Friday, January 29, 2010

Company Girl Coffee 1/29/10

Well, hello gang! Please come in from the snow and ice!

I am on a special diet for the next six weeks, so I am only serving coffee and tea this morning, but I don't have any yummy baked goods this sorry! However, I have lost 4 lbs this week and am well on my way to a slim figure for my sister's wedding!

Update on this week...well, there's not much to say really, other than I am really working to get this post out before power goes out due to the ice storm. Last year was AWFUL and we were without power for two days, but there were many in our city that went without for ten days or more. The isolation of that storm, first seeded the idea for Strings Attached, and the need to form different kinds of relationships for the coming world. I was amazed by the resourefulness of people during the storm last year, and heartened by the way our friends and neighbors opened their hearts and homes to one is how we should live our daily lives.

It is currently snowing here, but sleeted and iced all night...we have about a half inch of ice on the ground and it is snowing at a rate of a half inch or so an hour, so we may be stuck here for a while. I am hoping to go back and do all the Small Things that I missed this week, but I have also promised myself a couple of hours to write today as well...

On that note, my book is going well and coming along nicely. My deadline to upload to the publisher is 8 Feb....So I will be so excited to share it with you when I publish!

I am so excited about my upcoming trip to Rio de Janeiro...the girls that we have chosen so far to go have been amazing young ladies, and I am continually impressed by the quality of the young women who are applying. I would love help, though! The trip is expensive and the work we are doing will change both our lives and the lives of hundreds of Brazilian girls who will be able to get an education because of our uniform donations. I would love ANY help you could muster. Just click on the ChipIN badge up at the top of the page! If you would like to learn more about the trip, Inspired Girls Life and Leadership Camp or Inspired Girls Success Summits- I have linked their websites and would be happy to answer any questions you have.

On a last note, Company Girls you rock! Thank you for your support, your wisdom, your comments and encouragement last week. I desperately needed to feel like I wasn't just being whiney about things...and you ladies not only came through, but also helped me to feel better. Which is what this whole thing is all about...Thank You!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Company Girl Coffee 1/22/09

Hey girls! Come on in...Don't mind the house or the Christmas decorations, come have a cup of tea with me cause I need a chat, or a pep talk, or something....;)

This week has been nuts...

First of all, as an update on my last post...literally within 15 minutes of posting it, I got a call from the detective working our theft case and was notified that he had found our stuff....ALL OF IT! This was exciting news from a couple of vantage points...1) we can now get it back and 2) they know, at the very least who pawned the items so they can now press charges. So yay! The not-so-great part is that the thief pawned the items so we have to pay the pawn in order to get them back.

To complicate matters, being the honest people we are, and having already received insurance settlement for said items, we reported to the insurance company that our items had been found. Turns out, people don't do that much, and well, there is the possibility that we may have to pay back the insurance settlement. This is not all that great since most of that money has, well, already been used. At this point, we are really not sure what will the saga continues...

Let's see, what else...Oh! I am recovering from my THIRD bout with the nasty stomach virus that has been going around. This one struck at the most inopportune moment....while I was co-presenting a keynote to 650 people. GRRRRREEEEAAAATTTT....Fortunately, my partner had written the presentation and picked up like a champ and soldiered on...I am blessed like that, but I was still terribly disappointed in the situation.

Last night I presented a small coaching seminar called "Step away from the Cape: How to avoid SuperMom syndrome " to a moms group here locally. I felt woefully unpolished and unprepared as I had spent most of the time I would usually spend getting ready to give a presentation in a hotel bathroom in Tulsa. The presentation went well, for the most part though. I was pleased to be able to use Rachel's horizontal time schedule as a tool to understand the story that we tell ourselves about our daily lives and to create our "As if" (aka dream schedule). I learned so much about myself using that tool, I hope that it was as much an eye-opening experience for them.

