Monday, June 23, 2014

Blackberry Salad Blanket

It is finished.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant I began thinking not of how I would decorate a nursery or what I wanted to buy rather my mind was immediately taken to what I wanted needed to crochet for this new life. I have made countless number of baby items, many for friends, and some for complete strangers. I have taken over 250 hats/boot sets to a near by local hospital and just shy of a dozen afghans to a local nursing home. There is something sacred for me in creating something with yarn, something so soft and tender, something to be wrapped in, to be held tight by, to be reminded of the ways in which we too were knit together. (However, I crochet and have zero knitting abilities and zero desire to gain said abilities)

I knew I would make a hat (or many a hat over the course of baby's life), booties (seriously, it doesn't get much cuter than crocheted booties), probably some other miscellaneous things, but I wanted to create a blanket for baby. Something that I could use with baby right away, not too big (I can make a huge one once baby is no longer a baby but more of a kid/teen/adult) but also not too small, that baby would outgrow in a matter of days. Here's hoping for a tall child who wants to play basketball with mom.

There was a strange set of pressure to create something for baby. I wanted it to be just right. I didn't want it to be pastel, I didn't want it to be too baby, but I didn't want it to scream grown up either. I didn't want to fly through it as if it took no time, I wanted there to be a little complexity (which once I got the hang of the pattern the only complexity was counting and remembering to switch colors), I wanted it to be unique, and nontraditional. I looked at patterns on ravelry for days, weeks really. I hemmed and hawed, I made test swatches, 14 of them to be exact. The 14th one won my heart. Blackberry Salad Baby Blanket from Moogly Blog got my final stamp of approval, Marc even liked it.

Then I had to pick yarn, seriously, this is a much harder task then it should be. I stood in the isles at Hobby Lobby, I felt yarn, I thought about experimenting with new yarn that I hadn't ever used, I thought about using fancy yarn, but in the end I came back to "I love this yarn" brand. Then I had to pick colors, "I love this yarn" comes in more colors than I ever imagined and my list of possibilities for color combinations felt nearly endless. I held the colors in my arms, I switched colors out, I added colors, I debated how many colors, I wrestled with my options.

Due to the ridiculousness of this winter this blanket was my winter project that followed my previous winter project (the large afghan for myself). I worked on it while we watched movies, while we drove places, while I sat in silence in prayed for the dear one who will be wrapped up tight in the blanket.

It is finished and I am getting anxious for the small one who will occupy this blanket.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Holy Cats Batman. It has been a year since we got married. (This will be the last of my monthly updates as a Mrs. and am hoping to move to every six months or so, we'll see how that develops, for sure every year there will be an update) I think I am still in shock that we have been married a year. A TON has happened in that year and it has indeed been a wonderful year, I won't complain. It is surreal to think that we are crossing the one year mark.

The Wonderful Things:
  • We made it married a year - onto year 2
    • we have successfully surpassed thousands of couples who don't make it through the first year - although that isn't much
    • and it was a WONDERFUL year as well
  • We bought our first house together
    • on that same note we survived selling a house - house showings suck and that they want to come in at any given minute with less than idea notice that they are coming - however - despite the stress our house sold
    • we moved on what has been labeled as officially the coldest day of this past winter
      • don't move on the coldest day of the winter - it sucks! Thank God for friends who where willing to be bought off with some pizza
    • we LOVE our new house - we love backing up to one of Minnesota state parks - now if only we didn't have to bath in mosquito spray to enjoy it this time of year
  • We have a great routine for the most part - thank God for a ridiculously flexible husband who is really good at communication - my schedule is ALL over the board and he does well dealing with chaos and be being here and there an a little bit of everywhere
  • Dakota has Marc and I wrapped around her little paw - it is funny to watch Marc and Dakota together - I imagine with a baby this will only be better
    • seriously, I LOVE having chickens
  • Due to baby on the way our basement is WAYYYY more finished than we anticipated it being this time of year - we need a guest room - our family is too far away to not have at least one guest room
The Things No One Ever Tells You About:
  • I am still getting used to cooking for two
    • Marc eats way more than I ever anticipate - it just takes some adjusting 
  • House projects sometimes suck the life out of you
    • we did really well working on house projects - however, sometimes they suck the life out of ya when ya just want them done
    • thankfully this year we learned to set small goals and if we reach them just to chill and take the night off - it will get done at some point
  • Laundry is doubled - yes, this too is obvious - but until I was doing laundry for two I didn't realize how much it was - thankfully I have finally fallen into a routine that seems to be working for us
    • just to complicate it - let's throw in a third person this year with a third set of dirty laundry - bring on the baby
  • sometimes I feel bad for Marc being married to a pastor - it has a life of it's own - he does REALLY well with it though - however, I am sure there are moments he'd trade it 
The Miscellaneous Things:
  • We are still a little freaked out that we will become parents in our second year of marriage - ahhhhh - so much transition coming soon
    • yes, we are totally jazzed and can't wait but still slightly freaked out
    • Thank God for our amazing friends and family who are along this journey with us
  • We still don't love that both of our families are a solid six hours in either direction from us which makes visiting family hard

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Reclaimed Rocker

This past weekend (during the monsoons of northern Minnesota - okay so it wasn't really monsooning however, it was raining a ton and there is only so much one can do inside before one goes nuts) Marc and I finally reclaimed this old rocker. Several weeks ago (right after Easter) my mom and a dear friend and I were walking through a local thrift store and we found this chair. Both of them instantly knew it would be perfect if we cleaned it up and replaced the cushion/base to it. So we bought it and brought it home.

