Category Archives: f. Friends and Family Friday

Friends and Family Friday: Putting on your pajamas

True Confession:  I’m 39 years old and I still love slumber parties with my girl friends.  From 4th grade all through high school, pretty much every weekend was either spent sleeping at a friend’s house or having a friend sleep at mine.  Then of course college is basically a 4 year slumber party.  After college, I lived with 3 girls for half a year and the slumber party continued.

Then I got married and my friendships changed.  Instead of sitting up late nights with my girl friends eating cookie dough ice cream and talking long into the night about everything, I had a husband.   And truly it was fantastic – I still connected with my friends but I always came home to Jeff.  Jeff became the one I talked to late into the night.  (This is a good thing, and I’m thankful for my relationship with Jeff.) Eventually though, probably after I had children, I started feeling like all my friendships with women were superficial and surface level.  Something was missing from them and I wasn’t sure what it was.

But then when my youngest was a year old, a friend from my high school years and I left the families behind and went on a road trip to Vermont for another friend’s wedding.  We rode 7 hours together each way and spent 2 nights together in a hotel room.  And I started feeling like I was connecting again.  There’s something special that happens when girls (no matter your age) wash off the make-up, put on pajamas and sit up and talk.    I don’t know how to describe it, but if you’ve experienced it you know what I mean.

Since then, I’ve gone on 3 church retreats, 1 hotel stay at Women of Faith, 2 hotel stays for the MOPS Int. Convention, and 4 leadership retreats for my MOPS group.  All of those involved my girl friends and pajamas and definitely some of my best memories.  My sister gets this too – at Christmastime, she sent her husband and baby home (5 minutes away) and spent the night at my Dad’s while my family was there so we could hang out late into the night!  Those friendships have grown and I’ve let my guard down.  I know it’s probably hard to believe considering how open I am writing here, but I really have a difficult time letting people hold a spot in my heart, but my pajama friends do.

So if you are ever presented the opportunity to go away with girl friends – do it!  If not, create your own opportunity.  Dance, play games, watch movies, laugh, sing, talk, eat, cry… whatever you do, I promise it’s more fun when you do it in your pajamas!


P.S. This picture is the only picture I could find with pajamas… because even though friendships deepen when the makeup comes off and the pajamas go on… friends know that the camera should also be put away!

P.S.S.  I don’t know if I should say thanks Tammy for your MOPS newsletter article which inspired me to write this post, or sorry Tammy for slightly copying your article!  Regardless, I’ve loved our pajama parties!

Friends and Family Friday: Smiles from the mail

Yesterday I opened my mailbox and as usual it was full of circulars and junk mail and the dreaded bills… but there was also something in it that totally made my day…

A card!  And no, it wasn’t a Christmas card, a birthday card, a party invitation, or even a thank you card for a gift.  It was simply a card.  Not a text, not an email, not a post on my Facebook wall – but a handwritten card with a stamp and everything!

Why is that such a big deal to me?  Because it shows she took the time for me.  She pulled out one of her beautiful monogrammed note cards.  She grabbed a pen (that actually writes – that’s difficult in my house!) and hand wrote out her kind thoughts.  But she didn’t stop there, she had to look up my address (because I’m assuming she doesn’t have it memorized), wrote it on the envelope, put a stamp on the envelope, and actually mailed it.  All of those things take time – time that as a mother of 3, I know is precious to her, and it’s why most of my notes are through texts and emails and Facebook!  Now don’t get me wrong, I love receiving notes through texts, emails, and Facebook too – but this to me is above and beyond.  So thank you dear friend, for thinking of me and for taking the time to show me you care about me.  Totally made my day!  I’m smiling now just thinking of it!


P.S. What has a friend done for you lately that shows you she cares?  What have you done for a friend?

