Can I get an Alleluia?

It was 5:50am when my cell phone buzzed against my nightstand.  ‘Crap. It can NOT be time to get up yet’ 

6:00am. ‘Seriously… I am going to die.’

6:10am. ‘Can I get away with not showering?’

6:13am I decide against not showering.  It would be a long day and I know I will regret the odor later. I am going to see some people I like, possibly hug them… not showering is unfortunately not an option.

I arrive at church at 6:50am and am surprised to see so many people out and about that early in the day.  Did I mention this is all BEFORE 7am? What are people thinking? Maybe they went to bed around 4pm the night before, which I had contemplated on doing all week while dreading the inhumane wake-up call.  I had a fabulous team of workers to begin cutting strawberries, flipping pancakes, cracking eggs and setting up the tables.  It would be a fine Easter Breakfast by Christ the King… so I prayed.

Church commences much earlier than I expected at 7:42am.  I rush around the corner to my office to grab the money and iPad (which we are now using for card swiping- hooray technology!!).  People are literally throwing money in my face.  “Here’s for two!” they shout. “Thank you. Happy Eas—-,” as I am interrupted by the next {mostly} gray-haired, 7am church-goer.  All so sweet and excited to fill up on delicious pancakes. More and more people arrive and the line is getting long with hungry Lutherans.

8:25am.  I look over at Claire (one of my oh-so-sweet juniors and Pastor Patrick’s daughter), “We need to start counting how many people we’ve had.” After a few attempted failures at the mathematics involved in adding her count to mine, we were at 92. “Ninety-two!? Claire, you might want to run and tell Renee.  We only planned for 150 and we have another 2 1/2 hours to go.” 

8:31am. Claire tells Renee- our executive chef.  There is no panic or horror on Renee’s part (obviously just leaving it up to me- since I do it best).  Seems like no one is super worried about the lack of food predicament we may be in shortly.  Finally, Dear Isaac shows up (Pastor Patrick’s son) asking for my church credit card and a list of food to purchase.  Problem: My credit card has used up all its allotted money for the month due to the kids’ Green Lake Bible Camp deposits.  My mind races.  I start to sweat more than usual.  Things may have gotten a little fuzzy at that point, I don’t remember.  “Patrick! Patrick will know what to do!'” And he did. It came to him much quicker than me… ‘use another card’ didn’t make its way to the thought process. Isaac runs swiftly to Cub, without a list (twice, actually).  

9:02am. People are clearing out, but I know we’ll have another rush of families around 9:45.  Some of the first shifters leave and I find out that they were low on pancakes and couldn’t keep up with the demand.  Pancakes were literally coming from the griddle straight to the plates and into the mouths of the people.  Can’t get more fresh than that!  I didn’t hear any complaining and my panic level was low, since I didn’t know about it.  Phew, dodge that bullet.  Isaac comes back with the food, remembering everything he was told… I decide I was not that “together” at 18. 

9:45am. Justine, Wendy and family arrive which begins our second round rush.  Lucy, Devin and Eleanor come in and greet me. Finally…  I can drown myself in food and try to forget the possible heart attack I may have endured… okay, okay, exaggerating? Who am I kidding, I was starving and relieved they arrived so I could stuff my face with pancakes and sausages.  And I did.  In record time, I think. 

10:38am. The second crowd dies down and most people are headed into the 11am service.  I talk with a few (again, wonderful!) workers and the fam heads into church.  The sermon was excellent… wait, a sermon? I forget I don’t actually get to pay attention with small children that shriek and smash crackers into the carpet (sorry for the mess, Al).

11:08am. I rush home to hide eggs while Devin and the girls take the “scenic route”.  They rush downstairs to find the eggs.  Lucy does such a great job!  This is the first year she was REALLY into it.  She finds all nine eggs must faster than I expected.  The Easter baskets come out and she is thrilled that the bunny left her some Minnie socks, Minnie and Sofia coloring books, bubbles, and four games.  Nora wants to eat the Easter grass… typical Nora.  

We had a wonderful Easter lunch of fish sticks and fruit before we swiftly got the girls down for nap.  How in the hell have I been up for 6 1/2 hours already? Ugh.  I find some Reeses’s peanut butter eggs (which are, hands down, the best kind) and eat one while wishing for two or three more.  Nap-time goes by quickly (doesn’t it always…) and we get the girls dressed again; ready to head to the Carlson’s!

This was the first time that Devin and I would not be ‘home’ for Easter.  In the 8 years I’ve worked at CTK I’ve always managed to weasel my way out of Easter Breakfast duties (haha, Devin… I just said dootie).  The Carlson’s graciously invited us over to their house to have an Easter egg hunt for the girls.  Now, let me go on a little rant about how much I love the Carlson/Paulson clan.  Seriously- what wonderful people in our lives!!  Our family away from family… such incredible friends who are much more like family to us!  Anyway, we get to the Carlson’s and I stuff my face with sugary-treats and frickles (my request since she had posted a FB picture earlier this week).  Stephanie took Nora, CJ took Lucy and they headed out to find the green and pink plastic Easter eggs.  “Mom!! Lookit!” Lucy said, “Egg!! Lucy find it.” OMG so adorable. 

We go for a few wagon rides (Stephanie riding once while Lucy pulled.. unfortunately no picture, but what a memory!), eat more snacks, watch Eleanor get into trouble with rocks and stairs and we are there until about 6:30pm.  What a beautiful day!  We spent the entire time outside, enjoying each others’ company, thanking God for the marvelous weather on an incredibly blessed holiday. 

Phew.  What a day!  

But most importantly… another day! Another day to be with each other, loving, enjoying, laughing and praising!  Another day we’ve been saved, loved, guided and cared for by our Savior.  One of my fav Casting Crowns’ songs says it all: “Living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away.”

Happy Easter.  Jesus is Risen!!!!!  Alleluia!


A few shots form our beautiful Easter 2014.Image

Everything but Typical



Well… this is us.

We’re that annoying, white, middle-class family living in a green split-level home on a street where neighbors help each shovel snow and kids play in the streets.  We have a dog.  We attend church on Sunday mornings.  We go to the park.

Kind of.  I mean, there’s a heckuva lot more to us than that.

There’s Eleanor… lovingly called Nora by most, who is the most beautiful baby in the world {trust me}.  She loves eating breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner.  She loves to eat your breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner.  She loves SuperWhy and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  She loves seeing the dog, Piper, when she first wakes up in the morning.  She laughs at the song “Baby Bumblebee” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”  She’s incredible.  And on March 8, 2013 she completed our family in a way words cannot describe.

There’s Lucy… who some days demands us to address her as “Lucy-rella”, who could care less about eating unless it was pickles, pretzels and m&m’s.  She was born on November 8, 2010 after 28 hours of labor and a failed epidural.  She was a pretty incredible baby; slept through the night at 2  1/2 months old and hit all those major milestones early {rolling over at 5 weeks!!!}  Until we noticed her speech was not that great… from then on we were on a whirlwind adventure of hearing tests, meetings and interviews with district services and transferring pre-schools.  At this time we’re still waiting for an official ASD diagnosis, which continues to be challenging some days.  She brings such spunk, beauty and laughter into this world.  She is my heart.

There’s Devin… who is pretty awkward, especially when he thinks he’s funnier than he really is.  He knows everything about sports (seriously, everything), which is pretty impressive given the amount of time he gets to himself after working and putting kids to bed.  He’s an absolutely phenomenal dad… like award-winning.  His last Father’s Day card read “BEST DAD EVER” so I mean, we’re talking really serious Guinness Book of World Records-ish kind of awards.  When he’s not at home, he’s doing something that’s computery & nerd-ish for Pear Tree Greetings, allowing us to send out high-class Christmas cards {clearly most important to me}.

And Me… Meyer’s Briggs recently told me I’m an extrovert which is a huge shocker.   I love my kids a whole heap and take great joy and pride sharing roughly 12 to 893 photos of them daily {mostly with matching clothes}.  I constantly underachieve in most activities I partake in.  I can’t bake, sew or clean to save my life and often question my domestic abilities.  I love  my job as a Jr High Youth Director.  “JUNIOR HIGH!??” you ask? Yes.  There’s something so unbelievably amazing about squirrely, smelly, honest 13-year-olds that are so lovely to me.  My Minnesota accent keeps me from traveling outside of the state (and lack of cash, ya know).  But most importantly, I hate stickers.

And there you go.  Don’t miss out on our typical family that is all but typical.