Saturday, April 30, 2011

Papayas, 3rd Place Medals and Great Friends

Yesterday we had our friends Joel & Sarah, and Luke & Lindsay over for a grill out. They drove down to see us one last time before our baby is born and we move to Columbus. It was so much fun, as usual - we spent a lot of time laughing (some of us laughed until we cried) and enjoying amazing cuisine including grilled chicken, papaya fruit salad, and McCluskey Blueberry Crisp filled with actual McClusky blueberries.

Luke with his 3rd place medal from a 5k he ran earlier in the day.
It's always fun to get out the Hope College photo albums. These guys all lived together starting freshman year - so they have nearly 12 years of memories... many of which are not suitable blog material. haha.
The ladies... and the unborn. This was the day we've been waiting for - the day we wanted to make it to before having this baby. From here on out, I'm happy whenever she decides to make her debut.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Guest Blogger - Mark Beeson

I'm so excited - My awesome dad has generously agreed to be my guest blogger again this time around. If you've been reading my blog since June of 2009, you may recall the great job he did as a guest blogger when Ruby was born - I know a lot of you got a kick out of his antics. I am so glad he's going to guest blog again! Yahoo!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just One Child

This morning I was looking back through my youtube channel at some of the videos I've made since Ruby was born. Watching this one makes me so excited to add another tiny baby to our family soon!

They really do grow up so fast - I know that's such a cliche thing to say, but I also know that I want to live each day to the fullest, I want to be fully engaged in the lives of my daughters, I want to spend quality time with them and I want to laugh and enjoy the ridiculousness and all the shenanigans that come along with being a parent.

I'm feeling very blessed today. Not sure how many more days I'll have to spend with just one child...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!!

Ruby loved hunting for easter eggs and putting them in her basket. I can't believe the difference a year makes! She seemed so little last Easter and so big this one!

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Ryan and I have been married for almost 7 years and I can't seem to get it through my thick skull that every single year on Easter morning Ryan says, "He is Risen!" and I reply "Yeah!" and Ryan laughs and says, "No, you're supposed to say, "He is Risen, Indeed!"
Luckily, it's 3:36am and I am wide awake with sleeplessness in these final weeks of pregnancy. I have reminded myself of the correct response to his Easter morning greeting... he is going to be so surprised when I am the one to say, "He is Risen!" first!

haha. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Grandparents are the best!

My wonderful mom and dad came up to Grand Rapids on Monday to spend a few hours with us. They have always been so happy to make the drive - even when I was a student at Hope College they would come up, take me to dinner at Ruby Tuesday's then drive home the same day. I've always admired the way they show me that even if they spend more time in the car than they do actually WITH us, it's still worth the drive!
Ruby was SO EXCITED to see her Grammy and Papa. As soon as they got here she started squealing and stomping her feet and running around as if the joy in her heart could not be contained had she been standing still.
We went for a walk (2 blocks) to the playground at the end of our street. It was a good hour and a half ordeal since Ruby's agenda includes stopping to examine every crack in the sidewalk, every ant, every piece of trash, smell every flower, listen to every bird, pet every kitty...
...and walk up and down the "hill" between the edge of the sidewalk and the grass. This gave my photographer dad plenty of time to get some great pictures.
Love you mom and dad! Thanks for making the drive!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

SiTE:LAB Grand Rapids

The whole Cox Family met downtown GR on Friday night to check out SiTE:LAB. Ryan's little brother Christopher and a couple of his artist friends from Hope were a few of the 100 local artists who displayed their installation-based art as part of the one-night showcase. The event was in an old, vacant warehouse... It was quite extraordinary to walk through and see what the artists came up with for the space.
Friday's event -- free and open to the public -- will help raise awareness of LaFontsee Galleries' soon-to-be new location, as well as provide local emerging artists, especially installation-based artists, the opportunity to showcase their work to the public and get their work out of the classroom.
"So what this really does, is this is part of an art students' education. This is showing them how you work and live as an artist," said Tom Clinton, SiTE:LAB's exhibition coordinator.

"It basically goes back to the original model and idea of getting the students, the schools. the community, the businesses -- everybody to collaborate and come together and come up with something," said Eric Kuhn, who is helping with the event's technology integration.

SiTE:LAB's mission statement says it "creates temporary art projects aimed at facilitating dynamic collaborations between the art, education, business and cultural communities in Grand Rapids." - MLive
So proud of Chris. He is honing his skills as an artist and a photographer. You can see more of his work on his website

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Our Week in Florida - Closing Remarks.

It's been a few weeks since we got home from our week in Florida and we've had time to get back into the swing of things here. Ruby did so well being away from us for 8 days! Her grandparents are awesome. She spent 4 days with each set and had the time of her life... I'm not sure she even realized we were gone until we came home and picked her up! So thankful for the time Ryan and I had together before baby girl #2 is born.

In closing, here are a few more random pictures from our time with Aaron and Tracy. They were incredible and let us sleep in their house and eat all of their cereal all week (and let me tell ya, I eat A LOT of cereal!)

