Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

Blaahg, Blaahg, Blaahg

I wanna be a regular blogger.  My cousin is.  Just little snippets from her daily life.   Observations from her past.   Photos of her, her pets, her girls.  Current struggles.  Ideas for the future.   Just anything that comes to mind I suppose.  It’s interesting to read and I always look forward to what she has to say (even if it’s sometimes a woe-is-me depressing perspective on her current life situation).  I feel like I know her better even though we live miles apart and rarely see each other.

I would be a better blogger, I think, if I could get a handle on who my audience is.   and I don’t mean who is actually reading, but who I am writing to.  These days I’m just writing to my future self, I suppose.  and my cousin.   and maybe my sister, but she’s busy, so I can’t be sure.

I could write about all of the progress we’ve made with our house repairs.  I could commentate our current flea infestation.   Let you in on the secret that it takes an average of 4 times to hit the pause button on our remote for it to pause.  Confess that I rarely measure things when I cook and not because I am confident in my cooking abilities, but because I’m lazy and don’t want to dirty a measuring cup or spoon. I could discuss my 50 miles in October in challenge.  I could tell you about my struggle to schedule family pictures. My maternal feelings towards Cory’s girlfriend.   The possibilities…

Scrolling back through my blog, I really like the posts with pictures the most.  So, here’s some from a recent evening out with BOTH of our kids at the same time.  We spent way more than we should have, but we didn’t want to go home because they would have gone to their rooms and shut their bedroom doors (I know parents of teenagers understand) …so, dinner, cupcakes, coffee, etc.  Totally worth it.


Catching the Overflow

I have to put something up here, because (1) I hate the title of the last post being the first thing one sees upon stumbling across my blog (2) It’s just been tooooo long since I’ve posted and (3)  I have something(s) to share.

Part of the reason I’ve been absent from here is that I’m trying to spend less time on my computer…the looking down at the laptop screen is hurting my neck–apparently destroying the natural curvature in my cervical spine and causing degeneration and other scary words. So, yeah…it hurts.  No worries, I’m under the care of a chiropractor who is agressively treating the issue.  *whimper*

And, let’s be real, the other reason MUST be that I’m not taking the time to “think”.  Don’t you know it takes time and energy to really “think”??    Here are some things I’m thinking about.  I may or may not expound on some or all of these things in later posts.  It depends on how much time I devote to thinking about them.

  • Election— the country appears to be split in half–1/2 for one candidate, 1/2 for his opponent.    This division can NOT be good for our country.  (Mark 3:24, Matt 12:25)  But then again, this is generally what happens every 4 years, so maybe it’s not that big of a deal.  Either way, I’ll sure be glad when it’s over.
  • Praying–Does effective prayer require ENERGY and effort?  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Rom 12:12  Perhaps I’ve failed in this area in the past…not prayed enough, or prayed hard enough, for my son….who now could possibly be described as a prodigal. 😦  Is it my “fault” for not praying hard enough?  of course not, but that’s not gonna stop me from praying harder NOW.  I miss him.
  • Eating–the Whole 30, Paleo, etc.–eating processed garbage causing health problems –> inflammation–>neck pain? I’ve certainly made big changes in this area in 2012, but I’m contemplating more big changes…more to come on this…
  • Being legalistic about “rules” instead of focused on relationships can hurt people–Mark 7:8,9  “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”  Not that right and wrong are NOT absolute, because you can argue that they are, but that relationships matter MORE than right and wrong.

…Just some of the things I’m stewing about lately.

Can’t close this post without a photo.  Here is a shot of me and Cam at the OU-Kansas football game. She sure loves her football.  I just go to the game if the weather is perfect and for the fun atmosphere.

Friday Foto Fun

So maybe I’m stretching it a bit on the “fun”, but it is Friday.  and there are fotos….well, photos. We begin today with the obligatory self portrait that we are all getting used to now, or should be….I wanted to show you how ridiculous my hair looks in the morning. Today I had a rooster tail thingy on top.    and yes, I often go out in public–well, the gym–like that.   No shame.  No pride.  Clearly, since I just posted it on the interwebs.


