May 30, 2011

Goodbye Greek Yogurt.

I've been a bit MIA lately.  I went back to work 2 weeks ago and now my life consists of balancing working at home, being a stay-at-home mama, cleaning the house, planning and cooking dinner, laundry, diaper changes, and on and on and on... After 2 months of this, I seriously give stay-at-home mom's BIG props.  It is a job that never ends.  There is no "leaving work at the office".  YOU are the office.  It is a crazy {yet wonderful} life.

So we have had an interesting recent development.  Many of you know I am already gluten-free.  I cheat every once and awhile {and usually pay for it} but, gluten causes me issues... headaches and a bit too much time on the toilet.  So I avoid it.  At first this was hard, but now it is second nature - I don't even think of it.  WELL.  It seems that I'm going to need to avoid dairy as well.

I'm not prepared for this.  I always said dairy would be harder to give up than gluten.  Ugh.  But my little Juder seems to have issues with it.  He's always been a BIG spitter-upper.  We're talking waterfalls and multiple outfits a day {especially when Mama forgets a bib}.  I made a connection with cow's milk a few weeks ago.  I hadn't eaten cereal in awhile and then had it for a few days and his spit was just out of control.  So I cut that out.  And I cut out most cheese.  But not yogurt.  I eat greek yogurt every day.  LOVE it.  Well... Jude NOW has green {BRIGHT green} poops.  And he's still spitting.  And my baby book says this probably means his little tummy can't process dairy.  Sad sad day.  So I am starting this dairy free diet tomorrow {because I ate yogurt today}.  I'll let you know how it goes.  We also have a doctors appointment on Wednesday - so I'll get the professionals opinion.

Speaking of food - here is something I'm SOOOO excited about.  Jordan and I have joined a CSA.  Which I *think* stands for Community Shared Agriculture from Visser Family Farms.

Basically, we bought a share at a farm, which in turn means we get awesome, fresh, local produce all summer long.  It starts next week and I can't wait.  This also means we'll get lots of veggies I've never eaten before... like parsnips... and kale... and beets.  But I am going to eat all of it and I'm excited to try new recipes full of veggies.  I have been eating {mostly} "clean" the past month or so, which I talked about here and it has been going really well!  It is a whole new perspective when you start thinking of food, not as satisfying your taste buds, but fueling your body.  I've found I'm willing to sacrifice taste in order to eat what I know is best for me.  Because, in reality, I feel a ZILLION times more healthy and energetic when I do.  Especially because I am breastfeeding my little guy and I want him to have the best nutrients he can.  And - equally as important - I am still working on losing this baby weight.  2.5 lbs to go until I reach my pre-preg weight... but about 10-15 to go before I am at my "happy" weight.  It'll happen... eventually.

May 28, 2011

Dear Jude :: 2 months old

My sweetest Jude,

You are TWO months old!  TWO!  Where did that time go? {I think you should get used to me saying that}.  What a wonderful two months it has been.  It is so much fun to get to know you as you grow.

You are still an AWESOME night sleeper.  In fact, you have been sleeping 6.5-7.5 hours straight at night - followed by a few shorter stretches, but only getting up once or twice at night is amazing.  I love this about you. :-)  A couple of weeks ago we moved you to your crib and I think we all sleep better this way.  You LOVE your crib.  You will fuss and fuss {even in mama's arms} when you are sleeping but are out like a light as soon as I put you down.  You still don't have predictable naps.  I'm hoping this develops soon.  Sometimes you take awesome 2-3 hour naps, but usually they are around 45 min-1hour, so you take anywhere from 3-5 naps a day. 

You are still wearing 0-3 clothes, but you are so super long that I've started getting your 3-6 month clothes ready.  You haven't had your 2 month check-up yet, but I know you are at LEAST 12lbs and 24 inches long.  You now eat about every 2.5-3 hours and are stretching it to 3 hours more frequently.  You spit up a TON.  And now I am starting to suspect a dairy intolerance... so next month we will have to see if me going dairy-free solves your problems. :-)

I love seeing more and more of your personality come out.  You smile all the time and love copying your Daddy by sticking your tongue out.  You have also recently discovered your THUMB and have become quite the thumb-sucker {a habit mommy is trying to prevent!}.  You love looking in the mirror and are starting to show some interest in the hanging toys on your play mat.  Your favorite to look at are lights and fans though.  You still HATE tummy time.  I've only gotten you to tolerate it a couple of times. 

We love you, bubba!!  It is such a joy to watch you grow!

Love you forever,


May 18, 2011

Hi ho hi ho...

... back to work I go!  This week is my first week back on the job.  I wasn't planning on starting until next week, but looking at the calendar I have WAY to many grant deadlines that are super close, so I needed this extra week so I'm not totally overwhelmed when I go back.  I really think I have the ideal situation in going back to work.  I'll be in the office on Tuesdays and then work at home the rest of the week (about 8-10 hours worth).  Yesterday was Jude's first day with our sitter and I have to say that it went WAY better than I expected.  I was expecting to feel totally emotional and obsessed the entire day about going home.  I was so busy at work, I was just thankful for how much I was able to get done at the office that I won't need to do at home.  And I feel really good about Kim.  She is coming to OUR house to watch him!!  I'm SO glad it worked out for Jude to be in his own environment.

