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Friday, February 13, 2015

Goodbye Badge, Hello Trees

Last week our family made a HUGE change-- After 14 years working bravely as a Police Officer with the Grand Rapids Police Department, Andy decided to make the leap and turn in his badge to pursue his tree care business full time!!!

Before he officially retired from the Police Department, we got some great photos of the kids with daddy in uniform.  The little ones will probably have little to no recollection of their daddy the Police Officer as they get older, which is a weird thought to me since the GRPD has been such a part of our life!  Especially when they were born, there was SO MUCH support from not only the other Officers and their families, but also from the support staff and people we met through their birth.

Over the years Andy has worked third shift street patrol, the Vice Unit, and Community Policing.  He has seen a lot in his 14 years, and he has made a ton of close friends at the department.  There are so many good people who work hard there every day, and Andy has already told me how much he misses them.  The third shift rotating schedule, however?  No, I admit we do not miss that at all!

 Andy with Jenna age 2...  and Andy with Jenna age 6
Daddy & Lauren
Daddy & Tyler
Daddy & Tanner
Daddy & Hannah
~Daddy, our Hero~
This has been a decision Andy and I have been discussing and praying about for several years now.   I am immensely proud of him and every person who works at the department.  Immensely grateful, Immensely honored, Immensely proud.   It is such a difficult job.  I think there will be aspects of the job we both miss, especially the people and the wonderful community of support Police Officers and their families have.  This will forever be a part of us.

So why the change in career?  I probably don't need to tell you being a Police Officer can be a very thankless, high-stress job.  Andy is an active, dare I say thrill-seeking person to begin with, and so when he started tree work as a hobby I was not surprised.  What did surprise me, however, was how much he enjoyed it!  As his expertise and skills grew, Oak Meadow Tree Service flourished first as a part-time job and then as a career.
Last year Andy arrived to the point where he was so busy with trees that he could not physically do both jobs.  He literally was working all day and all night & slept much less than his body needed (going to a night of Police work after cutting trees all day is not fun).  Not to mention the kids and I missed having him around!  We knew the time had arrived to make the change.

Hanging around in our yard :)
Andy rigging up Jenna & swinging her from a tree
Can you believe that is Andy and Jenna up in the bucket?
She is going to be a great apprentice someday!

Safety First!!!
Daddy and Jenna playing in the trees

Using a crane to remove a dead Maple tree

We are excited to start this new phase of life.  While we know it is a giant leap of faith, we trust God will provide.  

If you live in the West Michigan area and are in need of tree service, storm damage clean-up, or tree care feel free to browse the Oak Meadow Tree Service website here and give Andy a call!

(of course I needed to end this blog with a plug!!!)



1 comment:

  1. Cheers to you and Andy for taking this leap into the next chapter of life, and thank you for those many years of service.