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Thursday, January 30, 2014

{Theme Thursday} Barns

Linking up with Clan Donaldson for Theme Thursday today!

Ah, barns.

If you had told me ten years ago that I would be as familiar with barns as I am today, I woulda laughed.

I was a city girl, through and through.

And then my family moved to rural Iowa, I met my Hunky Husband and his awesome family (who happen to farm and do lots of farm-y stuff), and it was all over.

The nice thing about having in-laws with bunches of barns?

Great photo backgrounds!

From our wedding
(Bonus note: See the white trim on the doors and window? I painted that. Oh yeah.)

Our niece watching the cows

And we don't even have to call and ask first!

And every once in a while, you'll get a great picture like this one....

Going to feed cows with Grandpa

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Turtles are Great, But...

 That's right. Two Tucker Turtle posts in less than a week. You're welcome.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love me my Tucker Turtle. He's easy to take care of, fun to watch, I don't clean up his poo, and he prefers to be neglected- except when food is involved.

"Leave me alone. I'm grouchy."

But some things you see about pets just don't apply to turtle-parents, you know?


Um, yeah, no. I'm pretty sure Tuck will never sleep on me. When I hold him, I'm pretty sure the last thing on his little reptilian mind is sleep. He does not like being held. His "unspoken rule" is more- shove his head in his shell until he feels it's safe, then run for the nearest thing to hide under.

 Nope. Tucker really doesn't leave the house much. He's more of a homebody. Or, a tank-body, I guess.

And he's not very good for excuses, either. Just the other week I tried, "I have to go home and feed my turtle, since we've been gone all weekend," to get out of looking through vacation pictures (endless, I tell you) and my husband said, "Oh, he probably doesn't need to eat for a week or so..."

Forget those five minutes of Facebook time, I guess... And sure, I would love to have you explain every detail of this picture to me.

 Well, Tucker does wait for me, but it's more about waiting for me to feed him. And he definitely doesn't make that face, all longing and sweet. It's more like... well, you know the face you get when somebody turns on the light when you haven't woken up yet? Pure grumpiness tinged with hatred? That's the one.

 Oh man. I'm picturing Tucker sliding down this, all tucked into his shell. He'd HATE it. I'm pretty sure it would be considered turtle endangerment, for that matter. Or animal cruelty. Turtle torture! (Sidenote: How fuzzy is that dog? Cuuute)

A couple of issues here. First, where would an emergency tag go on a turtle, anyways? And even if we could get him a little tag like this, his would say, "If I'm alone, I ate ALL the fish!"

I think I need a puppy.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Dear Protestant Church: What We Should Learn from Catholics

Dear Protestant Church,


Dear Protestant Churches I Have Attended or Heard About Recently, Anyways,

We need to take some notes from the Catholic Church, guys.

I know, I know, there are lots of (generally minute, but some larger) things that we do differently and believe differently. While we've all made a really stinking big deal about those differences (we don't have to get into the church history now), for the most part, we're all made of the same stuff. The underlying message is the same. We all believe that Jesus Christ came to earth, died for our sins, and rose from the dead. Those of us who truly believe that have all been transformed in Him.

But honestly, Protestant church? I'm seeing some things we really need to work on. Growing up in a little bit of a lot of different theologies, I truly treasure worshiping in both the Catholic Church and also in Protestant congregations. I attend a Protestant church currently (and I love the fellowship, the straight-outta-the-Bible teaching, and how I am growing in my faith), but I'm still influenced greatly by Catholic ideas. And I've got to say, I think in many ways, I agree with their perspective over yours, Protestant Churches.

The Catholic church isn't afraid of telling it like it is. I think we've lost that, Protestants. We're so focused on being "nice," being politically correct, not making waves. Is that what Jesus would want of us, though? I mean, He came and definitely rocked the boat. He challenged the teachings of the Pharisees, He overturned the tables at the temple. Wasn't our Christ- the One we model our lives after- wasn't He the one who said, "I am the way, the truth, the life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through ME?"

