What Is REAL?

mimi 2

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?" "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a really long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." The Velveteen Rabbit is an ache-y book for me. I haven't read it in years and this morning felt a stirring to dig it out of the still-unpacked box of books in the boys' room … Read More

Tender Feet and Freshly Mown Grass


My feet have grown soft from misuse. Not so long ago they were worn rough and calloused, signs of feet that MOVE. Signs of barefoot walking and derby skating. Signs of connection: heel to earth, toes to dirt. My boys run over gravel without a thought. They are unflinching barefoot runners, used to the scoldings of strangers, "Where are your shoes?!" Now I pick my way over the driveway to the car, sensitive to every twig and acorn husk. There is little grace in my barefoot step. I am unsure … Read More

Grow Local Roots

small steps day 24

Anyone tired of growing their blog yet? This month has been energizing and also kind of exhausting for me. Even though these steps are supposed to be small, thirty one is a LOT. Yawn. Today's task is (hopefully) a very small one to give you a little break after tackling the giant beast that is SEO yesterday. Unless you are blogging literally in the middle of nowhere, you might be surprised to find a blogging group in your state or region. Houston is a giant city, so I'm lucky to have a … Read More

Should Christians Mourn?

A biblical perspective on grief and a take on the question: should christians mourn?

It is a strange thing indeed to grieve corporately. I have written about this before with regards to 9/11, but now that Rob's family is grieving corporately in a more intimate setting, I experiencing this in new ways. The other day I flitted in and out of the kitchen while there was a patio discussion (with cigars and wine) about Lynn's funeral. There were some tears, as expected, but also laughter and hope. Because of Lynn's faith, the sadness shores right up alongside the joy sometimes. Which … Read More

S-E-O! What Does That Spell? SEO!!!

4 basic SEO tips for beginners

Today's post in the 31 Small Steps to Grow Your Blog series has to do with a weird little word, which is really an acronym that has become a word. I am NO expert, but I am going to give you very basic SEO tips for beginners, plus refer you to some experts (or, at least people who know more than I do). SEO refers to Search Engine Optimization, which is a fancy way of saying How Google (and Other Search Engines) Find Your Blog. There are a lot of things that go into SEO and most of them make my … Read More

Answer Comments. Except the Ones from Bots.

small step 22

  I love getting comments on my blog! Don't you? Here is my favorite one from recent days: Realizing he would need as much muscle as possible to defeat the Moran gang and ward off any other challengers to this empire, Capone recruited members of other ethnicities and races including Poles, Jews, blacks, and Irish. A few key murders committed by Giancana's crew allowed the Outfit to take over the numbers business and add millions of dollars more in annual revenue. Heart pounding, mad … Read More

A Picture Is Worth How Many Words?

visual images magnify the impact of your words.

We are so close to the end of 31 days of small changes. I've loved this series because it's made me think about being intentional with my blogging as well and my goals. Today is all about image. Not the whole image of your blog, but the images you use in each post. This can go hand in hand with your Pinterest goals as you work to make your posts more pinnable. Here is today's task:   Among those of you reading, there may be equal parts people who have mastered all these tips already … Read More

Pinterest Is Prime Time!

small steps day 20

This past week, I have been not as tuned-in to my blog and social sharing because I've spent so much time with the family. And yet, my stats have been just lovely. Why? One word: Pinterest. Consistently and almost without exception, Pinterest is my top referrer. The great thing about it is that once you have a post up there, it can perform and perform and perform and perform. So it is in your best interest to know how best to use Pinterest and make it work for you with what you are ALREADY … Read More

Hazard-Free: Celebrations Holiday Gift Market

celebrations gift market in katy

In exchange for promoting the Celebrations Holiday Gift Market, I am receiving two gift certificates to shop at the market. All opinions are my own, and you better believe I will be there! Once upon a time, I used to go every year to a holiday gift market in Houston with either Rob's mom or my mom (and I think one year, both). We would peruse the booths of beautiful things, buy a few Christmas gifts (mostly I just looked), and every single time bought a fancy caramel apple from a special … Read More

This Week in Beauty

this happy week 3

It's a strange thing, spending time together as a family these days. There is something unspoken in our conversations and our activities. Sometimes we speak of it, but usually we don't. There is an undercurrent to everything that brings both joy and sorrow. Here is just a glimpse of our week. … Read More

Let’s Plus & Stumble!

small steps day 19

Today in our 31 Small Steps to Grow Your Blog series, we are going to look at two forms of social media that absolutely need their own posts. But since I'm not an expert and people balk most at these two, I'm going to make it short and sweet. Today, friends, is all about Google Plus and StumbleUpon. While some people use both G+ and SU frequently, I would guess that to most, they are a mystery. Let's get to know them a little better, shall we? Consider this post like an internet dating … Read More