Monday, December 31, 2012

Hello Saugatuck!

Saugatuck is a waterfront town just a few miles south of Holland. We had heard it was really cute and artsy, and you guys... it's flippin' adorable. It reminded us so much of Shepherdstown, WV (one of our favorite spots back in WV) that it made us feel a little homesick. I'm so excited we only live about 10 minutes from its downtown! Though I don't think we'll be able to really fully enjoy it until spring and summer roll around. The wind coming off Lake Michigan is so, so cold.

The best place to go when it's too cold to be outside is a great coffee shop (actually, if you know Matt and I, anytime is a great time to visit a coffee shop. We're coffee shop nerds. It's the first thing we look for in a new town, and our judgement of a town is usually as good as their coffee shop is! So be prepared to see lots of redundant pictures of coffees, lattes and roasting machines, etc.)

We found "Uncommon Grounds" in downtown Saugatuck and it was so nice (though really crowded. I guess everyone wanted somewhere warm and cozy to hang out in the cold!) They offer 2 hour classes for $15 that teach how to do latte art, roast beans and distinguish between different origins and roasts. One day when/if we find a babysitter, Matt and I would love to attend.


I have so much I want to write about and lots of pictures to share, but since it's New Year's Eve, I thought I'd take a minute to jot down what my hopes are for this fresh new 2013.

I've always been your typical resolution maker. "I resolve to lose X amount of weight this year." Or "I resolve to read X amount of chapters from the Bible every day this year." Etc, etc. Always big, difficult goals that leave very little room for flexibility and generally leave one feeling like a failure come February. This year, I've found myself reflecting on more subtle things that I want to grow in and incorporate more of into 2013, rather than setting hard goals for myself.

I want to love more in 2013. I want to be more creative, and more thoughtful in how I love those closest to me and those I've yet to meet in my new community this coming year. I want to send more letters and cards, bake cookies for neighbors, take more time to do projects with just Olive, and challenge myself in new ways to be the best helpmeet I can be to my husband. People and relationships are so important, so precious. I want to invest more love in the people God has put in my life this year.

I want to be bold and brave in 2013. I'm a shy person. Introverted and awkward are two of my top descriptive adjectives. I'm also a nervous wreck most of the time. Driving in a new place scares me. New social situations scare me. Being alone scares me. I want to embrace who I am in the Lord's grace, and walk forward in His confidence as we meet new people and hopefully start new friendships here in Michigan. I want His light and His love to replace the insecurities and awkwardness and fear that are so dominant in me, and be what those around me notice most.

I want to be more creative in 2013. I'm considering doing some sort of 365 photography project here, to challenge myself to get more creative with my camera. I love taking pictures, but with less free time post-children, and the convenience of iPhone-photography, I find myself picking up my camera less and less. I want to journal more this year. I want to actually try some of the projects I pin onto my DIY Pinterest board! I want to keep up with this blog and make it something special for my kids to look back on in years to come.

I want to explore and adventure in 2013. We finally did what I've dreamed of doing most of my life - we're in a new place, in a new state, in a totally different part of the country than either Matt or I have ever lived in before. All we have is God and each other at the moment, and it's a frightening, beautiful, exciting thing. Everything is brand new and waiting to be explored and I can't wait to discover everything this town and area has to offer with Matt, Olive and Silas. I want to take the kids to the beach, ride the train to Chicago, visit all the parks in Holland, find all the coffee shops, get to know the librarians by name, join a yoga class, go on bike rides... The list could go on and on.

I am tremendously excited for 2013, and all the adventures it promises!

Happy, happy New Year to you!

Sunday, December 30, 2012


I hope you had a wonderful, warm Christmas celebration! We spent last Christmas week moving to west Michigan! It's hard to believe that we're finally here, in our new house. When we drive around, it's hard to switch from the "we're just visiting" to "we actually live here" mindset.

So far, we really love it. Though everyone was right about the cold (it's pretty darned cold.) And it's quite the odd feeling to know you're somewhere where nobody knows you and that you are far, far away from anyone that you know and love. But overall, the overwhelming feeling is that we feel incredibly blessed to have this chance at a great adventure, and are very excited to get to know our new city and make it "home."

Saturday, December 22, 2012

December Ipsy

All in all, it was another great bag! (I love love love the Mirabella primer!)
This is my last "ipsy" post as I'm taking a break from the subscription.
However, I would highly recommend them to anyone who likes pretty surprises in their mailboxes!
(Not an endorsed post by the way. I just really enjoyed the service!)
After I get moved and settled again I might try a new subscription box service, so I'll keep you posted.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Just Another "Currently" Update

my kids adore each other - sometimes.

Wearing: my favorite American Apparel pocket skirt, a cozy boxy pullover from Forever 21 and purple tights. Because color makes me happy.

Playing: Sufjan Stevens' "Songs for Christmas" which may have just become my new favorite Christmas album. It's really good.

Baking: cookies. Matt and Olive made three batches tonight to send out as gifts. My house smells like heaven. 

Making: progress with the packing. We're just about done, and it's a wonderful, bittersweet, scary and exciting feeling as I watch the house empty out. It'll be totally empty by Friday - eeks.

Singing: this...


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I'm Still Alive.

this is how i feel about packing with two whiny, adorable blonde babies clinging to my legs. actually, that's how I feel about having a giant zit on the side of my nose. (yikes.) anyhow.

You guys.

Packing up a house by yourself with two needy babies is so not fun.

Boy am I tired. But it's almost done and I'm looking forward to 
saying "see you in Michigan" to my furniture and boxes this Friday evening
and enjoying Christmas week with my loved ones!

If I get some time over the weekend, I hope to post about a delicious new recipe
and my awesome December Ipsy bag.

But you know, "if" being the key word in that sentence.

So stay tuned.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Goodbye Washington

Matt and I had the best day in Washington DC last Saturday. It was partially an early celebration of our 6th anniversary, and a farewell tour of our favorite places in the city. We wandered around Georgetown, and grabbed some really good coffee and special gluten free treats at Baked and Wired (our favorite bakery in DC! If you're ever in the city and craving something sweet, you should totally go! The employees are sweet too!)

We watched the ice skaters at Washington Harbor. We finally, after months (years?) of wanting to try it, toured the International Spy Museum (it wasn't as cool as I was hoping but I'm glad we finally went.) We ate paella at Bodega back in Georgetown, and finished the evening off by taking in the Christmas decorations and lights.

I felt just a little sad the whole day, with the thought always in the back of my head that it might be a very long time before I visit DC again. I've kind of come to think of it as "my" city over the last 10 years of living so close, and I wonder how long it will take for me the feel the same about our new city?

I really do love Washington and it holds so many precious, sentimental memories for Matt and I. It's truly a beautiful city. I still well up inside when we drive past the monuments and stately architecture and always, always feel blessed to have gotten the chance to live so close to all the history of the area. We've been to the majority of the museums, enjoyed the National Zoo several times, mastered the metro and have sampled gluten free cupcakes from probably every bakery in the city. *wink.*

Ah, I'm going to miss you DC. I'm already looking forward to coming back and visiting in the hopefully not too distant future. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Another Currently!

Guess who came down with a bladder infection?
(Yeah. ^ ^ this girl.)
Did you know bladder infections are included in the top 5 list of "worst things ever?"
Well I officially declare that they are.
I'm glad it's my first and pray that it's my very last!

Now then.

Currently, I am...

"What is the What" by Dave Eggers.
I have always been really interested in the stories of the Lost Boys of Sudan,
and while this book is emotionally difficult to get through, it's also
extremely beautiful. Raw and honest. I highly recommend.

Listening to

The creative fellow who shot and directed this video is the brother of dear friends of mine.
Olive and I have watched it probably 50 times already. It's just lovely.


Bronies: The older, male fans of My Little Pony. 
Friendship is magic. - Urban Dictionary.

I don't really "hate" that these guys love MLP (though, you know, it is pretty weird)
but my husband works for a TV website and the bronies get into
"commenting wars" with other ridiculous animation fan groups
and things get really nasty and the site ends up running into issues,
and crashing, and basically makes me
miss my precious once a week pilates class
because the bronies keep my husband working
ridiculous 14 hour days.
{End rant.}

Laughing at:

I know it's an oldie, but I love it so much!
Kristin Wiig as Taylor Swift kills me every time.


Pretty much everything that I possibly can, so I can beat this stupid infection.
Which means my kids are being babysat by the Wonder Pets
and we've been eating a LOT of PB+Js
and we all really need baths.

What are you currently up to?


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Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Freakishly Fine Day

"Get me out of this stroller, woman!"

Tuesday was freakishly warm for December. Mid 70s! Kind of weird, but hey, I'll take it! We enjoyed running (and biking) around a park in VA with my mother in law. It felt like a last "huzzah" before winter decides to finally come around.

In other exciting news - we finally found a house in MI! This thing is actually going to happen! Moving day is swiftly approaching, and there's so much to do. I have a feeling December is going to go by very swiftly.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Currently.. {link-up}

Currently I am...

Making lists, to organize my thoughts and endless to-do lists. I've also been making Christmas ornaments with my Olive girl for our little table top tree. Lots of fun. Oh, and I also spent a lot of time this week making 2013 photo calendars for our family members. That was a big project, but fun!

Thinking about how much I hate waiting. It feels like life is one big waiting game right now as we are still searching for a rental or apartment in Michigan. It is stressing me out to the point of feeling ill. But I know deep down that this is all in the Lord's hands and He will put us where He wants us to be. I am one of those people who always needs to know what the next step is - I'm a planner and worrier. This has been a good exercise for my patience and faith.

Loving these two..
Gosh I am so lucky to have them, and all the distractions and messes they make, and the laughter and snuggles they bring. So richly blessed. Being under so much stress, I lose my temper and patience way too often, and I grieve over that. I don't want to squander a moment of time or joy with these guys.
I'm also loving this letter from a mother to her young daughter.
And this vintage shop on Etsy. So good!

Cooking... Hmm, this week we cooked a big stir fry with veggies and chicken, cuban rice and beans, veggie burritos and a lot of popcorn. 

Dreaming of having a fun day in the city with my husband this weekend. It's kind of an early celebration of our 6th wedding anniversary that's coming up in about a week. We're planning on seeing some museums, drinking good coffee, eating tapas and just meandering around holding hands. Good stuff. 


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