Holding Butterflies

Not too tight, not too loose

A look back…

I thought that a review of the month would be my last post. But in reviewing my blog, I think it is better as two posts instead. Today, I want to review how this 31-day blog experiment has gone for me, what looks like it worked and what didn’t. Tomorrow, my post will be more forward-looking, to let you know where I’d like to go with this blog. I took on the 31-day blogging challenge only to see if I wanted to start blogging again. I didn’t have a topic–I was almost purposefully random. I definitely “tried on” different kinds of posts as the month went along. Some felt natural. Others were much less so, and I’m sure those stood out! I liked sharing the two Bible verses that I wrote about this month (a Proverb and several stories from Jeremiah). I loved having a bloggable article that hits me where I live and makes me think. I love having a place like this to ruminate. (Other people have empty.. Read More

Teaching My Children Well

When it comes to raising our children, Bill and I have always agreed that our goal is not good kids. Our goal is competent, God-fearing adults who are capable of being happy. They aren’t necessarily the same thing, you know? I’ve come across a couple of things in the last day or so that have me thinking. First, Penelope Trunk wrote about how we need to spend at least as much time teaching our kids how to find a spouse as we do helping them pick a career. After all, a happy marriage is a huge component of a happy life, at least if not more important than the choice of career. One interesting bit of research shows that a breadwinner should choose a non-breadwinner.  According to Penelope, shared duties almost never work. And yes, I know Penelope is prone to sweeping statements but there is research to back her up. My take-away from Penelope is to help my children know themselves and to understand what they are looking for.. Read More

Linky Love

I have really enjoyed trying to post every day–and this is my 28th straight post! Go, me. I’ve also been reading some other bloggers who are doing the 31-day challenge. Here are a few that have stood out for me: Samantha McGowan:  A twenty-something writes about life. I love her perspective! Carrie Owens Photography: Tips and tricks for capturing all the details of your life via photography. I wish she lived in Georgia! Notes in the Key of Life:  Cindy writes about aging gracefully. It’s great to read writers who are a little ahead of me on the journey. So many bloggers seem to be thirty-somethings with little kids. Copperlight Wood: Beautiful prayers from a mom in Alaska. Equally beautiful pictures. Grace Every Day: Beth is posting about 31 different evocative songs this month. Very fun! Tales From a Southern Catholic Momma: The Momma is relating her story of depression. Painful, but brave. The Hope Diaries: Marriage, infidelity, and redemption. Powerful. Adventurous Life with Christ: Robyn is telling her family’s.. Read More

Welcome to my farm!

It’s been almost a month, and I think it’s time to write a post about one of my favorite places, Shady Oaks Farm. We bought Shady Oaks about two and a half years ago. Both our daughters were riding, and we had bought them ponies. Then I started riding, and of course then I bought a horse! Bill started adding up our expenses, and it was almost the same as purchasing a farm (or so we thought, lol). Plus we would much rather look at land, and enjoy it, than have a stock portfolio. After a couple of months of shopping and agonizing, we happened into a wonderful little farm not too far from our house. It was already named for the beautiful alle´e of oaks that leads to the business end of the farm. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also say that Bill and I had no clue about how to run a farm. But I loved our trainer Sandra, and asked if she and her husband would.. Read More

What I’ve learned from my Fitbit Flex

I’ve had my Fitbit Flex for about six weeks now, including some time off while I waited for a replacement to be sent to me. The replacement has been working great, no worries, and I have about a month of continuous data to look at. The Fitbit app has a way to monitor sleep and water intake, in addition to steps. (It also does other things but I ignore those.) It’s been interesting to see where my perceptions of my activity match reality as recorded by the Fitbit, and where it doesn’t. Here’s what I’ve learned so far: Start early:   I have found that if I wait until noon to finish my first 24 oz. tumbler of water, I’m probably not going to get there. If I get to 1 p.m. and I’m only at 3,000 steps, I’m not going to have time to take a walk and I’m definitely going to miss my goal of 10,000 steps. The lesson here is to attack my goals early. Intentionality is key: .. Read More

Week in Review, 10/25

When I used to write my blog I had a weekly review that I did. It was actually one of my favorite posts because I was able to track what happened in our family that way. I’m really super sleepy after having spent the entire evening at our barn party so I’ll see how this post goes tonight. Last Saturday was the Homecoming Dance. It’s one of only two dances for the High School (the other is Prom) so lots of kids go. Here are a couple of pictures, one of Matthew ready to go, and the other of Jack with some of his friends. The ninth graders went to a big group dinner, which of course shows the value in the parents organizing some social activities early on in their middle school career. The tenth grade isn’t really like that and I wish it were! Sunday was church and then a pretty relaxed afternoon. I was able to get the groceries bought, which always means that Monday is saner… Read More

Books That Built Me.

Several days (weeks?!) ago a friend challenged me on Facebook to name the ten books that have influenced me the most. Of course I have a tendency to think of the last ten books I read, but this time I wanted to dig in and see if I could come up with a real list that spanned more of my life. Sandi, here is your answer, finally.  And I figured that anything that took this much thought deserved its own blog post! I’m not counting the Bible. It continues to influence me. How can you hear something ten times and then, on the eleventh hearing, get something completely new? So I’m leaving it off. The Little House series: Seminal books in my growing-up years. I read and re-read these and I still love them. The Phantom Tollbooth: Also a kid book! I had no idea how much wit and sarcasm an author could fit in one book. I reread it recently and it held up well. Deliverance: An odd choice…because.. Read More

A Train Wreck of a Yes (recipe included)

Have you heard of Lysa TerKuerst’s new book The Best Yes? Well, I have it and it still didn’t help me today. A couple of weeks ago I offered to make the main course for the football team’s Thursday night dinner. Around 50 boys. I hated that Lauren did this every single week and I thought I ought to help. After all, I can cook. Plus Matthew specifically requested a family favorite known around here as Train Wreck. Well, Train Wreck for 50 is slightly more time consuming than Train Wreck for six. But I got it done and delivered, and apparently I haven’t given the whole team food poisoning…yet. They seemed to like it. But I got home and faced this scene, after having cooked pretty much the entire afternoon. My inner martyr came roaring out. Not. Pretty. I don’t want my family to feel like I am so burdened and put upon. The fact is that I gladly chose to do this. But right now I’m not so.. Read More

Oh, Renee…

I’m sure you’ve seen Renee Zellweger’s new look by now. I hate to say it, but I miss your old look, Renee! That second picture is only a year old…I think she’s had work done. I get it. I’m a year older than Renee. While I don’t make my money from my face (a good thing!), I’m just like every woman. I watch the lines creep in, the fullness where it wasn’t before, the sag in another place. And it isn’t always fun or easy. But it has to happen. I’ve realized you wear your life on your face. I’m not anti-injectables! I think Botox has it’s place in delaying the inevitable. Heck, I even used it a few times in my late 30s and early 40s. I knew those lines were coming, but I just wanted to put them off for a year or so. I knew they had to come eventually. Nobody hits fifty unscathed. Those laugh lines? They come from laughing. The worry line, right there between.. Read More

Promises, promises.

I don’t write a Bible Study or devotion blog, but I do like to share what I’m reading or thinking about. Right now, that’s Jeremiah. I listen to Daily Audio Bible as part of my devotions (almost) every day. I started listening in January and have found that I really love hearing the Bible as a change from reading. We have an Old Testament reading, a New Testament one, and then a Psalm and a Proverb each day. We’ve been in Jeremiah for the last two weeks or so. I love Jeremiah–he’s definitely my favorite prophet, and this might be my favorite book in the Old Testament. I love that he was young when called, and goes through some odd trials, and stays faithful and just keeps telling the truth. In the last few days, three sections have stood out for me, and I’d like to share them. In Jeremiah 18, God tells Jeremiah to go see a potter, and then God describes Himself as the potter. God is going.. Read More