My Freckles Ugly Cousin

So. I’m sort of a mole-y person.

I guess it’s just a part of the dark hair, olive complexion. Well, that and I used to sunbathe on TIN FOIL, slathered in baby oil in Jr. High.

There’s that.

But, honestly, with my crazy-busy life, it has never once occurred to me to have “my moles checked.”

Which is as exciting as it sounds. Woohoo!

I was still proud I followed through with my first base-line mammogram 3 years ago.  Until I realized I was a year behind on my annual exam. Clearly, I’m in the maintenance mode of life.

I visited with my out-of-state brother for the first time in a long while the other day and after he hugged me, he said, “You’ve really got a lot of wrinkles around your eyes.” (You’d have to know my brother).

THEY. ARE. CALLED. LAUGH. LINES.

Only I wasn’t laughing.

Anywho, back to the riveting mole post.

Having my “moles checked” wasn’t in the life plan, but long story short, a friend of a friend, died from a mole turned fatal melanoma at age 40.

Um, “mole check” for one, please?

A few weeks later, taking a break from my busy-crazy life, I found myself in a paper gown.

[lowdown on the process-it's pretty thorough-but not too terrible of an experience]

I thought for sure, my sun-induced freckles and spots would bring a lecture. I was surprised the doctor focused in on a mole I had on my hip since childhood.

And then she said, “I don’t like the look of it. I think we should send it to the lab.”

Quicker than I could blink, she was giving me an injection and cutting it off for a biopsy.

I was a little worried, thanks to Google (beware of searching “Moles” under Google Images. Ick)

After a week of uncertainty, I received a call from the doctor.

“Your mole was abnormal. Pre-cancerous-the kind of mole that is likely to turn into melanoma. It’s very good we removed it. We will need you to come back often for more checks.”

Holy Moly.

I was relieved and thankful for the series of events that led me to the doctor.

Who knows, if you’re reading this, it might just save your life.

Or at least make you more comfortable in your own skin.

[insert prompt here to go have your "moles checked" y'all]

P.S. Whatever you do, don’t pull a Kramer (Seinfeld) and try removing your moles with a deli meat slicer.

An oldie, but goodie:


WMFW: Cake Pops (Happy Birthday Edition)

Yesterday, this delicious baby:

Turned into this amazing:

Nine year old.

Can someone explain how that happened? And I’ll take 3 more of him, while you’re at it.

Because, he delights me.

We do every-other-year-parties, but we have cake as often as we can. This year, my son “Mom, can we do something exciting for my cake?”

Um, okay. Mental note: He’s been spending too much time at The Neighbors.

When I googled cake pops (balls), they seemed so easy. But since I’m a realist and can make easy relatively challenging, I proceeded with caution.

iphone pictures ahead:

I decided to make a double-batch to make up for all the lost baking time.

1. Bake cake mixes with box directions. I used what I had: vanilla and spice.

2. After the cake cools, crumble it.

3. Mix in canned frosting-it makes a very moist mess of cake. I used cream cheese for the spice cake and vanilla for the vanilla.

4. Form into balls. I put mine on cookie sheets. The balls were a bit messy until I refrigerated them for awhile. Once they were chilled, I was able to make the balls neater (insert OCD here).

5. Dip into vanilla or chocolate candy coating. I don’t have a picture of this step because my hands were messy. I thought this part was the hardest and I ran out of the coating. I need a special tutorial on this step.

6. I placed the balls into small cups, but I think sucker sticks would be cute, too. I’m just not that coordinated.

7. Sprinkle before the coating hardens! My daughter (a.k.a. QUEEN SPRINKLES) used an entire shaker bottle.

We refrigerated them and they are delicious!! And the varieties are endless! Next time you have cake leftovers, I highly recommend turning them into cake balls.

PLEASE NOTE: Our annual “Mom, I’m Bored Summer Edition” is in two weeks, June 1! Please plan on sharing some helpful tips. This is a favorite WFMW!




30 Day Challenge for Wives {Giveaway}

*Updated with Winners* Congrats to Kat and reader (no blog) Jessica! Everyone else, take advantage of this great discount:

P.S. If you want to just shop, use this code:  U28WATF15

It’s good for 15% off any order and is valid thru MAY 31st.

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Every time I write about marriage, I get emails. Confessionals, prayer requests, heartbreaking stories and testimonies of second chances.

People are still reading our marriage testimony series daily and I could write a book about it. Maybe I will someday.

My marriage is far from being perfect. Some days we don’t even tip the scales to a good marriage. But we are committed for life and have no plans to stop trying and fighting for the marriage we really want.

I’m a better mom, daughter, person when my marriage is doing well.

Unknown to my hubby, I’ve decided to take the 30 Day Challenge because I have the ability to have a better marriage. We are living in a stressful environment right now and I tend to snap and bite his head off more in the tension. So, I definitely need it.

What is the 30 Day Challenge? …for the next 30 days:
* You can’t say anything negative about your husband …to your husband…or to anyone else, about your husband.
* Say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband…to your husband…and to someone else, about your husband!

Day One:
“The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Prov. 31:11-12

To help you get started, have you ever thanked your husband for “choosing you” above all other women? He found you attractive as a person, and appreciated you. Though many circumstances in your marriage may have changed, let your husband know that you are glad God led you together, and that you want to be a blessing to him for the rest of your marriage. Let him know that he can trust you to be in his corner.

One of the best opportunities to express your gratitude is first thing in the morning. How do you greet your husband each morning? Is he confident in your love? Give him a “wake up call” that he’ll never forget-a big “I love you” and an “I’m so glad I’m your wife!”

You can read ideas and encouragement for all thirty days here.

I love to partner with Union28 because they truly get the importance of encouragement in marriage. As a fun incentive, everyone who takes the challenge and leaves a comment on today’s post, will be entered to win one of two of these adorable heart tees from Union28 (fitted and non) and also this beautiful marriage worship CD!

P.S. If you want to just shop, use this code:  U28WATF15

It’s good for 15% off any order and is valid thru MAY 31st.

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Related posts:

How to Really Have the Marriage You Want

How to Really Fight for Your Marriage

Are you in? I hope so. And remember, the victory is in the trying.


Bonse Aba

Last week, my daughter’s 5th grade Honor Choir sang a traditional African (Zambia) folk song at their Spring concert. I thought y’all might enjoy it as much as we did:

P.S. I’m all about the dancing

Translation of Bonse Aba:

John 1:12 “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”

My oldest has a sweet voice and fills our house with music. We’ve all been humming the tune to Bonse Aba for weeks, but my 4 year old has her own version:

And speaking of jewelry, which is totally what my little girl was talking about (ha!)

Look at what you can purchase at Dayspring now!!! New product alert!

Plus, Mercy House has an all new site!

Our trip to Africa is still on–coming at us quickly in less than a month. We thought long and hard about postponing it in light of Maureen’s losses. But she is determined to open the doors and begin rescuing girls and we are determined to love on her! Will you please continue to pray for us and especially, Maureen, as she attends her sister’s funeral this week?

And also-UNRELATED: an animal of some kind crawled into our Dryer vent hose and DIED.

Guess who is giving herself a LAUNDRY PASS?

It smells bad in the laundry room, y’all.


Advocating as a Busy Mom

I’m a mom.

I’m an advocate.

One was planned, the other wasn’t.

Wanna guess which is which?

My every day regular life is crazy, full of car lines, gasping at dirty rooms, juggling three little people who consume a lot of goldfish crackers and produce piles of laundry.

Being an advocate for orphans and those in extreme poverty has made me a better mother.

  • In America, with all our convenience and comfort, I think we forget how good we have it. We take education, accessibility to medical care, clean water for granted. Perspective is the greatest gift I can give my kids.
  • I let things go that don’t matter. I don’t nag (as much) about messy rooms and home repairs. Because what I have is enough.
  • I value life more because I’ve seen too much preventable death. Life is so fragile.

Being a mother has made me a better advocate.

  • I view the orphan crisis through the lens of motherhood. How can I not? I want the best for my kids and basic necessities are a given in my neighborhood. I want every mom in every third world country to have clean water, education about breastfeeding, help when their baby is dying of diarrhea.
  • We are nurturers by nature, compassionate by design. I think we make the best advocates!
  • Mothers are queen multi-taskers. Enough said.

Bottom line: How do we advocate with our families as moms without sacrificing them for our cause:

Balance is crucial. The last thing I want to do is raise my kids with a guilty complex, forcing down dinner because I’ve seen starving kids.

  • Involve your kids, but don’t ever force it.
  • Take a break when you sense resentment.
  • Live a life of compassion in front of your children, show them compassion.
  • Pray together about your passion.
  • Allow them to have ownership and allow them the freedom to not take ownership.

Are you an advocate for a cause close to your heart?

This is your chance.

To Advocate.

How do you balance it all?