Remember when I used to blog?

2013 will be marked down as the year I’d rather pretend never happened. The year in which I was mostly unimpressed. The year full of ridiculous, undeserved blessings. The year of very low, lows, and very high, highs. The unresolved year.

The year I killed my blog?


It got heavy around here this year, didn’t it?

Then it got all bookwormy.

Then I got a little tired.

There are some changes coming down the pipeline for 2014. There’s a plan that’s being very slowly set into motion as I draw the veil on this year. I hope that these changes will bring an added shimmer to 2014, a year into which I walk with much more peace, a remnant of sadness, and a lot of inspiration. I have ideas – lots of ideas – and I’m excited to begin implementing them.


In the meantime, I want you to know that I am thankful for you all. You have been a dear, sweet community not just this year, but over the last six years. We’ve laughed a lot, cried a little, traveled to Africa, and helped change the world.

I’m not finished as a blogger, but as we head into Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year, I am focusing a little more time on being a writer. It’s very difficult to maintain this blogging bit when all of life feels like it’s taking off in a different direction and you can’t share it, and your brain is all YOU HAVE TO SHARE ALL THE THINGS OR PEOPLE WILL LEAVE, and your heart constricts and says SOME OF THE THINGS DON’T NEED TO BE SHARED!

Then your fingers quit working because your heart and your brain can’t agree, and instead you end up roaming the house talking to yourself because you need to say all the things out loud.

Then you try to write a post about it, and you confuse everyone.


I’m still living in the land of crazy, my friends. I have a few announcements to make in the coming weeks, and I’ll be posting less frequently as I ramp up for 2014. In the meantime, know that I’m thankful for all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Thanks for making cyber-land a little more fun.



Throwback Thursday


My brother and I at a costume party circa 1995

You’re welcome.

Come back tomorrow for a little chat about parenting – USA vs. FRANCE.


And next week is the final week I can claim to be in my early thirties. I have some plans on how to write my way into my mid-thirties. It’s better than drinking my way there, right?

Happy Thursday!

Friday Links

We’re making progress in the Great Paint Project of 2013. The colors are spectacular and when it’s all said and done I’m going to love it. Just trying to keep my eyes on the prize because sweet mercy I do not enjoy the process of painting.

Anyway, while I continue to slave away, here are a couple of links for you to check out.

I’m thrilled to announce that I have joined the writing team at The MOB Society. I will be managing the Friday Funnies series where we will dissect the hilarity of mothering boys. Today’s post by LaToya made me laugh out loud because the socks and the shoes? Awesome.

Shaun gives us 4 practical things we can do to help end slavery. Definitely worth the read.

I am honored to have been invited to this year’s Disney Social Media Moms celebration at Walt Disney World. Leading up to the celebration, Rene of Good Enough Mother is featuring a little bit about each attendee. Today was my turn in the hot seat. *blush*

My friend Myquilin, who many of you know as The Nester, faced down a big fear and wrote a book and I am so, so proud of her.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

As long as he doesn’t mutate, we’re good

Weeks ago, I looked in our bathtub and found a small lizard wandering around. I laughed because, you know…only in Florida, right?

Also, it was way better than finding a cockroach in my bed.

I briefly considered relocating the little fella, but decided against it mainly because picking those things up freaks me out. I know they can’t hurt me, but they’re wily and quick and I’m a coward so I left him there and figured Lee could deal with it later.

Only when we came back later, he wasn’t there anymore. Which disturbed me in other ways, but I pushed the thoughts of a lizard crawling in my ear or up my nose in the middle of the night deep into the recesses of my subconscious and went on with my life.

Until I noticed that he continued to show up here and there, always in the bathtub. And I finally figured it out – he lives there. Everyone, I’d like to introduce you to the newest resident of the Stuart House: Bernard (“Bernie”) Stuart – our lizard in the drain.

Yes, my bathtub is atrocious. It has been since the day we moved in. It is nasty and disgusting and I’m waiting (not so paitently) for the day when we can rip that sucker out and put in something functional.

We’ve never used our bathtub, but Bernie seems to have found a home there. He hangs out in the drain. Some nights, we even walk in to find his little head laying just outside the drain, eye closed, snoozing.

