Author Archives: Kris

around here

Had to look this one up. Taken a few years ago in mid-April while walking through one of our local parks with Mom. Makes me feel a little better as I look outside at the winter wonderland.


RUNNING | This stupid weather caused Mom and I to skip our Couch to 5K yesterday. Hopefully we’re back at it tomorrow or Monday. I already feel better after having done just a few days. I’ve lost some of the strength in my legs from last Fall when I completed Couch to 5K the first time, so I am ready to get going again and eat better and lose some more lbs. and inches.

Jake had some training stuff this week. Yesterday, there was a public event downtown GR for people to come and run part of the 5/3 River Bank Run route and there were free classes, like Zumba and Yoga. I think Jake did both. Here he is in the Zumba class (posted on the 5/3rd facebook page)

SCHOOL | Still working with Chloe on her math. She is still struggling. She failed another test. It’s not that she doesn’t get it, but she overthinks it. This is going to be a challenge for me to get her to understand. I guess it’s a good thing she has a mother who is good at math. Zach failed a math test this week, too. He blames it on the fact that he wasn’t feeling well the day he took the test. Both kids have a chance to retake their failed tests for a better grade. Not a great week school-wise. I think the kids are also getting antsy for …

SPRING BREAK | begins one week from the end of school today!!! We are definitely in need of a week off to relax and recharge as we go into the last two months of school. That is just crazy! I think each school year goes by faster and faster. Spring Break will be the perfect time to slow down and reflect on the year so far and really soak up the moments with the kids. Must remember … SLOW DOWN! I like this quote:

Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the
scenery you miss by going too fast–you
also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”
– Eddie Cantor

spring has not sprung

I am trying really hard to see the good in this. I really am. And I have to believe that after this long cold winter that is spilling over into this new season, which is supposed to be filled with trees budding, flowers blooming and birds chirping, that God has a really beautiful Spring and Summer in store for us. That’s my prayer today anyway. :)

on the east side

It feels like it’s been a while since I shared photos from my big camera. I so love the convenience and quality of pictures from my iPhone and sharing collages of those pictures here on my blog, but it’s nice to edit through some photos and share more like I used to when I worked in photography professionally. Here are a few of my favorites from our weekend at Heather and Jeff’s house.

Uncle Jake saying hello to the girls.

Somebody didn’t like Uncle Jake’s whiskers.

Scarlett. Always entertaining us with song and dance.

I love little baby fingers (and toes, too). ;)

The girls all dressed up for St. Patrick’s Day. Scarlett made Chloe wear her green tutu and bow for a while.

Sweet sisters. The one on the right cracks me up. Violet is doing a little Irish Jig. :D

A wonderful weekend. Wonderful memories captured!

monday’s list

SATURDAY | In the morning, Jake ran the Irish Jig 5K in East Grand Rapids.
He did awesome and beat his personal record. I can’t remember the
exact time right now, but I think he shaved a few minutes off his time.
I’m so proud of him. It was a chilly morning for a race, too. Last year it
was about 80 degrees for the Irish Jig. I think it struggled to hit 30 this year.

After the race, we had a lovely weekend visiting family on the East Side.
It was a little mini getaway and it was wonderful. Lots of chatting and
catching up, cousins playing, 3-D movie watching (Life of Pi was so
stunningly beautiful and Tintin was a fun adventure), Violet cooing and
smiling, Scarlett dancing and a bit of stomping (a little terrible 2’s going on),
and some picture-taking, too. I took a lot of pictures with my big camera.
I will share some tomorrow.

Zach and Chloe love playing with Scarlett. I love all of these taken with my iPhone. My favorite is Scarlett’s little hand holding onto the edge of Zach’s jacket as they sit looking at a computer game. So adorable.

SUNDAY | Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We spent most of the day there and were sad to say goodbye. So thankful it worked out for us to visit. Family is so important. No matter how busy we get in our every day lives, we always want to make it a priority to plan time with them.

Our evening back at home was spent working on Chloe’s science project. Her assignment was to show all the eight phases of the moon in a creative way. She saw on Pinterest that someone had used halves of Oreo cookies for each phase and she really wanted to do that. That part of the project was the most fun for her since she got to eat the top halves of all the cookies while Jake carved the frosting into the correct shapes for her with a knife. It turned out cute.

TODAY | Mom and I did Day Three of Couch to 5K. She’s doing great. Chugging right along. Today was cooooold. In the 20’s and it started snowing just as we began so, even though this is like the worst picture of me ever, I had to get a shot of us all snowy at the end of our run.

a little me time

soaking in the warmth of the sun through my car window. enjoying a mocha and a new nail polish color. mom’s little runnin’ shoes.

This week has ended on a happy note. I have taken all the negative stuff from the past couple weeks and just let it go. After Mom and I did our Couch to 5K this morning, I took some time for myself, painted my nails, had a mocha, listened to music I love, just relaxed and didn’t worry about things. I need that every once in a while and I just don’t make time like I should to relax and recharge. It was really nice.

Have a great weekend! Take some time for you! :)

without them

Grandpa & Grandma,

You left us 26 years ago this week, Grandma (March 12, 1987), and 25 years ago, Grandpa (March 19, 1988). We wish so much that you could have been here all these years to share in our lives, our joys, our heartbreaks, our accomplishments, our weddings, our babies, every little thing we’ve gone through without you.

Here we are. Your beautiful family. Your legacy. All a part of you.

We miss you! But we’ll be seeing you again someday. Looking forward to that day! <3

a close call

my lovely Silvia (Honda CR-V) the day I got her. poor little side mirror that got hit today, close to the scene of the crime. my prayer list notebook.

My dear Silvia (yes, I name my vehicles) was nearly full on sideswiped this morning on the way to drop Chloe at school. The school has sort of a U-shaped drive. You enter on the right and exit on the left. As I was about to pass by the exit toward the entrance ahead, a car pulled out of the exit. She obviously did not see me at all. I was already slowing down, which I think helped avoid a huge catastrophe, and I veered a bit to the right as I cringed and awaited … IMPACT! We both pulled off to the shoulder. I was shaking a little. It all happened very fast as most accidents do. The driver, the mom of one of Zach’s classmates, came over and apologized about eight-hundred times. We looked over my car and hers and discovered that the only thing that had actually hit was our mirrors. Mine has the built-in hinge so all I had to do was pop it back in place. No damage done! Chloe was still in the car with me and she kept saying “That scared me.” It could have been much worse.

I am so thankful that God is there with us in every situation – and not just the big ones, like car mirror collisions. ;) Jake and I had a conversation about this recently. I truly believe that God cares about me and everything that is on my heart, every little thing I’m thinking about and dealing with in our every day life, the tiniest things even. If I pray about it, I know He hears me. He may not always answer right away or the way that I want, but I trust Him.

And I know He’s taking care of me. I know it, because he kept our car from being knocked off the road into that ditch today. He kept us from getting hurt. He kept us at home just a bit longer than usual while I cleaned the ice off my windshield, which kept us from getting there just a few moments earlier and slamming right into her from behind instead of a little side mirror tap. I don’t believe in luck or coincidence. God’s got this!

I have an ongoing prayer list that I add to each day. Little things I’m dealing with on a daily basis. Bigger concerns. Our health. People I know and love. Others I don’t even know in real life but “know” through blogs that are dealing with things in their lives. Do you have any prayer requests? Leave them in the comments below or email me and I will happily add them to my list and keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

My brain is so weird, by the way. One of my first thoughts when we pulled off the road was “I recognize that car with the Transformers sticker in the back window.” Then when I saw who was driving it, I thought, “Oh, I always wondered whose car that was.” And then I started getting a little shaky and teary-eyed from the adrenaline coursing through me. :P

What a morning!

monday’s list

It was a three-day weekend for us. No school. No work. Running. Shopping. Packing. Cleaning. I’m tired.

FRIDAY | Mom came over in the morning. We decided this was the day we would start Day One of Couch to 5K. It went really well. Mom did it! Yay! Jake was home from work for the day, so he hung out with the kids and after our run, we went to Kohl’s to do a little Spring shopping. Everything was so minty green there. I picked up three shirts in that pretty color and two in a pinky/coral color, which there was a lot of in the store, too. I feel ready for the warmer weather. Bring on some warmth and a little Spring Break!

