friday favorites – june 27.

Happy Friday friends! I am not really sure how these summer days are going by so quickly. I didn’t even get a chance to blog during the week this week. *Gulp* But I have written some great posts in my head in bed around midnight a few nights, so that’s gotta count for something, right? :) Well, without further delay, here are this week’s Friday Favorites!


Favorite Moment: Seriously, this one will sound silly, because I have A LOT of great moments from this last week, but it’s a simple one. Last night my sis and I headed down to Marketfest, a local little town get together a few cities over, and we sat and watched a high school drum line perform. It seriously was the most adorable thing and I couldn’t stop smiling for so many reasons.


They were very serious about their performance, and seeing 14-year olds trying to play stoically and stone faced made me giggle. I loved the simple nature of the introductions of each member and Courtney and I joined in loudly cheering for the few kids who clearly had no support in the audience. You could tell it made them feel cool and that was adorable. They were talented! I mean, I am no drum-liner, but it sounded good and their pride in their performance (as well as a few nerves) was literally almost too much for my heart to watch. I live for these adorable moments. I know this all sounds dramatic (welcome to my life), but I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.


(And because it’s hard to just pick one, another Favorite Moment was an awesome date night I had with Josh early this week. We laughed, enjoyed some freebies and made the most of a Wednesday night. Yay!)

Boo bad lighting!

Boo bad lighting! But he sure is cute! :)

Favorite Song: Anyone remember Alex and Sierra from X-Factor? I loved this duo on the show (an acoustic-y pop Sonny and Cher) and they just released their new single this week, Scarecrow. It’s such a catchy number and I have found myself dancing around singing to it a time or two (or three…) this week. A fun summer tune plus a super cute music video made using puppets.

Favorite Quote or Verse: Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” –John 14:13-14

When I ran across this verse earlier this week, I couldn’t help but think JACKPOT! It’s one of those verses that can suddenly make Jesus seem like a magic genie and turn hopeful expectations into a no-brainer that things will magically and suddenly go my way. I mean, I’m asking, He’s promising, it’s a great arrangement. Right?

Well, I quickly was convicted on this way of thinking and as I kept reading it over and over and over again, I begin to think about why Jesus said this. Jesus was willing to act so that the Father may be glorified. He was willing to do what was asked of Him (in His name) for that one reason. As I kept praying, I realized that to be like Christ, I would have to have the same willingness and intentions as Him in this. My prayer back to God looked something like this: Lord, whatever you ask of me, I will do it, that the Father and the Son may be glorified. If you are asking anything of me, in your name, I will do it. It’s a mighty big prayer to pray but a lesson and a verse that deeply touched my soul and heart this week.

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Favorite Photo(s): I got to spend some fun quality time with Josh and my parent-in-laws on Saturday morning at the golf course and love the shot I got of him hitting off of the first hole into the cool morning fog.

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Yes, the 5:45 am alarm wake-up call was a little early for me, but once we were out on the course, I had a blast watching the family golf, snapping pictures and riding along in the cart with my book. I am not a golfer, but managed to try to hit a ball.

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Unfortunately what this photo doesn’t show is the ball rolling to the left about 5 feet away … well, I tried. :)

AND it was my in-laws 39th anniversary too - how cute are they!?

AND it was my in-laws 39th anniversary that day too – how cute are they!?

Favorite New Local Find: A friend of mine, Kara, told me about a local coffee shop that she thought I would love and of course I just had to go check it out! It’s called J. Arthur’s Coffee in Roseville, MN and it was an adorable place. I met my sweet friend Erica there and while the inside ambiance is amazing (picture rustic tables with individual lamps, big comfy chairs, wide open windows and deep, rich wood colors), we both decided to embrace the warm, sunny day and sit on the patio. The lattes were yummy (chai and vanilla), the conversation full of laughter and sincerity and we managed to chat away for 2 and a half hours while working on our tans. A win-win, right? If you are in the area, check it out!


(Side note – can I just brag on this young lady? Erica just graduated from high school this year and I am always richly blessed when I get to spend time with an amazing teenager like herself! It’s tough world out there and she is conquering it with grace, integrity and a foundation rooted in the Lord. Adore her!)

Favorite Thing I’m Looking Forward To: Our anniversary! Josh and I are celebrating 9-years together as a married couple next week on the 2nd. I love being married to this man EVERY day, but there is something extra special about anniversaries. Like any marriage, there have been up’s and down’s and it takes time, effort, prayers and mutual investment to make it flourish and I can’t imagine doing that with anyone else. He still makes my heart go pitter-patter and my sides ache from laughing. Love you honey! Happy early anniversary!

