For such a time as this


Happy Friday!

If you are looking for something to uplift you today, check out Kimberley Mitchell's video.



She talks about one of my favourite women of the Bible: Esther.

Esther was a queen who ended up as one of many in a harem (think the Playboy mansion with no AC). She had to humble herself and show tremendous strength to save her people, but knew she's been prepared for that role all along. It's good!

(Also, I had an great aunt Esther who wore smart suits, pearls, gloves, and a great fur coat. She had worked long before adopting her daughter and had a level of sophistication that reminded me of women in old movies. She was a fan of all things Elizabeth Arden. She sometimes took me to the restaurant in Woodwards with her women friends for lunch. I think I had my first Club Sandwich on her watch. So I'm super fond of the name, as - to me - it represents strong, capable women.)

I met Kimberley at Crossroads when we were both single mamas and she gave me a book on single parenting. She is as real as it gets.

We both did the single parent thing for the better part of a decade and are now both remarried. She's now in sunny Nashville with a horse in her backyard. It's a very sweet story. I need to road trip it down to Nashville to hang out with her one of these days.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I plan to get in lots of rest and have some lovely meals. Also, it's fall weather now and you know that makes me happy!

xo

#TBT: Seventeen Magazine

I've always loved magazines. As a kid, I devoured Seventeen magazine.

From time to time, I like to go on Pinterest to see some of the old issues people have uploaded. I remember spending hours pouring over these very images and planning my adult life.

Warning: it's pretty grim.

Like this gem:


/via Pinterest/





















I'm not sure if the drinking age was lower in the 80s, but if you are old enough to buy champagne, you are old enough to know that oversized hair bow is a solid 'no', no?


I'm not sure what this one was all about. At the time, I loved colourful knitwear but now I think they look like Pennywise groupies. 

Ditto for this one. I had a siamese cat growing up and thought these gals looked swell. Now, they just look kind of nutty, no? 




















Is this Lillian from Kimmy Schmidt? Sadly, I wore a ton of oversized Esprit back in the day, so I probably looked like this too.




















At least these ladies have a Cairn terrier to enjoy when they unravel themselves from the giant burgundy scarf.


















As do these ladies, who are taking a break from yodelling class. That's a young Jennifer Connelly in her pre-Noah days.






I still like the boiled wool jacket / skater skirt look. Then again, I'm 45 years old, so it's probably a lot more appropriate for me than my teenaged self. I always was an old soul. 


I remember thinking clear mascara was a really good idea. 




Now, not so much. I need a thick layer of paint before heading outside.

Were you a 1980s fashionista? What kind of things did you wear?

XO

See Hear Love Part 2

Happy Wednesday!

Don't trust this innocent looking face. He will play with the ball for about 10 seconds max! 


Teddy is now into chewing my Manuel Canovas fabric and got the corner of a Scalamandre pillow. I wish he'd like to chew his many dog toys or - at the very least - something from, like, Homesense. Maybe he was an overworked design assistant in a former life and hates nice fabric.

Part 2 of my interview on See Hear Love is up.

It's shorter than the first piece and focuses on practical suggestions for bouncing back after hardship. Love Mel's, Cheryl's, and Abby's comments. They offer good, actionable tips.

Hope you enjoy!







See Hear Love Taping


Happy Monday!



Teddy says hello! He loves to chew on just about everything, but his favourites seem to be LL Bean's Wicked Good Slippers and Manuel Canovas fabric. At least he has good taste.

The show I taped on my faith walk is up on SeeHearLove. It's always a bit nerve wracking for me to do TV since I'm somewhat of a perfectionist and - unlike with my writing - I do not have final editorial control. I wrote about my neurosis here.



But I'm happy with the piece. I think I shared what I wanted to share without looking like an idiot, which is always good. Whenever I talk about my faith, I always ask myself is this my utmost for His highest, in a nod to Oswald Chambers. And I think I did my best.

Plus, I love the SeeHearLove ladies. They are warm and engaging and easy to have a conversation with. I've really been enjoying blogging for their show.

This show is well-timed as a reminder for me. Last week, I had a disappointing visit with the eye clinic and it seems that if I want my messed up laser surgery corrected, I'll be in for multiple surgeries that may or may not work. It was obviously not the news I wanted and, while I'm waiting for a definitive plan from the surgeon, I'm trying to stay optimistic. It's never easy. I hate waiting and non-clear answers and this process is involving a lot of both.

