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so the morning of our 19th week bump picture we had an ultra sound for baby Sweet Pea! {can i just say, i think this dress makes my bump look bigger than other clothes do… but i feel huge already!}

it was fun to see little Sweet Pea dancing around, waving and wiggling.  they measured every little part, checked to make sure all was normal and we got an approximate weight of 9 oz.


we are SO very excited to meet our little…

excited baby reveal sm


hee hee, doesn’t Husbuddy look excited? i know she’s going to be such a little daddy’s girl :)

Baby Reveal2 sm

she is so beautiful already! we are praying that God protects her and grows her these next few weeks. we are also praying that God grows us in wisdom and guides us in every.single.step as we get closer and closer to meeting her.

Baby Reveal-sm

eek! we are so excited! :) can you tell??

xo-kimberly renee


a little late, i know. how was your 4th? did you have a bbq and spend some time outside? we did!  it was a busy day for us, with friends. it was WONDERFUL.


these sweet friends drove out to visit Lancaster! we showed them some of the sites, including horse and buggies as well as Kitchen Kettle which was fun and toursity. IMG_2228_Bowens on 4th

it was so wonderful to catch up.
IMG_2236_at kitchen kettle

and then there was some quality time spent in our apartment complex’s pool. what a perfect day for swimming! IMG_2242_at pool

the weather was seriously perfect. PERFECT. it was so nice to sit outside and celebrate life and freedom together! {btw, don’t they have an adorable little family?!}


what was extra fun was that a couple other friends showed up for the food as well. we had “3 worlds collide” as Husbuddy put it. our friends from our church in Princeton, a friend that was driving through from Gloucester, and a friend from the area here who’s wife was out of town. IMG_2254_4th bbq


it’s really cool how these “3 worlds” can come together and be able to mesh just fine, because really, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. i LOVE that.

friends are nourishment for the soul. it was SO good to see each of them :)

what about you? spend time with some friends? bbq? go swimming? anything fun?  i’d love to hear!

xo-kimberly renee

ok, so during the CRAZY of getting unpacked, settled, finding the grocery store, husbuddy starting a new job, i’ve neglected the blog. excuses excuses. i know! i’ll try to get better :)

so, last week we moved from Gloucester MA to our new home; Lancaster, PA. ah! crazy! this is our new home!

on the drive down we stopped to visit our dear friends in Princeton. they now only live 2 hours away, so we are super excited! one morning during our visit we went to Hopewell. there is a new market there that has delicious pasteries and meats and cheeses. it  was so refreshing to catch up with the Estes. {for those of you who have been following Owen’s progress, he is doing really well! he was super happy and smily the whole time we were there. he is such a sweet two year old! go check out his blog for more!}


after our little treat we took Owen to a nearby park. Owen now enjoys being pushed in the swing and going for buddy rides down the slide. Husbuddy LOVED taking him down the slide. giggles abounded. :) i’m not sure who had more fun. owen on slide_small

after our quick visit we continued on our way.

we are now residents of Pennsylvania:
JT at PA sign

{ps, in the photo above Husbuddy is pointing to the sign…not doing anything inappropriate like some people might think! lol}

now we’ve traded the ocean for farmland. this is the view as we pull out of the parking lot. crazy! these days, passing horse and buggies and stopping at road side farm stands for amish-grown strawberries are daily occurrences.

farm view


there have been a lot of walks. it feels like summer and we are so excited to be here.

and for those of you who have worried about how puppycakes is doing:

puppycakes lifehe loves all the new walks and laying in the shade. he is still a little anxious as we continue to unpack boxes, but he is super cuddly with his new squeaky toy. i think it’s his way of coping with all the changes. :)

now at our house, when he isn’t snuggling with it, you can go crazy from all the squeak, squeak, squeaking…



this weekend marks the beginning of another great adventure.

