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I’m here. It’s just that my crazy circus of a life has left me gasping for air instead of blogging.

Today I’m recovering from my first ever (since having Paul) solo road trip to Michigan. My freakishly adorable nephew was turning 1 years old, and was having a birthday party that was not to be missed.

Mitten bound.

Upon arrival, my body gave way, and came I down with an insane case if mastitis (which I wrote about here). Boob infection, for those not interested in the Google search. It’s apparently caused by stress and fatigue, go figure.

My body caved, it was only a matter of time. I’m honestly surprised it took this long.


One of the worst parts of having Mastitis is that you have to nurse (or pump) through it, which is excruciatingly painful. I left my pump back home, so a nursing we went. A literal HOT DAMN is a I can say about that…

Even though I got sick, Michigan wasn’t a complete bust. We still had fun, and as always, the kids had a blast.

Paul tried on his Dutch costume. (He’s a dapper little dude, don’t you think?)


Spent lots of time playing outside at my parents house. I love their house, the house I grew up in. I kind of fantasy about raising my family in it.

This is Gage’s standard “I need more sleep, get that camera outta of my face” expression.


Introduced them to wildlife. Paul’s head almost got licked off by a Black Angus beef burger.

I like cows.

Took naps on Grandpa:












And of course, played a little “things on my baby” with Paul. Paul appeared indifferent, but I know he was less than amused.


















I need a nap STAT. (my dad makes it look so easy, sleeping with two kids on his lap)

I’ll admit it. I’m feeling overwhelm with life right now. It’s all mostly good stuff, but still a lot of stuff.

This week’s calendar is shaping up to be crazy busy with the every day blah blah blah’s of my ordinary normal life. I know it’s just a season, and seasons change quickly. But today, I’m crying uncle.

chicken coops and homemade hairbows.

I am from tater tot casserole, red Surburban trucks with lift kits, and wood grain station wagons.

I am from the long, gravel, tree lined driveway and a front yard that takes all Saturday to mow.

I am from tulip fields, a house with a pond, and barns in the backyard.

I am from weekends at the state park beach, blonde hair and blue eyes, from last names that start with De or Van or Vander.

I am from bass tournament weigh-in’s, deer hunting seasons, sled rides pulled by snowmobiles.

From going to church twice on Sundays, and “now I lay me’s” every night.

I am from cabbage patch kids and homemade Christmas stockings. From pig tails and sponge rollers.

I’m from windmill cookies at grandma’s, balkenbrij swimming in dark syrup, and 1000 island dressing.

From the family with a pet pig named Spam, the sisters who wore homemade hair bows are big as their heads, and parents that worked harder than they should have.

chicken coop

I am from a family of four girls, parents who loved each other, everyday ordinary living, and a home on a hill.

I am from a place and time I want my children to know deeply, except for the tater tot casserole part.


Found this meme over at Adventures in Babywearing last week.

Get your own template here.

If you write one up, would you please share it with me?

It’s my family, it’s where I’m from.

We celebrated the holidays with my family in West Michigan, where I grew up.  A 4 hour drive at best, which is nothing to complain about, in my opinion.

My family is a typical standard run-of-the-mill type crew.

My dad is an amazing builder, and likes to hunt, fish, and ride motorcycles.

My mom is a mean cook and is young beyond her years.

I have 3 sisters.  A talented crafter, a caregiver, and a sassy dot com-er.

I have 2 brother-in-laws. A doctor and a murse (ok, nurse).

And we all like love each other. (which I gather is kinda rare these days).

I am blessed.

As always, we have our share of setback, trials, and hard times. It’s ok, every family has them. Right?

When we all get together (which only happens about once a year), it’s all fun, all the time.

And it’s always real.

funnyfamilypicMy girls want to move to Michigan, and they remind me of that almost daily. And while I agree with them to a point, I also love where we are at right now. As Hoosiers.

And really, home is just a 4 hour drive away….

Even a grown woman sometimes needs her mommy

I’ve gotten really good at putting on a show.  Acting like it’s totally fine that I don’t live close to family. Convincing myself that I’ve built a strong community of friends here in Indy that are “just as good as family”.

