Linking up with my favorite Friday people today at Five Minute Friday. The theme?

Setting: the dinner table. AKA the military zone.

The characters:
Blonde – AKA I Think He Eats Air
Red – AKA He Changes His Mind About Things. A Lot.
Momsie – AKA General Momsie

Momsie sets down a cheesy chicken burrito in front of both boys.
And… the first shot was fired.

Blonde: It’s too cheesy.

Me: You don’t like cheese?

Blonde: I do like cheese. But not when it’s gooey.

Me: It’s melted. It’s gooey. You devour pizza so very often, and it has gooey written all over it.

Blonde: I don’t like gooey when it’s mixed with chicken.

Me: So, it’s the chicken. The chicken is the culprit.

Red: I like chicken! But this chicken is too soft.


Red: Can’t I just eat blueberries and six pickles for dinner?

Me: Red, you ate THIS EXACT meal two days ago and you loved it. And yes, readers I am now admitting that I feed them on repeat. They LOVED it two days ago. I was hoping for a return to greatness. And also, the husband has been out of town for a week on a business trip and it’s been pretty basic around here. I did, however, make home made ranch dressing for them to dip their teensy tiny carrots into, so I am winning in some way here, right? Right?

Red: Wow.

Blonde: Our mother feels guilt about a lot of things. Her ranch dressing is a way to absolve that guilt.

Red: Wow.

Blonde: So, can I just eat tortilla chips? There’s corn in there. Healthy.

Red: This chicken and cheesy stuff is too creamy. I don’t like creamy.

Me: I don’t know who you are anymore.

As God is my witness, someday I will make a meal that they both like at the same time.

I provide for my children. Every day, I make horrible, awful, creamy cheesy things. It’s what I do.
It’s what we do.



Linking up with Five Minute Friday today! The theme?

Screenshot 2018-02-09 12.20.01.png

I’ve been working a lot on gratitude lately.

Do you know what? The thing with gratitude is, if you work it, it really works!

Say that fast five times, I dare you.

Gratitude is a conversation with yourself and God about how blessed you are. Here are some other things I am learning about gratitude:

  1. It’s just like a three pointer – you really can practice it and improve. Or, if you’re like me, you can practice it and get real close to the basket but feel better about it.
  2. It should be a daily thing.
  3. It should be an hourly thing.
  4. It’s really a minute by minute thing. You get the idea.

I think gratitude is my simplest way to worship. And privilege is right in there. I mean “privilege” in a good way, not in the “I’m taking over the world” kind of way.

It’s a privilege – to walk down the street every morning and teach my kids about writing and thinking (hopefully at the same time). It’s something I don’t take lightly. It has strings attached, little 18 year old souls that need more than just teaching. It’s a privilege to be with them and learn who they are and learn their stories.

It’s a privilege to relate with my husband. Notice I didn’t just say, “HAVE a husband” because we’re past that now. I have him. I done had him over ten years ago – snared like a 6 foot rabbit in a trap. A rabbit that was in looooove.

He’s still in love, and it’s a privilege to keep walking that path with him – the one where we figure out how to stay in love and work on it and screw up and keep working and on and on. Marriage, y’all. It’s hard core.

It’s a privilege to have these two boys. Red and Blonde. Don’t even get me started. They are just the sweetest, most intelligent, perfect adorable nuggets of humanity. While, at the same time, they are also frustrating and sometimes they have me at: “I don’t even know what to say here. Go to your room. Stay there for two years.”

It’s a privilege. This whole life is that. I was granted special permission by Christ, about twenty years ago, to have a life with him IN it.

And, it’s also totally not, because he never said anything like, “Well, I’m only going to offer out this relationship to a few folks. The special, super elite ones – with the good hair and a really great grasp on the the Old Testament.”

And thank goodness because I am very often 0 for 2 on the hair and the bible thing.

It’s a privilege to talk to Him every day. I ask him stuff and complain and then remember to thank him and keep on talking, and he actually listens.

