Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Photo Dump: uno

This week I was a total phone picture loser.  I only took one picture.


We went to the Dover pool this week.  Cooper calls it the "Dober" pool.  He loved it.  He keeps asking for a big pool like we swam in all the time in Florida.  This pool made him feel more at home.  This picture is the kiddie pool.  But in the big pool he got to swim, jump off the sides, and watch kids jump off the diving board.  I love watching Cooper have fun.  You can see the excitement in his eyes and the way he smiles.

I've only taken one picture, but we've had a ton of fun this week.

We have had fun with friends we haven't seen in a long time.  Jonathan and Ashley came in with their three kids.  Craig is in town.  And I picked up Tyler from the airport today. It has been so great to have friends we've known for a long time here with us.  It creates excitement in the air and more smiles on faces.

TomoPhotorrow we're off to Pittsburgh to hang out with the Terpstra's.  Sooo good.

Have you thanked God for your friends today? If not, do it.  Do it now. He gives them to us for a reason.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Coffee Date Monday: My made-up recipe

Good morning!

If you were over for coffee today you'd be served up some yummy starbucks blend coffee with either york or french vanilla creamer.  Yum-O. You would also be offered some water, milk, or hot chocolate.  Your choice. 

If you were over today no doubt you would be impressed with my house.  Not that it's really clean, but that it looks somewhat put together after a week of me trying to feel better.

Most notably today you'd notice a smile on my face.  Because I would be so happy to have you here.  Happy to see your eyes sparkle when we share a laugh.  Happy to truly embrace you as you enter and leave my home.  Thanks for sharing this coffee date with me in a virtual way.  

Todays topic: My cooking.  It is nothing for me to write home about.  I have had some big flops.  Look back here and here to see some disasters in cooking just since I've had this blog.

Andrew likes to tell people, who come over to eat mind you, that I have made some disastrous meals.  

There's the time I would choose on my own something to substitute for another ingredient, and it turned out bad.  Lesson learned: I look up substitutes online before I cook.  
The time I cooked meat and it came out raw and Andrew had to leave class early.  Lesson learned: I now cook meat the minute segments per pound.  That's right, I cooked a roast for like 15 minutes because I didn't see the per pound part of the directions.
The time I put too much orange zest in the recipe and it just really didn't taste good.  Lesson learned: never even attempt that recipe again.
The time I decided my mom would love it if I made her a cake from scratch for her birthday.  And it looked gorgeous, but tasted like heavy bread.

And Andrew's all-time favorite cooking story: friendship bread. There was a bag of friendship bread mix I had gotten, and I was supposed to add stuff to this bag for a few days, make a batch, and send on a new mix to someone else.  The night I baked it, we had a bunch of people over and were watching a movie.  Andrew went into the kitchen when the timer had gone off and tasted it. 
Him: "I don't think it's done yet."
Me: "Well, just put it in for a few more minutes."
After a few more minutes go by and the delicious scent of yummy bread has spread through our home, I take it out of the oven.  Andrew, ever the impatient one, takes a bite quickly.
Then spits it out.
Him: Something's wrong with it.
Me: Well, let me taste it.  
After I tasted it, I knew exactly what had happened.  Andrew was right.  Something was wrong with it.  I had an unmarked ingredient in the cupboard.  I assumed it was sugar.  Wrong.  It was salt.  So, when I thought I was adding 2 cups of sugar, I was really adding salt.  We renamed it friendshit bread.

And then proceeded to play some funny jokes on people that week as we had them taste our "yummy" home made bread.

I can only imagine what goes through the minds of our guests as we sit down to eat after Andrew tells them story after story of all my flops.  

But, I'd like to describe myself as someone who is getting better.  And since I'm home now, I have more time to cook, plan, try new things.  While there have been a couple of not so great moments, overall, there are many great moments and yummy foods that come out of my kitchen.

I made up my own recipe.  I looked at a couple of recipes, kind of combined them, kind of made it up because I didn't have all the ingredients needed. At one point andrew said, "it looks good and smells good."  But we both know that doesn't mean anything. That friendship bread looked great and smelled great. 

Last night's meal: one of my favorites.  I loved the way it smelled, looked, and tasted.  I smiled, thinking to myself, I really am getting better.  

So, before you leave today, can I offer you a home-made muffin?  Kidding.

Have a great day! I know it's monday, but rejoice! You're here, God gave you today.  Go do something amazing with it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Friday Photo Dump: What a week!

This week was crazy.  It started with everyone getting sick.  Not the sniff sniff kind.  The gross kind.

Our friends Tom and Erica visited, and I managed not to get a single picture because I was trying my best to concentrate on a brat diet and trying not to be nauseous.  So sad about that.  Even though we were sick, it was so good to see the Goodlet family.  I miss them and their company.

It took me 'til Thursday to feel someone ok.  Yesterday I felt normal - holla!

Here is what I captured with my phone this week:

The sign on his pool is the perfect caption to this picture.

Cooper took a black crayon and gave himself a mustache.

Last picture before Cooper and I got sick.  He points to the knight on his UCF stuff and says it's Uncle Aaron.

Then we slept.

And slept.

This might not look like much, but Cooper did this all by himself, with absolutely no help from me.  All I did was snap this picture.

Last night we went to Tuscora park.  Cooper rode the train, played on the playground, sat on a tractor, and rode a horse.  It was fun.

This weekend is my high school reunion.  I have very mixed feelings about not going.  It would have been so good to see everyone. After having the week I've had, though, I'm glad I get this weekend to rest up and play at home.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Photo Dump - Summertime is oh so fun.

This morning Andrew wasn't feeling well.  He was in and out of the bathroom.  At some point in the early morning he finally threw up.  Cooper and I tried our best to stay away from the germs and help out at the same time.  We were outside for most of the day.  Pulled weeds, trimmed bushes, cleaned out his pool, washed and detailed my car, played, played, played.  At about 7:30 this evening, Cooper threw up.  He has done it once since then.  He is currently laying on the love seat, which is covered in towels, and I jump at each and every movement, to try and aid in the process of making sure our furniture doesn't get covered in yuck.

Times like this is not a good time to have carpet.

I don't know what will happen if I get sick, too.  None of us will be able to help the other.

Anyhow, onto more exciting and less gross things. I've actually done a pretty decent job capturing our fun this past week.

 We set up the blow up pool in the back yard.  Cooper has had a blast in it.  We set up this basketball hoop next to it.  He loves to shoot baskets from the pool.  

 Mommy's helper.  Hauling weeds to the trash bins.

 I made cupcakes! They were yummy, and I liked the green and blue together, too.

 Danielle and I took the kids to the 50s Fling in Sugarcreek.  It was a nice idea, but not a fun reality.  At one point three of the four children were screaming.  This picture is the calm before the storm.  Needless to say, we didn't stay long. 

 They're going to be good friends one day.  This picture was actually taken during the worst dining experiencing of my life.

 We picked strawberries and made some freezer jam.  In this post I seem pretty domestic.  Don't get used to it.

 More fun on his tractor.  There is a horn on it, and he thinks he has to hold down the horn the whole time he is driving. Oh, the fun of loud noises.

 The Traurig family was in town for a couple of days.  Here they were pretending to be pirates with an old spinning wheel.

 Cooper knows how to lounge. He gets it from me.

 Cooper and Madi chatting it up.

Cooper learned a new life skill this week: drinking from a water hose.

The End.
I hope you're all having a wonderful, sick-free, father's day weekend!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


It is expected that after the loss of a loved one, you go through the grieving process.  Most often the sadness comes immediately after the loss. And it doesn't matter if the loss comes unexpectedly, or if it's a loss you knew was coming and had time to "prepare for," the sadness is still experienced.

Somehow you move on, you pick up, you keep moving forward.  And then, out of nowhere, you grieve some more.  Maybe it's a song you hear, a smell you are overcome by, or a special moment remembered, you are reminded of what you no longer have.  Grieving sometimes comes at very unexpected moments.

I had an unexpected moment of grieving recently.

I had a month to prepare for the loss I'm talking about.  The beginning of August we accepted a job in Ohio, giving me a month to say goodbye to the life I knew and start afresh in a new place.  A month to pack my house, arrange it for renters, care for my 18 month old son (by myself cause A was already gone), spend as much time as I could with people, and hey, since I'm apparently not always the brightest...let's have a yard sale in there, too!