Today, though, I headed straight into the living room to see Shaun T! (I don’t know why he’s called “Shaun T”—is his last name a secret?! Hey wait, Shaun T sorta rhymes with insanity…maybe that’s it)  Insanity is crazy, awesome hard, and I love it, love it, love it! Max interval training. Intense. Funny thing is, if I don’t vacuum the living room carpet before I start, there’s enough dog hair down there to keep me from collapsing onto the floor.  It’s the only thing that keeps me not dead.  Now, granted, I’m only just starting week 2, but I’m already feeling a difference.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.  Here’s a shot of my tv with Shaun T already jogging it out.


As soon as Shaun T was done yelling and encouraging me in the living room, Cam breezed out of her room, ready to go to the gym, with Abbey waiting at her house to be picked up. Ahh! But I’m a champ so I grabbed a some water and a chocolate protein muffin and headed out to find a beautiful sunrise.  This picture doesn’t quite do it justice though.  Did you remember that Friday is my day off work.  Yeah.  No rest for the weary.   and remember that rooster tail from earlier??  Oh dang, it’s crazy now.


Enough of that business, Cory looks a little different now. He got a trim.  Haha. That was a LOT of hair.  Look though…same shirt.  Somebody wanna hire him??  Please??


I made this Snickerdoodle cookie dough dip out of chick peas, almond butter, oats and a few other ingredients.  It’s yummy amazing. Delicious.  Plus protein, fiber goodness. Great with apples, crackers, a spoon.  There’s also Chocolate Chip Cookie dough dip from the same website that’s killer.  You should seriously try this.  Seriously. Now. Try it.


Then what do you after a morning like that and a whole day of shopping with your teen-aged girl???  Go to Smashburger! More yum.


Friday is almost over and I’m trying to watch a DVR’d episode of the Finder with Cory, so I guess that’s enough for now.  I think maybe I’ll start calling these types of posts, “Slice of Life”.   Or maybe “Food I Ate Today”.  Perhaps I’ll put it to a vote.  Later.

Offer Up Everything

If you are coming here to get a consistent stream of thought on one topic, you will be sadly disappointed.  Sometimes it’s sadly disjointed.   I jump from food and fitness to bible stuff and a-day-in-the-life-of Cari photo commentaries on a daily basis.  Who can keep up?!  It’s my life and I barely keep up with it.

In keeping with that idea, today I’m exploring the idea of offering up EVERYTHING as an offering to God.

Romans 12:1,2 says “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (New Living Translation)

The Message Bible says it like this: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.”

Your everyday, ordinary life.  An offering.  So everything I do, work, work out, sleeping, eating, every interaction, is an offering to God.  From experience, I’ll tell you what that means to me.  Part of that is just being mindful of my relationship with God ALL day, during ALL parts of my day.  and  I have to avoid compartmentalizing.  “this is God time” and “this is ME time” –these 2 thoughts should never co-exist.  and I should avoid justifying…”I spent a lot of time with God this morning, so it’s ok to watch Jersey Shore later today”—uh…no.

I’m not good at this. I fail everyday. But my love for God and my desire to please Him brings me back every time I stray.  The rest of the verse says:

Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Amen to all that.

It was Friday again

It was Friday again.   Happens every week, I suppose. And it’s my only full day off work.   It’s also that special day I get to spend with Cameron.  I’m soooo glad we pulled her out of public school.  She’s 15 and time is racing by.   She’s happy.  She’s learning. and she’s a part of a great group of kids.  and most importantly, her relationship with Christ is growing and thriving.

Enough of that. Here’s another glimpse into the mundane, with a splash of … well… ordinary.

First a trip to the gym with Cameron and Abbs.  We are doing a program we found on Pinterest called “Lose a Size in 2 weeks”.  Riiiiight.  Really, I just wanted a change in my exercise routine. And I’m not gonna lie, the thought of losing that last 5 lbs was creeping at the edges of my brain.  I’ll let you know next week if it worked—although it’s probably for people who have more to lose than we do.  If nothing else, we are learning some great core and strength moves to add to our repertoire.  Here we are getting ready to do the “strength training A” exercises (cardio already finished up!).


Cameron and I went back to the zoo to take a few more pictures.  She’s looking for a picture to blow up and hang in her room.  Here’s one I took of the Redbud’s blooming.  It was a gorgeous day and there was hardly anyone at the zoo.  I took a picture of myself again (right before my haircut, of course).





