Global Running Day

Recently it was Global Running Day and I saw some fun surveys so I thought I’d jump on board and write mine up.

1. Would you rather run along a beach or on a mountain trail?

Oh man! Such a tough question…both?! If I had to choose, I guess I would go with mountains but I do love a good beach run too.

2. What’s your preference—out and back, point to point, or loop?

Point to point! A loop is a close second though and what I usually do for runs from my house.

3. Would you rather train through the winter for a spring race or through the summer for a fall race?

Definitely a fall race. Though, that is totally based on freezing Minnesota winters.

4. Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide how far and fast?

I love a training plan to check it off but I’ve learned to enjoy just going out for a run too.

5. What are your favorite running shoes?

I love trying new ones! Altras are next on my list.

6. Would you rather start your run uphill and end on a downhill or start downhill and run uphill?

End on a downhill for sure!

7. Favorite run since becoming a mother?

The Grand Forks Half Marathon with my husband! Totally hard but totally proud we were able to do it while I was still nursing Melea.

8. What would you recommend to a new runner?

Have fun! Get some good shoes and enjoy.

9. What are your favorite running clothes?

Shorts and a t-shirt!

10. What is your favorite distance to run?

Lately, I’m really loving the idea of a 10k race but otherwise I’m all about the challenge. With littles around and still nursing, I do what I can!

11. When you aren’t running, what other exercises do you do?

Revelation Wellness tv! I love their workouts and their focus on Jesus!

12. If you could relive any race in the past, which one would it be?

My first marathon! So many I loved about it from getting to talk to so many people to the feeling of accomplishment.

13. How long have you been running?

Consistently since about 2007 which makes like 14 years! I did my first marathon in 2010. Some of my most memorable runs though were in South Africa.

14. How did you start running?

I started running as a hobby after I finished playing tennis in college. I figured I needed to do some exercise and tennis is sometimes hard to find someone else with a similar ability so I tried running!

Out on a run for Global Running Day—I’m grateful he comes along to help push strollers!

Arrow 6 & 7 Months

Checking in again with another update. Arrow is 7 months and spring might be coming someday. With snow on the ground, who knows when the weather will stay warmer. We have enjoyed the warmer days though and have gotten out when we can!

What we have learned…you still love your thumb, you’re big enough for the Nuna and this has been our easiest transition to it, you’re on the move, and thankfully you’re spit up game has slowed.

What we are enjoying…having you sit in the high chair for dinner, watching you explore, getting you to smile or laugh, reading books to you, and being with you!

We are struggling with…mess, noise, trying to get the house finished, and cold weather. t

Most exciting milestones…you’re on the move! You can rotate and are starting to army crawl. You have two teeth and you’re trying new foods. You got to go on an airplane and go to Phoenix! You did awesome on the plane and on all of our hikes. The gloo was great for sleep too!

Arrow seems to like…eating, chewing his toes, being held, having us talk to him, when we come home and say hi to him, being on his tummy, plank, and trying to move everywhere.

Dislikes seem to include…getting stuck when he’s rolling and moving, too much touching, and not being able to get to his thumb. 

Sleep looks like…getting up usually once in the night to eat but then back to sleep. Usually up around 2/3 and then again 5:30/6:30 and then usually go asked up around 7:30ish or later if we don’t have anywhere to go. Still rocking a morning nap around 9/10ish and an afternoon one around 1ish. Usually one more around 3/4ish too. Still rolling with all our punches and schedules.

He’s eating…milk! He started trying food too! He’s tried green beans, corn, peppers, raspberries, Noand lots of other little bites of whatever we are eating. Baby led weaning for the win! He’s still eating about every 3-4 hours during the day. Still takes him about 10-15 minutes to eat. 

At the last doctors appointment…he weighed 16 lb 4.5oz and was 27.5 inches long. His head circumference was 17.25 inches which is in the 49th percentile. So, like 16th percentile for weight and 68th for height. All looked good and we are so grateful.