As I look back on that month I had to prepare myself to say goodbye, a lot of it is a blur.  My last days there, I remember crying as I left Bibi, and rushing to see Christy just one more time, wanting one more of her hugs and the encouragement she always provided.  I remember tearing up as I said goodbye to my trusted airport taxi driver, Christie.  And that's it.  That's the most emotional I got.  I knew I'd see family again.  And I was so excited to be moving on to the next part of our life. After having spent six months in limbo land of "we have no idea what's next for us", I was sooo to be getting on with life...excited for Andrew's new job, to stay at home with Cooper, excited to meet new people.

I rode that excitement wave, not grieving, for oh.... eight months.

Yep, you read that right, eight months.

In April we traveled to Nashville and Louisville, and upon returning from our trip, I finally grieved.  I grieved the loss of my Florida family and friends.  I can't quite pin-point the reason, but it's like it finally hit me.  We were't going back to Florida.  I wasn't going to get my mom's cooking, my dad's hugs, my brother's company, or the sheer joy of my friends' presence.  I was going back to Ohio, where my family is far away, and where I don't yet have "my person".

So, what's a girl like me to do when I finally went through the process of grieving a big move?
I fell into a funk.
I wore pjs the majority of some weeks.
I was completely unmotivated to do anything...housework, cooking, playing.
Ate ice cream, ice cream, and more ice cream.
I'm sure I was not very fun to be around.
Sorry, dear.

When I finally realized why I was feeling so not myself, I started trying to do simple things to help.  Like putting up new scripture on my scripture board. Getting out of the house more.  Hiring a babysitter.  Started to serve at church. Praying.  As soon as I would pray about it, I felt better knowing God loves me, will never leave me, and that even when everything around me changes, he never will.

I also started looking around, and seeing blessings.  Here are some simple ones...experiencing the seasons, knowing what goes on during Cooper's day, new friendships, and lots of growth.  One night as we were drifting off to sleep, Andrew said, "I'm glad you are home with Cooper.  I think he is better off with you home." From him not being OK with me staying home, to uttering that...that's the biggest blessing.

My family is not here, but God is teaching me that friends can be family, too.  I may not have "my person" yet, but that will come.  Andrew and I still don't know what's next in our life.  But we do know that we are content, blessed, and full of joy being where we are now.  And I have a feeling that if the day ever comes for us to leave this place, there will be lots of grieving.

And I'll probably need a lot more ice cream.

Thanks for sticking with me as I wrote all this down.  You are awesome for making it through all that craziness.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Upside Up

Cooper will lay down and say, "I'm upside down".  

Then he will sit up and say, "I'm upside up". 

It's precious, really.

Tonight we had an upside down moment.  As I'm cooking dinner and cleaning up poop for the third time today I call Andrew and leave the message, "When will you be home?  When will you be home?  When will you be home?" 

As he walks in the door, I'm sitting down to eat, Cooper is running around not listening to know, classic Thursday evening.  Then Andrew tells me "Hey, did you know I'm not home tonight?  I'm shooting at the theatre." No, dear, you never told me that.  "I was afraid of that" says he.

So, after five minutes of hellos and goodbyes he's gone.  

And our evening is quickly turned upside down.  

But I decided to do something different.  I'm determined to have a good evening with Cooper.  We finished dinner, cleaned up, made popcorn, covered the living room with blankets and pillows, and are watching a movie.  

I don't know that I've ever gotten so many hugs, smiles, and exciting jumps from Cooper in an hour span.  

So, now I guess you could say our evening is "upside up".

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Finally - a photo dump

May was full of ups and downs for me.  I felt kind of off-kilter.  Therefore, this blog was quite neglected last month.  It wasn't the only thing.  Housework, my poor dead plants, and cooking are up there with things neglected as well.  Here are some cell phone pictures to sum up our month.

We read Green Eggs and Ham, then made green eggs for lunch.

We were host to three baby birds.  While we were all gone last weekend they learned to fly and left the nest by the time we got back.

Cooper ran into the corner of a wall at church, leaving him with that nice little mark you see on his cheek for about 2 weeks.

We played outside.  Cooper loves bubbles.

We took a long car ride.

Cooper swung at Gramma's.  That is my swing from when I was little.

Cooper played in an awesome sprinkler. 

We played at the park with friends.

This is where & how Cooper sits while I vacuum.  On the couch, with his vacuum.

Someone pinch me because it's June and the weather is in the 60s and 70s.