For My Sister...

Dear Jennie,

It's Friday, almost 11:30 pm. One week from tonight, we'll all be home again, but this time without you. You'll be married by then and off with your new husband, on your wedding night. Mom and Dad will be relieved, exhausted, emotional, happy, and at'll be a married woman! Travis, Jesse, Stacie, and I will also be all of those things, but we'll probably be laughing too! We'll be sitting around in our dresses and tuxes, playing with the dogs and talking about the "big day." We'll be quickly uploading all our photos, so we can see shots from the day and talk about each will be well past midnight I'm sure. We'll notice things we didn't before. We'll comment on your dress, your pretty hair, Dave's big grin, your sweet smile. We imagine how great the professional pictures are going to be and we'll talk about all the highlights from the ceremony. We'll all be yawning and saying we need to go to bed, but no one will move because we all know we won't be able to fall asleep. Our make-up will be worn off by then and our fancy hair-do's, falling out. This long-anticipated event will be officially over, but the real adventure will be just beginning.

Married life. You've waited a long time to be Dave's wife and by this time next week, we can finally welcome you into the "wives club." Jennie, you've been a funny bride-to-be these last few months! I know this is a day you've been dreaming about for years and I'm praying that it will not disappoint. We love Dave very much and we know you've found the one your heart loves. This marriage is a big deal, and one worth celebrating! It feels like Dave has been a part of our family for so long now, but it will be good to make it official. We're all so grateful to see the Lord working in your lives and answering your prayers. What a blessing to have all these big pieces finally falling into place. The "love shack" sounds like the perfect house for newlyweds; your job this Fall is going to be great for you; and Dave will finally be back in the 'Loo, no more trips to Coralville!! Isn't God faithful?

Your marriage is going to always be a marker of that faithfulness...don't take it for granted. Dave is a gift from the Lord, hand-delivered to you. I know you've spent many nights over the years, wondering what God's plans for you would be. Jennie, you've walked a hard road to get to where you are today. Even though you are my younger sister, there is much that I admire about you. You've never been the quiet one in the family and let's face it, you've defined the word "Drama-Queen!" I have so many memories of your crazy antics, most involving stories that never ended and faces that make Dad cry with laughter! But you've also developed a tender side, one that's been shaped through many challenges and tears.

There are several things that have happened to you Jen, things that I've wished wouldn't have. You've endured an illness that shouldn't have taken over your life at such a young age and you've learned to live with joy, despite some very obvious pain. You've had your heart broken, in a way no one your age should. I'll never forget two specific days in your life, because they were days I cried out to the Lord on your behalf and days I wished so badly I could take your place. The first day, is the day you learned of David's cancer diagnosis while we were in Colorado and the second day, is the day Mom and Dad told you that his fight on earth had finally ended. Jennie, you handled that first big loss in your life with so much grace and strength, but we never forgot that you also walked away with your first broken heart. No 15 year old should have to bury a friend, but you trusted in a plan you couldn't see and you grieved not as this world grieves, but with hope. That time in your life was so hard and yet so significant. Your character was being shaped at such a young age and Jennie, you were given the gift of compassion and mercy as a result. You've been such a good friend Jennie and when God would once again bring loss into your life, you stepped in with a wounded heart and ministered to Cady, in a way that only you could. Jennie, God will use those hard days and those tears for His glory all of your life, if you'll continue to let Him. Just as He bears scars that represent what He did for you, so now you bear scars for Him too. Don't be afraid to face difficult things in life and in marriage. Your God is mighty to save and faithful to the end. Draw from these hard times when you feel alone or frustrated. He has been very good to you.

I am so glad you and Stacie are my sisters. We've not always seen eye to eye (probably because we're a lot alike) but I've always loved you and I always will. For all those times we fought over barbies, clothes, and shoes, we've also bonded over many sweet times too. You were with me when I became Travis' wife 5 years ago, and just last year, when we watched Stacie become Jesse's wife. Now it's our turn to stand with you and to watch you become Dave's wife. I pray that you'll cherish this last week and all that it brings with it. You're going to be overwhelmed, stressed, very tired, incredibly happy and sometimes a little bit sad. Life is changing for you Jennie and things are going to be different from this point on. You have a wonderful road waiting for you. Marriage is going to be the wildest ride you've been on yet! I hope you know you're making the right decision... Dave is definitely "the one" for you. We are all thrilled over this occasion and we are very ready to finally "complete" our family. We love you both so much.

So, happy wedding week Jennie! Enjoy it, all of it. You are a wonderful sister and you're going to be a beautiful bride. I can't wait to get to Iowa and see you! Mrs. Jennifer Knapp... it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

All my love,


My Favorite Room

On Kelly's Blog yesterday, she blogged about her favorite room (her kitchen) and then asked anyone to blog about their favorite rooms too. So I thought I would! I blogged a few days ago about how much I love my balcony and that hasn't changed, but, I really love our living/dining room that opens up to our balcony too. I like the color scheme, the coziness, the furniture and just the overall "feel" of the room. Of course I have a list (and probably always will) of things I would love to do/buy/upgrade if we have the money, but there is nothing on that list that we "need." We have been very blessed and God has given us a place that feels like home. It is just the right size for the two of us, (and Ryley), and we love coming home to it. Right now the weather is perfect for us to leave our balcony sliders open all the time, which makes our space feel even bigger and it gives us extra room to have a meal, or read a book, or to just sit and talk. I love being at home and I love this space for our little family. Someday I'm sure we'll look back on it and think it was so small, and our furniture and accessories meager, but for now we think it's perfect!


Unspeakable pain...

I am so saddened by what I heard today, on my way to get my haircut. I've been waiting to get home so I could read about it, but now that I have I just feel such heartache once again for a family that just seems to be "going through it" right now. Many of you have been following Angie Smith's (she's married to one of the singers in Selah) story about the loss of their daughter Audrey, but this morning I heard on the radio that they are once again grieving, just 7 weeks later, for the sudden death of their 2 month old nephew, Luke (I think that's his name, but don't quote me). His Mom is Nicole, who used to sing in Selah with her brother Todd. She isn't on their latest album, but you would know her voice from all their previous albums and some of their classic songs. She went in to check on her son last night in the middle of the night and found him in his crib, not breathing. They were not able to resuscitate him and neither were the paramedics. He is now in Heaven with his little cousin Audrey.

