Momsie’s Top Ten Thankfuls

It’s time! It’s Thanksgiving! Here comes annual Top Ten!!!!

Disclaimer: It’s possible Momsie is on her second cup of really expensive super good coffee from Hawaii because THAT’S HOW WE DO IT ON THANKSGIVING. And thus, whe is SUPER JAZZED AND ALL EXCLAMATION POINTY!

Actually, that’s how my father in law does it. I buy Aldi’s. You know I love you, Aldi’s. We’re besties!

So, here we go!


  1. Blonde’s smile, when he’s trying not to smile. This occurs often when I come in to wake him up in the mornings. I tickle him, and then I watch. One side of his mouth lifts up, and the other side works very hard to stay down, and the dimples show up. He’s so handsome, my boy. Who knew that we could spawn handsome? Also, that “handsome” is part of the package now? He was all “cute” and “adorable” and “itty bitty” and now he’s dialed up to “handsome.” I tell you, parents, we measure our days by our children. We can’t help it.
  2. Red. He is still at the “cute” and “adorable” stage and THANK GOODNESS. I can’t take too much handsome going on here. Between Blonde and the hubster, I am overloaded and my head explodes. It’s a good thing that Red is still at Level Cute because it calms me down. Here is a picture to prove it:IMG_7411.JPG.jpeg

Ok, I tried to take a picture, and as his very often his adorable habit, he decided to mess with me. This is SO adorable. I promise that there is adorable stuff going on UNDER the blanket. Also, he probably knew that if he took the picture the camera would have blown up due to the cuteness. That happens a lot in our house. The cuteness keeps causing our electronics to spark out all the time.

3. Ok, while we are at it, I want to point out that I have the most wonderful hubs in the world of wonderfulness. Boom. And here is the picture to prove it:


Ok. So, he was getting ready and didn’t want to have his picture taken. This is a door. I get the difference.

4. Hot pastrami sandwiches. I don’t really know why I thought of that just now. Perhaps the proximity to the hot door-ness that is my husband? We’ll just leave that right there.

5. My momma’s stuffing. Not her actual stuffing, but the kind she serves at Thanksgiving dinner. She has a recipe that involves prepping for this stuffing like four days ahead, and it involves something called giblets, which, truth be told, I have forgotten and baked inside the actual turkey a few times. I don’t really know what giblets are but they taste divine in Mom’s stuffing. Which is where they belong.

6. Fur. We have a lot of fur at our house:


Spot the cat.


Voila! Hello. I don’t always sit on the laundry like this but when I do, my human has to take a picture. Because I’m that fabulous.


Hello. I’m not codependent and needy at all!  But actually yes, I totally am! I love you! Let me sit upon you! I love you! I must stare at you awkwardly while you work! I love you!


No talking. Sleeping. She saved me from the great outdoors where there was not a lot of food. Or soft places to lie down. Tired.

Also, there is another cat in our house, Bob. She doesn’t like to have her picture taken, so she’s probably huddled somewhere, all hunchy and weirded out that I’m even writing about her.

7. Christmas trees. There was a display of these by my grocers, and I walked over to them on autopilot and proceeded to stick my nose in the trees and inhale loudly which was awkward for the passers by, but necessary.

8. Bow-ties. Both of my boys are wearing them as I write. This is because it’s what is done on Thanksgiving. They are rolling their eyes a lot and telling me “It’s not CHURCH, MOM.” Oh ho, little ones. But it’s my mom’s TURKEY AND STUFFING. So, we wear ties.

9. Free will. One of the two boys is now, most definitely, NOT wearing a bow-tie. So, there’s that.

10. God and Jesus and da Holy Spirit! (That one is from Red, who is now cuddling with me in a really bright orange t-shirt and pants. No tie. He looks great. Sorta. The tie woulda been a nice touch, though but he will not be held down by the man.)

