Sunday, January 23, 2011

1st Dating Groups of 2011!

In early-mid November of 2009, right after Michel and I had gotten married, we started looking for a church to attend together. We had began looking right after we got engaged, found a church service that we loved, but were very discouraged to find that we were the youngest couple there. There wasn't even a class that catered to young marrieds - especially ones without kids. So, we kept searching. We found one that was leading a Bible Study for engaged couples based on a book from Les and Leslie Parrott, so that drew us in to that church. We stayed there for the remainder of our engagement, and 1-2 weeks after we got married before we realized that we had been going there for 3 or 4 months and still felt like we didn't really fit in. Finally, after a post that I put on Facebook about being frustrated with not finding a good church, a relative of mine, who happened to live in Plano, sent me a message on Facebook about the church that she went to. She told me that it was in Richardson, TX (about 15 min. away), and it's called The Heights Baptist Church, and there was an Adult Bible Fellowship class (ABF) called the Honeymooners, and it was specifically for newlywed couples without kids! Michel and I were so excited! We went the following Sunday, and we've been going ever since! Being part of The Heights, and the Honeymooners class has been such a blessing to us, and an answer to prayer! We've done a lot of activities with our class as a whole, as well as individual couples that we've gotten to know. One of the things our class does is Dating Groups. Any couple who wants to be a part of it is welcome. We divide into about 4 groups of 3-4 couples and have one month to go on a big, group date. Our class is comprised of about 20 couples, so our Dating Groups is a great way to get to know everybody more personally.

Last night, Michel and I met up with our Dating Group. We went out with Eric and Julie Davis, and David and Michelle Hutchison. We had a BLAST! We started out by eating at The Twisted Root Burger Co. and ended up at Splittsville bowling alley. Julie Davis had heard about Splittsville from her sister. It's a little bit more family-friendly, and there is no smoking allowed! We also got a booth so that we could leave our purses and shoes without trying to keep an eye on them. There was also a waitress serving us, so it was great! We waited about 3 hours to get a lane (we went to dinner during our wait and then played Shuffleboard), but it was well worth the wait!

Here is the intense game of Shuffleboard that the girls ended up winning! We played best 2 out of 3, and the guys won one, the girls won one, and we had to quit in the middle of the third game, but the girls were winning, so we belive that we won :)

Eric and Julie Davis

Michel and me

David and Michelle Hutchison

Our very intense game of Shuffleboard

We had a great night! Can't wait to see who we're going out with in February!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

MLK Weekend in Longview!

Michel and I spent our long weekend in Longview. I'm not sure if everybody knows this, but I LOVE Longview, TX - for more than one weekend! I love the drive to Longview because east Texas is really very pretty. I'm always so amazed at the amount of land you can get with your house in Longview, and for what price - the cost of living is so much cheaper than anywhere in the DFW metroplex. But my main reason for loving Longview is because my whole family is there. My brother-in-law (sister's husband) already lived in Longview when he and my sister got married, so she moved in with him (obviously). I always loved going to see them - I'm very close with my sister. When Michel and I first met, I was so surprised to discover that he had grown up in Longview, and his parents and one set of grandparents still live there! So when we go to Longview, we get to spend time with a lot of people that we love!

Anyways, Michel and I had already planned on spending Martin Luther King weekend in Longview several weeks ago because at the time, we thought my sister was going to have a baby somewhere around January 9th, and we thought this would be the first opportunity that we were going to have to meet him. My nephew actually ended up being born over the Christmas holiday, so we had already gotten to meet him, but we love our niece and nephew (and everybody else living there!) so much that we still wanted to come.

Our plans changed a little bit because Ryan's (my brother-in-law) nephew had a last-minute birthday party thrown for him that Michel and I went to. Yes, I'm even close to my brother-in-law's sister and her family...that's a long story, though. :) This video is Ryan and Michel showing off their maturity by playing with one of Ryker's (he's 7!) birthday presents. Michel is 26, and Ryan will be 30 in February, and they got so much enjoyment out of a present for a 7-year-old. If you remember what Gak was in the early '90s, this is basically Gak/silly putty that farts!

When we got back to their house, I took some random shots of everyone/everything.
I was so mad when I was going through my camera - I took his bib off to get a close-up of his shirt because Michel and I bought it for him as a Christmas present, and I accidentally deleted it!

I just love this little girl! She's so cute and has a fun personality!

My parents also came down for the weekend, but they came on Sunday rather than Saturday. They can't miss time with their favorite two grandchildren :)

I don't know why the coloring is so bad on this picture - I had my flash on and everything!

The funniest moment of the entire weekend happened on Sunday, though. I wore some high-heel boots to church that morning, and brought a change of clothes with me, so when we got back to Janette and Ryan's house, I changed my clothes and left my shoes on the floor next to where I had my church clothes. Karys loves putting on people's shoes, so she put my boots on and I just had to take pictures! She was even able to walk in them - I was really impressed with that!

After awhile, she decided that she needed help from Granddaddy :)

First time in high heels! If she continues to take after me in petite stature, she better get used to heels if she wants to be anywhere close to everybody else's height!!

Now you can see why I love Longview so much - it's always very entertaining!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Zoutendam Family Pictures

One of the many fun things that we did during Christmas vacation was take family pictures with Michel's immediate family. They hadn't had true family pictures taken in many years (Michel was either in college or high school). Both he and his brother have gotten married since the last family pictures, so it was time to update! I think they all turned out really well! These aren't even the edited versions, so I can't wait to see what those look like, and get them framed and hung! Here's a preview of what we did that day. 

Apparently, we forgot that we were having pictures taken in this picture because nobody's smiling :)

Ahhh...but then we quickly remembered what we were doing! Here are some of my favorite group shots:

Michel's parents:

My sweetie and me:

Phlip and Erin (Michel's brother and sister-in-law):

We had a great day for a photo shoot - a little bit overcast and cloudy so that the sun wasn't in our eyes. All the scenery was just around the corner on an empty cul de sac that had beautiful woods behind it, so we had a lot of fun and I think the pictures turned out really great!  

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas 2010

Michel and I had a great 2nd Christmas together this year! Unfortunately, he had to work on Christmas Day, so we did our celebration on Christmas Eve. I made a big breakfast and dinner for us, and we opened presents.

I got him a nice shirt, a gift card to Best Buy (my husband is seriously the hardest person to buy for - he never wants anything!), and a new wireless computer mouse. 

He got me: a full-length mirror (I had told him I wanted this quite a while before Christmas, and was so surprised that he remembered!), and the P90X workout system! Don't worry...I had REALLY hinted to him that I wanted this, so I was not at all insulted that he gave me workout equipment :)

The very best thing about our vacation, though, was we were blessed to become an aunt and uncle again! My sister already has one adorable daughter that I post tons of pictures of on Facebook, and on 12/28/10, she had a little boy! He was about 2 weeks early, but still adorable!

Aunt Julie was so excited to meet him!

Uncle Michel, Aunt Julie, and baby Zane!

New mommy with new big sister, Karys. She wasn't really sure about what was going on in the hospital.

Daddy with new big sister, Karys, and baby Zane!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm on the blogging bandwagon!

After knowing so many people that blog regularly, and finding them so interesting, I decided that I wanted to do it as well. I'm excited to get this started! In the near future, I plan on posting some Christmas pics, Zoutendam family pics, and pics of my new nephew!