DIMPLES DIARY – Week of 1-10-23


We spent last weekend in Winchester, Indiana – home of Mrs. Wic’s Pies and soon-to-be home of our youngest son and his family. He was affirmed as the new lead pastor of Freedom Life Church by a unanimous vote. It was a blessing for us to be there with them; I’ll talk more about that in a bit.

Not the most excellent photo quality but one of life’s great moments for a momma!

We went to support them and also to help out with the kids at night. Since they have the newborn, the three older boys bunked in our hotel rooms. We got two rooms because hotel rooms are no longer large enough for a rollaway bed or air mattress. What’s with that?

The infant’s parents probably got more sleep than me, as the two younger ones were up and down most of the night. At one point, the 5-year-old cried and said, “I’m gonna be grouchy tomorrow” because he couldn’t sleep.

Then as we listened to sleep story number… I don’t know; we listened to a ton of them from an app called Sleep; the same kid said, “It didn’t tell me to close my eyes yet.” Oh, boy!

Once he fell asleep, the 7-year-old woke up and started having bathroom issues, as usual. Then a round of musical beds and so on. Needless to say, I am slow-going this week.


Turning over a new leaf and starting fresh is hard, especially when embarking on a health journey, whether for the first time or the hundredth time. Even after all these years, as someone who used to be fit-ish, do Pilates, walk religiously (I once walked in a blizzard, no joke), and work out, it seems like I should be able to hop right back in.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Besides being WAY out of shape with having a bum knee and ankle, it’s even more of a challenge to find any exercise I can do right now.

But, thanks to Pinterest, I happened on this beginner’s exercise routine, and with my lightest hand weights, I could do it without much issue. I only completed two sets of twenty reps for each exercise. However, I’m happy to report my knees did not give me any trouble, except on my injured side, the left leg got very weak during the single bicep curl + side lunge exercise.

If you try it, please notice that the instructor is not bending her knees deeply.


I found Nikki of Nikki Gets Fit on YouTube a while back, and while I don’t do Weight Watchers or count calories, her successful weight loss habits like food prepping and bowl recipes inspire me. Earlier this week, we made a Nikki Inspired greek bowl using leftover roast chicken (linked last week), artichoke hearts, roasted veggies, roasted sweet peppers, and a yummy tzatziki sauce from Aldi over cauliflower rice. My picture isn’t pretty, and I prefer it over regular rice, but it was good.

TIP – Slide your cursor along the timeline when watching Nikki’s YT video, with several different bowl recipes. You will see the recipe’s title where that particular recipe is found on the timeline.

I didn’t do a great job of meal prepping this week. But a while back, I prepared all the components of several different bowls at the beginning of a week, as Nikki does, and I will admit, dinners were a breeze all week.

Maybe next week, right?


Another YouTuber who inspires me is personal stylist Melissa Murrell of MM Styling. If you look her up, get ready to binge-watch her content!

She’s not plus size, but she has done a YouTube masterclass series on how to style different body shapes, and her styling tips are so attainable for EVERY WOMAN. I’ve taken lots of great fashion advice from her. Once you see how she slightly changes a hemline or tuck and completely changes the look of an outfit, you can’t unsee it.

Last week she did a video on common styling mistakes, including mostly real-life casual outfits, and showed how to look more pulled together and proportional. I’m already incorporating some of those tips.


CONFESSION TIME: I backslid on my spending freeze with this coat. Dang, it! But I still want to find a light, cool-toned neutral color (Remember, I now know what colors look best on me.) long wool-blend coat that will complete many outfits. I thought I could wait until February, but after wearing a red plaid coat all weekend, I was chomping for a neutral. Let’s say, “Melissa made me do it!

But as I said in this post on the spending freeze – if you make a mistake, learn from it and move on.

I also bought some of these storage containers and two of these to help me reorganize one of my deep pull-out pantry shelves that hold dry staples. Once I get all that labeled, I’ll photograph it and share it with you.


one || two wear XL (similar) || three, similar || four || fivewear Misses 18 (plus size)

I forgot to take a camera with me this last weekend, and as you might imagine, I was looking pretty haggard between the tears and lack of sleep. So I thought I’d put a board together to show you what I wore to church on Sunday.

All items and an alternate, if the original was sold out, are listed under the collage. The stars next to the item denote the exact piece I wore; if it doesn’t have one, it’s similar.

STYLE TIP: Carry a bag that’s close to the same color as your hair. You’ll coordinate no matter what else you’re wearing.


This has been and continues to be a spiritual journey of growth and sacrifice for the Mister and me as we let go and grieve our boy moving three hours away. But we couldn’t be prouder of him following God’s call. Our son’s sermon Sunday was on how to know if you’re in the will of God.

Being there this weekend as he shared his heart with the congregation was healing for his dad and me. We watched, in real-time, as members of the congregation fell in love with them.

