Welcome Friends!

I’m thrilled you’ve decided to visit the “Must Love Shoes” blog—our little corner of the world filled with articles created especially for you! I love sharing with my friends, but the real fun begins when the conversation flows!

Meaningful discussion involves an exchange of ideas. Is your story inspirational for women? Do you have advice for women that you’ve found helpful? Don’t be bashful! Add your comments to any of the articles below, because, after all ladies, this is our private place to share!

What I Did Right in 2014.

Soles of Love 4 profile picI am only hours away from my annual sojourn through my Memory Box, my hidden stash of memorabilia which accumulates during the year.

The sole purpose of my Memory Box is to help me capture the highlights of my year so I don’t spend the evening wishing–

–that I were more organized.

–or patient.

–or thinner.

–or any number of things I think about if I allow my mind to dwell in insecurity rather than accomplishment.

It’s human nature, I guess, to think about what’s wrong, instead of what’s right.  But before I let the box tell me what went right for me this year, I have a few thoughts of my own.

In spite of the fact that 2014 was one of the toughest years of my life, it was also one of the best. Here’s why! [Read more…]

The Only Reason You’ll Ever Need!

Must Love ShoesEvery woman I know puts everyone’s needs before her own. It’s in our DNA. We just can’t help it.

Every woman I know has a “wish list,” a “bucket list,” things they dream of doing…..


When the kids are grown.

When they have more money.

Or time.

Or energy.

I used to be that way.
[Read more…]

New Faces, New Friends: Parade of the Snow People

Must Love ShoesEvery year during the Christmas season a parade of Snow People take up temporary residence along Main Street of our little town.  This year, a sweet vintage girl graces my driveway and I have affectionately named here Vivienne.

In my vivid imagination, she assumes a personality and enjoys many exciting adventures while I’m away from home. Much like the ever-so-popular Elf on the Shelf.

Except Vivienne is not creepy.

And you can touch her. (In fact, she rather likes it).

And she has good taste in clothing.

During a recent walk around town, I playfully began naming her neighborhood friends. I realized that many of them reminded me of new friends who have also, coincidentally, come into my life in the past few years. [Read more…]

The End of an Era

2014-12-16 20.30.28We said goodbye to an old friend today.

Not in the way you might imagine, but it was difficult nonetheless.

This English Walnut has stood beside our 160-year-old home for most of her life. Like any dear friend, she shared generously….

Provided us with beautiful moments throughout every season in the year…..

And provided unwavering shelter from the harsh elements. [Read more…]

Why I’m Ringing Bells for the Salvation Army

Salvation ArmyYears ago as part of my Leadership Washington County Health & Human Services Day, my class ate lunch at the Salvation Army. We were encouraged not to eat with our fellow classmates, rather, to reach out and sit with a client to share our meal.

It was there I learned the true meaning of fellowship.

At one point in our conversation, the man I was breaking bread with asked “who was I with?”  When I didn’t immediately respond (I was trying to think of a respectful way to tell him we were experiencing a poverty simulation), he responded, “It’s pretty obvious you don’t belong here.”

Raw. Honest. Humble words. [Read more…]

Angels Among Us

Christmas 2014 porchfavorite

“They wear so many faces, show up in the strangest places.
To grace us with their mercy, in our time of need.
I believe there are angels among us.
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours.
To show us how to live, to teach us how to give.
To guide us with a light of love.”
Randy Travis

It’s hard to believe that it’s been four months since 160+ women gathered in my gardens for the fourth annual “Soles of Love in the Garden” charity event.

It had been a tough week for my family leading up to the event but when the evening finally arrived, there was magic in the garden.

Old friends. New friends. Acquaintances who quickly became friends.

Candlelight. Twinkling lights. Smiles. Hugs. Laughter. Warmth.

[Read more…]

Giving Tuesday: The Face of Parkinson’s

Misty anniversary pic8

Today is #givingTuesday. The entire day, I have received countless emails and requests from nonprofits requesting that I go online and support their cause.

Every nonprofit is important. They all improve the quality of life. They all are worthy of my gift.

But today, my wallet and online giving goes to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Foundation.

[Read more…]

Cait’s Thoughts on Friendship

Cait and friendsI heard a song on the radio today by the country music star, Jason Aldean, called “Dirt Road Anthem.” This song is nostalgic because it reminds me of my best friends from school. I remember the day my friend Jenna said that this song would forever remind her of our group of friends and our senior year of college.

I don’t get to see our group all that often because most of us are far away from one another, but I’m sure that they get those same feelings and that rush of memories when they hear that song.

[Read more…]

Thoughts on Becoming a Mentor

Ana head shotMeet Ana. She is a passionate, effervescent young woman in her junior year at Hood College.

She is a Davis Peace Prize recipient. Tonight she delivered a presentation about the fascinating work she did in Bosnia-Herzegovina over the summer.

She has a passion for teaching and training.

An eagerness for learning.

And a mad desire to help people of all cultures relate better to one another.

[Read more…]

Introducing Cait: Shooting Stars

KUHN6134I am always tickled by life’s way of silently providing exactly what I need and often, it is unexpected.

The last couple of months for me have been a huge transition coming from six years of school and life with constant expectations, to a place where I have an abundance of free time. I graduated several months ago and now I am fervently searching for the ever-elusive job that I have yet to secure. Sometimes I feel like my life is so static and that I am desperately yearning for growth and change to hurry up and come along. Despite all of this, I try to live every day with an open mind and to understand that my purpose has not yet decided to reveal itself.

[Read more…]

The Year’s Last Loveliest Smile

Autumn glory 2014“Autumn…. the year’s last loveliest smile.”
William Cullen Bryant

This was the weekend I love.

The ceremonial putting my gardens to bed.

Urns and flower pots emptied, scrubbed, and stored for the winter.

The buildings, once laden with vintage treasures, now a clean slate.

We are both weary….ready for rest, my gardens and I.

Longing for time apart from one another.

[Read more…]