27th Mar2015

Life After Kids: Get Physical

by Daenel

Life After Kids - Get Physical {Living Outside the Stacks}

“Mommy, Brandon’s getting me wet!”

I look at my daughter with disbelieving eyes. “B-b-b-but you’re in the pool,” I stammer. Then I look at my son and half-heartedly reprimand him, “don’t get your sister wet.”

I think his 4-year-old eyes are mocking me.

I wanted nothing more than to go back inside to the way-too-cold discomfort of the air conditioned living room and relax, but when you become a mom your needs are sometimes secondary to the wants of your kids. Especially in summer, when they want to not get wet in the wading pool.

I was never an athletic person. Or an outdoor person, for that matter. People who knew me in high school were flabbergasted to find that I’d joined the Army. I was the girl who’d turned getting out of gym class into an art form. In fact, I was so bad at PE that a couple of my high school phys ed teachers actually asked my mother to ask me to drop their classes. Seriously.

Then I had kids and gained weight. Then I had Thyroid Cancer and gained more weight. Then I woke up one day and needed to do something. I didn’t know what, I just knew I needed to challenge myself. So I signed up to run a 5K, which I ended up walking and not running. Long story short, I temporarily lost my vision in one eye and running was near impossible for me.

I hadn’t really run a day in my life, except for those half-hearted attempts in high school that helped me squeak through class with a “C” because the teachers liked me. And the forced Army runs because, well, Army. I’d been a non-running civilian for almost 4 years by then. I used to say: “Even if someone was trying to kill me, I’d only walk really, really fast.”

Skip ahead a few years and the desire to run hit me again. This time, I signed up for a C25K program with the city parks and recreation division and, lo and behold, a runner was born. There were no freak blindnesses to contend with, no sprained ankles, no achy knees… Just me, my headphones, and the pavement.

Best feeling ever.

Over the years, my daughters have joined me on various run/walks but running/walking/slogging continues to be a thing that I enjoy doing just for myself. And, honestly, by myself. I like running with a group but I also like the solo aspect. When I put on my headphones, I tune out the world. I listen to praise music and, for that 30 minutes or so, I’m focused on my stride and mentally singing praises to God.

Yes, I still struggle with my weight. Yeah, sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to get out there. And, no, I don’t always run the entire route but I’m out there and I’m taking care of me.

Physical activity, no matter what it is, is key to making it as an empty nester. Think about it, this is the time for you to go out and explore the world, you know, see the things you want to see. How fun is that if you get winded trying to enjoy it? Not very.

Are you physically active? What do you do to stay healthy?

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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20th Mar2015

Life After Kids: Find a Hobby

by Daenel

Life After Kids Find A Hobby {Living Outside the Stacks} #EmptyNest #Marriage #Parenting

“Jazmine’s mom…”

I look at the little hand tugging at the hem of my shirt, smile, and respond.

For the past 22 years, I’ve been “______’s mom”, “Tony’s wife”, or some variation there of. I will always be their mom and I will always be “Tony’s wife”, but I’m also “Daenel”. Daenel is who I was when I came into this world and Daenel is who I’ll be when I leave it. Somewhere in the middle, I became this person whose identity was dependent upon the people I was caring for. Now I’m at that time in my life when I should be remembering who I was and discovering who I want to be.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a journalist. I wanted to tell stories and change the world. I wanted people to read my words and think I’ve got to fix this… I don’t think I ever really lost the desire to tell people’s stories; I just changed the way I needed to tell those stories. When I was raising my kids, those stories were told with the voice of a mother who wanted to encourage her children to explore the world around them while still staying safely nestled in her arms. Gosh, there’s so much conflict in being a mother.

Now that my kids are exploring the world on their own, it’s time for me to get back to the art of storytelling. Only now I’ll be using my camera.

Making pictures is cathartic for me. And frustrating. But I enjoy it. I like that there’s a moment – good or bad – that has been preserved. There’s something about having an image in my head and then seeing it come to fruition.

