Sunday, May 30, 2010

[Sun] Bathing Beauty

Welcome, Summer. Oh how I've missed you! Caroline was very pleased to meet you yesterday in her lovely little bathing suit and sun hat. Please, feel free to stick around for awhile. A girl could get used to this!

I'm pretty sure this is the only stage in life where back rolls are totally adorable. Rock it while it's hott, Caroline.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tulip Festival!

Thank you, Mom & Dad, for sending the pictures so quickly! My blog friends thank you, too :)

Without further adieu, I present to you our little Dutch family:

Just hanging out in the tulip gardens.

Caroline getting dangerously close to picking a tulip (a crime worthy of hefty fines in OC) while her dutch daddy smiles on.

In all our dutch glory.

Grandma Ann & Grandpa AJ came, too! After we took this picture, another couple standing nearby (obviously tourists), then asked if they could also take their picture with Caroline. Of course we obliged them.

All smiles with her Great-Grandpa AJ

Just out for a the parade. Caroline fell asleep about this time, so Daddy decided to carry her and would wave to the crowds with her limp little arm. It was pretty cute.

My cousin was crowned Tulip Queen when she was a senior in high school - obviously a huge honor in this community. She wasn't able to come this year, but was gracious enough to let me wear her amazing costume, complete with lots of handmade beading and embroidery. So I just pretended like I was the Queen. No big deal.

Keeping watch over the buggy with sleeping baby.

Just a few of the millions of beautiful tulips.

My favorite Dutchman & baby.

Aunt Linda, thank you so much for all of the work you put in to having costumes for each of us, floats for us to ride on, and plenty of dutch treats during the down times. We had so much fun, and it was a joy for me to bring my own daughter to experience something I've enjoyed since I was her age. We look forward to the next time we can make it to the Tulip Festival!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Been a long time gone

Here I am again - way behind on blogging and not sure where to pick up. How about a quick recap? Doesn't that sound fun?

As many of you know, Dan & I were able to make a trip back to our beloved OC - home of our Alma mater, more tulips that you've ever seen in your life, and my dear Aunt Linda & Uncle Alan. And this time we were lucky enough to attend and, yes, participate in the Tulip Festival. I was lazy and let other people take pictures for me (and also being in a Dutch costume is not so conducive to toting around a camera), and then left home without said I'm at the mercy of my parents to mail me the disc. I promise to post pictures as soon as I get that. If you're impatient to see them, you should probably call my parents and encourage them to send the disc ASAP :-) I'll write more about that trip when I post the pictures. We also visited my Grandma Schoon and were blessed with a few very sweet moments. More on that with the pictures as well.

Afterwards, we headed back to Missouri. Dan had to get back to work and left early Monday morning, but I was able to stay all the way through Thursday evening. It was a wonderful time with friends and family, and it's always fun to share my baby with people who have known and loved me since I was a baby. My Dad had a couple of days off, so Caroline and Papa spent some time together tending the flower gardens and getting to know Scout, my parents' dog. Caroline would get so excited when she'd see Scout that she'd literally shake from head to toe - it was so cute! Now Dan thinks we have even more reason to get a dog. Mommy is not so convinced.

We also were able to spend a lot of time with Paige & Torri, who reminded me multiple times that they are now a senior & sophomore. How did that happen? And more importantly, why can't they move in with me to be permanent baby-sitters?

I also enjoyed some wonderful time with Grandma & Grandpa, but those pictures are also on the disc at home. So I'll just have to save that as well.

I got back to Nashville late Thursday and have been trying to get back into the swing of things ever since. Why does it take so much longer to settle in with a child? I mean, you'd think I'd have been out for a month the way I've been acting around here! To be fair, Caroline has been totally off her schedule, cutting her first tooth, experiencing allergies (poor girl!), and seems to be entering into the throws of separation anxiety (meaning she's not particularly fond of Mommy walking out of her sight...ever). I've been spoiled by my sweet, good-natured baby - all of this fussiness is wearing me out!

Lest you start to feel too sorry for me, I still get plenty of these gummy grins -

Life is good.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I feel like I've been in a bit of a fog since the flood hit last weekend. I want to write about it, but I'm not even sure where to begin. The damage is so widespread and the devastation so total that it's hard to put any of it into words. On Thursday a friend and I put together some sack lunches and just drove through one of the harder hit areas around lunch time. We were a bit worried that we had made too many, but it didn't take long to realize that was far from being a problem. We handed out 50 lunches in less than 30 minutes. People were working so hard, many had not even thought about food yet and were grateful someone else had taken care of that for them.

Between the piles of ruined furniture, carpet, clothes, dry wall, and other assorted pieces of lives washed away, the area truly looked like a war zone. The muddy water line reached above windows and doors in some places, and the gray-colored cars still parked in their parking spaces spoke to the fact that these people didn't have time to even drive away. Most were evacuated by boat. And the raging waters did not discriminate - I even saw a brand new Jaguar that had obviously been completely submerged at some point in time.

The people that I saw that day were just like anyone else. Except they had just lost everything. One lady I handed a lunch to in turn hugged me, thanked me, kissed me, asked for my name and said she would pray a special blessing for ME...when she was the one who just lost everything. She simultaneously told me "We'll get through this - it's just stuff" and then through tears as she hugged me said "this is so HARD."

God reminded me in a BIG way last week that our stuff, no matter how nice, how expensive, how much or how little - it is all so temporary. In the end, whether we lose it in a flood or a fire or we simply pass on from this life, we can't take it with us. Whether we drive a Jaguar or an old beater. Whether we live in a fancy home or an apartment. These people are grateful to be alive, grateful to still have their families intact. And Nashville has stepped up in a big way to help them start to rebuild their lives. And inspite of the devastation, there are some beautiful things that come about in the face of such tragedies. My friend Amy summed it up nicely in a post (with pictures) on her blog. I also love the verse she shares at the end.

Also, this video will give you a better idea of what's really been going on (double click on the box below to watch it in another window - that way you'll be able to read the quotes):

On a much lighter sister posted some great pictures of our weekend together. Check them out here!

Monday, May 3, 2010


I have never seen more rain in my entire life than I have seen this weekend. And that isn't even close to an exaggeration. I just saw on the news this morning that Nashville received 28% of our typical YEARLY rainfall in the past 48 hours. And the images I continue to see on our local news stations (that have been airing nonstop for the past 2 days) confirm that this amount of water can do a staggering amount of damage in no time. It is absolutely unreal.

Dan and I (and Caroline of course) have stayed high and dry this weekend as we live atop a large hill, but we have not gone anywhere since Friday because we are litterally surrounded by water. I don't know what you've seen on the national news (for those of you who aren't in the Nashville area), but we live near the Antioch area they continue to mention, where they happened to catch on video an elementary school portable floating down the interstate (this is about 5 minutes from our house):

We are very thankful to have been spared any sort of damage, but this morning we're concerned for our friends who were not so fortunate. Please pray for the people of Nashville and the surrounding areas as we now shift gears from rescue missions (which still continue this morning) to putting the pieces back together. Many families are going to be impacted for years to come by the devastation.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

sneek peek

We are less than 2 weeks away from another big first for Caroline...her first TULIP FESTIVAL!!! For those of you who are unfamiliar, this annual event takes place in our beloved Orange City (where we attended college) and is a celebration of all things Dutch. And there are a lot of Dutch things (and people) in OC. While Caroline isn't Dutch, her Great Aunt Linda would like to think so and is well prepared to keep her in costume for many years to come. She wanted to make sure everything fit, so we received an exciting package in the mail today. The contents are displayed on our lovely model below:

All she's missing are wooden shoes!