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Favorite Funnies: And now, my personal favorites ….














That’s all for the week! Enjoy your weekend! Do something kind for someone else, offer grace to someone who maybe doesn’t deserve it and force yourself to smile when you least feel like it. XOXO!


friday favorites – june 20.

Time for another posting of Friday Favorites! Without further delay, let’s jump right in.

Favorite Moment: My dog Cali has desperately needed a haircut for about a month and I put off scheduling it too long apparently because when I called, her groomer was booked out several weeks. GASP. Poor Cali has been so hot outside and we have been waiting for her appointment at the end of June to arrive when suddenly – ring ring – the groomer call with a last minute cancellation. Hurray! So thankfully I got to bring Cali in over a week early. *insert heavenly choir singing here*

I didn’t tell Josh about the cancellation and Cali got to surprise him with her fancy new do when he got home from work. (Hey, we don’t have kids, these are the things we get excited about.) I may be biased but I seriously think we have the cutest dog in the world.

Cali cut

She feels like a velvety teddy bear and smells like lavender and sunshine.

Favorite Thing I Own: Hands down, my new mug from my friend Tiffany. I have to be honest with you folks, I am ub-sessed with Harry Potter. Love. (I just removed several examples from this paragraph upon edit – you’re welcome.) Anyways, my friend Tiff has an equal love for all things Potter and recently made a trip down to Disney to check out The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios. *Chelsea faints at the idea* Long story made short to avoid unnecessary tears from the author – Tiffany surprised me with this new mug that arrived to my house earlier this week, in the original bag from the purchase. How cool am I now?? A gigantic THANK YOU to my friend – people like us have to stick together – and another gigantic THANK YOU to my friends who don’t understand this obsession and still choose to be my friend.


Favorite Quote: “So often we simply neglect to look for the answers to what we have asked, which shows the lack of earnestness in our petitions.” -Charles H. Spurgeon-

I can be SO guilty of this at times. It is much easier to ask “why why why” and bemoan a situation rather than roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty searching for answers. If you have followed my blog long enough, or know me at all, it shouldn’t surprise you that for me, these answers come from reading God’s Word (the Bible). I don’t want to be a question asker – I want to me an answer seeker!


Favorite New Recipe: I have tried a few new recipes this last week but this one for Pineapple Salsa was a real winner! I served it with fish tacos and tortilla chips earlier in the week, then whipped up another batch for my ladies small group last night. It went FAST both times – enjoy!


2 cups finely diced fresh pineapple (this was about a whole one for me)

1 cup diced red pepper

½ cup chopped cilantro

¼ cup finely chopped red onion

2-3 tbsp finely chopped jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded (I would start with less and build up to the heat you like.)

1 clove garlic, minced

Juice of 1 large lime

Salt, to taste.

Combine everything, stir well. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!

Favorite Celebration: Father’s Day! I probably could dive much deeper into this whole topic with the spirit of infertility in mind, but I don’t have the words to do so this year. However I do want to celebrate the dads in my life and Josh.

My dad Tim has blessed our family with his patience, his humor and his unconditional love for as long as I have been around. He loves both of his daughters so much and has been the best dad. He always starts off the day with a text, checking in to see how I am and is always there for me in any and every way. He’s taught me important lessons like “when you are driving, don’t ever swerve for a bird, they will fly away” and the importance of making a good cup of French press coffee.  I loved being able to spend the day with him and my family after 6 years of living in a different state as them. He is worth celebrating every day – love you a ton Dad!


My father-in-law Chet has been the kind of in-law that people pray for and rarely get. He is such a pillar of strength in the family and someone that my husband (and I) has always looked up to and learned from in so many ways. He welcomed me into the family almost a decade ago with so much love (and way too many “humorous” tricks) and I am forever grateful for that. He has taught me how to catch the BIG fish out on the lake and how to make up Chuck Norris jokes on the fly. I am so thankful to have him as another dad and appreciate and love him so much.


And lastly Josh – what can I say about him? First of all, on behalf of Cali, he really is the best furdad ever. He has so much love for our little pup. For some reason Cali chooses to sleep on his pillow every night and he lets her, humbly accepting the 2 inches of feathers she allows him. He plays with her when he is tired and chases her when she wants to be chased. She is his outside lawn-care buddy and she loves him so much her tail nearly snaps off every time so sees him. He is the best.

cali card

He also is the best to-be dad, the dad of angel babies and dreams. He spent his Father’s Day morning volunteering in our church parking lot despite the fact that in doing so, he would be reminded for 5 hours that this was a day to celebrate dads and their children. I asked him if he wanted to get someone to switch with him and he said “nah, the subs would just be dads and I would rather let them be with their kids.” His strength is amazing. I avoid church on days like that and there he is, someone strongly desiring to be a dad, welcoming in dads with a smile. He’s my hero.

A special thank you to those who remembered him on that day. Josh was able to be celebrated by family and friends with cards and words for the doggy dad he is, for the dad he will be one day, God willing, and for the role that he plays in the lives of our nieces. He felt so loved and special and as a wife, that was the best feeling. Thank you to everyone who cared and reached out.


Favorite Message: Our church had a message last week called More Than Happy – Joy in the Struggle, and it was hands down, one of the best messages I have heard in a long time – like, it wins for favorite message easily this year and last year. Loved it. I strongly encourage you to either download it on iTunes or take a few minutes to watch this 28-minute video.


Video Link:

Favorite Funnies: And saving the best for last ….












Have a great weekend friends!




Ever hear the story of Joseph from the Bible? The story that Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat in loosely based on? It’s a great story and one I tend to breeze over in the Bible since I have heard it over and over again. For those of you who don’t know it or want to read a refresher, in summary, Joseph grew up in a family with his 11 brothers and dad Jacob, who favored him. His brothers got jealous of that and grew to hate him, even more so when Joseph started sharing revelations from his dreams that his brothers would one day bow down to him. They planned to kill him, but instead sold him to a caravan going to Egypt and told their dad Jacob that Joseph was dead. Still with me? So Joseph ended up being sold as a slave to an officer in the army, got accused of something false and was thrown in prison where he remarkably continued to have a positive influence on God’s kingdom. Finally, 13 years after he was sold as a slave, he became recognized by the King due to his God-given gift to interpret dreams and was made a ruler in Egypt.

Okay, so keep all of that in mind because it’s important. Joseph’s life kind of sucked! I mean, imagine growing up with tons of brothers who hate you. I am sure that the ridiculing was worse than just a few wet willy’s or noogies. I mean, they were so mad they plotted to kill him, so we know that house must have been a little (or a lot) hostile. So then Joseph gets sold as a slave, which, hello, would be awful. Imagine having freedom and then suddenly being ripped from your home and forced to be a slave for someone who’s wife keeps putting you in a very difficult position. Then you get accused of something false and thrown in prision. Again, suckfest.

So I am sitting here reading all this today and cringing at the thought of this tough life Joseph was living. I mean, I am CERTAIN that he was wondering “Why God???” Why have you put me in this place? Why have you forced me into this situation that is lonely and painful and confusing? Why why why? But I am so amazed at how Joseph continued to trust God in these desolate moments. I am sure he had to fight off hopelessness daily. Life was not how he planned it to be.

Fast forward a bit. Joseph is around 39 or 40 when he is moved into this new place of power. So, I continue reading when I come to these verses*:

During this time, before the first of the famine years, two sons were born to Joseph and his wife, Asenath … Joseph named his older son Manasseh, for he said, “God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father’s family.” Joseph named his second son Ephraim for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.”

Two things stand out. One, the fact that God can bless us in such an unexpected way that He can make us forget all of our troubles, all of the years that we have felt trapped to a struggle or hardship, all of the tears that we have cried. God is capable and able to help us let go of the hurts that held onto our hearts for so long. Two, God can make us fruitful in the places that hurt us the most. This verse doesn’t say “God can keep us alive by a thin strand in the land of sorrow.” or “God has made me survive in the land of my grief.” … it says FRUITFUL.

Definition of fruitful: producing an abundance of growth, yielding fruit and results

We have the ability to have an abundance of growth right here, right here in the places we struggle most, the places that cause us the most grief, that make us wonder “why?”.

What is it for you? Is it struggling with your job, feeling like you just will never get a foot ahead or succeed? Is it struggling in your marriage, feeling like you are just on autopilot and missing the intimacy you once had? Is it struggling with your weight or food choices, always wondering when you will beat the addictive cycle and become a healthier you? Is it struggling being single, feeling lonely when all of your friends marry and have their other half? Is it carrying the burden of infertility, feeling so left out in a world full of families and aching for one of your own? Or perhaps you’re a mom who is feeling lost in the monotony of a toddler life – cleaning cheerios off the floor and saying “no” or “not now” all day. What is causing you to feel a little lost right now, your land of your affliction?

