Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Epic Celebrating :: Sugar Beach Edition

This weekend we went to Traverse City with my family.  Usually in lieu of buying unnecessary Christmas gifts for eachother - we put that money towards a family trip.  We have done a variety of things- from staying close and hitting up Holland Aquatic Center to crashing at Grace Adventures (where my brother-in-law works) or heading to Shipshewana, Indiana. 
This year my thrifty mom found a Groupon deal for Great Wolf Lodge.  If you have kids and have never been there- go.  Right now.  It is SOOO fun.  Unfortunately you will pay a pretty penny for this fun but if you do like we did.. its not terribly outrageous and totally worth it.

Our first night was spent at Sugar Beach Resort.  We really love staying at this hotel.  First off- it's right on the beach overlooking the bay.  Gorgeous.  Even in blustery winter weather (I especially enjoy being able to stand INSIDE the warmth and look out at the beauty:)). 
Second- it's so family friendly.   No obnoxious TVs blaring in every common room.  They have this room used for their continental breakfast (also included in your stay) that is not in the lobby and it works so great for our family. We can put the kiddos to bed and be just down the hall where we can play games and paint toe nails and consume large quantites of coffee (even tried a new concoction- Candy Cane Kisses in melted into coffee. Dynamite!).
Third- their nice big pool and hot tub. I know most hotels have pools and tubs.  No big thing but when you add it with the other attractive qualities of this hotel and you have a winner winner chicken dinner.
Its a decent sized pool and a nice big hot tub sepereated only by a little wall so the kids can slide right from one to the other (which is a really, really big deal to a 3 & 5 year old).  And they don't have any crazy rules about kids not being allowed in the tub.  Love that. 
Did I mention it's a good deal? If you stay on the weekend right now you can get a Val-Pak coupon for $59 a night. If you go on a week day? Only $49! That's a steal.

After supper (found some tasty Chinese carry-out) the kids wound down watching Cars 2. 
Captivating for all ages!

Tanner Jaycob celebrated his 3rd birthday in Traverse City. 
This little boy brings so much love and laughter to our home.
And a few sighs of frustration :)

Lucas in the green, content to lay on his back and look around.  Landon in the blue, squirming all over and trying to smack Lucas in the head with a book.  Just a regular day in their lives.

For our family- the drive to Traverse City is a pretty long for only one night but like I said- GWL is pricey. 
Thank you Sugar Beach Hotel/Resort for making our trip to TC a little bit longer, a lot more affordable and way more enjoyable.

Stay tuned for more

Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 : the year of intention

I have taken a brief blogging hiatus. I think, at first, it was because I just wasn't sure how to make a profound 'new year' post.  I wasn't sure what direction I wanted this blog to take. I started this post WEEKS ago.  I would sit down and type a few thoughts, save it and leave it indefinitely.  Then a few wise ladies (and gifted writers) that I know worked on their 'new year blogs'.  And the inspiration hit.  
Before I even read their blogs, or learned of this idea,  this one, specific word has been bouncing around in my head.  This one, specific word had been written and defined in the post I'm currently 'editing'.
 I knew immediately what my 2012 focus word needed to be. 



[in-ten-shuhn] noun
an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.

determining mentally. setting your mind to it. believing in yourself enough to do.do.do.
I can intentionally be a better friend
I can intentionally be a better parent
I can intentionally be a better spouse
I can intentionally be a better follower of Jesus

I can intentionally be.

And the best way to start?  Examining my intentions. 
By making sure the things I do- I'm doing intentionally.
  Even in the 'little' things, I need to examine my intentions
:: blogging ::
:: clothes I wear (and how much time it takes me to DECIDE on them) ::
:: TV ::
:: books I read (or books I start and fail to complete) ::
:: taking pictures ::

and especially in the bigger things
:: use of free time ::
:: how I care for my body ::
:: budgeting ::
:: prayer ::
:: being real in my real community ::
:: teaching and training my precious boys ::

In these different aspects of life, I want to put myself all in. I want to be fully present, fully commited, fully intentional.

So my hope, my goal, my intention is that it won't be quite so long til you hear from me again.  And in the meantime.. I hope you will think of some amazing ways you can make 2012 a year of intention and maybe spend a little time contemplating what ONE WORD can change YOUR year.
Titus 2:11-15

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.