Tuesday, October 23, 2018


How did that happen? Wasn't I 28 or maybe 32 yesterday?
Don't get me wrong, I have no hang up on my age. It's just a number representing the years I have lived on this earth. It has nothing to do with my worth, beauty or intelligence. It can't be anything more or less than what it is. In fact, I love my birthday. I love celebrating and remembering God's goodness. Some of the stuff I did in my youth could have prevented me from making it this far so a celebration of life is in order. It's just that I can't believe so much time has gone by, to be exact, sixteen thousand eight hundred and one days. I don't remember them all. (Sometimes I don't even remember two days ago.) Those are just my days breathing air, somewhere around 268 days before that my life actually started. I don't remember those days either.

October 1st Emma called me from college and this is how I answered the phone, "hello, it's my birthday month how are you?" It got a laugh. A few days later I started reminding each of my girls and eventually Chris that my favorite cake is Carrot Cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes or Strawberry Wedding Cake from Wheatfields. Specific...yes. But I have learned if I don't say exactly what I want, I get a box cake from the grocery store that I may or may not have to make myself. My sweet husband got the cake from Wheatfields and my mom got me a piece of carrot cake from The Cheesecake Factory which is also AMAZING! Wow! It's not about eating all that sugar, it's about people knowing me. I feel loved and cherished when someone goes out of their way to get the one thing I really like. Iced tea from McAllister's is another one of those things I LOVE but the candle just doesn't stay lit.

This morning I woke to a balloon in my sink and a sweet HBD handwritten message from my hubby. All day I have been getting SnapChat, Facebook and text messages of happy birthday wishes. 
I love it! 

Yesterday I celebrated by having lunch with mom, dinner with Chris' parents and our family. Tonight while the girls are busy with activities Chris and I will go out for dinner. With all that edible celebrating I've gotta take small bites and get a workout in.

Today's YouVersion Verse of the Day is perfect for a birthday!
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, 
before you were born I set you apart. 
Jeremiah 1:5
It doesn't have to be your birthday, go ahead Celebrate today! It is another day that God gave you to love His creation. He created you to be His messenger to a hurting world. You are pretty awesome...make today great!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

HOCO 2018

She cleans up well! 

Dress from Lulus.com...$45
Make-up & Hair done by mom...$0
Borrowed shoes...$0
Dinner at a Friend's house...$0
Event Ticket...$10
A great night with the girls...PRICELESS

Friends since 1st grade

The Big Group

Friends . Teammates
Future College Roomies

Gotta get these heals off!!
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
Proverbs 31:25

Friday, October 5, 2018

Celebrating the Last 17 Years

~~Happy Birthday to you . Happy Birthday to you . Happy Birthday Dear Reagan . Happy Birthday to you~~

I love birthdays, yes I do. It's such a cool day. 
When I give the HBD shout out, what I am really telling that person is something like this...
"I am so glad you were born, your life is special!"

When it comes to my children, the celebration of their birthday is just that...I am remembering the pregnancy, the day before, THE BIRTH, being in the hospital, coming home and the early days afterwards. Obviously, some of those memories are a little brighter than others. Take Reagan for example, the early days weren't the good ones. However, we have made it 17 years and she is a keeper! Her smile, her zany behavior, her humor, her passion, her thought processes, her heart, they all make me fall in love with her everyday. God's creativity is beautiful!

Fall is by far the best time of the year but it's a hard time to get us all together for a birthday celebration. First, Reagan got sick the week of her birthday which put a kink in our plans. We still made some good memories...
Dinner at Olive Garden
Emma came home
Dinner and cake with family plus Oma and Larry
(hmm, years later will I wonder who that is???) 
Starbucks and Pepperjax at school

Big Sis Came Home 

I love Birthday decorations
 I'm still putting balloons in their room, streamers on the door frame, messages on their mirror, a special breakfast and living room decorations. I just can't help myself. This banner was made at Walgreens.com with a 50% off coupon and it was even ready in an hour. Love it! Believe me, I will be using it again next year! 

Husker Shirts
Kendra Scott Necklace
50% off your bday month
"New cleats smell good"

 We love impromptu drop-ins by friends
They must have known there was homemade chocolate bundt cake

Oma and the Birthday Girl

She doesn't look sick but she is. Mono or a mono like illness is better than shingles (last year's bday). I'm so proud of her for resting and taking all the suggestions I had to help boost her immune system. God created our body with an innate ability to heal. He's a pretty smart guy if I do say so myself.