A Survey About Us

I thought it could be fun to write up the answers to this Valentine’s Day survey that is making the rounds. So here we go!

How did you meet?

We met at a church Bible study and also briefly at this young adult volleyball event.

First date?

I made him wait a long time! I said I needed to work on some things first (and I did! Probably could have worked on even more in counseling). But we did go to Sonshine together and then we weren’t together. About a year later though we went to Carlos State Park and had a long talk. He then took me to Cherry Berry once he decided he wanted to give it a go again!

How long have you been together?

We started officially dating June 2012 and were married by December! We met January 2010.

Age difference?

I’m older by 5 months.

Who was interested first?

Probably him. Although, the second time around I was.

Who is taller?


Who said I love you first?

I said it kind of out of habit (how I usually end conversations with family) on the phone when I called him from Greece. He didn’t hear it though!

Most impatient?

Me. I’m usually wanting to know things or have things done ASAP.

Most sensitive?

Neither? Not in terms of like crying at things.


Neither. Ha. Maybe him by a little bit. Although, I can get loud in a fight.

Most stubborn?

Me. I don’t like giving in or not “winning.”

Who falls asleep first?

Him. Though, I totally sleep more.

Who is the better cook?

Both! We love cooking together. He’s better at doing exact things and I’m better at improvising.

Better morning person?

Neither. We both can get up. He likes getting up early more than me.

Better driver?

He’s better at driving in snow and with backing up and parking. I’m better at paying attention to stop lights, signs, and knowing how to get places.

Most competitive?

Me. Totally.

Who is the funniest?


Where do you eat out the most of the couple?

We love to try new places! Some places though are Birchwood, Pizzeria Lola, DJs, Pike & Pint for dessert nachos, and lots of ice cream places.

Who is more social?

He is! I kind of hit my limit earlier.

Who is the neat freak?

I wish I was. But I’m not.

How long did it take to get serious?

Not long! We both went in pretty clear about intentions and saying we didn’t want to date forever. I probably was more serious first. We were also older and wanting to be married!

Who plans date night?

Both of us! I usually come up with ideas and we decide together.

Who picks where you go to dinner?

I’m usually pickier about what I want but we decide together.

Who has more tattoos?

Me. Though, he probably wants more.

Did you go to the same school?

Nope! He was homeschooled and I went to public school. We went to different colleges too.

Who drives when you are together?

He usually drives.

Where is the farthest you two have traveled?

South Africa!! Twice and hopefully more travel in the future.

Arrow at 4 & 5 Months

Another two months have flown by with our little man! I am still in awe that I have 3 little boys and one little girl at home. The noise level and destruction level feels appropriate though for this many kids.

What we have learned…despite our efforts you still prefer your thumb to a pacifier, ditching the swaddle is never fun but you’re still a good sleeper even if I am not a routine following mommy, you love to roll and thankfully your spit up is a bit less. You still spit up a lot but maybe not every time you roll. Your drool though has increased. No teeth in sight.

What we are enjoying…having you sit in our laps, more head control, your laugh especially when getting a new diaper, having you listen to books, watching you explore new toys and seeing what you want to grab, and mainly just having you here with us.

We are struggling with…all the noise, the mess, and winter. I’m really in need of some sunshine and warmer weather. Oh and this postpartum hair loss could stop anytime and that would help.

Most exciting milestones…you’re in the I’m going to roll to my tummy ASAP when you’re set on the floor stage! You also are getting more head control and starting to hold onto us when we hold you. Plus, you’ve got the cute grab your toes and bring them to your mouth milestone down pat.

Arrow seems to like…being held, having us talk to him, when we come home and say hi to him, being on his tummy, trying to chew on everything, his kick n play, and listening to music for naps.

Dislikes seem to include…getting stuck on his tummy, his arm being stuck, being left alone for too long, if he goes down for a nap when he is overtired, and too much touching.

