Memorable Weddings

Today Jeff and I celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. Feels like just yesterday, until I start looking through pictures and see how much my nieces and nephews aged. My niece, who was a flower girl in my wedding, is getting married in just a few weeks! We had a virtual bridal shower for her yesterday and recalled a few funny wedding stories. In honor of our wedding anniversary today, I thought I’d share some memorable wedding moments Jeff and I have had together.

The first was in 2004. My best friend from high school was getting married in the Chicago area. I was a bridesmaid in the wedding, but I lived in Wisconsin and I was taking high school kids to Young Life camp the week before the wedding. Eventually we figured out that I could hitch a ride with a Young Life group from Michigan who would take me from camp in Minnesota and drop me off *sometime* and *somewhere* in the Chicago area. Jeff would pick me up and take me to my parents’ house. To make matters more complicated, I was still suffering from a bad concussion and head injury. And it turns out, taking high school kids to a week long camp of fun and adventure is not the best mix with a head injury.

Me half asleep as all the bridesmaids are getting ready for the wedding.

My fellow Young Life leaders carried me onto the bus at camp because I couldn’t walk on my own. Hesitant to leave me with strangers, they made sure to tell the other leaders to take good care of me. Our bus departed only to run into more complications. Some mechanical malfunction sidelined our bus for hours until a second bus was able to pick us up. This delay meant that instead of arriving in Chicago around 8pm, I was going to arrive at 1am. Thankfully Jeff didn’t care and still drove to pick me up. Note: Jeff and I were NOT even dating at the time.

Jeff picks me up. I warn him that I couldn’t walk myself onto the bus and he may need to carry me. We manage. He takes me to my parents’ house where I fall into bed exhausted and trying to get a few hours of sleep before I have to get up, get my hair and make up done, and manage to walk down the aisle.

Jeff and I at the wedding

Thankfully the next morning I was feeling much better. I did tell another bridesmaid friend about my walking issues, but I kept that a secret from the bride. Certainly brides don’t need to worry about their bridesmaids on their special day. The wedding was beautiful, I made it down the aisle without difficulty, and we enjoyed celebrating my friend.

I have more memorable wedding moments to share, but I got caught up looking at old pictures and now I’m out of time to write more. Stay tuned!

The Grass is Greener

The grass is greener… Here. Have you seen my yard? Greener, thicker, taller. It has been growing like crazy. My dad, brother-in-law, and I usually share fertilizing methods. This year my brother-in-law bought a new spreader. So my dad borrowed it and used it to fertilize my yard a few weeks ago.

In the beginning you could see light green rows where the grass wasn’t as tall or thick. Those were actually sections where the spreader missed so they didn’t get the fertilizer. I’m kind of glad some small areas were missed because then we were able to see how well the fertilizer was working. It grows so fast now that the yard should be mowed every 3-4 days (but Jeff only mows every 7 days… sorry neighbors!).

This blog post is not sponsored by the fertilizing company. I don’t even remember which brand we used. I think it’s a good illustration of our lives. The old adage says “the grass is greener on the other side.” Meaning no matter the situation you’re in, it’s easy to look around and think other people have it better than you. You may start to wish for a different job, your neighbor’s house, your friend’s spouse or kids. You don’t need a genie in a bottle to grant those wishes – or for those thoughts to even leave your head – to realize their devastating affects in your life.

Wishing and wondering about what life would be like if you had (fill in the blank) only leads to discontentment, envy, and jealousy. Even if you don’t speak the words, the thoughts themselves become apparent as your attitude with your own life becomes negative.

Too often people look over the fence, decide they could have a better life with that person, and leave… Only to find themselves looking over another fence months or years down the road. Our culture has viewed marriage as just a piece of paper instead of the sacred lifelong commitment it is. The easy way out is to leave, but often the harder, more challenging, and more rewarding choice is to stay and work things out.

I’m grateful Jeff and I have a heritage of committed marriages to learn from and pass on to future generations. Although we did discover recently that on Jeff’s Chinese side a great great grandfather actually had a wife and a concubine. To what degree the wife knew about the concubine I don’t know. The man had children with both women but then the concubine died. What do you think happened to her kids? The wife raised them as her own children. That takes forgiveness. That takes an attitude of “the grass is greener here.”

Whenever you’re tempted to start wishing for a different life – in marriage or work or anything – choose instead to see the grass is greener here.

“Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).


Sharing Your Failures Part 2

My last post talked about Abraham and how his son, Isaac, made the same mistakes. I said I would write about my mistakes in hopes others could learn from them. But I seem to be avoiding blogging… it’s not like I’m anxious to tell you the ways I’ve messed up in life. Nonetheless, here are a couple thoughts.

Listen to God
Do you ever hear that still, quiet voice pointing you in a direction, yet you figure it’s nothing and ignore it? Well I did that. Senior year of college there was a guy who wanted to date me (during one of those rare times where Jeff and I were not dating each other). I felt like God told me not to date him (we’ll call him Joe to protect his identity). In fact if I pulled out my journal from then, I’m sure I even wrote it down: “Joe asked me out but I feel like God is saying no. But I don’t understand why…”

My mistake was questioning God’s instructions. It doesn’t matter why. I knew what God was telling me, but I ignored it. Joe was a good guy, a Christian, athlete, nice, and he really liked me. Why wouldn’t I go out with him? After a few weeks getting to know each other I did end up dating Joe. All along I noticed little inconsistencies in stories he would tell, things that didn’t matter, or so it seemed. Six months into dating it ended. He had lied about things and about who he was. While I was sad and hurt, I knew I had no one to blame but myself. God told me not to date him and I chose not to listen.

As I’m thinking about other mistakes I’ve made, I realize several of them involve not listening to God. Why I think my plans are better than what God has told me, I don’t know. It’s a dangerous line to walk. Not listening to God and following His plans can lead to a lot of negative consequences. Not because God’s trying to punish you for choosing wrongly, but because He tried to save you from that destruction.Even if its confusing, or inexplainable, or doesn’t make sense, or the hard choice, listening and following God is the always the best path.

What mistake have you made that you wish people could learn from and choose differently? Take the bold step to talk about it. Admit your failures. Better yet, look around you and learn from others’ mistakes.


The Bed Rest Photo Album #2

The first few weeks of bed rest were charted in Photo Album #1. The photos below are from February and March. Enjoy!

Here’s the bed I would go to in the Baby/Music Room when my sheets were being changed.

Quite a few of these photos involve a Starbucks cup.

Operating a computer sideways… a skill one must learn with practice.

Visitors! Lauren and baby Connor (asleep in his carseat) and cousin Kristi and Tyler. 

Tyler pretending he’s on bed rest in the guest room.

Lauren making notes for me of strollers and sleeping tips.

Mom, Dad, Cathy, Lauren, and Tucker came to visit.



While I go to the bathroom Mom and Cathy make their “bed rest” pose.  

Look – I’m wearing real clothes and on a couch downstairs!

Rob from Young Life came to say hi.

Trying to figure out how much money I owe Mom, my personal shopper.

Jeff and I at my parents’ house. That’s right, I left the house!

Dad came over to fertilize our yard. When he ran out of fertilizer, Mom and I decided this would be a great time to go to Starbucks, conveniently located in the same shopping area as Ace where Dad can get fertilizer. We may have also stopped at Burger King to get Cinnabon minis.  Those things are great!

That’s all I’ve got for now! See Facebook for Baby Shower pictures. I’m not sure if my photographer has taken pictures in April.  Perhaps there’ll be a third album.

The Bed Rest Photo Album #1

If you know my mom, you know she always has a camera in her hands (except when she was pushing me in a wheelchair in Babies R Us). Mom has been the source of most of these photos documenting the days of bed rest. I thought you’d enjoy these…

Photo Album #1 – January: the first two weeks of bed rest

Pre-Bed Rest

A pre-bed rest shot taken in mid January

The "Happy Pill" which seems to laugh endlessly

Stay tuned for Photo Album #2 featuring more visitors and me actually getting dressed some days.