My Not So Perfect But Fabulous Life

using my big words to inspire… & hopefully make a difference

Snow & Ice January 30, 2010

Filed under: Friends,Joy,Kids,Rest — MDunbar @ 11:18 am

All by herself!


Big Brother giving sis a ride

Making the trek up the street




Fancy Footwork!


Taking time out to indulge mom.


Showing off!


Taking a tumble



Cinnamon Coffee Cake January 29, 2010

Filed under: Food,Joy — MDunbar @ 4:44 pm

Excellent Cinnamon Coffee Cake!


1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup white sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Lightly grease one 10 inch bundt pan.
2. Cream 1 1/2 cups white sugar together with eggs until well blended. Add sour cream and butter or margarine and beat well. Add flour, baking soda, and baking powder and mix well. Stir in vanilla and the chopped nuts.
3. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of white sugar with the cinnamon.
4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Cover with remaining cake batter.
5. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 8 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for an additional 40 minutes

Fun Photo Friday! Icy Day!

Filed under: Joy,Kids,Rest,Unplug — MDunbar @ 4:21 pm

The older kids head to the park!



Snow Angels!



These girls are a triple threat! (KD in middle)



KD making another run!



If the real sled won't work, there is always ghetto sledding!



Hubs gets into the action.



A Cheerful Giver January 20, 2010

Filed under: Give Back,Hope,Joy,Uncategorized — MDunbar @ 7:00 am

In response to yesterday’s post about volunteering and giving back, here are a few suggestions to help you determine where you need to spend your time/money, both very valuable resources.

In Miller’s Book, a few of her suggestions are:

  • “What do you want to see changed in your lifetime?                                               
  • What are your passions?
  • Can you link your passions to what bothers you?
  • Can the organization, given time and money, effect the change?”

These are questions that will help you decide on where you want to give back and it makes a huge difference in your attitude if you actually care about the good works you are doing! I know all too well of the good friend who needs help on a project or donation for a cause they love. I have given our of guilt and later felt a let down because it wasn’t MY passion. My time and money are both valuable commodities in my life. When I give either of these, I make sure it is something I am passionate about and I can’t tell you how good it feels. You can make a difference, just step out in faith and do it! If you can’t find a charity or program to support (I personally think you haven’t looked hard enough. There are a million worthwhile causes out there!) you can actually start your own!

The next time you give to a cause, a cause of YOUR OWN choosing, give cheerfully and know that you are doing your part to make this place a better world.

Here are a few unique gift ideas that keep on giving:

  1. Throw a party and instead of gifts, all donations go to the charity of your choice!
  2. Have a party at an animal shelter where guests help wash the animals and give them a prime adoption look.
  3. Donate an animal through Heifer Project International, to a 3rd World Country to help them become more self reliant! My brother-in-law was single at the time and we bought a “chick” and donated it in his name!
  4. Purchase a “Good Card” at and the recipient can give that amount to the charity of his or her choice! How cool?!?
  5. Help the victims of Haiti by visiting 

I Want To Leave A Legacy January 18, 2010

Filed under: Faith,Friends,Joy,Rest — MDunbar @ 8:55 pm

For those of you who purchased the book “Inspiration for Girlfriends…” by Miller, you know that we are on a journey to find uncommon joy. That joy that exists even when we are at our worst. Miller has told us how she copes and I have related some stories about my life.  We have been learning about “Cocooning”, a period of time of retreat in which we step back and evaluate our lives, finding out what is important and that which is not. We have even been challenged to dream in away we have not done since that time in our childhood when everything was possible.

I have made a committment to my spiritual growth and development. I know that repetition breeds habit. I want to be the best wife/mother/daughter/friend that I can be. I guess I want to be the best person I can be. In the words of Nichole Nordeman, “I want to leave a legacy. How will they remember me? Did I choose to love?” I never want the people that know me, to not know how I feel about them. I know that this seems fake to some people (who don’t know me) but for the better part of my life, I have been honest. Compliments flow freely from me but they are always honest and true. I whole heartedly feel that we don’t tell the people around us, even the most important, how we feel about them and just how special they are. Everyone has something that makes them shine. You just have to find it. 

