18 September 2012

End of Summer in Instas

We ended our summer by celebrating Troy's birthday, "camping" in the backyard, launching Blake's first soccer season, starting preschool (where Blake determined that he'd like to have a dog), getting sick (as per usual), roasting marshmallows on the grill, riding on a train, filling up water balloons one last time, and visiting the children's museum. It has been little more low-key than our crazy summer and we are grateful for the structured routine and slower pace.

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16 September 2012

Michigan Wrap-Up

Just a few more things I can't leave out that made our trip to Michigan complete:

1. My besties (and former college roommates) and our husbands took a quick two day trip to Ohio, leaving our collective 8 children behind. There is nothing more refreshing than a full 48 hours of nonstop laughing without worrying about the needs of our small children. 
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The main purpose for our trip was to spend the day at Cedar Point; only the best theme park in the entire world. 
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The Top Thrill Dragster was by far my favorite ride. Look at that thing! Straight up and straight back down. I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie. We were all exhausted and feeling a little sick before we even hit the dinner hour. None of us minded calling it a day. We rode everything we wanted and we didn't mind starting that five hour drive a bit earlier. But it's always a little depressing to discover that our stomachs aren't what they once were.
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2. My ten year class reunion was scheduled a week after my brother's reception, so we made it work to attend. I am one of those people who loved high school. I cried when it ended. 

Troy was even a good sport and came with me, which I was so happy about. In fact, that was my Christmas present last year. A typed note, sealed in an envelope, informing me that he would attend my reunion without complaining. I'm not even kidding. He followed through, and I think he may have even enjoyed the food and company. Not that I was surprised. He is always more outgoing and at ease in those types of situations than I am.

My best friend from high school, Abby, and I spent hours catching up earlier in the week, but it's always nice to have another excuse to get together. 
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3. The boys left the state on a high note when the pilot on our puddle jumper flight invited them into the cockpit, and told them they could push "whatever buttons they wanted."
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It was kind of a dangerous invitation, but the pilot ensured us that they couldn't mess anything up.
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And with that, we headed home with a sea of memories and a summer well spent with people we adore.


14 September 2012

Lake Michigan

In Michigan, we bounce like ping-pong balls from one thing to the next. When we aren't driving all over the state to visit good friends and family, we live at the beach.

The routines of being back to school now seem organized and orderly, which is always a relief after weeks of pandemonium. Yet, our hearts are still reaching back to the warmth of the chaos and color and texture of the lake and all the love that seeps in and out of that place.

For the sake of getting it done, I'm combining three weeks of serious beach time into one post, so please forgive the picture overload.

At Lake Michigan, there are always sand structures to be built.
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Seagulls to be chased.
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And holes to be dug.
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There are shores to be walked on.
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And grass "jungles" to be explored.
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There are friends to be played with.
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Endless cribbage tournaments to be won.
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And too-loose swimsuits to be lost.
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There is peacefulness to be disturbed by conniving little boys with handfuls of sand.
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Clean towels to be polluted by sandy feet.
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And sand to be covered in from head to toe.
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But at the end of each day, there are wet boys to be bundled up in beach towels (my favorite).
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There are evening playground walks to be taken.
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Sand mounds to climb up.
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And miles of silky sand to lie down in.
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There are channels to be walked along.
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Freighters to watch approaching.
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Old anchors to run through.
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And evening light to catch.
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There are rocks to be climbed on.
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Films to be made (see here).
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And windy days to be endured.
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Did I mention sand?
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Obviously, there are some baths to be taken.
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Teamwork and creativity are used to operate the drinking fountain.
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And water balloons are sneakily thrown off the balcony.
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Family gatherings and bike rides are constantly in the works. Beach picnics are abounding in good conversation.
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There are cousins who swarm the boys like they are the best things since sliced bread.
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Which is a good thing, because there are chilly sunset dips to be taken that moms don't necessarily want to participate in.
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And of course, there are breathtaking sunsets to be witnessed.
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How we love that place.

Although I love coming home after each summer jam-packed full of memories there, I still consider Lake Michigan "home" as well.

And I'm so glad it is becoming just that for our children too.