new address


We’re baaaaaack in the blog world. a break has been nice, but i think that i like posting to create a record of our own lives, much less share updates and pics with people we love :)

so, most of you know that we have a new address! we had been contemplating for a long time whether we should stay in our home on norwood, in our lovely neighborhood of eastown, or move closer to the emerging hub of our lives–the kids school. having our children in the excel charter school system for the past 2 years has affirmed to us that we want to stick around and have our children attend there for the foreseeable future. so, we started casually looking around at homes. we were content to stay (the 15-20 minute drive 3x per day was getting old though) and we were open to moving if we found the right place. well, in july we did—and it has been quite a whirlwind from then to now. we listed our home, left for colorado to spend time with the vanderkwaaks, came back and accepted an offer (all within 2 weeks time). then, about a month later, we closed on both houses. we had possession of our new home for 2 weeks before having to leave our old home and in that time we did alot of demo and renovations (thank you to SO many of our family members and friends who helped us out!).our new place is a 1964 one owner home–very well cared for–so well cared for that when we walked in the door we were transported back to 1964–purple toilets, green sinks, paneling, and more!

one month ago we moved in, amidst ongoing renovations. we washed dishes in the tub for 3 weeks and finally got our sink installed in the kitchen a little over a week ago. having a sink in the kitchen is a pretty amazing thing! things have felt intense this past month–multiple adjustments, school starting for the kids, a trip to seattle for me to attend phase 3 of the Gottman Method couples training, and ongoing house projects while we live here. but, it is feeling like home. we are enjoying our new neighborhood and neighbors we are meeting. we are glad to be only 4-5 minutes from the school. this makes a difference in our daily life! moves are big deals for families, and our experience is no exception to this!

goodbye,330  norwood–home of 5 years and host of many many amazing moments and memories with our young family, extended family, and friends and neighbors.


we’ll miss you, norwood (thanks for the message, neighbors!!)


and hello to our new home–hopeful that it too will be a place where we can experience continued growth as people and as a family and warmth as we experience connection with others in this space.

2311 Rolling Hills Dr SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49546



dining area


living room:

from kitchen, into living room and entry after wall removed and peninsula from kitchen moved to other side of kitchen and made into bar:

family room off kitchen-bye bye paneling and built ins:

and, here are some for the people who like pictures of people, not torn up houses :)

colorado mountain top snow (july)

meredith and matt’s wedding–minus Levi–(july)

levi loves cars and still rolls his “r”s when saying it–i hope this sticks around!

well loved :)


now there’s a TEA PARTY!

emma’s 7th (august)

night in the fort that curt built–one of the last nights on norwood. we all got a little silly! :)

kindergarten and first grade!


The Latest

Time feels like it has been flying by here lately. i have to get a post up and empty out my camera on my phone so that i can get ready to take more and more pictures in the coming weeks–summer is here! the past several weeks has felt like a blur. at the same time, so full of beautiful moments that i wish would just stand still on their own.

mid may i ran the riverbank 25K with my Team Triumph. it’s a great organization and i have really enjoyed running with the team over the past couple of years. on my mind now (in fact i have to make a decision this week)–fall marathon or no full marathon? shall i just stick with what is going well for me and train for a half or push it and train for a full?? can’t decide and training plans start next week…hmmmm.

pool days have begun around here. michigan summer is here and it’s  hot!

Over Memorial Day weekend, we went to Traverse City and Leelanau area for our 4th annual weekend up north as a family. The kids love it and we had a great time–the pool was of course the biggest hit. They are so easy to please at this age!


Downtown Traverse City–lunch at the Dish Cafe–highly recommended!

Diving into the cherry pits at Cherry Republic–always an experience the kids love.

Some games to pass the time on a rainy afternoon.

This time we took our bikes which worked out great!


We biked to East Bay Park and spent time on the beach.

At Old Mission Point peninsula,

Pizza party after a lengthy pool session :)

What kid doesn’t love to do this? And yes, all that luggage is for just 3 days…I think Reuben &  Heidi have less than this for a whole year on their bikes!!!

I love the view from the top of the dune climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes–you can see the Manitou Islands and Lake Michigan looks like it never ends. It was windy this day and hot. Levi wanted to be carried up the whole way but the girls climbed the whole thing.

She’s a true Michigander :)

We have this favorite cafe in Glen Arbor that is right on the Crystal River. It was a beautiful day to sit and enjoy the kayakers going by. Levi is such a tough little guy to get a smily picture of!

Water always calms Claire–she loves it–from water play in the kitchen sink to picking up all the rocks at the bottom of the creek she could reach.

Emma loves any critter she can find.

These two can really get each other laughing (and crying, but who takes pictures of that?!). And, always, with stuffed animals of some kind in tow- this time the two favorites, Little Cat and Tweetie made the cut :)

Cousin time! Reuben, Heidi, Eden & Harper stopped by for 5 days, taking a rest from their first 12 of 365 days of their biking adventure! The girls…Claire, Emma, Eden.

And the boys…Harper & Levi…contained!

All the cousins in their “nest” as they prepared to watch March of the Penguins on the ceiling! What a treat :)


So cute, the girls just hanging out and chatting–building their own little bonds with each other :)

Claire’s last day of preschool, with her bf Ava. On to kindergarten!

Emma and her bf Olivia and her kindergarten class at their final week celebration. On to first grade!!


Here’s some snapshots lately into what we’ve been up to the past month or so…


Seeing the butterflies at Meijer Gardens


Lots of hanging out…the kids each got a handmade fleece blanket themed with their favorite things (Emma: birds, Claire: princesses, Levi: cars) from our “date night” babysitter, Selena. The kids have loved cuddling with and sleeping with their blankets. Reminds me alot of the pillows Mom made us as a kid and how much we loved those (Emma still sleeps with mine–Nick, where is your mushroom pillow–does Denali sleep on it??!).

A surprisingly warm day in late April. A must for taking out the pool!

Post nap Sunday afternoon cuddling.

My birthday!

I got to celebrate my bday with these lovely ladies.

A semi-rained-out-but-still-managed-to-get-the-street-cleaned-up-with-several-rain-can't-stop-us-neighbors-- block cleanup.



A beautiful Easter afternoon.

Toothless Emma.

Happy Birthday, Curt!

The girls and I enjoyed a Girls Night Out--Noodles and Co. and the Charlotte's Web at the Civic Theater!

Claire's ballet recital--on a stage! (she was SO excited about this!)

Claire and her beloved ballet teacher, Miss Annie

Our 3rd year going to Cedar Campus in the UP. We are so thankful for the opportunity to travel here as a family and take part in Chapter Focus Week with InterVarsity. This year when we left there were tears…Emma through tears saying “I’m going to miss the students!” and Claire sadly saying “I like my house but I want to live here!” Here’s hoping to many more years up north with all the joy and wonder the experiences bring….!

Cedar Campus with InterVarsity--the UP was cold but wonderful!

Emma birdwatching from the dining area lodge

At Whitefish Point area the girls were delighted to find "a nest"...

Levi LOVED the sand and water!


The Narnia Trail

The sandbars this particular afternoon made for some fun "island" play for Emma & Claire

This old bell is a landmark at Cedar Campus

Back from Cedar and finally, hints of summer...including scraped knees :(

Favorite Friday night--Big Bobs, pizza outside, kids read books, while parents enjoy the drinks of summer...