Friday, August 16, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Small

Photo credit: Rachel Duran

It's easy for a momma to disappear.  Does anybody know underneath 'mom' there is a real person with feelings and hopes and dreams and talents?  And we wonder if we are making a difference.  Because really, all we want to know is that we are significant.  We shrink beneath the piles of laundry and taxi-ing kids to their activities and trying to figure out what's for dinner tonight.  And we feel as if we will never have a clean home and we have to wipe another nose and wash another load of dishes.  And the baby won't stop crying and the toddler throws another tantrum and a teenager breaks your heart.  We trade in our hobbies and exercising and restful nights for parent/teacher meetings and stretch marks and chasing away the boogey man.  And the carpet needs cleaning and the weeds need to be pulled and the car is a mess.  We wake up early and go to bed too late and kiss boos and give baths and say prayers.  We struggle through homework and argue about curfew and discipline even when it's hard.  And we pray.  We are driven to our knees because sometimes we don't know what to do and we feel so small.  We wake up the next day and do it all over again.  We give and we give and we give.  When we feel like we have nothing left - we give some more.

We are mommas.  We pray hard. We work hard.  We love hard.

And that is no small thing.

Want to know more about Five Minute Friday?  Click here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

And the Winner Is...


Congratulations, Ashley, from This Southern Girl's Heart!!
Ashley will be receiving a copy of the book, Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist!
You can order a copy here!

Wishing you all a lovely day and if it gets sorta rough: 

:)  - Liv

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Okay, so this is getting ridiculous! 

Please say I'm not the only one ... I HAVE GOT TO FIND A WAY TO MANAGE MY TIME BETTER!  I often go through my days distracted, finding it hard to focus on completing a single thought.  One cannot be fully present when constantly feeling the need to stop for every Facebook notification or to respond to every tweet!  I find myself spending whole evenings online while I fall further behind on my ever-growing to-do list.  If I truly believe what I read and write, about WAKING UP and SLOWING to live this one life well, then something has got to give. 

Today I am joining other women in The Unwired Mom Challenge, to put the Internet back into its proper place - as a tool.  The Internet has given me a wonderful outlet to write through blogging.  I love keeping in touch with you through Facebook and Instagram; I am not giving up on Pinterest or Youtube.  But none of that compares to spending time with my family and engaging in real life. This challenge is not to stay off of the computer, but to be intentional about the way I spend my time on it.  I love that, since I'm not one to set up unrealistic rules and expectations to break and beat myself up over.

Also, I am loving what the Hands Free Momma has to say about what really matters and the day she stopped saying 'hurry up'.  

How about you?  Do you struggle with slowing down and being present?  What are some of the things you do to manage your time better?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Win This Book!

I just finished reading Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist.   It is "a love letter to life around the table..."  And it has recipes!

This drawing has expired

This book is too good not to share, so I am going to give away ONE copy!  To enter, email me here and put your email address in the subject line.  Invite your friends to enter!  Place your entry by Monday, August 12th!  Or, you can order the book here  

Shauna's love for food and people pours out from the pages of this food memoir.  It feels as if you are sitting across the table from a  dear friend, listening to her stories of travels and tastes and lessons learned.  You will fall in love with food all over again as she describes the sizzles and the smells and the joy of cooking a dish and creating a space where friends can come in, put their feet up and have more than just their stomachs filled.  Shauna makes me want to love cooking!

I tried the blueberry crisp recipe, using peaches from a friend's peach tree instead...

Yumminess!  The plan was to have this topped with vanilla ice cream, but I sacrificed that idea to three hungry girls with a sugar craving during a sleepover.  Who knew they could finish off a whole tub of ice cream by themselves??
It was still delicious!  Wishing we could chat over a cup of coffee and a warm slice ... with ice cream! 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

82 Things I Want To Tell My Daughter Before Tomorrow


The long days of summer break are over and a new school year starts tomorrow!  My daughter will enter the halls of her high school in her new cheer uniform; her sophomore year a blank page, waiting to be filled with homework and new teachers and friends and football games.  No doubt there will be exciting new opportunities as well as challenges and alas ... boys.  What I want her to remember for this year (and for always):

