Saturday, February 27, 2010


Ruby got to spend time with her cousin Lydia for the first time yesterday. It was so fun to see her reach out to Lydia, inspecting her feet and patting her little body. Lydia is 4 pounds 9.5 ounces and has strawberry blonde hair. She is so cute - I can't tell if she looks more like Ang or John.
I love being close enough to drive down for a couple of days to encourage and help my sister. Lydia isn't even supposed to be born yet, but Angela is already months down the road of being a mom. I am so proud of her, of the sacrifices she is happily making and of the team that she and John have been through this whole process.
My dad took these pictures while the girls sat on the couch together. I love the one of Ruby yawning.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


You've seen the commercials, you've heard the radio spots, you've driven past the Cash4Gold guys dancing on the side of the road... but have you actually gone in and tried to get cash?

Well, today I had lunch with Bekah (my blog friend turned real friend) and when we were done I asked her if she would like to come with me to sell some gold. She is fun, so she hopped in my car and off we went!
Most of my gold turned out to be "magnetic" which apparently means it's not gold. I did have some silver in a bracelet that I could have sold for $1.50, but that just didn't seem worth it.
After about 5 minutes the "WE BUY GOLD" guy handed me six $1 billz... So I said, "Look out Mr. Security Guard at the door - I'm a high-roller!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ruby's First Day at the Beach

Uncle Aaron and Aunt Tracy took Ruby to New Smyrna Beach on Saturday. We were so thrilled when the weather got warm enough for us to take off our sweatshirts for a couple of hours. Ruby absolutely LOVED it... especially when we let her play in the sand.
First she touched it,
then she looked at it in her hand...
...then (of course) she ate it.

Friday, February 19, 2010


This picture of Ruby and Ryan is my favorite picture of the day. First of all, they look exactly the same. Secondly, Ruby was actually clapping and watching Shamu... her mouth is open and squealing in awe. I loved watching her watch and I loved that I captured this moment.
Uncle Aaron taught Ruby about seals and sea lions. She was confused about what the barking sound was coming from and kept looking around for the doggie.
We wore Ruby out. The prefect ending to a great day at SeaWorld!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Boat-loads of Sushi

Aaron and Tracy took Ryan and I to an awesome little sushi place in Baldwin Park. It's called Seito and was really cool on the inside. The four of us put down an entire boat-load of sushi rolls... literally, they brought it out in a huge wooden boat. Heavenly.

After we ate, we went to Summit Church for the Ash Wednesday service. Aaron and Tracy are both on staff there and my cousin Isaac is the pastor. I've heard Isaac preach online, but never live - so it was really cool to be there in person. Summit is such an incredible church. I think everyone who goes there is really nice. Seriously. Everyone I met was really incredibly nice. (Hi Pat, Jessica and Ali!) Ryan thought the guy from FleetFoxes was leading worship - but it was actually Joey Bradshaw. So great.


Yesterday afternoon Aaron, Ryan and I went with my cousin Josh for a tour of the HunterVision space. It's so incredible to see all the exciting things unfolding for my cousins. Joel is working hard finishing up his Opthalmology Fellowship while his brother Josh is getting everything in order for the HunterVision office to open later this year! Their location is INCREDIBLE! If you need lasik, or pretty much anything else done to your eyes, Joel is probably the guy you want to go to!

I Heart My Cousins

Tuesday night we got the whole family together for a grill out. My awesome cousin Josh took these pics of Ruby meeting a bunch of her second cousins. It was so great for Ryan and I to get to see everyone.
I love seeing my cousins Rhonda and Lisa with their kids... figuring out how to be a mom takes a lot of paying attention. I basically just watched everything they did and took mental notes the whole night.
Aunt Becky was there too - she is the most encouraging woman I know. Pretty much whenever she is around everyone around her is a better person and the world is a better place. Even Ruby was better!
After grilling piles of burgers and dogs, Aaron and Ryan built a raging inferno in the fire pit in Aaron's backyard. All the kids ran around under the canopy of lights hanging from the trees.
It was such a fun night filled with so many people that I love. Here are more pics from Josh. My favorite one with Ruby's reflection in the table.

