Friday, January 31, 2014


Highlight of my week:

My sweet husband texted me saying he had a surprise for me. I love random, no-reason thoughtfulness so I was excited. He gave me a piece of paper: he booked me a ticket to spend a week in South Carolina in April (15th - 22nd). I will get to introduce Annalee to our friends! And meet at least one new baby (see below post)! And enjoy truly beautiful weather, the way spring was meant to be! And enjoy as much as I can of all that we miss not living there anymore! And finally, being back in SC shortly after Maelee's birthday will be a gift.

Since Greg has two days off over Easter, he figured he can watch Eli (and Grandma graciously agreed to watch him while Greg's at work the other days). He also went ahead and booked it without telling me because he didn't want me to spend any time comparing costs or airlines, etc. He knows me well. What a great gift! I am thrilled! I just wish the daddy and the boy were coming, too. I feel I can battle the drive to/from Fargo, two flights plus layover with a six-month old by myself, but definitely not with a three-year old added in the mix. Sorry bud.

Thanks, Greg, for this gift! South Carolina, here I come!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

So Many Babies!

2014 is going to be an exciting year. Probably half of our closest friends are pregnant.

Isn't that bizarre?

The one I am probably most anxious for is a sweet rainbow baby coming via c-section this Tuesday, February 4 (unless she decides to come earlier) in South Carolina. Our dear friends, Jeremy and Sidni, are anxiously awaiting Eva's arrival. I've posted about them, the first time shortly after we joined them as they buried their son (see here). I found out about Sidni's second pregnancy weeks before we moved but I have been pleading from afar that God would allow them the joy of seeing her born alive and getting to take her home. Please pray with me this last week for this little girl and her parents. We love them and are excited for them to get to parent a child on earth.

UPDATE: Eva was born Friday, January 31! She's in special care nursery due to not maintaining her blood sugars but she's here, alive and a beauty! 

For all of you beloved friends expecting this year (and ones expecting adoption), know I am praying for you all and hoping for the day when those babies meet their awesome parents!

Also, pretty sure we have multiple wife options for Eli, though they may have some cultural differences to overcome and then there will be the accents...


Monday, January 27, 2014


One of the items that I have worked hard to take off the back burner is organizing and deleting photos. I take a hundred times more than I should. Anyone else in that camp with me? Or are you more like my sister?  :)

But I have learned if I just keep picking out my favs, deleting the excess, and filing correctly every so often, it's much more manageable. Then I can make my digital photo albums quicker because I've already gone through the photos. I finally made and received Annalee's first two months album (click here to see it!) and I am not going to feel bad that it took me that long. I am hoping to get a December album (or maybe a winter album) done as well. Shutterfly photo books are my preferred mode of sharing photos and it was a wise decision to pick a site and album size and go with it. I have lots of 8x8 albums now and they will be fun to have lined up on my future house future bookshelf.

Morbid sidenote: My videos, on the other hand, well, they are a mess taking over my computer. I am super morbid in thinking I want to keep all videos in case if anyone ever dies, I know I'd want to watch them over and over, even if they are super pointless or horrible quality. So they will stay unorganized and on my back burner for a long time (or until said computer says it's had enough and crashes or until someone dies and I want to cling to seeing them alive in video). End morbidness.


Oh, if you ever have an unneeded Shutterfly coupon code, I'd be happy to take it off your hands since I always seem to be ordering something from there. I find it enjoyable and somewhat relaxing (when I have or make the time). If making photo books for people was a job, I'd totally do it.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Biz Niz.

I've had a full plate for a long while now. Too many stressful life events for me, thankyouverymuch. And there are definitely things in my life that have gone on the back burner, things I just haven't made a priority. That's okay, I think.

One of those has been selling Norwex, or being an "independent Norwex consultant". You all know by now that I'm like the worst person at selling stuff. I have considered stopping being a consultant but I still really do love most of the products and can't think of cleaning any other way... so I'd like to keep doing it even if just for keeping my discount and in-the-know on products. Though I am certain most all of NoDak is Norwex saturated, unlike South Carolina where I had motivation to share because no one had heard about it. Maybe eventually I'll have parties again, I do have some seriously loyal Norwex customers here (ie, my MIL).

Since I haven't sold much the last six months (read: I moved, broke my foot, had a baby, and homeless-ish), Norwex is telling me I have to sell a certain amount by February 1 to stay active (else they will give me the boot). So if any of you around here need Norwex, please let me know as I'll be doing an order and I can add your items to my order so that you don't have to pay shipping. If any of you not around here want to order for any reason, you can from my web site: (I'm thinking of getting rid of my web site since I pay for it, but not quite yet, I just may become really motivated again). Oh and if you are in SC and want to host a party, I know two consultants I can set you up with.

For everyone that orders by February 1, I'll put your name in for a giveaway... I have a bin of Norwex products just begging for a home. I think I'm allowed to do this... if not, I guess they have more cause to give me the boot! Kidding, I really, really like following rules. #sonotarebel #ohdarnyouhashtags


I feel a # rant coming on...


Affectionate older bro...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Face Lift.

This morning I checked out the comment on my previous post (thanks Katie for the encouragement!). Below my blog are these little ads that pop up when I'm looking on my phone. I don't have any say in what they advertise, in case you were wondering. I usually never look at them or even think to check them. Perhaps they are scandalous at times, I hope not. But today, these were the two I saw (along with a photo of the kids because they are so cute and more fun to look at):

targeted advertising = yikes
The fact I had just posted about my wrinkles, well, that's a little freaky. And, yep, there is way too much of my life on the Internet.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Keepin' It Real.

Not a stellar afternoon.

Trying to get Eli down for nap was frustrating (and he's typically a good napper so my expectations are high).

This conversation happened: 
Me: Big boys need their rest
Eli : I'm not a big boy, I'm a baby. 
Me: No, you are two!
Eli: I'm two-and-a-half. 

I laughed which did not help the situation. 

Later on... well these are the times I loathe pumping. I'll spare the details but while I was pumping little mister all-of-a-sudden-hates-naptime Eli came out of his bedroom where he was supposed to be peacefully napping, Annalee was screaming and I was trying to calm her and verbally direct Eli back to his bed (him ignoring and playing cars). While pumping. I spilled milk all over myself.

This was a text to Greg: Time for chocolate. Screw losing the last 5 pounds. 

Later on I was taking photos of me holding Annalee and during the review I noticed more than ever before the wrinkle forming next to my lip. Smile wrinkles I hope. But still. I don't want to be wrinkly yet. This led to an analysis of my gray hair. Big sigh. 

And to keep it more real... preparing supper tonight involved marinara sauce splattered all over.

See Mr. Wrinkle? Don't laugh at my serious face attempt. 

Add this to the house situation: we changed realtors. Found out we need to list the house way lower if we actually want it to sell this year. Meaning instead of our hope of breaking even when it does sell, we will be paying loads. Loads. Which makes finding a place here even harder. This is depressing, frustrating stuff. 

In case you have the notion my life is tidy, I think this proves otherwise. My inbox is full, I have ten to-do lists waiting to be combined (instead I'm blogging while pumping because it's all too much to tackle tonight and more fun to vent here). I did meet some lovely women this morning at a women's study so that was a definite plus for my day. But all in all, I am so ready for bed.  

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23


Monday, January 20, 2014

D, M, A.

Daddy, Mama, Annalee

Thanks for taking this photo, Auntie Amy! Remembering to take a just-Annie photo for the win! Actually big bro was too busy with his Uncle Andrew to care about a family photo. I bought this outfit for Annalee, payed too much for it but couldn't pass its cuteness up. And since it's three-months size, she's going to outgrow it too quickly! Seriously, me-oh-my it's cute. Also bows are happening now...

Oh yes I did. Thanks dear sweet Lawrences for the bows!

An update on our little A:

  • She's still a urper, puker, spitter-upper, erupting volcano. When we don't give her the meds, it's worse. If you hear a burp, get covered. All the burp cloths she got for Christmas are coming in handy.
  • She's still a 0-60 kind of gal. She can be happy as a clam, cooing and grinning, then so quickly be screaming at the top of her little lungs. We laugh because we are scared.
  • But when she's cooing at you, it's so, so adorable! And those smiles make her mad moments less maddening.
  • She's getting more aware of her surroundings and of her hands. Currently she's laying on the play mat (dubbed "The Other Beast" by Eli) and she's actually holding on to one of the toys like a big girl! She also loves holding on to fabric/blankets/toys which Eli never did.
  • She has been continually sleeping well as long as she's swaddled. She will usually wake up once to eat then back to sleep. Last night she was up twice, though, so who knows. We really need to transition her from her rock-n-play to the crib but we are hesitant because the crib is in our room and she's noisy. Soon. We also have to buy bigger baby straight jackets.
  • Somedays she eats a ton, other days not. Even with all her spitting up, she's still gaining and getting chunky. She moved into size two diapers last weekend.
  • She may just have Daddy's gene pool big ears. One of them seems to be sticking out more than the other more and more... sorry sweetie! But you can always cover them with your massive amount of red hair!
  • She knows me (and so far maybe I'm her favorite) but Daddy, Grandpa, and big bro are also favs. She likes to watch Eli and all his movement. She usually only likes Grandma if I'm not around. That'll change quickly I'm sure.
  • Her favorite color is purple. Kidding, I have no idea. I actually really don't love purple so if that's her color, I suppose I'll have to swallow my dislike for it. 
  • She does love her binkie, the soothie kind. I wonder if she'll stick with this or move to thumb or blankie or nothing...
  • She's definitely not our first child. I have no official schedule with her and I don't freak out about that one iota. Pretty sure with Eli I was always trying to get us on, or back on, a schedule. Oh well.
I am still pumping every three hours during the day. I am not loving it but more than half-way to the goal of making it six months. I try occasionally to get her to latch. She laughs in my face. Sigh. She's worth all this work!


Saturday, January 18, 2014


Things I'm learning about myself through trains:

1. I don't like building stuff. Eli got this sweet track master Thomas the Train set from his grandparents and his uncle. I can build a circle. That's it. No twists or turns or two brain just doesn't want to figure it out and my energy level refuses to try. This isn't looking good for when Eli gets into Legos. 

2. I like order. I get upset when said train is destroyed. I like it built and in working order and watching his three trains chugging down the tracks. But when the kid destroys it five minutes after completion, it ticks me off. Plus I can only handle a certain amount of time with chaos and mess, then order must be restored. 

3. I feel lots of mama love when Eli picks up his train pieces and puts them in the box. So maybe acts of service really is my love language. 

4. Even though I don't like building the train set, I somehow want Eli to have all the pieces in the set. I quickly walked through the train section at Target and realized I shouldn't walk through there again. He doesn't need them, I just have this weird compulsion to complete a set. It reminds me of how I wanted every Barbie in the  "Barbie and the Rockers" set. And how I want every wusthof classic knife. Sets should be completed!

5. I don't think cartoons should be that lifelike. We watched a few episodes of Thomas the Train for the first time recently and I think they are super weird. Those train faces are messed up. 

Who knew some toys could be so enlightening!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Love You Forever.

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.” 

You know that book? The super famous book with the kid next to the toilet on the cover? Well, turns out the author made up this little song before writing the actual book. And the song was his song he made up for his two stillborn babies. From his web site:  "I made that up after my wife and I had two babies born dead. The song was my song to my dead babies."

Whoa. As morbid as the phrase "dead babies" is, it is refreshing to read that for me, someone that has held her dead baby. It's oddly sweet that this much-loved, tear-inducing book was based on a song for babies the author never got to see grow up. And now, of course now these words takes on a whole new meaning to me. 

My friend, Heather, was the one who told me about that. She lost her twin girls full-term four years ago Saturday and was an integral part in helping me through losing Maelee. She was a few months ahead of me on the grieving journey and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have made it without her insight and love! To my friend, let's remember it's all meaningful. Actually this is a great music video with speaking insert for anyone that is going through tough circumstances, I've seen it a few times in the last months and found it refreshing.

Not everyone gets someone ahead of them on the grief road to help them through. No matter if you've experienced loss, you can still love grieving people. Here's a great blog post from a mom that lost her four-month old in a tragic accident ten years ago this year. She reflects as they mark the decade since their loss by writing "10 things I would say to someone who wants to reach out to grieving parents." Fellow North Dakotans and friends of family, I find her insights spot on. I lament with you, dear Ericksons!

Thanks to all who have jumped on my merry-go-round as we continue to grieve Maelee into our fourth year. Just tonight, I glanced over to see my little boy pitter patter in excitement across the floor in only his diaper, his chubby white legs went right to my heart and in an instant I'm mourning never getting to see Maelee as a toddler running to brush her teeth with Daddy. Those moments aren't all the time, of course, but they still come, the could-have-beens still show up and sometimes I'll just curl up with them and dream. I'm so grateful I know God redeems these dreams and this is not the end.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Dear Pinterest.

You may be wondering where I've been the last six months. I mean I used to be a big fan of yours. Checking daily, sometimes when cooking or planning meals I'd be with you multiple times in a day. I really enjoyed my time with you. So much inspiration and ideas and probably-will-never-do-that-but-it-feels-good-to-pin-it-anyways. I never let it go too long without checking out those I followed, making sure all I pinned were worthy of my repin, occasionally finding something out there I was especially glad to find.

But, you see, my unplanned hiatus has its reasons. You weren't the only thing taking a back seat. And of course, I kept meaning to get back on to fuel creativity and meal planning, inspire my gift giving and holidays, help my parenting and give me those aha moments... but life has kept getting in the way since that first week in July and my app button and Pinterest toolbar have been left unpushed, unclicked since.

I have no idea what is going on in your world. I wonder about all that I have missed these last six months. And mostly I am looking forward to the day again (soon?) when we will be friends again, able to frolic the lands of inspiration together.

Until then, do save some recipes and tricks and craftiness for me. I'll be back. Someday.


Thursday, January 9, 2014


As most of you know, naming our kids has always been quite the conundrum. Especially with Annalee, we struggled with what we were going to name her. With our other two, I was very adamant that I didn't want to plan to name them one thing yet call them another. It's being married to a Gregory that has fueled that frustration. He never goes by Gregory and therefore, it doesn't seem like his name. Unless he's in trouble.

However, as we were gearing up for another baby last spring, I remember being fairly set that if baby was a boy the baby's name was going to be Charles Lloyd. Charles after Greg's grandpa Chris (whose first name was Charles) and after both my dad Lloyd and Greg's grandpa Harold Lloyd. But I was totally going to call him Charlie since I think it's a fantastic name (and on our list of names each pregnancy). So I sort of let go my prior strict rules. 

That coupled with the fact that Annalee is sort of a mouthful, I decided early on it would be okay if she ended up with a nickname. I think I even told a few people "it's okay if you want to call her ___." I didn't have one picked out, I just didn't want to be one of those anal moms that says you cannot call my kid such-and-such nickname. I figured she may end up an "Anna" or "Annie" and that was fine (both were on our list to name her anyway so obviously liked). So far, my family are really the only ones that have started calling her Annie. Though sometimes I do (it sounds similar actually) and sometimes I'll sing this song to her. I might add that I do love her name. Annalee. It's sweet and cute, perfectly unique, and flows with love out of this mama's heart when I say it.

That said, her brother has started her with a nickname that I'm afraid will stick and God only knows when she'll be able to rid herself of it. I don't think he tried saying it like this, his little mouth just doesn't make the "l" sound like it should. So he says it this way and now both Greg and I have found ourselves repeating it. I scolded Greg weeks ago to stop because I knew it'd stick but I've totally done it too.


We are so sorry, sweet girl, if you end up an Annawee the rest of your life. Going to totally point the finger at your older brother on this one.


Check out Instagram for a video of Eli saying his sister's name, and commenting on her hair:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

3 Month Cutie.

I'm getting big!
Finally got this taken today, a few days late. We were traveling Saturday, Sunday was unpacking then big brother got sick (Lippert flu strikes again!), the heat wasn't working well on Monday, big brother was sick again this morning and life has just not settled into our 2014 groove yet. Also, the kids and I haven't left the house since we arrived on Saturday, thanks Mr. Weather. But I made myself promise to do these month-by-month photos for Annalee since I did them for Eli. They are just a little harder to get done now...

Photo Bomb.
Our needy, sick boy. He really wanted my full attention. He also didn't want to put pants on after spilling his Pedialyte all over them and I wasn't going to have that battle. To note: these are the first Luvs he's ever worn. I've always got better deals on the two big brands but so far, these are working great. They get my recommendation for this almost-three boy who is hopefully getting ready for potty training.

On the first (adorable, normal) photo, check out Annalee's toes... she's got this crazy odd space between her big toes and her second. They make little V's all the time. Neither Greg nor my toes look like this or do this so I'm not sure where this feature comes from. But it's unique enough I had to share!

Thanks for the use of your blanket you left here, cousin Alexia!


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Inconvenient Ice.

We have made it back to Bismarck. It's been another bad weather, bad road adventure but we are grateful to be safe and sound in a warm home. My parents drove the kids and I four hours yesterday thru decent roads and Greg drove thru some crazy ice rain to meet us. We had planned on staying in Moorhead with Greg's grandma 'til Sunday but it's supposed to get horridly cold so we took our window of decent weather and made it back today. And on the small road near Greg's parents, we saw four beautiful deer welcoming us home. They looked cold. 

We had to deal with icy roads today, saw a handful of vehicles in the ditch and various highway patrol fixing the messes. The worst and scariest was seeing a truck pulling a camper spin out and go toppling into the ditch about 50 yards in front of us. Both kids asleep in the back seat stayed asleep thru it all. Grateful for wonderful visibility, great driver, good van and God in control. 

Below you can somewhat see a semi in the ditch jackknifed: cab facing north, its trailer facing east. Yikes. Also we are in ice fishing territory again...little shacks on a sea of white. And the place where it's so cold the cows huddle together. 

Glad to be inside while it gets crazy cold! However I am unhappy about road conditions being such a major part of our lives again. The newest apps on my phone are the 511 MN and ND department of transportation. All for road condition info. Lame.