11. Friends. I know I can’t count, but they don’t care. Friends who have basically unintelligable conversations with me like this:

“Hey! Did you…”

“Yes! I did! Have a Happy- ”

“Thanksgiving! You too! I’ll bring that stuff over later.”

“The stuff with the things on it?”

*Child starts yelling in background*

“Gotta -”

“Yep, Child. Go.”

And somehow, we completely understand each other, anyway.


I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. ‘Tis the season to remember your thankfuls, and hold your family close. I am so very blessed by you, dear reader.

Oh, and?

#12. Sobriety. It comes with twelve steps, so there ya go.

One day at a time.

Every day is precious.

All days are worth it.


Now, go forth, and eat a heck of a lot of food.






Halloween: Keep It Silly and Safe, With Netflix

Oh how I used to love scary movies.

Then, I had children. And I was faced with much more scary things, like never sleeping, or the McDonald’s play zone.

Also, life is scary enough. I’m talking to you, 2017.

At our house, we have a rule: We don’t do creepy for Halloween. We’ve been astronauts, and superheros, and Charlie Brown and Snoopy… and yes, now that the boys are getting older, we’re Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, which is a teensy bit scary. But, there are no bloody machetes, or zombie guts, so I’ll take it.

What I’ll also take is this movie, every Halloween, as I answer the door and divvy out the goods. I always watch it, every Halloween.  It’s just a wee bit scary, I guess. But mostly? It’s hilarious. It’s one of those films that I tend to quote, all the time, to anyone who will listen. I can’t help it. Thank you, Netflix, for streaming this classic:


Somehow, this movie helps balance out all the zombies with bloody machetes that come calling.


Halloween is a lot of fun, and my boys have been looking forward to it since, I don’t know, April? We’ve been busy working on our costumes, and insisting that we buy the good candy (#TeamReeses) Which is all find and dandy, but that just means we break into it at least a week before the actual holiday. Quality control, I guess.

Netflix is also helping out with your trick or treating plans. The Skylanders offer up some helpful hints to make sure the night goes happily for all:

Whether you dress-up as a heroic Skylander or an evil Doom-Raider this Halloween, it’s important to stay safe as you fill your trick-or-treat bag with yummy candy. Spyro and his heroic team are busy making their costumes, but everyone’s favorite evil genius Kaos has taken a break from being bad to share some Halloween safety tips with you. Be sure to share this video to make sure everyone has a scary good time while trick-or-treating!

Happy Halloween, from Momsie (who always, and forever, will dress up as a very non-creepy and totally bad@ss Princess Leia), and Netflix.


May your night be spook-free, and sugar-laden.





As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, I get to watch the awesomeness that is Netflix, and then chatter about it on my blog. It’s a great gig.


I Tweet, Therefore I am.


Y’all. I’m supposed to be fasting from social media right now.

See? See how well that’s going? This is me… fasting.

Allow me to explain:

When I started the Congo fast because my evil friend Kate suckered me into it without my full knowledge, comprehension, or understanding, and I did it out of the goodness of my heart and because I am totally spiritual and my goodness this is all a load of hooey.

ANYHOW. When I started the Congo fast w/ Kate for our Sunday school class… I thought… Well. Food. I have to fast from food for 40 days. That’s nearly impossible and as we all know I have caved like a Neanderthal about twenty times in the 40 days, but who’s counting?

As God is my witness, I thought the tortillas were going to be it.

But, as Kate has so patiently reminded me, also about twenty times, the Sunday school class does exceed 40 days. So, what are we gonna do for the other portion? Just sit around and talk about how fabulous we were for fasting?

Ok, so along with Chris Seay’s A Place at the Table, we read this gem:


I use the word “gem” because I have so few of them now, BECAUSE JEN KEEPS TELLING ME TO GIVE STUFF AWAY.

Ok, seriously. Here’s more explaining: We decided to also tackle, along with food the other items that Jen mutinies against. There right there on the cover for you: clothes, spending, waste, stress (har har har), waste, and MEDIA.



