For almost 21 years C was my church home. It was safe. It was easy. It was filled with people who love Jesus and want others to love Him too. There was community.

Last summer the Lord led me to leave that safe haven. That place I jumped out of bed on a Sunday morning to go.

It’s been hard. So much harder than I ever expected. I live in an area with an abundance of solid churches. I have visited many. I could choose any.

I just got home from the church I thought would be my church home. I sat alone. Again. Why is it so hard?  I wanted to slip out during a song when nobody was paying attention.

Confession. For years I’ve been incredibly judgmental of believers who aren’t connected to a local church. Those who sit home and listen to sermon podcasts or live streamed. Y’all, it’s so tempting. So so tempting. When there is nobody to miss you, why bother?

Why bother? Because we have been commanded to join together worshipping as a community (Hebrews 10 and more). I have experienced this. I miss it. When I lived in Orlando, I had the most dear small group. That was 11-14 years ago. We went through some really hard hard things together. We served together. Together. That’s the key word. Oh, how I miss “together”.

I’ve confessed my judgment and asked for forgiveness. I now have compassion for others. Maybe the Lord has had me in this place to develop that compassion. I don’t know.

What I do know is I miss being missed. When I first realized that it get really selfish. Then I rested in that need. It’s ok.

I haven’t journaled on this blog in a long time. Thanks for listening.

things I learned in October

Emily does a great post and link up at the end of each month about the things she learned that month.  I get to the end of each month and can’t remember what I learned the day before.  This month, I kept a list on my phone.  Duh. Here goes….

I hate putting wet dishes in the cabinet.

I’m too cheap to run the “heated dry” cycle on my dishwasher so I wait until it’s done and just leave it open to air dry for a few hours.  You can do that in a house with no kids or pets.  BUT sometimes I don’t catch some standing water on a bowl or mug and then it gets put away.  Grody.  Makes me cringe.

Listen to the Nordstrom lady

The summer Anniversary Sale at Nordstrom is pretty ridiculous.  The sell fall merchandise at super low prices. It’s mentally hard to shop for fall/winter when it’s 101 degrees outside.  This year I went in with a small list and, per Nordstrom amazing customer service, I had a helper.  I didn’t have an appointment but did quickly grab a sales associate to help me find what I was looking for an not be distracted by items not on my list.  Well, she did add one thing.  These pants.


(gratuitous fall mum pic taken after an early morning trip to the Starbucks drive through when I realized just how much I love these pants)

Meet the Nordstrom brand “Lazy Morning” Lounge Pants.  She praised their wonderfulness so I added them to my bag because they were cheaper than Old Navy PJ pants at that point.  I figured if I hated them come fall I could just return them.  Well, these feel like a woven flannel but are really a knit ALMOST sweat pant feel but like a knit flannel.  I can’t explain but I just love them.

My body doesn’t work like it used to

Um, no duh, Kristin.  I was good until about age 43. Then things just stopped working so well.  Lord-willing I have a lot of years ahead of me but it’s frustrating to feel like I can exercise vigorously but then my body injures itself doing things as simple as walking.  Not cool.  Thanks, Eve.

Gel mani

For a wedding last month, I splurged and got a gel manicure.  Manicures tend to last about 2.3 days on me and then they are toast. I wash my hands A LOT. So, to transition in to fall, I got a second gel manicure.  Y’all, my budget can NOT support this habit.  I purposely avoided eating out a few times to justify this splurge.  To make matters emotionally worse, I finally found a nail place I love.  She’s an independent business and a single mom.  Her space is spotless and she’s so kind. I never realized that having my nails painted would make me feel pretty.  It does.


This is 3 1/2 weeks in to this manicure!  Sure, there’s weird grow out but the polish part looks like I just walked out of the salon.

Because I’ve been asked a lot, I’ll share here.  The color is OPI’s You Don’t Know Jacques.  Quite possibly the perfect fall neutral.  Thanks to Kate for recommending.

Oh, and that’s PDub’s newest cookbook back there; not some delicious tomato soup I was enjoying.

I’m totally affected by sounds around me

While driving home after an evening with girlfriends, I was so annoyed by the talk radio in my car. I switched to the country station and Florida Georgia Line was yelling at me (I’m so not a fan of their odd voices).  So, I scanned and found our local classical music station and added it to my presets within minutes.

I tend to yell back at talk radio. I get mad when rap/yelling/non-country country music is played on the country stations.  So, my car has been filled with relaxing melodies of late.  I have realized I lean more toward pieces that are heavy woodwind/brass and not a ton of strings.  That must be the former-flute player in me. Also, I took a Bach and Handel class in college and I’ve recognized a few of their pieces!  All that time in the music library paid off!

