Friday, July 31, 2015

Have You Ever?

Have you ever tried to take a picture of three children ages two and under?

Well... I have now and I intended to post some of the hilarious results, but there is a storm here and the internet is way too slow to upload pictures... I've been trying to get one picture up for over an hour.

These funny pictures will just have to be something you look forward to seeing in a few days...

Thursday, July 30, 2015


As someone who was pregnant two years ago... I find this hilarious:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ugly Americans

In our time in Mexico thus far, I have had an epiphany:
I understand from where originated the "Ugly American."

We have all heard about those loud, obnouxious American tourists who just want to eat American food, and want everyone to speak English.

Well, yes, as a culture, there probably are some Ugly American tourists... but really, I think they originated from a very understandable place.  I believe the first ever Ugly Americans were pregnant mothers of toddlers.

Before coming to Puerto Vallarta (which is amazing), we were in Monterrey for a wedding/anniversary vow renewal.  We were in a Best Western hotel and we were on the go constantly.

From the moment we got off the plane we were shuttled from place to place, eating (very good) but very foreign food, getting little sleep, staying incredibly hot, and then getting dressed up for a fancy wedding.

By the morning after the wedding, my toddler and my pregnant self were exhausted and hungry and when I walked in to the hotel breakfast, I was the Ugliest American I have every been.

I did not want to attempt broken Spanish, I did not want to wait for the waiter to ask if I was getting the buffet, I did not want to ask for a high chair, I just wanted to take the first one I saw -- I simply wanted edible, familiar food for my hungry, tired toddler and myself.  I was the ugliest American I have ever been, and given the same set of circumstances, I would act the same way again.

So, yes, we need to strive to not be Ugly Americans -- but I would like to petition the world to make an exception for pregnant mothers of toddlers.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Our Little Fish

We are now in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and we brought a little fish with us -- Tracey Ann.  Here is a video that I took out at Chris' aunt's house... I didn't know there was going to be swimming otherwise I would have brought her a swimsuit.

The reason there was a random huge diaper in that pool was that I didn't have any swimwear for Tracey Ann and so the host offered her a swim diaper -- only she didn't give her a swim diaper, she gave her a pull-up.  It took all of the adults about two minutes to realize that Tracey Ann was rapidly gaining water and having a harder and harder time walking... so we quickly put her in an actual swim diaper, and she started playing with the pull-up.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Apparently pigtails are just about the cutest things on babies... somehow I did not know this, but luckily Tracey Ann has two aunts who clued me in.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Sometimes life is going so fast that I don't get to the blog...

In the past few days, we've been in Virginia and Mexico, and time and internet did not allow for posts.  We had a blast in VA, and I will post pictures soon... and we are excited to be on this family trip to Mexico, so I hope I will be posting -- but my time is not entirely my own.

I hope your summer is also so much fun that you are having to occasionally cut out parts of your routine just to keep up with the fun.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Meemaw and Noah

In the time we have been in St. Louis, Tracey Ann spent a few nights at Meepaw and Geepaw's house and apparently she is now Noah the dog's favorite grandchild.

I guess what happens at Meemaw's stays at Meemaw's... except when she films it and sends it to Mama and Daddy:

Monday, July 20, 2015

Not A Contest... But

When we announced that we are expecting our twins, it is absolutely not a contest with other couples who have announced they are having babies... but if it were a contest between baby announcements... this video would definitely win:

Saturday, July 18, 2015


We are thrilled to announced that we are expecting TWINS in January!  We are praising God for these precious blessings!

What a big job Tracey Ann has in front of her as a Big Sister to twins!

An ultrasound at 8 weeks, when they told us the news -- TWO babies!

Just in case you don't know what you're looking at, let us help you out...

Our 12 week ultrasound and I can't believe how much they have developed!  We never had a 12 week ultrasound with Tracey Ann, so this was really cool to see.  We could see the babies waving and kicking the entire time (not that I can feel anything yet).

