Category Archives: throwback thursday

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flashback friday

Glanced back to some pictures from this week in 2009 and found this adorable gem (above). It was at a time when we had one working vehicle and we had to go pick Jake up from work after school. I took a few pictures of the kids climbing around in the back of the van and on top of the seats while we waited for Jake and caught this sweet one of Chloe. She was 6. Such a cutie pie.

Jake drove on the way home that day, so I took a bunch of pictures out the windows of the fall colors as we drove along the Thornapple River and went the country route instead of the main highway.

I love fall! Hope you have a wonderful weekend and are able to get out and enjoy the beauty of this season. I have a feeling I will be outside plenty as we are painting our house right now. ;)

throwback thursday | fall in Chicago

Throwback to five years ago when we took a fall trip to Chicago for Zach’s birthday. CLICK HERE to see my original post with all the pictures and details. :)

throwback thursday

When we were at my parents’ for early Easter dinner a couple weekends ago, Chloe and I flipped through a mini album I made for my mom one year (I believe it was for a Mother’s Day) when the kids were little. There were cute photos of my little family and lists of things we love about Mom. I closed the album with the above quote. It’s been a long time since I put together a little mini album for a gift. Seeing that little book inspired me to make some gift albums soon.

I snapped a quick photo of the last page with my phone, because I wanted to add it to my quote notebook, and I thought it would be fun to share for a little throwback thursday, too. :)

throwback thursday | 28 years ago

My mom pointed out this morning on her Facebook that today marks 28 years to the day that my Grandma (her mother) unexpectedly passed away. Grandma had a bad heart and one day it just stopped working. I was thirteen years old. My brothers were ten and seven. My five cousins were all close to us in age, too. We were all so young to lose our grandmother, and I think it was the first real experience any of us had with death. I’d been to one other funeral, my great grandmother, but I was never close to her. Grandma’s death was devastating for all of us and that grief affected us profoundly. We lost Grandpa a year later to lung cancer and Uncle Ron unexpectedly in ’94. A lot of loss in our young lives.

I always felt a closeness with my cousins, even though we moved to Michigan when I was five and they all lived in Ohio. But after Grandma’s death, there was this special bond. We made it through something life changing together. That bond has remained all these years, despite the distance, despite us growing up, marrying, having kids. Maybe our kids will never fully understand this bond we have. And I hope and pray they don’t have to go through that kind of loss at such a young age. But I believe it made the love we already had for each other even stronger.

We still get together every year for Christmas and I know Grandma & Grandpa and Uncle Ron are all looking down with such pride when they see THIS:

Mom & Dad, Aunt Pat & Uncle Tom, Aunt Shari & Jim, who she married after Uncle Ron passed and who has become a wonderful part of our family. And all eight of us grandkids, the spouses, and the beautiful great-grandchildren.

The photos at the top of the page were some that I scanned over the past couple years from my Grandma’s film negatives. I’ve barely scratched the surface on that project, yet I’ve found so many wonderful memories there. Grandma and her mother on a visit to Michigan. Grandma and my brother Tim waiting for the school bus. Grandma holding my baby brother Rick. Grandma with her sisters and her mother. Grandma painting the garage door. She was a hard worker, always cleaning or painting or gardening. It’s one of my most prominent memories of her. That and she took us to McDonald’s all the time and always drank coffee there. ;)

We love and miss you, Grandma.


You’re here! I’m so excited! On February 26, 2005, I started this blog, and for the next two weeks, I will be looking back at the past TEN YEARS of blogging!

Ten years has gone by in the blink of an eye. At least, it seems so at times. I’ve been browsing back through old posts and, while the style of my photos (lots of borders and filters in the early days) has changed, the core of the posts has not. It started with a few posts about my kids and that’s pretty much the same today. I wrote about things we did, places we traveled, movies I loved, following my love of photography into a business, family, friends, parties, scrapbooking, memories, happy times, sad times, publishing my novel. So much of our life.

Ten years is a really long time.

So, for the next TEN DAYS, I will be looking back, sharing old photos and favorite posts, and there will be GIVEAWAYS!!!

GIVEAWAY INFO: There are four ways to enter through the giveaway box below and each will get you five entries in the drawing.

• The first option is the only one you HAVE to do in order to be entered. I’ll ask one question in every day’s giveaway. You just have to enter your name and email address, give a brief response to the question, and you’re in the drawing.

If you want more chances to win, you can …
• Join my mailing list (if you already have, enter your email address so I can verify)
• Tweet about the giveaway and copy/paste the link from Twitter
• SHARE about the giveaway and the BLOG-IVERSARY on your own blog, Facebook*, Pinterest, etc. and link to that as well.

All giveaways will end on my actual BLOG-IVERSARY, next Thursday, February 26th, so the giveaways will all be OPEN until then.
The winners will be announced in a blog post on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27th!

