Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Say It Isn't So

I wasn't actually going to post today. 


We have been amazingly productive this morning, so I didn't want to break the groove. However, I think I am learning something today. So I might as well write about it.

Not to mention that I have 20 minutes before the rice I made for lunch will be ready.

(CPQ, you will be interested to know it is white rice. Shocking, I know.)

As you know, we live in the south, where it is supposed to be warm. 

I do not enjoy cold weather, with the exception of the permission it lends to drink myself into a hot java stupor. Which brings me to what I have learned...

I have had some major stomach issues for the last two weeks.  Waking up feeling fine, but around lunch time feeling not-so-hot; kind of bloaty in the mid-section with awful stomach cramps. 

Aren't ya glad you clicked over today?

I had decided my problem was oatmeal. 

In the winter months my breakfast of choice is quite often a large bowl of oatmeal (not instant) with walnuts and some kind of dried fruit (apricots or Craisens, but most definitely NOT raisins. Coffeegal doesn't do raisins), but get to the point already...

I might need to mention that I  also made a plethora of oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies two weeks in a row (I'm currently on a hunt for the perfect oatmeal cookie recipe), which I may or may not have eaten in copious quantities. I'll never tell.

Anyway, the short story is this (my twenty minutes is nearly up): 

I have had a stomach ache, and I thought it was the oats.

Oh, that I wish it was...

This morning I refrained from the oats, and opted for toast with peanut butter...and half a pot of coffee.

Felt good. Things were fine.

Around 11:00 I brewed up the second pot of coffee. 

Coffee was delicious.

But now? 

My stomach hurts and feels all bloaty.

What have I learned this week?

I might have to give up coffee learn to live with a stomach ache.


(To see what others are learning this week head on over to Jo-Lynne's Musing of a Housewife.)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Note To Self:

When going to the pet store to buy $60 of pet food and training treats, it best to look at which silver debit card you are tying to use.


It may just be your Sam's Club membership card.

They do look awfully alike.

I know that you were feeling a little flushed and embarrassed as you were trying for the third time to make that Sam's card work. 

However, exclaiming in a voice louder than usual, "I know there is money in this account, I just checked on-line before I got here!" was probably not the best way to react...nobody really believes that story anyway.

At least this is better than that time when you were at Costco and you had bought an entire, overflowing, cart of groceries, and realized that you had not transferred the grocery money over from the savings account (I do this in as effort to not spend on things I don't really need. It probably sounds crazy, but it works for me.) 

On that day you really did have insufficient funds. That really stunk. And it was no use trying to explain to everybody that you DID IN FACT have the money, it was just in another account.  

Sometimes the best course of action is to not say anything at all. 

Anyway, highly caffeinated Coffeegal, slow down a little. 

Relax. 

Not everything on the agenda will get done today. That's OK.

Think of the good things: You won't have to boil chicken and rice for the dogs' dinner tonight, and in all likelihood you won't try to pay for groceries with a membership card again.

Then again, knowing you...

Just be grateful for opportunities to laugh at yourself.  

Lovingly,
Kellie

Friday, March 27, 2009

Aack!!

Dear Bloggy buddies,


It has just occurred to me that I have been returning emails to many of you that you are not receiving.

Normally I do not respond to all comments by email, however, when you ask a specific question I desire to answer. However, I have been replying to No Reply Comments without realizing it. 

Which means I have sent you emails, to specific questions, and have been wondering why on earth I haven't heard back from you. All the while you are thinking I am a totally rude blogger!

There is a way to make sure that when you comment I can see you email address, but nobody else can...but I am not sure how you do it. Will one of my techie friends help a sister out (to quote the Carpoolqueen) and tell my good readers how to make it so I can talk back to them....because I never like to miss the chance to back talk.  

With much bloggy love,
LaVidaCoffeeGal

PS: Happy Friday! If you don't know anything about the problem above, that's OK. But please, tell me what your favorite rainy day activity is...I'm running out of ideas.


Meeting CPQ


I knew three things would be true about the Carpoolqueen without benefit of speaking to her face face:


  • Although she writes with great humor and friendly sarcasm, I had a hunch she also had great depth.


  • I knew we would laugh, and have ease of conversation.


  • I knew she would be generous...I was certain she would bring a gift. 


I had anticipated this meeting all week and I was trying, with a great deal of effort, to play it cool. There is something about meeting somebody from the Internet, that say’s “be cool”. 


