Sunday, May 19, 2013


I'm taking a little break from blogging for at least the next week or 2. This month has been crazy, with both Matt and I traveling, and has left me totally exhausted. I need some time to play catch up in my everyday-real-life. (You should see the pile of laundry and ironing I need to get through. It is not pretty.) Some naps would be oh so nice too.

Be back soon! x

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

10 Things That Make This Girl Happy

1. Olive and Silas' faces. Especially when I haven't seen them in 2 1/2 days. Those faces have gotten an awful lot of kisses the last couple of days.

2. That last hour of the day before bed, when the kids are safely tucked away in bed and Matt and I relax together and talk. It's the best.

3. Walks at the park, with Olive pretending to be Dora the Explorer and Silas singing "Backpack, Backpack..." (which is the only song he knows as of now.)

4. My piano. I don't get the chance to play it as often as I'd like, but the times I do get to sit at it for 10-15 minutes always leave me feeling relaxed and refreshed. I was playing a bunch of songs  from Abbey Road and the kids were actually getting into it (they don't seem to like Beethoven and Chopin as much - sillies.)

5. Spaghetti squash with homemade tomato sauce. I don't know, it just really hit the spot today.

6. Sweet text messages from girlfriends.

7. Giving my kids baths. It kills my back every time, but they are so crazy in the tub that by the end I'm always in tears laughing.

8. Reading. On my long flights to and from WV I started "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak and while not a lighthearted read, it's very very good.

9. Sunsets. Our glass sliding doors face west towards the lake, and every night (that it's not raining/storming) we get the most gorgeous displays around 8:30-9pm (the sun sets late here on the edge of the time change.)

10. Those rare, quiet moments you get all to yourself, to just reflect, pray, daydream and make lists. I need more of those moments, and am thankful for the ones that I have!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mothers Day Weekend

Last weekend I flew to WV to meet up with my parents and siblings. It was a family reunion/celebration of my brother and sister's graduation this year from WVU. 

I got to see my sister's ceramics she did for her final show that were on display at a local cafe.

It was a fun trip, and it was good to see everyone, but by Sunday (Mother's Day) I 
was very ready to get home to Matt, Olive and Silas. I missed them too much.

I came home to a sparkling clean house, beautiful handmade cards from Matt and the kids
Matt made homemade bath bombs for me!
Can you believe that guy? He sure knows how to make me feel loved.

Hope YOU had a wonderful Mothers Day weekend!

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Morning On Windmill Island

We went to Windmill Island for the first time yesterday, and it is now one of my favorite places. Ever.

Granted, it's just a little kitschy, but the grounds were beautiful and the windmill is undeniably cool.

The windmill is named De Zwaan and is an actual working windmill that Holland bought from the Netherlands in 1964. Windmills are considered national monuments in The Netherlands, and there is a ban on selling them outside the country, but De Zwaan was heavily damaged in World War 2 (it was used as a military lookout) so Holland was able to purchase it (for just $2800!) It was the last real, Dutch windmill to be sold outside of The Netherlands.

We got to take a tour of it and climb its 5 stories. We walked on that balcony too and got to see the blades up close. It's not working now, but will be by next summer. They still use the windmill to produce wheat flour, which I thought was really cool.

There was a miniature model of a traditional Dutch town...

...and a merry go round that Olive got to ride all by herself.

We had so much fun, and can't wait to go back soon!

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Tulip Time puts on 3 big parades. We picked the Volksparade to attend. It was led by the Governor of Michigan, and was very, very Dutch.

It was a hot afternoon, and we all got sunburned, but it was a fun outing.

The walk home was my favorite part. Holland's neighborhoods are dreamy in spring.

A Moment of Today

Today was good.

Monday, May 6, 2013

What I Do.

Today's prompt is "if you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer "what do you do?"

(I had plans for a fun "picture-an-hour" post, (a kind of "day in the life" kind of thing) but I was at the doctor with Olive all morning. She has pneumonia and an ear infection and I've been waging war against her high fever that is being very stubborn...praying an ER trip isn't necessary later this this will have to do...)

I saw this quote yesterday, and it really struck a chord with me:

“In a child's eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.” 
― N.K. Jemisin

I don't believe that motherhood is THE greatest power in the universe, but I do believe it's a greater power than we believe it to me in the humdrum, daily grind of parenting. 

The quote choked me up because it reminded me of all the days that I am "horrible" and "filled with wrath." I have a lot of days where I feel overwhelmed and don't manage the stress well. Sometimes I yell. I'm impatient a lot. Sometimes I'm not fair. But in spite of my many flaws, my kids still love me and seek my love and approval. That's a privilege and responsibility that makes me shake in my shoes.

I guess my answer to the question "what do you do?" is: I try. 

I try to:

-Live "in the moment."

-Really listen to my kids, even when I'm tired and they're not making sense.
-Be patient.
-Not worry too much. (Hard for me.)
-Have fun with my kids.
-Be creative.
-Keep everyone healthy.
-Be a good example.

I fail all the time. But I never, ever want to stop trying.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Today's prompt was to show some love for one of our blogger friends.
And I couldn't think of many bloggers I love quite as much as this one...
(...she also happens to be my sister, so I'm admittedly a little bit biased.)

Reasons Grace rocks:

She's a pottery major at WVU and makes really, really beautiful stuff. (And I'm not just saying that because we're related!) I'm so proud of the unique style she's developed over the last 4 years!

I took a pottery class last month and it didn't take me long to realize how hard pottery is, which just make me respect Grace's dedication to her art even more. She's pretty hardcore, I mean look at her firing this extremely hot, dangerous kiln...

Another reason I'm proud of (and pretty jealous of) Grace is that she got to spend a whole semester in China, studying porcelain and Chinese. She can carry a conversation in Mandarin, which is pretty darn impressive, no?

And of course I love her most because she's one of my best friends, she loves my kids, she calls me every week and really listens to me when I need to get things off my chest, and she always knows what I'm thinking! And we kind of look alike (except her hair's 100 X more awesome. And she has gorgeous straight teeth. But anyhow...)

She's one of the kindest, most genuine, giving people you could ever meet. I'm so lucky she's my sister!

I love you Gracie! (Hope you're not mad at me for stealing photos off your facebook and instagram for this post! XOXO)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Tulip Time Is Here

Most people who know Holland, MI know it for its May festival "Tulip Time." Ever since we moved here it always comes up in conversation with people we meet. The local paper said that Tulip Time brings in about 500,000 tourists every year. Today was the first day of the festival and we walked downtown to check out some events.

We went to the Arts and Crafts festival at Centennial Park.
We quickly became claustrophobic. So. Crowded. It was hard to get around with the stroller.

It was a beautiful day to be outside for a walk, though. 
Mother Nature cooperated really nicely for Tulip Time this year!
We walked by the World's Largest Cinnamon Roll.
(612 lbs. I was most astounded that it took 670 eggs to make!)

The tulips were glorious.

Maybe it's because it's just so hard to do these kinds of things with little ones, but...
We quickly realized we much prefer Holland when it's not so crowded. 
So we went home fairly quickly and everyone took naps, and then we took it easy the rest of the day.

^^ That boy. He's obsessed with the trashcan. I need to put a pen up around it to keep him out.^^

P.S: I bought myself some flowers today and I'm in love with them. That's all.