Baptism Day!

Miles was baptized on June 2nd in front of family and friends! My parents, brother and future sister-in-law were able to come downstate for the baptism. In our church it is common practice for family and friends to come up and support us as Miles was baptized. We loved being surrounded by so much love!

Miles did a great job. He was sleeping but woke up just in time to be baptized before he went back to sleep. Miles didn’t cry or fuss as the water touched his head, heart and feet.
_MG_9917_MG_9926Someone from our church makes these banners for everyone that is baptized. It now hangs in Miles’ room.
DSCF7000We invited our family and friends to join us in the Ministry House next door for some hors d’oeuvres and fellowship. We did some light decorating but I didn’t want to spend too much. I bought a few tablecloths, some chocolate for the table and the plates, napkins, etc. I choose the colors off of the baptism plates I bought and the colors ended up being close to the colors we had at our wedding.

IMG_4763 I made the cupcakes but they were frosted by Miles’ Auntie Tia. I added Miles’ name and put the cupcakes into a cross and called it done!
IMG_4769 IMG_4782 All the delicious food; Zapp Jello, Salad, chips, fruit, fruit pizza, veggies, BBQ meatballs and turkey roll ups.
IMG_4783I believe Miles’ Auntie Raena grabbed my camera and took a few pictures and then I snapped a few of our friends and family spending time with Miles and one another.
IMG_4784 IMG_4789 IMG_4790 IMG_4791 IMG_4795 IMG_4796 We also tried to get pictures with Miles and his family and friends! I realized a few weeks after his baptism that we never got one with just our little family.. oh well. Live and learn.

Miles and the DeRuischer family.
IMG_4798 IMG_4800 Eric had met Miles a few times but it was always right after work so he wasn’t comfortable holding him. He was nice and clean so he finally got a chance to hold Miles!
IMG_4801 Miles tried on Uncle Justin’s tie. He looked so handsome!
IMG_4802 Miles and his Great-Grandma.
IMG_4803To be continued!!!

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Meeting Family and Friends

Miles met a lot of family over the first few weeks of his life. Some drove quite a distance in order to meet Miles. His great aunt Addi drove three hours from Ohio, the Mathy’s drove an hour from Holland and cousin Noah sat in a car for about eight hours in order to meet Miles.

I didn’t get a picture with everyone but I did snap a photo of a lot of family and friends when they met Miles for the first time.

My cousin Noah came downstate for the first time. He rode with my parents and met Miles when he was one week old.

Noah also used FaceTime on his phone so Miles could “meet” his cousins Logan and Jonah and their mom Mandy, great Aunty Wendy and Great Grandma and Grandpa Kloida.  Sometimes I really love technology. I was so thankful everyone was able to “see” Miles and to talk with him.

FaceTime(click on the photos to enlarge them)
Ben’s Aunt and Uncle and their kids came to visit Miles a few days after he was born. Everyone held Miles, even though Jeremiah, the oldest boy, was reluctant at first. He did a great job trying out the football hold!
KruithofsAunti Addi came from Chicago to spend a few hours with Mr. Miles! Miles even opened his eyes for his Aunt and was awake for a bit!
AddiMy cousins, the Mathy’s, also came to visit that first week. Then my Aunty Sandy and Uncle Tom (bottom photos) came to visit the next week. I forgot to get a picture with cousin Sandy holding Miles but I will get one this weekend when we see her again! 
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I also forgot to take pictures of some friends when they first met Miles but I did get a few pictures of some of our friends who visited. Starting at the top left and going clockwise; Addison (Lauren’s daughter), Alyssa (college friend and neighbor), Jordan and Lindsey (my friends from high school) and Lauren (Ben’s friend from high school). 
Meeting Friends

Month 1

In my attempt to catch up quickly I am going to do a few massive posts filled with lovely pictures of my little man. We have a big summer ahead of us and I know I will have lots to blog about! I have even managed to fit in some crafting since little man arrived so I want to show what I’ve been up to!

But before we can do that, here is a glimpse at Miles and his first month of life! He met lots of family members, had a lot of “firsts” and laid around looking cute. We were smitten with him (still are) so we take lots of pictures of him just laying around looking cute. Bear with me.

