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Karoline is 9!

Happy birthday, princess girl! 

This year you have grown in every way. You are stronger, wise, and kind. My darling girl, you teach me new lessons every day. 

I hope your dad and I are doing an ok job with navigating you getting older. I pray that we teach you in the ways you need to be taught. 

You made me a mom, sweet pea and I am very thankful to be your mom. I hope you have a great birthday. 

We love you so very much. 

Happy 7th Birthday, Alexandra!

You held on for a week past your due date. When you finally came at 8:52 a.m. on 4/15/14, via repeat c-section, you were absolutely a bundle of joy. Our joyful girl who loved and loves to be hugged and snuggled. 

In a living room with four couches you sit with someone. On a king size bed you snuggle right up to whoever is with you.

You my precious seven year old are my sunshine. You are my hope. You are a light in the lives of so many. You roll with the flow. You try new things. You hold my hand. You bring new life to each day.

We love you so very much, Alexandra Elizabeth.


Is blogging dead? It might be, but I'm here anyway... 

Some nights my heart yearns to express the words hidden inside. I can't sleep until I get them out. 

Lately, quite often in the last year, there are days when I feel so completely undeserving of the life I'm living. I'm beyond thankful and grateful for every person and event that has taken part in my life. Then on the flip side there are days where a misstep, unplanned moment, or falter from the normal can derail me. I'm learning to focusing on these times. To identify them, acknowledge them, and then find faith and be thankful.

One year ago we weren't sure we would return to school. We didn't. 

This year I woke up on the Monday after spring break, thankful for my job, my students, and the realization that my job is bigger. 

If I walk into work every day working for my students, or my direct boss, or the superintendent, my day has the potential to be full of complaints and frustration. However, if I walk in knowing the work I'm doing is for the Lord, then how can my day go wrong? If I know that each moment is one in which I can bring Him glory, I have to take the opportunity to do so. 

Have you been complaining? Are you tired? Irritated? 

Refocus your day, know that you are bigger. You are making a difference. Those around you need your positive energy and by you fueling them, they will begin to reflect your light. 

We are in this together, make each day count. 

Hold on to Hope

The world we’ve entered into is eerily familiar. The pages of a history textbook are appearing to come to life right before our eyes. 

How did we get here? All around us we’re bombarded with responses that showcase science as the bottom line. Our nation is divided on any and every given subject. We know any statement made in opposition, such as this one, will bring ridicule and criticism. Some are willing to endure the heat and stay true to their hearts and beliefs. Some may even fight back. Some stand silent and watch. Some have not been able to watch, it’s too much, they are done and have left this world behind. Some shout the loudest to tell others what they are doing wrong and how ashamed they should be that they are not caring about their fellow man. Some have strong opinions. 

Our world is sick. But the sickness, is it really something that a test can fix? Is this the real world? Is this how individuals felt in the 1930's, just a mere 90 years ago? Were they asking these same questions as their rights and freedoms were stripped away one by one? 

Individual with the bull horn, can you hear yourself? Do you see you’re breaking your fellow man with your blanket statements? Your constant and incessant pleas for everyone to adhere to new rules and regulations are wearing on them, but not in the way you’re hoping. They will not break and follow the new rules and regulations. If they have’t by now it’s not going to happen. Instead they are becoming bitter and losing hope and joy. Your response, hope and joy lost are worth the casualty if it saves humanity from a mystery that has come upon us. But how do you know? The heart and soul are tender.

Dear tired friend, hold on to hope. Hold on to joy. Hold on to your beliefs. Hold on to whatever it is that makes your days worth living. Hold on to self worth. Hold on to knowing you can love others even if they don’t believe what you do. Hold on to knowing you can love others even if they decide they can’t love you. Hold on and pray that this too shall pass. 

Day 2

Sven is taking a break from writing today so that I can share what is heavy on my heart. Plus, he said he's too embarrassed after Alex put a headband on him. 

