We haven’t posted many travel posts recently because it’s been a little hard to get away with baby K in the last year. (Not sure when I have to stop calling her baby!) But thankfully Grandma was willing to watch her while I enjoyed a few days in the sunshine! Dustin’s team at work meets somewhere to work on projects and this time they were meeting in Belize specifically on the island of San Pedro. Since I normally try to make it to the beach a few times a year, I jumped at the chance to join him for part of the week. Right now I really needed some sunshine and relaxation.

Belize is just South of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The people here even travel to Sam’s Club in Mexico for groceries/supplies sometimes (seems crazy they have Sam’s Club in Mexico!). Belize hasn’t quite hit their tourism potential but the island of San Pedro does have quite a few tourists. Once I landed in Belize City, I then had to take a small 12 passenger plane over to the island. This was very low key, my boarding pass was a hand written slip of paper. The flight took about fifteen minutes. Once on San Pedro, I took a short taxi to the Coastal Xpress which was a water taxi. I could have walked there, but it was easier to just be dropped off since I wasn’t with a group and didn’t quite know where I was heading. Thankfully I was able to get an early flight to the island which put me at the water taxi only 10 minutes before it left. It took about thirty minutes to get to the resort with the other taxi stops. But once I was there it dropped me off right on the dock and Dustin was there to welcome me. The place they rented was a small resort that had 12 rooms. They catered to groups from companies like this or people taking a yoga retreat or something similar. It had a central kitchen/dining building, two other buildings with rooms, and a pool in the center. It was right on the water, but there was a lot of seagrass which made swimming a bit difficult right there. But you could hear the waves and the breeze of the ocean was on us at all times!

The rest of the day on Wednesday I enjoyed the sunshine and the pool while the team worked until dinner. On Thursday was their “fun” day on their meet-up. So I was able to join them on their snorkeling trip. We left in the morning after breakfast, boarded a boat that took us back to the main part of San Pedro. There we got on Lady Leslie the snorkeling tour company. This was a very nice sail boat. The staff was very courteous and took care of everything during the day. I would highly recommend them to anyone traveling to this area. We first headed to an area of the reef called “ Hol Chan.“ In this area we all got out and swam around the reef for about thirty minutes. We saw all kinds of fish, sea turtles, beautiful coral and a few sharks! The next stop was “shark alley.” I thought our captain was kidding when he said we would be shark bait, but he wasn’t. The boat crew fed the sharks fish while the group got in the water to snorkel with them. I thought to myself, “I need my hands and feet to take care of the little babe I left at I think the view from the boat is just fine.” These were nurse sharks, which are a little different than other types but still dangerous in my mind! Their mouths look like catfish but they still bite then twist whatever they are eating.

After the sharks, the boat took us to another island called Caye Caulker where we walked through the town and had lunch. The lunch was amazing, we had lots of veggies, fish, chicken, and shrimp. It was all cooked in traditional Belize style. We still had a little bit of time, we found a restaurant right called the Lazy Lizard on the water that had some shade and tables actually in the water, so we were able to get in and cool off for a bit before heading back to the boat. The restaurant was at the edge of the inhabited part of the island, the other half of Caye Caulker is across the water way, it used to all be connected but was separated by a hurricane.  It was a 2 hour sailboat right back to San Pedro and then another fifteen minutes to our dock. We enjoyed the pool back at the resort and dinner in the evening. Friday and Saturday I enjoyed the resort while the team worked. They worked a little less on Saturday to finish off the trip. Dustin and some of the team did some kayaking on Saturday.  Saturday night we had dinner outside enjoying the ocean breeze before we headed back to the states on Sunday.

Overall Belize was beautiful and it was great too see. It’s not very commericalized at all, so if you are looking for a remote place to dive or snorkel, it’s a great place! If your looking for a big resort with all the ammentities and lots of beach..probably should head north to Mexico! :)   It was a short trip for me, but I was able to get a little tan (no sunburn for me!) and some relaxation. Until next time…

First Birthday Fun


Hi Everyone!  It’s crazy how fast this year as gone. Last week we celebrated K’s first birthday. We got her first birthday pictures the day before her party which is always fun!

