Thursday, December 10, 2015

Trimming the Tree

 We got a new {faux} Christmas tree this year and the kids were very excited to get it up and to help decorate it.  Everyone was very eager to look at every.single. ornament and we had lots of helpers this year.

My grandmother always gave my siblings and me an ornament for Christmas every year and I love looking through my large collection. I started the same traditions with my kids. Colin got his giraffe when he was two. 

 Boo Boo by the tree.

Macy has a very intimidating "muscle" pose.

After much discussion and debating, it was decided that Colin would try to put the star on the top of the tree. No one could remember who did it last year and the vote fell to Colin.
He was very excited!

I hope that you are enjoying this Season of celebrations and taking time to enjoy a few laughs, a few snuggles and extra "helpers".

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks

My blessings are multiple. Health, family, love, life. All chocked full of blessings.

The day to day can makes those blessing hazy, getting out of focus as the latest accident needs to be cleaned up, or the same warning of getting off the counter has been issued 12 times in a row.

One of the things that I like best about Thanksgiving is that the important thing comes back into focus and those daily annoyances fade to the background where they belong. A entire day to think about your blessings, the be thankful for those who are around you. While so much bad seems to be happening, there is always, always good. Roofs over heads, clothes on bodies, smiles, laughter, food in the fridge. All worthwhile blessings to count today and every day.

Since I could write for hours about the things I am thankful for, I decide to just pick the main 4 reasons of my life. The reasons that my world spins round and that makes all that daily grind more than worth it.

I am thankful for my husband. He is my best friend and partner in life. His integrity is true and deep. Maybe I was naive, but the longer my husband has been in the business world, the more shocking the lack of integrity and lack of basic honesty abides in business, even businesses run by people of faith. Regardless of what was said, promises or how he was treated, Ryan has remained true and faithful, never wavering in his integrity. I love many, many things about him, but this is one of my favorites. I am so proud to have my children watch their dad and how he deals with life and work. Ryan is showing them what it means to be honest and true to your word, regardless of if it is the easiest or fastest path in life.

I am so thankful for my oldest baby, my Jack. His love for learning and discovering is inspiring. He is thriving in school, eager to lead his peers and excited about any academic challenge. His teachers speak highly of his bright and fun personality and we couldn't agree more. He likes to tell jokes, dance, and entertain those around him. I love my little book worm who asks for biographies on inventors for Christmas and eagerly anticipates Monday morning's new list of spelling words. He is a friend to all and we love that just as much!

I am so thankful for my Colin, lovingly nicknamed Boo Boo by his sister. My middle man is kind and sweet, shy to those he first meets but fiercely loyal to his friends. He is navigating Kindergarten well, leaning to engage with those around him and growing in confidence.  His natural intuition with sports has been fascinating to watch. He is a coach at heart. Colin understands how a sport should work and controls the field or the court. He always looks for the open player, directs teammates to the best place and competes fully. He is the only 5 year old I know who can look at a full field or court and than decides what is the best thing to do. Put him in a large room with a lot of people and he will be quiet and shy, playing only with those he knows. Put him on a soccer field or basketball court and he comes alive, engaging with everyone. Most importantly, he laughs and has the most fun. We love our silly, emotional Boo Boo. He does everything at 100%.

I am so thankful for my only girl, my little momma on the go. Macy is loud and funny and determined to never, ever be left out. She is talking up a storm these days. There is never a doubt about what she does or does not want. She loves to sing and will sometimes answer her dad and brothers by singing a motivational or instructional little jingle from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. They really appreciate that, especially when it involves eating their dinner.  ("You gotta try new foods, cause it might taste gooooood. Gooo ooo ood!") She is sassy and definitely TWO. She asks where we are going every day and always takes either a bag, a baby and some sort of accessories. She loves to play with kids and every child she sees is her "friend". She gives great hugs and kisses. We are so happy to have a little lady in our life. We love our Macy so.

So, count your blessings, big or small today. I know that holidays can be hard, especially when there is a loss in the year. We lost my Grandma Andrew on my birthday this year. It is hard. It can be difficult to see past the pain and to see any good at all. But know that you are never truly alone, it is never truly hopeless.  There is Hope in the One that sacrificed it all for you. (John 3:16-17)

Happiest Thanksgiving, friends!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pumpkin Picking


One extra warm Sunday afternoon we ventured out to find a pumpkin or two.

 We traipsed and tripped our way through the vines and dirt, picking and choosing.

Miniature furry friends were discovered, finding a haven on those bulbous orange vegetables.

Sitting, listening and hugging were also key in picking out the most perfect pumpkin. 

After much discussing, feeling, sitting and observing, we found a pumpkin each.


What a beautiful day to explore a pumping patch. We just LOVE the fall!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Turning Two

Dear Macy,

Today you are two. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that you blasted your way into the world. Sometimes it feels like you are so much older, like you have always been here with us.

You make us laugh every single day. Every night your dad laughs and marvels at the personality that keeps coming through.

