2017 March Madness Bracket Challenge

2017 March Madness Bracket Challenge

Hey friends. I am coming back this year to continue my bracket challenge/outline of my strategies due to popular demand/I asked two friends if this was annoying and they said no plus my dad texted me about it. I’m a little late in getting this written this year. It’s a long story involving working from home, printers, and the fact that I don’t have a full grasp on what Selection Sunday is. But I’m here now, writing out my super thoughtful and scientific strategy while watching Nick find a forever wife getting his heart broken before ultimately ending up with January Jones on The Bachelor. So just a refresher in case it’s your first time here. I will walk you through my filling out of the March Madness Bracket by writing down my every thought so you can copy my strategy if you need to. I will also be hosting a bracket challenge through this ol’ website. The winner will win a $35 Amazon gift card.* How to enter and stuff will be at the end because that’s when I’ll take the time to figure out how to tell you to enter. *In the unlikely event that I win (again), I will treat myself to a Chick-fil-A milkshake and no prize will be awarded. Okay, enough of this preamble. First Round (Guys, where did the underline text go in WordPress? Well, I accidentally found a horizontal line a few minutes ago, so we’ll use that.) I will begin in the EAST region because it seems logical. We read left to right. Villanova vs. MSMARY/NO. No, Ms. Mary. Wisconsin vs. VA Tech. Wisconsin....
Tweets of the Month Club | February 2017

Tweets of the Month Club | February 2017

Awards season, Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, Beyoncé’s pregnancy announcement—February had a lot going on. There was also that day at the beginning of the month when I became super popular for a second while everyone was taking the punctuation quiz (Thanks, Beth Moore). I didn’t include any of those tweets, but wanted to note it here. Thank you. As usual, Twitter provides the perfect oasis for us to sort out all of our feelings about all of the things. Here are the best tweets from my feed this month.  With one or two exceptions, the blog articles of mine which I think are the most interesting get shared the least, and vice versa. Theories? — Andrew Wilson (@AJWTheology) February 1, 2017 Like, for example, when you link to a bunch of other people’s tweets once a month. Hearing “kick and snare” said confidently out loud at a coffee shop is just one way to know you’re in Nashville. — Laura McClellan (@laura_mcclellan) February 1, 2017 Em dashes—all day long. #dependentclauses #amwriting — kate shellnutt (@kateshellnutt) February 1, 2017 My kids also brought home an I SPY book the other day, and I'd forgotten how much time we used to spend in the 80s just staring at pictures — Scott McClellan (@ScottMcClellan) February 1, 2017 I pray that I grow in my love of God as he actually is, not as I imagine him to be. — Lauren Rae Konkol (@laurenkonkol) February 2, 2017 We just received a box of dehydrated bird vomit in the mail.#homeschool — Eric Schumacher (@emschumacher) February 2, 2017 Has anybody called dibs on Beytwice because...
God’s Faithfulness and The Mountain

God’s Faithfulness and The Mountain

Visitors have a 30% chance of actually seeing Denali, North America’s tallest peak. The Mountain (as it’s known, to distinguish it from the park of the same name) makes its own weather and is almost always (70% of the time) covered in its own clouds and fog. I didn’t know this was the case until “I’m in the 30% Club” postcards began to fill in with the regular “Greetings from Alaska!” fare at the gift stores. We arrived in Denali late at night during a week when the Mountain had been visible three days previously. A rainy fog rolled in as we did. The next morning, we thought the clouds might disperse as we hiked around clear lakes and drove past moose and their calves. We kept our eyes pointed in the direction of the Mountain but only saw clouds. We began to question if we even knew what the Mountain looked like. Would we know if we saw it? Would we be able to distinguish the tallest grayish rocks from the other grayish rocks and the grayish clouds? How would we know? We remained hopeful, placing the “70% Club” postcards back on the racks for now. We had booked a tour into the park the next day, and we prayed, selfishly, for the clouds to clear. The next day, as we boarded the bus for our 11-hour tour with the other hopefuls, we could feel the fog beginning to burn away. Maybe, we thought, maybe. We prayed. Our tour guide pointed out moose and caribou and told us about the history of the park. He told us about the...
Tweets of the Month Club | January 2017

