Showing posts from 2015

it feels like Christmas!

Everyone here in Indiana is freaking out over our warm, green, Christmas weather. "It can't be Christmas without snow!" They cry.

Meanwhile, I feel like this is totally appropriate Christmas weather. When you spend 90% of your childhood Christmases in Southern California, 60 degree weather is right on target. In fact, it's been making me feel full of nostalgia and a bit giddy. It FEELS like Christmas.

It just goes to show that so much of life is what we are used to. One person's disappointment is someone's preference. We are products of culture and habit. We can't ever think we know all the right things, or our way is always the right way. 

I hope no matter what your expectations are this Christmas, you find yourself filled with joy and peace. And when life hands you a green or white Christmas to your dismay, you still find a way to stand in awe of our Savior.

This Christmas, may our expectation be set aside as we say, "Come, thou long expected, Jesu…

a blog about a blog

I've been thinking about something for a very, very long time. In a way, it came to a head for me yesterday, and then I read this blog post this morning and I decided it's my turn to talk a little bit about this issue.

For a long time, I've been saying, "It's not you, it's me", but I think it may actually not be me.

I read that blog this morning and tears came into my eyes. Tears of frustration, of loneliness, of relief. Frustration for things I do not agree with but I feel are accepted as "cultural norms", loneliness for thinking I am one of a very select few who think this way, and relief to hear that I am not the only one.

That last one is why I decided to write this blog: if you read that above blog post and resonate; or if you sit somewhere on Sunday desperately wanting to worship God but wrestling with a Christian church or the American Christian Church; if in …

a note about the bold

Someone recently told me, "If you struggle with boldness, there is no hope for any of us." to which someone else said, "You are probably the boldest person I've ever met."

This is not a blog about me, though.

This is a post about becoming the boldest person you've ever met, and how I am just a normal girl from Wisconsin.

I joke the greatest disservice my parents did to me growing up was to forgetting to tell me there are limits to what I can do. Now, don't get me wrong - my parents were not supporters of the "you can be anything you want to be in life" mantra. I suck at lots of things, and it was pretty evident to them and to me that if I had tried to pursue after any of them, it was not going to go well for me. However, as far as things I had aptitude for and interest in, there was no limit.

Enter YWAM. End game.

Friends, I am not even kidding here, but if you think for two seconds YWAM leaves you when you leave YWAM, it's not true. Like …

challenge update

So, we finished phase one of the challenge! How's it going?

-Shakes: I really struggled to like the shakes. Turns out, it just needed unsweetened, vanilla almond milk. Hardly adds anything nutrition wise but way improves the taste. Since the challenge pack only comes with 14 shakes, I went ahead and ordered more in the chocolate mocha. Yum! The chocolate was good, too, but I liked the mocha better!

-Energy: Before I started the challenge, I said that if I wasn't feeling better in one week, I was going to call my primary doctor and have a check up and get a blood panel drawn. I was tired, struggling to sleep, and just not feeling great. The first 2 days of the challenge I did not feel better. By the 4th day, I felt totally different. I had energy, I could think clearly, I slept better. I know good food is good medicine... some times we just need help hitting that reset button!

-Appetite: I was hungry the first 2 days. I haven't been hungry since day 2. In fact, I have been …

24 day challenge.

So, I agreed to do an Advocare 24 Day Challenge because I really care about my health, want to be intentional with my eating, and struggle to find the time to eat well as a stay at home mom.

That is all a lie. I agreed to do it because I want to wear my pre-pregnancy jeans this fall.

Either way, I am motivated.... and I promised to blog about it, so here I am.

Yesterday was the day of all meal prep. I made zucchini noodles, chicken fajita bowls, and egg and veggie "muffins". I used the zucchini noodles today for some fake Italian for lunch, and I was surprised by how much I liked it.

This morning started off with Day 1 of the challenge. Since I am a type A person to the core, I love the packets of supplements and check list. I get to CHECK it off? Done.

In the kit is a seemingly innocent box labeled "fiber drink". Since it was on the check list, I dutifully drank it this morning. It was not my favorite experience, but I got it down. I may put in a small splash of or…

the fashion addict and the boy

friends, it's no secret that clothes shopping for boys is way inferior to clothes shopping for girls.
is it easier? yes. cheaper? probably. simpler to put outfit togethers? yes, thank goodness.
but the girl's stuff is just so... i don't know. addicting? 
the exception? 
little boy winter sweaters & jackets.

i cannot even look at a crisp denim jacket for joe without somehow justifying that he needs this james dean inspired look. 

a wool pea coat? i die. 

a thick cable knit sweater with toggle buttons? i'll take one in each color.

a brightly colored fleece? yes, bring some cheer to those dreary winter days.
before long, it looks like i'm stocking up an LL Bean catalog in our hall closet... just in kid's size. 

the question.

"Do you want more kids?"

I pause. The question. Do I want more kids?

Joe is that age. That age where many people add their second child.

I have no easy answer to that question. We love Joe with our hearts and souls and love being his parents. I love being at home with him (most days ;) ), and I love our little life together. We watch him get bigger and better and wish for all things baby. "Of course we want another baby!" I want to say.

Hyperemsis gravidum is a weird thing. You are totally fine, and then you get pregnant, and you are totally not fine. Then, after 9 long months, you get a newborn, which requires all your energy and work after you already gave all your energy and work just to stay out of the hospital while pregnant, and then, 18 months into motherhood, you are totally fine again. So I should do it again, right? After all, how cute is my kid?

I hold my friends' babies and my heart aches. A baby. I look at my sister and brother and think I could ha…

a boy and the water

While it's no secret that (one day, when they cure severe morning sickness) we would like more children, I am sorta loving the just having one stage.

I can do things like take my one year old to the beach. Friends, keeping up with a crazy toddler at the beach is no joke, and if I had a baby or another kid under the age of, like, 6, it would not be happening.

So I took Joe to our small, dinky, very-Indiana beach. What it lacks in views (seriously, you are looking at a highway, townhouse construction, and a hospital... so I guess it may not be that hard to pretend it's California), it makes up for in accessibility and in our son's joy of being there.

Joe loves the water (he always has).
Joe did a Baywatch reenactment the first time we took him to the beach. Full force, unbridled, he ran straight to the shore and dove face-first into the water.

He giggles and giggles as he splashes. He digs and digs in the "sand". He runs around. The sun makes his hair more strawber…

one year: and what to do

A year ago today we lost my father-in-law. Shock doesn't even describe the feeling I got when I got that phone call.

Today we will celebrate. We will celebrate his love, his life. We will probably fight back (or not fight back) tears. We will smile when we see Don's face in little Joe's eyes and expressions. Today, we will give thanks for the gift of having Don in our lives, and for the promise of eternal life through Jesus.

There's a really great blog post being shared on Facebook about what to do when someone in your life is grieving. It's good - read it, do it.

My advice on what to do when someone in your life experiences tragedy? Show up. You don't have to know the right words (and, as that blog points out, saying the wrong thing or admitting you don't know what to say is better than not saying anything). You don't have to know what to do. Just show up. 

That night, a year ago today, my mom quickly rearranged everything (she was watching my sister's…


i hate lasts.
last night in our house.
i brought my first baby home to this house.
so many things have happened to us here.

change is never easy, friends.

when i feel that knot in my stomach rise up and catch myself holding my breath, i force my abdomen to relax. "breathe", i remind myself. the shutting of the door is hard, the few steps forward to the new one is always the hardest part. usually, once we're there, it's ok.

we just have to take those steps.

i spoke last year at our women's retreat.
the past isn't bad, i recounted to my fellow sisters, but if we hold onto it and wrap our hands around it until our knuckles turn white, it becomes an idol. if we don't let go, it will get in the way of our worship.

God only calls us forward.

while i don't have all the pieces to the big picture of what's next for us, i know this is my next step. i can slip this piece into that puzzle confidently. even though there's still that knot in my stomach.

i h…

just a happy post

At age 1, Joe is fun and full of life. And if there is anything Joe loves as much as life itself, it's Frankie.

Frankie the Blankie. Frankie is a lovey that we were given, along with half a dozen other little blankies & toys. But Joe picked Frankie out of the masses and has chosen him as his companion. He learned to say, "Dadda", then "Momma", then, "Frankie!".

Frankie is a trooper. On any given day, Frankie gets bitten, thrown, covered in grossness, and put in any number of precarious positions.

Like shoved in a drawer.
or tucked into the Batmobile .

Or taken along for a couch climb.

 Where there is Joe, Frankie is usually along side, game for action. Frankie is also practical, a helpful friend for tasks like finding lost toys under the couch.

 And at every nap and bedtime, Frankie is safely tucked close, keeping Joe company through the night, getting rest to prepare for the next day of adventure.

his intentions for me are good

I was reading the book of Esther.

Because I was so. tired. of everything feeling so hard.

What was the call we received? Why isn't our follow through working? Why is our life like this? Are we living accidentally or intentionally? What if it is accidentally and we can't change it?

I was casually talking to a licensed therapist today about our life - she was at a Q&A session at MOPs - and she asked if I wanted to schedule a session. That really made me feel great about our life.

When I read Esther's story, I feel like a lot of things that happened to her weren't exactly easy.

Virginity given to the King because he's mad at his wife.
King happens to be of skeptical character.
People are trying to kill her one remaining family member.
She doesn't know what to do.
She's of a race that someone is out to destroy. She has to keep who she is a secret.
She has to risk her life multiple times to try to save herself. Oh, and her entire nation.

I think a …

joe cried tonight when i put him down

Tonight, we did our bedtime routine, and then something remarkable happened.

Joe cried when I set him in his crib.
I cannot remember the last time he did that (except for in illness).
And since Joe does not snuggle or generally cry to be held, when I shut his bedroom door and heard him cry, "Mooooommmmmyyyy", I went back in and held him.

I sat in the rocking chair that we have sat in hundreds of times in the past year, and I let him snuggle into me and settle into sleep.

Tomorrow, Joe will wake up a 1 year old. And I won't have a baby anymore. I will be the mother of a one year old. So it seemed fitting that we would close out our year with this gesture, with this moment, with this gentle reminder that we are on the eve of the next stage.

I don't normally lean nostalgic, but this has hit me hard.

I held Joe tonight and thanked God for his life, I prayed for his future, I prayed for wisdom as a parent, and for the millionth time in the past year, my heart burst with l…

what i've been reading

California, by Edan Lepucki
A friend gave me this novel to read. It's decently written and a fast read. I hated, HATED the ending. The whole book was really up & down. I would either be bored and racing through to something interesting, or I would be wrapped up and holding my breath,. As much as I hated the ending, I do think it asks the question about how brave we really are, and how quickly we would give ourselves a life of ease even if it meant compromising our values.

Divergent, by Veronica Roth
I am so late to this party. Don't judge. I'm not even going to write about this, since everyone is way ahead of me here.

Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty
I really liked this book. It's ultimately a book about domestic violence without being a domestic violence story. And it surprised me. I can't believe I didn't piece together all the clues... I'm usually always not-surprised in books. But this was a good one.

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
Another party …

what i've been thinking about

as the time goes much too quickly toward joe's first birthday, this is what i think.

i look at that little face; the wiggly, crawling away little bum; that crazy, out of control mop of blonde hair; those busy, sneaky fingers.

and i think
this is what i will remember.
when you are grown up and not a baby and independent
this is what i will remember.

i will remember how you loved to open every door, cabinet and drawer and smile mischievously when caught.

I will remember how you would crawl to the top of  the stairs and make faces at me as you waved down at me.
 I will remember how you got into everything, discovered everything, and always looked up at me with that grin that charmed the world.

why i'm having a norwex party

My mom made me do it.

I am only sort of joking. The January hostess gift is something I wanted, and my mom wanted to order stuff, so she told me to have a party, and we all know you are supposed to listen to your mom when she tells you to do something.

So, what's so great about this stuff? I mean, we are talking about cleaning. WHO CARES?!?!

As a mom and self-professed clean freak, I spend a lot of time cleaning. Norwex is faster. Time saved = happy girl. Work smarter, not harder, poeple.

When I got pregnant, I really started to evaluate our exposure to certain things. I switched all my cleaning products and a lot of my personal care products to things that were gentler, "greener", and less toxic. With a baby who puts his mouth on everything, I can't mess around with some killer cleaner that's poisonous.

With this switch, my allergies and asthma improved. Like, I did it for my baby but I started to feel better.

Than I read Jen Hatmaker's "7" and got…