Friday, December 31, 2010


i get all reflective this time of year.

does anyone else?

i think there is something very profound about the beginning and end of things.

not because the beginning and end are the most important part,
but because it presents an ideal opportunity to


just think about the birth of a new baby. or a funeral.
the last day of the year. or the first.
a wedding day. or a divorce.

these are moments in life--special moments--that make time slow down and make me appreciate things to a greater degree.

today is one of these days.
the last hours of twenty-ten.
it will never been 2010 again. crazy.

so today I plan on spending some time with my journal.
reflecting on 2010.
praying about 2011.
it has become a tradition of mine.
and it is fun to go back and read what I wrote a year ago.
or five.

i am very excited to see what God has in store.
no matter what it is, I'm sure it will be good.

Thanks for reading in 2010. :)

christmas sabbatical

i took a little sabbatical from blogging this month.
not really on purpose.
it just kinda happened.

December has been a crazy month.
I know that it feels that way for most people. unfortunately.
but this December was different, and difficult, for me.

I wish I could say it was all celebration and anticipation.
but it wasn't.
there were definitely MOMENTS of joy, celebration, and anticipation.
and this past week, which has been spent with family, has been wonderful.
(more on that later)
but a majority of the month was....long. difficult. emotional.

please do not read "BAD," because that is not what I am saying.

it's just that working in Residential Treatment with adolescents who are separated from their families during the holidays is, well, hard.
they are emotional.
i am emotional.

and not being on a school schedule, where you get 2-3 weeks off for the holidays is a bummer. seriously.
another reason that growing up stinks.
unless you are Rob, which means you still get the break.
maybe i shouldn't have rebelled against the family tradition of teaching :)

and due to all the changes in our life, we had yet to find a new church "home" by the time Christmas rolled around, which left us feeling displaced and homeless during this season of celebrating our Savior.

it just wasn't the December i knew.
which is okay.
but it just means that I am learning and adjusting.
when we were driving out to Western Kansas for Christmas,
I told Rob that I wished I had a do-over for December.

not because it was so great,
but because I learned some things and I wish I could go back and do it different.
this is soooo my personality, by the way.
i hate to miss out on anything.
i am very critical of myself.
and i really like to get the most of every moment.

here are some things that I learned from this December:

--get organized before the holidays hit.
--find ways to celebrate the small things.
--decorate! even if you don't like your little apartment. do it. it just makes it feel like Christmas.
--spend time with those you love. doing simple things. instilling traditions. drinking coco. looking at Christmas lights. stuff like that.
--let go. it is not about ME or THINGS or LISTS.
--read the Christmas story from the Bible. and Children's books. Reflect on Jesus and what HE HAS DONE not what I need to do.

thank goodness I get another December next year.
and thank goodness I get to celebrate Jesus all year long.

Friday, December 3, 2010

bleed purple

the same Saturday the Sibayans arrived
Rob and I were given FREE tickets to the K-State vs Colorado game.
(Thanks, Hartzells!)

we drove up to Boulder, ready to cheer the Cats to Victory.
unfortunately, they did not deliver in the victory department.
what started as a very promising KSU season, has not ended that great.
but, hey, they say we are still bowl eligible. so that's exciting.

even though I didn't get to see a KSU win,
I did get to see several people from WaKeeney, including one of my high school classmates.
I saw a total of 10 people that I knew from Kansas.
Kansas is such a small world.
even in Colorado.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


nothing says the holidays like some nice, white, fluffy SNOW.
I had hoped (and even prayed) that Denver would get some good snowfall while the Sibayans were here.

I wanted Gab and Jake to wake up to a fresh blanket of snow.
I loved that as a child.
There was mystery involved. and excitement.
I guess I really wanted to relive that through the eyes of my sweet niece and nephew.

But, alas, we had no snow in the metro area.
so we decided to drive up the mountains to find some.

we pulled of I-70. bundled up. and jumped on our sleds.

Rob and I's attempt didn't go so well.

Poor little Gabi wasn't a huge fan of how cold it was.
the cold is way worse when you have 0% body fat.
can't say that i have that problem. :)
maybe that's why I like the snow.

