Not exactly the merriest of words during the month of December.  Especially not if your brain –and Pinterest boards–are crowded with cookie exchange party ideas, holiday menus and pie.

I like pie.

Thanks to Barbara over at Just a Smidgen for planting the idea of pumpkin and meringue in my head.  Yum.  It haunted me excessively.

Some days I think I have moderation under control.  Some.  It’s a work in progress.

Take my very first diary.  I’ve mentioned it a few times here.  I keep this diary in a place of honor in my office because it has oh so many emotions packed into its tiny gold edged pages.  Some of those words–many of which were written with a perfume pen (not kidding)–have the ability to make me laugh and cringe at the same time.

Boys are mentioned excessively.

diary page rob lowe_opt

Rob Lowe’s crush dedication page.  There are many, many others.

Crush moderation wasn’t something I considered.  Although on one page of my diary I wrote, “I’m tired of bellyaching about it.”

But then I went back to I heart boys.



Apparently this is also true for exclamation points.  Admittedly, I still have a problem overusing them, but once upon a time, my indication of intense emotion had no boundaries.

Excessive punctuation.

In case you can’t read my handwriting, that diary page says, “Nothing spectacular happened!”

Of course, you know and I know, that exclamation points can be used in better ways . . .

Meringue topped pumpkin pie!

Cookie exchanges!



moderation in all things emerson_opt


What do you think about moderation and the holidays? If you could pick one thing that deserves an exclamation point this holiday season, what would that be?

Have a fantastic day! (FYI that punctuation is from the heart.)

46 thoughts on “Moderation Gone Wild: Boys, Exclamation Points & Pie

  1. August McLaughlin

    Insightful post, as usual, Coleen! I don’t think about moderation, though I value and practice it. A healthy, mindful lifestyle makes moderation a near-given. It can take a while to get there, but it’s worth it, IMO.

    Hope you and yours are having a wonderful holiday season. 🙂

  2. Julie Hedlund

    Coleen, you’ve inspired me to go back through some of my junior high journals to mine them for ideas. I know I’ll find Rob (the ORIGINAL vs. Pattinson) in there too!!!!! And somehow far less moderation even than yours!!!! 🙂

  3. Marcy Kennedy

    I think part of moderation is letting yourself splurge once in a while. That way you don’t fight quite so many cravings. So I try to eat with moderation most of the time and I know that around the holidays there will be days where I don’t eat with moderation at all. And I think that’s okay.

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      You have to go to Barbara’s site (link above). Warning: You may drool. My pumpkin pie was a cheat. I used the pie recipe on the can and then made a basic pie meringue. That’s it. 🙂

  4. Leigh Moore

    Nope, not at Christmas. OK, I’m lying. I still *try*, but I’m not very hard on myself when I fail… LOL! Yes… pie… mmmm :d Rob Lowe… mmmm…. And BAH! At the exclamation point for “nothing much happened.” Hilarious! Have a super week~

  5. Patricia Titon

    Cute post! Nice that you have your high school journals. I did sacred burnings of my journals at important times in my life — when it was time to move forward. It was my way of detaching. My mince meat pies! Only over the Christmas holidays, though!

  6. Molly Pendlebury

    Love this post! I overuse exclamations in the worst way!!! I’m a very serious offender!!! I’ve noticed that I have been moderating a bit more on holiday treats this year. It’s a first for me and I seem to just be doing it because, I haven’t made a conscious decision to “moderate your sweets this year Moll you sugar crazed maniac!!!” 😉

  7. tomwisk

    Something new, pie porn. The slow reveal was brilliant. Though I’ve sworn off pie, every now and again I get the urge to whip up a Pecan Bourbon Pie. Then I sit down, take my blood sugar and the feeling passes.

  8. 4amWriter

    I am trying to live a more balanced life, and that means living in moderation. I’m okay with it, actually, because I have witnessed what excess living can do to a person.This way I’m healthy in mind/body/spirit, and I can still make a double batch of eggnog!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oops, one too many exclamation points. 🙂

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      There are things that don’t even tempt me like they used to simply because I don’t like how they make me feel. Guess that’s when balance and moderation kick in. 🙂 Thanks Kate!

  9. Patricia

    “Rob robbed your heart!” Isn’t that sweet? I had a crush on Rob Lowe too. And Shaun Cassidy and Parket Stevenson, and Magnum PI and the list goes on and on.

    Pumpkin and Meringue? Hmmm I’ll give that a try.

    Exclamation point for the holidays? Time off to write!!!!!!!!!!!


    (Those exclamation points are from the heart too!)

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  10. Lynette M. Burrows

    I’m with Patricia, “Time off to write!!!!!”

    LOL, you’re braver than I to share some of your diary entries. I may have to take another look at mine . . . maybe I have a moderately safe line like “nothing spectacular happened!” <3 🙂

  11. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen

    I got stuck on the “perfumed pen”! I want one of those! I, too, suffer from gratuitous exclamation marks and wonder why I find it so difficult to end sentences with a period? Even when commenting, like now, I want to use ! everywhere:D I’m glad you’re crushing on that pie.. it was worth a heart or two.. but you’d better invite a crush over to share it with.. maybe Rob? xx Smidge

  12. Alarna Rose Gray

    Your diaries are so cute! I’m impressed with how they still feature in your everyday life… mine are a shameful secret in a musty box in the garage. But on the topic of moderation… the obvious thing for Christmas moderation to me is alcohol! Then again, moderation spoils the point of holidays, right? 🙂

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