Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's Thrilling To Be 3!

Happy Birthday to Vivian!

No, it is not a St. Patrick's celebration, it's Vivi's birthday and she LOVES green. So we went all out.

Viv loves her dollys, so my Mom quilted and embroidered her a sweet little blanket. Don't you just love the homemade gifts you can cherish forever? Thanks Grammy.

And the gift we've all been waiting for. We thought about the pink and purple Barbie jeep, but why when you can have John Deere green?

I had the camera on my girl the entire party so unless you were next to her, you didn't make it in a picture. Here's a peek at my nephew Jadon trying to assemble the wagon on the tractor. Other party guests were Aunt Jessica, Aunt Mary, Grandma and Grandpa Carel.

Look at her go. We will have to pry her off this thing at the end of each day.

Yes, her eyes do look a little glassy here. I think she's all partied out and ready for a nap. But not before her scrumptious, green, dolly cake. I made this same cake for Sophie's 2nd birthday, but of course not in green. She was my pink girl.

We love you Vivian! Happy Birthday!

Vivian Ruth Carel,

Happy 3rd birthday my sweet. You would think after having gone through this two times before with your brother and sister that the newness would subside, but it doesn’t. Watching you grow day by day, week by week is a stunning and majestic reminder that despite the circumstances of the day, all is well. I have heard it said that having a child is like having a piece of your heart taken from you and put on the outside to run and play. I am warmed by your joy and your smile. Your vivacious spirit spreads colors like a prism to all who are near. It will probably be a year or two before you are able to understand these words I write to you, so I will tell you a secret. Your smile melts your father’s heart. Telling you no is formidable and nearly impossible at times. Your three years has brought happiness and wonderment to our family. Thank you. One of my favorite things to do with you is to sing before bedtime. Your favorite song, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, will forever remind me of you. You, along with your brother, sister and mother are my bright Northern star which guide me through the perils of life. Happy Birthday.

Love, Dad

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day Gretchen

My Safe Place

Several things over the past month have been an incredible encouragement to me and have reminded me how special you are; I want to share them with you.

First, in class on Tuesday during our group time, Dr Beverley asked us the following question, “Where is your safe place, the place where you are real, the place you trust the most?” It took only a moment to realize that I have a safe place in my relationship with you. You are an amazing person and despite the normal ups and downs of life, our marriage has become a steadfast safe place where I know I can be real, honest, and accepted. My love and need for you is only second to my faith in God. I love you and cannot imagine how empty life would be without you. I also realize how truly blessed we were to marry so young and grow up together.

Second, while writing my personal bio for the website, I was blown away when I wrote that my favorite place to be is with my best friend, my wife. When I realized how true that statement really has become, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Without a doubt you are my best friend, the person I choose above any other.

So, to my safe place and best friend, Happy Valentines Day 2009, I love you with all that I am and all that I will be. Thank you for being you, with me.

Love you,


Saturday, February 7, 2009


I have been so frustrated with our blog. Ed says to stop obsessing, but for those of you who know me even a little know I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. So, I need your help. See the "blog archive" on the right hand side of my blog. You will have to scroll down a little. The colors are royal blue and bright purple. Seriously, it's driving me crazy. I really want to blog, but more than that I want to change these colors to one more neutral. I NEVER made them that color anyhow. I have gone to "layouts", then to "fonts and colors". I have changed all colors to black. Every color changes except for "visited link". It is stuck or something. I have gone to Google, posted on Blogspot help forum and given my trusty friend Jody my blog password so she could try to fix it, all have failed me. Sorry Jody, I know you tried.

So, I am having my first giveaway. The person who successfully helps me fix my blog color problem will receive two loaves of my homemade bread. If you do not live close, I will overnight them to your home. Ingredients: 100% wholewheat flour (freshly ground by me), farm fresh eggs (Not from our farm, we don't have a one yet.), organic olive oil, raw milk kefir, raw honey, Real Salt, fresh ground flax seed and yeast.