Monday, September 30, 2013

Rat-a-tat-tat-a-tat Rum-a-tum-tum

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Amy. She loved it when her mommy would read books to her. One of her favorite books for mommy to read was The Boy With a Drum.

Amy loved the story of the little boy whose drumming inspired all of the animals to go a'marching. She loved the rhythm and the rhyme of the tale. She loved listening to her mommy's voice saying the words.

A few years later, when Amy grew up and had children of her own, she still loved to read The Boy With a Drum. Now, she was the mommy and it was her own voice telling the story of the sweet little boy and all of the animals.

There once was a boy 
with a little toy drum - 

The book was old when Amy was little. It is older still now. Though the pages are worn and ripped in places and the cover has been taped on too many times to count, Amy cannot bear the thought of getting rid of it.

They all marched away
to the top of a hill -
If they haven't stopped marching
They'll be marching still.

This is the final Blogtember post! Prompt: a picture of something old. Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Dear Facebook Friends

Dear Facebook Friends,

Please stop posting negative, critical status updates about your husband. It's disrespectful, and rather than make him look bad and make me sympathize with you, it makes me think that you need to learn to count your blessings. If you have a problem with your husband, talk with him about it in private. If you have unresolved differences, find a counselor. Stop trying to gain sympathy via public husband-bashing.

Your Friend

This post is brought to you by Blogtember. Today's prompt was to write a letter to Facebook friends. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Are you ready for some football?

This Blogtember prompt is "life lately" and since that's vague and broad, I'm going to turn this into my FF post. Be excited!

I've played FF (Fantasy Football) with The Hubs and his family for a while now. The very first year, I took advice from The Hubs - he helped me select players in the draft and even told me which players to bench and/or play each week. The only problem with this arrangement was his propensity to take the credit when my team did well.

Ever since then, I do it on my own. Imagine my delight to see this book on the "New Books" shelf at my local library a couple of months ago:

I am laughing out loud as I type this! The bad part about reading this book was the realization that it was basically a statistics book. Not player statistics, as in, draft-him-not-him, but mathematical equations for which positions to draft when, based upon a number of different factors, all the while recognizing the fact that this whole thing isn't called "Fantasy" for nothing. Sheesh. I hate math, and while I got an A in stats in college, it was mostly because my professor gave extra credit for things that had nothing to do with stats (aka, if I watched his favorite movie I got extra credit. Seriously).

Along with reading this helpful-not-helpful book, I did a little online perusal of some ESPN people and used that information to my best advantage. In the end, you could say that I just "winged it" for the draft. I liked to carry the book around when The Hubs and brothers-in-law were around for intimidation. It probably looked more ridiculous than anything, but there you have it.

We did a live draft on a white board this year!
After the draft, my team stands as follows:
QB- Drew Brees
RB- LeSean McCoy
RB- Stevan Ridley
WR- A.J. Green
WR- Marques Colston
WR- Santonio Holmes
TE- Jimmy Graham
LB- Daryl Smith
D- The Bears
K- Justin Tucker
(Plus I have a bench full of players I won't list here.)

So, three weeks into the season, I am the only one in my league who is 3-0. I am not saying this to brag; it is a statement of fact. WHO KNOWS how the season will end. I'll keep you updated. Meanwhile, I'm having fun playing FF with my fam.

Anyone else playing FF this year?

Coffee Shop Stop

For Blogtember today, I was supposed to write a post about what makes me happy from a coffee shop. Ya'll. My "life lately" does not allow for coffee shop stops that don't include a drive-thru. My dear sis-in-law has promised to watch my boys for me on my birthday so I can go sit at my favorite coffee shop for three hours all by myself. Maybe I'll write a post or two that day.

Just for fun, though, I thought I'd write a quick post to say that running makes me happy. My sis-in-law and bro-in-law and I are going to run the Color Vibe next week and we are excited! We've been "training" for it - this seems superfluous, but it's been an excuse to go running and I've enjoyed it so. Running isn't about weight loss for me (if you're trying to lose weight, I recommend walking). I like to run because it never fails to elevate my mood. I don't know if it's just because of the endorphins. That might be some of it, but I think part of it is the sense of accomplishment. I might not get anything else done that day, but I ran three miles! That has to count for something, right?

