When You Run Away Only To Miss Him

He loves to talk on the telephone.  Sort of endlessly he’ll talk.  So you slip out of the conference to say hello to him, all of them, before bedtime.

You know it’s hard.  Those rushed calls with background noises on either end of the line that prevents you from catching anything but snatches of sentences and garbled words.  You “uh-huh” and “Ohhhh” as best you can until the call passes the ten minute mark.  Then you start to get a little impatient and stop replying with the same enthusiasm of a momma missing her babes and move into the tones of a rushed businessperson.

So by the time the kids are off and your husband finally has the line, you barely remember to ask him about that important meeting he had that morning and how he managed to hike to the farm with three preschoolers in varying stages of having colds.

You wrap up the conversation to hurry back inside only to sit in a room full of mostly strangers and your heart cracks a little that you didn’t spend longer on the telephone with the four people in the world who matter more to you than anyone else.  Nearly instantaneously you miss those jumbled, beautiful, competing voices.  Miss them hard.

It’s like rushed is your default now.  Life is caught in snatches with background noises threatening to drown it out.  Everywhere you go you catch yourself running in one direction only to miss the direction you came from.

Rushed has to stop being default.

And you have to stop running to anything taking you away from your true love.


This weekend I went to a unique conference that is very precious to me because some of my dearest friends in all of the world are there.  I’ll write about some insight I picked up along the way.  But more than anything, what I received at this conference was a further confirmation that I’m needing to take some time for quiet.  My call to step away, from all the things that so easily entangle me, for a season.  A break from the leading and the speaking and any external commitments that don’t involve my four people or my job.  Because in all the busyness of this year, I didn’t just lose an urgency to serve my family with a passion, but I also lost the urgency of seeking God so regularly as to be certain of what He would have me do in any given day.

So I called them back.  And the next night I sat in the quiet of my room away from all the frenzy and talked as long as they wanted.  And I’m calling God back for a longer conversation too.

That’s all you have to do.  You call back.  You make time.  You stop rushing.


** As a part of my endeavor to rush less, say  no, and set fresh boundaries, I’ve decided to spend the remaining leadership Tuesdays this year doing a study of The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands.  You’ll have a chance this week to win a copy if you’d like to join and gain some insight on finding room for your best yes.

Fashion Fridays: What To Do When In Transition Sizes

So my amazing college sorority sister and I were going back and forth on Facebook and I said, “I need some fresh ideas for Fashion Fridays!”  So she sent me some great ideas!

Drumroll please…she has lost FORTY FIVE pounds!  Y’all, how inspiring is that?  But she is working on the rest of her goal, about 20 pounds, so she doesn’t want to invest in an all new wardrobe just yet.  As you can imagine, her current wardrobe is not fitting.  Hence today’s Fashion Friday: What To Do When In Transition Sizes

You do have to buy a few pieces.  Since you know you won’t camp out at that size, you can find lower cost items, second hand retail, as well as purchase a few key pieces to get you through the remaining weight loss process.

I’ve gone through this myself before when I lost a fair amount of weight in 2011, and I had a transition size between my original size and my ultimate weight loss size (which I’m working to get back into now!).  So what’s a girl to do to look snappy but still keep from throwing money away?  Here are a few tips:

1.      Consider tailoring a handful of items.  My friend bought some clothes when she lost 30 pounds, and now those are too big.  However, those are likely just one size up from the clothes she needs now and something like a skirt or a dress may be easily tailored by pulling in an inseam to take it down one size.

Get recommendations for a local, reasonable, tailor.  You need a good tailor even after arriving at your final size just in case a must-have item you purchased needs a nip or tuck.  Ten dollars to shrink a waistband is far more reasonable than $80 for a new pair of pants.

2.     Buy a couple of quality basic pieces that can be the foundation for your work wardrobe.  She works in a fairly conservative environment, so buying two pair of pants or skirts in a black or camel that fit beautifully now (and might be tailored in 10 more pounds) will help you feel better about how you look.  Consider a simple shift dress that you can change up with a cardigan, blazer, or scarf.

