Thursday, July 30, 2015

TBT Trying Again... (Originally published 6/2/14

I am 34 years old, and I am finally beginning to realize that, "If at first you don't succeed, try try again" is actually pretty good advice.

I bring it up because here I am, attempting to start blogging consistently again.  Why did I stop?  I don't know.  Why did I stop working out?  Why did I go back to screaming at my kids to "get their crap and get out the door now!!"? Why did I gain 15 pounds after I lost 55?  Because life happened.

And life is going to continue to happen.  I'm going to miss a workout.  I'm going to get mad at my kids and eat my feelings (cookies) and get mad about eating my feelings, so I'll eat my feelings (fruit snacks) about eating my feelings.

But when I stop working out because I missed a workout, or stop writing because I missed one week of blogging, or "cheat" on my "food lifestyle," and say, "Well, I might as well eat everything I stopped eating because I can't stick with it anyway," then I am just sabotaging the hard work it took to accomplish all that I have already accomplished.

The advice in the Paleo World goes like this, "Don't let perfect be the enemy of good."

But it applies to so much more than just food.

If at first I don't blog, blog, blog again.

If at first I don't work out, wod, wod again.

If at first I yell at kids, be calm again.

If at first I eat cookies, eat broccoli again.

Funny how trying to be perfect makes me overweight, sad, angry with my kids, lazy, and a non-writer.

"Trying Again" may mean I am a failure, but it also makes me persistent, dedicated, disciplined, thinner, self-controlled, motivated, and more patient.

You can learn to be a failure too.  It's better than being perfect.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

BRF and Other Calamities of Motherhood

Houston, we have a problem.  I have developed Bitch Resting Face.  I didn't used to suffer from this affliction.  But I can feel my face just falling right into a scowl for no reason other than it just rests there.  What is this?  How did this happen to me?!

People once described me as "bubbly."  BUBBLY for goodness sake!  But ah, that was many moons ago, dear friends, many moons ago indeed.

I now go to parks with my kids, and as my face begins to rest, I count, Kid 1, Kid 2, Kid-- Where on earth is Kid 3?  I just saw him.  He was right there.  Ugh.  This park is too crowded and I can't see past that rock climbing thing.  Come on, buddy, pop your head out some where.  Shit.  There was a super shady-looking guy over there earlier and now he's gone... Seriously, what is this place, like a pedophile's dream?  Oh.  There he is.  Where did Kid 1 and 2 go?

Then I follow the 2 year-old around, you know the one who thinks he can climb the same things the 7 year-old can and somehow get sprayed by an errant squirt from a squirt gun war happening amongst the tweens at the park.  In my "bubbly" days, I would've smiled and given the rascally kids my I'm-a-cool-teacher-but-don't-push-it face.  Nowadays, no.  Now, I say, "Excuuuse me" with a tone.  Because, ladies and gentlemen, I've developed a "tone."  A do-that-again-and-I-will-drag-you-to-your-mother-by-your-ear-tone.

When?  When did this happen?  When did I forget how to play?  When did I trade bubbly for bitchy?  I liked bubbly.  Maybe not champagne-bubbly, but at least semi-flat soda?!

I know it happened somewhere in the middle of being up all night providing for every need of all of these tiny humans 24 hours a day, but does being responsible for tiny humans automatically mean I can't be fun anymore?  Because it seems that the two have become mutually exclusive in my life.

I am no longer fun, but I am responsible for everyone and everything that they need.  If I shirk this responsibility of providing snacks and diapers and wipes, small children are starving and whiny and the toddler is covered in poo.  That, my friends, is not fun.

I wanted motherhood so badly, but I didn't think it would mean that fun would be so sacrificed.  It feels like becoming a mom means forfeiting the luxury of being a human.  It FEELS like it means that I'm not allowed to do or be anything I've dreamt of doing or being besides being a mom--because I did dream of that-- boy did I dream of that.  I wanted that so much.  I wanted a family more than anything in the world.  More than travel.  More than adventure.   More than being a best-selling author...

Now I have kids who create American Ninja Warrior Courses on every. single. playground.  I have kids who play ball with Daddy in the backyard.  I have kids who climb on chairs to help me bake and beg to snuggle with me to read stories.

My dream has come true.

But it came at a price; fun Emily is difficult to find, and I now have BRF and a "tone."  I do not pay this price willingly.

I still want to be a mom more than anything in the world.  But I also still want fun, travel, adventure, and best-selling-authordom.

My wise and wonderful husband once said to me, "Love is about sacrifice."
"What does that mean?" I said.
"It means I would've listened to country music if I had to do to be with you."

Maybe if I viewed love and life this way, my BRF would turn into a smile.  What if I viewed the bag of diapers, wipes, and snacks as gifts I get to give my children instead of the ugh-why-do-I-always-have-to-lug-this-crap way that I usually see it?

What if I forced myself to be still when I look out the window and see my boys playing in the backyard?

What if instead of seeing joyful playing as a time to sneak away and get something done or do something I enjoy by myself I force myself to join in their already-happening-fun?

What if instead of forcing MY fun on my family, I just join in their fun instead?

Fun IS fun whether it's on my terms or theirs, and they are good at fun.  They're kids for crying out loud.  Maybe I could shirk the responsibility of BEING fun and just JOIN the fun instead.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, July 12, 2015


I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for people who can tell great stories.  It is no easy feat, this story-telling thing.  There are the elements of timing, suspense, wording, tone of voice, the mixing humor with meaning.  The story-teller must paint a picture without giving so many details that he loses his audience.  He must move the plot along, but pause at the important parts so that we know to focus on them later.  He must let the story speak for itself, having the patience to allow it to unfold without getting ahead of himself, or rushing through, skipping out on things we need to hear, but might be tough to say.  Though he tells the story, he must get out of the its way so that the meaning and nuances and experiences can resonate with the listener and take on new life.  Story-telling is truly an art to be respected.

I got to listen to Scott Nickell tell me a story today, and it reminded me of the way my Papa used to tell stories.  Certainly, Papa didn't say "bro" in the midst of his stories, and rarely did Papa's stories contain Biblical matter, but Scott told the story of Elijah today the way Papa used to tell me about hunting.  He let the story unfold through his own colorful perspective without getting in its way.  And you got the sense he has told his son, Elijah the same story a hundred times but you're sure Eli can never hear it enough from his dad.  Much in the way that I would give anything to hear Papa tell another story... any story... especially the ones I heard a hundred times.

I wonder, when I get those special opportunities to hear great stories told by masterful storytellers, how much more amazing would it have been to sit and listen to Jesus with His parables.  I wonder how incredible it will be in Heaven to sit at His feet and soak in His impeccable timing, His choice of words, His tone of voice.

I can't wait.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Yes, that is a very girlie "Squeee!!!"  And it could possibly be followed by a "toot toot toot," because in a minute I'll be tooting my own horn, along with someone else's so, ya know, still keepin it real.

Back in March, I blogged about being chosen to be on Jen Hatmaker's Launch team for her new book, For the Love, well, good news, kids.  It is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!!!  And she's giving away a bunch of freebies!!!  Order here now:

Now here's the tooting part... In that book, in real ink, is something I wrote about the book, followed by my name.  WHAT?!  My endorsement in a best-selling author's book?!  WHAT?!

It was so cool.  You guys.  Jen Hatmaker sent me an email.  Like a real email.  Okay, so there were like 24 other people she sent it to too, but for reals.  She said my words made her laugh and cry.  MY words.  So funny since my endorsement just told her that HER WORDS had me laughing and crying throughout her book.  Anyway, if you want to read my endorsement, followed by my name in her book, you're going to have to buy one.  But... that's not the reason you should buy it.  The reason you should pre-order now is because it is a great big "me too" for people like us.  It is a great big cowboy-booted sweaty stroll through Austin, TX with Jen Hatmaker chatting about life and love and kids and Jesus and being a woman with big feelings while sipping on a great big-ole Texas sweet tea.

It is good.  It is fun.  It is soulful.  It is wise.

All of this for a mere $12.04 on Amazon.

Anyway, just wanted you to know.  I'll tell you more about my experience with the launch team soon.  Such a great experience!