On our third morning with Miles I let Daddy sleep while Miles and I snuggled in the living room and caught up on some laundry and Facebook.

IMG_4201IMG_4204This was Miles’ bedroom for the first week. Pretty much everything he needed was within reach.
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Miles loved the swaddle for just under two weeks. When we swaddled him he would instantly calm down and would sleep well. Then all of a sudden he hated it, but for two weeks it was wonderful!
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It wasn’t until day three that we finally remembered to take a family photo. I wish we would have remembered on the day he was born but live and learn. 
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Miles was showered with gifts during his first month of life. This adorable personalized gift came from our downstairs neighbor and college friend, Alyssa. She made the monogram and then painted it on the little box. The box was filled with diapering goodies that were quickly used! The box now holds some of Miles’ infant toys. 
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Miles did a lot of sleeping during those first few days of life. Ben and I were actually pretty rested for the first few nights but that ended pretty quickly. We ended up being in bed from about 9pm – 11am for the first few weeks but only getting a few hours of sleep during that time.

Miles slept with us for the first month so we were able to catch quite a few pictures like the ones below!

IMG_4232 IMG_4233We lived in our bed for so much of the day/night that it often looked like this by mid afternoon. I used a ton of pillows just to get comfortable during the many hours I was nursing Miles and by morning there were random burp cloths and blankets in bed with us too. Many meals were had here too and most of the meals Ben fed me. Miles had an uncanny way of knowing when I was about to eat and demanding he eat first! 
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When Ben found out he was going to be a father he instantly dreamed of playing video games with his child in his lap. Ben was able to live out his dream when Miles was a few days old. Coffee, video games and Miles – life was good! 
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I had a hard time resisting snapping photos of Miles when he was sleeping. He was so peaceful and so beautiful! 
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Miles was jaundice for the five weeks or so. We were advised to put him in the sun as much as we could so there was a lot of sunbathing happening during the first few weeks of his life. April was especially cold this spring so Ben made sure Miles stayed warm while having his nakey time. Miles was laying on a heating pad and a space heater was blowing in his general direction. Gramma helped make sure he wasn’t too warm but was warm enough! 
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I soaked up every little detail of my sons’ body during those first few weeks. I snapped a few pictures of those little body parts that I knew wouldn’t be little for too long! 
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IMG_4246 IMG_4247Welcome to the gun show! 
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Gramma and Grampa watching over Miles has he sunbathed! 
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Daddy getting nakey snuggles with his boy! Those little wrinkles are to die for! 
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Grampa and Gramma soaked up every moment with Miles during the week they were with us! They spent the week in Kalamazoo and came to our house every day around noon. 
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Uncle Casey came to visit Miles too! He earned extra points for bringing me more cookie dough! 
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I was pretty concerned about Miles’ weight since I was breastfeeding so we used the scale that was belonged to Miles’ great-great grandma’s cousin, Betty. We continue to use the scale and love watching Miles grow! 
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IMG_4259 IMG_4263 IMG_4264Miles got his first package from the Tramp family! It included clothes for Miles and chocolate for us, including chocolate cigars! 
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As the days went on Miles became more alert and he tried out new faces. This is one of my favorite photos of his new expressions! 
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Miles would get extra floppy after he filled his belly and sometimes he would fall asleep in the funniest poses and places. Daddy is especially proud of this photo that captures Miles sleeping like a man with his hand in a silly place. 
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I still can’t get over those pinchable kissable cheeks! 
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Gramma and Grampa visited for a week then went home for a week then came back for an extended weekend. Miles had already grown so much in one week! Everyone enjoyed snuggling with him. 
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IMG_4296Miles lost his umbilical cord when he was around one week old. It didn’t last long but man I was glad when it was gone. It got quite stinky right before it fell off. It took awhile to heal up but his belly button looks fantastic now! 
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Justin and Tia came as often as they could to see Miles. They were moving back home within a month of Miles being born so they made sure to be with Miles often. Sometimes Justin came by himself because Tia was finishing up her bachelor’s degree.