Burfordville Covered Bridge Bollinger Missouri {Living Outside the Stacks}

Fungus {Living Outside the Stacks}

There’s also something to be said for those candid moments.

Little Boy with Attitude {Living Outside the Stacks}

Life After Kids Coffee {Living Outside the Stacks} #EmptyNest #Marriage #Parenting

I’ve found that having a hobby is one of the easiest ways to stay in touch with who you are as a person. The act of doing something that you enjoy because you want to and not because you have to is renewing. There are no expectations, you’re not meeting anyone’s needs but your own. For a half hour or so, your focus is on making yourself happy and doing something that you enjoy.

Trust me when I say that this time that you take for yourself will not only make you a better {and, dare I say, more interesting} person, but it’ll also make you a better wife, and, yes, mother.

What did you want to be when you were a kid? Now that you’re older, have your dreams changed? Have you found a new passion? How are you maintaining or creating your identity?

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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18th Mar2015

One Dress, Two Ways: Whimsical Horse Print

by Daenel

One Dress Two Ways {Living Outside the Stacks}

Truth be told, I have a love-hate relationship with this dress. I absolutely adore it because The Hubs picked it out for me. And if you’ve ever met him, you’ll know that he’s a strict black, white, and khaki kinda guy, so picking out a navy dress with multicolored horses on it? Just beyond! But I also hate it because part of me feels like I’m way too old to wear novelty prints. I’m 42! Especially novelty prints on a short{er} dress.

But then there’s the rebel in me that screams: “WEAR IT AND WEAR IT PROUDLY!” So that’s what I choose to do.

For Spring

Target Black Cardigan Horse Print Dress and QVC Wine Shooties {Living Outside the Stacks}

Target Black Cardigan Horse Print Dress and QVC Wine Shooties {Living Outside the Stacks}

Target Black Cardigan Horse Print Dress and QVC Wine Shooties {Living Outside the Stacks}

Spring in these parts can be iffy. For example, we had temps in the mid 70’s on Monday and today it’s a chilly 40something, so cardigans are a must. And as soon as February ends, the library turns on the AC but don’t get me started on that. While I could have chosen a complimentary colored cardi, black is always a favorite of mine. It’s longer in length and it acts as a nice contrast to the deep navy.

I also think the tights help to extend the length just enough that I won’t cause a scandal and the shooties {don’t you love that word?} keep me from looking like I’m trying too hard. I grew up in the age of “the higher the hem, the lower the heel.” And I still abide by that rule. A girl can’t break every rule!

For Summer

Pink Cardi Horse Print Dress and Blue Shoes {Living Outside the Stacks}

Pink Cardi Horse Print Dress and Blue Shoes {Living Outside the Stacks}

Pink Cardi Horse Print Dress and Blue Shoes {Living Outside the Stacks}

Pink Cardi Horse Print Dress and Blue Shoes {Living Outside the Stacks}

Ahhhhh… warmth. Sun. Bare legs. This version is definitely much more playful and just a tad bit sexier, without being too much. Again, you’ll notice I added a cardi, this time in a soft pink. And the shoes are just bold. They don’t match the dress at all, but they “go with”, which is a style I happen to prefer.

How do you transition your clothes from Spring to Summer? What’s your favorite style season? 

I’m linking up with:

Please check them out for more fashion inspiration.
Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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13th Mar2015

Life After Kids: Where’s the Kool-Aid?

by Daenel

Life After Kids: preparing to be an empty nester {Living Outside the Stacks} #EmptyNest #Parenting #Marriage #Family Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

Someone is always gonna want Kool-Aid.

I leaned against the kitchen counter and stared at the four pairs of eyes looking back at me, tears streaming down their little faces, empty cups being shoved at me. I’d had enough of the crying, the fighting, the wanting, the needing… I wanted to run away from home. And, as soon as my mother-in-law walked through the door, that’s exactly what I did.

I grabbed my purse and my keys, hopped in the car and started driving. I had no destination in mind. I just needed to get out. I drove for a couple of hours before I finally pulled the car over, had a good cry, turned around, and went back home. I won’t say that’s the last time I thought about running away, but it was definitely the last time that I actually went through with it.

