Thursday, February 28, 2013

Some Favorite Things

Sorry, but this won't be an Oprah moment where I give thousands of dollars in merchandise away... just wanting to share a few goodies that I've found useful and/or enjoyable:

- Foot spray (by Earth Therapeutics).  SO cooling and invigorating on those days I'm forced to wear shoes (thankfully I can get by with sandals 90% of the time here).  Also helps with the stinky factor. 'Nuff said. Used to be able to buy this on Walmart, I now either order from Ulta or pick it up at Kohl's. 
- Carmex lip gloss. Doesn't smell like medicine, works just as well as the original.  Also handy for coating noses that are tender and recovering after a cold (hint: apply it to a finger, THEN transfer ;) Found at Target, Walmart, etc.
- Stila lip glaze.  As I'm getting older, I'm realizing that my natural lip color is fading - not exactly earth shattering, but still something I'd noticed.  I don't even remember how I found out about these (magazine at a doctor's office? blog?) but I now have several colors and carry one in my purse.  It goes on a bit gummy, but I love the sheer color it gives (and application is much more forgiving than with regular lipstick).
- Revlon Colorstay: base coat + color.  I don't often wear nail polish, as it seems to chip off so quickly (my nails are super flexible, and I'm pretty hard on them).  I read about this line in a magazine, and they said that the testers were surprised by the results, as it was good for a week and a half with minor touch ups.  Splurged on one color, and now own four.  I still don't wear nail polish every day, but this stuff really is pretty awesome.
- Garnier Frucits style Surf Wax.  Since I'm now sporting a heavy bang and live in a super windy area, I was on the lookout for something to use in my bangs that was cheap and effective but not hard and helmety.  Had a conversation with a random lady in the Target Hair Care aisle and she told me her son loves this stuff.  So yes, I basically took the second-hand recommendation of a teenage boy.  And know what, I'm glad I listened!  I give my wet hair a once over with mousse or spray gel, blow dry my bangs for approx 90 seconds, then spend another minute finger styling it with this stuff.  It's touchable, but I can "direct" it.  This little pot has lasted over six months.

Anyone have any favorites they'd care to pass along?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Had a meeting with the pastor this morning, and officially let him know I'll be stepping down as the children's ministry co-coordinator the end of May.  Strange how one can feel such a strange mix of emotions: liberation, guilt, excitement about fresh leadership, relief.

Just another step in my path - whatever that may be.

On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, we have a huge surprise for the kiddos over Spring Break.  There will be over 2500 miles of driving in 9 days, but we will get to spend a half days with some friends in Florida and then four glorious days at the "most magical place on earth."  Have never been there myself, so I'm a big giddy kid.  Going to be *really* fun to pick them up from their last day of school before spring break and announce we're heading out...

It will be a welcome break from the daily grind.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Funny

Haven't done one of these in awhile, but our son TOTALLY provided excellent material this week.

As previously mentioned, he's been having a hard time at school, and we've been riding him pretty hard.  He finished his homework up on Thursday evening and was begging for a bath in my ginormous jetted tub.  (Don't use it all that often, but sister took one earlier in the week and he was feeling left out of the fun.)

This kid embraces life with *SUCH* enthusiasm.  I try to appreciate that fact.

Sometimes the appreciation crosses over into involuntary explosions of laughter.

I kind of want to blow this shot up and hang it on my wall.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Holy windy days, Batman!  We've been getting bombarded - it kept the kids up last night as the branches from our large tree kept hitting their bedroom windows, and earlier today I had a hard time pushing my cart of groceries from the store out to my car.  Crazy!  Hubby reminded me that we go through this each February/March as the weather patterns shift around, but obviously I had forgotten how extreme it could be.

We did attend our first tip-o-Tex wedding two weekends ago, and actually will be heading to another one on Sunday afternoon.  Update: we only went to the reception, as the wedding was substantially earlier in the afternoon.  It was quite posh, and I heard several people say it was much nicer than others they had been to.  Some observations:
- the invitation specified "adults only" but basically everyone ignored that, and brought babies in car carriers right up through sullen middle schoolers.
- dinner was scheduled to be served at 6, and then dancing starting at 7.  Dinner was brought out about 6:45 (baked chicken, cubed roasted potatoes, and rice with corn.  Not exactly at Atkins friendly offering!).  Band did not start playing until after 8:30 - people were still arriving, and the waitstaff was still bringing out dinner plates as people straggled in.
- band played a VERY eclectic mix of music.  Started off with country from the early 90s (Hello Brooks and Dunn, haven't thought about you much since high school!), then moved to some Tejano numbers, and after we left apparently they played a lot of stuff from the 70s (Eagles, Steve Miller band, etc.)  It was very funny to watch everyone dance - some people definitely were doing specific dances, and others (like D and me!) are pretty much stalled at the "wrap your arms around me and sway" option.  Lots of middle aged women dancing together (evidently this is much more common in Mexican culture).
- attire was also pretty funny.  There were plenty of short dresses and high heels, as well as cowboy boots/hats, and a few evening gowns along with faded jeans and plain tshirts.  Basically it was IMPOSSIBLE to stand out.

In other news:  please continue to pray for us.  I'm still feeling very "weary" (see previous post, LOL), hubby is dealing with all sorts of craziness at work, and son is struggling at school. Daughter thankfully is doing pretty well other than the occasional emotional outburst.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Questioning Liturgy

I was raised in what I would term a fundamental Evangelical church. We had communion and baptisms, along with comfortable traditions (and a very long list of understood "don'ts") and an occasional responsive reading, but no prescribed rituals from church history or written prayers.  I attended public school, but chose a Christian college and even minored in Biblical Studies.