During one visit we decided to take Miles to the park and for me to actually get out of the house and go for a little walk. It was still quite chilly and windy so we bundled up Miles and headed out side. 
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IMG_4307Our first time outside as a family!
IMG_4309 IMG_4314Miles’ first time at a park! 
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Miles goes down the slide for the first time! Just kidding, but it did make for a fun picture! 
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Parenthood rocks, but it wasn’t an easy transition. We often got distracted and didn’t finish tasks. Laundry would sit in the dryer for a few days, we would forget to eat food we cooked and in this case forget the faucet was running to fill up the sink to do dishes!

Thankfully when the sink overflowed it flowed into the other empty sink so no harm was done! 
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Uncle Justin on another visit got to visit with Miles who was alert. Uncle Justin sang and danced with Miles! 
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Daddy caught Miles and I sleeping one morning. There is nothing better than newborn snuggles! 
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IMG_4325We were too nervous to cut Miles’ nails so Ben attempted to dull his claws with a baby emery board, that too was nerve wracking!
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FLOPPY BABY! 
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More sunbathing! 
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Miles’ first car ride was to the Dr when he was two weeks old. He looked extra tiny in the car seat. At 2 months his feet hang off the edge! 
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Miles’ great grandpa Bosch was in the hospital with heart problems during the first month of Miles’ life so Grandma and Grandpa would stop by on their way to/from the hospital to get some snuggles with Miles. 
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Miles slept through most of the day and was alert more in the evenings. On this evening in particular Ben went grocery shopping for the first time and Miles and I were home alone for the longest time we had been alone. He did great! 
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Here is another gift Miles received. This hat was given to us by Miles’ great-great grandma’s neighbor. Her sister made it for Miles! 
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On another visit with my parents we made sure to take a few pictures as a family. Miles was not thrilled and cried through them. 
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IMG_4374 IMG_4380 IMG_4381My parents wanted to buy Miles a swing so the boys went to Target and bought one with the features that they liked. This swing had all the features they wanted but they didn’t pay attention to the design. The swing was pink and flowery. Whoops! That one went back and they bought a gender neutral one instead! My parents also bought Miles a bouncer. 
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Grampa worked hard to put the bouncer together for Mr. Miles.
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IMG_4397While Miles tried out his new bouncer his dad and uncle put together his swing. 
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IMG_4409He loved it so much that Miles gave us his first spit bubbles in appreciation. 
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Miles couldn’t have a real bath for awhile due to his umbilical cord and then circumsicion so he had a few washcloth baths. We discovered that Miles’ hair gets curly when wet – swoon!
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After Miles was nice and clean Daddy teased him by making him lick his toes. 
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Miles quickly learned how to swat at his toys that hang over him in his bouncer. 
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Finally a few weeks after he was born Miles was able to take a real bath. His first bath was in a roasting pan and he was NOT thrilled! 
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IMG_4427 IMG_4432We wanted to make sure Miles was comfortable taking a bottle so around three weeks he has his first bottle and loved it! It only took a few minutes to eat his bottle compared to 40 minutes with mommy! 
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Miles also had his first exposure to the Moby during his first month of life too. He didn’t always care for it but loves it now! 
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Miles got extra snuggly with Uncle Justin during one of his visits. 
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I bought a few little things before our baby was born and this was one. But by the time Miles wore this owl hat, it was already too small! Still made for a cute picture though! 
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Miles learned how to use a pacifier when he was three and a half weeks old, the night before Aunty Tia graduated from Honors College. He loved it instantly!
IMG_4457Miles was able to watch Auntie Tia graduate from Honors College and get her Bachelors Degree from Western Michigan University. He did a wonderful job with all the chaos! 
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We took some silly pictures with Miles while we waited for the graduation ceremony to start. 
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IMG_4478 IMG_4483 IMG_4487Miles looking dashing after a bath with daddy. 
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Before our baby was born I knew I wanted to do a birth announcement so I had made address labels for the people I knew I would send a birth announcement to and I also made boy and girl address labels so I was prepared either way!

Below are the two birth announcements that I made to send to our family and friends.
IMG_4512There you have it! Miles’ first month of life! Next is a post where Miles met his family and friends before we move onto month two!

