paint by numbers

2 – free pastries at Panera made me a very happy woman this morning. I restrained myself and only got one, saving the other one for another occasion.

2 – the age Jack will be in a month…where did the time go?

3 – days until my birthday! I love my birthday. ๐Ÿ™‚ Even though it means I’ll be another year older.

6 – inches more on my “waist” than I had 6 months ago. And,

12 – lbs. more than I weighed 6 months ago because I’m…

24 – weeks pregnant with baby Taylor girl. 16 weeks, give or take a few days until she probably arrives! Wow.

29 – the age I’ll turn on my birthday. And I’m quite sure it will be an EPIC year. Gotta live up the last one of my tremendous twenties!

472.3 – the number of calories that were probably in the three tiny bites of peanut butter bar I just ate. Mmmm.

foto friday: my cute kid

Kyle snapped this photo of Jackson last month when we visited Fort Snelling Cemetery on Memorial Day. I’m not sure what it is about it that I love SO much. Maybe the Americana aspect of it? The little kid in a baseball cap with a flag in his hands…white grave markers stretching out over endless distance. Or maybe its his expression? It reminds me of American Gothic or something in a Norman Rockwell painting – one of his less caricatured offerings.

I’m not sure, but I really like it. And I really love the kid in the picture. ๐Ÿ™‚

linky love: june 9 edition

what I’ve been reading on the interwebs lately…

On Parenting

  • I recently read this post, namely the “prayer” at the end of it, tonight and totally laughed out loud and teared up too. Finding out we’re having a girl freaks me out in many ways, and excites me in others. But God forbid we even end up outside a Hollister. No ma’am! Of course, she’ll grow up shopping at thrift stores and sale racks, so hopefully she won’t even know Hollister exists. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • While I’m on the parenting streak, my husband shared this wonderful post from Kevin DeYoung with me the other day. I really want this for my kids: “I want them to look back and think, ‘Iโ€™m not sure what my parents were doing or if they even knew what theyโ€™re were doing. But I always knew my parents loved me and I knew they loved Jesus.'”
  • I really like the flavor of parenting suggested in these posts: one rule and lowering the standard. I do not want to be the parent that makes my kids hate the rules or life under our roof, but at the same time, I want them to know how important it is to love God, love others and be a responsible person. I tend to be a very structured, “rules based” person and I want to avoid burdening my kids with a list of do’s and don’ts. basically, I want them to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with their God…not impossible, right? Right. And who wouldn’t LOVE family devotion time more if donuts and cocoa were part of the gig? :raising my hand:
  • These brownies are amazing. With or without the cinnamon and a dash of cayenne tossed in. Oh. mother. Thank you to my friend Bethany for ruining my chance of the cottage cheese being eradicated from my thighs for a while. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • I started a batch of Kombucha the other day, thanks to another friend giving me a starter for it. Kyle swears he will not drink anything that has a jellyfish looking thing that some people call a mushroom (but isn’t of the mushroom family at all except for it being healthy bacteria, which could be called fungus I guess). I’m trying to convince him that the result will be a slightly sweet, fizzy drink that will refresh him and help his innards, but I’m not sure he buys it. We’ll see if it turns out! I feel so crunchy making something like this. lol.
  • And I guess I’m on a chocolate kick ’cause i tried these amazingly simple and utterly delicious fudgesicles the other day. Yeah. They will be a regular staple in our summer freezer for shiz. I am going to knock the sugar content down a little next time – they were a bit sweeter than I prefer. I have cute mini popsicle molds that are the perfect size for a tasty little treat after a meal or on a sunny summer afternoon.
Blogs I recently started following:
  • 101 Cookbooks – pretty crunchy, organic-ish, homemade food. I <3.
  • A totally cool concept: Dear Photograph. Taking a picture of a picture from the past in the present. I want to do this but I don’t know where I could…I don’t live near or in any of the houses where I grew up. hmmm…shall ponder. thanks to laura dye for linking it on HER blog!
  • another fabulous photog friend, Katy, is keeping up on her blog and has posted a ton of ADORABLE baby shoots this week. Oh. my. gosh. I wish I could fly her here to take pictures of my little miss taylor when she arrives!ย I mean seriously, who doesn’t love a baby in a SUITCASE?! See?
by the fabulous katyhersey of picturemefoto
and with that, I leave you, dear readers. Tonight Kyle and I are taking engagement portraits for his sister Sarah and her awesome fiance’, Ryan in St. Paul. My head is BURSTING with ideas…hopefully we’ll have time and the right conditions to capture what’s in my head through Kyle’s fantastic lens/shutter ability. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m creative director, he is the technical skill. we make a great team. like peanut butter and jelly…its just right.

favorite recipe of the week: coconut milk lemon sherbet

I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a while and just got around to making it today. It’s simple, delicious, refreshing and I don’t feel any guilt whatsoever indulging in it! ๐Ÿ™‚ The perfect summer treat. I love that its non-dairy, not overly sweet, has good-for-you saturated fats and the ingredients are not hard to find at your grocery store. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

If you like citrus and ice cream, I think you’ll be a fan. I’ll believe next time I might try orange or lime next time for a twist…or maybe pineapple juice with some fresh pineapple bits. Or strawberry puree! The options are endless and I love experimenting. ๐Ÿ™‚

Coconut Milk Lemon Sherbet

seen on Good Life Eats, as adapted fromย The Whole Family Cookbook, by Michelle Stern


1 quart (4 cups) coconut milk (basically 2 cans)
2-4 large lemons, enough to get 1/2 cup fresh juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I’m sure you could sub in stevia or xylitol)


Make sure the freezer insert of your ice cream maker is frozen. If not, put it in the freezer and make this recipe another day.

Pour the coconut milk into a medium-sized bowl (ideally, one with a spout). Zest the lemons using a microplane or finely chop the zest. Set aside in a small bowl.

Juice the lemons so you have 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Discard any stray seeds. Add the lemon juice to the coconut milk. Stir in the sugar.ย Refrigerate the coconut milk mixture for 15 minutes, or until the mixture is cold and sugar has dissolved.

Pour the cold mixture into the frozen bowl of your ice cream maker and process for 20 minutes, or according to the manufacturer’s directions. Add the lemon zest and continue to process for another 10 minutes.

What if I don’t have an ice cream maker?

Pour the coconut milk mixture into a lidded container. Place it in the freezer. Every 45 minutes, remove and stir vigorously until desired texture is achieved – about 3 hours. You can store in an airtight container in the freezer for 2 weeks. After being frozen overnight, be sure to take the sherbet out about 20 minutes before scooping.

Enjoy! Try not to eat the whole freezer full in one day. ๐Ÿ˜‰


the real deal

sometimes I think online friends get this skewed perspective of my life since I tend to post happy, cheerful, smiley things about my life. And in general, I am a happy, slighty perky person that loves life and has way more than I deserve, so those Facebook status’ and those blog posts are totally honest. But I have bad days. Heck, I have bad weeks.

Recently, I’ve been having bad days. I feel like when week 21 of pregnancy hit, a switch went off emotionally…lots of tears about dumb stuff, simple things turned into productions, and meltdowns about pretty much anything became more normal than not. If there’s anything I can’t stand more than falling apart over stupid stuff, it would be feeling like I have no control over falling apart! ARGH!

I’m not ready to already be an emotional basket case. Or to already feel like my belly is BIG – I still have June, July, August and September to weather before this sweet baby girl makes her appearance! I would like to find that perky, more energetic Johanna that I was pre-children. Will that person ever come back? Or does motherhood along with the responsibilities of life and adulthood inevitably alter your personality? I need to find some joy supplements. I’m not depressed or in the depths of despair, but some measure of verve and happy has leaked out somewhere along the way, and I’d like to add it back.

I know I need to spend more time with the Joy Giver, the Living Water – my Savior, Jesus. One of the greatest challenges of my recent years have been how the “cares of this life” impact my relationship with Christ, as much as I don’t want them to and would like to be Super Christian that always always makes time for what’s Most Important.

When I was single, it was often just Him and I on this adventure of life and now it is me and Him and Kyle and Jack and Co. I quickly let Him and I coast in favor of caring for and spending time on “them”, not to mention other perfectly worthy pursuits that distract and detract. It has been a constant struggle…marked with times of victory and sweetness along with dryness and drifting.

I’m so very grateful that through it all, He remains Faithful and True. His steadfast love NEVER changes and even when I find myself prone to wander, He is a Rock of refuge and maintains that I am precious to Him.

So there you have it – thoughts from Johanna: raw, uncut and vulnerable. And not eternal Little Miss Sunshine. ๐Ÿ™‚

random frandom

today was totally exquisite. The sun shone, the wind blew lightly, the temperature was a delightfully temperate 70-ish degrees…a perfect start to one of my favorite months of the entire year. Welcome, June! I hope you’re as wonderful as your first day.

my fridge, freezer and cupboards are stocked with bounty. I’m sort of a food nerd (if you haven’t already realized this) and consequently, I love grocery shopping. I mean really enjoy it. Trader Joe’s and Costco are my playgrounds. Specialty food stores make me giddy. I’ve been known to ask for grocery store gift cards for my birthday so I can spend it on premium items that don’t fit into my monthly food budget.

I’m getting excited about trying to eat more of a “paleo” diet, though I am loathe to cut out delicious bread-stuffs. In the same breath, I’m also considering a new blog project that involves cupcakes. Mostly making them and giving them away. These two food related things completely contradict. Oh well. I am a study of contradictions, I’m sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

My 29th birthday is two weeks from tomorrow. It’s totally copying a bunch of random blogs/friends, but I am definitely going to compile a 30 things to accomplish before I turn 30 list to work on in the next year. Fun things mostly. Crazy things some. Totally normal things too. Getting a tattoo is definitely on the list, no negotiating.

I find it super annoying that thanks to new credit regulations, my bank will now be charging me $7 per month to have a checking account unless I keep a balance of more than $1500 at all times. grrrr. I’ve been with them since I was like 10 years old. Really, US Government? ๐Ÿ˜›

I’m trying to get up my nerve to start potty-training Jackson. Since its really going to be more work for me initially, I’m kinda dragging my feet. But I would also like it to be a habit before Taylor comes and then only have one child in diapers.

I really like Kyle’s new work schedule. The 12 hour shifts really don’t feel that much different than the 10 hour ones and having him only work 5 days in a row feels like a treat every week! I’m not sure what made 6 days in a row feel soooo eternally long, but it did.

And now I’m going to bed. Good night world. ๐Ÿ™‚