Friday, August 29, 2008

art on a budget.

I enjoy painting on canvas...the problem is, I have NO (nada, zero, none) talent. I can hardly paint a simple circle let alone a sweet finished product. But I love it nonetheless. They say practice helps, but I'm pretty sure my skills will stay put at the level they are at.

Anyway, I decided to try and paint a few canvases for our Master Bedroom update, and those are still in progress. I did however do this sorta fun house one that I temporally hung in the living room. It is relaxing to paint no matter how good (or third grader) your finished product turns out.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Here we have it....

Welcome... to the luxurious master so the only thing that really rocks about our room is the master bath.
Yeah, I'm asking for your help. I should've taken better pictures, but I just quickly took some in the midst of laundry (that I gave a nice slap for you Megan) yesterday.

Sorry I didn't bother to spruce up...but you know I like keepin' it real around here.This is when you first walk in...we just got that wardrobe...our closet space stinks.Just to the right of the between that oddly placed rug (and totally wrong colors) and the wardrobe is our master bath.

come on in...but I warn you...this room needs help.

The wall of confusion. To the right you see a sweet chandelier that I had in my kitchen at one point. I want to hang it in that corner...getting to that.
To the left there is the closet. Don't go in there...ever. It ain't pretty. I'm not sure what I have goin' on in this corner of the room, but as you might be able to tell we are into the tan/white/blue theme. It just sorta happened.

Our case you didn't see that for yourself. I have a bed stand on my side of the bed.

Looks lame. Also, in the winter we have a white down quilt we use on the bed...hence the blue pillows you saw in the wall of confusion.
So, help me. I think I like the direction (and definitely the colors) our room is going, but it just needs a little organization and those finishing touches. Ideas much appreciated.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

home sweet home.

home again. Arriving home is so satisfying and so overwhelming.
Trips back to Wisconsin are always a whirlwind. Pretty much all of our family (immediate and extended) are scattered between Madison and Chicago...with a few crazies up in Minnesota. Since Just and I went to school and worked in Madison for the first four years of our marriage we have friends up there we are always eager to spend time with.
Anyway, the time flies by so fast, and is stressful as we try to squeeze it all in.
This week I have a lot to least 5 loads of laundry, cleaning the floors, paperwork for the insurance company, grocery shopping, paying bill after bill, you get the picture.
Having no car this week is going to be a good thing as I try to get it all done.
It's good to be home.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Well, looks like the vehicle is a total loss. I've only had her about 4 months. Bummer.
I have to say, those side curtain airbags were literally a life a saver. So thankful for those
When I look at how hard my door was hit I really am amazed I walked away with such little injury. God really protected the three of us.

R.I.P. Olive. (aka. the green machine)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Are you really 4? I can't believe you are a pre-schooler, and in just one short year you will be in kindergarden! You really have grown into a boy. You have somewhat outgrown your shyness, are more open to talking with people and once you warm up you can't stop talking.
You are a wonderful older brother to Evan. He adores you,
and wants to do everything you do. He knows just which buttons to push and you two get into it quite a bit, but most of the time you do a pretty good job of not getting back at him when he does you wrong.
You recently have been into Batman, which I'm
not even sure how you
discovered him, but you
do talk about him a lot.
I think your friend Nathaniel at church is into him so hence you are.
Recently, Grandma Wojo bought you the 'Cars' movie which you love. You really love cars, especially race cars. Watching Nascar races in our home has become more common since you've been around.
But you really love anything to do with skateboarding. You love watching skateboarding, seeing kids skateboarding, and trying to do tricks yourself. You are constantly outside with you little deck trying to do 'tricks'.
It has been exciting watching you grow into this young boy, seeing your art skills blossom, and your eagerness to learn excites both your Daddy and I. Often times when Evan is napping you will sit at the kitchen table for an
hour or two playing play-doh, painting or drawing. You are so quiet in concentration and it's fun to watch you develop your imagination.
You are fabulous oldest son, and we are so glad you are ours.

Happy 4th Birthday Maxwell Jared. We love you.

Monday, August 18, 2008

why mondays and I don't mix...