Miles Day 1

Miles had his first visitors arrive around 2:30pm, Ben’s family. Grandma was the first to hold Miles. He wasn’t too happy but quickly calmed down thanks to Grandma’s special touch!
IMG_4141Grandpa looked on, clearly excited about the arrival of his second grandchild.
IMG_4144I think Ben’s mom looks like a supermodel in this photo! I love this one!
IMG_4149Grandpa’s turn to meet and hold Miles.
IMG_4150Casey was so excited and he looked so proud holding Miles for the first time. Uncle looks good on Casey!
IMG_4155Miles received a card and the start of his college fund and I got some cookie dough (without egg in it). It was a yummy treat and I loved having a spoonful throughout the day.
IMG_4157Ben’s family didn’t stay too long because they wanted to give my family some time with Miles too and well our bedroom isn’t too big and I wasn’t moving anytime soon! As my family arrived, Ben’s family left. I wish they could have stayed longer but also appreciated their thoughts behind not staying longer.

Then my family got to meet Miles. I know my parents and Tia were excited to meet Miles but I don’t think anyone was more excited than my brother, Justin! When they got the call around 8am that I was in labor, Justin paced like crazy and didn’t want to go to work. My family told him I could be in labor all day. Thankfully for their sake I wasn’t because I think Justin was tiring them out! Once they got the phone call around 10:30am that announced the birth of Miles, they decided they couldn’t be cooped up in the house anymore with Justin so they left Kalamzoo for Grand Rapids. After arriving in Grand Rapids they went to Cabela’s so Justin could buy Miles his first camo. I guess Justin worked himself up so much before the birth that he slept the car ride to Grand Rapids.They also stopped at Meijer and bought us some fruit and me some juice.

I know Justin would have loved our baby equally no matter what sex baby was but I think there is something special about a nephew. Justin has a niece whom he loves dearly but now he has a boy to hunt, fish and camp with (even though he enjoys those activities with his niece, Dani, too).

I imagine that my family fought over who would hold Miles first but when they came in, it was my mom who got to hold Miles first.

DSCF6583Then Grampa got to hold his first grandbaby!
IMG_4162Miles meeting Auntie Tia!
IMG_4166Uncle Justin has been waiting for this moment all day but was patient enough to let everyone else hold Miles first!
IMG_4168Uncle Justin gave Miles his first camo outfit when Miles was just a few hours old! After spending some time with Miles my family gave us some time alone and did some more shopping. They bought Miles some BOY clothes and other boy goodies.

When my family came back the boys walked to Cherry St. Deli and bought sandwiches around 7pm. They spent some more time getting in more snuggles with Miles and then my family went back to Kalamazoo for the night.

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I believe Ben, Miles and I were in bed around 9pm, if not earlier. Miles slept in his pack and play for part of the night but we weren’t super comfortable with that so he ended up sleeping with us for most of the night. Miles slept through most of the night so we actually woke up fairly rested.

February Happenings

I had big plans to create some blog posts that expand on the below pictures but like usual time has slipped away so here is one big post about some of the fun we had in February!

I made three freezer to crock pot meals from Pinterest. Pull out the meals and stick them in the fridge to thaw over night. Then pop them into the crock pot the next day. Easy enough! I made a Coconut Curry Chicken, Honey Rosemary Chicken and Lime Salsa Chicken. I have more recipes picked out but I haven’t had time to shop for ingredients/prepare the meals. Soon though!

IMG_3781The process is easy enough. Label a gallon freezer bag with the cooking directions then stick the bag in the freezer. I laid all my flat and on top of one another. It really didn’t take up that much space. We can’t wait to try them!!
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Ben and I had a rare day off together so we invited two little friends over to play. We hung out a bit and let Addison play on the Kinnect. Don’t mind the diaper wet bags in the back, I added ribbon and put fray-stop on the end and they were drying there. 🙂
IMG_3791Addison played Kinnectimals and loved playing with her “leopard.” She named the tiger (she kept calling it a leopard) Buddy.
IMG_3792Erin was more than content to hang out with Uncle Ben and playing with the peg board. She sorted them and stacked them as high as she could before they all crashed to the ground!
IMG_3798 One evening I attempted to get a little crafty. I made this gift for my cousin-to-be’s bridal shower with items off her registry. IMG_3801I also bought a few goodies to send to my sister-in-law, her husband and her baby who would be arriving soon. I put a little note on the items and packaged them up so mom had a little hospital survival kit, dad had one and of course baby had a little present too!
IMG_3802Here is what the mom-to-be received!
IMG_3803One Saturday while Ben was working I had a bad case of ADD nesting. I’d start a project, then move to another, before moving to another, and another. I had a project or two going in every room in the house!

