Thursday, March 27, 2014


Change.  It happens when things are left alone.  But sometimes we make decisions that are sure to provide more of it.  

I made a decision just 4 years ago.  I wanted to pursue a new career.  More than a career - I wanted to pursue a now clear calling that my mind had stopped me from seeing years ago in order to comply with what I felt my environment wanted from me.  My current environment was not having it either.  But I was too strong to let it stop me this time.  Call it civil disobedience, call it what you will... I did it.  I pushed forward and nothing was stopping me.  I found that my environment adapted and even began to support me.  And what I'm left with is 3 years of filling myself with knowledge and experience and increased desire to help people in a way I couldn't before.  I am energized at the end of the day when I do help people, instead of being zapped of energy in my previous career which was intellectually exciting but lacking in personal fulfillment.   I am so privileged to have had this opportunity.  The rest of my life's work is still yet to be determined as I take my degree and add to this great knowledge and experience while leaning always on the wisdom and strength of God.

With this is another decision made by our family.  And again WE faced an environment that was / is clearly not in agreement with us.  When I speak of environment, I mean a particular one which means the most to us, even though other (often accepting) environments still mean a LOT to us and have been a huge support!  But I have to remember that those who truly love us will adapt and begin to support.  Because they love us and that's what love does.  True love is given freely and not conditionally.  And yet we push forward with some hesitation.  Clear with our decision but not without difficulty and a sense of loss.  What keeps us moving forward is what we believe we will gain: what is important to our family... to have more time together, to enjoy our world more freely, to stay healthy for a larger portion of the year, to have more access to outdoor life, to have the best education for our kids without a lot of stress, to live in a culturally, economically, and socially thriving community, to use our resources more productively, to access greater natural beauty daily, to build stronger relationships with our loved ones.

Despite best efforts to wait until we were ready to tell close family friends, our news leaked out.  For the first time, without one of these friends asking me because they found out another way but because it did leak out, I am announcing that we are moving.  No, not everything is in place, and this is why we wanted to wait to share the news!  Yes, I am terrified at times.  But the ball is in motion and we are now operating on faith that it WILL all fall into place.

So we keep moving forward.  I am determined to finish my MSW in a strong fashion, giving my best to my internship and my last papers and final exams.  I try to have faith that my husband will find a job.  The more I think things will be stressful, the more they are.  So I'm trying to take it one day at a time and diffuse the stress.  I'm enjoying my family as much as possible and keeping up with housework as best as I can while continuing to sift through, and organize or purge our belongings.

As we slowly rifle through our things, we are met with many reminders of the past.  We learn what we are now willing to shed and what we are not.  We remember that the important reminders of the past lie in our hearts, not in our attic.  

And here and there we are met with a worldly "treasure"... that we try to sell on Ebay...  (I kept this for 20 years??)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Instragram–I’m a Little Behind


I am not a morning person.  Recently I did a sleep study at a nearby medical center.  They kick you our pretty early.  I got to see a sunrise in the parking lot…


Ella and Velvet-cat.  So sweet.  And of course she’s reading.  I think she does about 98% of her waking hours.20120702-IMG_0861

We had some of the kids friends over – 3 brothers – for watergun fights and trampoline jumps.20120702-IMG_0866

I have many crochet and one knitting project partway through.  I finally finished up one crochet project.

(In the background is Ella taking her first piano lesson.  She was amazing!)20120703-IMG_0881

Here’s another crochet project that I have been working on.  At this point (not at this point in the picture, but at this point in time as I type this post) it is almost complete.

And this happens to be in the car going to vacation Up North on the 4th of July.20120704-IMG_0884

Ok, this is not Instagram, but it was from my phone.  This week back home in Northern Illinois it was in the high 90’s.  Up North in Wisconsin, we found a bit of refuge from the heat.20120704-IMG_0887

Ah, true heaven.  Our home away from home.  And bonus, this campground had NICE showers and flushing toilet.  YES!

This campsite was in Algoma, Wisconsin.  As Jason pointed out, the name of this town sounds eerily like a type of cancer/tumor.20120704-IMG_0889

No camping trip is complete without an electronic keyboard.  Right?20120704-IMG_0904

Sweet pic of Jason and Ella where we had a picnic near the beach.20120705-IMG_0909

The beach.  No, it’s not Miami.  It’s ALGOMA and it’s not the ocean, it’s Lake Michigan!20120705-IMG_091020120706-IMG_091320120706-IMG_091520120706-IMG_0922

After two nights in Agoma, we were on our way farther North to Door county.  Lots of barn quilt squares along the way.  I love Wisconsin.20120706-IMG_0928

We settled at a new campsite in Ellyson Bay, WI.  This was an even better campground with even better showers, flushing toilets and well maintained everything.  Here are some random pics of our trip.  I CANNOT leave out this darling squirrel.  We have squirrels in our area, but the ones we saw here were so tiny in comparison.20120707-IMG_093120120707-IMG_093220120707-IMG_093420120707-IMG_0935

This is another town in Door County called Sister Bay.20120707-IMG_093820120707-IMG_094120120707-IMG_0942

The follow spot is one of the most peaceful places I’ve experienced in my life.  Really.20120708-IMG_094720120708-IMG_0950

Ella is doing the Grayslake Pageant again this year.  Here she is at the first practice.20120716-IMG_0980

At my family birthday lunch.20120717-IMG_0991

A haircut I got this Monday.

Before (I know not a great comparison since I had a ponytail)20120723-IMG_1017

After. Well, I love it!  I wish I could get it as straight and sleek as my stylist!20120723-IMG_1018

Monday, July 2, 2012

Life Via Instagram

I have discovered Instagram and LOVE IT!  I really enjoy documenting day to day life when something exciting (to me) happens.  So I may make it a weekly post if I have the time.  For now, this is from the last few weeks…

Backyard fallen nest spotting.

Instagram June (1 of 1)

Garden growing.

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Peanut Butter S’mores Turnovers making and eating.


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Campfire enjoying.

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Interesting position reading.

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Strawberry picking.

And sampling.

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Birthday Partying.

Miles turned 7 – Kid party at the house, family party at Ravinia Music Festival

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Swim Lessoning.

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Sunset watching.

Target Parking Lot

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Crochet Project Completing.

Lace-Ruffles Scarf

Dress Hand Jive Clothing

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Social Work Learning and Wisconsin Campus Enjoying.

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Early 4th of July Celebrating.

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My July Birthday Advent Calendar Opening.

My husband and kids made this for me.  It’s very sweet. I feel odd celebrating my birthday month so purposefully.  But very blessed to be thought of so.

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