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Jun 12 2018

Tradition

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Family. Home. These words remind us that we have a place. That we have a space and people to come home to that is safe and warm and full of grace and hope.

Home is a place to come and heal after mistakes are made, or to recover injuries from ugly words thrown around like darts at our heads. For us, family is about being the best “us” we can be for each other in times of joy and sadness.

Quite often, we forget. We get selfish, run behind, pour into the important and pass over the eternal. We fight. We stick with our correct and rightly defended arguments. We fuss over silly things and make room for unreasonalbitlty when our own self gets in the way.

Family is hard. Five personalities stretching and pulling and growing to boundless dreams and limits and further in to independence pulls at all of our hearts. There is pulling, stretching and hurting as growing pains do often hurt.

In these times, it is important for us to practice long held traditions. Practicing our family traditions remind all of us what makes a Wegner a Wegner.
One especially fun tradition Rob and I have kept since moving away from Chicago and deep dish pizza in 1993 is creating our very own likeness of our favorite. We make the pizza together, and eat. Our tradition has gone from the two of us, then Maddie helped us. When Maddie was old enough she would show Whitney how it’s done and pour the cheese like a pro. When Belle was old enough, she had four people to tell her how it’s done, so she usually does it her own way, which is what makes it even more special.

Since the girls were old enough to hold a spoon and stir, they have been our little helpers. Everyone matters in our family. Everyone is equally important an is needed to fulfill this task. There have been years our pizza barely made it through the process of being made because there were spills, tears, dogs grabbing a sausage and running away, but these are the real moments that make family family. We laugh so much when we are all together. Watching my girls grown in independence, creativity, boldness and humor have been the biggest joy filled surprised of my mommy-hood.

We come home at the end of the day to life, to love, to tradition, to family.

USE FOR ALL SOCIAL MEDIA-DO NOT edit crop out logo or print-90-Wegner Pizza Night March 2018

Thank you to Mike and Julie Storytellers for capturing this part of our Family Story


Jan 14 2018

This is Us

My family, my world. I am more grateful every day for the people God gifted me with, called family. We are not perfect. We are flawed–Pretty much all of us. But, we love. We forgive. We grant pardon, we embrace, we venture on, because This is Us. This is our family.


Jun 30 2014

Introducing…

Us!  The Wegner’s.

Wegner JeepWe moved from Indiana to Kansas on May 2.  Every single day since then, I have had a lesson in the form of humility from one source or another.  Every place I go, I have to rely on Siri or my instincts to figure out where I am and where I am going, and how to get there.  The days I rely on my instincts, I get lost.

Other than daily getting lost or finding myself driving down the wrong way on a one way street, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Kansas.  Our new church family, Westside Family Church, has welcomed us with grace and peace and so, so much kindness.

Every day is a new introduction.  A new something somewhere.  I am a deeply settled person.  I enjoy roots, predictability, and the peace that comes from knowing what happens next.  Learning the in’s and outs and shortcuts will take time, I’m sure.  

As I am being humbled by learning all things new, I thought I’d take a minute to blog about what I DO know. These are the people I know best in the world–their in’s and out’s, their shortcuts, what makes them who they are.  I’d like to introduce my family.  Understand these are bird’s-eye-view introductions. Each one of us is incredibly complex.  Our girls are very spirited–The dynamics of raising three girls in one family are intense, insanely fun, and keep Rob and I on an incredibly high learning curve .

Rob and got married 21 years ago when he was 21 and I was 19.  We were close friends from the time I was 12 and he was 14.  I still remember clear as day the first time I saw him.  He radiated joy and warmth and he was the funniest person I knew (besides myself, of course)

Rob at Jenny LakeRob is a phenomenally gifted communicator and teacher of Jesus and His ways.  He is a wonderful husband and amazing father to our three girls.  He is patient and kind with them, leading them by his example and courage to follow Jesus wherever He leads.  Rob is a guitarist and musician. Music oozes out of him wherever he goes.  It’s in his soul and spirit.  He’s a dreamer of really big dreams, and a huge believer in helping others implement their own.  I’m proud to be his wife.

Maddie-CameraMadeline (Nick names:Maddie, Madalina, Madeliney, Mads, Matt, Mattie Mick…etc)

Maddie is 15. She is an old soul in a young body. She’s an introvert, a Noticer, and deeply compassionate.  Maddie is wise beyond her years and can spot a faker in a second (someone who says they are one thing but really are not who they say they are).  She’s deeply intuitive and an amazing photographer.  She’s hilarious and fun, practical and precise.  She is a wonderful role model to her younger sisters.  I am so proud to be her mom.

