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Emotional Health/ FAMILY/ Love

Morning Pages + My Birthday!

Morning Pages - Journal 3 pages a day, in the morning

I’m not sure where I found the idea of Morning Pages, I believe it was on Instagram somewhere, and I was instantly drawn to such a simple idea:

Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

I’ve been doing this for about a month and have enjoyed putting pen to paper and the freedom it gives to just breathe out my unedited thoughts. I have found it very freeing.

Some days it is list form and feels productive and a way to clear my head. Somedays I vent and it feels relieving and therapeutic. Sometimes it turns into words of thankfulness for this life I get to live–that is what happened today and I will share what I wrote below.

Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

When I write my Morning Pages, I simply use a Moleskine journal and my favorite Sharpie stainless steel pen and make it part of my morning routine. I usually am sitting in what I call my ‘nest’ (a cozy corner chair in my bedroom) with the lights low, soft music playing, the diffuser going, and coffee on the warmer by my side.

Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

This early morning routine has become a favorite part of my day, and I will write in full detail about it soon–it involves prayer, a couple of my favorite apps, meditation, music, essential oils, coffee, writing & yoga. Ahh…I’m eager for tomorrow morning just writing about it!

But first, today. Today is my birthday. I turned 42.

As a cancer survivor, I find myself quite surprised to be this old. Because my cancer was a later stage, I have a high chance of recurrence, but thankfully that statistic comes down with each year.

I am 7 years out, and I feel my heart could burst when I think about what a gift it is to have yet another birthday.

When I am 10 years out, my chance for recurrence will plummet. I am careful about expectations, and that is ok because it helps me stay thankful for each and every day!

Morning Pages --Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

Morning Pages Journal Entry:

November 27, 2017


Lord, you are good.

You’ve given me life…42 years.


Today is my birthday.

The blessing of years…of time with my loved ones and this good (sometimes hard) but mostly good life. 


You are a gift giver.

You wake me today with a list of gratitude on my mind first thing, you help me to see all the gifts.


I sit and inhale–the gift of scent. Frankincense diffused!

Morning Pages -- Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

And then, a feast for my eyes…the most glorious of sunrise, pinks and bright shades of oranges! You even sign your name on this gift, an electric wire pole in the shape of a cross, positioned right next to the glorious rising sun, a reminder of your Son. I go to daughters window for a better view!

Morning Pages -- Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

I sit back down in my cozy nest chair, sounds of calm music coming from speakers and morning voices of my 3 Lovelies drifting up through the vent.




I open your Word and you give yet another gift. Familiar words spoken so loud to me over the years, your voice reminding me to delight in you. Psalm 37:4

How could I not?

psalm 37:4


I read further and tears come, even a gentle reprimand from your word is so loving and personal.

It shows you know my thoughts, such intimacy.

I am fully known and fully loved.


“Find your delight in the Lord. Then he will give you everything your heart really wants. Commit your life to the Lord. Here is what he will do if you trust in him. He will make your godly ways shine like the dawn. He will make your honest life shine like the sun at noon. Be still. Be patient. Wait for the Lord to act. Don’t be upset when other people succeed.

But those who are free of pride will be given the land. They will enjoy great peace.

Those who do what is right will be given the land. They will live in it forever. The mouths of those who do what is right speak words of wisdom. They say what is honest. God’s law is in their hearts. Their feet do not slip.

The Lord saves those who do what is right. He is their place of safety when trouble comes.”

Psalm 37:4-7, 11, 29-31, 39 NIRV


You allow my birthday to land on a Monday, you know it is my most favorite of days.

A day to recover from a holiday weekend and get back to routine. You know I thrive on routine especially the one you have shown me:


The routine of dawn.


The sun rises and with it my most precious moments with you. 

These favorite morning meditative moments of breathing you in and filling my mind what matters most.

Your glory.



Thank you for another year of life. 

May I have another and yet another after that?


I ask and you remind —


“better is one day in Your house than thousands elsewhere.” Psalm 84:10


And so I remember, no matter the day, whether here or in eternity, you are and will always be with me.


So…for this day,

& all my days,

I thank you.


What about you?

Do you regularly journal or want to?

Does the idea of Morning Pages appeal to you?

FUN/DIY/ Holidays/Parties/ Thanksgiving

It’s My Birthday I Can Do What I Want To


My birthday landed on Thanksgiving day this year, just like the day I was born.  My Mom tells the story every Thanksgiving with a twinkle in her eye, how I interrupted her Thanksgiving meal with my untimely arrival. We’ve heard it a million times and it never gets old.

I did get to do what I wanted to this year.  Having my dear family in my home on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate all that we have to be thankful for is exactly how I would choose to spend my birthday.  We had Thanksgiving Day brunch, something we have never done.  It was my idea; a way to get out of peeling those dreaded potatoes. Have I told you that potatoes make my hands break out and itch? It’s awful. It was also a way to get out of making turkey.  Not that it is hard to make a turkey, but I just don’t quite enjoy handling a raw turkey. Blech.  It really was a great idea, as we had eaten and dishes were done by noon! It left the afternoon to just chill, play games, and enjoy each other.