You never know what a blogger might have in her lovely, green, leather handbag.


As we dined on my favorite Asian cuisine (I always order the same thing, she never gets the same thing twice), we immediately set into rich conversation. We sort of by-passed the niceties and went for the gold. 


We talked about our kids and our husbands; Our churches, our friends, and of course our lives on the blogs.


We would flip from topic to topic without fully finishing each course; getting serious, lightening up.


Eventually we moved from the restaurant to the coffee house. 


The rain poured while we sipped our lattes. She sat leaned back in her chair with great ease. I fidgeted and sat at the edge of my seat, leaning in on the table. 


So different we are. And yet a lot alike.


I liked that. 


Two and a half hours later they were shutting us down.


What is there to tell you about CPQ?


She is adaptive and amenable.


I was a bit worried because I often have periods of time when I am burdened with thoughts that swirl in my head. By nature I am a deep thinker, never more so than when I have these contemplative times.


I’m on the tail end of one of those stages right now, and last night I was easily distracted. I left feeling like I wished I had talked less and listened more, especially when I would literally forget what I was saying in the middle of a sentence. CPQ in her calm, flexibility, seemed to take my flighty brain all in stride. She even remembered what I was talking about so I could finish a sentence.


She’s smart. Not just book smart, but life smart.


She loves the Lord, and desires to live authentically for Him. 


She is funny. I laughed with her as she teased me over brown rice and non-fat lattes. I love the camaraderie of friendly teasers. 


She is personable. We met an eclectic group of knitters having some girl time over yarn and coffee. CPQ immediately engaged them about octopus legs and meeting times, all with friendly ease.


She’s the real deal. Someone I am so grateful to have the chance to meet and to get to know better. Someone I am happy to call Amiga (she’s also bilingual).


And I am not just saying these things because she brought me a present: 


This is a cheesy picture of me and my new stash of Tim Horton’s Coffee. I drank a half a pot of this delicious draft and will say, I’m actually sorry she’s generous. Because now I am going to have to get me a secret Horton Hook-up, to supply my caffeine needs. 


There are a thousand other things I could say, like how we were giddy with excitement as Mer and Gretchen tweeted and emailed from the other side of the nation.  Or about the sweet college girls that helped us take really good pictures, in really bad lighting. And how they made us roll our eyes  laugh with their youthful lists of lingerie. Or about the lady who wore a hat with three-corners…but I need to wrap up this post because I am dying to know what CPQ wrote about this night


So, CPQ, it was so fun to meet you IRL. Can't wait to do it again soon.


La Vida Dulce!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Guiltlessy Taking a Break

I closed the school down for today and tomorrow in hopes of gaining some much needed control on my home. 


If you remember, The Girls answer to 'What makes me happy?', she answered, when the house is clean.

The Girl knows her Mama. 

I have had my coffee and a big ole' bowl of Kashi Go Lean;

I have my cleaning sweatshirt on (since it is foggy, cold and rainy!) and I hope to have the downstairs, and all the bathrooms CLEAN by lunch time. 

After lunch time I hope to get a jog in, and then start getting ready for my visit with the Carpoolqueen

I am really hoping to have good hair. Have I mentioned that my hair dryer broke right before church on Sunday morning and I have had a string of bad hair days since. There is nothing can get me down quicker than when my hair isn't fixed...I am truly the most vain woman on the planet. 

Anyway, I did some BIG preparation for my meeting with CPQ, last night.

I bought a hair dryer.

Thinking about meeting CPQ made me think about what I did to prepare for my first bloggy-friend encounter. You can read about my meeting Darcie, and about her meeting  me, here. 

Its amazing how this blogging thing can bring people together.

All right, I gotta go get cleaning or I may decide to read a book until its time to go. (This weather is killing my productivity.)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday's Weird Ways


Things have been a little heavy around La Vida Dulce (or at least my heart has felt heavy), so let's lighten things up, shall we?


Let me tell you about something in my life that I don't often share with people, lest I be labeled a "granola-eating tree-hugger"... although to be honest I do eat plenty of granola and, there are worse things to be called...

Anyway, back in the day when I lived in North Texas, the juicing craze hit our area, and I got swept in. 

I was a young mom, with a busy life, and a few issues, and I was in need of energy. There was a Friendly Juicing Lady who swore that juicing could cure any ailment, from hiccups to heat-stroke, with a daily drink of freshly squeezed veggies. 

