Dec 30, 2009

Sunday morning we were greeted by loads of our wonderful lake effect snow. It was fresh and beautiful, so we bundled up in snow pants and took our Charlotte's new sleigh (gift from Grandma B). Maggie used up some of her energy leaping through the snow drifts, which really made Charlotte laugh.

We found a small hill in a playground and pushed Charlotte down. She didn't go much more than a foot at a time, but still seemed to get a kick out of it.

What a fun daddy

Of course, we had to take advantage of this virgin snow with some good old fashioned snow angels.

Eskimo kisses

After about 30 minutes of all of that, Charlotte was ready to move on to warmer things. I had a lot of fun and look forward to some real sledding at VanRaalte park when she gets older.

A new year and new beginnings

In honor of the new year and my new netbook, I am going to give some energy back to blogging. I sit here typing as I listen to Brian disassemble the Christmas tree (I was helping up until he got to the lights, don't think I'm lazy). It makes me sad to take the tree down already as it really is just the start of the Christmas season in the liturgical sense. But leaving the tree up also stresses me with one more thing on the "to-do" list. Plus, I don't want to miss our chance for the curb-side tree pick up...a city living perk.
Christmas this year was joyful in so many different ways. It was so much fun to watch the focus shift to the grandchildren. Even if Charlotte had no clue what was going on other than a lot of noise and food, I like to think she was having the time of her life.
Here are a few of my favorite moments that I actually had the chance to photograph...there are a lot of them, but you've been "deprived" of my blog for a while so perhaps you won't mind.

We foolishly thought we could get Matthew and Charlotte to pose in their Christmas best.

I'm stunning in my stocking cap

She's ready for her old fashioned sleigh ride. Thanks Grammee!

Thanks for letting me ride your four wheeler Matthew!

Maggie was eyeing the pecan pie all day.

I've got this present thing down now.

Amos and Charlotte couldn't have been happier to be in the same p.j.s

Four generations of wonderful women

Grandma K - a wild woman!

Well, we forgot to get a family photo on Christmas day, but I'm still happy with this one. Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope you enjoyed your holiday as much as I did.

Oct 28, 2009


I have decided to take a small break from blogging. I hope to be back in 2010. For now, I need to take one thing off of my "to do" list. I am sure many of you know how that feels.

Oct 11, 2009

Post Family Farm

We have been so busy lately that I can't think straight most of the time, but we are having so much fun. Some day I'll post a few pictures from Carrie's baby shower, but for now, here are a few of my favorite pictures from our trip to the pumpkin farm yesterday. Holland Junior Welfare League families joined together at Post Family Farm for a hayride. We had fun weaving through the corn maze and picking our pumpkin out of the hundreds in the field.

Of course, we all know who my favorite pumpkin-head is. And yes, I knit the hat :)

How big is Charlotte?

Teaching her where Mommy's yarn comes from.

Now, I must go so I can eat a caramel apple!

Oct 5, 2009

That's my boy!

Jacqueline actually showed me the link to this - she's a proud SIL.

Sep 28, 2009

As of Wednesday, Charlotte has figured out how to truly crawl. Her dad and I are her biggest cheerleaders. I don't think she understands what we're so excited about.

Sep 27, 2009

Art Prize

For those who live under a rock, perhaps you haven't heard about the $250,000 Art Prize in Grand Rapids, 9/23 - 10/10. I wanted to tour the various art works, but wasn't quite sure when I'd make it down town. Brian talked me into heading out there with him today since he needed to do some PR work. We raced out of the house by 9:30 to get there (and yes, when you have a baby, 9:30 is racing). I barely ate breakfast, which later came to be a colossal mistake.

While Brian worked, Charlotte and I strolled about town. We found this maze of recyclable plastics.

Aah, just like home. A beautiful portrait of a windmill made out of black dots.

We hung around waiting for this guy to jump off of his 75' foot easel, but apparently he "wasn't granted permission by the city." Also known as, "I chickened out."

Apparently the Lochness Monster wanted to check out the art too.

Charlotte and I held our very own tea party on this massive table and chairs.

Charlotte got to hang with Kaomi Getz, formerly of Michigan Radio. She thought Charlotte should be a model, but maybe she changed her mind after she saw her in this photo.

Then we waited amidst the crowds for the release of the 100,000 paper airplanes from 5 rooftops (done by the same artist who orchestrated the Pillow Fight and Zombie Walk). It was as though we were all watching a space ship land. The crowd was at a standstill. The airplane release was choreographed with an orchestra playing some Scandinavian song, apparently one of the artist's favorites. The planes were tossed out in clumps from large sheets. It was a nice effect, but many just fell quickly to the ground. If he could've figured out a way to slowly sprinkle them to the streets, I would've enjoyed it much more.

Once the demonstration ended, it was so difficult to get out of the pack. Then we failed over and over trying to find somewhere to eat. Anyone who knows me well enough knows I can get awfully irritable if I don't get to eat on schedule. Finally we just ended up getting in the car and trying to get out of dodge so that we could find food with less than a 30 minute wait. Amidst all of the shuffle, Charlotte lost one of her shoes. And I'm quite sure she didn't kick it off in a fit of joy.

