We have some big news to share. We’re moving, and I am changing jobs! While we could have shared this with a simple tweet or short Facebook message, we figured that this news would trigger a lot of questions. Below are some of what we think may be the most frequently asked questions with brief responses. If you have more questions, please post a comment and we’ll either reply there or do a follow up post.

Where are you moving to? Out of state? Out of country?
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America. New city, new state, same country. Even though we’ll be farther north, we’ll also be farther from Canada.

What’s the new job?
I’ll be joining Desiring God as a Product Manager.

What is Desiring God?
It is a non-profit Christian organization that was founded by John Piper in 1994. (Who is John Piper?) Desiring God’s mission is to “spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.”

What’s the product that you’ll be managing?
All the resources from Desiring God are distributed for free, so there isn’t a traditional product for sale that I’ll be managing. Over the years, the web has become a core communication and distribution channel for Desiring God, so while I’m still learning more about the details, I’ll have responsibility for managing the site and a few mobile apps.

When is all of this happening?
I’ll be wrapping up my time with Ford at the end of the year and starting at Desiring God in January 2014. The timing of the move is still TBD. I’ll work remotely for a bit while we sell our home in Michigan and look for a place to live in Minneapolis.

This could be a long answer but I’ll try to stick with the promised brief responses. Essentially, it came down to the right time and the right opportunity. Some might call the circumstances coincidence, others divine providence. Nevertheless, it’s been a fun journey, and we’re excited for what lies ahead.

You don’t like Michigan?
Not true. We’ve lived in Michigan for over 7 years. It’s the birthplace of our daughters and has been a good home. We’ll miss a lot of Michiganders.

So, you weren’t happy at Ford?
False. Ford was my first “real” job coming out of college, and they’ve treated me well over the last 7 years. Thanks to all my colleagues at Ford.

Won’t you be farther away from your family?
This was the most difficult part of the decision. We have loving parents and siblings in Indiana and Ohio. It’ll be tough to have more miles between us, but thankfully, they have been supportive and committed to our relationships.

Last question, how important was it for you to get farther away from Canada?
Not important at all. It never crossed my mind until I answered the first question on this post ;)

Fall Fun in Puddles of Leaves

Hello friends, it’s been a long time since Heather blogged (Hayden Kate: 12 Months in July) and even longer for me (Reading List 2013 in February). If you’re reading this, thanks for your patience. I can’t guarantee that this is a comeback, but stay tuned as we’ll try to keep posting some content for you all.

Last weekend Analiese and I had to take care of some leaf raking. She continually called the piles of leaves puddles of leaves. I think after some explaining and first hand experience jumping in the piles, she understood the difference. Nevertheless, every once in awhile she still slips up or intentionally says puddles just to be cute. And speaking of cute, here are some videos of her running and jumping into the puddles, I mean piles, of leaves.

Finally, in case you were curious, puddle is defined as “a small pool of liquid, especially of rainwater on the ground” whereas pile is defined as “a heap of things laid or laying on top of one another.”

Hayden Kate: 12 Months

12 Months

Dear Hayden Kate,

You’re first birthday has come and gone and so now I have a chance to look back on the last year as a whole. It’s quite amazing to me all of the growing and developing that little ones do within their first year of life. We’ve gone from sleepless nights, around-the-clock nursing, and a barely-there schedule to almost walking, constant babbling, and lots of falling in love with you.

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You are a JOY. You give the sweetest kisses when you hear keywords like “night night” and “bye bye”. Rather than the traditional puckered lips, you’ve gone with a different approach where you pull your bottom lip over your top one and give a little smirk. It’s hilarious and so cute.

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You do everything with extreme authority. Your sounds, your movements, your play…everything is done all the way. You’re an all or nothing kind of girl. This might be a challenge for you as you grow up. You’ll need to learn how this stubborn personality God has given you can be used for His glory.

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You are messy. You’re helping me learn that it’s ok if our house isn’t always put back together before company comes over. Life is messy and the people who matter most are the ones who love and embrace our mess. But if you ever decide to keep all of your food off the floor, I won’t argue with you. The folks at Target and other stores we frequent during snack time won’t argue either, I’m sure. (Sorry, Target.)