Well today was a doozy. I've been up visiting family in Wisconsin the last few days, and this morning I crashed the green machine.
I was pulling out of a entryway in a strip mall type area, and wham. Out of nowhere came a SUV right into the side of us. I had looked both ways, and somehow missed the guy who barreled into us. I saw the guy just before he hit us. Somehow I remained completely calm and turned to the boys who were just a bit stunned. They were both ok. There was glass everywhere, all over me, all over the dash and the floor. My window was completely shattered. I got out the passenger side and opened the boys door so they could see me. My arm killed but at the time I cared less. People came over asking if we were all ok, and soon an ambulance arrived and the boys walked away without a scrape on them.
Thank you Jesus.
I got some nice cuts on my upper arm and I know tomorrow I will be sore, but really God saved us from what could have been much worse.
All I have to say is, thank God for our van. The side air-bags were deployed and I really think if we wouldn't have been in a van with those Max and most certainly I would've been off far worse.
Anyway, I called Justin, people were so good to us, and I cried a little, mostly because I was embarrassed. The guy that hit me made me feel bad, but he only talked with me for a short minute after the accident.
As expected, I received a ticket. It was my fault as I pulled into traffic and I had the yield. I had to go to the bank right away and then to the station to pay the ticket since I'm from out of state. That was strange and slightly annoying but I gave the policeman a hard time about it, telling him I was helping the upkeep of the newly remodeled police station. He was a nice guy.
So, we'll find out tomorrow what the damage to our car is. I looked at it, and he really only hit my door, and the back sliding door a little. The front end looks fine and the frame seems to be in tact. I think the biggest concern is the airbags. So we'll see.
All I could see as paramedics and the tow truck arrived was the dollar signs adding up. I felt horrible. Not only would we have to pay for our car, but also the other guys car and whatever other bills came from this accident. I feel so foolish.
Most of all though, I'm thankful that God protected the three of us today. It could've been much worse, and my in-laws came to our rescue with open arms. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law took the boys to their house while my Father-in-law and I went to the police station and the collision center. I'm so thankful for such awesome family to take care of us.
And just to be safe my Dad listened to the baby's heartbeat and he sounds good in there. I've been feeling him move a lot today too.
So even though this Monday and I didn't mix, but the Lord is good, and I'm thankful to him.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

back to the mornings.

minneapolis. 7.2008
So it's been about two weeks that I've been getting up early. The last few days I've found that I've been just waking up at seven am without an alarm...don't get me wrong I usually turn over and wait for my alarm at 7:15, but my body is definitely used to the early rising.
I've also been slowly realizing that I need to extend my early mornings to the weekends. Last weekend I slept in Friday( Justin has Fridays off) and Saturday. Not good. My attitude was definitely affected because of this.
Saturday, I got a great letter from my cousin along with a copy of some excepts from The Discipline of Grace, written by Jerry Bridges. I loved this;

" So what should we do when we've had a "bad" day spiritually, when it seems we've done everything wrong and are feeling very guilty? We MUST go back to the cross and see Jesus there bearing our sins on His own body. We MUST by faith appropriate for ourselves the blood of Christ that will cleanse our guilty conscience... on a good our bad day, we should pray,' God be merciful to me, a sinner'...Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace."

One thing I've been really enjoying and learning is just to praise God more. I've never really been that good at praying. God has been teaching me to reach out to him in prayer throughout the day, but I've also been learning to just praise him throughout the day as well. I so often just pray for current needs, looking for answers to current life events, and lately I've been sitting back and just offering up thanksgiving and excitement that I have Christ as my King and Savior. The grace that he has shown to me!
I've never really considered myself a super-selfish person. Sure, I know I can be selfish, but I wasn't SUPER-selfish like other people. But, I am. Slowly I'm realizing that even though my selfishness isn't necessarily always really obvious, I'm still incredibly selfish.
God is revealing my DAILY need for his grace and mercy, that my heart needs renewing each day and that everyday I need to praise Jesus, go back to the cross and ask Christ to take hold of my heart each day, reminding me of my need for him, how I need to learn and grow, and live for him each day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

yummy in your tummy fiesta salad.

We went to a work cookout for the interns from Justin's work a few weekends ago, and the hostess made this awesome salad, that she said she basically copied from a resturant her and her husband used to go to in I figured I could copy it too. I have a new addiction.

romaine lettuce
cilantro (1/2 bunch diced stems)
a little basil
light sweet corn
black beans (drained and rinsed)
diced tomatoes or salsa
tortilla chips ( I prefer the whole grain ones from tostito's)

(optional...but tasty additions that I added)
rotini pasta
a little diced onion
small cubes of mozzerella...
a little lime juice.

grilled chicken

1. lettuce and cilantro in a bowl an mix well. Set aside.

2. mix your cooked pasta, a teaspoon or two of lime juice mozzerella, tomoatoes, black beans, corn, chicken and basil together well.

