She was a drama major with a nose-ring.  He was a classics major with a racing green Karmann Ghia.  She complimented him on his car.  He blew her off because she was stupid and obnoxious.  Obviously he was stuck-up and unfunny.  And so it was that for the entirety of freshman year, and the first semester of sophomore year at the University of Dallas, they harbored a mild disdain for one another which sometimes progressed to complete indifference but never improved past basic human civility.

Providentially (as all marriages begin), they both chose the same semester to study abroad at the University's campus in Rome .  At the very beginning of the semester she got sick, slept for 13 hours straight, and fell behind on her school work.  "If I sit at a table with my friends" she thought upon entering the study lounge "I will certainly get wrapped up in some amazingly exciting, totally unimportant conversation and will get no school work done whatsoever" (because in the About Us section, she thinks and speaks in the floweriest manner possible).  So she decided to sit at that table, over there, with the boy who didn't talk much (that's you Damien, if you ever read this) and the boy who didn't like her, because certainly this would result in almost no chatter whatsoever.  But the boy who didn't like her, whose name is Tommy, was working on the same project as she was, and he made a joke.  A joke that was funny.

This blog is the very true story of how they bought a fixer-upper in rural southwest Michigan sight unseen off the internet for $27,000 cash and moved their four (now five!) children out of southern California to embark on an incredible new adventure.
how old is this pic?  very. 2013 will be the year of the updated family photo, I swear!

I did it!  New pic in 2013!

Likes: running, salsa
Dislikes: laziness, coconut
Does: freelance writing; managing social media accounts; making you laugh

Likes: brewing beer; classical guitars
Dislikes: getting his thumb stuck in his keychain
Does: some kind of job with a computer and a chair.  and Powerpoint!  Definitely Powerpoint

Katie likes: working; number puzzles
Katie dislikes: sleeping; being fancy

Lizzy likes: sleeping; being fancy
Lizzy dislikes: working; number puzzles


Likes: hammering stuff; cars; maps
Dislikes: most other things

likes: dancing; screeching; using big words that she doesn't understand
dislikes: sleeping all night; toasted bread


likes: sleeping; bananas; not being surprised
dislikes: rolling over

born into heaven July 15, 2013


  1. Hi! Stopping by from UBP - love the Katie and Lizzy pic and likes/dislikes. So life. :) I also have a girl who dislikes number/shape puzzles and likes being 'fancy'. Haha. Cute.


  2. Hahahaha Your story totally sucked me in! And, um, I cannot believe that you guys bought a house sight unseen that is so crazy and fun! And totally something I would do. I'm adding your blog to my reader ~ too funny not to.

  3. What a great story! It's both cute and interesting. :) It's nice to meet you via the UBP! :)

  4. Thanks so much, ladies! Glad you could get a laugh :)

  5. Stopping by from UBP'11! Following you now! Amazing the leap of faith to buy a house unseen!


  6. Love your sense of humor and your "about us" story! Looks like a wonderful blog. Hope you'll stop by mine and say "hi"!

  7. UBP hit!
    Funny how you loathed your future hubby at first. It was total hate at first sight for me to. We were married for nearly 15 years before he passed away.

    I enjoy your writing style. Maybe you can stop by my place and check me out. I'm brutally honest because life has been brutal. But God has big plans for us and they are just beginning to unfold.

    I look forward to reading more about you and your lovely family. God bless!


  8. Thank you for stopping by and subscribing!

    I'm so sorry for your loss but happy to hear that you're able to cope a little through blogging.

    Hope you have a great week :)

  9. Howdy!

    I am so happy to have found your blog. I am stopping in from the Ultimate Blog Party and this is my very first year participating and this is SO VERY exciting!! LOL

    Anyhow...please stop by my blogs and follow whenever you get the opportunity:

    So Stylilized is where I am currently offering FREE Custom Blog Designs at

    And...Jessica Lil Corner is where I am blogging about family and life at

    I welcome your visit at either or both of my blogs and hope to have you stop by and follow really soon!!

    Have a very blessed day!! :0)

  10. Looks like you have a lot of fun! Stopping by from UBP11! Loved your avoid the housework post! Something I also like to avoid.

  11. HI I’m LaDonna I’ve found you via the UBP, would love to have you stop by my place over at

  12. Now, here's a random, wild world: My friend, Amaryllis, (who is really a mutual friend's friend) posted a link to your housework blog on FB. I read it and when reading the comments said to myself, "Dweej"? No way that's the same girl from UD, so then I had to look at the "About Us" section and there it was in black & white - University of Dallas!! Good to "find" you on here! Hope all's well! It looks like you're living a great adventure. I'll have to send the link to your blog to my old UD roommie, Jess Thurow Dupree...

    Take care!
    Elizabeth Goodnow

  13. Wow! It really is such a small, random, wild world! That is just awesome :) I'm gonna come over and find you on facebook ;)

  14. This is the first time I have read this section of your blog, I love your story.

    I studied in Italy as well, I found a cute Italian boy, he was fun but not a keeper.

    Can't wait to learn more about your life and adventures.



  15. hey all its me stupidrider 53 ure a family in a million you laugh joke about things a dont take things to serouse tommy ure the brother i never had

  16. thanks for coming over to my blog and also for following. I LOVE this story you the two of you!!
    I am a new follower too!

