Letting Them Treasure: Five Minute Friday


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They collect their little treasures. Sea shells, sticks, seed pods, and berries. Anything they can pick up. Sometimes I have to talk them out of treasuring cigarette butts, random bits of sharp metal and anything truly foul that I can’t imagine touching let alone taking home. I want to tell them it’s just junk, leave it there. Remind them that in a few weeks they will have forgotten all about these things (until of course a sibling runs off with it) and I’ll be stuck cleaning them up or trying to keep the exploring baby from maiming himself.

All I can see is the work it creates for me, and it’s easy to forget the wonder these little every day trinkets create for them. My daughter loves scissors and becomes very attached to the little (by which I mean tiny) scraps of paper that she creates. As they little my floor I just want to sweep them up with the dirt because they are also dirty and because sometimes I want my floor to be clean for more than 10 seconds. Then she weeps as though I’ve banished a family member and I remember what it’s like to be that age.

I remember having collections of every kind, rocks, feathers, sea glass, etc. I also remember the irritation it caused my mother. So I try to find a middle way. I set limits on what I will bring inside, but allow them to make piles outside. Items ruled too gross or dangerous are discouraged. Yet when my daughter comes to me with the first red bird feather she’s ever found and tells me she’s sure it came from a cardinal, I have to try and forget the germs it could be carrying and wonder with him.

One mom’s trash is a child’s treasure. Sometimes my irritations can be their inspiration.


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Fit2B Quick: Week 5

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For a little fun this week we’re going to do the ½ week. These are each, for the most part, full body workouts, but divided in half, for those of us short on time. (If for some reason, you find that you have time to do the whole thing in one sitting, just repeat the whole workout on another day).

Basic Step Aerobics II

You can do this workout either divided into 2 segments about 15 minutes each or done twice at the full 30 minutes.

This is definitely a high intensity workout, but not high impact. The choreography is definitely more difficult than the first Basic Step Aerobics routine. Do a little marching in place to warm up before tackling the second half on a different day.

Basic Step with Weights

Choreography wise this is not as complicated as Basic Step Aerobics II but the weights definitely add a level of intensity. Plus moving both the arms and legs at the same time requires a bit more coordination. If you choose to do this in two segments, there is a nice lull between 13 and 14 minutes to break the workout up. If you do it all in one sitting, prepare to sweat.

Body Sculpting

Loving this workout. Yes, it is challenging, but because you control the level of weight used, you can also control the challenge. You can do the whole thing without weights and still get a good workout. My encouraging moment of the morning: there is a movement in this workout where you squeeze a pillow between your knees and shift your weight from heels to toes while keeping your upper body stationary and level. When I raised my heels, my core turned on. I didn’t have to think about it, or focus on it. Now I did concentrate, because I wanted to make sure I was maintaining my engagement, but it was so encouraging to have my body naturally do what it is supposed to do. I may still have a separation but I’m also getting stronger.

Align it Flat

This was a good review after a LONG break from doing this workout. It really does take you back to basic, but in a good way. We need to learn how to maintain alignment in our daily movements and that’s what this workout helps to do.

Restorative Poses II

This is another quiet and relaxing workout, best done without others around and few distractions. I was sorry I didn’t have a teddy bear to cuddle with as part of this workout and had to settle for a pillow. I don’t like it quiet as well as Restorative Poses I, but there are definitely some important stretches that helped release some tight muscle areas for me.
I may have made this week a bit heavy on the weights, but I enjoyed the challenge. This is definitely the end of my working out without sweating. This was a more challenging week but I was still able to focus on alignment and maintain core engagement.


You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio annual membership.

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If you need a little more help; rehab rather than just fitness, check out The Tummy Team.

Part of the Constellation: The Discipline of an Online Writing Community


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Sometimes it’s easier to be silence, keeping the words inside, not sharing what is really going on. But every Friday, I am invited again to let my thoughts spill out, onto the page, into the vortex of the internet. There have been many times in the last few years that I wondered if I could just give up blogging. I wasn’t making progress, at least as I defined it. I wanted making it big, signing book deals or developing a successful platform. I was just plugging away, week after week, month after month, slogging through the years and wondering what the point of it all was.

