Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010.

Our Christmas was simple.
it was sweet.
laid back.
and meaningful.
full of tradition
and friends,
good food,
and memories.

We started the day sitting around the fire..

on the laptop.

pondering that magical day, so long ago...

we devoured homemade cinnamon globs [more on that later...]

and drank mimosas.

We had lunch with dear friends,
and came home in time for a nap & a movie.

We woke up the next morning to a winter wonderland.

7-8 inches of snow fell overnight and throughout the day.

We spent the day wrapped up in blankets "fishing" and "duck hunting" on the wii.
We laid low and enjoyed time off, together.

Although there is nothing like being home for the holidays,
we rejoice in our "family" here.
Our quaint Christmas was a nice change of pace,
and during this busy season,
it's just what we needed.

We eagerly await our trip to MI next week,
to celebrate and reunite with those we love.

Counting down the minutes till I can wrap my arms around my nephews,
smoother my family with love,
and see our dear friends.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

let it snow.

I love weekends off together.

Christmas tree purchased and decorated.
Christmas carols sung.
Warm chili eaten.
The Polar Express watched.


Just like home.

it was enjoyed, by all.

it's [finally] beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Friday, December 3, 2010

December two.

Yesterday was an amazing day.
I finally got back to the gym after a time away, spent the day with K, my 18th month old little buddy, went for a walk and enjoyed a day off from work!

AND, last night...
There is a couple that we've become quite close with.
They are from the midwest [chicago to be exact]
Shannon works at the same school as Jim.
They're hilarious.
and they love our dog..
[a huge bonus]

December two is Shannon's birthday as well.
The guys planned a surprise hurrah for us.
It was a riot!
[birthday girls.]

Although the night didn't go exactly as planned...
[the outdoor ice-skating rink was made out of plywood and plastic!]
dinner was incredible and the company divine!

and the dessert was so, so good.

It was the perfect way to kick-off another year.

[and check our adoption blog for one of the best birthday gifts, yet!]

Sunday, November 28, 2010

it's beginning to look...

...a lot like Christmas!
After a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with dear friends, we enjoyed a couple days off together. Since we can officially listen to Christmas music [only one of us abides by such rules], we took advantage of the warmer November weather by hanging Christmas lights.

It was a family affair.

i love
the coziness of the season.
hot cider.
fleece blankets.
the scent of fresh cut christmas trees.

happy end- of- november-almost-december.

tis the season.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Countdown till Turkey.

A countdown till Thanksgiving...and today I'm particularly thankful for our family!

we're so blessed.

I'm thankful for video chats and opportunities to see my nephews grow, while being over 700 miles away.

I'm grateful for telephone calls and gmail chats with my sis [and sis-in-laws]
weekly, if not daily.

I'm GRATEFUL for the support of our parents.
and their abundant LOVE.

we're stoked to go home in January.
I long for family dinners.
and fireside chats.
cuddle time with the little guys.
and laughing with the siblings.

and mom's home-cookin' :)

Until then, we hope y'all know we're extremely thankful for you!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New school, same old "cleverness"

Well it's been a little under four months on the job at a new school with new students... and I finally heard it.......

"What's happenin' Mr Hapner?!" followed by giggling.

- said by a fifth grade girl - not even on my case load.

I'm surprised it took this long...

So original.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's been a long week...

It has been a busy week around here, and it is finally taking its toll.

Here's to the weekend (minus the fact that Emily has to work tomorrow)!


Monday, November 8, 2010

today's thanksgivings.

Today I'm grateful I passed my ridiculously difficult test on
advanced fetal monitoring.
After sitting in class for 10 hours,
I am grateful to be done!

I'm also thankful for my dear friend, Amy.
She bought her first house today.
I'm giddy for her.
[I have high hopes of being neighbors, someday.]

that's today, friends... in a nutshell.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday's Thoughts.

I started writing this post this past Tuesday.
I'm posting it today simply because I want to able to
look back and remember how great that day was.
...to remember how the simple things in life bring JOY.

just another day, filled with God's goodness.

So, last Tuesday I was particular thankful for:

time to...
... catch up with dear friends
[perfect way to start and end my day]
....talk on gmail chat
... curl up on the couch and read
... get laundry done
... clean the house
... go on multiple walks
...enjoy the crisp fall air

in the busyness of life, it feels good just to breath and enjoy this life.

and today, i'm particularly grateful for a day off with my husband

happy sunday, friends.

Monday, October 25, 2010

more FALL pictures.

Here are a few more pictures of our mountain weekend get away!

fall colors.
Evan & Uncle Jim
Hiking: self portrait.

happy monday.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October bliss.

The mountains were incredible.
The colors brillant.
The company divine.
The conversations sweet.
The laughter contagious.


AND quality time with family.
Much needed. Much enjoyed.
[You were greatly missed, Kristin!!!]

Here are a few [of the many] pictures we took.
We miss y'all already.

baby truett.
evan & auntie em.
mater & chick hicks.

more to come.
love. em

Friday, October 22, 2010

simply happy...


-Pumpkin bread is baking in the oven [you inspired me, Amy.]
-Our home study is complete [and sitting next to me]
-We spent last weekend with family [I hope to post pictures tonight]
-My nephews are a few of my favorite things on earth.
-Bentley got a bath and haircut.
-Work went well today and I'm sitting here sewing tonight.
-My house is in disarray, but I'm ok with it.
-I bought the ingredients to make homemade laundry detergent [all natural and cost effective]
-I had a great conversation with my mom driving home from work. [I miss her.]
-And I'm home tonight with the one I love.

all is well, friends...all is well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Track Out!

James is tracked out of school and it's a beautiful thing.

We went to Lake Johnson [and Sonic!] last week.

Saturday, we went on an amazing bike ride through Umstead State park.

He is roofing our house this week.

We leave for the mountains on Friday.
Dad, Sue, Rick, Julie and the boys are meeting us there.

I can hardly contain my excitement.

Evan's sweet, "i love you auntie em" melts my heart every time.
I can hardly wait to cuddle with my boys.

this was last year...
i can't wait to see what this year will look like!

...counting down the hours till we reunite.

i love this time of year.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall Lovin'

It's officially my favorite season...and it's finally feeling like fall in Raleigh! The air was crisp tonight. Jeans and long sleeves were worn [with flop flips, of course!] The 7 day forecast shows temperatures in the low 70s and sunny. The air is off, windows open, apple cider scented candles burning....oh, welcome back fall! After a scorching summer, it's a beautiful thing...

The farmer's market is my favorite this time of year and that's were we started off on this Saturday morning [pumpkin spiced coffee in hand!]

We bought mums. sweet potatoes. and apples grown in the mountains of NC.

We spent the afternoon and evening with our good friends, John, Kristin & Josiah. We did a shopping at the little outlet mall, then found a local sports bar and watched the Michigan football game! It was a blessing to reunite with dear friends and cheer on our faithful home team to a victory over Indiana.

a great Saturday indeed.

Fall weather. Farmer's market.Flip flops.Friends.Football. & Flannel pj's.

simply delightful!
[White pumpkins are my favorite...
don't you agree, Andy?!]

Monday, September 20, 2010


Oh, where to begin!?
Our life is a whirlwind, but all is well!

We've been:

-working extra hours
-sewing [hooray for a successful craft show two weeks ago! Another show scheduled for Saturday...]
-studying: only 2 hours left of our online adoption training!

We'll post pictures soon of our house updates!
Thanks for checking in!

PS. FYI. I escaped from the world of facebook. It was a freeing experience. It was an added distraction in my life-so it had to go! Perhaps I'll be back, someday...

Friday, August 27, 2010


When I arrived home yesterday after babysitting, an intricate part of me was missing from our driveway.

The cavy!!!
[it finally sold.]

A sigh of relief.

She was my first love.
I have so many memories with that spunky little car, the night I drove my dear friend Becky to the ER in college for kidney stones [during a Michigan ice storm in April], driving to Calvin hockey games, road trips to Pennsylvania, Chicago, Detroit and North Carolina, getting lost downtown Grand Rapids during my early years working at the hospital, the constant battle of the engine light [that to this day hasn't gone off], the proud moment I became her owner and immediately purchased a Hawaiian leis air freshener, oh and the list goes on...

