another mom balancing faith, family, friends, work & life with coffee

Ask, seek, knock October 24, 2016

Filed under: encouragement,Faith,Kids,Parenting,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 7:48 PM

With growing kids, I truly want with every fiber of my being to wrap them in bubble wrap and orchestrate their every move, always keeping them close to Jesus and to mama.  However, although I want to do EVERYTHING for them, I know that in doing EVERYTHING for them, I do them an enormous disservice, and so frequently, we step back.  Way back.  Let them go and watch them fail.  Watch them struggle.  It is a painful process to watch sometimes and an internal struggle for the Hubby and I on WHEN to step in.

It is so hard to watch your kids grow through the tough stuff. Sometimes repeatedly.  They do grow though.  So do we.

When they DO succeed, it is with immense joy and celebration and sometimes even awe that we can rejoice with them as they taste the fruits of their labor and perseverance.

I imagine that is how God views us; He lets us go and do our thing, hanging back in case we need Him.  He encourages us through our struggles and cheers our victories.

Yet, He wants us to come to Him in our struggles, to seek His guidance and wisdom to receive His strength to power us through those times of trial.  The times we seek Him out, our struggles seem less lengthy, more manageable; when we try and and tough it out and “do it ourselves”, we often have a long and weary road and our troubles persist long beyond their term.

Let us remember, Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.

Practical application:  19 yo loses his truck key and reaches out to the parental units for assistance, from a random neighbor of a friend because his phone is dead.  Dad brings him his spare key.  An hour away.  On a Sunday night.  No hesitation.  No grumbling.  No guilt trip.  Because he asked.

Practical application:

  • any time
  • any where
  • any thing

One day, maybe I’ll grow up to be as patient as my Hubby.  Until then, I’ll just keep asking.




Food talk October 23, 2016

Filed under: Changes,clean eating,Life,Uncategorized,weight loss — tracye1 @ 6:00 AM

Currently, I have been switching to a more Paleo food focus.  I started 3 weeks ago, but week 1 was rudely interrupted by a hurricane and although I still managed to lose a pound that week, it was just too much  to stick to it in the midst of evacuation, power loss, clean up, etc. etc. etc.  Hey, if you ever need a rationalization parter, look no further.  So, the past two weeks , I’ve been doing very well:  on track, planning ahead and really focusing on will power.  The Hubs and I even managed to get to the gym 2x this week for strength work, so I am plugging along.

Let’s get real now, though.  If you’ve ever read “Made to Crave” by Lysa Teurkerst  it’s a great book really delving into WHY we overeat (emotionally) and her own story of overcoming and learning to better manage life with a food crutch.  In the book, there is a part where she talks about how she cried over not being able to eat bread (or pizza or sweets–I can’t remember exactly).  As I read it, I’m thinking, oh for the love….are you kidding me?  Then I started this little baby journey of 2 weeks and several times I have foregone sweets or super carby foods and although I didn’t cry, I ABSOLUTELY now understood what she was saying.  It’s flippin’ HARD!  You do not have to think one iota about eating crappy, but if you want to eat better and avoid processed foods, you have to think.  you have to plan.  you have to abstain.  HARD. It pretty much sucks right now.  I know it will get easier, but now…right now…. it blows.

My fitness pal app is really helping me to stay on track though, as well as giving myself permission to eat something once in awhile that is not so Paleo-ISH.  For instance, this week it was a birthday and there was a truly delicious and not run-of-the-mill cake to celebrate and so I had a piece.  One piece.  It was good.  And that was it.  I ate, I enjoyed and then my stomach kind of hurt, so I guess my body was not digging it as much as my mouth was.  Another day, I had a lemon bar.  I don’t make those.  But I find them enjoyable and so I enjoyed it.  And that was it.  So, I am learning, but man…’s hard. Because really, I could easily push through the pain for two pieces of cake or several lemon bars; I’m an overcomer.  Those choices, however, will not get me healthier or more energetic.  Sooooooooo, I’ll keep fighting the fight.

Like so many other battles, just taking it one day at a time and go from there.

Wish me luck!


Enter Fall October 22, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 9:42 PM

Fall made its first visit to us today, starting the day out about 55degrees and rising to the mid 70s.  Soooooooo, amazing.

