Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I need to make some. Pictures and talk of cupcakes are all around me for some reason lately and I have been craving them.

Let's see, maybe they could be Springtime Celebration Cupcakes? Or Super Sunny Cupcakes? How about I Just Need Some Cupcakes?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Spring Ring

Last October I spent the better part of a day creating this lovely tree ring. The spring has arrived and I love the results! I wish it had been a bit sunnier today when I took this picture, but I love the profusion of flowers. The darker tulips haven't blossomed yet, but when they do, they'll stand out beautifully.

Unfortunately, I have noticed a few snips. Too clean of a cut to be from a squirrel, someone is cutting my flowers! That frustrates me to no end. Please enjoy my blooms, but leave them where they are so everyone can benefit. I've caught kids doing it before and asked them very nicely never to do it again. It drives me crazy. Does this happen to anyone else?

Comparison Photos

Next weeks she'll be four months. Even though she is sitting all scrunched up, you can see how much she has changed. It's hard to notice when I look at her all day long, but remembering how huge that outfit was on her and knowing it doesn't fit at all now makes it so obvious.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Signs It Might Be Spring

1. I have bug bites.

2. The weather keeps changing from 40 to 80 to 60 to 30. That's Michigan. It might snow next week.

3. The leaves are all sprouting out of their buds.

4. The spiders are all sprouting out of their buds.

5. I'm reading four books at the same time. How To Be Good by Nick Hornby, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, unChristian by David Kinnaman & Gabe Lyons (I promise I'm almost done, Dan!) and Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld which I got for my birthday. Plus, the keeping up with my Your Baby's First Year week as well as various magazines.

6. I want to spend all of my time on the front porch and am itching to play in the dirt.

7. Did I mention the bug bites & spiders yet? Because my legs are itching and I keep looking at the ceilings.

8. We've gone for a walk almost every day. I'm not sure if the DQ & slushie stops are helping the benefits of exercise though. But they're goood.

9. Dairy Queen is open for business. Man, I would love an ice cream cake. Who here likes ice cream cake?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Hubby

I haven't done one of these in forever and I always enjoy talking about my hubby...He's my favorite.

How long did you date? 2 years, but I "knew" after 2 months.

How old is he? Almost 30. I'm married to an old man! Yikes!

Who eats more? Right now it's a pretty close race...usually he finishes my food, but I've been packing it away lately.

Who said “I love you” first? I think I did, but he was right behind me. I didn't want to rush into it, but I knew it was true.

Who is taller? He is a foot and three inches taller.

Who sings better? No contest, him. I like to think I'm decent, but he has to do a lot more editing in the studio for me to sound great.

Who is smarter? This is probably a pretty close one, but I would have to say it depends on the subject matter. There are some things that he's always right on and things I have to correct him about.

Whose temper is worse? Him...it takes a lot to actually make me angry. I get frustrated easily, but that's about it. He mostly gets mad at inanimate objects like a board that won't be hammered into place or a car that keeps breaking down. Though, when I am angry, you had better watch out because it is not pretty!

Who does the laundry? I do most of it now that I am home more often, but he's always willing to help out when I need it.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? He does. I have to get up to feed the baby and my side is next to the door.

Who pays the bills? Me. Organization is not usually a musicians' strong suit. Of course, if you are talking about who brings home the money, it's definitely him. He not only works full time and makes more, but he also teaches lessons and records albums on the side to help pay the bills and pay off our debt. He is a very hard worker. Even though a lot of the time he's lucky enough to really love his work and it is a little bit like play!

Who cooks dinner? Typically me, but he usually handles the breakfasts and grilling. He makes a mean plate of French Toast. Yeah Toast!

Who drives when you are together? He always does now...the baby seat won't fit behind him so it has to stay on my side as he uses the car more often by himself. Plus, I freak him out when I drive.

Who is more stubborn? When we are in an argument, neither of us will let go of our side. Usually, we are both laid-back enough people that we'll concede the argument and just learn from it and move on rather than admit the other was right!

Who kissed who first? Well...he was actually a pretty shy fellow when it came to girls so I had to help him out at first, but it didn't really take all that much effort.

Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? He almost always does. When we have both cooled off, he'll apologize while I sit and think how right I am. I'm not very good at admitting my fault. Ugh. Even when I know it.

Whose parents do you see the most? His. They are great about coming to visit whenever they can.

Who proposed? He did. When I came home from Israel, he surprised me by picking me up at the airport and taking me out to a fancy dinner and proposed in the snow in Chicago.

Who is more sensitive? We are both moderately sensitive about stuff. Probably me more so than he is, but neither of us are really big cry-ers. Though his heart is soft and sweet.

