My New Year’s Eve Gig

So little Emmie and I went to the music store in town this afternoon.  We both bought stands for our guitars.  I think you may be interested in hearing our conversation with the music-store-worker.

We lay the guitar stands on the counter and he says, “So, are you guys playing somewhere tonight?”

My first thought was…

Photo on 12-31-13 at 11.00 PM

What the heck is he talking about?

Followed quickly by…

Photo on 12-31-13 at 11.00 PM #2


But I soon recovered with this…

Photo on 12-31-13 at 11.01 PM #5

“Oh, no we’re just buying a couple stands…”  I tried to be all cool and mysterious as though our gig wasn’t tonight but tomorrow. I think he bought it.

Welcome to the blog of the rich and famous (a.k.a. me)!

Emmie and I decided it was because she was rockin’ maroon hipster pants with some BA boots and I was rockin’ a day-is-done bun with a cutesy pink headband.  Apparently those combos scream #richandfamous.

Anyway, my actual NYE plans did not consist of slammin’ on my guitar.  I went out to dinner with papa, mama, and Emmie, sent an email with details about SLS14 (that’s the trip to Dallas later this week), hung out with Emmie’s friends for a bit and made chex mix.  Now, it’s time to pack up my stuff and hit the hay.  I have a long day o’ driving ahead of me tomorrow!  But, first we’re starting off the day with Mass since it’s a Holy Day of Obligation and then breakfast with the fam–including the babiessssss!!!!! 🙂

Goodnight, room. Goodnight, moon.  Goodnight, cow jumping over the moon.  Goodnight, 2013…


The Great Return

Yes, the time has come for The Great Return.  Which is far less epic than it sounds, but on Wednesday I’m headed back to Fargo.  I need to be there by the evening on Thursday because that’s when we leave for TEXAS!!!!! That’s right.  I’m hopping on a bus at 7pm on Thursday and just 20 short hours later I’ll have escaped the arctic tundra for a warm respite!  All of the missionaries as well as student from FOCUS campuses are gathering in Dallas for five days for the FOCUS Student Leadership Summit.  It’s going to be awesome!  2000 young Catholics learning together how to dive deeper into their faith and evangelize the world more effectively…that. is. cool.

You might wonder why I would go back on Wednesday instead of, say, Tuesday so I could get settled/packed before I flee south.  I asked myself that question too.  So, how does one determine when to go back to Fargo?  Look at the weather report, of course!  With a high of -12 (yes, negative) on Tuesday and a high of -1 on Wednesday, I decided I’d rather unload my car and shovel out my garage* with “warmer” temperatures! 🙂  (Not to mention in order to see my babies** again before I leave I will have to wait until Wednesday.)

Also, I am thinking about beginning production on the 5th movie in the Ice Age saga.  It’s called Ice Age 5: True Life in the Great North.  Really, it would just be true life of how stinkin’ cold it is here.


Politics and individual beliefs about global warming aside, I think that the most hilarious thing I’ve heard in a while is that Global Warming researchers had to stop their research because the ice was too thick and their boat is totally stuck.  Irony.

The next ice age is upon us, my friends.  (Just kidding, I totally think that Yellowstone Supervolcano will blow first…and that’s due any day now.)***


Right under this beauty sits America’s demise!

*I’m assuming I’ll have to shovel a bit in order to get into my garage because of the whole I’ve-been-gone-for-two-weeks-and-there’s-been-at-least-one-don’t-go-outside-for-fear-of-death-blizzard.  Also, I realize how fortunate I am to have a garage to park in.  That garage is how I know God loves me.

**My babies = Bean, Goose and Ponczka (only the two cutest nieces and one cutest nephew…ever!)

***Wow, I totally couldn’t have predicted the strange turn this blog post took.  I was just expecting it to be a quick post about my return to Fargo.  But, alas, I digress to talk about volcanoes.  While I was working for St. Paul’s in Madison I did take a whole semester class at UW-Madison about volcanoes, so I’m a pretty trusty source of all things volcano, in case you ever need volcanic info.

P.S. Don’t lose sleep over the whole Yellowstone-might-blow-anyday thing.  If you’re in Wisco and you stay away from airplanes and stock up on food and clean water and you’ll be alright.  However, to all my friends WY, ID, etc. au revoir!


What a weird and random post.  My apologies.

To make up for the randomness, here’s a random picture of a group of us at the Mississippi River headwaters this fall in Itasca State Park:


Featuring Father Cheney in front!

Help a Book About (St.) John Paul the Great Get Written!

Hi all!  My brother-in-law is going to write a book!

A certain Cardinal of the Church, Karol Wojtyla, came to visit central Wisconsin many moons ago.  He was the back-up, a second choice for the visit.  But, not long after the visit he became John Paul II.  My broseph-in-law will research all the places he visited while in Wisconsin, interview those who saw him and, well, write a book!