No friend party but she topped off her birthday weekend scoring the first goal in her team's 3-0 ECNL win over the Chicago Eclipse U19 team. This girl is on fire! Happy 17th birthday Reagan. 
We love you forever~

Monday, September 17, 2018

Another ECNL Winning Weekend

So much to remember, gain and learn in the midst of club soccer season.
The long trips, early mornings and cruel environments create opportunities for building special relationships. I love listening to Reagan and her carpool buddies laugh, do homework and recap the game on those long drives home. No one really wants to wake up early but remembering the time we got to the field before the lights were on and there was still frost on the grass creates a vivid memory of soccer in KC. What about the time we got lost in downtown Chicago during the marathon or the time the van windows were smashed and all the soccer bags were stolen. It's not all good but memories are made. And then this weekend watching the girls play honorably in horrible heat against a team who was coached to play dirty makes this mamas heart swell with pride.

This weekend our club played FC Wisconsin and Eclipse Lunar (Chicago). Reagan's team finished up yesterday with two wins which translates to 6 points in the league. (Scores: 3-1 and 1-0 respectively)
win = 3 points
tie = 1 point
loss = 0 points
These points determine our ranking and placement for the end of the year tournaments.

Reags continues her #RoadtoRecovery. She is getting stronger, faster and has a determination to be better today than the day before. She had a great weekend scoring one goal in each game. I wish you could have seen the teamwork on each of those goals, so cool. Don't get me wrong, it's exciting to watch her create a breakaway, beat the defenders and punish the goalie by placing the ball in the back of the net. However witnessing 3-4 girls pass the ball with such great precision around the centerbacks that it creates a flurry of confusion is impressive. The opportunity is created and the last touch is a shot on goal landing in the corner of the net...this is special. It's like a well choreographed dance but really it's all split second decisions coming together because they have learned to work together and trust each other. Teamwork makes the Dream work!

Team Prayer

Reagan #8 battling to win the ball

Going up for a header

And She Scores!
The only pictures I have from this weekend are soccer related however that's not all our family was doing.
CHRIS: DC West Softball went 2 and 1, losing in the championship game 4-3 in extra innings.
EMMA: I made a quick trip to Kearney on Thursday to see Emma before heading out of town Friday. As always, love giving that girl a hug and having some mom-daughter time. It was Homecoming week at UNK which means all kinds of activities on campus. The Gamma Phi Beta float won first place and unfortunately the Loper's football team continued their homecoming game losing streak. Ouch!
OLIVIA: A quiet weekend for this one. Liv has found herself in showchoir, sing omaha, the school musical (Wizard of OZ) and band so one quiet weekend is a good thing.

Be A Blessing

Monday, September 10, 2018

Baptism on the Green

I had the pure joy of baptizing Liv.

Thank you Christ Community Church for making baptism the biggest celebration of the year.

 Last week I asked Liv if she had a verse that she would like to use for her baptism verse. This girl has a hard time making nearly ANY decision so I was fairly certain this was going to be a long process. To my surprise, I barely got the question out of my mouth and she said, "like Exodus 14:14 that says, The LORD with fight for you; you need only be still?" Well yes, just like that. 
My girls continue to surprise me and I love it!

Look at this little one Worship!

Sister . Sister . Sister
Knowing that our three daughters love the LORD brings joy to my heart.
Now Chris and I encourage, nurture and continue to model a relationship with Christ. And then most importantly...pray, pray, pray

Best Friend

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Back 2 School

New Classes
New Teachers
New Outfits
New Schedules
New Opportunities

The first couple weeks month of school is full of new things and depending on your outlook it can be a really great time of the year.

My girls dread waking up early and homework but everything else about school is exciting, even going to class. Let's celebrate the kick off of Middle School, High School and College 2018
Liv celebrated back to school with a small gathering of friends eating pizza, throwing water balloons and making stress balls. You know, 7th graders need to keep stress under control.
She was also asked to carry the local high school marching band banner in the Millard Days Parade. If it wouldn't have been so hot I think it would have been a big hit.

