Winter Storm Titan was Totally My Fault

First off, I have to ask, when did we start naming winter storms? Shouldn’t that be something reserved for more devastating Acts of God like, oh, I don’t know, HURRICANES?

No one asked me.

But I take full credit for the onslaught of winter weather we have experienced the last few days and I’m proud of it. All winter, I’ve waited for a “big one” – a snow that was not only beautiful to look at but actually prevented travel and made all the rush for milk and bread worth it. I may have actually prayed for a BIG snow. Sure, we had a couple of minor accounts this winter (hello, Polar Vortex 1), but nothing of magnitude and/or it disappeared as fast as it came. So I was very satisfied to say the least when not only did we dodge a bullet of a dangerous amount of freezing rain (which is SO not pretty and much more trouble), but we have a beautiful coating of white that has stuck around for two days giving our slightly over-zealous landscaper-turned-snowplow-drivers something to do. AND, it even kept Michael at home from work yesterday. I was literally like a kid on Christmas. He laughed when I said, “I finally got the big one I wanted!” to which he replied, “well, I wouldn’t really call this a ‘big one.” I’m not sure what he meant by that because 2-3 inches of sleet and 2-3 inches of snow sufficiently constitutes a ‘big one’ in my mind and I just looked at him and said, “You had to stay home. It’s a big one.”

I don’t know where my love of snow came from. I partially blame my mom who RELISHED in “snow days” and would actually have projects planned for such occasions. Or maybe because dad always provided ample entertainment as he tried desperately to drive out of our neighborhood which was basically a collection of hills. Or maybe it’s just my need for four defined seasons and snow completes winter in my mind. But I think it’s because at some point, I decided snow was one of God’s most beautiful gifts, especially during a season that is typically dull, dreary, and dank. Think about it – when you looked out your window Monday morning, you immediately had to squint because it was so bright, right? Much-needed brightness, even without sun. Beautiful. Then there’s the fact that everything has a blanket of soft, flowing tenderness that eludes a certain serenity without even trying. Beautiful. The red birds are brighter, the trees are strong and firm, holding up their collected powder, and there’s a hush as the whirr of the world was forced to stop and breathe. There’s nothing like it.

BUT, now that I’ve had my “big one,” I’m ready for spring. Let’s get this over and done with and move on toward sunny days, blue skies, and warm temps. I can look forward to it now. (I’m not sure I could say that before this snow because my winter truly wasn’t quite complete.)

One way I always know spring is on the horizon though is with the approaching Easter season. And with that comes Lent.

I included a hyperlink because when Michael and I first got married, as a born-and-raised Baptist, he was not familiar with the concept and practice of Lent. And every time I mentioned it, he was convinced I was talking about the collection of stuff in the dryer vent. I’m still not entirely sure he knows it’s Lent with an ‘e,’ but he can at least relate that people eat fish on Fridays with the Lenten season. It’s a process.

So, I’ve always thought of Lent as a good time to renew the vows of “resolutions” you made at the beginning of the year but failed to keep or, as is intended, a good time to renew your spirit in preparation not only for celebrating our risen Savior, but also for recommitting to serve Him throughout the rest of the year. This often comes in the form of ‘giving up’ something – a vice, a habit, etc. – and dedicating the sacrifice to spending more time with God or in prayer or whatever you should so choose to strengthen your faith walk. There has been a lot of talk this year about “Flipping Lent” where instead of giving UP something, you take something on, like a Bible study or the like.

This year, I’m kind-of doing both.

What I’m giving up may seem silly to some, but for me, it’s vital and this commitment couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m giving up shopping Zulily.

<insert GASP.>

I’m seriously afraid they may go under during the next forty days.

Shopping is my go-to crutch in times of stress and boredom. Sitting in a hospital while your dad undergoes a transplant is a perfect breeding ground for both. Just me and my phone’s Zulily app and I’m a deadly weapon. I even placed a $100 order ON OUR WAY to Louisville when dad was called to the hospital. (In hindsight, that probably should have been the first clue I had a problem, but there was still a lot of hospital sitting and stress ahead at the time, so I didn’t worry about it too much.)

In my defense, Zulily provides good deals on unique stuff, but when it becomes a nightly habit of scrolling through the “Last Chance” items until I feel like my eyes could bleed, it’s time to take a break. Not to mention that we probably should save some money for things like food and shelter. I completely lose my ability to see this reason when a smocked dress with puppies on it for Elly is only $26.99.