However, her big push was ALL! THE! ENERGY! you could gather by simply swallowing a swig of orange colored root cure. 

The Holy Grail of vegetables: The Carrot. 

A couple of my friends were already on the carrot juice bandwagon, I didn't want to be left out of the loop. 

(For as much as I am a leader, when it comes to following I've done my fair share.)

Next thing I knew, I was buying carrots by the 10 pound bags and was drinking juice like a bunny on steroids. 

My first and last purchase on ebay was this archaic looking appliance. 

I call him Champ, the Champion Juicer. He weighs about 15 pounds and has a mean edge. Not only does he churn out the best of fresh juices, but he also makes all sorts of "nut butters" and the best crushed ice around.

I no longer juice everyday, and I've graduated to veggies beyond carrots (dark greens are good for you!) but I still occasionally enjoy juicing.

Does it give me more energy? Honestly, I don't really notice, but I do know that there are a lot of good vitamins in drinking veggies. 

My drink of choice is carrots, kale, celery, apple and cucumber.  (The artichoke is for dinner tonight, but since I was washing veggies I photographed him too.)
It's scary to look at, and I have to drink it over ice, and with a straw. But it's really not that bad. Really.

So there you go...

A La Vida Dulce Wednesday Weird-Ways.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What I Have Learned This Week: Its Not About Me

I learned this week that opportunity isn't about a title, a job, or a pat on the back. 


It isn't knowing the right the person, or saying the right thing.  It isn't the right make-up, it isn't the right clothes. It isn't in the dollars in my bank account or the diamond on my finger. 

Opportunity isn't in what I look like, what I sound like, or what I may do. It isn't the size of my house, or the car I drive.

Opportunity isn't a contest. It isn't the number of friends on my side bar; it isn't the ability to reciprocate.

Opportunity comes from being who I am-- and being available to those who come along the path. 

Its not being ashamed to feel: to cry or throw my head back in joy. 

Its about sharing my life, and letting it loudly proclaim that I didn't do it alone. Nor will I walk in this day unattended.

I am learning that while I was busy plodding through mud and wondering how to make it look tidy, God has taken my ashes and turned it into a crown of beauty. 

In my heart and in my life. 

And while I was looking for opportunities to prove I am worthy of those things, God's opportunities have been laid before me...

In an email.

Over a cup a coffee.

On the phone.

In a store.

At my desk.

On a bike ride.

Opportunities that surprise and humble me; and make me want to rejoice and hide. I worry about failing when called.

Hearing a whisper of the One who says, "Kellie, seek Me first, and you'll be ready in season and out. "

That is opportunity.

Oh, that I might not miss those opportunities when they come...

And who knows but that you have come to (this place) for such a time as this?

Esther 4:14

To see what others have learned this week, head on over to Musings of a Housewife.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Update


Sometimes I feel like I write about stuff on this blog with the intention of coming back and giving you an update. Then time marches on, or I get distracted by a bright shiny object, and I forget.


So here is an update, and a few random things I wanted to tell you:

  • My mom made it through her surgery on Wednesday with flying colors. You could still pray for her if you think of it because now she will have to go through the process of trying to figure out how to live without her thyroid. People do it every day, but finding just the right amount of medication that she needs will be a process.  She is ready to feel better. 

  • Her surgery day proved to be a very difficult day for me. I have often missed being home on a holiday or special day. But not being able to be there when she went in for surgery was tough. My mom and I have had a close mother/daughter relationship. There have been times, here and there, when we have had our moments, you know, back in that days before I had children and thought she didn’t really know much. Somehow, after I had children all the stupid things she did when I was a kid, suddenly seemed amazingly smart…Who knew! (obviously not me) What I am saying is that my mom and I talk on a daily basis. Having a 24 hour period in which I couldn’t communicate with her (whether it was to tell her that I found a cute pair of shoes, or that one of her precious grandchildren just brought a wild reptile in the house) made me remember that when God was passing out Mothers on the day I was born, He gave me a good one. 

  • I forgot to tell you that The Girl was at a horse riding lesson two weeks ago and had a little mishap. The horse she was riding stepped into a hornets nest and proceeded to go wild as the hornets stung her (the horse's) face and rump. The Girl managed to hold on for dear life, but it was definitely a “learning experience.”

