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!



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!


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!

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!)


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!

Hi Ho It’s off to Grand Rapids We Go!

We have made it to Grand Rapids!!

Friday I said goodbye to my student teaching classroom.
Sunday I said goodbye to my job at the zoo.
Tuesday Ben said goodbye to the Discovery Center and Boy’s Ranch.
Wednesday we said hello to my parents!
Thursday morning we made a quick trip to the airport to visit with a friend for 30 minutes who was in town interviewing at a college in South Dakota.
Friday morning, 8am, we left our little apartment in Sioux Fall to travel to Grand Rapids!!
We stayed overnight in Illinois on Friday before completing our trip making it to Grand Rapids a little after 3pm on Saturday afternoon!

In a short amount of time we caught up with the Ben’s family, some family in Holland and our best friends! 

Since arriving in Grand Rapids Ben and I have moved into the room that his older sisters shared when they lived here. Most of our belongings are in little pod type containers and were taken away. We have looked at one apartment and have others scheduled for this week. 

We were able to attend Raena’s lacrosse game and then got a phone call from our friends who needed our help unexpectingly this evening. We live a life with no regrets and we enjoyed our time in Sioux Falls but we are so thankful to be here and so involved with their lives and happy to be back in Michigan! 

Lots of BIG news in a tiny post

Here is a tiny post of all the BIG things happening in our life…

1. Ben got a job in Grand Rapids, his dream job on a family-owned, organic farm learning all that he wants to learn! We are moving to GR in just a few days. This means living near our family and friends! 

2. I graduated college!! I am officially a college graduate. I was not able to make it back for the graduation ceremony but I had a wonderful graduation ceremony and party with my students, teacher and aide. 

3. The weather is beautiful! We kinda skipped Spring and jumped right into Summer. From rainy and 50s to sunny, hot and 80s! I haven’t gotten out much to enjoy the weather but will be able to do so soon!

4. I am so excited for not only the changes happening in our lives but in the lives of all of my friends as I watch them preparing to graduate, searching for dream jobs, getting engaged, married, having children. Even though I am not able to be near all my friends I am thankful for things like Facebook and cell phones so I can keep up with everyone! 

A Wonderful Surprise!

We’ve been in the hotel since around noon today and well there is only so much you can do to occupy your time. Ben didn’t bring much to do besides a book so he was feeling kinda antsy. He picked up a shovel and shoveled the sidewalk in front of the hotel. He has done this a couple times tonight because he was bored. 

While we were sitting in the lobby a woman came over and asked what room we were in. Ben and his dad went to the desk wondering if something was wrong. The desk receptionist was on the phone with her manager and told him about Ben. He said Ben deserves a free room! So… Ben’s boredom got us a free room!!!! 

Minor Setback

Hello everyone,
This isn’t the post I expected to be writing. I thought I’d be telling you about our apartment, about all the progress that we made unpacking everything and about the beautiful city of Sioux Falls. That post will have to wait until tomorrow because….


Just under six months ago Ben and I were arriving in Minnesota with new rings on our fingers and hearts so big we thought they’d burst at any moment. The weather was beautiful and our drive was filled with many little pit stops because we weren’t in any sort of time crunch. 

Today we arrived in Minnesota with all of our belongings in a U-Haul and hearts saddened by our departure from the UP. The weather is…. AWFUL! I can’t recall a time where the weather was this terrible. The wind, cold and snow can truly be defined as a BLIZZARD! 

We are about 130ish miles from Sioux Falls. We were forced off the Interstate when it was shut down and led us a city called, Blue Earth. We couldn’t see a thing and all the roads are closed so the first hotel we found we reserved a room. 

We have been chilling in the lobby of this hotel chatting with others who are unexpectedly spending the night here too. A restaurant employee, mail man, and others have walked through the door and have added some excitement to this relaxing evening. I really feel like I’m in a Lifetime movie. A family stranded during the holidays in a hotel filled with all sorts of interesting characters to add some excitement to the plot. (Okay, maybe I’ve just been watching too many holiday movies on Lifetime…)

There have been a few varying weather reports so we don’t know exactly what is going on. Some reports say that things should slow down late tonight and roads should be open in the morning and others aren’t as optimistic. We’ll see what happens but I know at some point we will be in Sioux Falls! 

Until then, keep us in your prayers!