October Catch-Up

Since the first trimester I have found it difficult to keep up with the day to day but to keep up with the deep cleaning, blog, continue organizing our home, prepping for baby and growing a baby was impossible! I gave up on most things and concentrated on general housekeeping and a healthy mommy and baby! But now I’ve got my energy back! So in hopes of catching up before this baby is born I am cramming a bunch into this post! Prepare yourself for October happenings!

At the beginning of the month we got together with my high school pals, Jordan and Lindsey, to spend some time outside, check out some rescued animals, and go geocaching at Blandford Nature Center.
The boys found the geocache first every time but let us girls find it and take out the geocache.

This one had lots of fun toys in it!

My birthday present from my in-laws was two Rascal Flatts tickets. My mother-in-law and I spent the day before my birthday jamming out to Eden’s Edge, The Eli Young Band, Little Big Town and RASCAL FLATTS! Our seats were less than ideal but I enjoyed being so close to the bands who still made sure to interact with us on the side!
My heart raced throughout Rascal Flatts’ set and I was so excited to see them again. I think they’ve lost some of their energy but since I haven’t been to a concert in six years I’m assuming their age at something to do with it. haha

Ben and I have gone on multiple dates since finding out we were parents. We are trying to soak in this time together and one of our dates was at a little place called Uncle Cheetah’s Soup Shop.
Ben enjoying the “Reuben”.

I enjoyed the “Lobster Bisque.”

A delicious homemade soup made with local, organic ingredients with drinks under $14! So worth it!

Towards the middle of October my college buddy/RA co-worker,Rob, came to visit for a weekend and to meet baby H! Rob brought baby two awesome (Rated PG/R) outfits for baby and our visit started off with many laughs!!

Saturday morning we went geocaching around town, but didn’t find any.

We bottled Ben’s beer with Rob to give him a taste of home brewing!
Baby’s first time bottling!
Rob’s first time bottling!

Then my brother, Justin, came to hang out too!

We decided against hanging out at a local brewery and hung out at home playing Kinnect.
The evening continued with a late night Meijer run for beer, pizza and sour gummy worms for the prego. The night continued through morning while this gal tried to sleep!

The next morning Ben and I made breakfast for the guys. My artistic husband made everyone a personalized pancake! Also on the menu was sausage, toast, bacon and hot chocolate!
Rob and I attempted to take a normal photo. We aren’t good at normal photos…
That’s better!!! Our “normal”.

At the end of October we experienced a beautiful Sunday afternoon and we interrupted our dear friends and stole their children for some fun at the park. Their dad came with us and was impressed at how adventurous his daughters were.

Addison learned to go up this part of the playground this summer and a few months later Erin was ready to tackle it! She did a GREAT job! Was so balanced and careful and SO proud when she was successful! I’m too afraid to let her do it but Uncle Ben is fun and adventurous and taught Erin how to climb it!
Uncle Ben tried teaching Addison to do this but she wasn’t as courageous as her little sister. She tried though!

That was our October in a nut shell!! We experienced a warm October and enjoyed our numerous opportunities to get outside and enjoy the crunch leaves and warm sunshine!

Weekend Home

I was going through pictures and realized that I didn’t write about our weekend to visit my hometown! I shared some photos from our weekend in the Upper Peninsula here and here. But more fun was had that weekend!

Ben and I were able to get a Friday off at the end of September. We got up super early and go on the road before the sun came up. Even after stopping for lunch at Pizza Hut we arrived over an hour before my mom would get home from work.. which was our plan! We had a secret mission to complete before my parents got home from work.

The secret mission was super intense for us. We had to use our ninja abilities and park behind the Fire Station where my dad works. We went around the back and were hoping and praying that no one saw us. Ben, very cool and calm, grabbed the GPS and our homemade geocache/baby announcement and headed behind the Fire Station to hid the geocache.

Ben was right next to my dad’s truck and I was so afraid a firefighter would have looked out and came out to see what was going on. Thankfully no one did!! Our hearts were racing as Ben quickly found spot to plant the geocache.


Geocache planted…. Then Ben had to program the coordinates of the geocache in the GPS so my family could find it. This was done in a matter of minutes and we were back in the Escape heading to my house. On the way my mom called and said she was running late and asked us to pick up my cousin Noah from school. Lucky Dog came with us on an adventure to get Noah from Middle School.

