About Us

DB - KK - SGR - SM

When I finished my master's degree in 2000, I was dead-set on two things:  I wanted OUT of the Midwest, and I didn't want kids.  I had been married 4 yrs to the guy I fell for the last semester of high school.  We had dogs.  We like dogs.  Strangely enough for a young, liberal, childless-by-choice couple, we moved to South Carolina.  We didn't much like South Carolina.

Rather, we liked the landscape, but not the culture.  For example, when I asked an acquaintance if there was any racial tension in the area, the answer was, "Oh noooo, deah, we liiiike our blacks."  I have a visceral memory of my eyeballs bulging from my face.  I liked the palmetto coast, and I really liked hiking in the mountains.

Eighteen months was plenty of southern hospitality for us, though, and we headed back for the midwest with our tails between our legs ... but still sure we didn't want kids.  We had dogs.  We like dogs.  We rented a farmhouse on conservation land.  I finally finished a quilt I had started three years earlier.  And halfway through my doctorate (I'm an audiologist - ears), I told my unsuspecting husband that I wanted to have a family.  Luckily for all of us he decided after the end of two anxiety-ridden weeks that he was down with that.

So then here we are today.  Doctorate done, career progressing, and two crazy-busy little girls.  Where I once spent my time reading, hiking, camping, and working on 1 of a dozen odd hobbies of the week, I now fill it with professional obligations, Daisy Scouts, playdates and kids' craft projects.

We moved to a new town last year to avoid urban sprawl and be closer to family.  While house shopping, we found a victorian that we really loved.  Sitting in the car later, though, we realized that it isn't US that loved that house, it was the us we were 8 years ago, the us without kids.

So we bought a relatively new house close to a park in a good school district instead.  Of course the yard is fenced - we have a dog.

We like dogs.

This space has remained empty for a while, so I'm resorting to using a Facebook meme as my bio. The "25 Things" list that made the rounds a few years ago is still a reasonably accurate snapshot of my life.
  1. My husband and I have discovered that introverts are like negative integers. When they multiply, they produce their opposite.
  2. One of my proudest accomplishments is recovering from bulimia. One of my greatest frustrations is trying to adapt healthy eating and exercise habits to life with young children.
  3. I'm fascinated by my great-great-grandmother, who eloped from Germany to Minnesota with a farmhand from her uncle's farm.
  4. Coming of age for me meant graduating from Nancy Drew to Agatha Christie.
  5. I like freelance writing for nonprofit organizations, but I'm struggling to carve out time for creative writing.
  6. I'm tired every minute of every day and pray I'm giving my kids what they need even when I feel completely sapped.
  7. For me, the most powerful aspect of Christian faith is the incarnation.
  8. We plan to raise guide dogs for the blind when the kids are older.
  9. Many of the sounds of contemporary life grate on my nerves: Muzak, computer hum, loud restaurants, the ding when you open the car door with the keys in the ignition. I could live happily in a monastery for a good long while. I would have said a library, but libraries are pretty noisy these days (and they won't let you sleep there, more's the pity).
  10. I tend to appreciate things in the abstract that I don't integrate into my real life, like veganism and opera.
  11. I have mild claustrophobia.
  12. I can't turn off my inner copyeditor.
  13. Did I mention I'm tired?
  14. Frequently, phrases of text get stuck in my head the same way songs sometimes do.
  15. I invented the wristwatch-TV when my parents wouldn't let me stay up to watch Laverne & Shirley, but I failed to apply for a patent.
  16. Robert Altman films are a lot easier for me to follow with the subtitles turned on.
  17. I went for 56 hours without sleep during finals week one year. During that time, I drank 6 gallons of iced tea.
  18. I love living in Minnesota and hope we don't relocate again.
  19. My doppelganger's name is Amy.
  20. I spent a summer working as a lounge singer at a lake resort. The next summer, I had a paper route.
  21. I've had seven surgeries on my right eye and one on my left eye. I wish I didn't care that my right eye looks wonky. I try to think of it as a badge instead of a deformity, since my vision loss has played a significant role in shaping me and maturing my faith.
  22. My lips are chapped.
  23. If I had college to do over, I'd double major in music and creative writing. And I'd take myself less seriously.
  24. I don't like TV shows set in jail cells. Television is supposed to be escapist.
  25. I'm writing a novel that I aim to complete before I turn 40.

Rushing through life... from one adventure/conflict/opportunity/challenge to another, barely acknowledging time to breathe.

Graduated high school. Went to college. Found boyfriend. Went to grad school. Got married. Got job. Moved. Had baby #1. Moved two weeks later. Felt overwhelmed. Got job. Shopped. Moved 12 months later. Took classes. Got job. Had baby #2. Started to recognize that breathing is essential ... to my life... and the amazing lives that surround me. Auto-pilot For Dummies was not an excuse to sail through life, barely paying attention. Started redirecting attention to relationships ... ALL relationships... but sometimes, like any "good" habit, auto-pilot and rushing rear their ugly heads, and breath and focus are the best antidotes. Kids, thankfully, force breath and focus. Even when we momentarily think that oxygen is overrated... :)


When I was six, I used to pretend I had 12 imaginary kids. Most of them were named Renee. I loved the name Renee.When I was 16, I didn't want to get a real teenager job (a movie theater, fast food or grocery store gig), because I liked babysitting. I liked going over to other people's houses to play with their kids and clean their kitchens. Seriously.  I liked cleaning other people's kitchens.

Enter space for growing and learning and college and grad school and leaving Nebraska and then...

came babies.

And nothing has been the same since.