22 December 2009


Get ready Minnesota! We're coming home!
The weather here is too warm for my blood and we can't wait to experience the fresh Minnesota air again!!!!!

Ok - time to get on the bus! OH! I just remembered! Megabus has FREE WI-FI! All the way to MN!Yes!!!

- M&L
ps. Have you heard of the band Owl City? Or Lights? Awesome bands!

17 December 2009


It's long overdue, but here are the pictures from our honeymoon.
Micah didn't tell Lauren where they were going for their honeymoon. She didn't find out until they reached the baggage claim in Miami. Some guy came up to her and asked her if she was getting on the boat too. Micah said that YES, indeed we were! We went on an awesome 7 day cruise in the Caribbean. We had such an amazing time and highly recommend a cruise to anyone else getting married!

Thanksgiving Photos

Here are some photos from our Thanksgiving with the Erickson family! :)

Lauren's cousin Rachel with Otto. We had 5 dogs spending Thanksgiving with us - they were all cuddly and friendly!

The day after Thanksgiving we walked through Moody's campus, window shopped down the magnificent mile, and visited the "bean" in Millennium Park.

Danielle and Rachel are resting after our long walk down the magnificent mile.

Rachel was lucky to have Micah carry her for most of our walking (and for them, sometimes running :) )

We stopped at Portillo's for dinner. Yum! Chicago Hot Dogs!

The nearby FREE zoo was having a special event called "Zoo Lights." Parking in their lot was $17 after 30 min. So Lauren's dad and uncle re-parked every 20 minutes to keep things really free.

The zoo had lights up all over, ice sculpting, Santa, and of course lots of animals to see!

It was a fun time!

After our long day in Chicago, we drove to Wrigleyville to show our family our cozy little apartment!
The kids loved seeing Penny!

We loved getting to spend so much time with family!

06 December 2009

A few more days!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers. I have pretty much finished all of my homework for half of my classes. Tonight I am hoping (praying) to finish all of my homework for one more class. Then all I will have left is my Greek final this Wednesday night (which I am not prepared to take yet).

Please keep me in your prayer! Lauren is still recovering from a cold. Please pray for full recovery for her as well!!!

We miss MN!

04 December 2009


Hello to our Family and Friends!
There are SIX more days until I am done with this semester! Thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement! I just finished all of my homework and papers for one of my classes. I have a BIG Greek exam on Wednesday night! PLEASE pray for me as I prepare for that - for retention of knowledge, to do well, and to finish strong! I also have a big project due for OT class as well (I'm going to do something on my trip to Israel). Please pray that I'm able to put together a solid presentation - and that I make enough time to do a good job on that! I also have an online class with a final next week. Please pray that I'm able to remember what I've learned so I can put into words a clear picture of what I have been taught!

Lauren is enjoying her job at the child care center. She has been having a tough week though. She had a fever for a day, a horrible cold all week, and has been getting a REALLY sore back as well (holding infants all day). Please pray for her recoveries and for added strength to continue to take care of these wonderful infants!

We thank the our Savior Jesus Christ who has provided for our daily needs and has taken care of us ONE day at a time! Financially speaking, we have been so thankful for our family and friends who have gathered around us with prayer and financial support. Thank you so much for the surprise cards of encouragement, wisdom, and the ability to go out on some fun dates! Lauren and I went out tonight to get some hot apple cider, a bite of cheesecake, and went for a walk around our neighborhood! We are so thankful for all of you back at home who are thinking about us and praying for us! We are doing the same for you as well!!

With all of that being said - I must continue on in my studies! Please feel free to call us though anytime! I love to take short phones breaks to talk to anyone who calls!


30 November 2009

Prayer and Thanksgiving!

My dear family and friends,
We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving this past weekend! Lauren will update this blog and fill you in with all of the fun things we did as a family over the course of three days. Of course, I missed being with my side of the family (you crazy wonderful bunch!) but I am looking forward to seeing you guys at Christmas!

I am overloaded with homework and projects and humbly ask to keep me in your faithful, daily prayers through December 10th (my last day of school for the semester). Please pray for efficiency in my work, diligence to finish all of my work on time, and to do well in the results of my labor. Please also pray that Lauren and I continue to do well in our jobs!
I am wiped out but I am excited that the light at the end of the tunnel is approaching soon (and there's nothing I can do to stop it from coming)!

- M&L

25 November 2009

As Thanksgiving Approaches...

We have so much to be thankful for! Despite having very little $ in our piggy bank, God's provided so we've been able to pay our bills, keep our apartment, and eat pretty well. We're both employed and have an awesome cat. And we have amazing, loving, supportive families!

We're spending Thanksgiving with Lauren's Mom's side of the family (the Ericksons). Thanksgiving is a big deal for Lauren's family - it's her favorite holiday. It's a 4 day event - Turkey day, a day galavanting through downtown Chicago, a day where we play games and go see a movie, and lots of time just hanging out, having fun.

We (aka Lauren) had some baking to do for Thanksgiving (wow, she feels like an adult now!). On our grocery trip we came across some interesting finds.Mmmm...Turkey cake! Did they baste it?

Chocolate Fudge Pop (or "soda" for you pop snobs :) ) Lauren thinks it is disgusting, Micah thinks it would taste deliciously yummy! Can't tell from the pic, but they only sold the diet version - hmm...

Fall has been really beautiful in our neighborhood - lots of streets lined with big, old trees. We've really enjoyed taking walks through our neighborhood, seeing the beautiful old homes, cute little boutiques and restaurants, seeing lots of kids out playing, and cute dogs on walks.
On a walk, found a leaf bigger than Lauren's face - what kind of tree does that come from?

PS- Lauren is loving her job! She works with a wonderful teacher and they only care for 2 babies in their room at the moment - a 1 year old and a 3 mo. old. After Thanksgiving break, they'll have 4 new babies over one week's time. Three 2 mo. olds and another 3 mo. old. It'll be a little crazy, but hopefully fun too!

14 November 2009

The Weekend!

