Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fall Faves!

Here are a few of my favorite things about fall:

-Pumpkin anything!
-Football games
-Mums - I currently have some rusty orange colored ones on my front steps
-Hay Rides
-Apple Cider
-Apple Crisp
-Apple EVERYTHING   :)
-Fall scented candles - Hobby Lobby has an orange pumpkin spice one that is my fave
-Walking in the woods by our house and looking at the pretty colors
-The Grossenbacher Family Chili Cook-off (I actually took first place last year!!!)
-Yummy soups on chilly days (as I type, I'm enjoying a bowl of Southwest Potato from Campbells)
-Hoodies and jeans
-Tall boots over skinny jeans with sweaters
-ALL the festivals that we have in the White Lake area - especially the Pumpkin Roll down the hill in Montague
-Hocus Pocus - the movie with Bette Midler - I LOVE IT (in fact, I watched it last night!)
-Snuggling around a campfire because it's JUST chilly enough that you want to be close
-Watching my kids jump in piles of leaves
-Driving down the highway and seeing a different site everyday as the trees change 
-Clearance sales on plants! I just bought 2 rhododendrons for the front yard for $10 apiece - saved $40!
-Going outside and being able to see your breath - and pretending I'm a dragon with my kids  :)
-Chai lattes - sweet and spicy at the same time 
-Warm Vanilla Sugar line from Bath and Body Works - I swear it makes me feel warmer after I use it!

I'm sure I could list a million more, but right now, my family is waiting for me to come join them for a movie. That's probably what I love most of all, regardless of the season!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


So, I sat down last night and wanted to do a blog post. I stared at the screen and came up with nothing... Kind of frustrating, but what are you going to do. I was just tired from the day, I think. 

This morning, I was drinking coffee and listening to the quiet and I decided what I wanted to write about: Silence.

I was actually going to post this on Sunday, but we ended up getting busy (so busy that I didn't even watch a single football game! That's unheard of!). At our Sunday School class, our topic of discussion was on silence. More specifically, one of our pastors, Pastor Nick, had taken a week long sabbatical at The Hermitage in Three Rivers. He took a vow of silence for the week in order to listen. He had a laundry list of things he wanted to "discuss" with God. He was telling us some things about it and I was really captivated. How he struggled, how it worked for him, what it was like. I guess it's amazing what you can hear when you're being quiet.

I'm not a good listener - people who know me well will tell you that's true. I always have "something important" to add to the conversation and I'm not very patient at waiting for my turn to talk, or even not talking at all and just listening. I'm a mom - we fix things - that's just how I'm wired! I'm not going to apologize for it - call it a character flaw. But, I do try to make a conscious effort to listen more than I speak sometimes. 

Pastor Nick said that he is going to have a weekend retreat this spring/summer that will include the taking of a vow of silence. Rick and I both want to do it (although Rick says we're bringing two separate tents so we can have our own space and our own silence, even away from each other). I'm excited about it... I think it will be a good chance to listen and give God a chance to speak without yelling. I'm REALLY good at talking to God - I've never struggled with that. I have a harder time listening for God's response. Especially if it's something I don't really want to hear, or even worse sometimes, when I have to wait for his response and it's not on "my schedule". Patience is not a virtue I have a good handle on yet...

I think I'm just worried that I won't get that "experience" of hearing God loud and clear. I feel like it would be terrible to have anything less than an awesome experience of hearing God speak to you through a burning bush or something. Like what if I'm trying my best to listen and I still don't hear? I think that would be so discouraging... It's not like he's ever forsaken me before, but like I said, it's not always on my time frame and I struggle with that "waiting for a response". 

My sister sent me a book a long time ago, it's called "You're Late Again, Lord!" and it's all about God's timing versus our timing. I think I need to read it again because that is another thing I haven't mastered yet...

Maybe I'll start silence in small doses and see if I'm better able to hear things.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pineapple Mangosteen

I LOVE being a BzzAgent! I get to try all kinds of super cool stuff and talk about it! I LOVE talking about stuff I love, so it's a win-win!

I am currently trying the Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser in my office at work. My co-workers FINALLY noticed the lovely scent emanating from my corner and before I knew it, everyone was checking it out  :) I now have 3 folks interested in becoming BzzAgents too! I chose the Pineapple Mangosteen scent for the office and I absolutely adore it. It makes me so relaxed and helps me focus when I'm drowning in to-do piles. Plus, I don't have to worry about it spilling, which I'm sure the cleaning company appreciates.

I am definitely a fan  :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Road Trip Weekend!

Woohoo! Road trip to Indianapolis this weekend! Rick has to do some work down there, so we're going with him. Looking forward to seeing my aunt and uncle and escaping for the weekend. 

