Welcome!

Hi! I’m so glad you stopped by. If this is your first visit, you can learn more about me by reading the Welcome Start Here page. I hope you’ll come on in, grab a cup of coffee, and kick back for a while. This is just my little place on the web where I like to share my stories and hear yours, too. And we all have our stories! Some days it’s an adventure, some days a drama, and a lot of days feel like a slapstick comedy. No matter the day and no matter our stories, I believe we’re meant to share them to encourage one another. Wherever we might be in our story, we can’t give up. We never know what’s ahead for us around the next bend. We just have to keep turning the page.

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Home Is Wherever I’m with You

 

Home is a fluid term.

It has meant so many different things to us over the years.

Whenever I smell salt air or hear seagulls, I feel at home. Those are some of my earliest memories from a childhood spent in a tiny coastal Florida town.

Home also meant Tallahassee. And for at least a decade, it meant the little blue house with the red front door. The place where we learned to adult and brought babies home and navigated some of the most brutal and some of the most beautiful times of our lives.

But then we moved and before we knew it, Atlanta felt like home. Our growing family bonded over a shared adventure. Parents and kids alike were on equal footing as we all faced new routines, new places, making new friends.

Home was our little rental house where Abby took her first steps and the big kids learned to ride bikes. Where I learned how far I could push my sleep-deprived body and where I also learned how to ask for help. Finally.

Home is the “unicorn house” we found together. Our answered prayer, a house that checked off so many boxes for an incredible bargain courtesy of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Home.

The one thing connecting all these places?

My people.

The grubby hands. The smiling eyes. The fussing and the laughing and the singing from the next room.

The smell of freshly washed toddler hair. The bear hugs from arms that are somewhere between man and boy. The gentle tugs of my hair while little fingers practice new braiding techniques.

This.

This is what home will always be.

And this is what we take with us. It is not limited to buildings or towns. And that’s a good thing. Because we are about to blow out the traditional limits of what home means.

In just three weeks, we will pack up a summer’s worth of daily life and begin a thousand-mile drive. Jake accepted a 13-week assignment as a travel nurse for Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital in Connecticut.

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Our inner gypsies are thrilled. We cannot wait to see and explore and do. We are already planning adventures in New York City, Boston, Plymouth, Montreal, Philadelphia, Washington, and so many places in between!

The inner Type A control freak is completely overwhelmed. Our calendar is insanely full before we leave.

Oh. And we don’t actually technically really have a place to live just yet. Cue absolute stress meltdown.

Remember that bit up there about me learning how to ask for help?

Well, friends, this is me asking for help.

Know anyone in the New Haven area who’d like to bring in some summer income on a garage apartment or an attic or a basement or a camper or a boat or a van down by the river? We’re nonsmokers. No pets with us. (April will be at summer camp with Nana and PopPop.)

We’re friendly people. I mean–we’re absolutely crazy–but we’re sweet. =)

Comment or email with any leads! If your tip leads to us finding a place to live, I’ll give you a handpainted wooden sign of your choice from my Etsy shop, Haven Creek!

home is wherever i'm with youSo, friends? We’re really doing this! We’re taking this show on the road. If you’re in the New England area, let me know. If you know of any awesome roadside stops between Atlanta and Connecticut, let me know that, too.

If you would like to follow along on our adventure, be sure to follow my Facebook and Instagram. I cannot even begin to imagine the ups and downs this summer will bring us.

I hope you’ll join us on our journey!

5 Reasons Moms Should Celebrate Galentine’s Day

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February is here. We all know what that means–celebration of love. Love for those special people we can’t imagine living without. People who love and support us through thick and thin. People who know us better than we even know ourselves. People who would drop everything and be by our sides in the good times and bad.

Our girlfriends!

I know this isn’t exactly breaking news, ladies, but motherhood is HARD. It can be messy, frustrating, exhausting, and lonely. So when we find other women who can truly get where we’re coming from, we need to grab hold and hang on for dear sanity.

They are the ones we celebrate on February 13th, the unofficial holiday of Galentine’s Day. If you’ve never observed Galentine’s Day before, here are five reasons why you absolutely should!

1. We need people who know our names.

Like. Our real names. Not Mom, Mama, Mommy, or Snack Lady. Motherhood can tend to cause us to forget our identities. Our girlfriends understand this and they help us remember who we are.

2. We need people to laugh with.

Motherhood is full of those times when you just look around and think, “No one will ever believe this.” Like when you open the front door to find a sheriff’s deputy answering a 911 call you didn’t know had been made. Or when the baby locks herself in the bathroom and the big kids try to fix it by removing the doorknob and you almost have to call the fire department. (Yes. These actually happened to me. Within a two-day time span.) Our girlfriends will not only believe us, but they have probably got their own crazy stories to help us feel not so alone in the insanity…

To continue reading reasons 3-5, please click through to Atlanta Area Moms Blog here! https://atlanta.citymomsblog.com/mom/5-reasons-moms-celebrate-galentines-day/

Finding Quiet in a Noisy World

A few weeks ago, the audio system in our old minivan died a sudden and unexpected death. No matter how many fuses we replaced, we were unable to resurrect the speakers, the CD player, or the AM/FM stations. As a huge fan of road-trip karaoke and stoplight dance parties, I was in mourning.

Trips anywhere seemed to take twice as long without the company of background music or podcasts to pass the time. The silence was new. I felt antsy. My thoughts were bouncing around and completely scattered.

We’re unaccustomed to silence. We attempt to fill the stillness with distractions. We scroll through social media during TV commercial breaks. We often can’t fall asleep without the television on. Many of us don’t even go to the bathroom without a phone or tablet with us.

The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 3 to fix our thoughts on Jesus. I would be willing to bet we all long to hear the voice of God in our lives. I’ve prayed countless prayers asking God to show me what to do or say, where to go or how long to stay. And yet I’m not quiet long enough to listen for his answer. I’m not still.

Last month I participated in a twenty-four-hour fast with other members of our church. We were coming together to offer focused prayer for a particular concern. While most people followed tradition and abstained from eating for the duration of the fast, I chose to avoid all screens. When I felt the urge to reach for my phone or the remote control, I prayed instead…

To continue reading, please visit http://theglorioustable.com/2018/02/finding-quiet-noisy-world/

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What’s Your Word?

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A few years ago, my New Year’s resolution was to never again make a New Year’s resolution. I had a bad habit of setting my goals way too high and then falling short every single year which left me feeling like a total failure.

I would decide on New Year’s Eve (probably after eating pizza and chicken wings) to run 20 miles a day and do eleventy thousand push-ups and eat kale at every meal. Then, on January 4th, when I would inevitably find myself polishing off the last of my kid’s mac and cheese, I would feel so defeated. The shame would come crashing down when I counted up how many push-ups I had actually done (negative seven).

Something had to change.

Instead of resolutions, I began to choose one word for the upcoming year. I would spend the last week of December reflecting on the year. Which areas of my life did I do well? Where did I struggle? How would I love to see myself at the end of next year? Then I would try to set the tone for the next 365 days by choosing one special word to be a reminder to myself of how I want to live my days. And with that small change, everything shifted…

To continue reading please click through to Atlanta Area Moms Blog here: https://atlanta.citymomsblog.com/mom/whats-your-word/

What Moms Really Want for Christmas

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In a recently conducted, extremely reliable, incredibly scientific poll done by–um–me on my social media, researchers (also me) have discovered what moms truly want for Christmas.

The question posed to moms was simple: “If Santa could bring you anything, real or imagined, what would you ask for?”

The responses came and a trend overwhelmingly presented itself. While Santa might have a hard time filling the requests exactly as hoped, I took the liberty of offering up a few, slightly more realistic, alternatives.

CHEF
Every evening around 6:00, these people who live in our houses want to eat. Again. Which means we’re supposed to feed these tiny humans. Again. There are only so many times we can get away with frozen nugget-shaped meat product and leftover shells and cheese. Believe me. I’ve tested those limits. So if Santa could bring moms a chef to do all your menu planning and shopping and cooking? Dream come true. A personal chef is sadly out of reach for most of us. But what about these alternatives to make mealtime a bit easier?
– Meal Subscription Service that could deliver fresh ingredients and detailed recipes right to your door. No thinking required. Which is great because I have zero brain cells left by dinnertime.
– Grocery Delivery or Curbside Pickup is now a thing at several major supermarkets. Not having to become the People of Walmart twice a week sounds heavenly to me.
– Menu Planning and List Making Service would at least cut down on the time it takes to plan the weekly menu and shopping lists. This would save us all from being stuck in a repetitive dinner rotation.

To discover the next four must-have gifts for mom, please click through to Atlanta Area Moms Blog. Because while Santa might have trouble gift wrapping a maid, there are some great alternatives waiting to go under the tree! http://atlanta.citymomsblog.com/mom/what-moms-really-want-for-christmas/

A Few Favorite Places to Get Back to Nature

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With the cooler temperatures and the gorgeous leaves, I find myself giving thanks daily to live in north Georgia. Especially during this time of year. I want to be outside all the time. For all the things. Hayrides, pumpkin patches, family hikes, bonfires, farm tours. Autumn is my jam.

If your family is like mine and you love being outdoors during this season, family camping trips are awesome adventures. Whether it’s a dream come true or your worst nightmare, memories are sure to be made and they will last a lifetime! I grew up in Florida and we would spend our vacations camping in north Georgia. Some of my earliest childhood memories include sleeping bags, mountain air, and grumpy geese.

So if you’re ready to add some solid points towards that “Mom of the Year” title, here are a few of my favorite campgrounds. They’re so much fun, you won’t even realize you’re roughing it.

Please click through to read about my top three choices at Atlanta Area Moms Blog. Offering tons of activities in gorgeous settings (along with some alternatives to roughing it in a tent), you’ll want to add these places to your list! http://atlanta.citymomsblog.com/mom/favorite-places-get-back-nature/

 

Do You Know the Power of Your Words?

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on her face. As soon as the words rushed out of my mouth, I regretted saying them, but they tumbled out faster than I could pull them back. Once they were out there, the damage was done.

We were eleven years old that summer at church camp, and for the first time in my life, the “cool” girls were paying attention to me. Wanting to make myself more acceptable to them, I tried to distance myself from my closest friend. And when the line was drawn in the sand, I outright denied our friendship right to her face.

Even though we eventually reconciled, and she graciously forgave me, the shame of that moment still burns whenever it comes to mind. More than twenty-five years later, I still feel awful for the words I said.

I’m constantly in awe of the power of words. They can bring life and love and joy and peace. They can also bring utter destruction in a matter of seconds. “Sticks and stones can break your bones but words will never hurt”? I beg to differ.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21 NIV).

If I asked you to remember a time in your life when you said something you regret, I bet it wouldn’t be too difficult to think of several times. I’m also willing to wager you’ve had at least a handful of hurtful things said to you over the years…

I’d love for you to click through to The Glorious Table to read the remainder of this post. Join us in a conversation about the power of words and how we can speak life into one another.

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