I'm starring out the office window (and yes, I should still be doing homework instead of writing) I'm looking at colorful fall trees and a world that looks beautiful and right. But to me toady it feels like it's not. I feel like I am living in a world where I am frowned upon for not wearing a mask, and where science is trying to overcome faith and personal beliefs. Where I am considered rude, wrong and selfish for not following suit with what the governor says. The rules make no sense to me, "You must wear a mask outside and you must not gather in groups of more than five people," but go right ahead and "Allow up to ten people to sit together in a restaurant without mask." 

I'm a rule follower by nature, it is in me to do as I am told. However, something deep down inside is saying this is wrong, follow your heart. Everything contradicts itself and it feels like our "leaders" are making random decisions. While I know some of you who read this will think I'm stupid for not believing the science, know that I'm ok with that. I'll tell you I've never been brilliant or extremely intelligent. I can talk to people, I get my work done, I feel deeply, and I love my people hard. I can also tell you that I am sensitive and hyper aware to how others feel. I'm a people person, a feeler, that's me. 

At this point in my life I do NOT care who anyone votes for in this election. In all honesty, I'm more concerned about taking the time to stop and help someone when I see they are in need. In college I voted for Obama, I also voted for Trump. If this makes you hate me on either side of the spectrum it says a lot more about you than it ever will about me. 

I'm sad to think that in just a few weeks the world will be refueled with political hate. I'm sad that I have to take a test just to be admitted back to work. I'm torn with all the "world stuff" right now. I'm thankful I know my story is already written, and it is seamless. Each and every stitch I make was and is apart of my story. I have to keep my faith here. 

Sven's Journal: Day 1

My mum is back home! Last Spring her and the tiny girls were all home every day and I loved it so much. This time it's just mum, but it seems like she has to trick the tiny people into thinking she's still going to work. She got dressed and put all of her stuff in the car, but she came home and got it all back out again. That's silly, she has to know they will figure out eventually that she's not actually going to work. Well, maybe not the little one, she's kind of clueless some times. 

She looks like she's handling this well. She's already vacuumed and cleaned the floor. She's so silly, doesn't she know I'm just going to get it dirty in about an hour? She already bought some stuff from that place called Amazon, how many pairs of joggers and running shorts does one mum need? I guess it's a lot because she got more today, she kept saying something about them only being $16 dollars and that's some sort of steal. Maybe that's what mum's do when they are stuck at home, I wish she would buy me a stuffed animal that won't loose it's head when I chew on it. She talked to all of the kids in her classes on the computer, she sounded so happy to be able to see them and talk to them all at once in the same place. I can tell she really cares about them. 

She's moving, she's grabbing the leash, what's going on here? Ah, we are going on a bike ride! 

Holy. Poop. You guys, I'm exhausted. Mum is trying to kill me. Before you worry yourself that we left the house, I advise you to recognize that I have a super good nose and mom took us on a trail where I didn't see or smell a single other person, not one, so chill. Don't ruin this for me, apparently I'm super out of shape. 

On our way home mum kept saying things like, "I could totally be a stay at home dog mom, do you think that's a thing, Sven?" I think she likes spending time with me, I could get used to this. 

Before and After, DIY

I've been waiting for a long time to post a very drastic #before and #after DIY. So excited to share our finished front porch with you. If you haven't read the story on how we found this lot you can find it here.

#before - April 27, 2018

Excavation started June 14, 2018.

This house really was a HUGE do it yourself project. Tim did so much of the work and I am forever grateful and will always be impressed at his attention to detail and work ethic.

It's really hard to believe that we lived with just dirt in the front for almost a year.

Rocking bench: Walmart
Rugs and yellow pillow: Hobby lobby
Red pillows: Walmart
Ferns: City Market
Plants: ACE, Brady's, and starts from the BEST neighbors
Welcome sign and light box: Brittany Olguin (THANK YOU, I love them)!
Fern: Left in my classroom by a previous teacher

#after - July 4, 2020
Just waiting on the grass to fill in a bit more. The front is finally DONE (for this year)!