Stupid evil scale

I lay in bed this morning eyeing the bathroom door. I haven’t weighed myself in two weeks and today is the day.

I think through all my fabulous weight diminishing decisions. No mayo. No sweets. Lots of rabbit food. Work outs that make my muscles ache.

But what if it doesn’t show anything? I think.

But what if it does? I argue.

But what if it doesn’t?

Oh hush.

I climb out of bed and walk into the bathroom. I look at my nemesis – shiny dastardly thing that’s given me more heartache then my teenage romances: first, second and third loves combined.

I prepare myself: go potty, drop the warm jammies, suck in my tummy and climb aboard.

I look.

I look again.

I’ve gained two pounds.

I climb off in a huff. Pull on my clothes in a huff. Glare at the dog, snap at my man, grumble at the ceiling—all in a huff.

Stupid scale.

Brian asks me what’s wrong. I tell him.

He loves me in just the right way.

“I think that scale is wrong, honey,” he says.

“It’s probably broken,” he adds.

“And remember love? You worked out hard yesterday. You probably bruised your legs and there’s a build up of water.”

“Your hair is longer. That stuff weighs more than you think.”

I love that man.

But I hate that scale.

Because this is usually the point when I give up.

See? It doesn’t even work! See? I’m doomed to be jiggly. Why fight it? Embrace those cute little fat cells, baby.

Then I think about this triathlon I committed to doing. And I look at how I ran my first 5K yesterday. My first 5K ever, and I ran the whole thing. And I look at the weight that I have lost—12 pounds total. So yes, I gained 2 in the last few weeks, but I’ve lost some too.



And I think of how God encouraged me even before I weighed in. Some lovely ladies in Tyler, Texas presented me with a plaque after my speaking engagement this weekend. It was a framed verse: “Nothing is impossible with God.”

Nothing. Not even losing weight and toning up and doing a triathlon for the very first time at 43 years old.

So I’m not giving up.

I’m not giving in

I might throw my scale out the window, and laugh uproariously as it smashes into a gazillion evil pieces, but I will not give up.

So you don’t either, okay? Whatever fight you’re fighting today. Don’t give up. Tell yourself the same thing I’m speaking to my own brain: Success is a whole slew of small steps in the same direction—so just keep stepping – no matter what.

Amen and amen.

Time to put on my big-girl boots

We’ve become pros at picking out a Christmas tree from the Wal-Mart parking lot – check in the back of the lot, look for vibrant colors and pray for clearance tags… but this year our family decided to brave the frigid mountain air, the wild animals and the snowy pathways to cut down our very own live tree.

Oh yeah, baby.

I donned my rugged big girl boots (and my long underwear) and Brian, Sam and I climbed into the truck. We picked up our good friend Andrea and stopped by the permit office. The city wants you to cut down trees to help with fire control, but you have to get a permit and pay $10 per tree.

Brian went in and came back out smiling. Sam asked him what was so funny.

Well, Brian explained, the woman had given him a stern look and asked, “Do you have 4-wheel drive? Chains?”

Brian had laughed (his manly laugh, I’m sure). “No, 2-wheel drive truck with no chains.”

She had raised her eyebrows. “It’s bad up there. The roads are like this—“ she’d made a triangle shape with her hands, indicating lots and lots and lots of snow. “So you’ll probably slide off the road and get stuck.”

Brian told us every detail of the conversation with sheer little boy giddiness—nothing like some danger, ice and snow to make his day. “I told her she didn’t know what kind of driver I was… that we’d be just fine.”

Sam piped up from the back seat. “I don’t think you should have told Mom that conversation, Brian.”

He looked over at me and I plastered a grin over my look of wide-eyed fear. “Sliding into a ditch? Getting stuck? No problem. What’s Christmas without a little adventure?” I hoped no one would notice that my voice was several octaves higher than normal. I was really just trying to drown out the crazy woman inside my head: We’re going to die. We’re going to die. We’re going to find the perfect tree, cut it down, load it into the truck and then slide into a ditch and die. Oh yeah baby. Merry Christmas.

We stopped by Lowes to pick up a saw. Brian was on the phone, so I confidently picked out the biggest saw I could find. He shook his head as he pointed to a saw half it’s size and twice as thin.

Seriously? I mouthed.

He nodded.

We’ll be up there for days trying to cut down a tree with that thing, the crazy woman said in my head. Did you bring any food along? You’ll probably starve. Or freeze. Or freeze AND starve. That sounds like loads of holiday fun…

The sun was shining brightly and the temperature was heating up. I could see water on the sides of the roads as we cruised up into the foothills. Maybe it would all melt?  Oh Lord, let it all melt. We made our way higher and higher, to the area of the Christmas trees.

The roads were fine.

My mountain man’s driving was perfect.

The company was fabulous.

We found the most beautiful trees, and it took all of two seconds to cut them down with the saw Brian had picked out.

Two seconds.

We did it!

We didn’t starve. We didn’t freeze. We didn’t die.

I’m sure there’s a lesson for me to learn in all of this, so I’ll be sure to think on it. But for right now, there’s a cool mountain tree that needs decorating and a rugged mountain man that needs smooching.

And yes, I think we’ve found a new tradition.

Mile Marker 42

I am so not dignified. Really. It’s mildly embarrassing how giddy I get when I’m about to see my man. When I arrived home Sunday night after a busy run of travel, I had a smile on my face before I even exited the plane.

My grin broadened as I walked through the terminal and climbed on board the train. Random people smiled back.

My joy grew by increments of warm fuzzies and mild goofiness as the train came to a stop.

I nearly bounded up the escalator before remembering, Come now, Elsa, professional women don’t bound.

Finally. I scanned the crowd. Caught glimpse of that smile. Threw decorum to the wind and bounded into my man’s strong arms and melted against his chest.

Oh, how I love coming home.

That was just the beginning. We gathered the luggage, jumped in the car and headed south. With each mile marker, my sense of expectation grew.

Mile marker 163… getting close.

Mile marker 200. The magic number.


I walked in the door to puppies jumping, and my girl squealing “Mommy!”

Yes, she’s 19. Yes, she still squeals “Mommy!”

Oh, how I love coming home.

As I lay in bed that night, content and warm, the thought came to mind: I have another home too.

And when I get there, my Savior will meet me at the gate. Broad smile, twinkling eyes, ready embrace. Without decorum, I will bound into his arms and melt into his love.

I’ll turn to see my dad, my nephew, my brother and my grandparents.

I’m at mile marker 42.  Not sure where the exit is, but the sense of expectation is growing.  Some day…. One day…. we’ll all be home. And if I’m goofy giddy at the prospect of my earthly home, I can’t imagine how explosive the joy will be when I bound into the arms of my Savior.


Oh, how I will love coming home.