Encouragement for this "run" we call life, because as C. S. Lewis said, "If one could run without getting tired, I don't think one would often want to do anything else".

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Word to the Words

Word to the Words

If you know me, you know I like to run.  I haven’t always liked to run but now it’s as much a part of me as my eye color (green) or my shoe size (which is quite large) or the fact that my favorite color is and always has been green.

You may have picked up on the fact that I also like to write, and more specifically that I love words, in any and all form.  I’ve written about that plenty before as well.

I am grateful to be able to combine my love of running and writing in the form of a new blog (Run For Your Life) over at my friend and running coach’s website, where I get the privilege of writing for my running friends and family (which hopefully many of you are!).  (If you missed the first post, you can see it here).  I am excited about all the upcoming ideas that people submitted on topics they want to hear/read about and am already working on many of them, but today I wanted to write about the importance of words in running.   Curious?  In the interest of efficiency, I’m writing an essay in response to the final “points challenge” of our recent “Diehards Challenge”.  Aren’t you even more curious?  Click on over and check it out here:

Run For Your Life: Word to the Words

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February Words I Wish I Wrote that I Wrote Down (in my Journal)

Happy afternoon!  In the last 24 hours here in Washington (in typical Pac NW “spring” fashion) there has been sunshine, drizzle, rain and hail so that makes for a cozy afternoon catching up on rest and reading after a busy month.  This month’s list of quotes is a little shorter than usual, perhaps in honor of the short month.  Few in number, they are however rich in meaning and many of them I have come back to again and again and they will go on my “lifetime favorites” list.  Wherever you are today, whatever you are doing, I hope one of these quotes encourages, inspires, surprises or comforts you.



Picture taken by my dad

That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.
Willa Cather

Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it, but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance.
Charles A. Lindbergh

How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness, is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.
William James

Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
Reinhold Niebuh

Persons appear to us according to the light we throw upon them from our own minds.
Laura Ingalls Wilde

I will speak ill of no man and speak all the good I know of everybody.
Benjamin Franklin

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.
Thomas Edison

Children think not of what is past, nor what is to come, but enjoy the present time, which few of us do.
Jean de La Bruyère

Extending your hand is extending yourself.
Rod McKuen

Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.
Cavett Robert

Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.
Leo Tolstoy

Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity.
Ralph Nader

Every man has his secret sorrows, which the world knows not; and oftentimes we call a man cold when he is only sad.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening.
Henry David Thoreau


Unintentional Childlessness: Love the Life You’re With

I found out when I was 15 years old.

It was pretty uneventful honestly- no eggs= no pregnancy= no baby.  I’m not sure you CAN really comprehend what that means at 15, but my #1 passion in life was babies and babysitting and  I had a kind boyfriend (you know the high school one you are absolutely certain is your soul mate and you’ll be married to forever?) who said “I don’t care”, so I immediately thought “No big deal, I’ll just adopt- that seems less painful anyway”.

And honestly, it really wasn’t a “big deal” for the next 17 years.  I continued babysitting-funding much of my high school activities by changing diapers and rocking sweethearts to sleep (JULIE! How are you MARRIED??).  In college and medical school I was busy working and studying and living and while I was ABSOLUTELY OVERJOYED as my sisters and friends started having kids, I can say with all honestly I wasn’t upset by my own lack of childbearing potential.  Then came marriage to a sweet guy who adored me and didn’t blink at forced adoption, followed by residency in Hawaii where we were too busy working (pre 80-hour work week! Sorry I couldn’t resist) and “sunning” and surfing and hiking and playing and living to feel any sense of anything missing in our lives.

Then came DC.  Fellowship for me and deployment #1 for the hubs who was gone for a full 18 months by the time it was all over.  A few weeks after he left, a full-on attack of the most intensive kind began that convinced me there was absolutely no way I could continue and live a full and happy life unless I had a baby- or at least a plan for one- ASAP.  There was much playing into this of course- my age, a large group of amazing friends with A LOT of kiddos, being “alone”, finally having a TEENSY bit of free time that you could imagine having another person to take care of without it sending you into a panic attack, and the new nearness to my sisters and hence 4 of (their eventually to be 7 kids and) my nieces and nephews (as well as double that many “honorary” ones- it’s a Hawaiian thing, being an “auntie”).  Then, in a two week period- SEVENTEEN friends and family announced that they were pregnant.  SEVENTEEN.  (That is one busy week of sending out birthday cards/gifts every year!) I thought I might actually die from the fighting emotions: pain, jealousy, anger, bitterness, joy, shame.  The ones that caused me to sincerely celebrate with them, planning showers and talking names and room colors and all things baby, and to then run home to crawl under the blankets and cry for hours about how intensely unfair life was and how ashamed this all made me feel.  There was certainly no way to share this with Deployed Pete as he was dealing with more pressing issues.  In addition, being a dual military couple in the setting of the insane deployment tempo present  then did not give me any hope that we would be in the same place for the amount of time needed to even BEGIN addressing adoption.   Those were some tough years.

