Monday, February 12, 2018

Baby Shower Blessings!

The parents to be!

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, 
the fruit of the womb, a reward. ~Psalm 127:3 (ESV)

It's getting close now and we couldn't be more excited!  Our Grandson should arrive in a little over a month, and we can't believe how fast the time has gone since we found out our daughter Jessica was expecting!  On Saturday, February 3rd we celebrated this happy occasion with our friends and family with a ginormous baby shower!  It was such a fun day, and the new parents were showered with gifts and blessings to help bring this new precious life into the world! 

We decided to just throw one big shower, and include all our friends and family, instead of having a bunch of little showers with smaller groups.  It was big, and it was a lot of work, but it was so much fun!  We had it at The Red Poppy Center for Renewal, which is right down the street from our house.  It is a beautiful home that has been recently converted into a retreat center that is used for events, meetings, and groups.  The center sits on 12 beautiful wooded acres overlooking a small lake and has a large windowed room that will accommodate up to about 80, and we had it packed!  It has a fun eclectic mix of round tables and mix-matched wood chairs that adds to the charm of the venue.  The owners were wonderful to work with, and where willing to help us with as much or as little as I needed.  We chose to have the meal catered, and served soup, salad, and bread since it was a cold, snowy February afternoon.  Having not to worry about feeding 70 people was a real blessing so I could focus on doing the crafty things I really like to do!  

My baby... and her baby!

I did all of the decorations, the desserts, games, and a fun "Little Explorer" Trail Mix Bar.  We used a baby woodland animal theme which I stole from a shower my Sister-in-law Cindy had for her new grandbaby.  She was gracious enough to allow me to use some of her leftover things from the shower, and it was a great springboard for the creativity to flow!  The entire family got involved in prepping and crafting for the event, from Great Grandma Ginny who cut out felt diapers for a game, to soon to be Grandpa John who lovingly learned to use a pastry piping bag and helped me make acorn cookies for the tables, and filled assorted cupcakes with me!

Papa learning new things!

As I am reflecting back on the day, I am extremely grateful for my dear sweet "Sisters" and Jessy's dear sweet "Sisters", who dove in on the day of the shower, pushed their sleeves up and helped us make such special memories for Jessy and Justin and their sweet baby boy.  Neither Jessy or I have blood sisters, so the sisters I speak of are our "Soul Sisters".  These are women that are dear to us both.  They are women who have shared many milestones in our lives, they have been there for happy times, but also have been by our sides for the not so happy times.  They have laughed with us, cried with us, prayed with us, and prayed for us as well.  I feel extremely blessed that we both have women like this in our lives!  I have so many great memories with these women, and hope to have many more!  Thank you to all that pushed up their sleeves and dove in to lend a hand,  with setting up, clean up, games, photography, gift organizing... even stirring up the sticky punch with no running water close by!  I have learned that I am not the best at asking for help, but it doesn't matter, because these women can see what needs to be done, and they just do it!  I really want them to know that this act of love did not go unnoticed, and it was so appreciated, we love you dearly!  Also, a big thank you to my Niece Kelsey, she was such a sweet blessing to us on the day of the shower as well.  Kelsey has a big beautiful heart and is always willing to help out with anything that is needed... and she did!  She is also very creative and made some adorable frog cake pops for our dessert table that went perfectly with our baby woodland animal theme.

Frog Cake Pops!

Thanks to one of those sweet sisters, we have some lovely memories of the day and I thought I would share some with you.  I got most of my ideas for the shower from my Sister-in-law Cindy, or on Pinterest and adapted them to our theme.  By sharing, I hope to inspire some creative ideas for your next event!

Smiling faces of Family and Friends...

Sweet Treats...



Fun and Games...

Gifts for the wee one...

Now that the shower is over, all we have left to do is wait for the baby!  He is due March 17th, and we can't wait!  What a blessing he will be in all of our lives.... can you tell I am a little bit excited!

They are ready for you little one!

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
~Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)

Now the waiting begins...

With Love, and Gratitude,

Nanna to be


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Circle of Life...

Hi cyber world, it’s been a while… you have been lost but not forgotten!  I am still here, living life, loving my family, and creating fun things.  I feel blessed that I am at a place in my life that I can do the things I love to do.  I have been in a reflection mode recently, that often happens to me when there are BIG life events, and this year there have been some huge ones! 

        In July my Moms cancer returned (bad news).

 Also in July, my husband retired (good news).  

    September we found out we are going to be grandparents 
for the first time (GREAT news)!

Mom, Aunt Doris, and Madeleine at Mom's 88th birthday celebration!
Don’t they say that things come in threes… well there you go, my three biggies for this year!  It seems that with the good there always come some bad sprinkled in to keep us grounded.  And that is where I find myself today.  Living in the joy of the good news, and the pain and reality of the bad. Just like a few years ago when  Jessy was getting married, I was dealing with my Dad’s declining health. Lately, I have been thinking about saying goodbye to someone else I love very much and saying hello to a new life.  It can be very bittersweet, to say the least.  I feel blessed that my Mom (who just turned 88), Is doing well with an Oral Chemo treatment with very few side effects and she will likely be able to welcome her 1st Great Grandson into the world (luckily there is some good along with the bad).

Guess who's going to be Grandparents!
My husband is my best friend, so having him retire was another blessing.  He had been thinking about it for a long time, and through much thought, prayers, and planning, we decided the time was right for us!  John started working very young and he was just totally burned out so it was another blessing that he was able to retire when he did.  He might end up doing something else part time eventually but I think he needs some time to relax and regroup, and I am kind of getting used to him being around all the time!  We really enjoy spending time together and it didn’t take us long to fall into a new routine… I kind of like the coffee being ready for me when I get up in the morning.  We have been enjoying going to estate and garage sales and hunting for treasures, being able to work on projects together, take mini trips when we want, and have fun with our friends and family.  A good friend told us his Dad used to say when he retired that there are six Saturdays and a Sunday and that is the truth of it!

The most exciting and best news we have had lately is the blessing of our first Grandchild!  Our daughter Jessica and her Husband Justin are expecting a Son on March 17th!  We just found out it will be a boy this week so I can start shopping!!!

This month, we are looking forward to celebrating our 30th
Wedding anniversary, our Son John’s 28th birthday, and the upcoming arrival of our new Grandbaby.  We will be celebrating together on a mini family vacation to Saugatuck in a few weeks.  Some of my most cherished memories are those spent with the ones I love. 

As I think about the good, the bad, and the ugly that life sometimes throws at us, I am reminded that we are only here temporarily and we must learn and grow from each and every circumstance that we find ourselves in.   Whether it’s sad, or happy, or sometimes somewhere in-between, and that just maybe we can take those experiences and help someone else on their journey, or at the very least help ourselves next time we are walking through a difficult situation. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

I know for sure, that God has a plan, and that his plans are greater than mine and someday we will never have to wonder why or experience the pain and suffering that sometimes we find ourselves in.  For now, I will just rest in knowing He is always with me during each and every moment of each and every day, whether I am celebrating, or sorrowful, and for that, I am truly grateful.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;

 I will strengthen you, I will help you, 
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10