I just can't believe the depth of loss this family is walking through and the heartache they must be wrestling with. There have been several points in my life when I've just wanted to throw my arms in the air and cry, "ENOUGH GOD!!!" This feels like one of those times. It seems to me, from my earthly perspective, that this family has been through enough already, to now be faced with this. Life has been hard and now it just got harder. But you know, the key thought in that statement, is that I can only see things from an earthly, flawed perspective. I can't see what God sees and I can't know what He knows. So when reason seems absent, faith must intervene. I know that God does not leave those who love Him and He does not wound those He loves, just for the sake of wounding. He is and always will be Sovereign. He loves his children so much that He gave His only Son's life for us. He cannot love us more than that. But when sin entered the picture, back in the Garden of Eden, He must have grieved, because He knew that meant there would be days like this. Days when things don't make sense, when people are hurt, when losses are hard, when arms are thrown in the air in disgust, when tears won't stop flowing. Our world is forever flawed and until God removes us from it and takes us to Heaven with Him, there will continue to be days like this. Days that you just want to wake up from and pretend never happened.

I hurt for the whole Smith family as they walk this familiar road again. I take comfort in knowing that one day all these "wrongs" will be "righted" in the perfect justice of a Holy God. He is working, even when we can't see it or don't feel it. He is with Moms and Dads whose hearts are breaking and little kids who don't understand. And He cares about all of them and He's catching all those tears in His nail-pierced hands. Pray for these families. You can read all about it here, as the details and specific needs unfold. To God be the Glory no matter the circumstance.


I "heart" Iowa

I'm so sad tonight for my home state, and for the families who have lost everything due to the tornado that ripped through so many small towns. Just miles from my parent's house, so much devastation surrounds the people who live there. Saturday night an F-5 tornado hit northeast Iowa and many, many people lost everything. I've been sitting at the computer watching videos, looking at pictures, and reading news stories with tears in my eyes. So much taken in just a matter of minutes... seven people died in Parkersburg, four people in Dunkerton.... of course the deaths are much harder to accept than the houses. But I've tried to imagine how it would feel to have everything that I consider mine... our priceless things, my favorite dishes, all our pictures, important documents, our clothes, our books, our stuff... gone. Scattered in the wind and destroyed. I just hurt for those people. So many of them are able to grasp the difference between material things that can be replaced and rebuilt, and lives that cannot, but that doesn't mean they aren't hurting. One of my teachers was interviewed, who lost her house and was very lucky to have survived in the basement while her house was sucked up all around her. She had friends in town with little kids who were terrified and being pushed into dark corners and cubbyholes to survive. The adults had to lay on top of the kids, just to keep some weight on them and keep them from being blown away. Can you imagine? That wasn't just a story, that was someone I know and love and I saw the pictures of her standing in what's left of her home. Walls down, the roof gone, everything destroyed.

I'm also sitting here incredibly thankful that my family was untouched. They were only miles from this tornado and yet they were safe, out of harm's way. My Mom was on call that night and at the hospital when the news of the tornado hit and the hospital went into emergency mode. They were preparing for the worst and sadly, it wasn't a drill. Praise be to God for keeping my Mom safe while she was out around town and for keeping my Dad, sister, and other friends safe too. No one but the Lord knows why some are spared and some must face disaster. But we do know that we have a God who can calm any storm and who can make all things new. Even the wind and the waves obey Him...

Please pray for northeast Iowa in these coming days and weeks. It breaks my heart to know that my fellow Iowans are grieving tonight and that so many have just had their whole world turned upside down. I'm reminded of how wise it is to hold our earthly things very loosely. We just never know what's around the corner and it could all be taken in an instant. People matter, stuff doesn't. I'm sad for Iowa and asking the Lord to bring hope in the midst of chaos and renewal in the face of despair. Is there anything He can't do?

Memorial Day Wrap-Up

My Travis is home again, safely and finally rested. He did come home with ticks attached to him however, and we have been pulling them off as best we can. We thought we got them all, until tonight when he spotted another one on his stomach. How we missed that I do not know, but at least we got the nasty little thing. Ticks are one of God's creatures that I just don't appreciate. I have no idea what their role is, although I suppose they were created for some specific reason, but I can't see any value in them. They just really gross me out and they anger me because they're sneaky! It's very hard to tell the difference between a nasty little tick and a mole. But I think we're in the clear now. At least I hope we are.

Paradise was a good event, but maybe not quite what they hoped it would be??? Kind of a long day, in the hot sun, in a field with ticks...but Travis said the worship was good and He was glad they went. I am glad he's home. God answered my prayers too, because they left early and did not have to drive through the night on the way home...that gave me much peace of mind when Travis called to tell me. Plus, I also knew that meant I wouldn't have to sleep alone Sunday night and that also made me much happier! Travis said Ryley barked a couple of times when he heard Travis outside our front door at 2:00am and also when he opened the door. He said he couldn't believe he was barking at him, but I said it made me feel good to know that Ryley was barking to protect me. I'm not sure what our neighbors thought, but hopefully they were all asleep and never heard the commotion!

Yesterday was a fun day for us. We slept in (one of us more than the other) and I greeted the Dish Network guy (our 4th encounter with Dish Network over the weekend...long story) to get our satellite working. I encountered a little decorating challenge when the technician moved our actual dish a little farther into our balcony that I would have preferred. He kind of threw my whole "look" off and then acted like a total guy when I asked him, "does it have to go right there?? So close to my plants and furniture?" He just looked at me and said, "yeah, you get the best signal there. You could probably just move the furniture." Seriously. As if i just threw everything out there and didn't care what it looked like??? I politely thanked him and waited for him to leave, then I had a panic attack trying to figure out how I was going to mask a very ugly satellite dish that didn't go with the ambiance of my previously cute little balcony. Ryley must have thought I was crazy too. He kept trying to lay out there with me, but I kept telling him to move while I arranged and re-arranged my love seat, my plants, and my new candles. I seriously had to stop and walk away for awhile because I'm pretty sure my neighbor was watching me. I'm sure they've caught me talking to Ryley before and they probably think I'm wacko, but I do have my limits about how wacko I want them to classify me as. I waited until I didn't see them outside anymore and then I resumed my balcony shuffle until I finally found an arrangement that didn't make me crazy. I'm sure this was a 45 minute ordeal. I just have a thing about space my husband and my family can attest to, I cannot leave something alone until it's just the way I want it. Even still I've walked out there a few more times and adjusted things a bit...I know, OCD is probably not a stretch for me! Regardless, everyone is happy now. Our TV viewing has been corrected and our balcony is once again cute. I consider that a double victory.

After the Dish Network guy left, I had our mission's pastor's wife over and her oldest daughter, who is getting married in November. I'm going to be doing the flowers for her wedding, a favorite thing of mine to do, and we spent two hours just talking "wedding". It was so much fun. They are a sweet couple and her mom has become a good friend of mine. I brought out all of my wedding flower books and pictures from other weddings I've was great to talk about the world of floral design again. I was a florist for 8 years and I truly miss it. I'm hoping to start freelancing again on weddings and special events, we'll see what God brings. I just know that floral design is the thing that comes most naturally to me. I can feel inadequate about a lot of things, but when it comes to talking floral design, I have lots of experience to draw on and I just love it. So, the wedding should be fun and hopefully my part will be beautiful. Christa is going to make a gorgeous bride! Travis left us in "wedding land" and decided to have a quiet time at Dunn Bros. coffee shop. I don't blame him...we were a little giddy.

In the afternoon, we made a quick trip to Target (my second home) and then went on to Jed and Sarah's house for a birthday party. Little Kaelem turned one and was the star of the party. He is the cutest little thing, who looks just like his daddy (sorry Sarah) and watching him try to open his presents was hilarious! He cared so much more about my pink purse and my camera than the gift we brought! I predict next year will be a different story, but it was still sweet and we had a great time.

We had to leave a little early from the Culbertson's so we could make the next party, a barbecue at my cousin Robyn's house. We were celebrating a day off and all of the April and May birthdays in our family. April is a month packed full of birthdays and Travis and I fall right in there too. We had a full house, lots of little kids running everywhere and tons of good food! We laughed about some funny stories, ate, talked about my sister's upcoming wedding, ate, and then had dessert! It was lots of fun. Once again, we were reminded of how thankful we are to be here in Minnesota and so close to family. There were 23 of us there and a few missing...although it's chaos when we get together, it's a very sweet chaos. I look forward to the day when we can throw our kids in the mix too!

Hope your day was as fun as ours! We have a full week ahead of us and then next week is Jennie's wedding already. Where has May gone already??


And it officially begins... now.

Well, here I find myself again, a youth Pastor's widow. Our summer schedule officially begins today, with Travis already on the road for his first event of the summer and Ryley and I at home. I'm not complaining, as I have some fun things planned this weekend for myself, but I am a little sad that he's gone. For all my pastor's wife friends, this is familiar territory for you too. The summer is such a fun time, but also a little lonely too. Camps, retreats, events, mission's trips, and various other things take our husbands away for considerable chunks of time all summer long. Sometimes I am able to go along too, but about half of the time I stay home to work and get some quality time to myself. Which isn't all bad by the way. I look at these trips as time to do the shopping that I want, to eat the meals I want, and to watch the movies I want. The first couple days are usually glorious, but the novelty soon wears off. This weekend isn't a big deal as Travis will be home on Monday, but I'm already gearing myself up for the biggest trip of the summer, a 10 day mission's trip to Peru in July. I have no earthly idea what I will do to get through that! But, no sense in worrying about something that's not here yet right? For now, I just have to get through the weekend.

If you think of it, will you pray for Travis and Jason as they drive to Kansas City today and back home Sunday night? They are taking our students to an all-day worship event called Paradise. They'll be joining thousands of other students from all across the country to do one thing from sun-up to the Lord and worship Him. They're meeting in some huge field (this event is kind of a spinoff of "One Day" if you're familiar with that) and of course the weather forecast is not great there. I am excited to hear how it goes however. It will be unlike anything we've ever experienced before. The event is new and they have designed it to be as distraction free as possible. There will be some big-name bands there leading worship, but they'll be performing behind a black curtain, with no recognition. There will be no advertising, no merchandise, no media presentations, and nothing that would hinder students from focusing solely on the Lord. I think it's going to be great, but of course I'm always anxious while these things go on because of the responsibility on Travis and Jason's shoulders for all these students. They are obviously very capable, but it's different when it's YOUR husband who's name and job is on the line. But God knows my concerns and He has already ordained all of our days, so I have to lay weekends like this one in His hands and trust Him.

I'm very happy to be spending all day today scrapbooking, first by myself at home and then later with friends. The sun is shining, Ryley and I got to spend some time this morning with Travis and take him to Church, and now my coffee is brewing. It's going to be a great day and I hope for you too. Happy Saturday!


Coffee on the Balcony...It's a Good Thing!

One of my favorite reasons for buying the condo that we did, was the little screened-in balcony off the living room. Not since we lived in Naples have we had a screened in balcony. We had a little deck in Wake Forest, a porch in Franklinton, and a tiny concrete slab in Shakopee. But when we fell in love with our Chaska condo AND it had a screened in balcony, I was already sold.

I love having a little place to sit outside, without bugs, and I love being able to leave our sliders open all day for Ryley to go out there. We're on the second floor, so I don't have to worry about anybody being able to get in or little mice running in to escape the snow. Plus, I bought really cute patio furniture when I was single in Florida, and we've been toting it with us on every move, just waiting for the perfect spot for it. Now I can say, it's finally found it's home.

The balcony is the perfect size for the furniture and last year I found the right cushions, after a very exhaustive search! The only thing I've been hoping to find, is a great iron bistro table for the stools and I'm happy to say that I found one! My sweet mother-in-law gave me a gift card for my birthday to my favorite place, Target, and I ordered a table that goes great with my galvanized steel set. I've been looking for a bistro table for over a year and I finally found one on for a great price. It came last Wednesday and I was thrilled to get it out there so we could eat more comfortably outside. Travis likes it a lot and so do I. I've done my Bible study out there several times now and we've eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner out there too.

Last year I was able to plant my flowers, much, much sooner but this year they had to wait a little bit, due to the winter that would not end. However, last Saturday, I finally decided that it was "safe" to plant them now and I'm taking much delight this week in watching them grow and fill in already. I LOVE this weather, I LOVE my balcony and I LOVE being outside. In fact, you'll have to excuse me now because my coffee is ready and Ryley and I have a date to sit outside and read (I'll be doing the reading, he'll be doing the sleeping)! I hope your weekend is a great one and your Friday too!


"When We Can't Trace His Hand, Trust His Heart..."

I heard on the radio this morning the saddest news. Steven Curtis Chapman's family is grieving deeply today for the accidental death of their youngest daughter, Maria Sue, 5 years old. She was apparently killed last night in some kind of accident in their driveway. It's being reported that she was run over by one of their teenage sons. Regardless of how it happened, I cannot imagine the grief and guilt they must be wrestling with today. You can go to their blog here and read the statement from their manager and watch a precious video of her too. You can also leave them a comment to encourage them. I'm sure you've heard this on the radio, but I've been thinking about this all day, praying for peace that can only come from the Living God. I'm sure they are heartbroken and still in shock. I've also been praying for their son...this will undoubtedly change him for the rest of his life. I think of how many people have benefited from the words of so many Steven Curtis Chapman songs and how they have brought comfort to lots of people all over the world. I'm so thankful for our faithful God who is our Rock, our Prince of Peace, our Healer, and our Provider. Please ask Him to shower the Chapman family with His presence now.


