>> 9.30.2012

From the Catholic Memorial at Dachau Concentration Camp in Munich, Germany.

Sometimes I seem so up-and-down with this thing, I feel like a hormonal teenager that bursts into tears for no reason all over again.

One day, I'm ready to kick it all into high-gear, market myself like crazy, and enter the rat race of mommy-bloggers writing to make money.

The next, I'm struck with an overwhelming feeling of "Maybe this is all narcissism wrapped up in pretty packages" and questioning what my motivation should be for this platform that I've given myself.
Oddly enough, this is the first time this questioning isn't borne out of, "Maybe I'm just not good enough, maybe no one will care about what I have to say," which is a good thing, I think. That line of pondering is so self-centered, so focused on what other people think about me and that shouldn't be the point of anything.

Really, it comes more out of examining what I want my life to be about, and how is the most valuable way to spend my time? Sadly, I only have twenty-four hours in a day and even though I have enough things that I want to do that would fill up thirty-six of them, I simply cannot get it all done. I just can't. I've tried, and this has led to my mental defeat and breakdown in the form of tears, binge eating, and twenty 'to-do' lists scattered all around my house. 

What do I want my life to be about? 

--Loving the Lord with everything inside of me.

What does that look like?

--Being intentional with my time and my energy. Investing in things that are going to bring glory to Him, not to myself.

And that is the crux--I want my life to be about Him. 
I want the words that I write to reflect His power and glory, to bring people closer to Him, not to get people to marvel at the words that He's given me.

This desire has been lost for a long time. 
It's been buried under piles of sadness, depression, anger, longing, exhaustion, and hopelessness. 
The last two years have been the hardest of my life, hands-down. 
The last six months have been even harder. 

I have come thisclose to giving up on God completely, to throwing in the towel, and telling Him to leave me alone because I'll make my own way from now on, thank You very much.

Somehow (I am not sure how), I have found myself in a place of surrender to Him. 
I am beginning to rest in the fact that He is in control, and the only place I am going to find fulfillment and joy is in Him.
I am claiming the words of my favorite hymn, and asking the Lord to "bind my wandering heart to Thee".

I will write, because I need to write, because I was created to write, and because not writing would be ignoring a gift and passion that God has put inside me.
I will write the truth, and I will tell you about my life and sometimes I will show you what I wore, but the point of it all is different now.
It has to be. 

 "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

{Romans 7:24-25}


a lovely love story (continued).

>> 9.13.2012

After the fateful meeting at Joe's, I'd see Daveo around occasionally. He'd always mention something about how we should hang out, which everyone said to be nice but no one ever really meant. Honestly though, he said it so many times that I started to think Wow, this guy really actually does want to hang out. That's kind of weird. Why?

I'm clearly the easiest person in the world to romance. Not.

Our next real conversation happened at dinner one night, while I was getting ready to head to my night class.
I was sitting in the dining room with a friend, when he came over and joined us. He and the girl I was eating with were already friends (Of course, I thought with an inner eye-roll) so they were busy chatting while I was finished up my food and dreading the idea of spending four hours in a classroom for the rest of the evening.

Abruptly he looked at me and said, "You should come up and see me tonight on your break."
I paused and looked at him, then said, "Okay. I guess."
He continued on, "I'll give you my free shift drink. I get one per shift and I usually give it to a friend, but I'll save it for you tonight if you come up and see me."
Being the poor, tired college student that I was, I knew there was no way I could pass up a free coffee, so I told him that I would see him later that night while my friend and I quickly gathered up our stuff and hurried off to our class.

Apparently I needed the caffeine more than I knew, because I forgot all about Daveo and his free coffee and inadvertently stood him up. Oops.


The next day at lunch, he had this stern look on his face while walking over to my table and I was slightly amused when he opened his mouth and started scolding me for not coming to see him on my break. "I saved my free drink for you!" he said. "I had people coming in and asking me for it and I said, 'No, I can't, Cami's coming up and I told her she could have it' and then you didn't come!"
I laughed and told him that I was sorry, and that he should have just given it to someone else.

"Yeah, but I said I'd give it to you, that's the whole point!"

"Okay, okay, I'm sorry! Are you working tonight? I'll come up then, okay?"

