welcome to my new place!

Hi! I’m Marla, and this is my first day at my new blog. Thanks so much for coming over!Β  (Unlike the time I invited 40+ women and children to my house before I realized they wouldn’t all fit in a million years, there’s room for everyone here!)

I’m going to be upfront from the get-go. It’s going on 3 a.m. in my neck of the woods. My hubby has been laboring most of the day to get this blog up and running (Thank you, Gabe! You’re A-MA-ZING!), and I’ve been working for the last 5 hours getting everything moved over from my old site (Thanks for the past 3 years, Xanga! It’s been a hoot!). Sooooo…if things seem a little loopy around here, we can blame it on that. (unless you’ve known me for awhile and know better)

Our pastor’s message at church this morning (well, yesterday morning now, I guess) was all about community. How we need each other. How we can’t do life on our own. How God Himself models community as our Three-in-One God. It was powerful stuff. And made me think of all of you. Some of you I’m thrilled to know in real life. Some of you have touched my life profoundly through our interaction on the internet. Some of you I haven’t met yet–but hope to soon!

I’m thankful for you. So thankful.

I want everyone to feel welcomed and at home here, so would you do me a favor and tell me just a little bit about YOU? Maybe your first name (if you’d like), your home state (or country), what you’re passionate about, where you blog (if you do), what your favorite color is, what you’d do with $50 if someone handed it to you today…Β  Stuff like that. And if I know you (or know of you)Β  in real life, share how we met!

I’ll start. I’m Marla. I live in Ohio. I blog right here. I’ve got an awesome hubby and three darling girlies. I’m passionate about Jesus and my family and writing and zoos. I love words and flowers. I like blue. And with $50? I’d buy Lettuce Wraps and Mongolian Ginger Chicken from Pei Wei and put the rest in our Zoo Fund. I go to bed too late, I lose my temper too often, and I can’t control my clutter. But I desperately want to follow Jesus, and He’s all about grace and forgiveness. My life isn’t without its struggles at the moment, but my goodness, my God is good.

How about you?? Leave a comment (as personal or impersonal as you’d like), and I’ll love you for life.

Thanks again for stopping by! Have an awesome day!

73 thoughts on “welcome to my new place!

  1. Ellen R.

    Hi, I’m Ellen from Ohio. We just moved from Cleveland to small-town living in Northwest Ohio. I’ve been following your blog for a a few months, though I rarely post a comment on it because I’m pretty shy. I don’t have a blog (yet) but have been contemplating starting one about the small town life from the perspective of a city girl. You know how some people follow soap operas or Survivor? Well my husband and I can’t live without the sherrif’s report in our small town newspaper – it’s an absolute riot. You’d have to see it to believe it. I kid you not…in last month’s paper someone called in reporting a be-headed squirel in their back yard! ????? Haha! Anyway, what to do with $50? My husband is studying for the CPA exams and I’d probably put the money towards the tests because they are exxxppeeensive!

    Oh yeah, and I’m also a Cedarville graduate!

  2. Tara

    Greetings Marla, First of all your husband is amazing…I have never met him, but I see what he does for you and what he means to you…God is great! I am totally addicted to ready your blogs…sometimes I wait til the end of my week to read them all at once. It’s then a extra treat:0
    Anyways…I went to highschool with you back in the days..and soooo enjoyed our friendship. We were sure goofy together and I will always remember you and feel a special bond. I have a absolutely amazing husband, Matt and 2 precious Boys-MItchell 4 & Miles 2, and one more to make “3”. Baby boy Mack is on the way in May. I enjoy your stories about “girls stuff”…I don’t know quite what that means in my house:) Ha!
    We have been married for 5 years. We have amazing family on both sides…and that means the world to us! I love to RELAX…which is very hard for me to do, I am a on the run type of person, and when I do sit down, I fall asleep:) I love also my family, scrapbooking, being outdoors, and laughing til my belly hurts! My favorite color is hot pink today that is, I have many colors I love…depends on my mood. I live in Ohio and if I had $50.00 I would donate it to one of these poor family members that are being layed off due to mayor coleman’s misuse of spendings~~~God bless them all during this difficult time~~!

  3. Laurie

    Hey Marla! I’m also new to your blog – meeting you through Bigmama’s blog. I don’t have a blog – I just conveniently lurk and then comment every now and then!! I’ve been married almost 21 years to my wonderful husband and we have 2 teenage daughters – believe me it’s crazy around here at times! I work full-time doing medical transcription from home so I feel like I work 24/7 some days, but reading blogs throughout the day gives me a brief break in the day and almost always makes me laugh and/or love Jesus even more! Outside of those things I like to walk/jog, love to read, watch movies with my hubby, laugh with my girls, and listen to music. My favorite color kinda changes…sometimes green, sometimes blue and sometimes even red, doesn’t make sense I know! I’m addicted to facebook, live in Georgia and probably would spend $50 towards a new pair of running shoes!!

  4. Kelley

    Hi Marla! I am new to your blog, but found it through Big Mama’s website and I am so looking forward to reading your books – the blushing bride one, to be exact, as I am a going on 5 months newlywed!
    I am Kelley, 25 years old, and a Southern belle from SC. Go Tigers! πŸ™‚ I am passionate about my Jesus, my husband, my family, books, writing, decorating, and the best sport ever – SHOPPING! My favorite color is pink, favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird, and I would probably spend $50 at Target or Ann Taylor Loft (at the sale rack).
    I’m looking forward to keeping up with you on my blogroll! The site looks fabulous! Yay for awesome hubbies!

