filed under: Miscellaneous on January 4, 2013

After all the trials and tribulations of 2012, I was determined to embrace hope for 2013.  I desperately hoped that in 2013 there would be no deaths, no heartbreaks, no disappointments, no rejection.

Just. No. More.

Recently I posted a story that I consider life changing.  You know, one of those stories that sticks with you and pops into your head in the most opportune moments.  When I recall it, I am in such awe that someone can put their own baggage and sense of personal loss aside to embrace a greater good moves me in a way that I can only describe as divine.


Its been about five months since my husband lost his father unexpectedly.  For some reason, the pain of losing him has not lessened.  Every new holiday that is our “first” without him, every new circumstance that we must handle without his wisdom and guidance, every memory that brings the most acute and sharp pain to our hearts… I just cant seem to find acceptance in that fact that he is no longer here.

I remember in the immediate aftermath of his passing of being so inspired by his life.  The way that he gave, the sacrifices he made, the impact he had on those around him.  Every story that people told made me realize what a gift I had in just knowing him.  And how blessed my kids were to call him grandpa.

His life moved me to the point that I wanted to change mine.


Over the holidays we spent a great deal of time with family.  My kids got used to seeing their grandparents and cousins.  When the New Year started and we didnt have plans to see them immediately, they were visibly saddened.  It was just so normal and so right… being with the people that we love.

While in Fargo we even had family pictures taken.


Looking at them now, I am trying to look past my double chins and huge belly and less than stellar fashion sense and see the family around me.  When I start to feel sad about Dennis I need to remember what his life was about.  He loved people and took care of them and gave them everything he could.  He lived.

babypicwithchad smaller

My “i am mommy” blog might take a different turn this year, as I start to post more and more about family.  And about my growing family!


About little moments that may not mean anything to others, but mean the world to me.  (Like this one, with my Audrey and one of her namesakes, Grandma Audrey) The pictures and memories in the making that one day will hopefully mean as much to them as it does to me.  I will be sharing my faith, as I truly believe that anything that inspires and moves you deserves to be shared.


I dont have resolutions for 2013.  I know there will be trials and pain and loss just like I have faith that there will be highlights and joy and new life.

And lots and lots of laughter.


2 Corinthians 4:16-18  

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

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  • Janet says:

    I think it’s a wonderful idea for you to post more about your beautiful and growing family! After all, health and family is all that matters.

    I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. There are no words. Can’t imagine and dread the day I have to face the loss of my own parents. I know exactly how blessed I am to have them and I never take a moment for granted.

    You’re wonderful, Amanda and, to me you are just as you described your father-in-law!


    Happy New Year, sweet girl!

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you Janet. Looking forward to the wonderful creations and words you will most certainly be sharing in the new year!

  • Wendys Hat says:

    This is beautiful! Family is what it’s all about!

  • Liz says:

    You have a beautiful family, Amanda! Here’s to a joy-filled 2013!

  • susan griffith davis says:

    the 2 Corinthians was much needed today . . . I am so glad that I found your blog. I look forward to reading the old along with the new.

  • Kristin Smith says:

    What a wonderful, sweet post….I just got your beautiful Christmas card…I just <3 you and your love for your family. Many blessings to you in 2013!! Hugs friend!

  • Janmary, N Ireland says:

    Beautiful post and pics.

    Lots of love and hugs for you and your growing family in 2013!

  • G says:

    We got your Christmas card and it made my day. Girl, you are so pretty! And your family is increasingly beautiful!

    Your post made me teary-eyed about Mr. Rettke (because there is no way I can call the superintendent of my school by Dennis. I just CAn”T), but in a way that made me feel good. I knew the guy–albeit not super personally–but he was a part of my life and made my growing up years awesome!

    Love you!

  • Elizabeth Ann says:

    Your family is so beautiful! 🙂

  • Bethany says:

    My heart aches for you. Losing a parent is so hard. And I think sometimes it’s hard being the in-law loosing a parent. Sometimes people think in-laws means you didn’t have a good relationship. It breaks my heart that Brenda didn’t get to hold Breeley or play peek-a-boo. I’ll be praying for you as you continue to grieve this loss. Praying for grace to handle the sadness and the losses you may feel in the days and years to come. Everyone’s loss is different; I understand that. I have great empathy for the difficulties you are facing right now.
    Is there anything I can pray for specifically? If so, let me know. I wish I could give you a giant hug and make a big pot of soup or some smoothies to sit and chat over. I’d let you do the chocolate! 😉
    I’m looking forward to reading your mommy blog in 2013! Can’t wait to get to “know” your growing family.