All in all, I enjoyed the day, exhausting as it was. Lesson learned: If Brian ever tries to take me on a last minute day trip, pack a lot of snacks. He doesn't plan for such trivial things as eating.

Sep 22, 2009

I don't want to make all the other mother's out there feel bad, but I just have to show you this evidence that Charlotte is already reading at 8 months old! Yes, see she can't talk yet so she wouldn't tell me what the paper said, but it seemed quite obvious that she comprehends the text. ;)

But seriously, Charlotte has learned some new tricks over the past few weeks. She's taken to moving all over her crib at night. Now I awaken to her cry at night because she's dorked herself into some position that she can't get out of. She usually has her legs stuck in the crib bars or lying on her stomach. My favorite was when I walked in to find her seated in the corner of the crib, crying, but still pretty much asleep. As if she was saying "Help mom, I have no idea how to sleep sitting up!" We need to drop the mattress down a notch before she learns how to pull up.

I am trying my best to catch a video of her dancing. She has the cutest wiggle/head bop that she'll do for just about anything, the radio, her toys, or an off pitch song that I sing. Too funny.

Sep 20, 2009

Our friend Linda

Many of you know how much I adore Linda. I would go as far as saying I idolize her because she does everything that is cool in crafting, and on top of that, is just generally awesome to be around!
I miss working with her, but we try to make time to see each other throughout the year. So, when she invited Charlotte and I up to her cottage in Traverse City, I did all I could to rearrange my work schedule so we could go. We were there just over 24 hours, so time just flew by. My favorite parts of the trip were sitting, drinking tea and knitting while watching the bay Friday afternoon, enjoying cheese and wine at the mercardo, and watching Charlotte bond with Linda. Some day I am sure Charlotte will love her as much as I do.

View from the deck

I love applesauce

Today was the perfect day to pick apples. After we finished our "chores" for the day, we headed to Crane's orchard in Fennville and picked 54 pounds of apples, including Gala, Honeycrisp and a new version of Golden Supreme called Blondey. The Blondeys were pretty well picked over, so I had to sit on Brian's shoulders to get to the top limbs. (I knew my middle school cheerleading experience would come in handy some day.) I've already peeled most of the Gala and have them softening on the stove top right now for applesauce.

Sep 15, 2009


Charlotte is officially 8 months old. She is starting to wave, dance, and loves a good game of Peekaboo. As far as that crawling thing, she is taking it nice and slow. She's cautious like her mom.

Sep 13, 2009

5 Years

Brian and I decided to celebrate our 5 year anniversary by revisiting our favorite city, Kalamazoo. It's the city where we met each other, met our best friends, and eventually got married.

We started the night at the Chef's Table at Zazio's. We did this about 4 years ago and still remember the food so fondly that we just had to return. The night includes a 5 course Italian meal with wine pairings prepared right in front of you by chef John Koryki. He gives a nice lesson on travel in Italy as he prepares a meal focused on one region of the country. We went to Liguria for the night.

Our first course was focaccia with eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh vegetables. Next (my favorite) was halibut over summer squash "spaghetti" with basil oil. Then a potato filled ravioli with fresh pesto. Fourth - chicken with basil, fingerling potatoes, and an almond/pine nut sauce. Dessert was stuffed peach with amaretti and raisins, pistachio semifreddo and basil crema bruciata (like creme brulee). I will dream about this meal for years to come. I can't wait to go back - any friends want to go with us next time?!

The funniest (and most annoying) part of the evening was that there was another couple there celebrating their 49th anniversary. The wife had a few too many cocktails and had turned into a chatty cathy. She wouldn't stop pronouncing every thought to the chef. By the end of the 4th course she had disappeared to the restroom - good riddance.

We stayed the night in a beautiful suite at the Radisson - that way we could each enjoy our wine freely. Mom Burch took Charlotte for the night, so we were free to enjoy ourselves. The next morning we got up early to eat breakfast at Cosmo's. I had a fritatta with farm fresh veggies. So good! Anyone who went to WMU knows and loves their breakfast. We drove around campus, the ghetto, and down Fraternity Village Drive. Ah the memories. Our old house on Minor still looks great! (I know it's only been 5 years, but some of the houses around it really seem to be decaying.)

We ended our visit with mass at St. Tom's. Although the building has changed so much, there are still so many familiar faces. We loved the new structure. We couldn't resist taking a picture in front of the beautiful dove window.

Sep 2, 2009

Too bad I'll be out of town. This sounds fun.

I can't be stopped

Carter's had their warehouse sale last weekend, so I stocked up on 12-18 month clothes for next spring/summer. Best part of the whole deal was that the young lady at the register slid me an extra 20% off the whole lot. Brian had to roll his eyes when he saw how much I bought, but I just love playing dress up with Charlotte. So much better than a Barbie doll!

Also - I have about four coupons for $10 off $35 purchase, good this month - if anyone wants one I am happy to mail it to you.

