Thursday, July 31, 2008


This morning I got to watch this cutie patootie... Isn't she so precious? Juliana. Or as Evan calls her, U-ye-yanna. All 10 months of her! She is so sweet, so innocent, always smiling, has the cutest baby babble. Her parents are our dear friends Chad & Mel.
Here is another picture of her that her Mom took just because you have to see that smile...

then there is this child... Oh sure he looks all tough guy with the car tattoo, badaids for his injuries from all his wild adventures, no shirt. Don't let him fool you. It became quickly apparent that Evan has some jealousy issues. I realized this morning that it's going to be very interesting when this new little one arrives. Evan loves to cuddle and love on me, and he didn't really care for all the attention Juliana was getting. He was very protective of all his things too. His blanket, his toys...his food. Oh Evan, what are we going to do sweet boy, what ever are we going to do with you?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

a little a long post.

downtown :Minneapolis, Minnesota. 7.19.2008

We've all been through slumps in our spiritual walk, but recently I've felt the need to want and desire so much more than just to simply realize that I'm in a slump trying to get out of it on my own and trying to be more consistent in my daily devotions for a little while.
When I was at the Beth Moore conference a few weekends ago she mentioned how much we put on these fronts of who we are. We need to stop pretending. Tell people; " You know what I'm really only about 40% of what you think I am. There is a whole lot in my life that I'm too ashamed and embarrassed to reveal."
There is a lot of truth to that. Especially among women. We are tough critics, can be quick to judge, can be concerned what others will think of us, and although we are selfless in many ways to our family, friends, husbands, and children we also can be very selfish.
I think I'm guilty of being too envious of others. Their homes, their lives, their families, whatever. That woman has it together, she loves Jesus, has great kids, adorable taste, whatever, whatever. I care too much about that stuff rather than focusing on Christ.
I sometimes wonder if I'm giving readers to my blog the wrong impression of me. That I have it all together, my life is pretty well in order and whatever else. I know nobody thinks I'm perfect, but I certainly hope nobody thinks I have it somewhat figured out.

Because I don't.

I guess what I'm saying is, I hope to challenge myself more into being more honest with my struggles day to day, and that you ( my dear blogger sisters, family, and even blurkers) might be able to encourage me and point me to Christ.
Hebrews 10:24 challenges us to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
I think so often I become so consumed with myself, my home, my family, my looks, whatever it may be that I'm missing out on loving one another.
I've been realizing more and more the need for me take time from my own concerns to pray with my sister in Christ, to walk with her the way of the cross--with patience, selflessness, love and kindness. To encourage one another in the mundane of each week, how to keep a quiet heart that yearns for Christ and godliness.

I've been feeling really burdened lately about the kind of friend I am. The kind of friend I'm to my husband, to my family, and to my friends. That I've been a bad friend recently and well, always.
It's hard to narrow all of my feelings down, but when it comes down to it I just feel like I really don't know how to love people. Sure I care and show concern but I feel like I talk to much, overrule conversations with my obnoxiousness, and don't listen well enough or long enough. I want to be a person that my sisters in Christ (and my husband and family) know they can:

1. trust
2. depend on
3. count on to REALLY listen
4. (and most importantly) point them towards Christ and his word.

While I know these past few years Christ has really woken me up to the reality of life, and he has taught me so much, I've also been realizing how much more I have to learn.
God has been trying to get my attention focused on him.
It's hard for me to describe but I've been feeling really lazy. Yes, our days our full, we do have some sort of schedule we go be each day but I see that something is missing. I spend too much time at Target and the grocery store and not enough time in the word or even just at home.
While shopping is not bad in itself, it can be. It has become so for me. I'm an impulse spender and our finances have suffered because of it. Like many couples, it has been the biggest source of conflict in our marriage. Justin and I think very differently about money, and I've been too proud to admit my poor money management skills.
Yesterday, I talked at length with my best friend since birth, my cousin Nicole.
She and I have been experiencing a lot of the same feelings. We grew up very similarly, our Mom's have been very close (especially in recent years) and we have a good understanding of each other since we have known each other for so long.
She has been rising before her son and husband (if he hasn't left for work yet) to be alone with God and his word.
I soon realized this was something I desperately needed in my life.
Let me tell you that first of all I'm NOT a morning person. Since Justin and I've been married we've loved sleeping in. When we first married we had crazy schedules because we were both still in school. We spent a lot of time sleeping in. Today Justin has to get up really early for work but usually sleeps in on Fridays and Saturdays when he doesn't work. Our boys sleep until 8 or so each morning and I've gotten into the habit of just getting up when they do.
Today I set my alarm for 7:30 am. I got up headed downstairs and filled my coffee cup. I sat down to the word and heard pitter-patter down the stairs. Maxwell was up exceptionally early for him, but I didn't let it deter me. I got him a quick breakfast , drink and had him lay on the couch and promise to be quiet. He was wonderful. Evan slept until a beautiful 9:30 of which I had the time to read in the word, go over some studies I had recently been in, and spend a good amount of time in prayer and thought. I even had time to get dressed and ready for the day before he started calling out for me.

