Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dear Hannah

Dear Hannah,

My arms are aching to hold you. This is the week we were supposed to be welcoming you into this world, but instead you've been gone from me for a while now. I'm so glad you're in heaven with Jesus, but at the same time your Daddy and I wish you were here with us!

I think about you each and every day. I look at myself in the mirror and know that you should be growing inside of me, and now today you'd be ready to meet us face to face.

Daddy and I have friends and cousins who are having babies this month, and I know that every time I see those precious little ones I'll be thinking of you playing and growing with them.

I'm so thankful that Jesus is watching out for you. If you can't be here with us, you can be with the One who cares for you even more than we could! We read in the book "Heaven is for Real" that Jesus especially loves the children. I get so much comfort knowing that you're with Him and that He can help you understand how much we love you.

I will always love you and will never forget you.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Moving In

I know you've been waiting for pictures from our house. Me too! :)

Actually, I had started this post back on July 12th, before we went on vacation to Montana, but then the "publish" button wasn't working for me for some reason. Now we have our house really pretty much all settled, but our data card for the camera broke (luckily just after I had downloaded pictures) . Once we can afford a new card one of the first things I'll do is take pictures of our house, settled in. If you haven't heard yet, Brent got layed off from his job (extreme financial difficulty at the company) and while we were told it would just be for one month, we'll see.

One good thing about his layoff is that he's made huge progress in fixing up the upstairs apartment. I haven't been able to take pictures during the remodel phase, but I have "before" pictures and we'll at least get something so I can take "after" pictures when we're done.

In the meantime, to tide you over, here are some pictures during the moving and getting settled stages. We spent a month moving little things here and there every day after work, and then at the very end hired help to move our furniture, some boxes, and of course, my piano. I was really nervous since I had only moved with the help of family and friends in the past, who I trust, but I have to say, it went very well! They wrapped everything so I wouldn't get damaged, and that alone was worth it! That, and the fact that our really heavy piano made it here in one piece!

We've made huge progress since these were taken last month -with basically our main floor all settled. The only thing really left is the final decorating, getting things on the wall, etc. I'll be excited to show you what we've done!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Two Years

On Monday, Brent and I celebrated two years together! I was blessed with a beautiful bouquet of flowers at work and decided I needed a little more practice with my camera before our upcoming trip to the mountains of Montana.

I am so blessed to love this man more than I did two years ago, and can't wait to see what the next 60 years hold for us!

I love you, Sweetie, and am so blessed to walk this journey with you!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Here are a few posts with updates from one weekend in the middle of May. Enjoy!

Birthday Surprise!

I celebrated a birthday a couple of weeks ago. It was a great birthday! Brent had taken me out to our favorite "celebration" restaurant, The Melting Pot, for a delicious dinner. Then, he took me back to Minnesota for the weekend. I was able to celebrate with family and with friends, and had a really wonderful weekend!

As we were driving to MN, I got a call from my favorite four-year-old. He told me that there was a birthday surprise waiting for me at grandma and grandpa's house. I asked what the surprise was, but of course was told "I can't tell you, it's a thurprise!" I tried for a good 3-4 minutes to get it out of him, but he held his ground!

We got to my parent's house, and walked in and found it all decorated! It turns out he remembered how fun it was to have a birthday and wanted me to experience the same thing! Melts my heart.... :)

The table decorations all set for birthday dessert.

When I first opened the door, I could see that the hallway had a streamer, and then a bunch of posters that had my name, age, his name, etc. He had fun showing them all to me.
He also pointed out the smiley faces that he drew for me, but he couldn't really give me a good explanation on why he drew some frown faces or flat faces. He just said "cause I like them!" Weirdo :) Gotta love him!

He also decided to be goofy and would only say cheese and look at the camera when he was leaning backwards.

Uncle Brent didn't want to miss out on the fun!

Thanks for the super birthday surprise, buddy! You made my day very special, I love you!!

A gift of love...

We got a great gift a couple of weeks ago... Lumber! (Not what you expected, huh?)

My parents are in the midst of putting in a new deck. The old one gave them 20+ years of great service, but there were a few holes that had rotted through. With little feet running around frequently, it was time to make a change. They gifted the new home-owners with the lumber that was still good. Lucky us! They'll help make some great shelves in the basement. We picked it up with our empty mini-van, but some of it had to be cut in order to fit okay.

Before getting started, it's important to follow a few steps. First, put on hearing protectors:

Next step? measure twice, cut once.
Next, run around the yard and burn off some energy.

Finally, load it into an old mini-van.

I just love this face!

Here's my dad, hard at work, always willing to help out his kids. Thanks for the generous gift, Dad!

David was a big help, making sure to pound a board on the ground like he saw Uncle Brent do, in order to take care of a few sawdust shavings before loading it up.

After we finished with the lumber, we wanted to help my dad a bit with his deck project. He had some stone delivered so he could re-slope the ground while the deck boards were still absent. David was a big help, shoveling as much as he could into an ice cream bucket and carrying it around back.

Showing us how he was helping.Watching Uncle Brent get a few scoops into an even bigger bucket.

David loves his grandpa, and clamored over the boards to be able to be near him.

