Doin' It Halfway Since 1996

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus

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Unplugged.

I’ve been absent for quite awhile.

My local friends know that I’m still around. My family still hears from me occasionally. I still update my facebook statuses.

But for some reason, I’ve needed to take a break from the online world. I haven’t really been tweeting. And I most certainly haven’t been posting.

Homeschooling is keeping me busy. I remember a few years ago, when I began seriously consider whether or not homeschooling was the path our family should take, another mom who I really respected told me, “Homeschooling is a big deal. It’s such a big deal, that many things you once considered essential to your life become less so. You have to choose what’s important. When you homeschool, your child’s education must be at the forefront of your life.”

Another homeschooling friend who I’ve met more recently, told me BEFORE she started homeschooling, “I think that when you homeschool, you better be able to provide your child as good as, no, an even better education, than they can get with the alternative.” (which, in both our cases, is public school).

I’ve taken those two statements to heart. Because I know how important her education is AND because I want her to be the best her possible, homeschooling trumps the blog (she’s reading beautifully, by the way – which was one of my big goals for her this year).

Another reason I’ve been absent is because I started a series based on poster prompts about grace from People of the Second Chance.

To be honest, I haven’t felt very gracious lately. I dislike hypocrites. And I don’t want to be one. So I just haven’t been posting about grace.

I’m sitting here tonight, contemplative, though.

While my kids wind down from Awanas, I thought I’d write a little bit.

I only crossed two things off my to-do list today; the list had about twenty items on it.

Having a picnic lunch was not on that list. But, it’s what we did. Because the weather was nice today. Because my kids begged for us to do it. Because my life isn’t about crossing things off my to-do list.

I forget that a lot. But I really need to remember it.

Had I failed to jump at the opportunity to let my kids eat their lunch on a picnic blanket in the front yard, I’d have missed this conversation:

“Mom, what does ‘wet blanket’ mean?”

“It means that someone isn’t very much fun.”

“You’re a wet blanket.”

“Well, if I were a wet blanket, then we wouldn’t be having a picnic lunch outside today, now would we?”

“Oh. Well, you’re a dry blanket.”

And then I laughed. Which I haven’t done a lot of lately. Conversations like that are good for the soul. Conversations like that only happen when I stop worrying about all I have to do and just let life happen.

Have you had any “letting life happen” moments lately?

Post No. 50.

I can’t believe that this is my 50th Post. It’s a little surreal.

I want to thank you for reading, commenting, sending messages and supporting me. I’ve been so blessed to connect with all of you in different ways.

In addition to reaching this milestone in my blog life, the Good Women Project gave me my first opportunity to guest post. It’s on What No One Told Me About Marriage. I’d love for you to check it out and then read some of the other posts by some amazing women (and men). Then go like them on facebook or follow on twitter.

Considering my halfway tendencies, I’m a little surprised that I actually made it to fifty. I’d like to take some time to revisit some of my favorite and more popular posts. But before I do that, I want to give you a little sneak peak into what you might find in the next fifty posts.

First of all, I think it’s time for a design change. I was playing around the other night and made up this header. I don’t know that it’s what I’ll use, but I really like it.

If you stop by and find that things look different, don’t be alarmed. It’s still me, just better looking. I’ve also been toying with the idea of buying the domain name. Which means the web address will change a little bit too.

As far as content goes, I’ll continue posting on the topics near and dear to my heart like, unity among Christian believers, living with depression, keeping it real (for real, and not just saying ‘I’m keeping it real’), parenthood, and marriage. I’m sure as life happens, new topics will surface. For now, one new topic I know will be covered is homeschooling, as we recently became a home-educating family. I hope to make the next fifty posts even better than the first fifty.

In revisiting past blog posts, I’m glad I never limited myself in the beginning. I’ve really enjoyed having the freedom to write about whatever is on my mind at any given time. Many posts have discussed my faith, my struggles, and my depression. Some were just pure fun. I’ve considered giving my blog a more directional path. We shall see where it takes us (because if you’re reading this, you’re on my journey with me, like it or not!). What I’ve discovered is that this blog is more about encouraging others than it is chronicling my life adventures like I had originally thought.

So, to celebrate my blog’s fiftieth post birthday, I present to you some of my most popular and most favorite posts:

My (two) personal favorite post(s) (because I can’t just pick one): What’s your Nekatla? a post creating a metaphor for letting go based on the “Sleeping Lady” mountains in Alaska (it’s a long one and should have been broken up into three or four posts) and Grace for This Moment; Grace for Eternity (and yes, the sign I made is still hanging up in my kitchen).

Most googled search term post: Santa’s Been Naughty!, a post about White Elephant/Yankee Swap/Dirty Santa gift exchanges. From the search terms, people need to know what to buy, how to play, and how to present it to a third grade class.

Most Shared Post (according to WordPress): An Otterbox Fairy Tale (a contest I entered to win an Otterbox Defender case for one of my girls’ iPod Touch 4g, a contest that I did win). However, I suspect that maybe Hug A Veteran’s Wife has actually been shared most (just from what I can tell on Facebook).

The Most Difficult to Write and Share: The Bottom. Beyond the Basement is the post I wrote to share what depression looks like in my life, in my mind. I also want to share that I don’t write about my depression as a cry for help or for people to feel sorry about me. I write about my depression to help those who do not suffer from it understand it better. I also write and share what I do because I know there are others out there who struggle with this ugly beast. I want them to know that they aren’t alone. I want them to know that there is help.

So, again, thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad that you did. I can’t wait for the next fifty posts and how things will change between now and 100. I’m so thankful you’re along for the journey.

An Otterbox Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (Alaska). There was a man. There was a woman. They were married and had three preschool girls.
The woman, for her 32nd birthday, wanted nothing more than an iphone. Her husband, being a man of great virtue (and one of those husbands who liked giving his wife whatever she wanted) gave her an iphone. He purchased one for himself too. While he was procuring said iphones, he decided, that being a military man who jumped out of airplanes, he would purchase a black Otterbox Defender case. It was supposed to be the most indestructible case on the market.

He proudly brought home the iphones and showed the Otterbox to his wife. She, being a little stuck up, said, “My iphone is cute and sleek. The Otterbox is so clunky. I don’t know that I want it on MY phone.” And so he purchased another case for her, one of inferior protection and quality.

Months passed. The husband jumped out of several perfectly good planes, with his iphone protected in his Otterbox Defender. His phone, because of the Otterbox, was unscathed by the abuse he put it through.

The wife found many useful purposes for her iphone. One of which was downloading games and movies to keep her preschoolers entertained during times of waiting (like at the Doctor’s office or while grocery shopping).

However, she found that preschooler hands are grimy. And have little dexterity. She was worried that her little ones would drop her iphone in its inferior case and break it. She was extremely careful with her phone, but she worried constantly about its fate.

One day, the husband decided to clear the snow off of the back porch. He put his iphone (still protected in its Otterbox), in his coat pocket and went to work. Upon finishing, he realized that sometime during the tedious task, his phone had escaped. He asked his wife to call his phone. When she did, they heard a three-foot snow bank ringing.

Lo and Behold, after digging a bit, they found the iphone, fully protected in its Otterbox, fully functioning and fine.

A few months later, after spending some time with her girlfriends (one of whom had an iphone protected in a pink and black Otterbox), the wife decided that it was worth the money spent to purchase an Otterbox for her phone. The pink gave the Otterbox the feminine touch she desired. She waited at the AT&T store for almost an hour, just so she could purchase one. When her iphone was securely placed in the Defender case, she never looked back. Wherever she went, people commented on her case. She proudly commented that it was an Otterbox, and told the tale of her jumps-out-of-planes-loses-iphone-in-snow-drift husband and how her Otterbox protects her phone from the evils of grimy preschool mishaps.

More recently, during a shopping trip to a mega wholesale store, the wife was using her iphone as an entertainment device for her youngest daughter. Being two, the daughter accidentally dropped the phone on the floor. Another shopper, who was in a hurry and moving in the opposite direction immediately ran over the iphone with a full cart.

“Oh my gosh!” the other shopper gasped.

The wife, smiled, picked up her iphone (in its pink/black Otterbox Defender case), and said, “No harm done. This is why I got an Otterbox!” (In case you were wondering, the phone was fine, by the way).

Because of her daughters’ obsession with her iphone and its amazing capabilities, the wife decided that ipod touches would be a most fantastic Christmas present for them (also, the wife was going a little insane because the daughters kept moving her icons and calling random people who she didn’t really want to talk to). Being a dutiful mother, she waited in line, over night, on Black Friday to get the best deal. It was SUCH a sacrifice. But, she scored three ipod touches for her little darlings.

As soon as she returned home with her loot, she promptly checked out the Otterbox website to see if they had Defender cases for the 4G ipod touch. Sadly, they weren’t in production yet. She finally commented on the website and found out that they MIGHT be ready for Christmas. She waited and waited. Then the news, they would not be available until December 31st. She was sad because she just couldn’t wait that long. She had a road trip to take and the ipod touches were going to help keep her sane. So reluctantly, and with great misery, the wife ordered three cases from another company.

And while the cases had held up well, the wife would frequent the Otterbox website to see if any progress had been made in producing the cases. A few weeks later, Otterbox announced that its black cases were available. But then, the wife noticed that colored cases would be available very soon. So she waited and anticipated. Pink/White, Purple/White, Blue/White. Amazingly, the same colors of the inferior cases she purchased before Christmas. It was unbelievably coincidental (or was it? Otterbox, are you in the wife’s head?).

The the wife found out about this contest. She had wanted to write a poem about her family’s story with Otterboxes. But, not being a poet, she had a difficult time. The only good line she could come up with was:

“Dear Otterbox, because I’ll need at least three,
it would be nice if one of those were free!”

So, because she was much better at story-telling, she thought she would write a modern-day fairy tale, of how Otterboxes have saved her family countless times from having to replace its iphones. Now, she plans to protect the new investment in Otterboxes too. However, it would be nice to only pay for two instead of three.

The moral of the story is: Buy Otterbox.

And they all lived happily ever after.

The End.

This is a story I wrote for an Otterbox giveaway on their website. This is a personal story of how well the Otterbox brand has worked for us. At the time of the writing of this post, I received no compensation (money or product) to write it. I am, however, hoping the writing of this post will lead to a free Otterbox Defender Case for one of my girls’ 4G ipod touches.

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