Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Good Times

You know when someone looks familiar, and you just can't place them? You should know who the person is, but just cannot remember how.

It happens more than I would like to admit. It's a family trait. Matter of fact, my dad has a shirt that reads "Don't worry. I forgot your name, too." Nothing gets more attention than that shirt when we are in public. You watch strangers read it and start chuckling.

It happened this weekend when I was at the store. I knew Amy; she looked so familiar, but we could not place how we knew each other.

Did she play co-ed softball? No, that wasn't it.

Was she friends with my brothers? Nope.

Kids at the school Kayden goes to? Nope, not that either.

Our church? No

An old workplace? No

Family Friend? No

Finally, high school was mentioned.

15 years ago (EEEK!), I went to high school with her. I asked her who she hung out with.

A single name, one I vividly remember, and the memory flooded back.

I was twelve years old at the time. My mom and dad were going away, which did not happen often. I hardly ever remember a time where my parents left and I was alone with a friend.

I begged my parents to let us eat at Pizza Hut. Before you get the misconception that it is a far off adventure, the reality was that it was at the end of the street (about three houses away).

After much pleading, they finally agreed.

My friend L and I took off skipping down the road, sure we stepping towards independence and maturity in one outing sans parents.

While we were eating at Pizza Hut, L saw a group of girls that did not like her. Something about a boy, if I remember correctly. After many scowls and glares back and forth, I remember the feeling of terror and nervousness as the furied brows turned into banter back and forth.

We hurried and packed the pizza up to head home, and as we were leaving we turned around to see that same group of girls following us. Yelling loudly that they were going to beat us up. I was not sure if they were threats or full intentions, but I was too chicken to dawdle and find out.

The most wonderful thing happened. Walking past the entry to Pizza Hut, on their nightly walk, were my next door neighbors. We hooked up with them and talked to them the rest of the way home like nothing happened.

After chatting for a few more minutes in my backyard, my neighbors went home, leaving us alone to let our guards fall doing trampoline tricks.
Just in time for that group of girls to run wildly at us, hollering about "eating fists".

I screamed as loud as I could muster, jumped off the trampoline, and sprinted towards the door to the house. I honestly cannot even remember how we got inside, but I was scared. Wait. That is an understatement. I was terrified.

Eventually, my parents came home, and called the girls' parents. Three headlights roared down our street, each one transporting a girl made to apologize to us.

Back to present.

I sat there and debated whether I should bring up the story to Amy, who was still trying to place who I was.

I did, and we had a good laugh. She remembered the story, and it was honestly funny coming full circle with her. It almost felt good to see how far we have come since that day.

Makes me wonder (esp. now with facebook) if you have had any reconciliations or past connections?

Monday, January 25, 2010


They are both looking at the camera, and not crying.

I consider that a success.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Celebrity Sighting

Year: 1999

I was visiting Josh out in California. We decided to go to a football game, the first of the season. As I looked around the stands, something occurred to me that had never been in the forefront of my mind before.

Josh and I (along with his two friends) were the only white people at the game.

I had never realized just how, well, white our community was until that game. It was like the blinders were removed and I realized not all communities are full of mostly white people. Don't get me wrong- I am Dutch. I love this "Dutch Community". I just had never been aware of how non-diverse it was before.

Kayden reminded me again of that tonight.

We went to Josh's first girl's basketball game at Legacy. I watched as a black gentleman, wearing a navy pin stripe suit, came and sat down next to us. His hair was cropped short and he was carrying a black briefcase.

Thinking we were in the presence of the Commander in Chief, Kayden pointed to him and yelled to my mom "Grandma, do you like Barack Obama?"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Shoes

Do any of you participate in Coke rewards?

Between Amber's family, my parents, and us, we drank enough Coke to get Bryce a free pair of Jordans.

That is a lot of Coke (2000 points worth).

We went to the East Kentwood basketball game last week, and all Josh wanted was one picture of the boys with their new matching shoes. As you can see, they were not cooperating.

We did manage to snap this one picture of them all together. At least Josh looks good!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Plant: Meet Cali, the puppy.

Poor Plant.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Our Life, in Pictures

Alternatively titled: So many pictures your retina's might bleed.

10 years.

A decade.

Wow, that went by in a blink.

As I was preparing for this post, looking back over old pictures, so many wonderful memories come to mind. More for my own purpose than anyone else's, I thought I would document a few of the highlights.

Location: Ontario airport. It was the first time I met Josh, and this was taken before I boarded the plane.

I cried the whole way home, even though he was visiting a month later for Christmas.

Thus became our life. Anticipating our time together, seeing each other for a week, and then profound sadness when it came time to leave. Oh, how I hated leaving.

This picture is from our wedding. I just loved how it captured the church.

Beads and lace and tiaras, oh my!

Blond hair for both

Our first apartment in Redlands. My parents rented this mini-van and we drove to San Fran.

Taken in San Fran.

The Herman Miller Picnic, 2003

Josh mocking my dad and how high he wears his pants. No idea why they are inside out.

Visiting for Christmas 2003

Josh's sisters wedding 2004

The old classroom, with air cranked full blast.

Carmelo the dog. We got him and found out we were pregnant the next week. Go figure.

Our backyard, large by CA standards.

The city of Redlands. This has to be summer, because it is pretty smoggy.

2 Coral Court. Seven Eleven was kitty corner, and we walked to get Slurpees at least three times a week.

Josh's banners for Boys Basketball:-)

Just found out we were pregnant with Kayden

Met my parents in Vegas
My parents took us all on a trip to Myrtle Beach when I was about six months pregnant.
We are just a barrel of laughs, huh?
Baby Shower for K.

Our first Christmas with Kayden

Right before we moved to Michigan

The car that we owned for one month. Josh was hit by a drunk driver.

Summer of 2006

Turning ONE and loving life.
Pregnant with Brycer

With our new little baby.

In honor of our anniversary, Josh surprised me by gathering our friends at Applebees for dinner. Chelle put up some great pictures here. As my gift, he planned a surprise trip to NYC with two friends. I am still shocked he pulled it off without my knowing!

Some of you may know that my Grandpa Van is my hero. He died a few years after we were married, but I always had a special relationship with him. He was known for being a teaser; always in a nice way.

Right after I got back from my first visit to CA and meeting Josh, I went to visit my grandparents. I took along a picture of Josh and I in front of the Santa Monica Ferris Wheel to show them my new love.

He looked at it for a while, then looked back up at me. With a twinkle in his eye, he said "How did you get him?"

I honestly still don't know.

I am blessed and fortunate that I get to spend this "beautiful thing we call life" with someone as great as Josh.

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Ten years ago, we made that promise.

My sincere hope is we have forty more as great as the first ten.