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? :)

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.

Undeniably Yours

Last time I wrote a book review on here, it was for the book The Icecutter’s Daughter.

Now I know I’ve been a little  lot MIA,  but I remember something that I said in that post. In referring to that book, I remember saying how innocent (in a good way) those  characters were, and how without sacrificing plot for it, the author managed to make the characters believable and raw, yet still chaste and above board.

Well, I just read another one: Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade.

Undeniably Yours tells the story of Meg Cole. Meg’s father is the owner of Cole Oil in Texas- one of the largest oil companies in the country. Meg has never wanted anything to do with his company, as she is more of a free spirit. However, his unexpected death plunges her into the role of CEO…a role she never dreamed of filling.

Questions needing answers are thrown at Meg, the new CEO, left and right. One being: to keep or not to keep the family horse breeding business. Meg is absolutely positive that the horses have to go…until she meets the man who runs that part of her father’s business. Bo Porter. A rugged, hardworking gentleman.

Bo has an immediate effect on Meg. His love for her father’s horses compels her to get to know this man more. The more she gets to know this man, the more compelled she is to keep this horse farm up and running.

But the moral dilemma this creates is very dangerous. Should she make a potentially unwise financial decision just because her heartstrings are pulled? Or should she go with her head & let the horses go?

This book was good. Not great… It took me a while to get into it- in fact, I started it, got bored, lent it to someone else, they read it, then I got it back, procrastinated some more and eventually read it.  I did get more into the book by about halfway through- it just seemed to take a while to “get going.”

The thing that stands out in my mind the most however, is that unfortunately, this book was only moderately “Christian” fiction. There were no real indiscretions, but the characters were not “careful” enough, in my opinion- if you know what I mean. Going to bars & dancing, getting caught in potentially compromising situations, having to fight their physical urges, etc.

It was ok. It wasn’t “bad.” But here’s my scale: I wouldn’t put it in the library at our Christian school for the high school girls to read.

And that’s that.

Thanks for reading!

Oh… one more thing. Just to be clear: I was given this book for free as a part of the Bethany House Publishers Blogger Book Review program. They give me a free book, I read it, give my honest review, then get to keep the book. Awesome, huh?


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