Saturday, March 29, 2008

my husband is here for me

My husband says that he is here now to destress me and make me happy. I wish him luck and hope that he does. I have anxiety and worry about everything right now it seems. I don't want to say that it is a lot to deal with but in reality I am really stressed. I know that my kids feel it too and wish that I could change myself for them.

I am stressed about
-not having great house options in Minneapolis
-not having enough time to get my to do list done
-planning trip to San Diego
-planning trip to Paris
-doing the huge, expanding dirty dish pile
-doing laundry before trip
-getting time away from the kids
-getting time to search for jobs (I am fine with not getting a job if I put in my best effort, but lately it has been no effort)
-spilling orange juice on the laptop

I look over my list and I know that I should realize that this list of stresses is really a list of blessings. I need to focus more on the positive and I know.

I am blessed because
-I get to go to San Diego with my family
-I get to go to Paris with my husband
-We have money to look for a house because our sold (or is in the process)
-I don't have to get a job because we can live on Bryan's salary
-My husband did the dishes for me a few days ago so the pile is smaller
-My husband's schedule is lighter now so he can help me get things done on the to do list
-The laptop seems to be ok despite the juice

I just need to read this list of positives more frequently now.

On another note, I updated our Easter pictures online. See the link below, to the right.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

much needed break

Last night Bryan gave me a much needed break from the kids. The boys had been taking turns crying for 3 hours by the time I left the house at 6:15pm. I couldn't take it any more at 6pm when Bryan arrived home and said I needed to get away from them for a little while. He suggested that I go scrapbooking down the street at my local store. I jumped at that idea and got my neighbor friend, Teresa, to go with me. I got to scrapbook for 2 1/2 hours and came home a much happier person.

I felt really bad leaving the house a disaster with spilled food on the floor, crayon on the white chair cushion, tons of dishes to do and toys everywhere but my husband is the greatest. He did the dishes and picked stuff up around the house. We even had time to spend together once I got home.

Here is a family Easter picture for you from my brother, Kirk, since our camera was on the wrong setting and didn't turn out.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

day with Jaden

I spent the whole day with Jaden while Clay was at daycare. This gave Jaden some much needed one on one time with mom. We had a great time at the bread store at story hour with friends, Elizabeth and Jonathan, and their mommies. We ate lots of free yummy cinnamon chip bread and had some free cookies too. After that we spent some time looking for Diego books at the library which were all checked out but we did get some books on California, Paris and France. Free books are awesome! Jaden and I took much needed naps and then he got to watch a movie with dad before Clay came home.

Funny moments of the day: Jaden announcing loudly that he is "just tooting" while we were in the quiet adult section of the library after I asked him if he needed to go to the bathroom.

Right now the boys are fighting sleep and Jaden is yelling, "I'm scared of something, mommy." Not sure what to do about that. Last night he went to bed saying that he was scared of a storm coming. It was really windy and howling through the windows. I need to be more creative in helping him overcome his fears but I need some help.


We had a great Easter holiday with family. There was definitely some stress and anxiety with all of the indecisiveness surrounding Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I did calm down and enjoy the time despite the anxiety.

It is so great to be reminded of the basics of my Christian faith and I don't think we can focus too much on Jesus on the cross for us and defeating death for us.

We had a few indoor egg hunts this Easter where my boys and niece, Kira, got lots of candy, toys, stickers and coins. I think that Bryan has already made hiding plastic eggs on Easter a tradition in our house. This is the 3rd year we have done it for Jaden. The kids all enjoyed it this year. Next year my niece, Brinley, will be able to participate too.

We cooked lots of food this Easter and that part I really enjoyed. My mom, grandma and I made some freezer meals for Kirk and Chrystine since they are still adjusting to life with two kids. Hopefully the food will make their lives easier. We also cooked a lot of food for a big lunch meal on Easter. My favorite dish was once again Paula Dean's Corn Casserole. Thanks to Chrystine who got us addicted to this awhile ago.

The house hunting has not been going anywhere it seems. We can't decide between an older house that needs updating but is in a good neighborhood (close to the hospital) or a newer townhouse with a monthly fee. We have not narrowed our search at all it seems and our realtor thinks we have expanded our search. Oh well. It might be a couple weeks before we make some progress.

Bryan has busy week with lots of overnight call this week and then his schedule switches this weekend. The change will be nice. We leave for San Diego on Tuesday (one week from today) and will be there for 5 days. I am guessing that nothing will happen on the house front until we return. That reminds me that I need to keep explaining to Jaden that Diego does not live in San Diego and we will probably not see him there.

