I remember

I remember last spring when my Dad told me that my Grandpa wasn't doing so well.  I remember thinking that my Grandpa has lived a long, Jesus-loving life and God is probably calling him home.  
I remember being happy that he would be going home to be with Jesus.  
I remember feeling sad because I wanted him to stay a little longer with us.  
I remember thinking he is never going to meet my daughter, his first biological great-granddaughter.
I remember the way my Grandma looked when I hugged her for the first time after Grandpa passed.
I remember my siblings, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and home church friends gathering to celebrate the life my Grandpa lived.
I remember my Dad talking about my Grandpa, his Dad, at the service and how I thought God led him with his words, because he painted a perfect picture of who my Grandpa was and how he lives on in his family.
I remember the 21-gun salute at the gravesite and the way the cold shell felt in my hand.
I remember the bugle call and how sobering it was on that spring day.

But, these days when I think of my Grandpa...

I remember building sand castles with him at Lake Rathbun when I was young.
I remember riding in his RV to Florida and all around the state of Iowa in the summertime.
I remember anxiously awaiting my report card to see how many A's I was able to tell Grandpa about.
I remember calling Grandpa (and Grandma) from college when I was having a rough time and asking them to pray with me and they so lovingly did.
I remember Grandpa telling stories of his life; from his time spent in the service to selling insurance to his travels during retirement.  
I remember Kevin and Grandpa using every trick in the book to try and beat Grandma and I at Up and Down the River (but it didn't happen very often).
I remember Grandpa giving a toast at our wedding and how there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
I remember Grandma and Grandpa dancing at our wedding and how I prayed Kevin and I would be so blessed to have a love like their love.
I remember Grandpa asking Grandma to kiss him numerous times at weddings and family get togethers and how it never got old.
I remember Grandpa loving our little Luke and how excited he got every chance he saw him.
I remember my Grandpa this Memorial Day weekend and think of him often when I catch a glimpse of something beautiful outside...the sun peaking through the trees, a sweet smelling flower with leftover drops of rain, or a fresh, spring breeze floating through the air.  I'm not sure why these things remind me of him, but maybe because Grandpa is helping me to see the good stuff that surrounds me everyday and is challenging me to live a life that notices and celebrates the simple things that God gave us to enjoy with the ones we love.  

I love you and miss you, Grandpa.

Remembering Grandpa


(Not so) Random Picture Friday

Hi all!  Happy Memorial Day weekend!  We have a jam-packed Saturday, but then will be able to get in a little rest and relaxation the rest of the weekend.  These are some pictures from a photo shoot in front of the blooming poppies last weekend. 

Enjoy these next three days...have a blessed weekend!


Half way to one year

How did we get here so quickly?  Lily is half way to being one year old.  I was hoping time would go a little slower this time around.  We have enjoyed this little bundle immensely and can't get enough of her smiles and giggles.  Here is what Lily Jo has been up to the past month...

  • Hands down, Lily's favorite time of day is bath time.  She loves hanging in the warm water and splashing with her feet.
  • Some of you might have noticed, but Lily has a bit of red in her hair.  She is getting more and more of it and her 'bald spot' in the back is slowly disappearing.
  • Lily sleeps around 7:30-7:30 at night, give or take an hour.  This has changed our lives!  We are so happy she is sleeping well these days.  
  • Lily isn't too sure about food from a spoon, yet.  She has 'tried' avocado and cereal, but gives us a pretty funny face when we try to put the spoon in her mouth.  I'm not quite sure she is ready just yet, but I will keep trying.
  • Lily took her first plane rides this month.  Considering we had a few delayed flights on the way out to California, she did great.
  • It was definitely a month of firsts for Lily...she saw the ocean for the first time.  She wasn't too impressed, but loved trying to shove sand in her mouth.
  • Lily is working hard on trying to sit up.  She sits in her Bumbo often, but hasn't quite mastered sitting by herself, yet.
  • Luke loves to 'cuddle' with Lily and Lily sure doesn't mind.  She gets a big smile on her face whenever Luke is around and gives her attention.
  • Lily loves having Daddy around at night and on weekends.  She bats her baby blues at him and giggles and coos when he talks to her.  She loves her Daddy.
  • Lily still nurses four times a day and receives a bottle before she goes to bed at night.  It's amazing how much this girl can put down when we give her a bottle!
  • At Lily's 6 month well visit she weighed in at 15 pounds 10 ounces (38th percentile), was 25.5 inches long (33rd percentile) and her head was 44.5 centimeters (95th percentile).  

Take a trip down memory lane...

Lily Jo is 5 months

Lily Jo is 4 months

Lily Jo is 3 months

Our Lily is 2 months

1 month

Lily's Birth Story


Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all you hard working, baby rocking, supper making, teenage raising do-it-all Mommas out there.  

I want to give a special shout out to my own incredible Momma and my awesome Mother-in-law.  

My mother-in-law raised the man I am lucky enough to call mine.  Writing this, it's hard for me to imagine any other woman saying the same thing of my Luke.  I know it will happen one day, and when it does, I hope she feels the same way I do about Kevin.  Diane poured herself into raising a healthy, smart, caring, kind man and she succeeded.  I will be forever grateful, Diane.  Happy Mother's Day!

My Momma has loved me and been my biggest supporter my entire life.  After I graduated high school, she and I became friends, best friends.  We talk through life, she teaches me daily how to love through hard times and good times, and she puts up with me despite our differences.  She is a prayerful woman and I have watched her grow in her faith and lean more on Jesus each and every day.  Now that I am a mom, I have a small understanding of what she did for me growing up.  Thank you, Mom, for loving me and caring for me all those years and for all you do for me today.  Happy Mother's Day! 



Hey all!  We are just getting settled back in on the Trail from our trip to California.  We had a wonderful time with family and made lots of fun memories.  Here are some of my favorite pictures...hope you enjoy!

Our first plane ride...only 4 hours delayed!

My brother's family

Papa and Gaga with the Cali kids.

We ate at Mr. Pickle's after visiting Brandon and Shamica's church.  Luke was, uh, terrified of the pickle man.

Family picture at Concannon Winery.

The two girl cousins.

Kevin and I snuck away during nap time for a short date.

Girl's lunch.

Our last night together

Malibu Beach

There was lots of running and jumping in the water.  Luke LOVES the beach.

Coronado Beach babe

San Diego!

We spent the morning at the Children's Museum, which was awesome!

How cute is this kid in an apron??

His favorite.

Appetizers before Daddy had to go back to work.

Our last day

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