Wednesday, March 31, 2010


As many people know, I love to be involved in many different organizations within the community. I believe that this started when I was young. My parents always had me involved in sports, youth group, piano, church, work camps, jobs, camp at the YMCA just to name a few. That has carried over into my adult life. I live my life by the verse: To whom much is given, much is expected - Luke 12:48. Today was the first night that we were able to serve dinner to the residents at Grace Place in Somerset, Wi. This is the old church rectory that is run by the United Way in St. Croix Valley. They serve as a transitional shelter for people in the St. Croix Valley that have fallen on hard times. It was a wonderful experience to be able to serve a nice dinner to them and sit around and talk with them about life. All expressed a single thought... they were all ready to move on. Most were excited to share where they were at in their journey. A few have apartments in various locations and will be moving out within the next week. A few others were still searching for jobs and would be moving out within the next month. Anna, has a 4 month old daughter, and she is looking for a job as a housekeeper or doing laundry at a hotel. She is a bit scared of moving out to be on her own with her daughter. She has been at GP since her husband dropped her off on January 8th.
Another reason that we are reminded to be thankful for all of the wonderful things in our lives. Even those small things that we have and take for granted to often... a roof over our heads, food on the table, money in our pocket, a reliable vehicle, a job, a loving family, a supportive group of friends! For each of these things, I will be forever grateful!


California was a great time! I enjoyed time sitting by the pool, walking on the beach and reconnecting with those that I only see once a year! What made the trip even better was that I was able to see Jen! She and I had such a great time catching up and chatting about life! The week away was capped off by a wonderful Luau at the hotel complete with fire dancers!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lucky Duck

Well, to say that I am unluck is an understatement. I never win anything. Even if I do, I don't really win it! Last year at our Rotary event, my name was drawn to win the laptop. Since I am a member of Rotaract, I was not eligible and they selected another winner. Well, tonight I am a winner! I won at iPod Touch at the final night Luau... I did not even have any tickets in the hopper until I complimented the DJ on his lovely grass skirt. He took a bunch of tickets off the roll, gave them to me and the rest is history!

Now, just to figure out how this thing works...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Flex or Cube?

Huntington Beach is great! The weather is perfect. The beach is wonderful. The hotel is so nice. Of course, I was sad to leave Bennett on Friday, but things went well with the flight and had a great time arriving in LA. I then had a shuttle ride to the hotel. Once I arrived it was after 1:00 am, so I was beat and ready for bed. Today, we had a meeting in the morning and had a great lunch with Jen! It was so nice to catch up with her. So long since we had seen each other. Then after spending some relaxing time on the beach, we headed out dinner with Bryon & Myrna. They had a rental car... the Ford Flex also known as the shoe box on wheels! I will let you be the judge!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Well, Friday I will be leaving for CA. Huntington Beach to be specific. The first time that I will leave Bennett with the exception of a couple of overnights at Nana or Grandma's house. I will be gone for 3 days (5 days, but won't see B for three of them). I was really feeling bummed about being away from him, but I know that it is the best for everyone. So Nana and Papa will be here to take care of Bennett since Travis is still working mad hours. I am sure that they will have a great time... Bennett is in love with everything outside and just screams when we have to go in for the night so I am guessing that they will be playing outside the whole time I am gone.
So Friday, I fly out to California. I am going to connect with a long lost friend on Saturday... I can't wait to see her. Jen moved to CA a few years ago and works for Callaway. She loves CA, but I know that lots of people miss her here at home. Then Sunday I have to work the trade show and Monday will be a nice day of relaxation. I am thinking that even though it will be so hard to be away from Bennett, I will enjoy the time. So California... here I come!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back Seat Driver

As a baby, the car seat always faces backwards. Bennett rode backwards in his bucket, then moved into the Britax and remained backwards until his first birthday. We were very excited to turn him around. We went to Atlanta for his birthday and he rode forward facing in the rental car. We came home and went to his one year check up. Dr. Plotnik then asked us about his car seat. Was he rear or forward facing? We said we had just turned him around. She then told us that the American Academy of Pediatrics was recommending that young children stay rearing facing until 2 years or they reach the weight limit. Last weekend, Bennett was on the scale and is weighing in around 33 lbs. We decided that now was the time to switch him forward facing! He was just perplexed by what was going on when we first put him in the seat to go to church that night. I thought it would be super excited, but that was not the case. He really seemed indifferent about the change. Just another sign that Bennett is growing up to be such a big boy!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Golden Birthday

Today is Bennett's "sort of" golden birthday. He is 22 months on the 22nd of March! I still sit and watch him play or sleep and wonder where the time has gone. This has never been more evident since Elleny has been born. Seeing her tiny, cute and swaddled brings me back to when Bennett was a newborn and all of the trials that come with no sleep, nursing a baby 24 hours a day and just the general uprooting of your entire life. Travis and I had no idea what we were in store for when Bennett was born. I do believe that I walked around as a zombie most of the first year of his life. Bennett was not the greatest sleeper, but makes up for it now! To think that 22 months have passed since he was born just amazes me. I can not even remember what our life was like without him. I love you, Bennett Jon! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Bennett and Oliver have become best of friends. When we first brought Bennett home from the hospital, and for that matter, when I was pregnant, Oliver knew something was up and was not crazy about it. Then Bennett slept, ate and hung out in our arms and Oliver went on with his daily life. Then Bennett started crawling and becoming even more mobile. That was bad news for Oliver! Bennett is crazy about his puppy and loves giving him hugs and kisses, walking him around the house and rough housing with him. They are so cute together. It goes from Oliver relaxing on the couch to all out play with Bennett. They love each other soooo much!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Finally, it has been nice enough to go outside. Truly the weather has been unbelievable for the past week and a half! We are loving it! This has given Bennett the opportunity to play outside every night when we get home. We have taken walked with Elleny, played with Charlie, Lincoln and Spencer and thrown balls all over the neighborhood. This morning we went up to the tot park and did some sliding!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bennett 21 Months

Since this blog was just started, I wanted to catch up and post Bennett's most recent professional pictures. We have been diligent about having pictures taken of Bennett every three months. I just love having new pictures around the house and I know that we will look back on all of these memories years from now and be so happy that we captured the moments. We take lots of pictures of Bennett, but I feel as though a professional does it so much better then we ever could. Thank you Tamika for doing such a wonderful job of capturing our family. We look forward to seeing you in May.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


After what happened yesterday, so many words come to mind. Appreciative for what we have, thankful for life, grateful for all of our blessings... Those blessings are endless! Life is GOOD!!

March 17th

Yesterday was a day that started off as any other Wednesday and took a turn for the worst on my way to work. I dropped Bennett off at Heather's like any other day and decided that I wanted to run to McDonald's and grab something to eat. Normally, I take a different route to work, but going there took me down Crest View Dr. After grabbing my food and eating, I continued on my way to the post office, followed by going to the office. As I was approaching the interesection by Mr. Movies, I noticed a recycling truck that was stopped as he was round the corner turning right. I stopped and slowed down to see what was happening and a car zoomed around the truck/trailer. I continued slowly and noticed a body on the ground. I, of course, went into a panic mode and the adereniline started rushing. I immediately pulled into the West Lake parking lot and picked up my phone and dialed 911. The operater immediately picked up and I told him where I was and that their was a horrible accident with a truck and a bicyclist. The biker was laying on the ground and I was not sure if he was alive. I then got out of the car and ran into the intersection. I was not able to approach the body, but stood near the biker to try and direct traffic around. It was 930 in the morning, so traffic was fairly heavy. I remember telling 911 to hurry and come quickly - it seemed like hours passed until they arrived. During that time, several people pulled over and came to stand by me and asked questions. Several of the men asked if I had checked on the biker - I informed them that I could not. No of them approached the body either. Then one man came up and asked me about the biker and walked over to him and bent down. He then looked at me, shook his head and walked back to his car. During this time the truck driver was on his phone standing near me. I could not hear what he was saying or who is was talking to. I did not want to speak to him! Finally, Officer Hartmann was the first to arrive on the scene and pulled his car into the intersection. He was followed by a few paramedics that parked in the intersection as well and came out of the cars running and immediately started to check on the biker. Emergency vehicle after vehicle arrived - cops, ambulances, EMS... it seemed like they just kept coming. Then people started to clear out - I was not sure what I should do. Would the police want to talk to me or not? Would it be OK to leave? Finally after about 5 minutes one of the officers came up to me and asked for my information. I informed him that I had not seen the accident, but was the 1st to arrive on the scene and called 911. After he collected my information he told me that I was free to leave. As I drove away, I called Travis and just started crying. Such a helpless, scary feeling and range of emotions.
It has been released that the boy was 20 years old - Kevin Smith was his name and he was from Kansas but had moved to Hudson last year. My thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.
When something like this happens it reminds you to be thankful for each and everyday that we are given and count all of the blessings that we have in our lives. I know that I do!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Terrible Two's

It seems as though Bennett is hitting his terrible twos a bit early. It might also be that he misses his Nana and Papa as they are away on a cruise and he asks about them probably 50 times a day! Over the past week, Bennett has become so determined to do his own thing when and how he wants to do it. Bennett has always had a very independent spirit, but it has now gone to a new level. Tonight we went to Culver's for dinner. He was screaming for ice cream, I gave him a spoonful and he refused it. Example: he wants something, and then refuses it once we give it to him. It is so hard to deal with that - what can you do! Nothing will make him happy. Then we went to Target after Culver's. We needed to make a quick trip in to pick up three things. I told him that he could walk as long as he held my hand. He was doing a great job and then wanted to wander away from me. I reminded him that if he did not hold my hand, I would be carrying him. He then started crying and stood at my leg for me to pick him up. Once I did, he started screaming - WALK! What in the world! So frustrating for both he and I. We got home, lucky Travis followed shortly after to relive me. Sometimes I think that Bennett just needs a change in caregivers. He was so happy to see his daddy! Hopefully, this means that the terrible two's will be over sooner then later! Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bret + Val = Engaged

We got news from Bret last night that he and Val are engaged! We were happy with the news and wish them all of the best as they start this new journey together! To celebrate tonight, we headed over to Roseville for dinner at Granite City! Here is a picture from the dinner. Bennett was not crazy about sitting with Bret, but gave him a big hug and kiss before the night was over!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Tonight we brought dinner to Matt, Ember and Elleny! Well, maybe Elleny did not enjoy much of it, but the 5 of us had great pizza and cookies! Matt made some chocolate chip cookies after dinner that Bennett could not get enough of! I think that the picture explains it all :)