When I discovered Five Minute Friday, it provided me with two things: discipline and community.

Every Friday (technically Thursday night in my time zone), Kate Motaung posts a prompt. A single word. Then all over the world, for the next day or two, women write for five minutes about that word. Unfiltered, unedited. Then after we post, we link up and check out at least one other person’s post.

This was life changing for me, because it helped me over the hump of writers block. It also helped me to better see the larger community I was a part of.
Now I don’t write every week, but I try to. The discipline part is still hard. But if I have a hard week and I don’t manage to write and post anything else, Five Minute Friday helps me to find my center again, like following the North Star. Sometimes the prompts inspire me, other times it’s simply and exercise in trying, even if I don’t quite feel it that week. It’s a reminder that my words may touch someone that I could never expect. Together all our words, like tiny points of light, create the constellation of the Five Minute Friday Community.


This week I am so excited to announce that the Five Minute Friday book is available on Amazon.com. This project is a collection of the best that Five Minute Friday has to offer, the brave words and men and women (though if I’m honest, mostly women) pulled from blog posts and web pages and put down on paper, further expanding their reach.

All profits from the book will be divided equally between two ministries in South Africa: The Vine School in Cape Town, and The Ten Dollar Tribe! This feels especially appropriate since South Africa is the birthplace and heart home of Lisa Jo Baker and adopted home of Kate Motaung.
So please, buy the book. But also, join the chorus, and add another star to the constellation and join us for Five Minute Friday this week.

He Who Listens: Five Minute Friday


I recently explained to my daughter the difference between hearing and listening. She kept getting angry at her brother for saying things she didn’t want to hear and used it as an excuse to fight with him. I kept telling her.

You don’t have to listen. 

But I can’t stop my ears, even if I cover them, she said.

I told her that listening isn’t just hearing, it’s acknowledging and responding to what is being said. It requires some kind of action on our part. I didn’t explain to her that most of the time I can’t help hearing my children, but often I’m not listening. Because the noise is constant and sometimes unnecessary. (Strike that, mostly unnecessary).

When our third child was born and we found out he was going to be a boy, I wanted his name to mean somethings special. I starting looking up names based on meaning. We often joke that we should name our kids for the good qualities we hope to see. Since our second born really doesn’t listen very well, I started looking up names that meant hearing, listening, obeying, etc. That is how I found Simon. He who hears or he who listens. I felt immediately like it was the name for him. It felt like a blessing I was praying over him. Since we chose his name, months before he was born, I have prayed that he would have a unique capacity to hear the voice of God.(Of course it also wouldn’t hurt if he listened to his parents as well).

That little boy is now a year old, as of yesterday. He has a lot to say, though little of it involves words. I marvel at his easy smile and laugh. He is my easiest child, by far. As the days slip by, I find myself grieving of the loss of the babyhood. The brief window of that magic first year has drawn to a close and I wonder if I am the one who has failed to listen. This is my last chance to mother a baby, a baby boy. What does God have to say to me during this time?

Am I able to hear him? Am I even listening?





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Fit2B Quick: Week 4

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I lost some time last week, between travel and extreme exhaustion I didn’t exercise for almost a whole week, at least with Fit2B.  But when we were visiting friends I took a hike and a very long walk. Don’t let your exercise schedule keep you from living your life.


Kelly’s Core Cardio

It has been a while since I’ve done this. I like the hooping motion because it uses a slightly different set of muscles than other typical cardio. It was a little more challenging to maintain my core engagement but I was still able to do it.
Bag A Better back

My first time ever doing this workout. Ironically all I could find to put in my grocery bags was my 3 lb hand weights, but I could totally see myself filling these bags with random kids toys or the shoes that seem to be constantly blocking my front door. This was a surprisingly challenging upper body workout. One of the best parts about it is how easy it is to make the workout harder when you are ready. Just add more stuff to your bags. Like so many of Beth’s workouts, this works well in real life. Grab a few bags, whatever you have to add weights and go.
Body Sculpting II