Tweets of the Month Club | January 2017

What a month. What a month. We started a new year. Obama said farewell. Trump was inaugurated. Women marched. People marched for life. An Executive Order nearly broke us. And yet, life went on. Funny, weird, lovely life. Your tweets reflect all of that. Here are the best ones in my feed this month. I'm that person that comes home from a NYE party and says "I haven't seen you all year!!" to my pets. And I will not apologize. #happy2017 — Abigail Hyndman (@ARHyndman) January 1, 2017 Twitter is less awful than Facebook and I'm grateful for it #confessyourunpopularopinion — Alissa Wilkinson (@alissamarie) January 1, 2017 There are different types of fear, including the one you feel when you see an email or FB message from your extended family. — Tiffany Dorrin Olsen (@TiffanyDOlsen) January 1, 2017 New Years resolution is to spend less time off twitter. V. convicted about how much time I waste offline. I've missed so many of your tweets — O. Alan Noble (@TheAlanNoble) January 2, 2017 Bible commentary: Nimrod was a "mighty warrior" & "great hunter." Me: Really? Then … why was he named "Nimrod"? — Lizette Beard (@LizetteBeard) January 2, 2017 So far, I like 2016 twitter more than 2017 twitter. And that's saying something. pic.twitter.com/KcUY2H0Tyd — Phillip Bethancourt (@pbethancourt) January 2, 2017 oh anxious one. there isn't a sovereign bone in your body and that's ok. — Jackie Hill Perry (@JackieHillPerry) January 3, 2017 My new move any time anyone likes one of my Facebook posts is to immediately call them and say, "Couldn't help but notice you liked my post"...
Friday Five

Friday Five

One of my new year’s resolutions is to do these more often. So, let’s see if that happens. 1. The Year in Pictures 2016. [Warning: Graphic images.] I always appreciate these because they help me remember the triumphs and the trials of the world around me, help me to be compassionate, and help me to be informed. 2. Now for a pick-me-up. A Selection of the 30 Most Disappointing Under 30. 3. I love this about the work of the editor: You Want to Be an Editor, You Can’t Be a Rule Follower. “Achieving clarity means balancing what the writer is attempting to say against what the reader is most likely to understand.” 4. Is Blogging Dead? 5. Have y’all seen La La Land? Oh so perfect for the dreamers. The soundtrack has been on repeat for...
Tweets of the Month Club | December 2016

Tweets of the Month Club | December 2016

December is always filled with Christmas and New Year tweets and I’d have it no other way. Here are the best tweets in my feed this month.  If you're frustrated because you can't seem to do what God has called you to do, it's because only God can do what God has called you to do. — Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) December 1, 2016 *Reads one Wendell Berry essay* *Purchases plot of land and walks around grocery stores telling people about the dangers of agribusiness* — Cortland Gatliff (@cortgatliff) December 1, 2016 THEY JUST MENTIONED SONG OF SOLOMON and I'm not close enough to hear the discussion. — Cindy Warren (@cindy_warren) December 1, 2016 Having plants is very satisfying, but almost killing a plant then bringing it back to life is 10x more satisfying. — Rachel S. Mom (@RachelGZink) December 1, 2016 Sometimes, "Bless your heart" isn't strong enough… — Jonathan Howe (@Jonathan_Howe) December 2, 2016 There needs to be a special home for children who are learning how to whistle. — Barnabas Piper (@BarnabasPiper) December 4, 2016 Georgie doesn't shout "Amen!" very often during sermons, but she does elbow me and whisper, "You need to write that down." A lot. — Ron Hyndman (@ronhyndman) December 4, 2016 Real talk: if you only send a Christmas card to your married friends, and not your unmarried friends, you are LITERALLY the worst. — Tiffany Dorrin Olsen (@TiffanyDOlsen) December 5, 2016 Also, thanks for sending Christmas cards even when you don’t get one in return. 🙂 This is how to survive, I think:You gotta let some things go. — Melissa Moore (@MelissaMoore77)...
Advent | Joy