Milo field on my run this morning. The shade of the sky was impressive. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A mistake...


Recently, I made a mistake.

Well, really, it was a BIG mistake. It was one of those moments where I knew better. I'm going to be intentionally vague here for obvious reasons, but a few months ago, I found someone's diary.

I read it.

Even now, I'm embarrassed to admit it because I know better and I do NOT usually do stuff like that. {I feel like I need to justify that statement. Once, when my brother-in-law was in high school, I got onto the computer after him and realized that he'd left his email open and there were emails from a girl in there and I did NOT read them. I logged him out and told him to be more careful. See? It's not a normal thing for me.}

Well, it was a big mistake because it was wrong, but I got my just desserts. It just so happens that I read something not very flattering about myself in there and I got FIRED UP about it. When I say "fired up," what I mean is that my face got flaming hot because it turned so red. Of course, I couldn't say anything to anyone about it because - duh! - I shouldn't have been reading it in the first place.

I will never - NEVER - do such a thing again! It's not worth it!

Blogtember prompt: write about a mistake you made.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


My life is pretty uncomfortable right now. I was telling a friend (or maybe I've told a number of friends) recently that I keep waiting for life to settle down and it keeps on not settling down! Something uncomfortable keeps happening, and I'm beginning to think that my life isn't supposed to be comfortable. After all, if I was comfortable - if my life was perfect - why would I long for heaven? You can't see the light if it is never dark.

photo credit

This post is brought to you by Blogtember. Today's prompt: react to the word comfort.



"To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century... I told him that I didn't want to go. I told him it was a bad idea. I'm not saying I'm psychic, but sometimes I just get these feelings and I've learned that my intuition is rarely wrong. He always laughs when I say it... but just look at what happened, I mean we were just sitting here eating our dinner when there was this loud bang and a flash of light and all of a sudden everything around me was on fire and I was flying through the air and I couldn't see him any more and now he's dead." Cassandra's voice broke off into sobs.

"And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen," says the reporter to the camera, but it feels like she is talking to me. "Cassandra Craven, an eyewitness, a victim to the horrible tragedy that you see unfolding behind us. Our coverage will continue with a new bulletin from Chief Johnson momentarily. As you can see behind me" - she waved her hand, and the camera panned a dark and fiery scene, with caution tape and firemen and police officers swarming like ants - "A bomb of some kind seems to have been deployed at the Galleon Ballroom tonight..."

The reporter keeps talking, but the words fade as a roaring in my ears pushes out all other sounds. Peter is dead? My brother is dead, and I'm finding out from a news report on the stupid television. I don't believe it but I know it's true because there is Cassandra, his wife, on the news report with singed eye brows and burned clothes and I knew they were going to a dinner party at the Galleon tonight.

 I know her and her feelings and her feelings are always right and now Peter is dead and I will never be able to tell him thank you for all of the times that he hugged me when he couldn't find the words to say.

I collapse on the floor in front of my couch and wish for unconsciousness, but the blacking out that seems to come so easily in books and movies doesn't happen to me. My hands are trembling so much that I can't seem to find my phone but all I can think it that I have got to call Cassandra.

This post is brought to you by Blogtember. It's a piece of fiction, never fear!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Sword V17

"And call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you and you will glorify Me."
Psalm 50:15

This is my Happy Thursday for this week. I just know someone other than me needed to hear this!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Photos only...

Here are a few photos I've taken recently with my iPhone.

The glorious sunrise on my morning run!

One of my memory verses for ACTIVE FIGHTING!

A banana spider. Yes. It's huge.

Purple phlox

A field

It seems to be smiling at me!

There are so many creepy-crawlies around here. 
See what I mean?

This post brought to you by Blogtember.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A memory I'd love to relive...

Today's Blogtember prompt is a memory I'd love to relive... hands down, without a doubt, it would be the perfect day at the beach that I blogged about in July. Enjoy!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dear Alli

I've been wanting to write this blog post for a while now, so today's Blogtember prompt to write a love letter seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Remember when we were little kids and shared a room? We had those matching pink blankets on our bunked beds. Those things were so scratchy on the underside! I remember when I first realized that I owed it to you to be a good example. I think I was five or six when I stole some chewing gum off mom's dresser and hid it in our room. Your two-year-old self found it and chewed it. Mom found you chewing gum in your room. I'll never forget the spanking I got. Being a mom now, I realize what a choking hazard that could have been for you!

