Category Archives: husband

Choosing Thankfulness

My partner’s gone this week.  Work traveler…


However…when I tend to bathe in cookies, ice cream, late night movie marathons, pity party’s, and other self-indulgences while he’s away…I am choosing thankfulness this week.  Maybe it’s my new obsession with Instagram…or the 100 Happy Days challenge I’m doing ON Instagram…but however it happened, God is gracing me with peace and thankfulness this week.

Husband and I up at 5am Monday morning so he can catch his flight? Peace.  He gets to the airport to find out his flight is cancelled and instead goes to work over an hour early? Peace.  Husband and I up at 5am Tuesday morning so he can catch his rescheduled flight? Peace (though, I was not so much ‘up at 5am’ this particular morning…).  Once again he gets to the airport to find out his flight is cancelled…Peace.  God reveals to me that all of our prayers for ‘safe travels’ and ‘protection’ could have been answered through him missing rush hour traffic two mornings in a row.  Or flying two mornings when there were storms…or who knows how God ‘protects’ us – we don’t even know all of the things that we miss!

Checking out at Target with the kids behind another customer who’s credit card isn’t getting read and it’s taking forever at the same time I should have them home in bed? Peace.  My 4 month old literally crying the entire way home? Peace.  My almost 4 year old telling me she had to go potty as soon as I pulled out of the gas station parking lot (to check on the 4 month old and try to assess why he was still crying…)? Peace.

We’ve still got 2 days to miss him and lots more opportunities for stress and sadness and selfishness…But thank you God for unexpected days home together, plans still working out for Joel’s work needed done in Mexico, kids who sing to the baby when he’s crying, over-tired cuddles, going to sleep right away, Grandma’s who help out, Kids Eat Free night at Chik-Fil-A, and a God who is teaching and molding in every situation




About a month ago, a good friend asked me what I would identify as the greatest area of faithfulness in my life.  What a powerful question.

I first thought of our recent birth experience with Olson – and what a redemptive story that has been for us.  But as I got to contemplating more, I knew that there was another area that God has been so incredibly, miraculously faithful in.

For it to not have come to mind immediately does not diminish the power of God’s faithfulness, but is a testimony to how wholly and wonderfully faithful He is, that my entire life is so encompassed and settled with His faithfulness.

It is providential, miraculous, redemptive, restorative, beautiful, truly amazing and a gift that compares to nothing but the saving grace of Jesus Christ.


This husband for me and father for our children has filled in me a gap that was wider, deeper, and larger than I think I will ever be aware of.  God’s providential plan for our marriage is more amazing than I will ever comprehend.  To say that we’ve been married for 6 years today, is unbelievable in many ways.

1. I cannot believe that we’ve already been married 6 years!  It’s exciting to feel like we’re gaining some ground and experience and longevity to this most precious relationship.

2. On the other hand, I cannot believe we’ve ONLY been married 6 years!  Joel is my best friend; lover of heart, mind, body, and soul; the perfect mate that compliments every part of me.

I can honestly say that if this was our last day to enjoy this wonderful marriage together, that I could live in true thankfulness.  That our life together and marriage has been completely full, satisfying, rewarding, and redemptive.  That God’s faithfulness has been written all over our life together, and that if we were to be parted, I know with complete confidence that God’s faithfulness would continue

(belated) Anniversary getaway in snapshots

2 weeks ago, Joel and I were able to get away for 4 days and 3 nights to celebrate 5 years of marriage (a belated celebration trip!).  We wanted to have some adventures, spend lots of time outside, spend lots of time resting, and most of all, give each other undivided attention.  Mission: Accomplished.  Here’s our stay in Mesick, MI and in Ludington, MI in pictures:

5 year anniversary trip 018

A family friend’s cabin in the middle of Manistee National Forest

 5 year anniversary trip 019

You can see the canoes we’re about to board in the background – no pictures of this adventure though, I was too nervous to take our camera! 5 year anniversary trip 028

Hiking through Manistee National Forest and crossing a huge, beautiful suspension bridge

 5 year anniversary trip 034

Joel being silly #1: finding a jeweled something-or-other mushroom (of course…)

 5 year anniversary trip 037

Joel being silly #2: Making my belly and me pose behind a tree 🙂

5 year anniversary trip 038

Joel being silly #3: Trying to climb 2 trees at once…

 5 year anniversary trip 041

SO THANKFUL for our fun and relaxing stay at the cabin! Can’t wait to go back

 5 year anniversary trip 044

Beautiful beach and view of Lake MI from Ludington

 5 year anniversary trip 045

Spending the afternoon soaking in the sun, people-watching, and reading

 5 year anniversary trip 047

 5 year anniversary trip 049

Eating out at Jameston Brewing Company (if only I had the nerve to post ALL pictures we took trying to get our heads and the name of the restaurant in the same shot…….this was pretty much as good as it got…)

5 year anniversary trip 056

Pier and lighthouse on the beach

 5 year anniversary trip 070

 And returning home to be greeted by this lovely Pink family:5 year anniversary trip 072Thanks, Jane and Sarah for making us smile when we returned!

What has been your favorite place to retreat to lately?!

4th Anniversary Celebration!

On Wednesday night, May 9th (our actual anniversary), we began our celebration with a hurried lunch of Mylin going to grandma’s, Joel going to his parents to eat lunch, and Rachel going to a work meeting and baby appointment – Happy Anniversary! 🙂
When Rachel got home, she tried to take a nap while Joel mowed, but ended up talking on the phone the whole time… (Thanks, Joy!)
We then got ready and went to look at a new vehicle (post to come in future) and eat at TWFable
We went to bed early that night and slept in on Thursday morning – that was a lovely way to begin a great day!
We got up to Autum Ridge Golf Course and hit the greens by 9am

(yes his ball is still on the tee – this was a practice swing – I didn’t want to distract him during his real one!)
This was something fun we haven’t done since we dated
We had such a fun time riding around and golfing (Joel) and eating chocolate (Rachel)
DEFINITELY a repeat date – why have we waited years and years to do this again?!?!

This series of pictures describes a story told by Joel:

Can you tell by his posture that the awesome putt position didn’t pay off?! He was bummed but we had fun taking the pictures – little did we know a couple was sitting on their deck watching the whole ‘show’ 🙂

After we had a couples massage that was ridiculously awesome…we went out to eat at Cork and Cleavers – a place neither of us had ever been to
At one point in the evening Joel flashed me a great grin that had me almost spitting water out of my nose because I noticed something in his teeth…

Thanks for re-enacting the smile for me, Handsome! 🙂

After a few anniversary shots by our photographer waitress – we headed to a local hotel to relax for the rest of the evening

While Rachel got ridiculously homesick for Mylin, we both survived until Friday morning when we hurried home to get her and enjoy the rest of our long weekend together!

Thank you, God, for the gift of marriage and how you have blessed us these last 4 years!!!

4 years with the one I love most

4 years ago today this happened:

I love making each year special with the man God’s provision blessed me with!

1 year – Chicago

(we look SOOOO young!)

2 years – Brown County

 (the first pregnant anniversary – today marks #2!)

3 years (and part 2) – Dublin, Ohio (part of a bigger celebration for my graduation too)

THIS year the pictures will have to wait…I forgot to snap one before Joel left for work this morning!

Happy Anniversary baby, I am so thankful for your heart that loves the Lord, me, and our family – you are one of many blessings I don’t deserve – I LOVE YOU!


God has laid these themes on my heart (and some of them on Joel’s as well) multiple times over the last 3-4 months – I’d love to get your feedback on them!
He has really worked on themes surrounding our marriage, lately
Partly because I spent a lot of time collecting and reflecting on marriage material to speak at our MomLife group on communication – and partly because God is using this time in our life to enhance and strengthen our marriage relationship! (I hope these challenges continue every day, for the rest of our lives!!!! We looooooove being married and learning about ourselves and each other)

– It’s mutual – not as anti-feminist and offensive as our culture likes to twist it.  It is something we must constantly refer back to scripture for clearer understanding.  It takes humility – which is so difficult always at times
Guard your heart
– God has taught me that this doesn’t mean to build up a protective guard around my heart so no one and nothing can get in…but that I must do all I can to nurture and care for my marriage so my heart is full of God and His desires…so that my heart will not turn bitter or hateful towards my husband and my God
– To live in accordance with one another…a reminder of how we are 1 flesh, 1 unit serving together our God.  This word shows up everywhere to us – it is sort of weird and also great that God gives us these sacred echos and confirmation to strive for this discipline with each other!

Burning away the impurities
– Like a crucible (a class we have each been through at church, but also the process…) God may use what seems/feels painful to strip off the junk that covers us in order to get us back to the pure hearts and souls we are made to be in His image.  While it doesn’t always feel good, I am thankful for His investment in me and my marriage to make it as radical as He intended!!!

What has God been teaching you over and over and over lately?!

Birthday boy!

Happy 28th Birthday, Joel!
You are such a blessing to Mylin and me!
I don’t know why God chose you for us, but am thankful every day for His provision!
You are such a calm, patient, silly, and loving father
An attentive, understanding, forgiving, and hilarious husband
And a selfless, giving servant to our family, friends, and faith community
I love you so much!!!!!!
Thanks for teaching Mylin how to color 🙂
Make sure to wish Joel a Happy Birthday today!