On the positive side, the weather is expected to cool next week and it will start to feel like fall. And there is NFL football, which makes a nice focal point for the family. We are reestablishing our practice of big Sunday night dinners and it's nice to have the game on during prep time. I've just started reading an advance copy of The Lifegiving Table courtesy of Tyndale Press and I'm hoping it gives me lots of dinner ideas for fall and winter.

I hope you have a fabulous week. There is a lot of crazy going on in the world and I hope you are safe and sound.

XO

Update: We were very sad to hear about the passing of David Mainse, founder of Crossroads Communications and 100 Huntley Street. He pioneered faith-based programming in Canada and our thoughts are with his family. 

***

Affiliate Link. I love Christmas. And while I don't want to see the stuff on the shelves until November, I love a sneak peak at the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! It's time for DaySpring's Annual Christmas Preview. Check it out!

Meet Teddy!

Sorry I've been absent, but on Sunday we brought home this little guy!



Meet Edward Angus McDuff, aka Teddy, our 12 week old Cairn Terrier.

After Serena passed away this summer, I really missed having a little sidekick. Sailor is a sweetheart, but he can't travel in the car or be carried. So, I started to think about another dog. I loved Frenchies, but Serena was one of a kind and I felt that if I got another one, I'd be disappointed if he or she lacked Serena's big personality.

So I started to think about other breeds.

In Nova Scotia, we kept running into Cairn Terriers. We saw the sweet pups everywhere. I've always loved terriers. Who does not love Toto?

I accosted a lady walking a Cairn near our place in Blue Rocks to ask her about her dog. She told me if I ever wanted a Cairn, there was an excellent breeder she'd dealt with for decades not too far from us in Stepford.

And so, in July and part of August, I had Cairns on the brain. I wanted a hypoallergenic breed, and a small dog with a big personality. Cairns seemed to fit the bill.

When Serena and I used to do therapy work at the Senior's Centre, there was a lady whose husband had bought her a Cairn right before he died. She always felt that he knew he was going to die and bought her the dog so she would not be lonely. Isn't that a sweet story? She used to talk all about her little Cairn all of the time.

And say a lot about Wallis Simpson, but her style was impeccable. So Cairns were an excellent style play too!



So, later in the summer, I called the breeder and asked about her dogs. There are not that many Cairn breeders any more since they are an old fashioned sort of breed. And she had none available. Then, we had a bit of a wild goose chase with a couple of other breeders and I started to give up hope.  But then the original breeder called me back and a family had changed their minds about wanting a pup over the summer and we were able to get Teddy!

I'm going to call that a God thing. I think God was having a really great day when he decided to invent the dog, don't you?

We had to wait several weeks for him to be ready to come home, and we visited him a few times at the breeder. And then on Sunday, we brought him home.

I've never done the puppy thing, having always adopted adult dogs. Puppies have a lot of energy. It's hard to work since he's forever bounding around nipping at our heels. But thankfully, Teddy sleeps through the night.

It's fun to watch him grow and change. He has a dark puppy coat which will likely turn to light red. And, I swear, he's bigger already.

Next week, we start puppy classes, which should be extremely cute. It's hard to get a lot done right now, but it's worth it!





Greenleaf, organizing, and simple neutrals for fall

So, how are you? Ready for the weekend?

I always find the second week back to school the hardest, as the routine is not set yet nobody has that first-week nervous energy to rocket them out of bed anymore.

To compensate, I binge-watched season one of Greenleaf and am waiting for the next season to be on Netflix Canada. Love Lynn Whitfield as Lady Mae. Her character is fabulous.

/via/

I've always loved big family dramas with terrific houses and clothes. My tastes are firmly-rooted in the 1980s, I suppose, and Greenleaf fills that bill. I also love how each character wrestles with his or her faith. The hardest part of believing in God's goodness is the fallibility of His followers and, oh, do these people set trials for one another. I cannot wait to find out what happens next.

I've been cleaning out the kitchen cupboards at home. I have no idea why I felt the need to stockpile chicken broth like that. I've put the things I need to use up at the front so I remember them the next time I think I have no food in the house.

