Blog, Career, Faith, Uncategorized

My day with Glennon Doyle Melton

The truth is, some of you may be surprised that I love Glennon so much. I am traditionally much more of a Conservative Christian than many in her community. But, you want to know why that doesn’t matter? Because I am a Lover of JESUS before I am a lover of made up human words like “conservative” and “progressive” and “liberal”.

Glennon is a preacher of Love. She reminds us that we are all “jacked up”, as she likes to say. We are all such a mess, that how can we even begin to judge? It’ll take us our whole life just to pull our planks out of our own eye (at least for me)! Luckily, Jesus told us he would do that for us. Whoofta! Big load off of my plate! My job is to LOVE in Jesus’ name. To share the amazing gospel! And let that mustard seed of faith do it’s job – i.e. the Holy Spirit bring us salvation which is THE way to Heaven.


You guys, I got to spend some solid time with Glennon. It was THE biggest blessing. She is actually real, raw, and authentic. She cares. Her canary heart is absolutely huge. Her convictions are brave and strong. Through venues like Canvas Health, she is sharing her story. She is actually saving people! People who are in dark dark places, come to the light because of her. They commit to making the next right decision. How can any of us undermine that effort? And she has devoted her life to this!


Right now – we are losing people to the world. They are disappearing from our Christian “Conservative” places. Believe me – I have no interest in changing our message (which is 100% Law AND Gospel), but I DO have interest in changing our METHOD. Life is Hard. Let’s do what Jesus did. Let’s seek out the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the different cultures and races – and let’s Invite Them To Dinner. Let’s talk to them, let’s give them water, and let’s Invite Them In – no questions asked.

Read Matthew 25: 31-46. Here is part of it:

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I can barely handle this anymore. It’s like my heart is constricted when I consider all of the times I have passed up the opportunity to help those in need – i.e. JESUS. Look at Glennon’s Together Rising. Just take a look at the help she is providing – and inviting us to be a part of it!


Let’s stop being US and THEM. Let’s start being WE. 



Blog, Faith, Family


It’s been a fun summer so far! A few big hightlights for the kiddos, below!

CHICAGO! My mom took Addy to Chicago earlier this month. They were joined by my aunt and Addy’s 2nd cousin! The main goal was to hit up the American Girl Doll store – but they also enjoyed shopping, walks, trains, and being upgraded to a Penthouse Suite!Memories to last forever.

Upon Addy’s return, J, L, C, and J arrived from Costa Rica! We enjoyed an early b-day celebration for J, as well as family fun, dinners, and the Minnesota Zoo! And of course – LOTS of outside fun with this beautiful midwest summer weather!

Cheers until next time!


Blog, Faith, Family, Risk

Random Thoughts

I love that quote… “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell.

What a neat things to think about. And for me, my faith plays a big role in this thought process. Jesus promises to be faithful to us, to use everything to work for the good of those who love him, and even tells us he has plans for us – NOT to harm us – but to make us prosper.

Those of you who know me, know I plan. Living life these last couple of years especially, has shown me that my plan isn’t always the Ultimate Plan. And that’s ok. I will still plan – but will continue to be agile when a change in course is needed.


I saw this on Facebook the other day, and it was perfect timing. Many times it really is time to say “Be patient. I’m ok. I have faith. I’m hear to serve. Here we go.” As cliche’ as it is – taking a few deep breathes and refocusing on what truly matters, does help!

And finally – aren’t my kiddos and their 2nd cousins cute? Love them so much.




Blog, Family, Food & Drink, Travel

Our 10 year Anniversary Trip

We enjoyed some Sun and Surf this weekend in Huntington Beach. Although the weather was a bit overcast, we didn’t let that slow us down! Te beautiful city of Huntington and the surrounding beach cities are just marvelous. Let’s start at the beginning, though.


We arrived on Thursday after a great flight, and met a colleague at the Westin LA for happy hour. After that, we enjoyed the 90 min (ha!) drive to Universal City, where we started at the Universal City Hilton. I highly recommend this hotel, and wish we would have had more time to explore. It is a 5 min walk door to door from the hotel to Universal City Walk and Theme Park. We enjoyed a late dinner at Wolfgang Puck, and then hit the hay.


On Friday, we were up and at ’em – hitting the streets of Hogwarts, the jungle of Jurassic Park, and beyond! I have noticed with my newly found ‘old age’ that I am not able to handle rides as well. The rides at Universal are spectacular – but I even had to send Aaron on one, alone, due to the headache that ensues! We finished up at Universal around 1:30pm, and hit the road for Orange County.

It was a beautiful drive, and we stopped on Main Street of Huntington Beach to take a walk, shop around, and get a juice from Nektar. We proceeded to check in at The Waterfront Beach Resort, which we love! It is the perfect size and location, and has fantastic customer service. The pool and hot tub area is beautiful, they have a full bar and food menu, and they give you smashball, towels, bags, boogie boards, and beyond for beach time – which is a 3-5min walk across the street! Highly recommend, with or without kids.

Of course we had an amazing anniversary dinner at Javier’s.


On Saturday it was overcast, but we enjoyed sleeping in, a yummy breakfast, shopping, a pedicure, and lunch by the hot tub. Aaron made it out to do a little boogie boarding, as well!

We then enjoyed a wonderful sea-side meal at our friend Bob’s house, along with another great friend, Azita. It was fantastic to catch up with them; they are such gracious hosts!

Sunday, we head home – and although we are excited to see the kiddos, mini-trips like this reaffirm the wonderful outcome of time spent to reconnect, and how blessed we are to have an amazing support system at home.



Beauty, Blog, Career, Faith, Family

10 Years!

My Airey;

I honestly can NOT believe it has been 10 years. 10 YEARS since we said “I Do”. Don’t you remember walking down the aisle on the 9th, during rehearsal, and saying that we should have just ran off to Hawaii? But then the Big Day arrived and it is still one of the best days we’ve ever had? I’ve had so many magical days since then – but that day was truly pure JOY for me – I would re-do it every year if I could!

At 20 and 21, things were a little tight on the purse strings! We jetting off to So Cal and the moment we arrived, vowed we’d never leave! We lived off of 1 car, and 35$/week in groceries plus $20/week in “date night” cash. Don’t you remember sharing a margarita and queso at Applebees? Or maybe splitting a Love It at ColdStone? We also went on some amazing adventures! Driving to the coast – Malibu or Newport, it didn’t matter. What about getting lost in LA? Or heading to Catalina Island, San Diego, Disney World, Laguna, or Universal with all of our visitors?

11 months later and we were back in Minnesota. Reality and the promise of money (I mean jobs!) summoned our return. We bought a house and two welcomed kiddos into our fold and just like that – we were not only adults, but parents. SCARY!!

So much excitement and fun has ensued since then. Trips, friends, adventures, a 2nd house, family events, promotions, businesses, degrees, sports, and beyond.

But you want to know something? The thing I am most proud of US for, is all of the reality that circled around this amazing 10 year (and counting) story. These wonderful pictures were frequently covered in the muck and yuck that the real world brings. Hard decisions. Hurt Feelings. Stress. Illness. Late nights and Early mornings. We have gone through Real Life like the best of them – some days fighting like heck, somedays relying on tears and prayers to bring us through, and somedays feeling like completely giving up. But the neat thing is – we didn’t. Each day, the ultimate choice we’ve made is to choose each other – I choose you, and you choose me. And that’s a pretty great thing to be proud of.

I can’t wait to celebrate back in California with you this weekend. You said you’d take me anywhere – and we picked where we first started. We’ll head to Universal to go on the rides we always went on. Of course, we’ll eat dinner at Javier’s – the once hole-in-the-wall place in Laguna that we loved, which is now massive, elegant, and in Newport Coast. Maybe we’ll take a drive to the Inland Empire to see if the Applebees or Coldstone is still around. Either way – I am most certain although quick and close to home, it will likely be a trip we remember forever.

