Friday, December 31, 2010

Cousins in the Snow

Ruby and Lydia had a blast getting pulled around on this little sled. Dad grabbed his camera and got some fun shots.
I love that we had fun in the snow before it all melted! I also love that my parents live in the woods so we can have adventures like this with the kiddos.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ryan's New Hospital

Yesterday afternoon Ryan took Christopher and I on a tour of the brand new Helen DeVos Children's Hospital (HDVCH) scheduled to open in a couple of weeks. It was absolutely incredible! So well thought out, so colorful, friendly, open and inviting... I love that Ryan works at such an amazing place!
Here's the view from the 11th floor.
This is part of the lobby on the first floor.
Made possible by donors like these...
This is an interactive touch-screen and play area in the main lobby on the first level, and check out that awesome tile mosaic!

Christmas Eve

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hitting the books

Ruby has been hitting the books lately. This morning I woke her up and instead of following me down the hall to the kitchen for breakfast, she grabbed her book, sat in the hall and started "reading" it out loud to herself.

Love her.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

the verdict is in...

WE ARE GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER GIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRLLLLLLL!! My motherly instincts were completely wrong... haha.

So thankful that the baby I'm growing is a strong and healthy one. The Ultrasound Tech said she has long legs, which is wonderful for her considering the shorty genes I have passed on to her.

We are thrilled, Ryan loves that we're going to have another girl and I love that Ruby is going to have a little sister!

Thanks for your prayers! I would have been happy with either, but I am seriously looking forward to another little girl!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On finding out

A few moments after Ruby was born was the moment we discovered that she was a girl! It was incredible. In fact, we were so amazed that we had a baby that we totally forgot that we didn't know the sex! The doctor who delivered her asked Ryan, "What is it Dr. Cox?" and that's when Ryan announced, "Oh my gosh! It's a girl! A giiiirl!" It was an incredible moment.

All the beauty of that surprise does not change the fact that I want to find out
what we're having this time around - tomorrow is our 20-week ultrasound and I am so excited I can't sleep at night! Will it be another baby girl or will Ruby have a little brother this time? The anticipation is too much to handle!

Some of my friends have asked why we want to find out this time - and my answer is simple.
I think it will be fun... also, this pregnancy has given me a terrible need to prepare. I believe some people call this "nesting" which I can't do since we will be packing up and moving to Columbus a few short weeks after this baby is born.

Needless to say, it will help my sanity to get some things done before May 12th (or whenever this child decides to come into the world). If we are having a girl, then I can plan to wash all of Ruby's tiny baby clothes and pack them in boxes that will be loaded into drawers once we get there. If we're having a boy, then I can get all of Ruby's baby clothes into boxes that will be moved directly into storage when we move... then go on a hunt for some baby boy clothes for our little buddy!

You may think the tasks above don't seem like a big deal - but these are the things keeping me up at night.

Any guesses to what we're having? I should do a giveaway or drawing or something - but I have to wrap presents instead.

I'll put a post up tomorrow so you know what we're having too! Until then, I'll be counting down the minutes to my ultrasound appointment... only 28 hours to go...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Reunion in Cadillac

We jetted up to Cadillac yesterday to spend a short but sweet afternoon/evening with some of our college friends. Last year at this get-together there were 3 babies present. Then at dinner, Luke and Lindsay announced they were going to have another baby... then 1 minute later Bryant and Becky announced the same thing! Hudson and Emmi joined the ranks this year, and by next year at this time there will be another baby Schraw and another baby Cox. Apparently we are a prolific bunch. Basically, our plan is to keep Hope College in business during the years of 2026 - 20??
The boys did some laughing and some cross country skiing.
The girls left the babies with the sitters, did some Christmas shopping and hung out with Santa.
One of my favorite things about this trip was seeing Isla and Ruby play together. Isla was so sweet, leading Ruby around her room, showing her toys and sharing her cereal snacks. Ruby saw that Isla has some stickers on her ears that looked like earrings - she immediately wanted some too!
So fun to see you guys! We love you!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mark and Heidi

My dear friends Mark and Heidi are moving at the end of this year (in a couple of weeks). A group of us went out last night to celebrate friendship and send Mark and Heidi off on their new adventure knowing how incredibly loved they are. Here we are in our "family" Christmas card photo.
Heidi is one of those friends that I became friends with really fast - and we have heaps of mutual friends that we didn't realize we had until our facebook profiles revealed them. Anyway, I will miss Heidi so so much - so I am really thankful that she is such a phenomenal blogger so I can keep up with her after they move. (this is the part where you pretend Michael W. Smith "Friends are Friends Forever" just started playing).
In other news, because I am a dork and I love the blogosphere, I think it's really fun that every single person we hung out with last night has a blog! That doesn't happen very often!
Such a fun night out with Heidi, Kim, Breanne, Allison and Meredith!
Mommy Bloggers Unite!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

One year ago today...

I was looking back through my blog this time last year and found a video of Ruby that I posted on December 16th last year. She was 6 months old and I cannot believe how much she has grown and changed in one year!