Guys. You can take my clothes and help me recycle and give me a budget and make me eat corn tortillas ’till the cows come home (that we can’t eat)


Here is the very real conversation I had with Kate about this whole media thing, yesterday:

Kate: I’m fasting from media and it’s going okay. How about you?
Me: *leans forward to the microphone* I cannot recall.

That’s a pretty fabulous Ollie North, right? And for those of you who are too young to understand my cheap mimicry of the general and his memory recall issues, what I REALLY said is something like this:

Me: NOOOOOOO. This is so HARRRRRRD. I’m eating rice and beans – you can’t make me NOT watch Netflix TOOOOOOOOOOO.

The wailing, I tell you, was heard one county over.

I ask you, what about all my quips? Where will the quipping go, if I cannot post about it? It will be like I don’t even exist.

Really. How can I live without the tweetings?

What if my children do something adorable? (rare, granted). Or the cat? What if the CAT does something adorable (hourly). How will I live without talking about it?

So, here is my announcement: Our Congo fast and its 40 days is over this Sunday. After that, I will be walking away from my computer for a week.

I will miss you *she waves weakly* Don’t you worry about me… *fading away* I’m sure I’ll be… just… fine *drops to the floor in a heap and makes sure her pose is flattering for a selfie*

Social media, y’all. It’s addictive stuff. I mean, really. If a tree falls in the forest and no one takes a picture of it for Instagram, does an angel lose his wings?

Or something like that.

Now, the only people I have yet to tell are the children. They’ll be joining me in this fast. No Netflixes. No Wii Rockband.

The cries will be heard from two counties over.

Pray for us.


“I would eventually have to tell.”

Let me show you how God works.

In my case, God does not work in mysterious ways. He knows, with me, he has to be a lot more CLEAR. He has to be, because I am, well, stubborn.

Y’all. Seriously. I’m “stubborn” like Richard Simmons is “Sassy.” We work it.

Anyhow… A few years ago I lost my mind. I drowned myself in a lot of wine, on a daily basis, and then, when the wine was over my head and I was choking for sanity, I grabbed onto more bottles and just sank even lower.

God worked: He got me out of there. He helped me out, dried me off, and we keep walking together. In fact, I am stuck to Him like really needy and sober GLUE until I get to meet him personally.

God worked. He got me writing gigs to keep me busy, and He asked me to start talking about the near-drowning stuff. He said, “Now. You need to tell.”

I now have a gig writing with Nazarene Publishing House. A column, for The Community, a blog that “provides content, insight, training, and conversations that inspire spiritual growth.”

I am totally freaked out that I am writing a column for anything that involved “training” and “spiritual growth.” I’m the one who used Richard Simmons earlier in this post, as a sort of analogous mentor, remember?

But yet, I’m a part of their crew. Ok, God does work in mysterious ways.

Now, I don’t usually do this, but I’m gonna ask you a favor. If you would, go peruse? Maybe subscribe? Follow on facebook, twitter, you know the drill. Perhaps I am biased, but there is some really good writing on there.

If you want to see my article, click here. Then, take a look around. It’s a good community.




Nothing is Wasted.


Summer is here. This means pool time, a very messy house, late nights for the boys, and for me?

Books. Lots and lots of books.

I have a stack of them next to my bed that is slowly growing and thus slowly leaaaannning to the side because of gravity. Fine. Go forth and multiply, books! You have my blessing.

One of my favorite blogging gigs is reviewing new releases for Beacon Hill Press, a Christian publishing company based out out of Kansas City.


I just finished Joseph Bentz’s book Nothing is Wasted: How God Redeems What is Broken.

You know, I think God is pretty funny. And by funny, I mean, He always seems to send me stuff right when I really need to hear it. Right? Isn’t God funny that way?

He’s clever, that God.