I’ll never deny it, I do have amazing friends. Friends I can call on for anything.  Friends I feel safe telling my darkest secrets too. Friends that will do anything for me, and I for them. Friends I could not live without.

But at the end of the day, no matter how awesome my friends are, sometimes I just need my mommy.

I’ll let you in on a secret.  My husband has been gone for almost 2 weeks (which has felt more like 2 years).  But alas, he’s flying the friendly skies as I type this, and will be home in a matter of hours. Thank you Jesus.

In his absence, my mom came down to help out for a few days.  While here, she amazingly took over and helped me get my lazy homemakers act together. She accomplished more in 3 days than I typically get done in a months time. For serious.

While here, she:

Read aloud stories

Played board games

Cooked dinners

Cleaned the kitchen (without calling me disgusting)

Babysat (and put to bed) my children (while I went to dinner with my friends)

Sorted and matched 3,945,837,837 pairs of socks

Ironed my husbands work shirts

Spot treated and vacuumed my (nasty) stairs

Dusted (even above the refrigerator)

Went shopping at Anthropologie with me (and helped me justify a new cardigan)

Repaired a huge rip in one of my sofas

Took my family out for pizza

Watched Desperate Housewives with me, after the kids were in bed

Cleaned my baseboards with something chemically delicious that smelled like pine

Deboned a turkey, and made fricassee

Didn’t judge me when my 3 year old threw an earth shattering tantrum

Rocked my *almost* one year old until he fell asleep

Drank wine with me, until way past my bedtime

Bathed my kids

Cleaned and organized my bathrooms

…and she did all of the above with the most willing heart.
Gramma Tulip

“gramma tulip”, take by Casey

She’s pretty amazing.  I need to spend more time with her. Maybe someday I’ll move back to Michigan.  Or just get her and my dad to take up residency in Indy.  Yeah, that sounds like a great idea.

*disclaimer: no gramma was harmed in the making of this post. I swear, the only thing I asked of her was to spend time with us.

Papa Loved Cake

Today marks the one year anniversary that my father-in-law passed away. I don’t have anything wise, insightful or thought provoking of my own to write about. I do know that when a loved one passes away before “it was their time”, it just simply sucks.

A long time ago, I got this forwarded to me in an email. It’s amazing that I even read it in the first place, as I kinda hate forwarded chain emails. This particular story stuck to me, and I bookmarked the email. It’s a simple story and I know why I like it so much. Michael’s Dad always really loved dessert (preferably with a glass of chilled red boxed wine). When I read this story – I think of him:

A man met with his pastor to discuss his final wishes, as he knew he only had a very short time to live. After they discussed the plans for the funeral, he remembered one final request that was very important to him. He said, “I want to be buried holding a spoon in my right hand.”

The pastor gazed at the man, at a loss for words. “That surprises you, doesn’t it?” the man asked. “You see, Pastor, in all my years of attending church potluck dinners, I remember that when the dishes were being cleared, someone would lean over to me & say, ‘Keep your spoon.’ I knew then that something better was coming, like my favorite carrot cake or rich chocolate cake – something wonderful and sweet to end the meal!”

As the pastor listened a smile came upon his face. The sick man continued, “So, I just want people to see me in the casket with a spoon in my hand & I want them to wonder, ‘What’s with the spoon?'” Then I want you to tell them: “Keep your spoon–the best is yet to come.” The pastor’s eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the man good-bye.

So, the next time you reach for your spoon, let it remind you, oh so gently, that the best is yet to come.

Tonight, we will eat dessert – with a spoon.
We love and miss you like crazy, Papa.
Enjoy the best, you’ve earned it.

Grandmomma in the hizzouse!

The only thing on my to-do list today was to go hang with my friend Casey over at her *new* house. Unexpectedly, my mom, (or grandma, @feelinzeel, or whatever you like to call her) came knocking on my door. I call her Mom. She lives almost 5 hours away.

I’m so excited! What should we do?
I dunno…

It just might be the best present I could have ever *unexpectedly* asked for.