Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Christmas Surprise

Lance came into town on the 26th with a little more than just the Baker Family Christmas party on his mind. Towards the end of the party when everyone was chatting around a bowl of peanuts, he suggested that we exchange Christmas gifts. I shrugged it off, and suggested that we wait until everyone left. He agreed, for a minute and then asked again. In short, we exchanged gifts. He handed me a heavy square box and I opened it. Inside was a digital picture frame box with a 5lb weight inside. Feeling almost as embarressed as I thought he would be after forgetting to put the frame back into the box after uploading pictures, I turned to Lance. He looked confused, and just as quickly and I became confused, he was down on one knee asking me to be his wife. Here come the tears and of course the words he wanted to hear. I SAID YES!!! It is official Lance and I are getting hitched....tying to knot. We are so excited and look forward to a wedding, perhaps sometime this fall. Thanks so much to everyone for their love and support. The De Jonge family just keeps gettting bigger!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I got a work release today! Dr. Kremer wrote the release without any restrictions so that I can try to get back to work. I also sealed the deal on my new apartment today. Things are starting to come together and I am getting excited to finally have a normal life again. Please pray that my back can take it! The next week is going to fly by and I plan to move on Dec. 30. I am getting excited for Christmas and I can't wait to see everyone. Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 12, 2008


Yesterday I went to Petoskey to take care of some stuff. I spoke with my boss, who was great and really reassured me that they still want me ;) I also was able to find a very nice place to live. It will be great. I found a two bedroom, two bath, with washer/dryer, on the main floor. I will also have access to a pool, hot tub, and 24/7 work out room. I will be able to continue my therapy in that gym. I also went to Dr. Kremer today and spoke with the nurse about getting a work relsease. How exciting! I am glad that I will be able to start working again, but I am nervous at the same time. I hope I continue to improve as I am still having some pain. I hope and pray that the other disc with heal on its own without another surgery. I hope to get referred to a physical therapist so I can continue with that. Otherwise I am doing great and looking forward to seeing everyone at Christmas. Life is good!

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Yesterday I was confined to the house because we had so much snow. At this rate we are sure to have a VERY white Christmas. We were under a snow warning the past two days, but today it has finally stopped. It is very pretty today, the sun is out and everything is covered in snow. I am sure snowboarders are excited. I however will warm the lodge this year as I don't think the neurosurgeon would approve of racing, out of control, downhill on a snowboard. I am getting excited to see everyone at Christmas time. This week Wednesday I will venture to Petoskey to find a new place to live. I can't believe what a long journey this has been. Thanks for all the love and support! Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A Clean House

Harley and Sadie got their cage freshened up last night. Dad helped me lift the cage because it is so heavy. I think the lizards are happy again! I have resorted to taking pictures of my lizards, I know what you are thinking, how bored is this girl?......surprisingly not too bored. I am still doing physical therapy and I am getting ready to move back in January. I have a lot of healing to to between now and then, but I am confident that things will work out.
Harley checking out his new pad!
I decided to go the natural look this time.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Weekend to be Thankful For

Thanksgiving has come and gone and the house seems extra quite tonight. I miss everyone already. We had a lot of fun this weekend celebrating Thanksgiving. The De Jonge family came over on Thursday and we had a huge turkey dinner. It was nice to see everyone and we had a good time getting caught up on each others lives. I can't wait for Christmas so that the entire family, including Jayme and Dan will be home. We missed them this time around, but were excited to have shared the weekend with them via my new sweet web cam ;) Here are some pics from the weekend!
Birdy getting ready for the party!

Birdy seems to like the sweet stuff in life. If it is not sweet and sugary good luck getting her to eat it. Dan you might have to knock some sense into her at Christmas! Aunt Betsy and Birdy look so cute in this pic!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Physical Therapy Update

Today I went to physical therapy for the third time. It has been going well so far. I am going every other day so that I can really see if it is going to work. I have been getting ultrasounds, and a ton of painful massages while there. They also assist me with stretching and exercises. My PT told me today that I had "crunchy" muscles a.k.a. you have a TON of knots in your muscles girlfriend!!!! Hopefully once those are worked out, I will feel somewhat better. Other than that I have been keeping busy helping Grandma B. with her Christmas cards. I am really looking forward to the holidays, as I can't wait to see everyone.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I had my consultation with the physiatrist today and it went well. I was referred to a physical therapy place in Holland. I start actually working with the physical therapist on wednesday and will continue with that for 6 weeks about 3-4 times a week. The week of Christmas I go back to Dr. Kremer and back to the physiatrist for a check up. Hopefully by then I will be making arrangements to get back to work and moving back to Petoskey. Please continue to pray for improvments. I have a long way to go before I can get back to work, and I want to really bad. Thank you in advance for the prayers!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fun Weekend

Lance was in town this weekend for a wedding. It was SO good to see him! We had a lot of fun, went to the aquatic center for a swim, and had the wedding last night in Saugatuk. I start my rehab program tomorrow so I am getting ready for that. Here are a few pics I took this weekend.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Today I went to the neurosurgeon for my 12 week check up. I had my x-rays reviewed and so far so good. He said that my disc space looks good and is starting to fuse! He also so said that my spine has a normal curvature now, something that was not there prior to surgery. On Monday next week I start "aggressive" physical therapy with a physiatrist right in his office. I will follow that plan for approximately 6 weeks and then return for another visit with the doctor. I am still having a considerable amount of pain with movement and sleeping, so this is a concern to me. It is the doctors hope that this will improve as I get moving again. We are optamistic that I will continue to progress without having another surgery to fuse my other bad disc. This is an option if things continue to be so painful. That being said, I am encouraged and ready to start the next phase of the healing process. I was able to celebrate the fact that I am fusing with a haircut tonight.
Lance and I have a wedding this weekend so I was excited to sit in the chair and get my haircut. Here are some photos of the new look. Please continue to pray for healing and patience. I am still unsure about what will happen with my nursing job; I don't know if I will be able to work the floor like I had hoped to. Pray that I can stop worrying about that for right now and focus on getting better.
Thanks for checking in on me......I appreciate my family and friends SO MUCH!!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

More Indy

Here are some more pictures from my trip to Indy. Yesterday we went to the zoo and had a great time. We saw a ton of animals and even got to pet some sharks! Not to mention it was great exercise for my back. Enjoy the pics!
PK and Birdie enjoying the elephants. Birdie is an animal lover for sure.
Spaghetti night means all children eat without their shirts on and then go straight to the tub after dinner. Too cute!
Emily, Birdie and ummmm.....Birdies baby. This pic actually makes Birdie look big, something that does not happen very often!
Getting some love from dad. Birdies favorite place to sit is on the bottom step. It is a perfect size for her.
Makes me want to snuggle!


I just got back from Indy after staying about 5 days longer than expected. I had a great time and I didn't want to come home. Emily and I had some quality sister bonding and I just couldn't get enough of the girls. I will post pictures later. Right now I am off to Holland Hospital for some x-rays of my back. I have to get a flexion x-ray so pray that I can bend. Monday I go back to the doc to see how my back is fusing. I am hoping it is all fused and that I can finally start some rehab to get me back into shape for work. I still have some pain, but I am a lot better than before. I will keep everyone update as I know more!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Trip to Indy

Just a quick update of my Indy trip for those of you who care. I am still here and am having a great time. So far I have carved pumpkins, attended preschool with PK for a costume parade and Halloween party, trick or treated, passed out candy, went on several bike rides, organized the room of a 4 year old, attended church, changed a few diapers, read a ton of books and played a lot of games. I love it! Not to mention I have been getting some great tips about important stuff like ebay and blogger hot spots. Enjoy just a few pics of the past few days.

Piper was a "Purple Princess" for Halloween. Emily and I helped out with her preschool class party in the morning. I had so much fun and at the end she and all her classmates has a costume parade.

On the way to church today. Check out the ponytail on the top of her cute!
Align Center
Post Trick or Treating sugar high. So excited she couldn't sleep!

I asked Emily to borrow a baby sling so I can try it with Smokes when I get home. We decided to give it a try with Peggy. She actually tolerated it quite well. Spoiled kitty!!
Cutest little pumpkin alive! She was a big hit on this block!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Emily and Michael were in town this past weekend and stopped by the house. It was great to see their family and celebrate Piper's 4th birthday. Everyone had fun and can't wait for Thanksgiving!

Smokes was a trooper as he was being dragged around by Piper, hounded by Miles and "gently" pet by Nola. He was exhausted by the time they left, but can't wait for Thanksgiving to have some more fun!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Totally Relaxed

When I woke in the middle of the night last night to go to the bathroom this is how Smokes was sleeping. Talk about being relaxed and hogging the bed. Sometimes I wonder about this cat!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

MSU Tailgate

Grill master Betsy got a bit distracted from time to time and ended up burning a couple of the weeners on the grill. She does cook a mean hotdog though! We had a very hoppin tailgate and met some really nice Spartan fans throughout the day.
Cutest couple of State fans I have ever seen! Thanks for all the fun mom and dad!
We had such a great time! It was perfect weather and it was a blast. I can't wait for next year to tailgate again! Lance you better come and bring your tunes next year....I missed you!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Smokes is now a Lol Cat! Look for more to come!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Home from NYC

Erin came home from Brooklyn to visit for the weekend. We went to Ihop for breakfast today and spent some quality time hanging out. We wandered through the bookstore and created my "to read" list for the next couple of months. It was nice to actually see her and not have to just talk on the phone. We had lots of fun catching up with each other and I can't wait to do it all again at Christmas. If I felt better and the economy was boomin I think I would be headed to Brooklyn to visit both Erin and Katrina! Oh.... and Congrats to Erin for getting a promotion at CNN!!!!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