A quick trip out to Pop’s for a bottle of Pepsi–original glass bottle for Cory’s birthday.  If you’ve never been to Pop’s it’s worth a stop next time you’re in the area.  100’s of different kinds of bottled soda and the best onion rings in the state!  and this really cool landmark–a giant soda bottle–that lights up at night!!  It’s a little ways out of town up route 66, but I like the drive.  I actually left Edmond twice today and I didn’t get lost once–well sort of…but I made it!


Who doesn’t love the fabulous Chick Fil A chargrilled chicken sandwich sans bread for lunch??  Delicious. Delicious protein.


Putting a face with a name

My friend and cousin (cousin/friend?) has a blog with a weekly post of snapshots of her kids, pets, etc. It’s nice to have a visual picture-especially for a person who is a visual learner like me. And…I just like pictures.

So, at the risk of becoming an over sharer (and a bit narcissistic), I’m gonna share pics today. Watch out though, it may be pretty random.

Today is my day off, but I got up early anyway. Nothing keeps me from the gym…not even a really bad hair day–and a vicious gray streak down the middle of my head. OH my….I can NOT believe I’m posting that picture, but I did leave the house like that, so I guess the whole www isn’t a big stretch.


Here’s a close up of my phone case. It’s so pretty.


Then when I got home I broke up a fight. Hutch and Sammie (Hutch currently has the upper hand in this shot) “play” like this ALL DAY. It’s enough to drive a person batty.


I took this kid to school because he’s currently grounded from his car.   That’s ok, though, I’m thankful for the extra time with him.  And he doesn’t look too upset about being grounded, does he?   Geez, I love that boy a lot.


I took my now homeschooled girl to the zoo so she could take some pictures.  We’ll call that photography class.  I only took one really bad picture of a giraffe and the rest of the pictures I took were of trees.  and Cameron.  and 2 dead animals–they were “food” in enclosures.  gross.  But anyway, I LOVE trees.


Here she is trying desperately to get the wolves to cooperate for their close up. Wolves are her favorite animals. She’s using the new telephoto lens she bought with her Christmas money.  I LOVE this girl.


We went to the zoo with Cameron’s friend, Abbey and her mom and brother.  They have been friends since they were 4.  I love these girls.  and Abbey just happens to be one of the girls that I mentor.  She’s just precious.


So, that’s it.  For today anyway.  I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.

Walk a Mile in our, um…Feet

This post is going to be told in pictures of feet.  Yep, pictures of feet.   Now let me say first off, that I do not have a foot fetish.  In fact, I neither love feet, nor hate them.    However, I did get a lovely pedicure before we left and so that might have fueled some of the foot photography desire.   Aaaaaannnd,  I have to admit, I was, no doubt, inspired by the beautiful cover of Salvaged, my new favorite book.

Did I mention here already that we went to the beach for vacation?  Oh, yeah, I think I did.  Here’s a brief run down of the highlights—or some of them anyway.

Clean, white sand.  Like sugar. and very very clean.  Apparently, the sand on Siesta Key is 99% quartz, giving it a white sugary appearance.  Anyway, it was gorgeous. Kevin walked and walked the beach–early mornings, evenings…  He could have stayed there all the time.

We rented kayaks one morning and went out for a 3 hour tour of Sarasota Bay and Turtle Beach.    It was our first time in kayaks (all of us) and other than being worn out, we did we really great!   We even drug two of the kayaks across Turtle Beach and into the Gulf and took turns paddling around in the waves.

These are Cory’s feet at Turtle Beach.  The sand here was darker than on Siesta Key beaches….more cinnamon sugary.  (and again sand sticks to everything wet)   There were a lot more shells on this beach than the other, too.

Here’s that pedicure I was a-talkin’ about.  I felt so pretty. 🙂

Here’s Cameron’s feet walking on the beach.  She also could have stayed there forever.  She was fascinated by all of it.  When I would watch her, sometimes she would just be scouring the beach with her eyes, looking for shells or other interesting things that came in from the ocean.  When she was in the water, she was looking down, often with her goggles on, no doubt searching for fish, shells, and who know what else. And then sometimes, she would be scanning the horizon, probably looking for signs of dolphins or manatees.   I would LOVE to hear what she’s thinking.    She’s so thoughtful and introspective (are those the same thing?).

