Belated Anniversary

Remember our Anniversary? Well within the week we got a chance to celebrate our 2nd anniversary! It wasn’t the day I imagined because we decided to celebrate our anniversary on a whim. Ben was scheduled to work but at the last minute they had a low amount of kids so he didn’t have to. I was suppose to spend the day in Lansing for some one on one training time in the Department of Education but that got cancelled so we decided to celebrate! I planned on pulling out some of the crafts I made last year but no time! Like our honeymoon and our 1st anniversary – Ben planned the day! (Prepare yourself for a long post!)

We started at…

The hospital for Ben to meet the man I spent our anniversary waiting for! 

Okay this is super cute.. I love their little grins!

We then went to John Ball Zoo. We haven’t been there in years and Ben hadn’t been back since his last day of work. Ben worked there for three summers and built quite a few things that you can see as you wander around in the zoo. 

A lot had changed but many of our favorite animals could still be seen!

Ben is almost as tall as a Kangaroo! 

Me.. not so much… 

I loved these little guys! I just wanted to jump in and cuddle with them. 

We hung out with the birds – and didn’t get pooped on!

We took a cute picture under here many years ago…
(pre-beard days)


Lazy bear

Baboon, he wasn’t into entertaining that day… 

Reminded me of Puss In Boots – sweet innocent face!

This little guy had ADHD! He was HILARIOUS to watch!

Ben saved the best for last!! PENGUINS!

Our day continued with dinner at The Winchester

I had the Chicken Pesto – grilled hormone free chicken breast with sun dried tomato pesto and sliced portabella mushroom on a Nantucket Bakery Vienna roll with a Tiramisu Martini! 

Ben had a Tuna Dish with sesame seed encrusted tuna over wasabi and sushi rice with a local beer!

Both dishes were delicious. 

It was clear during dinner that we didn’t want the night to be over quite yet. We debated a few different options.

In the end we decided that we really didn’t want to spend the extra money at Buffalo Wild Wings (we talked about getting some wings to share and dessert) so the option we looked into was going to see a movie. We decided nothing sounded appealing. In the end we decided to run to a RedBox and look at movies there. We had never done that before. We picked out a movie and enjoyed the comfort of our own home.

We rented..

We Bought A Zoo!

WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE! LOVED IT! This movie was the perfect end to our 2nd Anniversary!

This year we moved into our apartment, Ben and I both got new jobs, we furnished a large portion of our apartment, made incredible progress on our banking goals, bought a family ready vehicle, watched all the LOTR and Star Wars movies, fed ourselves throughout the winter with food we grew, and most importantly continued to learn about one another and grow in our relationship. Here’s to Year 3!


2nd Anniversary

Yesterday was our 2nd Anniversary! Our anniversary came up quickly and with our busy schedules we had a late start to thinking about what to do for our special day. We decided on buying a joint gift, something special for our home that we would pick out together! We found it! A fun foot stool/extra seating for our living room. 

Check it out! 
We know this little foot stool will be a hit with guests of any age. And so far it has been! (Noticed a change in our living room? I’ll update about the changes soon!)

As for our actual anniversary Ben had to work until 4pm and then he was taking me out to dinner for a special night out. 

At least that was the plan….

I got a phone call from our friend Lauren at 6:30am saying that she was heading into the hospital because she was in labor! I quickly showered, packed a bag and headed over to watch her two youngest children. I stayed at their house until about 12:30pm. I brought the girls to their Papa and Nona’s house and then headed to the hospital . For the next 12 hours I waited patiently in the hospital room for Baby J to make an appearance. Finally at 1:24am Baby James Michael was born at 7 lb 12 oz and 19 in. long. I was honored to be there to see baby J come into the world and take his first breaths. Here is a glimpse at the little cutie!

James Michael

Proud Daddy with his new piece of {temporary} body art.

Mommy holding baby after his vitals were checked. 

Mama and Daddy and their new addition. 
Baby makes 5!

Love those kissable lips, dimple chin and curly hair!

Daddy holding his long awaited son!

So blessed to hold this new baby boy!

Sucking on his fingers. So precious!

So instead of spending my anniversary with my husband it was spent waiting for this little man. He was worth it! We will be taking time to celebrate our anniversary soon! 