Following God’s call and being in His will is the best place to be, but it can require us to do hard things. It doesn’t always make sense, especially from a worldview. But God is always good and won’t leave us hanging if we step out in faith.

Let me leave you today with this example of God’s goodness:

The church’s current pastor is stepping down after pastoring there for over 22 years, and the congregation, who loves him, is grieving his moving on just like we’re mourning our son’s move. After the church and our son announced his affirmation in a Facebook post, one of the members wrote this comment:

She begins by referring to the fact that he quoted a line from one of their favorite movies, Young Frankenstein, during his sermon.

This is just the topping on the cake! God really chose the right pastor and family to come in behind [previous pastor & wife]…what I thought was going to be so hard has been transformed into something.. glorious…it’s exactly how it felt during the service..like God was putting his arms around our congregation and saying, “Look, I’ve got you; it’s Me, it’s always been Me.” Going to miss my [previous pastor’s] family for sure but looking forward in excitement for the Holloway family and Freedom Life Church!❤️

Isn’t that just like God? Even when the going gets tough, when we are open to what God has for us, He is always good and provides precisely what you need at the right time.

What you think is terrible, challenging, or sad might be the very thing that will catapult you toward a big ol’ God Hug and a deeper relationship with Him. So LET’S GO into this year looking for God in everything.

Because He’s GOT YOU. It’s HIM. It’s always been Him.


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  1. Oh Paula, congratulations to your son! I can imagine the mix of emotions you feel. I have a feeling that 3 hour drive will be one you take often.
    I LOVE Melissa Murrell, found her awhile ago and watch her faithfully. I would honestly love to enroll in her style school but my husband will freak out if I take on another thing. I hang on her every word and really enjoy that she dresses real women.
    The coat you bought was totally worth breaking the spending freeze!

    • Paula

      Thanks so much Kellyann. It’s so true, my car will probably be able to go there automatically in no time. 🤣

      And yes, she’s so good! I watch Busbee Style sometimes too, but Melissa’s styling is just so down to earth and attainable. Casual wear, wearable shoes for real life, and dealing with real women’s body challenges. Maybe we could get a two-fer deal with her… twinning for opposite body types? ☺️😂

      Hugs to you Kellyann!

  2. Marie Todd

    Congratulations to your son and his new exciting journey! By the way, I love the dress you had on in your email. I to have started 2023 seeking new low carb recipes for hubby and I. Hubby told his friend Thursday that I was trying to kill him with all the healthy foods ! LOL!

    • Paula

      Thanks Marie! That’s an older dress and I’ve tried to find similar options to share. This one is close-ish. https://rstyle.me/cz-n/hf92zdcdmi7

      My hubs doing calorie restriction. I just try to make clean eating recipes and give him the nutrition facts.

      Best to you!


    Love the new coat Paula, can’t wait to see you in it. You must have looked amazing with a beaming smile in church on Sunday, congratulations to your Son and his wife.

    I have watched most of Melissa M video’s she has a unique and valuable techniques to styling every body shape. I’ve used some of them with great success. Wish she was closer.

    Still looking for boots, you wear them well, my big feet (size 42 (12)) and large ankles just don’t work. Will keep looking.

    Good luck with the new program.

    • Paula

      I’m the sane, sure wish she was closer. She does virtual styling, though I don’t know how that would work.

      Boots are hard. I wear a 10 in most boots and and have very muscular calves so fitting tall knee boots or even booties with a taller shaft is tough. I might suggest you try plus size shops like Eloquii, Lane Bryant, and Woman With fit larger shoes and boots. They cater more to “queenly” sizes all the way around and may carry larger sizes in shoes too.

  4. Julia A MU LLINS

    Great message.

  5. /

    Hi Paula,
    I just want you to know that you are not alone. I totally understand you and your husband grieving for your son and his family moving three hours away, but at the same time being proud that he and his family are following God’s call. And you are right, there is absolutely no better place to be than in the center of God’s will! You see, I speak from experience. Fourteen years ago with a baby in arms, my son and his wife sold everything they owned and moved to Europe. They are on the mission field. For their safety, I can’t even tell you where they are. Now, they are a family of 6. That’s right, all 4 of my grandchildren live across the ocean. Due to Covid, my husband and I saw them for the first time in 4 years this past summer in 2022. It is so hard, but know that the Lord will walk with you through this experience and you will come out on top! I must admit, sometimes I have a pity part for myself. But then the Lord manages to put my thinking back on the right track, and I think to myself, who am I to stand in the Lord’s way. I will pray for you, your son, his family, and his new church family. Great blessings are in store, just wait and see and hang on tight!

    • Paula

      Oh Karen, we have said, “at least God isn’t moving them across the world.” We have friends who are on the mission field in the Dominican and we think of their families often. We realize this isn’t so far, but we’ve had a very unique and special situation with all our grands right here, being best friends, and playing on the same ball teams and on the same ball fields their dads played on and now coach each others kids right there. My son and his wife were on the same t-ball team. So they’re sacrifice is great as well because they are sad to leave the sentimental stuff behind too. So when he shared the song Ask, Seek, Pray with me, with the line, “You can have it all God…” it affirmed the surrender required to follow God.