This simple A-line dress can work across sizes and is on sale for $75 at Macy’s:


3.     Buy a couple of fun trendy pieces.  Since this isn’t your permanent size you can go nuts with trends, but buy them at low cost places.  I recommend second hand like on ThredUp, a great online second hand store where you can return what doesn’t work, or consider Target, Kohl’s, Marshall’s, or even AnnTaylor Loft with coupons (always search on line for coupons before buying).

This gorgeous snow leopard jacket was 50% of at Ann Taylor Loft yesterday which moved it from the too pricey to the just right category:


4.  Accessorize!  The greatest way to make your handful of items work for this interim period without looking repetitive is to mix up your accessories.  Bold scarfs or fun necklaces or interesting wedges.  You can invest in some quality pieces too because these will fit regardless of your size.

If you want to splurge, this gorgeous multi-blue strand necklace via Stella & Dot would go with any ensemble:


Or for less than $10 (WHAT?!?!?) you can add this lovely fall cranberry scarf to an otherwise simple outfit:


And keep up the good work.  Hang in there – you are almost there.  Keep to the basics until then and just mix it up with a few additions that fit your size now!

Wordless Wednesdays


When I Write About Failing Miserably

I had no intention of broadcasting this very personal failure.

I didn’t even need to.  I had a poetic Alaskan post in the queue for today.  I went to format it last night and sat staring at the screen with this failure on my soul.  And I wondered what I had learned from it.  Then I wondered if what I was learning, still in the steep sadness, might help anyone else.  Because these private failures often offer some serious teachable moments as I sit with God in the quiet wondering why I have to be so stubborn.

You see, we rescued a dog two months ago.  Bandit.

The kids had been begging for a dog since their fourth birthday a year ago and both my husband and I grew up with dogs of assorted mutt and rescue lineage.

As August approached this year, the kids started in again in earnest, and I thought this fifth birthday would be a good time to explore the option. I researched breeds.  We met a bunch of rescue dogs over a few weeks.  I got feedback from friends in real life and on Facebook.

There were some warning signs that maybe this wasn’t the best time.  One, my hubby is not a fan.  Staunchly in the “I’d be fine if we never had a pet” camp.  Two, I am fried.  I have a million things going and am already worn pretty thin as I’ve written about some this fall.  Three, I have triplets that are only turning five.  Not fifteen.  We weren’t experimenting with a goldfish but a whole dog.

However, I plowed ahead, and we kept returning to this one precious rescue mutt so we adopted her.

And then everything after that was just really hard.  I almost took her back within our two week trial period.  She ate everything – like our furniture and swim trunks and my high heels (and yes she had bones and balls and yes she slept in a crate and on and on – all the stuff we were told to do).  She was super high energy and we didn’t have much of a backyard.  But I dug in.  Partly because I’m stubborn.  Partly because I didn’t want to emotionally scar my kids.  Partly because I was embarrassed about failing and being judged.  {Here’s where I ask you kindly to please keep your judgment to yourself.  Feel free to judge, but just don’t share it because I’m smarting from how I mucked this up right now.}

Twice more I almost took her back but didn’t.  Two of the three kids were even okay with it because this precious mutt who was wonderful with my kids was still wreaking a fair amount of havoc in our home.  I tried to find her another family.  I checked with folks in all sorts of avenues.  I consulted with my hero friends who regularly, and successfully, rescue dogs.

Yesterday, after agonizing and going back and forth, I finally took her back.  We could not provide her with the attention and space and energy that she really needed.  And the rescue I had worked with, who I finally, tearfully, called Sunday afternoon, said they always take their own dogs back and try to find them a new family.  So as the boys worked at the ranch and little bit napped with my mom, I returned our family rescue mutt and cried the whole way home.  I cried that we couldn’t make it work.  I cried that she might not find a wonderful family.  I cried that I’d let my kids down.  I cried that I’d failed.

