Maelie gave us a little scare tonight.

She’d been sleeping for over an hour when we heard her cry out through the monitor.

It took both me and Tobin a few seconds to decipher her cry. Like any parent knows…it’s true that you can tell the difference between their cries.

Often Mae will cry from her crib in protest if she wakes up in the middle of the night. (Yeah…she’s not a fan of the sleeping thing.) When she does this we usually ignore it unless it continues for more than a couple minutes, which it hardly ever does.

However, this cry was not a whiny, I’m-so-not-wanting-to-be-in-my-crib cry. It was a I-need-you-now cry.

And it was Loud.

It’s funny that Tobin and I almost argued about who would go check on her. I won for a minute but told him to come up with me anyway.

When I opened the door Mae’ s nur

sery, it only took me a second to realize why she was crying. She’d gotten her leg wedged between the bars in her crib and it was twisted against the wall. It was virtually impossible for her to free herself from the position she was in.

But with the help of Tobin, her leg was free in just a few seconds. She cried a bit longer and wanted to be held and comforted by both of us.

Five minutes later, she was asleep again and is (hopefully) out for the night. (Thank you, God, for a daughter who sleeps peacefully through most nights. Really, thank You.)

After that little episode, I decided I needed to regroup and fight the writer’s block I’d been attempt ing to battle through for an hour with a long soak

in the tub. (Just a side note here, I take a lot of baths. That is to make up for the FIVE YEARS I spent without access to a bathtub.

For some reason, I felt you needed to know that.)

And while I was soaking and trying not to think,

I related my experience with Mae tonight to that of the Father.

How He recognizes our cries and responds to them.

He doesn’t always comfort us in the same way, but rather He gives us what He knows will best help us in that particular situation.

Sometimes that need is just a friend to listen or cry to.

Sometimes it’s an encouraging verse or Scripture passage. Sometimes it’s an e-mail or note from a friend.

Sometimes it’s a hug. Sometimes it’s alone time to teach me that He is enough.

But He always comforts, reminding me that He is near, even if I don’t always feel His presence.

Just my little piece of wisdom for tonight.

:) Happy Friday!


Just Tonight

Ok, so if we’re being honest here

, the time I’ve spent with this blog has dwindled considerably in the last few weeks.Β Yes, there were a few things keeping me busy, but even so it’s become less of a priority.

I’m not sure how I feel about that.

It’s not like I’ve run out of words…HA! Like that will ever happen.

It’s just that I’d rather be doing other things…like chasing my daughter. Laughing with her. Hanging out with my hubby.

Running here and there, spending time with people (instead of a computer) and feeling like I have a life again.

I think, without completely realizing it at the time, when I started this blog, I was looking for a friend…you know, the kind you can pour your heart out to

? Yeah, that kind.

Things have changed since that day in January when the heart spilling began.

Now…there are friends.

There are places to be. There are things to do with my time. I’ve got an active daughter who loves to play and be read to and have her mommy close by.

I love that. And I’m really happy.

And I’m not questioning the whole 365 day blogging challenge. I really want to complete it, and I plan on it. But long, drawn-out thoughts might become more sporadic.

Pictures and little memories of my days might become more common.

And that’s ok. Because, really, those are the things that make up my life.

I love what my husband wrote on Monday…about how we’ve so clearly seen God at work during the past year through some of the toughest changes a family can face.

That encourages my heart so much and just makes me smile.

God has given so much, and I love to recall how He’s provided…in ways we never thought possible.

And God has provided friends, too…those who listen and love and will tell me what I need to hear. He’s also given me a few blogging friends, and I consider them just as much of a blessing.

Those people who are willing to read my thoughts and leave me a note or a say a prayer mean more than you will ever know.

Anyway, just my heart tonight. Feeling pretty thankful for those of you who are blessings in my life.

I need to crash.

One of my newest goals

? To get more sleep.

Yeah, one can try.

:) G’nite.



Miss, Mel, Becky

Today: a day with my best friends, Missy and Becky. I love these two.

We grew up together, therefore they know more embarrass ing

stories about me than you can possibly imagine. :) But we’ve also got more amazing memories together than you can possibly imagine.

Days with the three of us…don’t happen very often.

