Thursday, May 27, 2010


We finally had a chance to head out and look at some tile samples for our kitchen backsplash. I knew that I wanted to use travertine tiles and I also wanted some glass tiles used in the design as well. Our kitchen walls are an aqua-green, with maple cabinets, black counters and appliances. I really wanted something that would highlight those colors...

We ended up with a design that is going to look something like this:

The tile should be in next week and then we can get started on the project. I'll be sure to post pictures of the finished product. I can't wait to see how it's going to look when it's completed! Wish us luck!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Family Tree

The Kowalewski Family 2010

Here it is! This is our entire family on my Dad's side. My Grandpa Kowalewski is turning 85 this weekend and still seems 20 years younger than his birthdate suggests. We were able to get together this weekend to celebrate his birthday, along with Mike's (May 29th) and my brother Kevin's (June 1st). I thought it would be nice to take a picture since everyone was going to be there (my backyard) and it turned out great!

Grandma & Grandpa have 2 sons, 3 granddaughters, 1 grandson and 3 great-grandaughters. I'm sure there are more great-grandkids to come, although we won't be contributing any more! :) 

I can't wait to see what this picture will look like for his 90th Birthday!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Endeavor to be Great!

Lauren, Mrs. Johnson, Tara & Mrs. Veloso

The girls had their last day of Preschool today, at Kentwood's Endeavor Elementary. The year went by so quickly, it's really hard to believe that it's over already. They were blessed with a wonderful class this year, full of fun, energetic and smiling friends & teachers alike. The girls loved going every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, excited to find out what fun things they were going to learn and experience. Mike and I couldn't have asked for more...

With Fall and Kindergarten just around the corner, I want to make sure to soak up the Summer, relax during warm afternoons and let the kids be carefree. Sooner than I care to admit, they'll be in school all day, everyday...for the next 12 years! Then off to college, marriage, kids....wait! I'm getting ahead of myself! I need to just breathe....enjoy every piece of them now while they still let me!

So, here's to the end of another school year and the start of a wonderful Summer vacation. With so much of our world to explore, we better get started!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Study Hard

I wish I had a good picture of what this room looked like before the transformation. Mike and I each have our own desks now, and there's plenty of storage for all of our office supplies, books and other miscellaneous paraphernalia.

 This was the only room on the main floor, with the exception of the laundry room, that hadn't really been touched. Yes, we repainted it before we moved in ( I refer to is as Fish's Room since he helped to paint it) and put in new carpet, just like all the other spaces in the house. But, that's where the renovations stopped. It ended up becoming our "catch-all" room, where we would quick stash paperwork, boxes, Geocaching stuff, Lauren and Tara's artwork, etc. It was a mess and it was embarrassing, at least to me.

I had envisioned a wall unit like this from the beginning. It was so much fun seeing my vision become a reality. Mike did a great job building all of the units, joining them and attaching them to the wall. I worked for days sorting boxes, unpacking office supplies, tossing a lot of trash, organizing and cleaning. I think that I emptied 4 or 5 more boxes from the move that had yet to be unpacked!

I do spend a lot of time in this space and it's such a great feeling to finally feel happy in it! Our study being complete allows me to check one of the "big" things off the list, but more importantly, it makes this house feel a little bit more like home.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Do you ever wake up in the morning with a mental list of items that you really want to get completed for the day?

I usually have the "Have-To" list nagging at me first... you know, the things that you absolutely must get done before you go to bed at night. The items that if you don't attend to them, your kids won't have to change into their jammies at night because they'd still be in them. Important stuff like laundry, dishes, trash, school, baths, food, etc.

The "Extra-Effort Required" list comes next, containing piles of miscellaneous to-do's that you really would "like" to complete, but since they're not the top priority, you know they probably won't. In my house, these items tend to involve sorting photos, re-arranging the closets, mopping floors and finally putting the Christmas decorations (the sneaky ones that didn't make it in their appropriate boxes) and Easter eggs (plastic, of course) away.