Today dawned early with the unsettling discovery of a mouse in our house. The truth is he (I pray it is not a she with a million little babies) is probably living in our garage which is severe need of a thorough cleaning. I am disgusted. So of course, I have set terribly unreasonable goals of cleaning the entire house, throwing away all of our junk and making a beautifully organized home in uh, the next two hours, oh yeah, and that includes taking down the Christmas decorations....

When we arrived at school today, I was informed that it was "P" day and that Xanman had signed me up to bring pickles. So at some point, I have to deliver pickles to school. I have band practice this afternoon and lunch meeting...all this and I haven't showered yet. I guess the point is that I feel pulled in a million directions, and I am in need of a little perspective.

So now that you have listened to my whiny rant, I am going to do what Tony Robbins says to do...When you feel like you have lost control, or things are happening "to" you, stop right there and make a decision to change....and then take action. So sorry to vent and run, but I am going to go take action AND I am going to keep in mind some wise words that I have carried with me every since my dear friend, Sweetie Berry, shared them with me, "What goals are achievable within the TIME you have ALOTTED?" Hmmmm......

I've got much to do...but I feel so much better having vented...thank you girls for listening! I probably won't get around to visiting much today as I have a lot on my plate, but I make the rounds throughout the weekend, I promise! I can't wait to hear what you are all up to!

Oh, and one more thing...would you consider a donation to help fund the Inspired Girls Life and Leadership Camp ? I will be one of the facilitators of this camp. We will be taking 15 hand-picked girls (there are still places left, if you know of a young lady who would qualify) to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this summer to engage in life-changing workshops, eye-opening humanitarian work and, to learn first hand about servant leadership. We are partnering with a Brazilian orphanage and helping provide uniforms for teenage girls in Rio so that they may attend school. The funds that you donate will go to both fund the camp, and provide 100 girls with uniforms. Any little bit will on the "chip in" button at the top of the page to donate! Thank you!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Oh! For the Love....

The space in my closet where my vacuum USED to live!

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.” – Helen Keller

On December 17, 2009, we were robbed.

Yep, sure enough, in the middle of the day, one week before Christmas, we became one of the thousands of families every year that experience a home invasion.

Invasion is such a perfect word to describe that break in because the thieves didn’t really take anything of real value. (Not that we really own anything of real value cause all of our stuff is just that- stuff.) But you can’t ever retrieve that feeling of security once it is gone. It makes me angry. I have worked hard to make a sure that my family feels safe, particularly in our own home. I understand that safety is just a perception. That it is not reality. But the thought that someone destroyed that perception for my children enrages me.

That is exactly how I felt that night…enraged. My husband kept saying (in front of the policeman no less) “I’m just glad you weren’t home. You would have killed them.” It’s true…I believe I could have hurt someone pretty badly in those moments. Mama was NOT happy!

As we walked about trying to determine what all was missing, Xander discovered his GameCube had been taken (along with the Wii and the PS2). I watched as the emotions flickered across his face: first, anger; then , disappointment; and then, in a flash….compassion.

That’s right. Compassion. In that moment I was so proud of my son and so ashamed of my own heart that I could burst. He looked at me with eyes full of tears and said, “Mom, we should pray for the robbers. If they have to steal stuff for Christmas, then they must not have enough. And if they think it is ok to steal, then they must not have Jesus. That’s the worst part, Mom. We need to pray for them to find Jesus.” Wow….nothing like the child-like love of a seven year old heart to put life in perspective.

As I go through this season, I am humbled and blessed by how my children have responded and dealt with all of this, and I desperately try to hold on to the compassion and love that Xander showed that night for those thieves. It isn’t easy….especially as we are still periodically stumbling on things that are missing. But then I remember my munchkins’ hearts and how we pray for those thieves every night, and I thank God that I was blessed with an opportunity to see Christ’s love in action.

I learned so much from this experience and I am so excited to share it with you. Man, Company Girls has Home Sanctuary rocked this week or what? I am loving the focus on organizing my life and time...I feel more peaceful already! Thanks for connecting today! Oh, and make sure you head on over to to check out a great post about Jesus and the Car wash!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Watch out for flying snowballs!

Good Morning, My Coffee Friends! I don't have the tea on yet this morning, but I can offer you a bowl of fruit and some rice milk?! Come back soon, I am baking something warm and yummy this morning, I just don't know what yet!

This week? What happened this week? Not much really except that we here in the South are experiencing CRAZY COLD! Today it is -15 degrees outside...Girls, in Arkansas, it just doesn't get that cold, and frankly we are not prepared for it!

But before it got too cold to go outside we did have a beautiful snow!

Doug Larson said,"The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball."

I guess that I am still young at heart!

Xander started it! Right in the petushky!

I am out for revenge! stalking my prey!

He turned right into me! I wasn't aiming for his face, I promise!

My little angel makes the best snow angels!

The snow was too powdery to make a snowman, so the kids decided on a snow fort! The men supervise the building!
The finished product!

Wow it was cold! Warming their feet by the fire waiting for some homemade hot cocoa!

As for other stuff, because the kids have been home from school, I've been able to stay up with all of the Small Things this week! Yay! And get some work done on Strings Attached (my testimony and calendar are up as well as a first blog post)! Oh...and I had my first email newsletter sign up over at! SO excited about that! My intention this year is to give 12 Strings Attached Presentations around the country....I would love to come speak to your group!

I also resumed work on my book with a fervor and have completed another chapter! I am working through a write a book in a weekend program and am really seeing it all come together!

I guess that's all for now...I am off to make something warm and gooey....hmmm maybe some pear polenta stay a while, roam around...I'll have it out of the oven in about an hour!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Life in the Medium Lane

The dressing room was completely empty this morning as I prepared for my morning swim. I love a calm swimming pool…a quiet dressing room…perfect morning. As I walked out of the dressing room and into the pool, a little girl inside jumped for joy. Just me! I can pick ANY lane I want! YAY!

As I looked across the pool, with it’s quietly rippling surface, the six lane lines floating unassumingly along the top of the water, I glanced at the shallow end of the lap lanes…and felt all my exhilaration fall away. There, on the deck, at the end of the pool stood the label for each lane. You know the little yellow bi-fold signs that say “Fast,” “Medium,” and “Slow?” As I scanned those signs, I could almost hear the little girl inside cry out, “Nooooo!”

See, now I can’t choose any lane I want…I have to take the lane I’m “supposed” to be in. This is my paradigm.

Now freeze frame here for a moment. Picture me, standing in front of a completely open pool, thinking to my black and white conscience, I must choose the lane I am supposed to go in…medium, I think…yeah, I am a medium swimmer. To be quite honest, I have no frame of reference for which lane I should be in. I have never had someone tap me on the shoulder and say, “You really should be in the medium lane.” But I put myself there anyway. Because somewhere in the back of my mind I have the belief that I haven’t put in the time, effort or haven’t the skill to swim in the fast lane, and thus don’t deserve to be there.

Even when no one else is in the pool with me.

The weight of this revelation and the implication in my life sat with me as I stroked my way through my workout. With each stroke, I wondered how much faster I would have to swim to be a “fast swimmer.” I wondered who would have to define that for me? Would I ever believe it of myself, without acknowledgement from an outside expert? How do I hold myself back in my life due to this same belief?

And then, a single thought entered my mind and hung there in the splish splash rhythm of my freestyle stroke…a thought striking enough that I stopped swimming.

My adult, wise self had a meeting with that little girl inside. And said something to her that I have said to my children countless times before. Wise Cari said to Baby Girl Cari-

EVERYTHING is a choice. Choosing to follow the rules is a choice. Choosing to label myself a “medium” swimmer is a choice. Choosing to get into the “medium” lane is a choice AND choosing to believe that I am not good enough and must rely on someone else to tell me that I am is a choice. Now CHOOSE to stop doubting and CHOOSE to get your butt over to the fast lane.

Which is exactly what I did. Maybe just for today, I swam in the fast lane. Tomorrow, perhaps I will swim in the medium lane again. I did find myself pushing a little harder, resting a little less and being more conscious of the technical aspects of my stroke, and I realized that, frankly, I am not sure if I WANT to swim in the “fast” lane. However, whether I want it or not is not relevant to this post. What is most important is that, regardless of whether I want to live life in the fast lane or the medium lane, or even in the slow lane, I never forget that I have the power to CHOOSE.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Company Girl Coffee 1/1/2010

Quinoa Breakfast Cake
Karina's Kitchen

Happy New Year! 2010 is so gonna rock!

My Company Girl pals, and all my other pals for that matter...THANK YOU! Thank you for encouraging me and supporting me and providing a nice swift kick in the pants every now and then, too. I am so excited about the new year I can hardly wait to get started.

But let me catch you up since my last post. I am cleaning out the cupboards today, so I have a wonderful assortment of hot teas, some vegan hot chocolate, some yummy vegan/gluten free rice crispie treats, and a little left over vegan/gluten free chocolate cake to share with you. Sorry no scones today, but stop back by cause I am making some Quinoa breakfast brownies (from Karina's Kitchen- yummmmm!) a little later. So snuggle in cause I have a roller coaster ride for you today!

My last post was on the day after my birthday which was wonderful! From there our Christmas season started to roll a little downhill.

On Dec 17, someone broke into our house and stole a bunch of stuff. Nothing of terrible importance- our gaming systems (ok, my son might argue those are important)-our Wii, PS2 and GameCube, our cameras- including several rolls of film we hadn't developed yet and pics not yet downloaded from Thanksgiving, and...wait for it...our VACUUM CLEANER! Yep, robbers stole my vacuum cleaner! I cannot begin to tell you how frustrating that is...but I think that of all people, you guys would understand the frustration. Through the past couple of weeks, we have discovered other sundry items missing, but again, nothing irreplaceable. What is irreplaceable is the sense of security we had. Helen Keller said, "Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature." And I know that so well...I teach personal security and self defense to women....but I am frankly angry that someone has crushed the perception of security that I have worked hard to create for my children. Anyway, this is a whole other blog post, which I will have up next week...needless to say, it was food for thought.

December 20, my family finally succumbed to the stomach virus that had been making the rounds at school. First my son, then two days later my daughter, then the next day, me...which left my poor husband for Christmas...My dear hubby spent his Christmas holiday absolutely miserable in hotel room, while we spent time with our family in central Arkansas. Unfortunately, we opted not to get separate rooms, so I got to re-experience the stomach virus the weekend after Christmas. I pray that we are all finished passing it around and that no germs survived the onslaught of Lysol and hot water that I followed my second bout with.

So that brings us to today. I have the high hopes of cleaning out my kitchen (fridge and pantry) today to start the New Year off right. As this is the first day that I am feeling human since my second battle with yucky germs, this is probably ambitious, but we will give her a go! Please excuse the mess in the kitchen...but you are welcome to help out if you would like!

As for the coming year, it is my intention (notice this is not a resolution), that I give 12 Strings Attached presentations this if you know of a women's group who could use some real bonding time...get in touch with me! The site is up and filling out- my calendar will be up soon- I was shocked at how full it already is! Check it out at: . My testimony as well as what people have to say about the retreat itself are up now, and I have an email devotional you can sign up for about living life with strings attached. I super excited about all of the developments.

I have many other projects in the works, but one of the most pressing is a talk I am giving to a local mom's group about stepping away from Superwoman cape and living our lives without that expectation. I would love to know what your idea of "Supermom" is. Is it a good image? Is it an attainable one? Please feel free to comment with ideas!

Well that's all for now...I am off to put on my black eyed peas for lunch and start cleaning out my (ick) fridge! I look forward to hearing from you...oh...and check out the rest of the coffee girls over at home sanctuary and share a cup of coffee (or tea) with them!