Christmas Cheer for all who Hear!


Christmas esta aqui!

Even if it may not feel like it in Hawaii, Christmas is COMING!!! We went to a Christmas Lights & Music festival with friends last night in a little Hawaiian town called Holualoa. As its name suggests, the festival was complete with Hawaiian carols (think "12 Days of Christmas" in pigeon "...Numbah one day of Christmas, my tutu give to me one mynah bird in one papaya tree..."), free Kona coffee and homemade chai, and lots of twinkle lights. We came back to our place, baked Christmas cookies and watched "Home Alone". Our friend from Denmark had never seen it and we learned from our German friend that in Germany it is called, "Kevin Alone at Home". Fun. It was also the first time that Margot had to wear a sweatshirt. Big day.


Once again we will not be in our home for Christmas. We don't have a Christmas tree up (someday. someday. someday.) but I've decorated one little corner of our house which we have been referring to as "The Christmas Shrine".

My little family is going to South Africa from January-mid March and so we are making pit stops for the holidays to celebrate with family and friends in New Jersey, Tennessee and Michigan! This will be the first time that many of our family and friends are meeting little Margot and we are so, so excited to introduce them.

I leave you with this, the cutest way the Christmas Story has ever been told. Thank you, Jenni, for showing it to me.


we've been elfed.


Tunes for Sale!

We are selling CD's from Steve's former band, The Tide, to raise funds for our upcoming trip to South Africa. Please leave a comment below with your e-mail address to order! $10


laughter is good medicine. so is giggling like a 5 year old.

Today, I am sick. Like, call the doctor sick. ugh. So in between keeping a small human alive, taking naps and drinking tea (and the occasional short burst of when i decided to clean and accidentally vacuumed up a tape measure...oops) I have been watching these videos...and giggling like a silly little kid. Which Margot thinks is awesome so she tries to chime in.


le family.

Check out new photos of our little family here. Thanks Jannelle!


How do I tie thee? Let me count the ways...

I am the culprit of overdressing for Hawaii weather. I love jackets. I love sweaters. I love socks. I love boots. And I love scarves. Luckily, I get to go to the mainland USA where it's cold, cold, cold for a few weeks this Winter.


November Newsletter


Pumpkin Patch...Hawaiian Style.

You know that saying, "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater"? Well, I would like to turn that analogy on its head and say that if Margot is the baby (she is) then my good intentions of blogging regularly for the past 6 weeks are the bathwater...which has most certainly gotten thrown out. Rather then pick up where I left off (in September), I will pretend like you are all caught up on my life and just post about yesterday...the day that we went to the PUMPKIN PATCH.

Going to a pumpkin patch in October may not seem like a big deal to you. Especially if you live on the mainland USA where such excursions are typical this time of year. But let me explain, every weekend I check the Big Island Calender of Events online (yes, I do have it bookmarked) looking for something to do- a festival, a fair, live music...ANYTHING. And every time we go to one of these events I am disappointed (Ok, in all fairness, the Big Island did just host one a race that is a pretty big deal). This weekend was different. This weekend was Pumpkin Patch weekend. I needed an excuse to dress in fall (ish) clothes and get out of town. So, I called up some friends (Steve had work to do and stayed at home), we dug out our boots and scarves (even though it was 85 degrees out) and drove 45 minutes to the "pumpkin patch" hopeful that it would not be lame. We arrived and were shocked/surprised/stoked to find that there were hundreds of people there (so what if most of them were under the age of 12).

A pumpkin patch in Hawaii is not your typical pumpkin patch. Hula dances replace tractor rides. Lau Lau plates and Spam musubi replace apple cider and donuts. The air is hot and thick not brisk and light. In fact, at a Hawaiian pumpkin patch there is no actual pumpkin patch...just a bunch of overpriced pumpkins in small fenced in area with some hay bales (that are also for sale). But to us, on this day, bringing back childhood memories of pumpkin picking with family and friends, this patch was perfect. Plus, Margot needs photos at places like this for her scrapbook (she doesn't really have a scrapbook).  After we were all pumpkin patched out, we went to the Starbucks in town where they have a fake fireplace. We planned on ordering Pumpkin Spice Lattes to tie in with the theme of the day....but for some reason when we got to the counter we all ordered coffee. Sarah and Cambria got pumpkin syrup in theirs. Here's a photo recap of the day.

