27 May 2008

Mission: Roll Over

Here is Blake's journey over the last few months of rolling over:

Now, he rolls over every time I put him down. It's a bit out of control, to the point where each time I lay him on his back for a nap, two seconds later he is on his tummy. Then he gets mad because apparently he forgot how to roll over onto his back, and he does not last for too long on his tummy. We are still so proud of our little roller.

24 May 2008

A Trip Down MSU Lane

On our last day in Michigan, we met up with some friends and walked around Michigan State's campus. I found myself feeling incredibly nostalgic for college days. We pushed our strollers along the Red Cedar river and talked about so many memories that we made together. Although none of us would trade where we are in life now, we recognized those years at MSU as such a unique time in our lives filled with amazing experiences. It was at MSU where we all met each other, and where we all met our husbands as well. I hope to bring Blake back someday so I can tell him more about memories with friends and with Troy.

Spring 2004, in front of Sparty.

Spring 2008, four children later!

The building behind is us where we all lived.

There is a bench that faces the river that holds a lot of memories for Troy and me. We used to go there all the time and talk for hours.

We even carved our initials into the bench 5 years ago, and I was so happy to see that they were still there! A little corny, I know, but every time I rode my bike past this bench while Troy was on his mission, it made me feel better to see that our initials were intact. I can't believe they have lasted this long, and are still so clear!

22 May 2008

Cedar Point

One of the highlights of our vacation was our trip to Cedar Point with our best friends. Last summer, when I was pregnant, I didn't have many food cravings, but I really craved roller coasters and I couldn't ride them. A little strange, I know, but I am a roller coaster maniac! Or at least that is how Troy labeled me.

Cedar Point is the best amusement park ever. It has more roller coasters than any other park in the world. In my opinion, it is so much better than Six Flags, Disneyland, etc. I grew up going to this Ohio park annually with my dad and I just love it! This was also my first night and day away from Blake, and it actually went pretty well. I called home about four times to make sure he was alright, but Grandma Julie loved taking care of him. It was incredibly fun for all of us couples to have a day together again without our children even though we love them. It felt like a mini spring break!

Some of our favorite memories of the trip were Troy's 2-hour long blood-pressure rising financial advice session in the car, "pillow talk" in the hotel room where we had had all planned on getting a good night's sleep without our children but instead stayed up late laughing, and Troy getting pulled over by a cop on the way home.

When the cop asked for the registration, Troy and Mitch fiddled around for several minutes trying to figure out how to open the glove compartment. We were driving my parent's vehicle and didn't know how  open anything. Then, Troy accidentally stepped on the gas pedal as he handed the cop several expired registrations. I don't know why my dad even keeps those! We figured we would definitely get a ticket, but when the cop came back, he let Troy off with a warning. He said, "Watching you guys try to figure out how to open the glove compartment was the funniest thing I've seen all night!" Troy added, "How about revving up the engine?" The cop said, "That was pretty funny too." We imagined that later that night he went and told all his cop friends about these idiots that couldn't figure out their car.

Back at the park, I had "tourist" written all over me. I had to carefully map out our route so that we didn't miss any hits. Troy was embarrassed.

The longest we had to wait for any ride was a half hour, so it was a good day to go.

One of our favorite rides was the Sky Hawk. It is like a huge swing where you are pushed toward the sky, then, it reverses direction and rushes back at 60 mph toward the ground. We rode this one twice in a row and could have kept going back for more. It was one of those rides that makes you giddy (not that us girls need a thrill ride to bring out that feature).

The Top Thrill Dragster was a newer ride at Cedar Point that has now become my favorite. It is 420 feet tall and reaches a speed of 120 mph within four seconds of the launch. It helped Cedar Point reclaim the title of owning the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the universe. I wasn't scared one bit.

See, you can tell by my face in the back left.

Can we go back every day?