We've started to gloss over things, Protestants. Things like gay marriage, for example. We're so focused on being nice that we aren't focusing on what is true. "Well, we don't want them to think we're judging..." is not enough of an excuse. "Homosexuality is natural" is also not an excuse. It's natural to hate, it's natural to kill, but that doesn't make it right. Of course, this issue is only one of many, but our response as a church is telling.

Don't even get me started on the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. In 2009, they began to allow “publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as rostered leaders of this church.”  

 Well, as long as it's *monogamous* homosexual behavior... 

What? Where is God's design in that? How are we representing the intention of our Lord in the relationship of marriage? Just because homosexuality is acceptable (and often celebrated) by the standards of our culture does not mean that it is acceptable in the leadership of the church!

In my experience, I see the Catholic church getting personal with their parishioners. I see them challenging people to question their personal lives, the decisions they make in their own bedrooms, in regards to their families. Protestant church- we teach trust in God. We teach that He knows best, that we need to lay our lives down and seek His will for us. But trust Him with the number of children in our family? Crazy. Sure, He said that children are a blessing, but are we acting that way? Do we trust God with our finances, or do we 'forget' to tithe or give to the needy?

Teenage pregnancy is rampant in many of the churches I've attended, but sexual sin in youth group... is it even addressed? Well, it's uncomfortable and unpopular. Do we tell our teenagers to be modest, to be abstinent? Just because everyone is doing it doesn't make it okay. Are we focused on being attractive and cool to teenagers, or are we focused on helping them to be holy?

I am far from perfect. I struggle, I mess up, I fight against the cross I carry daily. But church, aren't you here to support and encourage my walk with the Lord? To help me and teach me to give him the obedience and worship that He deserves? Because in many cases, I'm not seeing that. I'm not seeing you challenge us. I see you trying to blend in. I see you trying to market to the masses rather than make disciples. And I'm concerned.

We've vilified the Catholic church for being too strict, for focusing on the outside more than the inside. We point to arguments within Catholic circles- like whether women should wear pants- to prove that we're somehow 'better.' But guys? What about holiness? We believe that according to our salvation, we've been set apart- are we acting like it? And what about humility? The Catholic church has held to many teachings for hundreds of years. These huge paradigm shifts some Protestant churches are undergoing, most of them very recently- who are we to make such enormous (and often completely un-Biblical) changes?

When it becomes more about what is popular than what is Biblical,
When it becomes more about what is interesting than what's humble,
When it becomes more about being nice to everyone than about what is pleasing to God,
When it becomes more about what is okay in our culture than about the Truth of God,

Then we are deifying ourselves. And Protestants, that's not where we want to be.


-A Concerned Protestant


Thursday, January 23, 2014

{Theme Thursday} Catching "People" Unawares

Linking up with Clan Donaldson for Theme Thursday!

I've been sneaking around all day trying to get a good Theme Thursday picture. It was a total bust. Speaking of busts...

The office was in an uproar today. Not because of the sneaking, but because we spent the morning saying, "The scene is safe.Annie, Annie, are you okay? You, go call 911. You, go get the AED." 

Really, though, what quality of life does a torso with no arms or legs really have, even after we've performed chest compressions and rescue breathing? 

Yep. Staff CPR training day. 


I got home and perched in the entryway closet, camera in hand, waiting for a certain Hunky Husband to appear. 

And then I realized that, even if I got an awesome picture of Zeke's shocked expression (because, as we know, he's so very expressive- not!), I probably wouldn't be able to get it across with all my face blocking around here. 

Well, and there was a small chance that I'd scare him and instinct would kick in and I'd end up with three broken arms and a concussion. Thank goodness he's not jumpy. 

So I went to Plan B. 


He was sitting and sunning his introverted little self, paying me no mind... 

Click! Got a picture!

Look at that surprised and indignant look on his face!

His naptime sunning session ruined, he jumped back into his tank and glared at me from the bottom. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

You Know You're Getting Old When...

I've come to realize that I'm a pretty old, for a 25-year-old.

Lots of my 25-year-old friends are all, "Concerts!" and "Clubs!" and "Dating!"

