Sunday, June 29, 2008


Ahhh . . . to get away from Muncie for a day is great! This weekend Bryan, Avery, and I went to spend some time with Byran's mom and brother who live in Bloomington. I love Bloomington! Bloomington, for me, has the perfect mix of quirky shops, a beautiful downtown, lovely parks, and a great university town feel.

Although I would have loved to have eaten at one of the very hip cafes, a Jimmy John's sandwich sufficed. Smoothies in the afternoon from Soma really hit the spot after walking around downtown for a while. I fell in love with a shop called The Inner Chef . . . did I ever mention that I have an affinity for kitchen gadgets?! New shops and restaurants are always popping-up downtown, but next time we visit, FARM will be my lunch stop. They use all locally grown and in-season ingredients.

Besides walking downtown, Grandma Bert and Eric gave Avery birthday presents; a very cool baby MP3 player (with classical music only) and a leap frog alphabet bus. Avery is definitely getting good at unwrapping gifts!

Avery still wasn't tired after the eventful day, so Saturday evening Bryan and I took her to run off some steam at Bryan park. No, not Bryan's park, Bryan Park. Bryan Park was the most kid friendly park I have ever visited. Avery wanted to keep up with all of the bigger kids, so she ran after them, climbing stairs (with some help) and enjoying the slides. She climbed up this huge (huge to her in my opinion) tunnel, playing peek-a-boo with Bryan, who was standing watch below. I cannot believe she climbed that whole tunnel! I had a hard time doing it myself.

Probably the funniest thing at the park was this little boy who jumped on the back of this "bouncy bee" that Avery was riding.

The boy jumps on . . .

She notices an "impostor" on the bee . . .

She doesn't like it . . .

But, alas, a talking from mommy makes it all better!

We topped off the day with a drive by Bryan's high school Alma mater, Bloomington North. Hail to the class of 1993!

Just too funny!

Bryan took this picture earlier this weekend. It really shows off Avery's luscious hair.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Bryan!

Today, a mere 34 years ago, my oh so young looking husband was born in a Detroit suburb. Although it would be fitting to write a birthday tribute, a poem perhaps, alas I am not a wordsmith. Hopefully a picture tribute will suffice.

Fortunately Bryan has to work today, or all of you would not get to see these "vintage" photos . . . he would surely have stopped me from putting them on the blog.

Bryan and I celebrated last night with the opening of presents: new Adidas sandals and the new Tim Dorsey book. He also received gift cards and a Red Wings Championship hat. This morning Avery and I (since she doesn't leave my side right now . . . in fact she is on my lap as I am writing this) cooked Bryan his breakfast favorites, hash browns (well-done) and cheese covered scrambled eggs. Since Bryan is not a fan of birthday cake, he blew out the candles on birthday taco dip, another one of his favorite dishes.

We will celebrate with Bryan's mom and brother this weekend in Bloomington. Happy Birthday Baby!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hail the Conquering Graduate

Congratulations are in order to my husband Bryan. Today he officially completed his bachelor's degree. Bryan walked in the spring graduation (May), but finished taking his last final, the dreaded MATH118, this evening. I am so proud of his accomplishment. It has been a long road for him to get here and I admire him for seeing it through to completion. Now comes the daunting job waiting for God to direct him and our family in his job search. While he is presently employed, he is still on the search for a position that would be more long term. Pray that we are patient while we listen for God's direction.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Slide Fun

Avery loves playing outside
Although she looks sedate, she loves the slide.

Avery and I played outside today while Bryan was at work. Avery loves her "new to her" slide, courtesey of her Grandma Bevins. I'm not sure if she likes chasing me around the slide, playing peek-a-boo with the cut-outs, or actually sliding best. I guess it doesn't matter as long as she is having fun.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Biggest Loser

Before: Christmas 2007 (we started on Jan 2nd)

Bryan: 12.6% lighter

Mark: 19.2% lighter (in total 35.9% lighter)

Me: 18.7% lighter

For those of you who did not know, my family and I participated in a Biggest Loser competition. Even though I attempted to lose 1.5 lbs. on the day of the final weigh-in to win (June 14th) I was beaten by my little (or should I say smaller) brother Mark. Congrats! Check out the before and after pictures. Sorry Tiffany, I don't have an after picture for you.

Happy Anniversary

O.k., so I'm two days late in writing the anniversary blog . . . I have a toddler . . . how long can I use that excuse for being late? My wonderful husband and I have now been married three years. Our lives have changed so much; bought a house, had a baby, finished a bachelor's degree, and survived home renovations (which was the toughest oddly). Regardless, marrying Bryan was one of the happiest days in my life, even if he thinks I regret it some days. Bryan and I were just reminiscing about our honeymoon to Chicago and wondering when we will ever go again. Even greater than the Chicago memories for me are the memories of our wedding, how handsome Bryan looked and how wonderful I felt knowing that we would be spending our whole lives together. There is a whole lot more to live!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Avery's First Birthday

Bryan and I cannot believe that our baby turned 1 today. We missed Grandma Bert, Eric, and the the Michigan, Utah, and Florida crews who were not able to attend. We were able to enjoy the evening grilling out with Avery's Great-Grandmas Prater and Bevins, Grandma and Grandpa Bevins, Aunt Sarah, and Uncles Mark, Alex, and Sam. Avery's 7 month-old cousin Ella and her parents Bruce and Mary were also on hand for the festivities. Avery enjoyed getting a lot of attention and presents. She received many books, which are a favorite toy, a crawl-through Dora tunnel, a baby doll, a baby stroller, and clothes. With the main obligation for photos being capturing the birthday girl destroying the cake and making a mess . . . we succeeded. Unfortunatly, these pictures came after we calmed her down from burning her finger on the flame of her lone candle, which she grabbed first. Happy Birthday Avery!