"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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Back Up North

The kids worked a lot at the shop this summer.  This means there was a lot time spent chatting with Abbie and Nolan.  Quite early on in the summer they decided they wanted to create a “cottage” weekend in Traverse.  It isn’t easy to make something like that happen.  You’re talking about 14 people’s schedules that have to match up.  Everyone was very motivated though, and we made it work.  



We went a day early and Abbie joined us.  Nothing better than a Traverse City sunset.



Mike and Alison had just gotten a new dog.  She’s not Zeke, but we love her anyway!  The kids have missed having a dog when we go there!


We woke up to a rainy morning.  We weren’t too bothered by that, we enjoyed moving slow, me on my computer and the kids playing cards.


By lunchtime we decided wet or not, we needed to go do something!  We killed some time eating lunch out, and then headed to Sleeping Bear Dunes.  It cleared up just in time for us to hike. 


We started at a huge dune with a sign at the top that said, “Do not go all the way down.  Can take up to two hours to get back up.  Hefty charges for rescue fees.”  That was confusing because there were tons of people doing it!   The big girls decided to do it, and I kept Sof within the first half of the hill. 


Lexi was up way before the other two, and she was struggling a little.  Lexi is in amazing physical condition, so if she was struggling it didn’t look good for the rest of the crowd.  When the other two came up they declared it was the worst decision of their life to go all the way down!  LOL.  I’m happy to report that they made it up without incidence and no rescues were necessary!





We left that dune and the girls all said they were NOT doing any more climbing!  That was short lived though.  When we pulled up to a smaller dune they were all in to do it again!




Brian showed up with the rest of the crew that night, and Ami got there shortly after.  Brian asked one of Ami’s boys to grab his swimsuit and bring it.  It was pretty clear that it wasn’t the right one.  We laughed so hard at this!


The next day we went tubing down the Platte River.  Such a fun day.  It’s a perfect activity for a big group of all ages! 




Sof just looked at this picture and said, “I loved that place”!  It really was an awesome activity for all ages and stages!

Who knew floating in a tube was so exhausting?? 


We had a relaxing night at the house. 


We had a mean game of spoons going.  Adrienne fought hard for a spoon and ended up with an overextended elbow that required physical therapy and laser treatments before shipping her off to college.  That’s okay though, she committed to that spoon and Culley’s do not give in! 



Sunday was too beautiful to just head home.  We took the boat out for a little tubing and anchored at Power Island. 


Our cottage days are in the past, but some of our happiest memories will always be of them.  There is something very intimate about spending a whole weekend with friends.  There is such beauty in the late night and early morning.  We loved every minute of rainy morning cards and late night spoons. 

Let’s do it again soon people.  

Monday, October 9, 2017



July brought a few ordinary moments in between travels. 


Sof and I got in a habit of eating our lunch outside while playing cards.  She beat me fair and square most games, and she found it hilarious!


We enjoyed our library this summer.  They hosted some really great programs.  This was from a craft night!


We had a little obsession with ice cream cones at our house this summer.  How does the saying go?  A cone a day keeps the doctor away?  We’re going with that.


No worries, I still visited the gym!


Rainy days are Target days!


Lexi and Adrienne worked a lot.  It’s always better when Abbie and Nolan are there though!


Sof added a creative flair to taco night night.



I’m not sure if there were more lightening bugs this year, more nights we spent outside with the neighbors, or if the kids were just finally old enough to notice, but they were obsessed with catching fireflies!  Every night that’s all they wanted to do!  It was wildly cute, but that activity only takes place after it’s dark, and sometimes we just want kids to be in bed before then!

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Lexi went up north with her friend Grace and had a great time!



We went to the One republic concert with Em and Steve.  Adrienne was already going with Allison and we didn’t even know that!  They joined our tailgate for awhile!



Lexi and Sof had signing day at cheer.  It’s a cute little ceremony where the girls sign that they are committed to their team!  Then they get cookies and treats in the lobby!  Sof is a proud member of Crossfire and Lexi of Code Red.


We were finally home to make it to one of my staff play dates.  Every Tuesday there’s a get together.  I love the people I work with!


Barb had a kid in her class who’s dad has connections with the Tigers.  He gave her a suite to use one night, so we joined them.  That’s the way to watch a ball game!  Livin’ large!

We had Ellen’s boys for a few days and we did not stop!  I picked them up on a rainy afternoon at the shop.


I was very happy when it cleared and we could burn some energy at the pool.


The next day we went to Fort Clarkston with Jill and the kids.


This is the best activity for these 5 balls of energy!  Graeme got a few minutes of shut eye on the way home and he was ready to go again.  Such a goofball.


The library had a program called “Pint Size Polka”.  Mimi is a total polka fan, so we HAD to go!


Can’t end the night without ice cream:)


Uncle Mark was on bedtime duty.


We had plans to go to the park the next morning with Joni.  Of course the kids slept in! 


When they finally woke up I threw some breakfast at them, got their suits on and whisked them out with promises of a sprinkler park.  Alas, it was not meant to be.  When we got there we found out the sprinkler park was closed for renovations.  Isn’t there a better time of year, like ANYTIME besides July, to do that?  The kids were great sports and enjoyed playing anyway with no complaints whatsoever. 


It happened to be Marks bday, so we ended the night with a group of people celebrating at our house.  ‘Cause we love any excuse for a get together(although we never really need an excuse). 


We’re all a little crazy over Kate.

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The next day Sof had a birthday party to go to, and Adrienne and I had a graduation party.


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While we did that, Mark took the boys on the boat with my sister.  I guess Graeme was out 5 minutes into the ride! 

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We reunited that afternoon to go to another grad party.  I thought it would be a nightmare dragging them all there, but that was before I remembered the all you can eat dessert bar. 


IMG_0102 All three of them were ready to close the place down.


Me: Are you tired Graeme?

G:  No!  I just wanna stay at dis pawty. 

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Definitely not tired.  Nope.  Not a bit.

We returned them the next day with full discloser that their attitudes may leave a bit to be desired that day.  Just what every parent wants, to return from an international trip to kids that are exhausted and cranky!  I don’t think they’ll fire me though.

Sof rediscovered her interest in roller blades.


We met up with Joni and spent a leisurely afternoon at the library and park. 


We were having so much fun we decided to keep it going and grab some Mexican for dinner!


Our time with Joni seemed to go so fast!  We managed to squeeze in a girls night out before she left.


We also got a couple baby fixes by stopping by anytime we had the chance!



We actually did some school shopping this month. It’s early, but it’s a fun way to to get just the slightest bit excited about the new school year approaching.  



We stayed in summer mode, but the thought of school was every so slightly creeping in…IMG_0383