"Being a family means you are part of something wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what." ~Author Unknown

Sunday, May 20, 2018


We are definitely not sports people, and certainly not the type to pack up an elaborate set up and go tailgating.  Ellen was the one that brought it up though, and it sounded like the right way to be a part of our new college student’s life in an unobtrusive and fun way.  MSU was playing WMU, which was Mark, Brian, Ellen, and Andy’s alma mater as well as the school Ethan would have attended.  Seemed like the perfect reason try it out. 

We were actually a little nervous.  Not sure where to park, how it would all work out, what to bring…


We ended up having so much fun. We weren’t professionals like some of the other people, but we gave a damn good showing for our first time! 


Adrienne came by with some of her friends and stayed most the day.  We didn’t expect that or put any pressure on her to even come by, but because she was figuring it all out too, it was a comfortable place for her to land.  One thing I’ve learned with raising kids, is that there's no need to worry about upcoming changes and transitions.  If you laid a good foundation the relationship will naturally morph into what it needs to be.  You just have to show up.

We decided to take a walk around campus and check some things out.  Everyone wanted to check out her dorm so it was a good little adventure.

IMG_1343IMG_1344IMG_1345IMG_1347IMG_1349 It was the first and only time we tailgated this season, but we were so glad we did it!  Adrienne’s football days looked a little different after that, but maybe we’ll try it again next year!

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First Day of School

Right now I’m counting down the last days of school, but if I’m going to catch this blog up I must start with the first day of school.  Luckily it’s an easy post to get me motivated to keep going!  We are in an uneventful year.  No changing of schools or pivotal grade levels.  I suppose the most notable change this year is the fact that there’s 2 instead of 3. 

Adrienne left a note for each girl on their first day.  So sweet and encouraging, and I adore that she did it.


Lexi started 10th grade, and wasn’t at all happy about a before school picture.  That fact is insignificant to me.

IMG_1242Sof started 3rd grade which is considered “upper el”.  Stop.  What even. 

IMG_1244   Once again, she was absolutely thrilled to be starting school!  She loves to learn and couldn’t wait to get there!

We love our bus stop.  It’s fun to watch these kids grow each year and see new additions come and graduates go. 


Sof came home all smiles and loved everything about her first day!  Lexi had a lunch table to sit at and found all her classes.  Both are considered successful!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Labor Day Weekend

As is often the case, the weather wasn’t great on Labor Day weekend.  We weren’t too bothered though, we managed to fill it up. 

We took a road trip to visit Grandma Jackie.  We were hoping she could make the trip up to see us, but it’s just too long of a drive for her anymore.  Didn’t matter in the end, we just enjoy her company regardless of where it’s at! 



The nice thing about going to Kzoo to visit, is we drive right past MSU on the way home.  We originally were going to do a quick drop in so the cousins could see the dorm room, but Adrienne asked if we wanted to go to dinner(and take her to Kroger:) so we happily obliged! 


There’s a theater in the basement of Adrienne’s dorm and Sof and Nat didn’t waste any time making use of it!


Chili’s is our go to spot for dinner because we like to eat an absurd amount of chips and salsa! 


In keeping with our theme of gluttony we stopped at Starbucks on the way home!


We were about to enjoy the next day at home with nothing to do, but Liz and Scott had some U2 tickets that we couldn’t pass up.  It’s not really my taste in music, but I always love a reason to go out!


On Monday, we felt pressure to get the boat out one more time.  Had we known it was going to be 90 for most of September we would have let it go!  It was short lived, but we did it!


The kids were determined too.  They wanted that last tube ride! It lasted maybe 5 minutes and they waved the white flag.  It was too windy and wavy for even them!  We made the best of it and enjoyed our lunches!

IMG_1229IMG_1231IMG_1235 That is the tale of our last boat ride that really wasn’t the last boat ride. 

Note to self:  Chill out with the pressure to jam every last summer activity into Labor Day weekend.  It will get warm again in September and you’ll be doing it all again.   

Monday, November 13, 2017

The College Launch

It’s pretty surreal that we have now successfully launched a child to college.  It’s one of the greatest accomplishments of parenthood, and yet it’s a messy process to get there.  We felt nothing but excitement her entire senior year.  She was ready, and we were ready to see her move on to the next adventure.  However, the idea of sending her to college versus the reality of sending her to college is two different things. 

We started collecting necessary items to fill a dorm room.  Mark took her for all the big stuff- futon, fridge, microwave, etc.  Then I did the fun stuff- bedding, containers, decor, etc.  We had to have a come to Jesus in the middle of Target.  Dorm rooms are small.  You must choose everything based on a dual storage purpose.  Also, you might not be able to take all your shoes at once.


Once it started getting closer, emotions got a little out of whack.  What I mean to say is Adrienne was being an asshole everyone was a little testy.  We planned one last Friday hang out night with the cousins.  The cousins didn’t care that much.  But Em and I cared and we decided that everyone else WOULD care too!  Let’s just say some people Adrienne were not very cooperative about the whole thing.


*pictures all taken under duress

I can’t tell you how easy it was at this point to imagine dropping her off at that dorm room.  I had visions of coming to a slow roll in front of the door and kicking her to the curb.  I was researching low interest loans to pay for early move in.  I considered some sort of Uber/U-Haul combination to have her picked right up in our driveway.  Kidding, kidding.  Not really.

However, the next morning there was new perspective.  Em and I DO NOT mess around when it comes to these 6 girls.  We are a pack, and we will behave that way.  So, re-do.  We went out to dinner and had a lovely evening. 


The next morning was go time!  We loaded up everything and headed off to MSU!


Adrienne’s dorm is a smaller one, so move in was very smooth.  We pulled up in a parking spot, got a bunch of rolling bins, and loaded everything in them.


Her roomate and her family were delightful.  Both Mark and her dad are handy, so they got to work right away moving around beds and such.  Everyone jumped in and did a little something.  The girls were both very agreeable and not too picky about anything! 


It wasn’t long and it was all put together!  The girls opted not to match each other, but rather coordinate colors.  It turned out perfect!



We all went down to the cafeteria to eat together.  Lexi and Sof were in heaven when they realized there was a dessert bar there!  We had a nice time eating and chatting, but as we were winding down I could feel the tears start to come.  I enjoy Adrienne’s company around the house, she’s the leader of our tribe, the role model for the others.  Knowing she would thrive in this next phase of her life makes it exciting, but still a little sad.  We miss her daily presence.

The ride home was pretty quiet, mostly because of this…


I couldn’t resist going home and finding pictures from when Adrienne was a baby visiting Emily’s dorm room at MSU! 



I’m not crying, you’re crying.

I can rest assured that I did something right.  She texted me on her first day of classes, and said, “Don’t worry. I took a picture”!


Train ‘em up right, and you will never be without pictures.