Move over banana bread, there's a new kid in town.

   Sometimes people disappoint me.  Sometimes they frustrate me, sometimes they bewilder me, and sometimes they completely misunderstand me.  But sometimes, people completely and totally AMAZE me.

  Take the time for instance when my friend, who has FIVE small children of her own, took the time to hand-weave me a beautiful basket and fill it full of farm fresh pears.   That's when a thank-you card just doesn't seem to cut it.

   So obviously I didn't want to let a single pear go to waste, but I also wasn't sure I wanted to can one. Single. More. Jar.  And so........baking with pears!  Seasonal, delicious, it warms up your house, makes everything smell like Heaven, and is just an all-around great idea.  So after a bit of Pinterest-browsing, I found a pear bread recipe that didn't seem too daunting or too unhealthy and I gave it a try.

  And boy I'm glad I did because this stuff will not last long around here!  Not only is it the perfect companion to a cup of coffee, but every once in a while I start to get a little burnt out on banana bread, and so this is a delightful (while every bit as sweet!) alternative.  Try it, you won't be disappointed.

RECIPE found via Chew Out Loud.
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 TB vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp table salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 TB ground flax meal (dry)
5 cups of very firm pears, peeled and diced
   Preheat oven to 350F, and grease one large loaf pan and line a muffin pan (or grease two loaf pans for two smaller loaves.)
   In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, olive oil, applesauce, and honey.  Stir together.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Stir to incorporate.
   In another large bowl, combine salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, all-purpose and wheat flours, and flax meal.  Mix dry ingredients well.  Gently fold honey mixture into dry ingredients, just until completely moistened.  Gently fold in pears, distributing evenly.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan(s) and/or muffin tin.
   For single large loaf, filled almost to the top, bake 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean, with few moist crumbs attached.
   If splitting batter between two loaf pans, bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out with few moist crumbs attached.
   For muffins filled almost to the top, bake 20-23 minutes or until toothpick comes out with few moist crumbs attached.
(Makes one large 9×5 loaf + ten muffins, OR 2 smaller loaves)
   I made two loaves with this recipe and they were a good size.  Also, I didn't have allspice or flax meal on hand, and so I omitted those and it still turned out great.  But it would be nice to have the flax next time for that extra fiber.  Enjoy! 


Just say no to lipstick.

I'm here today to give you my top 5 reasons of why a mom shouldn't wear lipstick.

5. Just stop pretending your life is fancy already.  We all know you're just going to Costco.

4.  You know that is going to be all worn off by sloppy toddler kisses by the time your husband comes home from work, right?

3.  It only accentuates the bags under your eyes.

2.  So many color choices, so little time.  O.k. NO time. You're lucky if you get a shower.

   And my #1 TOP REASON WHY A MOM SHOULD NOT WEAR LIPSTICK......well, do I really even have to say?  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.  

And I've got three of them.

Happy Tuesday, everyone.


Thoughts on Authenticity, part 2.

   O.k. so just so you know, nothing gets me more excited as a blogger than when people GET IT.  Nothing.

   When they get my point, get my sense of humor, get my crazy ramblings, get the drift, get the heart of it all.....just get it.  And when that happens, I do a little happy dance and want to blog forever.  Just so you know.

   So thanks and a giant, squeezy hug to all of you who left me love on that Authenticity post.  Kinda makes me want to revisit some of those life-giving words, so let's, shall we?  Here are some comments that prompted me to post about authenticity again today: (read the first post here)

What a beautiful quote! Thanks for this post! I was wondering if you could clarify the difference between authenticity, transparency, and intimacy. I would like to put this into practice, but I don't know what that looks like.

oh girl you nailed it! i wish i could have figured some of this out years ago!

WOW, I haven't finished reading this and it's the best post you've ever written (gush gush...) Please do write more on this. I'm copying that Beth Moore quote. I've heard about 'boundaries' so much--and knew I needed some!--but I was always afraid it would mean I couldn't be 'real.' Love dis!

