Monday, December 28, 2015


One of my favorite childhood memories was going to the feed store with Dad. There are a couple of reasons that this is one of my favorites. 
~We got to ride in the truck.
~In the truck there was country music.
~We were usually dressed like farmers...jeans and mud boots.
~There were cool animals like birds to look at.
~We always got Cowtails and Dad would get a Salted Nut Roll.
~We were with Dad. 

I don't know why Marshall Hardware reminds me of the feed store. Maybe it's because the kids always get a sucker when we go and because of that it's one of their favorite places. Or maybe it's because they toss a Tootsie Roll in your bag. Or maybe it's because they already recognize me and I feel at home there. 
All I can say is that as far as hardware stores go, Marshall Hardware is the best. They have everything you could possibly need. They are 100% helpful, 100% of the time. 
Need glass replaced in an old window? Drop it off and they'll fix it for you. They'll probably call you before you even get home to tell you that it's done. 
Have a stain color dilemma? Take a few cans home and try them. If you don't like them, bring them back. 
Marshall Hardware has never disappointed. 
I think the best part is that I know that my kids will have memories of going to the hardware store. Isn't it funny how it's the simple things in life that we love the most?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Sometimes things turn out to be too good to be true. When all we hear about these days is horrible news and the evil deeds of human beings, it can be hard to see the good in humanity. 

Before you read this, ask yourself: What would you do if you found $100? 

Sunday was pay day for a little side thing I've been doing. I took the folded up bills and shoved them deep into my coat pocket. I wasn't even sure how much I had put in my pocket but I had a good idea.
Shortly after that, as we were leaving, I sprinted through the dark parking lot at the Proctor Community Center to invite some of our friends for supper. 

The next morning, I remembered the cash I had put in my pocket.
When I reached into my pocket, it was gone. 
I was sick.
Like so sick that I cried. 
I thought for sure that if it had fallen out of my pocket that it was gone forever. 
And if it had fallen out of my pocket, I was pretty sure that it had fallen out when I ran across the parking lot. 

I called my sister. 

I knew it was a long shot but I decided to call the Proctor Police Department. 

After telling the lady on the other end of the line what had happened and asking if anyone had turned in some cash, she put my on hold. A minute ticked by.

When she got back on the line she said, "Well, you can come come and pick up your money any time today! I'm looking at it right here! Someone was honest and turned it in!"

I was floored. Stunned. Ecstatic. 

When I got to the station (which happens to be connected to the community center and city hall) I signed for my money and asked who had turned it in. 

They happened to work at City Hall and the lady brought me over to thank them in person. 

They told me that they found my five, 20 dollar bills all over the parking lot. 

Loren Peterson and Tim Peterson of Proctor City Hall....Thank you is not enough. You've restored my faith in humanity. 

Now, what would you do if you found $100?


"Do you know what beavers say? Timber! Hahahaha!"

At the optometrist, Ava asked Donald, "Daddy, do you need glasses?"
"No Ava, I don't."
"Whew! Good!"
"Umm why good?"
"Because I think you would look ridiculous in glasses."
Oscar points to his mouth and says, "deesh" (teeth)
He points to his nose and says, "ose"
His eyes, "eye"
And his hair, "air"
I can hardly believe it! 
Oh, and I was cutting his hair today and he's got "OW!" down pat. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


My little sister is married. And right now she's in the Dominican Republic sitting on the beach.

We had a wonderful week in Montana....Thanks to Lance and Danielle and all of their bedrooms, the whole family got to stay together. Maybe we should make it an annual thing? Sound good, Danielle? :)

Congratulations, Dane and Andrea!!! 


Ava's teacher call me a few weeks ago and confirmed something that I had been suspecting for quite a while. She needed glasses. 

"Ava has been squinting and covering one eye to see the smartboard." 

Not something that any parent wants to hear....especially one who had glasses by second grade and bifocals by seventh. 

I made and appointment right away at Lens Crafters because you get your glasses in an hour.

After Ava's exam, the Dr. told her that she was going to put two lenses up and asked if it helped her see better. 
At the moment those two little lenses moved in front of her eyes, her whole face lit up. 

It brought tears to my eyes. 

Her expression was a look of amazement and she said, "Yeah! I can see!"

She picked out a pair of purple glasses and then we shopped. I think she asked me every three minutes what time it was and if it was time to get her new glasses.
When we walked out of the store with her brand new glasses she said, "The floor looks deep!" 
She walked along the wall, hand over hand, amazed at how close and clear everything was.
She had a little bit of an adjustment wearing them....she was shy about people seeing her with her glasses on. 