Fast forward twenty + years and 2000 miles: the body where we currently worship isn't devoted to rituals, but there is a nod to them.  Each Sunday, we are "released" by the pastor with a blessing (just a minor twist on closing prayer, right?) We generally take communion once a month, and it is open to anyone who is a Christian.  I see many people crossing themselves after partaking of the Lord's supper (hunched over, hurriedly making the sign that was clearly ingrained in them another time, another place).

And today is Ash Wednesday.  Our church ministry center (rented space in a small strip mall that serves as our office and has a few rooms to be used for Bible study, youth group, etc since we do not have our own building - we meet in a middle school cafeteria on Sunday mornings) is open for Ash Wednesday - come make your way through the prayer stations and get your ash mark.

I don't get it.

I've researched a bit online about Lent, and it seems that it started as a forty day fast (or modified fast, with an emphasis on prayer) leading up to the Most Holy Day, Easter. I'm not saying it's a bad idea, but I don't see it based on Scripture.  Growing up, I had friends who observed Lent, and it was generally a time of "I'm giving something up to make my parents happy."  I see chatter about it on Facebook now, as friends informally poll one another to see what they're doing to make themselves more holy.

That sounds so very cynical - and well, I guess that's where my heart is right now.

I'm currently reading 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker (I'm even doing this as part of a small group study - see what a good Christian girl I am!). I'm also reading the Bible through chronologically. There's some chiseling going on in my heart, and it's uncomfortable.   While reading 7, Day 7 of the Food chapter felt like I was having an out-of-body experience, as I was somehow reading something my subconscious wrote:

I am fluent in Christianspeak and can navigate the (wacky) world of Christian subculture blindfolded.  I can still sing a few Petra songs by heart... I have heard more sermons, talks, messages, and lectures on Christianity than can possibly be impactful... Because of this history, I've developed something of an immunity to sermons... This detachment is clearly not good.  If I cannot be moved by God's delivered Word, I've set myself up as untrainable.  That is some seriously dangerous territory... That critical perspective has to go, too.  Cynicism wreaked some havoc on my gentleness, my humility.

Whoa. She then talks about how many of her "toxic paradigms" were broken apart several years ago, and while many were rebuilt, some were "left in a rubble, never reconstructed or reimagined. The debris proved fertile soil for cynicism."  Yep, I am *so* there. 

So what is the point to all my rambling?  I want to show Christ to my world, but I mess up. Constantly. People have been doing the same for thousands of years - some have left amazing legacies and their writings have become nearly as revered as the Bible, others have caused pain with their devotion to their twisted understanding of Christianity.

Where do I fall on that spectrum?  I feel no calling to write or teach, but I am called to be Christ to my my little family.  All too often, though, my husband and children get the scraps, as I've "ministered" in more visible ways (friends, church). As much as I want to be Christ, I'm often the weary, angry person instead who is ranting about the mess in our world, or even my perceptions about what is wrong in our church body.  It's ugly, and that's not the legacy I wish to leave.

According to, liturgy is "a customary repertoire of ideas, phrases, or observances."  Reading it that way, we each have our own personal liturgy.  Mine is changing.  By God's grace, my "customary repertoire" will be seasoned more with grace, and less with selfishness.  More studying God's love letter to His People, and less reading about what others think it says.  More humility (gulp) and less judgment. This is going to be difficult.

Perhaps I need some ashes after all.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Summing up the past few days:

- I've had a nasty cold for about a week, but am finally recovering (including having a voice).  Thankfully I seem to have kept this little gem of a virus all to myself.
- Hubby and I are going to our first South TX wedding on Saturday evening.  Well, actually we're only going to the reception because there's a three hour gap between the wedding itself and the evening's festivities, and no way we can pass our kids off onto someone else for that long.  I'm sure I'll have plenty to share about that next week.
- Since we ARE going to a fancy shindig, I decided to color my hair.  Remember that whole lice incident a couple weeks ago?  Well *I* got them, too.  It's unfair to have made it 39 years in life creepy-crawly free, only to get them passed on from a child, but I digress.  Anyway, the treatment process stripped quite a lot of color from my hair, and the grey was looking quite pronounced.  I broke out my two boxes of "burgundy brown" on Saturday afternoon, and did my normal thing.  But guess what?  Not only did the aforementioned treatment deplete my hair of old color, it made the new color sink it much faster than usual.  Maybe I should've done a strand test :(  The result is that my hair is waaaaaaaaay darker than desired, with some strands even having a definite black appearance.  Maybe I should just embrace the goth look and buy a case of black eyeliner as well?! (I'm using clarifying shampoo and it is lightening, but it's still not quite what I had in mind...)
- Turned the news on at 6:20 this morning to hear the forecast. Current conditions were foggy, 79 degrees and 96 percent humidity, with a projected high of EIGHTY.SEVEN.BAJILLION.DEGREES.  Ok, so maybe they didn't actually say the bajillion part, but seriously?!?  It's February people, I shouldn't have to shave my legs every day!  This is the time when we should be cuddled up in jeans, fuzzy socks, and cozy sweaters.  Or not.
- In other breaking news: things you read online may not be entirely true.  Shocking, isn't it?! I've read a few things on FB lately that just have me shaking my head.  I happen to KNOW that some folks are portraying things quite differently than they happen in real life, and it kills me to not speak up and announce that they are delusional, self-involved frauds.  I've chosen to unfriend or hide their status updates instead for my own emotional wellbeing.

Crazy lady signing off.