{yay for being on the road with all the memorial day traffic!}

moving dayi’m excited to share with you what our next adventure entails soon. for now you can think of me in all the craziness of packing, cleaning, moving, and driving to another new part of the country!

hope you have a great memorial weekend, friends!

xo-kimberly renee



last weekend we did a little bit of “touristy-ness” with some dear friends from Gloucester. we went to Woodmans for fried fish because we just found out they had a gluten free version. {Husbuddy was super excited!}

it was a beautiful day {finally!} to be out enjoying the sunshine. 
IMG_2045_with Dubose


we are thankful for friends to share life with, even if just for a year. these two have two more years of seminary at Gordon Conwell… so we’ll be praying for strength to endure as they prepare to receive a call to be a pastor.  IMG_2064_dad and girl-vintage

while we finished eating, Finley, the adorable 10 month old, was having a blast sitting in and crawling through the grass.  this was a new experience for her.  so of course i had to pull out my camera to capture her cuteness.

i love her single bottom tooth… so adorable.

and this face looks like, ‘hey ma, watch me…’IMG_2052_look of trouble-vintage


as she takes off to get her first grass stains on her knees. IMG_2060_there she goes-vintage


so sweet.

gotta admit, i love sunshine and grass stains. :) warm weather is finally here and i’m enjoying every minute!

what about you? had a chance to enjoy the sunshine recently?





let’s start this post with just a little bit of wandering around a food market.

IMG_1760_food street

of course we must start with the department stores. they are just gorgeous. think of the makeup counters in our department stores- how sparkly and shiny everything is- now multiply that times 20 and make it food. amazing:IMG_1722_department store

right before we step into the oldest food market in kyoto we stopped by a little stand that had a lot of cherry-blossom-flavored food… because of course you need to celebrate the season with food that’s pink! IMG_1731_streetfood

and we may have found the donut stand…IMG_1732_st food mom and bec

good thing we did that before we walked through the market though… the food in the market was…mostly…unappetizing…

IMG_1729_street food

things had eyeballs still…
IMG_1744_st fd

sashimi:IMG_1735_st fd sashimia beer stand:
IMG_1739_st fd

plastic sushi anyone?IMG_1742_st fd

fish flakes: {let me tell you, i actually tried some…these are GROSS}IMG_1750_fish flakes octopus on a stick? yes. they walk around chewing on these like they are chewing on a corndog at a ballgame.

oh. my. goodness.gracious. these grossed me out!IMG_1756_octopus

piles and piles of octopus on  a stick: IMG_1764_octopus

some sort of sea creature:IMG_1757_st fd

look at those crabs:IMG_1759_stfd

it was so overwhelming taking everything in:IMG_1769_street

but on the way back to the hotel that evening we followed some geisha…


yes. i was that creepy person taking pictures of some stranger. HA. but at least i didn’t run up ahead of them and turn around and try to take a fast picture of them in front… i’m not even going to mention who did that…*cough*dad*cough*

hee hee.

alright, the next day we found the Fushi Inari Shrine and gates.  the artist in me really loved this place. my family got a little overwhelmed with all the orange… i’ll let you decide if you like it or hate it. IMG_1781_bec and mom

i have no idea what the difference was between all the temples. IMG_1784_red shrine

but there were a lot of guard dogs hanging around:IMG_1785_red temple dog

on one side was a happy dog and one side was an angry dog usually. IMG_1793_red dogi actually love this map. we only made it about 30 minutes up the hill. apparently it takes 1.5 hours to get to the top! IMG_1786_red shrine map

there were different areas with large gates and small gates:IMG_1792_orange gates

my engineer Father really didn’t like that there was no uniformity in the columns. that cracked me up! but it was a little crazy that they built them right next to each other and they would be just a slight variation of its neighbor.IMG_1797_pathway and we were trying to decide if the writing was advertising or not.

