Pregnancy Love

Ben supported me so much throughout my first trimester. He did his best to take over my responsibilities so I could rest on those days I was exceptionally tired, cooked me healthy meals, and treated me like a princess.

I’d come home from work and frequently found a special treat waiting for me. Some
times it was a basket of clean laundry, freshly swept floors, a clean stove or other completed tasks that were usually mine. Other times it was yummy snacks!! I’ve truly been blessed with the most amazing husband.
A BIG Reeses’ peanut butter cup!
Ben went to get some milk and ended up treating me and my nausea to 7 UP, chocolate milk and another Reeses’.

Another evening I came home to some carnations. His excuse, I don’t buy you flowers enough. I pick you flowers but don’t buy them.
Ben also made it a point to find special things for us to do together; go out to eat, meet up with friends and spend quiet evenings watching a movie together. One evening I came home from work and Ben rushed me off to dinner to celebrate my 25th birthday at Red Lobster.

Now that I am well into the 2nd trimester I’ve been able to partake in most of the same activities I was before but Ben has still gone above and beyond to make sure I am rested and our home is a clean and relaxing place.



Remember SHMILY? 

If not read up on SHMILY here

Ben and I still take turns hiding our two little penguins in varies locations around our home to surprise one another and to remind each other just “how much I love you.”

The penguins hung out in Ben’s end table for awhile until I took them out and rehid them. Since then the  penguins have been moving all over!! 

Tonight I was reminded just how awesome my husband is and just how much he loves me!

After a long {not so good} day at work I came home and found this in the fridge…

Ben is too good to me!! He seriously rocks my socks off ALL the time! 
Thanks honey! 

Ben has been BUGGING me because he can’t find one of the penguins. It has been almost a week.
To test him to see if he even reads my blog {I think he quickly scans it…} I am giving him a BIG hint! 

Check your pockets Ben…. 

Will you…

…Be My Bridesmaid?

I received this beautiful card in the mail last week.

Inside was a beautiful poem.

Will you be my bridesmaid?
Will you also be my wedding planner, cake tester, interior decorator, envelope sealer, and guest list creator for the next year? Will you listen to me obsessively talk about wedding things until it’s all over? Will you help me pick out the perfect dress, even if it means wasting several hours of your Saturday? Will you stay with me the night before the wedding and reassure me that everything will be perfect? Will you get in all those uncomfortable positions to make sure my dress fits exactly the way it should? Will you stay by my side and hold my dress when I have to pee? Will you check my hair 300 times to make sure every single piece is curled? Will you stand at the front of the church, smiling back at me, as I walk down the aisle to my best friend? Will you spend the entire day of 08.17.2013 getting ready with me; then spending the entire evening toasting, eating, drinking, and on the dance floor with me probably dancing to nontraditional music? Lastly, will you be my friend through all of this and after? 

With tears in my eyes I called my future-sister-in-law, Tia, and said “I DO!!” I am excited to stand next to Tia as she marries my brother! 


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?


Ben and I received a couple’s devotion book as a wedding gift from the couple we did our pre-marital counseling with. The first night’s devotion was a powerful one. I cried as I read it out loud to Ben and we both were blown away by the story. I wanted to share it with you all since it has been on our mind constantly over the last few weeks.

By Laura Jeanne Allen
     My grandparents were married for over half a century. From the time they met each other they played their own special game. The goal of their game was to write the word “shmily” around the house, and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was his or her turn to hide it once more.
      They dragged “shmily” with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers to await whoever was preparing the next meal. They smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio where my grandma always fed us warm, homemade pudding with blue food coloring. “Shmily” was written in the steam on the bathroom mirror, where it would reappear after every hot shower. At one point, my grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper to leave “shmily” on the very last sheet.
      There was no end to the places “shmily” popped up. Little notes with a hastily scribbled “shmily” were found on dashboards and car seats or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows. “Shmily” was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace. This mysterious word was as much a part of my grandparent’s house as the furniture.
     It took me a long time before I fully appreciated my grandparents’ game. Skepticism has kept me from believing in true love – one that is pure and enduring. However, I never doubted my grandparents’ relationship. They had love down pat. It was more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life. Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate affection that not everyone experiences.
     Grandma and Grandpa held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen. They finished each other’s sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble. My grandma whispered to me about how cute my grandpa was, how handsome an old man he had grown to be. She claimed that she really know “how to pick ‘em.” Before every meal they bowed their heads and gave thanks, marveling at their blessings: a wonderful family, good fortune, and each other.
       But there was a dark cloud in my grandparents’ life: My grandmother had breast cancer. The disease had first appeared ten years earlier. As always, Grandpa was with her every step of the way. He comforted her in their yellow room, painted that way so she could always be surrounded by sunshine, even when she was too sick to go outside.
        Now the cancer was again attacking her body. With the help of a cane and my grandfather’s steady hand, she went to church with him every Sunday. But my grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore. For a while, Grandpa would go to church alone, praying to God to watch over his wife. Then one day, what we all dreaded finally happened. Grandma was gone.
       “Shmily.” It was scrawled in yellow in the pink ribbons of my grandmother’s funeral bouquet. As the crowed thinned and the last mourners turned to leave, my aunts, uncles, cousins, and other family members came forward and gathered around Grandma one last time. Grandpa stepped up to my grandmother’s casket and, taking a shaky breath, began to sing to her. Through his tears and grief, the song came, a deep and throaty lullaby.
       Shaking with my own sorrow, I will never forget that moment. For I knew that, although I couldn’t begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been privileged to witness its unmatched beauty.
    S-h-m-i-l-y: See How Much I Love You.
         Thank you , Grandma and Grandpa, for letting me see.
This devotion meant so much for a number of reasons. One reason is that we do something similar with a little plastic penguin. For the last few years this penguin has resided in my bathroom and whenever Ben came to visit he would kidnap the penguin and find a new home for it; the freezer, microwave, under my pillow, in my compute speaker and even threatened to put the penguin in my fish tank. I would unknowingly reach for a kitchen bowl or open a drawer to find the penguin looking up at me. Every time my stomach filled with butterflies and I couldn’t help but grin and giggle at the new hiding spot that Ben has found. Since we’ve been married this penguin has continued to travel, now with both of us finding little spots to hide it. There is nothing better than reaching into my backpack on a dreary Monday morning to find the penguin. My day is instantly better!

Here is a glimpse at where our little penguin friend, named Kowalski, has traveled.

Sometimes it would take me so long to find the penguin, that I thought Ben took it!! One time I was so worried I created a Missing Poster in hopes someone *cough cough* Ben would return him. 

Now, SHMILY is making an appearance. Twice this week Ben has used this adorable word. This morning he left for work at 7am and I didn’t get up until 7:30am. When I woke up a thermos of coffee was waiting for me on the dining room table with a note saying one word, SHMILY on it. What a wonderful way to start the morning.

And as for the penguin, he is currently taking a nice nap in a comfy place just waiting for Ben to discover him…