Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Favorite Teaching Moments

Sometimes teaching two-year-olds is frustrating- that you work so hard to try to replace an unacceptable behavior with an acceptable one with little visible success, and then there are those sparkling moments where your hard work shines through! Today was a frustrating day, which makes me have to work harder at seeing the good moments, but that's silly because God has blessed me with a great job that I truly do enjoy.

Two of my recent awesome moments are when my kids get angry, and instead of screaming and hitting, they vocalize their anger and "use their words" to tell the other friend to please stop. ("Use your words" is a phrase I feel like I say 100 times a day some days!) When I see one of my kids want to scream or hit, but stop themselves and use their words, my heart breaks a little bit and it makes me so happy.

My other awesome moment is praying with them and watching them learn how to pray on their own. We pray multiple times a day as a class, but recently some of them have started to pray on their own. Granted, their prayer is always, "Dear God, thank you for my mommy and daddy. Amen." But that is still amazing, and to see their little hearts learn about Jesus makes me want to cry. What a great privilege, responsibility, and opportunity that I can teach my kids about Him.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Best Wedding Videography

The best wedding videography, in my opinion, is Captureblog. He is from Minneapolis, and most of the weddings he does are in Minneapolis, but he also does a lot of traveling. I loved planning my own wedding, and I was obsessed with watching his videos during that time, and I still am today, although my obsession has died down a little.

It's a bummer he was booked for my wedding, (although it was more than we wanted to spend- a girl can dream, right?) but thankfully we found someone in Des Moines who did a great job for ours too. I will always treasure having our wedding on video.

You should all check out his site. I just think the way he shoots is amazing, and he captures each moment so well. I love every single one of his wedding videos. If you like wedding videos, you'll be hooked! (By the way, I was in no way sponsored or anything to share this. I just like it.)

Friday, July 27, 2012

The story of Kley and I: Chapter Four- Our first date/kiss

A week after we started dating, we went on our first date. This was the first time we had left campus together. (Well, the first time was Roommate Roulette, but that doesn't count I don't think.) I remember I was wearing jeans, a red shirt, and gray sweater. Isn't it funny how you remember exactly what you were wearing at pivotal moments in your life?

We went to Mickey's Diner. It's a pretty neat place. It's open all the time (24/7, 365) and it's always the same people working there. It's been featured in several different things, such as Rachael Ray's Food Travels, Food Network, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, and the movie Mighty Ducks. Granted, it's not the most romantic, upscale, or clean place to bring a first date, but I honestly wasn't phased- the uniqueness of it overshadows those other things and I knew it was Kley's favorite restaurant in the cities. (We have since gone there a lot!)

Other than the first time we met, I think this was the first time we had eaten a meal together. The conversation was good, but looking back it's funny on how somewhat awkward eating together was. You don't want to order something crazy, messy, that will give you bad breathe, or get stuck in your teeth. At least girls worry about that.

Kley, on the other hand, did not worry about such things. He ordered a burger with an egg on it, and as soon as he bit into it the yellow middle ran out everywhere and made a huge mess. He just laughed, cleaned it up, said egg burgers were his favorite, and kept eating. He wasn't phased and he didn't care what others thought, which was/is something I admire about him.

After dinner we walked around downtown St. Paul. They always have trees lit up like that at night, and it was very romantic. I am a big Christmas lights fan, so it was very awesome. I think it was my first time being in downtown St. Paul, and I loved it! (Minneapolis has actually stolen more of my heart than St. Paul, but it's still cool.)

Then we were driving back to Bethel, somewhat aimlessly, and happened on a really cool, peaceful lake. We pulled over and walked through to an opening in the woods and just stood there for about an hour, hugging and talking. We were completely alone, and the only light was the moonlight on the lake. We were so close to kissing, but then we pulled away, and gradually worked up to it again after about 20 minutes (it really was that long, but definitely didn't seem like it at the time). When he did kiss me, it was definitely the best first kiss in the whole entire world. It was absolutely perfect and I will never forget it. It was definitely the best first date in the world also, I think.

What makes it even more perfect is that we could never find that lake again. We tried to drive back to it, but never found it. We tried to google map where we could have been, even trying to find the exact latitude/longitude, but we could never find it. We call it the "magical lake." I'm glad we couldn't find it- I think it makes the memories even cooler. :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

The story of Kley and I: Chapter Three- He asked me out

Kley and I's initial hangouts, in the beginning, were almost all late night walks. I really really enjoyed this time. We learned so much about each other and were really enjoying our time together. (Don't worry- we didn't ditch all of our friends. We were really careful about not spending too much time together, and I am proud of the fact that we did a good job of that throughout our dating relationship.)

We talked about a lot of things- our relationship with God and how that all started, families, siblings, school, past relationships, college, our views on important topics, etc. I don't remember many specific conversations, but I remember feeling so happy and blessed. Kley was always so kind and sweet to me, and still is. It was getting late into October, so it was getting colder at night. Once I made the mistake of wearing flip-flops, and my toes were freezing, so Kley just took off his tennis shoes and gave me his socks. :)

On October 23, 2007, Kley asked me out. (Or 24, since it was after midnight. Kley says it's the 24th, I say it was still the 23rd since we hadn't gone to bed yet.) So, we had known each other for a month. We were walking, and we stopped to sit on a bench by Lake Valentine on Bethel's campus. I knew he would probably ask me sometime soon, but I didn't know it was going to be that night.

He said he had really enjoyed getting to know me, he really liked me, and was wondering if I would be interested in dating him. I said yes, and when I walked back into my dorm I ran to my roommates (those that were still awake) and jumped up and down and told them we were dating. It was pretty awesome. :)

Also, ever since then, we have loved that bench on Bethel's campus. We said it was ours, and whenever we saw someone else sitting on it, I secretly got slightly annoyed, like I actually had a claim to the bench or something. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sister sleepover!

Here's what we did this weekend:
Friday we went to our friend's house from small group at Church and had dinner/hung out. 
Saturday we spent the night at my parent's house with my little sister. (My other sister and brother were gone for the weekend.) My youngest sister, Kayla, had been wanting us to have a sleepover for a long time, and it finally happened! (Shout out to Kayla- you're the best!) We went to the mall while everybody ran their errands and I helped Kayla pick out some sweet sunglasses for my family's Europe trip coming up. (My whole family is going to Europe except Kley and I- bummer.) Then Kayla, my mom, and I went and got pedicures! It was awesome- I love getting pedicures because I hardly ever get them and it makes me feel fancy. :) Then we went home, ate pizza, and watched The Little Rascals- reliving the good old days. :) It was a good weekend!
Tonight we are watching the Bachelorette finale. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The story of Kley and I: Chapter Two- How we began hanging out

To pick up where we left off, after Roommate Roulette I thought nothing would ever come up with us again. I love to write thank you notes, so I felt like he needed a thanks of some sort after agreeing to give up his Saturday afternoon for a stranger on an awkward group date, but I didn't want to write a note and put it in his PO because I thought that would be a bit much. So, I looked up his Bethel email account and sent him a really short email just saying thanks for coming with me and that I enjoyed meeting him.

I never thought he would respond, but a few days later he did respond. I remember I was checking my email in the Nelson computer lab (my freshman dorm- I have no idea why I was in there and not using my own computer), but he messaged me back and asked if I wanted to come over that Saturday night and watch a movie. I was so pumped I yelled out and everyone looked at me.

So, Saturday comes (early October 2007), and I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't know if this was going to be a movie between me and him, if others were going to be there, etc. Was he just being nice to me? Did he actually like me? How close do we sit together on the couch? Does this mean that his roommates think we're together? I wouldn't say that I liked him yet, but I was definitely excited to get to know him better. I thought he was just being nice to me, maybe that his uncle told him he had to get to know me or something. As it turns out, all of his roommates were there and we watched Casino Royale, a Bond movie. It felt a little bit like I was crashing guys night, but I figured he was the one who invited me so I shouldn't worry. I actually hated the movie, but it wasn't that bad since I was sitting by a guy I could possibly date. :)

After the movie, his roommates left and we got to talk alone, and this was the first time I felt like we really got to know each other, and I liked it. :) After the night ended, I wasn't sure what to expect, because we both said we had a good time, but he didn't talk about seeing each other again and he didn't ask me for my phone number. (In hindsight, Kley is not the best with phones. He has come a long way, but when we first met he hardly used it or carried it with him, and he didn't text. At all.)

I wondered when/if I would see him again. I didn't know if he liked me or not since he didn't ask to see me again. I had also been stalking him on facebook, of course, and seen that the day after he first met me (the day after!) he went on another Roommate Roulette with another girl- which made me think that he didn't really like me, because what if he asked that other girl to a movie too? (Another hindsight, I later found out that he only went to that roulette because his best friend was going with a girl he liked and she had a friend that needed a date.)

Kley ended up emailing me a few days later and asked if I wanted to go for smoothies with him. Of course I said yes. :) This was about two weeks after we'd first met. I was still wondering if he actually liked me or was being nice (Kley says I am crazy for thinking that because of course he liked me if he asked me for a movie AND smoothies!) We went, talked, and I remember that this was the first time I left really actually liking him. When he walked me back to my dorm, I was the one who finally asked him if he wanted my phone number. It was really funny and he didn't have his phone with him, so he gave my his number and I ended up emailing him mine.

The next Saturday, I was sitting around thinking about what my roommates and I were going to do, and thinking about when I would talk to Kley again. Since Kley was on the golf team, we devised a clever plan to text him and ask if he knew of any good mini golf courses around, even though we had no intention of going mini golfing. (Kley tells me he was sitting around all day, holding his phone, wanting to talk to me but he didn't know what to say. Cute.) He responded (I think this was his first text ever!) and said that there was some sort of meteor shower and that him and a friend were going and wanted to know if we wanted to come too.

A friend and I went, and it was one of the greatest nights ever. We just laid on the ground all together talking and watching shooting stars. We also held hands for the first time. I bet it was about a 45 minute progression of our hands moving closer together, but it was so awesome and I will vividly remember that moment forever. It was the best start to our love story ever.

After that night we started hanging out pretty regularly. :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

John 21:25

"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." (John 21:25- the last verse of the book).

I finished reading John last night, and I thought the last verse was amazing. There are a few other verses like this in the Bible, and often I think they are easy to overlook, yet shouldn't be. But think about it- the New Testament is FULL of all the amazing things that Jesus did while on earth- feeding the five thousand, walking on water, healing many sick, raising Lazarus, water into wine, etc. Think about all the miracles He did that aren't even written down- the whole world wouldn't have enough room for all the books! That's awesome. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Minneapolis Weekend

This weekend was pretty awesome. We went to Minneapolis to visit college friends, and it was a great trip! We stayed with our friends David (Kley's best friend and roommate) and his wife, Jacquie (who is one of my good friends). On Saturday we got to go to lunch with two of my roommates, Brittany and Kristin, at Paneras. It was so fun to be able to see them again and so great to catch up! Neither one of them live in the cities anymore, so it was amazing to be in the same city at the same time. 

After lunch, we went to Como Zoo and Conservatory with David and Jacquie (one of my favorite places in Minneapolis)!

The Conservatory building.

Mama and baby monkey love. :)

The gorillas- he didn't seemed pleased with everyone staring at him.

Kley and I at the zoo.

The Conservatory- it is one of the most beautiful rooms I've ever seen. I love it.

Some of the pretty flowers there.

After the zoo we headed to Sebastian Joe's for ice cream. I had chocolate banana chocolate chip and it was delicious. That night we had dinner in and watched the movie We Bought A Zoo. Pretty fitting, right? I love that movie- it's one of my favorites right now.

On Sunday, Jacquie and I did a little shopping while the boys played video games. Kley's other roommate, Erik, was also able to stop by for a bit, so we got to see a lot of people! It was a great weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The story of Kley and I: Chapter One- The First Meeting

After Kley had agreed to go to Roommate Roulette, there was only about a week and a half before the first meeting (this was late September, 2007.) I was a little excited, but I didn't really think much of it because I thought it would never go anywhere. Who actually dates someone they were set up with, had never met before, and there are 50 other people on the date with you? I still wore my favorite outfit, though, just in case, and apparently it paid off. :)

Unfortunately, the day before the event, I thought I got pink eye. My eyes looked horrible- they were beat red and kind of pussy. It was so gross. I went to a walk in clinic Saturday and got back right before we were supposed to leave. (Long story short- I got the medicine, which was the wrong one- it stung and my eyes were still red. I got the right medicine, quit wearing my contacts, it would clear up, but as soon as I started wearing my contacts again it would come back. This happened a few times over about two months, which was the first two months of Kley and I's relationship. We finally figured out that it was actually an allergic reaction to my contact solution, and not pink eye. Thankfully he still liked me anyways.)

So Jackie pulls Kley aside before meeting me and tells him to not say anything about my eyes. What a great start. (I didn't know she said that until Roommate Roulette was over.) Then I come over. We awkwardly shake hands, introduce ourselves, and make small talk for a minute before we were all herded into huge vans. I remember he was wearing jeans and a light blue polo shirt- I thought he looked pretty cute. :)

Here's the gist of how our conversation in the van went:
Me: So, I hear you're from Orange City?
Kley: Yep.
Me: I have grandparents that live in Sioux Center. (Which is close by.)
Kley: Cool. I loved growing up there.
Me: So, I hear you drive a midnight blue jetta? (I actually said midnight blue. Good one, Kelsey.)
Kley: Yes I do.
Me: Your aunt told me that, by the way. I also heard you're in the men's choir?
Kley: I was freshman year. I quit to have more time for golf.
Me: Oh neat. I've never golfed before.

There were a few silent pauses thrown in there as well, but then we got there. (Kley was/is actually really good at making conversation, aside from what that first conversation seems. He was very friendly, and has an uncanny ability to make friends with strangers very quickly.) We were supposed to have a scavenger hunt/picnic in the park, but it rained. Instead we went to my RA's house and played "group games." Group games are not ideal for situations where you are first meeting someone and the whole group doesn't know each other- remember that this was still only a month into school and I hadn't met very many people yet anyways. We played a game where one person is in the middle, with everyone else seated around them in a circle. Each person makes up a weird sign, but there is one sign that is the "special" sign that you pass around the circle secretly, and the person in the middle has to guess which sign is the real one. I was horrible at this game, and ended up in the middle for a very long time. I am not exaggerating; in the end you could tell people were feeling bad for me and going slower so I could guess it on purpose.

Then we ate lunch, which was pretty uneventful. We sat by each other within a group of people we didn't know, so we, again, made small talk. Kley rode back with me and walked me back to my dorm. There were a few big trees in front of my dorm, and he asked me if I had ever seen people tie ropes in between them and tightrope walk. I said no. (In my head I was thinking that was the weirdest thing ever.) He said one of his roommates did it once. I said thanks for going with me and that I had a good time. He said he did too, and we gave each other a weird hug. (Kley calls this first phase of our relationship the "A-frame hug" phase. He also admits that he was so nervous because he liked me and had no idea what to say, and knew he should say something, so he talked about the tightrope walkers because he saw the trees and it was the first thing that popped into his head.)

He walked away, and I honestly thought I would never talk to him again. What a first meeting. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The story of Kley and I: Introduction

I think it's really fun to read on other people's blogs about the story of how they met, so I decided to write it for you as well! Hope you enjoy!