We had turkey breast sandwiches & potato casserole in place of the whole bird and mashed potatoes.  Trader Joes has a whole turkey breast that is fully cooked, all you have to do is heat it. I also made a breakfast egg casserole, potato casserole, stuffing, jalapeno cranberry sauce drizzled over a block of cream cheese with pita crisps to dip (another great food item Trader Joes!) & a mac -n- cheese corn casserole.  My little sis Laurie, made some amazing mini apple pies–they were adorable–and Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon roll recipe, which was A-MA-ZING. My Mom brought a pumpkin pie and my older sister brought corn casserole, pecan struesel topped sweet potato casserole, some amazing chocolate drizzled kettle corn, & cinnamon beer bread (heaven). Last but not least, my next-to-youngest sister, Kathy of Nudge Media (I have 3 sisters) brought fruit, Lucky Charms cereal, & a Twinkie cake.  As you can tell, Kathy is a favorite aunt with my kids, as she is known for having sugar in her pockets & bringing the stuff that kids like best; like the time she made a pyramid out of McDonald’s cheeseburgers for our family Christmas pot luck. Yeah–that happened–and they were the most popular food item there!

Kathy’s Twinkie cake was hilarious. She is an amazing cook, can handle a grill the best of anyone I know, and makes a mean Pad Thai, but I don’t know if baking birthday cakes is something she should continue to pursue.  Don’t get me wrong; her Twinkie cake–actually, make that a Twinkie Jello Poke Cake–was delicious.  Her downfall was in the decorating.  She used black–like the color of tar– for the lettering.  She then drizzled red glaze over the top for pretty; except the glaze was too runny, and her cake ended up looking like a murder scene.  I laughed so hard.  I was so touched she took the time to make a cake, and I loved that wherever Kathy goes, laughter follows.  Hers was my favorite birthday cake to date–by far.

Twinkie Cake

Having my little niece and nephew (2&4) around for the holiday & my birthday was another by-far favorite.  They are just so precious and amazing. They bring such joy as only little ones can.


My Mom-in-Law came, too.  Her calm presence is always refreshing and she is such a server.  I can’t tell you how many times she has done my dishes.  She also spoiled me with two new chairs for a small table I recently put in my dining room–I will show you them soon. It is my new favorite place to sit with my morning coffee.

My sisters & mom also spoiled me with gifts.  My mom got me some kitchen accessories & a much-needed new front door mat. She always knows the things I  need and will love.  My oldest sister gave me a super sweet necklace from Origami Owl.  The packaging was beautiful and the message that came with each charm was chosen specifically for me.  I just love it.  My sister Kathy brought me a rosemary plant in the shape of a Christmas tree–I’ve eyed them and so wanted one.  It makes the whole living room smell amazing!  My lil’ sis gave me a super soft scarf, some makeup & nail polish and a great CD that I am now crushing on called The Undoing by Staphanie Gretzinger.



My Todd and girls shopped for me the night before and bought me some of my favorite things from Trader Joes, like flowers and chocolate covered coffee beans.  They also picked up a paperweight bulb kit and I cannot wait to watch it grow.

As you can see, I am a very spoiled girl.  Today, it continues.

This morning my mother-in-law, Kathy, took me out to breakfast at the Green Gateau.  It is only opened for breakfast on Saturday’s, and they sure know how to do it right. She gave me a card with money in it, which they do every year.  It is so much fun to take the money and shop!

Tonight Todd and I will join his brother and wife and my other mother-in-law. Yes, I’m spoiled enough to be loved on by 2!  His brother and I have birthdays very close together, so our tradition is Sharon treating us all to dinner at the restaurant of our choice.  Can’t wait!

Yep, very spoiled.  I feel so very loved.

I pray you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Know that I am so, so thankful for each and every one of YOU!  Thank you for your support of this blog and caring about me and my story.


2 Ingredient Butterfinger Cookie Bars


My husbands favorite candy bar is Butterfinger.  He loves them! He makes grunting noises when he eats them–no joke.

My youngest wanted to make him a fun, homemade gift for his birthday, and was determined to find a recipe that utilized her Daddy’s favorite candy bar.  She has become quite the baker this last year, and it is one of her favorite ways to show love to others.  It is a bonus that she gets to lick the spoon and bowl and serve herself a sweet piece of whatever she makes for others.  I have yet to convince her to make a vegetable dish.  She is all about desserts!


She got busy searching Pinterest for a Butterfinger candy bar recipe.  I was happy when she found this recipe for Butterfinger Cookie Bars–happy that it was simple, only used 2 ingredients, and wouldn’t mess the kitchen up too much. This would not be a recipe that we would work at making healthy–not when a candy bar is the main character!  Instead, we embraced the junk food as a way to celebrate the most special man in both of our lives.

As you can see from that smile, he loved them!


Butterfinger Cookie Bars–Recipe Inspiration from Pip & Ebby

Servings: 20

Ready in: 40 minutes

16.5-oz. package refrigerated sugar cookie dough, at room temp

6 Butterfinger bars, 5 whole and 1 coarsely chopped

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8×8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Press half of the cookie dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with 5 whole Butterfinger bars. Top that with the remaining cookie dough mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until dough is cooked through (test with a toothpick).

3.Remove from oven and top with remaining chopped Butterfinger bar. Let cool and cut into small squares.


Enjoy…then go eat a serving of vegetables!