  • Speaking of learning experiences, I have decided that I am going to paint my kitchen cabinets white. The Mister has also told me that I can purchase the sink and faucet I want (I am nothing if not s-p-o-i-l-e-d), so that project will be started the first day of summer vacation. Anyone wanna help?

  • Why is it that when it isn’t convenient to me I can think of a hundred thing I want to post, but when I am here, sitting quietly in The Nest, my mind suddenly goes blank?

  • I get to meet the Carpoolqueen this week! I am very excited and wondering what I should wear? This really is an important decision, because before we dive into a cup of coffee and talk about the perils of life beyond the computer, I want her to know I do actually wear things other than my pajama’s.

  • Although wouldn’t it be funny if I met her in my PJ’s?

OK  I should wrap this up. 


Happy Monday!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Oh Goodness, the kids get to post




I must preface this by saying three things: First, this was hard for The Girl, she was very concerned with hurting my feelings. When I assured her that it was OK, and I wouldn't be hurt she let things be honestly known. The Boy did not feel such pressure. Second, I asked the kids these questions independantly, so as to not have them influence each other. Third, I want to, for the purposes of clarification, say that The Mister and I are a very playful couple. I thought about changing one answer in particular, but it's the truth; the unfiltered, playful truth.

With that said, here is the gut-wrenchingly honest look at Kellie the Coffeegal through the eyes of her children. The Girl's answers are in pink. The Boy's in blue.

1. What is something your mom always says to you?

Take a shower
To wake up in the morning.

2. What makes your mom happy?
When the house is clean 
Coffee

3. What makes your mom sad?
When her plants die when she tries to grow them.
When babies are sick.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
When she laughs and I don't even know what she's laughing about.
When we are cooking and I grate cheese and she says to "Be careful, we don't want finger bits in the there" 

5. What was your mom like as a child?
Pretty
Probably responsible since she took care of her brothers a lot.

6. How old is your mom?
20
36

7. How tall is your mom?
5 feet
5 foot something

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Hang out with me
Go to Starbucks

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Watches stuff and folds laundry
Probably do things that she can't do with us, like take a shower, or go to parties.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
A famous singer.
For playing guitar and singing.

11. What is your mom really good at?
Playing the guitar and singing, and loving me.
Taking care of us, being a mom

12. What is your mom not very good at?
I don't want to say cause it will make you sad. (I won't be sad, just say it) You don't go outside with us very much.
Staying awake while watching a movie
13. What does your mom do for a job?
Homeschool us.
Be a mom. 

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
Liver (no its not). Smoothies.
Coffee

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
That she loves us and cares for us.
That she's my mom.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Kermit the Frog
The  Road Runner, you know the one that says,"Beep Beep"


17. What do you and your mom do together?
Have movie night and go out with each other on Fridays. And take care of Sophie.
Go shopping (sometimes for clothes)

18. How are you and your mom the same?
We both sing good and love each other and we do everything together.
We both hate it when Kona rolls in poop, and we're both funny and good at cooking.

19. How are you and your mom different?
She works out and I don't, and she LOVES every vegetable in the world, and I don't
My little toe is different than hers (she doesn't have pinky toe nails.)

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Because she care for me and kisses me and hugs me when I am sad.
All sorts of different ways. She tucks me in at night, and today she let me eat four muffins. She also just tells me she loves me.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
He's handsome and cute and lovable. Not one of those stuck up guys. He's a nice guy.
That he spanks her. 

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Cracker Barrel
Hawaii

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top O' The Morning To Ya'll!

How did you like my southern/Irish accent this morning?

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Are you wearing green?

I am going to join in the St. Patty's Day fun by joining JanMary's carnival today. 

JanMary is perhaps my only international reader. And is a reminder to me of why I love blogging so much. I love getting to peek into her world which is so very far away, and yet just within the click of my mouse. She has a joyful spirit and has many talents!

Even if you aren't participating in the carnival I would encourage you to click over to her site. I learned a lot about how St. Patricks Day is a total different creature here in America.

For my part of the carnival I am going to share my little piece of Ireland today. Afterall, as they say in Dublin, "Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day." I for one, couldn't be prouder! I am wearing my green and hope to make some sort of green cookie or cake to go with dinner tonight! 

Pictured below is my "Pure Irish Linen". Of course after reading JanMary's post today, it could be as "pure" as Lucky Charms Cereal, but I still believe!

