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See Someone Today
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For my 31st birthday, my mom, dad, brother, and nephews joined our crew of six at my house for an evening party. We ate my favorite food, pizza, the kids played in the backyard, and the adults sat around visiting and laughing in the living room.  I had asked everyone to bring a memory instead of a gift, and everyone did. My 91 year old grandpa brought...

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Pushing Back Against the Stress of Life
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     Recently, Tim and I were talking casually with a doctor who was asking us some  routine questions about our life. After listening, he  chuckled and summarized as follows, “So, new baby, new church, new city, new house, new job… any other stressors you want to throw in there?” Yeah. Shortly after we moved, with boxes and children and toys and dishes everywhere, life...

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Minimalist Me
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Minimalist Me

Jun 24, 2014 by

Hi, my name is Ashley and I am a minimalist. It’s a deep part of who I am. I’ve had this part of me hiding nebulous under the surface for years, without really understanding what it was, which was constantly putting me in conflict with my world and causing me to ask, “is this ok?  Is there something wrong with me?”  The answers, I...

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In Honor of Dads
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In Honor of Dads

Jun 15, 2014 by

When I was growing up, our tv was often tuned in to Home Improvement, the show starring the loveable doofus “Tim the Tool Man Taylor” played by Tim Allen.  My dad loved that show. He laughed over Tim’s silly antics and how his lovely wife Jill or his smart, sensitive friend, Al managed to help him out of his latest blunder.  Later, it was the...

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Muffin Top
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Muffin Top

Jun 11, 2014 by

I think she is testing me. It happened first in Braum’s ice cream store. I was standing with Abby, waiting on Tim to finish cleaning up the boys in the bathroom. Abby, standing eye-level with my waist, lifted up the corner of my shirt and touched that roll. All women know the roll I mean–the dreaded muffin top that plagues most of us–the section...

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When Your “Great” Parenting Idea Flops.
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After all the big beautiful bravery going on around here last week, Wednesday night found our little warrior weeping. She didn’t like theater camp. She went, she tried, she was brave and faced down bullies with her sweet self, but the camp itself? She didn’t like it. Through choking sobs that wracked her whole body, Abby admitted to us that she didn’t want to...

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All the Feelings
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Veggie Tales wisdom: A thankful heart is a happy heart, I’m glad for what I have That’s an easy way to start. -Madame Blueberry   Thankful for: rainy day relief from the 90 degree sun church friends who watch my younger kiddos so I can go to Panera alone for some blissful me time Susanna’s radiant smile for me when I returned home refreshed...

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Dear Abby: The Pink Badge of Courage
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  Dear Abby, Something significant happened yesterday morning. It happened on a Tuesday morning, the most ordinary of all the week days, but you will learn this is how all great moments happen—when you are not looking for it. This is what happened: You grew just a little bit braver right before my eyes. Here’s how it went: I was sitting at my writing desk...

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Brave, Party of One
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Brave, Party of One We had to force her to go. It was my brilliant idea to sign Abby up for a one week theater camp. Crafts, songs, dancing, acting all with a fun mermaid theme sounded like something she’d love. The only thing is, our little introvert does not love trying new things. She promised to try the first day. But after rushing...

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A Fortress of Pizza
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Most days, there are four heads between us. We try to talk at each other from across the room, only we can’t hear over the din of Mommy, wook at dis! and Daddy will you wrestle me? and What are we having for dinner and I don’t like that! We had that last week! (Sidenote to Mom: sorry for all the times I complained...

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