this + that


1. Favorite ever skinny jean. Sizes are about sold out online, but if you have a store near you, go try a pair on. Trust me. American Eagle Skinny.

2. This session by Tara Whitney had me in tears this morning. Beautiful and sad and inspiring. Tara.

3. Do you know about this parental control app? Why Haven’t I Known About This? It’s a free app that lets you set controls for EVERYTHING on your child’s mobile device, from shutting down internet access at bedtime (no more sneaking), to limiting  incoming and outgoing texts, to what you can search for on anything (youtube, google, etc.).

Cade is a good boy, and isn’t into anything too bad yet (asks me if he can keep reading a book with the word “ass” in it – he’s still very into rule following), but I know curiosity will get the best of him at some point, and I love this. It is all controllable from your phone (you can even track their web browsing history).

4. Am trying to pick out a paint color for the basement. It’s a dark mustard color (painted back before I lived here when dark, tuscan colors were popular) with oak trim. Would like to lighten the entire space up with white (always my first impulse) but wonder about something fun? A striped wall? Would consider grey if my woodwork was white, but it isn’t, and it would take FOREVER to paint, so … maybe I have just talked myself into white again.:)

5. Have a good salad recipe for you. It’s that time of year when I want to eat light, but it’s cold enough that I still want something substantial. This fits the bill:

This + That Salad

Roasted Butternut Squash (you can find it cubed already at Safeway)+ roast for 35 minutes at 350 degrees with olive oil, salt and pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Barley + just boil it to cook and keep it in the fridge for whenever you want to add heft to something


Dried Cranberries

Shaved Parm (ready to go in containers at Safeway)

A cooked egg (I like over medium)


2 tbsp maple syrup + 6 tbsp olive oil + 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar + salt + pepper

Keep everything in separate containers in the fridge and mix it all together when  you want lunch THEN add an over medium egg. Delish!





avery + 11 months


You give the sweetest kisses.

Say “hi” to everyone who comes your way. It sounds more like “ahhh” but it’s consistent.

You get up 3-4 times a night and you’re old enough to get mad, mad, mad when I try and let  you cry it out.

So I get up and you get your way.

You must be the baby of the family.

You will not tolerate being fed, you must do it yourself.

You love buttered toast and blueberries.

Not a fan of avocados (are you really mine?) or bananas (me either).

You love to go for walks in the stroller and go crazy for your siblings when they get home from school.

You pull up easily on furniture but aren’t walking yet. Not really that interested in learning, either.

You are busy. Holding you is tough because you constantly “climb.”

Favorite toys are your wooden ring set, the remote control, and anything that could choke you (barbie shoes, feathers from the sofa, etc.)

Love music. Will sing along in the car when we run errands.

Must sleep in your favorite sleep sac, with the shutters closed, sound machine on, and paci in your mouth.

Smell like Burts Bees.

11 months old today.


The Space Between


Claire has her spring program today. It’s always hard to get a picture during the performance with other kiddos around, so we went outside this morning (it’s so nice here!) and took a few.



And this guy. Student of the Month! Third year in a row. He is such a good kid.

Starting soccer shortly.

Has made a new friend that likes to draw and now Cade is wanting to learn, too. Love that.

The space between spring and winter has arrived here…

You can always tell because you can smell optimism in the air.





One boy can be mischievous … but never underestimate the power of two or more.

(Oliver James, Avery Allen and Uncle J … 3/2015)





avery johnson | baptism | 717 jackson blvd belle fourche south dakota



How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God.

John 3:1

I should have put the camera in auto but I still love this picture anyway.

Lindsay and Jordan – Godparents to Avery Allen.

I don’t know what to say about Caeden not having dress shoes, Claire’s facial expression, or how Dallerie always is so photogenic, but at least we have a family picture!


My dear, sweet sister and amazing brother in law.

I know Avery will be a better person because of them and the role they will have in his life.


Nana and Papa, saying “I do,” 54 years ago (almost to the day!) in this spot…




In the very church that Rylan was baptized, as was his mother and her family.

Where his parents were married and where family celebrations and even losses such as funerals have taken place.

We add to the roots, the tradition, and the faith.

My heart is so full.


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11