Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Three Things I'm Thankful/Excited For:
1. A husband who can cook! He is making dinner while I work out tonight and I know he'll come up with something amazing. :)

2. MARGIN! For the most part, our schedule has slowed down quite a bit and I'm so loving weeknights (and even some weekend time!) at home with Tyge where we can relax and get some things done. I know our schedule could pick up again at a moment's notice so I'm enjoying this while I can!

3. A praise - my work uncertainty from a few weeks ago is all settled and nothing will change with my position or my accounts. I know it would have been fine if there was change or it didn't go the way I wanted it to, but I am so relieved that things will remain the same!

Three Things I'm Praying For:
1. Better sleep...Tyge and I both just haven't been sleeping well lately and I pray for some relief in that area soon.

2. Spiritual warfare - the attacks are a very real thing! I have some friends who are experiencing them right now, and with our mission trip 6+ weeks away now I know Tyge, myself, and the rest of the team will start to experience spiritual warfare in the weeks to come. I pray that we can recognize it when it comes and fight it off in Jesus' name!

 3. For all my newly pregnant friends and family (I've heard another 4+ announcements in the past few weeks!), all my existing pregnant friends and family, the two new babies in our circle of friends (Welcome, Sena & Gavin!), and also those who are trying to conceive. As my friend Callie said, let the baby boom begin - they're everywhere! 

With eyes on Him,

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The best salad EVER

I was inspired by this salad that Holly at The Everythingtarian posted about the other day and wanted to make my own version for dinner. Boy, was it deeelicious. Seriously, the best salad I've ever had and Tyge agreed! She calls it Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette and here is my version of this bowl of awesomeness.

Serves 2
Salad Ingredients:
  • Olive oil (to coat potatoes)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 large onion, in slices not chopped
  • 6 slices turkey bacon
  • Mixed salad greens
  • Salt & pepper
Dressing Ingredients (I eyeballed everything and sampled until it tasted good):
  • Agave nectar
  • White balsamic vinegar
  • Mustard - I used this Maine Maple Champagne Mustard from my parents, but any stone ground or Dijon would do


Preheat over to 450 degrees.

Start by putting the sweet potato cubes on a baking sheet and toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until they are soft and slightly browned.

Meanwhile, fry your turkey bacon (or bacon bacon!) in a pan until desired crispiness. I like mine really crispy so probably 5 minutes per side. When done, set on a paper towel to cool and crisp up.

In the same pan with bacon drippings (how does turkey bacon make drippings if it's nearly fat free? I don't get it...) fry your onion slices while tossing occasionally until caramelized and golden brown, about 7 minutes.

Whisk together ingredients for dressing in a small bowl.

To assemble salad, start with mixed greens in your serving bowl. Top with sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, and crumbled turkey bacon. Pour dressing over the top.

Mix together and DEVOUR!

Sweet, salty, savory, salad-y goodness. We'll make this one again!

Monday, January 23, 2012


Tyge and I watched Courageous this past weekend and both thought it was a fantastic movie.

It's from the creators of Fireproof and is definitely a Christian movie in mainstream culture. I know critics tore it apart - so yeah maybe the acting is a little cheesy, maybe the chase/fight scenes aren't as realistic, maybe it's a tad dramatic, but it has an awesome message, is uplifting, powerful, and honoring to God. The movie is about four male police officers who are called to serve and protect their community, but are struggling to do the same at home. After a tragedy strikes and causes them to wrestle with their faith and fears, they make a pact to raise their children in a God-honoring way and to be more present fathers.

A few weeks ago Tyge and I watched a documentary called "Absent" which ran parallel to the message in Courageous - the absence of an earthly father can leave a severe impact on a child. Some eye-opening statistics highlighted in the film include:
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
  • 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes
  • 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.

What does this mean?  Children from fatherless homes are:
  • 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide 
  • 6.6 times to become teenage mothers
  • 24.3 times more likely to run away
  • 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
  • 6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institutions
  • 10.8 times more likely to commit rape
  • 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school
  • 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager

I guess because I grew up in a home with a father not only present but loving and attentive, I never really thought about this problem. Most of my friends also had Dads as great as mine, so it fatherlessness wasn't really a part of my world. Now that I'm an adult and have have seen more than what my limited high school bubble exposed me to, I have seen several cases where the absence of a father has left a negative impact on someone.

I don't know the full answer to the problem but I do know that the ideas in the movie Courageous are a great starting point. These men signed a declaration of sorts stating how they would serve their families and raise their children from then on. They used the many examples in scripture of how to be a "good" father - a few examples like:

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 - "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

Proverbs 23:24 - "The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him."

