Happy Birthday…Where’s my Gift?

The anniversary of my life has come again. Happy birthday to Me!

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net Stuart Miles

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Stuart Miles

Do you remember how awesome birthdays were when we were kids? If you don’t, Just ask a child about his birthday and watch the magic in his eyes. My kindergarten girl just had a conversation with me about her birthday. It went something like this:

Mom, why do people have to work on my birthday?
Hon, it’s because your birthday is during the week and that is when most people work.
But Mom, shouldn’t we have the day off? It is a holiday, right?

That’s how special birthdays are to my child…she thinks the whole world celebrates her day because in my house we make birthdays a big deal. Except for mine. My loved ones reap the benefit of my tendency to overdo things, but I draw the line at overdoing my own festivities so I’ve had to do the mom thing and grin through cheesy antics, no decorations,  and less than impressive homemade giftings. I’m not ungrateful though; just poking fun at the  situation.  And being honest. That’s what happens to moms but the love is always there. Always.

And in all truthfulness, as my kids get older (and as I get more needy and whiny) my family has risen to the challenge to make my day just as grand as I help make theirs. Hubby has even stepped up the gift giving with amazingly thoughtful gifts, which is quite frankly my favorite part of the festivities. So favorite, in fact, that I have decided to finally give myself a gift this year.

Image curtesy of master isolated images/freedigitalphotos.net

Image curtesy of master isolated images/freedigitalphotos.net

I am starting a new tradition and investing in this “happy birthday to me” by giving myself…PERMISSION.

PERMISSION is a gift that lots of us could unwrap in our lives. What excuses have you used to keep yourself bound up, locked in, or just plain stuck in the ruts of your life? Routines that, albeit safe, keep your heart in a state of dissatisfaction. If only you took that chance, found the courage to take that step, gave yourself PERMISSION to dream, to hope, to aspire, to set in motion the gifts that are found in you…what life awaits you? Will you give yourself permission to find out?

This birthday year, I give myself PERMISSION. God has given me gifts and dreams…of which you are a part. And I am giving myself PERMISSION to step towards them. I will make time for myself. I will take the more difficult but most successful road. I will stop watching and comparing myself with everyone else and investing regularly in myself. As I open up my gift, would you share it with me? I will be sharing my journey as it unfolds, laying a foundation for success and living life as it develops. We will continue to search out authenticity, face fears, and no matter what else learn to take whatever life dishes and still remain…



Thanks for sharing this day with me. Want to make my birthday even better? Would you please share this post with everyone you know? There may be some cake in it for you (you’d have to buy it for yourself as and then you can eat it…but I give you permission to do so!)


May I be honest? I am a liar of the worst kind.

I’m not the kind of liar who is malicious or purposefully evil, but I am a liar of the worst kind. You heard right…the worst that I can think of anyway.

Now I can just hear my Daddy say to me, “Peachie-peach,(that’s what he calls me) you could never be the worst kind of anything!” (He is unashamedly biased like that and I am still thrilled that he is!) But, sorry Daddy, I am. Just what kind of liar am I?

Let’s see.

If you were to graph lies from harmless to just plain nasty, the categories may look like this:

Courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net

Courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net

Precious liar: the kind that lies because they don’t know any better, like my two year old.

Scaredy pants liar: the kind that lies because they don’t want to get caught, like my four year old
…and every teenager I know

Evil liar: the kind that lies knowingly and willingly…you know who I’m talking about

Then there’s me, the Truthful liar: the worst kind of liar whose lies she believes to be truth. 

Yes, I am such a good liar that when I lie to myself, I actually believe what I am saying. As a matter of fact, I don’t even realize that I am lying. In my mind, I am doing the right thing. I am doing what in my mind I think I am supposed to do, what “you” think would be the proper thing to do. Thing is, surface truth is all you are getting. Deep down, I am evil.

Courtesy of Stuart Miles @freegitialphotos.net

Courtesy of Stuart Miles @freegitialphotos.net

For instance, when you tell me that you just got a new house and a promotion and I hug you and say that it is so wonderful for you…I’m lying. I wish it was me.

When your kid beats mine at anything and I tell my child that it is her effort that I am most proud of, I’m lying. I wanted her to win.

When I do a ten minute workout and then eat french fries afterwards, I’m lying to myself. I did not work off those extra calories.

When, at the end of the day, I zone out to Netflix because I spent my whole day “working” and I “deserve” it, I’m lying. I am looking for a way to be lazy.

When you find out that my son is wearing a leg brace not because he broke it but because it is a condition, and you smile and say, “Oh, he’s so cute though,”, I may smile back at you, LIES… I’ve slapped you in my mind.

When everything has gone wrong, yet I speak with such confidence that everything is going to be ok. LYING…I am scared that what I want to happen, won’t. Then how will I uphold my faith…to “you”?

Yup. If I may be brutally honest with you and with myself, I am taken aback with just how many lies I have actually lived. I’ve believed these lies and more. Until today. My family is going through a season of birthdays, anniversaries, and milestones. This time of year moves my mind to reflection and this year the mirror was not kind, and I am so thankful for this painful awakening.

Because now I can change it.

I want to continue to live life fully, not fearfully. I want to deal with life as it comes, instead of trying to defend it. I believe there is growth, there is purpose, and there is promise in the pain and the shortcomings I try so hard to avoid. I want to know that life. 

And that life is there for me if I can stop lying…… and start LIVING.

Have you ever found yourself trying to be the man or woman you want to be but you find yourself pretending to be that person, instead of actually being her or being him? In all honesty, I am done lying to myself. This may not be the “build-your-blog-base” post I should write, but authentic yet successful living is what I am compelled to write. If you want to take this journey with me and bring others along, follow these next few blog posts. I want to see change, not just talk about it. If you are ready  (I promise not to tell your dad), then please join me. I have some principles I have lived and learned that will help us in this quest for living in Truth. They are not my own…I am not that smart. However, wisdom comes not from coming up with the right ideas but living them.