  5. Cydney

    Hi Marla, my name is Cydney but my nickname is Lou and I have been called that all my 42 years so far. I have a wonderful 3 year old son, Colton, and my husband, Jeffrey, and I have been married for 14 years come Mar. 27. We live in a little community in the north east corner of Mississippi. If you gave me 50 bucks right now I can tell you I would splurge on a really good meal out because I am starving a the moment and food is all I am thinking about. I love Jesus too but I know I don’t really please Him most of the time. I am soooooo thankful that He still loves me anyway.

  6. deborah

    Your husband is so sweet…..

    I just saw your blog from another…and can’t remember which one it was now. Oh well. I think Angie Smith’s…

    Intrigued by your adventure. Sounds great! Have fun. At which zoo will they all start to seem the same?

    I am married, have three boys, and love Jesus….
    am trying to live a life to make him smile~

  7. Amy Thompson

    Hi, I’m Amy. I live in Dallas.

    I’m passionate about becoming closer to God. I’m much better at that head knowledge thing than the heart thing, but I’m learning. I thank God frequently for allowing me to be a work in progress. I know that I am making strides because I get giddy when He wakes me early (even earlier than my alarm), just so that we can spend time together in the quiet of my house before the chaos starts. I am loving Him more and more everyday and learning to be more comfortable with my emotions. I am a Women’s Ministry coordinator at my church, and I adore ministering to women. I feel blessed to be able to give of myself in service to God in a way that I find so enjoyable. I am constantly on the lookout for where God is inviting me to join Him at work. If you look hard enough, you will find Him in the strangest places, looking for you.

    I am an avid blog reader but not a blog writer. Does it count if I am an avid Facebook user? I think that is as close as I will get, as I am trying so hard to set healthy computer boundaries while I am raising three kids. I enjoy reading so many wonderful blogs written by inspiring Christian women. Thanks for your words of wisdom (and reality)!

    I used to love blue, but I am beginning to love the color red. I think that is a side effect of me learning to lose my shyness a bit.

    If someone gave me $50, I would likely put it towards paying down debt. Sometimes, we have to be practical ….

    (By the way, I love the new look of your blog, and I’m looking forward to being able to keep up with your posts easier at your new location. Yippee for blog readers!)

  8. Kelly Wassner

    Hi Marla,
    My name is Kelly Wassner. I live in Indianapolis, IN with my husband Jon and a cat named Maddie. Jon wrote a travel guide to America’s Best Zoos and you met him first at Indianapolis Zoo. I’ve haven’t gotten to meet you yet, but I can’t wait when we come to Columbus sometime this spring or summer! You also persuaded me to start a blog (which I try to update, but need to get more in the habit!)
    I teach first grade and love, love, love it! If I had $50 I would probably go spend it at a teacher store and buy some cool experiments to do with my class.

  9. Donita

    I just met your blog thanks to your book “Expecting.” I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
    I am Donita. I live in sunny Arizona with my husband and two boys (3yo and 3 mo). I love my family, I love to study God’s word, I love to read and I love the desert. I have a little blog because Stephanie at Metropolitan Mama, ironically she made the previous blog comment, persuaded me. Indeed, I love to write about what God is doing and what I observe, but I find that “publishing” something in the blog-world is too labor-intensive…pondering, writing, re-writing, debating, starting over. I’ll blame my perfectionist tendancies, but I think it’s really just because blogging isn’t my thing. We’ll see what the future holds!

  10. Stephanie

    Hi, I’m Stephanie. I live in sunny Arizona and I blog at Metropolitan Mama. I love God, my handsome husband, my active and adorable two-year-old, and the little baby girl that I haven’t yet met (she’s due in March). If I had $50, I would save it (I’m just the super saver type)… πŸ™‚

  11. Joyce

    Hi- I’m Joyce and live in a little village about 15 miles outside of central London. We’ve been here almost 6 years, came from Annapolis MD. I am new to blogging-just started mine in fact. I’d love some visitors : ) I became interested in blogland when I started reading the LPM blog..one click leads to another and next thing you know you have your own blog. I have two sweet daughters who are both now living in the US, attending the same university, one a junior and one a freshman so this is my first year as an ’empty nester’

    Living abroad has been an adventure. God has taught me so much in the past few years as we’ve settled ‘on the far side of the sea’. We’re really at home here in England but expect to move back to the US this year.

    I love to read, cook, travel…I love bible study and have hosted a women’s group in my home for the past four years, mostly doing Beth Moore studies with a few others mixed in along the way.

    My favorite color is yellow-like the sun-I miss the sun. If someone gave me $50 I’d buy books, they are my weakness (well, one of them anyway)

    I like the design of your new blog…Cheers, Joyce

  12. Sarah

    Great site, Marla (good job, Gabe)! I’m following over from Xanga… been thinking about switching from xanga myself lately, but we shall see. My own blogging is inconsistent enough as is… never seem to have a problem reading other people’s blogs though.

    I live in Ohio, my favorite color is blue, and I just bought two copies of Expecting for my friends. One just found out she’s pregnant last week (so SO excited for her!) and the other hopes to start trying as soon as her hubby gets health insurance (hopefully by the end of February). If someone gave me $50, I would add it to our home projects fund – can’t wait to give the bathroom and kitchen a much needed face lift!

