raising a mommy

raising a mommy

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Today's blessing:

My Grandpa passed away this morning. It sucks. Obviously. But it's okay, and here's why.

This man lived for 84 years. He was one of the hardest workers I've ever met - I guess that's what happens when you're a North Dakota farmer. I can list off all the cliches:
And so many more.

Here's the thing about my Grandpa. He lived for 84 years. Not just "he was alive for 84 years" but he lived it all. Until Tuesday morning when he had the stroke, he lived. None of this "80 years of quality living followed by 4 years of decline" for this man. He lived.

He was one of the good ones.

He is leaving the world a better place than he found it, and isn't that really all a person can ask for?

I love you Grandpa, and I'm going to miss you. But we'll be okay.

Precious snuggle time with his oldest great-grandchild.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

what can i do

Today's blessing:
Passionate people who are ready for change

I am raising my kids in a world where rape earns you three months in prison and mass shootings happen nearly every day.

That is scary stuff, my friends.

But what can I do?

I can safely say that I am not part of the problem. Not only have I never assaulted anyone, but I am doing my best to teach my kids about consent. No means no, we don't keep secrets, and you never have to give someone a hug or a kiss if you don't want to, even Mommy or Daddy. I share the occasional article or meme or graph that amuses or informs on facebook. I have a "Blessed Ramadan" sign in my yard and am looking forward to participating in an Iftar dinner in a few weeks. I have marched in a Pride parade. I have met plenty of people whose race, religion, political affiliation, and sexual orientation are different than mine, and if I didn't like them, it wasn't because of their race, religion, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. It was because they were a jerk.

Go me, right?

I'm not a part of the problem, and I take comfort in that.

But that is no longer enough.

We need to be an active part of the solution, and we need to do it now.

This is where I stumble. I am actually asking: what can I do?

Give blood? I already have an appointment on Thursday. But there must be more than that.

Give money? There's not a lot to spare, but we will make something work if a monetary donation would make a difference.

Give time? I don't have much of that to spare either, but I am truly open to suggestions, and I know others are, too.

If you have suggestions, please reach out. I would love them to be shared publicly so others with the same question can use the resources, as well, but if you are more comfortable sending me a private message, please do.

The hate needs to stop now.

If you are in Minnesota and want to know more about attending an Iftar dinner yourself, click here.

If you want to give blood, contact your local Red Cross. Trinity in St Peter is having a blood drive on Thursday and there are still openings. Click here to sign up or here to find a blood drive or donation center in your area.

If you want to read my thoughts on when it is okay for you to pass judgement on other people, click here.

The hate needs to stop. Now.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

fmf: share

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Kate Motaung's blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
3. Comment on the person who linked up before you.

Please join us!

Today's prompt: share


Everyone has something to share. A story, a song, a joke, unsolicited advice...

While some people will pour their hearts out to you after so little as a "Hi, I'm blah blah. Nice to meet you!" ("Oh, hi, blah blah, I'm yak yak and I like spaghetti and flip flops and the snow but not too much snow and rabbits and hey look something shiny!") others take some time to warm up.

From one of those who takes time to warm up: please be patient.

Many people get the wrong impression. We're not snobs. We're not unintelligent (usually). We're not even necessarily shy. Sometimes we're the funniest (or even the snarkiest) people you will ever meet, you just have to give us a chance to warm up.

Wine helps.


Bah! That was hard! I am so "out of shape" for writing! Either way, thanks for your patience and words of encouragement that I know are coming because the fmf community is just the best!

Here's a quote that I came across recently. It's not really relevant to this post, but it's awesome and needs to be shared:
If you want to be a friend of all people, generate love and compassion. If you want to be a spiritual guide for all people, generate love and compassion. If you want to help everyone, generate love and compassion.
-Kunu Tenzin Gyelsten

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

fmf: forget

When you want to write, but the words won't come, what do you do?

When you don't actually have the time because you should be washing dishes/hanging up laundry/going to bed but you miss writing so much that you are willing to forgo sleep for another 20 minutes and the baby will wake up by then, anyway, so what's the point of going to bed, what do you do?

When you need to wait for the granola to cool so you can package it up and you just don't want to do the rest of the dishes (there are fewer than there were this morning, so that's a win, right?) what do you do?

You turn to five minute friday. You forget about the housework and the babies (but not really) and the bed calling your name (though again, not really) and you write for five minutes. Because you never have to feel bad about allowing yourself five minutes!

Then you remember.

You remember how much you loved the sound of the keys clicking while you type and the shape of the paragraphs when you try to be all artsy and authory and make them all segmented and stuff. You remember how much you loved the community of your fmfparty goers, even though you've never actually met them.

You remember the least favorite professor you had in college who told you that you had a gift for writing and you should think about pursuing it as a career. (In my last semester. Thanks a lot.)

You remember the joy of being recognized in a local story writing contest in the third grade and deciding that this is what you wanted to do with your life. What happened to that?

Is writing one of those things that you lose over time if you don't exercise it? Do you get out of shape? This rambling mess of a post makes me think yes. But I'd rather share this than nothing at all.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

#fmfpartysnailmail: a giveaway!

Oh my goodness, friends! Not only do we get thoughtful, hand written cards each week (or close to it, as there is grace when we fall behind!), but we also have the opportunity to win free stuff? How wonderful is that?! I am honored to host this week's giveaway, which is extra special because there will be two winners, and it includes some really great stuff:

  • a small journal from Sarah Jo
  • notecards from Myra or Julie
  • a book/gift card from Diana or a book from Nanette
  • a Starbucks gift card from Shana or Marie
  • handmade beeswax lip balm and soap from Jen
  • scripture art calendar from Asheritah
That's right, all of the above. Donors, your generosity is overwhelming as you offer up to those you don't even know.

