Monthly Archives: April 2013

A day of surprises!

I surprised Chase for his 30th birthday! I actually surprised him twice in one day.  It was a great day!  All of us woke up around 8am.  I gave Chase his birthday presents, a small Lego set and a Mega Block Halo Helicopter (that I bought from a friend!).  One of Chase’s favorite pastimes is putting together Lego sets and building new or even improving upon a set.  It’s the engineering mind!  He spent the morning putting the sets together at the kitchen table.  J wanted to help so we got out his big box of Duplos and we worked at building a cool rolling tower on the floor.  It crashed a few dozen times of course!  We had a really relaxing morning.

Chase’s best friend was coming into town that day.  I was planning a surprise party for Chase that night and his friend Jason and his wife were coming earlier since they were driving in from out of town.  I asked Jason if he could get Chase out of the house for the whole afternoon and have him back around 5pm.  It worked out perfectly.  The only thing is, I wasn’t sure when they were getting into town exactly so I was on edge all morning.  I would look out the window every so often, and then try to make super cool excuses.  “I thought I heard the mail.” “Suzy, what did you hear?” Almost anytime Suzy growled or barked, I kept thinking they might be here!  I don’t think Chase really noticed.  He was enjoying his relaxing morning while I was entirely on edge!

I received a text that they would be to the house in about 20 minutes.  10 minutes later Chase told me he was going to get in the shower soon.  I wasn’t sure how all of this was going to turn out, but it happened perfectly.  While Chase was in the shower, Jason and Candice showed up.  We chatted for a few minutes, and then I thought that I better somehow warn Chase to make sure he was clothed but at the same time I didn’t want to ruin the surprise!  I took J back into the bedroom and said, “Hurry up daddy! We want to play!” Chase told us he was coming out as soon as he was dressed.  Whew!  I went back into the living room and Candice had stepped outside to take their puppy out.  Around that time, Chase came out of the bedroom to see Jason and he was completely shocked!!  He couldn’t believe his friend was standing in the living room!  I said, “Surprise!”  I think it took him a little while to really believe it was true!

After we had all talked for awhile Chase wanted to leave with Jason to run to the store.  I stalled them by asking him to hang around until J was down for his nap.  Jason had to come up with a lot more things to do than just run to the store.  After they left, they had about 4 hours to kill until 5pm when everyone was supposed to be here for the big surprise!  Chase had no clue.  And actually Jason didn’t have to convince Chase to have a day of fun.  They actually did a lot in 4 hours!

Candice and I got the house ready and by 5pm everyone was here for the big surprise.  We had about 10 adults and 3 children.  We waited and waited.  We tried calling our husbands but neither of them would answer their phones.  Around 5:20 Chase called me to say they were dropping by the grocery store and he asked if I needed anything.  It was very nice of him, but I was super anxious that he was stopping somewhere when they should have been home already!  I asked them to hurry up because Candice and I were getting hungry.  He then asks me what we are having for supper.  I didn’t want to lie so I told him pizza, which we were having at the party.  So of course, he didn’t understand what all the fuss was about and why they had to hurry home for pizza!  Candice and I joked that Chase would probably think we were bunch of nagging wives just to get them home for pizza!  It was almost 5:40 by the time the guys showed up.  They walked up to the front door and everyone gathered around and yelled “Surprise!”  He was definitely surprised!  He just stood there for a minute.  He told me later he couldn’t understand what everyone was doing in his house.  He didn’t even see the birthday decorations until after everyone left!  It took him quite awhile to really take it all in.  Even after everyone had been there for about an hour, he came over to me and said, “I think this is just now sinking in.”  A couple of hours later most of his friends had left.  We had one of the best parties ever.  Not only was it a surprise, but it was good conversation and good food.

Later that night Chase thanked me for his awesome Birthday.  He said he could never repay me for the best birthday he has ever had.  He asked me how I was able to set it up so perfectly.  I reflected back on the day and realized I only set up two events, his friend coming into town and people coming over for the surprise.  I had no idea how it was all going to turn out.  The day couldn’t have been any more perfect.  So I responded to him that it had been a God day.  God gave him an awesome Birthday.  It was a day that Chase needed.  Lots of awesome memories to take with us from here.