It was a glorious morning.

While I don't feel like anything super profound was revealed to me, and I know that often my time in the word may seem like I'm not getting anywhere or growing in leaps and bounds. That is to be expected. But, I want to remain diligent, and close to Christ, clinging to the cross with my eyes focused on him.
I ask you to pray for me as I learn to discipline myself with waking up each morning (hopefully earlier as time goes on) to meditate and focus on Christ, reflect on him, and glorify him as I begin my day.

I hope this all sort of makes some sense, it's what has been on my heart and on my mind lately. I know there is more, and I could go on but I'll stop for now. Thanks for listening. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

something profound for Monday.


I'd like to say something really great a encouraging to you today, but I really want to share my heart with you this week. So, I'm working on a post.
People said you can't really know someone through a blog. That people come across different than they are. I have to say though, that when we moved my dear friends Bethany, Danielle, Ashleigh, and Beth were all there for me as an encouragement as I learned to settle into our new home and city. I've never met any of them, but I love to call them my dear friends. I hope one day to meet them all in person.
To date, I've only met one blog mom friend. Megan. It was better than I could have hoped for. She is the sweetest person, loves Jesus, and has great style. Not to mention she has four children under 6! I loved meeting her and I hope that our friendship continues to grow over the years and that we see each other again soon!
I know to those non-bloggers out there, many of them think I've invented a new form of crazy, having these relationships with women I've never met but I love it. I really do. I never thought I would be
"that" kind of person. But I am...and I don't care. :)
Anyway, I could go on but you'll hear from me more later.
Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

to completely steal her term (thanks Kim)...Brinner is served.

Ever since I saw Kim's post on Brinner, I haven't been able to get it off my mind. My husband Justin, who happens to be a breakfast for dinner kinda guy was thrilled. It was pretty yummy. So thank you to Kim for her great casserole recipe. I was going to try out the cinnamon rolls too, but Pilsbury won that battle. Let's face it, Kim is supermom!

Monday, July 21, 2008

the weekend.

anne and megan. 7.19.2008
What an INCREDIBLE weekend. I feel like I can't even explain it well enough to do it justice. It went so fast, and when I got home I could've collapsed in my bed.

It all started off well at 5am on Friday morning...or so I thought.
I made my gate just time to board and off we went to Atlanta. I had about an hour layover. I had a coffee and called my parents (who were on their way to O'hare to fly to Mongolia for a missions trip) and just before we were about to board I used to restroom. We soon board the plane and I reach into my purse to shut off my cell phone. Gone. I searched three times and then asked the stewardess if I could get off the plane to look in the restroom I had just been in. I shuffle off, annoying everyone who was trying to get on and run to the restroom. It's gone. I ask a dice. I head back to the plane and they've shut the door. Luckily they let me back on since they had not shut the plane door. We arrive in Cincinnati, and nobody is helpful. Finally I find a payphone, does anyone know how to use those things? I call Justin but he can't hear me...but he is smart enough to call me back and tell me someone found my phone, called my Dad, and they will send the phone back on Monday when they get home from their weekend. I start bawling...hey, I'm hormonal and pregnant.