I have a lot of blessings in my life – I am a healthy, financially ok, employed, white woman with a lot of perks that a lot of people in our world don’t even get to consider.

Realizing this, I am privileged. Blessed. Made alive with hope and wonder with the daily business that is faith.




Slow Is Smooth and Smooth is… Still Slow.



I think the military owns that saying, the “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast” one?

I think they came up with it when they were training the army people to carry big exploding things over bunkers and not drop them on their foot or trip over a shoelace, which is totally something I would do.

You can thank me now, that I never joined the military. You’re welcome, America.


One of the greatest paradoxes of mankind is a child’s inability to move fast under request, when five minutes ago they were skidding up and down the hall in their underwear and socks, shouting, “I’M COMING FOR YOU, AND YOUR TORTILLAS!”

I know. I really have no idea, either.

Let me break down this paradox for you:

If child is left to own devices: running, shouting, skidding, flying, sometimes the splits, and also loud thudding will occur regularly.

If child is asked to “hurry up” : the sloth cometh.


This book was a favorite at our house.                              For some reason, that other classic, “Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!” Yelled the Mom, was not as popular.


This morning before school, I watched Red push one arm through the sleeve of a jacket. My eyebrow started to twitch. I had to leave the room because it was like watching a sloth try to put one arm through a jacket, which is pretty hard because sloths have those weird claw hands that don’t fit through jackets very well.

I went into the kitchen. Poured a cup of coffee. Added cream. Rinsed off my spoon and put it in the dishwasher, like a boss. Took a breath.

Walked back into the living room. And there was Red, still trying to put THE SAME arm through THE SAME SLEEVE.

The other eye started twitching, so now I have a matching set. And then, there was the talking:

Punctual: “Red, it’s 7:58, you need to take it up a notch here.”

Organized: “Red, why don’t you put on your coat before your backpack?”

Wheedling: “Red, perhaps shoes are a good idea now.”


I know. It’s a sickness. The words just come out of my mouth, all slippery and desperate, because watching my son try to move from one end of the room to the other IS GOING TO KILL ME.

You’ll find me, one day, dead on the floor. Laid out. Done. And all because my son did something like this:

Puts one arm through sleeve (FINALLY THANK YOU SWEET FATHER AND JESUS TOO) and then, he proceeds to bend down and start patting the STUPID DOG ON THE HEAD BECAUSE NOW IS THE TIME TO BOND WITH THE DOG. NOW? NOW. NOW IS THE TIME.

He bent down, with me looming over him like an angry clock, and it was like he had never even noticed we had a dog before. “Oh! Hi Hosmer? Who’s a good doggie? Who is a good pupper? Rub you behind your ear?”

Only one sleeve on, no shoes, and a really sketchy understanding of how to put one foot in front of the other, and he wants to go all Bless the Beasts and the Children on me.

Well, I tell you.

I finally resorted to physically herding (pushing) both boys towards the door. They were chattering away and then, at one point, Blonde STOPPED to TURN to RED to TELL HIM SOMETHING. Like, all of a sudden he was practicing polite cocktail party chit-chat, only it was about Minecraft chickens. Which is a thing. Don’t ask.

I would have none of it. I just wedged myself behind them and kept moving them along, the Mom Barge, saying things like, “Move out. Press on. Westward ho!” and that sort of thing. It was very motivational.

Last I saw, they were both wandering in a serpentine pattern, in the general direction of the school. The serpentine is nice, because they’ll be protected from any sort of siege. Safety first.


The animals have turned against me.


Ok, in this post she’s going to try and convince you that I am a weird cat. Just look at me, folks. I’m as right as furry rain. Whatever that means. And, I am cute, no?


So, I don’t pay much attention to the trash cans in this house. The reason for this is twofold:

  1. My children are in charge of taking out the trash. We really have a lead on something exciting here, folks. Our children can do the chores that we once had to do! It’s like free labor, if you discount all the whining and really crap jobs they do at any sort of cleaning, but I’ll take it.
  2. Who really wants to ponder a trash can? What? You don’t have enough stimulation from the Netflixes?