Friends & Family Friday: Photo bottle cap necklaces

I’m not a very creative, crafty person, but I can usually duplicate other people’s ideas.  And even then, it takes a lot to get me motivated to plan, shop for, and actually complete a project.  But, recently, I actually came up with my own idea of what I wanted to make for the leadership team of my MOPS group.  I needed a gift for 21 women and I wanted something inexpensive but special.  So I swagbuck searched, remember I only search on so I can earn amazon gift cards, see below for a link to start earning while you do internet searching, anyway, I searched my idea to come up with how to create it.  I didn’t find exactly what I wanted, but found some things close and figured out how to do it.  Then I actually did it, and used it to give away as gifts for Christmas.  I loved them so much, that I ended up making about 30 of them for presents and they ended up costing less than $1 a piece.  Everyone that I gave it to seemed to really like it and since it was really easy, I thought I’d share what I did  … well, I suppose they could have been lying…

Photo Bottle Cap Necklaces









  1. Photo
  2. Self-laminating sheets
  3. 1 inch circle punch, or scissors
  4. 1 inch Flattened Bottle Caps (I got a bag of 50 Chrome ones off of Amazon for $6.25 plus shipping, click here for link)
  5. Glue Stick
  6. 3D Crystal Lacquer (I got a bottle off of Amazon for $8.85 but I only used about 1/3 of the bottle, click here for link)
  7. Hammer and nail, plus something to hammer on
  8. Jewelry Findings, I used 7mm jump rings
  9. Needle nose pliers to work with the findings
  10. Some type of cord or chain for the necklace, I used suede cord I found at AC Moore.
I know it sounds like a lot of materials… but it really is inexpensive if you make a lot of necklaces.  If you are only making 1 or 2, it will be pretty pricey.  I’ll do my best to explain what I did.  It may sound complicated, but it is super easy… I did it in steps, but when I was making 21 of them, each step took me about 1/2 hour to do.
  1. Crop your photos into a square.  You need a square slightly larger than 1 inch.  I think I cropped it to 1.1 inch on each side.  I tried printing them from my printer and they would run when I covered it with the Lacquer, even when I laminated it first.  So I opened Word, inserted multiple pictures onto a document, all cropped to 1.1 sq.inch and had it printed at Staples.  I put the photos in black and white, but printed it in color so the fullness of the black and white would be there.
  2. Laminate your photo – either have staples do it or use laminating sheets.  (This step might not be necessary, but with all the trouble I had with the ones I printed from my printer I didn’t bother trying without laminating.)
  3. Using the 1 inch circle cutter, cut out the photos.  Use scissors if you don’t have the punch, but the punch makes it super easy.
  4. Glue the photos onto the cap.  Let dry.
  5. Cover the photo with the 3D Lacquer.  It will look cloudy and you will almost not be able to see the photo.  Don’t worry, it will dry clear.  Let dry 1 day.
  6. Apply a second coat of 3D Lacquer and let dry 1 day.  (Almost forgot, since you’ll want to use your Lacquer again, it’s a really good idea to clean out the lid so that it doesn’t get all dried up in there… I do this with regular glue too!)
  7. Using a hammer and nail, punch a hole into top of bottle cap.
  8. Using needle nose pliers, put jewelry finding through the hole and close findings.  I needed to use 2 pairs, one to hold and one to open/close the finding.  *Make sure the finding is all the way closed, I didn’t on my sister’s necklace and the bottle cap fell off while she was wearing it.  Thankfully it fell into her shirt and I could fix it easily.
  9. Use some type of cord or chain for the necklace.  I just tied the cord, I’m sure there’s a fancier way to do it… but I’m only so good!
  10. That’s it!  You did it.  Go amaze your friends and family!

So that’s my crafty project… I know it sounds difficult, but believe me it’s not.  I’ve never worked with findings and jewelry stuff before.  If you want, you can skip putting the hole in it and don’t turn it into a necklace.  You can put a magnet on the back.  I glued some onto large wooden clips to hold papers or photos.  What I love, is that this was a project that allowed me, not a super crafty person, make something special for my friends and family inexpensively.  Enjoy!  If you do make some, I’d love to see pics of how they turn out!