SATURDAY | After Jake ran 10 MILES!!!! for the first time, we went over to his parents’ house to help them pack up their house for the big move. We have been blessed to have them close by us ever since our kids were babies, but now they are moving back to the Port Huron area, where many of their friends and family reside. Everyone worked really hard packing up a very large trailer with all the furniture and boxes. Jake and the kids packed up Mom O’s office while I packed up all the breakables from her dining room buffet and the dishes/pots/pans/utensils/etc. in the kitchen.

So much hard work packing up a home. It gave me a glimpse of what it will be like when we are ready to move (crossing fingers and praying for next year for us!). It really made me want to start packing up some things in our own home, things that we want to take with us but won’t need this year, and then purging lots of stuff that we no longer need or want. It’s kind of exciting to think about finally moving into a home that will fit us after squeezing into this tiny place for so very long. I’ve already got my eye on the house listings.

SUNDAY | Our clocks jumped forward an hour. The only reason it bothered me was because I slept horribly that night. I had coffee way too late at the in-laws after a long day of packing boxes and there had been a few too many colas consumed during the day, so I was all filled up with caffeine and sugar. Not good. I was up just about every hour all night, so I was pretty much a zombie when I finally rolled out of bed. But my day got a little brighter when we moved our old probably 1970’s/80’s stove out into the garage and replaced it with a “new to us” flat top stove given to us by Jake’s mom. Much better! I love it so much already. Thank you, MomO!

MONDAY | A new week begins. And it’s a Monday for sure. I was up all night again. This time coughing from dust I got in my lungs while cleaning yesterday. ugh! And I have the boy home sick from school today (still fighting off a bad cold from a couple weeks ago). It’s also a dreary drizzly kind of day. All the rain is melting the snow (that’s a good thing!) so it was a little bit foggy this morning.

THE WEEK AHEAD | Teacher conferences for Chloe. A science project on the phases of the moon. A new digital art class for Zach. More training for Jake with his Road Warrior team. Some Couch to 5K for me and Mom. And a little visit with Heather, Jeff, Scarlett & Violet. Sounds like a pretty good week to me.

throwback thursday | summer of ’89

(left) Me + Kelle at Showbiz (now called Chuck E Cheese!). (center) Karleen, Tonya + Traci. I’ve always LOVED this picture of the girls in the car on the way home from Ohio w/the wind blowing their hair all over. Something about it. Favorite. (right) Karleen + Kelle at Camp Patmos.

Showbiz. Summer Camp. Sleepovers. Sweet Sixteen!

Oh my gosh. Looking back at old pictures is such a riot. I thought I’d do a little Throwback Thursday today. The girls are probably going to kill me for sharing these, but it’s who we were at that point in our lives and they are some of my favorite memories from high school. Summers with Kelle + Karleen (the 3 K’s as we used to sometimes call ourselves) and my cousins, Tonya and Traci, who came up from Ohio that summer to spend my birthday week with me. We had a big 16th birthday party at the beach and all the girls stayed for a sleepover afterwards. Friends from school. Friends from church. All the people I loved.

I love reminiscing as I look at the pictures. It also makes me more sure than ever that I am happy to be turning 40 this year. Happy that those years of finding myself and struggling and heartbreak and uncertainty and awkwardness are over. Well, mostly over. I think I will always be learning more about myself as the years go by. Getting to know who I am as a woman and who God wants me to be. I think a little part of me will always be that sixteen year old girl, though, and that’s a good thing. She helped me become who I am today. :)

a thankful winter walk

Captured some snapshots on our walk this morning. It was cold, but a really nice walk.

Thankful for …
• a path along the river that is cleared of the nasty snow by the city
• hearing more and more chirping birds as Spring gets closer and closer
• gloves with the finger pads so I can use my phone’s touch screen without having to take the gloves off
• a wonderful Mom, who is the best walking partner and who pushes me to get out there and move. (Even though I hate the cold!)

AJAXed with AWP