Posted in Linkups

Little Letters : September 2017


Dear Pumpkin Spice,

WELCOME BACK, OLD FRIEND!!!!!! I’m in white girl overdrive over here!

Dear Christmas music,

I see you waiting in the wings. I might start slowly adding you into my playlists. I can’t stop myself.

Dear Kelly Clarkson,

Thanks for the new song! Does that mean a new tour soon? I haven’t gone to a concert yet this year, and I need to fill that hole in my life…

Dear Chick Fil A app, 

I’ve written about you before, but you just keep delivering free treats. Keep it up!

Dear Amber,

This one is a little more serious, so I guess I’m ending on a bit of a low note. You have not been taking care of yourself lately. You really need to start going to bed earlier, start eating better, and start exercising again. I would also like you to be nicer to yourself. And, let’s work on those organization and time management skills, shall we?

Linking up with Kristin

Posted in Linkups

Sentence a Day : August 2017

Somewhere, buried deep in a box in the garage, I have a five-year journal. This journal covers a span of five years (truth in marketing) and has a few lines on each day for you to record something about your day. I wasn’t always the best at remembering to actually write something that happened particular day, and I’m of the mindset that once I’ve missed a day on something, I may as well drop it completely. Nice, right?

When I ran across this linkup, I was intrigued. Basically, all you do is a write a sentence about each day in a month. Instant five-year journal! So, here are my sentences for August:

1 – Right now things seem super-stressful, but this is a season.

2 – Lunch with family and friends makes my day brighter!

3 – Charlotte’s sleep is awful right now, and I’m discouraged.

4 – Our microwave started sparking today – scary!

5 – Char, Koopa, and I stayed home all day, and it still scared me!

6 – New microwave today and a little shopping with Char and Mom.

7 – Monday again already…

8 – Feeling kind of blah and in a funk

9 – A little better today, but I still don’t feel like myself.

10 – I’m excited about teaching a class this fall!

11 – Friyay but one day closer to the end of summer…

12 – Cleaning, shopping, a wedding, and a Char sleepover!

13 – How come mornings go by so much faster when Char isn’t here?

14 – It feels like time is flying by this month.

15 – First day of in-service at work means meetings, friends, and free food!

16 – Really rough day at work today…

17 – Things were a little better today, thankfully.

18 – TGIF, y’all.

19 – Shopping fun with Mom and Charlotte

20 – More shopping and Char ate a ton of food at Target!

21 – The eclipse was so cool!

22 – All day training has me feeling cross-eyed.

23. Will’s first day of classes and it started with Algebra.

24 – First day of teaching went well!

25 – Char went to Mimi’s, and we had a date night

26 – Day at the fair was fun…but hot.

27 – Really rough night that makes me ask questions like “how many cats is too many cats?” (Uh, I have no idea what I meant by this!)

28 – Char slept better tonight, and Will made some fantastic fajitas!

29 – Another battle to get her to bed…

30 – Dentist appointment today, and there were no cavities

31 – Lots of rain and flooding tonight, and it’s a little scary!

Linking up with Leslie

Posted in book review

Learning to Finish What You Start

Slack Free September

Make Yourself Amazing in April


What do these three links have in common?

They’re all post series that I started but never finished.

The list doesn’t end there either. I am full of great ideas about things I want to start. I can start things all day. The half unpacked boxes scattered throughout my house and the partially filled out planners can attest to that. It’s the finish that trips me up. Finishing proves to be an elusive goal that I almost never reach.

I’m not alone in my struggle. According to Jon Acuff, author of the forthcoming book Finish, nearly 92% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Acuff equates this to almost having a better chance of being accepted to Julliard than finishing a goal.

Now, since I made an A in my Intro to Dance class in college, this comparison doesn’t ring true with me, but for you non-dancers out there, this should be a little shocking. How can be possible? Why do we have such a problem finishing things?

Acuff explores this topic in-depth in Finish. One reason we fail to finish is that we’re making our goals too lofty. Instead of starting with a small goal, like completing a 5K, we immediately dive into the deep end, headfirst, with no lifeguard on duty, and say that we’re going to complete a triathlon. We create elaborate plans for how we will reach these goals, and then the minute one tiny piece of the plan is off track, we abandon it faster than it takes to spell triathlon.

Another obstacle to finishing is that we are our own worst enemies. We need to be easier on ourselves. One example Acuff gave was that if we set a goal to lose 10 pounds but only lose 6, we think we have failed. But, if we set a goal to lose 5 pounds and lose 6, then we have met and exceeded our goal. We shouldn’t feel like we have to go all in at full speed. Progression that helps us actually finish is much better than having good ideas, even if the progression is slower than we want it to be.

