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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Two Become Three

(Scott) - Betsy and I are very thankful for each other, family, friends, and vocations.  I didn't expect to be blessed with a new member of our family so 'practice time' for us.  We are so fortunate to be expecting our first child this summer and we look forward to the changes that are ahead.  Apparently, people believe me to be a 'neat-freak'; however, I term my behavior as 'normal'.   That being said, people seem to think this means God will give us messy kids.  I will do my best to raise our kids 'normal' but am actually ready for the messes and craziness forthcoming. 

This past Friday, February 10th, we went to have an ultrasound which would reveal the gender of this little turnip.  We both were just rooting for a healthy little baby.  Once the ultrasound commenced, we were both in amazement at the level of detail of this 6 ounce blessing.  The baby was moving around a lot and it was great to see all the little features...this kid is going to be hyper.  It took awhile to unveil the the gender 'indicator' or lack thereof but all the build up to that point reemphasized our lack of desire for one gender over the other.  The position and movement of the baby made the gender search difficult but then we heard the technician say, 'oh!'.  That reaction means - baby boy!

We are very thankful for this little man and we look at the ultrasound pics all the time.  He has a nice little profile but we are biased.   We are definitely looking forward to his arrival this summer.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Two birds. One blog.

(Betsy): I'm all about efficiency (insert Scott doubling over in laughter in the background), so let's buckle down and cross off two more items off of our Thirty List.

Bird One:

We all know how I feel about this guy.  Scott's pretty fond of him too. And, almost one year after beginning his class, Financial Peace University, we can officially say we are debt free! No credit card debt. No car payments. No current mortgage.No school loans. Nada. Nothing. On November 23, 2011, Scott paid off his car 2 years and 3 months early, and boy-oh-boy, did it feel good! Financial freedom is just that--freeing. 

I write this good news with the risk of sounding prideful, even arrogant. But, I hope you trust that I only share our financial situation to be an encouragement to others who are just like us:

Others who find it extremely difficult to be patient.
Others who really, really, really, really enjoy spending money.
Others who have or had car payments, credit card debt, and student loans.
Others who struggle daily with loving and desiring things of the world.

Each and every day, I wrestle with discontentment. I want a nice, big home. I want to rock the newest styles and trends. I want a newer car. I want a cake (vanilla, with white icing, please), and I want to eat it too. I am no different--and probably worse!--than each one of you. So, from the bottom of my materialistic heart, I share our financial testimony strictly as inspiration and a confidence booster! Financial peace, I am learning, is achievable--even for my world-loving, big-house-needing, have-a-penny-and-I'll-spend-it self!

If you are familiar with Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps, you know Scott and I have a long way to go before we reach true financial freedom. First, there's that dreaded emergency fund. And the saving doesn't stop there--retirement, college (for our children), future large get the picture. It's challenging not to get overwhelmed by how much more of this financial race we have to run.

I'm already out of breath.

But, if I can take a moment to step back and look at the big picture, I can't help but be excited to keep pressing forward. After all, Scott and I want to be a good steward of God's money. We want to build wealth so that, ultimately, we can give it away. We want to think for our children, our grandchildren, and our great grandchildren. We want to change our family tree, instilling values like patience and hard work (not to say our parents and grandparents didn't value these things). Lastly, we want our family to have a heart for those who are less fortunate.

We truly believe in Dave's teachings. He is honest, practical, and biblical. We like him so much that Scott is facilitating his class, Financial Peace University, at our church, Christ Community Midtown this spring. Please feel free to contact either of us if you are interested in learning more. The free preview class is February 12 at 3:30p.m., and we would love to see you there!

Give me a second to climb off of my soapbox.

Moving forward. Bird two:

Scott turned the big 3-0 last weekend, and I really wanted him to feel special and loved. I also had a hidden agenda of getting some things crossed off our Thirty List, so I lied to him (a ton!) and threw him a surprise party with a few close friends and family.

Leading up to his birthday, Scott knew I had something up my sleeve, and so, to cover my tracks, I told him I had a weekend out of town planned for just the two of us. I would fill him in on details as his birthday weekend approached.

