Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer weekends

Summer weekends have to be on my top ten list of favorite things. Here's a glimpse....

breakfast at la mie with friends
garage saling
finding two stools
nine and a half mile walks
talks about our future
ice cream
board games with friends
words in a bucket
laughing hysterically way too late at night
greeting people outside at church
wonderful music
lunch at jethro's
laying under a tree sharing my life with three wonderful women
ice cream again
sunday naps

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Easily entertained?

Some would say yes

Monday, May 14, 2012

Thankful 89-100

saturday naps

laughter from words in a bucket ('what's short for mayonnaise' 'man')

two game nights in one weekend

theme dinners (beer that is)

trying five new recipes and all of them turning out edible

one was really really good

three were good

wine with live music

ryan planning a creative date night randomly

pancakes on a saturday morning

garage saling

a thoughtful friend who thought of me yesterday

Sunday, May 13, 2012


As I sit at my mother's grave, memories flood my mind. I love the family picture my dad choose for her tombstone. That day was the happiest day of my mom's life.

I want to remember that day.

I don't want to remember the months she spent in the hospital. The years she struggled to breathe. The days she couldn't get out of bed. The anxiety she faced daily as she fought to live. The ugliness of addiction.

That day she was on top of the world. That day, her surprise 53rd birthday, she smiles and smiled. She cried tears of great joy being surrounded by the ones she loved.

I think that day was one of my best days of my life too. When you give a gift to someone that is so greatly treasured, they give you an even greater gift back.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thankful 82-88

learning i can take up to four allegra a day

water heater getting fixed for free since it was under warranty

a husband who loves to mow and loves me even though if I walk outside for even a minute while he is mowing a faucet in my nose will turn on

a clean kitchen

baking blueberry muffins

tozer, the dog, didn't jump on a visitor for the first time

first corn on the cob of the summer

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ode to My Allergies


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thankful 71-81

a big yard

naps on a blanket on above mentioned big yard


a God who wants me to pray to him

the sound of rain as i fall asleep

the sound of rain as i wake up

a husband who is willing to play battleship and stratego with me and gloat in my victories

a community of people who want to know God more

a community of people who want to experience the power of the Holy Spirit

medicine that makes my ears not itch

fresh flowers in my kitchen

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I love changes* in my life. I am one who is an adventurer. I'm always looking forward to the next journey in life. I love changes at work. I love changes in my personal life. I love changes in my routine.

I love the newness when things change. I love the new challenges it brings, the new relationships that are formed, the new routines that are set.

The biggest challenge I find is balancing contentment with the excitement of new adventures. Balancing the joy of change in my life with joy of the moment I'm in right now.

Someday I pray I'll figure out this balance and what that looks like in my life.

*I'm not pregnant

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

cute little rubber ducks

If you haven't yet, you should adopt a duck for the YESS Duck Derby!  You can adopt a duck here.  Your duck that you adopted will be thrown into a lake for a very intense duck race.  If it crosses the finish line first, you win $10,000.

More importantly than $10,000 (though I'm sure I would be able to replace my kitchen and living room floor with that, too bad I'm not eligible) you help some pretty rockstar kids.

YESS is an emergency youth shelter in Des Moines, IA that serves at any one time fifty two kids (birth to 17yrs).  It is an amazing place with bright walls that strive to go above and beyond for every child that walks through its doors. I'm pretty passionate about it (ask anyone who has ever asked me about my job and has had to listen to my ten minute rant about how great my job is) and I really believe in the work we do.

So if you have a moment and five dollars to spare, definitely think about adopting a cute little rubber duck that will in turn help a child who walks through these doors feel cared for, loved, and safe.

You will make a difference.

thankful 63-70

rainstorms while i sleep


craigslist app on iphone

the kingdom of God

changes on the horizon

on sale strawberries

westwind church

the giddiness of new relationships

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thankful 56-62

tastefully simple parties with friends

a husband who wants to lead our family



a clean kitchen

hooded sweatshirt weather

getting the old anthem cd

Sunday, April 29, 2012

P90x update...humbling

As Ryan and I were evaluating our upcoming week, we had lots of things we could do, but had to weigh them with when we could fit in our p90x workouts and time to make our meals for the next day.

We were reminded of the two greatest commandments. Love God. Love people. We realized that we have let p90x control our choices for the last nine weeks rather than the greatest commandments. We have lost opportunities to love people because of p90x.