We had both our families and some local friends over for her party.  She had fun opening the presents, she liked the bags the best!  She loves walking around with a small gift bag and putting things in it. She’s running all over the place and learning new things every day.  We are so thankful for the past year and looking forward to what God has in store for the next one!

Dustin & Melody

Christmas Recap

Since I took this week off, I actually have time to share some pictures with you of our Christmas celebrations! We spent the last week with both of our families and of course Baby K got lots of presents! We got to spend a few days in Dustin’s hometown, where we spent an evening with his Dad’s side of the family, an evening with his Great Aunt Linda, and we had our Hartzler Christmas on the 23rd. We also got to see Dustin’s cousin Nick and his family. Grandma Hartzler and Aunt Ashley dressed her up in this cute lamb pjs to open presents! Grandpa Hartzler raises lambs on their farm down the road from their home.

She had a blast and started to figure out the whole present opening thing! We even got a picture of the big kids. :)

On Christmas Eve we headed back south, with a quick stop in Columbus for groceries since we were hosting Christmas Day Dinner. Luckily the Dublin Trader Joe’s wasn’t as crazy as I expected on Christmas Eve! I got almost everything on my list, and we made it back to our house to have an hour of playtime before hitting the road again. We spent the evening with a stop at Great Grandma’s house in Harrison and dinner at Jaclyn’s in-laws with my family including my Aunts.


K did great after spending 5 hours in the car that day we were able to entertain her with one of her new toys on the way home! Christmas Day was fun, we had my family here most of the day, it was great to have quality time all under one roof.  Of course there was time to open presents here too. :)

Before everyone left we got some family photos.I would say this Christmas has been one of the best ones yet, quality family time with a super cute little princess. She’s growing up so fast! Hope you and your family had a Joyous celebration of Christ’s birth!

” Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room”

Christmas Letter 2014

Hello Family and Friends, we can’t believe it’s time to write our annual Christmas letter again. This year has flown by! To start the year Dustin spent a few weeks on the road traveling to Las Vegas and San Francisco for his new job at Automattic. He was able to spend some time at the Automattic Headquarters AKA “Hawthorne” and meet some of his new co-workers. February we spent preparing and anticipating Baby K’s arrival! In March we were blessed to meet our daughter after a few weeks of additional waiting. March 12th to May is pretty much a blur of sleepless nights, although Dustin did manage to take a work trip to Barbados while I was home with a colicky 5 week old. He won’t be able to live that down!

In June, we welcomed a brother into our family, as Jaclyn tied the knot with Sean! Our summer was pretty low key, Melody started back to work late May and it was a nice transition because the semester was over, so she was able to focus on her practice site and preparing for the fall.  Dustin traveled to Wisconsin for work, he probably could have gone somewhere more exotic, but the group decided to join up with the Milwaukee WordCamp Conference. This also helped the wife jealously factor!

In August we had to travel on the same weekend, so thankfully Grandma and Grandpa Hartzler were available to take care of Baby K! Melody made a whirlwind trip to Chicago for a training session, leaving Dayton at 7am Saturday and returning Sunday afternoon. Dustin headed to Dallas, TX to speak at the Podcast Movement.

By September, classes were in full swing at Cedarville, Melody coordinated two courses and kept busy with her clinical practice this fall. Dustin got to attend his first Automattic Annual Grand Meet-up. This year it was held in Park City, Utah. He had a blast getting to meet everyone that he works with online. As soon as he returned we headed to Florida to take Kenley to the beach for the first time! If you missed that post, here it is!

In October we added another brother to the family. Ashley and Brian tied the knot as well. It was fun to get to introduce Kenley to lots of family and friends with two weddings this year! Before we knew it Thanksgiving was upon us and then Dustin headed off the first week in December to Austin, TX for a team meet-up.

