Rainbow-Colored Glasses / Creamsicles

We drove by a funeral home yesterday. Jay noticed several, mini U.S. flags planted in its front lawn. My heart sank when he innocently asked, “What if the entire Earth was taken over by little American flags, Mom?”

What if…

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As we mourn in our neighborhoods and communities, it is hard to express optimism about our country’s future. To do so would be through rose-colored glasses. Yet, life without hope = darkness. That is why we must swap rose for rainbow-colored lenses; rainbows are reflectors of light even as darkness creeps in.Continue Reading

Posted on June 15, 2016 By Shannon
Shannon
With 0 comments

Long Days, Short Years / Microwave Mac

This morning I walked Jay to the bus for the last day of school.

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When I returned home, I said, “Well, just like that. He’s no longer a kindergartner.”

To which Sam replied, “Only 12 more years…”

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Just yesterday this little boy was giving me morning sickness! I remember his baby shower well. Been-there-done-that moms gave me plenty of good advice, including these nuggets:

Continue Reading

Posted on June 9, 2016 By Shannon
Shannon
With 2 comments

Ode to the Christmas Card / Red & White Rubs

Snapfish, Tiny Prints, or Shutterfly? 

So many choices before my wondering eye!

Foil-pressed, folded, ornament keepsake, or flat?

5×7, 4×6, glossy, or matte?  

Will they arrive in time without $50 shipping?

Nope.

Only day 8, and I’ve lost all hope.

I handed over the reigns to Sam last night after a minor hissy fit trying to design a beautiful and budget-friendly Christmas card. He will handle the process much more gracefully than I (as he does most jobs around our household that overwhelm my perfectionist nature).

So here is my version. An eco-friendly, sure-to-arrive-today, no-stamps-involved e-greeting to my readers, family, and friends to say,

“May the Peace be with you.”

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Tidings of joy to neighbors is another way I often let worldly worries interfere with seasonal peace. But I like being a jolly elf (most of the time), so I need to figure out a less fussy way. This year, I plan to spread some holiday joy around the hood in a more minimal, not-so-Pinterest-perfect way. Continue Reading

Posted on December 8, 2015 By Shannon
Shannon
With 2 comments

Day 3 – To Do: Have fun. / Sloppy Gyro-Joes

Today marks Day 3 of 100 posts about real life for busy parents with some real tips to try.

One of those realities is the weekday evening “Rinse-Feed-Repeat” routine of our evenings. To avoid the laundry cycle of life with small children, it’s key we inject some fun. But how? There is so much to do!

I’ve been pondering this conundrum since I went to the Yiasou Greek Festival last week. You see, there was an older gentleman who didn’t let it “rain on his parade” as the crowds fled the festival. He jumped right on stage away from his food booth and danced like he must have when he was ten!

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My children and I were captivated. This man is now “what I want to be when I grow up”. But I won’t arrive there if I don’t place greater value on fun. Continue Reading

Day 2: Yoga Pants & Heels / MYO Stir Fry Sauce-Marinade

Last week’s post shared how fed up I am with 100 Days of Real Food and Really Unreal Standards for busy parents. Today marks Day 2 of 100 Posts about Getting Real. And for Day 2, I want to talk about being less “judgy-judgy”.

Judgy-judginess (coined by my best friend Kim) is when we mamas get all cold and distant upon meeting another mother with small children based on appearances alone. And our public appearances rarely tell the full story of who we are and what we experience on a daily basis. Most other women, for instance, typically just see the put-together me and not the messy-tired-trying-to-get-it-all-done me at day end.

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We women often secretly attack each other in our minds:

“What does she do all day? Work out and drink Starbucks?!”

“Here comes Super-Mom trying to mask her mom guilt by signing up for everything! How sad.”

We all know the drill.

I got judgy-judgied yesterday, so I wrongly retaliated in a judgy-judgy way. Mind you, nary a word was exchanged for this to occur. Here’s how it went down…

Continue Reading

100 Days of Real Life: Day 1 / School Lunch Sanity (Sorta)

I love-hate 100 Days of Real Food.

It enlightened me to read labels, but I gained 5 pounds from whole-fat dairy (Apparently, reduced is healthier if you consume mass quantities like we do.). The silicone muffin cups are genius, but the meals look so perfect and easy.

Now that Jay’s started kindergarten, I know the truth: they’re not.

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This food blogger is embarassed to admit I’ve lost sleep over school lunches! I’ve had a near breakdown over my child starting kindergarten and all the associated logistics. So much so that I felt like other areas of my life were spiraling out of control.

Thus began a self-help quest.Continue Reading

Home Strong Home / Lazy Lasagna

Dylann Roof took nine lives. Families forgave. The world marveled. How could anyone pardon such evil (which Roof pled “not guilty” for today!)? “They must be better people than the rest of us,” many said.

I think otherwise. I cannot say for sure, but I believe those left behind seethed with as much anger and disgust as anyone would. The difference (I think) is that they turned away from their human condition, let the Holy Spirit fill them up, and made the difficult decision to let God deal Dylann justice. And in doing so, they allowed peace to reign—the sweetest revenge Roof could ever receive.

Charleston is my hometown, so the Mother Emanuel AME slaying saddened, disturbed, and befuddled me. It is a special place where one can grow up in peace with nature and others–even amidst the Lowcountry’s history of slavery.

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As I watched the newscast where the hurting families forgave this monster, all my brain could fathom was this: Continue Reading

Posted on July 31, 2015 By Shannon
Shannon
With 2 comments