Minnesota – Week 12

Quarterly Goals Review

Last NYE I set out to list some goals for all to see. So I’ve decided once per quarter I would grade myself and update everyone since I feel a bit accountable to you all! If you don’t remember my original post, or are late to the party, here it is… but for your sake, I’ve listed what I set out to do in 2014.

1.) If I say I’m going to pray for someone – doing it right away. A

So far this goal of mine is working like a charm! Of course I still slip up and forget to pray for people sometimes, but for the most part I quit whatever I’m doing if possible on the spot and pray for the situation/person immediately. Also for lent I’ve assigned forty people in my life for each day during lent, and have been praying for them. Today is for one of my friends in my small group.

2.) Get more organized A-

Not only am I now blogging on a more regular basis, I’ve officially gotten my E-Hoarding under control, and we’re making progress on our home organization as well. The Living Room, Kitchen and Bathroom are pretty well organized. Just ahead of getting our new puppy we went through some major organizing, and got rid of a lot of stuff, put it in storage, or just downright threw it away. Being organized feels so good! My mom always raised us to be “neat freaks” and I’m finally catching on! You’re welcome mom!

3.) Keep fit/eat healthy B okay a C

Meh… I’d give myself a solid B or C in this department. It seems that I go almost bi-polar in this department. Sometimes I’m eating very “clean” lots of real food, and good choice carbs, and working out consistently, and other times I get home from work, and want to munch on some pretzles, eat a bunch of “carbage” (bad for you carbs) and have a glass (or two) of wine and workout shmerkout.

I did purchase some kettelbells however, and have started running again! So far I’m doing okay in the running department. I started ALL the way over (stay tuned for a future blog post about that) so I’m walking and running currently.

4.) Sleep Better D-

I almost gave myself a complete F, but there was that one week or two that I was doing fantastic. But for whatever reason I just can’t make myself go to bed before midnight. I’ve been this way ever since I was a young girl, or so my mother has told me. I absolutely HATE going to bed… maybe i feel like I might miss out on something I don’t know… but I do know I’d be much more refreshed if I just set a bedtime and stuck to it. I would be healthier too… but as I’m learning about myself, I am SUPER surprisingly somewhat of an introvert, and I desperately need time to myself to decompress before I go to bed. My time to myself is usually between 10pm- midnight… Which is why I usually write at night! :-).

5.) Make more memories A

This is going well! We took our first solo family trip to California last month, and we as a family had an amazing time. We couldn’t have asked for better behavior from our daughter, and we had a great time ourselves.  We are still playing game night, although not quite as often as when I was off for nearly two weeks over Christmas break! We will continue however. We have a few camping trips planned, and Disney in the next year or two.

6.) Slow down A

I used to be go-go-go every night of the week, but in 2013 I radically changed this after desperately needing nights to myself. This is when I first discovered I might actually have a somewhat introverted personality. I cannot stand going out more than I am at home. To me, there is nothing better than coming home from a day at work, cooking for my family, watching the shows that I love, or writting, reading, and then eventually going to bed.  I learned to be a “no” person, instead of the “yes” person I always used to be. Not to say that I said No to every opportunity, because I am currently taking on a lot of volunteering at my daughters school, but this meant sometimes saying no to friends, or myself when I already had 3 or 4 other things going on that week.  The payout has been amazing.  Just spending a night at home vegging out, or allowing myself the opportunity to just sit on the deck in the summer and share a glass of wine with the neighbors was so needed! Finally I felt like I could breathe, and recharge. I can’t wait to see this in action for ALL of 2014.

7.) Don’t be afraid to try new things B

I have tried a few new things. Any time that I’m at a pot-luck I try something I never would have tried in the past. I just tell myself to not be afraid… I’ve found i’ve actually really liked certain things. While I like change I am at times scared to try new things. I’ve turned down a few things, but i”m progressing.

8.) Kayak Rice Creek n/a

Okay have you seen our ridiculous winter? Obviously this goal is not applicable at the moment… but once the melt happens…. I’ve actually gone into outlook and booked out three weekends that I will attempt to go! So unless there is a major family emergency, or the weather is unfavorable I WILL be going one of those three weekends.