Last is the "In-My-Wildest-Dreams" list. These are the goals that if you were to complete them, you wouldn't need those anti-depressants because you'd be on such a natural high. Usually large-scale projects that involve many hours and many dollars, these items are the ones that I actually think about the most. Fixing our front porch, re-facing the house, landscaping, adding a second garage, building a back deck, gutting our main bathroom upstairs and other grandiose ideas permeate my mind, day in and day out. I'm actually close to completing one right now, our study/office, and I have to say that I'm feeling pretty fine about it!

In reality though, most days, and especially Mondays, I don't even get through the "Have-To" list. It's sad, and I don't even work outside my house! Oh well, there's nothing wrong with spending a few days in your jammies, right kids?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Serenade Me!

I am delighted to announce that I will have the opportunity to travel once again aboard a Royal Caribbean ship, Serenade of the Seas. I've sailed on a Vision Class ship and Voyager Class as well, but this will be my first time experiencing one of their Radiance Class ships. I'll share a little snippet from RC's website:

Royal Caribbean Ships

"With more open space, balconies and glass on the Radiance-class of cruise ships than on any other cruise ships, you just might forget you're on a ship at all. Glass walls and elevators get you up close to your travel destination."

I'll be traveling with Mike and the girls, as well as Mike's parents and his brother & wife. The last time we went cruising, it was with my sister and her hubby back in '04.  It seems like a lifetime ago-we were working on flipping our first house, there were no kids, and I worked full time. I have been wanting/waiting to go on a cruise again for a LONG time, but with the little ones, it made things a bit tough.

So, in April, we'll be setting sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico for a slew of Southern Caribbean locales. Here is a map of our intended route:
*whatever this map looks like, I had nothing to do with it!

The only destination on our trip that we've been to before is St. Maarten, and we loved it there. Mike and I are really looking forward to getting some Geocaches on all the islands, spending time with our family and continuing our mission of showing our kids the world. It's going to be a great time and I think I'm going to have to work extremely hard to keep my excitement contained for the next 11 months!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

So here we are...

It's been over a week again, and I have failed to record life's ever-changing moments. Last week was so busy, it's a blur. Mike had a horrible work schedule, we were busy EVERY night (which is not a bad thing but I think it was TOO much) and I had a lot of tasks that needed to be accomplished in a short amount of time. I was so glad when Sunday night finally arrived that by Monday, I vowed I wasn't going to do anything that wasn't absolutely necessary.

This plan works in theory, although the state of the girls bedroom as I stepped into it Monday morning, made me realize that it had been neglected for far too long. Oh, the girls are in charge of picking it up every night before bed, so it wasn't messy, per se. I just noticed that their drawers were full of clothes that no longer fit them, they still had unpacked boxes of bedroom "stuff" hidden in their closet and shelves that should have been erected a year ago were still sitting quietly on, that's right, another shelf.

Mike helped me hang the shelves and hangers for the girls backpacks. I unpacked, organized, cleaned, hung and folded, vacuumed and dusted until the room felt better than it ever had before. The girls squealed in delight at the happy space left behind and haven't complained once about keeping it neat and tidy. We'll how long it lasts, but I'll gladly take it for now!

We also decided on a Cruise Vacation that we are going to be taking with Mike's immediate family next April. I'll tell you more about that tomorrow! Caribbean, here we come!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Geocaching!

Our 10 Years! Event in Cascade Township, MI on May 3rd!

The Conmans 10 Years! Event in Wyoming, MI on May 2nd!

DeRock & The Psychic Cachers 10 Years! Event in Grattan Township, MI on May 1st!

10 Years! Event in Kalamazoo, MI on May 1st!

The Vidas 10 Years! Event in Lansing, MI on May 1st!

We spent the entire weekend and Monday, celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary of the 1st Geocache placement and Groundspeak's birthday. We attended 5 of the special 10 Years! Events all around the State. 

In only 10 short years, there are now over 1 Million active geocaches all over the world,  in over 200 countries, with countless numbers of cachers joining the sport every day. 

It is an important part of our lives, and we've been doing it since the end of 2003. I can't wait to see where the next 10 years will bring us, the friends we'll meet and the places we'll go. I have a passion for caching!