Monthly Archives: November 2011

Please Support Ronald McDonald House

Nothing like achieving two milestones in the same week…

Friday (Lord willing) I turn in my manuscript.

Saturday I run my first race. The chocolate is a gimmick, but hey, it worked on me!

I was excited to see that the race’s official charity is the Ronald McDonald House. We have a dear family in our church in Minneapolis right now, staying at Ronald McDonald House while their son receives a bone-marrow transplant. (He’s at Day +8 and has a ever-so-slightly-positive white blood cell count! Woohoo!)

The RMH has been a fantastic home away from home for this family. I had no idea what an incredible resource they provide for families.

I know it’s short notice, but I’d love to be able to report some good fundraising to our Tiny Church family who have benefitted so much from RMH’s hospitality. Some folks have been giving me checks, but if you’d like to support RMH online, click here.

Link Love: Thanksgiving Edition

Just a couple of items before the weekend:



Doesn't she look tired? Hey, she writes, fights for abolition, AND raises six kids---you'd be exhausted too.

Julia Ward Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic” — Slate

The iconic Civil War anthem was written 150 years ago. Interesting piece, but I especially related to this:

Frequently, she experienced these visions [i.e. writings] while in bed, perhaps the only place where—as the mother of six children—she could snatch a moment of quiet reflection. She had grown used to scribbling notes in barely sufficient light, so as not to wake the baby invariably sleeping beside her.

As my deadline looms, Robert and I have a short getaway planned together this weekend, Sunday we put up Christmas decorations, and Monday is Jamesy’s 4th birthday. So Julia—YOU GO GIRL. I can relate.


Happy Evacuation Day! — The Daily Show

The holiday we should be celebrating this weekend, according to a cutely nervous but still hilarious Sarah Vowell. (Sorry I’m having trouble embedding the video—follow the link above.)

The Boots Are Still Intact

He's so ugly he's cute. May I never see his real-life brethren infesting the crowns of my children. Especially on deadline.

I will be offering burnt sacrifices to the writing gods in thanksgiving for the fact that my child did NOT get head lice from the three children she was with last week who have it.

To carry last week’s mountain-climbing metaphor forward, having a kid with lice the week before a 70,000 word project is due would be something like having one’s boots fall apart on the climb.

Which happened to me.


Where I’m At, and Fitness Update

Book Update:

So, I feel good about where 2/3 of the book is. Which is not to say it’s done, but it just needs tweaking rather than major overhauls.

Of the remaining four chapters, two are in rough draft form, and two are in rough-rough draft form. Steady as she goes.

Concluding a book is hard. It’s not like a sermon, in which you can deliver a zinger, stare at the congregation for a beat, and say “Thanks be to God.”

Fitness Update:

But I also wanted to say that I’ve lost about 19 pounds in the last 3-4 months, and am on track to hit 20 right in time for Thanksgiving. Goody! I am wearing a size that I have not worn since my 20s, also known as Before What’s-Her-Name Came Along.

The weight loss and book-writing are not related.

Here are my favorite fitness hacks; I’d love to hear yours.

  • MyFitnessPal, or something similar that tracks food and exercise. Write everything down. The bar code scanner is just fun.
  • Kitchen scale and measuring cups are the best tools you have. Portion size is the name of the game. I count my Tostitos, weigh my cereal, and measure out peanut butter for sandwiches.
  • I don’t do Healthy Options / Smart Choices / Mega Low-Cal Hi-Fiber Super Diet Food. I just eat food. I tend to agree with Michael Pollan’s suspicion of food that touts its health benefits—it’s often highly processed.
  • I basically count calories. It’s not the most precise way to go, but it’s easy and good enough.
  • That said, I had to tell Robert to hide the kids’ Halloween candy because I was overindulging—and even though I was within my caloric range each day, I lost no weight that week. Go figure!
  • I don’t do Atkins/South Beach but I sure understand where they’re coming from. I don’t like sandwiches that much, but now even more so. 200-250 calories before you even put anything on the bread? Yikes.
  • That said, whole grains are good for you.
  • I let myself do whatever I want once a week; I don’t track what I eat and just enjoy. I figure this is for the long haul. The day off is usually on a weekend. The other day of the weekend, I will keep track, but I don’t stress if I go over my allotment.
  • When I do indulge in a dessert thing, I serve myself one at a time instead of a handful. That means one Oreo, one Dove chocolate, or whatever. Eventually I get tired of getting up from the couch or desk and walking into the kitchen for seconds, or thirds, or…
  • Dessert, alcoholic beverage, or a day off from exercise. Pick two. You’ll likely stay in range each day, but you can still enjoy life.
  • Exercise: I exercise to feel good, but really it’s so I can eat more. I’m not that virtuous. However, I am running my first race on December 3. Hopefully it will be a celebration of having turned in the manuscript too.

What are your fitness tips?


Robert and I went to see Moneyball last night. Excellent flick—I can see why it’s 95% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

I was bowled over by how the story resonates with issues of leadership and church transformation.

Anyone? Anyone?

Please tell me someone has already written this post so I don’t have to.