♥Becki, imperfect crafty friend

Friends and Family Friday: Christmas cards

It’s not as much fun getting the mail now that my mailbox is no longer full of Christmas cards.

I hear lots of people saying how they aren’t bothering sending cards anymore… but I’ll admit, I love receiving them.  I love looking at the family pictures and wondering about when they were taken.  I love reading the Christmas letters – even if they are full of bragging about how “perfect” their family is.  🙂  I love the artwork of the traditional cards.  (Especially the glittery ones.)  And of course the handmade ones impress me.  But when you pack away Christmas, what do you do with all the cards?

I’ll be honest, last year I just threw them away – my refrigerator was already way too cluttered…  But this year, knowing the time and money people put into picking out their cards, signing their cards, addressing their cards, and mailing their cards, I just couldn’t do that again.  Also since I’m trying to be more intentional about relationships I knew I needed to use them in some way.

So here’s what I came up with.  I told the boys that every night at dinner we were going to take one card and talk about that person or family (who they are, how we know them, etc.) and then whoever prays for dinner will also pray for that family.  So last night my oldest prayed for my friend, Karen, and her family that “They would all be safe.”  So sweet… I’m hoping that I’ll follow through on this and we make it through all the cards.  (Traditionally my follow-through is not as good as my intentions.)

Even with that idea though, I had the dilemma of what to do with the cards while we are praying for everyone.  So I came up with this idea:  I had an empty 8×8 scrapbook sitting around.  (I asked for it for my birthday 2 years ago because I was using Smilebox and I had plans of printing out 8×8 scrapbook pages for it… but, well, it’s still empty.)

So I filled it with the cards.  Each dinner, we’ll pull out the scrapbook and pray for the person or family on the next card.  But even if we weren’t doing that, I actually enjoy flipping through it now and really appreciate the cards a lot more.

Of course the question is whether I will do this every year, because after a while what do you do with numerous books filled with Christmas cards?  But I guess that decision is for another day…


What do you do with your Christmas cards?


Friends & Family Friday: Our words

“A friend loves at all times.”  When I was in high school one of my friends gave me a little sign that said this.  I remember I centered it in a collage surrounded by our particular group of friends and brought it to college with me.  Through 4 years of college that collage hung on my dorm rooms’ or apartments’ walls.  I loved it!

Anyway, when she gave it to me, I remember saying, “I wonder what else the proverb says about friends.”  Because when I find a Bible verse, I like to see what the rest of the chapter says to keep it in context.  So I went to my Bible:

Proverbs 17

1 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.

2 A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son and will share the inheritance as one of the family.

3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.

4 A wicked person listens to deceitful lips;  a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.

5 Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.

6 Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.

7 Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool— how much worse lying lips to a ruler!

8 A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it; they think success will come at every turn.

9 Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

10 A rebuke impresses a discerning person more than a hundred lashes a fool.

11 Evildoers foster rebellion against God; the messenger of death will be sent against them.

12 Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool bent on folly.

13 Evil will never leave the house of one who pays back evil for good.

14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.

15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent— the LORD detests them both.

16 Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom, when they are not able to understand it?

17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

18 One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge and puts up security for a neighbor.

19 Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.

20 One whose heart is corrupt does not prosper; one whose tongue is perverse falls into trouble.

21 To have a fool for a child brings grief; there is no joy for the parent of a godless fool.

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

23 The wicked accept bribes in secret to pervert the course of justice.

24 A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the mother who bore him.

26 If imposing a fine on the innocent is not good, surely to flog honest officials is not right.

27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,  and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.

So what did I find?  The chapter seemed to stress the significance of our words to our relationships.  Did you see it?  “A wicked person listens to deceitful lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.” Deceitful – not everything people tell us about other people is true.  Destructive – in fact things that are said are only meant to tear someone down.  Do we choose to listen to it?  Do we pay attention?  How do we know if it is deceitful and destructive or truth?  So perhaps it’s best to not listen at all when someone is talking about another person.