{can you tell some people in our group were rather cynical that day? lol}IMG_1803_orange gate

yay! orange gates!IMG_1815_fushiinari gates

and another dog:IMG_1817_red dog

my mother being adorable:IMG_1820_cute mom

they had a LOT of beautiful lanterns around the grounds. they were all different too. i loved it:IMG_1830_red lantern

everyone was kind of sick of orange by the time we made it back down the hill.

this is back at the beginning: IMG_1835_red temple

and, my stalker-ish-tendancies come out again… how CUTE is she?! adorbs as my little sis would say:IMG_1839_little girl

the cherry blossoms were really pretty that day.IMG_1841_lantern

as this was our last full day in Kyoto we decided to finally try japanese style tea. “matcha tea” is a green powder that they whisk in to the hot water:IMG_1870_matcha tea

as a tea lover, i decided it wasn’t really my favorite. i loved the colors and texture of that cup though!
IMG_1873_matcha tea

after our lunch we went for a walk along the famous “philosopher’s path” to see the cherry blossoms.   IMG_1884_bec and mom

us… and the rest of Japan.

it was a little disappointing that this is one of the “most beautiful” places in Japan and it was just a little path along a ditch-that must have been a river in it’s day. it was gorgeous to walk amoung all the trees, but it just wasn’t as impressive as we were expecting. it probably would have been a little better environment had it not been a sunny sunday afternoon with everyone else in all of KyotoIMG_1893_philosophers path but we saw some pretty houses along the way.IMG_1908_kyoto

and a random wood temple. i actually think this was the gate and the temple was up the hill, but we didn’t see it.IMG_1916_kyoto wood gate

then… SHUT UP. we found Colorado.

some people were pretty excited about it: IMG_1922_colorado in kyoto!

we actually found another family from Colorado standing in front of the sign! it was hilarious! the wife of that family actually walked in and tried to explain that she was from Colorado but they just looked at her confused. hahah. so, it’s our little joke, i guess. Becca felt like she was home.


the next day we began our LONG journey home:
IMG_1929_kyoto train station

the train station actually had a sun deck which was so nice on a sunny day where we had to wait for a few hours:IMG_1947_bamboo

momma misses her Becca so much.IMG_1949_becca and mom

and so do i.

{please note, this picture was take 12 of like 20…the first 11 were of Becca trying to lick my ear… let’s just say when we’re together we go a little overboard with the teasing. lol} IMG_1951_becca and me

this was the train station. i was really impressed with the space!IMG_1954_train station

and a last 3-person family photo. IMG_1971_family at train station

and a last japanese lunch:
2013-04-01 02.10.01

tempura bar! so fun!2013-04-01 02.11.14

and it was a delicious last meal:
2013-04-01 02.12.47

then we began the trip home:

a 2 hour train ride + 2 hr wait at airport + 9 hr flight to San Fran + 3 hr flight to Denver +1 hour drive to the Springs (we spent the night in Colorado Springs)  then i got up for the rest of my 3 hr flights to Chicago + 2 hr layover + 3 hr flight to Boston…and home. oh my goodness longest travel day ever.

but oh such a great adventure! thanks for sticking with me these last few weeks as i’ve been so busy and it’s been so hard to get all the pictures organized!

if you’d like to see my other japan posts please click here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6

thanks, friends!

xo-kimberly renee

oh hello again. ready for a few more pictures from japan?

note to self. when traveling in japan, always find this:

IMG_1718_western stlye

much better than the alternative. ha. i just wanted to let you know that.

anyway, now we are in kyoto. i wanted to show you our little hotel room with my silly sister:

IMG_1515_kyoto hotel room

ok, it wasn’t that little. i’ve heard that there are some really tiny hotel rooms in Japan! we, thankfully, didn’t stay in any of those.  but check out the toilet. i thought it was so genius to use the rear-toilet water as a sink before it went into the tank! seriously! how genius is that? IMG_1511_kyoto toilet

and also note the fancy controller on the side… heated toilet seats, anyone? or fancy bidet buttons? {those got us into trouble… not going to lie…hee hee}

ok. this whole post is not about toilets. i promise.

it’s about pretty architecture and little details that i saw in Kyoto! it seems like every other photo that i took was of roof lines… so, there ya go… Japan has cool roofs. you’re inspired now, right?IMG_1670_rooflines

anyway, our first day in Kyoto we went to The Golden Pavillion. Can you believe it’s right in the middle of the city? it has a large preserved area around it, which is really beautiful.

