with Lynne and Leslie
Tag Archives: joy

The twins and Dolly wish you a “Hard Candy Christmas”

by SweetMidlife

Merry Christmas! This is Leslie, and behalf on Lynne, our family, humanity, the 1984 Duran Duran fanckub, people who love cheese and Grumpy Cat, we would like to wish you a happy holiday. And we’d like to do it with the help of Miss Dolly, and some sad hookers.

You see, Miss Mona and the former employees of the Chicken Ranch in 1982’s “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” are parting ways, because…well, it’s a long story. And even though they are not a traditional or even legal family (or involved in legal, family things) they are very unhappy to have to leave each other. But Miss Mona, who is Dolly, tells them that sometimes they have to get through things even if it’s hardscrabble, like a Christmas so thread-bare that you only get hard candy for Christmas. You’ll be fine and dandy.

So whether today finds you flush or flushed, hardy or hapless, go hug someone you love. Or call them. You won’t let sorrow bring you way down. Tell ’em Dolly.

5 Things That Have Been Bringing Me Joy

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here!

Happy Friday! Here are somethings that have made me smile as of late. And I picked 5 of them, so I could be a part of “oh, hey Friday!”, a really cool blogging community thing we recently joined. You should check it out. And also adding to this another blog party sponsored by the folks at a blog called “Meet @ the Barre”.

So, here is my happy lately….

1. Corn Chex

I have written about it before, but it is still yummy, so there you go. Twin Sister Leslie and I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s as children of health-conscious parents and we had honey on the table instead of sugar, ate wheat germ (just no), and ate carob-covered raisins instead of chocolate ones. Chex was one of the cereals that they let us eat, and the best tasting one. I recently started buying it again, and it is still healthy and delicious. But I put sugar on it now. And Chex did not sponsor this post but if you guys want to, hit me up, Chex People!


Our sweet cereal growing up.

Our sweet cereal growing up.

2. Human kindness

So, what’s more fun than finding out you have a sinus infection? Going to get your prescriptions, but realizing when you look for them later that YOU LEFT THEM AT THE STORE. But what makes it all wonderful is when the store tells you someone turned them in, and you check your voice mail to see that the person who found them left you a message to make sure you knew. She didn’t have to do that, and she did, and I am less snotty, but also really excited that there are nice people around.

Happy me. Less snotty.

Happy me. Less snotty.

3. Our new Pinterest page

We have been trying to grow our blog and it seems like it is taking FOREVAH but I see all of the work it takes and I think we have something to share and whatnot, so we persist. And I saw a suggestion from a blogging friend on Twitter that Pinterest is a good way to grow your blog which for some reason I am just figuring out. But I am embracing it now so here is our page. Please follow it. Here’s a pin from our “Truth” board. I need to have this taped all over my house.

Don't Look Back


4. Toddler Selfies

Sometimes your kid finds your camera and then you find weird pictures that they took of their eye and their hand. And it’s hilarious.

I will translate. This is a palm.

I will translate. This is a palm.

This is an eye. Creepy. But funny.

This is an eye. Creepy. But funny.

5. Blankets

I think that all couches should have a blanket nearby, because it might be chilly, and you might need to curl up. Yes, it makes it harder to stay awake if you are supposed to be watching TV with your husband. But just sit up. That helps.

We got this one from a friend when we got married and we have been rocking this thing ever since.

We got this one from a friend when we got married and we have been rocking this thing ever since.

I hope your upcoming days bring YOU much joy!




The Epiphany

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here! Today we have a guest post from my dear friend and former roomie, Nancy. Nancy writes a blog called “Project Joy”, where every day this summer, she is taking a picture of something that makes her happy, and writing about it. She started this after being in a period in her life where she wasn’t seeing the happy around her, and was inspired to look for it. Her blog is amazing, and this post is particularly wonderful and joyful, because it is about reclaiming joy that had been lost.  Please check out Nancy’s stuff. You will love it. 

The Epiphany

by Nancy Beth Short

How does one take a picture of an epiphany?  It’s just not possible.  So the closest I could come, was to take a picture of where the epiphany occurred.  Thus, the picture of my car.   Her name is Pearl…my car, that is.   So, this great epiphany occurred today as Pearl and I were driving on route 70 to visit a friend in Frederick.  I was cruising along enjoying the farmland scenery, snapping my fingers to the beat of a Harry Connick, Jr. song…. And then it hit me.  