As we look back on the year, we can’t believe we have a 9 month old already! She is crawling all over the place, pulling up, saying Da-Da and the occasional sound that seems like Ma-Ma. The Da-Da is when she’s happy and the Ma-Ma is only when she’s upset, ha! We are so thankful for her, it’s amazing to see the world through her curious beautiful blue eyes. As we reflect on our Savior at Christmas, it amazes us that an All Powerful God took the form of a helpless child to come into this world to save us. The gift of God’s Son as a sacrifice for our sins has become even more real as we hold our precious child.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” ~Philippians 2:5-7~

Gerber Baby Contest

Hi Family and Friends!

Hope you are all doing well, we can’t believe the holiday season is about to be upon us! We are excited to share that with K this year! We wanted to ask each of you a small favor, she is in the Gerber Baby Contest, and we would love it if you could vote for her! The contest runs until December 14th and you can vote daily for a child in each milestone category. If you want added to our daily email reminder to vote list please comment below or email us! Here is the link to vote. You do have to put in your birthday and an email address each day to vote, just use your generic junk email!  :) The picture below is the picture you will see on the voting link!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Dustin and Melody



Congrats Brian and Ashley!

Just wanted to post an update about another addition to our family. In October, my sister Ashley got married. Kenley acted like a perfect seven month old and stole the show, kidding of course.

Melody and I were both in the wedding party and we were fortunate to have Melody’s parents around to help with Kenley during the day. It was nice to have an extra set of hands because Kenley is much more active than she was when she was only three months old :)

Here are some of the pictures that were taken at the church.

Then we headed down the road to the reception which was held at The Barn at the Meadows. It’s a popular wedding reception spot in Wooster and a really neat location. It’s an old barn that’s converted into the perfect place for a fall wedding reception.

We took some fun fall photos before the festivities began, including some shots of Kenley.

Our family has grown quite a bit in the last year. In the last nine months, we’ve added a daughter, two brothers (in-law) and a niece and a nephew. Whew!

Photo credits to Marty’s Studio.

Vacation 2014

As we wrap up our first vacation as a family of three, we just wanted to share some of our memories from the week. There were a lot of firsts for baby K, including her first plane ride and her first trip to  the beach!

We flew out of Cincinnati because they had a direct flight to Tampa, we always try to avoid stops if possible, especially now when traveling with a baby. We timed the arrival perfectly and were able to walk right on the plane as it was boarding! We didn’t intend this however, but traffic and our ticket not saying “infant in arms” required some delays.  Most people this would make nervous (those that have flown with me in the past can attest!), but most of the time it works out for me, I hate the hurry up and wait process when flying!

We arrived in Tampa on Wednesday afternoon, got our rental car and headed to one of Dustin’s favorite vacation spots Sweet Tomatoes, after a yummy lunch, we made a quick trip to Target for diapers and other essentials. Then conveniently Whole Foods was in the same plaza so we grabbed our groceries for the 3 days in the Tampa area. Our time there we spent enjoying the beach in the mornings and the pool in the afternoon. Baby K did great, even napped in my arms on the beach one day.  It was definitely a different type of trip to the beach with a little one who constantly wanted to eat the sand! It rained a good amount most evenings, but we got one clear night where we were able to watch the sunset over the water. One of my favorite things to do..such a great reminder of the vastness of God’s creation. K is super close to crawling, so a nightly ritual was Dustin trying to teach her! Not sure why he wants her to be more mobile, I’m ok with a few more weeks of the sitting, no crawling stage!

We headed to Orlando on Sunday to enjoy some time at a nice resort my mom was able to give us a few days at with her RCI points.  We’ve already decided we need to come back in about six years when we are ready to bring her to DisneyWorld. The property is great, multiple pools, 2 lazy rivers, mini golf, game rooms, all in the heart of the disney properties.  We went to Downtown Disney this morning to walk around a bit, and of course get K a souvenir. We enjoyed the pools and lazy river and relaxing here. We are headed home tomorrow. Hope you enjoy our cute baby pool and beach photos. Since K turned out to be a good traveler…we are dreaming up the next more adventurous trip for 2015!