I received this for my fifteenth birthday from my history teacher. (I have know idea why, but I have this uncanny ability to remember almost every giver of the gifts I have received. I can't remember to put gas in the car, but at least I can remember something!)

I keep my Pure Irish Linen in my box of things I treasure. I just love its simplicity, and back in those days of teenage-hood I was amazed that I had something from so far away. Still amazed, to be honest with you! 

Hope y'all have a great day!

***If you think about it, say a prayer for my Mom. She is having surgery tomorrow to remove her thyroid. I am certain she is going to do great, but a prayer for peace would be perfect. Both for her and my Dad (who isn't too keen on hospitals. At all!) 

****Here is a random picture that my kids wanted me to post for their Grannie. They wanted her (and now you) to see how cute Sophie looks, listening to Lewis and Clarks Expedition across America. That is where she has been perched lately as we read our history together. 
I did not really want to post this picture, seeing as this was the day I got up, worked out, showered and put my pj's back on. It had been raining for several days and I was protesting by not wearing make-up. Also, you can see how organized my desk is behind me. I can assure you that I know exactly where everything is as I sit at that desk each day. It is organized chaos. I swear.

La Vida Dulce!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cupcake Profiling

I was in desperate need of something to fill space on the blog this morning. I was looking for some sort of meme, but there isn't a whole lot going around right now. 


I found this short survey on the net and thought I would give it try. I'm not sure about the personality review, but they got the flavor right. I LOVE Vanilla (although I don't think I've met a cupcake I didn't enjoy...well, actually, I am not a huge fan of carrot cake, especially if it has raisins...)

Anyway, if I was a cupcake I would be....


You Are a Vanilla Cupcake
You are very sweet and mellow. You are easy going and easy to like.
You are drawn to those stronger personalities. You get along with powerful people.

You are like a cupcake because you appeal to almost every type of person.
You are friendly and accepting. You bring out other people's best qualities.
  

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Random Poll: Re-Occurring Dream

Its raining here. A cold, steady rain that is forcing me back and forth to the coffee pot. 


Its a burden. 

One I gladly bear.

This weather reminds me of the first time we moved here to NC. It was exactly 4 years ago, during the first weeks of March. It was raining and we were staying in a horrendous motel, waiting for the closing of our new home.

As I was reminiscing this morning about that time, I could almost feel the insecurity I felt back then.

We moved from Texas to North Carolina, right in the middle of The Boy's 1st grade year. I was leaving a group of friends that knew me well. I wasn't really thrilled with moving, but was doing so for The Mister's job. I was comfortable and happy. I had my niche and circle of influence. 

We get here, and we don't know a soul, and now I have to try to get in with "The Mom's" in a new school, in the middle of the year. This is not easy, as groups have formed, friendships are made. I was feeling insecure.

I never really knew how insecure I was feeling until I started having this re-occurring dream:

I'm driving the white mini-van to school. 
The kids are buckled in their seats. 
We approach the school and make a left into the driveway. 
I pull into the line of cars at the drop off curb. 
I bring the car to a stop to wait. 
I look down. 

I'm not wearing a shirt.

In my dream I start to panic: What will the teacher think? What if another mom sees me? How will I explain? They are going to think I'm weird! I'm boxed in by the carpool lane, how can I get out?

I always woke up before we reached our turn. Whew!

I haven't had that dream in awhile now, but it makes me laugh because I can still vividly remember my re-occurring dream as a little girl...I was walking to school, tin Holly Hobby lunch box in hand, cool desert air licking my face. I walk up to the enormous red brick wall outside the classroom to line up with the my classmates. I look down, and realize I have forgotten to put on my shirt. 

Its always the shirt. The rest of the clothes make it on, but I always forget the shirt.

What about you? What is your re-occurring dream?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Time Warp

I had managed to sail through the time change like a champion. 


Until this morning.

I have been up since five this morning, so to me it feels like it should be lunch time. 

I've been thinking about a friend of mine. This morning I knew I had about thirty minutes to spare, so I gave her a call. The minute I heard the sound of her voice on the machine I remembered--its VERY early in her home!

I had forgotten that small detail of east coast timing!  

I love everything else about this time of year...the feeling like suddenly you have been given not just one more hour of day-light, but a whole new look on life!

But I can't guarantee my west coast peeps are feeling the love!

Since I didn't get to talk to my friend I thought I'd come here and type at'cha real quick.

Speaking of time...