19 May 2008

Our Dear Grandma

My Grandma passed away while we were in Michigan. She would have been 90 years old in August, and she lived her whole life independently and in good health. She had a stroke on Friday, and died on Monday, May 12th. We are so grateful that she never had to suffer, but of course it is never easy to lose a loved one. I will really miss her! We were very close. When I went away to college, she wrote me a letter every single week. She included newspaper clippings and comics that she thought I would like. After I got married, we still continued to write letters every month. When my parents cleaned out her home, they found all of my letters that she had kept in a box. Grandma came to all of my performances and sporting events throughout my life, and always "bragged" about me to her friends. She made me feel so special when I came to her house by making sure her fridge was stocked with my favorite kind of cheese.

My Baptism Day.

Grandma's 70th Birthday.
The hardest part for me about losing Grandma was that she never got to meet Blake. What is so frustrating is that we were right here in Michigan a few days before her stroke, but we were waiting until Mother's Day to see her. Of course there was no way to know that she wouldn't be around on Mother's Day, but it is still hard knowing that we were so close and could have seen her all week when she was perfectly fine. She was so excited to meet Blake, and told all her friends that she would get to see him in May. She wrote me all the time asking how big he was and what new things he was doing.

The day before she died was actually her best day at the hospital. Even though she was pretty much unconscious, she responded a little bit to us being there. We asked her to squeeze our hand and she did. We put Blake right on the bed next to her and had her squeeze his hand too. We kept saying, "Grandma, the baby is right here next to you, can you hear him?" One time, she muttered a very small, "Yes." This experience brought me a lot of comfort because even though she never saw Blake, I think she knew he was there.

I have some regrets about not spending enough time with her and not being able to introduce her to Blake, but I have been able to find a few positive things that I can be proud of during her last few months. Last Christmas, I felt really prompted to interview her about her life, and I got it all tape recorded. I haven't typed it up yet, but I am excited now to write her family history.

Also, even though we didn't really want to attend a funeral while we were in Michigan, the timing really worked out well that we were here. We got to see Grandma in the hospital and it helped my mom immensely to have Blake here to comfort her and make her smile during the difficult time.

Finally, I have never been the best at writing my Grandma back, but I just sent her a letter last month. She always lit up when she received my letters and I am so happy that she wasn't waiting for one to arrive when she passed away. I am grateful for Heavenly Father's timing and I am so glad that I did not ignore the promptings that I received prior to my Grandma's passing. I am happy that she is now at peace and has had such a wonderful life to be proud of. We will all miss you, Grandma!

If anyone is interested, here is a website that commemorates her life:

17 May 2008

Cereal, Baby!

We were going to wait until Blake was 6 months to try cereal with him (he is 5 1/2 mos. now), but we decided it would be fun to try it in Michigan amidst eager grandparents.

His first bite was very anti-climatic. He slurped, swallowed, and opened his mouth for more as if he had been eating cereal all along.


I set down the bowl for a second and Blake managed to get a foot right in the bowl. I guess he was done eating.

There goes the other foot. I fear that years of messes have begun.

13 May 2008

Mother's Day

I celebrated my first Mother's Day as a mom. This is what I learned: Mother's Day does not mean Mom's day off. I was hoping my little cutie would sleep through the night or something in celebration of the holiday, but no luck. It's a good thing he is so darn cute! Troy gave me something really sweet for Mother's Day:

That's right, a package of Little Debbie Nutty Bars. Troy and my dad had gone shopping a few days earlier and Troy kept complaining that I didn't give him any gift ideas. He built up the suspense for a few days and told me, "I don't know if you are going to like what I got you, because you didn't give me any ideas!" When I opened the Nutty Bars, I kind of expected there to be something else in the box or something.

I was relieved when Troy told me to look at the front of the box. I searched the label for a clue leading to something else. Troy came over to me with a huge giddy smile on his face and said, "Look, TWIN PACKS! Your favorite!" I was very polite and grateful for Troy's gift even though I was thinking; Nutty Bars? Really? These cost what, two dollars? Well...three dollars since it is a big pack. 

