29 July 2009

Troublesome Act of the Day

Sometimes I underestimate the items that my son can reach. I was in the other room when he came up to me repeating "uh oh" over and over and frantically displaying the sign language for "help me." He then led me to the scene of crime. Apparently he had helped himself to the basil, unscrewed the lid, and dumped the whole bottle onto the carpet. He can't stand messes, so once the crime was complete, he was a little distressed until the mess was cleaned up. That's one more drawer I didn't used to have to childproof.

He also "helped" Troy and I put a dresser together. His nie-night, George, and Froggie helped us too. Blake gathered all his items into the drawer and then hopped in himself. He thought he was funniest person on the planet.


27 July 2009

Summer Nights

My mom informed me last night that I was not posting enough for her liking. So, here you go, mom. Life has slowed down for us quite a bit since our return from Michigan. It has been nice in some ways to not be rushed, although I generally prefer staying busy. 

Troy has been going into work at 6am instead of 7am which should mean that he gets home earlier, but he actually gets home later than ever and has been putting in 60+ hours each week. His work volume has increased dramatically because he just took on a group of London accounts and he is also covering for others that are on vacation. 

So, all he wanted to do was relax this weekend and that is exactly what we did. I fit in some yoga and yard work and Troy watched a lot of movies and bought some new shoes. We spent our evenings as a family out on the hammock. Summer nights don't get much better than that.

I realize that we are breaking many fashion codes in this picture. It was Sunday evening and all I can say is that we just try to get as comfy as possible as quickly as possible after church. I didn't realize until I saw this picture that Blake's arms were in the same position as mine.


22 July 2009

la carnival

Our neighborhood had a carnival over the weekend. Blake got his face painted, jumped in the bouncy house, and won a prize at the fish pond.

We even got to ride on the motorized train.

We couldn't believe how many people come out to this annual event. I guess it makes sense since they serve breakfast and have free snow cones and cotton candy.

It probably wasn't the best idea to bring Blake since he was hot and exhausted and later that day spiked a 48-hour 104° fever. Luckily it was just the fever because several families in our neighborhood have been quarantined due to swine flu. He is all better now and his appetite is raging once again.


17 July 2009

Back in You-Taw

We spent our last few days in Michigan at my friend Katie's house and went to the pool with our favorite twins, Hayden and Mason.

I felt bad that Katie hosted us at the end of our three weeks because we were exhausted by then. We did a lot of napping and repacking while we were at her house, but we did manage to squeeze in a picnic at the park. The boys even pushed Blake around in his stroller.

I have to give a shout out to my little trooper. Whilst on vacation, we slept at 8 different houses, spent over 25 hours riding in the car, and spent 10 hours on airplanes. We were basically packing, unpacking, and repacking every few days, and schedules were often completely thrown off. For my ultra sensitive child, he did amazingly well. That doesn't take into account a few meltdowns, an almost-broken nose, a few fevers, and some panicking whenever I left his sight. However, he was delightful for the majority of the time and he adjusted better to new situations, people, and sleeping arrangements that were thrown at him than I thought he would.

I didn't think I would admit to this, but it is actually nice to be home. All of the traveling and repacking got pretty old after a while. It feels good to be settling back into a routine again. We don't know when the next time we will visit Michigan will be, so I'm glad we got to enjoy it for so long and spend so much time with some of our favorite people in the world. Thank you to everyone who hosted us, fed us, and graced us with your company.


13 July 2009

Mackinac Adventures

We spent most of our last two weeks in Michigan at my parent's cottage on Mackinac Island, intermixed with 4th of July festivities and staying with different friends in Lansing and Grand Rapids. On our first trip to the island, my dad decided it would be more economical for 5 adults and 1 large carseat to fit into one SUV (including luggage for 6 people, a booster seat, a pack n' play, two large bins full of groceries, and a cooler) than for us to take 2 cars. None of us had any leg room and poor Jorden (who is the tallest) was crammed into the third row seat with his knees pressed to his chest throughout the entire four hour drive. It was a crammed adventure to say the least.

The weather on the island was rainy and freezing the whole time we were there. It was a shock coming from the hot and humid Grandville weather. We bundled up and roughed it on our bikes in the cold, since that is the only mode of transportation on the island!

Needless to say, we spent a lot of time indoors and one day Blake got silly with some hats he found.


My sweet boy loves to give me kisses.

Our second trip up to Mackinac was accompanied by my friend Stephanie and her daughter Skyler. Skyler and Blake are buds and voluntarily held hands in the car.

We were hoping for some nicer weather, but were instead greeted with downpouring rain and more freezing cold. We prepared to haul our children and our gear 3 miles out to the cottage. The super cool raincoats didn't even keep us dry. I'm the smart one who brought nothing but flip-flops.

Even though it was cold and rainy, we couldn't spend all day indoors, so we still ventured out to some Mackinac sites like the Grand Hotel.

Blake found a gigantic turtle in the front lawn of the Grand Hotel.

We finally had some nice weather on the last day we were there.

We biked 8 miles all the way around the island and stopped at the beautiful Mission Point Resort. Blake gave more kisses to me.

My little gentleman gave Skyler a bouquet of flowers. He brought them over to her one by one, and as you can see, she totally ate it up.

We put the children down for naps and my dad took us on a special interior island tour. He knows every path, road, and gorgeous view on the interior of the island, and willingly gives private tours to those who appreciate the beauty. These are sights that the tourists never see, and though I've seen them a thousand times, they never cease to amaze me. We overlooked the Mackinac Bridge that connects the lower and upper Michigan peninsulas.

We had to bike a long way uphill to see the best views.

