Happy 30th Birthday, Natalie!



Happy Birthday to the baby in our family! Cannot WAIT to celebrate with you next week!!


Natalie is….selfless, kind, loving, caring, loyal, fun, protective, thoughtful, funny, joyful, but most of all…NATALIE IS LOVED.



Her favorite verse is: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”” Isaiah 30:21

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What a pain in the……ELBOW!

Hey! So, I woke up Friday with a pocket of fluid on top of my elbow – this hasn’t happened before.  It didn’t cause any pain/discomfort – my elbow just felt tight (if that makes sense).

 Well, last night my elbow started to bother me a bit.  When I woke up with morning it was on fire.  There is definitely something going on with it.  Unfortunately, the one and only doctor that I have trusted with my elbow is out until Wednesday.  There is one doctor who has done an injection in my elbow 2-3 years ago that I would trust to take this fluid out….and he happens to be doing the walk-in clinic today – so no appointment needed.  I feel relieved about that! (Thank the Lord!)

Normally, I wouldn’t feel quite this panicky about getting it “fixed,” but we have a really big trip coming up on Saturday.  I have been doing everything else to boost my immune system to prevent cold/flu, but didn’t foresee my elbow becoming an issue! =)

It’s been 2 1/2 years since I’ve had to deal with major elbow issues….thankful that it’s been so long, but a bit uneasy about the timing of this flare-up.  I’ve already pretty much cancelled my day and I’m trying not to use/move my elbow.

Trusting in Him that HIs ways are perfect…

Please, please pray that everything works out this week….there have been several hiccups with our upcoming trip. Thank you!

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. Psalms 121:1,2

Also, my Uncle Carl had several strokes last week – he’s home now, but his body took quite a blow. So thankful that he is okay though and still here with us! (He has 5 daughters!) So, so so thankful!

2012 in Review

Was a really great year.  I love this time of year – well, the first of a new year.  To look back over the past twelve months and reelect on the good, bad and in-between.
2012 has been an especially good year when I remember all that was.  It (like many other years) was especially full of family, friends, kids, travel, coffee, laughs, ups, downs, tears and life experience….(let’s just hope I learned something from those life experiences! 😉
One thing never changes from year to year: the Lord is sovereign.  He never changes and He is ALWAYS faithful – even when it doesn’t always “feel” that way.
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A recap!
I spent most of January and February in my home away from home – Williston, ND.  During that time, I got to travel with friends to Cancun for about a week!  It was amazing to travel somewhere warm in the dead of winter!  It was so fun – great travel companions and fun memories….so thankful!
I travelled back to Montana with three good friends from ND who had hadn’t visited my Mom’s house.  My Mom didn’t know two of her friends were coming – so it was a fun surprise and few days spent seeing the valley with them!
It is always nice to come home to see my three little friends: Aidan, Finley & Briar.  I miss them so much when I am traveling , but they have busy little lives – school, sports, church, friends!
I had a check-up and got some clarity on the heart surgery issue (at the time, anyway!) =)  If nothing else, it gave me the push/encouragement to continue to live life and enjoy it!  So, I made plans to travel back to ND for most of June and July.
I turned 31 – couldn’t be more thankful.  June was the 18 month marker that I had been given from the doctors.  They said (in 2010/11) if I didn’t/couldn’t have the aneurysms fixed that I would only have about 18 months to live.  Though I try to remember that only the LORD knows the number of our days.  Inwardly, I was doing a happy dance – I had hit the mark (and surpassed it!).  The truth that has run through my mind: the Lord knows – couldn’t be more TRUE!
The summer was packed full of fun. Annual Medora trip, lake time, jet skiing, day “camping” at Lewis & Clark State Park (brought back childhood memories!), BBQ’s with friends, lunching with the ladies, the OLYMPICS (matching t-shirts with Britt, fish & chips, bread pudding, American food to celebrate USA medals – all the fun and memories!), new babies!, family time, —just so many good times with friends and family back in ND.  So thankful {and BLESSED} as I sit here reminiscing!
In August, back in Montana – life did not slow down – a weekend visit from Idaho family.  We packed in two boat/lake days and a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. Amazingly awesome times!  Natalie, Berkli and Holton came for a week and then we ended summer with a road trip (with all of us!) over Labor Day weekend to Yellowstone!  It was a blast – I forgot how high in elevation Yellowstone is, so I was sort of limited physically, but it was still so much fun.  (Elevations higher than 3500 feet are brutal – makes my heart and lungs work overtime and it makes me feel exhausted, hard to breathe and chest pains – just explain why elevation is a factor!) Anyway, all the cousins LOVE each other and play so well together.  We also explored West Yellowstone – and the Bear & Wolf Preserve. Very cool.  Good times together!
Had a check-up.  The tests went soooo well and I was soooo thankful – they can be a bugger!  The results of the tests? Well, they were okay. My Dad came out for a long weekend visit.  It was fun to have him here – the kids love “Pampo.” We went out to dinner the first night and Briar just kept staring at him – she couldn’t get enough of him. =)
It’s always bittersweet saying goodbye to the long, warm summer days, but I do love the colors, scents and tastes of autumn. I got to fly to visit with my Minnesota friends, Celia, Joci, Bridget (and families) for two weeks in October!  It was sooooo much fun!  We got to stay downtown Minneapolis one night – had a crazy and memorable dining experience and lots of laughs in our room!  We had a great view from our hotel room – it was fun to have a girls night! I love my friends – they are so good to me.  We had so much quality time together those two weeks.  It was difficult to leave!  I love that all their kids know and remember me! Oh, and….I fell in LOVE with Trader Joe’s (first visit) and drank their Apple Cider as if it were my job. (Thanks for tolerating that obsession, ladies! 😉  Got to end the trip seeing childhood friends from ND and meet Baby Owen and attend his baby shower!  I can’t say enough how much I love having the opportunity to get in on those life events.  I just love it.  Tis soooo sweet.
I do love this time of year (Thanksgiving – Christmas).  I love the hustle and bustle.  The thankfulness. The giving. The selflessness.  The traditions. Christmas music. Sugar cookies. Stuffing. Apple Cider! Jesus birth. The celebration. The unity….
On a local church – their sign read: “Gratitude….it’s a god-honoring attitude.’ Isn’t that cool?
For a few months this autumn, my sisters and I planned my Mom’s 60th birthday.  We brainstormed, planned, researched, scanned photos, put together 60 postcards (with photos of Mom throughout her life) and a photo book (with memories), we reminisced about our Mom and it all came together on her birthday – December 7th.  I had a lot of fun celebrating Mom and planning with my sisters.
In the process of working on the photo book – I did something to my neck.  Years ago, the ortho doctors said that eventually my neck would cause some serious issues.  The muscle on the right side of my neck/head was almost constantly spasming with every movement.  Running to the doctor for an xray really wasn’t an option.  I knew there was nothing they could do – I was told that a few years ago.  It gets old hearing that – so I saved myself the torment this time!  After a few weeks of relentless pain and trying so hard to get the book done in the meantime, I went to an acupuncturist.  I knew from experience that acupuncture for neck pain had worked once in the past – so I thought I’d give it a shot.  I hadn’t tried it before because my insurance doesn’t cover it.
The past six weeks or so have been especially great.  I finally have some pain relief and a relaxing outlet (acupuncture).  I was indifferent to trying this treatment, but have been so pleasantly surprised by the outcome.  My neck pain is nearly gone (just maintaining with acupuncture), we are working on eliminating allergies with acupressure and working on other various health issues.  Early on in my treatment, we zapped (and I do mean zapped – within 12 hrs) a low grade bacterial infection (strep throat) that I probably had in my body for weeks – if not months.  I woke up the next day after treatment and I had ENERGY and an appetite – both of which I only sporadically see!  Exciting.  I don’t think acupuncture/acupressure is a cure-all, but I do think if it helps make my life more comfortable – I’m game. Health-wise, It has been an encouraging way to end 2012!
The past few months this verse has been on a Post-It note on my bathroom mirror…Psalm 73:26 – My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. NLT
Thanks for hanging on for the wordy recap! It has been a great year – don’t get me wrong – the year definitely had it’s challenges too, but the Lord is so faithful and I am really hopeful for 2013!