Just waiting for my $ Millions $ to roll in....

I have had the lucky fortune of being on the recieving end of some fantastic emails involving financial scams. I just started receiving then one day and now I receive at least 3 or 4 a week. Normally I'd immediately report them as spam and delete them, but I'm so enjoying the ridiculous stories that I now look forward to them! I do report them as spam by the way, but not until after I read them. Perhaps my favorite thing about this is that I've somehow gotten on a "religious" version of these letters. I frequently get a letter, poorly written, with random "religious terms" thrown in it, usually making no sense at all and almost always misspelled. Usually they are telling me that they need money for Bibles or religious literature and they're wondering if I would be kind enough to just send them my bank account number so that they can "use" my account as a vehicle for purchasing "desperately needed religious writings"...that was the actual phrase in the last one I got.

Today I found this one amusing and I thought you might like to read about the very generous Olds family who are just hoping to give me 20% of $5 million dollars. Isn't that kind? I really think it's a little over the top. I would be happy with just 15%, but if they are offering 20%, then why not? I hope you think this is as fantastic as I do!

Do not click on any of the links in the email posted below...I have no idea where they lead and they are most certainly a scam. Also, don't believe a single word.

Dear Friend,

Before you proceed reading my mail please do go through this webpage for more details

You may be surprised to receive this message from me since you don't know me in person, but for the purpose of introduction, I am MR. DAVID OLDS, a citizen of Zimbabwe, the son of late MR. MARTIN OLDS (A Farmer) who was murdered in a land dispute in Zimbabwe.

I got your contact through the Thailand Information Exchange Online, and then I decided to write you. My late father was among the few black Zimbabwean rich farmers murdered in cold blood by the agent of the ruling government of President ROBERT MUGABE for his alleged support and sympathy for Zimbabwean opposition party.

Before the death of my father, he deposited the sum of Five Million US Dollars ($5 M) with a security company during when he went to Thailand to purchase his farm machinery equipment, as if he foresaw the looming danger in Zimbabwe. The money was deposited as a gem/precious stone to avoid seize and much demurrage from the security organization.

This money was earmarked for the purchase of new machinery and chemicals for the farms and the establishment of new farms in Lesotho and Swaziland. This land problem arose when President MUGABE introduced a new land Act, which wholly affects the white rich farmers and some few blacks vehemently condemned the 'MODUS OPERANDI' adopted by the government.

This resulted to rampant killing and mob actions. I and my family who are currently staying in Thailand as a refugee asylum seeker, have decided to transfer this money to a foreign country where we can invest it. You will read more stories about President Mugabe's brutal acts by visiting. This website:

I am faced with the dilemma of investing this amount of money in Thailand but the financial law and Regulations of the Republic of Thailand do not permit us financial rights to such huge sum of money. In view of this, I cannot invest the fund in Thailand. Moreover, the Thailand monetary policy/law does not allow such investment by an asylum seeker or refugee.

I must let you know that this transaction is 100% risk free and the nature of your business does not necessarily matter. So if you are willing to assist us, I and my family have agreed to give you 20% of the total money, 40% will be for a joint business venture I will be doing with you and another 40% will be for the family, which we shall also invest in your country. Therefore, if you are willing and interested to render the needed assistance, endeavor to contact me through the above telephone or email address. I also need your private telephone and fax numbers for quick communication.

Please Remember that this transaction is highly confidential. Expect your reply soonest.

Best regards.

For the family.
Mobile +(66)877096805.


Happy Birthday Ryley!!!

It was Ryley's birthday last week, and we almost forgot. I felt a little guilty for that. We realized it when we took him to a lacrosse game that one of our students was playing in. Someone asked us how old he was and when I thought to answer, I realized that he was 4 on that very day! Last year I made him cupcakes but this year he got a lacrosse game and a really long walk! I don't think he cared either way. I will be buying him a new toy, however, because he at least deserves that! 4 years later and we love this dog more than ever! I'm so glad we decided to visit the breeder in North Carolina and "look" at all his soon as I laid eyes on Ryley, I knew I couldn't go home without him!! I was in love and so was Travis. We can't imagine life without our big, hairy, and sweet Ryley!


Spring Fever

Due to our very short summer and our very LONG winter, what do Minnesotans do with good weather? We jump at every chance and opportunity to be outside of course!! Wednesday night was so beautiful, that we moved our junior high program outside, behind the church. It was gorgeous!! We launched our Junior High Olympic Games; listened to Trav's message about being an unlikely hero; and worshipped around a bonfire. These are the nights that we both agree...we love youth ministry!!

My man, Travy...bringin' it to those junior highers!

Me with some of our wonderful volunteers, Jackie and Ellie, enjoying a beautiful Wednesday night!

Some more great volunteers, Drew, Ryan, and Nathan, demonstrating the "catepillar push-ups" we were about to have the students do...event #1 of the Junior High Olympics!

Warning: Personal Bias....The cutest youth Pastor in the whole world!

Students doing event #2...human chain sit-ups...harder than it looks I might add.

The classic "sit on your neighbor's lap and make a human chair" game, event the look on Dede Gibson's face!

Never one to be camera shy, who knows when you might need to demonstrate Spiderman's web pose??


The Wedding Countdown Has Begun!

I wanted to share these photos with you because they sort of define my life at the moment. Three weeks from Friday, my youngest sister Jennie will officially become Mrs. Jennifer Knapp (not the singer)! To say we are thick in the details and decisions would be an understatement. My Mom and Jennie are feelin' the stress right about now and are realizing this is literally "crunch time." The fittings are underway, appointments are being scheduled, and showers are being held and planned. I am getting phone calls almost daily regarding some detail or another. I've also been making Target runs for several items that they could not find at their Target. The shoes pictured above were requested for Jennie's rehearsal dinner dress; the pearl bracelets are for something I can't describe yet (I don't want to give it away, but they aren't for wearing); the invitations have all arrived and the response cards are now past due. Oh the bliss and the excitement! The groom is getting emotional, the bride is getting stressed and they're both beyond excited!! My parents are in wedding mode, while trying to remain calm and collected for Jennie's sake. My other sister Stacie and I are busy planning Jennie's personal shower from Minnesota and North Carolina. We will both be home the whole week before the wedding and I can't wait!! Travis is joining me mid-week in Iowa and Stacie's husband Jesse will be home all week too. We have so many fun things ahead of us, it's going to be great! I can think of no better way to kick off the summer than this! So, I'll be periodically updating you on our drama and planning. I had to go to great lengths to convince Jennie to let me show you this little glimpse of her dress! It's beautiful on her and she's going to take Dave's breath away. But that's all I can say about it for now!! Does anyone else hear those bells ringing???