Whitney-Headband

Whitney (Nick names Whit, Whitster, Whitaker, Wick)

Whitney is 14.  She is the tallest of our girls, and is made of solid muscle.  She’s a strawberry blonde beauty.  She’s intense, incredibly fun, an extremely strong leader, bold, loud, confident, and courageous.  Whit is the kind of kid who is a friend to literally everyone she knows and an underdog for the outcast kind of kids.  She has a gift for making those around her feel loved, included and important.  Whitney makes me laugh every day.  I’m so proud to be her Mamma.

BelleIsabelle  Joy(Belle, Isabob, Corndog, LIttle Mac, Is., Peanut)

Belle is 10.  She exudes joy and life like no one I’ve ever known.  From the minute she wakes up until her head hits the pillow at night, she oozes life and radiates joy.  She is so much fun, non-stop.  She is a Rainbow Loom genius, making bracelets and crafts several hours a day.  She is deeply sensitive, is easily hurt, but comes alongside those who hurt because she knows how it feels.  Belle is a best friend and buddy to whomever she is with.  She is the definition of joy.  Her smile and laugh light up a room like magic.  I’m so proud to be Belle’s Mamma.

Michelle-HeadbandMe – I’m 41.  I’ve written for several magazine publications over the past 10 or so years about family life and spiritual matters.  I am a mega introvert.  I need lots and lots of time alone, and people often misunderstand this part of me as snobbishness or aloofness.  I promise I am neither of those.  I love people.  I love Jesus.

I love my family with all of my heart.  I love anything artsy or creative or fun.  Driving my Jeep with the top down, taking photos along the way with the sun on my face (or even in the pouring rain) fills me up.  I’m often in nature alone, photographing stuff that point me to my Creator.  I see Him through my camera lens, and hear His voice in the wind.

That’s enough introducing for now. Your eyeballs are probably tired from this very, very long post.  Go take a nap and give your eyes a break.  It’s been so lovely getting to know you all.  Thanks for being gracious and kind as we humbly get to know you back.

~Grace and Peace.


Jun 14 2014

Over The Rainbow

So, suddenly here we are, over the rainbow…in Kansas! Who would have ever thought that we would end up in Kansas? I wouldn’t have! For all the people that live here in Kansas, I am ashamed to say the only perception I had of Kansas was a black and white one from my childhood-Dorothy’s Kansas with farms and cyclones and crazy wizards living in trailers in the middle of nowhere.

I have been overwhelmed by the beauty of this place, the blue’s are more blue, the green’s are more green. We live a few miles from several parks that are breathtaking in their beauty.  There are bluebirds everywhere, coyotes, and SNAKES!  We’ve had so many adventures in the month that we’ve lived here.  It’s been wild and wonderful.

Before Rob and I came to Westside to interview for his position, a friend texted me and said, “What do you think about moving to Kansas?” I replied sarcastically “I am NOT moving to Kansas”.

Famous last words.  Ha.

The girls enjoyed getting to know their new schools for the last few weeks of the school year. It was a bit hectic exiting their old schools and entering the new, all at the end of the school year and during a cross country move, but on the other side of it all, we are glad we made the decision.  They were each able to make some friends, as well as learn their way around their new schools and our neighborhood.

We love our new house.  Belle’s school is just outside of our back gate, which means she can get to school in under a minute in the mornings, but it also means we have a gigantic playground in our back yard, and a beautiful path to walk in the evenings.  We are beyond grateful.

We have also been getting to know our new church, Westside Family Church.  It is one amazing place, with a wonderful staff and tons of extremely friendly people.  Learning everyone’s names has been a challenge, especially in my now old age of 41, but people have been very gracious and patient.  🙂

We are still waiting for our house in Granger to sell, so if you know anyone who is interested in a fabulous house in Granger in an amazing school district, let us know!  Also, if you are a person who prays, ask God to send the right family to love that house and neighborhood as much as we did.

We are grateful for all the love and support of our friends and family in this time of transition.  It’s been an amazing ride to the other side of the rainbow, but we are happy, settling in, and finding our footing here as we march forward together as a family on this new adventure.

Shawnee Mission Tower

 


Jul 8 2013

Better Together

Family in Car

 

Our family is moving at a high rate of speed, bumping and rumbling alone in a rented RV somewhere around where Wyoming meets Utah. I’ve personally never met Utah, so surprise awaits us all I am sure. We have just spent an absolutely incredible week in Yellowstone and the Great Tetons.

In one day, I’ve watched the landscape around me change from towering jagged snow capped mountains to rolling green hills and now the greens of Wyoming are slowly giving way to the browns and oranges of Utah.

Driving across the West has taught me a few things about myself, my family, and my Creator.

 

Myself:

  • Michelle at TetonsI am a camping Diva. I never used to mind the “roughing it” part of camping. Now I do.
  • I like to eat way more than I like to cook. Especially in an RV.
  • Being in the wide open for so long has brought me great joy. The deep satisfying kind of joy that sticks around for awhile.
  • I am a noticer. I notice all sorts of things other people pass right by. I used to think I was odd for this. But I’m starting to realize it is a gift.
  • I could sit and stare at the mountains for hours and never get bored.

 

My Family:

Family at Jenny Lake

  • We collectively are very funny. There have been more tears of laughter than tears of frustration. This has been good for all of us.
  • We are better “together”. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing is just so much more awesome because we are all doing it together.
  • We all have extremely strong opinions about everything. We are learning to share those opinions with grace and compassion.
  • We all love adventures equally and passionately. We are so grateful for this time we have together doing what we all love to do.

 

My Creator:

Belle on Jackson Lake

  • Walking wildflower paths on snow capped mountains, watching my kids swim in a mountain lake, wandering outside at midnight in awe of the sky, so bright with stars, they lit up my eyes, then my heart, I have seen a Great Artist behind it all.
  • The Great Artist knew we might occasionally feel alone, so he put the stars and the mountain tops and the green green grass right where we could see them so we’d know He’s right there. We are never alone.
  • In the darkest pit of a cave, no lights at all, my hand invisible in front of my face, His voice moved in my heart, whispering, “I’m here.” Swaying in a hammock from the breeze coming over the mountain, The wind saying, “Shhhh….” through the treetops. “Know I am here.”

 

We are so, so grateful for every second we get together as a family on this sabbatical. We truly are Better Together.


Oct 3 2012

Setting Up and Stepping Back

What happens when we set up a moment and step back and watch…

We took the girls on a walk around Notre Dame last Friday night. It was not a game weekend, so it was eerily quiet on campus, the moon was shining, the breeze was cool and everything just seemed right in the air.

I don’t think any of the girls have ever been in the Sacred Heart Basilica before. The doors were open, so we walked in. A bride and groom were just gathering in the back for a wedding rehearsal; the wedding coordinator gave us a stern look over her glasses, but no one stopped us so we went in and grabbed a pew.

As parents, we have learned that we can’t always control what our kids retain when we try to teach them, but we have also learned that part of our responsibility as parents is setting up moments as best we can in order to help our kids receive a “moment.” After the “set up” we know our job is also to “step back” and watch as they learn something on their own.

We hope and pray that our girls will get a glimpse of holiness, of Jesus, of their Heavenly Father…and sometimes everything just snaps into place and there He is in all his glory, revealing himself to our children in a way only He could.

Friday night was one of those nights. Our girls were enraptured by the sense of wonder and holiness that comes by standing in front of a place like the Grotto at Notre Dame, seeing all those candles lit, representing prayers lifted to Heaven.

Isabelle is just eight years old, but she had a very special moment with Jesus I thought I’d share with you.

At her school, one of the rewards for especially good behavior is a purple “Live Strong” bracelet.  She was able to get two of these in the first few weeks of school, which is a pretty big deal when you’re in second grade.  She was devastated when she lost one on Thursday. She came home crying and crying, so very sad that it was gone.  She is a very tender hearted kid, and it’s hard to console her when something is just “gone” and can’t be replaced.

On Friday when we walked past the “Touchdown Jesus” muriel on the Notre Dame campus, Belle said that she “felt God move around in her heart in a special way”. Then, when we walked in the Sacred Heart Basicilla, she wanted to go over by herself on a pew to pray. She came back over to us with teary eyes, just pouring her heart out to Jesus, in awe of the beauty of that place.

When we walked over to the Grotto, she said that she wanted  a few minutes to pray. She knelt down, closed her eyes, and when she opened her eyes,  A PURPLE BRACELET WAS ON THE FENCE POST RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER!  She could not believe it. The bracelet was almost identical to the one she had lost. She wasn’t ecstatic or anything, just happy. “Look at what God gave to me”, she said with such simple child-like faith.

There was no doubt in her mind God put that bracelet there, just for her.

Moms and Dads can set up moments to teach their kids about the holiness of God, but when we step back, we stand amazed at what God does to teach our children about Himself.

I am in awe. And more in love with my Heavenly Father than ever.