As of 3:20 pm

Today’s been one of those days that once I woke up I was focused and had energy to do what needed to be done. It’s amazing. Doesn’t happen that much.

Here is a little clue:

I’ve done the laundry. All of it. Hallelujah.

Made/stocked up on homemade soup. Freezing as we speak.

Made lots of chocolate/marshmelllo cookies for daddy/daughter. Froze about 30 cookie dough balls ready for a rainy day. Chocolate chip and lots of coconut. Yum.

Made a white bean garlicky spread for a girly pizza. And an olive spread. I love those little salty bites. Olives=goodness.

Cleaned out fridge.

Watched Sleeping Beauty with my princess.

Did the emails, about to edit picts of my sisters photo shoot and eating soup.

I have decided on the EASY Polish dish I will attempt. żurek

I am praying it will be eatable but we’ll see in the end. It’s a favorite of Travis’. Here’s to trying new things and hopefully being able to taste a bit of Poland soon in our home!

Polish Restaurant in LA

We went to an amazing Polish restaurant tonight here in LA. (can’t believe I wrote that sentence!) Trav and I went with a couple that we had met here who care called to Mexico. They are super nice and passionate for the families in Mexico who have nothing. They not only build houses and provide food for the many touched by their ministry, but they reach the people’s spiritual needs more importantly.


We ranted and raved about how amazing Polish food is and as we sat down I realized that there was a chance they might not like it! They’re called to a country that eats mostly beans and rice so what would they do with stuffed cabbage and sauerkraut stew? (which is my favorite)


They gave us soup, salad, main course and dessert. Crazy good food! This is a picture of the amazing salad that I devoured- and I don’t like salad. I run away from anything that looks like close to it.


The food guy ate here! I was so impressed and happy we tried this place! (thinking of you Amy!) They also decorated wierdly. Like with a rabbit with ears…um, yeah. Hey, made me smile! It was so good to hear Polish again it actually surprised me. I practiced whatever minimal Polish I knew and was apparently understandable because she started talking to me a million miles a minute and I was like….”uh, tak?” ( “uh, yes?”) then we all laughed.

After that Travis in his all knowing wisdom answered her questions. I have a lot of Polish to learn!


I have more pictures to upload but I’m both tired and cold. Bed time. More pictures to follow in the morning!

Portland Polish Festival


They were amazing. The Poles know how to bake.


Travis and AJ


This is sweet Rylee. She got a HUGE amount of apple cotton candy and loved it.



Isn’t she adorable?!


Polish pottery is famous. Isn’t it beautiful?! You know you want it. I saw a gorgeous tea pot and wanted it badly. Sad day.

It was a beautiful day. More pictures will be coming tomorrow


Friendship Appreciation

I am finding myself more emotional as our time here draws to an end. I am all kinds of feelings. This last Thrusday I started to cry because I was struck by all the amazing young people we were around and how much I would miss them. I know it surprised them but after I explained my emotionalism they understood. I think.

With all theses feelings I was surprised by a question that crept up. Did any of it matter? We have poured into many people here and I feel like those relationships have now changed. Depressing. We have tried to follow up and maintain a friendship, but it seems like a lost cause. Busi-ness is the most common explanation. And I totally take responsibility of those friendships too. I had times when I didn’t give to those around me and let it dry up.

I can’t but feel left out. Feeling left out of their life. Invisible. I know this is exactly what being a missionary will be like oversees but it doesn’t make the feelings go away. Feeling them here is just as painful as it will be anywhere….just verbally throwing up on you…you poor unexpected reader. Like most people, not just missionaries, I would like to know if what I gave people meant anything. Feeling loved and appreciated is normal but showing others you love them is not common. Sad.

Nowy Targ

We’re here in Nowy Targ pronounced ‘nove targ’. We’re here visiting a couple we’ve been friends with for a while. Weronika, Chris and their daughter Esterka (Ester) We’ve had a nice relaxing time, and will probably be taking a walk in a while. Trav found a way to upload pictures so far (my hero!).

Here are pictures of our flat in Krakow.

where we eat every meal

La Kitchen

Left picture: Fridge on left, blessed washing machine on right. Then there’s me with the living room view. Ground level flat.

Our street in the early morning.

These are Trav’s favorite cookies. We bought them the first day we came. 🙂

On a side note, we were watching High School Musical 1 and I was the only adult who was watching it- what a shock. hehe Then Ester turned off the DVD player HALF WAY THROUGH!!! I had too much pride to ask to turn it back on.  Pride is my downfall. I have a good idea how it turns out…but still. Maybe I’ll borrow it from a friend…amy? 😉

Enjoy the pictures 🙂

Emma, Chris and his daughter Ester. They girls loved playing together. Yay, I hoped they would!

Emma and Ester ready for bed! A second later they were out and running around the room. Last night I was up with Emma from 4:30am-7am. Pray for me.

Breakfast this morning. They had their own table, it felt like Thanksgiving. Emma felt like a big girl. 🙂

Breakfast. They had a cherry jelly-which is my favorite! I’ve already eaten one whole jar of cherry jelly. And I’m thinking of bringing some over too. Emma had 1 1/2 of the sausages! You go girl!

