Our Big News

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Friends, it is with great excitement that Jacob and I share some big news with you today. Over the past year we have been thinking and praying and thinking and praying over what our next steps are in life. We have had dreams form and plans change while trying to fully discern where we a meant to be and what we are to be doing.

We have loved our experience in small town Iowa. This is the place we fell in love, gained an invaluable college education, and started our adult lives. We had some of the best of moments and some of the worst. This place will forever be in our hearts. That being said, we are big city people seeking greater opportunities and looking for change.

We can now officially announce that this summer we will be moving to the Twin Cities, Minnesota! Jacob and I are both originally from the Twin Cities and cannot wait to make the transition back to a state we love. We may be bias, but we truly believe Minnesota is one of the best places to live. It has four beautiful seasons, has a vibrant young professional population, and has opportunities to be lost in the woods or downtown within a two minute walk. This is the place for us!

Jacob has accepted a position at Goodwill Easter Seals as a career specialist. He will be working with people who have barriers into the workplace (poverty, sporadic job history, etc.) and teaching courses with job skills, interviewing techniques, and career placement. This is truly where his heart is at and he is looking forward to do something he is passionate about.

I have accepted a position at Bethel University as their admissions event coordinator. I will be able to continue to my career in admissions and concentrate on giving meaningful experiences to on-campus visitors in a Christian academic community. I greatly look forward to working on a dynamic and innovative team while gaining more exposure in Christian higher education.

Thank you to those who have been praying with us through each step of this journey. Thank you for the encouragement and support as we make this transition. Our blogging community is such an important part of our lives, just like our in person community, and we are so happy to celebrate this move with you!

Week's End Wrap-Up

Monday, May 18, 2015

See them all on Instagram!

1. Monday mornings are hard. I typically love the fresh start they bring and getting back into the weekly routine. This past Monday I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and needed the swift reminder that I need to cling to Jesus each and every morning.

2. Succulents are all the rage right now, but Jacob hates them. He has always had kind of a weary attitude about weird looking plants. I on the other hand love them and soak them up when I visit my friends. Isn't this guy cute? Plants make small apartments fresh and fine.

3. Hey look at us enjoying our hammocks! On most nice days, you will find Jacob and I enjoying the great outdoors in our Eno hammocks. Jacob snapped this picture and I adore how well it captures who we are. Definitely one to frame!

4. Thank goodness for Saturday mornings and a chance to catch up on rest. We have a big announcement to make tomorrow, so stop on by, but it has left us very tired. Sleeping in, waking up slowly, and cuddling was the perfect way to feel rejuvenated in this season of life.

-A Cup of Creative with Jenny Highsmith! Way to go Jenna!
-Ashley has a great collection of pins on Pinterest
-An insider's perspective on anxiety
-I am all about this style for the spring
-Packing smart for a beach vacation

Tell me about your week!
P.S. In honor of my birthday month, I am running a special ad sale off all According to Laura Jean sponsor packages
Use the promo code SURPRISE for an extra special discount!

Dad's Best Grilled BBQ Ribs Recipe

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media®  
Smithfield® and Farmland®, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade 
#GetUpandGrill #GetFiredUpGrilling http://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH

Raise your hand if you love summer! Raise your other hand if you love backyard barbecues! Raise both hands if grilling ribs seems way too time consuming and unreasonable! If one or both of your hands are raised, then this Grilled BBQ Ribs recipe will be your best friend this summer. And if you didn't raise a hand or two, I have a hard time believing you.

My dad is a master of the grill. He is hands down the best in the Midwest and can whip up the most delicious meals with his skills. What is most impressive is his balance of a full time job, participating in a weekly golf league, and family time. Somehow, someway he still has the time to make mouth watering meals that leave us coming back for more.

Now that Jacob and I are married, we decided it was time to take after Mr. Ecklund and try our own hand at grilling. We called up the legend himself and asked for some tips with the Farmland's St. Louis Style ribs we picked up at Walmart. Because we live full lives, he suggested starting the ribs out in the crock pot. Not only does this cut back on cook and prep time, but it provides extra tender and flavorful ribs.

The rub was made up of dad's suggestions along with our favorite herbs and seasonings to make a lasting impression on our taste buds. We slathered it on, tossed it them in the crock pot and went along with our day. It was so nice to have dinner cooking without having to spend hours in the kitchen. After about four hours in the crock pot on high, we transported them out to our local park and started up the charcoal grill. There is something so classic and smokey about grilling over charcoals.

After getting the coals warmed up and wrapping the ribs in tinfoil, we popped them on the grill and went back to tossing a frisbee, laying in our hammocks, and spending time together. Who knew grilling ribs could be laid back and enjoyable? Halfway through I added the ears of corn over the charcoal to cook. After two hours of grill time and smelling the delicious BBQ, we unpacked the tinfoil and dug in. Don't tell him, but I think dad may have a grilling rival at our next family get together!

Farmland St. Louis Style Spareribs 
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
1 Tablespoon Cumin 
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoons Black Pepper
Salt to taste
BBQ Sauce of Choice
Corn on the Cob
A Pinch of Rosemary

How To:
1. Combine all the dry ingredients, besides Rosemary, in a bowl. Mix well. This creates your delicious dry rub.
2. Trim membrane off the back of ribs. This allows ribs to be extra tender and less fatty. 
3. Slather the dry rub on to both sides of the ribs. 
4. Place ribs in crock pot for four hours on high.
5. Take ribs out of the crock pot, wrap in tinfoil pockets, and place over hot charcoal grill. 
6. Use meat thermometer to keep track of how cooked the ribs are. When they have 45 minutes to an hour to go, add the corn over the coals. My favorite way to cook it is within the husk.
7. Wait till corn is soft and meat is fully cooked, remove from heat, and serve.
8. As a bonus tip, I like to put butter on the corn cobs with a little sprinkle of rosemary.

How do you like your ribs? Visit the Get Fired Up Grilling website www.getfiredupgrilling.com for additional recipes and tips from BBQ Pitmasters Moe Cason and Tuffy Stone. Also enter to win a trip to the American Royal BBQ contest and other great grilling prizes!
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