Sunday, September 30, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

Seems like life is a bit busy right now! I've been working full-time at school, but I've also been working more hours than expected at Fossil. Granted, it is not a difficult job, but it is time that I cannot rest. Soon I will just be working at school during the week and Fossil on some weekends to get a little break :)

Besides work, we've been enjoying the New Testament Challenge! It is such an easy read, and I've been encouraged already. I'm looking forward to discussing it with our couples small group and the ladies small group. Sometimes it is hard to be motivated to get together and discuss, but I find that it is always worthwhile when we do. So here we go again!

I also had some other fun activities this week including a jewelry party, pinterest party, and enjoying the company of graduate school friends. Oh, and couple from our small group had their baby on Friday morning!  Meet Autumn Corrin Hibma. She is beautiful :)

 One not-so-fun activity was Maggie getting spayed. She looked so pitiful. She could barely move, had a couple accidents in the house, and was just lame. BUT two days later she is back to her ADHD self...digging through the trash and chasing her toys around the house.

This week Corey and I are hoping to check out Art Prize in downtown Grand Rapids. For those of you who haven't heard, people (1517 to be exact) made a piece of art (from any material) and placed them all around the city of GR. It brings a lot of tourists to the area which is great for our economy. And it's incredible to see how creative/talented people are!

Although I'm seeking more rest/time with the hubs and less activities in my life right now, I am super pumped to meet up with three of my closest college friends in Chicago. Since two are from Minneapolis and the other is just north of Indy, Chicago is a perfect meeting place again this year. I am VERY eager to see them in a few weeks!

And then there is that two year anniversary coming up which I am definitely looking forward to (Yes, it's not till November  but you know how eager I get). Not sure where we are going yet as Corey is the one planning it this year :) My only preferences included shopping and/or spa and thankfully he enjoys both. We shall see!

Any fun plans in your life lately?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

September Photo Challenge

Here it is folks...the last week of the Sept photo challenge! This week has been quite busy at work and home, and I've been feeling rather exhausted, so updates on life will come later :)

Still. The Bible keeps be still and sane.

Color. Everyone needs a fun calendar!

Close-Up. Oh hi there.

Family. Corey is such an avid nap-taker.

Life. Either the girls are sleeping or hunting chasing each other.

Yes, that is Luna's tail that Maggie is pouncing on.

Stranger. Our pets continue to get stranger each day. But that's why we love them so!

I've never seen Luna make this face before...

Feel free to link up on Katie's site here.

Hope you enjoyed your visit!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


One of my besties, Leah, is now a certified Zumba instructor, and tonight was her first class! She did an amazing job, and it was such a splendid time. I was sweating like nobody's business. If you're in the Grand Rapids area, you should check her out! She has class every Tuesday night at Rock Fit Gym. My MIL joined me, too, which made it extra fun :)

This week has been crazy busy at work as I continue to build relationships and decipher what people's expectations are of me. Funny enough, it's WAY easier to build relationships with the students than the staff. Don't get me wrong, I work with some stellar people...but each person has a different set of expectations for my role (whether they are aware of it or not). Needless to say, I am continually blessed by the adults and students I serve.

Outside of work, I started a women's Bible study! I am desperately looking forward to more accountability in my life--and really craving those feminine relationships that are spiritually fruitful--like I had in college. Here's to being vulnerable (in a transforming way) again...

Lastly, a friend in our couples small group gave me a book to read, and I'm just now opening it after a month (eek!) Here is some food for thought: 

"We must never 'prostitute' prayer, degrading it (and our perception of God) into some mechanical program for getting our way. Rather, prayer must be as living and natural and exciting as sharing our hearts with a friend."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sept Photo Challenge, Week 2

The September Photo Challenge is back! 
You can check out Katie's blog, the creator of this fun challenge, here.

This week is light, movement, joy...

This is of the ginormous hydrangea bushes in our back yard

We moved into out new home 6 months ago. It's been fun making it our personal space, and continuously giving praise to the Lord for such a place to live!