Last night we had fun hanging out with our friends Jesse and Ruth at their place. Along with some other couples we played "Apples to Apples" and celebrated Jesse's birthday. It's so awesome to have other Christian couples as friends!
This morning (or rather afternoon since we slept in :) ) we walked a few blocks from our apartment to a diner for breakfast. It's an old fashioned diner with one row of stools that faces the kitchen (like Al's in Dinkytown). It's creatively called "24 Hour Diner." Some of the employees even wear those paper hats. It was fun to watch our food being made and it tasted great!
Micah has been studying all day and is so diligent! Thank the Lord for our 3 day weekends!

13 November 2009

Our God Is So Good!

We know our God is faithful and provides, but it is still amazing to see when He provides evidence of that in our own lives. We thank you for all your prayer and encouragement as Lauren has searched for a job. God has blessed us by answering our prayers. Lauren has been offered a position as an "infant teacher" in a childcare center in downtown Chicago. She begins work/training on Wednesday and will be working with a lead teacher to care for infants and create lesson plans. The job is full time and will meet Micah and Lauren's financial needs and even a few of their wants. God has given Lauren a love for children in low-income families and in poor living situations. She someday wants to start her own childcare center for single-mothers who are on a fixed income, and hoped for a job that would prepare her for that in some way. Please pray for Lauren as she starts her job, that she would learn everything quickly and that caring for many infants would not be overwhelming, but a joy.

Love always,

11 November 2009

Interview Day

Today, Lauren had an interview with a childcare center downtown. It went really well and she really liked the center and the teachers that work there. She should find out about the job by Friday or Monday. When Lauren got home she got a call from another childcare center asking if she could come in for an interview that day (today!). Needless to say, Lauren accepted the interview. The interview went great and the center asked her to come in for a working interview tomorrow to see how she is with the kids and if the center is a good fit for her. She hopes both places offer her a position, but time will tell! Pray that she has discernment about accepting a job if an offer comes her way and that she would not be discouraged if she doesn't get a job offer.


10 November 2009

Hello Again!

Hi All,

Micah is overwhelmed with the homework he has to complete. He wants to blog about his amazing trip to Israel, but has to devote his time to catching up with school work. Please pray that he can catch up on his homework and that he stays focused and doesn't get discouraged.

Lauren had a few interviews a few weeks ago, and while they went well, she was not offered the positions. It's competitive out there! She has an interview tomorrow working as an assistant teacher at a daycare. Please pray that it would go well!

Also, Micah's great aunt Lillian has declined rapidly in her health. She suffered a stroke and her caretakers say it's only a matter of time before she dies. She is 101 and has lived a full life and seems to be in a constant state of sleep, but we would appreciate prayer that she would be at peace and not be in pain.

We are still loving Chicago and our neighborhood. We rearranged our apartment and have more room now! We miss our family but look forward to seeing them at Thanksgiving and Christmas.


29 October 2009

Just a little bit longer...

We know many of you want to hear all about Micah's awesome trip to Israel. Unfortunately, he has TONS of homework to catch up on and won't be able to blog about the trip for a few days. Know he is safe and had an incredible journey!


16 October 2009


Lauren has an interview for a job on Tuesday! PTL! It's a job she initially thought about not bothering to apply for, thinking she didn't qualify for the job. The position is "Study Hall Specialist." Not sure where the specialist title comes in, seeing as it just involves monitoring high school students during study hall and occasionally administering state testing. But, maybe there's more to the job than that. Lauren had 4 time slots to choose from for an interview. She's hoping that means she's only 1 of 4 people interviewing for the job. That's pretty good odds. But, if God wants Lauren to have this job, it will happen. Still, she would appreciate your prayers that she would do well in her interview, speaking clearly and being confident. Lauren thinks it would be wonderful to surprise Micah with her having a job when he gets back!
Lauren talked to Micah on the phone today. He is having a great time still in Israel. He's been to many different hotels already, and says everyone is very hospitable. Micah climbed Masada today! How amazing is that?! (If you don't know what it is, google it! There's an incredible story about Masada and you need to see the pictures to see that climbing it is quite a task!) There's a cable car that can take you up there, but his group does it the challenging way. Micah also got to swim in the Dead Sea. He said he could sit up cross-legged in the water and be half-way out of the water! Lauren can't wait (and I'm sure many of you can't wait) to hear all about Micah's adventures and see photos!


13 October 2009


This weekend we went home to see our family before Micah headed to Israel. We took the Greyhound overnight on Thursday and spent Friday with Micah's family. On Saturday Micah and I went to Chanhassen Dinner Theater to see "Oklahoma!" Micah had gotten tickets over a year ago at a silent auction. That night Grandma Sonia took us out to dinner with Micah's family and his aunt Pam and his cousins. We got to stop by and see Lauren's grandparents too. EARLY Sunday morning, Lauren and Mom McLellan took Micah to the airport to leave for Israel. He had a 10 hour layover in NYC, so he spent the day walking around the big apple. He found the big Swiss Army store and had, of course, a GREAT time there. He safely arrived in Israel and has called Lauren once. He is learning a lot and having a great time. Lauren had fun spending the day with her sister Danielle and then had dinner with her parents. She took the Greyhound overnight to Chicago and got picked up from the station to go directly to work. She's working as a childcare provider for preschoolers in Wheaton. T.E.A.M. - a missionary organization, is training about 8 families to be missionaries overseas. It's a week long training and Lauren and her friend Brittany are taking care of the family's children while the parents are in class. Lauren is glad to have something to keep her busy while Micah is gone, but is still looking for a permanent job and so thankful for all of your prayers!


05 October 2009

Sunday Monday Happy Days!

Hey guys!
Today was busy but enjoyable! Work was busy! I enjoyed it, but it was refreshing to come home to my beautiful wife and eat her homemade pizza for dinner!
I have received word that I have been officially endorsed by the National Association of Evangelicals for the Army Chaplaincy! I'm excited to see where God takes this and how far He leads me into this calling!

Well - it's time to keep plugging away on homework before Lauren and I leave for Minneapolis this coming Thursday evening! Oh - and go Vikings! I can't see them on TV here, but I'm following play-by-play on ESPN!

P.S. thank you to EVERYONE for your words of encouragement and your prayers as I prepare for Israel! Thank you also for those who are contributing financially as well! You are all such a blessing to us both! Please keep lifting up Lauren in your prayers as well, that God leads her to a good, full-time job where she can use the gifts and abilities that He has given her to help others and to glorify Him!

02 October 2009

Israel soon!!

