In a post I swear I shared yesterday, I wrote about my decision to follow the call to Guatemala with a group of thirty-nine other kids (kids is a relative term, after all). And now, we are home.

I’ve spent the past several days attempting to process and figure out how to communicate what happened in Guatemala. I’m also trying to process the 700 photos I took. That’s the fun part, though, because I get to re-live the daily events every time I look at Caleb’s photo-bombing face them. Continue reading

church ladies

Just over a month ago, one of my super thoughtful friends reached out to a group of us to concoct an idea to make sure another one of our friends knew how much we loved and cared for her. After eleventy billion or so Facebook messages (which can be really difficult to keep up with, by the way), we came to an agreement: we were going to hire a fantastic painter to come hang out and teach us how to create an amazing work of art. Continue reading

another 365

2013 is over. The memories; painful, wonderful or otherwise, are now forever etched in time. I was thankful my travels took me to Holland yesterday. Full of awe, I looked at the channel and likened this past year to the frozen waters stretching across. The moments of this past year are now frozen … just there, unable to move or be changed. However, and maybe thankfully, what lies ahead is wide open. Ansel Adams was quoted as saying, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” I would suggest you do the same with each of the days you have ahead. Don’t take each one as it comes, make your days; make whatever will be frozen from this point forward something something incredible.


new life

When I was about fourteen, our church extended a call to a new pastor and his family. Pastor Jack, his wife, Mary, and their four children quickly acclimated not only to our church but also to our community. To know is to love the Klunder family. Continue reading



My friend Melissa is eagerly anticipating the arrival of her sweet little boy in just a few short weeks … October 3, to be exact. By the way, I can’t imagine how I would have felt knowing the exact day Connor would enter my world. This is where Melissa-the-likes-to-plan-ahead friend is very different than Staci-the-fly-by-the-seat gal. But I digress. Continue reading

leaving the legacy


I’ve been wishin’ and hopin’, and thinkin’ and prayin’ … for about the last eight months or so that I would get at least another year out of my car. Unfortunately, I learned this week it was just not meant to be.

You see, I love to drive and up until my last couple of vehicles, it showed. Well, I guess it wasn’t my love for driving that showed so much as my love to drive quickly … and maybe, just a little stupid? Continue reading

more holes in the wall

It’s been a while since we’ve talked DIY. I haven’t stopped being a do-it-myself’er (huh?) but I have become terrible at photo-journaling the activities and then talking about them. So, here is a long-winded one with two photos. I’ll host a contest to see who can guess which is mine*.

I had been searching out a gallery wall to reside on the wall behind my media stand and TV. The problem is … my media stand and TV. I have a reasonably sized flat-screen that sits atop the media stand and sort of awkwardly covers up a good chunk of the wall. I figured someone else in the world did, too, so all I had to do was find him/her.

I found this pin …

so lovely. p.s. i tried to link over to the originating blog and got an error. bummer.

and I first reconciled the fact that my gallery wall would look nothing like this gem. And … I wasn’t willing to do the work this heroic woman did to make it happen (which is also why it wasn’t going to turn out as awesome but whatever; the furniture was not going anywhere). I did, however, find another similar gallery project on her blog so I morphed the idea of the first one with the look of the second one and voilà! An idea was born.

The first, and most challenging part I think, of creating a gallery wall is finding frames. I didn’t want to spend a fortune because 1.) I’m cheap and 2.) I knew that other people had frames they no longer wanted and may have donated said frames to places like The Salvation Army and Goodwill. I found several frames in the basement that I’d yet to put anywhere and purchased several that had been previously loved. And, I also found a couple at Hobby Lobby that I refused to purchase unless they were 50% off. Since that happens every other week, I was in good shape.

The first task was painting. I had hoped to keep all the frames white since I have white chairs with my dark wood dining table and could tie in the concept of white accents with dark wood again here. Wow. I’m coordinating! Or something.

So, I painted. It was winter-ish when I was painting (which was likely early May here in Michigan for pete’s sake) so I was in the basement. Fumes are bad, mmmk? Many catch-my-breath breaks ensued. I bought some spray paint from Meijer (Blossom White, I believe it was) in a Satin finish. I didn’t want glossy frames. To avoid having a bunch of clean-up after the fact, I also had to remove all the pieces and parts associated with the frames. A few of my older frames were mad at me for trying to paint them so I taught them a lesson with the sander and they cooperated thereafter.

The spin-off idea from the other gallery wall was cutting brown paper to the size of each frame and then taping it on the wall to get a sense for the overall layout. I’m so, so glad I borrowed this idea. It allowed me to shift and re-configure the layout multiple times without putting a single hole in the wall. Not to worry; I added plenty of holes later.

Once I had the layout I had hoped for, the frames started to go up. Several of them would include photos I’d taken. I wanted to have a mixture of portraits and landscapes as well as objects to reflect the original idea. I also needed this exercise to actually print some photos. My track record at printing photos is less than stellar. So, having a gallery wall means I have to print photos every now and again. New and different content keeps them coming back, you know?! Also, I was kidding about the holes. I really just measured up my frames and made pencil marks where the anchors sat on each. I think I only have two extra holes, and the coolest part? You can’t even see them.

I also mentioned objects. I bought an ampersand and spray painted that a seaweed color (to match my chair cushions). More coordination. Mind.Blown. I also found an el-cheapo shelf that I painted. For now, there’s a photo on it but I also want to find some other “thing” to rest on its top. I also found a key that I’d bought a few months ago to throw into a rectangular frame I’d found at The Salvation Army. It fit perfectly.

So, when all was said and done, I’d created myself a little gallery wall. It took far longer than it should have, but honestly? I was super-nervous about putting this sucker together. I love it because it wraps nicely around the media center and coordinates with my life and because I get to see it everyday and there, staring back at me, is my smiling kid. That’s really the best goshdarn part.

sorry for the poor iphone photo. it was taken a while ago and i'm just lazy.

sorry for the poor iphone photo. it was taken a while ago and i’m just lazy. oh, and disregard the exercise ball. i keep it there for motivation. oh, i also painted a small canvas with a cross and more seaweed-colored paint and put it in that empty frame you see right thar.

*just kidding

a little before and after


Let me start by saying … I am not a fan of “selfies”. For those who are not all up to speed on the kids’ lingo, Urban Dictionary defines a selfy (why yes, there is a plural and singular version of this made-up word) as follows: A strange phenomenon in which the photographer is also the subject of the photograph, in a subversive twist on the traditional understanding of the photograph. Usually conducted because the subject cannot locate a suitable photographer to take the photo, like a friend.

Basically, I didn’t have anyone to take a photo. Like a friend. At the moment. Well, I have friends. I think. Continue reading

becoming aware

Not long ago, I wrote about one of many causes of importance observed in the month of October.You might also know that October is the month in which Breast Cancer Awareness is observed as well as Down Syndrome Awareness. I became (more) aware of another cause of importance this month. I mean, I’ve been aware of it for quite some time but it didn’t become something that was deeply personal to me until now.

Continue reading