Here we are eating lunch at an awesome little place called Flavors Eatery in St. Augustine. It was seriously good food - we are going to have to eat there again sometime because it was such a memorable and enjoyable experience. Look how much Ryan loved his meal when it came. His face is so priceless.
Here's Tracy, getting work done. She was finding all the info we needed for our day in St. Augustine - she is awesome.
And here's Ry, smelling the pretty rose that was in the middle of our table.
When we were in St. Augustine we purchased these red trolley stickers that gave us unlimited access to the sight-seeing trolley. We could hop on or off at any trolley stops and covered a lot of ground in just a few hours.
Here we were on the sight-seeing trolley. It was so nice of everyone to pretend like they wanted to ride the trolley instead of walking around all day. I was one happy pregnant person enjoying the breezy ride as well as the wealth of information gained from our tour guide trolley driver guy.
Are you seeing these popsicles? These are specialty gourmet popsicles from a place called The Hyppo that were ridiculously delicious. I don't even understand how delicious they were. You can order them and have them shipped to your house (or to my house if you're so inclined... I like the Pink Grapefruit flavor) - learn more about that HERE.

On sleeping on the floor

Remember a couple of months ago when I moved Ruby out of her crib and into a twin bed? Well, Here's how it's been going...
Yep, pretty much every day she takes her nap on the floor. Luckily at night it's dark enough in her room that she doesn't get out of bed, but nap time is a whole different story.

I put her down for her nap, we say prayers, then I leave the room and close the door. She immediately gets out of bed, reads books for awhile, knocks nicely on the inside of the door, and eventually collapses from exhaustion on the floor since (like a good mother) I totally ignore her for hours on end until she finally falls asleep.

So that's how that has been going. haha.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

5 things...

So much is going on right now! My to-do list is getting longer by the day, mostly because I would rather go to the park with Ruby than get anything done. This will become a problem very soon.
  1. Ruby went to her friend Parker's 2nd birthday party today - and I was the mom at McDonalds who took her daughter's shirt off before letting her dig into the Elmo cupcakes with red frosting...
  2. Ryan took me to see Ra Ra Riot in concert at Hope on Monday night. I really liked the opening band, Scars on 45. We were the oldest people in the crowd, and my extreme pregnancy most certainly frightened many college students throughout the evening. I'm thankful for a hubby who takes me on dates. He's so awesome.
  3. We have a "For Sale" sign in our front yard. Our landlords are going to sell the cutie house we've been renting for the last few years. If you're in the market for a single-family home in Alger Heights, click HERE to check it out!
  4. I am going to have a baby really soon! This morning at my ultrasound they discovered that she's not breech anymore, which is a total miracle since she's been head up since my 20-week appointment. Needless to say, I am THRILLED to not have to have a c-section at this point. (hopefully she won't turn back!) My due date is May 12th and our move date is June 13th. WHOA MAMA!
  5. Life is glorious!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spontaneous Grill-Out with Luke and Lindsay

One of the things we will miss most about living in Grand Rapids is that so many of our friends live within a few hours and have family in the area. Yesterday afternoon we got to have a spontaneous grill-out with Luke and Lindsay and their girls Isla and Emmy since they were driving through GR on their way home.
The sun was shining and it was warm and pleasant out, so we spent some time out on the porch.
The boys grilled delicious brats, dogs and burgers for us - a true summer meal.
The ladies - I am looking 46 weeks pregnant, as you can see.
And here are the girls, since it's so fun to see how much they have grown since the last time they played together.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Old Fort - St. Augustine

One of the stops on our sightseeing tour of St. Augustine was The Old Fort or Castilla de San Marcos, built by the Spanish starting in 1672. It's in remarkable shape for being so old. (I hope someone says that about me someday.)

We got to see a historic weapons demonstration where they blasted one of the old cannons out into the bay. I don't think a cannonball actually came out, but I'm not positive. It was quite a loud explosive experience which Ryan genuinely enjoyed, as you can see by the look on his face.

Aaron and Tracy, looking like they should be in a tourism magazine.
This is the man that I love.
Ryan and Aaron keeping watch for enemy vessels at one of the towers. They are too funny together.
In closing, here's a picture of The Bump... as of 2 weeks ago. I feel like she's growing faster than my body can keep up. She's over 5 pounds and 18 inches long right now.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Orlando Magic Game

Friday night we got tickets to the Magic game - and we were so excited to see the new Amway Arena... we kinda felt like we were supporting our local economy since Rich DeVos is a Grand Rapids guy.
The arena was awesome, Dwight Howard is Superman, the Magic won the game and we got to see Lisa and Noah sitting across the court from us. It was a great night!

Beach Day

Balanced the camera on a pile of beach gear for this pic... love the self-timer option.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Family Dinner

Thursday night the Hunter Clan came over to Aaron and Tracy's for dinner. We had so much fun catching up with the Florida relatives.

One of the most hilarious parts of the evening was Bailey and all the little cousins. Jada and Ella kept yelling, "Stand Down!" which is not a command that Bailey is familiar with... but they used it all night. So funny. Also, Lincoln was laughing, squealing and running from Bailey while simultaneously being completely terrified of her all at once. A little boy filled with a blend of terror and happiness is quite a sight to see!
Here's Aunt Becky with Joel and Lizzy's little Luke. He's too cute for words.
The ladies (featuring a really weird angle of my face)
Aunt Becky and the kiddos - they're all so awesome.
Such a great time with such a great family.