I LOVE road tripping with my family - our boys do SO WELL and Rick and I get along best on road trips, I think. Not that we don't get along in general, but you know what I mean! Indianapolis isn't a bad trip either! Long enough to count as a road trip, but not too long that you have to plan a huge thing. We're leaving Saturday morning and we'll be home on Sunday. 

Plus... road trips mean staying at a hotel. We LOVE that! When I was a kid, we didn't stay in hotels - we took a trailer and camped wherever we went. We, on the other hand, don't have a trailer, so when we go away, we stay in hotels. Josh and Logan are super lucky in that respect (in my opinion anyway - I would have LOVED to stay in hotels when I was a kid!!!).

I'm glad we're not leaving tomorrow night (which was the original plan). That would have involved getting everything packed tonight, and I'm just not up for that tonight. It was my late night at work, and I have to be back there at 8am tomorrow, so I'm glad I don't have to worry about having everything ready to go tonight.

I wonder what fun things the boys and I will find to do while Rick's working. Anyone have any tips for fun stuff in Indianapolis??

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Feeling Crispy Outside!!

It's starting to feel like fall here along the lakeshore! Over the last couple of weeks, we've noticed the occasional brightly colored tree as we're driving along the highway, but the temps have stayed up there and summer has been hanging on.

Not today!

Last night we got SO MUCH RAIN! The boys and I stopped at the video store on our way home from daycare yesterday. By the time we were done choosing our selections, it was pouring rain outside. It never stopped. The temps fell and it rained and rained and rained. 

This morning we awoke to bright blue skies and a fabulous breeze - and you could definitely tell a cold front came through! I wore jeans all day. The boys and I went to the Farmer's Market this morning and picked out some beautiful Macs for apple crisp. We decided to hang around Montague for the morning and it was perfect. We walked down by the water, stopped by the Book Nook and Java Shop, had lunch at this tiny corner soda fountain with like 6 things on the menu and then just sat on a bench soaking up the sun until we were ready to be done. I haven't felt that relaxed in a while. It was nice to just do whatever we wanted and enjoy being together. No schedule, no plans, nothing.

The apple crisp just came out of the oven, and I'm sitting here drinking a cup of chai, debating whether or not I want to dig in tonight or wait until tomorrow. I told the boys they could have it for breakfast before church tomorrow - they're super excited about that  :) (Trust me - this is a RARE occurrence! The only reason it's allowed is because it took me too long to slice the apples and it was past bedtime before it was ready)

I'm looking forward to church in the morning, football in the afternoon and seeing family in the evening. Sounds good to me.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Boy is Definitely Mine.

I was feeling some stress today and needed to get out of the house. Rick took Logan, so Josh and I took off on a walk. I had my iPod, he had his mp3 player. He doesn't usually walk with me, but when I walk (or even when I'm on the treadmill), I can't help but dance along to the music. I looked over and noticed that Joshua was dancing along to his music too. He's definitely my kid. He might look and act exactly like his dad, but there's a tiny little bit of me in there and it comes out when he listens to music. I'm ok with that  :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Just Another Saturday...

So, here I am, sitting in my hometown, covering the family business for my dad. Funny how when you've been gone for so long it just feels different. Not that I'm not here on a semi-regular basis... my parents live here, my grandma lives here, I have friends and family all over here! It's just different being here for a slightly extended period of time.

I was sitting at a friends house last night. She lives behind my mom's house and I used to babysit her kids way back when. We're still good friends with them - shoot - they were our daycare for the boys before we moved away! She's known my kids since the very beginning.... and I've known her kids from early on. Her youngest just turned 16. I've known him since he was born. Her oldest is 20! Her middle daughter just got her Senior Pictures done... it's hard to wrap my brain around that. We were sitting there talking and just catching up since we don't see each other much.

They've had some big changes in their lives this past summer... her husband's job was outsourced, he's been home all summer and now he's looking at being able to start collecting retirement this fall. Her oldest daughter has decided to go to school for Theraputic Massage this fall, her youngest is thisclose to earning his Eagle Scout Badge... it's amazing.

I sit there and think that MY oldest is about to be 10. As in double digits (eek!) 10! In less than two weeks!!! My youngest is starting first grade in just a few short weeks. My husband and I just celebrated a decade of marriage last month.... it's crazy.

I guess sitting at the family business, being surrounded by the very things that put a roof over my head and food in my stomach makes me think about the past. It's quiet here at the lot - I've only had one customer so far today (although I fully expect to be swamped right about when it's time to close up shop!) but I'm just sitting here looking around and feeling a little bit sad. Not really sad, I guess, more like... I feel like remembering. Being grateful for my past and excited about my future. My boys are still relatively little, my husband and I are still relatively young... I hope we have a lot of good years ahead of us.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I Heart Summer!!!

