Since my kids have gotten older, Monday mornings haven’t been as much of a challenge as in my younger years – not that I’m old or anything! Although, maybe this morning was an indication that I am teetering more toward that direction on the seesaw of old and young.

My Pure Barre class has changed from 7:30 to 7:00 which I am delighted about. Due to the distance I travel to get there, the 6:00 a.m. class is not an option, but the 7:30 felt like it consumed too much of my morning. 7:00 means I get home shortly after 8:00 and get my Monday started.

I was prepared for my alarm to go off since my husband’s phone buzzed at 5:00 a.m. and woke me up, so I subconsciously knew it was coming. And my father-in-law decided to respond to my text from last night at 2:00 a.m. which has nothing to do with the story, but does give you an indication of his impish nature. Ugh!

I got ready and got out the door when I remembered my car was out of gas and wouldn’t make it to Pure Barre without filling up and I had no time. So I decided to take the car that is intended for our kids to use, since my oldest is away at college and my middle does not get his license until Friday (let’s not discuss where that puts me on the seesaw), and nobody would need it today. Then I remembered I had no keys!

So I had to go back into the house and again walk over the gate that keeps my dog in the laundry room at night, and over the dog who is not so much as lifting her head that early in the morning. I grabbed the keys off the table and repeated the gate/dog hurdle with no more interest from my bullie except a minor interruption in her snoring.

I FINALLY get on my way and tried to get the condensation off the windows of the car since it is not kept in the garage. At the red light I grab a rag to wipe the side mirror and note that the wipers need to be changed because I can barely see out the front window. AND THEN I REALIZE IT’S NOT THE WIPERS; I FORGOT MY CONTACT LENSES. Driving without contacts that I have worn since 9th grade (don’t do the math PLEASE) is not an option. So I turn around in the gas station. Hurdle the gate/dog (whom I may or may not have nudged firmly with my foot – not that it mattered because she still didn’t move her fat head), grab my glasses because I have no time for contact lenses, hurdle the gate/dog. Grrrrrrrrr…that’s me; not the dog. She’s still Zzzzzzz!

At this point I reflected that if I go home and hurdle the gate/dog one more time, it probably is equivalent to 55 minutes of Pure Barre! But I persevered, despite the fact that my glasses kept sliding down my nose on a steady stream of perspiration! And I am glad that I did, as I always am when I finish a workout.



I’m hoping the day gets better from here. However, the fact that I decided to try a new Greek yogurt that was on sale instead of my beloved Chobani Flips that I am addicted to, was a complete and disgusting disaster, might indicate that this day is going to finish like it started.

But, hey, I got two workouts in if you combine the gate/dog hurdle with the Pure Barre. So it’s not a total loss!

Q&A for the Day (Talk to me. I’m needy.):

  • How did your Monday start?

A Bulldog Christian

Well over a year and a half ago, a friend sent me a text with the picture of a bulldog puppy.Bulldog.puppy My family had been wanting a bulldog for years. My husband is the one that started it and got the kids to support him because they always take his side…which is as it should be. I had always said when we get rid of the carpet and replace it with tile, THEN we MAY get a dog. My husband, who did understand the logic of this due to the fact that he works in people’s homes every day and has seen some pretty nasty things under the carpets of pet owners, reluctantly agreed. And then the thing that I thought would never happen, happened! Wood.tileBye-bye carpet, hello to the most beautiful tile floors! living room.tileGorgeous, aren’t they?

Most of our friends knew about the bulldog dreams of my husband, hence the text.

IMG_3429 So that’s how we find ourselves, nearly two years later with Waffles, our bulldog. And though I had a few meltdowns in the beginning during the puppy training stages…like the time she decided to use Cayman’s baby book for a chew toy…I have acknowledged her as a member of our home. She is not allowed on the furniture and we never give her people food. Well…I can’t help that she gets what drops while I’m cooking. bulldog.kitchenMany of these pics are iPhone pics Waffles doesn’t wait for me to get the camera.

Seriously, she lays right underneath me while I make dinner trusting in my clumsiness. At times, I think she even trips me on purpose! (Don’t tell her that sometimes the accidental piece of cheese or shred of meat that drops isn’t as accidental as it appears).

And though I find it aggravating that she sleeps all day while I’m busy…Sleeping.Bulldog…actually, that part is delightful! But the second I sit down after dinner and evening chores are done, she decides to get an energy burst and want to play bucking bronco…Bulldog.playful…that’s the aggravating part! Bulldog.feetBut I sure do love that my feet are always warm while I eat dinner because her soft belly or chin is laying on them. And I find it especially adorable that she follows me from room to room on cleaning day and lays there until I move on to the next room.

However, whenever you WANT her to come to you, she will NOT come.

Every morning and evening, I take her for a walk. She appears to like the walk, happily strutting through the neighborhood, accepting the adoration of our neighbors with a wagging tail. Seriously, she has a fan club that rivals Justin Bieber! And she’s way cuter! But as soon as you go for that leash, she stays out of your reach like a giant game of keep-away.

Now, bulldogs aren’t known for their high energy, so a twice-a-day walk is one way we keep her active and fit. She likes it. It’s good for her.

And as we went through our morning ritual of my pretending that I wasn’t the least bit interested in her until she got close enough for me to snatch her by the collar and bring her to her leash, a spiritual truth hit me! (I know, it’s always at the weirdest times)!

But isn’t that how we are as Christians?

