Sunday, May 31, 2009

Never look a gorilla in the eye

The Rotterdam Zoo is giving away cardboard glasses that make it appear that you're looking off to one side; these are gorilla-viewing glasses, meant to avoid incidents in which gorillas attack visitors for making eye contact with them. The glasses' introduction follows an attack on a woman by an escaped gorilla; the specs are sponsored by a local health-insurance company.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Not Yet....

No, the baby isn't born. In fact, I don't think Amber is even in labor (which is good because I need to preach this weekend). I do want to report (as Amber's Guest Blogger) that I have purchased a new high-capacity-memory-card that will enable me to take pictures (at the rate of ten-pictures-a-second) of every moment of the baby's life - from birth through 3rd Grade.
So when the baby arrives, I'll be ready.

- Amber's Dad

Mom Friends

Let me introduce you to a couple of my girlfriends from GR. Breanne and Alisa are champion moms. Basically, I've taken every bit of advice they have given me so far - except for using cloth diapers (sorry Alisa).

We had lunch on Thursday and took this picture:
Bree (left) has two little boys - Cash is 2 years and Parker is 6 weeks old.

Alisa (center) has a cutie little girl - Sadie, who is a year and a half old.

I met Bree at a wedding a couple of years ago and I met Alisa about a year ago when her hubby started working at Vox. I can't wait to be a mom with them, go on walks with our strollers, attend playgroups together and generally have a really sweet network of regularly scheduled adult interaction.
I am so thankful for these friends and for all the mom friends that I have in my life today.

Just as perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
- Proverbs 27:9

Friday, May 29, 2009

My Dad the Guest Blogger

How fun is it that my dad is going to be guest blogging for me while I'm at the hospital! I love it!

Hey Uncle Matt, just so you know, this blog will remain "G" rated and no birthing images or details will be featured - so you don't have to be afraid.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pre Baby Trial Post

This is Amber's dad....practicing to be the "guest blogger" when she
has the baby - who will be genetically predisposed to love the great

This is a test: Im practicing to mobile post from the hospital- Not sure that I will actually do it, but fun to know that I can if I want to!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

needs some explaining...

How handy are these "Accident-Explanatory slings"? What an awesome idea!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend at Cox Cottage

We had an awesome weekend with Ryan's family at the lake. It was a bit chilly, but sunny - so we spent a lot of time floating on the pontoon, grilling out and riding bikes. Talk about relaxing!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Nursery Time

I think the nursery is pretty much ready for a baby. Whew! Only 2 weeks to go and I think we're set!

Did you know it can take more than 12 weeks to get a crib delivered once it's ordered? Yep - it's true! Last Friday our crib FINALLY arrived! I was getting a little worried that we'd have to put the baby in a drawer - not the end of the world, but not the best start to one's life either.

Ryan and his dad worked like champs to get it built and last weekend we "nested" by getting the nursery pretty much in order. Cute eh?
Those red shelves were the ones Ryan had in his room when he was a baby. Ryan's mom found this antique dresser for us in New York, got it all painted up and put some shiny new handles on it! So great! Don't you love Johnnie's awesome paint job?

I think we're going to have a sunny, happy baby since it will be hanging out in such a bright sunshiny room all the time.

Friday, May 22, 2009


My friend Shauna has a hubby who happens to be an incredibly gifted song writer and worship leader. Ever since I first heard Aaron Niequist's song "Changed" almost two years ago I've listed it as one of my favorite worship songs of all time.

Its all about taking what Jesus has done in my life and pouring it into a broken world. "I have been changed to bring change - blessed to be a blessing, loved to bring love..." Click on the video below that Willow Creek's video team put together - it's such an awesome song!

Attitude is Everything

This couple's spontaneous piano duet in the lobby of a Mayo Clinic made me happy today. They're 90 years old and have been married for 62 years.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Afternoon at Tunnel Park

Today after church Ryan and I decided to head over to Holland to the beach! It was COLD - so we wore our pants and jackets...but the sun was shining and we had a great time. Ryan read up on Musculoskeletal Emergencies and I took a snooze...which is why you are glad that he is the doctor instead of me!With just 3 weeks to go, I am becoming less mobile each day. Lets just say, climbing the sand dune back to the parking lot a bit of a challenge...this is me, mentally gearing up for the climb.After a few hours we were too cold to stay, so we hopped in the car and headed over to Centennial Park to see if any new tulips had come up since Tulip Time - and to Ryan's delight, they had! Here's Ryan (in all his glory) joyously spinning in circles among the tulips.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lawn Man

I love my lawn man!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Akward Family Tree

Have you seen the "Akward Family Photos" site? It's pretty funny!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On Being Hugemongus...

I have a few items that I would like to invent on behalf of hugemongus pregnant women everywhere!

The first item that would come in handy is a cart/shelf with wheels on which to rest the underside of one's belly while standing/walking/etc. I believe this simple tool would help alleviate back pain as well as solve the issue of "walking uncontrollably fast because of forward weight momentum" which seems to happen to me a lot when I have farther to walk than 10 steps or so, like in a parking lot. I'm basically sprinting by the time I get from my car to the store because I just keep walking faster and faster in an effort to keep my legs underneath me!

