A quick look at our November (so I can get caught up on where we are “real” time by the start of 2013!). Let’s do this…

At the beginning of November baby voted. Well I voted but baby came and hung out with me!

baby votedBen and I spent an entire Saturday at BabiesRUs registering for goodies for Baby H.
IMG_3242Ben brewed beer with a pal from church.
IMG_3248I went with my in-laws and brother in law to Ohio to watch my dear, sister-in-law run in Nationals. My cousin who lives in Ohio came too to support her and visit!
IMG_3297I spent  A LOT of time in November sewing… for baby! (and watched Seasons 1-5 of Grey’s Anatomy).
IMG_3306I made wash cloths and burp cloths.
IMG_3316And started my stock pile of homemade wipes.
IMG_3315I made a little upgrade in our bathroom by replacing our Bath and Body Works soap with a new dispenser and whipping up my own soap solution with Bronner’s and water.
IMG_3324I got a baby shower invitation… to my own shower! This invitation is created by my mom.
IMG_3327Ben took me on a belated birthday date and we spent an afternoon painting pottery.
IMG_3338 IMG_3345We began work in the nursery, but have a long way to go!
IMG_3350On Thanksgiving the tradition continued with all the kids piling on one another.. and on my poor mother-in-law.
IMG_3379And then the pile shifted and my brother-in-law as the bottom.
IMG_3385Our Thanksgiving Feast!
IMG_3386Towards the end of November I got a second baby shower invitation for my shower thrown by my mother-in-law and sisters. Apparently my moms had the same idea! I love it!
IMG_3387That was November.. in a nut shell. We didn’t do too much actually. Spent a lot of time preparing for the Holidays and a lot of time working. But December… so much fun was had! Stay tuned!


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!

Baby Goodies

Our baby is already so spoiled! Within hours of telling our loved ones about our little miracle gifts, cards and beautiful messages were received.

I didn’t photograph everything our lil’ peanut owns but here is a good portion of the gifts baby H received.


Top left: ducky outfit and toy from Uncle Jake, Aunty Wendy and Mikayla

Top right: outfit from Auntie Tia and Uncle Justin and handmade book from Grandpa and Grandpa K

Bottom left: onsies and two blankets from Aunty Mary, Uncle Ed and Great-Grandma Margaret

Bottom right: outfits from my parents


Top left/top right/ bottom left: outfits and blanket from Ben’s parents

Bottom left: an outfit for Mommy from Ben’s parents

I also got an adorable black cover up from my parents and super comfy yoga pants (that I practically live in!)

Our family and friends also sent us sweet cards and Facebook messages. We are so loved and so blessed! Ben and I have bought a few outfits for baby so the pile of baby goodies is growing!

Telling Our Families

Telling My Brother, Tia, Gramma Kathy, Aunty Tracy, Mark, Aunty Wendy and cousin, Mikayla
Friday, September 21st

For all of these people we did the same thing..
My mom usually started things off by saying. “We went geocaching today and found this geocache. You aren’t suppose to take them but this one was so cool we had to take it and show you.”

I didn’t catch most of the big moments (would have been too obvious) but I did get Justin and Tia’s reaction and Gramma Kathy’s.

Yup.. Tia got it! 🙂
Then they said “We were just talking about this!”
Apparently they were talking about me getting pregnant.
Gramma and Addison’s turn
Yup… Gramma figured it out!
Telling the 5K Crew 
Saturday, September 22nd
I had another surprise up my sleeves..
We did a 5K on Saturday, our 2nd annual family 5K.
I told my family and some friends through my outfit..
Here is the only reaction we got on camera, Aunty Jodi’s
We were also able to tell Noah’s family and some of my high school friends who were also at the race!
Over the course of Saturday and Sunday we told a large portion of my family. We told most of them by showing them the pictures.
It was so fun telling my Great-Grandma she was going to be a Great-Great-Grandma!
Telling Ben’s Sisters and our far-away friends and family
Monday, September 24th – Saturday, October 6th
You’ve probably already seen this one!
For the special people in our life who we couldn’t tell in person we sent this silly little video!
Then after sharing the news with our close family and friends we moved on to sharing our Baby news on Facebook.

Telling Our Parents

Knowing Ben and I you must have guessed we found a fun way to announce Baby H’s arrival.

