Monday, December 12, 2011

Proverbs 31

So I saw a pin on pinterest that said "I'd rather be a Proverbs 31 woman than a Victoria's Secret model."  I thought it was interesting and thought that it was a cool idea but did not think any more about it.  Then I saw this. . .

As someone who has gone through some and will go through more external appearance changes recently (Read: losing my hair: Growing belly and eventually deflating belly, Mastectomy. . . ) I was inspired by this video.  External appearance is important in our society and I have been learning more and more lately that IT DOES NOT MATTER.  God loves us just how we are and he created us just how we are and he puts us in situations in life that will change our appearance and guess what, HE LOVES US JUST HOW WE ARE. He also equips the people we love to love us just how we are.  Shaving my head was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  I was just not ready (nor would I have ever been) and it was another step in admitting that this cancer thing was really happening.  It took me two days to be able to look in the mirror without shaking.  It took me a couple of showers to be able to "wash my hair" without crying.  It took me a while to feel comfortable in a hat. It took me time to take my hat off in front of anyone.  Ryan wasn't there when I shaved my head.  The first time I saw him I was nervous and scared of what his reaction would be.  I didn't want to scare him or be ugly to him or anything else like that. (Looking back I know how irrational those fears were but they were real at the time)  He came home, wrapped me in a hug and I asked if he wanted to see it.  He said yes and as I took my hat off, tears filled my eyes.  I couldn't look at him and I buried my face in his shirt.  You know what happened?  He kissed me right on the top of my bald head and told me I was beautiful.  He did not shed a tear and reminded me that it is just hair and that it will grow back.  What an example of an amazingly strong husband who can look at his wife whose body is going through these changes and tell her she is beautiful. (Do you suppose he will try to tell me my boob will grow back?  TMI?  Just curious. haha)  As much as I want to continue to try and be a Proverbs 31 wife, I want to encourage husbands to love their wives no matter what and remind them how beautiful they are, inside and out.  Every girl needs to hear it over and over and over and over again and be convinced of it when she does not believe it herself.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Things That Are Making Me Smile

I am sitting here thinking about the things that are making me smile today. . . Here they are in no particular order. . .
1. My Hats! Didn't Mary do a great job on the brown, gray, and black ones and colored flowers and Dawn do a great job on the navy one with the gray flower?! They are super great. Check them out if you need some cute hats!
2. My Cards!
I am so thankful I asked people to help me with this!  I am amazed at how much they help remind me that fear is not from God and that he alone can help me conquer it!

3. School Pictures!
So each teacher got like a whole pack of pictures this year and they each wrote a note on the back and sent them to me!   I work with the BEST people! So stinkin funny!
 4. These Two Pictures!
Enough said!
5.  Making Christmas Cards!
I am starting to think about making Christmas cards for people so if you want one, email me at and we can talk about pictures. Here are a few I did last year: 

Friday, November 11, 2011

One Month

It has been exactly one month since I was given the biggest challenge I have faced in my life so far. What a whirlwind month it has been. In the past month I have gone to numerous doctor appointments, had two rounds of chemo, picked out a wig, cried lots of tears, shaved my head, and learned more about God's love than I ever could have imagined. I am shocked and in awe of all of the love and support that has been shown to Ryan, Grover and I and both of our families. We are so thankful for each act of kindness and each prayer that is offered on our behalf. This is not a journey we expected but we are continually experiencing the Love of God, his plan for our lives, and his provision in all areas. I am so blessed to have my amazing husband by my side and my parents who have basically let me move in with them. I am also blessed to have my sisters and brother who are the masterminds behind Team Chin. And I am blessed to have Ryan's parents and family helping in so many ways too. This journey is not easy but the love and support make each day easier.