When my kids hit their teen years, I started to understand why some animals eat their young. I have a theory that the teen years are difficult because it makes it easier for parents to release their children into the wild when they come of age. But then something weird happens…

The closer you get to letting them go, the more you want to hold on to them. You start to remember the neck nuzzles when they were babies. Memories of them on their first day of school… The funny lisp from missing teeth… Shopping for the first formal… Bowls of ice cream used to mend a broken heart… Resisting the urge to stand up and yell “That’s my baby!” on graduation night. It all comes back, the good stuff, you know? The bad stuff is forgotten. Kind of like labor pains once you hold your newborn for the first time.

The kids are leaving home now. The Hubs and I are moving away and becoming empty nesters. I lean against the kitchen counter, eyes closed, ears straining…

No one wants Kool-Aid.

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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Beginning this week, I’ll start sharing a weekly series on how The Hubs and I are preparing for our new lives as empty nesters. I’d like to thank my friend, Madison, for speaking into existence an idea that has been flitting about my brain for nearly a year.

23rd Jan2015

Friday Link Love: Interesting Reads

by Daenel

Pilot Precise V5 Pens {Living Outside the Stacks}

Happy Friday, y’all. I hope you’re participating in #FistBumpFriday with me on Instagram! I’d love to hear what made you happy this week. I’m happy that The Hubs and I found out that we got the house in Georgia. You guys, this is my dream home!! It has all of the vintage charm that I love and the modern updates that The Hubs wants. Once we close and things get settled, I’ll post pictures. But if you want a sneak peek, just look here.

Anyway, I just wanted to share a few blog posts that I read during the week that I found interesting and thought you might like as well:

Link Love Interesting reads from my feed {Living Outside the Stacks}

  • Internet Cafe Devotions: What Would Happen If Women Empowered One Another  ~ One of the things that I love about my Facebook community is the incredible amount of support and encouragement that I get from the women {and men} who interact with me on a daily basis. This beautifully written post about how women can overcome the fear of interacting with each other and create a support system based on love, encouragement, and the truth of Christ reinforced my beliefs in the power of women to help each other.
  • The Lolly Project: DIY | Conversation Heart Ring Dishes ~ One of my favorite things about Valentine’s Day is the conversation heart candy. It makes me think of when I was in elementary school and I had my first crush… But I digress. These ring dishes are easy to make and oh so cute. Could be a fun Mother/Daughter project!
  • A Pocketful of Polka Dots: Lace Me Up ~ I absolutely love Jennie’s style. Really, just flip through her blog… You will nothing but inspiration! But the lace skirt and black sweater she’s wearing? So simple yet edgy and ladylike. Fabulous, I tell you!

Did you read any interesting posts this week? Share a link in the comments below. 

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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16th Jan2015

Friday Link Love: Interesting Reads

by Daenel

Week 2 Nature {Living Outside the Stacks}

Happy Friday! My time in Georgia is coming to an end. sad panda And, of course, the sun has decided to make an appearance. Kid you not, it’s been chilly and rainy since the day I stepped off the plane. Everyone kept telling me to expect this but I thought they were kidding. In my head, Georgia = warm warmer blazing hot. That is all. Nothing more, nothing less.

I’ll adjust…

Link Love Interesting reads from my feed {Living Outside the Stacks}

So, I just wanted to shout out a few blog posts that I read during the week that I found interesting and think you might as well:

Did you read any interesting posts this week? Share a link in the comments below. 

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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07th Jan2015

My One Word for 2015

by Daenel

My One Word for 2015 {Living Outside the Stacks}

I’ve often said that I have the focus of a monkey caught in a tornado. My brain never really shuts down completely. Even when I’m sleeping, I’m thinking about things I need to do the next day: send an email to this person, follow up on a project with that person, tackle the handbook that’s needed updating for the last year and a half… And, for the most part, those things get done. Except for that stupid handbook.

The things that don’t get finished are the things that are important to me: the bible studies I keep starting and stopping, the photography projects that end because I don’t have time to edit, the blog posts that go unwritten because squirrel. And the baby weight from 18 years ago.

I need to finish stuff. I want to finish things. Like the two blankets I was supposed to crochet for two friends I’m too ashamed to say how many years ago. And no matter how many times I like to tell myself “It’s OK” or “I’m a work in progress”, I know it’s not OK. It’s not acceptable to leave people hanging with a wink and a nod.

God doesn’t just save us and find an excuse to leave us in a corner in a state of partial repair. He works on and in us daily {Philippians 2:12~13}. As a child of God, I’m to follow His example and complete the works that are before me and do them as if I were doing them for Him {Colossians 3:23~24}. And that means finishing what I start and doing it with a cheerful heart. Even if it is that handbook.

My One Little Word complete {Living Outside the Stacks}

My one word for 2015 is: complete. I will complete things this year. And to ensure that I meet my goals, rather than just putting it out there, I’m taking action. I purchased a planner and started writing down the things that I want to complete this year. Not randomly, but with dates. I’ve chunked and color coded events to keep my list from overwhelming me.

I’ve also joined Hello Mornings, an online bible study group, to keep me accountable. The first session begins 12 January, we’ll be studying the book of Colossians. Guess what the topic is? Complete in Christ: Illuminating the Pure Truth of Jesus by Jenni Keller. There are no coincidences with God.

Do you have one word for 2015? If you’d like to learn more, you can go to My One Word to learn about how “one word can inspire you all year”.

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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19th Dec2014

Happy Fist Bump Friday!

by Daenel

Fist Bump Friday {Living Outside the Stacks}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I like to do a little something called “Fist Bump Friday”, where I encourage my friends to share something that made them happy during the week. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life and the crazy that comes with it that we forget to acknowledge the good things. So I thought it’d be fun if we all shared and celebrated together.

This week I’m happy that The Hubs is home from Georgia for the next few weeks. A commuter marriage ain’t easy y’all. The sacrifices we make for our children… I’m also happy that the kids are home from college. It’s nice to have a full house again, even if Squeekerz isn’t quite so happy {click here to see what they did to him}.

So please, share your good news in the comments below. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or earth shattering. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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05th Dec2014

Happy Fist Bump Friday!

by Daenel

Fist Bump Friday {Living Outside the Stacks}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I like to do a little something called “Fist Bump Friday”, where I encourage my friends to share something that made them happy during the week. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life and the crazy that comes with it that we forget to acknowledge the good things. So I thought it’d be fun if we all shared and celebrated together.

This week I’m happy to feel like I’m finally beating The Crud! I’ve been sick with some sort of cold/zombie virus hybrid that has made me want to clean out my sinuses with a spork.

So please, share your good news in the comments below. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or earth shattering. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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26th Nov2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

by Daenel

Visit me on YouTube at youtube.com/user/4curiouschild35

Hi! I hope you’re having a very Happy Thanksgiving! Normally on Thursdays I host Coffee Talk where I talk about pop culture, things I see in the news, answer random questions, etc. But since it’s Thanksgiving, I thought I’d host a special Thanksgiving Edition of Coffee Talk and share what I’m thankful for. I hope you’ll take the time to watch the video and share some of the things you’re thankful for in the comments below.

 

Happiness to you and yours,

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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14th Nov2014

Happy Fist Bump Friday: Emergency Coffee

by Daenel

Happy #FistBumpFriday {Living Outside the Stacks}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I like to do a little something called “Fist Bump Friday”, where I encourage my friends to share something that made them happy during the week. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life and the crazy that comes with it that we forget to acknowledge the good things. So I thought it’d be fun if we all shared and celebrated together.

This week I’m happy for that moment when I thought I was out of coffee and I remembered that I had an emergency stash.

