things i love thursday! (january 31, 2013)

Happy Thursday, friends! It’s the last day of the first month of 2013. We are 1/12 done with this year already. Wrap your brain around THAT mess. Anyhooooo…

Look! He’s so cute!



  • The #overcomethelie Twitter party last night. We had so many participants spreading the truth about self-love. It was amazing! We ended the night trending at #4. Incredible.
  • Lionhart. I’ve been doing volunteer work for this organization for a while now and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about the things happening there. It’s amazing. Check it out here and spread the courage around!
  • Amazing and encouraging lunch meetings with friends and mentors.
  • Talking music, art, and the like.
  • Expanding my culinary expertise by way of pureeing my son’s baby food myself. (See also: humility.)
  • Watching good friends play live music.
  • Dax’s new “go-to” face. Not sure why he’s really into chewing on his bottom lip right now but it’s tres adorbs.
  • Reading lots and lots of books.
  • Tickle fights and laughter with my husband.
  • “Sesame Street” on Netflix. (YEAH I KNOW American Pediatrics Association, no screen time until Dax is two but can’t we please make an exception for Elmo?!)
  • Also football? I mean the SUPER BOWL is this weekend, you guys…
  • Emails from good friends with the phrase “TMI” in the subject line.
  • New babies! ACK!
  • Pretending to be a stay-at-home mom.
  • Ministry over coffee — both from me and TO me.
  • Nerding out over fonts.
  • My best friend.
  • My family.
  • My town.

What do YOU love this week?

the worst lie i was ever made to believe.

“You’re so lucky you’re with me. No one else would ever put up with you.”

My high school boyfriend’s squinted green eyes were pointedly affixed on my sunken face when he said that. I burst into tears and lowered my head to the ground while I sobbed because, in my shame, I believed he was right.

He uttered the same message to me every day for two and a half years. Maybe not in the same words. Maybe not even with words at all. Maybe he’d just use his body to say those things. But, regardless, the message was clear.

Looking back at 15-year-old me who, for whatever sad, desperate reason, decided to give this guy a chance, I wish I could slap me. I must have been blind. This guy wasn’t attractive by any means. He was tall and awkwardly lanky, with unruly reddish-brown hair that was usually styled with heaps of goopy Pomade into some horrendous version of a mohawk. He had braces that held together a cluster of visibly decaying teeth and the gauges in his ears reeked so bad I couldn’t get close to him without wanting to vomit.

But he had a voice in my life. A voice that lied to me. A terribly influential voice that penetrated through to my malleable core.

I felt so trapped in that volatile relationship. I wanted so badly to leave, but I feared that, were I to muster up the courage to finally break free, I’d first get the snot beat out of me and then, ultimately, be alone forever. That’s what he made me believe — that I was unworthy of love and that he was doing me a favor by being with and abusing me daily. How noble.

I never actually broke up with him. He ended up breaking up with me because he slept with one of my friends (which was probably the best thing to ever happen to me, for real). And though the ties to him were severed, the emotional damage was done.

The lie he told me made its home within my fragile heart, a cancer that would eventually spread throughout the entirety of my spirit. It wasn’t until a year into my marriage that I learned that the lie I’d been told so long ago wasn’t true.

Every morning when I roll over and see my husband I am reminded that I am worthy of love. 

Every time my son reaches out to me begging to be nursed, I am reminded that I am needed. 

Every time my eyes fall upon Mark 1:11, I am reminded that I am God’s beloved, in whom He finds great joy.

These are truth. These are reality. 

These are the lifelines to which I hold tight, despite the atrocities of my past. These are the truths that have helped me overcome this lie. 

What lie do you need to overcome? Join us TONIGHT at 8PM Eastern for our Twitter party to celebrate the truth! You are loved. You are important. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Here’s a link for more information.

You can overcome the lie

overcome the lie.

A quick Google search tells me that the average person can see up to 5,000 advertisements a day. That’s a little more than 208 an hour.


That may seem unrealistic at first, but if you think about it, it makes sense.

In the morning, your alarm clock rouses you. You get up, take a shower, and get dressed. Already, you’ve seen the brand names of all your shampoos, body washes, and clothes you wear. While these products aren’t currently trying to sell themselves to you, you’ve already bought them. Your brand loyalty is being cultivated.