{our tour guide went a little crazy this day trying to get a lot of family photos…lol}IMG_1533_golden pavilion family

but isn’t it pretty… oooo sparkly…

and it’s ALL GOLD LEAF. IMG_1537_golden pavillion nice

wow, right?! how crazy is that? and this isn’t the original temple! apparently in the 50s a monk {that wasn’t all there, if you know what i mean} thought that it would look really magnificent on fire… so he set the 500 year old wood structure on fire. our tour guide said it burned down in like 7 minutes, so that monk was the only one who got to see “the beauty of it”. ha! so…not only did they cover a building with gold leaf, back in the day for some emperor… but they had to do it again after the crazy monk burnt it down! HA! well, i think they have to reclad it with gold leaf every twenty years or so… cause it doesn’t really hold up to the elements the best. {i’m actually impressed it lasts 20 years!}

IMG_1543_golden pavillion

that is a phoenix on top of the temple. the legend is that when Japan has a perfect government, a real phoenix will appear. HA! when do you think that’s going to happen for any country, i ask you?!

another rule of japanese architecture is that apparently it is bad luck to have a “perfect” building. so they added this fishing hut on the back to keep it from being perfectly square. how funny is that? very different from european architecture which worked for “perfection”. IMG_1557_golden pavillion

after a long morning walking around all the shiny-sparkly-gold building we headed to a favorite restaurant of the tour guides’ for Udon and Tempora. yum!

IMG_1587_noodles +tempura

after lunch we went to another temple. this temple had a million cherry trees in bloom so it was a really gorgeous walk.IMG_1599_flowers

and aren’t my parents’ just the cutest?! IMG_1608_mom and dad2 and i love this girl to death :)IMG_1619_becca

so this shrine was for a rock garden. uhh… a rock garden. there were 15 rocks in about 30’x70′ space- you could only stand on one side because there was a tall wall around all the 3 other sides…and  if you stood in one place, maybe you could see all 15 at once… and you’d get good luck…

IMG_1627_rock garden



i was a little more distracted by some of the other details around the temple grounds:
IMG_1637_wd work details

really really old wood work that is just gorgeous!IMG_1642_wdwork details

it’s just so perfect, without nails, or any of our fancy fasteners from today.IMG_1644_wd deatls

and this pretty window!IMG_1582_woodwork

and the cypress trees were even beautiful

IMG_1649_cypress tree

group shot in front of the cherry tree again:IMG_1655_family and flowers

then we stopped by the Kyoto Castle. this castle is a lot different than the other castles we’ve seen because it was built in a time of peace. the emperor just wanted a “summer” home or something in Kyoto.IMG_1680_kyoto castle

we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside but inside were the original “nightengale floors” were to protect the inhabitents from ninjas! the floors were designed to squeek when you walked on it. there was no way to walk across it without making it squeek! cool! :) made me wish my silly-totally-into-that-kind-of-thing Husbuddy was there with me to see it. :) this is how a nightengale floor is designed:

*thanks for the nerd-moment there*

a couple more detail shots from around the castle:

IMG_1656_rain gutter

pretty wood carvings were throughout the whole castle:IMG_1686_kyoto castle detail

a pretty bridge post:

IMG_1701_kyoto castle gateafter all the site seeing at castles and shrines, we were pretty worn out. the tour guide took us to a really fascinating food market… but that will have to wait for another day!

to be continued…

xo-kimberly renee

if you missed any of the previous japan posts click here:

part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 


you guys, i’ve been sick. SO sick. cold/fever/cough from japan! oh man!

