February 3rd

Sunday, February 3rd, 2019

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

A group of us got together to watch the game, and it’s always a good time. While the game wasn’t all that captivating (although I admit it didn’t help that none of us cared who won), we enjoyed the commercials. Especially the NFL’s commercial!

Brooklyn also kept us all entertained and provided many deep belly laughs. All the way up until jammies were donned and Uncle Paul’s hug provided the perfect snuggle spot.

January 17th

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

She just makes me smile.

It’s always an awesome thing when our schedules line up, and we can spend time with friends. Cody, Dana, and Brooklyn were all home today, so we went over to spend the day with them.

If you follow my blog, you know that I got a KitchenAid stand mixer for Christmas. At the time it was purchased, there was also a rebate program going on where you could get a free attachment, and with our mixer our options were either a spiralizer or ice cream maker. We already have a good Pampered Chef Peeler/Corer/Slicer, so we opted for the ice cream maker. Well, it finally came in the mail yesterday, so we brought it along today so we could play with it and make an afternoon treat.

We made homemade chocolate ice cream batter (pictured), and Brooklyn helped with every step.

Her face in this picture pretty much sums up how excited we all were to give this thing a try. 🙂

And folks, it was SO GOOD.

It’s definitely a process, but it was worth it!

November 7th

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

The bonus of babysitting in the morning?

Having a pajama party! (AKA Not getting out of your PJ’s until lunchtime 😉 )

My mom had saved all of our things from when me and my sisters were kids, and she was willing to start pulling some of that out for when Brooklyn comes to visit. Puzzles, a little kitchen, shopping cart, a cozy coup, a scooter, dollhouse, etc etc. It just kept coming!

It was safe to say we had plenty to play with this morning, and it was great.

I think Paul and Brooklyn worked on puzzles for over an hour together.

August 22nd

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

For me, it always seems as though summer is over when the state fair starts.

So, since the state fair starts tomorrow, I can easily say that this was the most memorable last day of summer I’ve had.

Our friends Cody and Dana leased a plane through our local municipal airport this summer, and we got to go up last night! We’d been talking about it all summer, but it finally worked out for us to go. The weather was absolutely perfect!

Both Cody and Paul are commercial airline pilots, and while they’ve been able to fly together at work, it was fun for them to fly this little Cessna together tonight. Although tonight, Cody was sitting left seat, and Paul took a seat in the right. (The captain always sits left seat, so at work, they normally sit the opposite way).

I expected to be nervous (because really, when am I not), but we took off, and I didn’t get butterflies once. It was such a smooth flight, and I had nothing to worry about with two commercial pilots at the controls. I had a ton of fun.

About 500-750 feet off the ground, it’s easy to follow familiar roadways and recognize houses and farms. So when I saw we were heading east over Beebee Lake, then over Hanover, I figured we were going to fly over the farm.

I had never done that, and it was SO FUN!

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And here’s an aerial view of our house (right smack dab in the middle of the image):

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When we landed back at the airport, Dana and Brooklyn hopped in with us to taxi back to the hanger. Brooklyn enjoyed the ride!

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July 11th

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

This girl, I tell you what.

I went over to Cody and Dana’s this afternoon for a pool party with one of my favorite gal pals.

When Brooklyn got up from her nap, it hadn’t really started to heat up yet, so we went down to the barn to check out the horses, tree farm, and the growing chickens.

I love photographing Brooklyn. Whenever I plan to go over there for the day, I always know who my photo of the day is going to be of. 😉

I think why I love photographing her so much is because she isn’t shy with me. She does her own thing, goes about life just like any other day, so I get the chance to play with a more photojournalistic feel to my images.

Follow an almost-toddler around, and you get a lot of opportunity for authentic moments.

That’s what happened here. Dana and I followed Brooklyn into the barn, and while I fully expected to have an image of Brooklyn with her 40 chickens on the blog today, I just loved this one of her and the mama kitty barn cat.

A farm girl life. Surrounded by farm items that would make a lot of parents nervous, but it’s truly just a regular day in the life. A girl who plays with water buckets next to a pitch fork. Who loves to stand on the fence and watch the cows and the horses, who snuggles her kitty, and talks to her chickens. Unplugged, no iPad in sight.

I love this way of life, and I love that we have friends who feel the same way.

April 20th

Friday, April 20th, 2018

Remember a week ago when I was focusing on being thankful? Today was such a good reminder of how good He is.

Paul and I are so incredibly lucky to call these two our friends. Some of our very best friends, actually. Our schedules worked out that we got to spend this wonderful spring day together.

If you follow my blog, you’ve met Brooklyn, Cody and Dana’s daughter. Paul and I love her to pieces. You also know that I love photographing her; she’s full of life and joy. A kind, helping heart as well. Here’s the thing though – she didn’t learn that on her own. She’s had excellent examples through Cody and Dana.

Today I had my back to them, as I was busy photographing Brooklyn playing in the dirt, and when I turned around, I caught this of them dancing together before they saw me taking their picture. I doubt they knew they’d be on my blog today, but I couldn’t help but share. Aren’t these two beautiful together? An incredible example of a marriage that serves, loves, is jubilant, is thankful.