Who has more friends? According to Facebook, he does. But most of his friends are mine as well so I call a tie.

Who has more siblings? We each have one sibling, who have each lived with us at one point or another.

Who wears the pants in the family? We share most of the decisions. I probably decide more than he does since I pay the bills but I don't think I'm "in charge." His pants are way bigger due to his excessive tallness, so we can say he does.

Ladies, if you need to talk about your hubby, please do! They deserve all our attention for putting up with us and providing for us. I have said more than once that I don't know how I got such a great guy, but I am so thankful that I did. Even when we don't agree, he still makes my day. He's a fabulous daddy and an amazing man. Love you, babe!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


We were in New York with family most of this last week and Randall had to make do on where she slept. The pack & play was folded up and brought along on the plane so she'd have a cozy bed at night, but she was having none of that. The car seat ended up being the bed of choice for all naps and night time sleeping. She'd stay snuggled in there even after waking up and often we didn't know she was up.

Little alert eyes peeking out at the world. Waiting to come out and play.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Month Three

Apparently all you did this month was sleep as those are almost the only pictures we've taken. I need to get better at taking more pictures of you. You just keep getting cuter and sweeter every day. More than once I have found myself thinking that I just cannot stand how sweet you are.

You had your first Easter this month and lots of good time with your Grammy and Papa. You've been great at entertaining guests especially since you tend to cry whenever Mama leaves you alone.

You are still an exceptional little sleeper. Your nap times seem to be getting shorter, but your night times are just as long and lovely.

That's ok with me since you are happy to play on your play mat or sit in your swing or be carried in your baby pack whenever I need to do a little work around the house. You always let me know when you feel the least bit neglected and in need of some cuddling.

You also seem to poo less. That sure is better for diaper washing. Not to mention that you don't get as grouchy in a wet diaper anymore. While you're not a huge fan of being wet, you won't fuss the second you want to be changed.

Your new favorite game is running. You love for one of us to grab your legs and pump those little feet as fast and they can go. The silent giggles are overwhelming. You could run for hours.

Peekaboo is more fun when you hide than when we do. Here again, you are filled with smiles and giggles at finding us appear from behind your hands when we move them around.

No matter what the problem may be, Mama can always solve it. Quite often when no one else is able to do so. Last week you went from being the favorite, sweetest baby in the nursery to being the baby about whom they say, "Well, she sure is a screamer." They can hear you all the way down the hall and people wonder where you get that from. Daddy says you're going to start your baby rock band any day now. It's not just crying. No, it is a shrill, piercing screech when you are angry. Yikes.

You have forced me to start exercising more faithfully and eating more thoughtfully to work off this belly you made. I blame it all on you. And a little on your daddy. It's his fault too. Oh, the changes you have wrought in my life. No more thoughtlessly eating a whole pan of brownies or lazing on the couch for a week. Sigh. Mean ol' baby.

You, my sweet girl are growing up far too fast. It's only been three months, but it feels like we've had you forever. I can't wait to see where you take us next.

In Which I Eat Healthy And Freak Out

It's always a challenge to really eat well. More fresh food, fewer preservatives. Less sugar and more whole foods. I love a good fruit smoothie for breakfast so when I found a recipe that suggested adding kale or another green to the banana and strawberries, I thought I would give it a try. Kale has never been one of my favorites, but I keep finding more and more ways to sneak it into foods I cook since it's one of the best greens to eat.

In the smoothies it's fantastic. Why? Because I can't taste it. Likewise in spaghetti sauce or meatloaf. It's amazing all the good stuff you can sneak into food! I've heard about the Deceptively Delicious book and I really need to get one because I think it would be right up my alley. Good thing my birthday is coming up next week...

I also try to eat as many fresh fruits as possible. Grapes are always the easiest because I can snack on them while doing almost anything else. This morning I was happily washing a cluster when what pops onto my counter but a grody little spider! After I calm down, I grab a paper towel to squash him and then notice there was another dead one that fell out of the bunch! You'd better believe I washed those a little extra after that. I'm going to be jumpy for the rest of the day now...

Monday, April 07, 2008


Today being another beautiful day here in West Michigan, we took a lovely long stroller walk. We live very close to a fabulous well-kept biking trail through the woods and over the river and it was a great day to listen to the birds and look for the first shoots of green everywhere. Ducks and geese swam along with their partner, dry leaves rustle and bikers ride by as we take in the beauty of the spring.

I spent much of the hour and a half that I walked (while baby slept happily) praising my Lord for His generosity and love. It can be overwhelming when you really stop and notice your blessings and the goodness of His gifts. As tiring and draining as winter can be spring is so energizing and encouraging.

Of course, for the next hour or so after I returned home, my hands were strangely tingly from all the vibrations up through the stroller handles!