But before I share this great epiphany, I have to tell you a little story.  But please don’t feel sorry for me, because I’m okay now.  Really, I am!  But I wasn’t okay a few years ago…

There was a man.  A man who presented himself  to be Mr. Darcy of the 21st century.  Charming, articulate, romantic, and handsome.  It didn’t take long for him to steal my heart.  We loved all of the same things….the same music, the same movies, writing, Wrightsville Beach, etc…  Our faith was important to us, and we shared so many of the same dreams.  He got my humor, and I got his.  He lured me in for seven months, leading me to believe that we were heading for a future together.  And I believed it all.  I was in my mid forties and I truly believed that the dream I had been waiting my whole life for, was right there in front of me.  But I was so wrong.  And I was so deceived.  And socrushed.  Absolutely crushed when it came out that he was actually engaged to someone else.  It was a long distance relationship, which made it easy for him to hide.  Hide all of his lies…..and his fiancee.  As it turned out, he was not Mr. Darcy at all.  He was Willoughby.

It took me a good year to start feeling like myself again.  But even then, I still couldn’t listen to the music that we shared together.  I couldn’t bring myself to watch a Jane Austen movie….which are my absolute favorites.  And it was hard to go back to places we had been.  I didn’t want to have to relive any of it.  But gradually, I began revisiting some of those things.  The movies, the places….I’ve been able to do those things without a problem.  But there was something about the music.  It has been the slowest to find its way back into my life again.  And it’s a shame, because it was my music long before he was a part of my world.

So, back to route 70.  There I was….cruising along, taking in the summer day and beautiful scenery.  I had Pandora set on Harry Connick, Jr. radio and I was loving every minute of it.  One great song after another…. Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong…..and then it hit me!  The music is back!  It has found its way back into my life again without a hint of pain.  This is my music.  This is what makes me happy.   I felt something wash over me…..It was a holy moment.  I was suddenly overwhelmed by a sense of God’s goodness and His love for me.   My future was not over when that dream died.  He was just clearing the way.  I believe it has taken me all this time to fullybelieve that.   It has been two and a half years of gradual healing.  And at that moment, it felt as though I had just come out on the other side where I was fully alive.  Fully!  It’s done!  There I was, standing in the land of hope, and it felt so good.

The music is back.  That’s joy right there!

Healing and hope.  It snuck up on me, and I don’t want to minimize its significance.  When I start questioning, because I’m sure I will again, I need to come back to this moment.  If He (God) can take care of my past, then He certainly must have my future.

Five reasons off the top of my head to have joy, right now

by SweetMidlife



It’s been a rough weekend. The George Zimmerman verdict was disappointing, if predictable and probably the right thing given the sketchy prosecution. Talented Corey Monteith has died. I may have completely over-pointed on Weight Watchers yesterday, because bread pudding is delicious death.

But I opened my eyes this morning, still healthy and alive, still married to the love of my life. I need to find reasons to be happy right now, and they’re everywhere. Here are five off the top of my head:

– I am not stuck in the “Big Brother” house with those bigoted sobbing mean girls.

– I have a whole season of “The Newsroom” on demand to watch.

– I have brand-new rose gold flats that I got on sale at Nine West for $29.

– I went to church for the first time in months yesterday, and it was awesome.

– We are attending my mother’s graduation for her Masters in nursing at 65!


See! Five reasons against angst, against despair. What five things do you have?

Wedding Week Begins! Today, A Picture Paints a Thousand Joys…

by SweetMidlife

Hi! Lynne here! So, this week on The Sweet Midlife, we wanted to talk about weddings. I actually wanted to do it in June, and this is July 1st.  But shoot, the theme of this blog is that wonderful things can happen in your life, no matter how late you night think it is, so I guess it’s okay that we are a little behind. So, here is a thought on weddings.

I got married almost 3 years ago, and it will be forever be one of my favorite days ever. Yes, the planning had nutty times, and there was that one day I asked if we could elope, and there were people that I couldn’t invite because of a limited guest list, and there are things that I would have done differently if I could have.

But what I see when I look at the pictures is happiness. The excitement on my face. How lovely my friends were as they curled their hair and got dressed. How proud my aunt was that she was wearing a corsage and being honored, not just as my aunt, but also, hopefully because she felt beautiful, which she doesn’t feel about herself enough. My goddaughter and another little friend dancing. My husband and I about to leave the wedding, relieved that we did it, blessed to have each other, completely aware of what we’ve got in each other, united for what is to come. I see my Daddy, so handsome and happy to be giving me away, even though I didn’t know until later that he was having a really bad cancer-fighting day. I see my Granddaddy, handsome and strong, so excited to read the Scriptures during the ceremony, because he loved me AND because he loved the Bible so. Daddy and Granddaddy are both gone now, so those memories brought back by those images are even more precious now.