The anticipation of this week starting was way worse than it actually starting. I found myself sad thinking about spending time at home needing to focus on work and not on Jude.  But he took a wonderful 2.5 hour nap this morning which allowed me to get a lot of work out of the way so that I could focus on him an being a wife and mama the rest of the day. :-)  I'm feeling pretty good at this point!

Last week was my 6 week doctors appointment!  I was happy to get the "all clear" to begin life as normal.  And I feel completely normal too - which I thought would almost never happen.  So I started yoga this week... and wow.  I am stiff and TOTALLY not flexible.  But I really want to love yoga... I really want to be good at it.  I'm just not naturally flexible, but I feel like it really challenges me.  So I have kind of decided for this to be my focus for a little while.  I am still going to do the couch to 5K running plan, but I want to do yoga 4-5 times a week as well.  And once I hit the 5K distance {which shouldn't take too long} I just want to run that a couple times a week to keep up cardio.  But I want a different challenge... and I want to love yoga.

I can't believe how fast the time has gone... I keep saying that... but it's true.

May 10, 2011


Dare I say it - it is finally Spring.  Jude and I have taken walks nearly every day for the past week.  It feels SO good to get outside and get at least a little bit of exercise.  I even got a little sunburned! {Don't worry - I protected Jude}.  I love how this weather is like a natural anti-depressant.  Everything seems a bit happier when the windows can be open with the breeze blowing through and the sunlight streaming through the windows.  Ahhhh...

One of my favorite little things about Spring is the tree in our front yard.  We bought our house in July {4 years ago}, so we didn't know about this special little surprise.

 Our tree has FLOWERS!  Every Spring these beautiful little buds bloom.  I just LOVE it!!  It is definitely the most beautiful tree on the street. ;-)

Can't you just smell the fresh air when you look at this?

And I just love these mis-planted tulips.  They have just always been there... and I don't have the heart to move them.  Just love them.

May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

My first mother's day.  This year I have a whole new perspective on what it is to be a mom... and I'm only 6 weeks into this gig.  Motherhood shows you how selfish you really are {in a good way... I think}... it shows you how fast life really goes... it shows you how it really is the little things that make up a big wonderful life... it shows you your capability to love {and also to worry...}... it shows you even MORE how dependent we are on our creator... the one who invented life, and love, and babies, and motherhood.  I am learning that being someone's Mama is first and foremost about trust.  If I didn't believe that I could be made perfect in Christ and that God knows the number of my days before I was born... the number of hairs on my head... Gosh, this motherhood thing would be darn near impossible and completely engulfed in worry.

So this Mother's Day, I am thankful that I have the opportunity to be "loaned" my precious Jude by the Creator of the universe.  And that I have the opportunity to grow as a person, as a wife, and as a mother through this.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you amazing Mama's out there.  And a special Happy Mother's Day to my own amazing mother... whose love I understand more and more as I experience it myself.

May 6, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

I think these award things are so fun.  Just a fun way to show people that you DO read their blog (because we all know tons more people read than comment) and that you appreciate them sharing their life in this way!  One of my followers, Shannon, selected my blog to win the Versatile Blogger Award!  This is kind of fun, because I realize I've never shared some of this info - so it will be educational for some of my followers.  I'll answer the questions and pass the award along. :-)

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
I don't know Shannon in real life, but I think she found my blog because we had the same (or very close) due dates for our little ones.  She has a super cute blog called Enjoy Life and Love, and an even more adorable son who was born 3 days after Jude. 

2. Tell seven things about yourself.
 1. I am currently on maternity leave and slowly getting the hang of this mom thing.  Being a mom is the most amazing and challenging thing I have ever done.  And I LOVE it.  Click on the link above "My Growing Boy" to read more about pregnancy and see pics of my cutie. 
 2. I love to sing and don't do it near enough these days.  In 2005 I did a Summer Project with Keynote, which is a part of Campus Crusade for Christ and toured the mid-west with a pop/rock band singing lead and backup vocals.  We rocked out and shared the gospel all at the same time.  Yes - those two can go together.  That was one of the most amazing, I'll-never-forget experiences of my life.