So, I wanted to take a second and kind of do a photo recap of summer so far. Keep in mind, it's only June, so there will be more to come! 

Let's start with Memorial Day weekend - the unofficial start of summer here in Michigan:

My mom, the boys and I took a trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee!

This is how I know where to turn when we go see my sister and her family - yes, they live about halfway up Lookout Mountain. The first time I drove there, it was kind of freaky. This time, it was no big deal:

We went for the weekend t0 see Anna:

 And Solomon:

 And of course their parents  :) My sister showed my mom how happy she was that we were there!!

The boy cousins had a ridiculous amount of fun! 

Josh was loving on Anna the whole time (that boy LOVES babies!!) and Logan and Solomon were like two peas in a pod. They were even good sports for taking pictures before we had to go back to Michigan.

My mom finally got a photo of all her grandkids together at once - that was the whole reason she came with us I think, since I totally dropped the ball last time I was down there and didn't get the coveted photo! Ok, so maybe she wanted to see my sister, too, but I think it was mostly so she could get this:


 The drive home on Memorial Day was long, but the scenery was nice!

Most of the rest of summer so far has been devoted to soccer - the sport of choice for my boys. Joshua had an amazing coaching staff and improved his game by leaps and bounds. Logan was just in love with soccer in general and gave 150% each and every game - well, except the last game when he wasn't feeling well. He must have been super sensitive that day because he heard me on the sidelines and started crying. Yeah, I was "that mom" - the one who makes her kid cry by trying to help. I promise it wasn't on purpose, though! He just gets like that sometimes. I promised him I wouldn't talk ANYMORE (lol) and he went back out there and scored a goal. So, it could have been worse! 

Here are some of my FAVORITE soccer shots for your viewing pleasure:

Last, but certainly not least - since summer is still just beginning - we spent a Saturday in Pentwater. It just so happened to be the same Saturday as the annual "Start of Summer Party"!! Rick and the boys helped set the tents and tables up and then we enjoyed some super yummy picnic food!

Logan looks so angelic at the State Park!

Had to make a stop at Cosmic Candy!

 Taking a break after setting up for the "SOS Party":

And finally, Josh the photographer took a REALLY nice picture of Rick and me. We don't have a lot of those, since I'm usually behind the lens, so that was a bonus!

Tonight, the boys and went to the beach after I got home from work. I love that I live close enough to Lake Michigan that I can do stuff like that! I'm really excited that summer is still young... we have a lot of fun plans, which means a lot more pictures to come of our summer adventures  :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Haha! Twice in one day!

How do you like the new blog look? I was bored with the old one and decided to change it up. This is just a basic template (thank you, Blogger!), but I didn't want to have to mess with it much, so I'm ok with it. 

I'm a fan - what do you think?

Look mom! It's only been a week since the last post!

Aren't you excited... only a week between posts this time around!! I know, your life is not complete without a blog post from me, so I'm happy to indulge. I saw on mlive that Blandford Nature Center in GR is rehabbing a Barn Owl! Joshua is OBSESSED with Barn Owls, so I think a trip out there this weekend might be in order! Barn Owls have been thought to be extinct in the state of Michigan, but this one happened to have been found on the floor of a barn in my hometown (and where we lived before we moved up here), so it feels a little serendipitous. The nature center has an animal rehab blog and I signed Josh up to get updates - he's on cloud nine! There's also a Raptor Rescue not too far from our house, I think, and I've been thinking about taking Josh there too. He is absolutely smitten with birds! He thinks he's getting a canary for his birthday, but I think Rick and I are going to surprise him with it early - like in the next month early!! He's had a rough couple of months but he's been amazing and we think he deserves it! If we make it to the Barn Owl, I'll make sure to post some pictures :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yup, I know.

I suck at keeping this blog updated! I used to be so good at it... Of course, I've had some stuff going on over the last year that has been taking up too much space in my brain (and not leaving much room for blogging topics!). I don't want to go there, I'm just saying... Anyhow, it took stumbling on my newish friend Gretchen's blog to make me realize that I miss this. I miss having an outlet for the random thoughts that occupy my brain. I just wish I had more time. Like, an extra few hours a day. I constantly feel like if I give something like the computer ANY of my attention, it's taking away from areas where I should be focusing. Like my kids (although, I promise they're in bed!), or my husband, or the laundry - or worse yet - sleep! I just spend SO MUCH TIME on the computer at work that I don't love being on it here at home, too. I wonder how Ross would feel if I blogged during the workday? I wonder if Blogger is even accessible, or if it's blocked! Regardless, I'm pretty sure I would lose my job - and I really like my job! (I have a new job, by the way! Have I mentioned that on here? Probably not. Oh well... surprise! I got a sweet promotion at work! Yay!) Another thing I miss is just having the time to peruse other people's blogs - which are far more interesting than my own, I'm sure! I used to feel so connected to folks in the blogging world but now I have no idea what's going on with anyone. If only there were more hours in the day. Shoot... if there were more hours in the day, NOT ONLY would I be able to blog regularly, BUT ALSO maybe I could actually work out every day! That would be an amazing accomplishment in itself! (Though I did buy some sweet new Ryka shoes from Amazon today... they'll be here in a week or so and maybe my fancy new footwear will inspire me to get up just a little bit earlier and squeeze a workout in! Realistically, probably not, but a girl can dream, right?) Ok, so maybe the new shoes will help with the working out... I wonder what will help with the blogging!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Not Cool.

