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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Filled With Kisses - Gold Wrapping Paper Christmas Story

At my most recent Kiwanis Club meeting one of the pastors in our group shared some tear jerking, heartfelt Christmas stories and I wanted to share one with you!

The Gold Wrapping Paper

Once upon a time, there was a man who worked very hard just to keep food on the table for his family. This particular year a few days before Christmas, he punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family's only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.

As money was tight, he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve he saw that the child had used all of the expensive gold paper to decorate one shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree. He also was concerned about where she had gotten the money to buy what was in the shoebox.

Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, "This is for you, Daddy!"

As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.

But when he opened the shoebox, he found it was empty and again his anger flared. "Don't you know, young lady," he said harshly, "when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside the package!"

The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: "Daddy, it's not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full."

The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later. It is told that the father kept this little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of this beautiful child who had put it there. 

In a very real sense, each of us has been given an invisible golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

Aslan Adventure, Advent, Gold, Kisses, God
Photo ℅ Casey @ An Auspicious Adventure

I hope all of you will keep this story in mind while unwrapping your gifts this Christmas season. Take time to tell the ones you love, that you love them. Give them real kisses and hugs. Tell the story of Jesus and don't take anything for granted.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Day Eight

i want to remember this right here...

sitting with my husband in our empty living room

bare floor, missing carpet, anticipating a fresh new {soft} facade

on our 2nd bottle of wine

listening to Brea's snoring, signaling a busy day of keeping her heifers in-line

day eight of Advent complete - have you heard Mary's song?!

me cheering for the MNF underdog and Steven hopeful of my {and his} fantasy team

Yes. this right here. it fills my heart and my soul

it is so Beautiful …

and i owe it all to Him

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Currently // December

How is it the last month of the year?! And it already feels like it is over since we are booked solid - but it is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and I am trying not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and remember the Reason For The Season!!

Listening // to the sounds of Christmas on iTunes radio {of course … What is your Favorite Christmas Song??}

Watching // the snow melt … heat wave going on in North Dakota right now

Wrapping // gifts for myself - I have a problem with online shopping and there have been some awesome deals I couldn't pass up, but at least I have enough will power to wrap them up for the 25th right?!

Making // Advent Calendar/Christmas Card display - also working on our gallery wall

Anticipating // Christmas Decorations. We are in the middle of some small home updates and that includes new carpet so no decorations can go up until that gets done - crossing my fingers it comes today or tomorrow!!

:: I have some Christmas Cards that need a home FILL THIS OUT if you would like one ::

Linking up with Jenna & Anne

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Would you like our 2014 Greetings?

Postage has been bought, $150 later I'm ready to mail out Christmas cards for 2014.

I do have a few extras this year and if you would like to see our face among your Christmas Cards please fill out THIS FORM or comment below that you want one!!

Making our yearly cards is one of my favorite holiday traditions.
See Previous Years Here

Do you create a Photo Card for Christmas or go with Handmade?

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Give Thanks To Those Who GROW IT

I have a short and sweet post for you today. Just a little reminder to Give Thanks to the people who grew the food you will be enjoying this Thanksgiving holiday!

Don't know a farmer to thank?? Just leave a comment and I'll gladly show it to my husband, dad, father-in-law, grandfather-in-law and brother-in-law!!

AgCountry, Thanksgiving, Farmer, Rancher, turkey
Photo c/o AgCountry
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving 

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Gratitude Friday | 2nd Edition

Tuning in today to bring you another Edition of gratefulness and thankfulness - Thanks to Ashten for reminding me to take time to give thanks!!

// My Health might always be something I am GRATEFUL for....Well, as long as I'm healthy I guess. {knock on wood} My facebook feed this week had some sad things dealing with other people's bad health so I pray for them and their families and I am reminded not to take mine for granted

// Red Velvet Donuts << I'm GRATEFUL for them and I don't think an explanation is needed

// I am GRATEFUL for technology, doctors, and my new sight. I am still in shock that I can wake up and see. I got Lasik on Tuesday and less than 24hrs after surgery I could see better than 20/20

// I am GRATEFUL for Blates and babies and meeting this sweet sweet Friend in real life

// GRATEFUL for our puppy who is pushing 80lbs and will be 8 months in 2weeks - oh how she makes me smile and brightens my day

// Two bloggers this week had posts that made me say YEESSS. So, I am GRATEFUL for them and my empty womb >> Read Melanie's Post >> Read Krista's Post

// My caring husband, for him I am GRATEFUL. He picked me up from eye surgery and it was so heartwarming to see him take care of me. Again {knock on wood} I've never been sick so this was kind of a first!!

// Crazy GRATEFUL for my Instagram followers - and if you are one of them Thank You. I felt very loved there this week *Heart Eye Emoji*

What made you Grateful this week?

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Grand Forks Getaway

When I first started this blog it wasn't to gain new friends, it was a creative outlet for me to share what was going on with my newly started family. Now, I couldn't imagine life without some of the amazing relationships I've gained through this blog!!

Earlier this summer I was invited to Grand Forks, North Dakota for a bloggers weekend. When I first got the email I thought it was a scam or a joke because this is North Dakota we are talking about … and I still haven't met a lot of bloggers from here. Now don't get me wrong, I love my state and was even more excited to find out this was a real offer from real people who wanted to lavishly spoil us in their city!

The whole weekend was courtesy of Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau and this is not a sponsored post and I {obviously} wasn't required to talk about it because it is a good two months later and I'm just now blogging about it - so yep, all opinions and rambling here is my own!!

As you may or may not know I have met one North Dakota blogger in person, Samantha, and she was also invited for the weekend so I was really excited to see her again but other than that I didn't know any of the other girls.

The weekend started out wonderfully from the get-go. We were put up in the Staybridge Suites, and let me tell you these rooms were AMAZING - next time I'm in GF I know where I'm staying!!

grand forks, staybridge, hotel, motel, north dakota

Sushi was on the menu for supper and I can't tell you how excited I was because I live 70 miles from a sushi restaurant and jump at the chance when I can enjoy it with other people {Steve doesn't like sushi}. Fuji was the restaurant we went to and it was delicious, also super fun with all the blogging ladies!! {Sorry, Sake shot photos not included}

Sushi, Grand Forks, North Dakota, Fuji restaurant

The next morning it was an early wakeup call and a visit to Choice Health & Fitness for our private spin class. Okay 1. I don't work out {ever} 2. I have never done a spin class 3. I was going to exercise in front of strangers who share their lives online {I hope the girl behind me wasn't snap-chatting} -- yep this should be good!!
It was actually awesome, reminded me how good it feels to workout and I have a feeling that wasn't my last spin class!!

north dakota, red river, grand forks

If you haven't figured out by now this was a jam packed weekend, Grand Forks CVB had things planned for us {almost} around the clock and it was such a blast. We were able to participate in one of their monthly wine walks and visit so many amazing restaurants and shops. To say the weekend exceeded my expectations would be an understatement.

Being able to talk blog 24-7 and not get weird looks, staying up til 2am finding new things in common with what seemed like life-long friends, trying new food:beer:wine and have it 'normal' to take 20+ photos of everything ... These ladies made our little getaway so amazing and I'm grateful for getting noticed in blogland, amazed that my tiny little part of the internet has helped me gain a new outlook and some amazing new friends!!

(photo dump below)

North Dakota, The Samantha Life, blate, Grand Forks
Sam & I

Bar, Grand Forks, Pizza, margherita pizza, foodie, North Dakota
from Brick & Barley

Lox, Grand Forks, Dakota Harvest, North Dakota, Salmon, French Press
from Dakota Harvest

Grand Forks, blog friends, blate
L-R || Shelley || Jess || Amanda || Sam || Alicia || Sammi || Sandy || Me || Julie 

canoe, Grand Forks, North Dakota, Red River
bloggers and crew from Ground Up Adventures

Thanks again to Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau 

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Gratitude Friday | 1st Edition

I am joining my beautiful blog friend Ashten this Friday to tell you some things I'm grateful for. As she mentioned last week November is the poster child for giving thanks and being grateful so this little series is perfect!!

// I am ever so GRATEFUL for my health and the health of my loved ones. This year I have agreed to be the Cochair of our counties Relay for Life committee and I'm reminded how prominent cancer is and I'm GRATEFUL my dad has been a survivor for a number of years and the rest of us are cancer free

// I am GRATEFUL for my neighbors who double as my inlaws and they are ever so kind to take care of Brea this weekend

// I am GRATEFUL for online friends who have become so much more than 'random people on the internet'

// I am GRATEFUL for 'float holidays' because I thought I had no vacation days left after Norway and then that little 'float holiday' surprised me and gave me this beautiful day off

// I am GRATEFUL for my faith and a God who is amazing beyond words

comfy, coffee, lazy day, mukluks

Let me know what are you GRATEFUL for??

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

In Marriage...

As I mentioned some of our really close friends just got engaged and both Steve and I are so excited. As a Throwback Thursday post of our wedding photos and an ode to their upcoming nuptials I have a poem to share!

In Marriage by Julia Escobar

Cherish each other
in big ways and in small ways,
and never forget the magic
of those three little words: "I love you."
In marriage, remember that
it is the little things that make the difference…
Don't forget the birthdays and the anniversaries.
An occasional note means a lot.
Share each other's life - even the small details -
for too often we forget
that day-after-day becomes
year-after-year, and then it's gone.
Give each other room to grow…
We all need our time alone.
Keep strong your faith in each other;
time has a funny way of testing us,
and it's faith that gets us through.
Respect one another…
This world could always use more of that.
Speak your mind honestly, openly,
but with kindness,
for angry words are scars that may never heal.
Trust each other;
let your trust be your rock.
Most of all, each day…
be sure to hold each other
and fall in love all over again.

Congrats Tyler & Ashley - Can't wait for your special day!!

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Editing Apps for Instagram

Instagram is my all time favorite social media app - bets are if you don't see me on the blog I will be posting daily on IG - and sometimes I am slightly guilty of overgramming!

Helene and Taylor had a prompt {waaayyyy back in October} asking our favorite IG editing app and I'm late on this post {whats new?!} but since it is my favorite app I wanted to weigh in!

mrs. laura beth, Instagram Filter, Instagram
When taking photos on my phone I ALWAYS use the phone camera and not the in-app camera because those don't have as good of quality.

Looking back on my Instagram account I noticed when I first started using IG {October 2011} I would use filters like crazy but now I am trying to get my photos to look awesome with little to no filter. However my favorite IG filter is Valencia and my other favorite is Captain in the Afterlight app.

Hands Down my FAVORITE app is Afterlight - This app can {almost} do it all! I use it for everything except adding text on photos.
Want to showcase your entire photo on IG (with the white border), get unique filters, change brightness/contrast/saturation/clarity … all that and more can be done with Afterlight and it is my goto editing app.

Now, if I add my IG username or any text to photos I do that with the Over app. This app has some great fonts and also some fun artwork to add to photos!

iconosquare, mrs. laura beth, instagram

Those are primarily the only two apps I use, on occasion I'll use VSCOcam but Afterlight just has a hold on me #addicted

Oh # lets talk about hashtags for a little bit. For those who still know {#} this is a number symbol #congrats! Okay but really I like hashtags as much as the next person but don't speak in hashtags on IG or anywhere for that matter, please. If this is you on IG I have probably already unfollowed you because, well, it is annoying. If you must use hashtags explain your photo first, use hashtags at the end or use hashtags in a comment. Fun Fact >> Your photo will still show up in that hashtag if you leave it in a comment!

photo apps photo apps

I am a photo fanatic most of you know this - I have over 3,000 photos on my phone and I have only had it for 7 months … I know that is a lot but in my defense I went on a once in a lifetime vacation and got a puppy!! Above are screen shots of all my photo apps - I would love to know your favorite photo apps, maybe I need more haha

photo apps, Instagram, hashtag

Find me on Instagram @mrslaurabeth I am always trying to grow my following and would love to have you following along

Today I will be taking over the Blog Baton IG account so come and check me out there << seriously this is such an awesome idea I'm glad to be part of it!

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Currently // November

Dear Blog,
We have not been friends as of late. I have been working on a post for the past three nights and keep getting distracted and stuck and end up slamming my computer shut most nights - the whole dark by 5pm thing isn't helping. Lets be friends again and start with this easy Currently post!!

currently, sunset, lens flare, fall, north dakota

Reading // Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist plain and simple I love her. She is one of my favorite authors and her books are so easy and the words she writes are always just what I need to hear

Wishlisting // things I don't need - always - like the 5D Mark III that gives me heart eyes and the price gives me a heart attack

Loving // my 'brother' getting engaged!! Steve's cousin has always been more of a 'brother' since Steven has 3 sisters and his cousin and him are so close. He is my closest guy friend, was the Best Man in our wedding and was our roommate in college. He introduced me to Steve and I introduced him and his now fiancé and I. Can't. Wait. for their wedding next fall!

Appreciating // my close friends & family - I got a visit from by best friend last weekend and we did nothing more than catch up and chat and drink wine {those days are the best} - I am also really excited for the holidays to spend more time with the important people in my life

Creating // photo cds for clients. The editing is never ending but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have also been getting prints made of personal photos from Norway and of Brea and I'm in love with metallic finish photos!


Tell me what are you Wishlising this season???

linking up with Anne & Jenna

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Brea and the Chase

Good Morning...
or maybe not such a good morning because Brea has decided to chase my car when I leave for work. As I pointed out on Instagram I am NOT a morning person and apparently Brea is having some separation anxiety, unfortunately this does not help my mood or my ability to arrive at work on time. People with farm dogs, any tips on getting your dog not to chase cars?? I'm so sad because she was doing so good and now all the sudden she thinks she needs to come with me. She is almost 7 months old is that equivalent to the terrible twos??

fall, puppy, german shepherd, farm dog, north dakota, farm

Anyway, before 9am I was on my second cup of coffee {that never happens I usually only have one cup} and I am ready for this Tuesday to be over!!

Hope your Tuesday started better than mine!!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Where I Come From - Norway

Remember that time I went to Norway and didn't talk about it on the blog?! Well, I'm going to start and there will be multiple posts because we were there for two weeks and that is way to much stuff to cram into one post. So I hope you enjoy the upcoming posts from our wonderful vacation!

Norway, landscape, klm

Our vacation was underway. We had landed in Norway, all of us a little exhausted but at the same time ready to explore this beautiful country. No time was wasted on the exploring part - we hopped on a bus in Oslo, traveled to Hamar and had an hour to freshen up before distant relatives picked us up!

One of the main reasons for going to Norway was to visit the farm my {paternal} Great-Great Grandfather came from in Tangen. My dad had been in contact with the family that currently lives there and we were so excited to figure out where our roots started!

Storhoff, Storhov, Norway, family history

My Dad and Erik chatted over family history as best they could. No one in my family speaks Norwegian and Erik knew some English but the conversation was a struggle. Erik's daughter, Hege, was excellent at English so it was nice she could be our translator! This was one thing that made me feel like a spoiled American for sure - not knowing their language.

ancestors, genealogy, family history, edward sellner, Norway

We aren't exactly sure our relation to Erik or his parents but our trip to visit the Storhovs was such a wonderful experience. To be able to say I walked on the same land my Great-Great Grandfather did is pretty special!! We know, somewhere down the line we are family and that is what matters. They were so kind to us and we were showered with gifts, food and memories to last a lifetime!!

Norway, farm, countryside

Relatives, Norway

Summer Cake, Fruit Pizza

Tangen, Norway

I know this won't be the last time I say this but Norway is Breathtakingly Beautiful, pictures hardly do it justice and it is almost impossible to explain the grandeur of the countryside, the mountains and the glacial blue water - if you ever get a chance to go DO IT!!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Currently // October

Yesterday I attended an amazing class for my job on writing. It really inspired me to go home last night and write tons of blog posts but, who am I kidding; I got home, made supper and snuggled up to watch The Voice with Steve because that just sounded more fun!! I did write in my prayer journal though, so not all my creative writing juices were lost.

Since I didn't write a post last night I'm bringing you {at 2 in the afternoon} Currently - The October Edition. Enjoy and throw up some leaves because Fall is officially here!!

Celebrating // Finishing some editing ... seriously it is like a mini party every time I get done with a 300+ photo session!! Downside is I still have 7 more sessions to edit and the appointments aren't stopping.

Baking // I have Zero baking skills {or patience for it} so this is one thing that doesn't happen in our house. But, I do have some frozen peaches and might try my hand at a cobbler - recipes welcome!!

Loving // My new headbands from Wonderfully Stitched - Adorable Boot Cuffs from Trista's Creations - Warm Fall Headbands from Erika Joy Design - Brea Babe who will be 6mo on the 6th - and as always my Farmer ... Oh and Fall I LOVE Fall!

Planning // To sing my little heart out at the Garth Brooks concert in November. He is coming to Minneapolis and tickets go on sale this week #CantContainMyExcitement

Smelling // Bath & Body Works candles - they are my weakness and with every season change I seem to buy more and then when Fall/Winter comes around I just go overboard. Right now my kitchen is filled with the smell of Thanksgiving Morning and our living room smells like Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin - Fall smells are THE BEST!!

Also I'd like to congratulate the winners of the Giveaway. I was so happy when their names came up because they are two of my favorites in the new mom and blog friend category!! Erin won the copy of Blog, Inc. and Kathryn won shop credit to Erika Joy Design. Congrats Mammas!!

Now, Let me know - What have you been up to Currently?

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Linking up with Jenna & Anne

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


This is hitting me kinda hard. I don't {didn't} know the kid. Never met him. Never talked to him. Don't know his friends. Don't know his family. But I am affected.

I do not know what happened and like a lot of people in our area I keep refreshing social media and news outlets looking for answers. Was he mixed up with bad people? Did he drink too much? Was there a horrible accident? These are just some questions going through my head and I'm sure there are many other questions and rumors going around especially since the last tweet that he ever sent gives everyone an eerie feeling. He was found/seen after the tweet but it is almost like a foreshadow and/or crazy coincidence!

twitter, #riptom, death, NDSU

This is the 2nd missing North Dakota college student that ended in death this year - This type of thing isn't supposed to happen here!

North Dakota is a close-knit state. That of course comes with too many people knowing your business but it also comes with a feeling that we are all connected one way or another. NDSU also has it's own feeling of being connected, of being a family and I think Alumni across the state are feeling this one! I was a freshman just 8 years ago and I think of all the dumb shit my friends and I did, this could have easily happened in my group of friends too.

I have a heavy heart. My prayers & deepest sympathy go out to Tom's friends and family. I pray answers are found and justice is served!!

Remember to tell your friends and family you love them - tomorrow is not promised

Has a case like this ever affected you?

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Updates: Death Ruled Homicide