Then, you get into your car and drive to work. On your way, you pass billboards, signs, and placards all vying for your valuable consumer eye. Then you get to work, sit down at your cubicle, and open up your Internet browser to check your email. The page you’re blankly staring at recycles a handful of ads based on your past web experience.

At the end of the day, you get in your car and go back home and plop down on the couch to relax.  You flip on the television and scroll through channels while flickering ads quietly trigger the firing off of millions of synapses in your brain. You consume an hour or two (maybe) and then hit the hay, all to wake up the next day and start it all over again.

If the average person sees that many ads a day, how many lies do you think the average person is told a day?

Now, I’m a communication major. I have a lot of friends who, after graduating college with me, went off to be very successful advertisers. So I’m not about to bite the hand that feeds me. But if every coffee company claims to have the best coffee out there, like they all seem to say in their ads, at least one of them has to be lying, right?

We are told so many lies each day.

“Wear X brand so you’ll be sexy.”

“Buy Y makeup because it will make your skin flawless.”

“Your looks are the best part about you.”

“Your looks are the worst part about you.”

The truth? You are fearfully and wonderfully made just how you are. 

It would be so nice if we could get society to stop lying to us. To stop telling us that our worth is found in outward appearances and things we buy. But that will never happen; we live in a broken world.

But we can’t sit idly by as this happens. We’ve got to take action. It is our responsibility to overcome the lies we are told each day.

I’m asking you to join me, along with Lionhart (a non-profit organization I work with), and The Story Project, to OVERCOME THE LIE.


Next week, we’ll be teaming up to encourage one another and women all around the globe through inspiring blogs, Facebook posts, and tweets and we want you to join us.

Check out the Facebook event for more information or The Story Project blog.

I’m so excited about the change that is about to happen in so many women’s lives. We, as women, have overcome so much throughout history. Now, it’s time to overcome the lie.

things i love thursday! (january 24, 2013)

Happy Thursday friends! My heart is quite full this week. I can’t really explain why, but over the past five days I’ve just sort of walked around Tallahassee in a stupor, finding beauty and love in every thing and every person I see. I can’t stop finding great things to love about my life here. It is so inspiring.

snuggle attack


  • Curling up on a familiar couch with familiar people watching familiar hobbitses. 
  • Reading and discussing books with my incredibly intelligent lady friends.
  • Encouraging lunch meetings.
  • Carbs.
  • Vegan “butter”.
  • Moving to my new cubicle by the window! I swear the view and natural light has done wonders for my spirit.
  • The Avett Brothers.
  • Painting… with a twist!
  • Wine.
  • Vegan ice cream.
  • Trips to the farmers market.
  • Fun with pureed carrots.
  • Reading about a dude who sat down to eat with bad people because He loved them so much.
  • Good books.
  • Catching up with old friends.
  • The piano.
  • Cuddling my sweet boy.
  • My husband’s nerd voice.
  • Cute finds on Etsy.
  • Three day weekends.
  • Lazy days on the couch in front of Netflix.
  • See also: lazy days with books.
  • Encouraging bible studies.
  • Eating out. Like, all the food.
  • My husband — he seriously is my favorite person on this planet.
  • My baby boy — a very very very close second.

What do you love this week?

top ten ways to wake your kid up from a nap.

I’ve only been a parent for six months now (unless you count the nine months I was pregnant and I REALLY THINK YOU SHOULD because being pregnant isn’t, like, easy or anything) but I’ve already mastered the art of waking my kid up from a nap.


I know what you’re thinking. Why, OH WHY, would I ever want to wake my sleeping child? Well, the thing is, I never want to. I just do it.

In the event that you have a kid you just can’t seem to rouse from mid-day slumber, try out any of these tried and true methods.