God is good. He has blessed my life with so much. It can be difficult at times to remember that when the worldly things tend to drag us down, but there is a reason for it. I don’t have time to take a couple of days to cocoon or unplug. I have too many important commitments like my husband, my children and my parents. I do have a few hours to give to myself. Maybe it is getting my nails done or sitting at a coffee shop and reading. It is a committment that I have not been faithful to and my spiritual life suffers for it. I am rededicating myself. I am taking time for me. I will say no to one thing this week and instead do something for myself. I am trying to teach myself that in doing this, I will be a better person for everyone around me.

What is one thing that you have done for yourself in the past week?


A Life Well Lived January 13, 2010

Filed under: Joy — MDunbar @ 9:56 pm

“A life well lived is clearly a life lived with thoughtfulness” ~Ellen Miller

You can't take my joy!

What a great way to start off. I am not altogether sure if my life is well lived but I give it my dead level best. I sure know I have worn it out so far. There are several questions that Miller asks in the devotion today:

“What did I accomplish today that brought me great satisfaction?

What did I accomplish today that was excellent?

What did I do to the very best of my ability that I am proud of?”

I woke up with no heat and the house at a balmy 51 degrees. The heater went out last night but I was plenty warm in bed. I didn’t let it get the best of me and the family seemed to pull it together thanks to hubby’s positive outlook. At work, I completed as much as I could and did things that I do just to help others out. I assisted a friend on an errand that caused her stress and we had fun! Once home I found out that we, more than likely, will need to replace our entire heating and air system. A ballpark figure of around 3500-5000 dollars. Guess what? I didn’t even melt down. I held it together because I am trying to use the tools we have talked about so far this year. There is nothing I could do about it. I am blessed we have a gas fireplace so we can keep the kitchen and den toasty warm where the kids will sleep. We will get it fixed after a few estimates and lots of prayers! I will call today a win.

I will never know from day-to-day what life holds but I do know that I have a choice in how I handle the news, good or bad. Yea for me for handling things well today because tomorrow I might have a meltdown. I am O.K. with it though. I have to live in the small moments and give myself props when I can keep my joy. Tonight, it is all mine.


Survey Says… January 8, 2010

Filed under: Joy,Kids,parenthood,Uncategorized — MDunbar @ 8:33 pm

So, I have been on this journey of balancing life and finding Uncommon Joy thanks to Ellen Miller’s “Inspiration for Girlfriends juggling Not-So-Perfect, Often-Crazy, but Gloriously Real lives”. It has been a week and basically today is a recap to see what progress I have made. I can honestly say that it has made me more aware of how I react to everyday situations. In fact, here is a really ugly confession that pains me to even write. I woke up early to take the kids to school, a task my husband usually does. I found out that they had to wait outside for around 15 minutes before the gym opened for early arrivals and I couldn’t bear to think of them freezing. (Sounds noble right, just wait.) On the way to school KD whimpers that she left her bag and lunch at home to which I angrily reply, “Great! Now I have to go home and get your crap and bring it back to school.” She almost cried when I caught myself and apologized to her and told her that I had left my phone  too, and people forget things all of the time. I felt so tiny and ugly because I know that she will remember that. There will be a time when she is with her kids and it will spark in her mind and she will remember how ugly I was to her. I know this because I can remember waiting for mom to pick me up and I was the last one. She would come barreling down the road, pull a U-turn and screech to a stop in front of me. It always made me nervous and I would think, “Gee, I’m just waiting for a ride.” I laugh about it now. 

The things we do to the ones we love. Well, at least we can learn from it and make better choices next time. So far I should have: stopped allowing others to influence my sense of well-being, find my treasures in other things, let go of the past, be in the moment, give something away and find glory in what I have. I’m not sure I have nailed them all but I know I am more aware of myself and others around me. As I tell the kids, I am trying to make good choices.

Today was early out so I picked up the kids and we ate brownies and watched T.V. together. Just hanging out was so nice. It’s Friday so I am including a photo of something that brings me great joy. My kids. Here is to Photo Friday!