roaring, it really started to feel like Christmas. As we cozied up, the storm raged outside (the RAIN storm, mind you, in 39 degree weather on the FIRST DAY OF DECEMBER – oh so festive!) and the Christmas music was playing softly in the background when our 6 year old asked, “What is ‘Advent’?” I answered without really thinking, “It’s the time leading up to Christmas that we use to prepare our hearts and remember what Christ did for us.” And in that moment, a lifetime of Scriptures and Christmas cliches culminated in a newfound revelation that brings me to where I am now, sitting at my computer, and writing to you.

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This Mom’s Open Letter to Target: The Real Reason We’re Boycotting {It’s Not What You Think}

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Dear Target,

From the beginning of your business venture, your CEO’s, executives, marketing teams – everyone down to my local branch manager – have dreamed up and executed a brilliant strategy. You realized that in order to secure yourselves a place next to Walmart you would need to hone in on a very specific consumer, one that, once addicted, would become your most loyal and impulse-purchase-happy customers on the face of the planet: you wanted moms. And you, my dear friend, have succeeded!

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Your First Reunion: How To Survive Reintegration

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I will never in my life forget the incredible thrill of adrenaline that rushed through my veins as I, at long last, made the 2 hour drive on that glorious day to pick up my husband after a long 10 months. Excitement doesn’t even begin to describe it: I was electric – my blood was on fire. It’s a miracle I made the trip in one piece! The nervous jitters, excited way-too-loud laughter, hot-cold sweat as I tried to push away that walking-down-the-aisle urge to go to the bathroom that every bride has…. it was nearly too much. I clung to my toddler for dear life, and tried to keep myself from visibly shaking.

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When All You Can Give Is Not Enough

Nothing beats the thrill and excitement of experiencing Christmas as a child. I remember counting down the days nearly all year until the long-awaited morning would dawn. Thrilled beyond belief, my brother and sisters and I would race to wake up mom and dad and drag them out to the tree, overflowing with gifts. The magic was so thick you could nearly taste it! Oh to be young again.

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When I Heard The Bells

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Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year! Nothing gets me like twinkling lights, sweet spices and the music that has made the holidays magical from my childhood.

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Freckle Face {Lessons I Learned In The Sun}

frecklefaceheader1So it seems it’s time for confessions and I will make mine readily: I have an awful freckle face. It hides itself in the winter, but as soon as the sun hits the daisies it pops out faster than you can say ‘go buy concealer!’ I’ve never been a huge fan of them, but they cover easily enough so they didn’t give me much trouble. But they were covered. Always. I painstakingly applied makeup to all the brown little dots morning after morning, time after time, to try to erase, or at least neutralize, the sun’s damage. It wasn’t until just recently that I ever considered doing otherwise – because, why else, freckles were meant to be covered, right? Continue reading

A Daddy’s Heart {A Father’s Day Tribute}

daddyheart1Father’s Day was always a very special day in my house growing up. All six of us kids would elbow our way into the kitchen to help mom serve up the best breakfast of the year and then fight over who got to pour his orange juice. Some lucky duck would think quick and race into the closet to deliver his bathrobe and slippers. I’m pretty sure he got non-stop back rubs from the moment he woke up until he finally peeled us off to put us to bed at night {enter the Velcro sound effect}. We would shower him with gifts, homemade cards with scribbled names and always – always – mom would initiate a craft (usually something he could wear) that had all of our hand-prints on it. If you peek in his closet today you can still see the ratty sweatshirts with fabric-paint hand outlines boasting 2, then 3, then 4 and 5 then sets of prints, names and ages. He wore them proudly and we loved to go up and find out hands throughout the year and compare how they had grown. Needless to say, we loved our dad – adored our dad – and there was one very simple reason for that: he adored us. Continue reading