Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Myrtle Beach

Last week we went to Myrtle Beach with Brent's family. Eight adults and five children under the age of three. It was an amazing time, but we were all pretty beat by the end of the day! I absolutely love spending time with Brent's family. It's such a blessing to have in-laws that I actually really enjoy. From the first time I met them I felt immediately at ease and welcomed. I remember thinking that they remind me so much of my own family, which is a very good thing. I'm so glad to officially be a Kruithof now (don't judge me that I've been married almost 4 years and my credit card still says Katie Behlert).

I have the most adorable nieces and nephews. I hope my own kids are an exact mix of the Swartzentruber/Turner/Varner kids (except no 10lb 14ounce babies please - as if I'm not already petrified of labor). Spending the week with these five kids was even more special knowing we'll be moving to another country in a few short weeks. I love them to pieces, and I'm so glad we'll be home at Christmas to see them again.

(Click images to see them larger)

Our two newest additions: Kru, 11 months, and Hailey, 8 months

Bonding with the littlest:

Broadway at the Beach:

Kru and Pretzels:

We went out to the beach a couple nights after dinner. This was my favorite time. It was the perfect temperature and we practically had the beach to ourselves. Isn't this the most beautiful picture of Papa and his youngest grandbaby?

Ah, to be two and a half again :)

Can't beat a beach sunset!

Four years later and I can't stop taking pictures of this thing. It just doesn't get old :)

Home again, home again. Our good friends Mary and Brad watched Walter while we were gone (thank you thank you thank you!). I'm sure he had fun with Garfunkle, but I think he was glad to be back in an only-dog home. I'm dreading saying goodbye to this guy in a week and a half!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Let the wild rumpus begin!

3 weeks...21 days...a million things to do! Look how short our countdown chain is! I can't believe this thing started at 118 days and it is now down to 21. These last 5 months I've been thinking "so much can wait till after our September vacation"...and now - it's go time! Brent and I were reviewing (and adding to) our to-do list this morning. This includes, but is not limited to: finding a rental management company, packing!, putting a lock on our garage, selling the cars and TV, figuring out shipping to the Caymans, replacing lightbulbs, fixing doorknobs, getting pants tailored and contact lenses ordered, touching up exterior house paint, moving our stuff to storage and getting KruBooks ready to move. Wish us luck and don't be surprised if you see some crazy-eyed Kruithofs these next three weeks!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Dream

I'm not sure how to compete with Brent's "HUGE NEWS" post, but I'll give it a go. We just got back from Myrtle Beach with Brent's family and it was a great trip. I promise to post pictures some time this week. In the meantime, I'll share a story about this amazing dream I had a while back. I've told this dream to several people, but I wanted to post it here anyway. It's a reminder that God is still working and intimately involved in our lives. And not in a meddling or puppet strings kind of way, but in a way that shows how immensely He loves us and wants to take care of us. I'm typing it out because I want to share and I want to remember. When I'm homesick or wondering why we in the world we so violently shook up our lives, I will look back to this dream and remember that God put us here for a reason.

First some background. This winter was a little rocky, to say the least. Brent's an auditor and undergoes this horrendous busy season every year. It's four (but really more like five) months of late nights and working 7 days a week. He would come home at 10:30 or 11:00 pm, and still have work to do from home. He's exhausted, I'm bitter, and the strain inevitably leads to ridiculously petty fights. Additionally we found out there was a huge issue with our gutters - after 6 months in the house we were told we had around $25K of repairs. Our microwave broke, our living room ceiling was stained from the leaking, our basement had a plumbing problem, our cars had issues, Walter almost broke my nose and shredded a 32 pack of toilet paper rolls, I locked myself out of the car - twice. It just felt like we were being hit from all sides.

In May I was having lunch with a friend and we had this good discussion about the difference between spending time alone because you're depressed, and spending time alone to restore yourself. I was saying how some people are energized by being around others, and some people need alone time to re-energize and get filled back up before their next social thing.

