MKE Props

For six months out of the year lunch in Milwaukee looks like this!


I love music. I also like thoughtful news. So when I interviewed in Milwaukee a few years ago, I was curious to learn what I could find on the rental car’s radio.

I was pleasantly surprised!

After living here for three years, I am thrilled with the radio stations in Milwaukee (I say that as a person who has lived in a lot of cities!).  The radio stations in our city have turned my 1997 factory radio into a musical wonderland. Radio in Milwaukee is so good that I have not even bothered with using my iPod adapter. I just go with old school FM radio.

Here are my Radio Presets:

1. 89.7 WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio This is the NPR station at the University Wisconsin Milwaukee. During the day the station plays in-depth local, national, and global news. At night they play intelligent alternative music.

2. 90..7 WHAD Wisconsin Public Radio Oh yes we have two NPR options in MKE! This station offers quality programming from all over the great state of Wisconsin.

3.  88.9 Radio Milwaukee This is one of my all-time favorite radio stations. I love their quality eclectic mix of music (Wilco and  DeLaSoul in the same hour!). I also love that they include local musicians, and focus on community events.

4. 91.7 WMSE This is a non-profit radio station out of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. They have a number of volunteer DJs who really press the margins with fringe and experimental music.  It is the opposite of mass pop radio.

5. 102.1 Independent Alternative Radio When I need to hear something with a little more angst, I tune into this great station. They provide a nice mix of alternative tunes from the past twenty years

We moved to this beloved city. 

I didn’t know it was on the beach.
I didn’t know about the beautiful country close by.
I didn’t know the people are genuine beyond compare.
I didn’t know what this church would be like,
what this job wold be like,
what this neighborhood would be like.
I didn’t know Trader Joe’s.
I didn’t know who our friends would be,
or how we would meet them,
or if we would like them.
I pretty much knew that I was moving state-to-state for the 4th time in our 6 year marriage.
I pretty much knew that we seemed to do nothing but find places and people and grocery stores and traffic patterns and home decor we loved,
and then we moved.

And for all I knew, this was yet another move.
Another job.
Another city.
Another big church where we knew no one.
Another dang fixer upper house that we would wait years and savings to finish and enjoy.
(And then maybe move again?)
Another neighborhood.
Another airport I’d get lost driving to. For months. And months.
Another set of losses replaced with set of hopes.
Another move.
But this time?
This time, we’re so happy.
It’s not perfect.
It’s not easy.
And it’s certainly by no means rote.

We have people.

A Grocery store. (Ehem, Trader Joe’s!)
A beach 15 minutes from our house.
A incredible running route.
A fabulous gym.
A great job. (Well, we both do.)
A great church that is choosing to love the world well.
And a city we call home.
They say it takes 2 years to find that. They’re right.
And it’s pretty nuts when you move again just as you find it.
But we’re lucky.
We’ve got friends from each stop, and we can’t imagine ourselves apart from the beauty they have shared with us, and the love they have made us better know.
And we have this life here now that’s not perfect.
But it’s fabulous.
It’s got Grace.
And of course, as I type it’s 11:07 pm and I just an hour ago found my daughter disassembling her 3rd generation adult desk by pulling out the screws with her fingers…
Our ample bit of crazy.
Here’s to those who have known and supported us along the way.
Thank you.
We love you.
We like it here.
We are grateful.

Guat Kids

I am on the Pastoral Staff at Elmbrook – a large Christian congregation in southeast Wisconsin

This weekend began our annual Harvestfest.

This is probably my favorite week of the year. In my opinion, it is Elmbrook at her best.

What is Harvestfest?

For me, Harvestfest is a week set aside to discover and celebrate what God is doing around the world. It is a time when the congregation intentionally steps away from focusing on self and turns to Gods wonderful healing mission in the world.

Last year’s focus was on the Middle East. We heard amazing tales of how God was moving to connect with people. Many of the stories challenged our assumptions about God and the people of that region.

Two years ago the focus was on Urban Poverty. While we looked at national and international cities, we also took a deep look at Milwaukee. Many in the congregation began to realize the challenges of urban poverty here.

This year’s Harvestfest Theme is Children at Risk. The scripture used for the week, at least on the promotional materials, is Psalm 10:17-18.

Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.
Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.
You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed,
so mere people can no longer terrify them.

This year’s Harvestfest promises to be another challenging and inspiring week with both global and local implications.

Please join us for a night of even the full week!

For more information about Harvest Fest, or to follow the blog, sessions, and workshops, follow the link below:


It has  been some time since I gave props to our fair city.

I have been too busy enjoying the city to write posts about it!

I am sure that I will have time catch up on writing posts when it is -10 outside.

However, before we get to winter (I actually do enjoy the first 2 months of winter.), we have autumn.


Autumn in Milwaukee is outstanding.

Quick visits to nearby apple orchards and pumpkin patches.

 Electric yellow, orange and yellow leaves.

A new school year’s excitement.

Crisp air.

Octoberfest (When in Milwaukee do as the Germans!).

Running and playing in piles of leaves.

Many of my friends who are native to Wisconsin claim autumn as their favorite season.

I am not there yet (Summer rules.), but autumn in Milwaukee sure is grand!




Lake Michigan is simply unbelievable!

Some of our geographically challenged friends did not know that Milwaukee was located on this great lake.

We are.

Unlike our larger and more famous sister city 90 miles south of us, we are actually able to make it to the lake without much fuss. Any point in the city is within a 15 minute drive to Lake Michigan.

The city has done a great job with developing a wonderful lakefront with beaches, museums, parks, festival grounds, marinas, the port, and trails – all aspects worthy of future posts. Most of those things are easy to get to and free to visit. I think that is great stewardship of this great resource.

Today though, I just want to celebrate the lake.

It is adventurous, calling us to the horizon.

It is daring, exploring all shades of blue.

It is exciting, brining new wave after new wave.

It is inspiring, showing us just how big somethings (outside of us) can be.

It is comforting, remaining just to the east of us at all times.

Much of our life, especially in the summer, revolves around trips to Lake Michigan.

In Milwaukee, we can squeeze a mini beach vacation into any afternoon. In fact, this post would have been up earlier today, but it was sunny and 82 degrees outside in April, which left us no choice but to visit the beach.

Lake Michigan is yet another reason why we love living in Milwaukee!


The view of Milwaukee and lake Michigan from Bay View on the City’s south side.

lake-mi-mke-winter-1Even in the winter, Lake Michigan proves an awesome sight!

For more great pictures of Lake Michigan – come visit Milwaukee, or search Robyn’s blog:

polarbearplunge09waterI know that my mind should be on the coming summer and all of glory of Wisconsin in July, but I still can’t stop laughing about what happens here on January 1st. On the first day of the year, the beaches are filled with thousands of people who come to swim in a semi-frozen Lake Michigan.

Yes, it is cold in Milwaukee in January. How cold? Well, I would call your attention to a couple of things in the picture above. Those are real iceburgs on the horizon. That is ice in the water at the bottom of the picture – which kind of made it like swimming in a slushy. Yet, the beach was packed like the afternoon of July 4th. People here are fun, hearty, and sometimes just plain nuts!

The Polar Bear Plunge is just another reason why I love this town! polarbearplunge09crowd

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