Welcome Baby James!
We love you so much! 
Love, Ca and Ben

Happy Anniversary!

[Forgot to post this yesterday..]
One year ago we were living in Sioux Falls and packing up our life [again] to move back to Michigan. On April 29th, 2011 I woke up like any other day to prepare another day of student teaching. Except this day was different. I woke up in the middle of my living room because our bed had been moved there to make space for packed boxes in our bedroom. And instead of waking up at 6:00am I was up at 3:45am! I quietly made my way to the kitchen where I made a cup of tea, grabbed a cookie and then snuck past a sleeping husband to the couch. I snuggled under a blanket and grabbed the remote.

I turned on the TV which instantly brought up the Royal Wedding guests being ushered into the church. Nothing says excitement like seeing Elton John on your TV screen at 4:00am. For hours I watched history unfold! I had butterflies in my stomach, could barely sit still and had a huge smile on my face watching this beautiful couple become husband and wife! I was fascinated with Princess Di as a girl – watched her funeral, witnessed these two young boys at their mother’s funeral, have done speeches on Princess Diana, and watched movies and documentaries. All of this made this morning extra exciting to witness! 

Prince William and Prince Harry on their way to the church.

The Groom!

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

First glimpse of the beautiful bride!

The day Pippa (and her fabulous body!) became famous!

There she is! I believe at this point I clapped out loud and giggled which woke up Ben. 

Kate and her dad

The famous back-end

Entering the church!

The butterflies in my stomach got super intense here! So excited!

A photo likes takes me back to my own wedding day! 
The excitement in her eyes and the smile on her dad’s face is priceless!

 Here they go!

The groom finally meeting up with his bride. Love that goofy grin!

Love this one!

Exchanging rings.

The front of the church.

My mom and I were texting back and forth throughout the morning. 
I did miss the famous kiss (had to go into school). 
I wasn’t the only insane one up at 4am from JFK Elementary. I sat in the staff lounge and exchanged stories with the staff about their morning. Some talked about Princess Diana’s wedding and I got even more excited! Some of my kids were up in time to watch part of the wedding too. Overall the whole day was super exciting!

Happy First Anniversary William and Kate! 

DIY: Gift Card

For a long time I’ve wanted to include some Do-It-Yourself projects or in other words.. craft projects that I do that are simple and fun for YOU to try! 

Ben and I are currently working on some fun projects, some for our new apartment and another for a special 2nd birthday party coming up. I’ve been taking pictures of these projects and can’t wait to share them with you as we finish them up! 

We’ll start today with a crafty project that I did for our anniversary. A gift card is a card that holds gifts!! 

Here is a look at the finished project and then I will go into the steps on how I made this fun card.

Take a look at the front of the card in the picture below. 

The card folds up like an accordian.

The best part of this project is that you are likely to have everything you need at home RIGHT NOW!

This project is made using a super secret supply..


Here is another look..

This is the front of the card. 
I opened the envelopes and taped down the flap to the envelope directly on top of it.
By doing this you create pockets. 
This is what the back will look like. It doesn’t matter that you can see the flaps because you can cover it up with paper later. 

I then began cutting out decorative paper and taping it to the card. 
Some parts were tricky, I needed to create a template to help cut the paper for the inside and outside of the pockets. 
I used an envelope and cut it up. 
The top part was used as a template on paper that was put at the entrance of the pocket and the lower part was used for the bottom of the envelope. 

 I traced the template on decorative paper, cut it out and glued it on.
Then comes the fun part, use ribbons, paper, stickers, etc. to create an interactive card.
You can make this card as long as you’d like by just adding or subtracting envelopes. 
Then fill the pockets with whatever you’d like; a gift card, note, homemade coupons, etc.
In the spirit of our first wedding anniversary I did a Mad Libs like the ones we had at our reception.

I wish I could take the credit for this idea but I found the idea on the internet.
Click here to see where my inspiration was found!


Ben and I celebrated our 1st Anniversary this weekend. It was a fun weekend filled with all my favorite things; Ben, family and friends, surprises, delicious food and geocaching! The only thing missing was chocolate! ha

I started off our Anniversary Weekend by surprising Ben when he got home from his half day at work on Saturday.