I love how his tongue sticks out when he's hard at work.

Two peas in a pod.

He's become such a hard worker, taking it serious and wanting to do a good job. It's great to see his work ethic being developed!

Grandpa's are the Best!

After a hard day's work, the most logical thing to do is start rolling down the hill. Wouldn't you agree?!
I'm not sure if it's because I missed knowing either of my grandpa's (and I hear they were both really, really wonderful), but I really think that grandpa's are the BEST! I think it's because I get to see such an amazing example here in my own family! We all know this little guy has wonderful parents, a super cool auntie and uncle :) and if you've ever met his grandma you couldn't doubt her love for a second, but one of the best influences in his life is GRANDPA!

Don't you just love how they're relaxing on a nice spring day? After what must've been an inspiring conversation, it looks like a fun game of "you can't get me" needed to be played!

I love how excited he gets with trying to stay close but not too close!


Getting tied up...

Flipped over...

And tossed aside.

Somehow I don't think he minds! You wouldn't either, now would you, if you had such a wonderful Grandpa?!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our New Home!

We bought a house!

Brent and I have been looking on and off again for the last year, knowing that we loved our Lakehouse, but that we've both been anxious to own again. It's been the best way to house-hunt, in that it's such a seller's market right now, with great interest rates, but we didn't have to move if we didn't find the right thing. Well, we found it!

We've also been talking a lot about the possibility of income property, so we kept that in the back of our minds as we looked. We looked all over a couple of the smaller cities around here, knowing that they have some good neighborhoods and some not as good ones. We sure didn't expect to find our home just a few blocks away on the same street!

It's got really good bones, with great character and old, wide, rich woodwork. The basement is tall enough for my 6'3" husband, and is by far the best basement of homes we've seen in our price range. The home is totally liveable for us right away, and will also be improved by some of the work we'd like to do.

Here's a little tour for you! There are some pictures from the realtor's website, and others that I took in order to remember specific things before we move in at the end of May.

The current owners just put on all new siding and trim this past fall, but they did forget to paint the door red, which will happen soon after we take over!

You can see some of the character with the arched entryway, and you might also notice that there are coved ceilings -which I love! The front windows are all new as well. The wall they have their TV on and the one right next to it should be big enough for our piano and TV -exact arrangement to be determined. Standing at the front door you can see the arch to the dining room. The living room opens to the dining room, which opens to the kitchen. It's not the same as a square-shaped open concept room, but that's pretty hard to find in a character home. Standing in the kitchen I'll still feel like I know what's going on in other rooms. That door in the dining room leads to the 3-season porch. There will be plenty of room for my hutches! (I measured!) This picture also shows the door on the left that leads to what will be our office, and through the kitchen you can see the master straight ahead, and then the bathroom is on the right and the guest room on the left. Looking back at the living room. The kitchen. It's totally functional now, and we'll definitely be making some changes. The kitchen re-do can't happen first, but when it does I might make this a wall of pantry cupboards.... We'll see.... There's this half-wall separating the dining room and kitchen, and it bugs me. They raised the counters from the main counter, and since it hangs over on both sides there ends up being wasted space. We'll see what happens with this... The master bedroom. The closet is deep and organized in what seems will be a helpful configuration. This room was added on at some point so the two windows don't have the same great woodwork. I snapped this picture so I could remember just how much space there would be for our dressers. The guestroom will have enough space for a bed and dresser, but probably not much more than that. This is one room that will proabably stay that color, though, as it's one I like. We will also use this room as our office/library, but the white walls will go. This helps show the perspective that it's just off the dining room. I love our new porch! I am excited to get back to reading a good book a lot more often. Here is our first project. We'll focus on the upstairs apartment so that we can get it rented right away. At first I thought I'd quickly paint the cabinets, but now we're thinking we might just start fresh. I'm hoping to document our progress much better than I've been documenting life lately so you can see just what decisions we make. We've been watching a lot of Income Property on HGTV!! The space for a table and chairs. Here's a hallway leading to a back door only used for a fire escape. There's a 'butler's pantry' on the side with lots more space. Here is the master bedroom, which is really quite large. It actually has a sitting area as well. The photographer took this shot from the farthest corner and you can see the closet door on the left and the living room door on the right. It's really two rooms separated with that opening, but there's only one closet so we'll market this as one room. This is the living room and looking ahead is that bedroom you just saw. The other half of the living room, which leads to the kitchen and bathroom. The door frame on the left is for the second bedroom. The second bedroom with original wood floors. I can hardly wait to rip out the awful carpet in the rest of the apartment and see what we've got underneath. The bathroom. The yellow and white sponge painting will quickly be gone. It has a nice counter space, but I'm not certain what to do about the mirror height. Let's just say it would work for my mom, but not for my dad! Right now there's a medicine cabinet to the left of the toilet which allows people taller than my mom to look in a mirror standing up. I'll need to think about this one a while.... There's a nice shower behind the door. There you have it! I'm sure I'll take "before" pictures in an empty house the day we close, but we're hoping to start making some good progress right away on some of the changes we're invisioning.

Anyone want to come help??!!