How We Told Ben’s Parents
Friday, September 14th
We invited them to dinner. Ben made a geocache using white duct tape and an empty peanut butter jar. I edited a few pictures and Ben stuck them inside. He went to Lowell hours before we were heading there for dinner and hid the geocache across from the restaurant. The plan was to look for the geocache/share our news and then go to dinner where we could really talk about the baby and pregnancy. With a late start I was really getting nervous that it would be dark before we were able to go geocaching. When we got there the guys saw how busy the restaurant was so they wanted to put our names down first. They said it would be a 10-20 minute wait. This was perfect! We walk outside and start talking about geocaching and the hostess comes out and says our table is ready. Ben and I can’t freak out and instead go sit down at our table.
Ben and I tried to have a silent conversation where we decided we need to do this NOW. It will be dark when we leave the restaurant and then we wouldn’t have time to discuss the news. So Ben has an awkward conversation with the waitress who awkwardly says it’s okay for us to leave for 10 minutes. We quickly headed out and in the direction of the geocache. Ben was taking the lead and I had to remind him to let his parents do it. They walked around and around until Ben practically pointed at the geocache when dad pulled it out. He opened it as mom looked on. The first picture that was pulled out was of the pregnancy test with the words Baby H due to arrive in April. I don’t think it hit until they pulled out the second picture of my baby bump with the words Week 11 on it. I have a priceless photo of dad’s surprised face. Hugs were exchanged and I think his parents were in shock. Many questions and stories were shared at dinner! It was a nice time to catch up on all things BABY! After we left we stopped at McDonalds for a celebratory whippy dip! 
The geocache

Ben’s parents looking for the geocache.

I love these next few photos!

They figured it out!!! 
Telling My Parents (and cousin Noah)
Friday, September 21st
Ben and I traveled to my hometown for my Aunt and Uncle’s surprise 40th wedding anniversary party. This was perfect because I would be 12 weeks pregnant and was comfortable telling my family. This would be the only time until Christmas that I would get to see them and it was important to me to tell them in person. We got into town around 2 but my mom worked until 3 and my dad worked until 5. We spent that precious hour sneaking behind the Fire Station (my dad is a firefighter!) to hide the geocache and mark it in our GPS. From 3-5pm we carefully brought up that we discovered a geocache behind the fire station while looking online and then later mentioning we wanted to find it and even later still mentioning my mom, Ben, myself and cousin, Noah, should meet up with my dad and find it. 
After some convincing we all went to the Fire Station to meet up with my dad. My dad took the lead and he quickly found the geocache and soon my mom found it too. They waited until Noah found it before taking it down. They let Noah open up the geocache. He pulled out the photos and said something like,” due to arrive in April?” Then he flipped through the photos. My dad quickly figured it out and got super smiley and stared at my mom. My mom didn’t hear Noah and instead saw a picture of a baby bump (but my head was covered by another photo). It took her some time before she saw Baby H on the photo when she squealed and hugged me crying. Lots of tears and lots of hugs continued for awhile. My mom later said that she saw the baby bump and thought it was really cute someone put that in the geocache.. haha little did she know!
Getting ready to look for the geocache.

Ben and Noah preparing to go hunting!

My dad found it right away! 
Do you see it?
He was so surprised no one had noticed it since they park right there.
That’s because it was only there for one hour!

Noah found it! 

Noah opening up the geocache. 

I think they figured it out!!! 
Priceless moments caught on camera!

Independence Day Picnic

Our week long vacation at the beginning of July started in Hart, MI at the cottage that Ben’s family rents every year. I was truly on vacation and didn’t use my camera at all. It was nice to just enjoy my time there and not focus on taking photos. 

Then on July 4th Ben and I came home, unpacked, did laundry, repacked for the 2nd part of our vacation and then headed to East Grand Rapids to watch the fireworks. 

Our little picnic area! It was a HOT HOT day and we didn’t enjoy ourselves as much as we hoped (not for lack of trying!)

Super HOT but still sporting the red, white and blue!

We bought special drinks for our vacation! Ben’s was Arnold Palmer’s. 

We played some games to help pass the time and to take our mind off of the heat!

Happy 4th of July! 
Our 2nd in Grand Rapids!

Beautiful Fireworks!
Thank you East GR!

Next.. a super lost post (maybe posts) about our FANTASTIC trip to Marquette! 

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! 


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!