About a week ago I kind of fell apart on the husband. Things at our house had been kind of hard. Death. Illness. Cancer. Broken relationships. It had been piling on lately, and I had had enough. Like, I just needed to rant a little. And as par for the course in marriage, the spouse was the best option for being the rant-ee. I told Brian, in kind of a wail, that I don’t like our earth. I don’t like what my kids are going to grow up in. I don’t like all the anger and chaos and cancer and politics, and how all of this is terrifically UNFAIR. The world is supposed to be basically likeable, isn’t it?

I mean, isn’t it?

Bentz kind of summed up my thoughts in the very first page:

You’re worried about money. You fret about work. What about the crisis in your family? What about all the sickness among the people you love? Where is your life headed? Even if your life is going well now, you wonder how long it can last. All around you, everything is falling apart… The possibility of disaster lurks in every automobile trip, every medical checkup, every unknown terrorist’s scheme.

I think Bentz and I stay up at night, worrying about the same things.

But then, Bentz added:

“God held out the promise of something eternally good being pulled from the muck of the sin-damaged world.”

I remember reading this and thinking, “Oh, yea. I know. You’re gonna tell us it’s all gonna work for good and Romans 8:28 all over on me. I know. I have heard it before. But tell me, when a brother dies, or an addict picks up again, or a child is hurt, what do we DO with the pain in the meantime? What do we do with it? Just hold it and wait for heaven to make it all better?”

Well my friends, this book does not do tidy. Bentz is willing to ask the really, really messy questions. They are the kind of questions that I ask too, because I am one who is, or was (I’m working on it) addicted to numbing out pain:


I know. My scribbles are immature and petulant but honest. Don’t we all feel that way, sometimes? What is the point, God?

Along with all those messy questions, Bentz doesn’t provide an easy answer. I wouldn’t trust it if it did. Bentz does not follow with an easy acronym about how life is HARD (Help others! Ask for help! Really don’t give up! D#%@ this sucks!) or such cuteness.  He digs deep. In fact, he uses soil, insects, decaying flesh, and something in chapter 9 he refers to as “melting down to your essential goo” to help us understand. Literally, the next chapter is entitled “Dirt and Muck and other Yucky Things.”

Messy stuff. Really messy stuff.

He tells us about the tiny seed that must, if it’s to produce a plant, die in the soil. And, if the seed is going to die, either way, don’t we want it to count for something?

But then, Bentz really made me smile  because he subtitled this chapter in a way that so sounded like something I would say:

I Like My Seed the Way It Is. (*Insert foot stomp here. Entirely mine.*)

I want to make a prediction. No matter how positive all this talk of seeds and plants may sound at the moment, when you are called on to bury your seed to let it die so it can be transformed into what it was meant to be, you won’t want to do it. Seed burial, rather than seed preservation, is so counterintuitive, and often so painful, that resistence is built into it.

 This is a good book about bad things. Or seemingly bad things. Well, no, really just bad things, like heart break and sickness and circumstances that tear at us. I don’t want to tell you more, because I want you to read it. You will be glad you did.

You will get messy, but you will be glad you did.

Life is Messy-1.jpg

Happy, Joyous, Free.


Sometimes life walks right up to you and hands you a glass of lemonade. You don’t have to deal with the lemons at all, just straight up lemonade. Lotsa ice. Maybe even a sprig of mint.

In less than a month I will be flying off to Florida to speak at the Intervention Project for Nurses. There, I get to talk about my story, and be funny, and make people laugh, and share some tears, all stuff that is totally up my alley. My Floridian alley. Which also includes a beach.

Also, in the fall I am doing a reading at The Writers’ Place:




I used to walk by this amazing house when I was in my twenties, wistfully thinking, “Maybe one day I’ll go to a reading there. Maybe.” Now, I’m read-ING there.

And then there is this big HUGE sprig of mint:


Screenshot 2016-04-26 13.47.43.png

2016 Higher Goals Awards

Presented during EPA’s 2016 convention, the 2016 Higher Goals awards honor the best work done in specific categories during the 2015 calendar year.


