Way Back Wednesday – About A Baby

This is one of those posts that could be considered a little too much information by some. They would be right. Maybe that’s why it was another one of my most popular posts.



Way Back Wednesday – About a Snake

This post has actually been published twice and happens to be my most popular post. I’m not really sure why other than there are really twisted people who read my blog.

So enjoy…


A Loss of Focus

I’m not sure what my problem is, but I have no focus. None. I can’t even seem to write a to-do list, which is bad because I have a lot to do. But I can’t seem to land on any one thing.

Look at my picture. I couldn’t even be bothered to stylize the photo, nor could I wait until after the picture to start eating a cookie. And I don’t even care. Just trying to keep it all real, you know?

So I made cookies for breakfast. Because I need to go to the grocery store, but I’m struggling to write my list. And I found a recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies that only call for peanut butter (obviously), sugar and an egg – all three ingredients we happen to have.  They are wonderful with coffee. I’m talking joy-giving, life-affirming wonderful.

I probably shouldn’t even be writing this as I have work to do for three different clients, but my scattered brain has so many ideas and I figured if I could get rid of even one of them, that would be one less distracting thought. So here’s my idea.

I’m going to start a Way Back Wednesday here on the blog. I’ve been doing this blogging thing for more than a decade and there have been many, many posts over these past 10+ years. So I’m going to repost some of my favorite past posts every Wednesday, starting tomorrow.

Cheating, you say? Yeah. What of it?

See you tomorrow!

So Much Good Stuff

You guys! There is so much stuff going on! I had been feeling overwhelmed, but now I’m just feeling blessed. I’ve been going through the most recent online IF:Equip study on the Spiritual Disciplines and it’s been so magnificent. It has reminded me to slow down and lean into God instead of hyperventilating over my super long to-do list. Which I already knew, but sometimes you just need a different voice to remind you.  I even wrote this post for Renewing the Heart Ministries about what I’ve been discovering (or re-discovering and putting into practice.) I’m still struggling in certain areas – always will, no doubt – but they are called “practices” for a reason. So let me tell you all the good stuff!

First, Grace & Such has published our first in (hopefully) a very long line of devotionals. Ten of the writers (myself included) have contributed to 30 Days of Grace.   It is currently available through Amazon.com and will be available for Kindle sometime in the next month or so. I read through the book several times during the editing process and let me just tell you this. I was amazed at the wisdom and encouragement every single time I read each entry. I mean, I might be biased, but I really do think this is a lovely book. And it’s just in time for Mother’s Day! Both the title and the picture link to the Amazon store.

Next on the agenda, this Saturday, April 29th, is the Iron Sharpens Iron Conference for Women in the Reading area. (For those of you who grew up playing Monopoly but aren’t from around here, it’s pronounced “Redding”.) The ministry I’m involved with – Renewing the Heart Ministries (RTH) – is the sponsor so we’ve been planning and planning for months. We have two keynote speakers, a regular worship team, a mid-day concert and testimony by TAMMY TRENT, nine workshops in the morning and nine workshops in the afternoon, one of which I’ll be leading.

I am truly excited about this event, not to mention RTH in general. Because RTH doesn’t just put on a conference and then say, “See ya next year!” We provide resources and training and follow up and everything after the conference. We are, as our fearless leader, Diane Karchner, says, “boots on the ground” and we do much more than just host a conference once a year. Trust me when I say you’ll be hearing more about RTH. Much more.

So then, after the conference is four straight days of house cleaning because Todd’s parents will be here next Thursday. We haven’t seen them for what seems like forever and their timing is perfect because I am in desperate need of decorating help from his mom. She’s really good with colors and styles and such.

But they’re not coming to help me choose a paint color (though I’m planning on that being a bonus). They are coming because Katie graduates from college on the 6th of May. GRADUATES! FROM COLLEGE! Or camp.  Whichever way you want to look at it.

After graduation, Katie will come home for the week so she can hang out with her grandparents before they go back to California. Then she will go back down to Virginia to start her real, adult life. And I gotta tell ya. As much as I wish she would be closer to home, I can’t even be sad about it. I’m just happy for her.

On Sunday, May 14th, I am going to go to church and then come home and do nothing. I’m going to truly practice Sabbath. I will not have a to do list and will only do what I want to do. And while I’m looking forward to being able to breathe for a minute, I’m pretty sure I’ll be a little forlorn that all that good stuff is over. Until the next round of good stuff.

KT, DC and ME – The Food Edition

Before I get to the culinary delights of our nation’s capitol, I wanted to tell you about our weather. I’m sure you saw it on the news. Or maybe you lived it with me. But last week we had snow. And sleet. And then snow.

It didn’t turn out to be quite the event they originally forecasted, but it was the most winter we’ve had this season. In March. Right after we’d had lovely, upper 60’s, leave the windows open, I’m ready for spring weather. Now I love me a good snow storm as much as the next fella who loves a good snow storm, but I feel kind of like winter missed its chance. I think Mother Nature should have just let us be disappointed for the year and move on. Maybe she could have made up for it next year. But to be teased by the glory that is spring like that and then smack us upside the head with what we got is kind of cruel. But maybe that’s just me.

Alright. Onto why you’re really here.

[Disclaimer – I’m afraid this post may be a letdown. There are really only two food experiences to share with you. So please, for the sake of our friendship, lower your expectations.]

One of Katie’s college friends is from the DC area and she recommended a couple of places. CAVA for a meal and Baked and Wired for cupcakes.

We ate lunch at the Holocaust Museum Cafe after our tour because we were starving and it was the closest place to find food. I had a decent Mac & Cheese, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. Our plan was to make our way from there to Baked & Wired, procure our cupcakes and then go back to the hotel for a bit, after which we would walk over to CAVA.

So this is how it went down. We ate at the Museum Cafe, walked the couple blocks to the Smithsonian Metro station, took it to Foggy Bottom Metro station, wherein we disembarked and followed the map on my phone towards the bakery. Except we turned left out of the station instead of right and finally figured that out after two blocks. Still, we were in the midst of Georgetown and it was an interesting locale.

After turning around and passing the metro station we’d just come from, we set out for confection perfection, our steps determined and our moods light. We walked and walked and walked some more. We walked for a mile after we’d already been walking most of the day. When we finally got to Baked & Wired the line was out the door. No, I’m not kidding. Out the ever-lovin’ door. But we waited, by golly. There was no way we were leaving without the goods.

The patrons were lined up along the glass display case and the cupcakistas (you know, like barista, except they were serving baked goods instead of coffee) were grabbing the orders as fast as they could. Which was great and made the line move pretty quickly. Except here’s the thing. It took me months of practicing “Venti white chocolate mocha, 2%, with whip” in the mirror before I was comfortable ordering at Starbuck’s. I had no time to practice, people! I didn’t even have time to look at all the splendor they had to offer and make up my mind! Oh, the pressure! It was almost too much and I blurted out, “One cherry blossom cupcake, please!” because it was the main cupcake on display  in honor of the Cherry Blossom Festival beginning the following week.

Do you see the gravity of this situation I’m describing? There was no chocolate in the cherry blossom cupcake. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Do you know me?

Katie, on the other hand, had the privilege of perusing the case while I kept our place in line and ordered a chocolate doom just as cool and confident as you please. Ingrate.

After the acquisition was completed, we decided to take an Uber back to the hotel. Best $4.73 I’ve ever spent.

Once in the room, we shucked our shoes and settled down for a little rest. At this point I was seriously considering room service for dinner because I didn’t think I would ever want to move again. I had walked more than 200% of my daily goal and my dogs were barking. But a nice, little nap and a growling tummy later, I was up for the next edible adventure. Thankfully we didn’t have to walk a mile for dinner, but rather about half that.

I really didn’t know what to expect, but Katie described it perfectly. Think of a Mediterranean Chipotle. Minus the salmonella, of course. You start with a base – greens, grains, pitas – you decide. Next you add your dips or spreads – these would be tzatziki and hummus and the like. Follow that with your protein. I chose falafel, but there are meats or roasted seasonal vegetables as well. Then you choose your favorite toppings. I had them add pickled onions, cucumber, cabbage slaw and crumbled feta. Finally, you pick a dressing. Yogurt dill was my choice.

And that, my friends, is a blueberry soda next to it. I’m not a big consumer of pop, but I saw Maine Root blueberry soda on tap and had to try it. It was everything I expected it to be.

There was very little conversation at dinner because we were too busy eating. It was very filling and I despaired of being able to finish. But I’m not a quitter so I stuffed myself silly. I wasn’t going to waste a drop!

We were more than pleased with our dinner experience as we walked back to the hotel. But we were too full to eat the cupcakes.

~ Can I just pause here and right a wrong? I have been referring to these as cupcakes. The correct term is cakecups because they were huge. ~

Finally we could wait no longer. We each fixed ourselves a cup of coffee and then settled in for our sugary prizes. I decided right then and there that I had chosen wisely, even if it had been under duress. It was a vanilla cake with big chunks of maraschino cherries and a smooth cherry butter cream on top. I was NOT disappointed.


And judging from the look of bliss on Katie’s face, she was not mad about her choice, either. We also decided we would be stopping there on our way out of the city the next morning.

Which we did. I dropped her off and then drove around the very large block. She jumped back in the car with four cakecups (because we had to get one for each of the boys – duh) and a vanilla latte for me. And then we were for home!

Except the GPS told me to turn down a street that was crazy backed up so I kept going, but the rerouting couldn’t keep up with me and we finally turned around and I pulled up a side street to readjust the GPS. There was no parking from the corner up to the next house, but we weren’t actually parking so I pulled over. And then saw the sign that said, “NO PARKING Unless Approved by the Mongolian Embassy”, which we were not. But I didn’t even care because I had chocolate cakecups, a vanilla latte and the remnants of joy from a delightful day in DC. And I also kept the car running and could have easily made my getaway had Katie spotted a Hun coming. Yes. That’s how I pictured it. Men dressed like this, chasing after us, waiving swords and yelling loudly.

Nobody chased us (I may have even been a little disappointed because just think  how much better my story would have been) and we got headed the right way. As we were cruising down the Beltway, we started reminiscing about our dinner the night before. There were smiles and sighs and everything. Then Katie looked it up and it turns out there was a CAVA only 4 miles out of our way! So we changed our plans, took the detour and enjoyed another visit to our new favorite restaurant. I loved it so much I even toyed with the idea of opening a franchise by us. Except I’ve never had any desire to be a franchise owner and I don’t know the first thing about it. So if any of you live in my area and are looking for a new, up and coming restaurant to own, let’s chat.

Once home and settled, we had our cakecups. And you know that part about buying four cakecups because of the boys? Well, it didn’t actually work out that way. The excuse I’m going with is that I’m bad at math and we’ll just leave it there.



KT, DC and ME – The Holocaust Museum

Katie is home for spring break (her last spring break as an undergrad) and, as a history major who is mostly fascinated with WWII, she’s always wanted to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. We happened to have Marriott points that were going to expire in April, so she and I took advantage this past Wednesday. It was a gorgeous day for a drive, though rather gusty as we drove over the I-95 Susquehanna bridge. Still, we made really good time and were lucky enough to get checked into our hotel early.

Then we set out for the museum. We found the metro station, made the appropriate transfer and  ended up on the mall at the Smithsonian, right in between these beauties:

Those dots in the sky means my lens was dirty. Oops.  For those of you who are photographers, I know. I am a breaker of a cardinal rule. I’ll have to live with the knowledge of my transgression for the rest of my life. Or at least every time I look at these pictures.

From there we walked over to the Holocaust Museum:

If you’ve never been there you can imagine how intense the experience is. I didn’t learn much beyond what I already knew, however, I don’t think I can adequately put into words the thoughts and emotions that each exhibit provoked. Sadness, indignation, disbelief, amazement are just a few. The main exhibit begins on the fourth floor and works its way down to the second floor, following a timeline which begins with 1933. The fourth floor talks about the rise of Hitler’s power and the Nazi Assault (1933 to 1939). The third floor is the Final Solution to the Jewish “problem” (ghettos, labor camps, death camps – 1940 to 1945). And finally the Last Chapter on the second floor – the end of the war and the liberation.

I didn’t take many pictures in the museum, at least not of the exhibits. It didn’t feel right to me. But here are a few of the photos I did take:

How anybody could honestly believe these atrocities never happened is beyond me. I highly recommend this somber experience if you ever find yourself in the DC area.

No trip with Katie is complete without good food. Come back for the next installment of KT, DC and ME wherein I shall make you drool.