  13. Yuki

    Hi Marla –
    I enjoy keeping up with you and your adorable family. I found you BEFORE I even realized you were related to one of my best friends. I almost got to meet you in person at a Women of Faith conference. And even though you only live a little over an hour away – I’ve given up on ever meeting you in real life. I think we’re destined to be blog buddies. Actually you blog, I read and it’s all good. I would love to blog more but I don’t have enough hours in the day (I suppose you know that feeling.) What would I do with $50 – I’d use it as a scholarship and send a girl to the purity conference at Beulah Beach. I’m so excited Jess is going to be there with us! This is my fifth conference in Ohio. It’s been awesome to watch these young women learning to live a lifestyle of purity. My color currently – I would have to say is orange. I’m sitting here staring at my creamy pumpkin wall and burnt sienna accent wall thinking I’m VERY content with my humble abode. I think I just wrote more here than I’ve blogged in a year. hehe!

  14. sweethomealagirl

    It’s awesome! Love the new you!

    Let’s see – I’m Tressa (something few internet people actually know lol), and I’m from the Heart of Dixie. I do blog, mostly about my kids – 3 boys & a surprise girl. What that means is that I am passionate about quiet! πŸ˜‰ If I had $50 right now, I’d get a sitter & go spend a night out with my Hubs – it’s been WAY too long!

  15. Cindie

    I’m Cindie. I live in Florida. I have a wonderful hubby… we have been married for almost 39 years and have three grown children. We have 5 absolutely wonderful grandchildren I am passionate about Jesus, helping women find their unique God given purpose , my family, photography and writing. I love browsing in book stores and libraries. And with $50? I’d buy books, craft magazines, yarn to knit pretty scarves and of course Starbucks. I am impatient far more than I care to be and I procrastinate way too much! And like you Maria I desperately want to follow Jesus, and I know that He’s all about grace and forgiveness. My life isn’t without its struggles at the moment, but my goodness, my God is good. He is so good and I am so blessed.

  16. Heather

    I’m Heather … wife of (almost) 10 years and mother of 2 girls age 5 & 7. We have lived near Nashville TN (from FL) for the past 3 years and LOVE IT! I blog at http://hthr.wordpress.com and I’m always ready for a good cup of coffee! With $50? I would head straight to TJMaxx! I always find something fun there!

    Your blog looks great! Congrats on finishing such a big project!

  17. Kristie

    Hi, I’m Kristie…I have a great husband Jeff and two adorable children…Bella is 5 (almost 6) and Hunter is 3 (and was born on my birthday). I currently live in San Antonio, Texas. I love it here. I am passionate about my family…anything to do with them I love. My favorite color is pink. I met Marlo (you) at Cedarville…miss orange was the craziest girl on the hall. We had some amazing times.
    If I had $50.00 I would prob. buy something for my kids…or some books for myself…I LOVE TO READ!
    Thanks Marlo for sharing…

  18. B J Keltz

    Wow, first day and look at all these great comments. πŸ™‚

    My name is Barb and I have several blogs, including a new website for Christian women we will be launching soon. I live in Tennessee.

    I love the theme. Very fresh and alive.

  19. Rhonda S

    Hi Marla,

    Your new site is great. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog the last several weeks. I met you when you attended the Beth Moore conference in Louisville with us.

    I have lived in Kentucky my whole life. I love being a Mom. I have 4 great kids. Two daughters ages 20 and 22 (they really do grow up fast) and two little boys ages 8 and 3. God is so good!

    My favorite color is pink. And, if I had $50 I would save it for my Valentine date with my husband. Our youth group is providing free child care!!

    I don’t blog because I don’t really know how to begin or what I would say. I’m new to the whole blog world. Maybe someday I’ll give it a try.

  20. Emily Kay

    I like the new blog design! Good job, Gabe! πŸ™‚

    Gee, if I had fifty extra dollars right now, I’d take my hubby out for dinner…probably at Saltgrass Steakhouse. I love eating out!!! πŸ™‚

  21. Michaela

    Hi, Marla. I’ve been reading your xanga blog for about a month and am always amused and inspired by what you write. I don’t know you personally, but I’m a Cedarville townie who was friends with Rachael, Courtney, and Jessica. I went to Scioto Hills several years, but you weren’t my counselor… I couldn’t tell who was though. I’m very passionate about working with kids and making a difference in their life. I blog on Xanga, but I’m not very regular about it. My favorite color is green and if I got $50 today I’d probably spend it on some new clothes. I have a 5 month old little guy and still don’t have many clothes that fit right. Before I had Ethan I read your book, Changing Your World One Diaper at a Time. I loved it! Your writing is so easy to read and I loved all the stories. Funny thing… I bought it at an Amish bookstore when we were visiting Berlin, Ohio. LOL! The new blog looks great and I look forward to getting to know you through it!

    ~ Michaela B.

  22. Krisco

    I subscribed using my gmail reader. Love gmail. My name is Krista and I want you to watch your mail. πŸ™‚

    Gabe did wonderful job. This is soooo YOU! Good job, Gabe!

  23. Megan

    Wow! I LOVE your new blog! It is truly wonderful! Your husband is so very talented! πŸ™‚

    My name is Megan. I live in Ohio and we “met” over on Xanga through Kimberly! I am married to a fabulous guy, Sam, who is the pastor of our church. We have two little boys, ages 2 and 10 months. I was a teacher before I became a mommy and now, I stay at home full-time. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful family and the “job” of staying home to raise the boys!

    I love my Lord, my church, teaching my kiddos about Jesus, going out with my husband on dates, spending time with friends and family….I could go on and on.