The Back 2 School dance at Reagan's high school is the biggest deal in town. :) I love the group of girls she hangs out with from school. They are smart, hard working athletes...soccer, basketball and volleyball. We've also made it to a couple University of Nebraska soccer games. Now that she is committed to play Husker soccer, going to the games take on a whole new level of enjoyment. 
Emma is back at school too. One of the highlights of college and sorority life is rush/recruitment week. Em loves being a Gamma Phi. Classes are going well and she is very happy with her campus tour job. Seeing Em leave for school was a bittersweet day. I doubt she will ever live at home again but then I am reminded that our goal is to raise confident strong young ladies who will go figure out the world and then come home for a visit. I'm so proud of some of the tough decisions she has already made, this girl is going to be a champion!

Sorry, no picture of my handsome hubby but he's back to school too.
I've been waiting for a picture with his girls HS softball team...a month later and I still don't have one so time to complete this post. 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

A Snapshot of our Summer

The summer of 2018 was filled with trips, grandparents, family reunion, weddings, camp, work, soccer, softball, fishing and friends. Our lifestyle does not support the big family vacation instead we have the whole summer to enjoy each other. The days are flying by, truly, it all happens so fast!

Just days after school was out Nana and Papa whisked Olivia down to Branson with Cousin Levi and his grandparents, Uncle Lynn and Aunt Helen. The six of them had a great time. Olivia's report went something like this...
We ate, we saw some shows, we ate, we swam and then the grandparents took naps, we ate, we did some site seeing and we ate some more. I think she had a blast!

Gotta stop at the cheese store

Great Grandma from Mesa was in Omaha for about 10 days

You may be noticing there's no 4th of July pictures. Note worthy: the first year ever that Chris did not buy explosives. I was relieved at the thought of it but turns out we all were kind of sad. Sounds like next year the party is back on. 

The girls love spending time with Papa on the water

Cabin counselor Melanie
 Olivia's 7th Summer camp

The Raabe Reunion is always a family favorite!
In 20 consecutive years we have been to Kansas City, MO . Yankton, SD .  Lewisville, NE .  Some farmhouse in Iowa . Honeycreek, IA .  Ponca, NE .  Creston, IA (next year). This all began one June weekend in 1999. Emma was 4 months old and back in those days, the family wasn't too concerned about nap times, feeding times or baby comfort...boy how things have changed. Call me a pioneer mom if you want, I didn't have one of those fancy "strap-the-baby-to-your-chest-and-go" deals. I had to carry my baby and all the unnecessary crap in the diaper bag.
(Does it feel like I went down a bunny trail?) 
Baseball and Raabes have a tight connection. Back in the day, as the story goes, one of Grandpas brothers was getting married on a game day which meant two brothers couldn't make it to the wedding...gotta play in the game. Not sure that would fly now. ha!! So it makes sense that we all met in Kansas City for a day with the Royals. Emma was the only great grandchild of Warren and Sylvia Raabe (Ray-be) and I was the only "outlaw" grandchild.  Today we have 12 great grandchildren. Warren and Sylvia would be thrilled to see their big family.
Here are a few snapshot of the weekend.

Oldest and Second youngest

This family LOVES to fish

The 3 amigos

My husband's immediate family
Oma made a brief appearance. If she isn't traveling, she is cooking, cleaning and entertaining Larry. Be watching for a fall return. I can't keep up with her travel plans but I think another cruise is in the works before she heads south for the winter.

Last week we said good-bye to some sweet friends.
We met Brian and Krista before they were married and have done some real life with them. It's been good, it's been hard, it's been faith building and I am so thankful God put them in our bible study group 9 years ago. We love you guys!

We closed down our summer with a family celebration in the Old Market eating Sushi at Emma's favorite spot, Blue Sushi Sake Grill.
Nana wouldn't try it. 
Olivia still hates it but tried it again.
Reagan found one roll that she liked but ordered chicken.
Papa dove right in, trying two very exotic rolls and loved it.
Chris, Emma and I were in our happy spot.
And if you know Papa, we had to get Ted & Wally's ice cream afterwards.

Good-Bye Summer of 2018

I know! I know! Blogs with so many pictures lately but I really needed to catch up. Hopefully I will make time to blog in the mornings after quiet time or in the evenings after everyone is in bed. Don't hold your breath. 
Have a great weekend!