Monday, November 29, 2010


this is the season of spending.
Black Friday.
Cyber Monday.
gifts for everyone on the list.
decorations for the mantle.
i'm sure your inbox is full of coupons just like mine.
and your paper is full of ads just like mine.

it is very easy to get sucked into this attitude of spend, spend, spend.

or at least it is for me.

the other night I was laying in bed thinking.
i do that often, by the way.
sometimes too much.
but, hey, it's how God made me.

so i was thinking about how much time i spend thinking about ways to spend money.
we're trying to buy a house $$$$$$$
so then i start thinking about the furniture we'll need to put in that house (guest bed, accent chairs, dining room table, couch, desks, etc. etc. etc.) $$$
then i think about having a baby. yikes! need i say more?!? $$$$$$$
and how we don't even have a four-door vehicle to put that baby in $$$

you get the picture, right?

so this was the track that my mind was on
when all of the sudden i heard:
"what if you spent as much time thinking about how to give to others
as you do thinking about spending?"

what if?

don't hear me wrong:
I don't think that any of the things that I mentioned above are bad things,
nor do I think that it is wrong to spend money on those things.
I'm sure at some point we'll buy all the aforementioned items.

but i just think that I have gotten a little off track.
and I want to make sure that I recognize that all that I have
come from God.
it is all HIS, first and foremost.
and always.

as I begin my holiday shopping
(i bought my first gift tonight!!)
I want to keep a good perspective on my spending habits.
and my giving habits.

because I am extremely blessed.
and I want to be a blessing to others.

i hope that Rob and I can talk this week about ways to give
and bless those around us.

will you have these conversations with us, too?

all I have is yours.
I want to honor you with all I have and all I am.
Thanks for all you given for me.

breakfast of champions

In preparing for their trip, Priscilla and Jacob spent some time researching things to do in Denver.

scratch that.

Priscilla researched things to do in Denver.
Jacob researched things and places to EAT.

inspired by an episode of Man VS Food,
we headed north on Federal Blvd to

where we came face-to-face with the epic 7 lb. Burrito.

and Jacob took on the challenge all by himself.
just kidding.

we shared.

Look at that enthusiasm for breakfast!
Gabriella LOVED it.

i'm not sure they get much cuter than that.

while the burrito would have been PLENTY to feed the 6 of us.
we ordered one of the infamous burgers as well.
not gonna lie, I was far more excited for the burger.
what can I say, I'm a Kansas girl through and through.

so. much. food.
(don't worry, this was prior to everyone getting sick)
hmmm....??? are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

my first turkey

this was my first time to host Thanksgiving dinner.
i called my mom the week before and she expressed her relief that I was going to tackle Thanksgiving.
this means she'll never have to be in charge.
she's always been with Grandma Marie or Grandma Marge on Thanksgiving.

so my next two calls were to my Grandmas to learn all the ins-and-outs
of making a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal.

It was my first time making the Turkey!
I was so nervous. but it turned out great!
and was really easy.
apples, celery and carrots on the inside.
butter and seasoning on the outside.
we cooked it in a bag at 325.
it was really moist and really yummy.

the menu:
Stuffing (w/ and w/o raisins)
Greenbean Casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Turkey Gravy
Green Goop
Cranberry/Apple Salad
Dinner rolls

and that was just the main course.
for dessert we had:

Homemade Cheesecake with strawberry topping.
Pumpkin Pie with whipped cream
Tollhouse Pie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

we made ALL of that.
for 4 adults and 2 kids.
excessive? probably.
especially since Rob was only eating Saltines on Thanksgiving day.

Jacob was in charge of the potatoes (his is a really great cook. really.)
Priscilla the Green Goop and Tollhouse pie (both Haude traditions)
and with my Grandmas' help,
I conquered the rest.
of course, I had a LOT of help.
i couldn't (and wouldn't) have done it all without all the help.

Gabriella helping with the cheesecake and pie.

it was fun.
but exhausting. I have a new respect for my grandmothers and all the work they put in to cooking all our holiday meals.

it feels good to know that I may have inherited some of the skill and love for cooking that both of my grandmothers possess.

Sil, thank you for all your help!
you washed SO many dishes and kept me company in the kitchen.
i love you and loved our Thanksgiving together!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

something's missing

it is so quiet in our house right now.
rob has probably mentioned the silence five times in the last couple of hours alone.
even with football and HGTV on, it it still so quiet.
and it feels like something is missing.

or rather, someONES.

rob's sister and her family were here for an entire week.
it was glorious.
and fast.

they just left today and they are already greatly missed.
we miss the sounds of jakey saying "all dum" (all done), "otay" (okay), and "tum" (come).
i even taught him to say "Hee-Haw" (Yeehaw!)
we miss gabi squealing in delight and running up and down our small/short hallway.
her sweet, little voice asking for Auntie and Uncle.
I miss talking and laughing with Priscilla while the sewing machines whirled.
Rob misses Jacob's company and making plans for the next meal.

one of their first nights here we watched Monday Night Football:

Jacob was the lone Chargers fan in the house.
Priscilla conveniently packed BRONCOS gear for the kiddos :) :)

we even made a variety of football appropriate finger foods to eat during the game.
we didn't mess around when it came to food:

after all the noise of cooking,
and eating,
it definitely feels quiet.
the 6 of us were nice and cozy,
closely packed into our two bedroom apartment.

on top of it being a lot of people in not-a-lot of space,
we had a lot of illness.
yes, with all the bodily fluids that come along with it.

despite the fact that Rob didn't move off the couch much for a couple days,
and I didn't have energy to do any hardcore Black Friday shopping,
we had a GREAT Thanksgiving!

we did a lot of fun things with the Sibayan family,
and made A LOT of food.
(more on that later)

i am overwhelmed with gratitude for family.
i feel incredibly blessed to have the family that I do.
while I missed seeing my parents, brothers, and Hemmert family,
it felt so great to be with my Haude family.

this was the last time we'll see the Sibayans as a family of four.
Priscilla is due to have baby #3 (a boy!) in about 8-9 weeks.
we can't wait to meet him and have his noises fill our ears.

so until next time,
something will feel likes it's missing.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

a weekend of my liking

by the time the weekend comes around
I usually feel like there is a list of things
I need to do.
I must get done.
I should clean the house, do the laundry, wash the dishes that have piled up all week.

those words: need. must. should.

yuck. just thinking them makes me feel more tired.

So, this weekend I spent a lot of time doing what I wanted.
On Friday, I went on a walk (in 70 degree weather!!!) with two incredibly beautiful friends.
We got ice cream after our walk and then went to Hobby Lobby to browse.

Then we had our dear friends, Ryan and Amanda, over for dinner.
We played Bananagrams, which is one of my favorite games, and caught up about life.
It was so great to laugh and connect with people we enjoy and relate to.

Saturday we did some more house hunting
(and found a house we really please be praying we get it!)
and then my sweet husband went to THREE craft stores with me.
Michaels. Joanns. Hobby Lobby.
All in one day. I had 40% of coupons for ALL THREE. joy.

Then I came home and did some serious crafting.
I am officially started on our wedding scrapbook! woohoo!

So while I did spend a few hours cleaning,
And today I sorted through 7 loads of laundry,
and have loaded the dishwasher 3 times,
this weekend really did feel like a break.
It felt refreshing to talk, walk, eat, laugh, create, and just BE.
it was nice.
very very nice.
a sabbath rest in the midst of some really full weeks.

and in a couple hours, I'll be back in the crazy world I call work.
I praise God for my job.
and for the opportunities I have to love others.
but in this moment, I'm especially praising Him for this weekend of rest.


Friday, October 29, 2010

pumpking baking

i really enjoy when i have the chance to bake,
especially when the weather starts to cool off.
which it has the last couple of weeks.

fall is definitely in full swing.
which means it is the perfect time to try some new pumpkin recipes!

First, I made Pumpkin Bars
4 eggs
1 C vegetable oil
16 oz can of pumpkin
(I use the 29 oz can to make them super moist)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 2/3 Cup Sugar
2 Cups Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1.In mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil & pumpkin.
2.Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Gradually add flour mixture to pumpkin mix.
4. Pour into un-greased 15x10x1 inch pan
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

while it is baking, whip up a batch of this Cream Cheese Frosting to top it off:
8 oz cream cheese
6 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon milk
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
(no one said it was healthy)

Then Rob started asking for a Pumpkin Pie.
So I made him a deal:
He got the crust from the grocery store: Thanks, Marie Calendar!
and I made the pie filling and whipped cream.
easy compromise.
I have a great pie crust recipe (Grand Champion at the County Fair, baby!)
but I think that I still need to get it from mom.
For now, Marie did just fine :)

And on Sunday morning, we decided we just hadn't had enough pumpkin in one weekend...
we L.O.V.E breakfast around here.
we make breakfast (bacon, eggs, pancakes, waffles, french toast) at least twice each weekend.
Rob does the bacon and eggs.
I'm in charge of the carbs. :)
so I set out to make Pumpkin Pancakes from scratch.

2 Cups Flour
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Cup milk
1 egg
1 Cup pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons vinegar

1. Combine milk, pumpkin, egg, oil & vinegar in bowl.
2. In other bowl, combine the rest.
3. Slowly add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, mixing well.
4. Heat griddle to medium/high and make some cakes!

This recipe is now at the top of our "favorite list."
with a little powdered sugar and syrup, it was delicious..mmmmm.
and I'm sure it will be any time of the year.

so while the pumpkin filling is well-stocked on the store shelves,
go get some.
and try one (or all!) of these recipes.
it's totally worth it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


We have great friends.
Really, really great friends.
It's is honestly one of the things I love most about our life here in Denver.