And when they do, we laugh and talk like we’ ve ne

ver been apart.

I love that about us.

Miles, sometimes thousands of them, have separated us; marriage and kids have made us busy; different lives have kept us going in opposite directions.

But we’ve never lost this friendship, and for that I am so incredibly thankful.

It’s forever.

I love you, girls!


Sneak Peek

Well, sort of…

Today Tobin, Maelie and I had an almost-90-degree family photo shoot. 2 1/2 hours + 3 outfit changes + 2 tired parents + 1 cranky, daisy-eating baby = some really stinkin’ cute photos, at least the ones I saw!

One of my best friends, Becky, takes amazing photos, and she offered to take our family pictures while we are in Iowa.

I haven’t seen the final ones yet, but what I did see? Awesome. I. Can’t. Wait.

Tobin snapped a few random shots of Maelie today, so here’s a tiny sneak peek of the cuteness that was abounding all over the place.


Maelie in the park

And a bonus.

We celebrated Mae’s first birthday with family tonight.

My sister-in-law, Dianne, cooked an amazing dinner, complete with Maelie’s very own birthday cake.

I don’t think my daughter has ever had that much sugar in one sitting, but she sure did enjoy it!

And we had fun watching her.


Maelie eating cake


Guest Post: This Day in History

One year ago today, I arrived at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, looking to greet my wife who I hadn’t seen for 43 days.

A year ago, I got to be amazed at how much bigger her pregnant belly had gotten in 6 weeks.

:) A year ago, we continued the most hectic period in our life to date, looking forward to facing coming transition, finally together.

Those of you who have read this blog for awhile know the story by now.

With Mel in the late stages of her pregnancy, she left Indonesia on April 24 to return to the US, while I stayed through June 5 to finish the school year and my responsibilities in Indonesia.

After she left, I packed up the house, sorting through what would go with me on the plane, what would be shipped home, and what would be sold (most of it). I remember being completely shocked at how quickly my days left “in the office” dwindled, and how much time I didn’t have as I w

as attempting to get things in order for those who would have my responsibilities after I was gone.

I took a day off during the last week of May to drive the dogs to Jakarta and ship them home ahead of time.

I helped the senior class organize their senior trip, chaperoned it over my last week in the country, then spoke at their graduation the day before I left.

Somewhere in there, I tried to say goodbyes, and pretty much failed miserably.

I specifically remember thinking that I couldn’t wait to get on the plane to leave the country, so that I’d be able to finally breathe.

And yet, I think between the two of us, I had it easier – those 6 weeks flew by for me. I don’t think I’ve really ever been able to express how proud I am of her, for doing what had to be done both in the process of leaving Indonesia, and dealing with the final stages of pregnancy on her own.

Or for doing what had to be done after that, because my arrival in the US was by no means the end of a crazy period of transition – it was only the end of going through it while separate.

Because while we were in the same situation, facing the same transition and some of the same questions, at least I had one thing that would be something I knew – a job. Neither one of us knew where we’d end up living, what church we’d end up attending – or if we’d find friends.

But just like my last weeks in Indonesia, at least I’d be busy – and a job provides built-in social interaction with other adults. For Mel, all of that was changing, and it wasn’t easy to leave behind the expectations we had of rebuilding a life in the Twin Cities.

I bring all that up for a couple reasons. One – it all happened a year ago today, and remembering all that happened then is something we’ve been doing quite a lot over the last few weeks. Two – because like so many other times in our life, we can look back at this time and be encouraged with what and how it all happened. It sounds trite, and I almost don’t even like bringing it up. But it’s a f

act of life that there will always be uncertainties, and things to worry about.

Remembering situations like the one we were going through a year ago affirms to me that it makes no sense to worry about anything coming up. God’s promises are true – He has proved them over and over to us, and it would be silly not to continue to rest easy, knowing He already has it all figured out.

Cross-posted at our personal site,

Counting Blessings

Just a few thoughts today.

We are headed to Iowa in a couple hours and will be gone til Wednesday…but I won’ t be gone from

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the blog. Promise. :)

I’m not gonna lie…it’s been a hard week.

It’s been busy…and a good kind of busy, but there have been some tough moments wrapped up in the week, too.

I’d much rather be running around than be stuck at home for days at a time, though…so it was good to have my mind occupied.