Life isn’t easy, but with a little effort it can be…


On the Me{n}U: My Horrible Mommy, Life-changing Moment

It happened. I planned for it. I practiced for it. I dreaded it. I hoped I would never have to face it. I feared every time I heard it happening to someone else.

But a horrible moment happened to me anyway.

I lost my five year old daughter at a water park!


…thankfully, only for a moment.

But it is a moment that will last forever in my memory. I can close my eyes right now and relive the panic. Chest tightening as if embraced by King Kong. Pulse racing faster than an Olympic sprinter. Flashes of what if scenarios playing fast forward in my head…the worst scenarios a mother could think of. Praying like a madwoman both in my heart and on my lips to Almighty God in a way I never ever want to do again. All other faces blurred into nothingness as I searched for that one precious face that meant everything in that moment. A five minute moment felt like forever.

Have you had that moment?

A sliver of time that would change the course of your life afterwards forever. I know you have. Some are fantastic. One minute no baby, the next minute, BOOM! parenthood. One minute, high school student, next minute POW! Graduate.

Some are absolutely foul. A loss. A goodbye. A death.

image courtesy of artur84:freedigitalimages.net

image courtesy of artur84; freedigitalimages.net

Our greatest and worst moments marker our lives. They give definition and character to the story of our existence. My story, your story, is highlighted by our moments, whether we like them or not. And as much as I would love to erase the moment my daughter was lost from my memory, it is a part of me now and will be always. To someone at that water park, I am the mom who could not keep track of her daughter and irresponsibly lost her kid. (Ok, so it didn’t happen quite like that. But they don’t know that. She didn’t wander off. She just didn’t hold hands and in her following could not see us anymore. In that split second of panic, a guard asked if she was lost and took her to the security room just that fast. We were literally two feet away, but she couldn’t see us, so she was lost. And yes, I am STILL embarrassed by that fact.)

How do we embrace the moments in our lives that depict us negatively?

How do we make peace with the memories that reveal such dark times in our lives? What do we do if those memories outshine any good that we have ever encountered? I don’t profess to have the only wisdom on this matter, but I do know what helps me.

I try to remember that: moments

  1. Life is a journey. I can’t have ups without downs. And if I did, life would be dull

  2. Negative moments fuel the positive ones. If I can make it through, the joy that is to come will be that much sweeter.

  3. My worst moments connect me deeply in my relationships with others and with my Savior God. I am forced to be humble, to be vulnerable, to trust, and to receive outside of myself. What a great gift trouble can give if I can view it as such.

  4. Trials of life chip away at the rough and insensitive parts of my life and make me a better listener, more compassionate, more empathetic, and more humble. It’s a tool I can use in my life.

When I can remember these in the midst of sour moments, I can not only withstand them, I can incorporate them into memories with a deep respect.

If I can do that then you can choose to do that, too, because Me {n} U, we’re no different! We both have choices to make. Our circumstances may be different, but the power to choose is always ours.  And if we choose well, we can embrace lifetime changing moments and continue to remain


What’s new on the ME{N}U?

The Big Question: What’s new on the ME{N}U?

The answer: Everything.

Welcome to Just Peachie’s blog I affectionately call the ME{N})U!


Menu (Photo credit: Renée S. Suen)

Did you read that right? No, not the menu.

The ME{N}U…the Me and YOU!

We are here enjoying these words together because as you read, I leave a little of me here with you. So we’re together, me and you (ME{N}U). My hope is that when we are done, we will have connected (me and you), we will be inspired (me and you), we will think (me and you), we will learn (me and you) we will laugh, (me and you), and we will grow, (me and you.)

So what is on the ME{N}U?
Cornbread, collard greens, macaroni and cheese...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On this ME{N}U, we’re going to focus on SOUL FOOD, but not the kind you eat. The kind you live. Now I will post food related things only because, let’s be honest, I like to eat! I am a hopeless pinterest addict and through so many others there is a recipe or food related item that will correspond to everything I write. I also believe that food and life go hand in hand. Birthdays bring cakes. Parties bring appetizers. Holidays bring calories…I mean food traditions. Life. Food. Together. Eat up both!

And who is this who decides the ME{N}U?

To quote one of my favorite movies, (imagine now an English accent) “Me! That’s Who!” I, Just Peachie, must warn you that I am no expert. I got me some edumacation (yes, I did that on purpose. I know how to use spell check). But I want to assure you that whatever comes from this site, comes from me, personally, and hopefully from…


I want to hear what you have to say about life. What is life serving you up when we dish on topics? We all have something in common and something to bring into each other’s lives. Like a good meal, life is best when shared with others. That’s the beauty of blogging right?

Empty plate

(Photo credit: noodlepie)

So join me as I take bites of life, hopefully not more than I can chew, savor whatever it dishes, and serve tasty tidbits to you as well.

May life come at you new and afresh this week! Until then, we’ll try and stay,



curtesy of Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net

courtesy of Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net

I am so excited to be the New Kid on the Blog Yes, I did go there. Yes, I was a teen girl in the 80s/90s. Yes, I know all the words to The Right Stuff. No I won’t sing it for you, but let’s hope I have just the right stuff for this blog! Hope you’ll join me for all things life-inspired and non-fattening

Telstar Test Launch

 (Photo credit: jurvetson)


Launch date: Monday, April 29th.

I can’t promise you our talks won’t get personal at times, but I do promise to be real, to be honest, and to be present.

Together we will savor what life dishes and everything will be as it should be…