Not Girly, but Feminine

I’m not a girly girl. I never have been, but for years I wanted to be one. I envied all things girly girl, but not anymore. Don’t think I hate girly girls. I don’t. Actually, if anything, I respect them. I don’t know how they do it with matching accessories, jewelry, and lipstick for every outfit. Their manicured hands and pedicured feet are lovely, and a sweet smell always encircles them. So many are incredibly sweet, and I’ve felt loved so many times because of their kindness and etiquette. I am absolutely serious when I say I can’t even imagine
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Applesauce Baby Food Recipe

Martin is 6 months old, and we’ve been doing baby food for a little over a month now. We decided to wait to feed him solids somewhere between 5 and 6 months for a couple of reasons. With E, I fed him right at 4 months, December 23. It was his Christmas present. But with Martin, we wanted to put it off a little longer. One of the reasons is because once you start solids, there is no returning. So selfishly, we decided to wait out of convenience sake for our dinner/night-time schedule. We also waited because our doctor said
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Let’s Be Honest – friends and reality

NOTE: Ironically, I had written a blog post on friendship, but before I could post it, my pastor, Tom Hawkes <– link to his sermons, preached on friendships this past Sunday. It’s better timing than I could have planned, so I had to go back and edit my post, integrating some of his suggestions into my post (thanks, Tom!), as his words are much wiser than my own. Let’s Be Honest, we all have a screwed up view of friendship. At best, we pursue friends for fun, to keep us entertained, and to enjoy community with others. At worst, we pursue
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Blueberry French Toast, sans added sugar

One of the things I’ve been craving lately is french toast. It’s just delicious. That’s all there is to it. Initially, when thinking about Ethan’s birthday weekend, I figured we could make french toast as a special treat. But lo and behold, when I went to make it, I used ingredients made without sugar, and we didn’t add any to our meal. Ethan loved it, Tyler loved it, and it was perfect for me. Hope for special breakfasts + delicious food + no added sugar = Heavenly Melissa. I used sourdough bread, which is delicious, and some versions are made
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A Smattering of Sweets

In celebration of E’s 10th Birthday this past weekend, we had sweets for the first time in almost 9 weeks. Ethan wanted mint chocolate milkshakes, and Tyler wanted cake. We settled on both. Friday night we had family birthday time, a joyous celebration of sushi and milkshakes while watching Hook. Then Saturday, we had cake (a Texas Chocolate pan cake with fudge icing my mom made) with extended family and a few friends after all the guys took a man-trip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Martin wanted to go but needed a nap, so he stayed home with the
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A Decade of Grace

I don’t really have words to express how I feel today, a decade after my first son, Ethan, was born. I could give a detailed birth story or I could explain how much my life was changed by his presence and how quickly I grew up, but to an extent every mom’s life changes at the birth of her first child, and she quickly realizes how immature she was before the babe arrived. Instead, I just want to express my thanks on this day when I tend to be nostalgic, weepy, and so unsure how to feel. I am thankful
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Governed by the Memoir

I love a good memoir. They’re raw, funny, sad, and real-ish. I say real-ish because memoirs are given more creative liberty than autobiographies. No one actually remembers all of those conversations, and sometimes what we remember isn’t exactly what happened. However, memoirs are based on truth, or at least the truth according to the individual writing it or according to how the individual perceived it as truth. Sounds vague, right? But the thing I love about a memoir, not only me but we as Americans love, is that the memoir is the embodiment of experience. Here in America, we worship
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The Revolving Door

Being in-transit gives everyone the grumpy face. That’s all there is to it. When I lived in Florence, SC, my hometown and a small town of about 45,000 people, we Florentinians used to talk about how Florence was a revolving door type of town, especially for people aged 18-30. People came, stayed a season, and then left again. As a long-time member of the Florence community, the revolving door made things difficult. I always took forever to get to know someone, as I am often tongue-tied and awkward with new people. By the time I would start to really love
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We Quit Sugar – Week 8

This is supposed to be the celebratory “we’ve accomplished our goal” post. We are celebrating, and we are excited it is been eight weeks without sugar, but this isn’t a celebratory post like an end of the school-year party. I’m not writing this to say we did it, we’re done, and welcome back sugar. I’m writing this to say we’ve started a journey and made it eight weeks thus far. We will have many, many more weeks without sugar. I’m really proud of Ethan and Tyler. They’ve both been troupers through this whole ordeal, especially Ethan. I would have never
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We Quit Sugar – Week 7

One more week until we’ve successfully completed our 8-week sugar detox! Time has moved so quickly. It seems as though we just started this experiment, and yet it’s almost as though it’s been part of our lives for a long time. Isn’t that how life works? Quick stat report: I’m down a few more pounds to below what I was when I got pregnant with Martin. I still have some to lose in order to be able to fit into all of my clothes, but I’m getting there. Exercise is super important, and I have more energy and am happier
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