IMG_3806Just keeping it real.. all of this was finished and cleaned up before Ben got home but for awhile it was insane!
IMG_3807I was sanitizing bottles, making baby thank you cards, doing laundry, cleaning and reorganizing under the bathroom sink, going through Ben’s childhood school papers and more!
IMG_3810I am not proud but it all got done!

Ben, Justin, Tia, lil’ peanut and I made the trek back home for my cousin’s fiancee’s bridal shower and our Great-Grandma’s 90th birthday party. We also “celebrated” my parents anniversary. I made them this card referring to The Big Bang Theory and we bought some flowers.

IMG_3824I forgot to take pictures for much of the bridal shower but here are some before pictures!! My cousin Elyssa did a great job decorating for the party and she added crepe paper to all the fans! 
IMG_3827Ben made sure to taste test the coffee before the rest of the guests arrived. He also used that time to catch up with some of my family members.
IMG_3828Here comes the bride!
IMG_3831 There was a ton of yummy food for all the guests to enjoy. My parents had almost thirty people at their house for the shower!! IMG_3833 IMG_3835On Saturday we held a surprise birthday party for my Great-Grandma Margaret who was turning 90! We throw a surprise party for her every year so she wasn’t too surprised but she was surprised to see so many people there to celebrate with her. And there were many gifts that she was not expecting!
IMG_3838There is a lovely candle maker shop in Holland, MI that makes these beautiful candles! 
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All but one of the great-grandchildren helped me do a special project for our Great-Grandma by creating a list of reasons why they love their grandma! 

IMG_3845My grandpa and I compared bellies! At Christmastime he still had me beat but I think I beat him now!! 
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February was quite busy for us and we are looking forward to a calmer March before April arrives and with it our newborn babes!

Ready, Set, GO!

Life around the Holidays is busy, that isn’t news to anyone. But after the Holidays my work took over my life. I attended conferences, spent some time away from home and had a few weeks where I was working 10 hour days, every day. I was writing a grant application to continue the program I currently am running. The grant gives our program $135,000 to run a quality program for our little ones. Towards the end of writing this competitive grant, my boss’ boss told us we couldn’t apply.

So… in saying all that.. because of work being so busy my life was put on hold. We didn’t see much of our friends and family, working on the nursery was put on hold, updating the blog was paused as well. I had a four day weekend last weekend where I made that time about me. I caught up with friends and work around the house. This weekend we are visiting my family. I feel refreshed. I’m ready to get back to preparing for our little one, sharing our life with our blog readers, spending quiet evenings with my husband and catching up with family and friends. So here is to surprise ending that resulted in a recharged me!

The last two months have been crazy but we did our best to squeeze in some fun as well! Here is a glimpse at what we did during January!

January started as January always starts. Celebrating the end of one year and beginning of another. Our good buddy, Lance, was able to join us for the second year in a row! We enjoyed a chill night at our place. We went out at midnight and popped poppers, hugged and did our yearly tradition of burning the things we want to start the new year without.
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After half a dozen pictures, not one turned out…
IMG_3628This one is my favorite!

For as long as I can remember my family has always taken a few minutes at the start of the New Year to write down things we want to start the New Year without, bad memories from the best year, etc. We then burn them to signify leaving the things behind.
IMG_3622 A week or so later, Lance was back! We had dinner with his parents and then Lance stayed the night again. We were able to drive him to the airport as he headed back to grad school in Florida.

While he was here, we tried out a new Kinnect game we got.

It got intense!
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I think I was doing the long jump here.. not sure..

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The boys racing and jumping hurdles!