She treated me well.
and so, the night before her departure....we said our farewells.

The "senior" picture I never had.

Oh, you will not be forgotten...

Friday, August 20, 2010


We have new blog....an additional one.

Why, you may ask?!

Go here to find out!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

sweet summertime.

There's no better way to spend a summer Sunday
afternoon than poolside with those you love!

and who could resist a family picture?!?
[it's a rare moment we're all together]
the "original" Bonthuis gang.

Jim & Eliza.
living life to the fullest.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

good things.

They make my heart happy.

More Michigan pics to come...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Girls Weekend. 2010

Chicago 2010.
Hoekstra & Bonthuis
Girls Reunion.

it was amazing.

A relaxing weekend filled with amazing food, games and divine fellowship.

it was perfect.

pure joy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

the falcon has left the nest...

Jim wrapped up his last days at Green Hope Elementary the end of June.
A bittersweet ending, indeed.
He had stolen the hearts of many.
They called him, Mr. HapENer.
The girls had a crush.
He received the sweetest and most thoughtful notes and gifts of appreciation.
Three years in the making....

goodbye GHE!
You will be missed.

on to bigger and better different things.

We celebrated the beginning of the new school year with chocolate milk, champagne & cake.
James spent the first week attending meetings and prepping.
I spent last week Thursday making bulletin boards and decorating [BEST part of marrying a teacher]

He tracked out of school on Friday for three weeks.
Left for Panama City on Sunday with our church's high school youth group.
...and I'm in NC working all week, bragging on the man I married.
[distance does make the heart grow fonder]

As one of his cards said....
"You. Are. Awesome.
And by awesome, we mean totally awesome."

...i completely agree.
bright & early
first day of school 2010

first day of school sign.
alligator & all.

a cake to end the day.


a very special HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear MOM!

You'll always be 36 in my mind
[i think that's when i stopped counting...seriously]
Love you, so much.
Can't wait to celebrate next week!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Utterly ridiculous.

What would YOU do for a free Chick-fil-a meal?!

We dressed up in honor of "Cow Appreciation Day" at Chick-fil-a!

delicious & quite amusing, indeed.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


An unexpected day off for me.
Jim's last day at Green Hope.
The champagne is on ice.
A green smoothie [my current addiction] and Costco pizza for lunch.
Reading, "The Reason For God" by Timothy Keller
Planning a trip to Haiti or Uganda in 2011.
Looking forward to our next trip home.
Ecstatic for girl's weekend in Chicago in August with some of my favorite people.
Rejoicing that I can run again and my knee is still intact. [up to 4 miles and it feels so good..once I'm done]
Grateful for slightly cooler temperatures today & the much needed rain.

That's my life.

happy wednesday, friends.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Reasons why...

...I'm eager to move back , visit Michigan next month!

#1. To meet our nephew, Truett!

#2. To hang out with Evan!
#3. To see how much "B" has grown!
oh, the joys of being an aunt!
love these little boys like crazy...
30 days till we're reunited.

Thursday, June 17, 2010



June 15, 2007
June 15, 2008

June 15, 2009
June 15, 2010

...another amazing year.
...looking forward to see what the next 12 months have in store!

blessed beyond measure.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Then & Now.

It's been a crazy and completely wonderful start to summer. My parents were here for nine days. We were so blessed to have their company and their helping hands! We conquered a lot....and took pictures along the way. Here's a look at the much needed changes!

We went from this,..
...to this
living in luxury.
[just missing the grandpa hat & handicap sticker.]

From brass...
...to antique bronze.

From this open, unused loft...

to this!!!!

Our new built-in bookshelves & window seat!!!
[still a work in progress!]

AND. We painted our spare bedroom!
[complete with a new ceiling fan.]

so, come visit. We even have a bed for you.

a glance from above.

finally feeling like home.

THANKS Mom & Dad for all your hard work! Dad, the bookshelves look amazing! We're still in awe every time we go upstairs. What a difference a week makes! We love you!

Back to busy work weeks. We'll continue to update with pictures...so stay tuned!

jim & em