Kley and I both went to college at Bethel in St. Paul, MN. He was a sophomore when I was a freshman. In August of 2007, before heading to school, one of the pastors at my Church told me that her nephew went to Bethel. She told me his name was Kley, he was a great guy, he drove a "midnight blue" Jetta, he played golf and was in the men's choir at Bethel, and that he was great with kids because he willingly volunteered to walk on stilts and dress up at the family 4th of July parties. (This was the only information I had about him before meeting him.)

So, little did I know that her husband (Kley's uncle), had called Kley and left him a long voicemail about how he was supposed to find me at school as well.

I went off to school in late August (2007) and pretty much forgot about that conversation. I had several other people that told me they knew some guy who went to Bethel as well that was great and I should meet him, so I didn't think much of it really. Honestly, the first month at school I was pretty homesick. It was hard enough to get used to classes, find friends, and be away from home, that finding a boy was almost the last thing on my mind.

My lovely freshman roommate, Jackie (who just got married herself!), was super into having our floor do a Roommate Roulette. If you have no idea what that is, let me explain. It's pretty popular at Bethel and most freshman floors did it once, if not more. Your entire floor goes on a group date, and your roommate is supposed to ask the guy for you. Technically you aren't supposed to know who the guy that you are going with is until the day of, but everybody always broke that rule and told.

So, our floor decided to do Roommate Roulette. This was at the end of September, 2007 (only a month into school!). I didn't want to go. I was just starting to get used to talking to the girls on my floor, let alone add in a bunch of guys, one of whom was supposed to be my date that I had never met? I had only met a few boys on campus- either through going to class together or being with other girls who introduced me to their friends. I had met zero guys on my own will.

I tried to think back to the "list" I had in my head of the guys I was supposed to meet- and I couldn't remember anyone else's name except for Kley. (Funny fast forward story- my junior year I had a class with one of the other boys on the list! I had never met him, and didn't even remember his name until we took attendance in class, and then it clicked. We even had to work on a project together- I never told him I was supposed to meet him, though. Funny.) I told Jackie she should ask Kley for me.

Jackie was a great roommate and always looking out for me in the boy department. One day after class, I came back to the dorm to find my roster picture blown up and posted all over the walls with my room number and "Looking for a date?" I was embarrassed and took them down right away. (I was never mad about it, though, and now it's quite funny to look back on.)

Jackie marched right over to Kley's dorm and asked him to go with me. Kley's roommate and best friend, David, answered the door, and it turns out that he and Jackie knew each other from working at camp. Small world. When Kley came in, she told him she had the girl for him and that he needed to go to Roommate Roulette with me, and for some reason he was so willing and said yes right away! (It's so cool to look back on your life and see how perfect God's plan is and how wonderfully He reveals it to you at His right time!)

I don't want to type everything, because that would be way too long and take forever for me to type, so I will write it in chapters. Here is the background introduction, and in chapter one I will tell you about our first meeting. :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Growing Beans!

So, at school my kids and I planted flowers for Mother's Day awhile back, and I had 3/4 of a bag of dirt leftover. I didn't want to waste it, so I decided to plant some beans! This is my first time planting something for myself, outside of kids projects at school (and then they take them home, so I never actually see if they grow or not). Overall, I think it's going pretty well, considering it's my first time and I hardly did any research. 

This is my bean plant after almost two months of growing- this picture was taken a week ago. (Today it's looking slightly more dead and all the branches are tilting over- I don't think I planted it in a big enough pot. Oops.)

I was so pumped when I actually saw a bean!

So far this is how many beans I've picked- hardly even a serving. I have no idea how many I will get, but even with that I'm happy! Maybe next summer I'll expand my gardening skills. :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Farmer's market and sister's birthday.

On Saturday we went downtown to the Farmer's Market with our friends Lauren and Stephen. It was Kley and I's first time ever! It was really cool. Even though it was super hot, we had a ton of fun. It's a unique place- it was fun to see all the different stands! I did end up buying some yummy veggies. 