So, I’ve removed my Zulily app from my home screen and have replaced it with a Bible study app (the thing I’m taking on) and I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about this venture. Believe me, I’ve “Fat Tuesday’d” myself up for about 3 weeks knowing this day was coming, so I think Zulily may survive with the amount of money I’ve spent during that time, but I’ve also looked forward to knowing that doing more than just reading a daily devotional and briefly praying is going to yield a more dedicated walk that I know will do wonders more for me than the excitement of receiving a navy blue package at my door. And really, that’s the point. Plus, I hope this 40 day break will curb my ‘addiction’ altogether so I can approach my Zulily shopping with a clearer head after Easter.

So I’m off to enjoy likely the last blanket of white for this winter. And to make my eyes bleed one last time.

Happy Fat Titan Tuesday.

A List about Me

About a month ago, numbered lists started cropping up on Facebook statuses where people would state they had been “given a number” and then proceed with a list of “unknowns” about themselves. It originated from some type of game of sorts where if you ‘liked’ a status with such a list, you would be given a number of how many unknowns you were to list in your own status, and thus you would continue the trend when people ‘liked’ your status. At least I think that’s how it works – I’m still not entirely sure. Regardless, not only did it seem like some kind of new age chain letter, but also became a kind of online confessional as people began to reveal some pretty personal things about themselves. I, by happenstance alone, never ‘liked’ one of these statuses and haven’t yet, so I haven’t been given a number and truthfully don’t wish to participate. However, my love of lists and possibly my own yearning for confession has led me to do such a list here. That, and I linked up with Kelly’s Korner for her “Local Bloggers” feature this past weekend and figured if anyone did traipse over to my blog, they would find my previous post about the lack of unpacking that has taken place since we moved rather boring.

1. I love game shows. Particularly old game shows like $25,000 Pyramid (with Dick Clark, of course) and Password. I was thrilled when we moved to Glasgow because the cable service here offers the Game Show Network which we previously didn’t have in Bowling Green.

2. I have a fixation of having things in even numbers. Clothes, shoes, purses and bags are the biggest culprit here – they each have to have a ‘mate’ (i.e., if I have a pair of brown boots, I also must have a pair of black boots of similar style. But that’s just good fashion in my opinion.) It gets very confusing and sometimes affordability makes it impossible to achieve. This has also trickled down to Ellyson’s stuff which is equally frustrating.

3. I’m not trendy. I like what I like and I like to be comfortable. I try to incorporate new trends into my home or wardrobe within reason, but when it’s all said and done, the fact still remains that I live in southern Kentucky, not New York City or LA, and my house is likely never to be featured in Home and Garden, so as long as I’m happy, that’s what matters, right? It also annoys me when people try to be trendy when they really shouldn’t. Some bodies are just not made for leggings, people.

4. I suffered from post-partum depression, but thanks to being an excellent actor and out-right denial, it wasn’t diagnosed until after Ellyson’s first birthday. I thought what I was experiencing was “normal” or could be blamed on a number of other things. I was wrong and am finally feeling better after getting help and a lot of trial and error.

5.  I’ve been meaning to paint my toenails (or splurge on a pedicure) since before we moved. I’m lucky it’s no longer sandal season because my good friend Laura told me in high school that you never wear sandals or any open-toe shoe without polish on your toes. And I’ve never forgotten that rule.

6. I have a running “Top 5” women and men I would like to spend a day with and/or be bff’s with. Currently the women are: Michelle Kwan, Beth Moore, Jennifer Anniston, Laura Bush, and Kelly Ripa. The men are: Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, Tim Tebow, Derek Hough, and John Krasinski. I always keep Michael up to date on these lists in case he’s ever in a position to surprise me with meeting these people. I’m sure he really pays attention to those conversations.

7. I’m addicted to Zulily. There should be a support group.

8. I wish I was more disciplined in all areas of my life. I feel like all of the structured activities from high school and college may have maxed me out of my lifetime discipline quotas.

9. I’m a neat/clean-freak and a germaphobe. This doesn’t coexist very well with children. I’m learning.

10. I am a Friends fanatic. Actually, fanatic may not be strong enough. We keep all 10 seasons rotating in a DVD player in our bedroom and is what we watch before going to bed. I’ve done this for almost 10 years now. It’s an illness. And don’t even think about competing with me in a game of Friends trivia. I will crush you.

11. I struggle to find balance. In everything. Right now particularly, I’m conflicted about Christmas. I waffle between wanting a streamlined, dedicated, anti-excess Christmas (as Jen Hatmaker defines here) or an all-out, full fledged, over-extended Christmas. (However, with Dad’s situation this year, it’s all going to be different and essentially touch-and-go based on his condition. This is very hard to prepare for.)

