Sabbatical Sursees :: The Italian Adventure

A note from Sursee Gal

Dear friend,

A good friend recommended that I write a little note to tell you what I will be doing the next month.  I will not be blogging.  Even writing that makes me feel a little anxious.  Am I the real deal if I take time off?

Yes, I think so, and here is what I will be doing.

I will be in Italy with Craig, Sabbatical Dad. AKA Sursee Guy.

We will be:  Living.  Eating. Walking. Praying. Napping.  Being.  Drinking in God’s beauty and goodness.

Taking a break from computers, Instagram, blogging.

I want to try to be present and with Craig.  A good friend emailed me and said,

”Don’t worry about what you are missing,  Celebrate what you are experiencing.”

Ahh, good friends.  They know you. The above is so true for me. There is nothing worse than being one place and wishing you were another place.

She also encouraged me to take less photos with my camera and let my “eyes and heart remember”.  I have already thought about that, and we are going to have a little contest.  I get to take as many pictures as I want to every day, but, at the end of the day, we have to cull through them and delete down to 10 photos…ack. Can I do it?  I think so.  I have even thought of culling down to my top 5!  How many pictures do I really need? How many do you want to really see when I get back.  300? or 150? Hahah.

I am not going to get all twisted and never check email or texts or take an IG photo.  I am going to try to unplug and BE more.  I am bringing a new journal and my favorite pen to write everyday.

I want to blog everyday and let you see all that I am seeing, but I understand that I can’t do that in real time.  Can you wait till November to see and hear all the details?

In October a whole slew of bloggers try a 31Days where they blog everyday on a topic and practice the discipline of writing every, every day. No skipping days.  I have heard that it brings out new stuff you have swirling around in you and is a great experience.  But I am not going to do that this October.

My friend, Jacki at The Jesse Tree Project told me her great idea for 31Days.  She is going to write every day and not post it.  I think that is what I will do.  Then I will have loads of good stuff when I get back.  It will be a good discipline for me to sit and write every, every day. Thanks for the great tip, gal.

Terri over at White Pitchers is writing about the tending of our souls.  If you haven’t read her musings yet, I recommend checking in with her this next month.  She is a beautiful wordsmith and paints gorgeous pictures with her eloquent prose. Please check her out in October as she explores making white space for our souls.

I think that is all.  I am excited to see what the Lord is going to do in our lives.  I will be checking in on IG so follow me over there if you are not already-  @SurseeGal

Ciao and xoxo


Saturday Sursee :: Art Calendar-Craft with your Calendar-

Ok, this is the ultimate in multi-tasking. I love stuff that is beautiful and also practical.  Stuff that is art and is also useful.  This Art Calendar is just that.  I meant to write about it in January and was doing some living, so here it is February.  It is simply not too late to partake of this treasure, this Sursee of a Calendar.

Art Calendar 3

It is the ultimate Sursee because on one side is your calendar with beautiful art work.  You enjoy it all month, but the fun does not stop there.  Turn it over at the end of the month and there is a craft to do with

Art Calendar 2

the back of the page.  On the back of January is a file folder you get to cut out.

Art Calendar 4

Now I have a folder with beautiful coffee cups topped with swirls of cream.  What a Sursee!

It is not too late for you to run and buy yourself an Art Calendar.  I have mine hanging in my bathroom.  My working calendar is by Susan Branch and is hanging in the kitchen. But that is a Sursee for another day.

I haven’t even peeked at the back of February yet- so I don’t know what the craft is; I can’t wait to see.  Do you have a favorite calendar?  One that you have to buy every year?  Do tell…


Art Calendar 1

Here is February. Aren’t the lovebird swans gorgeous? Can’t wait to see what the craft is-eeek!


A Sursee for Father’s Day

Today, make your husband or dad’s day by telling them what you love about them.

Everyone of us needs to hear we are doing a good job and that someone notices.  So today, if you still have your Dad, tell him how awesome he is and thank him for all that he did for you.  Even if he wasn’t perfect. This is when I remember that God placed me in my family.  It is part of His plan.  Find something for which you can thank him.  Be a blessing.

If you are married, make sure and tell your sweetie he is Number 1!  Focus on all that he is doing right.  Be thankful.

Call your brothers, brothers-in-laws, neighbors and let ’em have it- You are an awesome Dad!  Let them know they have a Father in heaven who is singing over them.

Be the one who says it today. Deliver the SURSEE.

The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.   Zephaniah 3:17Father's Day


What I am thinking about today :: Mentoring Moment

Sunset over the Sea of Galilee

I am thinking about this verse today.

The wise woman builds her house,

but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Proverbs 14:1

Can you rest today and think about it, too?

Photo is a sunset on the Sea of Galilee.

Loving Your Man Well-Date Nights

Date night couple


Date nights are one of the things that Craig and I tried to do.  Did it happen every week?  Not so much, but we tried to do it regularly.   Now that I am sitting in the Empty Nest, I see how they helped our relationship.  I also see how they helped get me through some loooong years of being a mommy and are still life-giving even now.  Here are some of my thoughts and maybe these will be an encouragement to you.

Date nights give you a chance to get away from it all.

Calgon take me away.  If you are my age, you understand that phrase. No matter if you are a mom with young children or your house  is full of teens or you are enjoying the empty nesty, you need some time alone with your hubby.  Date nights help you and your man reconnect.  They give you a chance to be a couple, a twosome, romantic-young at heart.

You get to think about what you are going to wear just like you did in high school.  You might even get to wear something  that doesn’t have spit-up on it.  It also helps you feel like a wife and not just a M.O.M.  We spend so much time feeling and thinking mom thoughts and a date night helps me to think wife/Leslie thoughts.  It also helps me think about my husband and his needs and our relationship.

It doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Be creative.  Date nights don’t always have to be going out to eat and to a movie.  Take a walk around the block.  Cook up an extra special meal and check out a movie from the library.  Find a free event to attend.  See a matinee.  Put the kids in bed early and have quiet time in your own home or backyard, together.  Date nights give you the opportunity to talk about the dreams and the big plans and  the stuff of life-besides the kids.  In fact, I would challenge you to not talk about your kids the whole time you are on a date.  Ack!  That is hard, for sure. But let’s practice.  You are more interesting than that, too! And so is he.

No waiting for someday, maybe.

Don’t wait around on him angry that he just won’t plan it.  Craig and I talked a long time ago that maybe I could plan the date nights some.  And really, isn’t it the point, to get out together?  So, I would make plans and not listen to the lies that he needed to be planning this.  And don’t put it off, you have to continue to date when those kids are little.  It is your way of investing in your couple-ness so that when you get to the end of child raising, you are still excited about each other and have a relationship.

Trade Date nights.

When our boys were little we traded date nights with another family.  Every other week I got a night out with Craig.  I brought our kids already fed, bathed and jammied up.  Our kids learned how to lie down and go to sleep on a pallet at her house.  When I had her four, eight kids total, it wasn’t that big of a deal.  Once you go from one kid to two, eight is a piece of cake.  I would have to say our kids had a blast together and are all still good friends.

Keep Dating even when the kids are gone.

Craig and I are now enjoying our empty nest, and I think much of it is because we worked on our relationship all those years when the kids were home.  Now with them all gone, we still have to plan out our Date Nights.  Plus, we are still modeling for our grown kids. We are such interesting people!  So even in the empty nest stage, let’s date!

So your SURSEE for today is to plan and execute a Date Night.  Please share what you guys like to do on your Date Nights  or your fun ways to be together. Or let’s share why you need a Date Night.  I would love to hear.