Jan 9, 2018


His rich, buttery voice that once brought Americans the latest happenings in Vietnam was soft, with varying gaps of time as his mind pulled just the right words off the shelf. The speed of the conversation was quite different than the ones we had during my four years of undergrad at Ball State.

"Thank you isn't even enough. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. This is better than winning an Emmy."

This man is a legend. Ted Koppel is one of his dearest friends. But to me and my (now) husband and hundreds of other amazingly-fortunate kids he was, and forever will be, Mr. Bell.

After receiving the 2017 Indiana Broadcasters Association Lifetime Achievement Award, word spread. So, a few dozen former students took to their notepads and keypads and iPads, and let this Champion know how far-reaching that achievement really went. Together, we compiled a simple book of heartfelt gratitude for a man who so generously poured in to each of our lives.

"I really don't have the words to express how important this is to me, but can I get a copy for each of my Grandkids?"

Everyone has Champions in their lives. Who are yours?

Are they older? Younger? Relatives? Co-workers? People you see daily or interacted with only once? Who are the people that placed a seed, or watered it, or pruned the vine from which you were growing? Do they know they played that part? Have you told them?

Words are so powerful. I challenge you to tell one of your Champions just how they've blessed your life. Let them know how the interaction you had with them changed the trajectory of... your family, your career, your lifetime habits. No one ever tires of hearing these things. There's nothing more powerful than to see where you've made an indent on this world. Be sure your Champions know who they are.

Not ironically, I recently found this sweet letter in our 6-year-old's backpack, addressed to the Dad who coached his fall baseball team.

"Dear Coach Clark, 
I think that you were a great baseball coach for Tomahawks baseball, and I that that you will be a great baseball coach this year.
Love, Jack Grove"

I challenge you: Tell one of your Champions what they mean to you today.

Jan 6, 2018


I haven't blogged on this page in approximately 5 years. That was 1.5 kids ago... 3 houses ago... pre 061715 ...pretty much a lifetime ago.

Crafting words together to make pretty, thought-provoking sentences, which are grammatically and factually correct, is therapeutic. I love reading a book or article or blog post that takes me some place. I'm amazed at the ways authors can weave words together to make a word picture so spot-on. 

Over the course of the last year I trained for and ran two half marathons. During those lonely treadmill training runs (ie. death) I realized how much is bottled up and jarbled up in my brain. From goals, to real estate, to parenting, to Jesus-following... there's a a variety of things going on up there. 

So, from time to time I'm going to drop a line or two on this trusty old blog, to which by some miracle I happened to recall the password. You can read the "old" stuff  down below if you'd like. It's a former me, but it's still me. I'm thankful to be refreshed of those memories from sacred days long gone. 

And now I give you, post "681".

I love a good goal, a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) goal, "Wheel of Life" goals. So, as every Type-A does in mid-December, I laid mine out... some physical, some educational, some work and family related. In total, 8 goals... 3 habitual, 5 achievable.

One of my physical goals is to (again) run 2 half marathons in one calendar year. But, to spice it up and make it a new goal, my running partner and I decided our goal is to run 13.1 miles every week in training.

Week one: Done.
651.86 to go.

But, this morning on the treadmill, something hit me (and it wasn't the duct work 4 inches from my forehead.) As I was sorting through multiple offers on a property I listed yesterday (this pertains to my number-of-homes-I'm-aiming-to-sell-this-year goal) while stuffing reheated leftovers down my throat before enjoying a movie with my people, I realized that it's really not the goals themselves that are so worth achieving.

The goal, in my mind, is not short-cutting other areas of life while going for the goals. 

If I'm eating while working on my laptop at the dinner table, and ignoring the people I share a roof with, what's the point?
If I'm too gung-ho on getting my practice minutes on the piano to help an elderly neighbor shovel the driveway, what am I striving for?
If my financial goals keep me from sharing resources with those less fortunate, why has it been entrusted to me to begin with?

So, week one of 2018 comes with a swift kick in the rear.
Don't let the SMART goals become dumb rules.

Oct 3, 2013

Are you ready?

When you waddle around in life 37.5 weeks pregnant, you BEG to be asked that one loaded question, "Are you ready?" It is asked of me multiple times a day, every.single.day. I know that people are being cordial and conversational, but I've run out of interesting responses.

Top three:
"...I think so..."
"...we'll find out..."
"...not really."

But today in the shower, I really started thinking about it. I mean, if all goes as planned, this is Grand Finale Grove. I will never (Lord-willing) never carry life within me again. (My cup overfloweth!) So, I'm rethinking my various answers to that oh-so-loaded question:

Are you ready...

...to no longer carry an additionally 40lbs around? HECK YES! Just ask my feet.

...to never again feel that indescribable feeling of life moving within me? No. It's quite possibly the coolest experience ever.

...to see The Boy and The Girl walk into the hospital room to meet their new sibling? No, not at all. They'll immediately both look 75% bigger, and 3 years older, and I just can't handle that.

... to have more than 6 wardrobe items that I fit in to? Yes, yes, yes. I simply cannot find one more way to accessorize and make them look different. I'm so bored with my options, and too cheap to do anything about it.

... to not fit into anything properly for the next 6 months? No, ugh. Talk about depressing. Maternity clothes are too big. Normal clothes are abnormally small. Bring on the yoga pants... and the treadmill.

...to no longer have an excuse for eating crap-ola beyond any reasonable hour? No, I'm going to miss the special time spent in the evenings with The Hubby, Ken Burns, and some Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Seriously, there's no reasonable excuse for eating that stuff at any other time in my life.

...to not get up and potty fives times a night? Oh yes, I cannot wait to sleep through the night again... oh wait...

...to get up fives times a night to nurse a baby/change a diaper/make sure my child hasn't died of SIDS? No. No. No, not at all.

... to find out if it's a boy or a girl? I'm pumped, but not nearly as pumped as I thought I'd be. I really have no preference one way or the other. I just want to have a healthy baby and simple delivery. I think the not knowing will just be a huge motivating factor when it comes time to push.

... to juggle life with three kids? Not at all ready. I'm OCD. I plan. I like a clean house. None of these things goes along with a newborn, a 2.5 year old and a 5 year old. Praying for lots of Grace!

... to sleep on my stomach again? YES. Oh I cannot WAIT to sleep on my stomach again. I'm pretty sure The Hubby can't wait either... I've been accused of snoring for the first time in 8 years of wedded bliss. How dare he!

...to hold the third piece of worldy evidence of how much The Hubby and I love each other? YES! I cannot wait! Who will he/she look like? Will they have lots of hair? What will their personality be like?

So, Am I ready?

I say, bring it on! This is life. We'll roll with it. We'll figure it out. We'll fail. We'll succeed. We'll survive. We'll thrive. We'll be Carried Along. We'll be exhausted. We'll sleep when we're dead.

12 days.

Apr 19, 2013

Pit Stop

Being that it's almost May in Indiana, it was quite necessary to name this post what I did ;) Other considerations were:
"Here We Go Again..."
"Yes, It's True" and
"Thank God Address Books Are Electronic."

About 18 months ago, when contemplating our move from Granger to West Lafayette, I made a very, very terrible mistake. The Hubby and I were on a walk and I uttered the following statement: "I think about the worst thing ever would be to move to West Lafayette, be there for a year or so, and then move to Indy."

Why, Stacy, whhhhyyyy???

It was 364 days ago that we accepted an offer on our house in Granger. Less than one year ago we agreed to give up the homepeople and life we loved. The summer was looney as we lived in a gazillion different places, finally finding a lovely little West Lafayette town home in late November to call our own.

Today, less than five months later, we sold our lovely little town home. In the six days it was on the market, we had six showings, and ended up with two offers. Yay. For. Us.

So, now, we're off to... Indy! Just as we were making friends... plugging in... and starting over, God has called us on to someplace different.

It's not devastating in terms of "oh-we'll-never-see-any-of-these-people-again." I mean, really, much of my family lives in West Lafayette and we'll only be an hour down the road. However, it is devastating in terms of "time-to-find-a-new-house/school/church/smallgroup/groupoffriends-and-hanging-with-family-will-be-way-less-convenient."

The biggest awesome factor is that no longer will The Hubby spend 70 minutes driving to AND from work five days a week. I am so looking forward to a shorter workday for him (ie. more time with us!)