(Not sure how I survived winter…)

Anyway, today’s that kind of day where I need to count the blessings instead of the things that have kept me on the verge of tears for days. Isn’t it amazing how we just naturally tend to focus on all the bad stuff


So let’s look at some good.

And smile. Lots of smiling.

It’s good for the heart. :)

πŸ˜€ Rummage Sale. That’s one thing that kept me busy this week. Immanuel’s PTL (the parent association) had its annual rummage sale this past Thursday-Sunday.

I showed up to help out because there was no good reason to not go…I have more free time than most people, and because people = fun. (Even if I’m working!) It was fun to get out, do something for a good cause, and get to know some people better, too. (And I’m still pretty proud of the Jeep Stroller I managed to snag at the sale, too.


πŸ˜€ Park. Yay for warm weather and being outside! Maelie and I had a lot of fun with a bunch of friends on Thursday morning at the park. We both got a little pink… thankfully I put sunblock on her!

It was fun, though.

πŸ˜€ Pedicure. I’m throwing this one in here because it had been over a year since I’d had one. Therefore, completely justified. Even for this super-ticklish girl, there is almost no better way to spend an hour than to have someone ELSE make my toes pretty.

πŸ˜€ Random naps.

I have napped in the strangest places over the past few weeks.

I’ve taken a couple outside in the yard, one on the porch with my feet sticking up in the air…no idea HOW I managed that one, and just a few minutes ago I woke up from a power nap I accidentally took while blogging. And I never sleep sitting up, so I MUST be tired!

πŸ˜€ Music. I love it. I th ink you know that if you read this blog once

in awhile. πŸ˜‰ Listening to it, making it…it’s all good. We sang Glorious Day (Casting Crowns) this morning at church…I just love that song. It made my heart happy.

πŸ˜€ Road trips. Maybe. Honestly, I don’t love long trips, but sometimes they’re necessary. Like when a sweet former student is graduating or a sweet little girl is turning one and needs to celebrate. So I’m trying to be happy about the impending road trip we are beginning in just a couple of hours. We chose to leave in the evening hoping that Mae will sleep most of the trip and through the night. (The last two hours of the drive yesterday were kind of brutal. Earplugs, anyone?) Please pray for safety and for a happy little chica.

πŸ˜€ Golden retriever love. Oh, the exuberance these boys bring to my days. As often as I get annoyed by the constant love-in-my-face all the time, I love my dogs.

πŸ˜€ My sweet girl. I don’t give thanks for her enough…but I am thankful for her. Every. Single. Day.

πŸ˜€ My hard-working hubby. In any relationship, it’s easy to look at the negatives, but really, there’s a lot of good with us. I love him, even on the hard days.

Ok, I could keep going, but really…we leave in an hour, and I’m not done packing yet…for me or my girl. I’ll see ya next time…from Iowa!


Congratulations, Kayla!

Today I had the privilege of celebrating the high school graduation of a dear friend and former student, Kayla.

I am so, so thankful that we could make the trip…and it was worth it j ust for the look on her face when she saw

us and the happy-tears reunion that occurred.

:) God has given Kayla such a sensitive, caring heart, and she is open to whatever He has for her. I can’t wait to see what that is!

And here’s some fun…this first picture was taken the last time I saw her, in November, 2003.

She h ad been in town for

a few days and came over to my house to decorate cookies with me.

We had so much fun…and I had no idea that almost eight years would pass before we’d see each other again.

We won’t be letting that much time go by again.

Kayla 2003

And today. :)

Kayla 2011

Blessings to you, Kayla!

Lots of love.


Going Back

I’m going to forego Five Minute Friday this week and go a different direction.

Tomorrow is kind of a cool, not-sure-what-to-expect kind of day.

We’re driving up to Wisconsin Rapids tomorrow, my old stomping grounds from my very first year of teaching. I haven’t been back since the last day of school in 2002.

Yowsers, time flies!

My very first class is graduating from high school this year, and honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about that, other than very, very OLD!

One of the sweetest students I ever had

the privilege of teaching is graduating tomorrow, and she sent me an invitation to her ceremony and party.

Well, of course I have to go!

But I also have to admit that the butterflies are turning summersaults already.