Baby A

Baby B

Friday, July 17, 2015

Last Batch

Well, we have now left Michigan and arrived for our second round of family in St. Louis.  We had so much fun in Michigan and it was such a joy to watch my parents with Tracey Ann over those weeks.  By the end, she even came up with her own name for Grammie, "Gee Gee," which my mom absolutely loves.

Before I move on to lots of fun pictures of aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins in St. Louis... here is the last batch of pictures from our fun in Michigan:

Tracey Ann's initial thoughts on riding on Papa's boat -- Hang on for dear life.

Now she's feeling better.

Up front with Papa and Daddy.

But not really smiling yet...

We're making jello and Tracey Ann found all the molds.

She had so much fun with all the jello molds.

Fun with the neighbor kids swimming in Mona Lake.

These kiddos were so good with Tracey Ann.

Packing for St. Louis.

The neighbors put on a water skiing show every summer, and this year, we caught it -- ten skiers behind one boat.

Bye-bye, Grammie and Papa.  We had a blast and we'll miss you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Big Prayers

When I think about my prayers of petition to God, they are usually not what I think of Big Prayers.  They are big prayers in that I live every breath simply thanks to God's mercy and grace... but they are not big because they are things that I putting my human efforts toward and I hope and pray God blesses those efforts to allow and enable the end result for which I am working.

Often, I spend days, or weeks thinking about a problem that Hubby and I are tackling, and pray for wisdom about the problem... and then when I think I have the solution, I will pray for the solution that I concocted to come to fruition.  It is so human of me... but I've put in the time to figure out the answer, now I just have to pray that God makes that answer come true, since I've gone to the human trouble of figuring out the solution.

It is not the most Biblical concept, but I really do identify with the phrase "Pray as though it depends on God; Work as though it depends on you."

That being said, sometimes I come before God with, what I consider to be BIG PRAYERS.  These are prayers that I lay before His feet in complete surrender because I am not doing my part to make these things happen.  These are things that are so far outside of my control that the only way these prayers can possibly be answers are through God's grace, guidance, and provision.

These are prayers like when I prayer for someone's healing, or for a couple that is facing a trial, or a family who is struggling -- I am not necessarily doing things through my own efforts to answer my own prayers, I am just surrendering them to God, and praying His love, healing, protection, and love over them.

I know I serve a big God and big requests do not scare Him... but I don't often like to come before Him with be requests because they scare me.  I don't like to be told "No."  I don't like to ask others for favors... I like to work and earn things for myself.

I believe, coming into this fall, Hubby and I are going to be asking God for guidance and provision in a BIG PRAYER with a little bit of a timeline on it, and I'm a little nervous, but also excited to hope and wonder what He, in His love and grace, might do for us.

What are some of your big prayers?  How did God answer them?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Giving It All

Have you heard this song?

Hubby called it to my attention a month or so ago and this duo wrote this song together and then it was played at their wedding... and it is just gorgeous.

Honestly, I think it is sweet for a wedding... but I think it is sweeter for a couple who has been together a few years.  I was so touched when Hubby wanted me to listen to it, because a wedding day is one of the happiest days of a couple's life, no question.  But the vows that a couple takes, the songs that a couple has sung, the words that a couple says... they all become real in the months and years and decades that follow.  A marriage obviously has to start somewhere... and it starts on a wedding day -- but it grows, it matures, it deepens, and it strengthens with everything that comes after.  I was so touched that Hubby wanted me to listen to this song, because we are living life post-wedding day, and every day we keep striving to Give It All to each other.

I was actually disappointed when I looked for the song on youtube not to find an actual music video -- I was hoping for clips from their wedding... but I guess the song has just been released so there is no video.  But, this allows the listener to really focus on the words of the song.


Monday, July 13, 2015

A Year Later

We have friends from Colorado, who grew up in West Michigan and have since moved back to West Michigan so we only get to see them a few times a year.  They have a little girl who is about 9 months older than Tracey Ann and we enjoy getting them together when we are able.

Last year the girls went swimming:

This year the girls went to the zoo:

I can't believe how grown up these little girls look one year later!
I didn't get to go to the zoo, but Hubby and Tracey Ann had a BLAST!

