Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Amazing California!

We're back safe and sound from an AMAZING family trip to Los Angeles. The weather was chilly but every moment was packed with giggles, love, fabulous sights, snuggles, good food, did I mention love? Martha and Chuck were amazing hosts...that word does not do justice the thoughtfulness and care they put in to every single detail. Laura and Ben carved out every possible moment to spend with us. All 4 of them put so much thought and care in to every moment! We explored new places (it was all new to the kids!), visited old favorites, and even found a moment or two to relax. Today we are tired but full of memories that will last a lifetime. There is something priceless about watching the cousins play together, hug and kiss each other, and hold hands. These pictures only scratch the surface (I have a lot of a laundry to catch up on!) so if you want more...come over for a visit! I promise the kids will talk your ears off!
Leaving Metro Airport!
Santa Monica (Noah, Abby, Sophie, Adelee, Gordie)
The sun comes out on our Hollywood Sign hike!
The sweet nieces (Amelia in yellow, Adelee in pink)

The cousins on the Hollywood Sign hike (Amelia, Noah, Adelee, Gordie, Sophie, Abby)
The Cousins at 'Mr Bones' Pumpkin patch in West Hollywood...pumpkin patch to the stars!

Including Marcia Cross (right above my head) with one of her twins!

My FAVORITE cupcake place in Beverly Hills! Nothing like it!!
Visiting the tar pits in downtown LA

The tea cups at Disneyland!!! We had a blast visiting Disney and California Adventure in one day!!

A wonderful picnic in Pasadena (where Laura and Ben live)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sweet Noah

Abby and Sophie were home sick from school on Friday. Noah was awesome and went off for the entire day on his own. He didn't think twice about riding the bus alone. That night after he was asleep I found these 3 letters in his backpack from writing time at school. He has the most tender heart. I love him.

Dear Dad: Your the best dad in the 'Universe' I love you a lot and don't forget I love you. I can't wait to see you tonight. Sincerely, Noah B
Dear Abby and Sophie: I love you a lot. Your the best sisters ever. I hope you girls are feeling better soon. I love you. Love Noah

Dear Mom: I love you a lot don't forget that I love you. i will take home some popcorn. Sincerely, Noah
Let me explain: it was the once a month 'popcorn Friday' at school where they get to buy a bag of popcorn for .25 and watch a movie. He brought two extra quarters to buy a bag for each of his sisters :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thanks for the Prayers!

Today I completed my first half marathon. It was amazing. The weather was perfect. The course was beautiful. My parents, Tom and the kids were amazing 'fans'. My running partner and friend Peggy was a rock star! I was able to smile while I ran. I was able to appreciate the beauty of the fall colors. I was able to say prayers for Martha who started a half marathon in Long Beach, CA at 7 am, just about as we were crossing the finish line. (SHE ROCKED, SHE IS AMAZING!)

The verse, "I will run and not grow weary..." was my mantra for the last 2 miles.

Thank you for the prayers, good wishes, and support! At a little after 10 am today we finished with a time of 2 hours and 3 minutes (just 3 mintues longer than our goal!). How am I feeling tonight? Proud. (and very very sore!)

My shirt caused about 20 people to yell, "GO MOMMY GO" as I ran past! It was amazing.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's almost here!

Sunday I run my first half marathon. Honestly, it's been a rough last month of training. It turns out I have some alignment/leg length issues that are wreaking havoc with my hips and lower back. Pretty much every step hurts. But, I'm stretching, wearing a lift, icing, and I will finish the race on Sunday morning. I've been laughing because "It takes a village to make Anna run a half marathon". Tom has been amazing, picking up the slack at home and supporting me. The kids are learning about goal setting, determination, and constantly chanting, "Go Mommy Go!". I am doing this for me. It has been a welcome distraction to my babies being in school all day. It is not something I ever thought I would do.
I ask for your prayers this weekend. I'm nervous, I'm excited, and I'm ready to be done! Sunday morning 8 am, think of me.
I love this excerpt from the GR Marathon Newsletter from earlier this week:

"This is the week when lives will change. On Sunday, many people, for the first time, will run 26.2 (13.1) miles. They'll learn new things about themselves. They'll meet the challenge that they've set. And their lives will never be the same again.
This is the time that a plan that's been developing for a long time finally comes to fruition. It's the result of many, many hours of training and preparation. And, in spite of some sore legs and some other physical discomfort, they're having the time of their lives.
Our goals aren't always comfortable. The good ones aren't very easy. But when I see the looks on the faces as they cross the finish line, I KNOW that they were all worthwhile.
Anyone who can run 26(13) miles can do anything. And this is the time YOU prove it to yourself."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Apples, Art Prize, and Amazing Miracles

We had an Awesome weekend.

Saturday after Noah's soccer game we headed to Crane's to pick apples. It was a perfect fall day and we had a wonderful time picking apples, eating donuts, drinking cider and laughing together.

Sunday afternoon we took the kids to 'Art Prize' in downtown GR. It was amazing. The kids LOVE art these days so it was wonderful for them to see the variety of works on display! Abby LOVED this giant bird nest made from apple tree branches.

This was another fun one...can you find all 5 of us?

The world's largest greeting card...I loved the inside (which has also been signed my many!)

Finally, every time we drive by Spectrum Downtown the kids say, "Mommy, is that where you got your best presents ever? So today, downtown they kept pointing to all the tall buildings and asking if that was where. We decided to take them there. We parked and took the once very familiar walk up to the DeVos Children's Hospital NICU. The smells were the same. The path was very clear. Once in the entry way (as far as we told the kids we could go) we showed them where we scrubbed in each day to visit them. The nurse at the entry was kind enough to show us the board of all of the nurses currently working there. We immediately picked out Dawn, our favorite and the one who cared for the kids the most. Through the hand of God, she happened to be working this evening and she came out to meet us. She immediately recognized Tom and myself and was stunned and amazed to see how our tiny fragile babies have grown in to amazing, funny 6 1/2 year olds. The girls even told her they wanted to work in a NICU someday. In the elevator we met a husband pushing his wife and her IV in a wheelchair. They had given birth to their son today. 6 weeks early. They asked the kids if they were born here. "Yep, we were!" they proudly responded. I pray for them tonight and pray that seeing our 30 weekers today brought them some peace and hope. Thank God tonight for our amazing miracles.
Dawn with Tom and Noah March 2004
Dawn and our amazing miracles October 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010


Can you believe it's October!! Here are a few photos from our month. We had a MSU 'tailgate' party with the family of one of the kids friends from school. The kids played and the grown-ups watched the game! Go State! The kids have been enjoying art class at school. I love the treasures they bring home! Today they had a 'laps for Lakeshore' event and they ran/walked the track for 30 minutes. It ended up being warmer than we expected and they were hot and tired after the half hour! So fun!
I registered for the GR half marathon yesterday. There's no going back now. This is a big weekend of running for me: 7 today (not my best feeling run but we did go fast-8.5 min miles), 2 tomorrow and 12 on Sunday. It's the longest run before the race on October 17. I'm excited, nervous and a little ready to get it done! I'm running with a friend and it is sure an adventure! Prayers that my legs hold out, I've been a little sore these days (picture my awesome sister Martha-who is also training for a 1/2 on the same day in LA-who is a physical therapist giving Tom stretching instructions for me via speaker phone!). It takes a village to prepare a runner!
Happy October!

The girls and their friend Ella at 'laps for Lakeshore' (1st grade wore blue!)

Noah running his laps (left side of the picture-long stride)

'monsters' from art class (L-R Sophie's, Abby's , Noah's)

The art wall L-R Monsters, Sophie's 1st grade self portrait, Noahs 'self portrait' on an airplane to LA, Abby's 1st grade self portrait, Noah's end of kindergarten self portrait, Sophie's Kindergarten self portrait, Abby's kindergarten self portrait

Go State! Tailgate party!