Hey guys!
Today was a great day! I took Lauren out to see Toy Story 1&2 in the theaters! It was totally dead so we basically had the whole theater to ourselves! It was really great to see these two movies back-to-back in 3D! We are both looking forward to next year's Toy Story 3! We spent the rest of the day trying to unwind from the week, while I am still trying to stay on top of the homework load!
God has been so good to us. While we don't know what each day may bring us, this we do know: that God is in control of our days and will provide for our basic needs. He has faithfully blessed us in ways we couldn't imagine. We are so blessed to have family and friends who pray for us consistently and who provide us with words of encouragement when they are most needed.
We are also so very thankful to those who have committed to pray for the upcoming Israel trip starting next week, and for those who have even felt led to financially support this mission as well. Words cannot express the gratitude we hold for you.
We have begun to see just how powerful prayer can be during our time in Chicago. Moody certainly lifts everything up to the Lord in prayer and it has been so refreshing to draw on that and use that in our own personal lives. God is so very good.
We will be in Minnesota this next weekend for a few short days. I (Micah) will be flying out from Minneapolis to NY and then to Israel on Sunday morning, but would love to see some of you before I leave if I can. I wish I could thank you and hug you all in person for all that you have blessed us with, in prayers, love, encouragement, gifts, and more prayer!
We love you!
- Micah and Lauren


Here is a slideshow of photos from Jon and Katie Brown's visit and a few extra ones when school started!

01 October 2009

Job Info

Lauren had an interview this morning for a job working as an after-school teacher to kids in underperforming schools. They offered her the job after the interview! While this job pays $20/hr, it's only 8 hours a week, and it doesn't start until November.
It would be a job Lauren would love, but she would need another part time job to pay the bills. Aldi's is hiring :)

Happy October everyone!

29 September 2009

Glory to God

God has certainly blessed us this week!

Our parents arrived safely in Chicago Friday afternoon and showered us with gifts of food and love! Mom and Dad McLellan brought us giant bags full of fresh honeycrisp apples from the Nystrom's orchard. Mom and Dad Johnson brought us a gallon of fresh picked raspberries. Not to mention the moms baked for us and bought us more food! The guys went to the Gopher/Northwestern football game Saturday, while the gals walked around town and did a little shopping. (The Gophers won - yea!) After we all crashed on the couch for a nap, we spent the evening downtown. We went to the top of the John Hancock building and ate some awesome food at Portillo's. We were sad to see our parents leave on Sunday morning, but know we will get to see them again soon. We are so thankful for them and blessed by them.

Micah will be going to Israel in 2 weeks! Yep, that's right - he'll be out of the country before you know it! He emailed the tour company that arranges trips to Israel through That the World May Know Ministries to see about going to Israel in the next few years. They directed him to the ministry directly and they passed on his inquiry directly to Ray Vander Laan. Soon, Ray emailed Micah directly about going to Israel with him. He remembered Micah from the trip to Turkey Micah took with Ray in 2003. Someone had backed out of an October trip to Israel and Ray offered Micah that spot. Micah initially turned the opportunity down thinking he had school. Ray put Micah on a waiting list of 250 people that were waiting to go with him to Israel in THREE YEARS! Micah then realized he had school off one of the two weeks of the trip. Micah decided to pursue Israel and got Ray's okay to have time to get permission from work and school. Micah's professors and work encouraged him full-heartedly to go to Israel. On top of that Micah got a scholarship that pays for 2/3 of the trip! We're pretty confident that God orchestrated all of this - what an amazing God we have that takes care of all the details! He has provided Micah with a wonderful, life changing opportunity to see the places Jesus walked and see the bible come to life!

Lauren has gotten a lot of leads job-wise this week as well. She was offered an interview this Monday, but later turned it down as it involved and hour and a half commute. But, the woman offering the job instilled Lauren with confidence about finding a job. Lauren has an interview on Thursday for being a tutor and got a call today about setting up an interview to be a teacher at a childcare center. Lauren would really like to be blessed with the teaching job at the childcare center, but knows God is working in her and Micah's life and has something good in store.



23 September 2009

Greek Exam Over! Fun this coming weekend!

Greetings friends! Micah here! I JUST finished my Greek exam (I'm still in class actually as I write this)! Thank you so much for your prayers! I think it went pretty well - though I'm pretty sure I got at least one question wrong (woops)!

Aside from that - school work is heavy but manageable (as long as Lauren keeps me on task)!

Our parents are all coming down this weekend to hang out! We're super excited! The guys will hit up the Northwestern/Gopher game this weekend to see the Gophers play some winning, Minnesota action! Take that Northwestern!

God is really good! This coming Friday night Micah will have the opportunity to spend some time in Boystown, a GBLT community. He will be there with several other Moody students and staff, listening, befriending, and sharing the love of Christ! Please keep this team in your prayers!
On another note, Micah's laptop is crashing left and right, and the battery no longer charges. We don't have money for a new netbook, but we are praying that God will provide someday (maybe cheap on Black Friday?!) :)

Love always!

22 September 2009

Fabulous Sunday!

Micah has been a good student and spends most of his time in books and completing assignments. Thankfully, he is loving what he is learning and has wonderful professors. Please pray for his big Greek exam on Wednesday!

This Sunday we checked out a church recommended to Lauren by a friend from Moody's Student Wives Fellowship - Ruth. After church we had brunch at an amazing Turkish Crepe restaurant with Ruth, her husband Jesse (who both attend Moody) and their new friends Michael (also a Moody student) and his wife Brittany. It was a great time of fellowship and fun, and we look forward to meeting up with our new friends next Sunday again.
Sunday night we attended a hymn sing at Dr. Fuder's home. One of Micah's professors opened his home to Moody students for a night of hymn singing. About 25 people or more gathered together to praise God and sing some oldies but goodies! We even had two guitarists, a violinist, and two drummers that joined in.

Lauren has been applying to jobs left and right, but has only gotten one phone call about a job - and it turned out they didn't have openings in the Chicago area at this time. But, she still manages to apply to about 5 jobs every day and knows the Lord has something in store for her. She appreciates all your prayers!

18 September 2009

A pleasant weekend

Hey all!
Micah here! Well it's been a crazy (but in a good way) week! I have been super busy with school, work, homework, learning, cramming information into my brain, transferring it to my heart, and learning how to apply it through my life and actions! Woah! This weekend has finally settled down a bit, and now Lauren and I can spend some quality time together (while I still find time to do a bunch of homework and studying)!
Lauren is doing well! She is still on the job hunt (prayer is needed), but she is enjoying her amazing culinary skills and putting them to action every day, (and I enjoy reaping the benefits of that)! She is part of the Student Wives Fellowship group at Moody that meets every Thursday evening (the same time I have class)! So it works out really well!
I have a big Greek exam on Wednesday evening, so please pray for me as I study! Several papers and projects are due as well this next week! But God is good and faithful and through our trust in Him we will find the time to accomplish what we must to be fruitful and alive for Jesus!

Warm blessings!

14 September 2009

Long time no post!

Sorry to those waiting to read an update on the blog - just haven't gotten around to writing.

Last weekend was so much fun getting to see family. On Friday we hung out with the McLellan clan - we had a great time at the Olive Garden celebrating Grandpa Mc's birthday. On Saturday we met up with Lauren's parents and Danielle. We went to the Como Zoo, ate at Annie's Parlor, and checked out the new Gopher stadium. After church on Sunday we had fun with Micah's cousins at the MN state fair! We all got a fan of Joe Mauer's face and took the traditional calendar photo with each of us holding a fan. Micah ate Joe's head while Lauren picked Joe's nose.

We were sad to leave home, but look forward to our next trip to MN.

This week was pretty chill - Micah attending class and doing homework, Lauren waiting to hear back about her interview and trying to find things to keep her busy.

This weekend we went on a retreat up by Lake Geneva. It is required for Moody Graduate students most semesters and students are encouraged to bring their families. It was great getting to know some other Moody students and their spouses. Micah was glad to have some time to relax since he's been so busy with school work and work work.

01 September 2009

GOOD NEWS! (Jesus is coming soon!)

Lauren and Micah were blessed, surprised, and ecstatic to get a call from Mom McLellan today to tell them she and Dad McLellan were flying us home for labor day weekend! Thanks guys! We love you! That's right folks, we'll be in good ole MN this weekend. Which means we get to see family and friends AND go to the STATE FAIR!

Also, Lauren got a call from a nanny agency saying they found a family that wants to interview her. The interview is already tomorrow (Wednesday) at 6pm. She'd be taking care of a 5 mo. old baby girl and getting paid quite well to do it. Please be praying that the interview would go well and that it would be a good fit for Lauren and the family.

The only "bummer" part of the day (if you can even define it as such): Micah came home happily after a hard day's work to tell Lauren he had dinner plans all figured out. A restaurant down the street was giving out free gyros!!! When we got to Mangi's (the restaurant) they were out of gyros! Not so bad in the scheme of things, but we're determined to get those free gyros someday!

31 August 2009

Let the work begin!

Our weekend was pretty uneventful, as Micah did a lot of homework and Lauren did some more job hunting and book reading!
Yesterday we made cream cheese wantons and peanut buster parfait! Today Micah worked for about 9 hours, talked to a new friend on the phone about school, and did more homework!

Thank you for your continued emails and prayers! We are trusting God everyday to take care of our needs and to sustain us through the week!

M&L :)

28 August 2009

Work day

Today Micah went in to work for a few hours - to top out his 24 hour/week work limit (a rule set by Moody). Every hour counts and definitely adds up!

Micah had a TB test through school (it's required), then came home, brought flowers home to his beautiful bride, and started on homework! That's pretty much the extent of our day today!

Micah had a buy a program called "Logos" for school. He installed that today and has been studying Greek with it. It's a really great program despite the high-dollar price tag it carries. It can access resources in seconds, compared the hours that it would take with print text.

Well - that's it for today! We're still praying about Lauren finding a job! Nothing yet-but God will provide!


27 August 2009

6 Months Already!

Today marks our six months of marriage! And to celebrate...Micah went to work and then to class :) But this is part of why we are here in Chicago-to serve the Lord together as husband and wife.

Micah has been working as many hours as he is allowed by the school (his job would love it if he could work even MORE hours) so that we can save up for next semester's tuition and also help alleviate our savings expenditure (which is currently paying for rent until Lauren finds a full-time job).

God has continued to bless us as a couple and we trust that He will only continue to take care of us, provide for us financially, and help Micah through his seminary training at Moody.

Micah had two classes tonight: the first is a non-credit "class" called SIL, or, Spiritual Integration Lab. This is where Micah meets with a few other guys to pray together and hold each other accountable. This class is under the direction of Professor McCord, who is Micah's Old Testament professor and who also takes students to Israel in the summer (something Micah is also praying about).

In Micah's SIL he met Paul, who is our post office clerk just down the road! Every time we walk to the post office on Irving, there Paul is helping people ship packages and mail! It was pretty exciting to see someone at Moody that we semi-knew, and he's also there to learn and to further God's kingdom! What a small world! Even in Chicago!

After SIL, Micah had his O.T. Literature and Themes class with Prof. McCord. It sounds like Micah is really going to enjoy this class. The class has a "contracted" grade policy, so Micah can decide how much (or how little) effort he wants to put into the class in order to get a certain grade. Of course, knowing him, he will probably push himself to shoot for an "A" in the class. It was encouraging to hear that grades don't really matter in the long run in seminary. It's what you learn, absorb, and can then use to teach and disciple others that really matter.

Well - that's about it for today! Micah has a LOT of studying ahead of him (mostly Greek), so please pray that he is able to find a healthy balance of time (Lauren, school, work, and leisure). Also please keep praying that Lauren will be offered a full-time job soon that she would enjoy taking. It would be a blessing to have the security of a steady income that can pay bills, give Micah health insurance (which he currently doesn't have in order to save money), and add to our savings!

We love you guys!
- M&L

26 August 2009

First Day of Class!

Well the title of this blog says it all! Today was Micah's first day of classes!
Micah worked early this morning again until his first class at 2pm - "Practice of Ministry." The professor is very personable, amiable, and godly! This is going to be a very enjoyable class (though still a lot of work) with a great community! The second class Micah had was Greek Exegesis I with Dr. Woodall. He is also Micah's professor for Hermeneutics online. Greek I is probably going to be the most challenging for Micah, but is also going to be a fun environment to learn in (and another solid professor who cares for the students and aims to help develop their skills for the missions field).

