Sunday, February 23, 2014

Winter Running :)

Running during the winter is, for the most part, pretty crummy. But sometimes things like this make it better. Thank you Jack Bauer for allowing me to make it through 8 miles on the treadmill without wanting to die :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Griffin's Baptism


Jesus commands, "Believe and be baptized. " I am so excited and proud that Griffin chose to follow Jesus and be baptized on February 8th. I am continually blown away by his understanding of what it means to follow God and put your faith in Jesus. He challenges ME to be a better follower of Christ. I am simply blessed and humbled to be a part of his faith journey, and Brandon and I are so very thankful for Rachel and Deb (and the volunteers) for partnering with us to raise our boys up in the church. Rachel and Deb stepped into the baptismal pool JUST for Griffin, and I know he was thrilled to have both of them be a part of his big moment.


As his parents, Brandon and I are so blessed to raise this little man. We are also incredibly grateful to the men and women who continually support us and him as we navigate this parenthood journey. God has truly blessed us with some amazing friends and family members. To those of you who attended his baptism and/or dinner celebration and sent words of encouragement, THANK YOU! Your support means the world to us and to Griffin. God is GOOD, my friends. God is good.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Oh Happy Day!

Valentine's Day 2014 was one of the best days of my life. I was already in a good mood because Brandon had purchased a fruit flower basket and a new pillow for me the day before, but my day got even better. I received two letters in the mail that made me happy from head to toe!

First, I received an invitation in my mailbox at school to attend the High School National Honor Society induction ceremony. When a student is inducted, he/she is allowed to honor one teacher from his/her educational career who has a made a difference in his/her life. I received an invite and a letter stating a former student of mine chose me!!! In addition to the invite, I was also sent a handwritten note from him stating why he wanted to honor me at the ceremony.

His exact words were: You helped me realize that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve your goals. When I was in your class, I started to enjoy and take my academics more seriously. You are one of the reasons I am the student I am today. The effort I put into my education is based on what you taught me.

Needless to say, I couldn't stop smiling the rest of the night.

To make things better, when I checked my mail at home that night, I had received confirmation from Bethel that I passed my written comprehensive exam. I might actually graduate this spring, my friends! I might just do it!

I Love to Read Month

To celebrate I Love to Read Month, Griffin's school created a calendar of events for the month to inspire and encourage reading. On the 11th, they were to bring in a stuffed animal to read aloud to and snuggle. On Valentine's Day, they were to dress up like their favorite book character. I bet you had a hard time figuring out who Griffin dressed up as!

Meet Harry Potter

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Half Birthday, Griffin!

Proud of his new owl...His name is Spells after Harry Potter

A common smirk

I took this of Griffin while he was sleeping. Please note that he strategically places his books and things each night before he goes to bed. You will see he is currently into anything Harry Potter, crafts, and tennis :)

Today Griffin is 7.5 years old. Some think celebrating half birthdays is foolish, but I absolutely love celebrating them and reflecting on where my kiddos are at in life on their half birthday. Griffin is halfway through second grade, but I swear sometimes he has the wisdom of a grown man.

I know I say things like this every time I write, but I just can't get over how grown-up my little man is. While he is still a little boy in so many ways, I am amazed at the conversations we can have together. He is a veracious reader who loves to learn new things. The way he processes things is unbelievable to me. He mulls over the tiniest of details, and he truly wants to understand how the world works. We are blessed that he has a wonderful teacher who is constantly sharing stories about the conversations she has with Griffin. His curiosity is never-ending, and he loves to learn more by using Google and reading non-fiction books. Each week his teacher puts up a list of kids who score a perfect score on the spelling test up on the Spelling Wall of Fame. Griffin is determined to get on that list each week, and he has only missed it a couple of times. Just recently Griffin took his second set of MAP tests, and it was not surprising to see how seriously he took these tests. While I was saddened to see my 7 year old boy take practice tests at home, I was thrilled to see how dedicated he was at improving his score. Competition is in that boy's blood, and I am happy to know he is using it to seek improvements at school.

Just last weekend, Griffin made the decision to publicly declare his faith through baptism. (A more detailed post will be coming soon). This was a monumental moment for Griffin and our family, and I will be forever thankful to the people who were able to attend and make his day that much more special. God is doing amazing things through Griffin, and I am thrilled to be a witness. 

Tennis is still the love of his life in terms of sports. We are blessed to have the PIT so close by, and we continue to feel so thankful that he is being taught by a former Gustavus tennis player. Gustie PRIDE runs deep in the Dunigan House :) Griffin obviously loves to play the game, but he is totally content watching as well. When Grayson has his lessons, Griffin can be found observing the coach and discussing how everyone is doing. He also loves watching tennis online with his dad.

Harry Potter is a name I hear multiple times a day, and I know his school friends hear it too. While we have taken a break to allow Griffin to get older (we plan to start book three this summer), it is still all he ever talks about. He is currently re-reading the first two books, and the movie is forever on repeat. He continually watches the last 15 minutes of the second movie EVERY morning before he goes to school. He especially loves watching the scene where Hagrid is welcomed back to Hogwarts by Hermione, Ron, and Harry.

Griffin has been fortunate enough to become close friends with a boy in our neighborhood who is just one year younger than Griffin. They are also involved at EBC, and the entire family is simply great. In an effort to help Brandon get more hours in at work this Tax Season, T's mother offered to take Griffin one morning a week before school. I am then able to get the kids ready in the morning and drop Griffin off without adding too much time to my commute. Griffin LOVES hanging out at their house.

As I sit and type this, my two boys are upstairs giggling in their beds. I am BEYOND thankful that my two boys are such great friends. They truly enjoy spending time together,  and they can be so thoughtful when it comes to each other. They can also wrestle each other to the ground in two seconds flat, but for the most part, I couldn't dream of a better relationship for the two of them. I am quite close to my siblings, so I am happy to see this bond between them is tight.

I am truly blessed that God gifted me the opportunity to be this little man's mother. He is sweet, kind, funny, competitive, compassionate, faith-filled, hard-working, and determined, and my life is infinitely better because he is in it. While Brandon and I have been tasked with raising this young man, he teaches me just as much about love, forgiveness, and wanting to continually better myself. There are truly no words to describe how much he means to our family.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Take Two

2014 Twin Cities Marathon Here I Come :)