"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

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Honey, We’re Home!

We’re so happy to have our new cottage in Traverse City.  We love it there!  The best part?  It’s not even ours.  Like the mortgage payments don’t even have our name on them anywhere!!  Isn’t that just the best?  I’m pretty sure Mike and Alison LOVE it too.

We talked early on in the summer about getting back there with Em and Steve and the girls.  We scoured our calendars to find a weekend that worked with everybody, and planned it!  Well maybe not everybody…when Alison texted me to wish me a happy birthday, I said “Can’t wait to see you on the 12th”!  To which she replied, “You’re coming the 12th”?  Yes Alison we are.  And I’m bringing my Verismo like always so I don’t have to drink that shit instant coffee you try to serve me.  I feel like this corner of the counter must be sad when we leave.


Turns out both her and Mike had to work that Saturday, and there was a big possibility of rain.  I was really on the fence as to whether I wanted to pack everything up and go all that way to be stuck inside trying to entertain my children.  We decided to go for it, and I’m so glad we did! 

We arrived Friday night, got pizza for kids and settled them in. 


The kids were so happy to see Luna!  Last time we were there she had been missing for 3 weeks.  Luna is the first thing they look for when they get there!

IMG_7887    We hung out for awhile and then hit the town just us grown ups!


  The next morning Mike and Alison were off to work, and we were indeed faced with a rainy day.  What to do with these children…hmmmm.  I suggested drinking coffee, blogging, and reading, but oddly they weren't on board with that.  I generally enjoy my kids.  I like doing things with them and for them.  Except on a rainy weekend morning.  Can’t we all just play grown up and enjoy quiet nothingness?  Apparently no, no we can’t.

Steve found a Butterfly House and Bug Zoo, so we decided to check that out.  First up though…lunch!


The butterfly house was honestly so cool.  The staff was amazing and did everything possible to help you have a good experience. 


This thing is some variety of moth.  It was huge, takes over a year to hatch out of it’s cocoon, and then only lives 6 days.  How cool that we were able to see it!


There was one variety of butterfly that landed intermittently on people.  Mark, myself, and Kaitlyn were all lucky choices!



Natalie desperately wanted one to land on her!  She sat so still for so long!  Many came close, but didn’t land. 


Finally one of the workers came over with a new butterfly they wanted to set free.  She tried to set it on Nat’s arm, but flew right over to Kaitlyn!  She didn’t care though, she was happy to be that close!


She must be the butterfly whisperer!


The bug zoo was creepy cool too!  I just don’t need to even know these kind of insects actually exist in the world.


Nothing says vacation like ice cream in the afternoon, and nothing says Traverse like Moomers!  They had a chocolate sorbet that was dairy free for Sof.  It was so good 3 of us ordered it!   


By the afternoon the rain had stopped.  It wasn’t great out, but it was dry enough for us to do some hunting for Petoskey stones!  This is kind of an obsession for me.  I feel a little like Rainman.  Got to find Petoskey stones, always find Petoskey stones in Traverse, got to find them.

IMG_5588IMG_5594IMG_5601IMG_5602IMG_5608We found a few, but the water was pretty rough.  It was difficult, but we were satisfied!

By the time we did all that the kids were happy and content.  We scrapped our original plan of taking the kids and going out to dinner, and replaced it for another grown up night.  Didn’t have to think twice about that one!


We kept sending Alison pictures telling her to hurry!  She was at a company picnic 3 hours away and had been outside at the waterpark all day.  We didn’t care though, we just wanted to even out the boy/girl ratio!  I don’t like to admit it for fear she’ll get a big head or something, but she was worth the wait!


Of course the next day was beautiful.  We made the decision to get in some boat time before hitting the road.  Again, so glad we did! 


Remember that pier I wouldn’t jump off on the 4th of July?  Well the water was about 15 degrees warmer, so you’ll have to take my word for it that that is me and Em jumping!


It ended up being the perfect day!  We were so glad we stayed!


We were so busy all weekend we couldn’t keep up with our Instagram posts!  So when both Em and I blew up Instagram at the same time, we got this text.


Hee Hee.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Between our travels we were able to sneak a playdate in.  We met Sof’s friend Alivia and her mom at Skyzone.  Her mom was pregnant and due in a week.  When I ran into her later in the summer she told me she went into labor the day after we were at Skyzone! 



Summer morning snuggles.


Adrienne with some dance friends.


Grandma Jackie hasn’t traveled up to our house in a couple years.  She hasn’t been up to it, and we didn’t want to push it.  This summer she’s been doing really well and we mentioned maybe she’d like to try a day trip.  She was thrilled and did so well we’re going to try another day in August! 

IMG_7365 IMG_7386


They’re weird.


I gave Grandma a few different dinner choices and let her choose.  She didn’t hesitate to pick her favorite…hotdogs!!  We did hamburgers as well because even our kids don’t eat hotdogs, LOL.  Grandma loves them though and never gets them!


We also took this opportunity to celebrate a very belated Father’s Day!



Good byes are always full of lots of hugs and kisses.  The kids often come back a second time!

IMG_7372 Everyone loves Grandma Jackie and hates to see her go!


More signs of summer…


Can’t beat free Slurpee Day!  You’re bound to run into some friends too!


Mark’s 46th bday was pretty uneventful.  It was a busy day, but we managed to get 4 of us in the same room for his present!  We got him a special towel for his yoga mat. These are words I never thought I’d say, but he loves it and I love that he does it! 


We’ve had the hardest time connecting with John and Jill this summer.  It seems our schedules are the exact opposite!  When we do get a chance to hang out for an evening we let the kids go wild!  Poor Colin…I fear this is just one of many embarrassing pictures they will be able to hold over his head! 


While we were in Myrtle Beach we woke up one morning to news that a teen from our area had drown.  A couple hours later we found out it was one of Adrienne’s close friends.  It was devastating.  Just a terrible, sad, tragic accident.  We were home in time for Adrienne to attend all the services which was a blessing.  Her friends all rallied and handled it beautifully. 

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Consequently, she was only able to join her pom team at camp for one night.  They were all very understanding, as was her coach.


My work crew has playdates every Tuesday all summer.  Lucky for me my birthday fell on a Tuesday this year! 


Sof loves playing with the babies that are there!  She also loved helping me with my cupcakes!  In fact, all the kids were pretty happy to help!



My sweet Jesi sent me this birthday wish!  She remembers everyone’s birthday! 


Some days you just need a donut.


Lexi went to cheer camp for a weekend, and Em and I decided to take the other kids back to Grand Haven so we could get a couple days enjoyment too! 


It was not the best weather, but honestly it didn’t matter!  We did all the things we wanted to!


We walked around downtown the first afternoon, and had a girl’s night out that evening.  Wish we had more of these times with Nan!


The next morning was the Children’s parade.  Which translates to “collecting a crapload of candy we don’t need”.


While we were waiting for it to start, someone was walking around giving noisemakers to *literally* EVERY child.  How thoughtful.


Emily and I spent most of the parade talking about which contact sport she should sign Natty up for.  If you put a tootsie roll in the end zone, dude, she is getting it.


We managed to sneak in a couple(not ideal) hours at the beach.  It wasn’t the worst day ever, but a little more sun would have been just fine.


I got my salted caramel ice cream that night(the best ice cream in the world!) before heading home.  It was a short trip but perfect nonetheless!


Adrienne managed to fit in two concerts that weekend.  She’s like a professional concert goer.





I picked Lexi up at camp and got my first look at her new High school team.  It’s a different style of cheer for her, but she’s adjusting just fine!  In fact, they won the longest extension competition(which means they held this stunt longer than any other group there)!  Go Lexi!

IMG_7832 I’m so happy she had a positive experience at camp.  The older girls have been very nice and accepting of her as a freshman on the varsity team.  Looking forward to a great year!


The pom moms organized a night out to get to know each other.  Great group of ladies!


And now I have to say it…


Please do not get used to it, nor make any assumptions about the future based on this one fleeting moment.