Friday, November 30, 2012


I take life for granted. I forget often that there is such a fine balance between life and death. Today was a hard day for me. This week has been busy with projects, work, life, Christmas.You know, the usual! On top of that my mom was heading up to stay with us because my uncle, her brother, who was diagnosed with blood cancer a couple months ago was not doing well. He went to the hospital the other day and after some tests, transfusions, etc. they said that there was nothing more they could do. So now we are in a waiting game...waiting for death. Wow, that is hard!
Today I was faced with the experience of living with someone that has so much life but faced with the reality that life is fleeting and at some point comes to an end. I feel like it is on days like this that I realize how thankful I am for a Savior that knows your days and that I know I will be with him at some point.
As I was washing the dishes I was thinking about this tonight...
Taft today did the sweetest thing...we were trying to get out the door...always a process! And I was getting frustrated because he wasn't holding still as I was dressing him. At one point I stopped put my head in my hands and took a deep breath (you know as opposed to yelling at him to hold still). He got up put his arms around me and said "MaMa" as he patted my back gently. WOW! What a sweet moment. In the midst of my craziness my toddler found a way to just make me stop, take a deep breath and realize that everything was going to be ok...not great but ok. That was all I needed. ALL I NEEDED to remind me that my days are not my own that my life should reflect the Lord at all costs and at all times!! That at some point in my life I will be in my final day and want to know that I have served, loved and given grace freely. That at the end of the day its not about how much I have accomplished or what I have done but how I have loved my sweet son, my husband, my family, strangers. I needed the Lord to show up today and he the arms of my son. Wow! I love it when he does that for me and I feel like it has been awhile since that has happened. I am so thankful for that today! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Trick or Treat and Camping

So the Thursday before Halloween the local businesses in our area host a couple hours of trick or treating. Since we are going to be gone on Halloween I thought it would be fun to let Taft participate. He did have a really cute pumpkin costume but since it was 80 degrees we had to go with a plan B. He didn't really understand what was going on but he did enjoy the candy he got!

We were also joined by one of Taft's favorite buddies Rowin (or as Taft calls him..RO RO) and his mom Julie. These two are so sweet together!!
Rowin trying to snag some candy!

Then on Saturday we left for a night of camping. We figured this would be the last weekend we could get away with it before it got to cold...well it was plenty COLD! 28 degrees to be exact! Good thing I packed the heater and we snagged the last electrical site. Never thought I would be a camper to stay at an electrical site but I was glad we did it that night : )
Setting up.
After a day of biking our friends Dan and Leslie and their kids joined us for steaks on the fire and wine.
Blankie and Nuk escaped from the car for a quick lawn mower push...stinker!
Sweet hus!
Daddy and Taft going for a walk with the lawn mower...Taft's favorite toy as of late! Great weekend!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Update Overdue

So now that I have shared about my new camera, I also have a new goal...BE MORE CONSISTENT WITH MY BLOG!!!! I thought the best way to start would be to give an update on Taft, my sweet 21 month old. I can't even believe that 2 is right around the corner. Where has the time gone?

Taft has a personality of his own. He is curious, tender, thoughtful, funny, creative, and stubborn. He loves to draw, go for bike rides, look at Ottis (our "pet" praying mantis), blow bubbles, color with chalk, watch videos of himself from Grammy and Pop-Pop camp, play with trains, build block towers, play with Grammy's ipad, read books, play with trucks, watch for school buses, mow the lawn with daddy, jump on the neighbors trampoline, go to the park, and help empty the silverware from the dishwasher. He can say mama, daddy, ice, lawnmower, vacuum, "T", "O", "X" (thank you Uncle Michael!), "D"...we are still working on that one and uh-o, normal first words...he is his own little person! He can hiss like a snake, say quack-quack, moo, and something that resembles "arff-arff".

When he is mad he throws himself on the floor and rolls around...Most of the time acquiring a rug burn in the process. If you hurt his feelings his will bury his face in his hands and make a deep sigh...of course you feel terrible in an instant! He hates to take pictures and NEVER smiles. If he gets really excited about something he will make this hilarious face and go "OOOOHHHHH" (kinda like what he is doing in the pictures below! I had to say chocolate to even get him to make somewhat of a cute face for this pic!)

His three favorite things are his blankie, NUK, and mini chocolate covered peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's. He loves to take vitamins and would eat yogurt all day long if I let him. He also loves pickles and olives...a true sign of being a Heyse : )

Today we went to one of his favorite places (Hickory Knoll Discovery Center). They have snakes, a bunny you can pet, a huge tank with fish and turtles, wooded walking paths, a wig-wham, canoe and a sandbox filled with tiny rocks. It was a perfect day to spend time with my little man!
Hissing like a snake : )

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Birthday weekend

2 weeks ago I celebrated turning 32! It was so much fun having my birthday fall on a Saturday. It gave us lots of time to spend together as a family and enjoy the awesome fall weather we were having. So my big gift...
Finally! I have a camera! I can't tell you how excited I am to finally be able to take pictures using something else besides my phone. It was such a great surprise and my entire family pitched in to get it for me. 
So on Saturday(my actual birthday) Stephen took me out to a winery about 30 min. west of us. We left Taft home with a babysitter and enjoyed a drive out in the country.

The wine was actually very good considering this is the mid-west. We ordered our favorite glass and then sat out on the patio and go some pizzas.

After our fun afternoon we came home and took a family bike ride
Then topped the night off with my favorite birthday dinner...Fondue!

I couldn't have asked for a better birthday!

Monday, September 24, 2012

$1 goes a long way!

So some of you may know that my sister Jessa and her husband Erik have been going through the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia! Amazing...right! You can follow their story here.

Well today they were chosen to be featured on this blog as the family of the week. By just donating $1 you can help them with raising money for their adoption. So stop by check it out and donate! You can't even get Starbucks for a $1 but you can help save a life! Now that's a big dose of conviction!

Monday, August 6, 2012

To the Races

Recently Stephen has started competing in mountain biking races. His first one was in July up in Green Bay and this past weekend we attended his second one here in Illinois. I am so proud of him for doing this and it is definitively a fun family thing to do together! Here are some pics from Sunday.

At the starting line!
First loop completed
Heading into the final loop

Way to go Daddy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Avacado Chocolate Mousse

So I just made this recipe and I highly recommend that you do as well!

It is delicious and I'm pretty sure Taft will be a fan : ) Here is the link Enjoy!!

Yep...He loved it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let me introduce you!

To these two amazing people...
This is my sister Jessa and her husband Erik! I have much that I could say about these two but let me break it down for you with some highlights.

1. She is one of the most creative people I know!
2. She is hilarious
3. She cares deeply for others
4. She puts others before herself
5. She is down right amazing


1. He is passionate
2. He is enthusiastic
3. He is a hard worker
4. He knows how to make you laugh
5. He has more heart then anyone else I know

These qualities/characteristics only scratch the surface of this amazing couple!! I can't even begin to tell you how much I learn, grow, change, laugh, cry, desire and am challenged by Erik and Jessa. 
So why am I telling you all of this? Because these two are about the embark on a life changing journey of their own...One that will be filled with many ups, downs, tears, laughter, joy, and pain. This is one of my ways of supporting them and spreading the word about their journey!!
If you want to know more check it out...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The big 1

I know! Its been forever since I have posted ANYTHING! But what better way to start off the new year then by sharing a few photos from Taft's first birthday! I can hardly believe my little boy is 1 year old. This past year has been such a blessing, struggle, filled with new discoveries, growing, learning experience as I figure out what it means to be a mom. I love you Taft William Ericksen!! You have already taught me so much!

"Happy Birthday to you!" We had to blow out the candle fast because he wanted to touch the flame...such a boy!

Such a careful eater...didn't smash it just took little bites.

Delicious cake made by Grammy! He loved it.

Taft learned "SO BIG" at Christmas time. 

Birthday boy! 

Taft and Uncle Zach share the same special day so Zach came over to celebrate : )