Cambria & Sarah stoked for the roadtrip!

"Autumn" outfits.

token photo with a scarecrow.

Sarah, a scarecrow and a baby.

Margot was STOKED about the pumpkin patch...

...but not as stoked as Cam.

My excitement level was somewhere in between theirs.

...and I was sweating a lot. horomones. and wool socks. and boots. and a scarf. in Hawaii.

Sarah was most excited about the 25 cent book sale taking place next to the pumpkin patch.


Jase ate this peculiar shaped caramel apple.

Very quickly. There was also Kettle Corn involved.

and started to feel sick.

...but not too sick to get cotton candy.

...that was the size of Margot.

Sarah also enjoyed the spun sugar.

...but not as much as Jase.

Margot woke up long enough to smile. Actually I think she was crying. But it sort of looks like a smile.

Post-sugar-rush venti coffee seemed like a good idea. So did the free refill.

...then we crashed.




Meet the Staff: Hailey!

Meet the Staff: Hailey Bland from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Meet the Staff: Steph!

Meet the Staff: Steph Schulz from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Margot's Story.

Her due date came...and then it went. And the days kept on going. Every few hours I would Google “natural ways to induce labor”  and then I’d be walking up stairs, eating fresh pineapple until I no longer had taste buds, scrubbing floors...If there was a tip online that one day it had maybe helped someone go into labor, I tried it. Two days late. Acupressure. Three days. More pineapple. Lots of walking up and down hills. Squatting. Four days. Five days. Six days. Let’s just say, we tried everything.

And then finally! I had some “bloody show” and the contractions started. I waited a few hours to begin timing them so that I wouldn’t be disappointed if they were just Braxton Hicks. They were mild, but consistent. About 10 minutes apart and they just kept coming. They came all night long and began to get closer together. I was a bit disheartened at the fact that I was still in a great mood, talking, breathing normally. More pineapple. More walking. They were still mild but I was unable to sleep through them. Around 4am they had been consistently about 5-6 minutes apart and lasting over a minute in length. I began to think that I might actually be in labor. I told Steve (who was awake just long enough to move from our bed to the couch because I was in and out of bed every 5 minutes and had been keeping him awake) that I thought it might be time to call the midwife. He asked if I wanted to start timing the contractions first and I showed him on our “Baby Bump” app that I had been for hours. I called the midwife and was excited to find that one of my favorites from the birthing center was on call that night. She said that it sounded like I was in active labor and that I should come in. The birthing center is about 45 minutes from our home and on the way there the contractions were coming every 4 minutes. I was having to consciously breathe through them.

We arrived at the birthing center and I got admitted for a “non-stress test” to monitor the baby’s heart rate and the contractions. As soon as I was hooked up to the monitor the contractions stopped completely. The baby was not in any distress, which was a great sign, but it also looked like she wasn’t going to come anytime soon, which was disheartening. To top it off, the nurse told me, “you’re not in labor, you’ve just been having some irritations”. To call my contractions “irritations” was well, irritating to say the least. By this point I had not slept for 2 nights in a row. I was physically exhausted and had no words for the nurse. Steve later told me that I gave her a pretty mean glare when she acted like my contractions/irritations were no big deal. After a minute long sob-sesh in the hospital bathroom we were on our way back home where I was able to sleep for about 3 hours.