One of the coolest things we did was parasailing.  It was extravagant and adventurous for us, but soooo worth it.  A boat took us from the bay out to the Gulf and we were “launched” from that boat, sailed 1000 ft over the water, and then brought back down on that boat.  We didn’t even get wet.  The view from up high was amazing.  You could see the whole island, plus animals in the water–we saw dolphins, shark, and stingray!   I don’t have any pictures of just feet in the air, but here’s a shot that Cameron took of Pebbles the dog standing on my feet on the boat back from the Gulf.  (Pebbles belonged to the boat driver)

What a summer it’s been and this was a great way to end it.   With our kids getting older, we’re feeling the need to savor every moment!!

Time to Use it or Lose it

Ever feel like time is slipping away from you?    The older you get, the faster time flies by.  I have not been as productive lately as I’d like to be.   In Stephen Covey’s time quadrant (below) I’ve spent a lot of time in Quad IV…social media, Olympics,  and just general piddling around.   The evidence of low productivity is in the lack of blog posts here at  Nothing going on upstairs to overflow out, if you know what I mean. 🙂

Ideally, the majority of time spent should be in Quad II.  Processing, planning, preparing, personal development,  prelationships (ok, that one doesn’t start w/ p, but I was on a roll).  In my defense, I have done a LOT of reading so far this year.  I’ve read 3 non fiction books, and am finishing up the 2nd fiction book, plus 39.5% of the bible (according to my reading plan).   All well and good, but, to be productive there has to be some output, right?  Time  spent thinking about what I’ve read, planning to apply it, and thoroughly processing it.

Wow, hopefully I have a LOT more years to live, because I’m awfully slow to figure all this stuff out.    One day, I aspire to be really really smart. and productive.  whatever that means…  Maybe by the time I’m 90 something, I’ll have it all together.

My mind-opened up for all to see.

Balance.  I’ve been praying for it, searching for it.   Especially as it pertains to the way I feel about the “H” word. But is balance a good thing?  It occurred to me that it’s possible for balance to be the same as compromise.  I don’t like that idea.

Last month, I announced that I’m only giving water for Christmas.  Check out the blog post here if you don’t remember.  It made me feel like a thousand pounds had been lifted off my chest.  I was actually caught enjoying some Christmas music last week.  Even if it was fairly rocked-out Christmas music–not the cheesy, Christmas Shoes type–but it was Christmas music, nonetheless.   All because I decided to forgo giving gifts this Christmas.  (for those who don’t know this about me, I strongly dislike Christmas music–I’m saving up for therapy, don’t worry)

But then…I started thinking. This is always my problem…too much thinking.

What about giving?   Is “giving” money to a charity that I care about a blessing to someone else?     The gift should be something special and meaningful to the receiver, right?

We are more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35  So, now I’m more worried about the giver being blessed, than the receiver?!  Huh?

So, if I decide to rethink the Christmas gift thing and think that every gift given must be a blessing to the receiver–something well thought out, extremely personal, and meaningful, then that brings me back to the anxiety, the shopping, the agonizing over what to buy to make everyone happy.  I can’t go there.  I get a lump in my throat, a tingly feeling in my nose, and my eyes begin to water when I even think of it.

But, what if …ah, stop.  I need to stop.    No more of these rhetorical questions that don’t have easy answers.   I’m going back to James 1:5 If you need wisdom, ask God.  Give me clarity, God. Please.

Don’t “miss out” on the dryer sheets tip

I want to write a blog post.  I’ve got some swirling around in my head right now, or at least I did earlier when I was afc (away from computer).  Right now I’m going to try and type without looking at the compyter.  Head is back, eyes clsed.  You see, my mind is working…tired, but working, but physically I’m tired.

What I really want to talk about is a verse from Esther chp\apter 4.   She realizes that God’s will for the Jews will be accomplished no matter if she acts or not.  If she chooses to say quiet, then her family won’t recieve the benefits…they’ll die, but God will still get his way in the end.

The personal application for that verse stops me in my tracks.  What opportunities am I missing to be part of something God is doing?  I do NOT want to miss out on what God is doing in, through and around me!

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now.  Oh, except a little helpful household hint from Heloise.  I never throw away used dryer sheets until I’ve used them to clean something else up first.   They’re very handy for a variety of things.  Not absorbant at all, but a teeny bit abrasive and good fro scrubbing.

There you go.  I can’t typr any more w/ my eyes closed.  It’s probably unreadable, and I have my contacs in, so if I keep my eyes shut much longer, they’re gonna be sticky.  i hate that.

rambling, rambligh. blah.