12. 12 is one of my favorite numbers, as is 42, 72, and 172. Don’t ask. So that’s where I’ll end this little list.

Hope you enjoyed your little journey into a few of my quirks. 🙂


I sent a text to Amy yesterday that said, “It can stop raining…”

I was metaphorically speaking in reference to the comment I’ve heard from just about everyone who knows our situation right now: “When it rains it pours.”

Yes, yes it does.

My dad’s sick. It’s not a secret anymore because basically anyone who sees him KNOWS something’s not right. While I’m on this topic, let me be perfectly clear about what exactly is going on. My dad is sick with liver disease, but it IS NOT, I repeat, NOT cirrhosis (especially not cirrhosis as most of us know it). It is PSC, or Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. Yeah, say that 5 times fast. It’s a long story how we got here, and it’s not a good thing on top of everything else he’s been through, and the toughest truth is that the only real treatment for it is transplant. So October 14 begins the likely arduous process of evaluation for transplant and all that comes with it. All I can say about that is THIS IS HARD and please pray.

We’re moving. This first and foremost requires a giant HALLELUJAH before anything else is even mentioned, so HALLELUJAH! However, moving is hard and this is the first time I’ve done it with a baby – one who has learned to climb stairs at lightning speed and can unpack a box like a CHAMP – so it’s a bit challenging. When we first went under contract with the sale of our house mid-August, everything stated that it would be an extended closing at the buyer’s request. Well, with some developments and changes in schedules, etc., closing dates began to be moved up a little at a time and suddenly we were signing an addendum that stated we would close by Oct. 4 – two weeks prior to what was formerly discussed. Ok, a little more stress, but still manageable. Then…

I’m having surgery. I’ll be bidding farewell to the ‘ole gall bladder after it almost tried to kill me on the last day of our trip to the mountains two weeks ago and threatens to do so just about every day since. So after some tests and confirmed “active” gallstones, surgery was recommended “sooner than later.” Sure. Why not. Let’s work in those dates among packing, moving, and closing and the outcome is that we move in 4 days. FOUR DAYS. I’ll have about 3 days to “settle in” to our new digs before surgery and then I’m pretty sure I won’t care what happens for about a week after that, so bring it on.

There are a host of other small ‘issues’ like mom and dad’s air conditioning going out and Michael’s infallible work schedule to name a couple, but in the big scheme of things, they’re not surgery. Because that would be absurd.

Probably no surprise, but it’s been a bit of a struggle to manage a “healthy” attitude in all of this – in fact, daily, sometimes MULTIPLE times daily, I have to remind myself the joy that has come with ALL of this and the unbelievable amount of blessings that have gotten us to this point. And when I say unbelievable, I mean it in every sense of the word. It’s been incredible to watch things fall into place like getting in with my preferred surgeon before he goes on vacation, being able to move in to our house early – the list is long. It’s overwhelmingly humbling. And it’s those small things that when a cranky baby or feeling like dirt prevent me from packing and threaten the joy that is this season, I cling to those blessings like a hawk and believe that He’s going to make a way, even if it’s just to get through the day.

So since I refuse for this to be an “oh, woe is me” post and while I tread lightly on the “bring it on” theory, I am going to claim the joy that is being given to us and take the bad with the good. And ask that you’ll remember us in your prayers if you get a chance.

Why I Don’t Blog

Well, I clearly  faintly do blog. I mean, I have a blog, so that’s something I suppose. But since any chance of ever actually being a blogger (other than doing some cathartic writing for me, myself, and I) flies out the window at the mere mention that I have a blog, I thought I might take a second to explain why I have a blog, but don’t blog.

1, I’m not disciplined.

Let’s call a spade a spade – I’m nothing if not undisciplined. This soaks into more areas of my life than I care to mention, but it’s probably most obvious in my role as a “blogger.” It’s a good thing I’m not getting paid to be consistent because I would be broke by now.

2, I have a toddler.

I know, I know. There are billions upon trillions of blogs out there that are run by moms – moms of a zillion children, single moms, working moms, blah blah blah. Having a child brings daily change. DAILY. I don’t do well with change to begin with, so trying to be consistent in something amidst constant change is just plain impossible sometimes. Especially when you’re me.

3, I have a love/hate relationship with my own writing.