So far, we are all living peacefully together. Bernie stays in the tub and the rest of us leave him alone. It says a lot about just how disgusting our tub is that he can apparently live there comfortably. It’s like the friggin spa for lizards with all the crap that he can apparently feed on.

The only thing that gives me pause about the whole situation is my overactive imagination that has, at times, envisioned him mutating from the grossness on which he feeds. If he starts growing at an alarming rate, we’re going to have to move.

Bernie: Teenage Mutant Ninja Lizard.

It could happen…

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?)


 – 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?


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!


 – 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. is up and running. Boom!


 – 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.


 – 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?

Don’t hate me because I live by the beach

I’m taking a break from my 31 Days topic because, quite frankly, I’m a little bored with it. I can only be serious for so long, folks, then my brain starts to smoke and tremor with the need to be ridiculous. I am not what you might call a “deep thinker.” I mean, I can pontificate (look out now big word!) and dwell on things now and again and from time to time, I do feel the need to dig deep and write and talk pretty. 

But then the silly must come out and I have to release the inner dialogue of humor that runs on a constant loop in my head or so help me, I will end up bursting out laughing at the most inappropriate of times.

Like church.

Or a funeral.

Or pretty much any situation that requires a certain amount of decorum and maturity.

So basically, I’m a twelve year old boy.

*this is the part where I eloquently transition to a new topic*

I shipped the kiddies off to school today and came to the beach. Because…well, because I can. Don’t hate. I’ve seen you all on Facebook talking about apple picking and pumpkin patching and wearing your scarves and boots and drinking your yuppy Starbucks.

blah, blah, blah…

All I have right now is the beach. Somebody call the Waaaambulance…

For the next three months, I will be desperately missing St. Louis. Just brace yourselves for it. It is what it is. I miss the pumpkin patch. I long to visit Eckert’s and stock up on 52 lbs of apples that we will never be able to eat before they all rot.

I miss the chill of fall and my boots. Sometimes I sit on the floor in the closet and whisper to my boots tenderly. I remind them that they’re still loved and I run my hand over them so they know they’re not alone. I may even whisper My Precious now and then, just so they know I’m here and I miss them.

Do not judge me!


While I am longing for autumn, I will fall back on the only thing I have. A rockin’ pair of sandles and the sunny shoreline of my favorite beach. And I will remind myself that Jesus probably likes the beach better than pumpkin patches and apple orchards, too.

And I will feel better.

Come January, I’m sorry, but I will no longer miss Midwest weather. I won’t miss snow and ice and temps that make you feel like your nose is falling off the second you step outside. I will walk outside with glee, and my boots and I will probably be reunited a few times before it gets too hot and I must send them back to the closet.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

*insert clever transition sentence here*

It’s a rough time to be four years old in the Stuart household these days. In the last two days, the four year old in our midst has colored on the bedroom carpet with purple marker…and the wall. He has slammed into the curtains in a moment of preschool insanity and pulled the curtain rods from the wall. And he has dropped and shattered a glass jar on the tile floor.

Guess what happens when your entire house is tiled and a glass jar shatters?

Glass. Goes. Everywhere.

You know what? Discard what I said above. It’s not hard to be a four year old right now – it’s hard to be the mother of a four year old right now!

I feel like this right here:

I bet she has a four year old bird back at the nest who is slowly, and completely by accident, destroying everything, too. I feel her pain. I just might curl up next to her and bask in the sun. She totally has the right idea.

*pretend I say something wildly hilarious here*

So I’m gonna go now. I’m sitting in a coffee shop right by the water and the beach is calling my name. Literally, I hear it. The waves lap the shore and each time they do I hear, Keeelllliiiii….Cooooommmmeee….Plllllaaaaaayyyyyy.

I shall not ignore the ocean any longer lest I be smote.

Have a good Tuesday. I feel so much better having released the nonsense inside my head.


Winky Face!!! 😉

The Migraine

No post today. I’m recovering from a wicked headache that’s left me feeling sluggish, tired and a fuzzy-brained. So for fun I give you the video Lee and I made last year.

We are such dorks.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Just me and my thoughts

The title of this post alone should scare you all.  I am welcoming you into my thoughts?


Because the truth is, I can go from thinking of something super brilliant and kinda deep to thinking up alternate lyrics to popular songs in the same breath.  “So, Kelli.  What ARE your favorite made up alternate lyrics?” I’m so glad you asked!

