Tag Archives: Let’s Be Friends

Add a Side of Community with that Burger: Love for Friends this Valentine’s Week

Friends!  Doesn’t everyone love a good burger every now and then? Our family discovered Five Guys and Fries a few years ago.

Clearly novices, we all ordered cheeseburgers, not realizing that their regular burgers are double burgers. No one complained (!!!) and we were some sweet kind of happy. Peanuts in the shell to munch on, followed by juicy burgers, and a Titanic-sized side of fries….Oh my…

five-guys-burgers-and-fries

Fellowship plus great food is the best combo’ you can order. While being with family can be super swell, this week I’d like to talk about the power of COMMUNITY in friendships. In this case, I’m talking about girlfriends, and this Valentine’s week, we can call them “Galentine’s”…

I’m blessed to have a group of friends known as “The Yayas.” Kathy somehow assigned this moniker to us after finding a lovely gold plaque for each of us with this definition: “A group of three or more women whose hearts and souls are joined together by laughter and tears shared through this glorious journey of life.”

yaya plaque

One of the Yayas, fellow dog lover (!!!) named Susan, gave all of us an awesome book a few years ago for Christmas:  Nobody’s Cuter than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship by Melanie Shankle. Friends, do not miss this book! You’ll laugh and cry and howl, shaking your head thinking, “I cannot believe she’s sharing this, but I’m so glad she did!!!”

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You can read more about the YaYas in Chapter Two of my new book, Let’s Be Friends.

You don’t want to miss Melanie’s blog, either: www.thebigmamablog.com She serves up “everything from soup to nuts” as my Mother used to say.

Melanie’s book takes us down Memory Lane to show different aspects of her twenty-five year friendship with Gulley. They do life together.

Melanie’s gift of writing draws you in so you feel like you’re in her family room watching it all transpire. (Sidebar: Melanie wrote an equally funny book on marriage.)

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One of a gazillion hilarious antics include Melanie conning Gulley into watching Frozen.  Wait ‘til you read Chapter Four.  Does she love it like most of us???  Not tellin’….

Another fun discovery is Melanie and Gulley realize road trips are one of their ultimate favorite activities. Now they take their children on road trips, all together, and you don’t want to miss these adventures.

The Yayas took a brief road trip a few years ago when Kathy’s daughter got engaged. The Engagement Party was in Columbus and we decided we must, simply must go. It’s not every day one drives two hundred and fifteen point three miles to Columbus, Ohio from Louisville, Kentucky for a party and back.

Lo and behold, we were blessed with one of our Yaya children to accompany us. Translation: Us old chicks snagged a chauffeur. (Poor Megan was pregnant too, God bless her.)

These six sweet-n-special-n-southern Yayas met when our oldest children, now thirtythree-plus years old, were in first grade at Dunn Elementary School. Those were the days.

yayas

(Pictured left to right are Jayne Combs, Denise Seiz, Kathy Daniels, above her is Susan Bugh, then Bev Fleece and finally Yours Truly.)

Who knew we’d attend weddings and funerals together? Even the trials knit us that much closer together.

We’re a picture of Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

There’s beauty and comfort in Community.

The plot blissfully thickens as our Yaya children are having children. No one has discovered grand parenting like the Yayas. Currently five of the six Yayas are grandparents, and we are all the best adopted Great Aunts on the planet. Just sayin’…And, as Melanie and Gulley always tell each other, “Nobody’s cuter than you!”(thence the book’s title), the Yayas are always telling each other, “YOU are the BEST!”

Melanie tells us her book “is about all the friendships we as women develop over a lifetime and the influence they have over who we were, who we are, and who we will become.”

Gulley’s the main friend Melanie talks about, and you’ll love becoming acquainted with Jen and a couple other of her friends. Jen endured a prodigal season, but then shared with everyone how she found her way back to Christ. In doing so, she got Melanie to go with her to a Bible study.

Melanie says, “by watching these people live their lives, I learned what it means to seek God’s will….ultimately they pointed me closer to not only Jesus but also to my dear husband.”

After reading Max Lucado’s No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, Melanie says her favorite part is from Max’ recounting of the Prodigal Son:

Whatever you have done,

Whatever you have become,

It doesn’t matter.

Please come home.”

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Melanie adds, “So I came home. And God, in return, lavished me with a scandalous amount of grace as He filled my life not only with wonderful new friends who encouraged me and loved me, but also brought Gulley right along with me as she began to develop a real relationship with God too.”

Melanie says her five years at Texas A & M were what she needed and clearly what God knew she needed. She said, “God knit my heart together with the people He knew would hold my hands as I walked the path of the Prodigal Son.”

Friends, this is a beautiful visual of Community!

This very week, February of 2020, the Yayas took their first real escape to my favorite place of paradise, Naples, Florida.  While we were only in Naples four nights, we covered a lot of ground, savoring a variety of mouth-watering dishes at fabulous restaurants, also managing to get in a wee bit of retail therapy.  They indulged me and let me drag them out onto the Pier where John and I met many moons ago.  Here are a few highlights:

Meanwhile, cherish your friends and thank the Lord for giving them to you. I always maintain, “Friends are cheaper than therapy.”

 ‘Til next time!

 

 

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are “affiliate links.”

 

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Grab Your Galentines! Come Shop and Eat Chocolate at Belle Monde Boutique Next Saturday, February 9th 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Friends!  First off, did you know your girlfriends these days are known as Galentines?  I kept thinking my friend, Nikki Knight, owner of Belle Monde Boutique, was repeatedly making typo’s when she’d text me about doing a Galentine’s event. Even Target has a “Galentines” section. Yesterday I got an email from Lilly Pulitzer especially for Galentines.  Who knew?

Galentines is supposed to be celebrated the day before our Valentine’s Day with your special girlfriends.  Even more fun, we’re going to celebrate earlyYou and your Galentines are invited to come shop, eat chocolate, and drink tea, coffee, or hot chocolate on Saturday, February 9th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Belle Monde Boutique. (I’ll be signing my new book, Let’s Be Friends:  What My Sister-Friends Taught Me About Faith, Food, and FunA perfect gift for your Galentines!)

Belle Monde Boutique is located in the heart of St. Matthews, at 115 Fairfax Avenue,   in a darling house filled with even more darling clothes.  Owner Nikki Knight offers new and pre-owned well-made clothing brands.

Nikki and I both hail from Lexington. (GO CATS!) We had a blast many moons ago when she was on staff at Southeast Christian Church and I was helping with the book club.

I can attest to the quality and variety of clothing Nikki offers having shopped at Belle Monde recently.  One of several  purchases I made is a gray, wool poncho.  It’s been a huge staple during these cold days and cost me a whopping sixteen dollars!  I’m not kidding.  (I went with several friends to celebrate my buddy Sherry Leavell and her new book Grateful Living.) We had a ball trying on everything from yoga wear to evening gowns.

Another reason to come on Saturday, February 9th is Nikki is generously offering all customers an extra 20% off of the ticketed items as well as having in-store specials! 10% of the proceeds will go to the Junior League of Louisville, benefitting the Little Libraries.

Belle Monde’s regular hours are Tuesday thru’ Friday from 10-7, Saturday from 10-6, the Knight family  savors the Sabbath on Sundays, therefore they close on Sunday, and Mondays are by appointment only.

Nikki says, “I want to encourage and empower women to live a life of confidence, love, and intentionality.”  She knows her stuff, girlfriends, and she can outfit you from head to toe (you can even find shoes, purses, jewelry, etc.), making you look like a million bucks.  Give her a call at (502) 403-3432.

Bring a carload of friends (Galentines!) and come shop and fill your chocolate cravings, sip coffee, tea, or hot chocolate with us on Saturday, February 9th!  I’ll be there to cheer you on from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Don’t miss this fun opportunity.  And as I always say, there are few things more fun than finding a bargain!

‘Til next time!

Here’s THE gray poncho!  Favorite-bargain-ever, with fam on Christmas Eve

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Stellar Stocking Stuffer Idea for Any Stressed Mom… And Please Dash to Peggy’s Gifts in Lexington this Saturday 12/15!

Friends! Got any stressed moms on your radar this season? I’m flailing my hand…It’s mid-December, and so far our tree is up, but still sitting miserably undecorated. Sigh…

I’ve got good news for ALL of us. Yes, it happens to be a book, and it’s pocket-size, ready to stuff someone’s stocking ASAP. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore and grab copies for all the stressed out moms you know of Debora M. Coty’s book, Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms.

