Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Last week we bought a "new to us" Vermeer mini skid steer at the landscaping company I work for (Designer Concepts Landscape Architecture). Shannon has deemed it the Ver-Mini! My boss, Ryan, came over to help us push debris further into our ravine. The kids love the chances to try out new equipment, Adam especially!

Sara bundled up warm, too, and just had her little polka dot hat peeking over the top.

But it's when I see a picture like this that I am reminded of how much more than just a job I have.

I absolutely love my job. I feel appreciated and that I bring tremendous value to the leadership team. The owner and my boss, Ryan, who is pictured here has extended a gracious amount of flexibility to my schedule over the years as my family needs have changed and the kids have gotten older. Shannon and I have been part of his business in one way or another since it was just an idea 8 years ago.

More than a boss, Ryan and his family are dear friends. We have been in small group together. He and Shannon have been accountability partners for years, pushing each other to become better husbands, better fathers, and better men. For weeks Ryan and Shannon met in the NICU to pray over Adam and Sara at 6:30am on Thursday mornings.

When Sara's Boston surgery extended past Christmas last year, unexpected Christmas presents for the kids arrived because Ryan's family was thoughtful enough to make phone calls to the hospital.

We have seen each other's kids grow up. We have laughed together, cried together.

This picture is a representation of Ryan's heart for our family, and ours for his. At a time in this world when some things are so uncertain, it feels like a warm blanket to have something that has been consistent for 15 years.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving in Wisconsin

Holidays at my relatives usually mean family, good food, and a crowded house.

My family--they are adorable! They snuggled with Shannon for the Macey's Thanksgiving Day Parade viewing.

My kids could sit with my mom for hours and listen to her reading books.

Even the youngest attendee was excited! Lincoln and my aunt Robyn.

Good food.

Appetizers...or all day sneak snacking.

 Beth looks ready to eat!

Apple pie and pumpkin with homemade whipping cream...carrot cake, too. A rice krispy treat, and the little s'more things were the bomb. Wonder where that pumpkin fudge went that was so good...

A house full...2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 17, 23 (a light year!)

Nothing like an afternoon sled to work off your meal!

After sledding we made homemade pretzels.

And then headed to the movie to see Frozen.

Waffles for breakfast the next morning with the cousins before our home theatre viewing of Planes!