Marc was skeptical at best at first. After a good polish with Murphy's oil soap the chair portion itself was looking pretty good. We tightened some screws, moved two screws whose holes had become stripped and were no longer serving their purpose and the chair itself was golden. The bottom of it however, had seen better days.

I disassembled the base and realized that even the wood under the chair had been beaten up, so we got some new wood and recut the base. Took off the old foam (which was pretty beaten up and thin) - replaced it, and bought some new fabric. Probably WAYYYYY too many staples later the chair looked good as new.

I am jazzed with how the chair turned out - it is a beautiful piece of furniture that I all too quickly wanted to overlook.

How do you feel about thrift store finds?
Do you like to replace/refinish/fix up old things and make them look new?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June & July Bucket list (Summer)

I am choosing to ignore August due to the arrival of baby and instead am opting for a June and July summer bucket list, which while on one hand seems like it could be minimal at best on the other hand seems totally do able.

What is on your summer to-do list?
Are you enjoying the snow free time?
What are your favorite foods in the summer?

Saturday, May 31, 2014

May Photo Dump

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Today marks 3 years since I have been ordained as a pastor.
3 years ago today, I stood before God and family and friends and made vows of a lifetime.
3 years ago today, I had NO CLUE the road I was about to travel, the sacred ground I was being called to.

In the last 3 years I have:

  • doubted repeatedly
  • been invited into some of the scariest and most exciting times in people's lives
  • affirmed my baptismal vocation to word and sacrament
  • held a newborn baby only hours old
  • baptized many babies and a few older folks
  • have felt totally and completely clueless
  • presided over the Lord's Supper several times a month
  • led funeral services for many faithful saints
  • questioned what I was doing daily
  • met more amazing people than I ever could have imagined

It has been quite the journey, this past synod assembly I sat in awe as they handed out the certificates for those who have been in ordained ministry for 35, 50, 60, and 70 years. I wondered about the stories they could tell, the sacred ground they have walked on, the wisdom they have gained, and the questions they have asked. I laughed as I thought about how God calls people into full time ministry and how clueless we sometimes feel, and the ways in which the Holy Spirit continues to affirm my call and walk alongside me - thanks be to God for the patient people who continue to teach me what it means to be a pastor and continue to affirm me where I am.

There are moments in which it is tempting to give it all up and go with a more "traditional" job, but for the most part I look forward to this coming year and to see what God is up to.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Strange Time In LIfe

This time of year always seems a bit strange to me.

I am wrapping up a TON of school year ministry type stuff and I am preparing for a TON of summer ministries, and this year gets even stranger as I am also beginning to work on plans for while I will be gone next fall. I am living in a state of already and not yet for sure.

Summer is closer than I care to imagine.
     Now if only Mother Nature would catch on as well.

I grieve the end of every school year because the kids are always soo marvelous, however it is ALWAYS time for the year to end and for the kids to move on to the next year.

I grieve knowing I won't be at the start of next school year, despite I know how wonderful it will be to have time at home with baby.

It is strange to think through the start of maternity leave and questions fill my head:
  • Where will we worship?
    • Do I come back to "work" to worship? It is the only worshipping community I know here in town - however, I don't want to be drawn to actually work, rather I want to enjoy the chance to worship with my husband (seriously this never happens - I think we can count on less than one hand the number of times we have sat in the pews together to worship) and a new babe in arms.
    • Do we jump from church to church here in town and explore what others are doing?

  • The details that I need to leave for the multitude of people (seriously thankful for these folks) who will be covering for me while I am gone
    • The plans and the back up plans - the plans for if I go early and the plans for if I go late (seriously, nearly banking on going late)
    • I literally have started a binder of information for people who are covering for me while I am gone - does it seem semi excessive - yes, however, I don't know how else to keep everything organized for them and accessible
    • Not to also forget that I have stacks of postcard reminders that need to be sent on certain days that are already printed and just have a date to be mailed on/by
    • Also mission trips to be signed up for, paperwork to be collected, information to be processed and registrations to be mailed
    • Confirmation will also happen 
      • which I am coming back for (at least for that Sunday, I can't walk with these kids for 3 years, to sit at someone else's confirmation two blocks down the street - it would kill me just about as much as some of them would be disappointed)
    • There are moments in which it almost seems like more work to be gone than to be here
meanwhile - my head also spins with the reality that soonish (less than 100 days from now there will be a baby that I am charged to take care of...

Yes, I know it will all be fine. For some reason crossing under the 100 day mark for one reason or another on top of registering, on top of Marc pushing to start working on the nursery, this sweet baby is becoming more and more real (not that I didn't think it was real before, however, as my belly expands the reality becomes more real for me).

In completely unrelated things: our chickens are growing like crazy and as soon as Mother Nature plays along they are moving outside to their coop (currently the evening temps are just a little lower than I would care for them to be for the current size, however they have grown a TON). I hope to get some new pictures of them this weekend on one of my real cameras, these are just some photos from my iphone (which does take decent pictures but not awesome ones) from the other night when we were playing with the chickens in the basement (yes, they still live in the baby pool in our basement). Dakota remains fascinated by them but has not even come mildly close to them, I think she has a slight dose of fear of them (of which I have zero intent of helping her overcome).

Dear Mother Nature,
    Please send spring or even skip us to summer, or at least send the sunshine.
Love, northern Minnesota (and probably many more places)