Archives for the month of: June, 2008

Andy and Amanda were married at 3p Friday (6/27) at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines. The reception was at the Temple for Performing Arts in downtown Des Moines. A GREAT time was had by all. Click here for more pictures.


Our little chubster had his two month check-up yesterday and as his new nickname indicates, he is doing really well at gaining weight.  Weighing in at 12lb. 5oz he is in the 75th percentile for his age.  Keep in mind he was three weeks early! 🙂  At 23 inches long he is in the 50th percentile for height and also in the 50th percentile for his head circumfrance.  The doctor said he is very alert and strong.  I didn’t tell her that I had a double espresso before his last feeding! (only kidding Mom)  As Grandpa Ted says, “he is all boy!”  And that he is!  Grunting, kicking and punching are his favorite things to do.  He is also quite the charmer!  He has gone from a little side smile to a huge grin which he flashes when I’m trying to get him on task when he is supposed to be eating. 

God has been so good to us!  He was faithful to first give us a baby and then to bring him into the world in His perfect timing without a single complication.  Michael has been growing and developing so well and that is only because of God’s goodness!  We have nothing that isn’t God’s, including our son.  My prayer is that we would be good stewards of this gift God has given us and that we would show Michael how to love and honor our GREAT God! 

The replacement bus arrived. We walked out onto the shoulder of I-35 to the new bus and are now headed North again. Hopefully this bus holds up… It’s been a rough couple months for the Des Moines Area Regional Transit folks.

The commuter bus I ride from Des Moines to Ankeny just broke down. We’re sitting under the Corporate Woods Drive on the South end of Ankeny waiting for a new bus to come pick us up. Amazingly enough, this is the second time the bus has broken down since I started taking it to work at the end of April.

I’m back in Boston this week for work, and tonight I decided to take a drive in my Mercury Grand Marquis rental car. Although as big as a school bus and easily mistaken for a cab or cop car, it’s actually pretty nice.

As I was driving I came to a stoplight. There were several cars ahead of me, and I saw what I assumed was a homeless guy going from car to car asking for money. To my shame, I seldom give money to homeless people, but tonight, for whatever reason, I decided I would. I pulled a dollar (yeah, not the most generous amount) out of my wallet and waited for him to get to my car.

Then, horror of all horrors, the light turned green, and the guy started walking away – right before he got to MY car. I yelled out the window at him to come back, but he didn’t hear me.  Bummer!  I’m rarely in the mood to give homeless people money, and rarer still is the occasion that I have cash in my wallet. “Conditions were perfect”, to borrow a line from a Flight of the Conchords song,  for a shining Good Samaritan moment, and it was stripped away by a green light, of all things! Who would’ve imagined.

Dejectedly I drove away thinking about what could have been. My disappointment took about two minutes to disapper as I continued driving, eating my McDonald’s double cheeseburger and listening to the local reggae station. I’m not a huge fan of the music, but, living in Iowa, I had no idea there are entire radio stations devoted to that genre.

After a while, I decided to head back to the hotel. I didn’t plan it, but I ended up coming back through the same intersection where I had seen the homeless guy before. This time there was a guy selling flowers, which would have been nice if I were driving home to see Michelle but really of no use to me on a business trip.

I watched as the flower guy moved from car to car. Then, right in front of me, walking towards MY car was the homeless guy.  YES!  I quickly grabbed th dollar (unfortunately I didn’t get any more generous in the preceding 20 minutes) that was still sitting on the seat next to me, and handed it to the guy. He put it in his cup, said “Have a blessed day”, and was gone.

It was one of the moments that you think about how you would react and what you would say. Then you’re in it, and you blank. That was me.  I don’t even remember if I said “You’re welcome”, or anything at all.

The light turned green, and I drove on.

As I drove back to the hotel I started writing this post on my cell phone (the traffic was backed up) and thinking about the situation. In the grand scheme of things my 5 second encounter with the homeless guy on the Massachusetts Ave is fairly trivial; however, I think there are some things I can learn from it. Perhaps it’s to be better equipped to give an explanation for the hope I have; maybe it’s to be more generous, or a lesson on God’s sovereignty. I’m not sure.

Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”, and I think this situation deserves some examining.

Just landed at DSM after a week in Boston. Its great to be back in Iowa – Land of 10,000 flooded cornfields.

Melissa and I went to a Turbo Kick class last night and Todd graciously agreed to watch Michael for me.  Both Ella and Michael seemed in good spirits when we left… clean diapers, full tummies and well rested.  Earlier in the day they were best friends.  Ella was patting Michaels feet and they were holding hands.  We thought they might have a fun time together.  Unfortunately something went wrong and we returned to find poor Todd sitting on the couch holding crying Michael with Ella sitting next to him… also crying.  We’re not sure but we think Todd was crying as well just before we walked in. 

We think it safe to assume that Ella was a little upset that her Daddy was holding someone else and Michael…well, he was just plain cranky.  Unfortunately none of us thought to snap a picture but this photo should give you an idea of Michael’s and Ella’s feelings towards one another at that time.

We spent some time with our good friends the Van Cleaves last Saturday night.  As always we went away saying, “why do we hang out with those guys?”  SIKE… We so appreciate their friendship and were totally stoked to get some time with them!

Aaron telling Brenna stories about her Dad back in the day.

Brenna’s response!

