Taking it back a notch.

Gabe and Anna
iphone dock

I lived in a family where roller skating to the sound of vinyl in the basement was a normal part of my childhood week day, making up dance routines to our current favorite tapes were a standard part of my middle school summers, and dance parties to the latest and greatest CD release were a regular part of our kitchen clean up routine in high school. Music integrated seamlessly in and out of my life and it takes but one song to bring me right back to those moments. My sisters all live in different states across the country right now, but whenever we are together we still like to break it down to the songs we grew up with. Jackson 5, Chicago (both my dad’s influence in our taste in music), Mariah Carey, and Gloria Estefan.

Music integrated seamlessly in and out of my life and into college. When I met Gabe he started to make CD re-mixes for me. He always discovered unknown bands and was great about introducing me to up and coming artists. When I discovered some of our favorite soundtracks were the same, it sparked a little somethin’ somethin’.

Ben Folds 5 was one of our mutual favorites (before he became mainstream), and when we started dating we played Rockin’ the Suburbs every time we went on a date. The Luckiest would always hit me to my core because I knew Gabe was that guy I wanted to live to the end of my days with him. That song ended up being our first dance at our wedding a few years later. Every time I hear it, it still gives me goosebumps as it takes me right back to that moment when I knew I was his forever. 

It is crazy how a song can seal a moment in time to be stored in your memory for years to come. Maybe that is why I value music so much. It takes but a few notes to bring it all back.

Have a song that brings a moment back to life? I would love to hear it:)

Photos by Chelsey Heidorn

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Spotify via Glam Media. All opinions are completely my own. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Spotify.

A Full Quiver + Minnetonka Mocc Giveaway

IHOD Family - Minnetonka MoccsBoys Family - Minnetonka - Photo by Chelsey Heidorn IHOD | Chelsey Heidorn Photography IHOD Fam  IHOD Liesemeyer Fam - Chelsey Heidorn Photography Little V | Photos by Chelsey Heidorn Mini Moccs

Shoulder Ride  Moccasins

Growing up, when people would comment to my dad about having his hands full (there were 11 of us), he liked to refer to the verse “Blessed is a man with a quiver full of them..” Psalm 127:5 , so that each of us would always know that to him we were a gift.

I feel this each day with three little ones close in age. I have a full quiver, but instead of “having my hands full” or “you must be so busy,” that psalm runs through my mind. I see each quiver as cherished one. Some days Gabe and I feel like we aren’t worthy or don’t feel like we have what it takes to raise these little ones into fine men and women. That is a fear I believe that passes the hearts of many parents.

However, we have both have a strong will and share a passionate love for our children. Hopefully that will suffice. One day at a time, one moment at a time, we will raise them in a house where love will always be expressed, felt, and freely given. The building blocks that make strong and sturdy characters, right?

Speaking of strong and sturdy;)….Minnetonka Moccasin Co. sent us the most comfortable sets of their classic and newer styles, and we all feel pretty special when we wear them. Veronica perpetually puts them on backwards and requests to wear them to sleep, and Gabriel saves them for just the right occasions. Max attempts to eat his. A true demonstration of their personalities….

My husband Gabe’s first pair of moccasins were Minnetonka so this new pair are now like loyal pups at his feet. They are nostalgic for him. And as you know, Gabe only goes for quality. I have given up heels during the week as of late, so the fringe booties were the perfect addition to my every day life. A little sassy but incredibley comfortable. I wore them out to the concert last weekend and for the first time on a weekend night, did not have sore feet at the end of it :)

Minnetonka Moccasin company was such a pleasure to collaborate with. They are giving away a pair of moccs to TWO winners! Enter easily through rafflecopter below. (U.S. Residents only this time friends!) Best of luck!

All photos by our talented friend Chelsey Heidorn Photography

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Outfit details:
Gabe:  Denim // Shades // Moccs c/o
Anna: Tee c/o // Denim // Shades // Boots c/o
Gabriel: Shirt // Pants (consigned) // Moccs c/o
Veronica: Shirt: Flor de Luz c/o // Bandana: Seed Factory // Denim c/o // Moccs c/o
Max: Shirt (consigned) // Denim // Moccs c/o

Dating through your marriage.

Dating through marriage | IHOD

I was carefully warned by many to enjoy the fun years of dating because it ends after marriage. “All the extras slowly come to a halt once you tie the knot” so they’d say…
And I began to wonder if this would happen to us. You can’t be in the honeymoon phase forever, right?

Your love for each other does change after marriage, but if your lucky, it grows deeper each day because each consistent day is a building block in a very sturdy brick foundation. If you choose, it can be the kind of love that grows over moves across the country, losing loved ones, having babies, and still remaining devoted to each other. So through the longest days and the sleepless nights, financial strain, heart ache, and growing pains, one was looking out for the other. One would be a place of rest for the other. He would be a place of understanding and support, and I would be a listening ear at the end of a long day. Whatever your personality or love language may be, I think we can all agree that when you look for someone else’s needs before your own, love reciprocates and grows.

I like to thank some wise older friends who said that keeping your marriage as the priority (with God as the center), even before your own children, will ultimately be the key to a happy marriage and happy children too.Well here are just a few ways we have tried to keep it fresh! (Mostly Gabe and me being a moody stink eye sometimes trying to be as good as he.)

1) Bring home the faves. Whether its Talenti Gelato or literally (in Gabe’s case) real bacon, we both love to pick up each other’s favorite foods while we are at the store. A few small packs of peanut m & ms have saved a rough 5 o’ clock more times than I can say. When you know the other person took a minute to think about you and took the extra mile to make your day a little better, your love is a little renewed.

2) Saturday morning coffee. We have started to make a habit of having Saturday mornings as our time to just enjoy each other’s company and conversation. He will make the coffee (he has these really good combos down) and whether the kids are up or not, we sit in our living room and just listen to each other. I look forward to it so much.

3) Clean for the other person. This may sound odd, but while flowers and handwritten notes are still incredibly romantic, nothing gets to my heart faster than a man who cleans. Deep cleaning the kitchen is up there on the list of sure fire ways to woo a woman. Now this is probably not a priority for the men folk but Gabe always is thankful when I take care of his work shirts or clean his sink. Even though I know he could manage on his own, it’s good for me to practice service and it’s good practice for him to accept it;) Love is sometimes harder to receive than to give.

4) Plan surprises. We both claim to not like surprises, but we both seem to find ourselves planning them for each other. I really do love when Gabe tells me he has an evening planned and I don’t have to think about a thing…not even booking a babysitter. Being taken care of is something we girls love. I got the chance to redeem myself after a year of non-creative surprises by getting his best buds and brother here for a surprise birthday weekend. Sometimes life can get so crazy we forget to do something out of the ordinary for the other. Even the small surprises can renew that love and appreciation when you really need a lift.

5) Trying out the other’s interests. This started when we were dating, but it is a good way to keep things fun in your marriage. I know for a fact Gabe hates running, but he asked if he could start running with me a few years ago and he has on and off again since. He does it because he knows I love to run, and it makes me happy to do it with him. He even ran a 10K with me…honorable. Gabe has a loyalty to Brewers baseball that runs deep. Bob Uker is a regular guest in our household during baseball season. Although baseball really isn’t my sport, I make it a point to ask how they are doing every night and at least pretend to understand what he is talking about as he explains the current situation. I actually almost titled the post…“Letting Bob Uker be the third wheel in your marriage…” Jk.

Are we experts in marriage? Heck no. Just sharing what we are learning along this great adventure. Would love to hear the ways you keep the love going;)


*Photo thanks to our friend and super talented IHOD photographer Chelsey Heidorn