Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Motherhood and being your own cheerleader (v.e.d.a.)


And whoa.

I wrote a little post about something that had been on my heart for a while and I wrote it thinking it would be seen by the 100 or so friends and family who read this blog on a regular basis.  Oh, I know how the internet works, as KEF has a  younger sister who gets her fair share of attention and I've been at this blogging thing for a long time now.

I know that nothing is really "secret" but I've written lots of things here and they usually stay, well, here.

So, last week I stepped up to the microphone, cleared my throat as I stood in the spotlight of my favorite dive bar's open mic night (as I think of this blog sometimes), shuffled my notecards, and shared a not so brief history of my hair.  Imagine my surprise when the house lights came on and I saw that there were thousands of you waving back to me.

Oh, hello there.

I know I've said it before and I'll probably say it again, but thank you.  Thank you for accepting me and my story and thank you for being so open and honest about sharing yours.

That was really, really cool of you.
Awesome, in fact.

I'm doing this thing in April called VEDA or Vlog Every Day in April, only I totally haven't been. A daily vlog project and tax season isn't a good match for this family of seven* with a finance industry daddy who works 12 hour days this time of year.  Who knew? Ahem. Everyone.  Everyone knew.

* for those of you just joining us, since last Thanksgiving we've been a household of seven:  me, my husband, our four kids, and my sister-in-law Angela.

Also, you should know that over there on my blog's sidebar I've got a sort of playlist of all of the things I write about here.  You're welcome to pull up a seat and stay a while.  The love songs are my favorite.
Anyway, if you've got fifteen minutes to give yourself a time out, I'd love to chat with you for just a few moments in today's vlog (and if you don't, well scroll on down this post because I have just one more thing I want to say before you get back to your dishes and dinner and those adorable little dirty faces).

This vlog is about motherhood and being your own cheerleader, plus I answer a few questions about my hair.  But, it could also have been titled The One Where I Cry on YouTube.

Mentioned in the video:
I'm not affiliated with Lara Casey or Restore but I just wanted to share them with you because they've been tools that have helped me this year and because I think Elizabeth's blog is pretty wonderful and she's been a mothering mentor to me for the better part of a decade now.

Look, you all need to know that I'm a mess. I love myself, but I'm a mess. I don't have it all together. I don't know any secrets or magic fixes. I'm here because of God's grace and finally stumbling into the clearing.

I cannot stress that enough.

I'm reading all of your comments and emails and messages and trying my best to respond to all of them, but I'm not sure I can and probably not in a way that does your amazing stories justice anyway.

So, I'll just leave you with this for now:

Find your own brave things, friends, and let them be a turning point for you. Big or small, loud or quiet, find a reason to be brave. 

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Want to keep up with me?  You can follow me here:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Worthwhile Reads and Lovely Things (the Stevie Nicks, Studio Knits, murder mystery edition)

Note:  this post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for your support!

Going all in with this commitment to optimism in 2014!

So, wow.  So much for this little blog being a secret, eh?  Thank you to all who reached out to let me know Friday's post resonated with you and thank you to everyone who has shared it and passed it along to your friends. Your kind words and support, even if you think I'm crazy, mean a lot to me and I'm honored so many of you took the time to reach out. And I LOVE hearing your stories!

You helped me feel like a rock star this week! That said, I think that I've written all I need to write about hair for a long, long time :-)
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I'm so pleased to welcome the new faces!  Thanks for joining me.  If you don't mind the occasional spilled cup of coffee or swear word, then this is the spot for you.  Welcome.

Okay, enough chatter, let's get on to this week's worthwhile reads and lovely things ...

Blowing bubbles at Grandma's house. Doing our best to get over that long Winter.
Find of the week - For two weeks in a row, I've mentioned The Mom Conference, because I have really enjoyed listening and watching the speakers.  (You can still register and listen to the last few days for FREE).

The conference is almost over, but the sessions are available for purchase, along with nearly 20 FREE BONUS items.  You can start feeling inspired now for $67 (in two $33.50 installments if you like), but act today because this special price is in effect only during the conference.  On Monday, April 14th at midnight the price will increase to $97.

Books - I have been on a quirky mystery kick lately and have finished a quite a few.  Right now things are really busy in my life, so these fast, fun, accidental detective stories are fitting my literary mood perfectly.

I have finished (some of these I picked up for free for Kindle over the past few weeks, but I'm not sure of current prices):

Blogs - I just loved this garden tour of my friend Aimee's home that was featured in the Kitchn blog recently.  Aimee is my friend, so I'm a bit biased, but of all of the cooking blogs I read, Simple Bites is the one I actually cook from the most consistently and over the years I can honestly say that many of the things that come out of my kitchen were probably influenced by her. It was neat to take a peek into the garden behind many of her recipes.

Speaking of gardens, Cathy of Nurture Store has a really neat post up about seeds and ways to use a growing experiment as a teaching tool.

Podcast - I was so pleased to log into my Ravelry account the other day and find a message from Erin announcing she has a new podcast. Knitting friends, do go check out Midnight Fiber and Fabric Studio.

Pinterest - My most popular pin this week was this one, which gave me a giggle. Speaking of Pinterest, I'm part of a collaboration Pin board for Jane Austen fanatics.  You can follow that here at For the Love of Jane.

YouTube - If you're looking for a quick Easter knitting this week, Studio Knit has a tutorial for How to Knit an Easter Egg.

Ravelry - This week was not a productive knitting week for me (see mystery reading kick above).  But I'm feeling that itch to pick up my needles, so stay tuned ...

Music - this Tom Petty, I mean Jimmy Fallon and Stevie Nicks duet of Stop Dragging My Heart Around sort of made my week.

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Want to keep up with me?  You can follow me here: