Family

Christmas in July… How Do You Handle Gifts?

posted by Andrea | 07/25/2017 | 3 comments

After several requests to share more about how our family handles Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, and other gifts throughout the year, I figured today was a great day to finally share (after all, it’s exactly 5 months until Christmas!)

I’d also love to know how you handle gift-giving throughout the year. Happy Christmas in July!

James is TWO!

posted by Andrea | 07/14/2017 | 20 comments

I know… I can hardly believe it either! Our sweet little baby James turns TWO today!

Prepare yourself for cuteness overload — James loves the camera!

Dave and My Favorite At-Home Date Night

posted by Andrea | 07/11/2017 | 24 comments

At-home date nights are one of Dave and my favorite ways to celebrate special occasions (like our recent anniversary).

I know they might not be enjoyable for every couple, but if you’re the type who prefers a night at home versus going out, I have a feeling you’ll also enjoy Dave and my most favorite at-home date night!

Home Renovations and Newborns

posted by Andrea | 07/10/2017 | 17 comments

After 6.5 years of continual house projects, pregnancies, and newborns, Dave and I will both say that all our house projects and all our babies have required more work, time, patience, and energy than we originally envisioned… but both the house projects AND the babies have most definitely been worth it all!

In fact, as I thought more about it, I realized that home renovations and newborns surprisingly have many similarities!

Our Favorite Inside Toys

posted by Andrea | 07/7/2017 | 21 comments

I know it might seem weird to do a post about inside toys in the middle of the summer, but here in West Michigan, it can get REALLY hot and humid in the summers, so we often play outside in the morning and inside in the afternoon, where the air conditioning keeps things very pleasant!

The toys listed in today’s post are things ALL 3 of our kids (ages 5, 3, 2) play with and enjoy almost every single day!

Why We Waited a Week for Our Honeymoon

posted by Andrea | 06/30/2017 | 49 comments

Today is Dave and my 11-year anniversary — which means I’ve officially been married to him for more than 1/3 of my life!

I decided that I would share a bit more about our honeymoon — more specifically why waiting a week to go on our honeymoon was one of the smartest decisions we made so early in our marriage!

How I Style My Short Hair (a Video!)

posted by Andrea | 06/27/2017 | 49 comments

After enjoying very long, curly hair for the first 23+ years of my life, I’ve had shorter hair for almost 9 years now… and I just LOVE it! 

I’ve gotten so many requests to share exactly how I style my hair each morning; and even though it only takes me a minute or two, I had fun finally making a video tutorial! 

What a Difference One Year Makes

posted by Andrea | 06/26/2017 | 9 comments

Last spring, I transplanted lilies from my Great-Grandparents’ dairy farm… and they didn’t look so great. This year, however, they are thriving with huge blooms and an amazing scent that fills our yard!

It’s amazing what a difference just one year makes — with our flowers, our children, our careers, our own personal lives, etc. etc. Read more of my thoughts in today’s post!

Our Favorite Baby Monitor + Giveaway!

posted by Andrea | 06/23/2017 | 7 comments

If you are currently in the market for a new baby monitor, or if you’re a soon-to-be new parent wondering what to add to your registry, I cannot praise the Angelcare monitors enough. Dave and I have used them every single day for the last 5+ years and we are so thankful for the peace of mind they have given us.

Today I’m offering a fabulous Angelcare giveaway AND a discount code for everyone!

My Summer Blogging Plan

posted by Andrea | 06/15/2017 | 30 comments

Over the past several summers, I’ve taken 2-4 weeks off from blogging… just because I could! However, this year, with a baby scheduled to arrive in late September, I’m “saving” my vacation time for later this year and will be blogging straight through the summer months.

Today I’m sharing more about my summer blogging plans — including a fun new post series I’m starting!

One of My Favorite Ways to Display Artwork and Pictures

posted by Andrea | 06/14/2017 | 13 comments

One of the questions I get most often (outside of clothes clutter questions) is how I display kids artwork and snapshot photos.

Over the years, I’ve personally tried many different ways to display photos and artwork, but time and time again, I always end up reverting back to my most favorite (super simple) way…

Reader Question: How Did You Decide on Your Family Size?

posted by Andrea | 06/9/2017 | 97 comments

Ever since I announced that Baby Dekker #4 is on her way, I’ve gotten so many congratulatory emails and comments from all of you.

A couple of the emails questioned how Dave and I decided what size family we want (or at least hope to have) someday… and that’s what I’m sharing more about today.

Our Summer “Schedule”

posted by Andrea | 06/8/2017 | 23 comments

Today is Dave’s last day of school — which means our family officially starts summer vacation TOMORROW!

I’ve already gotten so many emails from readers asking for what we do to stay on a schedule during the summer, so I figured today was a good day to share our VERY loose summer “schedule”!

2 Super Simple Ways We Save on Kid’s Clothing

posted by Andrea | 06/2/2017 | 26 comments

I’m often asked for good money-saving tips, so I thought I’d share 2 of the simplest ways we save on kids clothing. They don’t involve scouring garage sales, using coupons, or reselling things at consignment stores — they are both much easier than all of that!

I know my ideas and tips won’t work for every family… but they’ve been working really well for us for the past 6 years!

Simon Says – Our Speech Therapy Experience

posted by Andrea | 05/26/2017 | 33 comments

As some of you may remember, Simon never talked (like literally never even said one word) until he was about 18-20 months old… and now we can’t get him to stop talking!

Today, I’m sharing more about our speech therapy experience, as well as some helpful tips and ideas for those of you with a “speechless” toddler in your life.

The Story of Piercing Nora’s Ears

posted by Andrea | 05/23/2017 | 44 comments

Exactly 6 months ago, Nora got her ears pierced.

I’ve been asked to share more about our ear-piercing experience so many times, and I figured today would be a good day — especially since we’ve finally put the ‘trauma’ of the whole ordeal behind us 🙂

The “Good Old Days” Start Now!

posted by Andrea | 05/19/2017 | 19 comments

Despite what so many professionals, books, and news articles try to scare us to believe, I’m convinced today’s youth will grow up into fine adults who can fend for themselves, live on their own, and make a decent life for themselves.

And I have a feeling our kids will remember their childhood as “the good old days”, just like we remember ours!

When A Tradition You Love Just Doesn’t Work

posted by Andrea | 05/16/2017 | 34 comments

I know it can be difficult to stop a long-standing tradition (especially a tradition you really enjoy) but speaking from experience, there are SO many times when our lives become stress-filled because we insist on doing something that no longer works for us… just because we’ve always done it that way.

If you feel overwhelmed or weighed down by certain traditions in your life, I hope this post shares a little encouragement and a new perspective.