I’ve decided to start writing about my experience as a new Mother. 

We were at my Mom’s house over Memorial Day weekend and I called myself a Mother in a conversation with someone and I was astonished at how normal it was to hear myself say it.  But at the same time the word seemed so different from the one I used to address MY Mother.  When I was a child I thought my Mom was the BEST (and I still do Mom!!)!!!  In her purse you could find anything you needed to survive for at least a week in the woods.  She could sew anything from an apron to a wedding dress.  If you wanted to make some sort of craft she had an idea and she could usually find everything you needed around the house.  She always knew which direction we were going and I only truly felt safe in a car when she was driving.  It seemed that she knew the answer to every question and somehow she could always relate it to the Gospel.  She could change a tire and the oil in a car and didn’t seem to be afraid of anything.  One of the most amazing things about my Mom is her relationship with the Lord.  She is a prayer warrior (in fact, my sister has people say to her… “can your Mom pray for ___ b/c I know it will be ok if she prays for it.”) and a woman of the Word. 

When I was a child I honestly thought that when I hit a certain age I would suddenly have a purse that had everything you could possibly think of in it.  I thought I’d know my directions (that came much later than I had hoped), I would have all the right answers. I would be able to change a tire (still not sure about that one) and I would know as many Bible verses as my Mom did.  Sadly, around high school (I’m a slow learner) I realized that my Mom had to work really hard to learn all of those things and that in order to be like her I too would have to work hard. 

All of that to say that as I think about my first 6 weeks of motherhood and the Michelle as Mother, it seems to me that there should be a separate name for a Mother like mine – a seasoned Mother, and a Mother like me – one with oh so much to learn.  I am still working on getting my son to eat, sleep and expel waste while still having time to shower and cook.  I’m not sure when I’ll get around to filling my purse and learning the right answer to every question.  So while it’s normal to say that I am Michael’s Mother, I feel more like a Mom on the bench of the Junior Varsity team while my Mom is the team captain of the Varsity team… the one that one the State Title.

Sleeping right now.  Michael is sound asleep in his crib and has been that way for about an hour.  This is one of the dilemas I face daily – do I sleep when I’m dead tired and he is sleeping or do I get something done?  I haven’t checked blogs for several days now and I’m wondering what new words my sister The Farmer’s Wife has learned, what new face Ella Schulz is making, whether or not Ryan Putney is walking yet, what awesome recipe or thoughtful insight Nicole or Steph have come up with… and the list goes on.  So many blogs and so little time!  This is why it’s 11:20p and I’m still awake when there’s a good chance I’ll be getting up at 2:00a. 

That’s all the sight seeing for tonight. I’m back on 93S enroute to my hotel in Quincy, MA.

This Boston series of posts brought to you by a cool mobile blogging application from Check it out all you blogging, Crackberry users (Mike, Gabe, Grant, Mark). Unfortunately there’s no imified application for the 1997 Audiovox cellular phone. Sorry, iTodd.

Just crossed the finish line for the Boston Marathon on Boylston St. I feel a lot better tonight than I did in April of 2005 when I crossed this same point after running the 26.2 miles of the historic marathon course.

Just passed Trinity Church, a well known Boston landmark.

I’m in Boston this week for work and bloging as I’m driving. To my right is Boston Common; to the left Dunkin Donuts. More to come.

My friend Steph tagged me for this.

I am…a new Mom.
I want…my son Michael to know the Lord at a young age.
I wish…I was taking a trip to Europe soon and that I was good at summarizing.
I hate…almond extract.
I miss…my husband when he travels… he’s in Boston right now.
I fear…drowning.
I feel…very blessed and tired
I hear…Michael squeaking and cooing on the monitor.
I smell…soap.
I crave…almost anything edible these days but truly crave… dark chocolate and sandwiches
I search…for good recipes.
I wonder…what Michael is thinking when he smiles in his sleep.
I regret…it when I eat too much.
I love…my husband Aaron and my son Michael… and many others but they are my top two peeps!!
I ache…in my back.
I care…about politics and social issues.
I always…want warm weather.
I am not…ever excited about winter.
I believe…that I was created for God’s glory.
I dance…not as much as I would like to but when I do I dance with my husband.
I sing…to Michael and in the shower.
I cry…when I throw up.
I don’t always…change my contacts when I am supposed to.
I fight…to stay awake when I’m feeding Michael in the middle of the night.
I write…on our blog less than I would like to.
I never…my Mom told me never to say never. She also said never say always but I do ALWAYS want warm weather!
I listen…to talk radio.
I need…God’s mercy and grace every day of my life.
I am happy…because yesterday I ran 2.25 miles!

Now I am tagging my sister Erin Marie and my friend Melissa.

Michelle’s sister, Erin Marie, just started a blog to chronicle the adventures of becoming a farmer’s wife. Check it out here.

On Saturday Michael watched (more accurately, slept through) me, my dad, Joel, Andy, and Amanda finish the Dam to Dam 20K road race in Des Moines. I decided that Michael being only 6 weeks old was a good enough reason for him not to run this one. I’m hoping he’ll get with the program pretty quick, though, and start running with the rest of the Sages – perhaps the Des Moines marathon in October?

Click here for some pictures of our Memorial Day weekend trip to Michelle’s mom and step-dad’s house in Eau Claire, WI.