Photos From Our Fifth

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Our Fifth Anniversary Date Day was a wonderful success! Kevin arrived home on Friday (our actual anniversary) around 7pm from a two day church conference. I presented him with a small token of my love –  this vintage-esque Detroit Tigers shirt.

Saturday morning, we took 5 minutes to set up our tripod and camera for a photo shoot at my request. Thank you, Husband, for humoring me, for putting on your nice sweater, for smiling beautifully and for doing something just for me (because I know you do not enjoy being in front of the camera.)

We made it to Goodwill around 10:15am, called Kevin’s mom to sing Happy Birthday (complete with harmonies!) and headed inside for a shopping spree. This was another stop in our day that was mostly for my personal pleasure.  We found —

-a fantastic dress for me to wear on our November cruise – for $8.99
two pairs of Converse (shoes I’ve wanted but couldn’t spend $60 on – I got both pair for $13)
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-for $4.99 an Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer
a pair of shorts for Kevin
-jean capris and running pants for moi
-a folder filing system for the piano studio

Not a bad haul!


Thank you, again, Kevin, for being such a good sport (and for having really good taste in dresses – Yes, he picked out both of the dresses I’m wearing in these pictures).

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I love the style of this dress. And I wanted to show off my new pixie hair cut again. 

We had a delicious lunch at Java Junction! I was thrilled Kevin enjoyed the food and the atmosphere as much I thought he would. He loved his Avocado Mac and Cheese and Seafood Bisque, and I enjoyed a Mesa Chicken Wrap and salad. The Chocolate Raspberry Coffee I had was phenomenal and Kevin loved his classic iced coffee. We shall be back, JJ.

Lunch was finished just in time to take a stroll down to the Strand Theater for the $5.50 matinee showing of Star Trek: Into Darkness. This is the first movie in a long time that I haven’t been counting down the minutes till it’s over. (I just can’t seem to sit for two hours of focused attention any more. *sigh*) But it was a really great show! I mean, I heart Benedict Cumberbatch so it’s a winner for sure. ;) Kevin enjoyed it even more because he’s seen all of the original Star Trek episodes.

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I include this photo for proof that “We Heart Cumberbatch”

After the movie, we wandered around Main St. in Brockport and then headed to the Mini Golf course. We decided the course left a lot to be desired (and it was a bit chilly) so we drove away. We made it to Miller’s Amish Bulk Food and Bakery just before closing and man o man will I be back! I bought Cashew Butter, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Rye Flour and Kevin’s dates–all for great prices.

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On our way to Medina for dinner, we stopped at a yard sale and scored in the book department. Don’t ask me why we’re buying more books when we just purged our shelves a few months ago, but we couldn’t help ourselves. Kevin was excited to find a great selection of out-of-print Isaac Asimov books and I found a slew of Henri Nouwen books. The contemplative Phi-Rel girl in me was nearly squealing with excitement.

Thanks to a gift card, we enjoyed dinner at Avanti’s – splitting a pizza (with lots of leftovers!) and ordered Cokes for $19.

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Though to many people our daily lives appear to be one big long date (don’t get me wrong, we love living life just the two of us, getting to do and go whatever we want, whenever we want), but having an 8 hour day planned out on purpose was a true date for us. It seems low-key for a 5th anniversary, and it was. Because that’s us. We love time together, time to laugh, time to talk, and if we can do it on dime, even better!

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I love you, Husband of mine. 

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Married for Five Years

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May 24, 2008
1st On our first anniversary, my husband picked out my most treasured kitchen possession – a candy apple red KitchenAid Stand Mixer. I bought him a new slimline Bible. 

2nd For our second anniversary, we shared an adventure at Cedar Point. 

3rd I don’t remember exactly how we celebrated our third anniversary, but I wrote this post in my husband’s honor. 

4th  Last year, Kevin and I headed to Sandusky again, camped out, caught a Tigers v. Indians game, and had a blast at Cedar Point. 

5th Plans were tossed around from months in advance, but we finally opted to stick to low-key, close-to-home, lots-of-time-together day. We’ll be spending all day Saturday being together – our favorite thing to do.
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March 2013

Dear Husband of Mine,

I am so thankful God established this covenant relationship between the two of us. Each day I am increasingly in love with you, deepening my respect for you, having more fun with you.

There really is no where else I’d rather be, than right here beside you, for always.

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Relient K was one of our favorite bands when we got married and this song was played during our reception. He’s still the Best Thing that’s ever happened to me. 

Cause when I looked into your eyes and you dared to stare right back, you should have said, “Nice to meet you, I’m your other half.”

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I love you, Babe! Happy 5th year of marriage!

My Multitude of Children

Seeing as how it’s Mother’s Day, I thought I would share some pictures of the children God has blessed me with over the past 5 years. Though I may not yet (or ever) have biological children of my own, my life is rich, filled with dozens of kids who become an integral part of my heart’s beating. I love each of these fiercely, with a passion and protectiveness that mirrors a mother’s. And from their own lips these beautiful children reciprocate this relationship with me as they tell me how much they love me or when they ask me to fill in as their mom in a classroom activity or by writing me Mother’s Day cards.
Last year was a darker, more painful encounter with Mother’s Day, being reminded of what I don’t have, but today I am grateful to be relying more closely on the fullness of Jesus and recognizing the multitude of blessings He has poured out on me.
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These sweet girls are somehow like daughters and sisters to me.
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My three T kids, who I mothered for two weeks in March
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My Maddie on her birthday
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My Kate, Viv, Olivia, Riley
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My massive family with whom I spent those 3 beautiful years with in Michigan
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A return Michigan visit with those Crazy Kids.
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For two years, I have spent my Thursday Morning with these lovelies
(babysitting at Morning Moms.)
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My Michigan Heartbeat
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My precious Jillian
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My sweet Amelia baby, born the day we moved to NY, we have a beautiful bond.