My Melted Heart

I thought you would like this picture of Ben, Finn and Barrett...the three little guys I nanny for. They are particularly darling right now, each of them going through the cutest phases. All three of them will have a birthday in the next few weeks, making them 6, 4, and 2 officially. I know I've blogged about them before, but lately they are killing me with funny things they are saying! I've been with them for a year and a half now and they are growing more adorable by the day! I can say that because I get to play with them two days a week and then I get to say bye-bye until next week! I get the highlights and not the's a beautiful thing.

Recently they've visited our church a few times and they are so full of questions afterwards. Finn is particularly into the music they sing in children's church and now whenever we're in the car, he asks me if we can listen to "Jesus music"!! It melts my heart every time. Today as I was strapping him into his booster seat after pre-school, he looked out the window and said with great joy, "Hey! My school has a cross on the roof and that reminds me of Jesus!" Ohhhhh, I couldn't even take it! I just love his little beaming face and the innocence in that seemingly simple but profound statement. I don't know how many times he's seen that cross, but today it was like a revelation for him. How sweet.

One of my favorite things about nannying for little boys is that they ADORE Travis and he thinks they are hilarious. We watch them at night, twice a month, so their Mom and Dad can have a date night and they LOVE when Travis comes with me. He plays crazy games, indulges them with any sport, and tells them funny stories. They cannot get enough of him. When Travis is with me, we always tuck the boys into bed and pray with them. Last Saturday night we were watching them and Travis took the big boys while I took Barrett. As I was walking quietly down the stairs, I could hear Ben saying his prayers and asking God to "please bless Mommy, Daddy, Finn, Barrett, etc....." I listened as he went down the list of family members and then I melted again when he said, "And please bless Stephanie and Travis and Ryley..." He prayed for us and he prayed for our dog! I swear I floated down the rest of the stairs and I had one of those moments with God when it dawned on me, I am right where He wanted me, in a mission field with 3 of the cutest little boys you've ever seen. My silly job matters because of moments like these. Their little hearts are so tender to the Lord right now, I just can't help but love it. And to hear my sweet husband praying with them and answering their's almost more than a girl can take!

Today after Barrett's gym class, he and I met Travis for lunch. This has become our Tuesday routine. We have just enough time to eat lunch before we have to pick up Finn, and Barrett loves when we get to meet Travis. He is in my absolute FAVORITE stage right now, just starting to talk coherently. He says the funniest things and is starting to be able to put sentences together. It's so cute! The downside however, is that he is constantly asking "why?" now, almost after every thing I say to him. If he wasn't so darling it would be irritating, but he's still so little to me that I love it. Before we ate, Travis asked Barrett if we should pray for our food. Barrett's been doing this for awhile now, folding his little hands and closing his eyes, but in the last few days he's added a new twist. While we pray, he tries to copy what we're saying, mumbling the whole time with his hands folded and his eyes closed! It's so sweet!! Travis got the biggest kick out of him and we decided tonight that we can't wait for a little one this age!!

I love my job so much and I feel very grateful for these little boys to be in my life, along with their Mom and Dad. I get so much of my "baby fix" satisfied in them every week! Some people wonder if it's hard to be around kids so much, when we are hoping so badly to be parents. I would answer that by saying, it isn't harder, in fact, it's almost sweeter. I don't take my time with them for granted. They are growing up, and one day soon won't need me anymore. So until then, I love each day I get with them and I am so thankful to be getting slobbery kisses and big hugs on a regular basis! How could I not love that?


A Sunday with My Boys

My spray roses I bought for myself, just because I thought they were pretty!

I love having a big dog for this reason! When you want to hug them, it's like hugging a human!

Ryley watching the NBA playoffs with Travis (notice the role reversal in who gets the floor and who gets the sofa) This dog lives a good life!

And after such an exciting game (or not) Ryley decided to get a jump start on his afternoon nap, on Trav's shoulder. One of many reasons why I am in love with this dog, and the guy smiling!


Happy Mother's Day to My Favorite Nurse!

I discovered yesterday that it's Nurse's Week this week, which probably means nothing to you, unless you know and love a nurse. I happen to know a pretty great nurse and am the daughter of that nurse. So, I guess that means I have double reason to honor her this weekend!

It's quite an experience growing up with a Mom who happens to be a nurse. Lots of cautionary warnings were issued to us before we left the house to do anything, lots of medical terms were thrown our way and lots of routines were established if any of us felt even the slightest bit sick. I didn't really realize the impact of her influence until I left home and found myself saying things like, "You can't take that ibuprofen on an empty stomach" and "You should really cut those grapes up so you don't choke" and "That baby should not be out in this weather without her head covered up! She's going to get pneumonia" Wow. It began. I was becoming my mother.

Unlike the many people in this world who are horrified at that thought, I consider it a great privilege to be compared to my Mom. She is a woman that I admire for a million reasons and I love becoming just like her. Now at 16, I wouldn't have said that. Our similarities were often the source of many classic mother/daughter clashes,always initiated by me, I should add. But as I've grown up, left the house, and started my own life I've realized time and time again how blessed and fortunate I am to be my mother's daughter. I love her more and more with every year, every life experience, and every milestone I reach. She is a wonderful mother and a fantastic nurse too. She deserves much honor and for her children to rise up and call her blessed. So, in honor of her, here are a few of the things I admire about my favorite nurse, who happens to be my Mom.

#1- She is funny. I mean really funny. My Mom has a sense of humor that is sharp, witty and very hilarious. We often tease her about being a little warped too, because she finds humor in the oddest things. But she has this great ability to cut tension and make you laugh, even when you don't want to. We are so alike in this way (although she's funnier than I am) that often we'll be in a store somewhere or at a restaurant and we'll both observe or see something that strikes us as hilarious. Many, many times we have to separate or look away from one another just so we can hold it together. One of our classic stories about this is when we were in Lenscrafters looking for new frames for her. We were just browsing when a salesperson came up to my Mom and introduced herself, asking if she could help her. She said her name was Cindy and when she did, I immediately had to walk away because you see, poor Cindy had one of the worst lisps I've ever heard. Totally not her fault, but imagine where she was working. As LenScrafterS, selling glaSSeS, with a lisp that left her unable to pronounce her "S's"...not good. I had to wait outside because I could not even look at my Mom without both of us losing total control. Now I tell you that story not because we are heartless and like to laugh at other people, but because we were both thinking the exact same thing...Cindy Brady, why are you working at LenScrafterS selling glaSSeS?? Perhaps you might want to look for another line of work??????