And I'm all, "Let's go to bed at 9:30! Score!" And, "Do you have a recipe for this?" And, "I really like this vacuum. This is a nice vacuum."

The thing that makes me feel oldest of all? Checking out my sister's Facebook pages. Take today, for example. My sister posts this picture...

My first thought? "Is that a front-loading washing machine in the back there?"

<Sigh> You can hand me the knitting needles and Poly-grip now.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Five Ways to Grow a Strong Marriage

1. Turn off the TV
 … and the Wii, and the Playstation, and the iPod touch, and Pinterest, and Facebook, and Angry Birds…

My Hunky Hubby and I had an after-work routine. We came home, ate supper and watched TV, then I’d do some chores around the house, then watch some more TV, then I’d get out the computer and go on Pinterest while still in front of the TV, and then I’d fold some laundry and put it away during commercials, and then we’d go to bed.

We’re tired! We work demanding jobs!

But honestly? Watching too much TV sucked the life out of us! Yes, it’s easy, and yes, it can be a great way to unwind after a hectic day… but too much TV can seriously damage a marriage. Not only was I grumpy about somehow never accomplishing anything, but I found that after a couple weeks of that routine, I was much more excited to sit in front of a season of “Last American Cowboy” than I was to talk to my husband.

When we took the time to turn off the electronics, we realized (surprise, surprise) that we have fun together! And that’s one reason we got married in the first place, right?

2. Sex
There’s a reason God designed for sex in marriage. It brings us closer together.

I can only speak for myself, here, but as a woman, sometimes I really am just not.that.into.it. I’ve got ninety-million other things circling around in my head, I’m busy, I have to get up early in the morning to get x, y, and z done… and besides, if he wanted sex, maybe he should have helped clean the kitchen!

I’ve noticed an interesting trend in my own life, though. When I put off intimacy with my husband, even just for a week, I’m grouchy. I nit-pick my husband about insignificant things, and I somehow find my perspective changing from “We’re In This Together” to “I Do All the Things, and You Do Nothing and It’s Not Fair.”

Taking time to make intimacy a priority in our marriage glues us together in spirit, and keeps us running smoothly. I read somewhere once that so often, we see sex as the icing on the cake of marriage, but in truth, sex is the oil that keeps the engine of our marriage running strong.

3. Look for the positives and don’t sweat the small stuff
Oh, how easy is it for me to look at my husband and pinpoint his every little sin, his every selfishness, and each and every flaw in his character. And truly, it’s not even always a sin on his part- sometimes it’s just a silly habit or personality trait that simply bugs me.

It’s so important to see not only the negatives in my husband, but also to seek out the positives. Yes, he may frequently be late getting home from his Bible Study, but that’s because he really cares about the guys in his group- even to the extent of fixing a group member’s snow blower after their study is over.  

There are things about my spouse that bug me, but they really aren’t worth bringing up. Sure, the used tissue he left on the bedroom floor is gross, but is that really something to nag him about? Is it something that I would like to have pointed out if it was my mistake?

Of course, there will be times in a marriage when it’s more than just a tissue on the floor or being late coming home from Bible Study. Marriages are relationships that are affected by Real Life, and Real Life has some big issues. When you’re confronting your spouse about a big issue, speak the truth in love. The truth may very well be, “This is not okay,” but address it from a place of love, not of anger. That may mean that you wait to bring up a problem (even when you want to talk about it RIGHT NOW), and it may also mean that you pray about it first.

But remember, not everything is big stuff. If it’s small stuff, it’s often better just to let it go and find the good.

4. Marriage Retreats
How often do we get the chance to sit down, as a couple, and put some work into our marriages? Marriage is one of the most important relationships of our lives, and it’s one relationship that, God willing, we’ll be a part of for the next sixty years or so!

Even if you’re awesome with #1, have a great #2, and are doing well with #3, it’s still hard to put focused, directed time into a marriage relationship. For one thing, where do we start? That’s where marriage retreats come in. A marriage retreat can give you the tools to talk about and start working on your marriage relationship.