I was officially 1 week late and had a routinely scheduled “non-stress test” and amniotic fluid check at 1:45 that afternoon. Even though I had an NST earlier that morning, we were advised to keep the appointment. So, we headed back to Waimea. On the drive to Waimea, I started having contractions again but decided not to time them since I was convinced it was false labor anyway after the events of the morning. We arrived back at the birthing center and once again I got hooked up for the NST. The midwife informed me that she would be back to check on me in 20-30 minutes. As I lay on the exam table for the NST I could not stop telling Steve how badly I had to pee. I was hooked up to the monitor so I couldn’t get up. My biggest concern was that I was actually going to pee my pants on the table. And happened. I had a really strong contraction and I peed my pants. At least that’s what I thought. And I was mortified. I told Steve and we laughed about it and then panic set in- and just as I was asking myself a million questions in my head, “how am I going to walk out of here?”, “why did I wear leggings???” (note: if you are going to pee your pants in public, leggings are probably the worst garment that you can do it in). “what am I going to tell the midwife?” the midwife came back in. She asked how I was doing and I responded sheepishly, “well, I am so sorry, but I peed on your table.” and then to lighten the awkward mood, I added, “or maybe my water broke!” She checked me out, informed me that my water did in fact break and that my contractions were consistently 5 minutes apart. Contractions? I had been so focused on walking through the waiting room with pee pants that I hadn’t even noticed the contractions. The midwife told me I could go on over to labor and delivery and asked if I wanted a wheel chair. “Nope, I’ll walk” I responded, because suddenly I did not care about my wet pants (Steve assured me that you couldn’t see that they were wet anyway, phew!)

After a quick-ish trip to admitting (where they had lost our pre-registration information), I was given a room and a gown in Labor and Delivery and told to “go for it”. By this time it was 4pm and since the contractions were still not extreme, I assumed and mentally prepared myself to be in labor for a really, really long time. When the hospital dinner came and it was a plate of heartburn (onions and peppers) I sent Steve out to get  avocado cucumber sushi rolls (my favorite food during pregnancy) and told him to take his time. I was, after all, going to be in labor for DAYS. By the time he returned, I was pacing the room and having intense contractions about every 2 minutes. I didn’t want to eat. I didn’t want to smell food. I just wanted to pace. When a contraction would come, I would go into the dark bathroom until it was over and then come back out and pace again. I remember thinking, “I should moan through these” to take the advice of the doula who taught the natural childbirth class that we had taken months before. I consciously moaned through the next few and something about it just felt better than trying to stay quiet. From that point on I was in my own world. Labor land. When I would have a contraction, I would ask for Steve to come over and rub my lower back. When he would rub it, without the energy to ask him politely to stop, I would just signal for him to stop. Between each contraction I would think, “oh I should get some rest, I have a long night ahead of me” and so Steve would get the bed all ready for me to rest comfortably. As soon as I would sit down on the bed, another contraction would come and I would be out of the bed. pacing, asking Steve to raise it up as high as it would go so that I could lean forward on it. This pattern repeated about every 2 minutes for the next few hours. The contractions continued to intensify, but they were never to the point where I considered asking for pain medication.

Around 8pm the night shift nurse, Akiko, came in and introduced herself. She told me that if I felt the need to “bear down” like I was going to the bathroom to notify her. A little while later when I felt like pushing, I thought something was wrong. I asked Steve to get the nurse immediately and when she came in she checked my dilation (until this point, because my water broke, I hadn’t been checked at all). I was 8cm dilated and she told me that I could begin pushing. I was thinking, “pushing?! it can’t be time to push, I haven’t even had painful enough contractions for that yet!” and so, yet again, I prepared myself to be pushing for hours. DAYS, even. With this mindset, I sat down on the bed. My body seemingly went into autopilot and I just had to push.  Apparently L&D nurses and midwives can judge by a women’s moaning and groaning when she is ready to give birth because they all came into the room and before I knew it, the midwife, Patricia, and Steve were saying things that led me to believe that there was ACTUALLY a baby being born. Still a bit in denial, when the midwife told me to reach down and feel the baby’s head, I did so and then exclaimed, “Oh.My.God.” in disbelief. I remember the midwife saying, “wow, we hardly ever see haole babies with hair!” (Oh, Hawaii).  In between pushes, I asked Steve to put a cold washcloth on my head. He didn't hear me at first and I just remember thinking about how Michael Jackon named his son "Blanket" and pondered what life would be like if we named our baby "Washcloth". Back to reality. The midwife had been telling me things to help focus my pushing, like for me to imagine that I was pushing the baby up toward the ceiling. So, when she told me to put my hands out and catch my baby, I thought that she was meaning for me to imagine that as well. With my eyes closed, I leaned forward with my arms out and MUCH to my surprise, I suddenly had a baby in my arms. MY baby. I brought her to my chest, looked at Steve and exclaimed, “That was IT?!?!” in shock. The baby lifted her head and stared at Steve and just like that, we were three.

We said hello to our little Margot and told her that we loved her. The placenta was out a few minutes later with one push. The midwife congratulated me on “doing it just the way that I wanted to-with no drugs, no tearing and no episiotomy”. After the cord stopped pulsating, Steve cut it and then the baby breastfed for 45 minutes. She latched on and nursed like a champ. Still in shock, I felt like I needed to tell someone about what had just happened. Maybe then it would seem real. I called my parents and told them that she had arrived! I held up the phone to the baby so that they could hear her cry. After our phone call, Akiko and Steve weighed the baby and bathed her in the room. She was born at 11:15pm and weighed 8lbs 12oz, 20 inches. She was absolutely perfect.

Proud Daddy with Margot. (cell phone photo)

I was feeling great for a few hours after I delivered, but then started to feel really weak. Akiko informed me that I was losing an abnormal amount of blood and that she could not figure out why. She didn't want me to go far from the bed, so when I had to pee she brought over a bedside commode. As soon as I had shifted from bed to the commode I told her that I felt really dizzy. A few minutes later, I woke up surrounded by nurses and Patricia. "I think I passed out", I told them. I had indeed passed out and was still losing a concerning amount of blood for no apparent reason. I was a bit delirious at this point and there was talk of the possibility that my cervix had torn, which would require immediate surgery under anesthesia. An OB/GYN was called in to check me. As I lay in bed, delirious, I called to Steve who was across the room holding Margot and told him that "if I die, it's OK to give the baby a pacifier". Just as they were prepping me for surgery, the OB found the culprit of the bleeding- two tiny blood vessels had broken. They required one stitch each and the bleeding stopped immediately. By this point I had lost more than 3 pints of blood- more than a C-Section patient and was told that I would probably need a transfusion. Amazingly, my blood count results came back just above the level where I would need a blood transfusion. I was weak, but so relieved that I did not have to have surgery.

Steve was super-dad the whole time. For the few hours that I was passed out/delirious he held and rocked and sang to our baby girl. They needed each other during those few long and scary hours.

Despite the complications postpartum (which I don't remember clearly, anyway), my labor and delivery experience was an amazing one. God was so obviously in that delivery room with us and I am so thankful.

Margot- "precious pearl"
Day- For Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement

Margot Day- 1 Week Old


Meet the Staff:...Steve, me + Margot!

Wow, we are in rare form.
Meet the Staff: Steve, Diane, and Margot Schallert from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Meet the Staff: Steven Conant!

Meet the Staff: Steven Conant from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Meet the Staff: John + Jenni!

Introducing our dear friends and the leaders of the Community Transformations DTS, John and Jenni!
Meet the Staff: John and Jenni Gillespie from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Meet the Staff: Matt!

Meet the Staff: Matt Byrd from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Meet the Staff: Esther!

iframe src="" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen allowFullScreen>Meet the Staff: Esther Rich from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Meet the Man with the Fedora: Clint!

Community Transformations is a world-wide ragtag community of Jesus followers who are dedicated to walking out the simple gospel-to love God and love others. This fall my husband Steve and I get to work alongside an amazing crew for the Community Transformations Discipleship Training School.

Meet the Staff: Clint Gooch from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


back to the blog.

Hello, blog. I am sorry that I have been neglecting you but I have been a little bit preoccupied with our NEW BABY. Yes, I finally had that baby that we were waiting on. Margot Day Schallert. She arrived a week after her due date on September 6, 2011. Her story and a proper introduction coming soon! She is cuter than this blog and she doesn't have HTML issues that make my posts off-centered. Margot is not the only one that needs an introduction. There are several more staff for the Community Transformations DTS that need one as well. I am way behind on posting these and the school starts in 11 days so I will be posting a few a day. So, without further adieu, meet Kailyn!

