Category Archives: females

Self awareness

Hey, I have a blog…. I am always wanting to come back here to my powerbook and get my words out on the screen. Talk to the void. … say stuff….

you know, stuff.  Things.

I have so much to say.


Here’s an old draft of something that was on my mind in 7/2013 that I never posted. (Maybe because its a bit choppy and the words are broken in thought a bit. I am not sure.)


I dont know why I never hit the post button. But I am going to tonight.


Something I have noticed:  the less self conscious I am – the more powerful I am.

When I am overly aware of myself, any part of me…physically, emotionally, mentally…. it seems like everything I do drips of the sticky stinky mud of a sense of failure.

But,  on the other hand, when I am fully immersed in the moment or totally engaged with the person I am with, I have alot more fun and…. whatever I am endeavoring to do? It’s a success.

If we could somehow completely lose the worry of what people think of us …. imagine….

we would risk more spontaneity, humor, and discovery in our lives

we also would risk failure and looking foolish…..

but I think the payoff of the possibilities of the former is a fair trade to the experiment with the moment.

What’s the point? The less energy you have tied up in what people think, the more energy you can put into being the most authentic you…

and as a result?  the BEST of you shows up.

YOU have something original in you, a you factor. As I tell my girls, “Be yourself, because everyone else is already taken.

That’s the intersection of your unique gifts, talents and acquired skills and your own unique history and life experience.

Where you hurt, you bring depth, realness, and transparency.

Where you have soared, you bring hope, possibilities, and inspiration.

Where you have been can shape where your imprint can take others.

When you care less about what we think of you and more about what we think about what you are saying, by living your life free of self consciousness.

The KICKER. When we work our unique observations from our life experience, we have found a unique and personal “life message” that can touch others also.

Your creator speaks thru your daily steps of self discovery and celebration and that will free others to be authentically who they are.




All in a day’s work.

The night has snuffed out the last of the light. The snow is falling, we are all in preparation for bed. Jammies on. Teeth brushed. But there is one ingredient missing. Do you know what it is? What’s that? A story? Well, yes, a story. It just so happens I know one.

Here’s one to as you snuggle up on this cold January night.

“Once upon a time there were  three men, all working towards building the same structure. A back breaking job, chipping rock to form the wall that would surround a new building. It was hot. The progress was slow. And so they worked, day by day.

A stranger happens by, noticing the pile of rubble and wondered to the first worker, “What are you doing?” The worker, agitated by the interruption, doesn’t even look up from his labor. He responds gruffly with, “What does it look like I’m doing, I’m breaking rocks!”

The wandering stranger moves on down the sidewalk a bit and asks the second worker, “What are you doing?” The second worker responds, leaning heavily on his hammer,  in a tired worn voice, “I’m chipping stone for this stupid fence.”

The stranger goes a bit further and sees the third worker, busy stacking the rock, and asks him, “What are you doing?” The worker looks up, wipes the sweat from his brow, smiles, and with a sweeping gesture toward the location of the new building says, “I’m building a cathedral, and it will be magnificent!”

Three laborers. All doing the same job. All received the same pay. Each with a different view of his work.

I have to admit that my view isn’t so positive most of the time. A lot of the time I’m just face down in the sticky ceramic tile. Or the stained berber carpeting. Or the piles of smelly laundry.

In the midst of all the cooking, cleaning, teaching, and mothering, I can feel very much like the first laborer. I can be bitter and indifferent. I feel the slow progress of my daily work. Sometimes being a wife and mother can feel like such a thankless job. I never seem to accomplish anything, and the work is seemingly endless. It taunts me daily. I tell myself, “No one really appreciates me.”

Sometimes I find myself in the work boots of the second contractor. Tired and worn. Stretched to what I feel is my limit. Empty of self. I inwardly sigh at the constant requests of my children. The expectations of my husband. I tire at the pull of the requirments and responsibilites. And secretly I wonder, “Will what I do here make any difference?”

But, oh….

Oh God, I want to be like the third worker. I want to see the bigger picture. To see my daily life as you see it. To see the importance of my service. To have abundant joy and take pride in what I’m called to do. I want to see that the work that I’m doing here is much bigger than even I can imagine.

That I have in my power, the ability to change this environment from tedious to tremendous. For you and your purposes. Teach me how to make doing dishes a holy service. Cleaning laundry as a worship. Making my house a place of imperfect magnificence.

Today, they are mess makers. Snack sneakers. Dish dirtiers. Fight pickers. Clingy cryers. Fussin Nellies. Eye rollers. Grumblers. May God help me to see past that. When I inwardly sigh at my days and I stop to I wipe my brow, remind me to choose to smile, look at my girls and say, “I am building a cathedral. One day I will stand and see four magnificent God serving women.”

Holy Hairballs!!

The process of hair brushing is a necessary evil. Just ask my girls. The torture that results in a untangled hairdo is a thing my girls dread.

They wince. They whine. The squint their eyeballs. They lean forward to try to escape the brushing implement. If they are lucky, a mirror is in front of them, so they can take their face making skills to the next level. It is a treasured time of bonding. And crying.

When the horrendous event comes to it’s beautifully coifed end… the girls will get up and run to the mirror. Where they admire themselves. They demurely batt their eyelashes. Coyly turn and look over their shoulder. They flash a super star smile at their reflection and discover what I sometimes tell them is true. “Beauty is pain.” (That’s a joke.)

The real pain is the hair balls that follow. All tangled up in my brushes. Eww.

Which brings me to my point. (I knew I had one all along.)

I got a new hair brush… check it out…..

Can you see the hair ball waiting to be freed from it’s bristley prison? No? Well, trust me… it’s there. Lurking beneath the black bristles. But, wait… look at that red button…. wonder what it’s for?

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Like magic all the bristles disappear into the barrel. Leaving only the abandoned folicles behind.

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Now comes the skin crawling duty of removing aforementioned hair.

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It’s a dirty job. But someone’s got to do it.

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And look!!! It’s like a brand new brush!!

On a side note: how bored am I this morning? I have a ton of house work I could be doin. But noooo! Letting the interweb know about this miracle grooming utensil was at the top of my priority list today. I am a complex lady.

On another unrelated sidenote: Check out my freckled fingers. What’s up with that?

We need 100cc’s of Ginger Ale! Stat!

And Ramen Noodles. And popsicles. And to make our couches into beds. And drag out all our pillows into our living room. And force all adults to watch cartoons. To keep the thermometer within reach AT ALL TIMES. And for my arms to get sore from rubbing backs.

Because this, my friends is what sickness means in the Neff House. It is a ritual we go through when each child shows signs of any illness. And yesterday we didn’t just experience one sick child, but three. Three children, all with the same complaints,: “Mom, my neck hurts.” and “Mom, my head hurts.” and Mom, my belly hurts.”. If you have children, then you should recognize these maladies as symptoms of strep.

So now we wait for the doctor to open his doors. A mere 10 minutes from now I will begin the calling to try to get through to a doctor’s office whose phone lines will be, no doubt, busy from all the other parents trying to get their children in to see him today. We will pray for favor. Amen.

Below you will enjoy picture of each ailing one.

First Reggie. Notice she is pretty excited about the prospect of getting to stay home. “Mom, do I get to stay home from school tomorrow?” She likes to see the glass half full. She enjoys what she can outta this experience.  She is also an original child and has decided to mix it up with an additional complaint, “Mom, my one ear hurts.” She always has to be the best. (Over achiever. Humph.)


Reese, ah my baby. She was pretty upset about this whole illness thing. She acted as if someone gave it to her on purpose. Like we did it TO her. And she let us all know. Oh, the grouchiness that has ensued after the onset of the, “Mom, my neck hurts!” Oh, the grouchiness. But, oh, the change in her that was wrought with one dose of Motrin. Ah, Motrin. In my prayer time last night  lifted up thanksgiving for the person who invented Motrin. It is in my humble opinion, a miracle drug. Thank you, God. Amen.


Keni, though reacts differently. She has a super immune system and never ever gets sick. (She’s like her Dad.) And when the day does come that her body submits to a germ, she is very disappointed. In herself. “Mom, what about my homework?” and “Mom, what about my test?” and “I CAN”T miss my test!” and “I will get in trouble!” and  “What about my library book?” She runs through all the possible horrible implications of missing her schooling. The little brain just won’t let her rest.  It is bad enough she is being tortured in body, but I think the mental torture she puts herself through is much worse.


She should embrace the situation. Like this:


Coach Cami.



Did you just read that right?

Was it a typo?

A delusion?


I am,in fact, a soccer coach.

A girl’s U-10 league soccer coach.

A whistle blowin’. Offside calling. “Get your body in the game, girls!” Coach.

Here is my team: The Thrashers

And whose that beauty getting poked in the side? With one foot playfully kicked back in delight? Yep, my baby girl, Keni.

Keni is the reason I am a coach this season. A cleats wearing. Team roster writing. Sweaty eyebrows. (that’s right folks… sweaty eyebrows) Penalty calling coach.

The big surprise tho? I love soccer.

I am still learning the rules of the game, the ins and outs of it all. But I love it. The game is awesome. The action is non stop. The girls have a great time. I get a little exercise. (Did I mention my sweaty eyebrows?) And it’s all over in under an hour.

You can’t beat that, people.

Well, you can. But let’s not go there now. We’re talking about the kids here.

The only downside? I have to Ref a few games.

Now, being a Ref? That stinks.

Not the kids part, mind you, those guys are great.

But the parents. And whew! The other coaches. Let’s just say, they are just not well mannered citizens when I blow or don’t blow the whistle.

But I am willing to look the other way.

For the love of the game.

My Eyebrow.

Well, half of it anyways.

The New Me.

Thanks to my bosom buddy, Joy. For my new look. She spent hours at my house with many distractions. Naked babies. Fighting 6 year olds. Screaming 7 year olds. And I appreciate it sooo much! I even forgive you for the eyebrow fiasco. (Not shown here.)

Easter Morning.

Here are Charlie’s Angels. In all their Easter Morning glory.


My little princess who leads her people to victory, my fair and beautiful anointed one,  my pure and innocent daughter and my little enthusiastic cascade of laughter.  (Who looks a little concerned, by the way.)

They are, how do you say? Ah, yes… cute beyond all measure.

More Sewing With Cami.

I haven’t been able to find any good patterns for underwear.

But I found this:


And look! Look! I added a cell phone pouch!


This is actually pretty fun. (How lame do I sound?) This tote and the last one I posted about only took around an hour each to make. Who knew I’d like sewing?