Jon’s department…what a crew

365 Project: Day 77 I left my desk at 2 p.m. and ran upstairs as fast as I could, getting to the conference room just in time for the happy birthday song. Three days after Jon turned 51, his department had a party for him, and they invited me to come (…hence the existence of this photo). Back row: Heather Mascarenas, Steve Mize, Steve Dumire, Mark Baker, Jeff Litfin, and Jon & I Front row: Fred Barrett, Rich Rahn, Paul Wiele, and Martha Hultgren   Heather and Martha plan a little party whenever one of the guys has a birthday, and they bring some type of dessert and everything! Isn’t that sweet? I loved having the opportunity to connect with everyone again, and I was so happy to be invited. I don’t see most of them as often as I’d like to since I work on a different floor, and we’re just in different areas of the building, but anyway… We laughed, sang, talked, laughed some more, and had a big time for that 45 minutes or so, and then it was back to work for all of them—and back to work for me too. Jon is so blessed to work so closely with every one of these people. I’m blessed when he is blessed, and… have I mentioned that I really LOVE them all so much? The IT crew at LWCC and cfaith are the best. And they are super duper fun, which is, in my opinion, imperative in any workplace...

Read More

Muffins… & my Garmin!

365 Project: Day 75-76 On this particular day, Hannah asked me if I would make her some homemade pumpkin muffins. After a full week of being at the hospital with Anders (and other things coming up), I hadn’t made anything homemade in a week… not even dinner. :/ It was a tough week on all of us. So, on my lunch break, I was happy to oblige and make a batch. Day 75 Hey, doesn’t the bible say ‘you have not because you ask not’? Yes, it does… in James 4:2. Is there anything that you have want or need of in your life–big or small? Here’s your reminder to just ask. Ask God of course, but we know that God works and brings blessing to us through people, so if you need to ask a person, ASK them. People can’t read our minds. Hannah wouldn’t have gotten any muffins unless she asked me. I’m glad she did. *     *     *     *     *     *  Jon and I have never made a big deal about Valentine’s Day, and when I tell him don’t buy me flowers… jewelry… OR chocolate on Valentine’s Day, he KNOWS that I actually mean it. I have never put the kind of pressure on him that society seems to put on men on February 14th. He has pretty much the same views as I do anyway, so… it works for us. I’m not a scrooge about it, I just think there’s too much superfluous hullabaloo surrounding that day. Also, “gifts” are probably last on my love language list, so I guess as long as I love–and feel loved–in other ways throughout the year, the pressure is off. 🙂 So, you could imagine my surprise when I came home from work and Jon handed me this gift.   Day 76 He really surprised me with this. I have wanted this Garmin Forerunner sport watch (with GPS and heart rate monitor) for my running and marathon training, but was prepared to wait and save as long as I needed to, knowing how expensive it is. Jon is such an incredible supporter of the things I do, whether it’s running, writing, or whatever. I am so blessed. This watch is an amazing piece of equipment! It gives data for every run–things that I never even knew were possible. You connect it to your computer and upload your activity to the Garmin website, and it shows you every detail of your run, and then you can compile all your data and even run reports. I am very excited. Knowing what my pace, distance, and heart rate is at any given time while I’m out on the road will be so helpful in challenging myself and meeting my goals. Happy “LOVE” Day to my husband and thank you for always believing in me and helping me be the BEST me I can be. I love...

