Christmas time is here!

Oh the weather outside is frightful…unless you live in Florida where the weather is truly delightful and the thought of building a fire is frightful. We have to buy our snowmen down here, dontcha know?

With the holiday season fast approaching (or, you know, already upon us), I thought it would be fun to share some ideas on how to make the holidays count. The greatest thing about Christmas is the spirit of giving that seems to overtake us. Though we try to keep that spirit up all year long, this time of year is always especially sweet and poignant. So I’m going to share a couple of things we have done, or are doing, and I would love to hear what you’re doing with your families.

Two years ago, we threw a Christmas party at our house for the kids. They played, ate Christmas cookies and Lee read the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke. What made this party particularly fun for everyone was all the kids brought new, unwrapped toys which we then donated to the local Ronald McDonald House.

We didn’t have a party like this last year because we were new and didn’t know anyone, but the party is on again this year and we are so excited! There’s something so fun about coming together as a community and blessing ohters in need. The kids especially get into it, which makes it even more delightful.

Image from: http://www.compassion.com/catalog/equip-family-with-livestock.htm

Another thing we love to do is give gifts through Compassion International. We go through their gift catalog and each kid gets to pick one or two things they would like to give. Usually these things end up being farm animals because really, what’s more fun than buying a goat for someone?!

Having travelled with Compassion to Tanzania in May, I’m so much more connected to this process than I was before. I saw how a goat could not only provide a family some nourishment, but also a stream of income, which would allow them to provide for their children. Providing livestock for a family is the best $50 you will ever spend, I can guarantee it.

Last year, on Christmas morning before we even opened gifts, we shuttled the kids out the door, met up with some friends and headed to downtown Tampa where we served the homeless hot coffee, breakfast sandwiches and a little Christmas love. This was deeply impactful for the kids and for Lee and I. It was a beautiful way to celebrate the morning and I believe we came home feeling equally blessed. I’m not sure we can do this again as laws have changed and been put in place to prohibit those things, but we are looking into it. 

The most important thing we’ve learned over the years as we’ve parented and raised these children is how little our family needs and how much so many others lack. We have drastically reduced the number of gifts our children receive at Christmas for a number of reasons, one of them being the fact that they just don’t need more toys to sit in their rooms and gather dust.

I would rather buy my children two meaningful gifts that they will love and use than five useless toys that they’ll play with once and cast aside. I love giving my kids gifts. I love seeing their faces light up when they open a present. Those looks are so much more meaningful, though, when we all know we have given of ourselves first.

This has been a learning process for me. I was so worried that my kids would be disappointed when they saw how little was under the tree, but I so vastly underestimated their capacity to love others and their desire to bless. My kids did not complain at all about not getting many gifts. What a lesson that’s been to me.

So how about you? What do you do to foster the spirit of giving in your home? I know you all have a lot of great ideas. None of our ideas are original. We didn’t think of those things on our own. We learned from observing what others have done and we decided to follow suit. I don’t share any of these ideas to toot our horns by any means. I always love to hear how others are working to make the holidays more meaningful and learn from those ideas.

I’d love to hear how you are blessing others this season. Or perhaps you have been on the receiving end of a blessing. How has that affected you?

MERRY CHRISTMAS, FRIENDS!

 

Fa, la, la, la, la…man. 

The Terrible, Awful, No-Good, Very Bad Day

You know those days when nothing seems to go right and you think, “Golly Gee. I sure wish this icky day would skeedaddle.”

Or, you know…something along those lines.

Well, folks. THAT was our Monday. Totally and completely icky. Like, not swell, man.

The day started alright. Christmas decorations were up, the house was fairly clean despite half of Orlando having visited over the weekend and I got ten pages of my novel written. It seemed like one of those sunshiney days that musicals are made of. I think, actually, that’s what made everything go awry. The day was too perfect. There’s nowhere to go but down from perfection.

The kids came home from school in great moods. They were jazzed and revived after a week off and immediately set into their homework in a way that was almost freaky in a Stepford kinda way. Tia even took her homework outside because it was freaking 74 degrees out. Even Mother Nature felt pretty good about herself.

Apparently, however, the devil wanted to ruin this idyllic day. It started when Tia came in to play. Everyone was cheery and happy for about thirty minutes. Sloan sat on the couch playing the iPad and Tia leaned over his shoulder to watch.

Then she shrieked.