3. add to lettuce mixture and mix up.

4. add cumin to ranch...Mix to taste. You'll need a bit to get that southwestern taste...but you know it when you taste it. If I had to guess I would say 6-8 tablespoons for a standard size bottle of ranch.

5. I put my ranch in a squeeze bottle. Crush my chips a bit in a plastic baggie and put in a small bowl to top salad with.

6. serve with chip bits and ranch and enjoy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I never said I knew how to decorate cakes.

We celebrated the boys birthdays together since we are going to be out of town when Maxwells' rolls around next week. They loved it.

Yeah, I know..they are pretty sad...I need to take a class or something.
The boys loved them though, and I guess that's what really counts.

Olympics 2008

Cullen Jones, Jason Lezak, Michael Phelps and Garrett Weber-Gale pose with the gold (Photo credit: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

I don't know if you saw it, but late Sunday night (at least it was shown then...) the Men's 4x100 free relay was AWESOME. I have a passion for the swimming events as I practically grew up at the swimming pool and swam on swim team. This race was INCREDIBLE, and the anchor of the race (Jason Lezak) did an amazing job finishing that race and clenching the gold! They smashed the previous world record and beat France, who had been gloating earlier about how they were going to beat the Americans. It was a great race!

Friday, August 08, 2008


2 whole years today. You are not, and haven't been a baby for awhile. Ever since you could crawl you've been trying to do things that just were too big for your britches. You are eager to do everything your older brother does. I just hope your as eager to use the potty this fall as we try potty training. :)
You have been such a joy to us. You are completely opposite of your older brother, which leads me to wonder what in the world your younger brother will be like. You're going to be the middle child! You can
handle it though, because you are a tough little guy!

One of my most favorite things you do is cuddle. You are
such a cuddler, and everytime you see me sitting you come
snuggle up next to me, stroke my arm, and lay on me. It's
just precious.
You are so bold. You do the craziest things so it's really no suprise that you ripped your chin open (which required 5 stitches) and after they were removed and the wound pretty much healed, you opened it up again. You are so tough about it though. Hardly any crying and you love showing people your battle scar.
"See, chin...see." As you point to it with your chubby little finger, and your face is serious and then soon followed by a huge smile after someone acknowledges your wound.
You are so stinkin' cute, with your great laugh and your ability to brighten my day just be doing some crazy dance. You are so sweet when you wake up in the morning. Calling "Mama" from your crib, waiting with your blankie in hand for me to come and get you. A lot of times you'll ask where Daddy is too. I always tell you he's at work, and you accept it. You are usually always up before Max, and you and I usually start your morning cuddling for a bit on the couch before I get you breakfast. It's a sweet time.
It's hard for me to believe that you are already two. You are officially a toddler and in full swing. You love the outdoors, going to the pool, playing in the sandbox, or just exploring the backyard with Max. It is so fun to watch you two march around the yard with sticks. You two have started taking these dump trucks we have and have been taking the dumper off and roll down the hill with them crashing into the fence. You two can do it over, and over, and over, giggling with one another the whole time.
For the most part you two get along so well, and I love that. I look forward to watching the friendship between you two and your soon to be younger brother grow. You and Max do get into it though...about once a day someone does something to push the others' buttons and soon you two are at it grabbing one anothers shoulders and wresting each other down to the ground. You guys are so crazy!

I love your big brown eyes. I love watching them light up with exitement or joy. You have the most ridiculous hair. When you wake up it is sticking up in the back all over, and it just looks so cute. It is so stick straight.
You are such a joy too us!
Happy Birthday sweet boy. I love you.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


minneapolis 7.2008
Getting up early has proven NOTHING but beneficial for me. I've noticed how my attitude has changed and my mood just seems to be better.
Seriously though, I have to say I've been wrestling a bit with God. I'm struggling with contentment and just being happy with what God has given me. I've been fretting over things I thought I needed or was so sure about and they were not given to me. I've been disappointed, and I've been struggling to get over it.
I know in my heart it is so ridiculous to fret about such things, but my human self is just sinful and because of my discontentment I struggle. But James rocks my socks off.

