Monthly Archives: November 2013

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one photo


Can you believe this is the only photo I took yesterday right before we went to Thanksgiving dinner at Jake’s parents house? The frozen pies we brought. I never once pulled my phone out while we were there and I didn’t bring the big camera along.

Sometimes it’s good to just enjoy the moment and be in it.

The meal was delicious, there was good conversation and laughter, kids running around the house, and some football (which I don’t really follow, but Detroit won, so everyone was pretty excited about that!).

We came home and took a nap, then rented a movie. No crazy Thanksgiving evening/early Black Friday shopping for this girl. Nope!

It was a perfect Thanksgiving day!

And later this morning … like crazy people, Mom and I are going to Walmart. Not for the Black Friday sales, but for some other things we need. Wish us luck!

throwback thursday (on wednesday)


Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share my Thursday picture today instead. This is one of my very favorite pictures of the kids in front of the Christmas tree. Zach was 5. Chloe was 2. They were so tiny and sweet, always putting their arms around each other or hugging for pictures. They still do that and I’m thankful for the good relationship they have.

The kids started Thanksgiving break officially today (they also had yesterday off due to freezing rain that closed the school), so they slept in this morning. Chloe especially needs the rest. She came down with a bad sore throat/cough on Sunday and has been fighting it ever since. Poor thing is miserable and has pretty much lost her voice.

While they slept, I had some quiet time to think and pray and enjoy my coffee. I’m counting my blessings today and am constantly amazed when God blesses me in ways I didn’t expect. I’m thankful that He sees the big picture.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … THANK YOU! There are thousands upon thousands of blogs out there, so it means a lot that you choose to spend a little of your time each day following along with the words and pictures I share here.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, hopefully surrounded by all the people you love!

violet’s 1


Sweet Violet is 1 year old today. I love that I have known both her and Scarlett since the moment they were born. Being at both births was so special.

We weren’t sure we would be able to make it for Violet’s first birthday party. It was Chloe’s first gymnastics meet and they can go for several hours. The party was two hours away, but we decided we could not miss it, even if we had to arrive late. Luckily, her meet ended earlier than we thought and we were able to get there on time.

It’s so funny how siblings can be so different. Violet smiled and clapped when we sang “Happy Birthday” to her. I remember Scarlett crying because it scared her. hehe.

Mama, Zach and Scarlett helped Violet blow out her candle. ;)

Somebody likes cake!


She was more into the wrapping paper and tags that were on her gifts than the gifts themselves. And she loved the helium balloons. She walked around the house pulling one of those along behind her and crying when she dropped it and couldn’t reach the ribbon until someone retrieved it for her. Adorable.

Happy 1st Birthday, Violet! We love you! <3

monday’s list


• Our lovely weekend started out with Chloe’s very first gymnastics meet in Kalamazoo. My mom and brothers came down to help cheer her on. It was a lot of fun to watch (and photograph/video). She did really well and said once she got there and warmed up, she wasn’t nervous at all. I wish I’d had her confidence when I was that age. That girl is fearless.

• After the meet, we traveled to Canton for our niece Violet’s first birthday party! The house was full of family and friends celebrating that sweet little girl. Can’t believe it’s been a year already since I captured her first moments in this world. Lots of pictures taken that I will share later this week.

• Sunday was an early Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house with some family pictures, a little tree decorating, Christmas music, cutting wood, Christmas/Bible Trivia, checking out old coins that were my Grandpa’s on the internet (nothing rare enough to be worth the big bucks!) ;) and some pumpkin pie, of course.

Here are a few pictures from Chloe’s meet.



So fun!

Happy Thanksgiving week!

forgiveness hurts


I was reading the Art of Simple blog today and these sentences really stood out to me.

“When you forgive, it’s like paying a debt that someone owes you. They wronged you, and in a certain sense, they owe you. But you can choose to forgive and pay that debt for them, even if they don’t “deserve” it or haven’t asked for it. Instead of their “account” being in the negative, you go back to a zero balance in that relationship.”
Crystal on theArtofSimple.net.

