Friday, May 27, 2011


Since the marathon, I've been taking it easy... trying to recover. I've run once since the marathon (I do really miss running) and my knee acted up so I guess all the time I spent training is now going to be spent heading to the chiropractor. But, I've been keeping myself busy. I had a project to do for a friend who was headed to a baby shower, I made myself a new purse, and I've been garage sale-ing - which is very difficult with an 18 month old who wants to play at every sale that has toys.

Here are my goodies:

my new bag... will be making one to sell soon! any orders?  :)

the diaper caddy, pacifier clip, and ribbon lovey mini blankie i made for a friend

garage sale steals! one morning, $6. that's right! only $6 for ALL OF THIS! go me  :)

In other news, I've been reading Imaginary Jesus by my former support coach, Matt Mikalatos. I highly recommend this book! It's witty and interesting and a fast read. It's really got me thinking (which is awesome and frustrating at the same time - I mean, who really wants someone to challenge what they think they know?!). I'm realizing that I have an imaginary Jesus, though I haven't been able to fully nail down what I expect of him. I just know that the jesus in my head and the Jesus that is, are two very different people. and I desperately want to know the real one. I believe the Christian subculture has done us a world of harm and I desire to live a life free of it. Now, that's not to say that I'm going to stop going to church or stop singing on the worship team, etc. However, I don't want to do things because its the "Christian" thing to do. I wanna do things because that's what Jesus wants me to do. I want to know Him so well that I know what He wants me to do. Sometimes I wonder if God looks down at us when we're doing the "Christian" thing and wonders how we actually justify it or where we came up with that idea in the first place. So often I've felt called to do something out-of-the-box, but hesitate because it might be seen as weird.

I don't know how to explain it fully. I just know that after reading A Kingdom of Couches by Will Walker and following up with Imaginary Jesus, I can't really justify the things I do anymore. I don't want prayer with other people to be weird or my own prayers to be manipulative. I don't want discipleship to be so rare in my life. and I don't want a fake version of Jesus. I want to know Him, socially radical, reckless, know-what-to-say-at-the-right-time Jesus.

Mikalatos mentioned something very interesting about discipleship.

Side note: I've been wrestling with the idea of discipleship for a while now. The most authentic discipleship I've been apart of was in college, simply because you lived, ate, studied, played, etc with the people you were around. You knew the good, the bad, and the ugly about people. You literally did life together. We shared clothes, food, gasoline, time, computer paper, toothpaste,... you name it, we shared it. We were able to hold each other accountable because we lived together! My girlfriends from college knew me best, even when I didn't want to be known.

But, how does discipleship translate into real life when your married and have kids? You don't get to spend most waking moments with your discipler. I feel like 'discipleship' in today's church means an older person and a younger person getting together in a coffee shop to discuss a chapter of a book and ask each other how they're doing. Jesus didn't do that. It WAS intentional, but it was natural. And, it was all the time. The Bible makes the point that He had to sneak away up mountains to be alone! The guys were ALWAYS there.

Anyway, here's an excerpt from the book.
We come on the scene of Matt and a talking donkey named Daisy. Matt really needs to use the bathroom but they are in 1st century Jerusalem.

Daisy paused. "Do you understand what it means to be someone's disciple?"

I thought about it and absently kicked at a chicken pecking at my feet. It was like a plague of chickens. "I thought it meant 'student.'"

"Yes, but not how you think of it. You're thinking of Y'shua like an algebra teacher. But to be a disciple means more than learning. It means to become like your teacher. It means transformation from what I am into what my teacher is. Y'shua said once, 'Everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.'"

"So you're saying that if I was, for instance, your disciple-"

"You wouldn't need to find a bathroom," the donkey said, "because we're walking on a perfectly fine road. You would eat when I eat, you would rest when I rest, and under the same olive tree. You wouldn't take the shortcut while I went the long way. We would be inseparable. You would live like my shadow, mimicking my actions until you could do what I do without thinking, until you had the same instincts, thoughts, and words."
That's how I want to know Jesus. Not about Jesus. I want to KNOW Jesus.

I've been in the church my whole life. Even went to a Christian school for a while. I have sections of the Bible memorized. But, I cannot say with full confidence that I know Jesus like that. I don't think I know anyone like that anymore. I mean, really - I live with a man who remains a mystery to me at some points! (I do know my husband pretty well, I'm just saying. Who hasn't had a convo with their spouse where they're left thinking, "My goodness, who is that person?!")