So that’s my goal review in a nutshell. I will update you again next quarter, and let you know how I’m progressing. Thanks always for reading! Stay tuned for a new post on Running + , and my quest to start running again!

Be her friend


I am terrified. The day that I came home with my brand new baby swaddled tightly from the hospital I was terrified….and I think that it will get easier as  my child grows older, but it doesn’t really get easier, it just gets more terrifying. Instead of worrying about our child suddenly forgetting how to breathe in the middle of the night, we are now afraid that our child will be bullied on the playground, choke on food, get kidnapped by the ice cream truck man, get left out of the lunch table crowd, dress too provocatively, or take drugs at a party to be cool and the list just goes on and on and on.

I was too recently reminded of a friend of mine and her families story. Because it is her story I won’t go into too much detail, but her daughters boyfriend attended a party where other kids had this new “cool” synthetic drug.. and he and died tragically because of its effects. I don’t know that boys specific families story or how involved they were in their child’s life, but it makes me terrified that my daughter will want to be cool, and do whatever it takes to be in the “in” crowd.

I wonder how we are supposed to raise our daughters in this world where we can photoshop women’s bodies into unrealistic shapes, while having girls in their twenties make naked music videos while swinging on a giant ball, and having myriad synthetic drugs circulating at high school parties. I used to be terrified of normal things, but now I’m terrified of the friends she might make.

I know i”m jumping into the future… but as history is teaching me, the future is not so far off.

I know I’m about to  commit parental sin here, and go against the grain with  my  opinion and all, but I wanted to explore a new angle in parenting…Everybody knows the old, “I’m not your friend, I’m your parent” slogan…  To be really honest, that phrase has always really bothered me to the core for some reason. To me, you’re basically saying to your kid that a friend will let you do whatever you want… that a friend doesn’t have your best interests at heart, and has a selfish agenda of their own… and that a parents suck all of the “fun” out of life.

Now please do not mistake what I am trying to say here… a parent that lets their child do whatever they want because they are too tired to deal with poor behavior or wants to gain favor with their child is not what I am getting at. I am not giving parents carte blanche to give up at being a parent, but rather to encourage them to be a parent AND a friend. Most importantly to model what friendship behavior is all about.The last thing you want is rules that aren’t enforced, boundaries that are broken, and kids that are running wild right? But to continually tell our sons and and daughters, “I’m not your friend, i’m your parent” sends a broken message.

If we continuously teach our kids that you’re “Not their friend” (at least not between the ages of 5-18 then what are we saying about friendships in general?

According to Websters, a Friend is:
: a person who you like and enjoy being with
: a person who helps or supports someone or something

A parent is:
: one that begets or brings forth offspring
: a person who brings up and cares for another

Surely I fit both definitions, so by definition I AM my daughters friend too am I not? It is my absolute goal to teach my very impressionable daughter that friends do not simply let each other do what is popular, but rather a friend is someone to confine in… someone to hold you up when your world is falling apart, and someone to keep you accountable. Proverbs 24:26 says, ” An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship.” I challenge us to all to teach our daughters what real friend are…

I’m sure many of you have heard this quote before, and most people view that this is what friends are about….

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Proverbs, so full of wisdom teaches in verses 27:17, ” As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”, and Proverbs 18:24 says, ” There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” I think the psalmist David says this so perfectly. There are “friends” who destroy each other, and who don’t ultimately care about your eternal happiness. They want to live in the moment. Be popular… be cool…. sit in jail with you… but real friends stick closer than a brother. They look out for you. Look out for your best interests. A real friend stands up for what is right, and the path that you should go down. Real friends sharpen each other and warn you of dangerous waters… help you get out of sticky situations, and lead you towards your ideals… not away from them.

My point is – a friend is someone to hold each other up. A companion in life. I do not want to teach my child that her friends can lead her down a path that is away from how I’ve brought her up… but instead to find friends that will support her upbringing. I want to teach my daughter that friends are not the ones who lead you away from your morals,  and ideals but that they support you and your best interests. That friendship (especially between women)  is not ultimately about competition, but parallel lives… that we should be standing up for one another, and supporting one another.