It’s not nice of me to take this and they had maybe 3 seconds to prep for it. But hey, we all have a pose we prefect in high school right?! At least I did.

Our time here in Krakow

We are feeling less like visitors staying in someone’s home and beginning to see what it will be like for us to live here. It is exciting and a little nervous. We’re using our polish as much as we can though, and speaking it a lot more in our home. It’s growing my courage enough to order cheese from the grocery lady by myself. A lot of giggling and pointing on my part and smiles on hers; so gracious. People here are SO nice and are patient with us. I’m noticing that I speak a lot quieter when I’m unsure if I’m saying the right thing and what I need to do is just boldly speak it out. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow. We’re staying in a little comfortable flat that is 50 sq. meters. I could get used to living in a smaller place, it’s just nicer, cozier…who said bigger is better?! For diner I made one of Travis’ favorite Polish soups. Zurek, a salty soup that has sausage and hard boiled eggs. We had it with grilled cheese (gouda) sandwiches. Yummy, and great on a cold day. We already had pirogi on the first day (my favorite). I know a lot of you told me to take pictures of the foods here and I promise to start- tomorrow.

As we landed at the airport, we saw snow everywhere. It’s so beautiful and not too cold, although today there was a wind and nobody likes that. I dressed Emma up like an abominable snowman, er I mean snow baby. Some observations: When a faster person is walking behind someone who is slower, the slow person stands to the side and lets the fast person pass. Common courtesy. Not too common in Gresham, it’s nice. In the grocery stores (I’m buying all our food and am enjoying it!) There are no shortages of packets. They like their packets of soup, mixes, spices, marinades and everything else you could want. It’s incredible and I always smile when I pass the walls of packets. They do have peanut butter (a favorite of mine) but it’s a little expensive. I’m sitting at a mall with free wifi but it won’t allow uploads…horrible! I took pictures of the flat and I guess you’ll see them later. We’ll find a place that allows it-I hope.

The kitchen is nice, and I’m realizing that I don’t really need a dishwasher. It’s not a hassle for me to hand wash everything, but I’ve only been here for a short while- we’ll see. I am dependant on ovens though. While ‘living’ here it will prove to be a challenge to cook everything on a stovetop. But, as Travis says, I like that challenge and it hasn’t proven to be an obstacle yet. Emma is L-O-V-I-N-G all the time and attention from daddy. I could get used to him not working and staying with us all day…well maybe. 😉 I must say that my butt is being kicked by jet lag. Man, I want to pass out around 10am and then 3pm…I took naps with Emma today and it saved my life. Literally people. I’m frustrated by the lack of wifi. I would be posting everyday if I could. Sorry about that. We’re meeting with a missionary tomorrow at a coffee shop Coffee Heaven (which is far better than any Starbucks). We’ll be visiting friends in a nearby town from Friday to Saturday. They have a little girl and I know Emma and Esterka will love each other.

***On the flight over, Emma slept and didn’t yell once. She showed all those people who gave us the evil eye, as we boarded, that they were wrong. Hah, so there. (tongue sticking out) I was praying like nuts that she would do fine. The flight from Chicago to Krakow was 9 hrs 30 min. She is getting used to the time change, and I think she’ll be fine in a couple days. OK, people, time to go to bed- it’s 9:30 and Trav is a walking zombie, Emma is stalling with her toy laptop (what a savior mom!) and I’m finishing this. Dowidenzia!

My friend, Robyn

There are a lot of anxious thoughts about moving to another country. Poland is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve been to. I’m really looking forward to it and especially how their views and culture differ from ours. I like experiencing new ways of thinking. I am not, however excited about the unknown walls of discouragement and challenges. When I think about how my responses will be, I am reminded of a friend who married a European and is now living in Holland.

I would like to be like her when I grow up and live in Poland. She embraced the history, challenges and language with both hands. You can tell she made an early decision that she was not going to complain (and I haven’t heard her complain ONCE) and you can just tell she had a healthy adjustment. I have heard some stories of times she could have been discouraged, but her stubborn determination pushed her forward.


You have no idea I was planning on writing this, but you deserve all the praise in this post. I am glad to have you in mt life and look forward to spending time together in the soon future. You have embraced the Dutch with both hands and I will take your example when moving to Poland.


I don’t lie to myself and think moving to Poland will be all roses and stuff. It will be hard, but my friend has, unknowingly, shown herself to me as a role model. On Monday we will be flying to Krakow, Poland and will be staying there 3 weeks. I am challenging myself with embracing the language (and sounding ridiculously stupid) speaking more to people and giving all of undivided attention to the friends who we meet with. We’ll see how it goes, I’ll be updating this while we’ll be there.

peace out

Yeah I know…

Yeah, I know, it’s been a while since I last posted. There just seems to be so much happening that it seems overwhelming to try and tell/show it to you. I’ll do it this way.

I’M HOPING: to get all that needs to be done before we fly to Poland Monday.  4 days left and counting. Me stressed? No, more like FREAKING OUT. But Travis is being so wonderful and supportive…even when I got sick yesterday and got nothing big accomplished.

I’M PRAYING: that Emma will be either totally doped up on baby benadryl or sleeping her butt off on the airplane the entire way to Krakow. ‘Freaking out’ about this doesn’t come close to how I’m feeling. “no!” is her favorite word and well…she’s entered her 2’s. I’ll just say that.

I’M THANKFUL: to my wonderful hubby. He has been really supportive and encouraging even though he has been getting no sleep. Love you babe.

*also, Brandon and Becky- I love you forever for watching our house/cats for 3 weeks- you’re wonderful!!!

I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO: being in Krakow again and seeing friends…and just…being there. I miss the feeling of that city.

I’VE GOT TO SUCK IT UP: and just be ok sounding stupid at first, while I’m learning Polish. Ugh.

I’M IN LOVE WITH: my new Kindle.

I’ve been into this series…pre-teen at heart.

I SPLURGED: and made my favorite comfort food for lunch… Just noodles, c. of mush and cheddar cheese. It makes the world a better place.

I HAD A GREAT SURPRISE: Travis surprised me and took me to Levenworth for 3 days before Christmas. I was wonderful.

I’VE LEARNED: life is too short to always be freaking out. So I’ve dedicated Saturday to do Emma and my pedicures and manicures.

I SAW: an amazing movie and want to see it in 3-D SO badly.

I AM: leaving now to change a poopy diaper. Peace out 🙂

My American Mindset

Go here for pictures of our adventure yesterday at the Portland Polish Festival. * cute pictures

On a similar note, I was thinking that I would tell you about something that I’ve been thinking about. Last time we were in Poland, Krakow actually, we went to some people’s house for a small group. All the people there were wonderfully nice and funny. They were in the middle of making 2 homemade pizza’s. ( We didn’t know they were having food prepared. It smelled great but we had eaten before we came…awkward) After about 15 min. the hostess asked us if we would like some.

(*Now I need to pause. In America, when we go to someone’s house where we weren’t expecting food and we just ate before we came…the polite thing is to say no thank you. It’s just this unspoken thing. I guess it stems from the mindset that it would be too much trouble for the hostess to double or triple her work just for one/two extra people. I dunno.)

So we were asked if we wanted this yummy smelling pizza and we smiled and said no thank you. ~Now in missionary school 101 you learn to accept food no matter what’s given to you. You smile, take the food and show them that you understand the time put into the meal and accept the gift of the hostess. Whether it’s baby alligator guts or yummy smelling homemade pizza. And year ago I would have said, ‘Of course I would accept anything!’ But now I see a different side to me that I didn’t know was there. Nothing traumatic happened because we didn’t eat the pizza, but what if. What if they made it just because we were visiting their small group. What if the hostess was offended but didn’t say anything, showing ME grace. *sigh. I am really frustrated with myself and can’t believe I didn’t see what I was doing.

I know that as I live there I’ll see more stupid things I do and slowly learn the Polish way of living. But I don’t want to do it at their expense. You know? It’s not fair to them. ….I really hope God has someone who sees my well meaning American mindset and graciously tells me what the heck I’m doing wrong. The less Poles I offend the better.

American and Polish flag

Breath of fresh air- from Turkey

~Yesterday we had a friend speak at our church. He’s a friend that we relate well with and love his family. Both our families seem to be cut from the same cloth. And best of all- he just so happens to also be a missionary to Turkey. He’s our age and has a similar view on the world. When you find those people, you seem to latch yourselves onto them and feed off similar opinions. Kinda sick really, but it’s the truth.

Anyways, as he spoke and gave his little message, I was stuck with not exactly what he was saying (although everyone is saying it was incredible. go here to see it) My calling to be a missionary to Poland was rekindled or renewed or something like those two words. Don’t get me wrong though, I have never doubted that God has called me and Travis to Cracow…it’s just that sometimes it can get stale. You know?

It’s like when you meet your new love and everything is roses and shmoozing. (yes I made that word up) But after a while your relationship gets into a rut. Not horrible, just life. That is the best way I can explain how I’m feeling with Poland. I’m excited but it’s a little stale. (or was until last night) Like a pretty bright colored dress that fades slowly with the sun rays of paperwork and just daily routine. Well, as I was listening I was greatly encouraged to hear and see an actually person who sees the world the same way Trav and I see it.  Someone who would and did move across the world to live in a different culture and learn a new language. Why? Becaues he loves the people and because God called their family. It’s just different you know? I have tons of great friends, but when they find out we are moving next year to be missionaries, they look at you differently and when I talk about the frustrations with work, church and whatever it’s not understood because I see things slightly warped. I know, however, that they love me and I seriously love them. Please understand that. It will break my heart to say good-bye to them.

But last night I witnessed someone who sees the world differently than most express a radical lifestyle, and he touched and challenged them with his words of passion. I am glad we have them in our lives and have a family that we can relate on pretty much every level. Thanks God for them, they are such a comfort.