Category Archives: Family

A day for reflection

As the daughter and granddaughter of Veterans, I am very proud to recognize and honor this day.

My dad was a Marine – he left college his junior year to enlist in the United States Marine Corps as the Vietnam War was underway.  He served in the Marines and took after his dad, my Grandad, who was a career Marine, a pilot.  My Uncle Paul served in the Air Force, my cousin Allen served in the Marines.  My mom’s dad served in the Army and fought hard for this country.  I am so blessed to have known so many amazing Veterans.

I often think about the challenges that I have in my daily life – studying, fitting in one more paper, what I’ll cook for dinner, how frustrating it is to let the dogs out 1000 times a day… My daily challenges are nothing compared to the daily challenges of our active military men and women.  These people are fighting so that we can take for granted (ok, not everyone does) the freedom that we have in this country.

I found this website circulating around today on Facebook and I couldn’t avoid posting it.  I cried, smiled, and cried some more.  Take some time to enjoy, reflect, and say a prayer for all of the active, retired, and deceased members of our military.

The Real Veteran’s Day

Thank you to all who serve.


My dad and uncle outside of their home on base. (1949?)

My Dad - Marine Veteran

My dad – Semper Fidelis


Mike & Jenny in review

Today is the day that I get to marry my best friend. 

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Our relationship in numbers:

8/6/11: Our first date

6/9/12: The day we got engaged

6/29/13: The day we become man and wife

1: The number of times I’ve met Dave Matthews and he has not.

4: On our 4th date, we drove to Virginia to see a concert. We were so crazy 🙂

21: The number of steps I had to climb for him to propose to me on the roof! 

6: The number of states we’ve traveled to for DMB concerts 🙂

14: The number of concerts we have been to together

2: The number of crazy dogs in our lives.

101.3: The number of miles we traveled between Indiana and Michigan before we took the step to move in together

693: The number of days we have been dating before TODAY!

I wish I could fully express my love for this man.  He has taught me so many things about life and continues to be my solid ground, my sounding board, my biggest fan, my best friend, my partner in crime, and today he becomes my husband.  Mike is incredibly hard working, honest, genuine, loving, caring, supportive, funny, and continues to do God’s work daily.

I am so lucky, blessed, fortunate…happy. 

Here’s to a beautiful day, good times with family and friends, and our declaration of commitment and love.


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Celebrating my dad

On Wednesday I posted a little tribute about my dad…I was a little busy yesterday to post this, but on Wednesday I was able to take a little lunch break and headed over to target for lunch.

I capped off my lunch with a bag of popcorn – and thought of my dad with every bite.

Dad would always, and I mean always, get popcorn whenever we went to a store that sold it. Mostly just Target, but sometimes Lowes and Home Depot.  He loved getting popcorn and would eat it by giant handfuls.  Get at me some time, I’ll demonstrate 🙂

The craziest thing was that I wanted to get the popcorn as my meal but knew it wouldn’t fill me up for my 9 hour day… so it ended up being a complete afterthought of: “I never carry cash, if I have enough change, I’ll buy it…”

Boom. Exact change of $1.38. It was meant to be.

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Here’s to you daddy 🙂

((And yes, I also had a Bud Light in his honor on Wednesday))

My father was a mountain of a man.

I struggled that last year was 10 years. I can’t believe this year is 11.

It’s been 11 years since my dad lost his life. He was 54, I was 15.

11 years ago my world was shattered.  11 years later, I say that my world was rocked but it has continued on.  The pain is still deep, the want is still there, and I miss him as much today as I did 11 years ago. But, my family is proof that life does move on.

We have had our ups and our downs, and I know we will continue to do so. That’s life – with or without loss. 


My dad was the most amazing man.  He was a hard worker, a great role model, and provided an amazing life for my family.  He had almond shaped eyes that disappeared when he laughed or smiled – he had a distinct laugh that often brought tears to his eyes.  He smiled with pride, definitely had a “don’t piss me off” face (especially in the car when we were little), and had an overall love and appreciation for life.  He was a questionable dresser (I wish I had a picture of the short shorts, the acid washed jeans, and the iridescent shirt…), wore Velcro shoes at the cabin, and his hands were always dirty (yet clean somehow) which showed how hard he worked.

My dad was a family man. He loved my brothers and I and would do anything for his “bubs” and his “doll”. He and my mom were so in love and together they provided the most incredible example of what a marriage should be like.  I bet he would be so proud of our family today. We have struggled together, held together, and grown together.  We have gone from a family of 5 to a broken family of 4.  Today, we are a family of 6 – soon to be a family of 8.  If he were here on this Earth, I can only imagine how his eyes would sparkle at the site of his granddaughter, Mackenzie.  And how he would love and treat our (soon-to-be) spouses as one of his own.  It’s so weird to think that my sister-in-law, my soon-to-be husband, and my soon-to-be sister-in-law have never met him… but I believe we have been able to portray who he was through our stories, our pictures, and ourselves.

