Happy 5 Years, babe!

We’re celebrating our FIFTH wedding anniversary and I don’t have an abundance of words to write except these past five years have been overflowing with memories and I look forward to the next ninety (five) years!

5 year anniversary

Until next time — Cindy

*All images are original to A View from the Shore

Our love-ly little day

Peyton was dedicated on Valentine’s Day this year – what a special memory!  We have publicly promised to take the responsibility of raising Peyton in the ways of the Lord and building her up on the foundation of Christ.  The Lord has blessed us with such a beautiful baby girl and we don’t take it lightly that we are to be living examples of Christ’s love to her (and any additional little ones we are given!).  Here are a few pictures from our morning at church:

Peyton's Dedication

Peyton's Dedication

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I want to remember

It’s occurred to me lately that maybe the smallest life moments are the ones I want to preserve the most.  Because down the road, I’ll probably remember the big life moments! it’ll be easier to recall the larger, more spectacular things.  And I’ve already captured those moments with the camera and shared those times on the blog.  Of course I will have my camera with me for capturing all of the big, fun, spectacular things!  But it’s so easy to forget the everyday things, because they seem so normal and routine…

but it all changes so quickly!

Dear Forest,

As we’re getting closer to the end of the year, I wanted to write down a few things that I want to remember about this time in our lives.

I want to remember…

You saying “good morning baby!” to Peyton as me and her descend on your sleep at 6:30 most mornings.

Peyton’s huge, whole-face smile when you get her out of the car seat in the evenings.

Tag-teaming in the middle of the night because the baby is teething.

You changing Peyton out of her PJ’s in the morning.  And then changing her outfit when she has a blow-out or a massive spit-up incident.

How you always choose ‘One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish’ when you read to Peyton in the evenings.

The first time you wore Peyton in the carrier as I scampered across the roof hanging Christmas lights.

And how you laughed at me when I cautiously climbed the ladder to the highest parts of the house.

How you make me make decisions.  Like if I want to get the small JOY sign or the big JOY sign for the front yard.  And what color sharpie paint pens I should buy.

That you’re ok with a date night of untangling Christmas lights by the fireplace after the baby goes to bed.  And that you’ll make cookies and pour milk for us to enjoy on our date.

That you’re tired of picking up pillow stuffing every day.  Indie will learn.  Just be patient.

That you plan ahead better than me.  Like realizing we’ll have a lot to pack when we head back to IN after Christmas and that we can just ask my parents or Leon & Shelby to borrow a stroller instead of lugging our big one that will take up 90% of our cargo space.

And that you’ve been ON TOP OF IT with Christmas shopping this year!

That we agree that less is more when it comes to gifts for Peyton.  Quality > Quantity.

But that you’re all about the DIY gifts for her (and Chansler) and you’ll help me in the process!

That you’ve finished another semester of classes and your thismuch closer to finishing your master’s degree!  You say you’re taking a really tough class next semester but I believe you’ll make it through.  [and I pray for you to have confidence, patience, and endurance.  I’m so proud of you!]

PAYING OFF MY STUDENT LOANS!  Yay us for doing that in just under 4 years!!  Good-bye, see-ya later, adios, and goodnight!

That your recliner cuddles with Indie have oftentimes turned into recliner cuddles with Peyton and Indie finds her way up there too.

Your leadership.  Not only with our family but in our home group as well.

Your humor.  Oh, you’re just the funniest there ever was and I love you so much for your constant entertainment.

That you make me cook dinner on the weekends because you cook dinner during the week.  Fair enough.  But you’re still a better cook than me.

That when we arrive at whatever destination we’re going to and hop out of the car, we both know what the other is doing.  You always grab Peyton in the car seat and I always grab the stroller.

That you’ve been sick more than me this fall.  I blame the kids at daycare!  I’ll keep reminding you to take medicine but please, oh please don’t give me those germs.

I love you so much, my dear husband.  So much is changing and we don’t even realize it.  We’re experiencing life, we’re raising a family, we’re doing life and you are the perfect guy to have by my side.

Until next time — Cindy



Anniversary Adventures

Anniversary - 2015

Forest and I celebrated 4 years of marriage last week, November 12, 2015.  We took the picture above that night after dinner, before Peyton got sleepy and ready for bed.  I don’t know how we managed to get all of us looking at the camera but we did and I L.O.V.E. it!!

We were reminiscing those 4 years on our anniversary and I can’t believe all of the things we’ve done and the experiences we’ve shared.  Our wedding was such a sweet and amazing day and I looked forward to it for so long.  But it was only the beginning!  Obviously.  Any marriage begins with a wedding but it was only the beginning of so many great things I didn’t know I should be looking forward to.  Not just the fun things like vacations, holidays, anniversaries and babies but the mundane things, too, like evening walks, Friday nights in, yard work on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and buying chairs.  Of course marriage isn’t always fun things and we’ve had our share of bad moods and disagreements but when we were thinking back on our 4 years of being married, the good moments are the ones that stand out and I couldn’t imagine ‘doing’ life with anyone else.