(Did you like that transition?)

I always have trouble blogging when my head is so full of thought. But slowly, I am getting it out on paper.  Until then, you get random thoughts from Kellie's brain. Aren't you lucky?

Oh! I remember what I really wanted to talk about!

Thank you so much for the encouragement on a developing a weekly post on "life and how I do things".

I'm trying to think of a catchy name. I was thinking something along the lines of Kellie: Calling Back. Which is ironic, because I am HORRIBLE about returning phone calls. 

I envision this weekly post to be an encouragement, and I love the whole idea of calling back. Probably because there have been so many women in my life that called me back. 

Actually, "talked me down from the ledge" would be a better description, but I digress.

Anyway, if you happen to think of a catchy phrase that you wouldn't mind me stealing, then by all means let me know!

OK, my thirty minutes is up.

I'm hoping to get to some blog reading today, but it may not happen until Friday night! If I have been missing from your blog comments in awhile, I haven't forgotten you!  I'm just having to read in big batches these days!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

10 on 10


One of my favorite bloggers (and someone I consider a dear friend) is hosting a carnival today. 

Here are ten of my most favorite things i found in my yard just this morning. Spring in NC is simply amazing. And its only just begun!
1. The Daffodils are the first things to pop out of the cold hard ground!  
2. Even the weeds are beautiful!
3. I have no idea what these sweet purple things are. They grow along the ground. They are so unassuming you could miss them.
4. I think this is a pear tree (the one that doesn't produce fruit). When I woke up this morning these delicate white flowers were shining in the full glory of the sun.
5. This is the picture of the tiny new cherry blossom tree our neighbor planted. This morning I didn't want to walk through her yard in my PJ's (hence the fuzzy picture taken through the zoom), but I hope to get a better picture later.
6. This is my garden. Well, this will be my garden in a few weeks. Right now those seedlings are tomato plants. The rest are seeds that haven't popped up yet: cucumber, sweet pea, mesculin, and spinach. 
7. This is the herb garden I am attempting to harvest. Meet Basil, Basil, and his brother Basil. Aren't they sweet?
8. This is some sort of huge plant that is budding in our front yard. I cannot WAIT to see what it is!
9. The kids say this is Foxglove. It reminds me a little bit of the Blue Bonnets in Texas! 
10. This the what I have waited for all winter. The Camellia. She is covered with buds that are about to open. I love everything about her: her large, deep green and waxy leaves. Her beautiful and romantic name. Her majestic pink color and her yellow middle parts. Beautiful.

Thanks Mer, for hosting this fun carnival. To see what other 10 for 10 posts are flying around the net, click here!

La Vida Dulce!

Monday, March 09, 2009

A Little Help From My Friends

I have about 2354 things swirling in my head. 


Between the Sally Clarkson conference and the beautiful weekend, I could write volumes. 

I want to share one small thing with you and would like your opinion...

I wish I could explain all of this more clearly, but this is just an idea in my head I am not sure I have clarity anyway, so excuse the vagueness...

I received not one but two different emails this week asking for this: 

I'd love any ideas you have on party planning and hospitality.  I'd love any pointers you have on traditions, family time, children. . the things on which you don't compromise when it comes to parties, events, coffee time with friends.

I'd love your input on not only hospitality and the like--but on raising children, walking with the Lord, decorating my home, sewing--you get the idea
First let me tell you that I am very flattered that my table settings and stories of life are encouraging you, but I feel I am highly unqualified for giving advice on homemaking and hospitality!  Especially since you will probably just die laughing at some of the things I have done. When the gal who wrote the email above to me, I wanted to point her to people who have real blogs about those subjects...bloggers who actually have degrees in those types of things. 

I realized that I do this a lot in all areas of my life:

I am creative, but I am not inventive. if you see me doing something it is almost always something I have seen someone else do. 

I am relational, but I also struggle a great deal with impatience, often turned on by those I love the most!

I am intentional, but I have great insecurities that hinder me in big, big ways. I don't do half the things I want to do!

However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that that juxtaposition between what I can do and what I want to do, is what makes me unique (and yet not unique at all! As I am sure you are all nodding your head!)

These talents, or abilities, are all things I didn't know I had, and figured i'd never learn.

