Category Archives: Family


What does a good childhood represent to you?

To me it’s what I experienced.  I had parents that cared about me enough to invest time, teaching, and giving of wisdom.  It wasn’t about perfection, fancy gifts or a huge house.  Life doesn’t always work out that way.  A good childhood to me is one where you are loved-and love can be shown in so many ways.

My mom and dad have never had enough money.  Wealth was not in the plans that God had for them and they knew that and did their best to be wise with what they were given.  I knew that the lack of money could cause a great deal of stress but rarely did my parents complain about it to us kids.  My mom was resourceful and my dad learned that it was okay to receive help {most of the time!}.

Despite times of stress and craziness there were also moments of pure joy.  We didn’t have huge birthday “bashes” full of perfectly matched napkins and party favors {not that there is anything wrong with those} but we did get to decorate our own cakes, and have neighborhood besties over.  We threw water balloons and splashed in kiddie pools.  We laughed and we LIVED.

At Christmas we didn’t get very many gifts, but we looked forward every year to the simple yet meaningful ornaments my mom would make for each one of us.  Decorating a small tree and staring at the fragile nativity scene on the mantle always made for special memories.

My dad used to read to us, and sing to us when I was very young.  When I was older he would let us watch favorite TV shows with him and have all our friends from school hang out nearly every weekend.  He was funny, humble, and caring.  My mom was patient, kind, and always thinking about others.

A good childhood is one where you are loved and respected as a person. It’s where you are given freedom to be yourself within the boundaries that are set there for your own good and safety.

I’m so thankful for the childhood that God gave me, although it wasn’t perfect-it was perfectly in HIS plan for my life and my journey.

Thanks Mom and Dad, for always being there and loving ALL of us kids with your whole heart.  Thanks for knowing what it means to show love even though it isn’t always easy.  Enjoy your “empty-nester” years to the fullest and let God continue to show you His love and blessing!



Our year.

We decided not to do the usual Christmas card dealio this year.  Just not feeling like it’s right this year for lots of reasons {nothing too crazy though}.

Instead I thought I could just give you our “year in review” right here on the blog!

Oh wait…now I have to remember stuff!

Winter– I bought my first dutch oven {love kitchen stuff!} and Ryan went on an amazing ski trip.

I blogged about trusting God, even during trials.  We spent a relaxing weekend in Duluth and discovered a passion for snowshoeing!

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Spring- I worked a lot on getting organized around the house and with my daycare space…also wrote about how to be less stressed.

I was able to see both of my best friends and have wonderful and amazing talks and laughs.  So thankful for these girls!  My sisters also came into town later in the spring for a fun girl-time weekend!



Summer-  We made it to the big TEN year wedding anniversary and couldn’t believe how fast time had gone!  I guess we are getting old!  I struggled to come to terms with my infertility journey and all that has come with it {I had to have a minor surgery}.

We planted our garden and waited for growth.  Ryan played softball with our church team and we took some time off to spend a week at IRBC family camp with the Bjokne/Nystrom side.

My baby sister got married to her sweetheart, Sterling Pfenning in July and I couldn’t believe the day had come {love her!}

I turned 31 and Ryan celebrated 33 years of life in August.



Fall-  I took some time off from writing and focused on getting healthier.  I received my sleep-study results and started learning how to deal with my new bedtime companion…the cpap!

Ryan and I both attended amazing retreats with the men and women of NWBC and were strengthened and encouraged.  My daycare family grew by one child and life just continued to get busier and busier for us both at work.

Thanksgiving was held at our house for the Hood side and we had a great time with a full house of guests!

Winter this year finds us getting ready for my other sister’s wedding and all the plans that go with it!  We look forward to a new year filled with new adventures and possibilities!  So thankful for God’s hand in our lives and that He chooses to use us to glorify Him!

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This year’s birthday felt very different from last year.  I was really annoyed with turning 30 but of course there is nothing that can be done about that!  I actually had a great time with family and friends anyway last year and it was nice.  {Here is my post at the former blog about all that}.

This year despite the many ups and downs {more down than up really} I feel more peace about the calender changing.  I am taking a break from treatments for now and just focusing on the stuff that really matters to me….my faith, my job, and family.

I was spoiled rotten by R as he took me to visit good friends in a beautiful part of MN and he gifted me with a new camera {squeal!}.  I was also spoiled rotten by my sweet daycare kiddos with all the wishes, singing, and homemade cards.






Ten years….a DECADE!  Wow.  When I was little it felt like it took FOREVER to reach the big number 10 and now…well I feel like I just blinked and that time went by!

When we first said “I do” we could NEVER have imagined all that God had in store for us.  Some of the memories are tough and if I were to sit down with you and tell you some of my experiences these past ten years I would probably start crying.  However, many of the memories we have are wonderful and it’s funny how those are the ones you do tend to lose track of!

I am so thankful for my marriage and all that it has taught me.  God truly has a plan for those He calls to be married, and I am thankful that it has blessed and humbled me as a person.  I am excited to to see what God has in store for the next ten years if He decides to give us more.

Here are some pics from that day {June 14th, 2003} for your viewing, or laughing… pleasure.  Can you believe how young we once were?!





I had a fun weekend a few weeks back, with some of my favorite people…my little sisters!  I am so thankful for these girls, they are seriously amazing and I am so proud of them!  It was so nice getting to catch up with M and A on a way too short weekend {they always are} and just hang out and relax!

We had fun eating samples at Costco, checking out Nadia Cakes cupcake shop and watching lots of Downton Abbey!