    My favorite colors are blue and brown. If you gave me $50, I would probably plan a special outing for my family…..I love to share new experiences with them! Oh yeah, I blog at xanga (the2bryants and scripturesisters).

  24. Anna

    Hi Marla,

    I’m from New Zealand and first came to your blog when I bought your book ‘Blushing Bride to Wedded Wife’ soon after I got married. The book made such a difference to the way I was approaching my new marriage. I now have ‘Expecting’ on order at my local Christian bookshop as my husband and I have a baby on the way! πŸ™‚

    I don’t have my own blog so I guess that makes me a lurker ,but I’ve really enjoyed your blog over the past year or so and it’s made me think a lot about my own Christian walk and attitudes towards marriage and motherhood. Thank you for keeping at it and for the heart you have for women (all around the world.)
    Perhaps you didn’t realise that you’re an overseas missionary already!

    $50! Well if that’s US$ then that would equal about $95 here in NZ so I might be able to get the maternity jeans that I’m going to require very shortly!

    Thanks Marla, I hope your 2009 is the best year ever!

    Anna πŸ™‚

  25. Kimberly

    Hi, I love the new look! I’m Kimberly and live in San Antonio, TX. I blog at http://www.kampkk.blogspot.com . I’m single, with the most spoiled ever dog! I love Jesus, my family, lazy Sunday afternoons and Oklahoma football. If someone gave me $50 I’d put it in the bank towards medical bills! Thanks for inviting us all over!!

  26. Jess@faithchick

    Looks great! I love the scrabble letters, and the red flowers & Nina & Ava’s hair-dos.

    I love Jesus, and Matt, and my kids, and most other kids, and bargain shopping, and chocolate, and coke, and sterilite storage containers, and photography, and football, and sweets.
    the end. πŸ™‚

  27. Kelly C.

    Woot! Congrats on your new & improved web self, Marla! This looks awesome.

    I’m Kelly from Xanga (where I “met” you through my sister, Brooke or lilriver). I live in Maryland and love the color blue, my husband, clarity in language, and my soon-to-arrive son. I also love my God, my Friend, who is patient with me even when I neglect Him – just like I’m bad about doing to my earthly friends. If someone gave me $50, I’d probably spend it at the grocery store, stocking my freezer for life with a newborn! πŸ™‚

    Loved the photos of Gabe and the girls!!

  28. Betsy

    Hi Marla! I’m Betsy (M3mine from Xanga) and although you don’t know me personally, I’m a friend of the Edlund family, so I know Kim, etc. I live in Ohio near Springfield, a mom of three adult children (two married and one more getting married soon, grandma of two grandsons, and wife to Ron. I share being organizationally challenged with you, as well as a great love for the Lord. This website is super! Gabe did an exceptional job on it! God has used your old Xanga to show me areas in my life I need to work on too. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  29. Becky Jo

    I am Becky Jo, from MI. I LOVE your new look – so sweet! I am passionate about my family – my man and my kids (2 girls, 2 boys), my friends and ESPECIALLY my Jesus! He is my center, my rock and my salvation. The reason I live!
    And, with 50 bucks, I just might get me some new scarves, a pedicure, a massage or – maybe, take my sweet man on a date!

  30. Ashley

    First, I have to say I love the layout and design of the new blog! I love the colors and choice of theme!

    And the now the answers to the questions above…

    1. My name is Ashley.
    2. I’m currently living in Indiana, but Michigan is truly my home, and I hope to be back there within the next two years. (I even have my house picked out! I’m just praying it stays on the market long enough for us to be able to afford it and for my husband to be able to transfer there.)
    3. I’m passionate about CE (Christian Education) – particularly women’s and children’s ministries. My brain often goes on CE tangents during church, coming up with new ideas and teaching methods and whatnot. I’m also passionate about my two beautiful children (Jennifer – age 2 & David – 4 months) who I am blessed to stay home with and my husband of 3.5 years, Jason!
    4. I blog on Xanga – my Xanga name is beamissionary, but I don’t actually blog as often as I should. My blog is actually more of a way for our friends and family to stay updated on our lives since we live away from them.
    5. My favorite color is blue (go Michigan!!), but I also thoroughly enjoy pink.
    6. If I were given $50, I would probably either use it to pay my bills (this is where my Christmas $50 bill is going) or put it into my newly created “house fund”, since I have a goal to put all excess funds into it until I reach my desired goal.
    7. We “met” through ScriptureSisters, but have never met in real life. You are an inspiration to me, because I want to be a published author in the next 5 years, and seeing you do it makes me think that it might just be possible!

  31. Sarah

    Hey Marla!
    I LOVE your new site! Gabe did a FABULOUS job on it!

    I’m Sarah (Oly16 – on xanga), I live in central NJ. I love my husband and my little girl, Cameron who is 16 months old. I love Jesus, traveling, baking, and currently am LOVING your book Is That All He Thinks About. I got it for Christmas and couldn’t put it down πŸ™‚ Good stuff!!
    If I had $50 I think I’d probably spend a few bucks on some chocolate covered strawberries and then maybe see what kind of bargains I could find. Oh- and I love pink too πŸ™‚

  32. Jennifer

    Well, this is MUCH prettier than xanga. πŸ™‚ I’m Jennifer, I live in Oklahoma, and I’m passionate about teaching my two tiny tots about Jesus. I blog over on xanga, and my favorite color is pink. If you gave me 50 dollars, I would be taking the hubby and our girls out for fajitas tonight. Mmm… fajitas….

  33. Rebecca

    First, let me say that I just loved your husband’s comment. He reminds me of my husband. Sigh… I think, no, I KNOW, that we have great husbands! πŸ™‚

    My name is Rebecca. I live in southern Mississippi where the humidity is off the charts and my curly hair likes to frizz unless I have a-TON-o product on!

    If I had $50 right this minute, I would probably use it for my sweet little baby boy who should make his arrival sometime in May! I also have a 16 1/2 month old baby girl whom I love more than I ever thought was possible to love. God is good girl…He is SO GOOD!

    Love the blog! Oh, and I found you through Amanda at Baby Bangs. Love that girl! And I plan to order your books. WHOO HOO! So maybe if I had $50, it would be on all of your books. Hmmmm….

  34. Denise

    Love the new bloggy blog! Very nice….however, I am pretty sure I am a real life friend πŸ˜‰ Kidding, kidding…Parker seems to agree that the blog is nice…he’s staring at it as he sits beside me!

  35. Jon Pickens

    Hey Marla! Looks great! I’m from all over but currently reside in New Castle, PA. I’m passionate about making disciples and being one as well. I blog at pjpickensjournal.blogspot.com and enjoy sports…both doing and watching! I am the husband of Trish and proud father of Tori and Caleb! I use way too many exclamation points in my sentences and sometimes think way too much! If I had $50, I would take my family out to the Olive Garden and catch a dollar theater movie.

  36. Amanda

    Yeah! It looks so great! I love it! My name is Amanda. I live in Texas and blog at http://babybangs.blogspot.com. My favorite color is red. It makes me feel happy. If I had $50 I’d save it for my post-baby transitional wardrobe that I will need in three weeks. Praise God. Love the Scrabble pieces! Happy blogging!

  37. Andrea Sutherin

    Hi Marla…I am not a blogger…but enjoy reading others. Congrats on your “new” site….We know each other b/c we went to high school together….I live her in OHIO for my entire 32…almost 33 yrs of my life…I am married to a wonderful man…originally from Penn. I have two step daughters and we have a handsome little boy named Marshall together. We are trying for #2 and give all the WILL to conceive to our Lord and Savior….
    Michael and Marshall were just recently baptized together and we then joined a local church…God has finally given to me what my heart has desired for years….it just took me some mountains to climb before i finally got here….but i am so happy now with my life and family. I am a stay at home mommy now to which i never thought in a million years would ever happen. I have enjoyed reading your books and cant wait to get to the last one….God Bless you and your family….may he continue to bring happiness to your life. Oh and if i had $50 i would probably spend it on Marshall or scrapbook supplies to finish his book….:)

  38. Christy

    Fabulous new blog….LOVE the colors and everything!

    Well let’s see, My name is Christy and I live in Georgia. I blog at http://www.crittyjoy.wordpress.com. I am a single gal who cannot wait to read your book From Blushing Bride to Wedded Wife…one day πŸ™‚ Until then I am waiting patiently and learning more about my Beloved Jesus.

    I am passionate about Jesus, books, writing, music, and my family and friends πŸ™‚ Oh and twittering…I think it is mucho fun!

    I love the color pink…it is calming and cheery….

    And with the $50…hmmm…probably put it toward my amazon wish list…cause I have 4 you know πŸ™‚


  39. Ali

    LOVE the new blog. Love it! Gabe Rocks, and so do you!
    Oh, and I’m Ali from Ohio. I met you through church although technically we met at Krista’s while talking about peanuts.
    I have too many blogs, and I’m in the process of merging them all to http://www.blessedtreehouse.com.
    I like green except when I find that color in my son’s diaper.
    If someone gave me $50 I would buy a dust buster. I should probably buy one anyway. It’s a big ol’ pain to lug out the vacuum after every meal consumed by my 9 mo. old.
    And what am I passionate about? Foods that don’t result in green diapers; a dog named Jaeger (yes, like the liquor); my husband who loves making me chocolate chip pancakes; my baby who just crawled in the fireplace; and my Savior who loves me even though I cuss when I change green diapers, I named my dog Jaeger, I eat a lot of chocolate chip pancakes, and I allowed my son to crawl in the fireplace.

  40. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    First of all, KUDOS on the new blog!!! You and Gabe have done a spectacular job. I LOVE IT!!

    Secondly, thank you so much for including me in your blogroll. I am terribly humbled and very honored. I’ve updated my list with your new link already.

    Okay. About me? I’m Megan. I live in Oklahoma with my marvelous husband and two outrageous daughters (four and sixteen months). I blog at sortacrunchy.typepad.com. I am passionate about God, His Word, knowing Christ, and following the movement of His Spirit. Beyond that, my passions include encouraging new moms, creating “real life” (offline) community for other moms-at-home, writing, reading, and photography. Favorite color is purple . . . more specifically – lavender. Lavender is also one of my favorite words. I love words.

    I’m reading an amazing book called “Changing Your World: One Diaper at a Time” and am so looking forward to “Expecting.” πŸ˜‰

    I don’t know how you found me on Twitter, but I am SO THANKFUL that you did. You’ve served as an inspiration and lovingly accessible role model/mentor in the very short time I’ve “known” you.

    Oh, and with $50? I would make a very, very small dent in the behemoth that is my Amazon cart.

  41. Tanya Dennis

    Hey! Your new digs look great! Getting to know you … these are so fun. Let’s see … My name is Tanya. I currently live 15 mins outside Manhattan, but I grew up on a farm in Indiana. My husband is the best! We have two kids, 17-months apart, so my sanity is rarely consistent, which is why I love God. I enjoy teaching women’s Bible studies. One of my projects for today is to chart the geneology of Ruth and Boaz. Good stuff. I LOVE books!! I love to read and write and one day, hopefully, I’ll have a book with my name on the outside of the cover (instead of scribbled inside). I’m also a crafter. You name it, I do it: cross-stitch, painting, stamping, scrapbooking, sewing … If I had $50, I’d spend it on books. And Starbucks. I blog about finding God in a mundane, everyday life at http://www.inthedailies.wordpress.com. There you go! That’s me. πŸ™‚

  42. Missy

    Woohoo! Love your new page, Marla! It’s perfect! Great job, Gabe!! (So, Gabe, what are the launch dates for newly designed blog pages for the rest of us? I can wait till March, I think…;-)).

    My name is Missy, my real life home and feels-like-home state is Ohio, though I’m originally from Pennsylvania. I’m passionate about my kids, my hubby Ed, and dreaming on what God has for me to do (b/c I’ve got lots of ideas, but I’m not headed in any one direction just yet)! I’m also passionate about not having favorites (I’m a middle child, I just don’t), though I love blue, and sunny yellow, and cheery reds. If someone gave me $50, I would save it forever trying to decide how to use it. I do the same thing every year with money I’m gifted for Christmas. You and I met on xanga, and then in real life at Xangafest! Speaking of which, perhaps your new blog here should spark a spring WordPressFest 2009? πŸ™‚

  43. jess

    Love your new blog! I have imagined gabe adding the blue & flowers & thought that was a pretty cute picture. I’m Jessica. I live in Charleston, SC. I grew up in Lima w/ Gabe & his family and have been blessed to know Marla over the past decade (what? who said decade?!) I love your blog & the inspiration that you are. Your honesty, etc. If I had 50? I would try to see how many coupons I could find and freebies I could get with it. But, I might give it to someone. Lately, it seems Jesus has decided I need to stop being so selfish, so I am thrilled to say he’s creating a new habit of wanting to give away things I get for free…So, by his pushing, I might give it away… and still be said that I can’t buy designer shoes; but…. Hmmm. Sounds Like GRACE!

  44. Phillip Gibb

    Great Place, still trying to convince my Wife; Kathy , to get into blogging πŸ™‚
    Well, I am from Cape Town South Africa, howdi America – excited to see what your new President is going to do.

    Video(especially the Red One), editing and special effects is my passion and the stuff I do for Church. Which is very evident in my blog http://synapticlight.com/

    Blue, the colour of my 16 Month Old son’s eyes – hope they do not change.

    hmmm – if someone handed me $50, which is just over R500 here, that is a no brainer – facial, massage etc for Kathy – that or dinner. Although she’ll insist that I give it to someone who needs it and I’ll have concur πŸ™‚


  45. Carrie

    Hi, new friend, my name is Carrie and I found your site when I bought your book – Is that all he ever thinks about. I live in Cincinnati and I am the mother to 4 awesome boys. I am a stay at home mom transitioning back to full time teaching next year (currently in a long term sub job). I have an incredible husband who is more than a blessing from God – he is so patient through my rollar coaster mood swings! I am a woman who is despertly seeking deep, out loud intimacy with my Savior. I don’t have a blog because A) I don’t know how and B) I don’t think anyone would read it so I just live vicariously through other peoples blogs. I am passionate about studying God’s Word and being transformed into His servant. If I had $50 right now I would first buy a venti soy latte from Starbucks and then go on a hunt for bargain, not too dangerous lingerie because I just finished your book (in 2 days!) and truly want to take your honest, simple wisdom and transform my sex life!

  46. Jenny

    LOVE your new blog! Especially the scrabble letters for your name! Lets see……I live in Ohio, I’m a blessed Mommy of two, have an amazing husband. I am a pre-school teachers assistant. I LOVE music and have been blessed with opportunities to play in the band at church and also to lead in chapel at our school. I love teaching kids about how much God loves them. It’s amazing to see them learn and grow. I cherish those “lightbulb” moments when they’ve connected with something we talked about or when they remember their Bible verses! God has blessed me so much and I LOVE serving Him. If I had $50 today…….I think I’d save it for a family vacation (since I’m not a fan of lettuce wraps – sorry!) πŸ™‚

  47. Bethany

    Hey Sis! I love your new site! Good job Gabe! (I’m still trying to think of a good domain name for my future blog…)

    I live in OH and I’m passionate about God, my husband Stewart, and our little baby girl Isabelle Kate! I love cupcakes, Strawberry Shortcake (the character, not so much the dessert), aprons, and writing in my prayer journal. If someone gave me $50 (and someone did for my birthday!!!) I would save it and wait for a great deal on some new comfy clothes or maybe Seasons 1 and 2 of Little House on the Prairie. I love you Marsy!

  48. Amelia

    Welcome to your new site! And to WordPress! Fabulouso. And kudos to Gabe. Let’s see, I used to live in Oh, then MI, now FL. So happy to be in the IRL friends category, and had a BLAST when you all were down here. I just got $50 for my birthday and I spent it on my current obsession – knitting – and bought yarn to make a blanket! Hugs to all of you!! Love the little stick family at the top!

  49. Jennifer

    The new site looks great!

    I’m Jennifer; living in MI; passionate about my family, friends, photography, blogging & zucchini. I currently blog on xanga, but have a blogspot site, too, until I finally give in and let my husband create our family site. My favorite color is purple and if I had an extra $50, I would probably want to buy myself new clothes (since I rarely ever do) but I would probably just put it toward bills. I first “met” you through your student teaching overseas writing when I was at CU, then “reconnected” with you through xanga. We finally met IRL at xangafest when Kristen and I were crazy enough to make the trip back in forth in one day. What a fun memory! πŸ™‚

  50. Gaile Uka

    Marla, congratulations on your new website.It is very lovely. My name is Gaile Uka na I stumbled on your website last week. I am a Nigerian fron West Africa and I am married to a wonderful man. We have two lovely girls.
    My favourite colours are blue and pink. If I had $50 dollars, i will change them to Nigerian money and use them to go shopping for the girls.
    I am a christian and one of my resolutions this year is a closer walk with God. I love reading your website. God bless you and your family.

  51. Joanne @ The Simple Wife

    You know I love your Scrabble tiles up there at the top of your beautiful new blog. Great job, Gabe!

    And, of course, you know I love you dearly and long for the day when I can move up to the “Real-Life Friends” category too!

    Happy Monday–off to start my spring semester. Hermaneutics, here I come!


  52. Danielle Barger

    Hey Marla. I’m Danielle. I live in Chesapeake, Virginia. I’ve been married 4 1/2 years to my best friend Adam. We met at Cedarville. Our blog is: http://bargerblurbs.blogspot.com. My favorite color is red. I am a 5th grade teacher, and have been for the past 5 years. I love my job! I am also a grad student working on my Master’s Degree in Education to become a Reading Specialist. I’ll graduate next May, thank goodness. This will have been a 5 year process for me! In my spare time I love reading, exercising, spending time with Adam, & playing with our puppy Gus. If I had $50 right now I would buy an athletic bathing suit for the new finning class I take at the YMCA. To be honest, I can’t remember if we’ve actually met in person. I do know that we connected through email about our overseas student teaching experiences. I enjoy your blog. Have a wonderful day!

  53. Kelli

    Hi I am Kelli! I live in Texas. I love raising my 10 month old Caroline, taking pictures, reading, writing hand written letters, and growing everyday in my relationship with God. I am extremely unorganized and cluttered, but desperately attempt to “organize my brain and life” on a daily basis! πŸ™‚ We visit the zoo in our city at least twice a month, and I am now determined to do something like your 52 zoos in 52 weeks. What an AMAZING idea! I love the colors blue, yellow, and black. And with $50, I would probably put it in our travel fund.

    Love the new blog and so glad that I found your blog a couple of weeks ago!

  54. Sarah Parsons

    Hi, I’m Sarah, I live in New Jersey. I’m married to the love of my life, David, and have a beautiful son, Jackson, who is 14 months old. I’m passionate about being a mommy, drawing closer to the Lord each day, music, and making crafty stuff. I love blogging and the blogging world. If I had $50 I would probably just put it towards our rent for our new apt. that we just signed a lease for. We just moved to New Jersey from Cincinnati and we’re in a bit of sticker shock as to how much things cost here. It’s ridiculous! But, we can see the NYC skyline from one side of our apt. complex, so somehow that makes it all worth it. It’s just a season in our lives and we’re thankful for it. I enjoy reading your blog each day and always look forward to what you have to share. (no pressure!) =) I’ve read a few of your books and have enjoyed them so much that I’m now buying them for my family members. The new blog looks great!

  55. Joellen Edwards

    Hi Marla…I love your new site.

    My name is Joellen and I also live in Ohio. I know you, because we went to high school together…wow, can you believe it’s been 15 years? Anyway, I’m married with two gorgeous little boys and my life feels almost complete. The almost stems from our missing little girl, which I want to thank you again for your kind words upon finding out about the situation. I love pink and orange and if someone gave me $50, I’d just spend it on the boys somehow…anything for them:-) I don’t blog, but love reading others’. My family is my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  56. Holly V.

    Hello, friend. SO glad to see you got this up and running. Your hubby IS amazing…I love to watch the two of you work together! That is community in itself!

    I met you through our church Awana program and because of your writing. I have fallen in love with you and your family and am so blessed by your friendships!

    If I had $50 to spend right now…it would go towards the fixing my van’s starter fund. My poor little van hasn’t moved in a month.

    I enjoy a warm beverage, a great book, a yummy piece of chocolate, a great worship song, an evening alone with my family, playing games in our kitchen, and snuggling in bed with my 2 kids. My favorite colors are red and green….pretty appropriate for Holly, eh?

    I love you, girlie. Hope you are blessed today.

  57. Holly B.

    Very cool new blog! I’m originally from Ohio, living in Paris with my husband, serving as a missionary. I love God, my husband, family and friends. I enjoy coffee, traveling, and good conversations with friends. $50? I’d probably put it in our vacation fund. I met you through Xanga, and then IRL at Xangafest. Love your books!

  58. Gail

    Wow! This is pretty! Kudos to your cool husband!

    I’m Gail from Kentucky. I’m passionate about Jesus, about His church, and about OxiClean. I still blog at xanga because I don’t have someone right here to design me a snazzy new site. πŸ˜‰ But I see I rated a link over there >>> … awesome! My favorite color is blue. I’d use $50 to hire the babysitter so that my husband and I could go spend a whole evening at the new library that just opened in our county. It has leather chairs! Fireplaces! Books! And no pressure to buy ever. Which is why I get a guilt complex for using bookstores like a library. I can’t wait to see how God uses this blog. Happy Monday!