So, at 7 pm, I promptly packed up my laptop and books and headed up to Joe's to claim my free drink from this strange AsianBrit that was oddly offended when I didn't show the night before. He was much nicer when I tried to make conversation this time and somehow he ended up speaking to my sister on the phone when she called me and I said something like, 'Listen to my new British friend speak!'

Somehow I ended up staying for his whole two-hour shift, at which point he started to get nervous and mumbled something like, " you want to hang out...or something?"

(He told me later that he felt like he "owed me", since I'd been standing up there with him for two hours. Good to know that it wasn't because I was so charming and he just couldn't get enough of me.)

We ended up walking to a nearby Dunkin' Donuts, where he bought a bagel and asked me if I had a boyfriend. I thought he was pretty forward, but at the same time it was kind of nice to talk to someone who just said what they thought and not what you wanted to hear. After that we walked back to campus and exchanged pleasantries about how 'we should do this again or something'.

According to Facebook, we officially became friends on January 27, 2007 at 8:36 am.

It didn't stay that way for long. *wink*

"Live it, love it, hang out with Daveo."


mom-wear-wednesday [8]

>> 9.12.2012

coat: Anchor Blue// jeans: Express// cami: Charlotte Russe//
necklace: West One// sandals: Primark

on Jameson:
 pants, vest: Carter's// t-shirt: target// sandals: the Golden Boot

I bet you guys thought I forgot about this week and was going to break my promise (again).

Well, this almost actually happened, due to the fact that the surprise guest above did not feel like going to bed and staying there until 9:14 pm (which happens to be the time that I am currently writing this post).
This, friends, is why it is called mom-wear-wednesday. I should probably tie that whole mom-thing into the blog name too, since I seem to bring it up all the time.

Oh well.

I guess I'm just going to have to take pride in being a "mommy blogger" now, instead of the serious and accomplished writer I used to be.

Anyway, onto the clothes.
Like I said before, I am loving that fall Autumn is here. I feel like I have clothes that are a lot more suited to this season, and I also feel like I pull them off a little better. Summer is about wearing as little as you can get away with and this can result in looks that are not so flattering for those of us with spare stomach skin and stretch marks from carrying children in our bodies.
So when the time comes to cover yourself up with style, I like the challenge.

I love this jacket, even though it's probably five years old.
I bought it when I worked retail before I left for college and it has become one of my favorite fall Autumn jackets. It's got a nice shape, a good neutral color and it's not overly warm. In fact, I haven't taken any pictures for next week yet because I've been wearing this jacket every day and I figure that I should probably come up with something new for you all to see.

Do you like how I have finally made Jameson take pictures with me for this week? Actually, let's try, 'Do you like how Jameson got tired of Dad standing in the doorway taking pictures of Mom and decided to make a break for it while he saw the opportunity?' Because I think that's a little closer to the truth.

Oh well. At least he's cute.
And he's got a nice sense of style. Which fits in well.


a lovely love story.

>> 9.09.2012

On Dec. 31, 2006, I loaded up six boxes of my most important belongings and got on board a train headed to Chicago.

After spending forty hours clacking our way across the country, my family and I arrived in Union Station at 2:30 in the morning and caught a taxi cab to our hotel. I was about to start classes at Moody Bible Institute and had prepared myself for this new phase in my life by messaging a few people guys on MySpace that were already there, and also reading 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye'.

The first week was a whirlwind of figuring out where classes were, how to get the elevator in my dorm to work, and trying to conquer the fear of being mugged on the corner when I went out in search of a cup of coffee. I met one of the guys I had stalked messaged before I got there, and even took a picture of him sitting in the student dining room to send home to my mom (he was cute and I kind of had a "crush from afar"). Interestingly enough, I think that this was the first glance of my future husband (it's the first photographic evidence I had of him, at least) that I had.

*Spoiler alert: he was not the guy from MySpace. Haha.

One of the best parts of going to Moody was the ability to meet someone from around the world, and to also meet someone from Wisconsin. Everywhere I looked, there was someone different and something new to experience. I remember noticing this one Asian guy with cool hair (this was kind of a novelty at a Bible college with a dress code), and then realizing that he had a British accent which was weird at first but also kind of cool. He seemed to be pretty popular with the girls, since I always saw him in the company of one or two, and so I left it at that. I've never been one to voluntarily compete for attention, and Asians weren't really my thing, anyway.


