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Saturday Confession: When Did That Happen?

Posted by Julie on July 25, 2015 in About Me, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Saturday Confession |

Feelings of failure loomed late night as the large ice cream cake I bought didn’t fit in our freezer. I didn’t think the fridge would work. I  threw an ice sleeve and ice in a freezer bag with the cake and hoped for the best.

When I presented the cake, it took a gasp of air and collapsed into a pile of peanut butter goo.

My husband asked why didn’t I cut the cake up and put that in the freezer?

I almost graded my parenting based on that melted cake.

But I looked over and watched him share with his friends and girlfriend.

The laughter.

Recalling moments in NYC where they served with the NYC Dream Center.

His second year.

Then I realized he’s filling out a job application.

Making plans for his senior year

And beyond.

When did that happen?

Wasn’t he the kid that tried to make his entry at 32 weeks?

Then decided to stay put until surgeons intervened?

Wasn’t he the one banging his head as a toddler when he was mad?

Or luring his aunt into his room to play and keeping her there for hours?

Asking for kinne and fries, agpa and his dog, kissiwa?

Wasn’t he just in first grade drawing a picture of a little boy crying with a U-Haul because we’d moved to Ohio hours before?

When did it happen that he got braces?

Then glasses?

Then another set of braces?

And many more pairs of glasses?

Didn’t he just pick percussion as his choice for elementary band?

Wasn’t he the kid that nearly passed out in a spelling bee?

When did that happen that he was in middle school?

Weren’t we just whining that we hate science fairs?

Wasn’t she just introduced to us as his friend that we knew he liked?

Didn’t he just attend high school orientation?

How can it be he’s going to be in his brother’s wedding when he was just in his sister’s?

Melted cake, you can’t kill my joy.

I’m celebrating.

Even though I keep asking when did that happen?


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Saturday Confession: The Parenthood Finale Headache

Posted by Julie on January 31, 2015 in About Me, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

It’s no secret I enjoy a good television show. I’m a fan of quality writing and ensemble acting and this year I’ve been saying goodbye to some good ones.

Parenthood being one of them.

I watched this show from the beginning, and as I’ve been with Girl Meets World, I was skeptical. Could Parenthood the television show pull off the mastery that was the movie? I wasn’t so sure.

Then I was.

Parenthood became the show I texted family and friends as we watched across the miles. We saw Adam, Kristina, Crosby, Julia and Zeek in ourselves and the ones we loved. We threw our arms up when Sarah made yet another mistake. The cousins made their share of mischief, too. Drew, Haddie, Sidney and Amber were a topic of many chats, too.

Then it evolved and became a cheap form of therapy. My mom started watching and I listened as she shared some of the reasons behind her parenting choices. I could tell she was processing our lives as she watched. And it was healing.

As I watched the finale, I had a headache from crying.

Here’s why: (Spoilers below)



  • Zeek with Sarah. When he asked if he had been a good dad, I thought back to the last conversation I had with my father, hours before he passed. Although I was more Adam than Sarah, it took my heart and ran.
  • Hank with everyone. I hated Hank when he entered the scene. I was such a fan of the young teacher Sarah was with, but Ray Ramano’s portrayal of Hank Rizzoli turned me around. I cried when he met with Zeek. Drew. Max.
  • Joel and Julia. I’ve never been a Julia fan but I’ve always loved Joel with Julia. To see them reconcile and face new challenges, they were right, it was crazy. But crazy good.
  • Camille. Camille shattered what was left of my senses. With every scene, every bit of good news, you could see in her silence, on her face, the shoe was ready to drop and she was trying to prepare. When Zeek was talking to Amber about the walks they would take, the look on Camille broke me. She knew. I knew. Zeek knew. Amber knew. Her face said it all.
  • The montages backdropped against the baseball game. It was brilliant to give glimpses of the future and great closure. Camille continued with her art in Europe. Julia ended with four kids, just as she grew up in. Crosby and Amber were a dream team at the Luncheonette, with Jasmine pregnant as they all listened to a couple record what was the theme song to the show. How could you not cry during that? And to see Amber happy and adjusted with her son, a stable relationship, and Ryan have a cameo? Tears.
  • Max. That kid. I bawled during the first season when Kristina wrote a letter to the neighborhood preparing them for Max trick-or-treating. When he hit puberty. When he broke down after the kids bullied him before leaving the regular school. When he kept taking pictures of the girl I loved how they kept the portrayal. Showing emotion and affection truly is difficult for children with Asbergers. Yet, when he gave that smile at graduation, this mom got it. I’ve always identified in marriage as Kristina and as a sibling, Adam. And Max has always had me.

Like I said, I’m a fan of quality writing and acting and this show was always bringing it. I still have a headache from crying.