  59. Amber

    My name is Amber and I blog at Xanga (oneflossychick) and blogspot (amberrdh.blogspot.com). I live in SC, I’m passionate about Jesus and dentistry, and my favorite color is…..??????? no clue on that one. Pink? Blue? Green? all of them?

    If someone handed me $50 I would probably end up being responsible and using it for school and other related things. Of course, I’d have to take a trip to Taco Bell with it too.

  60. Kori Mauch

    The site is AWESOME!!! Looks great! And your pictures of the kids wrestling with dad are so colorful!! What kind of camera do you have? Okay…

    I am Kori, I went to Cedarville, I found you, or I think you found me, through facebook. I am from Northern Illinois, I have been married for almost 9 years, I have 3 kids 7, 4, 1 and due to welcome #4 in June!

    I stay at home with the kiddos, have a photography business (which has been a long time dream of mine), and like you struggle with organization, but long to be organized!

    I have been a believer in Jesus since I was 4 years old, grew up in as a pastors daughter, with 4 younger sisters, and I still work at making my relationship with Jesus more personal, as opposed to being because it is how I was raised. I struggle most with just making time to be quiet with Jesus…there isn’t much quiet around here! =)

    But perhaps, when I couldn’t sleep after getting up to go to the bathroom for the 100th time tonight and decided to get up…I could have used that time! =)

    Oh and $50…I would buy some new maternity clothes…can’t believe I wouldn’t have enough after 3 previous pregnancies, but they just don’t fit the same after 3!!

  61. Jamie Nygaard

    LOVE the new blog Marla!!! This makes me want to get my own started up! But I’m not too sure about the 5 hours it took you to transport all your info from xanga! Well worth it I’m sure…but ugh!!!!!!

    My name is Jamie. I’ve lived in Ohio my WHOLE 32 years of life. I have 2 precious little boys….and a child in the making. Well…I guess he/she is pretty much done cooking, we’re just waiting for these last few weeks of incubation to be over with!

    Back to me….I can’t sleep. I’m never up this early. I LOVE sleep. I guess God is preparing me for the lack of sleep I will be getting in 4 weeks!

    My favorite color is red or brown. I can’t decide right now which one I like best.

    I LOVE my Jesus…..but I struggle with stability in my walk with Him. I need to work more on my consistancy to be close in His word EVERYDAY. (Have I mentioned yet that I can’t spell worth a hoot?)

    If I had $50 right now? I would put it towards a Sonic Care toothbrush. πŸ™‚

    Love ya Marla! (and I keep forgetting to mention to you that Erik asks almost every other day when are we coming to see Livi, Ava and Nina!)

  62. Kim Stave

    Congrats on the new blog, Marla! It looks great (I especially love the scrabble pieces – SO you)! Hi. I’m your long-lost friend Kim writing from the other side of the sea in Lithuania. I’m sorry it’s been SO long since I’ve been in touch & even longer since I’ve spent quality time catching up with you & your precious fam on your blog!
    I LOVE the zoo tour you guys are doing! Such a fabulous family idea! We’ve done a handful over here in different nearby countries which has been a kick.
    We’re doing great…just found out our little intra-uterine bambino is a boy! So, we’re adjusting the new idea (bye-bye dreams of having a little girlie clan like yours!) and are getting excited as we try to think of boy names we like that work across Europe & the States. Any suggestions are appreciated!
    I love your $50 question. Since that more than doubles into Litas over here, I could do quite a bit with it…but at this point would probably throw it into our personal savings as we’d really love to go somewhere warm for spring break!
    I love you, friend! And I’ll try to be better about staying in touch!

  63. Peter P

    Hi Marla.

    Love the new blog! I’ve been waiting for it to come up ever since you mentioned on facebook that your husband was making you a new one. He’s done a great job!

    I’m Peter. I’m English but God currently has me living in California. I’m passionate about the Church BEING the Church and not just ‘doing’ church. My blog is called ‘Rediscovering the Church’ and can be found at http://blog.hafchurch.org/peter . My favorite color is blue and if I had $50 I’d go out and buy blankets and food for the homeless. I met Marla through another blog but I can’t remember which one and I’m looking forward to being able to get my hands on a copy of Expecting (her new book) because I love to read books so that I can recommend them to people I meet!

  64. Gabe Taviano

    I’m your husband. I live with you. If I had $50 I would give it to you, get it back, and run to PeiWei for you – and put the rest in our Zoo Fund. I’m thrilled about your new blog, and love seeing you excited!

  65. Teresa Thornes

    Hello! Congrats on your new blog Marla. My name is Teresa and I too live in Ohio. I have old a husband and a soon-to-be-one-year-old daughter named Lucy. Currently I am trying to get back on track with my relationship with my Abba…my God. I know that it is only with Him that I can walk through this life that I am blessed to live. In my spare time…what is that?….I enjoy taking my daughter to new places, watching my nieces and nephew play various sports, scrapbooking, talking walks with my husband, and TRAVELING! If someone were to give me $50 I would probably buy Lucy a new outfit…arrrgggggh! I am so bad about that. Although I stay at home right now….I am a teacher for life in my heart. I am emotional and extremely sensitive. There is so much more….but it’s late and I must go to bed.

    Congrats again Marla and thanks for the prayers. Lucy is finally asleep again. πŸ™‚

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