Such a pretty girl!!! After we picked up Noah we got home and my mom had arrived from school. We then spent some time decorating a birthday cake for me and one for my mom. Our birthdays were still a few weeks away but we wanted to celebrate them together!
After practicing some designs and testing out the frosting Noah, Ben and I got to work! Ben perfected his frosting flowers and Noah worked on writing messages with the frosting. And we all may have walked away with green tongues… just maybe..
My finished birthday cake. Noah also decorated one for my mom, a chocolate cake! Then around five Ben and I talked Noah and my mom into coming with to get my dad from work (who had taken off a few hours to spend with us) and to check out this geocache right behind the Fire Station! (I don’t think they had a clue what they were about to discover!)
We got to the Fire Station and hung out a bit outside checking out the Apple trees, garden and tasting some grapes. Below is a photo of the sour grape I ate.
Then we went geocaching and this priceless moment happened… still brings the biggest smile to my face!
Much of the weekend was spent visiting family and friends and sharing our baby news but we also celebrated our birthdays!
Looking at this photo there is no denying that I am my mother’s daughter! At the bottom of the picture above you can see the remains of our Thanksgiving dinner. Yup, we celebrated Thanksgiving in September so we could celebrate it as a family! A special shout out to my parents for doing that for us! It meant a lot to celebrate my birthday and Thanksgiving together!
My cousin Mikayla came to hang out on Friday evening and joined us for our celebrations!
I got a new luggage set since my old one broke. I love the blue luggage and the various sizes/shapes.
We got my mom some Sierra Mist and chocolate! The above pictures were all from Friday and like I mentioned the rest of the weekend involved trips to share our baby news with our family and friends, a trip to our favorite Sub Shop, a family 5K, and a surprise anniversary party for my pseudo-Aunt and Uncle! This time together with my family was precious and I’m so thankful for being able to tell so many people in person about our little miracle!

Art Prize

Grand Rapids rocks! Growing up in a small town and spending five years at college in a slightly bigger town I thought I would never love living in a big city. In fact, I am really enjoying it. I love the opportunities that Grand Rapids provides for us and the wide range of choices in entertainment, shopping, restaurants, etc. Grand Rapids fits our lifestyle quite well. We are a short walk away from local restaurants, breweries, and shops that are focused on sustainability and their commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

One of the unique offerings Grand Rapids provides is Art Prize. Three years ago Grand Rapids started this fun event that has grown each year. The city is transformed as art pieces are scattered around the city, sidewalks are painted, you can’t go anywhere without seeing promotional materials and people are everywhere!

Last year Ben and I had just moved, just started new jobs and I needed a map to go anywhere. This year Ben started a new job, I am in the process of understanding my fairly new job and we have a baby on the way! We still found an evening to get out and enjoy Art Prize, not as much as we’d like but we were thankful for the few hours we were able to sneak away from life and enjoy all the fun!

For more information on ArtPrize click here.

This piece was fun and it took a moment for me to realize it wasn’t an actual person!

A piece made out of recycled material.

I was thankful to see this one as the sun was setting. The lights were beautiful shining through the glass. 
This was one of my favorite pieces! I loved the look on the gnome’s face. It was also a great one of for kids. They had to find a list of woodland creatures in the piece.

The idea behind this piece left Ben and I speechless. For an explanation of this flagpole read below.

“A flagpole made of a 80′ tall fraser fir tree with most of the roots attached. Proudly flying the American flag, the symbol of freedom. The opening in the fence represents the doorway to freedom. Unless your a Native American, your ancestors came from around the globe. The root system represents their journeys from near and far.”
Ben checking out the piece (while carrying my bag that got too heavy!).
This was another beautiful piece outside a hotel.
Loved this sand castle one. So fun with so many little details included.
The cloud. How connected are you to technology?

A thought provoking piece indeed…

We had a beautiful night together and got a good amount of exercise too! I can’t wait to take our little one there next year!

Vacation!

We crammed A LOT into our vacation to Marquette. We arrived in Marquette on Thursday, July 5th and left that Sunday, July 8th. We spent the beginning of the week relaxing and doing a whole lot of NOTHING so we felt refreshed and ready to be extra busy during the second part of our vacation! I took MANY pictures but tried to pick out a few to summarize our visit!

Classic Bridge Photo

We quickly found our way to Lake Superior to dip our toes in the cool water!

Alyssa (Ben’s old resident, now our downstairs neighbor) and I 

So happy to be HOME!

The sights of Marquette never get old!

Ben and I tried to visit all our favorite locations: Donckers, Border Grill, Marquette Food Co-Op, NMU, Lil’ Presque, Sugarloaf, Presque Isle, etc. 

We made multiple trips to Presque Isle!

We also visited the church we were married in and celebrated 2 years of wedded bliss!

Our pals, Elizabeth and Taylor got married! The boys had a pre-wedding huddle!

I thee wed!

YOU DID IT!!

There was a slight boat malfunction that was corrected with help from some wedding guests. (of course Ben helped too!)

The BEST guest “book.” I seriously love this idea!

My old resident, Parker! He was one of my feisty kids when I was a Resident Adviser. Gave me some trouble but turned out alright… 🙂

Congrats Elizabeth and Taylor!

