Sunday, January 25, 2009

Our Little Piece of Heaven


I still cannot believe it, but as of 7:00pm tonight our offer was accepted! We've been looking pretty hard for a month of so, and we both fell in love with this house as soon as we walked in (the warm cookies the sellers left out for us didn't hurt either!) We took my parents to see it
 today to get their opinion on it. They have been such a big help to us in finding the right house and not getting in over our heads. I'm grateful for their help! So, we saw the house with them at 1:00pm (we had already been their by ourselves), and decided to put an offer in. 
We got our offer in at 5:00pm and they called at 6:30 to tell us they loved everything but our closing date. We are in our appartment until the end of May, but they wanted to close on March 6. After about a half an hour of talking with them, they decided to pay 
our rent for those two months so we are closing on March 6, only 6 short weeks from now!  It's still hard to believe, but we are excited beyond words!!

Our beautiful new home is in Fridley and only a few minutes from Dan's office. It's on a half acre and has a beautiful fire pit in the back. Here are the pictures of it is as of now. We'll put up more after we are settled and have our stuff in it!

The front view of our "little piece of heaven"
The living room, with the front door on the left
Two views of our kitchen
Our master bedroom
The office/someday nursery :)
The third bedroom downstairs, which will probably be used as my craft room or maybe it will be rented by someone we know and love for a short while :)
And here is what sent Dan over the moon about this house - the basement. They have it set up like a home theater with a big flat screen TV and a speaker system that's wired through the walls. None of those things are staying, but someday we'll add all these things to his basement "man room" :)

We are so excited to move in and have you all over to see it in person! If you want to help move and see it sooner rather than later, we are accepting volunteers to help on moving day!! :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Information on how to help the Smith family

Dan Smith, a Hudson Firefighter and St. Croix County EMT passed away this past Wednesday the 21st of unknown causes at the age of 46. He was a great rescuer but more importantly a great father to his 13 year old son Cody. Please pray for Cody, Cody's mother, and all of thier family and loved ones. The visitation will be held on Sunday January 25th from 3-8pm at O'Connels Funeral Home in Hudson. The memorial service will be held at 11am on Monday January 26th at the Hudson High School Auditorium. In Dan's memory there has been a Cody Smith Education Fund set up through Wells Fargo Bank. Contributions to this fund can be sent to: 

Schertz Law Office 
P.O. Box 133 
Hudson, Wisconsin 54016

Checks can be made payable to the Cody Smith Education Fund. Please pass this information on to anyone who is interested in helping.

If you would like more information on how to contact the family (especially Carol and Cody) please let me know and I'll happily pass it on to you. The family needs your prayers, so please lift them up today and all this week.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I can't believe it's happening - today my baby brother turns thirteen.

I remember the morning her was born like it was yesterday. Kris and I spent the night before with our aunt and uncle. I don't remember exactly what time we were supposed to get up (maybe five?) but I do remember that the alarm they had set for us in the room we were staying in went off an hour earlier than it was supposed to because they didn't change it back at daylight savings! :) We got to the hospital and got to say hi to mom and dad as they were on their way to the operating room. Mom had gone down to be prepped and stuff and the doctor was hanging around and said to me, "Hey, what's that on your face? You need to get that checked out. It looks like ring worm to me, and if it is you need to get it treated before you can go near the baby." Being the over tired, pre-pubescent girl that I was, I started bawling. Nothing sounded worse to me than being kept away from my new baby brother! I don't remember exactly how I got it checked out, but it turns out I just had dry skin from the cold weather. Grr! To this day I still harbor bad feelings towards this doctor. Funny how all that sticks with you... Anyway, dad and the doctor left and we sat in the family waiting room and played card and board games with my grandma and my mom's brother and sister and their spouses. As time wore on, Kris and I got anxious and would rush out into the hallway every time we heard a baby cry, hoping it was our baby brother. Finally, around 8:00am, a nurse and my dad came out of the elevator. The nurse was pushing the bassinet, but my dad was carrying the baby. I remember him kneeling down and introducing Kristin and I to Jacob Mitchell. I got to hold him first, then Kris, and then they took him into the nursery to do all the things they do with new babies. One of the most fun things to look back on are the pictures Kris and I took. Mom and dad gave us each a disposable camera to take whatever pictures we wanted through out the day. We took some really stupid pictures as we were waiting for Jake to be born! That afternoon mom needed to nap, so Kris, dad and I went to a one hour photo store and developed pictures of Jake. Before my mom woke up, my dad snuck back into her room and put up pictures of her three kids for her to have. He is such a sweet man! 