Sung to the tune of Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s “Rock Your Body”

I’m gonna wash your body

Make it clean

Scrub with me

No lie, I sang this to the kids every time I bathed them and they ALL sing it now when they pick up a bar of soap.  It. is. awesome.

So yeah…that’s the kind of stuff that floats through my head.

Okaaaaay, then.  Let’s bring this crazy train on in to the station, shall we?

I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas these last few weeks.  I’m wrestling through my desire to teach my kids to really, truly embrace the power of this Christmas season without completely turning away from the magic of gift giving and receiving.  There have been a lot of really wonderful blog posts written lately on the topic and I’m awed at how many people have given up gifts altogether on Christmas, choosing instead to focus on the true meaning behind why we celebrate this holiday.

I’ll be honest.  I’m not there and I’m okay with that.

Because I really love the moment my children walk around the corner and see the twinkling lights and the gifts and the excitement leading up to that magical moment.  And I think we can still enjoy that tradition without losing ourselves to the marketing mayhem that Christmas has become.

Truthfully, the last few years we have pulled back significantly on how much “stuff” we give our kids.  Because they don’t need all the stuff.  Last year we gave fewer gifts and tried to make them more meaningful and useful.  And we are pulling back even more drastically this year.

There are other things we plan to do with the kids this year to keep the focus of Christmas outward and not inward.  And I may or may not share what those things are.  I am trying to keep some things private as a way to preserve the traditions, memories and even acts themselves as sacred between us, our children and the God we serve.  It’s a balance.

I can tell you this, though.  As the kids and I discussed the way that Christmas would change a bit this year, I mentioned today that we would be spending less on one another and more on others.  I was immediately met with disappointed stares and protests and for a brief second, my heart sank.  Perhaps we had gone wrong all these years if my children were going to pitch a small fit over receiving fewer toys.  Then Tia spoke.

“But Mom,” she said, her eyes big and round.  “I really, really wanted to get you a special present this year!”

“Yeah, me too,” Sloan said.  “I had a plan for exactly what I wanted to get you.”

*tears*  *hugs*

Then I promised them a pony.

I thanked them for thinking of me and not themselves and told them I would be honored to receive gifts from them, but that I wanted them to spend more time, energy and money on gifts for people who are in need than on me.


Our nativity scene usually includes Santa, Luke Skywalker, Moses, a Construction Worker and on occasion C-3PO likes to make an appearance.

I won’t tell my children they can’t buy me a gift.  (I think they’re going to buy me Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer – Mercy, I am loved).  I will, however, encourage them to think outside the box on how we can give to others.  I loved some of the ideas in this post – particularly the suggestion of giving children a sum of money and allowing them to use it however they want, as long as it’s for someone in need.

I am not opposed to giving gifts at Christmas, personally.  It’s not something that I feel we need to cut out entirely.  I am, however, finding myself more and more drawn to celebrating more simply, with the traditions surrounding the gifts and not the other way around.  I don’t have a problem with my kids believing in Santa because we don’t make him the reason for the season.  I don’t play the Santa card to encite good behavior (mortifying) and I read the story of the real Saint Nicholas every single year so that they know and understand the historical significance of who he was.  Santa gets a bit part in our the Christmas celebrations in our home.  And I don’t mind that.

These are things that I, personally, don’t sweat.  Because I don’t let them get out of hand. I am, however, pondering and thinking and praying over exactly how Christmas will look for us this year – how we will incorporate gift giving and receiving into our holiday in a way that is meaningful and precious.  Rest assured, though, that no matter what, Christmas will still be magical and filled with wonder.  How could it not be so?

The Lord is Come.

Magical, indeed.

How do you keep your focus during the holidays? Any plans to help your kids think outside the box this year? I’d love to hear what others are doing!

Takin’ Care of Business

I haven’t slept well the last couple of weeks.  I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been walking around in a sleep deprived stupor.  By the end of last week I was barely functional by 2:00 every afternoon.  So this week I have made it my mission to get my behind in bed no later than 10:00 every night when the real fatigue strikes.  Usually I push through that fatigue and go to bed at midnight or later only to find I’ve got my second wind and I can’t sleep.

Apparently I’m getting old because that no longer works for me.

Dang it.