This book is your ticket to stress relief, laugh out loud knee slappers, AND timely encouragement and advice. Deb often admits her mom failures and show us what we can learn from her. (Secret: all three of my daughters-in-love are getting copies in their stockings, as well as some of my friend’s daughters who are moms or moms-to-be. Shhh, don’t tell.)

Set up in four sections with twenty-five chapters, you could read this each month as a devotional, one chapter at a time. Take home value is at a premium, you may wish to have a journal handy as there are many pearls you’ll want to read and re-read and record.

I have several favorite chapters from each section. From Section 1, don’t miss “PMS: Pretending Mom’s Sane (Motherhood Mayhem)” and “I’m Not Crazy—I’m Crazy Busy”, which include ideas for how to prioritize, plan, and pace yourself. Deb shows us why “should” is a dangerous word, being a “stress-filled, pressure-packed slave driver.” Amen to that having sulked over the shoulda/coulda/woulda scene time and time again.

Section 2 favorites include “Too Blessed to be Obsessed (Letting Go of Mom Guilt) and “Chocolate Caulks Relationship Cracks (Forgiveness)

Each chapter begins with a Scripture verse. Chapter Eleven offers Ecclesiastes 6:11 in the NLT:

Chapter eleven is loaded with ways to combat our accuser, a/k/a Satan. Deb quotes Charles Spurgeon who said, “The devil never kicks a dead horse.” In other words, we who are still drawing breaths in this world are all marching around with targets on our backs. We’d be wise to “don the armor of God.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)

We also gain…


Another bonus of each chapter is Deb closes with four excellent, thought-provoking questions called “Navigating the ‘Hood” (short for motherhood). One of my favorites is, “Need a good meme to remind you to pray for your kids? Try Lamentations 2:19 in the NKJV:


Favorite chapters from Section 3 include: “Zombie in Sweats (Finding Elusive Rest)” and “My Hair Stylist is from Oz (Confidence)”. Finally, Big Drum roll: hugely fav chapter from Section 4 is: “Morphing This Worrier into a Warrior.

One of my bigger sins is worry. I know, I know, it is NOT GOOD. But, good news! Deb gifts us reader with TEN simple ways to “rejuvenate your prayer life. Don’t miss these!

Let’s close with this quote to make you think, smile, and savor each day:

Start making your list for who you’d love to bless with this book!

And if you’re anywhere near Lexington, KY this Saturday, December 15th, please come do some Christmas shopping at Peggy’s Gifts. They have everything and then some. I’ll be signing my book from 10:00 a.m, to 2:00 p.m. and Peggy tells me they’re having a trunk show too. Double the fun!

http://peggysgifts.com/
112 Clay Avenue
Lexington, KY 40502

‘Til next time!

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Thanks for a GREAT Launch! Come SHOP at Two Chicks Louisville this Saturday, December 1st!!!

Friends!  WOW. Just wow.  Monday night at Middletown United Methodist Church (MUMC) was a dream come true!  Did it really happen? To God Be the Glory.

THANK YOU to ALL of you who came.  What a fun crowd!  Liz Curtis Higgs was the bomb to kick off our night with beautiful, funny, and hope-filled words.

Nancy Tinnell, from MUMC, and all the gals of Branches Book Club pulled out all the stops and put together quite the celebration.  Huge thanks. (Please keep Nancy on your prayer list as she got a new knee the morning after our Launch!  Healing hugs, Nancy! She told me she comes home this Thursday.)

One of my many favorite take-aways from Monday night was seeing y’all savor Bonnie’s Butter Bride story we shared from the 4th stop in my book.  Thank you, Bon Bon, for letting me include excerpts.  Y’all can truly picture the Butter Babes hearing this for the first time! Unstoppable laughter!!!

One thing I forgot to share with you is that on the second page of my book, where all the copyright info is, you’ll see “Interior Art by John Hoagland, Jr.” Yes, dear friends, that is our oldest son!  He did all the sketches at the beginning of each chapter.  Don’t miss them! Way-2-go, Johnny! (He was home putting Claire to bed Monday night.  He said she was out by 7:01 which is about the time Lizzie launched my book.)