Here is a picture of our little Grover boy at 23 weeks! He is learning to kick harder and each kick/flip turn he does in there reminds me that he is being knitted together day by day by our heavenly father who has all of this under control.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I have a need

Okay well I have lots of needs. . .  BUT I have a need that you can help me with. . . One of the things I have been struggling with the most in this whole experience is fear.  I can't explain it all but it is one of those things that just creeps up when I least expect it.  It is the devil's way of getting into this situation and trying to take the glory away from God.  I am working really, really hard to conquer this fear and repeat verses and phrases in my head to help me. I was thinking about how I can continue to conquer it and I decided that I wanted to write verses on 3 x 5 index cards and bind them together so I can flip to one every time the fear creeps in.  Here is where all of you come in.  Pick a verse, write it on an index card, write your name (and a note if you want) on the back of the card, and send it to me.  I will put them all on a ring and keep them with me all the time. Here is the address:
17639 George Moran Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55347

Thanks for being a part of my support team and for letting me be real. . . I know I can count on you to help me conquer this fear and show the devil that my God is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more powerful that he is!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Tears!

There are happy tears absolutely pouring out of my eyes right now!
I just got to skype with my class and I can't even explain how happy it made me.
Yesterday was a really, really tough day.  I had a terrible headache and I laid on the couch ALL day long and just felt like a punk.
Today I feel "like a million bucks" (just for you dad) and to add the joy of seeing my kids on top of that made me so incredibly happy.
Not going back to work has been hard.   I love what I do and I feel like I do what God has called me to do which makes it harder to not go back. (I know the reasons why I can't and I understand that my health is more important but it still sucks)  I have some very needy kids this year and I was mourning the loss of the opportunity to love on them and show them God's love.  I know that they are in good hands and I am thankful for the wonderful staff that I work with.
Seeing them today and how happy they were to see me just made me smile so huge and it was exactly what I needed!

I am constantly being humbled through this experience with the reminders that I am not in control and the future is unknown.  I am also being humbled by the fact that I don't get to know the plan for any of this and that as hard as it is, I have to take it one day at a time.  What a way for a "planner" (which is what I called myself) to be humbled.  I have trusted God and his perfect plan for as long as I can remember but wow am I learning that I can't plan for everything nor should I try.  All I need to do is relax and let God take care of it one day at a time.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

So There's This Club

and I don't want to be a part of it.
and they like pink.
and I HATE pink
and I hear it really sucks.
I am a part of it.
I didn't get a choice
I am scared
I am nervous
I don't like it.
I know a BIG God!
I trust my BIG God!
I can run to my BIG God and be held!
My BIG God gave me an amazing family to walk with me through this journey and remind me of his BIG love every step of the way.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer while being pregnant on October 11.  You can follow my journey here.
God is BIG and he does BIG things. Join me as we journey through this and rely on God to meet all of our needs.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Few Random Things. . .

Grover got another gift. . . he/she loves it! I got a few extra kicks when I showed it to him/her. . . Yep that is right, I am feeling Grover move.  It feels a lot like tickling but it is pretty cool.

We also got a letter in the mail from cousin Mollie with a picture to show Grover every night and we have been diligent about that too.  He/she loves her too!

Some sweet friends of ours had a baby last week.  Wyatt was very excited to show his baby brother Easton off to Ryan!

 Wyatt decided he needed a turn holding Easton after everyone else had a turn.
 Ryan drove down after work so we could meet this precious new addition to the Ellenson family.

Congratulations Marty and Mandy (& Wyatt).  If Easton loves Ryan as much as Wyatt does we might have to move in with you :-)  We can't wait to watch your boys grow and see the wonderful things God has in store for them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


We were making lists of dreams at school today.
Each kid got to then share one thing off of their list.
One boy's dream broke my heart.
He said "I want to live in a house."
I know they live in a trailer so I thought ok, sad but ok.
What I heard him say under his breath was the heartbreaking part.
"Where the roof does not leak and things can't fly in."
This little guy wants to live in a house where the roof doesn't leak and things can't fly in.

Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings
See what God has done

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Game

Cookie Monster now has turned picture taking into a game where you try to get the worst possible picture of Grover's Mama. . . He isn't funny. . . Here is 16 weeks :-) I go to the doctor next week and will update again after that.