“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”  I need to work on this.  I sometimes will tell a friend about how another friend has wronged me in my eyes.  My motive truly isn’t to make my friend angry or not like the other person.  My motivation is more that I want to know I’m not crazy or irrational, that I’m justified in being upset.  BUT… when I read this part of the verse, I know that what I’m really doing is tearing apart friendships – mine and others.

“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”  Oh, how I need these words to take hold of my heart.  Drop the matter – why is it that we find the need to let people know every time they hurt or frustrate or anger us?  Learning when it is appropriate to talk about things and when it is appropriate to offer grace, look the other way and drop the matter is no easy thing.  I’m pretty sure the majority of matters are droppable.  I think in addition to dropping them in the sense of not starting a quarrel, it is important to drop them internally as well, because when we harness the bitterness in our heart, that dam will burst at some point.

Going along with starting a quarrel, “Whoever loves a quarrel, loves sin.”  Do you have friends who seem to always want to fight about something?  I hate to sound harsh, but perhaps those are not friends we should be spending a lot of time with, because they are causing us to sin.  You wouldn’t hang out with a friend who was always trying to get you to steal or break the law (I don’t think…) so we probably shouldn’t be hanging out with a friend who is always trying to get us to break God’s law.

“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is evil-tempered.  Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”  Words once said are really hard to take back.  We all have been told that, and we probably all have experienced that… but when are emotions are all worked up, it’s so hard to hold our tongues.  But, I do believe that the more we spend time in the Bible, the more we are asking God to work in our lives, the more we are willing to look at others as imperfect people just as we are imperfect and offer them the same grace that God offers us, it does get easier.


P.S. Here’s a few more verses on speaking…

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” (James 1:18-20)

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)  Click here to read Wednesday’s post on this verse.

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14)  This was written by King David at the end of a psalm in which he was praising God and asking God to forgive him.  I think this is an awesome prayer for all of our words and thoughts in relationships – that they would be pleasing to God.



Friends & Family Friday: Footloose

I am a true 80’s girl… the prime of my childhood, 7-17, took place in the 80’s.  I wore leg warmers, stir-up pants, big oversized fluorescent sweatshirts, black and white rubber bracelets, and jellies for shoes and of course a Swatch Watch.  My hair was teased and sprayed with aerosol cans of Aqua Net.  I played with the original Smurfs, Strawberry Shortcake, Shrinky Dinks, EasyBake Oven, Cabbage Patch Kids.  I played PacMan on the Atari and Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo.  I watched the original Duke’s of Hazard, A-Team, Red Dawn, Karate Kid, Dirty Dancing, Star Wars Trilogy and of course Footloose.

When I see something from my childhood resurface I usually have 1 of 3 different reactions, depending on my mood of course: 1.  It was a bad idea 30 years ago, what makes anyone think it’s going to be any better now.  2.  That is something sacred from my childhood and it should not be messed with.  3.  I embrace it with a sense of nostalgia.  Jellies and big oversized fluorescent sweatshirts and leg warmers were a bad idea better left in the 80’s.   Thoughts of a Dirty Dancing remake makes me a little upset – that is one of those sacred things.  But the Footloose remake, I am embracing.

Footloose brings back one of my sweet childhood memories… I was in 4th grade, I’m pretty sure, I could be wrong, but anyway… a group of girls, including my best friend Amy and myself, planned to go see Footloose.  I had no idea what the movie was going to be about, didn’t really care, I was just excited to be going to my first movie without parents.  But then in gymnastics, a bad dismount off the balance beam left me with a sprained ankle and crutches.  So my mom didn’t think it was a good idea for me to go.  I was crushed and so disappointed hearing my friends later talk about how much fun they had and how great the movie was.  I know, I know, that doesn’t sound like a sweet childhood memory… but here’s how it became one.