Then deployed Pete became returned Pete and Fellowship Dawn became deployed Dawn- we sort of passed in the night- and another year went by.  On my return came an immediate move cross country (yeah Gig Harbor! We do love you so!), a new job, board exams, post-deployment depression (probably not quite strong enough a word but that’s another topic for another day) and then- Yep- ANOTHER deployment.  This time together, for which I was thankful but let’s just say a tiny trailer in Iraq is not the same as a big house in the US for two people who had lived apart more than together in the last 4 years.  There was not enough room in that trailer for the both of us and all our accumulated demons and it was a tough few months.  Follow that with medical issues and marriage struggles on the return stateside and you are left with two worn-out people and even I could see at that point that “and baby makes 3” would NOT be a happy ending to our particular story.

I remember vividly the day I was standing in the kitchen of our cabin house, talking to my sweet, funny and wise friend Sara (do you remember this Sara?) and came to the conclusion that I truly had a choice.  I could keep fanning the flames of bitterness and anger and injustice and self-pity and shame and deep sadness, or I could just walk away and let them die out.  Don’t get me wrong, that is not INaction- to let them die out….because walking away from that fire is quite possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  BUT….

IT WORKED.  Really it did.  I don’t mean to say that from that time on a baby’s cry made me shudder or that suddenly a sloppy two-year-old kiss WASN’T the GREATEST thing ever (because truly for all time it IS- right??) or that there weren’t times I had to send a gift to the shower and trust my friend knew my heart was celebrating when my mouth couldn’t.  But suddenly (Renee’ is always telling me to watch for those “and suddenly” moments) the pain wasn’t so INTENSE, so pervading, so stop-what-you-are-doing-and-run inducing.  It was just a little part of me, sort of like my big feet, or the way my ears aren’t pierced exactly in the same place- a part of who I am that doesn’t have to define me but has shaped me, and I like to think- finally- for the better.

(An aside: please don’t feel sorry for me.  Please don’t feel the need to make me or yourself feel better by sending me all the miracle stories and “don’t give up” pleas because it will make me feel like you didn’t understand what I was saying above.  For me, in this life right now, I am truly, honestly at peace with the fact that we don’t have children.  If tomorrow, God decides to change that- I’ll write a post about it after I’ve had time to digest).

Embracing (or at least learning to live with) unintentional childlessness has actually made the last few years, while some of the hardest of my life for many reasons, also some of the best.  Laid-back Pete and I have always loved to travel, and we’ve been able to embrace that in a whole new way!  We’re able to make last minute plans to go last-minute places, or full-on detailed plans to go amazing places, that just truly aren’t possible (emotionally, logistically or financially) when you have diapers, bottles, teething, tantrums and naptimes to think about.  Almost weekly, someone tells me in some form of communication “I love your life!  I wish I had your life!” and I try to remember to say “Me too!”. Also, because of my life’s path, I am often able to listen and understand when others are going through their own infertility struggles with an ear that you just can’t have if you haven’t “been there”.  I don’t know if it’s helped anyone that much, but I do know that sometimes just being allowed to share our story- with no worries about judgment or unhelpful “helpful” advice is priceless.

I was thinking about all of these things last week and what the “point” of sharing them would be while  spending some relaxing, un-scheduled time at “home” in MS (b/c MS will ALWAYS be home)  with my sweet sister and her three (CRAZY) precious boys.  Preston (the typical oldest) INSISTS on setting his alarm to get up SUPER early so he won’t miss the bus (I SOOO get it!) and drinking coffee with him and Aiden (me coffee, they milk) as they ate breakfast and brushed teeth were some memories you just can’t ever take away from me.  And then this:

Bus Waiting

Bus Waiting

Ya’ll.  Tears- streaming tears.  I sat there thinking “THIS”- “This is what I am missing by not having kids”.  All these precious moments that are nothing moments until you look and see that they are EVERYTHING moments.  I was tempted to think “I love your life; I want your life” (and the old me would have gone down that path) but the new me said “Oh what a sweet life you have sister of mine and Oh how blessed I am to be a part of it”.

So as I’m thinking about all these things, I’m thinking what if we all learn to “Love the Life You’re With”?  (Can you read that without singing it?).  What if, when tempted to think “Why me” or “Why her” or “Why them” or any number of other thoughts based on why what you have isn’t good enough or how you’d do things differently if only you had the chance, what if we thought “I’m so happy for them” and “I am so grateful for what I DO have even in spite of (or sometimes BECAUSE of) what I DON’T have?  What if we did that?  What if when they (you) tell me “I love your life!” in that wistful way you do, I said “Me too!” and “Don’t you just love yours too though?!  You get to clean up baby milk-puke! I mean seriously!  How precious is that?  Just ask your grandmother how you’ll be LONGING to do that in about 10 years from now!”

What if we did that?  What if we loved OUR life AND celebrated the lives of those around us as well.  What if we give each other eyes to see our lives in a different way when we can’t see anything worth celebrating with our own blurred retinas?  What if we help each other read back over the stories of our lives and see how AMAZING they are?  What would that “look” like?  Wanna give it a try?  I would simply LOVE to hear your thoughts on this, or stories of how you are doing this??

OK- that’s all for now!  I’ve gotta go pack for a cruise- NO children allowed!


January Words I Wish I Wrote that I Wrote Down (in my journal)

Happy February!  My January was slam full of all kinds of fun and new things and time with friends- ending with a great trail race on Orcas Island and a long-planned trip home to MS.  I have absolutely lowed seeing friends and family and some unexpected snow, and what more could you ask for than watching this Superbowl game with 3 sweet and crazy nephews while eating seafood gumbo with hot sauce and a seasonal Abita after biting into a baby in the King Cake.  Ahhhhh, there’s really no place like “home”.  I simply can’t pick a favorite from this list of amazing worlds below!  I’d love to hear which one is YOUR favorite!






All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary.
J.M. Barrie

My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.
Drake Arbus

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Mark Twain

Who is strong?  He that can conquer his bad habits.
Benjamin Franklin

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Galatians 5:22

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming is the only end of life.
Robert Luis Stevenson

Waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother.  We are enlarged in the waiting.  We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us.  But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Eugene Peterson

My own experience and development deepen every day my conviction that our moral progress may be measured by the degree in which we sympathize with individual suffering and individual joy.
George Eliot

Enough is abundance to the wise.

Such are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind, for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.
Marcus Aurelius

You must constantly ask yourself these questions:  Who am I around?  What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most importantly, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question: Is that ok? Your life does not get more right by chance, but by practical CHANGE.
Jim Rohn

Never never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake.  Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Goodwill is the one and only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy.
Ludwig Borne

There is something beautiful about all scars of whatever nature.  A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with.
Harry Crews

We are not so sensible of the greatest Health as of the least Sickness.
Benjamin Franklin

I have never been hurt by what I have not said.
Calvin Coolidge

Most people think that shadows follow, precede or surround beings or objects.  The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories.
Elie Wiesel

To have what we want is riches, but to be able to do without is power.
George MacDonald

There are two kinds of light- the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.
James Thurber

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
C. S. Lewis

A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.
Jean de la Fontaine

The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in al lthe details of daily life.
William Morris

The habit of being happy enables us to be freed or largely freed from the dominance of the outward conditions.
Robert Luis Stevenson

Let nothing upset you,
Let nothing startle you.
All things pass,
God does not change.
Patience wins all it seeks.
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone is enough.
St Teresa of Avila

Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see life with a clear view again.
Alex Tan

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.
Robert Frost

Don’t allow someone else’s brokenness to undermine your wholeness.  You may not have said/done anything wrong, it is simply their perspective that is not right.  Hurting people hurt people.
Christine Caine

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
Winston Churchill

The stress of the disaster narrowed people’s fields of vision, as if they wore blinders to anyone’s experience but their own
“5 Days at Memorial”

It is a rare and beautiful thing when we choose to offer love in situations when most people would choose to scorn or ignore.
Lysa Terkeurst

Circumstances don’t change your heart.  They reveal it.
Sammy Rhodes

This is why we can’t measure the value of our decisions based on outcomes.  Most of life is not an outcome.  Most of life is unfolding on the road in front of us.  The “outcome” can change as fast as the scenery.
Allie Vestervelt “Traveling Light”

When you are living in your passion, people around you who were sleeping will be woke up.  That’s how you know.  When we become who we were made to be, we come alive, but the people around us come alive too!  Where your passion meets their need that is your calling.
Allie Vestervelt “Traveling Light”

We write to taste life twice.  Once in the moment, and once in retrospection.
Anais Nin

Don’t ask yourself what this world needs.  Ask yourself what makes you come alive and do that.  Because what this world needs are people who have come alive.
John Eldredge

I believe in words, in the power and potential they possess, that what we say is significant and it’s up to us to share our stories.  But I also believe there comes a time when you can’t just write about life.  You have to life it.  Even when it scares you half to death…….What great writers do, and maybe great people, is they step into the mess.  They do the difficult job of caring, not just about what they do but who they do it for.  And that’s something rare.
Jeff Goins

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
Martin Luther King Jr

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An Amazing Average Post: Alexa Martin

Happy 2014 friends!

I’m so excited about this post- the next post in my Amazing Average People series.   (If you have no idea what I am talking about, just click here and here and you’ll be caught up in no time).

One of my biggest passions and happiness-bringers is supporting small business owners, friends and family (whether in blood or virtual/digital form) and “average” people who are doing AMAZING things.  As I began working on this series that would not get off my mind and heart, I wondered if it would connect with others-if I’d be able to share the amazing-ness of these people I’m going to tell you about one by one.  I was so so excited to see that, based on the amount of responses, texts, calls, messages and emails I received, it seems to have done just that!  So thank you “readers” for reminding me how blessed I am to have such giving and passionate friends and family.  I am grateful for you.

I’m going to keep my post today short, because I want to send you right over to the website (Dirty Girls Trail Runners) of the subject of this post: my running coach, but more importantly my friend, Alexa Martin.  If you know her, you already know most of what I could tell you, and if you don’t, well, I’m sorry, because she is one pretty amazing person.  (If you know her, you also know that I did NOT tell her I was writing this post, because she would have found some way to stop me- ha!  Too bad Alexa- I’m pretty sneaky when I wanna be!).


Sun Mountain 25K 2013

Alexa is one of those people that just makes you instantly feel welcome, safe, normal, cherished, important and capable right from the minute you meet her.  She’s compassionate, she’s funny- (impish even maybe at times?), she’s flexible, she’s giving and she’s a brilliant coach and runner who gives more than sometimes seems possible to other people.  I have watched, first myself, and then others, be transformed physically, mentally and emotionally by joining her classes and the amazing running community here in our town that she has helped shape and energize.  While teaching you how to improve form and technique and ability as well as any coach I’ve ever known or seen, more importantly, she teaches you personal lessons about strength and courage and endurance and kindness to yourself and others that have the ability to transform you entirely.  In light of my new, more focused focus on the importance of using our words well, Alexa is one person who is constantly reinforcing this lesson to us all as regards the way we talk to one of the most important people in our lives: ourselves.  There is no price tag on these types of lessons and I am so grateful to be learning from her.

I’m so excited to tell you that I’m going to be helping spread some of her coaching tips and wisdom to you in the coming weeks and months.  We’ll be adding a section to her website where you can find her tried and true advice for whatever your question, problem, struggle or new challenge or goal is.

In addition, I am so grateful to be writing on a new blog on her website Run For Your LIfe, where we’ll be discussing all the different ways that Running (exercise) is good for your health- be it physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, relational or any other aspect of health.  I hope you’ll take a minute to click on over and read the introductory post (click here) where I explain how in the heck I came to love something so much that I spent the first 34 years of my life in complete hatred of.  Even if you HATE to run, and actually ESPECIALLY if you abhor running, I hope you’ll take the time to at least skim through it because you might be surprised to hear my story.

I hope that you have an “Alexa” in your life, or maybe you are one yourself.  In honor of celebrating Amazing Average people everywhere, why not take 5 minutes today to tell “her” thanks or do something special to show “her” (or yourself) that she is making a difference in the world.  (And then go check out the new blog at the link…this one…here!)


Turning 40, 50 Races and 1001 Books

Greetings from the land of the living!

After setting Monday Jan 6 in my planner as “the day I officially start my new life” (because December is just a great big free-for-all glittery, sparkly peaceful chaotic party) I spent the first part of the day walking and talking with friends but the evil, sneaky, nasty, hateful virus-who-can’t-be-named (influenza shhhh) attacked me that night and didn’t let me out of his grip until early this morning.  (AND YES of COURSE I got a flu shot, sometimes it just isn’t enough for several different reasons, but this post really isn’t about how you should get a flu shot.  Although anyone who has ever GOTTEN the flu would agree with me that you should).  Anyway.

