Girl Time in California

This came in the mail the other day:


Reminds me of the fun times we had getting some of the wedding planning done. I left my boys at home to join my mom at my sister’s home in California. It was so fun to finally get to see her place and it was great to hang out and have a week-long sleepover.


The main purpose of trip was to be able to attend Ashley’s bridal shower. Mom and I had quite the challenge planning her shower from the other side of the country. It turned out great and we had so much fun!


My bride-to-be sister, excited that I get to be her matron of honor!


My bride-to-be sister with her other bridesmaids, both life-long friends!


We squeezed a whole lot of appointments in those few days! We confirmed the bridesmaid dress choice, met with a DJ, chose an excellent photographer, and had an adventure checking out a creepy second choice photographer… who was not hired. I think one of the most favorite appointments was the cake tasting, of course.

cake testing

We also enjoyed meeting the crazy but fabulous and talented flower lady. She put together a sample of what table centerpieces will look like.


Mom and Ash pretended to be normal after they realized I was taking pictures.


Ashley’s friends gifted to her an engagement photo shoot. They did an fantastic job, the pictures turned out amazing! Mom and I enjoyed watching them work. Especially since we previously tried to do our own engagement photos which were… a little less amazing.


Finally, the trip ended with a surprise visit with my cousins, Thomas and Ben. I hadn’t seem them in almost fifteen years! They arrived in the area just hours before I had to leave to go back home. Dad and Andrew flew in to surprise mom so we could all see them. They rest of them enjoyed a baseball game and more time together, but I still got to fit in a quick lunch and visit before catching my flight back home.


Happy New Year

What a wonderful and crazy journey this life is! As we eagerly wait to see what this new year will bring, we also reflect on all that has happened in the last year.

Jesse and Kristin

Many of our favorite memories from this past year are focused around the children who have come to stay in our home. We had the joy of having several kids stay with us for short periods. It’s so fun to have the chance play with them and love them as our own, even if just for a few days. Our oldest child last year was five years and our youngest was only six weeks, and we had most every age in between.

This past year we were most thankful for A coming back to live with us again! He’s been with us for eight months now and we just couldn’t love him more. As we wait to see what his future holds, we try to enjoy every moment we have.

bbq boys

Our family celebrated quite an exciting summer. My bother got engaged in May! My sister got engaged in June! My mom and I had fun planning surprise engagement parties for both of them. Andrew and Nicole as well as Ashley and David will have their weddings this June!!

I took a trip to California to see my sister and participate in helping with wedding planning. It was pretty hard to decide to leave my boys at home and travel across the country. It was also exciting to be able to travel on my own, I don’t think I’ve done that since we were married. Wedding planning was fun, girl time… and also exhausting. Ashley had a well planned schedule full of appointments.

sleeping girls

I have three favorite memories with A that stand out from this year. Our trip to Disney! A friend of Jesse’s offered us free tickets, that was a fantastic day. Our celebration of A’s birthday. We had a monster themed party at the park. He loved every minute of it! Our family vacation to Ohio. I love all the new and exciting things he gets to experience when we visit an entirely different place in the country. A’s best memory of the trip has to be the combine ride. We were just watching the corn field when the owner came and offered that we could ride. It was awesome!!


Our family ended the year enjoying time together for the holidays. It was extra special to be able to include A in our traditions this year. As I did every year as a kid, we took him to pick out his own ornament to add to the tree. It was also fun to play Santa for the first time. The first gift A opened from his stocking was a pack of socks. A responded with “Socks!! It’s new socks!!” When he was that excited about socks, we couldn’t wait to see him enjoy the rest of his gifts.

A ornament

Looking forward to what 2014 will bring…

May Is National Foster Care Month


No matter how much time you have to give, you can do something positive that will Change a Lifetime for a young person in foster care. You could…

  • Make a financial contribution
  • Wear a blue ribbon during May
  • Volunteer with a local foster care program
  • Tutor a child in foster care
  • Send a care package
  • Help youth in foster care find a job
  • Mentor a young person
  • Become a foster parent
  • Be a child advocate
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