Here’s what I’m learning as I sit here trying to figure out how to do better:

1.  Make sure your spouse is on board with big decisions.

If something goes south, then at least you are in it together.  Do not press hard into something if your partner is in full resistance.

2.  Listen to people who are wiser than your preschoolers.

I’m not saying there’s not some sage wisdom to be had in preschoolers, but we can let their untested idealism trick us into believing that’s what reality might look like.  It’s not.  I followed my kids visions of happy playful pups piled in wrapping paper during our holidays, and I did want them to have it, but didn’t weigh all the other competing elements in our life or ability to juggle new responsibilities.

3.   Don’t parent out of guilt – from my very grace-filled and wise friend Christine

Instead of chiding me for making wrong decisions, she called out the right one – making the very hard, but right, decision for our family that we couldn’t accommodate this sweet doggie.  If I’d allowed guilt to keep guiding my choices, I’d have been two months further down the road having the same struggles but with all the more heartbreaking attachment.

4.  Just because you let something go, doesn’t mean you don’t grieve the loss.


Fashion Fridays: Steal This {Casual Fall} Look

I’m in a fall kind of mood girls.  You probably picked up on that from my last Steal This Look!

This is not an outfit I would normally select.  First, it has stripes running horizontally which typically only works if you’re slim or the stripes are covered up.  Second, it involves a color pretty darn close to mustard which is hard to pull off for most folks.  Finally, it involves the knee high boot which I love but can’t make work without paste-on jeans because I end up with wrinkles around my knees, and I try to avoid looking like an elephant.

However, here’s today’s Steal This Look for fun fall weekends:

fashfri1 fashfri

(And also, I’m totally in a steal her hair mood on this first woman! Any ideas on how to achieve that?)

For the sweater, there are lots of great options out there this season at lots of price points.  Take this steal of a deal from Target for $20:


For not much more, you can get this cable knit boyfriend cardigan from Mod Cloth in Honey which feels just perfect for fall:


Or, for a twist, if you want to formalize this look for work, you could swap out the jeans and trade the sweater for this stunning velvet blazer from J. Crew (which I am TRYING to keep myself from buying, especially since it is ON SALE THIS WEEKEND):


For the striped layering piece, I am in LOVE with this cashmere tee sweater from Land’s End but can’t bring myself to spend this much money on a top:


In the much more reasonable category, you can get this striped boatneck from Ann Taylor Loft for $39 in either the dove gray stripe or a darker navy stripe:


For the jeans, I leave it to you to find your best worn skinny jeans that work with a knee high boot because I am NO jeans expert!  Then, you will need a pair of knee boots to complete the ensemble, but you probably already have several pairs.  Just in case yours are a little dingy and in need of a revamp, I recommend either these cognac Sesto Mucci Boyle pair or burgundy Franco Sarto pair – both from DSW and run under $200:

boot1 boot

To cap off the outfit, try either an oversized scarf (if you’re less comfortable with the stripes layer) or an oversized necklace as your accessory to tie it all together.  With this relatively neutral palette, you can go as bold as you want with patterns and beautiful fall colors.  This leaves and blooms infinity scarf only runs $15 at Charming Charlie’s:


Better yet, (y’all may think I am nuts) try this evergreen scarf with NAVY HEARTS (um, PRECIOUS!) from Old Navy to add visual interest to this ensemble (it only has to coordinate – so don’t freak out that it doesn’t “match”):


The sparkle in this Courtyard necklace from Charming Charlie’s probably makes it a smidge dressy for this ensemble, but it could dress it up for date night.  Plus, I love the way they use the mustards and olives against gray – great color combo for this outfit!


Even more in keeping with the feel of this steal, try adding an element of texture to your outfit by topping it with this wooden disc necklace from Mod Cloth (I have got to remember to shop there more often – such cute stuff at reasonable prices!).


What’s inspiring you this fall?  Happy shopping friends!  Share your tips, tricks, and troubles for upcoming blog posts!


Fashion Friday inspiration this week via All Things Katie Marie and Stylin’ Mommies.