There is a very big contrast in the level of attention these professors have for their students compared to what Micah was used to experiencing at the University of Minnesota! He is very happy for the change of pace!

Lauren had an interview today with a nanny agency, and is also still waiting to hear from Moody on her application for a job there as well. We are praying that God grants her a full-time job soon so that our entire savings aren't spent before the end of the semester! God WILL provide though! We just have to continue to trust in Him!

Happy birthday to Micah's Uncle Bernie! We love you and pray God's blessings over you and your family! May He continue to provide you with good health and add to your days many many more years so that you can continue to serve Him in this life!

With much love, gratitude to our family and friends for your prayers and encouragement,
Micah and Lauren!

25 August 2009

Happy Birthdays

Today is my Uncle Bruce's birthday, my friend Jim's birthday (80 years old and still working at my former job at DRC!!!), and my mother-in-law's birthday as well!

I (Micah) worked early this morning at school, and pretty much just worked all day! Nothing too exciting to talk about (except that I like my job)!

I took care of some more school stuff today as well, and then came home to my beautiful wife Lauren! She made calzones for dinner (from scratch of course)!

The rest of the night was spend studying! I'm going to have to do a lot more of that after my classes tomorrow and Thursday!


24 August 2009


Today was my (Micah's) first day at school! I actually just had orientation today, but it was a full-day none-the-less. I arrived at Moody around 8am, met some other students, and was introduced to the faculty. It was great to finally put a face to all of the names! The new Moody president also seems to be a great guy!

There weren't too many new students, and only around a dozen in the M.div program, but that will make for a good community of friends I imagine! We were able to eat deep dish (Chicago) pizza with the professors as well! It was a good day to get to know some more people and to get a feel for how everything works!

We are now praying that Lauren will find a full-time job! She has an interview with a nanny agency this Wednesday. Please pray that this goes well, and if it's God's will, that she will find a job through this organization. There is also a Moody job that she has applied to that has not been filled either! So we are praying about that as well!

Love you all! Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement!
- M&L

23 August 2009

Back to the Windy City!

It wasn't our complete intentions, but we all ended up sleeping in....yep....we missed church. The day before completely wore us out, and we also knew that JB and Katie had a long drive home ahead of them. Praise God though, we were able to regain our energy once again, and had yet another exciting day together as friends!
After another fabulous breakfast (consisting of cereal, leftover egg-bake, and yummy, cheesy scrambled eggs), we walked down our block to visit a few open houses!
Our first stop was just down the street - to a 5-bedroom, 5.5 bathroom house! It was INCREDIBLE! We didn't realize how large that house actually was until we went inside! The Realtor was quite friendly, and we had a fun time exploring the ins and outs of this place! Let's not mention the fact that it was 2.25 million bucks - but hey - split 5 ways and we might have something (Lydia and Charles, are you interested in going-in?!)! The next house we looked at was just further down the street and over a block. It was a little smaller, but still fun to explore! The third house was...well it wasn't really a house! It was the middle level of a tri-plex. Not very fun, and the Realtor was pretty scammy. Oh well! We just want to buy the first place!
After our excursion in Wrigleyville we drove back downtown! This time we hit up Portillo's for lunch! Portillo's is famous for their Chicago hot-dogs and Italian beef sandwiches! JB and Katie graciously treated us and we are entirely thankful!

Next, we walked over to the John Hancock Building, and rode the elevator to the lounge on the 96th floor! The Sear's tower is 110 stories, but this ride to the top was free! From here we were able to get a good view of the lake and the city! I think the best part was feeling the elevator shake a bit going up and down, and feeling the pressure in your ears! :)

After our elevator ride and sight-seeing, Jon and Katie treated us again! This time to ice-cream at Ghirardelli! We ate the most amazing ice-cream! Ice cream is always good, but just try it from this place and you'll see what you've been missing out on all along!

We stopped in the Hershey's store across the street as well - but it just didn't compare to the goodness of the ice cream and chocolate we just recently consumed!

The time finally came to say goodbye. We drove back our place, spent some more time talking, reminiscing, and joking around. quick as they had come....they had left. Thank you guys for such a wonderful time this past weekend! We will definitely post pictures as soon as we have them available to post! Stay tuned!

Oh! After JB and Katie left, we wept and sulked for hours on end. We decided to drown our misery by walking to another park nearby to watch The Goonies play in the evening. Chicago's "movie in the park" idea is pretty great! It would be cool if more city's capitalized on this idea as well!

And this concludes our fun and fantastic weekend with JB and Katie!

22 August 2009

A Day in the City!

We all slept in today - so that we might have enough energy for this weekend! Lauren cooked an amazing egg-bake (using the Camplin recipe) for breakfast! After going over a rough layout of our plans for the day, we took off! Our first destination was a farmer's market just a few blocks from our apartment (we walked there of course). It was fun to see and Micah bought some fresh sweet corn ("it tastes just like fruit")! Lauren gave Micah a hard time about the corn, since all sweet corn has a very fresh taste when eaten raw (only many people don't know that and overcook them)!

Our next stop was downtown! We piled in the car, parked at Moody Bible, and spent the rest of the day on our feet downtown! We walked a good 10 miles today! We walked down to the Planetarium, where we were able to get in for free, thanks to a library pass that Lauren had acquired! The exhibits were fun to walk through, and we learned a lot (go figure)!
We walked through Millennium Park, to Buckingham Fountain, and also had lunch at Giordano's! The stuffed pizza was delicious!

By the end of the afternoon we were beat! We drove back to our place in the evening, took a nap, then walked to a nearby park to watch a movie called Coraline, a clay-animation movie! It was weird, but entertaining none-the-less! The weather was perfect today for all of our adventures!

After the movie we came back here and played Trivial Pursuit! We didn't realize how long the game took to play, but it was a blast! Oh, it's going to be a sad day when our dear friends leave us...

21 August 2009

JB and Katie Arrive!!!

Today was the day that Jon and Katie Brown came to visit us!
Micah worked another long day (another 9.5 hours), then came home so we could make preparations! We cleaned the apartment, organized everything, set up the Aerobed (an elevated and high-tech air mattress), and Lauren cooked and planned for our weekend together!
The time finally came when JB and Katie arrived to our place! It was about 1am and we were overjoyed to see them! We ended up talking and catching up for a good hour before we hit the sack. This is going to be a fantastic weekend!