Happy 2014!!!

I am so glad IT is here and so glad YOU are here and so glad to have energy to type this out.  I was going to purposely NOT write the first week of January anyway, not because I don’t love all the “resolutions” and “let’s get started” and “it’s a new year, a new you” posts, because I do! I do! I just decided not to be seduced by the “shiny new year” promises and set myself up to feel like I had to have something monumental to say!  Which I do and I don’t.

I have lots of monumental things to say- like “HELLO I DON’T HAVE A JOB, A PLAN, AN INCOME OR A SCHEDULE”- Yikes!  But also, I am LOVING not having any of those things and am absolutely certain this is what this year is supposed to look like (for now at least).  (Insert reminder for all the worry-ers here again that I did save up for and plan for this, that P is totally supportive and that we have plenty of money in savings- you know who I’m talking to….)  I do have some part-part-time work lined up (aka locum tenens) in an adorable little town near here, I’m planning to start my online fellowship in Integrative Medicine (as soon as I can get the post-911 payment to kick in- don’t even ask),  I’m staying involved with the ethics committee and clinic at our hospital and am able to volunteer for some things at church and in the community that I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise- all “non-monumental” things I am very excited about.

In this year of the unknown- of more flexibility and spending time with friends and family and being open to opportunities and of trying new things, (as well as the year I turn FOURTY!!) I did write down a few “things” I’d like to do.  I’m calling them things because they are more themes or focus points than goals and some of them may take much longer than a year.  I realize we all have our “things” and I’m sharing them for accountability, but also because I’d love to hear your “things” and ways I can be a part of them- so share below pretty please?

My 2014 Things:

Themes: WORDS and INVITE
1. Writing: I’m going to focus my blog in a little more.  My whole purpose of this space was to focus on gratitude and well…..”cupsrunningover” as that applied to my life in my faith, family, friends, running (and coffee in those cups).  For the last year or so I’ve been sensing a more focused focus that I want to just be more intentional about.  I wrote a little about it HERE and a little HERE but here’s the chase (I’m cutting to it).  I know I am most strengthened and energized when I am using my words to encourage other people.  It is definitely my spiritual gift if you care about/understand what those are and instead of feeling prideful in saying that I’m embracing it and am determined to use it more.  I have seen what the power of encouragement does in my life and in others’ and I am committing to being more intentional about using my words to encourage; if they can’t encourage or speak truth kindly, then I’m going to try to just keep them in my mouth.  I hope that will come through here as I’m writing and I give you express permission to call me out if I’m falling short on that goal.  Deal?

Also, I have a book (or two or three).  It (they) are in my head. (I know I know everyone has a book, but I do too).  I almost have a title for it, which I figure is a start.  Or maybe that’s the end.  I don’t know but I am going to work on it.  I am committing to writing more regularly this year overall and am (finally) starting a writing class online this month taught by my inspiring friend JEFF GOINS.

2. Travel: My goal this year is to go on at least one trip each month to see friends and/or family.  I’ve already got at least one trip for each month except June, August and October (pending the Marine Corps Marathon lottery Tracy and I are crossing our fingers for!) and I plan on filling those in shortly.  One will definitely be a trip to Colorado Springs, but I’m waiting until the fall for that so I can combine a “three-for”….Along that “invite” theme (and incorporating a “budget” theme), I’m using SW miles and I’m pretty much inviting myself places (including to sleep on couches!).  I am super excited about all the trips in line so far and will tell you all about them because I’m going to use them to do more writing this year (it’s true, it’s true).  If you have a reason and/or a great time that I should come and visit you (and a couch) let me know and I’ll try my best to work it in!

3. Running: I have a couple of running-related goals this year that I am really excited about.  We are returning in two weeks to run the super (awful) cool ORCAS 25K.  Starting with that race as my 1st, I’d love to run a race in all 50 states.  I’m not setting myself a time limit on this one or any other rules, so I’m looking forward to just seeing how that plays out. I’m hoping some of them are combined with number 2 above.  I have committed to running my first 50K this year, after being sidelined the last two years, and I have the opportunity to do some running-related writing as well.

4. Reading: (“Word” theme- get it?) Last year I made a real effort to read more and I did.  This year I am making an even stronger effort to read more books and less random articles and internet-related items.  (Yes I do realize the irony of that since I am writing that on a blog post but my feedly is going nowhere).