“Something’s poking me!” she cried, yanking on her pants leg. I assumed she had some kind of sticker from outside and tried to pull her hands away from her leg, but she began trembling and crying and she dashed to her room, yanked the pants off and threw them at me. I picked them up and shook them and Hark! A massive bee fell out. Tia came out moments later with four large welts on her knee.

Strike one to the perfect day.

An hour later, half the neighborhood was over playing kickball in our backyard. Lee came home and, ever the awesome Daddy, he joined in on the game. Because I’d already started dinner, had laundry going, had the house cleaned and in general had nothing else to do, I decided to not be a fuddy duddy and join in on the neighborhood kickball game.

Truth be told, I succombed to Mom-Guilt. I felt bad for not playing with my kids and decided the nice mommy thing to do would be join in. I had on my Ugg boots and briefly considered changing the, but then decided, “Nah. I’ll just kick a couple of times then bow out.”

On my second kick, as I ran the bases, my left boot slipped a little, curling my toes underneath and sending all my weight onto the top of my foot.

Friends, the only pain I’ve ever felt worse than that was natural childbirth. It was as though someone lit my foot on fire and to make matters worse all the neighborhood kids were gathered around so I could neither cry or curse, both of which I wanted to do in abundance.

So four bee stings and a broken foot. Day’s not shaping up well. (And yes, the foot’s broken. I got an X-Ray just to be sure. It’s just a hairline fracture and should heal quickly. I also learned that I have two bones in my foot that are not connected and likely have never been. It’s a rare something or other people have from birth. So…there’s something you didn’t know about me, eh?)

As I sat on the couch nursing my swollen foot a neighbor boy came in looking for an iPad to play. He grabbed Lee’s. He dropped Lee’s. It shattered.

And that’s when we sent everyone away and hunkered down for the night hoping to avoid any more lightening strikes.

There’s a moral to this story, you know. No…”Don’t Play Kickball in Uggs” is NOT the moral. “Don’t let neighbor kids touch expensive electronics” isn’t the moral, either, though is has been added to our house rules. No, those are not the morals to be taken from this story. CLEARLY the moral is “Mom-Guilt Clouds Your Judgement Making You Think That Playing Ball with Your Kids is Better Than Sitting Down in a Quiet House with a Book for Fifteen Minutes.”

 

The End.

 

 

So…how’s your week going so far, hmmmm?

PS: At the end of the day, I’m more than aware that we are so blessed. I am beyond grateful for all that we have and I don’t share our horrible awful day to complain so much as to laugh a bit, because seriously?! How can all that go on in the span of just a couple of hours?!

So don’t cry for me, Argentina…

Thanksgiving was for…

Chasing

 

 

Cartwheeling

 

 

Giggling

 

 

Smiling

 

 

Sipping

 

 

Eating

 

 

Gathering

 

 

Playing

 

 

Flirting (ahem…boys!)

 

 

Snuggling

 

 

Running

 

 

Baking

 

 

Decorating

 

 

Grinning

 

 

Munching

 

 

Goofing

 

 

Together-ing

 

 

How was your Thanksgiving?

Because we ARE the Griswolds

HEEEEEYYYYY!!!! Welcome to the Griswold Family Thanksgiving!

The turkey is stuffed and in the oven. Lemon cakes are prepped and waiting to be iced. Green Bean Casserole is in the crock pot and there is a dessert in the fridge that involves cut up Granny Smith Apples, frozen snickers chopped in pieces and two tubs of whipped cream.

We’re eating at 1:30 if you’d like to join us.

The house is clean and ready for 31 people to come destroy it, all in the name of family and love, of course. And I? I’m on my seccond cup of coffee.

I fell into bed just before midnight last night only to be awoken at 1:30 by the shrillest, loudest brain melting screech you’ve ever heard. I leapt out of bed with a shriek and all sorts of havoc and confusion ensued.

Me: WHAT DO WE DO?!

Lee: BEAVERS AND DUCKS!

Me: AY YI YI YI YIIIIIIII!!!! (karate chopping the air)

Lee: WHAT IS IT?!

Then it stopped and we wandered the house trying to figure out what just happened. When I went back to our room, the smoke alarm was chirping. The battery needed to be replaced and apparently there was some sort of malfunction? But hey – good to know if there’s ever a fire in the house the smoke alarms give sufficient warning.

Lawdy.

We removed the smoke alarm from the wall and disconnected it.

It still chirped.

We took the dead battery out.

It still chirped.

This is the part where I went all Phoebe Buffey and yelled, “WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH ME?!”