I'm amazed at how even her reading has changed! No wonder she pretty much failed the dot math test last month. 


I hardly know where to begin...

Oscar cut all of his eye teeth in September and November. So glad we are done teething until it's time for 2 year molars! 

He still doesn't talk much. He says "mama" and sometime he says "no" but it sounds like "doh" and sometimes he says "more" but it sounds like "moh". He can definitely say "go!" 

Anger is an emotion that he's pretty good at. He's started yelling and growling when he's mad and he's learned how to hit. 

Sleep regression anyone? Seriously. You would think that by this age he'd be good to go but we've been having some rough nights. Sometimes he just yells in his crib and we deal with him until 10 pm. Sometimes he wake up at 2 am and he's up for hours. It's strange. 

Smoothie? You must sit on the floor and share it with him.

He had his first sleepover away from us a couple of weeks ago at Grandma and Grandpa's. 

Ok....let's be honest here. It's been two weeks since I started writing this post and Oscar is now sleeping through the night again. Must have been a growth spurt. 

If I wrote down all of the silly things that Jaina says in a day, I'd fill a book. 

"To get to Grandma's house you just turn left and then go sideways!"

She's usually up and ready every morning to walk to the bus stop with Ava. She's so anxious to go to school.

The way that she discerns which Grandma and Grandpa we are talking about is that "Grandma and Grandpa Lund are the ones with the mosquitoes" 

She's an expert at saying something and then changing her tune when you tell her no or disagree with her. 

Love's to read her Bible.


Ava loves school. It's so amazing that all of a sudden she's started reading short little sentences. 

She told one of her classmates to "Find the fun in school!"

My favorite time of day is when she gets off the bus and she runs home as fast as her little legs will carry her, her backpack bouncing behind her. 

Our biggest struggle is socks. So. Frustrating. 

"I just love going to bed because every day is new and fresh at school! It's just different and fresh every day!"

She has 48 boyfriends.

It's beyond awesome to live near Mom and Dad. Visits from Mom on her trips to Duluth....massages from Dad...Having them there for Ava's first Grandparent's Day at school....little breaks here and there when they take the kids....

I'm so thankful to be back in Minnesota. To actually be here for things that happen. Like breakfast with the Lund's during Kim's quick visit. Or a weekend at the cabin with Grandma Z. These are things that, for 9 years, I just heard about. But now, we are here. I don't ever want to take these little things for granted but to always make the most of every chance I get to do the things that we missed out on for so long. 

Now on to the weather....everyone else got snow except us. 

Friday, September 11, 2015


As a first time kindergarten mom, I've been nervous about making sure things get done and get done on time. I like to be prepared and I like to be organized. Ava has a little trouble with how her clothes bumpy socks and tight leggings. I've found that the most important thing for her is

  • Sleep. Bedtime between 7 - 7:30. Of course this isn't always possible but it's what we aim for. She can process emotions and feelings much better when she's rested. 
  • Set out clothes the night before. Saves on rushing around, figuring out what to wear. 
  • I set an alarm for 5 minutes before she needs to get up to allow time for me to get dressed etc. I set an alarm for the time we need to get shoes on and head out the door (about 10 minutes before the bus comes) I also set an alarm for 5 minutes before the bus comes in the afternoon to make sure I'm outside and waiting. I think the alarms are the most helpful for me. All programmed into my phone to go off Monday - Friday....They keep me from obsessing about about watching the clock. 
  • Make lunch and prepare backpack the night before.
  • Set out shoes and jacket the night before.
  • Make breakfast easy and healthy. 
So far, I've enjoyed our mornings together. Because we are organized and prepared, we usually have time to color or read a book before school. 

I found an awesome muffin recipe on Pinterest. I made a few changes...this is my version.


1/2 cup raisins soaked in hot water
1 large apple - grated
3 medium carrots - grated

Stir together:
2 cups of flour
1 cup of brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

Drain raisins and add them to the bowl along with the grated apple and carrot.

Mix in:
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts 
1/3 cup oatmeal, seeds, flax or chia

Whisk together the following and then add to flour mixture:
3 large eggs
2/3 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/4 cup orange juice or water

Beat gently to combine.
Pour batter into greased muffin tin.
Fill cups all the way to the top. 
Bake at 375 degrees for 25-28 minutes.

Makes 15 muffins.

We ate them all before I could take a picture. :) They're so good that they don't even need butter! 