#2- My Mom is a Hospice nurse who is faced everyday with very difficult people, often in crisis, as they face the thing they fear most, death. She hasn't always been a Hospice nurse, she's worked in the hospital, in doctor's offices, and even for a group of lawyers, but this is the role that I think she excels at. She would tell you it's the hardest thing she's ever done and for sure, it's not easy for her. Her days are filled with hard conversations, less-than-ideal procedures, and counseling for everyone involved. She has walked with families and patients who know the Lord and view impending death as a joyous home going, and she has walked with families and patients who are at odds, in turmoil, and surrounded by anger and bitterness as they are forced to face death and let go. In this job all her patients die. She gets very close with most of them and then has to hold their hand or comfort their families as they do the hardest thing, grieve. She is given difficult families because she is so patient. I've been home when she gets a call that her patient has died and seen her cry over those she loved. I've met some of the families that she's worked with when we've been out shopping or running errands and they always tell me how much they loved my mom and how grateful they were to have her. I've also heard her stories about the amazing conversations she's had with patients who are realizing what lies ahead and are confronted with their need for Jesus. I think the Lord has given her this job as a ministry and he's equipped her by allowing her to go through some very difficult deaths and losses personally. I know she is weary some days of the physical, emotional, and spiritual toll this job demands, but I admire her for pressing on and doing the best job she can, regardless of the thanks she may or may not get. She is a true servant who has an incredible gift of mercy and love and I think about her often when I find myself doing something I don't always like or serving someone who never bothers to say thank you. She is the best nurse I know.

#3-My Mom has overcome some tremendous hurts and odds in her life and has emerged without bitterness or resentment. Her growing up years were difficult to say the least. She was a child of divorce and trauma and yet she's been able to forgive and love regardless. She lost her Mom at a very young age, after many years of dealing with mental illness, physical suffering, disease, and hurts. I think about this all the time because I cannot imagine not having my Mom to lean on for support during these years in my life. We grew up knowing and loving my Grandma, but with each year she slipped further and further away as illness took over her life. My Mom buried her Mom too soon, but she lost her years before that. She had to make painful decisions in the prime of her life, with three little girls at home, a full-time job, and a husband. She has not been given an easy road to walk, but she has walked it well. I'm incredibly proud of my Mom for this. She didn't give in to the temptation to blame others and become a victim, even though she had the right to. She would tell you that she wouldn't be able to do any of that without the Lord in her life and I know that's true. She's set a tremendous example for her daughters and we're better for it.

#4- She laughs at the days to come! Like the Proverbs 31 woman, my Mom doesn't fear growing older or the changes that come with that. She knows who she is in Christ and she's able to laugh at life. She is entering a stage in life that is not easy for most women, she's about to become an empty-nester. But she's also enjoying the fruit of those years she spent raising us. One thing I appreciate about my Mom is her willingness to let us go and to become who God created us to be. Both Stacie and I have moved away now, which I know is hard on my Mom and Dad, but never has a day gone by that she made us feel guilty for leaving. She knows God has plans for each of us and she is wise to let them unfold as He sees fit. I know she'd love to have us live down the street if she could, but she is also very supportive of us and the lives we've chosen. Some Moms operate in guilt-inflicted modes, trying to control their kids lives and make everything perfect. I respect that my Mom hasn't done that. I know she's always there to listen and to give me advice, but she's never made me choose between her and Travis, even though she's probably wanted to! She loves the times we all come home and she makes any sacrifice she can to make our stay fun! She cooks all our favorite meals, takes us wherever we want to go, and stays up late with us, laughing and talking for hours. These days are full of change for her as her girls grow up, move out, and bring husbands home. But rather than trying to hold on to what has passed, she embraces the change and finds the joy in the new stages ahead. I know it's not easy for her, but I believe the Lord is blessing her for her faithfulness to Him. For all those memories she didn't get to experience with her Mom, she's doing a great job at creating them with us.

#5- Aside from the day my Mom chose to believe that Jesus died to save her and give her eternal life, the best decision she ever made was to marry my Dad. By choosing him, she chose a different way of life and broke the cycle of divorce in her family. My Dad's influence on my Mom changed her whole world. He rescued her and introduced her to a new way of living. She was welcomed into my Dad's family and thus continued the Godly heritage that had been established. I never lost the lesson that she modeled by marrying a Godly man who loved her unconditionally. My Dad has been a Godly, stable, loving, supportive, kind, and trustworthy man all my life and my Mom demonstrated the importance of waiting for that kind of man by choosing him. I am so incredibly grateful for the good choice she made, because I am a product of it. Her Mom also supported my Mom's decision by loving my Dad and spoiling him when he came into the family. My Grandma was the best mother-in-law she could be. My Mom told me what an impact that made on her, and when I brought Travis into the picture, she did the same thing her Mom did-she loved and spoiled him! Now I've watched her for 5 years welcome Travis, Jesse, and now Dave into our family with open arms. She loves each of them in ways that minister to their hearts. She teases them, buys them funny things, makes their favorite meals, watches the silly movies they love, and encourages all her girls to love and respect them. But more than that, she modeled the role of a loving wife for 32 years. She would be lost without my Dad and she knows it! I'm so thankful for her influence because it's trickled down to the three of us and influenced us to make wise choices in who we marry. It's a testament to her and my Dad to see how much our three husbands love coming to visit. I never have to talk Travis into going home. He loves my Mom too and he often teases me by calling me "Little Debby" because I apparently say things that sound just like her! He smiles at me, laughs and says, "Steph, you are totally becoming your Mom!"

So there you have it, 5 things I admire about my Mom. I could list a million more about her and also about my Dad. I'll save the latter for Father's day though. I am blessed to be Debby's daughter and I don't take it for granted. I have my own personal nurse, who's always on call for me and someone to laugh my head off with! I'm a lucky girl!

Happy Mother's Day Mom...I Love You With All My Heart.


The sun will come out tomorrow....

Just so you know, the sun did come out today and it was a gorgeous day. Despite the sorrows we face, the hurts, and the disappointments, life has a funny way of marching on doesn't it?