As it turns out, I have been blessed with the gift of lying (Fear not, friends. I won't abuse this talent.) But as far as Scott was concerned, we were taking a train up to his favorite city, Chicago, for some yummy food and a "special event" planned for Sunday. Saturday night, our bags were packed, and Scott was ready to catch the train to the Windy City. My dad, I had promised him, was going to pick us up around 6:30p.m. to drop us off downtown amidst the beginning crowds of Superbowl Village. Unbeknownst to my honey, eighteen of his favorite people would be pulling up in a limo for a quick ride around town and a seafood feast at one of our favorites, Rick's Cafe Boatyard.

I think this video does a great job of capturing Scott's surprised look, a look of dumbfoundment (ya, I made that word up.) mixed with a little bit of disappointment (he was really excited about Chicago) and a taste of confusion:

We had such a great time with sweet friends and family. Here are a few snapshots of the evening:

So, there you have it. Two more items crossed off our list. We're trekking forward. Let's review, shall we?

1. Go skydiving.
2. Volunteer: frequently, consistently, long term.
3. Go to Hawaii.
4. New York City: Tavern on the Green, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty.
5. Go camping: hardcore camping. Legit, no b.s. camping. The real deal-tents, fire, etc.
6. Learn to snow ski.
7. Visit wineries in Napa Valley.
8. Zip Line: We prefer Costa Rica, but we will settle for anywhere!
9. Make a lobster dinner.
10. Read 10 or more books together.
11. Play a round of golf together.
12. Road trip out West together. (Don't worry, Teta! I'm still going to road trip out West with you too!)
13. Scuba Dive.
14. Take at least one guitar lesson together.
15. Play put-put.
16. Visit Wine Tastings Downtown.
17. Join a church.
18. Anonymously buy an old, cute couple dinner (must be someone we do not know).
19. Throw someone a surprise party.
20. Get Married (to each other of course :) )
21. Go to a Cubs game.
22. Take an all day bike ride.
23. Take a cooking class.
24. Run a mini marathon (RUN the whole 13.1 miles).
25. Attend a dating and/or marriage conference.
26. Take a train to Chicago.
27. Grow a garden.
28. Have NO debt except for a house.
29. Go white water rafting.
30. Visit Colorado.

9 out of, I'm no mathematician, but I think that means we are almost one-third of the way there with four years to go! I think we are on track :)

Friday, January 27, 2012


(Betsy): Yikes...last post published August 26, 2011?! Isn't that unorthodox to let five whole months creep by without blogging? 40 cyber lashes for me and my husband...

Yah, that's right. I said it. My husband. Just because we have neglected blogging doesn't mean we haven't been crossing off 'to-do's' on our Thirty list. Let's just say we've been tackling the big ones. Like good ole number 20: Get hitched.

I'm sad I didn't blog more around our wedding time. Planning our big day was an incredible experience and to see all our plans come to fruition was a  dream come true. We felt so blessed to have so many loved ones cheering us on. Both Scott and I think that our pastor and dear friend, Corey, nailed the message of our ceremony when he reminded us and our guests that marriage is about so much more than a commitment between two individuals. Marriage is about honoring Christ. It is sanctifying, both terrible and wonderful all at once.

I think it is safe to say that Scott and I have had the privilege of experiencing both the wonderful and the terrible during our first four months of marriage. Every morning, I have the opportunity to wake up next to the most humble, gentle, and kind man I have ever known. My husband is a provider and a protector. He thinks for our family. He is a leader and a servant. He truly is wonderful.

My husband is also structured, analytical, and reasonable: three things I am not. We always get a good laugh when we think about conversations we had when we first started dating: "We are so much's unbelievable!" and "I can't believe I found the male version of me!" Don't lie. You had those conversations and thoughts, too. And then, as reality comes loudly knocking on   breaking down your front door, you realize that you and Mr. Right could not be any more different!

Scott hates messes. I make them every day.
Scott is practical. I am practically the complete opposite.
Scott likes to save money. I like to save a weekend a month to go to the mall and spend it.
Scott has a sweet tooth. I'm all about salty foods.
Scott plans ahead. I look back, wondering why I didn't plan accordingly.
Scott is an introvert. I'm an introvert's worst nightmare.