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Bests

So we are now home from our stay at The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, and it was just wonderful.

My family has the tradition to share BESTS and WORSTS after trips and so I decided to share my bests along with the Best pictures of the trip.

1. I absolutely LOVE Tracey Ann, but it was SO nice to be traveling with my parents and have several hours over the course of our time up there where they were spending time with Tracey Ann, and Hubby and I got to do our own thing.  On Wednesday morning, Tracey Ann ate her breakfast with us and then we handed her off to my parents, who had already finished eating, so Hubby and I could enjoy our 4 course breakfast at a relaxed, leisurely pace.  By the time we finished breakfast, Tracey Ann was getting ready for a nap, so she napped in Grammie and Papa's room while they enjoyed Wimbledon Tennis, and Hubby and I went off and rented a tandem bicycle, biked around the entire island, and explored Mackinac Island's main street all while Tracey Ann napped.  We have not enjoyed carefree vacation time like that with just each other in over a year-and-a-half, and it was wonderful.  Also, after dinner one night, we get Tracey Ann in her pajamas, and she went to Grammie and Papa's room while Mama and Daddy spent 20 minutes dancing to the live band playing.  We didn't need to spend hours dancing the night away, but it was such a treat for us to listen to the live music, make a request, and dance to three or four songs, knowing that Tracey Ann was having a blast with my parents.

2. It was so enjoyable to be on VACATION together as a family with Hubby, Tracey Ann, and my parents.  Hubby and I see my parents several times a year, but to actually be away, at the LOVELY, relaxing Grand Hotel, where no one needs to plan any meals, and no one brings any work was such a treat.  We enjoyed amazing meals, time in the pool, time walking around the grounds of the hotel, and the island, time in our rooms, time watching Wimbledon tennis, time dancing, time napping, and time playing.  It was just such a treat.

3. We stayed at The Grand Hotel for TWO NIGHTS.  My parents have been to the Grand Hotel a handful of times before -- it is my mom's favorite place to vacation, and I have been there twice as a child.  We have always stayed for one night.  We get up early and drive the five hours up to Mackinaw City, get on the island by mid-day, enjoy the hotel, have a lovely dinner, get up and have a wonderful breakfast, enjoy a little more of the hotel, and then pack and leave the island and drive the five hours back home.  The Grand Hotel is a very expensive place to stay and so we would plan our time accordingly and use our time wisely and stay one night.  Well, this trip we were able to take advantage of a special promotion and Hubby and I convinced my parents that we should all stay two nights because to go up there with Tracey Ann and all her accessories, and knowing that Hubby had never been on the island before, for just one night really would not make as much sense as settling in and enjoying two full nights there.  I am SO GLAD we made that decision to stay two nights.  I was able to show Hubby parts of the island, Tracey Ann was able to settle into a routine, and we were all able to enjoy wonderful, unique parts of the beautiful hotel.  Hubby and I said to each other over and over how incredibly glad we were that we had all decided to stay two nights.

Those were the BESTS.  Check out The Grand Hotel for your own wonderful Mackinac Island experience.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mackinac Island Pictures

We have had a wonderful time on Mackinac Island at the Grand Hotel.

 The Grand Hotel world famous world's longest porch behind us

"Who needs the pool when I can play in the fountain?"

I love this place...

All dressed up for dinner

Dancing with Grammie and Papa

"How does my sticker look?"

Our lovely romantic breakfast while Grammie and Papa watched Tracey Ann

 Remember telephone booths?

A beautiful view of the Mackinac Bridge from our bike ride

Grand Hotel carriage... no vehicles on the island -- only horses and bicycles

"It won't be a perfect marriage; I can't afford a carriage, but you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two."

With my parents watching Tracey Ann during our bike ride, we felt like we were on our honeymoon.

Riding a tandem was quite a test of marriage...

Tracey Ann always wanted to watch the horses from our window... she would have done this all day.

We had SUCH a wonderful time!!!