Starting life as husband and wife can be difficult,
and Rob and I took on this challenge while settling into a new city.
These people invited us to join their small group within the first few weeks of us attending Trailhead.

and they became more than just people we go (went) to church with.
they have become our family away from family.
and being with them feels a bit like "going home."
i've been missing them. a lot.
and this weekend we got a chance to reconnect and celebrate Fall.

we put them up to this. and they were good sports :)
every "family" picture involves coordinated outfits and poses on the staircase, right?

i really love these ladies. they're great in so many ways.
and the children!
in their outfits.
aren't they adorable?

on top of getting to connect with friends,
which I really, really needed,
we spent time enjoying a fall tradition...
pumpkin carving!!

it was Rob's very first time.

look at the concentration
and excitement...

even though the Cats lost earlier in the day to Baylor,
we were still representing!
(and maybe taunting Beave and Ali,
whose loyalties are to the other Kansas team)

Happy Fall, y'all!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

GAP jeans

head over here to enter a chance to win $100 to Gap.
love that store. a lot.
i really hope i win :)

Monday, October 25, 2010


today marks 80 years of life for one incredible, strong, beautiful woman:
my grandmother.

Things I admire about Grandma Marge:
she tells it like it is.
she has opinions and isn't afraid to share them.
she carries herself with so much grace.
she is an amazing cook.
she makes the best eggs in the world.
she raised six children and supported her husband even through difficult times.
she still works out. every day.
she has endured heartache and loss with incredible grace and humility.
she still loves to learn new things and travels often.
she is committed to God and her family.
she gives great hugs.
she is beyond generous.
she loves well.
she has great taste in clothes, jewelry and decor.

i feel like I could go on and on about Grandma Marge.
I just love her. :)

the truth is, I am blessed to have TWO grandmothers that I really admire.
beyond that, I have two grandmothers that I really KNOW.
who have been invested in my life over the years.
who get to know me and let me know them.
i come from really strong, beautiful women.
so watch out. :)

Because there are so many of us in the family,
and we are spread out all over,
we celebrated Grandma's birthday in July.
here are some of my favorite pictures from that event.

it was a really great time. I hadn't seen some of my cousins in a loooong time.
Grandma, you have created such an incredible legacy over the past eight decades.

I love you.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

the hunt

we hit the trail again this morning,
looking for our own little place to call home.
I watched a couple episodes of Property Virgins and House Hunters last night,
getting myself psyched up, learning the lingo
"Duplex Down", "Conventional vs FHA", "Seller Assist"....

HGTV makes house hunting look so glamorous.
no one ever gags because of a rancid smoke smell.
nor do they use their sleeves to avoid touching door knobs and light switches.
this morning I did both.
needless to say, that property didn't make the final cut.

but the good news is we did find a property that we put an offer in on.
so now the waiting begins. again.

my mom joked this morning that this was a great way for God to teach me patience.
it's true. i'm practicing waiting.
and sometimes it feels like it is killing me (slight over exaggeration)

waiting is something that gets easier with practice.
and having two offers fall through gives me perspective.
I want to be wise about these decisions. prayerful. patient.
not impatient or impulsive.

I don't want it to lead to this:

The line where Tom Hanks says, "It'll be fun to fix is up together..."
That is soooooo Rob.
He is my Mr. Blue Skies.
Just like his daddy.
And I love that he is so optimistic. Honestly, I do.
But is scares the begeezus out of me when it comes to our first house.

I also don't want to fall into the "American Dream"trap that says you have to own.
We don't have to, nor do we really need to...
but I will praise God and be very thankful if He allows us to become homeowners. :)
and I'll be super-excited if that home comes with a garage and a yard :) :)

we'll keep you posted!

Friday, October 22, 2010

the ranch

my sweet friend, kristen, had a birthday a few weeks back
and she invited some of her dear friends
(I feel so blessed to be included in that category)
to go to her parents' ranch to celebrate.

Kep and I met at Orientation for Seminary.
In many ways, it was divine intervention that we sat at the same table.
and I can honestly say that my life was SO much better for having her friendship over the past three (almost) years.

we are different in many ways and yet at the core,
we are very, very similar.
Kristen is a constant. I am always amazed at how she maintains so many friendships with so many people. And they are genuine, deep, meaningful friendships.
She makes people feel loved and appreciated.
She cares deeply for others, listens intently, prays fervently.
I admire her in many ways and am thankful that I get to call her friend
and sister in Christ.

not to mention, she took me to her parents' ranch.
which was like something out of my dreams.
i dream about this:

and this:

with horses in that barn, galloping in those corrals.
(i'm not making this up, people. I really do dream of that)

I mean, who wouldn't dream of this:

a sunset over the mountains. now that is just good for the soul.

they even had cows. very pregnant cows.

I may not dream of THAT so much,
but they do take me back to my childhood,
which I love. and miss sometimes.
Dad bringing new born calves in from the snowstorm to keep them from freezing to death.
Sage and I rubbing them with towels to warm them up.
oh, the memories.

i loved my weekend with Kristen and friends at the ranch.
beautiful views. beautiful women. cozy fire. great food.
and lots of laughter and sharing.


sorry this is a little belated, but I want you to know
how incredibly grateful I am for your friendship,
for who you are, and all that you bring to my life.
and for taking me to your parents' ranch :)
you rock.

love you, girl.