  1. Take a shower. Your louffa won’t have a chance to lather before you hear the coos or cries of your sweet, no-longer-napping babe.
  2. Start painting your nails. You’ll be able to paint one hand flawlessly. But by the time you go to add your first coat to the third finger on your second hand, your baby will awake screaming and needing immediate attention.
  3. Lay down to take your own nap. Lucid dreams are all you get before your sweet little one is ready to play!
  4. Make yourself a cup of coffee. You might not be aware of this but the drip coffee maker you have (every model, by the way) is directly connected to your child’s brain. The second the last fresh drop of delicious java hits your pot, your baby’s eyes, mouth, and all-too-audible lungs will shoot open. If you’re lucky, his or her diaper will also be bust open. It’s okay. Coffee is still drinkable if you have to microwave it. 
  5. Prepare for yourself a meal that is best enjoyed whilst warm. Don’t worry. You probably won’t get food-borne illness if you eat your meal three hours later when you finally get back to it. Probably.
  6. Start a much-needed chore. It’s not your baby’s fault that the dishes are as tall as you are and your sink smells like a butt crawled inside another butt and then both of those butts died. (Okay, just kidding, it is your baby’s fault but you can’t be mad at them, right?)
  7. Begin to construct a well thought out blog post. Now you know why this blog has been lackluster lately. 
  8. Shave your legs. Hope you like walking around with only one leg half-shaved because the second that razor touches your overgrown appendages, your baby’s squeals will flood your bathroom faster than your shower head could.
  9. Hold a conference call. Working from home moms, I know you think you’re so smart to schedule your conference calls during your baby’s nap times but LOL LET’S BE HONEST THEY KNOW BETTER THAN YOU DO. 
  10. Put in your favorite workout DVD in an attempt to finally lose that baby weight. More chub to love, am I right, ladies? 

There you have it. Ten sure fire ways to wake your kid up from a nap. Stay tuned — I’m also an expert on keeping them asleep, so I’ll share that knowledge later.

Happy sleep deprivation, moms!

thanks, friday favorites!

Over the past couple months I’ve been doing this series, I’ve been challenged to look at myself each week, even when I really really RE-HE-HEALLY didn’t want to, and find one thing about myself that I appreciate and blog about it. From my hair to my outfit to my personality traits and likes and dislikes — things about me that are either physical, mental, internal, or external — I’ve been able to find at least one thing each week that I happen to enjoy. This practice has definitely been a necessary discipline for this season of my growth. 

I was struggling to write a Friday Favorite today, not because I couldn’t think of anything about which to write, but because I couldn’t pick just one thing.

That may seem narcissistic, and if it does, I apologize. Those who know me well know I am anything but a narcissist. But I think that this can only mean one thing.

The series worked. It ran its course and did its job.

I’m glad I stepped out in faith and did this for as long as I did. I think that, by doing this, I’ve gotten my spirit to a good place as far as my self-love journey goes.

And so, Friday Favorites, I bid you a fond farewell. You’ve been quite good to me.


meeting milestones.

I know, I know, it’s Thursday and so I should be posting a TILT. But this week, a TILT list would actually be quite boring to read because all of the bullet points would say, “Dax did X” and “Dax loves Y” and “Dax this” and “Dax that” so really, despite my feeble attempts to not become a “mom blogger” (ugh) I should just write a proper blog post, shouldn’t I?

It would be cliche of me to lament about how “they grow up so fast” but SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS they grow up so fast. Check out this picture, for example. The image on the left is from when Dax was just a few days old. The one on the right was taken a couple weeks ago.


Remember how I was pregnant just yesterday? Like, seriously, the day before today I was pregnant. (Okay, maybe I wasn’t. Maybe, just maybe, it’s been longer than that. But it doesn’t feel like that.)

In two days, my baby boy will be six months old. Yes, you read that right. Six. Months. Half a year. I can’t believe it’s been six months since I brought my sweet little boy into this world and yet, at the same time, I can’t believe he’s only been here for six months. I can hardly imagine life without him here. As you can tell from the above photo, he’s been growing and changing ever since he was conceived, meeting milestones every couple weeks or so, making his dad and me so proud.

This week, however, my kid hit a handful of milestones in a matter of DAYS, leaving me breathless and struggling to keep up, sadly wondering, Where did my baby go?

First, at the beginning of this week, he started sitting up by himself.


Fair enough. Babies around his age should start sitting up on their own. Fine.

Then, we noticed that he’s only waking once, if at all, to nurse at night. Wow. Sleeping through the night, like, for real now. Hmm. K.

Then, a couple nights ago, my husband and I recalled the sheet we got from Dax’s pediatrician that stated that a baby at this age he should have started eating solid foods by now. Still breastfed, sure, but with solids, too.

Ouch. Okay.

Which catapulted us into an intense discussion about How could we miss this? What have we been doing? Solids already? But he’s just a baby! He doesn’t even have teeth! Okay, so, we start this now then? What food do we give him first? Vegetables or rice cereal? Why rice cereal? It’s just refined carbohydrates. Can’t we jump straight into avocados? Is that even okay? But he’s just a baby!

A friend of mine told me that when we introduce solids it might be a good idea to also introduce a sippie cup (NOT A BOTTLE?!) of water at dinner time, just so that Dax gets used to the idea. When I told Dan this he blew up at me.

“We can’t do that! He’s too little for that!”

“No he’s not!” I argued.

“I’m Googling it!” After he looked it up on his phone, he scoffed triumphantly. “HA! See? He can’t have water until he’s six months old!”

“He’ll be six months old on SATURDAY.”

“Well, still!”

(It makes me feel good to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t want him to keep growing up.)

And finally, yesterday I went to pick Dax up from Dan the church. While Dan was strapping Dax into his infant car seat — the one in which he came home from the hospital — Dan stood up and told me, “We need a new car seat.”

I was dumbfounded. “A new car seat, ” I repeated as a sentence, not a question.

“Yes,” he confirmed. “He’s too big for this one.”

“He’s too big for this one,” I responded robotically.

Sitting up on his own. Sleeping through the night. Eating solids. Sippie cups of water. Too big for his car seat. Six months.

This week has just been too much for my mommy heart to handle.

The thing about hitting milestones is that you can’t unhit them. Once you know how to sit up on your own, you don’t need your mom to hold you up anymore. That’s it. You sit up. Once you know how to crawl, you can’t not know how to crawl. Once you walk…

And so on and so forth.

I think the milestone I’m struggling the most with is the food thing. Because we’re passionate about breastfeeding, up until this point, I was the ONLY person on the PLANET that could feed Dax. The. Only. Now, I’m not enough for him. Now, he needs more. He needs me still, sure, but he also needs others. And soon, he won’t need me at all.


Physical growth milestones are obviously a great metaphor for our emotional/spiritual growth. You saw that coming right? And, because this is FBDC, you probably expected me to turn the blog post that direction. But NO. Right now, I simply want to whine about the fact that my baby boy is slipping through my fingers at an alarming rate and I’m not handling it well.

BRB researching breastfeeding benefits for people past infancy and how long is too long for co-sleeping. 

friday favorite: going from amber to julia.

DISCLAIMER: If you don’t watch Parenthood on NBC, this post probably won’t make any sense to you. If you don’t, here’s a fun guide to the cast to keep you up to speed. 
Pro tip of the day: Watch
Parenthood because it’s great. 

I’ve been catching up on Parenthood, NBC’s heart-warming and gut-wrenching drama all about family, on Netflix over the past couple weeks. When I first got into the show a couple years ago, I instantly felt a connection to Sarah Braverman and her rogue, outspoken daughter Amber, for all the obvious reasons: being a single mom, Sarah’s interactions with Amber reminded me a lot of the interactions I had with my own mom growing up; being the daughter of a drug-addicted absentee father, I could see a lot of my own angst and, shall we say, “colorful” language played out on screen; Amber and Sarah are freaking hilarious sometimes and so am I (humble, too, I might add) and are, quite frankly, hot messes sometimes. (FUN BONUS: Amber is also a musician and Sarah, we find out in season 2, is a also writer! So there’s that!)

I guess the connection was obvious to my husband as well because, after witnessing a rather passionate monologue by Amber, Dan turned to me and said, “Wow, I didn’t know you wrote for this show.”

That prompted me to rattle off all the reasons it was so scary to watch Amber and Sarah on TV because it was like watching myself. But then Dan said something really surprising to me.

“You’re more like Julia, actually.”


His comment made me scoff at first.

Julia, Sarah’s sister and Amber’s aunt, is very different from Amber and Sarah. She’s been described by other characters on the show as, quote, “a little intense”. She’s a busy lady, what with being a successful lawyer by day and trying SO HARD it almost HURTS to be a perfect mom by night. Her husband Joel — a stay-at-home dad to their daughter Sydney — is much quieter than she, a bit subdued I’d say, but is completely adored by her and is head over heels for her.

At first, I struggled to find anything in common with Julia. But as the episodes wore on, I started to see what he was talking about. I am a working mom. Dan is a work-from-home dad. I have been described as “intense”. I am louder, probably to a fault, than he. In all of these ways, I mirror Julia. But Dan’s point was proven at one point during season 2 when we watched an exchange between the two of them that we swear we’ve had in the past.