Lightbulb moment!

We say we are willing to do whatever the Lord asks us. We sing about it in church. We say it on our prayers. We teach about it in our Sunday School classes.

BUT, what we really mean is we are willing to do whatever the Lord asks us…on our terms!!! Just like Waffles and her walk.

Yes, Lord, I want to serve you through ministry…but not that one. It just doesn’t fit in my schedule.

Matthew 27:55 “And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:…”

Yes, Lord, I would set no evil thing before my eyes…but this show is so entertaining.

Psalm 101:3 “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes:…”

Yes, Lord, we want to walk with you, but we don’t want to wear your leash!

Matthew 11:30 “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Does Waffles get out of wearing the leash because she runs? No. Like Jonah, she can do it the easy way or the hard way.

All in all, Waffles has fit in very well with our family. She’s a delight, most of the time. She makes us laugh. She gives us affection. She has a pretty mean bark to ward off intruders (who, I hope, never figure out that she only wants to lick them to death).

And she teaches us a few spiritual lessons along the way. Waffles.Bulldog Q&A for the day: (Love talking to you!)

  • What spiritual lessons have you learned unexpectedly?

Perfect Pecan Pie

With the start of school and all the things that come with it – homework, football and volleyball practices and games, setting the alaaaaarrrrrm so stupid earrrrrrrllllllly – it all becomes very clear that summer has left the building. (Even if it is still 92 degrees outside in the shade.) And though there are some things I will really miss about summer, like strawberries, blueberries, all.the.berries, peaches, corn, lazy mornings, lazy nights, and a tan…fall has always been and still is my favorite season.

I have all my autumn decorations displayed, all the autumn soaps, lotions and candles have been purchased from Bath and Body works (like I’m not even kidding! I had coupons!!!) , and last Sunday our church had a pie social.Perfect Pecan Pie - Barbells and Buttercream

Nothing makes you feel more autumn-y (or more like Laura Ingalls) than a pie social. Baptists use pie to express their emotions. This particular pie social was a farewell party to an older couple in our church that are, sadly, moving. We’ll miss them – let’s have pie! I decided not to be fancy or try anything new since I was making my pies rather last minute and didn’t want to face all the octogenarian ladies in our church with a kitchen fail. Oh, the SHAME!!!

Perfect Pecan Pie - Barbells and ButtercreamSo I stuck with my old standby, pecan pie. It is buttery and gooey with a hint of vanilla. I make it every single Thanksgiving. Not only is it my husband’s favorite pie, but it has never failed me. Well, except the time I left the butter in the microwave and forgot to put it in the pie. (WARNING: forgetting the butter could lead to broken teeth! Because -hardasabrick!!!)

Perfect Pecan Pie - Barbells and ButtercreamMy husband likes his pie smothered with whipped cream. My middle son, Trent, likes his naked. (Don’t tell him I used the word naked. He’d freak. He’s 15.) My father-in-law likes his drowned in half-and-half. He is clearly a health food nut!

However you like your pie, make some. You don’t even have to have a reason!


Perfect Pecan Pie - Barbells and Buttercream

Q&A for the Day: (Talk to me. I love to hear from you!)

  • What is your favorite kind of pie?

Then When?

Push yourself today. 

Shadow RunIf not now, then when?

Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Talk to me:

  • How did you get active this weekend?




Blame the Cookies

My fitness routine this summer has consisted of Pure Barre and spin. I had mentioned giving a month of Pure Barre a shot in this post waaaaaaaaay back in January. I really liked it so much that I wanted to do it a little more long-term and signed up for a 3-month package for the summer.

And I have LOVED it! I really do love a good fitness class. I feel it pushes me harder and longer than I push myself when left to my own devices. And that’s what Pure Barre is all about. They repeat phrases like, “You came here to finish,” and “Burning is good, shaking is better.”pure-barre-4


Not in a cross-fit,  scream-in-your-face way. Just in a you-can-do-this, ‘atta-girl way.

And as for results? Well, under my 42-year-old-gave-birth-to-3-kids tummy skin, I believe I can see the faintest impression of muscle lines. Either that or it’s an impression from the waistline of my pants, but I’m going with the first one. AND my husband says he can see definite results and I don’t care if he is lying.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get rid of the dimples on my thighs. But I can’t blame Pure Barre for that. I can blame teaching Brynn to bake this summer. And one thing she has truly mastered?

CookieThese face-sized chocolate chip cookies. And when your 12-year-old daughter offers you a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie as big as your head, you wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings by saying no. Of course, if a homeless man off the street offered me a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie, I’m not sure I would say no. I mean, I’m 99 percent sure I would say no, but I’m saying there’s still a chance!

So my sweet tooth is to blame for my Shirley Temple thighs as usual. (Did you even see the name of the blog?)

And that got me to thinking, isn’t it the same in our spiritual lives? So often, we want to do big things for Christ, but we aren’t eating right. We are filling ourselves with spiritual junk food such as tv and social media. Things that aren’t BAD, but things that should be consumed in moderation, like chocolate chip cookies. And we are NOT feasting on the good stuff like God’s Word and prayer.

I pinned this to my pinterest board because the truth smacked me in the face.Quote


So whether you’re trying to get fit spiritually or physically, it might be time to change your diet!

Q&A for the Day: (Talk to me. I love it!)

  • What foods make you lose your resolve?
  • What are some spiritual “diet” changes you need to make?