Monday, April 25, 2011


Look at these two.

Telling secrets already. Nothing but trouble.

Michelle is my cousin. Inez is her little girl. She's just two months younger than Caroline.

Michelle and I grew up together. We were very close. We're hoping that these two get numerous chances to spend time together over the years. You know, playing Barbies. And American Girls. And more Barbies. Like their moms used to do.

Caroline and I tagged along on Josh's business trip to Chicago. That gave us the opportunity to hang out with Michelle and Inez for the day. Way fun.

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The weather that day was terrible. Cold and rainy. But you wouldn't know it in the Garfield Park Conservatory.
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We actually met up at a great downtown coffee shop. And then walked the babies, in the rain, to the green line. And then kind strangers helped us heave the strollers up the stairs.
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We rode the L out to Garfield Park, and enjoyed the warmth and beauty of the conservatory.

And it was so fun to catch up.
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The girls cooperated nicely by sleeping.
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After walking around the gardens, we took the L farther out to Oak Park for lunch. Quite the adventure! We loved it all.
Michelle and Inez, we can't wait to see you again soon!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wishing you and yours a blessed day.

Easter blog

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hoosier Weekend

Josh graduated from Indiana's Kelley School of Business almost two years ago.


While he was in school, we made so many great friends. It was awesome. I miss them. Most of us were new to Bloomington at the time. Most of us were on an adventure. Many of us were pre-kids. We were all a bit short on cash. We clicked for those two years of business school. And then graduation happened, and we scattered to different locations for different jobs.

Some of us landed in Columbus. Praise God for Kelley friends here! It made moving to Columbus so much easier.

But others landed in Minneapolis. Indianapolis. Chicago. And, sniff sniff, we haven't seen some of our friends since graduation.

And you know what? Many of us have gotten busy since then. As in, busy making babies. When we graduated, one of us was pregnant. Now between us there are five babies. And more on the way.

It took months of planning. And emailing. And coordinating car seats and pack & plays. (Most of that was done by our terrific hosts, the LaRue's!) One family took their nine-month-old twins on an airplane. The rest of us drove, and met in suburban Indy for a reunion weekend.

It was baby central: Ryan, Oliver, Tyler, Stella, and Caroline.
I love how Tyler is gnawing on Oliver's arm, and how Stella is stealing Caroline's pacifier.

Stella: Haha, I've got it!

Moms and babies. For the record, Lora (in pink) is holding one of Kendra's twins.

Oliver - isn't he handsome?

Love the baby blues.

Stella, Oliver's twin, has awesome cheeks.

And she learned to crawl that weekend!

Krueger twins! Adorable.

Cute family!

Tyler is a month older than Caroline and can now sit up on his own. She was impressed.

Ryan was the "old man" of the group at almost 2. His baby sister is expected in the next month. And he wasn't a huge fan of his mom holding Caroline.

He warmed up to her eventually, however.

Tracy and Kendra with their sweet little boys.

The LaRues were fantastic hosts. They opened their home to the baby madness, made all kinds of food, borrowed extra baby equipment, and overall made all of us feel right at home.

This is what we did most of the time.

Adult hung out; babies played.

Actually, the men played too.

Little kid basketball. Ryan's toys. Plus beer. In the mud room. For hours.

The boys felt that they needed a "team" photo.

And we girls went with a more normal shot.

You know you have good friends when, after two years of not seeing them, it feels like nothing has changed.

You know, except babies.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Basement Project: Trash Removal

Random unrelated tangent: Blogger tells me I've had 600 posts! Holy Cow.

Back to the (somewhat boring) basement update.

Remember this? See the first picture in particular.

Well, we had a bunch of junk down there. Random 2x4's (thank you previous owners!) Boxes of childhood memorabilia (thank you Mom and Dad!) Assorted old suitcases, furniture and books (thank you us!)

Oh, and materials that we were replacing. Floor tiles and ceiling tiles, mostly. And an ugly bathroom vanity + mirror.

All this adds up to a serious need to purge. We saved a lot of mementos from our childhoods and our wedding, and stored them neatly in the unfinished room. And then what was left - and salvageable - went to Goodwill. But my old Psychology 100 notes? Stained ceiling tiles? No one wants those. We needed a trash strategy, as we had a crap-load of, well, crap to get rid of. Enter Bagster.


We picked up two of these bags at Lowe's. I think they were $29 each. They come in these very manageable packages, and then it's up to you to set them up in your driveway.

Setting them up is super easy. It basically involves unfolding a large green bag.

And then, we filled 'em up.


And then, we let them sit in our driveway for two months. Yes, it was classy.

Thankfully our next door neighbors were doing a remodeling job of their own, and had a tub and toilet in their front yard at the same time.

We were teaming up to raise property values in the area. Clearly.

When we FINALLY got around to it, we went to Bagster's website and arranged for a pick up of the bags. The first one was $89 and the second was $69. If we'd had a third or fourth, they'd have been $69 each, too. Just over $200 seemed pretty reasonable to us for major trash pick up!

And then, we were left with a clean slate in the basement. Ready for painting.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My favorite shoes.

Let me tell you about my favorite pair of shoes.

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They're red. They're Reeboks.

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At this point, they're faded and dirty, too.

I bought them from Plato's Closet about five years ago for under $20. I continue to wear them all the time. They've been around the country, and the world, with me. I had fun going through some old pictures this morning, looking for my red shoes. Climbing trees in Chile, spring of 2008

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Horseback riding in Argentina, spring of 2008

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Big hair. Ouch.

Apple picking in Indiana with my friend Jamie, fall of 2008

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IU tailgate with our buddies in Bloomington, fall of 2008

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Palace of Versailles, France, with Josh, my mom, and my brother, Ben, summer of 2009

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Waterfalls in Oregon, fall of 2009

New York City, winter of 2010

Such a cold, cold day.

Washington D.C. with my friends Jamie and DeeDee, spring of 2010

Baby Noah? You're looking the wrong way.

Hocking Hills, Ohio, spring of 2010

Bergen, Norway, summer of 2010

Tallin, Estonia, summer of 2010

St. Petersburg, Russia, summer of 2010

Yes, I was pregnant in that picture. Yes, I do realize it is unflattering. Yes, this is why you haven't seen this pic before.

Olso, Norway
, summer of 2010

I'm totally impressed that these shoes have lasted this long. But, not surprisingly, they're losing more and more tread. And getting more and more dirty and faded. It's time. For a new pair. Or perhaps these? Help me choose! When I originally thought of this random little blog post, I had planned to end it there. But oh. my. word. Looking through these pictures. Remembering all of those moments. I'm struck with renewed thankfulness that we've had so many opportunities to travel. We so enjoy exploring new places and discovering new things. And we've been ever so blessed to partake in our favorite hobby so often over these last few years. It's humbling. Thank you, Jesus. For enabling us to go so many places. And for my red shoes.