I've also been rearranging my closet to bring forward the fall-ier pieces. I decided to add the Ruffle-neck Silk Top in Black from J. Crew during their stock-up sale. With that neckline, it could be exquisite or clownish. We will see if it's a keeper when it arrives.

/via/
In general, this fall I plan to take a nod from Dr. Paula Agard on Suits with lots of simple neutrals. 

/via/


I hope you have some fun plans for the weekend. We are planning a fairly quiet one. Those are really my favourite. I'm a homebody at heart. 

Enjoy!

XO


On tea and friendships

Yesterday one of the moms organized a little tea party and I decided to go.

Yes, every once in a while it's good to put on clothes and get out of the house and talk with actual people rather than the fictional characters in my head. (I'm at the point in writing the novel where everyone is really real to me. I'm all - you should meet Sam, he's awesome! - and then realize that Sam only exists in Scrivener.)

So I put on my J. Crew Liberty-trimmed jacket that the receptionist wears on Suits in Season 7 because clearly she wants to be like me, and I headed out for tea.

/via J. Crew/


And it was lovely.

I'm awfully hard on Stepford at times. There is a competitive materialism in leafy suburbia that drives me slightly mental (mainly because I'm not winning that game...) And this particular community is hard for me since it's a place where I've faced the very worst days of my life. Add to that, the complicated social position of being the wife of a widower who lived in this town for almost two decades and you get a place that's kind of hard to inhabit. (My advice to widows and widowers: if you've been in a place for a long time and hope to repartner, you'd better pick someone already in your social circle or be prepared to move. There are the rare and lovely birds who will be warm and embracing to you in your new life - and man, do I love these people - but they are not in the majority.)

But yesterday's tea was a reinforcement of what I like about Stepford. It's pretty, it's safe, and the food is great. And it was nice to reconnect with women I see not nearly often enough. We are all facing a similar path: wanting the best for our children, trying to figure out a career going forward, trying to stay sane. There was a whole lot of "me too" in conversation, which is always comforting; particularly when talking about the secret desire to stay inside, cry, and day-drink while the children are at school. These years can be crazy-making and it's good to know one is not alone.

It's also good to know everyone struggles, in spite of the pretty pretty on Instagram. When you go out, it holds up a mirror to your own mask. People seem to see me as someone in the jacket from Suits who spends her day hanging with the Real Housewives and traveling here, there, and everywhere. They do not know from social media that some days, I'm not able to do much more than feed the children and then crash on the sofa with a bag of chocolate almonds and binge-watch Greenleaf. It's good to connect and get real.

Everytime I go to something like this I resolve to get out more often. I won't ,of course, because 1) introversion and 2) laziness. But it's good to note that when I do overcome inertia, things tend to work out well.

Are you a goer-outer or a denner-inner? Do you have to be coaxed outside or are you running around with wild abandon? Do you like to drop the mask once in a while or keep it firmly in place thankyouverymuch?

***

Dayspring - the faith arm of Hallmark that I love and am now an affiliate of - has a promotion to help us encourage each other. If you sign up at the #EncouragementDare link before September 15, they will send you some cute free printables and ideas.


Of Mess and Moxie

I've had to completely shut off the news. It's simply too grim. Instead I focus on novels, and blogs, and scripture, and Pinterest.

/Victoria Magazine via Pinterest/

I'm loving Jen Hatmaker's Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life. Most of it is just this funny, slice-of-parenting-life memoir, but then she drops in these wise passages like this one, that just sum up how to cope with the crazy of today:
No matter how off the rails this world appears, God’s eye has always been on the tiny, fragile sparrow. He has never lost count of an injustice, a life, a human being. No nameless death was ever nameless. No senseless abuse was ever missed. He may have set the whole earth in motion with its mix of humanity and spiritual realms and principalities, but only One is on the throne where He has always been and will always be. If we are still holding a pile of tattered threads, it just means the story is not over yet. 
Isn't that hopeful?  It's what I've come to believe. It's all witnessed and all noted and if it seems that something is unfair -- that bad things happen to good people (hard to take) and good things happen to bad people (even harder to take) -- it is because we do not know the full story.

The challenge for me is not whether or not to believe in God. The challenge for me is to believe in His redemptive powers. To believe that there, beneath the rubble, can be hope. That no suffering is unnoticed. That no loss is for nothing. That no death is in vain. It's why I gravitate to stories of people who overcome. Who have used the struggle to build their heart muscles and go on to do tremendous things. For me, stories of personal redemption offers a glimpse of the Kingdom and what lies beyond. And that is so encouraging.