This picture was taken on my phone, but I had to include's Luna attacking the cat nip :)

We are continually blessed by our nephews. From left to right:

Keller (7 years)
Brendan (4.5 years)
Nathan (7 years)
Hunter (8.5 years)
Carson (1 year)

They are so silly, brilliant, funny, savvy, compassionate, and lovable. They constantly bring us joy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Prism

So I've been driving the same car I got when I was 16. A 2002 Chevy Prism. It looks like this:

Classy right? But hey, it keeps me humble and it's been faithful!

However, Corey and I have talked about a mini SUV in our dear future. Since the Nissan Murano is too expensive, he was thinking the Juke:

Kind of cool. Kind of not. I can't decide. 

So I kept looking (not that I know what I'm looking for except how it looks on the outside). And found the Nissan Rogue!

It's basically a mini Murano.

I'm not quite sure why my eyes keep gravitating towards Nissans....or why I dedicated a blog post about cars. 

But I girl can dream, right? 

And luck for Corey, any car with automatic locks and windows would be a dream to me :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Keller is 7!

On Saturday we celebrated Keller's 7th birthday! He is the 3rd oldest of our five nephews. We had a blast celebrating his birthday at my brother and SIL's new place! 

Then we headed to my in-law's so Corey would watch the MI game. Oliver was a wee bit jealous...

No worries, we still love Luna just as much, but Mags went with us to the party :)

Hail to the victors!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sept Photo Challenge

I'm doing a September photo challenge with a college gal I have reconnected with (she's fabulous by the way!) You can check out her pictures here.

Here are mine!

1. Me: I'm an old book lover. I absolutely love finding old books at garage sales, antique/thrift stores, old book stores, and the like. I especially like finding ones that I can give as gifts. For instance, I purchased a book for Corey about a secret service agent from WWI and a history novel written during WWII for my father-in-law. And of course, a few of mine include "Explorations in Social Change", "From Poverty to Power", and "Women of the Renaissance". My most treasured old book is my great grandmother's book of love poems with her notes in it :)

2. Now: There are pumpkins growing in our neighbors garden/compost pile! I am absolutely pumped that fall is right around the corner. I'm very eager to change my house decor to match the season.

3. Details: See that tiny little white spot on the top of Maggie's nose? It's one of my favorite details about her...a little beauty mark. Right now she's destroying chewing on her blanket, but we're just going to focus on the positives!

What photos do you have to share?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Testament Challenge

As you may already know, Corey and I attend Ada Bible Church. In a few weeks they are launching a new small group series titled, The New Testament Challenge (NTC). The goal is for everyone in the congregation (4000+) to read the New Testament in 8 weeks. There is a version of the Bible that reads more like a love story and a daily reading plan that accompanies the NTC.

I. am. so. excited.

Ironically, since coming back from Ukraine, I've been sluggish in so many areas of life...

consistent devotions

I am so eager to jump into something that will encourage me to read my Bible every day. I know God will use my willing spirit, and I pray He molds me into a more humble, faithful person. 

Corey and I are also small group leaders of a couples group, so we have the opportunity to do this study with a group of other young adults. I am incredibly grateful for this group. After 3 years, they are like family :)

So what helps you stay consistent? Anything you're itching to begin come this new fall season?

I've also began a new eating and running plan, so here's to new beginnings!

As a side note about work: the honeymoon is already over! Most kids are comfortable and showing it :) But by golly, I met all my caseload kids at Lakes Elementary, and I already love them. 

I find that if I focus on their worth and dignity, I can keep up the poker face during crazy interesting circumstances.

What helps you stay calm in stressful situations? Do you have any preferred cooling-down strategies?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day

Corey wished me a great first day this morning, and it came true!

The first day is typically pretty low-key for social workers. Today I was only at Lakes Elementary (on Mondays, Thursdays and Friday AM I'm at Meadow Ridge Elementary). While at school today I...

visited/worked in the self-contained CI classrooms
finally figured out how to set up the printer (thanks to the super nice librarian!)
met some of my caseload students
visited the cafeteria during lunch time
wrote a million emails
went through my students' IEPs again and again
got more organized in my case notes/documentation
got my schedule more narrowed down
continued to plan for groups

I seriously love kids. They are simply a hoot. And just plain beautiful. 

I'm looking forward to introducing myself to more students tomorrow, as well as getting into more of a routine these upcoming weeks.

You know what else? It only took me 6 minutes to get to work today :)

Happy first day!