After realizing this, Ryan and I decided that we need to slow down p90x. What this means to us is we will work out three times a week, not six. We will also follow the diet as closely as possible during the week and take the weekends off.

I'm a little freaked out by this because of my uber competitive nature and my pride. I wanted to show everyone I could do this. I could last all twelve weeks, but we only made it nine weeks. I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is what Ryan and I need to do. Loving people is way more important to me than any workout routine or diet should ever be.

I want the world to know I live for Jesus not for p90x. I want my thoughts filled with my Savior not with what I'm eating tomorrow. I'm who I am because Jesus shed his blood. He has given me a new life, a purpose.

Friday, April 27, 2012

P90x Update

And here goes week nine!

This last week was a rest week and it was glorious. Overall Ryan and I have become much more lax in following the diet. We now probably cheat once or twice a week. By cheat I mean we might eat one cookie or have an extra serving of a carb. Nothing too crazy.

What I have realized about the diet portion is just how much junk I eat and is available to me. My body only needs so many carbs to function well. It definitely doesn't like the sugar an processes foods I try to throw in it.

I can do four chin-ups. I still can't quite do a real pull-up, but the fact that I've never been able to do a pull-up or chin-up and now I can do four. I'll take that.

I'm down from 171 lbs to 162 lbs! I'm pretty excited about that. I haven't weighed that since my freshman year of college. Ryan and I didn't take our measurements before starting and that bums me out because I know I heave lots of inches.

I did go buy a pair of jeans last week. I had been wearing size 14 and I'm down to size 10!!! I haven't worn size ten since my senior year of high school (ten years ago!)

Here goes the last four weeks! Woot woot!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Thankful 49-55

owning two riding lawn mowers

the sun setting after 8pm

being able to listen to sermons while mowing

being done with the foster care class

sunday naps

a husband who prays

bonfires with friends

Monday, April 9, 2012

thankful 40-48

lazy saturdays
laughing babies
a husband who leads
a connection group that challenges me and refreshes my soul
breaking the p90x diet and enjoying a cookie
having self control to just eat one cookie
hiding easter eggs
new friends to share life with
the freedom when someone shares what they've been hiding

Saturday, April 7, 2012

rummaging through old emails

I saw this email from my mom from when I was 25.  It cracked me up.

kaci, how are your jobs going?  have you been eating? taking care of yourself? if you need food you can always get in my cubboards.. love you mom

I'm a little bummed I don't have anyone to make sure I am eating these days :) and that I don't have anyone to get food from their cupboards.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

forgotten thanks

I have two younger sisters who are amazing.  They are two women who surrendered their freedom in their late college years/right out of college years to serve my mom.   They moved away from their friends and lived their live responding to a bell that our mom hung tightly to.  I am forever grateful for their sacrifice.  Thank you, Kelsey and Kinsey.

I was rereading an email our mom sent and saw this....

I t is amazing how fast a person life can change in just 6 months.  I am  so proud of my kids for helping me out as much as they have. I am should they all thought they would not have to worry about these things until they were in their 40's or 50's. taking care of a sick parent when you are 20 something.  they have done a good job, it is hard to believe that your kids are adults. Kelsey and Kaci talked to the O2  man about the vent like they have been around them their whole life.
 The changing of the guard is this week, Kelsey is headed back to Iowa city to finish her education.  Kinsey is head to home for the fall semester, she will be living at home and going to Iowa state for one semester .Did I mention how much I love my kids. God was so good to me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Beach Ball Club

I have four women in my life that I am forever blessed by--Crystal, Christina, Sylvia and Sarah.  I don't even know where to start describing them. They all have screwed up in the their lives. They have all failed.  They have all fallen down.  They all know that Jesus' blood covers us.  They all live for him.  They still screw up and mess up, yet they strive to know Jesus more.  They strive to daily live so others know and love Jesus more.

We get together at least once a month and lay out the dirty secrets we hide, that we are ashamed of.  We pray for each other.  We seek God together.  We encourage one another.  We are blessed by one another.

When we meet we know the others will ask how we are doing.  Not just how we are doing, but really HOW are we doing.  And they will listen.  They want to hear my heart, they want to know my joys and my heartaches.

These women are unbelievable gifts that I am amazed that God has given me.

