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Category Archives: focus

Don’t Know Where This is Going

by SweetMidlife

Hi! Lynne here!

I apologize if I have written this blog post, or some version of it, before. When I get an idea that sounds vaguely familiar, I sometimes go back through our archives to see if I have indeed already written the piece that I want to write now. But I am not doing that this morning, and that actually what this post is about.

And that’s about doing the thing that you know you are supposed to do, even if you don’t know where it’s going.

I am in a place of awesome possibility right now. We have opportunities to grow this here blog, and I am directing a show this summer with a great group of young actors, and I wrote a play for kids that I have the plans (but not yet the money) to produce. And all of these are wonderful things, but you see, they are several things. And it is hard to get one thing done when you can’t focus on it because you are thinking about the other thing. So, it would seem, that I should clear my plate of all but a few things, and then I should go forward with the things that make the most sense, and that I should do them in the most logical way possible, with the information that is currently in front of me. Because that makes sense.

But sometimes you have taken so much time researching and looking at logistics, the moment to do what you heard God telling you to do in the first place has passed. Because God can see the whole picture sometimes, when all we see is a corner of it.

Sometimes you just need to work the thing or things that God told you to without knowing the long-term outcome or what is going to look like when it’s over, or even how this thing fits with the other thing.

This morning our Pastor spoke about how God makes all things work together for the good of those who love them. This doesn’t mean that you are going to get the job that you applied for this week, or that this guy you are dating is The One, or that this is the exercise program that is going to be the key to you losing all of the baby weight you have lost and then put back on so now it really isn’t baby weight anymore. Yeah. But it means that if you really feel God calling you to it, you should go on and work that, even if you don’t know where it’s going. As I listened to the sermon this morning, I thought of all of the things that I have on my plate, and how I don’t know where to put them all, or where to go next, and I heard God speak in that moment.

And He said, “You don’t need to know how it’s going to end up. Just do the small things that I told you to do and don’t do the other things.”

Okay.

So I wrote this blog post. Because I know I was supposed to do that. And I am going to stop trying to make things fit the way I thought they were going to, or what I even told people I was going to do. And I know that you should be prepared and have a plan and all of that. But sometimes you are just supposed to trust.

Just do that thing. And do it well. And God will work the rest out.

Random picture of toy school bus because this post is about motion and that's all I could think of.

Random picture of toy school bus because this post is about motion and that’s all I could think of.


Lessons From Fancy Dinners That You Can Apply When You Are Back To Your Kraft Mac and Cheese

by SweetMidlife

Hi ya! Lynne here.

The following is the account of one of the best meals of my daggone life. I am not exaggerating. But it is not a foodie review, because I didn’t know half of what I was eating at first. It is just an appreciation of seriously good eats.

Best Friend Maria, her awesome husband Taylor, and my Really Cute Husband AC went to Volt, a restaurant in Frederick, MD run by Bryan Voltaggio of “Top Chef” fame. We have been trying to go here for quite awhile now, and we even had reservations for my birthday in 2014, but my sitter canceled, and this is not a 2 year-old kind of place. No. He would have turned it out. So no.

So fast forward about a year later to last week and the yumminess that ensued.

Here are some pictures. I took a few but Taylor took most of them. Which was so nice of him to offer because that left more seconds for me to eat.

When we got to the bar, I got a drink with a banana dolphin in it! Best Friend Nikki said it looks like a slug coming out of my coconut cup. Dang tasty either way.

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Then we were seated, and the banana dolphin joined us, and we all got the 6-course tasting menu. Now, I have done prix-fixe dinners before, and gone to weddings and banquets, so I have had meals that were done in courses. They bring you something, and you eat it. And then they bring you something else and you eat that. And so on. Shoot, if you get potato skins, then fish and chips, followed by a sundae at Applebee’s, then that would be a 3-course menu. But there is something about getting 6 yummy courses of crazy rich, decadent food and being able to savor each one, and really taste everything. I won’t share all of the courses, but here are some of them.

 

 

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This was the raw scallops course. My husband was adventurous because he doesn’t do raw stuff and he tried it anyway. The rest of us loved it.

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This is parsnip soup. And I actually had it for 2 courses because they brought one that I didn’t care for, and the server saw me kind of eating around it and asked what else I wanted and I asked for another bowl of this. It was smooth and crunchy and I want some now. NOW.

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These are delicious meaty mushrooms that they let me order from another part of the menu because I don’t eat lamb.

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This is the chocolate trio at the end. One was ice cream, the other one was ice cream-like, and the third was like the fanciest candy bar ever.

When we were done, we were stuffed, but not uncomfortably.

And it was like 4 hours later, but we didn’t feel like we had anywhere else to be.

We had amazing conversations with friends who I talk to every day on Facebook but don’t see face to face often.

And phones only came out to take pictures of the food, or to glance to see if children or the people watching them had called.

And I want to live like this all of the time.

Not that I have $95 to spend on dinner daily. That probably won’t happen for a good long while. Or maybe never. And I can’t afford to eat things this rich or decadent all of the time, or spend 4 hours eating dinner every night.

But I can pay more attention to the people who I see every day. Like my husband and my toddler. I can stop thinking about what will be happening when I get up from the table and listen to how my husband’s day was and tell him about mine and listen to the song that my song is singing to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus” whose lyrics will include something about garbage trucks. It’s better than my internal monologue, which is usually “I am SO tired. Wait, what did your co-worker say? I wish I had cooked these potatoes longer. Is the dishwasher empty, or do I have to unload it before I reload? I hate that? Boy, you cannot have a lollipop. You didn’t eat your fish. Sit down. There’s no good shows on tonight with people singing. What, you have to get up and pack lunch now? Sit back down!”

Yeah.

And we can be more mindful of what we eat. I felt less full eating 6 courses of smaller servings than I do just eating my regular starch/protein/veggie meal every night. Yes, we had 4 hours at Volt, but we ate. And tasted. And put the fork down. And savored. And talked. And ate more. And put the fork down. And we savored. And enjoyed. And were thankful. And I think that we can apply that to your macaroni/baked chicken/broccoli you are having tonight.

Bite.

Taste.

Listen.

Talk.

Enjoy.

Happy People. You can be that every night.

Happy People. You can be that every night.


Dishwashers Full of Clean Dishes Mean Opportunity. Go With Me on This.

by SweetMidlife
Put them away and eat already.

Put them away and eat already.

Happy Monday! Lynne here.  I want to be honest and say that I have written blog posts like the one I am about to write before, but since this is an ongoing theme in my life, I am gonna continue to talk about it, until I figure it out. Which might happen one day.

Yesterday morning, our family spent the morning at home, and my husband made waffles and fried apples and everyone was happy. I decided to contribute while all of the breakfast-making was happening by moving dirty dishes towards the sink, but then I opened the dishwasher and realized that it hadn’t been run yet. And that made me feel happy. Giddy, actually. This is because something about a dishwasher of unclean dishes makes me feel free, because it means that I still have time to dirty stuff up without having to work. Because a dishwasher full of clean dishes means having to put them away. Dirty dishes means delay. And this appeals to me.

I love putting things off. I do. Oh, I am aces at researching, and figuring out what I am going to do, and where we can go on vacation, and in looking up recipes, and looking up blogging themes, and grant opportunities. I am good at seeing what is out there, and planning. But I am not often as good at the follow-through. At the actual doing. I am getting better at this. But when I am not,  that leads to lots of bookmarked web pages and placed calls, and looking forward to things, but no actual forward movement. That means stagnation. And dirty dishes. Real life happens in the places in between. When you have actually written and cooked and actually have dishes to eat off of, and you aren’t using spoons where you need a fork because none of your forks are clean.

So, today, I am going to cut back on some of the dreaming and the planning, and actually continue with the finishing of stuff. Because I owe it to myself to actually use the chances and time that I have been given and not let it go to waste. And so do you. And because it’s almost lunch time, and I can’t just eat straight off the table.

What are you putting off that you need to do? Tell us below!


Don’t Be a Screen-Obsessed Zombie with Questionable Pull-Ups

by SweetMidlife

Hi! Lynne here.

Friends of ours at church were giving away a toy laptop for toddlers, and we snapped it up for our kid. He loved it, and when we finally put batteries in it, he liked it even more, because it actually did stuff, like talk about music, and every time you push a letter, it tells you about a different animal, and it has a little doggie on it who dances, and the whole thing is really funny. We let him play with it for an extended time last night, even into what is usually story time, so he only wanted 4 stories instead of the usual 87 he asks for. When I went into get him this morning, he was standing up in his crib, pointing to the laptop, saying “My ‘puter!” Now, the smell coming from his Pull-Up was toxic and very offensive to anyone who has a nose, but my kid was so ready to play, he ignored it. And I let him play for a few more minutes, and he giggled and laughed and danced while fumes came out of his butt. He let me lay him down to change him, while he held the laptop up in the air. It was kinda sad. Because I have often been so preoccupied with checking Facebook, or seeing who just e-mailed me, or who got kicked off on Top Chef, that I forgot to eat first, and wondered why my stomach was beating me up. And that was because I had been up for an hour blinded by my screen.

Here is what I think. Computers are awesome and such, because I am using one to write this here blog post on, but don’t love them so much that you forget to bathe or talk to people and form sentences or eat or go to the bathroom. I want to set a better example for my kid, and I need to do better for me, too.

Plug in. But take care of your business too.

Plugged-in.

Plugged-in.


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