We didn't always get along very well, but that has changed! I'm so proud of you and the woman you have become. You are the best auntie. It blesses me how much you love my little guys. I'm impressed with your work ethic and your drive to make yourself better. I'm glad you're pursuing your MBA. I'm happy that you waited for Mr. Right, and I love seeing you and Josh together. You're doing a good job with your housekeeping and cooking!

Most of all, I'm proud of the fact that you love God with your whole heart, and you seek to glorify Him with your life. It's an encouragement to me to watch you live your life for Him. I am so glad that I get to walk the journey with you. I'm excited to see all that He has for you.

Love you, sweetie.
Your Big Sister,

Friday, September 13, 2013


Blogtember assignment of the day...
A Self Portrait.

Let it be known that loathe, abhor and detest selfies.

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Change is Painful

A while back I was thinking about growing. If we aren't growing, we are becoming stagnant. Growth is important, but growth always seems to be painful in some way.

When my brother was an early teen, he hit a very quick growth spurt. I remember him having really terrible knee pain because his bones grew so quickly. Now, at the time, it was terrible. I haven't actually asked him, but I bet he is glad he went through that growth spurt - albeit painful - now that he is man!

It can be hard to see that the painful things we endure are bringing change to our lives.  If we remember that growing equals change and change equals pain, we may steel ourselves to persevere through them.

"Put off your old self... and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." Eph. 4:22-24

Happy Thursday!

On Social Media

Today's post is brought to you by Blogtember.

The question is, "How has social media changed you?"

Photo Credit
Answer: Social media has changed the way that I view the world. I'm not able to bury my head in the sand and not think about what is happening to other people, whether it is across the street or on another continent. Sometimes this can be a bad thing. It can be draining to know too much. That's why it's important to maintain a balanced diet of social media.

Still, it is always a good thing to know what is happening around me, so that I may know how I should be praying. I'm certainly more aware of others because of social media.

P.S. The picture is just because I love pictures of the Eiffel Tower. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Chocolate Fondue

Today's Blogtember assignment is to post links to my favorite online shops.

I don't do a lot of online shopping other than Amazon. One thing that I do make a habit of purchasing online (although not terribly frequently, alas) is chocolate for my fondue pot. I always purchase chocolate from Chocoley. I have used all three of their fondue options (dark, milk and white chocolate) and you can trust me when I say that I don't get complaints when I serve any of them. They are perfectly delicious.

You can't go wrong with fondue dippers, but some favorites are strawberries, bananas, graham crackers, pretzels and pound cake. YUM. I may need to place an order soon...

There you go. Next time you want to serve chocolate fondue, try Chocoley!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

That one moment...

The moment that changed my life was not my moment.

When I was sixteen, my dad accepted a new job in a different state. The move that we made as a family when I was sixteen changed the course of my entire life. When I look back over my thirty years, no other single moment changed things as drastically as that one.

As I ponder that particular memory, a couple of things jump out at me. First of all, it wasn't my moment. It wasn't my choice. In fact, if it had been up to me, we would not have moved. We were comfortable. I was happy. I had a plan for my future. I didn't want to change it.

The second thing I think of is the fact that because of that move, I am changed. If we hadn't moved, I would still be quiet and shy. When we moved, I was pushed outside my comfort zone. I made new friends, which is very hard to do at any age, but especially at sixteen.

If we hadn't moved, I would not have married The Hubs. I would not have two beautiful sons. I wouldn't be the same me that I am today.

Sometimes, someone else's moment can change your life more than anything else.

Sunrise on my morning run.

Monday, September 9, 2013


The Blogtember challenge for today is to take this short personality survey and to respond to my results.

Apparently, I am Introvert, iNtuitive, Feeling and Judging.


Actually, I'd recently read this article and when I showed it to The Hubs, we both knew that it was ME to a T. I am an introvert, and there is no debating that! (He likes to say that he is introverted, but the only thing in the article that describes him is his extreme hatred of small talk!)