Another highlight happened Monday afternoon when Jane Chilton and I got to go on Rachel Platt’s 4:00 LIVE newscast, on WHAS 11.  We were both Nervous Nellies, but Rachel’s welcoming demeanor put us at ease and we had a blast.  Jane made her famous pound cake to share with the folks at WHAS. (Recipe’s on my website! Go to: www.elizabethhoagalnd.com and click on  “My New Book” , then  “Recipes”.  It’s “Pound Cake with a Boatload of BUTTER.”)

Next up?  Oh, the super fun girls at Two Chicks Louisville have invited me to come sign books this Saturday, December 1st, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pop in and see all their fabulous Christmas gifts, among other goodies, such as jewelry, baby gifts, foodie gifts, etc. I’ve already been in twice since they decorated for Christmas and have found great hostess gifts and stocking stuffers. (A dress jumped off its hanger and landed in my arms. Imagine that!) Maybe grab lunch at the Cheddar Box and shop at Two Chicks before or afterwards?

http://twochicksnandcompany.com
1212 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243

Finally, allow me to close with the beautiful words by the late Eugene Peterson. He wrote the Afterword in his wife, Janice’s new book six months before he died. The book is:  Becoming Gertrude:  How Our Friendships Shape Our Faith.

Everyone is in a process of becoming. More gradually than rapidly, we grow into the unique people we were created to be, throughout a lifetime of learning in Christ and practicing the way of Jesus…

Even eighty years is still a relatively short time to prepare for citizenship in the Kingdom of God…

We need the companionship of fellow disciples as we make our way on our lifelong pilgrimage. Such companions, have holy agency:  Our lives are healed and shaped by the people whose company we keep.”

THAT is a perfect depiction of friendship.

Hope to see you Saturday!

‘Til next time!

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Come Help Me Launch My New Book! Bring a Friend and Travel to MUMC, 11/26 @ 6:30 p.m. Liz Curtis Higgs will Kick off the Evening!

Friends!

Guess what? My first book is here and the girls from Branches Book Club at Middletown United Methodist Church (MUMC) are throwing a party! Call up a friend and join us Monday night, November 26th at 6:30 p.m. to launch this baby. (It’s been a very long twenty-seven months in the making!)

Another highlight that evening will be when my friend, mentor, and well-known author, Liz Curtis Higgs, kicks off the Launch. (She wrote the Foreword, God bless her.) You’ll learn why she had such an integral part in the birth of my book.

I’ll share with you some crazy anecdotes from this journey as well as do a reading for you. We’ll be meeting in the newly remodeled Connections Center.

We will have books available Monday night and I’ll be tickled to sign them if you like. This is a pinch-me-I’m-dreaming-scenario for certain!

You can also find my book and Kindle format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and www.christianbook.com. Locally, The Living Word Bookstore in Southeast Christian Church is selling my book as well as both the Frankfort Ave. and Bardstown Road locations of Carmichael’s Bookstore. (My website has more info on the “my new book” tab and more recipes! More fun things coming soon.)

Many of you will know my friends who wrote beautiful treatises in the book as well as who gave me fabuloso recipes! Two prominent and favorite restaurateurs also graciously gave me recipes: Nancy Tarrant from the Cheddar Box St. Matthews location and Kelley Ledford from Uptown Cafe. These would be great to try with your friends.

I pray my book becomes a fun resource for you and your friends on many levels. (There are questions for Book Clubs as well as questions for your small group for a mini-Bible study.)  I hope to see you Monday night the 26th! Please RSVP to Nancy Tinnell at (502)245-8839.

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243 http://www.middletownumc.org

FYI: Before Liz kicks off the launch, we will have a short, mini-book club discussion about our November selection, Merry Hmbug Christmas: Two Tales of Holiday Romance by Sandra Bricker. If you’d like to participate in the ornament exchange, please bring a wrapped ornament with you. I’ve received the cutest ornaments the last couple of years from this exchange!

Have a Happy, Blessed Thanksgiving and I’ll look forward to seeing you next Monday!

‘Til next time!

P.S. My friend, Jane Chilton, and I will be on the 4 o’clock news LIVE on Monday the 26th on WHAS 11 with Rachel Platt to chat about my book. Oh, I see you laughing.  We are too, believe me! Please pray we’re able to say something that makes sense in some wild way.😍

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