  17. Hi! Here from UBP. I love your story:)

  18. Thank you so much, everyone. The last 12 years have certainly been an adventure! :D

  19. I'm reading all the comments and trying to figure out what UBP Cause I found you via One Mixed Bag and Follow Friday ;) Life is and advensture and no matter what happens...that is what keeps me and my hubby going after 19 years of kids, moving, houses and jobs! Glad to find someone else with the same attitude, fondly, Roberta

  20. Following you from One Mixed Bag...

    I am SPEECHLESS!!! How do you find the time to do all of those things? You are living on the same 24 hours = 1 day planet as the rest of us, right? You are one amazing super woman!!! Here I am, managing a house we've been living for the last 6 yrs (so no major housework needed at the moment) with only one little daughter to take care of, and already I'm busting at the seams!

    Love, LOVE your blog and your family! My husband and I also didn't really like (understatement of the year, by the way) each other for the first 4 years that we were acquainted. Hated his guts, and the feeling was mutual. Took us 4 years and then some shots too many to realize that "hey, on second thought, maybe I kinda like you."

    You got yourself a faithful follower here!

  21. Wow, thank you for such a sweet, thoughtful comment! When I have days like today (when I have done nothing (NOTHING) around the house) I like to waste even more time by looking at our pictures and saying "Look, I already did enough work for, like, a whole year. Geez!" and then I eat another kit-kat.

    I'm going to hop over to your blog right now :) Thank you for following!

  22. omg, you are hilarious! i love your blog! i'm going to try to figure out how to subscribe to That Donkey Guy right now...i'm clueless with internest technology, lol!

  23. LOL Love the eating salad with serving spoon. And being able to do it while holding large bowl in the other hand! I probably would have dumped it by accident

  24. Oh my gosh Dweej! The Ogre and I met at UD as well! Sadly he didn't go to Rome, but wrote me letters that whole semester. How weird. It's like you and I were internet-made for each other.

    I am now going to promote your husband's guitar making skills to all my weirdo UD buddies who do things like play rugby and then drink 40's in the woods while strumming Irish tunes on their classical guitars.

  25. Just had to stop by and let you know that I am now following you on GFC and have added your blog to my reader, so I don't have to worry about missing a single minute of your fun blog!

  26. Dwija-
    I don't know if you remember me from UD but I saw a link to your blog from Elizabeth Jodziewicz's facebook page. Hilarious blog! Keep it up! Your family is beautiful and highly amusing!
    Betsy (Russell) Martinez
    UD Class of 2000

  27. Thank you so much, Betsy! It's amazing the outpouring of love and support we've gotten throughout this adventure. Thank you so much for reading :)

  28. you and your husband have such cool jobs!!

    i think i'll stick around and read a little here :) i myself am catholic, and i want 4 kids!!! every time i hear someone has more than 3 kids i ask them what's the hardest part... you lemme know ok? thank you! haha

  29. OMG I hate coconut too! Sisters I tell ya.

  30. I grew up in Southeast Michigan! Sometimes, when I get tired of New England, I fantasize about my husband getting us transferred back to Michigan, so we can buy a rural fixer-upper, too! But then I remember how long we would go without seeing the sun. And how cold it got.

  31. We are all living for the day when Sleeping will be moved into the LIKE category.

  32. What a gorgeous family! Bought a house without seeing it?? That's awesome!

  33. I love that you would do something so wild and freeing. My husband and I abandoned our jobs in Washington, D.C. 20 years ago to move back to my hometown, jobless and with a baby on the way. We have never been sorry. I like people with a sense of adventure. I am trying to reclaim mine.

  34. You guys are kind of gorgeous and cool, huh? Usually I'd be jealous and intimidated by you. ;) I love this blog; there's something so special that escapes from the pages. cheers,

  35. Hello,

    I don't see much genuine writing on blogs, but yours is wonderful with real people--family. Thank you!

    Mark L.

  36. Hi - thanks for visiting my blog. Love your story. God bless!

  37. Dwija, WHAT is Paul wearing in the lower right corner of his photo montage?

    1. Um, duh! Clearly a Clifford the Big Red Dog costume!

  38. From one former nose ring sporting theater major, currently homeschooling mom of five and blogger and raiser of chickens to another, YAY! I KNEW -just KNEW- I couldn't be the only one. By the way, hit the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes... they're the best. (Yes, I'm originally from Michigan. Are you holding your hand up? Second knuckle from the top on the ring finger.) It's a fun ride we're on, isn't it?

  39. I love your blog! I just found you through your MomSense article, which had me laughing hard. I have a child who eats only a small handful of foods and would starve to death rather than try anything else.

  40. I demand that you update this section. Immediately.

  41. I second Cari's opinion. And I will add that Tommy's guitar link doesn't work. So, where do I buy one his his fancy gee-tars?

    1. Oh yes, this page requires a huge update. The guitars are no mas. He's gonna start being a regular guy who goes to a regular job soon :)

  42. I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog. I found it a month or two ago and have now read almost all of your old posts (that may say bad things about how I spend my free time...) and found them very encouraging. Thanks!

  43. I found your blog through the Sunday link-up at FLAP, and I'm so glad I did. Love it.

    I applaud you and your husband for the courage to make the move you did. It sounds like a great life for your kids!

  44. HI there! I found your blog when a friend of mine posted your latest post about Family planning (wait people do that??? says the mom to five boys who is adopting a little girl). And then I got sucked in. I love your blog. New reader here! :)


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