Read More

Of books, races & birthdays

365 Project: Days 72-74 My book club book this month was The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls. We all pretty much loved it. The dysfunction in the family was startling at times, which lent itself to great conversation when we met to talk about it. There was such resilience with the kids. It drew me in, and I felt like I was one of them–and so much a part of the story as I was reading it. It was a memoir that read like fiction to me. I would highly recommend this book. It was engaging from the get-go, written very well, and an easy read. There was some language, but because of the story and the dysfunction, I felt like it was contextual, and didn’t take anything away from the story. We had such a great time… great food (and chocolate), great friends, great books, great conversation, and lots of laughter. Some of the best things in life right there, that’s for sure! I love my book club. And my friends. And chocolate.  Day 72 Mental note: Unless you want to look like a doofus, don’t wear reflective gear in a picture with a flash. (And poor Savannah, I couldn’t fix her eyes well enough, so I left them alone. We can glow together, I guess. :))  Next up: The Help by Kathryn Stockett, which I read once already… and then The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. *     *     *     *     *     *  I ran a Valentine’s Day 5K at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis on the Saturday just before Valentine’s Day. It was a “fun run”, so it wasn’t even chip-timed. And oh my goodness, it was SO cold! I got a coffee mug and a cute pink t-shirt, so that made it funner. I also got to let everyone know whether I was “single”, “taken”, or “it’s complicated” with a sign on my back. I didn’t really want to participate in that, but I did. 🙂 …and in case you wondered, I made the right choice, being that I’m married and all. (see below)  Day 73 After my races, Jon and I have gotten in the fun habit of going to a new place for breakfast or lunch somewhere in the cities before we come home. This time we went to The Zumbro. At a new place, I always ask what their specialties are, or what some of their most ordered menu items are. Here’s my first-ever eggs benedict, after our waitress recommended it. Yummalicious! Day 73 Here’s Jon eating his eggs and such, not thrilled that I always take so many pictures of him since I started my 365 Project. I told him the only way I’ll take less is if we spend less time together. We both know that’s not going to happen, so he plays my silly game and musters up a smile as quickly as possible, mostly so I’ll put the camera down and eat my food. Day 73 We’ll be going back there. With my camera. We loved everything about it. The food, the service, the atmosphere… it’s a winner.  *     *     *     *     *     *  For the last couple years, we’ve been celebrating birthdays at home, since it gets so expensive to eat out with all four of the kids and their significant others. Sunday, February 12th was Jon’s 51st birthday, and with Anders just getting out of the hospital and Hans and Amy being out of town, we decided last minute to eat lunch out since everyone wouldn’t be able to be together until the following week. Jon wanted to go to Anchor Fish & Chips in northeast Minneapolis, a place we tried for the first time a couple months ago. It was fish & chips all the way around, except Hannah, who had their burger for the second time. Good stuff. This has become one of our FAVORITE restaurants.  Day 74 It was a good day. I think it was for Jon too. Very low-key and relaxing, just how he likes it. I made him his favorite cake… yellow cake with homemade chocolate frosting, and I got him exactly what he asked for, which was a specific camera bag that he prioritized as ‘highest’ on his Amazon wishlist. 🙂  Hannah got him a book he asked for about Minnesota’s historic bridges, with some great photography in it. Note to self: If ordering gifts by mail, make sure Jon isn’t home when they arrive on the doorstep. He joked all weekend before opening...

Read More

My green RAVioli

365 Project: Day 72 On my way to my book club last Friday, look what milestone I hit… at 70 miles an hour. No, I’m not talking about the seemingly empty gas tank. That was actually half full (…broken gas gauge :)). Check out the odometer. We bought our 2000 Toyota RAV4 brand new in the fall of 1999, so after 12+ years, 250,000 miles is quite an… um… accomplishment? Well, I don’t know if that’s the right word, but that’s a lot of miles, right? We’ve had this car so long that I was remembering that I still smoked when we got it, and I have even smoked in it. That seems crazy… like a LIFETIME ago! We lived in Stillwater when we bought it, and the girls were just sweet little 3- and 6-year old cutie pies at the time. Just thinking about buckling them up in the back seat brings back good memories. So many hours have been spent in this car as a family, as well as tons with just me and the kids going to and fro. Thousands of hours of conversations, laughter, prayer, listening to music, audiobooks, family road trips, to and from church each week, times of solitude to and from work, and lots of grocery shopping and Target trips. I never would have thought I could like a car this long, but I DO! I love it almost as much as the first day we got it. It’s a stick shift, and I absolutely love driving it. I get kind of bummed thinking that almost everything is an automatic nowadays, so I hope whenever we do need to get another vehicle, we’ll still be able to find a manual transmission somewhere. It’s the best little runner we’ve ever had, and in all these years, we’ve hardly had any problems with it (except the broken gas gauge and a couple other small things). If we could call inanimate objects like cars friends, and not be looked at like we’re a kook, I’d call my green RAVioli a good and trusted one. Here’s to many more years and many more miles! …and no car...

Read More

Anders, our comeback kid!