There is no doubt that I used to be a hot mess like Amber. Maybe even as hot of a mess as Sarah. And I’ve been pretty reluctant to relinquish that identity because it defined me for so long. But now, I’m Julia. I’m kind of put together, but not without my own obvious junk. And that gives me hope for Amber’s character (no spoilers, please — still working through season 3!).

things i love thursday! (january 10, 2013)

Happy Thursday, friends! We’re finally on the mend around here, thank goodness. Onto the love.



  • Hitting my third anniversary of this blog yesterday! Wow, time flies. Click here to read my first post and don’t laugh. Okay you can laugh. (DISCLAIMER: I was not, in any way, shape, or form, high when I wrote it.)
  • Secret projects.
  • My husband’s “nerd” voice.
  • Getting retweeted and tweeted at by Rachel Held Evans! I am such a fan girl, and I don’t care who knows it.
  • Hot tea and beer.
  • Celebrating my husband’s birthday!
  • Seafood.
  • Somehow managing to trick my husband into doing all the chores for a month. Muahaha. : )
  • Eating out instead of grocery shopping. See also: Christmas gift cards.
  • Seeing Dax be social with all my friends. He really is the happiest when he’s around people. He must take after me.
  • Catching up on Parenthood on Netflix and having Dan say, “I didn’t know you wrote for this show.” Thanks babe.
  • Encouraging text messages and emails from fellow mommies.
  • The 25 Best Jennifer Lawrence Quotes of 2012. I LOVE HER.
  • My bestie, for knowing I would LOVE that link.
  • Finally getting a pack n’ play for Dax to go in Dan’s new office.
  • Dan has an office now??!
  • Super random and last minute lunch dates.
  • Figuring out that I don’t need milk in my coffee to like it. What is this, growing up?
  • Painting my nails, even though I did a slap-bang (Rachel Held Evans!) job because Dax woke up from his nap after I did one hand.
  • I may or may not have gotten nail polish on his face. MAY OR MAY NOT.
  • Trying and failing to mimic my kid’s face.
  • Funyuns and Sunkist!
  • Getting unexpected I’M PREGNANT texts!
  • Not being pregnant myself. ; )

What do you love this week?

to be known and, yet, loved.

I think it’s safe to say that there are few things in life we want more than to be totally known and still loved at the same time. If you were to break down each and every insecurity I have to its bare bones, you’d probably find this deep-seated desire.

To be known and, yet, loved.

This blog has been the vehicle by which I achieve self-love. By being honest and vulnerable in my writing, I’ve learned how to look myself in the mirror — through my reflection as well as at it — and be fully delighted in the image before me. (Well, for the most part. We never really arrive, do we?)

But, as far as letting other people love me, I’m not entirely sure I’m there yet. I still seek it. I still crave it. I still wish to, whether it be romantically, familially, or relationally, be surrounded by a small, yet fierce group of individuals who know every deep, dark, twisted ingredient to my soul and still find me worthy of love. However, despite this burning passion (which, as I learned recently, comes from a Greek word that actually appropriately means “willingness to suffer”) to be known and loved, I still find myself holding back out of fear.

I’m just so scared to let many people get close enough.

They get kind of close, I guess. Pretty close, even. But not that close. Not close enough to “smell my farts”, if you will. (Confused? Refer back to this post.)

I lamented over this desire to a friend over lunch last week. As I clumsily poked at my thai noodle soup with my cheap, splintery chopsticks, swirling the chives and roasted duck in a deep brown broth, I breathed my fear into the steam rising from the bowl.

“I’m just so worried I’ll get found out, you know?”

And there it is.

You begin a relationship with someone and, at first, everything is perfect. Everything is coming up roses, as they say. But, as time passes, you get “found out” — the roses begin to wilt and droop, leaving behind a soggy soil of past regrets, hurts, and insecurities. That can be scary. It is, at least, for me.

“When I first met you, I knew you were a hot mess,” my friend replied.

Well, okay but tell me how you really feel?

“But that’s not you anymore,” he clarified. “And those who really know you know that.”

A statement almost as comforting as thai noodle soup. Almost.

The story isn’t over when the roses wilt. If the soil is still there — albeit quite messy — beautiful things, lovely things, can still spring from it.

Allowing someone to get close enough to you to bend down and work their fingers through your dirty soil also allows them to plant seeds of life — beautiful words of encouragement, trust, and, yes, even love can foster the growth of a gorgeous garden of a real life worth loving. A real relationship with a real person worth celebrating.

The ability to be known and, even still, adored.