A VISIT "HOME":
I love Michigan - it is where I was born, raised, went to college, got married, and lived for the first 4 years of our marriage. I love the 4 seasons, the SANDY beaches, the SNOW in the winter, the great restaurants, thunderstorms, snowstorms, downtown Holland, HOPE COLLEGE, JP's coffee shop.....the list could go on and on! But MOST of all, I love the family and friends that call West Michigan home. I really miss them and when I go home for a visit, its always bittersweet - bitter because we live so far away from them.....but SWEET because I LOVE seeing them and spending time with them!
This visit, Bryan had some responsibilities at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI, where he received his Master's of Divinity degree. He spent 2 days there on behalf of the "Classis Cascades" (group of RCA churches in the northwest U.S) to care for the student from our classis that is currently attending seminary, as well as getting the word out about the RCA churches in the Northwest and the opportunities that are available there. Bryan had a great time meeting with the students and sharing the excitement of what's happening out west! He is definitely gifted in the area of relationship-building!
Even with that, he did have some free time and one of those days we went down to Kalamazoo, MI to visit our bestest friends from our Hope College days - Todd & January Haulenbeek and their 2 (soon to be 3) kids - Jonah & Ella.
One of our favorite things about the Haulenbeek's is that they are those rare "lifetime" friends - friends who you can just pick up with where you left off the last time. We spent some great years with them at Hope and were in each others' weddings. We have a rich, blessed friendship with them. We miss them so much and pray that one day God will have us live closer to one another (would it be too much to ask to maybe even be NEIGHBORS someday??)
It was hilarious to watch our kids and theirs play together - it was like they just knew that they were supposed to be friends with each other (as in, they have no choice!)
If you ever move to Kalamazoo and need a interior painting job done, check out Todd Haulenbeek Painting! AND if your dog needs some great all-natural doggy treats, check out January's business - The Good Dog Bakery, LLC.
We love you Haulenbeeks - seeing you made us miss you all the more!