* Note: If you share on a private Facebook account and we aren’t “friends”, make sure you change the audience of that one post to “public” so I can see it. ;)


I’ve got a paperback copy of my first young adult novel ready to sign. The Truth About Drew was published last May.
It’s a sweet, uplifting, heart-warming story full of friendship and family with a journey to faith and a mystery surrounding a boy and his notebook.
Enter below. Tell a friend! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions at all about the giveaway, feel free to ask.


throwback thursday | my third post

Looking back today to my third blog post ever back on February 28, 2005! It was four sentences long:

“Winter Storm Advisories today in our area so we’re stuck indoors for the day. Here are the kids this morning – Chloe playing around in the kitchen, laying on the floor doing “snow angels” and Zach playing “Shrek 2″ for Playstation 2. Me … I’m trying to type in between Chloe throwing stuff at my keyboard. Kids … gotta love ‘em.”

Reading back through old posts, there are so many little details that I mention that I had forgotten about. As more and more time passes, my mind just doesn’t remember the little things like it used to. This blog is a record of so much of our life and I’m infinitely thankful for that.

throwback thursday | from Grandma’s camera

It’s been the week of lots of snow around here. I found these pictures recently among some of my Grandma’s scanned negatives and thought they fit well with the recent weather. I believe it’s the winter of 1977 (January or February maybe). The negatives were in a big envelope with other photos from that year, so I’m assuming based on that. This snow storm is so similar to what we got this past weekend. It just snowed all day long and was extremely windy, which made the snow blow all over and drift everywhere.

I love looking back at old photos like these below. This is my Grandpa standing alongside their drifted driveway (left). And there’s just something I love so much about the photo on the right. Grandpa standing at the end of their drive, you can see that the snow plows went right around that lovely 70’s car parked on the street and it’s totally stuck. I love that Grandma took it from this perspective, so you can see just how deep the snow was piled up along the edge of the road, the trees, the cars driving by. The long shot down the road is so great!

This is the view from the end of their drive. They had a horseshoe drive that went straight in right here, curved around that tree and went back out the other side to the road again. I bet Grandpa had fun digging this out. I love that you can see the footprints Grandma left and that she stomped through the snow to take these pictures. :)

For those who are new here to the blog, my grandma passed away when I was 13 years old and my grandpa one year later. When Grandma passed, my Mom and her siblings split up all her photos based on who was in them and my Mom also got the negatives of all the photos she ever took. I snatched them from Mom a few years ago and have since been working my way through scanning all of them into my computer. It’s a huge task as there are thousands of photos, but every time I sit down to scan another roll, it’s like finding these wonderful treasures. I’ve seen some of them before, but I’ve found so many from the time after my family moved from Ohio to Michigan when I was five, special times we weren’t around for that Grandma captured, that have been so wonderful to see. And I always love finding just the everyday shots that Grandma took, too.

I’ve always said I get my love of documenting life in pictures from my Grandma. She always had a camera and took so many pictures of her life. I’m proud to follow in her (snowy) footsteps. ;)

throwback thursday

Clockwise from top left: June 1989. September 2008. October 2010. June 2014.

While looking through some old photos for this post, I knew I had to share some favorites of me and my friend Kelle because today is her birthday. When I think about my dearest friendships in this life, she immediately comes to mind. We’ve been friends for over twenty-five years now. Through our teen years, college, breakups, weddings, moving to different cities (and, in our case, a different country for a while), it’s always like family when we see each other again. I feel very blessed that God placed her in my path all those years ago and that, even though we don’t see each other very often, she will always be one of my most precious friends.

Happy birthday, Kell. Hope your day is as special as you are. <3

throwback thursday | first photo

This is the first photo I shared here on the blog. It’s why I started this thing in the first place. To share my thoughts and photos with family and friends.

I’ve gone on to write about scrapbooking and photography, friends, surviving through Jake’s job loss, funerals and past heartbreak, and writing my book. I’ve shared photos of weddings and families I’ve photographed, scrapbook pages and Project Life layouts, things I’ve knitted and things I like.

But this. This is what really matters. They matter most.

I was thinking about this blog a lot yesterday and I went back to find the first photo I shared and then looked up the folder of images from that event – Chloe’s 2nd birthday. Found this cute one of Chloe getting a ‘Happy Birthday’ phone call – can’t remember who it was from. I may have written it down somewhere. But check out that old flip phone. haha! :D

This being Thursday, I thought it would be fun to do a little Throwback Thursday with a few more favorites from that birthday party. We had a little luau theme going on that day.

I LOVE these of Chloe and Alexis under the table. You can see on the underside of the table and the wall behind them all of the crayon marks. My kiddos always used to get under there and draw. So glad I captured that.

And thank you to my family, my friends, and all of you wonderful “blog friends” I have made over the years. Thank you for reading and following along with my little family.

Also, if you haven’t yet heard, my book is on SALE through midnight tonight for 99¢ on Kindle. CLICK HERE to purchase at a great bargain price. Thank you all for supporting my writing and helping me get the word out about my book.

throwback thursday

My little guy. Ten years ago today. Grandma bought the kids a little slide for the porch and this was his first time going down it. It’s so hard to remember Zach this small now that he is almost 14 and entering high school. But I am so thankful that I can open up folders on my computer from years gone by and see what we were doing on a particular day. My mind may forget more and more of the everyday and the little things we did back then, but the photos are a document of our family history.

I am thankful for photography in my life.

AJAXed with AWP