(last one) I love day-old iced coffee

My really intelligent grandfather was one of the most frugal humans I’ve ever met. Frugal in the best way. He wasn’t cheap. He loved his Cadillacs and good cigars. Frugal. A morning omelet always contained leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.  Soup at lunch was always some concoction of whatever was in the refrigerator.  Undrunk coffee was always left on the counter to cool and then iced coffee later that day or the next.  I do that too and really enjoy it!


Your turn.  What did you learn in October?  Click over to Emily’s link up to read what she and others learned.  It’s always fun to read.


podcasts and some thoughts

I really enjoy podcasts and my subscriptions vary. I get hooked and then move on and then come back. In my daily life, I don’t have time for podcasts but I love them on road trips. Time FLIES.


Screenshot of my current subscriptions.

I have no clue how to link to iTunes to send you directly to these but here are the names:

The Lively Show

At Home with Sally

The Simple Show

America’s Test Kitchen



Yeah, so random!


Indulge me for a few and please hear my heart and not judgment. GPS has made me stupid. I have an amazing sense of direction and like to get my bearings the moment I arrive in a new place. But dang Waze has made me stupid and I take long routes for no reason.

Don’t be a stupid listener. Or reader. Podcasts and books are not scripture. The bible is scripture. You have to be grounded in the Word and theology as you listen to people’s words. I love reading authors and listening to podcasts of people with whom I don’t fully agree. SHOCK! It forces me to think. It forces me to be firm in my convictions. It challenges me to have educated conversations with others. A lot of Universalism is sneaking in to podcasts and books of speakers and authors I greatly respect. You have to be alert. Some of my favorites have had tinges of Universalism lately. Not cool and kind of scary.

I listen to a lot of young women who are stellar. They are walking with Jesus. But they are also very young. Last November a speaker/theologian/writer I greatly respect mentioned to me she’s a little concerned about so many young women tossed in to the current Christian woman limelight without a ton of life experience and theological grounding. Her words have stuck with me and I’ve been more aware. Also, pray for them and their marriages.

Just this week on a road trip, a podcast I love was playing. The guest of the podcaster mentioned the book The Valley of Vision. The podcaster had never heard of it. This is a classic piece of literature for any believer. It reminded me that she’s young and learning and growing. Just like the rest of us.

So, thanks for following my little digression. Be alert, my dear friends.


That brings me back to Sally’s podcast. Y’all, she’s lived life. She’s dear. I’m not a mom. Oh, how I’d love to be. Her whole podcast isn’t entirely about mothering but a lot is. She speaks truth. She speaks scripture. She points me to Christ.

This was a very choppy post.  Thanks for sticking with me.

Do you have any favorite podcasts to share?

peanut butter pie

When one of your favorite bloggers announces she’s closing her blog and starting a new one and most of her recipes will disappear you go on a crazy dash to make files out of each recipe and save forever.  Whew.

I love Kendra’s new blog/site The Lazy Genius.  But I’m really glad I snagged her recipes.  She does have some on her new site.

So, let me share her Stupid Easy Peanut Butter Pie.  Y’all, make it.  Eat it.  Devour it.


This is a picture of one of the recipes I snagged from Kendra’s site.  So, that photo in there of the pie is hers and not mine.  Also, all those words are hers and not mine…. lest anyone think I’m remotely that funny.


Start (I used the salted caramel from Trader Joe’s)


And, finish.

I just had a memory flash and went hunting. Back in 2010 I submitted a recipe to Kendra’s former blog.  Like, two blogs ago. Here’s my post that linked to it but I reposted the recipe because, well, I didn’t post the recipe for my all time favorite cookies on my own site!

juice, glorious juice!

(name that musical)

It seems each day a new cleanse pops up online. I love using apple cider vinegar with the mother on a daily basis but sometimes I forget. Like, for 4 months. I was away from home and living out of suitcases for over three months this summer and just felt grody. Like, totally, grody to the max.

I was able to exercise but not like I like.

I was sort of able to eat well but like I like. (AKA, relatively healthy so I can splurge on treats. I don’t do “forbidden foods” very well.”)

Oh, and I gained 11 lbs. That’s fun. The further I venture in to my 40’s the harder it is to get weight off. Y’all, it is rough!

My hands were swollen (my daily indicator of how I’m eating) and everything was tight.

