Monday, August 31, 2009


I'm doing a few pieces for a green living event in town. Some girlfriends and I are pooling our creative resources, and each pitching in a few pieces for a "green baby" booth.

My contributions will be these. The frames are made by my husband out of 2 x 4s rescued from a building before it was torn down in the name of redevelopment. The fabric stretched over them are a mix of random scraps from my stash as well as repurposed old linens...table cloths, bedding, and curtains.

Inspiration found here.

I started by sketching out animal shapes, cutting the sketches as templates, then either tracing the template on the fabric and painting it, or cutting out the fabric and stitching it on the canvas.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


My husband is cleaning and reglazing the windows today.

I'm trying to wrap up a few paintings that have been in the works. Sometimes, just before I feel finished with one of them, I go a bit mad and squirt a glob of paint all over the canvas and start all over again...

Those flowers down below might be my next victim.

We'll see.

tree no. 4 & red flowers

Today is Daddy's day to make lunch. Which means burgers from A & W.

It's going to be a good day.

Friday, August 28, 2009

the skinny on the chubby

I thought I'd share some practical information about losing the weight.

As I mentioned before, it all started with prayer. Lots of prayer.

Then a group of girlfriends joined together to form a team for a community weight loss challenge. We earned points for daily exercise. We also earned points if we ate at least three vegetables and two fruits a day.

What I've found about myself, is that it doesn't matter one iota how much I work out. (As far as weight loss goes.) It is ALL about what I do or do not consume.

For breakfast everyday, I would have a gigantic cup of coffee. I usually have creamer in it, and limit my creamer use to the morning only. (Unless I'm at a girlfriend's house for coffee---then all bets are off.) Mornings are also the time of day where I can pretty much eat, sometimes I would eat a cookie for breakfast. Or left overs from the night before. (I'll get to that.)

Lunch was all about avocados. I would cut an avocado in half, and then cut it up and smear it on a toasted bagel with slices of red onion, tomatoes and cucumbers. The avocado kept well in the fridge, in a container - with the pit left in...which keeps it from turning brown and gross looking. It was helpful for me to cut up all the veggies before-hand and keep them in the fridge. I get lazy in a big hurry, so if it's always a lot of work, I lose interest and quit.

For an afternoon snack, I'd eat either a banana or an apple.

Dinnertime is tricky for me. I had to use what I knew about myself to my advantage. Things I know about myself:

I really like lasagna. If I make lasagna, I have no "off" button. I never get full.
I really like pizza. If I make pizza, I have no "off" button. I never get full.
I really like pasta. If I make pasta, I have no "off" button. I never get full.

Do you see a pattern?

So did I.

I knew I would save myself a lot (in the way of self control) if I didn't make any of those things. To make things easier on myself, I got out my Tupperware That's A Bowl. I'd buy a head of ice burg (nearly no nutritional value) lettuce, a head of romaine lettuce, and a bag of spinach. I would cut them all up and toss them in the bowl to eat for the next several days. When the bowl would empty, I would fill it again. Sometimes, to mix things up, I'd toss in a bag of broccoli slaw. Or shredded carrots. Or shredded cabbage.

The dangerous thing about salad is the dressing. You can totally ruin yourself, calorie wise, with too much dressing. I found that I liked my salad just fine without dressing, if I gave the lettuces a quick rinse under water and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. I topped the whole thing with the other half of my avocado from lunch, a few cubes of pepper jack cheese, some small bits of red onion, and sometimes jalapeno peppers from a pickle-type-jar. As long as the lettuce was still a little damp from the rinsing, it didn't matter that it wasn't smothered in dressing.

Each night, I would make something else for my family, but nothing from my list of loves. It wasn't a hassle, since I'd have to fix them something any way...and mine was really easy to throw together since everything was already ready to go. If what they were eating looked really good, I'd tell myself if I still wanted some, I could eat it for breakfast. (When my system has a better handle on that "off" switch.)

For a snack before bed, I would eat either a banana or an apple. (Which ever one I didn't eat as a snack between lunch an dinner.)

Another thing I know about myself is that I'm a snacker. I'm not always hungry, but I'm always fidgety. And need "something." I found, that if I had a delicious decaf coffee to drink, it took away my urge for "something." So, I'd put on a pot of coffee after lunch and sip at it all afternoon and into the night if I needed.

At least once a week, I'd go out to Applebee's for a late night appetizer. Those nights, I'd order what ever I wanted. (Boneless Buffalo Wings, with classic sauce and blue cheese dressing to dip it in.) So, while I was pretty strict with myself at meal times, I allowed myself to have fun and be normal.....knowing that if this was a new lifestyle, my lifestyle needed to allow for mom's night outs.

Those are all the practical things.


A huge component for me was my mind set. I'm mental.