1) Every day you wake up is a day you are loved
2) Every day you wake up is a day you have been prayed for
3) CLING to what you know about God - it will get you through the confusion
4) Beauty from the inside is more beautiful than beauty from the outside
5) If you don't like how you feel, change how you think
6) Or...have some chocolate
7) Just because a boy shows interest doesn't mean he deserves your attention
8) Boys are stinky anyway...
9) ...and you aren't allowed to date until you are 30
10) Grades matter
11) Good girls are not boring
12) Keep your air of mystery
13) Don't confuse a bad day with feeling you have a bad life (see #6)
14) Always, always, always find something to be thankful for - especially on the bad days
15) Never stop dancing
16) Never make fun of anyone
17) Stick up for the kid everyone is hating on
18) Do what is right
19) Be fair
20) Love kindness
21) Be humble
22) Choose to have fun
23) Music is a gift
24) Cherish your friendships
25) Choose your friends wisely - you will act like the people you spend your time with
26) Don't be afraid to say "hi" first
27) Don't be ashamed to say "I don't understand"
28) Don't be afraid to ask a question
29) Anything worth having is going to take a lot of work
30) Do your best
31) Smile
 32) You will make mistakes
33) It's ok
34) What matters is what you do after
35) What you have to say is important
36) Drink water, drink water, and drink more water
37) Your body is strong
38) Take care of it - feed it - listen to it
39) You can do hard things
40) It's ok to rest when you are tired
41) You are the boss of your mind
42) Think about what is honest
43) Think about what is true
44) Think about what is lovely
45) Think about what is pure
46) Books are a gift (smile)
47) I am on your side - even when it doesn't feel that way
48) Sometimes all you need is a hug from your mom
49) It's ok to cry
50) It's ok to laugh out loud
51) It's ok to laugh at yourself
52) It's ok to have emotions
53) ... but they're tricky - don't always believe them (see #3)
54) You don't have to make everybody happy - their happiness is not your job
55) What people think of you is their business, not yours
56) Trust your gut - if it makes you uncomfortable don't do it...
57) ...don't say it ...
58) ...don't wear it
59) The truth is always the correct answer - a lie will make you look and feel foolish
60) Perfect doesn't exist
61) The movies lie
62) You will never be too old for my kisses
63) We will always need each other
64) You can't do anything to make me love you more
65) You can't do anything to make me stop loving you
66) You are important to me
67) I am proud of you
68) You make me smile
69) I love your dad
70) Your dad loves me
71) Daddy loves you - you are his treasure
72) Your dad is a good man
73) Boys should be afraid of your dad - very afraid
74) If a boy doesn't treat you the way daddy treats you or me - RUN!
75) I am thankful for you
76) Never forget who you are and Who you belong to
77) Never trade in your faith for temporary things
78) Remember you have a hope and a future
79) Love is always the right answer
 80) One day at a time - do your best
81) We will make better mistakes tomorrow
82)  When all else fails, call your mom!

I know, I know.  There are a thousand things to tell her and I only listed 82!  How do we fit a lifetime of lessons into the short amount of time we have before we kiss the baby days goodbye? 

Praying for all of our littles and not-so-littles as they begin the new school year!  And if your baby is starting kindergarten - hang in there, momma!  I will say an extra prayer for you!  I promise - it is going to be ok.  ((hugs))

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pinteresting Things

Look what popped up in my neighborhood recently! 

It's a Little Free Library!  What a great way to share and exchange books!  I had seen it before on Pinterest, and thought it was a cool idea. You can imagine how excited I was to see one on the corner of my street!  I took a walk to the little wooden box this afternoon and peeked through the plexiglass window.  Behind the door was a goulash of children's stories, novels and self-help books.  A note invites you to take or leave a book.  This library allows you to borrow or keep what you like.  I browsed a bit, not finding anything I was interested in this time.  Before leaving, I placed a book in the front, just so.  I wanted it to be the first seen by the next visitor.  LOL.  Silly, the things we do!
Speaking of Pinterest: how many things that we 'pin' do we actually get around to doing?  So many great ideas and so little time to do them all!  A few girlfriends and myself have been having Pinterest parties throughout the year to try some of our favorites.  We have a blast!  The next one is coming up soon.  I'll post pictures! 

What are some of your favorite things to 'pin'?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Story

Learn more about Five Minute Friday here!

So, what's your story?

We are all story tellers in some way or another.  It's in your walk, when the stress aches across your shoulders like a fraying rope pulled taut, promising to snap at the next tug.  It's in your eyes as they light up when a loved one enters a room.  It's in the words you speak - the way you speak them.

I have been challenged to live honestly.  To tell my story truthfully.  To not be afraid to laugh or cry; to not be afraid of being less than perfect.  It's a dull life to live, being afraid to express too much emotion or not allowing others to see your weaknesses.  When we live truthfully, we give others permission to do the same.  And when we share a little of ourselves we learn that we are not alone in our trials and imperfections.

My struggles and victories; my faith and my hopes - they are part of me.  They are my story.  I want to live my one life well, so that in the end it will be told as a love story that was full of tears and laughter and messiness and mistakes and forgiveness and redemption.  Those are the best kind.

- Liv