I get a latte and feel much better. Starbucks IS an experience, I don't care what you say. I get on my plane and soon we are touching down in Minneapolis. I find my way to the light rail and head downtown. Reminder I have no phone, and I'm trying to meet my brother Alec at his office building of which I vaguely know the description of. I get off at my stop and head down the street. I see a Caribou Coffee and get an iced coffee, (coffee #2 of the day) and ask if I can use their phone after explaining my situation. No go. It won't dial long distance and my Alec's cell is a Wisconsin number. I ask if I can please use one of their cell phones, promising to keep it under a minute. Finally we find each other and head up to his office. Sweet relief.
I call Justin to let him know I've arrived. I then call Megan to see when she is getting to town. Mind you we've never met before. When he picked up her phone she would've have sounded more sweet. We finally agreed we'd meet at the hotel, since it was too hard to try and figure out how she could meet me downtown.
Alec and I took the light rail to his house where we went to a local coffee joint (coffee #3) and then headed to the hotel. As I knocked on the door I got really nervous. That I wouldn't be cool enough for Megan and her college friends. I walk in to three smiling faces. Megan, Janna, and Trina couldn't have been more sweet. I love them all. :) Of course I already felt deeply connected to Megan via blogging. Justin was relieved she wasn't a man. :)
We headed down the the Target Center to see Miss Beth, ate a quick but scrumptious dinner and headed into the area with lots of estrogen! The night was amazing. The worship...indescribable. All these women together worshiping the Lord! Miss Beth spoke on Hebrews 12...I LOVE Hebrews and what I love most about her (besides her southern accent and great sense of humor) is that she brings it back to the word. Her message was so truth based, in scripture and right on. SO good.
Afterwards we walked around a bit trying to find something besides a bar, and ended up back at the hotel where the four of us talked until...well I think I fell asleep mid-conversation. :) Sorry guys.
Bright and early we got all cute and headed to breakfast. We guzzled down our coffee and were soon all cozy in our seats waiting for the last two sessions of our conference to begin. (Oh yeah and as a side note, Sara Groves was there!!! I so love her. She didn't sing which was a bummer but still!)
The last two sessions were as refreshing as the first. I learned so much and I wish I could tell you all about it. It would be like the worlds longest post. So instead, I recommend you go see Miss Beth, cuz, SHE ROCKS! The whole conference was well put together, the praise team so good, but they weren't all flashy, and there was no huge introduction for Beth as she came out to speak. You know everyone would've cheered and cheered for her, but it was all about Christ, as it should be.
After we left, I think we were all a little stunned. It went so fast, and we had so much information to work through. We headed for lunch and shopping. It began to pour near the end of our trip but we still had a blast.
Soon Megan was dropping me off at Starbucks (where else?) to meet Alec so we could hang and I was going to stay with him and my brother Carl that night. I couldn't believe our time together was over! What a bummer. We hugged twice! I love you Megan!
Alec and I grabbed a coffee and headed to the Mall of America to meet his girlfriend who was going on break from her job at Nordstroms. His girlfriend Jennie rocks. She is so sweet, easy to talk to, and so cute. I love her. Alec needs to keep this one (hint, hint ALEC!). If you've never been to the Mall of America, don't go. I hate that place. It is too big, it just overwhelms and annoys me. It's really not all it's cracked up to be. Just my opinion though. I mean they don't even have an Antrhopologie (aka. the only store I care about)!
IKEA however, is right across the street so we headed there. I wanted to look at a few things for our upcoming trip there (ahem, Justin), but I also bought a lamp (that Alec claimed looked like a bong) and some fabric (so cute and $1.99 a yard!). The funny thing was I ran into Megan (and her friends plus another who lived in the city) again! That was awesome, one more goodbye.
We headed back to Alec's place to pick up Carl and head to dinner at a local Pizza place. It was good pizza, and afterwards we went to Dunn Brothers Coffee and sat outside chatting for awhile. It was fun to hang out with my brothers, we hardly get the chance to do so nowadays. After that we went home and I collapsed into bed since I had to be at the airport at 5am.
5am came SO fast and soon I was through security heading to grab a little something for me and baby to eat. I search my purse and it's not there. I sit down and look through it three more times.Where is it? I had my license still but no wallet! I ran back to security and they had not found it, the TSA guy even went back to the ticket counter where I had checked in to see if it was there. It was nowhere. I went to the bathroom and went through my carry-on and my purse taking it all apart through tears. It was gone.
I finally had to head to my gate and soon we boarded and were off to Detroit. When we arrived in Detroit I called my banks 800 number to cancel my card, which nobody (thankfully) tried to use. I went to a Caribou and begged a girl for a cup of coffee and she gladly gave me one after hearing my sob story. She was so sweet. I headed to my gate and read for three hours, getting hungrier by each passing minute. Soon it was time to board and just as I was about to board the announcement came and people were coming back out of the terminal! There was a mechanical problem and who knew when it would be figured out. Great. About ten minutes later they had found an extra plane lying around and our gate was switched and about half an hour later we were taking off. I arrived home a half hour late and as soon as I laid my eyes on my husband I burst into tears. He got me some lunch on the way home, we ate, I loved on my boys and my man and then I slept. Justin was so good to watch the boys all weekend (in which I found out Evan took all of his clothes off did a #1 and #2 on their train table and smeared it with his hands. Nice. ) and then to let me come home and nap.(on our anniversary I might add).
After we put the boys to bed, we had a nice night together chatting and laughing. I love that we can laugh so much. Justin claims I will never live down losing everything this weekend. He's never going to let it go, and he said for the next trip he is getting me a belt that I can attach all my important thins too. Heehee Just, your so funny.
All in all, it was an amazing weekend and I was thankful for the mini-vacation, a chance to hear a study from Miss Beth , meet Megan and visit my brothers. Most of all I'm thankful for the work Christ is continuing to do in me.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

6 years.