We've had a wonderful week. Ava loves school. 
The night before her first day, neither one of us slept very well. Ava couldn't fall asleep and Donald and I tucked her into bed three times. She cried a little bit because she was worried about missing her family. I did a lot from my pillow....I went to the Czech Republic, China, convention....I had tea and did laundry. :) I think we both tossed and turned all night.
On her first day, she hopped out of bed, got dressed and said goodbye to all of her stuffed animals. Her friend helped her on the bus and helped her find her teach at the school. When she got off the bus in the afternoon she ran down the sidewalk toward me and yelled, "Mommy!" 
I've enjoyed spending a little bit of quiet time with her every morning. She told me that she feels different. She doesn't know how to explain it but life is different now because she goes to school.

On her second day, she told me that she's really looking forward to summer vacation!

Yesterday, she forgot to get off the bus in the afternoon. As I watched the bus pull away, I had a little panic attack. I called the school and the bus garage. I was on the phone with the dispatcher when her bus pulled up again at the stop. The driver realized that something wasn't right and went around a couple of blocks. Boy, was I glad to see her! 

This morning was a little rough because she went to bed a little bit later than she should have. She had a bit of trouble handling her tight leggings and her bumpy socks but we made it out the door. :)

Her favorite classes are gym and art. 


"Mom, when our house crumbles to the ground, can we move?"
"Why do you think it's going to crumble to the ground, Ava?"
"Because it's old."

Jaina to the waitress: "What took you so long?" (cue embarrassed mother climbing under the table)

"Grandma says that to have an adventure, you don't need a trail. But sometimes you can have an adventure on a trail." ~Ava

I've been doing laundry. All. Week. Long. It seriously will not stop. I was mindlessly folding clothes today and started figuring. Let's just say (conservatively) that I do 8 loads per week. Give or take. 
That's roughly:
416 loads per year
3,744 loads in 9 years of marriage
10,816 loads by the time Oscar turn 18.
I'm not very good at math but I think I'll let myself be over the whole laundry thing today. (because I've definitely doubled my average this week) Sigh. 

I grew up on country music. When I turn on the local station now, I can hardly stand it. I think it's probably because I'm getting old. :)
The other day, I was shuffling through the hard drive in the car and I heard a song that I haven't heard in forever.
All of a sudden, I was transported back to 1998. Back to Deana Carter, Martina McBride and John Michael Montgomery. Back to driving Dad's blue Chevy to school with the canoe in the back for my outdoor class. Back to summer days spent in my cousin's family camper, belting out "Strawberry Wine" and "Did I Shave my Legs for This" and thinking we were all cool and imagining what it would really be like to be 17 and in love.
So many memories. 
If any of you want to travel back in time, just listen to Deana Carter Radio on Pandora and be prepared to be all nostalgic and teary eyed. :)

I've been loving my stash of freezer meals. It's so awesome to know what's for dinner. I'm kind of freaking out because I only have like three left.

"Mom, you know I don't like blood and kissing!"  ~Ava

Oscar throws his diapers in the garbage, know where his toes and his belly button are but still does not say "mama" Aargh. 

"Jaina, wanna go on a hike?"
"Yeah! With worms!"
"Don't say that! That's rude!! Worms are our friends!"

Jaina gave me a hug last night. She wrapped her arms around my neck, bent her knee and popped her foot up in the disney classic fairytale type move and said, "This is how Barbie hugs Ken!"

"I went potty in the grass because I couldn't hold it any longer!!"
"What!? How did you do that? Did you go in your underwear?"
"No, I just went behind my underwear."
(Oh dear, I hope none of the neighbors saw this)

Saturday, September 5, 2015


These are my favorite in the kitchen. I use the grapefruit all-purpose cleaner every day...wiping the table and counter tops. Not only does it work and smell good but it's non-toxic and free of harsh chemicals. The dish soap isn't as "sudsy" as other brands but it does the job and smells amazing. The white tea & bamboo is my favorite so far. **Bonus: They look cute.

I've been dreaming about this 4 piece canister set for over a year now....Mom and Dad bought it for my birthday. Awesome. My dala mug brings me all sorts of happy. :)

We finally finished painting the living room and I can finally start decorating. Finally. It's a work in progress but it feels good. Really good. 

I do laundry like it's my job. Purex is cheap, it works and it smells good. I like that it's hypoallergenic, free of dyes and gentle on skin. 

So the verdict is still out on the cookbook but I have loved having meals in the freezer. We have Spicy Chinese Chicken in the crockpot right now. Some of the recipes are like "what?!" and you have to use some common sense but overall it's pretty good. The surprising thing is that the kids have loved every single one of the recipes so far....even the ones I didn't like. Go figure. 

These dishcloths are the bomb. Seriously. Imported from Sweden, they are made out of cellulose and cotton and 100% biodegradable. They're like a cross between a rag and sponge but they dry faster than a sponge and never stink like a rag. They absorb up to 15 times their weight in water and leave surfaces streak free. Just wash them every 3 months or so in the washing machine. Just kidding. They may be a bit on the spendy side, running between $6-$7 per cloth but once you try one, you'll be hooked. I promise. (You can find them online but I know first hand that you can buy them at Lakeside Traders in Moose Lake, MN) :)

Friday, September 4, 2015


After wandering the halls for a bit, we finally found her classroom and met her teacher. I teared up a bit but managed to keep it together. :) She found her desk and her cubby, explored the play areas and made a new friend. 
She ordered me not to cry and told me that she's excited and nervous for school. Me too, Ava. Me too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


The kids and I went on a hike the other day on Hawk Ridge. I would say it went pretty well! We haven't done much hiking with with them but I'm hoping we can make it more of a regular family thing. I let them set the pace and I let them choose our turn around point. We went 1.22 miles in 47 minutes. :) 
We saw a woodpecker, a hawk and a grasshopper. The girls learned about switchbacks and the perils of walking downhill (after they both scratched up their rear ends). 
They call their walking stick "crunches." :)


I never thought I'd say this, but it's great to be in my 30's. Turning 30 was hard for me. My 29th year was a mix of feelings and emotions and hard stuff. To sum it up, my thought was, "I'm 30 years old and what have I done with my life? Basically nothing." 
I still feel that way sometimes but not like I did when I was 29 going on 30. 
Now, I'm 32. I feel like in the last couple of years, I've learned a lot about myself. I'm learning to be comfortable with be ok with who I am. It's a good place to be right now. 
My day was pretty much perfect. It had a bit of a rough start at 4:30 in the morning when Oscar woke up and dashed all of my hopes of a quiet, lazy morning. The rest of the day was filled with things I like to do. We went "treasure hunting" at thrift stores, we cashed in my free coffee at Starbucks, we had lunch and ran some errands. We walked to the nearby diner for supper and Donald surprised me with my very own cupcake. I ate it alone, after everyone had gone to bed. 

Friday, August 21, 2015


I laid awake last night, thinking about how kindergarten will change our lives. Besides the alarms clocks and schedules, how will it change life as we know it now? More specifically, how will it change life for Ava and Jaina?
Whether they like to admit it or not, they're best friends. You'd never believe it by the way they fight sometimes but they are. 
Best friends. 
Sometimes people ask me if they're twins. Imagine their surprise when I tell them they're three years apart!
They're together all day, every day. Age means nothing to them. They're 3 and 6. That's it. Just numbers.
All of that is about to change. This looming thing called kindergarten.
Soon, Ava will experience things and have a life that Jaina will know nothing about. Will it separate them? Or make they're time together even sweeter. 
I hope they're always best friends.  
I hope that when they're 13 and 16 that age is still nothing to them.
Just numbers.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


There have been things swimming around in my head that I've wanted to record and now when I have a minute to sit down and do it, I can't remember anything. Isn't that just the way it goes? goes nothing. 

~Oscar has had some major sleep regression. What is up!? For months now he's been perfect. Falls asleep on his own, sleeps all night and wakes up happy. For the last couple of nights he has cried and cried and cried. He was up until 9:30 the other night, crying between the times he just sat happily in the chair with me. I know he's probably teething but seriously! 

~Speaking of teeth, he has all of his molars now.

~He taught himself how to "jump". It's so cute. 

~He knows how to throw stuff in the garbage! Change his diaper and then tell him to go throw it in the garbage and off he goes!

~Have I mentioned that he loves airplanes? No surprise there.

~He loves me. Like really really loves me. And he gets jealous and mad whenever anyone else gets too close. It's hilarious. 

~The other day, Jaina said, "Mom! You smell delicious!"

~Riding in the car: "Mom, this is a disaster!" "Why Jaina?"  "Because all of these cars!! It's a disaster!"

~She tells everyone that we meet (after she's asked them their name and introduced herself) "My bedroom is purple and our house is crumbling to the ground!"

~Why does Ava just stare blankly when someone talks to her? So frustrating. 

~3 weeks till school starts. Yikes. I'm kind of scared. 