Twenty years ago, I was hurt, wronged, devastated. I was about to be married and start a life with him. It’s what I had wanted for so long that when it all fell apart, I could not let go. For the next six months, I clung to the last shreds of that relationship until I could take it no more. I shut it all off. I shoved all those feelings into that locked room and said “I’m done. I’m over it.” I abruptly stopped returning his calls and moved on with my life. Not the healthiest way to deal with it apparently since the lock on that room was busted open last month and all that “stuff” escaped and completely overwhelmed me. So weird how that happens when you least expect it.

Forgiveness is hard. And I’m working on it. Praying through it. I really want to say that his account has a zero balance, but I’m not there yet.

throwback thursday


Thanksgiving 2007. My parents old house. My mom is the best at decorating for the holidays.

a few more


This is what I’ve been working on lately. Finishing up pictures for Lindsey and Kevin. Getting their disc and case designed and ordered. It just arrived yesterday and the finished product is always so lovely.

Here are a few more of their sweet family.




Watch your mailbox, Lindsey! ;)

stocking stuffer


The 5×5 softcover book of Chloe’s selfies from Artifact Uprising arrived the other day and it’s so cute. She has taken thousands of pictures with that little iPod of hers and these are just a fraction from 2013. I know she will love it and they are so much better in book form than stuck on the computer where nobody can see them.





She used a text app (not sure which one) to make this acrostic poem with the letters of her name.


There is a very good chance that this post will completely ruin this for Chloe since she sometimes reads my blog. Love you, baby girl. ;)

monday’s list


• A quiet weekend. Too much thinking. Really need to get out of my head.

• Chloe’s first gymnastics meet is coming up next weekend. They did a run-through at practice so the girls know what to expect. Fun to watch.

• Mom took Chloe and I to the local Holiday Bazaar on Saturday. I had not been for many years and it’s much smaller than it used to be. Didn’t find anything I couldn’t live without (except maybe the yummy white chocolate covered pretzels above), but was still fun to go and look.

• Moved our dining room around to make room for the Christmas tree, which will probably be going up this week. Earlier than we usually put it up, but why not! To put us in the Christmas mood, Chloe and I watched Elf, which made me crave spaghetti (without the maple syrup, of course).

• Big storms blew through yesterday. Very high winds. Lots of damage in the area. Downed trees, power outages, etc. We are thankful for nothing but small branches down in our yard. Sure sounded like our house was going to blow away, though.

• 2-hr delay this morning due to the storm + boy with an upset stomach = annoyed Mom, who wishes she had slept in a little longer since she didn’t have to get up to take him to school after all. Ugh!

• My Grandpa’s brother Lyle passed away last week and his funeral is today. Please say a prayer for Grandpa and the family. :(

book progress


Well, I think I’m at the point where I’ve edited all I can edit. After a while, everything looks like gibberish on the page from staring at it so much. I read it through again this week, changing a few small things here and there, and I am as happy as I’m going to be with it. For now.

I finally had someone besides Jake read it (his Mom) and her exact words were, “If you don’t publish this book … I will personally kick your butt!!” Guess I better do what my mother-in-law tells me to do, huh? ;)

And she gave me one of the best compliments I could possibly get when she said,
“God certainly guided you and your keystrokes.”

What does the photo above have to do with my book, you ask? Mt. Baldy is a scenic lookout in the Yankee Springs/Barry County State Game Area. I believe it’s the highest point in the county. It lies up the hill and across the road from where I grew up. Although, it’s not much of a scenic lookout anymore since the pines have grown so tall, but when I was little, you could stand on the top and see Gun Lake. It’s not a big tourist spot or anything. If you try to Google it (as I did), all you’ll find is the map of the Yankee Springs Recreation Area and several other Mt. Baldys across the country. But my Mt. Baldy, the one I grew up climbing, is the inspiration for one of the locations in my book. Write what you know, right?

AJAXed with AWP