Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"These Are Good Days, Mom"

"These are good days, Mom."

This is what my 17 year old son Zach said to me this morning. IS a snow day today.  And contrary to what you would expect, Twin Cities Metro snow days are extremely RARE, despite the fact that, well...we live in the Twin Cities, which is in Minnesota, which is way further north than I EVER thought I'd live.  This is maybe the fourth or fifth in the thirteen years I've been sending kids off to school.  

And I did make a big delicious breakfast of bacon, egg and cheese casserole, coffee cake, strawberries, hash browns with onions AND orange julius's for everyone's leisurely dining pleasure.  

AND, basketball practice was canceled tonight.

AND Zach hadn't done all his homework for today, although he was just getting up to do it when the phone rang this morning.  Some people just have all the right moves.

AND...we have our health.

ALL these things are great, but something in his tone of voice told me that Zach meant something more.  He meant that these are precious days when we are all together.  Soon it won't be so.
His older brother Andrew (on right-circa 2000) decided yesterday which college he will attend.  I thought I'd feel a burst of relief, but now that the decision is done and the commitment made, I feel sad, because it's really going to happen.

  He's going to go.  

And what's more, he's going to be happy there....somewhere else....somewhere without ....US.

How in the world can that happen?  But it will!

"These are good days, Mom."  

and we neither one speak it but in our hearts we say, 

"And they are few."

Monday, February 27, 2012


I know it's blurry...

But I love this picture anyway!

No...your screen isn't dusty.
This picture was scanned.
From an actual, hold in your hand, photo....
Remember those days?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Passports...It's the little things....


Great to have...painful to get.

Here's a passport photo taken at 6:30 am this morning:

Isn't he handsome?
I've pretty much gotten over wanting to strangle him, body slam him or stick his face in a snowdrift.
(We finally got some snow...)
Ahhh, but I get ahead of myself....

We've had to acquire passports for ourselves or the kids oh, probably five times over the years.

EVERY SINGLE TIME something goes wrong.  Every time!
We are under a passport curse.

The first problem  We are psychologically INCAPABLE of making long term travel plans.  Cannot do it!  SO, consequently, we are usually needing our passports in a three week window...which means two things...expediting and stress.  Sigh.

Then, there's the process which includes having, on my person at one moment in time,  EVERYBODY'S original birth certificates, expired passports with numbers and issue dates, social security cards, copies of all these things, checkbook, travel information (for expedited application), emergency's enough to make me give up before I start and a SIGNIFICANT reason why we NEVER would go get them all renewed without a concrete need for them.  

SO...we decided about a week ago to go on spring break in the middle of March.  There were only three weeks until departure, but no worries...that's standard operating procedure for the Lindquist's, and since only Andrew's passport was expired and Lily needed her first one...I thought "no big deal...I've got this," gathered my papers, hauled Andrew out of his sickbed and along we three went.  Turns out Tim needed to be there too and wasn't (here we go again) because Lily is a minor.   AND the icing on the cake was Lily had so much fun hanging out with Andrew and myself that she decided she was sick too.  With stomach flu going around, I wasn't going to argue!

(She was completely healthy, but who knew?  Still, due to her sudden "illness," I missed my hair color appointment. :()

 The lady at the passport window took pity on me and let Tim come in that afternoon by 4:30 and sign without us.  Tough on Tim. Thank you lady.

Fast forward a week.  New hair appointment.  We got the confirmation from the travel agency and what to our wondering eyes doth appear?????  Turns travel ANYWHERE it is necessary that you have a passport that doesn't expire for SIX MONTHS from your departure.

Unless you are Canadian. (Shaking head and blinking)


QUESTION...WHAT is the use of an expiration date then?  I cannot for the LIFE of me figure out why this rule exists!  If you know, do tell.

Bummer for us....THREE (being the remaining balance of our children) of the kids' passports were soon--TOO soon-- to expire!  Now we were/are just two weeks from departure.  Woe is me... Which brings me to today....