I know many people will say, “haha good luck with this”, but really… I encourage you to look deep about what we are teaching  our children about friendship. As mothers, aren’t we the ones who are to model female behavior to our daughters?  Let us stand up and show our daughters what female friendship is all about. That it is about being strong in our faith, and our ideals, even if it isn’t always popular. Standing up for what you believe in, and not giving a damn about what other people think of you. Because the only opinion that is worth anything… is that of our heavenly father.


My daughter is young, and I am offering my opinion blind… as I do not have a tween or a teen going through the emotional baggage of that timeline in our lives, but I strongly feel that we as parents are their early role model.  In many cases, like it or not, we ARE their friend… so why do we have to officially wait until our children are in their twenties and thirties to be “their friend” and model good friendship behavior… Lets be their parent and their friend now… while it matters most.

Minnesota (er CA) – Week 10

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Just two weeks ago we came home from a much needed break in Carlsbad California, near San Diego. Jason and I hadn’t been to California (where we used to live) in 9 years so it was super fun to be back. Here’s a down and dirty of our 7 day Vacation with photos of course!

Saturday 2/22
We arrived in Sunny and warm California! Our flight over was good, and K thought flying was pretty fun. After we got up to our hotel in Carlsbad we walked across the ocean and walked along. K thought the ocean was pretty cool until she got knocked over by a wave, and then she determined the ocean was no longer “fun” , or safe to be in.

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K’s first time at the airport, and first time on the walkway.

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Sunday 2/23
We hopped in the car and drove east for three hours to visit one of my very best friends from the Navy who now resides in Arizona. We had a picnic lunch with her and her family and the kiddos got to play at the park while Shawna & I drank wine. [side note: did you know that you can buy wine at the grocery store on Sundays in CA?] We drove through some remarkable scenery, but it was nice to be back at our hotel after a long day of driving.

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Monday 2/24
We met up with our friend Lisa and her boyfriend Evan and headed down to SeaWorld. We all enjoyed looking at the animals, but K did not appreciate getting splashed by Shamu. (Probably didn’t help that the water was freezing!) Later we went out for dinner, and had steaks, lobsters and fish.

Kiri feeding the seals at SeaWorld

K feeding the seals at SeaWorld

Tuesday 2/25
Pool & beach day! We spent the day at the pool swimming in 66 degrees, and at the beach walking in the waves and enjoying fish tacos at the pier. Most of the locals had coats on, but we were hardy Minnesotans so 66 degrees felt like a great. I even managed to get sunburned pretty bad although we kept K covered in sunscreen. We met up later with my old boss from the Navy at a delicious Mexican restaurant. it was so fun to catch up.

At Oceanside Pier

As you can see we're the only ones in the pool!

As you can see we’re the only ones in the pool!

My favorite picture of Jason & Kiri.

My favorite picture of Jason & K.

Wednesday 2/26
Back in the car for a day at San Diego Zoo. It was so much fun seeing all of the animals that we don’t have in MN including Koala bears, elephants, and kangaroos. K did an exceptional job walking what we can only guess was 5-6 miles. After the zoo we ate at West Steak and Seafood in Carlsbad. Our appetizer was crab cakes which were to die for! For dinner I had West Australian Loster tail and a glass of Frank Family Vineyards Chardonnay. Jason had a 40 day aged house special steak, and K had fancy macaroni & cheese. She did exceptional at this obvious fancy restaurant, and we even had a stranger come up to our table to tell us that K was very well behaved.







Thursday 2/27
We met up with our friends Lisa & Evan again and had breakfast together in Oceanside. Sadly, it was time to say goodbye to them as they had to return for work in AZ. After breakfast Jason and I headed north to the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and drove through Laguna, Huntington Beach, and then just kept going north. We drove through the ghettos of Long Beach & LA and then found ourself in magnificent Malibu. (which is just south of where we used to live). We drove through the canyon and hung out at the mall I used to work at in Thousand Oaks California. We then had a 3.5 hour drive back to our hotel in Carlsbad.

Making a sand castle at the abandoned Huntington Beach.

Making a sand castle at the abandoned Huntington Beach.

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The PCH coming into Malibu.

Friday 2/28
Last day! We woke up to Typhoon like conditions so it wasn’t going to be a typical beach day, or outdoors day. We did stop and have breakfast at this cute cafe where I had the most delicious french toast! They made it out of Croissant rolls. It was to die for! After breakfast we drove around Carlsbad for a bit and stopped by another mall to walk around and beat the rain. After the mall we were heading back to the hotel when I asked Jason to drop me off down the beach (there was a break in the rain) and I walked along the beach while listening to some of my favorite songs (Oceans, Hillsong), and just prayed and stared out into the ocean that God made with his hands. It moved me to tears, but it was a cool moment.

Croissant french toast and a mimosa.

Croissant french toast and a mimosa.

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You call me out upon the waters…

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Sea kelp washed up on the beach from the storm.

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The beach which I walked upon.

Saturday 3/1
Sadly, our vacation came to an end… but waiting at home for us……

As of 3/14 – We have officially welcomed Niko into our home (just last night) and so far he’s doing great! Today he’s perked up quite a bit, and I think is starting to realize that we are his new pack. So far his “toy” is the cats tail. He grabbed it with his teeth and started playing tug of war with it until Kip bopped him in the head… and then he sat right in front of Niko waiving his tail in his face watching out of the corner of his eye.

We put him in the kennel a few times before “bed time”, and he howled. It was cute because we were still awake… but soon it was bedtime. Jason has the big kennel sectioned off and next to his side of the bed, so he slept sideways, and half off the bed with his hand by the kennel to reassure Niko. He actually did pretty good. We had our alarm set for every three hours to wake up and let him out. So far he’s only had two accidents in the house, and the rest have been outside. GO NIKO!

We plan to socialize today with some friends and reminisce over our trips (they were in Mexico). Jason’s brother Miah is bringing his Olde English Bulldog, and Boston Terrier to play. The three males in our larger pack getting together. We will have them meet in small doses. But I think they will get along great.



Down & Dirty Updates:
Miss K is doing exceptional at school. She is now reading small sentences with ease, and is doing exceptional at other subjects as well.

Me: I am the proud new owner of Kettelbells! Post vacation I’ve had absolutely ZERO desire to go to the gym. So this is something nice I can do at home, and will hopefully start running outside again. I have a few triathlons planned for this summer including a 5K I would love a good time at.

Jason: He has been busy building two beautiful permanent gates for the dogs at our house. Work is going well for him, and he’s been working in town since October which is such a huge blessing to us.

Minnesota – Week 9

Meet Niko {PupDate}


So as many of you know we lost our very sweet Eli last September. Its taken me until very recently to even talk about what happened. I can’t quite describe the grief I felt with loosing Eli.

Last September he had gotten sick, and after Web Md’ing him… I was convinced it was an obstruction. I had brought him to the vet who didn’t think that was the case. After probing him numerous times, he said no… he had just gotten into something. Well… a week went by and he didn’t get any better. The following Friday was the worst day of my life…. he was in septic shock when we woke up, we rushed him to the vet and were going to surgery but we were too late. He instead died a tragic death.

I completely blame the vet… but we’ve decided not to push legally on them. Sadly I learned a valuable lesson now that if you feel that something is wrong… Even if you are not “professional”, to trust your gut!

I haven’t cried so hard about anything… but loosing Eli… was something I can’t even describe in words. That kind of pain, and loss that we went through – are still going through….

Fast forward a few months later – Eli’s mama became pregnant again with a new litter (and a new dad)… and had his beautiful half brother Niko! (knee-coh). The day we picked him out {last Sunday} I fell absolutely in LOVE with him! I absolutely cannot wait to bring him home next weekend!

Socializing will be a bit more interesting since we still have 90 inches of snow on the ground, but I plan to bring him to the pet store as soon as he is all up to date on his shots, and i’ve heard rumors that the Home Depot will let you bring a pup in the cart with you…. so I plan to roam the aisles with Niko in the cart. Stay tuned for pictures of that!!!

As soon as its warm enough, you can bet your bottom dollar we will be down at Lake Calhoun, and Lake Harriet, and Market Fest in WBL…. and any parade near us we can find! 🙂 I am so looking forward to Niko’s arrival, and while he will never ever replace Eli, he has already won a special place in our hearts!