In no way does it diminish how you feel or what the circumstance might be, but it's a good reminder that no matter how hard it is, the sun will always come up tomorrow. God is like that too. No matter how long we wait for something or how intensely we pray for something, He remains faithful. His promises are true; His presence is felt; and His peace is greater than anything this world offers. Thank you for praying for us, for sending us sweet words of encouragement, and for loving us.

I don't want you to think that we are overcome with despair. We aren't. We love Jesus more than we did nine months ago and we have great hope for our future. If I've learned anything on this journey, I've learned that I can't change the past. Some things are what they are and there isn't anything I can do about it. But, I can change how I view the past and how I decide to move ahead in the future.

I'm thankful, even grateful for this ride. I've learned lessons and truths that I never would have without it. I trust the Lord to hear my cry and I believe He will answer in the way He sees fit. Sure the tears flow every now and then, but rejoicing comes in the morning. My heart is at peace and I have joy that is truly of the Lord. Yesterday was memorable, but it wasn't without laughter or even contentment. I can't explain it, but I know the Lord hears our hearts and I know He has plans for us and that gives me great hope!

Please keep praying on our behalf; we would be crazy not to believe that God isn't moved by the cries of his people. We are so indebted to so many who faithfully lift us up. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Your prayers are being answered and ours are as well. God has been incredibly good to us. The sun came up today and it will come up tomorrow too!

"Because he loves me, " says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation...It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night..."

Psalm 91:14-92:2


A Day to Remember

A Letter From Your Mom

Dear Little One,

It's hard to believe that nine months have come and gone. It's as if I've blinked my eyes and my whole world has changed. I knew today would come, and yet I hoped it would be so different. I hoped I'd get to meet you today, my first born baby. Your Mommy and Daddy have been waiting for you and praying for you, for so long, and when you first made your entrance into our hearts, we were overwhelmed with joy. My doctor told us we would get to meet you when winter ended and spring came. In May, we were told, around the sixth day.

Oh little one, we were so excited. You were the answer to our dreams, to our prayers, to our hopes. We could not believe that after all this waiting for you, here you were! Your Daddy was so happy, so thrilled to tell the whole world all about you. We agreed to keep you as our own little secret for awhile, while you grew, but your Dad couldn't do it. He's horrible at keeping secrets and you were the best secret he ever had to keep! So we told our family about you, a little earlier than we would have, and one day, while your Dad was at work, he told his team about you too. Even though the thought of our news spreading too soon made me panic, I loved that your Dad told his friends. The real secret is that he's been waiting to be a Dad for a long time and he was walking in the clouds at the thought of you. I want you to know that story because I want you to know how we longed for you. How your little, short life meant something to us and how the news of you coming, would change us forever. You mattered to your Daddy, little one. He couldn't wait to meet you.

I'll never forget the moment I realized that I was carrying you. It was a surreal, incredible feeling and I will always cherish it as one of the best moments of my life. After not feeling so well, suddenly, I was very aware of your presence. I was consumed at the thought of you. I took a test to put my mind at ease and for the first time, it was positive! My mind raced, my hand instantly went to my stomach to feel you and to tell you I was there. And I knew life would never be the same.

Suddenly I was filled with questions. Would you be my son or my daughter? Who would you resemble most? What kind of personality would you have? What would your name be? I couldn't get through a day without all of these thoughts and more, bombarding my mind! I loved it. In what felt like an instant, I went from being consumed with myself to being consumed with you. It was bliss and I couldn't believe it was happening.

I wrote volumes of praise to the Lord over you. My journal is filled with thoughts and prayers and dreams for you. Little one, I don't know if you know this, but you were long awaited. Your Mom and your Dad spent much time in prayer, specifically for you. We knew God would one day give us the gift of a child and when he gave us you, we were filled with grateful hearts. You were the child we had pleaded for and the physical reminder of God's faithfulness to us. Do you know that still, today, you represent such hope for us? We believe with all our hearts that God created you, formed you, and ordained everyday we had with you. In no way were you an accident or just a failed pregnancy. Not to us. To us, you are part of our family and part of God's plan. If you were here today, I would tell you these things and much more about our Savior. But do you know what is so ironic? Because God, in his sovereignty, took you home before we ever got to know you, you already know and see things from a heavenly perspective and you are already much wiser than your Mom and Dad.

Today is the day we hoped to know you, to hold your sweet body, to kiss your little head. Two other little ones like you have been born to our friends this week and one more will be born any day now. It's likely you would have shared a birthday with one of them, but instead, they will always be little reminders to us of you. I didn't know how I would feel today little one, how my heart would ache. I've accepted that your little life was taken from us before we ever got to know you, but somedays it's hard to let you go. You were a precious gift from God, straight from His heart to mine and to your Daddy's. I was overwhelmed at my first thought of you and to some extent, I still am. You will always hold such a special place in our hearts and one day, we have great hope that we'll see you in Heaven. But for now, I find much comfort in remembering you and the day you were first known to us. You were mine and I was your Mom. Little one, no one else shares that bond that you and I do. You'll always be my first baby, my first pregnancy, my first experience at being a mom. I love that we share that. It's a memory that no one can take away from me. Your Daddy and I love you and we always will. We have great plans to introduce you to your brothers or sisters someday, but only the Lord knows when or how. We will trust Him with our dreams just as we trusted Him with you. Thank you for the difference you made in our hearts; for the way you've helped us to trust in what we cannot see and for the way you've drawn us closer to our Savior. We will never forget you little one, and now we long for the day when we will get to know you and see you in the fullness of Jesus' presence and His glory. Oh what a day that will be!

Remembering You Always and With all my love,

Your Mommy


It's going to be a looong summer...

I found myself in a theater last night, thinking this very thought, Lord help me live through this summer! I was playing the part of the sweet wife, accompanying my excited husband, to yet another super-hero/marvel comic movie. Iron Man. The #1 movie at the box office this weekend. Yep, we were there.

I had absolutely no idea when I met Travis that he had a thing for super-hero/comic book movies. NO IDEA. I quickly realized however, that he loves watching movies in general. He loves to go to the theater, to watch them on TV, to rent them, etc. If you know Travis, you also know that he maintains an incredible database of movie quotes in his head! He is able to recall the most obscure lines from a movie and quote them in the perfect way, usually in conjunction with some talk he's giving.

Now I also like movies, but I'm not nearly as into them as he is. Going to a movie is probably one of his favorite dates. I could think of several things I'd rather spend the money on first, but to make my husband happy, I often cave and go to the movies with him, trying not to cringe when we have to fork $18 over for tickets. Usually we can agree on a movie to see. I've learned to appreciate action/adventure movies, like the Die Hard trilogy, and epic movies, like Lord of the Rings. Those are both examples of movies I NEVER would have chosen to watch, but in the end, and much to my dismay, I really enjoyed them. However, there is one genre that I have yet to get excited about, despite the library I've been forced to see. That is the super-hero genre.

I just don't get the appeal. It's basically the same plot, different super-hero power. The main character is always tortured, secluded from society, and dealing with the tragic deaths of their parents/wife/children, etc. They discover their ability to use their power, often for good at first but usually dabbling in evil as well. I don't even have to see them anymore to tell you, that's exactly what's happening. I've lived through, Spiderman 1, 2 and 3; Batman Begins; Superman Returns; The Hulk; X-Men 1, 2, and 3; Fantastic Four 1 and 2; etc., etc., etc.

Anyway, I knew NOTHING about Iron Man when I agreed to go last night and it was of course just what I described, with a few disturbing twists and turns here and there. Travis loved it. However, the worst part of my evening was not watching the actual movie, but watching the endless previews and realizing what lies in store for me this summer. Batman: The Dark Knight (with an incredibly disturbing Heath Ledger as the Joker); Indiana Jones (with the very old looking Harrison Ford); Speed Racer (the dorkiest version possible); and the most disturbing of them all, The Incredible Hulk, 2.0. Apparently the first remake was so bad (and it was) that they decided to torture me again, with yet another remake. Instead of Eric Bana, this time it's Ed Norton.

I can't hardly wait for what's in store for me. The ONLY good news is that by watching the aforementioned movies with my husband, I will have earned a truckload of chick flicks coming my way! But until then, Lord help me get through it!


My Restless Mind

As you can see, my blog is now different. It's very bright. I am not exactly thrilled with what I have done, but I do like it better than what I started with. I've got a few things left to do to feel satisfied, but I've decided this is my new "summer look." I was trying to explain to Travis why this was so pressing to me and why I was so intent on changing things up. When we first got married, he would have never understood what I meant. Now, almost 5 years later, he totally gets me. Well, maybe not "gets me" but he graciously "puts up" with me and doesn't make me feel weird. Although I know I am. And he knows it too. But he wisely leaves it unspoken. You see, this need for constant change is nothing new...

Before I ever decided to major in Interior Design, I had the mind and the creative need for it. Just ask my parents. I spent countless days and lots of summers, totally re-arranging everything in their house. Lucky for me, they were both great at letting me try new things and letting me experiment with their furniture and their rooms. I can't tell you how many times they left for work in the morning and when they got home at night, the house looked completely different. I think about that a lot and how I would react if my kids did that to me...I think I would have a fit! But they never did. They just always got this look on their face like, "Here we go, she's at it again." I remember them always asking for an update about where things are kept now and I would very proudly explain the new system and why it was superior to the last one. I still do this to them. If I am home, and we are not planning someone's wedding, I am most likely helping them re-decorate, re-arrange, or clean something. I'd like to think it's my spiritual gift. My poor Mom knows that no visit home is complete, without me walking around and changing something. She just expects is now and even prefaces statements by saying, "I know you're probably going to change it, but I thought this looked good in..." And it usually does. But I still usually tweak it a little. I just have to.

When Travis and I got married, I think he must have died the first time I told him, "I cannot sleep tonight with the living room looking like this, so we've got to change it." I distinctly remember the look on his face in those early days. A look that said, "Are you kidding me right now? You think I'm going to do that?" Me, being a new bride of course, would get completely upset at his lack of motivation and his obvious disrespect for my feelings and I'd launch into a 20 minute discourse about why I was right and how he could not possibly care about me if he was unwilling to agree that the current angle our couch was facing was not creating an inviting atmosphere in our home. I mean the nerve of him to suggest it was!!

I'm pretty sure we almost came to blows a few times until both of us realized that we were going to have to figure this out. He recognized that I really was crazy and determined to do it, with or without his help, and I realized that while perhaps I was right, it was probably best not to insist on an immediate change or to demand his help. I learned to do as much as I could, without asking if he cared (he never did), and then to ask him nicely for his help with just one or two things. It seemed to go much better this way. I lovingly explained my reasons for turning the house upside down and he patiently listened and even agreed with me, most of the time. But I also got smarter and began to recognize the feeling behind "that look" he would give me when I mentioned my big plans...I knew when he was going to be a willing participant and I also knew when I should suggest that he call a friend and spend the day at the golf course. Some jobs were just going to be frustrating and there was no sense in getting two of us involved if I could do it alone.

I'm happy to say that with every year and every move, Travis is starting to see me more like my parents do. He now knows that I need to get my creative outlet somehow and often that means re-arranging something. Sometimes it's furniture or bedding or a new paint job, but this weekend it was my blog. He doesn't fight with me or argue with me anymore (I think he's given up). He just listens to me rant, and rave, and reason, and then he smiles, gives me a kiss on the cheek and says, "Good luck with that...Let me know when you're done or if you need help...I'm going to call (insert name here) and see if they want to go golfing."

And I love him for that.


Under Construction!

Well, I know I said this blog would be messy for awhile as I tried to update it, but this is not what I had in mind! I have been spending an obscene amount of time looking for ways to re-decorate my blog and have become in one word, FRUSTRATED!!

There are lots of things out there to help you, but I am picky. I know that's a shock to you all, but I am pulling out my hair and am on the verge of a major meltdown over this!! I know, I know, "it's just a blog"...but I want the darn thing to look the way I want it and that is proving to be an impossible task.

Also, although I am in love with my mac, it is frustrating to try and learn a whole new operating system while trying to do internet stuff. I'm struggling without my learned ability to right-click!! And to top it all off, I'm having major internet issues today. We cannot seem to obtain and keep a good connection. I blame the weather.

It's rainy and cold today (story of my year). I don't know what Minnesota has done, but I'm starting to feel that the Lord is putting us through some kind of test by giving us the worst weather year in a long time. It's horrible! I think the sun has been out twice in the last week! TWICE!! That is not helping me keep what little evidence of a tan I had. It's all gone in fact. From this point on, any color I may or may not have is going to be fake.

So there you have it, the ramblings of a cranky girl on a gross and frustrating day. Stay tuned to the blog...I sure hope it gets better than this!


It's Here!!!

I don't have time to blog about this now, but let me just tell you that my Mac arrived last night and was waiting at our door when we got home from Church!!! I'm so thrilled and I'm dying to sit down and "play" but I can't yet..not until I get home from work at least! So for now, I'll leave you with my pictures (of course I made Travis document the event!) You had better believe that I will be blogging tonight but let's all mark this occasion...My first post from my new computer!! Have a great day!