There is good news to all of this. God is with us and God will come in and save the day. He always does. It doesn’t always look the way we think it would or should look, but He is so faithful in blessing us and providing for us when we continue to stay faithful to Him. And it IS possible to produce fruit right where you are – midst divorce, midst family turmoil, midst another failed IVF cycle and midst seasons of lost purpose.

We can find purpose in our “chains” when we look for ways for God to use us, right where we are. Let’s continue to have confidence that He will work our tough times out for His good. I know the stretching is hard, I’m certain 13 years as a slave and in prison wasn’t exactly how Joseph pictured his life, but in the end, there was so much good that came from his story. Ours too – there is good to come. Keep the faith friends.

*Genesis 41:50-52 (NLT)

friday favorites – june 13.

Whooo hooo! It’s time for this week’s edition of Friday Favorites? Who’s excited?


Let’s jump right in.

Favorite Moment:

My favorite moments this week were centered around friendships. I had so many great conversations (and food) with special people in my life this week. Crispy buffalo wings and saucy fingers while Josh and I sat across from Andrea and Ricky, chattering away summer plans, weddings and hunting (you can probably guess who was having which conversation.) Fish tacos in the sun on a beautiful afternoon in Uptown with Alicia, sipping Chamomile Mint iced tea and chatting about life and its ever so present highs and lows. A few days later, creamy cashew chicken salad served out of a pineapple with Sarena, words pouring out of our mouths about how God is moving and working in our lives. Then at a kitchen island with Jana, a Starbucks in hand, a candle burning on the stove and a 5 year old Chloe carefully applying her Hello Kitty lipgloss next to me. As I sat across from Jana, my soul was refreshed as we processed life, challenging one another and laughing as we carefully applied polish to our fingernails. Authentic relationships can be hard to come by and it was in each of these moments where I realized how grateful I am to have such beautiful relationships in my life. People I can laugh with, cry with, vent and be honest with. These moments are so very special.

Favorite Product:

A few months back I got a sample of Dr. Jart+ BB Beauty Balm Cream in my Birchbox and fell in love with it. I went out to Sephora and bought the full-size tube of it and have used it every day since then. It’s a little pricey (I got the kind with the sunscreen) but I bought it in early March and it still has another good couple of months left to it, so well worth the money. I particularly love it during these summer months since it’s light weight and easy. (And if you ever are interested in getting in on the Birchbox fun, let me know and I will send you an invite so you can skip the wait!)


Favorite Photo Taken:

This picture was just captured earlier today at the start of an outside dance party. In my books, when a good song comes out, you drop whatever you are doing (in our case, making a play-doh spider) and move to the rhythm. (Plus their adorable outfits just make this auntie smile!)

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Favorite Project Completed:

Do you ever have those projects that just loom over your head? The ones you keep putting off and that when enough time passes, you begin to rationalize that doesn’t need to be done anymore? (I’m raising my hand.) For me it was boxes in my basement. A mixed assortment of unpacked boxes from our move (3 and a half years ago …) and a collection of junk that has grown and grown and grown. Well, enough was enough! My amazing sister came over early on her day off and we tackled the boxes. We ran bins and bags over to the Salvation Army, filled up the garbage can, and oooohed and ahhhhed over memories we ran across. Man, it feels SO good to be done! As I laid back in bed Tuesday night, I couldn’t help but think “why didn’t I do that sooner???” (And seriously, Courtney, thank you SO MUCH for helping me! You kept me focused and on track!)

Of course we found time to stop for an ever-important iced coffee at Starbucks! We may be sweaty but at least we are caffeinated.

Favorite Meal:

Easy! It was a gluten free sandwich that my sister and I shared midst our work on Tuesday. We ran down to St. Paul to use a Groupon to the Finnish Bistro (a favorite!) and met this yummy combination of flavors. It was an open-faced slow braised pork sandwich that was topped with sautéed cabbage and onions, melted Swiss Cheese and a creamy Thousand Island dressing. It was drool worthy and I wish I had a picture! We ate it was too fast for that though.

Favorite Funnies:

Okay, this totally is going to be a favorite section to do. So many giggles!













Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Thanks for reading!



Let’s go ahead and list some things that we want: I want to not have to worry about gluten, carbs or sugars. I want Cali to live forever (or at least the same amount of time as me). I want to be able to fit into those size 4 jeans that are on clearance at Nordstrom Rack. I want to live in a warm state year round, where my windows can always stay open without the worry about freezing to death or sweating profusely. I want to have a family, one with babies crying in the middle of the night and toddler hand prints marking my windows. I want to have a Starbucks drive thru a block from my house and I want fresh flowers to always grace my kitchen with their presence. Simple enough, right?

Wanting is a perplexing thing. Some things I want are obtainable, and others things seem so impossible that it leaves me frustrated since I simply can‘t wish it into existence. We have been raised in a society where we are told we can “be anything we want to be”. I always thought that statement was stupid, even as a child, knowing that even if I wanted to be an astronaut, putting my mind to it would likely not make it realistic. Well, you know what world, I want to be a mom! Let’s make it happen, snap snap!

But the truth is, even with science and technology what it is, sometimes that wish just isn’t as easy as it seems. In fact, we have been so lucky to have medically tried as much as we have. 6 clomid cycles, 3 (4? 5?) Femara cycles and IUI’s, 4 rounds of IVF, acupuncture and naturopathic appointments … all without insurance coverage? Yuck. I see friends of mine wanting a family so badly, yet the reality of the expenses that come with infertility treatments will forever prevent them from venturing down a more hands-on treatment. Adoption and surrogate costs are astronomically high as well. We are so blessed that we have even been able to try as much as we have.

Well World, a little piece of advice, sometimes you can’t be anything you want to be or do everything you want to do. Let’s be honest, I don’t think these hips of mine (and PCOS pooch) will ever fit into size 4 jeans. I have friends who ache because they thought they would be married by this stage of life or be further in their career or have a family. Wanting and trying just isn’t enough sometimes.

So then what? What happens when our expectations fall short of reality? I have found that when I focus my attention on what I want, my attention is so heightened to what I can’t have that it becomes an obsession. Never before in my life have I wanted to sit down and eat an entire loaf of Wonder Bread until I knew I couldn’t have gluten. Now I dream about it. (Kinda kidding, but not really.)

But what if I start letting go of the pursuit a bit? I am finding that simply loosening the reigns of the aggressive drive is helping me to minimize the adrenaline of the chase. And when that adrenaline goes down a little bit, the obsession lessens and suddenly I can see things a bit more clearly. (And the risk of idolatry lessens – more on that topic on a post from 2012 linked here.)

Don’t get me wrong – I still want (badly) to become a mom and have kids. I don’t think that will ever go away unless God does some major work on my heart, but what I am saying is I shouldn’t be obsessed with chasing that. Because the truth is, right now, our desires aren’t getting us anywhere and I’m tired of feeling drained due to infertility. Granted yes, some days the smallest gesture will still break my heart – seeing a dad wipe off his kid’s chin in the food court or walking past the baby section at Target – but when we step back, Josh and I find ourselves leaving kid-centered events saying “well, that wasn’t so bad!”. And we will still protect our hearts in areas we know that are triggers. It doesn’t make sense to put yourself in a place of hurting if you can avoid it. And other times, we have to suck it up and celebrate with others. I am still allowed to feel deeply and experience a range of emotions but my contentment MUST be rooted in Him above all else.

It’s good to think big and have hopeful expectations. We serve a God who rises up to meet and exceed our expectations. But when what we want becomes an obsession that we just can’t grasp, our happiness gets sucked out of us like water spinning down a bathtub drain.

I know we can find true joy in this waiting time. It is possible to live in a content state when our joy is rooted in HIM and not our circumstances. We can still take advantages of opportunities that come our way in efforts to pursue what we pray for, but we also can savor today for what it’s worth.

Today is the ONLY June 11, 2014 that we will ever have. I shudder at the thought that the days are going by faster than ever and I just don’t want to ever look back and regret that I lost the days in life because I was obsessed with a Want. Yes, there are still days and moments that are hard! This is life. Yes, there will be tears that fall. In the words of my go-to gal Shauna Niequist “…the ability to cry is a sign of health, because it means your body and your soul agree in something, and that what your soul is feeling, your body is responding to.” But when we pay attention, we find moments that are so simple and beautiful that I want to bottle them. Exquisitely colored sunsets. The smell of onions and garlic sautéing on the stove.  The sound of my nieces laughing at Cali. The softness of Josh’s hand as it holds mine. The smooth voice of Jason Mraz as the music washes through my speakers. I have missed too many of these moments because I have been focusing on my cycle day, my sadness, my medicinal side effects or frustrations. No more. No more.

Okay, now granted, I know I sound like a broken record. The truth is I slip in and out of moments of strength and determination. But I am becoming more aware of these cycles and the lapses are becoming shorter and shorter. I’m excited to see what’s ahead with the infertility boombox turned down a bit. I have a feeling this summer will be the best one yet.

See you Friday for a new Friday Favorites post! :)