We still need to do our taxes and get financing for a mortgage along with a list that seems a mile long. This will be the latest we have ever done our taxes. I don't remember having so much to do months before we moved to Rochester but it seems like a lot to accomplish to get ready to move in June right now. Overwhelming at times. I am taking one step at a time.

Friday, March 21, 2008

my entertaining boys

I wanted to share some highlights (and low-lights) from my life with my boys over the past few days. (in no particular order)

1. Took nap on loveseat while boys watched the loud Cars movie for thousandth time; not sure how I fell asleep but I must have been really tired. Didn't expect to fall asleep and almost missed church on Saturday night (Bryan working).

2. Jaden yelling, "Clay, give me that or I'll tickle you. One, two, three..."

3. Clay coloring all over one of my serving trays from Ikea. At least it wasn't the wall and I think I can clean the cheap tray.

4. Clay enjoying sitting on Jaden's lap and Jaden asking him to sit on his lap. They are rarely in agreement about an activity.

5. Clay yelling, "Hey, you!"

6. Clay saying, "This, this, this" before he does something he thinks is entertaining.

7. Clay saying, "Look it" when he is fishing for a complement.

8. Locking myself in the bathroom to get a little space from my cranky boys. The phone rang and then they both were at the door yelling and crying. "Mom, the phone is ringing," says Jaden, "Come out Mom." "You don't want me to come out right now. Go play," I respond.

9. Jaden questioning everything in depth. "Why did that squirrel die? Why didn't he run faster? Why didn't he go to his home?"

10. Jaden telling me that "Jesus died but he is not dead any more," after his preschool teacher told him the Easter story that morning.

11. Jaden telling me that we can give his little bus away because it doesn't fit in the bag with all the cars any more. This means so much to me because we have given away lots of his toys lately as we clean out things to sell our house. Sometimes he was pretty sad about having to give up his toys so I hid some of it from him.

12. Clay saying, "Why." He says this all the time right now but doesn't know what it means and doesn't expect an answer.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

goooood day

Today was the kind of day I wish I had every day. The boys and I had a relaxing few hours this morning at home despite my kids doing some naughty things and experiencing a few timeouts. More to come on that later. We left the house picked up and headed to the mall to visit the Easter Bunny. I did not get any pictures of either of my sons anywhere near the big bunny. They were both terrified of it. Jaden ran away numerous times and Clay screamed and cried when I tried to get him to give the bunny a high five. Anyway, it was still worth it to meet friends there and have lunch together and play inside together. I wasn't really expecting much from my kids for pictures anyway because Jaden had been asking to go to another mall all morning where there was no Easter Bunny.

The kids fell asleep on the car ride home which made my life easier but then they didn't sleep long enough once we got home and both woke up crying. We were only home for a short while and then it was off see dad at the hospital and have dinner together. I really enjoyed this today even though it was rushed because we haven't gotten to see him the last three times he has been on call overnight at the hospital. We quickly rushed away so that we could get home in time for the babysitter and me to leave for our small group couples Bible study. Our wonderful babysitter, Christen, was waiting at our house when we got there and she had a present for the boys from her vacation...Cars movie figurines. The boys loved them and Jaden asked to leave them out to show dad tomorrow. I spent a conversational two and a half hours with good friends talking about Hebrews. It was enlightening and inspiring. I left feeling encouraged.

After I left small group around 9pm, I headed over to a celebratory gathering for a friend. Marwan, our friend from Jordan, just found out today that he is going to residency in internal medicine (like Bryan) at Tufts University in Boston. He and his wife, Rasha, are very happy but we wish they were staying closer to us because they are wonderful Christian friends. Too bad they didn't match for residency at University of Minnesota or at Mayo. I say 'match' because today was Match Day where all medical students and others applying for residency find out where they are headed to train. Everyone finds out today and it can be a very emotional day for many. I remember this day 3 years ago very clearly at Georgetown when Bryan found out that we were headed to Mayo. We expected the Mayo answer but it was still a very emotional time for us and everyone around us at the school.

After a short time at the party, I had to leave early (10:30pm) to let Christen get home and for me to get some sleep. I had to blog about today because it was so goooood and full and it was full of some of the most important things...people and investing in relationships.

I am already dreaming of blogging about some of the mishaps I have had with the boys lately. I need to write them down to remind me to laugh more. It will have to wait. There is a snow storm brewing here. We are supposed to get 6-8 inches of snow tonight and through tomorrow. It is kind of exciting and kind of disappointing because this winter has been a long one. My parents are coming tomorrow (Friday) for Easter weekend so not sure when I will have time to blog again.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


This townhouse was one of our favorites. Thought you might like a preview. The problem is that their are about 10 of these for sale right now and someday when we go to sell, we hope that there won't be so much competition.