After a couple of days of me moping around, my mom announced that she and I were going out.  It was a school night, so this was definitely not the norm.  Where did we go?  She took me to the local movie theater (back when movie theaters were those rinky dinky things in shopping centers) and we saw Footloose – on a school night!  (I’m pretty sure it was a Thursday night… that’s how much it is ingrained in my memory.  I loved the movie!  And although, I didn’t get to see it as my first movie out with friends, I love that I got to see it with my mom – on a school night!  (Can you tell that to a 4th grader, going to the movies on a school night is a big deal?)  So whenever I hear songs from Footloose, I think of my mom taking me to see it and I smile.  (You know, I wonder if my mom even remembers that… do you Mom?)

Now that I’m a mom of boys, I don’t think I’ll be taking them to see Footloose… but there’s always Transformers…

Friends & Family Friday: MOPS – why I love it!

Wednesday morning I found myself at a microphone talking (and dancing) in front of a group of 64 women – my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group.  This was our kick-off meeting for the year and I loved every moment of it.  Although I came home, saddened by the thought that this would be my last first meeting.  In MOPS, you graduate when your youngest child goes off to first grade… so unless another baby Kerchner comes along (or adopted toddler Kerchner), this is my last year.

This group is amazing!  I can’t imagine my life without the friendships, support, laughter, tears, hugs, crafts, discussions, speakers, play dates, moms nights out, book discussions, consignment sales, retreats, and I’ll say it again – friendships that this group has brought to my life.  So as I was thinking about it being my last year, I remembered a newsletter article that I wrote for the last meeting 2 years ago.  It pretty much sums up how I feel about MOPS, so I thought I’d share it again:

I can’t believe its May already (remember, I wrote this after our last meeting 2 years ago)!  Since I’ve been a stay at home mom, I’ve established a new definition of time: a day can be an eternity, but a year goes by in the blink of an eye.  True to form, that’s how this year went as well.

When I started this year back in September (because as a mom, we all know that September, not January is when the new year begins) I knew there would be many changes for me since my middle child was starting kindergarten. (Now, my baby just started kindergarten, sniff, sniff.) I experienced a lot of expected milestones: learning to read, ride a bike and swim.  However, life also dropped on my lap many surprises.

I had no idea that I would become a home school mom of a child recently diagnosed with Asperger’s.  I had no idea that I would have regular conversations with a neurologist and explain to babysitters what do if my newly epileptic son had a seizure.  I had no idea that I would have a mild panic attack realizing that I forgot to tell the dentist who was giving my son local anesthesia about the new medicine he was on.  Believe me, through that there were many days that I didn’t know how I was going to get through the day.

But I have an amazing, loving God who knew I was going to have days like that.  He knew that I was going to need a friend to check up and see how the dentist visit went.  He knew that dinner was going to be the last thing that I wanted to think about after spending the day at CHOP and gave me a friend who loves to cook and offered to bring us dinners.  He knew that seizures were going to terrify me and gave me a friend who was already on that road with her son to help me through. 

 He knew I was going to feel like a lousy mom and He gave me friends to encourage me and cheer me on.  He knew when I needed to laugh and when I needed to cry and provided the people to do that with.  He knew I needed a purpose beyond my family and gave me a group of women to pray for and serve.  All of those needs He filled through you, the ladies of our MOPS group.  You all have exemplified to me this month’s verse: “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Galatians 6:2,10) I thank you for that and I love you all.  

So you can see, why I’m a little saddened thinking that this is my last year.  The group is truly amazing enough, that it is tempting to get pregnant just to stay in the group 🙂  But I know that the amazing, loving God that gave me this group, has things planned for next year that I haven’t even begun to imagine.  (Hopefully they still include me and a microphone, because as crazy as it sounds… I LOVE talking on mics!)  And I also know that the friendships that I made and will continue to make this year will continue to grow beyond the MOPS years.

♥Becki, fan of MOPS

P.S. if you are a mother of a child, newborn – kindergarten, check out to find a group near you!









Friends & Family Friday: Letting friends down

Last Thursday morning I was doing some cleaning when the phone rang.  As I picked up the phone, I noticed my friend’s name on the caller ID.  Oh no… my stomach tightened as I realized that I had stood her up.  I was supposed to be at her house 45 minutes before to help her with something.  She was gracious about it, but I felt terrible.  And this wasn’t the first time something like that happened.

Last spring I was sitting at home eating lunch when the phone rang.  As I picked up the phone, I noticed another friend’s name on the caller ID.  Oh no… my stomach tightened as I realized I forgot to bring her son home from preschool when I picked mine up.  She too was gracious about it.  But, what a horrible feeling to let a friend down and to leave a little four-year old at school.

With damaged pride, I admit that I am not a perfect friend.  I wish I was completely reliable, but I am not.  I strive to be, and I am trying to remember to write things on my calendar and then to check it.  But I mess up.  I hope that admission won’t keep you from asking me for help, because I really want to be that friend who is there for you when you need it.  I have been blessed with great friends who have helped me in too many ways to list, and I like to return that blessing.

So besides utilizing my calendar more, what have I learned through my mess-ups?

1.  I need to apologize and rebuild their trust.  (Even if they say it’s no big deal, it is.)  And if someone doesn’t forgive me, I need to forgive their unforgiveness (apparently that’s not a word, but I don’t know what else to call it).

2.  I need to confess it to God and accept his forgiveness.

3.  I need to forgive myself… sometimes this is harder than accepting God’s forgiveness, why is that?

4.  That just like I’m not perfect, my friends aren’t either.  If they let me down, I need to be just as gracious and forgiving as people have been with me or more (in those rare circumstances when someone wasn’t very forgiving).  I should not hold anyone to a higher standard than I myself can achieve.

5.  People let each other down… all the time… we are not perfect.  But there is one who is perfect – God.  He promises never to “leave or forsake us” and when He makes a promise… He keeps it.

So, I forgive myself and accept that I am flawed and mess up… but I do not want to stay that way.  I press on to be a better friend.

♥Becki, imperfect friend

P.S.  just so you know… I do know that I have also been a good friend and I have really helped people out at times… but I write this because I don’t want to think more highly of myself than I ought…

Friends & Family Friday: Surreys and bikes and walkers, oh my

Imagine standing on the Ocean City boardwalk and unexpectedly a surrey filled with 5 kids ages ranging from approximately 6-14 crashes into you and knocks you on the ground.  What do you do?  Also as you are falling, imagine that you knock over a 7-year-old on his bike.  What do you do?

Well, that was the eventful end to our morning boardwalk bike ride.  We were all standing with our bikes ready to exit at 12th street.  When a surrey crashed into a woman standing on the boardwalk who then crashed into my 7-year-old and knocked him over on her way down.  I’m sure she got hurt.  I know if it was me I’d be more than a little annoyed.  But I hope I wouldn’t respond the same way she did.

She got up and started yelling at the kids and her language was not rated G (remember the kids were approximately 6-14 years old, in addition to my 5, 7, and 10-year-olds who were also there).  If someone yelled at my kids that way, even if it was deserved, I’d be furious.

As we got back to our house, my husband, my mom and I were discussing it.  We agreed that the woman had a right to be angry.  Who wants to get run over by a bunch of kids on a surrey?  But, in fairness to the kids, she was standing, not walking, just standing in the surrey lane of the boardwalk.  Perhaps that wasn’t the best place to stand.  But still, the kids should be looking where they were going.  The kids apologized and they also apologized to my son and asked me multiple times if he was alright – which he was.  (The lady never once glanced at my son in concern for him.)