So please, share your good news in the comments below. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or earth shattering. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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13th Nov2014

Coffee Talk: An Interesting Fact About Me

by Daenel

I’d like to welcome you to Coffee Talk. In case you’re new here, this is where I share some of the great and not~so~great stuff that I find on the web. Topics range from news stories that leave me scratchin’ my head to DIYs that I think are absolutely clever. And, who knows, there may even be a recipe thrown in here or there just for fun.

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}Today I’m telling you an interesting fact about me that people would be surprised to know. What do you think it is? Did I perform in a circus? Do I have a secret talent? Watch the video and find out!

Now it’s your turn, tell me something about you that people would be surprised to know.

So grab a cup of coffee {or tea or whatever floats your boat} and let’s talk

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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07th Nov2014

Fist Bump Friday: The Hubs and a New Lens

by Daenel

Happy #FistBumpFriday {Living Outside the Stacks}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I like to do a little something called “Fist Bump Friday”, where I encourage my friends to share something that made them happy during the week. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life and the crazy that comes with it that we forget to acknowledge the good things. So I thought it’d be fun if we all shared and celebrated together.

This week I’m happy that The Hubs is coming home today! And I’m happy that The Hubs got me a new 35mm f/1.8g lens for my camera ~ we’re having so much fun together! Click here to see the first picture that I took with her, it’s straight out of the camera except for cropping and addition of the watermark.

So please, share your good news in the comments below. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or earth shattering. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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06th Nov2014

Coffee Talk: Bible Study Suggestions and Squeekerz

by Daenel

I’d like to welcome you to Coffee Talk. In case you’re new here, this is where I share some of the great and not~so~great stuff that I find on the web. Topics range from news stories that leave me scratchin’ my head to DIYs that I think are absolutely clever. And, who knows, there may even be a recipe thrown in here or there just for fun.

So grab a cup of coffee {or tea or whatever floats your boat} and let’s talk…

Last week, I asked for questions and I received two:

  1. Could I suggest some bible studies
  2. Can I show Squeekerz

Well, here’s a list of the bible studies that I talked about in the video:

  • Women’s Bible Cafe ~ nondenominational bible study group for women. They also offer monthly online book groups.
  • Bible Gateway ~ hosting a bible study called “How to Understand the Bible”. There are also reading plans.
  • She Reads Truth ~ they offer a variety of devotionals and bible study plans.
  • True Woman ~ teachings on the biblical principals of womanhood

And for all things Squeekerz, click here and here.

Squeekerz {Living Outside the Stacks}

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}I decided to make this a little bit more interactive. Do you have questions for me? If so, leave them in the comments below and we’ll talk about them next Thursday.

If you’d like to see me on YouTube, click here and hit the subscribe button!

So grab a cup of coffee {or tea or whatever floats your boat} and let’s talk

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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31st Oct2014

Happy Fist Bump Friday: Graduate Faculty Status

by Daenel

Happy #FistBumpFriday {Living Outside the Stacks}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I like to do a little something called “Fist Bump Friday”, where I encourage my friends to share something that made them happy during the week. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life and the crazy that comes with it that we forget to acknowledge the good things. So I thought it’d be fun if we all shared and celebrated together.

This week I’m happy that it was announced that I was granted Graduate Faculty Status at Southeast Missouri State University. This gives me the right and privilege to serve on various committees and teach classes. So yay!

So please, share your good news in the comments below. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or earth shattering. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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30th Oct2014

Coffee Talk: About Me, Halloween, and a Zombie Apocalypse Plan

by Daenel

I’d like to welcome you to Coffee Talk. In case you’re new here, this is where I share some of the great and not~so~great stuff that I find on the web. Topics range from news stories that leave me scratchin’ my head to DIYs that I think are absolutely clever. And, who knows, there may even be a recipe thrown in here or there just for fun.

Here are the links to some of the things that I talked about:

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}I decided to make this a little bit more interactive. Do you have questions for me? If so, leave them in the comments below and we’ll talk about them next Thursday.

If you’d like to subscribe to see me on YouTube, click here and hit the subscribe button!

So grab a cup of coffee {or tea or whatever floats your boat} and let’s talk

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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