You get the picture. We are SO incredibly and magnificently polar opposites. But, at the same time, I can't  help but cling to the promise that we were hand-picked for one another. Sure, we have some things to iron out as a newly married couple (can we say learning curve?!), and sure, we have some pretty fun knock-down-drag-out fights, but the truth is, we are a perfect balance for one another. Scott is the yin to my yang. I am so grateful for a man who carefully watches our finaces, a man who anticipates me asking and who remembers where I put my keys every morning when I ask him, a man who has an excel spread sheet for literally every aspect of our sweet, new life.

I love my husband more than words can describe. Today, as I finish this post, I happily cross off "Get Married (to each other of course)" from our Thirty list.

Oh, and here are some shots of the wedding day at the Indiana State Museum:

You can find the rest on my Facebook page.

May your weekend be full of laughter and fun!

Psssst: It's Scott's birthday weekend, and someone has a surprise in store!
Psssst again: We crossed another 'to-do' off our list. We are debt free! More on that soon...

Friday, August 26, 2011

You Have My Permission to Laugh With Us

(Betsy): Remember here when I might have suggested that our boy, Gary (Chapman, that is) took a back seat to the Rain-Dog (Dennis Rainey)? Well, that was just terrible of me. And I take it back. Gary Chapman (who I affectionately call Ger-Bear) will always be my fav!

In fact, I love him so much, that when I received an e-mail from his ministry asking for volunteers to share their "Love Language" testimonies, I quickly responded (my response may or may not have been within 4 seconds of receiving the's up for debate). Anywho, you can imagine how thrilled I was when I received a call from the film producer (we'll call him Mr. P) to set up a time to come film Scott and I in the comfort of Scott's apartment. It was as easy as pie to set up a place, time, and date to get the cameras rollin'.

The hard part...convincing Scott to participate. You already know Scott doesn't love having his picture taken, so convincing him to join me was equivalent to convincing my mom to let us have cupcakes at our wedding instead of cake. Nearly impossible.

After a glass of wine and a rehearsed batting of the eyes, I told Scooter what was up my sleeve. You can correctly assume that he was not amused. I think this man would rather play in a sandbox of nails than be filmed. So, I resorted to whiny infused bribery: "Anything! Anything! We can do anything you want! Just this once? Pleaaaseeee?!" In an effort to get me to shut up, Scott reluctantly agreed, and it was go time.

Three. Two. One. Action. Mr. P. drove all the way from Illinois to film us. The whole process took about 2 hours, and I have to say, it was a neat experience. I felt like Tom Brokaw was interviewing us, and, overall, I felt pretty confident that we had a good shoot. I was excited to see the final product!

I anxiously waited the arrival of that little cd for two whole months. It was torture! Every other day, I'd ask Scott, "so...uh...anything good in the mail today?" Nada. Zilch. Nuffin.

And then it came...! What I'd been waiting for! It felt like Christmas morning when I received that e-mail from Mr. P. sharing the link to our video. While the film was loading, I thought to myself, "you wouldn't surprise me if Hollywood called after getting their hands on this bad boy. I might have to quit my job. But what about school? Well, I'd just have to finish after my first movie, of course."

And then I watched it.

Oh. Lord. Have. Mercy. This was the ABSOLUTE most embarrassing, cheesy film I had ever laid eyes on. Now, Mr. P. did a great job filming, but his subjects...goodnight! I was almost too embarrassed to show Scott, but I did and quickly received the ole' "I told ya so".

In order to process my embarrassment and shock, I showed a few close family members who confirmed that, yes, this was the absolute cheesiest video they had ever seen.

I bet you're dying to watch, aren't you? Well, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that  in order to save face, I am not going to show the entire video (plus, Mr. P. asked us not to until final editing was complete...thank you, Jesus). The good news is I am willing to show a few snapshots from the video.

I invite you to laugh with us. Here goes nothin'....

:) Have a great weekend!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Power Tools > Cooking

(Betsy): I know, I know. I want Scott to blog some more, too. But he's super busy being a hard worker this weekend, and I have the fortune of leaving my work at work. More from him soon. He promises.

