Monthly Archives: September 2013

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monday’s list

I was barely home this weekend, which was both wonderful and exhausting. It was a weekend full of friends and family.

• Went to visit Jen on Friday. We had a nice time catching up over dinner at Red Robin and then walked around downtown GR and enjoyed some ArtPrize.

• On Saturday, Chloe and I traveled to Holland to visit Kelle, who was up from Kentucky for the weekend. We hung out with her parents and Rhonda (sis-in-law) and the kiddos. Chloe had a good time with all the little ones. It’s always so nice to be with them. :)

• Sunday, we went to John Ball Zoo with Heather and the girls. Had a nice time walking around, seeing all the animals, having lunch together. We ended our zoo visit with a ride on the funicular (like a tram that runs up/down the hill on a track) to the zoo gate. Then it was a little visit to ArtPrize.

It was a wonderful busy weekend. :)

I Need Thee Every Hour

Came across Sam Robson’s YouTube channel today while reading Annie Down’s blog. My soul has been blessed. Someone commented on one of his videos, “Heaven’s gonna sound something like this.” They took the words right out of my mouth. I couldn’t help but feel worshipful after viewing several of his a cappella arrangements. The one on Annie’s blog is Be Thou My Vision, but I really loved I Need Thee Every Hour, so that’s the one I shared above. :)

Be blessed!

throwback thursday


My handsome hubby in his Army fatigues in Clarksville, TN a couple weeks after we were married.

I have to say it’s fun going through old photos for Thursdays. Trying to choose photos that are from the same date or as close as I can get. I love looking back at things that happened on this day.

healthy eating | the skinny rules


It’s Day Two of healthy eating. Jake and I both fell off the wagon this summer, eating whatever we wanted and barely exercising. And it shows, not only in the way we look, but the way we feel. I have no energy whatsoever and that just will not do. So we decided to get back to making meals at home and eating better foods.

Jake suggested I read “The Skinny Rules” by Bob Harper (the trainer from the Biggest Loser). Lots of good stuff in there, including drinking a glass of water as soon as you get up in the morning and before every meal. There are a lot of rules to live by in his book, but it’s doable. It’s similar to an eating program my Mom and I followed at our church after I had Zach.

• Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.
• Eat plenty of protein (fish, chicken, eggs. all things I love! easy!).
• Drink water.
• Don’t drink your calories (no more pop, juices, mocha lattes).
• Stay away from fast food at all costs!!!
• Limit your bread intake and never eat bread with “enriched wheat flour” listed in the ingredients.
• Read ingredient labels. If it has sugar in the first 5 ingredients … Run away! Run away!

These are some of the guidelines we followed in that program and Bob’s rules are very similar, but he’s got more of them. :) The book doesn’t just give you a list of rules and that’s it, though. He goes into the reasons why each rule is important and how it helps you to get to a healthy weight. He also gives lots of meal suggestions to get you through the first month and the last section of the book is filled with easy healthy recipes.

I’m kind of excited about this. Taking control over food. Making good choices. Getting healthy and dropping all these extra lbs. It’s all good!

I probably won’t share what I eat every single day, but here is what I ate yesterday on Day One:

Breakfast:
Large glass of water x2 (one when I got up and one before I ate. Bob told me to!)
Oatmeal with apples and cinnamon
Coffee with a tablespoon of sugar and creamer (that’s half what I normally add. gotta start somewhere, right?)

Lunch:
Large glass of water
Romaine lettuce with cranberries and almonds (will nix the cranberries from now on since they have sugar listed as an ingredient. oops!)

Dinner:
Large glass of water
Whole wheat thin spaghetti and roasted broccoli tossed together with a little olive oil and topped with some parmesan cheese (This was tasty and a good Meatless Monday option.)

Snacks:
Large glass of water
Apple chopped up
Oikos Key Lime Greek Yogurt (this has sugar! Bye bye, key lime. maybe I’ll eat you on splurge day.)

Bob encourages one splurge meal per week. Not to go crazy and eat everything in sight, but to have a meal you enjoy without worrying about the rules. (But no fast food joints! No matter what! ick!)

Feel free to comment and bug me about how my healthy eating is going. I could use the accountability. :)

monday’s list


• It’s chilly today. I refuse to turn the furnace on, so our house is 61 degrees right now. Slippers are warming my toes and a blanket is warming the rest of me with the help of this hot cup of coffee.

• Chloe and I saw two rainbows last week on two separate mornings and a gorgeous sunset one evening. So pretty.

• Zach had a friend over after school on Friday. I got a taste of what it would be like to have two teenage boys. They pretty much kept to themselves, playing video games or on computers/ipods the whole time. Nice kid. Very similar sense of humor to Zach. I could immediately see why they are good friends.

• I spent the weekend painting. Got half of Zach’s walls painted from the green/blue color they’ve been since he was a baby and it was his nursery to a warm grey color. Also painted both exterior doors a Valspar color called Grand Hotel Mackinac Blue. It’s a paler version of the mint color I painted the back door last fall. Much better. I wanted it to be more subtle and it definitely is. Plus, it’s fun to say we used the color that is on the Grand Hotel’s porch ceiling. Here’s a picture of the hotel I took five years ago when we went to the island for our annual Girls Days trip. See the minty porch ceiling. Love.