365 Project: Days 69-71 My 25-year old stepson, Anders (Jon’s youngest son), was in the ER and ICU this past week with complications from medications he’s been taking for ulcerative colitis. His body has been through so much since he was diagnosed about a year ago. This time, we almost lost him, and we thank God for how He watched over him, protected him, and saved his life. As soon as we heard what was happening on Tuesday, Jon and I immediately asked those closest to us to pray in agreement with us for Anders’ health and healing, and that he’d pull through this. This past fall, Anders lost 30-40 pounds in a couple month period, and ended up needing a blood transfusion after his hemoglobin levels were very low. According to the Mayo clinic, 13.5 is considered low for men. Anders’ levels were at a 6, and he was hospitalized and received three units (bags) of blood at that time. This past week, he had similar symptoms as last time, but without the weight loss. He was too weak to walk, stumbling into walls, fainting/passing out, dizziness, shortness of breath, etc. This time, it came on so fast–over a period of 5 days. He was still working on Friday and in ICU by Tuesday (February 7th). His hemoglobin was dangerously low. When he was admitted and put in ICU, his levels were 2.6! The doctor said that when your levels get below a 4, you are not only at risk of losing your life, but also of there being permanent damage done, which can dramatically alter your quality of life (if you do make it through). A very frightening situation to say the least. The blood doctor told us that in 15 years, he’s never seen someone with levels as low as Anders—and survive. Anders was lacking 80% of his blood, and his body was shutting down. He began having stroke symptoms in the ICU that first day, and thankfully, they were able to reverse/stop it. I get choked up every time I think about that. The doctor confirmed that Anders should not have survived, and we know it’s the power of prayer and a miraculous work of God that he did. The whole situation was so unbelievable.  First day in ICU. Smiles, some energy, and a ravenous appetite returned after the first bag or two of blood. Anders got a blood transfusion, and this time, he received SEVEN units (bags) of blood over the four days and three nights he was in the hospital, and a ton of antibiotics too. His body still isn’t making any white blood cells, so he has no immune system to fight off anything. They’re giving him a shot with E. Coli in it to try and stimulate white blood cell production, and they’re hopeful that this will speed that up. Second day in ICU. Tired of hospital food. Just wants to go home. We found out that this crash most likely occurred due to too high of a dosage of medication—for a period of 4 months, and not enough monitoring him along the way. In essence, overdosing and nearly killing him. The medication he’s on for the ulcerative colitis is like a chemotherapy/cancer drug, which suppresses the immune system and keeps the bone marrow from producing blood cells.   Second day in ICU. Jon saying goodbye and praying before we left. During all of this, he developed a heart murmur, as well as blurry vision and blind spots (due to hemorrhaging in his eyes), but these things have improved. They’re hopeful that these things will return to normal on their own. Praise God. And through it all, Anders maintained his wit and sense of humor the whole time he was in the hospital. We were amazed at that every day we visited him. He is so funny. He had us all laughing so hard sometimes. 🙂  Third day. Finally out of ICU and in a regular room. Allison helping Anders… and ready to be an RN ASAP. Didn’t get any pics of Hannah with Anders 🙁, but she was there too. Anders was able to go home on Friday, and will be very closely monitored from this point forward, as well as adjustments being made to his medications. We continue to standing on the truth of God’s Word and speak words of life and faith over Anders—spirit, soul, and body. We cover his life, his medical care, and every step from this point forward in the blood of Jesus, and we thank God for His promises. He is so faithful. We continue to pray for Anders’ protection...

Read More

A fun mish-mash

365 Project: Days 64-68 DAY 64… Here I am getting my hair cut and styled at Lavish Salon with Kaylee Graham. I always give her free reign to do what she thinks will look pretty, and I love knowing that I’ll always leave there feeling good about what she does. I never have to restyle it when I get home or anything. She even shows me new things that are in style—and how to do them! 🙂 I just love her. She’s the best stylist I’ve ever had. If you’re ever in the Champlin area, she really is amazing. *     *     * DAY 65… Here’s my daughter, Allison, with her second new (used) car. A cute car for a cute girl. 🙂  I’m really proud of her. She’s been moved out since the start of this school year, and she bought this car with cash – and all of her own money. She’s a hard worker. Jon and I pray God’s blessings overtake her everywhere she goes… everything she does… and this car WILL be a ginormous blessing in her life. *     *     *  DAY 66… Jon recently learned to like oatmeal. Better late than never, I say! Now he knows how to make a perfect batch of it. I invite him make it for me whenever he wants, since oatmeal is one of my favorite foods. I put a little milk, brown sugar, and some of our own maple syrup (from our maple trees) on it, and then on this particular day, I threw on a few blueberries before adding the milk. The blueberries weren’t the best addition to the rest, so I won’t do that part again, but OATMEAL… seriously, what a deeeeeelicious discovery. My life experience is greatly enhanced every time I eat this. *     *     * DAY 67… I don’t really know if Jon was faking this sad face or not, but after about 10 years, he threw his leather “everything shoes” in the TRASH. The side seams have been super-glued several times, and have definitely seen better days. Those shoes and Jon have been through a lot together… lots of vegetable and flower gardening, lawn-mowing, tree-planting, landscaping, oil-changing and car-fixing, car-washing, driveway-tarring, maple-syruping, bird-feeding, sprinkler system-fixing, brush-pile dumping, and so much more. Goodbye, Rockports… you were money well spent.        *     *     * DAY 68… Well, from haircuts to cars… to oatmeal and shoes. I guess there’s no smooth transition, but… look at this back-road beauty I get to look at every day out my car window, just a couple minutes from home. It’s so much prettier than taking the highway, don’t you think? Dirt roads and everything. Ahhhhhh… I sure do love the country.  *     *     *...

Read More
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterCheck Our Feed