a favorite

One of the best things about my family, is that even though there are already biologically 8 of us, we keep "adopting" people into our family. If you need a surrogate family in Ames, feel free to stop on by my parents house. :)

My sweet friend and "sister," Eve is one of the first and certainly the longest lasting Duvick adoptee. Eve's been around forever. The woman taught me how to drive (which was not an easy feat). She's seen us all through our ups and downs and she still loves us. The feelings are mutual.

So when Eve was back in Ames for the weekend and participating in Family Fun Night with the rest of my family, I couldn't resist. I had to see her!

I think it was fate that Eve was sandwiched in between Alyssa & I during the game. 

Obviously, it was worth it. I just love this lady. Then, a week later, I received the most encouraging note in the mail. Not only was it from one of my favorite people, but it was a handwritten letter, which is one of the best things in the world to receive. It uplifted me on a day I really needed it.

 So thanks Eve, you're a favorite. So glad you're in my family.


30 Before 30

i wrote this about 7 months ago and found it in my drafts. here you go!

my blogger friend, mrs. dexter, inspired me. i call her my blogger friend because i really don't know her other than her totally rad blog. which i think is kind-of cool. 

anyway, she inspired me to write a list of things i'd like to do before i'm thirty. i'm 23 (shocking, i know) shoot, i'm 24 now, is that still shocking? and i have approximately 6 5.5 years left to accomplish these things. so, because i've been dreaming and scheming about a lot of these things anyway, here you go. 

in no particular order...
  1. ride in a hot air balloon
  2. travel overseas to another country CHINA 2012 BABY!
  3. develop my (limited) graphic design skills and design a website/blog
  4. create my own craft blog/shop
  5. become proficient at five new craft skills (such as quilting, needle-point, crochet, etc.)
  6. design and develop at least one unique, from-my-own-brain craft
  7. pay off all debt
  8. pay off our mortgage for our mobile home
  9. pay cash for a second car DONESKIES
  10. save 6 months of expenses
  11. buy a house (one that has a foundation and everything!)
  12. run a 5K
  13. meet my goal weight and maintain
  14. become a mother (Lord-willing)
  15. develop a home management system that works for me
  16. plant a garden
  17. eat more food it it's most natural form
  18. study the entire bible in depth
  19. research and form my own opinions about birth, vaccinations, child-rearing
  20. learn how to french braid my hair
  21. become more hilarious (while trying to curb any offending sarcasm at the same time)
  22. buy my husband a new musical instrument
  23. read 60 books (approx. one per month)
  24. attend a birth
  25. buy a cow or a half cow (not alive, to eat, from a real farm)
  26. learn how to play an instrument (even if it's the kazoo)
  27. share the gospel with someone
  28. work up to giving 20% of our income away
  29. make my children their own clothes
  30. plant a tree


Our Christmas Letter & Picture

For those of you that didn't get our christmas letter in the mail, I thought I'd post this for you to enjoy. I try really, really hard to write a witty, clever and often sarcastic letter every year so that our friends and family have something to look forward to. This one is my favorite so far. While it is heavily cloaked in a narrative about Bryan and I evidentially becoming hipsters, it actually tells the reader quite a bit about our daily life. 

If you click on this picture, I believe you should be able to read the full-size version. 

With the letter, I included one of two pictures. The first of the two pictures below is for the people in our life who may have appreciated a silly letter, but a silly picture on top of that? Well, that may have been too much to handle. This group is mostly make up of extended family, the ones who may be able to endure my sillyness in the letter, but they still wanted to have a normal picture of us to hang on their fridge.

This is Bryan and I at Jeremiah and Layla's wedding in September. This is the dress that I referenced in the letter. Aren't we the cutest?!

The following picture is the one we sent to most of our special friends who we thought could handle a little extra dose of over-the-top comedy.

This is Bryan and I next to my tree sweater in downtown Iowa City. We're wearing oversized plastic rimmed glasses (not the ones we normally wear), skinny jeans and ugly christmas sweaters. Also, the picture was instagrammed before final production.  

So, which picture did you get?



Do you want to know something about my sister-in-law, Valerie? She's a nester. Ah, I'm so jealous of her nesting skills. Just look at her apartment!

totally stole this from you sis. stop being so awesome and it won't happen again.  

Yes, that's right, apartment. And their last apartment was just as adorable. Oh my goodness, I've owned and lived in our trailer for almost 3 years and I'm still not nested in yet.

I have other friends that are nesters too-like Lauren, just look at her apartment via her blog. SO CUTE. And of you other nesters out there, you know who you are. And I am not one of you.

I've deduced a few of reasons why I'm not a nester.

I don't know what I want or what my style is and I'm scared to make a decision in that regard. I'm a trend follower, I don't have very many original ideas yet and I simply don't know what I want. So my home is basically ikea-clad with a few touches of my own that I've been slow to add. It's cool, I'm okay with it. Kind-of.

I get distracted from my own home and own style. I see something on someone else or in someone else's home and then I make something or buy something that reminds me of them. I'm all, Ooooo, I should totally make so-and-so this because that would fit perfectly in their house/with their baby! What can I say, I'm a giver. And I don't know what I want to make myself or buy myself because I'm still working on number one.

Probably the most dominant of the three, I'm a purger and I hate moving our stuff around and I'm sure were going to move out of this trailer eventually and WHY DO WE EVEN NEED ALL THESE BLANKETS AND BOOKS AND COFFEE TABLES AND RECORDS AND INSTRUMENTS?!?!? I seriously don't know how to properly value the things we do own. I'm trying to work on it but I can't say I'm doing very well. [Anyone else catch that gem of a quote on Downton tonight?]

Anyway, if you're a nester, I applaud you and I'm jealous of you. And that's really all I have to say about that.


pandora knows me so well.

this song played on my pandora today. it made me smile. 


Stewardship | My word for 2013

In case you were a little concerned about my well-being after yesterday's post, rest assured, I'm going to be okay.

Because of my unfavorable 2012, the ringing in of the new year was more refreshing then it ever has been for me. I was so ready for the new year, that by the middle of December I had completely given up on 2012. I needed that new year. When it finally came, it was truly a joyous moment. A new year, a fresh start, a new perspective.

It was so good and necessary for me to put into words how awful last year actually was, and it was equally good and necessary to resolve to leave it as it is, in the past. Onto a new year.

Yesterday, as I was writing, praying and considering the new year, I feel like God gave me a word. I've done this for several years now, that is, picked a word to define my new year. One word to describe what I want to see in my life after a year. God gave me the word, "Stewardship."


Definition: The responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.

What are the things in my life that are worth caring for? In no particular order:

My work
My time
My home
My husband
My friends
My family
My money
My hobbies

Frankly, I think last year could be summed up by a lack of stewardship in many of these areas. So happily take on this word for this new year. It couldn't be more perfect.

As I journey through this year, armed with my word, I hope to share with you how God is transforming me in stewardship and anything else along the way.

Happy New Year!


A Reflection on 2012

I think a lot of people are with me when I say that 2012 just wasn't my year. I don't want to appear ungrateful for the blessing of another year of life and truly, I'm not ungrateful. It's just that, it wasn't my year.

As we passed into 2013, a little less than a week ago, I honestly felt relieved to finally wash my hands of 2012. And of course, here I am, ironically rehashing my 2012 for all to read. I suppose I just can't deny that all of last year is going to dramatically affect this year. Therefore, I'm brought to reflection, so I go into 2013 equipped with the lessons of the past (more on that tomorrow).

I'm only 24 years old, so I know I'm being dramatic, but last year may have been the worst year of my life to date. As the year went on, it seriously just kept getting worse. By that I mean, the external pieces of my life continued to crumble one by one. I hated it. I could spend many sentences inducing your pity by over-sharing about all of the "bad things" that I encountered. But as I consider it more, I believe the internal struggles in my life to be the true disappointments. These are things that beat me down over and over again this year.

Unhappy, Discontent, Restless, Depressed, whatever you want to call it. 
My general mood in 2012 was...something...this year. I apologize to all of my friends who had to put up with me. At one point I might have said that "I wasn't myself", but the horrifying thing is that I started to believe that this was who I truly was. A depressed, unhappy person who just wasn't content with her life.
I kept hoping for some big change to sweep my off my feet. Something to excite me again, to stir my heart toward all of things I was made to do. And when things didn't change, I spiraled further down into my unhappiness. I've never been more guarded, stoic, and grumpy then I was last year. Again, my apologies to those who are my friends.

Seeking distraction
In the open and vulnerable moments of the year, I was a mess. Tears filled my eyes at the drop of a pin, and I emoted over every one and everything. (Should I throw in another apology here?) But most of the time, I sought distraction. I attempted (and often succeeded) to bury my fears, my sadness, and my discontentment. I watched a lot of tv.
Slowly but surely, laziness crept into my life. I wasn't dealing with my own sadness and that turned into not dealing with a lot of things. Things like cooking and cleaning. I avoided these simple chores at all cost, only acting when absolutely necessary. My poor husband, we actually started to get sick of eating out because because we relied on it so often. And then, of course, this led to the guilt of shirking my responsibilities as a wife and homemaker.

So I had this cloud over me for most of the year. One of sadness, guilt, laziness. One of waiting for something. I don't know what it was, or what it is, but it was keeping me from living my life as I was created to.

To sum it up, I suppose 2012 was one of those years of my life that I just barely skated through. I managed to keep up with everything just enough. I managed to keep my head above water-sort of. I managed to survive. Sorry, I must repeat myself, I managed to survive. I guess I'm a little amazed that I made it to this fresh start of a new year.

I'm washing my hands of 2012. I'm giving it to the Lord, asking Him to take it and make something beautiful of it in this new year. Because I couldn't do anything beautiful with 2012. 2012 was a dark cloud in my life, but God doesn't see the dark clouds. He sees all of eternity. In His sovereignty and His greatness, He sees not only my whole life, past, present and future, but also all of eternity in one glance. He sees His glory over it all. And eventually, I pray, He will give me the eyes to see not a dark cloud of a past year but His glory.


i've accomplished some things.

as a follow up to this post, here's where i'm at with life.


speaking of unfinished things...

you want to know something? i'm a flip-flopper. i think it's who i was created to be. if you need proof and believe in those meyers-briggs personality descriptions, you'll be interested to know that i test nearly dead center on three out of the four letters. i'm only slightly more extroverted than introverted, i'm definitely sensing (the only strong letter i have), i'm a feeler that was raised by a thinker of a mother, and i toggle between judging and perceiving based on the day.

i've loosely been an esfj for the last five or six years, but i think i'm entering the next season of my life as an esfp. my mom has recently taken to calling me her "p" girl. which basically means that while i'm creative, i'm also scatterbrained and have a tendency to move on before whatever project i'm working on is finished. 

this blog is a great example. it's been a while. hey friends. thanks for reading again. 

and here is a little something to prove my "p" tendencies. i took these pictures last may:

any guesses at how many of these things i've actually finished? 

until next time...