There seems to be this stereotype that marriage retreats are only for people whose marriages are struggling. While some retreats are for that, there are tons of retreats out there, and every marriage needs some retreat time!

First- they’re fun! A retreat is just that- removing yourselves from daily live and all the demands on your time, and simply focusing on each other. My husband is hilarious and super fun, and I need time (away from all the laundry, and work, and my family) to really enjoy being with him!

Second- a retreat is a great way to find a support system. It’s so important to know that you’re not alone. Marriage can be so tough, and finding other couples with similar values who have decided to walk the walk of a solid marriage will give you and your spouse the encouragement you need.

Third- retreats often give you tools. I know that for my husband and I, this was so important in our marriage. You see, we have “the argument.” I’m sure you’ve got one of those- that one argument that keeps coming up, no matter how many times you discuss it. The thing is, “the argument” kept surfacing because we never really dealt with it- we didn’t know how. It wasn’t until we went to a marriage retreat that we were given the tools to actually figure out the issue, rather than just yelling (me) and withdrawing (him) and not getting anywhere. It was a turning point in our relationship.

If you haven’t ever done a marriage retreat, talk to your church. Many congregations are part of an annual marriage retreat, or they may know of a couple great options for you to explore. I really (really) encourage you to try out a marriage retreat.

5. Seek God- together
Keeping God central in our marriage is a priority for Zeke and me, as it is for many, many couples. It’s a journey, though, and sometimes we do really well in our faith journey together, and other times not so much. We really should be praying together, but we just haven’t done very much of that in our marriage yet. It’s something we’re working on. While we’re far from perfect (as you can see), we’ve developed a couple of habits that have helped us to seek God together.

First, we belong to a church and we are each involved in a Bible Study group. Our Bible Study is set up so that one week the husbands all meet, and then the next week the wives meet. While we’re doing different things in each of our studies, our spiritual growth is being fostered individually, and we can get excited and share what we’re learning with one another.

Second, we read devotions together. Zeke has an iPod touch, and he really likes a devotional app he found. I prefer the good ole fashioned devo book. We kind of alternate between reading the book and reading from the app.  

Linking up today with Messy Marriage and To Love, Honor, and Vacuum.

What are the “top five” ways that you’ve helped your marriage grow strong?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

When There's No Fruit

Original Image Source

(This post is tough for me to write. I've written and deleted it several times now, honestly. So here it goes. Please be gentle. )

I am not a patient person. I am not patient, and I do not like to surrender control. I'm the type of person who sees an issue, sees something that needs to be done, and I want to tackle it right. now.

I've shared some of the story of my journey to FAM and my fascination with how my body works, but I'll be honest. It hasn't been smooth sailing.

The first couple of months went great. I began to trust my body, and everything looked great. We were avoiding pregnancy for the first few months.

And then, after discussing and praying and calculating, we decided to stop preventing pregnancy, and try to conceive our first little one.

And my "normal" cycles stopped. My charts have been all over the place, and I'm not ovulating.
Honestly? I'm frustrated. Frustrated and disheartened. Why isn't my body doing what it's supposed to do? Granted, it's only been four months. I know so many people have struggled for much, much longer. My heart goes out to them. As I said, I'm impatient.

I want babies at my breast, I want little feet, I want horribly disgusting diapers, I want challenges and emotions and hard decisions, I want sweet baby smell, I want waking up at three in the morning.

I am open to life. Very open. I am willing to carry, bear, and raise as many children as the Lord blesses us with. I believe all children are a blessing. All of them.

But what do you do when life just doesn't seem to come? What do I do when my body is fighting against my ideals and my dreams? 

I've been, in the words of my darling husband, "grumpy." He's much less tightly wound then I am. Perhaps he has a deeper faith. He keeps reminding me that I need to trust in God, that He knows best. The other day, after a sobbing breakdown, Zeke set me down with a Bible, and told me to find some truth.

The Bible is pretty great for attitude adjustments, too, but Hunky Husband was too sweet (or too afraid of what my reaction would be) to suggest that I needed one of those.

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will exalt my God who is my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights."
Habakkuk 3:17-19 (emphasis mine)
 Another cycle just ended, and my womb is still empty. Fruitless. There are no cattle in my stall.

I'm holding on to these verses. "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will exalt my God."

Of course, I don't have all the answers. I don't even know all the questions, for that matter. And I know that I will have a hard time rejoicing and exalting. A very hard time.

Pray for me, will you?

Friday, January 17, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Ice and Snowmobiles and Crouch Gussets

 Linking up today with Conversion Diary's 7QT!

It's cold in my office. But really, can I complain? I'm taking a coffee break and blogging instead of editing databases. Let he who actually does some stinkin' work be the first to have a space heater! 
My husband is leaving this weekend for a Men's Retreat at a camp about three hours away. He's going with the awesome men's group he joined at church. 
One whole weekend, all alone. 

I'm either going to be super productive and finish all.the.projects, or I'm going to sit in front of Netflix for 14 hours straight. Jury's still out. 

 Around here, we're quickly approaching a weekend that can only be dubbed as "complete madness on ice." I'm not even kidding. See last year:
 There are bunches of people out on the lake. Bunches. Drinkin' beer and fishing. In heated ice houses. Which I still don't understand. (A heater? On the ICE? Doesn't that seem... counterproductive? Suicidal?)

And then there's this... See in the middle of my terribly lit picture there? That's a tow truck. On the lake. Working on pulling up a truck that fell through the ice. While all these other big heavy trucks are just standing around going, "Yes, someone did fall through the ice. So what?" I just.. I just don't understand.

This is coming. Next weekend. But unlike last year, this year we have some snow! So add a bunch of snowmobiles to this picture. 

Speaking of snowmobiles! 

Zeke and I have been rationing watching a show on Netflix called "Yukon Men." 

I know. Just. Just don't even comment. 

There are only (only) nine episodes up on the 'Flix, so we've been limiting ourselves. Tragic, I know. 

I was reading a book (er, I mean, watching the show with my hubby and enjoying some quality time with the one I luurrve) and heard one of the main characters refer to a snowmobile as a "Snow-Go." Super cute! So now I've got to purchase myself a snowmobile so I can call it my Snow-Go. I go! In the snow! Go Snow Snow-Go! 

I'm out of coffee. I need some more.

Speaking of buying a snowmobile! (Wow, my brain today, huh? Fridays...)
I have been snowmobiling before. I'm very proud of myself in this regard. No, seriously. I'm not much of a going-fast, motors-and-oil kind of a gal. HH has been instrumental in me getting over this, of course.

We went to Zeke's brother's place in Colorado one winter- he owns a snowmobile touring company out there. I did really pretty well, actually! 

I don't have photographic proof of this event at the moment. I'll getcha some later, promise. Because it really did happen!

For Christmas, I got a new purse, and oh goodness, I'm all about it lately. 
(Mine isn't red, though)

It's from Duluth Trading Company. We started shopping there because they have pants with "crouch gussets," and if I knew who invented that miracle in modern engineering, I would bake them ninety million cakes. My darling husband tends to crouch, and bend, and lift and strain... and blow out the crotch of EVERY SINGLE pair of pants he has. And then I mend them. And then they're all torn up again, and then I mend them. And eventually the patches need patches. You get the idea.

Those pants are awesome though. Pricey. But AWESOME. No rips. And he's been wearing them for two months. This is unheard of. 

Anyway. So I was looking for more pants for him (because they're awesome) and stumbled upon this bag and fell in love. And I love it even more now. It holds everything. It fits my household planner no prob. Love love love love.

 Okay, I can't help myself. 

Look at these gussets!

Right!??!? Right!?!?

I know. I need to get out more.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ten Minute Tuesday: Organize Kitchen Drawers

Is it Tuesday already?

All the crazy weather has me with my days all mixed up. To be honest, having New Years in the middle of the week (yes, I know, it was two entire weeks ago) still has me all confused. Still.

Today, I took ten extra minutes around the house to... ba da dummmmm... organize my kitchen drawers (and by drawers, I mean three of 'em.)

Just set your timer and go- you don't need to get all your drawers done today, but it feels so good to go through as many as you can!

I don't know about you, but when we got married, I not only gained a spouse- I also gained a big sign on my forehead that says "Please give me kitchen utensils for every gift-giving holiday!"

We're blessed, and my kitchen drawers over- floweth.

First, I took all the stuff out of the drawers (one drawer at a time) and took out the things we use most commonly. I had about ninety thousand wooden spoons, so I just chose the ones we use the most, including some 'specialty' spoons (ie, the one Hunky Husband uses to stir Kool-Aid because it's got those lovely rainbow-colored stains).

The rest of the spoons went into storage for the time being, along with some of the extra kitchen supplies we were given for the wedding, but if we didn't have that box already in the attic, I would have donated them in a snap!

Now we'll have less shuffling utensils around to find the right ones!

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Word for 2014: ENOUGH

I'm not so great with making resolutions, and I'm even worse at sticking to them... so our New Year sort of came and went with little fanfare and we went to bed around 11:30 on New Year's Eve, and spent most of New Year's Day watching movies.

Huh. It was pretty much like last year... starting a tradition, are we?

Even though I'm not much for resolutions, I do like a year to have a theme. Maybe it's just the type-A personality hiding somewhere inside of me (underneath the disaster of my disorganized craft room), but I like .... themes. Structure. Plans. Inspirations.

And so when Jen mentioned a word of the year in her post last Friday (that I just read a couple days ago), I thought, "Ah ha! A theme!"

Then I just had to come up with one.

I've been accused (and rightly so) of being... a bit... dramatic. At times. Most of the time. I like life to have some spice! I embellish stories, I over-exaggerate events, I make mountains out of molehills, I really want people to like me, I get very emotional... all that. And for the most part, that's okay. It's part of who I am.

The problem comes in when it goes too far. Looking back at my life (especially in high school, but weren't we all a little over-dramatic then? Maybe?) I see a lot of times that I went overboard. Times when my need for a little drama, a little attention (okay, maybe a lot of attention) went beyond normal and ended up harming people. Ended up in outright lies, in deceit and dishonesty and ended up reflecting very badly on me. Who I am was harmed by who I wanted so badly to be. 

It was all deep-seated in a lie I've been fighting for a long time- that I'm not enough. I don't know where it came from, and really, I think we all struggle with this particular untruth at times.

I, for one, am sick of it.

I thought that as I got older, the feeling that I wasn't good enough would go away. When I got to college, I thought that being away from my family might inspire just the right amount confidence in myself so I wouldn't have to hear that whisper of doubt. That didn't happen. Then I thought that maybe when I found a man who loved me, who wanted to marry me, then I would finally feel good enough.

I've been married for two years now, and let me tell you, I've found that marriage brings out insecurities I never knew I had.

The truth is that I'm still struggling with the lie that I'm not good enough. That lie is still, still causing problems in my actions and my thoughts.

Not feeling like I am a good enough daughter led to pushing myself into the business of my siblings and becoming the bossy, nosy sister so my parents will find me more valuable.

Not feeling like I am a good enough wife leads to guilt towards my husband and insecurity around other women.

Not feeling like I am a good enough housekeeper makes me grouchy at my husband for not helping more around the house (and has led to more than my fair share of "socks on the floor" arguments).

My word for 2014 is ENOUGH.
 (Which, when you write it a bunch of times starts looking weird, and like you've misspelled it...)

I am enough, because Christ is enough, and He lives in me. I just really need to start believing that.

Enough enough enough enough enough. See? Doesn't that look weird?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Theme Thursday: Bare

Today, I'm linking up with Cari over at Clan Donaldson for Theme Thursday! This Thursday's theme?

Bare. Or Bear. I think I'm covering both bases on this one!

Just like the majority of the contiguous United States, we got lots of winter weather this past week. Unfortunately, because I live at work, the whole "my-car-won't-start-so-I-can't-come-in" thing didn't apply to Zeke or myself.  I cursed my 50-step walk to work while my nosehairs froze.

But I didn't  have to be out in it.

My Hunky Husband on the other hand... well, he's the guy who moves all the snow. So he did have to be out in it.

Granted, this picture was taken yesterday, when we had a high temp of 23 degrees (as opposed to the day before, at -19. Negative.Nineteen.Degrees.Fahrenheit.) and he wasn't at quite so much risk of frostbite....

But seriously? No coat? Bare arms?

Well, my big bear of a man, while snow-blowing, found himself becoming... get this... sweaty.

Meanwhile, I sat in my office, space heater on high and pointed directly at my feet, with a blanket over my lap, shivering. Well, opposites attract, right?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Footprints in the Snow

(In my front yard)



The Orange Ferrel Cat that I keep trying to catch that keeps ignoring my "Here Kitty, Kitty!" pleas for friendship

Monday, January 6, 2014

Messy Monday (or, A Bunch of Random Things all Strung Together)

Everyone, I have been a terrible blogger this past month. Month? Well, it's been more than a month, now, hasn't it?

I told myself I wasn't gonna post a "I haven't posted in a while" post. But man, I haven't posted in a while.

I meant to post a cute Christmas ornament tutorial.

I meant to show you all pictures of my festively decorated house.

I meant to tell you all the many things circling around and pinging off the insides of my skull.

I haven't done any of those things. And it's okay. This is real life here, people. Sometimes stuff gets in the way and priorities change and I actually have the laundry under control and that's totally good enough right now. (Update: I don't have the laundry under control anymore. Zeke just got home. How do you get three stocking caps dirty in one day?)

So, in one fell swoop, here's a catch up post. Not ketchup, catch up. (And how come I have four half-empty bottles of ketchup? Who buys this stuff, anyways? Wait, maybe the bottles are half-full.... perspective, Adrie! Perspective!)

My Hunky Husband and I went on a second honeymoon/had to get away trip to Wisconsin Dells early this month. It was glorious. No emergency maintenance phone calls, no way to do laundry... glorious. And cold. Very cold. There was really no one around, which isn't terribly surprising because it was December. In Wisconsin. 

And it looked a lot like this....
Snowy Husband!

But, on the bright side, we stayed indoors for the majority of the week (can you say "Hot Tub!"), except when we went and did this.

I perfected an awesome new snowboarding move. I'm not sure what to call it yet- so I'll need some suggestions. It's inventive and great.

Here's the premise- while going down the mountain, you fall on your tush (hard) and somehow manage to spin around, on your bottom, at least five entire rotations while simultaneously still sliding down said mountain. Any ideas? I think this move should be an addition to the Olympics. Extra points if, during this move, you keep saying, "Seriously? Seriously? Can't I just fall like a normal person?"

After a demonstration of my cool new move! (Faces blurred to protect the truly terrible at snowboarding)
Also? Did you know that snowboarding is a major workout? Even if by "snowboarding" you really mean "falling on your caboose and trying to get back up again?" I had no idea. I was so. darn. sore. My shoulders were sore. I wasn't expecting that. And my butt really hurt, which I was kind of expecting.

I spent the rest of the trip in the hot tub. Glorious.

And then it was Christmastime! Already! I rushed to make these

for our co-workers and neighbors, and then I got to spend some time with this little guy...

my 2-year-old nephew, who is really stinking cute, but needs to improve his selfie-taking skills.

We went to Chicago to visit the greats (aka my great-aunts and -uncles), all of whom have shrunk from their statuesque 5'3" or so selves (ha) down to about 4'10"... and so made my darling husband look like a giant. Most of the greats hadn't met Zeke yet. There was lots of pointing. It was great.

And then all of the sudden, Christmas was over, New Years was over, and now it's stinking cold. Seriously- the high temp here today was -10. The high temp. Of the whole day. Was ten degrees below zero. Brr.

There were turkeys huddling in the window well of my office today. See?

They were doing the thing where they stand on one foot so their other leg can warm up.  I got very little done today at work, I'll admit it.

Whew! So now we're all caught up. On to 2014, and may your new year begin with many blessings!


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