You may be surprised to know that I haven't always been hospitable; or at least what i thought defined being hospitable. I haven't always been intentional. I have always been creative, but the creativeness in me now is vastly different than what it was fifteen years ago, before I was married and had a family. It doesn't come as easily and carefree anymore, I have to work at it. I have to chase it! Sometimes I'm too tired to chase it but...

If I can do it, so can you.

So I am thinking about picking one day a week to Call Back; to write about the things in my life that I have learned to do with the help of mentors, books, friends, tears, scripture, sweat, joy, and the complete grace of God.

I have always hesitated to do this because I don't want to sound preachy, or as if I have all things together all the time. Hearing that from others doesn't motivate me one iota. And it is isn't reality. People who tell you they have it all together all the time either have help or they are lying to you.

So here is where you come in...would you be interested in taking a weekly look into my sometimes-not-so-pretty life and the way I see  and do things (and they often change as soon as I figure them out)? 

If so, what would you want to know? Where do you need encouragement? 

I'm guessing these posts wouldn't be too different than what I already do around here, but I would be more intentional on a weekly basis.

If not, that's Ok too. I can (and happily will) dialogue with these gals individually, but I thought that if the interest was high enough I would share with y'all!

Let me know what you think...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Call Back

I read this poem from an excerpt of Streams in the Desert by Mrs Charles E Cowman this week and I can't stop thinking about it. 

Its about struggles in life. The Valleys. The Storms. And the encouragement that gets us through. 

It reminded me that I need to "Call Back". To remember that in the business of life, I musn't be blind to those around me who need to know there is hope.


~~~~~
 Life is a steep climb, and it does the heart good to have somebody "call back" and cheerily beckon us on up the high hill. We are all climbers together, and we must help one another. This mountain climbing is serious business, but glorious. It takes strength and steady step to find the summits. The outlook widens with the altitude. If anyone among us has found anything worthwhile, we ought to "call back."

If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back--
"Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track; 
And if, perchance, Faith's light is dim, because the oil is low, 
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.

Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm; 
Call back , and say He kept you when the forest's roots were torn; 
That when the heavens thunder and the earthquake shook the hill, 
He bore you up and held you where the very air was still.

Oh, friend, call back, and tell me for I cannot see your face;
 They say it glows with triumph, and your feet bound in the race; 
But there are mists between us and my spirit eyes are dim, 
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.

But if you'll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry, 
And if you'll say He saw you though the night's sin-darkened sky--
If you have gone a little way ahead, oh, friend, call back---'
Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.
---Mrs Charles E Cowman

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Random Thoughts From Kellie's Brain...(4th ed.)

OK, so its Thursday night and I have to cram because I won't be getting on the computer tomorrow. I also want to pre-schedule a post to go up for tomorrow, so i have to type fast.


1. For all you techie Friends of mine. How hard (and expensive) is it to get own and use my blog name? I am not sure if that's what its called. What I mean is how hard would it be to go from a Blogger account to Lavidadulce.com? I have no idea how one goes about that, or if its anything I could do on my own. But I am curious.

2. I started taking vitamins. And now I can't stop eating. I have had a fairly consistent eating pattern for many many years. Now that I am taking vitamins I want to eat again at 9am. Like seriously, famished, if I don't get a snack-snack-I-might-keel over. The last time I was this hungry I was taking prenatals.  Do you think vitamins make you hungry?

3. I am not pregnant.

4. I am so excited because I am going to a Sally Clarkson conference tomorrow night and Saturday morning.  I am looking forward to spending some time with friends and hearing a little bit of encouragement.

5. I am going to paint my kitchen cabinets. They are old and dated, but since I don't want to sell my first child to pay for new cabinets I need to keep what I've got.
Here's a picture:
So my first thought was to paint them white. But then I saw this, and I think they are so beautiful. I'm just not sure its me. Red is pretty bold for me. Remember, streamline, clean and uncluttered. Well, for some reason red feels wild to me. Red feels a little like living on the edge. What do you think?

6. We still have heard an update from our friends about Leah's status. I am going to take my mom's advice and assume that no news is good news.  Keep praying.

7. All right, while I have been typing this I have been coloring my hair. I am almost ready to rinse. I thought I would share that the last time I colored I veered away from my normal in-the-box-colors, Espresso and French Roast (brewing processing on my head as I type). Last month I chose a Medium Brown and the grey hairs refused to hold the color. Its been a long month.

The moral of that story is that you can never go wrong with coffee.

Never.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Need More Prayer **Updated**

Update:

Sweet Leah went home to be with the Lord on April 4th. Please keep her mom, Barbara, and her family in your prayers over the coming months. 

With love,
Kellie


Hey friends.

My heart just hasn't been into blogging in the last 36 hours. 

A dear friend of ours was in a car accident on Sunday night coming home from a weekend away. I still don't know the details, but her 3 year old Leah, although buckled in a car seat, was gravely injured and lies in a coma in a Virginian hospital with a broken neck.

Please pray for the healing of this child. For her mother, Barbara, and their entire family. 

Monday, March 02, 2009

Because I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow

 It has been the most fun morning! 


This is a picture of The Mister walking ahead of me on the next street over. This was taken before he bailed. He was saying something about having patients to see, and work to do, and work ethics...yadda, yadda, yadda.  
I love his integrity. I love his work ethic...but today I REALLY wanted him to dump all those great things in lieu of playing in the snow. ( For the record, he wouldn't have been very fun today, because he would have felt guilty about not going in.  So its best he went. But I'm always looking for ways to get his to stay at home!)

The cool things is that right after I snapped this picture I ran into some teenagers from the hood, who were heading out to the "secret hill". Secret because it is actually part of some ladies back yard.  Apparently, the teenagers have some sort of agreement regarding the use of the Secret Hill during snow events like today. They were so sweet to invite my kids to come sled, so we took them up on their offer.


 Here is The Boy sledding down the hill, which was quite steep and ended in that big pile of cold mud down there. Had I not been literally covered in mud when we got home I would have had the presence of mind to take a picture of myself. But I didn't, the thrill of sledding with youth and the wonderful feeling of cold air in the lungs sort of made me loose my mind for a minute. Or two. The picture below is when I looked out the window and saw The Boy and his dog, Kona the Wondermutt chillin' together by laying in the snow. 

 This was the Narnia-esqe look in the woods looking to our house. We had to walk through those woods to get home from Secret Hill. I wasn't walking the long way when covered in mud. Actually, I would have, but The Girl wore her pink cowboy boots because one must always choose fashion over warmth.  Her toes where so cold after a couple hours outside that she said, and I quote: "My toes are so cold, I might cry. Let's take the short cut." 

Yes, lets take the short cut, because there is no crying on snow days.
Our bird bath. No birds today!


And here is the Pièce de résistance. A video of Sophie, who LOVES the snow. While watching this video you will learn a lot about me. Namely that I have trouble finishing sentences and that I am still grossed out over Yellow Snow jokes. 

No animals were frozen during the making of this film...they were also given a bath in a heated bathroom, because I am a nut. They are now taking naps.



In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb?

As I type it's snowing. 


In March.

In North Carolina.

Of course, had I not been Twittering this weekend, I'd have never been forewarned. 

You see, keeping track of the weather rates right up there with keeping the gas tank full, or knowing the toilet paper status in this house.  Unless I am in need of the aforementioned information, I'm not going to be keen on its status.

Unfortunately, this neglect of details has found me in predicaments of some kind...or another.

Let me tell you what really gets me uptight about cold weather: Running out of coffee food to feed my family.

Truth be told, it was the end of the month, and while I had enough food on hand to get us through until Monday or Tuesday, we only had about 5 slices of bread, half a gallon of milk, a couple of cheese sticks, and an apple left in the fridge. 

I was running out of supplies.

I wasn't actually in any danger of running out of coffee (I mean really, I'm the CoffeeGal), but one can never be too careful with her coffee supply.

Anyway, this is one of the few problems with doing the bulk of my shopping once a month: when a storm hits the night before the big shopping day, you're hosed.

Which is why I found myself yesterday running into Costco in the pouring rain (the hardest rain I have seen in some time), along with every other harried parent grabbing bread and milk and wood to build an ark.

I now know why they say March comes In like a lion, out like a lamb. 

If I had run out of coffee and been stuck without it due to ice, you'd've heard some roarin'. 

The good news is that I don't have to run out for "big"groceries for another month. And the Mister was home to unload all my bulk food while I went inside to brew a pot of hot liquid goodness to warm up with.

I was hoping today's post would be all about The Nest. I rearranged and reorganized and I'd like to share the fruit with you, but it was so overcast and dark outside this weekend I couldn't get any good pics...I will share on Wednesday.

I hope its warm where you are...if not, go get some coffee or tea. It's good for you!

La Vida Dulce!