Remember how volunteering made it on our Thirty Before Thirty List (here)? And then I mentioned it again here and here. Well, last weekend, Scott and I were able to help some pretty needy people in the sweet, little town of Mancelona, MI. Unemployment is common here, and poverty has swept over this quiet place after some of its major industries (coal, iron, and pickles?) closed shop. According to Dan, owner of Cedar Bend Farm and our job coordinator for the weekend, generations of alcoholism and drug use have left the town desperate and helpless. Our mission for the weekend was to provide a few home improvements for some  families in the town while demonstrating God's love, showing the families that there is hope despite their undesirable circumstances.

After a seven-hour drive north (I slept over half the ride while Scott drove. Yah, he's awesome.) peppered with some Good Mood Food, Brian Regan, and great conversation with Corey, our pastor, and our new friend, Matt, we arrived in Mancelona. We got in a few more hours of shut-eye, ate some yummy breakfast, and then headed to our worksite, a small, three bedroom trailer, pictured on the left. For the next two days, we would be tackling that bad boy hiding behind those ladders (also known as the window), and replacing a hallway floor that had fallen victim to some heavy water damage. (Later, that floor and I got to know each other really well after I fell through it. Darn the luck.).

On the first day, Scott and I were placed on the hallway team under the great leadership of Mrs. Laura Christensen. Ok, seriously. This woman needs her own HGTV show. She's got skillz. Prior to last Saturday, I had hammered a nail in a wall to hang a picture and had once assembled a book shelf from Ikea that included idiot-proof instructions. Laura, on the other hand, has way more under her (tool) belt. See what I did there? Ha.

So, under Laura's guidance, Scott and I showed some tile, plywood, and another layer of tile who was boss. Enter: the first power tool, a sawzall (which turned out to be quite the topic of debate on Facebook. Sorry Mom, Dane wins.) Let's just say it is super empowering to use one of those mean machines.


I'd like to take the next few sentences to brag on my man. Who knew clean, organized, stable, structured Scott had it in him? He owned that tile. He ripped that floor up like it was nobody's business...and his power tool the charts. You go boy. You da' man. And, OF COURSE, we shot some pictures:

Constructing a new, safe hallway floor went a little something like this: rip up the old floor, and indicate where potential "danger zones" are (i.e. the areas of the floor where people can fall through). Check. Construct boxes out of 2x4 lumber (enter power tool numero dos: the circular saw) that can attach to the joist (yah, I can say joist now because I know what one is. Joist. Joist. Joist.) of the trailer, creating more support. Measure and cut plywood that will fit desired area. Place said plywood. Level said plywood with stuff that resembles pancake batter (mmm, I'm hungry). And, finally, cut and stick tile.

Sounds pretty simple, eh? Yah, I thought so too. But let me tell you, after two long days of hammering, screwing, chopping, ripping, tearing, cutting, sweating, falling, drilling, aching, building, placing, moving, carrying, and leveling, it didn't seem simple. It felt like quite the opposite. But, just as the old adage says, 'good things don't come easy'. And when finished, this floor was good. Real, real good.

The window didn't turn out to shabby, either. It was pretty exciting to watch the home transform over 48 hours. It was even more exciting to play a role in that transformation. Both Scott and I were so humbled by our weekend in Mancelona and are thankful that we had the ability and capacity to help this sweet family out.

Here's a before picture of that beast:

And (drum roll please)...after sixteen hours of blood, sweat, and tears, we had this sweet baby (seen right). And, I know you are dying to see how the hallway turned out. Wait no longer. Here is the progression from start to finish.

**BONUS: Scott has so graciously agreed to caption the pictures. I knew he was good for something.

Laura, our fearless leader, hard at work.

Da' Flo' Befo'
Laura schooling Betsy

More rare than a Bigfoot sighting.

A mile of tile...some tile after a while...who knew tile could make you smile
Happy homeowner, whom we have affectionately named K-Dawg

MOM! Where's my milkshake?!
And there you have it, folks. Our weekend in Mancelona. Readers, have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and constructed something you were super proud of? Have any of you ever fallen through a floor? We'd love to hear your comments. Can you believe we are getting married in like...uh...2 1/2 months! Woo Hoo!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Love This Girl.

A world-class soccer player, but more importantly, a woman of humility and of beautiful character.

Go USA! Go #12 :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fourth O' July.

