I Am Baker

A Prayer Request and a Praise!

UPDATE:  Chad’s cardioversion was not successful.  His heart went back into AFib within a minute of being converted.  We are looking into what our options are at this point.  Most likely they will recommend more (increased dose) drugs and another cardioversion.  After that they look at ablations.  We are trusting in God that He has us exactly where we are supposed to be right now.  Thank you so much for your prayers and support!


Tomorrow my husband is going in for a cardioversion.

The last seven months have been a roller coaster of emotion for this family, from dealing with Chad’s fathers death, to finding out we are pregnant, to his grandmother’s passing, then my great-grandmothers passing, then finding out that Chad suffers from a similar heart condition that his father suffered from.

Chad has been on medication for the last month that affects his energy, his blood density, and his heart rate.  His diet has been restricted and he has had to limit many things that he was used too, including limiting sodium, leafy greens, and  his beloved coffee and soda.  (A good thing I know, but a big change none the less.)

Its been hard to see a man who was so full of life to suddenly be tired all the time.  The uncertainty of his future complied with the devastation of his past has been challenging to say the least.

Tomorrow they will be shocking his heart to see if it will return to “normal” rhythm.

If you would be willing to pray, we would be so thankful!

Prayer Changes Things!

Our specific prayer request are:

  • That this cardioversion will work. That Chad can discontinue the drug regiment he is on.  That his heart will return to “normal” rhythm and stay that way.
  • That even though his father, mother, and brother have all dealt with similar heart complications, that this seemingly hereditary condition will end with Chad.  We are so hopeful that none of our five children will have these heart issues.
  • (selfishly) That I will not be exposed to any illness that would harm me or the baby during our time at the hospital tomorrow.


And on a much happier note… I read this on facebook today and was choked up.  We serve such an awesome God!  I attend the same church as both Andrea and the amazing lady she is talking about… so to see this miracle and know these folks is even more awesome!

Best Facebook Post Ever

We are so thankful and grateful for any prayers you would be able to offer, and if there is any way I can be in prayer for you please do let me know.  God Bless!

I Am Baker

My Future Flashed Before My Eyes

Friday night didnt go as planned.

Chad was in the hospital.

I was pacing my floors like a crazy person in an asylum.

My husband wasn’t coming home tonight.  The doctors were keeping him overnight for observation because his heart was in Atrial Fibrillation.

From the Mayo Clinic website:

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow to the body. During atrial fibrillation, the heart’s two upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of coordination with the two lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. Atrial fibrillation symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness.

This is not the first time I have heard of AFib.  Chads brother has been suffering with it for many years, as well as his mother.  And very recently and tragically, Chad’s father passed away and they believe it had something to do with a form of cardiac arrhythmia.

But my husband, he has always been healthy.  Never been overweight, never a big drinker (well, excluding a brief period in his youth) and not a smoker.

He is so strong.  Stronger than me.  My rock.   The backbone of our family.

Chad at Hospital

(this was him on the phone to his brother that night)

When he called from the hospital told me how serious things were, I responded like a good wife should and we hung up. ( I couldn’t go with him to the hospital, one of my kids had a cough and I don’t have a regular sitter and didn’t want anyone else to get sick.  My neighbor Jessica did come over for a few hours *thank you Jessica!* and I was able to visit him.)

But then I lost it.  Tears flowed from my very core and couldn’t control it.

It occurred to me in that raw moment of fear… I had no future without him.

Every dream I have is with him.  Includes him.  Is about him.  He is who I want to be with and who I want to love.   He is the father I want my kids to have and person I want my kids to grow up and be like.

Chad and Parker

The thought of losing him had never occurred to me before, and this new realization that my strong husband may not be ok literally made me sick to my stomach.

I could not even begin to wrap my head around it.

After I saw him and got some more details, I realized we were not in the middle of a life threatening situation.  I also knew that the pain of just losing Chads father to a similar situation was weighing heavily on my ability to use any reason.  So with some prayer and quiet time, calmness was achievable.

The good news is, you can live with heart arrhythmia.  We are working on finding ways to manage it naturally, looking at diet, supplements and lifestyle changes.  Maybe no more coffee in our house, no drinking, no extreme exercise (I will especially get on bored with this one) and better ways of managing stress and sleep.

Chad and Kids at Pumpkin Patch

I have decided that we will try to make changes together, not just expect Chad to make adjustments on his own.  I hope that we can find a new normal, a new way to live with and manage something that is potentially life threatening.  I hope that we are able to lean on God and trust His grand plan for us.

After all, we are a family. One big, dysfunctional, happy family.  And I hope to keep it that way for a long, long time. :)


I Am Baker

Ten Years

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary.

I have been married for ten years.

To this guy.

Who does stuff like this.

Which I secretly love even though I typically have my over-protective mom hat on.

