Day 10 – Two out of Three Ain’t Bad

Day 10 – What habits did you start this year that you want to continue?

It’s really more like two out of five ain’t bad, but given the chance to quote classic Meatloaf lyrics, I’m going to take it every time.


So yeah, I’ve missed a few days recently. Blogging was the BIG habit I’ve been wanting to start not just this year, but for many years now. And even though we are in the final days of 2013, I am glad I didn’t put it off any longer. So many times that happens with healthy habits. We have good intentions, maybe even a plan, but we wait around for the perfect time to get started. Always making excuses along the way.

The opposite is true with bad habits. We fall right back into their trap with no thought at all. Then we often have to fight to dig ourselves back out again.

If you believe in the old myth that it takes just 21 days to form a habit (which is officially debunked here), then by the end of this 31-day writing challenge, I should be able to count daily blogging among my 2014 habits.

Probably not realistic. But I do plan to write something, somewhere, every day next year. Even if it’s just in my journal or a bathroom stall (just kidding Mom, I promise to never deface public property!) I have found over the years that writing focuses me, centers me, and helps me work through my thoughts.

So thank you Think Kit for helping me to start a habit this year that I want to continue. It’s a lot healthier than falling asleep at 1am in front of the tv.


Day 8 – Pinterest is Trying to Kill Me

Day 8 – What did you make this year? Whether something personal, like a song or some art, or a work project, share your process and the end result of your creation.

I really, really wish I had a baby in 2013, because then I could totally kill this post.

I made a baby. For the win.

In fact, whenever I was pregnant, announcing what I had “made” that day was my favorite come back to anyone who happened to complain in my presence. God forbid my poor husband come home complaining about a long day, or make the mother of all mistakes and ask me, “What did you you today honey?” I would immediately launch into a tirade that sounded something like this, “Oh, you’re tired are you? You want to know what I accomplished today? I created a central nervous system, shut up.” And we have 3 kids. He’s a saint.

But other than creating life, I pretty much suck at creating things. There was that one year I made everyone wreaths for Christmas. And I’ve got mad hot glue gun skills.

jessieProof of my hot glue gun powers.

But whenever I utter the words, re-finish or re-cover, my husband just laughs. That’s because most of my creative projects end up looking a little less like that adorable Jessie costume, and a little more like this:

iupumpkinNailed it.

That brings me to my hatred of Pinterest. Don’t try to convince me how great Pinterest is. I get it. I really do. I’ve pinterested before. (It’s a verb now for crying out loud!) Seriously folks. Do we need this kind of pressure? I have friends who are really, really great at crafting, or decorating or throwing the perfect party. But now thanks to Pinterest we’re ALL supposed to be good at ALL the things. So let’s just call Pinterest what it really is, a giant time-wasting, guilt-inducing outlet for us to pin hundreds of projects we will never have time for leading to feelings of failure and inadequacy. Maybe that’s just me. If you have the skills and desire to shape your kid’s lunch into a zoo habitat, more power to you. Just remember, most of it’s still going to be thrown in the trash in the elementary school cafegymatorium.


Day 5 – Talk to Someone (or 3 little someones)

Day 5 – Interview at least one other person about their favorite moments of the year. Share what you heard.

When I read this prompt I immediately wanted to interview my kids. Kids are some of my favorite people to have conversations with. They aren’t bound by any social niceties, they just say what they think. I love it. On top of that, kids are hilarious. My 3 are always saying things that make me stop and laugh out loud.

Side note: I’m constantly asking my non-parent friends what they do for entertainment, but they assure me they’re doing quite well amusing themselves without children.

Conveniently I interviewed my children while they were held captive in the car on the way home from a Christmas concert. It was late. They were tired. I was not above bribery.

Interview #1 – Ally (age 5)

Me: “What was your best memory from this year?”

Ally: “What’s a memory?”