Today we talked about Christmas ornaments, colored, played with her "little people" nativity set, read 6 books, practiced counting to 10, sang songs about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while she ate one, listened to headphones, talked to Grammie on the phone and rolled a ball back and forth for awhile.

On this day last year she was doing this...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On Celebration

Remember that huge national board exam I told you about back in October? Well, Ryan got his scores on Monday and he passed with flying colors! We could not be more excited that he is officially a board certified pediatrician!!

So, of course, we went out to dinner to celebrate - but it didn't quite work out like we planned. Basically, our server girl didn't really understand the urgency in my request when we got there and I asked for some crackers to hold Ruby off until her food came. I truly believe if those crackers had ever come, our evening would not have been ruined by our offspring.

Ruby was so bad that we actually had to ask for our food to be packed in to-go boxes before it even came out and we had to leave the restaurant! It was incredible. I can't even explain the height of my blood pressure as we walked out!

I got home, put Ruby to bed early and tore through a couple of books on "mothering" to help me figure out everything I am doing wrong... then I realized I should probably just bring Ruby's crackers with me next time we go out to eat.

Anyway, we rescheduled our "date night" for yesterday without our child and ended up having a wonderful time together, talking about life and eating at one of our favorite (not very kid-friendly) restaurants that we have only been to a couple of times since Ruby was born. It was wonderful.

It made us realize we need to work harder at having a regular date night... especially for the rest of our time in Grand Rapids before this baby is born and we move and Ryan starts fellowship!

Since I like to include pictures when I blog, here are a couple of shots from Ryan's pediatric department Christmas party over the weekend. Ryan's raffle ticket won the first door prize.
His co-chief Ajay and three other attending physicians have a band - so they entertained us for the evening. The best part was that they were actually really good!

Friday, December 10, 2010


Perfect morning to make a snowman... we used pretty much all the snow in the yard, and his snow is very dirty and leafy, but still a snowman. haha. I like his green pepper mustache the best.

Spontaneous Dinner with Friends

There's nothing like a spontaneous dinner with good friends to pep up a Thursday night! Luke and Lindsay were in town visiting Luke's sister who just had twins! They called last night to see if we could meet them for dinner - so we jumped in the car and met them at Brandywine. Such fun to see them! Ruby especially loved seeing baby Emmy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ryan at the Dump

Who knew pictures of my husband at the dump on a dreary day could be so appealing. Chris took these - and you can see more on his website.

Thanksgiving Family Pic

Chris Cox Photographer took this great picture of the Cox Family at Thanksgiving! The first thing Ruby said when she saw it was, "Oh Kyle." then she shrugged her shoulders and giggled.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chopping Down the Tree

This morning we took our annual trek out to Hart Tree Farms with the Cox Family to chop down our Christmas Tree! Last year when we did this with Ruby she was so tiny she didn't really know what was going on. This year, she still didn't know what was going on, but seemed generally amazed by the whole situation.
The boys on the hunt. Major decisions were being made here.
This might be one of my all-time favorite pictures of Ryan and Ruby. Her face cracks me up.
Ruby loved the goats. This was her first experience with real live farm animals.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

First Snow of 2010

This morning was the first time Ruby has ever played in the snow. She was out last winter when we cut down our Christmas Tree, but she was too little to enjoy what was going on.
When she woke up we looked out the window and she was in awe, so I bundled her up in her snowsuit, boots and gloves and took her outside to play. I think she liked it!
Here's a video, so you can feel like you were out there playing with us this morning.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I have some creative and brilliant friends - so today as I was browsing my friend Lisa's etsy shop, this little birdies necklace inspired me to start sharing some of these friends with you!
Have you ever seen a cuter necklace? I love that it's dainty and delicate, but fun and modern at the same time. For more of Lisa's vintage-inspired jewelry with a charming modern twist, check out

Monday, November 29, 2010


Sunday after church Ryan and I took Ruby to the playground. She's not much of a climber at this stage - which is okay with me. She mostly just looks for rocks on the ground, then collects them all into a pile which she returns to constantly to see if the rocks are still there. When they are, she gets excited to see them.

I love her and her ridiculous amounts of happiness.


We had quite a full Thanksgiving weekend! It was fun to spend time together, telling stories and playing a few good rounds of nertz. The food was delicious and I ate enough for two... even though the child in my womb is only a little bigger than an avocado.
Sarah and I went shopping on Black Friday... which I have never done before. We waited until 10am, hoping that all the crazy people would have been done by then... but they were still out and about. I did find some great deals, and we did eat Chipotle for lunch, so it that alone made it an awesome afternoon.
Ryan, Chris and Dad took our leaves to the city dump on Saturday. Chris took some "industrial" pictures while they were there. I can't wait to see them! He's been shooting film, so it's a longer development process, allowing my anticipation to boil over. They also washed and waxed the van (getting it ready for the sloshnastsaltiest winter weather we have in Michigan). While they were doing all that hard work, Ruby and I took some naps.
It was a wonderfully productive yet restful weekend! I'll post more pics, including a family shot, as soon as I get it from photographer extraordinaire, Chris.