Their first day as husband and wife was spent rock climbing, cliff jumping and hiking! 

Ben and I left the group for a bit and found “our tree.” The photographers took photos here on our wedding day. We have stopped at this tree twice since we left Marquette. 

Two days after the wedding we all got together at the newlywed’s home to eat reception leftovers and to play a game. Ben made salsa to contribute to the lunch. 

On our hikes Ben and I found some blueberries! YUM!

Ben and I went for one last hike before we left Marquette. Right before we left we hiked Sugarloaf Mountain. 

Honestly for how busy the trip was, it was PERFECT! We did just about everything we wanted to do and accomplished what we set out to do – celebrate with our dear friends. And we did just that!

Family Weekend!!

My parents and Justin and Tia came to visit for a weekend!

The weekend started off with my parents and I walking to the Farmer’s Market. A little boy was making balloon animals so we picked up one for Addie and one for Erin. 

Doggy and Turtle

A close up of the turtle. 

We had to take my family to meet baby James! 
(A look into their future!)

Justin is so good with babies!

I was surprised at how quickly Erin took to Tia and Justin! 

We took at trip to Frederick Meijer Gardens

Whoops.. we didn’t “see” the sign.. 

Getting ready to go on the Sculpture Bus Tour

We were super excited! 

AH!

Yeah.. I’m that strong! 

Seriously hilarious! 

Practicing for August 17th, 2013


We had a wonderful time together. It was the perfect combination of fun and relaxation! 

The Great Campout

Summer has been crazy busy and so much fun! One week in particular was extra fun!
June 12th/13th – James’ was born
June 14th- we celebrated our anniversary 
June 16th- The Great Camp-Out

Justin and Tia along with Danny and Chelsea (we all went to High School together) went camping for a night. Ben was working so I took a day trip to camp with them in Climax, MI!

I arrived first and took a picture of the huge campsite. 

Justin pulled up in style… look how close he was to hitting the picnic table!

YIKES!! Skill or luck?

Our morning beverages. Can you guess which one is mine and which one is Justin’s? Coffee or beer? 

We all have the same style blue chairs. Ben and I got ours 2 years ago! 

Danny and Chelsea brought their fur-child, Moose! 
He really was a good boy! 

Lunch: sandwiches, chips and watermelon. 

We went on a walk to check out the trails. They were narrow, filled with thorny plants (and poison ivy!), and all of them dead-ended. Not too exciting. 

The beach was filled with people and no dogs or alcohol was allowed so we went and hung out on the boat docks instead. Moose loved playing in the water and we loved watching him. 

Daddy Danny playing with Moose. 

This is how we traveled around the campsite. 

The twins preparing for our fishing trip!

Chelsea was clearly super excited! 

Yeah fishing! We had so much weight in the boat we were taking on water and the motor barely moved us!

It probably didn’t help that Moose and his cage joined us, but we couldn’t leave him out of the fun!

Chelsea’s first fish. She caught two! 

Fishy Love!

My one and only little fish! (I’ve only been holding fish for a year! I am so cool!)

XOXO

Tia and I were bummed with our inability to catch fish. Only 4 were caught by the 6 of us!

Danny’s big catch!

Moose wasn’t as interested as I thought he would be. 

After fishing the boys cooked us dinner, Tia made us popcorn, we made some smores’, had a few drinks and ended the evening around the fire. I headed home as the sun was setting and made it home to see Ben when he got home from work!

Thus ends photos from The Great Campout 2012!

Small Group Adventures

Ben and I started attending his family’s church when we moved here 13 months ago. Sometime later we were approached by Ben’s mom about the possibility of joining a small group bible study. We spoke with a Pastor who suggested we join a group of young people who were led by an energetic couple. We were intrigued and said yes. We met up with two young couples, a single woman and our fearless leaders. We have studied a few different topics, explored a book, and lost one of our couples to a new job but are now taking some time to relax and get to know one another. So far we’ve gone on two adventures together: BrewFest 2012 and an outdoor concert! 

BrewFest 2012
Kurt and John working on the brew – similar to Two Hearted. 

The final stage for the day. Transferring the beer into this glass container where it will ferment and age. 

Kurt’s daughter studied up as her dad made his beer. 

Outdoor Concert
Instead of meeting for our regular small group meeting we attended an outdoor concert and had a picnic! Nothing says summer like big blankets, watermelon, beer/wine and babies!

Such a cutie pie! She was hilarious eating the watermelon and even feed it to me!

Enjoying the beautiful weather and beautiful company!

Kurt and his daughter.

Bonding with Linda.

She was such a good girl!

We’ve really been enjoying our time with our small group and have enjoyed these extra little adventures together!