July 29, 2011

One of Those Weeks

Disapproval of others.
Lack of response from those in which we have invested time and love.
A little self-pity.

It's been one of those weeks that the hands of disappointment have slipped around my heart.  I've fought a week's worth of relational battles, silently.
A private discord of the soul.
I am a master of staying on the safe side of a conversation to avoid friction.
I am an artist who can paint on a smile and mask my vulnerable spirit.

Silence speaks all that words choose not to say.

My heart's half-bandaged wounds can gape open when a fresh arrow of hurt hits its mark.  Wounds that I thought were healed; damage that I thought I had forgotten with the passage of time emerges without warning.


Thanks for bearing with me today.  It's been a tough week.  I've fought battles all week in so many ways, including the start of a new school year that I mentally was not ready to start.  I usually try to keep it light and encouraging here at NEM but I also want to be  transparent and keep it real.  Life is messy and can be challenging.  Even 'round here.
The good news?  It's Friday!!!  Enjoy the weekend!

** Wow.  I just read this amazing, thought provoking post written on the same day I wrote these words.  I'm so thankful for God's perfect timing!

July 25, 2011


It's that time again.  Already.
Time to keep a schedule.
Time to prepare lesson plans.
Time to watch my little treasures grow their minds.

We start school tomorrow.  How could my sweet babies be this old?  Where did the time go?
How could our summer break be over already??

Yes, keeping a schedule is healthy.
Yes, I am addicted to the school supply aisle.

But I have to admit, I will miss sleeping in and having lazy days.
When does your summer break end?

July 21, 2011

Mom's Words

There once was a little girl who followed her mother around all day.  Since it was a busy Monday, it began to wear on the young mom’s nerves.  Every time she turned around her daughter was right behind her.  
Finally in exasperation the mother asked, “why are you constantly following me today?”  

She replied, "Well, Mommy, in Sunday class my teacher told me to walk in Jesus' footsteps. 
But I can't see him, so I'm walking in yours." 

My words and tone of voice convey Jesus to my children on a daily basis.
If my daughter hears me gossiping, what has she learned from my example?
If she observes a critical spirit, what does that teach her about God’s mercy and kindness?

When our children were very young, we decided what words are not going to be acceptable.  
 Some words we don’t allow (besides the obvious) are:
Hate, stupid, butt
 Even though these aren’t really swear words, we decided that they were words that would not bring honor to a conversation.
Teach your children to use words that bring honor to a conversation, you won't regret it.

Keep up the good work, moms.  Be encouraged today!

July 19, 2011

Dear 16 year old Me

Do you ever wish you could go back in time and warn yourself of a few things?  Here's what I would say...
My daddy brought home 16 red roses to his little girl

 1. Enjoy being 16.  It's a magical age of growing up without having to be an adult yet.
2. You are not an adult.  You think you are, and that you know all about life, but you don't.
3. That boy you think you're in love with?  He's a nice guy, but there is someone PERFECT for you.
4. Don't be afraid you won't find the right guy.  Just enjoy being you and he will find you.

5. That best friend who just "ruined your life" and broke your heart is really making you a better person, ready for new friendships in college.
6. Forgiveness is much easier than bitterness in the long run.

7. Perms are way overrated.  They are going to date you and make your future children ask, "mom, why was your hair so weird and big?"

8. Thank your parents for taking you to all of your cheering events.  You have no idea how much time and sanity they sacrifice for you every. stinkin. Friday. night.  While football/basketball season is your life, they too, have a life.
9. Speaking of parents.  Yours are pretty amazing.  They're trying their best and want the best for you.
10. Oh, and your mom is going to discover your secret stash of Europe tapes under your bed.
11. Don't take for granted the trips they take you on.  It is a sacrifice, but you will remember them for the rest of your life.

12. That cute little body you have?  Enjoy it.  It won't last.
13. Children are the most amazing gift of life, but someone should prepare you a little better for the havoc it will wreak on your perky little self.  Let's just say size A was so nice.
14.  Enjoy your weekly intake of blueberry biscuits from Skats and after-the-game Pizza Hut  routine.  In about 3 years, it's going to catch up with you and you'll have to discover aerobics class at the YMCA.

15. I know you really want a red Fiero car.  They are going to stop making them and then they won't be popular and then you would be driving a car that you can't find parts to it.  But I really don't need to explain all this because you're going to get your mom's red Volvo instead.  It's a great car, but you won't know that until you're in college and meet some granola people who think a Volvo is "all good".  So...
16. Don't trade in the Volvo for a cheap redneck pick-up truck with no power steering.  You will totally regret it.  Your mom's new Ford Probe with turbo boost is much more fun.  But one day your future children will see it and say, "what kind of car is that?!"

17. Enjoy your adorable, pesky little brother.  One day you will look up to him in so many ways.

18. Don't tell your parents you want to be a "young" mom.  It might scare them.  You'll be glad you went to college, met the man of your dreams, and grew up settled in before making them grandparents.

