Monday, June 21, 2010

A Weekend to Celebrate!

This weekend we celebrated both our 7th Anniversary and Father's Day on Sunday, June 20th!
7 years! Wow! Sometimes our wedding day seems like just yesterday- it was so fun and so perfect! And sometimes the life of newlyweds seems like forever ago!

We celebrated our Anniversary one day early and went out for a fabulous dinner at The Melting Pot! It was so nice to sit, eat good food, laugh, and talk about the past 7 years and the next 70! It was great to have a kid free night where we could concentrate on each other! Thank you Ernie & Kim for watching the boys! They love you and so do we!

Father's Day breakfast! Delicious crepes, yummy Mamosas, and the best company!

Heath was trying so hard to steal a little swig of Mark's Mamosa!

Daddy is Nolan's favorite play mate! I just don't cut it when it comes to racing Mack trucks, wrestling in pillows, or doing the "elevator"! Daddy is the best!

After breakfast Mark, Wes, and Tim played golf all afternoon. We met up with them at the pool in the evening for some splashing, pizza, and fun with family!

Mark...we love you so much and are so thankful for the fun you bring to our lives. Not only are you a very good time, but you work so hard to give us the best life, you are a wonderful encouragement, and our biggest supporter! You believe in us and love us for just who we are!
The boys are so blessed to have you in their lives...and so am I!

And just for fun...here's a snapshot of our little mischief makers poolside...

Brady and Nolan have a blast together and are always up to something! Here they are wasting water but having a good old time shooting it high and watching it hit the wall. Just wait until they are older...we'll be in for it!

P.S. I wanted to throw in a little shout out to our amazing fathers too!

My Dad is SUCH a servant! He would do anything for me! Fill up my gas, carry my bags, call to see if I'm safe! He has been known to drive all over town buying a million happy meals just to get me the entire set of mini beanie babies or the 1 out of the 100 dalmation toys that I wanted! I never went to bed without kissing him goodnight. And he has the BEST laugh! Get him going and he just can't stop! He grew up in a small town and is a simple man. I love that about him. He's genuine, caring, and opinionated. I got that trait from him! And today, he is a wonderful grandpa- playful & loving, only now he can be seen running all over town trying to find specific CARS for Nolan.

And Mark's Dad...he loves family, values time together, enjoys good wine, and is very active. He bikes, gardens, plays tennis, and runs a great school. Mark got his love of sports from him and he enjoys spending time in some of these same hobbies with his Dad as well. Bruce is also a great grandpa- taking the kids on garden walks, looking for Mr. Moon, and watching the boys so we can go out.

We are so blessed to have these wonderful role models and have learned so much from their presence in our lives! They taught us to work hard, put family first, love the Lord, and enjoy life!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Off to Belgium...

So this may seem like a blubbering mess and may not make much sense...but that's where I'm at right now...as you may already know, our good friend Jess if moving to Belgium! We had to say goodbye to her tonight...and it was HARD! We have LOVED having her live here in Colorado and have enjoyed having her be a part of our family! I said goodbye to her once already when Mark and I got married and moved to Colorado. We lost touch a bit while living across the country and really were only Facebook friends for those years. And then we were so blessed when 4 years later she decided to move out here too! And I now I really DO NOT want to say goodbye again!

Jess and I met when I was a sophomore in college. She was a freshman and moved onto my floor- 2nd Heyns. We were instantly attached at the hip and both loved all things dorm and all things Calvin! We spent a ton of time together around campus, at basketball & baseball games, ate almost every meal together, and had a lot of good laughs! We enjoyed staying up late, being CLOSE, and dressing up! Mark and I even got engaged on her family's sailboat in her hometown, Grosse Pointe, Michigan.

Jess has been a truly important part of my adult life! She is a wonderful friend, impressive servant, loving heart, and F-U-N! Since she has moved to Colorado it has been so nice to have someone here who really knows me, who knows who I was before marriage, who knows who I am as a wife, who knows me as a mom, who knows me as a friend, and on and on. I have loved having her here to chat with, to watch T.V. with, to have dinner with, to play with the boys with, to be goofy with, to gang up on Mark with, to laugh, and to cry with! She knows me! And now I can't imagine life here in Colorado without her!

So here I am at 11:21 p.m. after a fun night celebrating Jess and saying goodbye to her, trying to get all my thoughts about her into just one blog! And I just don't want to click the (PUBLISH) button because then it will really be real. She'll really be gone. So, instead, I leave you with this mumbo jumbo about a girl who I just can't tell you enough about...and a lot of pictures. Some good, some bad, mostly funny...of us through the years! Check it out...it's well worth it!

video

Jess...I hope you know just how special you are to me, to Mark, and now to our boys! They L-O-V-E you! You are just so fun and make them feel so loved! And it breaks my heart just thinking that you will be so far away and won't be here as they grow and change! But I know they will have a blast Skyping with you from across the world! I hope that you have an amazing experience and make the most of your time in Brussels. This is your time to follow the Lord's leading in your life! Live fully, love deeply, and just don't forget about us! We miss you already! Thank you for blessing us with your spirit for the past 3 years!

