Our years together

We celebrated our 7th anniversary running this year!  I somehow talked Rob into running the Grand Rapids 1/2 marathon with me!  I was excited about it, but didn't really realize the significance until afterwards.  It was the first time that Rob has run that far (and we don't often get to run together since we usually take turns with watching the kiddos) and the last time that I'll run that far during this pregnancy.  Both of us felt fantastic the whole race!  We have always celebrated our anniversaries, but unlike most of them, we both agreed that this will be an exceptionally memorable one where we will always recall what we did on the day of our anniversary... versus several days and/or weeks earlier or later in order to celebrate it.

I honestly never thought we'd be where we are today, and yet I couldn't be happier!  First of all, I never saw myself as a SAHM and yet, the past two years being home with the kids has changed and blessed my our life more than I could have ever imagined!  Secondly, for years we were certain that we were complete with two children, but God knew all along that he'd change our hearts.  It was almost like the kids always knew, but we just hadn't caught on!  Needless-to-say, the past seven years of my life have been more filling,  rewarding, exciting and unpredictable than I could have dreamed!  I can't wait to experience what God has in store for our eighth and every year beyond!

Here are a few pictures of us from the years past.


Night we got engaged

Wedding (2004)

At Dan & Marriane's wedding a month after we had Madisyn (2005)



Boston (2008)

Dave Matthews Band Concert

Rob's surprise birthday party (2010)
Whitecaps Game
Zeeland Zoom 5k

GR 1/2 marathon, pre-race
GR 1/2 marathon, end of race

We don't get out very often...

And when we do, we always forget to take pictures... but not this time!

The rare picture of the two of us.

Cliff, Bob, Mike & Rob (all co-workers of Robs)

A little golf...

In the backyard (thanks to Aunt Shell) :)

LD & Aunt Shell

Mickey Mouse made by Madisyn

Madisyn & Aunt Shell

Daddy getting in on the game

Landon perfecting his stroke

I am amazed at how much the kiddos LOVE these clubs!

LD's first day of preschool

He's been waiting in anticipation since he was done with "three-school" last year! We were fortunate that Landon got the same teacher at Hudsonville Christian as Madisyn had, so he already knows her and loves her! Today we got to go together and I wish I had taken more pictures because his face was glowing the entire time!

Here is Madisyn two years ago!
And both of them on Madisyn's first day of pre-school (*tear*)

I'm just not ready...

For my baby girl to be gone at school five days every week! I loved our little break that we had last year between school days. Days to wear our pj's all day, go for walks, go on playdates, build indoor forts or outdoor snow forts, days just to be together. Although a bit late, I'm now cherishing summer break and weekends more than ever. I do know, however, that she's more than ready for everyday school. My main concern was her naps, but the past two days, we've gotten cuddle time when she got home and she's fit in an hour or so nap. Works for mama!

I'm also cherishing the amazing time that Landon and I have together. I'm reminded of how fortunate I am to be a SAHM and to be able to spend my days with my youngest (for now), one-on-one, just the two of us! As much as he loves his sister, he really loves when he gets mommy time! When it's just the two of us, he's truly is an angel, and I realize how much I would have missed out on if I hadn't quit working.

Our little runner girl!

Madisyn is officially signed up for the Helen Devos Children's Hospital Grand Rapids Kids Marathon! She has been asking for some time if she could do a race (especially every time she sees other kids doing races) and she loves to run at the track with Rob and I when we do track workouts. So, when I saw this, I knew she'd be excited about it... and excited she was! The first two days she ran a total of three miles! And everyday since, she asks me in the morning when we can go running. The objective is to run a total of 25 miles before race day and complete the final 1.2 miles in the race on October 15th (for a total of 26.2 miles, official marathon distance).

The best part is, she and I have gotten to spend some quality one-on-one time together. While running her last quarter of a mile the other night she said, "This is fun... talking and chit-chatting!" It made me want to melt! Not to mention, that's exactly one of the reasons that I run... to talk and catch-up with friends!

We're so proud of you, baby girl!

School lunch? School smunch.

Since last summer, Madisyn and I have been brainstorming school lunch ideas for her. She doesn't care for sandwiches (Subway and turkey and cheese roll-ups are suitable, but PB&J or ham and cheese, forget about it). Needless to say, it was getting difficult to come up with new ideas by year-end. Which brings me to this year... twice as many lunches to prepare (thank you Thermos) and two snacks every day! At least I have won one battle, by convincing her to take hot lunch one day/week :) Anyway, since being motivated by Jen @ IHeart Organizing, I decided to get the ball rolling. Here's a preview of Madisyn's school lunch drawer:

All of the snacks are two deep, except the granola bars, which are four deep.

Refrigerated snacks (carrots are in those foggy bags):

And while I was at it, I took a picture of some of our other food cabinets... just because. I know this drawer will make some cringe. Yes, there are times when we eat pre-packaged pasta meals (Cheddar Broccoli Knorr is M's favorite), but we don't usually have mac & cheese in the house... go figure.

Breakfast drawer, with individual portions of cereal on the left, ready to add milk if desired, although generally we do yogurt, fruit, protein shakes (milk, yogurt, banana, peanut butter), waffles, pancakes and/or eggs for breakfast.

One of my temporary pantry shelves (my new pantry is in the making :)).

Definition of Cookie

Cook-ie [kook-ee]
Proper Noun
1. Temporary name of our beloved third child, affectionately named after Cookie Monster by the elder brother whom already adores his soon-to-be sibling.
2. Name that fits the question, "Where's Cookie?" "In Mommy's tummy!"

Picture courtesy of the talented big sister at 15w 3d (to be exact)

(photograph by Tina Vink, link on picture as well as below)
We are a busy family of five! I enjoy time with my husband and kids, running, being outdoors, shopping for deals, and cuddling. My wonderful husband keeps busy playing with the kiddos, hunting, fishing, exercising and working on projects around the house. Madisyn is six, in 1st grade, loves being outdoors and isn't one bit afraid of bugs or worms! Landon is four, a spitting image of Daddy, and is the sweetest, naughtiest and funniest little boy, all in one! Tinley was born February 24, 2012 and has already blessed us beyond belief! Here's a glimpse into our crazy and wonderful lives... hope you enjoy!

Tiece of Cake

I've finally decided to make a blog (Tiece of cake) dedicated to cakes... as to not consume the family blog.

(photograph by Mindy Leigh Photography, link on picture as well as below)

Madisyn Grace

Madisyn Grace
"Baby" & "M" (photograph by Melissa @ M Design and Photography, link on picture as well as below)

Landon Adrian

Landon Adrian
"LD" & "Bubba" (photograph by Melissa @ M Design and Photography, link on picture as well as below)