Saturday, February 27, 2010

October 2009: BLOCK PARTY

Our small group Bible-study (called CABLE group) at church collaborated in mid-October in putting together a block party on our street. Mike and I made fliers and hand-delivered them to each house on our street (about 50!) a few weeks before the big day. Though it was a bit out of my comfort zone to go and meet a ton of strangers, it is right up Mike’s alley. I love that about him! He really pushes me to be more outgoing and his friendliness is contagious. You should have seen people’s reactions when we knocked on their door and introduced ourselves; nearly everyone looked at us like “what….are you trying to sell something?” or “did you hit my dog?” Nope, just meeting our neighbors! :) It made me realize how little people actually talk to their neighbors – some lived on our street for 20 years and had never met the people who lived just a few houses down.

They loved the idea of a block party – and we were pumped that, despite the cold fall air, we had over 40 people come to our house! We played yard games, but mostly stayed inside and enjoyed hot cider, hamburger and hotdogs and great conversation. I hope it’s something we can make a tradition for many years! (but maybe during the summer months instead).

September 2009: WYATT ALAN KEELER

My twin sister, Brooke, her husband Tim, and lil’ girl, Teagan, welcomed a baby boy on September 4th. Wyatt Alan Keeler is a doll and we are enjoying him so much. He is becoming such a gentle, sweet soul. We love his little smiles!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

September 2009: TRASH THE DRESS, part 2

After camp, we headed to my parent’s house on Spring Lake for the Trash the Dress session, part duex…Take a look at what we did – I LOVE boating and slalom waterskiing – who knew I’d ever do it in my wedding dress?!

After a few tries of starting off the edge of the dock, and face-planting into the water, we decided to go back to basics and get up the way I always do, in the water. No problem! Got up and zoomed around the lake, with the gorgeous sunset in the background. It was a riot and I think I caught a few other boaters that happened to pass by looking at me like “is that girl REALLY in a wedding dress???!” It was awesome – we had some good laughs and now have a memory captured forever on film!

Mike was all done with his picture-duty...time for a brewsky!

Gettin' ready w/ my dad (the faithful captain) and his neighbor

Don't let the amazing lifejacket intimidate you....


GORGEOUS sunset!!!

Hey, this is actually working...!

My glorious landing, with mickymouse hands (didn't realize I grabbed the extra-large gloves!) :)

Love these shots on the dock w/ the ski and off my parent's front deck, with their boat in the background~

September 2009: TRASH THE DRESS, part 1

Since the winds howled and rain poured on our wedding day, we didn’t get the chance to take many pictures outside. Our photographers, Steve and Jessica Fox, were gracious enough to meet us a few weeks after our honeymoon to take some more beach photos and do a "Trash the Dress" session. You typically don’t ‘trash’ the dress, but just take a lot more riskier photos than you ever would the day of the wedding (and I was getting my dress cleaned and preserved, was muddy from the farm!)

It was so exciting re-creating our wedding day – what bride doesn’t love getting dressed up in her dress again?! We headed back to Camp Geneva and took some of these pictures. These are some of my favorites!
Mike doing his "Zoolander" face behind me. Niiiiiiice ;)

My two favorite places - the woods and the beach!!!

Let's see how that ended..... :)

I know there has been a "Mike-Jess Picture" overload on our blog lately...I guess that's the case when you get married. I'm finally sorting through all our pictures; hope you don't get too sick of these!! :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

August 2009: OUR HONEYMOON!

We postponed our honeymoon a few days, and left after Grandpa Elmer's funeral for a week in Riveria Maya, Mexico! We stayed at a brand-new resort – the first ‘green’ resort in the area. It sat on 300 acres of natural preserve, contained 10 cenotes (lagoons) and hosted many endangered trees and plants. We had an awesome time kayaking to the cenotes, swimming in the ocean, zip-lining through the jungle (our favorite!) and (mostly) relaxing and sipping on fruity drinks by the pool or on the cabana on the beach! It was definitely a special time to be away just the two of us!
I could get used to this! :)

Enjoying a spicey margarita; our 'welcome' drink!

Zip-lining into a cenote after zooming through the jungle!

My love!

A night a the resort

Taking an impromptu jump into a cenote after mountain biking!

Look at that view!

Walking down 5th Ave in Playa del Carmen our last night

Thanks for the "Welcome Home" sign, Reg!


After our wedding, we left for Wisconsin for a few days for Grandpa Elmer (Luepke)’s funeral. He passed away 4 days before our wedding. Mike looked up to him so much, and it was one of his greatest wishes to have Grandpa at our wedding. We were filled with sadness, but also great joy knowing that he was up in Heaven celebrating with a host of angels! Our reception was a blast, but we can only imagine how much better THAT party must’ve been!

Talk about a man who left a legacy– from his faith, to his story-telling, to his song-singing and his hard-working hands and sensitive spirit, Grandpa Elmer will always have a special place in our hearts.

Friday, November 13, 2009


"We all have moments in our past when life, if only for a moment, was coming together in the way we knew in our hearts it was always meant to be. There is a beauty, an innocence, an excitement to those days..." ~ John Eldridge Journey of Desire
(*I wrote this quote in my journal a few years ago during my singlehood with the deep desire to find the one the Lord had for me to marry. How special is was to use it on my wedding invitation all these years later. God answers. :))