Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kid Love:

Kid Love: when you are so excited to see your dad, that you take off at full speed when you see him come around the corner.

Goodbye Summer

So long, Summer 2010.

It's been fun.

Here are my top five favorite things about Kayden going back to school:

1. Bryce and him won't fight as much. I am tempted to list this as all five, since I am SO sick of them fighting. For some reason, they have to be right on top of each other. God forbid one of them goes to another part of the house.

2. The Target Social. One stroll through Target yesterday revealed what all the moms do while kids are in preschool/kindergarten. It was fun catching up with a bunch of people I have not seen in a while.

3. Fall weather. Don't get me wrong, I love the heat of summer. However, I am looking forward to football games, pumpkin patches, and playing outside without needing shade and gatorade.

Fall would be my absolute favorite time of the year if it didn't lead directly into winter. The temperature is perfect!

4. Kayden learning fresh and new information every day. My favorite part of a school day is during the car ride home, asking him about his school day. I love hearing how the day went from his perspective. 5 years old=brutal honesty.

5. Spending some one on one with Bryce. Getting to do all the things with him that I did with Kayden before he was born. I cherish the quiet and alone time we have, just the two of us.

Because Josh is home all summer, it is always a bittersweet time when school rolls around. It has been a great summer, and I am sad to see it go!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Camping, Revisited

After last year's camping trip, Josh and I vowed to never camp again.


As we shared our experience (the non-stop rain, 50 degree temperatures, and a son on the verge of anemia and wanting to be held all.the.time), more and more people explained that had the weather been beautiful, our entire trip would be a different experience entirely.

Last year, a friend graciously offered her pop-up after the trailer we had booked fell through. This year, the Hulst family offered their motorhome. Let me tell you- if there ever is a way to camp, this is it:

A nice size bathroom, three TVs, Queen and King size bed, enough room to lounge around....a hotel room on wheels.

Wednesday, we loaded our goods and headed to Gun Lake.
The weather was beautiful. My kids learned they loved fishing. We had a chance to take a few great bike rides. The s'mores were delicious. The company was delightful. All in all, we had a great time.

I can't say Josh and I have changed our mind about buying a trailer (it's probably never going to happen), but we did have a great time with friends.

LOVED fishing
Josh and Dan cooking supper.
The whole gang-Jelsemas, Van Dams, Dieleman's, and Birds.
Nice, shallow water.
My kid the filthiest I have ever seen him.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I am a People Watcher

People fascinate me.

I love seeing the various outfits people put together, or how they interact with each other. Sometimes at a theme park, I like to just plop down on a bench and watch people stroll by. It's weird, I know.

The Applebee's I worked at in Redlands shared the parking lot with Walmart. Often, when I was finished with my shift, I would head over to pick up some toiletry we were in need of, and in the process I would people watch.

I stumbled across this site which brings me back to the good old days of people watching at Walmart.

A few of my favorites:

There really is no place to go but up from playing a gig at Walmart, right?

I wonder how long it took her to grow her hair this long?

The sign obviously did not mean No Soliciting Dogs, right?

In all seriousness, my brother actually owned this Sylvester hat growing up. And I wanted one. No lie.

You gotta really love Michael Jackson to get this tattoo.

and my personal favorite. No shorts, no sarong....just a bathing suit as her attire for shopping in Walmart.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

What a weekend!

Amber and Justin's wedding was this past Friday. There are already ten million pictures on facebook, so I won't rehash them here:-) Just a few to recap the details...

They got married at Princeton Church. I would describe it as quaint. A large crystal chandelier hangs above the center aisle, with stained glass windows surrounding the sanctuary. Wooden beams give it the appearance of a much older church. Absolutely stunning.

Rehearsal was Thursday, and I started feeling like I was coming down with the flu. I took a bunch of medicine and went to bed around 10pm to try and ward off illness. Friday morning, the full-fledged flu hit. It was so unfortunate to wake up the morning of my brother's wedding and feel so sick.

Thankfully, around 2pm, I started feeling better. Praise God! Who would have wanted to miss this special day?

These are two of my favorite pictures of Amber and Justin.

Amber and I had talked about it before, "Whatever happens with the kids, happens." You never know how kids are going to do, and there is no pushing a two year-old down the aisle if he does not want to go.

There is one thing Brycer loves more than life itself, and that is his pacifier. Lately, he only gets it at bedtime.

I admit, I bribed him. He stood at the end of the aisle looking at me, and I dangled that pacifier. I have never seen that kid come so quick. A huge smile on his face, he was grabbing for the pacifier before he even got to the end of the pews.

My in-laws were such a huge help. Not only did they do all the flowers (for free), they also did the music AND watched my kids. The flowers were gorgeous, and they went so far beyond what I could have imagined. So perfect.

I realized, all over again, how much I love Josh. From supporting me through my illness and caring for me all day, to taking the kids countless times (without complaining) over the past year while helping Amber plan this, I know Josh is the best there is.

I think back on my own wedding day, and realize it was the day I loved him the least. I am so glad our love has grown over the past ten years, and can say I love him so much more now than on our own wedding day.

One of the best surprises of the day is Justin's wedding ring. When my Grandpa Vander Ploeg died, he left this ring to my dad. My dad then left it to Nathan.
Anyone that knows our family knows how special my Grandpa is to all of us. It was a touching and tender moment when Amber put the ring on Justin and he realized it was my Grandpa's ring--I am so glad I had a front row seat to see his reaction. What a sacrifice, Nate, to give up such a special memento to make your brother happy.

Supportive and selfless. That is how I would describe these two. We are blessed to have parents that love us more than themselves. What a great example of love we have to look at. Not only do they love us kids, they love each other still after 34 years.

They paid for all of our attire, the bachelor party, food, shoes for the kids, my hair and make-up, donuts, suspenders, plane tickets, the list seriously goes on and on....my mom and dad saved us a ton of money because they cared so much about it not being a burden for us financially. They went above and beyond to make this wedding day special for Amber and Justin and also our family.

To have the example of selfless love, set by my parents, is a gift in itself.

My other brother, Nate, rented this sweet limo. We did not know how long we would have in it, depending on time. We rode through downtown GR, and it was a blast having a few minutes alone with the bride and groom (and bridal party) before the reception. Kayden and Bryce loved the ride.

During the reception, I was asked to give a speech, so I will share those sentiments here as well. I am thrilled that my brother has found someone that I can call my sister. I love Amber and am so glad she is a part of the VanderPloeg family!