Thursday, June 25, 2015


A sloth.
A snail.
The line at the Post Office.
Me today.
We’re in our fifth week of summer break and I am slowing down. Especially today, for some reason, I feel completely wiped out and out of it.

I can tell my body wants to eat, but I’m unmotivated and have no appetite.

I have things to do, but I’m not doing them.

I’m dragging my feet.

I’ve done the things I need to do: get out of bed, work out, shower, get the boys fed, bring in the mail, pick up the house, laundry.

I’m tired. Maybe some days are just like that?

Or maybe God wants me to slow down, notice what’s around me, act more intentionally, and allow my brain to ruminate on what He puts there instead of pushing along the assembly line of thoughts to keep up with my pace to some imaginary daily finish line?
OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

One Fine Day

I love being on summer break. I love being home with my boys. Yes, the days can be long and the bickering can be annoying. But I am so relaxed not being chained to a rigid schedule (wake up, get dressed, eat, out the door, off to school, home from school, get homework done, make dinner, pack lunches, get the kids showered and in bed, sleep and repeat!).

Yesterday I was frustrated because – out of nowhere – James asked for a Nintendo 3DS, a Kindle, AND a dog. And when I said “no” (obviously), he gave me the saddest face on earth. I’d like to think I’m raising grateful children – not entitled brats who think it’s okay to ask for anything they want.

I understand that he’s only 7 years old and may not think anything of asking for expensive “toys” like he would a candy bar. He may not understand the difference (yet). Is it unreasonable for me to imagine that my children might be satisfied with all they have and not long for things they don’t? I guess that’s not human nature.

Today was a much better day. I woke up to this:
The boys were sitting together at the kitchen counter, reading so they can add to their summer reading challenge log. (If you're local, see here to sign up! I'm sure most libraries have similar programs.)

After breakfast, we headed to the theatre for their dollar movie of the week (see here for the entire summer schedule). For a grand total of $3, we enjoyed the movie “Nut Job.” The theatre wasn’t too packed and the boys loved the film.
We came home for lunch and then the boys asked if they could wear their ninja costumes. I don’t know why they thought of it, but hey, I’m thrilled for them to get more use out of their Halloween costumes (my most hated “holiday”). They ran all over the house (and all over the furniture, but whatever) as stealthy ninjas – burning off lots of energy.
We had to step out for some errands, and even though it was really hot, we got it done in record time. I love when the boys cooperate and we can be in and out of several places without dragging.

When we got home I had some things to do, so the boys went to the game closet and pulled out “Would You Rather?” They had fun asking each other all the questions, such as: “Would you rather have 14 fingers or 16 toes?” “Would you rather be the ugliest person on earth or the dumbest?”
I love days like today, when they find things to do that involve their hands, feet and imaginations. When they play together without quarreling. When they work with me instead of against me.

Are we perfect? Definitely not. Because also today the boys watched cartoons while eating lunch AND dinner; James dropped a glass full of milk, making a giant mess (thankfully the glass didn’t shatter!); and Silas ate a bowl full of mini-marshmallows for dessert. Yeah, we watch tv and we eat sugar.

But we also have fun without always relying on electronics or spending a ton of money. At least we did today – let’s see how tomorrow goes.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Sense

The first day of summer is still a week away, but with the temperatures rising and the fact that my boys have already been out of school for three full weeks, it feels like the season is already upon us.
To prepare for the sun and fun, here are a few tips to stay fittingly fashionable and happily healthy this time of year.


Summertime is hot. I live in central California where we have weeks of triple digit weather at a time and months of no rain (even when we’re not in a drought). I get it. As it gets hotter, clothing items seem to get smaller and more skin is on display. But you don’t have to reveal your body to stay cool. In fact, it’s safer to cover up, even when it’s hot and humid out, by choosing lightweight, light-colored fabrics and gauzy styles.

Try linen shorts with a white peasant blouse. Or denim cutoffs (that aren’t too short or have the pockets hanging out) with a concert tee. My absolute favorite is a sundress – chic and easy! I live in them all summer long.

Note 1: When wearing white, stick with flesh-colored undergarments. White undergarments will show through. And visible undergarments are not attractive (unless you’re Madonna) – this includes bra straps and thongs.

Note 2: Many skirts and dresses are very sheer. Invest in a lightweight slip to wear underneath.


I love flip flops as much as any other California girl, but they’re not super comfortable and aren’t very good for your feet. I save them for the pool, beach, or when I run out to get the mail.

An easy way to look stylish in these casual summer months is to pair whatever you’re wearing with some fancy footwear. I’m not recommending stilettos (even though I LOVE them year-round). But instead of flip flops or sneakers, try sandals, ballerina flats, wedges, espadrilles, or mules. There are so many footwear options that can instantly class up your look without any extra effort. And they’re just as comfortable as flip flops, promise.
Note 1: More than likely your feet and toes will be on display all summer long, so take care of them! You don’t have to get a fancy pedicure every other week, but keep your feet moisturized and your toenails groomed.

Note 2: If your feet tend to sweat in the summer heat, sprinkle a little baby powder in your shoes before heading out.


Three words: Less is more! In these hot months you don’t want to feel like your face is melting off. Keep things simple with a few coats of mascara and some lip gloss. Let your natural beauty shine.
Note 1: I love Trader Joe’s Lip Balm Virtuoso – it’s minty-fresh and it has SPF 15.

Note 2: If your skin tends to get oily, don’t clog your pores with powder. Instead, try blotting tissues. You can find them at any drugstore or department store beauty counter.


It’s important to be hyper-vigilant with your skin during the summer. The elements can be brutal, so wash your face daily and use a light moisturizer with SPF. I cannot stress this enough. Always use sunscreen and try to find skin products with SPF when possible. (It’s important in the winter, too.)

Another extremely important way to keep skin looking healthy is to drink water all day long. If you wait until you’re thirsty, you’re already on your way to being dehydrated. Keep that water bottle with you wherever you go.

Note 1: I use a refillable bottle and keep it in my bag so it's always with me. Let’s keep our environment in mind.

Note 2: If you smoke, please stop. It’s awful and it ages your skin (and teeth… and lungs…).

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.