The water was so calm and clear that you could see the reflection of the clouds in the water from hundreds of feet up. This was the view from "Gary's Ledge." My dad claimed his prime perching spot (PPS in Nash lingo) long ago.

We finally saw one nice sunset from the front porch as well.

It can be somewhat of a headache to drive hundreds of miles, take a ferry, and then haul all of your gear and groceries on bikes to the final destination, but I am always amazed at the quaintness and serenity that Mackinac Island holds whenever I visit. I loved getting to spend so much time with my bestie Stephie as well. There are just too many states that separate us.


07 July 2009

Fireworks

We decided to keep Blake up way past his bedtime for the fireworks because we knew that he would love them. We were right. He was absolutely delighted with each firework that exploded in the sky. After every single one, he exclaimed, "Ooooooo," or "Ohhhhhh," or "Ahhhhhh." It was more fun for us to watch and listen to him than to watch the fireworks. One of the cutest things he did was peek through the back of his stroller to get the best view. Since we have never kept him up that late before, it was pretty funny to see him get the 11pm sillies, just like his mom and grandma do.





Happy 4th of July!


4th of July Parade

I love the 4th of July. I have really missed the Grandville festivities that I grew up with over the last few years. So, I was super excited to attend a good ol' Grandville parade while we were in Michigan. I absolutely love how the whole city comes out for the event and it was really fun to see Blake at his first parade as well. The older kids trampled over him to get candy, but Blake managed to pick up a few pieces worthy of his excitement.

My holiday-killer husband was even a good sport about all of the festivities. I think he just knew how important the day was to me and acted pleasant though inside he was cringing.

Blake decided to take a pretend siesta when the sirens and candy chucking got too overwhelming for him. I don't blame him. He had a string of beads sideswipe his face because they were thrown so hard.

One of the best handouts and the most unique compared to the millions of tootsie rolls was a nice cool popsicle.

Our family doesn't kid around on the 4th of July. Even the cups correspond to the holiday.

Blake was thrilled about the chex mix and goldfish we had with us as well. He walked back and forth to each bag of goodies and stuffed his little face throughout the entire parade.


Spring Lake

Our 4th of July was slightly crazy. We spent the night before the 4th in Spring Lake with our friend Adam's family. They were generous enough to host 8 adults and 6 children under the age of three. We were all friends at MSU and all met our spouses in the place we lived. We had such a fun time catching up around the bonfire, playing cards, and chasing our little ones around. 

Troy and I were back and forth to Spring Lake all weekend since I was adamant about attending some Grandville 4th of July activities. But we also didn't want to miss too much action with our friends. We woke up in Spring Lake on the 4th and promptly drove 45 minutes to Grandville for the parade and barbecue #1 with church friends. Then, we left Blake with my parents and drove back to Spring Lake to play games with our college friends. My aunt happens to live in Spring Lake, so when Blake woke up from his nap, my parents drove him to my aunt's house, and we met up with them for barbecue #2 with extended family. Finally, we drove back to Grandville with Blake for barbecue #3 with my friends from high school. We topped off the long day with a fireworks show.

It was a lot of driving. But since this is my favorite holiday and the festivities haven't been quite the same for the last few years, I was happily satisfied with all of our crazy celebrations.

We tried to take a festive picture of the four girls but our husbands and the placement of the flags were making us laugh. We also couldn't figure out which camera to look at because the boys were snapping pictures randomly.

Finally, a normal one.

Mitch and Adam took a little spin in the canoe on the beautiful Spring Lake that can be accessed from the backyard.

I think Troy's favorite part of his entire trip to Michigan was our boating excursion on Spring Lake. He fell in love with Spring Lake a couple of years ago. It is his {far fetched} dream to someday own a house on Spring Lake with his own personal boating dock. Sometimes when he is bored he will randomly look online at Real Estate in Spring Lake to see what is available and how much our savings needs to grow. He was pretty much on cloud nine as we soared across the water checking out the beautiful houses and lake view.

I don't mind Troy's dream too much since it involves Michigan.


02 July 2009

Michiganders

Besides welcoming my brother home, going to the beach, and having a girl's night, our first week in Michigan was packed with seeing our favorite Michiganders and spending every day in the pool. I forgot how hot and humid it was in Michigan, so we basically lived in the pool every moment we possibly could.

Jorden got to know his nephew a little bit better and Blake now calls him "Juh-Juh," short for Jo-Jo.

We had an informal picnic at a local park for Jorden to welcome him home from his mission. Over 60 family members and friends came to the celebration. It's always nice for me when our time is limited to be able to see everyone at one time in one place. My mom and her friends Mari-Beth and Julie did most of the work to put on this great event.

I was the designated picture-taker for the picnic (using the word photographer would be a stretch), but I completely failed because I ended up visiting the whole time. Here's one I took with some extended family.

Another reason I didn't take many pictures is because I was hogging my friend Liz's two-month old baby boy for a large amount of time. She just handed him over every time she saw me. I have to get my baby fill whenever possible since my Blake won't cuddle anymore.

Blake had his girlfriend Kylie over for a playdate. They have been sworn to each other since birth. They collectively created a crayon masterpiece. We will display it in their wedding book someday.

Kylie's mom (and my friend), Kourtni, came too. She used to live by us but recently moved back to Michigan. I didn't even try to hide my jealously.

I also spent a day with Abby, my best friend from high school. She came to the park with us to feed the ducks, and then we went out to lunch at Panera Bread (another Michigan must-have). We spent the afternoon in the pool. It's always fun to see Abby to reminisce and pick up right where we left off.

Our first week in Michigan was busy and crazy and hot and fun and filled with our favorite people and places. That is just the way I like it.