~You don't have to be a great artist, you just need to have confidence in yourself. -Ava

~Choosing paint color is hard. Like overwhelmingly hard. 

~The dog had only one week of bandage on his leg. Relief!! 

~Donald has a new contract job besides his day job...

~I have all of these visions of what the house will look like when it's "done"....I get way too far ahead of myself. 

~I really enjoy my days "off" ...hopefully I get lot's done in the next couple of days. It's tempting just to sit and listen to the silence. 


We spent the evening down at Canal Park. We had his two favorite foods - coffee and ice cream. We strolled, we talked, we chased the kids and yelled at them for standing in the middle of the intersection and we missed the only ship coming in for the night because the girls took too long in the bathroom. You know, normal stuff. The kind of stuff you do when you spend the evening in town with three little kids. Happy 30th Birthday dear husband. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


On Sunday morning, we woke up to find Tap limping around. We didn't think much of it but on Monday morning, he was limping much worse. I took him to the vet and they didn't find anything but a glob of sap and hair on his paw. They cut it out, trimmed his nails and $80 later, sent us home. 

Yesterday, he was limping much worse and by this morning, I hadn't seen him eat in over 24 hours. He wasn't putting any weight on his foot and he cried if you touched his leg. 
I brought him back in this morning and when they weighed him, he had gone from 7.9 lbs to 7.2 in two days. That's not very much but when you don't have much to lose, it's not good. 
They decided to do an x-ray and the Dr. found a "R front metacarpal #5 greenstick fracture to metaphysis directly distal (just below) carpus."  Basically it's a fracture in one of the bones just below his "wrist" joint. 
She is sending the x-rays out just to be sure but when pressure was applied where she found what looked like the break, he cried. 
She splinted and bandaged his leg and we have to go back every week for 6 weeks to get the bandages changed and his leg examined. It also cannot get wet so I have to put a plastic thing on his foot every time he goes outside. I'm not looking forward to this at all. Especially the cost!!! Yikes!! Good thing we worked out a budget! Too bad it didn't include broken dog legs! 
He's so awkward walking around on three legs and one big ol' bandage! He fell over when she first put him down on the ground. Poor little guy. 
The funny thing is that we don't know how it happened! What a bummer...


Congratulations to John and Victoria! The day was perfect and the vows were beautiful. We couldn't be happier for you! Looking forward to watching you grow and experience life together. I see lots of adventure in your future!


1. What's your favorite color? "Pink."
2. What's your favorite toy? "Ummm...duckie."
3. What do you like for breakfast? " english muffin."
4. What do you like to do outside? "I like to scooter."
5. What is your favorite animal? "Ummm...kitties."
6. What do you like to wear? " new dresses."
7. Who is your best friend? "Jasalyn."
8. What do you like for a snack? "Um. Apples."
9. What is your favorite song? "Over the Rainbow"
10. What do you sleep with? "Umm...Furball."
11. What is your favorite book? "Raggedy Ann"
12. What is your favorite ice cream? "Ah. Cookie Dough"
13. What is your favorite vegetable? "A carrot?"
14. What is your favorite fruit? "Um grapes."
15. Where is your favorite place? "Um the park."
16. What is your favorite thing to do? "Ummm....make crafts."
17. What do you want to be when you grow up? "A ballerina."
18. What is your favorite thing to eat? "I like to eat......Spaghetti."
19. Why do you love Mommy and Daddy? " take       me places that are fun and boring most of the time."
20. What do you want for your birthday? "Well...I want a stuffed             animal. I wanted a kitty set, a frozen set, some clothes. I                   wanted dresses and skirts and shirts."

Bonus: What will be different now that you're six?
"Um. Now that I'm older it's kind of different. And...and doing more chores is different. And.....I don't know!"


 Dear Ava,
You're 6!! I can hardly believe it! We celebrated a day early with Grandma and Grandpa Lund and John and Victoria. We had pizza for supper and you requested ice cream cake so we had one of those too. You got loads of clothes for school and Grandma and Grandpa bought you a bird feeder. After supper we walked down to the beach and relaxed for a bit. You said that it was the best birthday ever. 
I think your ready to start school. I know I'm ready. Sometimes you seem so grown up and helpful and other times it's like you're three again and you make me want to pull my hair out. How can this be? 
Its been amazing to watch your transformation over the past year. For example, you wear socks! There is less complaining about how your clothes feel and you seem braver somehow. There is still a hesitation when it comes to new things but nothing like it was before. 
You love fashion and style and you're still into princesses. I don't think you realize it yet but I think your love will be science and nature. Your interest in birds and flowers and how things work has blossomed over the past 6 months. 
You like to spend time with people. You told me that the thing that makes you feel the most loved is not gifts or hugs or words of praise but simply just spending time together. My goal this year is to make time for just us. 
You love to sing. I love it when you sing. 
You and Jaina get along so well when you're not fighting. :) You have a sweet spot for your little brother. 
Daddy and I love you very very much. Happy Birthday sweet girl.


Photo by Danielle Ross
I cannot tell you happy I am that my sister has found her man. They were engaged on their six month anniversary. It's funny how things just seem to work out when you least expect it.
Congratulations Dane and Andrea! 


Oh my dear blog....How you've been neglected! I'm not sure yet if I'm going to blabber on and on in one post or break it into a few different ones....We'll see how it goes. :)

I'll just start by saying that life is good. Sure, it's far from perfect but when is life ever perfect? 
It's been almost 2 months since we bought our house and I love where we live. The neighborhood is awesome and the neighbors are friendly. There's a coffee shop, a bakery, a yarn shop, a quilt shop, a gas station, an ice cream shop, a hardware store, a grocery store and a bunch of other conveniences right around the corner. The lake walk runs just a couple of blocks away and Donald rides his bike almost every day to work. There are parks and beaches within walking distance. The air is fresh and clean. They say that it's been a warm summer and we've had some hot, humid days, but it usually cools off at night so we leave our windows open all of the time. 
Our house is old. It needs lots of work. It's sometimes a little bit discouraging but we're getting to a point where we can step back and take things a little bit slower. We've done some painting and fixing up in the basement. Donald has been working on plaster in the living room. It's easy to get overwhelmed with everything but I'm really enjoying this old house. Should I do some house fixing posts? I've considered starting a blog for house projects and before and afters....maybe we can enter a contest and someone else can come and fix our old house. haha. 

Since my last post, Oscar is officially taking only one nap a day, he's walking like a pro and he's working on his third molar (if it hasn't come through already). He loves to be near me and is content just to sit with me for longer than I can imagine a little boy would want to sit. He still doesn't talk much. You might hear a "mama" or a "dada" once in awhile but that's about it. Every animal makes the same sound. :) He LOVES dogs. 

Jaina is sometimes a little bit too friendly and outgoing. We meet a lot of people because of her. She asks everyone what their names are and usually has a conversation if there's time. She keeps us humble and on our toes. 

Ava is all ready for school. Supplies are sitting in the closet ready to go! 

When life gets hectic, I feel like organizing. I bought a planner and filled in everything I need to keep track of. From pay days, to Ava's events at school, to when bills are due, to meeting rotations and other appointments. It relaxes me. {Weirdo} I think that when it's all down on paper it's no longer swimming around in my head. 

The girls have been taking swimming lessons. Ava has really progressed and is slowly overcoming her fear of getting her face wet! Jaina had a hard time at her first lesson but she's warming up to it and does everything that Ava does but with the help of her teacher. 

We sat down last night a worked out a budget. It's about time! We've had some big "out of the ordinary" expenses and it's given us a little anxiety you might say. The goal is to save save save and not go behind every month! Spend less! Good luck to us! haha :) 

There have been a few big events recently so stay tuned! 

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Oscar finally cut his first molar. Whew! [bottom right]

We are transitioning to one nap a day. I think it's going well. He still wakes up in the night every now and then but after a banana and a drink he goes right back to bed.
The mosquitoes have been eating him alive.

He's gaining confidence in his walking ability. Some days he walks more than he crawls and some days he crawls more than he walks.

He loves throwing rocks and other various things.

**In other news...we become homeowners mortgage payers tomorrow. #pumped

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


1. What's your favorite color?
2. What's your favorite toy? Umm..a toy cwock? A toy diaper? 
3. What do you like for breakfast? Cheerios.
4. What do you like to do outside? Pway hide and seek.
5. What is your favorite animal? Ah...Ewephant.
6. What do you like to wear? Meeting cwothes.
7. Who is your best friend? Maren and Maven
8. What do you like for a snack? Rice Krispie bars. 
9. What is your favorite song? "Tell me the Story of Jesus"
10. What do you sleep with? Yogi Bear and Dotty Dots
11. What is your favorite book? "Wacky Wednesday"
12. What is your favorite ice cream? Sherbert!
13. What is your favorite vegetable? Carrots. Those are bedtime
    snacks for me and Grandma and Grandpa.
14. What is your favorite fruit? Apple.
15. Where is your favorite place to go? Texas!
16. What is your favorite thing to do? Pway. (play)
17. What do you want to be when you grow up? 
    Jaina: Umm a frisbee!
    Ava: Well do you want to be a programmer?
    Jaina: No! Frisbees don't have arms!!!
18. What is your favorite thing to eat? Candy.
19. Why do you love Mommy and Daddy? Cuz I wuv ya! 
    A yittle bit. And cuz you don't get mad.
20. What do you want for your birthday? Ursawa! (Ursula)


  • 35 lbs
  • 39.25 inches
  • 4T-5T clothes
  • size 10-11 shoe
Dear Jaina,
You are our little spitfire. You're brave, goofy and independent. 
You turned three today...It's hard to believe that you're only three. You seem much older than that.
We celebrated with Grandma and Grandpa Lund, Great Grandma Jean, Great Grandma Z and Auntie Lynne. 
You got a bike for your birthday...I was afraid it was going to be too big for you but you love to ride it and I'm amazed at how brave you were to just hop on and do it yourself. You still need a little help with it but I think that in a week or two you'll be zooming around. 
You love your big sis. You look up to her and you want to be like her. I love when you play together.
You love adventure and you're proud of being a "country girl."
Rarely are you picky about your clothes...which is nice because you'll wear whatever we ask you to wear.
I think your favorite thing in the world is ketchup. Seriously. You eat bottles of it.
Most kids I know sleep with stuffed animals and babies. Not you. While you do have your favorite stuffed animals, I often find your bed full of hard toys, books and occasionally, the bathroom stool. I sometimes wonder how you get any sleep. 
You manage to produce the biggest tears I have ever seen. One blink of your eyes and they just come rolling down your cheeks. Luckily, they go just as fast as they come.
Your latest little thing is what you say to me when you get in trouble. One night I put you to bed for the umpteenth time and when you finally got in trouble for getting out of bed, you started crying. As I walked out the door you said, "But Mom, I thought you loved me!" It turns out that this can be embarrassing, especially in the grocery store....when you get in trouble, you turn on the tears and say, "Do you still love me Mama?" Of course I love you my dear...more than you will ever know. 
"I'm sorry" comes quickly for you and you love to give kisses. 
"Ganks" means "Thanks"
I love that you are your own little person. 
Happy Birthday sweetie....Mommy and Daddy love you bunches.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


The girls have been learning about all kinds of birds. It helps that there are an abundance of them around here and that Mom keeps them well fed. :) There's one feeder that even Oscar loves to watch. It's hanging right outside the kitchen window and it's a favorite of several kinds of birds. 
The other day, we were were eating lunch and Ava excitedly said, "Look! There's a Red Chested Roast Beef!!!" 
This still makes me laugh out loud. :) Obviously, there is no such thing as a Red Chested Roast Beef but what I think she meant to say was Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
photo from
Other birds that they are familiar with:
Mourning Dove
Blue Jay
Yellow Finch
Red-winged Blackbird
Purple Finch

Thursday, May 7, 2015


"Just hold on! I'm combing my fangs!" (bangs; the little hairs that fall in her face)

"I have a bleach on my foot!" (leech)

"Grandma, every day when I look in the mirror, I look different. My legs look longer and my face looks different!"

In a recent conversation with Grandma & Grandpa:
"Do you know who will be the most special person at the potluck?"
{after several wrong guesses...}
(in an extra dreamy voice) "Logan will be the most special person....oh I have the love pox!"

*for any of you who don't know what love pox are, according to Ava, they are just like chicken pox only invisible and they don't itch. 

Jaina usually needs help in the bathroom:
"Mom, can you come and wipe me? Say 'I would love to'!"

They both fall asleep every night with the light on...after having a birthday party for all of their stuffed animals.

Monday, May 4, 2015


Oscar took his first unprompted and unassisted steps today! He's been terribly stubborn about the whole walking thing. He was playing with some of the girls hairbands and sitting on the step in the living room. He just stood up and took three steps! Then he did it 3 more times after that! Later this evening, he took a good 8 steps and he wasn't even holding anything. It's amazing how in just one day, something clicked. 

He can say, "Ball" 

I've been working on him to say, "mama". You can see the little wheels turning in his head as he tries to get his mouth to form the word. He says, "mmmmMA!" and is so proud of himself. :)

He knows what a doggy says...once in a while, when you ask him what a doggy says, he'll say, "rffrffrff".

He's been sleeping through the night!! Hallelujah! 
{But child! Why must you wake up at 5 am!? You know your mama is not human at 5 am!!!}

Likes to shake his head yes and no for what he does and doesn't want. 

Favorite song: Wheels on the Bus.

Monday, April 20, 2015


I just want to record this little moment. Oscar had his first real haircut from the same man who cut my Grandpa Oscar's hair. He also cut my Dad's hair...and [my brothers] Eric and John's hair. I thought it was kind of neat that the same barber gave haircuts to four generations. Oscar didn't like it very much....he started fussing as soon it started and by the end, he was sobbing. Even so, he got a pretty good haircut.


When I get it in my head to find a place to live, I need to find a place like right now. When we got the all clear from rental house in Texas, the search began. I think every one of us in the house checked Zillow or Craigslist at least twice a day. I'd find a couple of houses, call the realtor and zoom up to Duluth to check them out....this happened several times. 

We found a house we really liked and put in an offer. Turns out that the septic wasn't compliant and we didn't feel like paying for a new one. Needless to say, it as a little disappointing. 
It felt like we would never find the perfect place even though it had barely been two weeks of searching. And searching. And searching. 

One night, after Donald and I had gone to bed, Mom and Dad were still searching. On a whim, Mom checked Craigslist and there was a listing for an "arts and crafts" house [for sale by owner]. Curious, she opened it up and found the perfect house. She emailed me the link and they both agreed not to say anything to me about it but to just let me find it on my own.

Dad was too antsy the next morning to keep it a secret. He asked me if I had checked my email. Of course I hadn't....

As soon as I saw it I fell in love. I emailed right away to get in to see the house. Mom, Dad, Donald and I went to see it the next day. 

We walked in and I fell in love even more....
I got to the second floor and I was sold...

Then, I went in to a little room that led to another staircase and I found myself on the third floor. My heart was pounding and I was almost in tears. I knew that this was the house. This was it. 

The next couple of days was a flurry of paperwork, offers and negotiating. I'm so glad that Dad was able to help us. He went up with me a second time to look at the house and make an offer. 
As it was, the seller had several offers and we were basically tied with another couple in our offers. The seller (who we've formed kind of a bond with) was torn as to which offer she would go with. 
In the middle of the night, she realized that the tie breaker was the kitchen table. If we agreed to let the table go, we would have the higher offer and we'd get the house. That was fine with me. 
I can't believe we got the house because of a kitchen table. 

Everything has pretty much been taken care of ...inspections ...appraisals...financing...

We close the middle of June. 

Thank you, Mom, for finding our new home and thank you, Dad, for all of your help. 


Ava Marie {July 2010}
Jaina Mae {June 2013}
How did I not take a nice picture of Jaina when she turned one!?
Oscar Dean {2015}


Jaina is constantly picking her nose....
"Boogers are my favorite candy!"

"Why are you Jordan?"
"Why are you Jaina?"
"Because my mommy and daddy made me half and half!!"

Jaina burped...
"Oops! My mouth tooted!"

Yes...Jaina is one unique little girl. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Dear Oscar, 
Where has the time gone? It's hard to believe that it was already a year ago that you completed our little family. 
We celebrated your day with Grandma and Grandpa Lund, Great Grandma Jean, Uncle John, Victoria and Uncle Eric.
How is it that boys are so different from girls? You've mastered the stairs, you like to throw balls, you've figured out how to push a truck and make a noise while you do it. 
You FINALLY figured out how to drink from sippy cup and a hard straw. This is a good thing because you're almost completely weaned! I only feed you if when you wake up at night. You usually wake up once during the night...sometimes we get lucky and you sleep all the way through. You still take two naps during the day. You put yourself to sleep so well....all I have to do is lay you down in your crib.
I love when you wake up in the morning and you just lay quietly on my chest while I sit and rub your back. 
Crawling is still your favorite way to get around. You like to walk and hold on to our fingers but you're pretty stubborn when it comes to standing up on your own. You've only taken two steps on your own. You're a pro at pushing stuff around.
I would say you're a little bit of a picky eater. Your favorites are oatmeal, soup and fruit. Oh, and you love smoothies! 
You like to give me high fives....when you slap my hand you say, "dah!"
You love to be outside. Playing outside on the deck is way more fun than eating lunch! You love the wagon and riding on the four wheeler. 
You have 8 teeth and I think you're working on getting your molars...
You're the sweetest little boy....Mommy and Daddy love you so very, very much. 

  • 24 lbs
  • 31.5 inches
  • head: 18.75 inches
  • 18-24 month clothes
  • size 5-6 shoes
  • size 5 diapers