During our time with Campus Crusade for Christ, J and I spent a lot of time discipling younger people. I feel like we're in a phase of life though where we're the ones that need discipling. And, not just in how to follow Christ, but in how to be a spouse, a parent, a cook, an organizer, etc. How to care for a lawn and a garden. Thankfully, I'm in a Titus 2 group where I'm finding a lot of answers to my basic questions and I have great women I can call when I need to, but how do you ask someone with a family of their own to spend MORE time with you? How does discipleship play out properly in today's American society where we are so individualistic and independent? I have my Core 4, too, but they are girls in the same phase of life as me, so we're learning together. But, I still wouldn't say we actually do life together. We kinda do life near each other. We have different jobs, live in different areas, etc. I don't know. I should stop ranting because what I'm looking for I won't find. I'm just saying that I'm looking. And hoping. Some day I hope J and I live a lifestyle where we've found an older couple that can teach us in their field of work and their lives.

So, I guess I want to know Jesus that well... and someone else. BUT HOW???

Friday, May 20, 2011

last weekend i ran a marathon.

and had a BLAST!!!

i trained. then i got pregnant. then i had the little cowpoke. then i ran sometimes. then, a year later i started training again. then i pushed a baby in a jogging stroller through the snow. sometimes 6-8 inches of it. then i thought that i must be getting an extra good workout for all the extra effort i had to put in. then the snow melted. but it snowed again. and again. and again. and spring never came. then we finally got a membership to the Y and spring pretended to come. then i realized that my times for my long runs weren't slow. then i got excited. then i got an overuse injury in my knee. then, finally, it was race day!
hooray for race day!

race day is one of the best days in green bay, wi. (maybe 2nd to the day we won the superbowl. maybe. j/k!)
our church is one of the many wonderful groups who come out to show support to all the runners who are crazy enough to try this. now, i've always considered myself a runner - HOWEVER - i never really considered the possibility of running a marathon. i mean, why do it? after volunteering at the marathon for so long, the itch needed to be scratched. i wondered if i could. i wondered how i'd have time to train, especially now with a kid. ESPECIALLY one who is so darn cute i want to spend all my spare time looking at him. and taking his picture. i mean, come on...

anyway, back to race day!
once i was out there, year after year, i needed to know if i could do it. when all the insecurities came rolling in after i decided to run, i knew i HAD TO if for no other reason than to put those insecurities to rest.

so, i trained. and it was a pain. my life became training for this thing. i felt like i was letting down my husband, my son, our family. i didn't want to travel on the weekends because i didn't want to miss the long runs hosted by prevea (such a blessing). i wasn't taking many pictures because i didn't have time! i almost felt like i was getting lost in the training.

but, then, all of a sudden - RACE DAY!

ok, one more tangent before i actually get to race day. my biggest fear was not failing to finish. my biggest fear (read: insecurity) was looking like a fool. you know, all rosy cheeked, sweaty, and exhausted. we really know a lot of people that help at this thing. usually around 500 people from our church volunteer. that is a lot of people to potentially have recognize you in your foolish ickyness. (don't worry. i am not so arrogant that i actually think that 500 slc'ers would recognize me. i'm just saying!) of course, i didn't want to fail, but especially did not want to look silly while failing!

ok... RACE DAY!
Amazingly enough, as we pull off the highway on our way to Lambeau Field (the starting point of the marathon) my mom, kristen, and ky pulled off right behind us even though they came from appleton and we came from the east side of GB. We got to park together and I got to see them before the run. I got hugged and kissed and headed to the starting line. There were so many people. Over 11,000 people competed in the 2 days of events. Most people were in the full and half marathons. Having never done this before, I didn't know what to do. So, I hopped a fence and got in line. I felt like I should find my pacer but there were so many people and only like 2 minutes to the gunshot and I still needed to stretch.

This is the reason I felt like I was passing people the whole time. This is the main reason I have for why my time was ultimately so slow. That and the 45 mile per hour winds we were running into. I think God put me in that place because He knew that I needed to go slow in order to enjoy it. 

And, enjoy it I did. Every mile marker was a little chance to celebrate for me. Every corner I turned was another possibility of seeing friendly supportive faces. There were 3 groups that I was looking for: my family, my core 4, and anyone else from church. My family and my core 4 showed up at awesome places. It's like they knew when I needed them. They were right there when I needed to take off my jacket. They were right there when I needed a bite of banana. They were right there when I needed to laugh. I danced my way up Spirit Hill. I got pushed over a step and then stopped dead in my tracks by the wind a few times on the Fox river Trail. I danced through the wall party. I smiled the whole way across the bridge. I teared up as I touched the Tundra at Lambeau Field. And I only cramped up once!

That's not to say it wasn't hard. It was hard. My knees hurt. I stopped to stretch out at a few water stations. But so much of this run was so enjoyable. It really seemed to go by so quickly.

I just kept reminding myself, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Over and over. 
And, then... I was there. Coming around the last corner...

Waiting for me at the finish line was a very proud husband, amazing family, and ridiculous friends.

These amazing girls gave me 26.2 pieces of red vine, dove chocolate, laffy taffy's and water bottles. They love me!

Don't forget this little stud muffin...

And then I got to stretch (which I didn't do enough of based on how stiff my legs were the next day).

I see now why people get 26.2 tattooed on themselves after they do this. (and I really hate tattoos)

So, the main things I learned through this experience are:
1. My husband is the greatest, most supportive man. Ever. (I knew this already, but it was reconfirmed this day)
2. We live in Green Bay because I need that Core 4.
3. Labor was MUCH harder than running a full marathon. Much harder.
4. Green Bay is the home of the greatest fans in the world. And, not just for Superbowl champs.  :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

the park

the little cowpoke's new obsession is the park... well, anything outside really. he cries when we come inside, he stands at the front door or the patio door and cries, he cries often... to get outside.

since J isn't around most nights, the cowpoke and i have taken many trips to the park alone. we're getting to know quite a few of our neighbors! he absolutely LOVES it. on mother's day, the 3 of us got to go together. it was wonderful. there is not much that i enjoy more than watching my sweet husband play with our amazing son. it makes my heart so content.

we started out on the little slide

and made our way to the swirly slide

 then we moved on to bigger slides that he could do by himself. i'd catch him at the bottom of the tube slide (the black and white pict at the top of the post) and send him to the stairs which he'd climb by himself.

 then, every time, EVERY TIME he got to the top of the stairs, he'd stick his face through the railings and yell. don't ask me why. i don't have answers. i just laughed. a lot. goof ball.

then he'd walk across the bridge to the slide with daddy's help.



 and eventually they started going down the swirly slide together. it was a beautiful day to spend with my guys. i LOVE them and am so blessed!

in other family news:  the marathon is on sunday. i'm kinda freaking out because i hurt my knee and haven't gotten to run this week. i'm so close. just a few more days! it's still pretty tight but it feels much better (God bless the chiropractor). 

it's supposed to rain, too. hopefully that won't give my 'fans' a bad attitude because i'm going to need them to be positive. this is going to be a great time for me and God since He is the only one that can pull me through this. i will lift my eyes to the Maker of the mountains i can't climb. that was my song for labor with the cowpoke, it will be my song for this. i just keep picturing myself wearing the metal to the celebration service at church on sunday night. how glorious that will be.

i know running marathons doesn't sound like much fun to most people, but for me it's more than the run. i have settled for second best my whole life because i'm so afraid of failing and disappointing people. i've done it forever. salutatorian of my class instead of valedictorian, cum laude in college instead of summa cum laude, second string on varsity volleyball until senior year, ONE varsity cross country run short of getting my letter freshman year (stupid knee problems). not officially starting a photography business even though i don't think i'm that bad. i even started training for the half marathon 2 years ago because i didn't want to start training for the full and fail. 

so, it's not about the run. this is for me. this is to prove that i can do it. this is to fight my demons. 
so, whether you understand marathons or not, please show some support on race day. you never know what demons each of those runners are fighting. here is our chance to show them that with God, all things are possible.


Monday, May 9, 2011

iheartfaces - Motherhood

The theme over at iheartfaces this week is Motherhood. How fitting! I have loved my journey of motherhood since it started over a year ago. It is exciting, exhausting, tender, sweet, frustrating, etc. The little cowpoke lights up my life. I'm so thankful that my husband and I are on this journey of parenthood together. But since J works nights, I do most of the "dirty work" (feeding, bathing, putting to bed, etc) by myself.

Motherhood isn't just the sweet moments when a sleeping child is lying on your chest. It's every moment they're awake and every moment they're asleep. I'm a full-time mom. My life has gone from being about me to being about raising this child the way the Lord wants me to. We have been given this child because it is our responsibility to teach him and show him how to do life.

It's more than the sweet moments. Motherhood is real life.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

mother's day

Happy Mother's Day!

We are so blessed. We have been given awesome moms of what a mother should be. They are strong; they are kind; they are sweet; they are firm. They know when to push; they know when to be gentle.

My mother is so caring. She is gentle and kind. She took such good care of us. Our clothes were always clean, our bellies were always full, our things were always kept nice. She was such a great mother. She IS such a great mother - just in a very different role for me now. Now she is an inspiration. I get to look back at the mom she was and I get inspired about the mom I want to be. She is able to admit when she's wrong and is willing to teach when she can. I LOVE to watch her play with my son. She plays. I mean, really! Gets down on the floor, makes silly sounds, and plays! I love to watch her love on my son. And, he's kinda in love with her, too.  

My grandmother (mom's mom) is a tender sweet heart. She so clearly treasures every moment she has with her grandkids. She is interested in our lives and wants to help whenever and however she can. I love that every so often I get little handwritten notes from her in the mail. They always brighten my day. She has the cleanest house I've ever seen and always makes yummy yummy food. :) Her and my grandpa were always so great about taking my brother and I on trips with them. They took us mini-golfing all the time and we had lots of sleepovers. Not to mention, she makes the best scrambled eggs ever. They came to every school activity and sporting event that they could. Seriously, it was so wonderful to know that we meant so much to them.

My dad's mom is someone who I miss very much. She's living in Las Vegas but I haven't seen her in almost a year and a half. I'm so grateful that I got to tell her that I was pregnant with the cowpoke in person. I absolutely TREASURE the years we spent living in the same house with them. I will always have a sweet spot for the smell of regular Folders coffee. The smell was a staple in the upper level of our house. I loved to trace her veins in her hands. She's so skinny they stick up. I don't even know how many games of spite & malice, bowls of popcorn and Bulls basketball games we watched. I'll never forget her hollering, "Oh for Arnie" when it was time for him to come in for coffee. I really really wish she could meet the cowpoke. I'm so thankful we lived so close to them for so so long.

My sister-in-law is so inspiring to me. She has overcoming immeasurable hardship over the past few years to become a sweet, generous, caring woman of faith who shocks me with her ability to keep a great attitude and be such a great mom to her two sweet daughters. I remember looking up to her when I was in school and thinking she was just so cool. I never knew that she would be my sister. She has put up with my family ;) for vacations, holidays, fights, parties, etc. I loved my trip with her to Vegas. We had so many adventures on that trip that will not be soon forgotten like our air rock band, the purchase of a pregnancy test, and setting off a house alarm... not to mention our night in a suite at the Bellagio (my favorite!). LOVE HER!

Last, but not least, my amazing mother-in-law. If I'm going to play the sappy card, I would mention that I'm grateful for her, if for no other reason, because she gave me my husband. He is the best thing that ever happened to me and he is who he is because she was such a fantastic mother. She will give her opinion by is never pushy. There are no guilt-trips from her. She is totally generous and treats me as one of her own. She is smitten by the cowpoke and he sure loves her. She has been and is such a blessing to my life. I admire her work ethic and how much she does for her family so selflessly. She is definitely one of my role models.

I love these women and am so blessed to be in their family.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

summertime best friend

I just found my new best friend for summer... Yard Sale Treasure Map (.com)  You can fully expect me to be utilizing this little gem this summer.

We are especially looking for a slide for the cowpoke in the back yard and some size 5 little man shoes for the summer. He currently does not fit into any of his shoes (ok, we have one pair that fits but they don't have soles!) and are in desperate need of some. The only ones I've found in stores are like $20 or more and I'm NOT paying that much for little man shoes. Nope, I'm not.

We are one week away from the marathon and I am very excited to regain my Saturday mornings from the clutches of my long training runs. All in all, I am glad I'm doing this now and will be able to say in a little over a week that I am a marathon completer, BUT I want my life back. I want to be able to see my husband on the weekends. I want to let my son nap in the afternoon without feeling like I need to squeeze in a run. And, I want to hit up these garage sales before all the goodies are picked through.  :)


Friday, May 6, 2011

let sleeping dogs (err... babies) lie

there is nothing quite so peaceful as a sleeping baby. i had to sneak into the cowpoke's room to snap some photos this morning... he was just so sweet!

little hand

he just looked so snuggly, i wanted to crawl right in with him... but i resisted the urge knowing that the moment wouldn't even start before it would come to a quick and crabby end. i went and made coffee instead.  :)


Mother's day is coming up. This will be my second official mother's day. I will have a better, more sentimental post about mother's day ina few days but for now, I'd like to share my hypothetical (read: never going to happen) mother's day wish list. This is the list of things I'd like if it was possible. Which it's not. So, don't worry, there will be no disappointment when these things aren't here on Sunday. All I REALLY want is some quality time with my boys and to not have to do any laundry for the day. 

1.  The Barnes and Noble Nook Color - I was opposed to the ereaders for a while because I LOVE my collection of books so much, but I think it would be so great to read a book before I buy it to get dusty on my shelf. I mean, some books I have just sit there. Some I've read so many times they are looking pretty worn, but in my opinion, that's how all books should look. So, if I don't love the book enough to make it look like that, maybe it shouldn't be on my shelf anyway. Plus, the Nook Color has so many other things to do on it (like Angry Birds - wink wink) that it's more than an ereader now anyway!

2.  The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens - Ideally, I'd like a f/1.4, however this one will have to be my next lens purchase since the f/1.4 doesn't exist yet in a lens that will autofocus with my camera body. I'd love this lens now but I guess I'll start saving my pennies. I really REALLY want this lens. Really.

3.  Bamboo Fun - This handy little contraption will revolutionize how I edit my photos. It's pretty stinking awesome. Just take my word for it.

I could continue my list with things like an external flash, and extra battery for my camera, a new car (actually an SUV), some new clothes, a new printer (since ours won't work with our new computer we got since our last computer doesn't work anymore), etc... however, this unrealistic list is enough.

Like I said, really I just want some quality time with my boys... and maybe a day without rain. It's been so wet here in GB. I'm really hoping we'll be rain free on the day of the marathon. We'll see! Just over a week left til race day! Yikes!

that's all for now,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

it's the little things...

small joys. tiny victories. baby steps.

today when i put the little cowpoke down for a nap, i didn't have to put his socks back on. may not seem like much to you, but it is a daily BATTLE to keep that boy's socks on! and while we are approaching (read: may never actually experience) spring, the weather here is still too cool for me to justify letting him go without his socks all day.

spring is trying to come though... look! we have some flowers!

yours truly,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Well, it's about time...

I suppose I'm not doing anybody any favors by not posting more frequently. Our little j is growing so fast and our family is out of town. I owe it to you guys to give you more updates than my random picture submissions to iheartfaces.

So, here's what we did this weekend...

Friday night, our dear college friends, Holly and Ryan stopped in for a visit. They had been driving through from a quick vaca with Ryan's family. It was so great to see them,... like always. We are so comfortable with them. They are and were 2 of the most influential people in helping us become who we are. We're so thankful that God placed us in their paths in college and that they didn't just walk around us (being seniors and us being freshman) but instead, they embraced us and did life with us. We miss them desperately when they are not around, but pick up right where we left off when we are together. We love them!

Saturday morning, my marathon training continued with a 12 mile run. The weather was decent. It was a little cold with the wind, but I did ok.  :)  Less than two weeks and I'll finally be done! Yea! Training for a marathon takes up so much time. I miss my little family.

Saturday afternoon, we went swimming with our friends from my Core 4 at the Y so the little ones could have some pool time. It was a lot of fun to have everyone (husbands included) all together. This so rarely happens. Our sons are all within 6 months of each other and they LOVE the water. We went to one of their houses for dinner and then headed home to crash! It had already been a busy weekend and we were tired.

Sunday morning was church. Our church is going through "The Year of the Word". We're working our way through the Bible as a congregation. I love it! After church we went to character group and had a great discussion about Mark 10. 
That afternoon I made some cookies from a recipe I found in Real Simple magazine that I've been wanting to try. They are Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies and they turned out delicious!

The rest of the afternoon was spent outside! It wasn't that warm but it sure was fun. We have a great yard with great potential but it needed to be cleaned up a little bit. Jake tried helping, but he was pretty confused about what we were doing.  :)

They make my heart leap.

not sure...

working hard

still not sure

Cooper had fun, too

our little helper

AND, here is our garden. At least, this is how it has been since the snow melted. We're going to be working it over this spring and planting a bunch of veggies that we'll hopefully be eating this fall. I've never done any gardening before so I'm really hoping this works!

interesting owl left behind...

Consider yourself updated.