Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Birthday Girl

She's finally 1 !
Even though the party had to be canceled, we had a great time hanging out as a family.
After all, we have the rest of the year to celebrate her being 1 !
New stroller from Mama and Daddy.

Leah's first ponytail!

Love those big blue eyes!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Visiting Grand Rapids

As if you haven't noticed, we've been doing a lot of traveling lately.
I always love traveling and discovering new places, so preparing to move across the state has been an adventure for us. We visited Grand Rapids last week and again the other day to find an apartment and a job.

Two weeks ago we came home feeling a little more comfortable with the area, but with no real answers yet. 
But throughout our day last week we could feel the hand of God leading us every step of the way.
Our morning was rainy and unsuccessful but later that afternoon Brandon was called in for an interview and we found a town-home for lease that is right around the corner from Cornerstone University!
Brandon is use to a 45 minute drive home from work every night so being that close to the school would be such a blessing. But an even bigger blessing came our way tis morning... Brandon got a call from the place he interviewed at yesterday... THEY OFFERED HIM THE JOB! Praise God! And as if that wasn't enough, we also heard from the management office of the townhouse saying our application was accepted and a house would be open Thursday!

We will be packing up this Wednesday and leaving Thursday! This is happening so fast I can't believe it!

Here are some pics & videos from our last 2 trips to Grand Rapids...
{Beautiful flowers and sculptures throughout town}
 {Downtown East Grand Rapids}
 {No biggie... it's only a parking lot! lol}
 {I'm gonna state the obvious here and let you know that there's a fountain in the middle of the street!}
 {Cute Restaurant, adding that to the 'Must Dine At' list }
{East Grand Rapids was super nice... but apartment searching there was fruitless...}
 {Love that old brick}
 {These videos are from our trip yesterday... we had a fun car ride!}

{We're headed to Grandpa Rapids!}
{Playing Peekaboo}
{Please tell me what Leah is doing with her feet... cause I have no idea!}
{Leah loves Ranch, just like her Daddy!}
Can't wait to move! 2 days left on the countdown!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekend Vacation Part 3- Petoskey, MI

After our stop at Cross in the Woods we headed straight over to Mackenzie's apartment, which was absolutely beautiful! The windows in her living room overlooked the Little Traverse Bay.

Kenz's apartment was within walking distance of almost anything in Petoskey, so that's what we did! First we walked by the water and down the pier.
{Mackenzie & Brandon}
{Beautiful Condos & Apartments along the Bay}
{Leah squishing sand between her toes}
{Isn't this bridge beautiful? I love the architecture}
{River that leads into the Bay}
{I loved the contrast of the green vine and red door.}
 {Walking through the old Downtown}
 Now you're in for a real treat. That is, if you love historic homes as much as I do! I apologize that these pictures are all drive-bys, I couldn't get Brandon to go any slower! This community is absolutely picturesque, hidden among mature trees, and registered as a National Historic Landmark. Bay View (what a perfect name) is a small Victorian Village consisting of 2 Inns, almost 450 Victorian Cottages, and 30 Public Buildings, most built in the late 1800's.
{Map of the Bay View Area, via}
 {Terrace Inn, nestled in the middle of the Bay View Community}
 {I love the original windows in this house}
 {Nestled in the trees... huge hanging baskets!}
 {This house is my dream!!!! I love that porch!}
 {What about that porch}
{Cute yellow cottage on a hill}
 {Sorry this picture is so crooked, but I had to include it! Just look at those pillars! I'd love to be in one of those rocking chairs!}

Here are some additional photos from Bay View Associations Facebook page...

 The little community of Bay View even has its own Library....
 and Post Office!
The kids would love playing on these beaches all summer. And I would love sipping lemonade while rocking on one of those front porches! Such a beautiful place to spend your summer!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Weekend Vacation Part 2- Indian River

After the wedding, we drove a little farther NorthWest to visit Brandon's family. His family is from Indian River and even though his sister Mackenzie goes to school in Southern Michigan, she still spends her summers up here! It was such a relaxing trip. Exactly what we needed.
{This road is named after Brandon's family. Grandpa & Grandma Hackelberg along with Uncle Scott rest in peace down this road near the family's farm}

When we reached Gram's house she had a delicious Chicken dinner waiting for us. She is always the perfect hostess.
We took a long walk through the trails in the woods on her property and by the time we were back, Josiah had a swollen eye. Looks like he has allergies like his Mama and Daddy!
The rest of the night we spent watching Cars while eating Twizzlers and homemade popcorn.

The morning came way too fast. We said our goodbyes and headed towards Petoskey to visit Mackenzie.
On the way we took a few pit stops.
When I was a kid my Grandparents took me to The Cross in the Woods, the world's largest Crucifix, located in Indian River, Michigan. When I first met my husband he was telling my about his family and where they were from... right around the corner from this shrine I had visited as a kid!

Anyway I always love visiting the Cross in the Woods. It is a peaceful place to meditate and praise God for all He has done for us! The cross made of one redwood tree that measures a whopping 55' tall by 22' wide!!! The corpus was added later, designed and sculpted by Marshall Fredericks. 

The body of Christ is made of Bronze and weighs 7 tons! Its awe inspiring to look upon this amazing piece of art. Also on the grounds are other statues such as The Holy Family, St. Peregrine,  Kateri Tekakwitha, and Our Lady of the Highway.

They built a new church a while back that is just beautiful. The entire front of the Sanctuary is made of windows so you look over the grounds and onto the Cross in the Woods. They also have pews and and Altar outside for Summer services! 
{Reflection of the Crucifix in the windows of the Church}

{The grounds are so beautifully landscaped!}

Next stop- Mackenzie's Apartment in Petoskey, MI.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Weekend Vacation Part 1- Hoover Wedding

The New Mr. & Mrs. Hoover!
{via Sean Patrick Photography}
What a beautiful couple, what a beautiful wedding.

Jake stood up in our wedding almost 4 years ago, and Brandon was more than honored wen Jake asked him to be a groomsmen at his wedding!
Our entire family traveled to Alpena for all the festivities.
The celebration started Friday with the Rehearsal at the church followed by the dinner on beautiful Hubbard Lake.

The next morning Brandon and I took the kids to the park to burn off some energy before the wedding.
Then we took a stroll along Lake Huron and noticed some cute little Otters hanging out amidst the boulders!
Then it was time for the big moment! I had brought food and toys to entertain the kids during the wedding, but that just wasn't enough. I spent most of the time in the nursery. Thankfully the back of the Sanctuary is a wall of windows so I was able to sneak around the hallway to watch all the important parts! I can't explain to you the depth of love & devotion everyone saw in Jake's eyes as he watched his Bride walk up the isle. Everything was perfect. I especially loved the exchange of roses that they had during the ceremony. I had never seen this performed at a Wedding before, it was truly moving.
{via Sean Patrick Photography}
After the Wedding they took 576435834576 pictures. 

That's Brandon between the heads of the two lovebirds!

Then it was time for the reception. The hall was meticulously decorated by the Bride and her family. It was romantic and luxurious with no detail left unthought of. I wish I had pictures to post. Seeing that my husband was at the head table and I was trying to manage 2 rambunctious toddlers, I was unable to snap any photos.

Saturday morning was the final Brunch before the Newlyweds left for their Honeymoon.
The food was great, and the company greater! It was so nice to watch Jake & Courtney open all their wedding gifts.
{Our Newlywed Survival Kit we put together for them!}

It was a wonderful Wedding weekend. 
Thank you Jake and Courtney for including us in your special day!

{via Sean Patrick Photography}

God's richest blessings on you and your marriage!