God will give us the house. He will give us the church. He will give us the school. He will give us the friends. In the last 364 days I've learned to accept that those things will not be perfect replicas of what we had in Granger. That was then. But, I've also learned that He will use our family for the purpose of His Kingdom, and for His Glory, if we (read: I) just take a chill pill.

Best part of all: We don't have to pack and move ourselves. (Good thing, our small group isn't big enough for a fiasco like that...)

So, The Great Adventure continues. Who knew this was just a pit stop? Onward.

Mar 22, 2013

58: The Film

All I wanted was a simple cake idea. Our Little Buddy is turning two, and I want to incorporate a firetruck into his homemade cake. Where to get quick ideas? Pinterest. Oh. My. Word. Don't get me wrong, I love Pinterest, but my perspective has changed a bit.

It happened on Tuesday.

I love a good documentary. Something well thought. Something low budget. Something with heart and a purpose.

Tuesday night our small group got together and watched "58: The Film" and my world was rocked. (Bonus: It's on Netflix.) We popped popcorn, made cupcakes and poured our delicious drinks-- and within the first 10 minutes no one had an appetite.

"58: The Film" is about a movement to end extreme poverty around the globe, through authentic Christian living, based on Isaiah 58.

In this 72 minute film you see families who live in rock quarries... working to pay a debt that's impossible to repay. You see families of eight who live in shanties... the size of my walk-in closet. You see little girls sold into sex trafficking... so their families can afford to eat.

What I can't understand is that while some kids are left to work in a quarry for the rest of their lives because of their parents desire to put food on the table, we are busy throwing birthday parties for 8-year-olds that cost as much as a mortgage payment! (C'mon, they invited 38 kids!!!)

We (Christians) are so wrapped up in who should be allowed to get married, what gender should be preaching from the pulpit and who has the right to carry weapons, that we've forgotten our mission on this earth. We're distracted.

Point for Satan.

Suddenly, my closet is annoying. My pantry is annoying. The fact that my kids DON'T share a room is annoying. I'm disgusted at my own oblivion.

Point for Jesus.

A few weeks ago I heard an evangelist talk about Western Christians being "spiritually obese." We go to church and feast... we go to Bible Study and feast... we hang out with our Christian friends and feast... but at what point are we going out and exercising our beliefs. How and when are we being the hands and feet of Jesus?

I'm guilty, friends. I'm so, so pathetically guilty. But I'm admitting it, which is the first step towards change.

Ending extreme poverty is not impossible. Changing lives from our small-town Indiana homes is not impossible.

And a simple 9x13 boxed cake mix will be more than enough to celebrate 2 years of God-given JOY.

Feb 11, 2013

Think. Pray. Talk.

Editors Note: I volunteered to write this for our MOPS newsletter, so this is geared towards the Mama's out there.
Dictionary.com defines "intimacy" as a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.

According to Wikipedia (the source of all things brilliant, no?), there are four different forms of intimacy: physical, emotional, cognative, and experimental.

Physical intimacy is sensual touching. This is where sparks fly. It's when you get inside someones personal space... holding hands, hugging, kissing, and perhaps sexual activity.

Emotional intimacy is when you know your soul is tied to someone or something. I'd argue to say that many of us Mama's have some sort of emotional intimacy with a gal-pal, or group of girlfriends-- perhaps a group of women that are in the same age/stage of life as you. (MOPS!)

Cognative or intellectual intimacy takes place when two people exchange thoughts, share ideas and enjoy similarities and differences between their opinions. Perhaps we commonly see this amongst our family, both immediate and extended.

Experiential intimacy is when two people get together to actively involve themselves with each other, probably saying very little to each other, but being involved in mutual activities with one another. This one might be commonly found in the workplace.

When it comes to [Physical] Intimacy in Marriage, I am no expert. (Yes, you just heard my hubby shout "Amen!" from the other side of the room.) I've LOVE the emotional stuff. What can I say, I'm a w-o-m-a-n. And, thankfully, my marriage was built upon an intellectual intimacy between The Hubby and myself. We met in college, working towards the same B.A., and built a killer friendship. Sadly, I must confess that our child-rearing often looks like experiential intimacy-- working towards raising intelligent, God-fearing, kids-- without often coming together on the how-to's and why's.

Physical intimacy in marriage, I'd argue, is as a result of the other three. What do you mean, Stacy? Well, let me ask you a few questions:

Emotional intimacy evaluation- What or who is your soul tied to? Your kids? Your girlfriends? Your job? How much time to you spend tying your soul to the man that God hand-picked for you? Do you pray together? Do you memorize Scripture together? Do you still go on dates (without your kids!)? What do you do to pursue one another (yes ladies, we can pursue our men!) outside of the bedroom?

Cognative intimacy evaluation- What does your husband care about? I mean, what really gets him chatting? Sports? Politics? Business ideas? When the kids are gone, what will you talk to him about? What gets you chatting? Have you shared this with him?

Experiential intimacy- What do you agree and disagree on about raising children? Have you had a discussion about this ... outside of the time-out you've just given your child while you figure out your game plan? What do you look forward to if/when you get to retire together? When the house is quiet and the last birdie leaves the nest, what will you go and do together?

If these things are discussed and addressed regularly, I believe physically intimacy with our spouses would become less of a chore and more of a celebration! (Which, by the way, is what God intended for it to be! See Song of Solomon.) Have you ever told your Hubby what turns you on OUTSIDE of the bedroom? Maybe it's folding a load of laundry, unloading the dishwasher without being asked, or something as sacred as leading your family in evening devotions. Does he know this, or have you only been able to spill to your girlfriends what he DOESN'T know.

When it comes to Intimacy in Marriage, I'd boil it down to this: What is the ministry of your marriage? What fruit of God is seen in your marriage, because of His uniting you and your spouse?

Think about it.
Pray about it.
Talk about it.

Feb 4, 2013


I love birthdays! I love cake... presents... surprises... endless FB love... singing... decor... gathering of friends and family... you know, all the things a good b-day entails!

This morning I started a new b-day ritual. I ran 3.1 miles. (Get it? 3.1 because I'm 31...) It was awesome. I'm still out of shape, but I did it. 400 calories- POOF- gone! (I'm thinking this ritual will be more impressive when I'm 65 and running 6.5 miles, no?)

About 20 minutes into this endeavor, two 70-somethings came in (wearing their jeans?) and hopped on the treadmills on either side of me. And, as I redirected my selfish thoughts ("I'm so much faster than them! Look at me go!"), it occurred to me that they're more than twice my age... and still working out. Instantly, I loved these ladies.

And, since I still had another 20 minutes of pain running, my mind began to wonder...

10 years ago I celebrated my 21st Birthday. On the one hand, that seems like an eternity ago, and on the other it seems like just yesterday. Either way, I cringe when I think about it. Some of my still very precious friends and I headed to a few of the local establishments (lots of options, thanks to Purdue), and we. got. loaded. There was a book for signatures after drinks... which were being served by the pitcher-full. There was a piano bar. There was dancing. There was fun and laughter. But, oh my word, there was more alcohol than I care to reflect upon. (This is not a judgement upon those who love this lifestyle. I'm just saying, it's not a good fit for me.)

This morning, my almost two-year-old, and my 4.5-year-old sang "Happy Birthday" to me with their Dad. (I might have asked them to stop, grabbed my video recorder, and had them start again.) It was precious. (By the way, who added the "cha-cha-cha" stuff? My kids think it's a riot.) We were all in our jammies, possibly on day 2 without a shower, eating oatmeal and laughing at D someone who toots a lot. Cherish.

My hubby, after a loooooooong night of work, was thoughtful enough to stop and get flowers, a balloon and a card, which I saw on the kitchen table when I woke up this morning. It could have been a bag of M&M's or even a bowl of pre-poured cereal-- the fact is, he remembered and inconvenienced himself to show me even more love than he usually does. (A year ago, he did this for me on my b-day.)

In 10 more years, I will be 41. HOLY SMOKES! God-willing, I will have a 14-year-old, 12-year-old and who knows how many (if any) other kids! My parents will be in their '70s!!! THEY will be the old people on the treadmills!

Woah. Now there's a new perspective.