This weekend Gloria and the kids were traveling through Nashville, so we met up with them and a few other families from church at a park for lunch. It was so good to get to see them and talk for a bit, and the kids were overjoyed to play with their MO friends for awhile. Seeing all the kids together made us realize HOW MUCH they have all grown in the past few years! It is really amazing.

17 years

This weekend Jake and I celebrated SEVENTEEN years of marriage! 17 seems like such a big number. Sometimes it seems like those years have flown by, and sometimes it seems like we have been together for much longer than that. They have been good years, though. That much I know for sure.

Nana kept the kiddos for us so we could go to dinner to celebrate. We went to O-Ku, one of our favorite restaurants in Nashville. We had some delicious Japanese dishes and a new-to-us Japanese dessert. The waitress even brought us some “mock-tails” to celebrate. It was a good night. 🙂

May so far

Here are some more happy moments from May, so far:

Jack got to have a sleepover with his very best friend, Finn.

Justin and Kelsey let Jake and I use their Nashville SC tickets one Sunday. It was so much fun to be in a stadium again, even with masks on!

We’ve had several dinners with friends at our house. I don’t even have pictures of others, but this was a great night with Dan and Hannah-it had been a long time since we’d gotten to hang out with them!

We got zinnias planted at the farm, right before we went to Denver. It was a beautiful night to be at the farm! Jake also got some sunflowers planted last night. Our farm is going to be BEAUTIFUL this summer!

The kids had their Spring Concert at school. Jack was so excited to get to have a dancing part in his class’ song, and Josie has been looking forward to singing these songs in concert since AUGUST. They did an awesome job. She was most excited about “Down to the River to Pray” that the upper school girls performed- I was so impressed. They have SUCH an awesome music teacher at school.

Jack got to have Claire over last night, kind of unexpectedly- I love their sweet friendship. Josie got to go to her best friends’ house for a birthday sleepover!

May has been so busy so far, but I’ve been glad for the sense of normalcy we’ve finally gotten back. Thankful for Covid vaccines and low Covid numbers in TN. I’ve signed Josie up for her first vaccine! I can’t wait until both kiddos are vaccinated and life can truly return to “normal” (whatever that is, LOL).


This past weekend Jake and I took a trip to Denver. We’d been through Denver a couple of times on our way to other places, but never actually stayed there. So when Jake found some super cheap airline tickets, we jumped at the chance! It was a birthday, Mother’s Day, and anniversary trip, all rolled into one. The kids stayed with Grammy and Pappy. Jake and I flew out super early on Saturday morning, and got to Denver early enough for brunch. We found our hotel and checked our bags in, and then walked to a nearby cafe. It was delicious!

After brunch, we walked around, shopping and sight seeing until we could get into our hotel room.

We stayed at Union Station, and the room was beautiful. We took a good nap, and then I headed over to the spa for my Mother’s Day treat- a full mani/pedi. It was wonderful. While I was doing that, Jake wandered around Denver, taking in the sights. He walked a LOT of steps that day!

We met back up at the hotel, and then wandered around some more. Jake took me to the REI he had found- FOUR stories! We found some pizza and ice cream for dinner before going back to the hotel for the night to enjoy our super comfy room. But not before happening on the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen-the sun setting behind the Rockies on a cloudy day.

We slept late on Sunday morning, and ordered room service for breakfast-it was delicious. Then we took a long walk, stopping a restaurant to get some appetizers for lunch, and then wandering through the Rino Art district.

We took more time to find me some good coffee and then to be lazy in our hotel room before wandering back out for dinner at a burger joint super close to the hotel.

Monday morning we were up early to catch the train back to the airport and fly back in time for Jake to work and me to make it to the kids’ spring concert. Abrupt end to our trip, but it was SUCH a good trip. I’m so glad we got to take it-to relax, enjoy each other’s company, and just to get to have uninterrupted time together. Just what we both needed.


I’ve been avoiding writing this blog post for a couple of weeks now. Because I just didn’t have the words. And I still don’t. But I can’t avoid it any longer. At the end of April, our good friend Ryan lost his fight with cancer. I hate cancer. So much. With a passion I can’t even convey.

Ryan was the husband of a wonderful wife, and a dad to three beautiful kids. They went to church with us for several years, went camping with us, hung out at our house, cooked out with us, hiked with us, and all kinds of fun stuff until they moved to Missouri to be closer to family. We saw them even after they moved, though-we met up with them when we took our trip out west, and they came to visit us whenever they came to TN-they even stayed overnight in our camper on one trip.

Ryan was full of life and adventure and the love of God. He lived a beautiful life. He loved his family and friends deeply and fully. He loved doing so many things, and did those things with care and skill.

He will be so deeply missed.

On the third, we went to Missouri for his celebration of life service. It was wonderful testament to a life well lived, but also so surreal. I still can’t believe he’s gone.

Will you join me in praying for his sweet family?

7th Grade Protocol Dinner

Saturday night was Josie’s 7th grade protocol dinner, something she has been eagerly awaiting for weeks! At school, they have a specific mini course on “protocol,” learning manners and expectations for how to behave at a fancy event. Then they get to have a dinner to practice those manners.

She had such an awesome time! The person in charge asked me to come just at the beginning to take a few pics, and it was so fun to see all of them all dressed up!