He wants to self-publish and print the book but needs to raise the funds to do it!  Have you heard of Kickstarter?  It’s a sweet website that allows artists, authors and more to fundraise in order to pursue their dreams.  It would be great if Phil could raise the money so that he can keep almost all of the project local and in Central Wisconsin.  Another thing about Kickstarter is that if all of the money isn’t pledged within 30 days the artist/author/etc. won’t receive the money.  Phil still plans on writing the book if the money isn’t pledged, but he will then have to find a publisher.  So, there’s 57 hours left.  Can you help him?  (P.S. If the $8,000 isn’t raised within 57 hours, you won’t be charged.)

Follow this link to become a “backer” of this great project!


Also, check out my brother-in-law’s blog!

That’s All Folks!


I don’t know why this exists, but I google searched “That’s all folks” and, since I’m a Catholic missionary, I thought I should post the one with the pope! 🙂

Yes, friends, my first semester as a FOCUS missionary is a wrap.  I can’t believe how quickly it went!  I’ve been asking pretty much everyone I talk to if this semester went fast for them and everyone replies in the affirmative.

I’ll argue that it went even faster for me because I spent the first month.5 (i.e. month-and-a-half) trying not to get lost in the most-easily-navigatable-city-in-the-U.S.A. and trying to remember names and faces.  Then, I spent the last month (or so) doing my best to pretend the outside didn’t exist and running from place-to-place and staying inside as much as possible.  So, that leaves…about a month.5 of time that was “routine” or “normal” and had the potential to move slower.  Craziness!

I arrived back in the land of milk and honey*…err, beer and cheese…this evening after a longggg day of driving!  I stopped in St. Paul on the way home to grab some delicious lunch at a Jewish deli with the lil’ sis and then hit the road again.  And hit a wall at about 4:00.  Then, I found a rest stop and napped.  It was much-needed.  Anyway, I rolled in to the house at about 7.  I unloaded the car, ate some supper and now am about to go to bed–yes, I know it’s not yet 9pm, but I sat in a car all day and for some reason that’s exhausting.  

I’m hoping to devote some time this break to catching y’all up on what the heck has happened in my life and on campus throughout the last month.  Sorry for the blogging hiatus, but as you could probably deduce, the end-of-the-semester means lots of busyness.

Let’s just say the semester ended with lots of craft-time, cookie making/decorating, Christmas partying, caramel-corn-crack eating, hide-and-seek in the dark, a going away party for my favorite crazy Italian exchange student, Bible study supper, book reading, detail-doing for the Student Leadership Summit in Dallas in January, Christmas decorating, Advent-ing and more!  I feel so, so blessed to be a missionary.  And, I feel so, so ready for a little break.  It’s off to bed for this girl so that I can have then energy to play with the cutest little kids anyone could imagine!


Ah, long-gone are the days of sunshine, skirts, and team-modeling at the bus stop.


*See Exodus 3:8.  Yes, I’m referring to Wisconsin as the Promised Land.  Is it heresy?  Eh, can’t know for sure!

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow…


Would you believe me if I told you it didn’t look like this yesterday?

I was welcomed back to Fargo from a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving break to a dead and snowless wasteland.  I woke up to snow!  And it hasn’t stopped yet.  And it isn’t supposed to stop until…Thursday!  We’re hoping for a snow day on Thursday–wouldn’t that be something!  (And, it may be likely to happen if we get 6-8 inches a day until then…)

Today I had a thought.  (Weird, I know…)  We (the team) braved the snowstorm to drive to Caribou Coffee for our Team Development meeting.  I thought, isn’t it funny that there are missionaries down South who may be having their Team Development meeting right now while wearing shorts?  Yes, I think that’s funny.  Really funny.  But, I would never trade this fluffy white stuff for year-round-shorts-weather.  (P.S.  The weather is perfect: snowy and a nice warm 30 degrees.  This weather can stick around.)

I am, happily, quite thankful for my Thanksgiving break.  I got plenty of sleep, card and board game time, and family time.  You want highlights?

  • Bezzie, my (almost) 3-year-old niece talks about her “big blueberry eyes.”  My mom likes to pin her hair back so she can see her “big beautiful blue eyes.”  In 3-year-old-land that turned into big blueberry eyes.  It might be one of the cutest things ever.  It’s just a bit cuter than when she looked at supper on Wednesday night and exclaimed “yuck” upon seeing it.  Then, we gave her a sweet potato and it flew out of her mouth as soon as it went in!
  • I think I probably played 100 games of hearts (in real life, with people…not on the computer), cribbage, Egyptian Rat Slap, spades and two/three person Solitaire.  I spent most of the weekend unsuccessfully trying to convince my family to play 13 Dead End Drive.
  • Ribs.  We had delicious smoked ribs for supper on Thanksgiving.  Made in my dad’s very own biergarten on der Voelkerstraße.  (i.e. The biergarten in my backyard.)

    This is the grill where the smoker is placed making the most delicious ribs…ah, der biergarten


  • My grandma and Aunt Patti stopped by our house on Saturday on their way home from the cities.  They were late because grandma was teaching my great aunt how to use her brand new iPad.  I feel left out that I don’t have one.
  • We did have turkey…on Saturday.

It’s back to work for two more weeks until I head back to God’s Country (Wisco) for Christmas!  Happy Advent.  If you need me this weekend, I’ll be inside under layers and layers of blankets!


A nice little screen shot of this weekend’s weather thanks to