I am proud to announce, however, that for two nights in a row I have received 8 or more hours of sleep.  And the strangest thing has happened – the little red squiggly lines in my eyes have disappeared and I have been able to function in the afternoon hours.


This, however, means that it’s been a little more difficult to do my bloggin’ thang.  I like to write blog posts at night before bed and work on my book in the early morning hours.  But when I go to bed too late, I can’t get up early and it becomes this terrible catch 22…or something like that.  Mostly it means I’m a tired mess who’s only half accomplishing worthy tasks.

Alas, that was a terribly long lead up to telling you this:  I have nothing to write about today.  But I have some lovely links to throw your way!

Have you read Stuff Christian Like?  I have heard a lot about it and have read it here and there, but this post made me laugh so hard that I think I will have to officially add him to my blogroll.  I know…he doesn’t even know how lucky he is, does he?

Did you know I have a Facebook page?  Is it wrong to shamelessly promote myself in such a way?  Ahem…well, I do have a Facebook page and if you “Like” it I will make sure to send you a telepathic high five.

Did you know that Angie Smith has a new book coming out?  She is some kind of amazing.  I can’t wait to read it.

Speaking of books, this one isn’t new and the rest of you have probably already read it since I’m sure you’re all way more on top of these sorts of things, but I started Ann Voskamp’s book this week.  Uuuummmm…If you haven’t read it, you’re not my friend.  Wait!  That’s not right.  That’s a terrible thing to say!  What I meant was, you should read it – it’s spectacular.  Her writing makes mine look anemic and sad.  Which is okay. Now go buy her book, then visit her blog.

Okay.  That’s all for today.  I’m off to have a practice morning of school with the kids.  They’re going to be thrilled when they find out.  Surprises are just so much fun, aren’t they?



Rindercella: A Tairy Fale

Alternately titled: A bit of random this Friday morning.

As the tale goes, this is a story my grandfather used to tell my mom when she was a kid.  She, in turn, told it to me when I was little.  I heard it so many times that I had it memorized…but I still liked to hear her tell it.  And I am now telling it to my children.  If you’ve never told your children the story of Rindercella, I urge you to do so.  It’s magic.  But if you are going to do so, you must promise to do it with maximum animation.  Silly voices, funny faces.

Their giggles will delight you.

And now, without further ado…I give you Rindercella.


Once upon a time in a coreign fountry there lived a geautiful birl named Rindercella.  Rindercella lived with her mugly other and two sad bisters.  Also in the coreign fountry there lived a Pransome Hince.  Now this Pransome Hince wanted to have a bancy fall so he invited people from miles around, especially the pich reople.

Finally the bay of the dig bancy fall arrived but Rindercella could not go for she had nothing to wear but rirty dags.  Rindercella cat down and sried.  While she was citting there srying, sall of a udden there appeared before her, her Gairy Fodmother.

“Rindercella?” she asked.  “Why are you citting there srying?”

“Today is the bay of the dig bancy fall and I cannot go for I have nothing to wear but rirty dags.”  Rindercella hobbed her seart out.  So her Gairy Fodmother turned her rirty dags into a dreautiful bess and gave her hix site worses (six white horses) to go the the bancy fall in.

“But,” she warned her.  “You be back before nidmight or I’ll purn you into a tumpkin.”

When Rindercella arrived at the bancy fall, the Pransome Hince met her on the steps for he had been watching behind a widden hindow.  Rindercella and the Pransome Hince danced all night until nidmight and they lell in fove.

Suddenly the clig bock struck nidmight!  Rindercella dashed away and staced down the rairs.  And just as she reached the bottom, she slopped her dripper.

The next day, the Pransome Hince went all over the coreign fountry looking for the geautiful birl who had slopped her dripper.  He went to Rindercella’s house.  He tried it on one sad bister.

It fidn’t dit.

He tried it on the other sad bister.

It fidn’t dit her either.

Finally he tried it on Rindercella.  It fid dit! It was exactly the sight rize.

So, Rindercella and the Pransome Hince were married and they lived Appily Ever Hafter.

Now…the storal of this mory is: If you meet a Pransome Hince and you want him to lall in fove with you – don’t forget to slop your dripper!


Happy random Friday to you all.  May your weekend be full of giggles and magical moments.  If you need interpretation, just let me know.  🙂