As I was working on this post, I got a notice from my friend RACHEL at Under the Tapestry  who was contacted by her friend NICOLE at Brashbiochemist (who I don’t know and haven’t met- cool huh?), about participating in this really cool reading project.

You may have seen this list before?  Well, the three of us are going to rotate selecting a book off the list (randomly or intentionally- picker’s choice) and read it and discuss together in some format.  We’ll keep a record here (it’s a public google document, you can use it too!) and we’d love for you to join in if you want?  Maybe there will be a virtual book club or a private group set up somewhere at some point- I’ll let you know.  For now, you should check it out because I think it’s going to be fun.  Book number “one” is really number 814 Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Master of Ballantrae and it’s free on kindle.  So let me know if you want to play, and if you have a blog and want to discuss- the more the merrier! (Caveat: In the last year I’ve finally given myself permission to stop reading a book if I just don’t want to finish it for whatever reason, so if it makes you more excited about the idea, I’m continuing that rule with myself here because life is short and I love to read (and I currently have 193 books on my kindle app)).

I have so broken every single blog-writing rule in this post.  In my defense, I just said I was going to write more, I didn’t say I was going to be a professional blogger!

I hope to “see” many of you in one format or another this year- on the run, in the airport, on your couch, in our book group, or any other cool way we might cross paths.

Happy 2014!  Do you have any themes to share?

Doesn't this just make you feel like there's a great big year out there to step into?

Doesn’t this just make you feel like there’s a great big year out there to step into?


December: Words I Wish I Wrote that I Wrote Down (in my journal)

My Type A (read “OCD”) personality is having real trouble with even sending this out….it’s not December anymore and everyone is talking about the “new” year and new resolutions (which by the way I fully support- what’s with all the resolution-hating this year?  If you don’t try, you’ll NEVER succeed, right?).  December is gone and somehow even the fuzzy, cozy feel of the season is different, all sparkly and shiny instead of soft and quiet?  Is it just me?

We had a super fun NYE in some rustic cottages at Lake Crescent Lodge in the Olympic National Forest, and due to a computer malfunction (read I forgot to forward this to myself) I couldn’t post this until we got back.  So, despite the now lateness of the title, here you are: some words I saw last month that I took time to write down.  As usual there seems to be a theme weaving through them to me- I’ll let you see if you detect one for yourself.  I do have more to say and you might even see TWO posts from me in one week but we are taking one more no-school day today.  Have a great first week of 2014.  I am grateful for 2013 and ready for this next year to show itself.


Lake Crescent in the Olympic National Forest

We are all sculptors and painters and our material is our own flesh and bones.
Henry David Thoreau

When one loves, one does not calculate.
St Therese of Lisieux

A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can.
Michel de Montaigne

It’s not so much where you stand that matters but in what direction you are moving.

The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other, but to be with each other.
Christopher McDougall

Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
Flannery O’Connor

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
C Northcote Parkinson

One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.
Will Durant

Thank you for the day and for the hour, and the minute.
Maya Angelou

Have the courage to speak the Truth- even if your voice is trembling.

A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
Grace Hopper

Cherish all your happy moments; they make a fine cushion for old age.
Christopher Morley

Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away.
Arthur Helps

There is no substitute for the comfort supplied by the utterly taken-for-granted relationship.
Iris Murdoch

It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation which give happiness.
Thomas Jefferson

The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.
Henry Ford

Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste.  The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense.
Arnold Bennett

Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among rocks.
Charlotte Bronte

Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value.
Albert Einstein

We become what we think about.
Earl Nightingale

Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.
Charles Swindoll

Little by little, one travels far.
J. R. R. Tolkien

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The antidote to exhaustion is not rest, but wholeheartedness.
David Whyte

Sometimes God has his people wait long so our gratitude becomes deeper and wider.
Ann Voskamp

“But if a man has commonly a very clear and happy daily life then I think we are justified in asking that he shall not make mountains out of molehills.  I do not deny that molehills can sometimes be important.  Small annoyances have this evil about them, that they can be more abrupt because they are more invisible; they cast no shadow before, they have no atmosphere…. But when all this is allowed for, I repeat that we may ask a happy man…to put up with pure inconveniences and even make them part of his happiness.  Of positive pain or positive poverty I do not speak here speak. I speak of those innumerable accidental limitations that are always falling across our path – bad weather, confinement to this or that house or room, failure of appointments or arrangements…”
G.K. Chesterton, “The Advantages of Having One Leg”


Goodbye 2013

Goodbye 2013

Welcome 2014!

Welcome 2014!


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