Monthly Archives: May 2011

Fab Five Fun

Thanks to Trop50 for sponsoring my writing about fabulous bloggers. This year Trop50 is granting 50 Fabulous Wishes.
Click here to enter for a chance to win $1,000 to celebrate a friend with a refreshing attitude about looking and feeling fabulous!

I have a blog roll, but I haven’t updated it in forever.  Some of the people listed over there aren’t even blogging anymore.  I keep meaning to make a new list, but it’s just one of those things that just doesn’t happen.   So when Clever Girls and Tropicana asked about my favorite bloggers, I jumped right in.  And you know what?  Narrowing it down to five bloggers is hard. I have met so many great people through blogging and there are so many amazing writers out there!   And, in typical Bridget fashion, my top 5 tends to change every day.  But today…here are a few of my faves.  I hope you’ll take a few minutes to drop by each of these sites and say hello!

at DesignHerMomma – I met Emily through Casey(see below) at BlogHer ’09.  She is a mom of three and I find myself nodding in agreement to almost every post she’s ever written.  Being a mom is hard, yo.  But it’s also wonderful.  Sometimes I feel like she’s in my head and can see the secret things I always want to say but don’t know how.  (Also?  I wish I could be a tenth as thrifty and stylish as she is!)


Casey at Moosh In Indy – What’s not to love?  She’s adorably pocket-sized and one of my absolute favorite photographers of all time.  There is emotion in her work – writing and photography – that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.   Plus she has the most beautiful curly haired munchkin and a snuggly new love, too.


at Is There Any Mommy Out There? – Also a mom of 4 small people, she makes me laugh. A lot.  She also makes me cry.  She makes me think.  (It is possible that I’ve actually snorted a time or two while reading some of her tales of life with with 4 littles plus a horse-size dog.)  This one brings tears to my eyes every time, but also makes my heart smile.


Kim and Donyale at Coffee Cup Ramblings – Ok, so this is a new blog.  But it is wonderful and funny and smart and witty and written by two of my favorite people.  I grew up with these lovely ladies and I am so glad they are sharing their writing with zee internets.   Go read a few of their posts.  You won’t be disappointed.  I promise.


Beckie at Infarrantly Creative – Because no Bridget-list would be complete without a craft site.  Most of the craft ideas I do come from this site or from Dollar Store Crafts.  It is here that my obsession with the Silhouette machine began.


Don’t forget to enter the 50 Fabulous Wishes contest for a chance to win $1,000 to celebrate a friend with a refreshing attitude about looking and feeling fabulous. I was selected for this Tropicana Trop50 sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. I received compensation to use and facilitate my post.


Tomorrow’s the big day.
I can.not. sleep.
Worse than a child on Christmas Eve.

But while I sit here and anticipate the fun we’ll have on our trip,
I am also replaying the day in my mind.
We went to see Marshall’s grandmother.

The one who was both a lady and a “Gaga” long before most had ever heard the name.

The one who has lived a long, beautiful life.

The one who is delicately elegant, even as she greets death.

The one who has loved and supported and cared and shared with such great passion,
Who has demonstrated true strength and real Christianity through actions and not just words.

And while I will mourn her when she is gone,
I am anticipating for her, with her…

“I don’t know if there are harps in heaven
Or the process of for earning your wings.
I don’t know of bright lights at the ends of tunnels
Or any of these things…
But I know to be absent from this body
Is to be present with the Lord.
And from what I know of him,
That must be very good.”
What Do I Know, Sara Groves

10 Years, 10 Clues

As of tomorrow, Marshall and I will have been married for 10 years.
We don’t usually do much for our anniversary, but this year?
He’s taking me on a mystery trip!

Each day, I get one clue.

So far I have:
1. We will fly Delta
2. The hotel has 31 floors.
3. The weather there is forecasted to be better than the weather here.
4. The flight will take no more than 3 hours.
5. There is a river near where we are staying.
6. We will be remaining in the Eastern Time Zone.
7. It’s a city I’ve been to before.
**I’ve been to a fair number of cities on the East Coast, so that really doesn’t help me out all that much.**
8. Dress code for the event Sunday: a  Sunday type dress, but not “churchy”
9. Weather Forecast:

Low Saturday night: 65
Sunday: High 79/Low 65, Partly Cloudy, 20% chance of rain
Monday: High 84, 0% chance of rain.

10. (I’ll find out the city once we get to the airport.)

A package was delivered yesterday with the mysterious tickets.
And although I’m pretty excited about the mystery destination and the mystery plans,
I am most excited about taking a trip with just the two of us!

Have you ever been on a mystery trip?  Where’d you go?

i want to be a daisy

Happy.  Innocent.
Vibrant.  Vivid.
Infectiously beautiful, wonderful.
Always making people smile.

If you were a flower, which would you be and why?

the birth of words

exhausted and unable to sleep,
my brain whirs and clicks and spins

and there is something within me
something that i don’t even know of
that is aching to be freed

and i think and i pray and i write
oh…do i write!

my fingers furiously attempting to keep up with my thoughts
(but always unable)
words don’t quite form sentences
syntax and grammar hide from the fury of my mind, my fingers

(too fast for my hands to capture)

and, as with the pains of labor,
the words come crashing in all at once
and just when i think i have met my limit
they subside and settle into my chest
warm and ______
and my breath slows
and my eyes close
and it is over

for now.


and finally (finally!) i can sleep.

On failure.

Yesterday I told you about my latest parenting mistake.
Yes, latest.  There are lots of them.

But there are certain things that I really, really want to get right with the kids:
I want to let each of them be totally themselves and not squash each unique personality.
I want them to feel loved for who they are and not what they do(whether good or bad).
I want to show them what it means to really love and to really live.
I want to teach them to be loving, kind and respectful.
I want them to be strong and independent, but not too proud to ask for help.

I want them to know that while you should always try your very best, sometimes you won’t.
(And that sometimes I did my very best and that sometimes I didn’t.)
And that it’s okay.
Mistakes happen.
Bad choices are made.
Failure is always an option.
(It’s just usually not the best option.)
But the failure itself isn’t the big deal…
It’s what you do with the failure that’s important.

I want them to see me make mistakes
And (hopefully) deal gracefully with the consequences.
I want them to see me slip up and then see me apologize.
I want them to see me when I’m at my worst and love me anyway.

There are times when I will fail at this parenting thing.
But I want them to know that I will never fail to love them.

Couldn’t you just be normal?

Carter is 6.
He is a boy.
He is smart.
He is funny.
And he is vivacious.

His energy quickly spreads to those around him.
And I know that one day this will be a good thing.
I know it…and yet it drives me insane.

He is a good kid.
He’s very good.
But concentration?
Impulse control?
They often elude him.

And I find myself more frustrated with him than any of the others.
As a matter of fact, just the other day I had a major parenting FAIL with him.

All of the kids were playing happily.
And it kept getting louder and louder.
In typical Carter fashion, the louder it got, the crazier he acted.
And the crazier he acted, the louder it got.
And the louder it got, the crazier he acted.
And the crazier he acted, the louder it got.
(I’m sure you can see the problem here.)

Asking them to be quiet didn’t help.
Telling them to be quiet didn’t help.
Yelling certainly didn’t help.
Especially considering what I said:
“Couldn’t you just be normal? For just one minute, couldn’t you be normal?”


I instantly regretted it.
He stared at me with those big eyes.
And I teared up.
Oh, come here…
We hugged.
We talked.
I said I was sorry.
And that I love him.
No matter what.

And the irony of it all is that I don’t even really want my kids to be normal.
I want them to stand out.
I want them to go beyond ordinary to extraordinary.
I want them to push the boundaries and discover new things.
I want them to stand up for what they believe in, even when what they believe isn’t ‘normal’.
I asked him to be normal, but I hope he disobeys me.
(Well, just this once.)

I am a Christian(but I’m not a good one)

I have had this post sitting in my queue for quite some time.
I have visited and revisited it.
I have edited and re-edited it.
I have prayed about it and talked about it and meditated upon it.
And I wasn’t sure that I would ever post it.
But…here it goes:

I am a Christian.

But I am not a good one.

I believe in one God-the maker of heaven and earth, the creator of things both seen and unseen.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, who inspires, encourages and directs us.
I believe in the forgiveness of my sins through the resurrected body of Jesus Christ.
I believe in life everlasting.

Just because I believe it doesn’t mean I understand it.

I believe that the bible was divinely inspired, but written by humans.
I believe the bible may not be perfect, but it is perfectly the way it’s supposed to be.
I believe that it’s not really the words that matter
as much as the meaning of the words
coupled with the inspiration of God
that is most important.

Just because I believe the bible might have some inconsistencies, doesn’t mean I think it’s invalid or unimportant.

I believe that God gives us unlimited, undeserved grace.
I believe that God gives us unlimited, undeserved mercy.
I believe that God gives us unlimited, undeserved chances.
And I believe that, as Christians, we are called to be like Jesus Christ-who demonstrated these perfectly.
I believe that although I may not be able to really comprehend it or even be successful at it, I am still expected to try.

Just because I teach it, doesn’t mean I always live it.

I believe that God is love.
And out of love…grace, mercy, compassion, understanding and thoughtfulness flow freely.

Just because I know love – and know it abundantly – doesn’t mean I always show it.
Just because I know love – and know it abundantly – doesn’t mean I always accept it.
Just because I know love – and know it abundantly – doesn’t mean I always feel it.
Just because I know love – and know it abundantly – doesn’t mean I always savor it.
Just because I know love – and know it abundantly – doesn’t mean I delight in it.

I am a Christian.

But I am not a good one.

But (thanks be to God)
God is love.
And even when I don’t show it, accept it, feel it, savor it, delight in it…
God is bigger than me and my failures.
God is bigger than me.
And God is LOVE.

The greatest of these is LOVE.


Dear Anna Alden,

Yesterday was your baby dedication at church.
Daddy and I promised to do our best to raise you in a Godly manner.
Our church family promised to do their best to nurture your sweet spirit.

I sang to you. (And I didn’t even cry.)
We prayed for you.
We celebrated you.
We marveled at the miracle of life.

You wore the dress I wore home from the hospital.

And Lydia wore the dress that I was baptized in.

The boys were handsome, too.

When a child is dedicated at the church, she (or he) gets a bible.
For each of my children, I have picked a verse especially for her (or him).

In your bible it reads:
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and truth. -1 John 3:18(NIV)

But I love how the Good News Translation reads:
My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action. -1 John 3:18

I do pray, my dear sweet Alden, that you feel loved and that you show love.
Because a life without love is no life at all.

I love you, my happy, smiley girl.
And I will love you forever.
Love, Mommy

Maybe We Should Just Call It “Women’s Day”

I guess it  is appropriate that on Mother’s Day I am reflecting on my own motherhood experiences.
But it’s not a big mental jump to find myself pondering all the women who have shaped me into the person I am today:

My sweet Mama, who has most often wiped my tears and held me when I hurt.  Who so gracefully taught me that it’s ok to be ‘me’ even when ‘me’ doesn’t fit the mold…and even when I didn’t know who ‘me’ really was.  And who still sings to me and brushes my hair and scratches my back.  I’m thankful to have a mama who still lets me be her little girl…but who also continually encourages and supports me as a grown woman and mother.

My Nana, who is the picture of patience.  Her gentle strength always present, she taught me the importance of simply being quiet sometimes.

My Mama Jo, from whom I learned tenacity, perseverance and persistence.  (Well…some may call that stubbornness!)

My mother-in-law, Angela, who always shows great enthusiasm for life and who always wants the best for everyone.

My sister-in-law, Olivia, who is so wonderful at celebrating diversity.

My friend Jennifer, who always so effortlessly helps me break down God into child-size pieces.

My friend Kimberly, who cries with me and laughs with me and helps me put things into perspective.

Their mom, Ms. Sharon, who taught me the importance of dry humor.

My friend Chris’ mom, Claudette, who let us be kids (even to the detriment of her house).  She taught by example that “it’s just stuff”.

Kim, who entrusted me with the care of her children and who taught me that girls will be girls.  And showed me that it’s not about the stuff you give your children, but the time you spend with them that’s really important.

Kim’s girls, who have seen me at my best and at my worst and loved me anyway.

My friend Jesse, who will one day be an amazing mother.  (Well, she already is…she just doesn’t have her baby in her arms.  Yet.)  From her I learned that laughter can always make things better.  And that friends are friends forever(if the Lord’s the Lord of them…)  (She also understand that sometimes cheesy 80s music is where it’s at.)

Her sister Noelle, from whom I have learned several creative parenting skills and the joy of being a kid at heart.  (Plus she always finds the coolest toys.)

My friend Claudia, who shares and cares completely and whole-heartedly.

My friend Monica, whose parenting is so drastically different from my own, but from whom I’ve learned that just because parenting styles are different, doesn’t mean that one is better than the other.  (I think our 7 kidlets have all turned out fairly well so far!)

And I certainly can’t forget my own two girls…who have probably played the biggest role in my journey to define who I am.

My sweet Lydia, who loves so completely and openly, but can still be reserved and observant.

My tiny Anna Alden, who proves that just because you’re small doesn’t mean you can’t be powerful!

There are many, many more women who have been there for me.
Some have been there in person, some from miles away.
Some for years and years, some for mere moments.
Some who have cheered for me, some who have hurt me.
Some whom I’ve liked, some whom I haven’t.
But all who have shaped me into who I am today.
I am grateful for them all.
And I thank my God for you all every day.