Tuesday, April 30, 2013


We closed on our new house eight days ago! Matt has pulled more than 300 nails out of the floors. My dad has stripped rooms filled with wallpaper and there are many left to do. I am painting, unscrewing screws, scrubbing gluey walls, and taping doorways. There are three paint colors still stuck in my hair despite last night's shower.

Matt and I usually play the busy game. We scramble a lot and wonder where the time goes. But this week we proved that you can carve out time when you're on a deadline. You can squeeze in a few hours when there's something important on the list. Suddenly, work is truly 3/4 time and I'm discovering chunks of each day that can be spent at "new house".

Jasper loves to stop over. He chooses a screwdriver to carry around the house. He picks up chunks of carpet pad and piles them in the corner. He takes you upstairs and runs around his new bedroom with his arms out wide declaring, "Woweee!" It's a lot of space for a little munchkin.

Matt's fingers and back have their own heartbeat. Something is in the air since the carpets were ripped up and I'm wheezing, without a voice. But we are happy helpers. We are making progress. We are excited about staking a claim on this house. We move in less than three weeks now.

Every night we fall into bed, offering the same simple words. They hang in the air between our tired grins: "This is fun. I love you so much."

Friday, April 19, 2013

good is sneaking.

They're right. Every year, Easter flies in the face of all kinds of crappy news. Every April knows terror and death, which hides the resurrection beneath the grief and pain of this world.

Today Boston is on lock down and West, Texas is flattened. The media leads us in a fruitless crusade to oversimplify people and motives and fear. It's exhausting... even from way over here in Minnesota.

Speaking of Minnesota, it's covered in snow. It's snowed a few times since Easter morning - since I had Zion's marquee sign to read, "Spring is here! Christ is risen!" Neighbors must think the latter is a joke, too.

The truth is, we struggle through spring as both physical and spiritual people. It's hard to lean into the tangible truth about an empty tomb. We have trumpets and streamers and breakfast together for one day. But now what? What does Easter mean for tomorrow?

People are still underemployed. Stillborn babies are missing from a hospital. Rosie's bronchitis is back. Warren checked himself into rehab again. April showers are having their way with Zion's wimpy gutters. A nineteen year old kid has the whole world holding its breath.

Preachers spend the season of Easter trying to show people why the empty tomb makes any difference at all. We point to the new promises we've been swept into. We rip the burial cloths off of the pain and defeat our people feel quietly - the secrets that haunt them in the pews:

A fear of worthlessness.
The lack of purpose.
Monotony and mediocrity. 
Aching loneliness.
Pain that has no words or diagnosis.

Everything is the same, but everything is different, too.

If you listen carefully, you can hear the tulips waiting here in Minnesota. They are drinking deeply from each melt and they are trembling with excitement as days grow longer. While we slumber, stir, and throw snowballs - still people of the slushy mess - the tulips prepare to preach that same Word.

Rise, people of God - the Son is here. 
There is more light than darkness.
The good is sneaking through.

Monday, April 8, 2013


 beshert is a Yiddish word that means "soul mate" or "destiny" or "meant to be".  and this weekend was filled with "meant to be's" that happened well.

we were meant to send Jasper to my in-laws where he could be pampered and adored for five days while Matt and I celebrated out west.

we were meant to have a few grown up days together - one long date filled with ocean air, mid-morning coffee, late nights, dancing, and martinis.

we were meant to gather around Berit and Gio, two people rooted in the wide love and values that have drawn them together. the sun shined on them and so did all of their friends and family. what a celebration!

we were meant to be out of town while our house went on the market. we didn't over analyze anything and remained hopeful. it turns out, hearing your counter offer has been accepted while standing on Malibu Beach is pretty perfect.

my brothers and i were meant to duck and dive through ocean waves this weekend. i had the giggles, recalling the hundreds of trips to the beach when we were kids. there is nothing better than salt in your hair and the sound of a set rising, then crashing around you.

we were meant to wear these black lace bridesmaid dresses. they were fierce and California now knows that Minnesota is the land of 10,000 good lookin' legs.

we were meant to close down the photo booth, two lovebirds almost five years into this marriage thing - grateful for a weekend to remember our own joyful beginning and all things beshert.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

nine years.

Matt showed me his house just a few months after he bought it back in December of 2003. It was our third date. I was only 22 and still living in a dorm room, so I thought dating a homeowner was a pretty big deal. 

It was the most out-of-date and ugly house I'd ever seen, but Matt beamed with pride on the tour of this little palace. He told me about refinishing the hardwood floors and his plans for the kitchen and showed me tile he'd use after gutting the bathroom. He had big dreams for this bungalow, but I hardly knew this guy and skepticism meter started to beep. It sounded like a lot of work for a 28 year old bachelor. Could he gut a kitchen and tile a floor and sheetrock a wall and tongue and groove a porch?

Turns out, he could. And he did. And through every project, the house became more beautiful and more...ours.

Now we've lived here together for five years. Jasper claps and points when we pull up. "Dap-per's House!" This is where we rebuilt a garage and planted a crab apple tree and hosted dozens of bbq parties. It's were we carved pumpkins and baked cookies. It's where Jasper learned to walk and started following Matt around the yard with a Fisher Price lawn mower...just like we did when we were kids.

Jonathan, Strom, and Gabe all lived here, too.
Even Leinie - it was that little puppy's first home!

This house is perfect. It's bursting with the good life. We are proud to have known it for 9 of its 98 years. And today it's on the market so it can write new chapters with new people.

Cheers to nine years...and to all the years still to come!