Sleep looks like…getting up once or twice to eat in the night and then back to sleep! usually he goes to bed around 8ish and then either eats one more time before we go to bed. Up sometime around 3ish or 5ish and then up for the day around 7:30ish. A morning nap around 9/10ish and an afternoon one around 1ish. Usually one more around 3/4ish too. Lots of flexibility with school pick up and drop off and just general life.

He’s eating…milk! I haven’t really tried bottles either. But still eating about every 3-4 hours except more like 5-8 hours at night. Still takes him about 10-15 minutes to eat.

At the last doctors appointment…he finally had another one! He weighed 14 lb 7oz and was 25.5 inches long. His head circumference was more in the 70th percentile too. So, like 25ish percentile for weight and 60ish for height. All looked good and we are so grateful.

Working out with mommy
So loved by his siblings. They all love holding him.
Sleeping with daddy

Friday Favorites

Friday is here! I’m ready for the weekend and a new week. This has been a hard, disappointing week in many ways. Instead of going there, I’m taking a few minutes to share some fun favorites.

1. Books and Baby Snuggles

I’m reading a really interesting book and it’s been so good to sneak in some baby snuggles. Having had three other newborns, I know just how fast it all goes! I’m all about soaking up the moments with my sweet boy. I love the baby stage (most of the time!).

2. Dreaming of Travel

Even though we had to cancel some travel plans, I have been dreaming of places to go and adventures to be had. The kids especially have loved following the YouTube videos (LiveSutton) of a family who is hiking the Appalachian Trail (the mom was in Africa with me way back when).

3. Lego Creations

The kids have been making all sorts of fun things out of legos and duplos. I love seeing what they come up with and how they build differently than I would do my own. We all really are so unique.

4. Good friends

In the midst of the hard stuff, I am so thankful for some good friends who pray, listen & understand, and love me even on the hard days!

5. Desert Nachos

Nothing beats some late night desert with my husband after a hard, confusing day. He even loves going out at night to pick it up when I’d rather be tucked in a blanket.

January Recap

Wow. One month is already passed and here we are heading into another. My google photos keeps popping up all sorts of memories from years past and I love it. Though, it is so odd looking back on a year ago to see what we were doing and how we had no idea what all would be coming. Such big changes in the world. Never would I have imagined masks and school closures and for it all to still be going on today to some extent. Yet, I am so glad I set my intention as staying grounded in God’s truth regardless of shifting circumstances.

I’m still holding onto my word from last year while moving forward with “create.”

January started off with my desire to “create” some new rhythms and goals. Ryan and I jumped into doing The Little Way by Revelation Wellness and reading Sparkling Gems 2 by Rick Renner. We tried to wake up at 6:00 am and do these before he went to work but that did not end up being the best. We both ended up tired and struggling. We kept going and did what we could when we could. The kids even joined in for some workouts and kept us on our toes. We have some ideas for February to try out!

I also finished my first Sally’s Baking Challenge of the year! I’m planning to participate each month to have something fun, different, and out of my norm. January’s challenge was making a Stromboli. I definitely needed the practice when it came to rolling it up but even with the poor rolling job it tasted delicious.

I stretched my baking skills by making a delicious Coconut Cream pie that I brought to our prayer and praise celebration at church. I almost wished people didn’t eat it so I could have had leftovers!

For podcasts and books, I had a really good month! I listened to Havilah Cunnington’s series on boundaries, Crystal Paine’s series about motherhood, and snuck in one from Alisa Keaton and her daughter. I listened to some in a WhatsApp group I’m a part of too. For books, I read The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner, The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins.

In other family happenings, Canon got stitches on his lip/in his mouth from getting knocked down by his brother at a friend’s house, Arrow turned 4 months and is rolling up a storm, Asher went skiing for the first time, we built some train tracks, and survived another month of winter.

Lastly, I continued writing in a Bible for Melea and am working my way through Jeremiah currently. I picked up making a gratitude list last year back in May and am still doing the practice—I’m in the 700s. Also, in that journal, I’ve been keeping notes for myself about what God is speaking to me from His Word.

Now, we are onto February! Here are some of my intentions for the month:

4+ podcasts

2+ books

Daily Bible reading, gratitude list, and Bible notes

Bibles before Bed with kids—pretty much what it says! Reading their pick of a Bible before putting them to bed.

Sparkling Gems 2 with Ryan

RevWellTV Advanced Workout Calendar—I’m switching things up and following their calendar this month instead of picking what I want.

Paint the kitchen! The walls are primed and ready for paint. We just need to make time to do it.

Sally’s Baking Challenge—I haven’t fully decided but I think I am going to do her alternative of raspberry cheesecake bars since I’ve made chocolate soufflés before. Either way, I will do something that qualifies for the challenge!

A few other things that are being held loosely but may happen this month include: intentional goal planning/year in review with Ryan, Phoenix trip or trip somewhere, and other house projects

There you have it! A January recap and a look toward February.

Friday Favorites

I thought it might be fun to pop on here to share some of my favorites from lately.

1. My ice cream maker! Ryan got me an ice cream maker for my birthday so we have been having fun trying all sorts of flavors. The only downside is that the ice cream gets eaten fast! We’ve tried Mint, vanilla, maple, maple cookies, and mint with Trader Joe’s JoJos. Next up is a pistachio!

2. Time with my sweet Canon. With Melea and Asher back at school, I have been loving the one on one time while Arrow naps. I love getting to build trains, play duplos, and generally have fun with him. He’s at such a fun age and is so sweet.

3. Board games as a family! We have added some new games and Asher is at a great age to play. Melea is content to play some and play with pieces happily if it’s not her turn. We’ve been playing Catan Jr., Risk, Stratego, Pandemic, and a few others. We also did a puzzle recently which was quite the challenge with a two year old around. I definitely redid a fish border at least three times.

4. Library books. We are such big fans of books and I love it! I recently got a haul of cookbooks and got two historical fiction. I’ll report back when I finish them (maybe!) but I started with the Jane Austen Society one! So far, I’m liking it! The kids have been diving into pirate books, lots of history books, and princess ones too.

5. The Little Way from Revelation Wellness and Sparkling Gems from the Greek 2! I convinced Ryan to commit to working out with me and reading a Sparkling Gem each day. This has been so good even if I’m a bit resistant to do it at 6:00 a.m. I still like my sleep and prefer staying up!

Best of 2020

2020 sure was a wild ride but I saw this floating around some blogs and thought it would be fun to focus on the good!

Best adventure/travel/trip: Our camping trip to Banning! William O’Brien was fun too.

Best book: oof! It’s hard to pick just one…here are a few…No Retreat, No Regrets by Jamie & Lea Peters, Essentialism by Greg McKeown, A Long Walk to Water, and all my historical fiction ones (The Book of Lost Names, The Alice Network, Lost Roses, The War that Saved My Life, The War I Finally Won, The Things We Cannot Say, Code Name Helene)

Best movie: Enola Holmes and The Grinch (the new version!)

Best tv show: The Great British Baking Show

Best album/songs: The Father’s House by Cory Asbury, My Hands are Open by Bethel/Josh Baldwin, Valley by Chris McClarney, Your Will, Your Way by the Torwalts, Promises by Maverick City Music

Best kiddo milestone: adding Arrow Benaiah!

Best faith grower: Saturday prayer

Best trend you did: baking during quarantine

Best beauty purchase: Innersense shampoo and conditioner

Best family memory: the kids meeting Arrow

Best habit you created: using “pairing” of music or a podcast when I need to clean up

Best recipes: Sheet pan gnocchi with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella, Pumpkin meringue pie, Sausage and leek orecchiette, cornbread chili, bang bang chicken, lemon blueberry pancakes, Tex mex sweet potato hash, blueberry sausage bake, homemade chik-fil-a sauce

Best mama moment: meeting Arrow

Best little luxury you enjoyed: hot showers

Best podcasts: Revelation Wellness, Crystal Paine, and Curt Thompson (not a podcast but his webinar)

Best tool: my ice cream maker!

Arrow 3 Months

I’m back to check in again and as always the month went fast and slow all at once! I am glad to keep up with these for each of the kiddos and am amazed to think about how I used to blog regularly. I’d love to say I’ll jump back into it but I’m not sure that is right in this season. Either way, I want the monthly updates for each so here I am.

I’m so glad we have you baby boy!

What we have learned…your spit up game is still going strong even if it’s lessened, you found your thumbs even with our attempts to keep them away from your mouth, how to install vinyl wood planking, how to deal with another quarantine, how to live without a table during the flooring update, and how to keep on loving four kids.

What we are enjoying…being done with the flooring! All of your smiles, noises, and the way you “talk” to us. I love seeing how excited you are when you see us and how easy you are to get to sleep.

We are struggling with…still dealing with spit up and you are still prone to gagging/swallowing air. You’ve gotten a few more bonks from your brother and you are voicing your opinion more for some space from your sister.

Most exciting milestones…still loving all the smiles and we even love when we can get you to start laughing! We have noticed you’re starting to try to grab things and getting better eye contact.

Arrow seems to like…being held facing out, being swaddled some, sucking on his thumb and hand, kicking, listening to music, head shoulders knees & toes, making eye contact, and getting a new diaper.

Dislikes seem to include…getting hit, being smothered, and being in the car seat too long.

Sleep looks like…getting up 1-2 times in the night to eat and going right back to bed thankfully! He’s still got a strong nap game and will get a little fussy to let you know. Usually, we can swaddle him, put on music, and set him in the bassinet. He’s usually gets a good 2-4 naps. He probably goes to bed around 6-7ish and then is up around 7:30ish.

He’s eating…milk! And usually every 3-4 hours for about 10 minutes—just long enough for Canon to get into something.

At the last doctors appointment…we haven’t had one yet but he’s still in size 1 diapers and size 3 month clothes.

Arrow: Months 1 & 2

Here we are well into November and I am finally jumping on to share about Arrow Benaiah—we officially have three boys in our house! I imagined I would be a boy mom and even though it’s been much different than I imagined I am still so so happy to add another boy to our crew. Melea sure had me thinking we were having a girl and since I don’t have any sisters I leaned that way myself but God knows what He’s doing so here we are!

What we have learned…just how loud a house can get with 4 kiddos! What having a baby is like during all the crazy of 2020, how to deal with newborn sleep without the rock n play (we have the Fisher price soothing motions bassinet this time around and love it!), how to get lights installed in the house (& how to live without them until they were in), and how to juggle two kids in school with a newborn.

What we are enjoying…smiles, holding him and snuggles, and when he falls asleep in my arms.

What are struggles…nothing major thankfully! He passed his spinal ultrasound just fine and we are grateful to skip all the trips to Children’s. He did grunt like crazy but that has slowed down some. He isn’t always a fan of when milk comes in fast and sometimes seems to struggle with getting air while eating.

Most exciting milestones…all the smiles! I just love newborn smiles.

What Arrow seems to like…being held so he can see out, playing on the kick n play, being swaddled, the music on the bassinet, and having his siblings nearby.

Dislikes seem to be…when he gets wet from spitting up, when he gets bumped, too much food too fast, and if he’s left alone too long.

What sleep looks like…starting to get some more sleep. For quite a while, we were on the way every two hours or more schedule. In the last week, he is up about 2-3 times a night and naps 4-5 times maybe in the day. He also just has gone with the flow of pick ups and drop offs for school. naps are starting to be a little more predictable. He’s usually asleep around 7ish and then up around 7:30ish depending on school days.

He’s eating…milk! Eats in about 10-15 minutes and often!

At the last doctors appointment…at birth he weighed 8 lb 4 oz, 21 inches long, and 14 inches head circumference. At two weeks, he was 21 inches and 9 lb 2 oz. We haven’t had our 2 month appointment yet. He just moved into 3 month clothes and into size 1 diapers.