Monday, October 31, 2016

Glowing Hair

I did it.  I cut my hair.  I didn't shave my head, but I cut quite a bit off...and I dyed it bright red.  It's a little bit sassy--and I love it.  

You might recall my post from last week where I was seriously deliberating about whether or not I was going to cut my hair.  It's been a point of contention for my entire marriage.  Not contention. That's not the right word, but a sore spot anyway.  It's like a little bruise that you forget is there until you push on it, then it's sore.  That's how my hair is.  I know that's a weird analogy, but that's the best way I can describe the conversation that happens from time to time about whether or not I will trim my locks.

Since my hubby is the best hubby ever and he told me that I'm always beautiful to him, I took the plunge and chopped away.  It's been a while since I have had it this short (and I've had it shorter), but I forgot how good it feels.  Not just literally because my hair isn't plastered to my head due to length. I mean it feels good because it's like my hair likes to be shorter.  It's happier.  It's free to have bounce and body and movement.  I know I'm going out on a limb here, but I like how I feel when my hair is happy.  I feel more confident.  I feel a little bit bolder (which is probably a little scary if you know me).  

 colors: UL crimson red & chocolate brown
This expression is perfect for your favorite beauty salon!

I'm going to go one step further with this crazy hair analogy.  What if we're all like my hair?  No, we don't have to be short and bright red.  What I mean is that maybe we'll all function better if we're being how we're made to be.  As in, I'm a creative, artistic kind of person.  I like me when I'm being those things.  I like doing those things.  I should do them more often because I'm a better version of me when I'm doing what I'm created to do.  Hear me when I say this is not permission to avoid hard things in life and only do the things we're good at.  That's not it at all.  I'm just saying be who you were made to be.  Grow that person.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

P.S. This is also not permission to go cut all your hair off because some blog lady inspired you to do so.  I don't want to get angry letters from husbands!:)

When you're done evaluating your next hairdo, swing on over to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see what kind of wall talking fun I'm up to these days.  I can also be found at . You can also subscribe to this blog in that little box below.  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Why is Money More Private Than Our Body?

Marriages can fail for any number of reasons, but statistics show that money issues are often a contributing factor to marital strife.  That's part of the reason why my hubby and I continue to work on that particular area of our marriage.  We want all facets and areas to be stronger and smoother functioning.  It will never be perfect--we're human, after all--but we want our marriage to be the best it can be.

I was recently having a conversation with a lovely friend who happens to be in her second marriage. She made a comment about she and her hubby having separate money on this go round.  It got me thinking.  This is not the first time I've heard someone say they have separate money from a spouse or significant other.  This couple appears to be doing well with money and marriage; planning, communicating, living life together.  While I know it's never safe to assume that everything is 100% perfect all the time (because no marriage is), it works for them. 

 colors: UL warm stone & berry red
For the pirate or the private person in your life, this expression is perfect!

So here's my question: when a couple is married and shares every other facet of their person and life (i.e. food, home, children, family, their body), why keep finances separate?  I'm asking because I really don't know the answer.  I get that it's hard to combine on the logistical side of things, and perhaps a previous spouse or partner was unfaithful financially, or any other number of issues.  I get that.  But you're sharing your most intimate physical self when you are in a marital relationship, so why not share money, too?

I don't have an answer or advice on this one.  I'm throwing it out there for someone smarter than I to answer.  I'd love to hear some different thoughts.  Feel free to comment below.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

The Hair Dilemma

I have hair.  I am married.  It seems to me that almost every woman with hair that I talk to has the same dilemma.  Husband says,
"I like long hair."
Wife says,
"Long hair is fine, but not for the particular hair I have on my head."
My husband is blessed with thick, wavy hair.  I'm not even kidding.  I'm jealous of his beautiful locks.  (The good news is the kids got it!) I do have a ton of hair, but it's fine and straight.  It's not that he doesn't like my hair, but I don't think he understands what stringy hair is.  I am not inclined to, nor do I have time to, run around brushing my hair every 10 minutes so it doesn't look stringy.  Nor do I want to wear a ponytail all the time.  So 20 years into this relationship, we're still having the same discussion...because I want to cut my hair off--again. 

 colors: UL cherry blossom & nautical blue
This cute expression makes a great gift for your beautician!

