A Big Announcement

Ok people. Hold on to your hats. It’s time for a big announcement.

We’re expanding the dairy! Well, kind of. The truth is that we’re working on our very own homegrown farmhand. It seems more cost-effective in the long run.

 Confused? I’ll let this picture explain things for you.

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That’s right, folks. The Dairy Man and I are officially expecting our first child! Even though he/she won’t be able to shovel manure for a few more years, we’re over the moon with excitement and gratitude. We feel unspeakably blessed.

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Jersey and the cows seem ambivalent, but they’ll come around. I have no doubt that J-pups will settle into his new role as an older sibling.

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So that’s that. #30 on my 30 things to do before I’m 30 list will be checked off in April 2014. You’re welcome, Mom.

For now, we’re embarking on many months of Dairy Man trying to understand a human pregnancy through his knowledge of cows. I’ll try not to be offended. Whatever helps him cope. As long as we don’t name the baby “Holstein.”

Life is about to change dramatically and irrevocably. I’m thrilled, overwhelmed, ecstatic, and terrified all at the same time. But even amidst the bouts of terror, I thank God for this tiny life inside of me.

On to the next adventure!

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*And many, many thanks go to the talented Ashley Folkema for these amazing photos.

A Typical Family Christmas

So, here we are. 2013.

The transition from an old year to a new one is always bittersweet. As I look towards this upcoming year with hope and excitement, I also recognize the closing of a chapter, the culmination of another 365 days of life.

Some things in 2012 happened exactly as I wished them to. Other things did not. I’ve learned lessons about patience, trust, and timing. I’ve felt fulfillment, disappointment, joy, and sorrow. As look to 2013, my heart feels a mixture of excitement and apprehension, hope and longing.

In the midst of all of these semi-melodramatic musings, I am left with one thing that will never change. My family.

Have I ever mentioned how awesome my family is? Well, let me tell you. They are awesome. Wicked, dope, sick, ridic … or whatever the kids are saying nowadays.

My family is unavoidably loud. We interrupt you when you’re talking. We squeeze a Seinfeld reference into nearly every family story. We don’t understand quiet people. We take the best annual Christmas photos.

It all started back in 2008. Up until this point, my odd family had managed to rein ourselves in for one normal picture each year. But 2008 was different.

Maybe it was something in the water. Maybe we ate too many frosted Christmas cookies with sprinkles. Maybe we were delirious with holiday spirit.

Whatever the reason, somehow the annual Christmas Eve picture in front of my parents’ tree turned into this:

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We’re still shocked that my face didn’t stay that way.

This photograph kicked off an epic tradition that is only five years old, but is already wildly anticipated by our friends and family on Facebook. What began as an impromptu bit of silliness has transpired into five people scouring the house looking for costumes and props and one poor grandma who is obligated to play photographer.

Though I’ve only chosen one picture from each year to show you, believe me, all of the outtakes are equally awesome.

2009 (the Christmas DM and I got engaged)

09xmas2010 (our first Christmas as a married couple)

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2011

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2012 (the first Christmas at our farmhouse instead of my parent’s house)

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Each year brings new joys, new levels of ridiculousness, and new participants. Jersey was thrilled to be included this year.

Though 2013 is a great unknown at this point, I feel so blessed to have a band of weirdos like this in my corner.

Here’s to a fabulous new year.

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