Today Justin and I celebrate 6 years of marriage. He picked me up from the airport today and when I saw him, my heart skipped a beat. I love my man. We have been through a lot in our short six years of marriage, but there is no-one else in the world I would rather be with. I can honestly say I love him more than ever. In the words of John Piper;
"Marriage exists most ultimately to display the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church."
What an awesome thing.
Happy Anniversary Babe. I love you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

this weekend.

So. Guess what?!!! This weekend I'm going to see Miss Beth, meeting Megan, and visiting 2 of my 3 brothers.
All in one weekend!
I leave tommorow (SUPER in 5 am) and have 2, YES, 2 layovers. I supposed to get in around 1:30, I just hope I get there at a decent time and before the conference starts that evening!
I'm going to miss my boys like crazy but I hope God uses this conference and my time away to bring me closer to him!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

because you asked( CHAD!) is: the blue room.

So I know y'all have been dying to see "the blue room"...formerly known as "the green room". Ok, so most people who cared have seen it in person now, and for the rest of yous (yes, yous is a Dad says it so it must be so) you know you wanted to see it. It'll be nice to look at when I'm old and grey and want to look at old house photos.
I had no clue how we were going to use the space as we had more space than ever before. I liked the color alright, but I still wanted to change it.
Ok, Iknow, you really have no idea what this room looks like, but I don't have any others. I didn't take a "before picture. Stupid me. The room had books stacked up against one wall, the easel, and the boys train table. It was dull and boring.


Like my crooked pillows? Just keeping it real people. Let me tell you about those pillows, found them at Pier One last summer for $1.99 each. I was pumped. Also see those green chairs. So cute right? Well, let me tell you, when we lived in Madison the OshKosh B'Gosh store we had went out of business and was selling everything including the fixtures and things in the store. The chairs (which are PB kids I might add) were $10 a piece! They are normally like $50, what a steal. I should've bought all of them.

This is really the only room that stays semi- clean on a regular basis. There are some toys on the floor too, but they are by my feet...oh wait, there is an ambulance under the ottoman. See.

Whoa. That train table is clean...and boring. It just so happens that last night Evan decided to dump a whole bottle of juice on the table. You know what? I just rememembered that normally we have a rug that I got on clearance too from Target that goes under the table. It was attacked by the juice... it'll be back later. It was from that awesome global market section. Woot-woot for Target!
So it is our play (toys in the grey bins)/craft(in the white and brown boxes)/library room.
Got all that?

Monday, July 14, 2008

"So we as pastors would exhort you all to flee covetousness. Topple all your idols. “Count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.” Be in the word every day. But also find those who live this way and “keep your eyes on them.” What you will see, if you look carefully, is the power and the beauty of Christ. This sight will satisfy your soul. And your satisfied soul will keep you from stealing and lying. And your life will make God look supremely valuable. " - J. Piper

Friday, July 11, 2008

the cousins hang.

Uncle Marc, Evan, and Miles.

the three boys

Fun few days with my cousin Nicole, her husband Marc, and son Miles.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

18 weeks.

Here we are...growing. I gained 60lbs. (ugh it was so nast.) with Maxwell, 40 with Evan, and I am going for 35 with this one. Less would be better, but I'm trying to be realistic here! We will be finding out the sex at the end of the month! Yee-haw!


Jared and Evan. 2006. I love this picture.

Today my brother in law Jared turns 29.
Today he remains at his parents house, in their care, unable to speak.
Today he kisses your hand as you greet him. He tries to communicate as best as he can,
he walks as well as he can, he shows love.
Justin and I often reminise about old times. I love hearing stories from their childhood.
I love remembering his laugh, the way he talked and genuinely cared for others. The way he took tongs and dunked like 5 oreos in milk before he ate them. The not one but three times he rescued me from the side of the road and fixed my flat tire because Justin wasn't around and probably would've been much help anyway.
Although he is so different than he was six years ago when on that February day his life (and ours) was forever changed, there is one thing that hasn't.
Jared loves Jesus, he belongs to him.
He had such a passion for life, for others, but mostly for Christ.
This is how I remember him.

Happy Birthday Jared Paul. We love you.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

a little perspective.