Ruby's First Flight

Ruby is officially a traveller of the skies! We flew down to Florida to stay with Aaron and Tracy for a week, and Ruby did great on the plane!

I had a grand plan of feeding her during takeoff... so we were all buckled up and ready for takeoff I fed her, then the pilot was all like, "We have too much weight on this plane, we either need to burn fuel or ask one person to take a later flight... about 30 minutes later we were finally taking off, and of course, by then Ruby was done eating. Oh well.

She slept pretty much the entire way - she even slept through Ryan and I making each other laugh by putting mints in our mouth to look like teeth.
You had to be there. It was hilarious!

Vacation Time

This is what I saw out my window the day before we left for vacation. Michigan is a snowy, cold place to live... but as my dad always says, "the good thing about living here is that no matter where you go on vacation, it's better!"

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can more mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always persevered. Love never fails... and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. - 1 Corinthians 13

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Just Say No!

Have any of you heard of the "Global Vacation Network"? Well - neither had I, until last night! As I mentioned in my post yesterday, we won a vacation package, all we had to do was go to their 90 minute presentation to claim our prize. (If they would have mentioned the name of their company before the presentation, I would have googled them before we left - but alas, they saved that important info until we got there.)

At one point in the presentation I said "I know a lot of people - why haven't I ever head of you?" and they told me its because of how exclusive they are - that you only qualify if you're between the ages of 22 and 70 and have a credit card. hmmm....

It was a close call - definitely appealing and enticing with lots of bells and whistles... For a small introductory rate of $9,800 and a tiny membership fee of $389 per year we could have vacationed in the lap of luxury for the rest of our life!

But we said no.
Then we said it again.
Then we strongly considered what we might be losing out on.
Then we remembered that we didn't have any money.
Then we said no again.
Then our sales lady lowered the price for us
And Ryan asked her if we could think about it
And she said no, this was our only chance in our lifetime
So we were like "Woah - that's crazy talk! And we said no again.
Then our one-on-one sales person called her manager over
And we said no to him
Then he lowered the price for us
And we said no again

I googled "Global Vacation Network" when we got home and couldn't find a single positive review. SO GLAD WE SAID "NO"!

We both woke up this morning feeling great about the decision we made to walk away. Amazingly, after 2 hours when we left, everyone else that was a part of our presentation was still there, either celebrating the fact that they signed up, or still working through figuring out some way to make it work.

Ironically, I have some doubts about the free airline tickets and 3 day/2 night vacation now that I've googled them - seems like a lot of people didn't get what they thought. We did get a $50 American Express gift card, so that's good for a tank of gas!

So there you go. Was it worth going? Sure! Ryan and I laughed a lot and had a fun evening whispering back and forth about all the places we'd love to travel someday! I'm going to take him to the French Alps and he is going to take me to the Whitsunday Islands in Australia.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What REALLY happens if you respond within 72 hours...

We got a letter in the mail a few days ago:

Our Promotional Department shows that you have been awarded, TWO ROUND TRIP AIRLINE TICKETS TO ANY MAJOR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ANYWHERE IN THE CONTINENTAL USA, including a THREE DAY/TWO NIGHT GETAWAY that can be used at hundreds of Marriott properties bla bla bla...
Also, as an added gift, you will receive a $30.00 Dinner Card for Two to be used at any Red Lobster bla bla bla...
Our records indicate that if you respond within 72 hours you will also receive a Savings Bucks Book providing thousands of dollars in savings bla bla bla... Also you will receive a $50 American Express Gift Card.
To find out how to claim this special gift, simply call 1-800-bla bla bla..."

Now, when I opened that letter, I put it straight onto the recycle pile and walked away because I don't even like Red Lobster. A certain husband of mine (who shall remain nameless), considered it the chance of a lifetime, called the number and got us both signed up for a "no pressure 90 minute presentation about time shares..." tonight at 8pm.

I'm pretty sure it's going to be a crazy night. I am trying to work up my feisty side and reviewing everything I know about the rejection cycle of sales in my head so I can give 'em the "one-two-chop" if they try to weasel us into putting out a single dollar of our own money.

I'll let you know how it goes... I have a feeling it's not going to be pretty.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Proud Mama

Today was Ruby's final swimming lesson - and she did great. Miss Patty gave her a certificate of achievement that shows all the skills she has acquired - including:
  • Getting wet with toys
  • Getting wet kicking
  • Entering water by lifting in
  • Exit water by lifting out
  • Underwater exploration
  • Submerging mouth, nose and eyes
  • Leg action on front
  • Leg action on back
  • The importance of wearing a life jacket.
Here she is eating her certificate.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lydia is HOME

Lydia is home and is doing awesome! Just look at her little smiley face - looks like she's thinking "I love being out of the NICU!" Angela, John and all of us want to thank you for your prayers during these last few weeks!
It is possible to enjoy Me and glorify Me in the midst of adverse circumstances. In fact, My light shines most brightly through believers who trust Me in the dark. That kind of trust is supernatural: a production of My indwelling Spirit. When things seem all wrong, trust Me anyway. I am much less interested in right circumstances that in right responses to whatever comes your way. - Jesus Calling
JOHN 16:33; PSALM 112:4-7

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Swap Friends

This morning two awesome things happened! First of all, I met one of my blog friends in real life! Secondly, I swapped out a bunch of house goods for other people's stuff and it was basically like shopping for new stuff without spending any money.

This is Bekah, my new real life friend. We've been reading each other's blogs for about a year and today we met face-to-face for the first time! She loves Jesus, her hubby's name is also Ryan and she is a sweetheart - literally, she has the sweetest heart and a transparent way of living that is really truly beautiful. You can read her blog too!
Here's a group shot of the ladies who participated in the swap. We had a wonderful afternoon "shopping" together!

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Teenoddler

Ruby has been kinda rough on me for the lest few days - so I thought I'd share this video from last week, when she was happy to be alive, before she had thoughts and opinions about things.

This little video features Ruby's Rubber Ducky. She has a lot to say about him. And uses a lot of diaphragm muscles for emphasis in her story. Enjoy!

So why all the trouble lately?
  • Maybe she's having some "attachment" issues right now - if I'm not holding her she is probably screaming her head off.
  • Her new thing when she is sad/angry is to clasp her hands together, drop her head and sob. It's really incredible, very dramatic and (I hate to admit) quite effective.
  • Or she might be teething. I stuck my finger in there and can't feel anything, so I don't really think this is why.
It's funny, there are tons of books out there about babies, and tons more about toddlers... but what about the months in between? She's not 1 yet, so not a toddler... but she's much too aware and interactive to be a baby. She's a teenoddler. Yes. Odder than a teenager, not quite a toddler! TEENODDLER!!

February 4th - Jesus Calling

"Bring Me your weakness, and receive My peace. Accept yourself and your circumstances just as they are, remembering that I am sovereign over everything. Do not wear yourself out with analyzing and planning. Instead, let thankfulness and trust be your guides through this day; they will keep you close to Me. As you live in the radiance of My Presence, My Peace shines upon you. You will cease to notice how weak or strong you feel, because you will be focusing on Me. The best way to get through this day is step by step with Me. Continue this intimate journey, trusting that the path you are following is headed for heaven."
PSALM 29:11; NUMBERS 6:24-26; PSALM 13:5

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Sister and Niece

Last weekend I got to visit my precious niece Lydia in the NICU and to throw my sister a baby shower with a bunch of her friends.

Lydia is such a cutie. She has a dimple chin - and is actually getting some meat on her bones! She's so close to 4 pounds... within 2/3 of an ounce! We are all so thrilled with her progress and growth.
I loved that I got to throw a baby shower for my sister. She has poured into the lives of dozens of young girls - mentoring them, leading them, loving them through their years as middle school and high school students. She has been a part of their lives as she served beside John as a youth leader in Granger's Student Ministry. Those were the girls at the shower, and my favorite part was hearing each of them tell Ang why they thought she would be a great mom.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


It's been so fun to see Ruby's curiosity growing as she becomes more and more aware of what's around her and what she's capable of. I love the times I catch her really focusing on something, really taking time to study something carefully; looking, touching and of course tasting. These are a couple of those moments I happened to capture last week with my dad's fancy camera.