September, already.

Small Things-5891 Small Things-5892Small Things-5948Small Things-5930

On Saturday, Mabel and I traveled west to Front Royal for a blogging conference.  I am a classic introvert, so it was a bit of a stretch for me.  Mabel strongly dislikes travel, so it was definitely a stretch for her.  Because I would be gone for most of an entire day, I went prepared.  I packed multiple outfits for Mabel, and even a change of clothes for myself, just in case.  I grabbed a granola bar and placed three small plums in a bowl and covered them tightly in cellophane wrap to keep the ants out. (My car sat for two months after Mabel was born, and ants took up residence.  I keep forgetting to deal with the situation.)  Last minute, I remembered to pull a Hope and Justin CD out of my desk drawer, and I grabbed my make up bag too.  I’d need the tweezers.  Once in my car, I used the tweezers to grab the CD out of the cd player that, in its old age, only partially ejects cds.  I put in Hope and Justin and hoped they would make Mabel happy.  I looked at the clock and saw that I was only leaving about 15 minutes later than I had planned, which is pretty good.  Twenty minutes down the road Mabel wasn’t crying, and I was feeling a little proud of myself.  I might be on time!  Sitting at a red light, I grabbed my printed directions off the dash to remind myself of how long it was supposed to take, an hour and a half?  As I scanned them, I realized that none of the streets looked familiar.  With horror, I realized that I wasn’t holding my directions, but Jonny’s directions to the boys’ weekend baseball tournament.

I picked up our TracFone, the crappy little flip phone (that’s right) that doesn’t take incoming calls anymore for some reason, and only sustains a phone call for a minute, sometimes less, before emitting a very loud never-ending beep.  I called home, hoping Jonny would still be there and we could meet and swap directions.  Seth answered, and told me that no, Daddy had just printed himself new directions and headed to the game.  I think I slapped the steering wheel; I definitely fought tears.  I turned around and went back home.  Once there, I had to pull Mabel out of the car to nurse again, hoping she would make the entire trip without us needing to stop.  Eventually, I was on the road again.  Mabel slept to the music for about 45 minutes, but then cried the second half of the trip.  By the time I arrived at my destination, I felt a little frazzled.  A friend saw me pull up and met me at my car to offer help.  She noticed me place my mug on the hood of the car and asked if I wanted her to grab it.  Feigning normalcy, I explained that no, I just put it there so the ants don’t swarm it for the residual honey.  Doesn’t everyone do that?

The conference itself was lovely.  My close friend Elizabeth was the keynote speaker.  While we have been friends for years, she rarely agrees to speaking engagements, so this was my first time hearing her speak to a group.  She was encouraging and convicting in all the right ways.  I got to see Mary, whom I met last year at Edel, and seeing her again reminded me that I need more Mary in my life.  I met lots of other neat ladies, and had a great time.  I am not sure how Rosie, the host, pulled it off while 30 weeks pregnant!  I think one of the more memorable moments was a few minutes into Jenny Ryan’s talk when she shouted, “Oh my!  There’s a BEAR!”  And sure enough a lanky bear cub was running across the yard.  Bears are fast!

I answered a few questions on a Q & A panel at the end of the day, including one about finding time to write.  I feel like that gets harder all the time, and I’ve just learned to squeeze it in where I can.  If you could see the process of me trying to write a blog post, you’d just laugh.  I’ve been interrupted so many times in the writing of this post despite the fact that I was sneaky and got up early (so did everyone else today!) This is life.

p.s.  After Saturday’s ordeal (okay, that’s an exaggeration) I think I might buy a proper cell phone.  Is there anything I need to know?  I think if I’m going to do it, I want one with a good camera.  So iPhone?  That’s what people seem to have. I don’t need the latest one, right?

p.p.s.  There is still a tiny bit of yarn left in my shop!



  1. I have an HTC. It Android (meaning google instead of apple). I felt the iphones were too expensive and besides using itunes (with my ipod for walking or working out) I use a regular pc laptop. I don’t love apple software.

    Good luck in your phone research endeavors!

  2. Apparently, I’m the only one who is dying to know what pattern you used for that adorable little yellow sweater Mabel is wearing in a pic toward the end of the post…?? :o)

  3. Kate Jordan says:

    I’d recommend a nexus with a cover. I’ve had mine for three years – iPhones break too easily.

  4. REPUBLIC WIRELESS !!!! Had them over a year and love it!!

  5. iPhone doesn’t typically take very nice pictures. I have one and really dislike the fuzziness of the photos. I hear Samsung is a much better choice if you’re planning to use the camera a lot.

  6. The first thing I thought when I read this was, “wait, couldn’t she just pull up the directions on her phone? Why does she have printed directions? How do you read printed directions while you’re driving?” (although of course we all used to do that!) You will love having a phone that can always tell you how to get everywhere! I know there are downsides to having a computer in your back pocket at all times, but having Siri tell me how to get around is invaluable to me and takes away some much stress when driving around with a bunch of little children.

    Just be careful that having the camera phone so accessible doesn’t mean you stop using your big camera! So many people stop taking DSLR pics when they start using a phone, and even the good phone cameras are no comparison!

  7. I can’t seem to get out the door on time these days. I’m glad you were able to make it to your blogging conference. I’ve never heard of Hope & Justin, I’m going to check them out. (Always in need of new music for our car rides, we’ve been getting a bit burnt out lately on the same CDs over and over.)

  8. What a treat to go to the conference. Sometimes it is such a chore getting someplace, but I usually enjoy it and am glad I went once I get there. Keep writing in small bursts and when you can. You inspire me.

  9. I have had various over the years. I now have the iPhone 6plus. Its easy to use, has an anti-shake feature on it when taking photos & it’s big & reminds me of a paperback when reading on it! Instagram looks great on it too. Love it.

  10. Buy the iPhone. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. 🙂

  11. I got my LG G5 for the camera and the fact that I can put in an sd card so I have plenty of storage for all the pictures and music. I really like it so far, after 4 months.

  12. We compared the iPhone 6s and the Samsung Galaxy 7 and the Samsung seemed like a better phone. You get a great camera in the Samsung, it has a expandable memory which the iPhone does not. You also get a phone that is water resistant which the iPhone is not so we opted for the Samsung Galaxy after having an iPhone for years because of these features. Oh, and it was less expensive than an iPhone.

  13. iphone 6. I got one (I loved my tiny flip phone!!!!) because my nieces were off to college and I wanted to be able to communicate with them in the 21st century. It takes great photos, I only use a few apps (Instagram, some exercising ones) and it’s reliable. It’s pretty amazing to have a tiny computer with you at all times. Just get yourself a really really good protective case!! I’m thinking for you, one that covers both the front and the back. That would be worth the expense. I have made it a point not to be on it around my daughter. I don’t read emails on it (unless I’m alone). Too many people are looking down these days, instead of up and around. That makes me sad.

  14. I have an iPhone and love it!! Being fairly new to the area we live a needing to find places – I have truly appreciated being able to type in directions and audibly hear where I need to go. Does she get it 100% right – no – but 9 times out of 10 we’ve gotten exact directions. And now with boys in sports and finding places I’ve never been to – I’m definitely thankful for this technology. I really think it’s amazing that I use to get places. So I guess we are spoiled but if it’s something a person can afford, it’s worth it to me. ☺️ Sounds like a lovely time with friends at your conference.

  15. I so enjoyed meeting you on Saturday. I have an older iPhone (I’m not even sure what it is…5 something?) and I’m pretty happy with the pictures most of the time…but they lack the clarity of the ones I can take with a real camera and it’s hard to focus on what you want, sometimes. It has a mind of its own, that focus thingy.

  16. I can’t recommend phones and companies, being in New Zealand, but I’m very glad to hear you are looking for a better phone. If you’re going to be travelling on your own with the children, you need a reliable phone for those ‘just in case’ moments. And I love you blog! Your photos show real life, not some show home.

  17. If I just looked at your photos, after clicking on all your links to all the bloggers with lovely, orderly, holy homes, I think I’d have to dissolve in tears of dismay and dissatisfaction with myself…..I’m glad you write with a bit of a sense of humor. My blog has to focus on the humor because the peaceful beauty certainly evades me.

  18. You constantly amaze me! Wonderfully real – I need to take my tweezers wherever I go too – but not for CDs!

  19. You can get an iPhone and use tracphone service. They just started that this year. We have an android phone with tracphone and love it, although the pictures are likely not up to what you would like.

  20. The OnePlus (android) is known for a very nice camera..

  21. Just another mom says:

    We use straight talk. It’s unlimIted text and calls and internet for under $50/mo. I have a Samsung galaxy ace and its on Verizon network. It works wonderfully wherever we go. No contracts.

    It’s so hard to do anything I like with having the kids. I just try to do what I can when I can. Praise God when it all comes together or falls apart. Haha. May God Bless your efforts!

    • Dana in Michigan says:

      My husband and daughter use Straight Talk and my son and I use Boost. Boost has unlimited talk & text and not unlimited data (I rarely use data) My son plays Pokemon Go and hasn’t run low on data yet. We pay $30/ month. Like you, our Straight Talk is just under $50 / month.

  22. Wow, what an ordeal to get to that conference! We have the same issue with our in-van CD player. 🙂 Hope you can get a smartphone sometime soon!

  23. You are such a sweet spirit!! I just switched from a Windows Phone (WinPhone) to an iPhone last month. I loved that the WinPhone came pre-loaded with everything I needed (camera, email, cloud storage); the Android is super customizable, but we’ve not had Andriods for years and it’s beyond my bandwidth to take on any more information; the iPhone is a little too personal, as in — I can’t be incognito {I’m not the only one who wants to be incognito, right?} because iPhone links all your apps to your iPhone ID {why I couldn’t setup PokemonGo! accounts for my children}, but all in all — the phone works for us versus me working for the phone. Good Luck — you won’t regret it {and the iPhone 7 is coming out in a couple of weeks! I’ve got the iPhone 6s and it’s great so far — although I’ve still got a ton to learn!}.

I love to hear from you!