      As we’ve been praying through this since august, I’ve heard God speak to me and say, “Paula, it’s not about building your kingdom, it’s about building mine.” A sacrifice and mindset that now I know you understand all too well. I’ll be praying for your son who is also living out the gospel and taking Jesus into all the world.

  6. Annie Bomgaars

    Oh goodness, Paula, I just love following you so much (my best friend shared your blog with me a few years ago as she knew I would connect so well, love reading other followers comments too). Everything you include is always so timely and my interests (and many of ours, I’m sure!). My biggest congratulations to your son & family on their new church journey and also to you for being such a wonderful mama & grandmom to be so supportive & helpful (even with your sadness too) knowing they felt led by God. What a beautiful note from a new parishioner and heartwarming God story! And I can relate so much to your journey for better health as my NY resolution is “lower my A1C”–which is now my 2nd time to be in the pre-diabetic range. But my physical limitations now don’t allow for running or any jumping so I too have to adapt with lower impact exercises. I love all your links–I didn’t know about any of these (exercises, Glucose book, Nikki’s Get Fit cooking channel, MM style–yes, its hard not to keep binge-watching Melissa’s tips on different figures. I only had known about Busbee Style but MM really does show us tips on how to dress for the unique shapes with real women models to see). Also, I have already listened to the Glucose audible book and that gives me soo much new hope (I’m 61, post menopausal, had to stop taking bio hormones, and have been at this weight loss battle since 1st pregnancy at 26). Thank-you sooo much for sharing so much of your life–really are a joy to read your stories–and you give so many of us inspiration with all your beautiful clothes (also hadn’t ever ordered from those store links but did order a new similar piece) & home decorating & family photos etc. You are just beautiful inside & out and what a platform you have if you do expand to possibly a book/bible study with Cathy Morenzie’s Losing Weight God’s Way book (ok, that’s on my list to read now but I started the year off with Barb Raveling’s Freedom from Emotional Eating; Satisfied, a Daily Devotional by Rhona Epstein; and Dr. LivingGood’s online YouTube channel). I’ve been in such a slump knowing I HAVE to get my A1C down, and my weight down, and it gets harder & harder to do as I age. I also don’t want to be unhealthy with aching joints so I can enjoy/pick-up/be on the floor with the grandkids (newborn and 2 1/2 yo–a few states away). But you’ve given me new hope & encouragement and it always feels like a big hug from you every time I see your Dimples Diary newsletter or Dimples On My . . . What? blog post in my inbox! I’ll be praying for you to also get your A1C down & for many other happy successes in 2023.
    Happiest trails to you, Paula, cheering you on,

    • Paula

      Hey Annie, I apologize for not responding earlier. I lost a bunch of comments due to technical difficulties or thought I had already responded.

      I’ve not done great with my new years health goals but I continue to try to make good choices and after my knee surgery to have my meniscus fixed in February, I’m finally feeling pretty good.

      Thanks so much for your prayers for my mom. They are a blessing to us.


  7. Oh, Paula, when my two oldest went off to college, they never really came home. Both went to small colleges close to Indianapolis. My daughter eventually married and moved to the East Coast. That was so hard especially when she had babies! My oldest moved to Fishers, and my youngest moved to Lafayette. Eventually, we decided if they aren’t moving home, we’ll move closer which was a bit of a mistake as I miss home so much. I told the husband I’d traveled that same road for 37 of my 57 (at the time) years…either on a school bus or in my car. We actually built a house across the road from the school I attended for all eight grades (we didn’t have kindergarten). But, I digress! It is hard to let go, but it sounds like he’s gone to a wonderful place to spread the Word.

    I have watched videos by Melissa Murrell before. She’s so good at what she does. I like the idea of bowl dinners. And meal prep! I’m going to watch those videos, too! Thanks so much for sharing all of these things! I hope you have a fabulous week!


    • Paula

      Thanks Marsha. Yes, we are doing okay. It will be a huge change as our boys are the only family we have here. We moved to this town in IN 30 years ago, went to college locally, and even though we traveled to our extended family for holiday occasionally, it’s always been our little brood, right here. The grand babies have been close since day one. Each boy lives 5 minutes away from us, all the Littles play on each others ball teams…. But God keeps reminding me, it’s about building His kingdom not mine and we rest in that as we figure out the logistics of everything else.


  8. Alicyn

    Paula! Your last two posts have struck such a cord with me!! Thanks for continuing to follow your heart and sharing your story with us.

    • Paula

      Thanks so much for the encouragement Alicyn. Sometimes I question what I should be doing but I always come back to wanting to remind women to stay focused on God… it’s there that we’ll find our true, happiness, calling, and beauty. 😘


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