IMG_3663I love these boys!

We didn’t get a chance to celebrate the holidays with our church pals so instead we got together for brunch after the holiday chaos had passed.

Ben and I made fruit kabobs to add to our brunch!

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They were quite yummy and cute too!

Ben acquired this from his parent’s house.

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His great-great grandpa made it in 1870!

A different post will show you what Ben did with it!

Ben spent an evening out with some buddies, I spent the evening in bed relaxing!

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These were my friends for the evening! Caramel cookie crunch gelato and hot chocolate!

We got together with some of Ben’s co-workers and their families one evening. Ben brewed with his buddy, Matt, and the rest of us spent some time socializing and playing with Matt’s two little girls.

Matt’s wife is due a month after I am so I made a chocolately dessert perfect for two pregos!

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I made a chocolate cake, poked holes in it using a straw, poured chocolate pudding over it and then crushed up Oreos on top. It sat in the fridge for a few hours before we dug into the gooey chocolately deliciousness!

IMG_3721I have spent some time deep cleaning different areas of our home. I had a to do list all written one morning but that to do list was thrown out the window when I opened the pantry one morning and saw this….
IMG_3725MOUSE POOP!
A mouse had somehow gotten into our pantry and chewed into two bags of flour and a handful of other items. I spent quite a bit of time inspecting everything and getting rid of anything the mouse had snacked on. EW! Thankfully we haven’t seen anything since this photo was taken and the trap we set is still empty!

The end of January was spent in Kalamazoo celebrating my future sister-in-law’s birthday! We “surprised” her by decorating the apartment. 
IMG_3738Justin didn’t know where the tape was so he used a stapler to attach streamers to the wall.
IMG_3740The party supplies!
IMG_3745We had a few moments to spare and we snapped a few pictures!

SURPRISE!
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Happy 22nd Birthday Tia!

IMG_3755Justin picked out this yummy Heath Ice Cream cake from Dairy Queen and we also went out to dinner to celebrate with the birthday girl!

Many Christmases

This year Ben and I celebrated many Christmases. We had Christmas with our immediate families (2), Christmas with the extended families (4), Christmas with friends and a brunch with our church pals. The brunch was after the New Year so we had a bit of a break before that one.

The Friday before Christmas we got together with the DeRuischers to exchange gifts. Addison and Erin were more than happy to help everyone open their presents. 
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IMG_3529Erin got a paint book that has dried paint on the top of each page so it isn’t as messy yet still easy enough for her to do by herself.

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Addison’s pattern block setIMG_3534 IMG_3537James playing with his new toy.

Ben got some hang out time with James and they made lots of funny faces at the camera while the girls played with their new toys!
IMG_3540On Sunday we got together with Ben’s family for lunch after church. On Monday, Christmas Eve, we opened gifts with Ben’s family. This was the first year in awhile that we’ve all been together. This is a traditional picture taken in order of oldest to youngest.

IMG_3561 IMG_3563I made Bill and Alyssa a book with as many wedding pictures as I could fit (plus a few additional pages I bought because I couldn’t cut out more!).

On Christmas morning we got together once more to open our stockings. Then Ben and I made the long trek to my hometown to celebrate Christmas with my family. It was the first time Ben spent Christmas day with my family!

IMG_3564Later that day we celebrated Christmas with my family!
IMG_3565 IMG_3568Yup, we were quite spoiled by both families!
IMG_3569My parents got spoiled too!
IMG_3570Our lil’ peanut got a personalized gift complete with baby’s first ornament!
IMG_3574One of the gifts we bought my dad!
IMG_3575The aftermath.
IMG_3576Great-Grandma Margaret was mad about the mess we made and tried to get the boys to clean it up right away. Instead she got covered in wrapping paper.
IMG_3577My handsome brother and his beautiful bride-to-be.

I tend to ignore my camera, cell phone and computer during family times like this. I know I should take more pictures but I love not worrying about it and just enjoying the time spent with my family. We don’t get enough time together with three of the five siblings on Ben’s side of the family living out of state and us living 8 hours away from my family so every moment together was spent focusing on family – not technology! So that’s it for the pictures!