You are so silly and love to make jokes and tease your brothers. You like to dance and shake your little hips anytime you hear music. You like to pick on your brothers and do whatever they do. You always want to be included and yell "and Macy, and Macy" for anything that your brothers are doing.

You are our little parrot and repeat everything you hear. If it is not appropriate, your brothers laugh and laugh and you keep repeating whatever you are not supposed to say, hoping for more laughter.

You love your baby and your purse. They come with us everywhere. Every day we get ready to pick up Colin and you bring baby and your purse with you. Into the store, into the school, to soccer practice, they come with you everywhere, usually accompanied by a necklace or sunglasses of sorts.

You like to rock and sing to your baby, putting her to bed like a good little momma. You like to play with my purses,  carrying them everywhere, waving good bye and telling everyone that you are leaving when you exit the room and than come back in and let everyone know you are back.

Your vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds every day. You say full, complicated sentences all the time. We are continually amazed at your descriptive words and observations. You always want to know what the sound is and where it is coming from.

You are sweet and kind and beautiful and I could not be more proud to be your mother. I don't think your dad will every let you date, as he does not believe there could possibly be any boy that would be good enough for his girl. He loves you fiercely.

So, today, on your second birthday, your dad and I can't wait to snuggle and kiss you and let you know how much you are loved. Your brothers can't wait to eat your birthday cake. You, my little Macy Lu, have brought us so much joy. I am excited to see you grow, to watch your thoughts and ideas unfold and to see how the Lord uses your dynamic life.

Happy Birthday, my Macy girl. As you would say, (which is my very most favorite sentence, by the way) I love you SOOOO MUCH!


Monday, August 31, 2015

Fading Away

The slow, easy days of summer are slowly slipping away. September starts tomorrow and with it, cooler weather, falling leaves and the start of school. 

Summer is fading away.

But yet...

The memories of bright sun, warm rays and easy days are still fresh in mind.

A family canoe trip.

 A high school reunion, fifteen years in the making.

The Atlantic whispering a friendly hello, it's nice to see you again.

Pretty dirty faced babies swinging into the evening.

Fires so warm, protection from your hand is needed.
S'mores so sweet they stick to your hands long after consumption.

Determination to make it across the bar without falling.

Celebrations of little boys turning one.

Glimpses into the future of what this little man will look like.

Tiny flowers being held by up by brown-eyed girls.

Giggly brothers, taking a ride on their little sister's newly given Big Wheel.

These are the moments of summer.

These are the moments that will be remembered as the leaves begin the fall, the air turns crisp and the sun sets early.

These fading days of summer always seem the very sweetest of all.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Five Little Fingers

One whole hand.

That is how old my Colin is today. The big FIVE.

Oh my, this seems so old. So big. So independent. How can my baby boy be 5?!

This boy. He is something. Witty, smart, shy, adventurous, and caring.

He is competitive and loves loves soccer. He gets it. He gets the strategy, the control, the angles. It comes naturally to him.

 Getting to know Colin takes some work. It takes time. It does not come easy. He makes you work for it.

  But when he lets you in, when he befriends you and lets you know him, it makes all that work worth the effort.

He is loving and kind and fiercely defensive and protective. He is our little bulldog and he will fight for those he matter the size or consequence.

He is also naughty and silly and funny and feels ALL the feelings all the time...and when they are bad, you know it.

Colin is detailed and remembers everything. He can travel somewhere once and remember the directions, turn by turn. He reads maps better than his mom! (which is not really that hard to do)

This boy. He has captured my whole heart. We love him so.

Happiest 5th Birthday, my Colin. I couldn't imagine life without you.You make our life SO much better.

Just remember, you promised that you would give me lots of cuddles when you are 5, even when you are 8, and I plan to hold you to those promises! Because Colin snuggles are just the greatest.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


The Fourth of July is always a special time for us. With my oldest having his birthday on the 4th of July, there is always a reason to celebrate just a little bit longer. 
How did you celebrate?

Ours looked a little like this...

Miss Macy, water balloon helper extraordinaire.

Toddlers making great heroic stands on tree stumps.

Girl cousins frolicking towards the woods, hand in hand. 

Freshly water-ballooned boys turning 7 and asking for a flag cake because " It is ALSO America's birthday, so I should get the flag cake."
Mr. Patriotic 7 yr old.

Sometimes you just don't know what to do when everyone is singing and looking at you. 

This was the best picture we could get of the girls. So, yeah... toddlers.

Blue- eyed boys with blue tongues and blue suckers. The perfect summer trifecta.

The annual golf ball hitting on the 4th. Colin's swing is both scary and impressive.

Boats loaded down with kids, anxious to get the sandy strip up river and splash away.

The Muskegon River

Boat rides at dusk,worth the work of rowing.

When do you know that it is time for some fireworks?
When someone puts on her special celebration sassy pants, that's when.

Happy Birthday, Jack!
Happy Birthday, America!

I hope everyone celebrated and enjoyed their Independence Day!