Title This Picture

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Week 1

I started a lot of new things this weekend. Ok, I started two things. It just feels like a lot since they are pretty huge things.

1. Running

Yesterday morning I was in the flower garden cleaning out last year's mums (a job that should have been done last fall) and morning runners were going down the street training for the big race in a couple weeks. It's a half marathon and a pretty big deal around here. Watching them made me want to put on my running shoes and pound some pavement.

So I did. All the way around the block. Maybe even around two blocks. Tomorrow I'll try it again, but on the treadmill. I can't very well leave the baby alone in the house while I run, now can I?

2. Seeds

Friday I started all of my spring seeds, a chore I love and look forward to every year. Getting out the seed trays. Filling each spot with dirt. Selecting which seeds need to be started now and which can wait a few more weeks. Poking little holes. Dropping in each tiny seed. And finally watering each tray and putting the plastic roofs on top.

Now I just wait for teeny green shoots to poke their heads up and make an appearance.

These things are huge because they aren't simply one-time events. The seeds need to be tended daily to ensure they get enough water but not too much. I need to run daily to lose the weight I need to and get back into some semblance of being in shape.

They're also huge because it will be easy to ignore them but they're both so important to pay attention to. If I ignore the seeds they'll either wither or rot. If I ignore my workout the numbers on the scale will just continue to creep upwards.

Here's to week one!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

To Spa or Not to Spa

Like most girls, I love a good time at the salon. Whether it is a cut, color, wax or mani-pedi session, it is always something I look forward to with relish. So, when I heard that a salon in town was giving out a free service with a ticket stub from our local hockey team, I jumped on it.

Working at a church has so many random perks and this month we got four free hockey tickets. My in-laws provided childcare for the first game and a co-worker and her daughter sat for us during the second.

We don't usually watch sports at my house. We are aware that it was March Madness and that baseball season just started. We usually attend a Super Bowl party. However, if it weren't for outside influences we may never see a game on tv. Our basement is full of games with my brother's three tvs of sports going at any given time, but rarely do they venture to the main level.

A real live hockey game is something else altogether. The fighting, the checking, the announcer's goofy jokes, the ridiculously overpriced junk food. I have always loved going to a hockey game.

There's just something about the fast pace, the anger and agression that is somehow acceptable in that setting and the overall excitement permeating the arena. Being as we have a minor league team, the seats are not full, but it seems as though everyone who is there is a true fan. Guys shouting cheers at the players, pounding on the glass, proudly sporting their brightly colored jerseys.

The second game we went to was the kind that fans love most. Our home team won 6-1 and even scored on the other team's super power play. We loudly mocked the opponent's goalie and got up on our feet whenever we scored.

Apparently, the previous week when our team was on the Monster's (yep, we played the Monsters) home ice the players got into some serious arguments. Insults were hurled and punches were thrown. Thus, when they skated onto the rink a week later, the tempers were already flaring.

The fights, ahh, the fights. I'm one of those hockey fans in the seats yelling, "Fight, fight, fight!", at the top of my lungs. Two of the players even got thrown out of the game after getting several penalties.

But I thought this post was about going to the spa? Oh, right. The spa.

I had to use my free ticket stub to get a free service at the spa within two weeks, so I made my appointment right away for a manicure. The winter does harsh things to my cuticles. Hubby was home to snuggle with the baby and off I went.

It's a salon institute, which means that you are getting your work done by a student. Not that that is a bad thing, it's just a very different atmosphere. The salon is in a beautifully remodeled downtown building with old interior brick walls and new modern lighting. So a beautiful setting with perfectly created mood. I don't know about you, but when I was a young college student I wasn't necessarily very serious or professional.

Sitting in such a comfortable room getting a fabulous manicure is highly entertaining while listening to college chatter. The only downside for me was that it took forever. I told my husband I would be home within an hour or so and it was almost two before I made it back. My student was late taking me in and then the service just took a long time. Fortunately, we only live about five minutes away.

It's a great salon though and a bonus was getting to keep the bottle of polish after a very very nice manicure.

So here's the question. I have an appointment for next week to get my hair colored and another manicure...but I'm not sure whether to go or not...I don't want to leave poor hubby home in the evening with a (most likely) screaming baby. On the other hand, I really need to get my hair colored. The length of the grays is getting overwhelming, which is a whole other topic in and of itself.

In the comments (if you've read this far) give me your advice on if I should keep the appointment and make hubby stay home or skip it. The best two comments will receive a FREE ticket to be used for a salon appointment. (Nails, hair, facials, the works!) This also requires you live in town...so, non-Michigan folks, I'm sorry. You can still leave a witty comment. You just won't get a prize.