So speaking of experiences shared, we added a new one to the list!  A few weeks ago Forest asked if I’d be able to find an up-to-my-standards babysitter for Peyton for a few hours on Nov 14th because he had ‘reservations’ for us.  I found a babysitter well in advance (I had several in mind so it was just a matter of who was available) and often wondered what we would be doing that required reservations on a Saturday afternoon.  So November 14th finally arrived and I asked Forest in the morning what I should wear.  His only response was “I don’t know, something comfortable.”  I didn’t know how comfortable or how casual was acceptable – I didn’t want to waltz in wearing workout clothes and get funny looks – so Forest pulled up the website on the iPad.  ROCK CLIMBING!  We had a 1-hour ‘private session’ at a rock climbing place nearby – Gravity Vault.


Our first few climbs were easy – we could climb using whatever holds we wanted or could reach.  The next several climbs were a little more challenging – we had to follow a path and were only able to use the holds that were marked with a certain colored tape.  Our arms were starting to get wobbly after the 3rd or 4th time up the wall but we kept working through several more before our arms just wouldn’t cooperate anymore.  I was nervous when we got there.  It’s pretty intimidating seeing really high walls that you’re supposed to climb to the top but I was impressed at how well we did.  Forest, who is afraid of heights, scaled the first wall like he’d done it several times already.  It was such a rush to make my way to the top of the wall that I didn’t even notice how high I was!





We headed to dinner after our 1-hour was up – Texas Road House – and we could barely lift our water glasses to drink.  I think we’re both back to normal by now, thank goodness.  Picking up a baby with wobbly, jello arms isn’t for the faint of heart.

Until next time — Cindy

*All images are original to A View from the Shore

Maternity Pictures

Two weekends ago, Forest and I ventured out to take some maternity pictures.  I was surprised that we had SO much fun taking our own pictures.  It was easy enough to do with a tripod, wireless shutter release, and a few pages with pictures we used for posing guides.  Obviously the heat and humidity was the highest it had been all month but we toughed it out and had so many pictures after just a couple hours.  Here are a few of our favorites!

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

EEK!  I just love them so much!  I don’t know how I’m supposed to pick which ones to print!

Until next time — Cindy

*All images are original to A View from the Shore

How We Shared the Pregnancy News

As we’re nearing the end of this pregnancy (hello 32 weeks!), I realized I never shared about how we told our families.  This is a little wordy but it’s such a good story!

We announced our pregnancy to our families with a BIG surprise.  I was expected to arrive at the Indianapolis airport the evening of Nov 2 to spend time with my mom and dad that week.  My mom had a chemo treatment on Nov 3 and I was going to help out a bit/visit until Nov 6.

Forest and I already knew we were (I was?) pregnant and we had an early ultrasound done at 7 weeks.  We had been trying to find the perfect way to announce to our parents, siblings, and grandparents that we were pregnant (sending something in the mail, just blurting it out during a Google+ chat, we didn’t know) but Forest kept finding videos of couples surprising their families in person and he decided then and there that we had to do it in person.

I made each of us a t-shirt with iron-on letters.  Mine said “The Bump” on my belly with a heart around it.  And Forest’s said “The Man Behind the Bump” across his chest.

So on Nov 1 (after chatting with my parents a few days before and sending them “flight info”), Forest and I packed up the car with a bag each, a case of water, and the pup for a 12 hour drive to Indiana.  We pulled into my parent’s neighborhood and drove by their house to see if anyone was home.  Both cars were there and the living room light was on – good signs.  We did a loop around the neighborhood and parked just down the street from their house.  We were both so stinkin’ nervous!   We hopped out, put the leash on Indie, and made our way (very creeper/stalker like) up to the door and knocked.  My mom answered the door with a puzzled look on her face and then gave us both the biggest hugs asking “What are you two doing here?!”  After she was done hugging, she stepped back and I asked her if she liked my shirt.  She read it, then looked and Forest and read his shirt, then read mine one more time for good measure and squealed with excitement!  Dad was in the backyard with a bonfire going so mom called him in because “someone knocked on the door.”  He came in, headed for the door and found us standing in the living room sporting our shirts.  He gave a quiet little “oh no” and we each got big hugs.  Nailed it!  After answering their questions (how do you feel, when are you due, how long have you known) and them meeting Indie, we headed to Forest’s parent’s house.