Also, a pet peeve of mine is when bloggers (bizarrely it's a trait mainly just found in online bloggers) end up being ALL about 'authenticity' and 'realness' and 'honesty'... and leave it at that and don't have actual content! Like, "this is my dirty kitchen sink: just keepin' it real!" x 100.  This does NOT describe 'Frame of Mind', just to clarify! I wonder if other people have noticed this?

   O.k. so that last one made me laugh.  SOOOO true.  I cannot count the times I've read blogs or followed Instagrammers that make me wonder if a Superhero Stepford wife/robot (instead of actual human) is at the helm of all of that dizzying perfection, and then they do the whole "Here's me doing laundry, just keeping it real!" post and I'm all over here like......."THAT'S being real?!   Well now I'm for sure not showing anybody my 'real' because then you'll commit me to an institution."  

Just kidding.  Sort of. 

   And that second-to-last comment?  It was anonymous and I SO wish I could know who wrote that so I could give them a big fat thank-you for all the amazing things they said but mostly, for not being anonymous and MEAN!  This is a newsworthy moment here at Frame of Mind, folks!!  It's usually the no-namers that have the sharpest digs to jab.  Funny how that works.

   So anyway, I just want you to know (I've said this before) that I am like, the WORST in the world at replying to comments, but I read every single one!  And they mean a lot to me.  A lot.  And so every once in a while, I like to feature them in a post in my small little attempt at showing you all how much they really mean to me.  Because every time you leave a loving comment, you breathe life into me.  I feel like what I'm doing actually has a POINT.  And if you're a blogger, you understand how pointless all of it feels a huge percent of the time.  So thank you thank you thank you thank you.  


   Getting onto the real point here, and discussing in further detail, authenticity and transparency and intimacy.  The first comment I listed was the one that spurred me on to writing more about it. It really got me thinking, and I realized I REALLY don't have all the answers.  So much of it is just a "learn-as-you-go" thing, but that can feel painfully slow.  So of course, I turned to the dictionary for a little help.

   1. Not false or copied; genuine, real.

   1. Open; frank; candid.
   2. Easily seen through, recognized, or detected.
   3. Having the property of transmitting rays of light through its substance so that bodies situated beyond or behind can be distinctly seen.

   1. Characterized by or involving warm friendship or a personally close or familiar association or feeling.
   2. Very private; closely personal.

  It's amazing to me how something as simple as reading the definitions of words can shed light on their meaning.  It makes sense, I guess that it would, but it just seems so elementary that it's easy to overlook.  

   And so without doing any further research than literally looking these words up in the dictionary, these are my humble conclusions:

   Being authentic is just what it sounds like.  You're not copying someone else, you're not putting up a false front to try and win people's approval, you're not being fake.  Period.  You are just genuine.  Real.  YOU.  So what if you don't know how to be authentic?  It's probably a result of not yet knowing who you are.  So I would suggest figuring that out first, and then authenticity will follow.  And please, please PLEASE do not embark on some Eat, Pray, Love journey to find yourself.  Go to God.  Get in the Word, and get on your knees, and you will find the answers you seek.

   Transparency always scared me a little, because I always think of it as the first two definitions I listed.  Open, frank, candid.  Always speaking her mind and spouting her mouth with little thought of what might come out before it does.  Easily seen through.  Wears her heart on her sleeve and THEN some.  Everyone she meets within a short period of time knows everything about her.  Open book.  All of that seems a little scary and intimidating, and so when you have a personality that tends toward transparency, what's a girl to do??!  

  But that's the beauty of that third definition.....I stopped and stared when I read it.  And I know it's not talking about a quality trait ok?  It's probably referring to a shower curtain.  But I think it's applicable, and so whether it is or not, that's where I'm going with this, so bear with me.:)  

   To me, it sounds like transparency in a healthy, balanced way, is letting the light of truth and Christ shine RIGHT THROUGH US so that when people look at us, they see Jesus.  No brick walls, no fenced in areas, no facades, and barricades, and blockages.   Just letting the light of Christ shine through.  And suddenly, transparency turns from a very scary thought into the most beautiful idea ever.

   And lastly, intimacy.  I was amazed that when I looked up the word, there were 6 definitions listed before it even mentioned amorous acts and sex.  What that says to me, is that there is a multitude of ways to be intimate without ever even entering the physical realm.  And that should be taken very, very seriously.  Why?  Because intimacy is PRIVATE.  CLOSELY PERSONAL.  And if you have a myriad of people in your intimate circle?  That doesn't sound private or close or personal anymore to me.  Or safe.

   And so once again, as a person with a  personality who tends towards intimacy almost immediately, that just means that sometimes I have to say no.  I have to say no to being warm and close and cozy with the secrets I share, the trusts I build, and the relationships I grow.  It doesn't mean I can't make friends.  It just means I don't have to be closely personal with everyone.

   And so if you're looking at this, wondering "How in the world am I ever going to find the balance I crave?"  I really really implore you to go to the Word.  Honestly, it will give you the wisdom you need.  If you're ever in a situation where you're unsure, pray right then and there for wisdom.  I know that I personally have a few situations I would pay good money to be able to go back to and NOT BE TRANSPARENT.  Not be open.  Not be frank or candid and keep my mouth tightly shut!!!  

   There are times I desperately with I wouldn't have been intimate.  Opening up my deepest feelings and emotions and heart and soul to people, only be trampled on and hurt.  

   There are times I even wish I wouldn't have to be authentic.  Because it would be easier to put up a false exterior or just copy someone else I admire more than I admire myself.  

But that's not an option.  

   That's where our handy dandy little saying comes in.....(Thanks Beth Moore!)

   We need to be authentic with everyone.  We owe that to people.  People do not want (or need) more copy-cats, imitators, or fakes.  We need authenticity.   So just say yes to being AUTHENTIC!

   With transparency, it isn't all it appears to be.  We don't have to be easily seen through, or read like a book.  Our emotions don't have to be on our sleeve all of the time, but neither does that mean we get to build the Great Wall of China around ourselves.  Aint no one got time for that.  We need to be beautifully transparent, letting the light of Christ shine through us.

   Intimacy.  Special.  Private.  CLOSE.  An honor and a privilege reserved for only our nearest and dearest of friendships.  Not to be handled lightly because it holds heavy, weighty value.  It hold great power to heal or to harm, to build up or to tear down, to encourage or to cause despair.  

   Whew, I hope this post in some, small way helped shed light on this issue!  All I know is that right now my brain is running in a million different directions in ways I could take this thing, but the clock is winding down on nap time and I need to wrap it up. 

   If you have any more questions I'd love (LOVE) to hear them! Please leave a comment, shoot me an email, whatever.  And by all means, I obviously don't have this all figured out.  I've stumbled all over the page on this one.  Trust me.  But I like to think that I'm growing and learning and I just want to share some of that with you.

Happy Monday.


Yet another pumpkin post.

   Obviously, it's October, and so it is also time for the totally predictable, overdone, annual pumpkin patch post.  I really struggle writing posts like this because part of it (ok a lot of it) feels so nauseatingly repetitive. You can only see so many photos of kids with pumpkins all over Instagram and Facebook before throwing up in your mouth a little bit.  

   But, the truth remains, this isn't just a "blog" for me.  It is a journal documenting the events, activities and milestones of my family, and there are just some things I don't want to miss.  And so, as much as it pains me to subject you all to yet another pumpkin patch we are.

   The girls were terrified of the goats, but warmed up to the idea (sort of) after a little while.  Do any of you have naturally anxious/shy/nervous kids?  Any tips?  I'm pretty much tip-less because I would've never dreamed in a million years that I would have a shy child.  Certainly don't favor their mother in that regard.

