Thursday, December 17, 2009

Love me some Thanksgivin...

Oh Thanksgiving, you really are my favorite holiday. Without fail you come bearing wonderful things like my 1) precious family...

My adorable Mom... "Unca John" playing peek-a-boo (sorta) with Emily
Padrick wanted her to wear his hat

2) tons of yummy food (it is SO not an exaggeration when I tell you that I definitely eat the most on this day than any other - and love every bite!) and last but not least, Thanksgiving brings my favorite shopping day of the year!

That's right - it's tradition! My sisters and I get up waaaay before the sun on the Friday after Thanksgiving, pile into my Mom's mini van and brave the freezing cold and crazy people to get ourselves some deals. And some Starbucks. And some Egg McMuffins... cuz those are all part of the tradition too!

My seesters! Love them to PIECES Padrick and I are both pooped after a long day of fun and shopping

Anyway, always lots of fun times and great memories at Thanksgiving... oh how I love it! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving too. Now we're off to New York/Jersey to spend Christmas with John's side of the family! More great memories coming up! :) I'm so blessed to have two amazing families to spend holidays with. (Oh yeah, that's reason number 4 for Thanksgiving... its another chance to stop and realize just how blessed I am.)

Merry Christmas everyone!!

The fam at Notre Dame's stadium
Paul and Padrick running touchdowns on the field How cute is this?? HAA :)
(Thanks for getting us in, Will!)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hello Again!

Wow... where have I been?? My last post was the end of June. Whoops. It seems like our summer just flew by. In July, we spent a week at the lake with my family. We had great weather and were able to spend lots of time soaking up the sun. We had a blast playing with our nephews and niece. Uncle John is a big hit with them... the adoration is mutual. :)

Also in July, John's grandma passed away, after having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just 5 weeks before. Walking through that with the family made us even more grateful for the blessing of our families and strength we gain from one another and from our always faithful Lord. John and I were so thankful for the time we had been able to spend with Grandma (and Grandpa) Stayton here in Colorado. We lots of great memories with her.

A little more current... Wednesday was John's 26th birthday and we got together with some friends to celebrate. We had NY style pizza, cream soda and a peanut butter cup Blizzard ice cream cake... if you know John, you know that's a "John meal". After dinner we went bowling, where Johnny dominated. Or maybe we let him dominate - it was his birthday!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What is that?

I know subtitles can be annoying, and even though this video has them, it's definitely worth watching. It has a great and timely message. It's Father's Day and reminds me of how amazing my dad is. The patience of a man, fathering four girls has to be great - and my dad has it. And he has a love for "his girls" that's unlike anything else I've ever seen. I'm sure I haven't done everything right as a daughter - but one thing I do fully, is love my dad.

May we try to remember in every situation and in every relationship, to love one another with patience and grace.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Oliver and Lucy

Just thought everyone should know that I've named the bunnies living under our deck. John gave in and told me I could... but warned me that I shouldn't get too attached to them. :)

Geez - how cute are these dumb bunnies? They totally make me giggle like a little girl.

I think I need to have a kid or something.

Here's some more pictures of Oliver and Lucy...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Getting Ready for Summer

Summer has finally arrived in the Springs! We've had plenty of rain and some chilly days... but I think we're about done with the cold. We're getting ready for our first summer in our house and are already planning cookouts with friends and a neighborhood block party. :)

John decided we needed a deck in our backyard for our patio furniture... so he built one, of course! I'm so proud of him. He planned it out, went and bought all the materials and dug right in. It looks great and we're both really happy with it. We had our first lunch on the patio yesterday and ended up staying out there reading for hours. The weather was perfect - mid 70s and perfectly sunny - and Pikes Peak was behind us. I love Colorado!!