Anyhow. As I was upstairs today, making the beds, I did notice the trash can. I noticed that it was looking rather… shredded?

And then, I noticed our cat, Vader, (also referred to as Willie, Sir William, Vader-Tator, and Grandmaster Cat in previous posts. Keep up, y’all. In our house we like to make sure everyone is on rotation with their naming) as he sidled over to the trash can.

And then, he proceeded to START EATING IT.

That’s right. He was eating the trash can.


What, wee grey cat? What is your problem? Do I not go to the Petco and buy you large crinkly expensive bags of super-healthy food pebbles? Ever since the gigantic white cat had his brush with death we have gone totally upscale on our food options here. Basically, it’s “So long college fund, kids! Gotta feed the kitties!” That sort of thing.

Vader, do you suddenly need more fiber in your diet?

Is it a “My Weird Addiction” kind of thing? Do you need Dr. Phil?

I can’t imagine a trash can tastes good. Perhaps, however, it’s a step up from the mortgage-breaker brown stuff that I feed you every morning.

And then, Vader made eye contact with me. His mouth was still sort of attached to the trashcan. It’s just like that time my husband caught me gnawing on his precious super sharp cheddar that he tries to hide from me. I hadn’t even bothered to slice off a piece of cheese. I was gnawing on it like an angry hamster, and I froze as his eyes locked onto mine. We then argued about sharp cheddar and how it should not be gnawed.

It had been a long day.

Anyhow, back to the cat/trash can thing. Vader stopped, mid chew. And then, he extracted himself from trash can, and sauntered off. All casual, like, “Well, that was a great trash can snack. Thanks Byeeeee!”

So, that’s it then. This little bit of daily weirdness was brought to you by an ungrateful furball and my inability to get it on film.



What is wrong with everyone? I don’t understand out world at all.


Dog: Can you not?


 Dog: And I get yelled at for the licking.



What’s Your Motivation?

Linking up with my favorite Friday people today, Five Minute Friday.

The theme?



Back when I was young and vastly much more energetic, I used to teach high school theater.

Those days were pretty nutty, and involved a lot of plays that took on a bit of a wonky Little Rascals, “Let’s put on a show!” kinda vibe, but you know. I remember once, (and only once) asking a sixteen year old while we were working on a scene, “What’s your motivation here?” He stared at me blankly.  And then I think he answered, “Well, I’m not doing basketball and my parents made me do something extracurricular.” I let it go. Plus, it was for Bye Bye Birdie, so, you know, I bet his true motivation was to break into song and dance at random points without his voice cracking like a sheet of ice.

So, the basic lesson here: Never ask a teenager about motivation. They never really know.

Also: It’s totally fine to ask a Momsie what her motivation is. But sometimes… I too, never really know.

There’s the quick answer to the above: Love God, and love others.

But also, there’s my recovery, marriage, my kids, my service, my writing, my book, my church, my fire baton routine… (Ok, just kidding about the baton part. I can dare to dream, however.)

I think moms have this ever-cycling wheel of What’s Most Important circling in our souls – our children… our husbands… our careers…. our ability to bake the best casseroles for church suppers… And repeat.

It’s an endless cycle of Where Do I Put All My Energy? Energy doesn’t do so well when it’s slathered all over the place, like thin margarine on toast.

Here’s what I would like: when I wake up, I would like a plane flying overhead, with one of those banners behind it, saying something like: DANA. FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS.





Or, simply:


My motivations can get tangled. Thus, the airplane banner thing would be helpful. I need visual, and large, airborn reminders, I guess. But, it would be kinda weird. The rest of the neighborhood might need a heads up.



You had me at special snowflake.


In today’s post I would like to channel my Inner Jim. That’s my dad.

And I would also like to talk about alcoholism.

So, YAY, this post is going to be INTENSE!

Why, you ask?

1. My dad is kinda intense. He likes to grip you by the elbow, in that way that makes the entire side of your body go kinda limp and numb, and he looks you in the eye and says things like, “How are you, REALLY?” and if you lie at all you feel like God might smite you, because God and Jim are *crosses fingers* like THIS.

