Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chasing Freedom

 photo copyright of Aaron Smith

My friend Aaron is chasing freedom. Freedom from slavery, freedom for abuse and neglect. Freedom to live a full, happy life. My friend Aaron is literally placing one foot in front of the other, pounding the pavement to reach those people. He is running across the entire state of Minnesota in NINE days. That's over 200 miles. On foot. For freedom.

Why in the world would anyone want to run for 18-20 miles a day?

Here is some awe-inspiring reasons.

  • An estimated 27 million adults & 13 million children worldwide are victims of human trafficking.
  • There are more human slaves in the world today than ever before in history.
  • Approximately 75-80% of human trafficking is for sex.
  • 80% of those sold into sexual slavery are under 24, some are as young as six years old.
  • An estimated 30,000 victims of sex trafficking die each year from abuse, disease, torture & neglect

To find out more about Run Free, visit here.

I met Aaron in college. He was one of my editors for the school newspaper and was breathe of grace in an often hostile news room. He was always so patient with me, even when he red-lettered my whole article. (Which he could still probably do to this blog post! I went on into broadcast writing, he stayed with print) While this unassuming guy could help me with my sentence structures, he was already doing and planning great things. He and a few other guys decided to bike across the entire country to raise money for missions. And they actually did it.

 Venture Expeditions was started.

Three boys on a bike grew to a whole community that empowers people to benefit the world and discover their souls through adventure-driven humanitarian efforts.

Awe-inspiring, isn't it?

To follow along with Aaron on his run, visit his blog here.

Learn more about Venture Expeditions and how you can help, visit here.

Watch a video that I produced about Aaron here.

If you want to donate, you can do it here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tastes of Summer: Avocado Egg Salad

We lost our A/C yesterday. It was hot. Hotter inside our house than it was outside. I don't like cooking over a hot stove when it is hot and summer AND I have A/C. I especially don't like it when there is no A/C. So, I started thinking of things that are nice and cool and refreshing with minimal stove time.

This avocado egg salad is one of my very favorites. It is cool and creamy with a nice tang to it. I could eat it straight out of the bowl, but normally I put it on a sandwich slim and have it for lunch. The only cooking time is making the hard-boiled eggs. Once those are done, you can just mix and mash away till you have the perfect summer sandwich. You could add lettuce and tomato and all that stuff...but I prefer it straight up, with an extra grind or two of fresh black pepper.

The best part of this sandwich? I ate it in my cool, air conditioned home. Thanks to a nice repairman, he and Ryan were able to figure out the faulty breakers (that were completely mislabeled) and, lo and behold, we have air again! Not having crabby, sweaty boys (husband very much included) makes any food taste better!


Monday, June 18, 2012


"POTTY TALK!!!" yells Colin at the very top of his lungs.

With one eyebrow raised and the other dropped in a condescending look, the oldest brother chastises the younger one. "No potty talk, Colin." says the pseudo-mother.


" No potty talk."


"NO potty talk!"

"Potty talk."

" COLIN. NO MORE POTTY TALK!" yells the exasperated older brother.

In a hushed whispered tone, the little one burrows his brows and proclaims.
 "Potty talk. Pooh-pooh. Pee Pee. Potty talk."

 And than Colin walks away, grinning.

~ And that is a 30 second window into my daily life with two little boys.~

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Good Man

I married a good man. He loves his kids. He loves his wife. He loves his family and friends. He loves his Jesus.

If Ryan is home, he is with the boys. Playing, wrestling, reading, Hulk-smashing, swinging and throwing the boys. He may work more hours that he would like, but when he is home, he is connected to them. They count the minutes till Daddy is home. Little feet pound to the back door, as soon as the twisting lock is heard. Giggles and delight, because that sound means that Daddy is home.

Reactions like that, and a million other reasons, is why Ryan is just the best Daddy and why we are so lucky to have him as our own. Happy Father's day, Ryan. We all love you so very much!

And Happy Father's day to my own dad. Thanks for showing me what a good man is, so that I could find my very own. Love you, Dad!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Good News/ Bad News


Good News: I have been getting loads of  sweet cuddle time with Colin.
Bad News: He has a fever, that is prompting all those snuggles.

Good News: It has been 4 weeks since my surgery.
Bad News: I still have 2 more weeks to go. It is getting increasingly difficult to convince the boys that I STILL can not pick them up.

Good News: I finally got to meet up with Debra.
Bad News: Her car broke down and we had to get it towed.

Good News: I have AAA and they tow anyplace and anywhere, even if it is not my car.
Bad News: All our shopping time was spent waiting for a tow truck.

Good News: I am still in my pajamas and have yet to brush my hair. Long live the messy bun.
Bad News: Sorry, Husband. I am still in my pajamas and rocking a messy bun...just like when you left for work early this morning.

Good News: I decide to rest while the boys napped, feeling slightly run down myself
Bad News: My house is also feeling very run down and it got no relief

Good News: I DID manage to sneak away from Mr. Colin enough to brush my teeth.
Bad News: That was my great accomplishment of the day.

Good News: The weekend is around the corner.
Bad News: There is no such thing as bad news when talking about the weekend...

So, enjoy this past the hump but not quite the weekend day that is Thursday.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I Love Technology...But Not As Much As You, You See

... But I still love technology.

Oh, Kip. How you cut straight to the heart of things.

Technology. My life revolves around it.

I read books, browse the web, send work emails, instagram, tweet and sometimes even make phone calls with my smart phone. It is attached to me always.

Any down time I have, I can be doing a various number of things on my phone.

All the time.

At any time of the day or night.

Ryan and a co-worker were talking about work and kids and how their jobs require them to work at home at night sometimes. His co-worker mentioned seeing his almost 2 year old son banging on his fake laptop with a play cellphone on his ears, yelling. It was a wake up call to him. Is that how his son sees him?

It had me thinking. How to my kids perceive me? Do they think that a small metallic instrument is more important than they are?

Colin carried around one of our old broken blackberries for awhile. It never left his side. He sees both parents, with the same phone, attached at their side as well.

Sometimes the lure of just reading another blog, or checking on something or browsing another thing is an escape. An escape from real life. It is so easy to immerse yourself in other people's lives online and not really pay attention to what is going on right around you.

Don't get me wrong here. I love feeling connected with people all over the country. I like reading about what is going on in friend's lives miles and miles away from me. I love the fact that I can respond to work emails while outside playing with the kids. It frees me from being tethered to my laptop all day. I have my mini-laptop right with me.

But when is it too much? Too much technology and not enough being present. Being there. In the moment.

The more I think about my internet and computer consumption, the more convicted I feel. I would never, ever want my kids to feel like my phone or my computer is more important than they are. That one email is  not more important than one of Jack's many elaborate stories.  When they think about their childhood, I do not want them to remember what style of phone I carried and brand of laptop I used!

Can I cut it out? Nope. My work revolves around it. I  also keep up with family online much better. But can I be more selective, more conscious of my time spent online and away from my boys?

Is this something that you have thought about? How do you keep tabs on how much time you spend online/on your phone?

I would love to hear other people's thought and ideas on this.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Favorites: Those boys

This might be one of my favorite picture of the boys.

Classic Jack.

Classic Colin.

One is making silly faces, the other is trying to throw himself off of the play set.

Ya know, typical day.

Another favorite?

This blog post by my Husband.

It is the perfect little look into the night and nap time routines at our house.

Happy Weekend!