For those of you that don't know me live and in person, my hair has grown quite a bit since my head shot I have posted.  I've tried.  Really I have, but it is making me crazy to have it longer. I realize there are people out there that would love to have this problem, and it's probably really vain of me to even be blogging about this, but, nevertheless, here I am.  It even caused hubs and I to have a major "discussion" this week. Ugh.  In all his patience with a wife who tends to get really annoyed by these weird little things, but can handle the big stuff, my precious husband even took time to bring me flowers at work.  Purple flowers because he knows that's my favorite color.  NOW how can I cut my hair??

I tell you all this not to whine about my uber-gooberness, but to remind you that it's really just small stuff in the end.  It won't have the ripple effect that the election results will.  It won't cure cancer or feed starving children.  Enjoy the people you love.  Tell them you love them.  Tell them what you like about them.  Be intentional.  Today. I'm blessed with an incredibly patient husband. 

Make it a beautiful day, friends--no matter what your hair looks like.

After you get done thanking your lucky stars you are not married to my particular brand of goofy, pop over to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see color palettes, projects, and random wall talking fun.  You can always find me at, too.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Wood and Friends

I was making a picture holder board for a friend.  You know the's an old beat up piece of wood with pieces of paint falling off and it's a little bit warped.  I found it at my local Habitat Restore (love that place!).  It looks like an old piece of exterior window trim.  It was perfect for what I was using it for.

As I was turning the hooks into the wood, my hubby observed that as a trim carpenter, one must have precise cuts and joints.  There is very little room for error, and if errors are made it's obvious and undesirable in the finished product.  But the opposite is true when creating rough cut pieces.  When making a door, or drawer front, or table from rough cut wood, the imperfections are highly desirable and intentional.  The ironic part is both are beautiful.  

 Colors: UL electric pink & slate gray

The tight angles and the knotty, rough wood are both beautiful--each in their own way. I was talking with a fellow mama the other day.  Her beautiful 13-year-old daughter had been a little sad and maybe a tad bit jealous of another friend who happened to be very athletic and outgoing.  The friend was amazing!  It seemed that her daughter thought she wasn't amazing because she wasn't those things.  A bit more introverted, but no less smart, and certainly no less beautiful, she felt less than because she wasn't outgoing or super athletic.  It's a lie.  

The enemy wants us to feel less than and this is one of the current lies being permeated to our daughters.  Here's the truth: just because you're beautiful, or smart, or sparkly, or wonderful in any number of ways, doesn't mean that I'm not.  My beautiful may be different than your beautiful, but we're still both beautiful. That doesn't mean same.  I want my daughter so much to understand this. Just like the rough and knotty wood is beautiful, as well as the tight corners and precise panels are both beautiful...

Be your kind of beautiful today, friends.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Sharpening the Iron

I've often talked about what wonderful friends I am blessed with. They are true and honest and real friends.  I am so often thankful for them, but sometimes I forget to be thankful for my kids' friends, too.  

In this age of cyber bullying and sexting, I found it refreshing when my son's friends came over for a sleepover without apprehension in matters of silliness.  Thirteen and 14-year-old boys are obviously not known for their maturity, but it's a funny, in-between age where we are simultaneously looking to the not too distant future at impending adult responsibilities and the not long past fun of being a little kid without responsibility.  Middle schoolers are beginning to figure out they have an identity of their own that isn't completely attached to their parents, and it's scary and exciting and unsettling all at the same time.  All that while wanting to be accepted by peers.  It's quite a conundrum, really.

These boys came over.  They threw the football around outside.  They drank too much soda and proudly belched in true teenage boy fashion.  They ate and then ate some more.  They played foosball and discussed flatulence and Star Wars.  They ate again.  More than anything, though, they were just silly.  Hilariously silly.  They laughed.  They laughed at everything from hamburger buns to poo poo emojis and hockey. It was a safe place.

 color: UL nautical blue

While I can't say that I've been a perfect parent by any stretch of measure, I can say that we have modeled having and valuing real and honest friends.  To this point in their lives, our kids seem to get that because they've made great choices, as well, and it has been a real blessing.  These kids are navigating this space together.  It's hard to let them do that sometimes.  I want my kids to always be protected and not make any poor choices, but they will never learn to be productive, able adults if I protect them every step of the way.  It's not God's design for them to be dependent on their parents into adulthood, but I do feel better about them taking those steps when they have peers who let them be themselves.