 I bought a tomato, green pepper, and sweet corn. I think it was a good choice. :)

Watermelon is my favorite, although we didn't buy one because we didn't want to carry it.

Someone had a really cool looking tart stand.

I am so glad we went and I definitely want to go again sometime!

Saturday was also my sister Karlie's 18th birthday. Happy birthday Karlie- you're the best! We celebrated with the family by seeing the new Spiderman movie in the afternoon, eating dinner at Des Moines Golf, opening presents, and eating ice cream cake. 

It was a pretty awesome day! :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Yay for Fridays!

Friday was a good day. After a more stressful week at work than usual, it was a wonderful start to the weekend! Our good friends, Lauren and Stephen, were back for the week from Denver, and we got to hang out with them! It was thrilling- I miss them a lot and is it so so good to see them whenever we can. Our friend, Amanda, who was Lauren's roommate in college and now lives in the same apartment complex as us, was able to come too.

I started off the afternoon cleaning. Most people wouldn't find that exciting, or even noteworthy, but cleaning isn't too terrible for me and I love having the apartment clean so then we can relax the rest of the weekend.

We then went downtown DM. We don't usually go downtown, but we have several times this past month, so we feel like true "Des Moines-ians." While we were waiting for our table to open up for dinner, we walked across the street to Java Joe's and hung out. It's a pretty cool place with ice cream/coffee drinks. 

They also have games you can play at your tables if you want.

Kley and I at our table.

Me, Amanda, and Lauren (left to right).

Then we headed over to Fong's Pizza!

We tried taco, thai chicken, and the bacon popper (or something like that).
It was really good and was a great night with friends!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July, 2012

This 4th of July felt short but very sweet. We took off after work Tuesday to head to OC (Orange City, IA) to see Kley's family. It was so good to see them, and we hadn't been to OC in awhile, so it was due time. We got there right in time for the party- all of Kley's relatives gathering at his aunt's house. It was great to see everyone! We got to see all the aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and the cousin's kids on the Ver Steeg side (my mother-in-law- she is one of 8, and my father-in-law is an only child!)

We ate a lot, talked a lot, the kids decorated cupcakes/did sparklers, and Kley and I took our turn taking a bunch of the kids to the carnival. We were going to ride the firetruck, but showed up just as the last ride was pulling away. Bummer. But, the girls found a baby bunny and the boys were holding their inflatable swords, so no one was too upset. :)

We ended the night with awesome fireworks. I love any and every fireworks. (My next dream is to get a camera that can do them justice- sorry for no pictures.)

Wednesday morning we saw my grandparents in Sioux Center, and then lounged all day with Kley's family, topped off with a steak, potato, ice cream dinner (Kley's ultimate favorite!). We headed home after that and made it back to Des Moines at about 10:15, which was great because we got to see all the fireworks displays from the surrounding cities from the interstate.

It was a pretty good 4th. We are blessed. :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Verse Encouragement

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)

These verses are always a huge encouragement to me, no matter what circumstances God has placed me in. Whether life is great or not so great, these verses always seem to be applicable to what I'm going through- especially the parts about rejoicing in the Lord ALWAYS and not being anxious about ANYTHING. What a comfort and challenge at the same time.

Sometimes I feel like they need to be playing on repeat in my head. I hope they can encourage you today as well.

Also, the sermon at Church yesterday was exactly what I needed to hear. It was about not worrying and trusting in God. The pastor talked a lot about the passage from Matthew 6:25-34 about God taking care of the birds and flowers. If God can take care of beautiful flowers, how could He not take care of me? "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Verse 34)

I'm thankful that God takes care of me and that He knows my path. 

(This flower pic was taken on our honeymoon!)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

First post ever.

I have been reading other people's blogs for at least a year, and after months of consideration (and encouragement from Kley), I have started a blog! I am excited about it and think it will be a good outlet for me. I was a big journaler from elementary school through most of college, so it's about time to pick it back up again. Welcome to my blog! :)