This is technically labeled a challenging workout. But Beth provides multiple suggestions for modifications and I made sure to use them. Though this is called body sculpting, I think it actually makes a good short cardio routine. (Which is great because I’ve been running out of short cardio).
Bag a Better Booty

This was a really interesting workout. The bags I used had handles that were a little too long, so it was hard for me to get the full workout within my current range of motion, with good alignment. As often happens, my supporting leg got an even stronger workout than the leg that was in motion. Trying to avoid sinking into my supporting hip while still lifting weight with my free leg was definitely challenging. I can see how this workout may help me learn to use good alignment while dancing.
Hipster Chair Moves

This is only the second time I have done this workout. It’s a fun little workout. Not too long. Definitely does some great work on the legs, hips and glutes. (In retrospect perhaps not the best choice the day after Bag A Better Booty, but I did OK).
Mula Bandha

My favorite part of this, even after so many years of doing it, is the tree pose. It really changes the focus a bit and helps me make sure I’m not compensating with other muscles. If it’s been a while since you’ve tried this, it’s worth a revisit.
Restorative Poses

This is so relaxing, especially if there aren’t any kids around. This workout can really be as long as you like, just pause after each stretch and rest in each stretch for a while longer.

I am back to really struggling with getting up early in the morning, which means that I have a hard time getting my workouts in. I wish I was already as strong as I want to be, running miles again and doing yoga and lifting weights in between. But I’m not there yet. So I have to accept it and do the best I can for now.


You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio annual membership.

Join Fit2b.us

If you need a little more help; rehab rather than just fitness, check out The Tummy Team.



We May Be Shaken, But He Holds Fast



We were singing a worship song a few Sunday’s ago with a line that says, “We will not be shaken, God of our salvation. You are, you are the rock we stand on.” I love that line, but yet something about it felt off. Because the truth is, I am often shaken. It has been a difficult summer at our house, for many different reasons. It has taken a toll on me as a parent, as a wife and as a person.

Then I realized those aren’t the words. The line properly reads

“He will not be shaken, God of our salvation.”

It’s easy for me to forget that disequilibrium is part of life. Things will rarely go according to plan. The nature of this broken world is that things will always move towards disorder and dysfunction. So yes, I will be shaken, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

As we sang that song I remembered the scripture we picked out for our wedding. I should preface this story by saying that we were very intentional about this. We prayed and read the Bible a lot, looking for the right verse. For some reason, all the scriptures typically used at weddings, just didn’t feel like a good fit for us.

Then we came across Isaiah 54:10

Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

This felt like the right verse, because yes it was God’s promise to Israel, but it was also the promise we were making to each other. Yes, we have failed at this. There have certainly been times in our thirteen years that our love for each other has been shaken. But it is the unshakable love of God, that has held us fast.
If you look at the full Chapter 54 of Isaiah, it’s a tough chapter. Israel is suffering the consequences of disobedience. Yet God’s love for them endures and he continues to offer them mercy. In the middle of their difficulty is this wonderful promise of his unshakable love and compassion. There are other wonderful promises to cling to in this chapter and I’m going to try to read the full chapter more often to remind myself of them.
Because we will be shaken. Life will throw things at us that we can’t possibly anticipate. We can’t truly know how we will reaction until we face the times of suffering. We may stand strong or we may crumble. (I usually do a bit of both). But His love doesn’t change, is not moved and will not be shaken. He is the rock we stand on, steady against the storm.

Finding Our Way Home: Five Minute Friday


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We think it’s time to move on. Except all the numbers don’t line up. The news isn’t what we wanted to hear. Yet, we feel strongly that it is time to go. We were start looking at alternative options. We keep search for a house that can become a home. A place where our little children have room to stretch their legs and grow, with space for their big personalities and dreams.

My husband, even the introvert, seeks someplace quiet. After years of living in the city he’s looking for respite, for peace. After years of making this place my own, the idea of starting over again is daunting. And yet, I feel ready for a new adventure.  I’m not sure where it will be, or how it will look, but I know how I want it to feel.

Like so many other things in life, we must strive forward through the fog; taking baby steps, scooting, sliding and edging towards what we think and hope is there. Searching for a place to belong, to be home again.




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