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You are smart. Earlier this month, I observed you play with your shape sorter. You were so quiet, content, and focused on placing each shape into the right spot. In general, you love to place objects in baskets or containers. Somehow, this clean up skill should be combined with the mess problem noted above. All in good time.

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You are on the move. You really want to be able to walk on your own, but aren’t quite there yet. You’ve taken a few steps here and there, but still prefer to crawl. While in Ohio to celebrate your birthday, you spent most of your waking hours holding someone’s hand so you could do laps around the house. You are quite proud of your ability to stand on your own, too!

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You are loud! Along with saying “hi” and “bye” really well, you make all sorts of other noises. You grunt and yell all day long! We couldn’t imagine life without you and your crazy sounds!

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You love to eat all day long. You have ten teeth and you love to use them to eat whatever everyone else is eating–the bigger, the better.

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You are tenderhearted. As you embrace this phase of almost walking, you’re exploring ways to pull yourself up to balance. One of my favorites (although usually not well-timed or convenient) is when you hold onto our legs with both arms. We melt when you rest your head on our shoulder before nap time. We love these sweet moments with you.

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You are a gift to us in many ways. You are teaching us how to love more deeply and extend grace more willingly. In your own little ways you’ve challenged and changed us over this past year.

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We love you more than you know!

Love, Mama (& Daddy)

Hayden Kate: 11 Months

11 months

Dear Hayden Kate,

The beginning of May brought warm and sunny weather. We were outside almost every day, which was great, but also challenging given your I-want-to-crawl-everywhere-even-on-concrete stage. Don’t get me wrong, we think it’s great that you are on the move, but we want to protect your little knees! You don’t mind the grass, but your big sister is usually doing something super exciting on the drive way and you must be a part of it.

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On some of the really warm days we got the pool out and you loved all of the new toys that came along with that. You especially loved chewing on the pool noodles. I especially loved you in this cute bathing suit!

You had your first taste of ice cream from Dairy-Go-Round, too!

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You’ve become quite verbal. “Mamamama” and “Daddy” are natural first words, but my favorite is when you greet us in the morning with a long and low “Hiiiiii.” You’re pretty good at reading the signs and know when to wave hello or goodbye to someone, too.

You also talk to yourself in your crib before and after you fall asleep. You love your lovie and bury your face into it when it’s nap time, but you also have started to throw it overboard as a last ditch effort to get us to come into your room one five more times. Clearly, it works.

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You’ve always been a good eater, but you’re starting to be a little picky about what goes in your mouth. You mostly want to eat bread and bread alone. But thank heavens, you seem to be capping yourself at a normal amount of food for an eleven month old now.

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Gigi came for a visit with the new puppy and we went to Ikea for lunch and then played at the house with her. You liked having two dogs to play with! You know which ones are their toys and hold them out for them to take.

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I almost forgot that you had your first real cold this month. You were a trooper through all of the runny/stuffy nose maintenance. Not fun. Let’s not repeat anytime soon.

You learned to climb the stairs and you discovered the fun sound that happens when we pat your mouth with our hands and you say “ahhhhh”. You’re cute, HK.

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We also battled through a nap transition this month. It just seemed so early for you to be ready for only one nap every day, but there were many signs that led us to believe it was the right time (mainly early night wakings and resisting your morning nap). It was hard to know how to get you back on track, but it was a weekend with Nana and Poppa that settled it.

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With company here, we found ourselves out and about so you took short morning naps in the stroller while we were at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and church on Sunday. You were then ready for a longer afternoon nap and continued to sleep well at night. A few days later, you dropped the morning nap all together and we’ve found ourselves with a so much time in the morning now!

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These are the things you did this month — your developmental news and accomplishments. But let’s not end this without acknowledging how much we have loved getting to know you these past eleven months. You bring a new joy to our family. We are greeted with a smile every single morning and you give us the gift of sleep every single night. You make all of us laugh at the dinner table. You are sweet, strong, and spunky and we love every chubby inch of you.

Love, Mama (& Daddy)