Another reason that we don’t finish is that we pursue “noble obstacles.” Acuff defines a noble obstacle as “a virtuous-sounding reason for not working towards a finish.” Another way to look at this is the sudden urge you get to sketch out your idea for a queso-on-demand delivery service instead of going for your training run. While a queso-on-demand delivery service might be a cool idea and be used by many people (or just Jon Acuff. Same difference), it doesn’t do anything to help you finish your goal of running a half-marathon. I am so, so, so bad about doing this, so this chapter was especially eye-opening for me!

Finish comes out on September 12, but you can pre-order a copy now. If you pre-order by September 11, then you receive the bonuses shown in the picture below.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I didn’t expect it to be so timely for me though as I’m starting to plan out a few goals that I really, really, really, really (really) want to finish. I have been a fan of Jon Acuff since the “Stuff Christians Like” days and even guest-posted there once! I was excited to have this opportunity to be on the launch team, especially since this is a book that I enjoyed and can see revisiting many more times in the future. Perhaps there could even be a Fall Finisher challenge coming up soon…

I’ve also used affiliate links in this post. Want to know what that means? Check out my disclosure policy.

What is something you’re struggling to finish? Let me know in the comments!

Posted in Linkups

Currently : September 2017


Celebrating : Some parenting wins we’ve had lately!

Watching : Myself waste time. Okay, that was kind of a stretch answer, but basically, I’m not moving forward with most of my goals. I’m stagnant…that’s a really ugly word, but my point is clear!

Welcoming : Faaaaaaalllllll (oh come on, I put a picture on Instagram of my first Pumpkin Spice Latte last week…you knew this answer was inevitable).

Preparing : For This Is Us to come back on! Come on, September 26!!

Photographing : Charlotte and Koopa, Koopa and Charlotte. They’re just so stinking cute together lately!

Linking up with Anne and Lowonda

P.S. If you like linkups, be sure to join The Guys Behind the Blog Linkup here on September 28!

Posted in Linkups

The Blended Blog Asks : Back to School Edition

Do you remember in the LiveJournal or Myspace days when those surveys were all the rage? I absolutely loved them. I guess I just can’t get enough of talking about myself!

I found this Back to School survey from The Blended Blog and had to join in!

1. Did you love school or hate it? Besides a few speed bumps, like having a girl in my second grade class pick on me, I loved school overall. I have always been a bit of a geek like that!

2. Start school before or after Labor Day? I know we started after Labor Day when I was in elementary school, but I can’t remember if that was the case once I got to junior high and high school. Our county starts at the beginning of August now because they have longer fall and spring breaks, which I think is kind of nice.

3. Wake up : eager beaver or slow poke? I think I usually woke up fairly well but tended to be a slow poke because I always thought I had more time than I actually did.

4. Favorite breakfast? I’ve always been a pretty big fan of French Toast and bacon.

5. Favorite cereal? Cocoa Pebbles or Count Chocula. It’s obviously very important to me to have chocolate cereals.

6. School uniform or no uniform? No uniform but my county did implement a standardized dress code the summer before my junior year. Funny story, I had so many dress code violations that I almost got sent to alternative school! My mom went to the principal’s office (or assistant principal…I can’t remember) and fought with her about it. Thanks for saving me from that fate, Mom!

7. New outfit for first day or no? Of course! Every first day of school was a chance to show off your summer tan and new clothes. Duh!

8. Walk to school or ride the bus? My mom and I walked to my school for a couple of months when I was in second grade since we lived pretty close to it. Otherwise, I was mostly chauffeured by one of my parents or a neighbor when I got older. I rode the bus for a couple of years (I think it was only a couple of years) because I thought it would be cooler than having my mom take me to school I was so, so wrong…

9. Backpack, tote, or messenger bag? Backpacks mostly. I think I tried a messenger bag once or twice, but it never felt big enough to haul all of the crap I carry around! (I still carry too much crap around!)

10. Eat school lunch or pack lunch? I feel like I probably had packed lunches more in elementary school and then wanted school lunches when I got to junior high and high school and there was more of a selection of food.

11. Remember the little milk cartons? White or chocolate? Chocolate all the way! I think Cracker Barrel still serves those little milk cartons with a frosty mug when you order chocolate milk there. It’s like going back to school…in the 1950s…

12. Paper bag or lunchbox? Lunchbox! Paper bags are boring!

13. Favorite thing to do at recess? Um, not sweat? I can’t remember!

14. Favorite back to school supply item? A new notebook…or new pens…or a new planner…or a new backpack…or new pencils…get the picture? 😉

15. Chalkboard or dry erase board? Dry erase all the way. I can’t stand the way chalk feels!!

16. Regular pencil or mechanical? Both! I love writing utensils, so I had a collection of both!

17. Homework as soon as you got home or after dinner? I don’t really remember! I’m a brown noser and a procrastinator, so I guess it probably depended on which side of me won out. Maybe my mom can help me remember this one!