Dream a little dream

I've been dreaming a lot about the next phase of life. Right now, we are in the thick of kids: with a middle schooler, two high schoolers, one college student, and one working. Also, we have pets.

But the years race by remarkably fast and, before long, I know that we will have an empty house.

Long time readers know my struggle with living in a People Warehouse in the middle of Stepford. It's a beautiful home, complete with its own Dynasty staircase. But it's really not me. I'm a small, lots of rooms, century home kind of girl. This is my idea of heaven:

1980s Victoria Magazine photo via Pinterest



There is a reason why I have every issue of Victoria magazine that's ever been published. I gave them away once and then spent years buying them back on ebay. I'm fairly committed to that small, overstuffed, old house sort of look that right now is limited to my office.

My office cabinet of curiosities / bookshelf is slightly out of control


But I also know that families grow, not shrink, as the years move forward. The ocean house is lovely, but far too small for occasions like Thanksgiving. And, it's an airplane ride away.

So, I've begun to think about combinations and permutations that will work for us in the future. I think I'd like a small century home in a town where I can walk to everything. And by everything, I mean a really good coffee shop and a bakery.

Remember the town in One True Thing? I loved that movie. Oh, I know it was about death and cheating husbands, but the town! The town was glorious. Almost as glorious as Renee Zellweger's red brown lipstick.


/via/

When I was younger, I was all about the cities, but now I'm all about the towns. I want a college town, if possible, with book shops and a good pub.

As for the house, it must have leaded glass windows. And a wood burning fireplace. And a porch. And a small kitchen because - let's face it - I have no idea what I'm doing in there anyways.

I want small, cozy, and bookshelf-lined, with lots of original wood. I want lots of breakables, because Town Grandma can be slightly intimidating to my future grandkids. I was terrified of one of my grandmothers as a small child, and I've come to like her best.

My rather formal, slightly intimidating Urban Century Home can be offset by The Farmhouse.

/via/


The farmhouse is where kids and grandkids can come to have Adventures. Fun Grandma will live in the country. The wee ones can spill their milk and bake and run around in their outdoor shoes inside, without me having a heart attack. In blending two families, I've come to learn that I'm very particular with my space and that not everyone loves that. I want a space where people can kick back and relax and watch football without worrying about spilling chips or breaking my antique Foo Dogs, which I just might like a teensier bit more than them.

Self-awareness is half the battle. I've come to realize that chill is what I'm not unless I'm in a super relaxed place where things are meant to be casual.

Anyhow, I've been Pinteresting like mad my dreams for my Urban Century Home and The Farmhouse. Right now, it's all imaginary money, so sky's the limit my friends. This is how I planned the Nova Scotia house until the cruel reality of budgets and shipping costs set in. Then it was all, would you like some Ikea with that Ikea?

Are any of you at the stage of thinking about your next home? Are you at the dreaming stage or the reality? Is Pinterest your friend or your foe?

Have any of you been following along with the Uninvited bible study by Lysa TerKeurst? It's so very very good. This week's lesson is on being set apart -- not set aside -- by God and tells the story of Hannah. If you are looking to beef up your bible literacy and be inspired, it's well worth the watch.

XO






Faith-filled Friday (featuring Real Housewives!)

Happy Friday!

So, y'all know how much I love the Real Housewives franchise, right? So, when my pal called to tell me she was featuring Joan Kelley Walker from Real Housewives of Toronto on her show, well you know I'd be all over that.


I wore my Smythe plaid jacket because if Smythe is good enough for Kate Middleton, I suppose it's good enough for me.




I actually went to business school with one of the Smythe founders, so I knew about them before Kate did. You brag about what you can brag about, no?

Anyhow, Joan Kelley Walker is even more beautiful than she looked on the show. She's tall and slim and very modelly. Everyone on TV is always a lot skinnier in real life than on the screen. This is always a little depressing.

She's also very sweet. Her upcoming show on See Hear Love will give her the opportunity to discuss her charitable work with World Vision, among other things. Joan has a real heart for philanthropy that was not really highlighted on the Real Housewives of Toronto show. 

Now y'all know how much I love my Housewives, but I've noticed that whenever Christianity is featured on the RH franchise, it's the judgemental side that comes across.

The whole thing got me thinking about what it means to be a Christian. One of my favourite ways of expressing it comes from the movie, Gifted, when Chris Evan's character, Frank Adler, is talking with his young niece, Mary:

Mary Adler: Is there a God? 
Frank Adler: I don't know. 
Mary Adler: Just tell me. 
Frank Adler: I would if I could. But I don't know. Neither does anybody else. 
Mary Adler: Roberta knows. 
Frank Adler: No. Roberta has faith. And that's a great thing to have. But faith's about what you think, feel; not what you know. 
Mary Adler: What about Jesus? 
Frank Adler: Love that guy. Do what he says. 
Love that guy. Do what he says. Isn't that the whole thing? We get all wrapped up in this, that, and the other, but Christians are supposed to do what Jesus did. Love people. Feed people. Listen to people. Care for people. And once you've done all that - and everyone on the planet is fed, and cared for, and listened to, and loved - you can worry about the other stuff, I guess.

I'm glad Joan had an opportunity to talk about living out her faith through loving and giving. She's a Saskatchewan girl - like my mom and many of my aunts - so I assume that's where she gets her wisdom.

Also, can I just say that she had on the best pair of Gucci suede ankle boots? They were the ones with the Marmont logo. Let's face it, that's the real reason I watch the Housewives: for the clothes.

I also had the opportunity to hear Sue Wigston, COO of Eagle's Flight, interviewed. She is just fabulous and had so much to say about leadership, faith, and millennials. It's a treat to be able to meet such awesome people and blog about their stories.



I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

XO










Fall Fashion

Sooo, anyone doing any fall shopping lately now that the weather is cooling?

I always like the same basic stuff. Sweaters, vests, jeans, boots. Rinse and repeat.

J. Crew always does its best work in the fall, no?

I'm kind of loving this jacket:


And the Blythe Shirt:



The beret is having a moment, which I kind of love. 


I'd be all over the leopard coat, if I didn't have one already. 


See? The leopard coat I wore to my friend's wedding last fall. It's from Forever 21. Sometimes they have cute things. 




Normally, Le Chameau wellies and Bean Boots are the official footwear of fall.



But my inner Marie Antoinette is loving these Club Monaco mules


Are you planning any fall purchases?

Fall reading

Yesterday was the first day of school. Everyone was smiling at the end of the day, including me. Hashtag: blessed.

My own first day back outfit was a J. Crew leopard cardigan, a blue and white button down shirt, jeans, and pearls. I'm not going back to school, but it's always a good idea to look a little fancy, no?




I don't know about you, but once school is back in, I'm just done with summer. I want it to get really cold, so I can den in. I want to put on a sweater and get a plaid blanket and curl up in front of the fire reading book after book.


Let's pretend it's October now.

I've been reading through Karen Kingsbury's Baxter family series. I wish the Baxters lived next door so I could go hang out in their kitchen. Kingsbury has written about 7000 books so I'll be reading these for a while.

Loving Jen Hatmaker's newest: Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life. But then again, Hatmaker is simply the best. There is so much wisdom in these pages, like:
The longer we keep our heartaches tucked away in the dark, the more menacing they become. Pulling them into the light among trusted people who love you is, I swear, 50 percent of the recovery process.
 and
Life can be hard because life can be hard. We’re not doing it wrong.
and
Rock bottom teaches us that God is who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do. We buy what we’ve been selling because it is real. God’s healing work means actual lives are restored, actual hearts are mended, actual strength is renewed. 
Yes, yes, and yes. Amen to all of it.

I've started Chrystal Evans Hurst's She's Still There: Rescuing the Girl in You. It looks promising.

If you are looking for beautiful writing, I loved loved loved Alice Anderson's Some Bright Morning, I'll Fly Away: A Memoir. Anderson is an accomplished poet who, in her memoir, tells the story of her abusive marriage in the days following hurricane Katrina. The subject matter is hard and I'm only able to read it now that memories of my own brush with abuse are more distant. I'm so very thankful I did not marry or have children with the man. Anderson's experience of the family court system and having to co-parent with an abuser is impossibly hard and her courage is astonishing. This is not a "faith" story in the traditional sense at all, but it's a beautiful story of redemption.

I have a huge stack of books that are waiting for me. The print ones may go unread since my eyesight is still giving me trouble. But I have plenty of ebooks lined up with the BIG HUGE FONT setting. All I need is a cup of tea and some free time.

What are you planning to read this fall?

Our Visit to Greenbrier and Sweet September!

Happy September!

We have happy royal baby news to kick off the week.

/via/


They are an adorable looking family. I seem to be at that age where women fixate on the royal families. Next thing you know, I'll be subscribing to Majesty magazine and setting my alarm clock to view the royal weddings live.

The Mr. and I had a lovely late summer getaway. We stopped in Pennsylvania at the picturesque Jacqueline House of Wilmington. Everything -- from the lovely innkeeper, to the amazing breakfast, to the crazy neighbouring cows, to the perfect porch swing, to the resident Havanese pup -- was lovely. I wish we'd been able to stay longer!





Then we were off to The Greenbrier in West Virginia. If you ever have a chance to go, you must move heaven and earth to get there. It's spectacular! Not only is it Dorothy Draper / Carleton Varney gorgeous, but there is rich history around ever corner. It had a fully functioning bunker until 1992 to house congress in the event of a nuclear attack. And it's still a safe haven. After floods destroyed a number of homes in Greenbrier county last summer and killed 26 people in the state, current owner Jim Justice closed the hotel so he could give displaced townspeople a place to live.

Everyone we met was a long term employee - like, as in 50 years of employment long for some. And they had stories! Which is my favourite thing of all.

Everywhere you looked was something beautiful. No detail was overlooked.







































I did a little trap shooting.


Apparently, having only one good eye makes you a better marksman. Who knew? 

While we were at Greenbrier, we had a little wedding redo. Our original wedding was a comedy of errors with everything from minister cancellation, to ceremony mixups, to a minister who was late since he was pulled over in a Drinking and Driving check. So we had one botched ceremony, a New Year's Eve reception that - while pretty and fireworky - was not weddingy at all. And since neither occasion lent itself to a big white dress, I was missing out on the whole say yes to the dress thing, as well as actual wedding photos (due to a major mess up and not hiring a photographer for the impromptu ceremony, we have no photos of the actual wedding at all!)

Plus, I really kicked myself for not purchasing the dress I had fallen in love with - a Carolina Herrera lace and silk sheath with a very showy hem.

So we decided to have a redo, because renewal and restoration is my very favourite thing. And, wouldn't you know it, when I called Kleinfeld's about the Herrera, they'd just added it to their sample sale. In. My. Size. I only needed to take up the straps, which cost me $28 at the seamstress. Plus, they had a pair of Oscar de la Renta shoes on at deep discount. Perfection!

So we remarried on the balcony off the North Parlour of the The Greenbrier, with Carolina and Oscar as our witnesses.




The dress.





I loved the wedding readings that we chose.

As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.  - Colossians 3.12-15
Love is a roof. Love bears all things like a roof bears the wind and the rain, like a roof that bears the burden of lashing storms, brutal heat. Like a bucket poured right out that could make a roof over your head to absorb storms, that gives itself as a container to carry the burdens of others. Real love is a roof. Real love makes you into a shelter, real love makes you into a safe place. Real love makes you safe.  - Ann Voskamp

Of course, I had to have something by Ann Voskamp!

Greenbrier made the vow renewal perfect. The Director of Wedding Events arranged everything so we could just enjoy it. If you are thinking of a vow renewal, get yourself there at once. Both the hotel and West Virginia are charmers.

They have a place there called biscuit world, for the love of Pete!



When we we leaving, the bellman led us into a secret corner of the hotel where we could write our names in a drawer that married couples have been writing in for nearly a century. It really was the perfect final touch.

And with that, summer ends. It was a full summer, marked by both happiness and deep sadness. June seems forever ago. I feel like an almost entirely new person, which is the point of rest and restoration, I suppose.

I'm continuing to write for See Hear Love, which premieres on YesTV tonight. My episode will air at some future date. In the interim, my interview with Melinda is up at Faith Strong Today.

It's about suffering and redemption and renewal and hope...

Kind of like this summer was.












Christmas Traditions: The Nutcracker Ballet

Every year, I take my daughter to see the Nutcracker. (I took my youngest son once, but he loudly complained that there was too much dancing...