(Betsy): When Scott and I created our "Thirty Before Thirty (Four) List" (see here), we brainstormed fairly quickly. So quickly, in fact, that we have, on several occasions, looked at it and said aloud "what in the heck were we thinking?!" (read: neither one of us want to go, at all.) We wanted a good mix: fun things (travel to NYC, go to a Cubs game, take an all day bike ride), easy things (play putt-putt, read 10 books together), challenging things (make a lobster dinner, grow a garden), and meaningful things (get married, buy a cute little old couple dinner, attend a marriage conference).

Basically, we quickly threw together a vision for our lives in list-form. We want to get hitched. We want to travel. We want to learn how to cook.  Scott wants Betsy to learn how to cook. We want to be givers, pursue others, and have meaningful relationships. And we want to be in a continual state of growth, both individually and as a couple. As we threw this list together (literally, over the course of about 3 days), we thought that we should probably join a church. "That's what normal couples do, right? That's how solid families raise children--in the church." Consequently, our list gave birth to number 17.

To be completely vulnerable, neither Scott nor myself really knew what joining a church looked like. We did not grow up going to church (except on rare occasions), but somehow it managed to creep its way onto the paper, mostly due to surface-level thinking. One day, after reviewing our list, I remember thinking, "well, we can start looking for a church to join if we have kids."

So, although "joining a church" was certainly not on our priority list, both Scott and I were spiritually interested. We church-hopped infrequently (once? maybe twice) a month, claimed to be Christians, got our fill of Jesus, and moved on with our lives only to return if we needed to hear a good, refueling "message" after a long night out on the town.

It wasn't until we landed at a darling, little building in Broadripple (thanks to a recommendation from my dear friends, AnnDee and Casey) that we truly understood the meaning of joining a church, and furthermore, what it meant to have a relationship with Christ. Our first visit to Christ Community Church Midtown was nothing short of fantastic. As soon as we walked in the doors, we immediately felt welcomed, loved, and connected. After the service, Corey Smith, the pastor of the church, rushed over to introduce himself to Scott and invited us over for dinner at his house the following weekend.

And, friends, as the old saying goes, "the rest is history!" Corey now leads Scott and two other men (also young in their faith) in a weekly Bible study, and I have joined a Bible study with two pretty amazing gals! We also attend a small, community "couples" group every Sunday evening. Being a part of a church family is much more than I had anticipated. At Midtown, we experience, in a very real way, We love that men and women at Midtown have invested their lives in Scott and I so that we can continue to grow in our personal walks with God. (You can see Scott sharing his testimony here).

Joining a church (sneaky little number 17 that crept its way onto our "Thirty Before Thirty (Four)" list) is, by far, the most important thing on those two pieces of blue paper--more important than reading, more important than scuba diving, certainly more important than skydiving (I'm still trying to figure out a way we can get out of this one), and, shockingly, more important than our future marriage. Without this community, without our new family, without trusting direction and guidance from Christ, our marriage has strong potential to fail.

Two weeks ago, we officially became members! After attending a membership class and having a small interview with the elders of the church, we are now able to call Midtown our church home! What security God has provided us! We feel blessed beyond all measure!

In other news...

Four Generations: Mickey, Mo,
Jessica, and Shaye
Our fourth of July was family-filled and fun...a change of scenery from our last fourth of July (a camping trip you can read about here). I had the opportunity to meet Jessica, Scott's sister, for the first time (love her!) and Scott's niece and nephew, Shaye and Ronan. So sweet and adorable. Ronan is incredibly smart, and Shaye is absolutely hilarious. She coined some pretty sweet phrases that I might steal when I feel like being dramatic: "PEOPLE!, What are you staring at?!" and "Oh (back of hand to forehead) How DARE YOU!"

As it turns out, Jessica loves hates taking pictures as much as her younger brother. So, she really appreciated it when I suggested that the family take a "four-generation" photo. I think it is sweet! Not many people can get four generations of beautiful women together, but my fiance's family managed to do it!

I just love this handsome man! little Stephanie got married! Her venue was absolutely fabulous...can we say best wedding food ever? Steph was stunning. And Scott and I really enjoyed visiting with some sweet friends of ours. I love it when this group gets together!
Jessie, Dane, and Jenn! Being Silly...

More from Scott later...only 3 months until the wedding! Where has time gone?

PS-We are checking out the magicians who are performing at the wedding for a date night this weekend. Check out their website: These people are legit!