Meet the Staff: Kailyn Kennedy from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Coming to you from the middle of America- Lindsay Blake!

Learn "what falls under the chicken category" and more valuable life lessons at the Community Transformations DTS beginning this September! Find out more here and come join us!

Meet the Staff: Lindsay Blake from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Community Transformations- Meet the Staff: MAX!

Meet the Staff: Max Melchert from Community Transformations on Vimeo.

By being a transformed community, loving God, and being loved by Him, we display the transformative power of the gospel to the world. As we walk like Jesus in the nations, bringing his love to every part of  society, to the rich and poor, to the lost and the broken, the simplicity of encountering God and his gospel transforms the world. All disciples have the power to change the world, bringing people to Jesus, and teaching them to do all that he commanded (Matt 28:18). It’s an invitation for the world to know God and be transformed as they follow him.  This is Revival - the turning of our hearts to God, with a desire to glorify him with all of our lives.
The DTS is just the start - Community Transformations is also all about launching transformative families of disciples around the globe! 

Find out more about the CommTrans DTS HERE


tunes a la husband.

Check out Steve's Noisetrade to download 'Into the Great Unknown' for FREE.

Simply input your email and zip code and you'll receive a download link. We'll periodically add new music - past, present and future - so make sure to keep checking back from time to time. Feel free to leave a tip before submission and or embed our NoiseTrade player on your blog or Facebook page to help us share music more effectively. 100% of tip proceeds will go directly to continue our efforts. ENJOY!


Community Transformations- Meet the Staff: Jordan!

Meet the Staff: Jordan Liljegren from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


"Hello" from the Community Transformations staff- Mika & Lindsay.

A little "Hello" from Mika and Lindsay... from Community Transformations on Vimeo.

For more information about Community Transformations, visit the website.


Community Transformations- Meet the Staff: Mika!

Meet the Staff: Mika McClurkin from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


August Newsletter


Community Transformations- Meet the Staff: Amanda!

Meet the Staff: Amanda Stangland from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Meet the Staff: Lexi!

Meet the Staff: Lexi Stevens from Community Transformations on Vimeo.

To find out more about Community Transformations, visit the website.


Week 38.


Sex+ Money: A National Search for Human Worth

If you have been keeping up with Steve and I for longer than like, a day, you have probably heard us talk about Sex + Money: A National Search for Human Worth at some point. We are always talking about Sex+ Money this, Sex+ Money that. This campaign to raise awareness about, and ultimately put an end to, child sex trafficking in the United States of America is very dear to our hearts. A team of our friends and fellow photogenXers have been working on a full length documentary for the past few years and are now in the middle of a 50 state tour to screen the film.

Please, take an hour and a half out of your day to engage with this very important issue. Below is the information for the New York and New Jersey screenings that are taking place in the next few days. Visit the tour page to find out when the film is screening in a city near you, or if you have missed the screening you can purchase the DVD (and other merchandise-proceeds of which go toward rescuing child sex slaves).

New York:

August 21st 6:00pm (Faith Based)
Church at the Gateway
200 Boscombe Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10309
August 22nd 6:30pm (Public)
Times Sq. Art Center
303 W. 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036
Tickets are $10 if purchased online in advance ( or $12 at the door.
New Jersey:
August 23rd 6:30pm (Faith Based)
Grace Christian Church
1961 Wayside Rd
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724


You Changed it All

My niece, Donna, is a beautiful, talented, raw soul. Listen to her song, "You Changed It All" and check out her band One Flew Over


Community Transformations- Meet the Staff: Miriam!

Meet the Staff: Miriam Steiner from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Community Transformations- Meet the Staff: Breno!

Meet the Staff: Breno Duarte from Community Transformations on Vimeo.

Interested in joining us this fall for the Community Transformations Discipleship Training School? We'd love to have you! Get the scoop here.


Thanks for the clicks!

You voted and More than Me won the 2011 Global Giving Photo Contest! The prize money that they receive will put a former child prostitute in Liberia in primary school for 4 years and all it took was a simple click. Thank you so much for your part in this! Keep up to date with what More than Me is doing in Liberia on their blog. Here is a little "Thank You" video from Katie and her More than Me friends in Monrovia, Liberia.


Vote for Change!

My friend Katie founded an organization in Liberia called More Than Me to provide primary education for children.  Last year, More Than Me won the Global Giving Photo Facebook contest. The money from the contest will be used to put a young girl  in school with everything she needs for 4 years! This year if they win, we will use the money towards housing, feeding, and sending 6 rescued child prostitutes to school. You can get directly involved with this contest! Help by liking the “Believe in Me” photo! You only have to vote one time. The contest ends on the 17th of August!

Here is how to vote:
1. Go to Global Giving’s Facebook Page and Like it:
2. Next, click on this link, find the “Believe in Me” photo, and hit Like. Make sure you're in the "Give Knowledge" category.
3. Please help us by sharing this on your wall, it would mean the world to Agnes and her friends:
20 seconds of your time could help former child prostitutes go to school for the first time. The More than Me Foundation needs you to get girls off the street and into school!


Community Transformations- Meet the Staff: Kristina!

Meet the Staff: Kristina Villalba from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Community Transformations- Meet the Staff: Jase!

Meet the Staff: Jase Beard from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Community Transformations- Meet the Staff: Cambria!

Meet the Staff: Cambria Finzel from Community Transformations on Vimeo.


Community Transformations- Meet the Staff!

Community Transformations is a world wide ragtag community of Jesus followers who are dedicated to trying to walk out the simple gospel-to love God and love others. This fall Steve & I have the privilege of being part of the Community Transformations DTS as staff. So many of our friends are staffing this school with us and there really is nothing better than working alongside people that you love so much!
Meet Johnny & Jenni -some of our closest friends and the leaders of this school.

Meet John & Jenni (June 16th, 2011) from Community Transformations on Vimeo.



For the first time ever Steve and I live in an apartment with rooms and walls that make sense. Since we didn't own any furniture we have had a lot of fun doing DIY projects and getting creative with how to make a space liveable without spending money. We moved into this space just in time for me to go into nesting mode. I was waiting to post these "before" and "after" photos until I actually finished the room but....I am not sure that is ever going to happen, so here we are. Maybe someday I will hang up the rest of the pictures/frames on the walls and get around to hanging up the curtains that I made, but not today. Now we just need a baby! Everything in this room was thrifted, gifted, made or found.

This room used to be a laundry room, so it has a utility sink in the corner and it's own entrance to outside. Convenient. The mobile hanging up on the door was a gift from our friend is made with origami! I forgot to take a photo of the shelf/closet with baby's clothes on it that we repurposed (which was given to us by our friends Christian & Sharee)
I fell in love with this fabric and made pillow covers using MC's tutorial here. The fabric along the back end of the crib is actually curtains that I made but haven't hung up. Crib: gift!
Quilt handmade by Steve's mom from fabrics that Steve & his siblings had as a kid!

"Ludlow" is a Sleepy King, a gift from Misie & Mick.

I loved this bamboo mobile but it's price was steep- then it went on sale on Gilt Groupe and someone got it for Baby as a gift!

This sweet little note came with a baby outfit that we got, I thought it seemed fitting for our little one.
Michigan & New Jersey teething rings. Gifts from Kimi and Misie.

A sweet gift from Aunt Mary Catherine.

Baby photos of Steve & I are displayed on this handmade chalkboard. I forgot to get a photo of it, but it has a quote on it for Baby. Picture to come soon!

Sterling silver baby rattles that were mine when I was a baby | "Baby Schallert" mug- a sweet gift from dear friends Zach & Laura whose Dad is a potter and made this just for us! | Wooden Camera toy- another sweet gift from Kimi & Misie.

An incredibly creative "Quillow" made by Aunt MC. Check out the link for more photos of it and a link to the tutorial.

This vintage baby pushcart was a gift from my sweet friend Jo. The wheels are a bit rusted but I am sure this gem will be featured in a baby photoshoot very soon ; ) Books inside were gifts from my cousin, Christine. Vintage books were found.

© 2010 unless otherwise stated all photos are copyright diane schallert and may not be used without permission. thanks.

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