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  My life looks nothing like the one I planned. My life doesn't look like most of my friends' lives. I am different from most of the other moms in my circle. And different is hard. In fact, I've come to realize this about myself and my pattern of thinking: I often don't just think of myself as different. I think of myself as abnormal. I think of my reality as a Plan B. I was married once before, and that marriage ended in divorce. So for a while, I was a divorced, single mom of two. Then I met the man who changed my world, and I remarried. So now I am a formerly divorced, single mom who is remarried. My children live with me, but they still see their dad often and spend a good bit of time with him. I am so grateful this is true. But my situation is a rarity in my circle. Even though the divorce rate in our country is at 50%, it is not directly around me. So I am different. Don't misunderstand, though. I am ridiculously happy in my life now. My husband is the best man I know, and he showers us with affection. He goes out of his...


  When I magically and mysteriously become inexplicably rich, the first thing I will do is hire someone to clean my bathrooms. The two children I gave birth to have been granted that great privilege now, and their skills are still somewhat, shall I say, lacking. Their top priority is to finish, not necessarily finish well. And bathrooms need to be cleaned well. That brings me to the task I just completed today - the deep cleaning of a bathroom my dear offspring only surface cleaned. Sigh. It made me feel like a pig. I'm one of those people who hates visual clutter and who actually enjoys organizing. But apparently when it comes to deep cleaning, I turn a blinder eye than I realize. I got on my hands and knees, a la Cinderella, wiping down cabinet fronts and scrubbing baseboards. Can we talk about what disgusting dust collectors they are? And the unbelievable amount of hair I apparently lose each day? Bleh. It's easy to ignore it when it's not right in your face. But when you're crawling around at ground level, it's right there in your face. And it's gross. So like any woman worth her salt, I began the negative self-talk. I fussed at myself for...


  Humans are, by nature, goal-oriented. We are a people who plan for the future and work in the present for that unseen yet approaching reality. This is, perhaps, why we love our weekends so much. In our relationships, we know what we want and what we want to improve. I want to communicate my emotions better, and I want my marriage to be a model for my children. In our work, we set goals to motivate us when the day-to-day gets hard. I want to make more sales this quarter than last. In fitness, in faith, in housekeeping and health, we decide what's next and what we want to achieve. We're goal-setters. That's who we are. What do we do, then, when we meet a goal and are unsure of what's next? This is where I am. This is the space I'm living in right now. A place of uncertainty. In the last few weeks, I met every major goal I had planned. I released a book. I ran a marathon. I spoke at women's events. All of the things I had been planning for, thinking about, training for, and preparing for are over. They are done. The goals were set and achieved, and there's nothing huge on the horizon. Everyone keeps asking...


  In South Carolina, you're never really sure when the hot weather is gone. A couple of weeks ago, we had a few glorious days when a cold front moved through, and I got so excited at the thought of crisp mornings and fall days. I envisioned sweater weather and boots, scarves and cozy sweatpants. But then the hot weather came back. With a vengeance. Ninety degree days at the end of September are torture. At that point you're just OVER it. Over the sweating, over the summer clothes that you've worn until you're tired of seeing them, and over sliding around on sweat-covered car seats. So when the air conditioning in your house begins making weird sounds three days before October begins, you know you have a problem. You can't count on cool days to keep the house pleasant, because October can feel like August. You have no choice. You have to call the air guy. Which we did. He left my house just a few minutes ago, and I can't stop thinking about the problem he said we have. The unit isn't broken, and it can still work. But there's a slow leak in the evaporator coil, which apparently is pretty important. He added some...