2. Alcoholism. Nobody attempts that subject without a bit of intensity. I mean, we don’t just say things like, “Hmmmm, I think I might be coming down with a bit of alcoholism today. But, it’s just a tickle at the back of my throat. I’ll just get some rest and I’ll be fine!”

3. I’m in a really weird mood so there’s that.

I am also linking up with my favorite end of the week people: Five Minute Friday! and today’s theme??


Ok, here’s what I know:

  1. My dad would tell me (as would all the other addicts in recovery) that I am not a special snowflake. I’m no different than anyone else. I have no special backstory that makes my sad issues any more special or sad.
  2. This kinda is a bummer because ever since I was knee-high to a very special grasshopper I KNEW I WAS SO VERY DIFFERENT FROM EVERYONE. This explains so much.
  3. And, I am. But also, I’m not. So you know, not confusing at all.
  4. This does not have to be figured out. Really, the only answer to all this is understanding who Jesus is and trucking with him.
  5. Different is good. It means I can wear socks that don’t match and I tend to always (nearly always) break into dance whenever I visit my kids’ school and they stop me at the door with the camera thing. Because the office administrators really need to see me doing the Running Man.
  6. Different, in terms of alcoholism? Not good. I am not different. My addiction and recovery trucks along fine with the men and women, young, old, black, white, green, pink, tall, short, big, small, cat lover, cat hater, educated, street smart, rich, poor, faith-filled, faith-poor, lost, found, tattooed, pierced, pristine, married, single, somewhere in between, person who walks in the doors with the coffee pot on the door.
  7. Everyone should be so lucky as to have an Inner Jim. Just FYI.

I am reminded of this every time I attend a meeting, and I remember the words of one of my favorite old-timers there, “Mo.” He would say, “I’m no better than anyone else. And I’m no worse.”

He was right. And here is the thing – doesn’t this also apply to our faith? Doesn’t it also sound a little bit like how Jesus wants us to live?

I mean, we are all in recovery from something. Or we should be. Right?

Right. galatians-3-28.jpg


It’s Momsie’s Twelve Days of Netflix! #StreamTeam

Sing with me:

Christmas time is here…

Happiness and cheer…

Fun for all, that Momsie calls…

A time to watch a whole lotta Netflix.


Christmas means a lot of special things for my family. We decorate cookies, and so also the house, with twenty pounds of sprinkles. We argue about the Elf on the Shelf not showing up because I don’t need that kind of hassle and that Elf is shifty, and he’s clearly out to get me. We sing O HOLY NIGHT at the top of our lungs at all parts of the day, and often meow the lyrics when we forget them.

That last one is a bit embarrassing to admit, but when has that ever stopped me from sharing that with you?

Another tradition? Movies. Gobs and gobs of Christmas movies.

Let me be perfectly clear: I love all Christmas movies. If it has a Santa, and some tinsel, and maybe a talking puppy, I am THERE.

If there is a schmaltzy Hallmark storyline? I am there, with a bowl of popcorn, shouting out all the predictable plot points. (I usually watch these movies alone. I wonder why?)

If Jesus actually shows up (about 50% of the time, but you know. Santa has more pull in Hollywood. Don’t even get me started on that) I am SO TOTALLY ON BOARD. YO, JESUS! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

So, without further ado,  here is my yearly list a la Netflix!

Momsie’s Favorite Holiday Movies (in no particular order because I can never get that organized)




Ok, this is a Hallmarky one. She’s a sassy journalist who wears Converse shoes at the palace. Oh, yes, there’s a palace. A big one. And yes, a spoiled little sister with a disability so we feel all Tiny Tim about her. Mean little sister becomes nice within five minutes of meeting sassy Converse girl. And also, there’s a Prince. Thus the title. He’s dreamy and has a cleft jaw. And there’s a wicked ex-girlfriend and a whole lot of sparkly lights.

OH AND DID I MENTION, A MAKEOVER SCENE? It was so Pretty Woman! Except not! Because the hooker with a heart of gold theme is NOT CHRISTMASSY. That would be weird.