19. I know you are super self-conscious and insecure right now, but you are a beautiful, young woman who will one day be living her dream with her Godly husband and beautiful children.

20. You have a good life ahead of you.  It won't be without tears or hard times but it will be worth it.

What would you tell your 16 year old self?

July 14, 2011

My Newest Addiction

If you love looking at home ideas, this is the thing for you.  I just stumbled upon Houzz a couple of weeks ago and can't stay away.  It's the Flikr of house ideas.  Imagine thousands of neat room ideas all in one spot.  It's like having all the best pictures from BHG, Traditional Home and House Beautiful lumped together in a big ole pot of chocolate.  Well, you have to provide your own chocolate, but seriously, it's that good!

You can easily create your own idea book.  As I scroll through the pictures I just click one little icon and quickly add it to my collection of ideas.

Not only that, you can make a quick little note about what you like in any photo.
For example on this photo I said, "cool backsplash."
inspiration contemporary laundry room

And for this photo I simply said "EVERYTHING!"
Mud Room traditional laundry room
traditional laundry room design by minneapolis architect Charlie Simmons - Charlie & Co. Design

I like looking through other people's idea books to see what  tickles their fancy.  We don't all like the same thing, but that's what makes life fun.

So...  if I didn't get you addicted to some new apps from my last post, here's another shot at filling your head with another time-waster beautiful ideas.

Is this site new to you or do you already have an idea book?  If so, I'd love to see it!

July 11, 2011

Apps that Make Me Happy

I had my itouch for about a year before I figured out how much fun it could be.  I was lost in the world of music and weather searches until I discovered all the joys in the App Store.  My kids were the ones who discovered Angry Birds and opened my eyes to the games mind builders that awaited.  

However, since there are so many, it is hard to know which ones are worth it.  I thought I'd share some of my favorites with the hopes that you'll do the same.

1. Words With Friends.  This is my all time favorite.  I often have 4 games going on at once.  I hear that you don't have to have an ipod or iphone for this one if you have a Facebook account.  This is a super fun game of scrabble that you play against other people.  I *think* you can play against the computer, too, but not sure.

 2. Text Twist.  Another word game that keeps my mind healthy.  It reminds me of the old Boggle game.

 3. Textropolis. Ahh, whadayaknow. Another word game.  See the numbers 14/66 at the top?  That means there are 66 possible words to make out of the letters in the black boxes and I have discovered 14.  Yeah.  I know.
Anyhoo... each level or "city" has different amounts of possible words.

4.  7 Little Words.  This is my newest addiction.  I went through the freebie round pretty quickly but for .99 there are 50 new games.  I like to think it helps improve my vocabulary.  Sounds so much better than wordy-time-waster, right?

Looking over my list, I realize that they are all word games.  Hmm... imagine that, a theme!
So, it's your turn.  What is your favorite App?  I really want to know!

July 8, 2011

Happy Craft

When I first saw this craft on Meg's blog back in May,  I squealed and called my girls over to the computer and said, "let's make this over the summer!"  

I have high standards for crafts:
1. It has to be pretty.  (And I'm picky.)
2. It has to be fairly easy. (Less mess is best.)
3. It has to be finishable. (Is that a word?)
4. It has to be fun (and worth the effort.)

This craft met all of my criteria.  Yay!

The first night of my Summer Bible study I found out that we were going to make that very same craft!  Whoohoo!  We spread it out over a few weeks to allow time for the paints to dry n' such.
Because I cannot stand to start a project and not finish it am task oriented I was able to finish my project this week.  Out of 20 ladies, three of us stayed on task and finished.  Call me unsociable.  I call it done.  :)

When I brought it home my girls were even more excited to start their own pieces of art.
Isn't it fun?!

July 7, 2011

Caprese Salad

My all time favorite summer salad.
So simple.  So delish.  So fresh.

1 vine ripe tomato
1 bunch fresh basil
wet mozzarella cheese
balsamic vinegar (or balsamic vinegar dressing)
salt & pepper

That's it!
(serves 1)

The first time I ever had this salad was at an outdoor cafe in France.  It was served with goat cheese (just as yummy).  It brings back fond memories of the summer of 1998.

If you don't have some basil growing in your garden/planter/yard make a quick trip to Lowes.    It's super hardy and produces all summer long.  Treat yourself to the taste of summer!
I'm linking up with Marty's Wow Us Wednesday.  Even though it is Thursday :) and Home Stories AtoZ

What's your favorite summer salad?

July 1, 2011

Being Loved

I mentioned doing the Loving Well study by Beth Moore.  Here are some questions that really struck me about God's immense love for my soul:

* Do you have any idea how much I love you?  How taken I am with you?

* Do you think you need to prove yourself lovable to Me?  Deep down inside, are you trying to earn My love and attention?

*You do have an enemy, My Child.  But it is not Me.  He wants you to think it is.  I am for you.

*I love you unashamedly.  Even now My banner flies over you.  Everyone in the heavenlies knows how I feel about you.  I'd leave you red-faced over My love for you ... if you'd let Me.