Friday, September 16, 2011


We have completed 9 days of school.  
What a ride it has been!!!  
I have a very high needs group of kids and was not quite prepared for what I found when I opened up my class list. . . .
I have been blessed with a student teacher.
She left today to go back to classes for the rest of the semester.
I almost begged her to stay.We are making progress.
It is slow progress. 
Today gave me hope for the year.
And when all else fails, I laugh. . . 

Here are a few funny quotes from a particularly funny student. . . 

"I only have supplies to donate in my backpack." - my response was "like donate to your desk?!"
"These kindergarteners are a lot of work!" -ummm do you even know how much work you are?
in a silent classroom where she was being loud and I whispered that she needed to stop squeaking her chair "YOU MEAN BECAUSE I AM BEING TOO LOUD AND EVERYONE IS READING?"- the caps mean she yelled. . . in a silent room. . . yep that's her.

oh and another little boy is going to “even put it on a piss of paper that seid homework in my agenda so I dunt forgit to do it.”

Friday, September 2, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Who is Grover you might ask. . .
This is Grover. . .

at 13 weeks. . . 
I feel like Grover has really decided to make his/her presence known to the world this week.  Maybe it does not look like it to you but there is most definitely enough of a little bump there for me to notice.

Why Grover you might ask. . .
Well, Ryan is called Cookie Monster by my family and I have some funny siblings who were reading Good Night Little Grover to Mollie and. . . well. . . Grover is Cookie Monster's son or daughter.  We have embraced it because it is easier than using the word "it" which was Cookie Monster's word of choice when referring to the baby before the name Grover came around.

When will Grover make his/her entrance you might ask. . .
Sometime around March 6.

Will you find out boy or girl you might ask. . .
YES! can you imagine me not knowing?

Are you sure it is only one baby you might ask. . .
YES! We had some trouble locating the heartbeat (they found it, everything looks great, do not worry) so we got to have an ultrasound and see Grover and we were assured it was only ONE baby.

How are you feeling you might ask. . .
We are super excited about Grover. . . I feel pretty good. . . I may go to bed at or before 8:00 some nights. . .

*DISCLAIMER: The face in the picture is due to the fact that Cookie Monster does not tell you when he is going to take a picture, he just snaps , no count, nada and he does not care whether you know or not.  He also does not care what is in the background of the picture. . . :-)
Cookie Monster's rationale after reading this post: "It is because I am the Cookie Monster, not the Count."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Better Late Than Never

 Ryan's older sister Kari married Derek on August 6.  Time has gotten away from me since then and we have been super busy but at long last, here are some pictures from their special day.  They were married at Izatys on Lake Mille Lacs.  It rained all morning but stopped just in time for them to be able to be married outside by the lake just like they wanted.

Saying vows.

A view of the whole thing. . .

They are married! :-)

The wedding party.

More wedding party.  This time with a little attitude.

Kari and her parents.

Look at these three spiffy guys!

Kim, Kari, and I

The Cloeter family.

Kim and I.
and last but not least. . . us. . . 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hot Hot Hot!

Last week I had the opportunity to hang out with this little girl (Houdini)
The weather was nothing but HOT so we spent most of our time inside: napping, eating, talking, laying on our playmats, smiling, getting out of our swaddles etc.  
Uncle Ran flew down on Thursday night and he and I decided it would be fun to take Crosby to Cracker Barrel for breakfast Friday morning.  She liked the biscuits and eggs and sausage but it made her a little gassy :-)  He taught her how to touch her nose with her tongue. . .

Saturday we went to lunch and had some awesome hamburgers and I had tater tots and they were AMAZING!!!  brought me right back to my Granberry Elementary days.  Here is the cute fam at lunch:  Yes Crosby was trying to be a football player, if only you could see the sock shoes. . .
Ryan and I went to the Fort Worth Stockyards on Saturday afternoon and sadly there are no pictures.  We did find Pecos Bill, the bull Aimee and I rode the last time we were there. . . we shopped, ate sno cones, and saw a little old lady on oxygen in a motorized cart singing on the street corner with her husband. . . 