So while John was working so hard doing his first man-project of the summer, I felt the need to get out there and conquer my fear of gardening. What's the opposite color of green? Whatever it is - that's the color my thumbs are. I've had horrible luck planting things (actually the planting isn't so awful... it's the keeping them alive that I can't seem to do). But I decided I would try again, and this time actually water the plants and see if that would help. :) So I headed out to buy my flowers... picked out a bunch that I loved and was happy to see they all said "Annuals" so they'd come back each year! After all - that's what the word annual means, right? Apparently not.

I also decided to buy some herbs to plant... cilantro, parsley, rosemary and basil. I love cooking with fresh herbs. We'll see if I'll actually be able to grow enough of my own to cook with!

And here's some pics of the deck project... (Cody is a great friend, who came to give John a hand!)

And check out these little guys we just found under our deck! How cute are they?? I wanted to name them, but John says that would just make me sad when he has to "get rid of them". (He's just kidding. I hope.)

Thursday, April 30, 2009


My blog is becoming an opportune place for me to shameless plug my family! Oh well - I don't mind at all. Especially today, because I really believe in this plug.

My uncle has a fantastic blog that I'd love you to check out - especially if you're in any sort of church ministry. Dave has been a small groups pastor for Willow Creek church in Chicago. He has a huge passion for community... he loves to see people in and outside of the church, connected and cared for.

Dave was recently laid off, along with many others at the church, due to economic issues. What's been so challenging to me is his outlook and attitude through all of this. He chooses to not only trust God in this season (which is hard enough to do), but to also reach out and encourage others in the midst of it. Here's a post showing just that...

(Thank you for encouraging us, Uncle Dave. Love you!)

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Many of you already know about SafetySuit... Doug Brown's band (John's cousin) who was signed by Universal last year.  The guys have been touring this Spring with Three Doors Down, Seether and Hoobastank.  Their CD "Life Left to Go" is doing really well with hits like Someone Like You and Stay.  (If you haven't heard their stuff, GO RIGHT NOW to!)  

The band just released their second music video and I wanted to share it!  :D    I think it's incredible.  For real.  (The superhot chic in it is Doug's wife, Carmen - which makes me love it even more.)  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! Like any other holiday, it's such a great time to be with family and friends. And yet, unlike any other holiday, Easter is so full of rememberance for me. A Savior who was without sin, took on my sin and died for me... so that I could have abundant life. The picture of that is so expansive and yet so intimate, all at the same time. Where would I be without my Jesus... He's my everything.

So for the holiday, we drove to Kansas to be with John's family. On the drive there, we had rain and then snow for hours... oh so fun. Driving home, we had rain and then snow once we got home. Lovely! However, the weather while we were actually there was beautiful - so that's a plus! We had a such great time with everyone. The guys did plenty of golfing, which left us girls time for shopping, baking together and just plain catching up.

Just one of the girls! Me with John's Aunt Patti, Grandma and Mom

Got these pics from my sisters. Looks like the boys had a fabulous Easter too! Geez... the adorable-ness is overwhelming me :)

Paul and Emily with Mommy and Daddy - all ready for church. And Paul with his easter basket - look at that face!!

Padrick in his adorable easter outfit complete with newsie hat. Then he's off to hunt for eggs!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Seriously. How great is the internet?? We’re sitting on our friends’ couch the other night and somehow the topic of Lambert the Sheepish Lion comes up (a cute Disney cartoon that I used to watch with my sisters). Please keep in mind that it’s very late at this point… and just about everything is funny when it’s late. My friend Christy, starts singing the theme song and I immediately join in! Oh what wonderful memories – too bad that cartoon is long gone. Or is it?? :) Within seconds, John has found the cartoon on youtube. So there sit four adults, late at night, mesmerized by a Disney cartoon and thoroughly enjoying re-living our childhood. (Well at least Christy and I were.) You gotta love the information super highway.

Here’s Lambert if you wanna see him! (My sisters are going to love this.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The ROI on Friendship

I thank God for my friends. I mean that sincerely... and literally. A common part of my thanksgiving to God lately(in addition to the gifts of my savior Jesus Christ, my amazing husband and my incredible family) has been thanking Him for my precious friends. I think I've always been pretty mindful of the gift of friendship in my life. But enduring a season of lack, always makes us so much more appreciative of what we have.

Over a year ago, I can remember being absolutely heartbroken over the lack of real friendship and community in our lives. We'd been living in Colorado for awhile and even though I still had my friends back home, we needed friends here - and it was just plain not happening. There were so many attempts made to try and connect but almost always, I came up empty-handed. I won't go into a ton of detail, but that time was incredibly hard for me. Each failed attempt, increased the difficulty of trying again... exponentially. But God saw my heart and knew my desires... He also knew what was ahead. His grace gave me the courage to keep at it and eventually come across the wonderful friendships He had waiting for John and I. And I'm not sure I could possibly appreciate them any more than I do right now.

I wonder how many people are wanting real friendship but the difficulty of trying yet again, is just too much. Real friendship... community... belonging - it costs something. It involves a very real risk of rejection and requires a very real level of vulnerability. But here's the thing - that's true of all worthwhile love. Real friendship and community comes at a cost - because it truly has such a high value. It's an investment that is worth it's return.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tis' the Season

Is anyone else watching way TOO MUCH TV??  There are so many shows on that I just can't miss!  There's 24 (oh my gosh - Bill Buchanan - are you serious?), Jon and Kate Plus 8 (those kids are ridiculously cute... they crack me up!), The Biggest Loser (this show makes me want to get off the couch and go to the gym), American Idol (Anoop is awesome, but my vote is for Allison!), The Office (Michael in that Willy Wonka outfit was hysterical), Saturday Night Live (I think Kristin Wiig is a genius) and Burn Notice (um, Michael is in the middle of the OCEAN!).  And those are just shows that I absolutely CANNOT miss.  How pathetic!  At least we get together with friends to watch a few of these shows each week - so I'm working in a little social interaction to make myself feel better.  :)

It's a good thing summer is coming... I need rerun season to arrive so I can get some stuff done!

(As promised, here are some pics of my lil' pumpkin - Emily!  These are the newborn pictures they took at the hospital - how cute!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lost Generation

Another cool video that John showed me...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Emily Grace

We finally have a girl!! My sister Cindi had her baby girl, Emily Grace Pedersen on Wednesday night, February 11th. There were no complications, and Emily and Mommy are both doing great. And because I know Cindi won't brag on herself - I'll do it for her. That woman had no epidural! She didn't with Paul either (her first baby, who's now a VERY grown up - and hysterical - 2 years old). Cindi definitely got her pain tolerance from my dad. No offense Mom, but you know I'm right there with ya.

Ugh, I can't wait to get home and hold this sweet little thing. I'll have more pics soon!!

Monday, February 2, 2009


Work has been so crazy these past couple of weeks.  John emailed me a link to this video, telling me to watch it when I get a minute.  He said it would remind me "appreciate the little things".  I decided I didn't have time to stop and appreciate... I was much too busy.  (Do you ever get disgusted with yourself??)

I should have stopped to watch it. 

Watch this when you have a minute.  Hope it reminds you to appreciate... and to always get back up.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

We have visitors!

My parents came out to Colorado a last week to visit.  We had such a blast with them!  They came from below zero temperatures and a foot of snow in Indiana... to sunny, 60 degree-weather here in the Springs!  It was a great week for them to be here.  John and I had to work most of the week, but they didn't mind at all.  They went out exploring the city or just relaxed around the house... then we did stuff together in the evenings and over the weekend.  Saturday we took them to a nearby town for the most amazing breakfast spot.  It's a tiny little restaurant called The Pantry - and the food is incredible.

With Mom and Dad at The Pantry - before it got warm for the day!

Then we took them to Manitou Springs to walk around and look at some shops.  I bought this great turquoise cowboy hat!!   

Just kidding.  John wouldn't let me buy it.  Meanie. 

We had so much fun with Mom and Dad.  They were able to see where we work, visit our church and stay in our new home!  I miss them already...  :)