Me: “A memory is something you remember, that you liked doing, that was special for you. What was your favorite thing you did ALL year?”

Ally: “Playing hide and seek and going to the Y pool with Katie. Yep, definitely Katie.”

Katie was our summer sitter. Ouch. I mean, awesome that she loved her so much but still. I took care of this kid 24/7 for the first 4 1/2 years of her life and her favorite moments of the whole year were with the sitter? No jealousy or mom guilt happening right now. None. At. All.


Interview #2 – Sammy (age 8)

Me: “What was your best moment or favorite thing about this whole year?”

Dead silence.

Me: “Honey are you sleeping?” I turn around and look. Scrunched down in her seat, eyes closed, little smirk on her face. “I know you’re not sleeping.”

Sammy: “I went to the bathroom.”

Me: “Come on Sam, if you answer me I’ll drive through Wendy’s.”

Sammy: “Um, what Ally said. Can I have chicken nuggets?”

Me: “Come on, give me something.”

Sammy: “Camp. Camp was great. Especially the zip line.”

Well good to hear that the super expensive week of camp paid off.

By the way, when did summer camp get so ridiculously expensive? I guess about the same time they started putting in zip lines…the insurance alone on those things has got to cost a pretty penny.

Interview #3 – Jack (age 11)

Me: “Ok Jack, your turn. What were the highlights of your year?”

Jack: “Thanksgiving.”

Me: “That was last week buddy, dig a little deeper. Think about all the cool fun things we did this year.”

Jack (whining): “M-o-m, a year is a LONG time to remember! (Getting excited now) Oh, oh, oh, I got it! Getting an interception during Border Wars!”

My son’s one true love is football and he finally made the All Star team in his last year of rec league. The Border Wars interception was a TOTAL FLUKE. He had no idea that ball was even coming. He turned around and the ball hit him square in the chest. The look on his face was priceless, he was completely shocked. It was totally awesome. He held onto it and even gained a few yards.


 Defensive Player of the Game (Jack is the one in the middle)

So there you have it folks, the best moments of the year from my three favorite little people. I hope it made you smile.

Day 3 – Finding my way home in India

Today’s assignment: Share the strangest experience of your year. Did you do something new or unexpected, see something out of the ordinary, or have a unique experience? What was so strange about it?

I got this one.

One word: India

India was the strangest experience of my year. It was new and unexpected, I have had a heart for India and a desire to go for many years, but the pieces all fell perfectly, unexpectedly into place this past August. It was certainly out of the ordinary. I had many unique experiences (like learning how to use an Indian bathroom!) . And everything about it was strange! And wonderful.

Lucky for me, I’ve already written a blog on this one:

Coming home in India

People have asked me to describe Northview Church’s GO Team trip to India. The problem is that it cannot be described with words alone. India is sensory overload. The barrage of sights, sounds, tastes and smells overwhelm you and never let up. I could show you a thousand pictures. But you could not feel it; you could not taste it.

People want to know what I did in India. Did I build a school, or dig a well? Did I provide medical care? What was this mission I flew 18,000 miles to complete? They want the answer in one sentence, 30 seconds or less. When I tell them I went to work with survivors of human trafficking, there is an audible pause. Women shake their heads; men get angry. The questions come quickly in hushed tones. They want statistics. They want ages. They want horror stories.

To read more, please click here.

Day 2 – Pet Poll

Day #2, a couple hours earlier than Day #1, so hopefully I can keep trending upward. Today’s assignment: Take a poll and share the results.

Because I started at 8:50pm after the munchkins went down and because I am now the proud (crazy, stupid, overwhelmed) owner of both a cat and a dog, I threw up a quick poll on Facebook.

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After heading over to YouTube to watch some Dodge Durango commercials starring Ron Burgandy (watch them, seriously, you will laugh) I checked back into my poll and had 21 responses, don’t you just love social media? It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and loved.

Dogs won by a pretty good margin 12-7. No big surprise there. With 1 vote for “both” and 1 vote for “fish.” I’ve been a cat owner for almost 6 years, procured as a consolation pet for our son when he was in kindergarten. I’ve been a pound puppy owner for just a few months, brought home to fulfill a promise I made years ago that we would get a dog when our youngest turned 5 (what was I thinking? I must have been sleep deprived!), and I’ve decided that both have their virtues and vices.

Here is just a short list of the things I have learned:

A cat will poop in a litter box…a puppy will poop in your house, and eat it. (We even tried a product called “Stool Eating Deterrent”, apparently this is a big problem for dogs.)

A puppy comes to you when you call…a cat does not even acknowledge you’ve given them a name.

A cat will eat cat food when it’s hungry…a puppy will eat everything in sight all the time (shoes, quarters, mini blinds, table legs, underwear, pillows, paper, sharp objects…)

A puppy loves to please you…a cat loves to ignore you.

A cat will teach you to lie around on the couch and do nothing…a puppy will teach you to run in the park every morning at 6am.

A puppy is expensive…a cat, not so much. (The sum total I’ve spent on this cat in 6 years is less than I’ve spent on this dog in 6 weeks!)

Stepping in cat vomit is very bad….but stepping in dog diarrhea is much much worse.

Neither animal has any respect for personal space (because they love you so much they must always be physically touching you!)

Last but not least…my house will never be totally clean, fresh smelling or hair free again!

To learn more about Think Kit and join the party, check out this link:

Day 1 – My Year in Photos

Full Disclosure: I had to click on “Forgot Password” when I attempted to Login to WordPress. And if you couldn’t tell from the amazing design (ie. free WordPress default) this is my First Official Blog Post! Are you excited? I am. You should be. 

I’ve blogged for years for other people, you may know the drill, they give you a topic and then you have to write 300-600 words on something you could care less about and make it sound fascinating. I much prefer to write about things I know. Things I’m passionate about. For years I’ve been {loudly} telling my stories to anyone who will listen (Well, listen and laugh. If you don’t laugh at my stories we can’t be friends.) but I never got around to actually starting that blog. So thank  you Think Kit for lighting my blogging fire, here goes nothing.

To learn more about Think Kit and join the party, check out this link:

2013 was the year I followed my passions. Between graduating from IU in May 2001 to going back to work full-time in January 2013; I had married, bought 2 homes, and been blessed with 3 children. It’s safe to say, I hadn’t taken much time to even contemplate my passions, let alone follow them. This year helped me discover what really matters most to me. Here they are in chronological order.

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The magic that is Butler Basketball.

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“Before I die…I want to be the first female president.” -Sammy Williams (age 7) 

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Kicked off my favorite month of the year by training my 11-year-old (yep, 11!) to run his first Indy Mini with me. He crushed it with a time of 2:20. Freaking love that grin. 


Who does’t love the little plastic race helmet? Indy 500 Race #15 with Jason Williams. 

(I pretty much only married him for his seats.)


12th anniversary at the gun range. It was my year to plan. No, I’m not passionate about guns, but nothing says,                            “surprise babe!” like pulling into Pop’s Guns. 


My whole crew planning their future rock band, The Blue Tongues. 


If the assignment was to pick 1 photo of the year, this one would have been in the running. Passed her swim test. First time. Now she can go down the slides with the “big kids.” If you need a poster child for the face of success, this is it. 


[Photo by Jason Chapman]

This is the year I found myself at home in India. 


Celebrating my beautiful grandparent’s 65th wedding anniversary! True love. 


Perfect day outdoors in October in Garfield Park. Love these kids, love this town. 


Picture #167 on the bulldog statue. From watching Jason play games in college (and drunkenly heckling the opposing team’s bench), to always having the oldest kid at the tailgate, so many memories at Hinkle Fieldhouse and The Butler Bowl. 


Remember, when all else fails, eat a cupcake.