For the Love

I haven’t been here in awhile.

Good Friday seemed like a fine time to show up.

I started the year all ready to be more intentional about goals and plans and resolutions and I was going to be the girl who really used the planner.  No kidding.  I bought one and really tried to go step by step only somehow I got a little bit lost.

Life is so messy, you know?

Then, a really cool thing happened.  I realized that the two things that felt really important to me in addition to all the amazing blessings I am surrounded with was to find my tribe of people and to grow my creative business while maintaining my education career.

I fell into the most beautiful gathering of women pursuing happiness like I do.  Then I tiptoed into a bible study group that felt so strange to me.  I figured I wouldn’t really fit.  Guess what?  They are really nice and it’s ok that I’m really liberal and have never done this thing before and get freaked out about groups of women a bit.  It’s all ok.  Sometimes I go and sometimes I don’t and that’s ok too.  Cool, right?  I KNOW!!!

Also, I get to sit and visit with my new neighbor and she is the greatest gift.  My boyfriend’s people are lovely and I look forward to getting to know them too.  It’s all so amazing.

There is this other thing…it’s so huge you guys.  I really enjoy Jen Hatmaker.  I first heard her when she was on the Today show about the end of the school year thing?  I’ve followed her ever since.  She just speaks my language.  She made me feel comfortable when I went to Women of Faith for the first time and let me tell you what…all those hands in the air and Jesus in giant flashing letters is a whole big thing for this girl.  I made her a cuff and gave her a hug and it was cool.  Then, I read that she was looking for a launch team for her new book.  I thought that sounded cool.  I applied and so did 5000 other amazing people.  Guess what???  I was one of 500 to do this  thing!!!  (She wanted all 5000 but the publishers said no way Jose).  THEN, in the FB group for the launch team I find out she loves that cuff and wears it quite a lot!  How bout them apples?  That felt so nice!!!  THEN these lovely women liked my cuffs too.  I posted my Etsy store and decided half the profit should go to a charity of Jen’s choice because this whole thing is about something bigger than my little creative business.  I have realized that I really love shipping people packages.  I also love when they post a picture of my cuff on their lovely wrist.  The greatest thing???  I have donated two new pairs of shoes and $330 to Help One Now all because they bought these cuffs.  I’ve never donated that much to a charity ever.  It’s the greatest feeling in the world and it’s all because of the chain reaction I just skipped on through with you.

I feel like I’m skipping on the clouds.

All my love,


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It’s all about the story…

Holidays can be so tricky…schedules, budgets, expectations, travel, blah blah blah. I am ever seeking the best way to make it matter. I also try to be reasonable and have a general “less is more” approach.

I find myself easily teary lately. It is only a tiny bit melancholy remembering a beautiful baby girl we met 8 years ago – gone too soon. Mostly it is that I am absolutely saturated with a grateful heart and so many blessings it doesn’t even make sense.

I’m surprised I got through the movie Annie with my girl without lots and lots of tears. Rather than tears I was noticing the bigger take aways for this time of year and in our life specifically. What struck me again was how she saved him. I’m always so taken in the exposure of the human condition. What happens when we take time to share our story?

It’s been a pretty great year. More than once I’ve had someone say to me in one way or another, “I’d love to hear your story.” I think there is maybe nothing greater you could say to someone. I met the most amazing fella. Watching my children share their stories with him is pretty cool – in their time…their way. Listening as we have dinner with my parents…hearing stories I’ve never heard before – watching people I love let one another in on the fabric of our lives…listening with care. It is really what it’s all about…why we’re here.

The world is a bit of a mess. I think good work is messy. We are changing the narrative and learning to see one another in new ways I think. It will get better. It has to get better. I think what looks like apathy or disregard might sometimes be just having no idea what to do. While watching Annie, I was thinking…foster parents are amazing, adoption is amazing, do it if you are called to – but look at all these people who were her village – look at the way she was there for her friends. Paying attention to what is right in front of you and looking to go a bit out of your comfort zone will usually do the trick. It is the doing small things with great love – no kidding.

That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to be as healthy as I know how to be to stick around for my people for as long as I can, and I’m going to lean in to love and dream big and see what messes I can make.

These are a few of my favorite words right now:

Do less. be more.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

There is only love.

I’d love to hear your story…I really would.

Merry Christmas
I wish you the very best tidings in all that you believe and hold dear.


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I sort of love breaking rules

I create rules…because I love a good plan…and then I break the rules when they no longer serve me well.

Today was a lovely day. There were many great moments. Yet, it wasn’t exploding with grateful photos. I am a bit behind on the photographic evidence of all that I am grateful for. I am stuck between reveling in the moment and documenting moments. What I enjoy that seems to be happening is I am grateful for a different kind of noticing that is happening. I am noticing when a picture isn’t enough. I LOVE it when I hear a song that I really like from someone I’ve never heard before. That happened recently with George Ezra and Budapest. No picture will match that moment. Eryka Badu singing harmony with her children? Are you kidding me? How can a picture capture the glory in that??? Wow! Choosing a baby gift and reveling in all the joy that is on the way…I love that too. Kissing my boys as they tell me about their day and inhale a snack I just fixed…LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Making lunch dates instead of thinking about it…driving to hug a friend while they are in town just because I can.

Googling how to program my thermostat and then programming it!!! Closet organization (sort of)…flannel sheets!!

Beautiful ordinary connections.

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Thank you for your service

I think all too often it is easy to forget why we have our choices.

I can say I am not comfortable with violence and choose to solve problems in other ways.

I can care for my children and my home, go to work, spend time with loved ones, go for a walk, all feeling safe (mostly).

I can disagree with my government, go and vote, and even question the intentions of those protecting me and still be fairly certain to be free from harm.

I look forward to a day when all share the freedom of this Norwegian/Irish/English/Cherokee American.

I realize that my peaceful existence is because of you who serve (have served) our country and keep my freedom to choose by whatever means necessary.

May you feel our thanks in a secure retirement, a comfortable place to live, healthcare, and honor for your service surrounded by those who love you best.

Bless you.

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The great thing about today.

It’s warm!!

I had lunch with a beautiful soul I have known since kindergarten.

I started the day in a classroom…I love that.

I am on my way to workout…I love that too (but if today is not your workout day, high five and be good to you – whatever makes you happy – do that).

How did Kid President say that? My heart is beating and I’ve got air in my nose, so it’s a great day! Something like that…I am grateful for the air in my nose.

Soon I will be grateful for flannel sheets, warm socks, and snuggling by the fire.

Be well.

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I gave you grace and I can snatch it right back…wait…

It was one of those days…

You know the kind? Mostly it is good. Many lovely things happened. Why can’t I focus on that?

Nope. Instead I play in my head over and over again these two parenting moments that will probably be funny someday. I was really great about giving grace the day before when one sweet child made a really silly decision. We talked it through. I made my point. They understood. Today? They are going to not accept an answer given while riding on the coattails of grace extended? I might have told them that should they continue to to speak I would snatch all that grace right back and they could be grounded for forever. That might have come out of my mouth…or something like that.

Then there were more good parts…plenty of them…like I was gone and came home to them raking the yard all together…and they had taken their laundry downstairs too! But then an attitude happened. And someone wasn’t hearing me. I think I am pretty flexible and fair. I do insist that we will be respectful and kind. We will use our strategies and not weather our storms all over one another. I’m gonna love em right on through this one too. All will be well.

I’m going to try to not undo any awesome parenting moments today.

I think that’s a solid goal.

For the love.

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I miss you!

I missed a few days. I didn’t want to write this one. The most beautiful soul died so very suddenly. She was only 42. She taught right next door to me my first year in KC. She shook her head at me a lot, but was patient while I figured a few things out. She was so dedicated to her students, her family, her faith, her friends, & celebrating life in general. My heart breaks when I think of the hole left in this world. This morning…thinking of her family and classroom and colleagues?? I was just sick to my stomach. We would check in on Facebook. We kept meaning to have lunch. Every time I saw her it was as if no time had passed…great talks and even better hugs. The last conversation we had was in August. Her last words to me, “I luv you sis.” I love you too.

I’m going to celebrate a little more, just like she did. I’m going to play a bit more too…she was great about that. I am going to make time to see all the amazing people in my world before I am sad that they are gone and I didn’t realize so many days had passed.

If you have a minute, please say a prayer for her circle in this world…they are hurting something awful today.


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Our hoop dreams!

They aren’t much 🙂

My baby girl is playing basketball for the first time. She doesn’t love being in front of a crowd, and she is doing something totally foreign to her in front of a crowd. I think that is so brave and cool and amazing.

I want her to learn and grow and feel like she knows what she’s doing out there. I want her to enjoy being a part of a team…working hard together and encouraging one another.

I didn’t expect to want her to win the elbowing war to get under the basket first, but that seems to be a part of this deal and she is figuring that out too! From one game to the next there is so much improvement. The coaches are working with 20 girls who have never played before…bless their hearts.

They have mamas (like me) being helpful who haven’t played much either, although I think my advice was sound. After the last game, I told her, “now, maybe your coach said always stay with your girl…so if he did…do that, but it strikes me that while you are figuring out defense and shooting and position and plays and whatnot, you still can get down that court and get in someone’s way faster than anyone I’ve seen yet – you can use your speed while you are learning the rest.” You guys!!! She did it!!! She DID get in there faster than the rest! Yay for my baby with serious wheels!!!!

Her speed and physical savvy didn’t fill my eyes with tears last night. It was a teammate of hers…this little girl got right in there and got herself a jump ball. I saw like 5 people in her family stand up and cheer like she won the game (we were down by quite a bit). She BEAMED!!! It just filled my heart right up.

Just show up and cheer…maybe toss in a fast break every once in awhile.

Be brave. Try something you don’t know how to do…even if everyone is watching.

So cool.


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I see you.

If I chose, I could focus on my list of to do’s, the dust, blah blah blah.

I could worry myself sick (no kidding – this is possible) with all that is out of my hands…with all that I just don’t understand.

But I feel so lucky (or maybe just a bit off – but lucky in that all the same) that on days like today, no matter where I stand or what is coming at me, I still feel the warmth of the sun. I recognize the blessing in the midst of hard conversations. If you show up for people and look and listen earnestly, they give of themselves…set a burden down, or share with you about their family. This happened again and again today and I just kept saying thank you. Thank you for the day I woke up and slowed down and got better at looking and listening and really hearing and seeing and connecting and caring. When I place my energy there…somehow it seems to reach those spots that worry me that feel so out of reach.

Thank you if you were a part of my day.

I hope to see you soon if you were not.

All will be well.

One way or another.

❤ DZ

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I voted. Now what?

I can’t find the words to accurately capture my confusion at the indications reflected in poll results. It doesn’t make sense to me. What I do know, is that it mattered that I voted. It mattered that I tried to be more informed in my decisions than last time. It mattered that I had conversations with people I value about my concerns and my understandings and was interested in their perspective.

There were a few things I didn’t do that I might try to do moving forward. I didn’t seek out those who feel differently and try to have a conversation in which we both leave better understanding a different perspective. I didn’t share specific steps with anyone I knew who had never voted before about how to register, where to go, how to decide. It is open to everyone, but it can still be an exclusive and confusing club that might feel rather intimidating to walk in. The confusion and discomfort is a bonus for those happy to make your decisions for you. The people who are paid long after they leave office and paid regardless of how effectively they do their job would love for the confused and distracted masses to stay as they are.

It will not happen. I have faith in that. It might get worse, but change is certain.

What I know to do is lean into my gifts and spend them well and try to be better about connecting and communicating about things that matter.

The sun is shining.

There is beauty in this day.

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