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Jill and Gretchen at the Roman baths

A New Year: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Happy New Year!

Well it’s the end of January and, after a busy month, we’re excited to finally post about the new year (2020!).  As we look forward to the year ahead, we also love taking time to look back at 2019.

Best of 2019

1. Trip to U.K./Ireland

In September, we traveled to England with Gretchen’s brother and parents (who were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary)!  We loved seeing Canterbury Cathedral, touring the Roman Baths (pictured above), and eating fish and chips. We also took a couple days on our own to explore Ireland, including a food tour and a bus trip to Northern Ireland.  What a great trip!

2. Fun Times with Friends

We are blessed with many amazing friends.  We went on a spur-of-the-moment/winter-is-too-long trip to visit dear friends in the Bay Area in California.  We hung out with our pastor friends on our annual post-Easter retreat at Lake MilleLacs. And, over July 4th, we hung out with friends in Wisconsin Dells and also Decorah Iowa.  

Jill and Gretchen with friends and their kids in sunny California
Good times with friends!

3. Good Books

Both of us made a goal last year to read more books. We love reading fantasy novels, checking out new books, and reading more books written by people of color.

Top Three Things We’re Looking Forward to in 2020:

1. Road Trip 2020

We’re hoping this year to take a good, old fashioned road trip somewhere in the US.  We’re looking forward to checking out local history, trying new foods, and seeing the country.

Jill and Gretchen at with the Stillwater Bridge
The old Stillwater lift bridge

2. Exploring New Things at Work

We love our jobs and are looking forward to exploring new sides of our work as pastors this year.  Jill is part of two leadership cohorts, one that she just returned from meeting with in Nashville. Gretchen is taking Spiritual Direction classes at St. Kate’s University.

3. (Hopefully) Baby! 

We can’t wait to become a family of 4 (Jill, Gretchen, Petunia, & Baby)! Exciting news: we just received an invitation into the CHLSS profile book that social workers show to birth parents.  We hope we’ll be matched with a birth family soon! Could it be you?

More to explore

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Seven weeks ago today, our lives changed as we welcomed four children into our home. On very short notice, we sold furniture,

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Dear Friends and Family, There is BIG news from the Rode family!  As you know, we’ve been working with Children’s Home/Lutheran Social

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