Things I Learned in September

I saw this idea shared on the nester’s blog. She linked to her sister’s blog here. I tried this last month and am continuing this month!

Things I Learned in September

1. How to print Instagram photos.

The 4×4 size is different than the standard 4×6, so what do you do if you want to print them? This is a tutorial on how to print them 4×4. I also printed them 2×2 by making a 2×3 mosaic and printing it 4×6.

2. IKEA stands for the founder’s initials and where he’s from.

Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd. Why have I never bothered to find that out before? I have no idea. Ingvar Kamprad started IKEA as a 17-year-old kid in Sweden. Crazy. He’s the #5 wealthiest person in the world right now.

3. Goodwill has 50% off kids clothes and toys on Thursdays.

Toddler Thursdays. My newest friend. Ha!

4. I’m going to have a new nephew in January!

My little brother Eric and his awesome wife Brittany are expecting their first child and now we know it’s a boy! Serena will have another cousin close to her age (she has Nora on the Tungseth side already) and I’ll have my first Pedersen nephew (no nieces yet either). I’m so excited!

5. I have it pretty good.

This month I did Week in the Life for a week. I have a cozy home, sweet fun husband, silly cute little girl, good friends to spend time with, a good church to be in community with, a cuddly dog to hang out with, etc…

6. They really do grow pretty quickly.

Everyone tells you to enjoy your baby because they grow up so fast. She’s almost a year old now and I am appreciating this. I already miss holding her when she didn’t squirm everywhere! I have learned there are things to appreciate about each stage. SO much more to learn!

7. I know what rosebud is.

I’ve been meaning to watch it for years and finally took the time to watch Citizen Kane.

8. I know how Breaking Bad ends.

I watched a lot of the first season and then started to sort of half watch it while Trevor was watching. It was just so hard to actually watch! Too intense. Last night I watched the series finale. I remember watching the first couple of episodes and wondering how it would all end. Now I know!


Things I Learned in August

I saw this idea shared on the nester’s blog. I recently discovered the nester after seeing an article in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine that featured her home. I don’t know how I hadn’t found her sooner! She linked to her sister’s blog here, and I love the idea! So I’m going to give it a try. We’ll see what I can remember now. I mean, I’m already 3 days in to September! Ha.

Things I Learned in August

1. I really like traveling and seeing new places and eating at new restaurants, even as a parent of a small child.

It really is a new experience and a lot of work, but I am not a homebody. I love to get out of the house and see people. I really enjoyed being away from home and spending lots of time with family and friends and seeing Serena interact with them! I loved introducing Serena to new things as well.

2. My baby can fall asleep in a pack n’ play set up pretty much anywhere.

In the month of August she slept in a cabin, an A-frame, a camper, in various rooms of multiple homes…The one place she freaked out was the house at the farm. I don’t know why. She screamed like she was being attacked by wild animals. Jessica said she had never heard a child scream like that in her life. I have a special one!

3. There is an animal in The Philippines called a dugong.

It’s similar to a manatee. There are only 5 dugongs in captivity in the entire world, and one of them (in Japan) is named Serena.

4. I always misspell Philippines.

It is not spelled Phillipines.

5. If I’m feeling lonely I can just head to the thrift store with Serena.

Any thrift store I go to Serena attracts all kinds of friendly people, both shoppers and employees! It starts lots of conversations and I see all kinds of smiles. People that have grandchildren are the most likely to befriend Serena, but also other kids, women, and men. I love when she catches someone smiling at her and giggles.

6. I really like peaches.

I haven’t really bought them before, but my mother-in-law had some really good ones at Lake Week and my parents had really good ones at their camper. I’ve been buying them and sharing them with Serena who has also become a fan. I don’t know why I didn’t eat them before, but I was missing out!

7. I will drive to multiple TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Tuesday Morning locations to find a $5.99 scrap paper pad.

I made it worth my time by purchasing more than the one I was looking for of course, and some $1.49 Thickers….In case you are wondering, I was looking for the Dear Lizzy and Amy Tangerine papers (never did find the Amy Tangerine ones) and I found Dear Lizzy as well as some Crate Paper and Studio Calico. Because of this trip I also discovered next time I decorate my house (probably my next house someday) I am totally shopping at those stores, especially TJ Maxx/HomeGoods.

8. I want to change my e-mail address!

I’ve had this e-mail address for around ten years, but I’m getting annoyed with all the e-mails I get that are meant for other people. I get them in English, French, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian. Some of the e-mails have been pretty juicy lately, so maybe I don’t want to change and miss out…I even started a tumblr called The Other Karins!

So there you have it.

This House

Now that I’ve been at home a lot more lately, this house is kind of driving me crazy. I can rattle off a list of things that bug me about this house. So I decided to tell you about this house, and tell you the things I like about it.

Trevor bought this house eleven years ago in 2002 when he was a 24-year-old bachelor wanting to make a good investment. He lived here with one of his cousins and a friend to start out, and a few people came and went. It was a bachelor pad with all dirty white walls and dirty old lady curtains until I changed that when we got married in 2005. It’s just over 1000 square feet, and next year it will turn 100 years old. Trevor did not think he would ever be living here with a wife, and especially not with a family. We’ve put money into this house, mostly maintenance, and due to the economy, our house is also worth less than when Trevor bought it. Right now, we’re stuck.

I love that I “re-met” Trevor at this house when I came here for a party. I love that he asked for my number here, and that I met a lot of his friends for the first time here. I love that we had an impromptu engagement party with friends here. We’ve had many birthday parties here. We have celebrated some holidays here. This is Serena’s first home.

I love that this house has character- coved ceilings, wood floors, lots of windows. I like that we have some storage space in the basement and a large garage.

I like that the baby can have her room in the middle of the house and it’s so convenient no matter where in the house you are to go check on her, or grab something from the room, or go in there to change her diaper.

I like that I have done some gardening here (even though it’s a mess now.) I’ve learned a lot more than I knew about it before I lived here.

I like that we are surrounded by diversity here, even just in the few homes on this corner. I like that we have some great neighbors just a few steps away looking out for us. I like that a few of the homes right by us are being updated and flipped. I like that we are only a few blocks from the parkway, close to downtown, not very far from much of anything.

I am thankful we have a home of our own, that keeps us warm in the winter, and that has air conditioning on a hot day like today where it is 95 degrees/feels like over 100!

When I Worked at Washburn

Today is the first day of school for Minneapolis, and instead of handing out change of schedule forms and replacement schedules to kids, I’m hanging out at home with my very own kid! Working at Washburn High School was one of my favorite jobs. It’s sort of strange to not  be there now, but at the same time, I love my new job hanging out with Serena! I actually did go back on a couple of different days recently to help out- the counselors called to ask if I could come in for a few hours to help train my replacement and I happily did! Serena got to come with me and see everyone. She loved to see everyone. They also asked me to cut out some things for the bulletin board as I have done in the past, so I did that as well. So even though I am not there now, I am happy to help.

Towards the beginning of 2013 when I went back to work after my maternity leave, it was the same week as the baby doll incident. After this incident and all the media attention, meetings, etc. you would think that would be enough drama for a school. Then there was a  walk-out and sit-in after word got out that the athletic director might be removed. And then our principal was removed and we found out from the news before the district was able to tell us…

Let me tell you, the principal being removed with a few weeks left of the school year really complicates things. It makes things hard for all staff and students. It doesn’t make things easy when you are the person who orders diplomas and prints transcripts and tons of documents with principal signatures or makes the commencement program either….Just sayin’.

Adjusting to life with a baby and trying to work and be a mom and all of that is hard enough, but with all of this, life was just super stressful. When I heard that this new school year started out with the new principal being removed within just a couple of days, I new I made the right decision to not go back this school year….

I loved working at Washburn because I worked with some really great people and awesome kids. I loved that my job never got boring! My heart is with the staff this year and I wish them the best of luck with the new principal search also.

Here’s the e-mail I sent to my friends at Washburn on my last day this past spring:

A little over two years ago I was working as a temp for MPS and was asked to do a 3 day job at Washburn. On day two I was asked if I could stay and finish out the school year and before I knew it getting me to stay “for real” was in the works. In June we parted ways and I was full of hope that I would be back. In September I quit the permanent job I had taken that summer, with no notice, to be the official Washburn counseling clerk. 🙂 From the beginning I knew I was meant to be at Washburn. I had never worked in a place where people were so welcoming and supportive before. For the past two years it was exactly where I needed to be! I really thought I could stick around here forever!

Working at Washburn with these students and this staff has been an amazing experience and has forever impacted my life in many ways. I am excited for this new phase of my life and becoming a stay at home mom to my precious baby girl Serena, but I am sad to leave these wonderful friends I get to see each weekday. I want to say thank you for everything! Thanks for giving me a chance, for working so hard to keep me here, for the talks about all kinds of life stuff, for the support through my pregnancy, bed rest, and maternity leave. I will forever remember your kindness, hard work, and the passion you have for these kids and their happiness and success.

Be in touch!

What are the odds?

Something happened the other day that has never happened to me before.

Trevor, Serena, and I went to run errands and decided to eat lunch at Panera Bread. We had to wait in a short line of people taking too long to place their orders…I was losing my patience with my arms full of a purse, diaper bag, and 21 lb baby. 🙂 I did notice the woman in front of me placing her order. Even though she was taking a bit to place her order she had a good vibe about her. The rest of you out there get these vibes from strangers, right? Anyway, she was a woman dressed in expensive athletic clothes, and was in her 60s, with a stylish haircut. She placed her order and then I placed our order next.

We found a table and a high chair and Trev sat down with Serena. I went over to the counter to wait for our food. The Panera worker called “Karen” as I was expecting since my name is rarely pronounced correctly by strangers. The woman who had placed her order ahead of me walked up to the counter at the same time as I did. She asked “Are you Karen or Karin (car-in)?” I answered, “Yes, I’m Karin.” She said, “I’m Karin! K-A-R-I-N?” I nodded yes. “I’ve never met another Karin in my life!” I said, “Really?!” and then we looked at the receipt and saw the order was hers. She grabbed her food and was out the door. No chance for me to say another word. Maybe that’s why she hasn’t met any other Karins if she is always in such a hurry. 🙂

My name isn’t very common, but I have met several others with it in my lifetime- in high school, at church camp, in a couple former jobs. But this is the first time my name was called, there were only two people there, and both of them were named Karin. It will probably never happen again!

I Print Photos.

Lately I’ve been taking advantage of Shutterfly codes and sales and stocked up on a bunch of prints after not printing any for quite a while. When I go some time without printing photos, it is always really exciting when I get my prints in the mail. I love having the photos in my hand. Some of them don’t look as good “in person” and others are just so much greater in person. I realize that printing photos is going out of style. I really think that most people my age do not print photos at all. When people find out I scrapbook they usually wonder how I find the time and a lot of people mention that they don’t even print photos.


For me, there is something really special about printed photos and about putting them somewhere and documenting what they are about and looking at them again. I don’t print every photo. I don’t print most of them. In the digital age you can take hundreds of photos at an event or on a trip, so I doubt anyone prints most of the photos they take. There are so many ways to share photos. Sometimes Facebook seems like a live scrapbook. People share photos and type up what they are, organize them how they want, etc. People are constantly documenting their lives now through blogs, social media, photo sites, and more. They just don’t think of it that way because a lot of it seems temporary or fleeting.

This is part of why I like to print photos, photo books, and why I scrapbook. I’m not always thinking about passing photos on for generations to come, but that is sometimes part of it. Who knows how technology will change. Who knows what could happen to the websites where I back up my photos. And if I don’t write about the photos, the people that see them in the future most likely won’t have any context for what they mean.

