Serrated Words

Tonight, as I lay in bed struggling to fall asleep, I read a blog post written by a mama who just lost her 5 year old boy to brain cancer. And it grieved me. It made me have that deep down, unquenchable ache.

Only one thing would help it.

I quietly pulled back the covers, grabbed a tissue and headed for my little one’s room. I climbed into his bed with him and engulfed him in my arms, relishing the feeling of every breath as he took it, stroking his soft, brown hair & kissing him- his ears, his cheeks. Whispering “I love you” into his little ear…over and over again.

And as most moments like this in life tend to do, it got me thinking.

Why do I wait?

Why does it take a post like that to remind me just how quickly life can change?

Who don’t I relish and agonize, in the best way possible, over making every moment count?

We recently moved, and in the move, somehow our knives got packed in several different places. For the first week or so of unpacking, I could only find 2 decent knives. One was a straight edge, incredibly sharp knife. The other was a serrated, not as “heavy duty” knife.

For the first several mornings, I stubbornly chose the “sharp” knife to cut and section my breakfast grapefruit. After all, it’s the sharpest. And I would, with much frustration, butcher my grapefruit. Always getting the job done, but rarely with much of the grapefruit in tact at the end. The knife simply cut down everything in its’ path.

Then one morning, I noticed my second, serrated knife lying there. It wasn’t as sharp, and I immediately bemoaned the fact that my sharp knife was in the dishwasher (isn’t that just like us “humans” to miss the thing that didn’t work in the first place?) I picked up the serrated knife and began to work on sectioning my grapefruit.

It worked.


Sure, it took a little more time, but when I was finished, nice, in tact sections of grapefruit stared back at me.

But the knife wasn’t even sharp?!

No. But it was made for that job. It was made to cut through breads, fruits, whatever else, making a pathway through, without destroying the entire thing.

So often my words are sharp. They get the job done…but they leave a butchered mess in their wake. It would seem that those words, that action, that response would be the most effective. The fastest. But it hurts. It leaves behind slices of pain, regret and moments that can never be undone.

As I lay there holding my boy tonight I thought about my words, my actions, my responses. If he was gone tomorrow and I looked back at his almost 4 years of life, would the moments be sharp or serrated? Would I have correctly him sharply, leaving little bits of his heart and dignity exposed? Or would I have chosen to take the more difficult path…the path that takes more work, more carving, more of my time and energy, patience, forgiveness & love. The path that leaves behind a child who is whole, brave and sensitive to guidance?

Lord, let my words, moments and actions be serrated. Let them be fit for the task at hand. Let me look at every opportunity as if it were my last, my most precious opportunity to mold and pour into that precious little life you’ve entrusted to me.

First things first…

Well, I’m alive.
I realize that all blog evidence (or lack thereof) points to the contrary…but really, I am here.

I have a few posts coming in the next day or so.

I just wanted to stop in first and say, hey! I’ve missed writing. I have missed this little outlet of mine. Since my last post, we have both quit our previous jobs, my hubby accepted a new position, we moved cities, are living in a completely new (to us) and larger home (that I get to update as I choose- yay!) and we are just loving life!

So if you’ll indulge me, I plan to start sharing lots about our new life with you here.

Missed ya!

Until next time, I thought you might enjoy this… :)

Late Night With Roy

We had a mighty fun night last night!
Since we first started dating, Nathan & I have tried every October to go to Late Night With Roy (fun opening of the UNC basketball season.) Here we were back in 2006!


Well last night was especially fun (and stressful :) ) because we took Elijah for his first Late Night experience. Here he is outside the Smith Center!


He LOVED it. The sights, the sounds, the souvenirs! It was an action packed evening for my little Tar Heel.





But the BEST part for little man? Meeting “Yamsees” of course! He got to meet Rameses the Ram and he’s pretty enamored!


The night was so much fun! We’re so in love with experiencing life through his little eyes!

But now we have a problem. Elijah has a big question.
“Where was Teddy, Mama?”

You see, Elijah has three UNC toys he especially loves.
1)A singing Rameses head that was his Daddy’s when he was a kid.
2) A teddy bear wearing a UNC sweatshirt that he got from his Aunt
3) And Rameses that he got on his first visit to Chapel Hill when he was 6 weeks old.


Well he’s very perplexed now. He met “Big Yamsees.”
And he said that he understands why little Rameses wasn’t there last night. ” Because he doesn’t have feet.”
Elijah officially thinks Teddy is a UNC mascot too.
He eventually decided that Teddy was probably “In da back someyare. Ye’ll see him next time.”

I sure hope so, Buddy! :)


Quick Fall Updates

It’s in the air & I couldn’t be more thrilled. Fall.
Mmm… oranges & reds, pumpkins, wool socks, scarves and snuggling.

Yep. It’s pretty awesome.

So, I didn’t feel it was fair for only the outdoors to celebrate Fall. The indoors needed some excitement too. Hence a few seasonal house swaps… free ones too! :)

The table needed a new centerpiece. I had a leftover canvas in my laundry room, some Halloween ribbon I purchased several years ago & a printable pumpkin monogram pattern from here that I pinned on Pinterest. After I printed this one, I decided I liked the look of the single “S” better than N, H, S. So I eliminated the first name initials.


I just used some tape to tape the monogram paper to my canvas (so I can remove it later and reuse my canvas.) After taping the paper down, I used my low-temp glue gun to cover up the taped edges with my festive ribbon. I am rather fond of my free update!


Then the chalkboard got some seasonal love. Last night I was getting rather frustrated with my lack of freehand artistic abilities. I had fiddled with the chalkboard but couldn’t land on anything I liked. So I went to bed…and woke up to this.


What a sweet man I have, right? He even swagged the leaves all on his own. I think I am “falling” for him all over again… Ok, too corny? :)

The front door got some attention:


And my favorite spot in the house- my new dresser-turned-console got some sprucing. I love the warm coziness of it all!


It isn’t much, but my goal this year was to spend no money, but still feel like Fall had arrived. And I feel successful.

How are you prepping your houses for Fall? Any good freebie ideas I can steal from you? :)

Kickin’ a Cold

I just kicked a cold. Kicked it to the curb.

My son had one, from the changing of the weather. I knew it was coming. You can only kiss on a snotty nose and stand in the trajectory line of so many sneezes before they just jump right over to you. And when they jumped, I practically leapt up and caught them.

It was coming on with a vengeance. Hot, achy, sinus pressure, teeth and ears aching.  Misery.

So I started on my oils. Before it could get me down, I had to get it down.

I thought for some of my “newbie” friends (newer than me :) ) to oils that I would break down what I did to beat a cold. Simple stuff.

First line of defense for me is always On Guard. On Guard boosts the immune system and helps your body fight whatever it needs to be fighting. In my case, a cold. What did I do with the On Guard? Well, I took it in capsules or popped a few On Guard beadlets every few hours. I take/apply this every day, but when I feel something “coming on,” I double it up.

My second line of defense is Oregano. Oregano oil is a horrible smelling oil. Trust me, but don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself :) Oregano oil is anti-everything bad and is SO powerful. At the first sight/smell/feel (?) of a cold or other illness, I apply Oregano oil with some fractionated coconut oil to the bottoms of my feet. Then I promptly put socks on so that smelly substance doesn’t tramp all over my carpets! The leftover Oregano Oil that is on my hands, I rub into my throat/neck. I also take Oregano Oil in the same capsules with the On Guard, every few hours.

Third, I apply some Melaleuca. Melaleuca kills viruses on contact and is great to soothe a sore throat. So I add a few drops of this oil into my same trusty capsules every few hours. Then I apply it topically to my neck and behind my ears (which soothes the earache associated with colds and makes sure that it doesn’t turn into an ear infection.)

Lastly, to ease the sinus pressure, congestion and pain, I turn to one of doTERRA’s fabulous blends: Breathe. Breathe contains eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, melaleuca and more oils that help unblock sinuses, clear out the “gunk” and allow you to, well, breathe for lack of a better word. We LOVE Breathe oil. I apply it straight onto my sinuses (nose, forehead area) and then also with some fractionated coconut oil, I rub it all over my chest. Within seconds, I am inhaling deeply and the pressure in my sinuses is clearing (and my nose is running freely! which if you’re ever had a sinus issue, you know is a great feeling!)

Of course, everyone’s body chemistry/makeup is a little different. So if you are a doTERRA lover, you may have a different lineup that you swear by to knock out a cold/flu bug. But this one is mine. All mine.

Just kidding. You’re welcome to use it to. In fact, I’d be tickled if you did!

If you are interested in trying any of these products for yourself, let me know and I will :)


And PS- I know some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking that this is way too complicated for you. I understand. I felt that way at first too. But now, almost 9 months into using doTERRA, I can’t imagine going back. Instead of taking a DayQuil + Ibuprofen every few hours, spraying my nose with nasal spray way too much, then taking NyQuil at night, only to cover up symptoms without going to the root of the problem, doTERRA helps my body to HEAL by addressing the cold at the cellular level- from the inside out.



Batman Pirate Mommy

Me and the boy, we’re warding off some colds that are trying to sneak up on us.
So we’re having a stay at home & play day. Oils applied, diffusing some eucalyptus into the air & playing pirates of course!

Ship= Couch
Baseball Tee & Train Whistle = Oars
Mother’s Day Card = Treasure Map
Baseball Cap = Steering wheel (not sure why we have oars & a steering wheel…I just take orders. He’s the Cap’n.)
Trains & 1 Cushy Ball = Treasure
Blue rug = Ocean (infested with one large shark that will.not.go.away.)

A few minutes ago our steering wheel lost power. He leapt off the couch ship and flew across the ocean. As he did, he looked back and said,
“I’m ok! I am Spiderman Pirate Lije! And you are Batman Pirate Mommy!”

Can’t argue with that.


The pirate steering our ship.

9/11 on the 12th

I’m a day late.
But then again, I usually am.

September 11th still overtakes me with emotion. (As I am sure it does most Americans.) I struggle to get on Facebook and see the pictures, I struggle to watch the reminders on the news channels, and I struggle to write.

How is my experience really worth sharing? I don’t know. But somehow, writing helps me work through my own thoughts enough to be okay with them. To somehow lay them aside for another year and feel that due diligence has been given them.

I was a ninth grader. At an International School in West Africa. We had just woken up from “rest time” and I was headed for my next class. As I walked past the teacher’s lounge, I noticed there were a lot of them in there, huddled around a TV. I noticed it, but I didn’t question it. They were teachers anyway, known to do much stranger things than excitedly watch the news together.

Shortly thereafter, a friend told me that a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center towers. Ok?  A plane crashed. That happens all the time. Then a little while later, we were told about the 2nd tower. I still didn’t “get it.”

But my dad picked me up early from school that day. He hugged me. And to this day, I remember asking him what the big deal was. “Shug, it was a terrorist attack. Those planes that flew into the towers were an attack on America.”

Attack? America? But why?

Up went the red “lock-down” status flag. The embassy told all American citizens, and anyone who could be mistaken as an American, to stay inside. We were to “lay low.” In town, we heard of street vendors selling shirts with pictures of the blazing towers. The shirts read, “Attack America.” Just the latest news, hot off the press, selling t-shirts.

It would be a while before I would truly understand. But I remember feeling afraid. In my lifetime, I had felt sadness over moving, losing loved ones, etc. I had felt immense happiness. I had felt fear- fear of spiders or fear of diving into the pool.

But I had never felt afraid. Rocked to the core afraid. My America. My love for her was so deep, having spent my entire life as an expatriate. And when my America was attacked, I was attacked.

Others may never understand it, but we always will.


Citizens of the US of A.

A brotherhood, a fraternity, a forever bond. No matter what part of the globe we may be filling, we are Americans.

My prayers still go out to the families who lost loved ones on that tragic day. Know to the very depths of your being that your loss is not forgotten.