January Coffee Chat


Photo by Tim Wright on Unsplash

**Imagine we meet up at our favorite spot and have a few minutes to catch up…here goes…

I slowly walk in, scanning the room for your familiar, warm face. The brisk winter air and the warmth of the shop fogs up my glasses so it takes a minute longer to refocus.  As I’m unbundling my scarf and taking off my gloves I walk to the counter and order a cappuccino-my favorite “speciality” drink out these days.

I sit and breathe in the psuedo-silence.  There’s the hum of the espresso machine, and the chatter of other patrons.  I let my eyes fall shut and then I hear a bell–in you walk.

Our drinks arrive and we greet one another with a hug saying it’s been too long, but both clearly understanding that this season is one of hubbub and then silence.  It always is; that transition from busy, busy holiday commitments to New Year’s resolutions/goals/intentions/words and snow and cold.  It makes everyone slow down.

We chat about our venture into the new year, me telling you how for once I didn’t have my typical solo-date out at this very coffee shop where I’d drink endless amounts of drip coffee (after a specialty of course) and scour through the latest goal setting workbook I’d downloaded.  I had finally settled on one as it seemed to be the length I was looking for and something put together by folks my heart was leaning toward in this season. You hadn’t heard of Hello, Goodbye, so we discussed the accompanying podcast I listened to after quickly working through. I rolled my eyes and you tenderly placed your hand on my arm and reminded me to give myself some grace.  With the sickness that plagued our house during the holiday, to being extremely busy with some exciting work projects, things were just going to look different in this season, and that’s okay.

You mentioned that you had settled on your word for the year.  I joked that I settled on a phrase which was ironic that it couldn’t be narrowed down to a word.  Slow and simple.  They both have such a different meanings though.  You nodded and smiled as I mentioned these two words.  So true and needed for our time as we both looked around the now crowded shop, folks in line for their drink scrolling on their phone or checking the clock, eye-rolling at how long it was taking to get their drink.  Our words shared some of the same intention and you mentioned some things you were doing to help keep your focus on yours. You’re working on getting up earlier each morning. I mentioned I was really trying to be less tied to my phone but it wasn’t going so well. It’s such a nasty habit I’ve formed.  I bought a charging station for all our devices. I’ve downloaded the Moment app to track how much time I spend on my phone. I keep going back and forth on deleting certain apps–Facebook for one–but I’m so in love with the morning worship Crossroads is doing on there Monday-Friday at 7:30 I keep it on for that reason alone as some days I’m still walking into my office at that point and it’s been such a fantastic way to start the day.  Speaking of Crossroads, you mention you heard something about the new series that just started.  Yup, How not to be a jerkface.  And it’s just as incredible as the title sounds. Seriously, the perfect start as we’re thinking about these new year’s intentions.

You share a bit about the jerkface encounters you’ve had and you’ve been. I nod in full agreement–I’ve been there too. Literally on my way to church last week to hear this first sermon, someone honked at me when the light turned green as I was trying to find a lipstick at the light.  Actions vs. Intentions.  Every. Single. Time.

That statement –actions vs. intentions–easily shifts us to talk about work and kids. Your work is going well-keeping you busy but the days are passing quickly.  The latest photos of your littles are adorable and we both comment that we can’t believe how quickly time passes and out big all our kids now are.

But back to the year.  There seems to be so much pressure anymore to reinvent yourself every turn of the calendar.  What if we thought of each day like that? I’ve been working harder to look at 90-day goals and monthly goals. But sometimes (as you reminded me earlier) I have to give myself grace. 2018 has started out very slow.  Which is honestly how I landed on my word. Not as much traction in my writing. Not as much advocating for my Beautycounter business. But we’ve been meeting some of those monthly goals. We discuss our strategy for eating at home and sticking to our new budget (the answer? communication, go figure!). You mention  you think it’s okay to scale back and focus on the day-to-day.  We agree that’s why most “New Year’s” goals/resolutions/intentions have failed in our own lives (and perhaps others).  There’s just so much glitter and fanfare about doing this big thing that we forget about the actual thing.