I have what, 10 posts on here now since February? (Pretty good, in my book, ha!) But the real number of posts I have is about 35. I have tons of drafts that never get published because when I do actually sit down to write, it’s usually during nap time or before bed – fleeting amounts of time at best – so I leave them in draft form to come back to later to edit, tweak, etc. By the time I go back and reread most of the posts, I decide they’re too dumb, too cheesy, too long, too boring, too fill-in-the-blank and I never post them. This may be my biggest hang-up when it comes to blogging now that I think about it. I write when I’m passionate about something – IF I get the chance to write about it at all – and if the moment I was passionate about it passes, the ship is sunk. Whatever was so profound for me to actually sit down and take the time to write about has lost its luster and could likely remain in “draft-dom” forever.

4, There are so many other blogs that people are interested in, why bother?

Here’s where insecurity gets me. I read several blogs – probably only a small sampling of all that’s out there, but enough that I get my fill and mostly stay inspired to continue to make an attempt at it myself. But there are some blogs that I HATE. I mean, despise. Blogs, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (you get it) are a perfect way for people to become everything they’re not. Lying takes on a new, fashionable form as people ‘market’ themselves in their own little corner of the web. I can’t stand facades and don’t want to be part of a crowd that thrives on such. Life is actually perfect. When you’re a liar.

5, Most of what I write about would come across as extremely depressing because I write when I’m down.

Truth be told, my drive to write usually comes out of emotion, and often that emotion is not a happy place. This makes it very difficult to write with any sort of confidence because I don’t want to come across as whiny poor-pitiful-me, but sometimes writing is the only way to get whatever is dragging me down off my shoulders enough to see through it. I also feel obligated that if I’m sharing the negative that I need to share the positive too and I’m usually too busy enjoying the positive to sit down and write about just how wonderful something is. See the conundrum? No? Just me?

6, Current events are fleeting.

…and my feelings about them only seem relevant for a brief time. By the time I actually get around to writing about something current, it’s old news. Sure, I could join a chorus about the royal baby, about the latest celeb gossip, about the latest tragedy, and from time to time I have. But looking back, if someone were to read them today and hadn’t followed the story when it occurred, they would be totally confused as to why I was writing about a chick on the Bachelor who is old news now. I’m not a news reporter, people.

7, Procrastination and perfectionism are my worst enemies.

(I think this needs little explanation and has basically been summed up in points 1-6.) But it’s true. Look up the word “disaster” in the dictionary and it will say something along the lines of “wait a long time to do something, then try to make it perfect.” I should heed some good advice I read once – that doing something good is better than doing nothing perfectly.

8, I’m not “typical” in my blogging style.

Unless you count how horribly inconsistent I am – that does actually seem to be a trend among “bloggers.” But aside from that, I don’t have a purpose, a mission for my blog. It’s a place for me to write. That’s about it. Centralizing my blog on one particular thing is too daunting for me, so it’s not like a “cooking” blog or a “crafting” blog. Yes, I like to do those things and would sometimes like to share those things, BUT, limiting myself to ONLY those things is way too confining. Makes me nervous. I’m also horrible at posting pictures. (And even if I wasn’t horrible at posting pictures, I would have some concerns about sharing pictures anyway.) So that leaves very little reason for interest-garnering topics for this blog. “Hi, I’m Cissy. I have thoughts.” Not so interesting.

9, I write for an audience…that doesn’t exist.

Regardless of how hard I try to just write my thoughts – incoherent words, jumbled thoughts, long-winded prose – I still always “edit” trying to make my thoughts viable for someone else’s reading eyes. That’s missing the whole point of a blog if you think about it. I blame high school English for this rule that was beaten into me. “Write as if you know someone is reading…” Well, no one’s reading, so I can do whatever I want, right?

10, I have way too much self-doubt and self-promotion is not my forte.

I couldn’t sell water to a well. I’m not going to force-post my entries all over the place. I just want it to be what it will be and leave it at that. And then I wonder why I don’t have any readers. Or why I have a blog in the first place if I don’t have any readers. It’s a vicious cycle.

Nevertheless, here I am, typing away into oblivion. And I say all of this to say that I do plan on posting all of those “drafts” one day. Some of them are going to be worth the read. Others, well, there’s probably dumber things to read on the internet, so just be glad you supported a self-conscious half-blogger with your time.

Fresh Start

I was told in school never to fall in love with your first draft.
I always did.
Even still, I learned a valuable lesson – sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right. (Sometimes more than a few.)
For me, that’s exactly the case with this “blogging” thing.