Last week as I was out running errands I was stopped at a stop sign. Crossing the road were two little ones..both of whom looked under five years old, and a woman, who I assumed to be their mother. She was also carrying a car seat with an infant inside. If you have ever carried one of those you know how heavy they can be!
She seemed to be struggling as sweat ran down her temples, it was a hot day. Here I sat in my mini-van air conditioning blasting, my boys and I very comfortable on our way to get a few things we needed and maybe a few extras. At the moment I think I was a bit stunned.
I've been known to complain about my van, mostly I'm joking but if I'm honest there is a part of me who longs for a know the big ones that cost like $200. to fill up. Ridiculous I know. I must be insane...or at least just really selfish.
I soon realized how often I think that way. I look at the very wealthy and exclaim how selfish they with thier fancy cars and gorgeous homes. HELLO! Examine yourself Anne! I'm just as, if not more selfish then they. People less fortunate than I am probably think that I'm a selfish pig.
And so the story goes.
While I know it's not wrong to have nice things, it is wrong to make them a centerpoint in your life. I think I too often think about what I can buy next for me instead of thinking how I could use the money to help someone else.
Everything in life is a gift from God. We deserve nothing. Apart from his grace we have nothing.

" If we follow our desires we cannot please God. You are no longer ruled by your desires, but by God's Spirit, who lives in you. People who don't have the Spirit of Christ in them don't belong to him. But Christ lives in you. So you are alive because God has accepted you, even though your bodies must die because of your sins. Yet God raised Jesus to life! God's Spirit now lives in you, and he will raise you to life by his Spirit.
My dear friends, we must not live to satisfy our desires. If you do, you will die. But you will live, if by the help of God's Spirit you say "No" to your desires. Only those people who are led by God's Spirit are his children. God's Spirit doesn't make us slaves who are afraid of him. Instead, we become his children and call him our Father. God's Spirit makes us sure that we are his children. His Spirit lets us know that together with Christ we will be given what God has promised. We will also share in the glory of Christ, because we have suffered with him.
A Wonderful Future for God's People I am sure that what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us. In fact, all creation is eagerly waiting for God to show who his children are. Meanwhile, creation is confused, but not because it wants to be confused. God made it this way in the hope that creation would be set free from decay and would share in the glorious freedom of his children. We know that all creation is still groaning and is in pain, like a woman about to give birth.
The Spirit makes us sure about what we will be in the future. But now we groan silently, while we wait for God to show that we are his children. This means that our bodies will also be set free. And this hope is what saves us. But if we already have what we hope for, there is no need to keep on hoping. However, we hope for something we have not yet seen, and we patiently wait for it
." Romans 8:8-25

I pray that I would be reminded of this more often and live for Christ!

Monday, July 07, 2008

4th weekend.

My boys at a baseball game July 3 with a group from our church. Fireworks was fun!

On the 4th we went to our bff 's the Mondragons for an outside party. Well, it began to pour just as we walked in thier front door. So, the party was inside. Here is Evan, Maxwell, and Juliana playing together. I can't believe I didn't get a decent picture of the three of them in their 4th of July gear. I'm so dumb.
We still had a blast and Justin is the next American Idol...according to the Wii.

And finally, I think I'm about done with this project. I will probably add a few more, and I like the mirror idea Megan has on her wall... so it will probably be never ending...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

help me people.

Two posts in a day...can you believe it?!!!
Here's the deal. I think the wall on our stairwall has potential. I had it blank for awhile...B-O-R-I-N-G. Then I had it like this. It seemed like it wasn't enough for the space. Now I am working on this:

Keep in mind it is still a work in progress, but you get the idea.

So I need your help. Should I?:

a. keep it's lookin' sassy.
b. go back...what were you thinking?
c. I have a way better idea! (and share what it is!!)

pool & stitches

Last week we had met my friend Jaime and her daughter Camryn at the pool. The boys had so much fun with her. When we left Maxwell and Camryn held cute, and of course my camera was at the bottom of my ginormous beach bag.
The boys love the pool, Evan thinks he is so cool, he loves jumping in off the side, and heading to the deep end with the "big" kids. We usually go at least once a week and yesterday he bumped his face while trying to climb up the edge and ended up with this...

Yep. 5 stitches on his chin. As I saw the huge gash I wanted to toss my cookies and he was ready to head back in the pool. I took him to the lifeguard office while he chatted with the lifeguards and entertained them while they make-shifted a bandage for him. We got to Urgent Care and he didn't even flinch as the Dr. stitched him up. I think he's a bit proud of his battle wound.
He's still as happy as he always is. Love that kid.
We are kicking off this weekend with a baseball game and fireworks tonight.
Happy 4th of July weekend! Have a safe one!