So, I saved my pennies and embarked on a 3-day juice cleanse last week. Dr. Oz’s voice rings in my head when I say that. Back when he was just a cardiologist (“just”) and had guest appearances on Oprah, he mentioned that cleanses are unnecessary because our bodies naturally cleanse themselves. God (he didn’t say God) gave us livers for a reason.

STILL, I needed a kickstart and knew I liked the juices of a local company that sells cold-pressed juices.

Last year I was able to try a one-day cleanse from Humdinger Juice here in Raleigh. I knew I liked all of their juices except Lift. Lift has beets and I don’t like the taste of dirt. Many love this one but not I.

I picked up my 18 juices on Tuesday night and embarked on my three days of juice on Wednesday morning.


Their rule of thumb is to “start with green and end with white.” How you order the in between is up to you. You drink a juice every hours.

This was my order:




Charge (my favorite!)



Here are my random observations. I didn’t do a daily diary or anything but just from memory.

  • These taste really good and are all organic and fresh. They expire within a few days and do not freeze well. Fresh, y’all.
  • I was never hungry.
  • I really missed chewing. I’m a full-on texture eater. I like my ice cream to have crunch. I hate shrimp because I feel the segments. I don’t like mushrooms because of the texture. I did have raw almonds for mid-morning snacks. That helped a little.


  • I did have wicked headaches the first few days but that makes total sense. The only caffeine I usually drink is one cup of coffee in the morning so it wasn’t that but probably toxins and sugar screaming to get out of my body.
  • I probably broke a rule by having some veggies each night. Again, the chewing thing. I sautéed zucchini in lemon pepper one night and cut up tomatoes and cucumbers the other two nights. So, still no dairy or gluten or caffeine but fresh veggies.
  • I slept SO WELL. That Calm is delicious.


  • I did have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night every night.
  • I wasn’t running to the bathroom all the time as I feared.
  • It’s not recommended but I did maintain my regular exercise routine and was fine.
  • The swelling in my hands went away. I’m not gluten intolerant but I do know it makes me swell.


  • The dairy snot went away. You don’t have that? Be glad.
  • I lost 6 pounds. I didn’t go in to it wanting to lose weight but it’s for sure a bonus. I’m sure a lot of that is water weight. I mean, drinking your food for three days can’t help but result in lost weight, duh.
  • I was afraid to eat my first meal but everything was fine.

So, overall I’m glad I did it. If I had unlimited funds, this is something I’d do every month or so. I love supporting small, local businesses and I love the story behind Humdinger.

Back in March I did a no gluten, sugar, caffeine, dairy thing and was pretty miserable. I was allergic to the protein shakes so that wasn’t fun. In that journey, I REALLY missed the dairy. In this 3-day cleanse, I didn’t really miss the dairy, caffeine, or gluten at all. I just missed dang chewing!

I’d love to hear your experiences with cleanses or shakes or whatever. There are so many out there.

**All opinions are mine. I spent my own money on the cleanse. I was not compensated for this review.

For the Love – it’s time!





That phrase entered my vocabulary this spring thanks to Jen Hatmaker. I applied for and was chosen to be a part of her book launch team. (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards releases Tuesday!!!) That team of 500 (including 4 brave men) has become a crazy, kooky, honest, safe, hilarious Facebook group.

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 2.35.45 PM


There’s something about a common language knowing you’ve all read the same book. The phrases “crotchless yoga pants”, “off the beam”, “crazy Christians”, and of course “for the love!” come up all the time. This group has bonded so much 200 of us are traveling to Buda, Texas in a couple of weeks for a launch party AT the Hatmaker home. I can’t go but I will be glued to Instagram for updates.

OK, back to the book. As soon as I read For the Love back in the spring, I couldn’t wait to share it with friends. Not share “because she NEEDS to read this” but share because “she would love this!”

Jen tackles parenting, schooling, Christian-ese, leggings as pants (stop!), social media in the 90’s, community, church, theology, dinner, and the list goes on. You might disagree with some of what she says or has said on her blog or online or in one of her books but I think it’s healthy to read books where you don’t agree 100% with the author. Jen Hatmaker is super duper smart and this book challenged me in new ways.

  • I don’t think I’ll ever go on a mission trip again with the same attitude.
  • I will be less judgmental (so not my job, y’all)
  • If I’m ever married, I will cling to her marriage chapter.
  • Ultimately, I will love Jesus and others more.

The memes are floating around Facebook and they are hilarious. Quotes pulled from FTL make me laugh still and I’m on my second (or third?) time through this book. Here are a few of my favorites:

“The only thing worse than this unattainable standard is the guilt that follows when perfection proves impossible.”