Daddy gives the best baths!

Charlotte loves baths, but even more when Daddy gives them because he always thinks of new games. Today the "nose sucker" became a squirt gun. (I've also caught him making nipples into squirt guns while doing dishes...such a boy."

I don't know why this video is so choppy, so I apologize for that. I also just noticed how large Brian's nostril is! My goodness.

Aug 28, 2009

I just learned that Michael Buble has a new album coming out this October, "Crazy Love". His new single, "I Just Haven't Met You Yet" will be released this coming Monday. Can't wait! And I especially can't wait for this new album to bring him on tour again. He's just so dreamy. You're right Michael, you just haven't met me yet...except in my dreams. haha

Aug 26, 2009

The latest developments...

Despite Charlotte's illness, she is still a happy baby. She has recently focused all of her energy on crawling. I seriously thought she would never crawl because when put in her tummy position, she tends to straighten her arms behind her and flail about like a fish. However, since sitting, she's discovered a new way to "assume the position." In this video she shows you the hardest part of crawling. One must remember to move their hands along so they don't face plant. Good thing the nose is mostly cartilage.

She loves her Johnny Jump Up too. She plunks out some tunes on her piano and dances along to the beat. Monday Brian came home to me and Charlotte jumping and dancing to Rihanna on the radio. Charlotte is kind and doesn't make fun of the way I dance.

Aug 20, 2009

Find your own chillin' spot

If you have a library card in Michigan, you should take advantage of a special treat. Select libraries will offer you the opportunity to "check out" a one day pass to a Michigan State Park. Certain parks will also give you a hammock for the day. So, go ahead, take Twilight or The Time Traveler's Wife and kick back in the hammock while you revel in the $6 you saved. You deserve it.

hattip Frank

Aug 19, 2009


I was counseling a patient on a low cholesterol diet yesterday. He was convinced he was doing everything right. I told him, "You need to limit red meat." He said "Oh, I never eat red meat. I like it well done."

Aug 13, 2009

Am I imagining it?

I believe Charlotte may have babbled her first real word today. She turned 7 months yesterday, so I'm expecting big things from her now.
Is this really "dada" or is at "bla bla?" She has been a fan of the "b" sound lately, but I think I see the tip of the tongue touching the roof of her mouth. Kyle, perhaps you could consult Montelle for her expert opinion?

And does anyone have any idea what "executive sweet" is supposed to mean?

Aug 8, 2009

You knew him when...

Brian might end up getting more than 15 minutes of fame. My charismatic husband charmed his way through an audition for a pilot episode of a movie review show with a Christian theme. One of his clients suggested that he audition, so we snapped a head shot in our back yard and he hunted down some of his old movie reviews from college. He felt uneasy after the first audition, but was thrilled to get called back with 10 others out of a group of 120. Within just a couple hours of the callback audition, he received word that he had the part. Go Brian! His co-host is Rachel Ruiz. We are nervous about how this new job could conflict with his primary employment if the pilot is taken up by any cable networks, but for now we're just taking it one step at a time.

Tiny Tadpole

As an employee of Holland hospital, I was given a free week trial membership at MVP fitness club. We saved the membership for a nice warm weekend so we could enjoy the outdoor pool. Today was the perfect day to visit. The intermittent rain showers seemed to scare away the rest of town, because we had the place to ourselves. Charlotte loved to kick dolphin style and play peek-a-boo with Daddy as he ducked underwater. I can't wait to go back....but maybe one of these days I should actually go to exercise.

Don't worry - she didn't choke - just a little chlorine to rinse out her sinuses :)
Dinner with Charlotte is really more of a game than a fine dining experience. I'm nervous to take her with us for dinner at Tabor Hill on Wednesday. We'll be meeting my sister's new boyfriend. She is currently in to painting herself and her chair with her food.

At least she's not throwing it.

Aug 1, 2009

We took Charlotte's 6 month pictures today at Sears Portrait Studio. We have a stand alone Sears appliance center here in town. It was quite odd to walk past the t.v.'s and lawn mowers and into the portrait studio, but once there, we found it quite pleasant. Our photographer, Carmen, was great with Charlotte and patient with all of my demands. We had a lot of ideas that she really took time to incorporate. It wasn't at all like the wham, bam, thank you 'mam we got at JCPenney. And, just in case we weren't impressed enough by her, she tried to single handedly stop a burglar from making off with a Bravia t.v. We were looking over the order and she casually stated "Excuse me for a moment." She came back minutes later shaking, hyperventilating and crying. She noticed a suspicious man walking out with a t.v. When she tried to stop him, he almost ran over her with his mini van. Yikes!
We're very pleased with the pictures and were even more pleased that with our package, we received all of the photos on cd. Now we can get extra prints made at any commercial developer. Who wants a 5x7??

Here are a few of our favorites.

This one reminds me of the 1920s with her cloche hat.

My personal favorite, inspired by a photo of Martha and Alexis we saw at Martha Stewart's studio in April. I copied it right down to the pearl earrings.