Category Archives: family

out of the office . . .


I’ve spent much of my summer ‘away’ from my computer . . . contributing to my lack of blogging.  Most recently, I was far away from my computer enjoying an amazing family vacation exploring several national parks.

Here are a few snapshots from our Yellowstone and Grand Teton portion of the trip!




   Summer is here . . .  while I welcome the release of a schedule and activity driven life that the school year brings .. I’m realizing it also takes some adjusting to the the change of pace and establishing some new rhythms of summer that include relaxation and some intention too.

Today we started some of that  .. sleeping in, breakfast, bible study.  This afternoon we will run some errands, read some library books and maybe make some cookies!

I want to soak up every minute of the summer, engaging with my family, friends, and take advantage of opportunities to look way beyond myself and serve others.

Kindergarten screaming!


Today was the day .. you could say ‘the anticipated day’ or ‘the dreaded day’, depending on Evangeline’s mood at the moment …

The event is known as kindergarten screening, where ‘soon to be’ kindergarteners come to Fairview and spend an hour in the classroom while being observed by the teachers as they play and interact.

When Emma first starting talking this up with Evangeline, our future kindergartener heard ‘screaming’ not ‘screening’. After all what context does she have for ‘screening’? What is screening?

So, when Emma first asked, ‘Evangeline, are you excited for Kindergarten screening?’

Evangeline replied, ‘Screaming!!?? Kindergarten screaming?!?! Why are they going to scream? I’m NOT going to that!!’

She’s been terrified of it ever since!

I had fun sharing that with the principals and kindergarten teachers at the parents meeting!

When I picked her up she was pleased to report, ‘No screaming .. just playing!’


discipleship and parenting


Our sermon series at church continues in Matthew … this Sunday we looked at what it means to follow Jesus by looking at His calling of the disciples to follow Him.

Our church doesn’t do holiday messages  … so there was not an overarching  ‘mother’s day’ theme.  I appreciate that.

However, application was made to parenting  with the emphasis that applies to all followers of Christ that, at the end of the day, it’s really just all about our walk with the Lord.

I’ll just share some of my notes … it was a sobering and encouraging message for me.

We were in Matthew 8 and 9.

Jesus goes at the heart of discipleship … our allegiance is to be to Him.

We were challenged to not let our hearts elevate family over Christ, which we can be easily tempted to do.

He talked about how raising kids in a Christian home can easily lead them to not feel so much like sinners … after all, their behavior may appear better than some of their peers who don’t know Christ.  I relate to that.  I feel like at 40, I’ve finally come to understand my sinful heart for what it really is.

As parents (or adults of any kind who influence children in any way), we can model that we know we are sinners and to be open (appropriately) about our sin.

Some application questions:

Is your walk with the Lord fresh?

-what is God teaching you right now?

-are you excited about it?

-do others see the fresh wind and fire in your life?

Raising kids isn’t about the kids, it’s about our walk with the Lord.

I am sinful and I need the gospel … daily.

My kids will catch way more about the way I live than about what I say.

What’s most important is, “Am I walking with Jesus?”

-if I am, grace will spill out and others will see it!

Here’s a great link our pastor posted on the topic that gives some great perspective

the race


This Saturday, I finished my first 1/2 marathon!  It really was my first as my training never included more than an 11 mile run!

It was an early morning … we rose around 4am and were on the road up to Kenosha (about an hour north of Chicago) by 4:40am.  Jon and the girls had packed the car with all the essentials the night before, while I had gone to bed before 9, to get a bit more sleep!

We arrived in record time, but not being familiar with this venue, I wanted to be there an hour before the race start to check things out, use the potty, scope out the course, etc.  It was an absolutely beautiful morning and a rare privilege to watch the sun rise over lake Michigan.  We saw the transformation from blue to hot pink to orange as it peaked up over the lake and as the clouds cleared to an absolutely perfect morning for a long run!

Jon, the girls and Baxter were all well equipped to cheer me on with great signs and even a loud cow bell .. just in case I couldn’t see them in their bright yellow ‘team laila’ tshirts!  You couldn’t ask for a better cheering section!  I felt very loved and supported.

For me personally, I had to overcome more than a few obstacles around this particular race.  The details /content and circumstances of those obstacles are not as important as the process of the overcoming.  We must create what we want with what we have.  We don’t always have what we want, but we do have the ability to create our own experience.  I knew that would be my work for this race!

I was so happy with the outcome of this race.  I loved having my family there to support me.  They were at the start, the 5 mile, 10 mile and finish line!  Perfect!

As it turned out, I ran this race without any running buddies of any kind.  I knew just the day before that this would be the case, so I collected a community of friends and family via text to support me while I ran with my iPhone as my Ipod.  I loved hearing from so many, encouragement to keep going and finish strong.  I had a specific time goal that I knew I would have to work very hard to meet, especially running alone and not experienced in pacing myself BY myself.  I’m so happy that I beat my goal by 5 minutes!  I had specific plans around water stations and fueling throughout the race, that worked really well.

What do I take away?

Gratitude for Jon and the girls for their support.  I often take that for granted, and it meant so much to me in this particular race.  I’m so grateful!

I feel empowered to do hard things.  This race was hard.  The training was hard.  Overcoming fear and obstacles was hard.  But, I did it, and I can move forward in life and face hard things in other areas too.

Community.  We were not designed to do life alone.  Again, family was key . . . as were the community of friends that also wanted and expected me to do my best.  I felt their support and wanted to honor it, by actually doing my best!  I believe I did that, and I was so pleased.

Additionally, running alone gives me time to be with myself .. to listen to myself and also to talk to myself ..  I did a bit of both on this run.  Being alone is most importantly an opportunity to listen to God.  I’m thankful for what I heard and for what I said.

Thankful to God that my body works well enough to run, for a beautiful day to enjoy pushing myself physically, soaking in a beautiful morning on Lake Michigan and thankful for many lessons learned.

how much is that doggy in the the window?





The picture isn’t the best .. taken with my iphone .. but if you look closely, you see our dog, Baxter, peering out the window, standing up on the sofa, like a king on a throne. Funny thing is, he’s not allowed in the living room….


This was the sight that greeted me on my way home from my run this morning .. someone didn’t secure the gate .. that would be me .. oops!


The good news .. no accidents or destruction of any kind was found .. guess he was just watching over the front yard .. good dog (kinda).

say it isn’t so


those who know me well, know that I get sad when babies GET teeth and sad when ‘no longer babies’ LOSE teeth!

our baby just lost her first tooth … SAD!!

She was soooo excited .. mom, not so much .. I also don’t do blood.  Thankfully, Daddy did the ‘pulling out.”

The dilemma was that Evangeline is on spring break this week and so how will she show her teachers and school friends if the tooth fairy comes and takes her tooth?!?

Emma, being sympathetic to her dilemma, helps her out by writing a note to the tooth fairy . . .

The tooth fairy was generous to leave the tooth and a dollar in honor of the FIRST TOOTH LOST!


Mom .. is still sad ..