Today, I am so blessed by you, Aaron. I am so grateful for your support of me and for me, your forgiveness and love for me each night before we go to bed, and your hugs and encouragement every morning.

Looking more forward to year 11 than I have ever been. I love you!


Blog, Career, Food & Drink, Travel

We Love Family, Friends, and the Kalahari!

We spent the last weekend with family and friends and it was spectacular. First, we enjoyed a wonderful fundraiser and memorial event for my dear friend (and Brother’s Girlfriend), Caitlin’s brother, who died tragically 7 years ago. It was a weekend filled with so much laughter, fun, hard work, remembrance, celebration, and love. Aaron and I were blessed to be a part of it.

Next, we surprised the kiddos with an amazing 2 nights at the Kalahari.(we signed up for their email specials and scored a large Hut room in the Sands building for only $99! It included Tommy Bartlett and Wildlife Zoo tickets, too!) Aside from a ridiculous partial migraine I’ve been battling, we couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate Aaron’s birthday. My soul-sister Nicole and her family joined us – and the three kiddos hit it off together.


The Kalahari is such a magical place for kids and adults. We enjoyed one heck of a meal at Double Cut on Sunday night to start the countdown to Aaron’s big 31. Followed by some amazing bowling, a goodnights’ sleep, and a day at the water park – I’d say it was a success! We enjoyed the Brew Pub on Monday evening, and then a little rock climbing and arcade playing. M, M, and A followed that up with some Old Maid and Go Fish which the adults sipped our favorite red blend and munched on some late night pizza.

It’s days like today that even when not feeling well, family and friends bring a feeling of pure joy to my heart. And PS – HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my STUD of a hubby!!! MUAH!



What to hear more thoughts on the Kalahari?  Check out my blog from January 2016, here.

Blog, Family, Food & Drink, Friendship, Parenting, Risk, Travel, Uncategorized

The last bit of our Trip to London

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to head to Windsor. Again, it was a breeze utilizing our London Pass to catch a train for free. We simply looked up the schedule online, waled 10 minutes from the hotel to Paddington Station, and off we went on a quick 20-25 min jaunt (1 quick train transfer at a nearby station) to Windsor!

As you approach, you can see Windsor Castle which is stunning. It is the largest inhabited castle, and it is truely remarkable – it surpassed my expectations! Addy noticed the Queen’s flag was flying, which meant she was “in the house”! Exciting! We walked the grounds, saw Princess Mary’s doll house, and received a massive tour of the State Apartments – including the throne room!

We proceeded outside to watch the changing of the guards, and then – headed to Freddy’s of Windsor for some Fish ‘n Chips. We were back at the hotel for a nice nap by 1:00pm (and failed attempt #1 at the leisure center’s pool!).

On Sunday, Caitlin had to study a bit, so Addy and I went off to explore. We tried the Pool again, which didn’t work. So we decided to walk. We walked miles and miles – saw some flowers, some parks, went shopping, got a snack, and ultimately ended up at Princess Diana’s Memorial Playground. WOW! What a place. Full of new friends (Matilda) and great families. It was a beautiful day – sunny and 70 – and we had a blast. After we were done playing, we tried once more (3rd time!) for the pool, which was a negative, and headed back to see Caitlin.

We then decided to buy Champagne tickets for the London Eye. The trip around the Eye is about 40-45minutes, enjoyed with a glass of champagne (water for Addy!) and a tour guide in the Eye. It was fun to see the city from ‘up high’. We proceeded on to the Science Museum to learn about the Apollo Missions and a little about technology, and finished our last time out and about in London at Kensington Creperie– yum!


We spent time later that evening at the Edge Bar in our hotel – enjoying wine, snacks, and Addy playing teacher. What an absolute blast. The next morning we headed to the airport, took a non-stop flight home, (sadly) said goodbye to Caitlin, and headed back to the boys!

We can’t wait for our next adventure.

Cheers to Travel and Family and Friends,