20 August 2009

1st Day on the Job!!

Today Micah started his first day at his job at Moody! He works for DRM - the Donation department at MBI (Moody Bible Institute).
The day was long (9.5 hours of work), but he learned a lot and made several new friends!
After work, we had a fabulous dinner (made by Chef Lauren), then drove to western Chicago (DeKalb area to be more specific) in order to buy an air-bed that we found on Craig's List. We want JB and Katie's stay to be as comfortable as possible, and we were blessed to find an Aerobed for the price that we did! It's even a queen size! Score!

19 August 2009

Job Offer!

Today Micah went in to work for his "probation" period (it's a weird term I know) to see if he enjoyed the work involved in this department. He was supposed to go back again tomorrow, but they offered him a job on the spot today! He called his wife (good move) and made sure it was ok, then signed the papers! He starts his job TOMORROW MORNING at 7am! Pray that Micah learns everything quickly, is able to glorify God at the new work-place, and is able to balance school, work, and family in a healthy manner.

Lauren is still looking for a full-time job. She has applications out all around town (including Moody)! Please pray that God brings the right job to her at the right time (hopefully soon)!

Lauren made a DELICIOUS potato and gravy dinner tonight (also known as SOS in the military). It was superb!

It poured outside this evening. Lauren was at the library when it started raining, so Micah walked over with the umbrella to surprise her and walk her home (although the umbrella semi-broke in the process)!

M&L :)

18 August 2009

Interview II

Micah went in for another interview today. This position was for a data entry and materials processing job. This particular position is in Moody's Donor department - where all of the donations to Moody (school, radio, magazine, etc.) are processed.

The tests and interview went well. Micah had four tests: a typing test (he got a 55 wmp average on the first try), a math test, a word test, and an excel spreadsheet test!

As soon as he got home from the interview he was called up from the same place and they wanted him to come back the following day (tomorrow) to try out the job first-hand to see if he liked it (and if they would like him). He goes in tomorrow at 9am!

Well - that's about it as far as news is concerned! Jon and Katie Brown are coming to visit us this weekend! We are VERY excited to see them and host their stay!


17 August 2009

Interview Day

Today was Micah's first interview of all time! Lauren told Micah that he's fortunate to have gotten so far in life without having to deal with interviews. Micah's interview went very well today and thinks his chances are good for getting it. Praise God! He's competing with 11 other people, but there are 3 positions open. Micah applied for another job at Moody today and already has a "test" and and interview tomorrow at 1:30, so please pray for that.

Lauren baked again today - this time it was braided sweet bread. Since half of it is gone already, she's guessing it must be good.

Penny is enjoying being so close to the kitchen these days. She sits next to Micah or Lauren on the stool and cuddles against us and licks our elbows begging for food. It's such a cute little show it's hard to resist. Penny has been getting plenty of people food lately. Lucky gal!

16 August 2009


We went to church today and recognized a lot of people from yesterday's block party! A graduating seminarian gave the sermon this morning! We really enjoy this church--the community! We also left with from fresh veggies from the church garden!

Lauren made a REALLY amazing chicken noodle soup (noodles made from scratch)! I can't begin to tell you how amazing she is!

We read books during the afternoon: Lauren finished "The Hobbit" while Micah is finishing up "Orthodoxy" by G.K. Chesterton!

We drove to Cabela's later today to look around since it was a rainy day outside. That's about it! OH! On the way home from Cabela's we picked up some groceries, then decided to give in and buy some doughnuts from Dunkin' Doughnuts! They are quite prevalent in the Chicago area, like krispy kreme used to be in MN! So that was fun! I think Krispy Kreme is still better though :)

ps. don't forget to pray for Micah's interview, tomorrow (Monday) at 2pm!

A dozen yummy doughnuts!

Micah wanted to eat them ALL (but he didn't)!

15 August 2009

Block Party and Concert

Another joyous day to write about!

Lauren and I volunteered to help set-up for a block party this morning. Of course, the block party was just down the block, and the volunteer efforts were in conjunction with our neighborhood church!

The party was fun! We met a lot of people from church, ate some good food, and really had a fun time fellowshipping with our fellow neighbors. There was an Air and Water Show in Chicago today, so we saw (and HEARD) many low flying planes and jets over our heads throughout the day!

After the party we took a quick nap, then decided to go see the Grant Park Orchestra play Beethoven's 9th Symphony (for FREE) at Millennium Park downtown! The concert started at 7:30pm, so we decided to leave at 6pm. We took the train for the first time - which was a bit spendy (2.25 one way per person = $9 total round-trip!).
Well when we got there it was PACKED! THOUSANDS of people filled the chairs towards the front, and the huge lawn was covered with people, blankets, food - it was a party! We were not able to find a place where we could comfortably see the band, so we decided to lean against a railway with our blanket and enjoyed the 70 minute concert! It was pretty exciting! Chicago has so much to offer and we are so blessed to be in the heart of it all!

Our first time on the rail-way!

Thousands of people at the park!

14 August 2009

Friday Fun!

OK - so we can't just say we're glad it's the weekend since it's been "the weekend" ever since we moved, but we are sure happy for the time we have been able to spend together while not having jobs! We trust that God will provide jobs for us at the best time, so we have decided to just enjoy every moment that we don't have obligations to a particular job! We can spend all of this time together!
We woke up ("wow, good job"), walked to the post office to mail a textbook we sold (believe it or not, it really does pay to resell those books), and walked around our neighborhood a bit.
When we arrived back to our place we got the mail and discovered a card from our Aunt and Uncle in California! It was so great to hear from them - and it brought smiles to both our faces! We also received a wonderful card from Grandma Sonia as well! We are so very blessed with the family God has given us!
We continued to look for jobs online...Micah played a little guitar today, and we spent some time playing some games that we got from our care packages and our wedding. :)
Micah met one of our neighbors today: Jesse - nice fellow - musician who just returned to Chicago from being on tour.
That's about it for today! Micah's brother Jacob came home this evening! Welcome home! He called and talked to us for a little while last night - that was great!


13 August 2009

Care Package Surprises!