Of course, I had to make some “fall” coffee (caramel macchiato) in the coffee maker and then put on a LONG SLEEVE shirt to walk the pup–who was rewarded with a new-to-him tennis ball found along the way home.

The rest of the day was spent in various forms of taxi with cheer, the mall and church.  I would have far preferred spending more of it outside, but this IS what parents do:  stuff with and for their kids.  Including, but not limited to, pick up from cheering at a football game, driving to and fro to the mall in search of a jacket and setting up for the  youth group bake sale tomorrow.  I have to remember that and not grumble about it.  It’s part of the deal, even when it’s in the 70s and amazing outside.

Along the way, I did find myself with about an hour to kill and well past lunch time,  so I ate outside on the patio at Applebees.  (that super yummy Shrimp Thai Salad you see above)  Tomorrow, I’m working some OT at the hospital (and next Saturday, too), but it’s all good because Christmas is coming, folks!

Now onto reading the Hobbit while I await my Middle Schooler to return from her  youth group progressive rally.  Kicking myself for not having that late afternoon coffee!!!  I sure could use that jolt about now.




#7QT: The Senior Citizen’s version October 21, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 10:22 PM

Let’s,  talk about aging these Quick Takes with Kelly in celebration (?), disbelief (?) and the awful truth that Luke Perry aka “Dylan” of 90210 is the cover boy of AARP.  What the what???  This truth brought to my attention via one of my oldest BFF’s text a few nights ago.


  1. Remember when $10 filled your tank?  All your homies threw in a dollar or two if it was your turn to drive around cranking out some Yaz and your weekend was set.  Today $10 might get you to the next gas station.  OK, slight exaggeration, but it surely won’t fill the tank!
  2. Remember when you had to “be home by dark”, more specifically when the streetlights turned on, that was the cue to get on that banana seat and haul it home.  Or sometimes, if plans changed, you might hear your mom or dad holler across the ‘hood for you.  That meant, “home now”.
  3. Remember when phones had cords attached to the wall?  When we got the extra long (IDK, 10 foot cord or something crazy like that) and we could walk all the way into the bathroom.  And shut the door.  Boom, privacy.  You might have had to spend an hour untangling it afterward, but was always worth it.
  4. Remember Aqua Net?  Hey, that 80’s hair didn’t stay up there all by itself you know!
  5. Remember Cliff’s notes?  If you didn’t understand a book or more likely didn’t actually read it all in time for the quiz/test/paper; these would give you the gist.  Your paper would probably suck, but you might swing a B on a quiz, so definitely worth the gamble.
  6. For those of us on the coast:  Beach hangout err weekend and all summer long.  Each beach approach had it’s own social circle and hotel pools to sneak into.  Almost like gang territories, except baggies and bikinis.  So not really.  Just lots of baby oil and no SPF.
  7. Beverly Hills:  90210.  You were home to watch it every week.  If not, you hoped you had a clean VHS to tape it on otherwise you’d have to get the scoop from  your friends the next day.

Yup.  Old.  Not quite AARP, but closer to it than I’d like to admit.  Bring on the discounts, folks!!


A little change up October 20, 2016

Filed under: Changes,health,Marriage,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 5:44 AM

Yesterday the Hubs and I hit the gym at the ridiculous o’dark hundred hour of 5ish.  So early.  So dark.  However, a saying my friends and I have is that you never regret having gone to work out, only not going.  Even though my muscles ache (yay!) this morning and I definitely had to have extra coffee yesterday and I was positively dying for sleep at my meeting last night, not once did I regret getting up early and going to the gym.

For years I’ve was an early morning exerciser person, mainly because  with little kids life just got in the way too often for anything else to work for me and it was one less thing to worry about in the day; however, when you get out of that routine……………….well, it’s definitely more challenging to get back into.  A comfy bed, fall temperatures, a good sleep, all things incredibly difficult to drag oneself away from.  This is where an accountability person comes in handy.  Hubby is NOT an early morning exerciser, so we will just take this one early morning victory at a time and go from there.

Today, I’ll enjoy my sore abs, linger a little longer over my coffee, and  enjoy the quiet.  Tomorrow we do it again!  Wish us perseverance and consistency, friends!!  We’ll need it!