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Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Uncategorized



I haven’t written as much this year.  We have been super busy packing and getting the house ready to sell.  Through the month of February we did a thorough cleaning of our house, fixed a few things that have needed fixing for years (little things that require attention after living in a house), and just gave the house some much needed love.  After J’s birthday is when we started packing. We packed everything that don’t we use on a daily basis.  It was a LOT.  All of our boxes and our guest bed and a few pieces of furniture just barely fit in our garage.  By mid-March our house was ready to put on the market.  I love our little house and I will definitely miss it once we move.  I have more memories attached to it now since J entered our family.  Sometimes I sit back and think about how we play ball in the kitchen or cars on the windowsill in the living room.  Little spots in the house make me think of specific memories and I won’t have that with this house once we move.  I know we will make memories somewhere else, and really all that matters is our little family actually making memories and having fun no matter where we are.

One more month left in this little house to make memories as a family.  A part of me has already tried to say good-bye to the house and the things around the town.  The people will be harder to say good-bye to.  I can’t even think about it really.  We have made a lot of friends, and J has made a lot of friends too.  So many people have shared in J’s life since he was born, and become like a part of our family since our family doesn’t live close by.  It’s hard to imagine these friends not in his life on a weekly basis anymore.  He knows the church building and that he can see choo-choos from his bible class window (they have to stop bible class when a train goes through because J has to watch it in its entirety!), and play basketball in the gym.  He knows specific people at church.  People he trusts and is so excited to see.  He can’t wait to get out of his car seat when we pull in the church parking lot.  J has a love for trains that is amazing.  I think it has probably been fueled by living so close to the train tracks and hearing one go by a few times an hour.  We get to stop at the crossing on our way to the store or church at least once a week or more.  He looks forward to it every time.  When we do stop for a train, he has the biggest smile on his face and says “Choo-Choo!!” and just watches in excited amazement as it passes by.  Nothing is more important in those moments.  When the train finishes and the bars go up, J always says, “bye Choo!”  I know it’s just a train, but it makes my heart hurt to know he won’t have that anymore once we move.  There won’t be a train that goes through every 20-30 minutes.  There probably won’t even be train tracks close by, and definitely not a half mile down the road. Once people get to know J they say they never think of trains the same again.  When they see a train they know that J would be ecstatic and so excited.  Everything in life stops so he can watch the choo-choo.

So many things will change in a month.  I know many things will remain the same as well, our daily schedule, the foods we eat, the chain stores, etc.  Honestly the change is probably tougher on us adults because we understand the depth of change.  It will never be the exact same again.  Some times that is a good thing, and in some cases it can be sad.  J will be fine I know.  He probably won’t remember much about this time in his life.  But I kind of hope he does. I hope he remembers living down the street from the choo-choo, watching the train during bible class, taking walks around the new neighborhood watching the bulldozers and tractors, seeing the airplanes fly by every day, and all the people who loved him and treated him as their own family.

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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Uncategorized


2 years old!

J had his 2 year old birthday party a little over a month ago. It was transportation themed: cars, trains, and planes. He still loves cars, trains, and planes. Trains are his absolute favorite. I asked him back at the beginning of January if he wanted a birthday party with a Curious George theme or cars, trains, and planes. He got excited about both, but he was always more excited about the cars, trains, and planes. I am pretty sure he had no clue what I was talking about when it comes to themes, but I thought would ask him anyway to gauge the excitement of either choice. When I would ask him he would usually exclaim, “Choo choo! Choo choo!” so cars, trains, and planes it was!

I bought most of his birthday decorations from  To eat we had: PB&J squares, green grapes, pineapple, and strawberries to form a stoplight (I know it is switched in one picture), teddy grahams, car, train, and plane shaped suckers, car, train, and plane shaped cookies, and a cake!

J had so much fun at his party!  The party started at 10:30 and people left between 11:30-12:00.  The party didn’t last very long, but it was probably perfect for J.  He played hard, ate lots of cookies, and had tons of fun opening his presents!  J is not a big fan of cake, but at the same time I did want him to have the traditional birthday cake.  I wanted to keep the tradition alive in my family where we bake and decorate the birthday cake for the kids, but I decided to give it a little twist this year.  Because J likes cookies more than cake, I cut out and baked car, train, and plane shaped sugar cookies and iced the edges.  Since I put time into the cookies, I decided to order a small cake.  I think it worked out really well!  The cookies were a hit!  In fact, if I decide to do something like this again I think I will either forgo the cake or order/bake an even smaller one.

I am so thankful to my parents who came into town a few days before the party to help prepare.  We had a lot of fun those 4 days they were in town.  They also watched J so Chase and I could have a date night. Yay!

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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Uncategorized