My poor biggest boy is so nervous about his MRI tomorrow that he almost threw up tonight. How unfair is that? 9 year olds should not have to worry about stuff like this... his brain should be full of normal 9 year old stuff - video games, girls he likes, music on his mp3 player. Not MRIs. Or oncology visits. Or cancer period. I wish I could take away his stress and add it to mine.... it breaks my heart that he's so worried. I hope he has a better day tomorrow. I'm so ready for this scan to just be done.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Boo for cancer...

Ugh. Joshua has his MRI on Wednesday. Why is it that once a year I have to go through all those yucky, nasty cancer feelings all over again. Once the scan is over, I will be able to neatly pack them away until next year. However, right now, my emotions are all over the place. I am not a fan. My little boy is scared this time. He's never been scared for a scan like this before. I try to talk to him about it, but I don't even think he knows exactly why he's worried. That sucks. At least if he can express, we can process and face it head on. That's not happening this time. Instead, we get to wait it out, knowing that after Wednesday, we can go back to our happy place and not think about cancer for a while. We're not expecting anything funky. He's so far out from diagnosis that he should be just fine. But, it's the "not knowing 100% for sure" and the "this happened once before" that gets in the way of those positive vibes... I look forward to seeing our oncologist and awesomely fabulous nurse at DeVos Children's Hospital. They are always so excited when they see us because of what a success story Joshua is. That's it.... I need to hold onto "success story". Maybe that will help me get a handle on my emotions. Maybe not, but at least it's worth a try. We scan Wednesday evening. I hope we get results quickly. I don't really want to wait until our oncology appointment. We've never had a scan first and then an oncology visit second... usually we see the oncologist for the "pre-MRI physical" and then we scan another day. I might have to put a call into the nurse... if she doesn't realize we're scanning on Wednesday, she might not know to call me with results ASAP :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Gosh, I feel like it's been forever!!!

Holy cow. You know it's bad when you can't remember the last time you posted on your own blog! My life has been.... interesting... lately. I'm not going to go into all the details - I don't need my business all over cyberspace, lol, but suffice it to say that there hasn't been a dull moment. I guess I'll just do a quick post on the things that have happened over the weekend............ Saturday I went shopping. Without my kids. Just me and my mom. Rick was a peach and knew I needed a break from mommying, so he offered to keep the kids with him at work for the day. It was so nice to have a day off. Shopping was pretty much a bust - I hate when that happens! But, it was nice to spend time with my mom and get to be taken care of for a minute :) Sunday was the Cub Scout Blue and Gold. My boys earned their Webelos badges! I'm super proud of them - they worked hard. We had to perform a skit or a song at the banquet... have you ever tried to get a group of 4th grade boys to sing in public? Yeah... I'm pretty sure I did most of the singing. But, they made posters and we had props, so it all worked out. Honestly, though... I know that's a really self conscious age, so I was still proud of them! Speaking of 4th grade boys... Joshua is heading full speed into the preteen years - and he's only 9!!!!!!! I have a really sweet story I'd love to share, but I know my 9 year old well enough to know he'd be mad at me if I talked about this without his permission. I barely got his permission to tell his dad, lol, so I don't think he'd be keen on me sharing. However, it was right around Valentines Day, so I'm sure you can get the basic idea!!! My kindergartener has been quite the handful lately. He's been fighting a cough, and he's always less than pleasant when he's not feeling well. He hasn't been able to see his dad much, so he's been acting out because of that, too, so it's been lovely at my house. We've gone from one extreme to the other. Massive hissy fits all the way to him reorganizing his t-shirt drawer to make me happy.... In fact, just yesterday, he managed to get one of those googly eyes for crafts lodged in one of his ears. Not only was he unable to hear on that side, but when he shook his head, you could hear the googly eye rattling around........... that was one to remember for when he brings a girl home for dinner!!! So, that's just the excitement since the weekend! I will say, though, that I managed to hit every single light green on my way into work this morning! That's never happened before, so thank God for small favors!!