Thursday, December 30, 2010

Talk to Me Wendesday into Thursday (i'm sure), Christmas novel entry.

Q: What are you hopeful for in 2011? 

A: a baby.  

That was intentionally quick!  :)  
No need to really elaborate on that right now - I've got Christmas to talk about!  
Also, I've been uncharacteristically tired lately, and I'm not sure why.  
 There has been some sickness going around here lately,
but it also could be an elongated 
need for recovery from driving 13 hours
in one weekend, 
not including travel within one location.  
Why did I inform you of my tiredness? 
Because when I'm tired, 
I tend to ramble if I'm talking. 
When I ramble, 
you get every detail.  
So if you want to read about my Christmas, go ahead!  
If you don't, I don't blame you 
                               - this is long, but fun!

Some of you
         (Katie E., Kate T., etc.)
know those kind of drives 
I'm talking about.  
It's those really long ones where a book on CD 
(not as fun as saying "book on tape," which I still do) 
is way better than the radio because you know you'll hear the same songs at least once and there's no certainty there will be any good music in that one spot on the road where your favorite stations fade out.  
- that was a long sentence - 

Anyways, these long drives brought us to my family as well as back to John's.  
It all started with us waking up and packing up on Tuesday,
as well as waiting for our Christmas cards to arrive from a certain company who has a little too much of my money for expedited shipping.  No hard feelings...

Tuesday night brought us home to PI, MN.  
We had not at all enough time there,
in my opinion, 
because we had only a little time with my sister (at home) and 
didn't get to see any of my friends - next time, right??  I hope! 

PI consisted of cookie-making (sugar cookies and peanut butter blossoms), 
gift-opening (which was pretty fun!), 
and fun times talking with 
my parents and my sister when she arrived home on Wednesday. 
Actually, shortly after my sister arrived on Wednesday evening,
                                                                     - no, Wednesday night -
my mom put me, John, and my sister to work 
decorating the sugar cookies.  
It's been something my sister, mom, and I have done for years,
but no John got in on the act.  
His cookies were intentionally interesting and fun, and my mom got a kick out of it!

Thursday and Friday were spent up North.
Well, Thursday morning was spent opening our gifts, 
packing up our things, 
turning on John's car,
realizing John's car had a gas leak, 
taking the car to a shop at the end of town,
getting the fastest and least expensive service I've ever experienced,
and driving north with my sister in tow, which was a lot of fun.  
She's going to Australia at the end of the month, and 
I'm a little devastated/excited about it. 

Thursday: we had an awesome time at a family-friends'* house Thursday evening.  
A few drinks, lots of snack food, and funny, FUNNY story times! 
We also got to have a great chat with my Grandpa Otto, 
who is always up for talking about life big-and-small, 
and enjoyed my Grandma Jean's cookies and treats.  

*How do you describe people who aren't family but are closer than friends?

On Friday the rest of my mom's side came over to our Grandparents house, 

which always makes for interesting sleeping arrangements.  
We opened some gifts, 
ate lots of food, 
and had more chats and some naps.  
That evening was spent with my dad's side.  
It included a rousing sing-a-long in the car, 
which has never,
happened with my family before.
Not at Christmastime,
not in the summertime,
not at anytime.  
Especially when my sister was embarrassed about it, yet joined in.  
We went to the Catholic church attached to my Grandpa's nursing home.
All I have to say about that is 
"Thank you, God, for creating satellite rooms so we don't have to kneel,"
and canned-sermons need to be illegalized by the Vatican.  
I was glad to see my cousins that night as well as my Grandpa Jerry and aunts/uncles.  
We listened to some rousing Toby Keith carols 
(some people shouldn't make Christmas music),
ate some shredded-beef sandwiches (easy to take to the nursing home),
and talked some more.  
That night, back at my grandparents' house, 
several of my family members and I played "The Game of Things." 
You basically write down the answers to questions on the cards you flip over.
Example: Write down something that would spice up your love life. 
The answers are often hilarious, as this question suggests,
and it was great fun!

That next morning, John and I woke up bright...
                                                         , not bright at all...DARK!
we woke up dark and very, very early to make the 6 hour drive back to IA (including gas and breaks).
It was really nice to talk to my mom, grandpa and grandma one more time,
and the drive back was so easy and open that I didn't recognize some stretches of land without the traffic. 

We had a traditional lobster dinner that night with John's family.
It was delicious personified, and 
John's mom made the best-ever twice-baked potato with bacon and cheese. 

We later opened gifts and played a couple of games, then 
slept like a rock that night.  

So, that's about it for the holiday round-up.  
Let me know if you made it to the end -
you'll get a shout-out in my next blog post! :)  
I'm not kidding. 
I'll say something nice!  :) 

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas
and have a great New Year!

God Bless!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Talk to me Tuesday

Here we go!

This Week's Talk To Me:
Fill in the blank with a food item: "It wouldn't be Christmas without _______." (recipes welcome!)
I don't have a recipe here, but peanut butter cookies with chocolate stars are my FAVORITE.  Yes, yes, yes...and yes.  I don't now if I'll get them when we go up north (beyond my hometown), so I might have to make them in time for our arrival. 

Betty Crocker!!!

Feel free to share your own! 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

what i can respect

I can respect an individual's dissidence against an organization because if his or her own personal experiences.

Yet to condemn that organization, belittle its members, and mock its ideals because you simply disagree

I know that in end-times there will be plenty of nay-sayers and fools* who
speak out against
God and his plan. 

It makes me irate, however, when people who have never understood nor 
tried to understand
His character,
His power,
His plan,
nor His love,
nor all the reasons why people choose to follow Him, 
make demeaning and offensive comments. 

I don't mind opposing opinions, really,
and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, 
but really, 
belittling others does not a single favor for anyone's argument. 

I think I may have given those people some tips...

Anyway, what I can respect, 
is when people who disagree can at least view 
each other as humans and 
have sensible discussion. 

And please, don't get me wrong-
I've been on both sides of many different opinion and belief "fences"
and have received ridicule for it.  
The statement I made above 
               is not without an understanding of those 
                                        with an sensible - not sensational - opposing point of view. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Talk to me Thursday

For crying out loud,
I'm late again!

And it's late at night, too.  

With all this free time I thought I was going to have 
while living in Newton, 
I sure am (apparently!) too busy to post anything 
in the daylight!

Anyways, here we be:

This week's Talk To Me:
What is your favorite craft project? (tutorials welcome- hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

Well, I'll let you know what I've been "crafting" lately,
which isn't really crafting, persay.  
I've been photo-editing like crazy the last several days.

The difference between me and a professional, 
most likely,
is that, by golly, this stuff takes me 
It's for our christmas card, which is also 
a letter, which is also
a heads-up to whomever does not know 
about our move to the windy (but realistically, not the windiest) city.

The only hints I can give that don't involve a whole extra post are:
1. Get a good editing program, but
2. If you can't afford the fancy Lightroom or PhotoShop programs (I really need to ask for better bday/xmas gifts), then Gimp is a great free one to use.  
3. MS Paint actually can do a lot of good tricks, too, so don't be afraid to use it. 
4. Always make back-up copies. 

The end!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

seven secrets, aka truths...that you may not have known before!

I was tagged  -
again! -
by Mrs. Heidi. 

You'd think we see each other a ton and have lots of fun times together based on our blog-to-blog interaction!  Well, when I subbed in Ames that was the case.  Now, well...I'm too far away!  
(hint, hint, H! :) )

Anyways, here we go.

1. I have met and interacted with over a thousand people at a depth well beyond small talk.  
I sometimes wonder if I some (or many) of those people actually remember who I am.  

2. I've lost 30 lb. since the end of my freshman year.  
I have to tell some people that when 
they say that I don't know what it's like to be out of shape.
It's not my favorite thing in the world to explain, 
                                   but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do...right?

3. I wish I were a runner.  
                         I really disdain long-distance running, 
                                                                          but I want to like it.  

4. Sometimes I'm a little claustrophobic, particularly 
when I'm in the middle of large groups of people who 
are moving slowly in one direction (think tour group or crowded hallways).  
I figured that out when I studied abroad. 

5. My sister and I are a lot alike,
although neither one of us could honestly pin-point what all those likenesses are. 

6. I think I've seen an angel once, and no, not a baby flying around with wings.  

7. The last levels/accomplishments on at least three Wii games are waiting for me to finish them.  
Yes, I have a hard time finishing what I start.  
No, this is nothing new.
And yes, this is something I've been working on.  :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

TTmT on Wednesday...rolling into Thursday!

Talk to Me Tuesday is, roughly put What are your favorite things (think Oprah)?

Well, I don't like Oprah really,
but I do like Heidi,
so I'll stick to this topic!

Like I said yesterday, some of these are my favorites currently, and some are things I just like a lot that I might not have now!

But right now, I'm just going to say God is my favorite.  He's amazing.  I'd be nothing without Him.  Nothing.  So I can't really put a number on that because He is bigger than anything else on this list (from TV to my understand, John. :) ).  He provides everything, including his Son.  So he's my innumerable favorite, and that's not really saying anything in comparison to who He is.

And now on to important...and not important things!

1. Chocolate-covered hazelnuts.  Particularly those from Spruengli Chocolates in Switzerland.  So, so good.  Especially when they are dusted with cocoa powder. 

2. Germany. I could go on and on and on and on.  Just ask my husband. 

3. Speaking of which, my husband (of course!) is on of my favorites, and I placed him on my favorite number!  Double wammy! 

4. Minnesota.  I am about to enter into/am currently in a lifestyle where I'll be constantly moving every few years.  No matter where I go, however, I'll always be checking the Twins scores, reminiscing about working at the ol' beaten-down PI pool, and living in the best state in the U.S. 

5. These shoes, called Tieks.  So cute - and they come in my size!!!!!   If you have $135 lying around, feel free to get a pair for me.  Well, when they actually get a decent supply in stock. 

6. Vintage things.  I just got a necklace from a local vintage store called Dorathea's Closet (well, was local for me, now a little bit away), and they have all sorts of really cool things there.

7. Eden and all it's pretty-smelling things!!!!! 

8. Grace Church.  We've had some of the best fellowship and teaching here that I've ever received from a church since I became a Christian. 

9. Journals.  I especially like this particular journaling idea! It's just cool to look back at things that might have stood out to you at some point.  I need to do this more regularly.

10. The Office.  I love ironic comedy that is based heavily on verbal humor as well as the episodic nature of the story-telling .  Man, it's so, so funny, and YES, nay-sayers, it HAS gotten better since the second and third seasons!  However, I'm so bummed that Steve Carell is leaving. 

11. Google Reader!

12.  Babies and little kids.  Oh, I love 'em!  Give me a dozen. Or 20.  20 + a dozen.  Or one...I'll take one! 

13.  Lastly (because I need to stop somewhere), my friends and family - of course!!!

14.  Lastly (for real!)  Spring and summer and all the flowers and balmy evenings that go with them!  Sans mosquitoes, though. 

Ok - goodnight!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

talk to me - a stream of conscience!

This TtMT is going to be written on Wednesday, 
because my day was pretty busy and 
I didn't follow Heidi's suggestion of pre-writing this out.  

Oh well, 
but just so you know, 
I'll be talking about what my favorite things are (and you can do the same!).  

it's going to be half of my favorite things, 
half what I would love to have, 
and a smidgeon of something else mixed in.  

there you go.  :)

But as for now, we're at my in-laws, 
doing what we typically do best at the moment 
                            (avoiding going to bed like a snot-flinging first grader), 
and keeping very busy.

God's blessed us, and 
we've been able to get rid of a lot of stuff 
as well as save a lot of money, too. 

It also doesn't hurt that John's parents have a 
wood burning fireplace (!!!!!!!!!!!!!), which should
come really in handy once we get snow 
dumped on us this weekend
          (and once we move our sorted-through clothes bins out of the living room!).  

70% chance of snow, Iowa.  70% chance = BAM! 

Oh well - Christmas needs snow anyway!!  
it's the law.  The MN law.  MN is the best.  Also, 
snow will help my husband and dad-in-law find that 30-pt buck a tad bit easier.  

I guess I'd better stack up on baking supplies.  It will be a good weekend for that!

Ok, I think that this is it:
your evidence of how my brain works once I'm too tired to be awake but still am awake.  

So goodnight, all.  
Sleep well, 
or have a great day, 
depending on when you read this.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Talk to me Tuesday - just in the nick of time!

Here we go, folks.

What are you looking forward to this Christmas season?  I'm excited to see my family in MN.  It was really fun seeing my extended family throughout the summer for a variety of reasons, and having my immediate family down to IA for Thanksgiving made me even more excited for going up north (North?) for Christmastime.  

I'm also hoping to see some friends while we're still in MinneIowa.  <--- Like that?
My friends B+K are coming to IA/MN during that time, 
which is AWESOME because they live across 
the Atlantic pond.  
Maybe we'll get to see them?
I'm also hoping to see some friends in PI this Christmas, too.  I miss them a lot!  
Also, I'm looking forward to a potentially successful attempt at making almost all of my gifts this season.  We'll see how that goes!  

That's about it for me.  Feel free to share what you are looking forward to as well!  

This past month has been:



run run run run run run run
run run run run run run run 
run run run run run run run  
run run run run run run run 
run run run run run run run  
run run run run run run run 




run run run run run run run 
run run run run run run run  
run run run run run run run 

stop, wait. sort, wait. pack, wait. and...wait. 

Run = working, volunteering, packing, cooking, visiting, sleeping.  
And now we're in Newton til early January.  

Maybe I'll write more during this month once 
our sorting and packing gets done in, 
                                                       about 3 days. 

God does know I've got a lot on my mind,
and I still feel He wants me to share.

So get ready, friends and visitors.  
                        Opinions cometh.  
                    Facts, too.  
                             Oh...maybe some food pictures as well. ;)

Also, if you live in the DSM area 
or PI around the Christmas holiday 
and want to visit us before we go to the land of fielded deer, 
don't be a stranger.
Give me/John a call/e-mail.  
We'd love to stop by, 
or you can come visit us!  :) 

That's all. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Silhouette Machine Giveaway and Reflective Monday.

Silhouette Machine Giveaway

I'm entering again.
I know I have a soon-to-be-less-than .1% chance of winning this,
but I want it -

- and by golly, why not try??

Also, I miss my special-needs boy.
He's a lot to work with - as all children are in some capacity -
but when he's gone for several days in a row,
it's a little too quiet
and a little too...boring.
Plus, when he's having good days, and even
when he's having bad ones,
I still am glad he's there.
Some people would tell me I ought to be careful of what I wish for; however
I do hope I can see him again before
I leave this job and move on to bigger and more intense things... making new friends -
all over again!

Hope your Monday has been and continues to be good!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

a little bit of -

- well, 
not procrastination, persay...

but I'd just like to do a little ode to Real Simple magazine. 

I know, there are a million more things out there significantly more important than this magazine,
but it's what's producing my procrastination (alright, I'll admit it)...

that and Parenthood! 

we're moving, as you've probably read/heard/been told,
and honestly, there's one thing I need to do that I just can't - yet. 

I need to get rid of a bunch of my magazines.  
They are heavy,
they take up space,
and they are lots of fun...!!!

So, the best thing for me to do is to tear out the parts I like and 
put them in a binder or something.  It's really a good idea that 
other people have done.  

But why ruin a perfectly good magazine??
Actually, this is something I've done before - 
many times before (Teen Magazine and Seventeen ring a bell), 
and I just need to get over it.  

But...maybe I'll just wait until we move into John's parent's to dissect this stuff.

Yes, I'll admit this is a little lame,
and yes, John, feel free to roll your eyes.  

...I can at least pull apart the Better Home and Garden ones for now!  
That's a start!!!.....



hey, H...

not exactly 100%...

                        not exactly the same...

                                                    but yeah, 


                                                                                            me, too.
We'll get through.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Talk to Me Tuesday - yo.

No intro tonight - I'm too tired!

TtMT #5

What were you like as a student?

sort of quiet when i was younger
sort of shy, too
very insecure when i was in middle school
very uncertain during that time, too
after i became a christian, i wasn't as insecure or as uncertain,
and i spoke up a lot more, too.

so...i guess you could say i was likable, worked hard, intelligent (although i wasn't always that sure of it),
stubborn, distractible (again), and sometimes forgetful,
a little nervous, a little more creative, a procrastinator, and nice.

oh, and way too busy...
                                     ...per today. 

note: all those good things were because of God, who created me (and you).  all those bad things God has been working on in me, and me with Him...
                                                                ...and sometimes me against Him - unfortunately.

Monday, November 15, 2010

cue Bob Dylan

if that picture of the deer in a field (from my last post) was any kind of hint and/or
a clever allusion for you all who know this news already,

John and I be moving this coming new years.

      We're moving
                     - again -
                            to Deerfield, IL.

What's in Deerfield, IL, you may ask?

Well, aside from ridiculously high taxes and Michael Jordan
                                                                                   (next door in Highland Park),
Trinity International University -
home to my husband's future Master's of Divinity degree and
home to the next stop on our journey as husband and wife and followers of Christ.

Let's just say this move was a 
mega answer to prayer in a way 
that I have never seen before.

If my man says "ok" to me documenting this answer and
the progression toward it on the blog,
then I'll write it all on here for the world to see.
If not, feel free to e-mail me,
and I'll lay it out there for you fine ladies and gents.

So, in the spirit of this transition in our
lives as well as the subject line of this blog entry,
I leave you the following song.

Note that the contents of it are mostly relative to
the times we live in and the chorus is the only thing that realistically
applies to John and I at this time.

Also note the fact that the original version, as recorded, is apparently not on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

talk to me tuesday, linked up, and a preview.


I'm wiped out,

but it's good for me to write, despite not having cleaned the kitchen yet.

it shall get done soon...i hope...tonight.

So here's what's on the docket:
a preview of news I'll document* this week. 
*I almost said "share," but i used "document" because most of you know about this news.
a link so i can win a dress (but probably won't!),
and TtMT,

Preview of news about the big news i've sort of mentioned previously:

 Link: I like these dresses in this giveaway , and I don't have anywhere to wear them yet, but maybe someday! :)

Talk to Me Tuesday #3
What would you say to your teenage self?

Laura, you're 13.
You do have friends, and they will be better friends later in life.
Don't worry about being popular - it doesn't make a difference.
And stop, turn around, and walk back into that church and ask about how to get to Heaven.
They said they had the answer, so go ahead and listen.  
You don't need to be afraid of finding out; you'll never regret it.  Just go. 

that's all.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Talk To Me" Tuesday #2

Hi all!

I guess this TtMT Heidi's got going can guarantee a post from me once a week.  
How lucky you all are! ;)

The question is: 
If you could relive one day of your life, what would it be and why?

Welp, there are a lot of days I would relive -
Some I would relive as a do-over,
some I would relive exactly the same. 

So, really...I will just pick one of the many!

Near Silver City, New Mexico.

Well, this picture was taken on a day full of craziness and beauty at the same time.  John and I visited a small town called Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, in the summer of 2009 for our 1st anniversary.  We had a TON of fun - I'd suggest that place to anyone.  On this day we went west to check out a national park: Gila National Forest. It was gorgeous, fascinating, and a lot of fun hiking and catching the views!  

It was also a little crazy: a map (and the hostess) from a T or C travel office made this place look like a 1.5 hour straight-ish shot to the forest.  
What it ended up being was a beautiful but incredibly lengthy 3+ hour, twisty-turny trek through deserts, hills, mountains, and - of course - one thick forest.
The views were gorgeous, so we had no problem on the way there. 
What ended up being our problem on the way back was the fact that a tank with enough gas for a easy 3-hour road trip did not amount to the necessary fuel needed for a mountainous 6-hour voyage.  Also, tiny little villages in a mountain surrounded by big trees, desert, and the nearby Mexican border doesn't equate to ample gas supplies (or any gas supplies at the end of the day).  
So we stopped at a restaurant in this village 
(where those migrating humming birds were hanging out),
and we decided that we'd coast (in neutral most of the time) down the mountains and into Silver City for gas.  
There was no way we'd make it back the way we came, especially with the sun about to set and mule deer bounding everywhere.

This trip resulted in lots of great conversation, and unforgettable time in the hiking the cliff dwellings at the forest, and lots of little details that made me wish I had a better camera.  

Aside from the gas situation, I would do this day the same way...
  ...especially because we came back to this. :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010



Theme song
Food and 

Magazine and
fall is great.

Favorites, favorites,
List all eight! 

1. My favorite flower, my favorite flowers are:
Dahlias and roses for sure.  Ranunculus (the orange flowers) is also a flower I really like, which were in some of the decorations at my wedding.

Green pic photo credit here, the other two are mine. 

2. Favorite color combo.

gray, spring green-yellow,  and black accents... 
                                                    for now.  
My favorite color is green, so often i come back to a semi-saturated, bright green, bright and somewhat warm-toned pink, and soft orange...aka, wedding colors and the answers to question #1 

3. Favorite Celebrity Couple.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith!  
Definitely one of the most loving, grounded couples in the business. 
4. My Theme Song.

Sure it was our first dance song, 
but it's been the theme for since well before day one. 

oh, and another theme song for us, which I HIGHLY recommend you listen to: 

see, it was worth it, huh?

5. Favorite "terrible day" food

Story time: 
When I didn't get the lead role in my senior-year musical (Wizard of Oz), I ate almost an entire row of Chips Ahoy once I got home.  When I looked down at the four cookies left in the row, I had a thought similar to "well, the damage is already done" and ate the rest.  Not my most shining hour...  
         maybe it was my most shining 20 minutes. ;) 
 Thankfully I got over it and got to be in "Dorothy's" wedding about 8 years later!

6. Favorite lipstick or lip gloss
Burt's Bee's pomegranate lip balm and my Mary Kay pink lip gloss, which I cannot find at the moment...  

7. Favorite Magazine 
Real Simple.  Saying it's my favorite is a gross understatement. 

8. Favorite thing about fall.
Apple Cider!!!!  

I could drink a gallon a day of this stuff.

Ok, I now tag Kate (Brian, too, if he wants), Kaitlyn, Jen G., Heidi H., Heather, and Kristen (again, Heath, too if he would like)!