The Jung Typology Test results personality profile states:

INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large. They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people -- a product of the Feeling function they most readily show to the world. On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious "soul mates." (source)

There is nothing in the world more important to me than people, and getting to know their heart and connecting on a deep level. I truly do care and want the best for everyone (idealist... see below!), and this has sometimes gotten me into trouble. (Oh, the stories I could tell if I had the time and space!) 

Also interesting:

INFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally "doers" as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn. (source)

The words "idealist" and "dreamer" are me, me, me! My handle has been daydrmr82 for YEARS. The Hubs and I just had a conversation not that long ago about how my idealist tendencies have caused me great disappointment in different aspects of my life. I grew up believing in the happily ever afters and the Prince Charmings and "if you work hard enough, all your dreams will come true." Oh, man! AND I do tend to take a disproportionate amount of responsibility for just about everything. True.

While this kind of thing is really interesting, I think that personality profiles can sometimes be a crutch. You see, my personality profile states that I'm strong in "Judging." It means that I have a heightened sense of discernment and my commitment to justice is strong. However, on the downside, I can also be judgmental. Herein lies the problem. I can easily say, "Well, that's just my personality - can't be helped." Just because it is my natural bent to judge does not mean that it is ok - or right. So, if you want to take a few minutes to take the personality profile for fun, I think a lot of insight can be gained. I'm not going to settle for what the profile says that I am, though. I know I am still capable of change. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Turning Blue

The Downton Abbey craze hit me after Christmas. (Spoiler alert! Do not continue reading if you don't already know what happens in season 3.) My sister bought me seasons 1 and 2 on blu ray and I started watching them after Little Brother came home from the hospital. I fell in love with the characters and got caught up in the story line. Then I started watching season 3 and after the first episode, things started going downhill rather quickly. I'm not even excited about season 4. In fact, I doubt I'll watch it. I almost despise Downton Abbey now.

Lady Sybil (Photo Credit)

It started with Sybil, and turning blue.

Lady Sybil dies in a terrifying, excruciating childbirthing scene. The acting is beyond stellar. Essentially, she suffocates before her family's eyes, turning a devastating shade of blue that was all-too-familiar to me.

Little Brother turned that same shade of blue.

When Little Brother was in the NICU, I would hold him for a certain time period every day. They call it "skin-to-skin" or "Kangaroo Care" and it is mommy-baby bonding time. One day, as I was holding him, his Dr came to speak to us.

"He is doing really well," the Dr. said. "I think we may move him to the Special Care Nursery. He might even be home by Christmas!"

I was delighted by this, naturally! I could almost see the words "Home For Christmas" hanging in the air like a cartoonish speech bubble above the Dr.'s head. They didn't have time to evaporate in my imagination before Little Brother's monitor started beeping loudly.

While he was in the hospital, Little Brother was hooked up to all kinds of monitors. The one that had started beeping was his oxygen saturation monitor. As long as his oxygen levels stayed above 85%, all was well. His levels had dropped.

This, in itself, was not altogether startling. In fact, it happened all of the time. I turned to look at the monitor, trying to massage Little Brother's back at the same time to stimulate his breathing a bit. That usually worked.

Not this time. The oxygen saturation number dropped, and kept dropping, and Little Brother's face was blue and suddenly a nurse stepped in, whisked him from my arms and started helping him breathe with the dreaded green bag.

Time slowed, and the moment was burned into my brain. I could still see his little blue face, and all that I could do was watch helplessly. Please God, Please God, Please God, Please God... That was the only prayer I could come up with at the moment. I could almost hear the Holy Spirit groan.

It felt like an eternity passed, but the numbers on the monitor slowly began to rise and soon the monitor stopped its incessant alarm. He was safe.

This turning blue thing that Little Brother did happened more times than I care to count. Every time it happened, I was afraid. It was in those moments that I clung to Isaiah 49:16 and remembered Hannah, who gave Samuel to the Lord.

That's - partially - why I'm not a huge Downton Abbey fan any longer.

Today's Blogtember assignment was to tell about a time when I was afraid. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cold Water

Today's Blogtember assignment is to pass on some useful information. As much as I love to give advice, I don't find myself full of useful information at the moment. However, I just told a story to my sister-in-law yesterday, so I'll relate that as it is the first thing that comes to mind.

