Monday, February 20, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I don't know if y'all read the NieNie Dialogues blog or not, but you should.
So incredibly inspiring and uplifting.
I read her post from today and of course started crying. (It may help to have a little context, and read this one too.)
She is so strong... I hope to have that kind of strength someday.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas 2011

[I'm a little slow, as always...nevertheless...]

Merry Christmas everyone!

This year we were able to go home to Utah for Christmas - which rocked. We had so much fun! Originally, Mike's parents were going to come out here, but when Mike's mom's company told her that they needed her to stay, and offered to pay for us to come home instead, we jumped on it! {Can you say 'job security!?'} We ended up keeping it a secret from my parents and were able to surprise them the night we flew in. THAT was awesome. We had all schemed for a good two months on how we should surprise them.... trust me, that was one of the hardest secret I've ever had to keep!
We wrapped a box inside a box inside a box with a note on top. We door bell ditched it on the porch, and ran to the side of the house to listen/peek. When they came to the door the note said, "Schwartz family: STOP - gather your family on the porch and unwrap this present together." The second box had a note in it with a poem about a special gift they would find, and the third box had a digital recorder in it and a note to push play. When they pushed play (They had moved inside the house by this point because it was so cold out), it sung "I'll Be Home for Christmas," which is when Mike and I came bursting through the door and yelled, "WE'RE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!!!"
Although this isn't the greatest picture, all of their faces and reactions were priceless. Of course my Mom cried. Zoe cried. Michael cried. I think Erik even got a little teary-eyed. My Dad was just shocked! It was really a neat thing to get to do. Thanks to Ranae for all the help scheming! :)
We were able to see my Grama and Grampa Herd for a little bit at my Aunt's house. We all sat around while my Grampa told us stories about his life and growing up. That is one of those memories I will never forget. When I asked him what is one piece of advice he could give me about raising my kids he said, "I wish I would have loved them [his kids] more. You can never love them too much." Amen Grampa, amen.

We also had an awesome dinner at the Maddox (fav!!) with my G & G Schwartz and an uncle and cousin. It was nice to catch up for a minute!

At Mike's parent's house, we had a lot of fun hanging out, shopping, and playing games. It was so great to have the whole family there all at once... (Something that is getting harder and harder to do!)Christmas Eve[Our niece, Brianna]
This is what happens when you get to close to the pie when Uncle Mikey is around...

Harli made herself a little throne out of her presents... So cute! (She loved wearing her gloves (indoors or out) too!)

Christmas day - this picture sums it up pretty good... I think we were all more excited about the whole thing more than she was! She liked opening the gifts for about four presents and then she was done. Typical 1 1/2 year old!

Needless to say, our holidays were filled with wonderful family and friends, good food, and great times. SO glad we had the chance to be with our families, as we realize how fortunate we are to have them as ours. We hope yours were wonderful too! Here's to an awesome 2012!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Huntin' Husband

Mike went duck hunting this weekend with Travis, Phil, and Travis' daughter, Rylan - they had a blast!! This was Rylan's first duck hunt, so it was fun for Mike to see what he can look forward to with Harli. :). The ducks loved their set up so they were all able to limit out (6 each). Good job, guys (and girl)!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

An Early Christmas Wish

Harli found the nativity set today... She loves it! She keeps trying to climb on top of the coffee table so she can get to baby Jesus. (Welcome to Christmas with a one year old, eh?)
I hope she never stops trying to climb higher to get closer to her Savior, for I know she will not be disappointed. May we all remember this year the reason we celebrate Christmas.
Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Miss Harli

Harli looks so grown up in this picture!
It's like she turns one and a switch goes off and she starts to grow double time!!
I've said this before and I'll say it again- you don't realize how fast they grow until you have one of your own...
(Oh and don't worry, her attitude is keeping right up! Ha ha)
But I love her more and more everyday. She's such a sweet little bug. I can't get enough! :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween was pretty low-key this year... which was fine by me.
Harli will more than likely hate me for this when she gets older, but she was a cow. Oh and what a cute cow she was! :)

"Hey! What happened to all the candy I had in here??"

So cute.

Hope y'all had a great Halloween too!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Harli's FIRST Birthday!!

Our baby girl just turned ONE!! So hard to believe it's been a year already. It's been a wonderful year, we couldn't be more proud!

We had a little party for her on Saturday where we just had a couple of her little "girlfriends" and their families over. It was a pink and brown/princess theme.
She got her very own smash cake -
She was a little confused at first what she should do exactly, and started out pretty dainty...

...But she figured it out pretty quickly! :)

She got about half way through the cake and had enough.
I was kind of worried that she was going to barf all night, but luckily she just had lots of energy!

Didn't get too dirty either!

Her new rocker motorcycle and jacket from G & G V.. True Orencole fashion! :)

She got a new swing from G & G S.... She loves it!
('Scuse the annoying overexcited parents in the background of the video! ha ha)

Better late than never.

So I said I'd post the Vandercook family pictures from this summer.... I'm a little late, but it's better than never, right? :)

Cute, right? Enjoy. :)

Friday, September 23, 2011


(See!  This is what happens when I get a facebook.  I slack on the blog.  Sorry.)
As of late little Miss Harli has become...... mischievous. 
Very mischievous.
She is into EVERYTHING!  She does not discriminate- toilet, dog food/water, electrical cords, cupboards, you name it.  (I thought this wasn't supposed to come until they could walk?  Which, she can do by the way, but she just doesn't feel like it yet.  Really.  She's already got an attitude.)

Here she is caught in the act:

This is her walker, which I found her helping herself into the other day...

...and back out.

If we didn't close the door to the kennel, she'd be in it WITH Fergie.
(This isn't the greatest picture, but her face says it all!) I usually put her in her Johnny-Jump-Up while I get in the shower so she can't get into too much trouble while I'm preoccupied....  I guess didn't worry about the TP!  She was so pleased with herself!

All I can say is thank goodness for child-proofing gadgets!  ...and doors.  :)
Besides running around cleaning up all of Harli's messes, I haven't been up to too much.  I am planning her FIRST Birthday party though!  Can you believe she will be one in just a week and a half!?  Where has the time gone?
As for Mike, to say he is busy is an understatement.  On top of his Scout Master calling, they have called him to be the first counselor in the Young Men's, which would be busy enough, let alone his school schedule.  This week alone he had FOUR tests, and THREE next week.  Last week he did his very first surgery on a live animal.  SO exciting!!  And he will do his first spay this coming week, which is also quite cool (but very stressful).  Needless to say, the poor guy just needs a vacation!  I am SOO proud of him for putting in so much hard work.  He is amazing to me!

And this is WAY late, but while we were in Utah, we got some family pictures taken with Mike's family.  I'll put more on later, but here is a preview:

Saturday, August 13, 2011


This summer, Mike did some neurology research for the vet school and he loved it! To make the deal even sweeter, they sent all the research students to Orlando to the Animal Kingdom for a conference where they would present their work that they did.

Mike and his poster he made to illustrate his findings.

With Dr. Eells - Mike's "mentor"

Safari Mickey and Minnie

Mike brought Harli a Minnie Mouse purse... she carries it around EVERYWHERE!

Because he did so well presenting his research, he was chosen to present again at the MSU CVM research day - in front of the whole school next week!! Good luck, sweetie!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I never liked the taste of crow, but baby, I ate it.

Well, we got a Facebook.
Yes. Us.
The people that have totally dogged on it.
...And now we have one.'s just the best way to keep up with friends anymore these days I guess!

Stop by and say hi. :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Yes, one more post.

We took pictures of the bike yesterday, so I have to show off the bike too... :)

Summer Projects

We've had summer projects out the wazoo, but are so glad to have them all done!

Summer project #1:

Kitchen backsplash

While I was in Utah, the kitchen fairy/husband visited and left a backsplash!!

I was SO surprised!

If you recall, this is how my kitchen used to look...

But now...

Much better!

Thank you, hubby!

Summer project #2:

Cement/ patio revamp

(This picture doesn't show very well, but Mike poured the cement the firepit is sitting on, and also the cement under the chair. He also built that little table!)

He also poured a sidewalk along the garage and a driveway (not pictured) for his bike into the garage.

Summer Project #3:
Finish bedroom

If you remember this awful moment in our lives..........
-ripping the ceiling, old insulation, and support beams out
-pulling all the furniture out
-treating for mold spores ...scrubbing, bleaching, scrubbing, treating, scrubbing some more...
-reinstalling beams, insulation, drywall
-installing furring strips for the new ceiling tiles
-installing ceiling tiles
-putting up new crown molding
-reorganizing furniture
-cleaning it all over one last time.....
It's FINALLY over!!!!! Our bedroom is back together and useable again!! Woohoo!
Not that a permanent sleepover in the front room wasn't fun for a whole month...... I'm just glad to sleep in my own bed!

...And now that it's all done, we're just in time for us to start the school year. Phew! Where'd the summer go!?? :)