So, you know. This movie is not one I watched with the boys because they were over it around the time that the sparkly ball gown showed up (in the trailer). It was just me and my eggnog and that was also FINE WITH ME. MAMA ALONE.



I’m on a roll here, with the romance. This one is a repeat from my last year’s list, because oh my goodness I just love it so much. Saved By the Bell guy is cute and funny. Blonde girl is sassy, which seems to be a popular trait in all these movies. And, she learns to have good will towards man and all that. It’s a totally innovative storyline, huh?

Ok, not. This movie exists already and THAT’S WHY I LIKE IT. NO SURPRISES. LIFE IS SURPRISING ENOUGH.

It’s a “folding laundry” movie. Meaning, I can watch it and fold laundry and putter about and it’s comforting and cozy and oh my gosh I love it so. All of us parents need a “folding laundry” movie on standby. Especially when the Christmas rush has us frazzled.

3. Speaking of FRAZZLED, did you know this actually exists??


I know the trailer says it’s not an actual source of heat, but you go ahead and stand in front of it. Go on, I’ll wait. Hold your hands out towards it. Feel it? Warm, huh?!

It’s Netflix Christmas magic.

Also, just so you know:



I know it has nothing to do with Christmas, but you know. Just in case you get hot.

5. Ok, now something for the kiddies:

maxresdefault.jpgI know. It’s not exactly Christmas cheer, but it speaks, deeply, to my inner Scrooge. Like, almost too deeply. There are so many moments where I find myself silently siding with Count Olaf.

Did I just say that out loud? I did. So, allow me to redeem myself:




Disclaimer: I can’t actually get (bribe) my boys to watch anything Thomas anymore. They’re all grown up, at the massively sophisticated ages of 7 and 9. Sniffle. But, I still proclaim that ALL of the Thomas the Train holiday movies are adorable and wonderful and when you watch them you feel all warm and wonderful too. How’s that for a lot of adjectives?

You cannot go wrong. You simply can’t.

7. Also, there’s THIS:3566041.jpg

Um, so you can watch this with your 7 and 9 year olds and not get bored. And it has the woman from Mad TV. And there’s a paintball scene. So, you know, my boys think it’s Citizen Kane.

8. I also got to sneak this movie in with my boys, because Blonde had just finished reading Sarah Plain and Tall, so I told him this was the same kind of thing, all old-fashioned and old-timey and… old. But in a good way.

Also, I read ALL the Mandie books as a girl. The movies do right by the author. And they wear those cute hats and MUFFS. When did MUFFS go out of fashion? I could rock a muff, I tell you.



9. And this:


NEWS FLASH: The Christmas Candle actually ACTUALLY HAS JESUS IN IT.

10. And now, we must move on to one of my absolute favorite traditions EVER this time of year:


Sing with me (to the tune of O Holy Night):



So we start with the Great British Bake Off Masterclass, Christmas Edition. Paul makes a gingerbread house, because he can.

Paul Hollywood could make a peanut butter sandwich for all I care.

11. So, also there is this:


I mentioned previously that we decorate cookies. Every year. EVERY flipping year, my sweet boys ask if we can bake cookies and then decorate them. And I get it, boys. I really do. It’s a Christmas thing, so we make the cookies. And then, we frost them.


So, we’re just gonna skip the cookies and watch this instead, MmmK?

12. And! THIS:0a5c641e7e2e7050b86ff0dc5d55c7b9acd65ebb.png

I know. It’s not a Christmas show at all, so I added a Christmas tree for you. THE NEW SEASON IS OUT AND IT’S BRITISH RESERVE AT ITS BEST.

By the way, are you planning on traveling during the holidays? Netflix is here for you!Pack Your Phone - Parent.png

Or, if you’re thinking “It’s not about me. It’s all about the children.”


Pack Your Phone - Little Kid.png

And so, that’s it. My 12 Days of Netflix. Enjoy your viewing and Merry Christmas to you!

Oh, and also?





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