They are the same in their friendships; add in loyal, encouraging, and authentic and you just touch the surface of how great of friends they are.

A challenge for you today – in the spirit of thanksgiving, reach out and thank those people that bring you joy, encouragement, or enrich your life. Let’s feed one another, let’s fill those cups.

Dana, I know you’ll be reading this – we love you guys!

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March 22nd

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Sometimes, there are some big pluses to not working a standard 9-5 schedule.

With a 9-5 schedule, yes, you can plan vacation, yes, you are home every night, yes, your schedule is predictable.

However, working a 9-5 schedule doesn’t allow you to go hang out with friends on a Thursday.

The second plus? When some of your best friends have the same career, they too can be home on a Thursday.

So today, Paul and I went over and spent the afternoon with Cody, Dana, and Brooklyn. We had coffee, ate pizza, made forts, belly flopped on giant pillows, blew bubbles, checked on the cows in the Ranger (see below), and went for a walk in the woods. And laughed. A lot.

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As a society, we tend to live life like busyness is a badge of honor. That when someone asks you “What have you been up to?” and you don’t have a list of items that validate our existence, that we’ve somehow failed. The more I address that, along with my journey with anxiety, the more I dig into the word and the more I get to know life through Christ, I am learning that peace and satisfaction isn’t found there, in the chaos, in the race. It’s found in the everyday moments, memories, and laughs. That joy is found in the details, in the quiet. Contentment is found in relationships, in people.

Today was great proof of that.

March 2nd

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Oh, this sweet peanut.

Don’t let this coy little smile fool you though – she’s a spitfire. One with a huge heart, and a fierce independent confidence. A joyful helpmate who embraces her adventurous spirit.

And she’s only 15 months old, people.

This girl insists on helping mom clean up the floor after she’s done eating, happily shares her food, toys, and other precious items with you (and actually gets upset when you refuse), is an animal lover extraordinaire (a girl after my own heart), thinks my kisses are funny (she’d pucker her lips, I’d go in for a kiss, and she’d laugh at me – prankster!), and goes down the sledding hill backwards (with her hands in the air).

She also gives the best hugs. I know because I got six of them today!

Between her and her mama, my cup was filled to overflowing today. To have friends like them are priceless, and my life would not be as full of joy without them in it.

Just for fun, here are some other favorites I grabbed today. I love the sequence of three – a girl on a mission! And the last one with her chompers showing and that pointed finger…I’m basically a puddle at my desk right now.

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January 8th

Monday, January 8th, 2018

I love this little peanut.

I don’t say that lightly. She is all that is sugar and sunshine, and is so precious. She loves to laugh (and to make you laugh!), she’s polite (“please!” is her new favorite word), and loves to share.

And she’s only one year old!

I watched her help her mama clean the floor after lunch, all on her own. She insisted on sharing her popsicle with me even though she was the one teething and sore. I got a huge goofy grin when I walked in today, she blew me a kiss as she left for her afternoon nap, and I got a big hug when I left (cue heart squeeze!!).

Smitten would be the word I’d use. Definitely smitten.

The big adventure today was sledding, as the temperature finally got above freezing. Brooklyn got this cute little sled for her birthday, and it’s the perfect fit. She LOVES it!

Her face is serious, but don’t let that fool you. She’d get down to the bottom and she’d already be saying “Please! Please!” so down she’d go again. The sled would slowly spin around and she’d be going backwards – no fear. She loved it! We started saying “Woo hoo!” and she started putting her hands in the air on her way down.

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In this picture I asked her to wave at me and she did her best under her snow suit 🙂

December 16th

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

It’s hard to believe that this sweet peanut is ONE today!

One year ago Paul and I hopped a plane to Denver waiting to hear if the baby we’d all been waiting for a boy or a girl. I had had a dream that the baby would be a boy, so I was set on thinking I’d be buying blue onesies, but when we landed and got to the hospital – surprise! A beautiful baby girl.

To watch two wonderful friends fall in love, get married, have a baby, and now to celebrate their baby’s first birthday has been such a special treat. The love they all have for one another is paramount, and even throughout many moves and many new homes they remain such a beautiful unit. I’m a little biased, but I’m glad they’ve landed back in Minnesota 🙂

Tonight we belly laughed as we watched Brooklyn’s fascination with her ability to blow (adorable) spit bubbles, awwww’d as she opened a new doll of which she kissed before it was fully out of the bag, and giggled as she carried her new winter mittens around like a fashion statement.

When the cake was set down in front of her, the phones came out as we all thought she’d exuberantly dive in (in cute one year old fashion). But instead,  she methodically grabbed small handfuls and took her time. What will that say about her as she and her personality grows? 🙂

Happy first birthday Brooklyn! We love you!

September 5th

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

They’re back in Minnesota!

Remember sweet Brooklyn?

Her, her mom and dad just moved back to Minnesota from Colorado, and we’re excited to have them back!

Cody is at training in Salt Lake City for his new job  – the same one as Paul – so we invited Dana and Brooklyn over for supper. At almost nine months old, Brooklyn’s crawling like a pro and is wanting to walk! She was pulling up on everything and as long as someone was there to hold onto, she would happily walk laps. And talk about a happy girl! She warmed up to Paul and me right away.

We’re excited that they’re back!