  3.  I work for an organization called Access of West Michigan and I think it is the best.  They treat us employees like family and I truly call them my "Access family".  We work with hunger and poverty issues in Kent County, MI (where we live).  I am the Development Director and do fundraising and grant writing.  In a mere three weeks I will be going back part-time.  They are so awesome, they are letting me work one day a week in the office and then the rest at home.  We'll see how it goes!!  As Jude's nap times are getting a bit more predictable and longer, I think it will work out just fine. :-)

  4. My sister {Krista} and her husband {Ben} are moving to Jamaica to serve as missionaries with the CCCD - Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf.  They are currently raising support and hope to be there this fall!  My sister has a degree in Deaf Education and will be teaching the students down there and Ben will manage the work teams that come down to help build the village.  They are currently looking for partners and people to pray for them, so if you are interested in learning more, visit  They also have lots of pictures of what they'll be doing.  We'll miss them... but of course can't complain about a reason to visit Jamaica! ;-)
 5. I have the best friends ever.  They really are a huge reason Jordan and I decided to stay in Michigan after we graduated from college.  Jude has tons of "Aunties" that just adore him and we have been so so blessed to have the community that surrounds us.  It has been a huge blessing the past few years since we don't have family nearby.  I can't wait to see all of our kids grow up together.
 6. My husband, Jordan, and I met in college at Grand Valley State University.  We were both on the Campus Ministry praise team.  Jordan plays electric guitar and I sing.  We were friends for a long time with no real romantic interest in each other... UNTIL we went on a mission trip together doing Habitat for Humanity in Tallahassee, FL and something just "clicked". :-)  We started dating immediately afterwards.  We were engaged 11 months later and married 6 months after that.  I was only 21!!
7. Jordan is in a band where he plays lead electric guitar.  They are called "Those Eighty Acres"  and have kind of a folk/rock sound to them.  I really like them a lot {and I am not just saying that because he is my husband!}.  They have one album out called "1905" and another in the studio right now.  Check them out and look them up on facebook!

3. Pay it forward and award the Versatile Blogger to 15 bloggers. 
Go check out these fabulous blogs!!
  1. Ben & Krista @ 
  2. Laura @
  3. Betsy @
  4. Christine @
  5. Liz @
  6. Emily @
  7. Abby @
  8. John {dad} @
  9. Betsy @
  10. Erin @
  11. Brooke @
  12. Sarah @
  13. Jana @
  14. Veronica @
  15. Jenna @


May 4, 2011


First things first... I've decided my blog needed a bit of a face-lift.  In all honesty, designing this thing is a fun creative outlet for me, so that is why it changes so much.  I also decided to give it a name: "Loving the little things."  Just because that is where I am at in life right now.  Jude is teaching me to take life more slowly and stop and enjoy all of these little fleeting moments.  So - I thought it was appropriate. 

In all seriousness, there is nothing like a baby to show you how fast time flies by.  This sweet boy has started showing us his love through his smiles.  SO so fun.  Today he was fussing a bit in his crib during nap-time and I went to give him his paci and in turn he gave me a HUGE grin.  Of course I had to get him up from his nap and snuggle him after that.  He is such a joy.  It is so much fun to watch him get to know the world for the first time.  I am truly cherishing all of these little moments and firsts with him. {excuse the quality of these pics and video... they were taken on my phone}

{A video of my happy boy... as you can see, I have the baby-talk down}

May 2, 2011

Stir-crazy no more.

I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  My stir-crazy cooped up in the house days just might be coming to an end.  I am finally feeling well enough to get out and about.  My c-section soreness has seemed to fade the past few days and I DON'T feel like I'm going to rip open when I walk {thank goodness}.  I am finally thinking that I may possibly be able to exercise and run again after all!!  I know all of you told me it takes 2 months to recover... I just am impatient. :-)

So, since I am finally feeling better, I have let my stir-craziness get the best of me.  We went for our first walk outside, our first trip to the mall, AND our first grocery shopping experience!  Thank goodness I wasn't by myself for any of this, but it definitely made me feel more confident.  I feel like I could easily make a quick grocery trip with him and not be terrified. 

I'm feeling ready to exercise too, but I am going to hold off until my 6 week appt next week.  I have this DVD that I can't wait to use.

Ahhh... yoga!!!  I can't wait.  I feel SO stiff and not-stretchy.  This helps to strengthen your ab muscles that are super stretched during pregnancy in a SAFE way (because there are plenty of un-safe ways).  This will be part of my morning routine (during Jude's morning nap) as soon as I get the green light.

I'm also hoping to start the Couch to 5K training program.  I know, it seems pretty easy for someone who has raced a 10K before, but I have not run since last July.  By the time I truly run again it'll be more like 10 or 11 months.  And I've gotten huge, had surgery, had a baby, and am breastfeeding... so I'm taking it easy.  I want to do something I will stick with instead of hurt myself or overdo it and quit.  So... C25K it is.  There is a 10 mile race in September that I would LOVE to do... but we'll see how things go.  If nothing else, I will run the 5K. 

In other news, Jude is so. much. fun.  He is starting to pay more attention to people and things around him and it is just SO fun to watch.  He has started smiling a little bit more.  Jordan must be funnier than me, because he smiles all the time for him. :-)  I'll have to catch it on camera soon!  I still haven't decided if I am going to move him to his crib or not at night.  I had him there all night last night, but I kind of miss him when he's not right next to me.  I know... sappy.  I gotta just do it.  I think we all sleep better there.  He's such a good baby - bedtime and naps, I just need to put him in his crib and he totally knows it is time to sleep.  He doesn't fuss much, just goes right to bed.  In fact, sometimes if he is fussy in his bouncer or when we're holding him, I'll put him to bed in his crib and he'll be out like a light. 

 {silly boy}

Anyway - random post, but such is life!