First Place: The Covenant Companion, “Broken” — Dana Bowman

First Person Article:

Fourth Place: The Covenant Companion, “Jesus, Take This Cup From Me” — Dana Bowman


Second Place: The Covenant Companion, “Confessions of a Not So Cheerful Giver” — Dana Bowman

Personality Article:

Fourth Place: The Covenant Companion Online, “Breaking Through the Sound of Silence” — Dana Bowman

To read more about the awards and articles, click here.

All of this is a huge honor. Just huge. Awards are always an opportunity to take a breath and allow yourself to feel right in place. The Evangelical Press Association had perused all Christian publications, from Christianity Today to In Touch magazine, and more. I think this all just makes me smile at how my relationship with Covenant Companion Magazine came to be: it was a short blurb in their magazine honoring my pastor, Jeff Waugh, and his wife Julie for their care taking and help when I battled post-partum depression. That two paragraph entry showed up in their magazine over six years ago.

Sometimes, life is all about lemons. Bitterness. Soured dreams. Sadness.

And other times?  Life reminds you that when you travel with God’s travel plan clutched tightly in your fist, sometimes everything is so very, very sweet.


“We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word
serenity and we will know peace…
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us
-sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.”
     Reprinted from the book Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc

Tales of the Very Loud and Very Small

Linking up with my beloved Five Minute Friday today! The theme?



My children seem to suffer from a strange ailment that I cannot cure:

They are Loud Talkers.

Not all the time, mind you. If you need to ask one of them why they decided to whack the other one over the head with the croquet mallet? This merits soft whispery responses that make you lean closer and closer until you realize you have crawled up ON them to get a straight answer. Which is what they wanted all along. Because now you are cuddling and so it’s all ok.

Ok, let me give you a brief sample of the Loud Talking:

Dinner table:

Me, asking the Most Useless Question Ever: So, how was everyone’s day today?

Boys, answering with Universal Useless Response: Fine.



Me: Hold on. I’m just… can I get an Exedrine? The walls are shaking.




Me: Get… who? I can no longer discern who is speaking it’s the Thunderdome in here.


Blonde and Red, really all riled up now because of the husband, also known as The One Who Keeps Making Things Worse: WOOO HOOOOOOO, LET’S TRY TO MAKE MOM FALL OFF HER CHAIR!

Guys, I like things quiet. I listen to music, quietly. I ponder things, quietly. I like cats, because they GET what it is to mull! Bless their furry, sullen little hearts, they are QUIET.

My house? It is often not very quiet. And, the other weirdness? It’s LOUD about things that don’t merit noise. At least to me. Does it really seem fitting to be loud about things like putting on socks? Socks are, essentially, quiet things. Why do we have to bellow about them?

This is what I am trying to embrace in the Loudness:

  1. I tend to miss the Loud Talkers when they are not around. I thought, perhaps, when they leave for school that I might sit around and listen to the “Sounds of Silence” and maybe some Gregorian chants, and just wallow in the Still. But, you know what? I kinda miss the little air horns. I do.
  2. My children live life on a Whole Hearted level that I have forgotten how to do. On a volume level of 1-10? They go to eleven.
  3. I can learn from them. They Dive In. They go Whole Hog. They Embrace. They have GUSTO.
  4. They live like they sound. It’s not a bad way to exist, I tell you.

I want to live with a Whole Heart. There are lots of ways to learn this: following Jesus, reading His word, talking to Him a LOT, praising Him for the good of life, and the bad of it…

And also? Watching children. And then, I Sound my own barbaric yawp. They do it about socks, for Pete’s sake. They are expert Yawpers.

We should all be so lucky.




*In our house, if I spot a child picking his nose, I charge him a dollar. So far I have made about forty thousand dollars.

Also? I leave you with this. Because, it’s perfection. And it pretty much sums up my existence with my two small rockers, every day: