Monday, January 30, 2012

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Finding Balance

Yesterday was the first day of of my life? Yes. But that's not really what I'm pondering. I arrived at school with a short list of errands. I accomplished all three items in less than 30 minutes - sans Jonathon. A lesson to new parents; if you need to get something done, it goes quicker and everyone is happier when the children are warm and safe at home. Just saying - it's a blessing to spend time with our little cherubs and I never get tired of hearing how cute Jonathon is, but sometimes I forget about what I need.

On Sunday evening I attended a seminar for a service learning requirement. One of the topics we discussed was based on the book titled Your Money or Your Life. I'll be adding it to my reading list (despite the chaos of motherhood - I do find time to read)...
The professor noted that joy is found where passion meets the needs of the world. Thinking about this, I feel compelled to examine my life and what is necessary or desired.
Motherhood is the most rewarding job I've ever had, but honestly, it is in some sense, a job. For the majority of my adult life, I have been employed outside of the home. For the most part, I have enjoyed the positions I've held and the people I've worked with. This has been a blessing. In less than four months, I will realize a goal that I've had since I was a teen -- my college degree. That in and of itself is remarkable. I don't take it for granted. It was a matter of hard work and dedication. Keeping my eye on goal, even when the reward seemed impossible for financial, health or time/priority reasons. So - why am I so apprehensive? The obvious factors are...
  1. Jonathon - I love the time I get to spend with him and being there as he learns new things. I need balance between work and family life.
  2. Full time vs. part time or work from home?
  3. Where to place my focus? Human resources? Management? Public Relations? Communications? Marketing? Or, as a former supervisor recently predicted, the job that I'm looking for is so new, it doesn't yet have a name.
  4. My age - I didn't think about the fact that when I re-entered the job market I would be on the verge of 40 with a 16 month old.
  5. The proverbial "bar" - lets face it, I've had some pretty awesome supervisors and team members. Will I be so fortunate again?
So, I am spending these last few weeks weighing my options and researching careers. More than anything, I am trusting that God has something in store for me that is outside of my scope. My challenge is to find my passion(s), identify my relevant skills (excellent interpersonal and communication skill - written and oral, dedication, organizational skills and ability to work independently or with others) and get the word out that Andrea Weitgenant is not only a good choice for hire - but she has a lot to offer!!! (That's my pep talk to myself - but I wouldn't say it, if it wasn't true). ;o)

Wish me luck as I explore my options and set-off on my next journey. Perhaps my anxiety is merely overwhelming excitement for the opportunities coming my way.

God Bless.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Missing GRACE Crisis Care Team

Several months back, I reached out to the Missing GRACE Foundation and asked how I could help with their mission. An immediate need is for Crisis Care Team Members. If you would be interested in volunteering for this meaningful and supportive work, please read the announcement below:

Dear Friends,

Missing GRACE Foundation (MGF), based in Maple Grove, has been committed to serving families in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro and surrounding areas since 2002. Our mission is to provide resources and support to families experiencing pregnancy loss, infant loss, infertility or adoption and to advocate for comprehensive, patient-focused prenatal care. Five core areas encompass the heart of the mission: Grieve, Restore, Arise, Commemorate and Educate.

An important part of fulfilling this mission is providing support to families at time of loss and beyond. When the demand for MGF support services from hospitals was greater than one or two people could handle, Crisis Teams were formed. Teams are comprised of MGF volunteers recruited and trained through the hospital and MGF. Members of the Crisis Care Team are required to be on call for a minimum of 4 days per month to provide support, education, resources and photography services to patients and their families at the time of perinatal loss. The services include, but are not limited to:

GRACE Care Basket & GRACE Care Tote Program (contains resources and mementos)
Emotional care and support during labor and following birth
GRACE Gowns & Hats made to fit babies 1lb to term
Making Memories Photo and Video for baby and family
Memorial Video and picture montage compilation on DVD
Assistance with funeral arrangements
Referrals for low cost burial and cremation providers
Grief support including follow-up calls and home visits
Referrals for conventional and alternative medical providers

If you are a bereaved parent, layperson, counselor, doula or someone who feels compelled to assist families in this way, please consider joining us for an introduction to the MGF Crisis Team. Introduction and interviews will be held on January 15th from 10:00am to 3:00pm. For approved applicants, a 3-day training session from January 20th – 22nd is required. To learn more and/or RSVP for the January 15th interview, please contact Candy at 763-497-0709 (ext. 1) and indicate your interest in serving on the Crisis Care Team. Introduction, interviews and training will be held at:
New River Medical Center
1013 Hart Boulevard
Monticello, MN 55362

With Grace,
Candy and Stephen McVicar

Monday, January 3, 2011


It's officially the New Year and I can't say for certain if there are any positive changes in our home. We spent New Years Day packing up the holiday decorations and trying to organize. Possibly this is a sign of our age or the need to have some downtime following the hectic pace of the holidays.

The obvious New Year connection most people make is with resolutions. Well, like most, I set goals and resolve to improve myself. Not comfortable with failure, I take time to carefully consider my resolutions before making them. Resolutions should be manageable, specific and measurable when possible. I'm willing to put forth the effort, but I need reachable goals that will contribute to a sense of accomplishment. So, this year, I resolve to...

  1. Strengthen my faith (attend services on a regular basis)
  2. Be a supportive and loving wife
  3. Provide a safe and loving home for our son (Patience as a result of #1)
  4. Lose 20 lbs.
  5. Graduate from UST with my undergrad
  6. Find employment
  7. Reduce the clutter in my home - everything has a place or must go!!!
  8. Learn to knit/crochet (left over from 2010)
  9. Improve my finances (tied to #6)
  10. Be realistic and accepting of those things that I can and cannot control

Some of these items are vague - but they provide a framework for improving my life. Publishing them on our blog makes them real. Priorities change - but values do not. I value my faith, family and friends and everything else that makes those relationships healthy and whole.

I pray that 2011 brings health and happiness to all and the peace of mind that everything is as it should be. We control our attitude and that is all.


Travis, Andrea & Jonathon

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 15th - Annual Christmas Letter

Ahhhhh. This is sound of my relief hours after completing the last two of three finals at UST. While I sit and enjoy a glass of wine, I’ll finally put to keyboard the thoughts that have been percolating in my head for the past several weeks – since the first Christmas song hit the air-waves early in November. Now that I am finally able to sit down to type it…huh, I can’t recall what it was. (Insert cracks about drinking wine and getting older here).

For a fleeting moment I considered that the holiday letter may be somewhat archaic. Maybe it would be kinder to the environment to email our updates with high quality photos or – a VIDEO! Sorry, folks. I’m not that person. Remembering the excitement I felt when Travis brought in the mail today and noticed the stack of holiday greetings from friends and family, I realized that this is a sign of the season that I’m not willing to alter or forego. (Even though its now Christmas Eve and the letters still haven't gone out!)

Jonathon is running around the family room playing with his Daddy and I am enjoying, yes a glass of wine, but also the sounds of laughter. Living life through Jonathon’s eyes has changed our lives. I won’t say parenting doesn’t have its challenges, but I won’t complain about them either. We couldn’t be happier with our brilliant and joyful son. He is so much like his father that I often wonder where I can be found in him. Travis is very sweet and chooses qualities like “smartness” (I’m not editing here), thinking things through and kindness. I would argue their source, but not their existence.

Moving things along…Travis is still working at Robert B. Hill Company, selling commercial water softeners and salt. The company had an unbelievable year and we are especially grateful for his employment, given that my position was eliminated in March. As much as I love the people I worked with and the incredible people at Ford and the Ford dealerships, I knew that God had plans for me (still trying to figure out what those plans are). Somehow the last nine months have flown by. We have been busy with home improvements and focused on Jonathon and school. In January I will begin my last course at St. Thomas, graduating with my undergrad after 7 years of studies. Officially, I will have my Bachelor of Arts degree with a Masters in Business Communications (I had to look that up). Now the search begins for employment.

Our year has been busy and full. Our memories have been captured in hundreds of photos and much laughter. We hope this past year has been memorable for you and the New Year brings good health and happiness.

Travis, Andrea & Jonathon


  • January: Started demolition on the basement and prepping for finishing work (still waiting on the finishing part)

  • February: Flying with Jonathon and my friend Helen to Arizona for some warm weather and visiting with family

  • March: Toured Target Field for the first time

  • April: Jonathon's first baseball game (unfortunately, we received a call from the peditrician on the way into the stadium and found out that Jonathon has peanut allergies - among many other things - it made for a paranoid outing for Mama)

  • May: Jonathon takes his first boat ride and Mommy & Daddy go to more outdoor baseball games

  • June: Parades. Jonathon loves them, so we went to several over the course of the next month

  • July: Annual trip to Nisswa where we enjoyed swimming and boating. Mommy, Jonathon and our good friend Helen also went to the Como Zoo

  • August: Family vacation for the Deuel side and Andrea's 20th reunion

  • September: Hope & Hearts run for Missing Grace and Jonathon's FIRST BIRTHDAY!!!

  • October: Jonathon's birthday bash - Travis to Green Bay and Andrea gets a weekend away

  • November: Jonathon loves the snow and we sure have plenty of that

  • December: Behold the blessings of the past year and look towards the New Year with hope and faith

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy New Year! (a little late - but still heartfelt!)

January 2010

Dear Family & Friends,

It seems I may have slipped a bit at the end of 2008 and didn’t get the traditional Christmas letter written. Oops. I’m also willing to bet that it didn’t upset the balance in any of your lives. The annual letter is probably more for me, than it is for you. This is my chance to recap the year and remind myself that for any struggles or frustrations that we might be experiencing; our blessings far out number the troubles. Our greatest blessing is taking a cat-nap as I steal some quiet time to write to you.

So, about this blessing…where to begin? The new “management” took over on September 30, 2009 at 9:18 PM (weighing in at 6lbs. 10oz. and 19 ¾” long). A few hours in our household and you’ll know why I refer to our beautiful son as the “management.” Anyway, Jonathon Abram Weitgenant came into our lives to set-us right on life’s essentials and has quickly taught us that we can no longer run this household according to our terms. We run lean, meaning meals are optional and will become available when he says, as well as showers, household duties and sleep (well – up until a month ago). In fact, it’s time for a break, because this ends my 10 minute “break.” I’m telling you – this new boss, he’s tough! (Just like his Daddy). :o)

Alright, I got an extension on my break – you think I’m exaggerating? I wish! Did I mention that Accounts Payable (that’s Travis or “Daddy” as he is now known) has taken off for the first snowmobile trip of the year? He will be gone until Sunday (it’s Thursday). Ill probably be knocked out of the running for Employee of the Month (thank goodness that babies have short memories) by Friday night and may be demoted from my position of (Household) Operations Manager to something more manageable like Dietary or Housekeeping. It’s a tough world out there – as most of us are made aware whenever we turn on the news or pick up a paper. Anyway, back to the management change. First order of business was to “update” the equipment around the house. That started this summer when the forty year-old windows were replaced on the front of the house. We still need to replace one of the windows, but we’ll have to put that on the back burner. Then we needed to clean out one of the upstairs bedrooms, which was painted and fitted with new closet shelving for the new “boss.” He hasn’t said whether or not he likes it, but Jonathon (the “boss”) does spend about 10 hours sleeping in there every night, so it can’t be too bad (another blessing – getting a good nights sleep again). Jonathon has also taken over the family room. We are constantly tripping over bouncy seats, rattles, swings and clothes baskets (Travis complains that his laundry isn’t getting done anymore because I only have time for Jonathon’s. HELLO! He is the “BOSS!”).

So, now that our vacation time has been cut and our operating budget slashed, what are we up to??? LOVING OUR SON! We are so enthralled with him. There are no words to express the joy we get from watching him and seeing those unbelievable smiles. The new “boss” is the best thing that has ever happened to us and we know that our lives have forever been changed by Jonathon.

I guess whatever I would have written about 2008 would have paled in comparison to our 2009. Our 2008 was still good because we had our health, family and friends along with our faith to get us over the bumps. We even had a fantastic trip to the Black Hills to celebrate our 5th anniversary (definite highlight – would require its own letter). However, our 2009 was a year that changed our lives and with our family having grown by one beautiful and healthy boy, we look forward to a year that will continue to broaden our horizons and open our eyes to more of what life has to offer. We are amazed at how quickly Jonathon is changing and growing and the things he learns everyday, but our favorite thing in the world is to walk into a room and see his face light up. Those smiles are the best payment as parents and I hope you forgive this rambling, because as a “new” Mom, my heart is full and maybe even a little bit more whole these days. Not a day goes by that we don’t think of Olivia and Julia and thank them for watching over their baby brother to make sure that we finally would know what it’s like to bring home a baby to hold and enjoy. We are also thankful to the fabulous staff at Minnesota Perinatolgy and Dr. Gaziano who took such unbelievable care of us.

Our love to you and yours during this New Year. May your lives be full in ways that you never knew possible and any struggles be eased with the love of family and friends to see you through. Our prayer is for a year full of blessings and memories that you will enjoy reflecting on years from now.

From our home to yours…Happy New Year!

One of those "perfect" days...

Today was one of those "perfect" days. When life gets so chaotic that you need to be stopped in your tracks in order to take inventory, it's time to just breath and...exhale. For the past six months, I have been filling my plate full of life. Life itself is full, but I mean FILLING! Motherhood, being a wife, sister, daughter, friend, employee and student. In pieces it's not so bad, when various aspects start to overlap though??? Oye.

Last week one of those hats was removed. TeamDetroit (aka JWT - aka J. Walter Thompson) released me from their employment. After 8 years, it might have been time to go our seperate ways, but it was a bit of a shock and I'm still trying to figure out what I should do now. My primary concern is of course, Jonathon. Our beautiful blessing from above. He reminds me daily how important my job as a mother is. It's not just feeding, changing, rocking (when he'll let me) and doing the laundry - in fact, the time with Jonathon goes so quickly, that it's difficult to remember that I'm still growing a human being. Even though he's no longer growing inside me, I still have much to provide. Lest we not forget though, he teaches us as well. He teaches us that even though we have "responsibilities" outside of the home, we have an obligation to love, respect, support and encourage one another. So, even though I won't be leaving the house everyday for a job that I enjoyed, I will be rising to the most important role I will ever have. I relish it. I love it. And I will enjoy the opportunity that I have, until such a time that life dishes me a scoop of something else that I need to make room for. And I will, make room for it - somewhere alongside motherhood, wife, sister, friend, etc...


P.S. Our perfect day was spent as a family, enjoying each other's company and checking out Target Field. Go Twins!