  We've had a lot of rain lately and I was afraid we'd totally missed our window for nice weather at the patch.  But Randy not having to work one afternoon (unheard of) and a simply beautiful day lined up for us gloriously in one, miraculous combo, and so we jumped on that bandwagon and RAN.

   Currently nearing picture overload status, but I could you not??  After winding down our pumpkin festivities, we stuffed ourselves with burgers and fries and even squeezed in a quick trip to the Goodwill while Randy got a haircut, so we were pretty much all in Heaven a little bit that day.

  Jocelyn looks like she is literally trying to "wipe the smile off her face" and I look like I am...I have no idea, pushing her head closer to me?  Brushing a fly off of her?  We may never know.  But it was the most half-decent one we got, so there we have it.

   If you happened to post about the pumpkin patch too this year, leave a link in the comments!  I should do a link-up sometime, but we're just not feeling that fancy today.


Thoughts on authenticity.

What is it about a good-looking journal?  

  It makes you feel so inspired and motivated to write before even cracking open the cover.  It makes you want to record things.....happy things, sad things, things that you're concerned about, things that you're tickled about, to-do lists, event plans, and on and on the list goes.  

   Over my birthday a few months ago, I was privileged to receive two beautiful journals from two equally beautiful friends, and the one on the far right is from Tinyprints and you can even customize it to say what you want.  How cool is that?  For mine I chose something that's been a bit of a battle cry for me lately, and I continue to cling to the promise that greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world. 

  And then, thanks to our ladies'  Bible study at church, I stumbled upon this fabulous quote by Beth Moore which I am since claiming for my blog's mission statement:

   I've spent a whole lot of time in my life (too much wasted, wasted time) trying to be all three of those things to EVERYONE.  For as long as I can remember, I never just wanted to "be friends" with someone.

I wanted to be their kindred spirit.
To know all their secrets.
And tell them mine.
To be their shoulder to cry on.
And their closest confidant.
I wanted to be inseparable.
Anne Shirley and Diana Berry.
Cut from the same cloth.
Two peas in a pod.

   The problem was, I wanted to be this to....well, everyone.  Boys, girls, whoever and whenever, I just wanted everyone to like me.  And not just like me, but like, WE ARE BESTIES like me.

   And I can hardly believe that it took me 29 long years to realize just how ridiculous that is.  Even Jesus had an inner circle.  Everyone with half a brain knows that boundaries are healthy and NECESSARY for one to retain their sanity, but I just didn't think any of that applied to me.

   I've always felt the deepest, most driving force to be authentic.  I can remember as a child feeling like I needed to tell everyone everything and never hold anything back.  I needed to wear my emotions on my sleeve and put everything about myself on display because if I didn't, I wasn't be REAL. I wasn't being true.  I wasn't being me.

   And as burdensome as that personality trait is, I can honestly say that I'm thankful for it, because I truly feel that it has come from God and it is what makes me who I am today.  It has brought pain into my life, but it has also brought beauty and precious relationships and I never want to not be authentic.  It's who I am and it's what makes me me, and I never want to change that.

But I'm finally (FINALLY) discovering the truth and the beauty of that simple phrase:

Authenticity with all, Transparency with most, Intimacy with some. 

   You see, that had never occurred to me before.  In my wild and desperate aching to be REAL, I didn't realize that I also get to choose.

I get to select the secrets I share.
I get to carefully choose the shoulders I cry on.
I get to determine where and when and with whom I will let those innermost walls down.

   And just because I have a relationship or a friendship, does not automatically mean I have to also be continually transparent or intimate.  Authentic? Yes.  I want to be that to everyone.  Always.

   But my mistake for so many years was not stopping to even dream that there is a difference between authenticity and transparency and intimacy.  I thought they all blended together into one, powerful, force and so if I was feeling one, I needed to feel it all, all at once, right now, THIS MINUTE.

