Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I'm Batman

Leviticus 11: 19
" the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat. "

What's a hoopoe?? I had to look that one up. It's actually a kind of bird with a crown of feathers and a long tapered bill. Why is it mentioned here in Leviticus? Well, you shouldn't eat them! That's ok by me, I wouldn't eat them anyway. Unless it's on a tray and pre wrapped in the grocery store, chances are it's not for me. Nor are we to eat bats. I'm equally ok with that one. Here in Leviticus, God has given Aaron and Moses all of the dietary rules that were to be adhered to by the Israelites. Some of these I can get behind, even today. But others, like in vs. 12, " anything living in the water that does not have fins or scales is to be regarded as unclean to you. ", I just can not! I'm a Marylander for heaven's sake. This is crab country. So, Lord, thank you for the New Testament, thank you that God, through Paul in 1 Timothy (and other places), tells us that, "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received in thanksgiving.". I still won't be eating a hoopoe or a bat, but this Maryland girl sure is thankful for her steamed crabs!

I don't think I've had any steamed crabs this season, that's ok though, because they are usually more plentiful this time of year and less costly...Honey, let's get some crabs this weekend!! Last weekend it was out of the question, we were busy! First thing Saturday morning, I ran in my 5K that I told you about last week (see- Go for the gold!). And remember I said it was costume "optional"? Not for me!! I was Batman (or woman, I'd actually prefer girl, but that's another story). So here are some fun pics of me as Batman. I said fun, not pretty, I'm not a pretty be kind.

Here I am, keeping Gotham City safe.

Starting off...

...Finishing strong!!

I think I might lose the running pants and don some black leggings so I can use this costume again for Halloween. I really enjoyed this run, not because I got to wear this costume ( cool!), but because I felt that in a small way, I helped a child and a family.

I pray you have a wonderful week, a wonderful Wednesday, and maybe.... a wonderful crab cake sandwich!!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Go for the gold!

Hebrews 12: 1
"..., let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..." (NKJV)

I know I've used this verse before, and probably in the same context I'm going to use it today. I'm running in a 5K tomorrow, so any inspiration that I can find, I'm on it! I think the last time I ran a 5K was over a year ago last spring for our local community town run. That was fun because I ran with lots of members of my family (and I beat my big brother, "Joe Athlete"!).  This time, I'm on my own. My brother and SIL are going out of town, and my parents who are both north of 70 now, are claiming they have "injuries". Cop-out! (just kidding, my parents are awesome!).  I am looking forward to it though, because of the wonderful family that organized it and because of the importance of the foundation that the race will benefit.

The D.O. Believe Foundation is dedicated  to raising awareness and funds for childhood cancer research, in honor of 7 year old Dominic Osorio aka "The Dominator", who earned his angel wings in 2009. Did you know that gold is the national color for childhood cancer and that September is childhood cancer awareness month? I didn't. Now that you know, and there is only one more week left in September, I urge you to support this cause, and the families that are affected by childhood cancer, as best you can. You can run in this race, The 7th Annual Dominator 5/10K Run & 1 Mile Walk, and if you live in my area, I challenge you to run along with me. If you're not a runner (or walker), or aren't local, you can also donate just by clicking on this link-  D.O. Believe Foundation.

This race is also superhero costume optional, and encouraged. Well, you know me (or not), don't ask me twice, I'm right on it!! Like little Dominic, I'm going to find the superhero in me. Please take a moment and click on any of the links above and read Dominic's story...and please, make a donation. Thank you!

I pray you have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall y'all

Galatians 6: 9
" Let us not grow weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. "

 I love the change of the seasons, especially summer to fall. The Bible tells us that "to everything there is a season" (Ecclesiastes 3), and in the verse from Galatians above, Paul reminds us that at the "proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up".  That might have to be my 1st tattoo!! "do not give up"!! That's faith, that's hope. Even when we are in the midst of troubled seasons, the proper time will come and we will reap the harvest. Amen.

Happy 1st day of fall y'all!! I already started to decorate after Labor Day, just here and there. But today, it's official! I can pull out all the stops now. I really don't care to put a lot of Halloween decor outside until well into October, I like a nice transitional decor for this time of year. For me it's about apples, leaves changing color, collecting acorns, and now I want to incorporate some pumpkins, not jack-o-lanterns yet: pumpkins. I've been noticing a lot of white pumpkins and orange pumpkins, and... blue pumpkins! So pretty. Apparently, there really are blue pumpkins! Who knew?! And, blue and orange are so complementary (literally they are complementary colors on the color wheel!). You certainly can't go wrong with that. A special blue pumpkin that I saw in Michael's the other day, was a teal pumpkin (I guess teal is really a blue-green). The teal pumpkin has special meaning for my family. It's the color of the Teal Pumpkin Project. Basically, if you are displaying a teal pumpkin in front of your home, you are providing non-food item treats for children with allergies. What a great idea! My youngest has a peanut allergy and Halloween is a tricky time for her (no pun intended). I encourage you all to take part in this project, it literally could save a child's life.

Here's the cute teal pumpkin, I saw in Michael's the other day.

Isn't this a cute idea?!

Or, you can download one of these flyers- here.

And here's a closeup of the card.

Here is an actual blue pumpkin...

IMG_7090 - Version 2 (1)
Told you!!
Image found on Google Images- here

I pray that you enjoy your 1st day of fall and that you won't grow weary in your current season of life, harvest time is coming for all who believe and have faith!! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Psalm 74: 5
" They behaved like men wielding axes to cut through a thicket of trees. "

The word "hacked" to me had somewhat negative connotations. Like for instance, in the verse above, you could substitute the word "hacked" for "cut through". These particular men in this verse were enemies of the Jews and they destroyed the temple!! Or, you might be thinking that getting your computer hacked would be a bad thing, too. Your personal information could be compromised or someone could post something on your blog or your social media accounts that would harm (like a virus) or hurt (the feelings of) someone. But, I'm here to tell you (and maybe I'm late to the ballgame!!), that a hack can be a good thing, too! Here's a modern definition of the word "hack".


a clever solution to a tricky problem

Unbeknownst to me, I have shared some hacks with you before! One of my favorite hacks is going through my closet and seeing what I have that is similar to the latest and greatest catalog that I have received in the mail. It's a great way to freshen up your wardrobe for a new season without spending a lot of money. Here's one of my favorite posts from a few months ago, Catalog Copycat.

This was a great find for $0, because I already had similar pieces in my wardrobe.
Great hack, too, Baby!!

I searched for some other hacks in Pinterest and there are tons of them, from how to apply makeup, to how to clean window blinds, and everything in between. I am loving me a good "hack"!!! As I'm looking to transition into fall, I'm looking through my wardrobe to see what needs to be updated or freshened up. I realized that I don't have a lot of slacks. I have jeans and yoga pants ("momiform" must haves), but I don't have any go-to pants that can take me from playtime to adult time. Here are some really good looking pants that fit the bill. Betabrand is clothing that is innovative, stylish and functional. I was perusing through their website last week, when I found these stylish pants.

Dress Pant Yoga Pants- Betabrand
These pants come in 3 different styles and so many colors. 
Click here to see more- women's pants- Betabrand
What a stylish way to update your wardrobe with beautiful dress slacks that are comfortable and versatile! One pair of pants that can do it all,  now that's a good hack!!

Here are some more Style Hacks from Betabrand, that'll help spruce up your wardrobe as we get (and keep) our wardrobes ready for a new fall season.

A big thank you to my friends at Betabrand for sharing this hack with us. Please take a moment and look through their website at all of their fun, functional clothing. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear from you.

I pray that you have a wonderful Wednesday!

*All opinions expressed in this blog post are strictly my usual!!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Let the games begin!

Zechariah 8: 5
" The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there. "

This verse is about God's promises and blessings to the Jews who had been exiled. "Old men and women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem...the streets of the cities shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets." (NKJV  portion of vs. 3-5). I envision parents and grandparents watching the children playing after school, like I see around my neighborhood. Isn't it great knowing that even way back in the Old Testament that children were meant to run and play and have fun, and as parents and grandparents, we were meant to enjoy their merriment! Thank you, Lord, for the joy our children bring us, just because they are children!

Well, it's been another busy week at my house. My 3 year old and her bff started gymnastics class this week and my 15 year old son started his football season (it actually started last week, but he was sent home sick on game day last week, ugh!!). I have some pics of my kiddos on the dawning of their Olympic and NFL careers...

1st day of gymnastics. She was soooo excited!!
Just pulling into the parking lot, this was her expression!!

These next photos were taken through a plexiglass window...forgive the quality.

Warming up!
Look at that form, and strength!!!

And here's what I have for football. Thankfully my mother was there and took some pics of us watching the game.

This is my 13 year old (on the left), and my 10 year old is sitting with my dad (on the right, obviously). My husband and I were there, too (and so was my mom), but I was so excited I forgot to take pictures. There are none of my boy in his uniform either. Wah, wah, wah. They won, 20-6!! And my baby had an interception!!! Go Cobras!

So, here's a pic of him and his team on a scrimmage game they played in August. I'll try to do better next time.
Our team is in gold and gray. 
Whatever your weekend looks like, I hope that you take even just a few minutes and enjoy watching your children do something they love. Watching them being children can bring you so much happiness. (***WARNING- Do NOT watch them clean their room or attempt any other chore that is important to you! It will only bring you frustration and much anxiety!!!***)

I pray you have a wonderful weekend!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Thy will

Matthew 6:10
" Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. " (NKJV)

These are some of the most familiar lines in the entire Bible. They are part of the Lord's Prayer. A lot of Christians recite, sight unseen, this prayer Sunday after Sunday. Some may not even realize that this prayer is in the Bible, it's just something they say, never understanding the true meaning or context. I have been motivated by a song by Hillary Scott & the Scott Family - Thy Will, to think about this particular part of the prayer today. I am obsessed with this song. It's simple and beautiful, and it brings home for me a lot of truths. Basically, we don't get to choose how life will play out for us, God does. While we still have free will and do try our best to direct our lives, ultimately our lives have been planned out by our Father in heaven, before we we were even conceived. So, the next time you are praying the Lord's Prayer, reflect on those words and truly mean them. Thy will, not my will. Lord.

A little more than 5 years ago, on a routine 4 month pregnancy exam, my doctor could not find my baby's heartbeat and sent me in for a sonogram. She assured me that sometimes the baby is out of position, and that  they sometimes just can't find it. The sonogram would hopefully relieve any anxiety and I would even get an early picture of my baby. I wasn't anxious at all, I called my husband and asked him to meet me at the imaging pavilion. Unlike me, he wasn't as calm! He brought our then 4 year old with him, and the 3 of us waited for our name to be called. Unfortunately, instead of finding our baby's heartbeat, we found out the devastating news that our baby's heart had stopped. Fetal Demise. I started to shake, uncontrollably. We were sent back to my doctor's office where she consoled us and made arrangements for us to deliver our baby. We quickly made arrangements for our children to be picked up and were checked into the hospital. Very early the next morning, our baby boy, Angelo,was born of this world. He never got to breathe one breath. We held him, had a priest come and bless him, and made final arrangements for his tiny little body. I left the hospital in a wheelchair holding a little blue box, filled with final little mementos the hospital staff put together for us.

 How was this God's will? I don't know. But I have to live in the knowledge that His ways are not my ways, His thoughts are not my thoughts. I do know, too, being the mother of  7, that I thought Angelo would be my #7, and then done. My husband and I were so sure that we wanted to have another child after our loss,that at 46 years old, we did! Not something people with so many children, and our advanced ages, delve into lightly. Thy will, not my will, Lord.

It is also God's will that I have the man that became my husband, in my life. My husband has been a constant source of comfort, protection, and encouragement for me through many of life's storms. We cried and prayed through the loss of our son, and cried and prayed through the birth of our daughter. I held his hand through both deliveries (and 3 more before that!). He was my strength last September when our same baby girl went to the hospital for 3 days unable to walk, and was there to encourage her to walk again. While we may argue and test each other some days, he is always there by my side, through the hard times, and there to laugh and rejoice with me through the good ones! Thy will be done, Lord, Thy will be done!

Here's a pic of me and the man I wasn't looking for, and he's got his arm around the woman he wasn't looking for!
You gotta love a good plan! Thank you, Lord.

I pray you have a blessed Tuesday!

Monday, September 12, 2016


Proverbs 30: 21
 For three things the earth is perturbed, Yes, for four it cannot bear up: " (NKJV)

I love it that the word "perturbed" is in the Bible! It just suits my mood today, and I am glad that Solomon found wisdom in this word here in Proverbs, and in some translations when Jesus was getting ready to raise Lazarus from the dead,  Jesus is even described as being perturbed. Why would the Bible use this word to describe Jesus' frame of mind (of course I can only guess...)?  It happens when he is being questioned about why he hadn't gotten there in time to keep Lazarus from dying in the first place. I would be perturbed, too! How dare they question the Son of God!! Not that I am likening myself to the Son of Man, here. Perfect I am not. Ask any member of my family, they'll fill you in (with fervor)!! What I like, is that it shows Jesus as being perfectly human, but still being perfect. Thank you, Lord, that you understand our emotions. You know we feel joy, happiness, peace, and love, but also, anger, frustration, hurt, sadness, and fear. So many ups and downs, Lord. We need to come to You with all of that, no matter what our frame of mind, You want us to bring it all to You. Not how we want to be, but just as we are. Amen!

My entire family has been sick (with a bad cold) this last week, taking turns, dropping like flies, one- after- the- other...except me. Thank you, Lord, that I have not been ill. However... these people are plucking my last nerve!!! And to make matters worse, by Saturday night, I was actually jealous that I didn't have a day to just lie around in bed. I know, most moms have this same issue, we are the caregivers, I get it, and I love caring for my family. But Lordy, Lordy!!! So, this morning when I was having my alone time with God, I complained!! But I also, had to ask for forgiveness for my grumbling. And then, when I thought me and God had reached some kind of mutual daughter missed the bus, my husband was grumpy, and I'd had it again....another prayer for forgiveness needed. Why can't my family seem to cooperate just  when I'm feeling good about things again. Well, I guess they're human too. Jerks! (insert another prayer for forgiveness here). Lord, please send me a glass of wine and a it too early for a xanax??? Thankfully I have neither one of those things in the house. I'll settle for a cuddle with my toddler, another cup of coffee and the peace of knowing that when I finally come back down off the ledge, that God, in His mercy is going to forgive me, yet again!!

Here are some pictures of just arbitrary things that I did the last few days,enjoy, or don't, because...I'm perturbed!!
This is my girl last week at the playground with some friends.
I don't like the way my phone did this to my picture...just saying.

Here I am trying to take a picture of a transitional fall outfit that I thought was cute, until I started to take pictures and
everyone in the house needed my attention...again!
(more details about this when I'm in a better mood)

Here I am, actually looking a bit perturbed, getting ready to watch the Ravens game at my brother's house.
I am also unhappy because when I posted this picture on instagram ( see @lipstickonanelephant )
 I mispelled the word collide (I missed an L) and I had no way to fix it!!!