I started in 2010 with a heart and mind full of stories, a husband who worked late, and inspired by the movie “Julie and Julia,” so I started a blog. I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew I wanted somewhere to publicly air what was on my mind in a less-invasive, and more appropriate way than a Facebook status or email. Being a creative outlet by nature, I thought “how hard can this be?” Little did I know, blogging was an art form and community all its own, complete with rules, etiquette, and even cliques. Even though a blog is supposed to be your own and completely open to the creative expression of the writer, there is very much a protocol. I’m a sucker for protocol, yet I hate it all the same. I did in fact want a place for my own creative expression, but maybe I wanted to do what everybody else was doing, too? I was lost.

I was most impressed with baby blogs at the time. People would make these cutesy little corners of the internet all about their pregnancies and babies and it was really precious. Except I wasn’t pregnant and didn’t have a baby at the time. Okay, there were plenty of other things I could write about, right? Sure. I was certain I had enough thoughts to fill page after page of internet dialogue, which I did, but it turns out over the next few years those thoughts would be more in the form of controlled rants about the status of our economic pitfalls, infertility, and general angst over life not going as I had planned. Not exactly the enticing prose I was shooting for. Yet, I thought I needed to at least attempt to keep up with what I liked so much about the other blogs – sweet little scattered “scrapbook”-style collections of the writer’s life including blow-by-blow documentation of daily/weekly events, recipes/favorite restaurants, product reviews, fashion updates, musings on current events and life events, and pictures, pictures, pictures. Okay, easy enough.


Right off the bat, I broke the cardinal rule of blogging: thou shalt post often. I was horribly inconsistent in my blog posting. Painful horrible. I would spend half of my posts apologizing to my four readers for being absent for so long. That made it impossible to do any sort of “This weekend, we…”-type posts. Doing any sort of fashion-ish post was way out of my league since I still own clothing I had in high school. Recipes? Unless you consider the directions on how to heat up a microwavable dinner or “how to place a takeout order” a ‘recipe,’ then I’m out. Product reviews would make me nervous because I wouldn’t want to offend anyone and would probably never end up using the product to begin with in fear of deviating from my old standards. And pictures? Of what, our dogs? The new color of nail polish on my toes? I didn’t have much going on in the form of what I thought were interesting pictures at the time. And on top of that, I’m horrible about loading the pictures off my camera anyway – I have to purposely force myself to “clean” my memory card once a month. I was equally bad at importing pictures from the web because 1, I didn’t know how to position them in the post the way I wanted, and 2, I certainly didn’t credit them and their internet location appropriately, so it was only a matter of time before those things started “disappearing” or I got nailed for using copyrighted material. And I didn’t want that. I was rapidly making blogging way more difficult than it should be. Shocker.

Part of the reason I was so inconsistent was because I hated posting just for the sake of posting. For the most part, aside from the aforementioned not-so-fun life issues we were dealing with at the time, our life was insanely boring. I knew people would be just as excited to read “Tonight I got home from work at 6:00, Michael got home at 7:00. He brought home take-out from “O’Charley’s.” I had potato soup and a fried chicken salad and it was good. We watched “Survivor” and some reruns of Friends and went to bed.” about as much as I would enjoy writing it. Plus, I had learned the hard way (after collecting boxes and boxes of scrapbooking material) that “scrapbooking” as a function is only fun and worthwhile if you enjoy what you’re working on, not doing it because you feel like you have to, which is what I had done to myself with blogging. I also felt an odd obligation to make blog posts, even though I didn’t have a crowd of readers, just to ‘keep up.’ Sure, occasionally there would be something I would want to post, but would be so overwhelmed with how long it had been since my last post or how random the topic was that I would often even talk myself out of that. It was a vicious cycle.

So after a respite from blogging altogether and a lot of thought on what I want my blog to be, I’m letting go of the self-inflicted pressure to be like every-other-blog-on-the-block. I accept, enjoy, and applaud those scrapbook-y, baby/mommy, recipe, homemaker, etc. blogs for being everything my blog isn’t. Believe me, Pioneer Woman, you’re not coming off my Favorites list for a long time. But as for me, this blog is just me. All original. I’m not writing for an audience anymore. I’m sure the posts here will follow the seasons of my life – probably including a lot of material about Elly most of the time, or rants about how ticked off I am about something (I tend to get ticked off a lot.) And I unapologetically may take planned or unplanned blogging hiatus from time to time. Everyone needs a break sometimes.

So if you’re reading, thank you. I pray you’ll come back. Maybe I’ll have something interesting to say.

Or not.