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I wish he was around to be able to walk me down the aisle in 17 days… but I know he’s will me. Always.  I am very proud that my mom will walk me down the aisle – she is an incredible woman. 

Ever wonder where I got the name for this blog? Life is short, but it is sweet.  Words from the Dave Matthews Band – words that I live by.  My dad left this world 11 years ago, his life was cut too short.  But the reality is that this life is sweet and we need to live it with all we’ve got.

Life is short, but sweet for certain. 

Rest in Peace Don Sims

1/3/48 – 6/12/02

Looking forward to getting to see you once again. xoxo

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Check out some other posts I’ve wrote about my amazing dad:

– 9/11/12

Well, the world is supposed to end today, right?

This weeks fake Wine Wednesday birthday celebration

Livin’ the Auntie Life


Over Memorial weekend, we got to spend some time in Missouri with this little nugget – our beautiful niece, Mackenzie 🙂

She is just absolutely adorable, is always so stylish, and is already rolling over and trying to sit up.

The best part about her being my niece is that I get to hand her back over when she starts fussing or needs changed!!! haha 🙂 2013-05-25 08.48.20 2013-05-25 08.53.13 2013-05-25 08.53.41 2013-05-26 12.10.49 2013-05-26 12.11.09

Easter Weekend Recap

Friday I soaked up the sunshine on the softball field at Albion while my pups got royal treatment from two of my former students and former athlete.  I originally thought they were just going to let them out every now and then but they kept them roaming around the fields, soaking in the sun, chewing up sticks, meeting new people and dogs, and being spectators at the baseball and softball games.

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My friend Stange and I loaded up the car with the two mutts and headed to the east side of Michigan to be with our families for the weekend….. but first we had a quick surprise stop off at my brother and sister in laws, so see my cute little niece.

We were at a stop light, I promise!
We were at a stop light, I promise!
Missed this adorable little face.
Missed this adorable little face.

Saturday morning I had my first dress fitting for my wedding dress….eeekkkk!!! So crazy! It went great! There is a great deal of work that needs to be done to it, but I know I am going to look marvelous no matter what! My friend, and bridesmaid, Colby joined along with my mom and I and we enjoyed a yummy brunch after.

Saturday was my sister-in-law’s birthday and we had a late night pizza dinner and sat around the kitchen table and opened presents with her while family and friends came over to see Ms. Mackenzie Elizabeth. She definitely stole the show all weekend!

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Mackenzie and I watched some basketball together… I decided it’s never to early for her to learn the rules of basketball, understand the teams, and know the difference between a foul on the floor and a shooting foul.  She kept interest for quite a while and then got bored so I had to teach Tinsley.

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Easter was amazing.  We have never necessarily been a church-going family, so I internally celebrated the rise of Jesus and realized how blessed I truly am to have everything I do in my life.

We celebrated with brunch with our dear family friends. There was wayyyyyyyy too much food and I may or may not have put myself into a giant food coma…. We finished up the brunch with our annual easter egg hunt. Usually, I wear my soccer cleats, put on eye black, and stretch really well before this competitive event. Howeverrrr, this year, we had some toddlers in the mix so I had to “play fair”.

little Dave finding eggs!
little Dave finding eggs!
The whole group (mom was taking the picture)
The whole group (mom was taking the picture)

One of the best parts about the weekend was being able to get together a bunch of little minions and assemble our WEDDING INVITATIONS!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHH 🙂 SOooooooooOooOOOooooOOOOOOoooo exciting!!!! ((plus, we got our first RSVPs!))

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I missed Mike all weekend as he had to work… but all in all it was a great time with family and friends. I truly am blessed. 

((besides for being sick all weekend – will post more about this later!!))

I am going to be the best Aunt, like ever.

I announced a few months ago that my brother and sister (in law) were preggo and I can’t even tell you how much excitement I have had. My SIL has been so fortunate to have such an amazing and easy pregnancy (yes, I can say that because I’ve been able to touch my toes for the past 9 months) and the time has finally come where my little niece has entered this world!

World… meet miss Mackenzie Elizabeth

At a whopping 7 pounds 10 ounces and 21 inches long, lil Mack entered this world on March 1, 2013 at 9:01am.  I am so happy that I was able to be there during that time to see her and my brother and SIL and to be a support for my mom. Mom and I were in charge of taking care of the dogs for the few days they were in the hospital and introducing them to the smell of their new little sister.

Also, my middle name is Elizabeth – such an absolute honor to have her named after me. I am so thankful and so blessed.

My dad was painfully missed the last few days but it’s amazing to know that he lives on in this little bundle of joy.  He would be so proud of his little granddaughter, his son and his daughter-in-law.


Can’t wait to spoil the heck out of this little nugget, take her shopping, introduce her to shaving her legs, teach her how to play soccer, and influence her to love the color orange as much as I do. ❤