I then start to tell you about another Annie Downs podcast that rocked my world this week about Sabbath. We’ve talked about this numerous times during our coffee chats, but this discussion pulled on my heartstrings.  And reinforced that slow and simple is the way to go.

Our coffees are almost empty and a quick glance at our watch reminds you of your next appointment. Before you head out, you look me square in the eye and remind me that my goal is valid and my phrase is on point. Slow and simple. That’s all we really need. And that you want to hear more about these 90-day goals at our next coffee chat.

As we’re starting to bundle up before we leave, you ask again about the Crossroads series, so I pull out my phone and we watch the trailer. A quick hug and you’re on your way and I pull out Hello, Goodbye from my bag to review one more time…


{miscellany monday}: july 15

Linking up with Carissa at lowercase letters for miscellany monday…excited about a new way to keep writing…it is therapeutic and I miss it. 

  • Filofax.  I mean.  Where to begin.  I saw this post from my girl Kristi on instagram about her faux filofax she snagged at a local supermarket.  After some digging, I realized that there is a whole world (literally, filofax is created in the UK and most of the obsession with it is international) of filofax obsessed folks out there.  It’s like I’ve found this new tribe of people who speak my language.  With all the changes happening in life, I needed something to help managee that so I snagged the same faux filofax at the same supermarket as MommaKristi and bam–we are off.  I’m loving it, the way it works as my wallet and organizer and that I get to decorate the pages each week.  I just need something to keep me happy in the little things during this crazy season!

    filofax love

    filofax love

  • Remember those big changes?  Well, they are here–my sweet Mama has moved to Kentucky!  She’s been here a week and things are going pretty well.  If you’re interested, I’m updating her progress here.

    Mama D

    Mama D

  • There is a Dunkin Doughnuts close to where my mom is in Lexington.  They offer $1 any sized iced drinks from 3-6pm.  Needless to say this has been my reality more than I’d like to admit. Iced Coffee. Cream. SugarFree Caramel. Delish.



  • In addition to the filofax, I got this awesome little cash wallet from A Time for Everything to help with the budget.  Absolutely love the pattern I was able to pick out and so far it’s really helping keep our cash management in control (while being stylish!)

    a time for everything!

    a time for everything!

  • We spent time in Virginia with family over the 4th before bringing my mom back to Kentucky.  We also visited some of our favorite spots in Roanoke since it’ll likely be a while before we are back to visit.  Thelma’s Chicken and Waffles, the Roanoke Farmer’s Market and a double visit to our latest Favorite, The River and Rail.  Amazing food. Amazing drinks. Amazing company.


    PS-We also had breakfast with Gangee that morning…




The days of June are slipping between my fingers. Life is taking some drastic, exciting and unknown turns. Summer which started so slowly, so calmly is now like the roaring Ocoee.

Y’all, I’m tired. It’s been a very busy season.

So what’s my resolve? Is your season busy as well? Here is my reality over the past week or so. At first I tried to fight it.  Then, I had an a-ha. And ya know what? I’m settling in to this rhythm and my, oh my…

Taking it down a notch. Watching movies in the evening and sleeping in later than usual. Giving myself grace that I’m not getting in my needed quiet time every morning because my body is screaming for another hour of rest. Snaging a few sets of jumping rope or a few kettlebell swings in between home chores versus a 30 minute walk or run. Making a habit to take a relaxing bath and go to bed with semi-wet hair once a week. No one really cares nearly as much as I do what my hair looks like anyway. Implementing a casual day once a week within company dress code guidelines. One day where you wear a skirt or a maxi dress that honestly feels like you’re wearing pajamas. This, my friends, is summer.

Like I mentioned, life is about to pick up. I know I can’t control it. But I can certainly control sitting in the silence, smelling the aroma of fresh flowers from the market, sipping my iced coffee after work reading a book.

summa summa2

Does this mean I’m lazy? Heck no! I’m being super productive at work, knocking some of my #SuperSummer challenge items each day, tracking my clean eating journey, drinking water and moving. I’m just giving myself grace in that I’m in a season and know that one is coming up that I am going to need the extra rest-fuel I’m saving up. Just like bears go into hibernation in the winter, I feel I’m in a hibernation stage. I’m getting myself into the right frame of mind to attack the next season with continued intention, purpose and focus. All the while watching a movie and sleeping in every once and a while.



Need some accountability for something like this in your life? Check out my girl Krissie at Committed Coaching.  She’s got an amazing offering in July coming up that might be right up your ally!  

My cup overfloweth

Walking to the car, it was a brisk Monday morning. The kind that bites when you get out of the car to walk into the office. My commute had been cluttered with thoughts of the preceding weekend, all the things on my to-do for the day, but nothing prepared me for the sharp air that took my breath when I opened the car door.

I gathered my work bag, made sure I had my keys and phone and slowly gathered my favorite ceramic mug from the console. The coffee steamed in the car, so once I  stepped onto the pavement, the steam was even more remarkable. However, the dance out of the car was quite tricky.

You see, I had my coffee in a travel mug when I had left for work. The one we purchased early one Sunday morning back in November at a CVS in Lexington. I was singing for our church’s 25th anniversary service and I had forgotten my travel mug. Knowing that I’d need a mug’s worth of coffee versus a small Styrofoam shooter, we acquired yet another travel mug.

But there’s something about a real mug. The way it fits in my hand. How I love drinking out of it sitting at my desk. So that brisk Monday, I transferred the hot contents of the travel mug into the Christmas mug I’ve made year round appropriate. Tricky task for a Monday.

So after I successfully made my way out of the car, looked around to see if any coworkers caught the sight of that jig, I began my trek into the office. Thankful to not have a big campus parking structure and short walk into the student center where my office lives, one foot in front of the other I began.

But I couldn’t take my normal stride. No, it wasn’t snowy or icy. My heels weren’t unreasonably high that day. So what was my trouble?

My cup was almost to the point of overflowing. Right up the the edge. I instantly recalled the work retreat years earlier when I became the joke each morning at breakfast–“When will she learn to not fill her cup so full!  There are refills, ya know, Faith.”

But I liked having a full cup. I liked the amount that was there. It was just right. It gave me just enough jolt I needed.

I just had to learn to slow down in the process of getting from point A to point B if I wanted my cup to be that full.  

Life is no different. My cup continues to be full. There are many things to juggle. When my cup gets a little less full and I feel I have a better handle, something else gets poured in.

But let me tell you a little secret–the flavor of this coffee is incredible with all these different things swirling around in there. I wouldn’t miss any bit of it for the world.  I’ve just got to learn to slow down a bit so I can enjoy every last drop.  

{Five-Minute Friday}–Stay

Linking upwith Five-Minute Friday where the prompt is to write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. Here goes nothing…



I sit in the room with somewhat familiar faces as my dear friend prays a beautiful prayer over me.


Be okay with the restlessness.  Be okay that you want to figure it all out, but I’m calling you, beckoning you to sit with me.


You’re already envisioning how your overly-analytical mind will process the information of the last few weeks.  But I’m envisioning us sitting down to a cup of coffee at your favorite little coffee shop, jazz music in the background, looking out at the fall leaves that I’ve created just for you on this bright, sunny day.


Yes, I have plans for you.  The blueprints for, I know you are itching to get a peek at.  But first, we must commune together.  Just you and I.  I want to make sure you’re prepared for the layout, that your expectations of the plan are low, but your faith in Me is high.


Water rushes down the side of the mountain.  You sit, knees curled up under, favorite NYC hoodie making this a cozy space for you.  The pumpkin spice coffee whirrs in the grinder and once it melds with the water in that magical machine, there is no telling where this day will go.


I have much I want to share with you.  Just stay.

{Five-Minute Friday}- Quiet

Linking up  with Five-Minute Friday where the prompt is to write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. Here goes nothing…


Click, click.  The hum of the heater blows softly through the room.  Thoughts swirling.  Like little arrows or shooting stars.

What does this mean for my life?

How can I implement this?

How does this affect others.

Questions.  Constantly swirling around.  Making little room for stillness.

I pull out my journal from my faithful canvas bag.  The pages are weathered–too many coffee spills, water bottle explosions and travels have worn well on the edges of the moleskin.  It’s trusty black, smooth exterior calls to me.  I know that the interior is much more real.  Messy.  My desire for consistency in penmanship and pen type has been overruled by too many days in a coffee-shop  or in the waiting room without my trusty sharpie nearby.

Today though, those sharpies come clean out of their burlap container.  The rainbow of colors await the next step.  The journal opens to a new page, crisp, but awaiting words to spill forth.

But what do I hear?  “Be still and know that I am God.”

I sit restless with the blank pages.


Returning Home (and a recipe!)

I’m a slow thinker.  I need time to process.  I got home from Allume Sunday at 3pm and had to go to work at 8am Monday.  17 hours to come down off that unbelievable high and snap back into the real world that life M-F, 8-5 of tutor requests, advising for spring semester, interns, email and phone calls.  The tug on my heartstrings for my sisters who were impacted by the weather or had crazy health issues who landed them in the ER the last night of the conference were flittering through my mind all day.

Needless to say, this slow thinker and process-er still is processing.  And three days just couldn’t be processed in those 17 hours.  I debriefed with iBloom, the sponsoring team that I went with fto Allume, immediately unpacked my bags as soon as I arrived home (learning more with each trip I go on I am an over-packer).  The beau was studying hard for a huge test  so as much as I wanted to connect and share all that had happened, he wasn’t at his breaking point yet, so a cup of coffee and a book were waiting for me. (Don’t fret, I’m carving out some time this weekend for a full re-cap post!)

That’s what I needed.  As much as I wanted to dive into my notes and finish emailing the amazing women I had met, I just needed some time with a book and my favorite mug.

And after dinner, my sweet tooth kicked it, as it often does, and the Banana Pumpkin Freeze was born.


  • 2 frozen bananas (the more ripe, the sweeter)
  • 1/2 c. can pumpkin (could use fresh and pureed)
  • 1/3-1/2 c. of coconut milk (use to thicken/thin) out
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice
  • Optional: Dark chocolate chips, maple syrup (if it’s not sweet enough for you!)


  • Slice bananas and place into blender with milk; blend.
  • Add vanilla extract, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice
  • Add more milk if needed and continue blending
  • Add dark chocolate chips and a few pulses to chop up.
  • Serve in your favorite glass or mason jar and ENJOY!

Be well,

My Lenten Season

When contemplating what I might “give up” for the Lenten season, I had several things I thought about, but the one I kept coming back to is a vice that I’ve given up before–coffee.  If you know me at all, you know that this is one of those things I love–not just the caffeine jolt it gives me, but the whole idea of coffee, I just totally dig.  I met a friend for Accountability weekly at a local coffee shop and we chat about life over our favorite cup of Joe, I have a weekend mug that accompanies me to church on Sundays and around the house on Saturday afternoons.  We received coffee as wedding gifts and local coffee is one of our favorite wedding gifts to give.  When I visit friends, they put a coffee maker in my room.

As you can see, I have quite an addiction to even have this many photos on my phone of coffee! 

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So, needless to say, I felt the tug on my heartstrings to give up this dependency on java.  I was hoping to cut back in January as apart of my New Year’s goals to have more moderation in my life, but that didn’t happen.  My dependency should be on Christ–not coffee, or anything else for that matter.  There are still tons of other things I could have “given up” that I’m also dependent upon–Facebook, pinterest, my phone or internet while at home in the evenings just to name a few.

So with some #honesty coming through, the first two days were rough.  Not only were they super busy at work, I had a jolting headache from the lack of caffeine.  I even had to turn a cup of coffee down at my favorite diner who knew I always ordered a cup.  It’s never fun to realize something that you love has such affects on you when you take it away.  I will still drink coffee after Lent, I will just not be as dependent upon it.

It’s amazing after those two days just how clear headed I am.  I have been drinking a cup of tea in the mornings and I do love it.  We typically are nighttime tea drinkers–loving a little green tea or chamomile before bed.  Now a lovely chai or Earl Grey (My fav!) help get me going in the morning.

And another gift from some lovely students…

Yay for Chai Tea in a fun mug!