Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just want to cry

That's how I feel.
I just want to cry.
Feel like I'm drowning.
So much to do.
The house.
The stupid house.
2 showings last week.
No sale.
14 months on the market.
So much going on around me. And I'm not handling it beautifully.
It's life.
Somedays are better than others.
Today is one of the bad ones.
And I just want to cry.

Who's that girl?

I hardly even recognize her anymore.
Short hair.
2 missing bottom teeth.
And now glasses.
Still as cute as ever...
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Let it begin...

Got calls from the kids' soccer coaches. Soccer starts this week.
Baseball has started as well.
Lani is finishing out this gymnastics session and then taking a break for soccer.
We have Brigg's baseball schedule for the summer.
The sun is shining.
It's in the 60s.
I'm ready for summer....and it's not even really spring yet.


I just realized today, for the firs time, that when Ayla says "Coconut", she means "Polka Dot".

Saturday, March 27, 2010


We finally were able to be outside this afternoon and work on the yard.
It wasn't super nice, but nice enough.
We cleaned out flower beds...

Played with sidewalk chalk and skateboards...

And spread some compost.
Totally fun. :)

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Well...we got to see the end of the Panther's road last night.
But we totally had a blast.
So so much fun.
Such a great distraction for the evening.
Here are all the UNI grads in our group last night.

Smart-lookin' crew, huh! :)
And the Burback siblings.
All UNI grads.
And there's no family resemblence, is there?

So glad we decided to head to Cedar Falls for the game.
It was worth it!
Kinda felt like we were in college again.
Many many nights spent with these people.
Love them.
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Friday.

Whew. Made it through the week.
Heading to Cedar Falls tonight to watch UNI play.
Our old stompin' grounds. :)
Leaving the kids at home with Nana and Papa.
It'll be like we're in college again.
Only older.
And maybe wiser?!?
Naaaahhhhh...probably no wiser.
Either way, it should be fun. And a nice short escape.
I'm ready for the weekend.
Go Panthers!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Love and pain

I can always count on Mother Teresa for some good insight....

True love causes pain.
Jesus, in order to give us the proof of his love, died on the

A mother, in order to give birth to her baby, has to suffer.
If you really love one another, you will not be able to avoid making

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More of Ayla on the beach

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I can't remember...

I've watched the video below several times today. Each time more powerful than the previous.
Between laundry and baking and bathing Ayla and making lunch...I watched.
And I started thinking about what I would have thought watching this video before I had been there. I know I would have felt compassion and love and a slight ache. But not this.
I know I wouldn't have felt this.
So torn between two worlds.
Such a love for both.
Living with plenty and eyes opened to those with want.
It's strange.
I'm letting my heart go back there today and it's difficult.
Right now the sun is setting in Sierra Leone.
40% of the girls in Kroo Bay prostitute themselves.
They are desperate.
It's hard to imagine being so desperate that you could do that.
Until you've been there.
And now I'm trying to live with the reality of it all.
As hard as it is, I'm so glad I saw.
I'm glad my eyes are hurting and my heart beats faster as I think about it.
My life will never be the same.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to support those heroes living amongst the poor in Sierra Leone. What an honor to have met them and seen them in action and know that their work is changing lives in Kroo Bay.
What a painful, glorious blessing this trip has been in my life....

And then I wept....

It's too hard to explain.
I literally cannot find the words.
My chest tightens and my heart aches at the sound of the word...Africa.
I have neglected talking about it much here on the blog...and even much in real life.
On Monday I saw Sheila at gymnastics. It was the first time I'd seen her since our return.
We embraces and both started crying.
It hurts. We don't have the words. We said nothing for a full minute and just hugged.
There are simply no words.
And then this morning I saw this on Kari's blog.
Again, I wept.
So I will simply share this with you as I continue to process.
I can tell you this, Africa is never far from my heart. And thank God for these women who will forever be a part of my life as well....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ok...here we go.

I have quite literally been gone most of March.
3 days.
I have only been home for 3 days this month.
I'm way off course around here.
Today is "reclaim my household" day. (Much less important than World Water Day!)
My sister has Ayla this morning.
Sent a check to school with the kids to get their lunch accounts out of the red.
Working on a menu for the week.
Heading to the store.
Going through mail and bills.
Putting together our tax stuff. (We don't get them done until April because of some important paperwork Paul never receives until the end of March.)
Finishing up vacation laundry.
Thank goodness the sun is shining.
Hopefully by the end of the day my head will be ABOVE water.

World Water Day!

Today is World Water Day!
You didn't think we'd forget that at W4C, did you?
We are super excited about these cute little lapel pins!
Order them today...
to raise awareness...
to provide yet another outlet to tells someone about the water crisis...
to show your support of those who lack this basic need.
I saw it in Sierra Leone.
YOU can see where you money can go here...

Unshaken - charity: water's campaign for Haiti from charity: water on Vimeo.

I saw what water can do to change a community.
Please consider purchasing a pin...or lots of pins...today.
Go HERE to get yours!
And while you are there, feel free to make a donation to water. 100% goes directly to providing clean water solutions to those in need.
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

I just went with a trim.

But the kids did not.
Lani got about 9 inches cut off.
Ayla got 4 inches cut off.
Brigg got a good trim and some bleach.
New kids...

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The time I officially lost all patience.
Kids in bed.
It's been a long month.
But spring is coming and there are good things ahead.
I'm sure of it.


Our trip ended perfectly.
First, I need to say that we are Iowa Hawkeye fans through and through.
Always have been, always will be.
BUT, Paul and I, along with several sisters, brother-in-laws, cousins and friends graduated from the University of Northern Iowa. And we loved it there. It was just that UNI hasn't always been known for their success in sports. They are in a small conference and Iowa and Iowa State usual excel in the sports arena.
With that said, we were beyond excited when UNI made it through the first round of the tournament. We knew the panthers would be playing #1 Kansas as we were driving home on Saturday. We were hoping to listen on the radio. But as 4:40 approached, Paul and I looked at eachother and said, "We're HAVE to stop and watch. At least for the first half."
I googled Buffalo Wild Wings and we found one that we would be passing just as the game started. So we stopped.
And I am SO GLAD we did!
The game was incredible. I lost my voice. And we didn't get home until midnight. But it was so worth it.

Ruby Falls

We drove halfway home on Friday. Stopped in Chattanooga and spent the night.
Could have stayed there for several days.
Such a neat city!
We hit Ruby Falls.
It was totally fun.
Even though we were tired and had been driving for 10 hours, we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Our hotel was so nice (have I ever mentioned I love Name Your Own Price on priceline? I do!)
There was a fire pit and a courtyard and the weather was perfect.
We will be visiting Chattanooga again someday, I hope.



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Thursday, March 18, 2010


This is an annual blog post.
March Madness!!!!!
LOVE it!
This year Brigg is really getting into it.
It's a friendly competition.
Well...maybe not always friendly (note "loser" written on my bracket by my hubby)

Brigg's been counting down the days until the first round.
We printed off brackets and filled them out completely.
Paul, Tony, Lisa and I all graduated from UNI and got to watch the panthers win a big one tonight.
Super exciting.
What is it about college sports?
Gets me so excited!
So fun that Brigg gets to be a part this year...and I think he's going to whoop up on us this year.
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The one and only meal out to eat.
Sharky's. We love it.
And I'm so so mad...just realized I did not get one family shot on this trip.
What was I thinking??

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Man, I have been a pain in the butt lately. :)
And he just keeps loving me.
Pretty sure I have no idea what I'd do without him.
And how fun are these pics?!?

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a glimpse of our last day

Last full day here.
I have mixed emotions about going home.
It's been a rough couple of weeks.
I'm fairly emotional.
And I have no idea where to start when I get home.
I don't feel like "myself"....but I'm not even sure what that means anymore.
Lots to process. Lots of changes.
But today was a good day. So thankful for this time with family.
Some pics of our last day...

So much to be thankful for.
I do know that.