Fun Family Saturday

4-18_1Sam and I took advantage of Ryan napping in the car to grill up some lunch on a picnic table by the road on Grandview Drive. :)

4-18_2The trees are blooming!!!

4-18_3I love the view from up there! :)


Napping! He stayed asleep for a long time, so we drove through the little neighborhoods around Peoria Heights looking at/dreaming of all the cute houses.


This evening we joined the family at a park down by the river. Ryan had so much fun!






Spring is finally here! <3

March and Early April

I have a new laptop!!! Therefore I can post edited pictures, and easily type full sentences!



MarchApril-3Caleb kindly agreed to come up and stay with us over the weekend before Sam’s birthday a month ago. Somehow we managed to keep it a surprise from Sam, and Sam’s reaction to Caleb showing up on our doorstep at 9:30pm was PRICELESS! :D We had such a good time during his visit, and we’re hoping he’ll come again soon!

Enter approximately 2 week intermission, during which Mama, Daddy, Claire, and Luke came to visit (partially for the SMI board meeting). Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of that. The day they left, Ryan came down with a really awful, throw-up-every-30-minutes stomach bug. Sam and I both got milder versions of it as well; thankfully after Ryan was mostly over it.

MarchApril-4Once things started to finally get back to normal-ish (health-wise), Sam decided to scout out some local parks and lakes for potential fishing places. This was our first trip out to Charter Oaks Park. Ryan discovered a passion for throwing rocks into the water. I wouldn’t expect any less from this boy. :)


MarchApril-6I love this picture. Sam was so wonderful dealing with me and Ryan during this difficult month. Seeing him be so good with Ryan recently has encouraged my own mood and convicted me to be more patient with Ryan. I love them both so much!

Today we went to the park near our apartment. Ryan will love this place so much by the end of the summer!



MarchApril-8He enjoyed the swing again today! I’m so glad!



Yes, I love him. More than anything.

Mostly pictures of the boy


Face-painted for Jed’s birthday party!

DSC_0265Hanging out in a favorite spot: under the side table.


“Did you say food?!”


Sleepy boy



Dancing at Grace’s surprise birthday party!


Desperately attempting to keep dude awake!


On our way to go “sledding” yesterday. It was really cold, so Ryan and I spent most of the time van.


He kind of had this look of disgust the whole time we were out. Everyone else seemed to have fun though!



New lens!!!

It took me next to forever, but I collected enough $5 Amazon gift cards through Swagbucks that we were able to finally decide to get a 35mm lens for our cameras! I’m SO glad Sam convinced me to go ahead and do it; I LOVE it already!!! I don’t have access to my usual computer right now, but I couldn’t wait to share some of the pictures I got today. So, these are totally unedited, but still very cute. ;)








Can it really be 2015? Have I really been married for over 2 years?! It really doesn’t seem possible. But then again, so much of the past year has been spent day to day, just grasping at the sanity that’s just out of reach.

I feel like I’ve aged 10 years in the past 12 months… But it’s been such a wonderful, cliche year. I have been blessed and sanctified and have learned to love the insanity that life is right now. I know one day I’ll miss this time of unlimited access to cheeks for kissing.

So, what’s happened? Well, a year ago, my dear, tiny, baby boy had been baptized,so I was probably down with a fever and/or mastitis that kept me from fully enjoying the time Tricia Ann, one of my very best friends, was up to visit us. I was so sad! But nonetheless, I did get some time with her, and thinking back to it makes me so, so happy.

Then there’s months of learning our little dude. Learning how to go out with him. Learning how to make him smile, how to make him laugh, how to make him sleep… We’re still working on that last one. :P

In March, we moved to Peoria, to the apartment complex right next to Sam’s work. I cannot begin to say how much of a blessing that has been to us! When Ryan started teething and was running a high temperature that freaked this first-time mother out, Sam was 2 minutes away. When he knew I needed an encouragement, he grabbed me coffee over his lunch break. When he gets off work, I only have to wait a few moments for his kiss. Yes, it’s very, very wonderful. Sometime in those first few months, Moose gained his nickname from a onesie that said “happy moose”. It’s stuck. I hope he won’t mind when he’s older. Lol!

More months of teething, travel (to TN and my family, primarily), and growth as a family (including, more recently, adding a dog!). I’m not going to lie… it’s been tough. We have a very active little man who knows exactly what he wants when he wants it. He’s been an extremely sanctifying blessing. I love him with everything I am, but he frustrates me like no one else too.

We attended funerals, weddings, and births in 2014. I expect 2015 to hold more of the same. My life is amazing. I am blessed.


Thankful for…

I’m going to be very cliche here and just start listing things. There’s so many, I can never list it all, but I know there are a few things that definitely deserve a mention here. :)

  • Sam. First and foremost (after salvation, of course). He is so wonderful to me. To Ryan. I am so loved. I am so blessed. I love him so much!
  • Family. I am extra thankful for the wonderful relationship I have with my amazing in-laws. I am writing this from their living room, and we plan to spend the next 3 days here with them.
  • Friends. This past year has been so cool. We have been extremely blessed to strengthen our friendships with other couples from our church.
  • Ryan. It’s so weird to think that a year ago, we didn’t even know if the huge watermelon I’d swallowed was a boy or a girl! Now, after the unexpectedly difficult birth that ended in a c-section, he’s here sitting with me, wondering why all his crazy aunts and uncles (and especially dad) are screaming while playing Spot-It. :P
  • Our home. I absolutely love our little apartment – especially it’s proximity to Sam’s work!
  • SMI. They’re so good to Sam. And it was absolutely wonderful to deal with them throughout my pregnancy and Ryan’s birth. What was originally going to cost us roughly $3000, ended up being ten times that much, and the members of SMI were amazing and truly came through for us. I am so thankful to be a part of such a ministry.
  • Working vehicles. I have come to never underestimate the blessing of running vehicles, and now, one that has heat that works really well! ;)
  • Food. Duh, right? But there’s such camaraderie surrounding food! I loved working in the kitchen today with my in-laws. We made all sorts of pies, and washed tons of dishes, but it was all so fun! I can’t wait to enjoy the labor of our hands tomorrow!
  • Church. I’m so grateful to be a part of a church that’s striving to be as God-honoring as possible in it’s worship service. I’m extra thankful for the moments of thanksgiving that happened during the serving this past week and a year ago. I look forward to this service all year long. The focus on being thankful, as opposed to critical or bored or tired, is a welcome and much-needed reminder to me.

That’s not even beginning to touch the tip of the iceberg as far as everything I’m thankful for this year, but the computer is about to run out of battery, so I guess I should close. As I think through everything about this past year, I am thankful to the point of tears. I am truly, wonderfully blessed.

Reformation Weekend in TN

We had such a wonderful visit last weekend in TN!1

It was so good to see Grammy Evelyn, Grammy, Granddaddy, and Aunt Carol this trip!


Along with everyone at Heritage! This cutie is getting SO BIG!!!


Okay, my heart just melted when the monkey started playing with my moose man!!! Joshua is so grown up now!

4It was really nice to hear Missionary Ridge again; I don’t even remember the last time I heard them.


 Sunday afternoon we got a few portraits – or at least portrait possibilities. :)


Such cuteness!



He’s becoming quite the good-looking young man! And he’s even at the awkward age! ;)


 Loved how these two played together when we were down!

10Pretty! And I just a bit jealous of that vest! :D


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