As we discussed it, I said how we all have a sense of entitlement on the boardwalk.  The bike riders feel like they should be able to ride in their lane without having to swerve in and out of pedestrians and slower bike riders.  The surrey riders feel like they should be able to ride in their lane.  And the pedestrians, well they feel like they should be able to be anywhere they want on the boardwalk and everyone should watch out for them.  (I know because I’ve been all of these.)

Isn’t that how it is in all of life.  We always think that what we are doing is more important and somehow more “right” than what everyone else is doing.  Perhaps we need to spend more time looking out for each other and cutting some slack when someone messes up… but that’s easy to say when I’m not the one having a surrey filled with laughing kids crashing into my back and sending me crashing to the ground…

♥Becki, imperfect boardwalk bike rider

P.S. I love Ocean City, NJ!  No summer would be complete without spending time here… morning bike rides on the boardwalk, stopping to stand in the long line for Brown’s doughnuts, afternoons on the beach (with hundreds of your “closest friends”), nights on the boardwalk enjoying the rides, the sights, the sounds, and the smells (Mack and Manco’s pizza, Jilly’s fries, funnel cakes, Laura’s chocolate covered strawberries, Shriver’s salt water taffy, Kohr’s frozen custard… I think next Training Tuesday’s post will have to be about getting back on the healthy eating wagon...).  But the best part about Ocean City, NJ: running into friends from various seasons of my life!

Friends & Family Friday: Tee shirts

I have a pet peeve – I get annoyed by derogatory tee shirts.  I’m not talking about band tee shirts with questionable content on them.  I’m not even talking about tee shirts with “bad words” on them.  (Although I’m not a fan of those either.)  I’m talking about the adorably cute tee shirts that puts down someone that you are supposed to love.  Warning, I think I might have just stepped on a soapbox…

How cute would a little boy be in that tee shirt? “For Sale Little Brother, by Big Brother”?  The wording of it looks adorable, and its probably a sentiment that is felt by all big brothers at some time.  (They also have “For Sale Little Sister” ones available.)  But then I wonder why a parent would buy that for their child?  Why do you want to encourage that kind of teasing?  Why do you want the big brother to think it’s Ok to not want the little brother?  And why do you want the little brother to think they are not wanted?  I know, I know… it’s cute, it’s funny, can’t I take a joke?  But at whose expense is the joke?  (For more on words that hurt, read this past post)

Then there’s also the tee shirts making fun of husbands.   “I hate my husband”  Sure, maybe a wife may feel that way some days.  But why would you, even jokingly, announce that across your chest.  I’m sure the husband doesn’t find that funny, and it’s not going to help him grow into a man that you desire him to be.  I’ve heard it said (from where I don’t remember) that in our lives, women desire to feel loved and men desire to feel respected.  Of course God knew that.  In His word, He commanded us, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)  If we want our husbands to love us the way God asks them to, perhaps it would be helpful if we would respect them the way God asks us to… and I’m pretty sure that its not wearing a shirt like this, or bad mouthing them to our friends, or calling them idiots…

I just had the opportunity to go away with some girlfriends for a long weekend to a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) convention.  Knowing that women love to shop, especially when we don’t have our children with us, they had a huge resource fair with a ton of vendors.  My favorite was Union 28: Marriage Apparel.  “Union28 (formerly From*me Tees) was started by a married couple who knows what it is like to work through hard stuff and yet stay together and stay committed, choosing to forgive and be forgiven, only to grow in our love for each other MORE through it all.” (To read more, go to  They have created really cute clothes that positively affirm your spouse.  I couldn’t resist and bought the “My Husband Rocks” zip hoodie… how could he be mad at me for spending money on that???  And you know what, my husband does rock (both in the awesome sense and the musical sense!)  But on the days that perhaps I’m not feeling that he rocks (either because I’m extra moody or maybe he simply is not being perfect), I think it would be better to put this hoodie on to remind myself that he does rock, rather than put on the “I hate my husband” tee shirt which serves no purpose other than tearing him and our marriage down.   (For more on our thoughts about our husbands, read this post)  Ok, I’m stepping off my soapbox now…