I had to get my game face on. I knew that night would be rough. That the first night would be bad. I knew this because every night for the last 9 nears was the night before I was going to start. Do you do that? Have a good day, and then night comes, and the wheels fall off and you think, "Tomorrow is going to be The. Day." Every tomorrow. But! Tomorrow never comes. NEVER. It had to be TODAY. Today is The. Day.

So I made up my mind. I would tell myself that I knew it would be tricky. But I had to get over it. (Jesus comes in very handy here.) I'd give myself things to do at night. I'd fold laundry. While watching "The Biggest Loser." Do you know how hard it is to eat a snack while watching "The Biggest Loser"? It is very hard. I'd do laundry or take a bath, and sometimes I'd put myself to bed early.

The first night was hard. HARD. (I felt pathetic.) But I got through it. (It feels pathetic to write that.) And you know what? I felt SO POWERFUL the next morning. The second night was hard. And I got through that as well. And I felt even more powerful.

Every morning I would step on the scale, and it only took a few days before the numbers started creeping down. Each week, a few more pounds would come off, and talk about motivation! After a month, I was able to fit into clothes that I hadn't worn in a long time. After two months, I needed new clothes. After three months, I tapered off the salads at dinner. My stomach had reset. I've been maintaining a slower weight loss now for a few months, and haven't really had to think too much about it.

I'm trying not to lose my head. I know how easily I can fall into old habits. But even then, I recognize what I'm doing, and get my act together for a few days, and find that rhythm again.

What I know now, is that this needs to be a lifestyle. I can either enjoy everything in moderation and feel good. Or, I can enjoy everything in a gluttonous binge and feel yucky. And I know how easy it would be to slide down that slippery slope, and be right back where I was. But! The good news is, that if that were to happen, all it would take is a few good weeks of self control to get back on track.

And honestly, all it really takes is one day. One moment, making that decision to change.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

on Jesus and being chubby...




To preface...or not to preface.....that is the question.

This feels entirely too personal, and yet, I have been praying that this--the 'this' being the blog--would be what it is supposed to be. I have no idea what it is supposed to be. Mostly mental regurgitation on my keyboard that becomes public knowledge once I hit "publish." But that someone somewhere somehow would read these humble words and be changed, even a little...mostly that these words would tell you "THIS LADY LOVES JESUS!" Even when I'm writing something like: "I'm going a little more crazy every day." You know....that you could see Jesus between the lines.

I really have no purpose writing one of these here blogs. I started for my parents. And for me. And now, a whole three extra people read it every day. Hello, three readers!

But now that it's out there, and that I've been trying to be obedient in my living, I've been trying to give everything over in obedience. That said, these words I'm puking through my fingers are included in that obedience.

I realize that this likely makes no sense. But! That has not stopped me before, and it won't stop me today!

Any way.....

Last night, I was looking through pictures.

(Oh, those lots of words before that last sentence was the pre-preface. Next follows the REAL preface.)

So, last night, I was looking through pictures. Of me.


Well. Here's the entire twentieth decade was spent chubby. The fluctuation swung from "normal" to "just-had-a-baby" to "just-had-a-baby-three-years-ago-but-have-been-eating-like-there's-gonna-be-a-food-shortage-tomorrow-morning."

I wasn't really thrilled about it all, but my husband really didn't care and I love food, so why fix what isn't broken? Right? Except, if you've ever been chubby, you know that it isn't really any fun. Especially when you think things like "if I wear a turtle neck, my double chin can hide inside it."

Well, when my thirtieth birthday was looming around the corner, I thought to myself, "Self?! What is wrong with you?! You are not happy. What is your deal?"

So, I decided it was T.I.M.E. to get my act together. And then I got pregnant.

Which is normally a time of Arby's mozzarella cheese sticks and all things nacho for me. I knew that I needed a new approach. So I prayed. A lot. And Jesus gave me avocados.

And so that pregnancy went by with a good deal of weight gain, but nowhere NEAR the weight gain of the previous two. And once the baby was born, and the miracle weight loss that occurs right afterwards came and took away the pregnancy weight, I thought, NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD MEN TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR COUNTRY.

And I prayed some more.

Jesus! I need you. I need you to come and shut my open mouth. I prayed and prayed and prayed.

And He came. And when I would be digging in the cupboard for a little snacky snack, He would whisper, "You sure you want that, my love?" And I would say, "Yes, Jesus. I want fifty thousand Doritos." And Jesus would say, "Just checking. You wanted help. And I am giving it to you. Gently. Don't make me break your jaw."

(Just kidding on the breaking jaw.)

So that's how it went. It was all Jesus. Not me.