And I'll leave you with this...when Jess and I would say goodbye to each other we would shout down the hallway of our floor in college a loud: "LOVE!" and be on our way.

LOVE!!! to you Jess
-"Gail"

catchin' some rays

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love these 3!

splashin' in the kiddie pool

Hey you!

And someone else had to get in on the action...after a 30 mile bike ride, with 2 kids napping, Mark thought the pool looked like a a good place to chill for the afternoon!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Auntie Mal

We had a nice visit with my sister this past weekend! We didn't do too much, but just had a blast doing life together! The boys just adore their Auntie and I guess I pretty much do too! It was so fun to catch up, spend time together, and to have an extra set of hands to tackle daily life with busy boys! Check out the video below to take a peek at all of our fun! My video camera was having trouble uploading so some of the video is a bit choppy...but you'll get the jist!

video

So Auntie, when are you moving? We LOVE you!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Casa Bonita

Saturday night we ventured out to Casa Bonita! This restaurant has been around for a long time and Mark probably hadn't been there since he was about 8 years old! I had heard about it a bunch of times since I moved to Denver but hadn't made there until this weekend! Our good friend Jess and I had talked about wanting to go before she moves this summer. And since she leaves in 2 weeks- the time was now!

When I googled Casa Bonita to get directions an article popped up titled, "How to Survive Casa Bonita: The Weirdest Mexican Restauraunt". And I laugh now because that article just about sums up our experience!

Actually, Casa Bonita boasts that it is the "World's Most Exciting Restaurant"! And because they "feature live entertainment and because the atmosphere is so unique" they "require every person under two years of age to purchase a dinner before entering the restaurant".

Despite the Mexican flair- Nolan ordered chicken strips and french fries! He was a smart man! He had the best meal of the night!

However, the all you can eat sopaipillas were excellent! Did I eat $11.95 worth of them?

Casa Bonita "sincerely believes that you will understand after seeing:
strolling musicians
daring cliff divers
exciting gunfights
amazing musicians
the hilarious puppet show
dancing monkeys in costume
&
splendid appointments: behold the roaring waterfall, graceful palms, volcanic mountain, caves, sparkling pool, mine, jail, etc, etc, etc."



Despite the less than stellar food, we did have great company and Nolan had a most excellent time! You could not peel him away from watching the divers!

He also braved "Black Bart's Cave". He'll tell you all about the red skull that glowed and made a loud noise that made us all jump and the ghost and the big teeth and on and on and on!

And he even got to do one of his most favorite things- throwing pennies in the fountain! All in all, I'm glad we went! It was a fun filled family evening!

And Jess...I'm so glad that we were able to have this truly once in a lifetime experience with you! What will we do without you when you leave?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cohen Mark

Have you ever felt like a little piece of your heart was somewhere else?

That's how we feel right now!

Because...
this little guy is just too far away!

August can not come soon enough!

Brad & Jayne we are so proud of you!
And we love Cohen so much already!
Congrats!

What a Weekend!

We had a fantastic weekend!
Here are a bunch of shots from all the fun!

We started out the weekend with the second half of our Water 2 Wine experience! The wine that we mixed for Mark's Dad's 60th birthday was ready and we enjoyed a night together bottling and labeling it!

Check out the finished product! Fietsen- a Dutch Cabernet. We created the wine in honor of Bruce so we worked together to design a label to represent him! Fietsen means bicycle in Dutch. So Cara took a picture of Bruce's bike in front of his tulips! He loves biking and gardening so the label fits him perfectly!

At the end of the night Nolan, Heath, and Opa checked out the stars and looked for "Mr. Moon"!

It's been hot here so we decided to blow up Nolan's pool to cool off this weekend!

Can't get enough of his smile! He must be so happy because he's sportin' his Bears shirt from Uncle T.!

Baby Heath and Baby Ella- isn't it crazy how much they grow in just 6 months?!

Payton turned 6 and celebrated with a pool party! She wanted a Monarch butterfly birthday cake- so Cara made just that! It turned out great!

Nolan and Daddy riding the turtle at "Baby Inge's pool"! Inge is Wes' grandma and for some reason Nolan thinks it's hilarious to call her by that endearing term!

We went up to the Bosch family cabin for Memorial Day! Nolan would have stayed put in the sandbox all day if I let him! He played with the cars, tractors, and animals! He makes them all talk and have conversations, he does sound effects, and creates a little make believe world! It's so funny to listen to!

Heath enjoyed swinging with Annie- Oma Bosch's caretaker!

Nolan and his cousin- as he likes to call him these days- "Brady Michael Syers"! It's so fun for them to be able to grow up together!

Heath liked hanging out in this little play seat that they have up at the cabin! He always wants to be a part of the action!

Nolan would only ride in the tractor trailer if Daddy rode with him!

Cousin Addie and Nolan have become fast friends! They play together so nicely, have quite the imaginations, and jabber back and forth constantly! They loved hanging out in the sandbox, wandering off, and looking for animals! They saw a "big big Zebra" and "Alex" from Madagascar out in the trees!

the ladies watching the intense family whiffle ball game

Todd throwing some heat and Nolan trying to help out by putting the balls back in the bucket

Our big guy had a blast exploring the land!