My dad started shaking his head with his head in his hands and said, "I tried to tell him that he had to get you something a little more exciting than nutty bars, but this is what he wanted to get you!" He had a tone in his voice that implied, what a dumb new dad that doesn't know what to get his wife for Mother's Day. I actually was being pretty grateful for the gift and figured it was good that we saved the money. And, I never got a birthday gift from Troy, so this was an improvement from the previous holiday!

After my mom had opened a few gifts from us and my dad, Troy went to get a "card" from Blake. It was really another gift! Blake (Troy) gave me a video camera! It will definitely be my Mother's Day, Anniversary, and Birthday gift for the year, but I am so excited! It is hard to have such an adorable little boy and not have a video camera to capture all of the exciting moments. I have been using the video setting on our digital camera, but the quality is not that great. Troy really surprised me and thought of such a great gift idea all by himself (minus the nutty bar trick).

In the end, I didn't really care about receiving any gifts for Mother's Day. I am just so happy to be a mom and experience the joy that Blake brings to our lives every day. Troy asked me the other day, "Doesn't Blake just make you so happy every day? Don't you think we thought we were pretty happy before, and now, looking back, maybe we weren't as happy as we thought because we didn't know there could be more?" I completely agreed with him and he summed up the emotions I feel every day as a mom. Thank you, Blake, for being such a wonderful addition to our lives!

Bungee Baby

We spent a couple of days on Mackinac Island while we were in Michigan. We had to bungee the baby in the burley on the back of the bike because the seat belt wasn't long enough! It probably was not the safest thing in the world, so it is a good thing Grandpa Gary is a pro bike-rider. Blake seemed to like his bike rides around the island. He was a really good sport with all of the carting around we put him through.

Grandpa pulled Blake along the beautiful shore.

Blake also experienced his first taxi ride (and by taxi ride I mean a horse and carriage ride out to the house).

A trip to Mackinac wouldn't be complete without a "PPS" (Nash lingo for Prime Perchin' Spot) experience on the front porch in the rocking chair.

09 May 2008

Blake's First Red Sox Game

The Red Sox game wasn't at Fenway Park, but the Tiger's stadium was the best we could do for now. Troy was so excited to take his son to his first Red Sox game. He must have been a good luck charm, because the Red Sox won 5-0. It was really fun for me to go too, because I really got into the team during the World Series Championship (the year in which Blake was born). I impressed Troy with my knowledge of the game and the players. Do you think Blake has enough Red Sox paraphernalia?

07 May 2008

New Friends

The best part of being in Michigan is all of the people we get to see and Blake gets to meet for the first time. We went swimming with my friend Steph and her daughter Skyler on Monday in our friend's 88 degree pool! I never thought we would go swimming the first week of May in Michigan, but the weather was perfect. Blake just chilled in the pool like he was in a trance the whole time.

Skyler loved to kiss Blake. Each time she kissed him, she looked at Steph and asked, "One more time?" Then, she put both of her hands on his cheeks and waited until he was perfectly still to lean in and give him a kiss. She was so patient with the approach! It was pretty hilarious.

Blake also got to meet his buddies Hayden and Mason. The twins were pro clappers, but Blake could not figure it out. I could not believe how much Katie's boys have grown since I saw them last summer! Will my baby really be that big someday?

"Blake, I will teach you how to clap and crawl."

Blake is excited to meet more friends and family.

Our Luggage has Arrived

We had an awesome flight to Michigan. Blake was so good the whole day and the people in front of us didn't even know we had a baby. We were a little more worried about the trip this time because he has a hard time falling asleep just anywhere now, but he proved us wrong.

It is so great to be here! I had no idea that I would feel so strongly about being back home, but I am just falling in love with all of the green trees and familiar places. The first night we were here, I went out into the garage to put something into the freezer, and this flood of memories came back to me as I smelled the spring humid air. I did not realize how much I miss being home.

01 May 2008

Old-Fashioned Photos

I have been working for the last few weeks on end-of-year DVD slideshows for the school I used to teach at. I went into the school and took pictures and video clips of all 400 students and have been spending hours editing. One day while I was in taking pictures, they had a photographer taking old-fashioned photos of all the children. I asked if they had anything small enough for Blake, and they found the perfect ensemble.