This is my favorite picture.

house decision

We need to decide what kind of house we really want to buy in the Minneapolis area and how much money we really want to spend. We could get something really nice (in my opinion) for more money but we are trying to decide how much money is worth spending on a home. We are so influenced by those around us as to how big of a house you should buy and what things it should have in it. Yesterday (Saturday) we looked at about 10 townhouses in Eden Prairie and all them were quite nice and some were really nice. We are concerned about being able to sell it again if we end up moving in a few years because there are so many townhouses to compete with. We are really hoping to downsize in the square footage of our home but upgrade in amenities, like having a master bath. We are still quite undecided what to do. We could get an older home and just live with fewer amenities and it would be stand alone (not connected to others like a townhome) but it costs about the same amount of money as a townhouse. We really don't want our own yard so we don't care about having our house connected with others yet we want to make the best investment for resale of our home. We just aren't sure what to do and we are praying a lot about it. Bryan and I are hoping that God makes it clear to each of us what we should do.

We spent another day, all day, at home today because Clay still isn't feeling that great and he is teething a lot. He spent most of the day crying and wearing me out but I did pretty good, with God's help, not to yell. He now has 11 teeth and yes is behind average on the teeth chart but I think he is trying to catch up pretty quickly. Ouch!

Yesterday we were so grateful to our friends, Derek and Lacy, for watching our boys while we looked at houses. We got them some dinner and they go to eat with my brother, Kirk, and his family and spend some time holding Brinley. Wish that we could have seen her again too but we don't want to expose them to Clay's cold. We are looking forward to seeing them for Easter with my parents.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Sometimes we all have to deal with insults. Man, they hurt. My first response is to lash back and try to justify myself or tear the other person down. God has certainly been helping me bite my tongue. Now I just need his help to bite my thoughts. It seems like after an insulting conversation, I end up praying to let it go.

During my most recent insulting encounter, God definitely helped me but at first I still dealt with wanting to have pity on myself instead of the other person. After a few hours of intermittent prayer and trying to let the insult go, I realized that God was changing my perspective and I was able to have compassion for the insulter. I also realized that the insult may have been justified and hopefully I improve from this conversation.

I want to think of myself lower and lesser than others because I believe that is what Christ called us to. It gives me a servant heart and attitude and truly brings me joy. I also want to have love, compassion and empathy for others and their difficult situation no matter what it is. I know that I need to hear, "suck it up" sometimes but I don't think I want to be the person to tell that to others. I am sure I have said it at times in the past and I will continue to say it to others but I pray that I will have more compassion and understanding for others' situations.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

staying at-home

The boys have some sort of virus/cold so we were at home today. Whenever it happens that I know I am not planning to leave the house for a whole day, I think I can handle it but it never ends up being as easy or fun as I hoped. The kids were sick, cranky, whiny and very needy today so that drained me and I didn't get anything accomplished other than sitting with them most of the day. We managed to destroy any clean areas of our house today. I was really growing to appreciate how clean and picked up everything has been since our house went on the market last week.

It makes it even tougher because Bryan is working overnight tonight. We would usually go have dinner with him at the hospital because it helps pass the time and helps the kids not miss their daddy so much. We couldn't do that tonight so I really am low on adult conversation.

Thursday is not looking much better because we will again be home all day. Bryan should be home in the afternoon but he will most likely just go right to bed because he probably will get about 1-3 hours of sleep tonight and will be exhausted.

I am planning to go to our couples small group Bible study tomorrow night so that will be a nice treat. We don't have our normal babysitter and I called everyone on our list to get a replacement and have no one. I think tired Bryan will stay home with the kids. Hopefully he is ok with that.

I don't know why it is so challenging for me to stay at home in my house for a day. It really does depress me. I keep wishing and hoping that I can enjoy it but it just isn't happening. I found myself thinking about how bad of an outlook on life I have just a couple hours ago and then realized again that staying at home all day is really bad for my mood. I did pray about it and that did seem to help me to stop focusing on my pessimistic point of view. I know I am extremely sleep deprived right now so that contributes to me not enjoying my day too. I have been up late doing things for the house for the last week and a half and then the last two nights the boys have been awake 3-5 times at night so I haven't slept well. I need to get to sleep now. Maybe I will make it to bed before 10pm but that never seems to happen. Tonight I am really going to try because I know I could use 8 to 10 hours of good sleep. I should probably already be in bed because the kids were both awake at 6am this morning. Goodnight.

Monday, March 10, 2008

our house is sold!

I just got the call from my realtor in Rochester that our counteroffer was accepted and our house is sold! Praise be to God for answered prayer! I was really praying that God would bless the sale of our house however He wanted to, whether that was to sell it quickly or at our asking price. The soon-to-be new owners bought our house for $181,000 which is the same amount that we bought it for 3 years ago. That means we definitely lost money (after realtor fees and closing costs) but we are just so happy that it sold and blessed that it sold so quickly.

It is funny to think that this house got an offer in 3 days in a slow market and our old condo got the offer that eventually bought the house in 6 days in a hot market. We feel totally blessed and want to make sure that we continue to bless others with our money and the gifts that God has given us.

We will keep you updated on the details as they come. We have to get the house inspected now and we are praying for very few problems there too.

We have a realtor now in the Minneapolis area so we will be looking for houses soon but not sure when because our schedules are crazy with Bryan on call every fourth night this month. That means that we really only see him for 2 evenings and then he is out of commission for the next 2 days. He only has 1 day off a week so we will see if we can use that to look at houses soon.

Thanks for your prayers. We know that God answers prayers.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

pictures and house

I just added 5 folder of pictures to my picasa site. There is also a link on the right hand side of this page.

We just got an offer on our house. It has technically only been on the market for 72 hours. It is a blessing to know that there is interest in our house. At the same time, the offer is low so we are counter-offering. We are not sure if anything will come of this but we are praying for wisdom about all of the decisions we are making.


I am still working on getting a lot of new pictures posted on picasa but I wanted to share my favorite picture from our Chicago weekend a few weeks ago.

This was while waiting in line to view Chicago from the top of the Sears Tower. There was a long line and it became difficult to entertain the two boys.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

new niece

Introducing Brinley Ruth Vilhauer. She is my brother's 2nd daughter, born to Kirk and Chrystine Vilhauer. I am so happy for them! It was so much fun to be apart of the excitement last Saturday. Brinley is now a week old but when Chrystine was in labor last Saturday, we got to take care of Kira, Brinley's older sister. She stayed overnight with us last Saturday and then we took her up to her parents and Grandma Lisa to meet Brinley.

Kira hearing the news about her baby sister from Dad. We were making a cake in our jammies at our house Sunday morning.Baby Brinley Ruth Vilhauer was born March 1st, 2008 at 8:38pm. She weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces and was 19 inches long at birth.Here is the delicious fresh banana cake with cream cheese frosting that we made for Brinley's birthday! I can still taste how good it was!
The happy family!

house listed

Our house officially went on the market Thursday. We have already had 4 realtors and their clients visit. We are really praying that it sells quickly and that God is with us through the whole sale process.

If you want to see pictures and video of our house you can click on the link. The videos are under Media --> Virtual Tour (both in top right corner).

We have another realtor coming at noon today. So, I need to get the kids ready and out the door soon. And I need to get the house ready...again.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


We have had a crazy week since I returned to Rochester last Wednesday. We had numerous realtor appointments to choose the realtor that was the best fit for us to sell our house. We want to get it on the market at the beginning of March before the medical residents come to buy houses. Residents have a match day where they find out where they are going on March 20th so we want to for sure have our house up before then. There are some specialty residents that already know where they are going because they have an early match because they are more competitive programs to get into.

Anyway, we finally decided on a reator. Her name is Joyce Walker and she is with Edina Realty in Rochester, MN. She is the mother of a friend of mine in my small group at Side By Side (medical wives Bible study). She is super friendly and gave us a great deal. She is also hooking us up with a realtor in the Minneapolis area to help us find a house up there. And no we haven't started looking for a house yet. It has been enough work getting ours ready to sell. I think we offended a realtor or two along the way because we were trying to get the best deal on realtor fees. We already know we are losing money on selling our house but we want to lose less if we can but we don't want to sell it ourselves. It is nice to have the decision made. I will link the website to our house once it is posted. Our house should be MLS listed on Thursday for $182,900 for a 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2100 square foot house in Rochester, MN.

I just got a call about a resident in town (visiting) right now that hasn't found a house they like yet. They are going to see our house Wednesday morning before it is listed just in case it is what they want. It will be our first showing. They already have looked at 18 houses. I remember doing that and we saw about 30 houses in two days. That was ridiculous but we found one we like and now we have to get rid of it when it is in such good condition. Let me know if someone is in the market for a house like ours, ha ha.