{hey that rhymed!}

i come to you today trying not to cough the entire post, but i wanted to keep going with getting these pictures up! so it will be a quick one.


after a couple days we left Osaka and headed to the mountains.

“I want to see mountains again, mountains, Gandalf!”

-Bilbo, The Lord of the Rings.

{betcha didn’t think you were going to get some literature quotes with this post, did ya?}

Becca lives in a tiny little town up in the mountains between Osaka and Kyoto. it was a lovely train ride. but before we really got into the mountains we stopped at this amazing castle that i wanted to see.

can’t you tell from this map that it must be a beautiful place?!  a castle on top of a hill. beautiful moats. lots of winding streets:

IMG_1347_himeji castle map

see? we’re so excited to enter the gate:

{well, actually Dad is sick-aka THE SICKNESS I HAVE NOW}

that and the weather was being super helpful with  a freezing-bone-chilling-drizzle of rain.

but just think, as soon as we walk through this gate, it’s going to be a gorgeous castle on top of a hill! IMG_1339_himeji castle family

womp womp:IMG_1341_himeji castle

it was in a BOX. thank GOODNESS SAKES that they put up a big poster of what it was supposed to look like, cause, man. would i have been disappointed if i didn’t have that.*

{*slight sarcasm in case you didn’t notice}

SAD DAY for this little architect.

AND this amazing park that was supposed to be around it was just a little disappointing…
IMG_1357_himeji castle

but i quickly got over it and focused on the details. they were still pretty!

and we actually got to go up inside the box and see the castle up close and personal. it also showed how they restore it. which is actually pretty cool! we kept telling ourselves that if the box wasn’t there we wouldn’t have been able to do that:

IMG_1363_himeji castle

and look, because it was being restored there were architectural/structural plans for us to check out: IMG_1368_himeji castle

and models! look, they even showed what the box looked like… in case you couldn’t see from, i don’t know, standing outside.*

IMG_1370_himeji castle

luckily i have a hilarious sister who always makes things fun: IMG_1372_becca

bawhahahah. ok i’m officially dead meat since i put up that up there. good thing she is still in japan for another year or more.

i guess the cherry trees were starting to bloom. that was pretty. and there were a couple pretty walkways. and my sister is pretty:

IMG_1379_himeji castle

and there were these cool little archery-holes. i don’t know if that’s what they were. i just guessed. seems like a good plan to me though. tiny holes, different shapes, surprise surprise, is the arrow coming at you from the rectangle or triangle?!
IMG_1380_himeji castle IMG_1381_himeji castle

haha. ok. i’m a dork.

but so are these two: and i love them anyway:IMG_1384_himeji castle becca and mom

we found lunch at a tiny hole in the wall down the street.  there were about 6 tables in the whole restaurant. 3 were typical japanese style where you take off your shoes and sit on the floor at a low table with your legs crossed. the other 3 were “western” tables with civilized chairs. we kind of thought it was hilarious that all the japanese in the restuarant were sitting at the western tables and all the japanese tables were open, so we had to sit on the floor… kind of made us wonder, why don’t they just give up on the whole japanese style thing if they’re all just going to go for western style anyway?

{note, we had the same discussion about the toilets…always a line for the western style and always open squatty-potties…but seriously, this is lunch, we won’t talk about that here}

i had chow mein: {i have no idea what that meat was. not bacon. not really pork. well maybe. i don’t know} it was pretty good though::Photo Mar 27, 2 43 30 AM

and then we hit up starbucks before getting on the train.

you think i’m joking.

but we were wet and cold and grumpy (from sitting on the floor) and needed a little encouragement. ha.

and we knew were headed for the boonies, so might as well get it while we can!

but look at this amazing view from the train! ::
IMG_1388_train ride

i love how the mountains stick straight up! and the land was totally flat going up to it- no foothills! not like colorado at all.