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My Tess, Calandra, Arella and Catherine. Such sweet spirits. 

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My Tilly, Hailey, Riley, and KayKay. Love them in my life. 
And to the mothers of all of these beautiful children of mine, thank you so much for sharing their lives with me. I am sure it’s not easy to allow another woman to pour into your baby’s life and become deeply connected with them. But you let me in, you encourage me along the way, and I feel so loved and appreciated by each of you. 
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Lest I not to mention how thankful I am for the two moms I have, I am reflecting on the truth of the words I  wrote three years ago. Read here.

Negative Nelly? Not Today.

I’ll be honest. I have a tendency toward negative attitude when things don’t go my way. I can be quite childish, actually. But God is always good and this morning He granted me, in all His sovereignty, the state of mind to remain calm and positive in the midst of extremely frustrating circumstances.

Exhibit A: 
Our beloved 1998 Honda Civic is on the fritz. The past few days it’s been stalling out whenever I put in the clutch or cruise for a bit in neutral. Not cool. Yesterday, I had to restart it no less than 6 times on a 10 minute drive. We plan to take it in to the mechanic on Monday morning, but we’re also seriously considering buying a used Honda Civic Hybrid. Tough decisions, I tell ya.

Exhibit B: 
Due to the state of our vehicular affairs, I opted to bike into work today. Yes, 7.8 miles. I figured it would take the place of my run and it wouldn’t cut into Kevin-and-Mel morning time together because he was leaving at 7:20 for a conference.

Within the first 10 minutes of ride, the rusted-out chain of my bicycle had fallen off the gears. Glorious. By God’s grace I managed to figure out how to put the chain back on, and I was back on the road.

Exhibit C: 
Back up to an hour before leaving for work. I’m in the bathroom getting ready for the day, and in preparation for putting lotion on, I placed my ring on it’s ring holder. But somehow, who knows how, the ring bounced off it’s shelf, onto the floor, and right down the rusted-out, gross-looking floor register. (Evidently, we have a lot of rust going on in our lives.)

NOOOOOOOOO. I did NOT just drop my ring down the register. PLUNK. I heard it hit the bottom of the metal duct work. I was hopeful it was just a few feet down, so Kevin and I attempted to pull the vent out of it’s position. A seemingly-simple task, right? Not so much. This old vent had been nailed into the floor boards (don’t ask me how). I grabbed two sets of pliers and with hulk-like adrenaline strength pulled that darn thing out of the floor.

At this point we discovered the bottom of the duct work was waaaaaay down, all the way in the basement. Kevin set to work taking apart the piping downstairs, but we picked the wrong vent and he came up empty. We’re waiting for a maintenance guy to show up and help us out.

Exhibit D: 
Back to the bike ride – I am nearing the construction zone of the “straight shot” portion of my route and I’m hoping I can sneak through anyways. I quickly realize the road is straight-up closed (not just to “through traffic”) but I avoid eye contact with the workers and carefully guide my bike through the zone. I make it on time for work, albeit a bit sweaty.

Exhibit E:
The bike ride on the way home from work. Though my friend had offered to pick me up, I thought it would be a nice end to my work week to bike home in the glorious sunshine. Turns out that 74 degrees and 9.2 miles later is not the best thing ever. (Yes, the 7.8 mile ride became 9.2 miles when I opted to take the official road detour and be a law abiding citizen on my way home.) Wow. I was DYING out there.

The ride home took me much longer than 35 minutes–closer to 50–and I was dripping with sweat and felt like Jello.

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So there is my sob story of a Friday, but friends, I’m seriously thankful for the good countenance the Lord has bestowed on me. I could be in a very bad mood, after all. But God is always good.

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A New Job

My absence can be explained by the addition of a NEW JOB to my already-busy schedule. I am now working as the “marketing girl” (as they call me) at Brown’s Berry Patch – a farm, market, gift shop, ice cream and deli, pick your own fruit, barnyard adventure operation located about 10 miles north of our house. 
These days I wake up at 6:10, go for a run in the early morning sunshine, shower, maybe do a load of laundry, put dinner in the crockpot, make breakfast, have devotions with my husband, grab a sack lunch and head out the door for work at 8:40am. I work from 9am to 2pm Monday through Friday. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I promptly head home in time to teach piano from 3:30-7pm. Kevin and I have dinner together (eating late is now the “usual” for us and I don’t feel completely famished for two hours while teaching), play a game of Settlers of Catan, watch an episode of Dr. Who, start another episode just in time for me to fall soundly asleep on the sofa. Just before or just after 10pm, I head to bed, read a few pages of my latest Agatha Christie mystery, then off to sleep I go. 
Some days, like tonight, I have teens over for a small group or head to a church meeting. Saturdays are much more valued now in my busy schedule. 
But, as I learned from my 11 Days as a Mom, I had more time in my days than I ever realized. I love the work I do and I love the extra money in our savings account. I’m super busy, but I am thankful.