(on turning 40)

“So sure, your body and mind get whack, but I promise: You wouldn’t return to your twenties for all the unwrinkled skin on earth. You’ll like it here. You will love better, stand taller, laugh louder. You’ll pass out grace like candy. Real life will temper your arrogance and fear, and you will adore the next version of yourself. We all will.

But just in case, wear sunscreen every day, for the love.”


“Theology is either true everywhere or it isn’t true anywhere.”


“Cooking isn’t actually hard at all. It is the simple mechanism that nourished every generation in time.”


“Can’t we all simmer down a bit? Let the teachers teach, the parents parent, and the kids do the learning.”


“We are not promised a pain-free life but are given the tools to survive: God and people. It is enough.”


That’s enough for now. I lent my marked up copy away so those are from a quick glance. If you want to laugh, cry, nod your head, and be challenged, grab this book and grab a handful of girlfriends and read it together.


Oh, that top photo up there?  I’m just too lazy to take another and I do also love Melanie Shankle’s latest!

weekend shares

A while back I did a post that was a list of links to some of my favorite bloggers who post on Friday/Saturday/Sunday some favorites or thoughts or posts from the week.  They really are my favorite posts of the week and I save them in my feedly and read them last.  Always. After I share one of my favorites of the week, I’ll link to some of theirs below.

I shall never make “regular” rice krispy treats again. 

Last week I needed a dessert for an outdoor picnic and I plain refuse to turn my oven on in August.  My friend Aimee suggested these salted brown butter rice krispy treats.

Game-changer.  These are no more difficult than the original recipe except you need to be a little patient as the butter browns.  This would be a great kitchen lesson for kids.

 IMG_2414Trust me.  Make them.  The recipe calls for a square pan.  That’s what I used and ended up cutting in to narrow rectangles.  Aimee said she puts it in to a 9×13.  I’ll do that next time.

Now to this weekend’s links….

The Nester

Emily Freeman (whose fourth book releases this week!)

Shannan Martin (AKA Flower Patch Farm Girl)

AVK (My brain can’t process her regular writing but I adore her Friday posts.)

Julie Fagan

Shay Shull (this week wasn’t like her usual Fridays)

Kate Bryan (Small Things Blog, duh)

Melanie Shankle (AKA Big Mama)

Joy the Baker

Triangle Food Guy (for those in the NC Triangle area)

I know I’m forgetting someone but that’s a pretty big list. Grab your favorite beverage and enjoy!

a few thoughts and favorites and randoms

On this gray (grey?) and unseasonably-low-temperature day, it’s only appropriate I write a “randoms” post.

  1. Broccoli slaw is one of my favorite grocery “inventions”. I always make Paula Deen’s recipe and it’s just plain delicious. My friend Mikel suggested this version.



So, I forgot to add the cranberries, didn’t want to make a second grocery store shop for different dressing, and I don’t love cashews.  Even with my modifications (added the cranberries later), this was delicious and SO FAST! Make it, friends.

2. Sofa. My sofa is 11 years old and I’m itching for a new one that’s a little deeper and a little less RED. Saw this in PB Teen (man I love that store) and would love to see it in sofa-size.  I didn’t sit on it to see if it’s comfy, though.


3. Breakfast. If I had a personal chef, I would request eggs and bacon on a daily basis. I don’t and I don’t want to cook every morning so my go-to breakfast tends to be honey Greek yogurt, smashed up raw almonds, ginger, and a painful amount of berries.  But this time of year???  PEACHES!!!  I arrived home from 3 1/2 weeks out of town to a friend’s gift of peaches and tomatoes. I have so enjoyed both. This was the very end of my breakfast this morning.


4. Canada. I just returned from 10 days in the Canadian Rockies. Dear Canada, I love you.  What a stunning area of the country and quite possibly the nicest people I’ve ever encountered.  Anywhere. IMG_2343

View from a walk around a lake in Jasper.


Ice cream served out of a bus.  Yes, please.  It was delicious too! (Canmore)


My mom and I sort of got tired of the words “beautiful” and “stunning” and “amazing” and “only God”.  For real, the amazement doesn’t stop! This was the top of Sulphur Mountain in Banff. Those masculine mountains and faithful rainbow… ahhhh.


I was so proud of my mom! She knows I love to hike so she and her 3-year and 6-month old knees pressed on through some rough but beautiful hikes.

Happy weekend, friends!

make new friends but keep the old

57:58 minutes.  57:58 precious minutes.