Advent | Joy

I recently wrote about joy in Advent for the LifeWay Women blog.  When we think of Christmas, we often think of cheer. We string up bright, colorful lights. We make sugary treats. We sing upbeat songs. We wish one another a “merry” or a “happy” Christmas. Christmas, however, calls for something deeper than cheer and merriment. Christmas, and Advent, call for joy. [Read the rest...
Tweets of the Month Club | November 2016

Tweets of the Month Club | November 2016

Guys, guys, guys. Everyone just calm down. November was a crazy month. The Cubs won the World Series. We had a presidential election. Thanksgiving. And boy, did we tweet about it, all of it. This may be the longest Tweets of the Month Club ever. I don’t actually know because I don’t count them. Too many numbers.  Candy Corn is neither. — Adrienne Cooper (@LemonAdeH) November 1, 2016 Just stuck a handful of Milk Duds in my mouth. Forgot that was a two hour commitment. — Chad Gibbs (@Chad_Gibbs) November 1, 2016 I wish 2 MIT grads could figure out how to keep that stupid '2 MIT grads pair you with wine' ad off my twitter feed — Luke Buchanan (@LukeBuchananana) November 1, 2016 Just learned that PDF stands for portable document format and things will never be the same jk jk things will be exactly the same — Tennessee Grimes (@10ehC) November 2, 2016 I wonder if they're in the same place. pic.twitter.com/XJreQWB8U7 — Aaron Earls (@WardrobeDoor) November 2, 2016 And now the World Series will go to the House who will decide the winner. — Daniel Darling (@dandarling) November 3, 2016 I don't have TV, and I truly dislike baseball, and it's midnight. Yet I'm refreshing Twitter every 10 seconds to find out who is winning. — Tara-Leigh Cobble (@TaraLeighCobble) November 3, 2016 Same. The last Cubs world championship ushered in The War To End All Wars, so everyone keep your head on a swivel. — Tim Siedell (@badbanana) November 3, 2016 We needed that, America. — Sophie Hudson (@boomama) November 3, 2016 *Woman helping us at...
Advent | Hope

Advent | Hope

I wrote about hope and Advent on the LifeWay Women blog last week.  Advent begins this Sunday. This year, we feel it. This year has been hard. As a world, we’ve experienced tragedy, loss, grief, strife. We’ve seen violence, hardship, drought, and floods. Zoom in from the world to our nation, and we’ve seen the same—hatred, hurt, heartbreak. Zoom in from our nation to our homes, and I’m sure you’ve experienced your own trials this year. This year, we feel Advent. We feel the waiting, the watching, the anticipation for Christ, for redemption.   Read the rest...
Christmas Gift Exchange Ideas

Christmas Gift Exchange Ideas

Every year my friend Holly hosts a Christmas gift exchange for our friends. For the past several years, she’s asked me to help with a theme for the gifts (because I love both research and a good theme party). Having a theme adds to the fun and keeps us creative (so we don’t give the same thing every year). Last year, after someone else asked me for theme help, I thought I should write a blog post so I can have a handy list, and, well, it just seems like the perfect topic for a blog. We generally set a price limit (mostly we stay around $15), and we swap the gifts dirty-Santa style, so you never know what you’ll end up with! We keep things simple—we have snacks and desserts and just chat and catch up before the main event of the gift exchange. We look forward to this tradition every year! Color. I think this was our first theme. We picked the color green. So, every gift was either literally green in color, or was “green,” as in good for the environment. We had some recycled jewelry, to-go coffee mugs, green tea, etc. You could pick any color and encourage people to think outside the box! (Red could mean a book you read, for example.) Christmas Carols. For this theme, we had everyone pick a Christmas carol (you could also assign one to everyone or each person a different one), and they brought a gift on that theme. We had fun trying to guess the carol based on the gift. We had a Christmas welcome mat for “I’ll Be...

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