It is such a good feeling to know that people are thinking of you and care for you, even when you haven't seen or spoke to them in some time. Such was the feeling today. We were very much blessed to receive not one, but TWO care packages from Fed-Ex this very morning! Inside the first box contained a plethora of home-care goodies - from super-glue, to dish soap, to an extension cord (which was much needed by the way)! The second box contained an entire meal (actually more like three meals) packed inside of a colander (which Lauren absolutely loves)! See the slide-show below for pictures of our surprise gifts! All this in thanks to Mr. and Mrs. J. - our dear friends at home in Andover. We are so grateful to you both for your love and generosity!

This was such an exciting beginning to our day! We spent the rest of the day trying to hunt down more job opportunities. Micah still has his interview on Monday (at 2pm), while Lauren is waiting to hear back from a job she applied to at Moody (as well as several other jobs in the neighborhood)! Please keep us both in your prayers!

We hunted down the last DVD of the BBC series: Bleak House - a story written by Charles Dickens. It was a fantastic series and we both recommend it as a very good series to watch!

We also had a romantic candle-light dinner this evening, with the meal from the care package! It was a wonderful evening. We had plenty left for left-overs and even some extra goodies for another meal!


12 August 2009

Wednesday Surprise!

This day was full of fun and surprises!
It began with us waking up and eating breakfast! Now if that wasn't excitement enough, minutes after we finished our delicious bowl of Rice Krispies, the door buzzer sounded! Now who would be buzzing for US on this lovely morning?! We don't know many people yet! It turned out to be Fed-Ex, with a care package! Micah was so full of excitement as we opened the box! It turns out the gift box was from our friends Mr. and Mrs. (or "Mom" as Micah says) Johansen! They sent us a package with games, popcorn, and candy! Enough candy to keep Micah's energy from... virtually never ceasing!
We are so very grateful to you both for this lovely package! We can't wait to meet more people and have a few rounds of Yahtzee and Uno together!
Later today Lauren went to the library again to use the internet and apply for jobs. We are both still praying that God will soon bless us both with steady income to pay our bills. Micah still has an interview on Monday at 2pm with Moody. Please be in prayer for him.
Lauren and Micah drove to a different library to rent the 2nd part of the BBC series "Bleak House" by Charles Dickens. Neither Micah nor Lauren has read the book or seen the film, but it has been most exciting to watch!
For dinner, Lauren cooked up a most delicious beef stroganoff and made homemade noodles for the first time! The last time Micah had stroganoff was when he and his buddy Caleb tried cooking it up a couple years back! Good memories!
That was our delightful day! Thank you again Johansen's for the care package! We will be playing games late into the night this evening!

11 August 2009

Shake n' Bake!

Aw, such a lovely sun today! Almost TOO warm! But praise God for the sun!
This morning we went to Kohl's to purchase a tablecloth and some other necessities for our place. God was gracious to us, and we didn't have to spend a dime, thanks to our gift cards from our wedding!
It was a delightful day to walk about town today! We walked to Jewel-Osco to pick up some groceries (it becomes a much frequent occurrence when you aren't relying on parents to feed you anymore)! Lauren bought a chicken, as well as some fresh veggies. After the grocery store we decided to visit a different library up the block! It was such a big building but with so few books...kind of sad. We ended up purchasing a "Chicago Library" tote bag (for $1) to hold our groceries! :)

Later in the evening, Lauren cooked up one of Micah's favorite meals: grilled cheese sandwich, a fresh salad, and tomato soup! And this wasn't just any grilled cheese, it had swiss cheese, honey, a little basil, and a slice of tomato! It doesn't get much better than that!
The rest of the evening was spent thinking about how amazing that dinner was, and how wonderful of a wife Lauren is to Micah! I think she's ready to get out of the house though and get a full-time job! After talking about it, we decided it is definitely not something to be anxious about, but rather something to wait on the Lord for. We have been diligent in searching for jobs, so we will enjoy this freedom from the normal lifestyle of work until God grants us such an opportunity to work again!

10 August 2009

Blessings Upon Blessings

God has continued to shower us with more blessings today! Is there no end to His abundant goodness, care, and love?

We spent a majority of our day talking, planning, and trying to figure out how routines will go and how things will work around the house. Actually...that sounds like we did something with structure! We REALLY mainly laid around and talked about things we could do around the city for fun! We found out that several parks play free movies almost nightly throughout the month of August! We planned a couple date nights for a couple movies we wanted to see, Lauren went to the library again to use the free wi-fi, and I worked on more Army stuff. Sounds like things are moving forward still with the Army! A little slower that I would like, but everything is in God's hands and He alone will direct that route!
Lauren wanted to make cheesecake tonight, and I needed to buy some cards, so we walked to CVS to buy a gram cracker pie crust. Then we walked over to Hallmark to get a couple cards (we wish Ariel was working at this one...) then came back home - only to find out that the cheesecake box CAME with gram cracker crumbly things! haha! Oh well!

MORE GOOD NEWS - MICAH HAS AN INTERVIEW NEXT MONDAY AT 2PM at MOODY! He applied for the "document control clerk" part-time position, and has his first interview next week! We know there is more than one person being interviewed, since he emailed for the first interview slot and they said it was already full! So please keep him in your constant prayers, that the Lord will bless him with this job (and if not, then another one soon)! Lauren is still looking around, but has applied to several places around town (including a full-time position at Moody as a "liaison"). If Lauren is blessed with a full-time job at Moody, that would also mean that Micah's tuition would be HALF-OFF! So - LOTS of things to be in prayer for!
Thank you so much for lifting these things up in prayer! We really appreciate it!

Well - that's about it for today! Thank you for all of the wonderful emails, comments, prayers, encouragement, and care packages coming our way! We are SO very blessed to have you as friends and family.

With all of our love, through our God who is so good to us,
Micah and Lauren

(Lauren reading the Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien, and our cat Penny resting...after a much rested day!)

09 August 2009

Erickson Visit!

We always seem to start out by saying out great the day has been! This blog won't be any different!
We woke up, planning on going to Moody Church, but started to run a little behind schedule. We decided instead to go back to the small church we had attended last week - just down the block! It was probably a God-thing that we went back! We met some of the same people we did the previous week, made more acquaintances, and we were even invited to lunch at someone's house after church! We signed up to assist with next weekend's block party as well! We are already becoming involved with a church that we just started going to - praise God that we don't have to do any "church hopping" here in Chicago. It seems He has blessed us with a church right down the road!

After church we went up to see Lauren's relatives in Trevor, WI for the rest of the day (we had to postpone the lunch date with our new church friend). We had such a wonderful time up at the Ericksons'. Tammy made another wonderful meal (as usual), and we enjoyed spending time with the family, playing cards, catching up, and meeting their new puppy Dudley! A crazy storm passed through and we got a couple good pictures of the clouds! See below!
All in all - a "great" day! The Lord has truly blessed us! We both need to find jobs now! But we know God will take care of that in His time!

08 August 2009

Friends From Afar!

What a lovely blessing it was to have our dear friend Amy Brown come visit us today! Amy was in town visiting some friends, and she decided to take them all to our new place to say hello!
Lauren and I both relaxed for a majority of the day. Lauren went to library to use the wi-fi and to rent a couple movies (one is in Hebrew), while I (Micah) cleaned the apartment.
OH! Did I mention that Lauren made powdered sugar from scratch? I didn't even know that was creatable in the kitchen! She used that for the cake she made a couple days ago!
Tonight Lauren baked snickerdoodle cookies!! Have I mentioned that she amazes me everyday?! :)

So, Lauren rented this BBC movie: Charles Dickens' "Bleak House" - we thought it was just a couple hours long, only to find out that it is about 8 HOURS long, and we have the first out of THREE DVDS! haha! So far though it is a well-done movie.

See pictures below! And a video below that!
- M&L

Click image below to see a video!

07 August 2009

Rainy Day

Not much to say about today! No pictures either! It was a rainy day! We walked to Trader Joe's to pick up some ingredients for a meal, stopped at Crate and Barrel 2 (pretty expensive place) and then came home!

Lauren cooked up a meal fit for a king, and we were happy all day!

It's been a real blessing hearing from our family and friends through this blog! We love you all!

- M&L

06 August 2009

Clear Reception

Lauren went for a walk today to try to find free internet. She started out at a Starbucks, but they charge $4 for every 2 hours! Then she tried a local coffee shop (The Red Eye) and lo and behold - free wi-fi! But it was SLLLLLLLOW! She learned that the library was only .6 miles away, so she went there afterwards and decided that was THE place to go for free internet (no time limit)! While all of this was taking place, Micah went to Sears to pick up some bunny ears for our TV (it's digital but still requires an antenna). He also picked up a fireproof/waterproof safe for our important documents (just to be "safe"!

Lauren made a cake that evening, and we cuddled up and watched Singin' in the Rain late that night. It was a fun day!

Mail Call!

We would LOVE to hear from our family and friends via snail mail!
Our new address in Chicago is:
Micah and Lauren McLellan
1623 W. Grace St.
Chicago, IL 60613

- M&L

05 August 2009


I think we can say that we are officially unpacked today! Of course there are pictures to hang here and there, and little adjustments being made - but we're pretty much done!
Check out the slideshow to see what we've done!

Today we slept in, had breakfast, went to Kohl's, Target, CVS, and Jewel-Osco (like a Cub Foods), then back home! We got a new stand for our TV and DVDs, and we finished unpacking the rest of our stuff!!
We are still looking for jobs! Please keep us in your prayers! Lauren decided against going to the interview since she wasn't sure exactly what the job entailed, and it was also in the south part of Chicago as well. So please pray she is able to find something else! I am also looking for a part-time job as well! I check Moody's website everyday hoping to find something!


04 August 2009

sunny day!

Another fanTASTIC day in the sunny city! We continued to unpack and organize and finally things are looking a LOT more homey!
We enjoyed a nice long walk to 7-11, got a slurpie (brought back old childhood memories for Lauren), rented a Redbox movie, and just relaxed later in the evening. Penny our cat loves the windows and LOVES to hop up onto our loft bed as well (naughty cat)!

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is Lauren's interview in the evening. Please pray for her - that God gives her the right words to say, the confidence to say them, and that the interviewers will see just how sweet and amazing she truly is!

- M&L

03 August 2009

More Unpacking!

Today was very eventful! We spent more of our day unpacking more goodies and running errands. We began our morning with a quick trip to Sears - to take back a tool we didn't use for our loft. This Sears was located only a mile away, and we learned that it was the oldest Sears in the country!
We stopped by the Post Office to mail a textbook that Lauren sold, then went back home for lunch (where Lauren cooked up a wonderful pot roast stew from the crock pot we got from Grandma Camplin)!
Lauren really liked a bookshelf on Ikea's website, so Micah ended up finding the exact shelf on Craigslist for a fraction of the price! We met the guy in downtown Chicago in his high-rise apartment! After picking up the bookshelf we made our way to Ikea to pick out a desk that attached to this bookshelf (see picture) and also a dresser! We then spent the rest of the evening unpacking and organizing! One or two days left before we hope to have everything put away!!! :)

02 August 2009

Moved In

Hey! We're all moved in! Thanks to both of our families for helping us pack, coming with us to Chicago, and helping us get settled in the big city! Here are a few pics (and one video - be sure to click the video to watch it) of our new place! More to come!
Love Micah and Lauren

From Chicago Move In

28 July 2009

Moving in 3 days!!

We can't believe the day is almost here! We leave for Chicago in just three days! How time flies!!!

Our tomato plants are going to have to stay here in MN sadly. The good news is that our plants have finally started to ripen rapidly! We might be around to enjoy one of the big tomatoes and several of the smaller ones!!

Dad (McLellan) has been helping with constructing a queen loft for our studio apartment. We have begun the pre-fabrication here in Andover, then will do most of the assembly in Chicago. We found a great plan from OPLofts online! Check them out!

That's all for now! God is amazing in how He provides for us! We can't begin to thank Him enough for all that He's done for us! How we love Him so!

09 July 2009

Let it begin!

We started a blog. Yes, we did! We did it so people like you, friend, family member, or stalker, can keep up with us since we're moving to Chicago.

We're half way packed and have an apartment waiting in the windy city. Micah starts school on the 25th of August and is very excited for classes to begin. Lauren plans to begin graduate school in the spring and is looking for a full-time job. Our cat Penny doesn't have any plans, but we're bringing her along with us. She's upgrading from one window for perching to four! Lucky girl!

Apartment pictures to come! (PS - we bought our first real adult furniture for the place!!! woohoo!)