    • Amanda says:

      Oh Bethany… how you bless me with your kindness and big heart. I know you are dealing with your own recent loss, and I am so humbled by your desire to come here and be a comfort to me in spite of your own heartache. Thank you for all you do and share and inspire. You are such a Light for Him!!!

  • Margee says:

    What beautiful photos, thank you for sharing them. May this year be better than last, and may it be filled with peace, good health and happiness for you and your family.

  • Leah says:

    Hey, love the post and the photos. The belly is beautiful. See you soon. Love, Leah

  • Amy K says:

    Beautiful, insightful, and inspiring!

    Blessings in the New Year to you and your family…

  • Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen says:

    I cannot get enough of your baby belly! I know this hasn’t been an east year for you. Seeing these pictures make me so happy. Isn’t being a mommy the most amazing gift?

    • Amanda says:

      Totally agreed sweet girl!

  • Amber says:

    I am sorry for your loss, may our Lord Jesus wrap his loving arms of comfort around you and all your family. I also want to congratulate you on your growing family. I love your pictures , they are beautiful. I am due with another baby boy in May 2013. God is so good! I will be a mother of 5 as well. 4 boys and 1 girl 🙂

  • this is lemonade says:

    Thanks again for the sharing Amanda. It’s so encouraging to read of your journey. Faith can be difficult at times when we don’t understand, but then at those times, perhaps we cling on for dear life. I am also reminded of Romans 5:3-5 and I’m going to write up the verses you shared near my desk for 2013, because I am forever losing heart, and I constantly need to be reminded.
    God bless you and your beautiful family! When is the latest addition due?

  • Rachel H. says:

    I love your blog! It’s so inspiration and a great reminder to me that family and God should be most important. Last year my family too experienced many losses, including a baby girl, and we’re about to lose my mom to cancer. I am hoping for a better 2013, but more importantly, I know that the Lord is watching over us no matter what happens, and that we’ll be strengthened in our trials. God bless you and your family. 🙂

  • Anna @ Cuparoons says:

    Loved reading your post! And family is one of the greatest gifts God has given us and should be cherished every day. May God Bless you and your family in 2013!

  • Nellie says:

    Loved your post and your gorgeous family pictures!

    Your writing brings warmth, love, peace and joy to others, no matter what that writing is about.

    By the way, you are so beautifully pregnant.

  • Carol says:

    Hey, your family is beautiful!

    I wish for you all peace, health, happiness, all good …

    Goodbye. 🙂

  • Kim Bee says:

    First of all I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my mom when I was 15 and my dad just 6 years ago to cancer. The best way I can describe the pain of loss is it never lessens over time, you just learn to cope and manage that loss better over time. I miss them both every day. I don’t think a day goes by one of them doesn’t pop into my head. But now the memories bring me joy instead of sadness. Loss also really heightens your awareness of time is precious and fleeting. I learned through my dad’s illness that you have to embrace the people you want in your life and let go of the negative energy of others. It changed my whole life.

    On the double chin part I also struggle with this. I used to be thin and since gaining I hate having my photo taken. So much so I don’t even have a bio pic to send to companies. That hit home this week and I realized this is no way to go through life. So I determined to let it go and move on. You are gorgeous just as you are and I love seeing your smiling face. We all tend to be so hard on ourselves. Life is short, capture those moments.

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you for sharing your heart and experience Kim. And for your encouragement! You are very wise. 🙂

  • kashimana says:

    You are beautiful,inside and outside, made by the master sculptor.
    oh! The paradox of life.One life exits and new life is being birthed in you.
    You will see your Father in law again,for is only “sleeps” as Jesus said to Mary and Martha.
    Be comforted because he can never die, his life is eternal.
    With love from Nigeria,West Africa.

    PS:I love your cake classes.Amazing…they help my baking buisness alot.

  • carla says:

    wow you are blessed.i love to read your stories bout life.I can relate to alot of it and prayer is very strong.i hope for the best for your family and be praying for Chad.oh and keep on baking i love the recipes.