My favorite moments from my wedding, and my favorite ones captured on film, aren’t the ones that were posed. I love those too. But I love the moments that just happened. The moments that reflect happy because they came out of a happy event. Joy reflects joy, organized or not. So I guess my thought on weddings as I write this is this: If you are planning a wedding, remember why you are hopefully going through all of this. Not just to make a splash, or to have that big day that you planned when you were 7 and didn’t even know your future spouse. Hopefully you are having a wedding to celebrate the union of two souls that can’t go one more day without being together. And that you want your loved ones to see it. And that this will make everyone happy. And if that is the case, this will show up in your pictures, and you will cherish those moments and remember that feeling a day later, a year later, 5 years later, and forever.

Just Get the Danged Mani-Pedi

by SweetMidlife

Morning!! Lynne here.


For my recent birthday, my husband gave me a gift card that he made himself for a certain amount of spa services, wherever I wanted. We don’t always have the money for this in our budget, so this was an amazing gift that he knew that this would put my mind at ease, some pampering to my tired self, and get the crust off of my feet so none of you would have to see it in sandals. YAY! I haven’t used it yet because we all got sick my birthday weekend, and I hope to use it this week so that on Mother’s Day (my first 1 with the baby on this side of the belly), I will have beautiful hands, feet, and eyebrows that don’t look like caterpillars crawled up on my face and took a nap.  I just need to pick a place.

And that has been hard.

Because, like I said, I don’t get mani/pedis often, so when I am able to, I start researching for the best place. And I look at reviews. And I check places that I have been before. And I compare prices to see if maybe I can get a mani here or a pedi there, or brows and and mani somewhere else. And I stress. And I get paralyzed. And I put it off. And then I wind up sometimes just getting it somewhere that can fit me in at the last minute. Ir I wind up doing a crappy job here myself. And  the thing that was supposed to be a treat sometimes fizzles.  But the times that I have just picked a place and gone for it, I have had a wonderful, relaxing time. Shoot, the last time I did it, Good Friend Elicia was in the area, and came and hung out with me doing my nail time, and we made a girl day out of it. Impromptu.

Which leaves me to believe that while it makes sense to use your gifts wisely, if you put so much thought into it that you suck the joy out if it, you’ve missed the point, and you haven’t honored the gift. My wish for you and me is that we take the blessings we have and use them well, but USE them. I’m just gonna get the mani/pedi and enjoy. Ahh.

Becoming the Chief Bottle Washer

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here.


This post is sort of a companion piece to this one that I wrote last year. It was about doing every thing that you do, no matter how small it is, as a reflection of you and who you are, and giving yourself a break as you manage all of the things that you do.  So if that one was about juggling all of the things you do and doing them well, this one is about paying attention to the individual things that you do.  Hope it doesn’t seem redundant, but here goes.

We wash a lot of bottles at my house.  We have a baby, so between the bottles that I store breast milk in, and the bottles the baby drinks out of, and the parts of the breast pump, that’s a lot of dish action happening.  It needs to get done, so mostly, I feel good after I wash them, since it helps to be able to grab clean bottles when we need them.  But there are times when a sink full of bottles, nipples and rims makes me want to run in the other direction, watch back to back episodes of “Chopped”, and pretend that the chefs there will come to my house and wash my dishes after they are finished with their basket of ingredients on the show.  But that never happens.  So, one day, I was, you guessed it, washing bottles and listening to the radio, and heard the song “The Motions”, by Matthew West (I listen to a lot of Christian radio, plus love song dedication programs).  It’s about going through your life in a “safe” place, but a place where you don’t feel anything, and wanting to break out of that and stop going through the motions.  The song is from a Christian perspective, in that not going through the motions and purposely seeking to please God makes you more alive.  And as I washed bottle #5, with like 5 more to go, I had an “a-ha!” moment (but not like this).  See, it’s possible to go through the motions and just rinse the parts off and throw them in the drain, and not use the bottle brushes or get into the crevices and make sure that I get all of the old milk out.  If I do that, though, it’s possible that the bottle could be contaminated, and that my kid will get sick.  So even though bottle washing, over and over, can be mundane, doing it well makes a big difference.

So if the stuff you have to do seems boring, or monotonous, but it’s necessary, don’t drag yourself through it. Attack it. Pay attention to it.  It doesn’t mean that it has to make you sing and dance (don’t know if I will be writing any odes to dishes, but shoot, it might help), but maybe remembering that even the little things that we do have importance might make doing them easier. Or more enjoyable. Or maybe you will just get through it.  But everything you do matters to somebody, be it the baby who has to drink out of that bottle, or you who doesn’t have to smell the stink coming from your trash can because you actually took time to wipe it out, or the person on the road next to you who thanks you for actually obeying the posted speed limits.  Embrace the monotonous.  Make friends with the routine.  Love that bottle.

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