All Locked Up

The painters arrived at Mom and Dad's house on Monday which means Smokes and I have been displaced for a while. The doors to all rooms needed to be painted so I was left with no privacy and Smokes was left with free roaming of the house...thats not going to fly Smokes!!! So, in an effort to save Mom from having cat hair in her newly painted base boards Smokes has been locked up in the basement with all of the contents from the "old" house. He seems to be enjoying it and has set up a "nest" in the middle of Mom's Christmas wreath. Lovely Smokes....hey maybe while you are down there you should attempt to use that BIG yellow exercise ball.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Today while I was driving around with Mom we saw multiple rainbows. God could not have shown his presence at a more appropriate time. We had just finished talking about how scary the economy is and how we needed to put everything in God's hands. Thanks God, these rainbows were a huge reassurance!

These were probably some of the brightest rainbows I have ever see. They were right in our front yard.
A full rainbow at that.....there we a number of them in town Zeeland too that we saw.
Had to pull out the rain boots for this week. Bring on the rain, I am excited to use my boots!!!
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Grandma on the Move

Today I spent the day with Grandma B. helping her get adjusted to her new home. She did GREAT considering what a BIG day we had. Her new apartment is very cozy and is going to be a great place for her. I am confident that she is going to receive great care; everyone on staff there is VERY nice and friendly. Grandma is such a trooper and despite feeling overwhelmed by all of the commotion today, I never once heard her complain. Please keep Grandma B. in your prayers as moving can be a tough thing at her age. Tomorrow will be another day of adjusting, and I am sure she will continue to do great!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Thought I would update my blog even though I don't have a picture...sorry. This past weekend Dad, Mom and Lance helped to move me back down state so that I can really concentrate on recovering the next 3 months. I bought a pass to the aquatic center and now I swim everyday. Swimming has been good both physically and mentally for me. I have also been spending a lot of time with grandma, helping her adjust to the idea of a new place to live. Aside from that I have been reading a lot (thanks Bouwens House for funding my trip to the book store, I really appreciate it). The past 3 months have been really hard on my body so my main goal for the next 3 months is to regain my strength and enjoy the time I have with my parents and grandparents. I don't go back to the doctor for another month, I must continue to wear my brace and take it easy. If all goes well, I am thankful and blessed to have a job waiting for me in Petoskey!! Thanks to everyone for the continued prayers!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lance and I went out for a birthday dinner with some friends last night. It was mighty tasty and I even got a free birthday dessert. It felt good to get out of the house. I am bummed to have to move home, but I am excited to see what January brings.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Back to Being In Love

While I was away having back surgery Harley and Sadie were rekindling their love for one another. Somehow, Harley made it over the wall in the middle of the cage and reached Sadie. Now, Sadie is pregnant, but in LOVE. I have decided after keeping them apart for the past 6 years that they are now old enough to live together under the same log. I am such a push over. Arent they cute?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Decisions...I hate 'em!

Today was a day of change, a day of decisions. I talked with my boss at work today and she was very nice. She said she really wants me to work there and she is willing to hold my job until January for! I hope they are not disappointed when I finally do start, I highly doubt that I am worth holding a job for 6 months...but anyway I am thankful. I also spoke with my landlord today and he too was very nice. I have decided, in an effort to save some cash, that I am moving home with dad and mom until I am able to work again. Then in January I will hopefully move back here into an apartment where everything in on one floor. If I stayed here I don't think I would be able to walk up 3 flights of stairs with groceries and laundry. Perhaps all of this will be a blessing in disguise. I still can't believe the past few months, but it just goes to show that God has different plans for me. Hey someone has to break in the new house with mom and dad right?!? I am feeling relieved to finally have a plan for the next few months and now I am going to concentrate of getting out Zeeland pool here I come! Thanks to everyone for the continued prayers...they are working!!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yesterday I went to the doctor and he said that things, although slow, are healing well. The fusion has not yet started to take place, but the plastic cylinders that were placed are still keeping the space between my bones wide open (that is good news!) I was a bit disappointed to find out that I will not be going back to work as soon as I would like however. I am usually so busy, and being stuck in a hard brace in bed has not been easy on my muscles or my mind. keep my sanity the doctor compromised with me and gave me the o.k. to do some LIGHT swimming (minus flip turns of course.) Today I went to the pool and swam about 6 widths. It felt good to move my legs and think I it will become a daily stop for me. If only Zeeland would invest in a hot tub!Surprised I still fit into a Speedo, haven't had that thing on in a long time.
I even dug out the old cap and goggles for my swim. Hey at least I look like I am a swimmer right?!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Nature Shots

Here are some pictures I took all on a walk down to the mailbox yesterday. The front yard is truly a nature sanctuary filled with flowers, berries and wildlife. I think it looks so nice, much better than a mowed down, crispy field!

It is so pretty this time of year, I saw a couple of cranes