(...the day I was supposed to have my rescheduled 1:00 hair appointment for my dark dark roots...but not anymore....)

To save time (a trip to city hall) and money, I snapped their passport photos myself because the expedited expedited REGIONAL office in Minneapolis where you have to go to get a passport in LESS than 14 days,  doesn't take them...not for any price....

 (Note:  don't do this...they are REALLY picky and were not happy with my shots even though I took them against my PALE YELLOW walls and had the proportions perfect.  They want CREAAAAM, not pale yellow.  I'm just the messenger here.)

Here's Timmy's picture:
That background's cream.  Tell me that doesn't qualify for cream!

I can't show you Katie's picture taken at 6:30 this morning.
It would be grounds for matricide.
I respect her wishes...
and I want to live...
at least through spring break.

Of course in doing all this I ran out of ink and had to go to Office Max to buy ink to print the pictures...but hey...what else had I to do?  Then, because we are on such a time crunch, I had to have MADE an official appointment with the Regional Office (as I mentioned...downtown Minneapolis or Chicago...we chose Minneapolis), remember to bring the confirmation number or no appointment, get directions, TAKE the three kids out of school, haul not only all the documents, but copies (on standard white 8x11 paper nothing else) of all the documents and everything else I mentioned above and TRY to get this job done!

But today was my day.  THIS time, I was going to have EVERYTHING.  I was going to awe the Government of the United States of America with my organization and preparedness.  They were going to say as I walked off..."Now THERE'S a woman with her act together."  I could just see it.  I spent the whole morning, organizing, checking and reorganizing my piles.  Tim downloaded the forms and had them all filled out (after several phone calls).  I loaded the car with the documents and with snacks (no low blood sugar here!)  We were PREPARED.  1:00 was our appointed time.

Ahh BUT...foiled again.  It turned out that I had everything..... EXCEPT Zachary.  We waited, but he didn't appear.  We texted but he didn't respond.  We left without  him because the website said if we were more than 15 minutes late we had to start over with a new appointment.  HE needed to be there more than the younger kids because he's 17 and his signature is required....but I didn't know that then.

We were ten minutes late, and...shhh...I didn't pay the meter.  I didn't get a ticket, but the guilt is setting in.  Confession is so good for the soul.

It appears that Yearbook class was so riveting he forgot.

I love him.

I really do.

But it took me an hour nap to sleep off the adrenaline. This is how I felt: 
(can't' believe I'm posting that was from

And...  ...  ...  Zach and I are heading back to Minneapolis to the Old Federal Government Building tomorrow...

THIS time it's going to go perfectly, I just know it.

And I now have a third scheduled appointment for the hair--hey these things are important-- for NEXT Wednesday.  
BULLETIN:  I am officially unavailable for any crisis on next Wednesday.  
Call my emergency contact.  It's on all the passport applications.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine "Must Do" for a Personalized Homemade Valentine

Check this out!

This is my adorable niece Ally and THESE are what
 she passed out to her friends today for Valentines Day.

How cool is that?
(Her mother has oodles more creativity than I ever
 will, but hey--a good idea can go a long way, right?)

I think these valentines were perfect for a sweet little girl because...
well, when you are talking elementary school, a 
Valentine MUST come with candy.  It's not an 
option.  Even if it's just a stick of gum...

But when the Valentine LOOKS like you are 
handing them a TootsieRoll pop the size of a garden
 rake...well....that's hard to beat.

I look at it and I think...
#1.  Wow.  Creative
#2.  She looks like she's gonna come right off the 
page and whop me with that giant sucker....
I really like it!

I know for all practical purposes Valentines Day is
 OVER for this year...but I for one am earmarking 
this for my 1st-grader for next year's valentines.

Here are the instructions from Ally's mom:

The picture was really easy.

 We wrote the words on our chalkboard.

 Ally is holding a long skinny PVC pipe. 

Once the pictures were developed,
 I cut a slit in one end of the stick, 
slid the tootsie pop in and taped the 
stick to the back.
Easy peasy. 

There you have it.
Give it a try!

Note to labeling this post...I realized I've been posting for three plus years now and I don't have a single category for crafts or even holiday ideas.  Can I even call myself a blogger?  What am I?  Uh-oh...identity crisis!

I guess I'll label the category "Craft" the singular.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

This Cake's Done

(First of all, for those of you who are expecting a food post because of the title, you might want to click the little exit box or button now.  This isn't really about cake.  It's about being a mother, having a son and letting go.)

Do you know that particular moment when you are baking a cake and you take a peek in the oven, or maybe you can even tell by the smell in the kitchen, and you say to yourself that "this cake is done."  There is a particular point in time when you declare the baking process finished and the cake is baked, and you quickly take it out of the oven.

There are various poke it and it bounces back,  the sides pull away from the pan, the aroma is wonderful, it has settled a bit from it's highest "puff."

Well, a couple of weeks ago...I had a strange experience with my oldest son Andrew who is a senior in high school.  I had the sudden realization that...this cake is done!  This is what led up to it:  He was having a busy week and getting ready to leave town for the weekend on a college visit (without us), with lots to plan and prepare for, as well as a nervewracking (for me) meeting with the school superintendent about starting a Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at his school.

I kept poking at him..."Have you done this?"  "Have you packed this?"  "Did you email so and so?"  "Did you remember to...?" "Are you  ready for that you know what you are going to say?"

He bounced back each and every time with a "Already did it, Mom" or "Yep" or "Got it covered, Mom."  

After about my 10th "check," he started to sigh.  He was very patient, but I could tell he was starting to...well... "pull away from the pan."  His meeting went well, all without his mother doing anything other than praying and asking everyone she knows to fact I have it from someone there that he was composed, respectful and firm (the perfect aroma).  He set up all his college meetings and packed appropriately......he didn't appear to need my support or prompts at all.  He was standing quite well on his own.

After he got back from his college weekend and told us of some of his disappointments there as well as the fun he had, I could see that he was settled and has an adult (realistic...unpuffed) view of the world around him.  

And right there, sitting at the kitchen island, I was surprised to have the same sensation I always have when I look at a cake and know the moment is right for it to come out of the oven. 
By the grace of God,
he's ready. 
He's good. 
He can handle what comes.  

I think this cake's done.  
(But I think I'll keep poking occasionally just to make sure!)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

May I?

Dear Whomever,

May I just share something with you?

I feel very lonely.  I feel very alone these days in my confusion.

We are having an excruciating time trying to decide where Andrew should go to college.  It hangs over my head every minute of the day, and I pray for guidance but no answers come and there are so many variables that my head just spins after awhile.

I've been around people who've sent kids off to college, and maybe I'm just an insensitive bump on a log, but it didn't seem to torment them the way it torments me!

Childbirth was the same.  EVERYBODY else just seemed to POP those babies out and go on their merry way.  With Andrew, I suffered the disappointment of being sent home after a day's contractions with a failed induction, had painful contractions for two more days, finally went in and got put back on pitocin, labored another 10 hours and finally gave birth just as they were sharpening the scalpels.  It was as long of an ordeal as it could possibly have been, and then there were the feeding issues....he was worth it all though.

So here we are at college decisions, another arduous labor, and we just don't know how to help him make a choice.  We probably over think it and under pray it, and the whole thing has got me wondering HOW I am going to do this four more times and survive with my emotional health in tact!

But it appears that I am the only mother of a senior amongst my acquaintances feeling this way.  Nobody else seems too concerned..they've made their choices and they are content.  But I am in a stew.  Why must I be in a stew?  I don't want to be.  I want the choice to be clear and straightforward, and even if the college we choose isn't going to be perfect, I'd like the indulgence of thinking it's going to be perfect for at least the next few months while I make the horribly difficult transition of saying goodbye to my boy.

Ah there...thank you for letting me share.  I feel a tad better.  Maybe some day I'll look back on this post and laugh,....or cry...or feel some emotion OTHER than confusion and uncertainty.  Looking forward to that day!

In His Hands,


Friday, February 3, 2012

Loving Blondes

I am not insanely in love with dogs, unlike some 
bloggers who live on ranches and gush over their 
pets and livestock alike.  I enjoy reading their gushings, but I am not one of them.

I am, however, in love with watching my kids love their pets.
(I like this next picture so much I just ordered two 8x10's.)

Lily the girl and Molly the dog were hanging out 
under the kitchen table one day, and the light and 
the colors were so pretty.

I love all the shades of cream and beige and blonde.

Of course it didn't take long for them to notice me
 sticking a camera in their faces...

but they are both pretty used to that...
"carry on mother...."
"when you're done, could you bring Molly
a pillow please?"

And in true Lindquist family style, all quiet 
moments end up in a wrestling match.

It is what it is.

(I say this a lot lately.  It's very liberating!
  You should try it!)

And in true LILY style, all activities end up in a
 fashion review of some sort.
Here they are comparing fingernails.

"Mom!  Can I paint Molly's nails?"

Molly:  "Paint them!  Paint them!"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Adoption is Love, Welcome to the Family Elsa

Adoption is such a beautiful, sweet example of love at its finest.  
Think about it.  
You find someone you don't really know but who needs a place in this world, and  you say 

"You are ours."
"You are part of us and always will be."
"We claim you for good, and we will care for you, cherish you, teach you,
 provide for you, make our hearts one with your heart, give ourselves up for you and bless you."

And why not?

Doesn't God Himself, when we accept His love and forgiveness through Christ,
 ADOPT us as sons?
(He does.)
If you don't believe me read Romans 8:15 and Ephesians 1:5.

Heady stuff!

Adoption is an amazing thing, and we are so grateful
 to have gotten to see it close up in its earthly form twice.

In December, over the Christmas Holiday, 
the Lindquist family gathered once more at the Minneapolis airport baggage claim (right by the Starbucks)
 to welcome another new family member by adoption--
2 year old Elsa from China--through my
 husband's older brother Todd and  his wife Kirstin.
She joins Annika (four), Jake (14), Gus (17) and Mari (19).

As you scroll through the pictures, I hope you can sense the excitement and anticipation we felt.
Elsa, if you ever read this,
 I hope you will see and know how much we loved you already.

(By the way, if you happen to see somebody looking crabby, well, they weren't one of us!
They were the poor souls who had to navigate around all of us.)

Nana and Papa waiting, camera in hand!

Zach and Nana...and me in the background wondering how my baby ever got so big!

Andrew (standing next to family friend):  "Hey...we made it here in time...let the party begin..."

Looking towards the escalators:
"I'm here now..........."
Patience is not a naturally occurring trait in our family.

Papa:"So!  Do  you think Elsa will waterski this summer?"
Zach:  "She's two years old Papa!............Yeah..probably!"

Ava on the left and Lily on the right...waiting....

Ava and another newly adopted friend Ellie who is four years old...still waiting....

And suddenly...through the glass....THERE THEY WERE!
(At this point I might mention that Todd and Kirstin took the whole "fam" with them to China for the adoption!)

Here's where it all gets surreal!


Those are Andrew's hands on the right...I think a big hug is coming my niece Mari's (Wheaton shirt) way!
Better scoot Lily!

And this is my favorite picture right here.
Yep...There's the "big welcome hug in the background, 
and in the foreground, there is Kirstin and her mother 
sharing the first moment of this new reality.

  I like how they are looking at each other and saying a thousand things without a word!


And now Kirstin is saying "How much snow is out there?"
Just kidding...we've had no snow this year.

Me with the proud father!

And Andrew's still giving out hugs.
It was a hugging sort of day!

Katie and new big sister Annika
 most likely rejoicing in the favorable shift
 of feminine balance of power in the family.
Let the "Age of Shopping with Manicures" begin!

Just a few of the "Welcome Elsa Gang"

We love you Elsa!

We are so grateful that God chose you to be a Lindquist!
If you want to read  more about Elsa's journey
 to our family, Todd and Kirstin have a blog at: