Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Making a List

Around December 20th, I took a look at the week and a half of Christmas break and had grand ambitions.

~Paint the back family room, a lofty goal indeed
~Get my website updated and organized
~Bag and Tag 200 bags
~Clean out the storage room
~Clean off my desk
~Get my Christmas pictures of the boys in frames
~Actually write a Christmas letter
~Add the three new wetbag styles I have had sitting downstairs for, oh, months
~Watch a few movies with Josh
~Start exercising
~Do my Bible lesson for the next coffee break...so I am not doing it the night before
~Clean out the playroom

Such grand, grand intentions. None of this list has been accomplished, but it is only Wed. right?

I have been doing lots of fun and relaxing, so I suppose that is a good thing. Playing with the kids' new toys, going to Chicago, hanging with extended family, and pretty much everything except working or cleaning the house. It is Toys R' Us over here.

Maybe I should just concentrate on one or two of these as opposed to trying to tackle the entire list?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

How did this kid get SO big? He looks like he is ten!

Friday, December 26, 2008


Lots of fun, laughing, and relaxing. Kayden was far less concerned with what was inside than ripping open the package as quickly as possible and begging for the next round. He loves to open presents.

We ate well. Dieting starts Thursday, right?

My little guy has been ready to crawl for a while. The picture above is taken four weeks ago. Content to just sit and watch, his easy-going disposition is an even trade for being a late bloomer.
One glance at him, and this is what I get in return-

.....except when trying to get Christmas pictures in the sleigh.




Hope you had a wonderful Christmas as well! Rejoicing over the birth of our Savior with family and these two precious boys was joyous indeed.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Josh.

Most of you know how Josh and I met, and someday I will actually sit down and write it all out for those of you that don't. For today, though, I want to fast forward to Christmas, the first time we saw each other again after I flew out to CA to meet him.

He had just met my family, and was standing in the kitchen of my mother's house with my brother. It was late in the evening, I want to say even early morning, and Josh was just headed back to his parents house to sleep. After he left, I overheard this conversation.

My brother turned to my mom, and said he really liked Josh.

Mom: Why do you say that? Is there something that makes you say that?

Brother: Well, every time Jamie is in the room, he is watching out for her. He can't take his eyes off her. I can just tell he really loves her.

Thank you for moving to Michigan when you really (really) did not want to.

Thank you for holding my hand in the airport, obsessing with me as I clutched that tiny ultrasound picture of Kayden after his twin was lost.

Thank you for not taking the two stunning prostitutes up on their offer in Hawaii.

Thank you for always being willing to help out in any way that you can. I never hesitate to offer your services because I know without a doubt you would drop anything to help someone.

Thank you for letting me socialize (sometimes at great length) after church.

Thank you for these two wonderful beings that are my life. You are a good dad.

Thank you for supporting me every step of this beautiful journey.

9 years later. Thank you for still loving me like that.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Confession: Tonight I was tempted to dig out the Melting Pot Certificate and use it. MMMM...chocolate. Maybe we should set a date in January?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oh, but it hurts....

Tonight we went to a basketball game, first of the season.

As soon as we sat down, Kayden spotted kids playing on the court that runs parallel to where the game resides, so I told Josh to watch and we headed down so he could run around.

After a few minutes of standing shyly by, soon Kayden felt comfortable enough to start running the length of the court. A little while later he spotted a group of all girls his age, and I settled in with Bryce to watch the game.

I watched as three of the girls ran under the bleachers and Kayden hesitantly stood at the entrance. I got up and walked over.

"Can I go find the girls, mom?"

"Yeah, that is fine with me," I said, glancing into the darkness. I ticked off in my head all the things that could go wrong with letting him go.

What if he gets to the other side and does not know how to come back, what if he hits his head on a beam, what if he gets scared of the dark, what if , what if, what if.

He turned to me, weariness in his eyes seen through the shadow of the bleachers. "You come," he pleaded, teetering on the edge of independence.

"No, go ahead, honey."

I watched as he hesitantly lifted his foot up and jumped over the metal divider, his little shadow hopping into the darkness, a small piece of dependency slipping by.

I almost started crying.

Fast forward two quarters. Kayden has now linked comfortably into group of said small girls, two of them daughters of another coach. Kayden has shared his cars (no small feat in my book, as they are prized possessions), and they have been chasing each other around most of the game using the floor lines as roads.

At one point, the girls huddled into soccer nets positioned against the walls proclaiming they were "girl forts". Two of the girls linked their faux fur coats into the holes of the nets, hanging neatly in the "closet". Wanting to be included, Kayden climbed under the netting to induct himself part of the club.

You know when you sit back and watch as a parent, and it is so hard to NOT step in? This was one of those moments.

I look and Kayden is standing in the netting, and by that I mean he had his nose mashed into the goal post, part of his upper lip being lifted by the bright yellow netting. He is staring at the game, singing some sort of odd tune only he can hear shifting side to side.

One of the little girls yelled, "Get out of here, only girls allowed".

"Leave him alone, I know him." said one of the siblings.

It took all within me to let them work it out.

I look back and all the girls start filing out from said fort to jump to another goal.

Kayden still standing with his mouth in the net. Oblivious.

"It kills you to see them grow up, but I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't." Barbara Kingsolver

It is hard to let go.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Great Wolf Lodge

After seeing Chelle's excellent adventure to Splash Universe, we thought we might like to travel there for an overnight visit for my 30th birthday.

Until we read the reviews.

Something about how the water looked like "a sea of people" in almost every comment gave us pause.

Off to Great Wolf we went instead. That place is an experience.

We were so blessed to arrive to an empty hotel. Rows of vacant chairs and lifeguards waiting for us to ride. I even got an hour "just Kayden and mom" time late Friday night. I love that.

Bryce decided against sleeping during the night, so Josh was wandering the halls with him. The night manager was slipping bills under the door as Josh turned the corner. Needless to say, he was not expecting a 6'8" dude. Bribery ensued when he brought Wolfie as an apology.

I have heard wonderful things about Great Wolf, and I could not have been happier with our stay. It is an experience. From the rooms to the hallway decorations, the water park, the milk and cookies brought by "Big Wolfie". We loved it. Already planning a trip back.

A few pictures:

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Santa: What would you like for Christmas, little boy?

Kayden: Um, like, I think I would love chicken nuggets for Christmas.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

He falls down,

so I make fun of him.


I run in front of him in the picture, shouting "I am cuter!"

...all the time.

I elbow him because "he's touching me."

I put my hands over his eyes...

and yet he still loves me most of all. No one else can get him to laugh with a single glance.

Little Brothers are great, huh?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A little late, but fitting this Thanksgiving week

About two and a half weeks ago, my mom had ear surgery. This was her third one in three years; toughest yet. Long story short, it was worse in the ear than originally thought and led to a longer surgery than expected. Coupled by them being 2 hours behind in the first place, I felt bad for my mom as she had not eaten and I am sure she just wanted to get it over with.

After she came out of surgery, my dad asked if I could go downstairs to get her prescription from the pharmacy before they closed. I know the hospital well, but somehow I ended up backwards. I finally came out into the lobby, which I had passed through earlier in the day with no feeling whatsoever. However, something about being back in that spot with no one around almost brought me to my knees.

My heart started pounding faster and faster, and my eyes started welling up with tears. I could feel my breathe catch. It is amazing how one place can do that to you.

I remember sitting by the edge of the fountain, looking down at all the quarters strewn about the bottom and smelling that odd smell every fountain emits.

I remember seeing the pennys and nickels intermingled inside the fake plants surrounding the edge of the water, and wondering if those people got their wish.

I remember pleading with God to heal Bryce's heart.

I remember taking Kayden to that same spot later in the morning, leaning in next to him as he threw in his own quarter, saying "Please heal Baby Boy." My eyes get watery just thinking about it.

I cannot say for certain why that fountain brought about such strong emotions, since we have been back a few times since. Something about the quiet of the hospital at night, when visitors have gone home and the badge of courage has dissipated. I do know this- I started praising and thanking God profusely. Time has passed, the danger does not seem as present as it did that early morning when I pleaded at that fountain.

I guess my point is that this week, it is a good reminder of all I am thankful for.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This Blog sucks

Whew. Long time without a post. Sorry, blogger nation.

I turned 30 years old this past week. My dad lovingly took me to the Rockettes. This is far more MY type of show than his, but in the end he really enjoyed it.
Walking downtown, there were a surprising amount of people filing into the Van Andel. We arrived very early- about 45 minutes, in fact. We watched as almost every seat was taken. Ice skating, Santa flying through the air, snowing on the audience, fireworks...I was impressed, since I thought it would be an hour of kicking and wiggling.
On my actual birthday, it was a preschool day. I used to have a very hard time getting Kayden ready for school. He putzed around, and I would have to fight him to get dressed.
Enter: the beloved shopping cart.
He is ready to go out the door to preschool at seven am now.
The minute we get to school, he throws his coat and bag at me while walking up the steps, and runs down the hall. He immediately grabs the shopping cart, where he tries to craft one-handed while holding onto it.
We went to Great Wolf Lodge on Friday, I will post some pictures soon. Really fun time, although both the boys are sick now. With the RSV scare we had last year, I could hardly sleep last night, thinking every cough was going to land us back in the dreaded ER again.
Anyway, I really had a great birthday, so thanks to all the well-wishers!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Special Day

The crackers and cheese were bought with care. Juice boxes for 15 students lined the fridge, all ready for preschool friends. Tembo the Elephant book was looked over twice, then Tembo himself tucked in neatly next to Kayden before bed.

5am I awoke to a snuggly little boy asking for water. One glass of water down,

one glass of water right back up.

It sucks to miss your special day.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pepsi's new logo

Obama's logo

Hmmm...look similar?


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Opening Presents

Opening presents this evening, all the sudden I had one thrust into my lap.

"I don't want this medical kit, Mom. You can give it to Baby Boy."

Ouch. Honesty. That hurts.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Pumpkin Bowling

Watch out VanDam twins. There's a new man in town

I could not have asked for a nicer day for Kayden's Birthday party. It was perfect.

We went to Orchard Hills farm, and this was probably the most fun I have had at any of his birthday parties (okay, there have only been four, but still). The farm had enough to do that we weren't bored, the kids were all at the age where they self entertained and got along really well, Kayden was spoiled yet again with tons of fun toys to play with, great pumpkin donuts and cider, we did not have to wait for the hayride....

Here are a few of my favorites from today. I posted almost all of them on facebook for those that attended and would like to see your kiddos in action.

Once we got home, Kayden took out his big wheel and was going up the driveway, then bakcwards on the way down. That is, until he topped end to end because he got going too fast.

"It would be much better to go up the driveway, then back down forward and not backwards."

Good idea.

Friday, October 17, 2008

You remember the picture from when I was younger, right?
Just to refresh your memory, here it is again for those of you that missed this nugget the first time around:

Needless to say, the boys were not knocking down the doors.

My Friday nights constisted of sitting next to my cassette player, pressing play, rewind, rewind again, rewind a little more.


That first verse, sung in full falsetto, from New Kids on the Block still brings me back to that very minute.

Oh, Jordan. You had me at "I'll be Loving You Forever."

There are other songs that I love to reminisce to as well.

Boys to Men End of the Road still lends itself to sweaty palms waiting to be asked to dance at the church 8th grade mixer. See said picture above for answer.

Bob Seger We've Got Tonight when my best friend Gabby had to go back to Mexico.

The Cure Pictures of You, Depeche Mode Somebody, or Hootie and the Blowfish Only Lonely on the Inside from the mixer tape Josh sent to scan the 3,000 mile gap between us.

anything by Journey.

However, none capture it quite like NKOTB, as it was the first. Writing "I love Joey" on the whiteboard with my sixth grade friends. Good times.

So, while I was watching the Rachel Ray show today and there were mid-thirty somethings still swooning after them, I kind of get it. However, more than one audience member was kissing their Donnie Barbie Doll.

And that, blogger nation, disturbes me.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Which one is which?

Lately, I have been told multiple times that my boys look exactly alike. Can you tell which one is which?
1 2