And does stuff like this, cause he’s such an amazing dad.

And does lots of other amazing things that I dont always say thank you for.  Even though I should.

I feel pretty blessed to have a husband who loves me, supports me, encourages me, and does the dishes because he knows I dislike it.

I hope he knows he how respected and loved he is.

Happy Anniversary honey!



I Am Baker

Kids Will Be Kids

Last weekend we had the pleasure of spending lots of time over at my grandma and grandpas house in Bemidji.

My grandparents have this wonderful hill (awesome pics in that link) in their yard that I remember playing on as a wee little child.

I was wee once.

Anyway, my dad and cousin Scott and hubby were hanging out with the kids on the hill when they (yes, the adults) got the brillinat idea to send the kids down the hill in a mini car.

I was horrified and laughing nervously and kicking myself for not being the cool mom who can just go with the flow and lets the kids have fun when…


I saw dear hubby sending down my baby.

My baby I tell you!

I think it occurred to him that she might need help steering or stopping, so he had a brilliant idea.


 (love Scott's expression)


Yeah.  She loved it.  

And I am pretty sure he did too. :)

I Am Baker

A Tease No Longer

Remember way back when I told you my dear sweet hubby got me a gift that would make our (meaning you and me) relationship better?


I totally didnt mean to tease.  I sorta forgot.  I do that a lot.  I just saw a study on NBC that stated "pregnancy brain" is a myth and that when a woman gets pregnant, she actually has better cognitive skills.

Please forgive me if I boycott NBC for the rest of my life.  Or until the Olympics.  


I have been wanting a new laptop forever, just ask anyone close to me.  They have been hounded with questions about it for about a year. (apparently forever equates into a year)

I got this bad boy about a week before I left for BlogHerFood.  It was a LIFE-SAVER.

Having not traveled alone before I knew I would need some connection to home and the real world… but mostly, be able to pretend I was a very important person doing very important business related things on my very important laptop and not a lonely mommy trying to pretend that she is not just playing freecell and typing on keys trying to look cool.

Also. (quick side story)

My flight home from SF was scheduled at 12:35am on Saturday night. (Sunday morning if you are technical, which I usually am not)

I left the last party around 9:00pm and headed to the airport, arriving before 10:00pm.  I then found a comfortable seat (being generous there) and opened up my laptop and watched a movie!  How cool is that?  I know the rest of the world has been doing this kind of thing for years, but it was very new to me.

Well, when 12:35am rolled around and we hadn't even begun boarding, the natives were getting restless.  We got the announcement, "There was a computer glitch and there seems to be no flight crew.  We are calling people in.  Your flight will not be leaving until 3:30am."

Are you KIDDING ME???  Has that seriously ever happened to anyone else?

Here I am, alone in an unfamiliar airport, wanting desperately to just lay in a bed and stretch out my aching back muscles and be able to close my eyes… but realizing I had another three hours to sit in that airport and wait.

(I didnt want to sleep if I was alone… I was afraid my luggage would get stolen or something)

Having the computer and being able to watch movies and catch up on emails and tweets was a sanity saver.  And I dont say that lightly!


For those of you who twitter, you might have noticed that I am actually attempting to keep up with conversations!  I had never had the capabilities before to send/read tweets without being at home, in front of the computer.  Its so liberating!  

Thank you, dear hubby, for such a perfectly timed and thoughtful gift!

And thank you Delta, for forcing me to discover all of the potential this little guy holds.

At 2:00am.  In a deserted airport.  Surrounded by strangers.  Who, like me,  were all cranky and tired.

Just sayin.

I Am Baker I Am Baker

He Surprised Me Today

So I went into my *hubby's bathroom this morning.

*When I say hubby's I mean the 'downstairs' bathroom the he just happens to keep all his very manly toiletries in.

I have been using the sauna that's in there about five times a day the last three days, as I seemed to have developed a head cold that rendered me completely unable to smell or breathe.  Well.  Sometimes I can breathe.  But its been tough.

Today I needed to grab an extra towel so I opened up his cupboard.

And found this.


What is that?

Bottles upon bottles upon bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel.  Not to mention soap.  Body and facial you know.



I was shocked at first, as my dear hubby is a devoted minimalist.  I mean, he has three drawers in his bathroom that have remained empty since we built our house in 2001. 



In a bathroom.

For 9 years.

But anyway, I saw there staring at the *thousands of bottles he had accumulated through his work travels, and was thinking to myself, why on earth?

*I might be exaggerating.  Its my first time though.  Really.

And then it dawned on me.

We, like so many, have had to make some cutbacks in our budget this year.  And with me doing 90% of the household spending,  most of the cutbacks and new budget restrictions have had an immediate and overwhelming impact on me.  Its been hard.

Totally unable to remove my eyes from the site before me, it dawned on me that  this my was dear husbands way of trying to help out. 

That he hadn't asked me to buy him soap or shampoo for a long time now.

This small gesture… this tiniest of efforts, meant the world to me today.

It sorta gave me me a renewed sense of hope that we are in this together and through God, can do anything we need to.

So thank you, sweet husband of mine, for all the little things you do.

I just hope he doesn't mind that I put them away a little differently. ;)


I Am Baker

I’m Sick of Being So Sweet

I mean really.

Everything I make has seven pounds of sugar in it.  Its got to stop!

But…I must warn you.

If you do not like veggies or pickling, you might want to turn back now.

Picnik collage.canning

Chad's been pickling peppers.


He almost turns it into art.


Each jar is a mini masterpiece of color, variety, and flavor.

People LOVE his pickled peppers.  People who love veggies that is.  I have never eaten a single piece.  I dislike peppers immensely.  And think I am allergic to anything that has been pickled.

I am a terrible wife.  

Its part of the reason I make him so many cakes and cookies.

Guilt baking.

Picnik collage.canning2

There is an extra fridge in our garage that is dedicated to his creations.

We will probably go through all of this.

And be advised.  If you invite us over, we are probably bringing some.

We might even share. :)

I Am Baker

15 Reasons

I originally posted this in July of 2008.

I wanted to re-share it with you because I truly believe that it is essential that we, as wives, speak well of our husbands.  

I try so hard to not speak ill of my hubby.  Not because he is perfect and never gives me the opportunity, but because I love and respect him, and I respect the role that God has ordained my husband to hold in my life.

I am so blessed in this blogging community because so many of you are fantastic at uplifting and praising your spouses. 

I do not take that lightly and am continually impressed with your willful intent to edify.

So I encourage you… make a list of your own.  Keep it to yourself or blog it or write it in the sky…or better yet, share it with him.  You will be so happy you did!

And here is one of my favorite quotes…

"I wouldn't have missed loving you for anything"…

-Beth Moore, When Godly People Do Ungodly Things


15 Reasons I Love My Husband

1. My husband, Chad, is the best father I know.

He takes my future and the future of the family very seriously, and
does everything in his power to provide for and protect us.

3. He is one of the HANDIEST men I know.  He can fix anything
I kid you not.  Broken pipes?  He fixes it.  Garage door broken? He
fixes it.  Need new drywall or a new deck or cement laid or a lawn
mowed? He does it with the best of them.  And he fixes owies on little
scraped knees pretty darn well too.

4. He is very handsome.  This really shouldn't be important to me, but I love that when I see him, I am delighted by his smile and physique and presence.

5. He is a fantastic cook and grill master (better then me by far!).

6. He is kind to everyone and a good listener. 

7. He is patient. 

He says he likes everything I cook.  Even when the kids take a bite and
practically gag in their mouths and spit it out, he will eat whats on
his plate, and then find a way compliment me on it

9. He supports me and all my crazy ideas.



10. He thinks a lot about who he is as a dad, and always tries to be better.

11. He is excited for when the kids get older and he gets to take them hunting and fishing and all that outdoorsy guy stuff. 

12. He is self sufficient… if I didn't clean, he would do it.  If I didn't do the laundry (which never happens in my house…HA!) he will just put in a load and do it.  No prompting necessary.

13. He loves his family- extended and all- and will do anything for them.

14. He doesn't say no when I say I want 10 kids.  He just works harder and tries to make it a financial possibility.

15. He knows the Lord, our God, and will be with me in Heaven.  Oh thank you Jesus.


I Am Baker

The Big Reveal

After many months of planning and preparation, we finally decided to fix our retaining wall outside.

It wasn't terribly bad before.  Just not as functional as it should have been.  And sorta ugly. 





We had to tear down the existing retaining wall.




So we could start over with the new stone.




Each one of these stones weighs around 80 pounds.  They were all moved by hand.  By Chad.  By Ryan.  By me.  Remember on my Shred review when I said I took a few days off to do some manual labor? 

This was it.


The wheelbarrow weighs roughly 270 pounds.  As you can imagine, many, many trips were made with the wheelbarrow.


We decided that instead of a plain jane retaining wall, we would build a bench, with curves…and built in cup holders and speakers that rise up like a venus. 

Well, maybe we wanted all that, but just went with the bench part.



It got dirty around here.  Boys like mud.


Weeks have passed.  We are making slow progress.


Once we got in the stone it was horribly obvious that the landscaping needed some 'touching up' as well.

After 2 months of working nights, weekends, then some more nights and weekends, we were finally able to sit back and look at our new retaining wall.

You ready???

Is this anti-climatic or is it me?







The bench has turned out to be a great addition to our lives and the way we enjoy the outdoors.













Thanks for waiting so patiently (or impatiently.  you know who you are carma) for the Big Reveal.

Maybe you can come over and enjoy a nice cool lemonade with us some time.  You bring the leonade.;)