Ephesians 6:4 - "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

My strong belief is that the only way earthly fathers can live these verses our and raise their children in such a way is because of God as the ultimate example of a Father.

Psalm 103:13 - "As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him." - A good father has compassion.

Proverbs 3:11-12 - "My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in." - A good father disciplines out of love.

Matthew 6:14 - "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." - A good father forgives.

John 15:9 - "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you." - A good father models how to love by his love.

Luke 6:36 - "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." - A good father is merciful.

I guess my point in all of this is that watching the movie made me so grateful for my earthly father (my Dad!) growing up, and so excited to see Tyge be a father someday as well. I know we will both raise our children in a God-honoring and loving home, but there is something about being married to a man who will be am amazing father someday that makes my heart smile.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quick Chicken & Veggie Stirfry w/Spicy Nut Sauce

Last night I came home from working out and had less than 30 minutes until Tyge would be home, so wanted to make something quick for dinner. We typically eat a protein, vegetable or two, and a starch for dinner so stirfy'ed something is always a quick and easy option. AND I got an awesome new wok for Christmas that makes stir frying even better! Even though I used the large pan that was already in the sink for this one...next time! Anyway, I had a bunch of fresh veggies to chop, thawed some chicken, made up a sauce and it came together rather nicely! I don't have an exact recipe, but here's the gist:

Chicken & Veggie Stirfry with Spicy Nut Sauce (I won't be winning any title creativity contests, okay?)
Serves 2 plus leftovers for lunch :)

Main Ingredients:
-Protein - 8 chicken tenders or 3 breasts
-Vegetable - variety of chopped veggies (I used red pepper, asparagus, celery, onion, and carrots)
-Starch - brown rice or quinoa works best

Ingredients for the sauce (I honestly didn't measure, just eyeballed and sampled until it tasted right):
-Ginger in a tube - generous squirt
-Chili Pepper in a tube - somewhat less generous squirt
-All natural almond or peanut butter - 2 large Tbsp.
-Low sodium soy sauce - 4-5ish Tbsp.
-Agave nectar - 2-3 Tbsp.

Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside

Chop up thawed chicken tenders/breasts and put in large pan or wok with some EVOO, minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste

Add chopped veggies

And saute until done - stirring somewhat consistently for 8-10 minutes

Add your starch (Target brand microwave brown rice is the BEST thing ever)

Then add your sauce and stir until heated throughout. Top with sesame seeds and serve! Quick, easy, and deeeelicious - got Tyge's stamp of approval anyway. :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weekend Recap - "The Pit" is gone!

Happy Sunday evening! I'm sitting here watching the Golden Globes red carpet and catching my breath a bit. I need to go grocery shopping in a bad way so tonight's dinner for me was homemade sweet potato chips and frozen yogurt (not together!) - an interesting combo, but tasted good!

We had a great weekend, starting with our "Nuts" group with Betsy and Eric and Lori and Josh. We call it Nuts because we share life in a nutshell and catch up before diving into whatever book we're reading or splitting into guys and girls time. I love these friends and it was so nice to catch up! Yesterday was the first Saturday at home in awhile that I didn't have to clean before a party or didn't have a mile long to-do list so we took full advantage of that and slept in, ate a nice brunch, cuddled Keely and lounged around. We finally got moving early afternoon to get ready for date night. One of Tyge's New Year's resolutions was to do a date night outside the house once a month - I love that!

We started out by going to Dock 86 (a furniture warehouse place near our house) to look for a new basement sectional to replace "The Pit". Tyge's parents bought The Pit when they were first married 30ish years ago and it made it through all their moves, two growing boys, pets, and all that goes with having a family! Then Tyge had it in his bachelor pad for 5+ years where the poor Pit endured even more. When we got married we used it in our rental house basement and I got to pretty it up with some pillows and throws - it worked great! It followed us to our current house and proudly sat in the basement where it was used for many a movie night, overnight guest, video game session, etc. The Pit is an 11-piece totally modular sectional that is still so comfortable to this day, and they just don't make furniture like it anymore! We've looked at a few places and needed something very specific to fit the basement layout and face the giant movie screen, so we didn't think we'd find anything at Dock 86. There are literally a million sectionals there so it was a bit overwhelming, but a rich chocolaty leather sectional stood out right away. Tyge liked that it had power recliners and consoles for beverages during gaming and I liked that it was comfortable, would match the "rustic" basement feel, and would resist dog hair more than cloth. SOLD! Next we had to find a matching leather couch for under the window, which proved harder to do. Matching leather (colors, textures, stitching, etc.) is hard, but we finally found a couch that complimented the sectional perfectly. They were able to accommodate next day delivery so we got it today - pictures to come, but back to date night!

After Dock 86 we headed into downtown Minneapolis and stopped at The Depot for some indoor ice skating. I hadn't skated in who knows how long, and it was so scary/fun/exciting to step out onto the ice! Just like in a movie, Tyge and I held hands and went around the rink a time or two. That lasted a few minutes, then he was off ahead of me showing off his hockey moves. We were planning on an hour plus of skating but our feet hurt after about 45 minutes - skating is no joke!

Such a cool place in the middle of the city - there's views of Minneapolis through the glass windows all around

We left there and went to dinner at Sanctuary Restaurant, which was amazing! it's right underneath our favorite sushi place (Wasabi) so we've been near it several times but never inside. It's a quaint little place with no more than 15 tables, so a very intimate setting. Tyge had the special of steel head trout with lobster mashed potatoes and I had roasted duck breast and Belgian waffles with a pomegranate sauce (their upscale version of chicken and waffles they said!). The food was amazing, service was also very good, and I really enjoyed their atmosphere. All in all, a great place to dine in Minneapolis! We went home to sit in The Pit one last time and watched Moneyball (awesome movie BTW). It was a great date night indeed and I am so thankful for a hubby who makes those a priority!

So today we had out new couch delivered and it was bittersweet to say goodbye to The Pit, but it's been a long time coming. Here's some pics of the new couch with comparison to the old - we'll miss The Pit for memories sake, but we love the look and feel of the new setup!

 The good old Pit - doesn't look 30 years old at all!

 The new setup - power recliners not activated. ;) It even has spots to hide the remotes and Xbox controllers - perfect!

 The Pit sectional part

New sectional part

 The pit "couch" part

New couch

This was a bit of a tough transition for Keely girl as she was allowed on The Pit anytime she wanted (but not upstairs furniture) so she assumed the same went with the new couch, right? We didn't want her nails to ruin the new leather so are allowing her on the chaise part on a blanket only - doesn't look like she minds too much. :)

I also had a nice lunch today with my new fitness accountability buddy (Hi, Leah!) - a girl I went to middle and high school with and haven't really seen since, but we recently connected over our fitness goals and are helping each other to reach them! As I've learned is the case in many areas of life, accountability is key! So there you have it - our nice little weekend at home...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Myterious March Trip

So I know I've ghosted a mysterious March trip a few times now, and most of my faithful readers know what it is by now thanks to our Christmas card! For the rest of you out there, here's a snippet from the letter we sent along with our card.

Hello again dear family, friends, and supporters in our life,
We have some additional exciting news to share with you all about our upcoming 2012 that warranted a separate letter from our 2011 update! As you can probably tell, the picture in our Christmas card is from our March anniversary vacation to Mexico last year. We had assumed that would be our last trip before starting a family and me being too pregnant to travel, but God had other plans for us.
When we realized we wouldn’t be 7 months pregnant come our anniversary time in March 2012, we decided to start planning another warm weather vacation. While at church one Sunday a few weeks ago, we noticed something in the bulletin about a fundraiser for a March mission trip to Puebla, Mexico. We had actually met the church Missions Director months back and learned about the trip, but were pregnant at the time so couldn’t have joined. When we saw this reminder in the bulletin, we got connected with the team leader who let us know there was still room for us and invited us to dinner with the team of ten that next day. We met with the team, learned about the trip and community they serve, and committed to going with them right then and there.
Our church partners with Living Hope International (http://lovehopemercy.org) – a ministry that sends teams to the town of Puebla, Mexico to serve in the Esperanza Viva orphanage and their surrounding community. Esperanza Viva Youth Homes rescue, train, nurture, and rehabilitate underprivileged, orphaned, abandoned, and street children and youth whose families are unable or unwilling to provide for them. Since 1994, Esperanza Viva has helped provide for and guide thousands of children and their families, including full-time care for more than 350 children.

We have been blessed as a couple to vacation together and be served by others, so this year so are beyond thrilled to be serving others instead. Going on a mission trip as a couple is something we’ve always wanted to do, and it’s only because of God’s perfect timing that we are able to go on this trip. In James 1:27, God calls believers “to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” So we are honored to listen to that call and go. We look forward to seeing the world through someone else’s eyes, knowing the joy of sharing Jesus with people of a different culture and making a difference in the lives of at-risk children and youth.