• Jake’s parents and brother were over from the other side of the state for a wedding this weekend. They came to visit yesterday and we went out to the chinese buffet for a late lunch and had a nice time chatting and catching up. We miss them living ten minutes from us.

• We are getting back to healthy eating and exercising after a summer of not really paying attention to either.

• I’m sleepy. Did not sleep well at all last night. Might be that evening cup of coffee I had. Duh.

Happy Monday everyone! :)

throwback thursday


Zach was 7. Chloe was 4. Thought this fit well with last week’s tbt photo of Zach trying to get his picture with Chloe. This time, Zach wasn’t in the mood for a picture. My goodness, it’s fun looking back at old pictures of the kids. They’ve grown so much.

backwards progress


I’ve been working backwards on my book edit. Starting at the end and going back chapter by chapter.

That was hard at first since the final chapters are the most emotional ones and I can never get through them without crying. I thought maybe going backwards would help me to focus more on the sentence structure, grammar, dialog and flow, but once I start reading, I just can’t help it. I am attached to my characters and, when I write, I see the story as a movie playing out in my head. If I was at the theater watching it, I would cry. So that’s me. Sitting at my keyboard with tears running down my face. It probably doesn’t help that I always play instrumental movie scores while I write. The music gets me every time.

Backwards worked well for me once I got through about four chapters. And I’m happy to say that I’m finished with this edit and soon I’ll be ready to have some family and friends read it. Yikes! I just got a little nervous knot in my stomach thinking about that. My little story has been all mine for so long. Now I have to get over my fears and insecurities and just put it out there.

Jake will be reading it first for me. I trust his opinion. He’s been an avid reader all his life, so I know he’ll be honest and tell me what he likes/doesn’t like about it and what might need a little more work.

The deadline I set to have all the editing done was November 1st. It feels good to be ahead of that deadline with time to make some final edits while I explore my options for publishing. I’m still leaning toward self-publishing. I will keep you all informed so you can get your hands on a copy (or download an ebook perhaps) once it’s ready!

Happy Tuesday!

throwback thursday


This day in 2004. In the kitchen. Zach tried to hold Chloe for a few pictures. She didn’t want anything to do with that.

reunion ’13


I love the tradition of family reunions. It’s great to see my aunts, uncles and cousins more than just at Christmas. But also seeing extended family – my Dad’s uncles and cousins and their kids and grandkids. Seeing how everyone has grown and changed and how many more babies have been added to the family each year. Keeping that tradition alive is special.

Chloe reconnected with Danielle this year. They met last summer and hit it off right away. This year, they spent most of the day up trees together (below right, I circled them peeking out from the tree), talking and taking lots of pictures.

Girls with their cameras on Great Grandpa’s mini ferris wheel. ;)

One of the highlights of the day. Meeting baby Roehn finally.


Everyone loved holding him. He was pretty fussy from teeth that are coming in, but as soon as I got ahold of him, he fell right to sleep on my shoulder, all sweet and cuddly. My goodness, he’s so precious.

Despite the heat that day (and no air conditioning in our car for the trip. ugh!), we had a wonderful day with family.

For inquiring minds, all photos were taken with my Canon 5D and Canon 85mm 1.8 lens. I didn’t feel like switching lenses, so I went with the 85mm. It’s not great when you’re close to something/someone. You have to move back to get the shot you want sometimes, but I love it. It’s always been one of my favorites because of the nice background blur (bokeh) you get.

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monday’s list


• Went to our (Zach, Chloe, Me) first drive-in movie theater, Danny Boy’s Drive-In. (Jake had been to drive-ins before.) We really enjoyed it and even saw a shooting star! It was a double feature – the new Percy Jackson movie and World War Z. I have nothing to compare it to, but I thought the snack bar was nice, the food was good and reasonably priced (if you bring your own cooler, they charge $5 to help with their operating costs since you won’t be buying from their snack bar), the restrooms were nice (everything is new since they just opened this summer), and the experience of watching a movie under the stars was great.
(Note: in the left photo above, the kids are on top of our car. Danny Boy’s doesn’t let people watch from the roof of the car because it’s very dark and they don’t want kids falling and getting hurt. Zach and Chloe hung out up there and ate popcorn while we were waiting for the movie to start and it made for a fun picture – my favorite photo of the night.)

• Spent all day Saturday cleaning, purging, packing tubs full, dusting and vacuuming Zach’s room. I can see the floor again! Will be painting and steam cleaning the carpet in there soon.

• Rented Now You See Me on Saturday night. Very good. Twist ending I did NOT see coming. Recommend!

• Sunday was a birthday lunch for Zach at my parents’ farm. We had a nice time, as usual. Chatted, played ladder ball (Mom won!), checked out the progress on the new family room (ceiling light went up) and the porch (posts went up). It’s looking nice! Zach blew out candles and we had some cake and ice cream and sang to him.

• Completely exhausted today. It was kind of a non-stop weekend and I spent all Sunday evening catching up on laundry and packing lunches for school and trying to get on top of everything for the week. There was just not much down time for relaxing. Not that it was a bad weekend. We had fun and got a lot done. I think the late night drive-in double feature (didn’t get to bed until 2am) was more than my body was used to. I’m not 20 anymore. Can’t stay up until all hours of the night. ;)

Have a great week, all!

AJAXed with AWP