I went with the traditional paper themed gift for our first anniversary.
I wrapped Ben’s present in the same wrapping paper used to wrap our bridal party’s gifts.
Then made a fun accordion style card and topped everything off with a banner.

365 days of sweet wedded bliss

I made this fun card using envelopes and the paper used for our wedding.
There were three pockets and to bring in some more fun from our wedding Ben filled out a Mad Libs in the first pocket.

The second pocket held the rest of the Mad Libs and the third pockets held a note.

I had a ton of fun making this card!
I even used the same stamp used in our wedding invitations.

Here is all the decorations I used to surprise Ben.

Then I covered everything up!

While Ben was in the shower (after a day of wrestling pigs), I quickly set up the room.
I used our table markers to create 365

365 Days as Mr. and Mrs.

Our table markers from our wedding added a fun touch!

Here is a close-up of the banner I made using our wedding paper and ribbon.
I hope to use this for years to come!

As an extra special surprise, I set up the X-box so Ben has a way to relax at the end of a long day.
I then put in the slideshow our photographers gave us.

Ben was so surprised and it took him a few minutes to take everything in!
But then he got down to business and opened his card and present.
Checking out the card!

He loved his present!!!
It is a stretch to call it a “paper-themed” gift but I couldn’t pass up a good online deal!

Ben and the canvas of the big kiss!
(Check out Ben’s new glasses!)

The rest of the day was planned by Ben.
He surprised me by taking me to one of the places I wanted to visit this summer, Frederik Meijer Gardens
We could have spent an entire day there but only spent a few hours. We didn’t see everything but enjoyed what we did see!
They have 70 foot greenhouses!
Here we were in their tropical greenhouse!
We even saw coffee and chocolate trees!

Ben touched the water wall before noticing the DO NOT TOUCH sign! 

Our favorite location was probably the Children’s Garden.

We had a ton of fun playing with all the fun activities in the Children’s Garden.

In the Farm Garden, Ben found Hops growing!

And I found one of my friends from Narnia!

Then Ben took me to Lowell, MI to try a new restaurant, Flat River Grill.
They have a lot of organic food and locally grown food that they use in their cooking.
The price wasn’t too terrible and the FOOD WAS EXCELLENT!
There was something for EVERYONE!
Ben’s M-21 Patty Melt: half pound angus burger, melted swiss, charred onions, olive mayo, roma tomatoes, bibb lettuce, grilled marble rye

My Chicken Michael: two sauteed chicken breasts, shrimp, bearnaise sauce, garlic mashed yukon potatoes, sugar snap peas

The restaurant was on the Flat River and there was this fun boat on the river too!

The swans stopped by to beg for food greet us on our walk.

This was the restaurant we ate at. We enjoyed eating outside!
It reminded us of our honeymoon!

 Our anniversary wasn’t complete with out geocaching!
Ben found one at this location and I found the first one.

Ben knew I love covered bridges so he took a pit stop in Ada to see their bridge.
It was beautiful and we enjoyed our walk through the quaint town.

Our 1 year anniversary!

After church, Mom, Raena, Ben and I went to Detroit to go to IKEA.
It is my ALL time favorite home furnishings store.
We bought a coffee table, side table and some other fun goodies.

Then we found an Aubree’s near by!
It is our favorite restaurant back at school and we wanted to try this one out.
It was strange eating at a different location but fun!
Evidence of our adventure!

365 Days!!

Yeah, 1 year anniversary!
Where DID the time go?

Happy Anniversary (A Day Late!)

Ben and I started dating four years ago yesterday. 

I believe this photo was taken on October 23, 2006

I would have wrote yesterday but unfortunately we were both sick. 

I found myself in bed in between classes yesterday and Ben came home from work and missed class because he also wasn’t feeling well. 

So Ben and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary by resting on the couch (thankfully we could both fit!) and drinking a lot of water and tea. 

We watched P.S. I Love You together and I HIGHLY recommend that everyone sees this movie! Ben and I both really enjoyed the movie and the special story that it tells. 

Really, you need to rent it!!!

Disclaimer: Make sure you have a box of tissues next to you. You’ll need it! 

Good news: We are both feeling much better today. The restful evening really helped. 

And more good news: