monday gifts


Thankful for… 

ice cream.


my funny cousins!

when I look back at some things and think, yes, wow that was so very tough… but also see God’s faithful love shining through even then.

grace and patience.

the older ladies in my life, and their friends, I have a good bunch right now!

work! And lots of it.

saying goodbye to the beloved grouch couch. Which I felt to be ours by now by common law, and so when the actual owner came to reclaim it, I called it couch-napping, which doesn’t sound like a crime at all. Sigh! I get too sentimentally attached to things.



monday gifts


Thankful for… 

sweet tea.

literary conversations with Val.

laughing hysterically over memories from our college days.

and realizing all over again how I’ve been gifted with friendships.


my amazing aunt.

goofing around and playing with babies.


prayers that have the word “help” in them a lot.

people who are patient with me.

“too much” coffee.

monday gifts


Thankful for… 

getting to be around wheat harvest again.

safe travels. And a few misadventures that ultimately turned out fine.


getting to play with some of my favorite little guys! I don’t get to see them nearly enough!

the way Cherry and I can talk about a shared memory, that when I think about it, happened 20 years ago.

sharing meals with favorite people.


accidental matching in church, patriotic edition. This happens to me way too much.

heroes and lifesavers. Such as the entire Hanson family, my dad, Miss Tina and Amanda (and Grace and little Finn too, why not… I went to their house the morning my car broke down. Finn gave me hugs and attempted to kiss me on the mouth, but just laughed at my face instead? It did cheer me up though.)


a great afternoon tubing with Eli! We had so much fun, it was so relaxing! …. Followed by a not entirely great evening/night that wasn’t so much fun, or relaxing, involving some unwise detours, losing the car keys in the river, Dad not answering his phone, clinging to the highway for warmth as we waited in the dark, things like that.


great weeks at camp.

John 15:16, how it says, “You didn’t choose Me. I chose you.”

enough sunsets, stars, storms, barns, mulberries, dirt roads, dust, mud and slushies to last me for a while!

monday gifts


Thankful for… 

time spent at my favorite spot on my favorite county road.

safe drives to & from camp.

watching 3rd & 4th graders listen intently to Dad’s Bible stories.

perfecting my slushie-making technique!


Bible memory + amazing breakfast + even more amazing friends. I have it so good.


another great wedding!

seeing old friends & 628 roommates! (Sorry Val, we didn’t think about taking a picture till after you had already left!)

a 2 bandaid, 1 ice pack kind of day.


how hard it has been to stay humble recently. :)


setting attractive photos as the background on Val’s phone. (Apology #2 to Valerie should go here but, I’m not sorry.) 


celebrating Kalyn and Duke’s birthday with grilling, retelling favorite old camp stories, and laughing too much.

happy basil.



monday gifts


Thankful for… 

work & rest.

matching Bibles at memory group.. apparently Val and I both use old hair ties to hold ours together! Hey it works. Great minds think alike?


a really wonderful wedding day for Anna & Derek!


how well our group of friends works together. I am always impressed.

time spent with the moms, bridesmaids & a few close friends, praying for Anna right before she walked down the aisle. It was just powerful and amazing.. and emotional, it nearly undid all the work we put into makeup that morning.

Val being a genius in the kitchen! I’m proud of her! She made a wedding cake, hundreds of mini fruit pizzas, marshmallows, and brownie bites with mousse.


a walk with cousins, neighbor kids & a giant rose. Yes that’s what we did.

finding a note on my phone reading “steampunk hedgecogs for fairy gardens” just because I wanted to remember a random conversation between very exhausted friends.

Kathy washing the shameful amount of leftover pasta salad containers that I had been just ignoring in the fridge cause I had no time.





fancy shoes.


monday gifts


Thankful for… 

glory in the morning light.


a really great weekend with these two! My brother Joe and his wife Crystal. We went to the zoo, had lots of good family time, laughed and talked, watched their dog chase squirrels in my backyard, and accidentally matched for church, among other things. I love them!

when things I do don’t turn out perfectly.


my friends bringing their picnic to me at work so I could join! Pasta salads, cheese, pesto, cupcakes, dear friends, baby feets, these are wonderful things!

the stress of belonging to a family of accident-prone people. (Joe broke his wrist, he’s having surgery this morning, just to name the most recent injury.)


friends & conversations. When we can “be there” for each other.


saying goodbye.

finding a flash drive I had given up for lost long ago!

a home that is perfect for hosting many things.

laughing till my sides ache.

my incouragers group being full of inspiring women. Silly me, I was nervous no one would sign up! We are off to a great start!







monday gifts


Thankful for… 

back yards & relaxation & perfect weather.

needing a re-reminder of what grace is.

celebrating friends.


strong feelings over who won the Jeopardy champions tournament.

farmer’s market lunch after church with a few of my favorite people.

tea & memory verses & friend babies.


the way this verse is SO true:  “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 esv) When I first started learning the verses for last week, I thought, “I’m good, these don’t really apply to me” but as time went by they got more uncomfortable! God’s Word began to sink in and I started see my little selfish thoughts & motivations & moments of pride for what they are. 

sitting in the sunshine watching my cousin’s soccer game.

bright hope for tomorrow.

monday gifts


Thankful for… 

blue skies & sunshine.


my basil & the amazing way it grows! (My best and only advice is just to trim it often, I use this guide, and this one, and don’t let it flower.)

incourager groups.

that dealing with a horde of 240 gifted seventh graders was a one time deal for me, not a daily occurrence, because I don’t think I could handle that. (Full disclosure: I just misspelled occurrence. Also lots of those 7th graders got a better ACT score than I did, as a high schooler, wow, yeah, let’s move on now.)

people to help. I meet the nicest people through my work.

my friends.

waking up laughing at a funny dream.


rain when it comes.

monday gifts


Thankful for… 

the return of plants!!!

the joy I get from planting, watering & watching them grow. (Hopefully!)


a lovely morning garden party with the women of my church. It was fun to listen to some of them who are at an advanced level of garden knowledge and hear their passion for growing things! It is a way we learn more about God and His creative work.

an excuse to wear a big goofy hat. I feel so awesome in that hat! And it makes me laugh.

my friend Cherry, it’s her birthday today and also this year marks 20 years of us being friends. She knows my past, loves my family, carries our shared memories, and is a loyal friend.


the second bridal shower of the spring, accomplished! This time with more cookies.

music, I love music.

how nerdy my cousins are, I think they are great!


books that catch me up & won’t let me set them down.


that I can trust God, I know He is my loving Father.

Friday mornings. I think I say it every week but, those memory group times with Julie & Hanna (& baby Martin) are special.

political ads and roommate notes.


“The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the Lord will praise Him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.” -Psalm 22:26 NLT