I’m not used to going b ack to

a place.

Life has been a series of moves from place to place…and I never really “go back”. Other than for a visit a few days at a time.

And for some reason, this one seems strange because it’s been SO long.

There are so many people from this little slice of my life who meant so much to me. It makes me sad that I didn’ t do more

to stay in touch.

Regardless of that, I’m looking forward to having a few hours to celebrate a dear student and friend and to possibly catch up with a few old friends, too. And maybe prove to them that I eventually grew up…well, a little at least. :)

Tomorrow I get to “go back” to one of the many homes I’ve had. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m sure it will be wonderful.



Life and Coffee

It’s morning. Looking outside, I’m not sure the day can make up its mind.

It started off sunny, and I was outside in a tank top. Now I’m inside (and freezing!) with a sweatshirt on, watching the sky turn slightly gray.

We’re supposed to head to the park

this morning so we’re hoping that the semi-rainish-looking clouds will give way to some sun. That’d be nice.


I’m completely cheating on our coffee date this morning…I’m not even having Diet Coke.

I am having?


Not sure why other than it sounded good.

Perhaps I need help


If you popped over this morning, you’d find the house cluttered with random things that haven’t quite made it back to where they belong.

It’s been a busy

week, but it’s been good busy. I’ve missed being busy…it’s been a long year of not being busy.

Looking back at the year, though, I realize just how much God was there in my daily life even if I didn’t always recognize it.Β ‘Cause I am a people person and that’s where I thrive…when I’m surrounded by friends. And yet, I spent the good part of this year alone. I don’t say that to make you feel sorry for me…it was just how things were. And somehow God kept me from getting horribly depressed and feeling too lonely.

My daughter helped a lot with the loneliness…who can feel sad around a bubbly, funny, sweetheart of a girl like her

? She brings joy to even the dark, rainy, depressing, most alone days when there are no phone calls or texts or people around.

And God was good…giving me a few close friends to connect with, laugh with, be myself with.

I needed it.

Definitely so thankful.


So, we did go to the park.

(Sorry…took a bit of a break in the middle of our chat.) I am now sufficiently caffeinated (aka: drinking Diet Pepsi and trying to stay awake to finish this) and completely exhausted from a crazy long day.

Three hours in the sun + sunburn + lunch + three hour nap for Mae + short nap for Mel + pedicure + worship team practice = the last twelve hours. Kinda crazy day, but mostly fun.

And it was my first pedicure since Indonesia.

My toenails are cute again.

They even have little flowers painted on them. :)

And I’m fighting sleep, so as much as I want to stay awake and continue caffeinating myself so I can spill out my heart to you, I think my night is best spent sleeping, especially since I have to get up at six and have a long day tomorrow.

So, I wish you sweet dreams…and hopefully more of them than I will have in my six hours of dreamland.

Thanks for stopping by!


Little Faith

I’m blogging outside tonight.

It’s well after nine, and I’ ve been going most of the day without taking much time to sit down.

It’s a perfect night…not sweltering, not cold…just perfect.

And I’m sitting in just about the most perfect place, at least for tonight.

On my front porch, leaning up against one of the white posts. It’s comfy for now but ask me again in ten minutes.


And, I’m wishing.



Trusting…or trying to.

My heart aches as I stare out at the little I can see of

the houses in my view. I try to memorize every detail of this place.

Just in case.

Just in case this really isn’t home and just in case we really do have to pack up our things next month.

That hurts… more

than I can even explain.

I guess you could say that

the little faith I have is starting to crumble.

All the waiting and not knowing feels like it’s taking its toll on my heart. It frustrates me…and makes me wish I had so much more.

My husband has that faith, the kind that lets go and knows without a doubt that things will work out.

Things will work out.

Even if they’re not what I hope for, they’ll still work out.

And sometimes, I hate that.

Is it wrong to battle with God

? To pour out my heart so often and tell Him exactly what I want? At times, to beg and plead that He give exactly what I desire

? And be afraid that I might resent what He gives if it’s not what I would choose? These are all thoughts that have raced through my brain.

And, at times, made me feel guilty.

I know Who

I believe.

Today, that’s what the little faith I have in me clings to.

And today, that has to be enough.

Because He is enough.