See the really sad thing is that the only way I knew how to lose weight was in my own strength. Which is really crappy. And unhealthy. It takes the form of an ugly eating disorder that I became acquainted with after high school. And then again after my first was born, and I started working. I know and knew that it not only wasn't healthy, but that it can't and couldn't work. So I resigned to give it up. And did. And had total control over it. And refused (R.E.F.U.S.E.D.) to go there ever again. So in some strange way, my chubbiness was a personal badge of honor over an eating disorder....but who wants to wear a chubby badge?


This wasn't supposed to be depressing.

I hope it's not depressing.

Where was I?


Jesus stepped in, and gave me more avocados. He gave me will power. He whispered sweet nothings to me when I poked around my kitchen looking for food when I wasn't hungry.

And now...I'm not skinny. I'm not even thin. But I'm not chubby. I've lost 75 pounds from the day I delivered my sweet baby to yesterday.

The problem is that I'm having a hard time seeing it.

So last night, I was looking at pictures.

I have THE MOST AWFUL picture of myself. Taken right after my third was born. I look as though I have a shell fish allergy and have just finished dining at Red Lobster. Swollen. Puffy.



I took out my camera, and set it up on the counter. I set the timer and sat in a chair just in front of it, and took a picture of myself. I had the same maternity shirt on as I did in that Red Lobster picture.

I put the two pictures on my screen side by side.

And I could see it.

I'm tempted to put the pictures up so you can see just what Jesus can do.

But someone I went to high school with might see it. And then I would have to die.

Not really.

But sort of.

I'll pray about it.

Because, if Jesus wants me to....obedience you know.


Did I write this for you? Why did I write this? I'm feeling all naked and alone.....but praying that if I was supposed to write this, that you were supposed to read it, and that you might see Jesus between the lines.

He can save you from something even greater than chubbiness.

If you need to know more about that, this is a good place to start. Or you can email me....I am not the most articulate person to discuss these things with, but He said He'd give the please feel free to ask.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


More paintings.
I sold all the others in route to the store that was going to sell them for me.
(You have no idea how crazy that feels. That people would pay actual money to hang something I painted on their wall.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I heard the best analogy in a sermon a while ago.

About cups.

And spilling.

Imagining that we are the cups. What happens when we get bumped?

When a cup gets bumped, its contents spill out.

When we get bumped, our contents spill out.


I was thinking on that concept. What spills out of me when I'm bumped? Love? Kindness? Grace? Mercy?

When my children rub on that last nerve....what is spilling out all over them? Is it a gentle balm? Or hot scalding annoyance?


Have you ever been scalded?

I don't want to do that to the souls of my children.


I'm praying that from here on out, I spill only balm.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nana's birds

This one makes me cry.

little bird no. 4

pear no. 9


For a bery bery special baby.


today has been a whipped cream kind of day.
a cup filled entirely with whipped cream.
a cup filled entirely with whipped cream topped with raw sugar.
thursdays are dangerous.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

can you hear me now?

We just got home from a wonderful camping trip. A camping trip with cousins and uncles and aunts and grandparents. Food. Fun. Family. Good times.

But a funny thing happened while we were away. I don't know if swimming caused excess water to fill the ears of my big kids, resulting in selective hearing loss....or if the campfire smoke caused me to begin speaking in inaudible tones. What ever the cause, poor (BAD!) listening has been the result.

Cue The Dad.







He had a little conference with them this morning in the playhouse.

I don't know what he told them. Or why they are "fast listeners" again. Maybe he cleaned out their ears? Maybe they played a game of tag? Maybe he gave them a big lecture? Who knows?

All I know is that when I asked them to clean up their rooms, they both hopped to it.

I could get really used to this.

The moral of this story is:

The MVP is on my team. Bring it on, children.

Bring it on.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

all good

My car is in the shop.

My baby isn't sleeping at night.

I'm running on fumes.

But, I'm running.

And it's all good.

Because I've got paint in my hair and under my fingernails.

The best therapy, to be sure.

Monday, August 3, 2009

the ant and the grasshopper

I'm thinking things would be a better if we could all take personal responsibility.

But how do you help people achieve that?

In Aesop's fables, there's the one about the hard working ant and the carefree grasshopper. The ant works and works and works all through Spring, Summer and Fall. In the winter, she has enough food to last her family through the Winter.

The grasshopper spends his time playing and relaxing and enjoying himself all through Spring, Summer and Fall. So, when Winter rolls in, he has nothing.

He goes to the ant to beg for food. She tells him, "If you don't work in the Summer, you can't expect to eat in the Winter." (Maybe she's a Republican?)


I would say, "YES!" if the grasshopper showed up in a wheelchair, or with 15 children. But an able bodied grasshopper? I don't think so. He was lazy. It would be a different story if he spent all summer looking for work, but found none. Or if he lived in a country with famine....or had a mental illness....or worked in the finance industry.

How do you teach a grasshopper the value of personal responsibility?