When I was a senior in high school, I took some college classes at a local Junior College. I also played basketball. My basketball practices took place at 6:15am, and I barely had time to get to my 8:30am English Comp 102 two days a week. I was one of those model students who NEVER slept in class, but there were times when I struggled to keep my eyelids open in that particular class. It wasn't that the professor was boring, and it wasn't that the topic didn't interest me. I was a teenager and I had gotten up early for basketball practice, run like a fiend, got home in time to eat something FAST and take a FAST shower (you know, the kind where you are still sweating when you get out because you haven't cooled down yet), then barely made it to class on time... I was tired.

One particular morning, the professor was talking about a poem (it may have been My Last Duchess but I couldn't say for sure) and my eyelids felt soooo heavy. It was like there were invisible lead weights attached to my eyelashes.  I know my head was bobbing as I fought valiantly to stay awake. I can still feel the relief wash over me when I recall the professor saying it was time for a break.

As I walked past her desk, she said, not unkindly, "If you go to the water fountain and take a cold drink of water, it will wake you up."

I'm not sure if it was the embarrassment of knowing that she had noticed my bobbing or the cold water, but either way, it is useful to note that drinking cold water will keep you awake!

Make It Count

My parents have always said this. They said it when I was growing up. They say it still. What they mean by it is simple: your attitude is important. Don't let your circumstances dictate your attitude. You have a choice. Choose wisely.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

If I could spend three months doing whatever I wanted...

... I would spend three months alone.

There is something about motherhood that sometimes makes me feel as if I am going to wither away if I don't get some peace and quiet. My batteries seem always to be running low, and it's hard to find the time to recharge. I have said numerous times in the last few months that if I could have anything at all in the world, I would choose to have a night in a hotel room by myself. I would sleep for as long as I want. Sweet, uninterrupted, peaceful, deep sleep. It's what I miss most.

If I had three whole months of peace and quiet and alone-ness, I would travel. I would go see some sights. I'd spend a month traversing Europe, seeing all of the things that I've always wanted to see...  Paris, Rome, Greece, London, and as many more as I could.

If I had three whole months to myself, I would write. For a solid month, I would rent a cabin in some secluded spot, preferably in the mountains somewhere, with beautiful vistas for inspiration. I can see myself with pen and notebook in hand, sitting on a rock and writing furiously, surrounded by nature. Or, writing while sitting at a table in front of a fire, with a large, steaming mug of tea.

How about a cabin like this?
(Photo Credit: Carolina Mornings)
If I had three whole months to myself, I would attend some seminars. Maybe intertwined with the first month of traveling, I could attend a Jane Austen seminar in England. (Doesn't this one look interesting?) Maybe intertwined with the second month of writing, I could attend a writer's conference, or work towards my MFA in a low-residency program. I love learning and growing, so education is heavenly to me.

As I spent the time musing on what I would do with three months, however, I was a little ashamed of myself. It's probably a good thing that I don't have three months with which to do whatever I please. I would waste three months in being self-absorbed, and that is never a good thing. Plus, I can't imagine going three months without seeing my precious sons and handsome Husband.

Still, it's kind of fun to think about it...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I'm Italian on my Dad's side of the family. Both of his parents are Italian, and you know what that means... My very own Italian grandma! Mmm... If I could have any meal in the world, it would be one of Nonna's Sunday dinners. Homemade pasta, homemade sauce, roast beef (or pork!), steamed veggies, salad, and something sweet to finish. If I'm really lucky, Nonna will make gnocchi. *sigh* Just thinking about it makes me hungry. Nonna taught me a few things, and when I can, I make my own pasta and sauce.

Forgive the terrible photography - this is the real deal, though!
It's not ALL about the food, but a lot of my family memories on my dad's side revolve around the kitchen and the table and tons of delicious food. (Interesting note - no one on my dad's side is terribly overweight despite all of that food.)

I grew up hearing the stories of my Italian heritage. My Nonna's father was a first generation immigrant. He owned a grocery store - his very own Italian market! I get excited just thinking about it. My Nonna grew up in the apartment above the store. Oh, the stories she can tell! I think I learned my love for history from listening to her tell stories about her life and the lives of her family members.

This month, I'm blogging along with Jenni from Story of My Life for her "Blogtember" challenge.