I almost forgot, we went to Sprinkles for cupcakes after lunch on Saturday.  It was a special occasion as it marked Ryan's first trip to Sprinkles. :-) Again, sadly, no pictures. . .

Sunday took us home.  We went to church and then Chipotle before heading to the airport where we held a mini photo shoot :-)
 Crosby thought you might want to see how long her legs are so she stretched them out:

Tim and Danielle and Crosby: Thanks for letting us come and hang out with you!  We are blessed with such wonderful families! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Two Years Ago. . .

 There was anticipation. . .

And family. . .

And friends. . .
And tears. . Happy tears. . . 

 And vows. . .
 And burned fingers. . .
 And prayer to an awesome God who blesses us in ways we don't deserve. . .
 And a kiss. . .
 And a party. . . with food, family, friends, and dancing. . .

It was the beginning of a whole new journey and we couldn't have enjoyed it more.  Happy anniversary Ryan!  I love you more today than I did then and I loved you a lot then!  We are so blessed and I look forward to seeing what God will continue to do in our lives!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Yesterday, the question of the day on the radio was "what are you thankful for?". I started to think. . . In no paricular order here are things I am recently thankful for

1. I am thankful for family. . . The fact that I have two of them is that much sweeter.
2. I am thankful for marriage and the journey that it is.
3. I am thankful for the growing families of our family and friends and each and every healthy birth.
4. I am thankful for the fact that my husband is driving us to work so we can spend more time together and I don't have to drive.
5. I am thankful for the warm sunshiny weather.
6. I am thankful for Jesus and what he did for me and the fact that he forgives me every single time I make a wrong choice no matter what.
7. I am thankful for skype and the ability to see my nieces as they grow.
8. I am thankful for next week and the time I will get to spend in Texas.
9. I am thankful for a break from teaching-I am not quite ready to go back yet but I will be here in a few weeks. It is amazing what a break can do to renew your love of teaching and your energy.
10. ( no shocker here) I am thankful for my husband and the fact that he cuts the grass and drives to work most days and takes care of us and works hard for us and shovels the snow in the winter and provides for us and takes care of car maintenance and grills and helps me with whatever I need and I could go on and on and on. . .

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, July 29, 2011


So I have started writing this blog a couple times and haven't finished. . . I am going to ask a simple question and people might not like it but then again I have been wondering A LOT lately about the answer. 

The question: What is the purpose of facebook?

I use facebook because it allows me to keep up with friends- high school and college- that I don't see anymore or talk to on the phone but I still can know what is going on in their lives.  I use it because it is a fun way to communicate and wish people happy birthday, and congratulations on a wedding or a baby. 

There are a lot of people that use facebook in other ways and share things that just shouldn't be shared or write something on a status or someone's wall that should be said in person or behind closed doors and not for the world to see.

I know I  can delete people and I have been but friends and readers help me out here. . . Why do you use facebook?  Am I crazy for being annoyed when I see people so desperate for attention that they resort to airing their (or other people's) dirty laundry on facebook?

Just looking for help here. . . I like facebook for the reasons I use it and don't want to offend people by deleting them either yet that is where I am heading with the things people are posting these days.

Make any sense?

Thursday, July 21, 2011


 She'll steal your chair. . .
 She'll steal your finger. . .

 She'll steal your husband. . .

She'll steal your heart. . .  and the attention of everyone in the room. . .

We spent last weekend in the cities with Katie, Bret, and Mollie (and Aimee, Chris & Fran).  We had a BLAST!  We went to lunch with my dad, shopped a little, combined phone plans, babysat Mollie, got puked on, changed diapers, fed Mollie, gave baths, snuggled, and taught Mollie a really cool smile in which you MUST wrinkle your nose.  So stinkin fun being Uncle Ran & Aunt Lan!