To be honest we had set aside funds to vacation again this year and had planned to use those for the mission trip as well, but were told that the church strongly encourages team members to raise funds from supporters rather than paying for the trip themselves. We like this idea because it allows us to involve our friends and family in our upcoming trip and ask if you would want to contribute to supporting a portion of our trip. We realize that while people may want to actually serve on a mission trip they are not always able, so this is a way for you to make an impact in the lives of those who need it most, by supporting us in going to serve. Additionally, should our trip be funded by faithful supporters, it would allow us to use our own saved funds to bless others in need or help fund future missionaries.

There are two ways we would ask you to support us in our upcoming trip:
1.       First and foremost, prayer! Please be praying for preparations before the trip, safety for us and our team as we travel (dates are March xx-xx), and that God would truly use us as His hands and feet to show His love to this community.
2.       If you feel led to financially contribute to our trip, you can mail a check to us in the enclosed envelope. 

We are so grateful for your love, support and prayers in our lives and are honored to be able to share this experience with you in one way or another. Thank you for prayerfully considering this partnership with us!

Kate & Tyge Blomberg

So there you have it - we're going on a missions trip! This letter explains a lot of our decision making process, but we feel God has been all over it. We really don't know what to expect, what we'll be doing there daily, or who we'll come into contact with but we do know that it'll be life changing. Tyge and I really have been blessed to be able to vacation together to warm weather destinations several times - I fully realize what a treat this is! We were going to do that again this March for our anniversary but were thrilled to learn about this mission opportunity instead and cannot wait to go! We've had a few meetings with the team so far and I am excited to get to know them better and serve alongside them all. We'll have a few more meeting before we go obviously, and I'll share more details about the trip as I learn them.

In the meantime, I certainly appreciate prayer surrounding our trip - the fundraising, our team preparations, the travel itself, the children and community down there, and that God does His work through us!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


It's been a few Tuesdays since I've done a 3TT so here's my first one (of 52 hopefully!) for 2012.

Three Things I'm Thankful/Excited For:
1. This weather! I've never lived through a January where we have 52 degree weather - this is awesome! I ate lunch in the Macy's Skyroom downtown today and was literally hot as the sun poured through the windows. I saw people running outside in shorts and tee shirts - unheard of in January in MN! Now if only it weren't dark when I left for work and dark when I got home, I could run outside too. :)

2. Our couples group (dubbed "Nuts" cause we share life in a nutshell before diving into any material we're reading) on Friday. These are the friends we didn't spend NYE with and it's been too long since I've seen them - I can't wait!

3. Body Pump - my new workout class at the Y that I love! I'm trying to go 2-3 times a week and I can certainly feel it each time afterwards. I love working up a good sweat!

Three Things I'm Praying For:
1. My cousins as they lost their other grandma this week to a short battle with cancer - the same cancer we lost Grandma G to a few years ago. Their grandma was an amazing God-loving woman so I have no doubt she's in heaven with our other Grandma G, but I'm praying for their family as it'll be a tough week.

2. Some uncertainty at work - we recently acquired another company and there are a lot of unknowns that come along with it. I'm a bit worried about my book of business but know there's nothing I can do about it and worrying doesn't help! This is a perfect time to practice Philippians 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

 3. Some dear friends of ours. I wish I had words to say to help them, but I know the power of prayer and am praying for them daily.

With eyes on Him,

Monday, January 9, 2012

Welcome, Little Peanut!

This weekend I co-hosted a baby shower for my dear friend Callie V, held at mi casa. I had tons of help from my other lovely co-hosts (Kim, Bridget, & Carol) and together we put on one awesome baby shower, if I do say so myself! We had a vintage circus theme in her nursery colors (robin's egg blue, navy blue, and yellow) that we dubbed "Welcome Little Peanut!". We made most of the decor ourselves, including this wreath on the front door and sign and bunting over my dining room table, made to look like a circus tent:

Straw wreath, vase with circus peanuts, and popcorn for munching as a centerpiece:

Baby food jars filled with circus peanuts and tealights were scattered throughout the living room:

Balloons made for a cheery entrance:

And this color-coordinated clothesline served as my gift to Callie:

Callie V's very own mobile photo booth was set up in the basement for everyone to take a photo, along with baby-themed props too:

(Photos of us in the booth to come - Bridget took them!)

And FOOD! Oh the food spread was delicious. We had:

 Chocolate moustaches

Lemon and carrot cake pops (those are little peanuts!) and cotton candy

Veggie cones and dip

Yogurt parfaits

Mini sandwiches

Caprese skewers and fruit kabobs

Homemade pretzels with dipping sauces

For drinks we served a "Lion Tamer Lemonade" and "Three Ring Circus Cocktail" in personalized mason jars.

Favors were homemade chocolate dipped apples:

We played two games - one where we had to guess the famous rock/pop song that was made into a lullaby (harder than it sounds!) and a bottle race where we had to drink 3 oz. of water from a baby bottle and be the first to finish - also very hard!

All in all it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, showering Miss Callie and Baby V with love. She always does so much for others so it was fun to be able to spoil her for once. She will be one amazing mom and I can't wait to meet Baby V in late March! I couldn't have done any of this without my amazing co-hosts, so a huge thanks to them as well. We had so much fun planning and preparing for it all!

My poor house looks so empty now with Christmas, New Year's, and now baby shower taken down. What will I do with no hosting events on the horizon anytime soon? I'm sure I'll find something to do, like maybe relax a bit. :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

In with the new

Okay okay, I know I said I prefer monthly goals, but I don't know how realistic it is for me to set them each month. That being said, I did set goals for the year this year and am documenting them here (and in the Goals tab). When we were up North with Tyge's family we all came up with a few goals in the below five categories, and here are mine:

1. Maintain a clean eating diet as a lifestyle with less sugar and sodium
2. Workout 3x per week (ideally 2 mornings)
3. Run Turkey Trot 10k this fall and possibly a spring race as well

1. Pray every night before bed (in my head or with Tyge)
2. Be in the Word 3x per week

1. Blog 3x per week (kind of relationally anyway - my friends and family read this - hi everyone!)
2. Set time to see both B & G family 1x per month

1. Pay off Acadia before I've had it for one year (August)
2. Continue to save our monthly amount
3. Use Kingdom $ (money we've set aside in addition to tithing to bless others)

1. Be less controlling and let others (namely Tyge!) help with things
2. Be more spontaneous and less rigid/scheduled
3. Be less internally judgmental

-Get a living will in place
-Get to bed by 10:30 on work nights most nights
-Stop using electronic devices (cell, computer, TV) at least 30 minutes before bed

Monday, January 2, 2012

NYE Pajama Party

It's not what you think - not THAT kind of pajama party! So two years ago when we had just moved into our house, we hosted a small NYE dinner party for some couples. My fabulous friend (and hairstylist!) Katrina suggested the attire of the evening be pajamas/comfy clothes and it was awesome. We had a great time that year, despite our oven breaking midway through cooking dinner and having to run over to the neighbors to use theirs (thanks again Karla and Mike!). Last year Tyge and I headed to a different friend's cabin in Alexandria for a weekend away with another set of couples we love, and this year we were torn as we didn't know how we should ring in 2012! In the end, we decided to host a party this year and went with the PJ attire again. I also did a "Vices" theme, where I had different stations set around the house for people to indulge in their vice of choice before giving it up for the New Year.

Entryway decor

Dining room

Blowers as a centerpiece

 Vice #1: Food

 And this is only half the food, before others brought their apps! We had a delicious spread!

Vices #2 & #3: Sweets and Caffeine

Heading downstairs
(my OCD got the best of me and I kept trying to straighten those strings out all night long...I finally gave up and let them be tangled)

 Vice #4: Gambling
(oddly enough we didn't actually play poker, but used the table to play board games)

 Vice #5: Drinking Games

 Vice #6: Video Games

 Vice #7: Swearing
(I didn't really intend for the swear jar to be used, it was more for decoration)

 Vice #8: Alcohol

 The bar all decked out for NYE!
We had a champagne punch (N/A as well since half my friends are pregnant) and other drinks with mixers

Even Bucky was decked out for the occasion! (Tyge was less than thrilled with this haha)

 Beer pong in action

The boys playing Call of Duty, of course :)

 While others played board games!

This is where Keely spent most of the evening - such a good girl

This picture doesn't even do our PJ's glory, but it's the best shot - I had an adult onesie zip up with bunny feet, and Tyge was wearing fleece pants with labs on them and his camo Snuggie worn backwards as a cape!

Happy New Year from us goobers!

A lot of people left before midnight (again, half my friends are pregnant!) but those of us that were left watched the ball drop of the big screen, toasted to 2012, and blew our obnoxious horns loudly. We ended the evening playing a few rounds of Scene It before calling it a night. It was such a fun evening and I was so thankful to have our friends join us to ring in the new year.

All in all, my little 10 day vacation has been awesome - it's going to be so hard to return to work and a normal schedule tomorrow! That being said, off to bed I go. Happy New Year, all!

**Thanks for taking some of these pictures, Bridget!