I finally found a new battery and we got it taken care of. We crawled back in bed at 2:00, as did our terrified dog who had buried herself under our covers at the base of the bed.

At 3:00, a certain girl child came and crawled in bed with us.

At 6:30 I dragged myself out of bed.

Today what am I thankful for? I am thankful for coffee. And family because they won’t care if I have bags under my eyes or if I start mumbling incoherently around 3:00 this afternoon. They will love me no matter what…and will probably get a kick out of laughing at my jumbled brain.

Here is a video the kids and I made the other night. I wasn’t going to share it with you because I look a hot mess in it. But I decided to keep it real and show you anyway because while I look a bit frightening, the kids are cute and they make up for it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thankful…for a break

My head is spinning and my heart bursting. I have so much I want to share – so much I want to write, but for some reason I can’t seem to get the words from my head to my fingers. So I’m taking this as a sign to step away and just be present in the now.

It’s 70 degrees.

We have 31 people coming over for Thanksgiving.

I want to be present right now, in this moment, while my kids are racing through the yard. They are living life and I don’t want to miss it.

So I’ll be back later, when the words are ready to flow.

Have a lovely, wonderful, beautiful, totally and compeltely present in the now Thanksgiving everyone!

Are we having fun, yet?

This post has been spotlight featured on BlogHer. I’m so glad to know other people understand and can relate to this roller coaster called parenting. If you’re stopping by from Blogher, welcome! I’m so glad you came.

“He pushed me!”

“He called me a dumb head!”

“She started it!”

I’m not her fwiend anymore.”

Somewhere right in the middle of all that joy, I told them to sit down and smile. “Act like you’re having fun,” I commanded. But, clearly, I was not having fun. SeaWorld wasn’t turning out how I thought it would.

It’s funny how we set up these scenario’s in our heads. I’m going to take them to an amusement park where they will skip merrily from one attraction to another, braids bouncing, hats turned just slightly to the side, contented smiles plastered firmly on their faces.

The sun will shine.

A rainbow will form in the background.

Birds will sing in harmony.

It will be money well spent.

But what actually happens? They fight. They pull each other’s braids and knock hats off of heads. They whine and beg for cotton candy. They complain about tired feet (never mind the fact that they can run in the backyard for hours on end, but ask them to walk 200 yards in an amusement park and suddenly their feet are broken).

It rains.

High winds shut down rides.

A bird poops on your head.

You wish you would have used that money to go get a facial.

I’ve come to the realization in the last few years that special events as a family demand a special amount of patience and a realistic expectation. Expect tears and fights. Expect whining and complaining. But be on the lookout for the joy filled moments, too. They will be there, though in reality there may be more tears than laughter.

We set our kids up for failure when we plan these major trips to the beach, to the amusement park, to the movies, to the zoo or to any place that is going to over exert, overstimulate and over tempt them. Disney World may be the most magical place on earth, but it’s also the most overstimulating and any child that makes it through that park without some sort of melt down is probably just a robot.

It's also best to know that you will NOT look your best at an amusement park. Keep the expectations low, folks...

 So what are the expectations?

 

First, expect some whining and be prepared to deal with it. Stomping your foot and calling your child ungrateful is likely not the best response. He probably isn’t ungrateful so much as he’s overwhelmed. A thousand things to look at in every direction is basically system overload for kids. Be patient while they try to take it all in.

Expect arguing. This one gets under my skin faster than anything else. As evidenced by the above picture, when everyone is fighting I can’t even force a smile because what I really want to do is Hulk Smash Shamoo and his permanent,perpetual grin. But if I prepare myself ahead of time and prep the kids, we can usually make it through the arguments with a tiny bit of sanity.

And we might even have fun in the process.

Expect crying. Don’t get angry when they cry about being tired. They’re kids. They’re going to cry. If they’re tired, find a ride where they can sit down for a bit. Find a cafe and get a drink. Go to a show. If you’re at the beach, sit under an umbrella with a juice box and take a minute to breath in deep.

Give everyone a chance to recover. Landon cried most of the morning while we were at SeaWorld. He was tired and cranky, which made me tired and cranky. Learn from me, friends.

Don’t let this make you tired and cranky!

And don’t Hulk Smash Shamoo. Apparently that is looked down upon by some folks…

Finally, look for the joy and snap those pictures. Wait for the moments when they aren’t really aware of your watching eye and they are full on enjoying a moment. It may be brief. You may only have one or two truly joy-filled moments in a day, but capture and remember them.

And when you get home, be sure to print out those pictures of everyone’s happy, smiling faces and put them in an album. Convince your kids that the greatest thing you ever did as a family was spend the day at SeaWorld or Disney or the beach or the zoo. With any luck, all the memories of the fighting and crying and whining will fade away and you’ll be left with nothing but dreams and rainbows and harmonizing birds.

Creating memories takes hard work. Just be prepared and try to enjoy the ride.

Find the Magic

What’s your favorite family memory?

It’s like he doesn’t know me at all

Update: Lee took me out to dinner on Saturday night, but before we went to the restaurant, we went to Target. He bought me the hat. He’s a fast learner, friends. A very fast learner. Let’s all give him a round of applause. *winky face!* ;)

Today, after dropping Landon off at preschool, I headed to the Promised Land. Target. The land of bright, happy colorful things that make the world a better, happier place.

While browsing, I came upon this hat:

I finished watching Season 2 of Downton Abbey last night and I have spent the better part of the last two weeks fawning over the fashions and styles of those days. This hat felt very Downton-esque to me and I quickly tossed it in my cart.

Then I stopped myself and put it back on the shelf, took this picture and texted my husband.

“Christmas gift idea. I love this hat from Target.” I included a winky face, of course, because every good wife should send her husband winky yellow ping pong heads when requesting a gift. It’s like wife-law in the new media age. ;)

I felt rather good about myself after sending this text for a couple of reasons, the main one being that I actually gave my husband an idea instead of shrugging my shoulders and asking the poor man (whose spiritual gift is decidedly not gift giving) to surprise me.

I went on my merry way, picking up on the items I needed and imagining wearing my new hat come Christmas day. Then I got a phone call that…well, frankly it took me very much by surprise.

Me: “Hello?”

Lee: “Alright, we need to get something straight here.”

Me: “Uh…okaaaayyyy.”

Lee: “Target is a store for buying kitchen items. You buy can openers and trash bags and maybe a brushed nickel picture frame from Target, but you do not buy hats from Target.”

Me: *silence*

Lee: “I’m not going to buy you a hat from Target.”

Me: “Why?”

Lee: “You don’t wear stuff from Target. That’s not fashion.”

Me: “You DO know that most of my clothes are from target, right?”

Lee: “That’s neither here nor there.”

Me: “Well, I mean, technically it’s here, because it’s true.”

Lee: “Go to Macy’s or some place like that and pick out a hat. I’ll buy you a hat. You look sexy in hats. But go to a place that makes quality hats.”

Me: “No, that doesn’t make sense. I could find a hat exactly like this one at Macy’s and it would cost $50. This one only costs $16 and I like it.”

Lee: “I just can’t buy you a hat from Target. It doesn’t feel right.”

Me: “Um, babe? You do know that Target is basically the Mothership for women, right? I mean, this is Mecca. It’s the Homeland.”

Lee: “No. It’s a place to buy kitchen utensils.”

Me: “It’s like I don’t even know you at all.”

Lee: “Women really like Target that much? I don’t get it.”

Me: “Clearly….so are you going to get me the hat?”

Lee: “I don’t think so.”

Me: “Huh. Can I buy it for myself for Christmas?”

Lee: “No because I’m going to get you a hat. I’ll get you the greatest hat you’ve ever seen.”

Me: “For sixteen dollars or less?”

Lee: “Go to Kohls. See if they have hats. Kohls is better than Target.”

Me: “I…I just…I don’t even know what to say.”

Lee: “Target is for kitchen supplies.”

I hung up the phone and couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry. So I just laughed until I cried, which seemed like a happy comprimise.

First of all, I’m not sure I’ve ever bought kitchen supplies from Target so that alone is cause for a bit of confusion. Secondly, it is clear – CLEAR - he is seeing Target through blue glasses while I see it through pink. That can be the only explanation. Is it the male testosterone? Is that why he’s confused? Maybe he just doesn’t know…doesn’t understand. I think we should all pray for him, that his eyes would be opened to the truth, to the retail glory to which he is so tragically blinded.

I also think that this MORE than makes up for the shock and horror I caused during our conversation about The Natural.

Babe, we’re even. ;)

Now about that hat…

Redirecting

Well hey there! How are you? Me? I’m good. Fine, really. Just lovely.

Distracted.

I’ve got my mind on a million other things – things I can’t share, or don’t want to share. You understand. It would probably be boring anyway.