I just hung up (tapped ‘end’) from a call with a dear friend with whom I haven’t spoken for a few months.

In the last week I’ve been privileged to….

  • walk around a lake with a friend
  • enjoy dinner with a friend and her almost 4 year old
  • linger over coffee with two friends with littles
  • hang out with a young couple over breakfast at a coffee shop I’ve been itching to visit for years but didn’t feel cool enough
  • sit for an evening with 28 women of several generations sharing about God’s faithfulness to them and honoring a friend of us all for her 32 years of ministry service
  • plop down in the living room of a friend who had just returned from 5 weeks in East Asia as her one year old deliriously scooted around us
  • savor my first SnoBalls with a dear friend and her three not-so-littles
  • visit with a young woman I had the privilege of coaching last summer before she headed overseas
  • verbally process with a treasured mentor for a few hours over breakfast
  • enjoy dinner and grown-up talk with a couple I’ve known for 32 years – we realized that was our first meal without any of their kids EVER
  • hang out with a friend I met when she was a college student and I was the grown up on a spring break trip to Eastern Europe in 2001 – I got to meet her one year old and celebrate that little girl’s new sibling on the way

I’m pretty sure I’m missing some other time but this just needed to be documented. Friendship is a treasure. I am not alone. He sees me and knows how I value treasured friendships. It’s humbling! God values community and I’m so thankful for a little downtime to enjoy these friends and this time in between some major travel.

This post is not to brag but to remember. Times of loneliness will come. I know they will probably smack me in the face this coming weekend as I  enter in to a ginormous conference.  BUT we build these little “towers of remembrance” to remember God’s faithfulness and that He doesn’t leave.  EVER!

NYC number three

Geralyn’s bucket list had the NYSE.

IMG_1268My bucket list had Good Morning America. Hi, my name is Kristin and I’m a Good Morning America-aholic. I’ve watched it since I was a little girl. Back to the Joan and David days. I really didn’t care who was ON the show the day we went, I just wanted to go.

IMG_1218The night before we hopped on an early train from Brooklyn, I watched The Bachelor finale in the hotel room. Don’t judge. Um, yeah, I watch that too and realized Bachelor Chris would be ON GMA when we were there. Good times to see Farmer Chris. I know this is all old news as he was voted off Dancing With the Stars this week. Keep up with your reality shows, Kristin.

IMG_1137I read details online about seeing the show live so we obeyed and walked up to the partition.   The PAs gave great instructions and somehow Geralyn and I got separated. In the midst of roses and security, I asked one of the PAs if I could meet Lara or Ginger or Amy. Y’all, really, I wanted to meet the GMA staff way more than I wanted to meet or see Chris and Whitney.


IMG_1221I was really surprised at how tiny the studios are. I mean, we were RIGHT outside where they were sitting. The perspective while watching is totally different. They are street level and go inside and out a bunch of times in those two hours.



I heartily obeyed the instructions to be lively and cheer and clap. That’s me in the purple sweatshirt and cream vest.

OK, photo blitz.













About this time, my phone started to buzz like crazy with friends telling me that I was on TV. TV! I totally forgot this was on live TV.

Bach went back inside (he was overwhelmed by my hug) and they turned the whole group of us around and they came back out with LARA! Days later my friend Ashley posted this on Instagram. Yep, that’s me on People.com.

IMG_1233Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 1.36.05 PM

Moving on to STILL wanting to meet some GMA people. People, c’mon. I found Geralyn again and parked myself right behind where Ginger comes out to do the weather at the top of the second hour. Then I did what any fangirl does, I tweeted her. She tweeted back.

IMG_1594 IMG_1238

 And was true to her word. Ginger is one of the nicest people I have ever met. My hands were shaking with excitement thus the blurry selfie, dangit.






Oh, yes, I want all fangirl being feet away from these smart women. Even if it was the backs of them. They scooted back inside really fast so I didn’t get to meet Amy or Lara.


Did you see the guy in the hat in the earlier pics? He is clearly a long-time mainstay on the GMA set. Diane Sawyer was a guest that day as well joined by Julie Andrews as they promoted the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music. Both were scooted out the side door and in to cars faster than you could say either of their names. We did see Diane pause to give hat-guy a huge hug. I kinda loved that.


But, for real, Geralyn is a true friend to get up super early, train in from Brooklyn to Manhattan, deal with my craziness for 90 minutes, and then turn around and train BACK to Brooklyn to start our work day by 9:30.

I’m ready to return to New York at any time. It’s a great city – understatement of the year?