Cousins, Bowling and Pizza

As the family continues to grow and the kids get older and more independent, it’s bittersweet to see what changes and what stays the same.  For the past several years, the U.P. cousins get together at some point during our time up north to go bowling and have pizza!

Here’s a group photo from 2013 where we gathered at Aunt Gretchen’s house for a little laughter and karaoke following our bowling.  It’s amazing to see the changes in each of these kiddos!


Here’s the snap from this year!  Thankfully we’ve begun including more extended cousins, and those who are now grown-up and living far away were able to make it back!


When I needed to pull some photos together this past summer, I realized that there’s a definite lack of pictures of the whole crew.  My guess is that’s that case for most families, where the parents are busy snapping pics of the kids and their activities.

So, we all joined in for a big group photo!  Though the parents usually congregate and chat, I’m guessing in a few years we’ll have to join in to add a new dynamic to this Christmas tradition!


His Growing Sense of Humor


I am so thankful to share my love of reading and books with my little guy.  Though it shouldn’t surprise me, one of my favorite series has become truly one of his as well.  Not too long ago, Calder finished the final Harry Potter book in the original series.  Given that we’re juggling school and activities, we’re finding scraps of time to work through the newest one – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Last weekend, I attended NCTE and brought Calder’s copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them so I could be ready for our movie outing.  Today, was the perfect combination of relaxation and rest with a hint of productivity.

As I watched and listen to Calder and his friend chat on the way to the movie, it struck me just how much he’s growing up.  Last night, he was particularly slap-happy and on a bit of role with his quirky sense of humor.  Today, it was more of the same.  My favorite, was when we were headed out of the theater and I told the boys they could get a refill of their drinks if they wanted.

Me: Calder, just a bit, Buddy!  Fill it half full.

C: (smiling) Mom, I’m not an optimist.

Me: (pausing, while it registers, then smiling myself) Well, then leave it half empty!

This kid!  He fills the air with so many words and there will soon come a day when I will long for the endless commentary and wry sense of humor.  I can only pray that he will still be willing to share!

Birthday Blessing

There are so many times I wish I would have posted something. Instead of thinking about it today and allowing this amazing day of my adorable husband’s birthday go by again unrecorded, I thought I’d share this quick pic we snapped during a beautiful afternoon! 

It was the perfect fall day and a reminder of all that’s good and right and fulfilling about this little life we’ve built.

I love you more than you know, Babe! 

Checking in

It’s been a while, but I’m still here. I’m down nearly 20lbs to date and I feel good. This journey has not been without struggles as we’ve been riding an emotional roller coaster. 

I can tell that I’m beginning to feel the slide…meaning, I’m less motivated to track my food and now that school has started there are demands on my time that are keeping me sedentary.  

The other interesting factor is that just about the time my clothes feel loose and people begin to notice my weight loss, I start to feel somewhat entitled to that extra helping of whatever.  So, I’m here to remind myself to stay the course. I have 14 pounds to reach my first goal, and hopefully another 20 or so beyond that. 

I’m hoping to join a gym soon to keep me motivated and moving!! And spiritually, I’m leaning in and waiting on the Lord for His perfect timing in my life. He knows my heart and is using these trials to perfect my faith in Him!!

First Day of School!! 

Summer Projects


Last winter, the kids and I went to a silent auction in town. One of our middle school students was facing a major medical condition and the community rallied around them in support. 

We bid on horseback riding which we did last August, and a 3-pack of model cars. This week, Garth got them out to tackle one and Calder loves the focused work and special time with his Dad!! 

I’m also happy to report that our student has seen a full recovery and is doing very well!!