Sunday, September 27, 2015


The roads I take to get to work have been under construction since May. For months, I've been taking various alternate routes through rural roads lined with cows and scenic countryside. Or I've gritted my teeth and sat through the traffic delays to go right through the construction zone. 

Either way, it's added time to my commute, forcing me to leave earlier and get home later. Most days I think of it as an inconvenience, but more recently I found a route I really like. It takes me by some beautiful homes and the leaves are beginning to change, making the tree lined roads even more pretty.

The delays I've had getting to my office are not too different from those we've experience personally in the last six months. Just as a lot of our peers, we had a time table as to when certain things were supposed to happen in life-- when the next baby should be born, what we'd do after my husband finished seminary, etc. 

As much as we try to plan, things don't always turn out that way. I wanted my first two children to be born within two years of each other, but now it appears they'll be more like two and a half years apart. It doesn't seem like a big difference, but getting to this point has not been an easy road.

I've been commuting to Bridgewater for seven years and recently discovered roads that take me across town that I never knew were there. Detours have forced allowed me to discover new things, to notice the picturesque things I've been passing by on parallel roads for years. Additionally, by taking different routes, I've had more time to listen to audiobooks and enjoy rural New England.  

When was the last time you noticed something new in the seemingly mundane things of life?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Things I love: Spring Edition

In the last week, the temperatures were finally above freezing and we saw substantial snow melt! After a few days of trading in my heavy coat for a fleece, I'm practically ready for sandals :)

These glimpses of spring give me hope that I won't be wearing wool socks and bulky boots for more than a month. I'm so ready to wear cute flats and lighter layers. Lately, I've had my on these finds and I'm calling them my spring wish list.

1- Altar'd State Urban Stripes Dress // 2- Nickel + Suede Suba Blue Leather Earrings // 3- Seamly Co Vallynne Tank // 4- The Jones Market Adjustable Necklace in Gold + Champaign Sparkle // 5- Root Collective Ballet Flats // 6- Country Club Jamberry nail wraps // 7- Fashion Able Anchinalu Solid Infinity Scarf

For 10% off from Fashion ABLE use this link.

What's on your spring wish list?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Retreating as a Mom

Last weekend I went on a retreat with four women from my church. It was a mother's retreat. 

Reading the blurb in our church announcements a few weeks ago made me cringe. It sounded so not me. I found out from a friend involved in the planning, it was meant to be a chance to get away and focus on your own personal relationship with God. 

I breathed a sigh of relief and signed up after discussing it with my husband a bit. I was not interested in a retreat about how to mother. I was interested in some time away and getting to know some other women better (who also happen to be mothers). 

I talked to a few women about going and signed up but I still felt a bit anxious. Thankfully, that didn't stop me from showing up.

Sometimes, I think mothering has a lot to do with simply showing up; we don't necessarily have it all mapped out, but we keep at it

The retreat itself was a breath of fresh air. I spent some time outside and had encouraging conversations with the women I went with. The speaker reminded us that God delights in us, allows us to lament (He can take it) and grants us peace which frees up our minds to meet the needs of others. 

There was also a cooking demonstration from a local chef who taught us to make two dishes. On Saturday afternoon I had every intention of taking a nap, but ended up going for a walk. It was a great chance to slow down and take in my surroundings. 

On the car ride home we agreed it was a good opportunity to get away and take some time for ourselves, which usually feels selfish.

Upon my return on Sunday afternoon, I was greeted by a squeal and shout of "Mommy!" from my daughter. 

There will be days I'm not greeted with such enthusiasm and I'll even go without being acknowledged. But for now, I treasure those greetings of squeals and keep plugging away at this mothering gig. I don't have it all figured out and a weekend away wasn't going to shed much light on the mysterious things my daughter does. 

I want to treasure the reminder of the freedom we get from seeking God's peace. Too often I don't seek His peace and feed off the frenzy of what's going wrong. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

On Slowing the Negative Self-Talk

Do you ever feel like an impostor? Like you're going through the motions and wondering when someone will notice you aren't doing the thing they think you are.

I feel like an impostor when grace is extended to me from the last place I expected.

Earlier today, I expected to be perceived as a disapointment. Instead I was met with an unexplainable dose of grace. Words of affirmation were spoken.

I'm hard on myself and I don't think I'm alone in that.

When I leave the house a few minutes behind schedule on a workday, I can let it get the best of me. And by best of me, I mean I talk myself into a bad mood in the fifteen minute drive from daycare to work. It was five minutes, Beth, relax. That kind of self talk is dangerous.

It got me thinking: what positive things do I tell myself? 

Tomorrow, I am going to write them down throughout my day. I'm going to consciously take note of those things that go well in an effort to NOT beat myself up. Because, honestly I need to give myself a break.

I need to put the brakes on the negative self-talk. Because when I'm thinking negatively about myself, I start to think negatively about those around me. I get critical and that often leads me down a treacherous path.

I may not start the day like this, but on second thought, why not?

What has your self-talk tape been playing?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Stuff Swap with Good Cheese

Transition is hard. Each time I go through one, I am somehow still surprised by the challenges that come with a new place. I find this baffling because I often tell people about my upbringing as an Air Force brat with a sense of pride.

I am proud to have moved around as a kid and often point to those experiences as growing pains that allowed me to succeed in college or even make it on my own as a single girl in a new city fresh out of grad school.

But I have to admit, I still struggle with change.

The past year and a half brought change in both my professional and personal life. The biggest change being motherhood. I've struggled with friendships and making "mom friends."

Around New Years I was feeling sorry for myself and complaining to my husband once again. He lovingly challenged me and asked "what have you done to get to know them?" referring to a group of women I would classify as acquaintances.

Although his question was what I needed to hear, I did not receive it so graciously.

I wish it would have stopped me in my tracks, but instead I thought about it for about a week. It wasn't pretty, but I realized I was expecting people to come to me and ask me all the questions I had assumed they had. I made it all about me. Yuck.

I had not considered what ways I needed to put myself out there and open myself up to let them know I was looking to forage new friendships.

I decided I should host this group of people in our home. As uncomfortable as it might be, I needed to open the door to my unfinished, not-even-mid-renovation house and feed these women I hoped to build a friendship with some wine and cheese.

To make it more interesting than "come hang out with me," I decided we needed something to do. I had heard of clothing swap parties before and loved the idea of an accessory swap (it is more inclusive of all shapes and sizes), so I went for it.

I created the event/invite on Facebook and was encouraged by people responding that they were coming, asking me what they could bring when they saw me in person and commenting/asking questions via Facebook.

People were talking about it!

As the night of the event drew closer,  I decided to keep the food simple with a cheese spread from Trader Joe's, wine, crackers, and other nibble-type things. After all, I had finished the Whole30 earlier that week and all I wanted was bread and cheese!

For the swap part, I tried to keep it simple and had everyone lay out their items in our dining room. We used the dining table and mantle to display the scarves, hats, purses, necklaces, bracelets and more. Once everything was laid out, we drew numbers and took turns selecting one item at a time. Everyone walked away with 5-6 new to them items and the remaining items are being donated to a local family shelter.

By the end of the night, we decided a kitchen gadget swap was next!