That night I had a dream that my friend Kim was throwing me a going away party. The colors for the party were lavender and cream, and it was more like a shower because only girls were invited. It was very fancy, which makes sense because Kim would throw a cute party like this. There were these pretty cream boxes with purple ribbons and they all had the date we were moving printed on them. We were all sitting around the table, and one of my best friends Elizabeth was saying how much she was going to miss us (aw, I'll miss you too, Elizabeth :). Then she said: "Remember that conversation we had yesterday about being restored? God told me that this time in the Caymans is a gift to you. He is giving it to you because He loves you so much. He knows you are coming out of a hard season, and he will use this 20 months to restore and re-energize you for what comes next."

I woke up the next morning and remembered every little detail of this dream (months later I still remember it perfectly). I told Brent all about it, and said I have never been more sure that something was a direct word from God. It's neat because even though Elizabeth was not the friend I initially had the "restoration" conversation with, she is exactly the person I would most expect to give me a word from God.

Here's what I got from the dream:
I love that God views our time in the Caymans as a gift of His love. That touches my heart so deeply. I'm not naively believing that every day on the island will be like a vacation or a Jack Johnson music video. I know there will be hard days and sad days and fights and busy season. But I will remember to be grateful and to love the moment I'm in, because this is God's gift. I also really love that He said He is restoring us for what comes next. Brent and I assume we'll be in family-starting mode when we come back, and there will be the adventure of raising kids. But it could also mean some other life change, a new job or mission, a new passion God wants us to go at full force. I'm so excited for both seasons and all that God has in store for us. It's neat to think how God already knows our whole story from start to end and orchestrated everything in a certain order - because He loves us, because He knows what we need, because He wants us to grow, because He knows what's best. It's an extremely humbling thing.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Aroldis Chapman recorded the fastest pitch EVER last night. He threw a 105 MPH fastball and several other 104 MPH fastballs.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A list of ten

Hey everyone, it's Brent. Thanks for all of your nice comments on our first blog post. This is my first ever blog post ever. I consider myself a very bad writer, so hopefully you will be reading my posts for the content rather than the form. Actually, I've decided to make my first ever blog post ever a list of ten things I want all of my readers to know. Here it goes.

1) I came up with the name of the blog "The Grand Life." Give credit where credit is due.
2) As a Cincinnatian for only 4 years, I have quickly grown a love for the Reds and Bengals and I will continue to be a die-hard follower of both teams even from Grand Cayman. If you are not a fan of both of these teams, you should be.
3) I want to get a Jeep Wrangler in Grand Cayman and drive around with the top down, Bob Marley on the radio, Katie's hair flying in the wind, and Walter's slobber flying out the back of the jeep as we drive along the beach. If you want to picture this, make sure you picture the steering wheel on the right side of the car because the drive on the left side of the road in Grand Cayman.
4) I will eat a lot of seafood in Grand Cayman.
5) We are leaving Walter with my parents for 2 and half months before he is allowed to join us on the Island (thanks mom and dad for watching him). We feel guilty about leaving him behind so we've been letting him sleep in bed with us lately. It's miserable.
6) I'm very worried that our life won't be interesting enough to keep people coming back to our blog. I'll have to post lots of pictures of Katie on the beach. She looks good in a bikini.
7) If you are reading this and you've never seen Travie McCoy's music video for "Billionaire" you should watch it. It makes me want to get a Vespa so bad.
8) We are very excited to see what God is going to do in our lives in the Caymans - to see how we can minister to others, get involved in a church, and grow.
9) I wanted to start this blog but Katie designed the header, wrote all of the pages, and did everything else involved in creating a blog. She is amazing.
10) Katie pressured me to get a job abroad, then when I did, she didn't want to go anymore. Typical.
11) I'm more in love with Katie now than I ever have been before and I can't wait to go on this adventure with her.
12) I love everyone in Katie's family and my family so stinking much. We have the worlds greatest families. We are so blessed by God.

Okay, you got two bonus items on the list of ten. Once I started, I couldn't stop.

Thanks for reading. I love you all.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It Starts

Ta da. Our first blog post. This blog is really Brent's brain child. He's been begging me to set up a blog to document our adventures in (and getting to) Grand Cayman. He swears he's going to write his own updates all the time...we'll see :) He asked today if he can write updates about anything (even the Reds) and I won't delete them. I said anything goes. Brace yourselves...

Check out the tabs above to read our story and see pictures. And leave lots of comments so we can feel the love!