I was born on a cold, yet sunny day on Feb. 1st, 1977I was a baby sister to big sis Angie, my only sibling.  A couple of days later my father is put into the hospital, not to far from me… he was playing a hockey game and was high-sticked.  The injury resulted in him losing his kidney and the dreams of being a professional hockey player.  He had also just purchased new hockey equipment from abroad that was then stolen as he lay in a hospital bed.  Needless to say, it was a stressful few days for my mom.

I think in the year of 1982 I was playing at our babysitter’s house and stuck my finger in the door jam of the room my big sis was playing in trying to say hi.  She then slammed then door.  The top of my finger was then chopped off and I was rushed to the emergency room to have it sewn back on. Disclaimer: Actual validity of whether or not big sis slammed door resulting in me losing the tip of finger temporarily is not yet determined.  But much more interesting to remember it this way.

I remember with vivid detail in 1986 watching the space shuttle blow upIt still brings tears to my eyes.  I was sitting in my third-grade class with my favorite teacher, Mrs. McClellan.  She started crying and we all sat in shock.  We had never seen a teacher cry.  I didn’t really understand the enormity of what had happened. 

In 1991 I am a freshman at Fargo South High School where my sister is a junior.  I develop a crush on a junior named Todd McButthead (name has been changed to protect anonymity) who then proceeds to find this hysterical (as I am a total loser in high school) harass me and occasionally stalk me.  Parents intervene, the school board is notified, and we consider me switching schools. 

In the splendid year of 1992 family is notified that Dad got a job out of state, so we move to Deland, Florida where we are now enrolled at Father Lopez High School in Daytona Beach, Florida.  It’s awesome!  Good times. 

Well, a whole big year later, in 1993, we move back to Fargo where I am now a junior at Shanley High School.  I meet Kara D. who I decide is going to be my best friend.  She just happened to be the best athlete to ever grace the doors of dear Shanley, a gifted student, Homecoming Queen.  I hope she didn’t mind me following her around. 

I also spend the next two years of my life in total disarray, as I become a social pariah at school, play sports then drop out of sports programs, drink heavily, pick up smoking, and listen to lots of Pearl Jam and Blackfish (bet you never heard of them) and Whitesnake.  I met my first boyfriend Cory who happened to be the big brother to a classmate of mine who was super popular.  Not the most comfortable situation.  I manage to graduate in 1995 with a 3.2 GPA, a slightly discolored liver, and the hope for a better future.

1995-1999I’m not too proud of these years.  Let’s just say I was a less than desirable daughter, friend, girlfriend, and enemy.

Who hoo!  Getting to the life-changing stuff!  in the wonderful year of 1999, I met Chad.  My best friend at the time (Holly) and I were playing pool at a bar (Lauermans).  (We were very good if I am allowed to toot my own horn for a moment)  We played Chad and his one of his best buds Trent, they beat us, Holly felt like she was going to throw up, so we made a rapid departure. 

This is when Chad says it is the first time we met.  MY version is that we met about a month later at a different bar (The Bison Turf) playing pool (I know, I know, the differences in our stories are amazing).  And this time we beat them.  We started dating and never stopped.

Chad had purchased his own home about 1 year out of college (can you say responsible???) and had two roommates, Trent and Neil.  Holly dated Neil and I dated Chad.  It was all very cozy.  On April 19th, 2000, Neil died of a massive heart attack.  He was 27 years old.

It shattered all of our worlds. 

In 2001 Chad proposes and I am officially engaged!  I proceed to spend the next year yelling more at him then I ever have, all with the excuse that planning a wedding was hard.  We almost break up 7, 893 times, and 7, 892 times it was my fault. 

May 4th, 2002 we are married in a beautiful church in Minnesota. 

I get pregnant in November of 2003.  We find out we lost the baby in January of 2004.  We are pregnant again by May of 2004.  In February of 2005, Colton Chad is born.  My life is forever changed. 

Sometime in the year 2005, I start a private blog through AOL.  I have now had this blog, through Typepad, for about a year, but have been essentially blogging for 3 years now.

We get pregnant again in November of 2005. 

In March of 2006, I attend a women’s conference through my aunt’s church and I accept Christ as my personal Savior.  This is the best thing that could have ever happened in my life and the lives of my family.  I realize how far God’s grace and mercy extend, and I am now, thankfully, forgiven. 

In August of 2006 Parker Daniel is born into this wonderful world.  About 2.7 seconds after he is born I am ready to have another baby.

In September of that same year, Chad accepts Christ as his Savior.  It is the most hopeful moment I think I have ever experienced.  God is SO GOOD!

May of 2007, Chad and the boys surprise me with a VERY nice camera for Mother’s Day.  Since that moment I have taken no less than 20,000 pictures. 

In March of 2008, Audrey Irene is conceived.  In November Chad’s first dog Jeager dies.  Audrey is born to us on a beautiful (I think it was actually storming pretty bad) day in December.  Our lives are forever changed.

As for 2009, well, God only knows what is in store for us, but with the help of our precious Savior, I think we will we alright.  We have health, we have lots of family and friends, we have His love.

We are set.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I loved this post! MckMama is full of such great ideas, isn’t she? It was nice to learn more about you. Maybe I’ll get around to doing this one day as well!

  2. Wow…alot of honesty in this. I am impressed. And, some of this I would never have imagined you doing…lol.
    Great entry…I think I will do my own on my blog soon.

  3. A good read Amanda. How long have I known you now? In December it had been 2 years for me on AOL journals. You were one of the first to comment on my journal. Maybe since end of 2006?? I am so glad that you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. God is good. Wishing you a blessed week. Hugs, Janie

  4. Loved reading this and learning more about you. Even though our lives started off very differently it’s amazing how we both have ended up in similar situations!
    God Is Amazing!

  5. Amanda – you are so intriguing. I love your writing, your style, and most especially your faith – you are so inspiring.
    Keep up your amazing crusade.

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