   And so my relationships would hurtle with meteor speed into intimacy because I just felt that raw hunger to be authentic.  Transparent.  Real.  And trust was gained and lost, friendships were built and crumbled, and hearts were broken.

   I hope that this new mantra can carry over into everything I do over here at Frame of Mind.  I am just sort of stumbling my way through this as I grow, trying to learn what it means to be authentic and real without filleting myself open on a cutting board for the world to dissect every time.   And I hope you can be gracious, dear reader, as you follow along with me while I learn.

Because at my best and at my worst, I just want to be REAL.


Warning: sappy post ahead.

It's happened.

   Randy and I are officially those cheesy parents who sit on the couch after the kids are in bed and grin stupidly at each other and start in with all of the "Can you believe what Jocelyn said today?  Oh that was just the cutest thing ever."

   "Oh I know, and when Charlotte just came running to you, exclaiming 'It's a big one!' about her poop? I just can't get enough of that."

   And we recount the funny tales of the day, the dinnertime conversations, the great achievements and the priceless little quotes and we both can't get over how much we love them right now.  And I know, I know, it's all making you a bit squeamish right now and kind of want to scratch out your eyeballs a little, but too bad, because it's TRUE.

   We are just loving the stages of their lives right now.  Every single bit of it.  Now, does that mean that every day is perfect?  Flawless?  Without bad behavior or discipline?  Obviously not.  That would be pretty silly to assume.

   It just means that we're grateful for all of it.  And yes, even for the not-so-wonderful parts, because we still GET TO BE THEIR PARENTS.  No one else gets that privilege.  They are ours.  OURS!  And I am just so thankful (now remind me of that tomorrow when the potty training one has an accident and the older one thinks she's the boss of everything).

   But for now, I'll go kiss their angelic sleeping faces and breathe in GRATITUDE that I get the honor of this role.  I get to be Mama to them.  For all my flaws and faults and trust me, there's many, I still am their one and only mama, and always will be.

What a generous, generous God we serve.


Friday fashion: LBS.

Tired of seeing a braid crown around here lately? 

   Hmmm, well that's unfortunate.  It takes like 30 seconds and you can do it with the messiest of messy hair, so it has become my ultimate go-to, and I don't see that changing any time soon.  So until someone shows me how to do something I like better that requires an equal (or less) amount of time, I'm sticking with this.    

   In other news, you've all heard of the LBD (a.k.a Little Black Dress).  But for this fashion Friday, we will be talking a little bit about one of my favorite closet staples, the LBS, or Little Black Skirt.  *cheese alert*

   If you would have told me a few years ago that one day one of my go-to pieces would be a high-waisted, A-line, plain black skirt, well....I probably wouldn't have believed you.  That sounds a little boring.  

And like a waitress uniform. 

   But I am happy to report that I have come around to the idea, and after snagging this one at Goodwill, I have fallen more and more in love with it ever since, wearing it approximately a billion times, give or take a few.

   First of all, it goes with anything.  I mean I guess that's kind of obvious, it is black, after all.  But secondly, it dresses up otherwise casual pieces.  I can pair it with a t-shirt and statement necklace and suddenly, I'm ready for church.  A tank top and light cardigan goes just as well with it as does a patterned top, button-down chambray, or textured sweater.

Like I said, anything.

   And just when I thought I couldn't like it anymore, I figured out that it's not just for spring, fall and winter.  In the colder months I often wear it with tights and boots and love the simplicity of the black against a bold color or patterned legging, but then this past summer I realized it can be perfect for summertime too!  Just pair it with sandals, a light tee and summery scarf, and the black doesn't seem to un-seasonal.  If the day is especially warm, just trade the scarf for a necklace and you're set.

   And yes, these pictures are from earlier this summer.  Although believe it or not, we are STILL having warm and sunny days!  I'm not sure fall has gotten the memo yet.

What are some of your favorite closet staples? 

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