A time-honored tradition at Moody comes in the form of naming a building or landmark on campus after a former president. Joe Stowell got the coffee cart upstairs, which also happened to be that AsianBrit guy's place of employment. I remember ordering an iced mocha one evening during a study break, and he happened to be the only barista working that night. 
I smiled and placed my order.
He smiled back and said, "So, what's your name? I don't think I've met you yet."

"I'm Cami," I said, thinking it was odd that he had said yet. Did he think he knew everyone? "What's yours?"

"Daveo," he replied, pouring espresso into a cup.

"So, where are you from?" I asked, trying to get to the bottom of the accent confusion.

"England," he said, handing me my coffee.

And that was it. He seemed abrupt and snobbish, reinforcing the mental picture I had of stodgy old Brits looking down their noses at lowly Americans, and I rapidly decided that I would probably never talk to him again.

(to be continued.)


oh, Chicago.

>> 9.07.2012

I miss you so much today that it hurts.


mom-wear-wednesday [7]

>> 9.05.2012

sweater: West One// jeans: Express// boots: Payless

necklace: Past Times// nails: Rimmel 60-second dry in "Grey Matter"

Well folks, we're back.

After an unscheduled absence last week, I decided to try to make up for it by giving you a real, put-together outfit complete with accessories and polished nails.

Also, please note my reverse ombre hair that has occurred because I am too poor to keep up a dye job (and because it takes two boxes of the stuff from the store because I have too much hair). So actually, I am just setting a new trend that none of you all have caught on to yet.

Finally, please be aware that everything but the sweater in this outfit is at least two years old, if not older. And I bought that sweater in the middle of June, when it was on sale, because I knew how flaky summer was (and then I wore it a few weeks later during one of our "cold snaps"). Oh well. Look at me being resourceful.

But bigger than anything else is the news that fall Autumn is officially here.

Which I am really excited about, because it means boots and sweaters and pumpkins and spices and hot tea with good books while the wind blows and the leaves fall.
But I am also sad, because it means the chance for summer is gone and I didn't get so many of those amazing summer things that I love. However, I am trying my best to embrace where and when I am at, so I am now saying, "Bring on the pumpkins."
Except that England is kind of lacking in the pumpkin department, which has led to me ordering pumpkin candles online since I can't find them anywhere else.
(ex-pat problems)

Anyway. I am loving big flow-y sweaters this year, because they are so comfortable and super flattering.   Not to mention that I can also wear them with leggings if the mood strikes, or a cute skirt and tights (if I actually owned those things).
I've kind of jumped on the gre(a)y bandwagon, too, even though that's been around since last year. I just like the different look and it pairs well with other colors--it looked great with the turquoise nail polish I had for summer, but will also look good with the deep purple I bought for fallAutumn/winter.
And I love long necklaces because when I wear them I don't have to worry about other accessories. It's a one-stop-shop thing, and as a mother, I appreciate the ease of not having to think.

Okay, friends. That's it for this week.
I promise to be back here next week (I've already taken the pictures, so I'll actually keep that promise this time) and I've even got a surprise guest.
Aren't you just dying to know who it is?



>> 9.03.2012

So, I am going to let you all in on a little secret of mine.
And by secret, I mean the best breakfast ever.
I eat this everyday.
It helps that it's gluten-free and easy to make, but besides all of that, it is delicious. And it tastes like fall Autumn. You can not ask for anything better, trust me.

coffee is also required.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal 
adapted from "Deceptively Delicious"

(1 serving)

1/2 c. milk
1/8 c. pumpkin puree (sweet potato is delicious too)
1/8 t. vanilla (more if you want)
1 1/2 T. brown sugar
1/4 t. pumpkin pie spice (or any mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves)
1/2 c. oats
1-2 T. peanut butter
(All measurements are approximate. Play with it and find out what you like)

Put milk and pumpkin into small saucepan and heat over med-low heat. 
Add in vanilla, sugar, and spices, and heat until the milk is shimmering but not quite bubbling. 
Pour in oats and stir continuously until nice and creamy. 
Spoon into bowl and mix in peanut butter.

Eat and let your tastebuds marvel at the flavors in your mouth. 

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