"Count it ALL (big or little) joy my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have it's full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." - James 1:2-4
Phew...can I get an amen?!
My point is, I never thought getting up early would change my life this much. His mercies are new every morning, and I'm finding that because my day begins with Christ, that I'm trying to remain steadfast in him,
my days just go better over all. Getting up and heading downstairs as the sun is rising, sipping on some wonderful (and free...thanks Chad for my supply) Starbucks freshly brewed coffee before I get downstairs, and opening the pages of my Bible has been the best decision I've made in a long time. I've never been a morning person, but now I feel like I can say I am.
Sure I still struggle, and sure I still sin (a lot!) but I'm turning to him throughout the day for help, comfort, and guidance...and I can't tell you enough how wonderful that is!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

the results are in....

on being critical.

Last week I begain listening to Carolyn Mahaney.
If you haven't listened to anything by should.
If you want me to recommend a really good talk she gave...I will.
She has a series of studies on Titus 2 titled; "To teach What is Good"...and it's good.

The specific one I'm talking about here is Loving your Husband. It was a goodie. It's completely free to listen to from Soveriegn Grace Ministries. So check it out.
Anyway, she was talking about how we can be so critical of our husbands.
She quotes Jim Elliott who said this; " If you are a generous wife, you may allow your husband to live up to about 80% of your expectations. The other 20% you may want to change. Now, you may choose to pick at that 20% for the rest of your lives and you probably won't reduce it by much, or you can choose to skip that and simply enjoy the 80% and both you and your husband will be very happy"

Now, I know I can be critical and nag at Justin.
One thing that really annoys me is that Justin leaves his clothes anywhere and everywhere. I wonder sometimes what makes him decide a certian place is a good place to take it all off. I've been on him for wait years to quit leaving clothes everywhere and just simply at least throw them in our closet.
It became clear to me after listening to Carolyns' message that this was something I was picking at, and instead of wasting all my energy and time nagging Justin about changing his ways I could simply pick up his clothes for him and put them away or in the laundry.
So, I'm leaving it alone. I'm sure sometimes my sin will get the best of me and I will go off on him about it, but I'm praying God will just take away myannoyance with this habit and just get over it. I really don't mind that much picking up his clothes, so I'll do it, and it will make us both happier as I don't bug him about it, and our room stays clean.
Check out the series at Sovereign Grace.

Monday, August 04, 2008

28...and nearly 22 weeks

Well, I'm older today. Do I look any different?
Just fatter huh.
Yeah, that's for sure. That shirt I have on doesn't help any either.
Tommorow I see the doctor...and let me tell you that scale is haunting me. Can't sleep at night. Well, I really can't sleep because I'm so anxious to find out the sex of this baby! Tommorow is the big day.
Fun, and long weeked. Ended with an awesome dessert made by Mel, (I'll have to see if she'd give me the recipe to post, because Mertle! That woman can bake!) and we stayed up late into the night talking. Ok, well 11:00 but that's late to us. Chad and Justin were getting a little slap-happy on us, so we figured we'd call it a night!
This morning as I pulled myself out of bed and glanced at my two boys who had mysteriously made it there throughout the night I couldn't help but just be glad for this day. This day the Lord has made.
What a great way to kick off a morning...and a Monday too!
This getting up early thing to spend time in the word has really done me good. God has really been showing me how I need to change to bring glory and honor to him. I've been reading Proverbs and Phillipians, wrapped up in Phillipians this morning, and I wanted to share this with you've probably heard before, but definately a goodie.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is commendable, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and recieved and heard and seen in me- practice these things, and the peace of God will be with you." Phillippians 4:8,9

Happy Monday.

Friday, August 01, 2008

random bits.

Well it's Friday again. And, it's August! Can you believe it. This Sunday happens to be my birthday of which I may or may not turn 28. Another year closer to the big 3-0.
Tonight we are headed out for a cookout with a few people that Justin works with. Tomorrow we will hit up the Farmer's Market and who knows what else.
Sundays are always busy, we may go out for lunch or something.
One of these weekends, (since I've been talking about going all summer) we will get to IKEA for a few items we need...not to be confused with want. That's why I bring Justin. Keep 'er focused. I tend to get distracted like a lose dog at a dog bone emporium. I know, it's sad.
Anyway, next week we will be finding out the sex of this little (well most likely big) one growing inside me. I'm so anxious and nervous about the whole thing, but so excited. I'm not so much looking forward to the scale portion of the visit but I'll get over it. I hope.
This month is also both our boys birthdays. Were keeping it simple, Max wants a helmet, Evan wants anything that makes noise...oh boy. We also will be making a trek up to Wisconsin for a visit with family and friends! Can't wait for that. Our friends Chad & Nicole are expecting their first child any day now and we are so pumped to be able to meet him/her so soon after arriving!
Have a great weekend all!