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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

A Family That Freezes Together Laughs Together

Saturday Rob and I laid down the law and told the girls it was “family day”, and we were going out adventuring. Two of them grumped and groaned, wanting to stay inside where it was warm. Since the sun was shining, we decided to brave the cold anyway and head to Silver Beach in St. Joseph, Michigan.

The second we got there, everyone was completely glad we decided to do it. The waves were so beautiful and the ice and snow were so brilliant. My foot and knee went in the icy cold water at one point due to deceptively solid sand-ice. I felt like Bear Grylis in Man Vs. Wild. All my training from watching his show kicked into gear…which pretty much meant I went back to the van to warm up my poor soaking wet, icy cold foot.

While I was warming up, Belle fell for the old “sandy ice” trick and her fuzzy pink boot went in. The older girls had to rescue her boot while Rob returned her to the van with his glove on her bare foot.

We laughed and laughed, and had a great time together. We all got some fabulous pictures. Then we got some ice cream…because we weren’t cold enough already.

Sometimes venturing out and doing something like this is all it takes to remember why we really love to be together, and what makes us family.

Indeed, a family that freezes together laughs together.

I’d like you to meet…

I’d like you to meet all my nieces and nephews!  It was quite a task to get them all to sit still for more than three seconds, so the photos aren’t that great, but here goes:

  The Boys

Dad and the Boys 

Left to right: Joel, Andrew, Joshua, Jared, Aaron, Papa, Caleb, Alistair


The Girls

Grandma and the Girls

Brooke, Lilli, Maddie, Sarah, Whitney, Grandma, Belle


And on Rob’s side of the family:


Josh and MaddieLauren and Whit

Josh and Maddie                                                       Whitney with Lauren


We had such a great time with family this Thanksgiving.  I hope you feel as blessed as I do.

Mom and Dad’s Front Yard, 32 Years Later

I was going to write about the joy we feel when we are all together, how much I love my family, how proud I am of my brothers and sisters-in-law, how I don’t think of them as “in-laws” at all, ever, how I never knew I could love their kids almost as much as I love my own… But then I saw what my Dad wrote on his blog, and it summed it all up:

Lanting Family

from left to right: Andrew,Kevin,Joshua,Lynn,Sarah,Dad,Mom,Rob,Joel Jr.,Mark,tree man,Abbey,Jared,Joel Sr.,Lillian,Lisa.  row2: Alistair,Brooke,Aaron,Maddie,Whitney,Caleb,Me,Isabelle

Today we had our family over to celebrate Easter.
I think this day will stand out as a highlight in my life.
It is amazing to me how very much they all love each other.
Not a cross word,not a sarcastic comment,just peace.
Thank You God.

That my Dad felt “peace” with 13 little kids running all over his house yesterday is a true sign of God’s real peace.  I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude when we are all together.  I feel God’s hand of blessing on our family, and know so much of it has to do with my Mom and Dad’s love and commitment to God and each other.

Easter Dress

Same front yard as 1978.  A little has changed since then.

Cranky Girl

I’ve been a Meany. Somewhere between summer and fall I have let the Cranky Girl take over. I’m not sure where and she slipped in, but somewhere in the transition of the easy, lazy days of summer to the militaristic days of school busses, laundry, homework, activities, etc., Cranky Girl has stealthily slid in place of my regular happy self.

My friends don’t’ see Cranky Girl. My family knows her well and knows how and when to avoid her. Cranky girl comes out when I feed the monster of perfection.

She shows up:

  • When my messy house becomes more important than my family that played hard together all day
  • When dirty dishes are more important in my mind than the conversation that happens around the dinner table.
  • When wrinkles in t-shirts are more important than the person who smashed three loads of clean laundry into one laundry basket trying to get the laundry through to help me out.

Cranky girl has got to go. There are wonderful people to cook, clean, and do laundry for. People that make my heart soar when I take a moment to gaze into their beaming eyes of joy. People that make me giggle when they tell me the funniest parts of their day. People that snuggle me at the end of the day even if I have been Cranky Girl again.