What’s next? October 19, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 6:00 AM

This morning I had the privelege to start my day with my Director, mentor and friend at a breakfast meeting followed by a talk given to Daytona State College students and community members by Lucas Daniel Boyce, author of Living Proof.  What a story.  I will do him a great injustice by attempting to retell his story (just ask my Hubby who got the Cliff’s notes version over dinner), but what I will say is if you read his book and you aren’t motivated, you must be dead.

I’ve been mulling over his talk all day in fascination of his life, what could have been for a poor black boy in the foster system and what came to be.  A true example of what amazing things encouragement, faith, and perseverance can bring about in life. Encouragement and love by a family who adopted several children (11?) in addition to their own 4.  A family who took in the babies wracked by the drugs in their system from addict mothers, spina bifida, mentally delayed and loved them.  Faith that our God is an awesome God and with trust in Him, His guidance and His protection there is nothing we cannot do.  Perseverance in going the distance to reach goals, that in the eyes of the world, are highly improbably of attaining.

God is good.  God is faithful.  He wants us all to succeed.  We have all the tools we need; our job is to pick them up and use them.

Today I had a jolt of motivation by the kid who repeated Kindergarten to graduating as Valedictorian in his high school class.

What’s next for you?



We reap what we sow October 18, 2016

Filed under: Family,Kids,Lessons,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 6:00 AM

Have you ever had your toddler sass you with a phrase or intonation that was a dead-on impression of you?  Or perhaps a middle schooler roll their eyes with a disdainful expression that you’ve seen “somewhere” before.  Maybe even a high schooler or young adult disagree with you about something and throw your own logic back in your face?  No?  Maybe it’s just me then.  Just kidding, I know I am not alone here on this one.  There is no better mirror on our own parenting than in the faces, words and actions of our children.  I, for one, have seen some not so great mirroring of my own over the years and will honestly say; parenting is a constant work in progress.

Today I was privy to a portion of a particularly nasty and public conversation between two people.  These people are related to me and the conversation was one that my sister and I shared with our father 3 decades ago.  OUR conversation, though seriously explosive and resulting in a 7 year long estrangement and forever deconstructed relationship, positively paled in comparison to what I read today.  As I sat back and picked my jaw up from the floor and judged it all, I realized how horribly sad this situation is.  So broken.  The father, has long had anger issues and has never acknowledged that he could be mistaken on any subject.  Ever.  A father who can not ever be disagreed with.  A father who loves to spoil his kids and participate with his kids as long as it is something that holds his interest.  The daughter, a child of a 2nd and 3rd marriage to an older father and younger mother.  The boundaries?  As far as social media and family rumors go:  loose boundaries, spoilage resulting in entitlement and now anger, frustration and lashing out.  A lost little girl needing guidance, love and security, but unable and unwilling to ask.   A truly tragic truth, some lessons are never learned, only repeated with likely the same sorrowful results.

We reap what we sow.  Mamas and Papas those little hearts need boundaries.  They need to feel safe.  They need to trust that we have their backs. They need to know that they can screw up and we will be right there to help brush them off and give them solid advice and encouragement for the next go around.  They need to learn how to argue respectfully and know that sometimes in life we can agree to disagree and respect each other’s points.  They need to know as they navigate kindergarten recess, middle school lunchroom, and high school cliques that we are there every step of the way; not fighting their battles but cheering them on and fueling their self-esteem.  Sometimes it means making the unpopular choices and denying a sleepover, checking in with a parent, monitoring social media and cell phones.  Honest conversation.  Hard conversation.  Those boundaries are setting that foundation for later in life when those preschoolers on training wheels are spreading their wings as 19 year olds on motorcycles and preparing to move out.  Setting up boundaries and expectations early is the difference between a selfish, entitled young adult unable to make a committment waiting on society to give them a trophy for showing up to work on time and a confident and aware young adult able to understand the value of a dollar, a strong work ethic and the importance of following through with committments.

We don’t have to be our kid’s friends, they will have enough of them on their own.  Our job as their parents is to lay the groundwork so that they will be adults we want to include as friends. Anything else is a disservice to them, heartbreak for us and only adds to furthering moral and social decline in our society.

And for the love, keep your poop off social media.


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