I wish I had pretty clip art with thought-provoking Bible verses in scrolly fonts to help me highlight the generosity of the women who have made this giveaway possible, but that is not one of my gifts. Sarah Jo, Myra, Julie, Diana, Nanette, Shana, Marie, Jen, and Asheritah, I hope you understand!

So don't forget to enter below!
This giveaway is only for members of #fmfpartysnailmail round seven. Jealous that doesn't include you? Consider joining us for round eight! Details will be right here!

#fmfpartysnailmail giveaway - week 5

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

a photo update

Today's blessing
Air conditioning

I don't think I've shared a single picture of the kids since my April update, so here are just a few highlights from the last three months:

Don't they look like they're plotting something?

It's hard to be upset about 3am feedings when you have this little guy snuggling with you!

M has discovered that he loves to swing.

Yes, she ate the whole thing.

P made a new friend at Great Grandpa and Great Grandma's.

Dad of the year!

Playing at the park with Grammy

Oh hi, thigh rolls!

On the way home from Daddy's baccalaureate service. P dressed herself.

Baby M, loving the swings!

Just this.

Daddy's a Master of Divinity!

Happy graduation, Daddy!
More toys, please!

Putt putt P!

There's nothing like a family workout to start the day.

Baby Mozart

We went to visit our new church for their VBS, and P actually participated! She's usually so timid, especially in large groups of people she doesn't know well, that I was shocked when she volunteered to play!
Her latest game: she gets up on her "stage" and proclaims "More stickers for everybody!"

P's fourth address in under three and a half years, but hopefully this one will stick!

First haircut

Exercising with baby

All snuggly in his brand new hooded bath towel

Baby M was not happy to find himself in this position. So, like a good mom, I snapped a quick picture before I straightened him out.

Oh dear...

The very serious ordeal of the avocado hair treatment

Who has time for sleeves and snaps? Not this kid!

Monday, July 6, 2015

an update on the kiddos {july edition}

So...it's been awhile. We've been pretty busy in the last two months, but more about that later. How about a quick update on the kids!

Baby M is ten months old now. Wow. Here is an update on his continually growing level of awesomeness:

Mastered Skills (most babies can do)
Waves goodbye: Usually. Sometimes it takes a little prompting. Can you imagine how much the little old church ladies love it when he raises his chubby little arm in the air and gives them a lopsided toothy grin? Suffice it to say that he is quickly becoming the most popular little man at our new church!
Picks things up with pincer grasp: Sometimes, but it depends on the object. Those over-priced puffs that you can buy are easier than peas or carrot chunks.
Crawls well: Like a pro. Try to stop him, I dare you.
Cruises: Sometimes he even thinks about going one handed. He'll take a few, tentative one handed steps before he decides it's not a great idea!

Emerging Skills (half of babies can do)
Says "dada" and "mam" to the right parent: Not without prompting, but he has said both!
Responds to name and understands "no": He usually turns when you say his name, but if he understands "no" he chooses not to show it!
Indicates wants with gestures: We've been working on some signing with him, "more" and "all done", mostly, but he doesn't usually get them. He bangs his hand on his tray when he's ready for more!

Advanced Skills (a few babies can do)
Drinks from a cup: I got him a few new sippy cups, but they're the kind you have to bite on to get the water out, and I don't want to encourage that, so I'll be going back to the store for a different set!
Stands alone for a couple of seconds: He's not quite this adventurous, but it won't be long, I'm sure!
Puts objects into a container: If by "container" you mean "his mouth" then yes, he does. Otherwise, not yet.

M loves trying new foods, especially if he can feed them to himself. I think we may be getting out of the puree stage and into the independent eater stage! Good thing I have a washing machine readily available now!

Our little chunker is working on his fifth tooth. This is crazy to me, since Big Sister P hit her first birthday with only the bottom two!

He also continues to work on his vocalization. He loves to talk (sound like Daddy, or what?). His newest thing: He puckers his lips and sucks in his cheeks, like a fish, then pops them out. It's about the cutest thing ever to see his little cheeks jiggle when he does that!

Big Sister P is ridiculously cool. Her biggest accomplishment recently: She can recognize letters, tell us what sound they make, and name a number of words that start with that sound. And the "reading." She loves to "read" books to you. She has a frighteningly good memory, so she can recite a fair amount of a number of her books, but what she doesn't remember, she's pretty good at improvising.

She also loves to draw. She reminds me a little bit of her Big Uncle E, because she gets frustrated with me when I can't draw things the way she wants. Daddy is much better than I am. (Note: Big Uncle E actually means "Older Uncle E," not to be confused with "Younger Uncle E" who is actually taller than his older brother. We're all vowel names in my family.)

We were house sitting for a week few months ago, and P had access to a piano. Sitting on the piano was the old green Lutheran Book of Worship. One day P opened it up and declared "This is the musical of God. It's about the light of God." I'm not making this up. Coolest kid ever? Possibly.

Sometimes I just have to stop and take a step back so reflect on how amazing our little girl is. The things she comes up with, the things she remembers, the things she can do...it's just incredible. We talked one day about people who don't have houses to live in, and she asked if she could get her tools to build them a house. She's starting to do chores to earn money, and she has three banks: save, spend, and share. I have been prompting her and telling her how much to put in each (about 10% in each the save and share), but last night Daddy let her decide, as long as she put some in each bank. I think she ended up splitting her earnings pretty evenly between her "New Anna doll jar," her "Augsburg jar," and her "money for church jar," What a cool and humbling kid!

There are just too many pictures to share, that I cannot choose a few highlights. I'll come up with a post later in the week to share the cuteness in pictures.