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. 

Who are you surrounding yourself with?  Are they making you a better or worse version of yourself?

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Little Wins

We're doing this thing.  For real this time.  We've been poking at our debt for quite some time least a couple years anyway.  And now it's time to get it taken of.  This week we fully paid off our first little snowball piece in full.  The next piece will be done soon, but we're holding back a little due to my son fracturing his foot a month or so ago.  We still have bills coming in for that, so we're stock piling a little while we wait for those to all arrive, then we'll continue to pick up more on our snowball.  

Here's the thing: we're not going to be perfect because life happens.  As I was driving with my daughter in the car today, she was telling me about her multiplication test.  When I started to congratulate her on her growth, she hesitated.  She wasn't sure I should congratulate her because she got a less than perfect score, but a year and half ago, she was struggling to get half way finished on a very similar test.  This time she got a 99% correct!  That's a victory and a huge one, at that.

 colors: UL matte black & bright white

What do multiplication tests and personal finances have in common?  In both cases, we need little victories along the way.  Without them, it's a whole lot easier to give up at whatever endeavor we're working at.   Embrace the little victories and keep moving.  Keep growing. Embrace and enjoy the process.  

What hard thing are you working at right now?  Find the little victory to celebrate, then keep moving forward.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

It's Time to Tip It Over

I have voted in every election. local and national, since I turned 18-years-old, minus the last one because I forgot to turn in my ballot (ugh!).  While unfortunate, it doesn't have as much bearing as this upcoming election in November.  While I'm bummed that I missed that ballot turn in, I won't be missing the upcoming 2016 presidential election...and you shouldn't either.  

In each case where I was voting, I always voted my party line when voting for candidates.  Usually, not because they were Republican, but because I agree with the values they were representing.  But sometimes I wasn't familiar with both candidates to really know what they stood for, and in those cases, I just voted with my party.  It's a cop out, I know, but it's not a strategy that can be employed in this election.  I think candidates and parties are counting on it, but there comes a time when it's not good enough anymore.

In elections past, it was often a choosing between "the lesser of two evils." We were afraid to split the vote.  In other words, it's Candidate A vs. Candidate B as the front runners.  And while I may like Candidate C, I don't want to vote for Candidate C because I know there aren't enough people to vote for Candidate C  for him/her to win.  In other words, I vote for who I think will win rather than vote for who I want to win. 

In his book, Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell explores the phenomenon of reaching the point in which an ongoing trend changes.  Examples include the reemergence of Hush Puppies shoes from near extinction within a less than 2 year period, drastic changes in crime rates, and teen smoking trends, among others.  "The Tipping Point is the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point." It's a fascinating read (and you can pick it up at my affiliate link here).  My point in mentioning this is that I believe we are at that point in history.  

We are at a point where something is going to give.  Few people trust Hillary and those that were supporting Donald, well, his supporters are jumping off the bandwagon right and left.  I wouldn't leave my daughter alone in a room with either of them.  That's not what we want for any President Candidate, let alone a President.

 colors: UL whipped cream & crimson red

So what's left? What are we supposed to do when neither choice is good--not only is neither choice not good, but they are both awful?  Do we vote our party lines or do we make the leap to vote who we believe in?  While no candidate is perfect or without some aspect that we disagree with, some are definitely better than others.  Gary Johnson is a respectable, viable candidate--who has record of winning when not expected to.  He's a successful business man that ran and grew a very successful construction company from nothing--without declaring bankruptcy along the way.  The biggest thing Gary Johnson has going for him is that he is anti-big government.  I would encourage you to check him out.

It's time.  It's time to tip the scales and show our government that we are no longer apathetic to the voting process.  We are informed and watching what they are doing.  We're not falling for it anymore. You are responsible.  I am responsible.  To not vote is to vote the side you don't want to win.  The process is broken.   I get it, but that's not a reason to give up. We have the voice to change this.  Like King Saul's son, Jonathan, when faced with an impossible situation and outnumbered by a strong enemy, we have to do something and God will meet us where we're at...even if we feel like the only one.  Let's create a ripple effect.  Share this post on all your favorite social media outlets.  Let's let our voice be heard.  Let's create ripples.  It's time.  Vote.  Vote your conscience.  I cannot in good conscience vote for either Hillary or Donald.  I really can't.

MAKE it a beautiful day, friends.

Instead of sending you to my other outlets today, I'll offer you a couple of articles with what I believe to be sound logic on these election matters.  It's not an easy decision.  We need to be informed and honestly pray for God's direction and forgiveness of sins as we move forward.

Friday, October 7, 2016

A Marriage Fixer Guarantee

I don't like debt. I'd like to say I hate it, but that would imply that I've mastered control over it.  We're not quite there yet, but we're working on it.  In fact, at our Financial Peace University class last week, we cut up our last two credit cards!  Whoo hoo!  Now to pay them off and close them...  We didn't accumulate it overnight, and we won't pay it off overnight, either.  It's easy to see why marriages struggle because of debt. They call it "financial challenges." That sounds mundane and almost harmless when it's phrased like that, but it's anything but harmless.

 colors: UL cherry blossom & rosemary tea

Here's what it looks like.  Both you and your spouse know you owe money to people--credit cards, car loans, school loans, whatever.  It seems to play out in one of two ways: either you're nagging each other to death (often treating your spouse like a child), or you're both silently dancing around the woolly mammoth elephant in the middle of the room whilst punishing yourself in your head or blaming your spouse. FYI, neither one of those are conducive to making a good or happy marriage.  It's really difficult, but I'm offering a third solution.  What if it started with something like this...
Hello, Love.  I know this money situation sucks really badly right now, but I'd really like to figure out the way to get out of it.  We got in this together (or we're in it together now), and I know we can get out of it together, too.  I'd like to have more fun time to spend with you without stressing about the bills later.  Will you look at this with me?
How do you say no to that?  Yes, it is hard.  Yes, it takes daily discipline.  Yes, it takes planning and delayed gratification.  And more than anything if you're married, it takes working together.  Really and truly looking at the goal of debt free and working toward it together.  I promise your marriage will be better and stronger.  Because, let's be honest, it's not a happy place to be in nagging land or elephant in the room land or cry about it all the time land.  Those are all places I've visited.  I'm not going back.

Let's start with forgiveness, then move forward.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

If you have any questions about the topic of debt or getting rid of it, please feel free to comment below.  If you want a break from reality for a few minutes, jump over to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to see my current wall talking fun!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Listen to the Loud Voices

I have a lovely friend named Amanda, who also happens to be a blogger.  Occasionally, she writes guest posts for another friend of ours, Ian, who happens to own a lovely, little company called Double Under Wonder.  Last week she wrote one of these posts and it struck a chord with me.  Here is the original post.  

One more than one occasion, I've talked about the voices in our heads...specifically the voices in my head and what big, fat liars they are.  In her post, Amanda states the following:
I find that most of the athletes next to me at the box have an ability to talk themselves into working harder than they think is possible, to push through when they wanna stop. I think, in their minds (and sometimes out loud, here's looking at you, Sarah), they say things like, "Come on! You can do it! One more! You've got this!" 
She goes on to say more about what goes on in her own head. my mind, I am saying things like, "Come on, you can't do this. You are gonna die. You should quit now." I'm not kidding.  This is the mantra in my head during almost every workout that takes longer than 20 minutes.
I can't say that I'm an elite athlete, but I do pretty well for someone pushing 40.  And I like to think I'm only getting better from here on out.  What I would counter with is not that those elite athletes don't hear negative voices.  I believe they do.  They are just talking back to them.  At least that's what I'm doing.  I hear those voices in my head that want to quit when I'm doing something hard, whether it be a CrossFit workout, a karate test, or working through my budget with my husband.  I have just learned that voice is a liar, and so I talk back to it.  I have to talk back louder than the voice in my head that is telling me to quit, or that I don't deserve to be exceptional, or I don't deserve to grow my giftings.  And that's just not true.  God put me here on purpose.

 color: UL nautical blue
This applies to other people and ourselves...

This week when you're working at something hard that makes you want to quit, talk back.  Look at where you are going.  Look at where you are growing.  Tell that big liar in your head that it's wrong. You can keep going.  Just because you've had that voice in your head your whole life, doesn't mean it's your friend or that you can trust it.  Talk back with truth.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

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