I pray you have a good day today (better than my morning, certainly!), remembering that even when you don't, God's there for you, to hear about it and help you to move on to the next one!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Cold Shoulder

Proverbs 31: 21
" When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. "

This verse is part of the book of Proverbs that I've heard referred to as "The Proverbs Woman". There have been so many writings and teachings on these verses. Should we strive to be this virtuous woman described in this book? Well, maybe we could do without the wool and flax and the whole planting a vineyard thing, but there are a lot of virtuous characteristics that we certainly would be better people if we put them into practice. But also, let's not be too hard on ourselves if we don't exude these characteristics all of the time. While we certainly don't have the challenges in our lives that the woman referred to in this book would have had, we do have daily challenges and struggles. If by the end of my days, when my children and my husband can reflect on my time with them, though fraught with complaints and I hope laughter, they could still "call me blessed"(vs.28), I truly will have been blessed myself.

I have the "pleasure", most every morning, of walking our family dog. While this morning was a bit warm here (in the 90's yesterday and upper 80's today), there have been a few mornings recently that have given me a taste of the chilly weather yet to come. Before you know it, it'll be downright cold! A fashion trend that has carried over from the spring and summer into the fall is called the "cold shoulder". Basically it's a top, sweater or a dress that has the shoulders cut out of it. I'm really liking it. I tried on a dress the other day at TJ Maxx that was a perfect transitional dress for summer-fall. Here is a "selfie" I took with my favorite little mermaid beside me.

Do you see my shoulders or, like me, are you fixated on the adorable mermaid beside me?
This dress was under $20!!! (actually the mermaid costume was more, Lol!). I thought it would be perfect with sandals right now, and then in a few weeks with a cute scarf and some booties. Like these...

Women's Journee Collection Emm Faux Suede Booties
These cutie booties are from Target- Women's Journee Collection Emm Faux Suede Booties

Give the "cold shoulder" trend a try, I think you'll like it, too! Please leave a comment below and let me know what your current favorite transitional look is. I'd love to hear from you. 

I pray your Wednesday has been wonderful!!

***Update on Entrusted study by Beth Moore. I got my copy this past Saturday, and I'm so excited to get right into the memorization!! Here's an excerpt from Lifeway Women All Access***
(click on link below for excerpt)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day

1 Corinthians 15: 58
" Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. "

Happy Labor Day! Some of us may have the day off from work to celebrate this national holiday, but others: first responders, doctors, nurses, caregivers, and those that work in retail, are still hard at work. This verse in 1 Corinthians is reminding us that laboring for God is not something that we should take a break from either. Whether you are called to physically labor or called to intercede for others in prayer, our labor in the Lord is never in vain. I may be asked to give a kind word or deliver a meal, Lord, doing your work is truly a blessing. I pray that I may always be ready to serve others for You.

Well, it's September 5th, another one of my children had a birthday yesterday! His first High School football game of the season is Thursday night, our first regular season Ravens game is coming up this Sunday, and this morning when I walked our dog, there was a nip in the air. Fall is definitely around the corner. I have to say, as much as I love summer, I really like the comfort and fun that the fall season brings to me and my family. I already lit my fall scented candle, I've been looking for an early fall wreath for my front door and I bought my first mum yesterday. It's time to take down all of my American flags (that I literally have all over my front garden) and autumn it up!! My girls are thinking about fall, too. Earlier this morning, my girls were talking Halloween costumes!!! Sheesh! I have to admit I love to see them dressed up for trick or treating, too. I have some cuties!! Here's a pic of the gang from last year.

My 13 year old (then 12 yr old) dressed up too, but was already at a friends house when we took this pic.

My youngest, who is 3 this year for Halloween, wants to be Tigger again. So funny! I thought I'd mix it up a bit though, and add a little something. Here's a pic I found on Google Images, of what I have in mind...

Image result for tigger super tigger halloween
This is what I have in mind: a purple cape and mask, gloves and a "T" on her chest! Super Tigger!!
(This image is from Poohs Heffalump Halloween Movie)

I hope I haven't scared you! I'm truly only ready for fall in the most minute way, however, I'm truly motivated to get fall rolling around here. Don't worry, you still have plenty of time to get ready, the first day of fall isn't until Thursday, September 22nd. In the meantime, enjoy your Labor Day!

I pray you have a day of rest and peace...and maybe a hotdog!!