Plus I’m recuperating from a day at SeaWorld. Remember when you were a kid and could walk for miles and be wildly overstimulated and one good night’s sleep was enough to reset everything and send you on your merry way with little to no effects?

Yeah…I’m past that point in life. It’s gonna take at least one more day and one more night’s sleep to recover.

In the meantime, I’m off to draw a winner for the BRAVE giveaway. And I’m popping in to tell you that it’s really lovely here in Florida. 70 degrees. Breezy. Just…lovely.

I’m bragging, I know. Humor me.

Also, well, if you’ve been around here for a little while you’ll remember that I had a…oh, let’s call it a life changing experience last May when I travelled with Compassion International to Tanzania and had the privilege to share all the amazing work that organization does around the world.

Another team of bloggers is in the field today with Compassion, this time in Peru. There are amazing storytellers on this trip, so I encourage you to read every word. Soak it all in and let it change you. Then I encourage you – don’t be afraid of the urgings to change a life. You won’t regret it.

The team is out in the field now and will have posts up later for you to read. In the meantime, you can keep up with them on Twitter by following the hashtag #cbperu.

And pray, friends. Pray for the folks on this team. It’s an amazing experience they are having, but it messes everything up and changes everything around inside. So pray for them as they travel and communicate and write and share and grow and change.

And pray for the children who are waiting on you and me to change their lives. Compassion does change lives. I’ve seen it, so I can tell you it’s true. Pray for those sweet, precious children and their families and for all that Compassion is doing to release children from poverty in Jesus’ Name.

Happy Tuesday, everyone. In this season of Thanksgiving, I am so truly, truly grateful and thankful for all of you.

Disney-Pixar’s BRAVE – Review and Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed and a winner will be chosen and notified shortly. Thank you to everyone who entered.

Disney-Pixar’s newest animated film, BRAVE, packs a dramatic and thrilling punch. I really enjoyed it the first time I saw it, but after reading the concerns of others about the film’s content, I wondered if maybe I had missed something. So when Disney contacted me and asked if I would like to receive the soon-to-be-released 5-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition, I jumped at the chance.

Since receving the movie last weekend, I have watched it twice with my youngest child. (Remember when you were a kid and could watch movies over and over…and over again?) I have to say, I don’t share the concerns voiced, though I do respect them.

BRAVE is ambitious in a lot of ways. We’re faced with a bold and brash Princess who doesn’t want to get married. This, of course, isn’t the first time Disney has explored that storyline (Aladdin’s Jasmine didn’t want to be forced into marriage, either. I know my Disney movies…) But for the first time, a Disney Princess movie doesn’t involve any sort of love story whatsoever.

Honestly, I found that refreshing.

Merida is not pining for a fella. She wants to grow up more. She isn’t opposed to marriage – she’s just not ready for it. I think this is a good message for little girls…if they even pick up on that theme at all. Chances are, most young ones won’t get the underlying messages of this movie, and that’s okay. Because it’s a fun movie to watch.

(Never before has an animated film left me with such a desire to travel. The scenery is so gorgeous that I’ve got half a mind to pack my bags and move to Scotland.)

BRAVE is a little scary in places. The evil bear, Mor’du, makes several gnarly, growly appearances and the much of the movie takes place at night, which adds an air of tension. This has not affected my children in the slightest, but if you have kiddos sensitive to those sorts of things, you should be aware. It is not, in my opinion, any scarier than other Disney movies (a gigantic octopus witch getting stabbed in the stomach with the mast of a ship anyone? It’s a wonder any of us ever slept again after that one…)

I also enjoyed the complexity that BRAVE explores in the relationship between mother and daughter. Merida and her mom, Elinor, fight almost non-stop the first half of the movie. A few years ago, when my own daughter was younger, this may have bothered me. But considering I wanted to bash my head against the wall this morning due to a battle over shoes (SHOES! JUST PUT THEM ON PUT THEM ON PUT THEM ON!), I get it a little more. This mother daughter thing is give and take and I loved the resolve at the end of the movie on the part of both characters.

BRAVE is a little…um…braver than other Disney films. In one scene, a bunch of the men walk by having shimmied down the palace walls using their kilts as ropes, and we are greeted to our first ever Disney butts. I found this hilarious – you may not. But at least you know. I also enjoyed the relationship between Elinor and Fergus, Merida’s wily, burly father. Yes, the Queen comes off looking more polished than her husband, but he is also a very strong character who fights bears and protects his family without fear. And I love the sweet bond that is shown between father and daughter.

In all, I found BRAVE to be delightful and fun and I’m thrilled with the bonus features on this five disc combo pack (which includes 1 Blu-ray 3D disc, 2 Blu-ray Discs, 1 DVD and 1 Digital Copy). The bonus features further solidify my longing to visit Scotland.

Today, thanks to Disney, I have the privilege of offering one lucky winner their own 5-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition of BRAVE. Simply leave a comment to enter. You can leave a comment about anything at all. But if you have been to Scotland before, would you please tell me in the comments section – is it as beautiful as it seems in animation?!

There are four ways to earn additional entries:

 

- Share this giveaway on Facebook, then come back and let me know you shared it.

- Share this giveaway on Twitter then, you guess it, come back and let me know about it.

- Post this giveaway to Pinterest, then come back and leave yet another comment.

- Post about this giveaway on your blog for a final entry.

This giveaway will be open until Tuesday, November 13. I will draw a winner at 12:00 PM EST. I am working with Disney-Pixar in promotion of the release of BRAVE on DVD. I was provided a copy of the 5-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition for review. I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Stuff I think you should know

There are a few things I’d like to get out there and not a single one of them relates to the other. So consider yoursevles forewarned – this post is random. And I’m including bullet points so that my Type A friends can get excited.

 - First of all, the election is over. I’m not sure if you heard or not. Maybe where you are no one’s talking about it? Because where I am every. single. person AND their grandma’s second cousin’s best friend’s are discussing the results. Me?

I’m kind of over it.

It’s over and done and the decision has been made. It wasn’t the outcome I had hoped for, but we don’t always get what we want now, do we? Time to put on our big kid undies and forge ahead. Here’s to hoping we can move forward in kindness and without all the doomsday predictions, name calling and gloating.

The world isn’t going to hell in a handbasket. Not today, anyway. The only response that we can fall back on now is prayer. We must pray for wisdom and protection. We must pray for Israel and for our troops. We must pray for the plight of the unborn and for an immense intervention over the President and the decisions he must make.

Pray and cooperate where you can cooperate. Fight the battles worth fighting, but do so with respect. And realize that our country is headed in a different direction. Perhaps some of you are happy about the direction we’re headed. Maybe some of you aren’t happy about it. Whatever side you fall on, fighting won’t make it better.

We still have to figure out how to get round rolls on square pegs. Maybe we could work together a little more?

And in the end, we’ll always have Nutella. The day that is removed from the shelves is the day we pack our handbasket…

(I’m kidding, by the way. I know there are more serious things than Nutella, but by nature I am an optimist and a glass half full kinda gal. I’m like a cross between Tigger and Rabbit, with a tiny bit of Piglet thrown in for good measure. Please don’t send me nasty emails. Kumbaya, eh?)

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 - Let’s lighten things up. Did you know that a brand new style blog has launched. It’s written by Mom’s for Mom’s and guess who is one of the Style Maven Mama’s featured?

ME!

Did you guess right?

Wait, why are you laughing? I’m stylish! I have pink hair. And really, come on…YOGA PANTS ARE A STYLE!

Anyhoo…it is a FUN site put togehter by FUN people and will be a place that inspires you to look your best and to have FUN. (The caps lock makes it all seem so much FUN, doesn’t it?)

Hop on over to Together in 10 and get some style inspiration in ten minute bites from some lovely ladies of the web!

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 - I’m still posting on my new website. I have some posts churning, but I need to let them stew a bit. I’ve found it is much more to my (and your) benefit if I sit on posts now and again to make sure that those are words I really want the whole wide world to read.

Or, ya know, the 17 people who visit this blog. Whatever.

KelliStuart.com is up and running. Boom!

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 - I worked out today. I know that’s not very exciting, but it happens so rarely these days that I feel like it deserves a little recognition.

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 - I have some big ideas churning around to have a little fun around here while raising money for the adoption. Several friends of ours are currently in country (or have recently returned home) to pick up their adopted children and can I tell you that every time I see a picture of a little one wrapped in the arms of her new parents, I fall into fits of ugly crying?

I long for that day. Who is she? Where is she?

Pray for our daughter, please? Cover her with the wings of your prayerful protection until the day when we can reach her.

Okay – so that’s all for now. Come back tomorrow for a fun little review/giveaway.

Jiggety jig.

(The weather is so chilly right now, I just feeling like jiggeting wherever I go. Jiggety jiggety jig!!!)

PS – How are you doing right now? You’re praying for me – how can I pray for you?