18. Favorite after school snack? I don’t remember this either! I don’t think I really turned down too many snacks though!

19. Favorite after school show? Oprah, especially when she had celebrity interviews, giveaways, or weight loss success stories. Wow. That was a really specific answer, wasn’t it?

20. Favorite subject in school? Creative writing!

21. Least favorite school subject? Math – specifically geometry. It never made sense to me! It still doesn’t make sense to me!

22. Name of your best friend in high school? This is kind of sad, but I really don’t remember having a best friend in high school. I had friends that I really liked spending time with, but I can’t remember a best friend. I hope that my high school best friend isn’t reading this thinking that I’m a jerk for not remembering who s/he was!

23. High school mascot type? Bear! I think we were actually the golden bears if I remember correctly. Any of my high school classmates want to help me on this one?

24. SAT or ACT? I took the ACT twice. I wish I had tried a third time because my score went up a couple of points between the first and second tries, and it would’ve been cool to have broken 30. If I had to take one of them now, I would do so poorly on the math section that they probably would revoke all of my degrees!

25. Favorite year in school? Kindergarten…hahaha…that’s about all I’ve got for this one.

26. Class Ring or no Class Ring? I bought one, and I still have it. I may even actually know where it is! Ha! I don’t think it would fit my pinkie at this point!

27. Attend or not attend high school reunions? For me, it’s a no. When the planning committee for my 10 year reunion started talking about it, they brought up the idea of an inexpensive, family-friendly event, like a bonfire. It was a pretty popular idea, and then I’m not sure what happened, but the final event ended up being in a hotel ballroom. Hopefully they’ll consider something a little more inexpensive for the 20 year reunion in a few years (fewer than I want to think about…).

back to school (1).png

Posted in Linkups

Glossies Made Me Do It : September 2017

(Ack!! September!!! Fall!!! Pumpkin!!! All the things!!!!)


I haven’t joined this linkup in a while, but I’ve missed it. I finally took some time tonight to read a couple of the magazines that have been in my “to read” pile. There’s nothing better than reading fitness magazines while eating pizza and cookies, right?

This month’s inspiration comes from the August issue of Runner’s World. After I cleared the crumbs off the page, I took a picture of the 5K training plan they included. It uses the walk-run method made famous by Jeff Galloway.

The plan is geared towards beginners who have never done a 5K, but since it’s been so long since I’ve participated in one, I’m practically a beginner again! Now that the weather seems to be cooling down (now watch it jump back up to the 90s again…), I think it’s a good time to start training for one. Plus, my brother works at the Under Armour distribution center now and gets a really nice discount on Under Armour stuff, so I can get new workout gear!

The article is available on the Runner’s World website, so check it out if you’re interested in joining me on my journey!

Linking up with Lauren, Ashley, and Erika


Posted in life, Linkups

Guys Behind the Blog : August 2017

I’ve been more scatterbrained than usual lately! I volunteered to teach a section of our university’s foundations class that all freshmen are required to take, and while I’ve really enjoyed it so far, it’s made me slightly more frazzled. We’re also implementing a new cataloging/circulation system later this year, so we’ve had to attend approximately 700 hours of training sessions so far. All of that background to say that I’ve been neglecting the blog, and I almost forgot to post this! I’ve been working on my post calendar for September, so let’s plan for a more productive month!


Okay, without further adieu, here are the August questions and answers!



1.) August is back to school for most kids…was that a day you used to look forward to? Or no?
Will : No.
Me : Is that all you want to say?
Will : I hated school, and I wasn’t good at it.
(Ironically enough, he just started college this summer and made an A in his first class!)


2.) What was your best memory from this summer?
Will : Seeing the progression that Charlotte has made [with pulling up on furniture, standing, and talking]


3.) What are you looking forward to for the later half of the year?
Me : Pumpkin spice lattes?
Will : Being able to spend more time with my family (he’s more of a salted caramel guy anyway…)


4.) What is your dream vehicle?
Will : Candy apple red, 1967 Mustang Mach 1 GT
Me : Put some thought into that, eh?
Will : I love those cars (I think he drooled a little when he said that…)


5.) Tell us about your occupation…
Will : I work campus security (he actually works at my university!)
Me : You make me feel more secure 😉


Questions for September (link up is on September 28):
1. If you could be on a reality show, what would it be?
2. What song or movie title best describes you?
3. If you could live somewhere else, where would it be?
4. Where do you picture yourself and your family in 5 years?
5. What would you do if you could be invisible for a day?


Grab our button and link-up with us! Don’t have a blog? Answer the questions on social media, then use #TGBTB to join in!