Parenthood, thanks for everything.

You will be missed.

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Character Confession: What Imperfect Progress Looks Like On Me

Posted by Julie on July 6, 2013 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

This summer I’ve been working through Lysa TerKeurst’s latest book, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions. She has one term that is the goal for readers, imperfect progress. I used to be a very angry, wounded person, and unglued was my heart. Although God’s healed me from so much, imperfect progress sums up a lot.

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared anything surrender themed, so I thought I’d take today to confess and celebrate my imperfect progress.



In Unglued Lysa writes about exploding reactions and stuffing reactions. For the most part, I’m a stuffer. It took absolute rejection and heartbreak from more than one situation to help me communicate more. My marriage is so much better for that. I think what’s key is if the other person is as willing to receive as I am to share. Any relationship that isn’t where it used to be most likely is because I don’t believe the other person is willing to openly communicate and receive my honest feelings, even in a loving way.


Last year I was in my first of three casts, and even those casts in the end didn’t heal my broken wrist. This summer I’m free from casts, braces, therapy, and for the most part, the grief I carried from the incident and reality I’ll never be the same. When I feel an ache or struggle opening a child proof bottle I have to choose to find the positive. Last year I wasn’t sure I could write/type, and that’s the call on my life. This year I’m typing two-handed, no problems.

In that healing time, my exercise life flatlined. Because of that and emotional eating, I gained a lot of the weight back I lost two years ago. I’ve had imperfect progress with my mind, taking each thought about my body back to Christ. I don’t have to stay in that place, and I’m more about healthier choices than a number on the scale. The celebration is I’m almost done with the C25K app, and I didn’t hate it. I pulled way back on junk eating and am trying to be intentional to listen to true hunger and only eat then.


I feel like our family is in a new phase. Our youngest no longer has a little girl face, and she’s asking tween questions. Our son is receiving mail from colleges. His countdown to drive is in months, not years. I realized there is a lot more fear in this season than I imagined. I can’t control a lot of their lives, not in the early days when it was about redirecting their attention or picking them up for danger. Unglued? Yep. I have to trust God in all He gave me to raise them, and the promises over them. They are children of peace. Overcomers. Game-changers. And my prayer is they be invisible to the enemy.


This encompasses so much more than going to church and helping out here and there. My life is a ministry, and most of it is writing and speaking. I’ve relaxed a lot wondering what this is all supposed to look like and when, and God is in it. I’m extremely reluctant to allow anyone try to tell me what it should be, and I absolutely come unglued when I feel forced  or manipulated. It’s in this category I think the depth of my introvertedness comes out. High maintenance people drain me. I give everything of me when I minister. My heart beats to see people live free in Christ, and that comes at a price. Rest, maintaining boundaries, these are vital for me.

Imperfect progress. Not just my goal, but I think a lifestyle.

How about you?

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Free Therapy: Analyzing Your DVR List

Posted by Julie on February 15, 2012 in About Me, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

I blog ahead of time so as I type this, it’s a Saturday morning and I used a bit of it to catch up on my shows on DVR. I was looking at the list of shows and realized it’s a free form of analysis. I think your DVR list can say a lot about you.

Let’s take a list at mine.

Blue Bloods-Ensemble police show set in NYC that showcases a tightknit family. I love it for the top-notch writing, cast, and loyalty to family. Having Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg on it is a bonus.

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Parenthood-Talk about free therapy. My mom recently started watching at my suggestion and we’ve been able to step back into our past and experience healing and revelation just by comparing our situations to the Bravermans’. I have a friend that will text me during the show, so much is relatable. Again, amazing writing, awesome cast. The actor who portrays Max, a boy with Aspergers, is one of the best characters on TV. Ever.

Hawaii 5-0-Another police show. I like how in 60 minutes I get a movie type experience with tons of action, great plot, and humor. I also don’t need to leave the house or pay to enjoy it.

White Collar-Okay, this is another law enforcement show of sorts. It’s so smart, I love it. Great casting, too.

Psych-Are you seeing a trend? It’s a detective show but the writing is genius. If White Collar humor is college, Psych humor is elementary school, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. So funny.

Not on now but will record when it’s back:

Covert Affairs-A strong female lead portraying a CIA agent while still juggling the sister, single woman, and aunt roles. Great cast.

The Closer-Gritty police show with the best female character written. Fantastic team show.

Okay, well, looking at my list I can say this—I love writing what used to be called chick-lit, but I don’t necessarily watch it. I’m a definite fan of good writing and my love of law enforcement is definitely a given. If I have a choice between action and a soap opera, well, it will be a no-brainer.

I’d rather see sweat and weapons than lingerie and romance.

How about you? Leave a comment sharing what you watch and/or DVR and what you think it says about you.

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