Monday, April 2, 2012

thankful 33-39

the beach ball club

my mom's old blog

afternoons alone at Caribou

brunch with friends

getting my workout done in the morning

taxes finally getting filed

tax returns that help pay for a new heating and cooling system

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Beautiful Memories

Two years ago today a man decide to get down on one knee and ask me to be his wife.  (If you want to read the story, click here)

Wow, what gift God gave me.  I had no idea at that time the journey God would take us on together.  New mountains to climb and valleys to trudge through.  But God knew this man would make me more like Jesus.  God would use this man to show me how to love my Jesus in a new way.  God would use this man to show me my selfishness.  God would use this man to teach me to be unashamed to run after my dreams. God would use this man to learn about commitment.  God would use this man to bring me smiles often.  God would use this man to teach me to open up and share my heart.  God would use this man to teach me to trust in new and beautiful ways.

There is no one else I would want to run this race with.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

thankful 26-32

the sun still shining at 7pm

'i have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance'

the new Quiktrip on hwy 141 is open

first home study for foster care is done

a clean house

discovery another new recipe that i love

baking homemade whole wheat honey bagels

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

thankful 21-25

disc golf on a sunny day

brother's and dad's who build railing so people don't fall ten feet off your patio

when friends of long ago pop up on your phone


quality time with dad at menard's

Monday, March 26, 2012


#16 my coworker who at least pretends not to mind my daily thoughts on p90x

#17 super productive days at work

#18 if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. john 8:36

#19 getting my ears vacuumed

#20 vegetable soup

Thursday, March 22, 2012


#11 three carbs a day

#12 black mango unsweetened ice tea

#13 salmon from waterfront

#14 being the first one in the office

#15 the lack of traffic during spring break

P90X update

Week 3 is done!  Woot Woot!

Ryan and I are still going strong with both the workout routine and the diet side of things.  Everyone I have talked to has said something to the effect of that they know lots of people who have done the workout videos but no one is able to do the diet throughout.  Seriously everyone has said that.  I have yet to meet anyone who knows anyone who has done the diet and the exercise series for the complete 90 days.  Some people know people who have attempted the diet but have given up at or before three weeks. In my extreme competitive nature, I am refusing to give up on the diet.  I must beat all of those people that people seem to know.

I don’t know how much the diet has made a difference so far but I have lost four pounds (woot woot!)  Overall though I can tell I’m significantly stronger.  I am able to do 20-25 reps of exercises I was unable to complete one of on the first day. 

The first two weeks my energy was increased significantly.  I no longer wanted (and sometimes I actually did) to go to bed at 6 or 7pm.  I was actually able to stay up between 10 and 11 with no issues.  I didn’t take naps on the way to work.  But these last few days I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall again.  My energy has been significantly lessened and I’m tired again at 6 or 7 at night.  From my research, this means I have 'bonked' and am ready for Phase 2 of the diet.  

So here we go with phase two, I now get three carbs a day instead of just one!    

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


#6 a dad who randomly delivers trees to my front porch

#7 a husband who does all of the laundry

#8 chocolate milk

#9 ab-ripper X

#10 taking a nap on my way to work while my husband drives.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


#1  new heating and cooling system

#2 rain that turns the grass green

#3 a walk to the neighborhood grocery store

#4 spring

#5 a new found love for cabbage

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Kelsey, my dad and I 

Miss Gwen and her favorite aunt

Miss Kayli swinging for the first time

Kinsey and me

The sisters posing before the Fight For Air Climb

In honor of our crazy mom who we loved and adored

The whole crew waiting

the buildings that my calves will grow to hate

This one made me a bit teary eyed

All Done!

Kelsey and Mr. Graham playing in the 'hotel'

Monday, March 5, 2012

P90X Update

I am officially five days into P90X.  I am sore.  I'm hoping I am not this sore for the next 90 days.  I didn't know sitting up from bed required so many muscles until after these workouts and I can feel each of those muscles send pain signals to my brain as I sit up.

The diet plan hasn't been going the best.  I haven't cheated at all (as in haven't eaten something I'm not supposed too), but I am having a very hard time eating enough calories everyday.  I have more of the mindset that if I can't eat what I want and enjoy I will likely not eat anything.  Not anything, but not very much.  I'm working on this.  The hardest part for me is the four servings of vegetables a day and the seven servings of protein.  I am working on some more creative ways to get those servings in.  Hopefully some of the food I bought yesterday will add some variety beyond chicken breast, salads and raw veggies this week.

Ryan and I typically have $60 a week budget for groceries.  I did increase the budget to $80 for this diet.  I think this will mainly be because we will no longer be going out to eat once or twice a week.  I will also have to pack my lunch everyday for work, rather than eating the yummy fried food that is given to me for free.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Foster Care

Ever since my sophomore year of college if someone would have asked me what my dream job was I would and still would say to be a stay at home foster parent.  It's strange but I feel like this is why I was created.  This is what I am supposed to do. 

Ryan has always known this about me and he was willing to be on board some day.  Not knowing when that someday was, could be in a few years, ten years, 15 years.  I knew this wasn't something I could push on him because it wouldn't work if only one parent was fully committed.  

Last Spring I wrestled a lot with being impatient and discontent where God had put me.  I was ready to go to the next stage of life (I'm learning this is a very very common thing I struggle with.) I had mentioned this once to Ryan briefly.  God told me then to pray.  Pray for strength to be content, to appreciate the place where God had put me at that point.  To pray that Ryan and I's desires would align.  

About a month later after Ryan had hung out with some guys, I asked him what they had did.  Ryan talked about how he had shared that God was prompting him to take the next step in his life, to do more than he was doing, to sign up for the foster care class.  I was flabbergasted.  I'm sure I sat there with my mouth open for five minutes not saying anything and then I easily had a smile plastered on my face for the next week.

After going to the first class, sending in our fingerprints and waiting for a class with opening, we have now started the foster care classes.  We just complete week two, eight more classes left.  

I still have no idea what God will do with this.  We know we want to be certified, so we can do respite care on the weekends for families that are doing foster care right away.  When God is going to say it is time to take in foster kids, I don't know.  Maybe in a year, five, ten.  Until then I know we have taken the step of obedience we needed to take and I'm so excited to see where God is going to take us on this journey.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

Goal Update

I already gave a bit of goal update regarding my book progress, but here's the rest.

For 2012 I want to:

complete the 3rd Annual No Junk Food Jan.
Done!  Rocked it out, by far was the easiest out of the three years I have done it.  I also lost seven pounds which I'm sure I have already gained back.  And that is why the next goal exist...
complete P90X (the workout plan and meal plan)
Starting March 1st...scared like no other
run a marathon in the fall
the thought of this still freaks me out
read at least 12 books
Seven out of twelve read
do a meal plan for every week
yeah, not so much...lets say we'll start this one again on March 1st
use the envelope system for money
Woot, have done an excellent job at this, but still splurge once in a while like yesterday on a fancy toilet bowl cleaner.  I didn't have quite enough in my envelope, but decided I would try it because our toliets get incredibly nasty quickly due to the days before the house had a water softner.
be genuine in my relationships
This is a work in progress.  A BIG work in progress.  God is showing me how gross my heart is in regards to some people.  I have a feeling there will be lots of humbling this year regarding this.
get rid of diesel heat
We have had two places give us estimates.  Working on saving up money at this point.  To go geo-thermal or LP, that is the big decision.  Both pay off themselves in about five years, but one cost a whole lot more than the other.
redo the kitchen floor
With the discovery of the possibility the we could get geo-thermal, all of our savings are going that way for now, so we'll see if this gets done.  Hopefully it will still, but I would rather have central air than new floors.  Bring yellow floors for another year!
build relationships in Woodward, IA
Not so hot, but hopefully when the weather does get warmer, we'll be able to go out aka have the energy to go out and meet some peeps.
volunteer somewhere on a regular basis
Ryan and I volunteer at a nursing home in Perry every Tuesday night.  At first we were reading them Little Heathens which was fun, but the employees at the nursing home weren't always the best about getting people to our reading group.  So now we just go an hang out with whoever wants to talk.  I learned a lot about growing tomatoes this week and Ryan got to hear a lot about WWII which he enjoyed.  

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Book so far

My goal this year was to read 12 books.  Like everything in my like I go through phases where I am all in and borderline addicted to the activity.  This past month it was reading books, but I think I phasing out of that time temporarily because life is not giving time to such activities for the time being.

I'm not the best at giving reviews or summarizing books because I forget what I read soon after the book is done (I'm this way with movies too.)  You'll have to go to Amazon to read a summary, but I can tell you which ones you should read.

So far I have read in 2012

The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan
    *Quick, light hearted read.  Well, maybe not so lighthearted, but the end leaves you with a heart to give back to those around you.

Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall
     *Excellent book.  Memoir about a woman who grew up in the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints who believe in multiple wives and her painful journey leaving the community.  Definitely recommend.

All She Ever Wanted by Barbara Freethy
    *Ehhh, it was okay.  Don't spend your time reading this.

Five Days in Summer by Katia Leif
    *I have recently fell in love with Criminal Minds, I decided to try the whole crime drama type of book.  I decided I don't really like that genre of books, but if you do, I would recommend this.

Hunger Games by Suzanna Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanna Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
    *I avoided these books as long as I could with all the hype surrounded by them.  I didn't want to be one of those people who read it after they became cool.  But I was one of those people, and I loved them!  You definitely should read them.  I read all three of these in six days.  (Proof I was in the addicted to reading phase.)

Wow, Apparently I'm seven books in to the twelve books.  Maybe I should have made the reading book goal a bit more lofty.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Word of 2012

I read in a Christmas letter once, well actually I heard about someone's Christmas letter once, that each member in their family chooses a word they would like to represent the year to come.  I've decided I want to do that.  Well I want to do it at least this year, and hopefully I'll remember it for years to come.


I want genuine to mark my year this year.  This word has been on my heart this last month.  I feel like this past month God keeps showing me time after time where I am am lacking genuineness.  I pursue people and conversations out of obligation, but not a true heart to love them and know them more.

I'm ready to dive into this.  I know I'll fail over and over, but I also know God has put this word on my heart for a reason.  I want to really be present when I talk to people.  I want to show a real interest in who they are and where they came from.  I want to be excited when I see people.  I want to love them with a real genuine love and not an obligation.

Luckily God has given me some pretty sweet role models in this area.  I can think of two friends in particular who rock in this area.  Every time I hang out with them, see them or just give them a hug, I know they are different.  This word radiates from their life.

So here goes....

Friday, January 6, 2012


For 2012 I want to:

complete the 3rd Annual No Junk Food Jan.

complete P90X (the workout plan and meal plan)

run a marathon in the fall

read at least 12 books

do a meal plan for every week

use the envelope system for money

be genuine in my relationships

get rid of diesel heat

redo the kitchen floor

build relationships in Woodward, IA

volunteer somewhere on a regular basis

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Self Control 2011

Self Control 2011 is finally over!

October:  We got off easy and just did No Snooze again.  We hadn't thought of something and woke up on Oct. 1st and was 'oh no', so we quickly improvised.

Novemeber:  We did Move in November.  God unexpectedly put a house in front of us that we could not say no too.  We moved in and worked our buts off paiting, stripping wallpaper and cleaning, oh so many hours scrubbing.  The house has a whole lot of more things to do to it, but for now we are taking a happy rest and enjoying it after a laboress November and December.

December:  Drive it Right December.  We had to obey all traffic laws to the best of all ability.  That means go the speed limit, stop behind stop signs, stop completely, no aggressive driving, use turn signal when changing lanes and when turning corners and when parking.  It was hard.  WAY hard, I realized I break the law a lot!  It made me much more conscious of the speed limit in different areas of town.

Final Summary:  I loved Self Control 2011.  I love that we're not doing it again, but also love the togetherness it created in Ryan and I's relationship.  Having the same goals together each month, was a blessing for our marriage.  Being able to walk along side each other when certain months were harder than others for one of us.

We do have lots of goals planned for 2012...stay tuned....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Life without Internet

I have a couple of real excuses for why the blog posts have been very few and far between this year.  First of all when you have a desktop computer that is nine years old, it has definitely seen its better years.  You would have to restart it 3 to 5 times to get the internet to work.

Finally Ryan and I decided lets buy a new laptop in Septemberish.  It was wonderful to be able to be on the computer while on the couch.  I was so exciting for all of the future blogging that would happen.

But then, Ryan and I decided to move to the middle of nowhere, 1.4 miles outside of a town of 1,000 people.  Who would have thought there are actually places in America where there is still no access to high speed internet?  There are....shocking, I know.  The only internet we would have available to us would be dial-up.  (Yeah dial-up, that thing from middle school.)

Not having instant access to internet anytime you want has been this strange giving me this strange sense of cleansing.  It is slightly freeing to know that I won't respond to emails right away or see every tweet out there. It's slightly freeing to now pinterest won't take over my life.

It is strange one of the big things I think not having internet has hurt is my cooking.  I didn't realize how often I would look up recipes on the internet and compare them and mark my favorites in google reader.

Ryan and I are looking into getting an iphone or getting a phone that will give us a wireless connection, so we'll see.  In the meantime I will love this refreshing freedom.