Another tool that would come in handy is similar to that thing the trash picker-upper guy uses at the food court at the mall...a gripper/reacher tool on the end of a long stick to pick things up off the floor without having to bend down to get them. Some people may think "hey, just use your feet to pick stuff up" to which I reply "how do you expect me to get my foot back up to a height that my hand can actually reach it?"

For example, yesterday at work I dropped my notebook on the ground by my chair. I thought about it for awhile before attempting to pick it up - then I thought "go go gadget arm" but nothing happened. Then I thought, "can I read it from here?" and decided to just leave it on the floor, referring to my notes on the ground as I finished the document I was writing. If I'd had one of those picker upper things, I would have used it right then!

...and that's my story of how inconvenience (aka hugemongusness) can lead to wonderfully innovative ideas.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tulip Time

Monday night after work Ryan and I jumped in the car with his mom and dad and headed to Centennial Park in Holland for the Tulip Festival. Last year we went on a Saturday, but this year we squeezed all the fun into just a couple of hours. We saw tulips, we saw wooden shoes, we watched the dutch dancers...I think deep down in his heart Ryan wants to buy some wooden shoes of his own so he can be a Dutch Dancer!

The best part of Tulip Time for me is the fact that it's on Hope's Campus - Ryan and I walk around recanting the tales of our college years and reminiscing about the places where our love began. The thousands of tulips and blossoming magnolia trees are pretty too!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I am very pregnant...

I am very pregnant.

I can't get my rings off my fingers and by 2pm every day my ankles have chub lines. Is it possible to retain water in my eyelids?

I might be a tad uncomfortable - but at the same time I am experiencing more joy, more love, more anticipation for the future than ever before in my entire life. Other than marrying Ryan and getting to spend my life with him, this baby is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me.

In 4.5 weeks I'll be a mom - complete with mom jeans and a banana clip to keep my hair out of my face...awesome!

Wedding Day Pics

John and Angela - getting ready for the wedding to start

Ryan and Rob - being funny
Dad, Uncle Matt and Aunt Becky - they are all incredibly awesome, as you see here.Aaron and Tracy - cutting their cake
Granny and Papaw - winning the dance contest for being married 57 years, making them the longest married couple at the wedding. Papaws advice to the bride and groom - simply put, "stay married"
Off to Cabo for their honeymoon!

More Rehearsal Pictures

I love this candid pic of Aaron and Tracy.

The couple and the kids
The Whole Fam

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rehearsal Dinner

The groom (Aaron) and groomsmen (Ryan, Rob and John) - in all their gloryAaron and Tracy had their rehearsal dinner at this awesome restaurant called "Fish Bones" in Lake Mary. The food was amazing, the atmosphere was equally amazing and everyone seemed to have a really great time. Both of the dads gave speeches and then opened the mic to whoever else wanted to encourage Aaron and Tracy or tell a story. If I hadn't been a blubbering emotional basket case I would have said something...instead I just sat there and dabbed my eyes while everyone else said things.

Tracy surprised Aaron with a huge cake that tasted like chocolate and peanut butter but looked like a redfish - since Aaron loves catching redfish. I thought it was a great idea!
Ryan and I sat between John and Angela and Joel and Lizzy. We laughed a lot as Joel and Ryan talked about life as residents. Joel and Lizzy are headed from Tampa to Kansas City for Joel's ophthalmology fellowship for a year, then back to the Orlando area after that. Lizzy is going to have a baby too - so life is pretty much overly exciting for everyone. By the way - Joel and Lizzy have one of the most entertaining blogs I've ever read. Here's the link.

Google Goats

If Ryan didn't love mowing the lawn so much, I might consider this:

Last week Google brought in a herd of goats to mow the grass on its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters rather than using lawnmowers.

The cost of hiring the 200-some goats is about the same price as mowing, but the goats were "a lot cuter to watch."

Read what the Google Blog had to say about it HERE

I Heart SpringHill

One of my favorite things about my job has been helping SpringHill Camps with some of their marketing endeavors. I never went to SpringHill as a camper or counselor, but had a lot of friends throughout college who worked on staff at SpringHill. This year I have been really impressed by the organization as a whole.

Our mission is to create life-impacting experiences that enable young people to know and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
Even in this crazy economy SpringHill is doing some really cool things this year, so I thought I would share a few with you.

The SpringHill website has a new page where SpringHill Fans can share their story. In only a couple of weeks we have received 16 incredible stories from people of all ages. We've been able to capture stories of life-change while encouraging people to interact with the site more regularly. Do you have a story about SpringHill that you'd like to share? Do it HEREDay Camps
I am so excited about SpringHill Day Camps this year...especially because Granger is hosting the week of July 6-10. If you have a kid who has completed K-4th grade, they should go to Day Camp this summer! There are 13 different churches and schools throughout Michigan and Indiana hosting 15 different weeks of Day Camp and there's probably one near you! Check out for more info.

Summer Camp
This summer SpringHill is offering a bunch of financial options including discounts, payment plans, an assurance plan, scholarships, and a special deal if you invite 2 friends to attend SpringHill Indiana with you. They are coming alongside families to help get kids to camp this summer. I think it's awesome that they've recognized the state of the economy and have taken steps to help families find a way to make it happen.

SpringHill is not just for kids and teens! There are Family Camps, Women's Retreats, Winter Teen Retreats, even Group Retreats that are totally customizable based on the size/age/interests of your group or team!