We pulled onto their street, saw both of their vehicles and another van parked outside.  The barn/shed lights were on too so we were worried that Forest’s dad was working in there.  We parked down the street, both nervous as ever again, hopped out of the car, sneaked by the barn and tried to go in the back door because Forest said “It’ll be unlocked and we can just walk right in.”  It wasn’t unlocked.  So we knocked and Forest’s mom answered the door with a look of shock on her face and arms open wide for hugs.  Forest stepped back and asked “We wanted you to see the shirts we made” and after reading Forest’s shirt, then mine, and Forest’s again she yelled “You’re pregnant?!?!” and we got more hugs.  We walked into the house where Forest’s dad read our shirts and then threatened that he would hurt us if we were joking.  After we assured him we weren’t, we both got big hugs.  Nailed it again!

Forest couldn’t wait another second to tell Robbie (best friend/practically brother, neighbor) so Forest’s dad called Robbie to have him help move something in the house.  When Robbie walked in the house Forest and  I were standing there with our shirts and after a moment of reading our shirts we both got hugs.  Yay!

We surprised Forest’s sister Amanda the next morning after church.  She walked into their parent’s house to – you can probably guess this – us standing there in our shirts!

We went to my brother and his girlfriend’s house after that to surprise them with our shirts and they were both shocked too.  I think they both said “nu-uh” when they read our shirts.  hehe.  Chansler’s going to a have a cousin 13 months younger than him!

We surprised our grandparents by showing up at their houses proudly wearing our shirts!  Forest’s grandpa didn’t quite understand so we had to explain but he chuckled after he understood.  And my grandma read each of our shirts 3 times before she rubbed my belly and asked if this meant I was pregnant.

Forest and Indie left the next morning for a 12 hour drive back to New Jersey but he agrees that the shortest trip in the world was totally worth seeing the looks on our families faces.

Until next time — Cindy

a wonderful weekend

This weekend was the kind that I wish we could just stay in.  The kind that doesn’t end.  Forest, at one point, told me to just soak it all in and I did.  I enjoyed every second of our beautiful weekend.  So, for our future selves, I’m going to record it here.

Friday – Good Friday.  My manager said we could leave early if we wanted to so I happily skipped out at 3:45 instead of my usual 5:00.  I stopped by a few stores on my way home: I bought a skirt for Easter, a few short sleeve maternity shirts, and a super comfortable zip-up hoodie that I want to wear every single day, a picture frame for a print I bought at the Grand Ole Opry, and coral craft paint.

I got home at 5:00, we made pizza (Friday night, pizza night) and played in the backyard with Indie for a while.  We headed to the movies at 7:30 to see Furious 7.  I cried multiple times during the movie, I wasn’t ashamed.  And I’m pretty sure I would have cried just as much if I wasn’t pregnant and hormonal.

Saturday – we ‘slept in’ till our usual 7:00 am wake-up whine from Indie.  With cereal for breakfast and a movie on tv we lounged around for a little bit until Forest went outside to finish draining the pool, feed and water the yard, and put the final polyurethane coat on the kitchen shelves.  I painted the dresser drawer knobs coral at some point in the morning.  We had PB&J for lunch followed by an eye appointment for me and a trip to Target afterwards.  We were on the hunt for a rocker/glider in the nursery and didn’t find one at Target but we didn’t leave empty-handed.  We found an area rug and curtains for the nursery.  We debated the curtains for the longest time before going with our first pick.  Forest hung the curtains and un-rolled the rug that evening.  I’ll be posting about our progress soon.

We had brinner for dinner – biscuits and gravy with sausage.  YUM.  And enjoyed a nice, although really windy and chilly, walk around the neighborhood.  Forest made brownies for dessert and he watched tv while I dug into this book that I ordered to help me understand Lightroom.

Sunday – Easter Sunday.  Resurrection Day.  We went to the 8:30 am service at church, like we always do.  The ensemble they had singing sounded beautiful and the songs they chose were perfect.  I’m so thankful that He is risen!  I was sent a picture of our nephew, Chansler, in his Easter outfit.  (I wish I could squish those cheeks more often!)  We finished and hung our kitchen shelves (you’ll see a post later this week) and spent most of the afternoon outside.  It was still so windy but the sunshine was perfect.  We just sat in the swing while Indie sniffed around the backyard and played with her toys.  We FaceTimed with my parents for a little bit before we dyed a few Easter eggs and then spent some more time outside before we headed out for dinner.  Forest chose Texas Road House and it was so good, especially their red raspberry lemonade.  We had very meaningful conversations about raising our children and some light-hearted moments talking about bowling and co-workers.  It was perfect, the two of us.  We ended the evening FaceTiming with Forest’s parents, Forest attaching the drawer knobs on the dresser, and watching the season opener baseball game Cardinals @ Cubs.  I went to bed before the game was over (I always do…) but the Cardinals won!

It seems so mundane written out like this but it was one of those weekends that I don’t want to forget.  And maybe, when I’ve been up for too many hours with a sweet little baby in my arms, I can re-read this weekend and remember how beautiful it was and look forward to the countless other weekends that will become just as mundane and memorable.

Until next time — Cindy