But the main reason I print the photos and make photo books or scrapbooks is purely for myself and the satisfaction I get. I love to take the photos, to then hold them in my hands, to put the photos together how I like them, to record the stories that go along with them, to find just the right papers and all the other stuff that goes with them. I love to remember, to see the people that are special to me, to remember the places I’ve traveled to, to see how my life has changed and how it’s the same, and to see what God has done in my life and how prayers have been answered.

I’m not saying everyone should scrapbook, but I do recommend taking the time to print some photos to put in frames in your home, or to make a photo book of a special event or trip. Having the photos in your hands really is different than looking at them on a screen. Maybe no one else will appreciate them like you do now, but maybe someday someone will. You never know!


Here are some other posts I read about printing photos that motivated me to share my thoughts:

Print for Your Children’s Children

10 Reasons Why People Don’t Print Their Photos Anymore

Let’s Talk About Scrapbooking



Chop Chop!

I go an embarrassing amount of time between haircuts, but since I don’t do much with my hair it stays pretty healthy. I usually end up cutting my hair once I start to get annoyed with the length and the timing works out. After 9 or so months since the last hairdo I was finally able to get my hair cut to an easier length and I’m pretty happy with it! I’m hoping it will make it less likely Serena will pull my hair…which doesn’t feel so great. Ha! I guess we shall see!

Stuff I’m Liking These Days

Just for fun, here are some things I’m really loving lately!

*Trader Joe’s Lavender Hand & Body Lotion

I usually can’t wait to get done with a bottle of lotion and move on to something different. This might be the first time in my life that hasn’t happened! I’ve bought one bottle after the next of it. I am in love. Apparently if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s you can buy this on amazon.


*Yes to Carrots conditioner

I have purchased this at Walgreens and Target. Shampoo I keep switching but I am really loving how great this conditioner is for my long hair. My long hair which I am hoping to cut a lot shorter, but for now is still long hair.

*Pangea Organics Lavender with Cardamom Lip Balm

My friend Mindy gave me a tube of this last fall with a baby shower gift for me and I was pretty much instantly addicted. I know it’s not for everyone but I absolutely love lavendar.

*Arnold Palmers

When I was pregnant with Serena I couldn’t get enough lemonade. This summer it’s morphed into Arnold Palmers! Recently at the family reunion cousin Britta mixed the peach iced tea with lemonade, and 7-year-old Owen told me I should try it out, that Britta had thought of it. Cute. That was after he informed me earlier that the peach iced tea “tastes like sugar-free flavored water.” Kids!

*Eisley’s latest album, Currents

I’ve been listening to Eisley for years, and I think this might be their best album. It’s so dreamy and beautiful! I’ve linked you to the $6.99 mp3 download on amazon, my preferred spot to download music. I love the sales they do there. Always beats out iTunes!

The moments

It’s been a few weeks home now with my baby girl. There are moments I stop and just can’t believe this is my life. I surely have a deadline right? Only x more days or weeks to spend with my baby, get my house in order, to see my friends during the day, to take the dog to the groomer, etc., right? No! This is my new life. It’s amazing the freedom and peace I feel. It’s so nice to not rush my mornings. It’s so nice to be able to cuddle with my baby for as long as we need, nurse her until she wants to stop, drink my morning coffee and give her her cereal and fruit. We’ve seen a lot of friends and family this summer also which has been so wonderful. I do not take any of this for granted!

Some days feel long. Some days there are car problems, no naps, nothing to make for dinner, but this is my life!

A fresh start.

I’m starting a new adventure and new phase of my life so I felt that I also needed a new blog! I’ve been MIA from blogging for a while, but I miss it. I know there are a lot of things I want to finally take the time to share. I am also hoping I will have time to be creative and share some of that here. Welcome to my new spot.