Those of you who know my dad know that he NEVER takes a day off work. Ever. Jake's birth was no exception. After we spent more time at the hospital with just the five of us, dad took Kristin and I to work with him so he could get some things done. I don't think we were there as late as I remember being, but I do remember that there was a snow storm that night and mom was worried about us being out and driving. Poor mom - I think we kept her up late worrying!

I know I am not Jake's mom (and thank God for that considering I was only 11 when he was born... :) ) but I do feel a really special connection to this guy. I think I had the best of every world with him. I was much older and got to help take care of him and feed him, but I also didn't have to be his parent and worry about disciplining him. When it was his nap time, I would take him into my parents room and lay him on my chest and sing to him. He was such a great baby. He was always smiling, which I'm sure is in part because of the mass amount of attention he received at all times! He was a quiet baby, too, and I remember my parents worrying that he wasn't talking as much as he should be (I'm sure over bearing big sisters had nothing to do with that!) He talks so much as now that I'm sure he's more than made up for it! Jake was/is just my buddy. When I first got my licence, I would pick him up from pre-school and sing along to the tapes (yes, tapes) I had in my car. I picked him up from school on September 11, 2001 and had to answer his tough questions about what happened. I would cart him around at band concerts and let him play on the instruments in the band room when no one was looking. When Dan and I had a fight once before we were married, Jake called him without anyone knowing and told him he better be nice to his sister or else. Every time I think about him, I think of another memory between us that makes me smile, inside and out. It has been hard being away from him now that Dan and I are married. Thankfully, I still talk to him all the time (especially now that he has a cell phone) and even get to surprise him by picking him up from school every now and then. He still gives me the best smile when he sees me and didn't know I was coming. I learned a lot about everything through my relationship with Jake, and I still adore him as much today as I did thirteen years ago. 

Jake - I hope you know what a blessing you are, especially to me. From the day you were born, and even now through your awkward teen years, you have been the most unconditionally loving creature I've ever met. Your heart is unprecedented in size. I hope you always hold on to that. Thanks for letting me be silly and stupid with you, as well as asking me tough questions about life. If you ever feel for one second that you're not good enough, or smart enough, or anything like that, you need to call me. I already have a lifetimes worth of wonderful things to remind you about yourself! You were created for great things, and I am so excited to see what God has is store for you. Keep being you, kiddo. I want no one else to be my baby brother. I love you Jakers!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

So, we're a little slow here at the Ritter's, but we hope you all had a safe and wonderful Christmas and New Year. We have been busy running from family event to family event, but had a great time seeing everyone and celebrating Jesus's Birthday! Last night we had five of our dearest friends over to celebrate the new year and had a great time. It's hard to believe 2008 had come and gone. About six months after Dan and I started dating, one of my best friends got married. At her wedding (over memorial day weekend of 2005, oddly enough) we talked about what our wedding would be like and thought that May of 2008 would be a great time to get married because we would have both just graduated and could start our lives together. Well, I may not have graduated yet, but it is crazy that we actually got married and started this journey together just about exactly as we had imagened we would. Because May '08 was such a goal for us and our relationship, it's hard to believe it came and went so fast. 2008 has truely been one of the most blessed years of my life. I look at all we have been though between graduation, marriage, job hunting, living together for the first time... What a journey! I will remember 2008 fondly, but I am glad I don't have to do it all again. :)

So, on to a new year! We are starting our new year of looking for a house! Tomorrow we are out looking at eight differnt houses and hoping to find the one for us. It's a little scary, but we are so excited and feel God is leading us this way. We'll let you know how it goes! 

We wish you a happy, healthy and blessed new year!!