and we saw some pretty cool looking farm houses:IMG_1389_train ride

and i got to sit with my sissy, make jokes and laugh at our dad snoring from his cold…

little did we know we would get our revenge 2 weeks later… {cough cough cough}
IMG_1391_train ride

{please note, if i’ve said anything rude or un-fun while trying to be funny, i blame the cough syrup and take no responsibility.}

xo- this girl who stayed up past her sick-bedtime{7 pm} to write this.

ps- if you’ve missed any of my other posts about japan, check it out: part 1, part 2, part 3


i think it’s kind of fitting that as we walked to the second half of our first day, we came across this sign for the zoo: IMG_1230_osaka zoo sign

because let me tell you. it felt like we walked into the zoo! well, more like NYC Times Square meets China Town. it was sensory OVER LOAD. it was a shopping district that was totally over the top.

are you ready for this? we were not warned. i’m warning you… there were so many people, so many things to look at, so many signs and so many…everything.

Tinsekai: IMG_1232_tinsekai

that little gold budda idol thing is a “happy god” aparently though his arms are too short to reach his feet so as you walk by you’re supposed to itch and tickle his toes for him. hilarious.IMG_1235_osaka shopping district

kind of a helpless god if you ask me… lol

the abundance of materialism was amazing. IMG_1236_osaka shopping districtyou could go up in this tower to get a view of the city. but since we already had done that this morning we opted out. it reminded me of the space needle in Seattle though. i think it was built around the same time.
IMG_1238_osaka tower and signs

they had large figures above all the shops. i think this was a donut guy or something:IMG_1239_store sign

and i don’t know what that was:IMG_1241_tinsekai

but this is a crab obviously. the legs moved. ha! apparently you need to see a giant sculpture-moving no less- of what you are about to go order at a little window… to eat:IMG_1254_osaka crab

you can see Becca laughing at my parents puzzled faces. i WISH i had caught dad’s look! his eyebrows are sofocused! haha. IMG_1256_family

can you see why we were totally overwhelmed? this went on for street after street! it felt like there was no end! IMG_1258_osaka

and of course, octopus. the japanese like to eat octopus, in SO many different ways{as i will show you another day}. this shop though was for octopus in fried-donut-like balls. at every place like this there was always a long line. we opted to pass and not stand in line to wait for these little delicacy’s. i don’t know, maybe we missed out… but i think we were ok with that.IMG_1260_octopus phew! exhausted and over-stimulated, our guide took us down a couple of alley ways to this shrine. it was just in some back corner behind all the shops, but it was still highly frequented:IMG_1261_osaka shrine

i love that there is moss growing on their idol. they toss water on it when they pray so the moss just grew over time!IMG_1264_osaka shrine

i think the lanterns lined up in a row are rather pretty though:IMG_1265_osaka shrine

so after that, totally, exhausting day, we actually ended up at starbucks. Becca was so excited because there are only a couple of places “close” to her where she can get a starbucks coffee! {granted, i think we hit EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. …and my family doesn’t even drink coffee normally!! lol} this picture was from a different day, but you can see her affection:

Becca and starbucks

then we found dinner in the basement of a department store. yes. that’s a real thing. the whole basements of department stores are near the underground subway/shopping areas so they are filled with food vendors! think of the makeup/perfume counters X 1,000 and put food prettily displayed behind the counters and you’ll understand what i’m saying. :)

in the department store there was a little french shop where we bought a couple of rolls and bagels for our breakfast the next morning… we needed a little break from all the strange food… what can i say? hee hee.

{to be continued}

still feeling jet-lagged…

a puppy yawn

so i just wanted to share this sweet yawn with you.

even though the depth of field is so narrow, i love these photos of sweet puppycakes!

a puppy yawn 2

do they make you yawn and want to crawl into bed for a nap too? lol. oh, puppycakes, you make me smile.